Threads for petar

    1. 31

      I owned one of these as my first work laptop and I cannot agree, it’s a decent laptop but not the best one by far. What I disliked the most was it’s abysmal display, dark, low resolution, bad color reproduction. As usual with Lenovo, it’s a lottery game with the screen and from the model number you cannot infer what manufacturer the screen is from. The keyboard was pretty good though, even though it had a lot of flex and feels pretty cheap compared to what you get nowadays. Also, I don’t get the point of carrying another battery pack, to swap it out you need to power down the machine. HP’s elitebook 8460[w/p] models could be configured with a 9-cell battery and an optional battery slice which gave them almost a full day of battery life. Those elitebooks were built like a tank but at the same time very heavy. Compared to the X220 they’re the better laptops in my opinion. However, the best laptop is an Apple silicon MacBook Air. It’s so much better than what else is available that it’s almost unfair. No fan noise, all day battery life, instant power on and very powerful. It would be great if it could run any Linux distribution though, but macOS just works and is good enough for me.

      1. 7

        I totally disagree, and I have both an X220 and an M1 MacBook Air.

        I much prefer to the X220. In fact, I have 2 of them, and I only have the MBA because work bought me one. I would not pay for it myself.

        I do use the MBA for travel sometimes, because at a conference it’s more important to have something very portable, but it is a less useful tool in general.

        I am a writer. The keyboard matters more than almost anything else. The X220 has a wonderful keyboard and the MBA has a terrible keyboard, one of the worst on any premium laptop.

        Both my X220s have more RAM, 1 or 2 aftermarket SSDs, and so on. That is impossible with the MBA.

        My X220s have multiple USB 2, multiple USB 3, plus Displayport plus VGA. I can have it plugged in and still run 3 screeens, a keyboard, a mouse, and still have a spare port. On the MBA this means carrying a hub and thus its thinness and lightness goes away.

        I am 6’2”. I cannot work on a laptop in a normal plane seat. I do not want to have to carry my laptop on board. But you cannot check in a laptop battery. The X220 solves this: I can just unplug its battery in seconds, and take only the battery on board. I can also carry a charged spare, or several.

        The X220 screen is fine. I am 55. I owned 1990s laptops. I remember 1980s laptops. I remember greyscale passive-matrix LCDs and I know why OSes have options to help you find the mouse cursor. The X220 screen is fine. A bit higher-res would be fine but I cannot see 200 or 300ppi at laptop screen range so I do not need a bulky GPU trying to render invisibly small pixels. It is a work tool; I do not want to watch movies on it.

        I have recently reviewed the X13S Arm Thinkpad, and the Z13 AMD Thinkpad, and the X1 Carbon gen 12.

        My X220 is better than all of them, and I prefer it to all of those and to the MacBook Air.

        I say all this not to say YOU ARE WRONG because you are entitled to your own opinions and choices. I am merely trying to clearly explain why I do not agree with them.

        … And why it really annoys me that you and your choices have so limited the market that I have to use a decade-old laptop to get what I want in a laptop because your choices apparently outweigh mine and nobody makes a laptop that does what I want in a laptop any more, including the makers of my X220.

        That is not fair and that is not OK.

        1. 5

          It’s perfectly fair to like the X220 and other older laptop models, that’s simply personal preference.

          … nobody makes a laptop that does what I want in a laptop any more, including the makers of my X220.

          Probably because your requirements are very specific and “developer” laptops are niche market.

          … And why it really annoys me that you and your choices have so limited the market that I have to use a decade-old laptop to get what…

          Neither I, nor anyone else who bought an Apple product is responsible for your choice of a laptop.

          1. 5

            The core of my disagreement is with this line:

            Probably because your requirements are very specific and “developer” laptops are niche market.

            1. I don’t think my requirements are very specific.
            2. I am not a developer, and I don’t know what a “developer” laptop is meant to be.
            3. I don’t think it’s that niche: a. Mine is a widely-held view b. The fact there is such a large aftermarket in classic Thinkpads and parts for them, even upgrade motherboards, falsifies this claim.
            4. It was not a specialist tool when new; it was a typical pro-grade machine. It’s not a niche product.
            5. This change in marketing is not about ignoring niche markets. It’s about two things: reducing cost, and thus increasing margin; and about following trends and not doing customer research.

            Comparison: I want a phone with a removable battery, a headphone socket, physical buttons I can use with gloves on, and at least 2 SIM slots plus a card slot. These are all simple easy requirements which were ubiquitous a decade ago, but are gone now, because everyone copies the market leaders, without understanding what makes them the market leader.

            1. 2

              If there was a significant market for a new laptop with the features similar to the X220, there would be such a laptop offered for sale.

              There’s no conspiracy.

              1. 2

                I didn’t claim there was any conspiracy.

                Whereas ISTM that your argument amounts to “if people wanted that they’d buy it, so if they don’t, they mustn’t want it”. Which is trivially falsified: this does not work if there is no such product to buy.

                But there used to be, same as I used to have a wide choice of phones with physical buttons, headphone sockets, easily augmented storage, etc.

