15-inch MacBook Pro mystery connector connects to special apparatus for emergency data transfer

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 43
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,639member
    g-news said:
    So to remove a socket, they had to add a socket. Makes perfect sense.
    Agreed. If there is some compelling (performance?) reason to do this I wish Apple would communicate such, and perhaps even market based on it, with demonstrable data...? As I recall I have upgraded both RAM & drives in every computer I can remember, most recently creating a Fusion drive on my trusty iMac, and for <$300 bumping my macbook pro to a 1TB SSD, using the HD as a portable... Big performance boosts!
    Totally agreed.   I'm still using a late-2008 MBP where I've changed the battery out twice, upgraded the hard disk twice and upgraded memory, all without any service visit.   Also had the optical drive replaced (by Apple) early on.   That's the way to build a machine.   I would like a new machine, but I am really hesitant to buy the new MBP because I would have to buy it fully topped out since it can't be upgraded later, making it absurdly expensive and because it's the first of its generation, and I see people already reporting problems.  I may just have to hold out another year, but that doesn't resolve the issue that these machines can't be upgraded or easily repaired.   All because Ive has an obsession with thinness and not having any lines in the bottom of the case.   I'm getting a little tired of Apple's anal retentiveness on the wrong issues.    I have an obsession as well, but it's with value, efficiency and usability.   
    icoco3
  • Reply 22 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    zoetmb said:
    g-news said:
    So to remove a socket, they had to add a socket. Makes perfect sense.
    Agreed. If there is some compelling (performance?) reason to do this I wish Apple would communicate such, and perhaps even market based on it, with demonstrable data...? As I recall I have upgraded both RAM & drives in every computer I can remember, most recently creating a Fusion drive on my trusty iMac, and for <$300 bumping my macbook pro to a 1TB SSD, using the HD as a portable... Big performance boosts!
    Totally agreed.   I'm still using a late-2008 MBP where I've changed the battery out twice, upgraded the hard disk twice and upgraded memory, all without any service visit.   Also had the optical drive replaced (by Apple) early on.   That's the way to build a machine.   I would like a new machine, but I am really hesitant to buy the new MBP because I would have to buy it fully topped out since it can't be upgraded later, making it absurdly expensive and because it's the first of its generation, and I see people already reporting problems.  I may just have to hold out another year, but that doesn't resolve the issue that these machines can't be upgraded or easily repaired.   All because Ive has an obsession with thinness and not having any lines in the bottom of the case.   I'm getting a little tired of Apple's anal retentiveness on the wrong issues.    I have an obsession as well, but it's with value, efficiency and usability.   
    1) You'd like a machine with moving components that are considerably more likely to break down?

    2) Let's be clear, if you're still using a 2008 MacBook Pro you have zero interest in a fast, modern machine so you can easily buy yourself an older Mac as a replacement and be fine.

    3) You say you care about efficiency and usability, but if you do anything that requires a modicum of performance to complete a task you're going to fall behind everyone else. What do you have in there, 4GiB of usable RAM on macOS Leopard?

    4) How the fuck is it an obsession with thinness to create the best possible notebook? How is an obsession with thinness to create the fastest SSDs available? I'm not on-board with Apple still be using SATA III in 2016 just so you can easily "upgraded the hard disk twice." Unfortunately, this is the real world which means that for things to get faster with less errors you have to remove weak points, which usually means fewer user-replacable parts. This is not a trend that will ever go the other way.

    5) Why isn't this an issue with the iPhone or iPad, which people spend a lot more time on these devices? Shouldn't those have removable SSDs and RAM, at the very least, if this is so important? Let's keep in mind how the attempts to create modular smartphones have repeatedly failed.
    edited November 2016 Deelrontmayration almacplusplusiqatedo
  • Reply 23 of 43
    Its a reliability thing more than performance. With a socketed SSD you have three possible failure points: the solder connections on the motherboard to attach the socket,  the solder connections between the SSD chips and the board they are attached to and the socket terminals themselves. Soldering the SSD chips directly to the motherboard eliminates two of these.

    Then there's the freedom Apple gets in how the SSD chips are mounted. They may be able to extract additional performance based on routing of the signal lines and their proximity to the processor/bridge. There's also cooling to consider. Mounting directly to the motherboard would cool better than a separate board that's plugged into a socket. And based on tests of similar SSDs (the M.2 form factor that's becoming popular on desktops) that all show thermal throttling, then any extra coooling you can provide is important. 

