The Market for Expensive Cheese Graters

13

Comments

  • I generally prefer designing all my type on an abacus before transferring it over to my difference engine.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 10
  • ValKalinicValKalinic Posts: 31
    edited June 10
    "Wow, I'd never be able to afford a $45,000 computer. That's crazy. But you know, suddenly $1,449 for an iPhone doesn't seem so bad." 
    "After all, it is (almost) as cheap as a monitor stand..."
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    Not nearly as good as the original one on the 2016 Macbook Pro, but still:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=118&v=58VJ6v54KU4
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 428
    edited June 12
    Not nearly as good as the original one on the 2016 Macbook Pro, but still:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=118&v=58VJ6v54KU4
    This is beyond pure comedic gold. But THE COMMENTS set the bar even higher:

    "Why don't people get it. This stuff is made for people who work for companies where money doesn't matter."


  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 208
    This is beyond pure comedic gold. But THE COMMENTS set the bar even higher:
    Or at least comedic aluminium.
    Oscar Wilde said:

    Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    This is beyond pure comedic gold. But THE COMMENTS set the bar even higher:
    Or at least comedic aluminium.
    Well, gold and aluminum have something in common. Both of them have only one stable isotope. Also, they're quite good conductors of electricity; not as good as silver or copper, but still good enough to have been used for wiring in some integrated circuits.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 428
    I don't care how many flags I get. This company - Apple - is for me a huckstery, a money laundering scheme and their practices and overall conduct is utterly disgraceful. A battered housewife may find excuses for returning to a brute who beats her, but this does not make her any less a victim and it does not mean that, if society lazily averts their eyes, I will feel any less compelled to call a spade a spade and try to help. Do I have rephrase this so the thin-skinned don't have to feel offended?? A thousand dollars for a pice of aluminium is UNACCEPTABLE. ANYONE proposing otherwise and finding excuses for this sharade will have to find a very deep hole indeed to hide himself when the whole thing finally collapses. The truth must be told and thing called for what they are, and no opinions can sway me from living according to this glaringly obvious basic principle. I would never buy a Mac had I ten times the money. I can't be bothered to invest in huckstery and to have to deal with the kind of support they pretend to give. Whoever loves to remember the good ole days and likes to deal with being tpld he is to blame for all system failures, please be my guest. Let's wait. I am eager to see how this machine performs one year from now.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 428
    - a repair technitian explains the technical issues of these overpriced machines. The mobile version of the board won't let me use a hyperlink.
  • Cory MaylettCory Maylett Posts: 158
    edited June 13
    Vasil, for some reason, this seems to be a pet peeve or grievance you have. That's fine, though. We all have them about one thing or another. My pet peeve, for example is the disappearance of manual transmissions in pickup trucks, which has caused me to avoid buying a new truck for several years now, but now I'm digressing.

    I'm not a big fan of iOS and prefer Android mobile devices — Samsung tablets and phones being my favorites. I'm not a fan of Apple the company for various reason, but I find the Windows operating system awkward and cumbersome to use, so I use the Mac OS, which I find comfortable. Others do not feel this way, which is again fine.

    I find myself — mostly through familiarity — much more productive when using the Mac OS. Many of the applications I depend upon for my work are only available for Macs. Yes, there are similar products for Windows, but again, mostly through familiarity, I find myself not caring for them as much.

    As a designer myself, I also appreciate the attention to aesthetic detail in Apple Hardware, which is mostly lacking in so many PCs. But this isn't a big deal since there are nice-looking and well-built PCs.

    As for price, I don't really care. I prefer Macs, spend most of my day tied to computers, so it's important to me to have the right desk, the right chair, the right lighting, the right environment and, yes, the right computer, which for me is a Macintosh running the Mac OS with a seldom-used chunk of the SSD partitioned off for the rare times I need to test something on Windows.

    I've been buying Macs (and a few PCs) since about 1985-86 and have found the Macs to be incredibly reliable machines. In all that time, I've made just one visit to the shop due to a hardware failure — a swollen battery in a MacBook Pro. That's a bit more lucky than most, but they're good machines.

