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macOS no longer allows changing wifi mac address (slashdot.org)
443 points by MilnerRoute 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 320 comments





There are others here who say this is a bug, not a feature, and I agree; and having looked through the open-source code that Apple releases, I have a reasonable guess of how this happened.

Apple seems to have an internal developer culture that basically does not value backwards-compatibility nor stability, and instead really loves rewriting huge pieces of code all the time. If you look at the OSS that it releases, you'll see interfaces between the various components change greatly between versions and lots of other churn. There are many places which look unimplemented, with only stub functions present. With such a situation, it's not hard to envision how a simple "change the MAC address" function could've gotten left out of some piece during a rewrite, because it otherwise does not affect basic functionality.

I really recommend downloading the OSS from Apple and inspecting it; the pieces it copied from BSDs etc. are relatively stable, but the amount of churn in other pieces is surprising to see.


This is true about all walks of Apple software, sadly, from file syncing to Bonjour (mDNSresponder) to UI frameworks to developer tools to consumer applications. Apple developers rewrite software in a butterfingered way on a consistent basis, creating software that lacks any design, missing large chunks of functionality and often lacks any kind of polish or coherency.

Other problems in the dev culture accentuate this problem even further. It seems there is a complete lack of dependency graph between the software stacks; apple engineers who opt to rewrite a piece of software or functionality have no documentation or idea how the software is used or was originally intended to be used, be it inside Apple or otherwise, often causing serious design-level bugs, often resulting in major rollbacks. The lack of any QA work is also very apparent, especially in recent years, where simple bugs and glitches are allowed to go through, let alone major rewrites. The only tool to counter this is radar/feedback assistant, which are tools well documented in their inefficiency from current and ex Apple developers themselves.

I don't think this should solely fall on Apple developers, of course. As is often the case, such inherent problems in culture are due to lackluster management. This has been hinted at by many ex Apple engineers.


>Apple developers rewrite software in a butterfingered way on a consistent basis, creating software that lacks any design, missing large chunks of functionality and often lacks any kind of polish or coherency.

The day they completely gimped Disk Utility is the day I started looking to move off macOS.


Please, many people consider that term offensive.

The politically correct wording is now "The day they completely photoshopped Disk Utility is the day I started looking to move off macOS."


Pardon my ignorance, what does "photoshopped Disk Utility" mean? I get the reference between GIMP vs. Photoshop, but what does it mean by "gimped/photoshopped" an application?

It’s a joke: gimp as derogatory slang [0] should not be used, so you use... Photoshop.

[0] https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/gimp


Ok so before today I thought the issue was gimp masks and such.

Is this not the same as 'cripple'

If I call you a cripple, that's an insult, if I call some software crippled, that's acceptable?

The first definition I got btw was "A limp".


Saying some software is crippled (adjective) is fine as you're using the word as its meant to be used (perhaps someone intentionally removed some critical capability). If you, for some reason, referred to some software as a "cripple" (noun), some people might find that offensive as you're using a deragotory term for someone with a physical disability as a way to express something as being undesirable or bad.

I don't know if you're a native English speaker or not, but one letter in this instance can make a big difference. The context is subtle but very different.


Gimped is an adjective just like crippled, thus my comparison.

I am (literally) a native English speaker, gimp isnt used much in the UK, as I said, I associate it more with gimp masks, so I'm trying to work out if it's a legitimate grievance, or if it's someone being overly PC for humours sake.


Fair enough. In this case it seems like it was intended as a joke, but I could see somebody actually getting offended.

Also upon rereading my comment, I hope it didn't come across as condescending in any way, I didn't mean it to but it does line of read that way.


You could perhaps claim that perspective (gimp masks) as well, since they typically reduce motor range or flexibility.

To gimp something means to severely reduce it's functionality. The photoshopped part is a joke; it doesn't mean anything.

Using gimp as a verb can also be a sly reference to Pulp Fiction: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bring%20out%...

You've got it backwards. "Gimp" is also a BDSM term, which is what it's used for in Pulp Fiction.

Being called out by Don Hopkins makes my day.

Edit: On a serious note, thanks for pointing out my careless and potentially insulting word choice. My fiancee has an 'invisible illness' (lupus), and I would be very upset if someone referred to them like that, so I should strive to be better.


Don't quit your day job.

Yes, that's a good example. A software that was messed up, had crazy security bug and is still lacking. Why was a rewrite necessary? How cynical would be to say "the engineer of the day fancied Swift more than going into old code"? Sadly these days, I'm not sure this is so far-fetched.

> Why was a rewrite necessary?

Most likely because original authors were laid off or moved on; it's cheaper to rewrite software than to fix existing one; both need very different skillset and there are more people that can write their own algo quickly than fix somebody else's.


cheaper to rewrite software than to fix existing one

That's a very shortsighted thought, because the rewrite has also introduced its own set of new bugs.


I get this point. But coupled with lack of expertise & experience, lack of QA and lack of dependency tree (what feature is used where), the result can be amateurish at best and catastrophic at worst. In the case of DU, it was more the latter.

Again, the cynic in me can't accept the "cheaper" argument. Apple has lack of funds to properly hire people who are not afraid to go into complex existing code? I get this argument in a start-up environment, but won't accept it in the case of the largest tech company in the world. This is just bad management.


Apple is a multi billion dollar company and you are saying they couldn’t find a C/Obj. C developer to take care of their own app?

Also, developers in their nature like to rewrite things. There should be a product owner overruling them. I’m saying this as a developer myself. Otherwise you end up in a situation where images are running the asylum.


Google is doing it all the time; it's not a question of money, it's that most developers don't want to work on old stuff they had minimal input on; it's easier to motivate with "hey, let's do new stuff" instead of "hey, fix these convoluted bugs original author wasn't able/willing to".

Yes, this is creating lot of churn in terms of apps and user interfaces. Developers as I said before are motivated to build new things causing adverse problems like this situation here were perfectly good apps are being rewritten to an inferior state.

Didn't the re-write happen around the time that Apple released and shifted to APFS? Not defending the new app, it is a huge misstep in my book, but it makes sense that there was a major overhaul to the Disk Utility app when they were introducing substantial new features for something as important as the file system.

I think both apps are a wrapper for diskutil or its underlying implementation. And UI-wise, APFS didn't warrant introduce any substantial UI changes, especially not ones that couldn't be added to the existing software.

They are but I was focusing on the impetus of the re-write, not defending the decision to hamstring the UI. I agree that it’s a regression but I think the patient was on the table when APFS came out and the new UI appears to have come at that point.

Agreed, but at least Apple managers have great hair.

This explains something I ran into recently. I stick with older versions of macOS for a variety of reasons, and El Capitan cannot rename or delete a file that has a NUL character in its name. Earlier versions of macOS could do so. This implies they rewrote the unlink function and made a rookie C programmer mistake in the process. Why rewrite unlink? The mind boggles.

What do you mean 'rewrite unlink'? As far as i know, none of the standard POSIX/C file-manipulation functions, including unlink(2), have ever supported NUL bytes embedded in file names. Path arguments to those functions are all NUL-terminated strings, as are exec*() process arguments, so it would be impossible to manipulate or reference those files using any of the standard APIs or command-line tools.

I can't think of how macOS could have previously supported NUL bytes in file names without those files existing in a separate universe that can only be interacted with by software that uses some proprietary Apple API. And if that's really how it worked, i feel like that was the real mistake all along...?


