414: Promoted Onto the Roof


00:00:00   Ben Packard writes, "A question for Jon. We've learned over the years that old apple products go in the attic and cheese graters belong in the basement. What is your rationale for the items that are promoted to the rarefied air of the attic while others must dwell in the damp underworld? Is it a matter of weight? Is it because the apple products must be closer to God?"

00:00:16   This is so well done. Well done, Ben Packard. And this is a great way to open the show and kind of make us all smile. So Jon, what's the pecking order here?

00:00:25   Well, first of all, I take some offense at the idea that my basement is damp. I do not have a damp basement. I control the humidity level of my home. My basement is not damp and has never been damp. In fact, even when my water heater has failed twice, the dampness has not spread to become pervasive in the basement.

00:00:42   Maybe it also helps that in New England the winters are very dry, but I do know how to have a damp basement. In fact, my sinology is in the basement. Still going strong after all these years. No dampness. As for the answer to the question, the easy one is the attic has way more room than the basement because the attic is much harder to get to and nobody goes there that frequently so it's more of a storage space.

00:01:05   Whereas the basement, there's actually a lot of kitchen stuff down there. We've got like, you know, our big lobster pot is down there and some serving trays and like the thing that holds the cake when you travel back when we used to travel.

00:01:17   There's lots of kitchen stuff down there and so the cheese graters naturally just went with the kitchen stuff. We have like a bunch of those big shelves against one of the walls and so that's why the cheese graters are down there. They're with the kitchen stuff.

00:01:28   So starting with some follow up, Nathaniel Cohen writes, "With regard to off-axis viewing of a very large LCD, doesn't it make you want a curved display? I'm a long time curved display person and I have been very sad that they have more or less disappeared from the market. Here's hoping that the XDR2 will be curved."

00:01:45   I mean as we've said last episode, I have not really properly given curved displays a chance but I just don't like the look of them which is a very admittedly ignorant thing to say and perhaps if I tried it I would like it a lot.

00:01:58   And I don't know, Nathaniel makes a good point. John, what's your argument with regard to this?

00:02:03   I don't think he makes a good point because maybe we haven't articulated this on the show in the past. Some people may have an aesthetic objection to curved displays because they look weird or something but my objection is more practical.

00:02:16   First of all, let's get to the point he was trying to make. Off-axis viewing means you're not viewing, if there was a line coming out of your eye and intersecting with the screen it's not perpendicular anymore. It's at an angle.

00:02:26   So the wider you make the screen, and if your head is in one place, the more the edges are at an angle. But if you curve it, and if you sort of match that curve to the radius formed by the tip of your nose, a line going from the tip of your nose to the display,

00:02:40   every part of the screen could be more or less equal distance from your eyeball or at least much closer to being equidistant from your eyeball.

00:02:47   And therefore the viewing angle will be more perpendicular at all points on the screen. Problem solved, right?

00:02:52   Problem is, at least as far as I'm concerned, I don't want to have my head locked into a single position. And from other positions, the viewing angle is considerably worse on a curved display.

00:03:02   If my head is two feet to the left, the left edge of the screen has like the worst imaginable viewing angle because it's curved in the wrong direction, right?

00:03:09   Maybe I'm weird that I move around in front of my monitor, but I want my monitor to be a big flat wall that I can move around and not ever get that worst case scenario of a terrible viewing angle.

00:03:19   I don't want to have to have my head exactly in the middle to get the good viewing angles and have them be worse at the other positions.

00:03:25   Now, if you never move your head and you're in kind of like locked in like a cockpit type scenario, I can imagine a curved display being useful.

00:03:32   But for me, that makes me think of something like a flight simulator or like a driving simulator or someplace where you're literally locked in a position and you're trying to get like a wraparound screen or like a Disney ride.

00:03:42   That's where curved displays make sense to me, but for desktop computing, the way I do it, it's a no go, not just because they look weird, but also because I feel like it would be worse in practical ways.

00:03:52   Marco, any thoughts?

00:03:54   I've never tried a curved display. I don't think I would like it for most of the reasons John has said.

00:04:00   If display technology was such that it was impossible to make something with really wide viewing angles look consistent, then fine, maybe I would tolerate that just as like the reality of the situation.

00:04:14   But I would so much rather just have something that has a wide viewing angle and is flat and looks good therefore in a wider range of positions.

00:04:23   I think I would also be concerned that if I shift around very slightly in my position, would half the screen fade out?

00:04:31   I don't think it would be solving the problem in a useful way. It seems like it's kind of a hack to get around limitations of viewing angles that are possible or inexpensive to make.

00:04:44   I don't think that's why they're curved though. That's what Nathaniel is writing in to say, "Doesn't that make you want one?" But I think the reason they're curved is just because it's a cool thing that you can do.

00:04:53   Because I don't think most of them actually do have a curve that makes them equidistant from your eye. I think the curve is not designed to be like that.

00:05:00   And if it was, it would dictate a distance from the screen that is not what most people want. It just distorts the image too.

00:05:07   The images on the screen are not meant to be curved around you like that. When you have a big curved display like in a big simulator or Disney ride, the images displayed on those curved screens, if you put them on a flat screen, would look really weird because they're accounting for the curve.

00:05:22   But nothing that we play, with the exception maybe of some games, accounts for that. It's expecting to be on a flat screen. So it's just bad distortion all around.

00:05:32   To me, the elegance of a flat display is better. I'd rather have a flat display that is uniformly visible across the entire thing, that has no noticeable variations between the middle and the edge.

00:05:49   It just looks the same across the whole thing and is flat. That would be elegant and that would be a useful, impressive technical achievement. It's easier said than done, but that is more valuable to me than a curve would be.

00:06:05   So we've learned a little bit from the iFixit teardown of the AirPods Max and apparently you can detach the entire headband from AirPods Max with just a sim card removal tool or a paperclip. You don't have to open anything up. You just put the little thing in the right spot and I guess it pops right out.

00:06:24   And we'll put a link to the iFixit teardown in the show notes. This is pretty cool. I don't know why we would need this. Maybe one of you can fill us in, but it's cool that that's how they operate.

00:06:33   I hope Quinn never sees this. He did that video where he broke his AirPods Max trying to disassemble them because he didn't realize the four little screws or just these little latches. Do you remember that whole thing?

00:06:44   And then there was the glue that he had to get off. I guess he wanted to get inside them. It's not quite the same thing as just taking the band out.

00:06:51   Anyway, when we talked about this a couple of shows ago, we were talking about the fat lightning connector that is at the end of the headphone band. And this feels like part of that same thing.

00:07:04   Last show I said, or whenever it was, that that thing doesn't come out on its own, but it sure looks like a pluggable thing. Well, it turns out it does come out.

00:07:12   And it is just a matter of releasing the mechanism that holds it in. So this is that whole weird spring-loaded mechanism with these strange brushes that make contact with the...

00:07:21   I don't know if they're brushes. Two little things to make contact with the little lightning connector. You should look at the iFixit teardown and see how it maintains the electrical contacts while allowing the different degrees of freedom.

00:07:33   And how this little sim tool or paperclip just sort of releases the spring mechanism that allows the entire thing to come right out. Makes sense from a repairability perspective.

00:07:43   And it lends credence to the idea that, in theory, these very expensive headphones could last you a very long time because they're made of sturdy materials and seem somewhat repairable.

00:07:53   Are you going to be trying this on Tifs, Marco? Nope. Oh, we forgot there was also the rumor that one of the many, many rumors about Apple's over-ear headphones was that they were going to do this mix-and-match thing with different kinds of bands and stuff.

00:08:06   And so this could have tied into that if that had turned out to be one of the product features that you could get it with different bands and swap bands out and different bands of different styles or whatever.

00:08:15   That turned out not to be the case, but all the engineering that went into this somewhat easy-to-release band lends some credence to that rumor.

00:08:23   Or it could have been the other way around and they just made it easily repairable and people saw the repairability and thought it meant that Apple was going to mix-and-match bands.

00:08:30   That's the whole thing with rumors. It's a lot of, what is it, the multiple people feeling around on the elephant. I don't know.

00:08:37   You know about that one? I got it. I missed that one. It's like a parable of one person feels the trunk and thinks it's a snake and one person feels the tail. None of them has the whole picture of the elephant. Anyway, rumors, more of them later.

00:08:53   Yeah. I don't think this is anything about user swapability. I think it's everything about serviceability. Because headphones, the places that headphones usually break, the way headphones usually die and have to be replaced.

00:09:08   Back in the wired days, it was the point at which the wires entered the headphone or the part of the wire that's right next to the plug.

00:09:16   Because those are the points that the cord would get the most stress and eventually something inside of it would rip and that would be it.

00:09:22   Once you went wireless, that entire category of problems mostly went away. Wireless headphones now, most often, these big over-ear kinds, most often die from headband cracks.

00:09:35   Because they all have these big plastic headbands and the headband usually cracks down the middle because it's plastic that every time you take on and off, you're stretching it out a little bit and then stretching out a little bit.

00:09:46   Eventually that stress usually cracks the headband. This is wonderful because this is an easy way to service the headband. Another common way headphones die is one driver, one of the ear cups might start going bad somehow.

00:10:00   Like if maybe part of the speaker surround starts getting bad or something gets in there or moisture rots it out or the electronics somehow go bad. And what this shows is that while I don't think users are going to be able to do any of these things and get these parts very easily from Apple, it means that Apple can very quickly and easily repair these things if they want to.

00:10:20   And so that creates the possibility, again I don't know if they will actually pass along the savings to customers here or the availability, but it creates the possibility of easy repairs. And as John said, that's very good for extending the lifespan of headphones.

00:10:32   Again, also being able to replace the ear pads really easily, that's something users can do really easily. The ear pads wear out first before the headband even cracks. So that's also very good.

00:10:42   So anyway, this all goes towards these being surprisingly well designed mechanically headphones. Except that stupid case. But we actually just got in the Waterfield Designs case for TIFs and it is massive, but very well made and very luxurious. And it is definitely the kind of case that Apple should have shipped with them.

00:11:05   Alright John, tell me about brighter whites. Oh this is another segment of the show that Casey can't participate in. Because he doesn't do laundry? Because he insisted on spending a sensible amount of money on his monitor.

00:11:19   Wait, hold on. I take offense at that. Casey owns a $6,000 configuration of an iMac Pro. I think it was more than that actually. Yeah, probably a $7,000 or $8,000. Okay, what's the total cost of what I'm using right now? My MacBook Air was like $1,600.

00:11:36   That's an interesting way of looking at it actually. And very depressing I should add. Yeah, the MacBook Air was like $1,600ish whatever configuration. It's like the most except one terabyte instead of two.

00:11:46   Well I wasn't talking about system cost. It said a sensible amount of money on a display.

00:11:50   Well but, the combined setup I have is about the same cost as the iMac Pro that I replaced it with. Not that much more. And the result is a much bigger monitor and in many ways a better computer. It doesn't have all the RAM and disk space the iMac Pro had.

00:12:13   That was a lot of the cost. But when you think about the total sum cost here, yeah the monitor is stupidly expensive but the computer is unusually cheap for like a high end setup.

00:12:23   Speaker quality is much worse than Casey's beloved internal iMac Pro speakers. That's true.

00:12:29   Yeah, see I would have to get a whole new stereo man. That would cost money. Gosh. Alright, tell me about brighter whites.

00:12:38   So this, I don't know how people are going to, well everyone can try it on their computer. This is a link that shows a web page that does a little bit of trickery that works mostly with Safari but also kind of works with Chrome.

00:12:50   To kick Safari or whatever browser you're using into HDR video mode. It does it by playing tiny little HDR videos in the corners of the screen. I bet they could have even made those smaller.

00:13:01   But anyway, once it does that, apparently if you use the backdrop filter property in CSS and set the brightness level greater than 100% you can get HDR style brightness levels.

00:13:15   So this is a white web page in the center of which is the word white. W-H-I-T-E. But the word white is like 10 times whiter than the white web page.

00:13:26   To be clear, the white background on this web page is CSFFFFFF. It's all just 100% white. But the word white is whiter than white.

00:13:35   Did they use OxiClean to achieve this effect?

00:13:38   Don't know, but it is very disconcerting.

00:13:42   What Apple has been doing with a lot of recent hardware is not actually exposing to the user the full range of brightness possible of the display. They have some brightness in reserve.

00:13:56   They're using it seemingly so far only to display HDR video or photo content.

00:14:01   So what happens is if you have a pretty modern Apple display, whether it's in a laptop or a phone or whatever, you can set the brightness to max. And if you go to this page, the whiter white part of it might actually be even brighter than that because they have that extra brightness in reserve.

00:14:19   And on the XDR it is insanely brighter. So much so that you think it's dimming the rest of your screen, but it's not.

00:14:26   Yeah, I thought that too.

00:14:28   Hold on, hold on, hold on. So I'm supposed to make my screen not 100% bright.

00:14:34   No, you can make it any brightness you want if you have a monitor that's capable of HDR at all, right?

00:14:41   So because here's the thing, when I have it on the, not the last tick mark, not the next to last tick mark, but anyone below that, I see exactly what you're describing. It looks like this white is just blindingly white, which I'm sure it's considerably less fewer nits than what you guys are looking at.

00:14:59   It does look like the background of that page is like a grayish and the word white or the outline of the word white is crazy bright. So I do think that I am capable of seeing this, you big jerks. It's just that it's probably not nearly as bright as what you're looking at.

00:15:15   No, I'm saying like Apple, in many of their monitor displays, this will work even displays that they have not marketed as HDR capable, but they've been kind of holding back on the brightness that's controllable for the whole UI for the user in order to have this headroom that they can use for this.

00:15:29   Also, it seems to bypass true tone. So if you're in like a room in the evening, like we are right now, it's going to be showing like a little bit warmer color temperature for the UI. But then you see this thing and it seems to bypass that and show pure white, not tinted to a warm tone.

00:15:47   As you would expect, because like basically this is tricking it into going into video mode and if you're playing full screen video, you wouldn't want it to apply whatever that thing is, the true tone stuff I imagine you just want it to show the video as it's meant to be displayed.

00:16:00   Fun thing is if you pull out digital color meter, I don't know if I have just I'm the only person with the old Xcode tools installed, but do you have digital color meter installed?

00:16:07   Yes, in applications utilities.

00:16:11   Anyway, pull out digital color meter and use it on this thing and the background is 255, 255, 255 and guess what? So are the letters.

00:16:19   That's not right, man.

