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Picking a Core i3 Mac Mini from the middle of the Geekbench results range, you can see the benefits of the Mini's faster RAM and extra cores (4 vs. 2):
Hi, Ric, it looks like you're using only one stick of RAM in your NUC so the memory system is running in single-channel mode. If you install a second matched stick, it will switch to dual-channel mode, and the memory will run at a similar speed as the Mini. That doesn't change the individual Geekbench scores much, but some multicore scores will improve a bit along with the memory improvement:

 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... it looks like you're using only one stick of RAM in your NUC so the memory system is running in single-channel mode. If you install a second matched stick, it will switch to dual-channel mode, and the memory will run at a similar speed as the Mini.
Duh, thank you for the reminder! I had forgotten about that when I posted the benchmark results.

I wasn't even sure a single memory stick would work, but it did. The idea was to start cheap and see how things performed but allow for updating to more RAM without throwing away the first purchase — i.e. I can just buy another 8GB memory card to get 16 GB that will provide more speed. thanks to the benefits of a pair configuration.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The cost so far: $303 (i3 NUC) + $38 (8GB RAM).
For a system like this, a simple 2.5-inch SATA SSD seems appropriate, though you can rev up performance (if you need it) with an NVMe M.2 SSD, then the SATA slot can hold a 2.5-inch hard drive or SSD for backup or extra capacity. There are a lot of options, but here are some SSDs I feel confident about buying for their quality and performance:

2.5-inch SATA
M.2 NVMe
The WD Blue SSD is notable for low power (and presumably low heat), and it's priced comparably to the SATA version. (Be careful not to get the SATA M.2 version when trying to order NVMe!)

Of course, you can go higher in capacity for more storage, if you need it. The 1TB Crucial MX500 looks like a particularly good deal at the moment at $97, but it apparently won't be in stock until Sept. 25.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
He was already well on his way to $1billion in compensation from Apple.... (I wonder what else Apple could do with $1billion?)
Mikey Campbell said:
Tim Cook acquires $115M in vested Apple stock
Cook's latest stock award of 560,000 RSUs was granted on Saturday, with the executive satisfying both time- and performance-related goals laid out by Apple's board of directors, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The granted stock was worth just over $114 million at the end of trading on Tuesday.
 




Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Is it quiet?
Yes, quiet enough for me.
It's working easily, nicely, and quickly, if not silently. (There is a slight fan sound, which I don't enjoy, but it's not always there. We'll see how that plays out. There's always the silent case option.)
Despite tweaking settings in the Core i3 NUC's (remarkable) Visual BIOS, the fan noise remains noticeable. It isn't loud, but the sound of the small fan(s) just isn't as pleasant as a large, quiet fan, and it varies frequently. As a comparison, the 2017 iMac 5K is more often silent (but its fans can ramp up to a very noticeable rush when it's doing extra work, such as processing a raw camera file — adjusting tones, clarity, etc.).
 


I think Apple's problem is not lack of money or staff. It's a management team that is more interested in Oprah than OS.
I'll agree that management is the primary cause of the issue, but a consequence of management seemingly de-prioritizing the macOS platform over the past several years is a very clear signal to the best software developers, hardware engineers, and UI/UX professionals that their time and careers are better spent elsewhere. There are a lot of challenges in attracting the best staff to work on a mature platform, and management inattention compounds them all. When the best people stop showing up, a downward spiral can turn into a nosedive in a remarkably short time. I don't think that Apple is there yet, but I am certain they are closer than they should be.
 


