Psychologists know what makes someone a creep. A "creep" is a person who makes you feel uncomfortable or vaguely threatened, but who you are obliged to be near for professional or social reasons. You don't like being around him or her, but you can't leave the room because your professional or social situation require that you be there.

By this definition, Apple is a creep.

As a website developer, I'm obliged to work with Safari. Work requires that I be on a Mac.

Recently, I was required to upgrade from MacOS 10 ("Catalina") to 11 ("Big Sur"), as there were new work requirements that could only be met on the new OS. Work had shipped me a very nice vintage 2019 MacBook, and I reasoned that Apple, having control over its own hardware, understood the risks and difficulties of running an upgrade.

I mean, if Ubuntu Linux can make upgrading a whole new kernel and such a seamless operation that takes about 20 minutes and leaves you with a machine that's more or less exactly the same as before, but with one open window that tells you what was upgraded and what new features are available (the new Bluetooth manager is very nice), surely Apple, who have a ton of money and control exactly what hardware their OS is installed on, could be better, right?

The upgrade botched. It froze, which apparently is a problem hundreds of people are having, and it could not be recovered. At one point, it restarted apparently in MacOS 10, and then halfway through my trying to figure out what had changed, it forced me out and gave me a "now in safe mode" log-in. I managed to stay in that mode long enough to back up my hard-drive, and then when I restarted it went right back into "frozen" mode.

And by "frozen," I mean that it had a black screen with the Apple logo and a progress bar, and nothing else. That bar sat in the same location for hours before I gave up.

Linux is very steampunk: sure, you can see the gears and wires, you can see the wheels turning and the electricity flowing, but you can also reach in and change things, fix things, understand and control what's going on. Running Linux, your laptop isn't magical: it's a tool. Truly, a bicycle of the mind, it lets you go further, faster, and know why you're capable.

MacOS is from the Fey: it's very powerful and reliable, but you cannot understand what it's doing and when it goes sour, the magic that your laptop contained becomes vicious and hostile. MacOS has become the magic carpet of the mind and, when things get bad it takes you places you never wanted to go.

Ultimately, Omaha, who understands much more about Mac computers, was able to wipe it clean and do a fresh install. I'm now dealing with the fallout. Big Sur is hostile to any development toolkit that isn't XCode, and I'm having to tell it over and over and over again, "Yes, let Emacs do its thing." Apple doesn't like the GPL of Bash, so it switch to Zsh, which says it's "better than bash" but after wrestling with it for an hour I decided, "Eff you, Apple" and installed Bash myself.

Apple is a creep: its devices have a secretive, abusive personality you're obliged to work with on a regular basis if you have to support Apple users.