00:16:22   And when you mouse over with digital color meter, it looks exactly the same. Like the brightness doesn't change at all in the digital color meter because it has no idea that this is going on.

00:16:30   This is Apple's that they call it EDR. It's basically their technology for being able to run the screen in, you know, to run it in normal mode where we don't blow your eyeballs out, but also be able to display HDR content on the same screen, which takes a little bit of trickery because it has to understand the meaning of the source values for the video or whatever.

00:16:52   In this case, we're tricking the CSS subsystem into thinking that it should be in HDR mode because of these tiny HDR videos in the corner.

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00:19:03   Alright, Mark Jackweath writes, "I recently made a Cat6 patch cable for splicing into existing Cat6 wiring and adding a Ubiquiti switch in my attic.

00:19:11   The patch cable I needed was about 6 feet long. I know there are different wiring standards when making Ethernet cables, but I figured I was making my own cable.

00:19:17   So as long as the ends matched, it should be fine, right? I made the cable and it worked fine, but only at 100 megabits per second.

00:19:24   I rewired it according to the T-568B standard and bam! Now I was getting 1000 megabits through the switch.

00:19:32   More information here and we will link that link in the show notes."

00:19:36   So this is relevant to Marco's problems getting gigabit speed on his Ethernet thing.

00:19:40   We're like, "Oh, something wrong with the wire somewhere, maybe one of the wires in the wall, what could possibly be the problem?"

00:19:45   This was a big download of information about the various wiring standards you can use with Ethernet and the RJ45 connector and all that good stuff.

00:19:55   And there's some stuff in here that if I once knew, I had since forgotten that I thought was interesting.

00:19:59   So anyone who has ever used Ethernet, oh god, what is the audience for this, what am I about to say?

00:20:03   Anyone who has used Ethernet but also knows what a plain old telephone system phone line looks like will know that they kind of look like big and small versions of each other.

00:20:14   So Ethernet, I hope most of our audience knows what it looks like.

00:20:17   It's a connector with these little pins in it and the little thing that you push down with your finger to let it go in and out.

00:20:23   It's an Ethernet connector, right?

00:20:25   For people who don't know, a phone connector, not a cell phone, but like a wired landline phone connector, looks just like an Ethernet connector, but it's smaller.

00:20:34   It's like an itty bitty Ethernet connector.

00:20:36   And time was when everybody knew what a phone line looked like and no one knew what Ethernet looks like.

00:20:40   And now, at least in the audience of this podcast, it may be the reverse.

00:20:44   But there's a reason they look so similar.

00:20:47   So the little phone connector is RJ11 and the big Ethernet one is called RJ45.

00:20:51   And when RJ45 was made, it was made by telecom telephone companies and it was made to have a connector that is essentially backward compatible with RJ11.

00:21:02   So RJ11 has, I think, like four conductors in it.

00:21:05   It's like two conductors per phone line.

00:21:07   So if you had one phone line in your house, it would just be two wires.

00:21:10   And if you had two phone lines in your house because you're fancy, you had four wires, right?

00:21:14   But you can stick an RJ11 into an RJ45 jack and it will just make contact with like the middle four or the middle two connectors, right?

00:21:24   Because RJ45 was made to be like, "Oh, well, what if you have a fancy phone system for like an office and you need a whole bunch of phone lines?"

00:21:31   Because this is before packet switching or digital networks or whatever.

00:21:34   You wanted to have multiple phone lines like in a business, you had multiple pairs of wires because that was the only way to do it because the phone system was analog and yada yada, right?

00:21:42   Fast forward to today and you have RJ45 used for Ethernet and it made sense to use it for that because it's a wiring standard that existed for a long time and it was cheap and yada yada.

00:21:51   Now, how does this relate to Marco and Mark's problem getting gigabit speeds over the wires?

00:21:59   As Mark points out, if you have an Ethernet cable, the way the wiring is supposed to work is like pin one on one end of the cable is connected to pin one on the other end.

00:22:09   If you're not doing a crossover cable, you're just doing a patch cable, whatever.

00:22:12   As long as the wires go straight through, like there's this whole thing about, "Oh, this is the orange wire and this is the white and orange wire and this is the green wire and this is the white and green wire," like...

00:22:21   But it doesn't matter. Make all the wires exactly the same color.

00:22:24   As long as pin one connects to pin one, pin two connects to pin two, pin three connects to pin three, it should work fine.

00:22:30   There's no, "Oh, I wired it this way and this one has pin one connected to pin seven." No.

00:22:35   They're just straight through. Not a crossover cable, which is not needed because of the AutoMDIX stuff that Marco mentioned last show.

00:22:42   We should find a link for that because it's also interesting, but I'm not going to get into it here.

00:22:46   So why should it make any difference? What are these wiring standards? What is T568B versus A?

00:22:54   Either the wires are connected or they're not. And if they're not connected, as some people surmise, maybe one wire is not connected, you only get 100 megabytes or whatever, but if they're connected, it should work.

00:23:03   Well, there is a difference, and it's not what pins they're connected to.

00:23:06   It's the fact that both these kinds of wiring are what's called "twisted pair wiring," which is exactly like what it sounds.

00:23:11   Pairs of wires are twisted around each other, like a pretzel or, I don't know, what's a good analogy for how wires are twisted?

00:23:17   DNA?

00:23:18   Yeah, like DNA. They're twisted around each other, and that's to combat crosstalk and interference.

00:23:25   You can learn about electromagnetism, so why would it be better to twist the wires around rather than run them straight, but it is.

00:23:31   As this article gets into, there's all sorts of science around how many twists should they have per unit length and yada yada.

00:23:39   The two wiring standards are about which pairs of wires are in which pins, right?

00:23:46   And the pairs are the ones that are twisted.

00:23:48   So, are 1 and 2 twisted together, then 3 and 4 twisted together, and 5 and 6?

00:23:53   Or is it 1 and 3 twisted together, and 2 and 4 twisted together? Like, you can do different ways of twisting them together.

00:23:59   And the T568B standard is the one where they're twisted together to provide better reliability over long distances.

00:24:07   The A standard was made to exactly match RJ11.

00:24:11   So, RJ11 has just the two pairs twisted in the way they're supposed to be, and to make it completely backward compatible,

00:24:18   if you had these Ethernet cables or anything within the RJ45 connector and you used the A standard, it twisted the exact same pairs together.

00:24:25   So, we'll try to put some images in the show notes or some links in the show notes, and you can read all about this.

00:24:30   But the reason the A standard existed to be backward compatible with telephone systems, which has no relevance to Markowitz's problem domain at all,

00:24:36   and incidentally, when people do home installations, they tend to still use the A standard, because they're like,

00:24:43   "Oh, what if you want to run phone lines over these Ethernet cables?"

00:24:45   So, this is some tidbits from, I think these are from the article, right?

00:24:49   "To preserve dual use of data or telephone, the majority of mass-market home builders use the T568A standard."

00:24:56   Just because they're still in the mindset of, like, "Oh, I'm going to run wire throughout this home, and I'm going to use 'Ethernet cable,'

00:25:03   which is just RJ45, which is just carrying multiple analog phone lines."

00:25:06   I'll just use that. So, if you want to run networking over it, you can.

00:25:10   But if you want to run analog landline phone lines over it, you can.

00:25:14   Sounds hilarious in the modern world, but the world of building takes a longer time to evolve.

00:25:20   The final bit here is, "Only custom-built homes, where smart home automation is planned from the beginning,

00:25:26   typically use 568B to better maximize options for faster speeds and better signal isolation."

00:25:32   So, my questions coming out of this is, well, part two, has Marco solved his wiring problem?

00:25:39   But part one, does Marco know if his home was wired using T568B or T568A?

00:25:45   The answer is no and no. No, I don't know which standard I have yet.

00:25:52   And not only did I not solve it, but I actually made it worse in the intervening time.

00:25:57   Oh, delightful! Tell me more.

00:25:59   When I set up everything in this house, I got a switch that was too small.

00:26:03   I got a ubiquity switch that didn't have enough ports on it, and so I had to have a second mini switch

00:26:08   sitting on top of it and then running half the thing through the mini switch and then half the thing through the big switch.

00:26:14   And the big switch seemed to be getting somewhat flaky.

00:26:18   And I haven't quite figured out what's going on in that area, but I thought, you know what?

00:26:23   Let me just get one big switch that can be the only switch,

00:26:27   so it has enough ports to serve everything, has enough power of Ethernet ports and capacity

00:26:33   to power all the Wi-Fi broadcast things everywhere, and maybe that'll be better.

00:26:37   Well, when I installed the new switch, the port to my computer would only run at 100 megabits again.

00:26:45   And then I noticed it would only run at 100 megabits no matter what adapter I used.

00:26:49   Even my Thunderbolt adapter would kick back to 100 megabits now for the first time.

00:26:53   So I actually made it worse.

00:26:54   At one point I unplugged the wire and plugged it into a different switch port, and after that it never worked again.

00:27:00   So I think the cable at the switch end, that connector, I think is flaky.

00:27:08   It wouldn't be the first time this happened in this house.

00:27:11   A couple of the access point wires have also been that way.

00:27:16   I requested Cat 7, and so they ran Cat 7.

00:27:20   I thought, might as well run the highest end cable they can,

00:27:24   because it'll go out of date at some point, and this will buy me more time if I get the highest end cable now.

00:27:29   I don't know anything about Cat 7.

00:27:31   Apparently, ending Cat 7 requires these giant boot connectors.

00:27:36   I don't know what the connectors are.

00:27:38   They're these tremendous connectors that they do end in an RJ45 plug,

00:27:43   but they have this massive metal shield around the whole thing,

00:27:47   and it sticks out really far, it's really wide, and it's this giant rubber boot on the end,

00:27:51   and the cables themselves are extremely thick, and they don't bend very easily.

00:27:57   And the installer was telling me he has a lot of problems with these cables, basically.

00:28:03   You bend it the wrong way and the connector breaks or whatever.

00:28:06   So the other ones were solved by him replacing the connectors,

00:28:09   and that's probably how this one's going to be solved, too.

00:28:12   But it's hard to get people out here, so it might be a little while before it's solved.

00:28:17   Now, tomorrow, my Mac Mini arrives.

00:28:20   So that's going to change things up a little bit, and I'll see how that works,

00:28:24   but I think I have killed my office main jack by changing the switch.

00:28:29   I think the connector on the switch end was flaky.

00:28:32   This was its last hurrah.

00:28:34   Just unplugging it from the old switch and plugging it back into the new switch was too much for it.

00:28:39   So anyway, I appreciate everyone's theories on maybe the wire was wired wrong, and maybe it was.

00:28:46   All this is to say there are other gremlins at work here, and so I'm trying to get those fixed,

00:28:51   and it'll be a while, but in the meantime, Wi-Fi is a tenth the speed, but it works.

00:28:57   Yeah, I like Mark's theory because it would explain how you could get that thing that you were describing,

00:29:02   where sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't,

00:29:04   because in this scenario, again, with the T568B versus A, it's not like wires are not connected.

00:29:11   It's not like they're connected to the wrong pins.

00:29:13   Everything is there, and everything is connected to the correct pins.

00:29:15   It's just that the B standard has better resistance to interference and better signal propagation,

00:29:20   and that's the type of thing where small differences in the input and output,

00:29:24   perhaps dictated by the adapter you're using, could say,

00:29:27   "Well, it can kind of barely work in this scenario," because your problem is not,

00:29:31   something is bent or not connected or shorted out or whatever.

00:29:34   Your problem is just, hey, for this long run of wire, you're on the hairy edge of interference,

00:29:40   messing with it and causing it to drop down to a lower standard.

00:29:42   But in light of all your new stuff where you're like, "Well, now it's on your bank.

00:29:45   If it's everywhere, now I can't connect to anything," that sounds like a mechanical problem.

00:29:49   Again, probably not because the wires are connected to the wrong place,

00:29:52   but because maybe a bunch of wires are slowly becoming not connected

00:29:55   in those weird giant cat-sub connectors that you described.

00:29:58   So it's sounding more and more like a mechanical problem.

00:30:01   I really doubt any of the wires are connected to the wrong place.

00:30:05   It's not the issue of crossover versus patch because that has not been an issue

00:30:09   on modern Ethernet equipment in forever.

00:30:11   It just sounds like it's mechanical.

00:30:13   But I'm actually interested to find out what the heck this problem is.

00:30:16   And maybe if you can get a picture of one of those cat-7 things,

00:30:19   because I've never seen what you're talking about, and throw that in the show notes or something.

00:30:22   All right, yeah, I'll try.

00:30:24   Just open up your walls.

00:30:26   What's interesting, do you remember what the very first auto-switching thing was that most people had?

00:30:35   Xbox?

00:30:37   Yeah, the first Xbox. Wow, I'm surprised you pulled that out.

00:30:39   I am a gamer.

00:30:41   Yeah, the Xbox One, not the Xbox One, but the Xbox One, had Ethernet ports on it,

00:30:47   and it actually supported multi-console in the same house kind of multiplayer really well.

00:30:54   Like if you happen to have two Xboxes and two TVs, which was not that common of a setup back then,

00:31:00   but you could plug any Ethernet cable, crossover or not, from the Ethernet port in one Xbox

00:31:06   to the Ethernet port in the other one with no switch or no hub or anything,

00:31:10   and whether it was crossover or not, it would just work.

00:31:12   It was really cool.

00:31:13   I saw it done exactly one time ever because almost no one had the original Xbox, let alone two of them.

00:31:20   But it was really cool.

00:31:22   I remember manually making myself a "crossover cable" using RJ11 on my Mac

00:31:28   because Macs used to use Apple Talk.

00:31:31   I don't know if you guys ever used Apple Talk, but are you familiar with the serial port that used to be on the back of Macs?

00:31:36   It looked like ADB, but it had a different number of pins in it, a little round.

00:31:39   Yeah, vaguely.

00:31:41   It looked kind of like a nice video connector.

00:31:43   Anyway, that was Apple Talk, and Apple Talk cables were expensive, and Apple Talk networking stuff was expensive,

00:31:47   but then clever third parties came out with, "God, I wish I could remember the name of this product."

00:31:51   Chat room, tell me the name of this product that I can't remember.

00:31:53   But it was a box that you would connect a short Apple Talk cable from your computer to this box.

00:31:59   Phone net, thank you.

00:32:01   And at the back of the box had an RJ11 connector.

00:32:04   So basically what you're doing was converting Apple Talk to work over the RJ11 wire physically,

00:32:10   and you could get phone wire super cheap from anywhere, right?

