Jerome Rasky

Software Engineer

The New MacBook

Posted at — Mar 9, 2015

The new MacBook is pretty cool. This morning, when I was watching the liveblog, their announcement of it being fanless made me immediately suspect that it would be ARM-based. I’m impressed by Intel, and their ability to bring the TDP down enough to not require a fan.

I’m similarly excited about Type C. It’s basically the god-cable that we’ve all always wanted: one that handles power delivery as well as bidirectional, high-bandwidth data delivery. It really fills all the connectivity needs of the laptop, except for analog output.

That being said, it is priced rather high. I know the overall quality of the components is to blame, but it would be nice to have it either be more on par with the performance of the Pro, or more on the price level of the Air.

As an aside, I’m somewhat fearful as the trend of computing is to move to more “secured” devices, and other technologies that have the end result of making it harder to run the OS of my choosing on my computers. I fear that one day I may be restricted to a very large degree on most devices.

I could completely deal with OS X or Windows; both are very good operating systems. The problem is their software packaging: since both are somewhat stable, and applications are more self-contained, everything just ships statically linked, giant binaries. Plus, neither operating system has anything nearing APT, making software management much harder than it has to be. Yes, OS X has the App Store, but it is missing most of the applications that I use on a regular basis.

This, plus desktop Linux is going to be very exciting in the next few years. KDBus is going to land soon, as well as Wayland/Mir/others. Valve is getting serious with SteamOS, and btrfs/systemd/containers are promising some very interesting things in the system management and software packaging areas. It’s just the right time to be using Linux, and having that taken away from me would make me sad.

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