                In other markets, companies are thriving by supplying products that go counter to industry trends. For instance, the Royal Enfield company supplies inexpensive, low-powered motorcycles that are easily maintained by their owners, which goes directly counter to the trend among Japanese motorcycles of constantly increasing power, lowering weight, and removing customer-maintainability by making highly-integrated devices with sealed, proprietary electronics controlling them.

                Framework laptops are demonstrating some of this for laptops.

                When I say major brands are lacking innovation, derivative, and copy one another, this is hardly even a controversial statement. Calling it a conspiracy theory is borderline offensive and I am not happy with that.


                  Margins in the laptop business are razor-thin. Laptops are seen as a commodity. The biggest buyers are businesses who simply want to provide their employees with a tool to do their jobs.

                  These economic facts do tend to converge available options towards a market-leader sameness, but that’s simply how the market works.

                  Motorcycles are different. They’re consumer/lifestyle products. You don’t ride a Royal Enfield because you need to, you do it because you want to, and you want to signal within the biker community what kind of person you are.


                    Still no.

                    Laptops are seen as a commodity.

                    This is the core point. For instance, my work machine, which I am not especially fond of, is described in reviews as being a standard corporate fleet box.

                    I checked the price when reviewing the newer Lenovos, and it was about £800 in bulk.

                    But I have reviewed the X1 Carbon as a Linux machine, the Z13 similarly, and the Arm-powered X13s both with Windows and with Linux.

                    These are, or were when new, all ~£2000 premium devices, some significantly more.

                    And yet, my budget-priced commodity fleet Dell has more ports than any of them, even the flagship X1C – that has 4 USB ports, but the Dell, at about a third of the price, has all those and HDMI and Ethernet.

                    This is not a cost-cutting thing at the budget end of the market. These are premium devices.

                    And FWIW I think you’re wrong about the Enfields, too. The company is Indian, and survived decades after the UK parent company died, outcompeted by cheaper, better-engineered Japanese machines.

                    Enfield faded from world view, making cheap robust low-spec bikes for a billion Indian people who couldn’t afford cars. Then some people in the UK noticed that they still existed, started importing them, and the company made it official, applied for and regained the “Royal” prefix and now exports its machines.

                    But the core point that I was making was that in both cases, it is the budget machines at the bottom of the market which preserve the ports. It is the expensive premium models which are the highly-integrated, locked-down sealed units.

                    This is not cost-cutting; it is fashion-led. Like womens’ skirts and dresses without pockets, it is designed for looks not practicality, and sold for premium prices.


                      Basically, what I am reading from your comments is that Royal Enfield motorcycles (I knew about the Indian connection, btw, but didn’t know they’d made a comeback in the UK) and chunky black laptops with a lot of ports is for people with not a lot of money, or who prefer to not spend a lot of money for bikes or laptops.

                      Why there are not more products aimed at this segment of the market is left as an exercise to the reader.


                        ISTM that you are adamantly refusing to admit that there is a point here.

                        Point Number 1:

                        This is not some exotic new requirement. It is exactly how most products used to be, in laptops, in phones, in other sectors. Some manufacturers cut costs, sold it as part of a “fashionable” or “stylish” premium thing, everyone else followed along like sheep… And now it is ubiquitous, and some spectators, unable to follow the logic of cause and effect, say “ah well, it is like that because nobody wants those features any more.”

                        And no matter how many of us stand up and say “BUT WE WANT THEM!” apparently we do not count for some reason.

                        Point Number 2:

                        more products aimed at this segment of the market

                        That’s the problem. Please, I beg you, give me links to any such device available in the laptop market today, please.


                          I don’t doubt there are people who want these features. They’re vocal enough.

                          But there are not enough of them (either self-declared, or found via market research) for a manufacturer to make the bet that they will make money making products for this market.

                          It’s quite possible that an new X220-like laptop would cost around $5,000. Would such a laptop sell enough to make money back for the manufacturer?


                            It’s quite possible that an new X220-like laptop would cost around $5,000. Would such a laptop sell enough to make money back for the manufacturer?

                            The brown manual wagon problem: everyone who says they want one will only buy them 7 years later used.

          2. 2

            “Probably because your requirements are very specific and “developer” laptops are niche market.”

            I’d suggest an alternate reason. Yes, developer laptops are a niche market. But I’d propose that laptops moving away from the X220 is a result of chasing “thinner and lighter” above all else, plus lowering costs. And the result when the majority of manufacturers all chase the same targets, you get skewed results.

            Plus: User choice only influences laptop sales so much. I’m not sure what the split is, but many laptops are purchased by corporations for their workforce. You get the option of a select few laptops that business services / IT has procured, approved, and will support. If they are a Lenovo shop or a Dell shop and the next generation or three suck, it has little impact on sales because it takes years before a business will offer an alternative. If they even listen to user complaints.

            And if I buy my own laptop, new, all the options look alike - so there’s no meaningful way to buy my preference and have that influence product direction.

            “Neither I, nor anyone else who bought an Apple product is responsible for your choice of a laptop.”