Well…

I do not know details here. But there is, in fact, a separate “proprietary” API for interacting with files on macOS, provided for backwards compatibility. This API exists because the POSIX file functions do not provide similar enough functionality to the earlier API. This API is called the File Manager. Documentation is hard to find on the Apple website, but you can find some fairly extensive documentation for it in the old Inside Macintosh series (and sometimes you can dig HTML or PDF versions of this on the Apple website, but whether this is possible, and the exact location, seems to change every couple years).

The way you would specify a file on old versions of macOS used a length-delimited string for the filename, and referred to directories by 32-bit IDs. This was packed into an FSSpec structure which was passed to most functions which operated on files. Being length-delimited, it is possible to pass a NUL byte.

From what I understand, the macOS kernel exposed some additional entry points for these functions to operate correctly.


Pre-posix macOS (previously known as ‘system N’ where N was the version number) did indeed use pascal calling conventions, so the posters assertions aren’t unreasonable.

I'm not sure about the internal culture, but externally they seem to stress the importance of only using public published interfaces and frameworks as API & ABI layers and not touching anything else as they won't guarantee any stability in private internals. (per their docs iirc)

Even with the so-called "public" APIs, the way Apple operates, there is no guarantee of any stability, as most iOS developers know. AppKit is much more stable than UIKit, but still nowhere near the stability that companies like Microsoft provide (including changing the name of a product—Windows 9->10—so that existing software does not break!).

If you are using features of the frameworks that are outside of the "happy path" for that year's keynote announcements, you can expect terrible bugs on a yearly basis. These bugs happen for the exact same reasons as stated in the GP.


Can you give some examples of those "terrible bugs" you have experienced on a yearly basis?

I have developed for iOS for the last 5 years, and I haven't ever experienced those in UIKit. This year brought one single bug in UISegmentedControl, in a situation that doesn't happen often: https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/122736


UINavigationController—https://twitter.com/LeoNatan/status/1168286477882728448

UITabBarController—https://twitter.com/LeoNatan/status/1168286996915204097

UIActivityViewController

Various UIView layout issues

Safe areas—https://twitter.com/LeoNatan/status/1179475940784721920

UITableViewController—iOS 13's sheet presentation broke clearsSelectionOnViewWillAppear (https://twitter.com/LeoNatan/status/1137474148488364034), for example, but it's often broken: https://twitter.com/Javi/status/644631570083483648

SLComposeServiceViewController is completely broken on iOS 13


You quoted a bug in 2015, then three in 2019. That's not on a yearly basis. Aren't your views colored by a bad iOS 13 launch? Because I do agree with you that iOS 13 seems bad (not my personal experience, from the general clamoring around us).

No. I maintain a pretty popular iOS open source project, as well as many low level projects for my job. It’s always unstable. Every year, new bugs pop up. Is it the end of the world? Probably not, but is it acceptable? It shouldn’t be. Before 10.15, I could run Mac software built 15 years ago. If AppKit developers can preserve backwards compatibility, so should UIKit developers.

But doesn't that go for anything? Take android where you need to account not only for all the cases of versions but also for every differentiated version from every brand and device, or if you build for things like silverlight which gets killed with no replacement. There are always things changing and unless you are on the same path as the vendor you're gonna get screwed. It's always been like that.

If a proprietary software is not much more better than an open source one, I will not choose it.

I think you misunderstand what I mean. There is an API, which is documented to function in some way. You'd expect it to continue functioning like that down the road, but since Apple engineering has such poor QA and is always rewriting things, their developers just let things slip through the cracks, often creating broken API for years. Android whataboutism is not really productive here.

Odd. I never had a public API go bad on macOS, ever. There were always multi-year planned deprecations etc but no sudden changes. The only issue I remember had to do with a toolbox issue before my time where timing wasn't always reliable to be sub-ms precise. Even 68k to PPC transition went fine API-wise, as well as toolbox to carbon.

Perhaps you are exclusively referring to mobile 'apps' and the APIs you can use for those?


Yeah, the context of the post you replied to is for iOS APIs. AppKit is a lot more stable, and it shows. It is still possible to run 10-12 year old software on Mojave (but not on Catalina). On the other hand, sometimes even one OS upgrade can break existing software visually or worse on iOS.

FWIW, I created a mirror of all of Apple's OSS releases on GitHub here: https://github.com/apple-opensource-mirror

I am still having a really hard time finding a reason to upgrade my late-2013 MBP (which I am currently typing this on) to any of their newer hardware. Every generation that came out was "meh, 5% more perf, 10% more bullshit compromise".

At this point, I am looking forward to October 22nd. I will be checking out the new surface laptops as a replacement. I think I was already sold when the presenter removed the top cover on stage. I really enjoy the UX that macOS affords, but Apple is simultaneously so abusive to developers and tinkerers. It's hard to reason with and I just feel like I am done with them at this point. I'll get a new battery installed on this machine and keep it around as an emergency iOS app build agent (for as long as latest Xcode->macOS->my hardware are supported, that is).

Ideally, we move all of our client's B2B apps onto UWP/Android/PWA so I don't even have to maintain a build path to the hellhole that is iOS applications. My life as a developer could just consist of a Microsoft/Android stack and that would be so wonderful. I'd never have to leave visual studio again.


Surface laptops meaning Windows? Windows may offer more customization freedom than macOS but privacy wise, Windows is a much bigger offender.

If you can look at your DNS queries on your home network (pihole can be one option), I encourage you to compare macOS to Windows. Windows regularly phones home in many different ways. Personally on top of the pihole block lists, I've blocked about 15 other domains Windows phones home with. Every update seems to add more domains. I haven't blocked a single domain for macOS or seen any blocked domains for macOS.

The only way to get a telemetry free Windows is via LTSB (probably can not acquire it legally as a consumer), or to keep up with modifying updates and/or block lists. Not sure if that is any better than macOS's "bullshit compromise"s.


I use a highly stripped-down version of LTSC for Windows VMs and it still has tons of telemetry. Furthermore, DNS-based blocking is ineffective; it hardcodes fallback IP addresses if it gets an NXDOMAIN for telemetry domains. The only way I've found to permanently kill it is with sniproxy or the like, though I'm sure once they upgrade to TLS 1.3 that will stop working too.

I user wireshark to identify Microsoft servers and the windows firewall to block them. Works fine.

I’m going to go with a privacy centered Linux machine (https://puri.sm). Since most of the problems I have with MacOS/iOS are related to Apple locking the user out of controlling their own machine. Microsoft and Android machine manufacturers do something similar by locking users into bloatware and update policies, it’s just a general business trend of profiting from restricting user control. Until consumers begin to punish this behavior with their wallets, it will keep getting worse.

Only 802.11n and no TB3 unfortunately are deal breakers for me, otherwise I'd consider this option. Thankfully both Lenovo Thinkpads and Dell XPS machines work well with Linux.

Maybe other models are different, but I was never able to get my XPS 9550’s TB3 to work in Ubuntu or Arch. If I could I’d have kept it but like you that was a dealbreaker for me.

Thinkpads are still good, however it annoys me that even the T series is being pushed towards the Mac design, when they already have other lines like the Mac (X1 being most notable). Don't mess with the formula, please!

Thinkpads are still good, however it annoys me that even the T series is being pushed towards the Mac design

Long ago, the marketing across the computer industry started to push changes that made many things less comfortable for developers. A certain company on a turnaround, willing to do things different embraced the needs of developers. This was part of their "in" to winning over the technorati and becoming "cool."

Now, that company has achieved dominance in their chosen markets, and the kind of "cool" which results from catering to developers is no longer their priority. If anything, they have developers dancing to their tune.

Certain Thinkpads also long catered to programmers and certain kinds of content creators. Now the same forces from marketing departments are at play once again, and yet another company on a turnaround is looking to win over the technorati by prioritizing a developer-centric kind of "cool."


