Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Oct 2018 00:38 UTC
Apple

Even though the Mac line has grown less repairable over time, fixers have still managed to develop techniques for performing essential screen and battery repairs - until now. According to an internal Apple service document, any Mac with an Apple T2 chip now requires the proprietary 'Apple Service Toolkit 2 (AST 2) System Configuration Suite' (whew, that's a mouthful!) to complete certain repairs. This issue has received extensive coverage, but we wanted to perform some lab testing before we took our shot. Let's break down what all this means first.

This is inevitable - Macs have becoming ever more closed and less repairable for years now. This sucks - but at the same time, nobody is forcing you to buy a Mac. There are countless premium Windows and Linux laptops out there that are just as good, and even many non-premium Windows laptops are more than good enough replacements.

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True that...
by The Lone OSer on Tue 9th Oct 2018 00:46 UTC
The Lone OSer
Member since:
2005-07-11

Firstly, I got given a Mac desktop and when I started exploring it I wondered firstly what all the hype was about and secondly where all Mac software lived... I understand that Mac has some software that musicians love and video makers love etc.. But I doubt that these same pieces of software are Mac only. Then I came to the conclusion that Linux actually had far more software applications available to it then Mac does, so the only reason one would own a Mac is if they were to dev for a Mac or iPhone... I could not justify it otherwise.
Secondly, I agree with Thoms statement "and even many non-premium Windows laptops are more than good enough replacements." ... This is so true... I purchased a cheap 17" HP laptop with an AMD APU in it and use it for architectural design and programming and it is PERFECT.

Reply Score: 8

RE: True that...
by gsyoungblood on Tue 9th Oct 2018 05:06 UTC in reply to "True that..."
gsyoungblood Member since:
2007-01-09

I'll give you my reasons. Now these reasons make sense for me, in my environment and my workflow.

I do photography and video work, and I happen to like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I also like iMovie for simple videos, and Adobe Media Encoder for doing optimized encoding. The Adobe tools are Mac and Windows, and iMovie is Mac only. Given that, and that I do not like Windows, again, I'm stuck on Mac - for now.

My primary job is software systems engineering, Unix based, and working on a variety of servers and other tools. The underlying Unix toolchain is helpful for me to do what I do.

I'm often at my desk, but I do enjoy being a digital nomad. Battery life is extremely important to me. My 13" MBP (2015) can go for 6 to 10 hours+ (depending on how much video work I do) on battery power. Reliably. And that's still the case after 3 years of use. I've yet to have a Windows machine make it to 6 hours (I don't have newer machines so can't compare "apples to apples"), let alone have their battery last more than a year with any meaningful capacity. And Linux battery life is typically on par or worse than Windows in my experience.

Finally, I don't have to tweak or fix things after basic updates. I used to run Linux on the desktop, but every 3 to 6 months I could count on losing anywhere from 4 to 20 hours dealing with "change" from OS updates, to repair something that didn't quite work right (if at all) after the update was finished. In 2005/6 I'd had enough (been using Linux since 93), straw/camal, and switched to Solaris 10 on my desktop, kept servers on Linux, after an OS update (Ubuntu I think?) broke a couple of machines. It was nice to have a stable system. Sure it wasn't as fast, but it just worked and I didn't lose time needing to tweak things frequently.

That's why I'm still on Mac. That said, I don't see myself on Mac 2 years from now. I've already begun looking into the best options for me to migrate to. Still not a fan of Windows, but the Linux environment gives me the ability to have the unix side I need, while still keeping Office and Adobe tools quickly accessible. So, who knows. Then again, I've found some amazing looking tools (Darktable) that might remove the Adobe requirement and thereby remove the Windows or Mac duopoly of choice. Time will tell.

Edited 2018-10-09 05:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: True that...
by nicubunu on Tue 9th Oct 2018 11:35 UTC in reply to "RE: True that..."
nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

And I do photography, graphics and DTP work and I happen to enjoy Linux native applications for those tasks. And Linux is my working desktop for more than 15 years already. Still, the truth is, desktop Linux has many rough edges. And that is, I suspect, because the developers don't bother to implement the last mile of polishing, they like better to reinvent the wheel.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: True that...
by BlueofRainbow on Tue 9th Oct 2018 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE: True that..."
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

This is one of the most rational reasoning by a Mac user for a continued strong preference for a Mac I have read in a very long time.

It is interesting that you are mentioning beginning to look at options for migration two years from now.

Maybe, Haiku which has just released R1 Beta 1 ( https://www.haiku-os.org/news/2018_09_28_haiku_r1_beta1/ ), will have reached its R1 state by then.

