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Apple’s Colour Strategy

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The Macalope in Macworld skewers Mike Murphy’s ridiculous piece — “Apple Killed Fun” — that was published in Quartz last week:

Even still, the MacBook, all of the iPhones other than the iPhone X, the iPad Pro, and the Watch (counting the Edition) all come in four different colors. The MacBook Pro comes in two and the iPad in three. Other than the Product(RED), they’re all muted tones but that’s good. The bright colors of the original run of iMacs worked for Apple and were a brilliant strategic move but, frankly, created a trend in design that did not age well.

One thing that the Macalope, astute as it is, did not mention is the way that Murphy blames Apple for the entire industry’s lack of colourful products:

By refining its products to near-impenetrable pieces of glass and metal, and bringing the aesthetic of the entire consumer electronics market along with them, Apple has stamped out much of the fun within its own company, and the greater industry. […]

Murphy’s passive tone here is his way of shifting the blame towards Apple and away from all of the companies that thoughtlessly copy them. There’s every opportunity for Samsung or Xaomi or Oppo or Google to come along and ship a brightly-coloured lineup of devices with unique shapes and clear differentiation through design, but they don’t. That’s not on Apple; that’s on them — but their lack of doing so also assuredly reflects what most consumers want to buy.

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peelman
2 days ago
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of all the concerns i have about today’s technology, the colors it’s available in isn’t even on the fucking list.
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
2 days ago
Back in the day you couldn't just buy a single iMac if you were an authorized reseller. No sir, you had to buy a "pack" meaning one of every color of iMac, for instance. Orange was not popular by a long shot and it is funny to think back on how much time and effort went into meaningless decisions such as this.
MotherHydra
3 days ago
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I take issue with this. Oppo, specifically, is going a crazy place with pop-up cameras and no screen bezel. At least they’re trying.
Space City, USA
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On the Sad State of Macintosh Hardware

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Quentin Carnicelli (tweet, Hacker News, John Siracusa, MacRumors):

The inevitable march of technology means Mojave won’t install on all of our older hardware. There’s no shock there, but the situation is rather distressing when it comes to spending money to purchase new equipment. Here is the situation, as reported by the wonderful MacRumor’s Buyers Guide[…]

At the time of the writing, with the exception of the $5,000 iMac Pro, no Macintosh has been updated at all in the past year.

[…]

It’s very difficult to recommend much from the current crop of Macs to customers, and that’s deeply worrisome to us, as a Mac-based software company. For our own internal needs, we’ve wound up purchasing used hardware for testing, rather than opting to compromise heavily on a new machine. That isn’t good for Apple, nor is it what we want.

Rogue Amoeba:

We really didn’t think of it as especially gutsy or brave, because a stagnant Mac lineup is an existential threat to our company. We only hope this penetrates Apple’s bubble.

Sebastiaan de With:

I wrote this a year ago, hopeful that Apple would truly put more effort into the Mac.

It didn’t happen. I’m so stupefied as to why a company so big, ambitious and wealthy can’t maintain the Mac. Heartbreaking seeing so many creatives leave the platform.

John Gruber (tweet):

I’d really love to see Apple get Mac hardware on a roughly annual schedule, even if most years they’re just speed bumps, like they were a decade ago.

Nick Heer:

What is the acceptable shelf life of a Mac? How old can a model be before it becomes uncouth to sell it as new? I remember when Macs used to get regular, approximately-annual spec bumps. It wasn’t that long ago — maybe five years or so. Has something changed since 2013 that seemingly makes difficult for the Mac to be updated more frequently?

When Apple launched the 2016 MacBook Pro models — the first models with the Touch Bar — members of their executive team spoke with Shara Tibken and Connie Guglielmo of CNet. Schiller mentioned that the new models took a while to be launched because they “didn’t want to just create a speed bump on the MacBook Pro”. I hope that’s not their attitude across the product line. People love spec bumps; it helps customers know that they’re getting the newest model they can, and reassures them that it will last longer.

Michael Rockwell:

It feels like the folks at Apple believe that they need to introduce brand new features and top-down redesigns every time they update a Mac. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Minor updates to the internal components every 6-12 months is all we really need — just enough to keep us from feeling like we’re getting ripped off when we go to buy something in the lineup.

Nick Heer:

At what point does it become disingenuous to mark a product as “new”? The iMac was last updated over a year ago, as far as I can tell.

John Gruber (tweet, Hacker News):

But the striking thing to me is just how much smaller the Intel NUC is. It’s only a little bit bigger than an Apple TV. Calling the Mac Mini “mini” is absurd in 2018.

Previously: New Mac Pro Won’t Arrive Until 2019, Mac mini Turning 3.5 Years Old, How Apple Alienated Mac Loyalists, Understanding Apple’s Marginalization of the Mac.

Update (2018-06-16): Bob Burrough:

Phil Schiller says using a 5 year old computer is sad, while other Apple executives look on and laugh.

