Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Nice view »« Republicans really do hate everything good and true

Yay! New laptop!

My old one was getting flaky and unreliable, but now I have a brand new machine that’s faster and slicker and more powerful, so I can type faster! I’ll start working like mad once it’s done syncing and rearranging everything far, far away from where I’m used to finding it. It may be a little while.

Comments

  1. moshiachone says

    Let the Mac v. PC comments commence. By which I mean let the cognitive dissonance of the dissatisfied PC owners and the self-satisfied smugness of the Mac owners commence.

  2. Olav says

    If you are happy with your new computer, congratulations. Good luck with it.

    Me, I can’t muster any kind of enthusiasm for Apple products – or closed source software in general. I rather put up with some of the weirdness in Debian GNU/Linux than sell my soul to the devil.

  3. whheydt says

    A pox on both the popular operating systems…I’m having fun with a Raspberry Pi.

  4. unbound says

    Regardless of whatever else is going on in life, there’s nothing quite like getting a new computer. Looks like you got a beaut PZ!

    (And I’m actually a PC user…never any issues with people getting an Apple – whatever floats your boat)

  5. Rip Steakface says

    By which I mean let the cognitive dissonance of the dissatisfied PC owners and the self-satisfied smugness of the Mac owners commence.

    Well, there’s also the overall right-ness of GNU/Linux users and other forms of open source OS…

  6. says

    Deeeeeeep rifts! Both sides are equally bad!
    As for me, I’m a hypersensitive pencil-necked PC jockey. Or at least that’s what I’ve heard.

  7. shockna says

    By which I mean let the cognitive dissonance of the dissatisfied PC owners and the self-satisfied smugness of the Mac owners commence.

    Believe it or not, some of us are quite satisfied with PCs. >.>

    But seriously, OS arguments are pretty stupid. The only ones I’ve ever found mildly entertaining are the somewhat obtuse ones (e.g. “Linux vs. Android”, typically in the form of Linux user complaints that Android isn’t open source enough).

  8. otrame says

    Well, if you want your PC or your other options, fine. I will defend to the death your right to make such choices.

    And I’ll be over here, happy, with my Satan-inspired Apple products.

    I know, I’m such a *——-* aren’t I?

  9. Azuma Hazuki says

    PZ, I am disappoint ;-; Redeem yourself with this Gentoo Linux 64-bit LiveCD *presses nose, CD ejects from mouth*

  10. DLC says

    I use PCs mostly, but I really do like the new Mac laptops.
    I rememeber the old days, where the Compaq portable was considered the coolest thing going. Yes, and I shake my cane at passing teens, ordering them off my damn lawn.

  11. 'Tis Himself says

    I remember the old days, where the Compaq portable was considered the coolest thing going.

    I got an Apple IIe in 1982. Slickest thing going. I got a whole Meg of RAM (folks were asking what I wanted so much memory for) for it.

  12. says

    So your old laptop dies, just as the newest MacBook becomes available?
    Coincidence or evidence for …………….. planned obsolescence.

    p.s. I’m referring to god’s plan, not Apple’s. ;)

  13. robro says

    moshiachone — And it did…a whole 2 comments later! Which means it was virtually simultaneous.

  14. QueQuoi, traded in her jackboots for jillstilettos says

    Yay for new laptops! I hope it is ergonomically suited to your tenticles. Bothrial tunnel syndrome can be really painful.

  15. robro says

    I’ve had to use a lot of different kinds of computers to make a living: Macs, Windows, Unix, etc. The OS debate is like cars. To each his own.

    raymills asked:

    Is that the one with the ram soldered in place?

    If it’s the Retina version, as linked to, then yes. Remember the uproar when Apple soldered the ROMs (ca. 1985-86)? I suspect this is an issue for a few but most people never mess with the chipset. And as a fine point, it’s nothing new: the MacBook Air has soldered RAM.

  16. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    I got an Apple IIe in 1982. Slickest thing going. I got a whole Meg of RAM (folks were asking what I wanted so much memory for) for it.

