369: Brown Big Bear


00:00:00   The other night, I developed a condition that I have not had on any of my things in possibly over a decade, if not ever. I'm trying to remember if I ever had this problem.

00:00:13   Machine gun trackpad. I was waiting for it.

00:00:16   My television has a stuck pixel. Oh no. You mean in addition to the image retention that you stubbornly don't see? I don't see any image retention. I've never seen that as a problem.

00:00:29   Have you put the Marco test pattern on it? No, that's a good point actually. I haven't tried that. Don't. Don't try it. I'm not advised against this. Ignorance is bliss.

00:00:38   No. My LG C7 4K OLED has a stuck bright blue pixel and I can't stop seeing it. Where is it?

00:00:48   It's near the top edge, kind of off to the side. It's not like right in the middle. It is like near one of the edges, but it's not. It's bright blue. And so on any kind of dark or solid colored scene, it's very visible.

00:01:01   This is a three year old TV. Warranty probably does not apply.

00:01:05   Yeah, I bought the extended one year additional warranty, so that brought it up to two years. You are correct, this is year three.

00:01:11   Very much out of warranty. There's a thing called pixel refresher, which is some kind of maintenance procedure you can run. I ran it, no difference. So yeah, it just seems like it's stuck forever.

00:01:22   Well, this year the LG naming scheme is the last number, it's like the digit of the year. So C6 was 2016, C7 was 2017, and so on and so forth. Last year was C9 for 2019. This year, what do you think they did?

00:01:36   Did they not do C0? They did not do C0.

00:01:39   C10? C20?

00:01:41   C and then a capital letter X, which is a Roman numeral ten, I think. Because who knows, I've never heard anyone say it out loud. The BX, the CX, the EX, the WX, or ten, I don't actually know how to pronounce it.

00:01:56   Yeah, I'm so annoyed that this was a really nice TV and it lasted only two and a half years before having a pretty significant problem. I mean, it's not non-functional. You have one stuck pixel.

00:02:09   It works, but it's really annoying. You can't stop seeing it. So I'm not going to immediately go out and replace it. I'm going to try to live with it for a while and see if I can just kind of forget about it.

00:02:32   But you know what? I just lived with it because it was a thing that you did. At the time, Apple wouldn't even guarantee that a new one out of the box didn't have stuck pixels. There were these rules about as long as there's not this number of pixels with this number of inches from each other, tough luck.

00:02:45   So what I'm saying is that it is possible to live with it, especially if it's just one, especially if it's not dead center, and especially if it's blue and not white. I feel like you can probably get past it if you just chill and forget about it. I don't think your eye will be drawn to it anymore. But if you're looking to buy a new TV, the CX/C10 is really good.

00:03:06   That's the problem. I'm really not looking to buy a new TV, not after only two and a half years of buying a pretty nice TV. You know what never had this problem? My plasma. Never had this problem.

00:03:18   Plasma has had image retention too, but every display of technology so far, even CRTs, have had some kind of weird issue related to them.

00:03:29   Disappointed. Yeah, you got unlucky. I don't hear a lot about that. You hear about image retention all the time, but plain old dead stuck pixels. It's always an option. There's transistors behind there that can go bad or do whatever it is they do, and it's a bummer. There's a lot of pixels on a 4K TV. Do the math, especially.

00:03:45   I am surprised that you can see a single pixel. I am jealous of your eyesight. It might be more than one. You should look in to see how many sub-pixels is it and get a magnifying glass if you really care.

00:03:55   What difference does it make how many it is? I can see it or not see it? In this one, I can definitely see it.

00:04:01   Just in curiosity, what does it take to see it on a 4K TV? Does it take a cluster or can you see one?

00:04:07   I think if it was a dead pixel, which we were just showing black all the time, that might be harder to notice, but a stuck bright blue pixel is very easy to notice.

00:04:19   I'm sorry Marco. It sounds like you might need to spend money on something, something arguably a little frivolous.

00:04:25   He's going to try the pay-it-no-mind plan first. We'll see how that goes.

00:04:29   I am looking forward to your review of your new LG TV next week.

00:04:33   I don't want a new TV right now. We'll probably get into this at some point, but when you look at display technologies that are on the horizon, things like micro LED, I already have something that's very close to the current best thing that there is to have.

00:04:48   You do, and you don't want micro LED. Again, we'll get to it if we get to talk about that. You would get another OLED. That's your only choice if you want equal or better quality.

00:04:56   Right, that's the thing. We'll see the difference between mini LED and micro LED. One of them sucks, the other one doesn't exist yet.

00:05:03   If you want to get the non-existent one, you should get an LED television. Those also don't exist and it would be even better.

00:05:11   Right, exactly. Why doesn't anybody just make 4K plasmas? Plasmas were great.

00:05:16   There's a reason. Remember that big article on why you can't actually make 4K plasmas? The technology does not lend itself well to density increases.

00:05:23   Oh well.

00:05:24   Let's get started with some follow up. Obviously, a lot of this is going to be about the thing that I can't keep straight.

00:05:33   Our first follow up item is Marco, can you explain to me what's what when it comes to coronavirus, COVID, and all these other things, please?

00:05:39   Yes, so last episode I talked a lot about COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, and a couple people wrote in to tell me that I was mistakenly using the term COVID-19 to refer not just to the resulting disease, but also to the virus itself.

00:05:55   I thought I was being correct in describing it this way, but it turns out this is kind of like the difference between HIV and AIDS, where AIDS is the disease, but HIV is the name of the virus that gives you the disease.

00:06:05   The virus name here is SARS-CoV-2, very similar to the first SARS, remember that outbreak a few years back?

00:06:13   So this is basically the sequel to SARS. The disease that results from getting this virus is called COVID-19.

00:06:19   People keep calling it coronavirus. Coronavirus is a type of virus, there are many coronaviruses, this is one of them, so that's not particularly precise.

00:06:28   If you say it these days, people will know what you're talking about, but if you want to be correct, the condition is COVID-19 and is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

00:06:37   Yeah, I feel bad for all the other coronaviruses because this has kind of ruined the name. If you just say coronavirus, they think you're talking about this specific one, whereas before this happened, I'm sure scientists were saying coronavirus, meaning the category of viruses that includes all sorts of things that are not as bad as this, but now that ship has sailed.

00:06:54   Yeah, now it's like red hats, like once there's one really bad red hat, nobody can really wear red hats anymore.

00:07:00   And am I right, and I saw something about this that I didn't really follow through to see if it's actually true, am I right about the 19 at the end of COVID stands for the year 2019?

00:07:08   Yes, correct, because it was first identified at the very end of 2019.

00:07:12   Then they learned from Windows 2000 that you shouldn't include year names in your... anyway.

00:07:17   It's like the 2019 Mac Pro.

00:07:20   Yeah. So I don't remember where we were in the timeline last week, but I can tell you that I believe Google I/O was already canceled and it still is. E3 has been canceled.

00:07:31   WWDC hasn't been canceled but also hasn't been announced, so what's going on?

00:07:38   Well, one little additional thing here is that the county that it's held in, Santa Clara County, recently banned all events for the next few weeks that are over a thousand people.

00:07:49   Now this ban does not cover June, but it could be extended, there could be another one put into place in June.

00:07:55   You can look at why Apple hasn't announced WWDC's cancellation or non-cancellation yet.

00:08:01   Part of it is, you know, it's still a little early. They do typically announce the conference in late March to early April, so we're still, you know, they still have some time.

00:08:09   One reason that might be relevant here that we've seen from other conferences, although frankly I don't think this is the reason,

00:08:18   but we've seen from other conferences that there's actually a distinction with some of these companies and their conference center's insurance policies

00:08:29   about why the cancellation is happening and whether your insurance company will reimburse you for the cost you lose or not.

00:08:36   And if you voluntarily cancel the conference with a lot of these policies, you lose all your money as the conference organizer,

00:08:44   whereas basically if the government forces you to not hold the conference, that might be a covered condition under your insurance policy.

00:08:50   So that's a contributing factor to some of these, that the governments are kind of doing conference organizers a favor by forcing them to not have their conferences in the insurance arena.

00:09:01   And I think also in the PR arena, you know, a lot of these conferences, like a lot of their attendees don't want to be canceled,

00:09:07   and it's easier for the organizer to say, "Sorry, we're canceling this. We don't have a choice because the government is forcing us to do this."

00:09:13   So in a way it kind of helps make the decision easier.

00:09:17   In the particular case of WWDC, I don't think that's the case.

00:09:21   I think, again, I think the same thing I thought last week, which is pretty sure it's already been decided to be canceled,

00:09:28   and Apple's just waiting to organize some other arrangements, like some kind of online only special arrangements or expansion of the online system,

00:09:38   as we talked about last week, I think they're waiting until they can announce them like that at the same time,

00:09:44   rather than just saying, "Conference is off. We have nothing else for you right now."

00:09:47   So we'll see how that goes. But yes, as of now, WWDC is neither announced nor canceled, but again, I think it's extremely unlikely that this will happen.

00:09:57   Yeah, the chances have not gone up of WWDC happening. They've only gone down.

00:10:01   And I'm willing to believe that maybe their insurance gives them better terms if they have the government canceled,

00:10:07   but that doesn't mean that Apple is playing a game of chicken. For sure, Apple has already decided what it's doing.

00:10:13   There is no danger that if somehow the government doesn't issue an edict that makes them not have WWDC,

00:10:19   that somehow Apple's going to have WWDC anyway. I'm pretty sure the decision has been made that it's not going to happen.

00:10:24   It's just a question of us waiting. And it's kind of weird, as people pointed out in the discussions.

00:10:28   How do you announce the cancellation of something that was never scheduled?

00:10:32   E3 was scheduled, so when they say, "Hey, E3 was supposed to be on these dates. People bought tickets and everything."

00:10:38   But it's not happening. There is no scheduled WWDC, so making an announcement that says,

00:10:44   "We were going to have a conference, but now we're not."

00:10:47   Obviously it makes sense in the context of WWDC, which has happened every year for decades, and people expect it.

00:10:52   But it is still a little bit weird. So all this is to say that I don't blame Apple for their continued silence.

00:10:57   We will just continue to assume that it's not going to happen. Eventually I'm assuming Apple will say something about it,

00:11:02   and that's when we'll know for sure.

00:11:04   And as we were recording, this is on Wednesday night, apparently the United States is banning all travel for 30 days to anywhere in Europe,

00:11:12   except the UK, I guess because they're not in Europe.

00:11:15   Oh, too soon.

00:11:17   So that's a thing as well. This is escalating very quickly.

00:11:22   Yeah, we're a tech show and we aren't experts in this field.

00:11:28   We're not even amateurs in this field.

00:11:31   We also talk about lots of things we're not experts on.

00:11:34   Well, that's true too. They never stopped us before.

00:11:37   But in all seriousness, this is a really big deal.

00:11:40   And we don't yet know the full extent of how big of a deal this is, but this is something that you should all take very seriously.

00:11:47   This is not a light thing, this is not something that you should do nothing about, this is not something that won't affect you.

00:11:56   I would make a bet that almost all of you listening to this will either get this or you will know somebody who gets this.

00:12:05   It's spreading a lot around the world and we don't yet fully know how big it's going to be,

00:12:11   but so far all signs point to it's still accelerating and that's very scary.

00:12:17   All the estimates from months ago were like, this is what percentage of the world population is going to get it,

00:12:23   and the percentage has been big and hasn't really changed that much.

00:12:26   So even though we don't know the true extent, all the estimates have been very consistent that the answer is a lot, a whole bunch.

00:12:32   I think Marco's back of the envelope thing of you'll either get it or know someone is very accurate,

00:12:38   but I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:12:42   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:12:45   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:12:48   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:12:51   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:12:54   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:12:57   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:13:00   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:13:03   I think it's a very important thing to know about the world.

00:13:08   I'll put some links in the show notes of good information sources here.

00:13:10   Please read up on this. Follow what's going on.

00:13:13   You don't have to be the perfect expert on everything going on at any given moment,

00:13:18   but you should know the general themes.

00:13:20   You should know the general things, what to do and what not to do.

00:13:22   This is serious, and it makes a really big difference to how much of a bad problem this is for the world

00:13:31   if people take basic precautions.

00:13:35   If we can reduce the rate of the spread, that makes huge differences in both the total number of people who will be affected

00:13:42   and in some of the more severe problems that can result, like how quickly hospitals are overrun and run out of beds.

00:13:49   If we can slow the spread of this, that has massive positive effects and can save us from massive negative effects.

00:13:57   So please read up on this.

00:13:59   We'll link in the show notes too some good places.

00:14:03   Please read up. Please do what you can to prevent the spread.

00:14:08   The current trend line we're on is matching well with Italy.

00:14:11   Italy has a much better healthcare system by any objective measure than the United States,

00:14:16   particularly certain areas of the United States.

00:14:18   Their trend line was such that they were at the point where their hospitals were having to triage people

00:14:24   as if it's in wartime or after a natural disaster and that there's not enough equipment and doctors to go around.

00:14:29   So you have to say, "Look, we're going to give treatment to the people," as you do in any kind of situation where you're triaging,

00:14:34   "to the people who have the highest chance of survival and the most years left that we could be saving."

00:14:39   So things like age cutoffs and if you're old and sick and there's only one ventilator for 10 people,

00:14:45   you are at the end of the list and they're just going to not treat you because they can't treat you and then you die.

00:14:50   We do not want to get in a situation where people have to make those kinds of decisions.

00:14:53   That is exactly the trend line we're on.

00:14:55   So the thing I would add about what exactly you can do, simple rule.

00:15:01   If you're not changing your behavior in any way, that's bad.

00:15:05   Doesn't it like--all you have to say is, "Have I changed anything about how I live or what I do?"

00:15:09   If the answer to that is no and you live in the United States, reconsider.

00:15:14   That's step zero. Yeah.

00:15:17   Completely agree.

00:15:18   But we will soldier on with this program with that out of the way and continue to talk about stuff that doesn't matter.

00:15:24   For example, Jon, your Mac Pro storage is mostly sorted out.

00:15:27   The silver lining as we're all shelter in place and practice social distancing.

00:15:34   Yeah, all of my storage geegaws have arrived.

00:15:39   I am now basically back to where I was with my old Mac Pro where I have an internal time machine backup,

00:15:45   an internal super duper clone, an external time machine backup, and a cloud backup.

00:15:49   The numbers are bigger, the disks are bigger.

00:15:52   The noise is less because--well, I guess, yeah, the noise is less because this is a quieter machine.

00:15:58   But yeah, that's all sorted now. I've got everything all plugged in and installed.

00:16:02   I'm still--the only remaining thing I'm working out is I'm still working out the details of my script that when my computer wakes up at like 2 a.m.

00:16:11   and does a bunch of stuff, one of the things I wanted to do is mount the time machine disk, run the time machine backup, and unmount it.

00:16:18   And the script works fine after me messing with the permissions and some other crap.

00:16:22   But right now, very often it wakes up around 2 and the script runs and it finds that time machine had already sprung into action before the disk could be mounted,

00:16:31   and it starts doing the time machine backup to the NAS, right?

00:16:35   And because that backup is running, it says, "Oh, I can't run. Another time machine backup is running."