00:32:13   So if you wanted to, say, hook up two computers that are on opposite sides of the house,

00:32:17   you can't get an Apple Talk network to span that unless you're going to spend gobs of money on it like an enterprise.

00:32:21   But you can get phone net adapters and then get a spool of RJ11 and bring it over there.

00:32:26   And I remember having to make an RJ11 crossover cable by taking the conductors and swapping them

00:32:31   and resplicing them back together to get some game to work between two Macs that were sitting next to each other on the same desk at my house.

00:32:37   Good times.

00:32:39   All right, anything else on the networking extravaganza?

00:32:43   Thank God, no.

00:32:45   Not now, anyway.

00:32:46   All right.

00:32:47   Wait till next week when I have the Mac mini, which, hey, it's coming early.

00:32:49   It actually was delivered to the boat.

00:32:51   It's always kind of fun, like, you know, my packages arrive a day late because of the whole boat situation.

00:32:55   And so, like, the day before I'm going to get something, Apple thinks I've already gotten it and starts sending those emails, like,

00:33:01   "Welcome to your new Mac. Take a tour."

00:33:04   That hurts.

00:33:06   All right, so a few quick items with regard to feedback and my bug in particular.

00:33:11   Last episode, I wasn't sure if the feedback app was pre-installed on all devices and all OSes or just beta OSes.

00:33:20   As it turns out, it is available on even non-beta OSes.

00:33:26   If you open the URL, "applefeedback://" in Safari, it will actually open up Feedback Assistant, which I guess is, like, hidden by default.

00:33:34   And once you're in there, you can open a particular bug/feedback.

00:33:39   You can click on the ellipsis, you can tap on "Add more information," tap on "Add attachment," and then tap "Device diagnostics,"

00:33:47   and it will fire off Assist Diagnose and attach it, allegedly.

00:33:50   Speaking of my particular problem, I actually haven't had it reoccur in the last week, which is both delightful and frustrating.

00:33:58   Frustrating because I have installed the messaging profile that gives Apple more verbose logging, and I think with fewer redactions.

00:34:08   And so I've had this installed on both my phone and Aaron's, and of course the issue is not reoccurred because I'm trying to capture it and I want it to reoccur.

00:34:15   Additionally, on one of the two bugs, which as always, the link will be in there, the feedback numbers will be in the show notes,

00:34:22   I got the following message from Apple Feedback on January 14th at 5.55 p.m.

00:34:27   "Hello! We have not closed this issue and are actively still investigating behavior reported.

00:34:31   However, we were unable to diagnose the issue based on what was in your previously provided SysDiagnose.

00:34:35   We are attempting to isolate this behavior on devices internally, but it would be very helpful to get a fresh SysDiagnose from your device with the logging profile installed.

00:34:41   If possible, please attempt in reinstalling the logging profile here, blah blah blah.

00:34:45   Verify you have restarted the device after installing the profile and provide a fresh SysDiagnose.

00:34:48   Thank you for your patience while we work on this. Please provide, colon, iOS SysDiagnose."

00:34:52   So, a little hair frustrating, but at least they freaking said something, which is a tremendous improvement.

00:35:00   This is a magical example of how communication helps, because essentially they just ask you for a SysDiagnose again, which should have just driven you mad with anger.

00:35:08   But, by including some sentences written by a human explaining the situation and some niceties, you're like, "Okay, I'll do another SysDiagnose."

00:35:16   Which is how communication works, you're being handled. Good job, Apple.

00:35:19   I'm being handled, it's so true.

00:35:21   And then, additionally, I forget, I don't have in front of me what the status was that made me blow a gasket last week, but it was something like investigation complete or something like that, which is slightly on me that I had assumed that meant the bug was closed.

00:35:37   It did not. It meant the investigation was complete, which yes, I forget exactly what the words were, but if it said investigation complete, I should have had the presence of mind to realize what that meant.

00:35:47   But, it still is a terrible, piss-poor way of saying, "We can't do anything more with this right now."

00:35:55   Like, seeing the word complete in there is what drew me up a wall.

00:35:59   And again, it's a little bit on me, but I've heard some reports from the inside that that is probably going to be wordsmithed in the future to be a little more clear as to what that really means.

00:36:10   And to indicate that the bug isn't closed, it's just in some sort of a holding pattern.

00:36:14   Naturally, I've been talking to anyone I know inside Apple Engineering and yelling at them about this.

00:36:20   It's amazing that any of them ever talk to me anymore, because all I do is whine about these bugs.

00:36:25   But I've heard feedback that this is getting looked at. It's just like the official feedback has said, they just haven't been able to reproduce it, which seems bananas to me, but here we are.

00:36:35   Additionally, it's not only me, because Chris Hayes, who apparently is an anchor on MSNBC, is that right?

00:36:44   He's a gentleman with 2.3 million Twitter followers. He had this to say just the other day.

00:36:53   "So do iPhones just no longer text groups of people without iPhones? This never works."

00:36:58   So you can bet your bottom that I put that in both of these feedbacks to let them know, "No, it is not just me."

00:37:05   And let me recap for everyone, because I get asked this all the time.

00:37:09   It has been reported to me anecdotally from different continents and different carriers.

00:37:13   No, I am not switching to WhatsApp or Signal or anything else, despite whatever privacy implications there may or may not be,

00:37:19   because I don't have the clout to switch my entire social circle over to a different app, because the king says so.

00:37:25   And three, please stop trying to explain to me what the problem is and assuming that Apple does nothing wrong,

00:37:29   because clearly this is a bug with Apple stuff.

00:37:32   So frustrating.

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00:39:22   So what was it? Friday there was a major rumor dump.

00:39:29   Ming-Chi Kuo decided to basically spell out most of 2021 for us.

00:39:34   How do we want to handle this? Do we want to just go through what we have in our show notes?

00:39:39   Is there anything that you guys want to touch on particularly?

00:39:42   I feel like if I let you talk about Mac Pro now, then that'll be the entire show.

00:39:46   So can we avoid that at least for a few minutes please?

00:39:48   Just go with the order and the notes. It's like machine at a time. Product line at a time.

00:39:51   Alright. So we start off with a new MacBook Pro that will be 14 or 16 inches.

00:39:56   The touch bar will be gone in favor of physical function keys.

00:40:00   Now before everyone celebrates, I am very skeptical about this.

00:40:04   And I get more skeptical as I keep reading as we will do in a minute.

00:40:08   I am kind of ambivalent about the touch bar. I don't actively like it, but I don't really actively dislike it either.

00:40:14   And that's okay if you two or anyone listening disagrees.

00:40:19   I wouldn't complain if it went away, but I'm not seeking its immediate death.

00:40:24   But man, it seems wild to me that they would just can this thing that they touted as the second coming.

00:40:31   And of course, this is not the first time Apple's done that sort of thing.

00:40:34   I don't know. This is walking back in a pretty big way. I almost said bigly. God help me.

00:40:39   It's walking this back in a pretty big way.

00:40:42   And I guess we've seen this for a recent example with the keyboards.

00:40:46   But this is just the first in a long line of things where they're basically command-Zing the last 5 to 10 years of Apple notebooks.

00:40:54   I'm okay. I'm here for it. But man, it seems surprising. Do you guys buy this?

00:41:00   Keep reading the other rumored features. They're all in that theme that you have just outlined.

00:41:05   We might as well get to all of them before we talk about them.

00:41:07   Fair point. Fair point. So apparently MagSafe is coming back.

00:41:10   Quoting from Bloomberg, "MagSafe will allow those laptops to charge at a faster rate.

00:41:15   The connector will be similar to the elongated pill-shaped design of the older MagSafe port.

00:41:19   Additionally, and Marco, I'm going to need you to try to keep your cool here.

00:41:22   The new MacBooks will have more built-in I/O ports,

00:41:26   which means "most users will not need to purchase additional dongles," according to Ming-Chi Kuo.

00:41:32   Kuo does not specify exactly what the I/O ports are that will be offered, but nevertheless, supposedly there will be more.

00:41:39   The new chassis design is said to feature squared-off sides in both the top and bottom halves of the machine,

00:41:44   joining the flat-edged design trend started with the 2018 iPad Pro and adopted in the 2020 iPhone 12 series.

00:41:50   "The new models cancel the curvy design of existing models' top and bottom parts and adopt a flat-edged form factor similar to the iPhone 12."

00:41:57   That's a lot. That's a lot.

00:41:59   All right, well, I'm going to leave the chassis design for last because I think that is separate.

00:42:03   But the first group of items you read of physical function keys, MagSafe, more I/O ports.

00:42:11   I'm kind of reminded of the Power Mac G5, which I talked about on Jason Snell's 20 Max for 2020 podcast series.

00:42:21   When the Power Mac G5 came out, all of the specs for it leaked ahead of the keynote.

00:42:27   And among Apple nerd circles who were very big into the leaked rumors back in those days,

00:42:34   they were just literally totally made-up rumors about everything.

00:42:38   Made-up rumors that were just so prevalent in the community that the keynote would come and be like, "Oh, I guess that was all made up."

00:42:45   So when the Power Mac G5 rumors came out and they showed the specs, everybody knew about them.

00:42:51   And most people said, "Oh, it's just another one of those made-up things because there's no way Apple's going to produce a computer with these specs. It's ridiculous."

00:42:57   The price, the specs on it, it's like a made-up fantasy of some Apple nerd.

00:43:02   Yeah, can you imagine if they had dual 2 GHz processors and a 1.3 GHz front side bus? Ha ha ha, yeah, right.

00:43:09   Anyway, I wonder what they're going to announce.

00:43:11   And they announced that exact machine. And nobody could believe it.

00:43:14   They're like, "That was all true because it was beyond all our wildest dreams."

00:43:18   Looking at these notebook rumors, I feel the exact same thing is happening again.

00:43:21   All this stuff is like things that we on this podcast and certain group of Mac users more broadly have been asking for for years and years.

00:43:31   And it's like, "Hey, guess what? You're getting everything. Touch bar is gone. MagSafe is coming back. You're going to have more ports."

00:43:37   Yeah, right. Sure. Like you said, Casey, are they going to just hit Command-Z on the last six years of laptops?

00:43:46   Sure, it's things we all want, but it seems so fantastical.

00:43:49   It seems like the exact thing you would make up if you just wanted to troll people and make a rumor that people want to believe.

00:43:54   But of course, it can't really happen because why would Apple make products with features that are desired by people who listen to TechNerd podcasts or people who host them for that matter?

00:44:05   So I don't know what to think. We could have all made this up. In fact, we did.

00:44:10   I remember having a show six months ago where I was like, "Apple, have you just made a laptop that had bring back MagSafe, that had more ports and got rid of the touch bar?

00:44:21   Everybody would love it, and it would be so easy for you to do because those aren't hard technical achievements. You've done it before. You can do it again. Everyone would love it. Just do it."

00:44:28   And of course, we know that didn't happen, right? But now the rumor says, "Oh, yeah, they're doing all that stuff now."

00:44:33   I don't know what to think. I honestly can't bring myself to believe.

00:44:37   Yeah, so if you look at the credibility of these sources, the majority of this rumor came from Meng-Chi Kuo, and then Mark Gurman also filled in a bunch of other details, and Gurman was more about the Mac Pro that we'll talk about in a little while.

00:44:51   But Meng-Chi Kuo has a pretty strong track record of knowing the hardware details of things that are coming up, especially in regards to displays.

00:45:03   He seems to be well-sourced in the supply chain, especially the display supply chain.

00:45:08   And so what I think is most likely to be true, if all of it isn't true, I think the 14-inch and 16-inch sizes are pretty likely to be true because those are display-related.

00:45:21   And I think the touch bar going away because that's also a display. So I think those are the most likely parts of this to be true.

00:45:30   And even if that's all it is, I'm telling you, I know we've complained a lot about the laptops in the last four years, and I'm sorry, but they deserved complaining about.

00:45:40   Because when the 2016 models came out, they were so user-hostile in so many ways.

00:45:47   You know, the keyboards were a complete disaster in so many ways for so many years.

00:45:53   It's funny, last week, the only butterfly keyboard we have in our house died. It was on TIFF's laptop, and the spacebar finally died in the way butterfly keyboards always do.

00:46:21   And she was like, "Yeah, I tried fixing it with compressed air. It didn't work." I'm like, "Yep, I know. I could have told you that."

00:46:25   But, but, wait, did she do it at the exact correct angle?

00:46:29   Right.

00:46:30   The knowledge of the exact angle has been lost to time. Now, kids these days don't even know it's supposed to be 75 degrees.

00:46:49   Like, in so many ways, that entire era of laptops, which we haven't quite left yet, we're still mostly in, this entire era of laptops, especially before they fixed the keyboards, was in so many ways just like gaslighting the users.

00:47:05   Like, "No, no, no. You want this laptop. Trust me, this is what we're going to make now, and it's better."

00:47:10   And you look at it, and you're like, "I'm pretty sure that's worse than a few pretty big ways."

00:47:14   And Apple just kept saying, "No, no, no. This is better."

00:47:16   And year after year, they kept releasing the same thing with the same problems.

00:47:22   And they kept saying, "Oh, it's better now. It's better."

00:47:25   And the users kept saying, "Is it? I don't know. It still has problems. It still keeps having these problems. The keyboard still keeps breaking, and we still would love more ports, and we still kind of miss MagSafe.

00:47:38   And MagSafe is so good, you could just borrow it from the phone and not the laptops again."

00:47:41   And then the Touch Bar, it's like, "Oh, yeah, the Touch Bar is... this is apparently the future, but, well, it doesn't actually work that well, and it introduces all these other downsides, and it's kind of buggy."

00:47:54   And then Apple literally never made it better since its introduction in 2016.

00:48:00   So, okay, it seems like something is wrong with this product line. Like, why isn't it getting better? They made it worse and then just kept it exactly the same until they finally fixed the keyboards last year.

00:48:16   It seemed for a long time that Apple was just so convinced they were right that the things they were wrong about, they just refused to fix.

00:48:27   And I don't know, who knows, this could have had something to do with the end of the Johnny Ivera, who knows, that's history now.

00:48:34   But what I think we saw with the keyboards was somewhat disturbing on a number of levels, but one of the disturbing angles of it was that it took them a pretty long time to fix a pretty big problem in the product.

00:48:49   And it took them, what, four years to fix the keyboards? And that entire time they're selling millions of these things that are just liabilities to them now?

