New Macbooks and Imacs will brick themselves if they think they're being repaired by an independent technician

Originally published at:


With physical access to a Macbook Pro, isn’t it still possible to boot into single-user mode and set the administrator password? If they haven’t closed that hole, then this is not about security.


“Another is security, but I don’t see a security model that doesn’t trust the owner of the device making much sense.”

if you “lose” your phone and someone replaces key components in the chain of security you’re not really the owner any more are you?


Real question here: I hate this behavior from Apple, and I hate Microsoft products too. What is a realistic alternative for a non-coding, non-engineering, pure end-user like myself?


Let me know once you find out, please.


They’re disposable appliances, folks. Get with the program. Buy the insurance.

1 Like

It’s not all evil empire crap, folks.

Uncontrolled hardware is hardware that can be violated, and if you have a security mindset, you have to plug some holes. Getting an auth code to activate a replacement part, especially one on a STOLEN machine, seems to be a reasonable idea.

Counterfeit parts, like batteries, for instance, are potential bombs. The Samsung phones that burst into flames and which were the center of a recall of an entire year’s flagship phone were a fraction of a millimeter too big. Some chickensht outfit in Taiwan sells you a replacement battery for your phone and it explodes in your pocket, who will be screaming at Apple for reparations?

Give it a rest. If you don’t want this hardware, buy a Dell or a classic Blackberry. It’s really that simple.


The manual that came with my Apple ][+ in ~1980 included a complete schematic. Times have changed.


Units with the T2 system don’t do old school single user mode anymore.


Cool. So Apple will be happy to sell authentic OEM parts to repair people, then? No? Then fuck Apple very much, thank you.


Basically, unless and until you’re willing to learn how to build and code it yourself, you need to make friends with someone who can. There’s at least two links elsewhere on describing homemade alternatives to laptops; at this point, they’re very focused work machines and not much use for high end gaming. But if all you need thrm for is work-tasks, they or sonething like them might work for you.
Phones… Sorry, probably the same deal, but with the added complication of figuring out how to connect them to a cellular network.
Wishing anyone and everyone willing to share thrir research on these problems the very best of luck!


Forget it, Jake. It’s Corytown.


Okay, I think you’re being sarcastic, but some won’t so…

Apple Care lasts three years max. After that, if they are willing to repair it (and that’s at their discretion), you pay full price for repairs according to Apple’s tiered repair levels. T4 including things like logic boards and screens can easily run over a thousand dollars on a MacBook Pro, which at that age may be more than the machine is still worth on the used market.

Even in an expensive city like New York or SF, a indie repair shop can do the same repairs at about half what Apple charges. In a cheaper market such as the midwest, it might be half that, or a quarter what Apple charges for the same repair.

That is why Apple wants to freeze you out of being able to use independent repair. It’s an anti-competitive practice that makes them a shit ton of money, and if there’s one thing the world’s first trillion dollar company needs, it’s more fucking money.


Nope, it’s not. Apple’s business model is predicated on forcing consumers to replace their iPhail technology every year, and increasingly the same for laptops. And what do customers get for their money? An ever more impressive array of ever more delicate bells and whistles, amounting to less real increase of performance or value.
Forcing end users to buy shoddy third party parts instead of pricing their products and services at reasonable levels, instead of as much as the market will bear, is part of why I’ll never willingly purchase any Apple product.


Bullshit. The average age of an apple device (most of which are phones) is four years, and the trend line is still increasing.


In general, the most user friendly third-party alternatives are ChomeOS and Ubuntu Linux.

Chromebook: If you’re not using a lot of Windows or Mac specific software like Photoshop, the better alternative is probably ChomeOS. Chromebooks tend to be cheaper and are adequate for a lot of people, but may be too limiting depending on your use case. John Scalzi is an example of a Chromebook convert and occasionally does good reviews of his own machines.

Linux, has come a long way, but still has a more substantial learning curve than Microsoft or Apple which frustrates a lot of users who aren’t already technical. If you do go Linux, I recommend buying a machine with it pre-installed (Lenovo and a few other manufacturers have machines with Linux pre-installed). The reason for this is that one of the biggest hurdles is drivers, and on a machine not built for Linux, you may have trouble finding drivers that work or even need to write your own, which isn’t practical for most people.

Even if you are thinking about a pre-installed Linux machine, I strongly encourage you to spend some time with a borrowed one, as it’s an expensive prospect to get a machine that you may find even more annoying than Windows.




MacOS vs ChromeOS.

So the best options we have are a choice between a massive tech company that remotely bricks three year old hardware with OS updates just because and a massive tech company whose only business model is renting access to your brain for money.

The future is weird.


While I, personally, do update my phone about every 2 years because I can afford it and I want to, I have never once felt “forced” to update my phone.

In fact, every phone I have ever owned except the first one is still in use by someone and functioning fine (except for one where I do not know if the person I gave it to still uses it, but I suspect they don’t just because of the age of the phone.)

This is at least four and possibly five Apple phones over the last ten years all functioning. How are people being forced to update every year? I’ve seen this claimed many times but have no idea how it is supposed to work.

(Corrected spelling error.)

1 Like