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Author Topic: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative  (Read 2842 times)

Dan Wells

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My 2017 15" MacBook Pro just broke down (not Apple's fault - someone spilled soda on it - thankfully, I have AppleCare+, which covers accidental damage), and it took them nearly 2 weeks to get it back to me (while I am trying to print an art show that goes up in a week and a half). Any other manufacturer of non-gaming laptops in the $3000 price range (I'm thinking mostly of HP and Lenovo, although Dell also has a workstation line) would have used on-site service to get the machine back in working order in a day or two.

Those other manufacturers also offer far superior hardware, especially in the areas of RAM and overall expandability. There is no other $3000 laptop that is limited to 16 GB, and there are machines in the same price range that can even take 64 GB - although MacOS has better RAM handling than Windows. The competition also offers more storage choices - removable and multiple PCIe SSDs are standard, and hard drive bays are options (you can choose between machines in the MBP 15" weight range without hard drive bays and machines a pound or so heavier that offer a hard drive bay). They offer USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports along with legacy ports - I actually love Thunderbolt 3 with my desktop docking station connected to two monitors, wired Ethernet and a few USB peripherals, but I wish I had one standard USB port, one HDMI and a SD reader for use on the road. I keep a USB-C to HDMI cable with my projector, but it doesn't do me any good if I have to present using an installed projector somewhere. I can't use a flash drive someone hands me without a stupid dongle.

Apple got a bunch of decisions right with the recent MacBook Pros, as well as the ones they got wrong. The machine is extremely fast - probably a combination of a well-optimized design, a low-cruft operating system and the ridiculously fast SSDs they use. The video card is actually a very good choice - a much faster card would consume a lot more power, and require additional cooling which would lead in turn to a much bigger and heavier system with radically reduced battery life - and AMD cards are much more competitive with NVidia in professional applications than they are in games. The few relatively reasonably sized 15" laptops with significantly faster video are specialized gaming machines that have made huge compromises to get the video card in (they either use much slower 15W CPUs or have essentially replaced the battery with a fan, leaving 1-2 hour battery lives). Anything else with faster video is either 17" or an inch-thick 15" machine that weighs 6 lbs. Apple's hardware quality is generally excellent (so are the expensive workstation models from HP and Lenovo).

I'd rather have 1/2 lb more weight to get more ports and the option of more RAM and additional SSD, but Apple doesn't offer that option...

Sadly, any other manufacturer means dealing with Windows... Windows has gotten better, but it still has several significant flaws. The biggest one is that it doesn't "just work" like a Mac does - there's still a lot of time wasted troubleshooting Windows that just isn't there on the Mac side (and a few things it won't do). Even though it's gotten more secure (and the Mac has slid backwards), you still have to spend more time messing with security. Color management has improved since the XP/Vista/7 "what color management" days, but it's no Mac. Windows drivers are still hell compared to Mac drivers that rarely give any problem (example: there are TWO drivers for the Canon Pro-series printers under Windows 10 - one that is very modern and supports 16-bit printing, but is missing most of the features and settings, and another that is feature-complete but uses an old architecture and doesn't support 16-bit printing). The Windows Registry still exists, and it's still an unstable swamp! The other reason I prefer to avoid Windows is that I NEED ad-blocking if I am going to use the Web at all - I have neurological issues that make singing, dancing ads unbearable. Safari with a couple of blockers is still the best way of getting rid of them!

I suspect that most of the instability in Windows is because it supports a couple of things the Mac doesn't. One is that it has enormous legacy compatibility, going all the way back to DOS in some cases. This is useful, but it comes at a cost. Second, it supports two kinds of problematic hardware that Apple has simply avoided supporting (along with an enormous range of millions of hardware configurations, while any given version of MacOS supports a couple of hundred configurations). I suspect the two types of configurations that add most of the instability are cheap junk and exotic gaming rigs, along with backward compatibility. If Microsoft pulled all support for features that only affect games out of Windows (or allowed an installation option that said "I don't intend to use games - do not install any gaming features"), and removed all kludges that support extremely cost-centric hardware, I suspect stability would increase markedly.

