I don’t fully understand how the new MBP is significantly worse than the existing one for “content creators”, whatever they are. Perhaps because I see “content creation” as a set of unrelated tasks that get lumped together, because they’re all things that 90% of the buyers of computers don’t do. The sense that Apple doesn’t really care about “content creation” seems more an inchoate sense that Apple has determined that people who post on message boards don’t actually punch over their weight.
Apple is under no obligation to make a computer for every person, or that is optimized for every person’s needs. I would be much happier if they did, because I would happily drop a LARGE_NUM pile of dollars on them for a new dual CPU desktop, but mistaking my personal desires for objective truths is a mistake that I try hard not to make.
Personally, I think the crux of the problem is that Apple says “You need a computer anymore” when talking about their ipad pro tablets. This is true for many people. You can order crap from Amazon, watch Netflix, browse facebook, etc on this device. This isn’t true for everyone though. For me, I do embedded software development. I need a computer. Apple has already said that most people don’t need a computer. So they should focus on building a computer for the people that really need one.
I don’t fully understand how the new MBP is significantly worse than the existing one for “content creators”
I agree with you. I think the (poorly explained) reasoning behind this party line is that Apple used to be the only very strong out of the box for creatives: powerful, just works, high end GPUs, nice screen, high speed connectivity, and compatibility with specialty hardware peripherals.
Now that every other manufacturer offers these things, Apple is no longer alone at the top, creating this illusion that they’re somehow worse than their old self. At least, that’s my view of the whole thing. For reference, I’ve been around TV studios, radio stations, recording studios, and wealthy hobbyist musicians for over a decade and seen their setups over time.
Apple is under no obligation to make a computer for every person, or that is optimized for every person’s needs.
True. A big source of confusion is the lack of a defined target market, right? Creatives are saying they’re not it because Apple offers nothing unique while MSFT blew everyone away, devs are saying they’re not it because the laptops are underpowered and lack desired connectivity (the future be damned, I have work to do now I can’t wait for everyone to chase Apple’s visions of the one true cable), and everyone else is feeling like it’s not for them because they might as well save a ton of money by getting a regular MacBook or something else entirely.
In short, the MBP offers nothing new or exceptional (just some inconveniences that might be great in the future – a pricey gamble), and at the price they’re asking, they better be doing something to wow at least one target market.
Honestly, I know macOS gets a lot of crap, but it still provides the strongest and most pleasant end-user experience of any operating system I’ve used.
I’m a unix kid; I’ve been using Unix since I was 10 years old. Find me another Unix that:
it’s easy for people to crap on macOS and the like, but at the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to beat for me. I think Windows devices have made some interesting strides, and I still use other Unices for my servers, but for my main day-to-day laptop? I’ve never had something that could beat macOS.
Find me another os that does ONE thing nice:
Lets me plug monitors in and unplug them and works.
Windows does OK, but not great, besides I’ll be honest even with the linux subsystem windows just isn’t my thing. (also it still lacks a TON of ioctls for me to use, and yes i’ve tried)
ha! this reminds me several years ago I had a laptop running windows & cygwin for work. I’d code most of my stuff in Cygwin, and then deploy to Linux. Well, one day at work I finally decided to try one of those fancy monitors (I was a consultant), it was great!
And then I went to leave, so I unplugged the monitor went home and… couldn’t find my Cygwin terminals. I could see they were still running, but I couldn’t load them. Turns out, Windows was still displaying them on the other “monitor”… the one I had left at the office.
Linux is nice if you have hardware that works with it and it’s relatively fixed. Default fonts are still pretty shite, but not terrible. Windows is ok for consumption, but it takes a lot of tinkering for me to be able to develop on it (I’m sorry, I’m just too used to switching between vim and a shell with awk and a bunch of other tools).
So ja, I definitely know what you mean. As much as I’d like to hate on macOS (esp. for memory…) I can’t really see to much else of utility out there right now.
Windows 10 on a Surface Book meets those requirements, unless your phone is an iPhone but that’s Apple being antisocial and we shouldn’t reward them for it. (Windows is not very Unix, but nor is MacOS).
I thought iPhone Windows integration was reasonable (I must admit to not having seen it being used since the days of Vista being popular though)? Well, you still have to suffer iTunes, but so do Mac users…
So, I use Windows 10 on a variety of Hardware, including VMs, for work, I don’t know if I would say it works “out of the box” quite like macOS does. I would say that I’m intrigued as to where Windows 11 & 12 will be, as they might beat out macOS for being a decent OS out of the box and provide a reasonable experience.
