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Ask Slashdot: What Is the 'Special Appeal' of Apple Products? 757

Reader dryriver writes: As someone who comes from MS-DOS/Windows PCs background, I've never quite understood the appeal of Apple's products. I don't think Apple's products are terrible or anything, but I just fail to see what is so special and different about Apple's electronics that many Apple users would never dream of switching to a non-Apple product. Where does the 'special appeal' of Apple products reside? And why are Apple users so very loyal to Apple products, even though with Apple's pricing policy, you rarely get the best bang-for-the-buck in a product?
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the 'Special Appeal' of Apple Products?

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  • by jdharm ( 1667825 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:22PM (#54342675)
    It was a boring afternoon. This should prove entertaining.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by msmash ( 4491995 ) Works for Slashdot
      You're welcome.
      • Part of me thinks that this article should be modded down as flamebait, but I was having a pretty boring day too so I guess I'll grab some popcorn.

    • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:42PM (#54342913) Journal

      The answers (the honest ones anyway) are going to be kind of boring too. I don;t bother with the iPhone, but as far as the MacBook Pros are concerned:

      * The shit just works.

      * Minimal upkeep (no need for Antivirus, UI-munging applications, anti-MS-spyware fix-ups, anti-forced-upgrade fixups, registry editing, etc.)

      * The hardware generally outlasts its competition (my main laptop is a 4-year-old MacBook Pro in near-perfect condition, that shows no signs of slowing down.)

      * It's UNIX under the hood (open, go nuts.)

      * 99.9% of the commercial/consumer stuff made for Windows will also have an OSX version (which is the only reason left that my main laptop isn't a Linux one - stupid CG software houses...)

      * Resale value, as in, >2 year old Macs actually have one.

      • by MountainLogic ( 92466 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:48PM (#54342989) Homepage
        Basically under reach by apple vs. over reach by MS. I used to think MS's big failure was 3rd party drivers by folks who didn't know what they are doing then I spent a little time with surface and realized that even ms can't seem to write working drivers for modern windows.
      • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:58PM (#54343101)

        Except a good number of those are just not true. Especially "it just works", which is really "it usually works, but if it doesn't you're absolutely fucked. And by usually, we mean about 60% of the time". I've had far more problems with Apple software than MS.

        • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @05:31PM (#54343995) Homepage

          What I've noticed from users is that a windows user will blame the computer every time even if it is their own mistake, and an apple user will blame themselves every time even if the hardware failed.

          Apple users know they have the Fancy Name Brand that Cool People(TM) use, so they have multiple levels of psychological aversion to blaming it for anything. They would be less cool by extension. And the brand image doesn't place any value on being capable of using "regular" technology, so they take no hit to their hipster image by blaming themselves.

          It is really the same as any other name brand item. If a person buys name brand jeans and they tear, they're going to blame themselves for not taking better care of something expensive. Another person who buys a different brand gets mad that it didn't last longer because they only tried to use it in the "normal" way.

          If they blame it for anything, even its own real failings, then they lose the snob value.

      • by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:13PM (#54343277)

        Resale value, as in, >2 year old Macs actually have one.

        Which is a good reason to buy 2 years old PC for $0.

      • by adam525 ( 813427 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:29PM (#54343439) Homepage
        Exactly. These are the exact same reasons I love my Macbook. I've had it for 2 years and it works JUST like it did when I brought it home from Microcenter.
        I've reinstalled Windows on my Acer laptop 3 times in that same time.
        And yes, they have resale value. My mom sold her Macbook Pro a year after she bought it for over 70 % of what she gave new for it. That's NOT going to happen with a PC laptop.
        Yes, there is hype, but it's backed up.
        • If you reinstalled windows 3 times in 2 years that tells me 2 things about you:

          1) You normally actually run windows, not mac, presumably for reasons. And you'd rather use mac, so obviously the mac can't meet your real needs.

          2) You're no good at managing windows, and have collected a bunch of nonsense myths about how hard it is that lead you to do nonsense like reinstalling. If you didn't know anything about windows, you wouldn't be reinstalling, and you'd be better off as a user. There is no way to correct

          • Yeah, I haven't needed to do a reinstall cycle just to clean up Windows since Windows 7.

            I suspect it also his main dodgy porn site machine too if it's getting rebuilt twice a year.

        • Question: Just what are you doing to your Windows machine?

          According to systeminfo I installed my Windows 7 machine in 2011-04-07. In that time it has gone through a HDD clone, a CPU upgrade, 2 GPU upgrades, and a RAM upgrade.

          Just what is it that you do that causes you to need to reinstall Windows?

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          Odd, my 5 year old laptop has never been rebuilt, other than the 7 to 10 upgrade, which wasn't a "rebuild" but windows haters could consider it one, so I listed it for full disclosure.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I don't understand how people fuck up their Windows systems so much. I've been running the same Windows 8.1 install my on NEC laptop for four years, and all my installs generally last the lifetime of the machine (10+ years minimum).

          That NEC is faster, cheaper, lighter and more expandable than a Mac. Having said that, the only major upgrades were a bigger SSD and 802.11AC WiFi card. Can you even unplug the WiFi module in a Mac laptop? I know that the SSD is soldered in.