Apple has two good options to rectify this situation, and I hope they take one of them (unlikely as they may be). One would be to spin the Mac business off from the iPhone maker, either as a fully separate company or as a semi-independent subsidiary. Allowing the Mac division to exist more independently might cause them to focus on professional needs to a greater extent.

The second is to license the MacOS to one or two high-end PC makers for a limited number of models. Since a Mac is essentially a PC with specific components, it would be trivial to get it running on some workstation-level notebooks and desktops from other manufacturers (many of which have been Hackintoshed...). If Apple's worried about their profitable MacBook and iMac business, they could even set license terms that others can't build laptops with screen sizes 13" or smaller, or all-in-one desktops. I'd even like to see alternative hardware sold in Apple stores. Apple would probably make more money on the deal out of satisfied creative pros who find the 32 GB laptop or tower workstation they want than they'd lose on people picking alternatives (nobody's going to walk in to an Apple Store looking for a 12" MacBook and leave with a 17" ThinkPad running MacOS instead.

Microsoft also has an option that would help - I'd love to see a version of Windows for Workstations that leaves out all the unstable parts... Windows NT and 2000 were essentially this, and Windows 2000 was VERY stable (it had virus issues (not as many as XP), but it was extremely stable). Most games wouldn't run, and it had notably high hardware requirements for its time, but it was a better pro platform compared to contemporary alternatives than Windows has ever been since - XP was a huge step forward in features, but a significant step backward in stability.

What if Microsoft started with Windows 10, and did three things?
1.) Remove everything used only or primarily by games (including stripping gaming-only features out of graphics drivers).
2.) Remove legacy code that supports applications and peripherals beyond a certain age (5 years?)
3.) Set high hardware requirements (and possibly a restricted compatibility list like Apple does), removing pieces that support running Windows on junk hardware..
It might actually be easier to start with Windows Server and add things that desktops and laptops need, rather than stripping Windows 10, assuming they aren't the same code base to begin with...

I suspect the end product would be a significantly more stable, less buggy Windows that would appeal to a certain type of user. Of course, it couldn't be the only Windows - it would be terrible for home use, and it might not run on less expensive business desktops either. Since most games wouldn't run, a large portion of the market wouldn't touch it - but photographers, video pros, GIS mavens, architects and engineers?
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mlewis

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 09:51:51 AM »

Sadly, any other manufacturer means dealing with Windows... Windows has gotten better, but it still has several significant flaws. The biggest one is that it doesn't "just work" like a Mac does
In my experience Windows just works.  The main reason any computer doesn't just work is bad hardware or a configuration issue, both of which can happen to any computer.

Quote
- there's still a lot of time wasted troubleshooting Windows that just isn't there on the Mac side (and a few things it won't do).
The last time I had to troubleshoot my windows computer the problem was failing hardware - hardly Windows fault.

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The Windows Registry still exists, and it's still an unstable swamp!
It is very very rare that you need to look at the registry in Windows.  If you leave it alone like you are supposed to it doesn't rerally cause any issues.  If you play about with it you can easily break thinks.

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The other reason I prefer to avoid Windows is that I NEED ad-blocking if I am going to use the Web at all - I have neurological issues that make singing, dancing ads unbearable. Safari with a couple of blockers is still the best way of getting rid of them!
You can use adblockers with many web browsers on Windows as well (and Linux).  This is not anything to do with Apple at all.

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I suspect that most of the instability in Windows is because it supports a couple of things the Mac doesn't. One is that it has enormous legacy compatibility, going all the way back to DOS in some cases. This is useful, but it comes at a cost. Second, it supports two kinds of problematic hardware that Apple has simply avoided supporting (along with an enormous range of millions of hardware configurations, while any given version of MacOS supports a couple of hundred configurations). I suspect the two types of configurations that add most of the instability are cheap junk and exotic gaming rigs, along with backward compatibility. If Microsoft pulled all support for features that only affect games out of Windows (or allowed an installation option that said "I don't intend to use games - do not install any gaming features"), and removed all kludges that support extremely cost-centric hardware, I suspect stability would increase markedly.
Windows wider support of course can be a source of issues but again, for a vast majority of people Windows just works.  Windows stability has not really been an issue for years now.  You can also find many tales of Apple computers not working properly too.  For quite a few people Apple kit just does not work.

