Seeking Advice - Apple or Windows PC

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devinganger
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Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:45 am Post

chrisrobinson21 wrote:I'm still thinking about the transition costs with moving to Apple. Everything I have is Windows-based, Scrivener, Office 365, etc. That scares me a little. On the other hand, not dealing with Windows would be a blessing.


Windows has moved to a more Apple-like model. They're still being heavy-handed with the update cadence, but then again, Apple has a bad habit of forcefully obsoleting hardware in their yearly OS upgrades. They've got their issues with long-standing bugs, and on the maintenance side some things are more difficult or impossible to do. (Some things however are brilliant -- being able to clone and replace my internal HD with an SSD with native tools, that was nice.)

Long story short, no OS is perfect and no hardware is perfect. You may find that you're trading a known set of irritations for a new set that you don't have workarounds for. All of that is opportunity cost.

Both platforms are good, both have good hardware. Only pull the trigger on switching if that's what you really need. You might want to invest in a cheaper Mac system and use the systems side-by-side over the next year or two, until you work out which direction you want to go. That's what I did and it turns out I want to keep a foot in both worlds.
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Silverdragon
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Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:50 am Post

A balanced view, Devinganger---thank you.
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.1, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 12.1

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Amcmo
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Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:01 am Post

Apple has a bad habit of forcefully obsoleting hardware in their yearly OS upgrades.


I’d have to disagree with that statement.

Mojave will run on equipment going back to 2012. Compatibility going back 6 years hardly qualifies as forcefully obsoleting equipment, and similar applies with iOS.

I can find less than 6 yr old equipment I have that struggles with Win 10 compatibility.

Of course, Apple doesn’t force upgrades and you can have even older gear with Sierra, 2008/2009 depending on model. 9-10 year old gear being totally compatible with Scrivener 3 doesn’t raise any spectre of forcefully obsoleting hardware.
That said, at the end of the day, it’s whichever platform you prefer.

While I have both, I firmly prefer the longer term reliability I’ve experienced with Apple gear, and I find MacOS loads, run faster than Win, and I still dislike Win 10 (at least that’s an improvement on the hate I felt for Win 8, even with Stardoc)

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devinganger
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Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:35 pm Post

Amcmo wrote:
devinganger wrote:Apple has a bad habit of forcefully obsoleting hardware in their yearly OS upgrades.


I’d have to disagree with that statement.

Mojave will run on equipment going back to 2012. Compatibility going back 6 years hardly qualifies as forcefully obsoleting equipment, and similar applies with iOS.


Disagree all you want, but there are more ways to force obsolescence and encourage new hardware purchases rather than just outright banning compatibility. It's not hard to find data that shows performance degradation with each successive version of macOS (and iOS, thank you "battery protection") on the same hardware. My own tests that I run on my personal hardware show the same thing -- fresh installs of successive macOS versions show a quickly-degrading line of performance, I noticed this trend back when I was running my first MacBook Pro.

What was odd was that this was in the Vista to Windows 7 timeframe, and I was using BootCamp to dual-boot my MBP. Benchmarks on the same hardware from the Windows side *increased* when going from Vista to Vista SP1 to Windows 7.

That MBP was the best Vista SP1 machine I knew about, and I got a lot of comments when visiting the Microsoft campus and pulling it out for meeting presentations.

Amcmo wrote:I can find less than 6 yr old equipment I have that struggles with Win 10 compatibility.


Sure, you can, because you can find a *large variety* of equipment that runs Windows. You're not locked to a single vendor. Hell, I have a NuVision tablet that came with Windows 10 installed and has trouble upgrading because there isn't enough storage to reliably hold the temp space for upgrades if I'm at all storing anything on it.

In general, given the same laptop/desktop hardware, performance stays the same *or degrades slightly* with a new OS release. I've found this to be true with every operating system I have ever used (Windows in all its messy incarnations, Linux of various flavors, Solaris) -- except one: OS X/macOS. The performance hit on OS X has consistently been much more severe.
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brookter
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Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:27 pm Post

I’ve found the opposite: performance increases slightly with each version of MacOS., or at worst remains the same. I always reinstall from scratch though.

