i finally realized yesterday that many of the new big sur features were driving me crazy and making me feel less productive. so i decided to put an hour into setting all of the various preferences so that my mbp would work how i remembered it working before i upgraded
and then i found myself on the apple support forums, going absolutely insane looking for "documentation". and no matter how much i looked, i couldn't find anything that explained in writing the specifics of how anything worked, what to expect when i picked each option, etc.
then, magically, i stumbled onto this: https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/macos/overview/whats-new-in-macos/
wow! finally i had found something that looks like the documentation that used to come with computers and software when i was first learning to use computers (30+ years ago)
so i guess what i'm wondering is when did basic documentation become specialized developer knowledge? has this been going on for a long time, or was there a discrete point at which people stopped bothering to explain how the things they sell work? did it start w/ apple (it must have, no?) and has it since infected the entire industry or is this just an apple-specific thing? how do young people figure things out nowadays? watching videos? trial and error? word of mouth?
i'll be honest, i stopped looking at OS documentation awhile back (probably in the early 2000s when i first switched from PC to mac?) and so when i finally started looking again for information on how stuff worked i was really surprised at how hard it was to find!
― the late great, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:11 (two months ago) link
The end of documentation started with the beginning of modern computing - unix predates the first instance of the man page by two years. To operate a personal computer of any manufacture successfully you usually had to buy a thick book from a third party (I will never forget The Macintosh Bible, RIP). Programmers hate documentation a lot and everyone’s favorite bugaboo capitalism hates documentation even more, so here we are: people ask questions for free, get partial or useless answers for free, and the vendor has an intern close out the issue. Don’t grep readme
― sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:33 (two months ago) link
Watched a documentary tonight (GAMEMASTER, 2020) about making board games and there was some good discussion of how to write instructions - they have to be for children and old folks, they have to be redundant, they can’t be too clever or creative, and even your favorite version of your instructions will invariably confuse people unless you playtest the shit out of them. Good documentation is very, very hard to do. I’m also reminded of an old Gamasutra article that quoted a videogame developer who pointed out that the existence of a significant third party market for strategy guides indicated a problem in the industry - that studios were reliably putting out things that were supposed to be fun, but basically required an extra guidebook to enjoy properly. Obviously this person had never heard of GameFAQs, but that just reinforces my point above: documentation is for user groups to make for themselves after the purchase.
― sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:46 (two months ago) link
people ask questions for free, get partial or useless answers for free
new borad description
― the late great, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:49 (two months ago) link
Anyway it’s definitely not an Apple-specific problem because people have had blogs and blogs about this shit for Windows, plus geeky open source user groups out the wazoo since before HTML was even a thing.
― sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:53 (two months ago) link
I love man pages tbh, always mad when some hot new tool doesn’t ship with a man page.
― is right unfortunately (silby), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 06:55 (two months ago) link
yeah that's interesting context re unix and a good reminder that most of the documentation for my early computers really was third party stuff now that i think abt it (practically had a half shelf of o'reilly books just for stuff bundled with the pc - "wordperfect in a nutshell" etc lmao)
― the late great, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 07:00 (two months ago) link
stackexchange is the gamefaqs of work
― sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 07:00 (two months ago) link
aka word of mouth
― the late great, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 07:02 (two months ago) link
Macintosh Bible 3rd Edition was the bomb. I read it to destruction before I even had a Mac
― stet, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:05 (two months ago) link
Oh man, I just found out Arthur Naiman died last year.