Can you elaborate?

> locking users into bloatware.

microsoft doesn’t lock you in anything. you can uninstall all bloatware and they don’t come back ever.


That is simply untrue. You can uninstall approximately half of the bloatware, and on occasion they do reappear after 'feature updates'.

Win 10 Pro comes with the following, all of which have the "Uninstall" disabled:

  Xbox Game Bar
  Your Phone
  Maps
  Camera
And this is after removing many other apps that are objectively bloatware. Myself and many others I've spoken to simply want Win10Pro to be closer to LTSB than Home. It doesn't need to be stable enough to run unattended for years at a time, it just needs to be lightweight and without the Start Menu being populated with dozens of things a power user will never touch.

I'm sure if I cared enough there's some hacky way to remove them (at least superficially), but I've been down that road enough times only to have it all reversed after an update.


You can remove those by saving the below in a cleanup.ps1 file and running it via Powershell after the feature updates every six months.

    Get-AppxPackage *XboxGamingOverlay* | Remove-AppxPackage
    Get-AppxPackage *YourPhone* | Remove-AppxPackage
    Get-AppxPackage *WindowsMaps* | Remove-AppxPackage
    Get-AppxPackage *WindowsCamera* | Remove-AppxPackage
To get the names of other apps, run Get-AppxPackage > Apps.txt and inspect the resulting file.

I agree completely that it would be better if they didn't include the bloatware in the first place, but removing it is pretty straightforward.


Straightforward in the same sense that "getting an FTP account, mounting it locally with curlftpfs, and then using SVN or CVS on the mounted filesystem" is "trivial"[1].

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863


Straightforward only if you know these commands. I've never heard of the Get/Remove-AppxPackage commands before, but thanks for the tip!

The modern style for shell commands on Windows is to name them exactly “Verb-Noun”, where neither “Verb” nor “Noun” have hyphens. If you are interested in what is possible, spend some time investigating the available nouns in whatever problem domain you are working with.

I found this list of available Powershell modules: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/?view=win...

Boot usb linux, delete whatever programs you don't want in windows, including windows update, windows update repair services, and whatever else. Boot windows without internet, use the firewall to make sure nothing gets updated or reinstalled.

I’d rather not to do that in the system I supposed to pay for. Have no problem with free version.

Have you ever tried to permanently uninstall microsoft teams or the xbox app or onedrive?

Guess not :)

Back when I still had windows I had a powershell script just for deleting the apps it kept reinstalling after each update.


Old info.

Teams doesn't ever come back after uninstallation, and you have to install it yourself to have it in the first place. It isn't bundled.

For about two years now, with any OS upgrade or patch, bundled apps are not installed if you've uninstalled them prior to that OS upgrade or patch.

It's important to keep your complaints up to date with new information, or at least admit that your information is old.


I guess you missed the "Back when I still had windows" text in my comment, but I could quantify this.

I removed windows a year ago from my last machine and it still had this behaviour. If they now allow uninstalling all bundled apps easily without them coming back after updates then props to them. It's not what I hear from colleagues that still have windows though.


Very literally just went through fixing Teams on a family member's laptop. They kept uninstalling it, and upon next boot, their computer was unresponsive for 10+ minutes as Teams reinstalled itself.

After some digging, it turns out there's a separate installer you have to uninstall. Since when do you have to uninstall installers?

This was on a fully up to date, modern Windows laptop.



Windows gives you a lot of control, but some of the stuff requires going to the registry to stop windows bs. But, we have a registry.

I don't see how the Windows registry is markedly different from dwrites in macOS. And on the Mac, there's about an order of magnitude less BS to begin with. Maybe two orders.

I have both a 2015 MBP (same model as the 2013) and the latest 2019 MBP. The 2019 is almost better in every way (except for the dongles). FWIW, I did a Thunderbolt transfer from my 2015 to 2019 and it was pretty much a carbon copy of all my settings.

I recommend you actually try it out yourself before making a judgment.


Honest question asked in good faith: Are you a developer? What's it like not having an escape key or function keys?

I'm the NOT the original parent, but I am a developer, and use a 2018 MacBook Pro (15-inch). I'm a heavy vi user (vim actually.) I did not particularly care for advice to remap the escape key in vi to caps lock. So I just use the virtual escape key on the touch bar. It was odd initially not have haptic feedback on the escape key, but I got used to it and my typing speed in vi is almost as fast as it is on a normal keyboard (But definitely not as fast as it would be on a real keyboard). I have no real use for the touchbar. Occasionally, I use it to switch between browser tabs, and adjust video volume and scrub backwards and forwards in Premier Pro. But I don't really need it. I don't hate with a passion either. It's just there.

Edit fixed a typo: I am NOT the original parent.


Thanks. As a vim user I’ve been assuming the new macbook pros are a non-starter.

VIM is all about efficiency and comfort, I'm wondering why any vim user would use ESC key in default position, to exit insert mode you can write:

- ESC

- Ctrl-c

- Ctrl-[

- Configure Caps as Ctrl when held, ESC when tapped

- Use key chord, for example 'jk'


I'm using a MBP 2015 myself, so I do have an escape key. Regardless I bound it to my Caps Lock key because that's the position I use on my personal custom keyboards. You can do this natively in "System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys". You can change all your modifier keys there to whatever modifier key you like.

I very much prefer typing on a separate keyboard though, I don't really understand the people who just work straight on their laptop all day. Get yourself a screen (or more than 1) and work with a keyboard and mouse, far better ergonomically.


I actually love my MBP 2015's keyboard, and the trackpad is for me the ergonomically-superior choice. I don't have any wrist pain no matter how long I work on it, and the gestures are brilliant and useful. The screen size is the only problem, but the built-in display is gorgeous and sharp, so it mostly makes up for it for me.

Yup, I'm actually a pretty heavy Vim user. I did the whole "remap caps to escape" thing long ago, so not having a physical escape button wasn't an issue for me.

Function keys have been replaced by touchscreen equivalents, but that's not all they are. Some of the buttons act like sliders, so you can actually press-and-slide them (like volume), which is faster than repeatedly tapping physical buttons to do the same thing.

Being able to customize what buttons appear is also great because I can now have a lock screen button that I tap to lock my laptop.


Oh, wow. I had completely forgotten that "repeated button pressing to change volume" was a thing. Thank you. Apparently I like the Touch Bar more than I realized.

I am a developer (20 years professional experience) and I have both the 2015 Pro and 2018 Pro.

You do get used to the tactile-less-ness of the touchbar for the escape key. And I've yet to find a use for the function keys. Can't remember a single case of needing a function key in the last 5 years at least.


Why are you looking for a reason to upgrade? If you don’t have a reason to upgrade that is a positive, not a negative. Lots of MacBook Pro users seem to be upset they don’t have a good reason to spend thousands of dollars on a new laptop.

It's taken a little out of context. I'm in the same boat as the parent and it's more that I need to upgrade but the offerings just aren't great currently.

Some of my issues are I need a faster CPU, more RAM, larger storage, SSS, better graphics cards, and some nice to haves are a larger screen and better speakers, mic, and camera.

Right now I see nothing but complaints about the keyboards, touch bars, and the fact that everything is now embedded so you can't really upgrade components.


Touchpad has started to go out. I purchased a kit to open this thing up and do a replacement but I ran out of motivation. The screen hinge is also partially busted due to my negligence. The repair of that aspect of the machine is simply beyond my level of care, so I am at a point where I would like to just hit the reset button and get a new machine. 6 years is an extremely good run for any computer I own.

