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Grieving for Apple (wincent.com)
129 points by mrzool 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 96 comments

I'm sure there's a word coined for these 'death of Apple' posts.

It is true that my 2020 Macbook Pro 16 is not as much better than the competition as my 2011 Macbook Air was.

But it is still definitely the best laptop I've ever owned. I keep my laptops, and I can reach for whichever one I want: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 in Air, 13", 15" and now 16" form factors, and I choose the 2020. I also daily reject a number of windows and Chromebook pieces of hardware in favor of the MBP16.

When I don't choose it, I most often choose my iPad pro at times or my iPhone.

A thorough and hard ecosystem-level look at realistic competitors just doesn't turn up anything that even comes close in terms of just "working".

Probably the closest would be an XPS developer running Ubuntu, but that is a completely different experience than the 'it just works' world I get to live in with my Macbook. And, by "it just works", I include a decent package manager with homebrew, a very solid neovim or spacemacs development environment, a fully working highdpi environment without 'quirks', ... the list goes on. And, Windows has no Unix underneath it plus it contains ads in the start menu. For me, it's just not a serious option for real work.

In all, I'd say that most people agree with me; the market seems to prefer this hardware.

> I'm sure there's a word coined for these 'death of Apple' posts.

I’m not aware of a term, but I’ve observed two distinct variations, and they’re hardly exclusive to Apple commenters. They are “<successful company> is doomed” and “<successful company> lost me as a customer.”

While the two often share points of contention, the former always makes the case that these points constitute a blind spot that will lead to the company’s downfall, while the latter focuses on how these points are at odds with their own needs or preferences.

Valid as any of their arguments may be, the focus of these pieces invariably seems to be companies that go on to greater successes, in spite of these supposed blind spots or losing a subset of vocal customers. Somehow “Blackberry is doomed” never caught on as a genre, while Apple’s doom never seems to go out of fashion.

I think he addresses the irony that their products are no good, but still they will continue to do good business:

"Apple isn’t going to lose because something better came along; it is going to lose because it shat the bed repeatedly for so many years that people like me are no longer going to want to sleep with it. " ... "Somehow, the fact that this "loss" isn’t actually going to hurt their bottom line in any significant way makes it all the more tragic. Apple will continue to rake in billions selling its overpriced portable devices — which surely bring as much suffering and ennui to the world as they do pleasure — while folks like me that have owned Macs for literally decades (since 1994 in my case), just want to craft beautiful and useful things, move off the platform."

> I'm sure there's a word coined for these 'death of Apple' posts.

Post-Jobsism, maybe?

For me the saddest part of modern Apple decline is software. Sure, they made some really horrible hardware blunders but on the whole the hardware is what keeps the company alive, and no one can compete. Little things, like HiDPI string you along year after year, but at the same time things like SIP chip away at your patience.

My 16” is a big upgrade from my 2017 15”, and I have very few complaints with the 8-core, 32GB model.

It was the same when Jobs was around. If you want to read takedowns of these pieces read The Macalope:


My 2020 MacBook Pro 16 crashes frequently when it goes to sleep. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251223766

This has been a downgrade for me.

I had the same. Disabling power nap did it for me. If this doesn’t help I read disabling graphic switching does it.

But yeah it’s redicules that We have to deal with this on a $3k laptop

hold on, disabling power nap won't fixes the auto log outs. it's a (new?) security setting.

one sec...

alright okay. for anyone having the issue, you have to go to your "security & privacy" -> click on padlock -> enter password -> click on "advanced". in the sheet disable "Log out after X min of inactivity".

Wow, thanks for this. I thought that I might have a hardware problem, as a couple of times as I wake the laptop, it looks like it restarted, but did not have the time to check it as I mostly use my work laptop currently.

> I'm sure there's a word coined for these 'death of Apple' posts.

Apple Death Knell Counter https://www.macobserver.com/features/death-knell/

"Apple has been declared dead 71 times since April, 1995."

