Before I get started, I’d like to say I haven’t posted in a long time because I’ve been in the process of moving to a new city, and its been a hectic period. (Also, I didn’t have anything to write about.) Now that I have some downtime, I need to vent quickly.
In the art field, most vacancies I’ve encountered ask for their applicants to work on a mac. To me, that’s a bit of a curse, and the ghost that haunts me is my own MacBook pro. There are, of course, the obvious complaints that Windows users posit to avoid buying a mac. These range from, “it’s much more expensive”, to “many software companies don’t make mac versions of their software”, and “they’re evil.”
Aside from the obvious complaints, there are some baffling usability issues that many owners complain about, but Apple refuses to address. Under any normal circumstances, they would be quirks that come with the territory. The fact that these issues haven’t been addressed is what makes them game breakers for me. These are my 4 main reasons for never buying a MacBook pro unless someone threatens bodily harm.
#4 – It’s The Fisher Price Toy of Computers
The one thing I miss about windows is the level of accessibility that they had. Maybe they weren’t pretty, sleek, and minimalist like macs, but they offered a lot of control, and were highly compatible. MacBooks almost seem like they’re designed to be used by people who only want to pretend that they’re using their computer.
Macs seem to automate everything. A great example is the infuriatingly finicky Mini Displayport which has (Thank God) been replaced by a regular HDMI port. The Mini Displayport didn’t connect directly to anything. You had to buy a $34 adapter in order to hook up your HDTV to your mac. The only problem is that the mac’s recognition of the adapter was horribly fickle. So what was the solution?
Go to settings and preferences > displays > detect displays. If the ‘detect displays’ button isn’t there, it’s because they got rid of it with Mountain Lion and you have to hold down ‘option’ to see it. That’s right, they made a feature MORE difficult to use in the newer version.
This list of backwards logic goes on and on, just because Apple is obsessed with cleaning up their interface. I always say that if you’re content with your Macbook, then you’re obviously not using it. If you’re someone who plans on buying a mac, and installing bootcamp to use Windows on it anyway, then you should strongly consider why you’re spending $2,600 extra dollars on a glorified aluminum PC.
#3 – The Disk Drive Is Greedy
I have no idea why this happens, but Macbook disk drives have a bad a reputation for “breaking.” By “breaking,” I mean that they still read, and accept disks. They just won’t let them go. I first experienced the problem when I was installing a program on my computer, and the disk would refuse to eject. I did everything that the numerous tech support forums suggested. Nothing worked. I took it to the help desk at my school but they said I’d have to replace the drive. The help desk workers told me it would’ve cost me about $1,000 to replace because Apple convinced me it was my fault. Finally, about 4 months later, the disk finally ejected without me even prompting it.
This wouldn’t be so frustrating if Apple didn’t require you to update your OS using disks at the time. So, I guess that Macbook disk drives are great if you don’t mind waiting several months to update your OS, and get the disk back. There are even tutorials on getting the disk out using two credit cards. This is a technique that people have perfected because of how often MacBook disk drives pull this stunt.
Just use a tray like everyone else, Apple. I realize you’re trying to reduce the profile of your computers and get rid of the disk drive altogether, but people use disks to install programs on the rare occasion that your machines will actually run them. When disk trays don’t work on other machines, we have the choice of prying them open instead of replacing them. Your disk drives break easily, and are un-pry-open-able.
#2 – The Fan Is Useless
On a cold night, if my room is so cool that I can’t sleep, I don’t need to worry. I can take it upon myself to fire up my MacBook pro, turn on ITunes and soon feel as if I’m uncomfortably close to the surface of the sun. If you buy a Macbook pro, you can kiss your ability to procreate goodbye.
I set my computer up on a desk and I often prop it up to better circulate air, but it’s no use. Any strain on the CPU will mean that the laptop is going to have a hard time dispersing heat. Why, though? The fact that the body of the computer is metal, and there’s very little ventilation probably doesn’t help. I can’t say for certain why, but I can say that Macbooks definitely get hotter than other laptops.
#1 – The Power Cable Is Flimsy and Expensive
This has probably been the number one money-sucking feature of my mac, and the most frustrating experience in owning it. I have bought four different Magsafe Power Adapters for my Macbook pro. I’m not the only person who has had the problem of the cord fraying. Take a look at the customer reviews. It’s not like people are doing parkour while their computers are plugged in. The number of people dissatisfied with the quality of Magsafe Power Adapters is astounding. And I’ll tell you why:
They cost between $79 and $83 dollars. It’s an understandable price because the DC adapter is expensive, but Magsafe charger cords often fray on the computer’s side of the adapter. On any other computer, the cords unplug, and the replacements for the narrow section are between $3 and $5 to replace. Since they don’t disconnect on a mac, the user is forced to dish out an extra $83 EVERY time it frays.
Pair that with how often a MacBook charger frays, and you have an expensive problem. What’s worse is that Apple simply isn’t fixing the problem. They’re replacing the chargers for customers who complain enough, but the closest they’ve gotten to fixing the Magsafe power adapter is changing the shape of the plug. Nice try Apple, but that’s the most useless, and arbitrarily oblivious solution to a problem I’ve seen in a while.