Marco Arment, co-founder of Tumblr, on the new MacBook: "I’m returning this."

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Alternate title:
Man buys computer and returns it.

Is it just me, or has Marco gotten more… grumpy?


Your alternate title fails to acknowledge this man is Famous on the Internet, and therefore his opinions are important.


Yeah, I probably should have just gone with:
Man has opinion about computer.


What this really says, and Marco basically admits it up front, is that he made a dumb impulse buy.

This is a computer, not a pack of gum. Do some homework first and quitcherbitchen.


I haven’t had hands-on with the new Macbooks, but this seems to be a laundry list of the exact reasons I suspected I’d hate it. Nice to see them confirmed.

Late last year I grabbed one of the of the older-model unibody 13" MacBook pros, which Apple still sells BTO. I stuffed a Core i7 in there and 16GB of aftermarket RAM. I can’t have a retina display, but I do have a MacBook that’s a workhorse, and not a fancy looking, underpowered, ergonomic nightmare. Get your act back together, Apple.

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No, what it says is that a company known for well tested, well designed solid products has become so big that they think they can produce & sell any rubbish. And frustratingly, history tells us for a while they can. But then they could look at the Detroit Automotive industry and see the future.

I have just had two weeks of Apple customer service nightmare trying to set up my email account on my new mac book air & I was not only ready to return it I was ready to throw it in someone’s face, except that all those I actually got to speak to were minions with no power so it would have been a waste of energy–as the message would have never arrived to the addressee.

I was punished for having the audacity of not using an apple email and insisting on my old account. Idiotic pre-settings …

My husband on the other hand is still using his 10 year old MacBook Pro & he works in the film industry–that is a machine created to last and work …


Easy there.
Just because a machine doesn’t conform to the needs or wants of a single person (or a group, for that matter) doesn’t mean it’s a bad machine.
My read on the 12" is that it’s a niche market- a lot like the original Air 13". If you’re not in that niche, it isn’t for you. And that’s not a condemnation of the hardware- it’s like buying a Porsche and complaining that it doesn’t handle all that well offroad. And yes, I know Porsche actually has a offroad racing history.


Keyboard, trackpad, size, speed, screen running at non-native resolution: all the result of a clash between Apple design choices and MA’s personal preferences/needs.

Personally, I have no use for Apple products or philosophy, but this was just a careless impulse buy.


Everything else I’ve heard about the new MacBook is overwhelmingly positive. MA is most definitely in the minority. If he doesn’t like his laptop for various reasons, well, okay, but I’m not sure why I should care.

I hate typing on it, I hate the trackpad, it’s slower than I expected, the screen is noticeably blurry from non-native scaling to get reasonable screen space, and I don’t even find it very comfortable to use in my lap because it’s too small.

screen resolution is only 1154x720 (but doubled). Most of the people who piss and moan about 1080p are complaining about a vertical resolution of less than 1200 pixels. With just over half of what’s “reasonable”, of course it will feel cramped. (My main screen is 16001050, supplemented by a 19201080 screen for overflow. Because so much of my “workflow” involves working with several documents simultaneously, the superwide (but short) desktop works for me.)

Moving the dock to the side can only do so much.

My issue primarily is not with the machine but the awful customer service…

p.s. I am bit confused. you joined an hour ago to tell us all about the wonders of Apple, really is it so close to your heart?

Joined Nov 18, '13

The “Hour Ago” is my last post.

And no, I have no dying love of Apple.

Each to their own. My partner loves her MacBook - it’s light her main reason for wanting it, she doesn’t want an iPad. She loves the ‘clicky’ keyboard, her words - It’s fast (her previous was from 2006) and she never, ever, plugs anything in, so no need for the adapter. I doubt it’ll ever leave the house. She’ll also never read Marco’s views or know who he is, or care.

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In other news, Tumblr doesn’t meet every single person’s needs, nor has it ever, nor has any product or website ever. If Arment thought that he could buy a radically different product sight unseen, and have it satisfy his needs exactly as well as the old model, well, good luck with that purchase philosophy in the future, guy.


I’d wager many of us fall in to that same trap. The run-up to release brings lots of attention and press for many new products. We read the previews, the specs, the expert opinions and on release day there we are, card in hand, ready to buy before we even try. I’ve been burned by excitement too and I did the same thing. I blamed the product for not meeting my expectations instead of doing the sane and rational thing and waiting a bit, trying it out, and making an informed decision. Pride is a heck of a thing.

Everything I’ve heard about the new MacBook while standing in line at the Apple store is overwhelmingly positive.


One clarification: Marco Arment is not a co-founder of Tumblr.

It’s a shame, but sounds like he was just hired or got some stock as CTO. Not a co-founder.

“I won’t make yacht-and-helicopter money from the acquisition, and I won’t be switching to dedicated day and night iPhones,” Marco Arment, Tumblr’s first lead developer, wrote in a blog post. “But as long as I manage investments properly and don’t spend recklessly, Tumblr has given my family a strong safety net and given me the freedom to work on whatever I want. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.”

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Tumblr doesn’t try, either.

Like many other sites, including BoingBoing, Tumblr has buttons which disappear when users set our own fonts and sizes. But Tumblr has the habit of dropping some buttons and moving others after updates, and that screws things up.

Like many other sites, including BoingBoing, Tumblr enables animated gifs. And they introduced native video support which broke video-blocking tools.

Inkstand has at least promised to try.

Apple seems to try, but doesn’t seem to get that customizability can be a good thing and an accessibility tool and that limited customizability can be an accessibility barrier. But aside from the magic painpad, Apple tends to have more accessible hardware and/or more accessible driver integration than the Toshiba and the Sony I tried to use with non-Unity Ubuntu.

Hard not to imagine that this lack of attention to detail plays a large part in nojaboja’s tech support issues.

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