    So multiple benefits with only a single drawback (user repair ability). I'm sure Apple knows the predicted failure rate for their SSDs and how often they would need to replace an entire motherboard for a failed SSD. And based on this they made an engineering decision to solder the SSD.
    I think the negativity surrounding the new MBP is getting hysterical. Anyone who has worked around mobile kit will tell you how the hardware designers view sockets (think vibration testing) and ericthehalfbee has summarised it well above.

    So Apple designed its mobile computer with an improvement that does have a downside (it's hard to extract the data from a broken unit) - so they fixed the downside. That's a Good Thing for which they deserve praise (it sure beats an after-the-event lecture on the importance of back-ups).

    Is it a security risk? Well, it's exactly the same risk as you run if the drive is removable, except in this case the equipment then needed to read the data will be less common. And no, it won't compromise any disk encryption differently either. If the bits are encrypted then the bits are encrypted. You need the key, just like when the SSD was socketed.
    edited November 2016 Deelrontmayration alSolimacplusplus
  • Reply 24 of 43
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    g-news said:
    So to remove a socket, they had to add a socket. Makes perfect sense.
    Agreed. If there is some compelling (performance?) reason to do this I wish Apple would communicate such, and perhaps even market based on it, with demonstrable data...? As I recall I have upgraded both RAM & drives in every computer I can remember, most recently creating a Fusion drive on my trusty iMac, and for <$300 bumping my macbook pro to a 1TB SSD, using the HD as a portable... Big performance boosts!</div>
    Yes, there is a compelling reason. The data transfer rate is much higher using the PCI-e bus vs. what a standard SATA3 would deliver, but not as high as it will be when the storage component interconnect is updated next year (cutting edge hardware limit). Apple Insider filed an article about this a few weeks back.
  • Reply 25 of 43

    That concept works on IPhones & IPads because the need for extreme portability trumps the need to protect user data -- and besides, those devices don't contain volatile user data (mostly just pictures).   But, can it work on a laptop where a user depends on the integrity of the data?

    The answer is obvious:  automatic online backups to the ICloud.
    ...  But then:   Why not just store the data in the ICloud?   (Ooops!  Google already thought of that.  It's called "Chromebook"!)
    ......... I think the next 5-10 years should be an interesting evolution....

    macOS Sierra already stores the data in the iCloud.
  • Reply 26 of 43
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member

    Apple gets 1 point for thinking ahead to computer failure (due to software or hardware corruption).
    Apple loses 2 points for making hardware non-upgradeable.
    Apple loses  3 points for tying user data not only to the operating system & software but to the hardware itself.

    I key IBM philosophy from the 80's was to keep software (be it OS or programs) separate from the data and never, ever mix the two.  It worked.  It made their mission critical business systems pretty much bullet proof.

    BUT:  A failure of ALL PC OS's (except OS/2) has been to mix the software and the data -- so when the software gets corrupted you lose both software and data.   The trouble is:  software can always be replaced.   User data cannot.

    Now Apple is compounding the problem by mixing software and hardware and user data....   When one fails they all fail.
    ...  The mystery socket is a rather weak work around for a weak design.

    That concept works on IPhones & IPads because the need for extreme portability trumps the need to protect user data -- and besides, those devices don't contain volatile user data (mostly just pictures).   But, can it work on a laptop where a user depends on the integrity of the data?

    The answer is obvious:  automatic online backups to the ICloud.
    ...  But then:   Why not just store the data in the ICloud?   (Ooops!  Google already thought of that.  It's called "Chromebook"!)
    ......... I think the next 5-10 years should be an interesting evolution....