― stet, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:07 (two months ago) link
I know it’s beating a completely decomposed horse at this point, but fuck apple earbuds forever
― brimstead, Thursday, 26 November 2020 18:56 (two months ago) link
Latest headache, my keyboard and trackpad suddenly stopped responding, with no warning. An external keyboard and mouse works, which probably means through a little investigation it's ... a known issue with the connection ribbon on my specific early 2015 13" retina model. Since I've already determined that Apple itself won't work on my machine, that means ordering the $10 part and doing it myself. Again. Hopefully it fixes the problem, and while Apple can be assholes when it comes to proprietary parts, connections and screws, it could have been worse: apparently previous years placed the trackpad ribbon *under* the glued in battery.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 December 2020 16:29 (one month ago) link
I mean there’s two sides to this. People complain they can’t open things up and replace parts, but the fact the new MacBook Air is sealed and has no moving parts except the hinge and the keyboard make it less likely stuff is going to break via mechanical shock or dust or whatever. The ribbon under the battery might be less likely to break is what I’m saying.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 5 December 2020 16:43 (one month ago) link
This is a Pro, not an Air. Designed to be opened, not sealed like an Air or iPhone.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 December 2020 16:55 (one month ago) link
The same one with a glued in battery that makes it so hard to replace Apple just replaces that entire half of the computer.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 December 2020 16:56 (one month ago) link
I understand. I’m making a general observation that the new MacBook Air which has absolutely nothing user serviceable will likely be the most reliable piece of hardware apple ever made, and that’s because it isn’t user serviceable.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 5 December 2020 17:15 (one month ago) link
my new mac mini just arrived a few minutes ago :D
― Karl Malone, Saturday, 5 December 2020 17:17 (one month ago) link
If the choice is between “doesn’t need service” and “easy to service” I’ll take the first one.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 5 December 2020 17:19 (one month ago) link
Gluing the battery in seems spiteful though, I’ll grant you that.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 5 December 2020 17:20 (one month ago) link
I'm cool with not designed to be serviced. Not cool with can't be, or prohibitively hard to be, serviced, especially when combined with shitty or overpriced components. I wonder what Apple would charge to replace the failed (and known to fail) ribbon cable I probably have? The one I bought was $10.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 December 2020 17:27 (one month ago) link
I have bad news for you about electric vehicles.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 5 December 2020 17:32 (one month ago) link
Pretty easy to avoid owning one of those.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 December 2020 17:51 (one month ago) link
$10 replacement ribbon arrived in the mail about 24 hours after ordering it, took me 10 minutes to install. If I were less ethical I would open a repair store that preyed on old people called Let Me Google That For You.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 6 December 2020 20:16 (one month ago) link
Well now. What documentation would you or anybody else here rec. to an Apple-ignorant geezer who might be getting an iPad (not a Pro, not a Mini etc., just the latest gen original, or last year's)?
― dow, Sunday, 6 December 2020 21:32 (one month ago) link
Get double the storage you think you need
― calstars, Sunday, 6 December 2020 22:04 (one month ago) link
Yeah, can't go wrong with storage. Also, check out the Apple refurbished store.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 6 December 2020 22:22 (one month ago) link
really? maybe i'm spoiled by having really fast internet available at all times (good broadband at home, never leave the city, work at university, etc) but the only apple device i have that is anywhere near full is my 64 gb 6s. i use streaming services all the time but i feel like i'm way more likely to listen to a CD or watch a DVD than i am to actually download an mp3 or something in the year of our lord 2020
anyway i hope this stays true because i bought a 12 pro 256 today instead of a 512, i just couldn't figure why i'd need 512 gb when i'd made it so far with 256 and i'll be keeping my photos and such on icloud w/ 5g etc
― the late great, Sunday, 6 December 2020 22:49 (one month ago) link
made it so far w/ 64 gb i mean
also my car doesn't have airplay, just a usb jack, so really looking forward to digging back into the dusty old CD collection again!
― the late great, Sunday, 6 December 2020 22:51 (one month ago) link
oh wait, i just remembered the 12 still has a lightning port, ignore me
― the late great, Sunday, 6 December 2020 22:52 (one month ago) link
I think the reasoning (or at least my reasoning) is that should you need to or want to you just can't upgrade the storage on an iPad. So better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, right? That said, I honestly don't know their current capacity. I think my phone is 128gb, and I've never come close to filling it. But my MacBook was 256, and after riding the slimmest space margin for the longest time I finally put in a 512 GB drive, which has worked out well.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 6 December 2020 22:58 (one month ago) link
I would get the most you can afford in a Mac but 90% of people will be fine with whatever the smallest storage option is for an iPhone or iPad.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Sunday, 6 December 2020 23:04 (one month ago) link
adults yes. kids will fill them up with games in about 2 days regardless of size.
― Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 6 December 2020 23:07 (one month ago) link
Gene From kiss in Decline 2 said that what money gives you the opportunity to do is not think about money. Same goes here. What storage gives you is the freedom to not think about storage
― calstars, Sunday, 6 December 2020 23:11 (one month ago) link
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Sunday, 6 December 2020 23:14 (one month ago) link
I pretty easily use about 128gb on my phone, between my mp3 library, games, and apps a lot's covered. Also agree to go with more than you need; in the worst case you don't use it and your phone is worth a little more when you trade it in or resell.