...make that 72.

> I include a decent package manager with homebrew

It it didn't come out of the box then it is not "just works" isn't it? heheh

Ubuntu is just-works too now. No apple-level HiDPI though.

However bad the lack of ports and butterfly keyboards are (which is now fixed). Nothing comes close to the hardware or the HiDPI handling in macbooks.

> And, Windows has no Unix underneath it plus it contains ads in the start menu.

And macOS has popup ads. And Windows has apt-get which has far more packages than homebrew. Windows keyboards never went through a multi-year period of being awful. The OS supports touch. And the OS maker isn't trying to tell laptop purchasers not to buy a laptop.

>Windows has no Unix underneath it plus it contains ads in the start menu. For me, it's just not a serious option for real work.

The start menu can be customized to turn all of that off. If you want to pin your own things to it, you can.

WSL2 is going to drop soon. Looks like a good move by Microsoft.

What kind of work do you do exactly that disqualifies Windows from being a "serious option for real work"?

It has telemetry that you can’t turn off without hacking the registry. And I use macOS because I don’t have to tell the OS to get its bullshit ads out of the main menu, because that’s not even a supported feature.

That doesn’t stop anyone from doing “real” work. Stop trying to pass your overly nerdy preferences as universal.

That’s a cop out. It doesn’t stop me from doing real work but I shouldn’t have to deal with it. I don’t think anyone asked for ads in Windows, it doesn’t take a nerd to want something I paid for to not include nagware.

The parent was talking about ads, which are obviously completely different than telemetry. But here's Apple's telemetry policy:


See 'Collection and Use of Non-Personal Information'

I see the telemetry as coterminous with the ads: something Microsoft is doing because they know their customers are trapped. My day job has been line of business .NET for two years, and my personal machine is a Mac. The amount of crap I have to slog through on Windows is insulting and ridiculous. Every time I think about getting a new personal machine to run Windows I remember all that crap and the thought passes. A real shame, too. MS is making all the right moves technologically speaking right now. Thankfully my latest machine has Enterprise and our AD disables most of it.

Apple’s analytics are not comparable.

> The amount of crap I have to slog through on Windows is insulting and ridiculous.

Really? I spent two minutes removing some default start menu items. My mac continually sent me pop ups insisting I use the Apple version of every product.

I had to jump through a load of hoops to get Windows to stop nagging me to use OneDrive. What popups does the Mac send you? I’ve never seen one like you say.

Do you use Chrome? You should at minimum see popups advertising Safari.

the first time I opened it I got one asking me if I wanted to make it my default web browser, which said that Safari was currently the default. But that’s not a nag, it will happen whenever a process requests to become the default browser. Other than that, no. I do use uBlock Origin though so if it’s stuff on the web I likely don’t see it. What are you seeing?

2018 MBP, Catalina, popups from Apple in the OS (not the browser) saying I should use Safari every few months.

Huh. That sucks. It seems like some people do have this issue: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/153379/how-do-you-...

I honestly don’t see it on my machine though.

> coterminous

Ooh, new word. Haven’t seen a new word in months!

Oh c'mon now.

> The start menu can be customized to turn all of that off. If you want to pin your own things to it, you can.

Shouldn't be there in the first place, including all of the other advertising and telemetry.

> WSL2 is going to drop soon. Looks like a good move by Microsoft.

It'll be always a hack. Will never beat native Unix.

> What kind of work do you do exactly that disqualifies Windows from being a "serious option for real work"?

WSL is a hack, NTFS chokes on small files (web dev), advertising and telemetry.

Also, you're computer randomly shutting off and locking itself up, jesus christ what the fuck (TBH MacOS also has this but it's 100x easier to disable).

If you put it like that whole Linux is a hack and that's a good thing, that's what makes it good.

I recently (3 weeks ago) switched from OS X to Ubuntu 20.04 after a decade of using macs as my primary desktop for software development.

