Rant: 30-year Mac fanatic finally buys Windows

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by tubular, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. tubular macrumors 6502


    Oct 19, 2011
    A rant from a thirty-year Mac user who just bought his first Windows box.

    Apple, how could you do this to us?

    I've been a Mac user since 1986, when I bought (used) a "fat mac" with all of 512K of RAM, and a case that still had everyone's signature inside. I had to swap out the motherboard to get to the 1M RAM necessary to run HyperCard. I stuck with the Mac through the days of Spindler and Amelio, and jumped at the chance to buy the first iMac, which was a real value.

    But this month I bought my first Windows computer ever. Why? Because Apple has so thoroughly lost the plot on the desktop that it's pushing away even loyal three-decade Mac users like myself.

    The Apple ecosystem is a tripod -- Mac, iPhone, iPad -- and Apple is apparently doing everything it can to chop one of the tripod's legs off. Things will land with a thud.

    I had (and still have) a mid-2010 Core 2 Duo Mac Mini. I started buying Minis after two iMacs (the original G3 and a G5) because I could no longer see the wisdom in replacing the screen every time I replaced a computer. It seems like planned wastefulness to me; the computer ages out much faster than the screen does.

    Spring of 2013 I started itching for a quad core. But the Mini was still on a roughly annual release cycle -- remember when Apple actually used to release new Macs for the desktop? -- so I thought I'd wait for the next model to drop. I do occasional light gaming, and the idea of better integrated graphics was part of my decision.

    So wait wait wait wait. 2013 comes and goes. Most of 2014 comes and goes. Finally, in September of 2014, I decided that there was no point in waiting any longer, and I pulled the switch to buy the quad-core Mini I'm typing this on. Unintentionally a very good move, because a month later Apple announced the Great Mac Mini Stupidization of 2014, a really stunning setback, in which ludicrously underpowered machines were offered up with everything soldered down to, I suppose, keep your desktop memory from being dislodged during an earthquake.

    Now, the Mac Mini is just a corner of the Mac market, but still, bulk orders for pitchforks and YouTube videos on how to light torches. It was very very dumb, Apple, and -- more importantly -- for the first time ever, it meant buying a new Apple machine meant going backwards in capabilities. That goes against the natural law of computers.

    So now the Mac pipeline is suffering from intestinal blockage. This entire year, all they released was an Air-called-a-MacBook (oh it's so THIN) and the now-infamous MacBook Extortionate, with its dongle fetish and a whammy bar you can use to play PacMan. The one that was so poorly received it triggered Apple's panicked price-slashing on the required dongle farm and high-end monitors.

    And that's it. The entire score for 2016. Apple has lost the Mac plot. It's like the days of Spindler and Amelio: watching something wonderful being destroyed by people who apparently simply don't understand why it's so wonderful.

    I'm keeping my 2012 quad-core Mac Mini, but it's now sharing the desk with my very first Windows box ever. For US$800 (holiday sales price, normally US$950), here's what I got:

    - i5 at 3.2 GHz, quad core, like you can't get in a Mac Mini

    - External GPU (GTX 1060 + 6GB RAM), like you can't get in a Mac Mini

    - 16GB RAM, not soldered in, like you can't get in a Mac

    - Two empty memory sockets for later, like you can't get in a Mac

    - 250GB SSD and 1TB spinner, both user-replaceable, like you can't get in a Mac

    - Empty bays if I want to add more drives later, like you can't get in a Mac

    - CD/DVD, like you can't get in a Mac, and yes, I do use it

    - Plus the case, PSU, motherboard, WiFi, etc. All of them user-accessible.

    - Lots and lots of USB ports that don't need dongles

    Here's what I didn't get:

    - an unnecessary and expensive monitor literally glued onto it, like you are forced to get in an iMac

    - a whammy bar that lets me play Pacman

    - a forest of dongles to make you weep

    - Jony Ive telling me it's the thinnest ever, as if thinness is the only virtue

    - every damned thing welded into place for all time

    I've set it up with Windows 10 and Ubuntu (the later for development). And you know what? Windows 10 ain't Windows 3.1. It ain't Windows XP. The environment is less cohesive than the Mac, but more cohesive than Linux. It turns out that Microsoft is no longer led by a sweaty ape from marketing trying to keep things as locked down, embrace-extend-and-extinguish, and 1995-ish as possible. Their inability to create a smartphone anyone wants to buy -- after round after round of trying -- taught them a hard lesson.

