358: Emotional-Support Mac Pro


00:00:00   So I've never gotten a chance to ask this before.

00:00:03   John, what computer are you using?

00:00:04   (John laughs)

00:00:06   - I'm on my Mac Pro.

00:00:08   - How old is that Mac Pro?

00:00:09   Old enough to be in middle school or brand new?

00:00:12   - It's not yet old enough to vote.

00:00:14   - Well, but that doesn't narrow it down.

00:00:17   - Fair.

00:00:17   So you're on the old and busted.

00:00:19   - It's not busted.

00:00:20   No, it's busted.

00:00:21   - Skype is busted.

00:00:22   - Well, join the club.

00:00:24   - So I presume we will talk about your Mac Pro,

00:00:29   and if you follow John--

00:00:30   - Wait, is John's Mac Pro older than Skype?

00:00:33   - Maybe.

00:00:34   - No way.

00:00:34   No way.

00:00:35   - When did Skype come out?

00:00:37   - At the end, oh no, no, no.

00:00:38   2003, 16 years ago.

00:00:42   - The fact that we didn't know and it was close.

00:00:44   - Yeah, that's a real, real sad story.

00:00:46   - That's only five years off.

00:00:47   (laughs)

00:00:49   - Oh man, all right.

00:00:51   So what's your computer situation

00:00:53   if we don't follow you on Twitter?

00:00:55   Would you mind giving us a quick update, please?

00:00:57   - My Mac Pro was delivered.

00:01:00   My monitor and stand have not yet shipped.

00:01:03   - Have you connected any other displays

00:01:05   to your Mac Pro in the meantime?

00:01:07   - I have not.

00:01:08   - Have you opened the box yet?

00:01:10   - Yes.

00:01:10   - Well, and to be clear, I don't mean the brown shipping box.

00:01:14   I mean the actual box.

00:01:15   - I did.

00:01:16   - I need to make sure there was a Mac in there,

00:01:18   not just like a bunch of cinder blocks.

00:01:20   - Have you installed it onto the stand,

00:01:22   or the little end table, whatever it is

00:01:24   that you intend to put it on?

00:01:26   - No.

00:01:27   No, I've figured, I have a bunch more podcasts to do.

00:01:31   I have this one, I have a Star Wars one tomorrow.

00:01:35   Like I need a break in podcasting

00:01:36   because there will be some instability

00:01:39   in my podcasting situation when I'm dealing with this.

00:01:42   And so a couple of reasons.

00:01:44   One, I didn't want to introduce any instability.

00:01:46   I don't know how long the transfer will make.

00:01:48   And two, I decided to change my data migration strategy,

00:01:51   trying to minimize the size of the window.

00:01:54   Like I decided I wanted to like get this thing installed

00:01:59   in the place where it's gonna be

00:02:00   and get everything set up and take out all the old stuff.

00:02:02   And then I don't want there to be

00:02:04   like a three-day data transfer thing.

00:02:06   And a lot of people are telling me

00:02:07   that doing it over ethernet with another computer hooked up

00:02:09   is like, it takes a long time

00:02:11   and is troublesome or whatever,

00:02:13   despite the supposed transfer speeds.

00:02:16   So I'm gonna try just taking a drive out of my old Mac Pro

00:02:20   and attaching it to my new one.

00:02:22   And I have a couple of things coming in the mail

00:02:24   to help me with that.

00:02:25   So I don't have to cannibalize any of their hardware.

00:02:28   So all of that combines to say that I am not ripping out

00:02:31   the old until probably Sunday at the earliest.

00:02:36   - But you have removed it from both the packing box,

00:02:40   the actual box, you have fondled it,

00:02:42   you have cuddled with it over one evening.

00:02:45   - Nope.

00:02:46   - No to what?

00:02:47   To all the above?

00:02:48   - I didn't take it, I didn't do any of that.

00:02:49   I didn't take it out of the box.

00:02:50   I have not cuddled with it.

00:02:52   - Oh, John.

00:02:53   So you just opened the box, looked at it,

00:02:55   and put the box back on?

00:02:57   - That's right.

00:02:57   - You have, if I had gone 11 years

00:03:02   without getting a new computer,

00:03:04   I would have significantly less self-control than this.

00:03:08   - But it's not self-control.

00:03:09   It's not like I want to get it.

00:03:10   I want it to be nice and contained in the box,

00:03:12   awaiting the time when I can disrupt everything.

00:03:14   And really, what I really need to do is,

00:03:16   when the time comes, I need to get that box farther away

00:03:19   and then tear out the old

00:03:21   and get all that stuff situated

00:03:24   and swap in all my new infrastructure.

00:03:27   - Now, normally, I would not suggest anything like this

00:03:30   'cause it's kind of abuse of the retail system.

00:03:32   But if this were me in this context,

00:03:35   I would probably buy the LG 5K just for the 15 days

00:03:39   and then return it.

00:03:40   Just to have a span of having a monitor

00:03:42   so I could use this as my computer after 10 or 11 years.

00:03:46   I don't know how you could wait that long.

00:03:47   - I don't know what I'm gonna do

00:03:48   'cause the problem is, as we've already established,

00:03:51   the only monitor I have that I can attach it to

00:03:52   is my gaming monitor.

00:03:53   But I use my gaming monitor for gaming.

00:03:56   So maybe when I have to podcast.

00:03:58   - What's more important?

00:03:59   - Oh, Destiny is more important.

00:04:01   - Oh, God, I vomited my mouth a little bit.

00:04:03   How can Destiny be more important

00:04:05   than a computer you've been waiting for?

00:04:06   - 'Cause Destiny is a more frequent activity

00:04:08   than podcasting. - Oh, John.

00:04:10   - Especially on vacation. - John Charles.

00:04:13   - John Charles, who the hell's that?

00:04:14   - John, I always get it wrong, John Craig.

00:04:16   - John Craig, come on.

00:04:17   - I got one sip of my holiday party.

00:04:18   Literally one sip.

00:04:19   - And you've already forgotten my name.

00:04:22   That's fine.

00:04:22   - I do that every time too.

00:04:23   I do it every time.

00:04:25   - So maybe I'm gonna be carrying that monitor

00:04:27   back and forth.

00:04:28   I don't know, but it remains to be seen.

00:04:29   Anyway, I've got the box right next to me right now.

00:04:32   It's just, I'm within arm's reach.

00:04:34   I'm putting my hand on it right now.

00:04:36   It's sitting there.

00:04:38   It's in the room.

00:04:38   It's my emotional support Mac Pro.

00:04:41   I just have to have it with me at all times.

00:04:44   And I feel better.

00:04:45   - How much of the room does that box take up?

00:04:47   - It's not actually that big.

00:04:48   I was actually trying to eyeball measure it

00:04:51   from the unboxing videos to see if I could,

00:04:53   at one point I was,

00:04:55   listen to the most recent rec diffs to hear this saga,

00:04:57   but at one point I was considering going

00:04:58   to the UPS warehouse thing to pick it up myself in my car.

00:05:01   And I'm like, is there gonna be a problem

00:05:03   getting this into my trunk?

00:05:05   Is the trunk opening big enough?

00:05:06   'Cause I couldn't tell how big is that box.

00:05:08   You see it on YouTube and you're trying to estimate

00:05:10   the height of the people and whatever.

00:05:11   And it's not, of course, it's the outer box

00:05:13   and then the inner box, but it's actually not that big.

00:05:15   It's bigger than my old Mac Pro box, I think,

00:05:18   but it would easily fit in any car, any reasonable trunk.

00:05:21   Very heavy, but not all that big.

00:05:23   - You know, the advantage, Jon, of having a big ass car

00:05:26   is that you don't have to worry

00:05:28   about whether or not the box will fit.

00:05:30   - I probably have more trunk space in my accord

00:05:32   than you do in that behemoth SUV thing.

00:05:34   - That is patently untrue.

00:05:36   And I am too lazy to look up the actual measurements,

00:05:39   but I can assure you that is not true.

00:05:41   Now I need to back up a half step.

00:05:43   You had casually mentioned the most recent episode

00:05:46   of your other podcast, well, one of your 17 other podcasts,

00:05:49   Reconcilable Differences, episode 120,

00:05:52   Where the Packages Sleep.

00:05:54   It is too soon and too aggressive to say

00:05:57   that this rivals the Preparing the Way episode.

00:06:00   But oh, it's in the spirit of it and it was amazing.

00:06:04   And what made it even more amazing

00:06:07   is that I knew how this story ended

00:06:08   before this story even began.

00:06:11   And oh my goodness, hearing you fret

00:06:14   over the things you fretted over,

00:06:15   is that the right word, it doesn't matter,

00:06:16   hearing you fret and worry-- - Frat.

00:06:18   - Yeah, about the things you frat over.

00:06:20   Anyway, hearing you worry about all that

00:06:24   and knowing the eventual outcome

00:06:26   was both depressing and delicious.

00:06:29   Now, would you like to briefly recap the story?

00:06:32   Would you like me to briefly recap the story?

00:06:34   And would you like to, one way or another,

00:06:36   update the listeners, even if they have heard rectiffs,

00:06:39   as to what the final resolution was?

00:06:42   - I don't wanna recap the whole thing,

00:06:43   but it was a long saga of me expecting to get the package

00:06:47   and it not arriving during a very frustrating day.

00:06:50   And then the next day, basically having no new information

00:06:53   about when it might arrive and giving up on it entirely

00:06:56   and rescheduling it, I don't think that maybe

00:06:57   that did make it into the thing.

00:06:58   But anyway, eventually it did show up.

00:07:00   It, you know, all's well that ends well,

00:07:02   but I had one frustrating day and I have podcasts

00:07:04   that are about that frustrating day.

00:07:05   You can hear that on rectiffs.

00:07:06   But then the next day, it actually arrived

00:07:09   and it's unannounced.

00:07:10   - This is after you trying to schedule it

00:07:11   for the following day because you thought

00:07:14   that it just kind of never made it back on the truck

00:07:16   the day after it was actually supposed to arrive?

00:07:19   - Yeah, like, you know, UPS does not do a good job

00:07:22   of keeping track of where their things are.

00:07:26   - Yeah, seemingly not, which is not at all alarming.

00:07:28   - Well, and this is also, like, this is one

00:07:29   of the inherent risks of ordering something very expensive

00:07:33   to be shipped to you and depending on it

00:07:35   getting there on time, the week before Christmas.

00:07:38   - That is true.

00:07:39   - It's like every shipping carrier is a mess at that point

00:07:42   and the only one that is remotely reliable I have found

00:07:45   in high demand time or any time is the purple version

00:07:49   of FedEx, like FedEx has the green home version,

00:07:53   which is basically a different company.

00:07:54   The regular express service that FedEx offers

00:07:57   with the purple and white trucks, that is the only one

00:07:59   I've found to be reliable for, like, you know,

00:08:02   all the time it's always reliable, they always come

00:08:04   when they say they will.

00:08:05   Maybe, like, they might be late by a half hour

00:08:07   and they're like 10 30 window, you know,

00:08:09   if you're not that important, but otherwise,

00:08:10   like, they're there every day, whereas, like, everyone else,

00:08:13   UPS, the other FedEx, the, of course,

00:08:16   the postal service is a mess.

00:08:18   Like, anything else is very unreliable much of the year,

00:08:22   especially during busy days like the week before Christmas

00:08:25   or iPhone day.

00:08:26   - Now, you were stressed about the situation

00:08:32   with regard to the box and you were in the midst

00:08:34   of an ice storm, as you briefly mentioned moments ago.

00:08:36   You were shoveling your front walk, seemingly every hour

00:08:40   on the hour, and you were very concerned

00:08:42   that the box would be left in a puddle.

00:08:45   Was the box left in a puddle?

00:08:47   - Well, because it came the next day and, you know,

00:08:50   winter being winter, like the, you know,

00:08:52   and it had gotten colder, like, all the moisture

00:08:53   had evaporated, the thing had been shoveled,

00:08:55   so my walk was bone dry when they actually arrived.

00:08:58   Two people carried it from the truck to me, which is great.

00:09:01   There was no hand truck involved, no scraping of my stairs.

00:09:06   And even though they came unannounced, I was attuned enough

00:09:09   to the sound of the UPS truck engine that I did actually

00:09:12   have time to chuck the dog in a room and open the door

00:09:15   for them, open wide, you know, they're walking down my walk,

00:09:18   my door is already open to them, here I am,

00:09:21   here's my big package.

00:09:22   And what did they do?

00:09:23   They walked it over to me and I was like, here you go.

00:09:25   Like, I was ushering them into the already open

00:09:28   giant doorway and they just put it down on the walkway.

00:09:31   (laughing)

00:09:32   They put it down on the walkway, they turned around

00:09:34   and they walked back to the truck.

00:09:35   - Wonderful. - They left.

00:09:36   - No signature.

00:09:37   - Well, they probably have rules against going

00:09:40   into your house.

00:09:41   - Maybe they do, they could have got it up onto the porch.

00:09:43   - Now, are you friendly with your usual UPS driver?

00:09:46   - No, I don't get as many packages as you do.

00:09:48   - Yeah, this is the advantage of both working at home

00:09:51   and ordering a crap ton of stuff from Amazon.

00:09:53   Our UPS driver, we give him a Christmas card every year.

00:09:56   We do holiday tips, including all the garbage men,

00:09:59   the UPS driver, we tip everybody and the UPS driver

00:10:01   is on that list when we can find them.

00:10:03   The only problem is that it's hard to find

00:10:05   your usual UPS driver during the holiday season

00:10:08   because they hire a bunch of temp workers

00:10:11   to take all the extra load and a lot of times,

00:10:14   you won't see your usual person 'cause their route

00:10:16   has gotten narrowed during that time.

00:10:19   - I don't know if I have a usual person

00:10:21   'cause I see UPS people come to the house all the time

00:10:24   and I can't say that I've seen, I don't even know,

00:10:27   I'm a little bit more familiar with our mail carriers

00:10:29   but even our mail carriers have changed a lot

00:10:32   over the years, there's not a lot of consistency

00:10:34   but UPS or FedEx, god, I could not pick any of them

00:10:37   out of a lineup.

00:10:38   - You're missing out on a valuable relationship.

00:10:41   Once you get to know them, not only is it just nice

00:10:43   to be a human being but also they'll carry it

00:10:47   into your mudroom for you if you really want,

00:10:50   they'll bring it into your door.

00:10:51   If your hands are full, you're holding a dog

00:10:52   in one hand maybe, they'll bring treats for your dog.

00:10:55   Now, the UPS and the FedEx people,

00:10:58   both if they leave a package on our doorstep,

00:11:01   they will leave a little dog treat on top of it

00:11:03   'cause they know we have a dog who appreciates those.

00:11:04   Isn't that cute?

00:11:05   - That is adorable but I think--

00:11:06   - So then Hops can bring in his package

00:11:08   and I bring in mine, it's adorable.

00:11:09   - Our current mail carrier is terrified of our dog,

00:11:12   won't even put the mail through the mail slot.

00:11:15   - Aw, that's too bad.

00:11:17   - So much for a treat, my dog does sound savage,

00:11:20   she's not but she does bark a lot at the mail carrier

00:11:23   and so he won't even, but I'm not here when the package

00:11:26   people usually arrive, that's why I wouldn't recognize them.

00:11:28   The only time I'm ever here is when I'm signing

00:11:30   for an Apple thing for me like once every couple of years

00:11:33   and I expected to have to sign for this but I did not.

00:11:36   - Yeah, that's also mildly alarming but you know--

00:11:38   - A little bit.

00:11:38   It's like here's this like $15,000,

00:11:41   or I guess like a $10,000 package.

00:11:43   - 80 pounds and very bulky so it's hard to steal I suppose.

00:11:46   - I guess but it's also big and obvious,

00:11:48   like you can't really hide that behind a bush or anything.

00:11:50   - It's not TV shaped.

00:11:52   - That's true.

00:11:53   - So it does, it's like strangely shaped,

00:11:55   it looks like a big suitcase or something.

00:11:57   - What was the status of the inside box, John?

00:11:59   Was it unscathed as you had hoped?

00:12:01   - It was not unscathed, the outside looked beat to hell

00:12:03   as you would imagine is the point of the outside box.

00:12:05   - No!

00:12:06   - The outside box, I mean, was incredibly dirty,

00:12:09   not wet which is good, was my main concern,

00:12:11   not wet but very, very dirty.

00:12:13   - When you say the outside one,

00:12:14   you're talking about the brown shipping?

00:12:16   - Brown, yeah, the brown thing was incredibly dirty

00:12:18   but serving its function but it was also kind of dented in

00:12:21   and various things and on the inside you could see

00:12:22   the white box had some creases where they probably dropped

00:12:26   it on a corner or something and squished in

00:12:29   but that's one of the reasons I opened it up

00:12:31   to make sure the computer inside there looked like

00:12:33   it was fine and I think everything's fine.

00:12:35   Anyway, that's why you get AppleCare,

00:12:36   so if it's screwed up in some way, you know.

00:12:39   - So are you going to take your box to the Apple Store

00:12:41   and ask for refreshment replacement?

00:12:44   - No, no, I mean all of my boxes have some damage,

00:12:46   they used to just ship them with no outer box

00:12:48   and so I have a bunch of boxes upstairs

00:12:50   that are fairly beat up and that's part of the reason

00:12:51   I have those extra G5 boxes that I'm getting rid of

00:12:54   'cause I got some G5 boxes that were in better condition

00:12:58   than my personal G5 box, I'm like well it's better

00:13:00   to have a box in ice condition but it'll be fine.

00:13:03   - I just realized that I see my UPS delivery guy

00:13:06   more often than I see most of my friends.

00:13:09   That's kind of sad.

00:13:10   - I think your UPS delivery person might be your best friend.

00:13:13   (laughing)

00:13:15   Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, all right, well I am,

00:13:17   all kidding aside, I am very excited that your Mac Pro

00:13:19   is in your house, I am a little distraught

00:13:22   with your priority system that Destiny is more important

00:13:25   than playing with this new toy.

00:13:26   I'm waiting 10 years for.

00:13:28   - More than that, almost 12, like when did you get your,

00:13:31   your '08, 'cause the '08 Mac Pro came out like in February

00:13:33   of '08. - I tried to do the math

00:13:35   but I didn't have the date that my 2008 Mac Pro arrived

00:13:39   at my house, I only had my order date so Casey has us

00:13:41   on Twitter and I did the math and it's like a little bit

00:13:44   over 4,100 days.