I'll agree that management is the primary cause of the issue, but a consequence of management seemingly de-prioritizing the macOS platform over the past several years is a very clear signal to the best software developers, hardware engineers, and UI/UX professionals that their time and careers are better spent elsewhere. There are a lot of challenges in attracting the best staff to work on a mature platform, and management inattention compounds them all. When the best people stop showing up, a downward spiral can turn into a nosedive in a remarkably short time. I don't think that Apple is there yet, but I am certain they are closer than they should be.
In the John Sculley through Mike Spindler eras, I opined that Apple was surviving in spite of its management, not because of it. Jeff Bezos provided an even better evaluation of company management in 2016, which one might apply to Apple, as well. Sadly, the middle managers are forced, more and more, to toe the company line and are provided less of an opportunity to make things right. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to call Apple an end-stage company although it may take a while for the crash 'n burn.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Imagine what Apple could have done if it had refined its 2013 Mac Pro design instead of switching, after six years of neglect, to a "Hollywood" 2019 Mac Pro at stratospheric prices....
Asus said:
Mini PC ProArt PA90$2899
  • 3.6 GHz Intel Core i9-9900K 8-Core (5 GHz boost)
  • 32GB DDR4 memory (64 GB max)
  • Nvidia Quadro P4000 with 8 GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • 2 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
  • 4 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
  • 4 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac); Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz), 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
  • 512 M.2 PCIe SSD
  • 1TB 2.5-inch hard disk drive (7200 RPM)
  • CPU liquid-cooling system and adaptive air vent design — 25.5 dB at idle and 32 dB at full load
  • 410 W power supply
  • Compact footprint (6.93 in x 6.93 in x 14.37 in)
  • wireless keyboard and mouse
(I'm not sure how well this Mini PC will run macOS or Linux, though. It's also not clear whether the internals are accessible/upgradable.)
 


The New York Times has an interesting article:
Jack Nicas and Keith Collins said:
How Apple's Apps Topped Rivals in the App Store It Controls
Top spots in App Store search results are some of the most fought over real estate in the online economy. The store generated more than $50 billion in sales last year, and the company said two-thirds of app downloads started with a search.

But as Apple has become one of the largest competitors on a platform that it controls, suspicions that the company has been tipping the scales in its own favor are at the heart of antitrust complaints in the United States, Europe and Russia.

Apple’s apps have ranked first recently for at least 700 search terms in the store, according to a New York Times analysis of six years of search results compiled by Sensor Tower, an app analytics firm. Some searches produced as many as 14 Apple apps before showing results from rivals, the analysis showed.
 


The majority of personal computers get by just fine without a T2. Apple could have made a T2 type device for other Mac-centric purposes and left the SSD out of the equation. Standard M.2 NVMe SSDs would have been just fine.
Indeed; however, they did not. To understand why, you must understand that everything Apple does is designed to never leave any money on the table. In order to accomplish this, the fewer inexpensive repairs that are possible, the better. What can't be built into one monolithic chip will then be made reliant upon other proprietary parts that are inextricably linked by design. When the repair cost is high, customers locked in by the proprietary ecosystem will simply spend more money to upgrade to a new computer (or iDevice).

Those who've expressed a longing for the "Steve" days conveniently forget that his original dream device was the sealed, "non-upgradeable" Macintosh (although very smart folks found ways around that). He also felt that Apple should not be worried about competing with Microsoft but, instead, try to emulate Sony. Apple did exactly that.
 


... you must understand that everything Apple does is designed to never leave any money on the table. In order to accomplish this, the fewer inexpensive repairs that are possible, the better. What can't be built into one monolithic chip will then be made reliant upon other proprietary parts that are inextricably linked by design. When the repair cost is high, customers locked in by the proprietary ecosystem will simply spend more money to upgrade to a new computer (or iDevice).
An equally big factor likely is the cost of manufacture / design.

Apple went through different design iterations / focii over the years. The original Mac was hard (and potentially dangerous) to work in, later machines became so simple to assemble that it could be done while on-stage at MacWorld, and now we are back in unserviceable-by-mortals territory by integrating everything into the fewest, fused parts possible.

Particularly galling is the integration of the SSD into the motherboard, ditto RAM for laptops, the Mac Mini, etc. Better have backups, even with that proprietary Apple-only connector... and fusing allows Apple not only to collect rent as part of the sales process but to also potentially stimulate early hardware retirement / replacement.

But design is likely an equally important factor. If laptop users demand a stiff yet thin / light computer case, milling it out of a solid piece of aluminum is a pretty good way to get there. Now, how to stuff said case with as much processor, cooling, etc. as possible while also leaving room for the batteries? Integration and loss of serviceability is a common result, across all manufacturers.