Wrt being Unixy, the fact that I can just grab my dotfiles repo and mostly get going is a huge plus to me. Once I can do that in Windows, and have a reasonable setup, I’ll be happy. I’ve tried with Cygwin, and I can get most of the way there, but there are still little edge cases here and there that make it less sweet than macOS or Linux/OpenBSD.
Have you tried WSL? I haven’t done a lot with it yet, but as far as just running bash, grep and a bit of python goes the experience was really nice.
I haven’t tried it just yet; I’ve used Services for Unix when that was a thing tho, and that was pretty nice…
This is much nicer, because you have a working apt-get.
Interesting! A long time ago, I actually started working on some utilities based around a modified version of apt-cyg, and that included a hyper-minimal wget for the initial boot. Seems like Windows has come along nicely!
I have a WIndows 10 VM for work, I should try this…
This guy obviously isn’t thinking about Vim users when he says that the Escape key isn’t gone, it’s just not a physical key any more..
Vim users hit the Escape key easily every 10-20 keystrokes. How accurate will they be trying to strike a touch pad thingie?
“Just use caps lock” = “you’re doing it wrong.”
I configure my editor and CLI such that it has a few nice shortcuts, but it is pretty close to stock. The advantage of this is that I can sit down elsewhere (read: ssh into a box) and get things done without having to set everything up again. Remapping core keys (and, by extension, muscle memory), breaks this completely.
vi was apparently developed on a keyboard like this. I have also been told that control+[ should be used directly, instead of using escape.
Sadly, my muscle memory for escape is pretty baked in. I might give the capslock key a try though. I’m not so old that I can’t learn any new tricks. ;)
I have also been told that control+[ should be used directly, instead of using escape.
I didn’t know about this, but I just tried it after using vi/vim for a little over 20 years, and it’s a revelation. Not just because of my now-renewed confidence in my continuing ability to give Apple yet more money, but because I think I might start trying to force myself to use it anyway, even in the shell. Less finger-travel than esc by quite a margin. Thanks!
Lenovo, amongst constantly screwing things up, did experiment very briefly with a double-height escape key that, other than size, is in the normal place. I like it a lot—it’s very easy to hit without confusing your muscle memory for “normal” keyboards.
I wonder if removing the caps-lock key entirely (maybe putting escape there!!) would be passable. I can’t remember the last time I used caps-lock intentionally. I imagine the COBOL and Fortran people would throw a fit though.
I remap caps lock to control so I can use Vim without breaking my left pinky finger. There’s actually a handy check box in the Mac OS preferences, so I can’t be the only one who does this.
I believe that macOS option only appeared in Sierra. Escape is not present as one of the dropdown options for caps-lock in yosemite – not really an issue on any current model laptop though…Apple must have planned this in relation to the touchbar thingy.
He said he remaps Caps Lock to Ctrl, not to Esc. That option has been available in System Preferences since the dawn of time.
lol. Thanks for that. Reading comprehension fail on my part.
it’s been there at least since el cap and I am almost 95% sure that it was there since mavericks and snow leopard.
Maybe it depends on the model? I have the option to change they caps-lock key, but escape is not one of the options – example.
MacBookPro5,3 running macOS 10.11.6
try putting this in your .vimrc:
inoremap jj <Esc>
inoremap jk <Esc>
inoremap kj <Esc>
I prefer only jj but you can just mash the jk keys together and it escapes from insert mode.
The advantage of this is that I can sit down elsewhere (read: ssh into a box)
So, when you type ssh hostname, this resets your keyboard configuration in System Preferences?
I don’t think that’s a very charitable interpretation of my comment. :)
It’s more of being able to sit down at any box and be productive rather than mess with preferences before getting down to work.
No, it definitely wasn’t charitable. ;)
More seriously, you should consider caps->escape for your short list of configs, now that macOS 10.12 supports it natively and it’s quite easy to set. It’s truly a night and day difference, and not just for vim. For example, I didn’t start using escape to safely exit form fields until I bound it to the more accessible caps lock.
I’ve got a couple of months before I jump to Sierra, unfortunately (due to GPGTools).
Can I use the caps lock key like normal with something like Fn-Caps Lock? I use it for writing SQL and a few other random things where it’s needed. I think I want Karabiner, IIRC.
unfortunately (due to GPGTools).