00:13:45   - Because when, if you ordered it right when it came out

00:13:47   it was like February '08 so you would've gotten it

00:13:49   like in March maybe.

00:13:51   - I don't think I ordered it right when it came out,

00:13:52   I think, remember I found, someone found some old tweets

00:13:56   for me 'cause they were looking back what I was doing

00:13:57   in 2008 and apparently I was waiting around to see

00:14:00   if they would come out with a new display,

00:14:03   everything going to new again.

00:14:04   Like the display I'm looking at now is the old one,

00:14:06   I'm like well maybe they're gonna revise the display

00:14:07   so I should wait a bit but I had a, there was a clock

00:14:10   because I had a Apple developer connection,

00:14:12   ADC discount, hardware discount, used to be able to pay

00:14:15   for developer membership and there were tiers

00:14:19   and the middle tier and the top tier of the three tiers

00:14:23   came with hardware discounts, either just one

00:14:25   or multiple and so made a bunch of my coworkers/friends

00:14:30   would chip in and by the $500 a year,

00:14:33   ADC select membership, each of five of us would pay $100

00:14:37   and then every year one of the group would get to use

00:14:39   the hardware discount whose value would be vastly

00:14:42   in excess of $100 if you bought a really expensive Mac.

00:14:45   So I had that discount and I had to use it

00:14:47   before the year expired but I wanted to wait

00:14:49   a little bit longer.

00:14:50   So anyway, I did, I do have the receipt from when

00:14:52   I actually ordered it so the math on that is about 4,100 days.

00:14:57   - Real time follow up, my Mac Pro in 2008

00:14:59   shipped on February 7th.

00:15:01   - Yeah, obviously you were buying yours earlier than mine,

00:15:03   surprise. - Yeah.

00:15:04   (laughing)

00:15:06   - And by the way, real time follow up on Trunk Space,

00:15:09   you will be very disappointed to learn that the Accord,

00:15:12   my year Accord and your Volvo XC90 have exactly the same

00:15:17   number of cubic feet of Trunk Space, 15.8.

00:15:20   - Wait, but hold on a second.

00:15:22   Is that, how many of the three rows of seats in Aaron's car?

00:15:26   - Not with the seats down, with the seats up,

00:15:28   that's what I'm talking about with FUV's.

00:15:30   They have dinky trunks with seats up.

00:15:31   - The back row--

00:15:32   - Yeah, my seats go down too.

00:15:34   - Oh come on, of the three rows in our car,

00:15:37   the backmost row is almost never up.

00:15:40   So that's gotta be double your Trunk Space right there.

00:15:43   - What if the back row is never up,

00:15:44   why'd you get a car with three rows of seats?

00:15:46   - Because there are occasions--

00:15:47   - For your seven other children?

00:15:49   - There are occasions when we wanna put more

00:15:51   than four people in the car.

00:15:52   And in fact, if I'm not mistaken,

00:15:54   you were in that very car in an instance.

00:15:57   - I sit in the front seat, I got long legs.

00:15:59   - Yes, I know, but you were in Aaron's car.

00:16:01   - As long as I help her navigate, it's a very important job.

00:16:04   - That is a very important job,

00:16:05   even though she's very good with navigation,

00:16:07   but nevertheless--

00:16:07   - I did, I didn't help at all.

00:16:09   - I can't tell if that's sarcasm, I wanna know.

00:16:11   - I did look at the weird touchscreen a lot though,

00:16:13   does that count for something?

00:16:14   - Sure, but anyway, but the point is,

00:16:16   we do on occasion put extra people in the back

00:16:19   and I believe you were in the car

00:16:21   when there were people in the backpack.

00:16:23   - I think it is fair to judge the car

00:16:25   in its normal thing with none of the seats folded.

00:16:28   And that position--

00:16:29   - But that isn't normal for me!

00:16:30   - Even your vast SUV that's like two of my cars

00:16:32   stacked on top of each other.

00:16:34   - Oh my God, Jon.

00:16:35   - Has the same trunk space as mine.

00:16:37   - We are sponsored this week by Burrow.

00:16:40   Ring in the new decade with up to $500 off fresh furniture

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00:18:32   - Hey, you know what, Jon, your Mac Pro feet are removable.

00:18:38   That's exciting.

00:18:39   - Yeah, so between the last show and now,

00:18:42   there have been more unboxing videos,

00:18:43   there has been iFixit tear down,

00:18:45   there have been tear down videos, which were cool.

00:18:47   I mean, iFixit does those as well.

00:18:49   iFixit did rub soft cheese up

00:18:51   against the front of their computer,

00:18:52   which was very upsetting and honestly not a great idea.

00:18:56   The best part about them doing that gag,

00:18:58   you know, I mean, whatever, they did it, get some views.

00:19:01   Aha, right?

00:19:02   Was that the first step in their tear down video

00:19:07   was them carefully removing all the cheese

00:19:09   with one of their little spudger tools, you know?

00:19:11   'Cause that's what you're thinking when you see them do it,

00:19:12   you're like, oh God, someone,

00:19:14   you know, that's an expensive computer,

00:19:15   someone is gonna have the job of going there

00:19:16   with like a Q-tip or like scraping out

00:19:20   all the little cheddar cheese or whatever it was

00:19:22   from every little nook and cranny

00:19:23   'cause you can probably get it 100% clean,

00:19:26   but what a tedious job.

00:19:27   So anyway, that's what they did.

00:19:29   And so as part of the tear down,

00:19:31   we'll put a link in the show notes to this particular step,

00:19:34   they did take off the feet.

00:19:36   Apparently there are hex screws that come from the top,

00:19:40   like 'cause the sort of, what would you call it?

00:19:43   So yeah, the tubes, there are tubes at the four corners

00:19:45   of the Mac Pro frame,

00:19:46   but the tubes don't go straight from top to bottom.

00:19:49   Once they enter, you know, they go straight in

00:19:51   and once they enter, they kink to the side.

00:19:55   And in that kink, there's like a little hollow.

00:19:57   So you can go directly, sort of,

00:19:59   if you drew a straight line through the center of the foot,

00:20:02   that line would come up through where the kink is

00:20:05   and that's where the hex screw goes in.

00:20:06   So you can just take an Allen key

00:20:08   and stick it down in there and unscrew the little feet.

00:20:11   The little feet do have rubber on the bottom of them,

00:20:14   as predicted, and the little stainless steel field

00:20:17   also have two little cute pins

00:20:20   so that when you're screwing the screw into them

00:20:22   or unscrewing it, that the foot doesn't start rotating.

00:20:24   If you've ever screwed into a foot from the back

00:20:27   or anything like that, you know sometimes

00:20:28   when you're trying to loosen it or tighten it,

00:20:30   you may turn the little screw and instead of it unscrewing,

00:20:32   you will just turn the foot on the bottom,

00:20:33   but it's got those two little pins to keep it still.

00:20:35   Good attention to detail,

00:20:37   which also means that it will be very possible

00:20:39   to buy aftermarket wheels or first party wheels

00:20:43   if Apple ever sells them

00:20:44   and you wanna pay 400 bucks or whatever

00:20:46   and remove the feet and add wheels.

00:20:48   So if I ever do need to add wheels,

00:20:50   I'm really hoping that either Apple will sell it

00:20:51   or there'll be like some third party replacement wheels

00:20:53   that do not cost $100 a piece.

00:20:55   - Oh, Jon, you can always be my Dixie chicken.

00:20:58   All right, anyway, the 580X has two HDMI ports on the back.

00:21:01   That's exciting, right?

00:21:02   - That is, I mean, it shouldn't have been surprising.

00:21:06   This information was sitting on the website,

00:21:07   but it just never occurred to me, right?

00:21:08   So I got the base graphics card

00:21:11   and seeing people do these teardowns,

00:21:12   you know, you're not really paying too much attention

00:21:14   'cause they're taking it apart, you know, whatever.

00:21:16   A lot of the, unsurprisingly,

00:21:17   a lot of the teardowns had the base graphics card as well

00:21:20   because they got like the cheapest one

00:21:21   that they could take apart, right?

00:21:24   And if you look at the back of the graphics card,

00:21:26   there's no ports that can connect to,

00:21:30   you know, Pro Display XDR there,

00:21:32   just two HDMI ports on the 580X.

00:21:35   Those are the only ports on the back of the video card.

00:21:38   And so you're like, well, wait a second,

00:21:40   can I not attach the base video card to the Pro Display XDR?

00:21:45   But you can, because that video card,

00:21:47   that 580X is an MPX module.

00:21:51   And I'm still trying to parse exactly what MPX module means

00:21:54   in Apple's parlance, but as far as I can tell,

00:21:55   it means it's got a connector, like a video card,

00:21:58   that connects in a PCI slot,

00:21:59   but it's got the second big connector.

00:22:01   And I think that big connector essentially connects

00:22:05   to like a Thunderbolt 3 bus inside the computer

00:22:09   or something, I don't know.

00:22:10   It's not entirely clear to me.

00:22:12   But anyway, here's how it works.

00:22:14   The video card sits there

00:22:15   and it's got two HDMI ports on the back of it.

00:22:17   But when you get your Pro Display XDR,

00:22:19   you connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable

00:22:21   to the back of the display,

00:22:22   and then you connect the other end of it

00:22:24   to the Thunderbolt 3 port on your Mac Pro

00:22:27   in the IO card thing, the little IO card at the top

00:22:30   that has two USB-A and two Thunderbolt 3.

00:22:33   That's where you connect the display.

00:22:35   And you're like, well,

00:22:36   the display isn't even connected to the video card.

00:22:37   How does it work?

00:22:38   MPX modules, and this card in particular,

00:22:40   I imagine this card actually has

00:22:41   like a Thunderbolt controller on it.

00:22:43   No one did a tear down of that,

00:22:44   but I bet if you tore the 580x MPX module apart

00:22:47   and looked at what's inside there,

00:22:48   you would see a regular, you know, the AMD GPU

00:22:51   and the VRAM and then another chip

00:22:53   for a Thunderbolt controller.

00:22:54   And that card connects to the Thunderbolt bus

00:22:58   and those ports are part of the Thunderbolt bus.

00:23:00   And as we discussed last show,

00:23:03   there's just enough bandwidth in Thunderbolt 3

00:23:05   to carry without display screen compression,

00:23:09   6K at 60 Hertz to 10 bits per pixel,

00:23:11   the maximum display, the maximum bandwidth

00:23:14   you need to display the highest color depth

00:23:16   of the display can support,

00:23:18   plus a little bit leftover in the low speed lanes

00:23:20   for the USB 2 hub/firmware updates/brightness control

00:23:24   or whatever.

00:23:26   So that's how it works.

00:23:28   In theory, obviously I don't have a display

00:23:29   to test that, but I had a moment of panic

00:23:33   where I had to look at Apple's website

00:23:34   and be assured that yes, the 580x can drive

00:23:37   the Thunderbolt display, just not from the video card itself.

00:23:40   And I suppose you could plug in another monitor

00:23:43   to the HDMI ports, maybe two more monitors.

00:23:45   I mean, I don't know.

00:23:47   I don't, I suppose I could test that,

00:23:49   but I really don't want to have three monitors

00:23:50   hooked up to this thing, but I'll try it,

00:23:52   this interesting experiment.

00:23:54   - This reminds me, I know we've brought this up

00:23:55   several times on the show in the last six, seven years,

00:23:57   but back in the day when the, what was it,

00:24:00   the Voodoo cards, you know what I'm thinking of, right Marco?

00:24:03   - Yeah, 3Dfx, Voodoo, yeah.

00:24:04   These were like the very first 3D accelerators

00:24:06   because they were separate cards.

00:24:08   Like, you would have your 2D card

00:24:10   that came with your computer probably,

00:24:12   and then if you wanted to add 3D acceleration to it,

00:24:15   you would add like this 3D, the second card

00:24:18   that was just 3D processing.

00:24:19   - Right, but the best part was,

00:24:21   there was this little stubby VGA cable

00:24:23   that you would connect on the exterior of your computer,

00:24:26   and there would be a VGA in on the 3D accelerator

00:24:29   and a VGA out, and so you would go the output

00:24:33   from your stock video card into the input

00:24:35   of the 3D accelerator, and then you would plug your monitor

00:24:38   into the output of the 3D accelerator.

00:24:40   It was such a hack job, but it worked beautifully.

00:24:42   - Yeah, because like the 2D card would render,

00:24:44   in whatever portion of the screen would be

00:24:47   the 3D accelerator part, it would just render

00:24:49   like a blue square or something,

00:24:50   and then the 3D card would then overlay

00:24:52   just that section of the video signal

00:24:54   with its accelerated part.

00:24:57   - It was so wild.

00:24:59   I remember first time we got a Sound Blaster,

00:25:01   like Sound Blaster 32, oh those were the days,

00:25:03   God, I'm so old.

00:25:04   - Sound Blaster 16, man, what are you doing

00:25:06   with the Awe 32?

00:25:08   - Oh no, I had that first, but then I was excited

00:25:11   to get the 32, man, that was my jade.

00:25:13   - The funny thing is the Awe 32, I don't think was 32-bit,

00:25:15   I think it was just like 32-voice or something,

00:25:17   it was some other metric.

00:25:19   - Oh man, we're so old.

00:25:22   All right, why don't you tell me about Blackmagic eGPUs,

00:25:24   please.

00:25:26   - This is actually relevant to what you were just discussing.

00:25:29   So Andy, Sarah, wrote in to say,

00:25:32   "I think it's instructive to look at Blackmagic eGPUs

00:25:34   as they are the only non-Apple devices listed

00:25:37   as compatible with the Pro Display XDR."

00:25:39   Again, we discussed that last week.

00:25:40   You've got this big display with a lot of pixels,

00:25:42   and also it has other ports on it,

00:25:44   and also you wanna have some kind of software control

00:25:46   and firmware update or whatever.

00:25:47   How do you connect anything to it

00:25:49   that allows enough bandwidth to get a picture

00:25:52   plus a bunch of other signal for the other ports?

00:25:55   There are limited options, as we discussed.

00:25:57   So these eGPUs is like a box that connects to a MacBook Pro

00:26:02   that we show with or whatever,

00:26:03   like a big powerful GPU inside an external box

00:26:06   that connects via Thunderbolt,

00:26:08   and then out of that box comes usually another Thunderbolt

00:26:11   that connects to a display in the case of the XDR.

00:26:13   So how does that work?

00:26:14   How do you drive that monitor from a GPU?

00:26:17   So what Andy says is how they do it

00:26:19   is they take two DisplayPort outputs from the GPU.

00:26:21   So this is the GPU inside the little box,

00:26:24   two DisplayPort cables,

00:26:26   feed them into an Intel Titan Rich Thunderbolt controller.

00:26:28   Again, like I said, a Thunderbolt controller

00:26:30   in there with the GPU,

00:26:31   maybe not on the same card, but in the box,

00:26:33   which then combines the two DisplayPort outputs

00:26:35   and transmits them to display

00:26:36   over a Thunderbolt 3 connection.

00:26:37   So we'll have a link in the show notes

00:26:39   to a sort of iFixit-like teardown of the Blackmagic

00:26:42   that shows how it works.

00:26:44   And he says that hobbyists replicate this functionality

00:26:46   with their own GPUs by using a Thunderbolt 3 add-in card,

00:26:50   and we'll put a link to that in the show notes

00:26:51   and a link to an example setup.

00:26:53   It's quite a Frankenstein monster.

00:26:55   So it's like, if you want to do this as a hobbyist,

00:26:57   you get some GPU that's not supported,

00:27:00   you can't put it inside your MacBook or whatever,

00:27:03   so you get this big GPU.

00:27:04   And then you get this other card that's filling the role

00:27:07   that Titan Rich Thunderbolt controller,

00:27:09   and you connect those two to each other,

00:27:11   and then you connect from this Thunderbolt card

00:27:13   out to the monitor and to your Mac, right?

00:27:17   It's not something that I want to try and do my own,

00:27:21   like it's close to being a Hackintosh,

00:27:22   but it shows you essentially what you need.

00:27:24   You need somehow to make this video card

00:27:27   render all those pixels and somehow get that information

00:27:30   onto a Thunderbolt 3 bus,

00:27:32   the same bus that your computer is connected to

00:27:35   that also tunnels through the USB from your computer.

00:27:37   So that is quite a feat.

00:27:40   I imagine you could do the exact same setup

00:27:42   that these people are doing externally

00:27:44   for their Mac Minis and their MacBook Pros.

00:27:46   I imagine you do that same setup inside a Mac Pro.

00:27:49   I mean, surely it would work the same,

00:27:51   and there's plenty of room inside that box,

00:27:54   but it would be gross and I would worry about cooling.

00:27:56   And obviously the more elegant solution

00:27:58   is to have an MPX module,

00:27:59   which is exactly what I have in the 580,

00:28:01   but it's just a crappy GPU, right?

00:28:02   So if I can get a better GPU in an MPX module,

00:28:06   which doesn't have any other weird power cables

00:28:09   or anything, it's got the two connectors,

00:28:10   one to the PCI bus and one to the Thunderbolt Empower

00:28:13   or whatever, all in a nice, sleek,

00:28:15   passively cooled black thing.

00:28:18   That's what I'm looking for.

00:28:20   If I have to hack something up,

00:28:22   it's good to know there are a lot of options though.

00:28:25   - I think this whole thing between this

00:28:26   and the last follow-up point,

00:28:28   it kind of underlines quite how complicated it is

00:28:32   these days in computers that we have

00:28:35   these USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports,

00:28:38   and we can plug in our monitors to any of them,

00:28:43   on the laptops that have USB-C,

00:28:45   on any Mac that have USB-C.

00:28:48   They just kind of all do all the same things,

00:28:51   and you gotta figure the complexity

00:28:53   of how that's routed internally

00:28:55   between the GPU, the Thunderbolt controller,

00:28:58   and all the various lanes and things

00:29:00   that go to all these ports,

00:29:02   that's gotta be really complicated.

