413: Suddenly I'm the Marco


00:00:00   John, I'm going to be disappointed by your answer, and I know I am, but I was thinking just moments before we started recording,

00:00:06   is there any food of any kind that you miss from your couple of years in Atlanta?

00:00:12   Let's see, I...

00:00:15   You know, I didn't leave the house much when I was in Atlanta, because I was working from home.

00:00:19   So there's that, but we did go out to eat a little bit. I would probably say Waffle House.

00:00:26   Not that I have super great memories of it, because it's cheap and it's whatever,

00:00:32   but in fact the only particularly vivid memory I have is of the gigantic cockroach walking across our table at one of the Waffle Houses we went to.

00:00:39   But there is a certain charm for, you know,

00:00:42   it's a type of fast-food restaurant that we just don't have in the North, like their menu is not really represented.

00:00:49   Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down though. I mean the North had plenty of excellent diners.

00:00:55   It's different though. It's not like... I'm very familiar with diner food, and speaking of something I miss,

00:00:59   I totally miss Long Island Diner Food, and there's lots of imitation versions of that around here that don't really do it justice.

00:01:05   But Waffle House's menu is different. It's just a little bit, you know, they're just everything. The decor, the style, the attitude, everything about it.

00:01:14   The attitude?

00:01:15   Yeah, I mean...

00:01:17   I mean, I've gone to Waffle House a lot because they're all over Ohio,

00:01:20   so like I was able to go to them all throughout like high school and, you know,

00:01:24   summer's home from college before I left. And I missed the idea of my friends and I being out late at night,

00:01:31   having nothing else to do except to stay up all night and like hang out.

00:01:37   We didn't even drink or do drugs or anything like that.

00:01:40   We just like hung out and like played computer games and occasionally went out to restaurants late at night.

00:01:44   Like that's all we did.

00:01:45   Waffle House was always like, it was one of only two that were open 24 hours.

00:01:51   And the other one was Steak 'n Shake, which was way better, but way more expensive.

00:01:55   And so Waffle House was frequently the choice.

00:01:58   It was one of those, you know, Ohio highway stops off of Interstate 70 areas where

00:02:04   so many trucks drive through this area that there's actually a Waffle House on both sides of the street.

00:02:11   So that way when the trucks exit off the highway, they can go right into whichever one is on their side

00:02:16   and then keep going, you know, get right back on the highway really easily.

00:02:18   So it's, this is really Waffle House country.

00:02:21   Yeah, I don't miss it at all. Like I still remember like the smell that you would walk into the Waffle House

00:02:27   and you would smell the smell of, I think it was just like old fryer oil is what you were smelling.

00:02:32   And when you left, your jacket and everything would smell like that for like the next 12 hours.

00:02:38   It just, it was not an appealing thing, but it was, it was fun because you were going,

00:02:43   like as like a teenager slash young adult, you were going and it was late at night and you could drive there yourself

00:02:49   or one of your friends could drive you all there and you could stay out, you know, late.

00:02:52   And it was somewhere you could go when you didn't have anything else to do.

00:02:55   And that's, that's a very novel, fun thing when you're that age.

00:02:58   But as a 38 year old, I would never in a million years choose to go there

00:03:03   unless there was literally no other food in a 20 mile radius.

00:03:07   I feel like Ohio is too far north for, it's not Waffle House's natural habitat.

00:03:12   Ohio is surprisingly southern for being so far north.

00:03:15   Yeah, I don't know. Maybe just not the right climate for the cockroaches. I don't know.

00:03:19   Or Palmetto bugs, if that's what we're going to call them.

00:03:24   Oh no, get out of here with that mouth.

00:03:25   No, Ohio called them water bugs.

00:03:27   Oh, that's even worse.

00:03:28   Totally roaches.

00:03:29   And I suppose, like, I mean, a couple of times we went to do like random things and there was like a random barbecue place around somewhere and we would go to it.

00:03:39   And like, it's kind of like you miss the, you know, the average level of random barbecue places.

00:03:44   I'm sure we never went to any quote unquote good ones, but just to know that even if you go to a mediocre one, it's fine.

00:03:49   Whereas if in Boston area, if you try to find the best barbecue, it's not as good as like the random mediocre one you find on the side of the road in the Georgia, Atlanta area.

00:03:58   So that's about it. Probably.

00:04:00   Is there anything that you miss in Boston other than the obvious, like obviously you miss bagels, obviously you miss pizza, but is there anything that you feel like barbecue, for example, that Boston just does not have covered?

00:04:10   I mean, diners, that diners were our thing. Like Marco was saying, we were in high school, the only place that was open late.

00:04:15   Well, it was different. It's two phases in high school. In the beginning of high school, the only thing that was open late and it wasn't open all night.

00:04:20   Diners weren't 24/7, but it was like until 12/31 or whatever were diners and we would go to them. In general, the diners did not want a bunch of high school students in there, so they kind of sneered at us, but they had cheap food and we ate it.

00:04:33   And then eventually later in high school, Taco Bell innovation started and they were open super late too, and they had less of a problem with teenagers.

00:04:40   But their food was, of course, it was disgusting. I never ate the Taco Bell. I did get food at the diners.

00:04:45   So it was just pizza, bagels, diners, and the ubiquity of passable Italian food restaurants.

00:04:54   That makes sense. I don't know, I try to think of the place I spent the most time in my childhood because my dad worked for IBM and we moved all the time.

00:05:03   The place I spent the most time in my childhood was the Northeast, New York and Connecticut.

00:05:08   I miss bagels, although there's a pretty darn good facsimile of them here. And I miss pizza and there's okay facsimiles of that here, but not great.

00:05:20   But other than that, I do definitely miss diners because that was a part of my childhood or late childhood, if you will, as well.

00:05:28   But as you had said, Marco, even though I am not above diner food and I love diner food, it's not something that I find myself craving at this phase of my life.

00:05:38   Even though I crave Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell and other garbage food, I can't say that I crave diners very often, but I'm also not up till one or two in the morning just because anymore.

00:05:49   Oh yeah, there was a time, what was Curtis' conference name? Coco Love. It was at a Coco Love in Philly a few years back.

00:05:59   And I remember I was hanging out late night with Dave Whiskus and I love Philly cheesesteaks and I don't get them usually for multiple reasons, not only availability but also health.

00:06:09   But I was in Philly for a conference and my favorite Philly cheesesteak place was right around the corner from where we were so I was like, "Oh, let's go get a cheesesteak."

00:06:19   And it was 10 o'clock at night or something like that. Normally, the year before, one year earlier, I was at the exact same conference and I did the exact same thing and it was fine.

00:06:29   But this year, I must have been probably 35-ish. I remember I was just up all night with heartburn and upset stomach after having a cheesesteak at 10 pm.

00:06:40   I'm like, "Oh no, those days are over for me. I can't eat a bunch of rich food late at night anymore. That's just not a thing I can do now."

00:06:49   And it was a very fast transition. It was literally one year that I went from being able to do that with no effects to, "Oh God, I can't do this anymore."

00:06:57   That is very sad. I can't think of a specific moment that is equivalent to that but I've definitely had those moments where like, "Oh, that was a poor choice. That thing that I did just a year or two back and didn't even blink an eye, oh my, I have regrets."

00:07:12   And that is, man getting old sucks.

00:07:15   The adult version of diners is, I also did this with my family, like after church, you'd go for breakfast.

00:07:21   Oh yeah, Denny's or Perkins.

00:07:22   Oh, I love Denny's.

00:07:23   At a diner, not Denny's.

00:07:25   Oh my God.

00:07:26   Oh, when you're in Ohio.

00:07:27   Look, yeah, Ohio we did Denny's or Bob Evans, which is also up there.

00:07:32   And then college, the chain serving that area was Perkins.

00:07:37   And both of those I would put significantly above Waffle House in my experience.

00:07:42   But honestly, I'd rather go to none of them.

00:07:44   Waffle House is not about the food quality to be clear. It's like, I don't know what the correct equivalent of it is. Maybe McDonald's? Because I feel like McDonald's is the, not the bottom of the barrel, but like the cheapest fast food.

00:08:00   Waffle House is like the diner equivalent of a dive bar. You go there because it's terrible.

00:08:07   Yeah, I was going to bring up dive bar, but I have so little experience with dive bars I didn't know if that was the right analogy.

00:08:13   No, that's funny.

00:08:14   Yeah, it's very, it's very cheap, very straightforward. The attitude I was talking about is that in my experience, the wait staff that work there were very no nonsense.

00:08:23   Kind of like diners, but the diner people were a lot meaner.

00:08:26   No, Steak and Shake was where it's at though. Like that's, if I could convince everybody to pay a few dollars more for each sandwich, I would want to bring everyone to Steak and Shake because it was so much better.

00:08:36   And I got the Frisco Mel.

00:08:38   Really, even as a child, Marco was recommending to get the slightly more expensive option.

00:08:42   James JT Troutman writes, "The origin of the phrase 'bigger than a bread box' goes back to Steve Allen and the TV game show 'What's My Line?'

00:08:52   Steve Allen was one of the early panelists on that program where they had to guess the occupation of a contestant.

00:08:56   As the occupation often involved a product, one of Allen's standard queries became 'is it larger than a bread box?'

00:09:00   It eventually evolved into a more alliterative form that has since entered the English language."

00:09:05   And there's a website we can link to to talk about that.

00:09:07   Do you think if somebody ever makes a clip show of all out of context follow up for our show, do you think that would make it in?

00:09:17   What do you mean out of context? We know the context. We talked about bigger than a bread box a couple shows ago.

00:09:22   I know we know it.

00:09:23   Well, you know, you've got to connect the dots. It's how history works. You've got to look at all the texts and put them in chronological order and see how one leads into the next.

00:09:32   I see. Oh my goodness. All right, moving right along. The feedback app, if you use it on your phone, runs a sysdiagnose and includes a system report by default.

00:09:43   So one of the things that I have lamented in my bug reports, which I will put them yet again in the show notes because it's still happening.

00:09:51   So anyways, one of the things that's kind of a pain is the incantation you need to do in order to generate a sysdiagnose.

00:09:59   And several people wrote in to say that if you have the feedback app, and I don't know if that's pre-installed or not, but if you have the feedback app on your iOS device, you can, I think it's if you create a new feedback.

00:10:09   I'm not sure if there's a mechanism to attach it to an existing one, but one way or another, there is a way to have the feedback app generate a sysdiagnose and attach it to a feedback, which is kind of convenient.

00:10:20   I put this item in here because I filed the bug today and I filed it on my Mac and it reminded me that the macOS feedback app, when you file any bug by default, it runs a sysdiagnose whether you want it or not.

00:10:32   I was filing a cosmetic bug, which was like another cosmetic bug. It was the thing I asked about on Twitter today with the why the heck is my clock low contrast?

00:10:40   It was like dark gray text on a black background, the menu bar clock, I mean.

00:10:44   And I thought it was do not disturb, but then I turned do not disturb on and off and it never changed. I'm like, all right, well, maybe this is a bug or a feature, so I'm going to file it.

00:10:52   And I file it and I put in the screenshots and I explain the situation and then I click the next button and I realize, oh, yeah, it always does a sysdiagnose as it grinds my computer for 10 minutes.

00:11:01   Right.

00:11:02   I think you can turn that off and I think it prompts you like, hey, do you want me to always do a sysdiagnose automatically every time you file a bug or do you want to do it manually?

00:11:10   And last time it asked me that, I think that that's how this is controlled. I said, I just ran it. It's fine because they're going to ask for it anyway. Right.

00:11:17   Little did I know that they'll ask for it anyway anyway, even though even though it's attached by default, every single bug I file through this thing, they will still after three weeks come back and say, could you do a sysdiagnose?

00:11:28   So I have I have an update.

00:11:30   Great.

00:11:32   So I open I open feedback assistant to get the bug numbers to include in the show notes.

00:11:37   I had no idea that both of them have been resolved.

00:11:42   They've both been resolved with investigation, investigation complete, unable to diagnose with current information.

00:11:47   Maybe you should have sent a sysdiagnose.

00:11:49   Everything that.

00:11:50   Oh, John, I will cut you.

00:11:52   Are you kidding me right now?

00:11:54   I cannot believe I didn't get notified.

00:11:57   There is no comment from Apple in this.

00:11:59   There's just at the top resolution investigation complete, unable to diagnose with current information.

00:12:05   Are you kidding me?

00:12:07   Oh, yeah, they're not going to notify you of that because the last thing they want is for you to notice and get and reopen the case because like that kind of response is a like, oh, thank God, we can boost the metrics by just saying this was invalid rather than actually investigating anything.

00:12:20   They didn't say it was invalid.

00:12:22   I mean, I think the description is probably accurate.

00:12:24   They can't they can't they can't make any further progress about more information.

00:12:28   But rather than ask for more information of a specific type, for example, they just closed the book.

00:12:34   And I don't feel like that solves the problem.

00:12:37   I mean, I would have thought they would have closed it and said either closed it and said, oh, we fixed that already.

00:12:41   Then you see the release notes or said we're closing your bug.

00:12:45   But little do you know, there are 700 other bugs plus one super master combination bug that we're still working on for this problem writ large, I suppose.

00:12:54   I mean, the way to find out is refile it, make a new bug, do all the things, say, here's the problem I'm experiencing.

00:13:00   Here's the OS I'm using, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and see if now they close it as a dupe or something similar.

00:13:05   You know, that's the only way to do it.

00:13:08   Let me state for the record that Casey List's personal opinion is never file a radar because it's a waste of your fucking time.

00:13:13   Why, Apple? Why?

00:13:15   Just can you try? Can you at least pretend?

00:13:18   Can you pretend like you care for me, for Casey, for your pal?

00:13:22   Just just pretend, please?

00:13:24   I strongly suggest you take calm Casey's advice here and just stop filing it,

00:13:28   because the more you file it and keep checking on it, the more aggravation you're going to face.

00:13:32   It's clear that like this is a hard to diagnose thing.

00:13:36   You're not going to get anywhere.

00:13:38   So just, you know, hopefully wait until it resolves itself in future software updates or until, you know, you restore your phone or until everyone in your family using Android stops trying to communicate with you.

00:13:48   Oh, God, I'm so angry.

00:13:53   All right. Can you cheer me up, Marco, and tell me about apparently there's a shocking conclusion to your Thunderbolt Ethernet situation.

00:13:58   Cheer me up, please.

00:14:00   There is. So I have some follow up for the last couple episodes.

00:14:04   I've been talking about my various adventures with the Thunderbolt Ethernet docks or Thunderbolt docks that happen to include Ethernet ports from CalDigit and from OWC.

00:14:15   I was reporting that both of them, their built in Ethernet ports would not connect properly at gigabit speed on my port here.

00:14:22   And the iMac Pro I had here before connected just fine.

00:14:26   The Mac Mini I plugged in to test connected just fine gigabit, you know.

