Time to dump your Apple Mac

Latest news about Apple machines,

Any organisation that uses any form of IP, trade secrets, HIPPA compliance, Attorney-Client privilege, or, Accounting-Compliance via the FSA/SEC, will be unable to use any Apple products safely.


/sigh - Big Brother Surveillance Society :frowning:

What a strange article. The author seems clearly very concerned about the issues, and yet persists in using the tools that offend him. Indeed he tells us that he is spending yet more money with Apple so that he can get his hands on new product, presumably to prove to himself and others that it is even more of a threat to his privacy. Why not just stop using macOS? He could install a linux distro and live a less stressed existence.


You have a point.

Yes, he’s a security researcher, but digging through the rest of the blog, it’s mostly Apple hardware that he uses, even though he’s contributing to Open-Source projects.

Doesn’t mean that he is wrong though.

Some people have to use it for work or for other needs.

This also means that Apple will be side-lining themselves from every market segment that has to comply with any form of privacy regulation.

This includes, HIPPA compliance, FSA compliance, SEC compliance, as well as any company profiting from IP, or, trade secrets.

This is on top of the companies that started dumping their Apple machines when they saw the new Apple HQ. The open-plan offices means increased programmer distraction, which in turn increases bug-counts.

Techs that i know who are working for City banks were already starting to get rid of Macs due to this issue.

This “cherry on the shitcake” will be the final reason to bar the machines from their secure networks.

Also, it’s nice. It remains the OS which to my mind, retains the best user experience. This is despite everything. It implements a WIMP environment well.

For music, image and video production, Mac OS remains a decent choice I feel for pure user productivity. I was staggered how easy music production tool work was when I made the switch. Linux for this sort of stuff, still feels like I am going to be spending a lot of time on setting it up and much less time on using it.

Indeed. I’ve been using Apple’s OS by choice since about 1988 because it offers the best user experience of any OS I’ve worked with (including various versions of Windows and multiple Linux distributions). Not perfect by any means, but streets ahead of anything else I’ve seen.

I came really close to migrating to Linux a few years back, driven by cost (I needed a new machine), but ended up building a Hackintosh and got the best of both worlds. With the recent release of their M1 silicon it’s now more likely that my next machine will be a Mac.

On security/privacy concerns, this article helps to clarify what Jeffrey Paul reported: https://blog.jacopo.io/en/post/apple-ocsp/

tldr; it’s not such a huge issue as Paul’s report suggests.

I think it’s super-concerning, the fact that it’s a good user experience is a dangerous trade-off IMO. I mean, Uber is a good experience… It’s at what cost it comes.

I would see open hardware and free software as sibling movements for co-ops, and that all benefit from a wider “ecosystem” perspective. Rather than diluting our energy by thinking about multiple “movements”, I would see it as strengthening them by combing them into this ecosystem, that just might possibly lead to a proper alternative to our current nonsense.

With M1 you can’t run Linux on it. At least according to http://www.rahulgaitonde.org/blog/2020/11/13/apple-m1-and-the-ultimate-closed-system-part-2/ :

The bootloader on Apple Silicon machines will be locked. This means that they will not support booting into other operating systems like Linux.

I would not berate people for using it personally, but wonder what we can do structurally to make open/free hardware/software more usable for the things people want to do with computers.

Sometimes just sitting with people to help them use linux alternatives is enough! Maybe they will also be more animated by the philosophical perspective than you think! (my gf became a stronger free software advocate than me, putting pressure on her university to switch away from zoom).


I agree with you on all fronts Nick. I’ve never used Uber and don’t intend to. I accept that I’m habitually hooked into Apple’s ecosystem having been a user for over thirty years, and change is hard. In mitigation Apple has announced changes re: the recently highlighted issue: https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/16/21569316/apple-mac-ocsp-server-developer-id-authentication-privacy-concerns-encryption-promises-fix
I am interested in understanding better what you mean by structural changes.

@alex this is slightly off topic but I switched to Linux and Bitwig Studio for my music production. It really is very good. Game-changer really. It’s made by some ex-Ableton people.

I moved from Mac OS to Linux about four years ago for my day to day OS. Primarily this was because I found the release cycle is horrible for stability.

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Oh shit, now I need to back it up with details!! I think you’ll have to fill in all the dots/blanks, but I would I see so much potential for a flourishing economy that allows people to work freely and co-operatively on open and collaborative technologies.