    Seriously? You must have been rich as Croesus back then, then.
    I have in front of me an august 1981 edition of Byte (the one with Smalltalk, the only computer language good enough to even be worth critiquing) that has an advert for a 64KB S-100 bus memory card. It proudly proclaims a price breakthrough to *only* $995. For 64KB.
    So 16,000 1981 dollars for memory for your Apple IIe? Wow. What on earth did you do with it that was worth that much money- we’re talking decent house money, are we not?

  17. says

    There are cheaper SSD notebooks around that don’t have the Apple proprietary file format crap, but apart from that it looks a pretty decent machine.

  18. Amphiox says

    My laptop is a Mac. My desktop is a PC. I find them both equally good.

    Does this make me an accommodationist?

  19. 'Tis Himself says

    tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach #21

    $16K? WTF? I think you’re misreading something in that magazine. My Apple cost me $1000 (in 1982 dollars). I could have bought it for about $800 but I got as much RAM as the machine could take and an 80 column expanded memory card.

    Incidentally, the Gateway Windoze box I’m using now is a year old and cost me just under $600. The price of computers has gone down and the quality has improved dramatically.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have a Dell laptop with vista/IE7 at work, and an iMac OSX10.7/Firefox at home. The Dell has problems with Pharyngula, making it slow and hard to post some days. The iMac, almost flawless.

  21. Shplane says

    I really would consider using OSX if it didn’t come glued to shitty, overpriced computers. Also if Apple wasn’t somehow more anti-consumer than Microsoft, and didn’t feel the need to dictate to me what I’m allowed to install on their products and what hardware I’m allowed to use their OS on.

    But whatever sinks your submarine, I guess.

  22. says

    I’ve never really understood the Mac vs PC wars… And I have seen loud fundamentalists on both sides… the kind that starts getting on your case when you’re just minding your own business working in a public area.

    Personally my main reason for brand loyalty (Mac) is because of chronic indecisiveness and I probably would still not have a computer if I was still trying to make up my mind.

  23. Armored Scrum Object says

    @’Tis Himself #24: Perhaps the aforementioned S-100 bus card was populated with SRAM and you crammed your Apple IIe full of DRAM?

  24. weakswimmer says

    Congrats on the new laptop!

    —–

    I have a 2005 Sony Vaio that still has Windows XP and a 2011 Macbook Pro with OS X Lion. I’m typing this on the Macbook. These days, when I use my Vaio, it’s weird to not have the same mousepad gestures, especially the 2-finger right click.

  25. devoniansplit says

    Maybe this new computer won’t suffer from that awful virus of banning individuals with dissenting opinions. It would be strange for someone operating under the guise of freethought to ban someone for freethinking, surely your faulty computer was responsible?

    Let me guess – in making such a comment – I am protecting rapists and I am inherently misogynistic, yes?

    Find your fucking intellectual integrity, PZ.

  26. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    $16K? WTF? I think you’re misreading something in that magazine. My Apple cost me $1000 (in 1982 dollars). I could have bought it for about $800 but I got as much RAM as the machine could take and an 80 column expanded memory card.

    Well I couldn’t find the advert I was thinking of but did find https://plus.google.com/photos/107730379469391818270/albums/5763360586588174273 which is even worse.

    Armored Scrum Object (cool name!) might be right about a significant price difference between SRAM and DRAM, though IIRC that was only starting to open up back then. I think it was the advent of the first IBM PCs that really made the break from SRAM to DRAM.

    It looks like you could sensibly get 128KB with the base IIe + 80 column extend memory card when it was originally on sale and then a few years later a larger card was made. Scary to think that today that wouldn’t enough memory for a small fuzzy picture…

  27. tajparis says

    Wait, what? I’m only supposed to install software on my iMac that Apple dictates that I’m allowed to?

    Crap, nobody tell Apple until I have a chance to remove all this stuff.

  28. Sastra says

    What a coincidence: I, too, finally have a new computer! It is a desktop PC, and black. My son, who works with computers, put it together for me and yes, it has the entire internet on it — even though the screen is very wide from side to side and very thin from front to black. So I have been very busy all day trying to get all the words and pictures to look the way they used to, and have succeeded tolerably well. I assume you’ve been doing the same.