00:16:39   So now I've just changed it actually just before the show to say, "Just wait for the NAS backup to complete, and then you go and then you unmount your disk."

00:16:46   So this will be the first time I'm testing that.

00:16:49   And I actually haven't tested the scheduled super duper backup. I did it manually once, but the scheduled one, I only do that once a week.

00:16:56   So anyway, things are looking good for storage on my Mac Pro.

00:17:00   I am not backing up all 16 terabytes to backblaze, but I am backing up 4.

00:17:06   [laughs]

00:17:08   Fair enough. Well, I am glad that everything is back under control.

00:17:13   Alright, Anonymous writes us with some update Apple ID settings.

00:17:17   I forget which one of us was lamenting this, but this is the--

00:17:21   It's always John.

00:17:23   Fair enough. This is the thing on Mac OS where you randomly get prompted to update your Apple ID settings,

00:17:28   and it doesn't really explain why, and it doesn't do a tremendous job of explaining how, but be that as it may.

00:17:34   This anonymous person writes, "There were two things that caused this when this anonymous person worked for tech-supported Apple.

00:17:39   First one, your iCloud backup is running a full backup scan to verify its integrity.

00:17:44   Or number two, database maintenance broke password association to iCloud."

00:17:48   This individual says it's been a few years since they worked there. It's quite possible that other things are broken now.

00:17:54   Yeah, this is the only feedback I got, and it's slightly out of date, and I think the iCloud backup thing makes me think it's actually iOS-centric and not Mac OS-centric.

00:18:01   Obviously, I've seen this on iOS as well.

00:18:04   The wording of that update Apple ID settings is so vague that even tech nerdy people are like, "What do you mean by that? What are you trying to say?"

00:18:12   These are some explanations of doing some kind of data integrity check and requiring you to re-authenticate or password association broken.

00:18:21   I think you also see it maybe if you change your iCloud password, you might get something like this, but it doesn't really answer my real question, which was,

00:18:28   "Okay, fine, whatever. Maybe that happens periodically, but what about the day sometimes you'll see nothing from this for weeks or months,

00:18:35   and then one day it will ask you 15 times during the day, repeatedly in a sequence, and then it will chill, and then an hour later it will ask you again?"

00:18:42   It's like, "What's going on? Nothing is happening. My devices are all sitting there plugged in in idle. I haven't done or changed anything with Apple ID."

00:18:49   That's what makes you think it's server-side something is weird happening, because nothing weird is happening on the client side.

00:18:54   Anyway, knowing what's going on doesn't really change the fact that it's happening. I just wish it wouldn't happen.

00:18:59   In particular, when everybody first upgraded to, maybe it was Mojave, maybe it was Catalina, around the time when it seemed like a lot of upgrade activity, it was incessant.

00:19:08   I think maybe the very first Catalina upgrade, as I'm remembering, the day Catalina came out and everybody upgraded, it was basically impossible to get out of those dialogues a lot.

00:19:16   You'd enter your password, you entered your Mac password, you'd stare at it, and then it would just prompt you again, or you'd just close the window and forget about it, but then you'd see the little badge and it would be asking you again.

00:19:25   The whole day it was going on and on. There was no way to get rid of it, and then finally it would be silent and you don't know why.

00:19:30   So whatever this is, I hope in macOS, whatever city name comes next, it's something we don't have to see again.

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00:21:51   All right, we have apparently many more Mack shortcuts to discuss and apparently some things about me to criticize. So let's get through it.

00:22:01   Jon, ellipsis is option semicolon, not command semicolon. Thank you very much.

00:22:07   Yes, I misspoke. Sorry.

00:22:08   Actually, interestingly, if you had asked me, I think I listened to the episode before I got this feedback and it didn't perk my ears up or anything. It's like those Emacs key bindings that I always talk about. My fingers know how to type them, but sometimes when I speak them and I have to say, "What is it that you're typing when you make an ellipsis?" You know, that's it.

00:22:26   But that's not a word. My muscle's doing a thing. So yes, it's totally option.

00:22:32   All right, and then we got at least one, I don't know if I should say complaint, but I can't think of a better word, complaint that I was saying the key modifiers in the wrong order. So what is the correct order, Jon?

00:22:45   Well, this is an instance where my ears did perk up. Yeah, I saw this feedback or whatever and I mostly forgot about it, but then I was listening to the episode as I do. And when you started talking about the sequences, I'm like, "What? What?" And yeah, it jumped out.

00:22:55   And it reminded me immediately of adjective order in English, which is one of those fun grammar things where even if you know and care nothing about grammar, if you are a native English speaker, you instinctively know this rule whether you know it or not.

00:23:08   This got around the internet many times over the years of like, "You'll be amazed that this is this thing you knew about English grammar that you didn't know you knew."

00:23:16   So to give an example, there's a Tolkien example that I don't want to give because it's too UKish and it doesn't really make sense in English. But when you put a bunch of adjectives in front of a noun, a bunch of words that are describing that noun, it's a big long string of them. There are lots of things you want to say about this particular noun.

00:23:31   What order do they go in? If you ask someone to write down the order, like, "Do I do color, size, material? What order do those things go in?" You're like, "I don't know. Some of those weird grammar rules nobody knows."

00:23:43   But if I say a brown big bear, you're like, "A brown big bear? Are you not a native English speaker? It's a big brown bear." Everybody knows that.

00:23:51   Well, what you've just established is that size comes before color. And again, a native English speaker will know that instinctively. In fact, there is a particular order that all these things can go in.

00:24:02   And if you move any of them around, it starts to sound weird. We'll put a link in the show notes to the English Stack Exchange website has a question about this.

00:24:11   I recommend that site, by the way. If you do Googling for grammar, I mentioned this on a past show, "Hey, if you just know this thing exists but you don't know how it works, just Google for it."

00:24:19   You'll get a lot of answers from various websites. A lot of them are kind of covered with ads and not particularly high quality.

00:24:26   I tend to like the English Stack Exchange because it's a mostly pleasant website. And I have some faith that the answers there are somewhat authoritative.

00:24:34   There are some other good sites too, like Grammar Girl is pretty good. The dictionary websites are pretty good. But I do like the English.sackexchange.com.

00:24:43   Anyway, there's a bunch of answers and you can read them to see the orders. Here's an example. Color, origin, material, and purpose usually go in that order.

00:24:51   So the red Spanish leather riding boots. You wouldn't say the leather Spanish red riding boots. It doesn't even parse. People don't even understand what you're saying.

00:25:00   It's more, it goes into even more detail. All that said, there is an equivalent for modifier keys on the Mac.

00:25:08   It's a little bit different than English in that I think there is more variance depending on what group of computer nerds you grew up with or hang out with.

00:25:17   Seeing it written and speaking it to each other. Because that's how the order comes about in English, I would imagine.

00:25:22   It's just people using them and writing them and it just sort of consensus builds over the years.

00:25:25   Modifier keys on the Mac have not been around as long. But there is definitely what I think is a common or dominant order.

00:25:32   And the instance of Casey saying shift command, kind of like the brown big bear, shift command is not the order those go in.

00:25:40   Command shift. Command shift 3, command shift 4, command always comes first.

00:25:44   So that leads to the question, well what is the order of all the different modifiers?

00:25:49   Are they like the English adjective order where there is one defined order and you can write it down and it will seem right to everybody?

00:25:54   Can I guess? Go for it. I would love to hear what you both, just off the top of your head.

00:25:58   Don't over think it. Just make a modifier, make a key combo with all the modifiers and just save in the order you think they should be.

00:26:05   So the way I would say, by the way this is also different from the way the symbols are written in the menu.

00:26:10   Yes, that's the second point.

00:26:11   Yes, but the way I would say something that uses all the keys like save for web would be command, option, control, shift, thing.

00:26:19   Because that is the kind of direction that your fingers would find them on the keyboard as you are pressing down from the middle out.

00:26:26   Interesting post rationalization but I will accept it.

00:26:29   Command, option, control, shift.

00:26:31   Casey?

00:26:32   I was going to say the same thing and there is an example of this that I quoted which I probably didn't say this way because I wasn't thinking about it.

00:26:39   But the copy qualified symbol name in Xcode is, so to follow Marco's lead because I was thinking the same thing.

00:26:46   Command, option, control, shift, C.

00:26:49   I don't know, that still doesn't sound right to me though.

00:26:52   Well, first of all, obviously it's rare that there is a keystroke that actually includes all the modifiers.

00:26:58   But if you had to force rank the modifiers that is also the order I would choose.

00:27:01   And if you do subsets it works out.

00:27:03   Command, S, command, shift, S, command, option, S, command, option, shift, S, it all reads.

00:27:09   Command, control, spacebar, it's all command, control, V.

00:27:13   It all basically works out.

00:27:15   Here's where I think there's a little bit of a wrinkle and maybe there's a lot more wiggle room.

00:27:20   For doing certain subsets I feel like the order starts to change.

00:27:25   In particular, I think I would do, I don't know, like the ones that involve control.

00:27:33   Like control, shift, I'm on board with.

00:27:35   Like that's how you would say that.

00:27:37   But if you did like, option, control, sounds weird to me.

00:27:42   Control, option, sounds a little bit more natural than option, control.

00:27:45   You know what I mean?

00:27:46   Control is always screwing things up for everybody.

00:27:48   Because it's the foreign modifiers.

00:27:50   It's the one we're grateful that we have because it's for Unix and we don't try to hog it.

00:27:53   But occasionally we have to use it.

00:27:54   And now if we have to combine it with option, it's a little bit weird.

00:27:58   But anyway, the wrinkles like that aside, if you read this English Stack Exchange article

00:28:01   you'll see that there is similar debates and nuances in the English adjective order as well.

00:28:06   But in general the dominant thing is as everybody had said.

00:28:10   And it seems like we do all instinctively know it.

00:28:12   It's basically L shape on the keyboard but that's not why.

00:28:14   It's just a way to remember it.

00:28:16   As Marco pointed out, the order of the little symbols in the menu, like when you pull down a menu

00:28:21   and it has the little symbols next to the thing, is nothing like that order at all.

00:28:25   I'm not sure it's a complete reversal.

00:28:28   Maybe it is? I should find a command that has all the things.

00:28:30   Like shift command Z.

00:28:34   We would say that as command shift Z.

00:28:35   So maybe we're reading it from right to left.

00:28:39   The order in the menu seems to be option shift command and then control.

00:28:45   Where the heck does control go?

00:28:47   No, it's control first. It's control option shift command.

00:28:52   Yeah, so that's all messed up because the shift is like jumping into the middle of the order.

00:28:55   It seems to be mostly so that the commands all line up on the right.

00:29:01   Yeah, that would make sense to me but it's not strictly reversed.

00:29:04   The shift key jumps in the middle of the order. The shift key should be at the front but the control gets to be there.

00:29:09   Maybe because it's less visually dominant because the shift is the big upward facing arrow but control is the little carrot.

00:29:14   I think most key commands that are going to appear in a menu will contain the command key.

00:29:20   So it's important that the command keys all line up so they look consistent and are easy to visually scan and everything.

00:29:26   And then everything else is kind of tacked onto the side because it's less frequently used.

00:29:31   We got a question at some point, I don't know if it was related to this.

00:29:36   If I recall correctly, the question was something along the lines of, "Why these symbols?"

00:29:41   So why is control a carrot and why is command the little Swiss point of interest sign or whatever it is?

00:29:50   And perhaps most interestingly, am I crazy or is options supposed to be like a switch track running from left to right?

00:29:59   Is that correct or am I retconned?

00:30:01   Yeah, it took me years to figure that out. But yeah, it looks like a fork in the road and you're taking an alternate path.

00:30:06   Or an electric switch and electric circuit diagram. I'm not sure what the origin of the option is as in what it's supposed to represent.

00:30:12   But it seems to me like the place of interest or whatever symbol, that it's chosen by humans based on a feeling of that would be a good symbol.

00:30:22   Because point of interest is not related to command key or shortcut in any way.

00:30:27   Someone just saw that and thought it was a good symbol and picked it. And I agree with them.

00:30:30   It is a good symbol and it's cool. And regardless of the actual origins and the option symbol, which I don't know,

00:30:36   it looks enough like option this way or that way. Whether you picture it as train tracks or as a switch controlling which way current flows through a circuit, it works visually.

00:30:46   Control for the carrot, like it's maybe...

00:30:51   Like shift makes sense because it's pointing to the thing that's above on the key cap.

00:30:57   Because traditionally on typewriters or whatever you'd have the symbol on the key and then there'd be the symbol that it makes when you hold down shift and that would be above the other symbol.

00:31:03   But then carrot, that's like an arrow but not. And what the hell does control mean?

00:31:07   And that might have its origins in... Like which came first? I don't know. In the Unix thing.

00:31:11   The carrot is used in Unix, like in shell stuff when you want to type control characters without actually putting a literal control character in your ASCII file.

00:31:19   You can type carrot, square bracket, whatever. There's precedent there. I just don't know which is the chicken and which is the egg.

00:31:24   Like did that come before it being used as a symbol or after or simultaneous? I'm not entirely sure.

00:31:31   So to whoever asked that question, don't have a great answer but I bet if I had to place money it's mostly because human beings picked them because they felt like it based on some rationale.

00:31:41   And then after that, that fact is lost in history and it just becomes a thing we all accept.

00:31:46   Isn't that all decisions ever? Humans beings picked it at some point because of some rationale.

00:31:51   Like the rationale could be like say there was a bunch of symbols in some character set that were specifically made to be modifiers with ascending levels of specificity and we just used them.

00:32:00   But that's not the case. These are pulled from all over the place. Some of them are ASCII, some of them are not and so it's a hodgepodge.

00:32:05   So we have more, many, many more shortcuts. This might be the rest of the show with the rate we're going.

00:32:11   Alright so Jon, you have another one. Xcode symbol popup? I'm sure once you describe this I'll know what this means but just reading those words I don't know what you're talking about.

00:32:18   Especially since I discussed it with both of you before, at least in a Slack and possibly over audio before or after the show.

00:32:24   This was the one shortcut that I actually wanted to talk about but because I was foolish and didn't write it down I forgot.

00:32:29   I'm used to in BBEdit for many years activating what is called in BBEdit a function popup with a keystroke.

00:32:37   It's just a popup menu that's in the little toolbar area of BBEdit that gives you a list of the functions that are in whatever source code file you're doing.

00:32:44   I have that custom bound in BBEdit to control F. I use it so frequently. I guess for functions or find or whatever it is, control F.

00:32:52   When I started using Xcode doing all these Mac apps it has a symbol popup which is an even more flexible version of the function popup.

00:33:00   But I didn't know how to activate it with a keystroke. I'd see it there and use it all the time but I'm just so used to doing it with a keystroke.

00:33:07   I was like I really need to bind that to control F so I can just feel comfortable or something.

00:33:11   And I could not and still have not found whatever the menu command, sometimes there's menu commands that aren't actually in the menus.

00:33:18   Like they're not visible in the menus. Whatever that command is, like if I can go to the system preferences in the keyboard preference pane and shortcuts and define a shortcut for Xcode.

00:33:28   If I knew the title of that command I could bind it to something in that thing but I don't know.

00:33:33   So I had to discover what is its actual key binding. Luckily it has one. Unfortunately it is nonsensical. Mostly nonsensical.

