It is nearing time to replace my current MacBook Pro with...something. As I've pondered my options, I've lately come to realize that I'm increasingly discontent with where Apple seems to be going with their business--or certain elements of it. I want to see what insights the MacRumors community has on these issues--namely, of what I perceive to be Apple's engineered obsolescence, disposability, and irresponsibility, and the lies that Apple tells--that many of us tell--in subtle ways to conceal that engineering that makes the company so rich and many people poor. First, let me say I'm a big fan of Apple from a family of fans of Apple. I especially like my Mac and the Apple platform for its utility in "creating"--the way you can bring together all sorts of texts, photos and other media to make your own creative work in an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface is unbeatable. That's what I primarily do with my computer, but I know it is powerful at doing even more stuff. But I want to explain the accusations in my thesis sentence and in the title in the rest of this, and hear your responses. The statement that a computer "becomes" obsolete is a lie. Apple and other software and hardware companies and creators mostly unintentionally--though not naively, and perhaps increasingly intentionally--create new forms of flash media and make them ubiquitous on the internet, or create new forms of software and push them until they are "standard". Those new forms happen to be such that newer systems handle them well and older ones don't. Only after that action can a machine "become" obsolete. The becoming is, however, a fabrication. If you restored my nearly 8 year old machine to its factory settings, reinstalled the factory disc software, disconnected from the net, etc, it would run the same way it did the first day; the circuits haven't changed, and if you restored it, the software wouldn't either. It is therefore possible to design and engineer computers, hardware and software, in a sustainable way. It is possible to regulate the technical change we fool ourselves into calling an "upgrade". That doesn't mean don't innovate. It means innovate in a way that is in the user's and consumer's interest. Because of the great problem of electronic waste, it also means innovating in the environment's interest. Apple has a responsibility to design its products so they last. At least in my eyes; I'm a firm believer in the idea that tools ought to last. I thus can't stand that the newer MBPs seem to be engineered specifically to be disposable! The unibody design appears to literally embody a throwaway mentality. Glued components and a sealed case make repair, upgrade, or modification by the less-than-expertly-tech-knowledge-endowed user nearly impossible. It encourages one to buy, and then pay Apple a set price when something breaks (Apple often bets that the repair will cost less than that price but won't bother changing its institutional structure to avoid having you pay before it is discovered downstream that the repair costs significantly less), or throwaway and replace. The attitude of disposability is not only environmentally threatening, but socially irresponsible and disgusting. It implicitly states, buy, and buy again to upgrade. Can't pay apple for your repair? Can't buy new? Don't want to? You're out of luck. What happened to the old hobbyist mentality of cultivating and slowly building a system around a structure that will last a long time...like, a really long time, with components that are upgraded over the years and customizable and interchangeable? Why is apple making mass-produced junk that I have to throw away? The stuff doesn't even increase in value over time like my antique lamps that long behold still work perfectly after more than a century. Apple MBPs don't even work after 5-7 years. The situation that Apple creates is additionally coercive to persons who are in less fortunate economic situations: students who depend on their machines for what is their work and what they believe to be a mechanism of social mobility--students, who are clearly a _huge_ part of Apple's market base (evidence: education discount, and a peak at the machines used by students in just about any university library). Apple takes advantage of them--and creative professionals who established or not, with or without more money than students, use their products to create. I'm disgusted by the notion of Apple Care and by Apple's paltry free warranties. There are plenty of companies that give free 15 year or lifetime warranties covering replacement of machines often in the case of damage that many would call user-created. Apple won't even cover damages to the product that it admits are its own fault for more than a year for free, 3 with a policy you have to pay for. When you do pay for the extended warranty, you are paying for apple to pick up the pieces where it admits it is a defect that is their own fault. Even more disgustingly, Apple takes pains to circumscribe the definition of its "fault" in its favor to an exploitative extent: common causes of computer damage such as coffee spills are, after Apple persuades many with convenient lies, shunted out of that definition. Why can't Apple see as legitimate the idea that water damage is Apples fault. Of course, the user spilt the coffee or whatever. But we're not fools. We know that water can damage circuit boards. And engineers are not fools (I would like to think). Apple is at fault for not making its electronics spill proof, since it is obvious that they will be used in a context of everyday life in which people drink drinks in normal use. It is disgusting that the most common damage to Apple products is not covered under any Apple warranty because Apple's untruths that the damage isn't its fault are believed and legitimated by the public and many institutions. It is Apple's obligation to build computers that are spill-proof, and their fault that they get damaged by spills, not mine. They ought to pay for their own mistakes and defects, including this one, when I spill coffee on it and it breaks. In sum: I like the creative aspects of computing with Apple, but I don't want to give money to Apple anymore for a machine that it engineers to become obsolete, that it engineers to be disposable, irreparable, and unupgradable, that it engineers to be susceptible to accidents that are endemic to reasonable everyday life. I don't want to pay for their design mistakes--even mistakes Apple admits are their own fault--anymore. I don't buy into their straw man arguments that "obsolete" is not invented, that spills are caused by the user and not stupid engineers (or rather very crafty CEOs and engineers). Apple seems to have destroyed the old hobbyist way of computing, and frankly I don't really like to see that the sum of money I've given them over my lifetime (probably enough to buy a new Prius at this point) goes to building Foxconn and other ethically questionable campuses and the exploited lives of workers in China, and to their new frisbee-shaped extravagant, and equally questionable campus in the US. The mystique is gone. I don't like the technical, environmental, or even social system that Apple seems to be creating with its products, and I'm much less inclined than I was years ago to contribute to it anymore. I don't expect this post to be uncontroversial. Thank you for reading (any portion of it) and I look forward to the ensuing discussion.