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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:39 pm 
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I think you really should care. GPUs are increasing in performance far faster than CPUs. Offloading operations to GPUs is increasing, not decreasing. The reason your Mac Pro is so much faster is because it has two GPUs. Even with those old models in there it's still faster because of everything OS X offloads to them.

Apple desperately wants computers to be commodities because they want you to give them thousands of dollars regularly due to planned obsolescence.

Instead of having one proprietary SSD for all systems, insuring economies of scale bring costs down and profits up, they have multiple lines of varying speeds, helping some models get replaced sooner than others.

Instead of having one motherboard that can be expanded to whatever amount of memory the customer requests, insuring economies of scale work in their favor to bring costs down, they have multiple motherboards for almost all their systems, each with a different amount of RAM, which will cost more - remember, instead of using DIMMs that are shared between the entire industry, they have to use memory of a specific packaging, density, etc. that work with the motherboards they've designed. When RAM manufacturers decrease costs on DDR4 modules by evolving the physical packaging Apple will have to ask them to make them in the old packaging or redesign their motherboard to work with the new packaging (either way it'll be a higher cost than just plugging the new DIMMs into the existing DIMM slots).

The thing is, you could have gotten pretty much all those speed increases using industry standards. In a very real sense the hardware inside your system is just a proprietary version of technology that's already available elsewhere. Because it's proprietary, Apple has to pay more to develop, manufacture, and update their designs. And, because it's proprietary, you have few options for updating that system to keep pace with future developments. All you can do is treat it like an iPhone and chuck it into the landfill whenever Apple decides your old model can't be upgraded.

If that doesn't disturb you...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:21 am 
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I'm still running my 2011 Mac Mini and it works great. I don't know if it has a dedicated GPU.. probably not? It doesn't matter. It mainly runs iTunes library and Photos library, plus my security camera software. Why do I need a dedicated GPU for that?

My music computer is a 27" iMac from a while back... 2012 maybe? I just upgraded it to an SSD and it's great. I imagine it does have a GPU but what is it offloading? It's a music computer. Logic doesn't use GPU to my knowledge. I do some light video editing and could use the CUDA and Adobe Premiere, but honestly when I've done it in the past I haven't noticed a huge difference. But maybe I'm missing something.

The world has changed, IMO, and most people just don't have a need for a screaming computer anymore. The speed bumps are negligible IMO. When my 2012 still is a great computer for me, what is the problem? How many years does one expect to get out of a machine?

BTW I have an original iPad which I still use for lyrics and music when I perform. It works great! Sure it doesn't run the latest software but it runs dropbox where my charts are. What's the problem?

Sure apple would LIKE people to upgrade on a regular cycle, but that doesn't mean one has to. Also.. Apple is a company who needs a steady revenue stream in order to survive and thrive, nothing wrong or evil about that IMO.

I do get your point, I do see the problem when RAM is soldered in for example. But I also like the light weight and portability of my work issued macbook pro. It's a worthwhile tradeoff, for me anyway. I wouldn't like an iMac or even mini with soldered RAM.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:59 pm 
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If Apple discontinues OS support for a particular model, users of that model will be running an older OS that will eventually discontinued and supported (3 years). At that point they have to move to another OS or buy a new system. Or they can keep using that system and enjoy finding out what identity theft feels like. I understand RAM ceilings built into chipsets being an acceptable requirement. But if the chipset supports 32GB or 64GB and Apple will only solder a maximum of 16GB to the system... it means, eventually, Apple will decide that 16GB is not enough and users of that system start the 3 year clock to either running Linux or buying a new system.

Frankly the reason the last 13" MacBook Pro with an optical drive is still being made is because the moment they discontinue that Apple loses business. It has DIMM slots, it has SATA drives, and it isn't glued together. Some organizations simply aren't going to buy a current Apple system if it has none of those things.

I hope you don't think I'm bashing you or anything, I'm just really disturbed by Apple's hardware trends. I thought we left nonexpandable systems behind years ago. The Commodore 64 wasn't expandable, but it was in the $100-$200 range. Not so with Apple's products.


Last edited by MonkeyBoy on Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:55 pm 
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psalad wrote:
The world has changed, IMO, and most people just don't have a need for a screaming computer anymore. The speed bumps are negligible IMO. When my 2012 still is a great computer for me, what is the problem? How many years does one expect to get out of a machine?


