Friday, November 8, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Falling Back to an Older MBP

Erica Sadun:

The basic truth for me is that both keyboards are fully usable and that having the dedicated escape key (or not) was never a big deal. The virtual one did the job just fine. That’s something I never expected to admit but it’s true. I may not love MBP keyboards but they work.

[…]

On the other hand, moving back from USB-C to all these wonderful ports is delightful. My 2018 was always an octopus, and I had to carry around a bag of hubs and adapters.

[…]

I have a bunch of extra file space with the built-in SD card reader with my computer-flush reader adapter so it looks built in. The two standard USB ports are so convenient. I have an entire bag of USB-C gizmos that I’d carry around with the 2018 machine that I dumped into my USB box-of-everything for now.

Unlike others, she doesn’t seem to have had trouble with keyboard reliability and likes the big trackpad. She misses Touch ID but not the Touch Bar.

Previously:

Update (2019-11-09): Tanner Bennett:

This mirrors how I feel. I don’t mind the Touch Bar or the miss the escape key, and my keys rarely broke, but

• I hate the low-travel keys
• I hate the new arrow key layout
• I miss ports (HDMI, USB)

David Heinemeier Hansson:

Apple’s stubborn four-year refusal to fix the terminally broken butterfly keyboard design led me to a crazy experiment last week: Giving Windows a try for the first time in twenty years.

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What this experiment taught me, though, was just how much I actually like OSX. How much satisfaction I derive from its font rendering. How lovely my code looks in TextMate 2. How easy it is to live that *nix developer life, while still using a computer where everything (well, except that fucking keyboard!) mostly just works.

6 Comments

I've now sold all of my personal Macs, except for my old 17" MacBook Pro, which now runs all of the remaining Mac stuff I rely on and don't want to run in virtualization. Every time I use it I'm reminded of how amazing Apple's hardware used to be.

I switched jobs and got a 2018 MBP. After using it for a couple of months, I agree, the new keyboard is terrible. The low travel drives me crazy. I hate the touch bar. Instead of being able to just hit a button without looking to mute or unmute, I have to look a tap twice. If I want to change the volume its tap, drag, UGH. And having now USB-A or HDMI is just madness. I don’t like the MBP at all.

I respect David Heinemeier Hansson quite a bit, but "mostly just works" is about as true on Mac OS as Windows and pretty much the only way you can "live that *nix developer life" on macOS is to install a third party package manager. As such, seems curious not to mention the fact Microsoft is pushing Linux tools on Windows as well. It has been many years since the "Apple made Mac OS into an easy to use *nix" refrain has sung true. Most of the system is locked down by default, plenty of common tools have been pulled from the system, and the remaining tools tend to lag behind quite a bit. If you want *nix, just use a quality Linux distro or perhaps GhostBSD, but if you want a commercially supported, easy to use operating system with *nix tools, then use Windows.

I prefer the *nix way of computing too, but Windows on my new (to me) laptop is working pretty well for the time being. I am going to wipe and restore Linux at some point in the near future.

I'm assuming DHH is using retina displays for the font rendering comment, because non-retina font rendering on macOS — especially Catalina — is a disgrace compared to Windows.

I've the latest 15", constantly spill crumbs and such on it and I've yet to have a single issue with the keyboard.

Sören Nils Kuklau

Seems curious not to mention the fact Microsoft is pushing Linux tools on Windows as well

He did get into WSL, if that’s what you mean?

It has been many years since the “Apple made Mac OS into an easy to use *nix” refrain has sung true. Most of the system is locked down by default, plenty of common tools have been pulled from the system, and the remaining tools tend to lag behind quite a bit.

It’s true that macOS is getting locked down a fair bit, which doesn’t really feel like the ”Sends other UNIX boxes to /dev/null” days. As for tools, though, I cannot remember a time when Apple’s supplied Unix toolchain was sufficient. Back in those days, I used fink, then briefly Gentoo Portage, then MacPorts, and eventually HomeBrew. Which continues to work fine.

I’m assuming DHH is using retina displays for the font rendering comment, because non-retina font rendering on macOS — especially Catalina — is a disgrace compared to Windows.

Windows is removing subpixel rendering just like Apple has started to. UWP/WinUI doesn’t support it.

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