    Is OSX better? Yes. But is it four times better? Because that's how much I'd have to pay for a comparable Mac. And the answer is, no, not four times better, not anymore. Windows has its greeblies and wockawockas, but at least they seem to believe the desktop has a future that doesn't involve playing Pacman on a whammy bar. And Microsoft is keenly aware that Apple is abandoning the professional desktop by neglect if not intent.

    Yes, cars and trucks -- but Apple's mad if it thinks it's going to keep selling a 2013 truck at 2017 prices, and Apple's mad if it thinks people are going to buy a ferociously underpowered Mini-mini-mini, and Apple's mad if it thinks the iMac by itself is a complete desktop line.

    And the result is that, for the first time ever, this Mac fanatic has a Windows box. Redmond has finally breached the perimeter, because Apple is asleep, and -- at least today -- no longer makes a computer I'd consider buying for my own desk. Will I end up moving to Windows more and more? Dunno. But the camel's nose is inside the tent.

    Because Apple has utterly lost the Mac plot.

    Apple -- doesn't anyone there love computers anymore?
  2. Adam Warlock macrumors regular

    Adam Warlock

    Jun 22, 2016
    Unfortunately Cook has cried wolf too often about his magical pipeline and as a consequence customers have far less goodwill towards the company. Nothing will change until Cook & co are booted out of Apple, the sooner the better IMO!
  3. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Honestly these complaints can be applied to 1996 as much as 2016. Macs have never been a good buy in my opinion. If you've owned a Mac you've always overpaid for the same hardware found in a windows machine. If you want to tell it like it is, Apple has only excelled at one thing over Windows - user experience. It was true in the 80's and still true today.

    OP's rant is completely valid but talks about specs and price. I personally don't think Apple has ever won the spec or price battle.
  4. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    Apple won the spec battle because PPC was better than whatever Intel was offering. That was the main reason why Intel jacked up the clock speeds all the time--they had to catch up to PPC performance and that was the only way they could do it at the time. Now, Intel is at the forefront and doing a lot of things PPC already did and with success.

    Apple always won the spec battle, but never won the price battle. And the price battle is what's most important in a price-driven economy.
  5. tubular thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 19, 2011
    No, and I don't claim they ever have. The Apple UX has always been better. But there was a time it was much, much, much, much better compared to Windows. Now it is only better. And when the quality of the UX is the only real difference, and when that difference is no longer such a grand canyon, then price and specs do start to enter into the equation. And with the intestinal obstruction in the Mac pipeline, the evisceration/lobotomization of the desktops, and the de-Ballmerization of Microsoft, they all finally added up to a tipping point. For the first time since 1977, Apple is not making computers I'd consider buying. And that took a lot of doing on their part.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 26, 2016 ---
    Yeah, the pipeline is pretty constipated at this point. He says that he hasn't forgotten the desktop, but you can easily imagine a scenario where the entire 2017 update ends up being one or two still-thinner iMacs, with the 2012-era Mac Pro rusting in peace and the Mac Mini shrinking like the guy in "The Fly" saying "help me! help me!" in an ever higher voice.
  6. MysticCow, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

    MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    And coming in 2017 is a NEW MAC MINI! Yes, this new mini will have one USB-C port for power, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and any other periipheral you could imagine! Just remember to buy a USB hub, because we're not including it!

    This, unfortunately, is the Apple of today and it saddens me.

    Curious Post-Script--I've been on a Mac since System 7. I've endured a lot of transitions. Quite bluntly, Win 10 just works better on a Mac than the macOS, so I tend to stay on the Win partition on my 2011 Mac mini.
  7. tubular, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: May 31, 2017

    tubular thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 19, 2011
    The iMac idea -- you can't buy a computer without having to buy a new screen too -- finally became a deal-breaker for me.

    Imagine going to a car dealership, and saying "I want to buy a car."

    And the dealer says, "Great! You'll love our cars and elephants."

    You say: "Uh, I only want the car, I don't need the elephant."

    "But our cars and elephants are the best in the world!"

    "Yes, but I don't need the elephant."