00:29:03   And I think that's one of the reasons

00:29:05   why we didn't have external 5K monitors

00:29:08   for so long, because that's just complex

00:29:10   and requires a lot of craziness,

00:29:11   and we had 5K iMacs for long before that,

00:29:14   'cause they didn't need to deal with that,

00:29:17   because the original 5K iMac,

00:29:18   it couldn't output to another 5K display,

00:29:20   so it only had to deal with itself internally.

00:29:22   It had the whole custom T-Con thing going on.

00:29:24   But I actually have no concept

00:29:27   of how modern architecture of Thunderbolt

00:29:31   and DisplayPort and video cards and everything,

00:29:33   how that handles this internally

00:29:34   of you have a GPU in your Mac Pro,

00:29:37   and you have these USB holes on the IO card

00:29:40   that's on the other side of the computer, basically,

00:29:42   and you can plug your monitor into that,

00:29:44   and it somehow figures out to correctly route

00:29:47   this massive high bandwidth display signal

00:29:50   over some bus over to that.

00:29:53   That's crazy to me.

00:29:54   - Yeah, well, that's what it is.

00:29:55   It's a bus, and if you can get on the bus,

00:29:57   you can get the data through.

00:29:58   Part of the reason we didn't have these larger displays

00:30:01   is because we were at bandwidth limits,

00:30:03   so until Thunderbolt 3, there just wasn't enough headroom

00:30:05   to do that without having multiple cables,

00:30:06   which was very inelegant, until it was done.

00:30:09   That's what the Mac has, essentially.

00:30:11   The other factor in this is rendering

00:30:13   a 6K frame buffer on a video card.

00:30:16   A lot of video cards,

00:30:17   it's not that they were too wimpy to do it,

00:30:19   it's that they just were not designed with the idea

00:30:21   that this would be a thing that you would do,

00:30:23   especially gaming cards,

00:30:24   'cause no one was gaming at those resolutions

00:30:25   when these cards were designed many years ago.

00:30:28   So some of them, to drive a 6K display,

00:30:31   would tile it and render multiple frame buffers

00:30:33   and then recombine them,

00:30:34   which is also what I think the 5K iMac did,

00:30:37   at least with the first set of GPUs.

00:30:39   These days, the modern GPUs,

00:30:41   especially the ones that Apple is using,

00:30:43   assuming don't have to tile to,

00:30:45   but you would never know it's tiling.

00:30:46   It's not like a thing that's visible to you.

00:30:47   It's just like an internal implementation detail,

00:30:49   just showing that the assumptions of like,

00:30:52   how big is our maximum frame buffer that we rendered to?

00:30:55   Those assumptions have to change in a world

00:30:58   with 6K displays, and eventually 8K displays

00:31:00   will keep pushing that limit as the bus bandwidth goes up.

00:31:03   But yeah, it's complicated.

00:31:04   It's very high bandwidth,

00:31:06   but I think it's also cool in that you don't have to have

00:31:10   like this dedicated miniature computer

00:31:12   where the only possible place you can connect the display

00:31:14   is directly to the card,

00:31:15   because that's just the way it works.

00:31:18   Having sort of an add-in card that's more like

00:31:21   the 3DFX model where there's a GPU

00:31:23   that does a particular job,

00:31:25   and it renders the frame,

00:31:26   but when it comes time to get that signal

00:31:28   from your computer to the display,

00:31:29   it just sticks it on the bus

00:31:30   for all the rest of the stuff,

00:31:31   and it's one unified, very high-speed bus

00:31:33   that you can use for storage

00:31:35   and for any high-speed peripherals

00:31:38   and also for your display.

00:31:40   - All right, now, Jon,

00:31:42   I hear you're looking to run VR off of your Mac Pro.

00:31:46   - I am not, and nobody probably should, but--

00:31:49   - I was. (laughs)

00:31:50   - Yeah, Marco was looking,

00:31:52   'cause Tiff is interested in playing the new VR

00:31:55   Half-Life game, which looks really cool,

00:31:57   and Marco's looking for an excuse to perhaps buy a Mac Pro,

00:32:00   but even--

00:32:01   - Well, I was thinking, like, all right,

00:32:03   so we were watching these videos about the new Alex game,

00:32:07   the upcoming Alex game,

00:32:09   and we figured we'd get the Valve VR thing

00:32:12   and plug it into something,

00:32:14   and Tiff has a gaming laptop,

00:32:16   but I'm guessing you want desktop performance

00:32:18   to run a high-end VR headset?

00:32:20   Just throwing out a guess there, right?

00:32:22   Jon, is that a safe bet?

00:32:23   - I don't know what her laptop is like.

00:32:25   There are actually powerful laptop CPUs,

00:32:27   and I also don't know what the Valve VR system is like

00:32:30   and if there's any processing onboard it,

00:32:31   but yeah, in general, you would want a powerful desktop

00:32:34   to do VR stuff.

00:32:35   - Yeah, she has some kind of Razer thing,

00:32:36   but it's still like a 15-inch mid-weight laptop,

00:32:38   so I don't think it's got some massive beefy GPU.

00:32:41   Like, it has a good,

00:32:43   I think it has a good GPU for a laptop,

00:32:45   but that's kind of grating on a curve, isn't it?

00:32:47   So I figure, like, we would probably want

00:32:49   something on a desktop.

00:32:50   Now there's eGPU support in things.

00:32:53   I don't know if this laptop supports it.

00:32:55   I don't know if maybe our iMac Pros would do it.

00:32:58   Who knows?

00:32:59   But that seems like probably too much trouble,

00:33:02   and so I thought, well, maybe I should get a Mac Pro,

00:33:06   because then I could put in a PC video card

00:33:09   just like what you were talking about last week,

00:33:11   and by the way, could you just do all of your PC gaming

00:33:15   in a VR headset?

00:33:15   Would that solve your monitor problem?

00:33:17   (laughing)

00:33:18   - I've never done VR, and I assume I would get motion sick,

00:33:21   but-- - Most likely.

00:33:22   - Yeah, but yeah, you could do what you're saying,

00:33:24   but that's like the most expensive way to get into VR.

00:33:27   Well, anyway, so yeah, so I was like, all right,

00:33:30   so I went over, and fortunately, the eight terabyte option

00:33:33   became available since we last recorded,

00:33:35   so I was able to see what my proposed true cost would be

00:33:39   to the configuration I would want,

00:33:40   and I think before a Pro Display XDR,

00:33:44   it was something like $12,000. (laughing)

00:33:48   And ideally, I don't think I'd even want

00:33:50   the base video card.

00:33:51   I think I'd want the one that's one model up

00:33:53   that isn't out yet, the 9,700, 5,700, whatever it is.

00:33:57   - Well, you said you're gonna add a PC video card,

00:33:59   so it would be $12,000 for the computer

00:34:00   that's gonna hold the video card,

00:34:01   and $350 for a very fast gaming video card.

00:34:05   - Right, and then I realized, well,

00:34:07   how much does a gaming PC cost?

00:34:08   And I went and looked, and apparently,

00:34:10   a really good gaming PC is like 2,000, 2,500.

00:34:14   - Not even.

00:34:14   You can make your own gaming PC for like 1,800 bucks,

00:34:19   and it would do VR fine.

00:34:21   - Right, and so I realized, okay,

00:34:23   this is like five to 10 times the cost of just building

00:34:27   a gaming PC, so yeah, I think when the time comes,

00:34:31   when this Half-Life game comes out, and we wanna play it,

00:34:34   I think what we're going to do is just either build

00:34:37   or buy a regular, you know, nice gaming PC

00:34:42   for an eighth of the cost of a Mac Pro. (laughing)

00:34:47   But we'll see.

00:34:49   - And you can get a lot smaller, too.

00:34:51   Like, it won't have to be the behemoth,

00:34:52   the size of the Mac, 'cause you just,

00:34:53   you know what you're gonna have in it, so.

00:34:55   Could be a much smaller thing.

00:34:56   - And I mean, we might wanna just try it

00:34:57   on Tiff's laptop first, although honestly,

00:34:59   I don't think it would go well.

00:35:02   Like, again, it's just a laptop.

00:35:02   - You should see if Tiff's laptop GPU is even as powerful

00:35:05   as the one that's in the iMac, 'cause her laptop is,

00:35:08   might be able to support the cooling of the ones

00:35:10   that's in the, you know, the current iMac Pro.

00:35:13   The current iMac Pro, as we said in the last show,

00:35:15   has a more powerful, a significantly more powerful GPU

00:35:18   than the base GPU on the Mac Pro.

00:35:20   So it's no slouch, and maybe you could cool it

00:35:23   in a giant gaming PXE.

00:35:24   But anyway, I think that could handle VR.

00:35:27   I honestly don't know what the demands of the Alex game are.

00:35:30   I looked at it, but I don't know what the,

00:35:32   if it's a higher resolution of the VR games,

00:35:33   is it really gonna tax your system,

00:35:35   or is it, would you be fine with anything?

00:35:36   - All right, real-time follow-up.

00:35:37   Tiff's laptop is a Razer Blade 15.

00:35:40   The GPU is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q.

00:35:45   I don't know what most of that means.

00:35:47   - I do not know the specs of that,

00:35:49   but it sounds relatively recent.

00:35:51   - Yes, it's from this past summer.

00:35:53   - And, you know, could be kind of beefy.

00:35:55   I just am not familiar with NVIDIA's model numbers

00:35:57   to be able to tell you, you know,

00:35:59   how powerful that is compared to the Vega 64

00:36:01   that's in the iMac Pro.

00:36:03   - Oh, and the reality is, like,

00:36:04   I don't think the iMac Pro is gonna be a contender here,

00:36:07   knowing Apple and knowing how old these things are.

00:36:09   - You don't have the good GPUs in your iMac Pros anyway,

00:36:11   right, you've got older ones and you don't,

00:36:12   and they have done GPU upgrades,

00:36:14   and you got the base GPU both times, right?

00:36:16   - I have the Vega 56.

00:36:18   I think I got TIFF the bigger one, the 64,

00:36:20   but I'm not positive.

00:36:21   Anyway, regardless, I don't think this would be going

00:36:23   on the iMacs, I think this would be going on either

00:36:25   her current gaming PC or a theoretically new gaming PC

00:36:29   with a bigger GPU.

00:36:30   - You might wanna clear out the big glass table thing

00:36:32   and let her have the free reign of the middle of that room

00:36:35   so she doesn't bump into things.

00:36:37   - Oh, yeah, right, you need, like, a space for VR, don't you?

00:36:40   - Well, I don't know, again, I don't know how much movement

00:36:42   this game asks of you, but it's nice to have.

00:36:46   - I assume you probably wanna do VR in a room

00:36:47   that doesn't have a lot of stuff around

00:36:49   that you care about, right?

00:36:50   - I don't think she's gonna be running around,

00:36:52   but I do, the Valve VR thing has things you hold

00:36:56   in your hand, right?

00:36:57   I think she's gonna be, at the very least,

00:36:59   waving her hands around and rotating

00:37:00   and looking up and down and, you know, all that stuff.

00:37:03   - Yeah, I think this needs a dedicated room.

00:37:05   All right, so first we gotta buy a new house.

00:37:06   Then we have to buy a new gaming PC.

00:37:08   - It's always the first step in any product purchase.

00:37:10   - It's still gonna be cheaper than the Mac Pro.

00:37:13   - All right, so anyway, so we are, or not,

00:37:15   we're not playing any VR on the Mac Pro,

00:37:18   but let's say you wanted to, Jon, how would you do that?

00:37:21   - Stetson Gafford had a little bit of a follow-up

00:37:23   on connecting monitors to your computer

00:37:27   while carrying something other than just video,

00:37:29   and apparently there is a newish standard for PCs

00:37:32   called Virtual Link, colon word, capital L,

00:37:34   which basically involves adding USB-C ports

00:37:37   with both DisplayPort and USB data

00:37:39   to PC graphics cards and laptops.

00:37:41   The primary purpose is this, to support VR headsets

00:37:43   over a single cable, 'cause as you can imagine,

00:37:45   a VR headset needs video signal,

00:37:46   but also there's all the controls and the accelerometers

00:37:49   and position sensors in the headset,

00:37:51   and then if you have little things in your hands,

00:37:53   a lot of the early VR stuff had this sort of, you know,

00:37:57   huge rat's nest of cables that would come off

00:37:59   of the headsets.

00:38:00   They make wireless ones too,

00:38:01   but they're usually not as good,

00:38:02   like the big beefy ones, they would have wires,

00:38:04   and you know, fewer wires is better.

00:38:06   So Virtual Link is a standard to put picture

00:38:09   plus a bunch of other stuff over a single nice small cable.

00:38:14   He goes on to say, "I'm not sure if this connection

00:38:16   would be fully supported by the Pro Display XDR,

00:38:18   but it does support both DisplayPort and USB-C 3.1

00:38:20   over a single USB-C style connector."

00:38:23   I don't think it's Thunderbolt,

00:38:24   he doesn't say it and look into it.

00:38:26   We will put a link in the show notes

00:38:27   to a longer story about this

00:38:28   that I obviously didn't read entirely.

00:38:30   The catch is that as far as I can tell,

00:38:32   it's only Nvidia RTX series cards

00:38:34   that are currently included in this port,

00:38:36   but AMD is on a list of supported suppliers,

00:38:38   so there's a possibility

00:38:39   that they'll be supported by other people.

00:38:40   So Virtual Link, as the name suggests,

00:38:43   seems like it's mostly aimed at VR headsets,

00:38:45   but really it's a general purpose way

00:38:47   to put a bunch more data over a single cable.

00:38:51   You know, and VR, notoriously, is low resolution

00:38:55   as compared to displays, and certainly low resolution

00:38:58   as compared to a 6K display.

00:39:00   So I don't think this probably has aspirations

00:39:03   to be a solution for something like Apple,

00:39:06   but it's good to know

00:39:08   that they're making some progress here,

00:39:09   because I think this is going to be the trend,

00:39:12   that setting aside Apple's displays

00:39:14   that always have some kind of hub inside them or whatever,

00:39:17   having a display, having a cable that only carries video

00:39:23   is such a throwback.

00:39:24   Like even HDMI carries ethernet and audio

00:39:27   and all that other stuff over it,

00:39:28   and so Thunderbolt 3 carries anything you want over it,

00:39:31   and Virtual Link carries USB and DisplayPort.

00:39:34   - Excellent.

00:39:37   Kyle Stay has some information

00:39:39   about Apple Thunderbolt adapters,

00:39:42   and I guess this is within the context

00:39:43   of connecting your cinema display to the new Mac Pro.

00:39:46   Is that right?

00:39:48   - Yeah, so there was two contexts

00:39:49   in which we were talking about a series of dongles

00:39:52   and adapters to try to get from my 2008 computer

00:39:54   to my 2019 computer,

00:39:56   and one of them involved going from Thunderbolt 3 to 2.

00:39:59   Stephen Hackett assured me that if you want to do that

00:40:01   for a Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3,

00:40:05   that that chain works, 'cause he's done it,

00:40:07   but many people, including Kyle, said,

00:40:09   if you are trying to get your mini DisplayPort monitor

00:40:13   to connect to your Mac Pro via a Thunderbolt thing,

00:40:17   even though you can physically make a chain of wires

00:40:19   that will do it, it will not work,

00:40:21   because the Apple's Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter

00:40:24   cannot carry DisplayPort.

00:40:26   He says he learned this after he purchased one

00:40:28   in an open box deal from Best Buy for that very purpose

00:40:31   and had to return it,

00:40:32   and he assumes the person who originally purchased it

00:40:33   also returned it for the same reason.

00:40:36   And there are adapters that do it, by the way,

00:40:37   like Marco mentioned, the various dongles that have HDMI out

00:40:42   that go from Thunderbolt,

00:40:43   and there are dedicated ones that just have

00:40:45   either USB-C or Thunderbolt 3,

00:40:48   and that have mini DisplayPort.

00:40:50   At work, I have a little dock for my MacBook Pro

00:40:53   that connects with a single Thunderbolt cable.

00:40:56   Well, it's not actually Thunderbolt, it's a USB-C dock.

00:40:58   Anyway, it's so confusing.

00:41:00   I hate talking about this,

00:41:01   because whenever anyone else talks about it,

00:41:03   half the time they say,

00:41:04   if it's that little oval connector

00:41:05   that works both ways, it's USB-C,

00:41:08   whether it's Thunderbolt or not,

00:41:09   because people think of the physical form factor

00:41:11   as the defining characteristic,

00:41:13   but as we all know,

00:41:14   you can't usually look at the end of a cable

00:41:17   and know exactly what that cable is carrying

00:41:20   or what it's being asked to do.

00:41:22   Anyway, so there are adapters, but they cost money,

00:41:25   and I don't have any of them,

00:41:26   and I'm not going to buy them

00:41:27   for the hopefully short period of time

00:41:29   when I will be without my big, fat display.

00:41:32   - So hold on, so you put, or somebody provided to you,

00:41:35   and you put in the show notes,

00:41:36   a link to USB-C to Mini DisplayPort adapter,

00:41:39   and then there's another 300 characters in this name,

00:41:42   because it's Amazon,

00:41:43   and the very first bullet is this adapter will not work

00:41:47   with the Apple Thunderbolt Cinema Display.

00:41:49   Isn't that what we're talking about?

00:41:50   - No, they're saying it won't work with a,

00:41:53   there are Apple Thunderbolt displays

00:41:56   in the Thunderbolt 2 era that have connected,

00:41:59   do you remember Thunderbolt used to use the same connector

00:42:01   as Mini DisplayPort?

00:42:02   - Yes. - Do you remember that?

00:42:03   That's what they're talking about.

00:42:04   If you have a monitor that has a Thunderbolt 2-looking cable

00:42:08   coming from it, and you're like,

00:42:09   "I'm gonna connect that up

00:42:10   to my Thunderbolt 3-supported laptop and drive it,"

00:42:12   no, you're not.

00:42:13   You're not gonna do that, right?

00:42:15   - Wait, what about the one that came right before that

00:42:18   that has the exact same connector,

00:42:20   but is not Thunderbolt, it's Mini DisplayPort?

00:42:22   - Right, that one will work, right.

00:42:24   - And which one do you have?

00:42:25   - I have an ancient one,

00:42:27   way before Thunderbolt even existed.

