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miscellaneous Apple issues

To be sure, Apple's cycle of abandoning support of OSes and other factors such as security updates and browser updates is irritating. The only rationale I can think of is, simply, a base venal decision on the part of Apple, although I cannot really believe in the notion that to maintain support would be a noticeable expense to Apple.

That being said, I will miss Safari's ease of virtually on the fly modifications. I find the method for disabling JavaScript in Firefox to be a ridiculous exercise.
 


To be sure, Apple's cycle of abandoning support of OSes and other factors such as security updates and browser updates is irritating. The only rationale I can think of is, simply, a base venal decision on the part of Apple, although I cannot really believe in the notion that to maintain support would be a noticeable expense to Apple.
It's an inevitable consequence of their rapid-release schedule of a new version every year.

Maintenance isn't free. Every release they support means another platform which they must have ongoing testing, patching and deployment. We can argue how many releases is reasonable, but they don't come for free.

That having been said, I've never been a fan of the rapid-release schedule. If Apple would put out major releases every two years, then existing releases would (probably) maintain support for twice as long and there would be time for a release to stabilize before it is replaced with the next one.
 


I think Apple's product trajectory is headed toward the next generation MacPadBook Pro: the entire internals will be encased in a high thermal transfer epoxy, solving the thermal throttling issues and conveniently making the entire unit a throwaway if anything goes wrong, like the battery becoming old. It will follow the new Apple mantra of "Replace not Repair."

In parallel development, Apple will move to a subscription model for its OS - if you don't pay the monthly fee, your hardware will cease to function. This fee will be set to industry-leading levels because stock price, also funding social justice.

This will be introduced in macOS 19.84, and following Apple's new naming scheme of California islands, it will be named Alcatraz. You can get onto the island, but you can't get off.

User interface guidelines, hardware design, and reliability will be whatever Apple says is insanely great, never mind what actual users experience. Apple's new software slogan will be, "Suck it up, buttercup."
 


I think Apple's product trajectory is headed toward the next generation MacPadBook Pro: the entire internals will be encased in a high thermal transfer epoxy, solving the thermal throttling issues and conveniently making the entire unit a throwaway if anything goes wrong, like the battery becoming old. It will follow the new Apple mantra of "Replace not Repair."
The exact opposite of the design philosophy of the new Mac Pro, so with respect, I doubt it.
 


I guess the iPhone 11 Pro Max {$1349} isn't so expensive after all:
Washington Post said:
Motorola’s Razr flip phone is back as a folding-screen smartphone, for $1,500
The good news: A phone can fit in your pocket again. The bad news: It’s twice the price of an iPhone {low end}.
And what durability! {my emphasis}
The new Razr uses a flexible screen and hinge that can be folded and unfolded for at least two years, Motorola says.
Hmmm, my LG LX225 flip phone has lasted more than 10 years and is still going strong.
 


I've posted here before about wanting to upgrade from the iPhone 6 Plus to the 8 Plus but, the more I think about it, I would be foolish to intentionally put myself more than a single generation behind, if I'm going to spend money on a new phone... unless I want to find myself behind the curve once again – and sooner than I had hoped.

Therefore, I have a question for the community: I have large fingers; that's what drove me to get the 6 Plus rather than the 6. Can anyone who has made the move from a 6/7/8 Plus to the iPhone XR/ iPhone 11 (non-Pro) comment on whether the reduction in screen size (not resolution) has been a problem, specifically with regard to using the keyboard?

The XR and 11 are the only two models in consideration, so that is why I am concerned about sizing. I think they're just about identical, right?
 


Can anyone who has made the move from a 6/7/8 Plus to the iPhone XR/ iPhone 11 (non-Pro) comment on whether the reduction in screen size (not resolution) has been a problem, specifically with regard to using the keyboard?
I switched up from the iPhone 6 (not the 6 Plus) to an iPhone XR a few months ago, which is somewhat different from what you're asking about. And I can't say whether the keyboard experience has changed in any way for me.

But the only way you'll be able to truly determine that for yourself is to physically try each out, side by side. At some point, it takes a visit to a store that stocks both models you're comparing.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Therefore, I have a question for the community: I have large fingers; that's what drove me to get the 6 Plus rather than the 6. Can anyone who has made the move from a 6/7/8 Plus to the iPhone XR/ iPhone 11 (non-Pro) comment on whether the reduction in screen size (not resolution) has been a problem, specifically with regard to using the keyboard?
This very good iPhone size chart might be helpful:
PaintCode said:
(I'll also note, although you may already realize this, that it's possible to select remarkably tiny areas on the screen by touching very lightly.)
 


