Lion of the Blogosphere

Moving to Mac

I ordered a MacBook Pro yesterday; I can’t wait until it gets here. It’s fair if people say that the only reason I did that is because I was bored and there’s nothing else to do with my money with everything being closed down because of the coronavirus, and that I don’t really need a new computer.

In fact, my old Windows desktop computer, with an i7-860 microprocessor, seems to work just fine speedwise, for the most part. That’s a testament to the fact that Moore’s Law has significantly slowed down. In 2010, a computer with a chip that’s was more than 10 years old would have been dog slow and practically useless. Actually, the desktop computer was indeed pretty dog slow before I replaced the main HDD with an SSD and relegated the original HDD to being extra storage for media files and documents. SSD drives are game-changers. Also, the original graphics card would have been pretty useless today, but I replaced it at least twice. With an Nvidia GTX 1050 TI graphics card, I can play Overwatch with a 60 fps frame rate.

Running the Jetstream 2 benchmark test on Chrome, the Windows desktop computer scores approximately 60, while a new Chromebook that I purchased for my 81-year-old father (who is too computer illiterate for me to allow him to use Windows, he always manages to install all sorts of malicious browser extensions despite the computer having Bitdefender antivirus software) scores approximately 50 on the same benchmark. Thus we see that a brand-new cheap computer today is less powerful (although only slightly so) than a power-user’s computer from 10 years earlier.

The Asus Windows laptop that I bought a year and a half ago, in retrospect, really sucks.

  • The HDMI output is only capable of a maximum resolution of 1080p, doesn’t work with my 1440p monitor, and of course won’t work with a 2160p (4K) monitor if I ever upgrade to that. That makes the Asus only suitable for use strictly as a laptop computer and not suitable as a desktop replacement you can use with a high-resolution monitor.
  • It has a fake USB-C port and not a real USB-C port so it won’t support the peripherals of the future. Or in the case of wanting high-resolution video output, which would be possible with a real USB-C port, it doesn’t support the monitors of today.
  • The webcam sucks. The webcam on the MacBook Pro is criticized for being only 720p, but I assume it has to be as least as good as the webcam on my seldom-used 2012 MacBook Air and that webcam is superior to the crappy webcam on the Asus. This is a fault I never noticed until recently, because before March of this year I never used the webcams on any of my laptops, but now I routinely use them for Zoom meetings.
  • The built-in display doesn’t work at 60hz because of crappy hardware design, and running at 48hz results in occasionally unsmooth framerate display with 30fps and 60fps video.
  • Every so often I get this weird “Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer.” error and I have to reboot the computer to keep watching YouTube videos. I have no idea if this is Asus-caused crappiness or Windows-caused crappiness. I’m looking forward to the Mac’s reputation for “just working” the way it’s supposed to.

My plan for the new MacBook pro is to use it as a complete replacement for my Windows desktop, but one that I can unplug when I want to take it to a different room of the house. I want to force myself to become a Mac person and wean myself off of toxic Windows. (I am not alone, Mac has steadily increasing marketshare over the previous seven years.) I intend to only use the old desktop to play Overwatch. (The achilles heel of Mac is that it doesn’t play games. Another achilles heel is that any older software that’s 32-bit won’t run on the latest 64-bit Catalina operating system. That includes Microsoft Office 2011. On the other hand, one of the reasons why Windows is so buggy is because it tries to maintain so much backwards compatibility.)

Some other cool things about the Mac which I recently discovered is how it can seamlessly integrate with other Apple devices. For example, you can receive and send text message to your phone number right on your Mac. The Mac has better built-in support for Apple Airpods. The Airpods do work with windows computers, but only as generic Bluetooth headhpones. So if you stay within the Apple ecosystem, the Mac does some pretty cool and useful stuff.

MacBook 2020 product lineup.

The model of the 13” MacBook that costs $1799 is the best one to buy right now. The less expensive MacBook Pros only have 8th generation Intel microprocessors, one cooling fan and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The more expensive MacBook Pros have 10th generation Intel microprocessors, two cooling fans and four Thunderbolt 3 ports. The second cooling fan, according to reviews on the internet, results in a quieter computer (because neither fan needs to spin as fast), and higher sustained performance because two fans working together allow the microprocessor to run at a high load for a longer time without overheating. The more expensive MacBook Pros also have Iris Plus G7 graphics which are reported to be significantly faster than any other version of Intel integrated graphics. About 40% as fast as an Nvidia GTX 1050 TI videocard, so it should be fast enough to play some of the few computer games that are Mac compatible.

I bought the $1999 model which has a 1TB SSD drive instead of the 512 GB drive on the $1799 model, because I know that I store a lot of files, and if I’m going to use this as my main computer, I’m definitely going to want all of that space. But if you have no idea why you need a 1TB drive then you don’t need one and you can save yourself some money by buying the lower-specced computer.