It's the result of a lifetime of marketing and consumerism. How could you possibly be happy if you aren't buying something new constantly?

Your statement would apply more to buying a phone than buying a laptop.

They’d like better performance without compromises.

Exactly. If you looked at my order history at Apple you'll see I order a new MacBook Pro every year. By that end of a week, the laptop is back in Apple's hands and I'm receiving a full refund.

Unfortunately all their "efforts" to fix the keyboard are absolute rubbish and the Touch Bar continues to be an anti-feature with no place in a serious laptop.


I'm still enjoying and taking gentle care of my mid-2012(!) mbp15r, and dreading the day she's finally done. no idea what the replacement will be.

I'll see your mid-2012 mbp and raise you a late-2010 mba. It's slow now, and the processor lacks some features I need for work (docker stuff), but otherwise it runs well enough. I'm hoping it lasts another year so it can claim a full decade of service.

My work machine on the other hand is a 2016 mbp (with touchbar and butterfly keyboard). I swear the thing is haunted from all its weirdness and glitching. Then there's the keyboard...


I was so sad when I found out my trusty 17" 2010 MBP would not be supported by Mojave.

It's totally serviceable under El Capitan.

It's sluggish with supported versions, though. As a CI box for PhotoStructure, tests take literally 2x longer under Sierra and High Sierra than they do under El Capitan.


MacBook Air Retina, We now have many reports of Retina MacBook Air's CPU dying. And it isn't even out for long, and most suspect it has to do with its new cooling method.

MacBook Pro, while we all know the Keyboard sucks, and Touch Bar is either a love it or hate it addition, I am glad there are more people voicing the big trackpad is simply a bad design. It increase false positives which is very annoying to some people.

Basically the I am looking at the whole MacBook Lineup and it seems everything is step backward. I surely hope the rumoured new MacBook Pro coming this October will fix all of these issues.


Are you kidding, the trackpad is the main reason I wouldn't want a different device, and the palm rejection is really good too.

I think the parent commenter is referring to the enlarged trackpads present on all thunderbolt 3 MacBooks, as compared with the smaller trackpad on the previous models.

Like parent, I really like new big trackpad. I really wish people would accept both this and butterfly keyboard discussions as preferences, not “objectively better choices”.

To be fair, the butterfly keyboard failure rate makes it objectively bad. Independent from how it feels to type on it.

The frequency as which i need to spray the thing with canned air is getting quite ridiculous.


Yes, I have a 2018 MBP. I also used to run a T420. I still prefer the MacBook.

After getting a ThinkPad. I could never go any other laptop... the track pad may not be as good but I rarely ever use it. Compared to the keyboard which I use 99% of the time.

Whats the appeal of the larger trackpad? You can turn down the sensitivity?

Same reason you'd want a bigger mouse pad with turned down sensitivity, it's more precise and you have more space. Also having no mechanical click is a huge plus. It still feels like you do, but it's even all across it.

The Apple Magic Touchpad 2 and the 2015 MBPs have the smaller touchpads without force feedback but without the mechanical clicks (they come out of the speakers). I got mine set to silent. This is in contrast to the 2014 and before versions. By the way, Louis Rossmann considers the 2014 MBPs to be best bang of the buck because they have the least amount of hardware flaws, and are relatively serviceable and provide decent performance.

The laptops can have double the cores and memory than they did in 2013.

Double the cores, but my 13" 2013 MBP had 16GB of RAM and I'm pretty sure I couldn't choose more than that for my 13" 2019 model.

The 2013 didn't have touchbar, had a higher resolution display, a keyboard I didn't worry about and I ended up going down from the 1TB SSD the 2013 had because prices didn't seem to justify it for me vs. using more external storage.

I totally get struggling to justify an upgrade. I pretty much did it just because clients were commenting on the age of it as if I was making bad choices. If I wasn't tied into using Apple for my main client I'd have put Linux on something else.


Not only double the cores, also a more efficient and quicker CPU (though with Intel that does not say much in the ~2014-2020 era). DDR4 as well, I guess. With 16 GB RAM you can also easily spin up things like Docker or VMs.

Not sure I really need 8+ cores and 32G of RAM on a personal computer. I think there's some sort of max complexity ratio between the human mind and your equipment that, if you exceed it, means you'll never really know what's going on in there. I'd argue that 4 cores and 16G RAM already exceeds that threshold, by a lot.

I thought the same thing, but between browsers, email apps like Outlook, Electron apps like Slack, a virtual machine or two...16GB isn't what it once was.

Just a suggestion, use Slack from a web browser instead. I usually pin frequently used websites like Gmail, Slack, etc. and turn on desktop notifications. So, there is no overhead of running a separate electron instance.

You don’t need to run all of those. Just stick Slack in a browser and use a native mail app.

20 years ago someone probably said the same thing about a machine so crappy you wouldn't consider using it for a second.

The primary change in complexity is in between 1 core and more than one core not a particular core count and we exceeded the ability of one operator to understand everything that is going on in there before you were born.

Using a slower machine with less ram and cores wont make it easier for you to understand it will just mean waiting longer for it to compile.


As an early and faithful Be user, I remember the odd looks I got when I chanted mantra “One processor per person is not enough!” back in the second half of the nineties. Oh, how times have changed!

You don't use a lot of Adobe apps, do you?

(Not trying to be snarky, but I spend a lot of time in my hobby using their apps and I could easily use 10x the overall processing power / speed)


I recently upgraded to an 8 core mbp with 32 gigs of ram. Makes for a much smoother system when I'm running a virtualized guest OS (I can give the virtual OS 8 gigs of ram and 2 dedicated cores) or both an android and ios emulator without any slowdown on my machine.

most people don't do anything that would warrant these specs though


Although things you can do doesn't actually change. I'd say the doubled cpu and memory improve the user experience as you no longer need to close program due to memory and cpu inefficient. You can just let them open and switch back as you want. Doesn't means anything for people doesn't use computer in this way though.

Your still burning significant CPU resources and turning that RAM on (rather than power gating it) to run Electron apps in the backgrohnd, hence why it tanks battery life on laptops.

that's not how memory works.

Depends on the OS.

I don't know if they ever went live with their tablet design but I recall reading LKML emails several years ago using / improving movable memory code so they could easily hibernate or drop chunks of RAM, so their tablet wouldn't have to maintain refresh on 8 GB of RAM when they only needed 1.


Most operating systems have chosen a different tradeoff, reducing fresh reads from persistent storage, keeping files cached in RAM, which may work out to equivalent power savings.

Any repetitive task you perform will be faster as long as network lag is not a factor.

This turns into productive time for you.


Agreed. I manage to get all my web development work done on a 2012 i5 8gb mac mini, which is duo core.

I would argue that software devs should be restricted to older equipment- I develop on an older ThinkPad with 8GB & dual core. I think the devs who manage to create things like Slack & the new Gmail interface should try using their products on something other than the newest gen hardware. I've noticed the same tendency myself--when I was developing on my (overpowered) desktop I didn't have to pay any attention to performance and the quality of my work suffered.

I've held the exact same belief, that all software (including OS!) should be developed on 5-10 year old hardware, not only so that it actually works on 5-10 year old hardware, but so that it works even better on the newer stuff.

I disagree completely.

You could make the argument that devs should deploy their apps to older hardware. But develop on old hardware?

You clearly don't value developer time or the quality of life that heavier IDEs bring to the table.


That’s not exactly how it works. New CPUs and GPUs support new features that you could never test on old hardware: AVX, real-time raytracing, etc.

Their network should be high latency too

Same here - my mac air 11” from 2012 is more than sufficient to run my terminal windows into aws. I should get a new one but at this point, I feel like Kramer in that episode where he tried to see how far he could test drive a car after the empty light came on.

