GiveUpApple.html 15 KB

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  19. <title>Why you should give up Apple products and try these</title>
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  86. <header>
  87. <h1 class="p-name">Why you should give up Apple products and try these</h1>
  88. </header>
  89. <section data-field="subtitle" class="p-summary">
  90. Most computers we use, be it phones, notebooks or desktops are proprietary. That means the people/companies who
  91. developed them have…
  92. </section>
  93. <section data-field="description" class="p-summary">
  94. Give up proprietary computers
  95. </section>
  96. <section data-field="body" class="e-content">
  97. <section name="1412" class="section section--body section--first section--last">
  98. <div class="section-divider">
  99. <hr class="section-divider">
  100. </div>
  101. <div class="section-content">
  102. <div class="section-inner sectionLayout--insetColumn">
  103. <h3 name="ae3b" id="ae3b" class="graf graf--h3 graf--leading graf--title">Why you should give up Apple
  104. products and try these instead</h3>
  105. <p name="a828" id="a828" class="graf graf--p graf-after--h3">Most computers we use, be it phones, notebooks
  106. or desktops are <a href=""
  107. data-href="" class="markup--anchor markup--p-anchor"
  108. rel="noopener" target="_blank">proprietary</a>. That means the people/companies who developed them have
  109. released only the product in the market for users to use and operate but are hesitant in giving out the
  110. specifications, datasheets and design documentation. They say that it is confidential and intellectual
  111. property of the company/individual. Building a computer is not rocket science. Every individual can build
  112. one for their personal use. All it takes is some enthusiasm and willingness to explore beyond the obvious.
  113. </p>
  114. <p name="2ddf" id="2ddf" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p">So, if one were to buy a computer from Apple
  115. (say a MacBook Air) then, one has to use what Apple provides. There are few or no alternatives to spare
  116. components, firmware or software. It is usually termed as a ‘jail’ wherein one is forced to follow the
  117. rules formulated by Apple developers. Tweaking or breaking any code be it hardware or software can
  118. potentially void the warranty and if one chooses to be magnanimous and shares it on internet then, one is
  119. bound to face legal action (depending on how much impact it creates). One has no idea what components were
  120. rigged on to the motherboard. If they fail (most often they do) then, the only option is to replace the
  121. complete motherboard with every component on it. Guess what? The cost of doing this can fetch you a new
  122. computer with similar config! The business model here (I’m guessing) is to build computers that could last
  123. for say a couple of years (or three years maximum, remember they sell you an extended warranty which burns
  124. a hole in the pocket!). Then, components fail and users are forced to buy new one. A classic example of
  125. promoting ‘use and throw’. No reuse or repair. If users had access to the specifications, BIOS firmware
  126. code, design of an Apple computer then, it would have been a much easier process to repair and reuse.
  127. Users would realize that the design of the components are not adhering to any de-facto or de-jure
  128. standards. All the glitter on the external vanishes when the Mac fails to power on and suddenly one
  129. realizes that Apple had sold them an illusion and not a computer.</p>
  130. <p name="c5d5" id="c5d5" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p">So, now the question is if we are not going to
  131. buy a computer from Apple or any other proprietary vendor (there are a lot of them but I won’t name them
  132. as it is an exercise in vanity) then, whom are we going to buy one from? Are we going to build ourselves
  133. one through elaborate research, procurement and assembly? Or choose a vendor who follows open processes
  134. and design which are available for study and inspection freely. There are few such groups or companies
  135. which do this with a motive to liberate the computing for humanity. They allow the user to control every
  136. component and firmware code in the hardware to operating system kernel and applications. Basically, you
  137. know in totality what your computer does and just does what you want it to and nothing less or more. A few
  138. of them such as <a href=""
  139. data-href=""
  140. class="markup--anchor markup--p-anchor" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Libreboot</a>, <a
  141. href="" data-href=""
  142. class="markup--anchor markup--p-anchor" rel="noopener" target="_blank">System76</a> and <a
  143. href="" data-href="" class="markup--anchor markup--p-anchor"
  144. rel="noopener" target="_blank">Purism</a> build servers, desktops, notebooks and even smartphones which
  145. are open and more freedom respecting. If one were looking for an alternative to the ‘i’ products then
  146. perhaps they should consider the above ones, before getting swayed by the massive advertising (such