I hadn't used desktop linux in about 15 years and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Everything that I remembered being difficult was straightforward. My AMD graphics card worked out of the box with dual monitors. Bluetooth, wifi, HiDPI (two 5K displays), USB plug and play, volume buttons on my keyboard, all seamless.

There are still a few quirks here and there (mainly HiDPI in some apps like Spotify, which there are workarounds for), but I'm happy with my setup and don't plan on moving back.

With Firefox, VS Code, Slack, Spotify, and 1Password X all being cross-platform my workflow didn't even change.

Add to that excitement the new System 76 Lemur Pro 14" 2.2 lbs laptop with 40 GB of RAM and a massive 73 Wh battery and you're really going to be excited [1]. I got one recently (moving up from an old Sony Vaio).

I've been daily driver on linux for about a decade now and have to agree that it's awesome now.

[1] https://system76.com/laptops/lemur

The price scared me at first, but I had to remember the cost of the new MBP. Very impressive for the cost, and the 2.2 lb weight is really great, especially for a 14". If I was looking for a laptop to serve as my main machine, I could see this being a really strong competitor.

Seems like a great machine, as long as you're a Linux user.

When I was comparing Mac laptops to PC alternatives they usually ended up within a few hundred dollars. Sure, saving a few hundred dollars is nice, but I'm fairly confident I can sell the Mac in a handful of years for a decent price, confident I'll use it for a handful of years, I'm familiar with the build quality and avenues for parts and replacements, and things like trackpad, biometrics/fingerprint, and battery life are a known quantity for me on a Mac. Saving only 10-15% made it less appealing to make the jump--conversely, I can see people not wanting to pay an extra 10-15% to jump to a Mac.

I've been eyeing that machine, System76 Lemur, for a while now. In fact a "custom build" is sitting in the shopping cart, waiting for the confirm.

It looks like what Macbook Pro should have been in 2020. Open-source OS and applications, well-designed UX, powerful and extensible hardware.

I ordered one in pre-sale and love it. It had a slight keyboard problem but I found the github issue in the open source firmware, cherrypicked the fix before it was released, flashed it, and it was great. They released it a week later. Pretty awesome experience.

Not only has Linux and its software ecosystem gotten better (though I guess we have the browser-fication/Electron-ification of everything to thank for that - even MS Office in a browser is pretty good now!) but the hardware options have too.

I recently got a ThinkPad X1 Extreme which is their equiv of the 16" MBP. It has a nice 4k screen, NVIDIA 1650, 6 or 8 core processor, user replaceable 2 x RAM slots (up to 64GB) AND 2 x PCI-E SSD slots, replaceable battery (take a few screws out), better keyboard than the 'fixed' Apple one, real USB-A ports in addition to the 2 x thunderbolts, real HDMI port and an SD Card slot. And it isn't much thicker or heavier than the MBP. It works great with Ubuntu. The two together feel like the ultimate expression of freedom when coming from the Macbook Pro and OSX.

Containers and Kubernetes (via microk8s) run fast and natively rather than in a VM too.

There are three downsides though - the battery life is worse (5-6 hours - but it charges 0-80% in 1 hr and I have been stuck at home near an outlet so it hasn't been too bad), trackpad okay but not as good (though I am starting to prefer the TrackPoint nub while in a more typing mode anyway) and it ran a bit hot and fan-noisy until I repasted the CPU/GPU with Thermal Grizzly. But that it was so easy to take apart and do without voiding the (onsite next day!) warranty that I'll almost forgive it...

Try booting fedora's installer and see if the trackpad is smoother.

FYI, you can use the same keyboard combination to zoom spotify as you would for your web browser. It looks fine after that.

My only gripe with desktop Linux is the lack of security layers and quality control.