640K ought to be enough for anybody.

There's a growing movement of people that believe all the power we put into computers goes to waste by adding layers of abstraction and I agree with them. VS Code currently sits at 550 Mb RAM idle. We could increase the performance and longevity of our hardware by fixing our software. The excess gain in performance could be used to do something useful instead of adding another VM on top of a VM inside a sandbox.

I completely agree with you. My Mac Plus from 1986 still feels snappier than a modern Mac in many ways despite having several orders of magnitude less storage, memory, and clock speed. That's because it was programmed close to the metal by excellent programmers. But you'll never get the Apple of today to build software that doesn't encourage people to upgrade their hardware.

AmigaOS and BeOS were other examples of this phenomenon. The world needs a new OS to show what really can be done on modern hardware.


Serious question. In what ways does your "Mac Plus from 1986 feel snappier than a modern Mac"?

Response time. The time between clicking the mouse and seeing a change on screen feels instantaneous; there's just no hesitation or lag for the most part. Compute-intensive tasks can't compete of course, but response time has gotten much worse in modern operating systems, especially mobile ones. It's quite common on a modern Mac for a scroll of a Finder window to put up a spinning beachball. Wristwatch cursors happened on classic Macs too, but never for something as trivial as a scroll. Part of the problem is that we're still using O[n] algorithms where n is a lot bigger than it used to be, but another part is that we no longer write UI code with an emphasis on quick response time.

the bar for being able to “really know what’s going on” was passed* in the late-90s, if not earlier.

* for any reasonable definition of “know” and “going on”


All that and for the average consumer most of their software is 3-5 years behind everything else. The desktop experience is silky smooth 95% of the time and that’s the only thing keeping me there. That 5% is starting to become a problem for me, though. I got an LG 5k display that apple helped develop, it was the display they tried to sell with MacBook pros in apple stores. If I try to use it with my lid open the graphics hw overheats and the screen freezes and flickers. I have to use the screen with the lid closed. Unacceptable for a $5k setup.

That’s in addition to a series of other annoying hardware issues with that laptop. Don’t get me started about the keyboard.


In what ways, specifically, is macOS "3-5 years behind everything else"? I consider that a ludicrous statement.

Would love to know the operating system that is 5 years ahead of MacOS! Clearly they must have revolutionary features.

Do OSs have "revolutionary" features? Take MacOS from 5 years ago and compare it to today's, what revolutionary features did it get?

Under "nice to have" and took forever for other OSs to get them:

- TrueOS (I think that is the name of PCBSD now?) has lifepresever: snapshots, rollback etc. nicely integrated. Similarly for linux (snapper) or nixOS.

- virtual desktops took forever to finally be included in windows.

- MacOS continuity is a nice copy of kde connect.

- Sidecar is a nice copy of astropad etc.

- Things like Linux on DeX, whatever windows calls its implementation, MaruOS, Motorola Atrix... have been tried again and again, but are still not there yet.

- Windows had pen support since XP, but the app ecosystem is basically only OneNote and a few art apps. In contrast apple has been dragging their feet forever before finally offering their pencil, but quickly got a much bigger ecosystem of apps tailored to it. Maybe 10X will finally change that, but I am not optimistic anymore.


Linux desktop environments are you usually far ahead of anyone else in terms of actual innovation and not social tricks (like the way iMessage works.)

They’re just usually not as sexy.


Can you give any specific examples?

Workspaces and virtual desktops where the best for a long time. There’s a lot of very impressive stuff the KDE people do, I don’t use it because personally I prefer a ver very simple DE.

Bring sexy, aka user friendly, is a large part of an OS in terms of GUI.

User friendliness and sexiness are different enough that I would actually consider them orthogonal.

The "way iMessage works" is not a "social trick". End-to-end encryption, reliability, multimedia features, and a commitment to user privacy are not "social tricks".

I dunno, DragonflyBSD?

Don't get me started on wireless interference (another one of petty problems that comes with a "Pro" machine)

For some odd reason, when I use an adapter, the following happens:

1. The dongle (USB A to C or even a simple HDMI dongle) has some weird interference with my wireless connection. It happens everywhere I go as well (not limited to my wifi) So I always have to have 1 port connected to ethernet. Guess what? the MacBook "Pro" I have (with function keys) only has 2 ports! So it's either another dongle or a MacBook I can use with only 1 port.

2. Another really weird thing is after getting one of these apple dongles and plugging in ethernet and everything; then unplugging it from my macbook, my phone and any nearby devices lose internet connection. I can't explain it other than some literal sheild the dongle makes that prevents my phone from working.

In conclusion:

There are a lot of petty little flaws that make the $1k+ (or $2,3k+) MacBook Pro bad. I mean wireless interference is something I really shouldn't be worrying about.


This is specific to USB-C and unshielded cabling. It's the same issue that Louis Rossman tried to blame on the new MacBooks until his Dell laptop started doing the same thing with the adapter. Especially for powered USB devices, unshielded cables will cause all kinds of interference. Make sure that whatever adapters you're getting are properly shielded and/or switch completed to USB-C to avoid these situations.

Interesting. Maybe Apple's not to blame then!

Time to wrap my dongles around in aluminum foil once again!

Also side note: Louis Rossman is a super funny guy (biking around NY to find a better place is both hilarious and fun to watch)


I'm not a fan of his. Although I think he's super-smart and one of the few people I would actually trust to repair my devices on a component level, I really hate his click-bait videos when they're anti-Apple and/or pro-Right-to-Repair and he intentionally omits or mischaracterizes things to make the discussion more sensational.

This USB shielding issue is one of those times. He spent almost an hour bitching about how Apple had skimped out on the new Touch Bar MacBooks and how they couldn't even get basic WiFi working and then, when it was pointed out that it was likely due to his cables and it happened in another video, he completely ignored it and never corrected the initial video to explain that it had nothing to do with the MacBook. His only admission ever has been on a buried comment in a Reddit post where a user flat-out asked him to confirm the case.

His whole assessment of Apple with regard to right-to-repair is also really disingenuous and he constantly brings up PC Kompaniet (do a Google search if you're not familiar) as an example of Apple being hard on the little guy without mentioning that "the little guy" was actually doing exactly what Apple accused them of but stopped doing it when it went to court and the court decided to dismiss the case on the grounds that the offending behavior had been terminated. Since that other portion didn't fit his narrative and would no longer support his stance that Apple is the big, bad corporate enemy of small repair shops, he just ignores it.

He's funny but I would take everything he says with a grain of salt. He's a YouTube personality, after all.


SeizedBatteryGate turned me off of Louis Rossman for life:

https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/9pow06/louis_rossman...

I liked the guy before he became a professional YouTuber who pretends to not be one.


Would recommend anyone else who's a fan to take this grain of salt as well. I take him superficially most of the time since clearly he has a bias against Apple.

Yeah, this is not an Apple specific problem if it's the same I experienced: https://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/products/docs/io/u...

Using a 5ghz wifi network, if possible, should fix it


Thank you for explaining why my crappy thumb drives no longer interfere with my wifi!

That is one way to fix it too, if you don't want to have to re-buy shielded cables.

You had a choice to get 4 USB-C ports instead, if that was a big deal. And there are numerous affordable port expanders that will give you multiple USB-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet, a card reader, power in, using only 1 port. So this isn't really an intractable problem.

There is no "Apple dongle" that does what you describe, so I would surmise that you got a cheap unshielded product. I would return that product and get something that is built right. Your wireless interference issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the MB Pro itself.