    "Ah, but the elephant is glued to the car at the factory. We cannot sell you just the car. You have to buy the elephant too."

    "Well, don't you have any cars that don't have elephants welded to them?"

    "Yes! We have this truck, which will look like a pine cone once you've plugged everything into it, and because it uses nothing but 2012 technology, and we haven't updated it in any way for more than eleven hundred days, we'll happily sell it to you at full 2017 sticker."

    "Are you nuts? Who'd buy that?"

    "Well, on the other end of the spectrum, here is a roller skate. In 2014 we took off two of the wheels. Note that it doesn't come with any buckles or anything; you have to solder it to your shoes."

    "Don't you have any reasonable cars?"

    "Yes, we have plenty of very fine cars with very fine elephants glued to them."
  8. antonis macrumors 68000


    Jun 10, 2011
    To the OP: It's nice to see people keeping an open mind, see things as they are, and move forward when it is needed. Many people in these forums are still on the denial phase - they still don't get that Elvis has left the building in apple camp, regarding computers.

    I think you said it more precisely than I ever could, regarding the ones that take the decisions in apple nowdays:
    It's hard to believe that apple is still the same company who talked about "freedom" in computing while now tries to convince anyone that "glue will make us free".

    Enjoy your new purchase and your future upgrades on it, with whenever and whatever component you like in your machine.
  9. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    That's the entire POINT of the iMac and has been this way since 1998 with the iMac G3. That computer was also called "the machine that single-handedly saved Apple from death." So, unless you've been mad since 1998, there isn't much footing to stand on here.

    I'm not going to defend the Apple of today, because it's getting into a very sad shape similar to the time right before the iMac G3 made its debut. It's coming. The death of iOS will happen and Apple can't be the Pretty Shiny Objects Show forever. No business can do that as it's just impossible.

    It's time for an iMac G3 saving throw to the Mac users.
  10. tubular thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 19, 2011
    Yep, and I bought the 1998 iMac on literally the first day it came out, having ordered it a month before. I eventually retired it for a G5 iMac. What happened to that spiffy Trinitron tube, which was still functioning perfectly? It collected dust and got recycled with the rest of the computer a decade later. What happened to the screen of the G5, still functioning perfectly? It got recycled with the rest of the computer when I retired it. And by then I couldn't help thinking that these monitors were, like Yeats' line about having a young person's spirit in an old man's body, "tied to a dying animal." It was convenience with the cost of wastefulness.

    I want to replace the parts that are outdated while keeping the parts that aren't. That has become very difficult to do in the Apple scheme.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 26, 2016 ---
    It was a great machine and a great value. I don't see Apple hitting the same combination in the Mac line-up for the foreseeable future, and that's why I put my money elsewhere.
  11. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    My iMac G3's went to work with me. I don't need an Intel for an iTunes jukebox.

    My PM G4 (DA 733 MHz) still works. I don't need an Intel for the OS 9 usage I depend on that G4 for.

    They won't get recycled. They will likely die with me. ;)
  12. vkd macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2012
  13. Boyd01, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    When someone "rants" I generally just ignore them. I started with an Apple ][ in 1978, got a Fat Mac 512 in 1985. Most recent purchase was a used 2012 2.6ghz i7 quad mini. I love that machine and it should meet my needs for another year or two. When I find it no longer meets my needs, I will replace it with whatever other kind of Mac does meet my needs. It may not be my "dream machine", but I'm sure there will be something that will work. If it has to be an iMac, so be it.

    I have plenty of complaints about Apple, but not enough to make me switch. But if the day comes when I do switch, I won't waste further time "ranting" about it on MacRumors.

    OTOH, this does point out something that I've always liked about the Mac. People are really passionate about it, one way or the other.
  14. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    Without a dedicated Mac team there will be a limited refresh. OP is correct that the difference between Windows 10 and mac OS is on parity and above in component support and drivers and still a little behind in UI and aesthetics.
    Windows 10 is able to use processor and memory resources much more efficiently in my experience for cross platform apps.
  15. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    Anything Java runs better on Windows

    Anything Flash runs better on Windows.

    This shouldn't be happening, but it is...and anything like that is why there needs to be a dedicated macOS team to get crap running faster.
  16. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    So, question: do you think the creators of Java use Macs to develop their code? Do you think the creators of Flash use Macs to develop their code?

