The Talk Show

186: ‘Good News, My House Burned Down’ With Matthew Panzarino


00:00:00   We probably should have recorded last week, but I had stuff to do.

00:00:04   And so here we are one week later after you and I saw each other in Cupertino

00:00:07   for a mysterious-- I think it was billed to me as a Mac roundtable.

00:00:12   How was it billed to you in advance of our meeting last week?

00:00:16   Yeah, about the future of the Mac or whatever.

00:00:22   So I went into it with thinking 50/50 in my head

00:00:29   whether this was going to be--

00:00:31   that's all I knew.

00:00:32   It was going to be about the Mac,

00:00:33   and it was going to be a roundtable discussion

00:00:35   with a couple of executives and a handful of members

00:00:39   of the media.

00:00:42   And I went into it thinking, well, this

00:00:44   has got to be about the Mac Pro, because it's not an event.

00:00:50   It's the opposite of events, very small.

00:00:52   How can they have something about the Mac and not address

00:00:58   the elephant in a room that was the thousand and some day old Mac Pro.

00:01:03   So I went into it thinking 50/50 this is either going to be good news about the Mac Pro or bad news about the Mac Pro.

00:01:08   Like we're done with the Mac Pro or we're not done with the Mac Pro

00:01:13   but we can't show it yet and here's why. What were you thinking?

00:01:18   Yeah, you're probably smarter than me. I don't know.

00:01:23   And it really connected directly to the Mac Pro, although in hindsight it seems fairly reasonable to do that.

00:01:31   I mean, I guess I did a little bit. Obviously, the Mac Pro is sort of the elephant in the room in a lot of ways for Apple and the Mac, in the sweep of the Mac universe.

00:01:41   But I think it's definitely, it was definitely an opportunity to say, you know, "Hey, here's some things we're thinking about about the Mac."

00:01:51   But I mean, it all, as you probably picked up on it, it was very odd because, you know,

00:01:55   very rarely, as everybody knows, does Apple actually say, "Hey, we're going to talk about

00:02:00   future things."

00:02:01   You know?

00:02:02   So that aspect of it was confusing to me, and my only inkling about that was like, "Oh,

00:02:07   they need to set something up."

00:02:09   You know?

00:02:10   Right.

00:02:11   Well, my thinking was that it could be that that would be very similar to how they would

00:02:17   announce the end of life of the Mac Pro if that had been their decision.

00:02:21   They're not going to hold a product announcement event for a product that's end of life.

00:02:27   Right.

00:02:29   And I feel like even if the answer was, "Let's just make pro quality iMacs," when they unveil

00:02:37   them on stage, they're not going to want to sully that on stage by saying, "Oh, and remember the

00:02:43   Mac Pro, we don't need that anymore."

00:02:46   Right.

00:02:47   that they would want to break it in a non-keynote type

00:02:52   scenario, whether it's somebody in particular gets

00:02:57   an exclusive or a handful of people get an exclusive

00:03:00   and get a chance to ask questions about it.

00:03:02   I think it would have been very similar if that

00:03:03   had been their decision.

00:03:05   And I think that obviously the reason why they--

00:03:09   that wasn't the news.

00:03:09   The news, in fact, is that they are hard at work

00:03:12   on an all new Mac Pro.

00:03:14   But because they're so far away from shipping it,

00:03:18   which we can get into next, that they felt

00:03:25   like they had to say something.

00:03:27   They could not just wait.

00:03:28   And they wanted to, I think combined with the fact

00:03:30   that they wanted to release speed bumps or price drops,

00:03:35   whatever you want to call what it is they've

00:03:37   done with the current Mac Pro last week, where

00:03:40   they, at the same price levels, they've

00:03:43   gone from, you know, the entry level is no longer four core, it's six core, and the

00:03:47   mid-level one is no longer six core, it's eight core or something like that.

00:03:51   If that's all they did is just update the store and not say anything about the

00:03:56   future,

00:03:57   people would have lost their damn minds. Rightly so. People would have

00:04:01   lost their minds,

00:04:02   rightly so, because it wouldn't have made any sense that Apple was

00:04:06   pretending that this was normal.

00:04:09   - Right, it's one of those scenarios where context-free

00:04:12   update would have caused many, many more problems

00:04:17   than it solved, I guess is the word, right?

00:04:20   And I think that that's an unusual position for them

00:04:26   to be in to feel strongly enough about

00:04:29   the future of a particular category

00:04:32   for them to set it up or tee it up in that way.

00:04:35   'Cause a lot of times they just sort of take their lumps.

00:04:38   they'll just do it and people will misconstrue it or whatever, and then they'll come out

00:04:43   with the thing that they were teeing up and then either people will like it or they won't,

00:04:47   you know? But in this case, I guess they felt strongly enough about how long it had been

00:04:52   or how, you know, how much culpability they felt, I guess, you know, in how the thing

00:04:58   played out, that they felt that they needed to contextualize it.

00:05:03   I feel like a week later, I feel like there is no simple answer.

00:05:12   I feel like part of it, in terms of, you know, I think you asked the question and you prefaced it with,

00:05:22   "I don't want to get too personal."

00:05:24   [laughter]

00:05:26   But the gist of the question was, "When the hell..."

00:05:28   Which always means that somebody's about to get personal.

00:05:30   Right. When did you guys realize you've done fucked up?

00:05:33   I mean, that's not what you said, but we had,

00:05:37   so for everybody who doesn't have it in top of their minds, it was,

00:05:41   it was nine of us at the table. It was, it was representing Apple was, uh,

00:05:45   Phil Schiller, uh, Craig Federighi talking software, uh,

00:05:50   and John Ternus, T E R N U S,

00:05:53   who was a vice president of hardware and,

00:05:55   and as it was described to us at the beginning of the meeting on his plate,

00:05:59   our iPad pro and Mac pro,

00:06:03   And maybe MacBook Pro?

00:06:05   I forget what they said.

00:06:07   But I know iPad Pro and a couple of others.

00:06:10   And I think-- and honestly, he had very good things

00:06:14   to say at the roundtable.

00:06:16   But just talking to a couple of other people

00:06:18   at Apple in the last week after this came out,

00:06:21   it sounds to me like Ternus is a real up and comer at the company.

00:06:24   Like, I don't think it's the last time that we're

00:06:26   going to hear from him in some sort of publicity facing event.

00:06:32   It seems to me like he's a real up and comer.

00:06:35   And the fact that he's been tasked with, all right,

00:06:38   you're going to run point on hardware on this new Mac Pro

00:06:40   is a sign of that.

00:06:41   And I think a good sign.

00:06:42   I think people who are hoping that this Mac Pro is everything

00:06:46   Mac Pro users have been hoping for,

00:06:48   I think the fact that John Turnus is in charge of it

00:06:50   is a very good sign.

00:06:53   And then on the press side, it was me and you,

00:06:59   Ina Fried, who was recently of ReCode, but is now at a new site called Axios, for those

00:07:04   of you who don't follow the comings and goings of the press very closely.

00:07:10   John Pachkowski, also recently of ReCode, but now at Buzzfeed.

00:07:16   And last but not least, Lance Ullenoff, who was there from Mashable.

00:07:21   So former ReCode writers were well represented.

00:07:25   Nobody from ReCode was there at the moment.

00:07:27   was a large category, percentage-wise.

00:07:31   Yes.

00:07:33   40%.

00:07:34   40% of the press attendees were formerly of Recode.

00:07:37   And then last but not least, or maybe possibly least,

00:07:40   was Bill Evans from Apple PR, who was at the table.

00:07:43   But as Apple PR's wont, he was more or less

00:07:45   there to play defense and pretty much just run the clock

00:07:48   and didn't really.

00:07:55   So I thought that the--

00:08:02   we all tried to ask.

00:08:03   I would say everybody except Patch Kowski, who only

00:08:06   piped in at the end with a very well-timed question

00:08:08   about the Mac Mini.

00:08:11   Everybody tried to ask, A, when did you guys figure out

00:08:14   that you had a real problem on your hands

00:08:15   with the design of the 2013 trash can Mac?

00:08:19   And B, when did you guys start on this project

00:08:24   of a new Mac, a rethought from the ground up Mac Pro.

00:08:28   And Apple does not like to talk about timelines.

00:08:32   I mean, they don't like to talk about future stuff.

00:08:34   They don't like to talk about all sorts of things,

00:08:36   but they do not like to talk about when in the past

00:08:39   they made decisions and how long things took.

00:08:42   It is more than, almost more than anything else,

00:08:46   they don't like to.

00:08:47   Like once a design of a new product comes out,

00:08:49   they will talk, Johnny Ive will talk at length,

00:08:52   openly and honestly in his little narrated videos about why something is the way it is.

00:08:59   They won't tell you in advance, but once it's out, they'll say, "Here's why

00:09:01   we have these gently sloped corners here," or whatever. But in terms of how long they've

00:09:07   been working on blank, they just—it is—it's like the holiest of holies, the secretists

00:09:14   of secrets. And they stonewall us.

00:09:16   And I think they view that as part of their IP almost, because it's part of their process.

00:09:22   And so, they view that those timelines and how long it takes things to get things right

00:09:27   or what abortive attempts they had at a particular thing or whatever before they settled on the

00:09:33   right path, they view that all as like a protected category of information that's about their

00:09:37   process that's part of their secret, their special sauce.

00:09:41   Right.

00:09:43   And so-- but there were little dribs and drabs

00:09:46   that you-- going over it, especially after the--

00:09:51   writing my piece all night long and then reading everybody

00:09:56   else's the next day and then having a day to sort of breathe

00:09:58   and then rethink it all and look at the transcript again.

00:10:01   I think that the most telling remark

00:10:07   was Federighi's saying that they had painted themselves

00:10:11   into a thermal corner.

00:10:13   And combined with his saying that they went through the stage--

00:10:18   it said in a jovial fashion, and it did get a laugh,

00:10:20   that they went through the stages of grief or something like that.

00:10:25   Which to me, reading between the lines

00:10:26   says that they did try to update the Mac Pro at least several times

00:10:32   in between 2013 and the point where they said, OK, we've

00:10:38   got to give up on this.

00:10:39   And it seemed like by trying to answer customers' requests

00:10:45   for what they wanted from a newer Mac Pro,

00:10:48   it was mostly about more powerful GPUs.

00:10:52   But more powerful GPUs threw off the thermal balance

00:10:55   of the Mac Pro, as we know it.

00:10:57   And so who knows?

00:11:01   I'm guessing at least two years was spent on, at some degree,

00:11:08   trying to update and get more powerful GPUs into that configuration, and at some point

00:11:14   they gave up. What was your take on that?

00:11:17   Yeah, I mean, that's two different questions, right? The timeline is one question. How long

00:11:26   do you think it took them? And then the other question is, did they actually make attempts

00:11:31   at it? Or did they go, "Hey, there's nothing really we can do here," because they just

00:11:36   new from all of the, from the building of the thing in the first place, they built it

00:11:40   specifically to take advantage of this split or balanced GPU scenario and, you know, shoving

00:11:48   one hot GPU and it was never going to work. I don't know, you know, I don't know how

00:11:52   much modeling or prototyping or theory, you know, work they did on saying, "What if

00:11:58   we jammed an NVIDIA 1080i in here, TI in here, and said, "Can we get this to run in here,

00:12:07   in this shell with proper thermal properties or whatever?" I don't know how far along

00:12:11   that road they went, or did they just say, "Well, this is not the purpose we built

00:12:15   it for at all, so can we get two GPUs in here that will work together in such a way where

00:12:21   it would provide a significant value to our customers?" And then they said, "No, all

00:12:27   all we can do is give it a bump so that people on this current gen can just roll with it until we get out what's due.

00:12:34   I don't know. I think it's harder for me to say that they went and built whole new units in this case than if they were working on a new product,

00:12:48   which they would undoubtedly do,

00:12:51   they'll build fully, full tilt, all produced devices

00:12:55   if they feel that they need to,

00:12:57   to figure out whether it works or not

00:12:59   when they're creating a new product.

00:13:00   On something like this, I guess maybe,

00:13:03   I guess maybe they would, you know?

00:13:05   I have no information, I'm just trying to like divine

00:13:07   from what I know about the process that they go through.

00:13:10   But it seems like it's a possibility.

00:13:13   - One thing we don't have to speculate on,

00:13:15   I mean, this is just a fact,

00:13:16   obvious just by studying the device and it's also obvious just listening to the

00:13:21   way Apple described it in 2013 when it when it was announced is that the

00:13:27   trashcan Mac Pro from 2013 was a bet on multi-threaded GPUs as the future of GPU

00:13:36   power and and they had a software story to tell about it I think you know

00:13:41   without getting too complicated I think it was mostly sort of an open CL type

00:13:45   thing but in the meantime in the years since Apple has sort of stepped away from open CL and

00:13:51   I think the bigger story isn't even really

00:13:55   Apple's own decisions on software but more just where did the industry go and in the pro market?

00:14:02   It's not so dependent on

00:14:05   Or defined by Apple in terms of how should you make software for the Mac Pro?

00:14:10   But more, this is how industry standard powerful GPU hogging

00:14:16   apps are written.

00:14:19   Things like video editing in 3D, which a lot of it

00:14:23   is cross-platform.

00:14:24   Probably most of it is cross-platform.

00:14:28   And the way that that's gone in the four years

00:14:32   since we first saw this Mac Pro, it's

00:14:35   gotten ever more dependent on super powerful single GPUs, which is the opposite of where

00:14:43   the Mac Pro went.

00:14:44   I think in theory, the Mac Pro could have been the future of pro computing, throwing

00:14:52   lots of GPU cores and having software written to take advantage of that, but that's just

00:14:58   not where the industry went.

00:15:00   the software that is ever more dependent on just single-threaded GPU performance, the

00:15:06   Mac Pro is just, it just wasn't apt at all.

00:15:13   You know what I keep going back to is this. So I, you know, I grew up building computers,

00:15:18   so I guess a lot of folks who are probably listening to this did, you know, or grew up

00:15:22   at least very interested in how they were put together. And I think my, you know, my

00:15:28   first computer was like an Amiga that I pieced together out of, you know, rando parts from

00:15:35   a friend's stores of garbage because his dad worked for Pacific Bell. And then so on

00:15:40   and so forth spiraled outwards from there to PCs and, you know, x86 machines and, you

00:15:46   know, on through the Windows train or DOS train and then Windows train and all that,

00:15:51   simply because I, it was the thing that I could afford and I could put together myself.

00:15:56   along the line there, I developed this parallel track starting with the Performa line and

00:16:03   going up through there where I always had a Mac in the house as well. And then my mom

00:16:08   would use it, I would use it for graphic design and eventually Photoshop stuff once they became

00:16:13   more powerful and a variety of other things. But I always had this parallel track of computing.

