Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Apr 2013 22:35 UTC
Apple "Apple just posted its hotly-anticipated Q2 2013 earnings, and the company posted a profit of $9.5b on revenues of $43.6b, compared to $11.6b in profit on $39.2b in revenue this quarter last year and $13.1b in profit on $54.5b in revenue last quarter. That's right in line with the company's guidance from last quarter. Most importantly, iPhone sales are fairly flat year-over-year. Apple sold 37.04 million in Q2 2013 versus last year's 35.1 million, a modest growth of seven percent. iPad sales for the quarter were 19.5 million, up a massive 65 percent from last year's 11.8 million, but the average selling price (ASP) dropped fairly steeply year-over-year, likely due to the introduction of the cheaper iPad mini."
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RE[6]: It's a funny old world
by Neolander on Thu 25th Apr 2013 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's a funny old world"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Okay, here's my rant regarding what's wrong with OSX today.

I would say that the user-facing part of OS X did start to go in a pretty awful direction from Lion onwards. From an explosion of ridiculously over-the top animations and real-world visual metaphors in Lion, combined with a disjointed file saving experience between Apple and non-Apple software, to Mountain Lion's "Gatekeeper" that makes decentralized software distribution a power user feature....

Then the ecosystem around the OS is getting pretty rotten too. When official Apple retailers are not even allowed to own or sell OS X installation discs or pen drives for professional reasons, you know that something is smelling bad. The gradual shelving of any kind of hardware serviceability also feels worrying. More and more, Apple are tightening their grip on users. They want these to rely on them, all the time, for every task, and only them, and they hide their actions towards that goals in the middle of heaps of unnecessary fluff. I don't think that's a healthy attitude for a platform owner to take.

The official justification for this Orwellian behaviour is that it helps newbies. They don't have to learn about what differentiates shady software from regular one anymore, because Apple will take care of that issue for them. They don't have to take the time to find a cheap replacement battery for their laptop anymore, because they'll need to go to Apple for the repairs anyway. And so on.

Myself, I call it official dumbing down for the barely hidden officious sake of ever-increasing platform lockdown. And that's why myself, as someone who cares about controlling the machine rather than falling under its control, I'll stick with Linux for now, even if it means having to know about silly trivia like which GPU is in my computer. While looking for a better solution in the long run, if possible.

Because as you say, with Linux you are still getting a bit controlled by the machine, only in a different way. Here, it's because of technical limitations stemming from developer incompetence, rather than ethical ones stemming from a conscious will. There are many things which I still have to deal with on Linux, that I shouldn't need to care about. The good thing is, incompetence-bound problems can be solved, so I'll continue to look for a solution to these other problems even if I have to create it myself.

Edited 2013-04-25 17:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: It's a funny old world
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Apr 2013 19:11 in reply to "RE[6]: It's a funny old world"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I guess there are a number of reason not to like Apple and OS X like the ones you named.

But it depends on who you are and what you want. With Apple stuff little goes wrong, because they make it hard for you to mess things up and if something does happen they'll help you out.

So it's ideal for people who either don't have any IT skills, don't have the time or just don't want to be bothered with it.

A number of OS X users I know are former Linux users and that includes me.

I still like Linux and like to fiddle around with it, but I don't want to use it as my main system.

I bought an iMac G5 in 2005 with Panther, I upgraded it to Tiger, to Leopard, bought a new iMac and did a system transfer, upgrade to Snow Leopard, upgrade to Lion, new iMac and system transfer and upgrade to Mountain Lion. No problems, it still works and you can still find stuff from the G5.

I've wasted many hours fixing my Linux system. Sometimes I disabled it myself, sometimes it was some software/system upgrade that left me with a crippled system. You learn a lot fixing it, but after a while you just want it to work. So I sacrifice some freedom and flexibility for something that just works.

But nothing stops me from also using a PC with Linux or Windows. I've been playing around with Windows 8 the last few weeks. My Linux PC just had a fresh install (because the previous install was messed up(...)).

The notion that Apple captures you in a walled garden is a bit extreme. You can walk out anytime you want.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: It's a funny old world
by Neolander on Thu 25th Apr 2013 20:06 in reply to "RE[7]: It's a funny old world"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

My issue with this line of thinking is that Apple have shown that they don't need to assert as much control as they do today to provide a good user experience. Your iMac was pretty much as usable running Snow Leopard as it is running Mountain Lion, save for a small amount of interesting novelties like integrated notifications (instead of leaving those to the third-party Growl software, which was the de facto standard for these on previous releases of OSX).

Consequently, it is my impression that the ethical situation in the Apple world is worsening way faster than the usability situation is improving, counter to the view that walled gardens bring a major improvement on the usability front just by the virtue of existing.

Meanwhile, in the Linux world, things are slowly improving on the usability front. Or at least they are if you take care to pick reasonably conservative distros, like current releases of Linux Mint, which won't break your software and workflow every six months just for the fun of it.

Take the example of hardware support, which you mentioned previously: 5 years ago, sound and wireless support on Linux was highly unstable, whereas nowadays only exotic hardware won't work out of the box in this area. And while modern GPUs used to be totally unusable without using unreliable proprietary drivers, nowadays open source drivers have improved enough to provide an acceptable level of functionality on almost all hardware.

There are still things which are bad in the Linux world, such as system upgrades as you mention, but it is my understanding that overall, things are moving in the right direction. Again, that is when you don't fall easily for the cool-aid of developers that break working stuff for sake of hacking away something new, and stick with stable and well-tested system components.

Edited 2013-04-25 20:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2