00:48:59   Those users, the few users that they kept through this process who had bad keyboards, those were still expenses to Apple.

00:49:08   But really Apple lost tons of users because of those. Tons.

00:49:11   The damage to that to them was massive, and yet it still took them multiple years, like four years to release a product that was different.

00:49:21   And I think what that showed us is that Apple has amazing stuff they release on a regular basis, but we don't know how the pipeline works.

00:49:29   We don't know how long that pipeline is, and while they're able to release updated products like once a year or whatever else,

00:49:36   if they have to change their mind about something really big, that seems to take them a long time to do.

00:49:43   It seems like when something goes wrong, at least what happened, when something did go wrong, when multiple things went very wrong with this product line,

00:49:52   it seemed like it takes them a pretty long time to turn the ship away from what was their intended direction.

00:49:58   And so it's totally plausible to me if it took them four years to fix an incredibly problematic keyboard,

00:50:06   that maybe it's going to take them five to six years to fix the other parts of this product that nobody liked or that weren't good enough.

00:50:14   And so this actually is plausible to me that maybe after all this time they are going to actually do things that are kind of, you know,

00:50:23   like user fan service because that actually would make these things better, and they were made worse in a lot of these ways for either no apparent reason or not good enough reasons.

00:50:34   And if they can make them better in ways that users actually want, why shouldn't they do that?

00:50:40   You know, we are I think leaving, you know, once I think this had probably had to do something with Johnny, but we're leaving the era in which Apple told us what we want to some degree.

00:50:55   Like Apple just with the 2016 generation of Apple, they just yelled at us what we wanted.

00:51:01   And we kept saying, "Really? That's better? I don't know. I think I want something else actually. I think I like the old ones even better."

00:51:09   And they just kept yelling and yelling and yelling, "No, this is better, this is better, this is better."

00:51:13   And maybe now they finally, I think we've seen signs in the other product lines.

00:51:20   Like I think they finally realized like, no, that the users were right about some of that stuff.

00:51:24   Like some of that stuff never got better.

00:51:26   Like so much about these laptops was not adapting to what people needed, but was trying to force people to adapt to them.

00:51:35   The idea that Apple would go back on a lot of this stuff actually does line up with a lot of things they've done recently.

00:51:42   They have actually made a lot of like, I wouldn't say regressions, but like going back to the way things used to be done because they were better.

00:51:50   Or making products that are legitimately better as opposed to, you know, side steps or backwards steps like these.

00:51:57   They've been on a pretty good tear recently. The Mac Pro is another great example of the whole trend that went through.

00:52:02   So they are seemingly on the right path. It just takes them so long it seems like to make that turn.

00:52:11   And that's why it seems suspicious when it finally looks like they are probably going to come out with something.

00:52:18   Because we're just so used to them seeming like they're not listening at all because they kept releasing the same mediocre laptops for four or five years straight.

00:52:27   The reason I'm so suspicious is because I think the timeline is off.

00:52:32   Like, yeah, we don't know what their internal schedules are for things or whatever, but the Mac Pro is a great comparison.

00:52:39   They really messed up with the Mac Pro. They made a design that they couldn't continue to make better.

00:52:44   And they essentially decided we're not going to make a computer like that anymore, right?

00:52:49   There was the whole Mac roundtable, like, no, actually we are going to make a Mac Pro and it's going to be modular and so on and so forth.

00:52:56   And the rumors we heard was that the time they were having that meeting, they had made a decision and maybe they had a team, but they didn't have a computer.

00:53:04   So they essentially decided to make a computer they previously weren't going to make, starting from basically zero.

00:53:12   And, you know, as evidenced by the Mac Pro they put out, it shares no parts with any previous tower computer that they have ever made, right?

00:53:19   They went from zero to Mac Pro, which is a very narrow interest computer, in less time than it took them to figure out that maybe they should change some decisions about the laptops.

00:53:33   Like, if they had made the decision at the same time, like, oh, we made some mistakes with these laptops, the laptops are their bread and butter of the Mac line.

00:53:41   That's what people buy. Presumably there would be way more resources and money and effort to be able to put on that project to get that done.

00:53:50   It makes me think that if this actually does happen, this decision to go back on a lot of the design features of the laptops happened fairly recently.

00:54:00   Because if it had happened at the same time we were all complaining about it, they would have done it by now, right?

00:54:06   So that's the suspicious thing. It's like, well, the keyboard, I don't understand what happened there, but they did eventually fix the keyboard, right?

00:54:14   And there was some stubbornness there because the keyboard was like, especially in the beginning, debatable, oh, we fixed it this time, you know, it's not like we're not addressing the keyboard, look, we're revising it, oh, it didn't work either, right?

00:54:25   Whereas things like, these are the only ports you get are Thunderbolt/USB-C, it's the type of decision you can reverse on a generation to generation basis. It does not take six years to say, oh, you want another port, right?

00:54:38   The removal of MagSafe, you can put that back at any time. It's a thing that you made. You know how to make MagSafe, you made two versions of it, you can make another MagSafe, right?

00:54:47   All this leads me to believe that Apple was content with the overall design of their laptops minus the keyboard, which they kept trying to fix and then eventually gave up on and reverted, right?

00:54:58   I haven't seen them trying to fix these features and then eventually giving up and reverting. This is just like, we stick with them all for six years and then say, you know what, we were fundamentally wrong about what makes a good laptop, reverse all those decisions that we made after 2015 and put it back to the old way.

00:55:14   Now, I'm not saying they shouldn't do it or whatever, and actually Marco characterized it as fan service before. I think that is slightly the wrong term because fan service is like, oh, let's give the biggest fans of this thing the thing that makes them the happiest, even though it's just an insubstantial confection, show them their favorite character doing their favorite thing or whatever.

00:55:36   That's fan service. The things we're talking about here are not like features that are just meant to delight hardcore laptop enthusiasts. They're basic functionality. MagSafe was not a feature that only weird tech nerds could understand, enjoy or benefit from, right?

00:55:55   And we talked about this when they got rid of MagSafe. MagSafe was not without its problems, so I kind of understand why they might have gone away from it because it did have problems. But to me, what that says is you should improve MagSafe, not replace it with USB-C, right?

00:56:09   The rumors are that you can have the best of both worlds with these new laptops and that it will have MagSafe, but it will also be able to charge from USB-C. So if you like the USB-C charging, you can keep doing that. Hey, and now I can charge on both sides of my laptop and I don't have to get new cables and I can just ignore MagSafe.

00:56:22   But if you like MagSafe, you can have that too. Again, it makes me doubt these rumors. That doesn't sound like a very Apple thing to do, does it? It doesn't sound like an Apple thing to do at all.

00:56:31   I hope they do. I would love that.

00:56:33   Exactly. But now you're like, "But they wouldn't do that." And I feel like we have such an unhealthy relationship with this line of computers that this rumor has too much going for it.

00:56:44   And it's just, it's not like there are throwbacks to bygone things. Let's give a touch bar as an example. Some people like the touch bar, some people hate it, some people don't care one way or the other.

00:56:53   The thing that makes me believe the touch bar part of this rumor is that Apple, as you pointed out, Margo, has never really taken the next step with the touch bar.

00:57:03   If Apple really believed in the touch bar, regardless of what customers think, like it's clear that Apple really believed in this laptop design because they stuck with it for years and years. Hey, you get a bunch of little USB-C shaped holes inside and that's it.

00:57:14   And you get a really thin, crappy keyboard, right? They stuck with it for years. Apple totally believed it. They rolled it out across their entire product line. All their laptops have this design.

00:57:22   The touch bar is not a laptop specific technology. All of their computers have keyboards. Even the iPad has a keyboard, right? Why did the touch bar never appear anywhere outside the laptops?

00:57:35   Where is my desktop keyboard with a touch bar that Apple could sell for $600? Where is my iPad touch bar? Oh, that's dumb. The iPad has a touch screen.

00:57:42   If the touch bar was a benefit and a great feature, hey, keep your fingers near the keyboard, but also have a configurable section of the keyboard that can be anything you want, like an iPhone screen instead of physical buttons, right?

00:57:53   That's the pitch. Apple, I feel like they tried it and for whatever reason, maybe usage data, maybe customer feedback, maybe the champions of the touch bar inside the company didn't get behind it.

00:58:04   It just never took the next step. So I think that Apple has lost faith in the touch bar as evidenced by them never improving it, like Margo said, but B, never expanding it to the rest of their product line.

00:58:16   It's an opportunity to sell a really expensive Apple keyboard with a touch bar on it, but they never did it, right?

00:58:22   So I believe that part of it, and by the way, Apple has sold and continues to sell laptop computers without a touch bar.

00:58:29   Maybe it's cost saving. Oh, the Air doesn't have it because it's the cheap computer, but the Air doesn't have it, right?

00:58:35   That's a new computer, right? It's got the good keyboard with no touch bar. And they did backslide on it with the escape key, so they recognize one of the problems with it.

00:58:42   So I'm slightly willing to believe the lack of a touch bar. I'm willing to believe 14-inch, 16-inch size. That's great.

00:58:48   MagSafe, now you're really starting to make me doubt because the scenario described in these rumors does not sound Apple-like. It sounds like they would either do one or the other. They already did MagSafe. Now they're on USB-C.

00:59:00   And honestly, of all the features that I've heard people complain about missing from previous laptops, MagSafe was like 50/50.

00:59:09   Some people miss MagSafe and some people are so glad that it's gone because their cord kept coming out when they used a laptop on the couch, right?

00:59:15   And MagSafe did have problems of crap getting stuck in it and debris going in there and things arcing and sparking or whatever. So if they did do MagSafe, hopefully it would be a newer version.

00:59:26   And then finally, more built-in I/O ports. What the hell does that mean? What kind of rumor is it if you can't say what the ports are?

00:59:32   That's the worst rumor ever. How does one come to know this piece of information without knowing what port it is? It doesn't make any sense. If you have any inside information, certainly you would know what the ports are. So that makes me suspicious that this is not a thing at all. I don't know.

00:59:52   Yeah, and Ming-Chi quotes, historically, the things that his information seems most reliable on would not probably cover the port selection. So that's why I think this is significantly less likely to be true than the other parts of this rumor.

01:00:08   Yeah, I mean, maybe if you see a case design, you see holes that you don't identify, but then you get the shape of the holes. I don't know. It's kind of messed up. And then this final bit here is the most baffling and also the least important. The new chassis design is said to feature squared-off sides, right?

01:00:23   Well, you can't actually square off the sides of a laptop like a phone because the top and bottom halves of a laptop are curved for a reason. It's so you can get your damn fingers under it to pick it off up the table. That's not a problem with a phone. You just pinch it from the sides, right?

01:00:39   You don't need curved sides to a phone to pick it up because your thumb can go on one side and your fingers can go down. You can pick it right up off the desk. You can't do that with a laptop. If you actually made a flat laptop, no one would be able to pick it up off the desk. It has to be curved on the top and probably also on the bottom and also on the top, just in case it's put somewhere upside down.

01:00:57   So, that said, maybe it's less curved. Maybe the flat sides are more emphasized in the styling. But I have to think that something is missing in translation, which is why I put in what I think is the translation of the quote report. "Cancel the curvy design of existing models, top and bottom parts, and adopt a flat edge form."

01:01:15   Laptops already have flat edges, and they already have curves on the top and the bottom for a reason. You can't get rid of those curves, so what do they even mean? This rumor is the most weird to me. If it turns out that they have sides that maybe there's a stainless steel band or an aluminum band around the outside, that doesn't make sense because they're made of a solid block of aluminum and they carve it out and they're not changing that.

01:01:38   So, I can't imagine this is true. Save this clip for six months from now when they come out with a laptop that literally can't be lifted up off a table and we'll all just cry together.

01:01:49   Yeah, well it would still have rubber feet on the bottom probably, so you'd have some of a gap there.

01:01:54   Yeah, you'd get your fingernails under there, right?

01:01:56   Yeah.

01:01:58   I mean, maybe it's less of a curve, but it has to have some curve. That's not just a design feature. That is an affordance.

01:02:06   Yeah. Again, that kind of thing, I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith into that yet, but, you know, I hope the new laptops don't have this giant, heavy stainless steel fingerprint magnet around them.

01:02:20   They wouldn't because they're made out of a solid block of aluminum. They wouldn't put an applique on it. It's not like it wouldn't have body cladding like a Camaro.

01:02:28   Like the whole reason they do it on the phones is because the phones are basically glass sandwiches and they have to have something going around the rim, whereas the laptops are a totally different construction method. So, yeah, that makes sense.

01:02:38   But, I mean, I'm just super excited about this because even if like only one or two of these points end up being true, that's still fantastic.

01:02:49   Like even the small difference of, I'm telling you, I know I've said this before, I'll make it quick, but just the small difference of going from the touch bar to not the touch bar, but still having touch ID is glorious.

01:03:01   Every time I have, like I had to use the 16 inch for a couple of things last week and I hated every time I had to change the screen brightness or the volume and then coming back to my MacBook Air, it's just a button.

01:03:14   Oh God, this was so much better. I'm just, I'm so incredibly happy with this MacBook Air with no touch bar.

01:03:23   And I think I've already decided like, no matter what they do with laptops this year, I know, save this recording, right? But no matter what they do with laptops this year, I'm never buying another touch bar.

01:03:33   Like, I'm so much happier in regular use of the non touch bar model, I will not buy another touch bar. And if I have to only ever use MacBook Airs again forever, that's probably fine because this MacBook Air is fantastic.

01:03:47   And I love the small size, I love the small weight. The power that it offers is good enough for almost everything I do. So I'm very much, I'm very happy with this MacBook Air and I don't think I'll be tempted by the bigger laptops that come out later this year.

01:04:05   If the touch bar does go away, I think one of the things that will have contributed to its death is the bean counter mentality. Is the touch bar pulling its own weight? Touch bar costs more than function keys. It's a little screen, it's got, you know, back in the day used to have a little computer that showed it's more expensive than putting plastic function keys in.

01:04:23   If Apple puts anything more expensive in its laptop, that feature needs to pull its own weight by making the product that it's in more desirable and making more people willing to pay to get the touch bar.

01:04:35   I'm sure there are some people who are willing to pay more to get a touch bar, but in our little circle of people, I hear much more people saying I'd be willing to pay more not to get the touch bar. It doesn't mean that the feature has more detractors than fans, but it does mean that it is not an unequivocal hit. Unlike, for instance, bigger screen sizes. People are willing to pay more money to get bigger screen sizes.

