These are speed holes. They make the computer go faster.
January 6, 2015 11:15 AM   Subscribe

 
Sorry, but I stopped reading when he said his computer hit 102 degrees one day: "hot enough to boil water". Yeah, right.
posted by easily confused at 11:21 AM on January 6, 2015


Oh, I'll do it.

It just works!
posted by thelonius at 11:23 AM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Considering that there are videos of people literally frying an egg on their CPU, why is a 102 C run temp unbelievable.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:24 AM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's Celsius -- water boils at 100 C, which is also around the temperature that CPU error rates start to increase.
posted by Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra at 11:24 AM on January 6, 2015 [24 favorites]


102C and localized - there's nothing wrong with that statement - 100% plausible.

And Marco Arment (who gave up on his 2011 MBP) says that Apple is losing the functional high ground...
posted by wotsac at 11:25 AM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]




Sorry, but I stopped reading when he said his computer hit 102 degrees one day: "hot enough to boil water". Yeah, right.
posted by easily confused at 2:21 PM on January 6 [+] [!]


Is this what they mean when they say "eponysterical?"
posted by bondcliff at 11:28 AM on January 6, 2015 [47 favorites]


I have the same model. But I got AppleCare.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:37 AM on January 6, 2015


And Marco Arment says that Apple is losing the functional high ground.

Which he now regrets saying.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:39 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is just to say

I drilled holes in
the MacBook
that I use for my gaming

and which
you were probably
planning
to cook eggs on

forgive me
it runs much better now
so far
I think

posted by Mchelly at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2015 [39 favorites]


I'm not gonna read the article, so that I can go on telling myself the drill was to let out the evil spirits afflicting the MacBook.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:46 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm dreading the day my iMac finally gives up the ghost, or at least becomes unsuitable for making music. Because as much as I'd like to go portable, the baggage that comes with MacBooks--soldered-in RAM, heat, eye-watering price--will have me dithering over it until we're all using retinal implants.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:49 AM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I saw this on HackerNews last week and even before I clicked I knew it was about a 2011 MBP with discreet graphics.
posted by wcfields at 11:56 AM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Which he now regrets saying.

Man, the Apple ecosystem is scary. Nowhere in his "regret" post does he actually backtrack on what he said -- IMO, Marco's points were extremely valid, and he's in a better position than most to make those claims. Panic also recently expressed some harsh words about Apple in their year-end report.

Both of these things are pretty notable, because the Apple developer community is famously uncritical.

So, why did Marco regret making his original post? Given that Marco has never seemed to shy away from attention, the reasons offered in his follow-up post ring hollow. Was he afraid that he hurt the community that pays his bills? Is he being harassed by trolls? Is he afraid of retribution from Apple's app-approval cabal?

Also, you can certainly argue that Apple's completely walked away from part of its core user-base. While it might be marginally-understandable that the company has continued its decades-long trend of being deaf to the needs of business users, Apple basically left iWork to rot, and completely abandoned its base of "creative professionals," with the abandonment and decline of Aperture and Final Cut.
posted by schmod at 12:03 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I read the whole saga, 1970s Antihero. Did he say it as well as it could be said? No. Did his post get abused by a lot people for their own purposes? Yep. Would most of the Mac nerds I've follow on Twitter cosign a slightly revised article? Yep. Does the subservience of function to form that led to a guy reflowing the solder on his MBP for the N+1th time play into the faint queasiness behind this sentiment? At least a bit.

Not that Apple hasn't been releasing the occasional hardware dog ever since the Apple (drop it on the desk from a few inches and see if that reseats the chips) 3.
posted by wotsac at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2015


The funny thing about this is Apple's famous for making excellent hardware with, among other things, excellent cooling. I've certainly been impressed with the various laptops and iMacs I've bought from them. I didn't know the early 2011 MacBook Pros were turkeys.

Marco's post about Apple's software problems is right on point, and struck a nerve because it said something a lot of us have been saying. For me the most infuriating thing is the way MacOS Mavericks broke SMB: they shipped a new SMB2 implementation and it simply does not work right. Yosemite also broke WiFi, and while supposedly 10.10.1 fixed the worst problems I hear people say it's still buggy. iOS 8 had all sorts of new terrible bugs too. Their software process is sloppy.

Hardware and software problems have different causes, so I don't want to make any grand statement about why Apple's products are getting worse. What is apparent is the desktop/laptop competition is no better. Windows hardware is a fucking joke. Windows software is actually pretty reliable, but suffers from bad design and legacy. Maybe 2015 will be the year of Linux on the desktop.
posted by Nelson at 12:10 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Having used Linux on the desktop longer, and with more dedication than MacOS - god forbid.
posted by wotsac at 12:14 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]




The Apple developer community is famously uncritical.

