374: Screwdriver Testing Harness


00:00:00   Next thing you're gonna say, "Oh, I still use PHP," or "Oh, I still use Objective-C, huh?"

00:00:05   Oh, God, let me tell you about PHP. Oh, my God.

00:00:08   Actually, all kidding aside, I wasn't planning on talking about that tonight, but since I/you have brought it up,

00:00:13   I'm genuinely curious what the issue is. And the problem is, I don't know enough PHP to really be able to contribute to the conversation.

00:00:21   Save it for the show.

00:00:23   This is the show.

00:00:24   This is not the show.

00:00:25   Get on board. Buckle up, Jon.

00:00:27   Oh, my goodness.

00:00:28   We're not following the format, Jon.

00:00:29   Yeah, buckle up.

00:00:31   So, what is the issue with modern PHP? And somebody, I don't remember who it was, but somebody had conjectured, you know,

00:00:37   maybe it's for better testing or something, which could be, but again, I don't really know enough about what you're seeing,

00:00:44   nor what I'm talking about when it comes to PHP, to be able to pass judgment.

00:00:48   But what is good PHP to Marco, and what makes modern PHP not good?

00:00:54   When PHP first was a thing, like in the, I mean, I think it came out in the late '90s,

00:01:00   I remember first seeing it becoming a thing early 2000s was like really when it really got going.

00:01:06   And it became very popular, and it got an immediate, very bad reputation.

00:01:12   And part of that was well deserved.

00:01:14   You know, there's that wonderful website that somebody wrote that says like PHP is a fractal of bad design,

00:01:19   and it goes through a million different things about why.

00:01:21   And yeah, PHP was like a kind of cobbled together mess of multiple different styles of things

00:01:27   that from a very long time ago by, you know, not the most language nerdy of people.

00:01:33   And so it really has a lot of, you know, odd or bad design choices.

00:01:38   But, you know, as we said with Chris Latner, like if you don't know what those things are in your language of choice,

00:01:44   you don't know it well enough.

00:01:46   Like every language has things like this.

00:01:48   You know, some maybe a few more than others, and PHP certainly doesn't do great unlike the design front.

00:01:52   But it's not a bad language, and there's lots of wonderful solid code you can write in it.

00:01:57   And I've made half of my living writing PHP code.

00:02:01   Like everything I've done in my career has been, for the most part, has been backed by some kind of PHP web app,

00:02:07   or it was some kind of PHP web app.

00:02:09   So, you know, this is an area that I'm very familiar with.

00:02:12   And over time, what has been considered like, you know, good or standard PHP code has changed.

00:02:21   Back in those early days, before the language even had, you know, official object-oriented support,

00:02:26   it was written very much kind of like in, kind of similar to how probably bad Perl was written back then.

00:02:33   It was like everything was kind of like inline code mixed with markup that was being kind of templated out

00:02:39   as it was being generated from the web server, and it was very much like a template language.

00:02:44   You would have PHP code intermingled with a web page.

00:02:48   If you've ever dealt with like an old WordPress template, you've seen the style that was of the time forever ago.

00:02:55   And over time, it has been, they added really good object-oriented support, you know, a long time ago,

00:03:03   back in like PHP 4 and 5, and really by the time PHP 5 came around, they had ironed out almost all the major shortcomings

00:03:11   of object-oriented support. So it was like, you know, first-class stuff.

00:03:14   So you could write really well-structured, clean code very easily as a PHP 5, and that was, geez,

00:03:21   probably 14 years ago or something. It was a long time ago.

00:03:25   And since then, the style of what was considered like good PHP code, the style of code you would find

00:03:32   if you searched for a pre-written library of some kind, became like the worst stereotype of Java you could possibly think of.

00:03:42   Like I don't even know if actual Java programmers write code this bad, but if you can think of like,

00:03:48   how would Mike Judge write a Java programmer code? Like how would he satirize this for Silicon Valley?

00:03:57   Like how would, what's the worst possible stereotype of Java programmers?

00:04:02   It's all these like huge, deep class hierarchies for no reason.

00:04:09   It's like the only programming book anybody's ever read is that stupid Gang of Four book that has all these patterns in it

00:04:14   that are wasteful of everyone's time and code. And it's just this huge, like complex mess of just classes

00:04:23   and getters and setters and subclasses and subclasses and subclasses and factories and all this,

00:04:28   and generators and all these things that just like, you know, this just needs to like hash a string.

00:04:34   What are you doing? Why is all this necessary? And the reason I'm getting all mad about this now

00:04:39   is because Apple changed the protocol for sending push notifications a while back, and I've not adopted it yet.

00:04:47   And they set a deadline that they're going to shut down the old one in, I think this fall, in November, something like that.

00:04:54   Part of the work that I'm doing during the quarantine where it's kind of, I'm not getting a lot of like deep programming done,

00:05:02   and that's not, you know, my family's fault, it's just like I'm not in the mood.

00:05:06   And so I'm not getting like a lot of iOS coding done. But I'm taking this time to do like administrative stuff,

00:05:11   server stuff, fixing server-side bugs, improving processes, upgrading some of the things on my servers that I've been putting off,

00:05:17   upgrading that really need to be updated because they're really old, stuff like that.

00:05:20   One of the things I wanted to tackle was this push notification thing.

00:05:24   The new system Apple uses, it requires a certain kind of hash, it's one of those like ECDSA?

00:05:33   Yeah, that with SHA256, and this is something that is not easily generated with stock PHP.

00:05:41   And so there's all these things with like this Java web token or JSON web token JWT,

00:05:46   with like, it has to authenticate with this thing. So I'm looking for like, alright, how do I generate this thing?

00:05:51   Now, the way most programmers solve a problem of how do I generate this hash that this API needs,

00:05:59   is they look for a library that already has it and they just blindly install it.

00:06:04   And it doesn't really matter what it is or how complicated it is or how big or slow it is.

00:06:10   There could be any code in the world in there, they're never going to look at it.

00:06:13   There could be malicious code, there could be creepy code, there could be bad code, they're never going to look at it.

00:06:17   So everyone just installs a package and adds it to their list of package manager scripts,

00:06:22   and their app gets a megabyte bigger with 40 new files, and they call it a day, right?

00:06:29   That's not how I like to do things. I just need to generate this hash.

00:06:33   There's already a lot of open SSL and built-in hashing functions.

00:06:37   Maybe there's some way I can generate this hash with a lot less than 40 files, right?

00:06:42   Maybe I can do this in like a 15 line function somehow, if I could just figure out what exactly,

00:06:48   how exactly to get this, what exactly to do here.

00:06:50   This was tricky, because usually this involves, all right, I don't know how to do this yet,

00:06:55   and PHP has very good documentation for most of its stuff, but even reading through a lot of documentation,

00:07:00   when you're dealing with edge case stuff, like cutting edge open SSL calls,

00:07:06   this is not going to be well documented, and it wasn't.

00:07:10   So I had to resort to my last resort, having to read other people's library code to see how they do it.

00:07:19   Normally when I'm in my PHP world, I'm writing my code with zero contributors.

00:07:28   It is all my code. The only thing in this that is not my code is like the Stripe library for processing payments from ad buyers,

00:07:39   which that's isolated and actually pretty old at this point, and I trust them to not mess around,

00:07:44   and I don't want to mess around with payment stuff, and the built-in PHP functions.

00:07:48   That's it. I don't run anyone else's libraries. I don't run anyone else's, I use S3 for some things.

00:07:53   I wrote my own S3 functions, because I needed like two of them. It was super easy.

00:07:56   I didn't need some giant thing, right?

00:07:58   If I'm going to have to make this certain kind of hash for this push notification authentication token,

00:08:03   can I just make a function that does this myself?

00:08:06   I don't even use someone else's framework. I use my framework that I wrote, that I've been evolving for like 15 years.

00:08:13   It's my framework, so I know everything it's doing when something is not working the way I want to.

00:08:19   Not only do I know exactly where it is and how to get at it, but I can change it if I need to.

00:08:24   Anything about my framework, I have full control over.

00:08:26   Normally, I'm in this happy little world where I don't need to be exposed to the rest of the PHP universe.

00:08:32   Every so often, I will have something like this where I need to go out there, venture out into the world

00:08:40   with my cloth bag on a stick walking down the highway, venture out there to see what are other PHP programmers doing here.

00:08:49   Every time I do this, it's like I'm looking at a different language.

00:08:53   It's so different from the way I write. The way I write PHP code is very simple object hierarchies,

00:08:58   mostly C-style functions and general processing, not using a lot of the newest cutting-edge features.

00:09:07   Especially not using namespaces. If you see modern PHP code, they use the backslash character as the namespace separator.

00:09:14   Now you see backslashes everywhere. It's very confusing for a programmer to look at that.

00:09:18   Everyone's using this Composer package manager and all these frameworks that I don't use.

00:09:23   It's like if there was a Ruby programmer who really didn't like Rails and was just still writing Ruby without ever seeing Rails.

00:09:32   If you go and look for any kind of code out there, you're like, "Well, why is it all Rails?"

00:09:36   Or in my case, I don't like using jQuery for everything whenever I have to write JavaScript stuff.

00:09:41   I don't like to run jQuery. I don't like to rely on this giant third-party library when most of what I write in JavaScript now

00:09:50   is supported by very easy built-in browser functions. JavaScript's built-in functions have gotten really good over the last few years,

00:09:56   and you don't need jQuery for a lot of stuff anymore.

00:09:59   Whenever I can write something that can use the built-in stuff, like the querySelectorAll kind of stuff, I just use that directly.

00:10:05   I don't like to use frameworks if I don't have to. Anyway, so man, when I venture out to the world of PHP,

00:10:11   and I try to figure out, "All right, this library can generate these hashes, allegedly. How does it do it?"

00:10:19   First, you go and you're like, "All right, well, this, first of all, is not just a couple of files.

00:10:27   It's an entire GitHub repo with 40 files, at least 10 of which are metafiles, things like package manager description files and manifests and stuff like that.

00:10:38   And then you see source and tests and all this stuff. And eventually you find the source files where they're allegedly doing the code.

00:10:44   And you go in, and it's like, "All right, well, now there's hashing and classes and combining and everything."

00:10:50   And there's all these subdirectories, and each subdirectory has four files in it at least.

00:10:54   And you're diving and you're driving and you're driving, and you're like, "Where the heck is the actual code to generate this hash? How hard can this be?"

00:11:02   And you find one file, and it's just like, "Okay, this is actually just a subclass of a subclass of a subclass,

00:11:08   and this entire file consists of four getters and setters that all they're doing is returning instance variables."

00:11:15   Okay, that's nothing. That's an entire file of like 30 or 40 lines of nothing. It just bloat.

00:11:22   And then you go to another file and you're like, "Okay, well, let's see what the superclass of this is, how is it calling this?"

00:11:27   And that one is full of 40 or 50 lines, and they don't do anything either.

00:11:31   They're just, it's just passing data in and out. Like getters, setters, creators, factories, destroyers, whatever they are, it's nothing code.

00:11:39   It's overhead. It's templating. It's BS. You look at these files, and this library that's like 40 or 50 files in total,

00:11:49   and it's hundreds of lines of code, actually contains very little like meaningful code. There's almost nothing to it.

00:11:56   But it has all this structure on top of structure on top of structure and overhead and this like formality that something like this does not justify.

00:12:03   Anyway, so after a day I had it down to 30 lines.

00:12:06   In one, oh, in one function, because it's one function.

00:12:10   And it turns out that there's almost nothing to what I wanted to do, and it's documented nowhere.

00:12:17   And the responses in Stack Overflow and everything are all just like, "Oh, just install this library."

00:12:21   It's like, no, that's, we have amazing hardware these days. We don't need to use it all for everything.

00:12:28   We don't need to use all the memory and all the disk space and all the GitHub repo space. We don't need to use it all.

00:12:36   We can do things simply. I just, I'm really happy I don't work with other people.

00:12:43   This is one of those opportunities we have to make Marco even more depressed as he dips his toe into slightly more modern practices.

00:12:50   Two things to make you more sad. Well, one of them, I don't know, you made me neutral about.

00:12:55   But the idea that jQuery is what everybody's using as the big library that blows their JavaScript is maybe a little out of date.

00:13:04   And the second thing is, would you like to know how modern people pronounce what you're just discovering as JWT?

00:13:11   Do I want to know? You do not. I actually don't know either, to be honest. Well, you don't do modern server-side development.

00:13:18   Not anymore. It's pronounced JOT. What? As in J-O-T? Because people didn't want to say JWT.

00:13:27   I personally like saying JWT and I'm perfectly fine with it, but other people did not like it.

00:13:31   So the community decided, without consulting me, obviously, that we're all going to pronounce it as JOT.

00:13:36   So enjoy that. I don't even know what to say about that.

00:13:41   I feel like I'm not even a programmer. I feel like I'm just some guy who happens to write code for my job,

00:13:48   but the way the rest of the world does this job is so radically different from the way I seem to do it,

00:13:53   I feel like I don't even fit in here. Not only do I feel like I would be pretty unhappy working in most modern software development teams,

00:14:02   but I think I'd be fired. Or I wouldn't even get the job in the first place. Because I don't work this way.

00:14:08   I don't think this way. I don't think it's good. I would not do it well if I was forced to.

00:14:14   And I feel like there's just so much unnecessary overhead. I always wonder, when I hear some stat,

00:14:21   like we learn that some company like Twitter has a thousand engineers for their iOS app. You hear something like that.

00:14:26   And I always think, what do they need all those people for? But then I see the way people write code these days,

00:14:32   and I'm like, oh my god, there's so much overhead. They need all these people to maintain and create

00:14:38   and process and deal with this huge amount of BS that we're all writing to justify ourselves existing in this profession

00:14:47   and telling ourselves this is all worth it and necessary because one time there was a bug because somebody didn't do this.

00:14:52   And it's like, is it really worth all this?

00:14:56   Well, so I think what we're potentially angling into is the philosophical discussion about unit testing again.

00:15:04   And I can't speak for the specifics of this code you looked at. I didn't see it. Even if I did,

00:15:08   I probably wouldn't be able to understand it because again, I haven't written PHP since 2006.