01:04:57   The 16" charges more than the 14" and that is a thing that people are willing to pay more for. If you don't need a bigger screen, don't get it. But people who want a bigger screen, they'll plunk down their money in a second.

01:05:10   Apple never ran the experiment of saying, "What if we give you a 16" with touch bar and without?" I feel like that experiment would show that the touch bar has not been pulling its own weight in terms of adding value that Apple can charge for in its product.

01:05:25   The bean counter mentality is, "Why are we bothering putting this expensive part in our computers cutting into our margins when we can sell the computer for exactly the same price as we were before, which is the Apple way, but replace the touch bar with a bunch of 2 cent plastic keys?"

01:05:38   And I think the fact that Apple hasn't touched the touch bar in four years, as we said, they haven't made it better, they haven't expanded its capabilities, they haven't done anything to it.

01:05:51   I think they might have probably decided a while ago, "This isn't working out and we're going to abandon it." But when Apple abandons something, or rather, when they decide this thing is not going to have a future, they completely stop touching it.

01:06:08   Even if the end of its lifetime is going to be five years away, they completely stop doing any effort at all on anything they've decided is going to be a dead end. But they won't say anything about that until it just quietly goes away someday.

01:06:22   So it's possible Apple decided to abandon the touch bar in 2017, but it wasn't in the cards to totally redesign the entire laptop hardware until after this giant Apple Silicon transition. And so maybe they decided, "Alright, you know what, we're just going to keep this thing going on life support, but we're just not going to touch it at all."

01:06:40   Because that's what we've seen. And so they actually might have made that decision a very long time ago, but they will keep selling the exact same thing for years and years and years and years, but if they've decided years ago that it's a dead end, it will get zero effort from the company from that point forward. And that's what happened here.

01:06:59   The thing we've touched on it a little bit so far, but the thing I just can't wrap my head around is how does Apple do such a dramatic about face and do so so quickly? Like not in terms of how do they...

01:07:14   What I mean is from all outward appearances, it sounds like they weren't even considering this and then suddenly, okay, we're all in on undoing everything. And maybe that's what happened, but I don't know, I can't help but wonder, I want to explain, I want to have an explanation for why, how or why could that happen?

01:07:33   And I think an explanation is someone like a Johnny Ive, and maybe it isn't Johnny Ive, just decides to railroad through, "No, we're going all in on USB-C, this is the way, that's that." And then that person either moves to a different role in the company, or perhaps if it is Johnny Ive leaves the company for all intents and purposes, and then suddenly cooler and saner heads prevail, and then they say, "Okay, now that that chucklehead is gone, let's do things properly like we should have for the last six years."

01:08:02   It's just so hard for me. Part of the reason I have such a hard time buying these rumors is because how do you end up doing such a dramatic about face so seemingly quickly? It's almost inexplicable to me unless it's a purely political stunt that finally, for whatever reason, has gone away.

01:08:20   I think when you mean quickly, you mean all at once. They didn't do one model without TouchMar, and then the next year, add MagSafe, and the next year, add more ports. That's what you're talking about.

01:08:33   That makes more sense. There has been a lot of change in the Apple staff around this. As you mentioned, Johnny Ive was promoted into the sky. Phil Schiller was promoted onto the roof. It's unclear what kind of involvement he might still have, but he was super involved in product design as well.

01:08:56   Some of the other staffers have changed. There's been a lot of change in the marketing staff, in the product marketing staff, and the PR side of things. There actually has been a lot of change in the areas of Apple that heavily influence product design.

01:09:15   That could be part of it for sure. Or it could just be this weird long pipeline thing. I heard a long time ago during a lot of the Mac Pro problems, the summary of the problem was that "Tim Cook was getting bad information." Whatever that means.

01:09:33   It also could be related to this transition to Apple Silicon. This probably significantly delayed certain parts of the product engineering pipelines in order to get that done.

01:09:48   We've heard in various places, like they talked about this on Dithering with Ben Thompson and Sean Gruber, they've heard that Apple so much didn't want to tip their hand to Intel about how good the M chips were.

01:10:03   They wanted to change nothing about the previous outgoing models. Word might get back to Intel if they change certain components around, or how good the M chips are. That's one of the reasons why the first group of M1-based products is completely unchanged from what came before in all other ways, except the chip.

01:10:26   They don't like everything else about their enclosure, and most of their parts inside are all the same parts. I think all of those factors could have come together here.

01:10:36   The combination of whatever problem was happening with leadership years ago when a lot of this bad stuff happened, plus the worst years of Johnny Ive when he became super unchecked and seemingly checked out as well, plus who knows, lots of stuff has happened in the last five years that could have explained a period of bad products or of delayed improvements.

01:11:05   And then all of a sudden arriving in one two-year period.

01:11:10   It's a big company with a lot of politics.

01:11:13   All those dysfunctions sound very familiar. Even if you work in big companies your whole life, you still tend to think, "Yeah, but Apple's not my company with those dysfunctions where big personalities at high levels in the org chart can send self-serving information up the pipeline so Tim Cook quote-unquote gets banned."

01:11:31   That happens in every company everywhere all the time. We just don't want to believe that. It's kind of like the, I don't want to get into politics stuff, but it's like believing that when you're a kid that somewhere there's competent adults running the world, and as you become an adult you realize, "That's not really the case. No one really knows what they're doing."

01:11:51   I like to think, "Well, my company has these kinds of dysfunctions, but Apple doesn't because Apple is a successful company. Apple is the most successful company, so even though every place I've ever worked has had this dysfunction, Apple doesn't. And Apple's just people too, so they can't avoid others.

01:12:07   They do things very well, maybe better than anyone else, but they're still human, so human rules apply.

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01:14:07   [Music]

01:14:11   All right, I'm just going to sign off and you guys can take it from here.

01:14:15   Desktop Mac rumors. So apparently there's new iMac models which will slim down the thick black borders around the screen and do away with the sizable metal chin area in favor of a design similar to Apple's Pro Display XDR monitor.

01:14:27   Man, I bet those are nice. You guys should try those out sometime.

01:14:30   These iMacs will have a flat back moving away from the curved rear of the current iMac. Apple will also, or Apple is also working on a pair of new Mac Pro desktop computers.

01:14:39   One version is a direct update to the current Mac Pro, a Hem John, and will continue to use the same design as the version launched in 2019.

01:14:45   Apple has discussed continuing to use Intel processors for that model, which we should explore that in a moment.

01:14:50   The second version will use Apple's own processors and be less than half the size of the current Mac Pro.

01:14:55   The design will feature a mostly aluminum exterior and could invoke nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube, a short-lived smaller version of the Power Mac, an earlier iteration of the Mac Pro.

01:15:04   Apple has started early development of a lower priced external monitor to sell alongside the Pro Display XDR. Hey-o! That's what I'm talking about.

01:15:11   The cheaper monitor would feature a screen geared more for a consumer than professional use and wouldn't have the brightness and contrast ratio of the top tier offering.

01:15:18   Again, another dump of "hey, everything you've ever wanted" kind of, sort of. Let's start with the iMac.

01:15:25   Getting rid of the chin, these are all things we've talked about for a long time. No rumors of touchscreen, no rumor of like a drafting table type thing.

01:15:32   When they say a design similar to the Pro Display XDR, I'm assuming they mean from the front because I can't imagine them spending the money to drill all those little holes in the back of the thing to make it XDR style.

01:15:43   That's just a large amount of machining and finishing for a computer that is not going to be as expensive or have the margins anyway of the XDR.

01:15:53   And having a flat back, hey, guess what? You don't have to pick the iMac up off the table in the same way as a laptop. So sure, but a flat back, it'll be just fine.

01:16:02   You don't have to worry about leaving room for the optical disc. You can have some kind of cooling thing with lots of holes back there.

01:16:07   But this iMac rumor, I totally believe. Redesign iMacs. We all want them. It's time for a redesign to that computer. And nothing in this rumor makes me think it's ridiculous.

01:16:16   Yeah, the iMac rumor seems like the safest of all. It is desperately in need of a redesign and so much has changed about the electronics inside the iMac since the current enclosure was designed.

01:16:28   John mentioned no optical drive, but also no more 3.5 inch hard drive, I bet. And that's the whole reason why they have that big bulbous bump in the back.

01:16:37   That's where the hard drive goes when you have a hard drive model. Anyway, in this case, this makes perfect sense and that's probably going to be a fantastic computer.

01:16:46   And who knows, maybe I'll move back to one in the future, but yeah, that's probably going to be fantastic. Put some Apple Silicon in an iMac display case and make it a little bit fresh and new and that'll be great.

01:16:59   If it wasn't for the other rumor, I would have said, "And Apple, just make it so when the computer part dies, you can still use it as a monitor." But they don't have to worry about that because we have the other rumor.

01:17:07   Let's go in order here. The Mac Pro, like my Mac Pro, the big tower Mac Pro, saying they're working on an update to that. This is a classic rumor move.

01:17:17   "Apple has discussed continuing to use Intel processors for that model." I'm sure Apple has discussed a lot of things.

01:17:22   What kind of rumor is that? I don't care what Apple discusses, I only care what they're planning on doing. So make a statement in one direction or the other about the likelihood of what they're going to do.

01:17:31   I can imagine a speed bump or a spec bump to the Intel Mac Pro. I don't know if there's any new Xeons. Maybe they could change the prices around. Maybe they could certainly put new video cards because AMD has got their new line of video cards out.

01:17:47   All that could be mixed up in this type of thing. All that is to say that I would not be shocked if the configuration you're able to buy a "2019 Mac Pro" changes.

01:18:00   That said, I would be very surprised if Apple continued to ship Intel processors in the Mac Pro any longer than they needed to.

01:18:09   I fully believe that Apple is trying to make a CPU, system-mounted chip, and whatever suitable for the Mac Pro, and that's going to take a long time.

01:18:17   So in the intervening year or two, yeah, they'll keep selling the current one and maybe give it spec bumps.

01:18:22   But I don't expect them to say, "And here we are at WWDC two years from now, and the transition is complete. And we have, like we said two years ago, we've transitioned our entire line to Apple Silicon."

01:18:32   Except the Mac Pro, which is still in Intel. No, that's not going to happen. The transition will be complete when the Mac Pro is upgraded as well.

01:18:38   It's probably going to be the last one, right? And it's the biggest unknown or whatever. But I see nothing in Apple's plan as stated or as I can imagine it being that they're going to keep this Mac Pro and Intel permanently.

01:18:50   It's just going to be the last one to go.

01:18:52   See, I'm not sure I agree with that. You know, the second part of this rumor I think is important to discuss at the same time.

01:19:00   This is that they're also planning a second version of the Mac Pro that will use Apple Silicon and will be less than half the size of the current Mac Pro.

01:19:10   The design, you know, blah, blah, blah, could feature some nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube and an earlier iteration of the Power Mac and Mac Pro.

01:19:20   Two beloved successful computers, the G4 Cube and the trash can.

01:19:23   Yeah, right? No, but see, if you take these rumors together...

01:19:27   I mean, you're saying like one replaces the other? Yeah, sure. I buy that too, but...

01:19:30   Here's how I think this goes. So we've talked in the past a lot about like the challenges and like just ruminating on like how might they do a Mac Pro with Apple Silicon but still having like giant card slots for external GPUs and stuff.

01:19:45   And that's kind of that seems to be what kind of makes the Mac Pro right now.

01:19:49   And with the 2019 Mac Pro model, Apple really showed like a big statement like we're going back to card slots. We even made our own special card slot thing and the Mac Pro is all about modular stuff and we designed this thing for the future to be modular, etc, etc, etc.

01:20:06   And in a world of the M1 with everything moving more and more on chip as we discussed in the past, it kind of goes against that and achieving like, you know, big GPUs on big card slots in the Apple Silicon world is complicated and possibly a lot less necessary, depending on you know, how they do their high end offerings in the future.

01:20:28   And, and so what I think we're seeing here is I think Apple might do kind of a kind of a test balloon thing here. I think the the new small Mac Pro will ship and I think the big Mac Pro will continue to be a product in their lineup for a little while, but will be will stand Intel will be untouched.

01:20:48   Intel does not release new zions of a given family very often usually they go at least 12 or 18 months. So I it wouldn't surprise me if the current Mac Pro tower actually never gets new CPU options.

01:21:03   It might get new GPU options, I hope for I hope they support it and continue to make GPUs for it. But I think what they are trying to find out by releasing the small one is, do they still need the big one?

01:21:15   Which is a good question. And I think what you will see is he will see like, whenever they update a product, and they're and like most of our product line gets updated.

01:21:29   And like one model doesn't. And they show a slide in the presentation that shows their family of updated models and the ones didn't go did is just missing.

01:21:38   But like, they still sell it. And they might still sell it for years. And they might be playing an update to that later. But they just quietly stopped talking about it and stop showing it on slides during the presentations.

01:21:47   I think that's going to happen to the big Mac Pro once the small Mac Pro is out. And what they are going to probably figure out is, do they really need the big one anymore?

01:21:58   Or do enough people buy the small one, which by that point will probably be faster at a lot of things just because the advances in the silicon, you know, between now and then, and Apple Silicon compared to Intel, so like, it's probably going to be faster.

01:22:10   And a lot of people are going to want to move to it just because it will be faster. And then we'll see like, do they still need to then make make a big tower with card slots or not?

01:22:21   Because even today, they do need that for certain markets. But I would say they barely need that anymore. Overall, like they do. It's nice that they can serve that that role with the Mac Pro.

01:22:34   But Apple Silicon is so compelling for so many reasons. And again, I see it being a very hard road to bring the world of Apple Silicon to the world of the giant tower Mac Pro and what it needs that the the like, you know, mini Mac Pro, whatever that thing will be called the Mac Pro cube.

01:22:53   That is probably going to be the better way to go for almost everyone who would have otherwise bought the tower, if they can figure out a way to just put a lot of RAM in it, and put some really beefy GPU in it somehow, whether it's on a card, and maybe it has one slot, or whether it's more likely like, you know, on die or in package, like some giant GPU, as we talked about before, I think that's probably the future of the Mac Pro.

01:23:15   And I think that the the 2019 tower will most likely end up being a one off, which is not what a lot of Mac Pro owners want to hear. But I think that's what that's actually going to happen here. And I think the reason why we hear this, we were hearing this like double rumor thing about a big Mac Pro and a little Mac Pro.