Sorry, but this is a case of [Citation Needed] if there ever was one.

I frequently read harsh criticism of Apple, year after year - much of it deserved, some of it maybe not. Here, for example, is Daniel Jalkut collecting his critiques from 2005, 2006, ... ("Is Apple Evil?", "Fix the Sandbox", "Breach of Trust" - uncritical?)
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:20 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the latest software from Apple has been largely disappointing, and although I really like the new version of Logic, there are evidently bugs that break some people's processes pretty badly. The "pro" market--as noted above with Aperture and Final Cut--is obviously not a priority at all, and I'm also not looking forward to the day when it starts to make sense to switch to Pro Tools.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:22 PM on January 6, 2015


Even Apple's #1 blog cheerleader thinks Marco has a point: "they’ve squandered a lot of trust with their users".
posted by Nelson at 12:31 PM on January 6, 2015


If you want me to read this, somebody's going to have to translate it into Fahrenheit, the system that God intended.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:32 PM on January 6, 2015


VERY HOT.
posted by I-baLL at 12:37 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I would co-sign Marco's article. My biggest beefs right now are:

1.) iTunes sync is BROKEN for large libraries. This is an iOS 8 thing, I think. All I know is the only way I can add new music to my 128GB iPhone 6 is if I uncheck the "sync music" option, sync, and then recheck "sync music." Weee, waiting for 90+ GB of music to load on your iPhone is FUN.

2.) The Music app on the iPhone was broken by either iOS 7 or iOS 8: the sorting is all screwed up now and the only thing I changed was upgrading my OS. Now certain artists sort by first name even though my sort artist tag is last name first, one of my genres now shows three duplicates in the genre view for some reason, and compilations display so wack-a-doodle I don't even know how to describe it. Oh, and here it is TYOOL 2015 and smart playlists still don't live update.

I'd be long gone if the options weren't worse.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


On a more serious note, the 2008 MBPs were definitely defective. I have one sitting under my bed right now, waiting for the day when I either decide to try and bake the motherboard to bring it back to life (it was professionally reflowed once already), or get angry enough to put some "speed holes" in it of the .45 caliber JHP variety.

However, I don't think that it was an exception. I think Apple has been cruising on a lot of unjustified consumer goodwill for a long time. This sort of thing is their M.O., and has been for the last few product generations.

Three of the last four computers I've bought from Apple (one iBook G4, a Power Mac G5, and the aforementioned 2008 MBP) have all had fatal logic board failures that appear to be related to heat.

Naturally, they all failed just outside of warranty, somewhere around the 3-year mark. It is enough to make one very suspicious that they are engineered that way.

Three years doesn't seem to be a reasonable lifespan for a computer anymore; this is not 1996, where things are getting better-faster-cheaper by leaps and bounds every six months. Upgrading computers sucks. Even the most profligate corporate IT departments have moved beyond three years to more like five-year cycles now. But that seems to be Apple's target lifespan, judging by their extended warranty coverage in the few times when they've been forced to step up and admit a design flaw: three years and not a moment longer.

"Raw materials to toxic waste in just 36 short months" seems to be the guiding design principle at work.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:11 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Even Apple's #1 blog cheerleader

I don't know why this place needs to insult Marco Arment, but can we please get off this derail?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:13 PM on January 6, 2015


Three years doesn't seem to be a reasonable lifespan for a computer anymore

I don't doubt your experiences, but just as a point of reference, my 2006 iMac (the first-generation Intel, no less!) is still going strong as a web-browsing machine, and honestly it's still useful for more than that. And I have no complaints about the mid-2011 iMac that replaced it, so far.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:16 PM on January 6, 2015


FWIW, I am writing this on an early 2011 MBP, once deader-than-dead but now reborn. In August it gave up the ghost in exactly the same manner as the one in the article - working one minute, then the black screen of death the next, and no amount of swearing or resetting the SMC could revive it. I'm usually pretty good with strange hardware and software issues, but not this time. I read up on the known issues and fixes with these MBPs and debated reflowing the solder myself, but instead I found a competent and reasonably priced* repair facility that was willing to guarantee their repair work for 12 months.

It took this competent and honest shop three tries to actually fix the problem -- it's a stubborn issue and in the end my MBP required more than just the reflowing of its solder to revive it -- but it does appear to be fixed, really and truly, and I am happy. It's been working without incident for three plus months now, and overall seems much cooler and much more stable than before. And the shop has been fantastic and devoted to standing behind their work, even when I was willing to offer them an out and move on to a newer model.