00:15:13   And when I did it, it was barely functional at best. So I am not the judge of these sorts of things.

00:15:19   But one of the reasons you could see that sort of bloat is to have a bunch of different places wherein you could plug in

00:15:27   fake versions of other code so you can unit test that code.

00:15:31   So for those who are not developers, think of it like you wanted to test out a car, right?

00:15:37   Well, if you want to test the engine, you don't want to have to connect it to a transmission and all the other things that are downstream from the engine.

00:15:46   You just kind of want like a fake transmission or something that you can just plug in in its place.

00:15:51   Or perhaps an even better example is the other side of the coin.

00:15:54   If you're testing the transmission, you don't want a full engine to test the transmission.

00:15:57   You just want like a fake one, like an electric motor or something to test.

00:16:00   That'll spin the transmission just enough so you can test it.

00:16:03   And in my experience, a lot of times when you see this bloat of classes is because a developer, for better or worse,

00:16:10   I'm not necessarily saying it's better, but perhaps a developer decides, "Well, I would really like to be able to unplug and uncouple these two things

00:16:19   so I can substitute one in and test the other."

00:16:22   And when that sort of thing happens, you have to have many different levels or layers, if you will, such that each layer is testable.

00:16:30   Now, if I'm Marco, I would say, "Well, why do you need to test all these layers?

00:16:33   I don't have any of these layers and my code works. Why bother?"

00:16:36   And you're not really wrong.

00:16:38   I don't disagree about the value of modularized testing, like what you're describing.

00:16:44   Where I think people get it wrong is they make those modules too granular a lot of the times.

00:16:49   In this analogy, it's like, "All right, we need to build a transmission. First, we need a screwdriver.

00:16:54   Now, we need to have a screwdriver testing machine.

00:16:58   First, we need to have a machine that makes a screwdriver.

00:17:01   Then we need to test it to make sure it always makes screwdrivers.

00:17:03   Then the screwdrivers that get produced need to be placed in a screwdriver testing harness first

00:17:08   to make sure they work as screwdrivers before you can actually use them as screwdrivers."

00:17:11   It's like, "Okay, move up a couple orders of magnitude."

00:17:14   That's what we need to do.

00:17:16   It's not that structure or testing or this kind of stuff, it's not that this stuff is bad.

00:17:22   It's that people apply their practices or their design patterns so blindly

00:17:28   and they never question, "Do we need to do this for this level at this time?"

00:17:32   There's so much just unquestioning blind following of rhetoric

00:17:37   and of other people's past wisdom in our industry that there's not enough people who are saying,

00:17:43   "You know what? Let's actually think about this. Let's actually evaluate this honestly.

00:17:47   Are we ever going to need this? Does this deserve this level of complexity?

00:17:52   Does this problem need this complexity? Does this function need to account for all these different possibilities?"

00:17:59   If that happens, the computer's on fire or something.

00:18:03   If that happens, something else is so seriously wrong.

00:18:06   Or, "Do we need to accommodate for all 17 hashing functions if we're only ever going to use one?"

00:18:11   It's stuff like that that people are not asking these questions enough.

00:18:15   There's such this dogma-driven approach.

00:18:21   "Well, we need to do this because it's better.

00:18:23   We need to do it this way because it will someday maybe be necessary.

00:18:27   We need to do this because once there was a bug somewhere that we hit as a result of this not being done,

00:18:33   so now we have to do this every single time for the rest of time."

00:18:36   Some of these things are good practices, but they all have costs.

00:18:41   It's so common for programmers to totally ignore the implementation and ongoing maintenance costs

00:18:50   of some cool technical thing that they think they should do.

00:18:54   That stuff adds up so much over time that we end up being crushed under the weight and complexity of things that should be simple.

00:19:05   Yeah, I agree with you. I think it's tough, though, right?

00:19:09   Because on the one side, you're completely and utterly correct.

00:19:13   We shouldn't just blindly take the teachings of those who are older than us.

00:19:19   But at the same time, how often do the three of us snicker when some hotshot startup like Twitter, when it was brand new,

00:19:27   tries to do something with some new tech because Ruby on Rails at the time was new, if I'm not mistaken, or newish?

00:19:32   And it all falls on its face because they decided to use the new hotness and not the old and tried and true stuff.

00:19:38   So it's a give and take.

00:19:40   And as I'm getting ever older, granted I'm working by myself now, but when I still actually worked with people,

00:19:47   I would find it frustrating when the young whippersnappers would be like, "Well, why are we doing it this way?"

00:19:52   Well, because I've lived it. That's why.

00:19:54   And so I don't disagree with you, Marco. It's a tough thing even internally to myself.

00:19:59   Like, where do I say, "No, I've lived this. This is the way it needs to be."

00:20:03   And where do I say, "No, actually, you're right. We should rethink this."

00:20:06   I presume, Jon, actually you probably have some more eloquent or coherent thoughts about this.

00:20:11   I was just going to say that a factor in this discussion may be that PHP may not be the kind of language that attracts the wisest programmers.

00:20:21   The present company accepts it, I'm just saying.

00:20:24   There is something to that.

00:20:26   I mean, part of the reason why PHP has such a bad reputation is that it was such an easy beginner's language to learn for so long

00:20:34   that a lot of beginners would use it, and you'd see a lot of beginner code as a result.

00:20:40   Before PHP, that role was filled by Visual Basic.

00:20:43   Like, in the late 90s, Visual Basic was the thing that programmers mocked as a terrible language, but that newbies used in great volume.

00:20:52   And it was possible, granted not easy, it was possible to write decent Visual Basic code.

00:20:58   The language really fought you in a number of ways, but it was possible.

00:21:02   And people did.

00:21:04   But a lot of people who were very new to programming and not very good at it yet wrote in that language.

00:21:09   And so it got a reputation for being a bad language.

00:21:11   PHP was the exact same way.

00:21:13   It's really, you know, PHP was so many people's first programming language, just as a result of the job market and how easy it was to run

00:21:21   and what was in fashion in the boom of web development years of the early 2000s that a lot of people learned that first.

00:21:29   And so you'd search for tutorials, you'd blindly plow through and copy and paste and have really unstructured bad code in PHP.

00:21:38   And because the language had such a really horrible, rough start in the sense of language design and advancement there,

00:21:46   there was no central authority really that was showing any kind of leadership whatsoever about what is good PHP code, how do you structure this.

00:21:53   And there was no dominant framework for most of PHP's lifespan.

00:21:58   It didn't have something like Rails where, like, alright, pretty much you're going to be using this if you're going to be using a framework in this language.

00:22:03   And the framework can enforce a certain project structure and code layout and stuff like that.

00:22:08   PHP didn't have that really.

00:22:10   They had this weird zend company and this zend framework, but nobody ever used that.

00:22:14   And that came along too late anyway.

00:22:16   For the most part, most of PHP's real structure and renaissance has happened much more recently, like in the last five years.

00:22:24   For a language that's been popular for about 15 years, that's pretty much missing the boat.

00:22:30   But anyway, PHP has a lot of problems, but you can write really good code on it.

00:22:36   And I think my code is alright.

00:22:38   I don't think it's the best code in the world because it's just for me, so it's not well documented at all or anything like that.

00:22:44   But it runs really solidly and it is possible to write extremely good, extremely fast, low maintenance, high availability code in PHP.

00:22:53   I just wish anyone else's PHP code has ever been usable to me.

00:22:57   Part of it is cultural because if you look at the culture of the language, you see a little bit of that...

00:23:05   I don't know, the charitable way to put it would be a flexibility about adopting features of other languages.

00:23:13   And a less charitable way would be a thirst to have what other languages have.

00:23:17   So if you look at the PHP language itself, it's like, "We don't have this and not some other language does.

00:23:22   We should add that." And they just add it with the first thing that jumps in their mind, whether it be OO or namespaces or whatever.

00:23:28   And no one is like, "Alright, so we want to have namespaces. That seems like a thing I might want, but how can we best add them?"

00:23:33   It's like, "No, just add them." Same thing with all the objectorians and stuff or whatever.

00:23:36   So you end up with a language and a culture that is... The philosophy is, "We can do that too."

00:23:42   And in some respects it's kind of pragmatic of like, "Well, who cares? I don't want to debate the perfect way to do the thing.

00:23:48   Just add the feature."

00:23:50   And so you end up with a language and a lot of features that don't really work well with each other, and you end up with a culture that says,

00:23:54   "We all have all that stuff too." So if someone arrives and says, "I want to make a library and I want to do it in what you consider to be a Java style or whatever."

00:24:03   They have an idea in their head of what "good code" is, and maybe they're not that experienced, but they just know about all these new cool features.

00:24:11   They learned about object-oriented stuff and everything's going to have 20 class hierarchies using multiple inheritance or whatever.

00:24:17   And they just bang it out and it suddenly, accidentally becomes popular.

00:24:22   Then now, when you go looking for a library that does a thing, it's like, "Oh, this is the best known PHP library for doing cryptographic stuff."

00:24:31   And you look at the source code and you're like, "This is the popular library that everybody's using?"

00:24:35   And it's true in Perl too. A lot of times there'll be a library that becomes popular over time and you look at it and it was written in a different era of Perl.

00:24:44   So if you look at the source code, it's like, "No one would ever write this this way now. Why did it occur to someone to write it this way then?"

00:24:50   It's like, "Well, it was just a moment. It was a fashion." And in PHP, it's compounded by the fact that the language itself looks like that.

00:24:56   Like, "Why does PHP have this thing?" Well, at the time it was considered important that it have that feature and it was important that it had it quickly, and so here's what we've got.

00:25:03   The bigger picture, as you noted, is just how is other people's code, that whole thing, and the fact that you're used to working alone and not having to deal with that.

00:25:11   But on the other hand, you're very used to dealing with the annoyance of other people's code when you work on Apple's platforms because most of the code in your apps is code that you did not write,

00:25:19   and you have to deal with it, and their APIs sometimes are broken and they're weird and there's different errors of APIs depending on when they were written.

00:25:25   And some are straight C and they're weird and there's the core foundation stuff, which is its own weird thing, and then there's Objective-C and now there's the new Swift stuff.

00:25:32   And you survive that, like you complain about it, but you work in that world, so I think if you had to get a "real job" you would deal with it the same way you deal with working on Apple's platforms.

00:25:42   Like, "Well, this is a fact of life. The code can't all be mined from top to bottom when I write my iOS app because that's just not how the world works, so I'll just have to deal with what I have to deal with."

00:25:52   In the PHP world, thus far you've been able to say, "I can just use PHP plus my own code," but depending on what you're writing and what the environment is, that may not be feasible.

00:26:01   If you were writing a much bigger, much more complicated application in PHP, you would be forced much sooner to look to third-party code, because either you wouldn't want to or flat out couldn't write all the code you needed.

00:26:12   So, for example, if you needed to do some complicated cryptographic stuff and you didn't just need that one hash function, you're not going to write your own cryptographic library.

00:26:19   It's just too much of a hassle. You would just find a reasonable library and use it and grit your teeth, and that's what everyone else does.

00:26:25   I'd be fired immediately.

00:26:28   Maybe for other reasons, but, you know.

00:26:30   I wouldn't last a week in a regular job anymore.

00:26:33   Too much fisherman's friend in the office.

00:26:36   Creating a toxic work environment, literally.

00:26:39   I don't wish you to have to get a real job ever, really, but I can't help but wonder if the thing that would be your downfall is your new boss saying, "Okay, I'd really like you to do this," and you look and you just blink.

00:26:59   No.

00:27:01   No, I think I'm done here.

00:27:03   That's it.

00:27:05   What if I don't?

00:27:07   The key to having a real job is that you usually can't actually afford to do that unless you want to spend your entire time interviewing for jobs, which is its own special hell.

00:27:16   Yeah.

00:27:18   Oh, my goodness. All right, so you're half an hour in. You want to start the show?

00:27:22   Tried to save it.

00:27:24   We should do some follow-up, and that begins with some retro gaming follow-up.

00:27:30   First of all, I wanted to say thanks to the people who wrote about enjoying the last episode.

00:27:34   I thought it was one of my favorites from recent memory, and I think that you two probably did as well.

00:27:41   I really enjoyed it, and thanks for all the kind words.

00:27:43   A few bits of follow-up.

00:27:45   A whole bunch of people pointed us/me to three different pieces of software/hardware that I was -- most of which I was familiar with, but I didn't think to bring up at the time.

00:27:55   The first one is OpenEMU.

00:27:57   OpenEMU is an emulator for the Mac, for Mac OS, and I have used it in the past.

00:28:05   I didn't mention this on the show, but I've used it in the past, and it's very, very good.

00:28:10   The problem I had with it at the time was that the only controller I had that could even vaguely work with it was a Switch Pro controller.

00:28:18   For reasons that I never bothered to figure out, connecting the Switch Pro controller via Bluetooth was very finicky and didn't work terribly well.

00:28:27   It very well could have been user error. It doesn't really matter.

00:28:30   But I did try it a few times, and it did work very well, and I really liked it.

00:28:33   I'll put a link to that in the show notes.

00:28:35   Additionally, there's Providence, which is an emulator for the Apple TV, which I've heard very, very good things about.

00:28:42   The only catch here is that you have to sideload it.

00:28:45   You have to have a developer account with Apple, which I believe is free these days.

00:28:49   But nonetheless, you have to sideload it and install it yourself onto your Apple TV.

00:28:53   My understanding is that's fairly straightforward. I have never written anything for the Apple TV.

00:28:57   I don't know what any of that is about, but they have pretty good instructions on the Providence GitHub site.

00:29:03   And so I think it is definitely doable.

00:29:05   I also, again, don't have any controllers that I'm aware of that work with the Apple TV.

00:29:09   So for me, this wasn't really anything terribly useful, but I did want it to call-- wanted to call it to everyone's attention.

00:29:14   But I do definitely recommend OpenEMU. That's very, very good.