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I suspect the end product would be a significantly more stable, less buggy Windows that would appeal to a certain type of user. Of course, it couldn't be the only Windows - it would be terrible for home use, and it might not run on less expensive business desktops either. Since most games wouldn't run, a large portion of the market wouldn't touch it - but photographers, video pros, GIS mavens, architects and engineers?
Part of the appeal of Windows is the wide range of hardware and software it supports.  Microsoft is not likely to stop that happening for a niche OS that wouldn't be widely used.  As Windows has been very stable since Windows 7 it is not really needed either.
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DP

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 10:42:26 AM »

it all boils down to a user, some users (like OP) simply can't get OS to work with minimal efforts and prefer to tell tales about some fictional enormous amount of efforts it ostensibly requires... the line about browser with couple of blockers is a fine illustration of OP's expertise in the matter.
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Dan Wells

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 11:24:00 AM »

I've used Windows 10 (admittedly not the latest updates) on really good hardware (HP workstations), and I wouldn't call it even close to as stable as a Mac... I agree that it is a vast improvement over XP and Vista. I'd say 2000 was extremely stable (although missing a ton of features - including some of importance to photographers and the like). 2000 was the one point where Windows was more stable than a contemporary Mac (NT 3.5 may also have been - I never used it). The DOS-based Windows that had most of the market around 2000 was very unstable, but the NT/2000 variety was very good if you could deal with the missing features. XP introduced a ton of features, finally bringing NT-based Windows to the point where almost everyone could use it - but it also introduced a ton of bugs!
Vista was a flop that never even got as stable as the later service packs of XP, but Windows 7 was by far the best Windows since 2000. Windows 8 introduced many of the bugs back in with the redesign, while Windows 10 is what Windows 8 should have been. Maybe the next version of Windows will be fully stable - it seems like they introduce a terribly buggy version, then an improved version, then finally a version that is more or less right. Almost as soon as they get a really stable one out there, they start redesigning it again. I haven't used the "Creators Update" versions of Windows 10, so that may actually be the stable one - I was thinking it's a service pack...

I haven't used Microsoft Edge since they added the extension functionality - maybe that can be adblocked as well as Safari can be? I find that a LOT more ads and auto-playing content (I can't handle auto-playing video or audio regardless of whether it's an ad) slip through on Firefox than on Safari. I won't even think about Chrome, because Google is one of the major offenders. Once I get Safari well-defended (it takes some custom filters to get rid of everything, and those filters annoyingly go away if I ever upgrade the OS or Safari), I almost never see anything. When I last fooled with Edge in the early days of Windows 10, it was unusable, because it had no extensions at all, so it couldn't be adblocked.

 And NO, you can't fully block stuff on ANY browser with ANY single extension - if you need as clean a browser as I do, you have to run (at a minimum) an ad-blocker and a separate cookie cleaner! Even that way, I can't get everything - most social media sites are unusable for me (Facebook disguises auto-playing ads as content, they admit they do it, and no blocker can kill it yet). Sites that block ad-blockers have blocked me completely, because I neurologically CANNOT accept the ads (or other auto-playing video). I fully expect that within 5-10 years, back-blocking will have pretty much forced me offline except for a few sites that are either non-profit (Wikipedia), or that I subscribe to (NY Times). The best thing I can hope for is a subscription consortium where I can get a pool of sites for a reasonable fee...

As for "not being able to get an OS stable due to lack of expertise", I once worked in the IT industry, and I can get any Mac stable right away, and have been able to for many years. Maybe I just don't understand Windows as well (most of my experience is on the Mac side), but I've never gotten any version of Windows later than 2000 to work the way Macs always seem to for me. I'm not using High Sierra yet, because the new file system doesn't seem to be fully stable, but Sierra is working incredibly well for me (I'm running RAIDs, dual monitors (with Spyder calibration on one, plus an internally calibrated Eizo) and large-format printing and it all just works).