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Amcmo
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Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:27 pm Post

Firstly, I’ll address the ‘batterygate’. As Apple rightly states, batteries are a consumeable, and as they wear, performance can be more unpredictable. There was no nefarious plan to slow down phones. There was a decision made, incorrectly or otherwise that the best approach would be to ‘throttle’ the device to maintain stability as the battery aged. Where it all came unstuck was, 1. Apple did not communicate this in advance. 2. Apple did not initially give users the option to turn this function off or on as best suited them. As a result of those errors, all users, impacted or not have had the opportunity to replace their batteries at a substantial discount until the end of this year.

Performance has not, does not, and there is zero evidence to support the assertion that performance degrades with each iteration. Each new release of iOS and Mac OS included new features, new security, etc expected or demanded by consumers. The simple reality of life is that older processors, memory, graphics cards etc may not have the performance to run the new features at optimum speed. The claim of performance degradation is akin to those Win users who wailed about, to use your example, Win Vista degrading their PC’s. The reality was, the new features in Vista overwhelmed the vast majority of hardware more than a year or two old, and even did not support at all a good deal of older hardware/accessories. Truth is Vista was such a dog, it was the perfect example of bloatware. The ‘Performance degradation’ you refer to has been even more noticeable in the Win eco. Win3 to Win 95, 95 to 98... each variant inflicted pain, however while some was due to Ms’s sloppy code much was due to features and expectations outstripping the capabilities of all but the latest hardware.

The current iteration of iOS actually performs faster on any hardware that supports the previous version, so that puts the lie to ‘performance degradation.’ The same applies to Mojave. Granted, if your hardware doesn’t support specific features, those features will not work (Face ID). Mojave runs faster on my late 2012 Mac Mini than El Capitan or Sierra did.

Going back to hardware not supported by Win 10, it has nothing to do with the vast number of accessories available in the Win environment. We are talking equipment from major vendors stuck in the driver compatibility hell with each upgrade (even SP’s in some cases).

Of course, if you want to prevent ‘performance degredation’, ban software innovation and new features. (no move from Scrivener 2 to 3?)

En
EndlessLoop
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Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:16 pm Post

Amcmo wrote:
Apple has a bad habit of forcefully obsoleting hardware in their yearly OS upgrades.


I’d have to disagree with that statement.

Mojave will run on equipment going back to 2012. Compatibility going back 6 years hardly qualifies as forcefully obsoleting equipment, and similar applies with iOS.

I can find less than 6 yr old equipment I have that struggles with Win 10 compatibility.


I have both a Mac and Windows machines, and I prefer Mac most of the time (e.g. for Scrivener).

But with regards to obsolescence, one of my old Windows machines is going on 11 years, and it runs Win10 just fine. Outside of people who need raw grunt for, say, graphics-intensive tasks and can benefit by keeping up with regular hardware upgrades, I don't think 6 years is actually that generous a time to be officially supported by the latest OS version. I don't know if Apple have an official or even unofficial policy on how long it's expected for a machine to be latest-OS-supported so the 6-year figure here could be arbitrary, but for what I suspect is the vast majority of people, 6 years of a computer's life is -- in my opinion -- not that long in terms of what they probably need it to do.

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devinganger
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:02 am Post

Amcmo wrote:Performance has not, does not, and there is zero evidence to support the assertion that performance degrades with each iteration. Each new release of iOS and Mac OS included new features, new security, etc expected or demanded by consumers. The simple reality of life is that older processors, memory, graphics cards etc may not have the performance to run the new features at optimum speed.


Did you skip over the part where I said I'd benchmarked it?

Same hardware, fresh installs, noticeable deterioriation -- on three separate sets of Mac minis and a MacBook Pro.

Using Boot Camp to run native Windows, or running Linux on the same hardware, I *don't see that same degradation*. Solaris for a while had that same issue, but there it was an open secret that Solaris was being optimized for the hardware with higher numbers of processors, so all of the spinlocks and other kernel structures one *had* to have for effective large-scale SMP at that time were way too much overhead for simple 1-2 processor machines. Apple doesn't have the same issue at work...but I do think that there is another common explanation for it.

I'll trust my time and effort and data over anyone's unsupported assertions.