There isn't a 4 USB-C port version of the MBP w/ function keys. If there was, I'd definitely buy it. But recently Apple even slashed those... which is somewhat disappointing since after using the touch-bar here and there on others computers somewhat regularly, I can't get myself to love it as much as having real function keys that aren't "unreliable" (or don't pop up at the right time).

As others have said, regardless of Apple dongle or not wireless interference seems to be a problem that expands the Apple domain.

If you want to hear another issue with the MBP, when charging you can sometimes feel some charge on the restpads next to the touchpad... which I've heard from electrical engineers is a really silly and trivial thing a Pro machine should probably not have.


some scaling settings are cpu intensive for some reason. i suggest trying a setting that doesn’t show “performance may be affected” warning.

The only settings that don't have that performance warning are the extremes - native resolution or half that. Both of those are not optimal.

My Mate desktop is silky smooth too and that is on 8 year old hardware…

BTW, how is Visual Studio for Android? I've only ever used IntelliJ/Android Studio, and it seems like this is the best supported environment since it is the "official" one, but I'm curious about the other side.

I couldn’t even get it run a Hello World application. I feel like the tooling needs a lot of ironing out before being usable.

I don't think you are their primary target buyer.

I work with video most of my waking hours and the 2019 MacBook Pro fully-optioned out has finally allowed me to not be tethered to my desktop for work and has easily paid for itself in time saved.


Don't worry about macOS updates, you can always go the Hackintosh way on non-apple hardware.

I have a late-2013 as well, but was advised by a Genius that as of this month, the machines will be classified vintage (though not yet reflected on their vintage products list). Moving forward, official repairs will be next to impossible. This came about as I noticed minor warping of the bottom case, which is likely from the battery beginning to swell, meaning that a battery replacement automatically gets a topcover replacement. Because of the swelling, the Genius said that a depot repair was not possible and would have to be done in-store.

I authorized the repair, and the Genius placed an order for the new part, but with no guarantee of availability. This was several weeks ago, and never got a call back. So I'm on my own.

Currently, the machine nets $360 on Apple's trade-in site, but am loathing getting a new one with a subpar keyboard and poor thermals. I may just get the iFixit battery kit ($100) and try to replace it myself.


According to this: https://github.com/feross/SpoofMAC/issues/87#issuecomment-52... the issue will be resolved in the next Mac OS version (10.15 Catalina)


Currently on latest Catalina beta build. The command does nothing for me. Doesn't throw an error, but no address change either. Might add I have 2019 MBP.

When is the Catalina public release date?

There’s isn’t one. It’s just “Coming in October”. But, the GM build was recently pushed to beta, so probably pretty soon.

It's generally about a week after the GM release, so you should expect it pretty soon. It was released last friday, so it might be end of this week early next week.

Note that you will still see the original hardware address in System Prefs > Network > Wi-Fi > Advanced, but ifconfig shows the changed MAC, which is indeed the one that is broadcasted

This. My 2018 MBP has issues with Mojave but Catalina works fine

I experienced this a couple of months ago while trying to spoof a hotel room's captive portal. I was attempting to get a Chromecast to work, which isn't designed to operate with wifi connections behind captive portals. Very frustrating and no feedback from the OS that the commands I was running weren't actually doing what it said it was doing. This was on a latest gen MacBook Pro 15" running latest version at the time of MacOS.

We were in an extended stay for about six months while we were waiting for our house to be built and had the same issue with our Apple TV and our WiFi printer.

I purchased an older version of this...

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-Portable-Travel-Rout...

It lets you connect to either a standard Ethernet port like any router and it lets you connect to two WiFi networks and use one for the internet connection and the other to create an internal network.

You basically connect any device with a browser to the internal network to get through the captive portal and all of your other devices will then work that are connected to it.


I picked up one of those in China about four years ago. At the time I was finding hotels would offer free ethernet internet connections but either no Wi-Fi or expensive Wi-Fi. This was cheap, easy, and fits easily in a bag. Recommend.

I've done the exact same thing in order to get an AppleTV (that doesn't have a web browser) onto a hotel's wifi.

1/2 OT: The Apple Watch does not work with captive portals either. And since 4G does not work abroad, I can use my Apple Watch without my iPhone nearby only in my home country.

> And since 4G does not work abroad

What do you mean? I can roam 4g just fine.


The mobile radio in the Apple Watch, at least according to Apple, does not work when you are outside of the region where the Watch was purchased. 4G works fine on the iPhone handset but the Watch won't independently connect to a local mobile network sans the iPhone.

(For example: I bought my Watch in the U.S. While on vacation to Ireland, my iPhone connected to Vodafone IE without a problem. But my Watch showed "no cellular service" if it was out of range of my iPhone and a wifi network.)


Is the watch's 4G free (no user plan required)? If so, that's probably why; they don't want to eat the unpredictable international costs. Free cellular on e-readers and other devices tends to work like this.

It's not provided by Apple, but rather your mobile carrier. They may or may not provide it for free. In the UK, it can cost as much as your current plan does just to enable your watch to share your plan.

Not free, but seriously reduced. On AT&T it's $10/month.

Where can you roam, and what country/region are you from?

I asked my Norwegian carrier about this, and they said yes, but linked the page where Apple says roaming is not supported...


I find this to be a quite interesting choice, since Apple Watch ships with WebKit and enough chrome to make it a kinda-usable browser.

I had the same problem after an update _ I found that on my 2017 mpb system they’ve either reverted the change or allow you to change the last few values of your address.

It won't help your chromecast, but the Roku streaming sticks work fine on Hotel wifi. You connect the roku to it, then connect your phone to the Roku's direct wifi and go through the portal on your phone. It's worked in every hotel I've been in perfectly.

I recently tried this and was able to change the address of only the last few characters, it wouldn't let me change the address entirely.

I just suspected it just had a check on the first bytes of the address to be sure it was a valid Apple ethernet adapter.


This is still unpatched on my system... hope not too many Apple engineers are browsing these forums

If Apple renders it impossible to change my address at all, I definitely won’t be purchasing their computers any more.


It's probably easier to compensate with a portable router that you can configure instead. Unfortunately

Because you can’t change the MAC you are going to completely abandon Apple? This seems a bit ridiculous. I refuse to run Windows and Linux from a GUI/workstation/productivity standpoint doesn’t work for me.

It's probably more of a 'last straw on the camel's back', not the specific situation.

For some privacy features are more important than for others

Changing your MAC is critical to privacy.

MAC addresses were supposed to be a manufacturer ID + a local ID, so I’m not surprised.

Aren't they supposed also to be tools for the _owner_ (ie purchaser) rather than for companies to retain control of.

If you value personal property and freedom you probably don't buy Apple products to start with.

Your "burned in" MAC address doesn't have to be the MAC it tells other systems in ARP replies, which is pretty much the only way a remote system can find out your MAC (essentially, by asking). It also doesn't have to be the MAC it checks when receiving incoming Ethernet frames.

Most uses of MAC spoofing are for privacy; so that entities that collect every MAC they see over a wireless connection aren't able to track your location.


The intent was was to prevent collisions, but the use is now as a persistent ID, used for tracking.

If you're randomizing, it's best to use the full range.

This does look like a change on more recent hardware. I just tried the script that the parent linked from Stack Overflow[0] on my 2017 MacBook 12" running the latest Catalina public beta and it does work. I can change my MAC and my laptop gets a new IPv4 address from DHCP.

Edited to add: I also just tried this on my 2018 Mac Mini (also running latest Catalina public beta) and it also worked... Different wireless adapter from the MacBook Pro line maybe?

0 - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52421789/cant-spoof-mac-...