      • by sinan ( 10073 ) <> on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:34PM (#54343483) Homepage

        I'll list my reasons.
        1) The all encompassing infrastructure/interoperability with our Macs(5), iPhones(3), iPads(5), Apple TVs(5), Apple TimeCapsules(5) and Apple Watches around the house for me and my wife. We are easily and effortlessly connected to everything. She still works and unfortunately has to use Windows at work.But that will too soon end.
        2) Keychain and iCloud.
        3) Low cost. This probably requires explanation. My main usage is Logic Pro X($199 for all machines, but equivalent s/w on PCs would require approx $1,000 per copy). Final Cut Pro X($300 for all five machines. Equivalent s/w for PC, I shudder to think, but would exceed $5,000 per year easily). I haven't really priced this stuff for over 4 years so I really don't know. Maybe someone can correct me. Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X costs nothing for upgrades, would be thousands for PC. Other s/w, like Mathematica or Tex or CGAL would be the same for other platforms, so I won't mention it.
        4) Unix under the hood, which coming from BSD, SVR4, Solaris, Linux programming(Microsoft too but that doesn't apply here), and having been a(now retired for 4 years) programmer since 1971, is a plus.
        5) Finally having had to use Windows in my daytime job, I no longer have to face Windows, nor subscribe to MSDN(I all frankness, I stopped subscribing to MSDN about 10 years ago)
        6) Bliss

      • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:46PM (#54343595)

        The answers (the honest ones anyway) are going to be kind of boring too.

        You brought up a number of valid points.

        I'd add:

        1. I can run Windows in a VM if I want for that rare occasion I need to run a Windows program or want to check to see how a file looks in the Windows version of a program.

        2. There's generally an Apple store near where I am, even traveling, so if I have a problem I can get it fixed quickly or if I need something like a power supply because I lost one I can get one right away.

        As for longevity, I have an early Mac Mini running as a video server and it's been up 24x7 for a few years so far. In the end it comes down to what works best for the individual. I've used Macs for nearly 20 years and they have always met my needs. YMMV.

      • no need for anti-virus!?!?!

        Sorry, the entire security though obscurity thing died a long time ago. There are plenty of nasties for macs and linux though on linux they are more likely to target servers still doesn't make them bullet proof.

        • Linux servers don't use "anti-virus" to protect themselves, when there is an exploit the system is to patch the exploit and upgrade, not to hide behind middleware.

          The reason that anti-virus software runs on linux is for scanning uploads that might contain windows viruses!

          It isn't bullet proof, but it does have both belt and suspenders.

          The one linux virus I got was in the 90s... off a floppy disk. It added a security warning to the output of /usr/bin/ls

      • I'd like to add:

        * good-looking and solid compared to so much bendy creaky plastic PC clunkware.

        * OS tailor-built for the hardware, with no crapware added on by some shady vendor.

        * better support for Hi-DPI displays; Windows 10 still don't always get it right.

        * high-quality, attractive peripherals - magic mouse; magic trackpad; gorgeous huge 4K and 5K screens (iMacs are screens with a computer attached), all color-matched with each other.

        * Time Machine - a backup system that actually, really works, both for

      • * The shit just works. [1]

        [Note 1:] Some dongles may be required


  • ( ( - - - Fan boys here. Haters there - - - ) )

  • They are rectangular! And they have amazing rounded corners!
  • Update control... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Life2Short ( 593815 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:24PM (#54342711)
    To name just one thing, I like to control when my computer updates. I don't want it updating in the middle of a presentation.
    • If you click through your Windows configuration like you click through an EULA, you probably missed this, but there are a ton of options regarding how updates are applied...

      • The last version of Windows that obeyed your update settings was XP.

        Current state is, after a forced or semi-forced update, you need to reboot (which takes half an hour), boot to Windows, wait an hour while "your PC is applying settings", then reboot to Windows again, wait another hour while it's "reverting updates".

        Much faster to just do a block copy of the Windows partition and restore it from the backup whenever this happens. I don't give it more than 100GB so the restore goes fast.

    • Yes, but you presumably hated Windows back when updates were optional, so it's not a particularly persuasive example to choose.

    • You realize there are plenty of other operating system choices which provide update control without the drawbacks of using Apple products, right?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:25PM (#54342721)

    I have a 2011 MacBook Air that i use at home, and it works as well today as it did the day i got it. This thing has seen some shit, man...and every single component still works flawlessly.

    I can't say that about *any* other computer that i've ever owned.

    • i have a quadcore machine dual booting linux and win 10 now (7 on build date)i put together out of AMD parts in 07 - still my primary machine to this day. nothing has been replaced due to failure in all this time.
    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      I have a late 2011 MBP that has been through multiple trips to various war zones and come home desert tan on the inside from the dust. It's been squashed in airline seats, dropped multiple times, suffered getting wet from a leaking hatch while off-shore sailing (thankfully it was closed, so the water didn't get inside). It has been my daily driver, and is still more than adequate for my needs, and it's a lot lighter and nicer than a Panasonic toughbook.