    Apple is currently not even trying to entice software developers to use their hardware. And so, stuff gets written first on Windows, and then later ported to the Mac.
  17. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Mac and PC user/owner here, at my home and at my offices. I get the OP's rant, I want to buy new hardware for my offices. I also tucked into my first Mac in Engineering Physics - a green-screen Apple ][ that I used Fortran 77 to calc my lab work with, and used the HP mainframe for bigger work (gawd I hated punch cards...).

    I get it, but I also get that Apple's been hampered by Intel's new schedule, which IMHO has put a lot of manufacturers 12-18 months behind what they were originally hoping. And, CES is just a few weeks away, and there will be lots of shiny new USB-C products out, new displays, and new peripherals.

    Then, there's the engineering side that I work on - I'm a civil construction engineer. Many times over the years, a client comes into my office, whether it's at the agency I worked at 20 years ago or one of the large consulting firms that I worked at over the years - a project is designed, gets all of the necessary approvals, maybe gets funded partially or in whole, and then gets put on a shelf until the time is right. For one project, we did everything we needed, then placed an order for the specialized vehicles - the lead time was 3 years, so the rest of the project was put on a shelf for 2 years, and the construction started about a year before the anticipated delivery date of the vehicles. All of our team was reassigned for that 2-year lull, and we came back for the project when it was time to build out. This one project wasn't unusual in its scope - Apple may have already designed the new products and just be waiting for some of the newer internal hardware to be manufactured. Like the new Surface Pro and Wacom's 16" MobileStudio Pro - they're rumored to come out in February or March, right about the time Intel's new chips are ready for the rest of us.

    Never mind the whole Texas Instruments chip/TB3 incompatibility thing - I'd wager that someone's career is over on this one.

    Yeah, I want some new tools to work with - the "gimme" factor is tough to resist, and it's good to have options. All of my PCs and Macs make money or me happy, including my several 2012 Mini Servers with 850 Pro SSDs - I ought to get a few more years out of them too. Happy Holidays!
  18. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    And the problem is they have lost a lot of desktop engineers by Tim and Jony dismantling the team and spreading whats left to other projects.
    Without a dedicated team you can not do research and development for desktop products.
  19. oldtime macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Wish I could disagree with you, but I just can't. I'm in the market for both a new desktop and laptop, but nothing Apple's offering up is alluring in the slightest. I would go the Windows route if I didn't despise the OS. Maybe I'll give Linux a go and see if that tickles my fancy. Sad days indeed for Apple when so many people want to buy a computer from them, but can't because they've gone off the deep end philosophically.
  20. righteye macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    I think many Mac users are facing this conundrum and if Microsoft keep going on the way they have recently it will only get easier to switch, there has to be a big enough benefit of owning a Mac to pay the premium if that gap gets to small then its inevitable people will switch. For me its the three iterations of the OS and then we don't give F@@@ about supporting you that i find the hardest thing to swallow.
  21. MysticCow, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

    MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    Releasing XCode has been their only attempt, and a half-a--ed one at best.

    Without a dedicated team, nothing gets done. Before Apple let go of their Java porting team, they did a really good Java 1.6 port. It worked and worked well. The Java team is now gone and Oracle just cannot dig as deeply as the old Mac team did...and now Java is unusable for high end.

    Flash has always been functional at best, as Adobe wanted more Photoshop sales than Flash downloads when it came to Mac users. That's why PS ran so nice/fast on the Mac while Flash sucked. They knew where the money was. Of course, Apple wants to kill Flash and for good reason too.

    OpenGL REALLY SUCKS. Present tense. The sheer overhead on the macOS is stupidly high. Yes, Metal is supposed to take care of that, but you have to code under the Metal framework.

    Now with those three items, they are not a problem on Windows 10. There's zero problem. On my wonderful old 2011 mini, THEY JUST WORK...under Windows...and I unfortunately need Java and OpenGL.

    Those same three items are a severe, crippling problem for the macOS. Crippling to the point of being non-functional. The sad thing is that none of these are really Apple problems, are they? Well, they aren't Apple's problems until people leave the macOS because of a lack of performance.
  22. niploteksi macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2016
    There are reports that Macbook Pros are selling like crazy in the Apple stores. We can expect more then a little sales. People will buy Macs than use them.
  23. sublunar, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016

    sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    It's a fairly simple conclusion that Apple needs people to purchase hardware more often because they 'give the OS away'.