Update (2018-06-18): Tony Arnold:

The fact I (a die hard Apple fan since the Apple II) even considered a Hackintosh, let alone spent money to build one should give Apple’s management some idea of how bad their maintenance and stewardship of the Mac hardware platform really is.

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peelman
5 days ago
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being the least-worst doesn’t make you the best.

No normal brand survives this kind of derailment.

it’s a testament to the shitshow that is today’s technology landscape that Apple can get away with it, even for just this long. Windows *is* better today than it was 10 years ago. but it is still a hell of an upward slug for them and a downward spiral for macOS before they intersect for many of us. but that is the trajectory.

Help Me For Stall Kenobi, you’re our only hope.
Seymour, Indiana
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Rogue Amoeba - Under the Microscope » Blog Archive » On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware

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Their current failure to keep the Mac lineup fresh, even as they approach a trillion dollar market cap, is both baffling and frightening to anyone who depends on the platform for their livelihood.

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peelman
8 days ago
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this. ever so much this.
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
10 days ago
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Space City, USA
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Lego Ship in a Bottle

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Inspired by the real thing, the Lego Ship in a Bottle is far easier to build. The detailed ship includes several masts, cannons, captain's quarters, and a crow's nest, and...

Visit Uncrate for the full post.
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peelman
13 days ago
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want!
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
13 days ago
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Can anyone think of a reason I don't need this in my life now? Nobody? Done.
Space City, USA
digdoug
13 days ago
I was told the piece count is deceptive, as like 300 pieces are the blue water in the bottle. I'm ordering the Statue of Liberty today though.
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macOS Special-Casing to Keep Apps Working

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Zhuowei Zhang (Hacker News):

What do Photoshop, Matlab, Panic Transmit, and Eclipse have in common? They are among the 299 apps for which macOS applies compatibility fixes.

Here’s the full list of bundle IDs, along with the functions that checks for them, and the first caller to those functions.

[…]

Compatibility fixes are applied by checking the bool __CFAppVersionCheckLessThan(CFStringRef, CFSystemVersion) function, which returns true if the current app matches the specified bundle ID and is linked on or prior to the macOS version. Thus, older versions of the app would have the fix applied, while newer versions built with a newer SDK would not.

Dave Mark:

First things first, not sure “so buggy” is the right note here. Might be that, or might be more a combination of “so important” and taking advantage of a feature or bit of code that has been put out to pasture or has been replaced.

Chris Espinosa:

Apple has been special-casing apps in system software updates for 30+ years. This is an instructional tech article but not a dramatic revelation, and shouldn’t reflect poorly on the apps or their authors. Often they were working around our bugs.

Scott Knaster:

Yep. We were doing this at least as far back as the original 128K Mac.

Peter Steinberger:

Good example how Apple cares about backwards compatibility: A bug was fixed WebKit breaking the Box app (which fails to make any policy decision in its decidePolicyForMIMEType delegate) so the old behavior is now covered.

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peelman
18 days ago
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Windows does the same thing extensively. the problem lies when you carry those compatibilities forward forever and never deprecate or remove them.
Seymour, Indiana
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Microsoft Acquires GitHub

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Microsoft (Hacker News):

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced it has reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform where more than 28 million developers learn, share and collaborate to create the future.

[…]

“Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “We recognize the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock.

GitHub (tweet):

But more than that, their vision for the future closely matches our own. We both believe GitHub needs to remain an open platform for all developers. No matter your language, stack, platform, cloud, or license, GitHub will continue to be your home—the best place for software creation, collaboration, and discovery.

[…]

As part of this change, Nat Friedman will be taking on the role of GitHub’s CEO. We have been searching for a new CEO for some time and found in both Microsoft and Nat a partner we believe will strengthen and grow the GitHub community and company over the next few years. Nat has a ton of experience with software and the open source software community, having co-founded Xamarin and worked on numerous open source projects over the years, and is the perfect person to help GitHub grow and continue to make life better for developers.

I think this makes a lot of sense for Microsoft. I would have preferred that GitHub remain independent, but it sounds like that wasn’t an option. Given that, it’s hard to argue that there’s another company with $7.5B that would have been better.

Jason Fried (in 2014):

Prediction: If Github ends up selling itself one day, Microsoft will be the buyer.

Eric Blair:

Trying to figure out how I’d explain it to 20 yr old Eric that he’d think MS acquiring a key piece of his common development infrastructure would be a Good Thing…

Dave Winer:

I know this is the new compassionate loving Microsoft, but it’s still the tech industry, and Microsoft invented Embrace and Extend. It’s hard to imagine that not being in the playbook for the hub of git. 💥

One consequence of this deal, if it’s for real, is that Microsoft’s competitors will probably stop using GitHub and may launch competitors, esp if GitHub integrates with Microsoft’s cloud services.