00:16:20   But I spent the majority of my time on PCs simply because they were great for gaming

00:16:25   I was just a massive gamer, and still am to a degree, but the platform itself was obviously

00:16:32   very much pushed forward by gamers. There were other industries that were responsible

00:16:39   for pushing certain components of the computer, of the CPU or the GPU or whatever, forward

00:16:46   depending on their needs, their specific needs. Obviously, data storage is very much like

00:16:51   an enterprise thing and so on and so forth. But the GPU and CPU were pushed very hard

00:16:58   for a lot of years by gaming, and still are. Obviously, GPUs are where they are because

00:17:04   of gamers. They're not there because of--sure, academics at some stage do need those, but

00:17:11   only because it was there. It was sort of like a chicken-egg thing. And the academics

00:17:16   use heavily GPU-centric computing platforms and things now because they can, but the GPUs

00:17:25   are there because the gamers wanted them and the game companies pushed them hard. I remember

00:17:30   playing games that they said, "Hey, this game looks this good this year, but it'll

00:17:34   look even better next year." We've already programmed in the higher resolution textures

00:17:42   and so on and so forth that we in better physics engines that we know will only

00:17:46   your computer will only support next year i was it was a constant thing i was never much

00:17:51   of a forward i was never much of a gamer but i when i was you know 20 years ago i was much

00:17:55   closer to a gamer than i am now and i i remember even on the mac that was true that uh you know

00:18:02   marathon was the big game that's right the right yeah bungee the per you know bungees wasn't their

00:18:07   first game but it was the first real smash hit and sort of a predecessor to

00:18:12   what's the game on Xbox? Halo. Halo. Marathon was huge and and it was

00:18:18   networked so we could play it against each other. Yeah, love that game. You had

00:18:22   to be on a local talk network though you couldn't... This is... No. You could play over the

00:18:26   internet. No, no, of course not. So yeah, we played that and then we played Doom locally and Duke of 3D, all

00:18:35   all this stuff.

00:18:36   - Yeah, me-- - But yeah, I mean, you get that

00:18:37   and that's what drove it.

00:18:39   You know, that's what the theme broke.

00:18:40   - What was amazing, what was amazing though

00:18:42   is that we'd get a new computer at the student newspaper.

00:18:44   We'd get a new Quadra or something

00:18:47   and all of a sudden, Marathon ran way better

00:18:49   and it was like, whoa.

00:18:51   I remember too, a lot of times too, it was frame rate, right?

00:18:54   Like you could, and you know,

00:18:56   and certain games had settings where you could optimize

00:18:58   for frame rate or optimize for graphics,

00:18:59   but you could get the good graphics,

00:19:02   but you wouldn't get a great frame rate.

00:19:03   And then all of a sudden you get a new computer

00:19:05   and you get it all.

00:19:06   And it would be night and day.

00:19:07   - Sure, you could run dark forces

00:19:08   and everything was all smooth all of a sudden.

00:19:10   - Right, right.

00:19:11   - Yeah.

00:19:12   - No, it's true.

00:19:13   I think you're right.

00:19:14   - That's what I look at.

00:19:15   That's the allegory.

00:19:17   - The money comes from gamers.

00:19:18   That's what's driving the industry

00:19:20   to keep pumping the billions of dollars

00:19:23   into research into ever more powerful GPUs.

00:19:25   And then like you said, things like academics

00:19:27   who are really just running math,

00:19:29   just math or data analysis,

00:19:32   it really aren't even pushing pixels to a screen.

00:19:34   literally just chewing through mounds and mounds of quote-unquote big data, but you

00:19:40   can do it where the algorithms run faster on a GPU than a CPU, and they're taking

00:19:45   advantage of technology that was developed for games. And the Mac Pro just was not where

00:19:52   the industry was headed.

00:19:53   No, I mean, no gamer ever looked at the Mac Pro and thought, "Oh, this is interesting."

00:19:57   And heck, they barely looked at the previous generation of Mac Pros that way, because they

00:20:02   they knew that they would be upgrading their GPU within six to nine months to 12 months,

00:20:06   right? And that they would be pushing, you know, looking for that. And they didn't have

00:20:10   the confidence that AMD or Nvidia would consistently release that highest, you know, highest performance

00:20:17   graphics card for the Mac Pro in that original configuration, much less the new one, obviously,

00:20:24   where Apple's the one who controls that.

00:20:26   Yeah. So what occurs to me in looking at this scenario, and I mean, it's not just in the

00:20:31   last week, but I think having learned now what we now know, I think it's almost certain

00:20:37   is that there's at least a little bit of hubris here in the design of the 2013 Mac Pro that

00:20:43   I think is fueled by the iPhone and iPad, where with the iPhone, Apple, the iPhone market

00:20:51   in and of itself is so big and so lucrative and that Apple can define the computer architecture

00:21:00   of the iPhone and can define the APIs for creating software

00:21:06   for it and runs the App Store and can not really

00:21:14   adhere to define which APIs you use,

00:21:16   but sort of make sure that your software is

00:21:21   within the lines of how they want software written.

00:21:24   But primarily, just by being able to define the hardware,

00:21:28   They can define-- if you want your software to run well,

00:21:32   you're going to have to do it the way we envision

00:21:34   you doing it.

00:21:35   It's not even so much the App Store.

00:21:37   Forget the App Store part.

00:21:38   It's just you've got to take advantage of the way

00:21:41   the iPhone is architected.

00:21:43   And the iPhone is so big that developers will do it.

00:21:48   I mean, literally, they even-- and this

00:21:50   is less of a big deal today or more easily overlooked

00:21:53   because it's always been the case.

00:21:55   But in the early years of the iPhone,

00:21:56   a big deal, where an awful lot of developers who were like,

00:21:59   well, we want our software on the iPhone,

00:22:01   were buying their first Macs ever because you

00:22:04   had to run Xcode to write-- you still

00:22:06   have to run Xcode to write iPhone software,

00:22:09   and Xcode only runs on a Mac.

00:22:10   And so it was literally developers

00:22:12   were buying an all new machine just to do it.

00:22:15   Whereas in the pro high performance computing industry,

00:22:22   Apple doesn't have that sort of dominant role.

00:22:24   they can't redefine or not you it maybe not redefine is too strong a word but

00:22:29   they can't steer

00:22:30   they couldn't and push the industry to switch to a multi-threaded GPU

00:22:35   model when everybody else you know more or less what Apple needed to do was be

00:22:40   humble about it and go with the flow the industry which

00:22:43   is big honking single GPUs

00:22:46   mhm yeah I mean there's to the so

00:22:49   twice he was twice and don't don't at me or whatever but

00:22:53   I think twice during the interview, they said something about, you know, we want to make

00:22:57   sure that whatever we do is new and innovative.

00:23:00   And I looked at, I thought about that, and I was thinking about that during, you know,

00:23:04   when they said it, because they said it again, and when they said it again, I kind of, my

00:23:08   ears kind of perked up, you know.

00:23:10   Because I think that that is, there's two ways to take that statement.

00:23:14   You could take that statement and say, hey, I'm doing something new and innovative, and

00:23:18   you can, you could just take it at face value and go, you know what, great.

00:23:21   I'm glad someone is, right?

00:23:23   I'm glad somebody cares enough to really push

00:23:27   and make sure that they're not obeying accepted norms

00:23:32   without questioning them,

00:23:34   that they are truly pushing boundaries

00:23:37   and questioning all of the underpinnings of computing

00:23:40   and making sure that the way things are done

00:23:43   is actually the right way and the way they should be done.

00:23:46   All of that, right?

00:23:47   And you can extrapolate.

00:23:48   You can keep going from there.

00:23:50   All of the things that you would like to say to interpret that in the best light possible.

00:23:55   And then there's another way to take it, which is we are so interested in doing something new and innovative that we overlook the obvious hurdles because we are so addicted to the slash and burn of, you know, obeying our own recognizance, right?

00:24:15   Or relying on our own recognizance to chart the course of computing.

00:24:19   Because if you go, "Hey, every phone..."

00:24:22   Let's apply this to existing, you know, let's apply this to existing framework of the iPhone.

00:24:29   You look at the iPhone, you go, "Hey, if you just said, 'Look guys, you can do every other thing, but keyboards are great.'"

00:24:35   You know, keyboards are fantastic. They work fine.

00:24:38   You know, thumbs press keys makes total sense, right?

00:24:41   Since we were cavemen, we've been manipulating things with our opposable thumbs.

00:24:46   Why stop now?

00:24:47   I mean, there's plenty of really great arguments that a lot of people made to themselves and

00:24:51   really convinced themselves were right, and that's why there was a lot of blowback against

00:24:55   the no physical keyboard thing.

00:24:57   So Apple in that moment, you know, maybe this is Steve's genius of saying, "No, this

00:25:01   is the right way," or maybe this is a collective genius, which is more likely, where Steve

00:25:05   acts as the editor for a lot of people's flurry of ideas, "Yeah, I think we can make

00:25:08   this work," and, you know, "It's so much simpler, less moving parts," and blah,

00:25:11   blah, blah.

00:25:12   Tons of arguments on the other side, right?

00:25:14   And they made a decision to slice out a very well-established, charted course of having

00:25:22   that physical keyboard that was not necessarily evil, right?

00:25:26   There's nothing bad about it.

00:25:28   It's just they saw pathways that opened up for themselves if they got rid of it.

00:25:33   They're like, "Man, then we can manipulate the whole screen.

00:25:35   The keyboard can go away when you don't need it," you know, blah, blah, blah, right?

00:25:38   You know, all of the arguments that we all know so well.

00:25:40   But you look at that, and it worked out incredibly well for them.

00:25:44   And in fact, not only did it work out well for them, it was the right thing to do.

00:25:48   That's why all our phones look the same now, right?

00:25:52   But in this case, I think they looked at the problem and said, "Hey, this is the way

00:25:57   it could go.

00:25:58   This parallel GPU that splits tasks, it can run lower power when it needs to.

00:26:05   It's very power conscious, which is great for the environment, et cetera, et cetera.

00:26:10   And there's really no reason that needs to be blowing all this air all over the place

00:26:13   all the time and collecting all this unseemly dust and why has nobody ever thought of this?

00:26:19   And they got so excited about the fact that they could do this thing that they didn't

00:26:23   stop and ask themselves, "Well, is the simpler, straighter, more common path, is it a common

00:26:32   path for a reason? Like, do we use metal because metal is good, you know? Or do we use a strong,

00:26:38   powerful GPU because the industry that we have traditionally not served, gaming industry,

00:26:45   uses it and that pushes everything forward and we can ride that wave. Why paddle out

00:26:51   of the current and generate all of the force on your own when you can use additive force

00:26:58   on the existing current and go, "You know what? This is fine. This is our limitation

00:27:05   that we have to accommodate this graphics card,

00:27:07   now what does that look like?

00:27:08   Maybe it's a flat slab with almost nothing else to it

00:27:12   that's essentially a GPU,

00:27:14   or maybe it's external GPUs or whatever.

00:27:16   But I just think that the questions got asked

00:27:19   and they applied roughly the same frameworks to it

00:27:21   that they did with the iPhone

00:27:23   and ended up with just the wrong answer.

00:27:25   And I don't know why that is.

00:27:26   I don't presuppose I'm dumb compared to all these guys

00:27:28   they have and girls they have working on these problems.

00:27:31   So I don't presuppose to know,

00:27:33   That's just my supposition as to how the argument went down.

00:27:36   You know, um, and a one factor, I guess I knew this,

00:27:41   but it got reiterated a few times is that the,

00:27:45   the Mac pro had a sort of triangular shape in the tube, in the middle,

00:27:50   the hollow center, two GPS and a GP, a CPU.

00:27:53   And it's not just that it was three things in that air flow through the center

00:27:58   to cool them,

00:27:59   but that it was specifically designed

00:28:01   that all three sides of that triangle

00:28:03   would remain roughly on par with each other in terms

00:28:08   of the heat that needed to be dissipated.

00:28:10   And it wasn't a design that would accommodate

00:28:12   one of the three sides getting hotter than the others.

00:28:16   And that's, again, with software that more so now

00:28:20   than before this Mac Pro was distributed,

00:28:23   that graphics-intensive software today

00:28:28   is about overloading a single GPU with as much performance

00:28:33   as you can get.

00:28:35   And it just, you know, so even using this configuration

00:28:38   to run software that's meant to run single threaded

00:28:40   on a GPU, it's just not conducive to that,

00:28:44   because you can't let one of the GPUs

00:28:45   get hotter than another.

00:28:47   And it probably plays into the fact that the Mac Pro,

00:28:52   as we know it, is sort of notorious for almost like,

00:28:57   like a European sports car, that they're not

00:29:01   the most rugged machines or durable machines in terms

00:29:04   of reliability over the years, that people who've

00:29:08   been pushing these machines, there's a lot of people who,

00:29:11   they seemingly, anecdotally at least,

00:29:13   have to go in to get GPUs replaced pretty frequently,

00:29:15   primarily from overheating.

00:29:18   I mean, that's the only way really a computer part

00:29:20   wears out or it's part like a GPU could wear out.

00:29:22   All right, let me take a break,

00:29:25   and we'll come back to this.

00:29:27   But let me first thank our first sponsor of this show, Circle from Disney.

00:29:34   What is Circle?

00:29:35   Circle from Disney is a beautiful little device designed for families to manage content and

00:29:41   time online for all the devices in your home.

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00:29:59   and tailor the individual preferences for each one.

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00:30:06   It is not like setting up something from Cisco

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00:30:49   with their Insights feature.

00:30:51   really great. Disney super stoked about this. They've just

00:30:54   a couple of new things. They just launched a new thing about a month ago.

00:30:59   It's called Circle Connections. It lets you connect app services and devices

00:31:03   like friend of the show, Automatic, you know, the car dingus. Well, now you can

00:31:07   hook that up and the family can share stuff like that through the

00:31:11   Circle. Alexa, IFTTT, Chore Monster

00:31:17   and others. You can all hook up to your Circle. It's sort of turning into a

00:31:20   platform. Disney is very excited about this. Recently, Apple's CFO Luca Maestri

00:31:28   was held a meeting with the Italian press at the Italian Consulate in New

00:31:35   York City and he was talking about how his family uses Apple products and

00:31:38   devices and he specifically mentioned Circle with Disney, something that his

00:31:42   family uses to manage his family's devices. I will put a link to this in the

00:31:47   show notes. I think you're going to need to translate it from Italian, but that's

00:31:51   okay. I'm sure most people who listen to the show speak fluent Italian, but that's

00:31:55   a pretty cool story and a pretty... you don't really hear Disney or Apple

00:31:59   C-level executives talking up products from other companies all that often. So

00:32:03   anyway, it's very exciting stuff. Where do you go to find out more? Easy. Go to

00:32:08   meetcircle.com and remember this code, the talk show, and you will get

00:32:16   free shipping and $10 off your Circle with Disney device.

00:32:24   It's a $99 product, 89 bucks with the talk show code, and CircleGo, which is

00:32:32   their service for mobile, like a phone like cellular service, is $9.95

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00:32:43   listeners of the talk show so my thanks to Disney meet circle comm code the talk

00:32:48   show great product so timeline wise more spec is here's my take my take is that

00:32:56   in the 20 I mean because one thing a couple people have observed is it's not

00:33:04   like this is the first Mac Pro that went a long time between updates the Mac Pro

00:33:08   had sort of been on a longer than one year update schedule for a while. So the fact that

00:33:14   there wasn't an update in 2014, I don't think struck, I don't think it really surprised

00:33:18   anybody. Right. My guess is sometime around 2015, 2016 is when an update, certainly by

00:33:25   2016, it was everybody was talking about it and certainly Apple was aware of it. I think,

00:33:30   I don't know this, I don't have any sort of, you know, super sources inside, but I think,

00:33:37   I don't think anybody's surprised by this.