00:14:31   The interestingly, the USB C Ethernet adapter that Apple sells it actually Belkin makes that would not connect.

00:14:39   But the old Thunderbolt one adapter through a Thunderbolt two to three dongle would connect just fine at gigabit speed.

00:14:46   So something was weird and I'm like, I don't know what it is about this. These Ethernet ports on these Thunderbolt docks that won't connect at gigabit speed.

00:14:56   Something's up. I did a bit more testing.

00:14:59   I even bought a new switch to test a few other combinations of things, and I determined that it is not seemingly the docks fault.

00:15:08   It seems to be some kind of wiring problem between the network switch in the closet five feet away.

00:15:17   And there's a Cat 7 wire that runs from that through the wall to a wall jack under my desk.

00:15:24   Somewhere between that, between the Cat 7 cable that goes from the switch to the wall jack, somewhere in that chain,

00:15:31   something is slightly wrong in a way that the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter and desktop Ethernet ports can get around.

00:15:40   Whatever it is about it. I don't know if it's if one of the wires is crossed and they're not doing the like auto MDIX thing correctly.

00:15:46   I don't know if if it's like a tolerance issue where like some wire is like very slightly finicky or out of whack and they like transmit at higher voltage or something.

00:15:58   I don't know. I don't know enough about the physical side of it to know.

00:16:01   But whatever it is, my Ubiquiti switch in the closet will not connect at gigabit speed to some things on the other end of this wall jack.

00:16:13   And I even tried another Ubiquiti switch plugging into this wall jack as like an uplink switch, and that wouldn't do it either.

00:16:21   I tried all different settings on the switch port, like disabling what's the S tree, SDP, disabling that.

00:16:29   Like in case that was it, I tried locking the switch port to gigabit, like all sorts of things that people recommend I try.

00:16:34   Couldn't get that to work with a switch on this end.

00:16:37   Then I thought, I wonder if it's two Ubiquiti devices like that can't talk to each other correctly.

00:16:41   So I went and got a cheap Netgear switch, that little blue Netgear gigabit switch that probably all of you out there have bought at one time.

00:16:50   I think they've been selling me, it's like the GS105. I'm pretty sure they've been selling the same switch for like 15 years.

00:16:55   And so I got one of those to see like, oh, let me eliminate any chance of like Ubiquiti smart stuff talking to each other, trying to work things out, plug in a dumb switch.

00:17:04   That could only got 100 megabit as well.

00:17:07   So something's up, but it is not the Thunderbolt dock's fault as far as I can tell, because switches can't connect through this port either.

00:17:16   So because I originally thought like, oh, I'll use a switch kind of as like, like a, like kind of a repeater in a way like, if I can get a switch that can connect through this wire through the wall, then I can plug anything else into that switch.

00:17:28   And the issue will probably be resolved, but I can't even get a switch to do it.

00:17:32   So that's, I don't know why the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter and the desktops can do this just fine.

00:17:39   And a Ubiquiti switch can't. And seemingly no one else is that I've tried.

00:17:44   I don't know what it is. But, but you know, I can't get the network person who installed these out here anytime soon.

00:17:51   So I'm going to have to come up with some other solution.

00:17:53   So right now my solution is I am using I'm keeping both Thunderbolt docks.

00:17:58   I am using the OWC one. That's the new OWC Thunderbolt Pro dock.

00:18:05   I think it's the one that has the three Thunderbolt three out ports in addition to the one input port because the only Ethernet adapter I can get to work at gigabit speed is that I can plug into my laptop is that old Thunderbolt one adapter.

00:18:20   And so I need an extra Thunderbolt port to plug it into.

00:18:23   But I'm also running my monitor through the Thunderbolt dock.

00:18:27   So my only options I can either use the count digit and then run the Ethernet adapter through the dongle on the second port on my MacBook Air.

00:18:38   But then I have two cables I have to plug and unplug every time.

00:18:41   That ruins the whole appeal of Thunderbolt.

00:18:43   So I'm keeping instead the OWC one here, which is I can have the monitor and two other Thunderbolt devices plugged in on the hub and then all that still runs correctly through one cable into the Mac.

00:18:58   So that's the setup I have now.

00:19:00   I will talk a little bit about the XDR in a little while, but that is the one I'm running.

00:19:04   The XDR does, for the record, work through both of these docks just fine.

00:19:09   The count digit doesn't really specify. I think it says max 5K, but it works.

00:19:13   The count digit totally works.

00:19:14   All it is to say my Ethernet problem is some kind of wire gremlin in the wall and it'll be some time before I can get that fixed.

00:19:21   So I'm going to deal with hacky workarounds in the meantime.

00:19:23   Delightful.

00:19:24   How are you testing the Netgear thing?

00:19:27   So describe the setup.

00:19:28   You've got a thing coming out of your problematic wall.

00:19:31   You plug it into the Netgear thing.

00:19:32   Then do you plug from the Netgear switch directly into the Ethernet port of some other Mac you have around or something?

00:19:38   Yeah, but the Netgear switch has status lights on it that indicate its link speed on the uplink port.

00:19:44   Well, none of them are uplink ports. They're all auto-switching.

00:19:47   But the one I'm using as an uplink port that's wired into the wall, it always just lights up with 100 megabit.

00:19:53   I was just wondering if it would have changed if you put an actual device like your Mac Mini or something that has built-in Ethernet connected to the switch.

00:20:01   Would that change the uplink port? I don't know.

00:20:04   I also don't know enough networking to know what controls that type of thing.

00:20:08   But anyway, the salient point is that you had no Thunderbolt docks were in the loop at all.

00:20:14   They were just sitting elsewhere.

00:20:15   Correct.

00:20:16   And you still weren't able to get gigabit with various combinations of stuff.

00:20:19   Yeah, that's weird.

00:20:20   We should have someone on the show who knows more about networking.

00:20:22   I've tried different network cables and everything.

00:20:24   It seems to be a problem with the jack or the wire in the wall.

00:20:28   And those are going to be hard things to solve.

00:20:30   So I'm not going to solve them now.

00:20:31   Do you have continuity testers in your house?

00:20:33   No. Why would I have that?

00:20:34   For a very brief time in, oh jeez, probably the Waffle House days, I did attempt to make my own network cables.

00:20:43   I got one of those crimpers and the tester and this big spool of Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable at the time.

00:20:50   I tried making four or five cables and every single one of them wouldn't work.

00:20:56   I'd have to cut the end off, try again, start over, make a new one.

00:20:59   And I was just like, you know what, this is not one of my skills. I'm going to outsource this for the rest of time.

00:21:05   And now you outsourced it and you have a bum cable in your wall.

00:21:08   Yeah. Yeah.

00:21:10   Maybe.

00:21:11   Not super happy about that.

00:21:12   Whoopsies. I'm sorry to hear that, but at least you have some sort of a resolution or work around, I guess.

00:21:17   Yeah, like right now, it is working fine right now through the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter.

00:21:20   And maybe when the new Mac Mini gets here in forever, maybe that port will also work just fine in gigabit.

00:21:27   In which case I'll be able to, you know, I guess temporarily punt the issue down the road until I need to plug a switch into this jack.

00:21:34   And then I'll have the problem again.

00:21:36   Next time you're messing with this, by the way, aside from just looking at the lights on the thing and the link speed reported by the OS,

00:21:42   do try to do a transfer test to see what kind of speeds you actually get.

00:21:46   Just to see if like, what I'm interested in is like, say the link says it's gigabit, but then you try to do a transfer and it gets like 600 megabits or something.

00:21:54   Because maybe, you know, some wire is frayed or screwed up or something.

00:21:57   I mean, when I do like an internet speed test, I haven't bothered setting up like things on the switch.

00:22:01   I could do like a purely local test, but I have gigabit internet service here.

00:22:05   And so when I do an internet speed test, it reaches into like the 850s.

00:22:09   So I think that's pretty, that's a pretty clear indicator that I'm probably okay.

00:22:12   Like when, when the correct adapters are being used, I do seem to be getting full speed.

00:22:18   We are sponsored this week by ExpressVPN. Go to expressvpn.com/atp to learn more.

00:22:26   There's a lot of reasons these days why you might want to use a VPN.

00:22:30   Basically, it tunnels all your internet traffic through this third party server, through this secure encrypted tunnel and out to the internet from there.

00:22:38   So of course, you can use this to not only do things like secure your own content.

00:22:44   So if you don't trust, say the network you're on your ISP, there's weird stuff people do with Wi-Fi these days.

00:22:50   And ISPs are always like selling your data and trying to find new revenue streams that are really creepy for you.

00:22:55   So there's lots of people who don't trust their ISP or who need to use a Wi-Fi connection that they might not trust.

00:23:01   This is personally how I use VPNs.

00:23:03   Whenever I need to like go on some other Wi-Fi network, whether it's maybe a hotel while I'm traveling or something like that, I use, I use VPNs.

00:23:11   And specifically I use ExpressVPN. VPNs also have the side effect of making your traffic appear to come from their server, not your IP address.

00:23:19   So you can appear to come from somewhere else geographically.

00:23:22   And that of course, there's other useful benefits like things like accessing your home video account when you're traveling abroad.

00:23:28   ExpressVPN is not only a great VPN for things like privacy and ease of use, like the apps are super easy to use.

00:23:35   But also they are so fast. Like when you're using it for something like a video connection, you would never expect, like as a nerd,

00:23:43   you'd never expect bouncing your traffic through someone else's server would not introduce noticeable performance degradation.

00:23:50   And trust me, like I didn't notice I use it to watch like when I, when I last traveled, I know it seems like forever ago,

00:23:56   when I last traveled, I was able to watch my home Netflix account and it was fantastic on ExpressVPN.

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00:24:24   Apple today was today, right? God, it's been a long day. Apple today has launched a major new racial equity and justice initiative,

00:24:32   or several new racial equity and justice initiative projects to challenge systemic racism, advance racial equality, and to advance racial equality nationwide.

00:24:41   This is what was teased yesterday on some morning talk show with Tim Cook making some sort of recorded appearance, I believe.

00:24:48   So I don't know, Jon, tell me about this. What is Apple doing and are we excited? Are we super excited? What's going on?

00:24:54   So this is just a continuation of something that Apple announced a while ago.

00:24:57   And the announcement was three main things that Tim Cook tweeted about.

00:25:01   One was supporting what they call the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for historically black colleges and universities.

00:25:08   Second is our first developer academy in the US, which is in Detroit.

00:25:13   And finally, funding to accelerate minority owned businesses.

00:25:17   This is the quote from, the longer quote from Tim Cook from the press release.

00:25:23   We are all accountable to the urgent work of building a more just and equitable world.

00:25:27   I think that is the correct framing for this because whenever Apple does something about like, why is Apple doing anything about this?

00:25:36   Right. And the cynical answer is like, well, you know, companies like to do nice things so people think nice things about them or whatever.

00:25:41   But the actual reason is that, you know, with great power comes great responsibility and we collectively are all accountable for doing the work to make a more equitable world.

00:25:50   It doesn't just happen by itself. And it also just doesn't happen if you're just like not evil yourself.

00:25:55   That doesn't also solve any problems either. You're not adding new problems. Great. Good job.

00:25:59   But you're not solving anything. He continues.

00:26:02   We're launching. This is such a mouthful. REJI. That's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

00:26:07   We're launching our EJI's latest initiatives with partners across a broad range of industries, working together to empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long.

00:26:15   We are honored to help bring this vision to bear and match our words and actions to the values of equity inclusion that we have always prized at Apple.

00:26:22   All right. So it's typical PR speak.

00:26:24   But I think that first bit about that, we are accountable.

00:26:28   And the second, you know, empowering communities that have borne the brunt of racism, discrimination, recognizing the fact that these communities have had to deal with more than others.

00:26:39   And that's why they need you know, that's why we need to help what they're doing to help.

00:26:45   If you look at like the bottom line, they're they're throwing 100 million dollars into these efforts that I think it's 100 million collectively for all three of them, which sounds like a lot.

00:26:56   But someone did the math earlier today and it works out to be like eight and a half hours of profit for Apple.

00:27:01   So if you want to be, again, the most charitable, no pun intended, interpretation of that is this is this is an initiative, this racial equality and justice initiative.

00:27:14   This is not just like a one time thing. This this initiative was announced a while back. Here's three things they're doing.

00:27:19   You do want to try all sorts of different things, right?

00:27:23   So they've got this, you know, the Propel Center, a developer academy and funding for businesses, right?

00:27:29   Especially if, like Apple, you're kind of new to this whole type of initiative, it's good to figure out like what works, what works best.

00:27:38   What's the what provides the most benefit right before you pledge 100 billion dollars to it.

00:27:45   So that I feel like is the most charitable interpretation, which is 100 million dollars.

00:27:49   Even though it's not a lot compared to Apple's profits, it's still plenty of money.

00:27:53   And 100 million dollars is a good trial balloon in three different directions to see what's going to have the most impact.

00:28:00   The only question I had about this announcement is like in the developer academy.

00:28:04   Again, this is just announced today, so I don't have time to look into this in depth and many other things were going on today, as usual in the world of news.

00:28:12   But a developer academy, especially if you're a company like Apple, on one hand, it's like, oh, that's great.

00:28:18   Apple's a tech company and one of the things they can give is they know tech and so they could have a developer academy.

00:28:23   But it's like, all right. But nobody wants Apple to pay a bunch of money to make a developer academy that trains people to be developers for Apple's platform only.

00:28:35   While that's great and while Apple surely knows a lot about Apple's platforms, it kind of reads like a kind of a giant ad.

00:28:43   Like we're teaching you to become Apple developers because we're Apple.

00:28:48   There's lots of marketable technology skills that have nothing to do with Apple.

00:28:52   Again, charitably I'm going to think this developer academy is just a developer academy, broadly speaking, for people who want to get into the software world.

00:29:03   But if it's just a school where it's like we're going to teach you to make apps for the App Store, I feel like that's a little bit too self-serving.

00:29:11   I don't know how I feel about it. It's only $100 million so they can take another shot at it to get it right.

00:29:17   But I could be entirely wrong about it. But that was my first thought.

00:29:19   Although it seems appropriate for Apple to allow people to dig into that, like, hey, we're the experts on Apple platforms and we'll teach you how to do it best, and Apple is a very lucrative platform, there are other jobs in technology and it would be great if Apple put their money towards that as well.

00:29:37   Yeah. I mean, but still, it's something to applaud and I think that we should definitely applaud them for doing anything.

00:29:44   I mean, anything is more than nothing. And like you said, $100 million, that's a lot. Maybe not a lot for Apple, but it's a lot in general. So, it's pretty cool.

00:29:52   Yeah, I feel like this, again, since this is an initiative, I hope to see in the future, like, you know, a readout on this, how do these things go, and then more money and more projects and more money and more projects, just like the environment stuff. The perfect example is the environment stuff, which Apple has been on for much longer than they've been on the racial justice stuff, right?