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:27PM (#54342743)

    Not everyone is trying to optimize compute performance per $ or any othe sort of technical spec per $. Some of us just want to be happy with our phone and laptops and some of us can afford to pay more than rock bottom prices for them.

    There's a lot of weird ego stuff in these discussions on all sides. But beyond that, try to understand that everyone isn't trying to optimize the same things.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:34PM (#54342815)


      My day job is Linux, UNIX (Solaris, AIX), and *BSD admin, and when it comes down to workstation I want a commercially supported *NIX variant that just flat out works. Tried the Linux laptop thing on an Asus Zen, and it worked fairly well, but is nowhere near as integrated as my Macbook Pro. And yes, I'm willing and able to pay the premium for it.

      • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:43PM (#54342939)

        I don't think the premium is that high either.

        Compare PCs with high dpi display, 1080p camera, sound and microphone which doesn't suck, trackpad which doesn't suck, battery which actually lasts all day and endures for years, and a warranty which you can walk into a store anywhere in the world and get the machine serviced.

        Then consider the resale value...

        The past few years have been an anomaly, but I think most Mac users are in agreement that the Mac Pro trashcan, the touch-bar Macbook Pro and the too-thin single-port Macbook with its passively cooled CPU are all horrible design decisions.

        • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:50PM (#54343015) Homepage
          Posting from a 'too thin single-port MacBook with its passively cooled CPU' here: absolutely do not agree. Back to the GP's comment - not everyone is trying to optimise for the same things.

          I love the silence and portability of this machine. I look at the new MacBooks as being just too huge for me. On here I run Logic Pro X without any hassles (which is the heaviest my CPU-loading gets), my document-based stuff works well and so does my online stuff. I also drop into Terminal (well, Cathode [] actually, for a bit of fun) and work on the Unix side of things too. I run VMs without issue - what's not to like?
        • trackpad which doesn't suck

          All trackpads suck, give me TrackPoint any day

          • by Strider- ( 39683 )

            All trackpads suck, give me TrackPoint any day

            To each their own, but you can keep your keyboard nipple. It's not the early 80s any more, I'd rather not control my computer with a joystick.

      • The home directory should be /home not /Users, dammit!
    • but when it comes to a phone that I'll probably break in 6 months I'd rather spend $150 (CDN) for a Samsung J1 than $700+ for a phone that will do the same thing and break just as easily.

      Would I buy cheap Chinese car parts to save a few $$, hell no as that involves my safety and others on the road.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        I only ever broke 1 phone in 10 years. But again you're trying to optimize $. If you pay the $100 AppleCare, you go to the Apple Store and they replace your phone the same day.

    • But you still haven't explained what you're optimizing by being on the Apple platform other than "happy". what is it about the Apple platform that makes you happy?

      • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:58PM (#54343091) Homepage
        I'll have a stab. The environment is just 'better'. Application software works well together, synchronisation with the phone is excellent, the gesture-controlling is really nice (trackpad on desktop and/or laptop - never been a fan of Apple's mice). For the more technical there's the Unix underpinnings too, although that has been eroded a little by Win 10's ability to install a Windows kernel-based Unix distro and run natively.

        Text rendering is better - I really, really notice the difference in typography when switching between Windows, Linux and the Mac. The graphic design is arguably better, though that comes down to preference and I don't dislike Win 10's design language. Consistency is better - when you have the latest shiny Win 10 UI, you know that as you click around in the new Settings you'll eventually hit ye olde Control Panel and apps that don't appear to have been updated in looks since NT4. The new stuff is normally a veneer too - every time you get serious with a Windows machine, you end up blowing past its current shell and into the old NT4 tools to do 'real work'.

        File handling is better - none of this "can't move a file because it's open" nonsense, and you can rename the files as they're open as well. Built-in back-up.

        You get the idea. It's not the just the machine, it's not just the software - it's the overall environment that's nicer. That's what makes it worth it to me.
      • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:01PM (#54343135)

        -Not having to switch all my stuff to Windows.
        -Not having to wonder if I still need to use anti-virus software.
        -Not having to wonder if MS is key logging me.
        -Not having to wonder what info Google Chrome is sending to Google.
        -Not having to guess where to take my laptop for repairs.
        -Not having to care if iTunes is any good on Windows.
        -Not having to shop at Best Buy or order a laptop sight-unseen off the internet.
        -Not having to worry about interoperability with my phone.

  • I don't get it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cellocgw ( 617879 ) < minus language> on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:29PM (#54342775) Journal

    Why in the world would a /. editor (oh, well, that's why) consider this postable?

    Besides, is the person who asked like 6 yrs old or something? Or just woke up after falling asleep in 1971 next to his IBM TTY connected to a DEC PDP-8L?

  • by GreatDrok ( 684119 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:30PM (#54342781) Journal

    I used to buy PC laptops and desktops to run Linux and found I was always having issues unless I bought top spec equipment and even then for laptops the build quality was subpar unless you spent a lot of money so I would kill laptops each year with all the hard use and travel. I tried my first Mac back when the G4 iBook came out and that lasted 3x longer than any PC I had had and when I retired it, it went to my wife and continued to work for another 6 years in various uses. That's the thing, the Macs may not be the best bang for the buck but you get a well integrated and supported UNIX on hardware that is built to last so unless you're very cost sensitive at the time of purchase, the Mac will save money and be a better long term experience. Nothing to do with hipster this or shiny that, I'm a scientist working in genomics and the vast majority of my peers also use Macs. PCs running Linux are second most popular and Windows PC are a pathetic third place. We use Linux extensively for computing but for desktop and portable use a Mac is terrific.