00:29:19   And then finally, James Thompson was the first person-- friend of the show, James-- was the first person to write to us/me about MISTER,

00:29:25   which-- I'm a little out of my depth here, but if I understand it right, it's an emulator that's built on top of a readily available FPGA board.

00:29:33   So I think we discussed last episode-- I think it was mostly Jon bringing this up-- that you have a field-- what is it?

00:29:39   A programmable gate array, which basically means you can kind of reprogram chips as you wish.

00:29:45   And what this allows you to do is, if you trust the way they've set up their FPGA, you can effectively *dagger double dagger

00:29:55   have a perfect *dagger double dagger, a perfect recreation and emulation of the original systems,

00:30:02   because they have the original system in this FPGA.

00:30:06   It's not quite that simple, of course, but James said very, very good things about MISTER.

00:30:10   That's capital M, lower I, capital S-T, lower E-R.

00:30:14   And again, we'll put links to this in the show notes.

00:30:16   But I just wanted to call all these to your attention, because a lot of people recommended all three.

00:30:20   Any thoughts about that from you two fellows?

00:30:23   I did want to add a couple of other tiny bits of follow-up.

00:30:26   I don't think I ever actually mentioned in last week's show, but the way light guns work doesn't work on most modern TVs.

00:30:34   If you want to play light gun games, depending on the light gun, some of them do work, but I think many of them don't because of the way they work.

00:30:42   So you might need a CRT to play light gun games.

00:30:45   I also looked into, you know, John and Tiff both thought I should get a CRT instead of using my crazy upscaler.

00:30:51   And I looked into it like, okay, well, what if I want a good condition PVM, which is a professional video monitor,

00:30:58   which is like the best kind of CRT you can get.

00:31:00   What do those cost? How do you get them? How many are available?

00:31:02   It turns out they're like over $1,000 for a decent one that's over like 20 inches.

00:31:07   And so I actually think my setup is not as ridiculous as John and Tiff both suggested.

00:31:15   Well, we suggested you get a CRT and you immediately said, what's the most expensive, rarest, weirdest CRT I can find?

00:31:22   Like, I'm pretty sure you can get a CRT for less than $1,000.

00:31:26   Well, yeah, but like a crappy one.

00:31:29   Yeah, but that was how these games were played.

00:31:32   I don't think many people were playing on professional video reference monitors.

00:31:36   They were playing on their TV in their house and that's the way it looked and that's how it acted.

00:31:40   And you can get one of those for less than $1,000, just saying.

00:31:43   That's fair.

00:31:44   All right, and then we had some feedback about 360 degree audio.

00:31:48   John, I presume you put this in here. Do you want to tell us about this?

00:31:51   Yeah, Ibrahim Al Ali writes in to tell us that Sony already has a way to take a photo of your ear to optimize audio.

00:31:58   Apparently they do it for their 360 reality audio product line thing.

00:32:04   It's kind of confusing. Like you can basically use apparently any headphones with it.

00:32:07   It's not a headphone specific feature, but it's it's like software specific.

00:32:12   So in their little how it works section, they're like, you know, you need to use it with a premium music service, which seems weird.

00:32:19   But I guess it's some kind of tie in. And the choices are Deezer, nuggs.net and Tidal.

00:32:25   I've heard of Tidal at least.

00:32:27   I can tell you what nuggs.net is.

00:32:29   Yeah, I was about to say, Marco is going to be all over nuggs.net. Even I'm familiar with it.

00:32:33   What is that? Is that a fish thing?

00:32:34   I believe it started out as one or at least it certainly started out as like a live band community thing of like, it's a service that for a while they were the only place to get like soundboard recordings and fan tape recordings and everything of like jam bands and other live performing acts.

00:32:49   I believe they actually became official partners with fish at some point. But anyway, it's that kind of thing.

00:32:54   Yeah. Anyway, so they have the Sony headphone app that Marco probably has from his old Sony headphones on his iPhone now.

00:33:01   You can take a picture of your ear and it will set up a profile that you can apparently use to listen to music.

00:33:06   Now, given the constraints of this thing that you can use any headphones, but you have to use these premium services and you take a picture of your ear, it seems to me that what it must be doing is and also it seems like you don't need special audio tracks.

00:33:18   It's I think it's just creating like a profile like a I don't know if it's just an equalizer profile or a tying pro, some kind of profile based on your shape.

00:33:28   But since it doesn't control anything other than sort of like the the audio processing side, it's not quite the same thing as the PlayStation where the PlayStation is, you know, making synthesizing, you know, thousands of audio sources in a 3D game world in real time.

00:33:43   And then playing that through this thing and then it goes through your head transfer function.

00:33:47   Yeah, yeah. But anyway, all this goes to show is that Sony's thing on stage is saying you can take a picture of your ear and stuff is a thing they're already doing.

00:33:55   They also mentioned taking a video of your ear, which would give you in theory of a way to do a 3D map of your ear instead of just a 2D thing.

00:34:03   So, you know, if you if you've heard that about the PS5 and thought that's ridiculous, Sony's never going to do that.

00:34:08   Never underestimate the weird things Sony's going to do because they're already doing part of it.

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00:36:03   John, great news about the Dacia Cindera.

00:36:05   No, great news about your Mac Pro. You can put wheels on it and it is super affordable.

00:36:11   Yeah, so this is almost the completion of the Mac Pro robot.

00:36:16   As we'll see, there's a bunch of announcements.

00:36:18   Roll out. I see what you did there.

00:36:19   Hey!

00:36:20   I'm going to say it's the completion as far as I'm concerned because I think if there's anything missing, it's stuff that I don't care about, which is why I don't know the details.

00:36:27   So let's start with feed-in wheels.

00:36:29   You can buy them separately now. We've known since the first Mac Pro shipped and people took them apart that they were removable and it's not a big deal.

00:36:37   But them being removable doesn't help unless you can get something to swap in.

00:36:40   So if you want to buy a spare set of feet for your Mac Pro or you want to buy wheels for it, you can do that.

00:36:47   Now, John, what would four wheels cost me for my Mac Pro?

00:36:51   Well, if you remember, when you ordered it online in the beginning, adding wheels was $400.

00:36:57   But as people tend to not think about when they're doing options, like, "Oh, the wheels are $400," like, no, no.

00:37:03   Adding wheels and taking away feet equals a net increase of $400.

00:37:09   The feet aren't free, right?

00:37:10   So you take away the feet and the feet must cost something and then you add the wheels.

00:37:15   Basically, the wheels are $400 more expensive than the feet.

00:37:20   So lo and behold, Apple and its Apple math continues to hold these constraints true.

00:37:26   If you want to buy the wheels just by themselves and you do not have a pair of feet to trade in for them,

00:37:31   a pair of like-new feet to trade in for them, you will pay Apple $700.

00:37:36   That is...

00:37:37   So let's do the math now.

00:37:39   If they cost $700 by themselves but they cost $400 when you take away the feet and add them, how much should the feet cost?

00:37:48   You guessed it, $300.

00:37:50   If you want to buy a set of feet, they are $300.

00:37:53   Apple's insane math works out.

00:37:56   Whether this makes any sense in any real world, that's apparently how they're doing all the stuff on the Mac Pro,

00:38:03   which is nice in that it's sensible and I guess it avoids like a condition where there could be this weird, you know,

00:38:12   I don't know what the word for it is, like people could be buying feet in bulk and then trading them in for wheels

00:38:17   and like there's no way to make money off of this.

00:38:19   It's like in an RPG where if you figure out that if you buy this item from this vendor and sell it over there

00:38:24   and you just do it infinitely, you can like make money forever.

00:38:27   That's not possible with the Mac Pro.

00:38:29   No matter how many Mac Pros you buy and strip the feet off of them and try to sell them separately and trade,

00:38:34   like it's always, the math's always going to work out.

00:38:36   The numbers are huge and ridiculous but that's what they are.

00:38:38   So $700 for four wheels or $300 for four feet. Enjoy that.

00:38:43   Now, Jon, what year is your cord? Is it 2014?

00:38:47   Yeah, I think so. Oh, no.

00:38:49   Okay, and is it an LX by chance?

00:38:51   No, it's a Sport, remember?

00:38:54   God, I thought it was a Sport and then I changed my mind.

00:38:56   Well, for a 2014 Honda Accord sedan LX, which we now know is not exactly Jon's car,

00:39:02   a set of four decent Continental tires, $139 per tire for a sum total of $557.

00:39:10   First of all, those are garbage tires and second of all, having replaced a wheel on my car?

00:39:15   Oh, wheel's a whole different story.

00:39:17   At Honda OEM retail prices, the wheel for my car is $650.

00:39:23   So if you do four of those wheels plus four decent tires, it is still way more expensive than this.

00:39:28   Now, obviously, who would ever pay OEM Honda prices for their wheels?

00:39:32   Well, I would because I dented my wheel like the first week I got the car and I couldn't stand it.

00:39:36   I remember.

00:39:37   But anyway, yeah, those wheels cost a lot of money.

00:39:41   So it is still more expensive than for a real car and as many people wind up.

00:39:44   The Mac Pro wheels, they come with basically wheels and "tires".

00:39:49   Like you get them both. What a bargain.

00:39:52   I can't. I just. $700.

00:39:56   That's so. Especially like if you look at the rest of the Apple product line,

00:40:02   you know, I think first of all, two things about the wheels.

00:40:06   Number one, I think the value is hilarious because in the rest of Apple's product line,

00:40:11   with the exception of the Mac Pro and the XDR, they've actually done pretty well in value recently.

00:40:18   Like there was a bad time for a while, but they've come back in recent, in the last year or so,

00:40:24   with some pretty good value moves.

00:40:27   Like you can get the Series 3 Apple Watch, like the low-end Apple Watch is available now, for $200.

00:40:31   That's pretty good.

00:40:32   You can get that entry-level iPad, which is pretty good, for $330, $329, something like that.

00:40:38   You can get the new iPhone SE, which we'll talk about, which is an incredible value, for $400.

00:40:43   The new MacBook Air, that base model at $999 again is a great value.

00:40:49   And then you go to the wheels for the Mac Pro, which, by the way, you could get an iPhone SE and an Apple Watch for less.

00:40:59   Oh my word. Yeah, but try putting your Mac on top of those. They'll just crush it.

00:41:04   You could get most of a MacBook Air for this price. It's comical when you consider it in comparison to other technology products.

00:41:12   It's just what you could get for $700.

00:41:16   And then point number two on the wheels. Back when the wheels were discussed on this show before,

00:41:22   we didn't know at that time about this hilarious shortcoming that they don't have wheel stops.

00:41:28   You can't see one in the picture, so I guess we should have figured it out. But he didn't think about it.

00:41:35   And then you started hearing people who had this, and you started seeing these YouTube videos, like, "Oh yeah, they don't have wheel stops,

00:41:41   and they're really good, really free-spinning wheels." So they roll really easily.

00:41:46   I thought about it, if you remember, when we first discussed it, I said, "I didn't want wheels, because what if I ever decide to have it on my little table?

00:41:52   I don't want it rolling off." That was exactly my thought of why I wasn't going to get the wheels.

00:41:56   Now that I know that they don't have wheel stops, maybe in California, everything is so new that their floors are level?

00:42:06   Well, no, it's not that they're level. It's that because they're in an earthquake zone, kind of like how a trebuchet has to have wheels on it,

00:42:11   obscure medieval siege weapon reference. The wheels are important, because when the trebuchet launches,

00:42:17   the wheels allow the base of it to move on the ground, and that's important for getting maximum throw distance.

00:42:22   So when you're in an earthquake in California, if your Mac Pro has wheels, your house will shake, but the Mac Pro can stay still.

00:42:30   Right, it will stabilize.

00:42:31   Yeah, exactly. It can go back and forth on the table. The table will move underneath it, but it will stay still.

00:42:36   Yeah, so I feel like any situation where you want to use these wheels that's not on carpeting, you'd be running a pretty big risk.

00:42:47   If you're wheeling at to and from locations, that's kind of crappy. I feel like this was Johnny Ive's final middle finger.

00:42:54   On his way out, he made these gloriously beautiful, useless, expensive wheels for this headlining product.

00:43:03   Here it is. Here's my last move to Apple. I'm going to go out and ship these beautiful objects that are totally useless.

00:43:12   Thanks, Johnny. Thanks a lot.

00:43:14   I mean, they're not useless. It's good for if it's on a floor, because if you want these things on wheels, it's probably like you're wheeling it around some space that's frequently reconfigured, or you have it inside a movie studio and you're rolling from place to place.

00:43:25   And in that case, the fact that there are no stops isn't that bad. It may even be an advantage, because if you are reconfiguring it after a shot or after a series of shots, you don't want to have to be bending down and finding the little wheel locks, and which wheel did I lock that I lock all four of them.

00:43:39   It's just too fiddly. If it's on the floor, it can't roll off on it anywhere. It's already on the floor. It's not like you're taking this thing outdoors and you need special off-road wheels and it's going to be on a big hill in the dirt or something.

00:43:50   It's just that wheels are a no-go if it is anywhere except on the ground, which I think is reasonable. And the fact that they cost $700 and the whole pricing thing, it's just like cars.

00:43:59   I mean, just look at the price and options on luxury cars. They make no sense. You can buy a paint color that costs more than my car.

00:44:07   It's only when you get into the ridiculous luxury or super exotic cars. The prices make no sense. That's what the market will bear. And it's a similar sort of jump.

00:44:18   You go from regular people cars and then they're expensive cars, and then they're just cars where money no longer makes sense. And Porsche, I think, is the inflection point.

00:44:28   Because it's just right in the middle. It's like, is that a regular fancy car like a BMW or is that a ridiculous car like a Ferrari? Well, Porsche is where you start having discontinuity in the graph.

00:44:38   How much is that option? It doesn't really make any sense anymore. Whereas at least with BMWs, you can kind of see this is an expensive version of a regular car and even Mercedes.

00:44:47   But then you get the Porsche and then after that it's like, well, Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren. Money has no meaning. You want a different color piece of fabric on your glove box, that's $8,000. It doesn't make any sense.

00:44:59   So, I mean, Apple would probably argue this, you know, A, this is what the market will bear and B, if we didn't price stuff like this, there would be no Mac Pro.