00:33:39   I think that as the--

00:33:43   around 2015, 2016, as it became more obvious

00:33:47   that the design of the Mac Pro was problematic,

00:33:50   I think there was a sense within Apple that maybe that's OK.

00:33:54   And maybe MacBook Pros combined with ever more powerful iMacs

00:34:02   might be the way future to satisfy the pro

00:34:04   users of the Mac market.

00:34:07   And I think this came up at our interview last week.

00:34:12   And I think that they sort of emphasized just what a--

00:34:17   - But we need more, so to speak.

00:34:19   - What, just what a large percentage of what they define

00:34:23   as pro users are using MacBook Pros and iMacs.

00:34:26   And they even mentioned this, and if anything,

00:34:31   this might have been the most surprising part

00:34:33   of the meeting is where they mentioned specifically

00:34:36   that they have new iMacs in the pipeline that

00:34:38   are coming slated for sometime this year that are including

00:34:42   configurations that are geared towards pro customers.

00:34:47   I think that what happened is that probably

00:34:50   at a very high level-- I mean, I'm not naming names.

00:34:52   I don't know.

00:34:52   But I think at a pretty high level within the company,

00:34:55   they talked themselves into believing

00:35:00   that the iMac, including the ever better iMacs combined

00:35:04   with the MacBook Pros could cover everything

00:35:06   they needed to cover.

00:35:07   And I think at some point recently,

00:35:11   let's say within the last six months or so,

00:35:15   maybe a little more, they realized no,

00:35:18   that the 1% of Mac users who can't be satisfied

00:35:23   by an iMac need a real pro computer.

00:35:27   That's my guess.

00:35:31   - Yeah.

00:35:33   I think you're probably right. That sounds reasonable. I definitely think there was that moment which they alluded to because they said, "But we realized we needed more."

00:35:43   that they did feel that a larger and larger segment of the pro market was being served by a 5K screen and a computer slept on the back.

00:35:55   And I certainly, it's what I've been using for a long time, I haven't had a Mac Pro in years.

00:36:00   And I only had one briefly, and honestly, a lot of the times that I ran Mac Pro level machines with OS X running on them, I ran Hackintoshes for the GPU reason.

00:36:11   You know, and Hackintoshes are becoming a much more, I don't doubt that Apple sees this.

00:36:16   You know, the diagnostics probably tell them, you know, general opt-in diagnostics probably tell them, if not, pulling the community.

00:36:24   But there are an increasing number of people running Hackintoshes, which are, you know, PC components that have OS X driver support,

00:36:34   driver support or have some sort of cribbed together,

00:36:38   driver support, and that are being put together

00:36:41   and then you boot OS X on them,

00:36:44   either with the use of a bootloader,

00:36:46   piece of software or piece of hardware

00:36:48   that allows you to boot OS X, fool OS X

00:36:50   into thinking that you're running a Mac.

00:36:53   And the advantage that offers is, of course,

00:36:54   you can build according to your precise power needs,

00:36:58   perhaps even more powerful than is currently on the market,

00:37:00   which is a situation we're in right now with the Mac Pro.

00:37:03   And then of course you can run Windows on a Mac,

00:37:06   but now you can run Windows on a more powerful Mac

00:37:09   that can then run very high performance games

00:37:12   or other applications.

00:37:14   And so you'll see people like,

00:37:16   who was it that recently wrote a fairly solid,

00:37:22   kind of what it's like to build a Hackintosh right now

00:37:24   just recently, it was--

00:37:25   - Was it Mike Rundle?

00:37:26   Is that who you're thinking of?

00:37:29   - I think Mike was mentioning,

00:37:30   was talking about running a Hackintosh,

00:37:31   but somebody else just wrote a piece that was traded around a lot. I mean, many folks have over the years.

00:37:36   They build graphics software for the Mac.

00:37:41   And it's not...

00:37:46   My brain's blanking. I'll try and get back to it if I can.

00:37:49   But the gist of it is, it's like, best of both worlds scenario.

00:37:54   Where they love OS X, and they just shutter using Windows.

00:37:59   need to to make it through, you know, or to run software that only runs on Windows, aka,

00:38:06   you know, Class A games that just don't ship on multiple platforms, although Steam is making

00:38:12   that better to a degree. But the OS X is just, you know, the beautiful experience and all

00:38:17   that, and they can build this really custom experience underneath it. And I think that

00:38:23   more people being willing to consider a Hackintosh and that the community really looking to those

00:38:29   builders to try and tell them exactly what parts to buy

00:38:34   and exactly how to build it and all of that.

00:38:38   I think that really speaks to this desire to have OS X

00:38:42   but with a more customizable hardware platform

00:38:45   underneath it.

00:38:45   Not just more powerful with a capital P,

00:38:49   but also more customizable, truly modular, right?

00:38:52   The truly modular experience that people haven't had

00:38:55   in many years.

00:38:56   So even though they appreciate the design

00:38:58   and the thoughtfulness that went into the Mac Pro as it currently exists, I think many

00:39:02   people feel that those choices being made for them stands out as an even more irritating

00:39:11   decision because of the segment that they're going after.

00:39:15   How many iMac users—I mean, well, scratch that. There are plenty. Apple users love to

00:39:21   complain because they're so attuned to detail. The company has taught them to be picky about

00:39:27   their stuff. That's the base reason that the Mac community, the Apple community is

00:39:32   so picky about stuff, because they've been trained to care by a company that ostensibly

00:39:38   cares. But, scratching that, setting that aside, the average Mac user, the 80%, let's

00:39:45   call it, of the Mac users out there who are like, "Hey, I just want a big computer for

00:39:49   my desk and I love Apple stuff. What do I get that's not a portable?" Well, we buy

00:39:54   by an iMac, right?

00:39:55   The vast majority of those are not going crazy about like,

00:39:58   oh, I can't change this particular chipset, right?

00:40:02   Or whatever.

00:40:03   Like, I can't get this network card

00:40:05   instead of this network card or whatever.

00:40:06   But the segment that they did it to

00:40:09   was the one that was gonna be the most allergic to it

00:40:13   in the long run.

00:40:15   And like, that is another thing that was kinda weird to me.

00:40:18   I wonder if there was, I mean, I'm sure there was,

00:40:21   advocate inside saying, "This is great, but it actually..." Something like the Mac Pro,

00:40:27   imagine if that was the iMac. Now these days, I think the iMac is the right choice. People

00:40:31   just buy one thing and they're done. Nobody wants to buy separate monitors. They do it

00:40:35   because they have to, right? Like the average person. So I think the iMac is the right configuration.

00:40:40   I'm not trying to say that the Mac Pro is right for the normal person, but that segment

00:40:45   of the market would have been much more receptive and welcoming, I think, of a thing where it's

00:40:50   "Don't worry about it, we thought it all out."

00:40:53   - Right. - Right?

00:40:54   We've got the perfect, sweet capsule for you

00:40:57   that's gonna do amazing things, performance-wise,

00:40:59   totally enough for you.

00:41:01   Plop this on your desk and plug it in and enjoy.

00:41:05   And that segment, I think, is much more receptive

00:41:07   and welcoming of that,

00:41:08   whereas the pro segment is the opposite.

00:41:10   The first thing they do is refresh the iFixit page

00:41:13   so they see how things tear down

00:41:14   and they wanna know what's in there and all of that

00:41:17   and they wanna be informed consumers.

00:41:20   And I think that that leads itself to the desire

00:41:23   to have choice and all that stuff.

00:41:25   I don't know, it's just the way I see that.

00:41:27   They just sort of pitched it to the wrong people.

00:41:28   - Yeah, I think that there's a continuum of everything,

00:41:32   but there's a continuum of people's price sensitivity.

00:41:35   But I think that at a certain end,

00:41:40   if you talk about college-age students

00:41:44   who want a Mac for gaming,

00:41:48   and what type, or want a computer that can dual boot,

00:41:51   but use a Mac, but have a powerful GPU for gaming,

00:41:55   are gonna, are more willing to spend the time

00:41:59   to do the Hackintosh and to put up with

00:42:01   the incompatibilities and the worries

00:42:03   about applying software updates and, you know,

00:42:06   maybe wait until somebody else decides

00:42:08   whether this graphics card is gonna work

00:42:09   with the latest version of Sierra and all of that,

00:42:14   versus the professional market

00:42:16   where price isn't really the issue.

00:42:18   It's they're begging Apple to charge them a lot of money

00:42:21   for a computer.

00:42:22   And part of what they're willing to spend money for

00:42:25   is the it just works factor of getting a real Mac.

00:42:29   And the hackintosh-- like I can see why the hackintosh

00:42:34   route is more popular than growing in popularity,

00:42:36   given the Mac pro stagnation.

00:42:38   But I think it's a large part of that.

00:42:40   I mean, and clearly, like I said, it's a continuum.

00:42:42   And there's obvious exceptions.

00:42:43   There might be real professional users.

00:42:45   There certainly are some who are doing it.

00:42:47   But I think for the most part, a real professional user who

00:42:50   might be willing to spend $10,000 or $15,000

00:42:54   on a workstation isn't going to do it

00:42:57   with unsupported drivers and an unsupported configuration.

00:43:00   They're the type of people who are like,

00:43:02   if I can't get hardware from Apple that meets my needs,

00:43:06   I'd rather switch to Windows and get a supported configuration.

00:43:11   Whereas the hobbyist community--

00:43:12   Yeah, I think that's totally right.

00:43:13   The hobbyist community has always, by definition,

00:43:15   been self-supporting.

00:43:16   They don't need support because they are their own support.

00:43:19   - Yeah, and whatever configuration they're coming up with,

00:43:22   they're getting live, essentially live tech support on it

00:43:26   from the community that they're in,

00:43:28   of those similar people that build those things.

00:43:30   Hey, has anybody ever come across this problem?

00:43:32   You know, I did it a bunch of times

00:43:33   when I was building Hackintoshes where it's like,

00:43:35   you know, 'cause I was just too poor

00:43:37   to own a really powerful Mac,

00:43:39   and so I would just build out of PC parts

00:43:42   and then run OS X on it.

00:43:43   And you know, I'm sure Apple's cringing and whatever,

00:43:46   but it's what I could afford.

00:43:47   And I think a lot of people start out that way.

00:43:49   Those price-sensitive people,

00:43:51   but that are also sort of hacker-friendly

00:43:54   or whatever you wanna call it,

00:43:55   who don't mind instability and thinking around

00:43:58   because they just lust after the OS X experience

00:44:01   and the Apple ecosystem and all of that.

00:44:03   But I think that there's like,

00:44:07   it's sort of like an entry point

00:44:13   for eventual Mac Pro owners, right?

00:44:16   And so either, I know there are other entry points, right?

00:44:19   You go to a company and you become a designer

00:44:22   and all this and the company has a corporate budget

00:44:24   and what are you gonna buy, right?

00:44:25   You're gonna get your Mac Pro,

00:44:26   you're gonna be a designer capital D

00:44:29   and do all your design work and that's great.

00:44:32   But I think there's a long tail of people out there

00:44:34   that are, that have become pros

00:44:38   through alternative pathways.

00:44:40   Don't have a lot of money to spend,

00:44:42   want to get into the ecosystem because they, once again,

00:44:45   they love the fact that the company prioritizes design

00:44:50   and prioritizes care and all of that in their software.

00:44:54   And they know in the end, underneath it,

00:44:57   the hardware that it runs isn't perhaps

00:44:59   as carefully picked and chosen as something Apple would do,

00:45:02   but they can get it to run, right?

00:45:04   It's just a mishmash of junk, but it sort of runs,

00:45:07   and you get it running and you feel good about it,

00:45:10   and you get hooked on the ecosystem,

00:45:13   which is why I always thought that once in a while,

00:45:15   Apple will take a stab at trying to shut down

00:45:17   Hackintosh projects and things like that.

00:45:19   And I was always just like, let it ride.

00:45:21   I mean, if it becomes a major component

00:45:23   of your business being stolen,

00:45:27   I guess you gotta take some legal,

00:45:28   and there's also some legal things you have to plant

00:45:31   because of trademarks and all that,

00:45:32   so that you can have a future court case against Samsung

00:45:36   and say, oh yeah, we tried to protect it back then,

00:45:38   even with little people.

00:45:39   So I get the legal precedent thing.

00:45:41   But it's also just like, let it ride,

00:45:43   'cause it's like the low simmering entry point

00:45:46   to somebody who eventually, once they have the means,

00:45:48   is like, yes, build me an amazing Mac, please, Apple,

00:45:52   and I, you know, powerful Mac Pro, and I will buy it.

00:45:55   You know, now I have the means, I'm addicted,

00:45:57   I want the power, but I also want OS X, and so on, you know?

00:46:01   So that's the way, that's the way, oh,

00:46:03   I found that, the Hackintosh article, by the way,

00:46:04   it was by Dan Council.

00:46:06   - Pasted it, pasted it in the chat here.

00:46:08   I'll send you the link. Yeah, it's Dan Council of RealMac. RealMac Software makes lots of

00:46:14   great apps. This is not an ad, etc. But he wrote an article called "Building a Hackintosh

00:46:22   Pro" a little earlier back in March. But his reasoning was essentially, "They haven't

00:46:31   updated the Mac Pro. I need a full-size graphics card for the stuff that I want to do." And

00:46:36   So it's not complicated.

00:46:38   It's not like anybody's angry.

00:46:40   Well, I mean, I'm sure some people are angry,

00:46:41   but it's not like anybody's really thinking Apple

00:46:45   is doing things that are consumer hostile on purpose.

00:46:50   It's just that there's certain needs and wants they have,

00:46:53   and Apple didn't glom onto those needs and wants

00:46:55   or assign enough importance to them soon enough

00:46:58   to catch themselves, so they didn't have this big gap now.

00:47:02   - Yeah.

00:47:04   I think, bottom line, I don't really see how this,

00:47:08   well, I'm sure someone at Apple could deny it,

00:47:12   but I think it seems pretty clear now

00:47:15   that at some point in the last three years or so,

00:47:20   or maybe starting around three years ago,

00:47:21   that Apple sort of took its collective eye

00:47:24   off the ball on the Mac, at least on the hardware.

00:47:27   I think the software is going fine.

00:47:30   I think they're hitting their annual release dates.

00:47:33   I think that they're solid.

00:47:34   I think they're doing enough cool new things

00:47:37   that are very useful, like the continuity stuff

00:47:40   I use every day and I just think like,

00:47:42   how the hell did I ever go from,

00:47:45   have these links on my iPhone and then switch

00:47:47   to another computer to look at them there

00:47:49   before this stuff worked?

00:47:52   Some great features.

00:47:53   I don't think that they should be radically,

00:47:57   I think that the complaint some people have about the Mac

00:47:59   is that they haven't done anything that's like,

00:48:01   here's the radical new way to use a Mac.

00:48:03   I don't want that.

00:48:04   I mean, obviously, if they came up with something

00:48:05   that I liked, I guess I'd like it,

00:48:06   but I kind of feel like they've, you know,

00:48:10   that's what new products are for, right?

00:48:13   That's why the iPad is a different product.

00:48:16   Like, here's a radical new way to do personal computing

00:48:18   on a portable device.