    • I'd agree but the keyboard layout is *terrible* for a programmer. All the important keys are in the wrong place.

      I'd rather have Linux on quality PC hardware - like a Lenovo T460s - than a Mac any day. The mistake people make with PCs is buying bargain basement quality hardware because you can - they should be looking for Maclike quality - and they'll probably end up spending less.

    • I was pretty much solidly in your camp up until this year. Ran linux for computing and on the desktop, always had a MBP. The MB line are solidly built laptops, and last forever. The "guest" computer is closing in on a decade old now and still going strong. Not bad for a laptop.

      Since 2012 I've been waiting to upgrade my MBP, but every iteration since then has been flat or a downgrade. Finally gave up and spent the same $ for a Dell Precision with Ubuntu and got 2x the hardware. And you know what? I

  • by lisaparratt ( 752068 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:30PM (#54342789)

    After a long day at work, either smashing my head against against the codeface down the Linux-mines, or being assaulted by a wide variety of sadistic corporate-grade Windows software, I get home tired and worn out.

    I can put on the TV, sit on the sofa with my macbook, and not have that paranoid feeling that it's going to do something unpleasant and surprising. It won't interrupt me demanding to update, and then reboot my machine without saving 5 minutes later, despite me pressing the button that looked like it said "Don't do that". It won't shart itself because upstream decided to replace upstart with systemd during the last update, and now it won't load vital start up dependencies.

    I don't want my home life to be as arduous as my work life. I have precious enough time to myself without having to fight my computer.

    • I think "not having to fight my computer" is the best summary you can give.

      You'll never get the special appeal of Apple products until you've used one long enough to want to switch. It's sort of a chicken-egg scenario, or a Matrix riddle:

      Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can betold what a Mac is. You have to use it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You use one of the PC over here (Windows or Linux), the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you wa

      • P.S. to dryriver: I also come from an MS-DOS/Windows background. In fact I started on a Tandy Color Computer 2 (~Commodore 64 era), when Microsoft was basically a small startup that merely provided Basic for other real companies.

        Switching to a Mac (beginning of the OS X era) reminded me of the days when my friend showed me his Amiga 2000.

    • Pretty much this. Macs mostly just work, and they mostly don't piss me off (unlike Windows, which can usually find some way to raise my blood pressure within a few minutes of logging on). The hardware is mostly elegant and a pleasure to use. Since I usually get several years out of a Mac, I don't feel like I have to squeeze out every penny when I buy a new one.

  • IMHO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:32PM (#54342797)

    In my experience, it's the customer service. Apple has a couple of orders of magnitude better customer service than the rest. When I had a defective Samsung phone, my option was to go to the carrier store and hope they could help me. Usually they couldn't do so in any way that was convenient to me. When I first got an iPad, after a couple of months, a pixel died. I made an appointment at an Apple store and within 7 minutes of my arrival, I had a replacement device in my hands being restored from backup. Shortly after, I bought an iPhone as a result.

    Additionally, most Android devices have a software update life cycle of maybe a year if you are lucky, compared to the 2-3 years that Apple will support their devices.

    • I agree with the customer service aspect. Apple is light-years ahead of most PC manufacturers including those with "good customer service" like Dell. Having had a variety of experiences with each, I definitely prefer the Apple experience.

    • Re:IMHO (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MikeMo ( 521697 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:47PM (#54343603)
      I totally agree with this. I love to share my favorite customer service experience with Apple:

      I had a G5 "cheese grater" Mac Pro tower - the one that came with water cooling for the CPU. I'd had it for about 5 years when one day it just would turn on. Took it to the Genius Bar. They told me it was not repairable, so they gave me a brand-new, $2,000, Xeon-based Mac Pro. 5 year old computer, no warranty. Believe me, I walked out of there a happy - and loyal - guy!
    • This is why I have a hard time understanding why people put up with Windows. They pay good money for a product that breaks down sooner rather than later, yet there's nothing like a warranty you'd expect in physical products. To me, the sensible options are (a) Free software, and (b) commercial software that just works and has proper customer service.
  • by kwerle ( 39371 ) <> on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:33PM (#54342805) Homepage Journal

    That's about it. Whereas there are lots of choices of window manager, user toolsets (editors, mail clients, etc) on linux/X11, I don't want choice. I want one thing that works well.

    The more unix windows becomes, the more likely I'll be willing to switch - but it's still a very long way off. And in general I like the productivity apps on OSX better. It's rare for me to use my windows (game) machine without cursing how drivers work, the updates, etc.

  • Two things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:35PM (#54342833) Homepage Journal

    The Mac is good because you're not forced to update (unlike Windows).

    The iPhone is good because you CAN update (unlike Android).

  • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:37PM (#54342855)
    Technology at its face is complicated. Sure once you learn its intricacies it's not so hard to follow its ebb and flow. Jobs had his programmers obfuscate the underlying technology such that the average person could just go about using the device without knowing anything about how the device worked. So people use Apple products because it hides the "hard" stuff and lets you do the fun stuff. It's also the reason techs tend to dislike them. The obfuscation goes beyond hiding into locking down features that can be useful if you know what you're doing. With Jobs gone and his ideals within the company all but faded we are starting to see cracks. If Apple strays from the simple but complicated mantra too far they'll lose their audience.
  • At the time when laptops were made of plastic, had shitty screens, 2-3 hour battery life, shoehorning numpads on a cramped and badly arranged keyboard, at least 12 status LEDs blinding and distracting you as they blinked or changed state, came preloaded with crapware up the wazoo and recovery images without pure OS installs, terrible joystick/trackballs embedded in the keyboard, flimsy pop-out disc drives...

    Of course I wanted a MacBook or MacBook Pro! These things were solid, powerful, had a long battery li

  • in my experience, Apple is the best for the new or inexperienced user, and once hooked, they spread the gospel to the quilting bee and beyond.
  • Whenever new MBPs come out I get the base 13" version, I'm on my 3rd or 4th. It fits my needs perfectly and I always know exactly what I'm getting and exactly how it works. I don't have to worry about hardware configuration, software configuration or anything. I just buy one, migrate my old one to my new one, then give my old one to my wife for personal use. Done and done.
  • it is a club! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kiviQr ( 3443687 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:42PM (#54342915)
    During Steve Jobs' era (2nd term) Apple mobile (iPod, iPhone, iPad) products had a great usability, amazing attention to detail, and clean aesthetic design. Steve pushed designers and developers beyond what was imagined, product had to work intuitively. That is why no one else was able to deliver a successful handheld (HP, PalmOS, etc). Unfortunately Apple diluted aesthetic and focus with multiple color versions and self-competing product lines (you can buy iPhone 7+, 7, 6+, 6s, se in 6 colors). On the other hand it always has been a club where you feel better b/c you have "luxury" (aka. higher priced item) than someone else.
  • by hsthompson69 ( 1674722 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:42PM (#54342923)


    * Command key instead of Control key means I can do my typical cut/copy/paste shortcuts, and still have "ctrl-c" for break in a Terminal window.
    * Command key with thumb more ergonomic than ctrl key with pinky.
    * Terminal.
    * Real file system without 256 character path limits - I know ntfs has recently patched this one.
    * Symlinks. I mean real symlinks.
    * Touchpad gestures
    * Unix based vs. unix added on (MS moving in the right direction now with bash)

    • * Symlinks. I mean real symlinks.

      NTFS does pretty well with these (mklink command) - at least they do everything I expect from a symlink. I use them to redirect some appdata folders to non-SSD storage.

  • by slacktide ( 796664 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:43PM (#54342947)
    As someone who comes from Kia/Hyundai background, I've never quite understood the appeal of Porsche's products. I don't think Porsche's products are terrible or anything, but I just fail to see what is so special and different about Porsche's cars that many Porsche users would never dream of switching to a non-Porsche product. Where does the 'special appeal' of Porsche products reside? And why are Porsche users so very loyal to Porsche products, even though with Porsche's pricing policy, you rarely get the best bang-for-the-buck in a product?
    • by RazorSharp ( 1418697 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @05:54PM (#54344123)

      BMW is a better car analogy. Porches are nice little sports cars but BMWs are amazing everyday drivers. They're perhaps the only daily driver built completely with the driver in mind—the way the shift, handle, the engine harmonics, the cabin design. Everything is tweaked for an optimal driving experience.

      When I bought my BMW my wife was skeptical. She didn't want me to get it because she didn't want people to think we're snobby. It only took one ride for her to realize there's a reason people get attached to them. Sure, there are lots of people who drive BMWs because it's fashionable and they want to be seen in an expensive car. But the reason most BMW owners consistently buy BMWs is because almost everyone has to drive a lot. When spend a lot of your time doing something you want to enjoy it.

      Guys who like to work on cars don't like BMWs. A mechanic looks underneath and wonders, "Why the hell are there two control arms and a giant ass trailing arm on the rear end? Changing those bushings would be a nightmare." An engineer looks underneath and thinks, "Damn that's the most symmetrical undercarriage I've ever seen."

      Macs aren't designed for those who tinker under the hood. They're not designed for cheapskates who value money more than experience. They're designed for those who want to do work (or whatever) on their computer rather than work on their computer.

  • by azcoyote ( 1101073 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @03:44PM (#54342953)
    Let me start by saying that I hate Apple products. The only reason I have any is because I inherited them. But I do have to admit that FaceTime is way ahead of Microsoft's Skype or any of Google's many products. It just works. Seriously. My kids can use it easily to call me and it just works. I do not understand why, but the same just can't be said about other products, Skype in particular. No matter what whenever I try to video chat with someone via Skype, it takes a least half an hour for the other side to get it working, even my Mom who works on computers for a living. Half the time Skype will connect but the camera just won't work on one side or the other. Other times it just won't connect, or someone won't be visible, or the audio won't work, etc.

    But FaceTime just works.