00:45:08   And I think most people in this market, and even people who are not technically in the market like me who is buying one anyway but doesn't need one, would say, I'd rather have the Mac Pro exist and have ridiculous prices.

00:45:18   As long as, as Marco pointed out, the prices in the normal products are normal. Like, this is a better situation for everybody.

00:45:24   The fancy product exists at ridiculous prices that no one's ever going to buy, but it exists and the regular products have reasonable prices.

00:45:32   So I'm actually not particularly burned up about the price of the accessories. It could also be because I have no desire to have wheels, but there you go.

00:45:40   You know, everyone's going to be real perturbed when they sell the $1,000 version that does have wheel locks.

00:45:46   That'll be next year's model.

00:45:48   Yeah, I mean, they have opportunities for improvement and price increases.

00:45:52   So, yeah, and so we'll continue one more Mac Pro item. This completes the rollout. So I think it's, when the Mac Pro was launched, they had a bunch of video card options in the configurator, some of which were grayed out, including the one that I wanted to get.

00:46:08   And I couldn't get it, so my only options were the stock card, which is garbage, but comes "for free" with the computer, or a horrendously expensive workstation card that was like, add $2,300 or whatever.

00:46:23   And this, by the way, when we were doing this on like launch day, or when we were configuring it, this is when we first discovered the math that they work.

00:46:31   So if you want to get the, whatever was the Vega 2 MPX module, it was add whatever amount of dollars.

00:46:39   And so given that that's what it costs to add it, and they also sold it separately, you could do the math and say Apple is valuing the stock card at about $400.

00:46:50   Because if you take the add price for the fancy card and the $400 you're saving by taking out the stock card, you get the total price of the standalone card.

00:47:00   So sure enough, the card that I did want, which is their Radeon Pro W5700X, which is basically just a standard AMD gaming card with more RAM added to it,

00:47:15   they are selling it for $1,000, and if you want to add it to your Mac, it's $600. Because if you take away the $400 stock card and add in the $1,000 one, your net increase in price is $600.

00:47:30   So the math adds up, they're now selling it separately. Actually, during the day today, they launched it and it was available in the configurator, but it wasn't available separately.

00:47:37   And then it was available in the UK separately, and now it's available in the US separately. So if they're missing anything that they had announced on launch day, I don't know what it is.

00:47:46   I know they're missing the dual GPU 5700X, but I think that wasn't on launch day. I think they added that as an option later. They added it as a grayed out option later.

00:47:55   So I think that's still not available. But anyway, now all the things, as far as I know, that were put up on Apple's website on launch day are available for purchase.

00:48:07   So you gonna buy one of these?

00:48:09   I did. I ordered it already. The reason I ordered it already is because I've already waited a long time for this, and I didn't want to be in a big shipping queue because who knows how many of these things are.

00:48:19   I don't understand why it took them so long to launch it, but it's because they could only get five of them. I want one of those five.

00:48:24   And honestly, it's because I have very little hope that a better card is going to come out anytime soon.

00:48:32   There are better options for cards. There are better Nvidia options for cards, but Apple's not going to go there.

00:48:38   So if I wanted to say, "Well, I want to wait around," or, "I want to wait to see what the benchmarks are," or whatever, I know what the 5700XD can do on PC.

00:48:48   But more importantly, I know how terrible the 580X is, and I know I don't want the workstation card, so this is going to be my only option for a long time.

00:48:57   So I ordered it. It's on its way. It's arriving sometime between the 30th and May 4th.

00:49:03   So I will finally have a non-garbage GPU, and I will also have a $400 GPU that I extract from my computer.

00:49:14   Actual retail value, what, $70? I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I'll probably just put it up in the attic somewhere.

00:49:21   Of course you will. Where else would it possibly go?

00:49:23   I mean, I could leave it in the computer if I had more monitors to attach, but I don't.

00:49:27   The struggle is real. You could get another XDR.

00:49:30   Yeah, right. I could. Actually, where would I even put that? I don't think it will fit. Literally, it will not physically fit on my desk.

00:49:36   Maybe with two of them side-by-side fit, maybe if they went edge-to-edge, but then I'd really be turning my head.

00:49:41   Goodness gracious.

00:49:43   Everyone of those people has to make a V out of your dual monitors. I guess most people do that with their dual monitor setups, but at a certain point, it's just like, looking straight ahead just shows you the crease between them. It's not good.

00:49:53   I'm not a multi-monitor person, as you know. My one monitor is just fine. Plus, my pocketbook can't handle another one of these monitors.

00:50:02   Geez, why?

00:50:03   It's bad enough that I'm paying $1,000 for a PC video card that actual retail price on the PC is like $300 and change.

00:50:11   Gosh.

00:50:12   But I do like, here's what I do. The reason I didn't, it's like, why didn't you just buy a PC video card already? You could have bought tons of PC video cards that work on these things. People have done all sorts of tests.

00:50:19   Part of the reason I waited for this thing, even though I knew it would be expensive, is because as far as I'm aware, having already ordered it, but as far as I'm aware, it's passively cooled like the other MPX modules. It's just a big honking passive heatsink. There's no additional fan.

00:50:33   So the only extra noise my Mac is going to make is going to be determined by how much extra fan RPM is needed to cool this thing. And I'm hoping it won't be a lot because most of the time I'm not playing games and when I am playing games, fine.

00:50:44   So I'm optimistic about this and I'm glad that I'm getting an MPX module even though I'm paying through the noise for it, which is in keeping with my general attitude towards this computer.

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00:52:08   We don't have this in the show notes because apparently you guys don't care, but I care. I ordered a new keyboard today.

00:52:13   Oh, I forgot about that. Yeah, I know that we were missing something. I'm assuming Mark ordered it too.

00:52:17   Yep.

00:52:18   Now, John, remind me, what iPad are you rocking these days? You've told me 18 times.

00:52:22   I have the original Pro.

00:52:23   The 9.7?

00:52:24   Yeah, we don't have any of the flat edge ones in the house just because my wife, she would have gotten it, but she didn't like the keyboard accessory. So now that there's a new keyboard, maybe she'll like it. But I don't think she's going to entertain that until she can try one and she's not going to end up trying one until going to stores becomes a thing again. So I'm not holding my breath.

00:52:42   Well, earlier today, as we record, the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro became orderable, and I have ordered one. It should be here in a couple of weeks. I'm very, very excited. I probably should not spend the money on this because I already have a keyboard attached to my iPad Pro, but I'm so excited for this thing. I'm so excited. Marco, did you order one or seven of them?

00:53:05   It's funny, and now that I just ragged on the wheels for being so expensive, I did order a $300 keyboard for my iPad Pro, which is almost the cost of the entry level iPad. It does feel a little excessive, but it might be really great. I'm not yet convinced of that, and I really want to see it.

00:53:27   And in part, I ordered it because it's such a thing in our community right now that I want to be able to try it and be able to talk about it intelligently on the show. I'm kind of irritated whenever tech podcasters say this. I've said it myself before, I'm guilty of this, of like, "I need this for the show. I need to buy this new gadget that I don't really need, but I need to buy it for my work, for the show, so I know how to talk about it."

00:53:51   Like, I've said this before, too. We never need it. Many of us get by without buying these things, and we have careers in podcasting just fine. And there's lots of stuff I don't buy that I talk about anyway.

00:54:02   So, we don't need these things. We buy them because it's an excuse to buy them, and we are fortunate enough that we can take advantage of that excuse, and here we are.

00:54:12   So anyway, I bought it with no excuse, just because I want you to try it. I'm not yet convinced that I will keep it, because I'm not yet convinced that it will be the right thing for me, but I really am very curious about it.

00:54:25   I'm most curious about that hinge and how it feels, how heavy the whole thing is, and just how it works in practice.

00:54:34   Yeah, I'm super excited. I'm looking forward to it. You know, I am not a devout iPad user, but I really do enjoy using my iPad, particularly when I'm goofing off on the couch at the end of the day.

00:54:46   And I find that the Smart Keyboard Folio, the existing one, I do like it quite a lot. In fact, I think I like it more than most people, to be honest with you, because I really, really like it.

00:54:58   As do I.

00:54:59   The thing that drives me absolutely bananas about it is the fact that there are two viewing angles which both suck, and this is not an original thought. Almost everyone who has this has said the same thing.

00:55:10   There are occasions when one of those two viewing angles is perfect, but that's extremely rare for me, and I really want more mobility. This is such a first world problem. I'm listening to myself just getting disgusted, but here we are.

00:55:24   So anyway, I just really want more mobility in my keyboard for my tablet computer that I don't need. God, I gotta stop. But anyways, I really, really am excited for it. I really, really want it.

00:55:34   And so I Insta-bought it just because I think it'll... I'm hopeful and I think that it will really make using the iPad that much more enjoyable. Plus, the very limited time I spent with a mouse and/or trackpad connected to the iPad,

00:55:48   it's not something that I feel like is changing my world in the way it might change like mics or Federico's, but it definitely was really cool, and I can definitely see using it.

00:55:56   And I actually have been VNC-ing into my own computers, not irregularly for dumb reasons, to be honest, but it happens.

00:56:04   And so it would be nice to have an honest-to-goodness pointer on the device that I could use instead of scrolling around.

00:56:10   I mean, the Screens app by Adobe, is that right? Our friend's Luke, and I forget who else he's working with now. But anyways, it's a very good app, and I really, really like it, and they do as well as they can without having a pointer.

00:56:23   But now that I'll have a pointer, they already support having the pointer, from what I understand. I'm so excited.

00:56:28   So anyway, I am really, really, really excited to get this at the end of the month or beginning of next month.

00:56:35   I was looking on the website, and it doesn't appear that there's any additional information about the weight of the thing or anything added to the website now that you can actually buy it.

00:56:43   It's the same page as it is always. The buy page doesn't seem to have any extra info.

00:56:47   So I think we're still all in the dark about how heavy this thing actually is.

00:56:51   I know people were trying to do math based on the weight listing on Amazon or whatever, but then some people thought that included the packaging or it included the iPad or who knows, you know.

00:57:01   Yeah, there was a good Dr. Drang post about that, but the thing is, Amazon weights and dimensions are off and off.

00:57:08   Yes, yes. I've experienced that many times with non-tech products. Both of those things are very suspect.

00:57:16   That's why everyone asks in the Q&A section on Amazon, there is always a question. Someone asks, "Can someone tell me how big this thing actually is?"

00:57:22   Yep.

00:57:23   Yep, that's so true.

00:57:24   Yeah, and whenever I need to know the information, I always look there because the quoted spec I know is going to be wrong a lot of the times.

00:57:31   Yeah, so I'm excited for both of you to get this and tell me whether it's garbage or not because I probably am going to get, I'm not going to probably buy this new iPad, but whatever the next iPad is, I think it'll be time for me to finally upgrade my 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

00:57:44   And I might consider this keyboard thing. I don't think I would use it all the time, but it would make this a much more viable laptop replacement. I don't use my iPad like that at all now.

00:57:57   I might even consider it, even if it just ends up being a better way to watch TV on my iPad, even if I never touch the keyboard, just because of the flexible hinge and the different viewing angles.

00:58:09   Like Casey was saying, if you have more flexibility than two positions, or realize right now when I watch TV on my iPad, I'm using the smart cover on the 9.7, there's one viewing angle.

00:58:20   Right.

00:58:21   I make a little triangle behind my thing, and that's the angle. And of course, I can adjust that by putting it on top of a pillow and tilting it, and then it falls on my forehead.

00:58:27   Everyone knows the deal with using an iPad in bed.

00:58:31   So I might consider this case, if the hinge turns out to be super awesome, and they're like, "Look, even if you don't even care about the keyboard or the trackpad, this is the greatest hinge ever."

00:58:39   I might end up getting it. But for now, I'm content to let you two try and tell me if it makes the thing weigh seven times as much or if the hinge is garbage.

00:58:46   I am nervous about that. But I mean, does it really matter for me anyway in the grand scheme of things? Like this thing almost never leaves the house to begin with.

00:58:54   And that was before we weren't allowed to leave.

00:58:57   You might be used to it, but it might, because my wife has the old keyboard thing, the one we're talking about that's double layered in a spot.

00:59:06   Oh yeah, I know that one.

00:59:08   Every time I pick up her iPad, I just get angry at how heavy it is. Like it's on the bed, or I want to pick it up and put it on her nightstand or whatever.

00:59:16   I'm like, "Why is this so heavy?" I don't know why it makes me angry, but it does. It just feels like a ton of bricks.

00:59:21   This isn't going to improve that.

00:59:23   Yeah, I know.

00:59:24   This is going to make anything worse.

00:59:26   Even though they never leave the house, I'm not carrying it in a bag over my shoulder. It becomes a different thing.

00:59:33   It becomes less of just like a flingable light thing you can quickly pick up with two fingers.

00:59:39   It becomes like if you had your laptop on your bed, you start feeling like you have to pick it up more carefully because it's so heavy.

00:59:45   You need more effort. You can't just pick it up with two light fingers. Whereas my iPad is much less like that.

00:59:51   I think, subjectively for me anyway, despite the fact that like Casey's iPad, it never goes anywhere, I don't want this to be a device that I think about and lift in the same way that I do my MacBook Air or whatever.

01:00:04   Well, we all know how you mentally file laptops. If this gets heavy enough that it ends up in the laptop bucket in your mind, then it's all over.

01:00:13   Yeah, the laptop bucket though, because I'm not using laptops, I'm constantly picking them up because my kids leave them on the couch, leave them on the bed, and I'm picking it up and I'm bringing it downstairs and attaching it to the charger so it'll be charged for the next day of school Zoom meetings.

01:00:26   Yeah.

01:00:29   Alright, so other new hardware today, and I honestly didn't spend the time to look into this too much because for me I'm not that interested, but perhaps others are. There's a new iPhone SE and it got bigger.

01:00:42   Yeah, the iPhone SE is dead. Long live the iPhone SE.

01:00:46   You don't sound too excited.

