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    another step on the path to total lockdown. i will probably have no choice soon but to run linux again.

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      Why should you care? Are you running custom kernel hacks that need X86 to run?

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        it probably wasn’t obvious what i meant about lockdown.

        iterations of macos have continued to lock down what developers can do. you’re increasingly funneled down a path for building software that works best if you’re building macos or ios software, less good if you do anything else.

        the end game, in my opinion (when considered alongside the ios-ization of macos), is that apple is on the way to producing consumer electronics almost exclusively (ipads/phones and… headphones?). the exception is the workstations required to build apps for those consumer electronics.

        so no, i’m not really running anything that needs x86, i don’t think. arm would be fine, ppc would be fine. why should i care? i think it’s more why do i care - i care because i believe it’ll be more and more annoying to use a mac for anything except building apps for apple’s ecosystem consumer devices. at some point, probably soon, i’ll need to run a different operating system so that it’s less annoying. to me.

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          I think the writing on the wall is clear that “lockdown” for the purposes of anything other than security is a dead end on the desktop. Users who want a locked-down experience aren’t buying powerful (profitable) workstations. If Apple is dropping a few dozen million on scaling up ARM (and their GPUs) for desktops, it’s to make the MacOS platform better. And probably to get away from paying the Xeon tax- those things are super-expensive, and Intel is holding core-counts hostage unless you pay.

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            i don’t agree that security is the overarching theme. when you consider lockdown of users (as opposed to developers), the locked down/consumer products (ipad, iphone) are good for about 76% of apple’s q1 2018 revenue. over the last 6 years, services often drives as much or more revenue as workstations (well, let’s say all macs).

            in my opinion it makes ‘bottom line, quarterly revenue’ sense to continue to drive consumer products as the main cash cow. the only real incentive i see around the desktop os is to make it better at making the consumer products stickier. how do you make ipads stickier? better ipad apps.

            apple is currently sitting on 285 BILLION us dollars in cash. if they want to throw 100 million (say) at beefing up their own design and fab, i mean, it’s not much of a risk. if it doesn’t work out, they seem flush enough to continue paying intel.

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              76% is still really far from 100%. Macs were 8% of their revenue, which is still 7 billion dollars. With a B. Tres comas. You’d have to be bonkers to throw away 7 billion. And you’d have to be bonkers to reduce your product diversity, especially by tanking your most consistent product line.

              No, it’s far more likely that Apple—knowing they have spent the last few years investing heavily in an ARM-based platform, and knowing the newest ARM chips rival Intel for per-core performance at a fraction of the power—believes they can build an ARM laptop light years ahead of the rest of the market. And considering no one else on the market has come close to their level of hardware integration and optimization on ARM, they’re probably right.

              There are a couple laptops in preview using the new high powered ARM chips, but Windows+ARM has failed once before, will they be able to launch this time? Apple can launch a product and instantly get mass market penetration even with people bitching left and right about headphone jacks, touch bars, and USB-C ports. Has any Windows laptop gotten that kind of penetration in the last 5 years?

              If Apple releases a MacBook Pro that’s competitive with Intel based Windows laptops for compute power, with some ridiculous amount of battery life like 14 hours, what do you think will happen? Do you think the new Windows+ARM and the CLR will be able to compete with Darwin, an ARM-native platform that’s been around for a decade, with an ARM-native kernel, a huge ecosystem of ARM-native libraries, and countless deep integrations with Apple-made ARM chips?

              Nah dude, Apple isn’t trying to lock down the laptop ecosystem, they’re trying to reuse their gigantic investment to get off of a hardware platform that’s honestly been stalling. Intel isn’t reducing power use, they aren’t increasing core density, they don’t integrate well with peripheral co-processors that are redefining consumer electronics. Hell IBM POWER might actually take market share from Xeon. Say that to someone from 2010 and they’d laugh so hard they’d halfway suffocate.

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                lockdown doesn’t mean throwing away revenue. the idevices are the perfect example. the amount of control apple exercises over the idevice platforms is their model for the desktop/laptop os. it’s the end goal. it won’t eat into revenue because as you point out, paraphrasing, true believers would purchase plastinated dogshit if apple sold it.

                apple has a long way to go in heat dissipation if they want to run their processors in laptops. they’re not there. they’ll get there, but 2020? meh.

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                  @robertp @peter: please don’t post in this subthread again. There’s a lot of thoughtful things that could be said about Apple’s hardware and platform, but this flame war precluded them. If you think someone’s terribly wrong, you can make your points and leave the conversation without personal attacks. Readers will be able to judge.