    Then all OS vendors (except IBM’s OS/2) are guilty of storing user data with programs by default. Since most laptops only ship with 1 drive, everyone is guilty. The fact that the storage is soldered to the board doesn’t significantly change the difficulty of extracting data if a MoBo component fails—the only actual difference is in expense of repairs & barring non-authorized service which is just -2 points according to your tally. So, really Apple’s total is more like -1 for forward thinking, but soldering everything to the board.
  • Reply 27 of 43
    zoetmb said:
    g-news said:
    So to remove a socket, they had to add a socket. Makes perfect sense.
    Agreed. If there is some compelling (performance?) reason to do this I wish Apple would communicate such, and perhaps even market based on it, with demonstrable data...? As I recall I have upgraded both RAM & drives in every computer I can remember, most recently creating a Fusion drive on my trusty iMac, and for <$300 bumping my macbook pro to a 1TB SSD, using the HD as a portable... Big performance boosts!
    Totally agreed.   I'm still using a late-2008 MBP where I've changed the battery out twice, upgraded the hard disk twice and upgraded memory, all without any service visit.   Also had the optical drive replaced (by Apple) early on.   That's the way to build a machine.   I would like a new machine, but I am really hesitant to buy the new MBP because I would have to buy it fully topped out since it can't be upgraded later, making it absurdly expensive and because it's the first of its generation, and I see people already reporting problems.  I may just have to hold out another year, but that doesn't resolve the issue that these machines can't be upgraded or easily repaired.   All because Ive has an obsession with thinness and not having any lines in the bottom of the case.   I'm getting a little tired of Apple's anal retentiveness on the wrong issues.    I have an obsession as well, but it's with value, efficiency and usability.   
    Apple has only one obsession with: the heat. Your thick upgradable and user reparable notebook would burn, dude... A thin computer cools down much faster. We've already seen Macbook Pro examples some 5 years ago (Apple offered free logic board replacements because of the loosened GPU). And prior to those, some in the PowerPC era. And the heat was the main reason for switching from PowerPC to Intel: IBM was not interested in developing low power variants of PowerPC. 128GB USB 3 flash disk is $30. If you want faster and more storage, SSD with Thunderbolt 3 is $600 a terabyte and Apple already offers BTO options for the SSD as well. For RAM upgrade, sorry but you are not qualified to do that: there is no removable variant of LPDDR3 RAM. Your previous upgraded RAMs were not LPDDR3 and those machines heat up like hell.

    For the curious:
    https://www.quora.com/What-can-I-do-with-a-burnt-out-iBook-G4
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 28 of 43
    fallenjt said:
    The question is: does MBP ever need repairs? 
    My bricked Early 2008 sitting in the basement would agree, but it’s bricked. Thanks, nVidia.
  • Reply 29 of 43
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    rob53 said:
    I'm wondering how easy it will be for the FBI to get the necessary components to do their own cloning of "terrorist" computers. Time to make sure Apple provides unbreakable encryption on the new Touch ID MacBook Pros. 
    I'm wondering whether Apple actually "won" its access argument with the FBI...
    Maybe I'm just a little extra cynical after product offers started inserting themselves on my daily calendars recently,
    under my iCloud address which I never use, despite my never having done business with the senders...
    And I have no way to block or delete them.  May not seem exactly on-point, but concerns access and security...
  • Reply 30 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    fallenjt said:
    The question is: does MBP ever need repairs? 
    My bricked Early 2008 sitting in the basement would agree, but it’s bricked. Thanks, nVidia.
    The biggest logic board problem is the dGPU and yet no one seems to complain that they don't use socketed discreet GPUs.
    macplusplusmacxpressericthehalfbee
  • Reply 31 of 43
    boredumb said:
    rob53 said:
    I'm wondering how easy it will be for the FBI to get the necessary components to do their own cloning of "terrorist" computers. Time to make sure Apple provides unbreakable encryption on the new Touch ID MacBook Pros. 
    I'm wondering whether Apple actually "won" its access argument with the FBI...
    Maybe I'm just a little extra cynical after product offers started inserting themselves on my daily calendars recently,
    under my iCloud address which I never use, despite my never having done business with the senders...
    And I have no way to block or delete them.  May not seem exactly on-point, but concerns access and security...
    Disable "Add invitations to Calendar" in Mail / Preferences by setting it to Never.
  • Reply 32 of 43
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,280member
    boredumb said:
    rob53 said:
    I'm wondering how easy it will be for the FBI to get the necessary components to do their own cloning of "terrorist" computers. Time to make sure Apple provides unbreakable encryption on the new Touch ID MacBook Pros. 
    I'm wondering whether Apple actually "won" its access argument with the FBI...
    Maybe I'm just a little extra cynical after product offers started inserting themselves on my daily calendars recently,
    under my iCloud address which I never use, despite my never having done business with the senders...
    And I have no way to block or delete them.  May not seem exactly on-point, but concerns access and security...
    Disable "Add invitations to Calendar" in Mail / Preferences by setting it to Never.
    Which sucks as a solution for all of us who regularly receive invites to jobs, rehearsals, and other shared events as part of our profession. When you log into iCloud online, there is a preference setting in calendar to allow you to receive invites per email, rather than in-app. That requires you to click on a link to join an event, but it also allows you to just delete unwanted invites as spam without acknowledging receipt by denying the invitiation.
  • Reply 33 of 43
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,280member
    boredumb said:
    rob53 said:
    I'm wondering how easy it will be for the FBI to get the necessary components to do their own cloning of "terrorist" computers. Time to make sure Apple provides unbreakable encryption on the new Touch ID MacBook Pros. 
    I'm wondering whether Apple actually "won" its access argument with the FBI...
    Maybe I'm just a little extra cynical after product offers started inserting themselves on my daily calendars recently,
    under my iCloud address which I never use, despite my never having done business with the senders...
    And I have no way to block or delete them.  May not seem exactly on-point, but concerns access and security...
    Disable "Add invitations to Calendar" in Mail / Preferences by setting it to Never.
    Which sucks as a solution for all of us who regularly receive invites to jobs, rehearsals, and other shared events as part of our profession. When you log into iCloud online, there is a preference setting in calendar to allow you to receive invites per email, rather than in-app. That requires you to click on a link to join an event, but it also allows you to just delete unwanted invites as spam without acknowledging receipt by denying the invitiation.
  • Reply 34 of 43
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    boredumb said:
    rob53 said:
    I'm wondering how easy it will be for the FBI to get the necessary components to do their own cloning of "terrorist" computers. Time to make sure Apple provides unbreakable encryption on the new Touch ID MacBook Pros. 
    I'm wondering whether Apple actually "won" its access argument with the FBI...
    Maybe I'm just a little extra cynical after product offers started inserting themselves on my daily calendars recently,
    under my iCloud address which I never use, despite my never having done business with the senders...
    And I have no way to block or delete them.  May not seem exactly on-point, but concerns access and security...
    Disable "Add invitations to Calendar" in Mail / Preferences by setting it to Never.
    Thanks for the suggestion - I did (and still do) have mail prefs set that way, but,
    as these "offers" were not coming into  email in the first place, they aren't affected by mail settings.
    I appreciate the response, though!
  • Reply 35 of 43
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member

