KFV

Why do I not use Apple products anymore?

I was using Apple products for more than 7 years and not only MacBooks, I had iPods, iPads, and definitely iPhones. I wasn't a big fan of iPads so I only had one, but about the rest of the products, I couldn't even wait for new announcements! I had two MacBooks, six iPhones, two or three iPods, and one iPad as I mentioned. Yeah I was an Apple addict. So what happened? Why am I not even owning an iPhone now? Well, it's a long story and I hope you enjoy reading it.

I've been a UNIX system architect/administrator for about a decade with about seven years of professional experience at 2020.

We all know that macOS and FreeBSD share a lot of code, but we cannot say they are equal, no, not at all! They have a lot in common, OK, but it doesn't mean it feels exactly as if you're sitting at a FreeBSD desktop or vice versa. So please stop saying "I love BSD but I use macOS, is it not BSD?" - no it is not! I also see many people avoiding Apple and keep saying it is too restrictive and closed source! Well, I must recommend they visit Apple Open Source link to understand it is not that much closed source! And if you think any operating system having blobs is evil, I badly disagree (maybe I write about it someday) and we sure have not much to discuss!
Anyhow, you undoubtedly have enough control to make it feel like home. It's amazingly beautiful, fast, in order, and strong. The hardware also feels great - I don't care how it is inside, and I don't really care if I can easily replace a piece since I don't, but it is nice and firm. I never worried if it falls from my desk as it happened thrice, or if I accidentaly spill liquids on it as I once spilled a full glass of milk and I thought it should die in a minute or two, but nothing happened. Don't try it to examine your MacBook, all I'm trying to say is I've deeply come to the conclusion that Apple doesn't make low-quality products, at least I can say it confidently about MacBooks/iMacs.
About phones, I very much dislike Linux-based mobiles, especially Androids. But unfortunately I have a Samsung A51 at the moment! But about Apple iPhones, I always loved them, except the iPhone X. I three times bought iPhone X. Why three times? Well, the first broke in an hour, the second died by liquids, and the third surprisingly died when I was asleep! At the time of writing this article, I am still living in Iran, and as you may know, we have no Apple Store and therefore Apple Limited Warranty means somewhat nothing for us. But you know, I never forget how my iPhone 5 survived hundreds of times, iPhone 6 was somehow the same. No need to mention iPhone 3 or 4, 7 was also fine. But iPhone X? A fancy mobile I never recommended to anyone.

After the third iPhone X, I had no money - you probably know about our situation in Iran, it sucks, it literally sucks! So I forgot about iPhone and bought a cheap Samsung. It was indeed very hard but I don't use them much, so I got used to it sooner than expected. At that time, I had two MacBooks, a late 2013 and a 2018 model with touchbar. I sold the 2013 model, and gave the newer to my sister. Why? I like MacBook Pros, I do very much like them, but what I don't like at all is Apple's development process. They do a great job at keeping their products up-to-date, right. But do they really care about the base system? Not really! And that hurts. Not all users are fancy-window-lovers caring not about the UNIX layer, and not only is it old, but it also sucks when it comes to customisation! And the worst part is almost everything is depending on Xcode Command Line Tools. Something happening after each major upgrade is the cleans of manually changed files without a notice. Can they not ask for a merge review if they see manual changes? It's not that difficult, just a simple check plus a after-installation merge review. Many of us would help if the whole process was open source and surely if it was easy to contribute. One more thing I never liked is the System Integrity Protection (SIP) that I used to disable. These personal thoughts aside, the new macOS versions are not comparable with Mavericks and older versions. The further we're going the faultier macOS versions we're seeing! It seems they only care about the appearance, and yes security - thanks for the latter. I would also like to tell my experience with Keychains. I thought I had found my favourite password manager but I was bloody wrong! It is very nice and friendly but as far as you don't touch anything manually. I lost more than a hundred of my passwords twice! I couldn't believe! What do I use now? The lovely passwordstore and there's nothing I worry about again.

So what did I do next? Went for my favourite brand, Lenovo. I bought an X1 Carbon Gen 7 (2019) and am enjoying my setup more than ever. What OS did I pick?
Windows? I never liked, but I do always respect and can unbelievebly defend it when a newbie geek tries to bully a Windows user or insult Microsoft in general. Linux? I had to use it a lot for earning money since nowadays almost everywhere in Iran uses Linux and unfortunately BSD and UNIX operating systems are somewhat forgotten, but I never liked it that much either, I am not even willing to work as a system administrator where I may use Linux, I will probably write a detailed blog post to explain my personal reasons someday. So what other options did I have? I could either go with illumos based systems like OmniOS which is my favourite, or with BSD family operating systems. As an aspiring FreeBSD developer, I decided to stick with my favourite operating system to not only enjoy using it, but also broaden my knowledge and work on it daily. Well, I've never been more satisfied, and believe me or not, I've learnt a lot since I've done this switch.

I will shortly write a detailed technical post about my setup and also something on why you'd better build your desktop from scratch, but now let me just tell you how I feel with it. I am in complete control of my system, I have set it up the way I enjoy and I can anytime change it as I please. I use it the way I love to, not the way the manufacturer does. Security? All in my hand. Tools? Nothing that I miss - stay tuned for my next post (I will then update this one to refer those for your convenience). I'm not restricted by anything but my knowledge which I now must deepen everyday, I am not even bothred by systemd or rapid changes in the Linux world - I know there are distributions without systemd, but let's see how long it will last. Plus, systemd wasn't my only concern.
If you are curious, yes it took me days to prepare my desktop and especially my development environment, but now that it's ready, as I said above, I've never felt more satisfied. It's been a year and I will never look back again. And please don't worry, once you make it, you will document your setup, write scripts, make diffs, and keep your work somewhere safe so you won't spend days next time - not even hours.

The only thing I miss is a good phone, iPhone was my best experience so far. But I don't like to have an iPhone anymomre, I like to work on a personal mobile project whenever I find a good team and when I have enough money to invest. Then, I won't even miss iPhone. All I need is a smart and modern PDA.