The Talk Show

238: ‘Fort Jason Sudeikis’ With Jason Snell


00:00:00   How are you, Jason?

00:00:01   I'm doing good. I'm doing good. It's been a busy fall.

00:00:05   Apple did a lot of stuff this fall, kept, I think, all of us really busy,

00:00:08   so it's kind of nice to almost relax a little bit at the end of the year.

00:00:13   Yeah, I'm almost at that point.

00:00:14   But I still have, like, a bunch of really good articles,

00:00:17   or at least I think good articles, that I've been meaning to write,

00:00:19   and I really cannot believe that I may not get to them all by the end of the year.

00:00:23   Like, I thought, "This'll be great. I've got—I want to write about this marzipan stuff."

00:00:27   I have a couple of them, but, and they're all still in gestational form. But it's not for lack

00:00:36   of work, and it's not for lack of other things that I have written about, etc. It's just a lot

00:00:41   going on. Well, Apple this year, and a little bit last year, they staggered all their releases,

00:00:46   right? So you got one set of phones, and then the next phone, and then the iPads and the Macs,

00:00:51   and it just was a very stretched out period. So there was like, there's always something else

00:00:56   else happening right around the corner that required sometimes travel, sometimes spending

00:01:03   a lot of time focusing on a particular product and right and then so you know this that you

00:01:07   end up with this just six weeks, eight weeks where you your time kind of isn't your own

00:01:13   because there's always another thing that's popping up.

00:01:16   Yeah, totally. Let's lead with the news, the hot news, which may or may not be. It'll either

00:01:25   be a totally different story by the time this podcast airs. We're recording on Friday, December

00:01:28   21st. I don't expect the show to air till Monday. So who knows what will happen over the weekend.

00:01:35   But there's things I want to say about it that should hold up no matter what happens. But it's

00:01:40   the new Ben Gate with iPad Pros. Oh, yeah. Oh, boy. Oh, boy. So it started, I think, two days ago

00:01:49   with a report at the verge by Chris Welch. And the headline of the piece was,

00:01:57   Apple confirms some iPad pros ship slightly bent, comma, but says it's normal.

00:02:06   And, you know, and he describes reports from people online,

00:02:12   Mac rumors, forums, etc. People with some photographs of iPads that show a slight bend.

00:02:19   And then he claims is the most intriguing part to me is he claims that he purchased a brand new one.

00:02:25   And in retail, and out of the box, it was slightly bent, which, you know, and not to denigrate people

00:02:32   who contribute to the fine forms at Mac rumors and other sites, but it's, you know, it's a lot

00:02:36   more credible than when a byline staff writer at the verge says he's seen it. The headline certainly

00:02:43   certainly didn't help. And he did talk to Apple, but he did not have a quote from Apple.

00:02:52   You know, it's and you and I, again, this is inside baseball, but I think it explains

00:02:56   a lot is, you know, I speak to representatives at Apple PR frequently I have spoken to them

00:03:02   about this particular issue because I had some questions. And for the most part, when

00:03:06   you speak to Apple PR, it is off the record. When you do get something from Apple on the

00:03:12   record. It is, in my experience, always in the form of a very carefully written statement

00:03:19   that they will email to you and tell you, you know, you can attribute this to an Apple

00:03:23   spokesperson and basically they are extremely careful with their words and they want to

00:03:31   get it in writing. And you know, just extemporaneous conversations over the telephone or, or whatever

00:03:39   they know people don't speak as carefully as they do when writing.

00:03:43   I mean, this very podcast is evidence of the same phenomenon.

00:03:47   Exactly.

00:03:48   And so The Verge reached out. They obviously spoke to Apple. Apple said something that

00:03:55   The Verge paraphrased as, you know, that this is, that there's slight bends are normal.

00:04:01   I have a feeling, and I'm not trying to hold this against Chris Welch or The Verge or anybody.

00:04:08   I have a feeling that they didn't use the word normal.

00:04:11   None of the words were in quotes.

00:04:13   I don't have any doubt that it's not an unreasonable

00:04:17   paraphrasing of their summary, but I really, really doubt.

00:04:21   The paraphrasing that The Verge went with

00:04:23   made Apple seem very flippant about the issue.

00:04:25   And I don't, I think people who read that were rightfully,

00:04:29   whether they have a bent iPad Pro or not,

00:04:32   and we should get into,

00:04:35   is this actually a major problem or not?

00:04:37   But even if you don't have a bent one,

00:04:39   it certainly seems like an alarming attitude.

00:04:42   - Yeah, it's the, it reminds me of back

00:04:47   when Apple made its own displays

00:04:49   and there was a certain number of dead pixels

00:04:52   that were allowable.

00:04:55   And it was like, literally,

00:04:56   you'd get a brand new display from Apple,

00:04:58   you take it home and there'd be dead pixels.

00:05:02   And I forget exactly what the policy was.

00:05:03   It was a certain number or in a certain place

00:05:05   within a certain distance from one another. There was a whole thing. But in the end, what

00:05:11   that policy said was, if we have dead pixels in a monitor you bought, it's fine. Even if

00:05:19   you don't think it's fine, trust us, it's fine. And we don't consider that a defect.

00:05:25   Or it's like a discoloration or other some sort of like visible flaw that the and a company

00:05:33   says, "We don't consider that a replaceable issue. It's just, yeah, sure, some of them

00:05:38   have weird flaws and you just have to deal with it." For a premium product, you would

00:05:44   think that the company's attitude should probably be, "If this makes you uncomfortable, bring

00:05:50   it back and we'll give you another one." If they're not saying that, part of me thinks

00:05:54   that they have too many of these that are like this. It's weird because nobody's really

00:06:00   saying that it gets worse, right? It's part of the production process. So the question

00:06:04   is, is this something that they saw in the production process and we're like, Meh, it's

00:06:08   fine. Nobody will notice because I can't believe anybody at Apple would ever say nobody will

00:06:13   notice about anything ever because everything will be noticed. Yeah. And my conversation

00:06:19   with some people at Apple PR yesterday was along those lines of that. They, they don't

00:06:24   think this is, they definitely do not think this is a major issue. They, I think it's

00:06:28   it's probably going to blow over. So I think this conversation is, at this point, I think

00:06:33   it was worth having on the show to talk to you more about how Apple works and how these

00:06:38   things work than this particular issue. We shall see.

00:06:40   - Kind of a time capsule. I also would not be surprised if the end result of this is

00:06:44   Apple releases a statement saying, "If anybody gets something like this and they don't like

00:06:49   it, we will replace it."

00:06:50   - Yeah.

00:06:51   - And just, that's it.

00:06:52   - That would be the next level. So there is actually the closest thing to a statement

00:06:56   I think so far. Somebody emailed Dan Riccio and got an email back. And MacRumors verified

00:07:04   that it looks like it actually came from Dan Riccio. And here's what Dan Riccio said, "Relative

00:07:09   to the issue you referenced regarding the new iPad Pro, its unibody design meets or

00:07:14   exceeds all of Apple's high-quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've

00:07:19   carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured

00:07:24   and controlled. Our current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns,

00:07:31   which is even tighter than previous generations. I think that phrase is interesting. This 400

00:07:37   micron variance is less than half a millimeter, or the width of fewer than four sheets of

00:07:42   paper at most. And this level of flatness won't change during normal use over the lifetime

00:07:47   of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in

00:07:54   anyway. Now I actually have a statement from Apple PR that I haven't published at Daring

00:08:02   Fireball, but it is Dan Riccio obviously is aware of their official statement because

00:08:08   it is extremely close. But anyway, so the thing that Riccio is saying is that their

00:08:17   tolerance for flatness on this iPad is better, higher, tighter, whatever you want to say,

00:08:22   better than previous generations. So however big a variance 400 microns is and it the to

00:08:30   normal scale, I looked it up 400 microns is point four 0.4 millimeters. So is that a lot?

00:08:36   I said this is the thing I don't know. I don't know. Is that a lot? Like if you gave handed

00:08:40   me a brand new iPad that had 400 microns of non flatness, would I be able to would I pick

00:08:47   it up and say, Hey, this iPad is bent? Or is that the sort of thing that like maybe

00:08:51   my iPad is bent a few hundred microns and I don't notice it. I don't know.

00:08:57   Yeah, I have been sitting here, so I have an 11 and a 12.9 iPad Pro sitting in front of me right

00:09:02   now and I've been looking at them and honestly after a while I can't tell like the optical

00:09:08   illusion. I start to see bends that I think aren't there and this has to do with your focal length,

00:09:13   you know, the focus of your eyes and where the stripes are on them, like the cellular antennas,

00:09:19   all of these things kind of feed in and then you kind of lose track. Although our friend,

00:09:25   Dr. Drang, who is an engineer and gets this stuff at a kind of a structural level, did

00:09:32   say to you today, "As devices get thinner, every out of straightness becomes more noticeable."

00:09:37   And I think there's some interesting truth in that, the idea that the thickness of the

00:09:42   device is so much less now that any deviation out of true is more is potentially more noticeable.

00:09:50   I don't know. I mean you put these down. That's the thing about that some of these visible

00:09:54   bends that are in some of these photos on the internet is I look at that and I think

00:09:58   that can't be that can't be four tenths of a millimeter right bend. That's got to be

00:10:02   more than that. That's got to be the kind of thing where Apple should be like yeah where

00:10:07   that's that's not acceptable. It shouldn't have gotten out of our factory and we'll replace

00:10:11   it for you. Yeah, that's what I think with some of the photos. But again, I don't know,

00:10:16   you know, certainly seems like it but it is true that this is the thinnest iPad ever made.

00:10:21   It's only five point so you know, for scale 5.9 millimeters thick overall. The camera

00:10:27   bump is by my measurements with a handy dandy little digital caliber I bought this year,

00:10:33   which is like seriously can't believe I didn't buy one before because it was only like 20

00:10:38   It's a little over two millimeters.

00:10:41   I have it at like 2.1 millimeters,

00:10:43   but you know, one 10th of a millimeters, you know,

00:10:46   who knows?

00:10:48   So we could even call it two millimeters.

00:10:50   But what they're saying is an out of variance

00:10:52   or within acceptable variance and flatness

00:10:55   is like one fifth of the camera bump.

00:10:58   I don't know, that sounds like it could be noticeable.

00:11:01   - I don't know, on a thin product that's very long,

00:11:05   like the long side of the 12.9 model, maybe.

00:11:08   But it is, yeah, this is weird.

00:11:11   One of the things, I mean,

00:11:12   talk about taking it up to like how Apple does things

00:11:15   and looking at it at that level.

00:11:18   This reminds me of some other stuff

00:11:19   where there's an initial reaction

00:11:21   and then there's some investigation

00:11:22   and then there's obviously a policy conversation

00:11:26   that happens inside of Apple

00:11:27   and then a PR conversation that happens inside of Apple.

00:11:31   And sometimes when Apple doesn't have a response,

00:11:33   it's because they are formulating a response, right?

00:11:37   They're figuring it out and they don't want,

00:11:38   I remember with a couple of controversies

00:11:40   in the past few years,

00:11:41   I had those ongoing conversations with Apple

00:11:43   where they're like, I don't have a statement for you yet.

00:11:46   Or I've got this statement, but it's kind of wishy-washy

00:11:48   and we'll work on the next one.

00:11:51   Because yeah, it may be that they don't,

00:11:53   they haven't seen as many of these.

00:11:55   They don't know that they know

00:11:56   what their allowed variance is,

00:11:58   but maybe there's someplace where things

00:11:59   that are more bendy are getting out.

00:12:02   I think what's most interesting to me is the fact that their attitude is that this is just

00:12:06   a cosmetic defect and that it's not going to get worse. It's not that big a deal. That's

00:12:13   good, right? Because I think it's a much bigger story if these things are bending in actual

00:12:18   use and are going to break because then it's a major problem for everybody who bought one.

00:12:24   But if it's just that some of them have a cosmetic defect, probably the right thing

00:12:29   to do though if your Apple is to say yes if you get one bring it back and we'll get you

00:12:34   a one that isn't because that you know if you can notice four tenths of a millimeter

00:12:39   of a variance or beyond then you shouldn't you know we shouldn't make you look at that

00:12:45   on your seven eight nine ten you know thousand dollar product right like it's just just we'll

00:12:50   take it back we want you to be happy yeah and one of the things that ties into this

00:12:54   story is and there's certainly a recurring theme of the last quarter of

00:12:59   Apple products is the prices that they charge and that you have to pay I mean

00:13:04   the iPad Pro is a premium tablet I mean there's no question about it and so that

00:13:09   you know the the a side of the argument is you know just about whether the

00:13:15   prices are too high or are they pricing themselves you know pricing loyal

00:13:18   customers out of their best products etc etc the B side though is that somebody

00:13:23   happily pays the price or even unhappily but pays it certainly has a reasonable expectation

00:13:30   for the cost of an iPad Pro that they're going to be extremely pleased with the way that it looks as

00:13:36   they take it out of the box. Absolutely 100 percent right it's a that comes back to it's a premium

00:13:41   product. Apple is playing in the premium product game here and if you it would be the same as if

00:13:47   people discovered that sometimes the aluminum backs had weird blob colors on them of the

00:13:53   wrong, like the space gray got lighter or darker in patches and it was all patchy. And

00:14:01   Apple would be like, "Nah, it's fine." Like, "No, it's not fine. I paid $1,000 for this

00:14:05   thing and you got blobs on the back and I don't care that it's part of your production

00:14:09   process and that you've determined that this many shades of gray off of space gray is allowable

00:14:15   and that it's not gonna get any worse.

00:14:17   - Right.

00:14:18   - I paid $1,000 for a product that has ugly blobs

00:14:22   on the back and that's not acceptable to me.

00:14:24   - Yeah, it's like when you buy a car, you buy a new car

00:14:28   and you pick out the car and then they wait and it comes

00:14:32   and then the guy says, "Your car's here,"

00:14:33   and then you go, you pick it up.

00:14:35   And then it's like you walk around the car

00:14:39   and you double check that, I'd say it's a brand new car.

00:14:42   You walk around the car and you make sure

00:14:45   everything is just right.

00:14:47   And then you sign off that everything's just right,

00:14:50   they sign off that everything's just right,

00:14:52   and you drive off the lot.

00:14:53   And then Stone hits your windshield or something like that,

00:14:56   and you get a mark, or you're in a parking lot,

00:15:00   somebody dings your door, that's life with a new car.

00:15:04   But you know you didn't get it like that, right?

00:15:08   - Right.

00:15:09   - There wasn't a bend in the door.

00:15:11   Apple can't afford, like a thousand dollar iPad

00:15:13   isn't enough to justify that you get a, let's verify that it's mint one on one with an Apple

00:15:20   specialist as you buy it. And a lot of us prefer to buy mail order rather than, you

00:15:27   know, you know, it's a lot easier just to listen for the doorbell than to go to the

00:15:30   Apple store. So it doesn't quite scale to that sort of thing. And the prices aren't

00:15:34   quite commensurate. You know, a thousand dollar iPad is a lot for a tablet, but it's not a

00:15:38   a $40,000 car. But it's on that spectrum. Like if your $129 Chromebook has a one-millimeter

00:15:47   bend, it's like, well, that's life with a $100 plastic Chromebook.

00:15:51   Yeah. Yeah. Well, that's, yeah, exactly right. Yeah. I'm going to scream bloody murder a

00:15:55   lot less if I'm buying a $300 product than a $1,000 product.

00:15:59   All right. Here is Apple's official statement, which is very similar to what I read from

00:16:04   Dan Riccio is the new iPad Pro with its gorgeous unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's

00:16:10   high quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've carefully engineered

00:16:14   it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled. Our

00:16:20   current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns, which is even tighter

00:16:25   than previous generations. These slight variations do not affect the function of the device in

00:16:29   anyway. So you could see Dan Riccio was involved, was familiar with the preparation of the official

00:16:37   comment. I found it funny that he didn't include the opening line of the new iPad Pro with its

00:16:42   gorgeous unibody design because... Little salesmanship there. Yeah, it's like,

00:16:48   screw that, I'm not selling this thing, but I'm gonna, you know, talk about the precision.

00:16:52   So it does, you know, who knows that? And again, to me, the most interesting part of that is that

00:16:58   it's a tighter tolerance than previous generations. And so who knows, maybe there've been whatever

00:17:03   is going on out there in the field with these things. Maybe it's been going on with iPads

00:17:07   for 10 years and nobody really noticed because until it got this thin with these exact flat

00:17:16   sides, it wasn't noticeable. You know, maybe that, that, that really interesting trick

00:17:22   that they've been using for years to curve the aluminum on the back disguised a significant

00:17:29   amount of non-flatness. And nobody noticed.

00:17:32   Right. And you throw in the existence of a camera bump, and then it's easy to wave things

00:17:38   away as saying, "Well, who can tell because there's this part that sticks out?" So I can't

00:17:43   even tell. Yeah. I mean, the idea that it's down from their previous standard is fascinating,

00:17:49   fascinating, right? So it's like it used to be more than maybe more than half a millimeter

00:17:52   of bend in a run of aluminum. They'd be like, yeah, it's fine. And maybe nobody noticed

00:17:57   and there's just something about this model. I'm still not entirely convinced that these

00:18:02   photos that we're seeing are not items that are beyond Apple standard that somehow got

00:18:07   out there. And that Apple's going to say, yeah, those shouldn't be out there. And if

00:18:13   you can see it and it's that big, then you should get that replaced. That's our failing

00:18:17   on letting that out. Yeah, like maybe I don't know, maybe you would think that if it bent

00:18:22   in transit, you would notice a damaged box. But like I presume that that with a lot of

00:18:29   this stuff and I know with certain components they certainly do. You know, when they check

00:18:33   the they've they've even bragged about it in their product marketing videos about the

00:18:39   the way that they automate, you know, the precision of verifying that the S this component

00:18:43   meets our specs with fancy sensors and stuff like that. I would just presume that the unibody

00:18:49   aluminum is measured for preciseness through a systematic way, let's say.

00:18:57   Right, right. There's actually a test it has to pass and presumably they're testing all

00:19:02   of them or at least, or maybe not, maybe they're testing samples and some can get through or

00:19:09   it wasn't calibrated right because these are very fine measurements that are happening

00:19:13   and some overly bent ones got through. I don't know.

00:19:15   Dave Asprey Right. It's possibly because she's on my

00:19:17   mind because she just passed away, Penny Marshall. But I think of the opening credits of Laverne

00:19:22   and Shirley where they were inspecting bottles of just a linch of beer.

00:19:26   Jeff

00:19:26   And she sticks a glove on the beat and it goes through the whole assembly line with

00:19:31   her rubber glove on it.

00:19:32   Yeah, and there's just hundreds of iPads flying past two people who aren't really

00:19:36   paying attention.

00:19:38   Or it's that I Love Lucy sketch, right, where they're trying to take the candy and

00:19:42   all that and it's just out of hand. And yeah, that's it. The people with the calipers

00:19:46   are on the assembly line trying to measure the iPads. It's like, "Oh, there's too

00:19:49   many iPads."

00:19:50   Right. It takes like two minutes to measure it correctly. And yet they're coming by

00:19:55   at like four per minute. Just like, Oh, God, I'm gonna get fired. They're good. Good. It

00:20:01   looks fine. That one didn't bend. It's fine. I don't know. One thing, too. The other thing

00:20:05   that's interesting when you know Apple, the people at Apple PR, and I think it I think

00:20:12   it's a tremendous advantage that they have being a completely in house team, you know,

00:20:16   and I think one thing other people don't. I think that the industry has sort of moved

00:20:20   moved in Apple's way. But Apple was unique in that way for a long time where most tech

00:20:23   companies used outside PR firms. Oh, yeah. I mean, like we worked with what was a wagon

00:20:30   or Edstrom was Microsoft's PR. Yeah. Or Edelman. Well, well, yeah. So Wag Ed was the PR firm

00:20:37   for Microsoft forever for a long time. And then Edelman, they hired eventually to do

00:20:40   the Mac PR, right? But it was like outside PR, right? Like they would be and you'd have

00:20:46   these back when I was a macro like you'd have these three way email exchanges where it was

00:20:54   like a weird negotiation between you and the company and the PR person which is like yeah

00:21:02   right whereas with Apple it was always my entire time dealing with Apple there was always

00:21:06   inside PR at Apple like that was that was who you dealt with you didn't deal with outside

00:21:10   PR.

00:21:11   Well, one of the reasons that it's an advantage for them is just clarity of communication.

00:21:19   But the other thing is that—and this has happened before, like, you know, these little

00:21:22   mini—I don't even want to call them scandals—kerfuffles, you know, it's certainly not a scandal yet,

00:21:28   but hubbub, whatever you want to call them.

00:21:31   They, you know, part of the reason that they're like, "We're on it, we're looking into it,"

00:21:36   But they do things and they can do things like check with retail and say is this you know

00:21:44   are you guys seeing a an

00:21:47   Unusual number of complaints of customers with new iPad pros with a bend, you know, what's going on? Like they

00:21:54   They're not just guessing, you know

00:21:57   They actually go and double check is is there like an issue that should have raised a red flag that we haven't noticed in the data

00:22:04   of

00:22:06   You know the aggregate issues coming into the Genius Bar and I was told no there is at you know

00:22:11   There's absolutely nothing unusual in their support increase regarding

00:22:15   recent purchasers of iPad pros

00:22:18   So, I don't know what's going on well the problem I say this every time there's a gate right the problem is that

00:22:26   anecdotal

00:22:28   Anecdotes and it's not even anecdotal evidence anecdotes posted on the internet are

00:22:34   very hard to gauge whether it's 0.001%, 0.1%, 1% or 10% of products that are experiencing

00:22:45   any given failure. And Apple ships so many, especially of iPhones, which is when the gates

00:22:51   usually happen, right? The gates open when an iPhone is released. There's so many iPhones

00:22:55   that are sold that even if it's 0.001%, there could be thousands of lemons that Apple has

00:23:04   produced so that it can be it's a tough game like if you produce even a tiny number of

00:23:08   lemons percentage wise and it's a huge product you you know there are bad phones that are

00:23:13   getting out there so for the iPad this is one of those examples where it's like are

00:23:18   there 10 weird bendy iPads out there and one of them happened to go to a Mac rumors reader

00:23:25   are there a thousand but only five people have noticed are there 10,000 like that I

00:23:31   don't know. Like there's no real way to know and you can react and poo-poo it and say,

00:23:36   "But it's probably not a problem." Or you can freak out and say, "Oh my god, all the

00:23:39   iPads are bent." But the truth is somewhere in this range that is an uncomfortably wide

00:23:44   range of it being incredibly minor and the end of the world. And it's hard to tell because

00:23:52   the internet magnifies. If somebody finds something wrong with an Apple product in terms

00:23:56   of its manufacturer and posts it on the internet, it will get amplified, right? It will become

00:24:00   the next potential scandal?

