304: Island of Shortcuts


00:00:00   So, a couple of days ago, I got afflicted by my iMac's newest virus, which is to say

00:00:06   that although it no longer shuts down willy-nilly, it will occasionally decide to not play video,

00:00:15   and it will instead show a perfectly green screen. I've never understood why this is.

00:00:20   I have never found anything I can kill or force quit or anything to kind of, you know,

00:00:26   get the engine sputtering again, if you will.

00:00:28   - No, wait, if you'll permit me for a second, is it only DRM like iTunes video, or is it

00:00:32   any video? - No, no, no, no, any video. Like stuff I've

00:00:34   taken with my GoPro, for example. - I wonder if it's like the MPEG decoder

00:00:39   failing somehow. - Yeah.

00:00:40   - 'Cause like, if you're just seeing green, it's like, this is like a placeholder that's

00:00:43   put here, and like, the GPU is told to render something here, right? But like, it's just

00:00:48   not doing it. So like, I would say you have a GPU issue in all likelihood, but possibly,

00:00:53   this might be software, maybe. - It could be either/or. I was also of the

00:00:57   impression that it might be a GPU issue, and what'll eventually happen is I'll be the first

00:01:00   one to get a Mac Pro of the three of us, and that'll really screw everything up. But anyway.

00:01:05   So I had whined about this on Twitter, as one is off to do, and somebody who I don't

00:01:10   have in front of me said, "Hey, have you looked into audio plugins?" Huh? And so apparently

00:01:17   some random stranger on the internet had said, another random stranger on the internet had

00:01:22   had a similar issue, but when they removed some audio plugins, it went away. And so the

00:01:28   only audio plugins I'm aware of that I had installed are Soundflower, which I was using

00:01:33   to try to capture a live Mutemath concert that I couldn't figure out how to download

00:01:37   using YouTube DL, which we'll talk about later, actually.

00:01:39   - Soundflower's a mess, go ahead. - It is a mess. It's an absolute mess. And

00:01:44   I also had the Audio Hijack, what is it, ACE or something, Audio Capture Engine, something

00:01:49   like that. So I uninstalled ACE, and more importantly, I uninstalled Soundflower. And

00:01:54   I'm just trying to shotgun approach, figure out if uninstalling any of these audio bits

00:01:59   and bobs will fix my green screen issue. - I gotta say, Tiff's iMac Pro is having a

00:02:04   weird issue that I don't know whether it's software or not, it seems like it probably

00:02:11   is when she plays Netflix video sometimes. And sometimes Logic is running, 'cause she's

00:02:17   now a podcast editor, and sometimes it isn't. But Logic is installed. As far as I know,

00:02:21   there's no weird plugins or anything. Sometimes the video playback in Netflix in the web browser

00:02:28   will basically run through the entire episode that she's watching in a split second, as

00:02:33   if it has no time restraint. So it just flies through and there's all the frames at once

00:02:37   and it's done instantly. Sometimes this problem has been fixed by quitting Logic. So it does

00:02:42   seem like maybe it's using the sound subsystem as the timing device for the video playback,

00:02:48   and something is wrong with the sound subsystem. And this applies whether she's using the built-in

00:02:54   audio or not. When it's in this mode, switching audio outputs does fix the problem for whatever

00:03:02   she switches it to, but when she switches it back to the built-in headphone jack, the

00:03:06   problem resumes. And sometimes it has happened without Logic running. So something's up,

00:03:13   and I have the exact same computer across the exact same room with many of the same

00:03:18   things plugged in, and I've never had that problem. But I also never watch Netflix in

00:03:22   my browser, so maybe there's something with browser video where it's doing something.

00:03:25   But I watch YouTube sometimes, and that never has a problem.

00:03:28   - Has she tried Chrome instead of Safari?

00:03:29   - Why would I do that?

00:03:31   - To see if it's the browser.

00:03:33   - But Chrome is gross. - You're just watching video. It's gonna

00:03:36   be a video window. It's like the first thing I would try is a different browser.

00:03:41   - I think we actually did try Chrome, and I think it didn't happen there. But that's

00:03:45   probably because Chrome is doing everything using the most CPU possible and ignoring all

00:03:49   the hardware. That's my best guess.

00:03:50   - Yeah, well, it's plugged into the wall. What do you care?

00:03:52   - I mean, I care a little bit about fan noise, performance, efficiency. I mean, there's some

00:03:57   caring. Also, Chrome is just gross.

00:04:00   - That's the truth. I hope that part doesn't make the show, because we're gonna get so

00:04:04   much email, even though you're right.

00:04:08   - I do have some video follow-up. I lost my first video today.

00:04:13   - Did you go to try to find it?

00:04:15   - So I wanted to do a quick video on how I roast coffee. Just quick, like, here's how

00:04:19   I do it. You can do it if you want. And I set up my Sony. So I don't know if I mentioned

00:04:25   I got a Sony A7 III to be like my video camera.