I expect to get as many years as the machine fulfills my needs. I am basically, with the exception of some video processing, doing the same things I was doing on my Quadra, and certainly on my G3. The only thing that made me change from a G3 to a G4 in 2006 was I could no longer check e-mail due to browser requirements. For me it's the browser thing that's driving it all right now. More home services such as banking, bill paying, libraries, require an up to date browser. The browser programmers are chasing the OS upgrades which are being driven by the software people which in the case of Apple also are the makers of the computers. So in 4 years I will need new computer so I can check my e-mail and see my electricity bill.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:26 am 
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Limnos wrote:
I expect to get as many years as the machine fulfills my needs.


Fair enough, I think we all want that. :)

Quote:
The browser programmers are chasing the OS upgrades which are being driven by the software people which in the case of Apple also are the makers of the computers. So in 4 years I will need new computer so I can check my e-mail and see my electricity bill.


Yes, that is an issue, but can't it be solved by 3rd party browsers? I had thought firefox and other browsers are still being updated for past OS?

I know people who are still running very old machine for audio, as their interfaces aren't supported. Of course they don't use those machines for heavy web use/etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:30 am 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:

I hope you don't think I'm bashing you or anything, I'm just really disturbed by Apple's hardware trends. I thought we left nonexpandable systems behind years ago. The Commodore 64 wasn't expandable, but it was in the $100-$200 range. Not so with Apple's products.


No not at all re: bashing, we're good.

I feel computers are rapidly turning out to be more like Blue Ray players or DVD players. They are devices you use for a while but then you need to upgrade after a while because there are new capabilities. It's true computers are more expensive, but they are getting cheaper and better all the time. Apple has tried to hold on to the higher end market, which is I'm sure part of the problem you have with them, and it IS a fair point. But for the average user I feel it's almost irrelevant these days.

Even an old iPad can still be useful for certain tasks even if it's beyond the OS update period. Part of it is mindset...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:30 am 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:

I hope you don't think I'm bashing you or anything, I'm just really disturbed by Apple's hardware trends. I thought we left nonexpandable systems behind years ago. The Commodore 64 wasn't expandable, but it was in the $100-$200 range. Not so with Apple's products.


No not at all re: bashing, we're good.

I feel computers are rapidly turning out to be more like Blue Ray players or DVD players. They are devices you use for a while but then you need to upgrade after a while because there are new capabilities. It's true computers are more expensive, but they are getting cheaper and better all the time. Apple has tried to hold on to the higher end market, which is I'm sure part of the problem you have with them, and it IS a fair point. But for the average user I feel it's almost irrelevant these days.

Even an old iPad can still be useful for certain tasks even if it's beyond the OS update period. Part of it is mindset...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:45 am 
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An iPad can be useful, but oddly enough Apple has been "encouraging" developers to leave old iOS versions behind so it might not be quite as useful as you'd think. Every so often I have to reset my iDevices to reclaim "Other" space and every time iCloud restores its backup a few more applications fail to download because they've been bumped out of the store. Some of them are paid apps too, which brings up interesting legal questions.

Part of my issue certainly stems from the premium Apple applies to its products. If this was a Packard Bell, well, you'd get what you paid for. But if you pay a premium, shouldn't you get premium hardware? I feel like Hackintoshes are virtually the only viable option now. Apple's driving demand in the very thing they don't want.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:08 pm 
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psalad wrote:
Yes, that is an issue, but can't it be solved by 3rd party browsers? I had thought firefox and other browsers are still being updated for past OS?


Well they are and they are not. There's been various threads about browser support and OSX and Firefox recently drew the line in the sand for some versions. Oh they are going to be continuing with some ESR version for a while longer but third party support means you get only a year or two over what Apple does. Tenfourfox was the best for PPCs and are still going for 14 year old machines but the last I heard they are not going to try to do the same for Intel Macs.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Yeah, Google decided 10.9 is their line in the sand and Mozilla, as they're wont to do, decided to mimic Google.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:13 pm 
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Hmm.. but on the other hand, what would be a reasonable time for companies to continue to issue security patches?