    Luckily, I can afford to plunk down several thousand dollars for a high-end computer setup and if I need to pay a few hundred extra dollars for a Mac with roughly the same specs, honestly, I don't mind. Others do mind, which is again fine.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited June 13
    A thousand dollars for a pice of aluminium is UNACCEPTABLE. ANYONE proposing otherwise and finding excuses for this sharade will have to find a very deep hole indeed to hide himself when the whole thing finally collapses.
    I don't believe our society should engage in a witch-hunt for Apple fanboys. In any case, the wonderful free-market system lets people choose which product to buy.
    My feeling towards this, I have already explained, but in brief:
    The Macintosh was a very nice computer. But as the usefulness of a computer depends on the software available for it, setting a high price for the computer reduces its value; fewer people own the computer and so it's less interesting to write software for it. So Apple's choice of an essentially predatory pricing model also ruins the value of their product - which is saddening as a terrible waste, and it hurts those who have other computers by denying Microsoft the goad of competition.
    So I am angry but also sad. The monitor stand just puts Apple's pricing model into sharper relief. In itself, it's no worse than a Rolex watch, but the booing at WWDC may be the beginning of the collapse you seek.
    Why Jack Tramiel and the Atari ST didn't take over the world, though, shows that price isn't everything. But it was the cheap PC clone that did the Atari ST and the Amiga in; an alternative that's about as low in price, but has a larger available software pool and a more assured future competes better. Then there's Linux, uninviting to third-party developers of certain genres of software because those who opt for a free OS may be adverse to spending enough money to make it profitable - but still a potent alternative should Microsoft falter.
    The advantage of the platform with the most third-party software causes a force towards monopoly. At the moment, things fall short enough of a monopoly so that Microsoft avoids behaving too badly, although Windows 8 showed its focus is what is good for it, not what customers want.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 13
    Luckily, I can afford to plunk down several thousand dollars for a high-end computer setup and if I need to pay a few hundred extra dollars for a Mac with roughly the same specs, honestly, I don't mind. Others do mind, which is again fine.
    However acting only based on our own circumstances is how we're divide & conquered.

    Among other things this leads to misallocating money simply to feel/look good by gifting licences of Mac-only software to those who can't afford it, ignoring that means they can afford a Mac to run it on even less...

  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited June 13
    However acting only based on our own circumstances is how we're divided & conquered.
    A sound general principle. Many of us, though, have limited room to allow their decisions to be influenced by solidarity. So while I use Windows instead of a Macintosh, it would be better, based on that principle, to use Linux. Also, I am giving AMD higher consideration for my next system partly on such factors in addition to their new price/performance pre-eminence, but RISC-V silicon is right out.
    Also, what is this about glorious free-enterprise system needing to be resisted?
    Also, I looked at the Twitter discussion you quoted. While funding free Mac font software for deserving designers in the Third World is doubtless a well-intentioned idea, you are absolutely correct that it rests on a serious misunderstanding of their circumstances.
    Maybe, somehow, if you had noted that in a more cringing and deferential manner, they might have actually listened instead of being defensive, but somehow I doubt it.
    Software that runs on a hand-me-down 386 (and why not, people were designing fonts under Windows 3.1) runs closer to what they can utilize. Back when I used a 386, though, Linux needed 16 megs to run fvwm, and 4 megs to run at all, while Windows 3.1 ran nicely in 2 megs.
    However, by now, maybe even people in the Third World can manage to afford a computer good enough to run either a light Linux or Windows 95, so a project to make something smaller than the smallest Linux, comparable to Windows 3.1, isn't really needed (I fear that unlike Linux, it would fade to obscurity and have very little software available if it were tried).
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 13
    The absolute minimum anyone can do is simply agree it's deplorable.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    The absolute minimum anyone can do is simply agree it's deplorable.
    Oh, it's commendable, but badly mistaken, to want to help type designers in poor countries by giving them free Mac software. (Deplorable, after all, is such a strong word, as Hillary Clinton recently learned.)
    I've actually encountered this issue before. The public transit service in my city, once a year, runs a campaign asking people to donate money to pay for free bus tickets for the poor. It used to be the poor were given free bus passes that could not be used during rush hours, and the marginal cost of this to the bus service was likely very low, so I felt this charitable campaign to be ironic. On the other hand, if we're talking about the working poor, it would not be a shift in the wrong direction, but free bus tickets are usually aimed at the homeless.
    Also, I think that the Latin alphabet probably is the appropriate medium of education for type designers in the poor countries of South and Central America, who speak Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    John Savard said:
    the Latin alphabet probably is the appropriate medium of education for type designers in the poor countries of South and Central America, who speak Spanish or Portuguese.
    Good point, but you still have to consider the net result: you're guiding individuals towards a highly competitive area where they will struggle mightily to justify the time spent, with little benefit to society at large. If you really are that dedicated to type, at least promote cultural diversity.