00:30:08   Environmental stuff? Apple's been doing environmental stuff for years and years and years, and there's always an announcement, oh, we're doing this, oh, we're doing that, or we're building this thing, we're doing that thing, and now we have an announcement, we passed this goal, and we're taking Mercury out of the things, and we're using solar here, and now we're all on renewable.

00:30:22   It never stops, right? These are not just like they hire someone to do a thing, they get the good PR and they go away. These are ongoing initiatives within the company that never end as far as the environmental stuff. I don't expect them to say, yeah, we're disbanding our whole environment thing because we're not going to do anything about it anymore. And I hope this is the same. I hope every year we'll see new announcements in this area on the work that they're doing, because they certainly have enough money for it.

00:30:47   All right, Marco, that time has come. So now two-thirds of the hosts of ATP have fancy-pants monitors, and I am super jealous and have incredible FOMO. Marco, how amazing is your $90,000 monitor?

00:31:03   It was not quite that much. A little slightly less. Yeah, so I have the new XDR. Well, not the new. It's new to me. I have the XDR. I listened back to John's review, "Willing to the Show" back in episode 360, and I actually have many of the same things to say, so I'm going to try to be a little bit quick. But I do have some slightly different nitpicks and opinions about it.

00:31:28   So first of all, I did get the Pro Stand for $1,000 extra. I do not feel good about that. It feels kind of like when you're buying a car and you have to pay an extra $2,500 for the sunroof package. You're like, "Well, I really like a sunroof. I don't want to pay that much extra for it, but I guess I'll suck it up and do it." It's that kind of thing, right?

00:31:53   This happened to me exactly with my Subaru. It was something like, I don't remember how much it was, but I remember I was buying the Subaru when I was fresh out of college. I really didn't have a lot of money. It was a desperation buy because my car at the time had broken down. Does that sound familiar?

00:32:09   Yeah, so anyways, there was a package that had sunroof, leather, and one other thing. For the life of me, I can't remember what the other thing was. It was just enough money, even though I really wanted leather and I really wanted a sunroof, it was just enough money that I was like, "Nah, I just can't swing it." If I could have pieced me older or ad-hoc'd it, I would have probably gotten the sunroof and left the leather behind because I would have preferred the sunroof over the leather.

00:32:33   I remember to this day, it still bothers me that it was a package and I couldn't just tick the sunroof tick box. Oh man, that makes me sad.

00:32:41   Well, the reason why it's a package is because people like me will then buy the whole package just to get like, "I really want the heated seats. I don't need all this other crap, but I guess I'll buy it just to get that."

00:32:50   Keep in mind, we're not talking about a package here. This is one item. This just happens to be an important item because without the monitor, it just lays on your desk.

00:32:57   Well, frustratingly, when you order the Pro Stand and the Pro Display XDR in the same order, they still ship separately. There's still two different boxes and they shipped at different times.

00:33:07   And so my XDR arrived on a Friday and I didn't have the Stand until Monday.

00:33:15   Nice.

00:33:16   So I had to wait all weekend just staring at the box. I actually considered Jon's small child approach. I want to get this thing going.

00:33:24   I mean, the other thing that I think I talked about in the review or maybe in the WWDC episode is I'm pretty sure it will stand on its edge. Like it's flat bottom. I mean, just tell Adam not to run into the room, I guess.

00:33:38   I have a very energetic eight-year-old. There is no way I'm doing that.

00:33:43   So anyway, so after the long wait of waiting the whole weekend for the Stand to come separately, I did get to finally open them up and I've used it now for three days.

00:33:56   And first of all, the packaging is really remarkable. Like I know boxes are boring to most people, but it is so hilariously over-packaged.

00:34:07   The packaging itself, it has like two different layers of boxes. The inner layer is like the box seems to not actually be made of cardboard.

00:34:15   It's made of what looks like a plastic, but it is like shaped into a corrugated cardboard style shape.

00:34:22   The packaging then inside of that is like, you know, big foam pads that actually pad the item.

00:34:27   The Stand box, empty, weighs almost as much as my LG 5K, the monitor.

00:34:35   Like, and the XDR boxes, I think, weighs more. Again, empty.

00:34:43   So this is like heavy duty packaging. It's huge. It's very secure. Give them credit for that.

00:34:50   Like these things are very unlikely to get damaged in shipping.

00:34:54   And the Pro Stand is this very satisfyingly heavy aluminum block.

00:35:01   It is, as John said in his review, it is like the foot of it is way thicker and heavier than an iMac foot.

00:35:08   It's significant. So like it feels very good to, you know, to use the Pro Stand. It feels very good to set it up.

00:35:16   You feel like that your monitor will be very secure. And critically compared to the LG, it does not wobble when I type at all.

00:35:25   Not even a little. It is fantastic. It just stays there. I don't have to get a whole new desk to try to fix the wobble.

00:35:32   It just stays there. So I am very happy about that. I still feel like a total fool for having paid $1,000 for the Stand.

00:35:41   So why didn't you go Visa? Perhaps you've talked about this and I've forgotten, but why not just get a Visa Stand and call today?

00:35:48   Part of that is that I wanted the nice clean aesthetic. Like part of the reason I wanted this monitor is that I didn't want it to look like a generic PC workstation.

00:35:58   And part of that is that I've used VESA Mint adapters many times in the past. I've used ones from Ergotron. I've used some other various ones.

00:36:07   And they're always okay, but I've never found one that I really thought was great. I've never found one that seemed like especially awesome and really stable.

00:36:16   And furthermore, the ones that I have found that were even remotely good were all desk clamp style ones. Not with feet.

00:36:24   And I actually wanted a foot. It is nice to have the space under the monitor just floating there, but that also does increase the odds that it will kind of rock when you type.

00:36:32   And that's the last thing I wanted. If you have a monitor being suspended over a desk by an 8 inch long arm, the physics of that, you're holding it out.

00:36:43   So any motion on that arm, it's going to magnify even the slightest motion and it's going to shake the monitor. So I didn't want the chance of anything like that.

00:36:52   And again, I haven't been thrilled with the VESA mounts I've had in the past. So like they're fine if what you need is to hold up two or three monitors in a special configuration and have them be adjustable in certain ways.

00:37:06   That's what they're for. But as merely nice monitor stands, I don't think I've ever seen one that functioned as a nice monitor stand.

00:37:14   That's what this Pro Stand is. And again, I feel like a fool for having bought it. But now that I have it, I'm glad I have it, if that makes sense.

00:37:22   I try to block out the purchase process from my memory.

00:37:26   I also looked for a VESA stand for my gaming monitor actually, because I hated the LG, same thing, and I hated the wobble. So I was looking for just not an arm, just like a plain old stand stand.

00:37:37   And you can find tons of them, but I looked at every one and was like "oh these are so ugly". Not that the LG monitor is so beautiful, it's just black plastic.

00:37:43   But I just wanted something simple and nice and sturdy and everything I found was either super sturdy but like ugly, brutalist architecture type of thing.

00:37:52   Or equally flimsy or really weird. This is how Apple gets us, I mean this is the reason we're buying this stupid monitor to begin with.

00:37:59   Just something as simple as essentially an L-shaped piece of solid aluminum, presumably machined out of a solid block of aluminum, which is why it's $1000.

00:38:08   Or whatever, that doesn't explain it. Anyway, part of why it costs so much money.

00:38:12   It's a very simple thing, but nobody makes that very simple thing. And people think they're making a simple thing, but they end up making something that's slightly uglier, at least if not ugly, then doesn't match the Apple aesthetic.

00:38:25   So that's how Apple got us. We just wanted something that matched. For me, that's the whole point of the Apple monitor. It has to be nice, it has to be big, and it has to match.

00:38:33   And so then $1000. Although, I should have, if Tiff wanted to save a little money, she should have listened to the podcast back then and said, "Look, Marco's going to get one of these anyway."

00:38:44   As I think I predicted on a clip that someone tweeted recently. Right now, when I bought mine, they were having a 6% cash back thing for the Apple card.

00:38:53   So that was the time to buy a Pro Display XDR and a stand and hide them somewhere, and then not tell Marco, and then just wait until Marco finally says, "All right, fine, I'm getting the XDR." And says, "Hey, I saved you 6%!"

00:39:04   You're welcome.

00:39:06   Yeah. Anyway, the matching thing is real. I know people who are often into technology often think very analytically about purchases and look at only the specs and the pricing and the economies.

00:39:23   I get that. I was that way much more in the past. I am still that way on certain things, and I totally get that. And if you look at value and specs, and if you look at facts, not opinions, not delight, not design, just look at facts, this thing is ridiculous.

00:39:40   But sometimes I get ridiculous things because I like them and they make me happy. And most people have some area of life where they are that way, and this is mine.

00:39:50   Wait, this is yours? This one thing?

00:39:52   I guess I didn't say only this. This is among mine.

00:39:55   This is one of mine. I think that has to be an accurate statement. Because there are areas, I feel like, where you just are, you know, don't go for the most expensive item.

00:40:03   Totally.

00:40:04   There are many like them and all of them are mine.

00:40:06   Yes, I'm wearing very inexpensive pants right now. Anyway.

00:40:09   You save a lot of money on haircuts.

00:40:11   I do, actually. So anyway, this, like when John reviewed his, he mentioned that it was his first screen real estate increase in a very long time. Mine was not as long as his or as significant as his, but this is the first time that I have gained more screen real estate since 2011.

00:40:35   So it's been almost 10 years, you know, roughly. I don't know when in 2011. I think it was like March 2011 when I got my 30 inch.

00:40:42   So yeah, March 2011 I went from dual 24 inch to a single 30 inch monitor. And 30 inch monitors had the horizontal resolution of 2560.

00:40:53   When we went back down 27 inches as like the big standard screen size among Mac people, we kept that same real estate. We just made everything on screen a little bit smaller.

00:41:05   But that it was the same horizontal real estate since then. Not only have I not had a screen real estate increase since 2011 when I got my 30 inch monitor, but Apple has not had a screen real estate increase since they made their 30 inch monitor, which was in 2004.

00:41:22   By the way, I did some quick research earlier this evening. When they launched that 30 inch monitor in 2004, it was priced at $3,300. After inflation today, that would be about 4,500.

00:41:36   And this costs $5,000. But yeah, that one came with a stand for free. However, that one also required a certain degree of high end graphics card, the cheapest of which was $500. And most people didn't have that card yet at that time.

00:41:53   So if you were buying that 30 inch monitor, you would probably also have to buy a $500 graphics card. And it would only work in a power Mac, like in the tower, but that would that could fit such a graphics card. But you know, things are, you know, more expensive today.

00:42:08   You know, after inflation, the cost of that display plus the graphics card is 5,200 ish. We're in the ballpark of the $6,000. You need to have a complete setup with this screen. But that was 16 years ago.

00:42:19   Yeah, that was 16 years ago. But but also, it's worth pointing out that one of the big benefits we have now is that this giant screen is being able to be driven just fine by Apple's lowest end computer that I've plugged into.

00:42:30   I mean, that's what you would expect is like the thing that was a big deal back then. Wow, a one megabyte hard drive. That's amazing, right? It becomes commonplace and much cheaper, much, much, much cheaper.

00:42:39   So 16 years later, the idea that adjusted for inflation, the monitor of a similar size would be a similar price shows that the XDR actually is ridiculously expensive because you would expect, you know, take take a different size like the 23 inch.

00:42:52   How much could you get a 23 inch monitor now versus 16 years ago?

00:42:55   But I think I think the the comparison is not large Apple monitors that are in the 30 inch range. I think the comparison is like Apple releases a monitor that is above and beyond the specs of what's what most people have available to them.

00:43:10   So it's like it's a new high end monitor size and resolution that is not widely available in other forms. It's like a brand new thing that is mostly above what other people are using.

00:43:21   When the 30 inch came out, like there was nothing like that in the LCD consumer market. So like it made sense for that to be very expensive.

00:43:29   At CES, they're announcing 8K monitors. I mean, we've already had 8K monitors, but they're announcing more 8K monitors.

00:43:34   So the, you know, resolution wise, Apple's and you know, and size wise, Apple's thing are not really at the very top end. It's just that this is the Apple one.

00:43:44   It's really all we wanted is an Apple monitor. Right. So the XDR doesn't I mean, the main the main excuses or explanations for the XDR are, you know, the things that you don't care about.

00:43:55   The 1600 nits, which is not a factor in your life at all, but is actually a very high brightness level for a monitor with this kind of color accuracy and so on and so forth.

00:44:03   Right. And so that's why it ends up being so expensive.

00:44:06   Now, Apple being Apple, as I think it discusses in the past, you would expect that this monitor will hang around for a while and not go down in price because that's just a thing that Apple does.

00:44:14   So by the end of this monitor's life, it will be even more of a rip off.

00:44:17   Well, and Apple also like, I mean, I forget how they were marketing the 30 inch at the time. I wasn't as much of a like hooked in Apple news person in 2004 as I am now.

00:44:28   But this they're really marketing as like this, you know, color accurate, you know, video pro, you know, X, you know, high definition range kind of stuff like our high dynamic range kind of stuff.

00:44:40   I this they're really pushing on all those technical things.

00:44:44   I think in part because it helps them charge a very high price for for what they're presenting is a very high end product.

00:44:50   But if you look at the 30 inch back in like what the 30 inch Apple cinema display was, it was a really big monitor for screen real estate in a nice case.

00:45:02   You know, color accuracy wise, that was still fairly early days of like LCDs being particularly good at stuff like color.

00:45:10   It wasn't very bright. It had the old CCFL backlights before we had LED backlighting.

00:45:16   So it wasn't actually an amazing picture quality on that. At the time it was considered very good.

00:45:23   But like it wasn't I don't think they sold it as like, you know, this is a pro reference monitor back then.

00:45:28   I think they sold it as this is a lot of screen space and it looks nice.

00:45:31   And that I have some issues with the XDR, but it is a lot of screen space and it looks nice that I like I 100 percent agree with that.

00:45:45   All the pro stuff about, you know, video colorists and stuff like that. I have no use for that stuff.

00:45:51   I don't make videos. I don't care. I don't know how to judge it on that.

00:45:55   So I will leave the judgment of that up to people who know what they're talking about in that area.

00:45:59   But as a monitor that offers a lot of screen space in an attractive case that works well with Apple products for that.

00:46:06   That's how I'm judging it. And it's a good thing that's how I'm judging it because there actually is a significant visual flaw.

00:46:14   But I'll get to that in a minute before I move on from the screen space thing.

00:46:18   This is so much bigger than 5K. I did not expect like, you know, I know, you know, the math with the area and everything, you know, when you go from 4K to 5K or back in the day when this is the same move.

00:46:33   If you went from a 24 inch monitor to a 30 inch monitor, you got almost double the total pixels.

00:46:39   And when you go from 5K to 6K, you get about 50 percent more. So it's not as dramatic of a change as go as like when you first went to 27 or 30.