00:42:28   Thunderbolt did not exist when my monitor came out,

00:42:30   so there's no Thunderbolt issues whatsoever.

00:42:32   It is plain old Mini DisplayPort,

00:42:34   and that would work with this connector,

00:42:35   'cause this connector connects

00:42:37   to your Thunderbolt 3 port or USB-C port

00:42:39   and outputs plain old Mini DisplayPort,

00:42:42   which uses the same physical connector as Thunderbolt 2.

00:42:44   - So if you had one of these,

00:42:46   you could plug your ancient--

00:42:48   - Absolutely, yep.

00:42:50   - I believe the one you need is the LED display,

00:42:54   not the Thunderbolt display, right?

00:42:56   - The 24-inch LED display, that's the one I have at work.

00:42:58   - No, no, no, the 27, no, they're all 27s.

00:43:01   - No, it is a 24-inch LED display, I have it at work.

00:43:03   - But there was a 27-inch LED display

00:43:06   that came right before the Thunderbolt one

00:43:08   that looked the same, I think, but they flirted.

00:43:11   This is so confusing.

00:43:13   - The 24-inch does look very similar to the 27-inch.

00:43:16   Anyway, my thing is so ancient, it's Mini DisplayPort.

00:43:18   I'm not gonna buy, this adapter is 14 bucks.

00:43:20   It's not an expensive adapter,

00:43:21   but I'm not gonna buy it, I don't need it.

00:43:23   - Why not?

00:43:25   - 'Cause my display's gonna come within a week or two.

00:43:28   - But what about that week or two?

00:43:31   - I'll be carrying my gaming monitor back and forth

00:43:33   between two desks, connecting it with HDMI.

00:43:36   - Oh my God. - Maybe.

00:43:38   - You're a monster.

00:43:39   What are the odds that hardware and software

00:43:43   would support connecting two cables,

00:43:45   dedicating one to video and the other

00:43:47   from different internal lanes,

00:43:48   to full bandwidth Thunderbolt or USB?

00:43:50   It seems super unlikely, but also totally Apple.

00:43:52   This is from David Schwitz.

00:43:54   - This is kinda what I was getting at earlier,

00:43:56   that multi-cable solutions,

00:44:00   Apple has always wanted multifunctional solutions

00:44:04   to connecting quote-unquote displays.

00:44:06   There's a long history of Apple displays

00:44:08   ever since the very first one that did something

00:44:10   other than just show a picture

00:44:12   of connecting them to Apple computers

00:44:15   and making all the proper electrical connections.

00:44:18   They had monitors with ADB ports in them.

00:44:21   They had monitors with speakers in them,

00:44:24   eventually monitors with USB hubs inside them,

00:44:27   all sorts of other stuff.

00:44:30   And at various times there have been these

00:44:32   sometimes comical hydras of plastic and rubber connectors

00:44:37   that start as one big fat cable

00:44:41   and break out into these little tendrils

00:44:43   that you have to plug into all the right places

00:44:44   to get your thing to work.

00:44:46   Even the monitor I'm sitting in front of today,

00:44:47   this 23-inch Apple cinema display,

00:44:49   which connects with quote-unquote mini display port,

00:44:52   if you follow the wire out of the back of this computer,

00:44:54   there's a power connector that goes directly into power.

00:44:56   Then there's another cable that goes to, I believe,

00:44:59   a big white breakout box the size of like a Mac mini.

00:45:03   And I don't know, it's a little bit smaller than that.

00:45:05   And out of that comes a USB connector,

00:45:08   I think maybe an audio connector, I forget,

00:45:11   and maybe another power connector to power the brick

00:45:14   and then the mini display port.

00:45:16   Like there's lots more wires down there than you think

00:45:18   because on the back of my monitor,

00:45:19   I do have a bunch of USB ports.

00:45:21   In fact, I connect my phone charging, my lighting cable

00:45:24   to that thing, right?

00:45:25   'Cause it is also a USB, I don't even know what it is,

00:45:28   USB 1.1 hub, whatever the hell it is.

00:45:30   Maybe it's USB 2.0, I don't remember.

00:45:32   And that's not a very Apple-like solution.

00:45:36   Apple doesn't like solutions like that.

00:45:38   Do you remember the display?

00:45:39   I think Mark was just talking about it.

00:45:40   The first one they came out with sort of

00:45:41   the rat tail MagSafe connector on it.

00:45:43   It was one cable coming down

00:45:45   and then there was a MagSafe little dongle

00:45:47   and then there was a USB connector

00:45:49   and then there was whatever the actual display connector was.

00:45:52   That's what my 24-inch Apple LED cinema display has at work.

00:45:56   And I don't have anything to connect the MagSafe to,

00:45:59   obviously, 'cause I've never had

00:46:01   a MagSafe-capable computer at work.

00:46:03   I went from a Mac Pro Tower, no MagSafe,

00:46:06   to a 2017 MacBook Pro, no MagSafe.

00:46:09   So I always have to find something to do

00:46:11   with that MagSafe thing.

00:46:12   And it's magnetic, so I don't want it leaning against a wire.

00:46:15   It's fairly powerfully magnetic.

00:46:18   I don't want it leaning against some other

00:46:19   little delicate cable that's going,

00:46:21   so I'm always like tucking it under.

00:46:23   It's very awkward, right?

00:46:25   Apple doesn't like those solutions.

00:46:27   The sort of coolest and worst simultaneous solution

00:46:31   that Apple's ever done, and recent memory for that is

00:46:34   another ADC, not Apple Developer Connection,

00:46:37   but Apple Display Connector.

00:46:39   And I have one of those up in the attic.

00:46:41   I have the 23-inch Apple Cinema display,

00:46:44   one of Apple's, I think Apple's first 23-inch LCD display.

00:46:47   It followed the 22-inch version of it.

00:46:49   It was the one with the clear feet, do you remember that?

00:46:52   It was like an easel where it had a little kickstand

00:46:55   that went out the back, and then in the front

00:46:57   were two big, beefy, clear feet.

00:46:59   It was in the sort of clear plastic around the pinstripe,

00:47:01   white plastic era of Apple design.

00:47:04   And that, that huge monitor, huge for the time, 23-inch,

00:47:08   can you even imagine?

00:47:09   People used to come over to my house and be like,

00:47:10   what is that, is that a TV?

00:47:11   I'm like, it's a computer monitor.

00:47:13   - No, that was amazing, 'cause that was the era

00:47:14   that one of my friends and I would go to Micro Center

00:47:16   to buy PC components in the late '90s.

00:47:19   That was the, those were like what was in the Mac room,

00:47:23   and you'd sneak over to the Mac room at Micro Center

00:47:25   and you'd be like, whoa, look at that giant monitor.

00:47:28   Yeah, it blew us away.

00:47:29   - Yeah, and not only was it giant,

00:47:31   'cause there was 21-inch CRTs,

00:47:34   but 21-inch CRTs were huge.

00:47:36   They just, you took up the whole room.

00:47:37   They were deeper than they were wide,

00:47:39   and they were four by three,

00:47:40   and here was this more letterbox,

00:47:42   I don't know if it was exactly 16 by nine,

00:47:44   but more letterbox-oriented thing that was,

00:47:46   it looked much bigger than it was,

00:47:48   and of course it was a flat screen,

00:47:49   which wasn't a thing in really,

00:47:51   it wasn't particularly popular in TVs either,

00:47:53   so people just didn't even believe

00:47:54   that you had the thing hooked up to your computer.

00:47:56   It was amazing, and coming out of the back of that monitor

00:48:00   was a single cable that connected to your computer,

00:48:04   and that's it.

00:48:05   There was no power cable, there was no,

00:48:06   there was just one cable to connect from the display

00:48:09   into your computer, into my Power Mac G3,

00:48:13   and that was like a miracle.

00:48:14   It's like, how does it even work?

00:48:16   How is it, how are you powering the monitor?

00:48:19   And the monitor had like, you know, whatever,

00:48:22   did it have USB ports on it?

00:48:23   I don't remember what other bus features it had,

00:48:25   but anyway, it was basically,

00:48:27   it was an Apple proprietary connector

00:48:28   that carried power and essentially DVI

00:48:31   and whatever other things they were tunneling over,

00:48:32   and I forget what they were.

00:48:33   I don't know if it was a microphone or,

00:48:35   God, my memory's so bad.

00:48:35   Someone just pull up the webpage

00:48:36   and find out what else was in there,

00:48:37   but the important part was that it was power and DVI

00:48:40   over a single connector,

00:48:42   but that's definitely like old Apple.

00:48:45   Like it's super cool.

00:48:46   Like nobody else had a computer like that.

00:48:48   It was like a miracle,

00:48:49   but you can never find anything with an ADC connector, right?

00:48:53   It was Apple proprietary,

00:48:55   and if you wanted to get another video card

00:48:59   to connect your awesome monitor,

00:49:01   you need to have one with an ADC connector,

00:49:03   and if you didn't, it was a series of adapters

00:49:04   and you could plug it into a box that plugged into power

00:49:07   and that had DVI coming out of it,

00:49:09   and there's all these, but it's like,

00:49:09   that ruins the whole thing.

00:49:10   That ruins the elegant solution.

00:49:11   So the Pro Display XDR is in the era of the new Apple

00:49:15   that is much more hesitant

00:49:17   to make up its own weird proprietary connectors,

00:49:19   but they're also pushing the limits of displays

00:49:23   connected to regular people computers,

00:49:25   and that's why you don't find lots of quote unquote

00:49:28   PC video cards with Thunderbolt 3 ports in the back,

00:49:30   and in fact, even the ones that Apple is shipping

00:49:32   do not have Thunderbolt 3 ports in the back there.

00:49:33   Instead, in these MPX modules that connect,

00:49:36   that have multiple connectors,

00:49:38   one for PCI and one for everything else,

00:49:39   they connect them to your Thunderbolt 3 port

00:49:41   that lets you connect your monitor to a port

00:49:43   that's not even on the video card.

00:49:44   So I get a little bit of a whiff of that old thing,

00:49:47   but this is again on brand for me,

00:49:49   since I did buy that computer and did use it

00:49:51   with a single cable connecting it to my Power Mac G3

00:49:54   for years and years.

00:49:56   I went from a Power Mac G3 to a Power Mac G5.

00:50:01   So again, on brand for waiting a long time

00:50:04   between computers, and before the Power Mac G3,

00:50:06   it was an SE30, so there's some big gaps in there.

00:50:09   - Goodness.

00:50:11   Any other follow up?

00:50:12   - No, I mean, I suppose, you know,

00:50:17   I hate to drag this Mac Pro stuff on,

00:50:19   but I don't have all the components, it isn't set up yet.

00:50:22   When I take it out of the box and find out it doesn't work

00:50:24   or it's broken on the inside or something,

00:50:26   like the saga will continue, but right now,

00:50:30   it's Schrodinger's Mac Pro, I have no idea

00:50:34   what state it is inside that box.

00:50:36   I'm assuming everything's fine.

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00:52:33   (upbeat music)

00:52:36   - I would like to add one actual piece of follow-up.

00:52:39   I am personally deeply upset at you, Jon.

00:52:43   And I am deeply upset because you did not mention to me

00:52:47   that one of the characters in Watchmen

00:52:50   drives a Grand National.

00:52:52   - What's a Grand National?

00:52:54   - Oh!

00:52:55   - You said that, and now I'm trying to think,

00:52:57   who are you talking about?

00:52:58   - Marco!

00:52:59   Marco, you're killing me.

00:53:01   - Who are you talking about?

00:53:02   Is that a band?

00:53:03   I know what a Grand National is.

00:53:04   I know what it looks like,

00:53:05   but I'm thinking back to the show.

00:53:07   - It's in the very first episode, for goodness sakes.

00:53:10   - Is it a boat?

00:53:12   - No. - Looking Glass?

00:53:13   - No. - No, not Looking Glass,

00:53:15   the woman that's doing all the investigating.

00:53:18   - Oh, Angela?

00:53:19   - Yes, Angela whatever, Sister Knight or whatever her name is.

00:53:22   She drives a Grand National.

00:53:23   - Yeah, she doesn't spend a lot of time driving in the series

00:53:25   so it's not, didn't stand out to me, but okay.

00:53:27   - It sounds like a van or something.

00:53:29   - No, okay, so if you're not aware,

00:53:31   the Grand National is this like,

00:53:34   it's not a halo car, but it is,

00:53:36   it's like this mythical beast.

00:53:38   And what it was, it was a V6, not an inline six, right?

00:53:42   It was some sort of six cylinder Buick

00:53:45   with a tremendous turbocharger on it.

00:53:47   - A Buick? - Mm-hmm.

00:53:48   - By the way, if you search for Grand National,

00:53:51   the first result from the Siri knowledge is,

00:53:53   the 2019 Grand National was the 172nd annual running

00:53:56   of the Grand National horse race

00:53:57   at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England.

00:53:59   (laughs)

00:54:00   - That is.

00:54:01   - So I'm guessing that's not what you're talking about?

00:54:03   You're not talking about a horse race?

00:54:04   Or both? - No, no.

00:54:07   - So it's a Buick then?

00:54:08   - It's a Buick Regal.

00:54:10   - Why does anybody care then?

00:54:12   (laughs)

00:54:13   - Because it was amazing.

00:54:15   - They care because it was an ugly American car

00:54:17   that actually had a big engine in it

00:54:18   and it looked like just a plain old ugly American car.

00:54:21   And it's like, but actually, it was cool.

00:54:22   - Oh my God, I'm looking at pictures of this thing?

00:54:24   - But actually it's not that cool.

00:54:26   - It wasn't actually that cool.

00:54:27   - It's not at all cool.

00:54:28   - Anyway.

00:54:29   - I'm pretty sure my grandparents had something like this

00:54:31   when I was a child and even they didn't think

00:54:33   it was cool at the time.

00:54:34   - But they didn't have a Grand National.

00:54:35   They probably had a plain old Buick Regal, which was crap.

00:54:38   - We'll put the Doug DiMuro review in the show notes

00:54:43   and I have watched it, although I don't recall it

00:54:46   'cause I think I watched it many moons ago when it came out.

00:54:48   But the short, short version is it was this extreme,

00:54:51   well, I believe it to be extremely rare Buick,

00:54:54   a two-door coupe Buick that was extremely fast for the day.

00:54:59   And it is one of those cars that, like the STI or the WRX

00:55:04   was for people of our generation before,

00:55:07   or the Skyline perhaps even better,

00:55:09   one of those cars that everyone heard of

00:55:12   but nobody had ever seen.

00:55:14   - Like the Neo Geo.

00:55:15   - Right, yeah, actually, yes.

00:55:17   - My cousin has one, yeah, sure.

00:55:19   - Yeah, sure he does.

00:55:20   So anyway, so it was kinda like that.

00:55:22   It was a six-cylinder car with a tremendous turbocharger

00:55:25   on it, always automatic, which was unfortunate,

00:55:28   but they were considered to be,

00:55:30   and actually K-Ham in the chat have summarized it really well

00:55:32   it's one of the first from the factory sleeper cars.

00:55:34   So it doesn't look fast, but it was really fast.

00:55:37   And it's extremely rare and most normal gear heads

00:55:41   slash petrol heads really have a special place

00:55:43   in their hearts for them.

00:55:44   And I was expecting somebody would have told me

00:55:47   that Sister Night, whatever her name is,

00:55:49   drives a Grand National.

00:55:50   And of all people, John, you should have told me and no.

00:55:53   - I didn't think you needed to be notified.

00:55:55   - It does seem like these are very rare

00:55:56   because it's, like looking at listings,

00:55:59   it looks like they were all 1987?

00:56:01   - They were only a couple of years, I believe.

00:56:03   - And it seems like the going rate for them

00:56:05   is like 30 grand still for a Buick from 1987.

00:56:09   So that must be desirable to somebody.

00:56:12   - Yeah. - Think I'd rather

00:56:13   have a boat.

00:56:14   - This one's '86 that Regular Car Reviews did.

00:56:18   Fair warning, Regular Car Reviews is interesting,

00:56:21   to say the least, but which we've talked about

00:56:24   in the past, I believe.

00:56:25   And I haven't decided if it's a schtick or not

00:56:27   that the dude is terrible.

00:56:30   But anyways, you can, if you're interested,

00:56:32   watch these videos in the show notes.

00:56:34   But really, I just, I wanna stop talking to you two

00:56:37   so I can keep watching Watchmen.

00:56:38   Who watches the Watchmen?

00:56:39   - Also, real-time follow-up,

00:56:41   when you guys were talking about a car,

00:56:42   I don't understand, I figured out that apparently

00:56:45   the RTX 2080 Mobile Max-Q GPU in Tiff's laptop

00:56:49   apparently is actually pretty good. (laughs)

00:56:51   Who knew? - Yeah, no,

00:56:52   the modern, the RTX line is Nvidia's current line

00:56:56   with the supposed ray tracing hardware and yada yada,

00:56:58   so I'm assuming it's a laptop variant of that.

00:57:00   I just don't know how strong it is compared

00:57:01   to the quote unquote real RTX desktop things.

00:57:04   - Yeah, it seems from a very quick search

00:57:05   that it's just basically an underclocked version

00:57:07   of the desktop one that seems to manage something

00:57:10   like half to 2/3 its performance, which might be okay.

00:57:14   Like, if we're gonna do VR for a game

00:57:17   that we've been waiting like, you know, 15 years for,

00:57:19   it's totally fine.

00:57:21   Like, I wanna make it good.

00:57:22   I wanna have, like, I wanna be able

00:57:23   to run it at good settings.

00:57:25   - You haven't been waiting 15 years for this Alex VR thing.

00:57:28   You've been waiting 15 years for Half-Life 3.

00:57:30   This is not Half-Life 3.

00:57:31   - Well, it's kind of Half-Life 3.

00:57:32   I think it basically is. - This is not Half-Life 3.

00:57:34   - Well, I'm gonna call it roughly that.

00:57:36   Anyway, what's interesting is that the last PC I built

00:57:40   was the PC I built to play Half-Life 2.

00:57:42   (both laughing)

00:57:44   And so the next PC I build might be one to play this.

00:57:48   - Oh, my word.

00:57:49   All right, moving on.

00:57:50   Project Connected Home Over IP.

00:57:52   Not a very exciting name, unless, I guess,

00:57:54   if you skip the over, then it becomes chip,

00:57:56   which is kind of funny.