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    I don't care how many flags I get.
    Apparently: you're no Hrant!
  • I’m sad to observe that many on this thread sound like jilted lovers, whose paramours have left them for wealthier mates. If you needed to buy a new car, would you cry over not being able to afford a Tesla S?  As was pointed out earlier, no one whose primary work is in type design has a reason to buy a new Mac Pro.

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    It's not about what one cannot afford, but about a svengali usurping.
  • Aside from not using such language, while I too am disappointed with Apple in deciding that if one wishes to have an open, upgradeable Mac, one must pay dearly for the privilege... the Macintosh platform has sufficiently declined in market share that I do not believe Apple is in a position to collect rents from it. The word desuetude comes to mind.
    I view the high price point of this computer as a sick joke (although I was kind of hoping people here would prove me wrong), and not something that will work for Apple in extracting more profits from the Macintosh. Instead, it may help the last of the die-hard Macintosh enthusiasts to throw in the towel.
    I couldn’t agree more with you. My first Mac was a IIsi, and I spent almost all my savings on it.
    I have always preferred towers to new integrated iMacs, just because I prefer to keep internal drives for storage. Now, if I was willing to spend about over $6000 in 1990 (yes, I was that crazy) I am not willing to spend them now, and for features I don’t need. I truly hope they reintroduce a price zone for towers which make sense for ordinary users (professionals, of course).
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 508
    edited June 15
    ...no one whose primary work is in type design has a reason to buy a new Mac Pro.

    I agree, but then eventually one will be confronted with the font software no longer running on the latest system your hardware will run. At that point a choice must be made -- no longer update the preferred software, change and learn different software, or give in to Apple's ransom demand by buying a new machine of some type that will allow you to continue. At least the problem is still years away.



  • ...no one whose primary work is in type design has a reason to buy a new Mac Pro.

    I agree, but then eventually one will be confronted with the font software no longer running on the latest system your hardware will run. At that point a choice must be made -- no longer update the preferred software, change and learn different software, or give in to Apple's ransom demand by buying a new machine of some type that will allow you to continue. At least the problem is still years away.

    Hmm… I don’t agree. The only new Mac I would buy would be a tower, unless they stop producing them (as it seemed to happen). But not at these prices, I guess…
    I would dislike to buy an integrated iMac just because I can’t buy tower. I have a MacBook Retina more recent than my old tower, but a portable is a portable, I don’t find it comfortable to use it as a desktop machine at home.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited June 15
    George Thomas said:
    At that point a choice must be made
    The best choice is to learn software that runs on either MacOS or Windows. Not only because you have the option of going with whichever system you can afford, but because you don't know when you might have to use the other platform.
    At least the problem is still years away.
    The problem is about two months away for my type design class at CalState LA, where it's nearly impossible for me to stop their Macs being upgraded to an OS that will outright refuse to run 32-bit software, including what we use: TypeTool. The solution is not to switch to Glyphs, because many of the students can only afford to buy a Windows machine (and they need to work on their typefaces outside of class time). Also I would be loathe to teach them software that narrows down their future.

    So unless there's a Windows lab available they might have to forego the class until FontLab works around the issue. At least people will learn a lesson about how misplaced loyalty can cost you, and not merely figuratively.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 461
    edited June 15

    I’m sad to observe that many on this thread sound like jilted lovers, whose paramours have left them for wealthier mates. If you needed to buy a new car, would you cry over not being able to afford a Tesla S?  As was pointed out earlier, no one whose primary work is in type design has a reason to buy a new Mac Pro.

    It's certainly true that an iMac will work for type design. But while people whose primary work is type design have no reason to buy a computer with the power of a Mac Pro, they may well have reasons to prefer to buy a machine that is user-upgradeable.
    Automobiles use gasoline - although some require premium, and some take diesel fuel. Electricity is the same for all computers (yes, that's an oversimplificaton), but software isn't.
    The Macintosh was much better than DOS when it first came out, and still better than the first few iterations of Windows. But Windows 3.1 was at least good enough to be passable, and it was cheaper. So those who could afford a Macintosh chose one, and those who didn't made do. Fine.
    But today - and, indeed, for the last several years - it's been about the Macintosh throwing itself off a cliff. Except for a few niche markets, because its popularity is so low - even if it has rebounded from its lowest point a few years back - very little choice of software is available for it. So it no longer matters how good it is as a computer.
    To me, that's sad. Microsoft having no competition, and the rest of us having no alternative? Apple seems to be jumping off a cliff, led by people with no sense of the real-world economics of computers. However, the iPhone is doing quite nicely for them at the moment - they have a market available to them where they can safely indulge their boutique mentality.
    And, no, I can't in good conscience recommend to Font Lab that it should port its products to Linux at this time, although I might wish that the situation of Linux could change enough to make that a reasonable thing to do, I have no idea of how to work towards bringing that about.
    In the world I would like to be living in... I would go to the local video game store. Looking for copies of Witcher 3, I would find...
    not only versions for the Sony Playstation 4, and the Xbox One,
    but two versions for the IBM PC instead of just one... the Windows IBM PC version, and the OS/2 IBM PC version.
    And a version for the Macintosh, and one for the Amiga, and one for the Atari ST - current versions of the Amiga and Atari ST, with 680x0 architecture processors which have a 64-bit mode and which are comparable in power to current x86 processors. Oh, and the Macintosh uses one of them too in this world.
    There's also one for the Sun SPARCstation under Solaris on their shelves.
    Hewlett-Packard, though, still makes PC clones, instead of a line of personal computers derived from their Apollo workstations; one can't expect to have everything. But there might also be a version for the NeXTcube, which might be competing with the Macintosh in this world.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,647
    ...no one whose primary work is in type design has a reason to buy a new Mac Pro.