    Just about everything else about iOS sucks, however,
  • I switched over with the Intel push, before that I was buying a new laptop every year. Between the Sony Vaio's that would overheat or just some crappy laptop construction it was getting to be a pain. I do recognize that this was just after the cpu frequency wars that didn't really help much.

    I still have and use a 2012 MBP although my daily system is the last gen system since I see no use for the touchbar and for me 16G is getting tight, if I'm going to drop some serious money (to me at least) it will n

  • At work we buy MacBook Airs for people that need a take-home or checkout laptop. They're all metal and pretty rugged. We have ones with bent edges from being dropped on concrete and they're still working. We've never had one physically broken. They're also a lot less likely to get viruses and spyware. Some of that is just because our users don't know how to use them as well so they aren't downloading BS onto them.
  • Microsoft has always been the company of "just barely good enough"; while Apple (under Jobs) always focused on what would make something Great; MacOS/NextSTEP/OSX all had strong design focus with ease of use and being intuitive.

    You'll notice that there's a ton of courses on "How to use Windows", "How to use Office/Word/Excel/Powerpoint/etc"...but there are very few on "How to use a Mac". You just don't need them.

    Microsoft always focused on the Corporate Customer - Corporate IT; Apple focused on the en
  • You pay more, but:

    1) All equiptment is designed for the apple computer, not randomly put together with whatever is cheapest that month. Everything is designed to work together, as they know ahead of time what other gear will be installed.

    2) You get the apple OS, that used to have no viruses and even now has much fewer issues with unauthorized take over.

    3) Also, you get the brand, which for some people is enough. Remember the whole "PC is for business, but apple is cool" mystique? People still believe

  • Let's take the following example:

    In 2013 I bought my wife an iPhone 5s. It still gets updates and patches and works decently with the current OS. I am currently upgrading her to an iPhone 7, the old iPhone still fetches a decent price. Migration to the new phone is painless.

  • I switched to a Mac once Apple had OS X and Intel in place. As a long time Unix/Linux user it gives me a stable, secure environment with all of the tools I am used to and productive with..out of the box. I gave up on Windows OSes in the late 90's and switched to Linux for my laptop. In 2006 when Apple introduced Intel base OS X switching to it freed me from constantly rolling my own drivers and let me focus on using the box rather than tweaking it.

    From a hardware POV I will say, my 2009 MBP is still fully
  • I use Linux as my main platform, and Android as my main phone. I use macOS at work and have an iPad for a tablet. If I hear "Windows" I'm running away and shooting everything that might be following me.

    Ain't nobody got time to fuck around with the computer when there's so much work to do - and when there's no work, there's Netflix to watch.

    macOS is my second option after Linux because it's UNIX-based. I'm a Terminal guy, and I use bash a lot. cmd is too limited, PowerShell is too crazy, and the backslash as

  • by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:01PM (#54343121)

    Some of these are out of date, and most are laptop only, but my list:

    -Magnetic power adapter. Maybe I'm rougher on them than your average user, but 3 of the 4 laptops I owned from 1999-2009 all died because of the AC jack failing/coming unsoldered/etc. To the point where I had to hold the plug at certain angles to maintain charge.

    -OS X was the polished Unix OS I'd been looking for after 10 years of dabbling with Linux but it always being unwieldy/unsupported enough to keep me on Windows

    -Laptop Touchpad + gestures. In 2009 there was no comparison, I'm not sure how far PC laptops come along in this regard since then, or how much is locked behind BS Apple patents.

    -Laptop Build Quality. My MacBook Air in 2009 was an amazing revelation after years of plastic PC laptops that all creaked if you held them by the corner. My perception is that the PC manufacuters have caught up here and you can get all metal cases unless you buy super bargain basement.

    -This was always avoidable on PC, but Apple didn't force crapware down your throat on a new laptop purchase.

    So why is the Apple Distortion Field cracking for me?:

    -They got rid of the magsafe power adapters

    -They got rid of ports than I need (HDMI, SD Card, traditional USB, Headphone fucking jack) in the name of going all USB-C. I would have been fine with phasing the USC-C ports in with at least a single traditional USB port for backwards compatibility.


    -Gluing/soldering in components like RAM/SSD. That should be outlawed in the same way that a non-standard shaped gas tank connector which forced you to always go to Exxon stations is.

    -Focus on cloud shit that I don't want, or focus on locking down/iOSifying shit that I don't want. I'm for the most part OK with locked down defaults so long as I can go into System Preferences and tell it 'I'm an adult'

  • That's pretty much why I like and use Apple products. I have used three laptops in the past 14 years: a high-end HP laptop, a mid-range from Lenovo, and the MacBook Air. HP's laptop worked fine for two years, but things started to get messy after that. Opening more than half a dozen tabs on Chrome would turn the laptop into a room-heater. Ubuntu never really worked with issues on that laptop. Lenovo's laptop worked fine for four years, but it started to run into same issues after a point. I have been using the MacBook Air (2013) for last three and a half years and I have had zero issues with it. It just works every single time. I would like to give something else a try as soon as this device dies. Windows 10 and Ubuntu run better on Paralles (a VM) on the MacBook Air than any laptop I have tried them on.