00:24:03   You know what it is? The internet makes something possible that would have been impossible when

00:24:09   you and I were kids. It allows these people to find each other. If there are 50 people

00:24:18   who've received truly defective bent iPad Pros and they're upset about it and they start

00:24:25   Googling 2018 iPad Pro shipped bent. They are going to find each other. Like a query,

00:24:32   you know, like you don't have to be, you know, everybody's kind of gotten good at Googling,

00:24:37   right? You know, right. And also, then you places, you know, you can go like that. People

00:24:42   go to MacRumors or people go to the Apple discussion forums. Like there are certain

00:24:45   places that people are you go. There's a lot of these things, not necessarily for Apple,

00:24:50   but in general, come out of Reddit, right? Because somebody just posts in an interest

00:24:53   group in Reddit about the product that they have a problem with and it kind of goes viral,

00:24:59   which is the that's the trick, right? It's like if it's the right person with the bad

00:25:03   product and there's literally only one, it still can get magnified. Or if there are literally

00:25:09   only five, but there could be 10,000 like you just can't tell.

00:25:13   All right, let me take a break and thank our first sponsor. It's Linode. Now I've been

00:25:19   pronouncing it line node and I know it's a running gag on this show that I pronounce

00:25:23   things wrong. But I've been informed not by them, they haven't complained. But I've been

00:25:29   informed by several people out there in the show that I should be pronouncing it Linode

00:25:32   in the same way that Linux is not Linux.

00:25:36   I'm with you. I had a Linode server for like 10 years and then I got the ad copy and I

00:25:42   discovered that somebody said it's pronounced like Linux. It was actually in my ad copy

00:25:47   for whoever was like Lex Friedman or somebody put it in there and I was like, oh, like I

00:25:52   no idea. You know what, I'm gonna make that a new year's resolution for 2019. Then I'm

00:25:57   gonna need I need all of my ad reads spelled out phonetically phonetically just assume

00:26:01   on your hands everything wrong. It certainly looks like line node. It certainly makes sense

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00:27:30   Something about it makes you unhappy.

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00:27:59   Native SSD search, that's really important.

00:28:02   I know that's the way the whole world's going,

00:28:05   but you don't wanna have an important server

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00:28:07   That's irresponsible.

00:28:08   Go SSD all the way.

00:28:10   Anyway, it's just a great service.

00:28:15   I paid for it.

00:28:16   It is actually what I use.

00:28:18   I would endorse them

00:28:19   even if they weren't sponsoring the show.

00:28:21   That's, they're a great company

00:28:22   with a tremendous reputation and a great support team.

00:28:26   And they're hiring.

00:28:28   So you can go to linode.com/careers

00:28:31   if you are the sort of person who works in a field

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00:28:45   if you're looking for work.

00:28:46   And anyway, here's the deal.

00:28:48   20 buck credit for everybody who listens to the show

00:28:51   by going to linode.com/thetalkshow.

00:28:56   And then the promo code, that's not quite enough.

00:28:59   The promo code you gotta remember is talkshow2018.

00:29:02   T-A-L-K-S-H-O-W 2018.

00:29:06   My thanks to Linode, great sponsor, great company. I sold t-shirts last week.

00:29:15   I saw that.

00:29:16   Hoodies too. Everybody's getting them. It's always exciting to me. The part where you're

00:29:21   selling them is more, I mean, it's nice and, you know, like I have my little email set

00:29:27   up to, like it's a trick I learned from Jim Kudol. I don't know if they still do it because

00:29:32   Field Notes has gotten so big, but Kudol had a thing set up at Field Notes so that when

00:29:36   everybody, whenever somebody bought field notes, it played its specific sound. I think

00:29:41   it was just a simple mail filter, but it's like that sound was one thing and one thing

00:29:45   only, which was a sale of field notes. And so I have that set up for the t-shirts and

00:29:51   it's nice. You hear it. Oh, dang, dang. At least people are buying them, you know, but

00:29:54   to me the fun part is when people start getting them on Twitter and they start posting pictures

00:29:58   of, of wearing them or doing them. I did stickers this time for the first time. I don't know.

00:30:05   I need to start moving faster, Jason. I feel like 2018 is way too long.

00:30:10   People love stickers. They love them. People like pins too, apparently, but I've never done the

00:30:16   pins. I never got pins, but I started doing pins last year and people love pins too. So it's one

00:30:21   of those things where you got to get outside yourself and say, "I don't particularly do a lot

00:30:24   of stickers or pins, but people love them and that's fine." And the t-shirts. Yeah, we just did

00:30:29   a bunch of stuff for comparable and relay and all that. Everybody's doing the merch because it's the

00:30:34   the holidays and all of that. It is fun to see those pictures come in on Twitter. And

00:30:38   I'm jealous because I haven't gotten mine yet, so I'm seeing other people with them

00:30:41   before I get my, you know, my incomparable pin or my—Mike and I did a "Dongletown"

00:30:47   t-shirt this year, which is in the style of like the Hollister, California, you know,

00:30:53   those kind of t-shirts. But it's for "Dongletown." It's got a little USB-C port and it says

00:30:59   Port Authority on it.

00:31:00   Yeah, that's good. That's very funny.

00:31:02   So I'm looking forward to getting my dongle town shirt and mystify everybody in,

00:31:06   in my town who doesn't understand computers.

00:31:09   Donkle town port authority would be a,

00:31:11   a not bad name for like the store at the airport where you buy,

00:31:16   you know, you know that store at the Cupertino airport,

00:31:20   there's a dongle town port authority, right? You know, the store for, you know,

00:31:23   you forgot your USB charger. Actually. Oh man, we should get,

00:31:27   get on trademarking that. I know. That'll be the place you go for all your adapters.

00:31:30   Or maybe it's just like a little vending machine or something for all your adapters. I realized

00:31:34   switching to the iPad Pro, I now have, I already was embarrassed because I have a pair of wired

00:31:39   headphones that I love that I have a carry around in a little carrying case. And I always

00:31:46   felt bad because I had the little white lightning to headphone jack adapter in there. And now

00:31:53   I also have the little light lightning USB-C adapter. So I have to choose and the other

00:32:00   day I was working and I was listening to something on my iPhone and then I realized I needed

00:32:03   to hear something on my iPad instead and I had to do like a switch on the little white

00:32:07   dongles. And I thought, boy, it's come to this, but I don't want to give up the wired

00:32:13   headphones just yet. So I use AirPods a lot, but for some stuff, especially if I'm in a

00:32:18   noisy environment and I want to block other people out, there's a lady at my Starbucks

00:32:23   that I go to who who's there all day and is lonely and will talk to you and I have to

00:32:28   block her out because otherwise she'll talk to me. So this is my sad story. But anyway,

00:32:33   I've got two dongles now in my little carrying case. It's great. Yeah, you know what? That's

00:32:37   the main reason that I did the stickers. Well, a I've been thinking about it for years, but

00:32:41   I actually want one now myself. I made I made three inch stickers, which seemed like a standard

00:32:46   size for circular stickers, but I also made one inch ones and I want the one inch one

00:32:50   to put on my AirPods case,

00:32:51   'cause now we're up to three AirPod users in the household.

00:32:55   And that was the breaking point

00:32:57   of who the hell's AirPods are to these.

00:32:58   And so I'm actually, this would be like the first

00:33:00   Apple product I can recall

00:33:02   that I actually want to put a sticker on.

00:33:04   - You know the one that I,

00:33:05   'cause I am not a big sticker person.

00:33:07   I have, at some point I decided I was gonna,

00:33:09   for my personal, kind of because of sixcolors.com,

00:33:12   I got rainbow Apple logos in the exact size

00:33:16   of the Apple logos on like my laptop

00:33:18   and my iPad and my iMac.

00:33:19   and I got those and put them on.

00:33:21   And I thought like that's fitting,

00:33:22   but it's literally in the space

00:33:24   where the Apple logo already was.

00:33:26   I'm just sort of colorizing it.

00:33:27   I've never been a, you know, slather stickers

00:33:31   all over my Apple products kind of thing.

00:33:33   But this folio case for the iPad Pro

00:33:38   with that giant gray completely blank expanse,

00:33:44   I actually have started putting stickers on it

00:33:46   'cause I just can't take it.

00:33:47   it's the most boring accessory Apple has ever made,

00:33:51   and I've just decided that I need to also to help orient.

00:33:54   Like I know which side is which

00:33:55   because of the stickers and stuff.

00:33:56   And it's just, so that's the first one for me.

00:33:59   I do have a sticker on my AirPods case

00:34:01   because we have two sets in the house

00:34:03   and you can tell them apart.

00:34:04   - It's essential.

00:34:06   And, but that's just what I thought is I thought,

00:34:07   well, what then I started thinking, well, what sticker?

00:34:09   And A, because I'm not a sticker person,

00:34:11   I didn't have any stickers laying around.

00:34:14   B, most stickers are a little too big, you know,

00:34:17   the AirPods case is tiny.

00:34:18   And then I thought, well, wait a minute.

00:34:19   I could put my own sticker on there.

00:34:22   - Yeah, little, I assume it's just the

00:34:24   during "Fireball Star."

00:34:25   - Yeah, it's just a circle that is hopefully very close

00:34:30   to the correct shade of gray with a white star in the middle.

00:34:33   - Nice.

00:34:34   - I haven't seen him in person yet.

00:34:34   That's one of the weird things,

00:34:35   'cause the shirts ship from my longtime partner in crime

00:34:40   in the T-shirt racket, Brian Jeremiah,

00:34:43   out in Southern California.

00:34:44   So I had the stickers sent to him too,

00:34:46   which kind of hurt because I wanted to see them. Yeah. I just did that cause all of our

00:34:50   stickers went through cotton bureau in Pittsburgh. And so I just had the, I had all of the stickers

00:34:54   shipped to Pittsburgh. So I don't know what they were like. The good thing is I trust

00:34:58   Brian's eye. Like Brian knows during fireball brand and he's very, very accurate judge of

00:35:04   color and you know, and, and things like, you know, are they cut right and stuff? I

00:35:09   mean company, I got him from a place called sticker mule. I don't know. I've used them.

00:35:13   - I've used them, absolutely.

00:35:15   - But they seemed to have a very good reputation

00:35:17   and was a very nice process actually setting it up.

00:35:22   - Those places are really designed at this point

00:35:25   to mitigate against having you demand your money back.

00:35:28   So they like go through like a proof process

00:35:30   and they send you the proof.

00:35:31   And I've actually been really happy with that

00:35:32   'cause sometimes I'll oftentimes like three out of four

00:35:35   will be fine and then there'll be one out of four

00:35:38   that I'll give them a little feedback and say,

00:35:40   that's not what I was thinking.

00:35:41   often, you know, 24 hours, sometimes it's like five hours.

00:35:44   They send back a second proof.

00:35:46   I'm like, that's exactly it.

00:35:47   And so they're pretty good.

00:35:48   I've been pretty impressed.

00:35:49   - Yeah, I forget what my issue was.

00:35:51   I had a very small issue.

00:35:53   You know what it was?

00:35:54   It wasn't even that their proof,

00:35:55   it wasn't that the proof they showed me

00:35:57   showed any signs of defect.

00:35:58   It was, I used to be so involved in the print world

00:36:02   'cause I used to do print design and I knew, you know,

00:36:05   what do we used to call it?

00:36:06   Pre-flight, remember you'd pre-flight your Quark Express file

00:36:10   And there was, what was the, there was a great app.

00:36:12   - Oh man.

00:36:15   - Pre-flight, was it named pre-flight?

00:36:17   And what you could do is just,

00:36:19   you get your QuarkXPress document, if you had images,

00:36:23   those images were external files somewhere else,

00:36:26   and they were referenced within the document.

00:36:29   You know, it's not at all dissimilar

00:36:31   to the concept of an HTML file,

00:36:33   where the image isn't actually in the HTML file,

00:36:35   the image, you know,

00:36:36   the document contains a reference to it.

00:36:39   And what you could do with preflight is when you were done,

00:36:42   you just drag your Quark file onto this app

00:36:44   and it would grab everything, make a copy of it

00:36:47   and like put it in a, I was gonna say zip archive,

00:36:50   but it was probably like a sit file, right?

00:36:53   Like a stuff it archive.

00:36:54   And then you'd have just one stuff it archive

00:36:57   that you could give to the print shop

00:36:59   and then they could stuff it and everything would be there.

00:37:02   And including like the fonts, you'd have everything you need.

00:37:05   You'd have the fonts, you'd have the images.

00:37:08   I'm so out of the game that I don't know

00:37:09   you ship stuff anymore. I don't know what is EPS what you want. And Sticker Mule took

00:37:13   all sorts of, you know, any file you can imagine. You could send them a PDF, you could send

00:37:17   them an EPS, you could send them raster files, which I know is just not the best way to do

00:37:24   it. But I send SVG, because I think that's the most modern way to do it, and I think

00:37:31   it's the most precise way to specify a color. But I could be wrong. Maybe I'll be inundated

00:37:35   with feedback this week that I was an idiot, that SVG is terrible. But what I did is I

00:37:41   sent them, and of course I had put this off until close to the last minute, but I think

00:37:46   I sent them a PDF at first, and then they showed me the proof, and I didn't really like

00:37:50   the color. I don't think they did anything wrong. I just wasn't sure. And I know from

00:37:56   past experience, sometimes PDF doesn't round trip that well with color. So anyway, I switched

00:38:02   to SVG and they seemingly came out perfect. Enjoying any any beverages as we record?

00:38:09   I ran out of beverages. I have a like the teapot but the teapot was drained so I'm tea

00:38:16   less now but you know I may go get something during an ad break it's possible.

00:38:21   I have some coffee and of course some homemade fizzy water.

00:38:25   The problem with the tea in my house now is that my daughter has become a tea drinker

00:38:30   And so that teapot gets empty at unexpected times.

00:38:34   And then I'm like, and then it's too late.

00:38:37   Like it's like, I'm not going to make another pot of tea.

00:38:39   It's just, it's over for, for then sometimes I'll go back and make another

00:38:42   pot, but sometimes not.

00:38:43   All right.

00:38:45   Here's, here's the, one of the main things and it's one of my recurring themes.

00:38:48   I can't stop thinking about it is this whole notion.

00:38:52   Speaking of iPad pros of using an iPad pro for quote unquote work.

00:38:59   And you fascinate me of all the other all the people know all the people in this racket,

00:39:05   all of our friends, colleagues, everybody, or you know, even people we don't like, but

00:39:11   who were right about this stuff. And I have various positions all over the map on where

00:39:16   the iPad and the iPad Pro probably in particular stand visit, you know, compared to the Mac

00:39:22   as a machine for work. And you fascinated me because you and I are like minded of similar

00:39:29   age. And you know, we do kind of the same thing, mostly writing and reading and linking

00:39:36   to things. We are both longtime fans of some of the same apps, like I'll just say in particular,

00:39:43   BB Edit. Sure. Which just amazingly celebrated its 25th anniversary. Yeah. Crazy. Well, it's

00:39:52   both crazy because that sounds like a long time for an app. Like who thinks of apps being

00:39:55   around for 25 years. And then on the other hand, I can't remember. Well, I do remember

00:39:59   before BB Edit, but it was, you know, I was like a sophomore in college when I first started

00:40:05   using BB Edit. And that feels like, yeah, that's a long time ago.

00:40:09   Yeah, totally. And for me, it was a, it was my first job that the, the, there was a guy

00:40:14   there who was like, you should use BB Edit. I was like, okay. And that was it. I could

00:40:19   be off by a year. I'm 99% sure though it was 1992. And I remember where I was, I was

00:40:25   in the Tower Dormitory, the new tower.

00:40:29   That's how creatively Drexel University named its dormitory.

00:40:33   They've gotten a lot better at that in recent years.

00:40:35   Because the way the game really works is you

00:40:38   find some deep-pocketed alumni who wants a name on a building.

00:40:45   In the '80s, Drexel was-- it wasn't on top of that game.

00:40:49   And there was a dormitory called the New Tower.

00:40:53   Which I wonder, I actually have no idea.

00:40:55   I should look it up, but I wonder if they still call it that

00:40:57   'cause it certainly isn't new anymore.

00:40:59   - Yeah, they might've sold the naming rights for that too.

00:41:01   That happened when they built the new Warriors Arena

00:41:04   in Oakland that they're now gonna leave.

00:41:05   It was the new arena for a long time

00:41:08   before Oracle paid up to get the name.

00:41:10   - Yeah.

00:41:11   I was in my friend, Dave, his name was Super Dave.

00:41:15   We had big Dave and Super Dave, Super Dave's dorm room.

00:41:18   Super Dave ran an excellent bulletin board.

00:41:21   That was that was before you know that was how we communicated with each other. I feel

00:41:26   like we're getting older by the minute as you tell the story. I even remember what model

00:41:30   computer he had a Mac. He had an excellent he had a Mac to CI which is we go down memory

00:41:36   lane is in my opinion one of the greatest Macintosh has ever made totally as far outside

00:41:40   my family's budget. But it started life when it was new as like one of the very very top

00:41:46   and Mac twos and it remained in Apple's lineup for years to come as it sort of it was actually

00:41:52   Apple didn't do this at the time it was sort of what Apple does now is allow a formerly

00:41:57   top line product to work its way down the lineup you know the way that you can still

00:42:02   go into an Apple store and buy like an iPhone success you know the two ci had that sort

00:42:07   of life anyway Dave was on his Mac to ci and I wasn't even wanting to pay it wasn't like

00:42:14   here, come here and look at this." I was like, "Oh my God, what's that? What is that?" And he was like,

00:42:19   "Oh, it's some new text editor called BB Edit." And I was like, "All right, I need that."

00:42:22   Because I had been—there were no good text editors for the Mac, and I was a computer science major. I

00:42:29   needed a text editor. I was, you know, stumbling around with—I forget what I was using. I mean,

00:42:36   you could use teach text at the time for text files. There were other third-party programming

00:42:43   text editors and the think packages you know like think Pascal had well actually think Pascal had a

00:42:50   weird thing where it wasn't really a plain text editor it was like before you know was before

00:42:55   source code coloring but they did like sort of like what AppleScript does where they would as

00:42:59   you wrote the lines of code and think Pascal it would like bold the keywords and stuff like that

00:43:04   isn't that why bb edit exists it wasn't because rich seagull used did think Pascal and he wanted

00:43:10   to write a text editor for it, a decent text editor for it?

00:43:14   - What I need to do, what I really need to do

00:43:16   is get rich on the show is what I should do

00:43:17   and let him tell the story.

00:43:18   But the basic story was it started life

00:43:22   as proof of concept that a well-constructed,

00:43:27   well-behaved, useful Mac text editor could be written

00:43:32   in one source code file of think of Pascal.

00:43:36   You know, that there'd just be like,

00:43:38   I don't know what he named it.

00:43:39   if it was like bbedit. I don't know, jeez, what's the, I don't even remember the file

00:43:43   extension for Pascal anymore. Was it dot P? I have no idea. You know, but that one bbedit.p

00:43:50   file with, you know, well structured, wouldn't be like a bunch of spaghetti code. You could

00:43:54   have one file and hit compile and out would come a useful text editor, hence bare bones,

00:44:02   bare bones text editor. So it was a bar bet basically. Yeah, I think so. I think effectively

00:44:07   it was a bar bet that he could write it in one file.

00:44:10   It has since grown to more than one file.

00:44:13   And as long as Outlive, think Pascal to be sure.

00:44:18   But not just as BB Edit isn't just going strong.

00:44:20   BB Edit is just came out with like a what?

00:44:24   12.5 is the new version with some terrific new features.

00:44:28   Like it's not just around,

00:44:30   it is still super actively developed.

00:44:33   - Yeah, it's funny.

00:44:34   The ones, and that's no coincidence,

00:44:36   ones that are still around are the ones that are actively developed. As we record this,

00:44:40   just yesterday Federico Vittucci put out his favorite iOS apps of the year on Mac stories,

00:44:44   and one of them is Peacalc, which is also 25 years old, I believe. And it's the same story,

00:44:51   which is, and Federico said it in his write-up, which is, this is an ancient code base that was

00:44:56   originally a college project for James Thompson. But the reason it's still around is because he

00:45:01   aggressively embraces new Apple technology and figures out ways to get it into his product.

00:45:07   And like, he's not just sitting there hoping people keep using his old product. And the

00:45:11   same is true of BB Edit, right? Like they keep evolving it over the years. And if you're

00:45:17   on the beta list, which I am and you are, it's like, they're always pushing the boundaries

00:45:22   with that app.