I went through the same cycle or frustration from apple products, I've bought 6 laptops in the past year trying out all of the competition. The truth is, all of the alternatives, as frustrating as apple products can be, are just not as good. And that's by a very very long shot. However fucked apple products are, the competition is FAR behind. So I just swallow it and keep biting the bullet.

That only applies if you want a LAPTOP, if you can live in with something fixed to a desk, there's plenty of viable better alternatives out there.

I disagree. I got rid of a 2013 MBP and a 2019 MBA and went back to a thinkpad T470 running Windows 10. 300% less of a pain in the ass. Keyboard works reliably and isn’t horrible, doesn’t get ridiculously hot, actually has enough USB holes, can actually drive it from the keyboard without tying my fingers in knots, battery lasts longer, less fighting against the OS, less bugs (that one hurt to write) and it doesn’t give me a rash that bleeds on my wrists. CPU, memory, storage is about the same as a high end MBA. Display is 1080p so runs at 125% scale which is pretty good. If I break it I just get another one off eBay in 48h turnaround for less than the price of just a new screen for the MBA. Oh and it docks too and I get triple head displays...

LG Gram 17.

20% better single-thread performance than the MBP16 at half the price, and much lighter to boot.


Sure, the keyboard is not as good as a Thinkpad, but still way better than the disgrace in the 16” MBP (just because it’s not an abomination like the butterfly keyboard doesn’t mean it is any good, anyone who says otherwise is suffering from Stockholm syndrome).

You're right about everything except high dpi handling.

Also can't beat Apple on trackpad and screen quality.

I hardly miss the Retina display. The 1080p display with 125% scaling is good enough. It’s not spectacular but fine for a laptop.

The trackpad I didn’t like on the MacBook either. I found it made my finger tips sore after a few hours. I’m using the TrackPoint on the T470 and have the touchpad disabled

I tried a Thinkpad X1C7 for a couple months, it's an amazing machine but as long as they don't fix their awful, life sucking synaptics trackpads and poor linux integration (mostly battery management). I consider it unusable.

"can actually drive it from the keyboard without tying my fingers in knots"

How is the Mac's ability to natively edit ANY Keyboard Shortcut in ANY app and across the entire system not years ahead of anything that Windows 10 can do?

Desktops are cheaper, more powerful, and more comfortable than anything portable. But you need a laptop for live meetings or running errands while on-call, so most companies just get you one big one to use for everything.

Rather than making a half-baked desktop by adding peripherals to a laptop, I wish I could get something like a Chromebook that just has LTE and an X server to remote into some Real Computers™.

If the touch bar (which I agree is useless, or worse, actively counterproductive) is the worst thing he's annoyed by, then Apple is doing pretty well for a computer manufacturer selling 20M units annually, don't you think?

I think we have to have some self-realization that the gripes that appear here generally are so specialized (the MacOS Catalina notarization problem just today) that if you sit here you think the world is coming to an end. Yet millions of people purchase and seem to get along just fine with buying what Apple is offering.

Now, admittedly, one of the great selling points of Apple Mac is that its power features are (were) designed exactly for developers and professionals to be easy and high-performing, so they need to pay attention to it. But they generally do, don't they? The notarization problem above, let's revisit in 1 month and see if it got some attention?

I'm just saying that it's easy for your threshold for what's unacceptable has a tendency to keep on rising, and you get unhappy with smaller and smaller things. It's important to keep a perspective about it.

If it is truly horrible what Apple is doing or becoming, well of course you know that Mac / Chrome / your favorite app or hardware were all born out of being unhappy with what someone else built, and going out to build something new themselves.

Everyone is absolutely free to go and invent the next better thing and displace the old and tired.

Selling well doesn't always mean doing well or doing good.

IT departments for companies that give their staff macs will buy whatever garbage Apple makes available because they have no other option. Same with consumers stuck in the Apple ecosystem.

I've been holding out on buying a mac for nearly a decade because they have no compelling products. I'm stuck using a hackintosh workstation and a crappy windows laptop for on the go.