00:33:41   And it will come back to you when I tell you what the binding is. The keyboard shortcut to get to the symbol popup in Xcode is control 6.

00:33:51   Which is like the best mnemonic it has is like a carrot on top of the 6 is it?

00:34:00   Wow.

00:34:01   Yeah that's right. It's like control 6. Anyway now I'm typing control 6 all day I wish I could bind it to control F.

00:34:09   But that was the one I thought would be a fun shortcut that most people probably don't know because as far as I can tell there's no way to discover it other than wishing it existed and then googling.

00:34:17   Which is what I did.

00:34:19   I knew once I executed it what you meant and as you were describing it I had a feeling I knew what you meant but I hadn't a clue that that was the correct code for it.

00:34:29   And in case it's not clear I had a bunch of people replying to me when I was talking about this on Twitter.

00:34:32   And also did you know once it pops up you can type? It's like yes of course that's the whole function of the thing. The reason I want to do it from the keyboard.

00:34:38   I don't want to pop it up with the keyboard and then use the mouse. I want to pop it up with the keyboard and then type the first few characters of the function name and then hit return to jump to it.

00:34:45   And that's how I use it in BBEdit, that's how you should use it in Xcode.

00:34:49   Xcode has this weird bug where when you start typing to narrow the list the position of the narrowed window, like the window that has fewer entries in it, is really weird sometimes.

00:34:58   I expect the narrowed window to be centered on the region from which it popped but very often the narrowed region is like up at the top of the screen because the thing was really tall.

00:35:07   I would call that a UI bug in Xcode. But anyway it works and you should use it and it's cool.

00:35:11   Another tip that we neglected to talk about, I guess because it's not really a keyboard shortcut, but something that blew my mind when I found it out years ago is that if you have an open or save dialog, like let's pick on an open dialog.

00:35:27   Then you can go to Finder and drag a file into the open dialog and it will jump that open dialog to the containing folder/directory and highlight the file that you dragged in.

00:35:40   So it's like a shortcut to drilling into that open or save dialog and finding that exact file.

00:35:46   Which may not have been the best description but just try it sometime. Drag a file into an open dialog box and watch what happens. It's amazing.

00:35:53   Yeah I do this, I also discovered this, it took a few years of using a Mac before I knew about this but I use this all the time. It's incredibly useful.

00:36:02   It doesn't open the folder, if you drag a folder it goes to the contents of that folder so it won't show you the containing folder.

00:36:10   So that's the most frequently I use is I drag a folder. If you drag a file I think it brings you to the containing location.

00:36:15   I think this came officially to Mac OS as a supported feature with the next stuff but it's hard for me to remember because I ran various utilities on classic Mac OS that did all this and more.

00:36:33   One of those is default folder which is one of those utilities that actually somehow against all odds survived into the Mac OS X era and continues to exist. It augments/modifies the open and save dialog.

00:36:45   The open and save dialog in Mac OS X is so much more powerful than it was in classic but I would argue that the augmented classic open and save dialog was more powerful than the Mac OS X one or the current Mac OS one by far.

00:36:58   If you augmented with Super Boomerang or default folder whatever you do tons of things. In particular my favorite one as you might imagine given my love for the classic finder and my love for Windows in default folder both in classic and in current Mac OS.

00:37:12   You could hold down a modifier key. I think it was an option to even not use a modifier key but I always had it bound to a modifier.

00:37:19   Hold down a modifier key. You've got an open save dialog box on your screen. You hold down a modifier and then you drag your mouse cursor over where you know open windows are in the finder even if they're below 500 other windows and it would highlight with kind of like a dimmed outline whatever folder you are hovering over in the finder.

00:37:39   So you'd hold on the control key and just mouse over to like what you know to be a window that's buried in the finder and you'd see this dim outline of it and then you would click and it would jump to that folder. It was a way to essentially spatially pick like instead of going to the finder finding that folder dragging its proxy icon into the open save thing you just do you know commando control click on where you know the window is because you're you know you're using the spatial finder and you're arranging your windows you know where they all are even though you can't see it even though it's buried underneath everything else.

00:38:06   It was so awesome. I used that for years. I actually still have a default folder, default folder X or X which runs on Mac OS but I mostly weaned myself off of it just because I didn't want to have one more thing that I had to have installed all the time but I think I still have a copy of it. But I always love that feature. If the current Mac OS finder behaved in any sane way it would be a lot more useful to me.

00:38:27   Alright let's talk about screen capture. There were some good tips especially in a thread that a few people pointed us to by Corey Jenovin. I hope I pronounced that right. We'll put a link in the show notes. But there's some really great tips some of which I had not heard enough to really stick in my mind. My favorite being maybe you did bring this up last time John I don't recall but if you do like let's say now I got to test myself command shift 4 John not shift command 4 mind you but command shift 4.

00:38:56   If you do that and drag a little area of your desktop or you know you're dragging a box on top of your screen and you realize oh I missed a little bit if you hold down the space bar it will let you move that entire box around the screen and then when you release it'll let you continue to make it bigger or smaller.

00:39:16   Super useful and I had remembered hearing that in the past but it just did not stick so now I'm saying it again hopefully so I remember and so you will remember. It's a little acrobatic like when we say that you're still holding down the mouse button so you click and you hold down and you're dragging right and you realize you missed a little bit or whatever you just you keep holding down the mouse button but then you hold down the space bar and so it basically makes it so you can both move and resize you can adjust infinitely until you get it exactly where you want it as long as you keep that mouse button held down.

00:39:44   A couple of people are now that's a shortcut sort of borrowed from Photoshop like many of these things sort of conventions that are established in a popular application many years ago that are continue to be copied all the ones in this list are the ones we didn't mention.

00:39:56   Getting a sub window like so you do command shift 4 space bar to get the little thing to get a window what if you just want a sheet that's in the window you don't want the whole window if you hold down.

00:40:05   What is it command?

00:40:08   I believe that's right.

00:40:09   Yeah hold on command to get the sub window you can option click the window to capture it without the shadow case you mentioned this last week that there's a thing where you can turn shadows on and off apparently you could do on a case by case basis with the option key.

00:40:21   You can hold down control and pressing a shortcut whatever it may be to make it go directly to the clipboard so if you're going to do command shift 3 to take a screenshot of the whole screen and send it to a file if you do and now you're testing me command control shift.

00:40:34   3 it will send it directly to the keyboard to the clipboard anyway there's too many of these to remember that's why we will link to this thread by Corey on Twitter where many many of them are listed I'm not even sure if this is exhaustive they're just sure as a lot and this is we're not going to go through like oh let's just list every shortcut at the Mac house because there's way too many but because we talk so much about screen capture I think it's worth just linking to a thread on that.

00:40:58   And then finally, Millard Ali Zadeh sent in a shortcut that John, robot himself, John Syracuse did not know. Tell me about this.

00:41:11   Not a robot. Not only did I not know this but the reason I'm excited about the fact that someone's not sure because I didn't know it and it's the type of thing that I would use and in fact did use as soon as I discovered it so there is a thing in one of the preference bands I think it's in the screens where you can assign hot corners to your screen like basically when I drag my mouse cursor into this corner of the screen.

00:41:34   I want this to happen and by default, none of the corners do anything which is the correct default because you'd be surprised how often your cursor find its way into the corner you lose track of it or whatever you just push all in one direction and ends up in the corner right.

00:41:46   But I enjoy that because I use the mouse a lot. And I've always had lower right to be show desktop.

00:41:52   And I used to have lower left to be dashboard that we talked about last week when I wanted to show what the weather was and jam my cursor into the lower left and nothing happened because dashboard is gone. Upper right is traditionally activate screensaver and/or lock screen.

00:42:04   Anyway, that's all set on the hot corners thing in system preferences.

00:42:08   If you hold down a modifier key when opening the little pop-up menu that lets you pick what you want to happen.

00:42:15   So like it is a pop-up menu, there's four pop-up menus, one for each corner right. If you just go to the pop-up menu it says what do you want to happen? Activate screensaver, show desktop, show dashboard, blah blah whatever it may be right.

00:42:25   If you hold down command when you do that, what you're saying is when I have the command key held down and I hit the lower right corner do this thing.

00:42:33   And you can do it for any set of modifiers. Like you just hold down the modifiers and then open the little menu.

00:42:38   And that's great because on my wife's computer, she doesn't like it when I assign hot corners to her account because she hates it when her cursor hits the corner and something weird happens.

00:42:48   Now I just make it a modifier thing. There's no way she's going to hold down weird modifiers and send the cursor into the corner.

00:42:54   So now finally when I'm on her computer I won't needlessly jam my cursor into the corner and watch nothing happen as I just stare at the screen.

00:43:02   Now I just need to hold down a modifier and hit the corner and it will work. So thank you a lot for sending that short command because it made my life better and I honestly did not know that that was a thing.

00:43:12   Yeah, I didn't have a freaking clue that was a thing and I am a religious, devout, whatever hot corners user just in case anyone cares.

00:43:22   Upper left is mission control, upper right is show desktop, lower right is put display to sleep and lower left is start screensaver.

00:43:29   Upper right is show desktop, upper right is screensaver. Come on!

00:43:32   Why? Why?

00:43:33   Wasn't that true? Because it's always been that way. Even on Windows. Isn't that the default Windows activate screensaver corner too?

00:43:39   I think so. You very well could be right. I didn't think that that was even a thing on Windows but it's been so darn long.

00:43:45   It was after Darker Windows.

00:43:46   Again, you very well could be right but that's how I do it. Marco, do you use hot corners at all?

00:43:52   I only use upper left for screen sleep. Nothing else.

00:43:55   Upper left.

00:43:56   We don't agree on anything.

00:43:58   Well, it's just like screensaver. It's just the modern screensaver. It's screen sleep.

00:44:01   Right, but upper left. Well, I guess upper left was more of a sort of a no-go zone back in Classic because of how prominent the use of the Apple menu was, the customizable Apple menu, because we didn't have launchers or anything.

00:44:12   But nowadays you tend not to go to the upper left for anything. Although I would imagine if you have a window and you're doing window where your first window appears in the upper left corner, which is basically the default, and you went to quickly go close that window and you overshot a little bit and hit that corner and triggered expose.

00:44:27   That could be annoying. That's why I like the... I do everything top to bottom, right to left. So I have nothing hot in the upper left corner and my hot corners are in the other extremes.

00:44:36   Yep, teach their own.

00:44:38   Alright, any other thoughts on this before we enter Casey's Computer Corner once again?

00:44:42   A different... A corner of a different kind.

00:44:44   A corner of a different kind indeed.

00:44:46   So we talked a lot last week about how I can back up the stuff in my Synology.

00:44:51   I'm going to try to keep this brief despite the fact that this is like 15 pages of notes in the show.

00:44:57   But I'm going to try to make this very, very quick.

00:44:59   So first of all, something that I'm sure everyone else in the world has heard of, but I did not.

00:45:04   Now I don't recall where I read it. I want to say it was on a Backblaze page somewhere.

00:45:07   But, oh no, it was a Synology PDF that somebody had been kind enough to send me.

00:45:11   The 3-2-1 rule. I don't think this is unique to Synology. Again, I'm sure this has been around forever. I just never heard it.

00:45:16   The 3-2-1 rule as per what I read, three copies of your data on two different mediums or devices, and at least one copy offsite.

00:45:24   And that's how you know you're safe. So again, three copies of your data, two different mediums, one copy offsite.

00:45:30   That's the 3-2-1 rule of backups. Now, had you two heard of this before? John, I presume you've already heard of this.

00:45:35   No, I mean...

00:45:37   Oh!

00:45:38   I had heard this same advice, but I didn't know the little mnemonic 3-2-1.

00:45:42   And I would say that for the two, I would emphasize two different devices, not mediums, because that makes people think they need to have it on floppy disk or tape or optical.

00:45:49   Two separate hard drive devices are fine. But two different devices means literally not two hard drives in the same box, but two boxes.

00:45:56   So, anyway. But yeah, I agree with this device as a good minimum. 3-2-1 is a good mnemonic. I approve.

00:46:02   Marco, had you heard of this before?

00:46:04   I think I had gotten the reference, but hadn't seen the movie.

00:46:08   Fair enough.

00:46:10   3-2-1, contact.

00:46:12   That I know.

00:46:14   You know that? Was that before your time? I guess you're watching reruns.

00:46:16   It was slightly before my time, but it was on TV a lot.

00:46:19   In any case, so there were several different options pitched to me, which I appreciated. I really honestly did.

00:46:26   So just to quickly recap and run through them, Marco last episode had very emphatically advised just getting a 16 terabyte or whatever, huge hard drive, stick it on my Mac Mini, and use backblaze.

00:46:37   And that has some problems with it. What if I eventually burst through 16 terabytes? There's the monthly fee of backblaze, which I'm not saying is a problem, but maybe there's a free option.

00:46:46   The benefits though is that it's far and away the cheapest one-time cost, and the other benefit is that it's extremely off-site.

00:46:54   It's not even sneaker netted to my parents. That is for real, professional off-site backup.

00:46:59   Max Line had suggested something which in retrospect was very obvious, but I hadn't considered.

00:47:04   I'd said many times in the last episode, "Well, to get a new Synology is three grand, because I want a new 8-base Synology, and I want to stuff it full of 12 terabyte drives."

00:47:13   And Max was the first person I saw to point out, "Well, yeah, you could do that." And the reason I wanted to do that was to basically upgrade what I've got and then shimmy what I've got to mom and dads.

00:47:23   But Max had said, "Well, what if you got a two-base Synology and then just get two 16 terabyte drives for replication or backup?"

00:47:30   And so some of the same problems are, you know, "What if I bust your 16 terabytes?"

00:47:35   Another problem is it's $400 times two $500 hard drives. That's $1,400 up front.

00:47:42   And if you look at how much it costs on Backblaze, if I could get that to work, it takes like 15 years for me to break even with the monthly cost of Backblaze.

00:47:50   On the plus side, there's no recurring cost, and everything is completely under my control. So there are some good and some bad.

00:47:55   And other people suggested, "Okay, well, what if you get a two-base Synology and don't do like full-on replication? You don't have two copies, you have two identical 16 terabyte drives.

00:48:05   What if you just, you know, YOLO it with two 8 terabyte drives and do like, what is, is it RAID 0? What's the one I'm thinking of that's dangerous but it gives you more space?"

00:48:13   Okay. And there's, you know, a couple problems there still. What if I bust through 16 terabytes? There's still about $700 of upfront costs. Now that brings the break even to about three and a third years, which is much better.

00:48:26   And there's no recurring costs, which is nice, and it's completely under my control, which is nice. But I don't know, I'm still not in love with all of this.

00:48:31   And then a few people asked, "Well, okay, why don't you just put CrashPlan on Docker on your Synology?" And there's a very simple answer. I just don't like CrashPlan anymore. I really want to get off CrashPlan.

00:48:41   And then a few other people suggested G Suite apparently has unlimited cloud storage once you hit five or more users, but they quietly don't enforce it for less than five.

00:48:53   So you can like, even with one user, you can still get unlimited storage, or so I've been told several different times. I'm not in love with giving Google my data anymore than I already have, and I don't really like the idea of just skirting through this kind of exception if I can avoid it. So, eh. I appreciate the heads up.