00:04:30   - Of course you did.

00:04:31   - But anyway, well, it's good. But anyway, so I set it up, and I was all ready to go.

00:04:36   And roasting coffee takes about 25 minutes, but I kept having to, like, pause and set

00:04:41   up again and everything. So anyway, so I was recording for probably about 40 minutes or

00:04:45   so. And I get to the end. Okay, fine. I go look at the camera to stop the recording,

00:04:52   and it doesn't look like it's recording.

00:04:54   - Whoops.

00:04:55   - And I was like, oh, no. I forgot to hit record that whole time, 40 minutes later,

00:05:01   after doing an entire coffee roast. So you gotta be kidding me. Like, how could I have

00:05:06   made that mistake? I decided, you know what, let me pull the card out and see if anything's

00:05:11   there anyway. I mean, can I save this video? Like, so I plug in the card, and there is

00:05:17   a 12 gig file.

00:05:18   - Oh, god.

00:05:19   - That is a few seconds less than 30 minutes exactly. And I thought, hmm. So I looked up,

00:05:26   is there a video length limit on Sony A7 series cameras? Turns out, yes there is. It's 30

00:05:34   minutes long.

00:05:35   - What?

00:05:36   - I did indeed press record, thank you very much. I had the first 30 minutes, but since

00:05:41   it was like a 40-something minute video, and, you know, like, the last 12 minutes of it

00:05:45   are like the end of a coffee roast, I can't really do that over again very easily without

00:05:49   doing a whole thing over again, and I didn't have time for that today, then I have to redo

00:05:54   this whole video. Because Sony cameras have this fairly poorly documented limit of 30

00:06:00   minutes for a video clip, and then it just stops. Doesn't, like, start a new one, maybe.

00:06:06   Like, it wasn't hitting, like, a file system limit, like the way old ones would, like with

00:06:10   the 4 gig limit. It wasn't hitting that, like, it's just 30 minutes and it just stops

00:06:14   without warning. So, I'm annoyed. I know, like, some people in chat are saying, like,

00:06:21   for heat reasons on the sensor. We've had full-frame sensors for a very long time. We've

00:06:27   had 4K video now for a pretty long time, like it's not, this isn't like the first camera

00:06:32   that can shoot 4K 30, like this is not a very new thing. I don't think we should have limits

00:06:39   like this for heat reasons anymore, that seems unreasonable to me. But anyway, I'm annoyed

00:06:44   but in the future, I guess I'll get one of those, like, large kitchen timers that you

00:06:51   see stuck to the wall behind people's stoves and just set it to 30 minutes and put it on

00:06:55   the front of the camera, like facing me. So, just every time I hit record, hit that so

00:07:00   I can see and make sure, like, I'm not actually, you know, accidentally hitting that buffer.

00:07:04   But it's very annoying.

00:07:05   I suppose I'll find this out eventually, but what exactly are you recording for 30 minutes

00:07:12   while coffee beans roast? I mean, are you in front of the camera during those 30 minutes

00:07:16   or are you literally pointing your camera at coffee beans inside a contraption that

00:07:20   is making them hot for 30 minutes?

00:07:22   It was a frame of me, me next to the coffee roaster as it's running. And my idea was,

00:07:28   I was shooting a bunch of b-roll with my iPhone and my idea was I would use that track as

00:07:34   the master track to sync everything to. But I wouldn't actually include all 40 minutes

00:07:39   in the finished video. The finished video would be like 10 or 12 minutes probably and

00:07:42   I'd just edit out chunks of it when not much was happening.

00:07:45   Not much is happening the entire time coffee beans are roasting as far as I'm concerned.

00:07:49   Yep, they're still roasting. Let me check again. Roasting.

00:07:52   I use the rest of the time to explain things like why I roast, why you might want to consider

00:07:58   roasting, you know, what's going on and what you need to consider, like, stuff like that.

00:08:02   Like, I use the time wisely, thank you very much.

00:08:04   All right, I mean, I'm sure I'll see you in the edited video and just, I'm just thinking,

00:08:08   you know, roll that beautiful bean footage. Nice. What is that recipe anyway? Does Duke

00:08:15   still have it? Anyway, you know, it's funny to me hearing you talk about your Sony cameras

00:08:20   because having only held one of these beloved Sony cameras for like five minutes in my life,

00:08:27   it seems to me like, and I can't think of an analogy that's just right for this, but

00:08:31   it seems to me like the Sony cameras are wonderful as long as you can get past the asterisk,

00:08:40   the double asterisk, the dagger, double dagger, and the seven other things that make them

00:08:44   freaking terrible. What are all the asterisks?