Seems to be a hardware related thing, as WiFiSpoof (https://wifispoof.com) lists 2018/2019 devices as the ones not supported, and not a specific macOS version.

In fact, they explicitly recommend using Mojave on that page:

"10.11 or better (Mojave recommended)"


That smells like it's related to the T2 chip.

Unrelated, but the MacRumors thread that's linked to has someone posting about neighbors harassing them by doing things such as "moving my cursor all over the place and speeding up the temperature, causing the fan" and that their "neighbors also learned to slow my internet (ATT DSL) or to disconnect it." [0] Hence their need change their MAC address.

They're now in the process of collecting evidence, and post: "This legal evidence will benefit many, as they boast of being Freemasons, and this being part of their "craft" and their "process". Therefore, when I go public in legal proceeds about their "craft" and "process", while actually forcing those individuals which I have substantial evidence on to appear for the courtroom cameras, the rest of humanity they plague will see the low caliper, socially outcast, inadequates they are. No one need fear them. It's fear they try to attain, and before I'm finished, no one on earth ever will."

Amazing.

[0]: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/change-mac-address.2154...


> Yes, there are multiple harassers which then could slow my connection. Within minutes after shortening my wifi range, there were verbal complaints like - "I hate you".

> That these multiple idiots spend their time harassing me, rather than something fruitful with their lives is sign of human de-evolution. They tend to be low income producers, and attempt to diminish my successes.

The effects of underfunding, de-prioritizing and making it hard to access mental healthcare take their toll. It's highly unlikely that the freemasons are telling this person that they hate her over bluetooth, and you see snapshots like this into peoples on Facebook and Reddit. It's quite chilling, even if this one is quite benign and not a video of someone yelling at daemons on the street.


This sounds like a CO2 leak or someone not taking their medication.

CO not CO2

Good point!

“ Yes, there are multiple harassers which then could slow my connection. Within minutes after shortening my wifi range, there were verbal complaints like - "I hate you". Bluetooth may well be the way for the talking, but of course my computer shows no blue tooth connection. I did run network software and got their computer IP addresses (I think that's the correct term). That's how I kicked them off the router, individually, after shortening the wifi range. But, one keeps changing the address, that's why I started this thread inquiry. Thought if I did the same, it would be harder to get on mine”

Oh man. What is this person talking about?


Apple do MAC address randomisation on iOS, right? Does this mean macOS doesn't do that, or that does but you can't turn it off?

As I understand it, the address randomisation is only for the probes to check if a configured network is present; once you are connected, it uses the real MAC address.

It seems more like Apple to strongarm people into something that's probably best for them - for security, privacy, etc. - than to place limits on their customers just to buddy up with [checks notes]...hotel chains.

The removal of an option here could imply that they started randomizing the ones on macOS.


I'd like to see more testing done to see if that's actually happening. Since Apple has a very vocal stance on privacy, I would really hope that is the case.

Agreed.

That would break DHCP-assigned static ip's if there was no way to disable it, a crucial feature.

All the more reason to buy a Lenovo and put Linux on it.

Agree. I use macs every day, but long has passed the time that all the mac hardware you bought was available to use however you wanted. Sorry if I sound bitter, but I've been burned by Apple arbitrarily stopping me from doing something with my own hardware too often to be happy about it.

I booted Ubuntu on my Lenovo about a week ago. The first thing I tried to do was adjust the acceleration on the trackpad. There is no GUI for this like in other operating systems, so I spent a good hour fiddling with config files before I gave up and switched back to my Macbook Pro.

I use my mouse considerably more often than I change my WiFi mac address.


KDE provides extensive configuration options for the track pad, see https://userbase.kde.org/System_Settings/Touchpad. Maybe try Kubuntu next time. Linux does not necessarily mean Ubuntu/GNOME.

Ah yes, the Linux experience.

Step 1. Find guide on where to find guides for linux distro

Step 2. Read guide on how to find guide for X Linux distro

Step 3. Read guide on X Linux distro

Step 4. Install X Linux Distro

Step 5. ???

Step 6. Find out Linux distro doesn't have Y feature

Step 7. Repeat 1 to 6 indefinitely through the universe of NIH syndrome filled Linux


Step 4b. Realize that the distro doesn't matter at all and actually read the guide instead of blindly copy&pasting.

I wanted to paint the walls of my apartment but could only find a guide for other apartments, so I torched the whole place and moved into another building with the right colored walls, but now my nice kitchen is gone.


I've been using linux on and off since 1999. Which guide am I supposed to read? The one that's only 1 year out of date, but no longer applies to Ubuntu? Or a guide clearly meant for a different distro with a different mix of pre-installed packages?

Why should I waste my time on any of it when there are two other perfectly good operating systems that can do this out of the box and don't require me to faf around for hours.


Take any you like, they all work.

> different mix of pre-installed packages

Like it matters.

> Why should I waste my time on any of it when there are two other perfectly good operating systems that can do this out of the box

Same argument for why I don't like to use windows. It comes with basically nothing out of the box, still has no proper package management and basic things like proper keyboard layouts, ctrlcaps, installing latex, browsers, email clients, text editors etc. take hours of faffing around. And then when things invariably don't quite work, troubleshooting is really annoyingly opaque. Why would I waste my time on that?


Simply restating my argument and pretending it applies to Windows equally doesn't fly with me. But thanks for re-affirming that the Linux community isn't worth dealing with.

Misrepresenting what I said and then hurling insults. Yeah, I think this discussion is over.

Or just install ubuntu LTS

Have you ever used Linux? What kind of features do some distros have that others don’t? You can run anything you want to.

I do agree that trackpad support on Linux isn't the greatest, but you could have used the GNOME Tweaks settings application (GUI) to change your mouse acceleration profile. Maybe next time :)

This is a great example of what has always bugged me about Tweaks, the discoverability is horrible. People look through the Settings app, don't find what they want to change, and then assume there is no easy way to change it. How the hell is the average user supposed to know that GNOME Tweaks even exists?

I agree the Linux desktop has a come a LONG way in recent years and it is soooo close. It is stupid stuff like this that holds it back - the last little small tweaks that make like easier. Tweaks should just be part of Gnome - period. Put it in Settings - at minimum put it under and "Advanced" settings.

> I agree the Linux desktop has a come a LONG way in recent years and it is soooo close.

I've been hearing that since the late 90s. The uncomfortable truth is that Linux will never be a suitable Desktop environment because the Linux community doesn't care about the Desktop market. Ubuntu, Red Hat and various open source funds have more than enough money to hire top notch UX designers. But, they don't.



Alternately, all the more reason to carry a travel router and only have that MAC talk to the upstream. (Added benefit is that it can auto VPN all traffic, and also you don’t have to configure your other wi-fi devices (phone, tablet(s), watch, second computer, et c) with whatever local temp wi-fi you are using that day.)

SIP on osx is way more user-friendly than selinux.


What's a good example of a travel router?

I do this with a raspberry pi and a Ubiquiti Unifi Lite access point. You could also swap the Unifi with a second wireless adapter in the Pi to be more compact (I only do it that way because that's what I had laying around in my office closet.)

I imagine I am eventually going to end up with a rpi (built-in dualband wi-fi serving as AP) and a usb battery pack and a 4/5G modem strapped to my lower leg whenever I leave the house, backup pistol style, as smartphones become less and less able to be configured to preserve privacy.

Turns out I need to have root on my dns server and iptables/wireguard on my NAT router. It’s slowly becoming non-negotiable.


Something like the GL.iNet (sic) AR750 does the trick.

