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High Sierra macOS freezing and stops (discussions.apple.com)
319 points by mhasbini on Dec 28, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 327 comments

Apple went from building fantastically reliable software on beautiful, powerful devices, to... Well, this. Even die hard apple fans don't use their built in apps for calendar, music, mail, or really anything, because the design is so bloated. Their hardware performance lags the rest of the market at their price point, and skirt the lines of programmed obsolescence. And now apparently their major OS updates go out without quality control for things like a blank root password, or random crashed and freezes. I tried to use OSX's logs last week - they were spammed to death with warnings and errors from OS components and bundled software. Half the OS services break or emit warnings, because the date component considers December 2017 as an illegal month.

I know everyone called it after Jobs stepped out of the leadership chair, but is that really what's responsible for the decline? Can an apple insider comment here?

> Even die hard apple fans don't use their built in apps for calendar, music, mail, or really anything, because the design is so bloated.

I'm not a "die hard apple fan" (just a long time mac user), and I have no problems with most of their apps. Overall, I'm still very satisfied with my MBP.

I actually think Jobs was responsible for this decline.

If you read stories about the iPhone's development, you come across anecdotes that Apple tapped its top engineers to get the iPhone out the door. They worked long hours and weekends. Many lost spouses and relationships. It was extremely taxing. Again this is another anecdote, but it seems many of these engineers left around the release of the iPhone 4. The iPhone pipeline became a never-ending treadmill.

The tax of losing much of the top talent across all engineering functions has slowly taken its toll on Apple since. I would not be surprised if the institutional knowledge of OSX has either left or been promoted up the ladder, leaving that team with new hires unfamiliar with its inner workings.

Is there a reason innovative work always seems to feature such insane burn out? You hear it everywhere you see really major strides being made.

The thing I find disturbing is that moving slower doesn't just result in the thing coming slower. It seems to result in never shipping or a lack of innovation. It's like there is some kind of activation energy that must be overcome and the effect is non linear. Real innovation only ships at the threshold of collapse.

I find it disturbing because if true it means innovation is Molech, a god that demands a kind of human sacrifice in the form of burnout, destruction of health, loss of relationships, etc.

I suspect this is nowhere near universal as we might think. Maybe it comes from viewer’s bias or a personality flaw common to individuals obssessed enough to invent, but nothing about progress benefits from personal destruction. There must be examples of progress without pain. Did inventing the internet cause anyone grief?

> Did inventing the internet cause anyone grief?

Well it could certainly be said to have caused Al Gore some grief...

So, essentially the IBM problem of seeing how long brand momentum can keep a train moving?

...and an epic example of the bigger they are the harder they fall in the making. Am typing this from Sierra OSX, btw, not cynical, just kind of bummed about the decline of OSX' quality.

Some of this seems the inevitable fate of all large tech companies.

Apple / Amazon / etc compensates highly to retain engineering talent -> overweight tech salaries -> engineers burning out / leaving for more interesting startup opportunities -> successful startups being reacquired

Unfortunately, doesn't work so well for things like operating system codebases (NeXTSTEP acquisition aside).

I'm not sure the salaries have anything to do with it, and I vaguely recall Apple being middle of the pack there anyway.

I think it's more about appealing to peoples' ambitions and desire to be recognized in this case. Imagine if a VP of Engineering addressed you directly to 'make a big impact' on the company's new secret product. Many engineers would want to impress this person, consequences be damned.

I've been an apple fan since the '70's. My first Mac was a Mac Plus. At that point, I truly was a diehard fan because I viewed it as 10X better than the PC world. The engineering was amazing, both for hardware and software. It did have practical problems based mostly on not enough memory being available, but I forgave it because it was so darn beautiful in so many ways. I would tell everyone who would listen to get a mac, and a number of people who would have otherwise been using PC's got into the mac world because of me.

My affection for Apple has been slowly diminishing over the years. At this point, the fact is that their software is absurdly unreliable and isn't even well designed in the UI department, even though great UI was their main way of attracting fans.

I do still use all the built-in apps, including iTunes. They enable me to do what I want to do even though I regard some aspects of iTunes' design as ridiculously bad. I don't have a lot of motivation to change. I've figured out that, for instance, in order to do a search of Apple Music, you have any of the iTunes tabs selected EXCEPT Store. I can use it even though I find the design to be very lacking.

I have pretty much lost all my loyalty to Apple at this point, between the unreliability and the poor design. The main thing that's keeping me in the Apple world is the fact that I just have to believe that reliability has gotten so bad that no matter what kinds of blinders they've been wearing, they're going to have to see that something is seriously wrong, and start to seriously work to address the situation. And I'd rather not have to adjust to new OS's, and I'd like to be able to stay familiar with Apple software so I can keep helping people I know who are using it (in many cases, due to me). I am hopeful that in a year or two, reliability (if not UI design) will be decent again. I'm even hoping that this will be explicitly addressed by Tim Cook in his next keynote. The reliability situation is so obviously bad that he really should discuss it. I think Steve Jobs might have done so if things had gotten to this point--but I don't think they would have gotten this bad under him, even though there were major problems under his tenure.

Are they really unreliable? I use a 2013 macbook pro (that I bought refurbished mind you) and it works just as well as the day that I bought it, except that the mute key doesn't work. The 2015 mbpr I used at my previous employer seemed just as sturdy.

I also abused an iphone 5s for years until an upgrade to an iphone 7 earlier this year. Seems like a pretty stable device.

I don't see these problems. Now I'm stuck with a thinkpad at work that has garbage battery life and an infuriating track pad. Every Android phone also turned out to be a turd (Galaxy S3, Moto X). Now that I have a file browser on iOS I don't think I'll ever go back- especially when you consider that Apple is basically the only company in the big 5 that at least publicly goes to bat for your privacy.

I've had a Late 2013 MBPR (basically maxed specs at the time) since 2013 and with every major OS update performance very noticeably gets worse. It's literally a matter of installing the update, rebooting and being more sluggish, it's not gradual, it's poor software.

Do you have a dedicated nVidia chipset? If so, you'll also be encountering a plethora of driver bugs introduced in High Sierra, most noticeable watching videos in a browser or viewing WebGL content.

The USB stack has been a joke since they rewrote it and made it closed source to hide their incompotence.

I would have stopped installing updates long ago if I wasn't regularly forced to update XCode.

Agreed, I remember the day when I looked forward to OS updates as often they made your computer faster.

My brand new (3 month old) MBP 15' "Y" key stopped working for a day, had to clean the keyboard. Sometimes when I power on this mac I hear this scratching sounds coming from the laptop. Trackpad is noisier than the previous gen. USB peripheral hell. Speaker issues. Several kernel panics.

Now my older Mac's were never perfect, but I don't recall having so many hardware issues so soon. And living somewhere, where there is no official Apple store, getting anything fixed is a week+ of no computer.

Apple hardware still seems excellent to me. It's the software that's unreliable.

I've personally had different experiences in a professional workspace. I'm currently sitting at a ~15% replacement rate (e.g.: Apple saying they cannot fix it, and giving us a new one) across ~12 touchbar MBP's. We have 2 of the 13" MBP's sans touchbar and they've been relatively trouble free.

That's similar to Macbook Air's, which I despise in the workplace simply because they seem to randomly die much more than other models.

All of our 2012-2015 MBP's are still going very strong. We have not replaced a single one.

^ This. Apple's hardware is second to none, and iOS is mostly alright but it feels like MacOS lags behind further and further with each release. Though I suppose Apple isn't selling the software so they have no reason to improve it.

I respectfully disagree about iOS being mainly airtight. The biggest problem is probably that new iOS updates frequently destroy battery life. Also there have been bizarre problems with the spell checker. But I do agree that macOS is worse.

The fix: stop the annual release cycle. There isn't a customer demand for it, and it’s a hassle for basically everyone.

The issues in 10.12.x get fixed with 10.13, but 10.13 has the same amount of different issues, so it’s a wash. There’s no stable version anymore.

The problem is the OS X annual release cycle is tied to the iOS annual release cycle, which is tied to the annual iPhone upgrade cycle, which is the core part of Apple's business. I wish there was a way to update a module to get whatever iOS-tied goodies Apple wants to offer, without overhauling the whole Mac OS.

They should sell a new generation, with nothing changed except the generation number. It has all the benefits of a new release without the hassle of changes.

There’s no stable version anymore.

I'm still running El Capitan, and not having any issues.

Admittedly, I would have upgraded had my mac been eligible, because I'm just that sort of person, but there's nothing in Sierra or High Sierra that would make a meaningful difference to me.

I disagree with this assertion 100%. They should keep making investment in and improvement to the yearly release process and build the knowledge necessary to do this with fewer errors...

I found the scrum master (;


If there was no yearly release deadline, and the project were resourced identically, my experience points to there being even fewer releases of identical quality.

Deadlines needed.

Simply more / better QA resources required.

100% agree with this. I can't figure out what they even think the yearly releases schedule is buying for them (particularly on the macOS side) when it's obvious it's costing them on the QC front.

The best strategy seems to be to treat the current release as a beta, and hang back at least one release. If you upgrade to 10.(n-1) just before 10.n is released, you're on a release that's had about two years to mature. Though I skipped Yosemite entirely.

That's been my strategy for the past few update cycles. I just upgraded to Sierra this past July. I'll upgrade to High Sierra next July. Since another major release of iOS seems imminent after the "battery issue" I think I'll hold off on that upgrade for a little while longer, too. Latest and greatest doesn't hold the same appeal to me as reliability.

Anecdotally, I've been running High Sierra Betas for a few months now and have experienced zero issues. I'm also a die hard apple fan that uses all of the built in apps except for Music (I prefer Spotify).

One data point.

Similar to me, except I'm not quite a die-hard fan. None of their software is perfect, but it's good enough when compared with the alternatives.

Another +1 for that. There are occasionally bugs, but nothing that I can remember specifically (which is a good thing).

Same here—running the latest public beta of High Sierra 10.13.3 on a 9-year old iMac with no problems.

Nice blanket statement, i don’t think you speak for any die hard Apple fans here. I’m a die hard fan, and I still use all their native apps. I’m not sure how you say they are bloated, notes is probably the best in class of notes apps out there. The calendars and reminder features are stripped down to a fault, but still useful because it just works for me. The stability of the software is getting worse, but with any issues, people are 10x more sensetive than other platforms that have all the same issues.

> people are 10x more sensetive than other platforms that have all the same issues.

As a fellow current Mac user, I can understand why people, especially techies, are frustrated. Apple is well funded with high standards, making them a fashionable, luxury company that focuses on tech. They have a high price point for their products from which people expect high quality. More importantly, they control both the hardware and software stack. Unlike MS which has to cater to an infinite number of different hardware combinations from different vendors, Apple development teams just deal with a much smaller set of hardware products and components which theoretically should result in a more secure and stable product.

As other HN users have pointed out, there are hints as to why this is happening: https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/21/14037686/apple-macbook-m...

Apple is hollowing out the OSX/Mac OS team in favor of iOS.

While they did limit High Sierra's scope, maybe they needed to push back the release date as well given that they gutted the Mac OS team?

Regardless, the natives are getting restless.

> people are 10x more sensetive than other platforms that have all the same issues.

To be fair it's because they charge 3-4x what other platforms charge (the ones that do) and use to have a slogan saying "It just works". People paid the Apple tax because they didnt have to deal with these issues and now they do and still pay the Apple tax.