Admittedly, I may be a special case - I run a lot of photographic hardware and software, but have very limited needs in any other way. My brother the Excel maven tells me that Windows Excel is FAR better than Mac Excel, and I have no reason to doubt him. My use of Excel is limited to things I could more or less do on a pocket calculator, so Mac Excel is fine for me! I don't touch any game other than little time-wasters on the phone... Were it not for the photographic side, I could EASILY live with an iPad as my only computer - everything else I do is very simple.

If somebody on the Windows side can tell me that they can hang a Thunderbolt RAID (or a 10Gig Ethernet NAS - either one is equally fast), a Loupedeck (Lightroom control console), two external monitors with different calibration systems (I can't afford two Eizos, and the one Eizo really IS better than a conventional monitor), and a Canon PRO-2000 24" printer off a Lenovo P50 or a HP Zbook, and it'll set up in an hour and never give a problem, I stand corrected. Last time I tried Windows 10, it wasn't CLOSE to that level.  Sierra IS - when I got my Mac back from the shop, the disk had been wiped, and I went from a completely fresh installation of Sierra asking me what language to use to all of the above working in an hour. I'd done it before, so I knew where the downloads were.


Dan
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Farmer

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 05:23:25 PM »

I haven't had an unstable Windows installation for well over a decade, and that's mostly limited by my ability to clearly remember the last time it was unstable.

If you have an unstable Windows installation on modern, quality hardware, then I'm sorry to say that you are somehow causing it.

As I type on my Surface Book, sitting in a hotel in Adelaide (I'm here for the cricket), I've got a live demonstration of the added performance of specialised hardware to spec from the OS manufacturer.  My other customer machines are rock solid, but this Surface Book is beyond amazing.  I'm here for a week and have 2 x 2 hour flights from and back to Sydney.  I doubt I'll need to charge the computer before I get home, using it just for some email, web, and entertainment on the flights.

OS X (MacOS) or Windows is entirely about two things: 1. hardware choices (unless you want to Hackintosh) and 2. personal preference.  There are really no legitimate reasons in the grand scheme of things from an objective technical point of view for either.

And, sure, if Microsoft stripped some things out of Win 10 to make it just support their Surface range it would be better, but by how much I'm not sure beyond a small footprint and perhaps some stats that only show up in benchmarking utilities.  Now, if they made a genuine laptop rather than a hybrid that the Surface Book is (essentially a Surface Book but without the detachable tablet as the screen) with the full range of normal connectivity that would be very interesting to me as it could be even more powerful.

So there are many real alternatives, but for personal preference (which is entirely legitimate).
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Phil Brown

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 11:49:47 AM »

Dan, was your Apple+ care done at an Apple Store or did you ship it back to the mothership for repair?  Did you inquire why the repair work took so long?

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Ron

Joe Towner

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 12:45:10 PM »

One thing that Apple offers is called 'Joint Venture' - it's like AppleCare+++ where it's front of the line for issues, quicker access to higher level techs, scheduled calls & equipment loaners when something needs to be gone for a while.  It's pricy $500 a year, but for some of my clients it's worth it.

Also, did you inquire with your insurance agent as to coverage for the situation?  Chances are they would have covered equipment rental during the repair.
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Dan Wells

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 09:58:06 AM »

I brought it to an Apple Store, and they said it had to be sent out...

Brought it in on a Thursday, and they said "it'll get on today's FedEx" - they missed the truck and it didn't go out until Friday - I had explained the situation, and that it was an emergency! I would have happily brought it to FedEx myself if they had said it was going to miss the truck. They reassured me "it's Thursday, you'll have it back by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest (these were the two days BEFORE Thanksgiving, so I was confident it would miss the holiday).

