Once Upon a Time The MacBook Pro 


           In my opinion, the MacBook Pro is a shell of a what it used to be. The funny thing is that I am writing this on a new MacBook Pro 15″. No, not the new gimmick-ridden and already infamous “Touchbar MacBook” but the model just before the fall. I’ll start this by saying I never believed the hype of Steve Jobs being so important but as time goes by we are shown it is oh so freaking bang-on.
A few weeks ago I ran into a little extra money and needing a new computer, or so I thought. I had a maxed out 2011 iMac 27″ and it seemed to be getting past it’s prime. I was having issues with Photoshop and Dreamweaver and especially with doing anything in 3d. So with my new found pile of cash, I decided I was going to get a new iMac. My typical process is to go to the MacSales site and buy a year old refurbished or reconditioned model and then sell my old one. This way I am only out a few hundred clams but with my new better than expected cash flow situation I decided to buy a brand new one at the Mac store. So off I went money burning brightly and a head full of fast rendering 3d files. I don’t know about you, but I love getting a new Mac and that feeling of cracking it open with all the new workflows and functionality available to me is the best. I loved that feeling, and I thought it would be much better than ever getting a current model instead of a used couple year old one. You may have noticed that I used the word love in the past tense because I did not get that fix and I am very disheartened with everything Mac right now.mbp
Back to the story, I am at the Mac store, and I see the MacBook Pro 15″ “TouchBar” and man that machine is gorgeous! I do some tests on that and the iMac 27″. I am getting near the same frame rate playback while editing 3d titles in Motion (Apple’s video application for Final Cut Pro titles and transitions) and I like what I see. I am about to go away for Christmas, and with all the hype about the new MBP I end up buying that instead. Big mistake and a bad buy I was soon to realize.

                                                  I am psyched,

I get it home and get it all charged up crack her open, and it takes well over three minutes to boot up. I chock that up to being new and the first time turning it on. Guess what? This happens a few more times and never starts up instantly like in all the commercials. It is fast yes but not instant like the commercials, not over $3000’s worth. It just kept getting worse from there. I do not know if you have heard about the battery life issue. It lasts about 3 hours and Apple’s fix is to take the numerical counter off the battery life icon. I was crazy mad about that. That is their fix? Are you kidding me! I spend at least a thousand dollars more than any other machine, and that is the fix! An icon change so now I don’t even know how long I have left! Especially when the battery life is much less than half of what is advertised. I also had issues with it giving me a blank screen after trying to use Photoshop and Dreamweaver with a browser open for testing. It was crashing! A brand new model, the second to best one offered a week old and crashing all the time. Someone on YouTube commented that you just get lemons sometimes, get over it. Really? Get lemons sometimes! I do not expect to deal with Lemons when I pay a Premium price for an item. I should be 100% satisfied and not have to take it back the first day. Am I asking too much? I don’t think so. We haven’t even talked about the gimmick of a touch bar. That thing is useless and only good for its ID feature. I like and used that but all the touch bar does is make you realize how much Apple failed. By not putting a touchscreen on your device just on the keyboard it makes your brain think touch and you end up touching the screen constantly. There is more, but I won’t go on. For that price, it should be a no-brainer.

                           I take the machine back

and have no problems doing so. The Apple store is nice about it but I suspect I wasn’t the first one doing so and they had a lot of practice. I decide not to try another one and go back to my original plan of getting the iMac 27″. I get that home, and it works as it should, but you know it isn’t that much better than my 2011 iMac. It isn’t that much faster, and it doesn’t give me that new computer smell I used to get every time I got a new Mac. Very discouraging and depressing. At this point, I am seriously thinking of moving to Microsoft and Windows and be damned all the virus protection issues. That was the reason I switched to Apple in the first place. It has to be better by now, and the machines they are putting out give you that feeling I used to get when I cracked open a new Mac.

I played with the Surface Pro 5 and the 28″ Studio at Adobe Max. That is a machine! If you didn’t know it, you would have sworn that Apple had developed it and probably would have if Steve Jobs were still running things.

I just want to mention how entrenched and how much of a “Fanboy” I am. I have two iMac 27″s. A MacBook 2008 still running strong. An MBP 15″ 2015 model non-touchbar. An iPad Air, an iPad Pro 12″ with Apple Pencil that is awesome but the iPad Pro is totally over rated to say it lightly, definitely not worth the money but the Apple TV is. Not to mention the 2 iPhone 7’s we are having issues with and 2 iPhone 6’s that do work well. Oh, let’s not forget about Siri which has never worked and is still a bust. So you see it will be expensive for me to get out but at least Mac’s do re-sell well and maybe now is the time to get out? I will miss iTunes but it will be cheaper to go with Amazon or Google Music, and they give you more space for less money. The voice control works freaking awesome. I know this because I use Google Now for voice control on my iPhone instead of Siri because she doesn’t understand a damn thing even the prompts Apple tells you to use. No, I do not have a speech impediment. My mind maybe slow but my mouth works just fine! I think I should jump before everybody else realizes what I have and decides to get out and resale value tanks. Just like Harley’s did back in the early 2000’s. The next time I am writing maybe it will be on a Surface Pro, I will let you know. (this is an old article, I am writing an update soon).

                                            Update:

Here we are almost a year later, and a few things happened. I took back the Touch bar model and bought the 2015 MBP. I like that computer but found out that I did get a freaking lemon and that the model I had was so behind that even though it was a 2015 model it had three-year-old tech in it. I broke down and didn’t go Windows way but bought a new Touch bar MBP the second to best one at over 3000 bucks. Am I happy with it? I guess I am but not for the touch bar. Still a gimmick and just a marketing solution to the Surface. I rarely use it, and some 3rd party have taken to it, but it doesn’t do anything that short cut keys can do better and easier. To be looking up there and pressing the buttons is a huge waste of time and brain power. I am writing in the WordPress App, the bar is blank, like most apps. Utterly useless. Even in apps that it does work in I have Grammarly which takes care of misspellings, so I don’t use it for that which everyone talks about being the greatest thing ever. Photoshop controls are pretty stupid, it’s much easier to click in the dialogs then to use the bar. The bar has top level controls that are most used directly followed by another click which makes the process cumbersome. Say for instance I am using the track pad to do something and then a touch bar button is available for my next move, so I move my hand off the track pad hit the touch bar button but guess what that is as far as the buttons go I have to go back to the track pad. Worth it? Not at all and like I have said a marketing ploy because if Apple would have made the MBP a touch screen where does that leave them? It either works so well that the iPad sales go way down or it works so terribly that they lose major laptop sales. Either way, one form factor will become obsolete. They can not ever enter the touch screen arena unless they want to kill off models. Either the iPad’s or the laptops will have to be discontinued or will die off all on their own if they put a touch screen on the laptops. The only one that would survive is the top of the line laptop like the MBP until the iPad could generate the same power. I see said the blind man! Anyway, I did buy it back but not for the touch bar just for the power. For the money, it is not a good buy. I am still thinking of switching because my phone (iPhone 7) sucks too. Plus the iPad pro, a 750 dollar machine, after one year is obsolete. I knew it would be and I never usually buy a first model of anything because that is what always happens. The second version of a line is usually a huge leap from the first because that is just a test and they leave a lot of room to go further rather quickly. Anyway as always I may be a dumdumdev but I ain’t stupid! Happy coding dumdums!


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