Given that Haiku is inspired by BeOS, the article "Tales of a BeOS Refugee" written by Scot Hacker is still as relevant today as it was when published at the end of 2001 ( https://birdhouse.org/beos/refugee/beos_osx.pdf ). With respect to Linux, its strength for server duties was applauded. However, its desktop was felt much to desire.

Reply Score: 3

RE: True that...
by haakin on Tue 9th Oct 2018 11:26 UTC in reply to "True that..."
haakin Member since:
2008-12-18

I can explain my reasons (I would be happy to come back to Linux if I could find a nice alternative to all these things):

1. Spotlight creates a database with the information of documents, emails and more. It's superfast to find documents and emails based on contents, dates, etc. I use it everyday. I have looked for a similar tool for Linux, but it seems that nothing is available. Beagle was an option, but I believe it died several years ago.

2. Time Machine, an hourly backup. It has saved my *ss several times. I think that there are few options in Linux, but I'm not sure if they are as easy to use as Time Machine.

3. Keynote is a really nice presentation program. I know that LibreOffice has one too, but I find it almost unusable. I have tried to use it several times, but I have found it quite horrible everytime. Matter of taste, I think.

4. MS Office. I don't use MS Office frequently (I prefer LibreOffice), but sometimes it's the only option (documents with macros, for example).

5. Integration with icloud is rather nice and useful, but Dropbox could be mostly fine too.

6. A nice and stable desktop. No big changes in years.

Edited 2018-10-09 11:27 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: True that...
by gsyoungblood on Tue 9th Oct 2018 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE: True that..."
gsyoungblood Member since:
2007-01-09

A couple of thoughts, if you don't mind...

I can explain my reasons (I would be happy to come back to Linux if I could find a nice alternative to all these things):

1. Spotlight


Beagle died long ago, was closest I've seen. I've been away from Linux desktop long enough I don't know what's out there comparable any more. I don't think anything is, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

2. Time Machine


This one's easy, put ZFS on your linux box (ZFS on Linux) and then find one of the auto snapshot scripts and add it to cron (or systemd or whatever approach you prefer) so it fires on your desired schedule. I use Linux for file server and have this and it's great. I use it to host my Time Machine backups as well, and if you do network Time Machines you know sometimes they get corrupted. If that happens I just restore an older (pre corruption) snapshot and I'm back in business without having recreate it from scratch.

If you want to back up to external drive, you can zfs send/recieve the snapshots to another machine/pool as well.


3. Keynote


Surely someone has a suggestion here. I've seen something but I can't remember what it was. It looked pretty good. hoping someone can point it out again.

4. MS Office.
5. Integration with icloud is rather nice and useful, but Dropbox could be mostly fine too.
6. A nice and stable desktop. No big changes in years.


These are a bit tougher. I use Dropbox a lot. Is there a good Linux Dropbox client? I need to look. That last one though. It's arguable whether Mac has had no big changes in years. ;) Some of the changes have been downright annoying!

One of the reasons I've begun looking to move away from Mac is the continual removal of little features here and there. I forget what it was that surprised me recently. I got a work around for most of them over time, but annoyed by the changes nonetheless. And don't even think about what they've done to Mac OS Server.. Have you seen what it is now? It's a JOKE! I don't see how they can seriously call it "Server" any more - I think they've removed most of the "server" components this last upgrade. Read the reviews. Oops sorry, starting to rant there a bit. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: True that...
by zima on Thu 11th Oct 2018 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: True that..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Beagle died long ago, was closest I've seen. I've been away from Linux desktop long enough I don't know what's out there comparable any more. I don't think anything is, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

I imagine there might be some Ksearch thing?... ;P

Reply Score: 2

RE: True that...
by MysterMask on Tue 9th Oct 2018 18:21 UTC in reply to "True that..."
MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12

Then I came to the conclusion that Linux actually had far more software applications available to it then Mac does.


1. I doubt that, since many Linux software solutions are available for macOS, too. See homebrew, fink, homebrew cask, etc.
2. Pure numbers don't tell the truth: The quality of many desktop Linux software solutions is less than "good enough". Commercial solutions are practically non-existent.
Both are available on macOS and shareware / freeware / .. solutions on macOS are normally of very high quality.

Reply Score: 3

No one is forcing you...
by emphyrio on Tue 9th Oct 2018 01:06 UTC
emphyrio
Member since:
2007-09-11

Indeed, no one is forcing you to buy apple products.

However, many other manufacturers will follow suit; making it that much more difficult to find a properly repairable product.

For example, we already see this in the degradation of many of lenovo products' serviceability in favour of fancy designs.

Apart from that, not many people consider ease of repair at the time of purchase - rightfully assuming that a premium product can be properly repaired with as little fuzz as possible.