01:23:31   I think that's what's really happening here is there is no more big Mac Pro, but they're going to keep selling it and possibly keep issuing GPU updates for it for a few more years. And yes, keep it on Intel, because that's just a lot easier. And they can even say, our pro customers still need Intel for a little while, you know, like they they can say that because that's actually kind of true. A lot of pro stuff is going to require Intel for a while longer.

01:23:53   They can kind of market this in such a way where it doesn't sound like they're abandoning the Mac Pro so quickly. It sounds like they're keeping this one model on Intel to achieve the needs of the customers of that model, while they use the rest of the product line to basically make that product irrelevant.

01:24:09   But they would be replacing it then like the Mac Pro Intel Mac Pro wouldn't continue on forever years and years, it would just be there like

01:24:16   No, not forever. But it might get like, you know, 2015 MacBook aired into a very long lifespan.

01:24:22   I feel like you are amply demonstrating exactly why Apple keeps trying to make these small computers and then realizing it's a mistake because it's so tempting.

01:24:30   Do you really need all those slots? Do you really need all that expansion? Can't we just make you a smaller computer? Why do you need this big tower computer? How about a little Power Mac G4 or a trash can Mac Pro?

01:24:40   Like it's so tempting to think that we can we can fit everything you need into a smaller package. And every time Apple has done that, it has proven to be a mistake.

01:24:48   Sometimes it takes Apple a long time to figure out that it's a mistake, but it has been.

01:24:52   The engineering wise, if they make the small one, as you described, you've basically done all the engineering work to make the big one.

01:24:59   The only difference is you just didn't put it in a bigger case because you figured out how to have external cards because you got a GPU on a card, whether it's an Apple GPU or AMD GPU or whatever.

01:25:08   Right. You've got your fast processor that you're going to need and you figured out how to have a bunch of RAM.

01:25:14   The only thing you're missing is a big honking case that you can fit a bunch of cards in. And while lots of people don't need that case, some people do.

01:25:20   I think of the rack mount Mac Pro for crying out loud.

01:25:24   Yeah, like the video of that guy with the thing. He was filling the card slots with these audio interface cards.

01:25:29   Right. And the whole point of them is they are physical connection ports for wires that leave his computer.

01:25:35   It's not like there is any like, oh, I can just put it in a little cube and you could have the same computation power.

01:25:40   It's not computation power he's looking for. It's literally IO. It's like a place in the back of my computer where I can plug in umpteen things.

01:25:46   Every single slot was filled with one of those things. And the world outside of that computer, kind of like Casey's social circle, can't be changed.

01:25:54   Can't just say, oh, well, we're not going to have a bunch of audio wires anymore. Like the job of the computer is to be the terminus for all of those audio wires that are not going away.

01:26:02   So, no, they can't use a smaller one. And you could say, well, Apple doesn't care about that market or whatever.

01:26:07   That's exactly the story Apple tells themselves when they say, let's make the trash can, even though it won't serve a bunch of market. It's fine.

01:26:13   It'll be great for our core customers that we really care about. And that is exactly the opposite direction that they've gone in with the big tower computer.

01:26:20   So, I have to think that they're going to do the engineering effort to be able to make an ARM based big tower like this.

01:26:28   And even if they float the trial balloon of the smaller one, first of all, I wouldn't call that a trial balloon because I think there's a market for a smaller one too.

01:26:34   You could probably buy it. Right. Like that is a product with a market. Another product we've been talking about for years, whether we call it the X max or whatever, a smaller, less expensive, less humongous tower for people who don't need the slots is definitely a product.

01:26:47   But Apple right now seems very committed to the idea of serving the market that does need that big stupid box, which is not me, by the way.

01:26:56   If they made a smaller one with a card in it, like I'd so long given up on the idea of an X max, which is like a, you know, a configurable small Mac with a fast CPU and a fast GPU and a lot of RAM.

01:27:06   I've just, you know, forget it. They're never going to make that. Or when they do, it's going to be super weird. Like the cube, right?

01:27:11   If they make that, I will buy it. I don't even need this big tower. But Apple of today seems very committed to continuing to serve the customer base that wants that big honking tower.

01:27:22   The only thing that would modify my opinion of this is how are the Mac pro selling? Are they 1% of the sales that Apple thought they would be?

01:27:30   Apple never tells us this and you can't sort of, you know, back solve it from their earnings because they don't break things out very well.

01:27:36   And even the best case scenario, the macro would be like a blip on a blip, right?

01:27:40   So you're not going to be able to pull that out. But from all their external talk, they seem very committed to serving the market that actually wants a computer this big.

01:27:52   So my hopeful version of this is Apple has also finally realized that, hey, there's a market for people who want most of that stuff, but way, way, way smaller.

01:28:01   Right. But most of the same stuff is a desktop computer. It's not a mini. It's got, you know, it's, it's a like a mini tower, whatever you want to call it.

01:28:09   That market definitely exists and I wish they would serve it, but I don't think Apple's ready to give up on this market.

01:28:15   And if they are, the little one will replace the big one and they will once again abandon that market, which will make that guy with his thousand audio interface is super sad.

01:28:23   Right. But hey, I mean, you know, the timelines we're talking about again is I feel like even the small Mac pro ish thing.

01:28:31   That's like one of the last ARM based Macs that they're going to come out with. Right.

01:28:36   At that point, when that comes out, I feel like that's the point to sort of, I don't know.

01:28:43   You can't, if you're going to use it as a trial balloon, you can't commit at that point to canning the old one.

01:28:47   And you know, just keeping it around to serve old customers for a little while. Cause remember they kept the trash can around a long time after we all knew it was dead anyway.

01:28:53   Right. Like they kept selling that cause, Hey, some people need a trash can and by the way, no, we won't reduce the price because we know you've got you over a barrel.

01:29:00   If you're buying this computer now, you have no choice. They sold it for so long, even though we knew Mac pro is not, you know, we knew that other Macs were better than it.

01:29:09   If you need one of those things, you need it. Right. So I can see a fate like that for the Mac pro.

01:29:14   It all depends on whether Apple wants to continue to serve the market that needs a computer this darn big.

01:29:22   So I can't, I can't get a read on that from the inside, but I, I have some faith that there's nothing that particular Apple needs to do to continue to serve it because everything that's in this little Mac pro is exactly what you need for the big Mac pro.

01:29:38   Just add air.

01:29:40   Well, but only if they're going through the trouble of like, you know, compatibility with cards, card buses and card slots and they are, they're going to have to for the small one.

01:29:49   Maybe, or maybe not, you know, maybe it'll just be like, there will be a GPU module and maybe they have their own custom bus to it and it's like an Apple silicon GPU.

01:29:59   They're not going to invest in a custom, they're not going to invest in a custom bus for a computer that's going to sell that little. It's a PCI.

01:30:06   You'll have maybe one or two slots, but there's no point in them reinventing the slot. Like it already exists.

01:30:11   Well, but what if they do something with the unified memory that, that like it eliminates the need for GPU's to have this, this, you know, very high speed bus between them and main memory and everything else.

01:30:21   Like you still, you still need the GPU itself though.

01:30:23   Sure. But like I'm saying, like if they, you know, as we've talked about in the past, like if they just scale up the M one architecture to just have massive amounts more silicon devoted to GPU's, whether it's on package or like a separate dye or a stack dye or another or a separate package right next to the first one.

01:30:40   But you can't, that, that, that, the ability to do that ends even before the end of the top end iMac. Right. Cause you can only go, as far as you can go with that as like game console level performance, that it's not coming close to what people need to process their four streams of 8K with their, you know, four giant GPU's each of which takes 200 Watts. Right.

01:31:01   And that's today's tech. Right. So, you know, again, like you can abandon the market for the guy who wants to fill every single one of the 12 slots with audio interfaces. You can't abandon the market of the person who wants to do GPU powered video processing.

01:31:13   Cause you can do that today on the Mac pro with a huge amount of fan noise and power and you know, like, but that's, they're not going to abandon that. Like then who's left, right? What pro market are you serving? Well, we don't serve audio and he lots of cards and we don't serve video and he thought the GPU power. You've just basically made a much faster Mac mini.

01:31:30   Well, but I mean, as you argue with the sale thing, like Apple sure angered a lot of that pro market over the last 10 years. They really pushed them away in massive amounts. So many of those high end pros use windows now or Linux. Like it's so many of them. They, Apple lost so many of them. Maybe it is too small of a market now. Maybe Apple thought that the Mac pro, the new Mac pro would bring them all back and maybe it didn't. And so maybe they will have been. I don't know.

01:31:56   I mean, if you look at these, all these different like possible outcomes here, you know, from where we stand now, these things all seem kind of like stretches. Like it is kind of a stretch to think that the Mac pro sold so poorly. All of a sudden that Apple would change their mind.

01:32:09   It is also kind of a stretch to see how the current M based architecture scales up to something the size of the giant tower with all the slots. It is also kind of a stretch to think like, you know, what if Apple just keeps the big one on Intel for much longer than the rest of the product line?

01:32:26   Like that's, that's also seemingly pretty unlikely. So we'll see what happens. But at this point, all any of those three outcomes wouldn't surprise me.

01:32:36   Well, my advice to Apple is, you know, kind of like what my advice would have been to Disney Lucasfilm with the Star Wars movies. If you're going to make a turn like they did, have the big Mac round table and say, we've heard you, we're going to make a pro computer and it's going to be modular.

01:32:52   And no, we're not kidding. And here it is. And it's everything you dreamed it would be. And it goes over like a lead balloon for the reasons you said, Marco, because, hey, guess what? You just spent the last 10 years totally neglecting these customers and they've all switched to a different platform.

01:33:04   If you're serious about reentering that market, you can't try something. And then if it doesn't immediately work, give up and run away because that behavior is exactly what scares people away from you in the pro market.

01:33:15   I feel like thus far what Apple has done in words and indeed has said, we are committed to this market and commitment means not running away at the first sign of trouble.

01:33:27   Commitment means like Microsoft did with the Xbox, we're going to enter the game console market. The first one, it's not going to turn out that great. We're going to survive by the skin of our teeth, maybe lose some money.

01:33:39   Halo is the only thing keeping this project from getting canned. But Halo does exist. And we're going to try again. Then we're going to try again. Then we're going to try again. We're not going to run away because, hey, we're Microsoft and have tons of money and we can afford to keep doing this.

01:33:49   And B, no one will take you seriously if you try to have a console go away and then three years later come back again and then go away and then four years later come back again.

01:33:58   You're either in or you're not. And thus far, Apple seems like it's in. So I really hope and my advice to them would be that if you're serious about this market, as you said you've been and you made this big pro workflow group and you made this amazing computer,

01:34:09   even if it doesn't sell well, you've just got to keep sinking money into it because the only way you're ever going to get over the hump and get those people back is to prove to them that you've really changed this time.

01:34:21   So what about the gift that Marco has given everyone by buying his absurdly expensive monitor? I guess I should be the first to thank you Marco for saving me several thousand dollars, I would hope.

01:34:33   Well, wait a second. The whole idea was all three of us had to buy it for Apple to release a cheaper monitor. What happened was two of us bought it and all we got was a rumor of a monitor. That's not the same thing.

01:34:44   Oh, so if I buy it, then it magically appears? Oh, I see.

01:34:48   Yeah, I mean if you don't buy it, this will just end up being a rumor, but if you do buy it, it will end up being true.

01:34:53   Well, what happened was, John, you and I had to buy the monitor for Apple to start development on a new monitor. Casey had to buy two new Intel Macs in a year for them to kill Intel Macs.

01:35:08   Seriously. Yeah, so let me remind you listeners, if you would like a lower priced Apple manufactured and created and designed monitor, please go to ATP.fm/join so I can find myself a Pro Display XDR and get you what you want. Help me to help you.

01:35:27   No, this sounds excellent. Again, I've used the LG briefly. I don't have nearly as many qualms and problems with it as Marco, but I've also only used it briefly.

01:35:40   But that being said, I would definitely buy an Apple branded monitor that looks like an Apple monitor, quacks like an Apple monitor, walks like an Apple monitor, etc. assuming it wasn't $6,000.

01:35:55   So yeah, I've been thinking about, you know, it certainly sounds like next year I'm going to be buying at least one, if not two new computers, because I plan to replace the laptop probably as soon as I can find a direct equivalent to what I have.

01:36:11   And from the sounds of it, I might want to replace this iMac Pro. And I was actually thinking to myself earlier, now, knowing what I know today, what would I do? And I would probably get another iMac, maybe not an iMac Pro.

01:36:23   But then I got thinking to myself, you know, with an Apple monitor, and maybe with a little bit beefier insights, that Mac Mini could be real nice. That might be a real nice setup. I should look into that and think about that.

01:36:35   So I'm really, really excited about the idea of Apple actually coming out with a more affordable, even if it's less capable, which it sounds like it would be, monitor for regular people and not YouTube lunatics.

01:36:50   You're pairing it with the wrong thing, though. You're not supposed to hook it up to the Mac Mini. So like, as much as we complain about this hole in the lineup, if you just look at the desktop space, it makes some sense.

01:36:58   The Mac Mini is the one that's like, it's super cheap, it's super small, you probably have your own monitor anyway, it doesn't even come with a keyboard. Of course, we're not making a monitor for that.

01:37:06   And the Mac Pro is gigantic and expensive. And guess what? We have a gigantic and expensive monitor to go with it. The only place you would need a reasonable monitor is if you had a reasonable desktop.

01:37:15   And currently Apple has none of those. They just have the Mini and they've got the Pro with nothing in between. Enter the "half-size" Mac Pro. What kind of monitor would you use with a presumably cheaper, smaller, less capable, half-size Mac Pro desktop thing?

01:37:29   It's not bring your own monitor like the Mac Mini because presumably this computer will come with a keyboard. And it's not, "Does the Mac Mini come with a keyboard these days?" Marco can tell us. It doesn't, right?

01:37:37   No, no, no. It won't fit in the box. And that's why the Mac Pro won't come with one either. Yeah, right. Well, we'll see. And the big Mac Pro goes with the big monitor, so once you make the medium one, you need a medium monitor.

01:37:49   Now this ignores laptops, which is like, "Well, what external monitor am I supposed to hook my laptops up to?" And maybe Apple has been thinking you'll just buy a crappy Dell or something, which is why we've been yelling for ages, "Just make a 5K monitor that's Apple-branded."

01:38:01   Anyway, rumors of doing that. This, I feel like, is a no-brainer for all the reasons we've talked about before. And also, especially at this point, I have to think that no matter how few of them they sell, they'll make money on every single one.