01:00:48   I mean, here's the thing, this has been discussed to death in our weird nerd community.

01:00:55   The iPhone SE, why is it not updated? I like small phones, when are they going to update it? Oh, when they update it they're going to make it bigger. I only care about the SE because it's small.

01:01:05   There's much philosophical debate about this, whether the iPhone SE was the small iPhone or the iPhone SE was the cheap iPhone.

01:01:14   And there's a very loud contingent of mostly tech nerds I would imagine for whom the iPhone SE was the small phone.

01:01:23   The whole point of it existing is that there can be a phone in Apple's lineup that's small like my beloved iPhone 5 or 5S or whatever it used to be.

01:01:32   The new phones are too big, I want a small phone, I want to go to Apple to make a small phone and when they updated the internals of the SE it's like, wow, look, I can have a small phone and not have total garbage internals.

01:01:42   Right? Like to that section of the population, when you said iPhone SE, they thought, ah, the small phone that I like. Like that defined the product as far as they were concerned.

01:01:54   I don't think it ever defined the product as far as Apple was concerned. I also don't think it defined the product as far as the public is concerned.

01:02:02   But I could be wrong about the public part of it just because there are lots of reasons why Apple may conceptualize the product differently.

01:02:09   Because in the end it was just like an older version of their phone that they were manufacturing for longer.

01:02:13   There's all sorts of reasons why it made sense that it looked the way it did from the perspective of Apple, like here's how we manufacture phones and here's how we can sell it cheaply because we already have the factories and the assembly lines and all that other stuff.

01:02:28   But from a consumer's perspective, knowing nothing about Apple or anything, if you go in the store and say, here's all the iPhones, which one do you want?

01:02:34   The distinguishing characteristic of the iPhone SE would be, oh, this is the smallest one.

01:02:39   Whether Apple intended it or not, I can imagine them thinking that.

01:02:43   All that said, I'm not entirely sure that the public, when they saw the line of the iPhones in front of them, when they saw that's the small one, they would say, oh, that's the small one.

01:02:53   Actually, I love small phones because the public has shown that they do not love small phones.

01:02:57   The public has shown, ever since the iPhone 6, despite even the iPhone buying in public, is they like larger phones than the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S.

01:03:07   The public has spoken, right? Nevertheless, there was the SE and it was small and it was also cheap, but most people were not buying the iPhone SE.

01:03:17   They were buying the bigger phones, and in the Android market, same deal. They're buying the bigger phones.

01:03:22   So now the new iPhone SE, which is called iPhone SE, exactly the same as the previous iPhone SE.

01:03:28   It's like the Xbox One, which is not the same as the first Xbox, but now it's the Xbox One, and then we're going to have the 1S, 1S, 1S.

01:03:34   Xboxes were distinguished. James Thompson, the developer of PCALP, brought this up in a tweet today.

01:03:39   He was in the Xcode simulator where you can pick which device you want to simulate.

01:03:43   What are, in a pop-up menu, what's going to be the items in the pop-up menu?

01:03:47   iPhone SE and then next to it another item that's also called iPhone SE?

01:03:50   Are they going to put a year in parentheses after it?

01:03:53   You have two items called iPhone SE? Anyway.

01:03:56   I can tell you exactly what it's going to be because you see in the list right now, you see iPad Pro 11-inch in parentheses,

01:04:05   and then in the second set of parentheses, first generation, and iPad Pro 11-inch second generation.

01:04:10   iPad Air parentheses third generation. iPad parentheses seventh generation.

01:04:15   So I bet what we're going to see is iPhone SE parentheses second generation.

01:04:19   Is this the second generation? Isn't this the third generation?

01:04:21   Not of the SE. I mean, there was the 5S, but that was the same thing.

01:04:25   There was iPhone SE, which was the 5S case with the 6S internals,

01:04:29   and now we have the iPhone SE, which is the 8 case with the 11 internals.

01:04:34   Yeah. Anyway, so like I was saying, from Apple's perspective, this is just, you know,

01:04:40   they sell you a phone that they use to manufacture, you know, form factor-wise, but with different internals,

01:04:46   and so this is all shift, as time has marched on, they've done the shift, and now they're selling you,

01:04:50   I don't remember what the year gap is, but they're X generations or X years old phone with modern internals.

01:04:56   So this, as far as I'm aware, I didn't look at the details, but this is the iPhone 7, basically, case.

01:05:01   iPhone 6, 6S7.

01:05:03   It's the iPhone 8, yeah. 678.

01:05:05   Yep. So that's what it looks like. It's obviously bigger than the SE, because the SE was like the 5 and 5S,

01:05:11   which, you know, so it's just going back in time as far as manufacturing.

01:05:15   But like the SE, even though it looks like Apple's old and busted phone, ancient phone from a long time ago,

01:05:22   inside it has, for this brief moment in time, the best internals that Apple makes.

01:05:28   So it's got the A13 chip inside it, and it's not a crappy version of the A13, it's not an underclocked version of the A13,

01:05:35   it is the plain old A13. So kind of like the Mac Mini and lots of other products that Apple makes

01:05:40   that are updated incredibly infrequently, there is a moment when they are first introduced when they are competitive.

01:05:48   The new iPhones with A14 will come out soon, and then this will be the previous gen thing.

01:05:54   But for this brief moment in time, if you're interested in a phone the size of the 6, 6S7 or 8,

01:06:01   and you want to get one but not pay the price of having old internals, you can get this phone.

01:06:07   And it's an incredible bargain because you're getting an A13 system on a chip and 64 gigs of storage for $399?

01:06:15   And 64 gigs is, I think, a fair base model. Like that is a totally fair...

01:06:21   It's a good phone.

01:06:22   Yeah, so 64 gigs, it's the same as the base storage for the iPhone 11, and the iPhone 11 has the same processor.

01:06:30   The cameras appear to be almost the same. There is some difference, like the iPhone SE apparently might have different optics maybe,

01:06:39   and it apparently does not have night mode. But it does have almost everything else, including portrait mode.

01:06:45   Amazing processor, as you said, it's the A13, so it's the same. The iPhone SE did something very similar when it came out.

01:06:51   As I said, the first one, it was iPhone 6S internals during the 6S's reign as the flagship phone.

01:06:59   So it was the same thing where the 6S was released in the fall, and then in the spring, they released the SE with the same processor as the current flagship phone.

01:07:06   So there's the exact same thing again. Flagship phone releases in the fall, in the spring we have the new tiny value phone,

01:07:14   tiny is relative, but the new tiny-ish value phone at this $400 price point, which is also what the SE launched at, and using the same internals.

01:07:22   It's fantastic, it's a fantastic deal. And if you look at like, okay, well, if you want something above that,

01:07:26   above this $400 phone, you have to go to $700 to get the iPhone 11, the non-pro one.

01:07:33   And what you get for almost twice the price is nowhere near almost twice the phone.

01:07:39   And if you want to go for the iPhone 11 Pro, you're then spending significantly, and then you're spending almost three times as much,

01:07:48   for something that is definitely not three times the phone.

01:07:53   And so this is an amazing value, $400 to get flagship class components with just no face ID, basically, and a smaller screen.

01:08:02   That's not a bad deal at all, especially right now, as face ID is not really what the world needs right now.

01:08:12   I mean, you give up other things as well, like obviously you have the screen that doesn't go edge to edge, it's an LCD instead of an OLED,

01:08:18   you only get a single camera, like there's all those sorts of things, but like you would expect, especially from Apple,

01:08:24   but even from any other manufacturer, you expect they would compromise on everything.

01:08:28   And I think that the internals, like the system on a chip is where it really counts.

01:08:33   So you like, yeah, you've only got one camera and it's not the fanciest camera and it doesn't have night mode,

01:08:38   and it's touch ID instead of face ID, and the screen doesn't go to edge at all, these compromises,

01:08:42   but like it costs so little money compared to the other phones, and you get one, the one component you get that is best in class is the most important component.

01:08:51   Now, you might say, well, isn't the camera the most important component for most people?

01:08:54   Maybe, but this is not a bad camera, and the lack of multiple cameras, I don't think it's going to bother most people,

01:09:00   especially since the software papers over a lot of this, like with portrait mode with a single camera.

01:09:04   And the reason they can do all that stuff is because the system on a chip is so powerful that they can make up for the hardware deficiencies.

01:09:09   Also, I wouldn't read too much into the fact that this has touch ID and all that stuff.

01:09:14   It's like, oh, Apple's found out that people don't like face IDs.

01:09:17   It's just because this generation of phone had touch ID. That's why it's on this one.

01:09:20   Eventually, as we move up, these phones with touch ID will age out, and if Apple hasn't come up with under the screen touch ID by then,

01:09:28   this, the SE line of phones will stop having touch ID.

01:09:32   It's not a philosophical difference. It's just the march of manufacturing of Apple makes a product,

01:09:39   and they have the assembly line to do it, and they change the internals, and they keep making the product,

01:09:44   and they don't want to change too much about it.

01:09:46   So because the 6, 6S, 7, and 8 all had touch ID, so does the SE.

01:09:51   Eventually, I guess when the XR or whatever ages down into this thing, they'll have face ID.

01:09:57   Speaking of which, I think that, do they still sell the XR and XS and stuff?

01:10:02   Like, that may be a step up. If so, that may be a step up from this that isn't a jump all the way to the 11.

01:10:06   The R is for sale. The S is not.

01:10:08   Hmm.

01:10:09   And I also heard that this camera is more comparable to the camera on the XR than it is to the 1X camera on the 11 Pro.

01:10:20   But either way, when you're buying a phone for this much less than the fanciest iPhone, haggling over the specific spec details of the camera is a little bit ridiculous.

01:10:31   The XR, for reference, as a quick follow-up here, is $600.

01:10:35   So it's like 50% more money for a phone that is better in some ways but worse in others.

01:10:41   It does have the A12 instead of the A13. The camera is worse in certain ways.

01:10:45   I don't know. I think between these two, I'd rather have the new SE than the XR.

01:10:51   No, you don't have the face ID, which is a big experience change.

01:10:54   But some people do like the touch ID better.

01:10:57   Again, those people should be prepared that eventually it probably will go away.

01:11:00   But for now, if you want a phone that has it, here's your option.

01:11:04   I really love my iPhone 7.

01:11:07   I think I said back when I finally retired that I felt like the 7 was the pinnacle of that form factor because the 7 was the flagship phone at the time.

01:11:17   The 8 was not the flagship phone ever.

01:11:20   And this is not a flagship phone, so the 7 was a flagship phone.

01:11:23   And I felt like it all kind of came together.

01:11:25   I like the home button that didn't move.

01:11:27   I like the color and finishes, even though I kept my hand in the case.

01:11:33   I like the size and dimensions, and this was before face ID appeared, so this is the perfection of this design.

01:11:40   Basically the iPhone 6 size phone with touch ID before the iPhone X came and redefined everything.

01:11:48   So this SE is basically like, imagine if they had just continued down that evolutionary path.

01:11:53   This is an even better iPhone 7.

01:11:55   I looked at this and I was like, for my next phone, if I was getting my next phone today, would I get this one?

01:12:00   I pretty quickly said no just because of the camera stuff, because I'm not that price-sensitive and I'd rather have the fancier camera.

01:12:06   But I really like this size. I liked it better than the X and XS size.

01:12:11   The X and XS are a little bit bigger.

01:12:13   I like the bigger screen on the X and XS, but I have some affection for this form.

01:12:20   So kind of like the MacBook Air, if someone wanted to get an iPhone and they didn't want to spend a lot of money,

01:12:26   I would have no hesitation to immediately point to the iPhone SE, especially since if you want to go to 128GB, it's only like 50 extra bucks.

01:12:33   This is a no-brainer recommendation for somebody who wants an iPhone.

01:12:37   What they would be getting is not a crappy iPhone or a used iPhone 6S that barely works anymore.

01:12:43   This is a completely modern, good iPhone that if you don't care about having the super awesome best specs, I think you will buy and love.

01:12:51   Yeah, I fully agree. And even you were saying a minute ago about Face ID.

01:12:57   This past summer, if we recall, I did an experiment where for a little while I was carrying my iPhone SE a lot of the places instead of my, at the time, XS.

01:13:06   I thought it would be harder to adjust to, but it really wasn't.

01:13:10   And it was glorious how small and light it was compared to the XS and XS.

01:13:16   The new X, XS, XS series phones are not only bigger but significantly heavier than what came before them.

01:13:26   And if you're wearing a big complicated outfit, you might have noticed, in the summertime when you're wearing shorts, it's actually pretty obvious.

01:13:32   It's actually a substantial difference. And when you put that little tiny SE in your pocket, you're like, "Wow, I feel like I'm walking on air."

01:13:38   You're like bouncing down the sidewalk. It really is a noticeable difference.

01:13:42   It is certainly very pleasant to hold that tiny phone in your hand.

01:13:46   Now, actually using it was not quite as pleasant and the camera on it was garbage compared to modern standards.

01:13:52   But this might be a happy medium for people who don't want the increased size and heft of these larger 10 series phones.

01:14:02   This is a pretty good option.

01:14:04   I would also say going back to Touch ID from Face ID and switching back and forth during those couple of weeks in the summer was not actually difficult.

01:14:13   I thought it would be harder than it was. It really wasn't.

01:14:16   The only hard part for me was going back to the narrower keyboard width on the original SE.

01:14:23   That was tricky. I made a lot of typos those first few days.

01:14:26   But then I just got used to it and it was fine.

01:14:29   We typed on those for years and that was just the only size we knew and we all typed a lot of words on those just fine.

01:14:35   Well, mostly fine. It would correct them.

01:14:37   First of all, if anybody is thinking about maybe switching back to a smaller size, that's not a bad idea.

01:14:46   Keep in mind that this fall new phones will come out at the high end and you'll be jealous of them.

01:14:53   So you might not want to do it for that reason.

01:14:55   But if you have been sitting around and maybe you skipped the 11 or the 10 series and you've been sitting around waiting for Face ID to get better

01:15:03   or maybe you really love Touch ID and you want to hold onto it for as long as you possibly can, which is great.

01:15:08   Touch ID is awesome.