00:57:57   So Amazon, Apple, Google, the Zigbee Alliance,

00:58:00   and other people are forming a working group

00:58:03   to develop an open standard for smart home devices.

00:58:06   I have not taken very much time to look into this,

00:58:08   but the brief amount of time that I've looked into it,

00:58:12   I think this is actually good?

00:58:15   Am I allowed to say that in 2019,

00:58:18   that something good happened?

00:58:20   Somebody explain to me why this is bad.

00:58:22   - To be fair, it's almost 2020.

00:58:23   - Well, true.

00:58:25   What's going on?

00:58:26   - It's one of those things.

00:58:27   So they've formed this working group,

00:58:29   they've announced this partnership or whatever,

00:58:32   and it's the kind of thing that often would result

00:58:36   in an industry standard like Bluetooth or USB.

00:58:39   So in theory, if all works out,

00:58:41   this could be the unification of home standards,

00:58:44   like HomeKit Plus, Amazon's, whatever,

00:58:47   and Z-Wave and all these other weirdo things.

00:58:50   There's a whole bunch of things out there.

00:58:51   This could be the unified standard.

00:58:53   This could be the Bluetooth or WiFi of home stuff,

00:58:56   which would be great.

00:58:57   But that's a big if.

00:58:59   If this all works out, if they actually go forward with this,

00:59:01   this is the very first step towards that.

00:59:05   There's no guarantee that this will ever become anything.

00:59:08   This spec working group might fall apart

00:59:12   before they develop a spec.

00:59:13   They might develop a spec and then no one implements it.

00:59:15   They might develop a spec and then people implement it,

00:59:18   but not for very long and there aren't that many products

00:59:20   in the market that do it.

00:59:21   Or one of the big players like Apple or Amazon,

00:59:24   one of them drops out or something like that.

00:59:25   So there's a lot that can still fall apart

00:59:28   and make this not very useful.

00:59:29   But if everything goes to plan,

00:59:32   if they actually do develop a coherent spec

00:59:35   that they all agree on,

00:59:36   that everyone starts shipping products for,

00:59:38   and that that can kind of replace or supersede

00:59:40   the existing things like HomeKit that are out there now,

00:59:43   then that would be awesome for consumers.

00:59:45   But that's a lot of ifs.

00:59:46   And so I think it's too soon

00:59:48   to really get your hopes up on this.

00:59:50   - Yeah, if someone's gonna drop out,

00:59:52   it probably shouldn't be Apple.

00:59:54   It's kind of amazing that all these companies agree to this,

00:59:57   especially the ones that are doing well in the home market.

00:59:59   It just goes to show that when it comes to doing stuff

01:00:01   in your home, even the most powerful top players

01:00:04   in this market feel the pressure of basically,

01:00:08   if you've got something in your home,

01:00:10   a light switch, a smart light bulb, a talking cylinder,

01:00:14   anything like that that becomes part of your home,

01:00:16   there's a barrier to entry of you buying something

01:00:20   that doesn't work with it.

01:00:22   And they all feel that.

01:00:23   Like no one is so dominant, they're like,

01:00:24   we don't have to worry about interoperability,

01:00:26   we dominate, right?

01:00:27   Even if you have a house that's like 99% one thing,

01:00:31   and then 1% some other thing, that's annoying.

01:00:33   It's annoying to get them to work together

01:00:34   and to sort of harmonize it.

01:00:36   And a lot of these sort of proprietary systems

01:00:38   from non-tech companies will come in

01:00:42   and like home improvement things like,

01:00:43   we'll install a system that will run everything

01:00:45   in your house, but you gotta keep using this brand of thing.

01:00:47   Nobody likes that.

01:00:48   Amazon doesn't wanna be locked out

01:00:51   because you have like Lutron everything.

01:00:53   And all the big companies are trying to do deals

01:00:56   with everybody, like implement R standard,

01:00:58   work with Google Nest, work with whatever

01:01:00   the Amazon's automation stuff,

01:01:01   and Apple's trying to get everyone to work with HomeKit.

01:01:03   And a lot of these devices, like I did that thing

01:01:05   in my smart outlets, try to work with all of them.

01:01:08   Because if you're selling hardware, you're like,

01:01:09   oh, I don't want people to feel like they're locked in.

01:01:12   Now we have to implement HomeKit and the Amazon thing

01:01:15   and the Google thing or whatever the hell Zigbee is.

01:01:17   Like we gotta implement all this.

01:01:18   It makes the product so much more complicated

01:01:21   and expensive.

01:01:22   And even though they say they support all these things,

01:01:25   what version of all the things do they support?

01:01:26   Which one do they support the most?

01:01:28   If 90% of their customers use like Amazon's home automation

01:01:32   but they say they have the other one

01:01:33   says bullet point features,

01:01:34   are they gonna keep those up to date?

01:01:35   Are they gonna be buggy?

01:01:37   It's a bad situation for everybody.

01:01:38   And despite us being a few years into this battle,

01:01:42   I guess nobody feels comfortable saying,

01:01:45   if we just wait it out, we'll come out on top.

01:01:47   We'll leave our competitors in the dust

01:01:49   and we will dominate Microsoft style

01:01:50   and be the one true home automation standard,

01:01:54   will be our standard, will be Google Nest,

01:01:56   will be Amazon's thing, will be HomeKit, right?

01:01:58   HomeKit is far behind the leaders in this camp

01:02:02   for a variety of reasons.

01:02:03   The first one that they rolled out was very expensive

01:02:05   and very restrictive in terms of security,

01:02:06   which is good for the user, but bad for integration.

01:02:09   And Apple's been backing off that saying,

01:02:10   you don't have to implement all these security things,

01:02:12   not implement them yourself,

01:02:13   but you can do an open source one

01:02:14   and we don't have to give you the chips for it.

01:02:16   And now they have an open source thing.

01:02:18   We'll put a link to that in the show notes.

01:02:19   The HomeKit accessory development kit,

01:02:22   which is the HomeKit ADK, that's now open source.

01:02:25   Like this is from back when you used to have to sort of

01:02:28   get Apple's permission to even make one of these things

01:02:29   and now it's open source

01:02:30   and you can implement it yourself, right?

01:02:32   So they've come a long way,

01:02:33   but they're so far behind that Apple is like,

01:02:36   boy, I really hope this works

01:02:38   because this is our way to get into the market.

01:02:40   Whereas I think Amazon and Google are like,

01:02:42   they don't want to fight against each other.

01:02:46   Google doesn't want to have to

01:02:47   displace Amazon in your house.

01:02:48   Amazon doesn't want to have to displace Google

01:02:50   and they're both battling with the hardware makers.

01:02:52   They all have to go to them and say, support our thing

01:02:55   and support our thing as the best support.

01:02:57   Don't, you know, you can support Amazon's things,

01:02:58   but give us the good support, you know?

01:03:00   And it makes all the devices more expensive

01:03:03   because it costs more to develop them and everything.

01:03:05   So I'm glad to see this.

01:03:08   It's kind of miraculous that it's happening.

01:03:10   Like we had all these years of fighting with each other

01:03:12   and we have some dominant players,

01:03:14   but everybody looks around and says, this kind of sucks.

01:03:17   And you know, Marco decided the success stories.

01:03:20   If we had 20 different wireless standards

01:03:22   for wireless networking, it would be worse for everybody.

01:03:24   Right?

01:03:25   Same thing with Bluetooth,

01:03:26   even going far back as physical media,

01:03:29   we had these media format wars,

01:03:30   but everyone likes it better when you settle on,

01:03:33   even if you settle on the worst standard,

01:03:35   like VHS or whatever, settling on the CD standard,

01:03:39   Blu-ray as opposed to, what was it?

01:03:42   HD DVD. - HD DVD.

01:03:43   - And you know, the ones that we figured out,

01:03:46   like Super Audio CD.

01:03:47   Anyway, having a standard does eventually help everybody.

01:03:51   And even though everyone wants to be sort of the winner,

01:03:55   I guess the remaining battleground

01:03:57   is who has the patents on what.

01:03:58   But even that in this day and age,

01:04:00   like these other, these big players won't,

01:04:02   not won't go into an alliance,

01:04:04   but are hesitant to enter into an alliance

01:04:07   that is tied down by patents.

01:04:09   You know, just look at the Qualcomm stuff with them,

01:04:11   you know, licensing their patents

01:04:12   to anybody who asks for a very expensive price

01:04:15   and you know, that whole mess.

01:04:17   And then I guess the CD was like Philips and Sony.

01:04:19   And anyway, open standards are better for everybody.

01:04:23   It just took like many years of war

01:04:25   for them all to agree to that.

01:04:26   So here's hoping that this means that the devices

01:04:30   that we buy will be cheaper

01:04:32   and that eventually they will,

01:04:36   whatever support they have for the standard,

01:04:37   if this is the only thing they have to support,

01:04:39   then they will support it well

01:04:41   and be able to introduce new products over the years.

01:04:44   And you know, I mean, I suppose the worst it can be

01:04:48   is like wifi where eventually your router doesn't work

01:04:50   and your work is wifi standards have moved on,

01:04:52   but those at least move more slowly than, you know,

01:04:55   the differences between HomeKit and Google Nest

01:04:57   and all that other stuff.

01:04:57   So my fingers are crossed for this too.

01:05:00   I'm hoping all these, I don't know, Vipers,

01:05:03   I'm hoping they can all stay in the same basket

01:05:04   without killing each other for the greater good.

01:05:09   I give it a better than 50% chance, I think.

01:05:12   My fingers are crossed.

01:05:13   - I give it one chance and three.

01:05:16   I also would like to point out to all the people

01:05:18   that have already emailed us,

01:05:19   we are aware of XKCD number 927.

01:05:22   We will put a link in the show notes.

01:05:23   For some reason you haven't seen it,

01:05:25   but thank you to everyone who's already emailed us

01:05:27   to remind us of that thing that we already knew existed.

01:05:29   - I assume it's the like one new standard thing.

01:05:31   Yeah, I didn't even have to look to know.

01:05:34   - Yeah, the thing about all of these things is like,

01:05:37   this is trying to make a standard,

01:05:39   but unlike what that comic is about,

01:05:40   there aren't that many open standards.

01:05:44   Like you could say HomeKit is a standard,

01:05:46   but is it a standard?

01:05:48   It's just an Apple, it's an Apple proprietary thing

01:05:50   that other people can implement.

01:05:51   And it has become much more open of a standard now.

01:05:53   You can download this open source thing and do it,

01:05:56   but it's not like, I feel like a standard

01:05:58   is like more than just Apple has to agree

01:05:59   that this is the way things should work, right?

01:06:01   If only Apple agrees and Apple entirely controls

01:06:03   how that standard develops,

01:06:05   not really a standard in that sense.

01:06:07   The XKCD comic is more like web standards

01:06:11   where there's 20 different versions of HTML and XML.

01:06:14   And in theory, no one company controls them,

01:06:17   but there's so many different standards

01:06:18   that it's kind of a pain.

01:06:19   Anyway, yeah, one more standard.

01:06:23   Might not be the solution, but the current situation,

01:06:26   if you were to leave it as is,

01:06:27   definitely isn't the solution because ask anybody

01:06:29   who's trying to get their home full of home automation

01:06:32   devices from 20 different vendors to all work together,

01:06:35   it's not great.

01:06:36   - So a week or two ago, Marco put in a Slack

01:06:40   that the three of us are in the following,

01:06:43   I'm gonna quote Marco to Marco,

01:06:45   but I thought it was really interesting

01:06:46   and I wanted to spend a couple of minutes talking about it.

01:06:48   Marco wrote, "The Tim Cook era of Apple

01:06:50   "doesn't seem to have good intuition

01:06:52   "on what products should be.

01:06:53   "So they rely heavily on external input,

01:06:55   "but they only seem to listen to such input

01:06:57   "through select narrow channels like the Pro Workflow Group.

01:06:59   "So the focus of their high-end products

01:07:01   "seems to be getting narrower."

01:07:03   I think I wholeheartedly agree with you on that.

01:07:08   And one of the things that struck me about the Mac Pro,

01:07:11   and we talked about this a bit last episode

01:07:14   and about how people like Steve Trout and Smith

01:07:17   or Paul Haddad are clinging to the idea,

01:07:20   perhaps justifiably, that the Mac Pro

01:07:24   should be for them, but isn't.

01:07:26   And we don't necessarily need to rehash

01:07:27   last week's conversation,

01:07:29   but what had occurred to me listening

01:07:32   to the three of us talk about it last week

01:07:34   and seeing this comment from Marco

01:07:36   was that it seems like Apple has started to listen

01:07:40   and listen well to some people,

01:07:42   which is exactly what Marco said,

01:07:44   but there are other people like me, like developers,

01:07:48   that maybe they're not listening to as much,

01:07:51   and that isn't necessarily a problem,

01:07:55   but it does bum me out,

01:07:57   because maybe in a perfect world

01:07:59   where I can design whatever magical Mac I want,

01:08:02   maybe I would want a reasonably priced,

01:08:05   small, like, mini tower or something like that.

01:08:07   Do mini towers even exist in the PC world anymore?

01:08:09   I don't even know.

01:08:09   But it seems like Apple's definitely listening

01:08:13   to the film editors and people in the film industry

01:08:19   that they're listening to YouTubers

01:08:20   and certainly trying to get on YouTubers' good side,

01:08:23   but what about developers, man?

01:08:25   Do we not count anymore?

01:08:26   So let's start with Marco.

01:08:27   Marco, do you wanna add any color to this?

01:08:29   Do you want to elaborate any,

01:08:31   or do you have any other thoughts

01:08:33   that you'd like to share?

01:08:35   - Yeah, some currency exchange headwinds

01:08:36   is what Marco sees.

01:08:37   (laughing)

01:08:39   - Wow.

01:08:40   Yeah, I think just kind of some elaboration

01:08:42   on what I meant by this.

01:08:44   You know, we heard about this Pro workflow group

01:08:47   being created back, I think they announced that

01:08:49   right after the Mac Pro Roundtable

01:08:50   or whenever they announced that that was a thing.

01:08:53   It seems like what they have made since then,

01:08:58   the marketing for it, and this is mostly about the Mac Pro.

01:09:03   I think if you look at the laptop lineup,

01:09:06   I think the 16 inch shows, like,

01:09:08   the 16 inch is basically the Mac Pro developer.

01:09:11   Like, it's like exactly what developers want.

01:09:13   It's a laptop, which most developers use.

01:09:15   It has the biggest screen in the laptop lineup,

01:09:17   which most developers want and the most horsepower,

01:09:19   and they give it a very developer-friendly keyboard finally.

01:09:22   So that, I think, I think it's very clear

01:09:25   that the computer that most developers use,

01:09:27   which is the largest MacBook Pro,

01:09:30   Apple is doing well to attract them on that.

01:09:32   And it is designed in such a way that,

01:09:36   besides the high entry price,

01:09:38   which is unchanged from the last few years,

01:09:40   so like, that's not really a new thing,

01:09:42   besides the high entry price to the 15 inch,

01:09:44   or now 16 inch model,

01:09:45   that is a fairly generalist computer again.

01:09:48   Now that it's gotten rid of the controversial keyboard,

01:09:50   and it's listed some of the limits that were there in 2016,

01:09:53   you know, that have been lifted over time,

01:09:55   it's a much more generalist versatile computer.

01:09:57   So I think in the laptop line, they're doing okay so far.

01:10:00   We'll see how that trickles down,

01:10:01   if that trickles down below the highest end models.

01:10:05   But they've done a good job of making

01:10:07   a kind of generalist 16 inch,

01:10:09   you know, top of the line model again.

01:10:11   Again, there are nitpicks I would love to have,

01:10:13   you know, different ports, SD card, things like that,

01:10:15   but you know, it will take a week to get here.

01:10:18   But when you look at the high end of the desktop line,

01:10:21   it's always been this like, this very narrow set of,

01:10:25   like, these like, these hyper focused products.

01:10:28   So you have things like the Mac Mini,

01:10:31   which is really good for what it is,

01:10:35   but what it is doesn't satisfy everyone's needs,

01:10:38   and by the way, it's super expensive for what it is.

01:10:40   And then you have the iMac and the iMac Pro,

01:10:44   both of which totally nail what they're going for,

01:10:49   which is like, you know, the kind of mid-range

01:10:51   desktop market, you know, you have,

01:10:54   at the low end you have like the kind of cheap

01:10:55   appliance ones that you like stick

01:10:57   in real estate offices to look pretty.

01:10:58   Then at the high end you have the iMac Pro

01:11:00   that is like, you know, this awesome workhorse that I love.

01:11:04   But it has limitations, it's a little bit narrower.

01:11:07   And if you want to break out of that,

01:11:09   or if this isn't the kind of computer you want,

01:11:11   then you have to go to the Mac Pro.

01:11:12   And the Mac Pro in 2006 when it came out,

01:11:17   and all the towers that John talked about

01:11:19   that came before it that were the PowerPC towers,

01:11:22   they were much more generalist machines.

01:11:24   They appealed to a wide range of possible uses,

01:11:27   possible customers, they span a wide range

01:11:30   of possible price points that started out fairly accessible.

01:11:34   They were always at the high end of accessible,

01:11:35   like, you know, $2,000 maybe, but you know,

01:11:37   they were still in the accessible range.

01:11:40   And then that crept up over time.

01:11:42   And now this new Mac Pro, in the 2013 Mac Pro,

01:11:47   the trash can Mac Pro seemed to be very narrow in its appeal.

01:11:51   That was like, if you happen to need Xeons,

01:11:55   and no expansion, and very little upgradeability,

01:11:59   and if you were willing to pay for two workstation class GPUs

01:12:03   and all this, like that was such an error product

01:12:06   that it failed in the marketplace.

01:12:07   Like, for lots of reasons, but it failed.

01:12:09   The new Mac Pro that they've made now,

01:12:12   the 2019/2020 Mac Pro, it seems like they made it

01:12:17   to appeal mostly just to the needs

01:12:21   of high end video professionals.

01:12:24   And that's not to say that they shouldn't appeal

01:12:26   to those needs, but it seems like that was pretty much

01:12:31   most of what they were going for,

01:12:32   and not really trying to appeal to a much wider market.