01:38:15   Like, the way Apple prices its monitors and the cost of a reasonable non-HDR5K retina panel, they're making plenty of money on those monitors. It's not like they're losing money on this product. It's, you know, I don't know, it's like, it's hard to argue for a product inside Apple if it's not going to make you a hoejillion dollars, but just make the monitor.

01:38:34   Like, we don't want to get into this again, but the same reason we talked about them making USB hubs or Wi-Fi things or whatever, just make it so people who want to give you money and have a big match set up and spend too much on their stuff can do so, because those people exist and you can make money from them. That's good for business.

01:38:49   Yeah, and this will solve such a weird hole in the lineup. Again, it's like, they're writing old wrongs, and it takes them a long time to do it sometimes, but, you know, they're writing old wrongs here. This hole in the lineup is big.

01:39:05   Well, assuming everything we've read is going to be true, I know we're slipping into this easily of saying these are all the things that we're talking about. What we just read is a litany of rumors that say everything that we wanted ever to happen, which is why we should be so suspicious of it of saying true.

01:39:18   Are you just telling me what I want to hear? But it is what it is. This is the rumor dump, and if we assume that it's true, it would be, I would say, an amazing reversal only matched by the Mac roundtable thing in the past.

01:39:33   Yeah, and you know, you kind of downplayed the laptop market for this, but I think that's the biggest part. I think by far the biggest market for this kind of monitor is people who buy MacBook Pros and who dock them at work.

01:39:56   I have the monitor work and I connect it to my tower computer, and then I have the stupid MagSafe thing just dangling because the monitor is saying, "I'm not supposed to be connected to a desktop. What are you doing? No one buys desktops. I'm a laptop monitor."

01:40:07   Yeah, so I think that alone, that's enough of a market that they could easily sell their $2,000 27-inch 5K monitor, and that would be great. Again, if that product existed today, I would have bought that instead of this giant thing. That being said, I do like this giant thing a lot after their week of using it.

01:40:26   You'll never be able to go to a smaller monitor. It's a problem.

01:40:29   Actually doing iOS development on this is glorious. Oh my god, I have so much space. Anyway, I do want to pour a little bit of water on this rumor. As you said, these are just rumors. This rumor is from Mark Gurman, and he does not have as strong of a track record as Ming-Chi Kuo when it comes to hardware and display rumors, especially recently.

01:40:50   I wouldn't give this a ton of credibility of it being a sure thing. Also, the way it's worded, Apple has started early development. That, to me, means if this thing's going to come out, it's not going to come out for two years at least. I wouldn't get your hopes up of this thing being anytime soon if it's real at all.

01:41:13   I think that's fair. It just seems like such an obvious thing to do, though. In the same way that I'm scoffing about getting rid of the Touch Bar and I'm scoffing at the return of MagSafe, as you guys said, it's such an obvious hole. Why wouldn't they fill this?

01:41:29   We all lament the loss of the airport base stations, but I don't feel like that's an obvious hole for Apple to fill. This is such an obvious thing. There's money there for the taking. Why wouldn't you take it?

01:41:45   This is so much more obvious to me than freaking Apple TV+, like that seems even more bananas than just making a monitor for your computers. It wasn't that long ago that you were Apple Computer, and it seems that computing-like devices are your primary products.

01:42:02   Why not make a monitor for them that is more affordable than the absurdly overpriced XDR? It's bananas to me that this doesn't already exist, and it is a little depressing to think about if it's going to exist. I have the same read as you, Marco. It's at least a year or two away. Maybe even more than that.

01:42:22   If you think about the engineering teams that would be responsible for developing and releasing such a thing, it seems I've gotten the feeling that there are not that many hardware engineering teams for these big products inside of Apple.

01:42:38   They focus on one thing for a while, and then go to a different product line. If you think about what does the Apple display team have on their plate recently, they just did the XDR pretty recently, so that was probably a big ordeal. The high-end or desktop display engineering team, that's a big thing.

01:42:55   So they got that done, shipped. Now they're also going into all these mini-LED screens, allegedly, over the next year or two, going into iPads and MacBook Pros and everything else. So that's going to be a whole thing they have to engineer.

01:43:11   They have new iMacs coming out, probably in the next six months. That was a whole new display with whole new engineering and everything like that, probably.

01:43:20   But that's the display they would use in this monitor, though. What we're always asking for is just give me an iMac without the iMac. So if they have to do all that engineering for the iMac, if you just rip out the iMac from the iMac, you've got your display, at least the display part of it, right?

01:43:34   Yeah, right, but that would actually probably explain why they would just be starting now, or recently. They would have recently been starting on this product because they have probably only recently finished the iMac. And so now they can start on, "Take what we have here, whatever assets we have here, whatever parts we can share, and design a standalone monitor that is like that, that uses those parts."

01:44:00   So there actually is a significant reason why they might have had to wait until recently to start developing this. And then it's the only question of how long does it take them to develop a monitor.

01:44:10   And again, Apple's not fast about this kind of stuff, so that's why I'm thinking, like, I wouldn't get your hopes up for it coming out in the next year.

01:44:17   Well, I mean, the obvious time for it to come out, despite the fact that most people will buy it for use with their laptops, is alongside the rumored half-size Mac Pro, which now we've gotten enough rumors for that it sounds like there's something real about it. So, I mean, put it this way, you can't introduce the half-size Mac Pro, I feel like, without introducing a monitor.

01:44:34   Because the whole point of that one is, presumably, less expensive than the giant one, and so you need a less expensive monitor to go with it, otherwise what are you going to tell people, just use it with your Dell like it's a Mac Mini? I just feel like the messaging of a half-size Mac Pro makes no sense without a monitor to go with it.

01:44:52   And so that fits with the rumor, you know, a year or two from now, the half-size Mac Pro comes out and you get the smaller monitor.

01:44:59   I don't think the half-size Mac Pro will be about price. I think it probably will be cheaper than, what is the current one, $6,000 to start?

01:45:07   Yeah.

01:45:08   I think it will be cheaper than that, but it might not be a ton cheaper than that, and I don't think the reason they would be making a half-size Mac Pro is only about price. I think the reason they're making a half-size Mac Pro is that's the Apple Silicon Mac Pro.

01:45:25   It might be a little bit cheaper, it might be a lot cheaper, who knows, but that's not why they're doing it. So I think the marketing message could be totally consistent in saying, here is the new Mac Pro based on Apple Silicon, it's this cool new smaller size, and you can pair it with our wonderful Pro Display XDR.

01:45:41   Ugh.

01:45:42   Watch, I bet that'll happen, because I bet this new monitor won't be ready yet.

01:45:47   Yeah, I mean, it's possible. Honestly, the timelines are so difficult to figure out, because especially, you're saying it's a serial thing where the same team is doing the iMac, finishes the iMac, and then proceeds to the next project. I feel like they have enough teams, those are two separate groups, right?

01:46:02   Maybe.

01:46:03   I honestly don't know how the hardware org works, but if this is a real product, and not just a fantasy rumor like any of these things, timing counts for product introductions. There are a bunch of obvious timings for a product like this to come out, and if it's real at all, pick one of them.

01:46:24   Either it's got to come out with all the revised laptops, you can say, and look, you can connect these laptops to this beautiful new Apple Display. Again, remember the pigtail thing, that's the whole big pitch. Or it comes out with the new half-size Mac Pro. Or it doesn't come out at all, which is the other option.

01:46:35   Which is just like, no, we have one giant monitor and that's it. And dude, you're getting a Dell.

01:46:40   Sorry, these are ancient references.

01:46:45   And we're done.

01:46:46   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Mack Weldon, and Linode. And we will talk to you, oh, and you can join, you can become a member and make Casey buy the giant monitor.

01:46:55   That's right.

01:46:56   Atatp.fm/join. And we will talk to you next week.

01:47:00   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

01:47:11   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him, cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

01:47:22   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm. And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:47:37   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-N-T Marco Armin S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-S-A. It's accidental. They didn't mean to. Accidental.

01:47:57   Tech podcast so long.

01:48:02   It has occurred to me the kind of oddity that I use currently Apple's smallest phone, their smallest watch, their smallest laptop, and the biggest goddamn display they've ever made.

01:48:18   And they don't even make a keyboard that's big enough for you.

01:48:21   No.

01:48:22   You need an even bigger keyboard. You could fit like, you could fold up like six Apple keyboards and put them inside yours.

01:48:30   I gotta say, this is, it's actually, it's kind of nice. Like, in many ways the small products are better.

01:48:36   You know, they're easier to hold, they're lighter, you know, in many cases they're cheaper.

01:48:41   In many ways, like, all these small products are really nice. I love my 40mm Apple watch. I love my iPhone 12 mini.

01:48:50   This M1 MacBook Air, I am just so in love with this computer. I cannot stop saying enough good things about this computer.

01:48:57   I love it so much. It is so good.

01:49:00   Honestly, anybody out there, I know I've been selling this hard.

01:49:03   If you don't have an M1 based Mac yet and you're looking at the models and you want one, go for the Air.

01:49:10   They're all good, but the Air is really special in ways that the other two aren't quite as special.

01:49:17   Go for the Air. You will not regret it.

01:49:21   Oh man, it's such a great computer.

01:49:23   Speaking of that, my kids are complaining now that they're going into school part time, or soon to be going into school part time, which is another cluster.

01:49:32   But anyway, that if they go into school, they have Chromebooks they can use issued by the school, but they hate the Chromebooks.

01:49:39   And they want to use the laptops that they use at home.

01:49:42   And we've got an M1 MacBook Air, and we've got a non-M1 MacBook Air, the previous model, right?

01:49:48   And so the prospect of sending my children to school with these still very expensive, not very rugged computers is making me worry.

01:49:58   And so I've been trying to find cases I can buy for them to protect them somehow.

01:50:04   Because my son, when he got his Chromebook for the first time, I think in middle school, I think it lasted less than a week before he shattered the screen.

01:50:14   Because he just put it into his backpack like it was a book, and then just treated his backpack like it normally does, and then you just open up the Chromebook and say, "Huh, how did this giant glass screen shatter?"

01:50:22   Well, a Chromebook is not an actual book, and you actually have to be careful with it.

01:50:27   So, I'm wary about sending my kids to school with these laptops.

01:50:31   And I've been shopping for cases, trying to find something that will protect them.

01:50:36   And you can go in a couple different directions with this. There's lots of cases that are kind of like foam-filled fabric sleeves, right?

01:50:45   That you'd buy for an adult who can take care of things.

01:50:48   And then on the other extreme is a Pelican case, which is a giant hardened plastic shell thing, which they do make size more or less for a MacBook Air-sized laptop.

01:51:02   And I'm like, "Well, I should buy a couple different cases and try them out."

01:51:06   And immediately, the tiny little devil on my shoulder says, "Put the M1 MacBook Air in the Pelican case, and then put the Intel one in the fabric case."

01:51:16   So they don't use the M1?

01:51:18   Because if the Intel one gets cracked, you're going to be mad that your kids cracked the screen on a thousand-something dollar computer, but you'll also be happy because now you can buy another M1.

01:51:29   And this is what the little devil on my shoulder is saying. The other part of me is saying, "You have AppleCare on that. If they crack the screen, you should replace it. Don't buy a whole other computer."

01:51:40   And then the devil says, "Put M1 MacBook Airs. They're really good."

01:51:45   They really are.

01:51:46   The devil is right.

01:51:48   Yep. Sometimes the devil is right. Valuable life lesson.

01:51:51   This is not the lesson we should be teaching children who are listening to this show.

01:51:55   Oh, my word.

01:51:57   Honestly, it's so good. The more I use it, the more I love it. It's so good.

01:52:02   I kind of want one. I don't want one, but I kind of want one.

01:52:07   Look at it this way, Casey. You were so happy for years on the stupid MacBook 12-inch with all of its problems.

01:52:12   Garbage compared to the CPU.

01:52:14   Yeah, total garbage. Whatever you're holding out for at the higher end of the spec range, you were fine without it for a long time.

01:52:21   The MacBook Air is so, so good and is out now and is in some ways better than the high spec ones.

01:52:30   Casey's holding out for the one with MagSafe and an SD card slot.

01:52:35   Yeah, that's it.

01:52:36   Whatever the hell. Fantasy computer.

01:52:38   Of the three of us, I'm the one who wanted the SD card slot the most.

01:52:41   I don't necessarily know that any of that stuff would come to the Air. That might be MacBook Pro only.

01:52:46   No, for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

01:52:48   Right, but the Air is so good. The MacBook Pro in certain ways is less good.

01:52:55   It has the fan, it doesn't have the teardrop, it's a little bit bigger, a little bit heavier.

01:53:00   It is less pleasing to use in certain ways. It currently has the touch bar, which is way less pleasing.

01:53:06   They might be fixing that, I hope, but still, the Air is so nice to use.

01:53:12   It feels so good. It's so small and light. I did use, as I mentioned, I used my 16-inch again for a few days.

01:53:21   It just felt like a giant boat and it didn't feel as, I mean, I know we're talking about one and a half pounds of difference or something like that,

01:53:29   but it didn't feel as nimble for me to just like, "Oh, pick it up and go upstairs with it," or something like that.

01:53:34   It felt more like I wanted to just leave it where it was and go upstairs.

01:53:37   Ever since I've gotten the Air, I've hardly touched my iPad. It's just so good. I just keep bringing it with me everywhere.

01:53:43   It's so small and light and it's designed for being carried around and doing stuff all around all day.

01:53:49   It's so nice. I love that it's fanless. Not only do I not like fan noise, but I don't even like the big ridge slots that are under the left and right sides of all the new modern MacBook Pros.

01:54:05   They have these big air intake slots that are under them and they're sharp.

01:54:08   When you pick up the laptop the way anybody would pick up an open laptop, like if the screen's open, you pick it up by the wrist rest area, basically, on the left and right sides.

01:54:18   You pick it up and you feel those slots and they're sharp on your fingers. The Air doesn't have that design.

01:54:24   There's so many things about the Air that are just nicer and more pleasing.

01:54:29   It used to be that to get that you would have this massive tradeoff in performance and right now, I don't know how long this will be the case, but right now that tradeoff is gone.

01:54:38   It's just so nice to have a MacBook Air that is amazing as a computer that is also amazing as a physical object.

01:54:45   It's really something else.

01:54:48   So just for grins and giggles, I priced my current MacBook Pro for trade-in with Apple.

01:54:54   We're going to have to cut this from the release version of the show because I don't want to see all the tweets about it, but would you like to guess how much it's worth?

