Where is Apple going?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by FirDerrig33, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. FirDerrig33 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    That's a weird thread title for sure but I was just thinking about the Macs that I have owned, the ones I own now and the ones that I am considering purchasing and seeing the differences between them all.

    I started with an early 2009 iMac and have been using Macs almost exclusively ever since. I've owned multiple Intel Macs, and during a pretty difficult financial time period while in college and moving often, I started using PowerPC-based Macs. My latest (Powermac G5 Quad) was sold about 6 months ago and now I have a late 2014 Mac mini.

    What I have noticed is the movement away from giving the user more options for control of their machines and the future of their machines seems limited.

    With the new USB-C Macs, Firewire Target disk mode is no longer an option unless the other machine being booted into TDM is running MacOS Sierra. That removes the ability to use that basic function that Macs have had since the G3 to help repair/transfer/reinstall...etc. Now the 2012 model has been discontinued. :(

    I see this as a move by Apple to make MacOS much like iOS in so far that the operating system will be signed by Apple and will prevent installing different versions of the OS once you have updated.

    In addition to the moves made by Apple, I have also noticed other software losing capabilities that I took for granted. Handbrake does not function properly and what used to be a very simple process (backing up my own DVDs to put the movies into my iTunes library) is now touch and go. I find myself now wanting to re-purchase a PPC Mac just to utilize Handbrake again.

    Sometimes I also look at what is going on with the updating of software and wonder if Apple is either going to rename Safari something related to the cloud or even rely on other vendors to create browsers like they did when Macs were still relying on Microsoft and other 3rd party vendors.

    Maybe this is all pessimism, but it feels like things are moving away from what I became accustomed to and what I would use a computer for in the future.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this!
     
  2. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Growth often requires change. We must be open to change or we risk being left behind.
     
  3. FirDerrig33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I have no problem with change if that change allows for a better experience and better functionality. What I stated in my post were concerns about the changes being made that decrease functionality and the possibility of either downgrading or purchasing something older that would need to serve the purpose that my one machine should be able to handle. The fact that I can get a PowerBook G4, install an older version of Handbrake, and back up my DVDs is almost crazy.

    I could also use that same PowerBook to take advantage of the target disk mode feature to access/update/transfer/backup from any other Mac from 1999 -2016. That's not saying that I'm going to go back using PPC Macs primarily, but that feature is one that I think is incredibly useful. TDM has helped me save/restore many Macs and I think just the loss of that feature is a bad idea.
     
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    #4
    I don't disagree with you about TDM, but I'd also guess that less than 1% of Mac owners even know what that feature is, much less make use of it.

    Since that feature was introduced to Macs, many of the reasons it makes sense have changed. Macs are easy to natively backup now. External HDDs are a fraction of the cost that they used to be.

    So devil's advocate here, but at what point does it not make sense to support cool but obscure features like that (esp if they reside at the firmware level)?
     
  5. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #5
    As I see it, you're wanting new equipment to do the same thing that you've been doing.. the equipment has changed, but you and your practices have not. How did you get along before the introducion of the PPC? It sounds as if you made a personal change after PPCs came along (new equipment), but you're unwilling to make another personal change now that newer equipment has arrived. What are you going to do when DVDs go the way of the dodo?
     
  6. FirDerrig33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    You're right most likely about the percentage of Mac users that use that feature but it's what that feature is great for that makes me wonder why Apple is moving away from it.

    And TDM isn't just a way to access it to back it up, but also another avenue for repair/upgrade/installation of software..etc.

    And to answer your question, I think it makes sense to not support it when taking some degree of control away from the consumer is in Apple's best interest regarding sales/upgrades.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
    Well, yes and no to your observation. And I wasn't introduced to TDM with the PPC, I was introduced to it with my early 2009 iMac. And it wasn't a personal change, before I was using TDM I was using using LINUX live bootable USB drives to help to something similar to TDM. That however is limited in scope and not as versatile as TDM.

