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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Noah Slater
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 08:26:12 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17 (2007-11-01)

On Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 09:05:06AM +0100, Andrew Savory wrote:
>    Actually, I find the whole refund thing slightly curious - you wouldn't go
>    to Ford and say "give me a refund, I want to install my own car radio". If
>    you can't find a supplier who unbundles [hardware from software|cars from
>    stereos], that is pretty much your problem.

You would if 10% of the cost of the car was the radio.

>      1) VERY expensive,
>    Not particularly. The price/performance of Apple vs. others has long since
>    been in favour of Apple. I've bought both Apple and non-Apple hardware,
>    and so far the TCO of the Apple hardware is way lower than the non-Apple.
>    The Apple stuff has proved more robust for me. YMMV.

Apple hardware might be better engineered, but for performance/cost it
is widely known to be a very poor deal.

>      2) not upgradable/tweekable,
>    Tell that to my laptop running a bigger hard disk and more memory than
>    Apple shipped it with! If you want to put new gfx cards or processors in,
>    sure, go buy a noname intel box.

Sure, you can put in a new hard disk and memory, but that's about
all you can do. You cant replace the mainboard, processors, PSU etc.

>      3) not officially supported by Ubutnu
>    However, I know lots of people running Ubuntu on Macs. If you're planning
>    to upgrade or tweak your hardware, I don't think "official support" is
>    going to be a problem.

It is when your system is hosed because the software isn't tested enough.

This does happen, more than you might expect.

>      The upshot of this is that:
>      1) you could get a similar spec laptop for WAY under half the price,
>    Really?

Yes, for all intents and purposes. I'm not talking exact technical
specifications, I'm talking about something that can function well for
checking email, surfing the web, editing photos etc. You can get a
laptop that does all the same things you require at about the same
performance level as the Air for half the price. 

>      2) when you want to upgrade or repare you HAVE to use an apple
>          registered repair shop using official apple parts
>    No.

In a few cases, you might be right. But if something crucial (i.e. not
your memory) breaks you have to take it back to Apple.

>      3) I regularly have to rescue the system after a dist-upgrade because
>          Xorg suddenly doesn't work with my Macs slightly custom video setup
>    pshaw, I've hard that problem on my non-Mac laptops.

As someone who runs a lot of machines (work included) my PowerMac is
usually the one to suffer this fate, not my i368s. ;)

>      4) I am now fluent in OpenFirmware (trust me, if you don't know, you
>          don't want to know) because of the amount of times yaboot has
>          messed up or my firmware has got confused and I've had to tweek
>          settings or bless drives or figure out OpenFirmware device paths
>    OpenFirmware is awesome, and it's a real shame it got ditched in favour of
>    EFI (or whatever it is) in newer machines.

It might be awesome from a technical perspective, but when you
spend^H^H^H^H^Hwaste an entire weekend learning OpenFirmware just so
you can get your machine to boot I could that as a failure.

>      6) all kinds of problems with the keyboard/mouse (when I say
>          problems, I really mean differences with what is assumed to be a
>          standard setup by application designers) will cause you to become
>          fluent in the likes of `xmodmap' and `xrdb' just to get your
>          system usable to any standard degree.
>    Weird. In what way is yours a non-standard setup? Do you have mouse
>    buttons missing, for example?

My mouse has one button, like all old mac mice. Also the Apple
keyboard has weird keymapping that I need to remap to get basic things
like "eject disk" to work.

>      7) you will be frustrated by little hardware tweeks apple have made
>          to make the thing look nicer while significantly breaking some
>          fundamental function of you computer. An example would be my Mac's
>          lack of a CD eject button. When my OpenFirmware decides to b0rk
>          it's self after an upgrade because yaboot got the wrong device
>          path to my primary hard disk (did I mention I hate OpenFirmware?)
>          I literally have take my computer appart and manually force the
>          CD draw out of the drive, which I cant imagine is healthy for it,
>          just so I can put in a Live CD and rescue my system.
>    Your frustration is other people's elation. Personally, I love not having
>    a fugly hardware eject button.

Yeah, it's nice isn't it. Come back and tell me that after, for the
4th time in a year, you have taken appart your computer to unscrew
your CD case just so you can put in a Live CD to rescue your machine
because Xorg segfaults because the developers didn't get a chance to
test on your arch because it's too expensive to access test machines.

>      I could have bought a new computer for that money, a good one too.
>    Perhaps you should have - a Mac Mini is a good buy at that price point :-P

Perhaps, but the 600 pounds gave me my PowerMac back which is a far
more powerful, so I really had no choice.

>    "Standard computer"? Heh. "If I had been running a standard operating
>    system like Windows, my word processor  would have been able to print".

By standard, I mean one who's hardware is swapable/replaceable.

You know, no vendor lock in.

>    As for the costs: if you buy a BMW, you pay more for parts than if you buy
>    a Ford. When you bought your Mac you knew you were buying a "premium"
>    product that would cost more because it's got a smaller share of the
>    market.

I knew that, but Apple hardware locks you into more Apple hardware
which is infuriating when the costs start to spiral. Give me a vendor
that doesn't lock me in please. I'm never making that mistake again.

>    This flame brought to you in the interests of balasnced arguments and
>    asbestos underwear sales.

Don't worry, I am wearing a flame retardant suite.

Noah Slater <http://bytesexual.org/>

"Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as
society is free to use the results." - R. Stallman

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