Edited 2018-10-09 01:08 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: No one is forcing you...
by The Lone OSer on Tue 9th Oct 2018 01:30 UTC in reply to "No one is forcing you..."
The Lone OSer Member since:
2005-07-11

I worked 20 years in IT repair... Sadly unless you have an Apple product it just isn't economic to repair now days anyway... unless you're willing to pay your staff peanuts.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: No one is forcing you...
by Carewolf on Tue 9th Oct 2018 14:33 UTC in reply to "RE: No one is forcing you..."
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

You mean unless you have ThinkPad it is not worth repairing. Those are still designed to be repaired, and repairing them doesn't cost the same a buying a new device like with Apple crap

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: No one is forcing you...
by emphyrio on Wed 10th Oct 2018 02:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No one is forcing you..."
emphyrio Member since:
2007-09-11

It's not just repairs, also servicing. Compare a youtube instruction video for replacing the keyboard for the x220 (2 minutes) with one for the x240 (30 minutes) to see what I mean. In the first case I wouldn't hesitate to do it myself, in the second case it looks like too much of a bother with higher risk of messing up the system.

Edited 2018-10-10 02:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: No one is forcing you...
by zima on Thu 11th Oct 2018 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No one is forcing you..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You mean unless you have ThinkPad it is not worth repairing. Those are still designed to be repaired

Also X1 Carbon ultrabooks?...

Reply Score: 2

RE: No one is forcing you...
by Sidux on Wed 10th Oct 2018 09:59 UTC in reply to "No one is forcing you..."
Sidux Member since:
2015-03-10

Companies just want to cut down on operational costs.
In Apple's case at least they've made it pretty clear that they need more people to know how to code for their app ecosystem then to understand how a computer works and how to repair it.

Reply Score: 2

Can you imagine
by sagum on Tue 9th Oct 2018 01:47 UTC
sagum
Member since:
2006-01-23

Can you imagine what our options for our computers would be now if apple had won the desktop war.

And I feel sorry for any one trying to collect these machines like retro hardware now.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Can you imagine
by laffer1 on Tue 9th Oct 2018 02:26 UTC in reply to "Can you imagine "
laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

We'd all be using beige desktops like it's 1995?

It's fair to say apple sucks but they have pushed PC vendors and particularly Microsoft to step up their game.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Can you imagine
by The1stImmortal on Tue 9th Oct 2018 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Can you imagine "
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

We'd all be using beige desktops like it's 1995?

I don't see the problem here...

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Can you imagine
by r_a_trip on Tue 9th Oct 2018 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can you imagine "
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Some people prefer form over function...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Can you imagine
by The1stImmortal on Tue 9th Oct 2018 05:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Can you imagine "
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

Enjoy your beautiful, expensive, irreparable paperweights then I suppose.

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Can you imagine
by The123king on Tue 9th Oct 2018 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Can you imagine "
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

Just because something is pretty, doesn't mean it's not repairable. NExTcube, Power MacG5, HP Z600, PDP-8. The4se are all fantastically pretty machines, whioch are all very much repairable

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Can you imagine
by The1stImmortal on Tue 9th Oct 2018 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Can you imagine "
The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

"form over function"
managing both is striking a balance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Can you imagine
by laffer1 on Tue 9th Oct 2018 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Can you imagine "
laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

A computer can be both. My primary desktop is an AMD Ryzen 7 1700 + 32GB RAM + 3 SSDs + 1 2TB HDD, and a Saphire R9 Fury Nitro in an Thermaltake P5 case with a custom water loop.

The loop is simply to keep it quiet. The GPU ran at about 80C under load prior to water cooling. Now the CPU + GPU run at about 42C under load.

I do miss the Sun hardware from the 90s though.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: Can you imagine
by rener on Tue 9th Oct 2018 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Can you imagine "
Comment by The123king
by The123king on Tue 9th Oct 2018 07:45 UTC
The123king
Member since:
2009-05-28

I bought a mac when i saw Windows 8 Developer Preview.

It was a 13 early 2011 "fat"book pro, with user replaceable RAM, real SATA HDD's, build in optial drive etc etc. It was an awesome laptop, but large and bulky.

Then i got a MBA, lovely laptop, very small and light, ultra portable, but nothing is really user replaceable.

This is what Apple should have stuck to. Large "Pro" machines, built like tanks and user expandable (and maybe a chunk of "Apple Tax" to put off general consumers) with smaller, more portable and unexpandable machines for joe public to buy.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by The123king
by ultrabill on Tue 9th Oct 2018 09:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by The123king"
ultrabill Member since:
2008-08-07

This is what Apple should have stuck to. Large "Pro" machines, built like tanks and user expandable (and maybe a chunk of "Apple Tax" to put off general consumers) with smaller, more portable and unexpandable machines for joe public to buy.