It’s dubious whether the lower-priced 13” MacBook Pros really offer an advantage over MacBook Airs, because the latter all have 10th generation Intel microprocessors so they are more advanced than the so-called “Pro” computers, and the Airs now have hiqh quality “Retina” displays (whereas the older MacBook Airs from a few years ago had lower resolution screens with a pretty crappy color gamut making them bad for watching movies because the colors were always all off).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 25, 2020 at 1:29 PM

Posted in Technology

29 Responses

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  1. I hate picking orders for any Apple products when working at the Extremely Large Online Retailer. When I pick an item I have to scan the bar code, and all Apple products have eensie-weensie tiny barcodes that are a nightmare to scan.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    May 25, 2020 at 2:03 PM

  2. I went back to Windows a couple of years ago when my old MacBook Pro started to fall apart. At least then my impression was that Apple was becoming less and less interested in making great laptops because they’re not that profitable. There were some bizarre design choices as well in the newest models. For example, they removed some widely used ports, forcing people to buy all kinds of dongles to make up for it. I felt that MacBooks were not worth the price tag anymore.

    In any case, if you want to play games on your Mac, you can easily run Windows on it with Parallels or Boot Camp.

    M

    May 25, 2020 at 2:16 PM

  3. Sellout.

    Tom

    May 25, 2020 at 2:28 PM

  4. That’s a testament to the fact that Moore’s Law has significantly slowed down.

    A common misconception, but incorrect. Moore’s Law was never that computing power or speed double every two years; it’s that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years, and that has actually continued. It’s just that an increase in number of transistors does not result in as great an increase in speed as it used to.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law

    Some other cool things about the Mac which I recently discovered is how it can seamlessly integrate with other Apple devices. For example, you can receive and send text message to your phone number right on your Mac.

    You can do that on Windows too, if you have an Android phone. In general, you can do anything you can do with Apple products on other platforms too, but that’s not obvious to people who use Apple products because of course Apple won’t let non-Apple products integrate with its “ecosystem.”

    Hermes

    May 25, 2020 at 2:42 PM

    • While the part about the number of transistors may have been what people meant in the 1960s, Moore’s Law has commonly become to be understood to mean that computing power doubles every 18 months. And it was doubling that quickly from the early 1980s until sometime in the naughts, but now, it doubles every 8 years.

      The power of graphics cards have been doubling faster than CPUs during the last decade.

      • It’s also “commonly understood” that Captain Kirk used to say “beam me up, Scotty,” in Star Trek, but it never happened. And it’s not just what “people meant,” it’s what Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, predicted when he coined the law.

        Hermes

        May 25, 2020 at 8:08 PM

  5. Lion, you should really check out the YT channel of your fellow new-yorker Louis Rossmann, who specializes in laptop repair. You are not going to want to give your hard-earned money to Apple after watching a few of his videos.

    PrinzEugen

    May 25, 2020 at 2:48 PM

    • Let’s hope it doesn’t break.

      • Why are bricks n mortal computing gadget stores closed during the pandemic? God forbid, you downloaded a malware or blew out your power supply after watching too much porno bubba in these uncertain times, so who you gonna call? Are they not essential businesses?

        Ok, what, who's this again?

        May 26, 2020 at 10:45 AM

    • I second that. These days laptops like the mac have all components fully soldered. They are a little slimmer, fine. If anything breaks, you are in need of Louis Rossmann and the like.
      If he is to be believed, the engineering and build quality of modern macbooks is not really flawless at all.
      Personally I use a 8 year old Thinkpad T420 as my daily driver. It is easily repairable and has a nice classical keyboard. It just replaced the broken hinge. And after enduring an awful TN-Panel for 8 years, I spoiled myself a little and bought a special converter so that I could put a QHD-IPS “Retina” Display in it, as I was working on it anyway. Now I really do not miss anything and have to plan to replace it anytime soon. Moore’s law really seems dead.

      Milton Friedman

      May 26, 2020 at 5:36 PM

  6. Are you going to use this Mac for work related stuff? Seems like a lot of power for non-work related stuff, except for gaming, which you said you won’t be using it for.

    Also I thought programmers and people in software tended to use Linux for personal computing. Do you not like Linux? Or did you switch to Mac because the Mac OS is similar to Linux?

    Tom

    May 25, 2020 at 3:27 PM

    • Yes, you are right that that computer is more powerful than I need. I wanted a computer that I will love. I did not love my previous notebook computer.

  7. I’ve been a loyal — maybe all-too-loyal — Mac user since the mid-’80s, and it’s hard to walk past an Apple store without wanting to go in and buy something just for the pleasure of doing so. But man, I just HATE their politics.

    Simon

    May 25, 2020 at 4:38 PM

  8. Gadget hoarding is so so prole. But you knew that!

    Ok, what, who's this again?