>> they charge 3-4x what other platforms charge

Wait... where is this 3-4x number coming from? Are there any examples?

ProAm is probably referring to desktops. I don't feel it's hard to get something equivalent or very near equivalent in power to a Mac Pro and spending 3x less.

When it comes to laptops, the Apple tax is only about 2x more unless you compare it to an MS Surface Laptop which is about equal in price and quality.

Yes I was mainly referring to desktop and laptops. Phones were mostly in the 2x range for a longtime until other companies began to push their 'flagship' phones at high prices as well. I've never been an Apple person but I used to recommend Apple to my non-technical friends and family and say, 'Your going to pay a bit more but not have to worry about it not working, getting viruses (back when this was an issue), etc...' but I don't feel that way anymore.

Sure, so where is this 3-4x coming from? We would all love to have something comparable to MBP for 1/4 the price, but.. where is it?

You can easily build a comparable one for 1/4 of the price. Especially for what most Mac users do with their PC/laptops. Apple has always extraordinarily overcharged/taken advantage of their customers. Of course this is my opinion, and like I said I even used to recommend them to less than technical folks because it used to 'just work'.

>> You can easily build a comparable one for 1/4 of the price.

Ok please show us the laptop that is 1/4 of the price of the same-specs MBP. Or how one could build one.

Just go spec it out for yourself. Im not doing a homework assignment for you to prove that Apple fleeces it's customers. Especially in regards to a discussion on how Apple quality has dropped so significantly over the past 8 years.

>> Just go spec it out for yourself.

I do it like once a month, and this "3-4x" claim is strictly false. If you spec MBP versus Dell or HP or Lenovo or whatever with the same parts, Apple may be anything between 5%-30% more, nowhere near 300%-400% that you claim.

Ive been following Apple for 10+ years and Im not wrong. Am I exact? No, but close enough. They used to charge you $100 to write software for your own iPhone. But a semantical argument isnt the one Im making.

>> Im not wrong.

Sure thing. Long as you remember to show us the laptop 3-4x cheaper than the equivalent MBP.

Just look at amazon, Laptops with 7700hq and gtx1060 start at about $1k. Equivalent MBP cost almost $3k, while having ddr3 instead of ddr4 and way worse GPU that other vendors pair with this processor.

... ok, I have trouble finding that, from Dell or Lenovo or HP or whoever I can actually buy and get warranty and whatever. BTW --- same parts --- 2GB+/sec SSD, comparable monitor, processor, graphics, battery life, Thunderbolt etc. If it is there I will (well, everyone would) obviously buy right away, but I have trouble finding it.

Have you actually looked at other laptops?

True, most doesn't come with nvme ssd, but you can always upgrade (which you cannot on a macbook), processors and graphics are way better for half the price, and you usually get a matte screen in which you can actually see anything besides reflections.

> Im not doing a homework assignment for you

You made a claim. If you can't back up that claim with some basic evidence, we tend to call that claim "bullshit".

Given that other posts identify a laptop with a 1920x1080 display to a retina MacBook Pro, the concept of "equivalent" is clearly not the same for everyone.

Xiaomi Mi Air 12, 13 and 15.

Hmm that does not seem to be fighting the MBP... more like fighting the $1000-$1300 HPs, Dells, and so on

E.g. http://www.techradar.com/reviews/xiaomi-mi-notebook-pro/2

Well it’s a windows laptop, so yes they say what else you can get that is directly comparable.

It’s the price of the midrange Windows laptops, but the specs and build quality of the MacBooks.

The downside is Windows of course. But it is supposed to work pretty well under Linux.

>> It’s the price of the midrange Windows laptops, but the specs and build quality of the MacBooks.

"specs and build quality of the MacBooks"? Great, can we see that mythical laptop that is 3-4x cheaper than equivalently-specced MBP or not? Url?

Or is it just empty talk?

Why the hostility?

I think it’s more like 2.5 to 3 times cheaper than 3 to 4, but it’s pretty easy to find.

A$1400: https://www.lightinthebox.com/xiaomi-laptop-15-6-inch-intel-....


A$3500: https://www.apple.com/au/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro?product=MP... (with weaker CPU and GPU)

You know those are drastically different displays right?

Yes. It also has a much better selection of ports than a MacBook.

It also doesn’t come with OSX. Pretty sure you can find some other differences too.

I’m sure for some people the screen is a deal breaker. Others won’t care.

"much better selection of ports"

How so? It does not seem to have a single Thunderbolt 3 port. MBP has four of them. Instead, Xiaomi has a bunch of USB-whatever &c. That is not "better", that is strictly "worse" and cheaper.

You replied to a comment that says:

> can we see that mythical laptop that is 3-4x cheaper than equivalently-specced MBP or not?

So, how is it even remotely equivalent?

Are you serious? Every single person has specs they care about and ones they don’t.

I don’t think the resolution is interesting at all, but I agree some will.

For some people the great MPB trackpad is enough to sell it. Some people want the Xiaomi NVidia GPU. Some want retina screen, some want resolutions with better Linux support.

If you don’t like it don’t get it. But don’t nitpick to try to find some way they aren’t exactly the same: no one thinks that they are.

Nevertheless they are both high quality, i7, 16GB aluminium notebooks which suit developers.

> I’m not sure how you say they are bloated

Evidently you're not an iTunes user. But agreed on the fact that most Apple applications are pretty decent, with the exception of iTunes (bloated) and Pages (not bloated enough).

iTunes is bloated, but there's no good replacement. And it's less bloated than it used to be, since they removed iPhone app management.

I do hope they have a skunkworks project to rewrite the whole thing from scratch, though. It could really use it.

Apple makes 90% of their revenue from iOS devices. The answer to "why the decline" is it's not material to their business or stock market performance.

But, iOS 11 is a dog. A buggy, wet, smelly one. So while most of their income comes from iOS devices, this doesn't in itself explain the decline in quality for Macs because it has been a decline across the board.

Why is this downvoted? Has nobody used iOS 11? It’s caused nearly as many problems for people as High Sierra.

It was a step back from iOS 10 on older hardware. I upgraded an iPad Air and iPad Pro first gen and the UI stuttering/stalls makes both machines feel slower. I decided beforehand not to even try on the 5S, which was a good decision except that Apple constantly nags to update and downloads the entire 1.1 GB update file to my 16 GB device without asking me (yes, I have background App updates turned off) and forces me to delete it manually to get storage back. It's infuriating.

I stayed on iOS 10.1. Other than 10.1 being RAT-able, it was a great choice.

I think your right. But if the idea is the halo effect that keeps me in the ecosystem, they need to do better on the OS/laptop front and on the Siri front. Both are slipping.

> Apple went from building fantastically reliable software on beautiful, powerful devices

When ? Seriously when. I have used MacOS since 4.1 and never remember a period where there was the case. Especially during this phase of the development lifecycle i.e. we have only just had the 2nd point release update.

I worked at Apple pre and post Jobs and nothing changed. Because he never managed any of the teams directly and his involvement had been less and less for years prior.

Obviously responses are going to be pretty dependent on the person. For me personally the peak was Snow Leopard, then it plateaued for a bit, and then I feel like it has been downhill starting with Mavericks.

Snow Leopard was so good I used to evangelize and talk about how great an OS it was with people who probably didn't know OS stood for operating system. It was that good. Now, heck, I haven't even installed the latest because I hear nothing but bad and in the on-stage demos there isn't a single thing that makes me think, "ooh I want that" It obviously has a product-market fit with a lot of people, I'm just not one of them. I'll eventually update just to make future updates easier on myself, but I have no pressing need.

Ditto on Snow Leopard. I had to muck through the version history to figure out which release I was considering the "last good, exciting release." Turns out we all agree. The divide is... stark. That said, High Sierra seems to trend back up towards the level of ambition we saw in the 200x releases.

    2001 10.1 Puma:          First OS X to ship by default
    2002 10.2 Jaguar:        GPU compositing, Mail.app, Address Book, MP4
    2003 10.3 Panther:       Safari, iChat AV, Journaled FS, Apple's PDF engine
    2005 10.4 Tiger:         Spotlight, Dashboard, Automator, Core Image/Video
    2007 10.5 Leopard:       Core Animation, Time Machine, Boot Camp, 64 bit, intel
    2009 10.6 Snow Leopard:  App Store, XCode overhaul with LLVM
    2011 10.7 Lion:          Launchpad, auto-save documents, multi-touch
    2012 10.8 Mountain Lion: Game Center, Notification Center
    2013 10.9 Mavericks:     iBooks, Apple Maps, iCloud integration
    2014 10.10 Yosemite:     Skeuomorphism -> Fisher Price, Continuity & handoff
    2015 10.11 El Capitan:   San Francisco font, Metal API
    2016 10.12 Sierra:       Siri, Auto Unlock, Night Shift
    2017 10.13 High Sierra:  HEVC, APFS, VR

Snow Leopard had problems when it was released. I recall major issues with Mail and WiFi, among others. It was especially frustrating because Apple had made such a big deal about how 10.6 was going to focus on stability and fixing bugs.

Of course it did become very reliable. We remember Snow Leopard that way now, because we remember the last stable version of it. El Cap is very stable for me today. High Sierra certainly still has a chance to get there too.

So, I agree with the GP that Apple has never been in a place where they could release v0 of a new OS X major version without issues. That has certainly not been my experience. I always wait at least a few months before upgrading, sometimes longer.

To be honest, Snow Leopard was an immediate improvement on the abomination that was Leopard.

The only reason, to me, that I remember Snow Leopard as being so good is because Leopard was a steaming pile of slow shit.

Yep, agree 100%.

10.6.8 on the early unibody Macbook Pros was excellent.

When was Apple great? Snow Leopard 10.6.

Most of the early OS X problems were resolved: Pretty much any printer you bought would work instantly; there was a healthy ecosystem of well-supported native apps; bundled apps worked well and used open standards (Mail, Address Book, iCal); networking worked well, including sharing files between Macs and PCs. And built-in utilities worked great, like printing to PDF and opening PDFs in Preview.app.

And hardware was quite good around that time too – with unibody notebooks (both plastic and aluminum) released during that time.

Things went downhill with 10.7 Lion and beyond, when Mac OS X imitated iPhone OS and usability started to decline:

- Bundled utility apps suffered: iCal and Address Book got photorealistic leather, and lost key functions like column-based navigation for your contacts and easy handling of multiple networked calendars.

- Flagship apps lost core functionality in the name of simplification: iPhoto took up the whole screen but lost core functions; iMovie was dumbed down (prior to 10.6); Final Cut Pro X left a massive gap in functionality from Final Cut Pro; Aperture was discontinued.

- Things just got worse for no valuable reason. Example: watch a Quicktime movie full-screen on a multi-monitor setup, and all the other monitors just show... textured linen.

- Reliability declined. I don't have data to back this up, and I'd really like to find an objective source for "reliability" on the Mac. But I no longer say "it just works" seriously anymore. That used to be mostly true, but it's no longer true for me. Personal example: constant problems when adding or removing my external display – permanent sleep that requires a hard reset, or display will repeatedly not be detected, or built-in keyboard and trackpad won't work until I plug in my wired keyboard again, type something, then remove it again.