So, if you have one of these turkeys, experience this issue, don't have any AppleCare left, and don't feel like baking your own logic board in your own oven, know that there are good places out there that can repair these machines for you. The cost in my case was $450 + shipping, or about 20% of the cost of a new MBP. That may not be worth it to everyone, and it sidesteps the issue of Apple's willingness to stand behind these machines years after their warranties expire, but I thought I'd offer my experience as a possible solution in case someone wants to know about other, non-DIY options.

*"Reasonable" obviously means different things to different people, but for me, it was more reasonable to get this one fixed for $450 w/a 12 month warranty on that work than buy a new one (or a new-to-me used one) for 3x to 5x that amount. It is not my intent to shill for the place that worked on mine, but they were good to me and I'd recommend them if you are in need of such a recommendation.
posted by mosk at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Trepanation for computation, natch.
posted by Schadenfreude at 1:41 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know why this place needs to insult Marco Arment

If you look at my link you'll see I was referring to John Gruber as "Apple's #1 blog cheerleader". (And while I'd say that to his face, I'd feel the need to apologize and buy him a beer afterwards.)
posted by Nelson at 1:42 PM on January 6, 2015


Is that Crucial V4 SSD what Apple was shipping in MacBook Pros of that vintage?
posted by lagomorphius at 2:08 PM on January 6, 2015


I ended up providing tech support to a family member with a new Windows 8 machine this Christmas. Tech support is very much not in my job description and in any case we use Windows 7 at work, so I'd never actually seen Windows 8 in person before. Let me tell you, Apple will have to a great deal more than screw up iOS8 and iTunes before I'll go back to Microsoft.

That said, I'm really glad my MBP is a 2010. The scary bulgy battery last month was one thing--at least I didn't have to stick the thing in the oven.
posted by librarylis at 2:17 PM on January 6, 2015


Dang, hipsters need to learn hole layout and locating
posted by Dmenet at 2:52 PM on January 6, 2015


schmod: "Apple basically left iWork to rot, and completely abandoned its base of "creative professionals," with the abandonment and decline of Aperture and Final Cut."

iWork (well, now called just Numbers, Pages, and Keynote) got major updates towards the end of 2013. They're also highly integrated with iCloud.

Aperture is being merged into the new Photos app.

Final Cut Pro X has, after a somewhat rocky start, gotten very good. I know it's used fairly widely at several very large TV stations, and it's been used for feature films now too.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:07 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Drilling holes in computer cases to aid cooling is hardly cutting-edge stuff - people have been doing that for years. But, for god's sake, use a compass to draw a circle and drill the holes around it - that looks like a 2 year-old drilled the holes!

Tech support is very much not in my job description and in any case we use Windows 7 at work, so I'd never actually seen Windows 8 in person before. Let me tell you, Apple will have to a great deal more than screw up iOS8 and iTunes before I'll go back to Microsoft..
Same here. Windows 8 is the abomination that has 'turned' me. My next PC will be a Mac. I'm just totally over trying to figure out an OS that doesn't seem to have any logic in the UI whatsoever.
posted by dg at 3:19 PM on January 6, 2015


I love the multiple "buy a windows machine, install hacked osx on it, problem solved" comments underneath the article. What problem is solved? How many new problems are created? Why don't people understand what problems are?
posted by destructive cactus at 3:22 PM on January 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


Tech support is very much not in my job description and in any case we use Windows 7 at work, so I'd never actually seen Windows 8 in person before. Let me tell you, Apple will have to a great deal more than screw up iOS8 and iTunes before I'll go back to Microsoft.

Yup. I helped set up my boss's wife's Windows 8 laptop, and about five minutes in, I felt a chill, furious calm overtake me and thought, "Never. Never again will I return to Microsoft for my non-work related computing needs." No matter what horrors Apple visits upon iTunes, and ugh iTunes is such a pain nowadays, I don't think anything will be as bad as Windows 8.

Knock on wood, I've been fairly lucky with my Macs. I've got a 2006 white Macbook that is still chugging along as a web browsing machine for my mom (though it did have its hard drive and RAM upgraded sometime in 2009), and my 2012 Macbook Pro has only required a trackpad replacement and that was thanks to my spilling some liquid on it. I'm glad I didn't get one of these 2011 models though.
posted by yasaman at 3:46 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Powerbook 5300: I'll just leave that here. Anyone who experienced the "joy" of these machines in 1996 or so will be wincing involuntarily.

No, I don't forgive, and will never forget:-) I'm sure I contemplated drilling holes in the thing on many occasions, but not for cooling.

