Archive for January 29, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How Much Has That Mac Been Used?

Keir Thomas:

This is obviously only of use on a MacBook (including Pro/Air), but the number of times a battery has been charged is useful information. This is represented as the charge cycle figure. A low charge cycle figure on an older Mac means one of two things: either the Mac hasn’t been used much or – and perhaps more likely – the Mac has spent most of its life attached to its charger, so might rarely have left the owner’s home or office. Either way, a low number is good news.


This figure is approximately the number of hours the drive has been powered-up since it was installed in the computer.


If the user you’re buying the Mac from has never reinstalled macOS/OS X then you can find out exactly when they first powered-up the Mac and completed the initial setup. Just open a Terminal window as described above and paste in the following:

ls -l /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

Macs Lose Marketshare

Michael Potuck (Hacker News):

It’s not surprising that Mac sales dropped for Apple in 2016 as they experienced their first year over year sales decline since 2001. What is interesting, however, is that as Mac sales dropped roughly 10% and personal computers overall dropped 5.7% for the year, the top four leaders in the market all saw growth as Apple was pushed to number five.

Although Mac sales were up in Q4 2016 compared to Q4 2015, an analyst note today from Bloomberg’s Anand Srinivasan and Wei Mok has revealed Apple has dropped to the fifth largest PC vendor, with ASUS (ASUSTeK) overtaking fourth place. The top four vendors are now Lenovo, HP, Dell, and ASUS.

This comes after a long period of growing relative to the rest of the industry.

Previously: How Apple Alienated Mac Loyalists.

Update (2017-01-31): Nick Heer:

After over a decade of near-constant growth that went against the PC industry’s decline, 2016 was a down year in terms of absolute sales and sales relative to Apple’s primary competitors.

Funding the Web

The Changelog podcast has a fascinating interview:

Brendan Eich, founder of Brave and creator of JavaScript, joined the show to talk about the history of the web, how it has been funded, and the backstory on the early browser wars and emerging monetization models. We also talked about why big problems are hard to solve for the Internet and the tradeoffs between centralization and distribution.

Previously: Brave Browsers, Apple/Google Hiring Lawsuit.

Swift Weak References and Type Erasure

Curt Clifton:

In one of my side projects, two interesting Swift problems—heterogeneous arrays and weak references—collided in an interesting way.


How can we clean up the old callers? We need some logic that tells us when a signal has been deallocated. But we don’t have a direct reference to any signals at all from the data model. We gave that up when we used type erasure. The only references to the signals are inside the callers.

That realization leads to the insight that unlocks this problem. We can capture a weak reference to the signal inside another closure that tells us whether or not a signal has been deallocated[…]