I also remember Mac OS / OS X having lot of problems years ago. Well, actually much more than now, since the last 5/6 releases always have run without any issue on my Macs. Worst machine ever was the cube :) I don’t see any decline, I actually would say things have improved a lot (I’m a Mac user since the early 2000)

I would consider myself somewhat of an Apple fan. Yet, I've never used any of their built-in apps except XCode. ~99% of what I do is in Chrome, iTerm and various JetBrains IDEs. I even avoid XCode and use AppCode when possible. It's always been that way for me. I don't use macOS because the apps are amazing, or the UI is great. I use it because it gives me a Unix based system that can reliably do things like connect to an external projector, that has good enough support and pretty , non-flashy hardware. That's Apple's value offering to me and many other developers I know.

>Apple went from building fantastically reliable software

When was this?

> Even die hard apple fans don't use their built in apps for calendar, music, mail, or really anything, because the design is so bloated

That has been the case for as long as Apple has made calendar, music and email apps. People have complained about Mail since the first version (it used to be that most "die hard apple fans" were using Entourage). I hardly need to mention how unpopular iTunes has always been.

The Jobs revisionism every time an Apple product has a bug is extremely tiresome. The famously hated 'skeuomorphic' version of iCal was apparently a specific request from Jobs[1]. The single worst GUI control I've ever had the displeasure to use was the old 'thumbwheel' volume control in Quicktime Player. On the hardware side look at the puck mouse. Those kinds of things were worse than mere bugs in my opinion because they were deliberate and reflected the design philosophy of company at the time (or the inability of anybody working there to tell Jobs to fuck off and stop sabotaging products), and lasted for years before they were replaced.

[1] https://www.cultofmac.com/189707/steve-jobs-himself-is-respo...

ProDOS was quite an improvement over DOS 3.3.

>>> I know everyone called it after Jobs stepped out of the leadership chair, but is that really what's responsible for the decline? Can an apple insider comment here?

It's simple. There is noone to whip developers when they ship major bugs. Quality goes down.

Tyrannic leadership has its pros and cons. Try to imagine the internal tantrum after the company shipped an update and it crashed steve's iphone.

So you worked at Apple during this timeframe, and had personal experience of this management style? Or you're just regurgitating what you saw in a Reddit post?

I feel like there's been a very noticeable decline in the quality of Apple software (and perhaps hardware, given issues like battery related shutdowns). Then I got a PC this summer so I could play a wider variety of games, and I find that Windows 10 has a whole host of issues like lost profiles that didn't exist before, and still some of the legendary video driver flakiness. Then I try to help my father with his Android phone, and find UX lunacy.

It's not an Apple problem, it's an industry problem. Software should, generally, be more reliable now than it was 10 years ago: There's more experience building, designing, and using it, so some best practices should have floated to the top, at least. But in every segment I look, I find it's just generally worse. Everyone is shovelling worse software into the pipeline than before, and this includes industrial control systems with which I'm familiar, even aside from consumer software.

The industry does not optimise for reliability, we optimise for speed of release. See the explosion of Rails, followed by the explosion of browser-based UI kits: simplicity of development is what people want, because all pressure comes from time-to-market. This is a natural consequence of dealing with a still-booming field.

I don’t think there is a solution unless we start talking laws, and you can bet everyone here would hate that.

My avoidance of their built in apps is just simply that I don't want to be locked in to the apple eco system.

Apple has always took a closed approach to their software and it's going to hurt them in the long run.

I feel like it might have been the right direction a few decades ago. There was a lot of shovel ware and crappy software that was produced. I think they had the right idea to lock down the software availability have better quality control.

It's very similar to video game companies in the late 80's/ early 90's. Atari had a big problem with really bad games, and people lost faith in the quality of games. Nintendo started giving their games the "Nintendo Seal of Approval" to prove to consumers that the games had been thoroughly checked for bugs and such.

I can see why Apple would take the same direction, but we've come a long way with software development, especially with the rise of open source development.

Every time I think their walled garden will hurt them, I end up at my parents trying to help them through various issues on their Android devices, which come from different vendors so it's all kind of different even between devices when it should be the same, and I realize that the walled garden has some really obvious benefits that the HN crowd is somehow uniquely unable to appreciate.

I don't think anyone here looks at this topic with a black and white lens. There are various pros and cons to each and usually for developers the cons of a walled garden outweighs the pros.

Apple has relied on closed software for 40 years.

They are now fast approaching the first trillion dollar company. When exactly is this approach going to stop working for them ? And what evidence is there that people are suddenly going to flock to open source software ?

I never mentioned open source software. I meant software made by other companies that don't lock you into their platform such as Google.

Great support for terminal, low amounts of notifications, and good peripheral support are mostly why I enjoy OS X. Cloud based alternatives to their built in apps are vastly better.

I think people just have short memories. This kind of "hard freezing" is nothing new. Apple is just much more in the spotlight than ever before.

I personally had this issue with the 2010 MacBook Pro. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2420192

> Half the OS services break or emit warnings, because the date component considers December 2017 as an illegal month.

This has been frustrating me as well. The console has become a constant stream of these errors, the out of bounds month one is particularly annoying.

Your comment is ridiculous. You're seriously taking a 4 post thread on apple support forums as the sky is falling? I use high Sierra daily on my 2013 mbp and have had 0 freezes.

> You're seriously taking a 4 post thread on apple support forums ...

Err... that thread seems to have 21+ pages (at the time of writing this comment), including many "Me too" style of comments. Doesn't seem like an isolated problem. :/

The parent is confused by the same thing I was, which is on first load the page only shows 3 "helpful" comments, and you have to click a link to see all 21 pages.

YMMV certainly. As it does for all of us.

What I can say however is that the overall perceived stability and performance of my Mac has declined since the good old days of Moutain Lion. My 2017 MBP often freezes upon resume, there is a palpable lag with the overall UI experience, and the OS experience is bloated with the App Store/iCloud/iTune Store shenanigans.

For the last part, I know things have been adding up for a while, but I feel we are now reaching a tipping point. Enough of a tipping point that I now find myself relying more and more on my 2015 OpenBSD Thinkpad for work, music and movies although it has half the computing power of my Mac.

The downside is the missing ecosystem, the lack of seamless synchronization with my other iThings, which keeps me one foot in. For the moment that is, because I am slowly exploring self-hosted alternatives. And once I am confident my self-hosted system can match Apple's for most of the required features, I'll say goodbye to a 15-year relationship for good.

small edit

It's a two-way street: my expectations are probably higher that what they used to be.

Of course it’s ridiculous. Has the number of reported problems with Macs increased over the last 10 years? Sure. Their market share has also increased like crazy.

Today’s Mac doesn’t seem anymore unpolished than yesterdays. They just support a lot more software and devices than they ever used to.

Get a Mac and use it the way you might have 10-15 years ago when they only supported a few dozen peripherals and 3rd party software titles and you probably won’t ever have a problem either.

And don’t act like Macs never froze. The pinwheel/beachball of death has been a joke since OS X was first released. The biggest difference is back then you probably didn’t spend 12 hours a day in front of the machine.

People have this ridiculous hindsight bias. Were some cars in the 1950s more reliable or better? Well, yeah. They had no electronics, no features other than a radio and you didn’t drive as much because there were fewer places to go. And they even seemed safer because there was less reporting on accidents when in reality you were like 7 times more likely to die in a car accident in the best car in the 50s than the cheap east piece of crap made today.

Where did you get this from?

> The biggest difference is back then you probably didn’t spend 12 hours a day in front of the machine.

Because screen usage, in all forms, was a lot less 10-15 years ago than it was today.

Some time in the early 2000s a friend of mine who was on the core team of an immensely popular open source project wrote what I consider to be the most important PPT slide ever in software development. It simply read:

  "Nobody cares if it works for you".
While your experience feels very important to you, as you willingly demonstrate by extrapolating your subjective experience to near universal truth, it isn't significant or important. What portion, or proportion, of users, and the experience they have, is important is not even that easy to figure out. You have certain problems and certain users that carry more weight, and it isn't always obvious why and how.

I'd be careful to use the number of posts on Apple's support forums as any indicator of how big an issue is. Apple's support forums are, after all, fairly pointless in that there is a close to zero chance that they will be helpful. It is the wailing wall of Apple products – people come there to moan, to be joined by others who moan, to a deity that never shows itself nor provides meaningful response.

However, there appears to be a consensus that Apple isn't delivering the software quality one would expect from a company with their resources. There also appears to be some consensus that things are getting worse, if you read forums and discussion threads. It would be wise to at least investigate the mounting discontent with Apple from the ranks of professionals.

Nobody but you cares if your 2013 MBP has had zero freezes.

I've been programming professionally since 2000, working professionally on a range of operating systems: Windows, Linux, OSX and FreeBSD. I've dabbled with Solaris SPARC back in the day, and grew up with AmsDOS and MS DOS. I've never had the pleasure of using a Lisp Machine, but enjoy Common Lisp and have a (jealous / nostalgic) feeling for what a LispM must have been like.

I mention all of this to give context to my post; I'm not writing from a position of OS ignorance.

Anyhow: I'm continually surprised by the support for proprietary operating systems and hardware amongst IT professionals in general, and programmers specifically.

I've been running a mix of Xubuntu devices (older ThinkPads for the children) and FreeBSD (for my personal laptop and the home NAS / Minecraft etc. server) and enjoying ease of deployment (simple shell scripts), low cost, high confugurability and especially high reliability in the case of FreeBSD.

Windows users used to tell me that NIX was fine, but to get a job, they needed to program for Windows. That's probably still the case in many fields, but not in the Web dev circles I frequent.

OSX users tell me that they want both performance, reliable hardware with out of the box support. These days a good XPS or X1 Carbon will eat most or all Mac systems alive, have (in my experience) better build quality, and work well with Linux out of the box.

At the company where I work there is a growing number of users who are eschewing the latest turn of the Apple upgrade merry go round and are switching to Dell and Lenovo systems w/ Linux (and FreeBSD, in my case). Everything we need to do for our client still works, and we get more control, cheaper prices and an escape from the frankly "consumer" attitude Apple has these days (imagine - a pocket computer that won't let you install software of your choice!)

So if you're in the market for something better and cheaper than Apple, I suggest you take a look at Linux (maybe Ubuntu to start with?), FreeBSD or one of the many alternatives. You might just like it :)

Edited to add: Oh yeah, and don't forget the advantage of being able to continue using devices well past the point their manufacturers wish you'd buy something new (or force you to, in the case of Apple). I recently installed FreeBSD on a 16 year old laptop as an experiment, and it works fine. Slow, sure, but fast enough to run Emacs, Firefox, and Ruby. In a (frustrating) pinch I could probably do around half of my daily work on it.

I am the first to criticise Apple for absurd decisions with their newer hardware, and the declining quality of their software. But, 2016 MBP keyboard and touchpad aside, the build quality of Macs is a good step above the best ThinkPad or Dell XPS, and has been for many years.

Apple's machines are far less likely to exhibit issues like coil whine, interference on audio outputs, creaks and squeaks, physically broken connectors, electrical noise on USB bus, unstable network cards, poor battery life or longevity, display flickering, poor display uniformity, backlight bleed etc etc etc.

Dell's XPS range has had massive issues with Killer wireless dropouts, crackling audio jacks, mysterious battery drain, flickering screens, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember right now.