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                        Just a reminder, since I’m the one that invited you: please don’t use this tone when addressing other users here.

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                                      Folks, please stop.

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                    Right, and the only way an expensive change to the workstations makes sense if your goal is “better iPad apps” is to make the developer experience better

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                  Can you cite specific examples please? What can you do as a developer in more recent versions of MacOS that you could do before.

                  I’m not challenging, just trying to understand where you’re coming from here. I do most of my development in high level languages and don’t really see any such restrictions.

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                    They haven’t. They have restricted kernel modules you can load, which you can resolve by self signing your kernel modules, same as you need to self sign your apps to run development versions on a real phone. They have added system integrity protection, which you can disable if you need to. They’ve basically only added security features that are fairly easy to comply with as a developer if you actually wanted to develop anything. But they’re the end of the world if you’re trying to troll on the internet about Apple being evil.

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                      That’s exactly my impression too. I can’t help but wonder how much of this hand wringing is actually virtue signaling.

                      How many of these people will actually make the switch? And why haven’t they done so already if MacOS.current is so god awful?

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                  If you look at what Apple has done to the iPhone in terms of lockdown, that’s what awaits MacOS users. I’m writing this on a 2014 Macbook Pro, but it’s the last Macbook Pro I’ll buy as every new MBP I’ve tried has had terrible corner cutting. I run an older OS, because High Sierra is a dumpster fire when it comes to memory management and I can’t comfortably run OpenBSD here.

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                    Hey, if you have 20/20 vision and don’t need any of the accessibility assists MacOS offers, go forth and enjoy. I wish you well in creating a work environment that suits you.

                    As for me, I have yet to find a Linux desktop environment that gives me the key chorded zoom and font sizing features I absolutely must have in order to actually use a computer.

                    Also, I think you’re engaging in FUD. I don’t see Apple making MacOS equivalent to IOS. There’s no business benefit there - they have the iPad pro to cater to that customer.

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                      Funny you bring that up. No, I don’t have anywhere close to 20/20 vision. In fact I’m pretty much blind in one eye and very very short sighted in the other. I think you’re possibly misinterpreting my comment (for which, read I think you’re responding to things I never said).

                      I mentioned Apple implementing what they’ve done for iOS on the new macbook in terms of user lockdown, not in terms of accessibility features, nor in terms of the direct user experience. If you’d like to know my thoughts on what that means, they’re here.

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                        OK, but my point is, you claim these are things we should expect. I claim there’s no actual business motivation for them to do this. I assert that they will continue to treat their general purpose computers like general purpose computers.

                        Things like Gatekeeper are easily disabled. It’s there to prevent end users like my 76 year old mother in law from shooting herself in the foot, and honestly, she needs them!

                        Until they actually happen, you can keep telling me the sky is falling, and I say I’ll believe it when and if it actually happens.

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                      What has Apple done to lock down the iPhone that could apply to a desktop operating system? I have a hard time following this claim about Apple in the past, so I am genuinely interested if I have missed something.

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                        Some things to expect:

                        • Secure bootloader restrictions, with the added side-effect of not being able to boot non-Apple approved OSes
                        • Only being able to run apps from the app store or those signed with a developer ID. This is currently the default but can be changed. I don’t see this change happening overnight, but I do see it happening.
                        • Anti-jailbreak measures to stop you from being able to use your general purpose computation device for the purposes of general purpose computation.

                        Apple has been integrating iOS elements into MacOS for some time, most notably Siri but also quite a few things generally. It’s a lot of effort to maintain disparate platforms, and bringing MacOS to Apple’s own brand of ARM chips is a way of reducing that complexity. Likewise, if they’re moving everything over to this platform, why reinvent the wheel when they can reuse the existing technology they’ve spent billions of dollars developing.

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                  Fine. As long as Ubuntu still runs on the new hardware.

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                    Linux has been really cranking up the ARM support, so lots of stuff will probably work. On the other hand, the ARM ecosystem is full of vendor-specific peripheral chips that don’t have a universal interface, and there just isn’t the same ecosystem for supporting that kind of stuff as there is on x86. It’s not generic yet and I can’t imagine Apple spearheading an effort to build the same generic hardware interfaces that x86 has, especially when they profit so much on having their highly custom vertical integrations.

                    On the other hand, Google has done a lot of work here with Chromebooks. If MacBooks become the premier ARM laptop, the community will have a decent starting point towards supporting them. I’d guess that Linux will work passably within a year unless Apple’s ARM laptop looks radically different from anything we’ve seen.