01:15:10   Then this is a really good option.

01:15:13   I will also go back, if we can step back even further, before we leave this topic.

01:15:18   John mentioned at the beginning, there's a lot of people who buy the small one because it's small.

01:15:24   There's also a lot of people who buy the small one because it's the cheapest one.

01:15:27   And we see this across the whole product line.

01:15:29   Typically, Apple prices the smallest option in a line as the cheapest.

01:15:34   And typically we hear from various rumblings or statements that those smaller options usually are the biggest sellers in any given line.

01:15:43   Whenever the smallest is not the cheapest, it's usually not the biggest seller.

01:15:48   Like the iPad Mini, for instance, is a great example.

01:15:50   The iPad Mini is the smallest iPad.

01:15:52   It got updated this past year, just like all the other ones.

01:15:55   So it has current components and everything.

01:15:58   It is the smallest iPad. It is not the cheapest iPad.

01:16:00   As a result, almost no one buys it.

01:16:03   So I think it's clear in that case that what people want out of an iPad is not the smallest iPad.

01:16:09   They want the cheapest iPad.

01:16:10   When you look at the Mac lineup, they had the 12-inch for a while.

01:16:14   When the 12-inch was discontinued, the reasoning we heard from rumblings, etc.,

01:16:19   was that basically once the new Air became for sale, the sales of the 12-inch fell off a cliff.

01:16:26   That people just totally stopped buying the 12-inch.

01:16:29   Because the new 13-inch Air was similarly priced, had similar compromises,

01:16:35   but was actually just a better overall computer at that price range, even though it was bigger.

01:16:40   And there were configurations of it that were cheaper.

01:16:43   They would under-spec it, so it wasn't quite an even fair fight.

01:16:47   But there were configurations that were cheaper.

01:16:50   So really, what sells the large volumes at these smaller products is usually just that they're cheap.

01:16:57   Cheaper. They're less expensive.

01:17:00   Not that they are necessarily the smallest.

01:17:03   And so while there are people out there who are upset by this, certainly,

01:17:07   because they were hoping for the small SE to remain a small phone and just be updated in that old tiny form factor,

01:17:15   the reality is that's not why most people who bought it were buying it.

01:17:19   Most people who bought it were buying it because it was the cheapest one.

01:17:22   Apple is doing the same thing again.

01:17:24   They're using an old phone case, new phone internals, the same $400 starting price point.

01:17:29   And they're going to sell a ton of these things because for what is in there, that's an awesome deal.

01:17:35   Yeah, I do wonder about the justification that Apple gave for people asking the question,

01:17:45   "Hey, the old SE was small. This one is bigger. What's the deal, Apple?"

01:17:48   Apple's line was typical, political.

01:17:52   They could have just given the answer that you gave, Marco, which I think is the right answer,

01:17:55   which is basically, "Look, people don't want a smaller phone. They want a cheaper phone," as evidenced by these other product lines.

01:18:01   But doing that would be, A, revealing too much about their sales that you tend not to want to reveal.

01:18:08   They don't even give those unit sales and earnings or anything anymore.

01:18:11   But also, B, when they discussed this topic, let's say what they actually said.

01:18:20   They said, "We've sold 500 million of these phones, so people love this size,"

01:18:26   which is a PR-y thing for you to say and is true, but it's also a self-fulfilling prophecy.

01:18:34   It's like, "Well, you sold 500 million of them because it was the only size during the 6, 6S, 7, and then later you continued to sell the 8."

01:18:41   Of course you've sold a lot of these phones.

01:18:43   Any form factor that you keep in your lineup for years and years is going to sell a lot.

01:18:49   And then later when you say, "Here's why we're selling this thing,"

01:18:52   "Oh, it's because we sold a lot of them in the past."

01:18:54   When they only had one size of phone, all of the phones were that size.

01:18:59   And they said, "This is the size iPhone that people love."

01:19:01   Why? Look how many millions we've sold.

01:19:03   In fact, 100% of the iPhones we've sold have been this size.

01:19:06   Clearly, people love this size.

01:19:08   And that was true in one sense in that, yes, people bought them and they like them, but not true in the other sense

01:19:17   in that when they put out the iPhone 6, their first "big phone" sales went crazy because there was pent-up demand for the big phone.

01:19:23   This is too nuanced of an explanation for Apple to try to actually give when someone asks that question.

01:19:30   They're not going to go through all of that.

01:19:32   They're not going to explain how their experimentation with the SE, continuing to sell the SE,

01:19:38   that Apple didn't conceptualize it as a small phone, it's just because that's how big the phone case was of their older phone and they kept selling it.

01:19:44   And that their evidence shows that it's the cheapness that sells it, not the size and yada, yada, yada.

01:19:49   They could talk about the 5C, about that being a cheaper phone.

01:19:53   There's all sorts of stuff that Apple used to justify this, but they chose not to do any of it.

01:19:57   They just said, "This is a super popular phone and we sold a lot of them," which is a non-answer,

01:20:03   but in many ways it's a more honest answer than trying to explain these nuances.

01:20:08   Because the bottom line is, they don't want to say, "We're selling this phone because we already have made this phone for multiple generations.

01:20:17   And the next phone, if we continue to follow the same pattern, is going to be whatever phone we sold a bunch of, presumably the XR or XS form factor."

01:20:25   They don't want to give you those details. They just want to give you an explanation that says people like it.

01:20:28   And honestly, in the end, I think they're right.

01:20:30   They sold a lot of these phones and unlike the situation with the original one before the 6,

01:20:35   it's not like there's pent-up demand for a tiny phone that isn't being served.

01:20:38   If that was true, the SE would have sold way better.

01:20:42   Now, remember the stories way back when they were saying that Apple was surprised at how well the original SE sold?

01:20:49   Because at that point there was pent-up demand for the smaller phone.

01:20:53   But I think that's more of a "in comparison to expectations" thing, more than an absolute value thing.

01:20:59   So Apple underestimated how much pent-up demand there was for a small phone,

01:21:03   but in absolute values it was nothing like the pent-up demand for a large phone when the 6 came out.

01:21:09   They quickly caught up for demand for the SE and there was a steady state in which the SE was not selling like hotcakes,

01:21:17   despite the fact that it was the cheapest phone just because the market has moved on and they don't want phones that small,

01:21:22   which is painful for people to hear.

01:21:24   Like they were saying, "Can't they just make one phone that's small?"

01:21:26   And I would argue that that would be a good idea.

01:21:28   But the problem is that Apple's scale of phones, making even just one very small phone,

01:21:35   the only way they could pull that off and make it work economically is if the small phone was like the Mac Pro of the iPhone line.

01:21:41   That it would be by far the most expensive model with pricing that makes no sense

01:21:46   because the R&D that goes into a phone that sells that few copies is just so astronomical

01:21:51   and then that would make the sales be even smaller.

01:21:55   And unlike the Mac Pro, it doesn't actually make sense for anyone to spend five times the price on a tiny phone.

01:22:02   Really it's just a personal preference.

01:22:04   And even the personal preference people have to eventually admit that typing on a tiny keyboard is really hard.

01:22:09   Oh, one more thing. On Touch ID, this is always the front of my mind because I'm always recommending products to my older relatives.

01:22:19   As has been expressed to me many times and despite my disbelieving it,

01:22:25   experimental evidence shows that Touch ID works less well for old people.

01:22:29   I don't know if you've experienced this,

01:22:31   but apparently fingerprints on wrinkly old people fingers are less consistent.

01:22:36   So no matter how many times I train Touch ID on various old people fingers and it works,

01:22:42   the next day they'll come and say, "Nope, I can't unlock it anymore."

01:22:45   And it's frustrating for them and guess what? They just stop using Touch ID.

01:22:48   They type in their code every single time because it doesn't take much inconsistency to just give up on the feature.

01:22:55   So although Touch ID is great for the days of us all wearing masks and you can train Face ID with your mask on and stuff like that.

01:23:02   Anyway, even though it seems like a thing of the moment to go back to Touch ID,

01:23:06   for certain people it appears in my experimental experience that Touch ID works less well for some people than others.

01:23:14   Whereas Face ID, no matter how wrinkly your face is, Touch ID doesn't care. It will still unlock its phone for you.

01:23:19   Well, I am glad that Apple has come out with a new SE2. This is not something that myself or anyone that I can think of is really interested in,

01:23:27   like in my real life, if you will. But I am super glad that they're updating it.

01:23:32   Just like we were saying, I believe, last episode with the Mac Mini and the new iPads from a couple of weeks ago,

01:23:39   I'm happy to see even just version bumps, if you will.

01:23:44   Just put the new internals in and just keep on chugging because I think that in this case, having more options is good and makes sense.

01:23:54   And sometimes one of the things that frustrates me and certainly people who are considering the Apple ecosystem so much

01:24:00   is when Apple basically says, "Well, these are your four choices and if you don't like it, go pound dirt."

01:24:04   There should be more options and I'm glad to see that there are more.

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01:25:47   [Music]

01:25:50   All right, let's do some Ask ATP.

01:25:52   Addy Burr writes, "I am finding myself wanting to listen to more podcasts than I have time for.

01:25:57   This problem has been exacerbated by the recent changes to my routine due to the pandemic.

01:26:01   How do you make time for listening to your favorite shows?

01:26:03   What activities do you find yourself comfortable to do while simultaneously listening to a podcast episode?"

01:26:08   For me, I am also having the same problem.

01:26:11   As soon as I stopped even my 10-minute commute, that created problems for my podcast queue.

01:26:18   Then I stopped working at a job where I can actually code and listen to podcasts.

01:26:23   That's not a problem for me. And so that hurt my podcast queue.

01:26:27   Now it's just terrible because my work-life balance is all out of whack.

01:26:32   Probably for the better in the grand scheme of things, we're all out of whack.

01:26:35   And so for me, I am trying to listen to podcasts at times when perhaps I wouldn't have before.

01:26:41   So when I exercise, typically I'll listen to a show.

01:26:44   If I'm doing something that's a solo chore, like the dishes, for example, I typically do the dishes by myself.

01:26:50   And so I'll listen to a podcast then.

01:26:53   But yeah, I'm super far behind and have stopped listening to shows that I genuinely enjoy because I just don't have time for all of them.

01:27:02   Marco, what are you doing with this? Anything different?

01:27:05   I'm in kind of a similar boat, except that my commute life hasn't been that differently affected by this.

01:27:12   And I should say too, people have these theories that podcast listening is dead or gone or totally down.

01:27:20   And I, at least the other day, in a tweet from the Overcast account, the actual Overcast stats of what is different in this globally among all Overcast users.

01:27:30   And what's interesting is that Overcast usage has always followed a very, very clear pattern of weekends being down and weekdays being up.

01:27:41   Clearly, many people listen to podcasts as part of their workday routine, whatever that may be.

01:27:48   Whether it's commuting, whether it's at work, because there's always this huge drop of about, I believe it's like 20 or 30% on Saturdays and Sundays.

01:27:58   And there was always this shape to the usage graph, and you could see it very clearly, of these bumps.

01:28:05   What has happened since the quarantine is the weekends, like the Saturday and Sunday parts of that graph, are almost unchanged.

01:28:14   They're down a little tiny bit, but it's not a significant reduction. They're almost the same.

01:28:19   The weekdays have simply come down to be closer to them than they were before.

01:28:25   So it's like whatever people are doing on Saturdays and Sundays, they're still doing that at about the same rate.

01:28:31   But what people do on the weekdays is now closer to that than it was before.

01:28:36   Which honestly makes sense. Many people who used to have commutes to work now temporarily don't.

01:28:42   Many people who listen to podcasts are in jobs where they still have to go to work right now during this quarantine, so they're still listening.

01:28:50   Many people who eliminated their commute listening are adding listening time during the rest of their day now in their new home life,

01:28:58   because they want the company or they're bored or whatever the reason is.

01:29:03   The reduction in listening has actually only been among Overcast users something like 15% total.

01:29:10   So most people are still finding time to listen to podcasts.

01:29:15   So my answer to this is I listen, first of all, the obvious ones.

01:29:22   If I'm on a dog walk, the rare occasions where I am driving somewhere, or any kind of errand running, or walking,

01:29:30   or if I were the type of person to run outside, maybe I would do it then.

01:29:36   I'm not a runner. Most of my exercises are indoor stuff on mats or rowing machines or things, so it's not really outdoor stuff.

01:29:47   But exercising, if I'm by myself, if I'm not working with a trainer, then I will either do YouTube videos or podcasts.

01:29:54   Usually YouTube videos, but sometimes podcasts.

01:29:57   And then, as Casey said, throughout the rest of the day, just errands.

01:30:02   If I'm washing dishes, I'll put a podcast on. If I'm cooking, I'll put a podcast on.

01:30:06   Anything where I have to be occupied with my hands, but I'm doing something where it's not distracting to listen to people talk to me.

01:30:15   So this is not anything I ever do at a computer. This is one of the reasons why I don't have a Mac app.

01:30:21   There is nothing I do at a computer where I want to listen to podcasts.

01:30:25   Except maybe game time. And I actually have been listening occasionally while playing Minecraft,

01:30:30   just with my phone next to the computer.

01:30:32   So basically, anytime where you're occupied doing something else physically, but your brain isn't fully engaged,

01:30:41   doing yard work, cleaning, any of that stuff, it's great for that.

01:30:45   I also listen in the shower. I have a HomePod in my bathroom. Yes, I know, it's ridiculous, but there it is.

01:30:51   I listen to John Roderick in my bathroom. He's my shower podcaster.

01:30:56   So you find time. They're always just on as I'm doing things around the house.

01:31:04   And the dog walks for like 45 minutes a day, so that's significant right there.

01:31:10   So it adds up. Basically, make podcasts part of your routine if you want to keep listening.

01:31:16   Keep in mind that you don't have to necessarily listen in headphones.

01:31:21   The most popular output device for overcast is the built-in speaker on the phone.

01:31:26   Many, many people just listen with their phone playing through its speaker as they do stuff.

01:31:34   And so you can just take your phone, you can set it on the counter as you're washing the dishes,

01:31:38   you can set it next to the stove as you're cooking.