00:48:19   I still want to do the stuff

00:48:21   that the Mac is great at on the Mac.

00:48:23   Hardware-wise, though, I think it's hard to deny

00:48:26   that they kind of took their eye off the ball.

00:48:28   And I think part of this sort of let's hit the reset button

00:48:33   mindset is that reaction to the MacBook Pros last fall

00:48:38   I think was mixed.

00:48:40   I don't think it's fair to say it was a poor reaction,

00:48:43   but I do think it was a mixed reaction,

00:48:45   and I think that took Apple by surprise.

00:48:47   I think Apple internally thought they had a smash hit

00:48:50   on their hands and was sort of taken aback

00:48:53   by the number of people who expressed displeasure.

00:48:58   at the decisions they made with the MacBook Pro.

00:49:01   And during our discussion, Schiller had,

00:49:04   during his opening remarks, addressed it

00:49:07   in his usual way where it wasn't quite head on,

00:49:09   but it was clear what he mentioned him

00:49:11   and said that they're hard at work

00:49:13   on a next group of MacBook Pros that would address,

00:49:17   specifically address some of the complaints

00:49:19   professional users had about the current ones.

00:49:22   Although he didn't say any of things of what those are.

00:49:26   but I would presume, or maybe he mentioned RAM.

00:49:28   Did he mention RAM?

00:49:30   I mean, one of the complaints people have

00:49:31   about the current MacBook Pros is that there's still,

00:49:34   the maximum amount of RAM you can put in them

00:49:35   is 16 gigabytes.

00:49:37   And the reason it's not 32 gigabytes

00:49:39   is because Apple is using,

00:49:42   I don't have to write me to tell me,

00:49:44   but they're using DDR whatever low energy RAM.

00:49:49   And on the current Intel chip sets,

00:49:51   if you're using the kind of low energy

00:49:54   battery-saving RAM that Apple wants to use

00:49:57   to keep battery life good, the maximum you can get is 16.

00:50:00   So they could, in theory, have MacBook Pros

00:50:03   that have 32 gigabytes, but it would involve

00:50:05   a complete re-architecture of which Intel chipset

00:50:08   they're using, and to ship them last year,

00:50:11   they would have not been able to use the low-energy RAM.

00:50:14   And we went through this when the MacBook Pros came out,

00:50:18   and the answer from the people who are RAM-starved

00:50:21   in their professional work who really need more than 16

00:50:25   or at least want if not needs more than 16 gigabytes of RAM

00:50:29   is I don't care about the low energy,

00:50:31   I'll plug the goddamn thing in,

00:50:33   I just want 32 gigabytes of RAM,

00:50:35   which is a completely reasonable trade off.

00:50:39   It is completely reasonable for a Mac user

00:50:44   who gets the Mac and loves the Mac.

00:50:46   It's not like, oh, if you were a real Mac user,

00:50:48   you'd see the genius of Apple's decision in this regard.

00:50:51   I could totally see how there are totally long time

00:50:55   die hard Mac users who get and love the Mac

00:50:58   who are willing to say, I would rather get

00:51:00   eight hours of battery life instead of 10

00:51:03   if I could get 32 gigabytes of RAM in this machine

00:51:06   instead of 16.

00:51:08   Totally reasonable.

00:51:09   I think the number of people who took that stance though

00:51:12   took Apple by surprise.

00:51:13   I mean, and it's not that RAM is the only issue,

00:51:16   the complaint that people have about the MacBook Pros.

00:51:20   But it...

00:51:22   Yeah, well, then...

00:51:26   So there's two things that I think that are important to touch on. I think the touch thing we should talk about, because I think that's very interesting.

00:51:32   You mentioned iPad, but the other branch of that discussion is, you mentioned how many people...

00:51:37   It took them by surprise, you know, how many people did that. So it sort of begs the question, like, why did it take them by surprise?

00:51:44   You know? Like, why did it sneak up on them, so to speak?

00:51:49   speak well like I said best phrase I can come up with is that they took their eye

00:51:53   off the ball a bit and yeah and sort of got a little too insular I mean I think

00:51:58   it's often the biggest risk to Apple is that they're so insular as a culture

00:52:05   that they they can lose sight even if they think they're keeping track of the

00:52:09   community and and they certainly I think they certainly try to but I think that

00:52:13   they could talk themselves into just taking their eye off the ball

00:52:18   specifically taking their eye off the ball of the needs of larger chunks of their users.

00:52:24   That's what I think they took their eye off the ball on.

00:52:27   And I think that there are so many things to really love about the new MacBook Pro

00:52:30   that I think that they somehow got caught up loving the things there are to love about them

00:52:37   and lost sight of the ways that it was falling short of some of their professionals' needs.

00:52:44   What were you going to say about touch in that regard?

00:52:47   So the thing that they mentioned essentially was if you want touch, buy an iPad and use it together.

00:52:54   And we're going to work on ways to make those work better, or think about ways to make those work better together, or whatever.

00:52:59   Which says to me that they want, they not want, this is not the primary purpose of it, but that an iPad Pro,

00:53:07   you know, they want it to act like a Cintiq tablet of sorts that connects to a Mac Pro or iMac or whatever in a more seamless fashion.

00:53:16   Which makes a hell of a ton of sense. Because the pen tracking and things like that, Apple feels is superior to things like the Surface Studio and the Cintiq.

00:53:31   It's quite obvious. The Cintiq tablets, which are made by Wacom, are sort of like the de facto industry standard.

00:53:37   and a designer that earns enough money to spend

00:53:41   1500, 2000 dollars on it,

00:53:43   is basically they're buying a PC with a touch screen

00:53:46   glued to the front of it, and they lay it flat.

00:53:49   If you're not a designer, they lay it flat,

00:53:52   then use a stylus directly on it,

00:53:54   therefore directly drawing a line on the screen.

00:53:56   It was like an iPad Pro before an iPad Pro, I guess.

00:53:59   I don't know.

00:54:00   Just to analogize it through a backwards lens.

00:54:03   But the Cintiqs for many years ruled the roost

00:54:06   with designers.

00:54:07   And now I have this, I'm sure you do too,

00:54:10   but just because I do happen to do a lot in Apple stuff,

00:54:14   when I'm looking at pictures,

00:54:18   even in completely unrelated articles or media,

00:54:23   looking at desks, I always look at desks, right?

00:54:26   And workspaces, I'm fascinated with workspaces,

00:54:29   from machinists to designers to anything else.

00:54:33   I think there's a lot of fascination with,

00:54:35   a lot of fascinating things to learn about a person by the way that they handle their

00:54:39   workspace, how messy it is or how clean it is, neither of which are bad necessarily.

00:54:42   It's just the person, right? It's how they move through life.

00:54:46   You made a keen observation last week, because our meeting was held in what they call the

00:54:53   machine shop, but it's their design realization lab where they take designs that I guess are

00:55:00   or CAD or just prototypes.

00:55:03   And it's a machine shop where they take ideas for designs

00:55:09   and try to turn them into as realistic an approximation of what

00:55:14   it would actually be like as a real Apple project as possible.

00:55:17   And I got the feeling that a lot of that stuff

00:55:22   was just so that they could wing it around and hold it and open

00:55:25   and close, open and close, open and close it, and see how a human--

00:55:28   like, oh, this feels really awkward now that I hold it.

00:55:31   - Make it as real as possible.

00:55:33   But you made the keen observation that,

00:55:35   looking around, and they had some stuff covered

00:55:38   with black drapes, and they obviously had shut down

00:55:40   for the day, they said ordinarily this is a very noisy

00:55:42   facility for obvious reasons.

00:55:44   - Right.

00:55:45   - But you made the keen observation, I thought,

00:55:47   that you could kind of see that there were,

00:55:50   that some of the benches and stuff, and the machines,

00:55:53   were from different people who worked there

00:55:56   because they were set up in very different ways.

00:55:58   that there's somebody who works at this spot

00:56:00   and that the person who works right across this aisle

00:56:04   from them is a different person

00:56:06   because their tools were laid out in a different way.

00:56:08   And I thought that was pretty interesting.

00:56:11   - Yeah, I mean, I'm hypersensitive to that.

00:56:13   I came from, my grandfather was a machinist

00:56:15   and my dad is a craftsman.

00:56:18   He's a painter, fine art painter now,

00:56:20   but he for many years was, and still does,

00:56:23   works on cars and all kinds of other stuff.

00:56:25   Got the same inclination, obviously, from his dad.

00:56:27   I mean, I'm a dummy when it comes to that stuff.

00:56:29   I just, I can get my way around,

00:56:31   but their workspace is always fascinated with me with,

00:56:35   like my grandfather had a, you know,

00:56:38   I don't know what you call it, a cabinet or whatever,

00:56:42   which was, he built himself, 'cause he's a machinist,

00:56:45   so he worked in wood as well,

00:56:47   and wood was like butter to him

00:56:48   after working on aircraft parts all day.

00:56:51   And so we built like this cabinet with these wooden drawers,

00:56:54   and there was maybe, I don't know, 50 or 60 wooden drawers,

00:56:58   and each one had a different kind of thing in it.

00:57:01   Like, you know, you go like, oh, I need a washer,

00:57:04   like a split lock washer, and he's like, oh, right here.

00:57:07   Right, and you look in, and there's a bunch

00:57:09   of split lock washers, and they're not new.

00:57:12   They're reclaimed, right?

00:57:13   They're like, they got a little bit of oil

00:57:15   and grit on them, but they're fine, right?

00:57:16   They're fine, and you know, he puts them back there,

00:57:18   and that way you know, like, hey, I gotta fix this thing

00:57:21   under the sink or whatever.

00:57:22   He came from that generation where it's like,

00:57:23   I'm gonna fix this thing.

00:57:24   I'm gonna go out, pull out a drawer,

00:57:26   grab this thing and put it in.

00:57:27   I'm not gonna go to the store and buy a whole new faucet.

00:57:29   You know, or whatever.

00:57:30   - And he's also not going to jury rig it

00:57:32   with an ill-fitting part and just sort of--

00:57:35   - No, no, no, no. - Strap it together

00:57:37   with a rag to stop the dripping.

00:57:38   He's gonna have the exact washer that you need

00:57:42   to make a complete, you know, make the right fit right there.

00:57:46   - Right, exactly, and the same thing with the tools.

00:57:48   You know, all of the, like a punch or a pair of pliers

00:57:52   or a clamp or anything like that.

00:57:54   all laid out, all kind of had its own place. Used, worn, grimy, whatever, but there, right?

00:58:01   And organized in some way too, according to his brain. And I just saw that reflected on the

00:58:06   workspaces. And I'm not like, you know, this is the same in machine shops around the world. So,

00:58:10   I'm not trying to say that Apple is some sort of, you know, crazy special place. I just found it

00:58:15   really nice to see because it says, "Hey, these are craftsmen." A lot of people think about this,

00:58:21   like Johnny designs it and some thing prints it out overseas and that's it. But I think it is very

00:58:29   important for us to remember that, as Steve said, the world is made up of people who are no smarter

00:58:37   than you, then they made all these things. All it is is they applied themselves, they put the

00:58:42   effort into learning how to do this. And so you see those wooden work boxes there with their

00:58:49   measuring tools and punches and filing tools and those things all laid out in different bits

00:58:55   for their CNC machines, for the cutting machines, and all of that stuff laid out.

00:58:59   And you could tell, like, a man or woman works here, you know? And they live in this space.

00:59:06   - Their personality is on the bench, yeah.

00:59:06   - Yeah, exactly. And so while the machines themselves may have the overall personality

00:59:11   of somebody, you know, a lot of man-hours and woman-hours, whatever you want to call it,

00:59:16   I hate that term man-hours, but they went into it and then it definitely

00:59:20   Was reflected in the workspaces, you know, which I found compelling

00:59:24   But any I digress but like from the workspaces thing I'm seeing more and more more and more designers workspaces

00:59:31   They'll have whatever computer a Mac or a PC or whatever

00:59:35   Invariably though iPad Pro and a pencil. Hmm like everywhere

00:59:40   like I was reading an article about Nike the other day designing some shoe because I'm a shoe fanatic and

00:59:45   on the table in the background, iPad Pro and a pencil, right?

00:59:49   And I think it's sort of gaining a lot of traction in that industry

00:59:53   and in that field, and Apple sees this as an opening for them to go,

00:59:57   "Hey, we can serve these customers who have traditionally been very

01:00:01   Apple-centric, and we can hopefully not lose them,

01:00:05   but at the same time hold to our beliefs," which

01:00:09   from their discussion during our talk there, they still very strongly

01:00:13   believe that touch does not belong

01:00:15   on that huge vertical monitor.

01:00:17   - Right. - You know?

01:00:18   And so this is a way that they can

01:00:20   sort of serve both of those.

01:00:22   And as Craig joked, you know,

01:00:23   also allows them to sell more products.

01:00:25   - Yeah. (laughs)

01:00:26   They do, and they're very upfront about that,

01:00:29   that they like it when people buy lots of Apple products.

01:00:32   The person who is a recent iPad convert

01:00:36   because of the iPad Pro and Pencil,

01:00:38   who I found fascinating, and it was exactly

01:00:40   what I suspected, is Jonathan Heffler

01:00:43   of Heffler and Company, the typographers.

01:00:45   And a friend of the show, icon designer, icon artist,

01:00:51   and graphic designer, illustrator,

01:00:54   extraordinaire, Louis Mancha, is getting

01:00:57   into creating his own typefaces.

01:01:01   And just like any super artistic person, it's not like--

01:01:07   he's so talented.

01:01:08   I mean, he can draw illustrations.

01:01:09   He can make icons.

01:01:10   can do logos, and he's drawing typefaces.

01:01:13   And put one up, like an A through Z specimen up,

01:01:18   and asked Heffler for his thoughts.

01:01:19   And Heffler, rather than just tweet his response,

01:01:23   took it and marked it up with just a slew of thoughts,

01:01:29   and just little details, and parts of a B that maybe should

01:01:33   be the mirror image of the D, like a B in a lowercase b and d.

01:01:38   and other areas where you think, like as a kid,

01:01:41   you grow up thinking, oh, a B and a D are just mirror images.

01:01:44   Well, sometimes you want them to be, and sometimes you don't.

01:01:46   And with explanations of why maybe you'd

01:01:49   want to take a bigger chunk out of this,

01:01:50   or you want to have this be curved or this be--

01:01:53   I found it as a fan of typography

01:01:57   who does not have the artistic ability

01:01:59   to create typography in any way, shape, or form.

01:02:03   There's no chance that I could make a good looking typeface.

01:02:06   None.

01:02:07   but I can appreciate a good typeface.

01:02:10   And I'd like to think at least that I can appreciate

01:02:13   the difference between a good typeface

01:02:14   and a great typeface.

01:02:16   And I found his markup to be fascinating

01:02:19   from a typographic level, but then I was also interested

01:02:22   in how did he make this mockup?

01:02:24   And he was like, of course you would ask.

01:02:26   And he said that, on Twitter, Heffler said that

01:02:29   he switched, he got an iPad Pro like a year ago

01:02:33   and took to it, and I forget which app he's using,

01:02:35   but I think it's like PDF Pro, PDF Expert,

01:02:39   I wanted the third party PDF markup apps.