00:46:49   But it's still extremely dramatic. And when I first like, you know, the first day or first day or two of using this, I didn't even know what to do with the space.

00:47:00   Like every every window, every size I would make it would look ridiculous.

00:47:04   It would either look like a tiny window floating in a pool of wasted space or I would make it bigger to actually use the space and it would look comically large.

00:47:13   And, you know, the UI is not designed to be this large in this window.

00:47:18   Like you try to, you know, open, you know, make a safari window really big and like the Web page is like looks ridiculous because everything today is designed for mobile or laptops.

00:47:28   You know what I would suggest to you, Marco?

00:47:30   A lot of windows?

00:47:32   More windows.

00:47:33   Yeah, of course.

00:47:35   Can you tell why I love this monitor?

00:47:37   I didn't. It's the same thing. I didn't obviously resize my windows to, you know, take up the room.

00:47:43   What it did, it's like, you know, it's like getting a bigger house. It gives you room for more junk, more windows.

00:47:48   So what do you not like about it then, other than the hilariously ridiculous cost?

00:47:52   The very first day, I actually kind of thought, I think this is too big.

00:47:56   I know it's a ridiculous thing to think, but the very first day I thought like it's so big I'm actually having trouble like seeing the edges very well.

00:48:07   I have to like, like normally I keep my main terminal windows in the lower left corner.

00:48:12   And so anything that's off to those side edges, I feel like I might want to bump the font size up a little bit.

00:48:18   Like it's very, it's surprisingly big.

00:48:22   And now, you know, in that, you know, that was two days ago now.

00:48:26   So like, I think like yesterday and today, it's starting to feel a little more normal.

00:48:30   And this is like what happened when John was talking about his, like, you know, you just get used to it and that becomes normal.

00:48:35   And when I first opened it up and took it out and, you know, was first using it, I thought, oh my God, this is so big, it'll never feel normal.

00:48:41   And yeah, it's feeling normal now. It's close enough now.

00:48:46   If you want to feel freaked out again, you should rotate it to vertical because that I feel like physically speaking, not that it feels so big, but that you just have to bend your neck.

00:48:55   And that feels so unnatural to me to have to look up and down. In the vertical orientation, it is just at least on my desk and on a non-standing desk.

00:49:05   There's no way this can be anything but ridiculous and vertical because I have to like look up at the ceiling to see the menu bar.

00:49:11   Oh yeah. I mean, like even in regular landscape orientation, I have it on the bottom setting on the stand. This is as low as the stand will go.

00:49:19   And because any higher than that, it's like it's above my eye line. Like it's my line of sight right now, like with it at its lowest setting, my line of sight is about 25% down from the top.

00:49:31   And I wouldn't want it any higher than that. Like I don't want the monitor to go up any more than that. You don't want to be looking up very far.

00:49:37   So yeah, I don't know how you could use this in portrait. You can lower your desk though. Like you have adjustable high desk, right?

00:49:43   I do, but like it's already at like the correct, like if I lower it, I mean my leg is only one inch below the desk, the bottom of the desk.

00:49:50   So it's not, I couldn't really lower it that much. But anyway, so, and I had to like, you know, move some stuff around the desk to make room like under the monitor.

00:49:57   Like I used to be able to put more stuff under the monitor and now I can't because it's bigger.

00:50:02   So it's, it's been, it's interesting like moving up to a larger size again for the first time in almost a decade for me, which is, it's the longest I have ever gone in my entire computing life without increasing my screen space.

00:50:16   Like from, I started using a computer in 1994 and this, this nine year span was the longest I've ever gone without increasing my real estate.

00:50:25   But anyway, it is starting to feel a little bit more normal now. It's, it's ridiculous. And I even, you know, I decided to play a little bit and I set in the, for a little bit in the settings, I set it back down to run at 5K resolution to see like how that compared.

00:50:42   And first of all, everything looks comically huge at 5K on the screen. But also like, I thought, Oh no, this isn't enough space. The windows are all crammed together.

00:50:51   So anyway, there is one small downside and one big downside. The small downside to me is the webcam situation. The XDR does not have a built in camera or mic.

00:51:05   They made a deal with Logitech to basically have a slightly specialized version of a webcam Logitech already makes that's made for the XDR and sold to the XDR. It basically has a nice little magnetic mount on top and they put the right magnets in the XDR so that it can mount right on top.

00:51:21   Problem is, it's an ugly PC webcam and it breaks up the beautiful look of my nice display that like a big part of the reason I got this display is for its nice Apple look. I don't want a big PC webcam chunking up the top of it.

00:51:37   Fortunately, I don't need a webcam on my desktop very often. I use it maybe twice a year. Like I use it much more on laptops for various reasons. For on desktops, I hardly ever use a webcam. So I have Logitech webcam and I put it up there for like a few minutes. I'm like, nope, that's not staying.

00:51:55   And so now I'm just dangling it behind the screen. And whenever I need to use it, I'll just reach back there and stick it on top. Until then, it'll be waiting there.

00:52:05   I'm surprised you find it so offensive. I mean, I think it is. I mean, it doesn't look like an ugly PC thing. It looks almost Apple-ish. If it was made of solid aluminum, I think it would be Apple-ish. But I find it mostly inoffensive.

00:52:18   Like what I'm looking at is the entirely black face of the thing, a very low contrast logo, and a dark gray foot. So I leave it there. I mean, I don't use my webcam much either, but I like the idea that when I want to, I don't have to go fiddle with anything. Because it's so hot on the top of the monitor, it's not really in my line of sight anyway. So I just leave it on all the time.

00:52:39   Yeah, that's fair. But yeah, I can't abide the look of it. So it'll be dangling back there in shame until I actually need it. The big downside for me, which I wish it didn't have this big downside, and it's kind of bothersome, but I'm slowly getting used to it, is the really dim edges of the display.

00:53:04   This is something that most reviews didn't mention or kind of alluded to in different ways. But there are two significant light falloff problems as you approach the edges. One is that at the very edge, and I measured it earlier, I would say about the rightmost 14 points of screen real estate.

00:53:24   Well, not just the right, around all the edges. 14 points around all the edges. There's significant light falloff. And if you look at their marketing page, you can see why this happens, and they even kind of talk about it. Like the way that it's edge-lit by all those little LEDs, there's like these little cells.

00:53:42   And the cells can overlap a little bit in the middle, like when there's adjacent LCD or LEDs around them, but the ones on the edge have no adjacent cells on the outer edge. And so there is no ability for them to team light an area along the edge.

00:54:00   So the areas along the edge actually are noticeably dimmer. And if you keep a light-colored window on the edge, like I mentioned a minute ago, I keep my terminal window in the corner. And I use white terminal windows. I know, I'm sorry. I know that's not cool for nerds, but I always like light-colored terminal windows. I'm a light-themed kind of person in general.

00:54:23   You're a monster. I know, it's just so much better contrast. I don't use dark mode for the most part on Macs. I do use it on iOS devices, but not on Macs. Anyway, when you have a light window on the edge, side or bottom or top edge, well, top's the menu bar, but side or bottom, you really notice that last 14 points of screen real estate, which is about one line on the terminal window, it looks like a gradient.

00:54:47   Like it looks like a gradient that goes from white to slightly gray. It's very clear. I'll get used to it, but that is a surprising drawback for something that Apple sells as like a really flawless, amazing monitor.

00:55:02   The other drawback is not quite that bad, but certainly noticeable. If you have a large solid color window on either side of the screen, which I frequently do, like Xcode, for instance, I usually align Xcode so that it's against the right edge of the screen, taking up about the right most two thirds of the screen.

00:55:22   And then I use the left third for like simulator windows, stuff like that, documentation, whatever else, because the screen is so wide, you know how when you look at any LCD screen, if you look at it off axis, so that if you like move off to the side a little bit,

00:55:37   look, so you're looking at it kind of diagonally instead of straight on, it gets less bright. As you move your head to the side, LCDs get less bright. That's an effect of how they work. This monitor is so wide that just the angle of my head to the edges is enough to cause noticeable brightness loss to about the right most. I measured it earlier at about 150 points on left and right.

00:56:04   See, when you mentioned the edge brightness, that's what I was thinking of, because I'd noticed the effect too, but I had chalked it up to off axis viewing because it's such a sharp angle, but I just did some experiments and you're right, it's not off axis, the very edges, that's not off axis, that's just the backlight problem.

00:56:20   But yeah, because the thing is so wide, every time I turn, I haven't noticed the effect you're talking about, because I only noticed brightness changes at the very, very edges, so I'm like, oh, well, the screen's so wide, by that point you're super off axis. And I realized that the top of the screen, I had been chalking up to the weird translucent gradient menu bar, right?

00:56:39   Because the menu bar, it hasn't been solid white in so long, so I was looking up there, so left and right, I'm thinking, that's just the off axis viewing, and that's kind of a shame, well, what are you going to do with LCDs? And the top, I was thinking, stupid translucent menu bar with the gradient, and then the bottom, I never see it, because I never have anything against the bottom, because that's where my dock is.

00:56:56   Oh, okay, that's why, yeah. But yeah, so I'm a side dock person, so anyway, when you have large, brightly colored windows of solid color areas, like if you run Xcode on the right side, you will notice that the rightmost 150 points or so kind of have a subtle gradient that fades to darker color, and it is totally viewing.

00:57:18   If you move your head over to the side, so you're looking straight on the edge, then it gets brighter. That, I was surprised, again, you expect, the way Apple has sold this monitor, you expect it to be visually flawless.

00:57:32   And it's not, and those are substantial drawbacks, and if you notice, none of the marketing material shows this, because the marketing material all shows dark backgrounds in everything, the apps, the content they're showing, it's all like you're in a pitch black room looking at this monitor showing super bright tiger in the middle of a black screen.

00:57:54   And I think there's a reason for that, I mean, first of all, that's how they market pro stuff in general, but also, this monitor is actually not as good as they would like to tell, probably, at showing large, light colored UIs.

00:58:08   UIs that have large areas of light colored solid areas. If you're gonna put one of those near the edge, it's gonna look bad.

00:58:14   And so, I actually, I'm glad I have it as a beautiful monitor in a nice design that sits nicely on my desk, matches my stuff, the stand is solid, it doesn't wobble, it's a huge amount of screen real estate, and doing development on it the last couple days has been luxurious, as I've had all this screen space and everything.

00:58:39   But it does kind of bother me that Apple sells it as a really pro, awesome color, accurate, whatever, but it has noticeable brightness problems in regular use as displaying UIs.

00:58:53   And so the way I feel about it is, it feels a lot like that old 30 inch monitor did, which was a stunningly large monitor that had decent visuals, like it was, as I mentioned, it had the old CCFL backlighting, it didn't have the best brightness or contrast or anything like that,

00:59:13   but it was a big monitor in a nice enclosure that matched your Apple stuff and gave you a ton of screen real estate. That's what this is, to me at least, and if pros have better uses for it and the color accuracy or the XDRity of it helps them do their jobs, that's great.

00:59:30   For me, it is a lot of screen space, it has these two visual shortcomings that I think are substantial, but not substantial enough that I am going to have a big problem about them. I wish they weren't there for such an expensive purchase that is sold as something that is so visually perfect.

00:59:49   Well, they're not selling it as visually perfect, the market they're selling it into has expectations that match what they're getting. So in the world of reference monitors or color grading monitors or whatever, there is a parallel market for what are called client reference monitors, which sounds weird, but the concept is, you're there, you're working on a movie, right?

01:00:12   And you're looking at it and you're a super accurate monitor and you're doing all this work and you're editing and you're color grading and you're doing whatever you're going to do, and then you want to show the director, "Hey, what do you think of this? What do you think of how this looks?"

01:00:22   You can't show the director and the producer and whoever else is in the room all looking at the reference monitor, because reference monitors, as soon as you go off-axis, get all wonky.

01:00:32   So you need a monitor that four people can look at at the same time, which means they're going to be off-axis, and that's the client reference monitor, which isn't as good as the reference monitor, but has better off-axis viewing so four people can watch it and the person on the outside won't say, "Why is this scene so dim?"

01:00:47   I mean, that's the market this is being sold into, so the things you just described would not shock anyone who's like, "Yeah, I bought a reference monitor for $35,000," and if you're not looking dead on at it, it's all weird, right? I think this is not that bad, but mostly because it's so darn wide and it's an LCD that the edges, you're off-axis, especially if you have it close to your face.

01:01:07   If you push it farther away from you, it actually gets better, right? But if it's as close as you normally keep a monitor and you have to rotate your head now, you're at this fairly extreme angle, and LCDs tend not to do well there.

01:01:18   The things that help, actually, is I do wonder if the nanotexture would help, but also other display technologies like those PVA screens or other ones do all sorts of distribution to try to make the off-axis angle slightly better.

01:01:31   Even OLED, by the way, which is self-admissive, also has off-axis dimming problems, and it basically comes down to the angle, right? So you can get a similar angle if you're three inches away than you can if you're 30 feet away. It all just depends on, you know what I mean? It doesn't depend on how close you sit to the thing.

01:01:48   So I think the problems you're describing are expected by the customers who want the "perfect display" because they're used to displays that cost more that have even worse off-axis viewing, but maybe you're not expected by someone who just wants a computer monitor and they expect it to be uniform from edge to edge.

01:02:07   I would also encourage you not to ever fill your fancy OLED TV with a giant light gray background and see what the uniformity issues are there, too, because it's actually a fairly hard problem. Forget about off-axis. Dead-on access, just to fill a screen uniformly with a light gray color, is actually a very hard problem.

01:02:25   And if you see televisions do those tests, OLEDs tend to do better, but it's something called the "dirty screen effect." Just go through a gradient from white to black, a full screen, and you will see all sorts of splotches and blotchy things or whatever, and in that respect, the XDR is doing pretty well.

01:02:42   But it can't overcome the inherent display technology. Like I said, neither can OLED. OLED also tints blue off-axis and does all sorts of weird stuff. It's one of the many reasons why I haven't bought a new TV forever.

01:02:57   All these technologies for making displays, especially high-resolution displays, they all have problems. Not that CRTs didn't have problems, they had problems, too, but you're always waiting for that one next technology that's not going to have limitations, not going to have burn-in, it's going to have great off-axis, great response time, great color fidelity, great brightness, low power. It's not here yet. We keep trying. Final question for you. What preset do you have on?

01:03:22   I spent about one day on each of them so far, on the Apple 500 versus the Apple 1600. That doesn't change the UI brightness at all, as far as I can tell.

01:03:35   It saves different brightness settings for each one, so I think if you go to the P3 500 nits and crank down the brightness and then go back to P3 600, you're like, "Wow, this is brighter," but it's just because I think it has separate brightness settings for each preset?

01:03:47   No, as far as I can tell, it always maxes out at, I believe, 500 nits for displaying the UI. It's only when you want to show HDR content, which I haven't even tried yet.