Currently incentives and motivations don’t really line up to work on this, as everything gets caught up in the river of profit and growth. So, I guess that’s the main structure to change. The big one. The logic/glue of the economy that is supposed to animate us to work productively together actually separates us and forces us to work on bullshit.

I mean, that’s just some general anti-capitalist complaining.

There are a million and one details to fill in, but maybe I could point at one mentioned above. The less-intuitive open source audio production tools (compared with osx), it’s a good one as one of the main tools for linux audio production is http://ardour.org of which my brother is the main developer so I have a lot of insight into it. Why can’t it get the cool new intuitive workflows that abelton et al. have? I don’t think I have any definitive answer, maybe I’ll ask him the question… from my pov, there is no inherent reason why it couldn’t have gone that way, and it is actually quite well funded now by the users (see the Ardour Finance sidebar at community.ardour.org), at least by my standards. Structural changes that I think could materially change things:

  • FOSS movements to embrace social realities to expand beyond the perspective of reasonably privileged white men (engage more of the population, hear lost/missing voices)
  • academic research/culture on user participatory practises to escape the ivory towers turn into real usable tools (to have a chance of hearing what the people want/need)
  • more established financial models, distribution mechanisms, and tools that you can just use (to avoid having to invent it all per project, as ardour has)
  • physical location-based communities (housing co-ops, co-housing, networks, etc…) to better support development of abstract things (like software development, or practises/methodologies) not just location-based activities
  • better connections with education / training institutions to help people engage with these different ways of working

… ok, enough rambling! That maybe gives you a flavour of what I mean. Maybe the theme is being willing to reach out from our comfy silos.


Yeah, should go without saying, I’m not saying that great UX and chuck other considerations in the bin. What I am saying is that it is important and explains why people (for example me) keep Mac OS around. Signal has great UX, but is also secure and highly useful and makes a go at being ethically run (though there are always compromises). It can be done!

But feel this is staying a little here from the conversation about the security of this new Mac hardware and what is means for general purpose computation in general.

I’d totally forgotten you had direct insight into this stuff!

I’m sure it is solid!

Yeah I’ve heard rumbles that Bitwig is superior to Ableton, so wil be inclined to give it a go.

Maybe I should just revisit this stuff because it has been more than a decade…

Some excellent thoughts here Nick, thanks for responding to my challenge. This is useful - I’ve logged these ideas - they address perspectives that I’ve not previously even considered. I’ll endeavour to put this into the mix in the developmental work I’m doing within Platform 6.

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Yeh I use Ardour as well! That would be really cool if you could ask.

Ardour is based more on the Pro Tools paradigm and its really good at that. I just got so used to this other way of working that I was stuck on Mac OS until this new Bitwig product came out.

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The best path I could imagine for someone who is a long time user is to start familiarising themself with Linux is on a different machine (say an old Mac). They could also start using less of Apple’s apps in favour of libre alternatives. For example Thunderbird instead of Mail, or Firefox instead of Safari etc etc. Then if they do ever feel the need to switch, it won’t be so much of a change.

There’s a hell of a lot of technical stuff that’s much easier on Linux these days but many other workflows where the benefit of switching isn’t as great. The community just needs to listen to those people and see if there’s a way their needs could be met.

It’s nice to see distros like Elementary OS focus on the aesthetics of the desktop because I always think Ubuntu looks pretty bland by default.

Hi there. This is Nick’s brother, original developer and project lead of Ardour. I’m not 100% certain which question is being asked, but I’d be happy to respond to

  • why doesn’t Ardour (or other FLOSS audio stuff) have the Live workflow?
  • why is FLOSS software for <foo> not <something> like most proprietary apps on macOS?
  • something else

Hi Paul. Thanks for popping up! Big fan of Ardour here.

My question would be: Has the project ever considered adding a Ableton Live style grid view and auto warping to song temp type setup?

Maybe we should fork this thread.

We have considered it, and work is slowly in progress to do this.

However, as noted above, Ardour is largely based on the “linear timeline” paradigm that ProTools embodied, and it is a considerable change to incorporate the Live-style workflow. I would point out that Digital Performer and Logic, two proprietary DAWs also centered on the linear timeline model and with significant resources behind them only added this workflow in their most recent versions, more than 20 years after Live first appeared.

Ardour 7.0 will contain the basic architectural changes required for us to start working on workflows more similar to the Live model, and I hope that different aspects of that workflow will emerge during the 7.x release cycle and beyond.