    I don’t understand why they keep changing things.

  29. sosw says

    Me, I can’t muster any kind of enthusiasm for Apple products – or closed source software in general. I rather put up with some of the weirdness in Debian GNU/Linux than sell my soul to the devil.

    If you insist on a fully open-source environment, yeah (I prefer FreeBSD myself), but laptop compatibility is iffy, and you can’t get fully open source support for any current graphics hardware. Wireless is also often an issue.

    Having worked with lots of proprietary Unix systems (OSF/1/Digital UNIX/Tru64, SunOS/Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, etc.), OS X has a very good userland (with lots of open source software included) by default. I just open up Terminal, chsh to zsh and scp in my .zsh*’s and .vimrc and I’m good to go…

    While ps ax will look a bit strange, it’s less scary than Windows task manager (do all those things really need to be there? Why does third party software get to add stuff there without asking me?).

    XQuartz is a bit wonky, though.

    Oh and even as a vi-user, I’m impressed that the OS X UI is the only one I know of where text widgets support basic Emacs key-bindings. Nobody should have to move their hands around to get to the cursor keys while typing, damnit!

  30. Orange Utan says

    @rorschach

    Apple proprietary file format crap

    What do you mean by this? Do you mean their HFS+ disk format?

  31. ougaseon says

    @Shplane, not really sure what you mean since literally every program I have installed on my linux desktop, I also have installed on my MacBook Pro, most of them open source. I even sync all of my own source code, data, and analysis between them! Considering you can download X-Code and compile source code for iOS and run it on your iPad or iPhone, I’m not even sure I understand the objection to those.

    I’m actually of two minds on this, since I love love love the free software movement (not necessarily equivalent to 0 dollars), but I also literally cannot bear to use a laptop that isn’t a MacBook Pro without wanting to smash it against the wall in frustration at the poor integration of hardware and software that make them difficult to use productively.

  32. cyberCMDR says

    Me, all my computers run Linux (except for those my wife uses!). Much lower profile as far as being a target for malware, but it does take some learning to become proficient.

    The only area where I need Windoze is when I need a more capable office suite. Some things are just easier in MS Office, but it is still a last resort.

    PZ, that thing have voice recognition? Might make creating that first draft a little faster. I haven’t had too much luck in that area, as I mentally process words differently when I speak vs. when I type. It doesn’t come out the same. If it worked better for me, I’d be more inclined to use Windows 7 (which has good voice recognition built in).

  33. Rumtopf says

    Lol, another sillyhead who never bothered to google the meaning of freethought.

    Grats on the lappy, PZ, may it serve ye well. I play vidyagames so I stick to PCs, due for a new build when the cashmonies are available *excite*.

  34. nms says

    All is fair in love and OS wars. Accuracy is secondary to winning.

    Apple computers are only able to email other Apple computers. All documents on a Mac, including plain-text files, are rendered with the Ken Burns effect. By agreeing to OS X’s EULA, you enter into a satanic blood-pact with the ghost of Steve Jobs, giving him permission to use your physical body in any and all of his nefarious freedom-hating schemes.

  35. Armored Scrum Object says

    @ougaseon #37:

    Considering you can download X-Code and compile source code for iOS and run it on your iPad or iPhone

    Nope. Apple controls that via “provisioning profiles”. If you pay them $99 per year, you’re allowed to provision up to 100 devices with your private developer key. If you don’t pay them, you’re only allowed to run your compiled iOS apps in the simulator.

  36. ougaseon says

    Considering you can download X-Code and compile source code for iOS and run it on your iPad or iPhone

    Fuck, you’re right! I forgot I had done this! (Can you tell I haven’t messed with it in a while?) I retract my not understanding the objection. However, I still maintain that tight integration between hardware form-factor and software OS capabilities is a serious boon to usability. Overall, I’d say I’m glad Apple has shown it to be a desirable goal, and I hope ultimately the free software movement can make it work outside a walled garden.