    It took me less than three days to feel home on OS X (now macOS). Coming from Ubuntu and Windows, things were a lot different, but my impression OS X is just a dumbed down version of Windows in terms of complications. Everything is in right front of you. While I see no use of Siri that they introduced last year, and all the bells and whistles around PiP, and things like having two windows placed side-by-side, working on OS X has never made me feel frustrated. Again, for the things I need a laptop for, the MacBook Air has continued to deliver, so I have no reason to look elsewhere.
  • People who don't use Macs love to compare tech specs. People who do use Apple's computers tend to compare their overall experience, which includes software, support, and aesthetics and many other human factors.

    I'm sure the notion that Macintosh offers *MORE* bang for your buck seems absurd to tech spec oriented folks. But indeed millions of people do indeed buy Macs, iPhones and Apple's other products, because they feel a better product is worth spending a little more.

  • by berj ( 754323 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:07PM (#54343221)

    Mainly I like the OS. I like the GUI more than what Windows and Linux has to offer. I like the UNIX underpinnings.

    I like that I can (almost) seamlessly integrate a Mac workstation into a Linux environment with shared scripts and file system paths.

    I like the focus on lightness and size for my laptops while still giving me more than enough performance when I'm on the road. I travel alot.. every half pound helps when I'm on the road.

    I like how it handles quicktime media (a standard in the visual effects industry) better than Linux or Windows.

    I like how well (though not perfectly) integrated the various devices and services are.

    I like the company's attention to environmental and human issues -- they're no even in the same universe as perfect but I don't see anyone else doing better for my money.

    Personally I love the new keyboard on the Macbook Pro and I don't miss the physical function keys.. the touchbar is really great. Though I would have preferred that there was a haptic feedback like on the touchpad.

    I like not being abandoned by a carrier or phone manufacturer for OS and security updates.

    All around, for my needs and my money, they're just better. Not for everyone obviously.. but there's nothing that they're currently doing or not doing that would cause me to switch at this point. One day maybe.. but I would be giving up quite alot.

  • by Reeses ( 5069 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @04:18PM (#54343327)

    I've been a Mac user for a really long time. I've owned a lot of them over the years. And a lot of PCs.

    I used to support Windows and Linux machines (servers/desktops) in various capacities at various employers. (Federal and state government and corporate.)

    I really enjoyed having a machine that worked consistently every time I turned it on. (or now, when I wake it from sleep. I reboot so rarely these days). Predominantly, the only time my Macs exhibited strange behavior was when they had hardware issues.

    It wasn't like Windows 95 which would refuse to acknowledge some random accessory because a change had been made to the registry by some other app. I never had to worry about some $.30 interface chip crashing the machine because the vendor had cut corners writing the driver software and I bumped into a crash situation trying to do an every day task, like printing. Or plugging in a USB device.

    Or Windows 98 which was a slightly more stable house of cards.

    Or Windows XP which was a breeding ground for viruses and system compromises no matter how securely you locked the system down. I remember when you would race to install Service Pack 3 on Windows XP before the IP scanners would compromise the machine. Never had to worry about that on the Mac.

    I've never had to deal with Microsoft's wavering tendencies to see how invasive their software could be on your machine. Yes, I'm looking at you, Internet Explorers 4 through 7. And you too, Active Desktop.

    And before you hold Linux up as the shining jewel of computing perfection, I have two words for you: dependency hell.

    Side note: My personal uptime record is on a Linux file server. 253 days without a reboot. A nice Dell box with a SCSI RAID array. Supporting a 200 user design department the entire time (server hosted home directories and a few other services, not just a file server.) Stayed up just a hair longer than the school year. Then I decided to perform a package update. It took 3 days to get the machine back to its former state.

    My Macs have always "just worked" more often than most PCS. Yes, they've had their problems. I ran a lab of them in a student environment for years. Many of them worked perfectly fine in a fairly abusive situation. And yes, there were a few machines with problems. There was one Mac G4 that had all of it's internal components replaced twice. The only original part was the external case, and it still never ran 100%. But even at 90%, it was more consistently reliable than most of the Dell's in the lab across the hall.

    A week ago, I finished an 11 day Deep Dream render on my MacBook Pro. (No NVidia card, so CPU only). I continued to use the machine for my daily tasks while that render ground on. It never hitched, I never had a problem. Even though it was eating up CPU resources like crazy. Heck, I even let it go to sleep a few times and accidentally let my battery run to zero after forgetting to plug it back in. And when I woke it up/restored it from suspend, everything continued on as though nothing had gone wrong.

    Yes, Apple, Macs and the OS have their flaws. But they're consistent flaws. Yet they still offer the one thing I've struggled to find in the Windows or Linux worlds: A user experience I can trust.

  • In addition to all of the other excellent answers, there's a stark difference of usability between the Mac UI and Windows UI, and it has to do with Fitts' Law of UI design []. Basically, the time taken to complete a UI movement (e.g. selecting a menu item, clicking on an icon, etc.) is a function of the distance from the cursor to the target item, and the size of the target.