01:02:42   And that it was so good for him that

01:02:45   he got iPad Pros for the entire company

01:02:49   and they switched their entire critique process

01:02:54   for typefaces from paper to PDFs

01:02:57   and it was all specifically,

01:02:58   it never could have happened before the iPad Pro and Pencil

01:03:01   and that they're A, loving it, they're way more efficient

01:03:04   and B, they're saving like 8,000 sheets of paper a day.

01:03:08   - Right, right.

01:03:09   - Like an unbelievable, I don't know what exactly he said,

01:03:12   but it was, you can imagine how many,

01:03:15   a company full of type designers who do lots of critiques

01:03:18   and lots of iterations over and over and over again

01:03:20   on every letter that they're saving an awful lot of paper.

01:03:24   And they've got, now they've got a paper trail

01:03:25   of the evolution of a typeface that is electronically

01:03:29   searchable and doesn't need to be archived

01:03:31   in filing cabinets or something like that.

01:03:33   Anyway, I thought that was interesting.

01:03:36   - Yeah, I mean, as a long time,

01:03:38   I come from a family of artists

01:03:41   and I never fully went down that path.

01:03:43   There was a brief period where I thought

01:03:44   I was gonna be a fine artist.

01:03:46   And I went more into the photographic side of things,

01:03:49   but I did take all of the required drawing classes,

01:03:53   life drawing, et cetera.

01:03:57   So I could still sketch you a reclining nude

01:03:59   if you want one.

01:04:00   But that process of pencil to paper, the way everybody holds a pencil, every artist holds

01:04:07   one slightly differently, different angle, different inflection, and it feels organic

01:04:11   and natural to them.

01:04:13   And a typical stylist requires that you have a fairly precise, specific angle on it to

01:04:19   make it react to the surface in a certain way.

01:04:22   And the pencil doesn't.

01:04:23   I mean, within certain bounds, you can't go as extreme as you can with a pencil, but

01:04:28   But you can go a lot more extreme because of the way that they built it and the way,

01:04:32   of course, that they built the screen to match it.

01:04:35   Whereas most people are working with a fairly standard touchscreen and then mating whatever

01:04:41   swizzle they can get in a stylus to it to try and make it feel more organic.

01:04:45   You've seen the ones with the little disks at the tip so that you could see what's under

01:04:48   the stylus and all that.

01:04:50   But it's really the hold of the pencil that is the most important thing.

01:04:53   And I find it amazing that you can do a four-finger hold on a pencil and shade, and then you can

01:04:59   flip it and do a standard stylus-type hold, and so on and so forth.

01:05:04   And I think that that organic way that those work, coupled with the very incredibly low

01:05:10   latency on the screen, are just selling people on it the moment that they try it or can figure

01:05:17   out a way to work it into their workflow.

01:05:20   And I think that if Apple can leverage that and use that as a way to say, "You don't

01:05:24   need touch because you've already got all the touch you need here," I think that

01:05:27   it could work. It could work for the Mac Pro.

01:05:30   Yeah. All right. I've looked it up. I've got it in the show notes, but I've got the

01:05:34   whole thread on Twitter of this typeface critique. And the app that Heffler and his company are

01:05:41   using specifically is Notability, Notability, or is it Notability Pro? Notability app, which

01:05:48   he describes as the only app that he's ever felt feels like a real pen to him.

01:05:54   So anyway, it's a great app. I do have it. I don't really have a need for it like he

01:05:57   does, but boy that's great. And I agree with what you said. I really do. It did

01:06:03   come up though. It came up at the meeting as to whether they're over working on

01:06:07   touchscreen Macs. I feel like it's it's the question that will never go away.

01:06:13   Until one day they find out a way to do it and everybody says "See?" and they're

01:06:16   like, well, you know, we were just waiting or whatever.

01:06:19   - I don't think they will, I really don't.

01:06:21   I think that they could do it and shut people up,

01:06:24   but I feel like it's a bad idea.

01:06:26   Let's hold that thought and I'll explain why I think it.

01:06:29   It really is a bad idea.

01:06:31   And I don't think, I think some people suspect that it's,

01:06:33   oh, they know touch is the future

01:06:36   and they just want people to,

01:06:38   it's all hinges on this theory that they quote unquote

01:06:41   want everybody to use a MacBook Pro or an iPad Pro,

01:06:44   use an iPad Pro.

01:06:45   And so they're starving the Mac of touch screens

01:06:50   out of spite to encourage people to buy iPad Pros,

01:06:53   which I think is nonsense,

01:06:55   but I think that's the working theory of the,

01:07:00   otherwise it makes no sense why the Mac has no touch screen.

01:07:02   Whereas I think that there are,

01:07:04   I think what Apple is saying about the Mac and touch screen

01:07:06   is the literal truth, that it's a bad combination

01:07:10   of form factor and UI design.

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01:10:15   What were we talking about?

01:10:18   I always forget.

01:10:19   (laughing)

01:10:22   Oh, touchscreen max.

01:10:23   - Yeah, touchscreen max.

01:10:24   - I get into it, I get into it.

01:10:25   That's the secret.

01:10:26   I get hypnotized by my own sponsor.

01:10:27   - Buckwheat Pillows, yeah.

01:10:29   So think about the one that-- and I'm not

01:10:36   saying it's a bad design, but I feel like the trade-offs are

01:10:38   too much.

01:10:39   So people are talking about the Windows Surface-style tablets,

01:10:46   where you can dock it to a keyboard part,

01:10:51   and then you can undock it somehow.

01:10:54   And then the screen is a standalone tablet

01:10:57   with a separate processor and its own little battery.

01:11:03   It is, to me, it's a worse tablet than an iPad,

01:11:06   because it doesn't have a full strength processor.

01:11:12   The full strength processor is in the base.

01:11:15   But so it's worse as a tablet, but it's also worse as a laptop,

01:11:22   because then the screen of the laptop when it's in laptop mode

01:11:25   is thicker, especially compared to the new MacBooks

01:11:28   and MacBook Pros.

01:11:30   One of the best little things--

01:11:33   and I can write about it, but I don't

01:11:35   feel like it's ever convincing to someone until they actually

01:11:37   try it for a while--

01:11:39   is how much nicer the screen opens on the latest MacBook

01:11:43   Pros.

01:11:44   I'm still using, as my daily driver,

01:11:46   I still have a 2 and 1/2 year old 13 inch MacBook

01:11:50   Pro from the previous design.

01:11:52   And it still suits my needs, because on a day-to-day basis,

01:11:56   the iMac is my main computer.

01:11:58   And what I tend to do with my Macs is when I do buy a new one,

01:12:02   I just max it out.

01:12:03   I get the fastest, and I get the most RAM,

01:12:05   and I get the biggest SSD, and then use it for years

01:12:09   until I feel like I really need a new computer,

01:12:11   and then max one out again, rather than upgrade

01:12:14   like every year or so to a mid-range computer

01:12:16   or something like that.

01:12:19   I think of everything else on the new--

01:12:22   after getting those review units of the new MacBook Pros.

01:12:24   The thing that I miss the most isn't the touch bar and it isn't touch ID,

01:12:29   although touch ID is close. It's the,

01:12:33   the way that it opens and closes. That's, it's so light.

01:12:37   The screen is so light and thin and the hinge is so much better that it's just

01:12:42   effortless. It always goes, it just lifts.

01:12:45   The base never comes up when you lift it. The base never shifts.

01:12:48   - The floppy base thing, the floppy base syndrome was like,

01:12:51   it was always a huge issue for me on, well, Airs,

01:12:54   you know, and the little MacBooks.

01:12:56   - I just got used to it.

01:12:57   I used an 11-inch MacBook Air for years

01:12:59   and liked it in so many ways.

01:13:01   And I just had it out recently to do a battery test on it.

01:13:06   And I still love the form factor when it's closed,

01:13:10   but opening and closing it is sort of a two-hand operation

01:13:13   or a pinched finger operation because it's just,

01:13:16   like you said, a floppy base.

01:13:18   The new MacBook Pros have the best feel of a laptop opening

01:13:22   and closing of any device I've ever seen in my life.

01:13:25   But part of that though is that the screen part,

01:13:30   the part that you move up and down,

01:13:32   if you could magically detach that,

01:13:35   it's way too thin to be a tablet.

01:13:36   It wouldn't have any room for a battery.

01:13:38   It's way too thin and light.

01:13:39   There's no way that that could be a tablet.

01:13:41   And if you wanted to turn it into a tablet,

01:13:43   you'd end up with a device with a totally different balance

01:13:46   weight and etc.

01:13:48   Almost inverted really because the keyboard would be on the bottom and that's it.

01:13:52   Well and that has struck me with the iPad Pro with a smart keyboard.

01:13:57   Like I get it if you, to me that configuration of using an iPad with a smart keyboard or even

01:14:04   a third party like a Logitech keyboard with a click click keys is so top heavy.

01:14:10   I can see it if your goal is, I love my iPad so much that I want to use it for more stuff,

01:14:17   and I want to use it for writing, and so for writing I want to have a real hardware keyboard.

01:14:22   Therefore, being able to do it and do it with a smart connector for the ease of hooking it up

01:14:29   and unhooking it up, that's great. But it's so inferior just as a laptop compared to a real

01:14:36   real MacBook Pro.

01:14:37   Like putting the software aside and your preference

01:14:39   for iOS over Mac OS or vice versa,

01:14:42   just the art, the action of opening and closing it

01:14:45   and putting it away, you can't beat the MacBook Pro

01:14:48   with a tablet that docks to a keyboard, right?

01:14:52   It's like you could have your MacBook Pro open,

01:14:56   close it, realize you forgot to do one last thing,

01:15:00   reopen it, and especially if you're using the Apple Watch

01:15:04   unlock it or use touch ID be logged back in before somebody else could close up

01:15:11   an iPad Pro and get the smart keyboard folded up. It's, you know, again I'm not

01:15:16   saying that that means iPad Pro with a smart keyboard or a logitech keyboard is

01:15:20   a bad design but it certainly is a huge trade-off in terms of just just the art

01:15:26   of opening and closing the laptop. And so I just don't see it. I'm curious to see, so

01:15:33   like me, I've had a couple of the Surfaces. I've had the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface

01:15:37   Pro 4, and I found them to be, you know, interesting devices that just really got schizophrenic

01:15:44   in the software. So like the hardware wasn't, you know, the Surface Pro 3 was okay, the

01:15:48   4 was better hardware-wise, not too bad. The software was just super schizophrenic because

01:15:54   it was trying to be two things at once. You know, it was trying to be touch and mouse

01:15:57   and all of that, and it mashed into one, which is Apple's constant refrain that they don't

01:16:02   want to run into that problem. And I agree, having used Windows 10 on a Surface Pro 4,

01:16:09   it still felt really schizophrenic to me. And I don't think that it's unusable, right?

01:16:15   So I think there are plenty of people out there that can get used to it. I am very curious,

01:16:19   though, people are saying, "Hey, Surface are selling more devices." Obviously, their

01:16:23   quarterly reports show that they have something there, right? There's something there that

01:16:28   that people like and maybe that is the pitch

01:16:30   of having the all-in-one so they don't have to buy

01:16:32   a tablet and a computer, you know,

01:16:34   that marketing is working and then people get the devices

01:16:37   and they like 'em enough to keep them

01:16:39   and so that's working.

01:16:40   But I'm very curious to see what will happen

01:16:42   one generation out when people go,

01:16:45   man, how exhausting was using that?

01:16:47   You know, how exhausting was this constant,

01:16:50   being caught in between two worlds?

01:16:52   And so I think Microsoft has an opportunity right now,

01:16:54   this sort of gap of time where they've got a little traction

01:16:57   and it's going well, and so the positive word of mouth

01:17:00   is causing more and more people to try that paradigm out,

01:17:03   where they have a chance to figure it out,

01:17:04   and maybe they can, right?

01:17:05   Maybe they can suss something out, and they figure it out,

01:17:07   and it's like, oh wow, this really hits the mark.

01:17:10   And the Surface Book obviously is a nod to that.

01:17:13   Trying to, they're trying to swizzle,

01:17:15   trying to find their niche to put that claw in.

01:17:18   And that's great, but I think that Apple looks at that

01:17:21   and goes, why would we do that

01:17:23   when we have these two more pure devices

01:17:26   that we feel service just different needs completely,

01:17:30   and that's our philosophy.

01:17:31   Like, hit these nails straight,

01:17:33   rather than trying to hit the nailing at an angle

01:17:35   to try and catch both boards or whatever.

01:17:37   - Yeah, and I think it fits with Apple's philosophy

01:17:40   of we're not going to create enough devices

01:17:43   to cover every possible desire.

01:17:45   We're going to have a fewer number of devices

01:17:49   and hopefully have them meet almost everybody's needs.

01:17:54   And it almost comes back to the fact

01:17:56   that I suspect that there might have been an inkling

01:17:59   two years ago to a year ago where maybe they thought

01:18:03   they could even get rid of the Mac Pro

01:18:05   and just have iMacs and MacBook Pros.

01:18:08   That they were, if anything, I think that they were leaning

01:18:10   towards having fewer configurations of Macs

01:18:13   than adding more by adding something like a Surface Studio.

01:18:18   And that gets us, I've said this before many times,

01:18:22   but it's, there's all sorts of things on screen on a Mac

01:18:26   that are just are not conducive to touch

01:18:29   just in terms of how big they are.

01:18:31   And I've done it, and I know people feel,

01:18:35   I get a lot of email about this,

01:18:37   but I've done it myself.

01:18:40   I am an anti-screen-toucher.

01:18:42   I like to, I generally, I will sometimes buy a new MacBook

01:18:46   and it might go hopefully many, many months

01:18:51   before any human being ever touches the display.

01:18:55   (laughing)

01:18:56   - Right, yeah, I'm a hover-hander myself.

01:18:58   I don't like to stab my screen.

01:19:00   - It makes me very nervous, like people might get nervous.

01:19:03   There was a scene in The Walking Dead this week

01:19:06   where, you know, without revealing anything, any spoilers,

01:19:09   but there was a character threatening another character

01:19:11   by holding a knife very, very close

01:19:13   to this character's eyeball for a very long time.

01:19:17   And if it's, I can only, they had to have done it

01:19:20   with computer graphics, 'cause there's no way they could,

01:19:23   It looked too convincing that this but it was very nerve-wracking to see a character with a knife

01:19:27   Held right in front of his open eyeball during a threatening situation for a long period of time

01:19:32   That's how I feel when I see somebody reach towards a non touch display with the right to try and point at a document

01:19:38   Yeah, I get nervous when they as soon as they start point

01:19:42   I

01:19:44   Would rather and the thing is I might touch phobia with screens goes even further

01:19:48   I would rather not clean it than touch it.

01:19:52   Is that weird?

01:19:53   Like my screens, like I often have like,

01:19:56   I open it, my MacBook can go wow.

01:19:58   This has like, maybe it's sneeze residue,

01:20:01   maybe it's dust, I don't know.

01:20:02   Like eventually it gets bad enough

01:20:04   to where you have to clean it,

01:20:05   but I'd almost rather not touch it,

01:20:07   'cause then I'm afraid I'm gonna clean it

01:20:08   and it's gonna be spongy at the corners.