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                    I’m skeptic, but I think they can pull it off.

                    In the end, they only need to reach half of Intel’s performance, as benchmarks suggest that macOS’ performance is roughly half of Linux’ when running on the same hardware.

                    With their own hardware, they might be able to get closer to the raw performance offered by the CPU.

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                      Why skeptic? They’ve done it twice before (68000 -> PowerPC and PowerPC -> Intel x86).

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                        And the PPC → x86 transition was within the past fifteen years and well after they had recovered from their slump of the ‘90s, and didn’t seem to hurt them. They’re one of the few companies in existence with recent experience transitioning microarchitectures, and they’re well-positioned to do it with minimal hiccups.

                        That said, I’m somewhat skeptical, too; it’s a huge undertaking even if everything goes as smoothly as it did with the x86 transition, which is very far from a guarantee. This transition will be away from the dominant architecture in its niche, which will introduce additional friction which was not present for their last transition.

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                          They also did ARM32->ARM64 on iOS.

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                            That’s not much of a transition. They did i386 -> amd64 too then.

                            (fun fact, I also did that, on the scale of one single Mac - swapped a Core Duo to a Core 2 Duo in a ’06 mini :D)

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                              My understanding is that they’re removing some of the 32-bit instructions on ARM. Any clue if that’s correct?

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                                AArch64 processors implement AArch32 too for backwards compatibility, just like it works on amd64.

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                                  As of iOS 11, 32-bit apps won’t load. So if Apple devices that come with iOS 11 still have CPUs that implement AArch32, I’d guess it’s only because it was easier to leave it in than pull it out.

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                                    Oh, sure – of course they can remove it, maybe even on the chip level (since they make fully custom ones now), or maybe not (macOS also doesn’t load 32-bit apps, right?). The point is that this transition used backwards compatible CPUs, so it’s not really comparable to 68k to PPC to x86.

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                                      I of course agree that this most recent transition isn’t comparable with the others. To answer your question: the version of macOS they just released a few days ago (10.13.4) is the first to come with a boot flag that lets you disable loading of 32-bit applications to, as they put it, “prepare for a future release of macOS in which 32-bit software will no longer run without compromise.”

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                          they only need to reach half of Intel’s performance, as benchmarks suggest that macOS’ performance is roughly half of Linux’ when running on the same hardware

                          I’m confused. Doesn’t that mean they need to reach double Intel’s performance?

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                            It was probably worded quite poorly, my calculation was like:

                            • Raw Intel performance = 100
                            • macOS Intel performance ~= 50
                            • Raw Apple CPU performance = 50
                            • macOS Appe CPU performance ~= 50

                            So if they build chips that are half as fast as “raw” Intel, but are able to better optimize their software for their own chips, they can get way closer to the raw performance of their hardware than they manage to do on Intel.

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                            I didn’t know this. Do you know which benchmarks show macOS at half of Linux performance?

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                              Have a look at the benchmarks Phoronix has done. Some of them are older, but I think they show the general trend.

                              This of course doesn’t take GPU performance into account. I could imagine that they take additional hit there as companies (that don’t use triple AAA game engines) rather do …

                              Application → Vulkan API → MoltenVK → Metal

                              … than write a Metal-specific backend.

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                                I guess you’re talking about these? https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=macos-1013-linux

                                Aside from OpenGL and a handful of other outliers for each platform, they seem quite comparable, with each being a bit faster at some things and a bit slower at others. Reading your comments I’d assumed they were showing Linux as being much faster in most areas, usually ending up about twice as fast.

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                              The things they’re slow at don’t seem to be particularly CPU architecture specific. But the poor performance of their software doesn’t seem to hurt their market share.

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                              With its own chips, Apple would not be forced to wait on new Intel chips before being able to release updated Macs, and the company could integrate new features on a faster schedule.

                              IIRC, in 2017 Apple upgraded their Macs to Intel’s Kaby Lake well after Dell, or HP, so this comment seem out of touch with reality.

                              Maybe some people at Apple don’t like Intel’s tick-tock release cycle… Still, I’m curious of seeing their “new” arch. and I hope they will show that Intel is not the end game of CPU design.

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                                From my read of the Bloomberg story, there’s no indication that Apple is planning to replace all intel chips on all Macs. Just that they’ll make some macs with ARM chips, which pundits have been talking about for a while now, as if it was only a matter of time. It’s still interesting to see but I’m not sure the news are relevant to workstations with Xeon’s.

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                                  This is good because the folks I know working on security for ‘mobile’ chips at Apple are now working on security for chips in Apples in general.