I carry a GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2 (Mango) with my own build of openWRT on it. Allows for all sorts of network hackery. Powers right from the usb port on my laptop. I never connect "bare" to a public network without it.

I'd give up a considerable amount of battery capacity to have it built in to the laptop.


Can you run OpenWRT in a VM and have the laptop connect to the VM and the VM to the network?

You can use a USB wi-fi device passed through to a linux VM. It’s not quite the same but getting there.

How do you use it to login to captive WiFi portals?

Normally captive portals are just keyed on MAC and done through DNS redirect. In this case, just using a browser though the Mango in NAT Lan->Wifi works fine. This is nice because your Mango can then share that authenticated connection amongst many local devices (like my phone).

In rare cases where broadcast is required or even more diabolical network asshattery is afoot, I create a bridge on the Mango Lan<->Wifi with brctl. Of course, then your laptops ethernet MAC is exposed to the Wifi on the other side of your Mango. Even then, I've got a pretty snazzy etables filter to keep that hot mess under control.


What value does this provide, exactly?

The most immediate value is that once the mango knows it can see the internet, it routes everything behind it over openVPN out through my colo server neatly sidestepping any dns chicanery or malicious mitm attempts and instantly connects all of my devices straight through to my internal network.

Did I have any trouble at all with pandora on my phone or netflix on my ipad while I was in Europe or Australia? Nope. Never even gave it a second thought.


Firewall and VPN for all your devices, no limit to the number of devices, no need to re-join and re-enter your hotel info periodically, and my favorite: use a chromecast dongle on the hotel TV.

Even with the stock firmware, you just turn it on (USB-powered), connect to its WiFi network, connect to the hotel/captive network within its UI, and you’re done. Join all your devices to your own network. It even runs a VPN client you can activate with a little external switch.

I have a P1 Thinkpad and absolutely love it, but Lenovo isn't necessarily a saint either. Really though, who is anymore.

For XCode, you can easily run macOS in QEMU with GPU passthrough. Linux is the best general purpose OS unless you're technically illiterate.

https://github.com/foxlet/macOS-Simple-KVM



Note that this violates the macOS licensing conditions unless you're running on Apple hardware.

Wouldn’t that be quite slow?

The key here is GPU passthrough, giving it real graphics hardware means that it's near native (there's still overhead, but it's on the order of 5% compared to completely native).

Works on my machine. There's virtually no difference between bare metal. Of course you need enough cores and dynamic memory (GPU memory too) to run your host OS and macOS. No benchmarks but it feels snappier than my 2017 MBP.

If it's fast enough to run triple A video games at an accecptable stable framerate, it should be fast enough to run an IDE.

Be careful which one you buy, my X1 Yoga did not do well at all with it. Typing this on a Purism Librem 13

Might be. Stick to T series Thinkpads or X1 Carbon and there aren't any problems. I personally think the X1 Carbon is a PERFECT replacement for a macbook. The only thing lagging is the trackpad. Its not bad but no PC trackpad is quite as good as the macbook one. Plus the X1 Carbon keyboard is a luxury to type on - esp compared to the current macbook keyboards.

However it is not enough of a burden these days (to me) to make it worth going to a macbook pro these days...


What about E series Thinkpads? I'm looking at buying one.

I havent tried E series - might be worth hitting think pad subreddit (or something equivalent) and asking about it. The ones I mentioned are from personal exp so I'm pretty confident about those.

How do you like the Purism Librem? I'm a long-time MacBook user but have been looking around (and holding onto my late-2013). I'm curious about the build quality of the Purism machines. I'm willing to spend quite a bit on my tools. And I still remember the issues that ThinkPad's had with backdoors... so, I'd love to find something that has a high build-quality and puts the user first.

So, the Purism Librem is a purpose-built laptop. It wants to first, respect your freedom, and second, provide excellent build quality. It succeeds on both of those goals.

Does it succeed at build quality better than Apple? It's arguable. The UX on Apple laptops is great, however the durability on the Librem is commanding. Does it respect your privacy more than Apple? 100% yes. There are hardware switches for wifi and microphone / video. It comes by default with a Debian-based, FSF-approved OS, which I personally replaced with Ubuntu for reasons. I consider it a fine laptop equal in build quality to everything but a late-model ThinkPad, especially since Apple's been screwing the pooch in that regard.

I've owned a System76 Galago Pro, not the current gen, and the Librem blows it out of the water in every single category. I buy a lot of System76 hardware, having purchased three machines in the past year. The Meerkat is a great little powerhouse. But their laptops just aren't as focused hardware-wise as Purism's offering. If you want that ultrabook experience in a durable package with curated hardware for Linux compatibility, there isn't anything else to buy, except perhaps the Dell XPS, but Purism.

That also said, if you're looking for a desktop replacement, the Librem won't be your cup of tea. System76 just came out with their Adder 4k which looks amazing and I've been resisting the urge to drop $4k on one for weeks. I dunno how the build quality compares but I don't think it can really touch the Librem in that regard. I'm thinking S76 is competing with Dell while Purism is competing with Apple. YMMV


My friend bought one recently (last month), it has absolute garbage wifi. I know it's about open fireware/baseband but the wifi card is old and has also shit reception.

You can easily change it but for a $1,400 laptop...

The build quality seems okay but definitely not Apple level. Still my friend complained a week ago about screen flickers.


Bought an X1C7 and the only thing I can’t use is my Fibocom LTE modem and finger print scanner. Works great OOTB.

Arch has the most complete compatibility info out there: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Lenovo_ThinkPad_X1_Carb...


If you do so don't get a T490 or if you do don't get an NVidia card. It'll destroy your battery life. The (Lenovo and others) forums have threads on these issue. For me idle time dropped from 11 to 3h.As someone else mentioned as well don't get the "best" WWAN Modem (850 something I believe ) as there are _no_ Linux drivers.

In other news: anyone wants to buy a lightly used lenovo T490?


It wont destroy your battery life. I have a t480s with the nvidia card. You need to turn the card off when booting linux and just use the cpu for display. Research a bit about bumblebee and bbswitch.

Wait, how is "it won't destroy your battery life" somehow supported by "you need to turn off the card when booting linux". It sounds like you're saying it will destroy the battery life if it's not turned off. Did I misread that?

Sorry, I should have been more clear. Do you have a reason to use the graphics card on battery in Linux? Most people don't, so turning it off makes sense. You didn't misread it.

Yep. I've used Macs since Apple's first Intel release because they were good, hackable x86 machines.

That's no longer the case, and I already use Ubuntu. The switch will be easy, and as an added bonus, it will be cheaper.


Or just buy Purism or System76 to help fund the Linux computer industry.

How does the WSL compare to full-blown Linux/macOS these days?

Not really a viable replacement if you rely on X11 or any GUI stuff. If you're content in a command shell you can do a lot though and it integrates nicely with the environment.

Can't run perf or docker in wsl1. wsl2 is a linux vm with better host integration than usual due to the guest tools from microsoft.

WSL2 might be better when it gets released in final form, but when I used WSL it was better than cygwin etc but still a PITA to deal with.

Personally I think Linux (Fedora or Ubuntu) on Lenovo Thinkpads - esp X1 Carbons is the best option.


It's a better alternative to Cygwin, but Cygwin wasn't all that useful before. There are just too many differences between Linux and Windows. You are better off using Windows as a thin client SSHing into a remote Linux session.

Text console is glitchy

and you still need to use windows filesystem, which was a dealbreaker for me.

Sorry, but Linux desktop environments are still 10+ years behind both Windows and macOS.

I'm not looking forward to the ads and spyware I'll get in 10+ years.

Yep, Xcode is pretty much the only reason for me to have a Mac these days.


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