Right, because most of Apple sells come from the Enterprise. Apple has a long history of going out of its way to support big enterprise to convince them to buy Macs.

Right, as I said, it's up to Apple to make sure that the audience they served as their target market and made them popular, keeps being served properly. Or rightly let them lose market for it.

On your last point, maybe you should consider whether being unhappy over some flaws in a product are worth inconveniencing yourself for 10 years. Is it really that bad?

> the gripes that appear here generally are so specialized (the MacOS Catalina notarization problem just today) that if you sit here you think the world is coming to an end.

Some (like z drawing issues in the original Catalina issues) affected everyone, but let's take that issue from today. Agreed, most people aren't software developers.

But waiting up to 7 seconds to check a shell script every time you save it is pretty awful for software developers.

If you really believe that a company can churn out nothing but perfect products over and over again without making any mistakes, then maybe you have been drinking too much of Apple’s Kool-Aid. Every top company has good and bad generations of products, and Apple is no different.

This type of post complaining about Apple losing its soul and dying has been coming out regularly for at least the decade since I’ve been following Apple, and probably back way farther than that.

Something about Apple makes it an irresistible target for this kind of criticism for some reason. Check out the MacRumors forums for examples.. it’s a group of people who track every move Apple makes, yet overwhelmingly complain about every potential flaw.

That’s not saying that there aren’t flaws to criticize about Apple’s products, which there certainly are. But the level of vitriol is extreme compared to what I see directed towards most other companies (except video game companies.. gamers are a tough crowd).

I don't think Apple should be held to a "no mistakes" standard, but for the last few years, the trend has been toward less functionality and more user-hostility.

Take the drop of 32 bit support. There are now huge swaths of software, software that I paid a lot of money for, that I can no longer use if I buy new Apple hardware or upgrade to the latest MacOS.

There are bright spots, too. The new keyboards are much, much better than the butterflies, and the physical escape key is a welcome return.

But in general, when Apple announces something new, I'm worried about what they're going to take away from me, not what they're going to start offering.

>when Apple announces something new, I'm worried about what they're going to take away from me, not what they're going to start offering.

So much this. And it used to be the opposite.

I feel the same way about Apple these days, and the fact that Apple is secretive and doesn't provide roadmaps makes it harder for me to feel at ease with Apple. My last straw is Catalina's notarization policies, but my discontentment with Apple started back in 2012 with the introduction of soldered RAM in the MacBook Pro.

After a few years of seeing the writing on the wall, I am slowly coming to grips with this and I'm planning to migrate to Linux and FreeBSD by 2022. My 2013 MacBook Air is aging, and that will be the first device to be replaced. I'm slowly reacquainting myself with the flexibility and the large array of choices that the FOSS ecosystem provides. I'm going to miss Keynote, Preview.app, and the Omni Group's software, but in exchange I get an environment where I have more control.

Apple hasn’t shipped a 32 bit Mac since 2006. How long was Apple suppose to keep support for 32 bit software? Should they also have kept support for PPC software? 68K software?

> Apple hasn’t shipped a 32 bit Mac since 2006.

So, they could easily have given developers a roadmap/timeline of 13 years saying "in 2020 we're going to deprecate 32bit software, please upgrade". Instead, they gave everyone less than two years.

In comparison, the switch from PowerPC to Intel took over four years. And this was at the time when MacOS had significantly less software available on it. Apple themselves released the last version of software that supported PowerPCs 7 years after the announcement of the transition.

They kind of did when they announced Carbon wouldn’t have 64 bit support over five years ago.

PowerPC support was dropped in 10.7 three versions after the first Intel Macs came out. It was an optional download in 10.6.

If developers weren't willing to do it in two years then another eleven won't make any difference.

Personally, I like the Microsoft approach of having backwards compatibility forever in Windows, until the end of time.

They could have made 32 bit support slower, and gone through a virtualization layer.