    That kills off the piracy question apart from the Hackintoshers but it's counter productive for them to create machines which people could keep running for 10 years at a time by replacing graphics cards, adding hard drives, ever faster SSDs, etc.

    The thing is, regardless of whether you like them or not, Apple could and do build PCs to last years and they'd price them accordingly.

    Thanks to Intel's CPUs since Sandy Bridge (ix-3xxx series and later), it's no longer the case that you'd want the latest and greatest CPU just to run the OS well. Apple won't profit from allowing the likes of AMD or Nvidia from offering graphics cards that can be added to a Pro machine. Neither will they profit from allowing people to add the latest Samsung SSD purchased from Amazon (insert your favourite store here).

    Regardless of what people think of their line-up, you might consider that it's designed to make people update their computers more often as their needs change.

    Microsoft are moving towards a transactional economy for Windows, with people paying monthly for Office 365 (one of their massive software beasts) which comes with One Drive for cloud storage. That's a subscription. And I think it's seen as the future for many in the industry where folks are unwilling to pay for a new OS which would come with the latest security patches.

    Instead, Microsoft will not be releasing another major OS and is moving towards selling more Office 365 subscriptions with storage thrown in because they realise that there's significant numbers of folks who won't update their ancient Windows XP/Vista installs which stymies their hopes of making the platform more secure.

    Why, then, has Apple not made iCloud/iCloud Drive a compelling purchase? They did try to buy Dropbox in the past - which I see as an admission that their own offering isn't up to scratch - and were rebuffed.

    At Apple, Eddie Cue is responsible for subscription software such as Apple Music and iCloud and negotiations for future services such as the much mooted TV and movies which appears to have been going nowhere of years because Apple continue to play hardball and the big TV/movie companies aren't going down without a fight. I am sure Apple would like more people to pay for services such as iCloud but it's stymied by being an overpriced and mediocre service that doesn't have a 'Sync Now' button for the people who might consider an iCloud Pro option.

    The Mac Mini is a lower margin piece of equipment and won't receive the updates that power users on a budget in this forum want. And for some reason they think a Mac Pro at 3x the price and 3 years old tech (older than the 2014 Mini!) isn't good enough. :rolleyes:

    I'd rather just look towards reducing the upper limits of the Mac Mini and offering a lower priced entry MAC Pro that the budget power users with their own monitors could buy without moaning about outdated technology or innovation and backsides.

    This is not to mention the fate of Apple's own Aperture - which was a license for photographers to go Windows for Lightroom. Add in the bizarre neglect of Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X - and again you have folks giving up and going Windows because they have more powerful user selectable and replaceable hardware and Adobe have a reliable roadmap.

    It's clear that some of the professional video customers that Apple were looking to attract with the 2013 Mac Pro have been burnt too many times in the past and there will be several that are currently piling through work with a Dell or HP workstation at a fraction on the price using 'industry standard' Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects setups.

    But what if the teams on this pro software were pulled in to help sort out macOS Sierra and/or the next macOS like we've heard that desktop engineers were seconded to help finish off the ill-fated 2016 touchbar Macbook Pros?

    I'd suspect that the strong dollar in comparison with European and Canadian prices will severely affect Mac Pro sales for 2017 which is why there's been some hints of Mac Pro production moving back to the far east. Apple should consider lowering the bar to Mac Pro ownership with some iMac innards in a proper entry level model - and not just a heavy hint that people should be buying the ludicrously (in the UK) priced 6 core model.
  24. tubular thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 19, 2011
  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    When the PPC first came out, yes that was the case, but Intel did catch up and over take them on performance. Intel dedicated all its resources to improving the x86 chip (which makes sense since its their major product for profits), but for Moto and IBM it was not their main focus and so improvements were more incremental and it took longer to roll them out.

    It could be that Apple sees the computer sector shrinking and not investing as much as others, because they don't see a positive long term prognosis. They've effectively commoditized their computers, i.e., disposable computers. Of course that doesn't address why they've largely ignored the Mini and the MP.

    I'm a big believer in value for my money, and right now, I find I can get more value for my limited funds from PC makers then Macs.

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