Lenovo's ThinkPads are consistently equipped with sub-par LCD panels (caveat: I have not tried their OLED models yet). I haven't yet met a ThinkPad that didn't have coil whine coming from either itself or its power adaptor. I haven't yet met a ThinkPad that didn't either have or develop some kind of creaking panel.

Until the last couple of years, Apple was about the only manufacturer that cared about making their laptops near-silent, whereas Dell and Lenovo were content putting in stock standard high-RPM fans and running them conservatively. I still find Apple machines superior in this regard.

These might seem like petty little things, but they are the sorts of things that drive me absolutely nuts over the ownership life of a machine.

I'd also posit that neither the high end ThinkPads, nor Dell's XPS, are actually really any cheaper than Apple's machines when you consider like for like.

I've had friends w/ swelling batteries destroying their MBPs, keyboard issues (dust causing problems), repeated breaking of cables (that was a few years ago, mind you), fragility to liquid spills (MacBook Air destroyed by a spilled drink that would most probably have been saved by a ThinkPad drip tray).

I'll grant you the screen on my 2011-era X220 is inferior in almost every way to the current Mac screens (except that it's matte, which makes a big deal when working while commuting). But everything else is just fine.

That said I've owned a much more recent ThinkPad - a cheaper 'consumer'-class e550 that was a pile of crap. Keys wore flat, screen market, whole thing flexed ... just not up to traditional ThinkPad standards. Unsurprising at the price I guess.

Perhaps you've had bad experiences with lower-end ThinkPads?

i can clearly hear electronic crackling noise when something starts exercising the SSD to its full speed. but yes, otherwise very quiet machines. MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)

> a pocket computer that won't let you install software of your choice!

My Ubuntu tablet did not let me either. It was a major disappointment. Anyway, the OS is no longer maintained and the best thing to do is to use it as a large clock.

I'm now using a large iPad Pro, probably the best piece of personal computer hardware I've seen so far... 500GB SSD, fast ARM processor, 120Hz screen with fantastic colors and brightness, LTE, four speakers with excellent sound, ...

I cannot program Lisp on it, but I could not do that on the Ubuntu tablet either and the Ubuntu UI/UX was lacking.

I always liked SUN's hardware, incl. the SPARC machines. Solaris was nothing I would run on my machine. I never liked it. Not its UI, not the OS APIs, not the documentation, it's like food one does not like.

> I recently installed FreeBSD on a 16 year old laptop as an experiment, and it works fine.

My Macbook runs nicely a 4k screen with full scaling UI support. That's more important to me, than trying to use old hardware. I have old laptops around, but nothing is compelling to use. The new machines with fast/large SSDs, low-power CPUs, high-res screens, external 4k screens, are more interesting to me.

2018 again won't be the year of the Linux desktop - it is just not there for people who value UI/UX more than low-level configurability.

Okay, serious question: what is the UI / UX experience you get from your OSX system that you think is lacking on Ubuntu? Or one of the other free OSs?

Perhaps my requirements are different.

Firefox, Emacs, SLIME, CCL, Roswell, Ruby, Node, RubyMine, and SyncThing run pretty much identically on all OSs I've tried. Spotify still doesn't support FreeBSD (no Widevine), so I run that in a Linux VM. Kerbal Space Program I haven't tried on FreeBSD, only Linux and OSX (I do have an old MBP I keep around as a gaming and movie machine, as it has a 15" screen and DVD drive).

I found Ubuntu configuration easier than Windows last I tried (Vista) and file based configuration in FreeBSD is the easiest of all, especially courtesy the excellent FreeBSD Handbook.

Also I run a tiling window manager (StumpWM) to avoid unnecessary window chrome, and also to avoid using the mouse.

The last time I used OSX extensively was back in 2011 or so, at Lonely Planet, where we had a fleet of iMac pairing stations. They were ludicrously hard to set up identically; all our attempts at the time to create a "pairing environment setup script" failed to varying degrees. And the screens, as large and beautiful as they were, were the devil in our weirdly lit office because they weren't available in matte options.

Possibly it comes back to your description of "food you don't like", but I really didn't enjoy my time on Apple devices.



Ubuntu/Linux is catching up with Wayland to the macOS compositor from years ago.

> Possibly it comes back to your description of "food you don't like"

I like that macOS deals nicely with hiDPI ('Retina') screens.

> Firefox, Emacs, SLIME, CCL, Roswell, Ruby, Node, RubyMine, and SyncThing run pretty much identically on all OSs I've tried.

Personally I prefer to use the LispWorks IDE (which has a nice port to macOS) and the Clozure CL IDE over GNU Emacs/Slime. GNU Emacs/Slime are not bad, but UI-wise it's a nightmare.

> and also to avoid using the mouse

I use trackpads since a few years.

I hope no year will ever be the year of the Linux desktop. I use Debian and it is awesome, both on the server and desktop. So as long as Linux is a niche, all is well. How awful if it would become mainstream, think viruses etc. So it's a good thing that people like you don't like it. Keep it up!

> Even die hard apple fans don't use their built in apps for calendar, music, mail, or really anything

[Citation needed]

I am using built in Calendar app and iTunes wihout problems.

I blame strongly Apple’s inability to make developer-focused tools easy and unbreakable.

For instance:

- I do not file bugs anymore. Their system is absurdly complex, requiring a lot of information up front, and is then 100% opaque. Bugs stay marked New and untouched for months or longer, only to be closed with Duplicate or some other lame status (with absolutely no way to search or read the apparently-similar bug reports to understand the issue and resolution). If their goal was to ensure no real participation in the process of helping their products become better, they’ve succeeded.

- Xcode 9.x routinely has failing background processes, even in response to explicit actions, and not just for obscure features. For instance, an ordinary build seems to spawn background tasks that frequently display old errors as new errors, only to mysteriously produce a “Successful” build while still showing all those older errors; I have to Clean and Build to be absolutely sure!

- Xcode 9.x failures are somehow better than Xcode 8.x failures where Literally. One. Second. Can. Pass. In. Between. Every. Character. You. Type. Then, SourceKit can enter an unending failure loop, to the point where Xcode must be restarted lest you have to click OK on errors every second. And you would think I could simply move on to Xcode 9.x but I can’t stop using Xcode 8.x due to other developer-unfriendly decisions Apple makes, such as ending support for SDKs or changing compilers in backward-incompatible ways, where using the Xcode 8.x suite (faults and all) is unavoidable.

Apple is showing signs that a split into sub-companies would be useful (kind of like Claris/FileMaker Inc.). There’s no particular reason why things like bundled apps couldn’t just become preferred 3rd-party downloads from the App Store, where spin-off companies make iThis/iThat or even things like Photos.

If that happened, Apple would be forced to actually communicate with several entities on a regular basis and improve their external-facing tools. You can bet that SpinOff, Inc. would not stand for having major problems with developer tools or SDKs for instance.

> I do not file bugs anymore.

I've filed a small amount but stopped pretty quickly because the web app where you report bugs is just horrible. I literally ended up making 2 bug reports the first time, 1 for the bug I wanted to report and then another bug report for the web app. I can't even be bothered to check whether those issues have been resolved, but I don't even care anymore at this point.

How long ago was this? They revamped their external-facing bug reporter fairly recently.

I would love this split especially since being unable to specify a default app for many actions on iOS is a pain IMO (one of the big reasons I don't use an iPhone right now).

> I do not file bugs anymore

Then your problems won't get fixed.

> Their system is absurdly complex, requiring a lot of information up front

Not really. Everything it asks for is useful information. It used to have a bunch of fields that, depending on the bug, you sometimes ended up just writing N/A in, they recently re-did the bug reporter interface so all of those free-form text areas are now a single text area pre-filled with a template, which makes it a lot easier to trim out an irrelevant section. And it's a lot faster than it used to be as well.

> Bugs stay marked New and untouched for months or longer, only to be closed with Duplicate or some other lame status

When was the last time you actually filed a bug? My dupes are generally marked as such in less than a week (presumably whenever the next bug review session happens, which is usually on a weekly cadence), and many times they get marked as such within one day. I can't remember the last time I had a non-brand-new bug get marked as a dupe.

> with absolutely no way to search or read the apparently-similar bug reports to understand the issue and resolution

This is true. You can, however, post a comment on your dupe asking for an update.

Radar is mostly a black hole. This is just something you have to deal with. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't file bugs. If nobody files a bug report, then the bug will never get fixed. And I've lost track of the number of bug reports I've filed that have actually been fixed as a result of my report (e.g. I get asked to confirm the fix later).


> For instance, an ordinary build seems to spawn background tasks that frequently display old errors as new errors, only to mysteriously produce a “Successful” build while still showing all those older errors

Those errors aren't from the build. Those errors are from the "live issues" feature. Xcode does have an issue where a successful build often doesn't actually clear out the "live issues", but you don't need to clean to get rid of them! Just modify the line in question (e.g. add and delete a space), that will clear out the issue and force it to re-perform the "live issues" compilation check. I do hope that some day Xcode will get better at handling this. Perhaps you should file a bug report.

> I can’t stop using Xcode 8.x due to other developer-unfriendly decisions Apple makes, such as ending support for SDKs or changing compilers in backward-incompatible ways, where using the Xcode 8.x suite (faults and all) is unavoidable.

Why do you need an older SDK? The only reason I can think off the top of my head to need the iOS 10 SDK instead of iOS 11 is if you're developing an iOS app, using a launch storyboard, and aren't prepared to support the iPhone X. I do wish Apple had a way to opt out of iPhone X support with Xcode 9 (e.g. an Info.plist key), but honestly, it's been months at this point since Xcode 9 came out, you should just spend the effort to support iPhone X. If you actually need the iOS 10 SDK for another reason, I'm quite curious as to what it is.

What are you referring to regarding "changing compilers in backward-incompatible ways"? I have to assume you mean the Swift compiler, but the transition from 3.1 to 3.2 is pretty painless. In most cases it should just work with perhaps a few warnings thrown in. I only know of a few edge cases surrounding Substring that are actually backwards-incompatible, but those are easy to fix.

Bug reporting and other forms of feedback are time investments, which are not cheap. If those investments seem to go nowhere, I reinvest in things that do go somewhere (like work-arounds). Of course a lack of reporting means that bugs won’t necessarily be fixed. Part of my point is that unfixed bugs making it into public releases is not surprising, given Apple’s lack of investment in their tools.

Apple needs to make highly-visible changes to draw contributors back, such as a giant and reliable search feature, publicly-visible lists of bug reports, and public comment threads on everything (as a start). Otherwise, if I’ve already been burned many times before, why would I keep wasting time submitting bugs into a black hole?

Xcode builds need to work without any compromises. I didn’t mention Xcode because I need a work-around (and frankly, “add and delete a space” should never be a reasonable thing to have to do). I mentioned Xcode because its glaring list of bugs can only lead to conclusions that are bad for the platform: maybe it means “we don’t know what we are doing”, or maybe it means “we don’t care about developers”, or maybe it means “we barely use our own tools”; not good.

Radar is never going to be public. There’s too much sensitive information in there, and tons of bugs submitted every day that contain sensitive info. People include all sorts of info, such as closed-source source code, that they wouldn’t do if it was public. Not to mention a lot, if not most, of the reports are filed by Apple engineers and those definitely wouldn’t be public even if external ones were.