  37. ougaseon says

    Ugh, I meant to quote @Armored Scrum Object:

    If you pay them $99 per year, you’re allowed to provision up to 100 devices with your private developer key. If you don’t pay them, you’re only allowed to run your compiled iOS apps in the simulator.

    and not myself.

  38. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    For a Mac ™ experience that lives up to the romantic notion (without the headaches, heartbreaks, post purchase dissonance and rip-offs) try this: Macpup

    (screenshot)

  39. DLC says

    The Amiga I drooled over at my friend’s house went for 2500 back in the day. I’d guess he uses it for a doorstop now. But it was cool shit. better GUI than PC (not hard) better graphics than Apple. (hey I was comparing it to a IIe )

  40. peterbdvp says

    I remember the old days, where the Compaq portable was considered the coolest thing going….

    I got an Apple IIe in 1982. Slickest thing going. I got a whole Meg of RAM (folks were asking what I wanted so much memory for) for it….

    You were lucky! All we had was a TRS80 with 4K of RAM! When we were living in t’shoebox in t’middle of t’road…

    (Your turn. Hint: It starts “Luxury! We used to DREAM of having a TRS80…”)

  41. meursalt says

    @sosw, high five for FreeBSD love! I started with 2.2.x, and have very fond memories of 3.4 and 4.0 on my late-90′s laptop. I’m almost ashamed to say, I’ve migrated to Gentoo GNU/Linux for its great flexibility, software/library availability, and 0-day laptop compatibility. If you’re a BSD person, I’d recommend at least giving Gentoo a try. It’s a very DIY install similar to NetBSD, and the OS, from package management to system updates, is full of nods to FreeBSD.

    @Armored Scrum Object, provisioning profiles are the sole reason I never intend to buy another Apple product. If I choose to write software for your hardware platform or OS, I am doing you a favour by adding value to your platform. Why should I pay you for the privilege to run my own software on hardware that I own? It’s absurd. I’ve heard rebuttals involving the value the developer gets from App Store exposure and hosting, but these are no excuse since the provisioning profile is required even for free software or something I’ve written solely for personal use. This is not what I’d call developer friendly.

  42. Orange Utan says

    @meursalt

    If I choose to write software for your hardware platform or OS, I am doing you a favour by adding value to your platform.

    I really don’t think you’re displaying enough arrogance. Surely you can do better than that.

    Considering the masses of rubbish that’s in the App Store, I’m actually happy there’s a slight barrier for developers.

  43. zb24601 says

    You were lucky! All we had was a TRS80 with 4K of RAM! When we were living in t’shoebox in t’middle of t’road…

    (Your turn. Hint: It starts “Luxury! We used to DREAM of having a TRS80…”)

    Wow, you were lucky. I remember when all I had was a TI-59 programmable calculator that could store programs and data on little magnetic cards. I paid $300 in 1978, then bought a PC-100 printer for it and several library modules for it.

  44. says

    For those who are environmentally conscious about the stuff they buy, this should give you pause for thought:

    Reporter Joel Schectman at the Wall Street Journal says that Apple asked to have all 39 EPEAT certified devices pulled from the registry. EPEAT’s CEO, Robert Frisbee, told Schectman that “They (Apple) said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements.” This is visible in the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, which uses parts that are glued into the case for space considerations. This makes the device almost impossible to fully disassemble for recycling.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2012/07/09/apple-removes-epeat-green-certification-could-lose-government-c/

    Seems like a big step backwards to me, and not a welcome development.

  45. madtom1999 says

    So PZ what happened to the old laptop? Did you trade it in for pennies on the $ or have you still got it?
    If you do still have it please try Linux on it. A dead or flakey windows machine is often a very reliable Linux machine. It wont fix hardware faults but a lot of hardware faults for MS are imaginary.

  46. crocodoc says

    A scientist uses a lifestyle toy from a company that always refused to invest one cent in R&D and sees legal wars about patents that they bought as their main business? Become a lawyer, PZ, or get yourself a computer and use a community based OS. Their hardware is a standard PC nowadays anyway, just more expensive. The parasite Apple never contributed anything to humanity’s wellbeing but they always knew how to harvest what other people sowed.