01:31:41   You don't have to make it a thing where like, "All right, let me go get my headphones.

01:31:45   Let me put them in. Let me sit down and listen to it."

01:31:47   Only these highly produced shows that you've got to listen to really closely.

01:31:51   No, you can just be more casual about it than that. No one's stopping you.

01:31:54   So just put on a podcast on the phone speaker when you're doing something boring next time

01:31:58   and see how you like it.

01:32:00   My venues are the same as they've always been. You're listed all of them already.

01:32:03   I think doing laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning up after dinner, cleaning the house.

01:32:08   Because it works kind of hard during vacuuming. You really shouldn't turn the volume up that loud during that.

01:32:12   AirPods Pro. Noise canceling.

01:32:14   I have a pretty little Bluetooth speaker for the shower. Although the shower is an issue in my house

01:32:19   because in order to hear it over the sound of the shower and the ceiling thing, you have to turn it up pretty loud

01:32:25   and then you can hear it in other rooms and people don't like me to listen to podcasts in the shower

01:32:28   if they want the rest of the house quiet. That's the only one that's contentious.

01:32:32   And yeah, going for dog walks and going for regular walks.

01:32:35   The only thing I've added recently is I did start listening to podcasts during some Destiny stuff

01:32:42   when I'm doing certain space chores that I don't have to engage my mind fully on.

01:32:46   I can listen to podcasts, but for the real Destiny stuff I can't. It needs my full concentration.

01:32:54   The way I have dealt with getting behind on shows, it's not really related to the virus stuff.

01:33:01   It's mostly related to me continuing to subscribe to more and more shows, which is untenable.

01:33:06   You can't just keep subscribing to more shows. You will run out of time in the day.

01:33:10   The way I deal with it is I try to increase the duration of things that I'm already doing, so longer dog walks,

01:33:17   or longer regular walks, which is easy because it's spring and you want to be outside more.

01:33:22   It takes longer to maintain social distance and keeping 20 feet away from people or whatever.

01:33:27   And then for all the things that you do, either do them more often, or instead of trading off with your partner cleaning up,

01:33:38   just clean up after dinner all the time. Because that's now twice as much podcasting time if you were alternating before.

01:33:44   Cook dinner all the time. Fold the laundry all the time. Clean the house twice as much as you were cleaning it before.

01:33:52   It's kind of like in dieting where people can change their mindset to the point where just looking at some kind of unhealthy food

01:34:00   they used to love makes them disgusted. It no longer becomes a test of willpower not to eat that food.

01:34:08   You get to the point where you don't want that food anymore. It turns you off instead of turning you on.

01:34:13   You can do that with chores. I hate doing dishes. If you reconceptualize doing dishes,

01:34:19   as this is the time when I finally get to listen to that podcast show I've been waiting to listen to all day,

01:34:24   you look forward to doing dishes. You'll fight over who gets to do dishes so you can listen to your podcast

01:34:29   that you want to listen to all day. If you reframe things in that way, you can find more time for podcasting.

01:34:35   I think that's why people love it during the commute. It's the perfect way to add enrichment to an activity

01:34:42   that otherwise would not engage your mind fully. The dishes need to get done. You probably need to do a good job with them,

01:34:48   but they absolutely do not need to engage your entire mind once you have a couple of decades of dish watching experience.

01:34:54   You can basically do that on autopilot and you can be engaging the rest of your mind with an enriching activity,

01:35:00   like listening to people talk about how expensive wheels for their expensive computer are.

01:35:04   Well done. Hunter Holland writes, "When it comes time to record, you all have spoken a bit about all of the apps you have open

01:35:13   and how you have them arranged in a specific way on the screen. Do you automate this? How do you do it?"

01:35:17   I haven't found any good answers elsewhere and I don't know AppleScript yet. I don't automate this.

01:35:22   I probably should because I, as we have discussed in the past, I like to tile things in a particular way when I'm recording.

01:35:28   I don't automate this in any way, shape, or form. I'm not even sure. I know there exist apps to do it and perhaps you two can fill me in on some of them.

01:35:37   I think BetterTouchTool might do that sort of thing, but either way, it's something I should probably look into but don't do. Marco?

01:35:46   Similar. I don't do it. I don't have any kind of automation. I just manually move the windows to where they're supposed to be every time.

01:35:52   And it's fine. I mean, I only have a few apps I'm using. I have Skype, Audio Hijack, and the chat thing, and a browser, and a terminal window for the live server. That's it.

01:36:03   John?

01:36:04   My computing philosophy, as implied by the Windows of Syracuse County episode and as evidenced from my first ever blog post at Arstectic, which I think was called the state of web browsing and it was a pun on state being about preserving state and not about the conditions of web browsing.

01:36:22   My philosophy is that things on the computer that need input to customize them should stay the way I customize them. So asking this question is like, "How do you set things up and do you automate?"

01:36:37   It's like asking, "Do you automate getting your keyboard connected to your computer and having the mouse be next to it and having the mouse pad go underneath and having the monitor be in front of you and having your chair be in front of you?"

01:36:47   Do you automate that every time a video podcast? No. The keyboard, I connect it once and it doesn't move unless I move it. Like every time I come in, the keyboard is on the keyboard tray in the same spot. Why else would it be?

01:36:57   I don't have to replace the mouse pad under my mouse. I don't have to reconnect the mouse and put it to the right of my mouse pad. It's always just there. And why is it there?

01:37:04   Because at one point in the past, I set up my keyboard and mouse where I wanted them to be on the keyboard tray and they stayed there.

01:37:11   Same thing with my monitor. Same thing with my chair. I don't come in and go, "Where the hell is my chair?" "Oh, my chair is on the ceiling?" "Oh, come on chair, off the ceiling, down in front of the computer."

01:37:20   That's how I feel when I launch Skype and the stupid little floating recording window is some random ass place. It's like my chair is on the ceiling. It's like, "Why are you there, recording window?"

01:37:29   Every time I launch Skype, I have to take that little recording window and drag it back to the place where it has to be.

01:37:34   Everything else, for the most part, on my computer related to podcasting doesn't require any automation because I size the windows and place them once and every time I launch those apps, the windows appear in those same places.

01:37:49   Now, arguably, you could automate the launching of the applications. "Oh, I don't have to remember to launch Audio Hijack and Skype and my IRC client and to quit Dropbox or turn off Time Machine."

01:38:01   That can all be automated and I know some people who do it. Jason Snell, I believe, has a bunch of Apple scripts to set up all this stuff.

01:38:07   The amount of things that I need to do to get into podcasting mode basically boils down to clicking a bunch of icons in my dock and that is way below my threshold for automation.

01:38:18   I can just click the icons. Honestly, it's not a big deal. Do I have to remember to turn off Dropbox? Yeah, I do. But I don't forget, first of all.

01:38:27   And second of all, it's mostly just Superstition at this point given I have like 12 cores or whatever. I used to turn off Time Machine on my 10-year-old computer. I don't do that anymore.

01:38:36   It's been on since I got this new Mac Pro. It hasn't affected any of my recordings. It can have a CPU core to grind if it really starts going nuts.

01:38:46   So my answer is no, I don't automate it. People shouldn't have to automate things like this. The state that you build up by arranging your work environment the way you want it should be preserved by a well-behaved computer.

01:38:58   And if it's not, I think that's a problem, which is why I hate that stupid little tiny Skype floating window that is the one outlier in this whole setup.

01:39:06   Finally, Marut Chandegra writes, "What podcast episode are you most proud of having recorded? What about that episode are you most proud of?"

01:39:17   I can't choose one of my favorite children, but of all of my children, the hundreds of them in terms of podcast episodes, I am definitely very proud of the Latner episodes and the episode where Phil Schiller guested.

01:39:31   I just think it's a really nice recognition of the work of the three of us, and that was a real honor to have both of them on the show.

01:39:41   And then on analog, it was actually, I think, number five, I believe. I always get the number wrong.

01:39:48   But it was one that I did very early on with Mike Hurley and Stephen Hackett about some of the tougher things that our families have had to deal with in the past.

01:39:57   And that one is probably one of my favorite, if not the best, but also hardest podcast episode I've ever recorded.

01:40:05   But yeah, every ATP episode, every single one, that's the final answer. Go Marco.

01:40:12   So I like the special, like the high profile ones, like the Schiller ones, and the Latner. I like those, but ultimately my favorite, what I enjoy the most, are the episodes like this where we're just BSing with each other.

01:40:29   And especially when one of us does something that the other two can make fun of, or when we uncover something about someone, that we're just like, "What? You do what?" I just like that.

01:40:42   My style of enjoying this show, and heck, enjoying a lot of parts of life, is about finding everyday amusement and happiness in little crap with my friends.

01:40:56   I love that. And that's what this show is to me, BSing with my friends, and it's fun, and all of you out there actually listen to this for some reason, and that's wonderful, for us at least.

01:41:09   And so I appreciate that. But I just like the everyday BS episodes that we have. Like this, I think this week is great, I liked last week, these are just like regular episodes.

01:41:22   This is what I enjoy. If I had to pick out something that I enjoy, like noteworthy levels, doing the live shows at WVDC, I really enjoy those.

01:41:32   Because those are not only noteworthy for whatever news we just announced, but those usually involve a lot of us, like, you know, ribbing each other and stuff, and so that's always fun too.

01:41:43   But ultimately, I just like the regular chemistry and BS that this show is.

01:41:50   I couldn't agree more. And I actually would say that to me, the canonical, like, best example of the three of us just being the three of us might be the recently mentioned Windows of Syracuse accounting episode, which is number 96.

01:42:07   If you have come to ATP after episode 96, please go back to episode 96 and just listen to it. I don't want to ruin it and say any more than that, but episode 96 is, in that sense, like just in terms of pure joy, is probably my favorite ATP episode we've ever recorded, because it was so ridiculous and so much fun.

01:42:28   Jon, what do you think?

01:42:30   I just think Windows should stay where you put them. I mean, can I get some agreement on that? Like, it seems like... Anyway, I'll try to answer this question better than you two, because you didn't answer this question.

01:42:40   Oh, there it is! There it is.

01:42:42   What are you most proud of having recorded? It didn't say what are your favorites. I mean, I guess it can be similar, but like, anyway, it's difficult because like, what are you most proud of having recorded? Like, it doesn't mean the episode that most people like, it doesn't mean the episode that you got the most compliments about, it doesn't mean the episode that you even enjoyed recording the most. What are you most proud of recording?

01:43:01   So when I think about that, I'm like, is there something I think I did, like, or accomplished by recording something? The closest I could get is, I feel like there are a couple of episodes of podcasts where, you know, I was lucky enough to be recording a podcast at a moment in time when something important happened, and I was able to catch my reaction to it in real time, right?

01:43:24   But just not really a thing that you can control, because if you're not doing a podcast when some important thing happens, like, you know, well, oh well.

01:43:31   So I was thinking back to the episodes, hypercritical episodes when like Steve Jobs died, which was very important and emotional moment, and I just happened to be recording a podcast right when those feelings were the most raw, right?

01:43:47   And if like that is the type of thing that you can't, you can't set out to do, right? You can't, no matter how hard you try and how good at you, what you're doing, it's a confluence of events that you didn't control.

01:43:57   And like showing up was the most important thing that you had a podcast and that you recorded that week, and that it was an emotional issue for you, and that you captured how you felt in that moment.

01:44:07   Even if those episodes aren't as popular as, you know, or as entertaining or whatever as other things. That's the first thing that came to mind. The second thing that came to mind is, like, I continue to get tweets about old episodes of ATP or old episodes of hypercritical or whatever, where I'm talking about some BS, who knows, we're doing pontificating about technology.

01:44:28   And people tend to tweet like that they're amazed that what they heard reflected so well into the future. And when I listen to it, I'm like, I got everything wrong. Like, what are you talking about?

01:44:40   I didn't, you know, this, if you listen to the text of what I'm saying, it's clear that the details of what I said turned out not to be true.

01:44:47   But I think what people are reacting to is like, okay, so you got the details wrong, but in general, like the spirit of what you were going for, like big picture wise, you had the right idea.

01:44:58   It's just that, of course, because if you're projecting 10 years into the future, you're going to get the details wrong. But in general, you had some inkling of the general direction that things were going.

01:45:10   And I'm proud of being able to even especially when they hear it, I'm like, that was like a throwaway thing that I didn't even like wasn't even written down anywhere. It's just like the first thing that popped into my head.

01:45:19   But yes, I am proud of the fact that off the cuff every once in a while, I would just instinctively say a thing, you know, the projected real far forward in the future and get all the details wrong.

01:45:31   But some people listening to it in the present say, wow, that reminds me a lot of what actually did happen.

01:45:37   So those two things showing up at a time when something really important happened and I guess being willing to just like spill your guts into a podcast. Right.

01:45:46   I'm proud of doing that. And I'm also proud of every once in a while having an off the cuff insight that turns out to resonate with people in the present day.

01:45:55   Also, I mean, the fridge episode directives has got to be on your list. I'm not sure which is that quality or I don't think that it qualifies for saying anything about the future. Maybe it captures a moment in time. I don't know.

01:46:08   Maybe it's more of more of Marco's thing about just a bunch of BS.

01:46:12   My favorite, I want to amend what I said also. Another type of episode I really, really enjoy doing is when there has been some kind of major tech news in an area that we ostensibly maybe should care about, but typically don't.

01:46:29   Like some big new Android flagship phone was released. And we don't even mention it. Not even once. We pretend like whatever big news this is, that literally every other podcast in our little group of community podcasts have similar things.

01:46:46   Everyone else is talking about news item X, Y, or Z from this week. And we blow right past, we don't even mention it because we're spending all of our time BSing with each other over other stuff that doesn't matter in the news sense.

01:47:00   I love those too. Whenever we just totally skip a really big story that everyone else is talking about because we're too busy making fun of each other.

01:47:10   Hey, you want to talk about the contact tracing?

01:47:12   Anyway, thanks. We actually do have a lot to talk about that, but we'll save that for next week.

