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Ninja Editor
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bay Area, CA
2019-06-03, 22:31

Originally Posted by Brad View Post
I'm just now catching up on this thread... forgive me while I rehash things for a moment just to throw my belated opinions into the mix.

I'd agree with several sentiments here about the reasons behind "death of the forums". To repeat and maybe add a few more thoughts:
  • Apple in general just isn't exciting any more. The company doesn't innovate or compete like it used to; it's in a safe, stable period instead of one that was more exciting, fluctuating, and growing.
I think this is the single biggest factor. Apple started getting pretty boring in general around the time they dropped the "Computer" part of their name. Most of their innovation lately has been in programming languages and SDKs and such, and while those are tremendously important (IMHO), there just hasn't been a ton for the general user base to be excited about. Pro users have some things to look forward to if they're video/photo editors and they or their companies can afford the, what, $10k(?) that a new Mac Pro & monitor will cost, but that's a pretty small portion of the market.

It seems to me that the computer nerds — the people who get excited about computing "as a concept" — who were on macOS (and to some degree, Windows) have largely moved towards Linux. Apple still sells what I'm assuming are a lot of Macs to developers, but how many of them are only using macOS because their job is in iOS development? Even though I still think macOS is the best overall desktop OS from a UX PoV, it hasn't really advanced much in the past 10 years. Not in user-facing ways, at least (aside from the realization I just had that I can't install the 10.15 beta on my laptop because I still need one 32-bit app for work, and, come to think of it, having to consider app compatibility is more of a step backwards than forwards).

Apple used to be exciting and interesting on the software side because macOS was far & away the best desktop OS, and on the hardware side because PowerPC wasn't x86.

On the software side, as I said above, I still think macOS is the best desktop OS, but it's not by nearly as big of a margin as before. If it weren't for me using iOS and watchOS devices day in & day out, and the integration macOS & iCloud have with iOS, I'm not sure I'd still be on the platform. Windows still sucks, but Linux has been getting better and the supposed Apple tax can feel pretty real*. Also, with Purism gearing up to release their Librem 5 Linux phone, there's a lot of potential for that same kind of tight integration that iOS and macOS enjoy (except for the parts which require a vendor with huge infrastructure, anyway).

On the hardware side, I understand why Apple switched from PPC and I (begrudgingly) agree with that decision, but it doesn't change the fact that it made Macs much more boring for hardware nerds. Apple has started adding their T2 chip to more and more products which is theoretically interesting from a hardware PoV, but they won't release any info on them which limits the amount I can bring myself to really care. It almost seems like the T2 is just a stop-gap on the road to... I don't know, somewhere different... maybe an arch & OS designed & written from the ground up with the assumption of multiple processors? Wherever they're intending to take the Mac hardware-wise with it, though, I wish they'd get on with it. Or at least talk about it. Maybe we'll see something if/when the rumored transition to ARM happens?

* Yeah, I know "spec for spec macs and PCs are pretty close in price", it's just that specs like "as thin and light as a page from ye olde family bible" and "soldered-on RAM & SSDs" are ones that I'd rather not have.

When I was a kid, people who did wrong were punished, restricted, and forbidden. Now, when someone does wrong, all of the rest of us are punished, restricted, and forbidden... and the one who did the wrong is counselled and "understood" and fed ice cream.