There are a few OEMs like Dell that still put a premium on serviceability for some of their laptops, due to longstanding supply relationships with the business community and the service providers that support them. I was simply amazed how quickly and easily the innards of my work-issued laptop can be laid bare and how simply components, daughterboards, etc. could be swapped out. And, while there were a lot of connectors, that laptop didn't feature a towering stack of daughterboards like the Powerbook 520c, etc.

The current Mac Pro features a bit of a nod towards the professional community - the RAM is replaceable, ditto the SSDs and the CPU. However, even here, the Apple design professionals couldn't help themselves and came up with new solutions that may offer some aesthetic and airflow benefit but which also constrain the gamut of options open to end-users.

While the proprietary power / communication connectors for the MPX modules create a "clean" appearance inside the computer, they also ensure that the range of modules will be limited to the small market that MPX OEMs can cater to while still turning a profit. Granted, this approach is superior to the cable salad that most video cards create in a standard case (with all the air flow issues, etc. that follow) but non-standard solutions usually gurantee another thing: more spend!

Hopefully, someone can come up with an MPX module that features a fan, 8-pin molex power connectors, and other standard interfaces, that allows for a wider range of graphics or other power-hungry cards to be serviced. That would go a long way to bypass the likely egregious "Apple Tax" that I expect to see for MPX-clad graphics cards, as well the Pegasus hard drive holder - that is, should Apple allow such a thing to even see the light of day.
 


Regarding sealed up laptop computers which are hard to fix:

Apple has done a number of things that did not seem customer-friendly. I can remember the useless USB port on the first iMac, getting rid of the floppy disk drive, and dropping the PC card slot. I remember Jobs explaining during one of the presentations that an Apple survey proved that some large precentage of laptops with the PC card slot had a SD card reader permanently installed in the slot. I looked down at my laptop and said, yes, that is me, too.

I know that [there are issues with] the mechanical connection between the RAM card and the motherboard, as well as the cabling between the hard disk and the motherboard. So eliminating these connections could result in higher reliability. And a bad connection for the RAM card could be really hard to find.

I do think that worshipping thinness in laptops cannot continue forever, and design over function can be very detrimental to the user. I also think that the need for upgrades really has gone down, at least for me. I remember doubling the speed of my Mac Plus, increasing the bus speed of a IIfx, upgrading my processor in a Power Mac 7600 many times. Each of these upgrades made a big difference in my productivity. Not so much any more. I think it will take many years of improvements in laptops to make it worthwhile to upgrade. In fact, it is probably the yearly macOS cycle and expiration of security updates which will force hardware upgrades long before the hardware actually needs replacing. I think that the ending the support, especially security updates, of older versions of OS X is more important to me that the inability to upgrade hardware.
 


I also think that the need for upgrades really has gone down, at least for me. I remember doubling the speed of my Mac Plus, increasing the bus speed of a IIfx, upgrading my processor in a Power Mac 7600 many times. Each of these upgrades made a big difference in my productivity. Not so much any more. I think it will take many years of improvements in laptops to make it worthwhile to upgrade. In fact, it is probably the yearly macOS cycle and expiration of security updates which will force hardware upgrades long before the hardware actually needs replacing. I think that the ending the support, especially security updates, of older versions of OS X is more important to me that the inability to upgrade hardware.
I agree that performance upgrades generally are not nearly as important as they used to be, especially with laptops, but capacity upgrades still can make a big difference for many users. There are a lot of people getting a lot of extra mileage from 2012 and even earlier MacBook Pros after upgrading with SSDs and/or RAM. Given the exorbitant premium that Apple charges for its RAM and storage on new machines, machines that have limited or no upgradeability become much less attractive to users on smaller budgets.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Another Apple executive feels it's time to leave:
Recode said:
Apple’s VP of communications is leaving the company
Steve Dowling, who has headed Apple’s communications for the last five years, is leaving the company.

Dowling previously was Apple’s head of corporate public relations for 10 years. During his tenure, the tech giant has dealt with everything from Tim Cook’s first years as CEO after the death of its iconic founder to a bevy of new product rollouts to a fight with the US government over encryption.