Amcmo wrote:The current iteration of iOS actually performs faster on any hardware that supports the previous version, so that puts the lie to ‘performance degradation.’ The same applies to Mojave. Granted, if your hardware doesn’t support specific features, those features will not work (Face ID). Mojave runs faster on my late 2012 Mac Mini than El Capitan or Sierra did.


Yes, and isn't that curious that this is the *first* version of iOS that came out after BatteryGate? Given the PR problems Apple's been having, it's not a surprise that extra attention was paid to *improving performance*. I don't think this is due to deliberate malfeasance -- simple prioritization issues are enough to explain the issue. Vista is a perfect example of that -- Vista RTM was slow as snot on a doorknob, to put it kindly, even on the latest, greatest, most supported hardware. Vista SP1 *on the same hardware* (and with the latest drivers) was a HUGE increase and actually got the most out of most hardware in ran on at that point, assuming they were running Vista-era drivers and not legacy XP drivers -- because Microsoft *made performance a top priority for the SP1 release*.

It's all too easy to fall into bad habits, and both Microsoft and Apple have not been as concerned about performance lately (although with Microsoft, at least, it tends to cycle -- alternating upgrades to Windows 10 seem to tighten up performance and put a spring back into the step of my aging Surface Pro 3), although I suspect that it will be a priority for Apple for a little while. Only time will tell if it continues to be, though, especially now that they have current hardware refreshes. I suspect we're going to see a hard die-off for support of older hardware in the next 3 macOS releases.

Not that I have a problem with that *if it's a clearly stated policy* -- I actually don't think it's reasonable, whether I'm paying for the software or not, to expect support for hardware that's more than 5 years old if there's stuff that substantially better that is available at a similar price point. I just think that needs to be made *clear* so user's know up-front that they will be able to use this new device for X years at worst case, at which point they'll fall off the upgrade train, and can make informed decisions about the life expetency of new purchases.

Linux (and to a certain extent Windows Embedded) is of course the special case, because so much of the use case for Linux is to run on specific combinations of hardware in embedded or consumer applications and appliances. Even there, though, the responsibility to keep the necessary compatibility shims in place falls on the groups who are monetizing the legacy hardware, not necessarily on the core kernel developers.
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devinganger
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:09 am Post

EndlessLoop wrote:
Amcmo wrote:
Apple has a bad habit of forcefully obsoleting hardware in their yearly OS upgrades.


I’d have to disagree with that statement.

Mojave will run on equipment going back to 2012. Compatibility going back 6 years hardly qualifies as forcefully obsoleting equipment, and similar applies with iOS.

I can find less than 6 yr old equipment I have that struggles with Win 10 compatibility.


I have both a Mac and Windows machines, and I prefer Mac most of the time (e.g. for Scrivener).

But with regards to obsolescence, one of my old Windows machines is going on 11 years, and it runs Win10 just fine. Outside of people who need raw grunt for, say, graphics-intensive tasks and can benefit by keeping up with regular hardware upgrades, I don't think 6 years is actually that generous a time to be officially supported by the latest OS version. I don't know if Apple have an official or even unofficial policy on how long it's expected for a machine to be latest-OS-supported so the 6-year figure here could be arbitrary, but for what I suspect is the vast majority of people, 6 years of a computer's life is -- in my opinion -- not that long in terms of what they probably need it to do.


Microsoft's policy used to be 10 years, and that bit them in the unmentionables with Windows XP. Which is why they don't do it any more -- the testing and support costs for keeping compatibility with hardware for that long are a stupid drain. Apple doesn't have nearly the same issue thanks to having far fewer hardware variations to support, but they've been pretty arbitrary in the past, where they are not always consistent about updating hardware generations. If memory serves (and I freely admit I may not be remembering this correctly) there has been at least one release in the last decade where they supported the last two generations of hardware but that worked out to 4-year old hardware being left behind.

