I love Apple, I hate Apple

I’ve had Apple products since the Apple II Plus, back in the early 80’s. In the early 90’s I had a bunch of Apple laptops and desktops. I took a break from Apple in the late 90’s, but got back into them with the first version of OS X and the first generation Titanium PowerBook. I’ve happily accepted limited upgrade options for simplicity and reliability. Concurrently I’ve had various Windows and Linux setups and found strengths and weaknesses in all of the platforms. In the past few years, I find Apple’s products less and less appealing.

I greatly respect Jonny Ive’s designs but they are shifting too much toward the form end of the design spectrum and neglected function. Hard drive or even SSD drive replacement or upgrades are a common occurrence. The current iMacs make hard drive replacements or upgrades nearly impossible. The 21.5″ iMac doesn’t even have upgradable RAM. The same goes for all the current MacMini’s, where RAM upgrades aren’t possible. The current Mac Pro has incredible performance, but all extra hard drives have to be external. Making the computer smaller is nice, but when you have to have external drives with the accompanying wire mess, it does little to simplify my workspace. I really miss the form factor of the old Mac Pro. Sure, it was a massive metal tower, but for power users, you could get all the storage and RAM you needed in that singular chassis. I get that most users don’t upgrade their computers, but the lack of an enthusiast’s platform is disappointing. Of course, there is the issue of price… A fairly modest configuration of a base Mac Pro with a 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM comes in at $3,577, and that’s without a monitor.

If it were not for Xcode running exclusively on OS X, I would have gone back to Linux as my primary workstation. I can’t leave the Apple ecosystem, so I just have to suck it up a deal with less than optimal products that I pay too much for. It’s like I’m stuck in a bad marriage.

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