01:20:10   (laughing)

01:20:11   It's just like a no-win scenario.

01:20:13   - In my days as a graphic designer,

01:20:15   I remember I would work with people

01:20:17   who were screen-touchers themselves.

01:20:19   This is back in the CRT era.

01:20:21   And they would, you know, we'd be like,

01:20:23   hey, let me show you this.

01:20:24   What do you think about this?

01:20:25   And they'd start pointing to the screen and touching it.

01:20:27   And I'd be like, what are you doing?

01:20:30   It's your screen, why are you touching your screen?

01:20:33   - I think big smeary snail trails across it.

01:20:37   - All right, all that said,

01:20:39   back when the first iPad Pro came out

01:20:44   and I had a review unit

01:20:45   And I did what I tried to always do,

01:20:47   is immerse myself in it by doing as much of my computing

01:20:50   on it as possible during the review period,

01:20:53   including writing the review itself, using it.

01:20:57   And then when I was done, like a day later or so,

01:20:59   I was using my MacBook Pro.

01:21:01   And I went over and I tried to scroll.

01:21:04   I remember exactly which app it was.

01:21:05   It was Tweetbot.

01:21:06   And I think the fact that Tweetbot sort of shares

01:21:09   aesthetic with the iOS version helped put me in.

01:21:13   I touched my MacBook Pro screen and tried to scroll it.

01:21:16   So I get it.

01:21:17   If it happened to me, I could see how it could happen

01:21:19   to more people where they just want to scroll

01:21:22   by touching the screen or whatever.

01:21:25   But you can't, it's, and I get it.

01:21:28   - It's not pretty though.

01:21:29   It's just not pretty.

01:21:30   Like, I mean, in terms of the physical interaction,

01:21:33   it's not pretty.

01:21:34   I've seen it happen.

01:21:35   Like, I've even been like at events and stuff

01:21:37   and I've seen people with touchscreen, you know,

01:21:39   Macs or whatever, and they're hurrying to file,

01:21:42   like a reporter, you know, and they're hurrying to follow their story and they're bashing away and maybe they go to close up or whatever and

01:21:49   they're trying to do a couple last things or even if they're like reading news while they're doing it and they're scrolling they reach up

01:21:54   and they do this sort of thing where they they're pulling the laptop in and half closing it and using the screen with their thumbs

01:22:00   Like stuff like that, which I look at it and go, you know, I get it

01:22:05   It's kind of nice to be able to

01:22:07   have this dual mode thing where you're like clickety-clackety-clickety-clack and then if there's a big touch target and you want to just

01:22:12   touch it really quick or perhaps like some some interactions might make sense

01:22:17   like swiping on the screen to move an entire desktop space right like that

01:22:21   makes a ton of sense to me logically you know philosophically but just going like

01:22:25   hunt I've seen them also hunting to try and click buttons that they really

01:22:29   should have clicked with the mouse but the touch pads are so shitty on those on

01:22:33   those particular computers or the they don't have a mouse right that they're

01:22:37   just like right and then you know you hit the target wrong because the thumb

01:22:42   isn't really calculated to hit it right and all of this stuff. You know, they don't do what Apple

01:22:46   does to offset the target, you know, all of that. And remember, there's not a predictable angle that

01:22:52   they're hitting it from. You know, because it's a laptop screen with your phone, Apple has offset

01:22:57   the key targets, so where they're not over the keys, they're actually slightly above the keys

01:23:01   because of the parallax, the way you look at it and the way you type on it. And so, when people

01:23:05   go whack it, they don't realize they're hitting above the key, but it's still hitting the key.

01:23:08   and like that kind of thing they can't do because it's unpredictable how people

01:23:12   are gonna

01:23:12   touch them so I think there's a lot of hurdles that manifest themselves in the

01:23:16   weird gymnastics people do when they start actually interacting with those

01:23:19   kinds of screens

01:23:20   you know especially laptops you whack it and it tilts backwards and flops back down

01:23:24   and all this stuff you know

01:23:25   right you'd almost want to build one that probably has more resistance than

01:23:28   the current

01:23:29   macbook pros resistance in terms of resistance to

01:23:33   to whether it moves down on not in the electrical sense

01:23:36   Yeah, yeah.

01:23:37   There's also a kind of a fundamental difference between tapping and clicking.

01:23:42   Like when you just, if you had a touchscreen Mac and you just touch the screen and then

01:23:47   start dragging, did that touch count as a click and then a drag or is it just, that's

01:23:53   just where you start dragging?

01:23:54   And if you think about that, it's totally different both ways, but you would want, sometimes

01:24:00   you'd want one and sometimes you'd want the other.

01:24:02   Like how do you differentiate between scrolling in a finder window full of icons and by touching

01:24:11   and moving your finger and dragging an icon so you can drag and drop by touching and dragging?

01:24:18   It's the exact same gesture.

01:24:19   You put your finger on the screen and it happens to be on top of an icon and you move it.

01:24:24   Does it start dragging or does it start scrolling the view of icons?

01:24:30   There's two things that you want the same gesture to do.

01:24:33   And with the mouse pointer, it's easily solved

01:24:36   because it only does the drag if you click before you move.

01:24:39   You know, there's all sorts of problems

01:24:43   that open up like that, and it all gets very messy.

01:24:45   And I feel like most of the people

01:24:47   who are kind of hoping that Apple would do this

01:24:50   haven't really thought through any of those issues

01:24:52   and would be, at least in some ways,

01:24:55   would be dissatisfied with the result

01:24:56   because they would see it as sloppy,

01:24:59   Whereas it's really not, there is no easy solution to it.

01:25:04   There's no way to make putting your finger on the screen

01:25:07   and dragging it do both scroll the view

01:25:10   and drag and drop the item.

01:25:11   And iOS gets away with it by not having drag and drop.

01:25:16   (laughing)

01:25:17   - Yeah, it's just like, we'll just gonna not do that.

01:25:19   Yeah, and that's the thing they could do

01:25:21   by burning it down, so to speak, right?

01:25:22   The interface, the layer.

01:25:24   - And there's things like on iOS

01:25:26   where maybe they're gonna do drag and drop

01:25:28   because now they're adding the haptic engine

01:25:30   and you can get a touch and drag

01:25:33   and a click and drag on the iOS.

01:25:35   But even if you thought, well,

01:25:37   then there's your solution for macOS for a touchscreen.

01:25:41   But now you're making the top of the MacBook

01:25:43   even thicker than it was already.

01:25:45   Again, another layer of thickness you're adding,

01:25:47   which is all problematic.

01:25:49   And if you wanna be able to press it hard enough

01:25:51   to get a 3D touch, you've gotta make the,

01:25:53   the hinge has to be even firmer,

01:25:57   et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

01:25:58   I don't wanna go down this route any further,

01:26:00   but I think it's a bad idea.

01:26:02   - Well, it's a rabbit hole, right?

01:26:04   It really is.

01:26:05   And once you start going down it,

01:26:07   you find yourself mixing metaphors.

01:26:10   And I think that's something that Apple's super allergic to.

01:26:13   Like if you have a touch metaphor that works on the iPad,

01:26:17   why would you introduce a completely separate metaphor

01:26:20   for the same exact action on a desktop machine?

01:26:23   And the answer, of course, the easy answer is,

01:26:25   oh, because the desktop's different.

01:26:26   But I don't think Apple views it that way.

01:26:28   I think they view it, well, if it's different,

01:26:30   then why are you trying to shoehorn

01:26:32   this interaction methodology onto it?

01:26:35   And I think that's where they,

01:26:37   they don't want two different answers

01:26:39   for what happens when I touch things, you know?

01:26:42   They just want one answer.

01:26:44   And I think that's the kind of the key there.

01:26:47   - Right, and I feel like the way,

01:26:49   like part of the brilliance of the original iPhone design

01:26:55   was that they had, I'm sure,

01:27:00   entire whiteboards full of these issues to resolve

01:27:02   over what happens when you just touch,

01:27:05   what happens when you drag, what happens, you know,

01:27:08   and came up with, okay, this is what'll happen

01:27:11   when you do this, this is what'll happen when you do that,

01:27:13   and came up with an overall design

01:27:16   that when you presented it to a normal person,

01:27:18   they didn't realize any of those things had been designed,

01:27:21   that it all felt natural, that yes, this is just,

01:27:25   You just put your finger on the screen and swipe it

01:27:27   and it starts dragging the view and et cetera, et cetera.

01:27:31   You just touch the button and let go

01:27:33   and the button is activated.

01:27:35   - Right.

01:27:36   Yeah, I think they're gonna walk into a world of hurt

01:27:43   if they start saying different things happen

01:27:45   when you touch different things

01:27:46   simply because they have come so far instructing people

01:27:51   on the one to one.

01:27:54   and the one-to-one is like their mantra, you know?

01:27:57   And it was, it's something that they didn't invent,

01:28:00   but they did perfect and popularize.

01:28:03   And I think that that is,

01:28:05   you don't wanna give up ownership of that by going,

01:28:07   oh, just kidding, that's not actually what we believe.

01:28:10   Yeah, you're walking into a problem there.

01:28:13   - Right, I don't believe, fundamentally,

01:28:15   I do not believe that all computers should be touch screens.

01:28:18   I think most should be,

01:28:21   and I think most clearly already are,

01:28:23   because I think you should count phones as touch screens

01:28:26   or as computers and overwhelm,

01:28:28   if you combine iPhones and Android phones,

01:28:30   they overwhelm all the other personal computers

01:28:34   in use in the world today,

01:28:35   let alone tablets and anything else

01:28:38   that might have a touch screen.

01:28:39   But I don't think all should.

01:28:41   I think there's a place for a non-touch screen

01:28:43   mouse and keyboard interface.

01:28:47   Anyway.

01:28:48   - Yeah, yeah, no, I agree.

01:28:50   I mean, it intersects with a whole lot of discussion

01:28:51   about voice, but that's literally a whole other,

01:28:53   that's a whole other thing.

01:28:55   - Let me take one last break here

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01:29:54   The Mac version is written by former Apple engineers.

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01:29:59   You never notice it running.

01:30:01   You just set it up and forget it.

01:30:03   And it's there.

01:30:04   And you get the peace of mind, the wonderful, wonderful--

01:30:08   you'll sleep an extra hour a night

01:30:10   with the peace of mind of knowing that everything

01:30:12   on your Mac that's important is backed up to the cloud.

01:30:15   Should that be the only way you back up?

01:30:17   No.

01:30:17   Backblaze will be the first to tell you that.

01:30:18   There's a great place in your backup solution

01:30:22   for something like Time Machine, something like Super Duper

01:30:25   to clone your startup disks so that you

01:30:27   have a second external drive with a complete clone

01:30:30   of your startup disk that you could just switch to and boot

01:30:33   from and go back to.

01:30:35   Local stuff is great.

01:30:36   It's always going to be faster.

01:30:39   But for when disaster strikes, like if somebody

01:30:42   breaks into your house and steals your stuff,

01:30:44   or if a pipe bursts in a roof over your office

01:30:48   and drips water over all your computing equipment.

01:30:51   Anything that could go wrong that might go wrong locally,

01:30:54   having an offsite backup is just a tremendous piece of mind

01:30:58   and it can be a lifesaver.

01:31:01   So where do you go to find out more?

01:31:03   I've been using Backblaze for years.

01:31:04   I recommend it.

01:31:05   I would recommend it if they stopped sponsoring the show,

01:31:07   if they stopped sponsoring Daring Fireball.

01:31:09   I would still recommend it.

01:31:10   Five bucks a month per machine.

01:31:13   Go to backblaze.com/daringfireball

01:31:18   and they will know that you came here from the show

01:31:20   and you'll get a 15-day free trial.

01:31:22   My thanks to them.

01:31:23   - I like that back place.

01:31:26   I've been using that for a long time.

01:31:28   - Yeah, it's a great service.

01:31:29   I always forget that I have it running.

01:31:31   I really do.

01:31:32   - Yeah, yeah, only time I remember is when I restart

01:31:35   and I see the little flame icon.

01:31:36   - Every once in a while, I have an external drive

01:31:39   on my desktop that I don't always keep plugged in.

01:31:41   It's just, I just call it storage,

01:31:43   and it's where I keep all sorts of big-ass stuff,

01:31:45   like video and stuff,

01:31:46   that I don't necessarily want to fill up my SSD with.

01:31:51   And every once in a while,

01:31:51   I don't have it plugged in for a while,

01:31:53   and they send you a nice little email that says,

01:31:54   "Hey, that device hasn't been backed up in 21 days,"

01:31:58   or something like that.

01:31:59   - Right.

01:32:00   - And I'm like, "Oh yeah, Backblaze is still running."

01:32:02   - Yeah, exactly.

01:32:03   - But I don't really need to plug it back in,

01:32:05   because part of the reason it hasn't been backed up

01:32:07   in 21 days is I obviously haven't changed anything.

01:32:09   - Exactly, yeah.

01:32:11   - But anyway, great choice.

01:32:11   - I use Carbon Copy Cloner for local,

01:32:13   and then back place for, yep, for external,

01:32:17   in case my house burns down.

01:32:18   - Yep, yep, and then you think, wow, this is good news,

01:32:21   my house burned down, but I've--

01:32:22   (laughing)

01:32:24   - I get to reset up my computer, it's awesome.

01:32:27   It's any nerds will take any excuse to reset up a computer.

01:32:30   (laughing)

01:32:33   - So all right, one of the points,

01:32:35   I wouldn't say of contention, but one of the,

01:32:41   the things that we didn't really think about last week during that meeting in Cupertino

01:32:46   was what Schiller had said was, "Hey, all right, we're working on a new Mac Pro, thought

01:32:52   from the ground up. We're working on new Apple branded displays to go along with them. You're

01:33:00   not going to see these products this year." I think every single other person at the table

01:33:07   heard that and thought, "Okay, these things are coming next year."

01:33:13   And sort of in the context of, "Wow, Apple is telling us about a product that's a year

01:33:18   out," which is sort of unprecedented.

01:33:21   I guess it's the longest ever.

01:33:23   They've done things like they unveiled the iPhone at Macworld in January and it didn't

01:33:26   ship until June.

01:33:27   That's a six-month lead.

01:33:29   A year is pretty unusual, if not unprecedented.

01:33:34   But I had that in my story at at least one point where I used the phrase "next year"

01:33:40   and I got pinged the next morning from someone at Apple PR just to clarify that Apple didn't

01:33:46   say "next year."

01:33:47   They did not say "next year" either.

01:33:49   They just said "not this year."

01:33:51   And that there's obviously a subtle difference between "not this year" and "next year,"

01:33:57   which is that in theory, it might not come until 2019.

01:34:01   - Mm-hmm, yeah, nobody from Apple reached out to me

01:34:04   like proactively like that, but I did look at my,

01:34:07   when I was looking at the, through my transcript,

01:34:09   just to kind of make sure I got everything right

01:34:12   and all that, I realized that nobody did.

01:34:15   I think it was Lance kind of mentioned twice,

01:34:18   hey, these things that are coming next year,

01:34:20   blah, blah, blah, you know, just doesn't lead in

01:34:22   to another question.

01:34:23   And there was no pushback, so I think that's kind of

01:34:26   where my brain clicked over, okay, fine,

01:34:28   they didn't push back against these,

01:34:29   but it was a conversation.