    I agree, but then eventually one will be confronted with the font software no longer running on the latest system your hardware will run. At that point a choice must be made -- no longer update the preferred software, change and learn different software, or give in to Apple's ransom demand by buying a new machine of some type that will allow you to continue. At least the problem is still years away.

    Hmm… I don’t agree. The only new Mac I would buy would be a tower, unless they stop producing them (as it seemed to happen). But not at these prices, I guess…
    I would dislike to buy an integrated iMac just because I can’t buy tower. I have a MacBook Retina more recent than my old tower, but a portable is a portable, I don’t find it comfortable to use it as a desktop machine at home.
    It has always worked fine for me. I hook it up to a pair of external monitors, and an external keyboard and mouse—just like I would a tower. The fact that is it not a big tower is almost invisible to me in day-to-day operation, except that I have a bonus third screen (the laptop itself) on an odd little stand.

    Plus I can always disconnect it and use it elsewhere if need be, as an actual portable. Which I do pretty frequently, actually. Sitting at the kitchen table right now with my laptop, actually.

    So my next Mac will be a new laptop, again. Just a bit more memory (32 GB), more storage (2 TB), and more screen-pixels supported.
  • It has always worked fine for me. I hook it up to a pair of external monitors, and an external keyboard and mouse—just like I would a tower. The fact that is it not a big tower is almost invisible to me in day-to-day operation, except that I have a bonus third screen (the laptop itself) on an odd little stand.

    Plus I can always disconnect it and use it elsewhere if need be, as an actual portable. Which I do pretty frequently, actually. Sitting at the kitchen table right now with my laptop, actually.

    So my next Mac will be a new laptop, again. Just a bit more memory (32 GB), more storage (2 TB), and more screen-pixels supported.
    I guess it’s mostly a matter of getting used to it. Nonetheless, heat dissipation should still be more critical with portables, right? And being so miniaturized I always imagined their life would be shorter (my previous one was borrowed, so I don’t know, my Macbook Retina is a 2015 model, I think, but I rarely use it).
    My main machine is a 2009 Mac tower (boosted with RAM and a SSD disk for booting) and it still works greatly… I hope it lasts for some time!
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 508
    Claudio, your 2009 machine is upgradeable too. You can upgrade it to the equivalent or better of a mid-2010/2012 Mac Pro. Many people have done it. Worst case scenario, it won't run macOS 10.15 but that's not definite yet.
  • Claudio, your 2009 machine is upgradeable too. You can upgrade it to the equivalent or better of a mid-2010/2012 Mac Pro. Many people have done it. Worst case scenario, it won't run macOS 10.15 but that's not definite yet.
    You mean changing the CPU? If so, hmm… I’m a bit wary of these things.
    But for now it works well, and I don’t feel the need to go beyond El Capitan for now.
  • Cory MaylettCory Maylett Posts: 158
    edited June 15
    John Savard said:
    Except for a few niche markets, because its popularity is so low - even if it has rebounded from its lowest point a few years back - very little choice of software is available for it. So it no longer matters how good it is as a computer.
    "very little choice of software is available for it." ???

    This is simply not the case unless one is involved in a niche that requires software only available on Windows. There are an estimated 100 million active Macintosh users, which is hardly a small market ignored by software developers.

    In my niche, one of the reasons I stay with Macs is because the software I need (or at least greatly prefer) is unavailable for Windows.

    For the vast majority of people, setting price differences aside, either Windows or the Mac OS seem equally viable given that the most commonly used software is available for both or, at the very least, an alternative exists for one or the other.
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