Blog Index for September 2017

Is Apple preventing hardware repairs/upgrades for forced obsolescence?

(September 13, 2017)

A couple days ago, Apple unleashed the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus, and iPhone X. These are the new wave of iPhone's with which Apple is expecting to see a huge burst of sales, helping to goose Apple's profits ever higher, pushing Apple's stock price ever higher. The business goal, therefore, is for a large number of us iPhone owners to upgrade to the latest-and-greatest so that we fill Apple's coffers with money propelling Apple's stock price ever higher. Earlier I wrote about a smart way to get the latest and greatest for a fraction of the cost -- simply to delay purchasing the iPhone 8 or iPhone X until 2+ years from now when the price falls to a reasonable level. The contrarian way to save gobs of money on the new iPhone 8 or iPhone X

Apple's plan to force us all into planned obsolescence goes much further than dangling tantalizing new iPhones in front of us. The very design of Apple's product line actively prevents repair, and Apple's service policies mean that Apple's service technicians will not perform board-level repairs but instead push you into more expensive repairs.

The contrarian way to save gobs of money on the new iPhone 8 or iPhone X

(September 12, 2017)

Yesterday, Apple did their best to wow us with their technical prowess and drool over the new features in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The numbering of these devices is even news-making considering that Apple skipped past the iPhone 9. Are you among the throng chomping at the bit to buy one of these new phones? And are you checking your bank account and maybe considering taking out a second mortgage to pay the price?

Let me suggest a way to save a lot of money on these devices in a very straight-forward strategy that is also full of environmental goodness. You might even use this strategy as a way to send a message to Apple that you want an iPhone with a headphone jack.

Scotty, a.k.a. The iPhone Guy, has made awesome videos on iPhone technical innards -- who is he?

(September 11, 2017)

Over the past few months a pair of mind-blowing videos have been made based in the parts markets in China. Scotty, the iPhone Guy, started with the question -- these markets have all kinds of spare parts for iPhones, but can you assemble enough of those parts to build your own iPhone. It took him a few weeks to accomplish the task, but he did so, and that phone works. For the second video, he wanted to add a headphone jack to the iPhone 7, which ended up as a grindingly difficult project that took 17 weeks to finish. But, it works. The question is whether Scotty will only do iPhone projects, what's his motivation, is he going to do more work like this, and so on.

He has a broader plan in mind, to explore other technology hubs, to explore the technology supply chain, and so on. We can expect his work to have great technical depth, going into literal nuts and bolts.

This video is an interview with Scotty as they walk through the building housing those electronics markets.

Why use Google Chrome on Linux versus Chromium or Firefox

(September 3, 2017)

Theoretically Firefox is Free, and especially Free from spyware, whereas with Chrome we do not have the same level of assuredness. Google has a high positive reputation because of the Don't Be Evil mantra, but we're all questioning whether Google has gone to Evil. But if you run Firefox and Chrome side-by-side it's clear that Chrome is far advanced over Firefox. Additionally, Firefox does some bad things. The video has details for you to consider.

Automatically load Live TV & DVR on the Raspberry Pi & HDhomerun & PLEX

(September 3, 2017)

This is update to an earlier video series over getting rid of the Cable TV box, and instead using the HDHomerun box from Silicon Dust. In this update we're shown how to set up a Raspberry Pi running Kodi so it automatically goes into the HDHomerun Kodi Extension. The result feels exactly like a regular Cable TV box at a fraction of the up-front cost and with zero ongoing cost.

Is Apple ruining MacBook Pro or iMac performance with crappy cooling hardware?

(September 2, 2017)

Apple's design mantra is to make ever-thinner computers that weigh less, yet somehow pack in amagingly powerful CPU's and other hardware. Thinner-lighter computers are attractive, for example a MacBook Pro is much easier to carry around than (say) an oversized Dell laptop. But this comes at a cost -- the cooling system sucks. Apple's computers run hotter than computers from other vendors. Intel designed the CPU so that, if the temperature rises too high, the CPU throttles itself. In other words, it's possible that Apple's anemic cooling hardware makes it impossible to reap the full benefit of the CPU.

It's bad enough that since 2013 Apple began soldering memory chips to the logic boards making it impossible to upgrade/replace memory, and at the same time charge a rip-off price for memory.