9 votes

Users are losing out against Big Sur’s sealed System

14 comments

  1. [12]
    joplin
    Link
    This seems like a no-win situation for Apple. When they waited and put more updates together, bloggers complained that it was too long between updates. Now that they aren't waiting, it's "too many...

    This seems like a no-win situation for Apple. When they waited and put more updates together, bloggers complained that it was too long between updates. Now that they aren't waiting, it's "too many updates". As for the file sizes and wait times, some could probably be minimized, but one of the reasons they include all the pieces they do is because there are users that use the same disk on multiple machines. So if you update the system while running on your Intel iMac, and then later try to boot your M1-based MacMini off the same disk, you want it to just work. If they don't include all the pieces for both machines, then users get confused about why one system boots and the other one doesn't. If they add options to download what you need, then users are overwhelmed with options and don't know what they should pick. Given that a lot of the downloading and prep-work is done while you're doing other things on your computer, they've probably hit a pretty good sweet-spot for trade-offs between including stuff that most users may actually need and trying their best to minimize the amount of time installs and upgrades take.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      vord
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Apple should follow the Ubuntu model: Major releases every 6 months, consistently. LTS releases every 2 years to insure stability for those that need it. If it works for a free product with the...

      Apple should follow the Ubuntu model: Major releases every 6 months, consistently. LTS releases every 2 years to insure stability for those that need it. If it works for a free product with the small and highly fragmented community of desktop Linux, it can work for Apple.

      10 votes
      1. NoblePath
        Link Parent
        It is kinda like that. Prior releases continue to receive updates for three release versions or so. I think high Sierra is still getting updates, for sure mojave and catalina are.

        It is kinda like that. Prior releases continue to receive updates for three release versions or so. I think high Sierra is still getting updates, for sure mojave and catalina are.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      frostycakes
      Link Parent
      How many people are booting multiple machines off of the same external disk though, who have a mix of x86 and ARM Macs? That's a userbase that should both be a tiny percentage of their userbase,...

      How many people are booting multiple machines off of the same external disk though, who have a mix of x86 and ARM Macs? That's a userbase that should both be a tiny percentage of their userbase, as well as being technically proficient enough to understand why the disks won't boot on machines with different core architectures. Simple as saying "keep Intel boot disks with Intel Macs, M1 boot disks with M1 Macs". I was still in high school when they did the PPC->Intel switch and have only owned Intel Macs in the past-- were PPC OS X boot disks from Tiger or Leopard capable of booting on Intel machines and vice versa? If they weren't, then it'd be no different than that switch. If it's for programs, why wouldn't just booting off of the internal OS image and running applications off of the mounted drive be a solution?

      As far as immutability adding tons of time to updates, I never noticed Fedora Silverblue (which has a similar read-only system root setup) taking longer than a traditional distro install to update, just the requirement for a reboot if the base system image is modified or updated. Certainly not an increase to the point where it'd generate complaints, at the least.

      4 votes
      1. joplin
        Link Parent
        That was just an example. That group by itself is probably small. But the number of people booting, say, a T2 Mac and a non-T2 Mac is probably significantly larger. And I'm sure there are other...

        How many people are booting multiple machines off of the same external disk though, who have a mix of x86 and ARM Macs?

        That was just an example. That group by itself is probably small. But the number of people booting, say, a T2 Mac and a non-T2 Mac is probably significantly larger. And I'm sure there are other combinations I'm not thinking of.

        were PPC OS X boot disks from Tiger or Leopard capable of booting on Intel machines and vice versa?

        I believe so, but it's been a long time, so I may be remembering incorrectly.

        I never noticed Fedora Silverblue (which has a similar read-only system root setup) taking longer than a traditional distro install to update, just the requirement for a reboot if the base system image is modified or updated.

        Well I'll be honest, I haven't noticed a problem on my Mac, either. I was just laying out one possible reason why Apple does it this way. Apparently it bugs some people.

        2 votes
    3. [5]
      imperialismus
      Link Parent
      At least it isn't Windows updates... Fuck me but I feel like I'm postponing an update the day after I did a massive update.

      At least it isn't Windows updates... Fuck me but I feel like I'm postponing an update the day after I did a massive update.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        If you think the default is bad, you should give the Windows Insider Program Dev or Beta channels a try if you want to experience some real update schedule pain. ;)

        If you think the default is bad, you should give the Windows Insider Program Dev or Beta channels a try if you want to experience some real update schedule pain. ;)

        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          I entered the insiders program to test out the new terminal when I mainly use windows for gaming at this point, and oh boy was that a mistake.

          I entered the insiders program to test out the new terminal when I mainly use windows for gaming at this point, and oh boy was that a mistake.

          2 votes
        2. [2]
          imperialismus
          Link Parent
          Actually I have and struggled to find out how to turn it off...

          Actually I have and struggled to find out how to turn it off...

    4. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      Your argument seems to be that Apple’s current system is probably close to optimal already. That seems like a strong claim and it would be difficult to prove. Since most Macs are updated over the...

      Your argument seems to be that Apple’s current system is probably close to optimal already. That seems like a strong claim and it would be difficult to prove. Since most Macs are updated over the network these days, I suspect there are likely technical improvements that could be made to avoid downloading unnecessary data and Apple will probably get around to it eventually.

      Disk-based installs could be handled separately.

      1 vote
      1. joplin
        Link Parent
        Not exactly. I'm saying that they are probably doing what they're doing for a reason. I did say I would bet it could be improved: But it isn't unreasonable to think that someone with knowledge of...

        Your argument seems to be that Apple’s current system is probably close to optimal already.

        Not exactly. I'm saying that they are probably doing what they're doing for a reason. I did say I would bet it could be improved:

        As for the file sizes and wait times, some could probably be minimized...

        But it isn't unreasonable to think that someone with knowledge of the situation said, "We've been through many updates before and we know these are common pitfalls. Let's save users frustration and call center costs and include all the pieces that will cover the most use cases we reasonably can." I hear a lot of "why don't they just do x, y, and z?" And I've been on the other end of that type of thinking, and there are usually valid reasons.

        2 votes
  2. novov
    Link
    While I agree with much of what is said in this article, the author's description of "half-hour updates" seems to be a bit of an exaggeration from my experience. My Mac isn't particularly new or...

    While I agree with much of what is said in this article, the author's description of "half-hour updates" seems to be a bit of an exaggeration from my experience. My Mac isn't particularly new or anything either.

    5 votes
  3. Greg
    Link
    That seems a much bigger worry than downloading a couple of unnecessary gigabytes, but it's just kind of slipped in and I didn't see anything else in the article that elaborates on it. What's the...

    Worse still, if you have the misfortune to be running from an external bootable SSD on your M1 Mac, chances are that you can’t even update macOS, and that can apply to Big Sur running in VMs too.

    That seems a much bigger worry than downloading a couple of unnecessary gigabytes, but it's just kind of slipped in and I didn't see anything else in the article that elaborates on it. What's the story there?

    2 votes