01:34:31   So, I didn't expect them to necessarily push back

01:34:33   against every little thing,

01:34:35   or maybe they were just waiting

01:34:36   for the point of the question, right?

01:34:37   And they didn't, you know,

01:34:38   they slipped their mind or whatever.

01:34:41   But yeah, nowhere in that did they specify next year.

01:34:44   So, that makes sense.

01:34:46   And I don't think that it means

01:34:47   that it won't come next year.

01:34:49   Maybe it will.

01:34:50   But I also think that they wanna leave themselves

01:34:53   wiggle room in case they can't get it done.

01:34:54   And it's first quarter the year after,

01:34:56   or second quarter the year after, you know what I mean?

01:34:58   I can't fathom to see it being three years from now,

01:35:01   but I definitely think that they did not want to commit

01:35:05   to exactly 18 months from now, no longer kind of thing.

01:35:10   - At first I was a little alarmed by it,

01:35:15   but then I thought, you know what,

01:35:16   I think it's just, it's just not,

01:35:20   it's their institutional resistance

01:35:21   to talking about stuff in the future

01:35:23   and making any promises at all,

01:35:25   and their sort of desire to under-promise and over-deliver.

01:35:28   I can't help but suspect that internally

01:35:31   they certainly are shooting for next year,

01:35:33   if not early next year.

01:35:35   I can't help but think that,

01:35:36   but that they know that Murphy's Law can hit

01:35:39   and that they might spend six months pursuing path X

01:35:42   and decide, nope, we need to backtrack

01:35:44   and go down path Y instead,

01:35:45   and now we've lost six months,

01:35:47   that that can happen with the product.

01:35:49   But given the fact that they're hitting this reset button

01:35:54   on a what's now four-year-old computer,

01:35:58   well, almost four, coming out four,

01:36:00   but let's call it three,

01:36:01   I guess 'cause it shipped at the end of 2013.

01:36:04   Let's be generous and call it

01:36:06   a three-and-a-half-year-old computer.

01:36:08   That they're doing this now

01:36:14   and saying it's still gonna take at least a year,

01:36:17   that's a pretty long time for the world's most,

01:36:22   most successful, profitable company that specializes

01:36:25   in making computers, to make a computer that

01:36:30   should be at a basic level fundamentally

01:36:34   similar to high-end Intel-based workstations,

01:36:41   that part of this isn't--

01:36:43   it's not like they're designing their own.

01:36:45   At least we think they're not designing their own CPU

01:36:48   to go with this.

01:36:48   [LAUGHTER]

01:36:49   Right.

01:36:51   And on the flip side of that,

01:36:53   and this is what I want to hear your thoughts about,

01:36:54   is part of the pushback I got from my article

01:36:58   was specifically about this, it's not coming this year.

01:37:01   And the pushback I heard was from people,

01:37:05   readers and listeners of the show,

01:37:06   who are obviously frustrated at the Mac Pro,

01:37:09   who didn't take this announcement as the good news

01:37:12   that I took it as, because my biggest fear,

01:37:14   like I said, going in, was that they were gonna say,

01:37:16   we're not gonna make a Mac Pro anymore.

01:37:18   - Right, like nothing at all, right?

01:37:19   - Right, that was my bad news,

01:37:21   and my good news scenario is the Mac Pro is coming,

01:37:25   but it's not coming for a while.

01:37:27   And I thought that that was the good news,

01:37:28   because if the, in theory, good news would be,

01:37:32   we have a new Mac Pro and here it is,

01:37:34   or we have a new Mac Pro and it's coming at WWDC,

01:37:39   they wouldn't have had the meeting.

01:37:40   They would have just either shown,

01:37:41   had an event and shown it,

01:37:43   or they would have waited until June.

01:37:45   They could have at least waited that long,

01:37:46   and then had shown it.

01:37:48   I think the fact that it couldn't even be shown in June

01:37:52   meant that they needed to do something like this.

01:37:54   And so I knew that going into the meeting,

01:37:55   that there's no way they're going to show it to us.

01:37:58   It can't be coming soon.

01:37:59   So the best possible case would be that they say to us,

01:38:02   it's coming at the end of the year,

01:38:04   I thought would maybe be the ideal case.

01:38:07   But what I heard from people was, god damn it,

01:38:11   why can't Apple just take a motherboard from Intel

01:38:16   and some high-end Nvidia graphics cards

01:38:19   and put them in a goddamn box and sell it to me.

01:38:22   How long can it take to make a nice new--

01:38:26   Two 1080is, aluminum case, done.

01:38:28   Right.

01:38:29   Give Johnny Ives team a month to make a nice-looking box

01:38:32   and ship the goddamn thing.

01:38:35   And I wonder what you think about that.

01:38:38   What is it that they're doing that's going to take them

01:38:41   at least a year added to however long they've already

01:38:46   been working on on this, which seems to be at least six months, probably a little more,

01:38:51   but at least six months since I think they flipped the switch and said full speed ahead.

01:38:56   Jay Haynes Yeah. I don't know. I mean, I keep going back.

01:39:01   It's almost like haunting me now when they're saying, "If we're going to do anything, we

01:39:05   want to make sure that it's innovative and that it's not the same old thing." And I think

01:39:10   it's fine. Like the best case scenario of that is iPhone. I don't know what that could

01:39:17   be. There's two things that stick in my mind completely unrelated to Apple. Well, not completely,

01:39:22   but sort of unrelated to Apple that sound intriguing. One of the reasons I asked, "What's

01:39:29   your feeling on external GPUs?" was that was my assumption of what the Mac Pro was. Because

01:39:36   Because I had heard a little bit before the Mac Pro was announced, these things start

01:39:40   to come up in conversation as you have them. Nothing I could put together really solidly,

01:39:44   but I'd heard it's a little blob of a machine and they're going to focus on peripherals,

01:39:49   which is essentially what they were trying to do, but the peripherals never really materialized

01:39:54   because of Thunderbolt issues and all that stuff, in terms of the vast array of them

01:39:58   they thought were going to accompany this thing. But the peripheral that I was really

01:40:02   focused on in my mind was an external GPU. So it's saying, "Hey, like this is what we

01:40:06   launched today. We think it's going to be great for most people's computing needs, blah,

01:40:09   blah, blah. And then, you know, in six months we're going to have a partner like Nvidia

01:40:14   or AMD, obviously who they work very closely with, who has an external GPU you can plug

01:40:20   in and it'll handle your rendering tasks and run your games and you can just pick which

01:40:25   GPU you're going to use and boom, right? And you can just do that. And this--that way,

01:40:30   this little blob of a machine lives on your desk for five years, eight years, ten years,

01:40:36   and you get the newest GPU and plug it in, and as long as the I/O doesn't change, you

01:40:40   know, we don't have some massive change shift in I/O, which will happen every five, eight

01:40:44   years, whatever, then you're good, you're golden, and you're going to be able to keep

01:40:48   using this for the GPU-intensive tasks that you have. And that was my thought originally

01:40:54   for it. I was obviously too aggressive in the way I was thinking about it. I guess one

01:41:00   way to put it.

01:41:01   I think Apple was too though. I do.

01:41:03   Well, yeah, yeah, yeah. I guess so. But not in that way, right? In a different way. In

01:41:07   a different direction completely. So my thinking is like, maybe that's the answer. Maybe that

01:41:13   they figured out like, hey, maybe external GPUs are the thing. And they can go to NVIDIA

01:41:17   and say, "Hey, build us a GPU or an accessory that people plug their GPUs into, and then

01:41:25   we don't have to worry about it." But it doesn't seem right to me, right? Because then they

01:41:30   would be doubling down on their current shape and form factor, and I don't think that they

01:41:34   would be doing that if they brought us in to have this whole discussion.

01:41:38   - Yeah, but the answer was unambiguous though.

01:41:42   You asked, do you guys see a future for external GPUs?

01:41:47   And I think it was Federighi who answered unambiguously yes.

01:41:51   We see a place for external GPUs.

01:41:53   It was very short, very sweet.

01:41:54   There was no preamble. - They're interesting.

01:41:55   And then Turnus, I think, said,

01:41:57   for some applications, absolutely.

01:41:58   For others, no.

01:41:59   Which is another way of saying,

01:42:01   yeah, it doesn't work always, but it does work sometimes.

01:42:04   - Right. - But not, no.

01:42:05   Those are terrible.

01:42:06   terrible idea like touch, right?

01:42:08   - Right, right, and that was like a long discussion

01:42:11   about why they're no, why they're not, you know.

01:42:14   Of all the, you know, a lot of the questions

01:42:16   they wouldn't give a yes or no to,

01:42:17   but they gave a no to touch, and it wasn't just no,

01:42:20   it was no and it was a long discussion,

01:42:22   but the external GPU was yes for some cases.

01:42:25   I think the other thing that they were pretty unambiguous

01:42:27   about is that the new Mac Pro has to be able

01:42:30   to support a big honking internal GPU.

01:42:32   that whatever you might do as a niche within a niche

01:42:37   that would require external GPUs,

01:42:40   fundamentally this machine has to accommodate

01:42:42   a big honking GPU that's there all the time

01:42:45   and can do things that'll make it hot

01:42:48   and have the heat dissipate.

01:42:49   I thought that was pretty unambiguous too.

01:42:53   - So the other trend besides the external GPUs,

01:42:59   I'll just interject this.

01:43:01   I don't know why this is tickling my brain,

01:43:06   but there are types of computers,

01:43:08   obviously the people that build PCs are very familiar,

01:43:10   you know that you have like the full size ATX case, right?

01:43:15   Which is your big case, and then you have mini ATX,

01:43:19   a micro ATX, so on and so forth, right?

01:43:21   Basically smaller and smaller cases,

01:43:23   and at some point you have to get like a smaller motherboard,

01:43:26   a motherboard that's meant specifically to conserve space

01:43:28   and maybe it doesn't have as many RAM slots,

01:43:31   or maybe it doesn't have as many creature comforts

01:43:35   or whatever, and it shrinks and shrinks and shrinks.

01:43:38   But there are miniature prebued computers called nukes

01:43:42   or nucks that are, Microsoft has a very popular one

01:43:46   where if it's like you need somebody who needs a computer

01:43:49   but they don't really need anything special,

01:43:50   they just buy a nuck, right?

01:43:51   It's like 250 bucks and boom, you get yourself a computer,

01:43:54   plug a monitor in and you're good.

01:43:55   And then there's other ones that are about,

01:43:59   really about fitting really robust graphics cards into tiny cases, like really small cases.

01:44:09   And some of these PC, and I'll have to look it up once again, I don't have it up to my

01:44:13   fingertips, but some of these cases are essentially an excuse for a graphics card, right? They

01:44:18   wrap around the graphics card, the motherboard is specifically designed to fit inside the

01:44:22   case as small as possible, and the thing looks like a bread loaf, right? And it's all about

01:44:28   the GPU. And it's for gamers who want the power but don't want to sacrifice the space.

01:44:34   And I think VR and to a lesser extent AR are driving this, this sort of category, where

01:44:42   you've got a person who wants to do VR and maybe they want to port it around and go to

01:44:46   groups to, you know, go to their friend's house and bring it or whatever. Like these

01:44:50   evangelists, VR evangelists pushing the thing forward and gamers who want the latest bleeding

01:44:55   edge thing, like 100,000 VR headsets or so have been sold so far. So you figure 100,000

01:45:01   users, that's enough for some case manufacturer to go, "Hey, let me build this specialty

01:45:05   case," right? And I think for me, it makes a ton of sense. I love it. I love the idea

01:45:11   because if I travel between cities, which I do often, and I want to bring my VR kit,

01:45:16   I can pack my headset and my cords into a relatively small bag, but then I got this

01:45:20   this big old tower computer that runs this thing.

01:45:23   And that sucks, right?

01:45:24   And a laptop sort of runs it,

01:45:27   but it won't run it really well.

01:45:29   It won't run it like an Nvidia high-end 1080

01:45:32   or high-end AMD Cardwell.

01:45:34   And so there's something about that.

01:45:36   It's like maybe that you're thinking like,

01:45:38   well heck, if this is the future, let's lean into it.

01:45:41   Let's honor the shape and the power

01:45:46   and the desire to slot these things in here

01:45:49   and just build a case that accommodates two full-size graphics cards

01:45:53   and up to four SSDs and that's it. You know what I mean?

01:45:57   I don't know. It's like the same kind of ideas

01:46:00   but leaning in a different direction. I just don't know if they do that or if they go

01:46:04   full-on like bunch of space.

01:46:06   I think VR is an interesting topic

01:46:09   combined with this discussion of the Mac Pro and

01:46:12   the most powerful possible graphics you can get running on an Apple device

01:46:16   today, but not in the obvious first level scenario of, hey,

01:46:25   in the current world, Mac users can't run VR in a mass market

01:46:29   way or can't do it well, and that things like the Oculus

01:46:33   don't even support it because there's no graphics card that's

01:46:35   up to their specs, et cetera, et cetera.

01:46:37   I think from Apple's perspective,

01:46:38   that's not really relevant.

01:46:40   And I think that they're correct that it's not relevant,

01:46:43   that the ultimate mass market way for Apple to do VR or AR

01:46:48   is to create a standalone device with a,

01:46:52   this is what Apple does,

01:46:53   is when they go to a new form factor,

01:46:55   they create an entirely new interface

01:46:57   that is meant to be optimal for that form factor.

01:47:01   And so from Apple's perspective,

01:47:03   the right way to do VR is to bide your time

01:47:06   and wait until the technology can be put

01:47:09   into a desirable product that you just put over your eyes

01:47:13   and you're using their new VR product,

01:47:15   and it's running a VR OS.

01:47:17   But in the meantime, pro users have a need to do VR now.

01:47:25   Not consumer users for playing games and stuff like that.

01:47:28   That's not really Apple's purview.

01:47:30   But I can totally see why Sony has-- we have one in the house.

01:47:35   The kid has a VR headset that runs right now,

01:47:38   and people can play games, and it's kind of cool and immersive.

01:47:42   But at a professional level, somebody's got to make the VR stuff and somebody's got to do the work.

01:47:47   And if you assume that Apple, just think about Apple's own needs internally.

01:47:50   It's widely rumored that Apple has teams working on VR and especially AR.

01:47:56   Apple's even said publicly that they're interested in augmented reality.

01:48:00   What are Apple's engineers inside the company using to do these things that is so super?

01:48:09   Right, right, exactly.

01:48:11   Like if they're gonna I mean, I know for a fact obviously that they're working on AR and VR

01:48:15   Who would you know, they'd be dumb not to and they have these teams of people, you know

01:48:20   Poking and prodding at it from different varying angles trying to figure out. Is this the right way to go?

01:48:25   Is that the right way to go? Do we build glasses? Do we build this thing?

01:48:28   Do we build the other thing like what the hell are they using? Right? I can tosses probably I have heard

01:48:33   I don't know, you know in recent weeks both both after from a couple people after last week's news broke and and you know

01:48:41   our stories hit. But even in the weeks leading up to this, after I linked to a thing about

01:48:47   a video editor, a long-time Mac user who's reluctantly moving to Windows, just because

01:48:54   the GPU situation didn't meet his needs on Mac, I heard from people within Apple, Little

01:49:00   Birdies, just saying, "Yeah, in some ways it's a shit show." And that there have been

01:49:05   people in Apple who are like, "I don't even know what to do. Should I try to requisition

01:49:07   in the Linux box?