            Mostly true. The popularity of Apple products has caused the effect I described above. When Apple started pulling ahead of the pack, instead of (say) Lenovo saying “we’ll go the opposite direction” the manufacturers chased the Apple model. In part due to repeated feedback that users want laptops like the Air, so we get the X1 Carbons. And ultimately all the Lenovo models get crappy chicklet keyboards, many get soldiered RAM, fewer ports, etc. (As well as Dell, etc.)

            (Note I’m making some pretty sweeping generalizations here, but my main point is that the market is limited not so much because the OP’s choices are “niche” but because the market embraces trends way too eagerly and blindly.)


              Mostly true. The popularity of Apple products has caused the effect I described above. When Apple started pulling ahead of the pack, instead of (say) Lenovo saying “we’ll go the opposite direction” the manufacturers chased the Apple model. In part due to repeated feedback that users want laptops like the Air, so we get the X1 Carbons. And ultimately all the Lenovo models get crappy chicklet keyboards, many get soldiered RAM, fewer ports, etc. (As well as Dell, etc.)

              This reminds me a great deal of my recurring complaint that it’s hard to find a car with a manual transmission anymore. Even down to the point that, last time I was shopping, I looked at German-designed/manufactured vehicles, knowing that the prevailing sentiment last time I visited Germany was that automatic transmissions were for people who were elderly and/or disabled.

              I think the reasons are very similar.


                The move to hybrid and electric has also shrunk the market for manual transmissions.

                I’ve done my time with manual. My dual-clutch automatic has at least as good fuel economy and takes a lot of the drudge out of driving.

            2. 1

              All of this! Well said, Joe.

        1. 13

          This, but Asahi still has a long, long way to go before it can be considered stable enough to be a viable replacement for macOS.

          For the time being, you’re pretty much limited to running macOS as a host OS and then virtualize Linux on top of it, which is good enough for 90% of use cases anyway. That’s what I do and it works just fine, most of the time.

          1. 3

            Out of curiosity, what are you using for virtualization? The options for arm64 virtualization seemed slim last I checked (UTM “works” but was buggy. VMWare Fusion only has a tech preview, which I tried once and also ran into problems). Though this was a year or two ago, so maybe things have improved.

            1. 5

              VMware and Parallels have full versions out supporting Arm now, and there are literally dozens of “light” VM runners out now, using Apple’s Virtualisation framework (not to be confused with the older, lower level Hypervisor.framework)

            2. 2

              I’m using UTM to run FreeBSD and also have Podman set up to run FreeBSD containers (with a VM that it manages). Both Podman (open source) and Docker Desktop (free for orgs with fewer than, I think, 250 employees) can manage a Linux VM for running containers. Apple exposes a Linux binary for Rosetta 2 that Docker Desktop uses, so can run x86 Linux containers.

            3. 2

              I’m not speaking for @petar, but I use UTM when I need full fat Linux. (For example, to mount an external LUKS-encrypted drive and copy files.) That said, I probably don’t push it hard enough to run into real bugs. But the happy path for doing something quick on a Ubuntu or Fedora VM has not caused me any real headaches.

              It feels like most of the other things I used to use a Linux VM for work well in Docker desktop. I still have my ThinkPad around (with a bare metal install) in case I need it, but I haven’t reached for it very often in the past year.

    2. 13

      That sucks a lot.

      I heard Kris speak about Hachyderm at FOSDEM 2023, and exchanged some nods and glances at the GitHub party but never got a chance to properly introduce ourselves among the chaos. I built a lot of respect for Kris, Hachyderm, Nivenly, and friends because of that talk and actions before and after the explosion in user growth. It’s a big part of why I chose Hachyderm for Code & Supply’s fediverse presence as one of the first businesses on it.

      Kris’s partner, Quintessence, is an acquaintance through the Rust Belt tech scene where she ran Code Daze and devopsdays Buffalo before moving out west to live with Kris.

      My heart hurts knowing all the good stuff humanity lost in her death but knows what she left behind will last a long time.

      1. 5

        Her speech at FOSDEM 2023 was probably the best overall and I’m so glad I’ve been able to attend it. I’ve also had the privilege of exchanging a few sentences with her and she struck me as a very cool, down to earth person that was not afraid to pursue all the stuff she truly cared about.

        She will be missed forever.

    3. 2

      Hopping on a plane and going on a city break to Vienna, no laptop for the next 48 hours, feels good already. The airspace in Europe is a total mess right now due to NATO exercises and strikes across the airports, so I’ll need all the luck I can have today, the flight is already delayed for 2 hours.

    4. 4

      I had so many plans for the weekend, but I had to drop all of them because I need to process some of the things that happened in my country this week, a couple of streets from my place. It’s going to take a while before I’m back on track.

      At least I’ve managed to catch up on sleep, and that’s a start, I guess.

    5. 18

      Celebrating having been alive for another revolution around the sun.

      1. 8

        That makes the 2 of us. Happy birthday!

      2. 4


    6. 3

      I like Stage Manager a lot, but I desperately wish it were more keyboard-accessible. It’s so many clicks and drags to do so many of the workflows described in this post, many of which feel like they could be reduced to a single key combination. It also seems have some vague issues with application focus, where certain apps don’t get full focus back when you put them on the “Stage” from the “Cast.”

