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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Andrew Savory
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 14:26:05 +0100


On 1/18/08, Noah Slater <address@hidden > wrote:
Apple hardware might be better engineered, but for performance/cost it
is widely known to be a very poor deal.
I think it's in Freakonomics where the idea of "common wisdom" is demolished. And I think it's on the Apple and Dell websites where the performance/cost issue is refuted ;-)
>      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.
It's weird that we chastise Apple because we can't drop in new components, and yet we're not at war with dyson because we can't upgrade our vacuum cleaners, or Hotpoint because we can't upgrade our dishwashers, or Sony because we can't upgrade our HDTVs. What is it about the PC hardware industry that makes it unique?
Meanwhile I don't think the ability to tweak or upgrade will ensure the dominance of the PC platform. The upgraders and tweakers are a tiny minority. Most people simply don't care.

>      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.
I don't dispute that systems get hosed. My point is that presumably you reached a certain level of competence to feel it's ok to upgrade hardware, and so a similar level of competence should exist in order to upgrade software (where it goes beyond the manufacturer's original designs). At which point "official support" is not a problem (in the same way that Dell won't help you if you swapped out the motherboard, since you're effectively talking about a new machine at that point).
>      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.
Heh. So my luxury-designed superquiet laptop on which I can wordprocess, develop software etc is more expensive than your email and web machine? Well, gosh .... :-)
Seriously, this is just FUD. And we're supposed to be anti-FUD.
>      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.
If my Dyson breaks it has to go back to them to fix (if I want to keep the warranty, especially). The problem is.... ?
>      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.
A failure in your technical skills? ;-P
Perhaps you should not have changed OS? Whilst I defend your right to switch and do whatever you like with your machine, I also defend the manufacturer's and the audience's right to go "har-har" when it breaks.
>      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.
So pick an OS that has been tested. Or donate to a project so they can afford to test. Or buy different hardware. But certainly don't blame Apple because your OS of choice (which they don't supply) doesn't work in your case!
(Incidentally X11.app on MacOS now uses Xorg. Come on in, the water's lovely!)
>    "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.
Gosh, I hope your vacuum cleaner, TV, car and dishwasher allow you to swap and replace the hardware.

Jon: fair point about the EULA, I'm not sure how the computing industry has got away with them for so long.

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