Ramblings of General Geekery

Missing The Point Again

I’ve seen quite a few Apple bloggers link to this piece from Adam Geitgey about the new MacBook Pro, and how it’s supposedly “kind of great for hackers”. All because you can plug a lot of different things thanks to USB-C ports1.

Huh… OK?

Well first, it’s great to see Apple users realize the benefits of standard ports – and based on how Adam seems to easily use lots of peripherals without any apparent problem, it’s good to know that some concerns about the compatibility landmine of USB-C may be overblown. I thought it was a given, that standard ports are better, and that yes, Apple ditching proprietary ports is an excellent (although baffling in some ways) development. But MacBook Pros having USB ports of any version is not a new thing. The only new thing is that they upgraded to the latest version of the standard… should we celebrate them for that? Isn’t that like saying “thank you” to cars stopping at red lights?

I feel like people are missing the point. Again.

The problem isn’t whether the new MacBook Pro is a good machine or not. It is a good machine. It’s the best MacBook Air that Apple ever released. It’s arguably an excellent MacBook, too. It’s just a shitty MacBook Pro because, in many ways, it’s a downgrade from the previous iterations – something thatApple does quite often.

But of course, it seems to pay off. Like I said before, Apple is now focused on mass consumer markets.

Someone (I don’t remember who) said that “Pro” now meant “Premium” in Apple’s line-ups. You don’t necessarily get a more complicated machine anymore. Instead, you get a fancier and pricier one. That’s arguably why they called the big iPad an “iPad Pro”. Not “iPad XL”, or “12” iPad”, or “the new new bigger iPad” or something.

Pro” is now the opposite of “Mini” and “Air2 – not the opposite of “consumer” or “simple”.

  1. You know what would be great for hackers? For Apple to stop changing, obfuscating, and removing the Unix-y parts of macOS. So we can keep hacking things. Plugging a peripheral into an USB port is not what I would call “hack-y”, unless I’m some character in a Hollywood blockuster thriller about being chased on the Internet or something. 

  2. Air” actually doesn’t mean much anymore either. It’s the middle point in the iPad line, but the lower point in the MacBook line.