  147. as — you either have an iPhone or you don’t!) and peer pressure.</p>
  148. <figure name="15a0" id="15a0" class="graf graf--figure graf-after--p">
  149. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder is-locked" style="max-width: 700px; max-height: 394px;">
  150. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder-fill" style="padding-bottom: 56.2%;"></div><img class="graf-image"
  151. data-image-id="1*7t887ym0m2BDQH1xACyPFw.jpeg" data-width="900" data-height="506"
  152. data-is-featured="true" src="assets/img/gnome-purism-librem-5.jpeg">
  153. </div>
  154. <figcaption class="imageCaption"><a href=""
  155. data-href="" class="markup--anchor markup--figure-anchor"
  156. rel="noopener" target="_blank">Librem</a> smartphone by Purism. Photo courtesy —
  157. </figcaption>
  158. </figure>
  159. <figure name="42e1" id="42e1" class="graf graf--figure graf-after--figure">
  160. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder is-locked" style="max-width: 700px; max-height: 426px;">
  161. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder-fill" style="padding-bottom: 60.8%;"></div><img class="graf-image"
  162. data-image-id="1*16EN0KwHGVgFq63EiH8ziA.jpeg" data-width="1000" data-height="608"
  163. src="assets/img/system_76_thelio.jpeg">
  164. </div>
  165. <figcaption class="imageCaption"><a href=""
  166. data-href="" class="markup--anchor markup--figure-anchor" rel="noopener"
  167. target="_blank">System76 desktops</a> with wood finishing. Photo courtesy —
  168. </figcaption>
  169. </figure>
  170. <p name="7a54" id="7a54" class="graf graf--p graf-after--figure">Most processors (by Intel and AMD) come
  171. with Management Engines which are potential <a href=""
  172. data-href="" class="markup--anchor markup--p-anchor"
  173. rel="noopener" target="_blank">back doors</a> to your computers. All it takes is to trigger a remote
  174. command from someone sitting at Intel or AMD to shut off your computer or inject malware into your system
  175. at a much more deeper level (much before you could boot an operating system or technically speaking — much
  176. before the BIOS could start). Libreboot and others make sure that the computers they sell are free from
  177. such hardware back doors. They also use free and open source operating system, BIOS (called Core boot and
  178. its fork the Libreboot) and applications in them. This allows anyone to inspect, validate, change and
  179. share the machine completely (both hardware and software).</p>
  180. <figure name="e1b6" id="e1b6" class="graf graf--figure graf-after--p">
  181. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder is-locked" style="max-width: 667px; max-height: 500px;">
  182. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder-fill" style="padding-bottom: 75%;"></div><img class="graf-image"
  183. data-image-id="1*vqxSRwqJff7uHE75W_r8RA.jpeg" data-width="667" data-height="500"
  184. src="assets/img/x200-tablet_02.jpeg">
  185. </div>
  186. <figcaption class="imageCaption"><a href=""
  187. data-href="" class="markup--anchor markup--figure-anchor"
  188. rel="noopener" target="_blank">Libreboot X200S tablet/notebook</a>. Photo courtesy —
  189. </figcaption>
  190. </figure>
  191. <p name="02a4" id="02a4" class="graf graf--p graf-after--figure graf--trailing">One might argue with a
  192. different analogy here. Let’s take the example of your favorite dish served at a restaurant. The chef and
  193. the restaurant management might say that the recipe is their trade secret and intellectual property.
  194. Giving it out means that there would be lesser foodies at their restaurant. Other restaurants might use it
  195. to bring up more competition. One chef or restaurant owner may also try to sue a person in court for
  196. having replicated the dish on their own. Well all of these are churlish, myopic and quick-on-the-buck
  197. strategies for hubris engulfed narcissists. What they are missing here is when they share the recipe, they
  198. are also sharing knowledge (Remember — <em class="markup--em markup--p-em">Sharing is caring</em>). To use
  199. that recipe to have the exact same taste and aroma is more of an art mastered by someone over years of
  200. practice. The recipe isn’t the only <em class="markup--em markup--p-em">raison d’etre</em> for a
  201. restaurant. Or its success or failure. It involves a lot of other factors such as pricing, service, hours
  202. of operation, delivery etc. Now, coming back to computer manufacturers, there are a lot of factors which
  203. affect their existence in market as well, much similar to a restaurant. In fact, one of the positives in
  204. making programs and hardware open is this that they are bound to attract more enthusiasts, developers and
  205. hobbyists who can contribute and promote these computers. Every user of the computer would now know how it
  206. <i>actually</i> works, repair them at their own convenience, add and remove hardware and software components, and
  207. in essence use it “just the way they like”. These computers would no longer be termed as ‘jails’ but
  208. instead ‘gateways’ for vibrant possibilities.</p>
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