00:08:47   Honestly, I have found very few things to complain about, and that's saying a lot, but

00:08:52   this 30-minute limit just bit me in the butt today. But, like, you know, honestly, of my

00:08:56   time using Sony cameras, like, there have been some that have flaws, like the A7R II

00:09:02   that I had was incredibly sluggish to render its files and to be able to preview what it

00:09:08   shot. The RX1, the first generation RX1 that I had, had an absolutely terrible autofocus

00:09:15   engine that was very, very slow because it was contrast only and everything. So, you

00:09:19   know, there were some issues here and there, but the modern ones, like the, basically like

00:09:23   the three generation, the A7 III and the A7R III, got rid of all the previous issues that

00:09:28   the other ones had and pretty much brought no new ones as far as I'm aware. So they're

00:09:32   just awesome.

00:09:33   Wasn't one of them, like, you had four shots before the battery ran out or something like

00:09:38   that? I mean, I'm obviously exaggerating.

00:09:39   That was the A7R II and actually the RX1. Yeah, those, I forgot, those had awful battery

00:09:43   life, but the three series fixed that pretty well, too.

00:09:47   I guess my info's out of date. I feel like I've heard both you and, to a lesser degree,

00:09:52   been saying, "Oh, I love this camera so much," except this, that, and the other thing, but

00:09:56   I must be making it up.

00:09:58   Well, look, I mean, if you don't know the shortcomings of your camera, you're not using

00:10:00   your camera enough. Like, every camera has some kind of shortcoming or thing you wish

00:10:04   was different. You know, that's just the reality of complex products like this that have complex

00:10:11   interfaces, complex needs, where no two customers' needs or preferences are the same. You know,

00:10:16   you're never going to be, it's like to-do lists. You're never going to be satisfied

00:10:19   with whatever you're using.

00:10:20   Sure. I can't believe Casey didn't read the manual for you and find out there was

00:10:24   a 30-minute video recording limit.

00:10:29   The difference is is that I was going to drive the M5 for at least a small stretch of time,

00:10:34   and the likelihood that I'm going to be taking more than maybe three pictures with any of

00:10:37   Marco's 16 cameras is extremely unlikely.

00:10:40   You can just buy, underscore, as the same camera. So you either buy his or Marco's

00:10:44   when the first one gets bored with it.

00:10:46   You know, it's funny you bring that up. I thought a lot about should I go like full

00:10:51   frame or something, and the immediate answer to my question is no, because I'm too cheap.

00:10:57   But I wondered exactly that, like when Marco inevitably sells off all of these via Twitter,

00:11:03   you know, for reasonable prices.

00:11:05   Or underscore. He's closer.

00:11:06   Or underscore. But the problem is, even if I can get a body for, you know, $500,000,

00:11:13   whatever the crap these bodies, I knew they were a lot more than that.

00:11:16   I'm saying, you know, if I can get a secondhand one from Marco or underscore for, you know,

00:11:20   several hundred to a thousand dollars, I'm still going to have to spend thousands of

00:11:23   dollars on lenses.

00:11:24   Even if I, and I only have two lenses.

00:11:26   Nah, I would.

00:11:27   One thousand dollars in lenses. It'd be fine.

00:11:29   Yeah, so I actually got with the A7 III, so I have, I still have my Sony lenses, my 35

00:11:36   f/2.8 and the 55 1.8. Those are both amazing primes.

00:11:41   I didn't put either of those on the video camera because I didn't want to have to

00:11:44   like detach them and I wanted to use them with my still camera.

00:11:46   So the video camera, they had a deal.

00:11:48   It was something like $1,900 if it was body only, but it was like $2,150 or $2,200 if

00:11:57   you got it with the kit zoom.

00:11:58   And I was like, that's a pretty cheap price.

00:12:00   And the kit zoom actually reviewed pretty well.

00:12:02   It's not bad.

00:12:03   Like, it's not, you know, it isn't going to be the sharpest lens in the world for

00:12:06   like tack sharp photos, but for video, it's totally fine.

00:12:09   And you know, so for what you'd be doing, which would be mostly video with it, you know,

00:12:14   the cheap kit zoom is fine.

00:12:16   And you know, I wouldn't say that, you know, easily or lightly, but yeah, it's totally

00:12:21   fine.

00:12:22   Like again, if you're shooting like, you know, photos, I would suggest a better lens.

00:12:26   Well, right.

00:12:27   I wouldn't even say you need to spend thousands.

00:12:29   Like each of the primes I mentioned is I think a little bit under a thousand and I wouldn't

00:12:35   say you necessarily need both of them.

00:12:37   Well, so for my Micro Four Thirds camera, I actually just upgraded the body, but I kept

00:12:41   the same lenses and I have, I don't remember what they are, but I have a prime and a zoom.

00:12:46   I can't remember the details off the top of my head, but each of them was like seven,

00:12:50   between 700 and a thousand dollars.

00:12:52   Yeah, it's about right for a good prime.