    May 25, 2020 at 5:12 PM

  9. People say that the Bible is the Greattest Story Ever Told. WIthout getting into the merits of the Good Book, I’m going to disagree with this assessment and say that the following account is actually the Greatest Story Ever Told.
    It involves girlpee, so of course it has to be great.

    https://mrbellersneighborhood.com/2019/12/happened-at-barneys

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    May 25, 2020 at 6:11 PM

  10. >Another achilles heel is that any older software that’s 32-bit won’t run on the latest 64-bit Catalina operating system. That includes Microsoft Office 2011.

    I’m sure you wouldn’t do this (because viruses) but I recently bought Microsoft Office 2016 Professional for like $5 on Ebay. You get registration ID and download link in email. Still working great a month in.

    Technically, I think I bought a scrapped computer that had this copy of MS Office on it but forewent paying shipping fees for the actual computer. It’s all supposedly legit under EU law and their interpretation of “first sale doctrine” whereby a consumer is allowed to resell software they have purchased because it’s their’s free and clear. No encumbrances.

    anon

    May 25, 2020 at 11:18 PM

    • I’m really excited about the recently announced Dell XPS 17 and will probably get it around Thanksgiving. FINALLY a premium Windows machine that copies the best thing about Macbook Pro and delivers a 16:10 screen. The dimensions of this new computer are practically the same as my current XPS 15 but because they removed practically all bezel and the bottom chin they were able to fit in a 17 inch 16:10 screen.

      PerezHBD

      May 26, 2020 at 1:05 PM

  11. If you get a MacBook Pro with a good graphics card you can always put a windows partition on your drive to play games on it.

    chris

    May 26, 2020 at 9:58 AM

  12. You can’t use WordPerfect on a Mac.

    ColRebSez

    May 26, 2020 at 11:38 AM

    • I wasn’t aware that I could still use WordPerfect on a PC.

      Can I get the original DOS interface?

      • Don’t know about that but it is available on Windows. You can get it cheap off of eBay. I like it so much more than Microsoft Word. In particular, the “reveal codes” command allows you to remove hidden codes that are screwing up your document. I have form files that my brother wrote back in the 1990s (and that I have updated) that allow me to prepare a deed, mortgage, note, disclosure statement, and payment schedule in just a few minutes. An absolutely great program. Just don’t pay retail for it; buy it off eBay.

        ColRebSez

        May 26, 2020 at 8:04 PM

      • I loved Wordstar, which I used on CP/M (early 1980s).

        Anthony

        May 27, 2020 at 12:23 AM

  13. Funny stuff, I also have a ten year old desktop with an upgraded SSD and GPU. It’s no longer my main PC,* but for 95% of tasks it is about as fast as my 2 year old high end desktop. Not video games obviously.

    My experience with Asus has also been very bad. They made a Google-Nexus tablet that failed in multiple ways after 1.5 years of very light use, like 20-30 mins a week.

    Sure Windows sucks, but Mac isn’t better, and charges far more. For example, the extra $200 you paid for a 1TB over .5 SSD. Actual price difference of the part is about $30 buying retail, even less for Apple. I can’t imagine being blocked from 32bit software over some dubious improvements. 90% of the software on my PC is 32bit.

    Mac also makes it harder to pirate, further making it a bad deal.

    *If you got out of NYC you could afford space to hoard all your old computers like me. This one is for work, this one for my stereo and mp3s, this one is my streaming and file server, this one for kids.

    Bobob1985

    May 26, 2020 at 1:51 PM

    • Every city, town and village just needs a reasonable food market, a decent pizza place and a sushi joint to justify an exodus from any SWPL metropolis, rendering cities like Manhattan as obsolescent going forward in the post pandemic era.

      Regarding the youtube video of the lady with a bout of hysteria upon seeing a black guy who told her to keep a lease on her dog would not encounter such an incident, had she made a temporary refuge in the Hudson Valley or any area in Upstate NY proper. In fact, SWPL types should not even be living in the city in our current situation. Only dumb losers and undesirables are stuck in the concrete jungle known as the Big Apple.

      Ok, what, who's this again?

      May 26, 2020 at 2:41 PM

  14. LOTB,

    In judging high school science fairs, I have been surprised that none of the high schools kids use Microsoft Office. They have all moved to the Google apps because they are free and easier to share files.

    Also, certain software is a dead giveaway that a parent helped. If a high school kid is using Stata or SAS for statistics, it is a dead giveway that the parents are involved.

    What is also interesting is how the internet companies dominate the production of posters like only grad students used to have. However, you download a template from a website, fills it in, uploads the completed file, and then pays for the company to fedex it to you tomorrow.

    superdestroyer

    May 26, 2020 at 3:36 PM

  15. Have you ever rated virus protection software?

    Curle

    May 26, 2020 at 4:32 PM

  16. Nothing says rich libtard like a Mac. I’ve never had a enough white privilege in my bank account to waste money on one. Don’t take it on the subways and let a ‘jogger’ grab it.

    Someone

    May 26, 2020 at 9:21 PM


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