Poisoned Apple: After the Love Is Gone

I loved Apple computers for a long time.

Frankly, I still love the two I have: A late 2013 iMac, and an even older MacBook Pro.

But Apple has definitely been embracing the Dark Side since Steve Jobs died, and its walled garden, along with its pressure to push users into the Apple store and to make getting software from independent developers outside of its store (because in its store, of course, it gets a cut of everything created) is a giant, tedious pain in the ass.

And then there’s the fact that everything it’s doing right now is designed to FORCE people who love its hardware into an “Apple way or the Highway” scenario, which is simply ugly.

Awesome way to get folks to quit loving them is to FORCE them to do things they don’t want to do. And I’ve spent enough time on the “highway” to prefer it to the way things are going.

So here’s the latest ugliness:

Bait and Fix

At the point where I can no longer use my current computers, I have no interest in going to Windows. But Linux remains a possibility, one I’m now investigating.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

24 comments… add one
  • Kathy Crouch Oct 13, 2018 @ 2:03

    I bought a brand new Lenovo with Windows 10 in 2016 and bought the same model in a 2018 as a backup. I love Windows. Never considered Apple because they want too much money for them. I don’t use a desktop except for the day job which is furnished by the company I work for. I work from home, by the way. I prefer to be on the couch with my laptop or even taking it with me wherever I want to go. I haven’t used a desktop for anything since 2012 when I left my sister’s house after the death of my husband in 2011.
    Funny some people I knew bought Chromebooks because of the price and had to return them when they didn’t work like they expected for school and other purposes. For me, I’m happy with Windows. Started with Windows 3.0, then it was Windows 98, then XP, then 7, 8, 8.1 and now Windows 10.

  • Marie Oct 11, 2018 @ 19:05

    My favorite OS is Windows7, for ease of use and plays well with others. Windows cannot do the walled garden, it’s not even the ruling browser in its own platform anymore.

    Linux demands you do a lot of command line and assembly level maintenance. It is safer from malicious stuff (like apple) but I don’t get a kick out of that much massaging my computer. I just want my computer to do what I want without interrupting my momentuum. Apple’s walled garden was getting clear when I had my first good job and finally had the option of choosing whatever I liked. I used to do my own repairs and additions to my desktops, so ‘plays well with others’ is part of responsible corporate game plans.

    Windows8 is okay too, but for what I use my computer for I do not need or want a touch-tablet interface. That gets in my way and seizes control of my desktop and hides details. No, I dread being forced to switch to windows10. I’m hard on my computers, using it throughout my day, upwards of 20 hours a day. (writing, gaming, reading, research, news and opinion… they will take my mine away from my cold dead fingers- but due to health issues I can’t write more than my signature anymore on paper. If I hadn’t gotten hooked on writing I probably would be trying to program or do digital art)

    But, when the cooling fan dies in this computer for the final time (ordering your own from asia is way cheaper than geeksquad) I will suck it up and get windows10, unless I can persuade a dealer to let me have 8.1. I WILL enjoy having a more powerful CPU and graphics for the handful of games I enjoy.

  • Sylvia Oct 11, 2018 @ 14:40

    I’ve never used a Dell for the same reason. Or a Mac for fear Apple would go that direction. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to master Linux but haven’t done it. I loved my somewhat elderly HP desktop and XP OS and used it as long as possible, like this month! But with fear of it crashing from old age or a hacker attack and MS absolutely abandoning XP for good, I opted for an HP Elite and Windows 10 with fear and trembling. So far, so good.
    Hope Dan gets the download problem fixed to both your satisfaction.

  • Heidi Oct 11, 2018 @ 13:29

    I thought they were making a Linux Scrivener. They had a beta test of Scrivener on Linux years ago.

    There is a big learning curve to Linux, but it can also be very liberating. I’ve been using it exclusively for almost a decade now, and while it can be frustrating, for stubborn, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do-ers who like to DIY, it’s a familiar kind of frustrating. Dual booting might be something you want to look into. That way you can run back to the walled garden with a simple restart if you need. The command line works similarly between Mac and Linux, and it’s really where you’ll find the magic. It’s so great to have an issue, run a command, and get actually useful feedback that points you to the solution. It’s also fantastic to install programs from the command line. Homebrew does that for Macs, but it’s not as integrated as Linux package managers.