But not being public doesn’t mean filing reports is useless! Even duplicates are useful. Bugs are fixed all the time using information found in duplicates.

Regarding Xcode, it’s got bugs, but it is a pretty good IDE all around, and it’s constantly getting better. Hell, Xcode 9 has a brand new awesome code editor (though it’s missing my favorite feature, focus follows selection, and I hope that comes back soon!) in addition to a lot of other improvements, and you’re trying to claim they’re not investing in their tools? Just because you apparently can’t use Xcode 9 for ill-defined reasons doesn’t mean they don’t care or aren’t using their tools!

There are tons of ways to deal with sensitive data that don’t require hiding the entire bug reporting system. One is to allow links to things that not everyone can see (e.g. internal web sites or protected repositories) but still making the bug report itself and the comment thread entirely public and searchable. A lot of times, all I really need is a quick way to understand that someone else in the universe has my problem and that it’s being worked on.

I’m not even saying duplicates are useless. I’m saying that Apple’s method, taking months to ultimately communicate nothing except an unexplained status of “Duplicate”, is useless. Except it’s worse, because at that point I would have already: (A) painstakingly distilled a much more complex problem into a base test case purely for Apple’s benefit, (B) generated a system profile or whatever else was required, and (C) jumped through several other hoops. Also, during that whole time I must assume: the issue wasn’t known to Apple, hadn’t been seen yet by anyone else, and probably wasn’t going to be fixed; and, I required a work-around in the meantime that ultimately became the only solution that mattered.

Now, Xcode: it kind of doesn’t matter what else they’re doing when basic tools I need every day still have problems. In Xcode 4.x they reinvented their own window/tab manager and to this day I can’t get this “pretty good IDE” to put anything where it’s supposed to be and remember that next time. It still has problems automatically showing a source file and its header file side-by-side. Also, when I open projects explicitly, it likes to display a mixture of tabs showing source files from entirely different projects (a bug I actually did report, many many years ago, still unfixed). A tool that does some things right but fails with the basics is not a well-supported development environment.

The bug report and comment thread itself is sensitive. The only possible way they could do this is if there was a checkbox on externally-reported bugs saying "allow this to be public", but that will just move the goalposts, because maybe 0.0000001% of the bug reporter will end up public, and you'll still have your bugs duped to private stuff, and search will be almost entirely useless.

If you want public bugs, go look at OpenRadar. It's a website where people can opt into posting their Apple bug reports publicly.

> taking months to ultimately communicate nothing except an unexplained status of “Duplicate”

Hyperbolic much? As I already stated, dupes generally happen within a week, often within a day or two. In fact, I've filed well over a thousand bugs and I've had something get duped over a month later maybe once or twice.

> In Xcode 4.x they reinvented their own window/tab manager and to this day I can’t get this “pretty good IDE” to put anything where it’s supposed to be and remember that next time.

What do you mean? The window manager is not custom, and the tabs, if not actually the OS-provided tab functionality at this point, sure seems pretty close. In all my years of using Xcode it's never had a problem remembering how I set up my window.

> It still has problems automatically showing a source file and its header file side-by-side.

It does? I admit I don't use the automatic Counterparts feature very often, but it's always worked for me. What issues are you seeing?

> Also, when I open projects explicitly, it likes to display a mixture of tabs showing source files from entirely different projects

Again, in all my years of using Xcode, I've never even so much as heard anyone mention anything remotely like this. What the heck are you doing with Xcode to cause this to happen?

How can the entire report be sensitive? There’s always something that can become public, e.g. after sifting through a mountain of private data and finding Bug X in NSFooBar, file a bug on that and make that part public so the rest of us know.

Using OpenRadar regularly would even further increase the effort spent reporting bugs, and then: Apple doesn’t maintain it, Apple doesn’t check it, Apple certainly doesn’t synchronize with it, Apple does benefit greatly from it, despite Apple not accepting responsibility and providing a basic, foundational tool of its own.

This thread is starting to feel like a bug report in itself. Yes, everything behaves as I described, yes the issues were logged with Apple, yes it takes them months to respond sometimes (and I was being generous, sometimes it’s over a year), yes Xcode is still buggy in very obvious ways when doing very trivial things, and I’m even using recent Apple hardware and software.

Despite the daily nag messages, I still haven't "upgraded" to High Sierra yet because I've heard nothing but bad things about it from friends and coworkers. What does it bring to the table besides headaches?

It’s... fine? Honestly I’ve upgraded on day 1 on every OSX release since lion, the only complaint I really have about High Sierra is that it doesn’t really change anything. I can’t even name one thing off the top of my head that changed since Sierra, and I use almost every built-in app (Mail, iTunes, Calendar, Safari, Terminal.)

Safari has some new things (global and per-site reader view, disabling autoplay, privacy enhancements) but that doesn’t really count since it also works on Sierra.

I honestly don’t see what all the complaints are about, but I might just be lucky.

You might, I have a mac mini that has run fine since day one of the high sierra update. However, my rMBP has had several freezes (at least once a month) and a few graphical glitches (had to do a hard reboot after every instance).

Both were updated at the same time. I keep my work laptop (another rMBP) on Sierra and I might just skip updating that one altogether.

Well, I also have occasional freezes (also probably once a month, typically it's when resuming from sleep) on my MBP but no more so than I had in Sierra and all the releases before. My iMac (5k) has been pretty much 100% reliable though, so I attribute most of this to the MBP hardware.

I'm not saying 10.13 has been perfectly reliable, but it doesn't seem less reliable than previous versions to me.

> It’s... fine? ... the only complaint I really have about High Sierra is that it doesn’t really change anything.

I'm running 10.13.2 on a 2014 MBP, and can say the same -- as praise, not complaint. I want my desktop OS not to break stuff more than I want it to add new features, and 10.13 mostly succeeds in not annoying me by breaking stuff.

I usually wait a few weeks, but had to upgrade this time for the XCode update and News Preview sim plugin and I had the same experience—even on both an 13" 2013 MBP and 15" 2015 MBP. No problems, but no noticeable changes, really. Except for the font... I use Notes as well and I guess I like the new features, but I hope it doesn't go much further.

Have to agree, my biggest concern for putting it off was APFS so I waited until no one complained about it for long enough thinking 'everything else should still be ok' - big mistake. Stay away until Schiller praises the 'stability' release at 2018 Developer Conference.

I think it’s APFS that’s the cause of my biggest frustration, but I’ve not seen anyone else complain about. I normally run with about 50gb free space. After three to four days, I’m normally down to about 3gb and nothing will get it to show back up, other than a reboot.

I’ve even run a test which supports this - downloaded 35gb of files, deleted them and emptied the trash. Same thing... space is missing till I reboot.

Do you have the Time Machine enabled?

I also have this problem in Sierra. If my Time Machine HDD is not connected, it stores the backups locally.

I can only reclaim space if I disable the Time Machine and restart my mac.

Yes, this is likely the reason: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204015, and maybe (due to bug or by design) these snapshots are enabled always, even if backup partition is not configured.

> In macOS High Sierra, Time Machine stores snapshots on every APFS-formatted, all-flash storage device in your Mac or directly connected to your Mac.

I'm curious how it's implemented? Does it use whole-filesystem snapshots? Some discussion: https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/81171

Nope, Time Machine isn't enabled.

Check the /cores directory, it is possible to waste a few tens of gigabytes there easily.

I can't replicate this on apfs at all, though I've also about 10x as much free space. Rather not write out 500GiB of data to try replicating.

    $ df -k /; dd if=<(yes) of=$HOME/bigfile bs=1024 count=$((35 * 1024000)); df -k /; rm ~/bigfile; df -k /
    Filesystem   1024-blocks      Used Available Capacity iused               ifree %iused  Mounted on
    /dev/disk1s1   976265452 360477544 612444948    38% 1399186 9223372036853376621    0%   /
    35840000+0 records in
    35840000+0 records out
    36700160000 bytes transferred in 1038.398720 secs (35343033 bytes/sec)
    Filesystem   1024-blocks      Used Available Capacity iused               ifree %iused  Mounted on
    /dev/disk1s1   976265452 396346588 576575904    41% 1399343 9223372036853376464    0%   /
    Filesystem   1024-blocks      Used Available Capacity iused               ifree %iused  Mounted on
    /dev/disk1s1   976265452 360497876 612424616    38% 1399342 9223372036853376465    0%   /

And the typical utilities such as du / df or GUI tools like OmniDiskSweeper report the correct information?

time machine local backups cannot be disabled anymore (was possible in sierra). these backups are going to a hidden volume and can be listed with the tmutil(8) command. it is not possible to delete all local snapshots with a single command either, the delete subcommand takes a single date...

for this reason i do only on-demand backups when i connect my external backup drive.

another worrying thing is that the time machine backup drives still use HFS+ because APFS does not support directory hard links. so now i am backing up APFS files to HFS+ "bit perfectly".

I'm not sure why you are worrying. APFS doesn't checksum data, only file metadata. So its barely better than HFS+ in terms of data integrity

my worry is backing up from FS A to FS B where these file systems are not feature equal. just the fact that you cannot use APFS to backup APFS is worrying to me.

I converted main partition on hard disk to APFS and now it's very slow. I know I shouldn't use it on hard disks, but installer (which updates 10.12 to 10.13) crashed otherwise, leaving system unbootable (booting to installer again). After converting root partition to APFS installer was able to complete installation.

Not sure, however, that APFS is the reason of slowdown, maybe other filesystems are slow too in this version. FS cache, however, still works, and after warmup system becomes fairly responsive (on 16 Gb of RAM).

I had an issue with “purgable” space on a non-APFS system preventing me from creating a Bootcamp partition. Probably not what you describe but thought it was worth a mention. Followed this guide to “fix” it: https://www.jackenhack.com/mac-os-purgeable-remove-clear-spa.... Wasn’t best impressed.

the 'missing space' has hit me a few times over the years, but the highsierra/apfs made it worse. it will often slowly reclaim the space. I've deleted a multigig file, and, say, 30-40 minutes later, the space shows as 'available'. 2016 apple refurb SSD (2015 mbp model). It's all their own hardware and software, and it's buggy (or now designed to be confusing re: disk space).

They totally have f...ed up the free space indicators. It used it be that when I deleted things the indicator reflected it exactly. Now my indicator goes from 150 to 220 GB up and down for no apparent reason. I really have no idea how much free space I have exactly.

Use lsof to look for deleted files which are still open. I’ve debugged that problem with third-party software (AV, backups) a few times over the years.

Apple has really been eroding their geek cred with their latest OS releases. It's going to take some time to build that goodwill again, and so far they've acted like nothing is wrong.

Same here, I'm holding out.

You probably already know just how excited I was to hear they will combine Mac OS and IOS into one OS. I can't wait for all the new bu..err.. features we'll be getting!!


How's Linux doing with battery life on a laptop these days? I think my 2014 MacBook may be my last.

Pretty good for me:

My battery life is around 10-12 hours (watching video drops to about 6-7 hours) I did the following out of the box:

- Use the Intel graphics exclusively


- Powertop adjustments

I also have the screen set at a low pretty brightness level as I find the 9550 screen pretty bright (too bright) at mid-high levels.



Ubuntu 17.10

Dell 9550 XPS

i7-6700HQ CPU @ 2.60GHz

non-4K screen (doing this will really save your battery)


Intel® HD Graphics 530 + NVidia


The new rMBP is about five hours if you don't touch it at all. under 4 hours if used for working. It is a step down from my previous 2012 model which is a damn shame.