00:45:23   - 12.5 has a feature that was based on a request from me. And I swear it was maybe like five

00:45:30   years ago. Like, you know how you in the Mac OS X, when you go to the help menu, you can

00:45:37   start typing a menu command. And if there's a menu command, it'll kind of highlight and

00:45:42   tell you where it is. Yeah, I love that feature. I tell that I tell people about that because

00:45:45   it's not a widely known feature. And it's like the best way to figure out if an app

00:45:49   does something. It's just literally search the menus for it. And as a power user, you

00:45:54   can kind of use it to give keyboard shortcuts to commands that you either don't know the

00:45:58   shortcut to—you know, just by, I think, what is it, shift command? Yeah, it's like,

00:46:04   I don't know the shortcut. It's just hardwired. So, shift command slash opens the help menu,

00:46:10   and you can just start typing. So, my suggestion was that BBEdit should do its own version

00:46:14   of that and do it better because it knows about its things. And so, there's now a—I

00:46:20   think it's in the go menu, go command, shift command U. And BBEdit has its own built-in.

00:46:26   you can just start typing something and it'll,

00:46:29   if there's any menu that matches it, it'll be highlighted.

00:46:32   And you can of course arrow down and do it.

00:46:34   But anyway, it's just proof to me that

00:46:38   when you write in with a feature request

00:46:40   or something like that, and you get the feedback from Rich

00:46:43   or from Patrick or whoever there.

00:46:45   I should add that I worked at Barebone Software

00:46:47   for two years.

00:46:48   It seems like a worthy disclosure back in around 2000.

00:46:54   But when they-- they're never going to tell you.

00:46:58   They're very nice people.

00:46:59   And they treat their customers extremely well,

00:47:03   which is probably another reason that they've

00:47:05   survived for 25 years.

00:47:08   But if they tell you that a feature-- hmm,

00:47:09   that is an interesting idea.

00:47:11   They might ask more, like, well, how would you use it?

00:47:13   Why would that be better than what's already there,

00:47:16   so and such?

00:47:17   They really do systematically put it away in somewhere

00:47:21   where they may not implement it right away.

00:47:23   Like, this is serious.

00:47:24   I bet this was seriously like a five-year-old feature request.

00:47:26   But when it first showed up in the betas for the 12.5 cycle,

00:47:30   I was like, hey, that sounds like a great feature.

00:47:32   And I was like, wait, I think I asked for that.

00:47:35   Anyway, we have very similar taste in software, et cetera.

00:47:39   And I truly struggle to try to do my work only on an iPad.

00:47:45   And I want to, I think, but I worry deeply

00:47:49   that maybe it's not that I can't,

00:47:52   But that I'm too old, I don't know.

00:47:55   What frustrates me and makes me feel like I always,

00:47:58   I often use this analogy, I feel like I'm wearing mittens

00:48:01   when I'm using an iPad.

00:48:04   And I am really used to having fine use of all 10 fingers.

00:48:09   At the other hand, that's a strength in other ways

00:48:14   because it's the way that I can have so much going on

00:48:17   at the Mac at one time can be distracting,

00:48:21   a way that it's not on iPad and it's a little bit, I don't know, mentally quieter. I'm not

00:48:27   big on the whole distraction-free writing thing.

00:48:29   Yeah, I agree. I mean, that can go too far, but it is like, I'm looking at my Mac right

00:48:35   now and I'm talking to you, but like, I've got a Slack window, I've got an iMessage window,

00:48:41   I've got our shared notes document, I've got Audio Hijack. Occasionally I will get a push

00:48:48   I've got a dock full of items. Like, there's a lot going on here. And iOS can be distracting,

00:48:57   but like, even its multitasking is literally all you're seeing is two app windows. That's

00:49:02   all you're seeing. And when I'm not using, like, usually Safari to look things up while

00:49:07   I'm writing, I'm just—I actually have this wacky stand that you and I went back and forth

00:49:13   on on Twitter, and then I think we may have talked about the last time I was on. That—I

00:49:17   rotate that into horizontal or vertical. So I'll put it in vertical when I'm writing and

00:49:23   I just got a big stack of text and I'm not multitasking at all. And it's just a giant

00:49:28   screen. There's only one thing in it, which is my text editor. That's all I'm doing. And

00:49:32   yeah, I could see a push notification, although I set those up to not be super annoying. I

00:49:36   can switch to other apps if I want to take a mental break, but there is something about

00:49:40   it being completely locked in that way. And you know, I could use my MacBook Air in full

00:49:46   screen mode apps. I could do that. I just never do because it's a Mac. That's not how

00:49:51   I use the Mac. But it's always been how you have to use iOS. And so there's some—I know

00:49:55   it's kind of a trick and it's not really true, but it's just enough. It's like quitting out

00:50:01   of an app saying, "I'm not going to check Twitter while I'm working on this story. I'm

00:50:04   going to quit Twitter." You can always relaunch Twitter, but the act of quitting Twitter puts

00:50:09   it just further enough away that you're like, "All right, I can leave it and I'm going to

00:50:13   focus. And so some of that is what's going on. I wouldn't say that's the whole picture,

00:50:18   but I do think that that's a part of it, is that it's just a kind of a simpler place,

00:50:22   and it's not getting in my way, and it's more flexible. That's the thing that I also feel

00:50:27   about it is, like, I can pop it in that crazy bridge keyboard case and it feels like a laptop,

00:50:32   but I can also pull it off and use it with an external keyboard or that smart keyboard

00:50:37   folio or I can just leave it completely unadorned and it's just a pure tablet experience, depending

00:50:43   on what I want. And that's not something I can do with a MacBook Air. It's going to be

00:50:46   the shape it is 100% of the time.

00:50:50   One of the things that I find, it's an obsession of mine. I know I've mentioned it on the show.

00:50:57   I think I've tried to write about it, but maybe more in the early days of Daring Fireball

00:51:03   than recently is a platform, a software platform to me takes on a life of its own and has character

00:51:13   It has, there's, you become intimate with it and, you know, just like the way that anybody,

00:51:21   a craftsman can get really used to a particular hammer or tool, you know, or illustrators

00:51:27   certainly could become very attached to their pens, you know, pencils and whatever, or certain

00:51:33   types of paper.

00:51:34   Everybody, you know, and the whole system of an OS can take on a certain character.

00:51:40   And one of the very interesting things to me about Apple is that by the late 80s, the

00:51:50   Mac was Apple and Apple was the Mac, you know, that as the Apple two died off, the Apple

00:51:57   still had ambitions like that.

00:52:00   Like the Apple of old would come out with new systems all the time, you know, I mean,

00:52:04   And like the Apple IIGS by the end, the last Apple II certainly was a far different computer

00:52:10   than the original Apple II.

00:52:13   And they famously had the Newton Project in the Scully years, which was almost a tragedy.

00:52:22   And for those who weren't there and never used one, it has a bad rap as to the quality

00:52:29   of it.

00:52:32   It was interesting and good and ahead of its time.

00:52:38   And very much not a pocket Macintosh.

00:52:41   It had its own character.

00:52:43   It really did.

00:52:44   Now, there were aspects and the things that you could see that were similar, like, "Yeah,

00:52:49   that's kind of Appley."

00:52:53   There was certainly some Apple likeness to it that was different than Mac likeness.

00:53:00   In that Steve Jobs exile years, a comparison of the Newton to the system seven era Macintosh

00:53:09   would be an interesting way of discerning what Apple as a company culturally was about.

00:53:19   But let's face it, for the most part, I mean, certainly financially, what kept the company

00:53:22   alive was the Mac. And in those years, the Mac had a very strong character, I would say

00:53:27   it was stronger than Apple's as a whole and was embraced by third party developers and

00:53:34   certainly by users. And you know, at a time it was a time and Apple was weak in certain ways.

00:53:41   And it was a time when third party developers big ones like Adobe and Microsoft and Macromedia,

00:53:48   which was a separate company at the time, arguably held as much control over the platform as Apple

00:53:54   Apple did. I mean, and this played out in public with the switch to Mac OS 10 and the

00:53:59   carbon and the cocoa and stuff like that. And it's like, you know, it's easy now to

00:54:03   get used to Apple saying, Oh, Hey, everything's going to 64 bit. So, you know, you know, and

00:54:11   it's not like they, they, they announced it and like two days later, a ship of version

00:54:14   of Mac OS 10 would where 32 bed apps don't work. I mean, you know, they've been very

00:54:18   clear about this at WWDC over the years, but there was no discussion about it. It wasn't,

00:54:22   not like Apple held negotiations with developers and said, we're thinking about moving everything

00:54:27   to 64 bit. What do you guys think? And what do you guys think the timeline should be?

00:54:32   You know, Apple made that decision and went with it. Whereas at that time, the initial,

00:54:37   Hey, we're going to switch everything to cocoa was met with a, no, you're not. And they had

00:54:43   to go back to the drawing board. And I just recently revisited this with going back to

00:54:51   the story of word six, which to me is and I when I reread it and really thought about

00:54:58   it, I realized that I'd sort of filed this away in the wrong category in my mind over

00:55:01   the years. Basically, Microsoft Word was a fine and excel to were very fine Mac applications

00:55:09   in the 80s that were, you know, if you think about it, a platform that launched in 1984

00:55:15   and got to version five by the mid 90s. They were obviously major versions on a very regular

00:55:20   places. Very popular, lots of people used it. Word 5.1 was it 5.1a that they found out?

00:55:29   Jon Moffitt 5.1a was the final resting place of that app.

00:55:33   Dave Asprey That's like, I very specifically remember

00:55:38   the last good version of QuarkXPress. It was 3.32R5. I can't remember my son's friends'

00:55:47   games, but I can remember QuarkXPress 3.32 R5. Word 5.1a was very popular. It was good.

00:55:56   It looked like a Mac app. It could certainly quibble. There were certainly Microsoft isms.

00:56:03   It was never my choice. I never really cared for it. But I certainly had friends in college

00:56:09   who used it. When I'd look at it, I wouldn't think, "That's a weird-looking app," or,

00:56:12   know, it looked like a Mac word processor. Yeah. And word six was not to rehash the whole

00:56:19   argument. I'll, I'll, you know, make a note here. I'll put it in the show notes, but I

00:56:22   just linked to it. Rick, I forget his name from the Mac BU wrote a sort of history of

00:56:30   it. And basically the problem was word for windows was an entirely different code base

00:56:34   than word for Mac. And they, that's a huge, it was a huge problem in terms of what you

00:56:41   really want is document. The thing that really matters is document compatibility. And if

00:56:46   you couldn't just send a document from a Word for Windows user to a Word for Mac and have

00:56:51   it survive with everything intact, that's a problem. And their decision for the solution

00:56:55   was to switch to a unified code base for both apps. And basically, they switched to the

00:57:01   Windows code base.

00:57:02   Exactly.

00:57:03   For reasons, whatever. But what they shipped as a Mac app did not look like or act like

00:57:08   a Mac app in any way. It wasn't a Windows app running an emulation, but it might as

00:57:14   well have been. It doesn't matter. The technical reasons behind it are irrelevant. What happened

00:57:22   is the users rejected it. It was like, "This app is gross. This is unacceptable. We're

00:57:29   not going to accept this. We're going to stick with Word 5.1. Go screw yourselves."

00:57:34   - Yeah, now, so you've linked to that piece by Rick

00:57:38   from Microsoft a few times,

00:57:40   and I disagree with some of the things in it

00:57:42   because I was there too,

00:57:44   and writing about Apple and working at a magazine

00:57:47   that was all about the Mac.

00:57:49   And some of his characterizations are very much like,

00:57:52   oh, well, the users wanted to be more Mac-like,

00:57:54   which meant they wanted it to be like the previous version,

00:57:57   which is sort of implying that the users, you know,

00:58:00   didn't want change and their resistance to change

00:58:03   was the problem.

00:58:04   And that was so not it.

00:58:05   I mean, the issue really was that in the,

00:58:07   and you remember this from this era,

00:58:09   in that period in the 90s, the Mac was dying

00:58:14   under heavy assault from Windows.

00:58:16   And one of the things that you would use a Mac,

00:58:19   you would say is, "I want to use the Mac.

00:58:22   If I'm gonna choose to use the Mac,

00:58:24   it's because I like the Mac."

00:58:25   And what word six said was,

00:58:28   "Here, we got you Word for Windows,

00:58:30   and now you can use it on the Mac."

00:58:32   And a Mac user is like, "Well, why would I do that?

00:58:34   I would just use Windows if I wanted Word for Windows.

00:58:37   I want Word to be on the Mac."

00:58:40   And they just, you know, and I think the truth is,

00:58:43   and I heard this from people at Microsoft,

00:58:45   that the truth was their clients were IT departments

00:58:48   and the IT departments didn't like the fact

00:58:50   that the menu items and toolbars and everything

00:58:53   were completely different on the Mac than on the PC.

00:58:56   And so they wanted them to be the same

00:58:57   so that all their support documentation could be the same.

00:59:00   and that it gets to say,

00:59:01   here's how you get the company letterhead,

00:59:04   go to the file menu.

00:59:05   - In Word.

00:59:06   - All right.

00:59:07   - It doesn't matter whether it was Mac or PC.

00:59:10   And that was the thing that I think,

00:59:11   if your identity is,

00:59:13   it's not just your identity as a Mac user,

00:59:15   but it's like, I made a choice to you

00:59:16   to drink Coke and not Pepsi.

00:59:18   And then Pepsi says, good news,

00:59:22   Pepsi comes in a Coke can now.

00:59:23   It's like, no, no, I don't.

00:59:26   I made a choice.

00:59:27   And now you're saying my choice is invalid.

00:59:29   that was that was at the root of that plus it was slow and bloated and bad like there was there

00:59:33   were a lot of things wrong with it beyond the looks of it but the looks of it and the way it

00:59:37   behaved were enough to just turn people off of it basically you put your finger on exactly what i

00:59:43   don't like i mean it's that he was there and it's first person makes it worth reading but where i

00:59:48   disagree and exactly what you put your finger on was that uh what they said it wasn't mac like and

00:59:52   and what they meant by Mack like was five word 5.1.

00:59:56   And that's not true.

00:59:57   It's that it's like what you're skipping is the issue

01:00:01   is that being Mack like was a meaningful thing.

01:00:04   And it was, it is, it always has been,

01:00:06   it was from the beginning very difficult

01:00:09   to put your finger on.

01:00:10   Brent Simmons years ago, oh man, back in like 2002

01:00:14   had a wonderful piece on how, you know,

01:00:20   as somebody who clearly got what Mac-like software is,

01:00:24   how it still is often unhelpful

01:00:26   because your Mac-like is different than my Mac-like,

01:00:29   even though we're wrong,

01:00:30   and then there's lots of people

01:00:31   who just don't get it at all.

01:00:32   There is a thing to being Mac-like,

01:00:35   and there was, and it was very strong,

01:00:38   and it's literally what kept Apple alive,

01:00:40   because if Mac-likeness hadn't been an important thing,

01:00:44   there's no reason everybody wouldn't have switched

01:00:47   Windows at the time that there is more to it than, okay, you've got a rectangular window

01:00:53   and the windows all have close buttons and zoom buttons. And then there's a menu bar,

01:00:58   you know, with the sort of, you know, agreed upon set of, you know, typical things like

01:01:03   file edit font. And you double click on an app, you know, and there's a mouse that moves

01:01:11   around and you can select text and then there's a scroll bar over on the side that shows you

01:01:15   You could drag this up and down to scroll up and down in a document.

01:01:18   And there you go.

01:01:19   There's a GUI.

01:01:20   And if you can use one, you can use any one, and that's all there is to it.

01:01:25   It is true that that's the fundamental description of the modern graphical user interface of

01:01:30   a windowing system, but there's so much more to the Mac way of doing things and of

01:01:36   organizing things and of feeling at home.

01:01:40   It's such an amazing thing when you feel at home in an app you've never used before

01:01:44   because it's uses all these familiar conventions.

01:01:46   And there were those conventions went so much deeper

01:01:50   than just draggable windows with a close button

01:01:53   and a menu bar.

01:01:54   There was just Mac ways of doing things like-

01:01:59   - I have never, and this happens to this day,

01:02:01   I have never, I never get more irrationally angry

01:02:04   than when I close a window on an app and it quits.

01:02:09   - Yes, I know.

01:02:13   - And these days, you know, the Mac sometimes will do that

01:02:16   because it's trying to save resources.

01:02:17   And if you close a text edit window, it will be like,

01:02:19   "Oh, I'm gonna shut off text edit," which I still hate,

01:02:22   but I understand what's going on there.

01:02:24   But that was one of the defining characteristics

01:02:27   of Mac-like versus PC-like, right?

01:02:29   Is that a Mac app exists,

01:02:32   and then windows come and go as a part of its existence.

01:02:35   And a Windows app was literally a window

01:02:38   with things inside it.

01:02:40   And if you close the window, the app is the window,

01:02:43   so the app goes away.

01:02:44   And yet you'd get these ports from windows,

01:02:48   from people who had no idea what the Mac was like,

01:02:51   where you close the window

01:02:52   'cause you'd wanna move on to a different project

01:02:54   and the app would be like, "Great, goodbye."

01:02:56   And this was at the time when sometimes it would take you

01:02:58   like 30 seconds to launch an app,

01:02:59   a really complicated professional app.

01:03:02   And you'd be like, "No, no, no, no, no."

01:03:04   And it just, it's like, you don't get it.

01:03:06   Like this was made by somebody who just doesn't get it.

01:03:09   And you're right, like that is,

01:03:11   it's not like there's a rule book or something,

01:03:13   but a Mac user knew that if you close that window,

01:03:15   the app would not bail on you and be like, goodbye.

01:03:19   And that was part of the Mac was,

01:03:22   we all know how this app is gonna behave

01:03:25   when I click this box.

01:03:26   Everybody knows the right way to do this.

01:03:29   And if you deviate from that,

01:03:31   everybody's gonna get a little bit angry at you.

01:03:34   - You know, it's like the way,

01:03:35   I'm just trying to broadly draw an analogy.

01:03:38   It's like, you know, an episode of the X-Files has to feel like an episode of the X-Files,

01:03:44   even though maybe it's one of the episodes where it's about the deep multi-season conspiracy,

01:03:51   or maybe it's just a one-off that's even a little goofy, but it still has to feel like an episode of

01:03:57   the X-Files, right? And there's something that you can't—you can write a book, you know, and there

01:04:03   can be a book, you know, and that would be like the HIG, you know, the human interface

01:04:08   guidelines and that's a reference that somebody writing software can say, Hmm, I actually

01:04:12   don't know how to do this. Should this be two different menu items or should be one

01:04:15   menu item, you know, where you can hold down a key and turn it into a different menu item.

01:04:20   Let me see what the HIG says, you know, and I'm sure, you know, I know two TV shows have

01:04:24   books like that, that the writers can, can consult with to, you know, let's get this

01:04:29   right, you know? Yep. But for the most part, if you don't have an intuitive sense of

01:04:33   the overall gist of it, you're never going to get it, right? You just, you know, it's

01:04:38   got to be something that mostly you feel it and you know it when you see it. And then,

01:04:42   you know, every once in a while with the details, you can look it up.

01:04:44   Yeah, it's that you get a script for that TV show from somebody on the outside and the

01:04:48   people who make the TV show read it and say, have you ever seen our TV show? Like, you

01:04:53   don't know who the characters are or how the TV show feels. And, and, and there were outlier

01:04:57   apps on the Mac, not as much now, but certainly back in the day where it was that same feeling.

01:05:02   Like I was like NetObjects Fusion, which was a web building tool that I reviewed a bunch

01:05:07   on an early kind of WYSIWYG website builder.

01:05:11   And it was a Windows port and like, you know, it uses little plus minuses instead of disclosure

01:05:16   triangles.

01:05:17   If you close the window, it quits.

01:05:20   All of these things.

01:05:21   And like Mac user knew you could pick that out immediately.

01:05:24   Like you are the fraud here.

01:05:27   You are not a real Mac app.

01:05:28   And that's just again.

01:05:30   It wasn't that it wasn't usable,

01:05:31   and it wasn't that my design sensibilities were offended.

01:05:34   It was that I had made my choice,

01:05:38   and one of the advantages all apps had

01:05:41   was this kind of common frame of reference,

01:05:43   and then that app did not share it,

01:05:45   and it was frustrating to use.

01:05:47   - Yeah, the plus/minus thing versus disclosure triangles

01:05:50   is maybe one of the great examples,

01:05:52   because I am and always have been 100% convinced

01:05:57   that the disclosure triangle visual metaphor is better.

01:06:02   It is both more attractive and more intuitive.

01:06:05   It looks closed when it's closed.

01:06:07   It looks open when it's open.

01:06:09   It goes down.

01:06:10   The switching from pointing to the side for closed

01:06:14   to pointing down to be open

01:06:17   creates the opportunity for an animation affordance

01:06:20   that makes perfect sense.

01:06:21   You could see the triangle flipping in a rotating thing.

01:06:24   And maybe in later years,

01:06:26   animation got more prevalent in the OS, you could see the contents of the folder or whatever

01:06:31   go down. The plus minus thing, plus and minus make no sense in that context to me. And they

01:06:38   used to draw the little dotting line. It just led to this crazy visual thing where they'd

01:06:44   have all these lines all over the place that weren't necessary, right? All you need are

01:06:48   the triangles and indentation.

01:06:50   And, you know, it would transfer to things like outliners, right? Like, so you'd have,

01:07:00   you know, like one of Dave Weiner's outliners from the early 90s or late 80s would of course

01:07:06   use disclosure triangles to hide and show hierarchy of the outline, which is something,

01:07:13   maybe it's like an essay or, or research paper you're researching and the way that you would

01:07:18   to close, disclose the hierarchy of that worked exactly the same as in the finder when you

01:07:23   were dealing with files. No. Right. I mean, I'm the outliner works like that to this day.