00:12:53   Yeah.

00:12:54   So I'm like two grand into lenses on this thing.

00:12:56   And granted I've had it for four years.

00:12:58   Well, the, the Micro Four Thirds system I've had for four years now.

00:13:02   So I shouldn't really complain about the money I've spent on these lenses, but if I

00:13:05   were to go and get one of these Sonys, it would, I presumably would want it to be my

00:13:10   everything camera in the same way that the Olympus is my everything camera.

00:13:14   So I would not only be using it for video, but also for stills of the family.

00:13:17   And one of the places that the Olympus falls down, or at least the prior version, I haven't

00:13:20   really tried the new version in this situation yet, but it's low light.

00:13:24   Low light on my Micro Four Thirds, it's okay, but it is by no means anywhere near the like

00:13:31   synthetic light that the Sony just invents somehow by being full frame, I guess.

00:13:36   And so one of the, one of the reasons, one of the things I've been thinking about is

00:13:39   if I were to really just go all in on a whole new camera setup, should I do, you know, should

00:13:44   I pull a Marco slash Steven slash underscore and just follow in your footsteps.

00:13:48   But I'm too darn cheap for the body to begin with.

00:13:50   And even if I got the body, I don't want to spend another two grand on lenses when I have

00:13:53   two perfectly good lenses that are for a completely different camera system already here.

00:13:58   And I know that that's just the way this game is played and I'll either need to get over

00:14:01   it or not, but that's, that's one of the things that's hanging me up.

00:14:05   Hey, so I'd like to do a little bit more follow up.

00:14:08   I have a product review mostly from Arco.

00:14:11   I have tried your other most favorite product in the whole wide world.

00:14:16   I'm trying to think of what that might be.

00:14:19   AeroPress?

00:14:20   No, not an AeroPress.

00:14:21   Don't be ridiculous.

00:14:22   Yeah, right.

00:14:23   Let's not get too crazy.

00:14:24   That's his other favorite product though.

00:14:25   That's probably accurate.

00:14:26   It is not technology related, but it is, but an AeroPress is close-ish to what I'm thinking of.

00:14:32   The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoodie?

00:14:34   No.

00:14:35   I'm telling you, those things are amazing.

00:14:37   It's a consumable as in not...

00:14:38   I mean, eventually it will be consumed.

00:14:41   Fair.

00:14:42   By the earth.

00:14:43   It is something that I put inside of my body.

00:14:46   Huh.

00:14:47   That's not coffee.

00:14:48   No.

00:14:49   Hmm.

00:14:50   Beamster cheese?

00:14:52   That's real good.

00:14:53   No, it is not something...

00:14:54   One of those weird skunky beers Marco likes?

00:14:56   No, it is not something I wanted to put in my body.

00:14:58   It was because of necessity, my friends.

00:15:00   Allergy shots?

00:15:01   I don't know.

00:15:02   Oh, Fisherman's Friend.

00:15:03   Fisherman's Friend.

00:15:04   I have finally tried Fisherman's Friend, and I would like to provide a review for you right

00:15:09   now.

00:15:10   I wouldn't say that's Marco's favorite thing.

00:15:12   He turns to it in his time of need.

00:15:14   I think if he wasn't congested, it's not like he'd be like, "You know what I want?

00:15:18   Some Fisherman's Friend."

00:15:19   Are we doing some foley work?

00:15:20   I can do that too.

00:15:21   Yeah.

00:15:22   So I've got my Fisherman's Friend.

00:15:24   I have to tell you, these taste like shit.

00:15:26   Yep.

00:15:27   Agreed.

00:15:28   And the mouthfeel is even worse.

00:15:31   And part of the problem is...

00:15:32   I don't know about that.

00:15:33   Part of the problem is I grew up on Luden's cough candy, which tastes delicious, but does

00:15:39   absolutely nothing to help a sore throat.

00:15:41   But Declan has brought home something that has now infected the entire family, and below,

00:15:45   I needed to do something to fix a sore throat.

00:15:49   And I thought to myself, "Self, several months ago, you got Fisherman's Friend because not

00:15:53   only did Marco insist that it's great, but my real life...

00:15:57   Well, not that you're my real life friend, but you know what I mean?

00:15:59   My outside of podcasting friend, Stee, had recommended it as well.

00:16:03   And so I thought, "Oh, I should try Fisherman's Friend."

00:16:06   They do work.

00:16:08   They do work, but I am miserable while I'm consuming it.

00:16:12   It is not.

00:16:13   Do they work by distracting you from your sore throat with a disgusting taste?

00:16:16   Maybe that's what it is.

00:16:19   I'm not sure.

00:16:21   But I just thought I'd provide the quick product review for you, Marco, that they get the Casey

00:16:26   stamp of approval in the sense that they do what they say they are setting out to do,

00:16:31   which is to make your throat not feel like it's on fire, but not an enjoyable experience

00:16:36   to get to that point.