What’s up with GPGTools? I use it just fine on Sierra right now…
The Mail.app plugin is broken
Oh I see. I don’t use GPGMail or whatever they call it, mostly because I don’t use Mail.app at all. We generally use Box or some other mechanism for coordination, Mail is all for UNCLAS types of information.
Karabiner is the one. It will be harder to configure though. I personally never use caps lock, and write all SQL in lower case.
Karabiner doesn’t yet work on Sierra, although I believe with Karabiner Elements now working, it’s being updated.
I never use Caps Lock, even when typing long swathes of upper case text (like SQL). I’ve remapped it to Ctrl everywhere, so even if I wanted to, I couldn’t use it for its intended purpose :)
I’d recommend capslock -> control, and then using ctrl-[ (a default binding). I stand by escape is definitely doing it wrong.
Escape is one of keys I press most (if not the most) when using vim, why would I want that to require pressing two keys? It’s also useful in other applications, such as irssi. I think I’m happy doing it wrong because it seems to be less effort.
I’m an Emacs user, but this is much of why I don’t fault vim users for being upset about this.
Most Emacs users take customization and not having ssh-ability for granted, we use TRAMP and the like instead.
This is also why the Emacs emulation in most text editors is useless to me. I don’t use “Emacs”, I use (Emacs <> ChrisConfig). I leave defaults alone where I can (my Emacs is considerably simpler than SpaceEmacs), but there’s a lot of tweaks I’ve developed muscle memory around in my dotfiles.
(Emacs <> ChrisConfig)
The noise from vim users seems to be overrepresented. Now, I happen to use vim and would have some reservations about buying a laptop without an escape key, but we’re talking about less than 10% of the market. (Apples portion of laptop market.) How many Apple users prefer sublime or atom or whatever now? How many Apple users are even developers?
By now I’d wager that literally every single Mac vim user has weighed in, but none of the twenty Mac users sitting around me have made a peep.
To me it’s not about losing the escape key, I would happily give it up to get something awesome in return. But is the little OLED strip thingy really that great? What can it do that couldn’t be done before? How many people are going to get significant value out of it? The demo showed that it can be used as a scrubber (or whatever those video / audio gizmos are called), how many people need that? Why can’t the huge touchpad do the same thing with the interface shown on the screen? I haven’t heard anyone make a convincing case for HAVING the new feature. It just seems like a gimmick that I would have expected out of HP or some other mediocre manufacturer trying to differentiate their bland products.
The scrubber sounds pretty nice actually.
I’m not totally sure what it will be used for either, but I trust Apple to drive the technology as a new and useful way to interact with laptops. If not, I pretty much only used that bar of keys for volume and play/pause anyway, I don’t think that functionality will be degraded.
As an example: I was convinced the Apple Watch was worthless, especially since I had a Google Watch with my Nexus 5 and thought that was worthless. But a friend of mine whose judgement I value recommended the watch to me, and based on her points I decided to try it out. I now wear it every day.
If you boil down the Apple and Google watches to a feature list, they’re mostly identical. But on Google’s I would check the time and the screen wouldn’t always activate, so I kept the habit of checking time on my phone. Apple’s works perfectly. I would read a new message, but scrolling to read longer messages was tedious, so I never built that habit either. Again, Apple’s watch has no issues. In general, Google’s constantly annoyed me, and Apple’s constantly surprised and impressed me. It’s the little things.
You’re surely correct, if HP or some other mediocre manufacturer built this feature, it would be a gimmick. But Apple has a way of taking a gimmick and actually building something useful out of it. I’m not claiming this revolutionizes the modern computing era, but I expect it will be a nice incremental improvement on my laptop experience when I next need to upgrade. Of course not everyone will find it useful, but not everyone finds every feature useful anyway.
Not that I disagree, but isn’t a hurricane of complaints a little much for a silly gimmick? I mean, it’s already a well known fact that everything Apple makes is technically inferior overpriced crap that only sells because their marketing department tricks stupid hipsters into buying it. Right? The fact that a useless toy got a little more useless would usually be beneath my notice. :)
While I would love to ignore all the idiotic things Apple does, other hardware manufacturers love to blindly adopt anything they do, good or bad, so my hope in complaining about “useless toys” that I’ll never use is that the infection can be contained there and not spread to things that aren’t “useless toys”.