    And it's not just something that should go by the wayside with what can be considered technological advancement. I think TDM is a necessary function for troubleshooting and possible repair. Without TDM, my options for repairing newer machines is more limited. That of course is also limited by new hardware which doesn't necessarily allow for repair at the consumer level.

    If I no longer need DVDs when they become obsolete, then it would be irrelevant.
     
  7. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I began my Apple journey with an iPhone in 2012. I fell in love with that device and, today, I own an iPhone, 3ipads, 2 Mac minis, an Apple TV and an Airport Express.. and I don't even know what TDM is. I moved from nothing but Linux to nothing but Apple products and haven't seen the need to perform troubleshooting and repair duties. I'll admit that I kept liveCDs of SysRescCD and PartedMagic for years while running Linux, but they slowly fell into disuse as Linux distros improved.

    Is TDM still as vital for your needs as it once was? What did you do prior to being introduced to TDM. My point is, perhaps change is now required in order to keep up with technology. You cannot expect to use TDM forever, can you?
     
  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #8
    What's the problem you're having with Handbrake? It works perfectly on my iMac running Sierra - you just have to install the libdvdcss library to /usr/lib
     
  9. FirDerrig33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Well for most of those items TDM would be irrelevant anyway so I understand not knowing what it is, especially if you're relatively new to Apple. Not that new though.

    And yeah when things become more reliable things like that become less necessary.

    And actually it has become more of a necessity since people that I know are keeping their Macs for longer and need more assistance than a simple download can provide. Even for use as a device a download tool to then transfer what was downloaded to the machine in TDM is incredibly useful.

    And you might be right that change is now required, but for me wanting to be able to repair devices, maintain some degree of control in my computing, helping others with their repairs and updates and upgrades, cloning the OS installation..etc, I think that change is premature.

    And no I cannot expect to use it forever unless I continue to use machines that will eventually become local machines only similar to PPC Macs. I just don't like the prospect of a very primary function of a machine and a system being removed for the sake of advancement to uSB-c which has only become a standard due to its relative size of the cable.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
    Really??? Which version of Handbrake are you using? When I installed that library it didn't change anything and when inserting a DVD, Handbrake gave me a warning that it no longer supports breaking copyright protection on DVDs. When I tried it anyway, the quality was horrible.
     
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

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    #10
    Dropping a feature doesn't necessarily mean decreased functionality. Sometimes you have to consider what the new Macs can do that the others couldn't, rather than the other way around.

    As an example, the new MacBook Pros have TB3/USB-C ports with 40Gb/s bandwidth each and can also charge the machine at the same time. Each one can also be converted to any port or peripheral you need, with practically unlimited daisy chaining, from just one port. From this perspective, it's the most adaptable MacBook Pro yet.

    Yet for somebody who has frequently used their MacBook Pro to plugin USB devices on the go, or burn DVDs, or read/write SD cards, they can only achieve the same thing if they carry around a bag of dongles or external hardware. So from that perspective, it's the most limiting MacBook Pro yet.

    Historically Apple have been quick to aggressively drop what they consider to be legacy devices. They annoy a lot of people because they don't tend to go half-measure with it, or slowly ease people into the change. They cut it out, and people either adapt, or they leave the ecosystem. However I would argue that history has pretty much proved that their decisions were correct in the long run.

    Incidentally, I don't think your gripes are unwarranted. But I think there needs to be a point where you have to 'Think Different'. Consider it an opportunity you can do new things you couldn't do before, rather than a limitation that you can't do things you could do before. :)
     
  11. FirDerrig33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I understand the need for advancement to the point where older and perhaps underutilized features lose support. I am fine with that to a degree. So yes, these new machines have amazing data transfer capabilities and speed and can be charged from any of the ports; fine with that. However, what has that added other than speed and versatility to the extent that typical computing behaviors now require additional cable/dongle purchases? Yes, higher resolution is awesome and daisy-chaining is great.