00:16:37   Yes.

00:16:38   I mean, first of all, I agree with you.

00:16:40   When you first try these, they do indeed taste horrendous, which I believe I said in my initial

00:16:46   review.

00:16:47   You probably did.

00:16:48   But I'm not used to it.

00:16:49   Now that I've probably consumed like 400 of these things over the last three winters of

00:16:53   sick children, it does taste horrible the first 200 or 300 that you try.

00:16:58   But after that, you'll get there.

00:17:00   After that, then it's fine.

00:17:01   It's totally fine.

00:17:02   You barely even notice.

00:17:03   It just tastes like a mint.

00:17:04   It's not like fish.

00:17:05   Yeah, right.

00:17:06   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:17:07   All right.

00:17:08   And while we're doing the Casey and Marco corner, can you give me an update on your

00:17:12   car?

00:17:13   Is there an update on your car?

00:17:14   What's going on there?

00:17:15   There is an update.

00:17:16   It's not done yet, but things have happened.

00:17:19   So I had two problems that we mentioned last week's After Show.

00:17:24   Number one was that Tesla had not canceled my lease when they offered to renew it early.

00:17:28   They left the old one going.

00:17:29   And so I was being billed for a car I no longer had.

00:17:33   That was fun.

00:17:34   That has been partly resolved.

00:17:37   They did indeed send a check that, well, it hasn't cleared yet, but they did indeed send

00:17:42   a check that I deposited yesterday for the parts of the payment that I have paid already,

00:17:48   but not for the $5,000 bill that I got.

00:17:52   I asked, and allegedly they have cleared that bill with the bank, and the bank should process

00:17:55   it within a week.

00:17:56   So ask me again next week.

00:17:58   I called the bank yesterday, and they hadn't yet seen this, but oh well.

00:18:02   Secondly, they sent a mobile tech out to my house, which is literally what it sounds like.

00:18:06   It is a person who can service the car in a van.

00:18:09   And so they drive to your house and service it at your house instead of at the very, very

00:18:13   crowded Tesla service center.

00:18:15   Mobile services existed for a while.

00:18:17   I know our friend Underscore has used it before.

00:18:19   I had never been offered it, but for this problem, I was offered it.

00:18:23   So that was really nice.

00:18:24   They sent a tech out to replace my yellow ring screen, and it is now replaced.

00:18:29   It is fixed.

00:18:30   The guy was super nice.

00:18:32   And that problem is gone.

00:18:34   So I really, I could tell based on some comments that the various people made that part of

00:18:43   the reason that this was being fast tracked was because of me complaining on the podcast

00:18:48   and on Twitter.

00:18:49   - Nice.

00:18:50   - And I feel a little mixed about that.

00:18:55   Normally I'm fortunate enough to have a large following in these places, and so I kind of

00:19:01   knew that I was increasing my chances of getting it fixed by going public with it.

00:19:06   And so normally I wouldn't do that kind of thing lightly.

00:19:10   Like I don't like to just complain to companies in public in that way.

00:19:14   But because I had gone through the official channels for like two months and gotten nowhere,

00:19:19   I felt like I was at the end of my rope.

00:19:21   And so I was like, all right, fine.

00:19:22   I'm gonna go public.

00:19:23   I'm gonna push that button.

00:19:24   I'm gonna use it.

00:19:26   And I don't feel great that that's why it is getting fixed.

00:19:32   But the reality is it is getting fixed, and I'm happy about that.

00:19:35   And I just, I hope they're right.

00:19:37   I hope the bank thing is done.

00:19:39   And when I call the bank in five or six days, I really hope they say this is resolved.

00:19:45   Because then I can finally complete this project.

00:19:48   Like I hate having things hanging over me.

00:19:50   You know, like undone projects.

00:19:52   I have this paper on my desk that's been on my desk for three months.

00:19:56   I'm just like, I want to get this done.

00:19:58   I just want to close this out and be done with it so I can get back to not only enjoying

00:20:04   this car that I love, but literally anything else in my life.

00:20:09   - That is something else.

00:20:10   I understand what you're saying about not wanting to go nuclear and leverage both Twitter

00:20:15   and the podcast.

00:20:16   But I think you did right by them and gave them more than enough time to resolve these

00:20:22   issues as expediently as possible.

00:20:25   And they did not take you up on any of your offers to do that.

00:20:29   So I think it's a good sign that you feel guilty, but you should not feel guilty.

00:20:35   I think you're fine on this.

00:20:37   - I would feel even angrier if this is the only way a problem got resolved.

00:20:42   Because it's almost like, I would prefer it if the status quo of just like slowly over

00:20:48   the course of six months to a year the problem was fixed and I would complain that this company

00:20:52   is terrible and has bad service.

00:20:53   But it's almost worse to me than like, oh, oh well, there's some bad PR.