On the other side is, to make any kind of longer term commitment to updating, i would think it would require a subscription or some other income to pay for the updates. I'm not sure how a company can continue to update for old OSes indefinitely.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:41 pm 
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Well, seeing as they're not charging for their products on any platform, what expenses are incurred to support an older OS vs. only newer OSes? Do the newer tools decrease costs? Do newer OSes having backwards compatibility with older apps increase costs?

What I suspect is that Google can't retain employees if they're not using the absolute latest and greatest buzzword compliant development environment. It's not enough to simply pay employees large sums and cart them around in fleets of private air conditioned buses.

And I further suspect that Mozilla is copying Google for the same reason they copy everything else Google does.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:55 am 
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Given that internet connectivity is part of our everyday lives and that online security is of supreme importance these days, it's time that Apple dedicated some of its billions to protecting its users. Asking them to upgrade a perfectly capable, expensive computer should not be the solution. If they are not willing to engineer security updates into older systems, the solution should be the abstraction of the software needed to keep users protected. Perhaps one possible option could be for Apple to design a new router to house the software required and then update that code which would then interface with the main system (whichever version you might have). Asking users to update a router is an easier sell. Of course, they'd have to sell (or give away) the routers with the main machine but it could be a way to future proof security across the system versions. That itself could be a good selling point for potential buyers.

Currently, the practice of
leaving users of older systems 'exposed' on the internet due to the rapid evolution of the system and then saying 'upgrade' is unnacceptable.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:18 am 
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Just musing…

Picture you bought a Mercedes & you find out it has a VW Diesel from a year or to ago, with a Fiat 500 tranny, the oil can't be changed, after 3 years nobody will work on it, & after 5 years you can't even buy tires for it! :bonk:

Add to that, after a year you dare not take it on the freeway! :upset:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:40 pm 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Well, seeing as they're not charging for their products on any platform, what expenses are incurred to support an older OS vs. only newer OSes? Do the newer tools decrease costs? Do newer OSes having backwards compatibility with older apps increase costs?


I think creating patches for old products does indeed cost more for Apple. Why wouldn't it? I don't understand why we would expect Apple to do so forever.. should they still update OS 9 browsers?

What would be nice is if they would continue to build in OS updates but charge a nominal fee. For example, free updates for the past two 10.x, but go back behind that, and you have to pay a small fee? That would make sense, wouldn't it?


Last edited by psalad on Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Sorry but I'm not talking about patching the older OSes, only patching applications that run on older OSes. So instead of writing code in the latest and greatest development environment, they write their code in an older development environment. Or, god forbid, Apple could simply make their latest and greatest development environment produce code that (I know I'm talking crazy here) runs on older OSes.

Windows 8.1 developers could write code in Microsoft's development environment for Windows XP Win32 targets. They may even be able to do it under Windows 10, though given their great push towards Metro (which makes very little sense now that Windows Phone is dying), it's undoubtedly more difficult.

Basically a tool chain exists that produces code for a particular OS. They clearly support multiple tool chains, since they can target OS revisions older than the current one. Instead of retiring the old tool chains after the currently ridiculous 3 years, they just keep them around for longer.

The fundamental problem is that Apple shortened their OS development cycle from 2 years to 1 years without increasing their support cycle. Instead of a developer being able to target 6 or more years of systems, now they can only target the last 3, at best. This isn't a good thing.

What developers have done in response to Apple's frenetic pace is to simply stay in a particular development environment. Newer OSes work with the older executables, so developers produce apps that work with a wide enough swathe of the installed base to turn a profit on the small percentage that will purchase their product. The downside is that the only way to get into the MAS is to only target those 3 years of systems. But seeing as the MAS is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine, does anyone really need it? I only know a couple guys who rely on it for finding software and they're the ones always bitching about the MAS.

The only way you can turn a profit while targeting that tiny base is to resort to intrusive things like tracking and selling user metrics, pop up ads, and generally everything everyone hates about mobile apps. Then you can get enough of a recurring profit to make the tiny numbers worthwhile.

But we're talking about Google and Mozilla here. They don't sell anything. They're giving their products away for free. What do they gain by moving to a newer development environment? How does moving to a newer environment lower their costs? Wouldn't changing to a new environment incur costs as well?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:46 pm 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Basically a tool chain exists that produces code for a particular OS. They clearly support multiple tool chains, since they can target OS revisions older than the current one. Instead of retiring the old tool chains after the currently ridiculous 3 years, they just keep them around for longer.