KJM

Can anyone who has made the move from a 6/7/8 Plus to the iPhone XR/ iPhone 11 (non-Pro) comment on whether the reduction in screen size (not resolution) has been a problem, specifically with regard to using the keyboard?
I made the move from an iPhone 6 Plus to the iPhone XR, and I ended, in fact, a little bit disappointed when I realized that the screen of the 6 Plus had a larger pixel resolution (5.5", 1920-by-1080-pixel) than the iPhone XR (6.1", 1792-by-828-pixel). But you will notice this difference only when you try to edit cells in spreadsheet apps like Excel or Numbers.
 


I've posted here before about wanting to upgrade from the iPhone 6 Plus to the 8 Plus but, the more I think about it, I would be foolish to intentionally put myself more than a single generation behind, if I'm going to spend money on a new phone... unless I want to find myself behind the curve once again – and sooner than I had hoped.

Therefore, I have a question for the community: I have large fingers; that's what drove me to get the 6 Plus rather than the 6. Can anyone who has made the move from a 6/7/8 Plus to the iPhone XR/ iPhone 11 (non-Pro) comment on whether the reduction in screen size (not resolution) has been a problem, specifically with regard to using the keyboard?

The XR and 11 are the only two models in consideration, so that is why I am concerned about sizing. I think they're just about identical, right?
Although the iPhone 11 is smaller in overall size than the 6 Plus, the screen size is actually about the same. It's a bit narrower but taller. The 11 and the Xr have the same screen resolution. The pixel resolution on the 6 Plus and the 11/Xr are different. Bottom line: go to the store and try it out to see if it will suit you.
 


But you will notice this difference only when you try to edit cells in spreadsheet apps like Excel or Numbers.
This is just me, but I couldn't imagine doing that kind of work on even the largest, highest-res iPhone. I'd still want more screen to work with.

On the other hand, when I saw the first iPad, those kinds of applications came immediately to mind.
 



It's from a different industry, but this article reminds me of why the two "new" Macs I bought for my business this year were both 13" mid-2012 MacBook Pros:
Sometime back, I read a book called "One Second After" [Amazon], which was about what life might be like after a massive EMP takes out most of America's technology. In the town that the story was centered in, a local hero was a guy who restored vintage VW bugs for fun. After the event, his were the only cars that would still run. Keeping some 40-year-old tech around might not be such a bad idea.
 


Sometime back, I read a book called "One Second After" [Amazon], which was about what life might be like after a massive EMP takes out most of America's technology. In the town that the story was centered in, a local hero was a guy who restored vintage VW bugs for fun. After the event, his were the only cars that would still run. Keeping some 40-year-old tech around might not be such a bad idea.
Or getting some surge suppressors with picosecond response times instead of nanoseconds.
 


Sometime back, I read a book called "One Second After" [Amazon], which was about what life might be like after a massive EMP takes out most of America's technology. In the town that the story was centered in, a local hero was a guy who restored vintage VW bugs for fun. After the event, his were the only cars that would still run. Keeping some 40-year-old tech around might not be such a bad idea.
I don't blame the farmers one bit for getting fed up with all the nonsense. The same thing has been happening in the passenger vehicle world too... the amount of technology and complexity in modern cars has gotten out of hand, but most consumers don't realize it until they have to start paying crazy high repair bills. Some makers are even going out of their way to prevent owners from performing even the simplest maintenance tasks themselves, like omitting engine oil dipsticks, so you need a dealer scan tool to just check the oil level.

Not to sound like I'm bragging, but I own a '68 Beetle, and the difference between working on it vs. my family's modern cars is truly astonishing. It's like the difference between working on a Power Mac G4 vs. a new iMac... one's designed to be fixed/upgraded, one isn't.
 


I don't blame the farmers one bit for getting fed up with all the nonsense. The same thing has been happening in the passenger vehicle world too... the amount of technology and complexity in modern cars has gotten out of hand, but most consumers don't realize it until they have to start paying crazy high repair bills. \[snip]
I used to own a 1985 Volvo that I bought used. At one point, it developed an oil leak, which the mechanics said could be caused by one of three things. They recommended starting with the repair of the most likely cause, and seeing if that did the trick. By Murphy's law, it turned out to be the third, and least likely cause — and since it was a Volvo, and parts cost roughly the same as the Hope diamond, I'd pretty much paid for a replacement used car by the time that did the trick.

I replaced that with a new, 2000 New Beetle. It worked great for 15 years; the only issues in all that time were (1) when it needed a new battery (twice) and (2) when a dealer mechanic failed to adjust the tension in a power steering belt during a tuneup. The belt managed to stay on throughout the ~ 25 minute drive home, and politely came loose as I was pulling out of my driveway the next morning. I suppose power steering is a luxury, but there are plenty of belts in older cars, as well.

I'm OK with a certain level of technology (say, the OBD II port and associated embedded CPUs, which allow me, and the state, to check emissions levels), but I draw the line at Internet connections that exist only so the manufacturer can sell data about me, my vehicle, where I've been, and so on to people who want to sell me ads — or worse.