01:07:30   Right. Um, one of the words I like for it is idiomatic and idiomatic usually was referred

01:07:36   to like grammar, you know, and that one of the ways that you can kind of tell sometimes

01:07:41   when somebody speaks your native language as a second language isn't that they're wrong

01:07:47   per se is that they say things that nobody who's spoken natively, whatever put together,

01:07:52   they're unfamiliar with certain idioms. And I, I, I sometimes I wonder how, how I ever got

01:08:02   semi decent grades in English, going through school in the grammar classes, because I never

01:08:09   knew the rules. I mean, I could, you know, I could I parts of speech I could get. And then once we

01:08:14   got past that, it was like, forget it. I have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

01:08:18   I just do it by ear. I've always just written and read by ear. And, you know, making good

01:08:27   Mac software has always been like that. They're just idioms that you use. And when you violate

01:08:32   them, it just seems bizarre, right? Like spelling an OK button, OKAY. Like, it's not wrong. You

01:08:41   You can look in the dictionary and there are certain publications that even put in their

01:08:47   style guide that the word OK is spelled out OKAY. It is in the dictionary. There are publications

01:08:54   that prefer it.

01:08:55   It doesn't go in a dialogue box.

01:08:59   Not a Mac.

01:09:00   I was going to say that the elements of style or a grammar textbook, it's kind of like the

01:09:06   HIG for grammar. So you internalize it because you learn the language and you do it by absorbing

01:09:11   it and seeing that people use it this way. And then the reason the, you know, learning

01:09:15   the parts of speech and all that kind of exists is as the reference material. So if you don't

01:09:20   know what to do, you can be like, well, okay, what's the, what are the rules here? But I

01:09:24   think mostly it's innate, right? That you absorb it by watching it in use and then you

01:09:30   understand it. And for computing platforms to broaden it out, like that is how computing

01:09:35   platforms work is that if you're a user of a platform and you may not even know it, you

01:09:38   You may not think of yourself as a big computer user

01:09:42   or a smartphone user, but you spend time on the iPhone

01:09:45   or an Android phone or whatever,

01:09:46   you absorb sort of like what the rules are

01:09:48   and how things work.

01:09:49   And then you get frustrated if things don't work right.

01:09:53   And right is defined as, I mean, there's a reason

01:09:55   why every app doesn't have a completely different

01:09:58   control scheme, right?

01:09:59   Because if literally that's how it was

01:10:02   in the early days of computing,

01:10:03   where every single app ran differently

01:10:06   and you had to figure out what its commands were

01:10:09   because every single one was different.

01:10:11   It's terrible, right?

01:10:11   You want to have that common frame of reference.

01:10:13   And we all absorb that, which is why,

01:10:16   I mean, to this day, that was why I got,

01:10:18   I ended up in a very loud room at XOXO a couple of years ago

01:10:23   with a designer from Google who was mad at me

01:10:26   because I wrote a story complaining

01:10:28   about the Google iOS apps using the Google share icon

01:10:34   instead of the iOS share icon.

01:10:37   And you know, it's the most, like who cares?

01:10:39   But I didn't like it because as an iOS user,

01:10:43   I looked at the icon and I'd be like, what the hell is this?

01:10:46   I don't know what this exploding blob means.

01:10:49   I'm looking for a little box with an arrow coming out of it.

01:10:52   And you know, that was just, I didn't know that language

01:10:56   because it was not my language.

01:10:57   - I just ran into that at dinner two nights ago,

01:11:00   Amy and I and Jonas were out.

01:11:01   Amy wanted to send a link to a product to her sister in a text message. She searched

01:11:10   for it. It came up with an Amazon link. She clicked it because it was on her phone and

01:11:16   she has the Amazon app. It opened in the Amazon app, not the website. It was the right product.

01:11:26   there's nowhere on that page. Amazon's iOS apps are very bad, especially in this idiomatic

01:11:34   design language, right? They're very clearly little web things that I don't have my pixel

01:11:40   in front of me. I'm quite certain that if I open the Amazon app on my Pixel, it'll look

01:11:44   exactly the same. But there is no little box with an arrow coming out of it, like how to

01:11:50   copy a link. Like, here it is. Here's the Amazon app showing me the product, and all

01:11:55   All I want to do is I want the box with an arrow.

01:11:59   Who knows what's in the share sheet?

01:12:00   I don't know.

01:12:01   Maybe, hopefully, it'll be, you know,

01:12:03   maybe I could just go write to messages.

01:12:05   But, you know, at very least, there should be copy, right?

01:12:09   - Right.

01:12:10   - And literally, I couldn't figure it out.

01:12:13   Because it didn't stick to the idiom.

01:12:16   There's only one.

01:12:17   And there must be some way to do it, I guess.

01:12:20   But that's something at iOS that is so, you know,

01:12:24   Here's the thing, and you want to do something with it,

01:12:27   you look for the box with the arrow.

01:12:29   - Yeah, exactly.

01:12:31   And we could debate whether the Google icon

01:12:34   is better or more understandable.

01:12:36   You could do user testing, that's fine.

01:12:38   But the point is that if you're on iOS,

01:12:41   there's a thing you look for.

01:12:43   And if you're an Android, likewise,

01:12:44   'cause when I wrote this, I heard from people,

01:12:46   it's like, oh, well, you know,

01:12:47   Apple does this wrong on Apple Music for Android.

01:12:49   Is that any better?

01:12:51   And my answer is no, it's not better.

01:12:53   You should be a good citizen on the platform you live on.

01:12:56   And it's not just because I think one platform is better than the other.

01:12:59   It's because a platform speaks a language and people learn it whether they know they're

01:13:04   learning it or not.

01:13:05   And then you want it to be consistent.

01:13:06   And that's what good platform design.

01:13:08   I know, you know, and all the app developers who listen to this are nodding probably because

01:13:13   it's a thing that they have to learn too, which is even if you have a great idea for

01:13:17   a better way to do it, if it's completely contrary to the way everybody else does it,

01:13:21   it's gonna be a tough sell because nobody is going to expect this behavior, even if

01:13:27   it is better. Nobody expects it. So you better, it better be a lot better. And even then you're

01:13:33   taking a huge risk. And, you know, it's not something like "Pull to Refresh," which was

01:13:38   a kind of painting in an area that was previously unpainted. It's like if you're trying to go,

01:13:44   everybody does it this way and you're gonna do it this different way because you think

01:13:46   it's better. Even if it might be slightly better, it's the wrong decision because nobody

01:13:51   knows how to do that. Everybody knows the other way.

01:13:53   I'm going to file a pull to refresh away because that is a really good point. I've got about

01:14:00   six threads here in my head and I can't keep six threads going.

01:14:04   We were talking about iOS at some point.

01:14:07   But one thing I want to finish up before we go on is I want to finish up on my point of

01:14:11   why I think I've misfiled the saga of Word 6 for Mac in my head is that when it happened

01:14:17   at the time. Again, I wasn't a Word user personally, so it didn't, you know, there was a certain

01:14:23   smugness to the—

01:14:25   Sure.

01:14:26   —this isn't my problem.

01:14:27   These poor, poor suckers who use Microsoft Word have to deal with this.

01:14:29   Right.

01:14:30   And I was. I had to use it in my college newspaper, used it, and then my—obviously, all the manuscripts

01:14:34   of the magazine were written in Word.

01:14:36   My college newspaper was a Claris house, so we wanted everything in MacWrite format and/or

01:14:44   and ClarisWorks worked equally.

01:14:46   - Wow.

01:14:47   - All MacWrite and Claris.

01:14:49   And, you know, eventually there was one columnist

01:14:53   who was submitting files in bbedit, text files.

01:14:57   But it didn't matter because he was also doing

01:14:59   the layout of the newspaper.

01:15:01   But for years though, I filed it away as a tragedy.

01:15:06   This was terrible.

01:15:07   You know, there was an app that was a fine Mac app.

01:15:09   And I was already at that point, you know,

01:15:13   cared about good Mac apps. Right. And I thought this is a tragedy because here was a fine

01:15:18   Mac app from Microsoft. And now Microsoft obviously sees this, you know, you know, saw

01:15:25   this as fine to ship for the Mac. And mostly out of danger, you know, because at the time,

01:15:31   by that time, Microsoft's growing power in the industry was obvious. And it, you know,

01:15:35   was worrisome because man, and if this starts a trend, this is bad news, right? Like, I

01:15:40   don't want to see this happening to apps I do use like Photoshop, right? Like I don't

01:15:44   want some new version of Photoshop to come out and be the word six of photoshops. So

01:15:51   for decades I've had this filed under as a bad incident. Whereas what I realize now is

01:15:55   it was one of the finest moments in the Mac history because it didn't work and it made

01:16:00   the reaction was so strong from users that just and what is a more typical word. Microsoft

01:16:08   Word is not an esoteric app, right? It was literally one of the most popular apps on

01:16:14   the platform. I would guess by headcount, I mean, maybe Mac, right? Had more cause I

01:16:19   guess they used to ship Mac, right? For free.

01:16:21   By the point when word five was out, I would, I would probably argue that it was the most

01:16:26   commonly used in a professional sense. It almost certainly was maybe in schools. Mac,

01:16:33   right was still more popular, but regardless, it was a mainstream app and it was rejected

01:16:38   and it, it, it, the rejection was so strong and the Mac was still deemed by Microsoft

01:16:44   to be important enough to care that Microsoft formed an entire business unit, the Mac BU,

01:16:51   I mean, creatively named, but they, they said, okay, we, to, to do this right, we need, you

01:17:00   You know, we need a real team, big team of Mac,

01:17:04   people who get the Mac, and let's do it right.

01:17:08   And then Word 98, you know, again,

01:17:12   was never really to my liking, but was a credible Mac app,

01:17:16   and Word ended up, you know, to this day is still --

01:17:19   I mean, I don't know. I don't know what it looks like now.

01:17:21   It probably looks like crap just because it's leaked over time.

01:17:27   - It's okay.

01:17:28   What I would say is ironically enough,

01:17:30   it looks like Word for Windows,

01:17:33   which looks like Word for iPad.

01:17:36   - Yeah, exactly.

01:17:37   - Which is kind of interesting.

01:17:38   I like Office on iPad better than I like it

01:17:41   on the Mac at this point.

01:17:42   And I think some of that may just be

01:17:43   that the Mac version feels very Windows-like to me

01:17:48   and the iOS version feels very iOS-like to me.

01:17:51   But it is, I very rarely, I use Excel some.

01:17:54   I have an Office 365 subscription.

01:17:56   Word is not an app that I particularly use.

01:17:59   Although there are people like Dan Morin

01:18:02   writes his novels in Scrivener,

01:18:03   but the publishing industry is entirely still based on Word.

01:18:07   So in the last step he does is compile his book

01:18:11   out of Scrivener into a Word file,

01:18:12   and then all of his editorial revisions

01:18:15   and everything that happens in the publishing process,

01:18:17   he's got to do in Word.

01:18:19   - Oh my God.

01:18:19   - Yeah.

01:18:21   - This is why I can't write a book.

01:18:23   - Yeah. (laughs)

01:18:25   No, but it's a but to me that that rejection of it and and that it was still

01:18:29   seemed so important. It's a triumph. It was a triumph of the Mac at

01:18:32   maybe and again, not maybe not at the peak of Apple's power, but at the

01:18:36   peak of the Mac's

01:18:37   platform Integrity and they did the right thing. I mean that that is the

01:18:42   the the story that doesn't get told enough about what six is that Microsoft

01:18:46   completely

01:18:47   reformed itself when it got that feedback it. There were people inside

01:18:51   Microsoft who obviously said look if we're going to be on the Mac, we need

01:18:55   to actually be on the Mac and not have this be a symptom

01:18:58   of us not caring about this platform.

01:19:00   And then, you know, that was with the, you know,

01:19:02   Bill Gates appears on the screen

01:19:03   and they're gonna do an investment

01:19:04   and they want Apple to continue and all of that.

01:19:06   That was all part of the same thing.

01:19:08   And they did, I mean, the Mac BU ended up being,

01:19:11   I don't know if it still is,

01:19:13   but it was for a very long time,

01:19:15   the largest concentration of Mac developers

01:19:19   outside of Apple were Microsoft.

01:19:22   And they were building all those products on the Mac

01:19:24   and they were never quite Mac-like in the same way again,

01:19:29   but like that first, even that first release in 98

01:19:33   or whenever. They were at least trying.

01:19:34   Yeah. Like seriously trying.

01:19:36   Like they got the drag and drop stuff to work right,

01:19:39   which seems so basic, but like they were,

01:19:41   they went into kind of like Olay land,

01:19:43   which was like drag and drop for Windows

01:19:45   and they had like extensions and stuff.

01:19:47   And they're like, they backed out of a lot of that stuff.

01:19:49   And then the OS X transition, they committed to it.

01:19:52   They were there, they did a good job.

01:19:54   Like they got back on the horse after word six

01:19:58   and it's to their credit,

01:19:59   but it's also because all the people

01:20:01   who use that product push back.

01:20:03   - Yeah.

01:20:04   All right, let me take a break here

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01:23:55   example from that era that I wanted to touch on. Mac Paint was one of the original Mac

01:23:59   Mac apps from Apple, famously made by Bill Atkinson, who invented QuickDraw and a bunch

01:24:05   of—one of the great—more than just an engineer, an engineer and designer and everything

01:24:14   from that era. And a lot of the concepts of Mac Paint would be very familiar to people

01:24:19   today using apps like Acorn or Pixelmator or any of the drawing apps, you know, a palette

01:24:27   of tools and a pencil for drawing and an eraser and you click on it in the palette and then

01:24:32   you can erase and draw blah, blah, blah.

01:24:35   I remember when I first saw Photoshop and I don't know what version it was. It was maybe

01:24:41   2.5, maybe 2.0, I don't know, somewhere in that era. And Photoshop could obviously do

01:24:47   a lot more than MacPaint. And there was nothing—I may not know where everything was. Maybe I

01:24:56   I didn't know the first time how to do Gaussian blur or something like that.

01:24:59   But when I wanted to do something, my first guess as to how to do it was exactly obvious

01:25:06   to me.

01:25:07   Like it's probably in this menu.

01:25:08   Oh yeah, there.

01:25:10   And it was a super powerful app.

01:25:14   It was amazing what this app can do.

01:25:15   It's amazing how big the files are that it can open.

01:25:18   It's amazing how stable it is.

01:25:21   And the interface was very different in Photoshop back then than it is now.

01:25:25   It certainly was a lot more dialogue based where you'd invoke a command and a modal dialogue

01:25:30   would come up and you would enter a lot of stuff that you would do visually today with

01:25:37   the mouse rubbing over a thing you would do by entering numeric values and cells and hitting

01:25:42   buttons in a modal dialogue box and then seeing if you like the result and then if not undoing

01:25:48   to try something else.

01:25:50   because that was it was the Nate, you know, how we got from there to here, you know, I

01:25:55   mean, there just wasn't the computing power to do everything live back then. Really, I

01:26:00   mean, that's the main thing. It's not like I think it was obvious that it would be better

01:26:03   to directly manipulate the images. But a lot of the stuff you would do in Photoshop, would

01:26:09   you hit the close, you know, the OK button to apply it or whatever the action button

01:26:13   name, and then you sit there and wait. You know, and it would give correctly, as it should

01:26:19   it would give you visual feedback, maybe a progress dialogue if it was long enough, but

01:26:25   whatever was needed to show you like, okay, you know, I'm working on it, it would be working

01:26:30   on it, and then you'd see the result. But those dialogue boxes had so much power, and

01:26:36   had so many great features, and they were organized in a way that felt so Mac like it,

01:26:43   there's no other way to describe it. It wasn't like they invented some new language for

01:26:48   image editors, it was like they took what a Mac-like image editor should be, a very

01:26:53   simple app like MacPaint, and expounded upon it.

01:26:58   Sure. But that was an app built by native speakers, right? They knew the Mac in and

01:27:04   out, the brothers did, the Knoll brothers.

01:27:06   Yeah, yeah. John and Thomas Knoll. I can't remember. John is the one who's still at—

01:27:12   John's at ILM, I want to say.

01:27:15   Right. And I think Thomas is still at Adobe.

01:27:16   And Thomas is still at Adobe?

01:27:17   Yeah.

01:27:18   Yeah, yeah. That's right. Yeah. And john even got like story credit on the Star Wars Rogue One.

01:27:25   Exactly. Right. How's that for a frickin life? co invented Photoshop and made a Star Wars movie?

01:27:32   Yeah, pretty, pretty good. Pretty good. I I was visiting ILM with our friend Todd does Eerie and

01:27:39   and guy walked by in the cafeteria and Todd says, Oh, hey, john. And then he turns to me,

01:27:47   me he says that was John Knoll and I'm like but and he said and I think Todd at the time

01:27:52   said you're one of the people who would care more about that he he's the guy who made Photoshop

01:27:57   than the guy it was like you're right accurate that is completely accurate I'm more impressed

01:28:01   that that's the guy who co-invented Photoshop than his incredibly impressive history working

01:28:05   at ILM on Star Wars movies and other sci-fi movies that are touchstones of my life because

01:28:10   he wrote Photoshop right like oh it's huge but they knew it the Knoll brothers knew it

01:28:15   that they knew the Mac well.

01:28:16   And so Photoshop, I had that same experience

01:28:18   using Photoshop on the Mac in college

01:28:20   that, you know, yeah, you got it.

01:28:22   And this is the, you know,

01:28:23   I feel like this is a roundabout way

01:28:25   of what you're getting to is this question of like,

01:28:28   Mac-like versus iPad-like and hanging over,

01:28:32   tell me how you feel about this,

01:28:33   'cause we're right here at the end of 2018.

01:28:36   I feel like 2019 is going to be the year

01:28:39   with the most tumultuous change

01:28:42   in terms of the identity of the Mac since OS X came out.

01:28:47   - I don't know.

01:28:51   I think that's possible.

01:28:53   And- - Yeah, I mean, it's, yeah.

01:28:56   - Well, you tell me in what way?

01:28:58   - The Marzipan thing.

01:28:59   I think, 'cause you wrote about this

01:29:02   on "Daring Fireball" a bit about like,

01:29:04   what is Mac like and what is not Mac like

01:29:05   and how the Marzipan apps aren't Mac like.

01:29:07   And, you know, I reacted to those pieces

01:29:12   by saying to myself, I think the problem here is that

01:29:17   Apple is going to redefine what Mac like is

01:29:20   to be what sort of like app like is.

01:29:25   I just get this real feeling that in 2019,

01:29:29   what Apple is going to do is say,

01:29:31   we now have a unified app platform

01:29:33   and iOS apps can run on the Mac

01:29:36   and maybe they're gonna make other changes

01:29:39   and sort of say, this is how we want apps to behave now.

01:29:42   And it's gonna be something that is informed by iOS

01:29:46   and the behavior of iOS in a way that is going to be

01:29:50   more foreign to Mac users.

01:29:54   And especially if you're a Mac user who doesn't use iOS,

01:29:56   and I guess those people exist,

01:29:58   it will be, I think maybe especially foreign.

01:30:00   But the idea that Apple is going to sort of say,

01:30:02   this is how we want apps to behave now.

01:30:04   And it is a little bit like saying how an app behaves

01:30:08   slightly different on an iPhone than on an iPad.

01:30:10   There'll be sort of like on an iPhone and an iPad and a Mac.

01:30:14   But I just, I feel like the Marzipan thing,

01:30:17   you can't bring iOS apps to the Mac

01:30:21   and have them just be weird and different.

01:30:24   Like the platform has to have some sort of unification,

01:30:28   but I think it's most likely that what Apple's going to do

01:30:32   is say these Marzipan apps are part of a new way of doing it

01:30:37   of thinking of apps on the Mac and that they're gonna kind of redefine what Mac how Mac apps

01:30:43   behave as a part of this because I do think ultimately they want a single unified app

01:30:49   platform across all their devices. It probably gives them the ability to add touch to the

01:30:54   Mac for the first time because they'll be bringing touch first apps to the platform

01:30:59   that actually could potentially work with touch not necessarily in 2019 but eventually

01:31:04   I just I feel like this is their this is their ultimate solution. The marzipan stuff to what

01:31:10   do we do with the Mac in a world where iOS is our most important platform? And the answer

01:31:13   is we're not going to replace the Mac, but we might replace the Mac app platform so that

01:31:19   the common way we think of a Mac app is something that's built on UI kit and also runs on iOS.

01:31:25   I think that's possible and it's absolutely you've absolutely nailed a area of conversation

01:31:31   I wanted to have with you. I think that what you just said is entirely possible.

01:31:35   You say that with no enthusiasm.

01:31:41   I do have no enthusiasm. I have no enthusiasm because what we've seen so far is not good.

01:31:46   I should also clarify that just, you know, people who listen to the show probably know it,

01:31:57   But Apple hasn't given a name to marzipan like that marzipan is something that leaked as a codename and I

01:32:04   Know it is used internally to refer to something. You know this this project to get these four apps

01:32:10   news stocks

01:32:13   home and voice recorder, yeah

01:32:17   Running on the Mac

01:32:21   And

01:32:23   For all the reasons you said and for general consensus that

01:32:28   That that iOS developers of which there are many more than there are Mac developers have largely

01:32:38   Rejected creating Mac apps because they see it as too much work and or two different

01:32:46   And or slightly difficult in certain ways

01:32:51   which we don't need to get into and neither of us are really I

01:32:54   Get it at the broad strokes that app kit is old and UI kit is

01:33:00   newer and a lot of the things in UI kit that are different than app kit are things that

01:33:05   They took the you know, the people who used it the most and created it

01:33:10   You know for stalls iOS software team that started it next could say starting in you know

01:33:16   2005 or 2006, whenever they started that work

01:33:20   for the app framework for the iPhone, could say,

01:33:22   well, wait, we know AppKit intimately.

01:33:25   What are some of the things we hate about it

01:33:27   and would do differently if we could do it all over again?