According to a memo he sent this week to staff, Dowling wrote, “it’s time.” He added that he plans to take time off and is apparently not moving to another job at another company. Dowling will stay at Apple until the end of October.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A new executive is joining Apple (in contrast to those who have been leaving):
Mark Gurman/Bloomberg said:
Apple Hires AstraZeneca Chief Information Officer David Smoley
Apple Inc. has hired David Smoley, chief information officer of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca Plc, for a vice president role.
... Smoley is known for his early embrace of cloud computing. He has also served as the CIO of Flex Inc. and as an executive at Honeywell International Inc. and General Electric Co., according to his LinkedIn profile. Apple has about 100 vice presidents...
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
If you're looking to buy a new mid-range computer that's not a traditional personal computer box, there's an interesting choice now between Apple's high-priced iPad Pro models and Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets.
The Verge said:
The Surface Pro X is Microsoft’s answer to the iPad Pro
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: there’s a new tablet powered by a souped-up mobile processor, with a detachable keyboard and a magnetic stylus. It promises way better battery life than a laptop and runs most of the same apps, with LTE support to always keep you connected, although the size and weight come at the expense of things like a headphone jack. In short, it promises to be that mythical holy grail that can bridge the gap between a phone and a full-fledged laptop.

I’m talking, of course, about Microsoft’s newly announced Surface Pro X. Or is it Apple’s iPad Pro?

But while the two devices sound similar in concept, they represent two very different ideas of what this category of device should be.
Amazon's taking pre-orders for Nov. 5 release:

Here's a summary of today's Microsoft announcements:
Forbes said:
Microsoft Widens Surface Line With Pro X, 15" Laptop 3, Neo Foldable, New Processors And Earbuds
  • Surface Pro X- edge to edge display design, Qualcomm-based processor, pen nook
  • Surface Neo- 9” unfolded to 13.1” Windows productivity device
  • Surface Laptop 3, now with 15” and custom AMD option
  • Surface Pro 7- latest Intel processors and USB-C
  • Surface Earbuds
... All in all, this was a huge event with new form factors, new use cases, and processor choices. Surface Pro X signifies the biggest change ever to the Surface Pro line adding the always-on, always-connected dimension and improving the pen experience. Surface Neo creates new foldable use cases with a new operating system designed for dual-screen use cases. Surface Laptop 3 added 15” models and removable SSDs for commercial customers. Overall, customers now have new processor options from AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm. Surface Earbuds extend the Surface experience and differentiate with touch gestures.
Microsoft held an Apple-style announcement show:

 


I haven't truly loved a Mac OS since Snow Leopard. Sadly, I realized this morning that I have grown to detest Apple at least as much as I ever did Microsoft--back in the days when Windows was a hot, clunky mess and the Mac OS was a joy to use, when pleasing its fiercely loyal customer base was Apple's raison d'etre. Today's Apple bears virtually no resemblance to the company it was 20 or 30 (or even as recently as 10) years ago. The quasi-magical DNA of this company that once-upon-a-time encouraged us to "Think Different" has mutated into something unrecognizable and grotesque. No longer standing up against "the man," Apple has become "the man."
 


The folks at Dune, who created a knockoff of the 2013 Mac Pro case, are getting ready to start up a Kickstarter campaign on October 21 for the Dune Pro which mimics the 2019 Mac Pro. MacRumors has a thread about it with a comment from Alex Gomez, the founder of Dune case (see comment 32).

It's got me the thinking about a hackintosh using this case since I'm not going to be able to afford the new Apple Mac Pro until a few years down the line when they start showing up cheap on eBay.
 


I haven't truly loved a Mac OS since Snow Leopard. Sadly, I realized this morning that I have grown to detest Apple at least as much as I ever did Microsoft--back in the days when Windows was a hot, clunky mess and the Mac OS was a joy to use, when pleasing its fiercely loyal customer base was Apple's raison d'etre. Today's Apple bears virtually no resemblance to the company it was 20 or 30 (or even as recently as 10) years ago. The quasi-magical DNA of this company that once-upon-a-time encouraged us to "Think Different" has mutated into something unrecognizable and grotesque. No longer standing up against "the man," Apple has become "the man."
Boy, I really don't want to believe this, but...