01:03:56   Yeah, but you don't have it at max brightness on any of the settings, right?

01:03:59   No, I do.

01:04:00   What? Max brightness?

01:04:02   Yeah. For most of the time in this house, it's a pretty bright room during the day, and so most of the time I do run at full brightness during the day.

01:04:11   Well, that may actually be emphasizing the, you know, because you have such challenging conditions that you have it at max. What do I have mine at? Let me see.

01:04:19   I'm not showing 600 nits, though.

01:04:21   I know, but 500 nits is too much. I'm at less than half.

01:04:24   Like, if Apple really wanted to solve the, like, you know, edge dimming problem, there might be some kind of way for them to just, like, slowly ramp up the brightness as you go from the center outward.

01:04:36   Yeah, you know, it's the uniformity thing. Put a light gray background on the whole screen. Does it look uniform? What you're asking for is a giant halo around the outside. It's really hard to do.

01:04:45   I mean, the actual solution is, you know, again, you see TVs at CES, so this, the XDR has, like, 575 little individual lights as the backlight or something like that.

01:04:56   Yeah, 577.

01:04:57   Or something like that. The newer televisions have many, many thousands. Many thousands, right? They don't use each individual light as a separate zone, but that's a separate issue.

01:05:09   They have many, many thousands, and I forget why I mentioned this. Maybe it was, did I mention it last week, or maybe it was in a Slack conversation? I can't keep track of what's in a podcast.

01:05:17   But one of the manufacturers was bragging about the fact that they had made their televisions thinner, and the way they had done it is by pressing the backlight, you know, there's a sheet that has a bunch of little white LEDs in it, right?

01:05:31   This is an LCD television. Pressing that right up against so it touches what they call the diffuser plate, because the LEDs are little white LEDs that are point lights.

01:05:40   You know, they're tiny little point lights, right? But you can't have a bunch of little point lights. You need something to diffuse that light, and the distance between the light and the diffuser makes the TVs thicker and also adds more shadows, because if you can imagine, like, having a hundred flashlights shining in a wall, right?

01:05:54   If you push the wall really close to the flashlights, you get a hundred dots on the wall, but if you push the wall back, you get a hundred big fuzzy dots, and they overlap, like you were saying with the overlapping lighting, right? To try to make it uniform.

01:06:05   Trying to make a uniform white screen with 575 point lights is actually very difficult when it comes down to the diffuser, right? So one solution is put way more lights in there, right? Put way more tiny lights and pack them closer together, and the second is, if you pack them closer together like that, now you can move the diffuser closer to the thing and make your TV thinner, and there's also some of these efficiency things.

01:06:26   And then the final thing that they did this year on TVs at CES is put essentially, it's not, well, it's acting like a heat sink, but a big aluminum layer or some kind of metal layer behind the backlight to pull off heat so you can drive them brighter, right?

01:06:42   And sort of wicks away the heat, which is kind of what the XDR is doing in theory with that weird honeycomb in the back, you know, letting all the air out and the fans and all that business, and by the way, you didn't mention whether you heard the fans or not, but like, nope.

01:06:53   Yeah, so there are lots of advances in how can we do an LED backlit LCD that addresses every single one of the problems you're talking about, with the possible exception of viewing angle, which is still like difficult and inherent in the technology.

01:07:09   But, you know, the next great hope, as we've talked about in the past, is micro LED, where every single pixel has a red LED, a green LED, and a blue LED, and you just turn them on and off individually, and that ain't anywhere for, I mean, you can get that, but the problem is they're so big now that I think the smallest size is like, I don't think it's measured in inches, I think it's like 12 feet or something.

01:07:31   Because the pixels are so big, like if you want a 4K TV, it's cool, they sell them in, I think they sell them in like, I forget how big they are, but they're like 40 inch diagonal units, and you have to put together like 12 of those units to make a single 4K TV, right?

01:07:47   And so that's how, and they've gotten way smaller than they were in the past, so we're not there yet, but the mini LED ones, when you hear mini LED, all they're talking about is put way more little tiny LEDs in the back, and I think that can help with uniformity.

01:08:02   And it's the type of thing you think, oh, if Apple makes a successor to the XDR, they'll do that, the XDR has 575 backlights, why don't they make one that has 20,000, like these new TVs?

01:08:11   And I would be like, that's not the Apple way. And when it comes to monitors, Apple makes one, and then sells it until it's embarrassingly obsolete, and then it goes away forever, and then you beg for them to make another monitor at some point.

01:08:22   I hope that changes, I'm willing to be proven wrong, please, Apple proved me wrong by releasing a new XDR that is better than this one, but I don't have great hopes.

01:08:31   So you said you can't hear the fan at all?

01:08:33   No. However, I'm pretty sure they will release a new one shortly because I just bought it.

01:08:37   Oh, that's a possibility. I would suggest now, if you're on this monitor now, do you have the aerial screensaver installed?

01:08:43   Oh, the Apple TV one? No, I will though. I've been really enjoying the, whatever the new default screensaver is on my MacBook Air, it's like a bunch of like, like, fingery blue seaweed looking things, whatever that is, it's really nice.

01:08:58   I would suggest getting, it's on GitHub, we should find the link for it again. Get the aerial screensaver and then just go to the screensaver preference pane and just watch the little preview window, because that will be HDR.

01:09:11   Put your monitor on P3 1600 nits and just watch, and then you'll have a little, this is what I talked about in the original review, then you'll have a little tiny punch out in your 500 nit window, there's a little tiny punch out into the world's 1600 nits, and it looks like, it messes you up, because you're like, what is this?

01:09:27   Like, it doesn't look like a hole in your monitor, but it's so clearly different than the rest of your monitor. It also kind of makes the rest of your monitor look dim and shabby. So, try that.

01:09:37   And the other thing I would suggest trying is, I can give either URLs for this or I can send you the files, but when I get my monitor, I'm like, well, I want to see what this thing can do. This is before I was able to get Windows to boot on it, because that took a long time, as you can see past episodes.

01:09:52   But before I get Windows to boot on and play HDR games, I wanted to see, like, show me full screen HDR, you know, video. And I just searched all these TV manufacturer websites for these sample files, and I finally found, I don't think they're 6K, I think they're like 5K or 4K, but it's as good as I could get.

01:10:10   And they're just like footage of this person and their dog in the Italian countryside eating food, and you can run it at full screen and put your monitor on the 1600 nits setting and run it in full screen, and all of a sudden you will see what your monitor is actually capable of, and maybe appreciate why people who are doing production for movies and other things that require the HDR would find this monitor valuable.

01:10:35   And then the movie will end and you go back to your dingy 500 nit bunch of Windows.

01:10:40   [Laughs]

01:10:41   Like theoretically I'm pretty sure I can just shoot some stuff on my iPhone, right? In Dolby Pro Vision, whatever that is? Maybe, but I don't think you can do it at 6K.

01:11:06   I'm a fast car driver. I never take my cars on racetracks, and the cars I buy while they are fast are not actually made to be track cars. You know, you spend more money on them, and they might not be flawless at everything, but they're very nice and they make you happy.

01:11:26   So the fast car analogy, that's how I look at this monitor. This is not something I need. This is something that is really nice, and it is completely ridiculous, and it costs more than I want to talk about, but it makes me happy every time I use it.

01:11:43   As long as I don't look too much at the edge, but it makes me happy. I have no justification for needing it. I don't need it, except that it is a massive amount of screen real estate, and it has the right DPI for Mac OS, and it's a great looking design that makes me happy when I look at it, and it doesn't wobble when I type.

01:12:03   And for all of that, I am happy with this purchase.

01:12:07   I would hope so, because it was not cheap. I don't know if you were aware of that, but not cheap at all.

01:12:12   Yep, keep reminding me.

01:12:14   I don't know, I am jealous, but I just can't personally fathom spending that kind of money on a monitor, which I'm not trying to imply that you did anything wrong or that it wasn't right for you or whatever. I don't think it's right for me, even though I'm sure it is super nice.

01:12:28   I have to hope that it's not like Beetlejuice, where you have to say it three times to make them introduce a 5K monitor. So do all three ATPs have to buy this thing for Apple to introduce a 5K monitor at a reasonable price, which is honestly what we all would have purchased.

01:12:41   Yeah, oh yeah.

01:12:43   So listeners, if you would like for me to buy a Pro Display XDR so that you can buy an affordable monitor, please go to ATP.FM/join and sign up, because that's the only way this is going to happen.

01:12:54   There is no amount of members we could get that would make you buy this.

01:12:57   No. Well, challenge accepted.

01:13:00   There's not no amount, but the number is so astronomical that it's not that strong.

01:13:04   It's more than our free audience.

01:13:06   I don't know about that. If our entire audience were members, I would absolutely have one of these, no doubt.

01:13:12   I'm glad you got it. I'm glad you like it. What are you going to do with the 5K? That's getting demoted to a different position, a different studio, is that right?

01:13:22   Yeah, it is in the iMac carrying bag, ready to go. I wanted to stop looking at it. It was on my office floor for a couple days. I just moved it off the desk, moved this one on.

01:13:34   But right before the show, I packed it up into the bag. It's staged to leave this house.

01:13:39   You know, it's too bad because if my iMac Pro could drive it, and if you were to let me steal it from you in terms of how much it would cost me, I would consider doing the LG 5K next to the iMac.

01:13:52   Not because I need it, but because I think it would be cool. But I can't even drive that thing from the iMac Pro, if I'm not mistaken.

01:13:57   No, no, no. The iMac Pro can't drive the XDR, but it can drive a 5K.

01:14:02   Oh, you're right. I had my wires crossed. Well, if you want to sell it to me for like 200 bones, let me know.

01:14:07   No, I even had a couple people on Twitter ask me if they could buy it. I don't want to sell the LG because it's not good.

01:14:14   You know, it's like, one thing I kind of glossed over real fast last week when we talked about selling our old gear.

01:14:22   You generally don't want to sell something to somebody you know if you can avoid it. Because I've seen this go wrong many times with friends and family where like, you sell somebody a laptop and then it breaks like a month later.

01:14:37   And that's just really awkward. You know, same thing with like cars or any other like large, large purchases like you don't want to sell it to somebody you know.

01:14:46   Ideally, you either sell it to like a company that doesn't even care who you are, or you sell it to a stranger, or you give it away to someone you know.

01:14:56   But involving a large purchase with money from somebody you know, invites a lot of risk of bad things and that's, it's better avoided. So I'm not going to sell this and yeah.

01:15:08   Well, no, you'll just give it to me and I'll pay shipping and then everyone's happy.

01:15:11   It might probably cost like $150 to ship it. It wouldn't be cheap to ship but no, I'm going to keep it as a you know, backup secondary monitor or for secondary locations.

01:15:21   It's good enough for that and like, and heck, I even thought like maybe I should keep it here because part of the reason I'm going this direction now is like, what if the XDR breaks and I have to mail it in for service?

01:15:33   I'll have an extra monitor that I could use with all the wobble but I could use it in the meantime while I wait for this one to be serviced like you know, so it is useful to have extras around for times like that.

01:15:43   Or at least to have an extra around for times like that. So we'll see. But I also could just you know, wait for that time to ever come and it might never come and if it does, just order a cheap monitor then to use for two weeks while I get rid of this one.

01:15:55   Fair enough. Well, congrats.

01:15:58   Thanks.

01:15:59   So are there no real pending purchases for you these days? Your lease isn't up anytime soon. You've got your fancy monitor. You've got a Mac Mini coming. You have your fancy laptop. So obviously when they refresh the laptops, you're going to buy one of those. But you might actually, you might avoid the Mac Pro. I'm stunned.

01:16:19   I mean aside from household stuff, which I'm sure there's a limited number of pending purchases, I think I have one pending purchase from Marco and that is, well it depends on how he feels about OLED TVs because LG actually revised their panels this year instead of just wrapping them in a different case and adding different computer stuff on them.

01:16:36   And the new panel, the big feature is that it gets brighter. And I know you have your TV in a bright room. I don't even know if you have an OLED in the bright room now, but if you didn't get an OLED because you're afraid it couldn't get bright enough, wait to see the testing results on the LG G1 to see just how much brighter it gets.

01:16:52   I have not told you the TV we have in that room because you would be sad.

01:16:56   I saw the pictures of it. I know what you got there.

01:16:58   It is, it makes me sad.

01:17:00   I mean it makes Tiff sad. She can't play Last of Us because it gets washed out.

01:17:03   It is not a good TV. It is a pretty TV. It is not a good TV.

01:17:09   It's a big TV. That's the other thing that, well that doesn't help you here, but LG also announced much bigger OLEDs. You can get them up to 83 inches now, but the good one only does not come in 83. The good one only comes in a maximum of 77.

01:17:22   No this one, it's only 65.

01:17:24   Oh really?

01:17:25   Only.

01:17:26   Alright, no problem. The G1 comes in 65.

01:17:28   But it's, I'll just tell you, it's the Samsung frame.

01:17:31   Yeah, no I saw the picture. It's a thin edge-lid LCD with bad blacks. I know. It's fine.

01:17:38   It is surprisingly dim. It looks like one of those old rear projection TVs from our childhood.

01:17:46   Yeah.

01:17:47   You walk into some big 80s house from like the Rich Friend and it has this giant rear projection TV and take up the entire wall.

01:17:55   Yeah, it was, it's not a good TV. It was a pretty risk. We thought, this is a pretty, oh hold on, Hops is dreaming. It's really cute. He's barking. Hops, you gotta wake up, man.

01:18:07   Don't wake him up. Let him know he's having the chasing dreams.

01:18:09   Sorry puppy. Alright, anyway, yeah, it's not a good TV. It's very, very dim and it's, we're even having bugs now where like sometimes the like box of electronics that it wires itself up to will just need to be restarted.

01:18:26   It's, it is a very pretty TV. We were putting it in a pretty room and we thought, let's try a pretty TV and didn't realize how much worse it would be than our LG OLED.

01:18:41   And it's, it turns out it is, you know, at night you don't notice it that much. But that's because you can only watch it at night because it's so dim that you can't really watch it during the day.

01:18:52   The good thing is that the LG G1 is also that style. Like it doesn't even come with a stand. It's a, you know, hang on the wall, you know, very thin frame kind of thing. I don't know if it has the external electronics box.

01:19:05   It's clear if they managed to jam it on the back of it. But anyway, watch our reviews of that in a couple months and just to see what the stats on it are.

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01:21:07   So I was I don't remember why I was thinking this because this is not a new rumor.

01:21:15   I think we've discussed them briefly on the show in the past. The rumors are for the next round of AirPod revisions that the so right now we have AirPods, AirPods Pro and then we have AirPods Max which aren't really AirPods. Forget about the Max. I'm just talking about the little tardy white things that go in your ears.