    The big caveat for writers, however, is formatting. You’ll be using programs like LibreOffice instead of Word. For some reason, they don’t always result in formatting like you’d expect, and it’s impossible to tell how it will actually look on another machine.

    It’s definitely a process that requires experimentation. If you’re frustrated enough to consider it, though, it’s worth giving it a shot. For the record, Windows Vista is what drove me crazy enough to decide that Linux was less crazy, and I’m glad it did!

  • Deborah Turner Oct 11, 2018 @ 12:35

    Everyone seems to be going to the Walled Garden approach. It’s all proprietary information. We may have to pick our poisons. I have lots of friends who have moved to Linux. They seem to like it.

  • Ann Beardsley Oct 11, 2018 @ 12:13

    I don’t know details, but my husband has “boxes” within his Linux-based computer for those times when he needs Windows or Apple. So it might be possible…he says to check with your local Linux users group

  • Elizabeth Oct 11, 2018 @ 11:39

    Ugh! I love my Apple stuff, but I hate the walled garden approach. Slightly off topic, this kind of business policy is also making groceries more expensive. John Deere considers their tractors to be “proprietary software” that can no longer be serviced by the owners. Farmers are forced to pay exorbitant fees or risk equipment failure during important, time-critical operations.

    • Holly Oct 15, 2018 @ 9:07

      The thing I consider here is IBM. When IBM became the monolith, the giant that ruled the computer universe, a ton of scrappy small-brew independent home-computer upstarts swarmed like velociraptors around its ankles, made its business model obsolete, and ate its lunch.

      I do my best to ONLY buy software from the Apple developers who also (or ONLY) sell their software from their own sites. If I can’t find what I’m looking for by searching for it via browser, I’ll check the Apple store to find products, but if I see something I like, I check first to find the developer’s site, and if it’s possible, I’ll buy straight from them.

      If it isn’t, I’ll see if they have a competitor with similar capabilities who DOES have a website.

      • Jean Oct 30, 2018 @ 13:22

        I, too, prefer to buy directly from Apple developers.

        For what it’s worth, I installed the Mojave OS on my laptop (Quite annoyingly, I couldn’t back up my phone to do updates until I did — not sure how phone only people do this, since I couldn’t do an over the air update on my husband’s phone — not everyone has an Apple store in the neighborhood for these things). The Mojave update went well, and after a few clicks to authorize apps to do what they’d always been doing for me, things appear to be working well. After a few days to make sure things continued to work well, I just installed Mojave on the iMac.

        • Holly Lisle Nov 2, 2018 @ 13:07

          I haven’t been able to force myself to make the leap yet. I have a lot of “legacy” software I still love and use, and I’m not enthused at all about getting rid of it.

          And I stopped using my Apple phone earlier this year. The laptop and the desktop computers are my last Apple products, down from having pretty much everything Apple made.

  • Linda Oct 11, 2018 @ 11:24

    We can’t always have our ideal, since we don’t control what companies offer to us. I live with a mashup of Windows and Mac, since my phone and pad are Apple. My computer is Windows. There is software that lets them all talk with each other for the things I need them to. So, it works for me. I have no desire to do Linux. People I know who have Linux spend way more time doing techy stuff than I want to spend–and I’m a bit of a geek. But at this point, I want to use the tools, not configure, set up, troubleshoot, debug, and so on. I can’t afford to switch my computer to a comparable Mac, so I live with my somewhat klugy setup.

  • Elise Oct 11, 2018 @ 11:20

    Can you tell us what specifically caused you such a problem to provoke this rant?

    I run several applications not gotten via the app store, including Gimp, which I upgraded this week. No problems.

    • Holly Oct 11, 2018 @ 11:55

      Philosophy is everything. It is the sum total of human freedom or enslavement, of being able to do what you choose with your life or being told by others what you must do.

