An upgraded Apple for sale.

This article hit home for me:

I haven’t been a Mac user for a long time.  I worked on early (1990’s vintage) Macintosh “box” computers, but never really wanted much to do with them until they ditched the “System” operating system and went to “OSX” (now “MacOS”).  I’ve been a long-time Unix guy – I really wanted a NeXT computer back in the day, but didn’t have near the cash for it, and now that OSX had a nice user interface with the power of a Unix command line for all the tools and automation/scripting goodness I really wanted one.

I was lucky that my sister gave my dad her previous MacBook Pro 15″ (Mid 2010) when she upgraded a couple years later.  He liked it, but he is a Windows guy through-and-through so when BootCamp started giving him fits he was about to toss it in the dumpster.  I offered to trade him my 2-year-old HP laptop (which runs Windows just fine) and he took me up in a heartbeat.

In the past 18 months I’ve really grown fond of the MBP and OSX.  The software upgrades have gone fine with me, the battery life is still excellent, the hardware fit and finish is still solid and continues to look “current” even being 6 years old.

Knowing that the entire system is getting a bit long in the tooth and it has the occasional unexplained power issue, I was waiting for the next Apple MacBook Pro announcement.

In a word, I was disheartened.

My 6 year old 15″ MBP has an Intel Core i7 @ 2.66GHz, 8GB RAM and a dedicated NVidia GeForce GT 330M video card.  The latest MBP has an upgrade i7 CPU, but the performance compared between the two is barely noticeable in regular use.   Same goes for video – I don’t do any high-end editing or video processing, nor do I do much gaming anymore.  What I was looking forward to was a system that officially supported 32GB RAM and had a SSD drive that I could upgrade over time.  My primary tasks I do on my current MBP are playing with virtual machines (VirtualBox or VMWare), and RAM is the biggest constraint.

Instead, the big “new things” that the MBP brings us are that it is

  • “Thinner” – Really?  You couldn’t have made it the same thickness and given us 25-50% more battery life?  And keep at least one USB3 port?
  • “Touch function row buttons” – Ok, neat, but it’s not a good solution if you touch type (which I do), or if you’re vision impaired.
  • And if touch is such a good thing, why not make a touch-screen?  After-all, it’s been such a failure for everyone else…not.
  • Removed the “MagSafe” power – Really?  As a parent, that was one of the great things I like about my current MBP.  I’ve fixed a few laptop screens when a child or pet ran by and caught the power cord, sending the unit flying to the floor.
  • And apparently those that are knowledgeable about USB-C, their ports are good, but the clean lines of the Apple brand are all lost when I have multiple dongles for my other devices.  I’ll have a clean looking laptop, but my laptop bag will be a jumble of adapters.

The good thing is that there are enough people that will jump on the “latest, greatest” train and resell their older MBP.  I just hope I can luck into one for a decent price, especially when they realize that their devices need all those adapters.

Maybe I’ll be lucky and my sister will want to dump hers on me again.  No, she’s too smart to fall for that again.

(Edited Nov 1, 2016)

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