00:49:10   I like the suggestion because it fits so well with trying to skirt through the strong advice of Backblaze and CrashPlan to, "Yeah, it's unlimited, but..." This is exactly the same thing, but the Google movement, "Ah, it's unlimited, but..." in an undocumented, weird way, they could go away and really, they'd probably frown upon it.

00:49:28   Right. So, also worth noting, Brian Ski, who is the CTO of Backblaze, weighed in. I don't think Brian entirely understood what was being discussed. I don't think he listened to the show. I think he was trying to pick it up from Twitter.

00:49:41   But Brian wrote, "Just so you're aware, it is against Backblaze's terms of service to back up file shares, and we have a project underway to stop backing those up. You can understand our problem. A thousand people sharing a single $6 a month backup will drive us out of business."

00:49:52   That's not really what I'm talking about. It's sort of kind of what I'm talking about, but it's not really what I'm talking about. But it's a fair point, and it's something worth considering. It's not that I'm really accessing a file share.

00:50:04   In many ways, it is effectively one huge external hard drive that is physically connected to my computer. It's just physically connected via the network, not via USB.

00:50:15   And what he was talking about is a way that the Backblaze software can detect whether you're doing something like Marco's iSCSI thing. He's not saying there's a new set of rules. He's saying, "This is the way Backblaze has always been. We back up your local hard drives. We don't back up things over at NASA's."

00:50:30   And all he's saying is that they're working on ways to actually enforce that better than they do now, to make it less trivial to fake it out.

00:50:37   Right. So, long story short, I have Backblaze running on my iMac Pro. It has been running for several days. It is backing up as we speak. And there's some magic involved in doing that.

00:50:52   But what I'm basically doing is I'm trying this out for a little while and seeing how that works out. If this doesn't work the way I want it to, the next step is Marco's approach, for sure.

00:51:01   I'm just going to buy a huge friggin' hard drive, attach it to Mac Mini, and then as far as I can understand, I am well within the rules and regulations of Backblaze, and I will be so happy to be done with Crashplants.

00:51:12   So, the next steps are, if this doesn't work out the way I want it to, use Marco's approach. And then finally, if that doesn't work out for some reason, then I'll probably do the two-bay synology with two smaller drives that I just RAID 0 and call today, if for some reason the Marco approach doesn't work. But I don't know why it wouldn't.

00:51:29   Don't forget about JBOD instead of RAID 0. That's your other option.

00:51:33   What is JBOD? I'm not familiar.

00:51:35   You don't know this? This is one of the best acronyms in computing. Yeah, it's like DadBOD, but different. Just a box of disks, right?

00:51:41   Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. Sorry.

00:51:43   Which is different than RAID 0, where RAID 0 is lockstep, two mechanisms, same size, you know, writing simultaneously to both of JBOD. It's just like, you've just got two disks, and I make it look like one, and don't worry about the details. But they don't have to be the same size. It's just a wad of storage with no redundancy.

00:51:57   It's concatenation, basically. I think that the whole idea of relying on some kind of weird undetected or unenforced policy violation of one of these services is not great.

00:52:09   I don't honestly really care about the moral side of it as much as it's just unwise to rely on that continuing to be the case.

00:52:17   The Google Drive thing, or the Google Drive for Business thing, it's like, yeah, well, that might be an unenforced limit of not requiring all five users to actually exist, but that's like a one-line bug fix in some code somewhere that somebody might eventually find.

00:52:33   The Backblaze not noticing that you're mounting an SMB file share at a regular seeming location in the file system, that's something that they can detect. And literally the CTO of Backblaze told you they are working on detection of.

00:52:53   Exactly.

00:52:54   But they've been saying that for years, so it's taken a while for that feature.

00:52:57   Sure, but still, it isn't wise to rely on that continuing to be the case for even until tomorrow, let alone just some random time in the future when all of a sudden your backup strategy needs to be replaced because something broke. That's no fun.

00:53:10   So I would suggest still, what I suggested last week, which is just the big drive connected to a Mac Mini running Backblaze, because Backblaze advertises unlimited storage for everything connected to your computer.

00:53:24   And so using it with a large hard drive plugged into a computer running the Backblaze client that you're paying for for one computer worth of a license, that is explicitly what they say you can do.

00:53:37   And it is the only other option that kind of seems like it's okay with the service provider besides CrashPlan here. And I totally support your decision to not want to use CrashPlan anymore because it's terrible.

00:53:50   And so strongly advise just using Backblaze the way it normally works, which is using the external drive on the Mac Mini and whatever else you do with our syncing it or somehow syncing it to your Synology, that's up to you. I still see that as largely unnecessary, but that's up to you.

00:54:11   Yeah, I know. I completely agree with you. And it's also funny, having used Backblaze on my iMac Pro for all of three days or whatever it's been, oh my God, it's so much better than CrashPlan. It's so, so much better than CrashPlan. I feel bad because I don't like to beat up on people or things. But CrashPlan's client is just so, so, so bad.

00:54:32   There's one thing you didn't address and someone just brought it up in the chat room again and reminded me of connecting a hard drive to your Synology through the USB port, a thing that I did for a while before I harvested that hard drive for other purposes.

00:54:42   Yeah, but then how do I get that on Backblaze?

00:54:45   Oh, this would just be for a second redundant copy as a 16 terabyte drive and connect it to your Synology and then, you know, my answer to why not that is that USB interface is slow, but maybe that doesn't bother you.

00:54:57   No, for a backup or something like that, I wouldn't care. But the problem I want is that I, the whole, the original crux of this is if my house burns down, I want this data to be somewhere else. And that can be mom and dad's. Like, I personally am okay with that. I'm not saying the two of you are. I'm not saying listeners are.

00:55:12   I personally am okay with that amount of redundancy, but I would not be okay with just having a second copy to fix, like, the Synology going up in flames. Well, actually, if that literally happened, it'd probably take this external thing with it, but you get my point.

00:55:26   But I would want, even just having this, you know, this currently phantom, probably soon to be real, 16 terabyte drive hanging off the Mac Mini, at least if the Synology crapped the bed, that drive is still okay and connected to the Mac Mini.

00:55:42   Like, that's still an improvement to me over just having it hang off the back of the Synology. It is a fair question, for sure, but I would want it hanging off the Mac Mini, and that's already one step removed from the Synology itself.

00:55:53   And then it would, at that point, be backed up to Backblaze, which means I am double covered.

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00:58:08   So WWDC happened this week, did you know?

00:58:14   That's nice branding by the various websites. I'm not sure who did it first, but this was a giant rumor dump, I'm assuming, powered by a leaked build of iOS 14.

00:58:24   These sites don't come out and say where they're getting the information, but lo and behold, a bunch of different websites all had a lot of very detailed information to say about future Apple software products from which they gleaned things about future Apple hardware products, and they branded it as WWDC Week, which may be the only WWDC Week we get in the absence of the actual WWDC.

00:58:44   To frame this, these are all rumors sourced from what seems like some kind of leak or other bit of information or binary stuff extracted from Apple.

00:58:57   I would put some stake in it, but as with all these things, this is pre-release leaked software or whatever, you don't know how things are going to turn out, but there are a lot of them.

00:59:05   I put them all in the notes, obviously we're not going to cover them all, I would advise both of you to scroll down the giant list of rumors, which Casey has kindly expanded to be even larger, and if there's anything there that you think is interesting or you want to talk about, bring it up. There's plenty to choose from.

00:59:21   Yeah, so I will start running through the show notes and interrupt you two when you're ready. First one in the show notes is, "I was 14 to include new home screen, list view option with Siri suggestions and more."

00:59:32   I knew you wouldn't be able to follow my directions, so I put the one I care about the most at the top. The directions are, "Look down the whole list, two of you, and find ones that pique your interest," because they are not in any order, and we're not going to do all of them.

00:59:44   For once, we're not going from top to bottom because we'll be here all week. We don't actually have a week.

00:59:50   We can skip that one, John. We can skip that one.

00:59:53   Now that you mentioned the iOS home screen, wow, who put that at the top of the list? That's actually the one I'm most interested in. Do you know why I'm most interested in it?

01:00:03   Because you want the list view?

01:00:05   Yes, but Springboard is the finder of iOS.

01:00:10   Oh, gosh.

01:00:11   No, seriously. Springboard has not changed in any significant way in a really long time. It's been a pain point. Android has so much more flexibility here. Yes, I know the iPad got the weird widget slide over thing or whatever, but in general, it's been like you got little squares, then you got little squares that are folders that don't look like folders, but we still call them folders, so that has squares within your squares, yo, dawg.

01:00:30   And then we have the widgets sliding over from the left.

01:00:33   Finally, it seems like potentially in iOS 14, Springboard will change.

01:00:39   The ways that it changes, will they be improvements? Will I use any of them? I'm not even sure. I love list view in the finder, but the finder is not iOS. Who knows if it'll even use it? I'm just excited that something is happening on Springboard.

01:00:51   And I was excited when they increased the icon density in iOS 13 on the iPad, right? But this seems like the most significant change to Springboard in the history of iOS, and so I'm jazzed about that and can't wait to see what kind of things they come up with.

01:01:08   I'll be really disappointed if they bail out and just don't ship it, because that seems like a strong possibility for Springboard changes, because they're so risky, and if they're screwed up in any way, it's very dangerous and confusing, but fingers crossed for that actually shipping.

01:01:20   Apple's never shipped any Springboard bugs, don't worry.

01:01:22   Springboard is also kind of like the dock of iOS, in that it does a bunch of crap that you wouldn't think it's responsible for, but it totally is.

01:01:30   Yeah, exactly.

01:01:31   That's a very good point.

01:01:32   Alright, continuing on iOS 14, major accessibility features.

01:01:35   Continuing on, you're just not going to do it, are you?

01:01:37   No, no, no. Hold on. Before you start beating me up about not following your instructions, you'll notice, Jon, that earlier this evening, I added comments and excerpts for all the things I was interested in.

01:01:46   I said that. I just said you had expanded them.

01:01:48   Right, so you know what? This is something I'm interested in, so buckle up, big guy. This is the next thing.

01:01:52   It just happens to be number two.

01:01:53   It just happens to be number two.

01:01:55   It just happened to be white. Go ahead.

01:01:57   Yeah, it just happened to be white. It happened to me.

01:02:00   Major accessibility features. New feature that will be able to detect important sounds like fire alarms, sirens, door knocks, door bells, and even crying babies. This is an excerpt from 9to5Mac.

01:02:08   Presumably, iOS will translate these alerts into haptics for people with hearing loss.

01:02:12   More new accessibility features would bring support for the camera to detect hand gestures, while "audio accommodations can improve tuning over AirPods and EarPods for people with mild to moderate hearing loss."

01:02:24   You could also potentially run an audiogram on device.

01:02:26   And then finally, and this was outside of accessibility features, also in the same article though, with iOS 14, Apple will integrate the #ShotOniPhone challenges in the Photos app, and users can submit and see challenge results in the app.

01:02:40   I don't think I dig Photos, the app, being social in that way, but I do dig the general gist of this functionality being somewhere on the iPhone.

01:02:50   Gamifying it is kind of a fun thing. It fits in the Photos app, I suppose, especially if it's not too prominent in your face, because maybe I'm not interested in seeing other people's photos.

01:03:00   But it sort of incentivizes people to take cool pictures and submit them, and maybe their picture will get featured, and they'll be excited that Apple featured their cool photo they took with their iPhone.

01:03:10   It's a good way that makes customers happy with their product and shows off a cool feature.

01:03:15   You skipped over my favorite part from the story though, which is third-party wallpapers.

01:03:20   Somehow you'll be able to provide a wallpaper collection through the App Store or something? The details aren't clear.

01:03:27   Obviously, you can put whatever wallpaper you want on your phone now. You've been able to do that for ages.

01:03:33   But the idea of sort of productizing it, because people do that already. There's tons of websites.

01:03:38   Get all these cool wallpapers for your phone or your iPad or whatever, packaging them up. I don't think it's going to be a big deal.

01:03:45   It's just a formalization of a thing that people are already doing.

01:03:50   I think that it will actually, and it's not going to set the world on fire, but I think it will be more popular than, say, iMessage apps.

01:03:57   Just because people do like customizable wallpapers and sort of trading them and sharing them and communicating them and maybe selling them or do they have to be free? Whatever it is.

01:04:06   I'm actually excited about that feature, if it ships.

01:04:09   See, I don't think it would actually go much anywhere. There have been wallpaper apps since the beginning of the App Store that are just pictures that you can save and then set as your wallpaper.

01:04:18   So this could make that process a little more streamlined, but I don't think that process was really hurting the adoption of custom wallpapers and the creation of wallpaper apps that wanted to exist.

01:04:29   But it neatens it up. It's neat. It's like when screenshots used to be all mixed in with your other photos. It was fine. You got along with it fine, but it was annoying and it's better when they fixed it.

01:04:39   Yeah, but I think compared to iMessage apps, while the iMessage app idea never really went anywhere, iMessage apps are very popular technically, but they're just the sticker pack variety, basically.

01:04:52   Or the things that are very thin app wrappers that are around something that is effectively a sticker pack like Bitmoji. The idea of you're going to all coordinate with your friends using iMessage apps to coordinate an order together for your lunch order.

01:05:05   That never really happened, right? The power is there to do that, but nobody ever used that.

01:05:10   I found my first instance of a human being that I know voluntarily using an iMessage app, like not one of the built-in ones, and it was my daughter. She wanted to get an iMessage app because her and her friends were doing whatever it is that I'm assuming it was some kind of game or whatever.

01:05:27   So that's using an iMessage app for its intended purpose, doing a thing that doesn't have any analog on the phone. I forget if it was a card game or some kind of whatever. Whatever it was, it was some kind of iMessage-based game and she totally unprompted, said, "Can I get this iMessage app?"

01:05:43   It's happened. Someone wanted an iMessage app.

01:05:46   Did she then also go to her Apple TV to look for real estate?

01:05:49   Yeah, she was shopping for sweaters and giant pictures on her television.

01:05:54   I tell you what, I don't know how either of you survive without the GIF-wrapped iMessage. Well, GIF-wrapped in general, but particularly the iMessage app. I live in that darn thing.

01:06:02   That's the one story that I didn't see about iOS 14. All I want to see is, "Hey, the thing where you grab a photo out of photos is no longer an extra tap away."

01:06:10   Oh, yeah, right.

01:06:12   Remember those days?

01:06:13   Yes.

01:06:14   I miss it.

01:06:15   Yes, I do remember. All right, Marco, would you like to pick one or shall I trudge along?

01:06:19   You can't pick number three. It's the rule.

01:06:21   I mean, at this point, I don't even care about number three, but now I'm going to pick number three.

01:06:25   No, I care very much about number three, actually.

01:06:27   Yeah, actually, number three is probably what I'm in on.

01:06:30   Oh, actually, yeah, sorry. I only read the first line. All right.

01:06:32   Yeah, so iOS 14 allegedly features new OCR capabilities that will convert handwritten text from Apple Pencil into typed text.

01:06:39   The idea here is that you can handwrite text in any text field and it will pop it in as text.

01:06:45   When I read this, I was so happy, not simply because I'm going to use it a lot, because I won't.