    However, the other benefit to having USB and FW in the same machine is so that the system bus is not overloaded. What used to be a system with both a FW bus and USB, is now a USB only machine. That's not necessarily a bad thing due to the fact that there is more data throughput now over the bus than there once was. But, that data throughput could easily allow for the continued use of TDM. As it stands now, the only way to do that would be to get a YSB-c to TB adapter, and then a TB-FW adapter. even that will only allow TDM to function with other machines running MacOS Sierra. But you cannot use TDM with another USB-C Mac.

    I think the only reason history has proved that is due to the original loss of support which creates the lack of need for it because of the argument that people either leave the ecosystem or change their computing habits. SO I don't think that they have necessarily made the right call. They just look like they did.
     
  12. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Yes, a change of perspective is almost always beneficial.
     
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #13
    Hmm, this seems like the same thing others have said time and again. As I said before, we need a megathread on Apple's demise (or whatever you wish to call it).
     
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    #14
    Hmm, Apple's Support Page indicates that you can use TDM between two USB-C Macs.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204360
     
  15. AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

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    #16
    It's pretty amazing to think that what used to require you turning your MacBook into an immobile octopus can now be accomplished with a single cable. I'm still sore about such a drastic change, but now any unnecessary port is gone and free to serve as something else. With one plug, you can undock from your workstation and connect to many screens, drives, etc. simultaneously.

    One wacky idea I had to ease the transition from conventional ports to Thunderbolt that seems like it would've satisfied many folks would've been to ostensibly leave every port on the MBP and MB alone but make them… forwards compatible. If you don't want Thunderbolt daisy chaining and speeds, great, just use every port like normal. But if you want to (and because Apple manufactures their computers and adaptors), plug in a special USB-A to Thunderbolt cable and connect to that.

    The pinouts would obviously be different, but Apple could add specific pins as required to interface with adaptors. Heck, they could have USB-A to Thunderbolt, HDMI to Thunderbolt—any port.
     
  16. FirDerrig33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Thank you for that! For a while, USB-c was only allowing migration assistant between them so this is good news. Now I hope that they allow for this to continue through to computers that are not able to run MacOS Sierra.
     
  17. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #18
    SIP stops the installation of the libdvdcss.2.dylib into the system library location, which is what stops handbrake working. However, just download the file from here: http://download.videolan.org/libdvdcss/1.2.12/macosx/ and copy it to /use/lib and handbrake will use it and decrypt DVDs again :)
     
  18. FirDerrig33, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017

    FirDerrig33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    OK, well that's awesome! Thanks! What is the complete path to the location where I need to copy the library?

    Sorry, I found the location but OS X is not letting me copy that directly to the location. I think I'l have to disable SIP before doing that and then re-enabling it after I have copied it over.

    ***Update***

    Thanks again for this! I did have to disable SIP to get OS X to allow me to make changes to that folder, but I did it and it's working like it used to.
     
  19. DRDR, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    DRDR macrumors member

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    #20
    IMG_2266.JPG
    TDM works now over Thunderbolt and works just fine. I used it to create images (Macbook Pro 2016-Macbook Air 2016) and to clone systems (Macbook Air 2016-Macbook Air 2016)
     
  20. Tech198 macrumors G5

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    #21
    As far as I can see, down a rabbit hole.
     
  21. FirDerrig33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Are they both running MacOS Sierra? Or are you able to use TDM with both machines running different OSes and also use that with daisy-chained devices to clone systems that way?
     
  22. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Steadily to 1996.
     
  23. DRDR macrumors member

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    #24
    The Thunderbolt target disk mode becomes immediately available after power up when pressing the T-key. It does not need any operating system on the target computer. The computer connected to the target was running Sierra.

    I do not think that daisy chaining, provided the target computer has more than one thunderbolt port, will work. But as my target did only have one Thunderbolt port, I could not try this. But it does not make sense, if you take a look at the Thunderbolt architecture, the computer being the master except in the special Apple target disk mode.
     
  24. mbnt macrumors member

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    #25
    Jungle in the Sky!
     

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