@jamiebiulds:

I think it’s time I publicly shared about how Microsoft stole my code and then spit on it.

I’d been waiting for them to do something about it, but that is clearly never happening.

Microsoft has a long history of stealing stuff.

Russell Ivanovic:

I for one welcome our new Microsoft Overlords.

I think they will be great stewards of GitHub. I trust no giant company more when it comes to developer tools.

Russell Ivanovic:

GitHub For Enterprise is self hosted. So there’s no requests to comply with. Also everyone already trusted GitHub and they were massively VC backed which to me, is actually worse.

Russell Ivanovic:

The majority of their money comes from companies who host their own Githubs on their own servers.

But to your question: Would I trust the biggest open source contributor in the world to run a source code platform. Yes

Florent Pillet:

With Microsoft acquiring GitHub, we’re now in a situation where Apple’s open-source effort is ... hosted by Microsoft. Fun times!

David Heinemeier Hansson:

GitHub’s time bomb has exploded right on time with the sale to Microsoft. Venture capitalists need their pound of flesh in one big lump. There’s no path for simply taking profits in that world. It’s all or nothing. Sad end to the independence of GitHub 😢

Eric Sink:

A long-term independent GitHub became unlikely in July 2012 when they got a 100M investment. And three years later, after they got another 250M, their only possible destiny was acquisition.

When you raise $350M in VC money and want to stay independent, you can’t just be profitable. You have to be insanely profitable.

Kelly Sommers:

Our industry is really wack. We trust some rando startup with all our source code that could disappear any time and a company known to have a track record of supporting things for decades buys them out and now you all worry?

Who else would you have liked to buy them?

David Heinemeier Hansson:

One thing to consider re: the $7.5B for GitHub. Microsoft is trading at 82 P/E!! They have all this equity value burning a role in their pocket. Google is at 63, Facebook at 30, Apple at 18.

Myke Hurley:

It’s interesting to me that Microsoft announces huge acquisitions on the morning of WWDC

2018 - Github

2016 - LinkedIn

Thomas Brand:

Microsoft will make a better steward of GitHub than any other company I can think of.

Danny Greg:

Anyone who has spent any time working at GitHub will tell you this acquisition is fantastic news.

MS above all other potential suitors understands the community, modern open source and building fantastic developer tools.

Josh Centers:

The GitHub deal is probably a net good, but Microsoft is still fundamentally the same company it was 20 years ago. The beast is just hibernating.

Erik Sink:

Some people will never stop looking at Microsoft through their 1998 lens. But the truth is, here in 2018, nobody is doing open source better than Microsoft.

Keith Smiley (Hacker News):

Well now we know how the GitHub news is affecting gitlab.

Dan Luu:

If you’re curious about the actual rate, it’s been about 1 repo per second since the first story hit HN, mid-day Sunday in the US.

GitLab:

This is validation of the growing influence of software developers in the world, and the importance of modern DevOps. The software community owes a lot to GitHub, and that includes the GitLab community. GitLab was first developed on GitHub and found its first contributors through it.

[…]

While we admire what’s been done, our strategy differs in two key areas. First, instead of integrating multiple tools together, we believe a single application, built from the ground up to support the entire DevOps lifecycle is a better experience leading to a faster cycle time. Second, it’s important to us that the core of our product always remain open source itself as well. Being “open core” means everyone can build the tools together. Having it all in a single application means everyone can use the same tool to collaborate together. We see the next evolution of software development as a world where everyone can contribute.

Nick Lockwood:

There is no possible way that MS can attempt to profit from Github that won’t be a disaster.

I’m hoping that the plan is to simply run it at a loss because it’s a valuable developer tool and MS devs use it.

On that basis, I’m cautiously optimistic about the acquisition.

See also: Rocket.

Previously: GVFS (Git Virtual File System), The Largest Git Repo on the Planet.

Update (2018-06-04): Dave Winer:

GitHub was that rare thing, a consensus platform. Everyone used it. If you used some other git server, you’d have to explain why. Now that consensus will very likely break up.

Chris Siebenmann:

It’s not that you can’t extract yourself from Github or maintain a presence apart from it; it’s that Github has made its embrace inviting and easy to take advantage of. It’s very easy to slide into Github tacitly being your open source presence, where people go to find you and your stuff. If I wanted to change this (which I currently don’t), I’m honestly not sure how I’d make it clear on my Github presence that people should now look elsewhere.

Mark Hughes:

Remember how we all had our own Subversion and Mercurial servers (and Bitbucket if you wanted C-DVCS)? Good times are back. A lot of people are going to learn very hard lessons about backups, redundancy, and system administration.

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peelman
19 days ago
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I was completely caught off guard by this. But I see it as a generally positive thing. Time will tell if that trust is misplaced, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here.
Seymour, Indiana
MotherHydra
19 days ago
I feel the same, strategically this has the potential to bear fruit and Microsoft has been kicking ass lately in terms of focus.
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