01:06:52   I'm rarely entering text on my iPad. When I do, I am using the keyboard almost 100% of the time.

01:06:59   Because it's like the physical keyboard that I have physically attached to it, so this would be slower.

01:07:05   And there is no Apple Pencil for iPhone at the moment, so I wouldn't have it there.

01:07:10   But I always loved a feature that was on my Pocket PC when I briefly had a Pocket PC in like 2003 or so called Transcriber.

01:07:24   This was built into whatever Windows Mobile was called that year. I believe it was Pocket PC 2002, whatever it was.

01:07:30   And you could take the stylus and you could draw on the screen when a text field was currently active.

01:07:35   And it would draw directly onto whatever you wrote on, like, you know, it would just overlay the screen.

01:07:39   You didn't have to draw on a certain area. Just anywhere on the screen, draw anywhere on the screen.

01:07:42   It would overlay the screen with the red markers of whatever you were writing, and then it would pop that text, OCR'd, into the text field that was selected.

01:07:49   For a device like a phone, this makes tons of sense, because you might have, if you have something to write with, like either a stylus or a pencil, whatever, that would be wonderful.

01:07:59   I would love this, because it really is faster a lot of times than typing certain things on the phone.

01:08:05   Now, this, you know, my last experience with this was something like 15 years ago or something, or 20 years ago, so maybe things have gotten a little bit different since then, but I think this would be really fun on the phone.

01:08:19   On the iPad, I don't know how much sense it makes unless you do a lot of text entry without having the smart keyboard.

01:08:29   Then, you know, that could be interesting. So I think I might use it sometimes. I think it would be fun, and yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

01:08:37   I'm hoping this isn't like a GM part spin feature, because this handwriting recognition, you know, so there's a question here about the Newton.

01:08:46   Like, obviously Apple made the Newton way back when and had a handwriting recognition, and it was one of the headlining features and one of the features they had a lot of trouble with.

01:08:52   And it's a sort of typical sort of 90s Apple thing where they did something incredibly ambitious, did it really, really well, but not quite well enough, and so they don't really get credit for how good it was.

01:09:03   And then the rest of the industry, the lesson they learned is don't try that, it's too hard, and so they did stuff like graffiti, which worked better in practice, but also made people write these weird hieroglyphics that are not quite like letters.

01:09:14   Whereas Apple was like, no, we're not going to make you make an upside down V for an A. You can just write an A however the hell you want it, we'll figure it out. And, you know, it didn't quite work out, right?

01:09:22   So then in Mac OS X, Apple introduced around 10.4 or something, or 10.3, Inkwell, which, hey, lets you use a tablet to draw things and text on your Mac, and it would fare what you said.

01:09:34   And it was like, is this the Newton handwriting recognition tech, or is it just something similar? Nobody knows about that feature.

01:09:41   I wrote it in a Mac OS X review, it probably didn't work, I don't think it even worked as well as the Newton one, because the Newton one also did cursive, believe it or not.

01:09:51   The Newton one was actually pretty impressive when it worked, when it didn't, it was infuriating. But anyway, Inkwell, nobody used it, who cares, it was on the Mac. Is it still on the Mac? I don't know.

01:10:01   I think it is, I think if you connect a Wacom tablet, I think it enables that pref pane, you can turn it on.

01:10:08   But yeah, same deal, in what context do you find yourself using a Mac where you want to write things with a pen? I suppose if you're using a tablet all day and you don't want to reach for the keyboard, but honestly, it's almost impossible to do anything graphically intensive in a modern app without using the keyboard, even though those tablets have tons of buttons on them themselves.

01:10:28   Anyway, it's not a popular feature, but it's a natural fit for iOS with the pencil, because you're very likely not to have a keyboard, and you are increasingly likely to have a pen.

01:10:41   That said, the whole reason, one of the many reasons I was drawn to computers is that it let me enter text without writing with a pencil.

01:10:51   I did enough handwriting and I had to learn cursive in school and I had to hand in assignments in cursive, just like the hand cramps and the suffering and the general constriction of the path between my brain and the printed word or whatever.

01:11:09   I'm not a fast typist, but I can type way faster than I can write and I can type way longer than I can write comfortably. For any context outside of one where you have no other option, this is not attractive to me, but I think there are lots of applications where it would be attractive.

01:11:27   To give one example, one of the popular apps made by someone we all know and also an app that my dad uses constantly is a crossword app. Dangjocket makes black ink. Check it out, it's available on the Mac. I think there's also an iOS version, maybe it's still in development.

01:11:43   Anyway, if you're doing a crossword, lots of people like to do crosswords because they're old and used to it. They do it with a pencil or a pen in a newspaper. And when you have a crossword app on an iPad, like this is an ideal app for a crossword.

01:11:57   It's a little thing you can hold in your hand, you can see all the squares. Oh, but Hedy entered the text, oh, now I got to bring up a keyboard and it covers half the board or it covers the clues and I have to type.

01:12:06   It doesn't feel like when you just have the newspaper and you're scribbling away on it on a Sunday morning or whatever. You can get the pencil and have people do it that way, but then how can you know whether you got the right word?

01:12:18   These apps always do something to tell you that you got it correct if you're in a particular hint mode. How do you know when you solved the puzzle versus when you just filled in every square with gibberish? It has to know what you wrote.

01:12:26   So this is a perfect application. Now it will know when you make a little A and it can even translate it from your little chicken scratch into text to show you what it recognized.

01:12:36   That's just one example of an application that is dying for this feature and I'm sure there are many more. So this is long overdue for iOS and I'm pretty excited about it even though I will never ever use it.

01:12:46   So I put that thing in the show notes about the Newton. Did you have a Newton when they were current? I don't recall.

01:12:52   I wish I had a Newton when they were current. Yeah, me too. I was young then and they were very expensive and I got to use them. I got to go to the store and write my name in cursive and watch it get it correct.

01:13:03   That's what I did. I went and I wrote my signature, my 12-year-old signature. I wrote my name in cursive in weird stylized signature cursive and then one, two, blink and it changed to my name in perfect text with perfect capitalization. I was like, "This is amazing."

01:13:18   And then I tried to write something else and it didn't get it at all. But first impression was good. You could draw shapes and you could draw a circle and it would make a perfect circle for you, a feature that is in many modern graphic applications. The Newton was amazing but I did not have one. I have one now though.

01:13:34   Of course you do. By the way Marco, I love that when you selected the third item on the list you actually selected the fourth. That's okay.

01:13:40   Yeah, I noticed that right afterwards. I was like, "Oh, wait a minute. I skipped one." This is top four all over again. The third item which I am genuinely very excited about is, or at least I think I am, is Apple's testing new iMessage features such as mentions and retracting messages and that could extend to a Mac app.

01:13:56   So they're talking about this is actually a MacRumors. Most of what we've already talked about was on 95 Mac. This is for MacRumors for starters. There's a new Slack-like mention system that would allow users to tag other contacts with their name like @Joe or @Jane.

01:14:10   When you type the @ sign a list of suggested contacts would appear. This would be particularly useful in busy group chat conversations as it would be possible to enable the hide alert setting and only receive push notifications when you are mentioned directly.

01:14:21   I only have three or four group chats that I am on that are chatty and they can get quite chatty. All of us have basically started doing @Casey, @John, @Marco or whatever.

01:14:36   To have this as an actually recognized thing I think would be really great. I especially like that idea about being able to hide alerts but still get push notifications for when you're mentioned. I think this sounds very, very good.

01:14:48   One of the things I do like about iMessage is that it is very simple and it's very easy to understand both for me and for everyone else. I don't want to have full on Slack in iMessage.

01:15:00   As much as I don't like the five or six, or I wish there were more than the five or six little reactions you can give, ultimately it's probably for the best if there's only like five or six of them.

01:15:09   You know, the thumbs up, thumbs down, double exclamation point, etc. But yeah, I'm really on board with this sort of thing. I would like to hear your guys' opinion but let me just finish this thought.

01:15:19   The other things that are apparently being tested is the ability to retract iMessages after sending them and then presumably it would say something like "This message was deleted" or something like that.

01:15:28   And some smaller features, typing indicators and group chats. I actually don't know if I care one way or another about that but I think it should be there.

01:15:36   The ability to mark the last message of a conversation is unread after opening it. Yes, please! Yes, please!

01:15:44   I so often will leave things unread as a note to myself that I need to handle that in some way, some form later.

01:15:51   And when I do occasionally mark something as read by accident, it drives me bananas. So yes, please, to this one.

01:15:57   And then finally, fun fact, I don't know if many of you, the listeners, knew this, I presume YouTube both knew this.

01:16:03   If you do an emote, like a /me is slapping you with a wet trout or whatever it used to be on IRC.

01:16:09   /me is doing something. It on the Mac will actually show differently and it will show centered and gray text like Casey is slapping Marco with a wet trout.

01:16:19   But on iOS it doesn't really recognize that, it just shows /me, Casey is blah blah blah.

01:16:25   Well apparently they're talking about bringing that, or expanding on this /me emote thing in order to have, amongst other things, status updates.

01:16:32   And I think that would be pretty cool too, so I dig that. Marco, thoughts on this? You seemed pretty enthusiastic about the unread stuff.

01:16:40   Are you enthusiastic about anything else? Are you on board with the idea of iMessage getting more complicated?

01:16:45   Yeah, I think so, because iMessage is one of Apple's greatest assets.

01:16:52   It is an incredibly, extremely important and high volume communication platform for a very large number of people.

01:17:02   So anything Apple does to make it richer in functionality or more expressive or more useful to people, chances are I will probably use it.

01:17:14   And if I don't use it, chances are I know people who will. Anything that adds to iMessage has a really, really big impact on the world.

01:17:24   So this could be really great. Almost all this stuff sounds like it would be useful to me.

01:17:29   In particular, I enjoy the idea of the retractions, because right now if you just send a message to the wrong window, you're going to be like, "Oh sorry, wrong window," and then that's just sitting there forever.

01:17:41   At least this, you could delete it and then you could then message the person saying, "Sorry, wrong window," just so they know why you just deleted something that you sent to them.

01:17:49   But it would just clean things up a little bit to be able to do that a lot of times. So that could be nice.

01:17:56   A lot of the stuff that I wouldn't necessarily use, like typing indicators in group chats, I don't really need that.

01:18:05   Mark the last message because unread, I would definitely use that. As you mentioned, I leave things unread sometimes for a couple hours until I can get to the situation where I can deal with them properly just so I don't forget about them.

01:18:17   I know you can do things like, "Remind me about this at 4 p.m. with Siri," but I can't always do that or it doesn't always work the way I want.

01:18:25   Anyway, I love anything that expands on iMessage. One thing I do hope they also address, which this doesn't mention at all, which means it probably isn't there,

01:18:36   as Jon said right at the beginning here, I still think that the way that you add photos or insert photos into an iMessage conversation is still unintuitive.

01:18:48   It's a hard interface challenge, I get that, but they still have not nailed how to expose functionality in messages in a way that people can actually discover and that's reasonably intuitive.

01:19:03   So I hope they tweet that a little bit, but I don't see anything here about that.

01:19:07   The photos thing, my initial thought, I understand why they went with the system they did, where they went with the system with iMessage apps and what used to be essentially a fixed toolbar with a few options, one of which was the very common shove a photo here,

01:19:20   said, "Now we have iMessage apps and it's not just going to be shove a photo here, you can make your own apps to do all sorts of things."

01:19:25   And refactoring it so that adding a photo is just another app, it fits with that programmer mindset, "Now we've made a system, I have a system for things, and this is not a special snowflake, it is just another thing in the system."

01:19:38   And the interface will be, you can get at the apps and they'll be visible in a second toolbar and you can rearrange them, like, "We've made the perfect system."

01:19:46   But because one use of that is so dominant, putting pictures into messages, its old privilege place was appropriate, given how frequently it's used, and making it be an equal sibling, even when you can arrange them in a particular order or whatever,

01:20:03   made people choose between having that bar visible all the time with a bunch of colorful icons that they may not care about, or having it not visible and then making it even harder to get at that thing, right?

01:20:12   And so they just need to go one more step, and this is a path that many apps on the Mac at least have gone through.

01:20:18   Have a fixed interface, change the fixed interface to a system that's modular, and make the existing fixed features into modules in the modular system, and then finally, have a modular system where you can privilege certain modules to have the interface dominance that the old fixed system had, right?

01:20:35   So that you can choose what is the thing you use most frequently and essentially recreate the convenience in terms of number of taps and positioning and prominence of the old interface with the modules of your choosing, and then finally, have the default be,

01:20:48   "It looks just like the old fixed toolbar because that was actually a good choice for the number of things, but if you don't like it, you can chuck that one out and put your own one or two things in the fixed location."

01:20:56   So I have hope that they'll travel that road and fix this. As for all of these features, having seen Slack in action in a very large company setting amongst non-developers, like I'm not just among a bunch of programmers using Slack, right?

01:21:11   I'm very confident that people who are not programmers, who are not super into techy nerd stuff, do fine in Slack.

01:21:19   Do they know all the weird features? No, they don't care either, but if they don't find it intimidating and they do pick up through cultural osmosis, the things like @ mentions and stuff.

01:21:28   I don't think it'll be no problem. So adopting features of Slack, which I really like and think is a really good application, into iMessage, I give a total thumbs up.

01:21:36   Excellent. I think it's your turn, Jon.

01:21:39   Hmm, let's see what we got here. Boy, AirTags is always in here where we never talk about it. No one likes AirTags.

01:21:44   I don't think I care.

01:21:46   It's one of those things, like, if Apple made a new power brick, I would probably find this useful, but it's not that interesting to talk about.

01:21:54   It's more interesting to have the meta discussion of all the things that Apple could do. Why are they doing this?

01:21:59   There's the ultra wideband angle. There's a bunch of interesting tech sort of angles on it. Anyway, I don't want to talk about that.

01:22:04   One thing, I put this section in here just because I thought Marco would have an aneurysm over it.

01:22:10   In the long list of watchOS 7 changes, one of the rumors was, like, "New flag faces."

01:22:18   And it's like, "Your watch face is a flag of insert country here."

01:22:22   You must be like, "All the people who have all these watch face complaints are like, 'flags? Really?'

01:22:27   You can't fix the whatever watch face to be the way either watch nor do I want it, but you're going to let people have a bunch of flags?"

01:22:33   And I kept thinking, like, "Watch people will hate the fact that Apple is wasting its time making flag faces, and everyone else will be like, 'Cool! Flag faces!'"

01:22:42   It's just such a great snapshot of how it seems like watch people think of the Apple watch faces and how non-watch people think of the Apple watch faces

01:22:52   and how there doesn't seem to be a meaning of the minds in that. Am I correct in my assessment that Marco, you think of watch--

01:22:58   You're not going to find yourself using a flag face?

01:23:02   Every version of watchOS adds "new watch faces," and usually a good portion of those "new watch faces" are just the digital time showing above a new image or animation.

01:23:17   Like, there's no other effort put into, like, different ways to show the time, different complication possibilities, different design styles.

01:23:27   It's just like, here's a new, like, static image or repeated animation that will go below the digital time that's been showing the same way forever, right?

01:23:36   Like, this is just more of that. And Apple can keep saying, "Look how new this is!" But we all know you just put images under the same old thing.