Called on Friday, when the online status showed it was still sitting at the store. They said "the repair facility works on weekends - you'll still have it Wednesday". Status didn't change at all until Monday, when the repair facility finally admitted to having received it.

Status didn't change Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - a couple of calls and visits to the Apple Store - one has a reassuring answer that it passed its diagnostics Tuesday night, and should come home Wednesday (which turned out to be a lie). On Friday, with the same status, I go back in to the Apple Store, and they say "oh, the repair facility isn't open on ANY weekend, and takes a four day break for Thanksgiving".

Status doesn't change on the Monday after Thanksgiving - fast approaching two weeks since it left - I last checked the status Monday at about 8 PM. I check the status Tuesday morning at about 10, and there's a "sorry we missed you" notice from FedEx. They tried to deliver it while I was in the shower Tuesday morning (this wasn't Apple's fault, except that I would have waited for it if they'd  properly updated the status the night before).

It finally comes home Wednesday morning - ONE DAY short of two weeks.

Apple claims it was only five business days (they didn't count the day I brought it in, they didn't count the travel day on Friday, didn't count the weekend, counted Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, didn't count the four day break, counted Monday, tried to return it on Tuesday). They claim it was just unlucky, but I would expect a repair facility for professional equipment (if they insist on depot repair only) to work Saturdays and certainly the day after Thanksgiving- I fully accept that Sundays and Thanksgiving Day don't count. It was also unreasonable to have it miss the truck on that first Thursday without notice (my Genius appointment was at 3 PM, and FedEx picks up until 7 or so around here) - I'd have happily driven it to a FedEx facility (it might have gotten ahead of Thanksgiving if it had had the extra day).


I'm aware of Joint Venture, but the price is totally unreasonable for one machine. If I had several employees and 5 machines, it would be expensive, but not unreasonable. EVERY other $3000 business laptop (not necessarily  gaming machines - I'm thinking ThinkPads, ZBooks, Precision Workstations, etc. rather than expensive toys) comes with onsite service. I've dealt with HP relatively recently and IBM a long time ago (before they sold the ThinkPad line to Lenovo) - both had a technician there in 24 hours, and had the machine fixed that day (I seem to recall that one was on a Saturday, but I'm not sure).

The 15" MBP, the 27" iMac and the Mac Pro are certainly expensive enough that that is the standard of service (the only Mac that is so cheap that it falls in the "slow depot service is all you pay for" category is the Mini).
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Damon Lynch

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 11:15:34 PM »

Lenovo is pretty good with the warranty options they give you. You can go for on-site for 4 years, if you want to pay for it. Or just a year or two and you have to send it in, which of course costs less.

In 2012 picked up one of their 15.6" workstation lines for $1380, which was amazing value for a 1080p high gamut model (albeit it non-IPS, which they didn't offer then). Of course at that price it had the most limited warranty. I still use the machine, and because it's a Lenovo it was not difficult to upgrade the CPU myself, as well as max out the RAM to 32GB when RAM was cheap. The hardware maintenance manuals are all online, and it's not difficult to do a lot of things yourself, like change the fan or apply new thermal paste. Being able to run an SSD and 2Tb hard drive is pretty handy too. And as a bonus, it works like a champ with Linux. In fact these days the driver support is better under Linux, because both the Nvidia and Intel drivers are still kept up to date there, unlike in Windows where both Intel and Nvidia no longer support their graphics adapters.

Windows 10 has been stable for me. No problems there. I just wish it was easier to install updates. Being forced to install some updates at shut down / boot up can be really annoying at times.
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Rhossydd

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 01:58:15 AM »

What if Microsoft started with Windows 10, and did three things?
.
2.) Remove legacy code that supports applications and peripherals beyond a certain age (5 years?)
.
One of the greatest strengths of the Windows OS is that it continues legacy support.
I still like and use software that dates back 15 years. Many businesses rely on that legacy support too.
Plus I can still run old, expensive hardware that still works well.
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 07:24:01 AM »