      1. 2

        This is my impression as well, which is why I just can’t start using it. I’m also being put off with all the unnecessary animations that distract me all the time. I know I can turn on Reduce Motion but then I lose all the other UI animations elsewhere in the system that I have come to enjoy quite a bit over time (if I have to stare at a screen for 10 hours a day, I might as well enjoy a nice UI with nice, smooth animations, otherwise I can switch to Ubuntu or something).

    7. 18

      Another problem with Google is that with so many people having addresses, it is quite possible to accidentally receive somebody else’s email. I still keep a backup address for the handful of things that need it. One day, I woke up to a notification forwarded from my address, reminding me that I had an OBGYN appointment in a city nearly 3000 km away from me. Someone had picked an address differing from mine by one letter. It was obvious, because they’d used the same address pattern I did: first initial + middle initial + surname + digits. Her surname was spelled correctly in the message. I saw the mistake and called the clinic to let them know they screwed up.

      I also get notifications about this person’s dental appointments. I was notified when she signed up for electric service at her new home.

      Others have told me similar stories.

      1. 10

        Some of our mortgage financials were CC’d to my wife’s email, minus the last two letters. The recipient was also quite annoyed about it.

        Not really Google’s fault, but fun conversations to be had all round.

      2. 6

        This is so, so familiar to me. My first + last name happens to be the equivalent of John Smith in my local language and using first@last.tld email has been lots of fun for me ever since I (finally) snatched the domain name back in 2014. I’ve got over 100 filters to deal with generic/test emails, and every once in a while, a new sender will end up in my inbox.

        I used to self host my email for about 6 months before it became too much for me to deal with. These days, I happily pay Fastmail to do it for me. I tend to not rely on Gmail/Apple/Microsoft to deal with my email as much as I can, simply because I don’t want to give them more power than I have to, and luckily, I’m able to afford to pay for my email hosting, something that most of the people around me can’t, unfortunately.

        If you don’t want Google handling your email, you’ll need to pay for it, either with your money or your time (or both, if you decide to self host).

    8. 5

      FYI, this has to be applied after every system update.

      1. 1

        This is one of the biggest hurdles I have with macOS. I understand the security concerns and system integrity protections, but messing up my SSH config files is really nasty, and now this.

        1. 1

          I believe Apple treats much of the system as immutable, even if you can technically modify it.

          1. 3

            It’s more of a configuration file issue. The problem is the same as many linux bistros have where they naturally have to ship some default configuration with their packages. If those files are changed by the user and then the package is updated, what happens? Do you wipe the user config? Do you leave the user-modified file alone (potentially breaking the updated package completely if the update has non-backwards-compatible changes)?

            Debian asks the user, but that’s something a mainstream OS like macOS probably can’t afford to do (no user would understand the options and/or their consequences)

            Sometimes, the packages ship with a configuration that allows to include secondary files (for example /etc/sudoers which includes arbitrary files in /etc/sudoers.d in Debian and also macOS) which solves the problem with package-updates when the new package is compatible with the old config files, but of course it still doesn’t help when the new package isn’t compatible with the old files, but that’s rarely the case.

            I’m not aware that PAM has a means for including a directory full of files, so I don’t see how this compromise solution could work for PAM, so Apple would be stuck with either never touching the files after initial install (possibly breaking their intended configuration after an update) or always resetting them after an install (and bring the system to a clean state).

            I totally understand why they do the latter.

            1. 2

              Yeah, I get it. To be clear I’m not that upset about it, but wanted to give people a heads up since the post doesn’t mention it. While this sudo functionality is great in theory, my system ends up not having Touch ID for sudo more often that it does.

              The real solution is just for Apple to add this to the default pam config, but seemingly they have reasons not to.

            2. 1

              RPM usually keeps both files and you can review changes with rpmconf.

              Sometimes, the packages ship with a configuration that allows to include secondary file.

              I’ve been off apple ecosystem for years, but I clearly remember I was very annoyed when minor updates kept deleting exactly these files.

    9. 23

      Helping my colleagues from Ukraine fleeing war and my colleagues from Russia fleeing sanctions settling in, establishing residency and incorporating new LLCs and getting their bank accounts set up so they can get back to a somewhat normal life.

      I have to defer other tasks for later. Much later.

      1. 3

        any way for others to help you out with this?

        1. 2

          Nope, I got it all handled for the time being. Bureaucracy can be overwhelming at times, but I have tons of experience with it, so that helps. Thanks for the offer though!