      I’m able to use my current system, and current upgrades and updates work. Looking at the line of Apple’s philosophy, however, their intent and practice is to continue closing the fence and narrowing my options.

      Hackintosh (https://hackintosh.com) is probably the better choice for me and what I need to accomplish.

  • Laura Wilson-Anderson Oct 11, 2018 @ 11:19

    We are slaves to our computers. Sigh. I wish I could I help. 🙁 I do know there’s a thread on the L&L boards about getting Scrivener to work in Linux (since I saw others suggest switching to it), but it might be more of a headache than you need.

  • Jean Oct 7, 2018 @ 12:11

    I’m not happy with what I’m seeing for the new Apple products, but I have never been able to get Linux to work. I swore off Windows after XP, and my husband’s interaction with his Windows 10 machines is a constant stream of blue air and screaming in frustration at not being able to do anything the first time he tries. Anything he wants to do takes 10 tries, and even then it may or may not work.

    Maybe I try Linux on my old XP laptop and see what I can do. BJ, what build would you recommend for a Sony laptop from the XP era?

  • Hugh Oct 6, 2018 @ 19:04

    The modern Linux systems are at least as easy to use as a Mac or Windoze, though of course there is a learning curve. There are distros designed to work on older, less powerful computers. One way to learn about it before the death of your Mac forces you to make decisions is to get an older (even obsolete) computer and put Linux on it.

    The Mac operating system is a shell on top of a Unix/Linux system, and has been for fifteen or twenty years. Another way to play with Unix/Linux is to drop below the shell and interact with the OS directly.

    Going to a straight Linux system will be problematic if you use Scrivener. AFAIK, they don’t make a Linux port. If you use Word, your Linux distro will likely come with LibreOffice (also available for Mac & Windoze), which will do everything M$ Office does for the price of downloading.

    • Holly Oct 8, 2018 @ 11:14

      I live on Scrivener and Vellum.

      I might be trapped.

      • Jean Oct 9, 2018 @ 9:58

        Scrivener will be the challenge. I’m looking into elementary OS to try on my old Sony XP laptop, but it doesn’t address the many, many apps that are not ported to Linux that are used on a daily basis.

      • Kelley Oct 11, 2018 @ 13:31

        I now use Ubuntu. There is a learning curve. Thankfully my husband has been a Linux user for a very long time. I have a virtual machine for Mac so I can still use Scrivener. It’s marginally a hassle, but worth it.

      • Sarah Neuendorff Oct 11, 2018 @ 14:03

        yWriter (Scrivener substitute) has a Linux version in addition to the majors. And it looks like the author is going to start including exporting into ebook formats other than pdf.

      • Sarah Oct 15, 2018 @ 6:39

        Linux has a program WINE that runs some Windows programs, including Scrivener/Windows. I haven’t used Vellum, but Scrivener at least was very easy to WINE.

        • Holly Oct 15, 2018 @ 9:00

          I’m coming at it from the Apple direction — Vellum is Mac-exclusive right now. And Vellum is a game changer for an indie writer/publisher.

          • Heidi Oct 16, 2018 @ 10:15

            Vellum looks like an amazing program!

            You might want to look into VirtualBox. It’s possibly what Ann’s husband uses. Basically, it’s like running another computer inside your computer. I never got it to work properly since my laptop isn’t powerful enough (mid-range Windows laptop from 2008), but yours probably could do it! VirtualBox will run on Windows, Mac and Linux, and it will “host” Windows, Mac and Linux. You could install it on your current computer to try out virtual Linux machines without wiping your hard drive. If you do switch to Linux, you could use your Mac install disc that came with your computer (or that you burned using their backup/upgrade tool) to create your virtual Mac machine running Scrivener and Vellum. Then, you can pop in and out of a Mac environment like running a program. It’s less clunky than dual-booting.

  • BJ Oct 6, 2018 @ 10:32

    One of my original computers was the original AppleII. You could pop the cover and replace any chip that failed. Once they went to the Mac and their closed environment, I swore off any Apple products at that point. Microsoft went that way with their OS and software, so I became an early linux adopter.

    Please ask any questions if you decide to go to linux.

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