Weeknote, 27th November 2022

My notebook, like my week, is blank. This is not a good sign: when there’s nothing scrawled there other than work notes, it indicates my life is moving slightly out of kilter.

That truth is piled all around me in books unread, mugs unwashed, and food left uncooked. It’s there in the MacBook Pro near me, still lurking on the to-do list as “fix MacBook Pro” a good month after it first gave me a random “cryptographic error”. Thank you, Apple, for making things stupidly easy when they go well and stupidly complex when they go wrong.

I keep reminding myself that my inability to fix it isn’t due to age finally stopping me from taking in new information and understanding fresh technology. It’s simply that Apple, and most other companies, have put people being able to fix their own technology at the bottom of a long list of priorities. I suspect it’s just underneath “Make sure Tim’s latte is on his desk at 7 am precisely”. And why would anyone want to fix their own Macs? Just visit a Genius Bar, where a friendly blue-shirted barely-trained youth will try and use you to fill his quota of upsell opportunities.

As you may have noticed. I’m slightly out of love with Apple. Less so with the company’s products. I still love my iPad Pro (and wish I could make it my only machine), and I have yet to find an Android phone which didn’t make me want to run back to an iPhone.

But I wish Apple the company would stop acting like greedy assholes and start reading the room. No, Tim, you cannot sustain a 30% cut of app revenue for the rest of the time. No, Tim, you cannot keep building your devices in a way which makes them hard to repair and then pay sneering lip service to making parts available for them. Those days are over, and if you want to preserve the things which are good for customers about the App Store and your products, you need to accept that sooner rather than clinging on till a regulator changes things for you. Call Bill Gates and ask him how long a company takes to recover after regulators take things out of your hands.

Ah, capitalism.

Things I’ve been reading and watching

The final episode of Andor wasn’t quite the finale I had been hoping for, but it was good. The whole series was excellent, and although it’s a cliché to call it “Star Wars for grown-ups”, it is still the best description. It’s a thriller and a spy story rather than a space opera and an excellent example of what happens when you apply a different genre’s set of rules to a world built for another kind of writing.

Things I’ve been writing

I started a new blog just for creative writing. The first was a piece about a child’s Christmas — OK, my Christmas — and the second was about a couple of early memories and my family. The third piece was just something super-short about a sound you don’t hear much anymore: the ticking of a clock.

I like writing fragments like this (I have a tag in Obsidian, where I do most of my short writing, called “fragments”, just for this). Of course, it comes relatively easy to me, unlike plotting which makes me feel like I am pushing a wheelbarrow full of concrete up a hill while the wind and rain come straight down on my face.


  1. Matt J.: @ianbetteridge Repairability is such a major thing for me. My brief experience with Samsung and Google hardware made me appreciate the Apple hardware services (third party service providers). The Pixelbook had terrible support and after the warranty period was over – no support at all. Nothing. Nada. There so much work needing done in mandating 5+ years of hardware support from all manufacturers. And stopping the weasel option of them handing off to the retailer. via dice.camp



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