I am an Apple Fan Boy from waaayyyyy back. I'm 76 now and still love most of the things they do. I just upgraded my Apple TV to an Apple TV 4K. Setting it up was pure Apple "magic". All I had to do was put my iPhone near the Apple TV. It did the rest. I am mostly dismayed by all the security stuff they obviously see as necessary.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
  1. As a quintessential example of abusive behavior, you can't say "no." Apple won't let you stop its very forceful demands for confusing and problematic "upgrades", Apple ID, iCloud, and 2FA (with its Apple device dependencies), its invisible A.I. "photo analysis" daemon, various forms of advertising, and you can't even remove unwanted Apple apps.
  2. Apple's pricing for memory and storage upgrades is abusive.
  3. Apple's confusing hide-and-seek user interfaces are abusive.
  4. Apple lies to customers in Apple Stores are blatently abusive.
  5. Apple "stonewalling" on product defects is extremely abusive.
  6. (Apple's treatment of developers and partners also offers examples of various abuses.)
7. Apple forcing unwanted content onto customers' devices without asking permission: quintessential abusive behavior.
8. Apple's treatment of independent resellers and repair shops, forcing most of them out of business.
10. Sherlocking Apple developers.
The latest example:
Astro HQ LLC said:
What To Do When You Get Sherlocked By Apple
It’s pretty standard for at least a few third-party developers to get crushed during Apple’s annual press conference. At some point in the presentation, Apple will announce a new OS feature, while some developer watches in disbelief as Apple swindles their entire business.

It’s a phenomenon widely referred to as getting “sherlocked” (you can read more about how the term came to be here). It’s oddly flattering and intensely infuriating, and I know this first hand because it happened to the company I work for.

We’re Astropad — a small, nimble, bootstrapped startup with products for creative pros like Astropad Studio and Luna Display. In June 2019, Apple announced a new feature in macOS Catalina called Sidecar that closely copied our product lines. For our team of just 13 people, it was devastating news. Watching Apple present Sidecar to the world was like seeing years of hard work flash before your eyes while someone else takes credit for it.
#abuse #appleabuse
 






This build TweakTown assembled came in at $3,628. The article suggests it could have been $2,939, had the site not used more expensive components (e.g., case) already at hand. The "base" Mac Pro is expected to ship at $5,999. (Worth noting: the entire exercise was done at the request of SuperMicro, which provided the motherboard.)
Tweakown said:
The Mac Pro Killer Build Guide, featuring Supermicro and Intel
  • If you are looking at Apple's specifications for the offered CPUs and notice a mismatch in cache sizes compared to Intel's site, that's because Intel's site only lists L3 cache, while Apple's adds up L3 and L2 caches.
  • Base pricing of the new Mac Pro will be $5,999, and that's for only an 8-core CPU with 32GB of RAM in quad channel, a Radeon Pro 580X GPU, and a 256GB SSD. We will build a system that will take full advantage of the CPU, including hexa-channel DRAM, expanded PCI-E slots using a PEX chip, and full room for expansion. Like the Mac Pro, our workstation will utilize the Xeon W CPU, which requires high-end enterprise grade hardware such as RDIMMs.
  • If you are thinking of a Hackintosh machine, you should know this motherboard does have the i210-AT LAN controller which is supposed to be compatible and the Realtek ALC888S codec, but we make no promises.
[Also FYI:]
Podfeet said:
I Built a Hackintosh – By Trevor Drover
  • When Mojave was released last year I was disappointed that my 2011 iMac was deemed incapable of running it. I had upgraded it to 20GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD alongside the existing 1TB hard drive and SuperDrive.
  • Perhaps a new 27” iMac was on the cards, but with a base price in Australia of $2,799 plus $320 to increase the RAM to 16GB and another whopping $800 to replace the 1TB Fusion drive with a 1TB SSD brings it to $3,919. Very pricy.
  • The PC computer I chose is a HP Elite 8300 with 8GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive that I picked up for $72.
  • I discovered, was that the inbuilt graphics of the Intel i5 “Ivy Bridge” family processor in the HP computer would not be good enough and I would have to use a dedicated graphics card or upgrade the processor to an Intel i7. I chose to do the latter. I located an Acer computer online with the required i7 “Ivy Bridge” processor, 4GB of RAM and no hard drive and secured it for $97.
  • It runs twice as fast as my iMac when using Handbrake to transcode videos.
  • It normally runs much cooler, typically 35°C but does increase to 70°C when transcoding video and even then there is no fan noise.
  • It is very easy to physically work on.
 