MB so are you saying, when they compile the patch they could run it through additional tools that already exist, to expand backward compatibility - little or no further effort required. Very informative read, thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:56 am 
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Support cycles have got shorter and shorter as system development speeds have increased.

Given this new reality, Apple should could come clean and clearly state to users how much security support they will get. It should be stated on the same store page with all the other information on the product.

Many people can't upgrade to the latest and greatest OS systems as it breaks compatibility with some application they depend on. Many people don't want to upgrade due to bugs in the new system, because it breaks compatibility with iDevices, because they don't want to relearn the system etc.

Security is now a key internet issue. The number one issue. The issue that can affect your life the most. It's time Apple at least made a declaration on its security support policies just so that potential buyers know at the time of purchase just when they will be left behind.

Would it increase development costs? Definitely. Security updates should be fully tested before release. Is this a problem? No. For one, many of the security problems that are resolved, are due to bugs and holes in the original system release and therefore should be applied to that release. 'Update to get security' is not the correct solution (explained above). Second. Apple has billions sitting in the bank and would not even notice the extra cost (which is already in the premium price of the machine at purchase time.

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Last edited by Avon B7 on Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:44 am 
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Very well put Avon, & I might add… I don't think Apple fixes the known vulnerabilities of the current OS version before starting the next version.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:40 pm 
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After the latest sales figures, someone might decide to speak up in an internal meeting and propose putting decent machines and BTO options on the table. All with price cuts of course.

Some practices were plain evil from the start and eliminating the sweet spot on second tier iDevice storage capacities was always my most hated tactic.

What we need is a handbook on good practice on hardware design.

Users should have user upgradeable options on RAM, storage and discrete graphics at the very least and Mr. Ive's team should work to those requirements AND make user access to the parts EASY. Someone should remind them that screws are not evil but using obscure screw heads or glue as a substitute IS..

After investigating my graphics issue on the iMac it seems pretty clear that the base problem was the thermal environment of the graphics card. A huge amount of these machines are failing with the same issue. The number is growing daily and just by looking at forum post dates, you get the idea that they are dropping like flies. A crying shame as the machine was in perfect shape prior to the card failing.

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AVON: It just occurred to me, that as the description of a highly sophisticated technological achievement, 'Avon's gadget works' seems to lack a certain style.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:52 pm 
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I was talking to one of my colleagues who has a problem. She has budget to replace their 2011 and 2012 Mac minis, but why and with what? They did an SSD upgrade last year and did a 16GB memory upgrade when they deployed El Capitan.

I'm in the same boat personally, since the Intel change over I bought the following machines.

Original Core Solo Mac Mini (which I extensively upgraded)
Late 2006 iMac
Early 2009 Mac Mini
Mid-2010 Mac Mini
Mid-2011 Mac Mini
Mid-2011 iMac
Late 2012 Mac Mini (x2)
and that's it, I haven't bought a Mac desktop in nearly four years.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:04 pm 
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601, I don't think they have much better to offer than what you have already.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:24 pm 
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The 2012 Mac Minis are the machines to have. I've got the same config at work. Staggeringly quick with Samsung 850 Pro drive, 2.6 GHz i7, and 16 GB RAM. I don't care about video anything, so there's nothing about this computer I'd improve.

Maybe Apple will come to its senses and stop using proprietary drives and soldered RAM in at least its desktop computers... maybe... please? Oh who am I kidding.

- Anonymous


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:22 pm 
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Don't forget that no configuration of the new Minis comes with a quad core CPU, they're all stuck with dual cores now. Guess they'd have to make it thicker to have a quad core CPU again.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:11 am 
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Summer will be over soon. We'll get the autumn refresh and gallop into the Christmas holiday season. I think we'll see price cuts but that won't be enough to get a sale from me. As for the refresh, well those models already exist and are being wrapped up for marketing to tell how us beautiful they look and how thin they are so I doubt we'll see any real moves to undo recent trends. However, if Mac sales flop I sincerely hope someone is working on the following year's models with the idea of giving us decent machines in terms of power, price and upgradeability.

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VILA: They missed us! Avon's gadget works!
BLAKE: [to Avon] Is something wrong?
AVON: It just occurred to me, that as the description of a highly sophisticated technological achievement, 'Avon's gadget works' seems to lack a certain style.


Last edited by Avon B7 on Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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