01:55:01   I'm going to say like $1200 maybe?

01:55:04   $830.

01:55:05   In the middle, $970. But interestingly, not considering tax, I could basically trade this in and get myself an M1 MacBook Air.

01:55:14   That's what I'm saying. That's the other thing about the MacBook Air that makes it so amazing is everything that Marco said is true of the $999 model. It was just mind-boggling.

01:55:23   Ideally, Casey, you should get the 16GB, 512GB model at least.

01:55:30   But for just a regular person browsing the web and reading email, for $999, you get this fantastic computer.

01:55:36   It's so amazing. It's so nice and pleasing and delightful to use. I would have paid twice as much.

01:55:43   If this could have been a $3000 computer, I would have been perfectly happy with it.

01:55:46   Well, this is not a measure of anything useful.

01:55:49   I know. That's fair.

01:55:50   Marco would pay more for a better product. Fascinating.

01:55:52   But I would rather use this one than the one that costs way more.

01:55:57   I'd rather use my iPhone 12 mini than the iPhone 12 Pro Max that costs significantly more.

01:56:06   But I'm happier with the mini. I'm much happier with the 40mm Apple Watch than I am with the 44mm ones.

01:56:12   I'm much happier with this MacBook Air than I am with the 16 inch.

01:56:17   And that's not only because of the ARM transition, although that helps, but I'm happier with it in use.

01:56:24   And it's really, really nice.

01:56:26   So anybody out there, if you're on the fence, Casey, just get the Air. It's delightful.

01:56:31   It is such a great computer.

01:56:33   He's saving up for an XDR. Don't tell him to get an Air yet.

01:56:36   No, I'm not saving up for an XDR.

01:56:38   You know, the thing of it is that I think I have, I don't know the right phrasing for this,

01:56:44   but I think I have a little bit of a mental hang up about buying a new computer

01:56:51   in the sense that I consider that a very infrequent occurrence.

01:56:56   And I know, Marco, that you do it basically monthly.

01:56:59   But for me, I know I did buy a couple of computers in the span of 365 days,

01:57:04   but I think I'd bought my iMac in 2016.

01:57:08   My previous iMac, my non-pro iMac.

01:57:12   And I guess I bought the adorable in what, when would that have been?

01:57:18   Was that 2016, 2017, something like that maybe?

01:57:20   Yeah, it came out in 2015, the first one.

01:57:22   You got like the second or third one, right?

01:57:24   Yeah, I think it was 2017 that I bought it.

01:57:26   Actually, they updated it like every year because it desperately needed any help it could get.

01:57:29   That's true.

01:57:31   But I don't know. I view it as a once every couple of years thing, right?

01:57:35   And before the adorable, the prior laptop I had bought was probably two to three or four years before that.

01:57:41   And there's no tangible reason I can cling to that says, "This is why it must be every several years."

01:57:49   But it just feels like a once every several years purchase.

01:57:52   In the same way that people who buy cars regularly or perhaps have short leases,

01:57:57   they're going through cars every couple of years.

01:58:00   And I've owned every car that I've had, certainly as an adult, for at least five or six years, I think, at the lease.

01:58:08   And so, yeah, I have this hang up about just trading in this computer or trying to sell it online and getting something new.

01:58:16   Especially in no small part because I really honestly don't want a MacBook Air.

01:58:22   And I totally agree with everything that both of you guys are saying.

01:58:25   And for your average person, I think it's probably the perfect answer.

01:58:29   But, again, maybe they're silly hang ups, maybe they're not.

01:58:32   But I really don't want to lose the four ports.

01:58:36   And I would prefer not to lose on SSD space, which I don't even know.

01:58:42   Do they only get to be a half terabyte now or can you get a full terabyte?

01:58:45   In the Air you can get two terabytes.

01:58:47   Oh, wow, okay. So then that's not an issue.

01:58:49   And, again, I still have hang ups about RAM, but I'm getting over that because I have not heard a single person complain about RAM on any of these M1 Macs.

01:58:57   But more than anything else, I really do want to keep four ports.

01:59:00   And I feel like I just bought this MacBook Pro in May of last year.

01:59:08   I can wait for May of this year, especially since I'm not frickin' going anywhere.

01:59:13   I don't really need a laptop right now.

01:59:16   And, coincidentally, that's why I think even though I just said earlier in the show and I stand by it that the next computer I plan to buy is a replacement for this laptop,

01:59:26   the more I think about it, the more I wonder if the next computer I should buy is a replacement for the iMac Pro.

01:59:34   Be that a laptop that serves as my one and only computer, which I was kind of thinking about earlier today.

01:59:39   Be that a Mac Mini that serves as a new desktop, I don't know.

01:59:43   But as much as I can make a passionate argument that it would be smarter or better for me to unload the MacBook Pro I have today and get an Air or a new MacBook Pro or something like that,

01:59:53   I can't wrap my mind around it. I just can't get over, figuratively speaking, throwing away a six, eight, ten month old whatever it is laptop and getting a brand new one just for funsies.

02:00:04   I don't know. Maybe I'm weird.

02:00:05   No, you're sensible.

02:00:07   You're just not, Marco.

02:00:08   Which makes me weird in this crowd, I'd say.

02:00:10   What are you talking about? I'm the one that keeps on computer for ten years.

02:00:12   Yeah. But, again, I will point out, like, you're not throwing it away.

02:00:18   Yeah.

02:00:19   You're not taking a hundred percent loss on it.

02:00:21   No.

02:00:22   No matter what you do, whether you trade it into Apple for a little bit of money or whether you sell it for a lot of money, like, it's still, look at it instead as an upgrade cost.

02:00:31   You basically have an offer right now where, like, you know, you could get, like, 900 for it from Apple and then you could get a MacBook Air that you want for, like, you know, 14 or 1600 depending on how high you want to go with it.

02:00:43   So instead of thinking about it as, like, I'm throwing away a one-year-old computer, instead you can say, all right, I have the option to upgrade my one-year-old computer to this brand new thing that is significantly different for $500, you know, whatever it is.

02:00:57   And so it becomes less of a, like, you know, emotional or, like, moral judgment of your waste and, you know, you failed because you bought one at the wrong time or whatever. It becomes less about that and more about this is just the price of what it would take to do this and then you can decide whether it's worth it or not.

02:01:16   Yeah, I think the other part of the problem is, like I was saying, I don't view it as an upgrade even though it really would be and even though I really don't use more than two ports on a regular basis, I now, now that I've been burned by the one port, adorable, I feel like I do not ever want to go backwards.

02:01:33   Like, I want to stick with what I've got now and that's my own hang up.

02:01:37   Yeah, that's fair.

02:01:38   I don't know. I really do think whenever we get an upgrade to the 13/14 inch that I already have, I really think I will go ahead and get one pretty much as soon as they're offered.

02:01:50   Yeah, and that very well might be the right answer for you, but I do find it useful to, like, to think about things, removing the, like, emotion and judgment from things that don't deserve those things.

02:02:00   So, for instance, like, one of my favorite things, I think I said on the show before, one of my favorite things I've ever heard from our friend, Gray, and he said like a year ago, was like, he was talking about, you know, like fines or fees and he's like, instead of thinking about it as like a fine or a fee, think of it as just the price.

02:02:16   So much of society tries to, like, you know, shame you or there's baggage, there's emotional baggage of like, oh, like, it would be wrong, it would be wasteful, it would be, I would be failing in some way to change my mind about this purchase and to want something else when I just got something, you know.

02:02:34   But it's just a number at the end of the day and it's like, okay, well, is it worth that number or not?

02:02:39   You can remove the judgment angle from it and try to make a more objective decision 'cause if it's something, you know, it's one thing if it's only for pleasure, and by the way, that has value and you can make that decision also.

02:02:50   But the decision gets even more complicated when you say things like, you know, this thing might actually help me with my work somehow.

02:02:58   So if it's, you know, a monitor upgrade, well, more space generally makes people more productive, right? Or if it's something about like, if you had like some problem like with doing podcasting, that there was some new piece of gear out there that could make your podcasting part of your life significantly better.

02:03:17   Even if you just got a new microphone or whatever like last month, there would be significant value to that thing.

02:03:24   And so instead of looking at it as like, you know, like the way that I think we're trained as members of society and, you know, just like there's this guilt associated with that kind of stuff.

02:03:35   Instead, think of it as a business 'cause you are a business and think of it like, all right, well, look, there's this, you know, I can improve the business in this way for this price.

02:03:44   Is it worth it or not? And just remove the emotion from that decision.

02:03:48   And so in your case, I do think based on what you're saying about your priorities, especially about the ports, yeah, you know what? You probably should wait.

02:03:55   You know, that makes sense if you're not in desperate need, which you're not and you wouldn't enjoy the port situation on the air, then you probably wouldn't get the value out of it than I do.

02:04:04   I get tons of value out of it because it's so delightful as a thing.

02:04:08   And I have apparently now a pile of Thunderbolt hubs that I'm trying, but they have largely solved my problem.

02:04:16   So there is a lot of value in removing any of that judgment. Don't think about like the sunk cost fallacy and everything else.

02:04:24   Just like, all right, here's where I am now. Here's a thing I'm considering going to and here's what it would cost or here's what it would take to get from here to there.

02:04:33   And then judge from there, is that worth it or not?

02:04:36   Yeah, you're exactly right. And like I said, this is all just hang ups on my end that, well, maybe not all, but a lot of it is just hang ups on my end that it just seems, this is probably too strong a word, but inappropriate for me to get rid of a computer I just bought six months ago.

02:04:53   And in reality, like you're right, it doesn't matter if it's appropriate or inappropriate. It's a business transaction, especially since this was bought by the business. So it's literally a business transaction.

02:05:04   But yeah, it's a hang up that I have. And I think it's also a little bit self-defense because my natural inclination is to love and want all the toys. I love toys. I love things.

02:05:20   I want all the things. There are so many things like tangible things that I want that I have been trying to find a reason to spend money on that I haven't. Like a silly example is I really want one of the what is the DJI? What is the Mavic mini? One of the drones that's like just barely just barely under the FAA's regulation for that you don't really.

02:05:41   Yeah. So you don't have to like worry about registering it or I think, yeah, check me on that for the love of God. It's 249 grams. So it's below 250 grams for registration.

02:05:53   Exactly. So like I really, really want one. And now as of like a few months ago, they finally have a 4k camera because they didn't in the past, which made it easy to justify, well, I can't get that one. It doesn't have a 4k camera.

02:06:03   I don't want to spend, I don't want to spend, you know, $1,500 or whatever it is for the real ones. And I don't want to have to carry it around because they're physically quite large. But now I have no reason not to buy one. Other than that, I'm trying to resist.

02:06:15   And my natural inclination is to just buy all the things. And I've learned over the years, especially during a time when I had very, very, very little disposable income, I've learned to like resist that and not allow myself that indulgence because I think for me personally, it's a very slippery slope.

02:06:32   And if I buy myself a drone, the next thing you know, I have like an XDR sitting on my desk. And so I've been trying, I try very hard to resist doing things that I feel like are at least somewhat indulgent.

02:06:45   Even though again, I'm not arguing with what you said. Like you, I couldn't, UI one could make an argument that this is an improvement for my business, which is an improvement on my ability to put food on the table.

02:06:56   It's just, it's a hang up of mine that I really, I don't really want to lose. And now we're getting into like analog territory, but it's like, you know, I feel, I feel like my natural inclination is to spend like it's going out of style.

02:07:11   But if I resist that and I, and I resist it effectively enough, could one, you know, nicely or gracefully describe me as frugal?

02:07:21   Do I end up being outwardly frugal even though internally all I want to do is spend money similarly, like I think of myself as a deeply selfish jerk, but if I try extremely hard not to actually act that way.

02:07:34   Am I a deeply selfish jerk?

02:07:37   And this is something I've wrestled with for probably 15 years because I do think my natural inclination is with most people, but especially for me is to be a selfish jerk.

02:07:45   And I try extremely, extremely hard not to act like that. And then, you know, the question becomes if it's, even if it's not innate, am I, am I a selfish jerk or not if I'm not often expressing selfishness and jerkiness?

02:08:03   Well, and you know, like so many things, it's a balance you need to find.

02:08:06   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

02:08:07   Either extreme in any of these things is bad, right? And it's very easy to fall into an unbalanced, you know, state of a lot of these things.

02:08:17   And in either direction it's bad. Like if you, if you try so hard to not appear like a jerk that you are constantly like self-deprecating and everything, that actually is super annoying.

02:08:31   Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can hear it. Any times.

02:08:34   You know, or, or like, you know, if, if you deny yourself things that would make you very happy too much, then you go through life not being very happy and unnecessary and needlessly denying yourself of things that could make your life better, you know?

02:08:50   But at the same time you, if you overindulge or if you're overly jerky, those are also bad. So it's, it's very hard to find these balances.

02:08:58   Many people never do, but it is important to recognize that you need to make sure that you are seeking that balance, not just one extreme or the other, because neither extreme is good for you or the world around you.

02:09:12   Yeah. And I mean, we've, we've somehow have ended up on the proverbial couch, which wasn't my intention for the end of this episode.

02:09:18   That's all right. This, this is your, this is your tech purchases podcast, and this is about feelings about tech purchases.

02:09:24   Yeah, there you go.

02:09:25   So it doesn't belong in your feelings podcast. It belongs in your tech purchases podcast.

02:09:30   Yeah, that's it. I don't know. It's just, it's something I do think about quite a lot, you know, is, is trying, trying to offset what I think of as some of the crummier sides of my personality in order to not end up that way, you know, to try to offset my innate jerkiness and not end up an actual jerk.

02:09:50   But you're exactly right. And especially, you know, self deprecating is like my forte, right? So that, that is a defense mechanism that I have and many other people have.

02:09:59   And so as to not sound exceedingly confident to the point of it being aggravating or exceedingly jerky, you know, it's, it's, it's, it's something that I often sway too far in the other direction.

02:10:14   And like you said, everything in life really is a balancing act.

02:10:16   On your tech purchase stuff, you know what it sounds like to me?

02:10:20   Oh gosh.

02:10:21   You need a budget.

02:10:22   Oh yeah, there it is.

02:10:23   Yap nab.

02:10:24   You need a budget, then you don't have to worry about it because the budget will tell you what you can buy. Yap nab.

02:10:29   Yep, yep. That's what it is.

02:10:30   Not a cult.

02:10:31   [BEEPING]