[A small sample: imagine teaching "intro to computing" to 100+ first year Arts students, virtually none of whom had even sat in front of a computer before. Imagine three to four freezes per projected lecture, each requiring a 3-4 minute reboot, and a loss of whatever you happened to be working on at the time. Imagine multiple returns for replacement logic boards, faulty RAM, etc etc, all through the semester. Not fun times: apology for the derail!]
posted by pjm at 5:22 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, I am definitely having issues with heating on a mid 2012 Macbook Pro. The fan was replaced just last week and I got fan error with the Apple Hardware Check right now. Did I mention the insane kernal tasking that is surging 200+%. Yeah, there are issues. To be honest, I expected a more nimble machine for the configuration and for the life of me cannot figure out what went wrong.
posted by jadepearl at 7:59 PM on January 6, 2015


I have this model MBP and in the past couple months it has been driving me completely bonkers. I paid for the AppleCare but obviously the clock has run out. I guess I'm completely out of luck.

Oh well. It's only the single most expensive thing I've ever paid for that I rely on every single day to do everything.
posted by Evstar at 8:03 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Windows 8 is fine if you install Classic Shell - I prefer this combination to 7. I've heard that in 8.1 you can make it run like 7 but I haven't bothered.

My experience with two iPods (20 GB 4th gen and 160 GB Classic) has taught me that Apple products have either good hardware and buggy software, or shit hardware with stable software, and that iTunes was programmed by idiots.

My Commodore 64 and Thinkpad X40 still run fine, too.
posted by rfs at 8:08 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


iWork (well, now called just Numbers, Pages, and Keynote) got major updates towards the end of 2013.

The Mac versions were nuked and replaced with ported versions of the iPad app with lots of features missing. The new version can't open most legacy files, and those that it can it silently converts to a new format, likely ruining a lot of formatting in the process. No clear warning was given to users before allowing them to upgrade.

The transition could not have been handled worse, and this is exactly the sort of thing that justifies Marco's article.
posted by grahamparks at 1:44 AM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been using Apple computers since about 1987, so I have a long history with them. Like every computer user, I've had a few hardware problems, but nothing terribly serious. Like my 2009 MacBook, which began to run hot a year ago. But, I'm sure it just needs cleaning. Unfortunately, I have a stripped screw that I can't get out, so I haven't been able to do it myself, and haven't gotten around to taking it in. Bought a new iMac instead.
What I've always hated about Apple is the way it acts as if it knows what's best for you. Sometimes it's right, (removal of floppy, and now, CD drives), and sometimes it's wrong, (iTunes 11+, the push towards so-called cloud computing, and iOS-like interfaces), at least for me. But I've experienced nothing to compare with the problems my Windows-using friends have experienced.
Never, even during the darkest days, have I been tempted to replace my Mac with a Windows box. Oh, I've had them - cheap ones to serve a specialized purpose - but not for my main box. While I like to fiddle with the command line, Linux has nothing on the Mac's GUI. Nevertheless, I don't appreciate where the software seems to be going. I feel like I'm seeing less "insanely great," and more "least worst choice."
posted by sudon't at 9:57 AM on January 7, 2015


Reported by a friend:

gfxCardStatus 1.6 enables 2010 MacBook Pro GPU Switching

Mentioned as a way to gain stability, though originally intended to extend battery life.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:23 AM on January 9, 2015


Is that Crucial V4 SSD what Apple was shipping in MacBook Pros of that vintage?

No, they were pre-SSD-as-standard-option. I think they were available as an extra-cost upgrade if you configured it yourself from Apple, but I don't think they were particularly common (and if you walked in and bought one from an Apple Store I don't think they came like that).

I was about to put an SSD in mine before the fateful day when it went black. It has a fast enough processor in it that, for most typical home/office tasks, it is I/O rather than CPU-bound (or at least was for me). Which makes having to replace it that much more offensive.

As for the platform as a whole, I still have enough of a 'cognitive investment' in Mac OS X that it would pain me to switch to Windows... although I really don't think that Win7 is that bad. (Forcing Win8 on everyone seems like Microsoft is once again shooting themselves in the foot, Windows Vista style; I guess time will tell.)

It is getting hard to find an OS that doesn't, every few years, decide to change a bunch of stuff seemingly just for lulz (aka "elegance" and "simplicity", which is designspeak for "lulz" and "we removed some features that you liked haha" respectively). Apple has its creeping iOSization, Microsoft has Win8/Metro, Ubuntu had the Unity debacle. They all seem to be trying vainly for "one UI to rule them all" (desktop PC, touch, mobile) without realizing that you can't do that without being mediocre at everything.

Eventually I'll just have to grow out the neckbeard and embrace Debian+XFCE, I guess.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:00 PM on January 9, 2015


Spoke too soon. Got the discrete graphics fixed by replacing the logic board and now my integrated graphics card is glitching.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:00 PM on January 9, 2015


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