There’s something wrong with your machine. I can squeeze a full days’ work out of it if I need to, and Apple claim up to 10 hours.


Sure I can. I generally have the screen turned down quite low regardless and if I know I’m going to be without power I’ll close unnecessary programs, but I can do a bunch of web development with Sublime and a browser going for a full 7-8 hours.

Don’t accuse people of lying - it won’t improve the conversation and unless you think everyone has the same job there’s no point in the argument.

I have a Dell Precision 5510 with Skylake i7, 32gb RAM, NVMe

I get about 10 hours of battery life on Fedora 27. Not too bad at all.

How is the Dell laptop in general?

I'm about to ditch apple and was thinking to get either a Dell or a ThinkPad.


8th gen i7s. Up to 64Gb ram. Or if battery matters, 8th gen i7u with same performance as 7th gen 7700, and 32Gb ram.

Three year warranties available.

With a GPU?

I've had one engineer upgrade his work mac to high sierra. Failure, full stop.

We've warned every other engineer not to apply the high sierra OS update until further notice.

And just as anecdotally, we've had all of our engineers upgrade to High Sierra and there haven't been any issues day to day.

Well, more than just an anecdote for us though.

We have 20-30 engineers all running the exact same hardware spec as engineer #1. So, it's sufficient evidence for us.

I'm in the same boat. Quite scared of the seemingly endless stream of bad news. Switched to macos about 6 years ago, but it seems to have been a downhill ride.

So sorry, my experience with Apple from 2004 until Sierra was totally positive - hardware and software. I'm sure Apple will be rectifying this 'dropped ball' moment soon and I pray they'll learn from it.

That's what worries me. My hypothesis is that post-Jobs Apple is not capable of what you describe.

The headaches appear to be video driver specific. Most of the people I know who upgraded on day one haven't had problems.

That said, most of the benefits aren't visible so unless you use Safari or an app which depends on Metal 2, etc. there's no massive reason to jump.

Taking a wild guess here, the issue sounds like a GPU hang or crash. This gives the illusion of total unresponsiveness when only the display is not updated anymore. It would be interesting to see if networking still works in that frozen state. The CPU seems to be unaffected from the looks of it (sound decoding and playback works).

Agreed — and be rather unsurprising given the patchy nature of video driver quality. It'd be really easy to believe that Metal 2 is putting more pressure on a previously less used code-path and is flushing out bugs or hardware issues.

My company is in the position of having to upgrade soon, because of the abysmally broken SMB stack on everything since Mavericks. It's fine when you are doing SMB between Macs. But against Windows servers with decent sized directories (upwards of 10K folders), it's a nightmare. Unbearably slow, beachball city, missing files and folders that show up just fine on Windows.

We use Acronis Connect (formerly ExtremeZIP) for AFP connectivity at present, but that only helps with the missing files problem. It's still painfully slow.

SMB on 10.13.2 is blazingly fast, almost as fast as Windows, and the missing files/folders problem is gone.

I upgraded my iMac, zero problems so far (though admittedly this uses a fusion drive so no AFPS).

As for reasons to upgrade, there's nothing particularly exciting, but things are just a little better. A lot of nice stuff in Safari, though at least most of it is available in Sierra as well, and I'm not actually sure offhand what (if any) requires High Sierra. HIEF support for photos so they take less space. Also better editing of photos in Photos, including the ability to muck about with live photos (e.g. looping them, bouncing them, etc), which is fun. Notes has some good stuff, such as tables, pinned notes, and sharing with other people (which I've made heavy use of lately). And so on.

Exactly. Sierra was bad enough requiring a bunch of expensive software upgrades (vmware). There hasn't been any difference in os x in years. My MacBook Pro never slept properly and needs to be hard booted in all of the four past os x releases so there's no need to upgrade even to get the bugs. I wonder if I'll ever own a laptop that sleeps properly, but at this point I doubt that just like I doubt anyone can write a proper file system sync between host and guest vms. I guess some things are just impossible to solve yet, but I'm sure ai will solve all of this in two weeks once it takes over, except Apple's quality problems which seem intractable. /s

I had the same problem. After years of Windows laptops, I bought a Macbook back in 2015 because I wanted a change. Ended up with the same problem. Tried all sorts of fixes. Reinstalled the OS several times. It would work for a day after the reinstall and then lock up after every sleep again. I guess it wasn't always a complete lock up. Once when I was beyond frustrated with it, I let it just sit. After 30 minutes, it came back on.

I returned it and went with a Thinkpad instead. On all my Windows laptops, sleep's never been a problem. Even on the cheap machines.

Your mbp doesn’t sleep properly? I haven’t heard of such a thing. What all do you have running on it?

Never has. To be clear, it sleeps, just never wakes up sometimes. It's actually quite often that this happens. Often it won't even wake up after opening the lid and tapping on its internal keys, so it's not just a USB issue. I'm not running anything unusual. Jetbrains IDEs, Chromium, iTerm2, vmware fusion, slack, sublime, etc. This is an ongoing issue for 4 OS X versions since I bought the laptop.

I've just given up on having a computer sleep and wake up properly, especially a laptop, like I've given up on ever seeing reliable bluetooth on the same laptop (can't even play when the speaker is literally touching the laptop without dropouts; phone has no problems). I assume that laptops with reliable sleep is something we might see again in 2020 and beyond (2007 mbpro had it). On the other hand, I know for a fact I will not see reliable bluetooth connections in my lifetime or maybe ever, so compared to that, there's still hope.

Same issue here, and I run similar workloads.

When I get to work in the morning I just expect that I'll be rebooting this PoS as soon as I open it.

A nice new filesystems, and no headaches for me (MBPr 15").

If anything, it solved some Sierra headaches.

What Sierra headaches did it solve?

Mostly some wi-fi issues I've had.

What year is your MacBook Pro?

2017 IIRC (at least got it in 2017).

The appeal of Metal 2 and APFS are both pretty big. I waited until 10.13.2 for all the concerns about security and performance issues, but finally made the jump. I am on a mid 2014 MBP and have had no noticeable issues. Most of the people for whom it works aren't posting to Twitter or HN saying "ZOMG everyone! My mac worked fine today. Just like it has been for the last 3+ years."

My upgrade went fine, but my wife's upgrade hosed her hard-drive, and we had to wipe and start over, installing from a thumbdrive. We both have late 2013 MBPr's. The apple support person was really nice, but failed miserably to help us even build the bootable drive (they didn't understand how to use Disk Utility to create a GUID partition, or how to use Terminal to install the OS)

APFS. That's the big addition. I've had a few horrific problems with High Sierra, two of them leading me to do full disk wipes. My current problem is this odd occasional screen scrambling bug, that happens for a split second a couple times a day. Could it be related to the random colors that show up sometimes when I wake my MBP from sleep? I have no idea.

If you believe the bringers of bad news you clearly haven’t been using Apple products for long as the doomsayers alway love to trash their latest products.

The next iPhone is always going to be the one that ends Apple, the new OS always shows that Apple finally lost its way.

You’re better off ignoring that drivel and making up your own mind.

I upgraded to high sierra a couple days ago and my MacBook has been freezing AT LEAST once a day. Good on you that you’ve avoided the upgrade, I wish I had too.

Can't you downgrade?

10.13 is terrible for people who use FileVault, in multiple ways:

1) If you upgraded to 10.13.0 your password is being leaked in the password hint.

2) APFS + FileVault performance is abysmal compared to APFS without Filevault or HFS + FileVault or HFS without FileVault.

I upgraded a couple days ago to get React Native to work (shouldn't be required but I needed to update Xcode). So far works well.

Not so long ago, I use to justify to myself that:

* Mac is good hardware and software I can count on. Just pay and focus on your real job.

* Apple cares about privacy very publicly, so they are probably not selling my data or doing anything stupid with it. Although, there is no way for me to know.

* My work is buying the hardware for me. Why bother spending time building one that I need to maintain so much. Get the one that "Just works!"

But, recent weeks of blunders and annoyances in my Mac after updating to High Sierra is making me rethink. I'm going to spend my weekend configuring my Dell XPS with VoidLinux and set it up with open alternatives for most of my use cases.

True, I will miss some niceties like Retina Fisplay and crisp font rendering, but my self-made solution can be comfortably close to it. Although I will sorely miss the "Copy on the phone, Paste on Mac" functionality.

I will setup Tarsnap or something with crown and forget about backups except for restoration testing every year.

I will use Darktable on photo library that is synced to phone via NextCloud. Instead of Apple Photos.

Recent Firefox with Adblocker and Ghostery as a web browser.

Chrome for browsing Facebook and Amazon.

KVM instead of Virtualbox for VM needs. Docker for container needs.

Sublime Text for programming editor.

Clementine as Music player

VLC or MPlayer for media

Will figure out the rest. And put all the install/configure commands on a Ansible playbook and commit it to Github. So that next OS install is completely automated. If y'all have any tips for including in my setup this weekend, I'll appreciate it very much!

Long time voidlinux user here on a laptop, and have also used extensibly: archlinux, gentoo, openbsd (it hosts and smtp, and web server public on the internet), freebsd, alpine and slackware-current. From void you should expect many things to be different:

* No launchd or systemd mess. Runit takes care of the init process.

* xbps: a fast and simple package management software, that also resolves dependencies.

* Clean but scarse documentation, if you have used other distributions you should be fine.

* No automatic configuration of programs, you have to explicitly define what you want for sshd, nginx, etc.

I started GNU/Linux distribution hopping after archlinux's maintainers decided to migrate to systemd, back then I had been using it without problems and for experimentation purposes followed the migration; after a couple of updates I had an unbootable system were systemd wasn't able to run logind, diagnosis showed all files where in place, but run out of time and didn't want to discover what was wrong with it.

I use voidlinux on a T410s mainly for developing, learning programming languages and experiment from time to time with KVM and libvirt (which is another mess), hope to change completely to openbsd in a couple of months.

Looking into VoidLinux very much for the reasons you listed. So far, from my playing with void on a VM, it feels like the "OpenBSD" of the Linux world. I love OpenBSD (using it for pf Firewall, DNS and DHCP at work) but I seriously doubt how it'd work in a laptop. My concerns are power consumption, and drivers. Even VoidLinux with the latest linux kernel gives me trouble to enable audio. I really want my laptop to have audio, Wifi, Sleep/resume, web browser working properly. You think OpenBSD might be up to it?

Why not Ubuntu?

Because I want a BSD-like simplicity/minimalism with a Linux kernel(for its extensive driver support for laptops). Ubuntu is just not that.

Recommend restic for backups. Great new software that's under active development.

Recommend Debian for the distro. It does a lot of things for you, and correctly, but it is also infinitely configurable. It can be the "just works" distro you need, as well as the hacker's tinkerable distro you want. And it has staying power and consistent security updates. Mix stable with testing/unstable and get stability where you need it and recency where you need that. Plus the community and documentation are very good.

>Although I will sorely miss the "Copy on the phone, Paste on Mac" functionality.

KDE Connect

Also, I'm using a Yoga with 3200x1800 13" display without bigger issues, so in general, "retina" screens are replaceable.

>Although, there is no way for me to know.