― Nhex, Sunday, 6 December 2020 23:25 (one month ago) link
When I say 90% of people can use the minimum storage I’m allowing for the fact that most people don’t save music or movies on their iPhone/iPad. Minimum storage obviously doesn’t work if you have a biggish music collection and don’t use Spotify or Apple Music or whatever.
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Sunday, 6 December 2020 23:43 (one month ago) link
I will say I agree with caek. Probably this has been covered ITT already but... The apple tax for mobile storage is so outrageous it's practically extortion. Then again I have a really high-spec laptop and that's probably a big part of why I don't need more than the minimum storage on my cell.
― davey, Sunday, 6 December 2020 23:46 (one month ago) link
I'm the other way around. I rarely have anything much on my internal hard drive as I know all my media files have to go on an external HD, whereas I filled up my iPhone's 128GB with apps and podcasts and videos with ease.
― Alba, Monday, 7 December 2020 00:50 (one month ago) link
I accept that liking to have an offline version of Wikipedia on my phone makes me not a a typical user.
― Alba, Monday, 7 December 2020 00:53 (one month ago) link
Max affordable for phone and Mac for me, iPad doesn't matter much.
― onlyfans.com/hunterb (milo z), Monday, 7 December 2020 00:53 (one month ago) link
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 7 December 2020 01:28 (one month ago) link
I just want IPad for streaming, not downloading---so as prev mentioned, could just go w Fire etc., but Consumer Reports etc. reviews tend to favor iPad for video quality and some other reasons, also seems like it might be more Chrome friendly (I want easy access to gdrive as emergency backup to laptop, though prefer the latter's bigger screen for docs; it's gotten too old and crashy for most streaming sites, or I wouldn't bother with another device).
― dow, Monday, 7 December 2020 01:52 (one month ago) link
But also I prefer to read about iPad functions rather than having to re-watch videos etc. I guess I could get a For Dummies-type book if recent enough.
― dow, Monday, 7 December 2020 01:55 (one month ago) link
Just something that spells out reeely simpul
― dow, Monday, 7 December 2020 01:56 (one month ago) link
I promise you don’t need a book to figure out an iPad. But if you really want a book, the take control series is the closest thing to a manual for a lot of apple stuff these days. I haven’t seen the iOS boot but I’m sure it’s fine. https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/ios-14-ipados-14/
― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 7 December 2020 02:43 (one month ago) link
Thanks! Yeah, books like that are just my compulsive crutch--bought two about Chromebook, then didn't buy Chromebook---this looks good, except Instead of recycling and updating loads of old content, we’re starting from scratch with a slimmer guide that focuses primarily on what’s new in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Build on everything you already know about using your iPhone or iPad and explore what Apple has changed and added this year. B-but I don't already know! Oh well, maybe I'll get a second-hand copy of last year's book, with all the recycled basics, and this new one for the new stuff.
― dow, Monday, 7 December 2020 03:02 (one month ago) link
i bought a 64 gb ipad air 2 in 2015 and i love it so much, still use it every day.
i mostly use it just for reading. i have apple news+ and i use it to read the atlantic, the new yorker, the washington post, the la times, new york times, wall street journal, the guardian, forbes, scientific american, national geographic, wired, etc etc etc.
but i also use it for watching tv, watching movies, streaming music to bluetooth or airplay speakers, and then just lots of different apps for different things
it's just super nice to be able to leave my laptop in my office (or when i used to leave the house for work, in my backpack) and not lug it into bed or onto the couch when i want to use the internet but not actually do work
it's really done wonders for life/work balance
― the late great, Monday, 7 December 2020 03:46 (one month ago) link
this iphone 12 pro is pretty cool but i don't know if it's $1000+ cool. it's definitely a lot cooler than the beat ass 6s it's replacing but i imagine so is an 11 pro which happens to cost less than ⅓ what this 12 pro costsi mean 5g is fast and all but i'm starting to realize that i have wifi access pretty much everywhere i go and in places i don't (the park, the beach, the grocery store, etc) i'm not streaming movies or whateveranybody here upgrade from the 11 pro? any thoughts?oh also turns out the usb port on my 2011 honda civic doesn't recognize this phone so guess i really will be dipping back into the CD collection
― the late great, Tuesday, 8 December 2020 05:20 (one month ago) link
― koogs, Thursday, 10 December 2020 14:02 (one month ago) link