One of the greatest strengths of the Windows OS is that it continues legacy support.
I still like and use software that dates back 15 years. Many businesses rely on that legacy support too.
Plus I can still run old, expensive hardware that still works well.
Programs I wrote working for Intel on an 8088 powered IBM PC in 1983 work, completely unmodified on an i7 Windows 10 machine...
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Dan Wells

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 09:35:29 AM »

But that comes at a stability cost - if you're using a dedicated photo machine, you're relatively unlikely to have ancient hardware or software around (the exception is scanners!) - and I know others have a different experience, but I find that I have MANY more problems with Windows than with Macs. Windows certainly needs to exist in something like its present form - many scientists I know have enormously expensive (and unusual) lab equipment that is updated FAR less frequently than the average computer.

Is the solution to have several sets of installation options:

1.)Core business OS only (a modernized Windows 2000 approach) - focused on stability.
2.)Legacy support - pay a cost in stability and/or speed, but support old software and peripherals.
3.) Advanced imaging/video support - this is built into the MacOS, and partially built into Windows - not everybody needs it (although photographers do).
4.) Gaming support - games take over the system more than other software, and their odd behavior reduces stability for everything else. Why take that hit on machines that won't play them?

With a few options (probably with defaults that made sense for many people) it would be possible to have an operating system that worked for a variety of use cases, while giving maximum stability. A photographer with no old peripherals could enable imaging only (which is pretty much what a Mac is), while one with an old Super CoolScan could also turn on legacy. Even the person with the Super CoolScan would benefit (assuming they didn't play games on the same machine) from no game-related instability. A gamer, meanwhile, could turn off legacy and maybe imaging...

Dan
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Rhossydd

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 01:12:30 PM »

if you're using a dedicated photo machine, you're relatively unlikely to have ancient hardware or software around (the exception is scanners!) -
and spectrophotometers, expensive hardware that continues to deliver outstanding results.
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Dan Wells

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 03:11:58 PM »

True - I'd forgotten about old Gretag specs that XRite isn't doing a good job of supporting (or is charging a lot for updated software. Don't they all work with i1 Photo 2, which is recent - but it's an expensive upgrade?
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Farmer

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 04:13:46 PM »

Exactly what stability problems are you encountering under Windows 10?
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Phil Brown

mlewis

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 12:25:55 PM »

But that comes at a stability cost
Not in the vast majority of people's experience.  All computers can be unstable.  Hardware issues are going to be a big cause of instability and they can affect any computer be it Windows based, Linux based, or from Apple.
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Dan Wells

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2017, 03:17:37 PM »

The specific issues I have with Windows include:

Security (cryptoransomware is a regular problem, for example, while there has never been a widespread, "in the wild" Mac cryptolocker - I know it is theoretically possible, but it has never happened). Yes, security software has gotten better, but that's a time commitment the Mac doesn't have. Much of this is that Berkeley Unix (on which the Mac is based) is inherently relatively secure. The most recent Mac vulnerability (yes, it's embarrasing that Apple left the root account OPEN!) requires physical access to the computer. Many of us aren't that worried about someone sitting down at our computer and getting in - we are concerned at being network-hacked.

Windows Update: Takes over the system randomly (generally on restart, but I've had Windows machines insist on restarting for updates in the middle of a work session). Some update cycles are up to an hour long. Some required updates are not user-beneficial (the classic example is what at least used to be called Windows Genuine Advantage - a piracy detector that initiates long system updates and occasionally mistakes non-pirated software for pirated). There was no benefit to the USER in Windows Genuine Advantage, although it certainly benefits developers. Macs have long update cycles, too - but you can always schedule them.

I have many more hangs in Adobe software and Capture One on Windows than Mac - I know this isn't everybody's experience.

The Blue Screen of Death still exists - it's relatively rare, but I haven't had a Mac do that to me in many years.

No systemwide color management - the critical applications (anything Adobe, Capture One, etc.) ARE color managed, but there are times when it's nice to have correct color in a browser, or Word, or some other non-obvious piece of software.

Outlook is far more complex than Mac Mail, and far more trouble prone - if you need the power of Outlook, I'm sure Windows Outlook is better than Mac Outlook - but it can be nice to have a simple e-mail client.