As I said in another post, I'd be fine with a cutoff of five years -- for most applications, five years is more than adequate to recoup the cost of the purchase. I just want it to be *transparent* and *announced* and *reliable*, so that people who are about to drop $$ on new (and used) computing hardware have a consistent set of data to plan for. That $250 used deal on a laptop for college may not be so sweet if you know that you're not going to be able to upgrade it in 2 more years.
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ch
chrisrobinson21
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:29 am Post

Okay, I feel like I inadvertently started a war here! I understand the complexities of trying to engineer software that can adequately support hardware that can represent thousands of variations. I’m operations leader for a small technology firm that is vertically integrated much like Apple but on a micro-micro scale. We design custom hardware, develop the software to drive it, provide customer support, sales, and manufacture the hardware. I can’t imagine how difficult Microsoft’s job is, and another reason I believe Apple’s inclusive ecosystem may be a little more stable and predictable. Our products run on Windows devices as an external appliance. We support customers that have issues because they are using Windows PCs that are 5 or 6 years old that they have upgraded to recent versions of WinOS. I will say that our support volume dropped noticeably when Win8/8.1 was replaced with Win10.

There are times that hardware falls into obsolescence because supporting very old hardware may hold your new code back because it makes development too difficult or costly. We keep legacy hardware around so that we can test new code on our old hardware. But over time, that legacy hardware fails and replacement parts are no longer available! There comes a time that as a business, you must make a decision regarding your desire to take care of all your customers, including those still using very old legacy hardware and making a business decision to try and be as efficient as possible.

Chris

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Amcmo
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:40 am Post

Did you skip over the part where I said I'd benchmarked it?


No I did not, however as that statement differs significantly from my own and other’s observations, I chose to ignore it.

Clearly you have a position, including conspiracy theories on Apple you will not be persuaded from, therefore I shall leave you to those.

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Tribalrose
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:51 am Post

Well, as just an average user who is new to Mac, it seems to me there's more "have to " with Mac upgrades. As I've stated, I have two Windows machines running Win 7. I have no plans to upgrade them. They can keep right on running 7 until they die. My last Windows desktop did last more than 10 years and ran XP start to finish. I've got the beta of Scrivener 3 running on one of those Win 7 machines right now. However, I had to upgrade the OS on the first MacBook Pro I had in order to run either Scriv 3 or Vellum.

What came before XP? I'm pretty sure that was the first Windows system I used, and I ran it until I got a new machine with XP, so I've always let my Windows machines just chug along on whatever system they came with and was never forced to upgrade because a software wouldn't run under the old system.

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devinganger
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:09 pm Post

Amcmo wrote:Clearly you have a position, including conspiracy theories on Apple you will not be persuaded from, therefore I shall leave you to those.


Oh, knock it off and stop reading your own baggage into what I wrote. Not every criticism of Apple is a conspiracy theory, True Believer.

I clearly said I didn't believe it was deliberate and I offered examples of other software companies falling pretty to *the exact same problem*. Macs are nice machines, but Apple is not and has never been perfect, and I'm far from the first observer to note that they seem to be working through the same stages of software development mistakes and maturation that other companies have gone through before them.
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JimRac
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Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:38 pm Post

devinganger wrote:Did you skip over the part where I said I'd benchmarked it?

Same hardware, fresh installs, noticeable deterioriation -- on three separate sets of Mac minis and a MacBook Pro.

Using Boot Camp to run native Windows, or running Linux on the same hardware, I *don't see that same degradation*. Solaris for a while had that same issue, but there it was an open secret that Solaris was being optimized for the hardware with higher numbers of processors, so all of the spinlocks and other kernel structures one *had* to have for effective large-scale SMP at that time were way too much overhead for simple 1-2 processor machines. Apple doesn't have the same issue at work...but I do think that there is another common explanation for it.

I'll trust my time and effort and data over anyone's unsupported assertions.


Devinganger,

Thanks for sharing your observations. I always take away something useful from your posts.

Jim

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Jaysen
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:44 pm Post

Devin, I've had similar benchmark as you. Then i realized the missing key "for me"

brookter wrote:I’ve found the opposite: performance increases slightly with each version of MacOS., or at worst remains the same. I always reinstall from scratch though.


In my case I had drivers for audio that were NOT being upgraded (or loaded properly, I never bothered to check) that resulted in some stupid compatibility issues. Once I started doing clean installs I always saw a perf improvement.

I will say that this is not an "apple" thing as I had the same issues with Linux, Solaris and window when specialized HW was involved. what i've found disturbing is that in recent years I've not been running specialized HW and all the OS STILL need a clean install.

That said, not everyone can be expected to comfortably do a clean install. To me this is a failure of our industry.
Jaysen

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