Apple & Andrew: State Of The Union

It’s coming up for WWDC 2022 and Tim Cook has “exciting things” including the State Of The Union. Here is the state of my Union with Apple:

I deeply regret the decision I made that brought me into the world of computing as an Apple user. Many years ago I purchased a discounted iMac G5 to run Linux on, but I had some technical issues with distribution compatibility given that I didn’t want to use Yellow Dog Linux. As I investigated getting Debian GNU/Linux to run without the fans running at full speed and making a horrendous racket I came to a disturbing conclusion: Mac OS X is actually very good and I can run everything I need on it, it’s open source friendly and I can have some commercial conveniences also. A Mac designed to work perfectly with Mac OS X seemed like the best computing environment for me at the time and eventually there was less PC hardware, and the Apple devices started making their way into my life.

Fast forward to present day and my computing world is still very much Apple centric with more Linux and a little Windows to compensate for recent short fallings of Apple like the killing of macOS Server and loss of nVidia GPU options. Apple is no longer the privacy and user friendly community leader it once was: those who came together to make cool stuff for Mac OS X are now considered cybercriminals for “side loading” software rather than going through a central App Store. Whilst we’ve maybe not gone down the Microsoft route of spying on users Apple is developing technology which assumes that all users are guilty of pedophilia and implements AI software on their devices which can in error give Apple access to any of your files to share without your consent, and Apple in general dictate more of how to live with your computers and devices in their drive to become the exclusive provider of Orwellian 1984 IT systems; don’t “Think Different!”, “Think the Apple Way!” should be their new authoritarian slogan.

I find it very hard to stomach the manner in which Apple does business these days from psychologically abusing anybody who uses a piece of fruit in the logo of their tiny local business, to the blatant human rights violations in the supply chain. I think it is fair to say that Apple is evil! perhaps even a real devil incarnate, unlike the cool little devil from FreeBSD.

Unfortunately going forward isn’t as clearcut as it may seem. The factories and suppliers that Apple use to inhumanely make these devices also make most of the competing devices like those from HP, Dell and Microsoft making a boycott difficult. Linux is definitely one of the most ethical systems around but it needs hardware to run on like stuff from Dell and HP. In addition many of these other manufacturers avoid the publicity that Apple gains for human rights violations because the factories that make almost everything are generally reported as “MacBook” or “iPhone” factories clearing the way for the others to stay quiet and cut costs. For me it seems important to limit the demand for supply which is the main reason I will stick with Apple for hardware; Apple hardware is exceptionally high quality and can last longer than the competition meaning that I don’t need to replace them as often thus reducing my demand for supply from these horrible factories. I am also choosing to limit my use of Apple accessories so for example when my HomePod’s fail I will likely buy some Kef AirPlay 2 enabled speakers and not more HomePod’s. Conveniently also Apple has stopped selling a lot of accessories for example AirPort routers and server hardware so this is nicely delegated away to other brands like Draytek and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

When it comes to software I have a lot of money invested in software and media I consume so it makes no sense to repurchase from somewhere else. Whilst I was for a time interested in development with Swift for Apple devices and Linux I have now decided not to contribute to platform specific development.

My recommendation to others: try the world of Linux and Android derivatives like Lineage and if you’re happy there don’t go near anything else. Limit reliance on lifestyle computing products, and consider responsibly produced hardware like for example: Fairphone. An affordable Hi-fi system could sound much nicer than a pair of HomePod mini’s, and for high resolution audio the best headphones have no Bluetooth relying instead of a rather stylish cable going to your non internet connected music playing pocket hard disk; much cooler than an iPod Touch!.