01:33:29   'Cause we're doing it all over again

01:33:31   and we can even make changes that would break app.

01:33:34   We can't just say these are good ideas.

01:33:36   We should do them in AppKit too

01:33:37   because AppKit has to keep being AppKit, right?

01:33:40   It's just one of those things.

01:33:41   Here's an opportunity for a clean break.

01:33:43   Let's do it that way.

01:33:45   And then Mac developers could look at UIKit and say, "Hey, that's cool. This is so much

01:33:52   easier in UIKit than AppKit." But now we're at the point where there's probably millions

01:33:57   of iOS developers who started with UIKit who look at AppKit, which has the old way, and

01:34:04   say, "Well, that seems like a lot of work. Why would I do that?" And who maybe don't

01:34:10   get it, period. They don't get the whole Mac-like thing anyway.

01:34:13   Right. So I get it. I get that there's a market for that. I don't know though that what we've

01:34:18   seen, I don't know that this project actually is that initiative. Like there may even be

01:34:27   an initiative along the lines of exactly what you're saying, a more unified UI kit derived

01:34:34   way of making apps for all platforms, including the Mac, which would be, here's our new way

01:34:39   of doing it. That is not the thing that was used to make these four apps. I mean, maybe

01:34:47   it's sort of is, and this is just one little piece of it, but that the whole picture is

01:34:51   so much bigger that it's not even worth thinking about, uh, or thinking about based on what

01:34:59   we've seen so far in these four apps in Mojave. Like I really think that it might be that

01:35:04   shallow an effort. I've, I can't, I agree. And it better be right. Cause these apps are

01:35:09   kind of crappy, but it, so I, but I think you're right. I think there's a,

01:35:13   Mark Gurman said something at some point about how there's more as a pan,

01:35:17   but there's also like a whole bunch of other, uh,

01:35:20   efforts that they're doing in terms of ways that developers can build UIs and

01:35:24   things like that.

01:35:25   I think maybe there is a much bigger picture that we haven't seen that is not

01:35:29   just, you know,

01:35:30   the same tools that brought you the home app will now be available to everyone.

01:35:34   Right. It's good. It's going to be a completely, you know,

01:35:37   a much bigger thing, I think, than what we've seen so far.

01:35:40   - The thing that bothers me about these apps

01:35:43   is that they saw them as being worth shipping

01:35:46   because it's the sort of thing that the user

01:35:49   shouldn't have to worry about, right?

01:35:52   So for example, let's just compare and contrast with,

01:35:55   and maybe it's a bad analogy, I don't know,

01:35:57   'cause programming languages are different

01:35:58   than the application frameworks, but,

01:36:00   you know, Apple software development across all platforms

01:36:07   is moving from Objective-C, which has been around

01:36:12   since the late '80s, to a new programming language

01:36:14   called Swift.

01:36:15   And every year, more and more of the OSs

01:36:20   are written inside Apple and Swift than Objective-C,

01:36:24   and the third-party apps are,

01:36:27   new ones are often created entirely in Swift

01:36:29   from the beginning, and old ones as new features are added

01:36:32   are being written in Swift instead of Objective-C.

01:36:36   And guess what, from a user's perspective,

01:36:38   they could have never heard of either of those things

01:36:40   or have any idea what the difference

01:36:42   between Objective-C and Swift is,

01:36:43   and there's no visible sign of it whatsoever,

01:36:46   which is how it should be, right?

01:36:49   That's developer problem.

01:36:51   So like this,

01:36:53   it's totally a developer problem if it's,

01:36:59   it is a problem.

01:37:01   Is it problematic enough that Apple needs

01:37:04   to make a serious effort to fix it

01:37:05   to get iOS apps more easily ported to the Mac

01:37:09   or sharing more code with the Mac or make the Mac app

01:37:12   with the way you make a Mac app more like it.

01:37:14   Okay, fine.

01:37:17   But then whatever the result of that problem is,

01:37:19   it shouldn't be painfully obvious to a typical Mac user

01:37:22   who opens the app that this app is weird.

01:37:25   - Right, right.

01:37:27   This goes back to all our conversations

01:37:30   that we just had about weird Windows apps

01:37:32   that get ported to the Mac.

01:37:33   It's like if it doesn't feel right,

01:37:36   like what's wrong with this thing?

01:37:37   Why does it play or all those Java apps

01:37:39   that we got in the 90s and early 2000s

01:37:41   that were just totally not right.

01:37:44   Like something is really wrong here.

01:37:45   - You'd open them up and there would be,

01:37:48   they would have a Mac menu bar,

01:37:49   but the Mac menu bar would just be like two items.

01:37:52   Like one of which was to quit the app.

01:37:53   And then all of the other menu items

01:37:55   were in a window style menu bar

01:37:58   within the window of the app.

01:38:00   So not only was it wrong to have a Windows style menu bar

01:38:04   in the window, it also had a Mac menu bar

01:38:07   that didn't have the menu items.

01:38:10   I mean, it was terrible.

01:38:12   These marzipan apps are not that bad.

01:38:14   I'm calling them marzipan because we need a name

01:38:16   to talk about it.

01:38:17   - Yeah, 'cause Apple very aggressively did not name it

01:38:21   at WWDC.

01:38:22   It's just a new method of building apps

01:38:24   that is coming in 2019.

01:38:26   - Right.

01:38:27   But these apps have that,

01:38:29   that this doesn't belong on the platform.

01:38:31   This does weird things, stuff, you know,

01:38:36   and it's, A, this feels weird for the Mac in general,

01:38:39   but it feels really weird to be shipping

01:38:41   as part of the system from Apple.

01:38:42   I don't have, I'm still not running Mojave as my main OS,

01:38:47   so I can't look at them right here,

01:38:49   but I mean, just off the top of my head,

01:38:51   there's a lot of weird drag and drop problems in these apps,

01:38:53   which is the sort of thing you sometimes expect

01:38:56   from third party apps, but never from Apple apps.

01:38:58   It's like, I think it's the news app, maybe news and stocks,

01:39:05   because news and stocks are sort of the same app.

01:39:07   It's sort of like stocks is really just a way to get Apple

01:39:09   news about the companies that are listed in the stocks.

01:39:13   It's like if you make the window wide,

01:39:17   you can make the window as wide as you want,

01:39:19   but the content doesn't reflow to fit it.

01:39:22   Which in and of itself, it's not like you

01:39:24   to be a good Mac app, you would have to support

01:39:27   a full width of a 30 inch iMac.

01:39:30   But if there is a maximum width that you can flow to,

01:39:33   that should be the maximum width of the window.

01:39:35   Like, it's always been like, I'm sure you'll agree,

01:39:39   one of the top signs of a,

01:39:40   hmm, you're new to writing Mac apps, aren't you,

01:39:42   is if an app would let you make the window too small.

01:39:46   Right?

01:39:47   Like there's, you know, a good Mac app has always known,

01:39:50   all right, you can resize the window,

01:39:52   but here's the max that we can handle gracefully

01:39:55   and here's the minimum we can handle gracefully

01:39:58   and that's it.

01:39:58   And when you could get an app that would make you,

01:40:00   let you shrink it up as far as you want

01:40:02   and you'd start covering up buttons and controls and stuff.

01:40:05   It's like, oh my God, you could just fix this and res at it.

01:40:08   Marzipan apps have a lot of stuff like that.

01:40:12   But the way that like sidebars work,

01:40:14   the way that there's no contextual menu items

01:40:16   like standard ones that every single app has had

01:40:19   since Mac OS X shipped,

01:40:21   It's just weird.

01:40:23   The sharing thing is one of the ones I've written about.

01:40:26   And they did fix it, and I don't know if me writing about it

01:40:29   had any effect on that.

01:40:31   I don't wanna take credit for it,

01:40:34   but even the way they fixed it is so weird.

01:40:37   So one of the problems with Apple News on Mojave

01:40:40   is if you read, let's say there's an article

01:40:44   from Six Colors, and you read it in Apple News,

01:40:49   and you're like, this is a good story.

01:40:50   I would like to share this. I would like to put it in an iMessage or mail it to a friend.

01:40:57   On iOS, you can hit our good old friend from half an hour ago, the square box with the

01:41:03   arrow, and one of the options would be like message and you could send a message. And

01:41:10   you could copy the URL and get a real URL. Or no, I know what it is. iOS has an open

01:41:16   and Safari button. And so you can make the article open from Apple News in Safari and

01:41:21   it'll take you to the six colors.com version of the website. If you care enough that I

01:41:26   want to make sure I'm not sending an Apple News URL, I want to send the original URL

01:41:32   on the Mac version. You there was no open in Safari and there wasn't a way to copy the

01:41:39   link. It was like one of the first ways I figured out to get a real URL out of it was

01:41:44   to copy the URL, which would copy an apple.news/whatever unique identifier URL. And then instead of

01:41:53   using Safari, go to Chrome and paste it in there. And then it would redirect to the original

01:42:00   website because Chrome doesn't know the magic. Hey, if it's an Apple News URL, open it in

01:42:05   Apple News. But if you opened it in Safari, it would always take you to Safari. There

01:42:09   was other than using Chrome or some other third party software, there was no way to

01:42:13   to get the original URL.

01:42:15   Like that's crazy and very un-Mac like.

01:42:18   It's not just limited.

01:42:19   Anyway, I don't know.

01:42:22   I see that stuff as a,

01:42:24   I'm very worried about it to be honest.

01:42:27   That if this is actually a sign of where Apple thinks,

01:42:32   that these are fine examples of,

01:42:34   well, the other thing is that in the latest version

01:42:39   of Mojave, they added like a file share

01:42:42   or copy Safari link button or something.

01:42:44   I forget what they did.

01:42:45   I don't use Mojave on a daily basis,

01:42:46   so I forget what it was.

01:42:48   They added a menu item that does give you the original URL.

01:42:52   So there is that.

01:42:53   It might even still be in the beta version

01:42:58   that's not actually shipping.

01:43:00   So anybody out there who's looking in Mojave

01:43:02   and looking for it while they listen to this,

01:43:03   maybe it's not there yet,

01:43:04   but there is a solution in the beta at least.

01:43:07   But it's not the right solution.

01:43:10   It's certainly not the Mac-like one.

01:43:11   So I'm deeply concerned that these are,

01:43:15   like they're either some type of prototypes

01:43:20   that effectively should have been branded as public betas,

01:43:25   that we're shipping public betas

01:43:27   of these four apps in Mojave.

01:43:28   Mojave will be shipping as a non-beta OS in the fall,

01:43:32   and it will include four public betas of these apps,

01:43:36   which they did not say.

01:43:39   These apps are not branded as public betas.

01:43:41   They are branded as the Mac version of home

01:43:43   and news and whatever.

01:43:45   I'm deeply concerned.

01:43:49   If the mistake is that they should have been called

01:43:51   public betas and they didn't want to call them public betas,

01:43:54   but they've got much better ideas

01:43:56   for where they're going with this stuff,

01:43:58   well then I can't wait.

01:43:59   I look forward to hearing about those ideas.

01:44:02   If these are actually indicative

01:44:03   of where Apple thinks Mac apps,

01:44:05   like what makes a reasonable Mac app from Apple,

01:44:08   then I've maybe never been more concerned

01:44:11   about the future of the platform.

01:44:13   - Yeah, that's the mystery, isn't it?

01:44:15   Did they think these were okay?

01:44:17   Or are they just trying to...

01:44:18   'Cause the advantage of shipping them is,

01:44:20   especially for news, news is an important platform for them.

01:44:25   It's an important thing for them to do.

01:44:29   Home, right?

01:44:30   Having home kit support is important to have.

01:44:32   I get why you wanna get those in Mojave

01:44:35   so you can say, "Finally, the Mac can do these things."

01:44:38   I was complaining about no home kit support in the Mac

01:44:40   for the last couple of years, right?

01:44:41   So great.

01:44:42   - It was like when the Mac didn't have Siri for years.

01:44:47   - Yeah, exactly.

01:44:47   And it's like, you know, okay, so now we can do that.

01:44:50   And I get it, but there is,

01:44:54   I do think it's an interesting question why they didn't,

01:44:56   given how Apple has really become much more open

01:44:59   to branding things as beta, shipping beta things

01:45:03   in their operating systems for a while now

01:45:06   to not have branded these as a beta or something.

01:45:11   'Cause I hear, just like you do, I'm sure,

01:45:13   from people when you criticize these apps who say,

01:45:15   "But you know, it's just a, they're just trying it out.

01:45:18   It's just new."

01:45:19   And it's like, yeah, but they shipped it

01:45:20   in the shipping version of the software.

01:45:21   It's not a beta, it's the final version of these apps

01:45:24   that ships with the OS.

01:45:26   So they obviously have some degree of confidence

01:45:29   'cause they didn't slap that label on it.

01:45:31   And that goes back to your, I think,

01:45:33   concern about the platform, which is,

01:45:36   does Apple think that the marzipan apps are are good enough? And I mean, I'm sure they

01:45:41   don't but the question is do they think that they're you know close or do they think that

01:45:47   they're a completely transitional thing that the was the only way they were going to get

01:45:51   in Mojave but they know that that's not the total solution that's going to come in 2019

01:45:57   and that's what I kind of assume but you know it is I although I remain optimistic that

01:46:04   Apple is going to an interesting place here that could be good for the Mac and good for

01:46:08   Apple's platforms overall. You know, every transition like this is fraught with peril.

01:46:16   And if you're a Mac user, there definitely is a scenario here where in order to get the

01:46:23   iOS stuff over on the Mac, the Mac kind of gets messed up. And that's definitely a possibility.

01:46:30   And there are probably people inside Apple whose opinion is basically, "Look, the Mac

01:46:35   is a legacy platform, the old apps aren't going away, but if anybody else wants to use

01:46:40   this thing, any computer-shaped computers from us in the future, we gotta have the App

01:46:44   Store apps on there.

01:46:45   So we're gonna just do this and the people who care about the Mac as it was 10 years

01:46:51   ago can complain, but we don't care."

01:46:54   I think maybe they don't have the upper hand because I think that roundtable that you went

01:47:00   to suggest that maybe the Mac attitude has changed at Apple

01:47:05   and they've kind of reinvigorated themselves

01:47:08   in terms of letting the Mac be the Mac.

01:47:10   So that's part of what makes me optimistic here

01:47:12   is that I think this is Apple solution

01:47:15   to keep the Mac relevant

01:47:17   instead of what they might have been planning before,

01:47:20   which was to just let it sort of float along on its own

01:47:23   until everybody who used it stopped buying computers

01:47:27   or died.

01:47:27   (laughs)

01:47:28   So I choose to be optimistic about this

01:47:30   because of the about face they've done on the Mac

01:47:32   in so many other areas the last year and a half.

01:47:35   - One of the things that Apple and Next in particular,

01:47:40   the next half of Apple really took a tremendous pride in

01:47:46   and was there really for Next their claim to fame

01:47:50   was the ease with which they allowed rich applications

01:47:53   to be created compared to what had come before,

01:47:58   which we now know as Coco, you know, with the project builder, which is now Xcode, you

01:48:03   know, and interface builder, that you could drag and drop your interface in interface

01:48:10   builder and set constraints with, you know, tools that were a lot like the tools in drawing

01:48:15   apps, you know, with, you know, here's how you set the bounds of a rectangle and you

01:48:19   can set the style for a label, text label and stuff. And that you've got all these

01:48:25   things that were built in like here's a rich text editing field. So if you want rich text

01:48:31   in your app, like, like,

01:48:32   Jared Ranere: text edits, it was teach text that it was simple text. Now it's text.

01:48:36   Brian Smith Right. That's text edit, jeez, I forgot text

01:48:38   edits name. Right. But you can get the full power of text edit in any app just by dragging

01:48:42   the control out, you know, and this was, it wasn't like this on the Mac or Windows. And,

01:48:47   you know, people could make people could write custom apps or new apps in in on the next

01:48:52   step system with a lot less work and a lot less time.

01:48:55   And it was a big part of the eventual success of Mac OS X

01:49:02   is that it wasn't just a good platform,

01:49:04   it was a great platform that really enabled

01:49:07   small teams of developers to build really powerful apps.

01:49:10   And we see that to this day, right?

01:49:12   Where there are apps like, you know,

01:49:16   Acorn is from a friend, you know, my friend Gus Mueller,

01:49:22   He runs the company with his wife, and Gus is the only developer, and it's a super

01:49:27   powerful image editor.

01:49:29   He's one person.

01:49:31   He's very good, but it would be really, really difficult to do that on another platform

01:49:38   because there's so much stuff built into Mac OS X that he can rely on Apple's color

01:49:44   management and stuff like that.

01:49:47   You know, it's a really big difference from the classic Mac era.

01:49:52   Like there was lots of stuff I still love about the classic Mac era, but there weren't

01:49:55   going to be a one-man alternative to Photoshop.

01:49:59   You know, it just wasn't possible because there wasn't enough built into the system.

01:50:04   So anyway, Apple's—all this is to say is Apple has prided itself not on being a good

01:50:08   platform for users, but that it's a great platform for developers just insofar as are

01:50:14   the tools good and are the frameworks good. And you know, the state of the art always

01:50:21   moves forward, right? So my hope would be is both for their internal use inside Apple

01:50:27   and for third party developers writing for their products that they are, they've got

01:50:33   grand plans inside for where's the next way we take this. So it's not just not even just

01:50:39   Here's how Mac apps can be made more easily

01:50:43   by iOS developers.

01:50:44   But how can the whole state of the art for iOS development

01:50:48   be taken to a new level for a new decade?

01:50:51   - Right.

01:50:52   - So my hope is that their plans are grand like that.

01:50:57   These four marzipan apps are not the work of that project.

01:51:00   They may be the work of one tiny leg

01:51:03   of a many legged stool of that project,

01:51:06   but this is not that.

01:51:07   There's just no sign of it.

01:51:11   Yeah, well these are also, I think they viewed this all as low-hanging fruit, like these

01:51:15   are all single window apps, right?

01:51:17   So there's obviously multi-window tech.

01:51:18   Yeah, but that's part of what sucks about them is they shouldn't be single window apps.

01:51:21   Why in the world should voice recorder be a single window app?

01:51:24   Why is Apple News a single window app on the map?

01:51:27   Why can't I double click an article to open it in a window?

01:51:29   Because I want to keep reading.

01:51:30   Not wrong.

01:51:31   You're not wrong.

01:51:32   I want to keep reading new articles.

01:51:35   answer is that they haven't either they haven't done that yet or the part that they did they

01:51:40   can't release yet because it's part of a bigger something. You're right. You're right. It's

01:51:44   insane that Apple News is a single window app. I mean, maybe home makes sense as a single

01:51:49   window app, but certainly not Apple News. It's ridiculous. It's really hard to believe

01:51:54   that I find I don't find it hard to believe that somebody made it. I don't find it hard

01:52:00   to believe that there's there are people at Apple whose experience is so thoroughly on

01:52:04   the iOS side of things and they don't maybe weren't Mac users before that they would think

01:52:11   you know as a proof of concept. Hey look I do have and as a proof of concept it certainly

01:52:15   is interesting right it's certainly worth looking if you didn't know about the project

01:52:19   and somebody came up to you and you're a manager at Apple and somebody said hey I got Apple

01:52:24   News running on the Mac and they showed you what what they have right now this this in

01:52:30   Mojave, you would certainly say, let's, you know, I would say, I would say, let's have

01:52:34   a meeting. This looks interesting, right? Let's see who, who should be in a meeting.

01:52:38   Let's, let's talk about this. Cause you've got something here, right? You don't have

01:52:42   something shippable, but you have a very interesting proof of concept. I find it crazy that that

01:52:49   went all the way through to, this is a major part, you know, or not major, but this is

01:52:55   and mentionable in the keynote part of Mojave without somebody in a position of authority

01:53:02   saying you can't ship this app without support for multiple windows or opening articles in

01:53:06   windows.

01:53:07   I mean, it's just crazy.

01:53:09   I mean, you know, maybe there's no, there's no, again, it's not a written rule.

01:53:13   There's no line in the Hague that says that a news app has to be able to open articles

01:53:18   in multiple windows.

01:53:19   But it's almost because you didn't have to write it.

01:53:23   That's the whole point of a Mac.

01:53:24   I think the answer is probably that somebody had to make the decision, which is worse,

01:53:29   another year where the Mac doesn't support Apple News and HomeKit, or it supports it

01:53:36   with apps that aren't quite up to our standards. And they made the decision that it was more

01:53:40   important. It's funny, too, because they didn't need to release these apps. And I wonder sometimes

01:53:46   about why they did that, because the so they're like, OK, well, we can get HomeKit on the

01:53:51   Mac, but what it's going to take is it's going to take us to use this translation layer to

01:53:54   do it. And it's not going to be a great app, but it'll work. And, but you know that the

01:53:59   moment we ship this, the first beta, everybody's going to take it apart and realize we have

01:54:04   a translation layer. And they're going to freak out. So if we do this, we're going to

01:54:08   have to say something because we need to, we need to set expectations. Because that's

01:54:12   the other thing about this is these four apps, these four apps required them to have those

01:54:17   slides where they talked about how this was something that they were going to do in a

01:54:20   year. I feel like that was the imprint of Steve Trout and Smith on the WWDC keynote.

01:54:27   Apple can't just ship that news app and then go nobody knows the truth, which is that it's actually

01:54:35   the iOS version. Because within hours, Steve Trout and Smith would pull it apart and say, "Oh,

01:54:40   this is a whole system. Here's how it works. Here's this." So they had to say something about it.

01:54:45   Or they could have not shipped the apps, foregone those features in Mojave, and just said, "Oh,

01:54:52   we don't know what Mark Gurman's talking about. We have no idea."