01:21:32   The plain old AirPods are currently on their second revision. I have a pair of those. Whenever they revise them I figure out what they did to them. They look exactly the same on the outside but the case had the little induction charging thing and I think they changed the innards or whatever.

01:21:47   But otherwise they're pretty much the same as they've ever been. And then of course the AirPod Pros that jam into your hole with the little tips.

01:21:52   The rumor is, the new round of them, the low end plain old AirPods without any sort of qualifier or suffix at the end which will basically be the third revision of those or the AirPods 3.

01:22:04   The rumor is that those will quote unquote look like the AirPod Pros. There is some debate in the rumor circles of whether that means they will actually be like the AirPod Pros and have those little soft tips that jam into your holes.

01:22:16   Or will they merely look kind of like the AirPod Pros but still be like the original AirPods where they're just a dangly thing inside your ear.

01:22:23   And then the other rumor which I'm not interested in here but just for the completeness sake is that the new version of the AirPod Pros might be disc shaped or some crap like that. Who knows. That's all even more fuzzy. I don't care about that.

01:22:32   The reason I have anxiety about AirPods is, so on my second pair of these, it's revision number 2, these are the ones I like. I don't like the ones that go in your ears. My wife has them, I just don't like things inside my ear holes.

01:22:47   I suppose I could get used to it if I really really had to but I don't like it. I like the original AirPods. They fit me really well. Whatever shape they are that they first came up with I must have the average ear so they stay in, they don't fall out.

01:22:58   They're super comfortable and I like the fact that they're not in my ear holes. They're just kind of in there.

01:23:03   And so I've been waiting for the announcement of the new revision of the AirPods because if the new ones are, like the new low end unqualified AirPods are in ear, I need to scramble as soon as they make that announcement and quickly buy one, possibly two, knowing me, pairs of the original ones before they go out of stock.

01:23:22   Because I don't want them to go inside my ear. And the problem with the AirPods is there's no replaceable battery and eventually the batteries get crappy because they're so tiny.

01:23:29   And I use my AirPods so much. Every single day I use them. I love them. So I've spent a lot of time like just idly flicking around on my phone going, "Should I just buy new AirPods now?"

01:23:39   And they're like, "No, no, you don't know that they're going to replace the bottom end AirPods with the other ones. Maybe they're just going to be like, they look like the Pros because they have stubbier things but they're still not in ear."

01:23:51   And I spend so much time almost buying new AirPods. And like, you know, I like this product. The ones I have are getting old but I'm not sure Apple will ever make another iteration of this product in this style.

01:24:06   It's exactly the same situation I was in with my cheese grater. It's the cheese grater all over again.

01:24:10   And to clarify, you're talking about the actual dairy cheese grater, not the Mac Pro, right?

01:24:15   Both interpretations of that sentence are true. Because remember I had bought a Tower Mac and I wanted another Tower Mac but they weren't making one. They made the little trash can.

01:24:23   I'm like, "I don't know if they're ever going to make another one of these." So I was stuck with this old version of a product never knowing if they're going to make another one.

01:24:29   I didn't want to buy another Tower because it would be the same as an old one. I wanted a new Tower but they wouldn't make one. And yes, same deal with the cheese grater. Although they don't even make that cheese grater anymore.

01:24:38   So I was thinking of it mostly in the context of the actual OXO grater of dairy cheese, right? Because I bought a whole bunch of those and they're stockpiled in my basement.

01:24:48   I don't want to have to buy a whole bunch of AirPods 2, like the current model of the non-in-ear ones, and stick them in my basement because I don't think they'll age that well.

01:24:58   And unlike a cheese grater, I want the technological advancement that will presumably come with the H2 and the H3 and who knows, whatever they're going to do. I can't just pre-buy five pairs of AirPods 2 because I like that design. That would be stupid.

01:25:12   So I'm having anxiety about it. Thus far I have not ordered another pair of AirPods. My current plan is the second they announce new AirPods, it's like WWDC tickets all over again, I need to quickly look at them, assess whether they have any models that don't go in your ear anymore, and then quickly make a purchase.

01:25:34   If they have the low end ones that don't go in your ear but are a different shape, I'm going to have to make two purchases, buy one back up pair of the old ones and buy one of the new ones and see if I like them.

01:25:43   But if they're in ear, maybe I'll immediately buy two pairs of the old ones and just say this will hold me over until Apple changes its mind about the whole jamming little things into your ear canals.

01:25:53   I don't think you have a lot to worry about there. I wouldn't say you definitely don't, you never know. But Apple has been making earbud style earbuds, and I'm talking about the style of fit that it is where it's just kind of resting in the little curvature of your ear, not actually inserting into the inner ear canal part.

01:26:14   They've been making things of that style since the original iPod 20 years ago. They have never stopped making earbud shaped earbuds. That's what you want.

01:26:28   They have made those continuously the entire time. They haven't made the same ones the whole time, but they have never stopped making them.

01:26:34   It is such an incredibly popular and mass market, you know, widely adopted shape. So many people love it. It has so many advantages and it is the preferred style for so many people.

01:26:49   I can't imagine them making only the inner ear kind. Because ever since the AirPod Pros have come out, you know, I've been raving about how good they are for me. I love them. I continue to be very happy with them.

01:27:04   The original style earbud style ear pods don't work for me. Most earbud shaped earbuds don't work for me, which is why I'm so into this. Because I've been on the other side of this.

01:27:14   But it seems to be like, not quite a 50/50 split, but it seems like a large percentage of the population of the world prefers only one of these two styles of headphones and not the other.

01:27:27   And so it seems like they're pretty much always going to have to address both general fit types if they're going to continue to have widespread market appeal.

01:27:38   And for the AirPods, that's what they want to do. They're doing very well at it so far. They're going to keep doing well at it as long as they continue to have broad market appeal of like, no matter what kind of ears you have, there will be an AirPods model that will be comfortable on you.

01:27:54   And I don't see them going back on that. And so to stop making these style of earbuds that everyone likes, except me, but everyone else likes a lot and has been the primary or only style of earbuds for 20 years, I don't think they're going to stop.

01:28:11   If they happen to stop though, I think you're going to have way more time than you think to buy the old ones. Like, you don't have to buy them now.

01:28:20   I hope so. I don't know what kind. I wouldn't buy them immediately because I'd be afraid they'd go out of stock. But yeah, I mean, like the other fear is not just that they stop making it. But like I said, that they make a new one, but it's a totally different shape because the earbuds have changed shape a lot over the years.

01:28:33   And some of the earbuds of the Apple's made, I found very uncomfortable back in the iPod days. But the specific shape of the plain old AirPods works with my ears.

01:28:42   And speaking of AirPods and what Apple thinks about the default AirPods, there was this conference call published on YouTube where Patton Oswalt talked to the stars of Ted Lasso.

01:28:55   And it was like, you know, six heads or nine heads or whatever across the screen in little squares. And Ted Lasso is a show on Apple TV Plus. And presumably, like on the show which features Apple hardware everywhere, presumably Apple gave every single one of the stars of this show AirPod Pros to do this PR thing, right?

01:29:15   So every single one of the actors has AirPod Pros in their ear. And I think I tweeted this last week or whenever it was that I watched it. Watching that thing, it's delightful and Ted Lasso is great and the people are great and it's worth watching.

01:29:28   It's a 45 minute video filled with these actors fiddling with their ears, trying to press the AirPod Pros into their ears, like just constantly messing with them in a way that I've never seen anybody mess with the earbud style ones. Because Marco thinks the earbud style ones, he says like, oh, they are uncomfortable.

01:29:47   And some people say when I exercise, they fall out. But these people were sitting still staring at the screen and they could not get these damn AirPod Pros to stay in their ears.

01:29:54   For the record, that is exactly how regular AirPods fit on me, even when sitting still. I would have to constantly fiddle with them.

01:30:01   Well, so part of the problem is that they were using them as mics too, so every time they fiddled with them, you got like, please don't fiddle with the mic, right?

01:30:08   And one of them fell out of Jason Sudeikis' ear, literally fell out of it. He had to bend over and pick it up, right?

01:30:14   And this is after just 30 minutes of him shoving it and making static noises or whatever, so I do really wonder, I mean, obviously it could have been maybe they all had the wrong tips, maybe they didn't do the tip fit test or whatever, you know.

01:30:25   I don't know what the problem is. I feel like the bud style has a higher success rate, at least in my personal experience of seeing people wear them, not just the Ted Lasso thing, but in real life and in general.

01:30:38   Maybe it's because having three different sized tips is just too complicated and people can't deal with it and they make bad choices, but maybe it's just because jamming into someone's ear hole is always going to be a harder fit than just kind of rattling around in their ear.

01:30:49   So I hope they don't can them. I hope they don't think the pros are the way to go, but I'm assuming Apple gave everyone the fanciest of everything.

01:30:58   Oh, you're stars of our shows. You all get the fanciest iPhone, you know, you get the fanciest AirPods, and those are the pros, you know.

01:31:04   So, we'll see, but I do have a lot of anxiety about it, and most of my anxiety is because, kind of like my cheese grater, it's not like a minor thing in my life.

01:31:13   I use my AirPods probably more than any other single Apple thing, because I use them when I'm sitting down at my computer sometimes, because I just have them in my ears all the time.

01:31:23   I use them as microphones to talk at work, right, when I'm doing teleconferences at work and everything. I use them to listen to music on my thing when I'm going for a dog walk or podcast or whatever.

01:31:34   I'm always using them, and if you took those away because Apple decided they're not into that specific design anymore, I would be sad.

01:31:42   But, I mean, the flip side of it like that, I'm open to the idea of new earbuds that are like the AirPods that are even better. That's the whole reason I'm not buying five pairs of them now, because I want something better, but I just don't want the thing I have to be taken away.

01:31:57   I really don't think it's a high risk. I mean, because what you said about the AirPods Pro not fitting this whole cast of people, I think that illustrates a key thing here. For so long, Apple seemed to be of the product design opinion by their actions that one size fits all.

01:32:17   For so long, they only would make one type of earbud at a time, and then AirPods came out. When we went wireless, there were lots of headphones that were decent. I had a few that I liked a lot myself, but nothing except AirPods provides the total level of system integration and the level of features with iOS devices and everything that AirPods do.

01:32:44   And Apple, for whatever it was, a year or two, only made one kind of AirPod. And it was a wild success, but they still only made that one. And as somebody who it didn't fit, that kind of sucked for me.

01:33:00   I think we were the minority. I think most people seemed fine with it. And that's why it was such an amazing thing for me when the Pros came out. Not only is the AirPod Pro just a really good product all around, but for the first time, I could wear it comfortably. I could actually join this world of convenience that everyone else had been enjoying for years, and I never had.

01:33:19   I'd never had an earbud that fit me. The whole experience of even before that with the wired ones, where people would be able to have their headphones wrapped around their phone in their pocket, I could never do that. They never fit me. My headphones never fit in my pocket until AirPods Pro.

01:33:37   And so it was amazing when Apple finally left the world of one size fits all, and finally made something that happened to fit me really well. But when they did it, they didn't stop making the other kind. I think most people, the other kind fits fine. That's why they could make, you know, it's kind of one size fits most.

01:33:53   I don't think they're going to stop making the size that fits most and only make the one that seems to have a pretty high percentage of people saying, "This isn't for me." So I think you're fine. I wouldn't expect them to do this. If they do tweak the design, as you said, great. I think they probably will.

01:34:13   Based on the current rumors, they are probably going to make the stems shorter. But I don't think that requires them to change the fit style. I think they're perfectly able to make the stems shorter and also still have it be a traditional earbud style kind of resting in that curve fit.

01:34:30   The rumor shape, though, does look like the Pro. Imagine the Pro shape but without the tip. That's kind of what they look like. It's nothing like the old shape. It's a different little blub. I could have been in a place where all of a sudden they make a new shape and the new shape still works for most people, but suddenly I'm the Marco. And they don't work in my ears, you know?

01:34:49   You never know when it could happen to you, John.

01:34:52   Usually it's about spending a pile of money. In this case, it's about...

01:34:55   You did that too! You did it first! That's right. I just waited 10 years to do it.

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01:36:11   [Music]

01:36:14   All right, Ask ATP. This question comes from Peter Yang, but it may as well have come from me.

01:36:19   What's it like to switch from the time-tested strategy of a shared Apple ID used by multiple people for iTunes, the App Store, In-App purchases, etc. to family sharing?

01:36:27   Would it make sense to make that previously shared Apple ID the progenitor account and then have my spouse and I as members with our personal Apple IDs?

01:36:35   Or should I scratch the old Apple ID entirely and use my personal Apple ID as a starter?

01:36:40   What happens to my In-App purchases? I assume the three of you are all enjoying family sharing, so I am not.

01:36:45   So the way we've done this, I think I've talked about it in the past, but the way we've done this is the thing that most people used to do is that

01:36:51   Erin uses my Apple ID just for the purposes of the App Store, but she has her own Apple ID for literally everything else.

01:36:58   And then my Apple ID is my iMessage, my everything, my iCloud ID, and it's also my App Store ID.

01:37:06   And it's everything to me, and it's only the App Store to Erin.

01:37:11   And I know that I need to move to family sharing. I know I do. I'm not debating it.

01:37:16   But I'm so scared to mess with what is mostly working.

01:37:20   So please, one of you educate both Peter and me as to what the right approach is here.

01:37:24   Let me put your mind at ease. First of all, I guess this is another thing I had forgotten, but it's just like finding out you don't use the iCloud photo library.

01:37:30   I didn't know you weren't using family sharing.

01:37:32   Nope.

01:37:33   So this scenario you described, Peter Yang is in the exact same situation I was, right?

01:37:37   And what I chose to do was his first suggestion, which is to make the previously shared Apple ID the progenitor account.

01:37:44   So fancy. And then have my spouse and I as members with it. Well, not quite the progenitor account.

01:37:49   I don't know what he means by progenitor. I thought he meant make that the family owner.

01:37:55   Apple's family sharing, you can have like, what is it called? The family manager or the family owner or whatever.

01:38:00   That's what I did. We had a shared Apple ID that was used by everybody for App Store purchases, right?

01:38:05   And I made that the family owner/manager thing, whatever. I started the family, right?

01:38:11   And that Apple ID has always been "my Apple ID," right?

01:38:15   And then I added my wife as a member of the family and added all the kids as members in the family and so on and so forth.

01:38:21   My wife already had her own Apple ID. The kids had their own Apple ID.

01:38:25   So we didn't change anything. We didn't make a new Apple ID.

01:38:28   And the suggestion of like scratching, you know, getting rid of the old Apple ID entirely and just making new ones, don't do that.

01:38:35   Because you can't transfer purchases. You can't merge Apple IDs, right?

01:38:39   I was going to say for better or for worse, but it's 100 percent.

01:38:42   For worse, Apple does not let you do things like merge Apple IDs or transfer purchases from one thing to the other in any reasonable way, right?

01:38:51   So you've been making purchases for years and years and that one shared Apple ID? Great. So is everybody.