It's got me the thinking about a hackintosh using this case since I'm not going to be able to afford the new Apple Mac Pro until a few years down the line when they start showing up cheap on eBay.
If you can make a Hackintosh work in this case, you'd likely end up with a superior solution except for a few edge cases. In many ways, this is the mythical mid-sized, expandable Mac Apple never gave us (though with a lot of PCIe slots on it!).

Overall, this solution is likely to be far less expensive to build and maintain over the long run. Individual components can be fitted, replaced, or upgraded as needs and use-cases dictate. Industry-standard power supplies, motherboard mount points, etc. go a long way to increase equipment options and minimize costs.

Plus, this is an opportunity to run motherboards with one or more CPUs, an option Apple has declined to offer since the cheese-grater era. Anyone looking for serious multi-threaded CPU capacity on a macOS platform likely should consider a dual-CPU hackintosh. This case could also hold multiple GPUs, without the need to pay the MPX tax.

One downside is cable management. I don't see a lot of built-in management, likely a result of trying to make the design as flexible / configurable as possible. Expect to use a lot of zip ties if air flow is important (and it usually is!).

I'd also prefer 3.5" hard disk drive mounts that allow disks to be removed individually, with a backplane in the back (see Lian Li) instead of the cages used in the Dune Pro. However, I imagine most folks buying this sort of system are looking to only use a 2.5" array of SSDs, and this case can hold 5.

My biggest concern is the unsupported internal I/O connectors on the top-mounted I/O board, allowing anyone to easily shear the exposed, cantilevered connectors right off (see teardown video). There has to be a better solution, such as offering a small screw hole (like the ones used by the I/O interface) to install a wire tie that locks the cables in place.

It'll be interesting to see if Apple will allow this case to coexist, especially if it turns out to be popular. If I were in the market for such a case, I'd secure one quickly before Apple potentially sends a cease and desist notice to the Dune folks for the fairly blatant exterior design appropriation by the Dune or the Dune Pro.
 


This build TweakTown assembled came in at $3,628. The article suggests it could have been $2,939, had the site not used more expensive components (e.g., case) already at hand. The "base" Mac Pro is expected to ship at $5,999. Worth noting the entire exercise was done at the request of SuperMicro which provided the motherboard.
[Also FYI:]
This is something I might try, but I haven't done a Hackintosh since a Dell mini 7! As long as there is support for Mojave and a GPU card, I might look into some Dell surplus i7 computers I have access to. Makes great sense to have an OS per SSD since they are so cheap now. Thank you for that link!
 


For my small office, an iMac computer is a relatively minor cost. I could buy a new computer every year, and the cost, while significant, is still less than other costly items like medical insurance, filling out tax forms, wasteful meetings, spam emails to delete, and so on. Inefficiency is really the major cost item in my office, I really do not spend much time maintaining my work iMac and my employee iMac.
 


This is something I might try, but I haven't done a Hackintosh since a Dell mini 7! As long as there is support for Mojave and a GPU card, I might look into some Dell surplus i7 computers I have access to. Makes great sense to have an OS per SSD since they are so cheap now. Thank you for that link!
Depending on your model, some of the Dell and HP OEM boxes are dead simple to Hackintosh. I'd suggest searching at TonyMacX86. However, support for most Nvidia graphics cards ended at High Sierra, and 10x0 cards were never supported:

 