    Contextual menus are potentially the fastest task, because they appear right under the cursor (small distance). And both Windows and Mac OS handle those okay.
    But the second fastest tasks are the corners of the screen - they may be far from the cursor (particularly if the cursor is near one corner and going to the opposite diagonal), but the target size is infinite. Throw the mouse towards a corner and you'll eventually land there. Mac OS uses those corners, and has, ever since OS v.1. It's very easy to click on the Apple menu, for example.

    Third fastest are the edges. They may be similarly far from the cursor as edges, but they're not quite infinite in size - go too far to the left or right, say, and you miss a menu at the top of the screen. But you can't possibly go too far up. Or click on something in the dock - left or right, you may miss, but you can't miss by going too far down. And this is something Windows has always screwed up. Taskbar Items have a bottom edge, so rather than being an infinite size downwards, they are only 15 pixels in height. Suddenly, rather than being one of the fastest items to click, they're one of the slowest - potentially far from the cursor, and with a tiny target.

    Similarly, the menu bar... All Mac programs have their menus at the top of the screen, extending infinitely "up". They are the third fastest things to get to. Windows programs have their menus... in a tiny slice at the top of a window somewhere in the middle of the screen. And because they depend on the position of the window, not only are they small, and far from the cursor, they're in a different physical position for every window! You can't even use muscle memory to hit the menu!

    So, that's part of the special appeal. The Mac UI is consistent and optimized for speed. The Windows UI is inconsistent and appears to be reverse-optimized, selecting the slowest possible design choices.

    • by hackel ( 10452 )

      "Optimised for speed?" That's a joke, right?

      You might have a point if you're talking about mouse users, but when it comes to speed, keyboard is king, and the Mac sucks ass there. No keyboard shortcut hints are ever visible. You just have to outright memorise every shortcut. Everything is tied to the mouse, it's terrible.

  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2017 @05:50PM (#54344095)

    Apple aren't perfect - their current hardware line up leaves much to be desired, which lead to me recently having a fling with a MS Surface Book: I wanted to mess with the tablet/stylus idea for a project I'm working on, plus the Surface range seemed like the closest thing to a windows "reference platform" that should showcase WIn10 at its best. The Surface Book failed within the 30 day "easy returns" period - now, other people have had good experiences with the SB so I'm not going to knock it on that basis, but there were other more fundamental reasons why I bailed and got my money back rather than accept the offer of a new replacement machine.

    I'd also note that I've used DOS, Windows and Linux, MacOS and various others on and off since forever (ISTR there must have been at least one occasion when I used WIndows, MacOS ('classic' and X), Linux, RiscOS and VMS. Windows 95/NT5/2000/XP was my daily driver from about 1996-2006 before I switched to Mac, and I've always had a Win7 VM on my Mac for testing websites and stuff. What I'm saying is: this is not "eek, the keys are a bit different" - I can cope with things being "a bit different", I already mostly know how to use Windows (I've developed for Windows, whereas everything I've written on the Mac has been crossplatform) and I'd been getting real work done on the Surface before it failed.

    Mac advantage 1: Mac OS and Mac OS apps are, typically, just nicer: they're responsive (click the mouse and, generally, there's an instant response - even if its only an hourglass you know you've clicked something). On windows, frequently, there was no sign of anything happening for a second or so. Apps tend to be consistent and designed with more "attention to detail" than you see on Windows.

    Examples: Apple Mail is not the best Mail client by a long chalk and receives much abuse, but select part of a message and hit reply and you get a new message with just that text quoted. How else should it work? I now know where all those silly huge chain emails come from - because that's what Win10 mail and Outlook force you to do. Someone on the 'To' line ought to be on 'CC' instead? Just drag them - the App recognises each address as a discrete object. On Windows, carefully select the email address by hand, copy & paste, being careful not to mess up the separating commas. Outlook 2016 is feature-rich but usability poor - not even properly integrated into the Win 10 notification or calendar system and I had to install a third party plug-in to stop it quitting (and hence stopping checking for new mail) every time I closed the window. Outlook wouldn't talk to my Google calendar or address list (and Outlook 2016 still doesn't do Google 2-factor login). Win10 Mail/Calendar/Contacts did a bit better - and knows about Google - but its feature-restricted (failed me when I needed to drag a message from my Google account to an Exchange folder) plus it has a horrible, space-inefficient design that assumes you're going to run it full-screen.

    That's one example. There are, of course, lousy Mac OS apps, too, but generally they adhere to a much higher standard of 'thoughtful touches' than Windows.

    As for Mac vs. Linux - Linux rules for server-side, but when it comes to GUI everything nasty you can say about Windows' responsiveness and attention to detail applies to Linux with two scoops of ice-cream and a cherry on the top. Linux GUI's design brief is "give us a horribly over-engineered windowing system, make it networkable but so clunky that VNC is a better solution for remote access, add a desktop manager that looks like - but doesn't work like - NeXTStep because I'm a Unix hacker and as long as I can run 6 copies of vim and 6 bash shells side-by-side I'll be in hog heaven." Or at least, that was the situation until Gnome 3 and Unity came along - which was like being rescued from the Titanic by the Marie Celeste.

    Mac advantage 2: Win10 is still a ghastly hybrid of Windows 7 and The UI Formally Known as Metro. It didn'

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