    10. 2

      In no particular order:

      • Updating some of the Ansible playbooks for everyday personal server maintenance chores
      • Playing around with OpenSSL forks and compiling nginx mainline with them to play around with HTTP/3
      • Studying for exams
      • Catching up with friends after a long winter
    11. 4

      2021 was much better than 2020 overall:

      • Got a new job in March with higher pay and more benefits, so much happier with the new company
      • Wanted to learn one new thing that’s unrelated to my IT work, so I started trading stocks and learning about that stuff in more detail, finishing 2021 with ~12% rate of return
      • Managed to save 50% more money compared to the previous year
      • Started exercising some more, lost some weight and improved my overall health & body figure
      • Had another oral surgery (one more wisdom tooth to go before I don’t have to worry about them ever again)
      • Managed to contract Covid despite taking 2 Pfizer shots

      Plans for 2022:

      • Expand my overall DevOps skills
      • Get a promotion and a raise at my $DAYJOB
      • Go through the post-covid syndrome (and take a booster shot when ready)
      • Save even more money
      • Get back on track with exercising
      • Have one final oral surgery
      • Learn something new, unrelated to everything I do already
    12. 12

      Honestly, I’d much rather be at the mercy of a bunch of product managers whose incentives are to deliver products that people pay folding money for, than either open source hobbyists, or product managers whose incentives are to deliver me as a product. Even better, don’t invest your ego to the point where some nameless, faceless drones on the other side of the world can hold you hostage.

      1. 16

        Yes, those product owners are probably more likely to ship something I’d want to use, more so than enthusiasts who believe society peaked at xterm.

        1. 4

          They probably will ship something you like, but they will most certainly also ship things that make it hard for you to switch to a competitor and start rent-seeking. There really isn’t a good solution. Other than realizing that a computer should not be an appliance and start investing time in doing things yourself.

          1. 4

            Sure, but it’s a continuum, not a binary, right? I live in Apple’s universe, because it hasn’t driven me away yet, but I do detest the rent-seeking and their awful services division (having worked there twice). Other people have a different point where they’ll get off of (or onto) the iOS/Android/Windows/&c train, and that’s fine. But as someone who doesn’t like Unix, and doesn’t like not paying for my services, and who simply doesn’t have the time to come to grips with the amount of fiddling it would take to get one of the free options up to par with the functionality I have come to expect from my computing devices – eh. Apple it is. For me. For now.

            1. 3

              Well, if it is a matter of staying in the universe, or getting off, then that does sound a bit binary to me. Either you are in, or you are out. The point at which one decide to get out is different for everyone, that’s true.

              In my ideal world, computers and phones would be more like houses and cars, and less like microwaves and vacuum cleaners. That is, people see it as a big investment that should last a while. And therefore they think long and hard on what they need and how they want to use it. And then they make it happen and actually are able to make use of it for many years.

              If you move into a new place with a bad kitchen, or decide after a couple of years that you want to remodel the one you have, then you take some time to think about what you want. What kind of cook are you? Just heating up pre-made meals, or preparing multi-course dinners every weekend? But also: how much money you are willing to spend? You make a plan of this kitchen you want. Then you either pay some handyman to pull the pipes, install the sink, etc. or you do everything yourself, if you have the skills and are willing to spend the time. You can even hire someone to design the plan for you.

              That is a big investment and it only works because it is assumed that once you have something that works for you, you can use that for many years to come. You can buy a new juicer perhaps, but the general flow still works. The problem is that people buy a computer like it was a microwave with only a few buttons and one function, but perform all kinds of operations on it like it was a complete kitchen.

              The kitchen approach should be possible, I think. Theoretically. Because for all the constant drive for change, most fundamentals of computer use have remained the same for a long time. Just as the fundamentals of cooking have remained stable for many years. New trends, ingredients and styles notwithstanding.

              1. 4

                Well, if it is a matter of staying in the universe, or getting off, then that does sound a bit binary to me. Either you are in, or you are out. The point at which one decide to get out is different for everyone, that’s true.

                It doesn’t have to be a binary choice. I’m invested in the Apple ecosystem very much (iPhone, iPad Pro,  Watch, several MacBook machines) but I don’t use almost any of iCloud services. I pay Fastmail to host all my emails and I also use their CardDAV/CalDAV services for contacts and calendars instead of iCloud. I keep my backups locally and don’t upload them to iCloud. I don’t use Messages in iCloud because I prefer to keep them confined to my devices (these days I tend to switch as much people as I can to Matrix et. al and get them off of mainstream messaging apps as much as possible simply because I feel that’s the right thing to do). I use Spotify instead of Apple Music and… you get the picture.

                The only reason I’m not switching to non-Apple hardware is because there’s nothing better out there that would suit me, but using Apple hardware without iCloud services is doable and works in practice, and should you decide to do so, you can self host around 80% of stuff offered by iCloud.

                You don’t have to go all in when it comes to The Ecosystem should you decide not to.

                1. 2

                  ^ this. I use Nextcloud, but I do enjoy me little a copy and paste between my Mac and iPhone, as a treat.

                2. 2

                  Oh, that indeed sounds better than I thought it was. I honestly don’t know, I’ve never owned an Apple device in my live. Initially because they were simply too expensive for me, but when the iPhone came and forced users on their app store, iTunes etc, I lost interest. Maybe I was projecting too much 90’s Microsoft on Apple.

          2. 2

            They say shit like this, but I haven’t seen evidence of it. What people call “lock-in” tends to be “your devices work together”. I’m not tied too down in any ecosystem, so can switch any time I want. The problem is I’m slightly tired of never having to settle down.