01:12:36   And there's all sorts of use cases where the market

01:12:40   just is not gonna pay that.

01:12:42   And there's all sorts of pro market segments

01:12:45   that are just gonna say either I can't or no thanks,

01:12:50   because of various, mostly about pricing,

01:12:53   or part selection.

01:12:56   There is a whole separate issue that I don't think

01:12:58   we're gonna do tonight about Nvidia and CUDA support.

01:13:01   That's a whole separate issue that I think

01:13:03   they've already lost that entire battle,

01:13:05   and they're never gonna go back there, I don't think.

01:13:08   So they've lost a lot of the scientific arena

01:13:11   to the CUDA machines.

01:13:13   But unless Apple makes up with Nvidia,

01:13:16   that's never gonna be fixed.

01:13:18   But within the realm they targeted here,

01:13:21   it seems like they made this pro workflow group,

01:13:25   which seems to consist mostly of video editors,

01:13:29   and people who do really big projects in logic.

01:13:31   It seems like this is like people who use Apple's

01:13:35   two remaining pro software apps, basically,

01:13:38   logic and Final Cut.

01:13:39   It's like people who use logic and Final Cut,

01:13:42   they are designing computers pretty much for them.

01:13:45   - And 3D, like think of what was in that room at WWDC.

01:13:47   They had the person with the crazy logic project.

01:13:49   They had a photographer, to be fair,

01:13:52   like they had photo editing or whatever.

01:13:55   Final Cut video editing, and then they had the Pixar folks,

01:13:58   which are running a non-Apple 3D program.

01:14:01   - So these are three industries,

01:14:04   and they're only showing very, very high end users

01:14:07   of this as well.

01:14:08   So you don't have, the kind of mid-range music producer

01:14:13   is not using this.

01:14:14   They're not making this like thousand instrument track.

01:14:18   The kind of mid-range 3D animator, it cannot afford this.

01:14:23   The mid-range film editor or animation studio

01:14:25   probably isn't buying these because it's too expensive

01:14:27   for them probably as well.

01:14:30   So they are making this product only for very, very high end

01:14:35   use that also has very high budgets and doesn't really care

01:14:39   about what they're spending.

01:14:40   And it seems like they can enter a dangerous feedback loop

01:14:45   here where they defined what this should be by seemingly

01:14:50   the feedback from the group that they created

01:14:56   that works for them.

01:14:58   Like the Pro Workflow group are Apple employees.

01:15:01   So they've created this group of people,

01:15:03   they pay them to do high end work,

01:15:06   and then they use their feedback presumably

01:15:09   to then inform the development of these products.

01:15:12   But it's kind of like, it's an artificial

01:15:15   closed feedback loop.

01:15:17   And I worry that without, it does seem like as the company

01:15:21   has gotten bigger under the Tim Cook era,

01:15:24   they've expanded, they've matured,

01:15:26   they've grown, whatever else,

01:15:27   it does seem like the lack of having that Steve Jobs

01:15:29   like visionary means that they're designing products

01:15:32   less on intuition and more on data,

01:15:37   but they're collecting data only from a seemingly

01:15:39   very small amount of sources.

01:15:41   And I think this is one of the reasons why many Apple

01:15:45   product releases over the last five years seem like

01:15:48   they've misread the room.

01:15:51   Like the way the HomePod kind of fell out,

01:15:54   like remember how awful the launch was

01:15:56   and how weirdly targeted of a product it ended up being.

01:15:59   Certainly the butterfly keyboard laptops

01:16:01   definitely suffer from this problem.

01:16:03   It just seems like they're designing products for somebody

01:16:08   and many of the products succeed in just being generalist

01:16:12   and being fine, but you have these outliers

01:16:15   like the HomePod or like the Mac Pro

01:16:17   where it just seems like you have to ask

01:16:21   if they would have designed this a little bit differently

01:16:23   or had a little bit different priorities in mind,

01:16:25   this could have been a much broader appeal product.

01:16:28   And instead they designed this very, very narrow thing

01:16:30   that seems to almost purposely exclude

01:16:34   massive swaths of the market.

01:16:35   - So I think my personal narrative for the Mac Pro

01:16:39   is kind of Apple's narrative, again,

01:16:41   like implicitly by what they show to WWDC

01:16:44   and who they show in the videos using the thing.

01:16:46   But it makes sense is that the Mac Pro

01:16:50   is the highest of the high end.

01:16:51   And we talked about this last show,

01:16:53   like that leaves a big gap.

01:16:56   There is actually a big gap between the iMac Pro,

01:16:58   their next most powerful computer,

01:17:00   next most capable computer and the Mac Pro.

01:17:03   But they're sort of defining an end point.

01:17:06   And I think it's fine and probably the correct approach

01:17:09   to do that and I think for now and what they did it with

01:17:13   by going to the highest of the hand,

01:17:14   I think they took a much better approach than the 2013

01:17:18   in that they designed for the highest of the high end

01:17:20   and they have these customers in mind,

01:17:22   but they also tried to make a machine structured in a way

01:17:27   that it can support use cases that they didn't think of.

01:17:31   Also at the high end, like it's not saying

01:17:33   that it suddenly is able to extend downward

01:17:35   to all those things that you were just talking about Marco.

01:17:37   But within the high end, they didn't like,

01:17:39   they didn't put a bunch of unchangeable GPUs in there

01:17:43   and make you take two of them or whatever.

01:17:44   It's a huge box with a huge number of slots

01:17:46   and lots of actual physical empty space.

01:17:49   And with Thunderbolt and presumed updates

01:17:51   to this thing or whatever,

01:17:52   I think it can address a lot more high end needs

01:17:56   than just the ones that they talk to people about.

01:17:59   Kind of the same thing with the afterburner card

01:18:00   where there's particular use cases in the high end

01:18:02   that they knew about from the Pro Workflow group.

01:18:04   And rather than make a thing that Apple has done in the past

01:18:08   sometimes with third party help,

01:18:09   like dedicated accelerators, like the,

01:18:11   it's dating myself again, but the Quadra AV line,

01:18:15   the Quadra 840 AV and they had all sorts

01:18:18   of AV accelerators inside them.

01:18:19   There was the Phillips Tri-Media card,

01:18:21   all sorts of sort of proprietary burned in silicon

01:18:24   accelerator cards for a particular use case.

01:18:26   All of those ended up being cool for the use case

01:18:29   that they were made for, but then rapidly out of date

01:18:31   and useless going forward.

01:18:32   And the afterburner is a more pragmatic approach.

01:18:35   It's like, we're gonna give you this dedicated $2,000 card

01:18:37   that does these amazing things that we're not possibly for

01:18:40   by taking work away from the CPU and the GPU.

01:18:43   But since it's an FPGA,

01:18:45   you can change this functionality in the future.

01:18:48   So maybe this card won't just be a useless relic

01:18:50   three years later,

01:18:51   maybe you can change it to do something else, right?

01:18:54   So all of that speaks to, yes,

01:18:56   addressing the highest of the high end,

01:18:57   seeing exactly how high you can go,

01:18:59   but doing it in a way that leaves

01:19:00   as many doors open as possible.

01:19:02   The one door that's not open is,

01:19:04   yeah, but do you have something cheaper?

01:19:06   Like I don't need all that, I need some of that.

01:19:09   And this is what we talked about last week.

01:19:11   What is in between that and the iMac Pro?

01:19:13   'Cause the iMac Pro gives me very few options

01:19:16   once I buy the thing, and the Mac Pro gives me

01:19:19   so many options that it's awesome,

01:19:21   but it's way too much money, right?

01:19:22   So is there a way you can address that middle market?

01:19:25   And the Pro Work Pro group is, like you said,

01:19:28   A, they're Apple employees,

01:19:29   although albeit they're from industry,

01:19:30   so presumably the people they're hiring

01:19:31   actually know what they're talking about

01:19:32   are not just random Apple employees,

01:19:34   but B, it's a limited set of people

01:19:36   that they probably just have,

01:19:38   video, audio, photographers,

01:19:40   and the expected folks that you would imagine.

01:19:43   The main constituent for Apple's quote-unquote pro product

01:19:46   line, as Apple tells us, is developers.

01:19:47   Well, guess what?

01:19:48   Apple has access to a large group of developers.

01:19:51   If Apple actually ever is interested in saying,

01:19:55   "What kind of machine should we make for developers?"

01:19:58   They have Apple opportunity to ask that question.

01:20:00   I would argue that developers who work for Apple

01:20:02   are still maybe biased in various ways

01:20:06   in terms of how they work and what they work on,

01:20:08   as opposed to developers out there in the industry.

01:20:11   In particular, I would imagine that if you talk

01:20:12   to Apple developers to try to figure out

01:20:14   what game developers want, it would not be useful,

01:20:16   because game developers in the real world

01:20:18   would think, not only do I not just target Apple platforms,

01:20:22   I'm not even going to target Apple platforms

01:20:24   unless something big changes.

01:20:25   I need to use Unity or whatever

01:20:27   to do things cross-platform,

01:20:29   or I work for the big console vendors.

01:20:31   Anyway, that aside, talking to just Apple developers,

01:20:35   and I assume they do this,

01:20:37   like I'm not saying this is the thing they should do,

01:20:38   but they should have thought of this.

01:20:39   I assume they do do this,

01:20:41   and that produces machines like the MacBook Pro

01:20:44   and the iMac Pro, which I think are good,

01:20:47   now that I fixed the keyboard, good developer machines.

01:20:50   It's this in-between place where people look at the Mac Pro

01:20:53   and say, "I want some of that, some of that flexibility,

01:20:57   "but not as much price."

01:20:58   And again, refer people to last week's episode.

01:21:01   I think there is space for them to come down there,

01:21:05   but I'm not sure the market is big enough

01:21:07   for them to design an entirely new computer

01:21:08   if they could just, you know,

01:21:10   again, I was attributing last week to saying

01:21:11   when they go with ARM and have a cheaper CPU inside there,

01:21:15   can you, what's the cheapest you can make

01:21:18   something inside that case?

01:21:20   Put half the number of PCI slots in,

01:21:22   you know, put an ARM CPU in there,

01:21:26   put some cheaper video cards.

01:21:27   Maybe when USB 4 rolls around,

01:21:30   it will simplify and make the bus deal less expensive

01:21:34   because USB 4, in theory, will subsume Thunderbolt,

01:21:37   and you know, you could have the same cavernous case

01:21:41   with less stuff inside it,

01:21:43   and maybe that could serve the market of people

01:21:45   who want an expandable computer for less money.

01:21:47   But for now, I think Apple's logic,

01:21:50   and it makes sense to me,

01:21:50   is we need to stake out the high end

01:21:52   'cause our problem for years was

01:21:54   we had essentially abandoned the high end,

01:21:56   we weren't addressing their needs at all,

01:21:58   and we didn't even have any computers they would even want.

01:22:00   Let's make the highest of the high end.

01:22:03   Let's make the most capable Mac ever.

01:22:05   Let's make sure it's able to serve

01:22:08   the most possible use cases for the people

01:22:10   who have the most demand of their computers,

01:22:13   and that's a good place to start.

01:22:16   I'm hoping that in the years to come,

01:22:18   they will evolve that strategy,

01:22:20   but it's more important to me personally,

01:22:22   and I think also more important to Apple as a company,

01:22:25   to keep fighting on the high end

01:22:27   because if Apple just made the iMac Pro

01:22:29   and then like a tower that you could spec up a little bit

01:22:32   but never could get powerful enough

01:22:33   to serve these ridiculous needs

01:22:36   that they're showing in all these videos

01:22:38   and these Pro workflow teams,

01:22:39   that would be bad

01:22:40   because I think that would make more pros abandon Apple.

01:22:42   Like it's the Halo car thing all over again,

01:22:43   or the racing car team for a car manufacturer.

01:22:47   You need to have that aspirational thing

01:22:50   that represents the pinnacle of performance,

01:22:53   and you learn things from it,

01:22:55   and that trickles down to the rest of the line.

01:22:57   You just hope that in the case of Apple,

01:22:59   the gap between that and the rest of their line

01:23:01   is not the same as the gap between an F1 car

01:23:04   and a Ford Escort.

01:23:05   (both laughing)

01:23:08   - I don't know.

01:23:10   What is the most effective way to get developer input then?

01:23:15   Because I agree with you that it seems like

01:23:18   sucking developers into Apple and to be Apple employees

01:23:22   may or may not be the right answer.

01:23:24   So what do you do?

01:23:25   Like what is in it for me or for a game developer

01:23:28   to be invited to Apple and donate my time to Apple

01:23:31   and one of the richest companies in the world

01:23:33   just so I get better computers out the other end?

01:23:35   - Well, I mean, I don't think that's,

01:23:37   like Marco was saying, in the jobs era, the myth is that--

01:23:39   - We tell them for free.

01:23:40   - Yeah, exactly.

01:23:41   - The myth of the jobs era was that Apple just know

01:23:45   instinctively what people want.

01:23:47   Don't bother asking anybody.

01:23:48   Focus groups are stupid.

01:23:49   Customers don't know what they want.

01:23:50   We'll tell them what they want.

01:23:52   They'll just ask for a faster horse, yada, yada, yada.

01:23:54   There's a million business,

01:23:55   but there is some truth to that, obviously.

01:23:57   It's part of the myth, but it's also,

01:23:58   there's some truth in there that rings true

01:24:01   to us as customers based on what Apple has rolled out.

01:24:04   And in general, you probably just don't wanna ask people

01:24:06   what they want, but you do need to,

01:24:08   like if you're at the point where you're asking people,

01:24:11   like there was, this is linked in the show notes

01:24:12   from ages ago that I don't think we ever talked about

01:24:14   where Apple was sending out surveys to iMac Pro owners

01:24:16   saying, "What do you like about your iMac Pro?"

01:24:18   - Not just iMac Pro.

01:24:20   I got one on my old iMac way back when.

01:24:22   - Yeah, and Marco got the iMac Pro survey, I think.

01:24:25   - Yeah, yeah, filled it out.

01:24:26   And every time I get a survey from Apple,

01:24:27   I fill it out every time.

01:24:29   - Yeah, and so they're just asking people,

01:24:31   but it's like, you fill that out,

01:24:32   and I would imagine Marco was probably thinking

01:24:34   the same thing, like he said before.

01:24:35   It's, you know, read the room being the phrase of the day

01:24:39   to describe this.

01:24:41   If you have to be asking, like if you have to ask people,

01:24:44   what do you like about the computer?

01:24:45   What do you, like, I know it's not,

01:24:47   of course they have to ask.

01:24:48   Like the point is you shouldn't just assume, right?

01:24:50   But it seems like if they send out a survey,

01:24:53   it's like, how do you feel about the keyboards

01:24:54   on your laptop?

01:24:55   It's like it's been three years, Apple.

01:24:57   Like at a certain point, you should not have to ask us

01:25:00   how we feel about the keyboards.

01:25:01   It's clear that, like it should be clear to everybody

01:25:04   that these keyboards are not a good solution for you.

01:25:07   So fix them, right?

01:25:08   You don't need a survey to tell you that.

01:25:10   In the same way, I don't think you would need a survey

01:25:14   to ask people like, would you prefer a computer

01:25:18   that costs less money but is more capable than,

01:25:21   you know, like there's a gap in the lineup.

01:25:23   Like you see it, like would you prefer a computer

01:25:26   that instead of having to replace every few years,

01:25:28   you could instead upgrade parts of it?

01:25:30   They know there's a segment of the population,

01:25:32   of the customer population that would like that, right?

01:25:35   Would you prefer more flexibility in configuring computers

01:25:37   so you could spend more money on the parts

01:25:38   that you care about and less money on the parts that you--

01:25:40   - No, I wouldn't like it at all.

01:25:41   - Of course, like some people prefer that.

01:25:44   Like of course everyone's gonna say yes to that

01:25:46   and that's not true and that's where Apple

01:25:47   should take their judgment to say like,

01:25:48   well people will always answer yes to that

01:25:50   but in reality, most people don't want all those choices.

01:25:52   There's too many choices.

01:25:53   They, you know, like that's where Apple's judgment

01:25:55   comes in, right?

01:25:56   But I just feel like at this point, from the outside,

01:25:58   it's so easy for us to see sort of the blind spots

01:26:02   and the gaps in the lineup but anytime you talk

01:26:04   to someone inside Apple about that on or off the record,

01:26:07   you get the feeling that of course they see

01:26:10   those exact spots in the lineup.

01:26:11   Like they're more familiar with their products

01:26:12   than even than we are on the outside

01:26:14   but they have sort of accepted justifications

01:26:17   for Apple not being in those markets

01:26:20   and trying to convince them that their accepted justification

01:26:22   of like, well that market's not big enough

01:26:23   or those people would actually be happier

01:26:25   if they bought a MacBook Pro or you know,

01:26:27   our data shows that the iMac Pro serves their needs better

01:26:30   or what we think it's better to just concentrate

01:26:32   on making compile times faster on the iMac Pro

01:26:34   rather than giving developers the machines

01:26:35   they think they want because in reality,

01:26:37   they are more efficient on this thing.

01:26:39   And you know, it's like all that is true,

01:26:41   like I understand those justifications make sense

01:26:43   but as I've said to many people who are asking me

01:26:45   about why I have this ridiculous computer

01:26:47   that's sitting next to me now,

01:26:48   the heart wants what it wants.

01:26:49   There is some segment of the population

01:26:51   that just wants a little bit of that hobbyist tinkerer

01:26:54   experience of having the, you know, the hot rod

01:26:58   that you get to change yourself in various ways.

01:27:01   And Apple will say, yeah, we know they're out there

01:27:03   but they're too small a market

01:27:04   and we don't care about them.

01:27:05   That's exactly what they used to say

01:27:06   about the super high end.

01:27:07   It's like, what are we doing here?

01:27:10   Why are we bothering to make this Pro computer?

01:27:12   The iMac does pretty much everything

01:27:14   that most of our customers need

01:27:15   and that tiny sliver of people who want to give us

01:27:18   huge amounts of money for a super powerful computer,

01:27:20   we don't even need them.

01:27:21   And they had a change of heart about that

01:27:23   and that change of heart was like,

01:27:25   I don't think the facts on the ground changed.

01:27:27   It's just they like, they're thinking about it change.

01:27:30   It's like all the math is as it was before.