01:54:55   It's an interesting theory, and I don't know. Again, I really need to start using Mojave

01:54:59   on a daily basis more just to be able to form and conceal my opinion on this. But it's possible

01:55:08   from what I've seen that maybe home was the one that drove it, because home is the one

01:55:12   that they kind of needed. Right? You didn't have you couldn't get your Apple News on your

01:55:17   on your Mac, but it was easy. If you were on your iPad or phone and you got or your

01:55:22   watch even and you got the alert. If you wanted to read that story on your Mac, you could

01:55:26   get it it would just open in Safari right every as far as I know part of the rules of

01:55:31   Apple News is that every single article in Apple News is represented by an article on

01:55:36   the publisher's website. I don't think there's I don't if I'm wrong, I'd love to know but

01:55:41   but I don't think there is such a thing.

01:55:44   So you weren't missing out on the news,

01:55:48   whereas you are missing out

01:55:49   on being able to manage your HomeKit stuff.

01:55:51   And we probably won't have time to talk about it,

01:55:56   me and you on this show, or at least not in depth,

01:55:58   but I think one of the interesting things for 2019

01:56:00   is I think Apple's HomeKit stuff

01:56:02   is really starting to pay off.

01:56:03   I think they were behind Amazon

01:56:06   and other companies for a while,

01:56:08   based on their security stuff

01:56:10   and the way they tried to leverage their MFI influence

01:56:13   and had more control and therefore everything went slower

01:56:18   because Amazon's is sort of a Wild West of,

01:56:22   here's our stuff, ship whatever you want.

01:56:24   - Yeah.

01:56:25   - But in my personal experience,

01:56:28   Apple's home stuff works better than Amazon's.

01:56:33   - Yeah, I've gone from having a whole bunch

01:56:36   of Wild West stuff to wanting everything

01:56:39   be in HomeKit and using the Home app all the time. And I now run on my Mac Mini server

01:56:45   that I've got, I'm running this command line utility called HomeBridge. It's basically

01:56:52   a software bridge for HomeKit, for non-HomeKit compatible apps. And once I set it up, which

01:56:59   you know, you got a bunch of config files and you got to do a bunch of stuff and import

01:57:04   plugins for the various devices you've got. But all of my non-HomeKit compatible devices

01:57:09   are now in HomeKit because of that. And so now, you know, the jig is up. Now I'm basically

01:57:17   only using the Home app to control my stuff and it's good.

01:57:22   And that's the one that was a real obvious gaping hole on the Mac. If you're going to

01:57:28   throw yourself into the Apple ecosystem and you're a good Apple customer and you've got

01:57:33   a phone and a Mac and maybe an iPad and you're buying, you know, maybe you got Apple TV and

01:57:37   you're buying HomeKit compatible appliances. It seems crazy that you couldn't use your

01:57:41   Mac to manage it. And so I wonder about that. I wonder if that's, I mean, this is absolutely

01:57:48   not, this is just based on your speculation, but boy, that certainly is an interesting

01:57:52   theory. I mean, it's just a spitball, but it certainly is interesting that they wanted

01:57:56   to ship home. That was the easiest way to get it. It's probably the one that it seems

01:58:01   the least weird. It doesn't seem particularly Mac-like. It's certainly insane to me that

01:58:06   the dialog boxes are iOS dialog boxes.

01:58:09   When you set a schedule and you have to turn the little iOS tumbler, that is the worst.

01:58:16   I was convinced they were going to fix that by the time Mojave left beta.

01:58:19   I really was. I really was too. Because it's a control that it doesn't really make it's

01:58:26   not on a touchscreen. It makes no sense. It makes no sense without a touchscreen. It's

01:58:31   is absolutely insane that to set the schedule,

01:58:34   you get a date picker like iOS.

01:58:36   It is crazy.

01:58:37   I mean, and in terms of if they had shipped that app,

01:58:40   you wouldn't have even needed Stephen Trout and Smith

01:58:41   or Guillermo Rambo to take it apart

01:58:44   before you knew that it was an iOS app running on a Mac.

01:58:47   - Right, if you click on the right places,

01:58:49   it's very, very clear from the beginning what it is.

01:58:52   Yeah. - Right, and it was--

01:58:54   - I would sit at my Mac.

01:58:54   I got the light next to my desk on a HomeKit switch.

01:58:58   And I would have those moments where I'd be like,

01:59:00   "Oh, I need to turn on the light, it's getting dark.

01:59:02   "I need to go get my iPhone.

01:59:05   "My Mac can't do this, I have to go get..."

01:59:07   And that sucked.

01:59:08   It's better with Mojave, there's no doubt about it,

01:59:10   even if the app is stupid.

01:59:11   - Yeah.

01:59:12   Well, that's an interesting theory.

01:59:14   All right, let me thank my third sponsor,

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02:00:57   because I find almost every analytics passage

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02:01:01   where's it coming from, what's popular on your website.

02:01:05   I find it to be the most baffling,

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02:02:05   What else?

02:02:08   We got to talk about keyboards

02:02:09   'cause you can't come on the show

02:02:10   and we don't talk about keyboards.

02:02:11   - I know, right?

02:02:12   And baseball season is over.

02:02:13   - Yeah, baseball season is over.

02:02:15   - It's keyboard season, I guess.

02:02:17   - You know what?

02:02:17   Can I tell you just tell you one thing about baseball?

02:02:19   - Okay, let's do it.

02:02:20   - I love the MLB app.

02:02:22   I do, I have the alerts turned on,

02:02:25   but I know we've talked about this before too.

02:02:27   I do move it off my first home screen in the off season.

02:02:31   - Sure. - It's over on home screen too.

02:02:32   But I still get the news alerts.

02:02:34   But in this off season,

02:02:37   I would say nine out of 10 of the stories

02:02:39   are conjecture about trades or free agent signings.

02:02:44   Like who might Manny Machado go to?

02:02:47   I don't wanna read any of those stories.

02:02:48   I wish, and I don't know how this could be configured

02:02:51   preferences. But I want to hear about every news. Anything that seems like a significant

02:02:56   signing from any baseball team, I would like to hear about it. I don't want to read any

02:03:00   of the speculation. But nine out of the ten alerts are for the speculation. And then I

02:03:04   ignore them. And then I find out, like, three days after it happens that the Yankees re-sign

02:03:11   Jay Happ. I'm like, "What do you mean they re-sign Jay Happ? I thought he was leaving."

02:03:14   And it's like, "Well, how did I miss that? I have the alerts." But it's because I've

02:03:18   trained myself to ignore them.

02:03:20   it should be on their list like they have very little granularity in their notification

02:03:25   setting I'm looking at it right now basically there's a you could do individual team and

02:03:30   then there's then there's news on and off for individual teams or for general MLB news

02:03:36   and one of the things that I feel like in this era of iOS 12 and having control over

02:03:42   your notifications that Apple needs to even push even more to app developers especially

02:03:48   like leading app developers like the MLB app. This is always one of the highlighted apps.

02:03:52   They have a great relationship with Apple. They need more granularity in their push notifications

02:03:57   for content than they have. I actually experienced this. I actually sent a bug report to the

02:04:02   Washington Post because I had their, this was last year, I had their news alerts turned

02:04:09   on and they started sending me news alerts that were things like feature stories or you

02:04:15   know, crossword puzzles or whatever, like things that are not news. And I sent them

02:04:20   a bug report and I said, you guys need to separate your promotional story pushes from

02:04:27   your news breaking news headlines. Because if you don't, I'm just going to turn off notifications

02:04:34   because I, you know, yes, if somebody famous dies and you want to send out a push, I will,

02:04:39   I want to see that you can depress me. I get those. There's a point last year over the

02:04:45   holidays actually where like I got two push notifications a day from the

02:04:49   Washington Post and they were the most depressing things but it's like I signed

02:04:52   up for it it's fine but what I don't want is we also have recipes for for

02:04:57   Christmas Eve it's like right people want that that's great if they want to

02:05:01   get the feature story headlines I think the New York Times and Washington Post

02:05:04   both do this now where you can say do you want featured stories or do you just

02:05:10   want breaking news. And that's what MLB needs. It needs like news is needs to be broken up

02:05:17   into like news that happens. And then like other stories because those rumor roundups

02:05:23   are not news per se. I mean, I guess they can be qualified as that. But I get what you're

02:05:29   saying is that they all push notification app should have more granularity. The problem

02:05:34   is that most of them are like, "Well, yeah, but really, we use this to feed them that,

02:05:41   and we want them in the same pipe." But as a user, I want to be able to turn that off,

02:05:46   because I don't want the recipe push notifications. I just want the headlines.

02:05:49   The Post does a good job. I feel like the two news organizations I have that are allowed

02:05:55   to send me—well, three, actually. It's three organizations. The three things that send

02:06:00   me news are the New York Times, the Washington Post. I pay for subscriptions to both and

02:06:08   Apple News. And Apple News is the one that annoys me the least. And I know there was

02:06:13   a feature story recently about the editorial team that they've assembled there. It's

02:06:17   a really big editorial team. And of course, there was somebody who was a managing editor

02:06:23   who asked not to be named. It was like, only at Apple would somebody be the managing editor

02:06:29   of a news publication and not want their name used. Just because they don't want it, they

02:06:34   just don't want their name. It wasn't because he or she had a quote that was damning. It

02:06:40   was like, "I want to work in secrecy because I'm an apple." The Times is the one that lately

02:06:47   has been leaking, to me at least, a lot more like, "Why the fuck are you giving me an alert

02:06:52   for this? I don't want to hear about what's new in gingerbread man frosting in 2018."

02:06:59   So the post, and I'm not taking credit for this, but at some point after I complained

02:07:03   about this, they actually did do this. The post's push alert settings are Breaking News,

02:07:08   Editor's Picks, and then Politics, Opinion, the sections. And they've separated Editor's

02:07:14   Picks and Breaking News, and they actually say the frequency, you know, expect a few

02:07:18   daily, expect a few weekly. But this is the thing where I was able to turn off the Editor's

02:07:23   Picks, which means that I'm not getting those feature story things, which if I open the

02:07:27   I'll see your feature stories, but I don't want to get the push notification and that's the right way to do it

02:07:31   Yeah, hey, did you see the story while we're talking about you see this the the controversy mini controversy that erupted last week

02:07:37   Where Apple sent out some promotional push notifications for a new episode of car carpool karaoke?

02:07:43   I I did see that I did see that but by the way

02:07:46   The Times also has a breaking news top stories thing so you can you think I got to adjust that I got to get in

02:07:51   Yeah, yeah, yeah, you know people hate that because

02:07:55   technically in the guidelines there are certain push notifications you're not supposed to send but you know my my I

02:08:00   Didn't please anybody by saying I don't think it's a big deal because if they're pushing Apple music subscribers about a new piece of content

02:08:07   That's available to Apple music subscribers like Netflix does that to me all the time where they're like oh, here's a new show for you

02:08:13   And I don't turn that notification off because it's never valuable, but that's that's reasonable

02:08:19   It's for Netflix for me. It is often not valuable

02:08:24   But it's infrequent enough that I don't mind

02:08:27   You know like I know that there are some purists out there who really don't want any note of one

02:08:32   I didn't want this notification really is like a grain of sand in their eye

02:08:36   You know like you know that they keep their notifications very neat and orderly

02:08:40   My notifications are more like the pile of you know junk mail and not I shouldn't say I am

02:08:48   but I get way more notifications than I read but with the the

02:08:52   the iOS 11 or was it only recently with 12 12 12 so it's that recent I've come so used to it that

02:08:58   I'm I'm fine with it Dieter bone and I talked about this in a recent episode where you know

02:09:04   he still prefers the Google style but the Google style to me drives me nuts because it doesn't show me enough information, but

02:09:10   But the way that I could have

02:09:13   20 notifications from at bat and they show up in one stack in the list

02:09:18   It doesn't look like they're badgering me because it's all neatly organized and it's only I only have to scroll past the most recent one

02:09:25   if I want

02:09:27   Anyway the the Apple news one

02:09:30   It's are not Apple news the Apple carpool karaoke one. I don't know why people and that's for it

02:09:36   it's weird because and it's also weird because

02:09:38   Carpool karaoke isn't something Apple even sells like you just get it for free like it's just it's well

02:09:46   Well it's part of your Apple Music subscription, I think is how that works.

02:09:49   Oh, you have to have Apple Music? Is that what it is?

02:09:51   Yeah, I think so.

02:09:52   Alright, so you do have to have Apple Music. But then you only got that notification if

02:09:56   you have Apple Music.

02:09:57   I think that's the idea. And that seems less offensive to me. But I think the answer is

02:10:01   people don't like Carpool Karaoke. It's a representative of like the old Apple TV culture

02:10:06   before they hired the new TV people. It's a video show in a music service. It is music

02:10:12   related but it is a video show and a music service so a lot of people feel it's kind

02:10:16   of off-brand and then there are a lot of nerds who are angry because they feel like this

02:10:22   is Apple abusing their privilege in a way that third-party developers aren't. I get

02:10:27   all the reasons but to me I kind of gave it a shrug like turn off your notifications for

02:10:32   Apple Music for Pete's sake. Well and there's actually one of three that you can turn off

02:10:36   to stop getting those. Like you can still you know you don't have to turn off all of

02:10:40   them you can still get notified for other things you might want that aren't

02:10:43   just promotional things but I do think there's something particular about Apple

02:10:48   using its position to do this that is a bad look like it's a default app and

02:10:54   those notifications are turned on by default whereas a third-party app would

02:10:58   have to ask you for notification power so it's a you did somehow technically

02:11:02   opt into it or maybe but yeah yeah but not really like I don't think when you

02:11:07   launch Apple Music for the first time it's the music app it says would you

02:11:11   like us to notify you it's like yes we are going to notify you we are Apple

02:11:14   yeah yeah and it all falls under I mean the primary example of it is is the the

02:11:22   u2 album right sure the you know we're we've worked out a deal with you to you

02:11:29   you too and guess what you're already getting the album it's being sent to

02:11:33   your devices right now and people really did not like that for good reason like I

02:11:39   kind of do see how that one got approved because I kind of see how it was like

02:11:43   you know they're a huge band lots of people do like them I'm sure many many

02:11:48   many people appreciated getting the free album and they just didn't think to say

02:11:53   anything publicly about it because they're like cool free album whereas the

02:11:57   people who did not appreciate the free album and had it forced on them found it

02:12:03   offensive and I know there's a certain tone definite. I could see how they were

02:12:06   tone deaf to that thinking they were they were excited like hey everybody

02:12:10   gets free album isn't that great and didn't think about that that people

02:12:13   view that as their personal space that was being cluttered by a corporate

02:12:19   synergy thing right and it pushes push notifications are like that I mean I

02:12:24   you're watching a movie or you're doing something on your personal device and a

02:12:29   little bubble pops up and if it's something that is super intrusive and not at all relevant

02:12:34   to you of course you're going to be turned off by that so if I got that carpool karaoke

02:12:38   notification I would have felt the same way I the one I got I've seen at least two screenshots

02:12:43   of the carpool karaoke one I got it my wife did not I don't think my son did either maybe

02:12:49   it's because I'm the one who's subscribed to Apple music that might be even though we

02:12:55   share it with the family. But the one I got, it said like new episode of carpool karaoke

02:13:01   f t period Jason Sudeikis and the Muppets. And it took me it took me like that. The part

02:13:09   that annoyed me about it wasn't that I got the notification. It was that I couldn't understand

02:13:12   what Fort Jason Sudeikis is. I swear to God, I was like, what the hell is this even mean?

02:13:19   It's like when a when a that's that's music lingo, right for when somebody guests on a

02:13:23   a track and they do the featuring that way.

02:13:25   See, I didn't know that.

02:13:26   I didn't even know that was music lingo.

02:13:28   I was like this—I didn't even know that that's a word—I've never seen that word

02:13:31   abbreviated before, or at least not in a context where I didn't understand it.

02:13:35   Like why not write out the word "featuring"?

02:13:38   I spent a long time thinking about what Fort Jason was.

02:13:42   It's where we all live.

02:13:46   That's where you live, at least.

02:13:47   All the Jasons.

02:13:48   All right, one more serious conversation.

02:13:50   I can't let you go.

02:13:51   I know we've stretched this on

02:13:52   and it's the holiday season and whatever,

02:13:54   but I wanna mention something

02:13:55   'cause if I don't, I'm never gonna forgive myself

02:13:58   because it ties into so much of what we talked about.

02:14:01   With that whole Mac likeness thing

02:14:04   and the way that Photoshop could be created

02:14:07   in a Mac-like way, even though it was going so much deeper

02:14:11   than Apple's own system type apps did.

02:14:16   Here's my frustration with the iPad

02:14:18   or one of my frustrations with the iPad.

02:14:22   I don't think there is such clarity

02:14:24   as to what makes a good blank app on iOS.

02:14:29   Like I look at the writing apps,

02:14:32   or let's just say the markdown writing apps,

02:14:34   which is crazily enough to me, like literally a category.

02:14:39   And they're all over the map.

02:14:44   Yeah.

02:14:44   They're all over the map in terms of what they do,

02:14:47   how they do it and missing features.

02:14:50   I don't wanna slag anybody,

02:14:52   but there was one I just tried that looked interesting

02:14:55   and I tried it and I downloaded it.

02:14:58   And I swear to God, the first thing I tried was Command + F

02:15:01   to see how did they do find,

02:15:03   because this seems like an unsolved problem on iOS.

02:15:06   And guess what?

02:15:07   It did nothing.

02:15:08   There is no find.

02:15:10   - Yeah, yeah.

02:15:14   - And I get it.

02:15:15   VSEPR didn't have, it sorta had search,

02:15:18   but it didn't have search within a note, right?

02:15:21   Like not Command + F search.

02:15:23   You could search for your list of notes

02:15:25   to find the string, of course.

02:15:26   And I'm sure this app supported something like that

02:15:28   in the source list.

02:15:29   But that's a notes app, not a text editor, right?

02:15:34   For like writing articles.

02:15:35   Like you can't have an article,

02:15:37   you can't have a thing that's meant for serious writing

02:15:39   where you can't search in the article.

02:15:42   - Yeah, it's definitely a problem.

02:15:45   I think one of the reasons there are so many Markdown apps

02:15:48   is that it's easier to do a plain text editor

02:15:51   than a style text editor, to be honest.

02:15:53   And so that they're like, oh, well, this is great.

02:15:55   Markdown text editor, file access, we're done.

02:15:57   Maybe you got, and not all of them are like that.

02:16:01   There are a lot that are much more sophisticated than that,

02:16:03   but I feel like that's one of the reasons

02:16:05   that people said, oh, I can make one of those.

02:16:08   And then you're right, like all the other features are hard.

02:16:12   And some of them, I forget whether it's, is it,

02:16:15   So I use OneWriter for the most part,

02:16:17   and I think its search is implemented.

02:16:19   I'm not sure whether it's search,

02:16:21   there's an app I've used for Markdown

02:16:23   where the search is implemented basically as a plugin,

02:16:27   because it's got a macro language behind it.

02:16:28   And I can't remember whether it's a OneWriter or editorial.

02:16:32   And I always thought that was one of the most bizarre things

02:16:34   that you would not consider it part of your core app

02:16:37   to do search, and instead would have it be like

02:16:40   an add-on macro that does search.

02:16:43   'cause it seems so fundamental to it.

02:16:45   And that's the stuff I miss the most, I gotta be honest.

02:16:47   The stuff I miss the most on iOS when I'm writing

02:16:50   is stuff like, like a grep, like, you know,

02:16:54   search and replace with pattern matching if I want it.

02:16:57   That stuff is a lot harder to come by.

02:16:59   There are apps that do it,

02:17:00   but they all have other issues.

02:17:02   Like, you know, Drafts does a bunch of stuff.

02:17:05   Ulysses does a bunch of stuff with Markdown,

02:17:08   but I don't like its approach

02:17:10   'cause it sort of translates the Markdown

02:17:12   into more of a word processor like kind of object thing

02:17:16   where you can't see the link, which I don't like

02:17:18   'cause I wanna see the link.

02:17:19   So it's just, you know, it's one of those things

02:17:21   where whenever I write about writing about this stuff,

02:17:25   writing about writing on iOS,

02:17:27   I have to put in all these caveats.

02:17:31   I have to say the app I'm using now is,

02:17:34   and part of that is that for a while

02:17:35   the app I was using was editorial and now it's one writer.

02:17:38   And I'm just not that invested in one writer.

02:17:41   like, it's okay. It works with my workflow.

02:17:45   You can point it at a particular folder in Dropbox,

02:17:48   which I've set to be where I use default folder on the Mac

02:17:52   to make that my default for BB edit.

02:17:54   All of my files that I'm working on go in that folder

02:17:57   and I can see them in both places.

02:17:59   And because it's all text, that's great.

02:18:01   But do I love OneWriter?

02:18:03   Do I think it solves all of these problems?

02:18:05   It absolutely doesn't.

02:18:07   There isn't, you know, and if somebody came up with one

02:18:10   Tomorrow, if Federico Vitici tomorrow emailed me

02:18:12   and said, "Did you see this text editor?"

02:18:14   I would absolutely buy it and download it and try it.

02:18:17   And if it was better, I would throw the current app

02:18:19   I'm using to the curb immediately.

02:18:21   Like there's no loyalty here

02:18:22   because none of them are good enough

02:18:24   to have built up loyalty.

02:18:26   - And I think part of the problem is Apple's shoulders

02:18:29   is that I don't think Apple has well-defined enough

02:18:32   just what it means to be a good iPad app.

02:18:37   I really do.

02:18:38   and just in a know it when I see it kind of way.

02:18:43   - You know, that's one of my hopes for 2019.

02:18:46   When I talk about this idea of the unified app platform

02:18:49   that might be coming, I mean, part of my hope as an iPad

02:18:52   user is that they are gonna do the work to define

02:18:56   what apps should do on large screen devices,

02:19:00   including iPads and Mac laptops,

02:19:03   because right, two thirds to three quarters of the Macs

02:19:06   that are sold are laptops.