    spheric said:
    That requires you to click on a link to join an event, but it also allows you to just delete unwanted invites as spam without acknowledging receipt by denying the invitiation.
    Thanks, yes, that faux acknowledgement aspect is bothering me too.  I have also set iCloud prefs your way, but, having done so, haven't yet received any new "offers" to see how it's working.  It's possible that I already have a rule in mail for blocking these same cretins, but those so rarely work anyway, because of the ambiguity in headers of who the real sender is...I'm starting to feel nostalgic for the days when you could just write "not at this address" on a paper envelope, and let the letter carrier deal with it!

    (Oh, and, btw, sorry to drag this thread a bit off-topic!)
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 36 of 43
    I wonder if Apple first removes the spyware from the hard drive manufacturer's supplied drives then seals into the mac, so users can't replace with drives with pre-installed spyware.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 37 of 43
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,474member
    irevolt said:
    I wonder if Apple first removes the spyware from the hard drive manufacturer's supplied drives then seals into the mac, so users can't replace with drives with pre-installed spyware.
    I wonder if you could provide any facts surrounding your statement.  You can make it, just substantiate it.
  • Reply 38 of 43
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,280member
    icoco3 said:
    irevolt said:
    I wonder if Apple first removes the spyware from the hard drive manufacturer's supplied drives then seals into the mac, so users can't replace with drives with pre-installed spyware.
    I wonder if you could provide any facts surrounding your statement.  You can make it, just substantiate it.
    Google gives plenty of hits, mostly linked to a Kaspersky report on NSA drive firmware infections from February 2015. 

    Read this for the what, the where, and the how:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/17/kaspersky_labs_equation_group/

    Holy shit.  :o

    I'd think that Apple building its own custom controller that is NOT off the shelf and would first need to be reëngineered would give some measure of protection against precisely this attack vector…? 
  • Reply 39 of 43
    rob53 said:
    I'm wondering how easy it will be for the FBI to get the necessary components to do their own cloning of "terrorist" computers. Time to make sure Apple provides unbreakable encryption on the new Touch ID MacBook Pros. 
    Just never use your fingerprint to unlock anything, ever. For Apple Pay this is not be an issue.
    edited November 2016
  • Reply 40 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    rob53 said:
    I'm wondering how easy it will be for the FBI to get the necessary components to do their own cloning of "terrorist" computers. Time to make sure Apple provides unbreakable encryption on the new Touch ID MacBook Pros. 
    Just never use your fingerprint to unlock anything, ever.
    Why not when Touch ID is designed for convenience as your password is still used for primary authentication?
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