01:38:56   That Apple ID needs to be in your family, right?

01:38:59   And I would suggest not making it like an unowned random person Apple ID.

01:39:03   You could do that, you know, make up a family member.

01:39:05   Like I had this whole saga where I made up a family member of my thing for Apple reviews and it took me six months to delete it or whatever.

01:39:11   But don't do that. Make a person own whoever wants to be the person who owns all those purchases you made over all the years.

01:39:19   Fine. Make them the family owner. Give them that thing. Make the family and then just shove everyone else in it.

01:39:24   And that's all there is to it. Like it's only upside by putting people in a family.

01:39:28   As long as you don't try to merge Apple IDs or delete Apple IDs and make all new Apple IDs which will end in disaster.

01:39:33   And just keep the Apple IDs you have and put them in a family together.

01:39:36   Now suddenly all of every single member of that family has access to all the app purchased by that shared Apple ID that everybody purchased in.

01:39:45   Right? You just have to know how to do it. If like go through in the store, go through their Apple ID, go through purchasing, get the thing that way.

01:39:50   They can also do individual purchases if they want or they can continue essentially allowing the one account to buy everything and then the family members just get access to it.

01:40:01   It used to be that in-app purchases were excluded from that in various ways but now Apple at least has the ability for app vendors to make their in-app purchases also shareable through family sharing.

01:40:12   And in my experience a lot of them are doing that because there's not many downsides to doing it.

01:40:16   So I wouldn't be afraid of family sharing. It was super painless and I did it like on day one. You know when there could have been many more hitches.

01:40:24   And as long as you just take your existing Apple IDs and put them all in a family, you only get benefits and there's basically no downsides.

01:40:30   Yeah there's a Mac Power Users episode 522 from about a year ago that I listened to a long time ago thinking, "Oh I'm going to do this now!" and then I never actually did it.

01:40:40   So yeah I need to do this at some point. Marco I presume you're in a family and everything's hunky dory?

01:40:45   Yeah we also jump on family sharing pretty early. We never had the like shared ID purchases thing.

01:40:52   Tiff and I have always maintained separate Apple IDs but we don't actually have a lot of overlap in our purchases.

01:41:02   So there wasn't a lot of stuff we ever had to buy twice between us. It was minimal.

01:41:07   So we always kept separate Apple IDs. It would always make sense. And then once family sharing was launched we joined it pretty early as well.

01:41:13   And it's been fine. We've never really had any problems with it. So I definitely can recommend the family sharing setup to anybody out there. It works great.

01:41:21   I just looked up what Apple calls it. I am the organizer of our family. I'm not sure that's better than manager or whatever but yeah I am the organizer.

01:41:30   Better than owner!

01:41:31   Yeah my wife is listed as parent/guardian and then the other ones just have their ages listed.

01:41:36   All right. Gennaro Diaz writes, "I know Marco has described with detail the headphones and mics that he likes and dislikes but I was wondering about his speakers and amp for computer sound. I would love to know the sound setup of John and Casey too."

01:41:49   So I have always found throughout my entire computing life, computer speakers are garbage. They are just garbage.

01:41:59   I don't know what it is. Even when good speaker companies make computer speakers, they're terrible.

01:42:06   I have never found a pair of computer speakers that was anywhere near as good as even basic entry level, small, regular speakers that happen to be on your desk.

01:42:21   Maybe I'm just missing that part of the market that's good. Never found it. I've tried many at many different price points and prestige levels and different brands.

01:42:32   Computer speakers in my experience are garbage. So my solution has always been, every few years to try to get back in and try to buy some kind of self-powered pair of nice desktop speakers from somebody, realize they're garbage, return them and go back to regular speakers.

01:42:49   My approach has always been put regular speakers on your desk and have something to amplify them.

01:42:56   Now what that's been has changed over time. At first, back in my earliest days, I had this little system that a lot of people had in the 90s that was like, it looked like a stack of components, like a cassette deck and a radio and everything, but it wasn't actually a stack of separate components.

01:43:15   It was just like a rectangle with dividers in the plastic molding that looked like a stack but wasn't. You know what I'm talking about?

01:43:21   Yeah, I have one of those. But the speakers were separate, right?

01:43:27   Yes, the speakers were separate.

01:43:29   I still have those speakers and they are holding up my current speakers.

01:43:33   Like Jeff Foxworthy style?

01:43:35   Yeah, they are literally stands because they're just the right height and just the right footprint to have a black nondescript rectangle to hold up the speakers that are actually the right and left channel to my television.

01:43:46   Right, so anyway, I started out with one of those, this Pioneer thing, and it sounded way better than the computer speakers that existed in 1995.

01:43:57   So I started out just wiring one of those. When I first discovered the famous mini jack to left and right RCA connector Y adapter cable.

01:44:08   Those have been around for quite some time and I first started using it back then.

01:44:13   Did you have an amp then? Could you drive speakers that big off of your computer?

01:44:17   Well, no. Back then I ran my computer's output to the line in on my Pioneer stereo thing.

01:44:23   Oh, so you were actually using that big stack of stereo crap.

01:44:26   Yeah, yeah. Because it had a line in function.

01:44:29   That's not space efficient.

01:44:31   No, not at all. But anyway, so I eventually moved on to different things. For a while I had this giant pair of, Sony had made a self-powered home theater speaker system that was a self-amplified left and right.

01:44:50   Where the amp was all shoved into the left speaker, but they were floor standing speakers. So a powered floor standing speaker with a giant woofer on the bottom half of it. And I used that for a while.

01:45:02   Like throughout most of college and everything. And eventually to downsize back to desk size stuff.

01:45:07   I again, I mean I've tried so many different ones that have been self-powered desktop speakers and they're all so bad. Even just this past summer I was setting up the new setup at the beach and I tried a couple different ones that came very highly recommended on Amazon reviews and stuff.

01:45:24   And they were terrible. Like honestly, they were terrible. So what I have used with most success is regular stereo bookshelf speakers. Bookshelf speakers are, you know, they're a size category.

01:45:38   They do fit on a desk. They're not made for this use. You can use them this way. They're not made usually to be listened to quite this close up.

01:45:46   You can improve things slightly if you want to by like tilting them towards you slightly. They call that towing it in. Where like you have them not pointing straight out but pointing kind of diagonally into a triangle towards your ears.

01:45:57   Certain desktop bookshelf speaker stands will have little angles so that they tilt up slightly. Because also having bookshelf speakers on a desk typically makes them too low for ideal listening.

01:46:08   So if you can have them point a little bit more towards your ears like up and in instead of straight out that improves the listening physics of using bookshelf speakers this way.

01:46:19   But again using bookshelf speakers this way is I have found by far the best setup. And I have yet to find a pair of self-powered bookshelf speakers that is worth its price at all.

01:46:33   Even for, like so, my first favorite pair of bookshelf speakers for this use was the Paradigm Atom series. They're like $300ish for a pair and you need an amp.

01:46:46   And I'll get to that in a second. So that was my first pair. Paradigm also makes a self-powered one and I tried it. I tried that one first and it sounds way worse than the powered one or than the passive one.

01:46:59   I don't know why. I don't know if they just use different components or what. For whatever reason it sounds way worse.

01:47:06   I also have tried, so my current favorite, for a while the bookshelf speaker world was really obsessed with this entrance from KEF called the LS50.

01:47:19   And I have never seen an LS50 in person. They didn't pass muster visually for my use. And they're also very deep. Be careful if you look at their dimensions.

01:47:32   But KEF made a desktop version of something that looks a lot like the LS50. I think it's the LSX, LS10. And I tried those this summer.

01:47:43   And they are not good in my opinion. Or at least they weren't good for me. But they also make a version called the Q150 that is very similar in many ways to the LS50.

01:47:57   But a little bit more traditional styling and cheaper. And so on my desk right now is a pair of KEF Q150s.

01:48:06   For the aforementioned Terrible TV Upstairs setup, I got the Q350s, which is very similar to the 150s but a slightly larger driver basically.

01:48:16   And these speakers are incredible. There's a reason why speaker nerds have been talking about the KEF LS50 for so long and so effusively.

01:48:28   I've never heard speakers that sound this good in especially the mid-range. I am a self-professed mid-range snob as you all know.

01:48:38   When you put on like, Apple has this, on Apple Music they have this acoustic singer/songwriter channel or something like that.

01:48:46   You put that on, it is incredible to hear a vocalist and a guitar. That's all you need.

01:48:53   Put that, or a person singing and playing piano, put that on these speakers and it sounds incredible.

01:49:00   This line of speakers, the KEF, this new line that is based on this new driver technology they have, it has amazing mid-range.

01:49:08   And for me, that's fantastic. The 350s upstairs, they even have enough bass that I decided not to get a subwoofer.

01:49:16   I was allowed to get a subwoofer. I had it allocated in the political landscape of our household and declined to get it because I didn't need it.

01:49:27   Because they even have good enough bass out of the 350s. The 150s that I have on my desk aren't great for bass and so I actually do have a separate subwoofer.

01:49:38   I'll have to put it in the show notes, it's some kind of white Amazon recommended thing. It's kind of like mid-range, smallish subwoofer.

01:49:51   For the Q150s I do recommend that and it also makes good footrest.

01:49:56   My primary goal for when I decided to get a subwoofer for my desk, my primary goal was let me get one that is a good footrest shape first.

01:50:03   Because I don't care about the particular quality of the subwoofer. But anyway, that's all driven by, I have this SMSL, some kind of inexpensive SMSL amp.

01:50:16   There's this whole category of, they used to be called Class D or Class T amps that are basically like $50-$100 desktop speaker amps that can usually push about 50 watts per channel, which is plenty for this kind of use.

01:50:33   If you're just going to have a pair of bookshelf speakers on a desk, that's the way to go because it's really small.

01:50:38   I have mine velcroed to the bottom of my desk so I don't even see it. I control the volume separately via my headphone amp setup and that's what drives them.

01:50:47   And the combination of a $50ish Class D amp and a pair of regular passive bookshelf speakers sounds so much better than any pair of self-powered computer speakers I've ever found.

01:51:03   So that's what I use. Q150s, some kind of subwoofer I'll put in the show notes, and this SMSL amp that has, I had to get a slightly higher tier of the SMSL to have a subwoofer output.

01:51:17   But I've also used the now famous SA50, I think it's called, their entry level model that's about $50. I've used that one before and that's also great.

01:51:26   If you're not going to have a subwoofer, that one's totally fine. So that's it. And again, I do not, I really don't have anything good to say about any active self-powered computer speakers I've ever bought or heard.

01:51:41   But bookshelf speakers from regular speaker makers are great. They have lots of good ones. My favorite now is the KEF series. But that's the way to go if you want good sound quality.

01:51:52   It's not small, it's not simple, but that's the way to go.

01:51:56   Jon?

01:51:58   I should have looked up the model number of my crappy computer speakers.

01:52:03   So my, I'm using computer speakers, I've always used computer speakers and most of the time I leave them turned off which tells you how much audio I ever have coming out of my computer.

01:52:14   It's basically like I have my computer in silent mode because they're plugged in and selected as the output but they're not on. So no noise comes out of them.

01:52:22   I mean, again, the AirPods, I stand in front of my computer, I pair them, that's where I can get sound.

01:52:26   When, in the rare occasions when I want to hear sound like I'm watching a YouTube video, I turn them on just for that.

01:52:31   And that gives you the level of the, you know, the type of, what kind of audio am I listening to? I'm watching a YouTube video.

01:52:37   I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching anything like that. I think my speakers are, they're from Creative, the sound blaster company.

01:52:44   I think they are the GigaWorks T40 series. They have, each speaker has three drivers, two medium sized ones and one tiny little tweeter thing.

01:52:54   I pick them mostly based on their footprint. They have very small footprint.

01:53:00   Those speakers you have, Marco, they are huge. They're huge in every dimension but yes, the depth is massive.

01:53:07   So I wanted something that was small, didn't take up a lot of room on the desk and these have way better sound quality than my previous crappy computer speakers that had single drivers.

01:53:16   And they have controls on the front of them for volume and stuff, although I don't use those controls, I just use the computer controls.

01:53:23   They also have headphone jack on them which at various times depending on where the headphone jack has been on my various tower computers, from the G3 to the first G's Grader to this one.

01:53:33   It sometimes actually is convenient to plug my headphone directly into the front facing headphone jack on my computer speaker if I have a wired headphone but I really don't use it that much.

01:53:42   I used to have a subwoofer attached to a different pair of computer speakers. These things have no bass whatsoever.

01:53:48   My PlayStation speakers, I'm a big fan of, I have no idea what it is, it's like some Logitech setup where they give you these two, again very small footprint speakers with the power button and the volume button right on them front facing.

01:54:02   And then a very big subwoofer underneath. Because for games I really like the subwoofer for explosions and gunfire.

01:54:10   I'm not listening to music and it's not accurate or realistic in any way but the subwoofer right at your feet really gives a good kick. I don't rest my feet on it.

01:54:18   On the computer, since I rarely use the speakers at all, I no longer have a subwoofer underneath there at all.

01:54:24   And I don't have an amp, they just connect directly to the computer.

01:54:26   When I had a subwoofer, the subwoofer itself was doing the amplification and accepting the signal from the computer and then it would feed the two speakers.

01:54:36   There's really not a lot of, I'm with Marco in that if you're looking for a good 2.1 system for your computer, there's really not a lot of good options until you go and get your own amp.

01:54:46   Because any of the self powered ones, they're just not very good if you care about audio quality.

01:54:51   And further, like the Logitech ones that I have on my PlayStation, the cords are just like a SCSI cable coming out of the back of the thing.

01:55:00   It's such a tiny little speaker and I swear it's the thickest cord in my entire house.

01:55:04   There's another reason I love the ones that speakers that I have on my Mac Pro, because they just have a tiny little wire coming from them.

01:55:09   It looks like a speaker wire. It's not, because they're self powered and it's actually, you know, there's a power brick somewhere that's powering these and the power is coming to the speakers through those little cables.

01:55:18   But they're very small, very thin cables that are easy to route and easy to put wherever I want them to go.

01:55:24   Yeah, the Logitech ones just have, I mean, if not a SCSI cable, then at least like a monitor cable from a CRT.

01:55:31   It's super thick and hard to manage. And only to one of them, because, you know, the subwoofer goes up to the one speaker that has the power button with the SCSI cable.

01:55:39   And then from the SCSI cable speaker to the other one goes a little skinny cable.

01:55:42   So I do really like the speakers. I actually bought another set of them for my son's PlayStation and I will probably buy another set if I can.

01:55:50   If they ever start, if they stop making them, I'm going to be sad because I love how small they are and they have really good sound.

01:55:55   Another thing to stockpile.

01:55:56   Yeah, well, I've already got two of them. The problem is they have like the damn cheese grater. They have a fatal flaw, which is that the contacts on the power button and the volume knob get like, I don't know, dirty or gross or like eventually you get to the point where when you turn the volume, you hear that like static sound.