02:19:07   So basically, 100% of the iPads are between,

02:19:11   or well, are between nine and 13 inches, right?

02:19:16   In that range, if we include the smaller iPads,

02:19:20   I mean, I guess other than the iPad mini,

02:19:22   which is maybe coming back,

02:19:24   but most iPads are in the nine to 13 space

02:19:27   and all, or what, three quarters of Macs sold

02:19:31   are between 12 and 15 inch displays.

02:19:34   They're all kind of in the same ballpark.

02:19:37   And what I'd like is for part of this unified approach

02:19:41   to apps to be not stuff that just is like,

02:19:45   how do we make iOS apps feel like Mac apps on the Mac?

02:19:48   But also like, how do we make iPad apps feel more unified

02:19:53   and functional and can iPad apps pick up some of the,

02:19:58   some of the attributes of Mac apps?

02:20:02   because the problems, I mean, the devices are different,

02:20:05   but the problems and the screen sizes

02:20:07   are not that different.

02:20:09   And so I've talked to Federico about this

02:20:12   and to Mike Hurley about this.

02:20:13   Like, I think potentially you could get like

02:20:16   better keyboard shortcut support,

02:20:18   potentially like pointing device support,

02:20:20   potentially something that's the iOS equivalent

02:20:23   of a menu bar.

02:20:24   Like, I feel like this is an opportunity for Apple

02:20:28   to make iPad apps richer and more powerful

02:20:32   to as a part of the process that is bringing them to the Mac,

02:20:37   which is a platform that wants them to be more powerful.

02:20:40   - Yeah, like I mentioned recently that like the iWork apps,

02:20:43   like Numbers, Numbers is the one I use the most,

02:20:46   and but Pages, they all have it,

02:20:49   but there's the iPad versions have like a dot, dot, dot

02:20:52   button that opens a popover and the popover is full of items.

02:20:57   Some of them have sub, some menus.

02:21:00   It's a menu bar.

02:21:01   Like, is that the way to do it in a dot, dot, dot menu?

02:21:05   I don't think so, but if it is,

02:21:07   then they should say so, right?

02:21:09   And encourage it. - And I think about,

02:21:10   could they just do a menu bar on the iPad?

02:21:12   I think the answer is probably no,

02:21:14   but if not, then it's like, well, what could you do

02:21:18   that gives you the kind of discoverability

02:21:21   and the density of access to features

02:21:24   that the Mac menu bar gives you?

02:21:25   And if you can do that and it's not a menu bar

02:21:28   and it's still good, then great.

02:21:31   But there are, every now and then,

02:21:32   'cause I use numbers on iOS a lot and on the Mac,

02:21:35   and every now and then you're like,

02:21:37   "Oh, I think I've reached the end.

02:21:39   "I think I can't actually get to this feature on iOS."

02:21:43   And there's no real good reason other than I think

02:21:45   they ran out of user interface for some of their features.

02:21:49   And it's like, that's not good enough.

02:21:50   You should be able to get to those features on iOS.

02:21:53   - Yeah, and one of the things I worry about

02:21:55   is that they're, they're not just putting, figuring out how to do a menu bar on the,

02:22:02   on iPad and be done with it is out of stubbornness and you know, like cause they don't want to

02:22:09   do it. They don't want to do a menu bar. And you know about menu bars is that are not cool,

02:22:13   right? They're text and they're just, you know, a bunch of words for the menu names

02:22:17   and a bunch of words for the menu items, you know, in a list. And, but guess what? Text

02:22:23   is actually very information depth rich. You know, it's there's there's a density, right?

02:22:29   The information density of the Mac menu bar is tremendous. It's enormous. It is the best

02:22:34   place. It's the most I think revolutionary and maybe undersold thing about the Mac interface

02:22:40   when it started was the fact that every feature that was available in any given app was discoverable

02:22:44   by going through the menus and that there were you could have sub menus. There was an

02:22:50   incredible level of detail and while you're navigating the menus you're you

02:22:54   can't get lost right the way that you get out is you just move your mouse

02:22:58   away and that's it you know it's it was it was it was a very dense and it wasn't

02:23:03   you couldn't get lost and you I don't know there's something like that that's

02:23:09   missing yeah I agree I agree I mean part of me thinks that the the solution is to

02:23:14   to do something that's very much like the menu bar. But I hope, again, in my kind of optimism

02:23:21   about this, that at Apple, they've had this discussion of how do we do something that can

02:23:24   float all of those kind of features out there somewhere in a way that makes sense on touch

02:23:31   interfaces and makes sense on Mac, you know, traditional pointing device driven interfaces.

02:23:38   I also sometimes toy with the idea that what they're going to end up doing is saying,

02:23:41   "Hey, now that we've built iOS apps

02:23:44   that also have menu bars,

02:23:45   if you plug in a mouse to your iPad,

02:23:47   we'll just show you the menu bar

02:23:49   and you can just use this."

02:23:51   Like, "Hmm, okay, that would be weird."

02:23:53   And I think it's probably the wrong decision, right?

02:23:55   To revisit the Mac interface convention on a new device.

02:23:59   But, you know, again, they need to,

02:24:02   that means they need to invent something

02:24:03   that's more appropriate

02:24:04   that still has that density and power.

02:24:07   - I'll give you another example is Photos.

02:24:09   So Photos for Mac came out a couple years ago and replaced iPhoto in a weird way, in

02:24:20   a way that Apple often doesn't do, which is, in rare cases, Apple will keep an old

02:24:25   app around and introduce the new one.

02:24:28   You could still run iPhoto right now.

02:24:30   There probably are people still using iPhoto because it's too different and the paradigm

02:24:35   is too different, etc., etc.

02:24:38   So they stopped updating iPhoto, but--

02:24:42   or is it iPhotos?

02:24:43   I don't even remember anymore.

02:24:44   iPhoto.

02:24:45   iPhoto.

02:24:45   Two photos, yes.

02:24:46   And then there's Photos for Mac, which shares the--

02:24:49   and the very best feature of it.

02:24:51   And in my personal experience as a thorough user of the iCloud

02:24:55   photo system, it is, to me, a rock--

02:25:00   has been for a couple of years now,

02:25:01   and very rock solid photo syncing system

02:25:04   that is both reliable and works fast.

02:25:08   And so my photos are everywhere on all my devices.

02:25:10   Photos for Mac is sort of an iOS-ish looking app,

02:25:18   but it's not like the marzipan apps.

02:25:20   And I believe, if I'm remembering correctly,

02:25:22   people who dug within it, you know,

02:25:24   like Steven Trout and Smith style,

02:25:26   found something called UXKit,

02:25:28   which some people thought might be,

02:25:30   that might be the holy grail

02:25:31   that you and I were speculating about an hour ago,

02:25:34   that UXKit could be the UIKit for the Mac.

02:25:36   it I think it turns out either it was and they decided to just leave it with photos or it was just something the photos team

02:25:43   Made to get that, you know, it was and they just right pick that name

02:25:47   Like nothing further has come of that there have been no further apps that art on the Mac what photos is for the Mac

02:25:55   But there's also and I have gripes about some of the iOS ishness of photos on Mac, but none of them to the

02:26:03   To the level of outrage and and I cannot you know

02:26:07   WTF that the marzipan stuff is filed under there's something different there

02:26:11   But one aspect I put like that some ways the familiarity is nice

02:26:15   right like and and the one that hit me just recently because I've been trying to I

02:26:19   For a bunch of reasons. I've been using my iPad Pro a lot recently and just visually it is helpful for me

02:26:26   Like at the current place where my vision is between the two eyes

02:26:29   It is really helpful for me to have a screen very close to my face

02:26:33   And guess which big screen is the easiest to get close to my face? It's the iPad. It is really easy it is a

02:26:41   really almost

02:26:44   Eyewatering accessibility advantage to be able to sit comfortably and read a nice big screen very close to my face

02:26:51   And I went to edit some photos and I wanted to make some adjustments beyond the very basic ones

02:26:57   And I was like what the hell where'd they move these to?

02:27:01   Where's like this those things that you strapped and then I realized they're only on the Mac version

02:27:05   you know what I mean you go into edit mode on the Mac and

02:27:08   There's more than just filters you can apply there's like

02:27:12   individual things you can pop open with disclosure triangles to tie in another topic from a

02:27:17   Conversation earlier in the show with detailed things specifically like if you just want to adjust

02:27:22   The brightness or the contrast or something like that or the exposure level

02:27:26   There's a whole bunch of features

02:27:27   I did that are only on the Mac version. And I was like, well, that's crazy because isn't

02:27:31   the iPad the one that's supposed to be getting all the attention? Anyway, that just drove

02:27:36   me nuts. And I'm sure Apple, they know about it. But it was crazy to me because I really

02:27:40   spent like two minutes looking for how to do it on the iPad before I remembered that

02:27:44   you can't because I, the iPad seems like it should be able to do everything the Mac version

02:27:48   does in that regard.

02:27:49   Oh, I you know, I agree that's with with photos since I wrote a book about it for take control.

02:27:57   And so I compare and contrast the iOS version and the Mac version and it's fascinating all

02:28:02   the ways that they don't sync up and you know, I I can complain about the Mac version not

02:28:06   having the new search feature that they added to iOS. It drives me crazy because it's such

02:28:10   a it's such a useful thing and you know, you can't you can't search for show me all the

02:28:14   photos with snow and dogs like you can't but you can do that on iOS. But iOS is lacking

02:28:21   all sorts of editing features that are in the Mac version and on my iPad like why are

02:28:26   those not there? There's no I don't understand why I can't do all the same editing things

02:28:31   that I can do on my Mac on my iPad and and there's no good reason for it which is it's

02:28:36   funny that that also means my standards have changed where it used to be kind of like well

02:28:39   I understand it this is kind of the light version of that and I'm I have left that era

02:28:44   behind. I'm like, Why is this not here? The Apple rolls out this new iPad and says it's

02:28:48   faster than most of the laptops that are sold now and more powerful. It's like, All right,

02:28:52   well, then why can't I edit my photos in the same way on this thing? Yeah, it's really

02:28:56   comes down to screen size, right? Like I totally get it with the iPhone, you know, like even

02:29:01   with the you know, what's the supersized excess Max, you know, get the iPhone XS Max. It's

02:29:06   still it's you know, it's a tiny screen. I get it. Maybe there's some advanced editing

02:29:10   controls that you just don't want to figure out how to scram them on the screen. But there's,

02:29:15   you know, the iPad 11 and 13 inch screens are plenty big enough for it.

02:29:19   Yeah, I mean, I use my MacBook Air as an 11. This iPad's got a way bigger screen than that.

02:29:25   There's plenty of room. I have that book. I have take control of photos

02:29:33   for Mac. I saw my Christmas reading list because I will tell you I'm coming at it as somebody

02:29:39   who I know the Mac version pretty thoroughly and like I have no idea about like searching

02:29:44   on the iOS version. Like I think I'm I hope I'm in for a pleasant surprise on the degree to which

02:29:49   Apple photos are actually searchable because I'm I'm coming. I mean on iOS they don't let you do

02:29:55   like smart albums and stuff but you can you can stack up these queries in ways that I mean the

02:30:00   example I give in the book is that I said search for dogs and it's got like 800 pictures of dogs

02:30:05   yeah but I'm looking for this picture of the time that we took my dog up to the mountains and she

02:30:08   was like the only time she was in the snow. And so then on iOS, you search for dogs and

02:30:13   you're like, all right, dogs. And then you just type snow and then tap on the, on the

02:30:17   snow. And then it's like, here's two pictures. There they are. Those are the two pictures

02:30:21   of dogs and snow. And it is the picture I wanted of my dog in the snow. And it's like,

02:30:25   yes, that is how this is supposed to work.

02:30:28   Trenton Larkin Um, briefly, quick hits before we talk about

02:30:32   your keyboard. Uh, I think that that searching stuff, it ties into one last thing I definitely

02:30:37   to mention on the show with you is the thing I linked to. Well, two bits of news that I

02:30:42   thought were curiously came out the same morning this week was Apple's promotion of John,

02:30:47   John, and Drea to a senior vice president level. I can't help but think because he's only been

02:30:54   there since summer and he came from Google where he headed up summer. I was actually

02:30:58   surprised when they hired him that he didn't start with a senior vice president title.

02:31:01   And I just wonder if maybe it's policy now that some new hires even at that level,

02:31:07   let's see how this works out, right? Let's see if you're a fit. Like I can't help but think that

02:31:12   that was the plan all along. It's like, okay, you're gonna leave Google, you're gonna join us,

02:31:16   here's a big pile of money. Let's see how this works. And it's worked apparently well. And now

02:31:22   he's promoted to senior vice president level. Because his job's the same. He started as the

02:31:27   head of AI and machine learning. And the other bit of news was Loop Ventures. That's Gene Munster's

02:31:34   outfit runs. To me, I don't know. I mean, maybe, I don't know how rigorous it is,

02:31:39   but it sounds to me pretty interesting. They've run, they've two years in a row, they've

02:31:43   run these battery of 800 tests comparing Googles and Amazons and Apples speakers and what they

02:31:50   can do and what type of questions they can do. And the really interesting thing to me

02:31:54   is probably is a surprise to know when Google Assistant was still the most capable. And

02:32:01   and they all improved over the last year. But Siri improved by far the most like, well,

02:32:07   you know, like Google assistant got like 7% more questions, right? Siri improved 22% and

02:32:13   series wasn't even 12 months. It was nine months because the home pod didn't ship until

02:32:17   nine months ago. Right. And basically my theory, and I really think it's true, is I think Siri

02:32:25   is getting a lot better in every way. Understanding you, capabilities, and I think it's catching

02:32:33   up to Google. I don't think that, I don't think John, Gian, and Dre would have taken

02:32:37   the job if their goal was any less than to catch or exceed Google in these areas. You

02:32:43   know, I really think it's that serious. But I think Apple has a huge perception problem.

02:32:48   I call it a boy who cries wolf problem where I think a lot of people hear the word Siri

02:32:54   and they think, ah, that doesn't work. And that's it. And they filed it under and it's,

02:32:59   it's the way that like first impressions can last a lifetime. Like people filed Siri under

02:33:03   a thing that doesn't work and I shouldn't bother trying.

02:33:06   I think you're right. I think a lot of people, um, you know, once you're burned, you just,

02:33:15   just walk away and it's hard to get people to reengage and to give it another try. And

02:33:20   So with Siri, you know, I almost think that what they need to do, and this is what they

02:33:25   should have been doing all along, is keep improving it in the background.

02:33:29   And then you'll have a release or a new feature or something that you make available that

02:33:34   lets you have say, "Hey, we added a bunch of new things to Siri and it's way better

02:33:39   than it used to be.

02:33:40   Give it another try."

02:33:42   But they're going to need a marketing moment where they try to convince people to give

02:33:45   it another try.

02:33:47   In the background, it needs to have gotten a lot better in the meantime.

02:33:49   so that they can actually,

02:33:51   they actually have something that's better

02:33:53   to tell people to try.

02:33:55   - I think it is evident just from the Loop Ventures thing

02:33:58   that they are in fact doing that

02:33:59   and rolling out iterative updates.

02:34:02   But it also meshes with my personal experience

02:34:05   using these things, that it is getting better,

02:34:08   not just with OS updates or with features

02:34:10   that are get announced once a year at WWDC,

02:34:13   but that it is Google style just under continuous improvement

02:34:18   and when something, an improvement is deemed ready to ship,

02:34:21   it is rolled out on their backend.

02:34:23   - Yeah, that's the right way to do it, right?

02:34:26   It's cloud features.

02:34:28   But then at some point, perhaps there's a marketing feature

02:34:30   that they hold off on and announce somewhere

02:34:33   and use it as a way to ask people to give it a new try,

02:34:38   give it another go, because they know it's got a reputation.

02:34:41   They're not dumb.

02:34:42   They're aware of Siri's reputation.

02:34:44   - Yeah, I think you're right,

02:34:45   that they've got to hold off on some kind

02:34:47   new integration with the thing. I don't know what it would be, but so that they can say

02:34:51   it or maybe, you know, maybe it's, you know, maybe it's a little, you know, good old fashioned

02:34:55   advertising campaign, right? Right. Could be, you know, just throw money at it and do

02:35:01   make clever commercials and get them everywhere and you know, try to make it a thing. But

02:35:06   I don't know, something has to be done. In addition to just making it better, something

02:35:10   has to be done perception wise because the better the getting better isn't enough because

02:35:14   people won't notice if they don't try it. And it's like you and you don't accidentally

02:35:19   try it, right? I mean, you could actually people only know that they remember the failures

02:35:24   too. That's the other part of it. So absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, the time that you asked

02:35:29   to go to the pizza place you go to all the time and it gave you directions to North Carolina.

02:35:37   I got direction I went to we went Christmas tree shopping a couple weeks ago and forget

02:35:43   the name of the place, Linvola Farms or something. It's suburban Philadelphia. And I asked Siri

02:35:50   for directions because we go once a year and the roads sometimes change and you want to

02:35:55   get the traffic. So I kind of know how to get there anyway. And I know that you get

02:36:00   there by starting going south on I-95 out of the city. And that was the directions I

02:36:04   was following. And then we kept going and then we wound up across the state line into Delaware.

02:36:11   And we got to the welcome to Delaware sign.

02:36:15   And I was like, you know,

02:36:15   I kind of thought we missed the exit.

02:36:17   And then we checked and we were going to some place

02:36:19   with a similar name in North Carolina.

02:36:21   (laughs)

02:36:23   - Yeah, that one still gets me.

02:36:25   And that's, you know,

02:36:26   'cause maps is the same story as Siri,

02:36:27   where you remember the failures

02:36:29   and they need to keep getting better

02:36:30   and try to find ways to get people to try it again.

02:36:33   And that's the maps failure that comes up a lot

02:36:36   that I still can't believe that they haven't fixed,

02:36:37   which is if it knows your location and you do a search, you'd be really aggressive that

02:36:43   they're trying to find something near you. Please pick the thing that's sort of like

02:36:47   this in Pennsylvania and not the thing that is like it, but in North Carolina, because

02:36:53   I'm probably not asking about North Carolina.

02:36:55   Yeah. And, and, and it, the way that these things fall short in so many ways and I, I

02:37:00   think we'll get there faster than when we all think. I think it's that old, that a whole

02:37:05   Bill Gates thing, and maybe he didn't originate the line, but that technology progresses way

02:37:12   more slowly year after year than we ever think and way faster every 10 years than we think.

02:37:17   You know, that you look at it year over year and it never seems like we're getting anywhere

02:37:20   and you look back 10 years and you're like, holy crap, that was crude. I think, you know,

02:37:25   we'll have that sort of moment with this stuff. But like if you got in an Uber or a lift and

02:37:30   said to the driver, take me to a Christmas tree farm in North Carolina and you live in

02:37:34   Philadelphia, they're going to double check before they take off, right? You can have

02:37:40   that conversation very quickly. That conversation doesn't happen when you talk to Apple Maps,

02:37:49   right? There is no double checking of the ridiculous, "Are you sure you want to drive

02:37:53   cross country as opposed to driving 22 minutes out of the city?" It makes me want to get

02:38:00   and Uber and see what they would say if I tried to go to North Carolina. All right,

02:38:05   what's your current keyboard, Jason?

02:38:07   Jason Buehler, Jr. I am using a Vortex Race 3, which is a, I think, what they call a 75%

02:38:12   keyboard. It's mechanical keys. I use the Cherry Brown switches because I like those.

02:38:17   But it's small. It's got no keypad. It does have a function key row, and it has dedicated

02:38:22   arrow keys. When we talk about these keyboards, you and I, people send links to things that

02:38:26   don't have arrow keys. And it's like, yeah, you can hold down the function key and move

02:38:29   around with the things that are arrow keys.

02:38:31   And it's like, no, I'm not interested in that.

02:38:33   I want arrow keys.

02:38:34   I've spent my entire life with arrow keys.

02:38:37   I want dedicated keys to move around my cursor around

02:38:40   on the screen.

02:38:41   And it's pretty nice.

02:38:42   It's just a USB keyboard,

02:38:44   but having that extra function row is nice

02:38:47   just for controlling media brightness, stuff like that.

02:38:52   And it comes with Mac key caps,

02:38:55   which often these keyboards don't.

02:38:58   and you know it's programmable so you can put it into Mac mode and then at that point it's just a

02:39:03   Mac keyboard and not a you know Windows keyboard with weird keys that you have to pretend are

02:39:08   different keys or whatever it that was a nice feature of it and so that's why I'm using now.

02:39:12   My weakness on the keyboard front is on the wireless front is I'm more likely to buy a bunch

02:39:20   of—and in fact have recently bought a bunch of Bluetooth keyboards before settling on

02:39:27   Apple's Magic Keyboard, which I can't believe I didn't try first. Because I had

02:39:33   the old Magic Keyboard, the one that took batteries, and I didn't realize how much

02:39:36   better the new one is that charges by lightning.

02:39:39   So you had the whatever it was called. It wasn't the Magic Keyboard. It was like the—

02:39:43   No, I think it was called a Magic Keyboard, but I don't know.

02:39:47   I don't think so. I think it was just the Bluetooth keyboard, and that's the one with

02:39:50   AA batteries going that little cylinder on the back.

02:39:53   A cylinder that honestly looked like it was meant to hold AA batteries.

02:39:56   That's exactly right. And then the Magic Keyboard has just the lightning charger. And no, it's

02:40:01   really good. And you can get, Studio Neat makes a thing. And then there's another one

02:40:06   that Federico.

02:40:07   The Canopy. Studio Neat is called the Canopy and it is lovely.