01:47:16   Next week! We'll do it, really.

01:47:18   Thanks to our sponsors this week. Squarespace, ExpressVPN, and Fully. And we will see you next week.

01:47:24   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin. Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:47:36   John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him. Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:47:47   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM. And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them.

01:47:57   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S, so that's Casey List, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, A-N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N-S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A. It's accidental. They didn't mean to. Accidental. Tech podcast so long.

01:48:26   I actually placed a second order from Apple.com today. Oh no. What did you do Marco? Well, it isn't that interesting.

01:48:36   It's a Mac Mini. A Mac Mini? Why? Third place is another Mac Mini. Yeah, seriously. Basically.

01:48:42   Wait, what? In our work at Homitude, Tiff and I both record a lot of podcasts. Adam is also being homeschooled in a way, sort of with the schools online stuff.

01:48:54   And so there's lots of need for all of us to be using computers in the same two rooms of the house that are adjacent to each other at the same time.

01:49:05   And so we have a need for, you know, maybe we can record podcasts upstairs during the day.

01:49:12   So that way the people downstairs can keep doing the stuff they need to do on their computers or with the homeschool stuff, homework activities.

01:49:21   The fact that we have a kid at home who needs to do stuff and be a kid and make noise sometimes.

01:49:27   So we wanted for a while to set up an alternate recording studio upstairs.

01:49:32   And we had pretty much everything to do it. Like I had my stupid LG Ultrafine monitor that was sitting in the basement wasting away.

01:49:40   You know, I have a third microphone because when we do our live shows, I bring three, you know, for the three of us I bring three microphones.

01:49:48   And so normally we have the two, my desk, Tiff's desk, but we had a third one of the exact same kind, just in the closet most of the year.

01:49:54   And I had, you know, old, you know, boom arms and everything I wasn't using anymore.

01:49:58   So like I had all the gear to do it. And so we set up the Ultrafine, plugged in, you know, a bunch of extra gear.

01:50:05   So we ran it the last couple days. It's been wonderful podcasting up there.

01:50:09   With the one exception that what we've been doing is just taking our respective Apple laptops and plugging them in during our recordings.

01:50:16   The desk is really small for this, for like a laptop and the giant LG monitor.

01:50:22   And there's no keyboard or mouse yet. And there's certainly no room to have keyboard or mouse and monitor and laptop, you know, somewhere.

01:50:28   Unless we do clamshell mode and some kind of one of those like stand up stands.

01:50:32   But the main problem is that using a laptop in this way is annoying.

01:50:37   It is disruptive to the state of things on the laptop.

01:50:41   And also what I learned today is that the fans on my laptop are a little bit too loud for this when plugged into a monitor.

01:50:48   Whoops.

01:50:49   Yeah, the 16 inch, even when I disabled turbo boost to try to save some heat, the 16 inch when plugged into the LG monitor keeps the fan around 2800 to 3000 RPM most of the time.

01:51:01   And so it's just, it was audible on the recording.

01:51:05   And I'm like, you know, I just, I don't like, this is not good. And plus, you know, using a laptop as a desktop is clumsy in lots of other ways.

01:51:13   And I don't love that I had to use Wi-Fi for the recording because I'm not going to use Ethernet on my laptop because it's always unreliable.

01:51:21   Using some kind of dongle for that.

01:51:23   Like, I don't, I just want something with Ethernet.

01:51:25   So basically I was looking at, you know, Mac Mini versus low end iMac and the Mac Mini 1.

01:51:30   I considered using my existing Mac Mini for this purpose, but using it for this purpose would require me to upgrade its OS from, you know, DOS, whatever it's running, some very old version of the OS.

01:51:42   To something more recent to run on like all the podcasting capture software and everything.

01:51:46   And it's also, this is a 2014 Mac Mini, so it's very old. And it was, I didn't even get the high end configuration then. So it was, you know, it's an old low end Mac Mini running a very old OS.

01:52:00   And if I upgrade the OS, not only will it probably run even slower, but I will lose my iSCSI setup for my Synology.

01:52:09   Oh, yikes.

01:52:10   Because the initiator software is not compatible and blah, blah, blah. You know, I could buy a new version or whatever, but like I don't want to do, I don't want to put any more money into my Synology setup.

01:52:22   That's a legacy product for me.

01:52:24   It remains a product in your lineup.

01:52:26   Yes.

01:52:27   So anyway, so I'm like, I don't want to mention that. So let me just get the new Mac Mini. I know it's great. Like I had that review loaner. I know it's a great system.

01:52:35   And so I just bought like the kind of low to mid range one. But yeah, I think, you know, I listed all the options and I think it was the right move.

01:52:43   Interestingly, in my house, we have a similar situation with people needing to be on computers simultaneously much more than they used to because everybody's home and everyone's got to do these computer stuff.

01:52:54   And like, not really surprisingly, but still frustratingly, the same reason that both my kids and I imagine most modern kids prefer to watch any kind of, you know, video, quote unquote, television or whatever on their iPads, as opposed to on the gigantic fancy television.

01:53:11   Right. They want the why. Why does why would they want to watch video on their phone or on their iPad instead of the big TV?

01:53:16   Because they can do it on their phone or their iPod in the privacy of their own room.

01:53:20   Right. They don't want the parents to know what they're up to, what they're watching. They just they want privacy because they're teens and tweens. Right.

01:53:27   So in our house, we have all this computer equipment around where you can do your Zoom meetings and do all your school stuff and so on and so forth.

01:53:35   And we've got this nice big 5K iMac with a nice comfortable desk chair. And you can just do there, sit there and do your work.

01:53:41   And you have a desk in front of you to put your schoolbooks on and camera and microphone are built in and everything's great.

01:53:47   And nobody wants to use it. Nobody wants to use the iMac. They're all fighting over the stupid laptop. Why?

01:53:53   Because you can take your laptop into your room and not have your parents see you on a video conference and be all embarrassed.

01:54:00   Right. So it's such a battle of like them fighting with each other over the laptop because they don't want to be forced, punished by using the 5K iMac, which is a much better computer in all respects for all possible schoolwork.

01:54:12   It has a better keyboard. It has a better screen. Has a real mouse. Nobody wants to use it. So this is ridiculous battles over this.

01:54:20   To make it to make them feel better, the solution I've gone with this because for my work, I have a laptop.

01:54:26   So I take my work laptop up to my bedroom and do my meetings there.

01:54:31   And then one kid is locked into the computer room that I'm in now with the door closed so they can have privacy and then they can go in the 5K iMac and do their Zoom meetings and somehow feel comfortable.

01:54:43   So they are basically the inverse of me. I hate laptops and they will only tolerate laptops because they can't stand the idea of being chained to a desk.

01:54:51   Actually, you know, kid computer needs did weigh into this decision because Adam is, you know, he's about to turn eight. He almost needs his own computer.

01:55:01   He's finding situations where you're like, "Well, he can use ours for this. He can use ours for this. He can use ours for this."

01:55:06   But like at some point he's going to need his own computer and this I think could become that.

01:55:10   If we stop needing Studio B upstairs, then this computer can just become the computer that, this is the upstairs computer and that can be his computer because it provides some of that privacy and everything.

01:55:20   It would be upstairs. It doesn't necessarily need to be in his room.

01:55:24   But it's also not a laptop which I think is great for like a kid's first computer if you can swing it because not a laptop is much more durable.

01:55:34   If there's like, you know, some, you know, sticky or buttery hands touching that keyboard or if something gets spilled onto it or anything like a desktop keyboard is much easier and cheaper to replace than a laptop keyboard.

01:55:46   And a desktop is much less likely to get fatally damaged in use than a laptop.

01:55:51   You know, you don't have to worry about like, "Oh, what if they accidentally leave it somewhere and somebody steps on it or the hinge breaks or whatever."

01:55:56   Like, you know, you have none of those concerns with the desktop.

01:55:58   So the likely lifetime of this computer, it's going to start out being a Studio B recording machine but I think it's going to end up probably as my kid's first computer.

01:56:09   Plus 8-year-olds don't need the privacy that tweens need. Like, they're not in that phase of all that stuff. Although, and you're very right, like, the good 13-inch MacBook Air, like the good one before they went Retina, my daughter destroyed that.

01:56:22   I mean, she just didn't treat it well and eventually got to the point where she literally cracked the screen on it.

01:56:27   So, yeah, laptops and young children do not mix, especially expensive laptops.

01:56:32   So if you can get him to use a desktop, and I think you'll have no problem with it until he becomes a surly tween and doesn't want you seeing what he's doing, I think that'll work out great.

01:56:40   Although the only thing I worry about is maybe that he messes up your podcasting setup in some way because kids can find a way to mess up your computer.

01:56:46   You go in, you try to switch to your account, and you realize that Adam has somehow found a way to download a bunch of malware and install it and it's screwing with your computer.

01:56:54   Yeah, I mean, yeah, the reality is, like, I think if we still use this as a podcasting machine, we probably wouldn't let him use it also.

01:57:02   That would be like if we stopped needing it as that machine, then we would repurpose it as his or, you know, something like that.

01:57:07   Maybe he'll use my iMac Pro when I get the iMac Pro someday.

01:57:10   Oh, goodness. That's what I thought you were going to say.

01:57:12   I know. That's why I teased you. Like, "Hey, you know, I bought another computer from Apple."

01:57:16   But not what you think. Still not what you think. And the thought even occurred to me. Maybe...

01:57:22   Oh, trickle down.

01:57:23   Yeah. My fan problem is back on my iMac Pro.

01:57:26   Oh, I don't like that.

01:57:27   The fans still spin up like crazy while doing simple things that didn't used to happen, and I'm concerned, but this is not a time to make changes to my production setup, Casey.

01:57:36   This is not a good time for that. So I'm like, "All right."

01:57:40   One thought I did have was, "What if I just buy myself the Mac Pro and then move this computer upstairs to be the Studio B computer?"

01:57:49   But that is substantially more expensive, and I think that would be really a waste of this computer.

01:57:56   Because the needs for that upstairs computer are not high. They're just specific.

01:58:01   By the way, the chat room is going nuts saying, and so I want to put this in the show so we don't get a million emails, saying like,

01:58:06   "Oh, my God. Don't get your kid a Mac Mini for his first computer. It's terrible for PC games."

01:58:11   That's probably true. If he's going to be needing a computer for PC games, we'll get him a gaming PC. That's totally fine.

01:58:17   During our Minecraft obsession during this quarantine, I've actually been using TIFF's gaming PC, which is a Razer, I don't know, a 15-inch Razer laptop that,

01:58:28   whatever was their nice gaming laptop as of about a year ago. It's been great, actually.

01:58:34   As a gaming PC, it's been wonderful. When I look at the numbers, the performance numbers of what gaming PC, like, GPUs, desktop versus laptops,

01:58:46   how they perform. So in this laptop is a Nvidia, whatever, whatever, whatever, 80 Max-Q.

01:58:55   It's a RTX 2080 Max-Q. Is that a thing, John?

01:58:59   Yeah, I don't know about the mobile version of it. Yeah, the 2080 is their current sort of high-end video card line.

01:59:06   Right. So it's the mobile version of that that's in the Razer 15-inch whatever from last year.

01:59:11   And I looked at, you know, I tried searching like, OK, well, how does this compare to whatever you could get today in a desktop PC?

01:59:20   And it's not that far off. What does that mean for me and my games? Like, you know, I can run them at higher resolutions or with greater filtering settings.

01:59:28   I can get a few more frames per second. Like, it's already incredibly fast for the few games that it plays.

01:59:33   So it's great. And so I think actually, like, if Adam ever needed a gaming PC, I'd probably go the laptop route for that.

01:59:41   Because laptops can clearly come pretty close to that. And for that kind of purpose, a laptop would be fine.

01:59:47   If he wants a gaming PC, I'm assuming he's going to be playing something more demanding than Minecraft.

01:59:51   So maybe don't go with a mobile GPU.

01:59:53   You'd be surprised how demanding Minecraft is because it's so poorly written.

01:59:56   You should get the, there are a bunch of variants of Minecraft that do real-time ray tracing. You should try one of those.

02:00:04   Oh, yeah.

02:00:06   Because as you can imagine, like, it's simple geometry-wise. But, you know, the things that ray tracing is good at, like, you know, handling light sources in a more realistic way and having light sources sort of affecting color of the world in interesting ways and light filtering through transparent stuff can actually make Minecraft look, you know, more realistic.

02:00:25   You know, look different. Look even more moody than it already does.

02:00:29   There's a bunch of, I don't know if they're official ports or just tech demos. Just do a YouTube search for Minecraft ray tracing. You can see what some look like.

02:00:37   And the RTX in those Nvidia lines is, you know, both Nvidia and AMD have this, have these extensions to their GPUs that are supposed to help ray tracing be faster in the ways that games use them.

02:00:52   And those actually do make a difference if you try one of those game engine variants that takes advantage of the ray tracing things.

02:00:59   It's obviously not doing full ray tracing for the entire engine, but it's like for the things that it's using it for, this tiny little part of the GPU helps accelerate that function and make it either less expensive or basically free in addition to the normal stuff that it does.

02:01:12   Most of the research I found basically made it look like it would probably, like it has almost all the same capabilities as the flagship PC GPUs now.

02:01:22   It just has like, yeah, it's like, you know, a 30% lower performance ceiling basically. Like it's not, it's surprisingly close. Like I thought the difference would be a lot bigger than it is.

02:01:33   Yeah, but, you know, the gaming PCs, you get desktop, like you can get an entire desktop that is, like you said, 50% faster for less money than the laptop.

02:01:43   The other tricky bit is that the laptop screen is small compared to the potential desktop screen.

02:01:49   So once you get a desktop sized screen, now you need to beef your GPU if you want to run it at native res, which you probably do. So yeah, that's fair.

02:01:56   Anyway, who knows what Adam will want by the time he's into that thing. Who would want to turn up his nose, like my kids, turn up his nose entirely at desktops and want to play everything on his holo AR iPad, whatever the hell.

02:02:07   His Apple glasses.

02:02:11   (laughing)

02:02:13   (beeping)