I haven't truly loved a Mac OS since Snow Leopard. Sadly, I realized this morning that I have grown to detest Apple at least as much as I ever did Microsoft--back in the days when Windows was a hot, clunky mess and the Mac OS was a joy to use, when pleasing its fiercely loyal customer base was Apple's raison d'etre. Today's Apple bears virtually no resemblance to the company it was 20 or 30 (or even as recently as 10) years ago. The quasi-magical DNA of this company that once-upon-a-time encouraged us to "Think Different" has mutated into something unrecognizable and grotesque. No longer standing up against "the man," Apple has become "the man."
I have become so sick of the cynical forced upgrade cycle (new watch needs new phone needs new Mac needs new watch), that after being Apple exclusive in my personal purchases since the 1980's, I have decided to no longer drink the KoolAid. When Apple products were demonstrably superior in quality and usability I was willing to put up with the exorbitant pricing, but now I find their hardware to be so markedly inferior in features (and probably no better in quality than similarly priced alternatives), their software so buggy and user-hostile, and their focus so entirely on pushing unwanted paid services on me (to the point that my computer is no longer really under my control), that I have decided I have purchased my last Apple product. I guess from here it will be Linux for desktops (not without its trials, but hey, it will make things interesting and at least I will be back in control of what gets installed and when). More problematic is the choice of phone. Android-based phones seem like jumping from frying pan into the fire. They still sell Nokia 3310's here in Australia for kids to use. May have to go full Luddite and get one of them!
 


Just for the record, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was being in a sales meeting with some clients and having my watch beep at me, twice, with notification that a new episode of some stupid reality TV show was available on AppleTV.

I have not upgraded, or changed anything on my watch or phone for ages, and I certainly have never watched the stupid show on my AppleTV. The AppleTV did upgrade itself recently, with no interaction from me. Did this somehow enable AppleTV push notifications to my Phone/Watch? If so, not cool. Although, by interrupting an important meeting it did make me think, and opened my eyes to just how much time I spend wrestling with unwanted and seemingly unstoppable notifications.

Every morning my watch, instead of showing the time, you know, like you want a watch to do, has a warning about not having enough free space to install an update that I have never initiated nor want. Every time I want to use my phone, to maybe make a phone call, you know, like you want a phone to do, I have to dismiss some warning about 2FA (which I don't want) not being activated and/or urging me to sign in to iCloud. Every morning when I start up my iMac I have to dismiss notifications (that hide my hard drive icon in the top right corner) about updates being available for programs I never use and an advertisement urging me to upgrade to an OS I don't want. Enough already!
 


I agree that the degree of over-stimulation via watch/phone/CPU via notifications is annoying.

When a friend’s birthday rolls around, my Fitbit reminds me at least 8 times that day, whether I’ve “clear’ed” it or not. Likely, it is my phone sending those notifications!

One can argue when the best time is re notifications on application updates, also - is it when the application launches (Carbon Copy Cloner), as a warning message while it is operating (Makemkv), as a window inside the app (Postbox 7) or as part of the centralized App Store update ritual? Every developer has a choice here.

To counter the barrage of notifications, I am aggressively turning off notifications as I encounter them.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This seemed interesting, though it probably depends quite a bit on the hardware involved, a MacBook Pro in this case (which should favor Apple):
Phoronix said:
Apple macOS 10.15 vs. Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 Performance Benchmarks
... Using an Apple MacBook Pro with Core i7-6700HQ Skylake CPU, 2 x 8GB RAM, 250GB Apple SSD, and Radeon Pro 450 graphics, macOS 10.15, Windows 10, and Ubuntu 19.10 were all benchmarked off this same system. All three operating systems were tested with their latest software updates as of testing.

... Of 86 benchmarks carried out across all three operating systems, Ubuntu 19.10 was the fastest 48% of the time followed by Windows 10 with leads 31% of the time and macOS 10.15 at just under 20%.

Of the three operating systems, macOS 10.15 was in last place about half the time.

If taking the geometric mean of all the benchmark results, Windows 10 had an 18% advantage over macOS 10.15 Catalina. Ubuntu 19.10 meanwhile had a 29.5% advantage over Apple macOS and 9% over Windows 10 for this tests from the same MacBook Pro.

Where macOS tended to perform the best was with the Firefox web browser benchmarks, the results on Google Chrome were mixed under Windows and macOS, and macOS also did well in some of the creative workloads like the Appleseed renderer. Windows 10 picked up some wins in gaming tests and other select workloads while Ubuntu 19.10 showed its best under the heavy CPU/system benchmarks.