Of course, since literally the entire laptop market is blanket unacceptable to me now, I guess I’ve looped back around to not caring. The patient is dead, no need for a doctor.
the entire laptop market is blanket unacceptable to me now
I feel you. I think I’ll invest in a new battery for my current laptop and wait until it dies.
Outside of directly manipulating objects with the touch bar, for anyone who works day-to-day on these machines I’m not sure how the touch bar helps; you’re hopefully using keyboard shortcuts for most of what you do during the day.
I still want to try it out, but I haven’t seen much that made me say, “yes, that! I’ve been doing that poorly all along, and the touch bar helps me do that faster!”
I don’t use that many keyboard shortcuts. If it’s more than one modifier key I probably won’t remember it.
Although I have big hands and I can manipulate the mouse quickly and accurately with my thumb without moving my fingers from typing position. I don’t think many other people do that?
… because they’re all running Linux? :)
I use Karabiner to map caps lock to both escape and control at the same time. (Tap for escape, hold for control.) Try it–it’ll change your life. OK, no, but it’ll reduce finger stretch in vim a lot!
For me this guy really glosses over my big problems with this new machine:
Loss of MagSafe. This isn’t just the loss of a port. This is lost of a huge market differentiator for Apple, and a big reason I buy Apple laptops and why I recommend them to friends and family. MagSafe has saved my laptops literally dozens of times. Giving it up just for the machine to be thinner is a bad trade IMHO.
The Touch Bar is a stupid gimmick that adds un-needed complexity. Razer tried something like this on their laptops before, and found what Apple will find; third party software makers can’t be bothered to support it, and users don’t use a feature that isn’t widely supported.
On top of that, even if it was widely supported, I think it makes for a worse UI. Why do I want UI elements to move from the screen I’m looking at down to a screen by my keyboard, which I never look at. That’s terrible design.
The TouchBar and loss of MagSafe are the second time I’m joining the chorus of “Apple has lost the plot.” The other time was the original Apple Watch Edition.
Again, MagSafe is being replaced by an actual open standard that’s multi-purpose. I think having a one-port dock connector that you can buy from any vendor is a worthy tradeoff, especially if someone can add in a break-away connector.
Developers actually are using the touch bar. If you bothered to look at the event, Adobe and Microsoft are on board and ready to ship, in addition to other smaller developers. There’s interesting possibilities with customizability, context-sensitivity (Xcode can show the debugging functions on it even within your debugged app) and accessibility (haptics, hover announcement) as well.
No breakaway dongle is going to do as good of a job, because it’s going to have to balance the hold strength vs. putting torque on the port. That means that you’re going to want to make the hold strength really light. MageSafe worked because it never put any torque on any port, because it was on the surface of the device. It could have good hold strength and not risk damaging a port. No dongle can do that.
I saw the presentation and yeah Adobe and Microsoft were showing off some tentative stuff, but you may or may not be aware there’s a lot more third party software out there besides what’s offered by Adobe and Microsoft.
If you find going fullscreen and cramming some UI into the TouchBar to be awesome, that’s great. I guess you’re happy with this new design. I think it’s pretty ridiculous and honestly I really don’t expect it to do well. Time will tell.
Razer tried something like this on their laptops before
Unless I’ve missed a whole lot, Razer didn’t have one of the biggest development communities on the planet when they make the Blade.
Even so, if no one makes anything third party, the first party functionality from Apple will still be fairly high quality as usual.
The “niche of a niche” section is dead-on for me. My resentment stems from the fact that it seems like there are hundreds of devices built for consumption, with only a handful that are made to be nice to use for creation, much less with good hardware/software synergy.
Least favorite comment about this: “oh, it’s just market economics.” I hear this (I’m admitting bias) as an economic tyranny of the majority and as prizing consumption over creation. It’s also ridiculous given the fact that Apple is one of the most successful and wealthy companies on the planet. I suspect one of the reasons OS X did so well under Steve even as the iPhone came about was the fact he had such a soft spot for NeXT.
Perhaps the developer experience of OS X was a pure anomaly, economically speaking. If so, I want to know what the next OS for developers is.
IMO OSX was never very great for developers. It may be better than Windows, but it pales in comparison to Linux and the BSDs.
I am a kernel programmer, I have written kernel code for various kernels, both open source and proprietary. Now I write compilers. I say this to firmly put myself into your “developer” category, and to put me myself firmly out of the “GUI programmer” category.