01:27:33   We might not even make any money in this computer

01:27:36   but they eventually became convinced

01:27:38   we have to do it anyway.

01:27:39   Like it doesn't make sense that we have to do it

01:27:42   but we have to do it anyway, even if we lose money

01:27:44   because it's part of Apple being Apple, right?

01:27:47   I think there is less of a push for them

01:27:49   to fill that mill tier and they may never actually fill it

01:27:52   but I do have some confidence that they will drag

01:27:55   the Mac Pro down market a little bit if they can,

01:27:59   especially if and when there's an arm transition.

01:28:02   At least that's my hope because I feel like

01:28:04   although I am perfectly fine with the Mac Pro

01:28:06   doing what it did, it's untenable long term

01:28:09   to have this big a gap in the lineup.

01:28:12   - Well, I think an arm transition could potentially

01:28:17   totally throw out everything about their current lineup.

01:28:20   Like why things are differentiated the way they are,

01:28:23   the families that are defined the way they are.

01:28:26   'Cause that can change everything.

01:28:29   'Cause so much of the current lineup is based on

01:28:31   what Intel offers, various thermal classes,

01:28:34   performance classes, how Intel segments its own lineup

01:28:37   to get certain high end or low end features

01:28:40   and needs and everything.

01:28:41   An arm transition doesn't just change

01:28:44   the performance per watt potentially.

01:28:46   It changes everything about what these platforms are.

01:28:50   The Mac Pro tower might not be able to exist anymore

01:28:54   in a world of arm because maybe Apple will figure out

01:28:57   that it's no longer worth the engineering effort

01:29:00   of having PCI being in the computer that's exposed to users.

01:29:05   Maybe Thunderbolt doesn't come along for the ride

01:29:07   because of the various complexities in implementing it

01:29:09   and maybe Apple doesn't want to implement it

01:29:11   or can't for various economic or technical reasons.

01:29:15   Who knows?

01:29:16   There are so many assumptions we have now

01:29:19   about the lineup go totally out the window

01:29:22   if they switch over to arm, which I think is one

01:29:24   of the reasons why we haven't seen that happen yet

01:29:26   'cause it's a big deal and one of the reasons why

01:29:29   the high end desktop might be one of the very last models

01:29:33   to make that switch.

01:29:34   If an arm switch happens, we all assume that it'll happen

01:29:38   across the whole product line, but it might just be

01:29:41   like a small laptop first and then eventually

01:29:44   the bigger laptops and then maybe someday the desktops.

01:29:47   But that might take like five years, 10 years, who knows?

01:29:51   'Cause it's so complicated.

01:29:52   So if an arm's condition is on the horizon,

01:29:54   which I think and hope it is,

01:29:56   everything we know has to be questioned.

01:30:00   Every assumption and maybe the Mac Pro they've made now

01:30:04   is intended to just temporarily bridge that gap.

01:30:07   Maybe they realize we're only gonna need this thing

01:30:10   for five years, 10 years.

01:30:12   And maybe they figure we don't need to address this market,

01:30:16   this lower end market during that time

01:30:18   because if they're just patient,

01:30:20   eventually we will solve their needs

01:30:22   in a totally different way.

01:30:23   - You know, as you're talking about the arm transition,

01:30:26   it got me thinking that, and we're actually gonna talk

01:30:29   about this in an Ask ATP in a minute,

01:30:31   but it got me thinking that if you look at Apple's main

01:30:36   and core products over the last few years,

01:30:39   their laptops, their, let me try that again,

01:30:42   their main and core computer products,

01:30:45   not phones and pads, but their MacBook Pros,

01:30:49   their MacBook Airs, their iMacs,

01:30:52   with the exception of the Mac Pro,

01:30:55   everything has been on a pretty steady evolutionary series,

01:30:59   if you will, for several years now.

01:31:03   And yeah, the 16, it is a departure in some ways.

01:31:06   We got our inverted T back, we got our escape key back,

01:31:10   and yeah, the touch bar was new a few years ago.

01:31:12   Mostly it's not that revolutionary over the last,

01:31:15   I don't know, five, 10 years, something like that.

01:31:18   And for the most part, I feel like it's been

01:31:21   relatively predictable, very easy for me to say that

01:31:24   in hindsight, but you know, there haven't been--

01:31:27   - I was gonna say, our predictions suck at the time.

01:31:29   - Well, at the time, yeah.

01:31:30   - I think if it was more predictable,

01:31:31   we'd have a much better record of our predictions

01:31:33   being true. - That's true.

01:31:34   But you know what I mean, right?

01:31:36   I feel like the three of us, and we were not the only ones,

01:31:38   but the three of us mostly nailed the 16-inch MacBook Pro,

01:31:41   and again, that's not unique, I'm not trying to get

01:31:43   a gold star or anything, I'm just saying that

01:31:45   that was evolutionary and relatively predictable.

01:31:48   But I feel like if there is, if there really and truly is

01:31:53   an armed transition, that's gonna throw,

01:31:56   as you just said, Marco, that's gonna throw

01:31:58   everything on its head, it's gonna turn everything

01:31:59   upside down, and what a fun and probably terrible

01:32:03   and stressful time that will be to be an Apple enthusiast,

01:32:07   right, because so many things could get thrown away.

01:32:11   Like, to your point, Marco, does Thunderbolt

01:32:13   get thrown away, does USB-C get thrown away?

01:32:15   I doubt it, but you never know.

01:32:17   So much of our computing worlds may turn upside down,

01:32:20   and I'm sure there will be some growing pains

01:32:23   and some angst and some terror involved with that,

01:32:27   but how fun would that be, especially as spectators,

01:32:32   because Marco swears he's not buying a Mac Pro,

01:32:35   we'll see what happens, John just did buy a Mac Pro.

01:32:38   - Haven't bought one yet, still master of my domain.

01:32:40   - Yeah, well, have another beer, and we'll see what happens

01:32:42   over the next few hours, but anyway.

01:32:44   (laughing)

01:32:46   You know, I obviously just spent a tremendous amount

01:32:48   of money, in my opinion, on the iMac Pro,

01:32:51   and I don't plan to replace it anytime soon.

01:32:53   So if this armed transition happens, it is possible

01:32:58   that the three of us, probably two of us,

01:33:00   will be mostly spectators on the initial transition,

01:33:05   and I'm actually really excited about that thought.

01:33:08   I think that could be a lot of fun to watch,

01:33:10   and again, I'm sure the three of us will have something

01:33:12   to complain about, did you know, gentlemen,

01:33:13   that nothing is so perfect, that it cannot be

01:33:16   complained about, but I think it could be really fun

01:33:18   to watch, and just as I was thinking about this

01:33:22   before I started talking, imagine if the iPhone,

01:33:25   I'm making this up, but the iPhone 15 comes out,

01:33:27   and they say, okay, we've got the A,

01:33:29   I don't even know what that would be, the A20, let's say,

01:33:31   the Apple A20 processor, oh, and by the way,

01:33:34   the A20 actually powers our brand new MacBook,

01:33:37   and again, I doubt that would happen,

01:33:39   but how frickin' cool would that be

01:33:41   if the exact same processor in the iPhone

01:33:44   is in a full-on traditional computer?

01:33:46   So many cool things could happen,

01:33:48   I feel like we're on the precipice of so many cool things,

01:33:51   and sitting here today, not knowing all the gotchas

01:33:55   that come with all these ideas, it just seems like

01:33:58   it'd be really, really fun, and I'm really enthusiastic

01:34:01   and excited about the thought of it.

01:34:03   - As someone who lived through the past two

01:34:05   CPU architecture transitions on the Mac,

01:34:08   I can tell you that every one of those transitions

01:34:11   was really cool, like my memories of the PowerPC transition

01:34:14   and the Intel transition were both positive,

01:34:16   so my memories of the PowerPC transition was that

01:34:19   all of a sudden, Macs are getting way faster,

01:34:21   like I remember going to the computer store

01:34:24   and playing with the PowerPC Macs and just being like,

01:34:27   I can't believe, like it looks like a Mac on the outside,

01:34:30   but it is so much faster, it was like bigger

01:34:32   than like the SSD upgrade, you know, perceptually,

01:34:35   because silly things like drawing a menu

01:34:38   or using the graphing calculator app,

01:34:40   which was an amazing demo of the power of this thing,

01:34:43   or using like Quickdraw 3D or whatever,

01:34:46   any sort of PowerPC accelerated thing,

01:34:47   'cause remember, during the transition,

01:34:48   like huge swaths of the OS were still in 68K,

01:34:52   including 68K assembler, like it was not a smooth transition

01:34:55   but even then, I'm being like PowerPC,

01:34:57   like that's the future, and there was all sorts

01:34:59   of pie in the sky stuff about, oh, and by the way,

01:35:02   PowerPC is gonna have this, you know,

01:35:04   speaking of chip, chirp, common hardware reference platform

01:35:07   where you're gonna be able to make Macs

01:35:08   out of PC-like hardware, and so Macs will be cheaper

01:35:11   and more capable, and it's a common platform

01:35:13   that other companies are gonna use too,

01:35:14   and it's all these fantasies that never came true

01:35:16   about the PowerPC Donaldson industry,

01:35:18   but it was exciting, and the overall impression

01:35:21   was Macs are getting better.

01:35:23   Then the Intel transition, which you two may remember,

01:35:25   similar thing, it was scary, it was like Intel,

01:35:27   isn't that the enemy, what about the snail, Pentium II,

01:35:29   PowerPC, Altavec, isn't, you know,

01:35:31   there was the angst about it,

01:35:33   but as soon as people got those first,

01:35:34   like, whatever they were, Core II Duo,

01:35:36   you know, machines in their hands, like the--

01:35:38   - Core Duo. - Core Duo, yeah.

01:35:39   The Pentium IV dev machines were crap,

01:35:42   'cause Pentium IV was crap, but yeah,

01:35:44   but the Core Duo ones, and especially the laptops,

01:35:46   everybody shot up real quick about Intel once we got the--

01:35:50   - Oh God, they were so fast and so much cheaper.

01:35:54   - They were, like, and so much faster

01:35:56   than the Macs they replaced, especially the laptops.

01:35:59   It was like, all right, no one, I remember,

01:36:02   and on this, you know, it's a different memory of this,

01:36:03   it's a strange memory, I remember doing stuff

01:36:05   in the terminal on an Intel Mac and going,

01:36:07   I can't believe how fast GCC is compiling Perl.

01:36:10   Like, I can't remember, it is so much faster,

01:36:12   how is this even possible, like, you know,

01:36:14   just like, quote unquote, the same Mac the model before,

01:36:18   you know, like, the amazing Power Mac G5,

01:36:20   dual two gigahertz G5 CPUs, we couldn't even believe

01:36:24   how much power we had at that time,

01:36:26   and then you get, like, the base model crappy single CPU

01:36:31   Intel Mac Pro and compile Perl on it,

01:36:33   it's like, well, that machine is dead to me now,

01:36:35   Power PC, forget it, like.

01:36:37   - My white plastic MacBook loaded the new egg page

01:36:39   so much better than my Power PC one did.

01:36:43   - Yeah, so I'm hoping the ARM transition overall,

01:36:47   despite all the pain and agony that's gonna come with it,

01:36:49   is going to be like those two,

01:36:50   and that the basic impression is going to be

01:36:53   Macs just got a lot better, and it will, you know,

01:36:56   like, that will be the overriding memory

01:36:58   in hindsight of the transition.

01:37:00   That's what I hope, and I think, you know,

01:37:02   of all the companies that have ever done this,

01:37:04   Apple is sort of the best in the industry at it,

01:37:06   so I'm hoping it will go well.

01:37:08   I'm optimistic about an ARM transition.

01:37:10   Can happen soon enough, he says,

01:37:12   as I sit next to his way too expensive Intel computer.

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01:39:11   - All right, let's do some Ask ATP.

01:39:16   Wes asks, "What is the obsession with running your MacBooks,

01:39:19   "adorable, Pros, and Airs in clamshell mode?

01:39:21   "It seems like a waste to have a 13 or 16-inch,

01:39:23   "or somewhere in between, display area go to waste,

01:39:26   "as well as the flakiness of the system

01:39:28   "when operated in that mode."

01:39:30   This is a actually reasonable question,

01:39:33   and let me speak only for me.

01:39:35   I never ran in clamshell until,

01:39:39   at my jobby job, a year or two, what, a year and a half ago,

01:39:44   I ended up with two 4K monitors,

01:39:47   and I had sat them on one of those, not a standing desk,

01:39:53   I forget the name of it now,

01:39:54   but the thing where it was like a tray

01:39:56   that you put your monitors on,

01:39:57   you could make that whole tray stand up a foot or two,

01:40:00   and so your quote-unquote desk was standing.

01:40:04   It's in every tech startup now,

01:40:06   I forget the name of the company,

01:40:07   but if I remember, I'll put it in the show notes.

01:40:09   But anyways, Veridesk, thank you,

01:40:11   my name is T in the chat room, Veridesk,

01:40:13   that's exactly right.

01:40:14   So anyways, so the point is,

01:40:15   the Veridesk thing that I had only had

01:40:18   but so much space on it,

01:40:20   and it basically only had the room for two 22

01:40:23   or 24-inch monitors.

01:40:25   And because of that,

01:40:27   and because these were two matching monitors,

01:40:30   I didn't see any need to have a non-matching third panel

01:40:33   off to the side.

01:40:34   And so that's why I ran in clamshell mode,

01:40:36   and truth be told, it mostly worked okay.

01:40:39   It was not flawless by any stretch of the imagination,

01:40:43   but it was mostly okay,

01:40:44   and that's why I ran in clamshell mode.

01:40:47   - John, you do run in clamshell mode at work,

01:40:50   is that correct?

01:40:51   And if so, what's the situation there, remind me?

01:40:54   - So my situation is a little weird.

01:40:56   Remember, my whole deal was I didn't want anything

01:40:57   moving my windows around,

01:40:59   and I have that 24-inch 1920 by 1200 display.

01:41:03   So I run my 15-inch MacBook Pro

01:41:06   at 1920 by 1200 scale resolution,

01:41:08   and then I mirror it to my display

01:41:11   so that it's exactly the same point size on both displays.

01:41:15   One is right and one is not,

01:41:16   so exactly the same point size.

01:41:18   And since it's mirrored,

01:41:19   not only is it not useful to have the monitor open,

01:41:22   but I find it distracting,

01:41:23   like if you're moving your mouse at your windows

01:41:26   and you see them moving on another screen

01:41:27   that's just in your peripheral vision, right?

01:41:29   So I close it 'cause it's just distracting.

01:41:31   And I think most people,

01:41:33   the people who do run in clamshell,

01:41:35   I would imagine the most common reason

01:41:37   is that they don't,

01:41:38   the whole reason you have it connected to another display

01:41:41   is that display is bigger.

01:41:42   And then ergonomically speaking,

01:41:44   if you don't have a laptop stand,

01:41:46   it's awkward to have your other screen

01:41:49   in such a different position, right?

01:41:51   So that's why laptop stands are so popular.

01:41:53   They put, they essentially hoist that laptop display

01:41:55   up to normal ergonomic display height for you.

01:41:58   So if you don't have a laptop stand,

01:42:00   you're probably running in clamshell

01:42:02   just because it's weird to look down

01:42:03   and to the left or right at your screen

01:42:05   or down in front of you if you have it like that.

01:42:08   And people who do have laptop stands,

01:42:11   this is something I haven't seen.

01:42:12   I've never seen anyone with a laptop stand

01:42:13   run in clamshell mode.

01:42:14   It's like, well then why is it up on a pedestal like that?

01:42:17   There's no point in having it up on that pedestal

01:42:19   if you're not gonna open it and look at the screen.

01:42:21   - I think one issue for me,

01:42:23   I used to run laptop open on a stand as a second monitor,

01:42:28   and I've only tried clamshell mode

01:42:30   for a few brief periods in my computing life

01:42:33   because it worked so poorly.

01:42:34   The reason why I don't do it anymore,

01:42:38   well, since I got a desktop at least,

01:42:39   but the reason I don't do it anymore is that

01:42:42   back when I did it, the pixel density of laptops

01:42:46   and desktop monitors was about the same.

01:42:48   And so you could put a laptop next to an extra monitor

01:42:51   and they would be about the same density.

01:42:52   So if you'd move a window between the two,

01:42:54   it would be about the same size.

01:42:56   Nowadays, that's totally thrown off.

01:42:58   Nowadays, laptops are way higher density,

01:43:00   and so it's harder to match that unless,

01:43:03   I guess you could change settings and everything,

01:43:04   but so it doesn't look as good.

01:43:06   And also, never underestimate the value

01:43:09   of just having a nice, clean-looking desktop.

01:43:12   A lot of people have the space to have multiple monitors,

01:43:16   but just choose not to because maybe

01:43:18   they don't work that way.

01:43:20   I prefer a single monitor.

01:43:21   I don't really have a good spot on my desk

01:43:23   to put a giant 16-inch laptop open on a stand

01:43:28   next to my monitor somewhere nearby.

01:43:30   It would mess up the symmetry of my desk.

01:43:32   I'd have more wires all over my desk.

01:43:33   I'd have to move other stuff like speakers.

01:43:37   So it's a stupid reason logically,

01:43:40   that like, oh, I don't wanna mess up my desk arrangement.

01:43:43   It isn't a good reason logically,

01:43:44   but I like things to look nice, by my definition of nice.

01:43:48   And if this breaks that, then I won't wanna do it.

01:43:52   - You should just prepare the way.

01:43:53   Hans Schneider writes, "How do you deal with the noise

01:43:55   "of external backup drives?

01:43:57   "I have an iMac Pro I very much love,

01:43:59   "but I hate the noisy eight-terabyte hard drive

01:44:01   "next to it that I use for Time Machine.

01:44:03   "It's not even that loud,

01:44:04   "but compared to the super quiet Mac Pro,"

01:44:06   excuse me, iMac Pro, it's,

01:44:08   let me just repeat that whole thing.

01:44:11   "It's not even that loud,

01:44:12   "but compared to the super quiet iMac Pro,

01:44:14   "it's incredibly annoying.

01:44:15   "I have actually thought about spending lots and lots

01:44:17   "of euros getting an eight-terabyte SSD

01:44:19   "and putting it into an external enclosure.