Dan

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Kevin Raber

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2017, 04:45:21 PM »

I just had an issue with my MacBook Pro.  I had several keys that stopped working.  I have to admit the new MacBook Pros are not without issues.  Apple publicly stated this week through Johny Ives that they will be addressing all the issues.  So, here's hoping.  Nevertheless, I called Apple, made an appointment with a Genius and took my laptop in.  Luckily I have an iMac to use in the meantime.  They were super nice at the store.  The genius I had recognized me from LuLa and had a bunch of his co-workers come by and say hi.  It's nice to see all the readers and hear about how much they enjoy LuLa.  This person went in the back and did a diagnostics and came back about 10 minutes later and said there were a number of bad keys and that the whole top with the keyboard would have to be replaced.  For this, they would have to send it out and it would take 3-5 days.  It went in on Dec 1 and was returned today by FedEx priority Wed. Dec 6.  3 Business days in the shop. not bad.  ended up having a  new logic board and keyboard put in.  Restoring from time machine with no problems. 

I own a lot of Apple gear, phones, computers etc.  They have always been top notch in help and service.  I own a ton of Apple stock bought a very long time ago.  Yes, I like Apple.  It just works (usually all the time).  My experience with windows has never been good.  I haven't used the latest OS but I have looked that the hardware.  I have horrible memories of disk fragmentation, crashes, registry issues and so on.  Never anything like that with a MAC. 

Macs just work and I believe they will get better.  I am looking forward to the iMac Pro due soon.  For me, it is knowing I have never been second-guessed, treated like an idiot when I do need help and they always make it right.  The Apple store ten minutes from my house is always packed.  The Microsoft store a few doors down is empty.  Usually, you see the employees playing games waiting for a customer to come in.

For me it has been Apple and will be.  Yes, they stumble sometimes, more lately than before, but they are figuring it out.  My portfolio is looking good too Low 109.16 - High 176.24  Nice gains especially when I look at what my original purchase price was.

Bottom line I have my laptop back.  The dongle issue isn't that bad anymore as I either now have USB-C drives and or a special all in one adapter.  For me it works and except for the latest issue, it works all the time.

Get the machine and OS that is best for you.  I don't hear anyone asking me what platform I develop the website on.  Both OS's work. 
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Kevin Raber
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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2017, 05:31:17 PM »

The specific issues I have with Windows include:

Security (cryptoransomware is a regular problem, for example, while there has never been a widespread, "in the wild" Mac cryptolocker - I know it is theoretically possible, but it has never happened). Yes, security software has gotten better, but that's a time commitment the Mac doesn't have. Much of this is that Berkeley Unix (on which the Mac is based) is inherently relatively secure. The most recent Mac vulnerability (yes, it's embarrasing that Apple left the root account OPEN!) requires physical access to the computer. Many of us aren't that worried about someone sitting down at our computer and getting in - we are concerned at being network-hacked.

That's not a stability issue.  I spend zero seconds a day worrying about security or doing anything about it.  Windows comes with built in protections, including utilising processor level options, and then I simply don't click on random nonsense or open unexpected email, thus reducing the threat vectors to practically zero in the first place.  I literally have as much chance of a security issue as a Mac user because my threat vectors are effectively the same.  And then I have transparent software that's there just in case (unlikely some Mac users).  The perception is that it's a minefield out there.  It's not.  You really do have to be careless to even have a chance of being hit (and, yes, a lot of people are careless).

There really is no time commitment.

Windows Update: Takes over the system randomly (generally on restart, but I've had Windows machines insist on restarting for updates in the middle of a work session). Some update cycles are up to an hour long. Some required updates are not user-beneficial (the classic example is what at least used to be called Windows Genuine Advantage - a piracy detector that initiates long system updates and occasionally mistakes non-pirated software for pirated). There was no benefit to the USER in Windows Genuine Advantage, although it certainly benefits developers. Macs have long update cycles, too - but you can always schedule them.