00:20:57   Oh, now we'll fix it.

00:20:58   Because that shows that they had the ability to fix it before, but didn't care enough to.

00:21:02   You know what I mean?

00:21:03   It's like worse.

00:21:04   The whole time I'd be saying, what about people who don't have podcasts?

00:21:08   Like this doesn't help you be a better company.

00:21:11   You think this does, you're like, we're addressing the PR problem.

00:21:14   We're a good service company.

00:21:15   See, no, this is the exact opposite.

00:21:17   A good service company does not need you to complain about it on a podcast.

00:21:20   It just makes me angry.

00:21:21   - Yeah, like I shouldn't have had to do any of this.

00:21:25   - And they shouldn't be able to quickly solve your problem because you're on a podcast.

00:21:29   It shows that the problem was just like, this could have happened at any point.

00:21:34   Obviously there's not tremendous costs to them.

00:21:36   Just do it.

00:21:37   Just do it when you were asked two months ago.

00:21:39   How long can we let this go until we absolutely have to do it?

00:21:42   Let's continue to do nothing and be incompetent.

00:21:44   Let's go for a little bit longer.

00:21:46   - Ay yay yay.

00:21:47   All right, and then we also have feedback, since we're in the Tesla section now, we had

00:21:50   feedback from David Griffin about your mystery box in your, is it your frunk or your trunk?

00:21:56   It's your frunk, right?

00:21:57   - It's in the trunk.

00:21:58   It's like, normally the trunk has, it has like these two kind of support beams that

00:22:02   come straight back and then on either side of them, between them and the actual outer

00:22:07   edge of the car, on the left and right, they're like these little cubbies and that you can

00:22:10   put stuff in.

00:22:11   Well, on the new car, one of those cubbies, the right one, is just gone.

00:22:15   It's replaced by this giant enclosure that seems to have no openings and it's just space

00:22:19   that is used by the car for car things.

00:22:22   And I had speculated, I had asked last time during that big Tesla rant, I'm like, hey,

00:22:25   by the way, my new car has this thing, the old car didn't.

00:22:28   I can't figure out what it is.

00:22:30   I've searched the internet.

00:22:31   No one seems to know.

00:22:32   If anyone knows out there what this thing is taking up space in my trunk for, I'm just

00:22:37   curious.

00:22:38   Like, I just, I really just want to know.

00:22:39   Like I have about like, you know, three square feet less of trunk space.

00:22:43   I just kind of want to know why.

00:22:45   And yeah, so apparently it is a subwoofer or a bass box, whatever that means.

00:22:51   Thanks to a listener, Dave Griffin, who has given us lots of good Tesla info over the

00:22:55   years.

00:22:56   So yeah, basically like I, I mentioned one of the reasons that the new ones are more

00:23:00   expensive is that premium sound is now required.

00:23:04   It's just now bundled in before it was an option and I didn't take the option before,

00:23:10   which is weird for me, but I mostly listen to podcasts and so I didn't think it was worth

00:23:13   the, you know, a couple thousand dollar upgrade on the last car.

00:23:16   But this car, you're forced to get it because they wanted to drive the prices up, kind of

00:23:20   very Apple-like.

00:23:22   And so apparently I'm forced to both pay more and have a little bit less trunk space with

00:23:26   the new car.

00:23:27   Neat.

00:23:28   Still love the car, but if that was an option, I would have unchecked it.

00:23:31   Yeah, it's fair.

00:23:32   Speaking of frunks, we got a little bit of a follow-up from i3 owners and I'm sure Marker

00:23:38   read through all of it about his potential purchase on i3, but I read through most of

00:23:42   it and the one thing that struck me, the one tidbit that struck me, and I don't know if

00:23:45   this is true because you just heard it from one person, is that this person mentioned

00:23:49   offhand, "By the way, the frunk on the i3 is not watertight."

00:23:53   Yeah, I actually, I saw that in a couple of the video reviews that it basically, it's

00:23:58   more like a hood in like, you know, like if you open up your hood of your regular car,

00:24:04   you might see like leaves and crap stuck in there and it's because most hoods are not

00:24:08   watertight either.

00:24:09   You know, in extreme cases, stuff can get in there.

00:24:13   And so yeah, apparently the frunk of the i3 works the same way.

00:24:16   That it's basically like a car hood and so you can keep stuff in it, but there's not

00:24:21   a lot of things you can keep in there because they can get wet or...

00:24:26   If you live in California and it never rains or something.

00:24:28   Well, I mean you could keep like, I don't know, like a first aid kit if it's in like

00:24:33   a waterproof box or something.

00:24:35   I don't know, there's stuff you can keep in there.

00:24:37   It just seems terrible.

00:24:38   Like yeah, the hood of a car, yeah, that's where the engine is.

00:24:41   Like lots of air needs to get in there and stuff to cool the engine.