#security #privacy
 



I've had a few internet service interruptions in the past few days. What I've noticed is that during these interruptions I cannot access any of my ePub books purchased from Apple. These ebooks are stored locally...
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService

...nothing is in the cloud. I'm guessing that iBooks is trying to establish some connection with Apple before letting me read the book.

I wonder, then, how someone would read the book if they were in an area without any connectivity?
 


I've had a few internet service interruptions in the past few days. What I've noticed is that during these interruptions I cannot access any of my ePub books purchased from Apple. These ebooks are stored locally...
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService

...nothing is in the cloud. I'm guessing that iBooks is trying to establish some connection with Apple before letting me read the book.

I wonder, then, how someone would read the book if they were in an area without any connectivity?
Consider downloading the book and/or perhaps convert the epub to PDF. See the article
Can I Read My Books When There Is No Internet Connection.
 



Thanks—but as noted in my original post, the book is already on my Mac Pro SSD and located at
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService/...
and is a file of type *.ibooks.
I saw this same pattern some years ago but regarding assorted movies that we "purchased" and had downloaded to our main Mac. We found that each time we tried to view one of these movies, the Mac would contact Apple to verify (?) our credit card before we could view it. There's some kind of handshake between the Mac and Apple each time, regardless of the media having been "purchased." Perhaps you're seeing something similar.
 


Thanks—but as noted in my original post, the book is already on my Mac Pro SSD and located at
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService/...
and is a file of type *.ibooks.
It could be that the book(s) on you Mac might not be the latest version(s). Consider redownloading it/them.

On my Mac, there were about 7 items with the .ibooks file type. In iBooks, clicking a couple of the cover images resulted in an alert "This book can't be opened. The original file can't be found." Yet, the number of items in my iBooks Library matches the number of items (epub, ibooks, pdf) in the Container location you provided.

One free book was downloaded years ago. (I don't remember if it was a direct downloaded to the Mac or on an iDevice and then transferred to the Mac via iTunes.) Anyway, I deleted it, and a different cover appeared with a cloud icon in the corner. I clicked on the cloud icon and it downloaded. In the Containers path location, that book is now an .epub file instead of an .ibooks file. My recent iBooks purchases are epub files. The .ibooks files have interactive items/pages. I turned off WiFi and I can open and read all my books.
 


I saw this same pattern some years ago but regarding assorted movies that we "purchased" and had downloaded to our main Mac. We found that each time we tried to view one of these movies, the Mac would contact Apple to verify (?) our credit card before we could view it. There's some kind of handshake between the Mac and Apple each time, regardless of the media having been "purchased." Perhaps you're seeing something similar.
With a working network and some time, I did some more work on this issue.

iBooks is trying to contact Apple to verify... something. I run Little Snitch and turned on the Network Monitor and then tried to read the iBook. Numerous connections were made to various Apple domains. Here is a screen shot of that activity.

Next, I disconnected my RJ-45 Ethernet connection from the MacPro and made certain that WiFi was off. Starting iBooks resulted in the almost immediate display of the book.

So if the network is disabled at the computer it works. If the network is disabled somewhere down/up the line because of my ISP it does not work. How interesting!

Thanks to all for contributing to the discussion.
 





With a working network and some time, I did some more work on this issue. iBooks is trying to contact Apple to verify... something. I run Little Snitch and turned on the Network Monitor and then tried to read the iBook. Numerous connections were made to various Apple domains. Here is a screen shot of that activity.
Among the things being checked would be whether an update to the book is available.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
*Why didn't Apple call it the "SE2" so we could easily discuss both versions?
Apple very consciously (and to me, perversely) avoids distinguishing among various models and generations of its products. It's a miserable, constant problem when trying to write clearly about these products in standard English, as Apple breaks so many English standards in service to whatever logic it sees in its hidden marketing methods.

Naming a product with the generic word "Photos" (vs. something like "iPhoto") is one example of linguistic insanity.

Model identification is so confusing, customers are forced to find and absorb support article after article after article of explanations, with no standardization of naming conventions, extremely awkward constructions, and names even changing from time to time.

(Inconsistently using lower-case letters for proper nouns is also loathsome and rejected by, for example, the New York Times, and there are other issues, as well.)

I often refer to everymac.com when trying to find usable identifiers, although different models can still have the same identifier or model ID, creating even more confusion, and there are multiple identifiers for the same computer - which to pick?

Apple MacBook Air "Core i5" 1.6 13" (Early 2015)
Identifiers: Early 2015 - MJVE2LL/A* - MacBookAir7,2 - A1466 - 2925

And standard configurations can change over time while recycling the same identifier.

Then there is even more insane software naming, in which different system updates get the same names and version numbers for different contents, or we get "supplemental updates" instead of new versions, or Apple changes the entire numbering scheme for firmware updates without telling anyone - lots of things like that.

Then you have things like changing "Claris" to "FileMaker" and then back to "Claris" for different types of products.

Ugh.

(To be fair, it's not just Apple - crazy product naming/marketing is everywhere.)
 


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