That's the absolute showstopper when it comes to privacy anyway, isn't it? They can say whatever they want, the fact is - they build devices I can't control and invest heavily in keeping their gardens walled, which is directly against me being sure about my privacy.

I don't know if you have a specific reason for using Chrome, but on my linux desktop, I use Chromium for Amazon (and the few websites that just don't work right with my firefox+privacy/security setup), and with Widevine I can even watch Prime Video just fine.

MPV has also worked pretty well for me, in addition to Mplayer.

CMUS is a nice command line music utility. Works great in my experience.

Obvs desktop != laptop, but I run two Dell 1440p monitors on my desktop and they look just as good as my 6 mos old MBP w/ Retina. (Maybe font rendering on the MBP is marginally better, but maybe my eyes are getting too old to tell.)

In that vein, I'm thinking of ordering a Purism laptop. Anyone care to post how you like it? The last big thread https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15510428 didn't get much in the way of actual experiences reported.

Do they actually exist? My friend got tired of waiting and got a refund. That was maybe a year ago.

uBlock Origin for the adblocker.

And upgrade to Android next phone upgrade cycle, Firefox and uBO on that too.

I'm looking to get started on Ansible since my new install is coming up in few weeks. Can you point me to a decent tutorial?

Had the same issue - the Console App logs have taken a SERIOUS step back from earlier versions; lots of garbage that should clearly be DEBUG or TRACE level (I guess remnants of what developers have been working on).

Anyway, after days of experimentation, in my case, I think it was WebGL on Chrome. If I disabled GPU graphics acceleration in Chrome then the freezing would never happen. I downloaded the NVidia drivers for my 2012 MBP and so far WebGL is working fine on Chrome without freezes. To be clear, the whole computer froze - couldn't even more the mouse pointer!

Obviously, given the botched state of High Sierra in general others may be experiencing different causes for their freezing.

Deeply unsatisfied at Apple over this, how hard does it have to be to take a perfectly fine OS (pre-High Sierra) and keep it that way?

This particular problem might not be Apple's fault. WebGL in Chrome doesn't seem to work on my Linux desktop either, just crashes. And Chrome always has issues with hardware acceleration, on some machines it just adds 1-2 second freeze before every page load, on others it has some weird flickering.

If an application can freeze the OS, then there's definitely a problem with the OS. In this case it's probably macOS' notoriously bad GPU drivers.

Freezing the OS is rather easy to do and hard to protect from, especially if you want to permit an application to access a lot of fancy things for performance. I'm probably underselling how fragile these things are: I once killed Xorg and the laptop got bricked and never booted again.

My point is that Chrome on Linux has many issues with GPUs too, so they at least share the blame, since they don't seem to be capable of properly handling GPUs in the wild.

Exactly the same experience here. I've started using Firefox with Chrome completely shut down when I'm doing critical work. It's very annoying.

Since about a week however it seems to have been fixed, might have been a recent Chrome Dev or macOS Developer beta build I've updated to (hard to keep track of).

Makes sense. I'm going to use this as a venue to bitch about my experience with MacOS. I have been a long time Windows/Linux user but have long admired MacOS from a distance as it appeared to be, essentially, a polished Linux distro. Bash along side consistent UX, sign me up.

I purchased a MacBook Pro 8 months ago. I walked into the experience loving it. I wanted to love it. I wasn't some Windows fanboy who hates on MacOS, it's just that after I got using it for a while, I was shocked at how unintuitive it really was. The good things were really great (trackpad gestures, spotlight, it's aesthetic) but that bad things were silly bad (full screen apps, no intelihide on the dock, no window tiling, battery, finder, garbage filesystem support, etc)

I felt betrayed. (NZD, 2017 13" best touchbar model) I paid 3000 of my hard earned dollars for dated specifications so I could have access to what I expected would be the ultimate user experience on a computer. I ended up selling my MacBook after 6 months because every time I looked at it, I remembered how much I paid and how much the UI frustrated me. High Sierra was the tipping point, I was hoping for an improvement to my experience, instead they gave me a new file system and "ES5 support in Safari" - according to Tim Cook.

I'm keeping up with MacOS and hope they start caring about their MacBook/MacOS product(s), because as soon as they do, I'll buy one.

For the record, Windows and Linux have their own sets of compromises, but I can run them on a Laptop I bought for $800, or a used Desktop I got for $200, being equally as productive.

tl;dr - I was happy paying the premium for UX, however I got an incomplete product and I was mad. /rant

Honestly, I just pay the money for the trackpad. I've never found a laptop from anyone else that had a usable trackpad. I think the differences between OSes these days are almost entirely superficial, and CPUs, disks, and RAM speeds are all firmly in the "more than good enough" category. The only things that matter are the amount of RAM, the display, battery life, and the trackpad. You can get 32 or 64G of RAM for anything, and higher-end machines mostly all have nice screens and similar battery life. But nobody else seems to know how to make a decent trackpad.

Yeah the trackpad is so good. I found myself intuitively using it rather than the USB mouse I had plugged in.

Battery was extremely poor on my MacBook though. It was 5 hours (possibly a defect, or maybe the touchbar drained too much of it?). My previous laptop was rocking a gen 4 i7, 4k screen and it gets 7+ hours.

Ah yeah, I haven't had one with the touchbar yet, and I hope they figure out the folly of those before I need a new laptop.

Longterm (10 years) Linux User here who bought a MacBook to run Linux on it but switched to macOS. What’s bad about fullscreen modus? You can make the dock hide automatically if you mean that. I haven’t seen any comparable device with such a long battery lifetime. Sure you can buy something with better looking specs for cheaper but everything that’s not on the specs will be worse (keyboard, display quality, ...)

You're right on not being able to beat be the build quality of the Macbook.

Full screen mode was annoying because you couldn't put windows on top of the full screened app. Might be that I have a particular uncommon use case, but I often use basic utilities like notepad or calculator on top of my main apps. Additionally, the top menu bar would auto-hide. Often, when I would move the mouse to the top of the screen to change what tab I'm on, the top menu would reappear. This is fine, but the animation would take years to disappear and doesn't detect if the user's intention was to show it, leaving me waiting idle for a few seconds for the menu to hide again.

Complete dock auto-hide is too much of a nuclear option. I want the dock visible when there is nothing on the screen.

I mean, most people aren't as bothered by UX problems as I am. I'm probably a bit pedantic, but I feel it's reasonable to feel this way when the product costs somewhere around twice it's competitor's price.

I think you might be trying to use some patterns that don't work well on macOS. I used to run into the full-screen issue all the time when I switched to macOS many years ago. The full-screen paradigm under macOS is completely different from what it means on Windows or Linux. You only really want to ever use it for something like screen sharing or movies.

What drove me initially nuts is that on Windows you can do everything through the UI. That makes the UI cluttered, but you can find it. Under OS X there was lots more stuff that you just couldn't do via UI and you had to drop to Terminal. It took me a while to get a sense to when I should give up on doing something through the UI.

I understand that the macbook pro is not perfect. Personally, I hate the touchbar.

The build quality, dev environment, multiple desktops are all critical to me being productive.

I've been using all three major OSs for years and I feel the most productive on the mac and I feel like the UX is the best.

I've been investigating other comparable laptops on the market in an attempt to "see what else is out there" because there are some things I don't like about the macbook pro direction (touchbar gimmick).

All of this is leading into my question: What laptop competes with the macbook pro in terms of build quality (i feel like I'm holding a hunk of metal and it's really satisfying), screen (1880p), trackpad, keyboard, and battery life?

Not to mention on top of all of that I get facetime and imessage which integrates with my phone. My laptop automatically unlocks because I have the apple watch.

I have an open mind and would love a linux laptop, but it really feels like nothing even comes close in comparison.


I run Ubuntu LTS on a $150 Dell E6400 (2009~) with 4GB ram and a Core 2 Duo and it flies. As long as you have at least 2GB RAM, any recent Ubuntu should be fine.

For those with Nvidia GPUs, may I suggest (as per previous comments[0]) that you download the Nvidia BETA drivers[1] for your system. (Disclaimer: at your peril — and for your relevant device... This can be hard to figure-out as what your Mac says your GPU is, in my case a 750M GT, is actually classed as a GeForce GTX 680 :') -- what I've linked to)

Seems to have done a decent job at patching up some of the more serious un-usability that High Sierra caused me and my Mac.

Moving to High Sierra was the worst performance-wise update I made to my Mac. I'm so disappointed with Apple's sluggish reaction to these issues, that have been reported in high numbers[2], from months ago...

[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15729265

[1] - http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/127670/en-...

[2] - https://github.com/electron/electron/issues/10736#issuecomme...

In hindsight the best decisions I've made this year regarding the enjoyment of my Apple devices was not upgrading from iOS 10, and not upgrading to High Sierra. I really want to buy new Apple products and enjoy them but the company doesn't make hardware or software I want anymore.

> I really want to buy new Apple products and enjoy them but the company doesn't make hardware or software I want anymore.

Problem solved! Move on to buying things you do want.

Realistically, nothing matches macOS in terms of beautiful simplicity with a vast range of apps for designers/artists.

Every other solution requires major hacking and customization (VMs, emulators, obscure OS', lacking in compatibility, mobile integration, backups)

Apple users are complaining so loudly now because they had it good for so long and now it's fleeting.

Don't even talk to me about iOS 11... Upgraded from a (somewhat sluggish, but usable) 5S on iOS 10, to a new iPhone 8 on iOS 11... The snappiness in apps is all there (which is what I wanted), but man the bugs! One of my current gripes is that I can only be 80% sure a photo I'm taking will save to camera-roll... I thought I'd lost all of my videos from Christmas Day morning until they spontaneously appeared 10 minutes later.

Trying to post to Instagram Stories is another fun game that tends to fail 50% of the time.

Interesting, I haven’t noticed any major issues with my iPhone 8.

Same with an 8+, switched from a 6, so much better.

Wow, thanks for this suggestion! I was having some major graphical issues on a 2013 Macbook Pro with a GT 750M to the point where I was disabling GPU hardware acceleration in everything, the worst being flashes of an old framebuffer when trying to playback video. The NVIDIA drivers definitely seem way better so far.

Thanks! - I was also having major performance problems on my 2013 MBP with the 750M GT. These drivers seem to have fixed it!

Whenever my MBP gets slightly hot (if for example I turn the room heater on, instead of opening a window to let in cold air, or if I dare to have too many tabs open in Chrome), the whole system grinds to a halt and becomes totally useless, while Activity Monitor shows the "kernel_task" pinned at 400% - 700% CPU, with the CPU LOAD graph showing a mostly red mountain of system time being burnt by kernel_task.

I think it may be "SpeedStep" shitting all over itself and putting the CPU into a death spiral.

I've had several generations of MBP that continuously fail this way, so it's not something new to High Sierra.

I'm really disappointed that Apple keeps making each model of MBP thinner and thinner and hotter and hotter, instead of making it thicker with better cooling and ventilation. I don't fucking NEED it to be that thin! What I NEED is for it not to fucking freeze all the time.

That drives me even more crazy with iMacs. They are on a table. The table is made out of wood! It's sturdy. Please make it 6" deeper, add a real graphics card and some real cooling.

>several generations

Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

High Sierra is a mess, I had someone whose computer was un-bootable because of it. I went through many "solutions" only to finally roll it back to a previous OS version via backup (thankfully they used Time Machine regularly), and told them do the current system updates but don't update the OS.