            1. 2

              Not long ago I tried to figure out how to stream videos from an ipad to my TV. That made me realise how locked in Apple’s ecosystem really is. My relatively recent (2018) LG TV has some support for Airplay v1 (a proprietary Apple protocol), but the ipad only supports Airplay v2, so that’s out. The TV has support for Wi-Fi direct (some sort of open standard, it seems), but iOS doesn’t support it. It doesn’t support the Chromecast protocol either, which the TV seems to support. I am using a media box with Kodi but there don’t seem to be any useful streaming options there that work with Apple, either.

              Every resource I find online seems to indicate that there are plenty of options with Android, Linux or even Windows to make this work, though.

              In the spirit of people typically hating on Linux: It’s 2021, streaming some video from a phone or tablet to my TV should not be difficult!

              Yes, devices work together, but only as far as they’re all Apple. That’s exactly what lock-in means: you’d have to replace all your devices at once to break out of that lock-in.

            2. 2

              Then you and I probably have very different definitions of what “locked-in” means. I experience it everywhere. “your devices work together” is in practice “your devices work together as long as you stick to the devices and apps we are willing to support and we only support stuff that is a sensible investment from a monetary perspective”.

              If you think that the official app is not what you need, or you have a alternative device (e.g. not an iOS or Android phone), how many options do you have for an alternative app? “Normal” apps, I mean, that are allowed according to the terms of service. Perhaps an app you can buy even. Not something those color blind open source developers reverse engineered. In the overwhelming amount of cases, the answer is: zero.

              1. 1

                This was the prevalent thinking during the heydays of Windows with its embrace, extend and extinguish philosophy. But then truly open standards became more popular. You can connect your Apple device to any wifi access point, it doesn’t have to be an Apple Airport. But I do remember the days when Appletalk was the only way to network Apple computers together… And of course you couldn’t easily combine that with PC networking. Don’t you think ethernet and wifi and the IP protocol are vast improvements on that situation?

                1. 1

                  Yes, that definitely is a vast improvement and I agree that generally things are ok in that part of the stack. But less so when it comes to connecting “regular” devices through things like Lightning and Thunderbolt, I believe. (I could be wrong there, I am not too well versed in that ares)

                  I was more thinking of higher layers. Can I also listen to Apple Music with any player and platform of my choosing?

                  1. 1

                    I was more thinking of higher layers. Can I also listen to Apple Music with any player and platform of my choosing?

                    They offer a web interface, so yes? That sounds more like a rhetorical question, however.

    13. 9

      I had a similar experience: Android to iPhone, recently used a new Android and was pleasantly surprised. Even the low end Androids work way better than flagship phones from 2015 when I switched. But there’s a killer app in the Apple ecosystem for me: applications. Mail, Photos, Music, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, Files: all apps on iOS and applications on MacOS.

      Google’s SPAs don’t cut if for me. I don’t necessarily use offline access, but I need to open an application without enormous first load times and more load times after backgrounding for a few minutes. Apple Photos in particular demolishes the Google Photos experience purely by having the photos stored locally, especially if I’m away from my gigabit home internet.

      1. 4

        Yeah, the Apple built in apps are just so good. The notes app alone is such an amazing information capture system. It just sucks that it’s such a pain to develop for it unless you pay. Also apparently my Flutter development efforts are futile on iOS because I use an M1 macbook and cocoapods apparently doesn’t work on M1.

        1. 3

          I switched off iOS a long time ago, so I may not be up to date on the Notes app — when I last used it, it was fairly bare-bones. What makes it better than say, Google Keep?

          1. 4

            They’ve added a lot to it in the meantime, it’s basically a full OneNote competitor now. I have several years of daily notes in it. The real killer feature is how it integrates into iMessage and the like so you can share notes with people.

            1. 1

              And even more improvements are coming this fall in iOS/iPadOS 15 and Monterey - hashtags for note tagging support, ability to tag/mention people in notes and the new omnipresent quick note interface, all of those are amazing additions that are well worth the upgrade. Can’t wait for the stable versions to ship in September.

            2. 1

              Can you read/edit those notes via a non-macOS computer? I noticed that if I can only use it on the phone it’s 100% useless to me.

              1. 2

                You can use iCloud web yeah, but it’s kinda crap. I only really use the web version to read things.

      2. 4

        Apple Photos in particular demolishes the Google Photos experience purely by having the photos stored locally, especially if I’m away from my gigabit home internet.

        If you use iCloud, Photos on iOS will offload older pictures to it and fetch them only when needed. That’s a killer feature too imho has you never need to care if this is local or not, or to manage your space.

      3. 2

        I too moved from Android to iPhone. But google photos is one of the apps I kept. A lot of fun features in it, and I can share photos with friends and family regardless of their platform.

      4. 1

        The killer feature of Google Photos for me is the expansive timeline stretching back multiple devices. First load isn’t a major concern for me because I’m just going to use the scroll bar to scrub back to 2011, anyway.

    14. 2

      Visiting my parents this weekend. I haven’t been around for a couple of months and being the nerd that I am, I’ve discovered the Internet speeds have fallen from 95+ mbit/s to only around 50 mbit/s, so I’ve got some troubleshooting to do.