You can easily set the machine to not do this.  It won't restart in the middle of anything unless you've told it that you can.  Even by default, if you are actively on the machine it will prompt you before it can proceed and give you an option to choose when to do it.  Also, it's not really random.  Microsoft release non-critical updates on a consistent schedule.  The Genuine Advantage process, no longer a part of the OS, was a one-time update and it caused me zero issues over multiple computers.  It did cause problems for people with pirated versions who failed to take advantage of the super cheap upgrade path offered at the time (which would have then lead them to a free Win 10 upgrade if they'd wanted it).

Honestly, this hasn't been a thing for 10 years!

So, again, there's no issue here.

I have many more hangs in Adobe software and Capture One on Windows than Mac - I know this isn't everybody's experience.

I can't speak to Capture One as I don't use it, but I use the entire Adobe suite without issue, again for years.  I probably don't use it as much as you (no, I'll say definitely that I don't), but I have used it for a very long time over many environments, including test environments.  Of course if there's a significant bug then yes I can and have encountered those, but not Windows related as such.  As you say, it's hardly a broad experience.

The Blue Screen of Death still exists - it's relatively rare, but I haven't had a Mac do that to me in many years.

Rare?  It's beyond rare unless you have a hardware fault.  If you have seen this, other than for a hardware fault, then you have some dodgy software installed.

I haven't seen a BSOD over any of my, or my wife's, or any of my family or friends, for so long I couldn't tell you how long it's been.  Not even anyone at work, on their business or home machines have mentioned it for that long.

This is another non-issue, and it's really feeling like you've taken some historical issues rather than experienced things yourself.  That's probably just my reading of it, but that's how it appears.

No systemwide color management - the critical applications (anything Adobe, Capture One, etc.) ARE color managed, but there are times when it's nice to have correct color in a browser, or Word, or some other non-obvious piece of software.

This is not a stability issue.  You can have correct colour in a browser, but it's true it's not system wide and that IS an advantage to OS X.  For the number of times I needed to colour manage Word in terms of visually proofing on the screen I can count on zero fingers, but I accept others may need it.  Word does have colour management, you can print a colour managed workflow from Word in Windows in you want, but you can't see it.  Ever so small advantage to Mac here.

Outlook is far more complex than Mac Mail, and far more trouble prone - if you need the power of Outlook, I'm sure Windows Outlook is better than Mac Outlook - but it can be nice to have a simple e-mail client.

Like the free Mail that's built into Windows?  This is really a strange things to compare.  Outlook is easy to use if all you want is to send mail, but of course it's overkill for most home users - hence, free, built-in mail software that's really simple to use.  You are in no way limited to Outlook.  That's a really odd comparison to bring up.
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Phil Brown

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Re: Extremely disappointed with Apple support - but no real alternative
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2017, 06:21:21 PM »

I wish I had had Kevin's experience with Apple sending my machine out - I like their hardware and I love their OS... I guess it shows that you can get lucky or unlucky with similar repairs. In my case, the original issue wasn't even Apple's fault - it's just the length of time it took to get it back, and that they didn't offer any alternative way to get work done while it was gone (other than Joint Venture, which is cost-prohibitive except in a multi-person shop - since it covers 5 machines, it might be a great option for a studio that had 3 employees and 4 Macs, for example).

For those who can get Windows to work well for them, great! I never have, despite a lot of computer experience (admittedly mostly Mac), and I've gotten even complex things to run beautifully on Macs.

On the few occasions I've tried to use Windows for imaging stuff, I've never run anything dodgier than Capture One.

My original point was more about Apple needing to offer pro-level support with the expensive machines - even offering Joint Venture at $100/year per machine without having to buy 5 machines of coverage if you own one machine would help. They actually used to - it was called ProCare, I believe.

 Perhaps some more hardware choices (their hardware is really nice, but I wish you could choose "heavier with more ports", for example). A simple way to do this would be to license MacOS for a few workstation-class machines, since a Mac is basically a UEFI PC with a few specific bits of hardware.

Dan
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