And the Microsoft approach has it own set of tradeoffs.

- Security. The more code you have the larger the attack surface of vulnerabilities. One of the earliest side spread attacks on IIS was caused by IIS not checking the validity of one of the myriad of ways that you could represent a string in Windows. It didn’t take any great hacker skills to take advantage of the vulnerability. All you had to do was encode a DOS command in the url bar of a web browser to run commands on the Windows server.

- code bloat. There is a reason that Microsoft wasn’t able to port Windows to low memory/relatively slow mobile devices as easily as Apple was.

- battery life. Have you compared the battery life of the typical Windows laptop to Macs running on the same hardware?

- it doesn’t force adoption of newer technology. If Adobe could have gotten away with it. They probably still would have 68K code running on the latest version of their products.

I completely agree with all of this. From the costly obsession with creating an ever-thinner MBP at the expense of usability, to the demonstrably hostile removal of Target Display Mode in the iMac and beyond, it’s pretty clear Apple stopped designing their “pro” products for their pro users some time ago.

They’ve gotten way too comfy with their position in the personal computing space and I too am regularly looking at the alternatives. If the last 5 years are any indication of how the rumored ARM migration is going to be, then we’re in for a really rough ride.

From the costly obsession with creating an ever-thinner MBP at the expense of usability

The latest MacBook Pro is thicker than its predecessor.

I just started writing up a big spiel about the constant daily agonies I endure while using my older Apple hardware, but after a half an hour of it, I abandoned it.

It would take me a few days to write out the list of grievances that started when the iPhone arrived, and how Apple splitting its attention between desktop and mobile began the long, slow decline, and how it is reminiscent of the old Apple/Macintosh internal wars that almost brought down the company.

Basically what it comes down to is that Apple has a trillion dollars, and that's great and everything, but it means that it's the establishment so it can't innovate anymore. The bottom line is now its top priority.

For Apple to save its reputation in the eyes of geeks everywhere, it would have to listen to any geek anywhere. It would have to stare at the ground quietly as the grievances are aired, and then have the maturity to grok what it's heard and do something about the problems.

I know it has teams of engineers working on this stuff day and night, and even has a great CEO and everything else. But sometimes in spite of all of that stuff, companies flounder. It's just especially tragic when it's this dream company that got countless millions of people interested in tech initially.

Seriously, take a break Apple. Put all the grand plans aside for a while and listen. I guess that's it. Sorry this came out kinda harsh, I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

Why do you think Apple cares about the “geek”?

Because somehow they still pretend to care about power and professional users.

Programmers are not the only power users

I know. That's why I didn't say programmers. The bad quality of their hardware and software affects all power/pro users.

Because they write the software that runs on Apple's computers.

While the geeks write the software, the corporations write the software consumers use. The geeks will write whatever software their corporate overlords tell them to write. The corporations follow the money. Especially with most revenue in mobile apps coming from iOS, I doubt there will be a shortage of developers willing to target it.

I don't disagree with the thesis, but I was disappointed to see yet another rehashing of tired power-user nitpicks about MBPro hardware details, some of which have even been phased out already. The opening made me hopeful I was about to read a thoughtful piece about what's changed in Apple's soul, but instead all I got was an unoriginal rant.

The Apple I cared about died when the Macintosh arrived. Or was it when the rainbow logo was replaced by chrome? Or was it when they abandoned Hypercard?

Or when I had to spend hours researching how to tweak the serial port to do 31250 bps I/O MIDI? Or when the serial ports disappeared and my n x $1000 of serial-port hardware meant I should buy a new Mac.

By the time it released mobile phones with hard-wired batteries, the good Apple was a distant memory. Borged.

Mention of Stockholm Syndrome, in the article, is the key.

Current customers are self-selected as willing to endure any degree of degradation, provided it is arrived at via sufficiently small steps.