01:23:46   But people like it! I'm actually kind of surprised they did with flags, because we know the flags are, like, politically fraught.

01:23:51   Like, the whole thing of not showing the flag emoji based on whatever totalitarian government yells at you if you do it, you know?

01:23:57   It seems like a politically weird thing to do.

01:24:00   Do people wear-- like, where would you-- so it's kind of vague with the description here as to whether the face can show multiple flags at once.

01:24:09   So, you know, suppose you have, like, one side of your family is from this country, another side of your family is from that country.

01:24:15   And you can show both of those flags at once. That makes it slightly more interesting. But, like, who is this for, and when would you want this to be displayed?

01:24:24   You probably wouldn't want this displayed in the country you are from.

01:24:29   Oh, USA! USA! What are you talking about? You wouldn't want it--

01:24:33   Like, I just--

01:24:35   They call it the "jingoism face."

01:24:38   Yeah, like, I don't mind-- Apple can add whatever garbage, you know, repeatable image fluffy faces they want.

01:24:45   They do this every year, they add more faces that have very, very little value, have very little innovation, very little, you know, just--

01:24:55   They're just, like, little-- "Oh, that's fun to try for an hour," and then you change it back, right?

01:24:59   And then everyone uses the same four faces.

01:25:01   But you change it back. I think people find a face and they like it and they don't change it.

01:25:05   That's the thing. The people who are not into watches are cool. A puppy. And they leave it on that forever.

01:25:11   I still see most people using the same four watch faces. So, look, if Apple wants to keep adding fun garbage like this, that's fine.

01:25:19   If the rest of the watch face, you know, ecosystem is being properly maintained. And it simply isn't.

01:25:27   And so, like, it's hard to enjoy stuff like this when it's, like, they're going to be like, "Look at the cool new thing we did."

01:25:32   And it's like, "Yeah, okay, but look at all of the other massive amount of low-hanging fruit you could do to make all the other watch faces better."

01:25:39   Or to make the ability to have new watch faces that you didn't design, which I love.

01:25:45   My favorite part of this rumor is the "Share Your Face" rumor that users will be able to allegedly share specific watch face configurations with others using the share sheet from the watch app on iOS.

01:25:59   So, first of all, the watch app on iOS is a garbage fire. Who would ever want to go there unnecessarily?

01:26:04   And second of all, sharing your configuration of your watch face, is this really--

01:26:10   We're asymptotically approaching third-party watch faces.

01:26:13   Yeah, but not even--but, like, the asymptote is, like, a mile from the line. It's like--

01:26:19   We're getting closer.

01:26:21   Are we?

01:26:22   Yes.

01:26:23   It's barely--yeah, like, it's--oh, God. Like, why is this being worked on when so much low-hanging fruit and then one big piece of high-hanging fruit of custom watch faces--

01:26:37   There are so many little things Apple could do to make the watch faces better, to make them function better, to make them look better.

01:26:45   And yet, they're doing this. This is not what anybody wants.

01:26:51   I mean, it's not what you want, clearly, and obviously we're all in favor of third-party watch faces, but these features all make sense to me as stepping stones to approaching third-party watch faces.

01:27:00   Like, you mentioned, like, that most people use the same four faces. I think this is a problem on Apple Watch in general.

01:27:07   Despite them being nice and showing you how to use it in the Apple Store or whatever, it's not easy to even figure out how to change faces or to realize that you can customize them or how you can customize them.

01:27:18   And I feel like the sharing feature is a way of shortcutting that, because many people will see someone with an Apple Watch and maybe they get to talking about it and they're like, "Oh, why does yours look like this?"

01:27:26   And they're like, "Oh, you can customize it and do this and that," and whatever. And it's--you're right.

01:27:30   They're putting it in the iOS Watch app is a bad idea. But having some way to lower the barrier to entry to people customizing their watch faces to their liking.

01:27:40   Because right now, I think the barrier is a little bit too high. Changing faces--and even though I know you can just force press and swipe, it's so easy if you already know how to do it.

01:27:47   But trust me, if you don't know how to do it already, it might not even occur to you that it's possible.

01:27:51   And you might think, "Oh, well, that person's Apple Watch looks different because they bought a different Apple Watch."

01:27:55   That's a thing that people think, right?

01:27:57   So helping with that system in some way--and I think the share your face thing would be a way to help--is a trend in the right direction.

01:28:05   It's not enough. Third-party watch faces would be better. Even that would have a barrier to letting people understand that it's a thing that they can get and install.

01:28:12   Plus, the interface between iOS and the watch is still a little bit fraught, so there are many areas of improvement here.

01:28:17   But despite the frivolity of this, I think this is a reasonable batch, truckload, whatever, of, as Marco puts it, "fun garbage" for a watchOS release.

01:28:29   There's always a bucket of this stuff, and I think it needs to be there, and I think the rest of the world likes it a lot more than Marco.

01:28:35   And from Marco, they have a feature whose name I can't pronounce that I've never heard of before that he probably knows about, and it seems pointless to me.

01:28:41   The tachymeter? Yeah.

01:28:43   This is--if you've ever seen a chronograph watch, on the outside ridge of a chronograph watch, there is usually a scale that says "tachymeter," and then it counts down usually from about 300 down to 60.

01:29:00   Right. And the idea here is if you have a typical chronograph that has the seconds hand that's stuck at the top most of the time, and then you start the chronograph to start timing something, the chronograph's count up, so the seconds hand moves through, and suppose you stop it at 30 seconds, and then it'll be pointing to the number 120.

01:29:20   Because the tachymeter scale lets you measure, if you've measured from the top, how many seconds have you lapsed, and then you stop it, what it's pointing to is the number of cycles per minute that your thing will do if you've measured one cycle.

01:29:36   So, for instance, you can measure speed of a car by measuring how long it takes you to go to mile, and that's why you hit start.

01:29:43   If 30 seconds go by, and you've hit a mile, then you're going 120 miles an hour. And that's why at the very bottom of the tachymeter scale is the number 120.

01:29:52   At the very top is 60, because if you let it go a whole minute, then you're going to 60 miles an hour.

01:29:57   So, this is a very, very common thing on chronograph watches, basically because it's one of the only things you can do with a chronograph, like in a static dial that traditional watches wouldn't be able to do fancy computations, but they can have a static bezel around the watch that has certain numbers on it.

01:30:14   So, this is why they do this.

01:30:16   When I read the description of this feature, I'm like, "So, it's a slide rule that doesn't slide for people who can't do multiplication or division." And I was thinking the same thing you said. It's like, "Well, you don't have a ring that turns, so you're like, 'We can paint numbers on the ring. Why don't we do that?'"

01:30:31   "Well, can't people just do math? Like, they could do math, but isn't it easier if we do it for them? Oh, like a slide rule. No, it doesn't slide."

01:30:37   Again, it's another thing of Apple Watch face designers seemingly taking only the worst stuff from analog watches, like the fact that the hands can cover up the date window.

01:30:50   They're taking only the worst stuff and replicating it on their computer watch that should be able to do so much more than it currently does.

01:31:00   Yeah, this tachymeter? I don't know how it's pronounced. I'm going to go with tachymeter.

01:31:06   Anyways, this thing, this ring, this one ring to rule them all that's a reference.

01:31:10   Anyways, it seems like such a stupid thing to put on a digital watch. You're exactly right, Marco.

01:31:15   I don't understand. It's visual clutter. I would assume, maybe I'm wrong, but if it looks anything like the physical world, it's clutter.

01:31:24   It accomplishes something that could be done so much better digitally.

01:31:28   I just feel like this is the annoying mechanical watch people infecting my otherwise superior digital watch and making it look like your inferior mechanical watches again.

01:31:40   And I don't want it. I don't want it.

01:31:42   First of all, two things. Number one, you are correct. It does add a lot of visual clutter.

01:31:47   Normally, in the physical watch world, watches that have a tachymeter, usually it is, first of all, they're usually larger watches.

01:31:54   It's rare to see one under about 40 millimeters. And then also, it's usually set in a very different font and style than the rest of the watch.

01:32:02   So it is not competing for visual attention. So usually it will be like a black bezel around the watch.

01:32:08   And this will be etched in very tiny text on the bezel, something like that.

01:32:11   Secondly, in my defense, in my world of traditional watches defense, I don't think any of us are designing these damn watch faces.

01:32:21   I don't think Apple has ever, like the people who design Apple watch faces seem to know about as much about watch design as the people who design the Game Center interface knew about games.

01:32:33   Oof, brutal.

01:32:35   It's like they read a book about it once 30 years ago and decided they were now experts.

01:32:41   The work of the Apple Watch face design team is not the work of people who know watches.

01:32:47   It's the work of graphic designers who were asked to draw a watch.

01:32:51   I'm not entirely sure that's the wrong answer. I know, again, watch people don't like it, but the assumption in your criticism is that if you know how to make good physical watch faces, those same skills and knowledge are directly applicable to a computer watch.

01:33:06   But you also got it done saying that's not actually true.

01:33:09   So I think having user interface designers design the watch face, if anything, maybe they're being too dedicated to nods in the direction of physical watches.

01:33:16   So I don't know, I don't really care that much about watch design. I don't use the Apple Watch, I don't really have a dog in this fight.

01:33:22   But I don't think that if you got, like, we hired the world's best physical watch designers and hooked them up with somebody who knows how to use Photoshop and that's how we designed our watch faces, I think that outcome would be worse than the current situation for the mass market, even though you personally, Marco, might like it better.

01:33:37   I don't know, but some of these other watch changes do seem positive. Like, I don't know if share your face, which is such a funny term. I don't know if it will go anywhere, but I don't...

01:33:49   I'll share your face. They're going to change it to force face touch. Oh, God, share your face.

01:33:55   Please no. Oh, goodness. Please no.

01:33:58   Whatever it ends up being, I think the premise of it is fine. I don't see this being something I would use, but the premise of it is fine as far as I'm concerned.

01:34:07   We glossed over that either with hardware or perhaps just with software, the Apple Watch will supposedly be able to detect blood oxygen saturation, which is critical for heart and brain health apparently, which is super cool.

01:34:21   That feature is rumored forever. I'm not sure. Is there any more smoke around this that we think is going to ship this time or not?

01:34:27   I mean, I don't know. I agree with you. It's been around forever, but the news sites are saying it's happening. So for now, at least for this conversation, this could be the one.

01:34:36   There was also a bunch of chatter about how you could set a shared album as your photo's watch face.

01:34:45   And I found that very weird because Erin's watch, she has set to a shared photo album. And what occurred to me was if you go and try to set up a new photo's watch face and try to target that photo's watch face to a shared photo album, it won't let you.

01:35:02   So I was wondering, how the crap did she and I, probably she, set this up? And what I think happened was that she or I, probably she, set the watch to sync our, like Declan and Michaela shared photo album that we share with family and friends and stuff.

01:35:18   And that was the blessed album on the watch that syncs all the photos onto the watch. And then in the photo's watch face thing, app, whatever, you can set the synced album as the one that's shown on the watch face.

01:35:34   So this is presumably a much easier way of accomplishing a similar thing, especially if you don't want your shared album to be your one and only synced album. But it is worth noting that you can do this already today.

01:35:44   Another thing that I thought was very interesting is watch for kids. And perhaps, Jon, you would be the best to talk about this. But apparently the gist is, Apple is going to let you, supposedly, set up a watch as not your everyday watch, your night watch.

01:36:00   It's not your everyday watch. And presumably you'll have more than one watch synced to your phone, which is already possible. But you can specifically say this is for a child.

01:36:09   It will let you manage whether or not they can do certain things at certain times. A new feature called School Time will allow parents to manage which apps and complications can be used during certain hours like class time.

01:36:21   I don't know how I feel about this because my kids are way too little. And maybe your kids are too big, Jon. But I think you're perhaps the best equipped to talk about this. This sounds really cool or like a great idea, if nothing else.

01:36:34   I think it's a good idea. But my kids both have Apple watches. They have hand-me-down Apple watches. But they're a little bit too old for this to be useful. And the main reason is what I was getting at before.

01:36:44   The kind of controls this offers are only an issue if you think that your kids actually know or will figure out how to use the full functionality of the watch. And I can tell you from experience that they do not.

01:36:59   You think, "Oh, you give new technology to kids and they just figure it out. Look, I gave my two-year-old an iPad and she's a whiz with it now. Sure, right, fine."

01:37:06   It's a great demonstration of exactly how unintuitive and weird WatchOS is and its interaction with the phones. They both have totally unrestricted Apple watches that are connected to their iPhones. None of this stuff exists.

01:37:18   And they have changed nothing about their watch. Either they don't want to or don't know, but I think it's both. Do they even know that that watch app exists? Do they know what they can do with it? Because the screen is so small, the discoverability and accessibility of features on the watch.

01:37:35   There's a lot of functionality in Apple Watches that is very hidden from a large portion of the population just because it's not obvious that the thing can even do that. And I'm not sure what the solution is because the root problem is it's a very tiny screen and you can't really put much stuff there.

01:37:49   And it's hard to use. Having an app on the phone that corresponds with it makes sense and gives people a better interface for it, but there's the discoverability problem. There's the desire and the discoverability problem. So I personally wouldn't use this. I think it would be more useful for younger kids who, through just senseless button mashing, could screw up their watches or something to sort of lock it down a little bit more.

01:38:12   But I endorse the feature. I think it's a good idea, but it's not useful for my family. And I think the root problem, like this root problem of kids with unlimited access to all this watch power is partially "solved" by how hard it is to access that power for regular people.

01:38:28   And then perhaps finally in this section, other than sleep tracking, which, like, what was the other thing we were just saying is going to land every year? Oh, the blood oxygen stuff. Sleep tracking is going to land this year, fellas. It's happening, apparently, maybe.

01:38:42   The other piece was watch app architecture. In watchOS 6, you know, you have the ability to release stand-alone watch apps like Geneva Moon through the App Store and you don't need an iPhone companion app, but they were still based on the existing extension architecture, and supposedly starting with watchOS 7, Apple Watch apps will no longer be based on extensions.

01:38:58   I have only very, very tiny bits of dabbling in watchOS. Marco, can you tell me, what does this mean to you, or perhaps nothing at all? It depends on the details. That's what it means. It depends a lot on, like, does that mean, like, what if your app is still based on an extension? Does that not work anymore on watchOS 7?

01:39:21   What happens to the entire watch connectivity framework, which is what apps use to talk to each other between the phone and the watch, and is very unreliable and very slow and very full of bugs?

01:39:33   That could be a problem, because if that is actually, like, basically removed or at least deprecated, then apps have to figure out new ways for their phone app and their watch app to communicate. Now, and that are not easy ways.

01:39:53   Like, the way the current watch connectivity framework works is fairly straightforward. Like, you can just say, you know, like, "Send this message from my phone app to my watch app," and from the watch app you can say, "Send this message back to my phone app," and reply with this or whatever.

01:40:07   It's a very easy way to, like, message pass between those two apps. If I'm interpreting this in, like, the most scary way, which is that those apps are no longer even extensions of each other at all, then it would become harder for them to communicate with each other.

01:40:26   You might have to do things like just using, like, network, like, you know, local peer-to-peer networking and using that manually, or obviously you could sync to a cloud service and just hope they sync back and forth on a regular basis, which is probably the approach I would take.