  47. larrylyons says

    I see the Anti Mac FanBois are out in force. As the demotivational poster says “They sees me rollin’ they hatin’!”

    I got my first Mac (a maxed out Mac Plus with a 20 meg external hard drive), as part of a project developing a computer based therapy system for stuttering (Hollins Communications Research Institute http://www.stuttering.org/). At the time even though the Mac was more expensive than PC’s given what was not in the hardware, or the software (there was nothing like Hypercard at the time) we figured it would cost about 50% more than using Macs. And that did not include maintenance costs.

    I was recently back there, the therapy system has gone through several iterations but still runs on Macs (21.5 inch iMacs). I also noticed at the institute there was one lone survivor Mac Plus, still running, now as a mail server. About 20 years old and still kicking – I’d like to see a PC do that.

    These days I use a maxed MacBook Pro (last year’s not the current ones) as part of my research. Aside from the usual office type programs etc, I run my EEG analysis programs (3D EEG displays could almost be art), multiple different stats applications, and when needed Windows 7 Pro using Virtual Box. I’d like to see even a high end Win’Dohs laptop handle all that, and interface with my EEG system.

  48. damonbarth says

    My only issue with Apple is the cost. Not sure how they justify charging 2-3 times as much as a comparable Windows PC/laptop/ultrabook. It is essentially running on the same hardware, so are they charging you all that for the privilege of running their OS?

  49. Arkady says

    @51

    I gave my old ‘dead’ laptop to my flatmate to play with and he resurrected it as a Linux machine, we’ve christened it Patrick Troughton. I was rather annoyed that the university repair service didn’t identify the fault though (the power supply failed, and somehow wiped/corrupted the OS), took out the old hard drive as an external to get the data off and put in a replacement he got from a friend, works beautifully now.

    Still had to get myself a new windows laptop for work though, much as I might like to use open-source for my own stuff, the work stuff has to be compatible with everyone I send it to on the university system. The uni network system is horribly slow and clunky even on newer computers, one of the many reasons I use my own computer here (nice to be able to have more than one file open at any one time!).

  50. says

    so are they charging you all that for the privilege of running their OS?

    If people are willing to pay the premium for a Mac OS X experience that’s tightly integrated to their hardware, then that’s all the justification Apple needs.

    By the way, if you can point me to someone who is matching the specs of the new entry-level 15″ retina MacBook Pro for $750 – $1100, I’m seriously interested, because that’s all I can afford, and my laptops are getting long in the tooth.

  51. meursalt says

    @Orang Utan, #48

    I really don’t think you’re displaying enough arrogance. Surely you can do better than that.

    That wasn’t arrogance. When I said “I,” I wasn’t referring to myself specifically, but to any developer. If it makes you feel better, switch the first and second pronouns so that “I” am Apple and “you” are the developer.

    Considering the masses of rubbish that’s in the App Store, I’m actually happy there’s a slight barrier for developers.

    And you’ll notice I wasn’t advocating automatic free hosting at the App Store for anyone who writes an app.

    The attitude I was expressing, which your response didn’t really touch on other than to take issue with my wording, was conventional wisdom for most of the history of the computing industry. If you bought hardware, you were expected to either write your own software, or hire somebody to do it for you. In some cases this even extended to the OS to some extent. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable expectation to be able to write and run software on hardware that I’ve bought, without paying anything extra beyond the cost of said hardware, and maybe a compiler, libraries, and other environment “glue.” The only precedent I can think of, off the top of my head, is licensing schemes for gaming consoles.

    Maybe I should also point out that large parts of the foundations of OS X were lifted from FreeBSD and one of the Mach projects. Apple gained tremendous benefit from communities of people who had written their own system-level software, which would not have been nearly as likely to happen if the developers had had to pay extra fees just for the privilege of doing so. To then turn around and charge a fee just to write software for their platform which is based on the work of others, feels to me like a slap in the face to developers.