01:56:15   And the power button is a push in and it sticks in and then click again and it comes out like a clicky pen. You know what I mean? Right.

01:56:22   That eventually when you click in and click out, you hear a bunch of static come through the speaker or whatever.

01:56:27   And I've been resuscitating them with electrical contact cleaner, which fixes the problem for like two years, but then it comes back.

01:56:35   So yet another product with a fatal flaw, but that I really like for the purposes of playing my, you know, playing Destiny on my gaming monitor.

01:56:44   And this is like, this is yet another reason why I hate like computer speakers. It's similar to like the iMac problem where you're combining multiple roles into something.

01:56:54   And like if any of those things break, the whole thing is ruined. Whereas if you have regular passive speakers like you can use whatever cables you want.

01:57:03   This is one area where I do make my own cables because I buy a spool of cheap speaker cable.

01:57:07   You know, I had like, I think it's Amazon basics brand, like, you know, a spool of speaker cable costs nothing that'll last you forever.

01:57:14   I have a basic wire cutter thing that can strip the insulation in a nice clean way and everything. So I use one of those.

01:57:19   You know, whenever I like rewire my desk and I need a different length of speaker cable, I just cut a new one.

01:57:25   It's great. You know, you can wire your cables way easier than network cable because it's really hard to screw it up.

01:57:33   Like it's very low, low intensity. It's very low precision. You know, you can use lamp cord and it doesn't matter.

01:57:40   So it's, you know, you can make whatever you want. And, you know, a passive speaker in computer equipment terms effectively never die.

01:57:49   Like you, you'd have to really try hard to kill a passive speaker. They basically last forever.

01:57:55   Like not quite eventually you have to like, you know, replace the surround if it like rots out if it's like after 30 years.

01:58:01   But they effectively last forever. And so the, you know, cheap electronics that you might find in an amp or volume control.

01:58:10   Yeah, those might have problems over time. So you can replace only that after 10 years when it breaks.

01:58:16   You know, if my little SMSL amp breaks, spend another $75, get a new one in 10 years. Fine.

01:58:23   Keep my nice speakers. Like that's when you have separate components here, you gain so much more durability, flexibility, customizability.

01:58:34   The thing also is like computer speakers that have built in amplification and everything aren't even cheap.

01:58:40   You're not saving anything really by not having a separate component system. You're you might be saving one small box somewhere.

01:58:49   Like that's, that's all you're really saving by going at that route. It's not worth it for most people. It really isn't like if you if you can have a separate setup.

01:58:57   I highly recommend it because it's just better in every possible way.

01:59:02   So my answer is extremely complicated. I for my computer use the onboard speakers on the on the on the iMac Pro.

01:59:10   I think they're fine for the kind of music listening that I'm doing when I'm working.

01:59:15   I don't need incredible audio fidelity. And if I really am listening to something and want that fidelity, then I'll plug in either my Beyerdynamic headphones or a set of Ultimate Ears canal phones that I have.

01:59:27   But that that happens almost never. The iMac Pro speakers are surprisingly good.

01:59:31   And it's funny because my dad had a set of like small bookshelf speakers that were Bluetooth powered or Bluetooth not powered, but Bluetooth enabled.

01:59:40   And he gave them to me because he was just going to throw them away. And I had them connected to my iMac Pro for like a day.

01:59:47   And I realized that the iMac Pro actually sounds better.

01:59:50   I just gave them to my brother in law and said, here, you can have these because I don't need them.

01:59:56   Obviously, that's not a very useful recommendation in this context.

02:00:00   But for me, I've actually been very surprised at how good the iMac Pro sounds given that it's a computer.

02:00:08   I mean, I would not say that it is a good speaker system, but for the again, for the kinds of listening that I'm doing, it's more than sufficient for me.

02:00:15   No, honestly, that's not that far off. Like that's like in one of my adventures last year, I brought the iMac Pro to a beach rental for a weekend.

02:00:25   To just like I did like a like a work retreat weekend last fall.

02:00:29   And I like I brought my iMac Pro and I set it up on like a coffee table in this rental house.

02:00:34   And I used its built in speakers and played fish the whole time, the whole weekend.

02:00:39   It was me in an empty house playing fish from my iMac built in speakers.

02:00:44   And I was surprised how decent they were. Like I wouldn't call them good in absolute terms.

02:00:50   But you're right. For built in speakers on a thin computer, they are quite good for what they are.

02:00:57   And for many people, that's fine. Not for me, obviously.

02:01:00   But, you know, for like in in the context of like I'm just gonna use the built in ones for occasional use.

02:01:05   The iMac Pro speakers are surprisingly good.

02:01:08   Gage Benny writes, what do you all use to track your finances, investments, budgets and so on?

02:01:14   For me, I use prior sponsor Banktivity. It works well for my uses.

02:01:20   Basically, I only use it as kind of a glorified spreadsheet.

02:01:24   I like to keep track of, you know, where we're spending what money and so I have a good view as to how much money we have in a more real time sense.

02:01:34   Obviously, I could use my bank's website to do 80 percent of this, but I don't know.

02:01:39   It's a habit I've had for 20 years and I'm probably going to keep going with it.

02:01:42   But yeah, I like Banktivity and they have iOS apps, which actually just recently they got revamped and are working even better than before.

02:01:49   They have desktop apps. I don't know if they have a PC version, but certainly on all Apple platforms, they're there.

02:01:58   I like it a lot. I don't know. Marco, what do you use?

02:02:01   I don't have a good answer. I have like a couple of spreadsheets and like I just did my my annual like, you know, profit and loss for my business accounts for my taxes for 2020.

02:02:15   And I have a PHP script that I run against like I like I export the transactions for the year from my bank website into like CubeFX format.

02:02:27   And I run this this script I wrote a few years back to automatically classify everything and generate like a P&L that I can give the accountant to do the rest of the taxes.

02:02:36   But I have like a monthly spreadsheet for, you know, monthly stuff.

02:02:40   But this is I don't have a good solution. I mean, part of the problem is that I've been self-employed for 10 years and that entire time I've had just really spiky income, you know, self-employment.

02:02:52   Like when you're when you have apps in the App Store, it's hard to know.

02:02:56   It's hard. It's hard to have like a smooth, predictable income.

02:03:00   It goes up and down like crazy. And so it's it's hard for me to have a very organized system when what's happening is is disorganized.

02:03:10   If that makes sense.

02:03:12   John.

02:03:13   Back in the day when I first had finances at all, I used Quicken.

02:03:18   Yeah, same.

02:03:19   Which is an abomination on the Mac, but it was very common program.

02:03:24   Everybody understood it and I got to know it.

02:03:27   But since since we've been married, my wife has essentially done all the finances.

02:03:32   So I was like, oh, we should use Quicken. And, you know, I showed her how to use it enough to be able to get by.

02:03:36   But in general, she wanted to be in charge of the thing. But she did not like Quicken.

02:03:39   So for years and years, she would use Quicken, but hate it.

02:03:42   I liked it because after she used Quicken to do finances, I could go into Quicken and open it up and learn about what's going on with the money, where it all is and how much it is and profits and loss and all that type of stuff.

02:03:53   Like I had a bunch of saved graphs and charts and it was, you know, again, a terrible Mac program, not a good Mac citizen at all.

02:04:00   But I knew how to use it and it did all the things. But she hated doing it and she was the one who was doing it.

02:04:04   I offered to take over the finances, but she didn't want that to happen.

02:04:07   So she still does all the finances. And eventually she phased out Quicken.

02:04:10   She said, I'm done with Quicken, especially with the whole like Quicken 2007 was like the latest version for a long time.

02:04:16   And then Quicken wasn't supported. And then they have this new Web version that didn't do all the same things.

02:04:20   And Quicken became an even more of a mess. So it's like, that's it. We're off Quicken.

02:04:24   So we stopped using Quicken many years ago and my wife switched to a program that I always call YabNab, but that's not actually what it's called.

02:04:32   Oh, yes, yes, yes.

02:04:33   The actual, it's actually all caps Y-N-A-B, which I suppose is pronounced Y-nab or something like that.

02:04:39   But because it was such a mouthful when you started using it, I'm like, OK, well, you can use YabNab.

02:04:43   It used to be a native Mac app that was actually better than Quicken in terms of being a good Mac citizen.

02:04:49   Eventually they too phased out their native Mac app and went to this Web technology based thing.

02:04:56   But she likes it. And the Web thing actually looks much like the native Mac one in the spirit of Electron apps or whatever.

02:05:03   Lots of the times, if your UI is sufficiently un-Mac like, you can replace it with Web technologies and it doesn't actually seem that different because she loves she loves to have a budget.

02:05:12   Right. And I never used any of the budgeting features in Quicken.

02:05:15   I just wanted to know, like, how are we doing and what does the income look like? And we categorize all the purchases.

02:05:20   You can see how much we're spending on food and how much you're spending on gas and rent, you know, like all the stuff that you would do.

02:05:25   But she wants to have a budget, as in here's how much I've allocated for food, for utilities, for mortgage, you know what I mean?

02:05:34   Like and then she would make it. She loves making budgets like, oh, here's the here's the vacation budget and here's how we're going to save money for our Disney vacation.

02:05:41   Here's John's computer budget. Anyway, so she does it all and she uses Yabnab, which is not pronounced Yabnab.

02:05:47   All right. Yeah, I know a lot of people who use You Need a Budget, Y-N-A-B.

02:05:52   I have never tried it, but it seems like pretty much everyone who has swears by it. It's like freakin Peloton or freakin Tesla.

02:06:00   As far as I can tell, it's not a cult. It's just a program. I don't particularly like how it how it handles things, but it does what she wants it to do.

02:06:07   So there you go. My name and T is my name is T in the chat says, much like Casey Beachbody, Y-N-A-B is a good budgeting application,

02:06:15   but it also has a cult associated with it, which you can just ignore and get the benefit from the app.

02:06:20   There you go. It's not an MLM, though, is it? I mean, it's not even it's not even a subscription app, I don't think.

02:06:25   I think it's like a one time purchase. I see. What is it? Is it a subscription?

02:06:29   If you if you were doing the finances, you would know. That's right. Oh, it is. It's a subscription. Annual plan. Eighty four dollars a year.

02:06:37   Does it classify itself as like a safe expense? Like in its things like to make you not look at it too much?

02:06:43   I mean, you have to but you have to budget for it somewhere. You need a budget. You've got like nine hundred budgets.

02:06:48   You've got too many budgets. Automatically classifies itself as essentials. Right.

02:06:53   I mean, it's like Quicken in that it's not just like budget or whatever. You can put everything in there. You can put your 401Ks in there and tracking your investments or whatever.

02:07:00   I don't think it has all the integrations that Quicken did with like tracking stock prices and all that crap or whatever. But it's it seems fine.

02:07:09   It's a glowing endorsement. It seems fine. John Syracuse. But but it's very it's much more opaque to me because I don't know how to use it.

02:07:14   So I can't dive in there and I get the all the old reports I used to have in Quicken. I have no idea how to get them out of you have now.

02:07:20   So I'm kind of in the dark now. I'm assuming I'm not broke.

02:07:23   Thanks to our sponsors this week. Express VPN, Hover and FlatFile. And thank you to our members who support us directly.

02:07:30   You can join them and become one of them by going to ATP.FM/join. Thanks, everybody.

02:07:37   And we'll talk to you next week.

02:07:39   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin because it was accidental.

02:07:49   It was accidental. John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him because it was accidental.

02:08:00   It was accidental.

02:08:02   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.

02:08:17   That's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-N-T Marco Arman S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A. It's accidental.

02:08:32   They didn't mean to. Accidental. Tech. Widecast. So long.

02:08:42   Speaking of display advancements, I finally remembered what I ranted about this. It must have been on Rectiffs, but Rectiffs is so delayed from when it comes out that you'll hear that episode in like two weeks.

02:08:51   But anyway, the big thing at CES this year for all the televisions aside from the panel stuff is directly in line with my 2013 blog post which was entitled "CES Worst Products Through Software."

02:09:06   This year, it's all... I mean, you can practically guess it. A.I. Image Processing. Isn't that what you want on your TV?

02:09:14   Every single manufacturer is touting some kind... and they all decided they're going to say A.I. and not M.L. because I guess M.L. is too much of a tech term.

02:09:21   A.I. Image Processing, which is exactly what it sounds like. They have their stupid processors burning cycles to figure out are you watching an action movie? Are you watching sports?

02:09:30   And then they modify the picture on the screen. Specific elements in the screen to look better and they even modified the sound as well.

02:09:37   So if they can find the edges of the buildings in a sky shot and they've classified your thing as a movie and you're showing pictures of buildings and they're going to detect that it's buildings because they trained their stupid machine learning thing to identify buildings and they're going to sharpen just the edges of the buildings.

02:09:50   Or they're going to find a human face and they're going to smooth the face over. And it's like, stop screwing with the picture. That is the last thing I want any television to ever do is to literally alter the picture.

02:10:01   Like, based on a bunch of A.I. rules. Not even like on a setting that you can... so, you know, basically it's just if you get one of these new TVs, it's just one more thing you have to turn off.

02:10:10   All that motion stuff you have to turn off, turn off all the A.I. processing, turn off all the reality creation or whatever the hell they're going to call it.

02:10:18   You've got to turn that camera off. But it amazes me that they're willing... because I know we have the tech to do this, but like, I mean, I guess it seems so ridiculous, but if I think about it, that's what the iPhone cameras do.

02:10:29   They find faces, they know what they're looking at, they detect what kind of... like, they are messing with your picture not just as a giant grid of pixels, but with an understanding of elements in the picture.

02:10:39   Some understanding of elements in the picture, at the very least understandings of human faces, which has been around for a while.

02:10:44   But their processing takes that stuff into account. But to do it in real time on a television set, I don't want that to happen ever.

02:10:53   The sound thing was driving me nuts. It's like they can localize sound so it sounds like it's coming from the person's face because their speakers shake the screens, you know, the speakers that are behind the screens.

02:11:02   And so they can figure out who the speaker is and make the sound come out of where their face is.

02:11:06   Or make... if you're watching sports, they can give the sound more like stadium reverb, but it's like, please, no, please stop. Stop destroying the signal that I'm pumping into the back of you with an HDMI cable.

02:11:17   Would you just show it the way it's coming out of the cable? It's maddening.

02:11:22   Can't stop the signal, but you can alter the crap out of it.

02:11:25   Yeah, apparently. And you know these systems are not going to work well because these companies are not Apple.

02:11:30   It's just going to be like... I pity the poor testers. It's going to be like, is this TV broken or is the stupid AI image processing just, you know, like a dog with a bone and it thinks that mountain is someone's face and it's softening it because it doesn't want to show wrinkles?

02:11:45   [beeping]

02:11:47   [ Silence ]