Apple is fully equipped and enabled to provide well-above-average quality products and admirable service by the high premium they charge, but instead they pocket the difference, every time. Customers are left with the dubious benefit of price-signaling, which is increasingly shading into sucker-signaling.

I get that, looking only at Microsoft, it is hard to imagine stepping down. But that was never the only alternative.

Ah good, I was worried we'd go more than a month without one of these.

Pretty much how I feel, except I have less sadness and more anger. I haven’t bought a Mac laptop since 2015, and I bought 4 PC ones to test my migration path to Linux, even if it proceeds glacially due to having other things to do, and in any case 15 years of workflow takes a while to switch.

After 15 years of using Apple exclusively for my "creative" work (music, photo, video), I've switched back to Windows 10 for those needs. Paid work is still 100% Linux (including the laptop I'm typing this on), but I ain't payin' $6K for a workstation, sorry Tim. Especially if I can't use an NVIDIA GPU in it. And HP Z32 4K monitor costs $200 less than the Apple _display stand_.

I couldn’t agree more, I wish a new innovative platform would emerge. Apple is too comfortable and their products just aren’t worth it anymore.

My dream platform would be essentially a revival of OpenDoc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFJdjk2rq4E), except it's built on top of the Common Lisp Object System, a dynamic object system that supports multiple dispatch. Users can integrate components either programmatically (like Unix pipes but with even more flexibility) or through a GUI interface. GUI programs would be written in such a way where its UX is highly flexible. The desktop environment should be fully themable, and GUI programs written for this environment must comply with these themes. This themability allows users to choose how they want their desktop environment to look. If they like Material Design, they can use a desktop that adheres to those standards. If they like classic UIs like those from the classic Mac OS or Windows 95, then can choose those options and the programs would fit those standards. They can use themes that have entirely different design standards.

The goals of my dream platform would be composability and flexibility, the complete opposite of monolithic applications and opinionated UI/UX design. This would run on Linux/BSD and would be implemented in Common Lisp, though there will need to be some ways to allow programs written in other languages to access CLOS objects since developers should be able to code in the languages of their choice.

I thought everyone knew that you waited at least a year on Apple hardware and software. I'm still on 10.14 and have no problems with it.

That said, I don't get the hate on number of ports. USB type-C is a godsend - single cable to my monitor which provides power and USB hub.

I'm probably also in the minority on this one- I just got a new 16" Macbook Pro work laptop, and I much prefer the keyboard on my 2018 15". The esc/touch ID now being buttons are great. The speakers are amazing.

I tried a world without Apple and lasted 2 months. I switched to a top of the line Pixel phone (which is now in a box) and top of the link thinkpad. (Sold it for next to nothing).

Overall I am glad we have choices. Everyone should make the ones that work for them.

Give Google can’t make a decent android phone or watch after significant acquisitions and investments, building real amazing things that make your life better is hard.

I’m glad lots of people still are trying hard.

I disagree.

On ports, 4 is enough. At home and at work, I use standard Thunderbolt docking stations, so ports on the laptop are irrelevant. When traveling, I typically use at most 2 HDDs, so 4 ports is plenty. I’d honestly rather have the battery life than the ports.

On the keyboard, they’ve fixed it in the new laptops. I agree it was awful for a long stretch there.

On the annoying prompts, they are there for security, and I think they made the right call generally. Everyone thinks security is so annoying, right up until they get rooted.

On the Touch Bar, I think they missed the mark, but I appreciate the fact that they are innovating. And in the end it’s an OK replacement for the function keys (now that there is a physical escape key).

On the OS phoning out before running executables etc, I agree that it sounds like a poor implementation overall. That said, I’ve never noticed any delays from it in my 2016 MBP.

All that said, I always think it’s a good idea to try new things, and there is no harm in switching brands/OS’s/etc. As others noted, so much software is cross platform these days that switching is much less of a commitment than it used to be.