01:40:42   But either way, this has the potential, and I think likelihood, to accomplish two major goals. One is, like, it's going to force a lot of watch apps that are written using the old way to totally rewrite the way they communicate with each other, and possibly add things like a cloud backend, which is obviously way more complicated.

01:41:05   And the result of that will be a whole lot of watch apps just won't work anymore. Like, they'll just disappear, they'll be discontinued, whatever. But the upside is whatever's left should, in theory, if they do their job right, should work better.

01:41:20   Because this is the direction I've wanted to go anyway, because watch connectivity sucks. Like, the framework is terrible. It's full of bugs, full of problems. It's slow, it's unreliable, it's incredibly picky, and it seems like Apple doesn't use it for anything themselves, because if they did, they would have found these problems already.

01:41:38   So, in the end, if we have basically a forced retirement, or at least a strong replacement of watch connectivity, the framework, that's going to result in probably fewer, but better, watch apps. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

01:41:55   Fair enough. What's next on your list, Marco?

01:42:10   I think it's a very good pinning feature, where you can possibly pin an app to the multitasking screen, depending on the state of this lock that this person saw. I don't know. I think it's too early to say what this even means, and what multitasking enhancements or changes might be present.

01:42:27   But, multitasking is something, at least on the iPad, on the iPhone people seem to get it. They don't fully understand what quitting their apps means, but oh well. On the iPad, multitasking is still so confusing that anything Apple does to try to change it shows that they also think it's confusing, or at least they don't think it's done, and that they're investing further into trying to make it better.

01:42:52   So, I don't know if this will be good or not, but if it is a change to iPad multitasking, it's just promising to see movement there.

01:43:01   I put this one in here because I was delighted in the possibility. Again, I can't tell if this is even a thing they're going to ship, or what it is, or it just shows a little lock icon. What does that even mean? It's so small on the phone, it makes me think they would never ship it. But the idea that that screen on the phone could have some kind of function that locks one of the things that appears in the multitasker, locks it in a way that keeps it there, or is indicating that it has to stay there.

01:43:26   Two ways that could go. One, it would be delightful if you could go on someone's phone and lock all the things on the multitasking screen, because it wouldn't actually keep them all in memory, but people don't know that. And they'd be like, "Oh no, I can't quit my apps, because this one is locked on the screen, it's just always there."

01:43:40   And all it is is literally an image of an app that hadn't run in three days, but it's driving them crazy because it's "locked" on the multitasking screen.

01:43:47   That would be a delightful revenge on all the people who are constantly "force quitting" all their apps that they think are "running" that are like 500 screens away from the things that are actually running.

01:43:59   Anyway, that's personal peeve. The other possibility, which is almost equally delightful, is it could be the type of feature where it lets you arrange the multitasking switch by locking things into position.

01:44:11   That's one of the possibilities that lets you pin things in a particular location, so no matter what other apps you launch and quit, this one is always pinned in that location.

01:44:21   And people could get used to that feature, and it could go through the culture as a cool thing that you might not have known that you could do, but look, I can pin my things every time I go to my multitasking switch, or iMessage is always here, and Safari is always there, or whatever.

01:44:34   It could become a power user feature that's accessible enough that people start using it, leading to a situation where people who used to force quit all their apps now have a set of three or four or five "pinned" apps that are "always running" because they can see a picture of it on the multitasking screen.

01:44:51   I would find that delightful, switching entirely from the reflexive upward flicking of every single little rectangle they see on the screen, thinking that it's doing something, to the opposite. I always want to see these four rectangles here. That means those apps are always running.

01:45:05   Oh, you're probably right.

01:45:08   I think this is just not going to ship. I don't even know what that is. You see that in the movie. Look how tiny that lock-out is. I can barely even see it. I can't imagine them shipping that in this form, but who knows?

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01:47:10   James Scariotti writes, "Marco famously proclaimed a few years ago that the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro was the best laptop ever made. After having gotten this new 16-inch MacBook Pro and its new keyboard, would Marco say that the 16-inch has displaced the old 15 as the best laptop ever, or does he still consider the 15 the better overall model due to other factors, like ports, touchbar, etc.?"

01:47:29   Before you answer, I would like to wager that you will say that it is still the best laptop ever made, in part because you still have a chapped behind with regard to the SD card slot. John, what are your thoughts? What Marco will say.

01:47:47   It depends on how we frame this. I think he's going to say the correct answer, which is that in its given time period, the 15-inch was better than the 16 inches now. But if you frame the question as, "Okay, but if you had to pick a laptop to use now, you'd obviously pick the 16 because it's so much faster and more modern or whatever." That's my guess.

01:48:04   John wins. Basically, the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro is and was an amazing laptop. But it's five years old. And even when it was introduced, some of its guts were kind of old. Intel was at a really weird time and the processor isn't that much better than the one that's like a few years before that and everything.

01:48:25   So it's pretty out of date now for a lot of high-end use. Now, if you don't need especially high-end resources to do your work, it's probably still fine for you. And that's great. And honestly, I could probably do most of my work on it just fine and not even notice any difference at all.

01:48:46   However, yeah, unfortunately, it is pretty old. And the 16-inch is pretty good. I don't think I would -- in the grand scheme of things, looking back, suppose it's like three to four years from now and we're looking back, I don't think I would look back to the 16-inch and say, "That was the best laptop I ever made."

01:49:07   Because it's just not that noteworthy compared to like the 2015 really was like the pinnacle of user-friendly design, of utilitarian design. It was like here's a laptop that even at the time didn't have really major complaints. Back in 2012, it did.

01:49:27   People were upset about the non-serviceable RAM, SSD, and the lack of optical drive a little bit. But that was pretty quickly gotten past, whereas the problems of the butterfly keyboard generation weren't quickly gotten past.

01:49:43   Like a few years into that, people still hated the keyboard and the ports and everything else. So the 16-inch, it fixed the keyboard. It didn't really fix anything else. It's still a laptop that is more expensive than what most people want to pay and what it is probably worth.

01:50:03   It still forces you to get the touch bar, which is controversial and many people don't like it and would prefer an option without that. It still only has four USB-C ports and nothing else, one of which will be consumed most of the time by power, so it really basically only has three ports.

01:50:19   It still doesn't have an SD card slot, which many people still want and would still use, and it doesn't have built-in HDMI, which many more people would still want and still use. So it still has many of the downsides of the awful 2016 to 2019 generation.

01:50:39   It only fixes the keyboard. Now that's a big one. That is the biggest one it fixed. And overall, I love this computer. I wouldn't even say I love it. I like it. It's a nice computer. I enjoy using it. I'm very happy with the keyboard.

01:50:55   But the 2015 I truly loved because the 16-inch still retains all of that Johnny Ive punitive minimal design of it's like the worst of Johnny and Tim. It's like, let's give it the least ports possible and charge as much money as possible.

01:51:15   That's basically what Johnny and Tim will be remembered for, is over-minimal design for overly high prices. And it still represents that. Whereas the 2012 to 2015 generation still seemed like it was designed with our needs in mind.

01:51:33   It still seemed like it was designed for us to accommodate us rather than forcing us to accommodate it. And they've turned slightly back towards the good side of that balance. But it was only one step of many that they should have taken and that I hope they eventually will take.

01:51:53   Rob Fiorendino writes, "Do you still have hard drive icons displayed on your desktop now that Mac OS gives you the option to hide them?" I do not. I hide Macintosh HD or whatever the default is. I'm sorry John, I don't even care. But I do allow thumb drives and things of that nature to end up on the desktop. John, what do you do?

01:52:15   No surprise, I make it behave like it's always behaved. I show my hard drives on the desktop, I show servers on the desktop, everything.

01:52:23   So much stuff. You like windows, you like icons. You just like clutter, man.

01:52:27   Well, right now I only have one hard drive icon on my desktop because all the other ones are unmounted.

01:52:32   Marco, what do you do?

01:52:35   I don't have any of those displayed. Now, I'm not a clean desktop person. My desktop is full of garbage. It's full of a whole bunch of files that are always around and it's basically my working set for way too long and it's full of clutter and people who like a clean desktop would cringe at best if you saw my desktop. But I just, yeah, I never, I don't put the disks there.

01:52:59   I'm going to suggest to Marco before we get into more of the philosophy of this, for messy desktop people, try the strategy that I've gone with recently which is, it's hard to be like Casey who it seems like keeps a very neat desktop, is that correct?

01:53:16   Yeah, I have four icons on my desktop right now.

01:53:18   And you know what they are and they're there with purpose and so on and so on.

01:53:21   Oh yeah.

01:53:21   For some people that's difficult, Marco and me, I find it difficult to be like completely disputing clean. But on the other hand.

01:53:29   I have 141 items on my desktop right now.

01:53:31   Oh my God.

01:53:32   On the other hand, just giving up entirely and saying.

01:53:34   I need a bigger screen just to fit.

01:53:36   You know what, the desktop is just my junk drawer. I feel like there's a happy medium that you can strike, which is accept the fact that junk is going to build on a desktop, but add a sort of periodic ritual, kind of like spring cleaning where you go through and you deal with the clutter.

01:53:54   I know that cliche of like, I'm going to make a folder called old and select all and drag into it and I'm going to do that once every two and a half years.

01:54:01   That's not what I'm suggesting.

01:54:02   There are bad ways to do that.

01:54:04   I'm saying on a more regular schedule, clean up the piles on your desktop because doing that is fun and gives the kind of like the same small thrill you get from like spring cleaning and when you get to open the windows and clean all the stuff or whatever.

01:54:17   And if you don't want the junk pile up too much and say, I'm going to maintain.

01:54:21   I think more people do this with their houses. I'm going to maintain some semblance of order. I'm not going to let the things build up to the point where it's like a fire hazard and I'm going to die, you know, when the stack of newspaper falls on top of me or whatever, right?

01:54:34   I'm going to maintain some kind of order and that does give you like the positive, the reward is the little thrill you get from organizing.

01:54:40   It doesn't mean you're going to end up with Casey's desktop, even when you're done organizing. It just means that you're committed to the idea that you're not going to give up entirely. That's my suggestion.

01:54:49   What's the oldest item on your desktop?

01:54:52   As in like creation date? Like file or folder? Because I have do kind of like Casey, I have a fixed set of folders that are in a fixed position that just never moving or never quote unquote cleaned up and those are probably super old.

01:55:04   All right. So things that things that are not permanent fixtures. What's the oldest nonpermanent fixture on your desktop? Mine is December 8th, 2017.

01:55:14   Oh God, Marco, you're stressing me out so much.

01:55:17   I haven't like cleaned up my desktop in two years.

01:55:21   This goes to show, I mean, obviously with my, I got the new Mac and kind of reset the time of this, but this shows that I do practice what I preach and what I just said about the cleaning up stuff.

01:55:30   I have some fixed folders that are the dates on them because they're not folders, they're aliases to folders because I wouldn't actually literally keep the folders in the desktop because I'm not a monster.

01:55:38   That is the most John thing I've heard in a while.

01:55:41   Yeah, they're folders that are filed. This is my replacement for sort of pop up folders from classic. Do you guys remember those?

01:55:47   I never had a classic Mac. I've heard of them, but you know, but from people like you complaining, but like I've never actually used classic Mac OS on my own computer and I've only ever used other people's classic Mac OS briefly.

01:56:00   I mean, it's a feature that doesn't really make sense in the current non spatial finder paradigm, but anyway, it's four folders that I don't want to access recently and they're there and they are the oldest things on my desktop and they're dated December 22nd, 2019 because that's when I set up my Mac Pro.

01:56:12   Every file or other thing in there, the oldest one I have is January 8th. So that's like the last time I did a desktop sweep and clean up is, what is it?

01:56:21   I've got an image file from January 8th and it is a picture of Marco's house.

01:56:25   I have, remember when I rented an RV?

01:56:28   Yes, I was just thinking about that like just a day or two ago.

01:56:30   That was a long time ago. Is that on your desktop?

01:56:32   I have still on my desktop today the receipt for when I rented the RV, which was in April, 2018.

01:56:39   It's not a good filing system.

01:56:42   Marco, why? Why?

01:56:44   You should, you should do, I mean, you need to do the big sweep now because you waited too long, but if you do mini sweeps every month or two, do a mini sweep, clean up the piles, file things away, it'll feel good.

01:56:54   Maybe I shouldn't get the bigger monitor.

01:56:56   Oh my goodness.

01:56:58   Induced demand, they call that in the traffic business.

01:57:01   Yeah.

01:57:02   It's like if it's moved to a tiny house and it's like, go back to like a 14 inch CRT.

01:57:07   You're also not doing well on the move to tiny house direction.

01:57:10   Yeah.

01:57:11   Our house is full, what should we do?

01:57:17   Oh goodness. All right. And then finally, Marcos Petri writes, I'm a Windows user and I've never had a Mac, but I'm thinking about making small iOS apps.

01:57:28   I live in a developing country and unfortunately Mac's not the most accessible devices for me right now.

01:57:32   Newer models are prohibitively expensive. What are the best options for someone who wants to start developing iOS apps on a very tight budget?

01:57:39   Is it possible to build on a used Mac mini?

01:57:41   Does MacBook Air with two gigs of RAM and 64 gig SSD with an i5 CPU do the job? Should I consider a Hackintosh?

01:57:47   Depending on what kind of app you're doing, you'd be surprised what kind of hardware is capable of doing it.

01:57:55   Like my adorable, which is what, like three years old now, something like that, and was slower than dirt when it was brand new.

01:58:01   It works. Now, to be fair, it's 16 gigs of RAM, which is quite a bit more than two, but it will do the trick.

01:58:09   I haven't touched Hackintoshes in well over a decade, but I have heard that they are surprisingly good given that they're, that literally the word "hack" is in the name.

01:58:23   So, consider what you're working with, but they're surprisingly good given that they're just one big pile of hacks.

01:58:29   I think just, it's such an obvious answer, but buy the most Mac you can possibly afford and it should probably work.

01:58:38   I don't know, Marco, thoughts on this?

01:58:40   It depends a lot on what you're doing. One thing that I think makes iOS development easier than you expect is I would suggest if you can find one that's affordable to get a retina screen.

01:58:55   Oh, that's a very good point.

01:58:57   You do a lot of development in the iOS simulator and every iOS device currently for sale, and that's been for sale for some time, has a retina screen.

01:59:04   And so, if you, I think the simulator will scale now. I used to not do that, but I think it will scale down so it isn't just displaying twice as large as it needs to to get all those pixels in.

01:59:16   But it's going to be difficult to design an iOS app correctly without running on the retina simulator.

01:59:22   And so I would suggest, if it weren't for that requirement, I think the 2012-ish to 2015 MacBook Air would be fine.

01:59:34   And if that's all you can get for your price range and situation, you still can do that. It would still be fine.

01:59:41   But you would see a lot of value out of even swapping it out for the similar age 13-inch MacBook Pro.

01:59:47   So a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro from 2012 through 2015 would be significantly better for iOS development.

01:59:54   Just for the reason of the retina screen alone. It's probably going to be a little bit faster, but at this point it's not going to matter that much.

02:00:00   Retina screen, I would say, if you can get that.