00:24:43   If you have a frunk, make it watertight.

00:24:45   Like I don't understand that at all.

00:24:47   Yeah, it definitely seems like an odd choice, especially because like this wasn't a retrofit

00:24:52   of an old gas car that they just kind of made electric.

00:24:56   They made the whole thing from scratch, right?

00:24:58   Yeah, like it's a whole new design.

00:25:00   So it is kind of weird that they chose that.

00:25:03   I'm sure they had a good reason.

00:25:04   Maybe it was for like, the weight would seal it up all weird.

00:25:09   Who knows what the reason is?

00:25:11   But it is an odd omission to have a frunk in a designed from scratch electric car that

00:25:16   lets water in so you can't really actually keep a lot of things in there.

00:25:20   Yeah, it's not a choice.

00:25:22   Speaking of trunks, we have more trunk-related follow-up, it just occurred to me.

00:25:25   Accidental Trunk Podcast.

00:25:26   Yeah, John, I really enjoyed your tear, I think it was over the weekend, going through

00:25:32   the differences between your Accord and the brand new Accord.

00:25:36   And one of the things you lamented was the way in which the Accord trunk, the machinery

00:25:42   if you will, the mounts that let the trunk open and close, intrude upon the space within

00:25:48   the trunk cavity.

00:25:50   And there are terms for this which I've already forgotten, don't really care, doesn't matter.

00:25:52   But I had pointed out to you that both of my cars are superior in that we have shocks

00:26:00   on both of our tailgates and they do not impede any of the interior space.

00:26:04   So I would like you, John, to acknowledge that my cars are superior to your piece of

00:26:10   crap.

00:26:11   You can't have a gooseneck on a hatchback, like it physically doesn't work.

00:26:15   Doesn't matter, doesn't matter.

00:26:16   Doesn't make any sense.

00:26:17   Yeah, it's going to be hinged to your roof.

00:26:20   No, you do not get any extra points because they're hatchbacks.

00:26:23   Come on, dad!

00:26:24   This is about trunks, you don't even have trunks because you don't own cars.

00:26:29   You know, I try so hard, ladies and gentlemen.

00:26:31   Has anyone ever done a gooseneck on a hatchback?

00:26:33   I don't think I've ever seen one.

00:26:35   All kidding aside, that would be monstrous and in a not good way.

00:26:39   Physically, maybe you could pull it off.

00:26:41   I don't think the roof is like structural enough to, I don't know.

00:26:45   It would be madness.

00:26:46   I got to say, I'm a hatchback convert.

00:26:49   Now that I've had the S for a couple years, man, I love it.

00:26:54   When I was all mad at Tesla, I was thinking, what if I just drive this car back up to the

00:26:57   lot and say, screw you, I'm out.

00:26:59   Fix us yourself and just leave.

00:27:02   What would I get instead of this?

00:27:05   And I was thinking, I was looking through the options and I'm like, I don't want, in

00:27:08   John Prolinz, I want a car-shaped car.

00:27:10   That eliminates everything now.

00:27:12   Exactly.

00:27:13   Yeah.

00:27:14   I don't want a mini SUV, I don't want a regular SUV, I don't want a hatch, like a hot hatch-shaped

00:27:20   car like Casey's, and I don't want a wagon.

00:27:22   And so I want basically like a sedan that works like a hatchback.

00:27:27   And there are a few.

00:27:28   A Panamera.

00:27:29   Yeah, there's the Panamera, there's the A7.

00:27:30   A7.

00:27:31   But that's about it.

00:27:32   Like, there's not a lot of other ones.

00:27:34   And so I did think, I was like, I guess I would probably look at the A7 first.

00:27:39   But it's not nearly as big.

00:27:41   Like, it doesn't have nearly as much space.

00:27:43   I have seen one before.

00:27:44   I haven't driven one, but I have seen them in a showroom.

00:27:46   And I'm like, man, I just, everything else, like going back to a regular trunk would feel

00:27:52   like going back in time.

00:27:53   It would feel like a step back.

00:27:54   Like I'm so spoiled by how awesome my giant hatchback is with all of its cargo capacity

00:28:01   without looking like a shaped vehicle I don't want, that I'm kind of spoiled by it.

00:28:06   You know, we're going to get feedback about people who are grumpy, from people who are

00:28:10   grumpy that this is not in the after show.

00:28:12   But you know what?

00:28:13   I love that CMF just pointed out in the chat, the BMW GT series, which literally Tif owns

00:28:20   one.

00:28:21   It's parked next to my car every day.

00:28:22   And I didn't think about that in the list of cars.

00:28:25   And it's her second one.

00:28:26   Yeah, and it's her second one.

00:28:28   And for some reason, I didn't think of that in the list of car-shaped cars that have hatchbacks.

00:28:32   Well, as big as his ugly as Sin, that's why.