Apple is a phone company that has a side business in personal computers. This is good for Apple, because the personal computer business as a whole has been pretty stagnant for a long time. The article would have been much improved by at least making a nod to the fact that their beloved computer make was now in fact primarily making other devices

>it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Apple I once loved is moribund

If there is anything more pathetic than an adult expressing love for a publicly traded corporate entity regardless of what they make or where they're from or how cool their marketing is, I haven't found it.

edit: Never mind-- writing a 1600 word essay about the lover-who-must-file-10Qs who is disappointing you and then publishing it online is definitely more pathetic.

Compare and contrast:

1. it's increasingly obvious that the White Rock Beverage Company, Inc. I once loved is moribund (followed by a SIXTEEN HUNDRED WORD ESSAY about how they changed the recipe of Sioux City Root Beer and it sucks now)

2. it's increasingly obvious that the Apple, Inc. I once loved is moribund (followed by a SIXTEEN HUNDRED WORD ESSAY about how their laptops suck now)

Hmm. The way I see it, Apple still seems to have the same basic attitude of high-value of aesthetics over function and a "my-way-or-the-highway" attitude, backed by just a bit less creativity in innovating actual function.

It doesn't seem that much different, but a little less satisfying, ultimately.

I rarely use the mac that my company issued to me, but I couldn't place my finger on why exactly. It's a general feeling that everything about it is obnoxious and cumbersome. Probably the sum of all the little things (and more) mentioned in this comment.

This was curiosly not the case the last time I was issued a mac, which I used pretty much all the time and not just for work; essentially replacing my personal (Linux) device. That was a 2016 model, when this trend had already started, so I guess everything has exacerbated in the three years since.

Apple is not alone in making janky laptops since 2015. Most of them are junk. They all get too hot, have too much brittle plastic, and low rez displays unless you want to pay a high premium. I've been liking the Chuwi laptops for $200. At least if you get a cheap laptop, pay a cheap price.

> I bought a refurbished mid-2015 model which I love. From a utility perspective, it’s the best laptop they’ve ever made, with a bunch of stuff that you’d reasonably expect to find on a "pro" Apple laptop: namely, 8 ports/slots

Only two of which are actual USB ports.

I'd still have to carry around a hub to use it with my mobile music production setup.

OK, let's craft a way out.

It's profit-driven software, dummy.

Apple seems to be driving their software toward what they think the consumer wants (and maybe even what the consumer says they want, or even choses to buy because of), instead of what the customer actually needs. Yes, the customer might feel enamored with what's being sold, but they could have been even more enamored had Apple focused properly.

Well, if it wasn’t what the consumer wants, then why are consumers still buying their products at a premium? Maybe it’s just not what a few outspoken geeks want.

Customers do buy what they want relative to other products in the market, but absolute satisfaction could still be broadly low across the board. The incentive to fix commonly complained about problems is tied entirely to the speed to which their competitors respond—shared incentives prevent the market from improving as a whole through competition.

This is especially true in markets where the capital investment required for entry is in the billions of dollars, like smartphones, operating systems, vehicles and other patented infrastructure (looking at you, john deere).

Overall the claim should be that “customers buy what they want from available products”, so that the one can not claim the converse, that a customer is necessarily satisfied with the products they purchase.

Buy something else then.

He is going to, as he says at the bottom of the article, and he has bought 2015 refurbished models to avoid the headaches.... lol?


I had a similarly emotional schisms with Apple, but back in 1997. I finally became aware of Apple's penchant for designing "road apples" to fuck cost-conscious consumers. I worked hard as a teen to buy my 62XX Performa, but later when I found out that it was a piece of shit because Apple deliberately designed it as a piece of shit... well, fuck them, really. No respect for their buyers.

I switched to Windows in 1998 and didn't look back.


Apple has never catered to “cost conscience” computers. Even back in the early 80s the 8 bit Apple //e’s were more expensive than competitors. T

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