      Also, I dug out my old 13” MacBook Pro (2015 model) and I’ve just installed a fresh Big Sur instance on it to see if this is still a usable machine in 2021. Fun times ahead.

    15. 2

      at a $999 price point

      Or $1340 for Europeans.

      1. 6

        This is largely because the 20% VAT is included in the price and because the EU mandates twice the mandatory warranty of the US on all purchased electronics. So no, the price isn’t really that different.

        1. 4

          Thanks for the reply! So Americans actually pay $1100 for what they call a $1000 product.

          Still a difference of $240.

          (BTW, this is not meant as negative criticism of your review – I actually like it a lot)

          1. 5

            Not in all states. When I was in Oregon (not sure if this is still true), they didn’t have sales tax.

            1. 2

              Still true. No state wide sales tax in Oregon.

      2. 6

        Or $2430 for Brazilians :) (I’m actually crying)

      3. 2

        You mean 835 EUR right?

        1. 3

          No. Apple’s listed prices are more expensive in Europe as discussed above, due to higher VAT.

          On top of that, over here (Europe) the advertised price almost always includes those taxes; unlike in the US where they are added at the time of purchase.

          1. 2

            The reason I posted this, is because I think these price comparisons between difference currencies have no meaning. Why post a dollar amount for europeans who can only buy in euros. If you want to compare prices, compare to something like the big mac index or a cost of living index.

            1. 1

              Ah. That’s a pretty good point to make, and I completely agree. But I don’t think that’s clear from your original comment.

              Why post a dollar amount for europeans who can only buy in euros. If you want to compare prices, compare to something like the big mac index or a cost of living index.

              For an accurate comparison, I think you’d have to compare the price to your chosen index across various US states as well.

              1. 1

                And then, there are countries in Europe that are not a part of the Euro zone yet and still have their own currencies, and that dosn’t make the situation any better.

    16. 5

      Finally, someone actually did dig deeper and inspected the actual requests and traffic.

      On a side note, it’d be really nice if Apple would update the server side code to better handle soft failures due to slow connections or, well, their infrastructure failing for whatever reason. Many people are using their Macs all the time and many of us have real work to do on them, especially now in COVID times and a global outage on Apple’s end really shouldn’t make our machines slow to a crawl, under any circumstances, ever.

      It’d be interesting to read the actual postmortem of the outage that started the hype.

    17. 2

      I’m no legal expert myself and although I dislike AWS and their business practices in general, I fail to see what they did wrong here. The article clearly states:

      There is a mention buried in the NOTICE.txt file bundled with the CloudWatch extension that credits Headless Recorder, under its previous name “puppeteer-recorder,” as required by the license.

      which is exactly what they are obliged to do by law. Yeah, mentioning the original author more prominently and giving him public kudos/endorsement would be nice and would certainly make them look much better, but they decided not to and there’s not much else anyone can do about that, except not using AWS and giving them any money. Vote with your wallet.

    18. 31

      Note that all caching advantages are gone now.

      Browsers don’t reuse cached 3rd party resources any more. Caching is partitioned per top-level origin, and browsers will intentionally download redundant copies of 3rd party scripts. This prevents cross-site tracking via cached scripts.

      From performance perspective script CDNs are pure negative now. You pay cost of additional DNS+TCP+TLS connections, and lose HTTP/2 prioritization against 1st party resources.

      1. 5

        Although, truth be told, a lot of those downsides are alleviated with various DNS prefetching techniques, TLS 0-RTT handshakes and vastly improved TCP stacks in mainstream CDN deployments nowadays.

        1. 3

          So in the best case it can be improved from being worse than 1st party to still worse than 1st party.

          1. 1

            The point is in being able to improve all parts of the “stack”. Being worse than 1st party to still worse than 1st party doesn’t necessarily need to be bad/unoptimized/slow.

      2. 5

        The whole “performance” thing was always complicated, with or without caching. It certainly can be faster, but there are a bunch of factors; already back in 2012 when we were using a CDN at my job at the time I found it wasn’t really all that much faster in practice. To quote some things about it that I wrote back then:

        • What if my website specifically targets Dutch users and my server is in the Netherlands? Is it still faster for all my Dutch users?

        • CDN performance may not be consistent. One particular location may be blazing fast, and another may be very slow (and how do you know which locations are slow?)

        • A CDN also introduces performance overhead in the form of a DNS request, a new TCP connection, and possibly new TLS negotiation; so a CDN has to not only be faster, it has to be fast enough to offset for this.

        • Average load times are nice, but what about the worst possible load time? In my experience, this is often a lot worse with CDNs. Like with most things in life, a single ‘average’ number is pretty useless.

        CDN performance is pretty hard to measure. In fact, I can’t really find any good figures on the web that aren’t produced by a CDN provider (and thus not reliable). My personal experience is checkered, and while a CDN can most certainly improve the load performance, I would be careful in just assuming so.

        It is already very easy to serve static content with very high performance using tools such as Varnish. In many cases, this is about as fast (and certainly ‘fast enough’).

