I’ve got an un-easy feeling
I really like my MacBook Pro, and I’ve finally ecome comfortable with Apple products after decades of being a hater. Heck my current livelihood is tied up in the iOS app store. But sometimes I get a really un-easy feeling. Now is one of those times.
It started with the Mac app store and my fear that the platform would eventually become completely closed like on the iPhone. Then came Lion, and it is only available on the App store. For an OS install that feels very odd, and invokes fears of what do I do if something goes wrong? How do I upgrade hard drives and stuff like that? I’m used to having some sort of recovery disk - not just a recovery partition. But then I consoled myself with the fact that I still had a Snow Leopard boot disk.
Well, this week I actually tried to boot from that disk, and you know what? It doesn’t work! Not a problem with the disk mind you, but now that I have Lion on my Mac it refuses to boot Snow Leopard anymore! - from disc or USB HD. I did some web searching and sure enough, lots of folks are reporting the same thing. So that means that the Lion install changed the boot firmware on my Mac in a way that breaks, (or disables) its ability to boot Snow Leopard. What am I supposed to make of this?
The implications of this are pretty huge - especially if it turns out that this was by design (a very real possibility with Apple). Let alone the fact that, now if something goes wrong with my laptop, I have no choice now but to make a trip to the Apple store. Or the fact that I need to be able to test my code on Snow Leopard as well as Lion, and now I can’t even boot it from my portable drive.
Now Xcode, and it looks like all Apple software is only going to be distributed through the app store. This feels like the equivalent of buying a new car with the hood bolted shut. Sure today you can still install your own software (except for operating systems it seems), but what about in the next version of OS X? I think we all see where this is going.
Hold still… You might feel a little pinch…. It’s just ‘locking you in’.