Apple sell high-priced products for people who can buy them. As long as they have customers, why would you want them to change?
Companies like Chanel, Jaeger-Lecoultre or say Porsche will never sell cheap products for average Joe. Mass market is a strategy, luxuary product is another one.

Some people can't buy Apple product? Sorry about that, they have to earn more money or buy something else, don't call for a cheap product. Sad but true...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by The123king
by The123king on Tue 9th Oct 2018 09:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by The123king"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

There's a difference between a $750 Macbook Air and a $2500 Macbook Pro. If you're looking for an Apple laptop for school or college (which, lets be honest, a lot of college kids do), you're likely to go for a cheaper model, such as the Macbook Air. If you're going to be using it in a professional environment, where performance isimportant, you'll get a Pro, and spend the extra $1750.

And yes, unless you've been living under a rock, joe public buy a lot of entry level macbooks. Go into any Starbucks, school cafeteria or university campus.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by The123king
by ultrabill on Tue 9th Oct 2018 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by The123king"
ultrabill Member since:
2008-08-07

So what do you complain about?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by The123king
by The123king on Tue 9th Oct 2018 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by The123king"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

I'd like them to release a laptop that i can actually upgrade myself

Reply Score: 3

It's not the hardware stupid....
by A.Dev on Tue 9th Oct 2018 09:34 UTC
A.Dev
Member since:
2017-10-10

As a user of Windows, MacOS and Linux pretty much every day in my experience people buy Macs ( particular these days ) not because of the hardware, but despite it.

They buy it because of the software - it used to be third party stuff, but now it's mostly MacOS itself.

I feel Apple's current strategy of being consumer focused is rather short term - if it loses developers, it loses everything. Yep - laptops may be a shrinking market - but where do you think your phone apps are developed?

It used to be if I went to a scientific or technical conference it was the machine of choice - the right mix of high quality publishing, scientific & software development tools; rock solid stability and great hardware ( eg track pad streets ahead ) with everything working *together*.

However today, it's becoming less prevalent.

Fix the poor keyboards, lack of high end memory and storage etc. I don't need the laptop to be any thinner.

That's not to say Linux isn't without it's problems ( desktop crashing, graphic driver problems, package dependency hell ).

Today it feels like Apple is coasting, without any real direction. What does Apple stand for today?

Reply Score: 2

The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

I don't want to join the "Hurr Duhh Steve Jobs is God" crowd, but i've noticed the quality of all Apple products has taken a dive since the untimely demise of Steve.

I don't think they have any direction anymore. They're too busy counting all the cash that comes in and can't devote enough time to create actual decent quality products any more.

My next laptop will probably be a Dell XPS

Reply Score: 0

Its all fun and games
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 9th Oct 2018 13:06 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

until Apple unleashes its Crazy Arm designs in macbooks. There is no PC answer for powerful, energy efficient arm notebooks. Apple could pull it off, pretty seemlessly. I'm guessing they are waiting to get more apps in the macstore, and getting to a point where their arm soc is dramatically better than intel, rather than just on par.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Its all fun and games
by zima on Thu 11th Oct 2018 17:20 UTC in reply to "Its all fun and games"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

hm, maybe that's why Apple doesn't update its computer lines ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?663324 ), to have nicer plots of performance increases when they'll switch to ARM...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by stormcrow
by stormcrow on Tue 9th Oct 2018 17:02 UTC
stormcrow
Member since:
2015-03-10

"This is inevitable - Macs have becoming ever more closed and less repairable for years now. This sucks - but at the same time, nobody is forcing you to buy a Mac. There are countless premium Windows and Linux laptops out there that are just as good, and even many non-premium Windows laptops are more than good enough replacements."

This would be fine for those of us that know about this in the tech community. But what about the art student that suddenly finds out when he tries to get his tech savvy friend to replace some component on his Macbook in the future that's out of warranty with some perfectly serviceable part from Ebay but now his Macbook won't boot?

It's not that Apple is doing that and we have a choice not to buy them, it's that Apple is doing it and not telling anyone that they're artificially blocking otherwise legit repairs. It's illegal to do this to cars in the US, and it SHOULD be illegal to do this to anything else that's repairable. At the very least it should be illegal to do this without informing customers up front and clearly (no fine print) that an Apple product can only be repaired by Apple dealers, not that it's just recommended.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Wed 10th Oct 2018 19:43 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

I'm firmly of the belief that when you buy hardware, you own the hardware, not the hardware maker. Hardware makers should not have any legal right or special circumstance that allows them to vandalize your property either by artificially disabling/limiting it or by physical damage. These days it seems like companies get away with any b.s. tactics they want. To our lawmakers, protecting unreasonable profiteering is top priority while protecting consumers isn't even the slightest consideration.

Reply Score: 3