I've worked through many update issues in OSX over the years, and the fixes were reasonable, but this one is really bad, and sometimes there isn't any workable solution than to roll-back.

I've noticed the OSX/iOS upgrade push is really affecting a lot of people in different ways lately, another has iPad/iPod issues because you have to update OS to get a never version of iTunes to talk to upgraded iOS devices that are now locked out of previously compatible versions of iTunes - and with device signing theres no way to roll back the mobile devices iOS... and with Mac App store theres no way to get an update thats not High Sierra anymore so Macs that can do say Yosemite but not HS are S.O.L. (unless you already have the install media) Blegh.

You can still download old versions of macOS from the Mac App Store, eg Sierra is available here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208202

I see they list of OSs but no location to actually download any older version except sierra. Where do you see that?

I want to do this with ios.

People don't seem to remember or appreciate they quality of pre-iCloud versions of osx and ios. I remember buying Snow Leopard in a cardboard box from Microcenter for $20. It had almost no truly new features. Everything was focused on making things work better and faster. And it showed. I would gladly pay $20 or $50 or $100 or whatever Apple wanted to charge for a true bug fix version of osx.

You're remembering the marketing more than the reality of Snow Leopard. It had all sorts of issues in the initial release. It was only after about 10.6.3 that it started to develop a reputation for being solid.

Snow Leopard ended up being a great release, but it didn't start that way.

10.6 was the best. I would absolutely beat on my old Macbook Pro with ffmpeg and compiles along with vmware and months of uptime with no memory leaks, no crashes. I think that was why it was such a shock when Lion arrived and started the decline on quality. I went to Ubuntu on the hardware and did quite well for another year or two before just exiting all Apple hardware entirely.

Snow Leopard was great. I ran it for over 4 years and it's been the best OS experience I've had.

Snow Leopard is arguably the best OS apple ever released

High Sierra, after playing with the freeze-ups and slow typing recognition for about a week I think I finally found the problem IMO. When Apple decided to re-format to the APFS file system they had a huge re-format dilemma for folks with only one SSD available to boot with. So Apple decided to go to a running format of the solid state drive included in the High Sierra package. Guess what! It doesn't work! Way too much fragmentation to the point of the computer gets confused and lost trying to find needed data or a place to store it and it want's to play beach-ball.

In the old Apple days we had to defragment drives constantly to keep from experiencing a beach-ball state of rest.

Anyway I had to do a bunch of invoicing in Quickbooks this morning. QB writes to the drive constantly to avoid any loss of financial data in a crash or outage. Ever since I installed High Sierra my typing response time slowed to a standstill. I could drink half a cup of coffee before it would finish a sentence or row of numbers.

I thought wow, this is just like the old days with my IIx. LOL And than it hit me! Ah, fragmentation! Being as I have 4 drive bays in my 5.1 Mac Pro and I had a CCC cloned copy of all my data with High Sierra on another SSD drive. I re-booted and used Disk Utility to erase and format APFS to my original boot drive. Then I transferred the cloned data back to that drive, re-booted and ran first aid on it.

I've had a smile on my face ever since! I used Quickbooks this morning for 4 hours without ONE freeze or typing slowdown. In fact, if I blinked my eye I couldn't see the page changes. It's now lightning faster than any previous OS X system I've used and I only have a 2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core. Not one error or stall in this message or anything I have done all day for that matter so I'm a happy High Sierra user again..

SSDs don’t suffer from access latency due to fragmentation like spinning disks do. In fact, one would probably be better off not defragmenting an SSD because all those writes will reduce the life of the disk.

Nope...OK, lets look at APFS here instead of HFS+..

Here's what I'm finding out today.. APFS understands which files will give the biggest performance boost once defragged. It works in the background when the machine is idle, so defrag won't impact system performance.

For macOS, High Sierra automatically converts the system drive to APFS as part of the installation process. The process does not move your file data. It does copy and reformat file system metadata, but does not erase the old metadata until the rewritten metadata has checked out. The metadata provides information about other data and I believe this is where the problem is. Apple will fix it, just a matter of time. For me a re-format did the job..

Why can my buddy buy a new Macbook formatted for APFS loaded from Apple with High Sierra and it runs perfect? Now take that same Macbook and install the HS update on a non APFS drive and re format to APFS and it runs like chit? Not my opinion but just what I'm seeing on other forums.. There is a serious flaw in the live update of the file system causing everyone problems..

I cured my problems completely simply by re-formatting the drive with Disk Utility APFS and re-installing the same data and using first aid.. I'm very happy with the results..

We are a mac-first company. About 350+ machines. We experienced all of these issues while testing High Sierra. Multiple machines, some upgrades, some clean builds. They seemed to be isolated to touchbar models, because we had no such issues on any of our older models, nor the Macbook Esc.

Thankfully, 10.13.2 has fixed all of these issues for me. Before I would get a lock up almost about half the time I tried to awake from sleep. Now I have gone 2 weeks without a reboot.

New macOS releases have been plagued with sleep/wake issues for years, but this one was worse than normal.

I had this issue a lot _before_ upgrading to High Sierra.

In my case I did a clean install of my Mac and then installed High Sierra. The issue then went from happening 3-4 times per day to about 3-4 time per week.

I suspect this (at least in my case) having a lot more to with the new Macbook Pro with Touch Bar than macOS.

In any case, apple should do better

There have been some reports that this is related to the graphics drivers. I don't know an easy way to disable the nvidia card, but perhaps disabling graphics switching in settings (so it always uses the fancy card) might help?

The only issue I've had on my 2013 MBP is a black screen if I plug in an external monitor while it's asleep.

Aside from that, it's been running fine. But I typically run it always plugged in to external monitor and some sources on the internet suggest that the secondary card is needed to run display port.

Why is Apple software so terrible these days? They have enough money to hire the very best programmers, why are they skimping on the most important part of their company? It's really gotten very evident that the quality at Apple is slipping big time, a lot of resters-and-vesters instead of people who love their job. Their debacle a few weeks ago with passwords, etc, and then tripping over themselves two more times in a week is shocking for such a rich company who can afford the very, very best.

> Why is Apple software so terrible these days?

This is nothing new. This is status quo. It's been going on for years. Even when Jobs was around. Thinking it wasn't happening is akin to someone now saying, "I don't see any issues."

> They have enough money to hire the very best programmers, why are they skimping on the most important part of their company?

Ask them why they colluded with other tech companies to keep salaries low and thereby affect an entire industry. They've chosen not to invest in their developers.

> It's really gotten very evident that the quality at Apple is slipping big time, a lot of resters-and-vesters instead of people who love their job.

Again, this is nothing new. Apple has a long history of failures and horrible software that people conveniently forget about as time goes on.

> such a rich company who can afford the very, very best.

Again, they worked hard to ensure they don't have to pay it. Enough so that they were taken to court over it, and lost.

But don't believe for a minute that other solutions are somehow better. Or that other companies don't benefit from Apple's collusion, even if they didn't take part.

They have lost their way.

Mobile should be a separate brand, or perhaps the other way around.

They're all about content consumption, at the expense of creators.

There should be a law for this if a company does no longer use/maintain a software properly for which a customer paid the customers should have a right to receive the source to effect repairs on their own.

I have a Macbook 12" from 2015 with High Sierra. Works fine with the latest version. it took Apple a year to release a stable macOS for the Macbook. Now I have very little problems, but before it was common not to wake up reliably, running external screen had problems, etc.

My Quadcore i7 Mac mini is still a mess under High Sierra. I see it freezing very often and especially when the machine gets some load. It's basically not usable for anything beyond reading mail and browsing the web. It was freezing once a month under Sierra. Under High Sierra it can freeze several times a day. Last days it was also rebooting on itself, twice.

I had filed a bug report, but Apple asked for a full system diagnosis report, which is not something I can give away because it would contain restricted information.

Adding my own anecdote, there seems to be some kind of problem with high I/O loads on High Sierra.

One of my projects involves indexing thousands of URLs. During development I use a large (80GB+) local cache of a few million files. Running the cache code (~100 lines of simple Golang) totally brings my iMac (3.8GHz Core i5, 24GB) to its knees. CPU shows as mostly idle & memory pressure is low, yet the machine can't redraw windows properly after about 5GB of I/O to local SSD.

Completely frustrating. I moved the code over to an older (2010!) Mac running Ubuntu and it handles it without breaking a sweat.

I doesn't sound all that unlikely to me that all these temporary UI freezes are related to the new APFS then.

"How to skip converting to APFS when installing macOS High Sierra":


I’ve been having this problem myself on my year-old top end MacBook Pro, it gives me flashbacks to Mac OS 9, which was the last time I had my computer regularly just lock up entirely. Not great.

It’s not just me! My 2014 spec’d out MBP (i7, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia 750) was all of a sudden lagging with just a few chrome tabs open for the first time since I’ve owned it. I thought the issue might have been a Chrome release.

This is really disappointing, I wonder if it’s a portent of more slip ups to come.

This definitely seems like a YMMV sort of deal. I’ve been using High Sierra and iOS 11 across several devices and haven’t encountered any issues that are more serious than minor annoyances. 2015 15” MBP, Late 2016 15” MBP, self built Hackintosh tower, iPhone X, iPad Pro 9.7”, iPhone 7+. All are more or less smooth with very occasional hiccups.

I also tend to avoid third party apps where possible, particularly the more ungainly ones. Maybe that has something to do with it?

FWTW, Late 2013 15" MBP: daily use, no problems with High Sierra

Also no problems here with High Sierra here on two daily-use machines, a MacBook Pro (13", early 2015) and a Mac mini (mid-2011).

Tip 1: Anyone with problems can use Apple Bug Reporter[1]. In my experience Apple really does watch these — I reported an issue with an old USB headset in Sierra and it was fixed in a subsequent release.

Tip 2: HN readers in Apple's developer program can use High Sierra betas to test if an issue still exists, and report that via Apple Bug Reporter or even open a Technical Support Incident (TSI). I think it's likely that Apple prioritizes (1) issues found in developer or public betas[2], and (2) issues coming from people in their developer program.

None of this is to say that anyone should have to do work to get a bug-free OS experience. This is just to suggest actions to take for people who have a bias for that.

[1] https://bugreport.apple.com/web/ [2] https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/

Same setup, different story: 2013 15" MBP, nVidia GT 750M, 16 GB RAM. After upgrading I got intermittent mini lock-ups (key presses, clicks, etc. would queue up). Happens in all apps regardless of what I'm doing. It felt like having a dying HDD instead of an SSD.

2010 13", 2013 15", and 2016 13", no problems here

same setup, no problem, I tend to overload it all the time. Dual displays, Several VMs at once, video conversions. Works pretty stable for me.

2015 MBP, no problems either

2017, VMware fusion causes mine to constantly freeze.

Well, i think you’ve identified the problem. I consider vmware fusion skin to a virus and would delete it the moment my employer allowed.

It still has the most stable implementation for Linux development when compared to VirtualBox or Parallels. Docker for Mac is great for user space dev, but I haven’t figured out how to kernel debug yet.

Two recent showstoppers, when I tried to switch from Fusion:

The shared folder driver for VB will panic a Linux guest if a shared folder is accessed from a multithreaded compilation.

The shared folder driver for Parallels will panic a Linux guest if you load a kernel module from a shared folder.

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