#benchmarks #linux
 


This seemed interesting, though it probably depends quite a bit on the hardware involved, a MacBook Pro in this case (which should favor Apple):
My own attempts to make sense of Phoronix benchmarks has me in the role of that guy who can't see the forest for the trees. Lots of data points I'm not willing to spend my time understanding.

What I have been following on blogs and Linux podcasts is Canonical's dedication to making Ubuntu faster.
A Smackerel of Opinion: Notes and jottings from an Ubuntu Kernel Team Engineer said:
Boot speed improvements for Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine
In compression size, GZIP produces the smallest compressed kernel size, followed by LZO (~16% larger) and LZ4 (~25% larger). With decompression time, LZ4 is over 7 times faster than GZIP, and LZO being ~1.25 times faster then GZIP on x86. ...
Even with slow spinning media and a slow CPU, the longer load time of the LZ4 kernel is overcome by the far faster decompression time. As media gets faster, the load time difference between GZIP, LZ4 and LZO diminishes and the decompression time becomes the dominant speed factor with LZ4 the clear winner.

For Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine, LZ4 will be the default decompression for x86, ppc64el and s390 kernels and for the initramfs too.
Ubuntu said:
Boosting the Real Time Performance of Gnome Shell 3.34 in Ubuntu 19.10
As you may have read many times, Gnome 3.34 brings much improved desktop performance. In this article we will describe some of the improvements contributed by Canonical, how the problems were surprising, how they were approached and what other performance work is coming in future.
There's a lot of "stuff" going on in macOS all the time, much of which is related to the multiple software components Apple has overlaid on the OS itself. Ubuntu's update system is more streamlined than Apple's, and isn't tasked with verifying DRM status of installed applications. Ubuntu doesn't have a photo application that's busy analyzing content and tagging photos for face and object identification. There's no Spotlight eating CPU cycles and phoning users' local searches to the 'net. (Though Canonical did try that several years ago, to much user push-back.)

The last time I had a "gee whiz, that's fast!" experience with a Mac was when I first booted my 2010 MacBook Air on Snow Leopard 10.6.4.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The last time I had a "gee whiz, that's fast!" experience with a Mac was when I first booted my 2010 MacBook Air on Snow Leopard 10.6.4.
To be fair, I had a similar experience when I booted a plain vanilla macOS Mojave system on the slam dunk 2017 iMac 5K internal flash drive last night – it was surprisingly fast (in comparison to a 2015 MacBook Pro 15" that is not at all slow running a very full macOS Sierra production system with a 27" QHD display). Of course, an iMac Pro might be even faster.... :-)
 


PC World reports on some interesting computer technology from the Computex 2018 trade show. Highlights include massive CPU core collections, dual-screen designs that fold like a book, thermoelectric coolers, the lack of upcoming GeForce cards, Intel low-power display technology, a very innovative keyboard with Aimpad technology, screenpad technology that makes an interesting comparison with Apple's Touch Bar, and more.
Here's some more interesting technology en route to us:
Mark Gurman said:
Apple’s Smart Glasses Could Make 2020 the Year of AR

... The coming year will be critical for Apple Inc. Consumers should expect its most impressive hardware rollout in some time: The iPhone is due for its first major update since 2017, including 5G support, a much beefier processor, and a rear-facing 3D camera. The latter will give the phone a better sense of where it is in physical space, improving the accuracy of object placement in augmented-reality apps, which overlay virtual images on the real world. That could make it easier for users to model, say, the placement of pictures on their walls.

Such applications are central to Apple’s long-awaited AR glasses, which are expected to have holographic displays in their lenses. Apple has targeted 2020 for the release of its AR headset, an attempt to succeed where Google Glass failed years ago. The glasses are expected to synchronize with a wearer’s iPhone to display things such as texts, emails, maps, and games over the user’s field of vision. The company has considered including an App Store with the headset, as it does on Apple TV streaming devices and the Apple Watch. It’s hiring experts in graphics and game development to establish the glasses as the leader in a new product category and, if all goes perfectly, an eventual successor to the iPhone.
Happy Halloween!
 


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