        And not all “caching” is the same; Netlify implements caching with E-Tags and your browser still sends a request with If-None-Match. This is certainly better than no caching at all, but it’s not the same as directly serving a file locally based on an expiry date, which is much faster and the difference is noticeable in some cases (on the other hand, cache invalidation is harder with locally served files, especially for something like /index.html).

    19. 1
      • Catching up on sleep
      • Writing automation scripts for creating a DEB package of nginx web server with Brotli & latest version of OpenSSL statically linked to the main binary
      • Going through “Learn C The Hard Way” once again to brush up on my C skills
    20. 9

      IRC is clearly not good enough. It had the users at some point and network effects should have allowed it to remain on top if it had truly been good enough. My hope is that Matrix will take the top spot. XMPP would be okay as well. But thankfully Matrix and XMPP can be made to bridge to one another. Yay openness, federation and bridging!

      1. 8

        In my opinion, Matrix is a very heavy and complex protocol, and it’s getting even more heavy and complex: you can hardly say it’s really an open standard. Element is pretty much the only usable client, Synapse is pretty much the only usable homeserver, and—where everyone registers—is always slow and has trouble federating. I think its future depends mainly on New Vector and commercial interests.

        1. 4

          Yes, matrix the protocol is complex to implement. But it doesn’t seem needlessly complex when looking at the requirements. And the specification is designed so that clients are easy to implement, the server does most of the work. Here’s a good example of a simple client:

          There are lots of usable clients, but you’re right that element is probably the only full-featured one. The alternative homeservers are coming along well lately.

          Also, there is the matrix foundation, which owns the copyright on most stuff. True, new vector / element (has the company renaming completed yet?) is the major driving force, just as mozilla is to firefox. But there are others working on it as well. Without new vector the progress would be slower, but I doubt it would stop.

          1. 2

            Decisions like polling JSON over HTTP instead of working directly with TCP sockets, were intended to make it easier to implement. The protocol is simple, but huge: you have tons of endpoints and JSON objects, that creating a full-featured client is extremely difficult. One of the most difficult aspects is also UI/UX, especially for device verification, cross-signing and encryption keys. It’s a lot of simple things, bundled into a single complex thing.

          2. 1

            Clients can be made to be (at least partially) lightweight fairly easily. What I was mostly referring to is the server-side implementation. I was considering running my own Matrix instance for me and my friends, only to discover that we’d need a significant amount of RAM and CPU time since we were planning to subscribe to a bunch of high-traffic rooms and run a few bridges to various other services.

            I have an account on and it does get slow at times when it tries to fetch new messages after a few hours of inactivity. Not sure if the existing, “primary” Synapse implementation can be optimized significantly, but it could sure use some of it if at all possible.

            1. 3

              True, synapse can be a bit heavy. But the matrix people seem to be following the rule “make it work, make it right, make it fast”. Synapse has improved a lot in the past couple of months. And they are focusing on improving synapse further. Memory use can be hard to completely fix in a Python-based project. But Dendrite is also improving. Construct is an independent homeserver that can federate and is fast. I haven’t run in though. And there are some other homeserver projects that seem to be quite fast as well.

        2. 2

          I haven’t gone through all the specifics regarding the protocol itself, but I do agree the current implementations of the protocol are pretty taxing in terms of system resource usage, among other things. The problem is, how do you implement a protocol that provides so much functionality and keep it lightweight. Such a task would require a lot of engineering effort and thinking many things through before you touch a keyboard.

          If Matrix catches on even more, less heavy implementations will likely appear at some point, but it won’t happen overnight.

          1. 2

            How do you implement a protocol that provides so much functionality and keep it lightweight? Don’t. Instead of a huge single protocol, you can use multiple lightweight protocols to achieve the same thing, and you can even glue them together into a single platform. Matrix is, in a sense, a bridging layer that connects multiple different protocols; but it’s so big, that it can also be used standalone. You could easily replace Matrix with XMPP, IRC, ZNC and IPFS; and it would work just fine.

      2. 3

        I think you can bridge IRC and Matrix as well

        1. 5

          Because IRC is not federated the bridging there is necessarily more ugly and weird. You have to have a nick on the target network in order to speak there, and there’s no obvious nick the bridge can just make up for you that will not look weird to IRC people.

        2. 3

          There’s two different kinds of bridging you can do; as a matrix user you can bridge your account to freenode, which mostly works but is a bit flaky and rather difficult to set up. As a channel owner you can bridge the entire channel, and this works great; you only have to do it once and everyone benefits from it. We did this in the #fennel channel and I have no regrets; all the core devs can keep the workflow they’re familiar with, and all the newcomers can come thru Matrix and get the persistent history and other nice features that take more work to set up on IRC.

          1. 2

            yeah, not on Freenode, but apart from once-in-a-month “I didn’t get that message” or some formatting messups with certain matrix clients it’s pretty flawless. I love IRC but it’s a pain on mobile, matrix is a lot better there.

        3. 2

          You can. And there’s also matrix-ircd which is a matrix client and irc server. So you can use your irc client to connect to matrix.