02:40:11   And Federico found one that's very much like the old origami workstation thing, which has

02:40:15   got like a magnetic fold and all that and the idea there is with either of those you've got a little

02:40:20   keyboard holder that is also a stand for an iPad. Yes, exactly. I have to look up Federico's.

02:40:25   On the actual plug-in mechanical keyboard front, I'm so loyal to the Apple keyboard too that I'm a

02:40:32   little less likely to do what I'm always tempted to do after you're on the show and just buy what

02:40:39   what you said you're using. Although I did buy your Matthias, but that's a wireless one.

02:40:46   I did buy the Matthias one. Yeah, well, Matthias is the one that's supposed to be the most

02:40:49   like the old switches on the... Yeah, I don't agree with it. Yeah, I don't agree with it.

02:40:56   Yeah, I don't like them as much as I like the Cherry Brown switches because I got one

02:41:00   of those testers that you and I discovered a couple times ago when I was on. But, you

02:41:06   know, I have used the Matias with my iPad a lot, like in the kitchen, although now with

02:41:12   the iPad, the new iPad Pro, I've been taking, it can power more external USB keyboards than

02:41:18   the old one could. The old one was kind of touchy, but now it can power most of these

02:41:22   keyboards that I've got. So I've been sort of like just dragging out other mechanical

02:41:25   keyboards and using them too.

02:41:27   Is the keyboard, are there options for colors or is the one that you show me, like that's

02:41:32   the that is it because it's a very it's colorful in the corners it's almost like Lego like

02:41:37   a Lego like primary palette so it comes with all just shades of gray and then it's got

02:41:43   highlight key colored versions that also come with it that you can put on so by default

02:41:50   you can have it be just completely it's like a light gray and a dark gray and that's it

02:41:53   and it's standard key caps you could replace them with other key caps if you wanted to

02:41:57   But so I've got the I actually put my key. My keys are yellow. My my arrow keys. Yeah,

02:42:04   that's what I see in the image you sent me. This is a problem for me because there's I have a

02:42:08   couple of pet peeves with keyboards. A I need arrow keys have to have them. I have to have

02:42:14   Mac command keys or blank or something, but I can't have a Windows key. I just it offends me

02:42:22   and I don't want it. Oh yeah, it's the worst. So I agree. I want Mac style, you know, and it could

02:42:28   be, you know, in theory it could say like control instead of, you know, or have the symbols instead

02:42:36   of the names, you know. Well, I was impressed that the Vortex Race actually has the Mac keys in the

02:42:40   box, so you just lift off the windows and whatever the alt key is and you put on the option and the

02:42:48   command and so I like that because most of them do not do that they just don't

02:42:53   care about that. This one ticks all of the boxes. Alright, here's another one for me

02:42:58   really personal. I cannot cannot buy a keyboard that has Arial as the typeface

02:43:05   for the key caps and this one uses Helvetica. Damn it, Jason. It looks good too

02:43:11   it's got the um they're big in the center of the keys which is kind of old

02:43:15   school typewriter a little bit and I like that about it. You know, these aren't for

02:43:20   everybody. I don't know, did you ever figure out what kind of Cherry switches style you

02:43:25   liked the best? No, but I think Cherry Brown. I think I'm with Brown too. That's the one

02:43:30   that has worked for me. I don't know, I don't want to cost you 130 bucks, but I do like

02:43:36   it. I gotta tell you, I know we've been running forever, but it's a short show. I got one

02:43:42   story to tell you. I reviewed this Bluetooth mechanical keyboard that they

02:43:46   read all the articles I wrote about this stuff and they're like, "Oh, you got to try

02:43:48   this out. It's Bluetooth. It'll work on the Mac. It's got backlighting. It's all

02:43:52   this stuff." And it's this crazy keyboard. It has backlighting

02:43:55   effects where you touch a key and lights ripple out from the key.

02:43:58   It's not good, but it's amazing. And I had this moment where I realized I had an

02:44:05   inviolable keyboard rule that I didn't know I had, which is they have a... the

02:44:11   shift key is on the far side of the arrow keys on the right side so if you

02:44:17   want to press shift you have to go past the up arrow oh that's that would not

02:44:21   work I started I started typing I was like oh no I can't use this keyboard and

02:44:25   I put it away it's like I can't I can't even do it so there's weird keyboard

02:44:29   layouts do not work for me I actually bought for this vortex I just bought

02:44:32   these things that are they're like they're almost like covers for key

02:44:37   switches and they basically block off a key switch. I think they're called, what are they called,

02:44:42   switch blockers. Because the only problem I have, my real complaint with the Vortex 3 is that

02:44:48   I don't, it's like on new Apple laptops, I have a hard time orienting my hands without looking.

02:44:56   - Yes. - Because it's just a grid of keys. And so the right, above the right arrow key on this

02:45:04   keyboard is a lot of keys that I never really use, you know, home, end, page up, page down.

02:45:09   And I realize what I'm going to do now that I found these things, these switch blockers,

02:45:12   is I'm going to take a couple of those keys off and block them. At which point I have

02:45:19   a blank space in the keyboard that my fingers can feel and orient properly. So that I'm

02:45:24   excited that I knew those must exist somewhere and I finally found them. So I'm going to

02:45:29   give that a try and see if that solves. That's the only complaint is that every now and then

02:45:32   and I find myself having shifted over a key

02:45:35   and everything comes out nonsense

02:45:37   and then I'm curse and move and then I get back to it.

02:45:40   And I wanna stop that.

02:45:42   - What does the PN key do?

02:45:44   - That's well, so this is a programmable keyboard.

02:45:48   So you hold down PN and you can do stuff.

02:45:50   That's how you switch between the Mac mode

02:45:52   and the windows mode.

02:45:53   And for people who are programmers,

02:45:55   I think my understanding is you basically can program

02:45:59   multiple keystrokes into a single key

02:46:03   using the programming system for the keyboard.

02:46:06   But all I did was do what,

02:46:08   I looked in the manual and press the button

02:46:10   that makes it a Mac keyboard.

02:46:11   And then I'm gonna lock that key out too, quite frankly,

02:46:14   'cause I don't need to press that

02:46:15   and accidentally send my keyboard

02:46:17   into some weird key layer thing.

02:46:19   But apparently that's a, for some people,

02:46:21   that's a real big thing is the programmable keyboards

02:46:24   where you've got to fire off a whole bunch of keystrokes

02:46:27   in a sequence and you can actually just program them in

02:46:29   and then you press one key and it's like a macro.

02:46:32   It's like keyboard maestro in hardware.

02:46:35   - Hardware, gotcha.

02:46:36   - But I don't need that 'cause I got keyboard maestro.

02:46:38   - Exactly, I was gonna say that you beat me to the punch.

02:46:42   One thing I don't like about the mechanical keyboard world

02:46:45   and I like about this one is that this one,

02:46:46   it's like you pick your switches and it gives you the keys

02:46:50   and you just get a box with everything in it.

02:46:51   And then if you wanna pop some keys off

02:46:53   and put other ones on, they're all there already

02:46:55   and you're done.

02:46:56   - Exactly.

02:46:57   - There's a lot too many of these that are shipping

02:46:59   as like kits that you have to kind of do the assembly on

02:47:03   more than just popping keyboards on that.

02:47:05   It's like-

02:47:06   - Well, there's a whole keyboard kit culture,

02:47:09   which is great if you're into that sort of thing.

02:47:11   But if you're somebody who just wants a neat keyboard,

02:47:14   like, "This is a cool keyboard, I want this."

02:47:16   It's like, I don't wanna solder anything.

02:47:18   I don't wanna build my own keys.

02:47:21   I don't wanna have to choose a particular layout.

02:47:23   I just kind of wanna get the keyboard and use it.

02:47:25   - Yeah, 'cause I, you know, I've been,

02:47:27   I don't wanna spoil any Christmas,

02:47:30   but somebody in the household has been very serious

02:47:33   about asking for a gaming PC for a long time.

02:47:37   - Ah. - And it's been determined

02:47:38   that they should get it.

02:47:40   And I don't know shit about buying a gaming PC.

02:47:42   And I heard people, and I brought this up

02:47:44   a few episodes ago, and people wrote and said,

02:47:46   you should build them together,

02:47:48   that this is, you know, father-son bonding experience.

02:47:50   And I know your colleague and everybody's mutual friend

02:47:55   on the internet, Mike Hurley has gone through this.

02:47:57   - He did this, yeah.

02:47:58   I think the bonding is really that Jonas will hear

02:48:03   swear words come out of your mouth

02:48:05   that maybe he's never heard before.

02:48:08   - Well, but I don't know anything about gaming PCs.

02:48:11   Or I didn't, now I do because me and John Siracusa

02:48:16   got me started and then I figured it all out.

02:48:19   But the thing I figured out with an enormous amount

02:48:24   of research. Like when I started like ball parking what my time is worth and what I thought

02:48:29   I was spending on this PC and how much time I had put into it, I was like, Oh Christ,

02:48:35   I, I, I mean, we're almost break even and I didn't buy the damn thing yet. I mean, like,

02:48:40   yeah, you should have just paid somebody who was good to have a pre-built one that you

02:48:44   just got. This is what we did. Well, what I figured out and maybe I'm wrong cause I'm

02:48:48   I'm not in this world.

02:48:49   But what I figured out is that they're all

02:48:54   build your own PCs.

02:48:56   It's just a question of whether you're

02:48:57   the one screwing it all together or whether somebody else,

02:49:01   you order it and then they mail it to you already

02:49:03   put together.

02:49:04   And a lot of this stuff you can figure out.

02:49:09   I just didn't know what is a good Nvidia graphics

02:49:13   card for 2018.

02:49:16   But you just pick a CPU.

02:49:17   you pick a GPU, you pick a motherboard,

02:49:20   you pick what type of RAM,

02:49:22   and then you have some kind of case and a cooling system.

02:49:25   And it's all stuff, you know what RAM is,

02:49:28   and you know what the difference in eight and 16 gigs of RAM,

02:49:30   and certainly know what SSD is.

02:49:33   But when you buy a pre-built one from a reputable company,

02:49:39   you're making all the exact same decisions,

02:49:41   and the part names are exactly the same.

02:49:43   They just come all together,

02:49:45   and I'm hoping are guaranteed to work all together.

02:49:49   So I'm not putting you down if you enjoy doing it yourself

02:49:53   and maybe you can save some money,

02:49:55   but I read some reviews and the reviewers,

02:49:58   like at PC Mags clearly know,

02:50:00   would emphasize that, okay, this is billed as expensive,

02:50:06   but if you look at the components,

02:50:07   it's actually not much of a,

02:50:09   it's because the components are expensive.

02:50:10   This one, you buy this thing from this company

02:50:13   and sure that's expensive,

02:50:14   But it's, you know, priced out the individual components

02:50:18   and it's actually, you know, you're getting a lot of work,

02:50:21   assembly work for a very low price.

02:50:24   So that's the route I went.

02:50:25   But the other thing that really cracked me up,

02:50:27   really cracked me up, and it just shows I am further drifted

02:50:32   into the Apple world over the decades.

02:50:36   What these people consider expensive is not expensive.

02:50:43   It is like, oh my god, that's not--

02:50:45   I kept reading these things, and they'd say,

02:50:47   such and such is expensive.

02:50:49   And then I'd look at the prices for it,

02:50:51   and it would be like SSD.

02:50:54   And they'd be like, whoa, it's pricey.

02:50:55   And it's like, well, that's a lot less

02:50:57   than I'm used to paying for a 256 to 512 upgrade on the SSD.

02:51:04   So the advantage of being ingrained in the Apple ecosystem

02:51:08   is you step over to the other side,

02:51:10   and it's like you're going to some country where

02:51:13   The dollar, you know, $100 can get you into a five-star hotel.

02:51:18   It's like, this is not expensive.

02:51:22   But the other crazy thing about the PC world,

02:51:23   I didn't know if you knew this,

02:51:24   I'm sure everybody who's listening to this show

02:51:26   is gonna think I'm ridiculously out of touch

02:51:28   for not really being in tune to this,

02:51:30   but in the gaming PC world, everything has LED lights.

02:51:34   Everything.

02:51:36   - Right.

02:51:37   - Your mouse has lights, your keyboard has lights.

02:51:40   - It's like that keyboard that I tried,

02:51:42   which I think that's why it has those lights is because it comes from the from gaming background and it's like

02:51:47   You can have them do random patterns that have nothing to do with anything

02:51:51   You can have them like it like eight different programmable ways that your keys can dance in front of you as you type

02:51:58   I'm I'm not making this up Jason the displays have lights

02:52:02   Like not the display but like the back of the display has lights that can shine onto the wall

02:52:08   Oh, yeah, then - yeah totally so it's like that Phillips thing

02:52:13   You know like Phillips had a thing for the TVs where they could shine a light on the wall

02:52:16   I'm like the dominant color of the what was on the TV and broadcast that onto your wall

02:52:21   So it was more immersive right and I'm laughing and you know I here I am

02:52:26   someone who enjoys vacationing in Las Vegas, but it you know, so I'm not a

02:52:30   immune to the charms of

02:52:34   brightly colored flashy lights

02:52:36   It just seems like the craziest thing in the world that it's it is absolutely 100%

02:52:41   That's just assumed that your gaming PC will have a ridiculous sort of Vegas

02:52:47   strip sky

02:52:50   You know, it's gonna look like the sign to a motel two blocks off the Vegas strip. Yeah, right

02:52:57   Including the words I the keyboard thing kills me

02:53:01   I mean, how could you look at that?

02:53:02   And of course you can always turn it off, I guess,

02:53:04   but well, it seems crazy.

02:53:06   - Yep.

02:53:09   - So you've avoided the whole gaming PC thing?

02:53:13   - I have, and my son is a gamer,

02:53:18   and I think would love one.

02:53:20   And I think even he knows that it's maybe a bridge too far.

02:53:23   I've offered to let him, I have bootcamp on my iMac Pro,

02:53:26   which is a pretty good, you know, graphics wise,

02:53:28   pretty good.

02:53:29   He could just come out here and play PC games.

02:53:31   I think the fact is that he is mostly satisfied

02:53:33   at this point with console games and iPad games.

02:53:37   But I have thought about it.

02:53:38   It's actually one of the things that frustrates me

02:53:40   about the Apple's current lineup is,

02:53:41   I kind of want to buy him a new Mac

02:53:43   'cause he's got a very old MacBook Air.

02:53:46   But I want to get him one that's got decent enough power

02:53:48   and graphics that I could put bootcamp on it

02:53:50   and let him play PC games on that.

02:53:52   And right now that would be like the MacBook escape,

02:53:56   I guess, which is old and it hasn't been updated.

02:53:59   - Yeah, it's not a good purchase.

02:54:00   - So I'm just sort of sitting it out,

02:54:01   'cause that's what I thought I might do,

02:54:03   is get him a Mac that could play PC games too.

02:54:06   - It's especially a tough sell

02:54:08   if you're going to be taxing it, right?

02:54:09   Like the year and a half old MacBook escape

02:54:12   is a really tough sell.

02:54:13   It might be perfect for some people right now,

02:54:16   but for somebody who's going to be taxing the graphics of it

02:54:18   it's a really hard sell.

02:54:20   - Yeah, exactly. - It was a very good one.

02:54:22   - Exactly, so I do fear that moment where he comes to me

02:54:24   and says, "It's time for me to get a gaming PC,"

02:54:27   'cause I really would rather not go through that,

02:54:30   but it might happen.

02:54:32   - It's an eye-opener.

02:54:34   Anything else you wanted to talk about?

02:54:40   - Oh, I think we've done all that two human beings can do

02:54:45   in three hours and seven minutes.

02:54:46   - Yeah.

02:54:47   It does seem like graphics cards,

02:54:49   but it does seem like the connector story

02:54:51   has straightened out on the PC side.

02:54:52   It seems like everything is a DisplayPort and power.

02:54:56   That's good. That's good. And USB, you know, I don't know, but we'll see how this goes.

02:55:03   I'm surprised, Jon. I mean, having a PC in your house is a big step just on its own.

02:55:09   Like Jon, you mentioned Jon Siracusa, like he won't have an Xbox in his house because

02:55:13   it's like it's Microsoft. He's not going to allow it.

02:55:15   Yeah, see, I don't have that. I don't have any kind of religious aversion to having a

02:55:19   PC in my house. I've never been that type of, you know, I used to have an Xbox. It never

02:55:25   bothered me because it wasn't, you know, it had nothing to do with why I used a Mac.

02:55:29   Yeah. We have an Xbox. It's fine. Yeah. I always liked it. I actually liked it a lot.

02:55:33   That's not the issue. To me, it's I don't know what to do. Like, I'm not, it's, you know,

02:55:44   I have no idea how Windows 10 works. I don't know. I mean, is it going to be self-explanatory? I don't

02:55:51   know. My son doesn't use it either, and he seems to think he'll just pick it up, and I'm hoping

02:55:55   hoping you will because but I don't know. It confuses the heck out of me because I learned

02:56:01   how to use I can get around an XP right but doesn't help doesn't help anymore with now

02:56:06   because my boot camp now is Windows 10 it's like I have no idea what's going on there

02:56:10   yeah I haven't had boot camp I've never even installed boot camp I haven't had Windows

02:56:14   installed on I think the last time I ran Windows on a Mac it was a virtual PC I wasn't even

02:56:22   like "Parallel." It was like back in the Power PC era. Yeah, I think it was in the Power

02:56:27   PC era when—and it was so slow because—

02:56:30   Jon Streeter Like soft Windows or virtual PC, yeah.

02:56:32   Dave Asprey Yeah, I think it was—I was a virtual PC

02:56:33   fan for some reason, and it was important for me to—just for testing in PC browsers

02:56:40   because I was doing web development work. And, you know, however slow it was, if it

02:56:45   rendered correctly, you could just assume it would be fast enough and somebody else

02:56:48   or do final testing to make sure it wasn't actually slow, you know. But rendering issues

02:56:52   were just the whole thing and I could use it for that. But that, I mean, we're talking like

02:56:55   1997 or something like that. Yeah. Yeah. PCs have advanced since then. Yeah, I'm sure they have,

02:57:01   but it's, I'm not so sure they've advanced in that they've, that Windows has gotten better. It's just,

02:57:06   I'm just lost. I don't know. But it's quite a, quite an eye-opener buying these things.

02:57:13   And I do see, you know, conversely, I see the, I didn't doubt it, but I do see the problem some

02:57:18   people have with perceiving Apple's equivalence as being expensive. Although I will say this,

02:57:23   here's another thing now. So most of the stuff like going from 256 gigs of SSD storage to 512,

02:57:31   you you pay Apple more than you pay most of these companies, you know, and you can buy components

02:57:35   that are of course, you know, people who want to build out a $7,000 gaming PC or more, I'm sure.

02:57:40   and you can buy the world. There's all sorts of ways that you can certainly put yourself

02:57:45   well up into the stratosphere of Apple pricing on the PC side. But as far as I can see, there is no

02:57:54   equivalent of the Apple's 5K Retina iMac display for a PC for the prices that you assume the

02:58:02   display is worth in the iMac. And gaming stresses it in different ways. And what makes the iMac

02:58:14   5K monitor great for the stuff that Mac users use it for, it may not be suitable for gaming

02:58:19   at all. But 4K gaming is a real stretch right now, as far as I can see, within relatively

02:58:27   reasonable budgets and there's very few displays out there. Whereas I've had a 5K display on

02:58:33   my desk at a reasonable price for I don't know how many years now, right? I don't know.

02:58:39   So that's one area where Apple is still, you know, when they pick and choose their places,

02:58:44   they're incredibly advanced and capable. And I remember that all that crazy stuff they

02:58:48   did where they had like tool to the way they got the 5K iMac to work is it really had like

02:58:54   two Thunderbolt things speaking and doing half the screen and they just made it so you

02:58:58   couldn't tell. Anyway, it's a bad world out there. I don't count yourself lucky. Anyway,

02:59:05   Jason Snell, thank you so much for coming back. Always a pleasure. Have a good holiday

02:59:11   season. Everybody can read your work. You can find all of your work at six colors.com.

02:59:18   I always like to know you can spell colors however you feel it should be spelled. On

02:59:23   Twitter at J Snell and for your podcast listening enjoyment. Jason has about 30 different podcasts

02:59:34   including oh, I should definitely mention the episode of the incomparable that we did

02:59:41   where we talked about 2001 a Space Odyssey. I linked to it a few years ago, but and other

02:59:47   people who have been mentioned on this show were there as well. John Siracusa, Dr. Drang,

02:59:52   who is delightful and probably needs to have a podcast.

02:59:56   But I thought that came out so well.

02:59:58   I don't know.

02:59:59   I was really worried 'cause it's a very difficult film

03:00:00   to talk about.

03:00:01   And I thought that was really interesting.

03:00:03   - Yeah, I was glad you could be on

03:00:06   and it was fun to talk about.

03:00:07   That's one of those movies that you could,

03:00:08   I mean, you could literally talk about it for days

03:00:11   and not scratch the surface of it.

03:00:14   But I felt like within the context of a 90 minute,

03:00:17   two hour or whatever podcast,

03:00:18   we covered a lot of the highlights

03:00:20   and it was fun to have that conversation.

03:00:22   So thanks for being on.

03:00:23   - Yeah.

03:00:24   What other podcasts?

03:00:25   - The one maybe of most interest to talk show listeners

03:00:30   is Upgrade that I do with Mike Hurley every Monday.

03:00:33   And I do with some other stuff over at Relay.

03:00:34   So Relay FM for that and the incomparable.com

03:00:37   for the incomparable stuff.

03:00:38   And I post most of those highlights at Six Colors anyway.

03:00:42   - Yeah, so just go to Six Colors and you'll find it all.

03:00:45   Anyway, have a great holiday season.

03:00:46   Best to you and the family.