01:49:09   'Cause it's like Apple's not even set up

01:49:13   for things like that to go through,

01:49:15   like for an engineer to ask for non-Apple hardware.

01:49:18   But that, you know,

01:49:20   just different needs within the company.

01:49:24   I mean, but AR, I didn't hear from anybody working on AR,

01:49:27   but I heard from somebody who's working at Apple

01:49:29   with large data sets, let's say,

01:49:31   and that there is no Apple computer

01:49:36   that actually is state of the art

01:49:37   for the needs of their work.

01:49:39   Which is a really weird situation for Apple to be in.

01:49:43   - No, it really is.

01:49:44   Like, I'd love to see the POs.

01:49:46   - All right, it goes back to--

01:49:47   - Like, what are they ordering?

01:49:48   - What it reminds me of is,

01:49:49   I forget the exact details of the story,

01:49:52   but in the early days, like 1983 or '84 or so,

01:49:56   like when the original Mac was getting

01:49:57   on the cusp of launching, they bought a Cray

01:50:00   to do certain supercomputing needs

01:50:03   for the development of the Mac.

01:50:05   Which made total sense because supercomputers were totally different things from personal computers,

01:50:10   where supercomputers were, at least by the standards of the day, the fastest possible computers money could buy,

01:50:15   and they would cost like a million dollars or something like that.

01:50:18   And a personal computer was supposed to cost $2,000 or $2,500 or whatever.

01:50:23   And obviously it was only a fraction of the power.

01:50:28   But in recent years, at least certainly for the entirety of the Mac OS X era,

01:50:33   where it was a Unix workstation.

01:50:38   You didn't need to go outside the company

01:50:40   to buy a Unix workstation.

01:50:43   And they run into all sorts of problems where it doesn't--

01:50:46   you'd really have to go down the--

01:50:47   like you said, the Hackintosh route,

01:50:49   because just buying a Linux box to do this

01:50:51   doesn't let you run Xcode.

01:50:53   And your stuff might require Xcode in particular, not just

01:50:56   any C compiler or whatever.

01:51:00   And then just think of anybody outside the company who's

01:51:02   working on VR and AR and stuff for the future where it becomes a much more mass

01:51:07   product market product well the the work is being done today that's laying the

01:51:12   groundwork for the future where AR and VR are mass market technologies that

01:51:17   everybody just sort of takes for granted like we take for granted touchscreens

01:51:20   and and everything else down the chain huh that work is going on today and it

01:51:25   really is not suited to the Mac Pro yeah and it is I mean the people that are it's

01:51:32   At some point you have to think to yourself, "Okay, the people that are shaping the future

01:51:36   of computing, what tools are they using?"

01:51:39   The shovels are incredibly important.

01:51:42   In the startup community, you always have this...

01:51:45   I mean, it's tech in general, but startups especially, you have this philosophy that

01:51:52   you'll hear VCs or entrepreneurs talk about where they say, "Build the shovels," or "Invest

01:51:56   in the shovels," because in the end, everybody needs a shovel.

01:52:00   You got to dig the hole, you got to pour the foundation and build your thing on top of it.

01:52:03   But if you're the shovel maker, everybody needs a shovel.

01:52:06   Right?

01:52:07   And at some point, either the shovel gets acquired by somebody who's like, "I really need this

01:52:10   particular shovel," or it gets widely used.

01:52:13   In either case is a major, minor success scenario for a startup.

01:52:18   And it just goes to, you know, it leads in this line of thinking.

01:52:22   Apple for many years, they built the shovels.

01:52:25   Right?

01:52:26   They built what you would use, what you would launch your thing on and build your thing

01:52:30   on top of, but they also built the shovels.

01:52:33   And they still are a shovel builder to a degree, but with Xcode and with the MacBook Pros and

01:52:39   IMAX, as they said, more and more people are using that for things like software development

01:52:43   and whatnot.

01:52:44   But if they want to maintain this hold on being the shovel builder, so people buy the

01:52:51   shovels and they build on top of your platform with your shovels and all of that, which has

01:52:55   which has been a major component of Apple's success

01:52:58   with the iPhone and everything else,

01:53:01   then you gotta go, okay, well, what's the next big platform

01:53:04   and what are the shovels for that platform?

01:53:07   If AR and VR are, in fact, a big component

01:53:11   of the next era of computing and it's not something else,

01:53:15   then where are your shovels for those people?

01:53:19   And right now, they don't have any.

01:53:21   Or they have some that sort of work

01:53:23   but are not really the ideal shovels,

01:53:25   So no major swath of those people

01:53:27   are really going to consider it right now.

01:53:32   Totally agree with that.

01:53:33   And I think that's sort of what they tacitly

01:53:35   acknowledged last week, which was

01:53:37   it was sort of a dual emphasis.

01:53:39   It was conflicting, maybe not conflicting.

01:53:43   But they strongly emphasized that the needs of most

01:53:46   of their pro users are met by the current MacBook

01:53:48   Pros and iMacs.

01:53:50   and even more so in the near future as the new MacBook Pro

01:53:55   form factor gets improved, and with the iMacs

01:53:59   that they emphasized include, quote, "pro configs."

01:54:05   But they realized that for--

01:54:08   what was the phrase--

01:54:09   a small single digit of their users, which I think means 1%,

01:54:16   but they didn't want to give an exact number.

01:54:18   - Yeah, it's gotta be close to that.

01:54:20   - If it's not one, it's close to one,

01:54:22   but it's, let's say a small single digit of their users,

01:54:25   they need something else,

01:54:28   and they're committed to building that for them.

01:54:31   They get it, you know, and that they clearly,

01:54:34   obviously had their eye off the ball in recent years

01:54:37   on that segment of the market.

01:54:38   - Yeah, I don't know.

01:54:44   I don't know if it's like,

01:54:48   Everything is so much more open and rapid now.

01:54:51   I mean, I'm casting about a little bit here for why,

01:54:55   but I think that software development

01:54:57   is a completely different ballgame now.

01:54:59   Where it used to be, you had pipelines that were being built

01:55:02   and legacy pipelines that sort of evolved

01:55:06   into newer pipelines, right?

01:55:07   And now you have sort of pipelines having to be created

01:55:10   out of whole cloth within years, a couple of years,

01:55:13   versus pipelines that evolved over decades.

01:55:16   And I think that there's something there too,

01:55:19   where it's so quick, you have to readjust

01:55:21   your frame of reference, you know,

01:55:24   and how fast you gotta move on these things

01:55:26   and provide those tools for people.

01:55:29   I don't know, maybe it's that.

01:55:31   - On a meta level, I don't know if you had anything

01:55:32   else you wanna talk about, but the other thing

01:55:34   I wanted to talk about was the meta level

01:55:36   of our afternoon in Cupertino,

01:55:40   was the campus itself.

01:55:42   One thing, it was at the old campus,

01:55:45   It was in a really old building across the street from One

01:55:47   Infinite Loop across De Anza Boulevard

01:55:51   in this sort of nondescript, old California-style single-story

01:55:55   office building.

01:55:57   They did treat us to lunch at the new Cafe Max, which

01:56:01   I didn't even know existed, which is sort of--

01:56:06   Cafe Alves, they call it.

01:56:07   Cafe Alves, which is a beautiful new building.

01:56:11   I mean, it's a really impressive architecture.

01:56:16   So what struck me about the fact that the Cafe Alves

01:56:20   is so nice, it's all brand new, it's got, I don't know,

01:56:24   quadruple height ceilings, I mean, it's truly a huge space.

01:56:28   Really nice fit and finish, but also looks very new.

01:56:30   It looks like new Apple.

01:56:32   A lot of Apple's campus is obviously very old

01:56:34   and sort of still predates, I mean,

01:56:37   the whole One Infinite Loop campus really predates

01:56:39   the return of Steve Jobs and the architecture really kind of looks like it.

01:56:43   Yeah. But that they've made this very modern new current Apple cafeteria on the old campus,

01:56:51   which just emphasizes what we've been hearing, which is that yes, they're opening

01:56:55   this massive new Spaceship Campus this year, but that they're not abandoning any of their

01:57:03   previous office space. They're just bursting at the seams right now headcount wise.

01:57:07   Yeah, they're going to fill the new headquarters and still be full at both, which is some sort

01:57:12   of bigger on the inside thing happening there.

01:57:14   Yeah, well, they still saw the need to build this massive new cafeteria.

01:57:17   I mean, cafeteria is the wrong word, but café, I guess.

01:57:20   But I thought that was pretty interesting.

01:57:22   And then somebody asked during the event about whether people on their teams had moved into

01:57:30   the new campus yet.

01:57:31   And another one of those topics were, for whatever reason, Apple does not want to talk

01:57:35   about it.

01:57:36   do not want to talk about who has moved into the new campus, who hasn't, and when anybody

01:57:41   is moving in. Did you get that sense that they're just like...

01:57:44   **Beserat Debebe:** Yeah. Yeah. There's, oh, I mean, a couple

01:57:47   of times they were like, "Hey, we don't mind asking, but we really want to talk about the

01:57:50   Mac, blah, blah, blah." And that was one of them. And yeah, they definitely are not interested

01:57:55   at all in talking about how many people have moved, which departments have moved, which

01:58:00   departments are moving, all of that.

01:58:03   Yeah, I don't know what state it's in. I really don't I mean

01:58:06   I've watched those flyover videos every once in a while and you can see you know that it certainly is ever closer to completion

01:58:12   and that you know like

01:58:14   landscaping is probably the last thing to be done and it's probably the biggest thing remaining but

01:58:17   You know for whatever reason it was clearly not it never never on the table that that

01:58:24   Last week's meeting was going to be held on the new campus

01:58:26   even though if you would have told me a year ago that we'd be having a

01:58:30   interesting roundtable discussion

01:58:33   At the very end of March was it the very yeah, it was the very end of or was it the beginning of April?

01:58:38   I guess it was the beginning of April. Yeah, it was April. Yeah in April 2017. I would have thought oh, I bet that's on the new campus

01:58:45   Yeah

01:58:47   No, I think they're still trying to get everybody's

01:58:49   Work table set up. Yeah

01:58:52   Hide the LG logos under under five displays trying to move the routers further away from the LG monitor

01:59:01   (laughing)

01:59:03   Sorry.

01:59:05   - Was there anything else that you wanted to talk about

01:59:07   before we wrap up?

01:59:08   - No, I mean, I think that covers it.

01:59:10   I think it was an interesting discussion.

01:59:12   I think it was very interesting to hear them say,

01:59:15   "We're sorry," twice to the community, which,

01:59:18   honestly, there's one aspect of this where people are like,

01:59:24   "Yeah, well, Apple's arrogant."

01:59:25   They never say they're sorry, which is not totally true.

01:59:27   They have apologized for things.

01:59:29   But there's also an enormous amount of responsibility

01:59:32   that a corporation,

01:59:34   you have to think about it this way, strategically,

01:59:37   there's an enormous amount of responsibility

01:59:39   that a corporation takes on when they say, "I'm sorry."

01:59:42   Because they're admitting some sort of culpability.

01:59:44   Now, this is not like a consumer harm scenario, really.

01:59:47   I mean, I'm sure somebody will try to make an issue of it,

01:59:49   right, at some point.

01:59:50   But that's not for me to determine.

01:59:52   I'm no legal analyst in that regard.

01:59:54   But it's a big statement for the biggest company on earth to say we're sorry twice

02:00:02   in an on-the-record discussion like that and not try to crib it or beyond contextualizing

02:00:12   it.

02:00:13   Of course, I'm trying to paint a picture about why it happened.

02:00:15   And that's a pretty ballsy thing to do, I think.

02:00:19   For a product that is not a disaster, it's a disappointment.

02:00:23   It is something that they were rightfully proud of

02:00:25   when it came out.

02:00:27   This is not a situation where heads should roll

02:00:30   or something like that.

02:00:31   And we can laugh about Schiller's

02:00:34   can't innovate anymore, my ass.

02:00:36   Maybe a whole different discussion,

02:00:38   but I don't think we need to argue it,

02:00:40   is that it was innovative.

02:00:41   It just was the wrong direction for innovation.

02:00:44   But it was truly an innovative design.

02:00:46   And to apologize for disappointing people for that,

02:00:51   I think is different.

02:00:52   as I say, compare and contrast with this week's

02:00:56   United Airlines fiasco, where it took them 36 hours

02:01:00   to apologize for what was literally a disaster.

02:01:04   Where-- - Yeah, yeah.

02:01:06   - Where they issued it.

02:01:08   Right before we started recording,

02:01:09   they issued a press release that was pretty good, I think.

02:01:12   But should have been the press release

02:01:14   they issued 36 hours ago.

02:01:16   - It's pretty good, but right now,

02:01:17   it's like it has no impact whatsoever.

02:01:20   - Right. - Too late.

02:01:21   36 hours like shooting somebody and then like offering them a band-aid and being like, oh man, sorry about that

02:01:26   I like I already have a bottle in me

02:01:29   PR is the analogy to fires is often used with PR's that it's a you know

02:01:36   It's put out the put out the fire as the job PR does but it's a really I think it's a really good analogy

02:01:41   and at at

02:01:43   when the story first leaked that this poor fellow on the flight had been bloodied while they forcibly removed him and

02:01:50   oriented and had a really bad experience.

02:01:53   It was bad, it was a fire, but it was like a trash can fire.

02:01:58   And they let it turn from a trash can fire

02:02:01   into a house that had been burned down fire, which

02:02:05   can, like real fires, happens very quickly.

02:02:09   This is why you need-- PR professionals need

02:02:12   to be quick thinking and ready to go.

02:02:13   And United certainly blew that.

02:02:16   But anyway, it just comes to mind when it comes to apologies.

02:02:19   that there's a big difference between apologizing

02:02:21   for a man who's been beaten to a bloody pulp

02:02:24   and apologizing for a rather subtly disappointing

02:02:29   years long,

02:02:32   dawdled down the wrong path of the future

02:02:36   of pro hardware engineering.

02:02:38   And I thought it was pretty telling.

02:02:39   - Something that was ultimately well executed

02:02:41   but served the wrong needs.

02:02:42   - Right, I thought that was pretty interesting.

02:02:44   And I thought it was, it filled me with,

02:02:47   I think that they've got this.

02:02:48   I think they've, I think they lost a handle on this

02:02:51   and didn't quite realize they had,

02:02:53   but now they've got a firm handle on it again.

02:02:55   - Yeah, yeah.

02:02:59   - All right, Matthew Panzorino,

02:03:00   we can read your fine writing and that of your staff at,

02:03:04   what's the name of the site?

02:03:08   - TechCrunch.

02:03:09   - TechCrunch, TechCrunch.

02:03:11   It's a new up and coming site on the internet.

02:03:14   - Yeah, fresh.

02:03:16   And on Twitter, you are @panzer.

02:03:19   Did I get it right?

02:03:20   P-A-N-Z-E-R.

02:03:22   - That's it, that's it.

02:03:23   - It's a fine Twitter account

02:03:25   where you have very good commentary on the day's events.

02:03:30   My thanks to you.