Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rotten Apples

I have been using apple products for a very very long time. However the most recent updates have me a slighted. In their attempt to gain recognition for the most recognizable device's and OS they have taken away some of the creature albeit hackish creature comforts that I loved.

One small one that probably a very small percentage of the mac population used, was the ability to adjust the dock into the bottom right corner, instead of the middle of the screen. Are they so adamant that all MacOS's on every device look the same, so that they can be instantly recognized in every starbucks on the planet as an Apple product, and a Apple Macintosh OS, that they no longer allow the dock to be moved 3 inches to the right. So the new configuration file that dictates this behavior, isnt editable by a normal user, even on that has root privileges. Why? I paid over 3 thousand dollars for a MacBook Pro, I would like to make at least minor adjustments as I see fit. I feel like this is the same as buying house, and then being told by the bank in which you financed with, that you aren't allowed to paint any of the walls in the house.

Another from the latest update is the is that they dropped support for pptp vpn's. This is ridiculous, of course pptp is an old protocol, and it isn't the most secure on the block, but it sure does help when your ISP is trying to inspect your traffic and limit bandwidth to certain applications, or if you're a Time Warner Cable (Now Spectrum) customer, and their plant is extra crappy, and the transport sucks. As soon as you establish a simple pptp vpn connection, boom your speeds and throughput are back to being what you paid for. Due to the fact that they dropped pptp support, I literally had to change my broadband provider, which worked out for the best. New Wave cable had just come to my area a few weeks prior, and offered a faster speed at a lower price with 10x the reliability eliminating my need for a pptp vpn altogether.  I would have been really upset if TWC/Spectrum remained my only option as I would probably spend lots of money tethering my phone in order to get reliable internet without the VPN.

Anyway grew up using Apple products, from a very early age. My father was a die hard Apple fan, he still do this day maintains a collection of late 80's and 90's Apple equipment. For those of you that know the story of Steve Jobs, he also has a Next NextStep PC. This is why it is so frustrating to me. Coming from a time when Apple was the "Think Different" company that had allowed their users to make their computer their own, to a company that now makes computers that make you their own. Conform or die..

Enclosed are a few photos of my collection, so you know I am not fibbing when I say im an old school Apple user. However I am no longer a fan boy. While I still can't bring myself to not purchase Apple hardware, I am seriously contemplating something different for my next laptop. I come from a professional Linux administration background, and I use Fedora workstation everyday, while maintaining Red Hat servers. If any of you out there in internet land actually read this, and would like to give me suggestions on hardware that is comparable to a MacBook Pro, please chime in. The last 2 MBP's that I have owned have lasted 7+ years, and still been able to display up to date graphics, and run largely bloated and complex software packages, years after my initial purchase. I do not like buying new PC's every couple of years, I prefer that they last a little bit longer. I am not a gamer so I do not demand cutting edge graphics all the time, which might have something to do with the longevity compared to some gamers out there.

A few photos from the collection of old Apple hardware. My original Apple Newton Message pad from 1992 (The original iPad if you will) and a Duo Dock docking station, for my duo 210 laptop. This setup was commonly seen in the background of many Seinfeld episodes, in Seinfeld's apartment. Over the years I had several LC's, a quadra, the duo dock setup, followed by an original Bondi Blue iMac, then a G4 Cube, a power book G3, and a G4 titanium, a black macbook, a MacBook Pro 2007, then onto a MBP 2015 with retina display. Of course the original Newton message pad 100 with 110 board upgrade, while my father had a 120. I had one iPhone once, a 3G then I left it for a Google Android Nexus 1, and remained on Android ever since.

Newton 100 message pad

Duo Dock box and a few others lingering around in Dads basement

The boxes for the Newton 100 and 120

Google's Googel

Have you tried Google's new search engine Googel yet? It's just like the regular google, but it looks different. No? Okay, good because its not real. However google does have 2 or more ways to do the same exact thing with more than one product. I find this quite confusing, and I wonder if anyone else feels the same way, or like me has just thought, "Why does google keep merging, and or separating, and then sometimes re-merging projects?"

Example, Allo and Duo, they work well together, but what about google hangouts. Wasn't that the whole premise of hangouts? Then they included a dialer, texting, and basically merged the product with google voice for a one stop shop for telecommunications in the web and mobile devices. However google voice still exists, and now allo and duo exist parallel to hangouts. NOW WE HAVE SO MANY OPTIONS, BUT WHICH ONE DO WE USE!?

Then on the total opposite spectrum we have gmail, its great has a nice web interface, its free, and it has a task manager built in. The task manager has been there for a long time, 3rd party apps have been made to sync them to your phone, but google never made an official one. Why not? They made an app called keep which has no integration to the task manager in gmail what so ever. So now we have to use 2? If your'e like me this isnt a huge deal as I mostly use 3rd party mail applications, like apple mail, to access my email, but what about those people who use the web client as the main interface. One would think spending lots of time in the web interface you would be inclined to use the built in task manager if you spend a lot of time in it, instead of the keep web interface. Dont even get me started on the gmail app vs the inbox mail app. Again both by google, but why? Is one geared more toward enterprise? If that is so I think they should market it as such, and perhaps that is why some of their apps die, marketing for new or improved products doesn't seem to be their strong suit.

If anyone out there in interweb land is reading this I would like to hear your thoughts, and comments.