Now, a few times in my life I had to write some GUI code. I had to use Win32 API, MFC, .NET, Delphi, GTK, QT, Tk, Cocoa/Obj-C (mac and iOS). I don’t really like to do any GUI programmer, but if I had to, and you’d make me use anything else other than Cocoa (perhaps with Swift, never tried it), I will abandon programming and start subsistence agriculture. All the other GUI toolkits make me frustrated and angry. Cocoa (plus all the tooling, Interface Builder, etc) is okay. I don’t like to do it, but it’s not too bad.
For me, this means OS X is truly great for developers.
Except as a developer, you might not mind minor deficiencies if it actually does just work. Word, Photoshop, printers, those kinds of things just work compared to Linux, especially 10 years ago.
Disagree. Linux does not provide nearly the same powerful abstractions that OSX does for application scripting.
It’s the standard problem you find with a super diverse culture - everyone has their own way of doing it, and so there’s no interoperability.
To be specific, KDE offers Kross, Gnome offers Bonobo or whatever their scripting thing is, and none of it actually works for all your applications because the average Linux user ends up using a patchwork of apps that come from various projects and distros.
I’ve only used OS X for about a year and a half now, when they gave me a choice at a new job and I decided to jump straight in and figure things out on the job. I’ve been pretty happy customizing and automating what I need but most of what I do just sticks to what can be done with shells or perl – I grew up on that kinda stuff. Could you tell me what sort of work you do with app automation?
A super simple example for how I make my day to day life better using Apple’s inter-app scripting. I use Alfred: https://www.alfredapp.com/ as my launcher, so I do just about everything through it. I have it configured to control Spotify, which I frequently use to listen to music. I can turn volume up and down, and go to the next/previous track, or play/pause from anywhere on my Mac, no matter what app I’m using, because of an Alfred workflow someone wrote which sends scripting commands to Spotify to control it.
Apple consumer spam. Yaaaawn and flagged.
An actual well thought out post about the new MacBook, and you not only dismiss it but contribute less than nothing. Hide the post and move on.
Unfortunately down voting has been removed, so I can’t flag your comment as spam, but I certainly would if I could.
You’re welcome to claim my comment is spam, and I’m welcome to point out that this article is masturbation of a sort over Apple products.
I’m not saying it isn’t well-written spam. I’m not saying that it isn’t (for a more business-oriented forum) an interesting speculative article on how a product line could’ve been handled differently.
But, I personally don’t come here for baseless speculation by monday-morning quaterbacks and fanboys. The author was “Contributing Editor for Macintosh Horizons Magazine and MacTech” back in the day.
If it helps unruffle your feathers, I would flag any article about Lenovo, Intel, AMD, Samsung, or Google the same way–consumer product circlejerking doesn’t belong here.
But, I personally don’t come here for baseless speculation by monday-morning quaterbacks and fanboys.
I don’t come here for zero content salty spam comments.
I would flag any article about Lenovo, Intel, AMD, Samsung, or Google the same way–consumer product circlejerking doesn’t belong here.
Sure. But your judgement on what constitutes circle jerking is biased against Apple. It’s not like I haven’t seen your comments before, you love bashing Apple.
If you participated in discussion by raising interesting, thought out points I would take no issue. Instead you make sweeping value judgements that bear no technical or logical merit. The extraordinarily obnoxiously pompous tone doesn’t help either. “Yaaaawn and flagged.” Honestly, your tone makes me understand why some parents are motivated to spank their children. I don’t pretend to be perfect myself, but seriously?
Your other lobste.rs comments are solid, insightful, and informed. your Apple commentary not so much.
we have to remember most people aren’t interested for computers as computers, they are interested in solving problems, and use computers for doing that.
Exactly. Computer science isn’t popular right now because there are more geeks; it’s popular because at this point almost every field out there can benefit from having someone around who understands the hardware that’s doing the work. Computers no longer exist purely for the sake of computer science, but rather for all sakes.
In my case, my solution to all of the port changes is pretty simple: I bought a USB-C dock for the desktop, and a small one for the travel bag.
Doesn’t this defeat Apple’s goal to have very slim devices? For me, carrying a dock around is a lot more difficult than having a laptop that’s 300g more and slightly thicker but has HDMi, Ethernet, a couple of USB ports and an SD card reader.
I wonder whether there’s a way to have variable power going to RAM just like we already allow boost clocks on CPUs by redirecting some power from the rest of the cores to just one core. If that were possible, it might provide a good compromise between battery life and memory limitations.