02:00:03   Another way to get that, inexpensively at least, might be to plug in an inexpensive PC 4K monitor into something else.

02:00:14   Unfortunately I don't follow that market too closely, so I don't know if that's actually that much cheaper or not.

02:00:20   And then finally, if it doesn't need to be a laptop, again, I don't know what prices are like in the entire world here for the used market.

02:00:28   But frequently, the cheapest Retina Mac you can get is an iMac.

02:00:33   So don't rule out Retina iMac options.

02:00:37   The Retina 5Ks are probably still fairly expensive compared to a 2015 laptop would be.

02:00:43   But the Retina 4K iMac also exists.

02:00:47   And if you get one with a hard drive, it's not going to be fast, but you will have a very large Retina screen compared to a laptop.

02:00:54   So that screen space also helps a lot in development, and so that's something to consider as well.

02:01:01   So I would say, if you don't need it to be portable, my rank list here would be 4K iMac first, 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina second,

02:01:12   and then the 13-inch Air third.

02:01:14   John, any thoughts?

02:01:16   If you're really trying to save money and you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, my obvious advice would be my usual advice, which is avoid laptops and go with desktops,

02:01:23   which makes much more sense in a context where Apple actually made desktop computers.

02:01:27   That's much less the case these days, but I still think that laptops are probably going to be more desirable and therefore more expensive on the used market.

02:01:34   What you want is an ugly ducking computer that nobody wants.

02:01:37   So I think the idea of a used Mac Mini hooked up to a very cheap 4K monitor is probably your best bang for the buck.

02:01:44   I feel like you'd be able to get into that for less than even a 4K iMac.

02:01:48   That's my suggestion.

02:01:50   I haven't done enough development on a spinning disk to know what kind of impact it would have, but the thing is here, like a MacBook Air with 2GB of RAM,

02:01:58   2GB feels like it's pushing it to me, and MacBook Air, if that's not the Retina one, which it isn't because if it only has 2GB of RAM, it's definitely not the Retina model.

02:02:06   The specs that they've given here, I would not get that little RAM.

02:02:15   So find a Mac Mini, maybe one that has been upgraded or could be upgraded that nobody wants because who the heck wants a Mac Mini?

02:02:22   I know that's not true in this country because everyone seems to want them because they're cool and you can do stuff like that.

02:02:26   I was going to say, Mac Minis don't go down in value as quickly as you think they do.

02:02:30   I know, they should because nobody seems to buy them, but the people who like them really want them.

02:02:34   I don't know what the market is like, but yeah, I'm looking at an ugly duckling computer and I'm thinking, in general, if people want a Mac laptop,

02:02:41   so use Mac laptops, there's many more of them and they're the type of thing you want.

02:02:45   If you can find somebody who has a Mini and you're not in a culture that values Mac Minis because they're cool little computers,

02:02:51   maybe you can get one for cheap and then hook it up to cheap PC peripherals.

02:02:55   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Linode, Mac Weldon, and Bluevine, and we will talk to you next week.

02:03:02   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, 'cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

02:03:13   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him, 'cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

02:03:24   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM and if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S,

02:03:39   that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, Auntie Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A, it's accidental.

02:03:54   They didn't mean to, accidental, tech podcast, so long.

02:04:04   I started playing Minecraft. Oh, whoa, what, why? 'Cause Adam was playing it, that's why.

02:04:10   Yeah, yeah, so here I am learning a, you know, what, 10-year-old game that everyone else is, finally,

02:04:19   like I'm learning a 10-year-old game that has been the most popular game in the world for years.

02:04:24   And you're learning it for the same reason that everybody else learns it, because they have a kid of a certain age and it's the law.

02:04:30   Yeah, yeah, so, you know, I'm not a sporty guy. My kid is made of half me, so he's not particularly sporty either,

02:04:42   which should not be a big surprise. And, you know, there's the stereotype of like, a dad should like throw a ball around with his kids, right?

02:04:52   And, you know, I'm probably unlikely to do that, and my kid is unlikely to want that. What my kid really wants is to play Minecraft.

02:05:03   He wants a diamond sword is what he wants.

02:05:05   Oh, he already has one.

02:05:06   Okay, I'm just making sure.

02:05:07   And to talk to me about Minecraft and to read books about Minecraft and to watch videos about Minecraft, everything he wants is about Minecraft.

02:05:16   Now, the previous thing he was into before Minecraft was Pokemon, and I never really got into that, and I don't understand it.

02:05:26   And it was fairly hard for me to bond with my kid over this thing, because he would be rattling off all these stats and things and talking about Pokemon stuff that I had just no clue whatsoever about.

02:05:36   And I never got into it, and I felt like I kind of probably should have. I felt like, you know, this is what my kid is into, and I can't really communicate with him about this or bond with him over this.

02:05:46   That's not great. And so, with Minecraft, I decided, you know what, if this is what my kid is into, and yeah, as Jon said, it's likely to continue for some time,

02:05:55   because this is what every kid is into for a very long time around this age group, I need to be able to do things with my kid that are relevant to him.

02:06:02   And if I'm not going to be throwing a baseball back and forth to him or whatever people do who are normal, then I should do this.

02:06:10   So we've actually been playing as a family. Me, Tiff, and Adam all play together in the same world that's currently running off of Adam's iPad, which is hilarious.

02:06:20   I'm using Tiff's gaming PC, she's using the Switch on the giant TV with the dead pixel, and I'm using his iPad.

02:06:27   And it's surprisingly fun. I finally have discovered this game. I'm like, it's fully infected my brain now, where like last night I couldn't sleep, so I was thinking like,

02:06:37   "Can you create a waterfall? I want to make our cave lobby nicer, and I want to put a water feature in." And it turns out, yes you can.

02:06:43   But I was like, "Keep myself awake thinking about this."

02:06:47   I was like, "Oh, I should dig a tunnel over there and put a sign up so I can find my way back." And all this stuff.

02:06:57   So we've been playing as a family together every few days generally, and it's really fun. It's like this fun family activity that we're all being super nerds.

02:07:06   And by the way, this is a really good time to develop a family activity that requires staying in our house.

02:07:11   Fair point. So this is, that's convenient. That's a point that I meant to bring up last week, and I meant to bring up this week and forgotten, and I'm going to squeeze it in here.

02:07:21   Podcasting. Podcasting is a thing that we all do. I know some people don't know this, but we live in three different states.

02:07:28   So we are not in contact with each other when we create this podcast. And you, person who should probably stay in your house, one great thing that you can do when you're stuck in your house is listen to podcasts.

02:07:40   This is podcast time to shine. It will keep us all healthier. Listen to more podcasts. Anyway, continue.

02:07:44   I'm actually a little bit worried because podcast listening generally goes down when people are not commuting to work.

02:07:48   So, because like when people are parked at home, they usually just watch more video. They don't do as much audio listening as when they're commuting.

02:07:55   So that actually might not be a great time for podcasts, but oh well.

02:07:59   That's why I'm promoting it. I'm saying, remember that podcasting exists, and it's a great thing to do that will keep you in your house when you've watched all the shows that you want to watch.

02:08:07   Remember, the podcast exists. Hello, it's us.

02:08:10   As you are scrubbing down every surface in your kitchen over and over again to disinfect everything every day, multiple times a day, as you are washing your hands for at least the recommended amount of seconds, singing yourself songs, you don't have to sing yourself songs.

02:08:22   Listen to podcasts. During all these around the house tasks, you can listen to podcasts. Anyway.

02:08:26   Our podcast even has a song in it.

02:08:28   It sure does. You get both.

02:08:30   You'll be extra safe if you listen to ATP and wash your hands.

02:08:33   Yeah, so anyway, I'm playing Minecraft now. There's a whole lot about it I don't know and haven't explored yet, but I'm enjoying it.

02:08:41   We've all kind of taken our own little roles in the game. We're in the same world.

02:08:47   TIFF is usually mining special things, exploring new caves, or making a really awesome house for us on the surface and making cool little storage rooms and an underwater lab in the house, all this cool stuff like that.

02:09:04   My job is typically to manage the infrastructure and wayfinding.

02:09:09   I have a terrible sense of direction. If I'm just dropped in a place I've never been before and I start exploring, I will never find my way back.

02:09:18   I have a very hard time with wayfinding in real life and in Minecraft.

02:09:22   So I've taken it upon myself to make basically standards and conventions.

02:09:28   I'll make pylons that have this block pattern so I know that's the path and I'll put signs in all the mine shafts to say "Exit this way" and I'll light them up.

02:09:39   I'm basically the one mapping the world or rather adding navigation.

02:09:44   You're Minecraft OSHA.

02:09:46   Yeah, basically. The first thing I did in the game was get lost.

02:09:51   I've got to figure out how to prevent that. I'm the one who's basically signing everything and helping everybody not get lost, which is primarily for myself.

02:10:03   But I'm actually really enjoying it. It's fun. Now I see why people love this game.

02:10:07   I see why it's been such a big deal all this time.

02:10:10   It is kind of funny to discover it now.

02:10:12   Although it's kind of nice because we're playing the Bedrock Edition because we don't care about the Java mods or anything.

02:10:18   We're just playing the Bedrock Edition and that runs on all the platforms.

02:10:21   You've got to get past the whole Microsoft login system, which is annoying and sometimes fails.

02:10:26   Believe me, it is all better than it was before Microsoft owned it.

02:10:29   That's good to know.

02:10:31   You missed the generation when I had to deal with all those mods and everything.

02:10:34   Microsoft owning it has added some adults in the room, much more reasonable system than used to exist.

02:10:41   I think there might even be an official mod system now. I don't know. I haven't came up with it since my kids are too old now.

02:10:46   Anyway, what's also nice is I'm playing on a Windows PC, Tiff is playing on the Nintendo Switch, Adam is playing on the iPad.

02:10:55   We all have a good experience. We all have all the same features, at least among what we're using.

02:11:01   And we're all playing together on these three different devices in these totally different ecosystems.

02:11:05   Because they finally established this common baseline and these common servers.

02:11:10   It's called cross-play. Now you know another gaming term.

02:11:12   Cross-save is in Destiny.

02:11:14   Destiny is still waiting for cross-play. You're enjoying cross-play. That's why people want it. It's cool.

02:11:18   Exactly.

02:11:20   And by the way, to answer the question in the chat, whether it runs on Mac OS, I don't think it does.

02:11:24   It totally does.

02:11:26   The Bedrock Edition, though.

02:11:27   Oh, I don't know if the modern ones. Minecraft runs on the Mac for sure. That's where all my kids played it.

02:11:31   Yeah, the Java version runs on the Mac, but I'm not going to install Java on my Mac.

02:11:35   So yeah, I'm pretty sure the answer to if you want to play the Bedrock Edition, which is like the native code version, I guess, is no, it doesn't.

02:11:42   If it did, I would be playing on my Pro.

02:11:45   You know, you just boot into Windows, right?

02:11:47   I don't have boot camp. I don't want to set up boot camp, but we'll see.

02:11:50   I was going to offer to tell you how to install it on an external drive, but at this point I don't remember anymore.

02:11:55   It's probably different now anyway.

02:11:57   That's right. It's already changed.

02:11:58   I know it was all the T2's fault, but I forgot all the details.

02:12:01   It worked once.

02:12:02   I didn't write anything down. I put in the show notes the link to my favorite web comic about Minecraft. It's Penny Arcade from, coincidentally, 20 years ago.

02:12:14   Take a look at it if you haven't seen it. It's a good one.

02:12:17   It's more about the single player experience and getting into the earlier comic.

02:12:21   It's a two-part comic that I'm giving the second part of.

02:12:23   Getting into Minecraft, saying, "What's the big deal with this thing? Why do people get into it?"

02:12:27   It's the same type of vibe you were talking about where you get into it and it's the type of thing you think about.

02:12:31   It's an experience in a lot of these types of games where you're building something.

02:12:36   It's not a real thing. You're not actually building it, but it taps into all those same instincts of building a society, a civilization, a home, nesting, exploring, consolidating.

02:12:50   All those instincts that are in humans, it gives you an outlet for them.

02:12:55   Or in my case, putting up signs that tell you where the exit to the mine is.

02:12:58   Putting up handrails, making sure everything's in compliance.

02:13:02   Have you built anything particularly cool that you might want to do a screenshot of and send us?

02:13:08   At this point, I don't even know how to do that. I don't even know how to screenshot from the PC I play it on.

02:13:14   Print screen, man!

02:13:15   You hit the print screen button. It's right there on the keycaps. It says print screen.

02:13:19   Oh yeah, doesn't that just copy to the clipboard? I don't know how Windows works, but I think that'll work.

02:13:24   I'm pretty sure that's right.

02:13:25   And on the Switch, you just hit the share button to save a screenshot. That's really easy.

02:13:28   Oh yeah, the Switch does that. Although, the Switch has terrible compression. Like, it does everything as a JPEG.

02:13:34   It's not going to do justice to your creations.

02:13:36   No, well, we just finished this wonderful lobby in our underground mine where we replaced all the blocks with the polished version of the blocks. I have nice steps and everything. I got a polished ceiling and all this.

02:13:49   So, there is the danger in this type of situation where the family's playing together, especially if you're playing with a Marco, that mom and dad end up sort of taking over the game and doing all this stuff.

02:13:58   And Adam's like, "This was supposed to be my world." And you're like, "Yeah, but we can build this thing and we can do this thing!"

02:14:03   Like, you get super into it and then it's like, "But I want to blow this all up with dynamite now."

02:14:08   Well, so far, one thing is we're playing in survival mode. And so, there's not an abundance of just magic things like dynamite that are kind of expensive otherwise. There's not a whole lot of that lying around.

02:14:20   But also, we play well together. I guess we're just lucky with what we want to do. He also enjoys building nice things. He helps you with...

02:14:29   Putting in handrails and exit signs.

02:14:31   He helped with making the nice polished marble lobby and everything. It was nice. We all kind of have the same...

02:14:38   I made an escape tunnel that goes from our house to our main mine so that in case it's nighttime, when you want to go back from the mine to the house, you don't have to run outside at night and get attacked by things.

02:14:50   And that was a family engineering project. I was digging, trying to reach the mine with the nicest tunnel possible. So, no ups and downs. Only one right angle turn.

02:15:00   And so, he was above ground helping me navigate to know how far have I gone. Is it time to turn yet? Stuff like that. Just watching my name tag under him to see where I was.

02:15:10   We actually work pretty well together as a family doing stuff like that.

02:15:14   I would suggest taking screenshots because I think about all the things that my kids built in Minecraft and I did take a bunch of screenshots. Mostly because I was so proud of...

02:15:21   Look how my kids are all geniuses. Look at these amazing things they made in Minecraft. But looking back on it now, I think I still have all their worlds, but how long will I have them and do they still run?

02:15:31   It's the type of thing that they do it and you're super into it and then you kind of forget about it. Take screenshots. Preserve them at the very least in your photo memory.

02:15:40   It would be great if you could take movies and other things like that because you're putting all this time into it and having such a good time with it.

02:15:45   It's the type of thing that you'd want to look back on and because it's digital, you can. You can take screenshots. You can save the world. You can take little videos.

02:15:53   You'll appreciate it later when Adam is too cool for Minecraft.

02:15:57   You and Tiff are still playing.

02:16:01   (beeping)