01:44:21   "Talk about throwing money at the problem."

01:44:24   One of the many things that does not afflict me

01:44:28   that I'm very thankful for is that I don't really care

01:44:32   about fans the way that most people,

01:44:35   and certainly the two of you do.

01:44:37   I don't like it, as I think we spoke about last week.

01:44:40   Not my favorite, but it doesn't deeply offend me

01:44:43   like it does the two of you,

01:44:44   so if it were me, I'd probably just live with it.

01:44:48   But let's start with Marco, who doesn't like fan noise,

01:44:52   and then end with John,

01:44:53   who is approximately allergic to fan noise.

01:44:57   What would you do here?

01:44:58   - So I can tell you what I have done,

01:44:59   because I've always cared about fan noise.

01:45:02   I used to, back in my PC days,

01:45:03   not be able to do much about it for most of the time,

01:45:05   'cause I couldn't afford to try out different components,

01:45:07   see what was loud, and for years,

01:45:10   I had this high-pitched hard drive noise

01:45:12   constantly in my bedroom,

01:45:13   because the drive I bought just had a bearing

01:45:17   that got noisy, and I just stuck with it,

01:45:19   just worrying high-pitched loudly for four years or so.

01:45:23   (laughs)

01:45:24   But anyway, I got into the PC case modding scene

01:45:28   and put Dynamat on my PC case

01:45:30   and got all these quiet fans

01:45:32   and all these major quiet heat sinks

01:45:35   and these quiet drive enclosures

01:45:36   that would wrap the hard drive in basically an enclosure

01:45:39   with sound insulation inside of it.

01:45:41   It was a mess, this whole scene.

01:45:43   So I care a lot, and once I got to the point

01:45:47   where computers were having only SSDs in them

01:45:49   in the last X years,

01:45:52   I have banned spinning hard drives from my office,

01:45:56   and you can too.

01:45:57   Now, the way I first did this was

01:45:59   I had a big drive enclosure that was attached

01:46:02   to a Mac mini server that I would put in my office closet.

01:46:06   It's a medium-sized closet.

01:46:08   There's no real ventilation in there,

01:46:09   but it's enough space that it wouldn't really overheat.

01:46:13   And then after that, I switched my large storage needs

01:46:17   to a Synology, which is in my garage.

01:46:21   So I basically moved the noise,

01:46:23   and so that's one option you can do.

01:46:25   If you have any kind of network,

01:46:27   either network-attacked storage device

01:46:28   or just another computer you can use

01:46:30   with external drives on it or whatever,

01:46:32   you can move them outside of your office

01:46:34   if you have anywhere else that you can put them

01:46:35   that would be out of the way and wouldn't spread the noise.

01:46:38   But more recently, SSDs are so cheap now

01:46:42   that it's almost to the point,

01:46:44   or it might already be to the point,

01:46:46   where for many people, their mass storage needs

01:46:49   can be solved by just going all SSD,

01:46:51   just plugging in external SSDs to your desktop.

01:46:54   And once you go that route,

01:46:56   you can put them pretty much anywhere

01:46:57   'cause they're tiny and silent.

01:46:58   You can tape them to the back of your iMac

01:47:01   or stick them under your desk, under the desktop surface

01:47:04   so it's just kind of adhere to the bottom of your desk

01:47:06   or whatever.

01:47:08   Going all SSD for your external drives

01:47:11   for various backup, timing, whatever,

01:47:13   it did seem like this ridiculous indulgence

01:47:16   until about maybe a year ago.

01:47:19   But if I was starting from scratch today

01:47:22   and I didn't already have my garage Synology

01:47:25   running all my big hard drives in them,

01:47:27   I think I would just buy a couple of big,

01:47:29   like four to eight terabyte external SSDs

01:47:33   and plug them into my computer and call it a day.

01:47:35   At no point would I buy a hard drive after this

01:47:38   'cause I just don't have big enough storage needs

01:47:40   where going all SSD would be that ridiculous.

01:47:45   - So I've actually been thinking,

01:47:47   not about the noise issue,

01:47:48   but about spinning versus SSDs for backup purposes

01:47:53   because if you get a computer with a big SSD,

01:47:57   like I just did, then you're like,

01:47:58   oh, how do I back that up?

01:47:59   Like it multiplies out if you have multiple backups

01:48:01   of the thing.

01:48:02   I don't, and four terabyte SSDs are expensive, right?

01:48:06   And you might need more than that

01:48:07   if you wanna have multiple versions of files, right?

01:48:09   So spinning disks are still in the picture.

01:48:12   Obviously, as we noted many times this program,

01:48:15   I am a big fan of network attached storage for this purpose

01:48:18   because that means I have a box with eight spinning disks

01:48:21   that is noisy and has a terrible buzzing fan.

01:48:24   It's in my basement.

01:48:25   Can't hear it.

01:48:26   It's not in the room.

01:48:28   That is ideal.

01:48:29   So I have lots of large, cheap storage far away.

01:48:33   But that said, I also have super duper backups

01:48:34   and time machine,

01:48:36   and that's where internal storage comes in.

01:48:39   I know this is not an option for you

01:48:41   because you didn't waste a huge amount of money

01:48:43   on a computer with internal storage,

01:48:44   but I just did, and guess what?

01:48:46   You can put spinning hard drives in here.

01:48:48   And as I've discussed about--

01:48:49   - Oh, please don't.

01:48:50   - As I've discussed with my current computer,

01:48:52   the secret to doing that and not driving yourself nuts

01:48:56   is unmounting them, and then they'll spin down,

01:48:59   and then they become silent.

01:49:01   And good backup programs will mount them,

01:49:05   spin them up, back up to them, and then unmount them,

01:49:08   and then they'll be silent again.

01:49:10   And if you schedule that to happen, say at 3 a.m.,

01:49:12   you can schedule a computer to wake up at 3 a.m.,

01:49:15   mount it to spinning hard drives,

01:49:17   back up to them, unmount them, and go back to sleep.

01:49:20   You never have to hear them.

01:49:21   So this is basically my solution to having spinning disks.

01:49:24   If you have to have them, have them be internal,

01:49:26   and if you have to have them in their internal,

01:49:28   make them not spinning most of the time,

01:49:30   and when they do have to spin, don't be there.

01:49:33   The Karate Kid 2 technique.

01:49:35   Don't be there, or just have them spin it briefly.

01:49:38   And so I've had four,

01:49:41   I've had the maximum number of internal spinning disks

01:49:44   in all of my tower computers.

01:49:45   There used to be two, then eventually it was four.

01:49:47   I've got four drives sitting in my computer right now.

01:49:49   One of them is an SSD.

01:49:51   It's a terabyte SSD, and I boot from it,

01:49:52   and all the other drives are unmounted and spun down,

01:49:55   so I don't have to hear them.

01:49:56   So that doesn't really help with, you know,

01:50:00   if you really need to have it online all the time

01:50:02   and spinning, well, I don't know what to tell you.

01:50:04   They're noisy, you know, and if you have external drives,

01:50:07   the power bricks are a pain, and the enclosures are a pain,

01:50:09   and I have a bunch of external drives here.

01:50:11   They're just not actually plugged into anything,

01:50:12   so they're also silent.

01:50:14   But yeah, keep them spun down most of the time

01:50:16   is the answer, or keep them far, far away.

01:50:19   (laughing)

01:50:21   - All right, and finally, Kiel asks,

01:50:22   "Hey guys, I'm thoroughly enjoying

01:50:23   "your Mac Pro 7,1 coverage,

01:50:25   "and I was wondering if you could see its looks

01:50:27   "as a departure for a new Pro Mac design language.

01:50:31   "For example, do you see an iMac Pro

01:50:33   "with machine-drilled holes in its back,

01:50:35   "and/or using a 45 or 90 degree edges?"

01:50:39   I hope not, because I just spent a whole pile of money

01:50:41   on an iMac Pro.

01:50:43   I think, if anything, iMacs are gonna lose

01:50:47   a lot of their bezels/bezels.

01:50:49   I don't think I see this design language trickling down,

01:50:53   but I am not confident in that.

01:50:55   John, what do you think?

01:50:57   - I think an iMac Pro that looks like the Pro Display XDR

01:51:01   and has a 6K screen would be amazing.

01:51:04   - Oh, agreed.

01:51:05   - We talked about this on many past shows,

01:51:07   that the iMac, that sort of the external case design

01:51:12   that's been with us since the 5K iMac, maybe even before,

01:51:15   but basically since the 5K iMac.

01:51:16   No, even before that, it was the same, right?

01:51:18   - No, it's since the 27-inch iMac.

01:51:20   - Yeah, the 27-inch iMac, it wasn't 5K,

01:51:22   it was non-red-net, right?

01:51:23   That external case design, it's fine,

01:51:25   and there's nothing particularly wrong with it,

01:51:27   and it has served us well, but at a certain point,

01:51:29   kind of like cars, you redesign

01:51:31   just for the sake of redesigning.

01:51:32   Like, and hopefully you redesign, you know,

01:51:35   adding enough room for a face ID, sensor array, you know,

01:51:39   or maybe making one or two things more user accessible

01:51:42   or expandable, like there's lots of things that you can do.

01:51:46   I would love it if the Mac Pro design language,

01:51:50   whether you consider it the Swiss cheese holes

01:51:52   or just the sort of rectilinear edges,

01:51:54   like if that, you know, came to the iMac line.

01:51:58   Probably the machining is too expensive for that line

01:52:04   and not actually useful 'cause you don't need,

01:52:06   like look at what the iMac Pro gets away with,

01:52:08   it is, you know, silent and cool and has, you know,

01:52:11   if you don't know where to look,

01:52:12   you don't even see where the air comes in

01:52:13   and out of the thing, right?

01:52:14   So it does not need that many holes,

01:52:17   but I do hope that they're redesigned,

01:52:19   and if they can make some kind of family resemblance,

01:52:21   even if it's just the straight edges, I am all for that.

01:52:25   So I think it does make sense for there to be a new design

01:52:30   and for it to look more related to the Mac Pro,

01:52:35   but I'm not willing to predict that it's literally

01:52:38   going to look like the Pro Display XDR.

01:52:41   - Thanks to our sponsors this week,

01:52:43   Casper, Burrow, and HelloFresh,

01:52:45   and we will see you next week.

01:52:47   (upbeat music)

01:52:50   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:52:52   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:52:55   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:52:57   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:52:57   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:52:59   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:53:00   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:53:02   ♪ And Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

01:53:05   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:53:07   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:53:08   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:53:10   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:53:11   ♪ And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM ♪

01:53:16   ♪ And if you're into Twitter ♪

01:53:19   ♪ You can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S ♪

01:53:24   ♪ So that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M ♪

01:53:30   ♪ N-T Marco Arment ♪

01:53:32   ♪ S-I-R-A-C ♪

01:53:35   ♪ U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-S-A ♪

01:53:37   ♪ It's accidental ♪

01:53:38   ♪ It's accidental ♪

01:53:40   ♪ They didn't mean to ♪

01:53:43   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:53:44   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:53:45   ♪ Tech podcast ♪

01:53:47   ♪ So long ♪

01:53:50   - John, is your son learning how to drive yet?

01:53:53   And regardless of if the answer is yes or no,

01:53:57   what is your approach gonna be for that?

01:53:59   - Ooh.

01:54:00   - He's just 15, so he can't be learning to drive yet,

01:54:02   but he does, he's going to soon have to,

01:54:04   I think it's like whatever written test you have to take

01:54:06   for your permit when he's 16,

01:54:07   and so he'll be preparing for that soon enough.

01:54:10   He's probably going to sign him up

01:54:12   for a instructional driving course over the summer.

01:54:16   And beyond that, I mean, it really depends.

01:54:22   Like, I can't tell how motivated he is

01:54:23   to actually care about driving.

01:54:25   - That was my next question.

01:54:26   - The thing with the kids these days

01:54:28   is they are far less motivated to drive in general

01:54:30   than previous generations,

01:54:32   especially if you live somewhere

01:54:34   where there's reasonable public transportation,

01:54:36   which not by world standards,

01:54:38   we do not have reasonable public transportation where I live,

01:54:40   but by US standards,

01:54:42   we have semi-reasonable public transportation where I live.

01:54:45   So we'll see what his motivation is.

01:54:49   But if he is motivated,

01:54:50   I am willing to teach him how to drive stick

01:54:54   on a car that is not mine.

01:54:56   (laughs)

01:54:57   - Oh, okay, how are you gonna do that, tough guy?

01:55:00   - Right, also both of the cars in your family are stick,

01:55:02   right? - Yeah.

01:55:03   So there is one car that is not mine.

01:55:05   - So he has to learn stick,

01:55:06   and it has to be not in your car?

01:55:08   - Yeah, exactly. - Oh, good luck with that.

01:55:10   - Yeah, enjoy.

01:55:12   - Maybe he doesn't wanna learn stick.

01:55:13   If he doesn't wanna learn stick, fine, you know.

01:55:15   But you're never going to learn how to drive

01:55:18   just by taking a driver education instructional course.

01:55:20   You have to actually have time

01:55:22   to practice elsewhere or whatever.

01:55:24   So we could find ourselves buying a used Honda Civic

01:55:28   with an automatic transmission

01:55:30   for it to be like, quote, unquote, his car,

01:55:32   if he thinks he even needs one at all

01:55:35   and wants to learn how to drive.

01:55:37   Like I don't want him to end up like a lot of people

01:55:39   that I know who are only a few years younger than me

01:55:42   that like just made it deep into adulthood

01:55:45   never knowing how to drive,

01:55:46   just because I feel like it's a useful skill

01:55:48   that you should have, even if you don't use it,

01:55:49   even if you just take public transportation everywhere,

01:55:52   it's good to know how to drive

01:55:53   and to become comfortable with it.

01:55:54   Because like so many things,

01:55:56   I think driving well, there's no substitute for experience.

01:56:01   And as you get old, it becomes harder to learn new things.

01:56:06   So don't wait until year 57 to start learning how to drive.

01:56:10   Maybe get that over with like when you're young and spry

01:56:14   and more likely to survive the inevitable accidents

01:56:17   you're going to get into.

01:56:19   And maybe like young enough that your parents will help pay

01:56:22   for the damage you do to yourself in society.

01:56:26   - Just the traditional American path of learning to drive

01:56:30   is that you learn when you're a teenager,

01:56:31   you are a terrible driver, you cause havoc,

01:56:33   you hopefully don't kill yourself or others,

01:56:36   and you make it through to adulthood

01:56:38   being a competent enough driver to, as we all know,

01:56:42   not let them touch when you're out there on the road.

01:56:44   - Doesn't this kind of apply to everything

01:56:45   you learn when you're a teenager?

01:56:47   Like you learn a crappy version of everything

01:56:49   when you're a teenager.

01:56:50   You're reckless, you try not to die,

01:56:52   most people succeed in that,

01:56:54   and then eventually they become an adult

01:56:55   who is slightly better at things.

01:56:57   - Yeah, and arguably it'd be better to learn

01:56:59   when you're like 26 or something,

01:57:01   but it's like, what time do you have in life to do this?

01:57:05   Like if you actually do need a car,

01:57:07   you probably want to be able to drive one

01:57:12   and have a license before you turn 26

01:57:15   and are entering the job market, so I don't know.

01:57:17   - Well, 'cause like for a lot of people,

01:57:19   you need a car to get to a job,

01:57:21   and most people start having jobs well before they're 26.

01:57:24   So that I think is, that's probably one of the reasons why.

01:57:27   - If this generation of children is able

01:57:29   to improve our country to the point where we have

01:57:32   a less dire public transportation situation,

01:57:35   there's no reason we should all have to have cars.

01:57:37   We could fix this in other ways,

01:57:39   but I'm not particularly optimistic that that's going to happen.

01:57:42   - That's putting quite a lot on them.

01:57:44   - For a variety of reasons.

01:57:45   As the saying goes, you could tell how advanced

01:57:47   the country is by whether it has good public transportation,

01:57:50   and the real thing is, do the rich and powerful

01:57:53   also take public transportation?

01:57:54   That is like the S tier, top level country development

01:57:59   in whatever the tech tree is for civilization.

01:58:02   Do all the rich people take public transportation?

01:58:04   Now you're cooking with gas.

01:58:07   The US, by the way, is nowhere near that phase.

01:58:09   - No, not even in the long term.

01:58:11   - Public transportation isn't even available

01:58:13   for huge swaths of people, because there's just no,

01:58:16   there's just no public transportation available to them

01:58:18   without traveling for many miles.

01:58:19   And then when it is available, it's bad.

01:58:22   Yeah, and relatively expensive and yada yada.

01:58:25   - I think New York might be having that status.

01:58:28   - They take helicopters.

01:58:31   Like, when they want to go to the Hamptons,

01:58:33   they take a helicopter.

01:58:33   - Well, how rich are we talking?

01:58:35   - No, no, no, I disagree.

01:58:37   I think Marco's correct.

01:58:38   The greater New York area does have functional

01:58:42   and reasonably decent public transportation.

01:58:44   - Maybe I should amend that.

01:58:45   The wealthiest people take public transportation

01:58:47   and don't hate it, because I think if you are very wealthy

01:58:50   and used to paying for life-- - Well, that's asking a lot.

01:58:51   And you have to take a subway to get somewhere,

01:58:54   and the subway is late and/or flooded

01:58:56   and/or gross smelling.

01:58:57   It's not, you know.

01:58:59   - Well, that's just the subway.

01:59:00   - I know, but elsewhere in the world,

01:59:02   elsewhere in the world, there are better trains

01:59:06   that go faster, are quieter, and cleaner,

01:59:07   and are on time much more often, and are taken by everybody.

01:59:11   And often, they are the best option.

01:59:14   That's what I'm getting at, when they're the best option.

01:59:15   Not because they're taking it just to be like,

01:59:17   oh, I'm taking public transportation, aren't I good?

01:59:19   Like, it's literally the best option.

01:59:21   You prefer it, because why bother driving yourself

01:59:24   when you can just go somewhere

01:59:25   and have a comfortable experience,

01:59:27   and the thing will be on time, and it won't be crowded,

01:59:28   and it'll be clean and silent and fast?

01:59:31   - Yeah, right, you got me there.

01:59:32   (beeping)