  52. timberwoof says

    I’m trying to figure out how, in people’s minds, the requirement for a provisioning key for developing iPhone apps turned into a fee to be able to write software for your own OS X Mac. There’s a very good reason for requiring keys for iOS development: they don’t want malware spreading on devices whose first purpose is to be end-points on a communication network. The key lets any malware get tracked to where it came from, and no one can futz with your app and blame it on you. But on OS X Mac you can go to town.

    OS X ships with Xcode, which includes all the compilers and UI development goodies. How much do the Windows development tools cost? (Yes, yes, Linux and Android development environments are free. I get that. Enjoy!)

    Apple does fund R&D (duuh!) and they do occasionally buy open-source projects. For example, CUPS and Rendezvous are Apple-sponsored now and are kept open specifically so they don’t get eaten by the likes of Microsoft.

    In the end, when I get home and want to dork around on my personal projects, I want to do it on a computer that stays out of my way and “just works”. For me, that’s OS X Snow Leopard. (In Lion they broke Save As and my 20 years of mouse training is no longer natural.)

  53. says

    My “first” computer was a Mac. I added more RAM, an external drive. At my workplace all they use is PC’s so I eventually switched over to one at home and gave my old Mac away. I’ve gone through a Dell, now have a HP desktop. My wife and I took our Toshiba Laptop (which is unredeemably sluggish)to Croatia and left it there. Bought a MacBook two years ago and have not been disappointed.

    Next desktop? A Mac.

  54. says

    I was recently back there, the therapy system has gone through several iterations but still runs on Macs (21.5 inch iMacs). I also noticed at the institute there was one lone survivor Mac Plus, still running, now as a mail server. About 20 years old and still kicking – I’d like to see a PC do that.

    Ta-Dah!

  55. meursalt says

    @Timberwoof, I should probably clarify. I was referring to writing software for IOS. I know I mentioned OS X’s lineage, which may have been misleading. Unless I’m mistaken, IOS shares some BSD code with OS X, so my remarks on OS X were meant to be inclusive of IOS. 

    Also, please don’t take this as blind Mac hate. I actually quite like most Apple hardware; it tends to be of very high quality despite some bizarre design choices such as soldering RAM and hiding hard drives under LCD displays. 

  56. Sili (I have no penis and I must jizz) says

    So your old laptop dies, just as the newest MacBook becomes available?
    Coincidence or evidence for …………….. planned obsolescence.

    p.s. I’m referring to god’s plan, not Apple’s. ;)

    I read recently that according to the insurers’ stats Iphones tend to experience accidents just as the new version hits the streets.

    Funny how that works. Dare I suggest that (some) Apple fanbois (m/f) have the morals of Christians?

  57. timberwoof says

    meursalt wrote, “IOS shares some BSD code with OS X”. Yes, it does, and actually a lot of the higher OS layers as well. Apple wrote a whole new lightweight video i/o system for the iPhones and is porting it to Mac OS.

    “…despite some bizarre design choices such as soldering RAM and hiding hard drives under LCD displays.” Yeah, they do that. A socket for RAM takes up a lot of space compared to the size of the chips themselves, and you use it once? I bought my MacBook Pro as a refurb and immediately put the maximum RAM that wold fit in it; my iMac had two free slots which I filled with the biggest RAM that would fit. I will probably never use those sockets again. They’re trying to get those lappies to be as thin as possible, and one way to do that is to eliminate the RAM sockets. And given the current design of the iMac, there’s no other place to put the hard drive. They are compromises I can live with, especially since I don’t have one of those new MacBook Pros. I guess I’ll have to coin a new word: I’m Macsplaining.

    Sili dared “suggest that (some) Apple fanbois (m/f) have the morals of Christians?” eh. There’s enough of that sort of blame to go around. Umberto Eco wrote this gem eighteen years ago: http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_mac_vs_pc.html … “I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant.”

  58. deee says

    Thing is, anyone who buys a product from Apple or Microsoft is supporting downright criminal, anti-competitive and immoral business practices of corporations whose aim is to take away the freedom to use computers etc. hardware the way they want away from the users in order to secure their own profits.

    Microsoft and Apple are parasites, plain and simple. They are entirely in cahoots with the copyright mafia (more parasites) and support draconian legislations.