00:28:34   It's not that bad.

00:28:35   Although I think the Tesla's a lot nicer.

00:28:37   Yes.

00:28:38   It's not great.

00:28:39   Oh, man, that is funny.

00:28:41   The five is way worse than the three.

00:28:42   Yes, that's true.

00:28:43   Goodness.

00:28:44   What's really nice about the three GT is that it's based on the three long wheelbase platform.

00:28:50   And so you get this massive amount of rear leg room.

00:28:52   You get, I think, even a little bit more rear leg room than you do in a five series, but

00:28:57   without having the width of the five series.

00:28:59   So it still feels like the narrow three series width.

00:29:03   But you have a surprising amount of space back there.

00:29:05   So honestly, it's a pretty nice car.

00:29:07   It's not for me.

00:29:08   And it doesn't come in any transmission I would tolerate.

00:29:11   But it is a nice car.

00:29:12   Actually, neither does the seven.

00:29:14   So there goes that.

00:29:15   Whoops.

00:29:16   I don't know what we're talking about anyway.

00:29:18   I know these are electric, so it's like Mark is going to buy them.

00:29:20   Yeah, I'm spoiled because now I want a car shaped hatchback that is also fully electric.

00:29:27   Are there any others?

00:29:28   I guess the Porsche, not the e-tron.

00:29:31   What's the Porsche?

00:29:33   The Tamarack?

00:29:34   The electric panamera.

00:29:35   Chief lenses.

00:29:36   The electric panamera.

00:29:37   Yeah.

00:29:38   Take hand.

00:29:39   Take hand.

00:29:40   Yeah.

00:29:41   So I've heard from people who-- I was having my problems with Tesla and their administration.

00:29:46   We heard from a few people who tried to order the Porsche Taycan, formerly the Mission E.

00:29:52   And it sounds like it is a total crap show of trying to place a deposit, trying to place

00:29:57   an order.

00:29:58   You have to go through dealers to get them.

00:30:00   And it sounds like it's a way bigger mess than my dealings with Tesla have been.

00:30:05   So I'm not sure that would actually be an improvement.

00:30:07   But that car doesn't exist yet.

00:30:09   I mean, it's all just people trying to get in line to get the first of a car that is

00:30:11   even out.

00:30:12   Those aren't anywhere yet.

00:30:13   No, but they're placing deposits to place orders.

00:30:16   And they're saying it's basically impossible.

00:30:18   Yeah, yeah.

00:30:19   But it's like the Model 3 thing, where they'll take a bunch of money for cars that haven't

00:30:22   been built yet.

00:30:23   Yeah, yeah, basically.

00:30:24   But yeah, so it sounds like if you want a car shaped hatchback electric car, the Tesla

00:30:30   Model S is actually the least hassle option to get it, even if Tesla screws up the way

00:30:35   they did with me.

00:30:36   It seems like it's better than what's going on with Porsche right now with the Taycan.

00:30:39   The Tesla story that stood out the most to me was someone saying that there was an accident

00:30:43   at a Tesla dealership, where one car scraped into five other cars.

00:30:47   Oh, yeah.

00:30:48   And that all of them were off the road for six months and counting, because none of them

00:30:51   can be repaired.

00:30:52   Yeah, because the part to repair them all was backordered.

00:30:57   That was painful.

00:30:58   And so they all have loaner cars while they wait.

00:31:01   And speaking of loaner cars, I know we're stuck in a lot of pre-show nutri-hill, but

00:31:05   another bit of i3 feedback was that if there's some sort of deal where if you get an i3,

00:31:11   they'll also give you a deal where if you ever need to go somewhere where the i3 doesn't

00:31:16   have the range or you don't want to deal with the range issues, they'll give you a loaner

00:31:21   gas car for free anytime you want it.

00:31:23   Yeah, that was really interesting.

00:31:25   Which is kind of an admission that maybe your electric car doesn't have enough range, because

00:31:30   the i3 is not like the Model S. I don't know what the range is, but I think it's like half,

00:31:33   maybe less.

00:31:34   Yeah, but anytime you want a gasoline car, you know, BMW makes those too, and they'll

00:31:39   loan you one and you can use it for your trip.

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00:33:26   What can you tell me about multi-output MIDI devices?

00:33:29   This is about Marco on the plane trying to watch a single laptop with two people with

00:33:34   Bluetooth headphones.

00:33:35   He couldn't get the Mac to output to Bluetooth to two different sources.

00:33:38   And apparently, I haven't tried this, but many readers or listeners are going to tell

00:33:42   us, if you go to the Mac's audio MIDI control panel, which is probably someplace that people

00:33:47   who don't do anything with musical instruments ever go, you can apparently make a new output

00:33:52   device and make it multi-output and let two people with Bluetooth headphones watch the

00:33:57   same video.

00:33:58   That's what we were told.

00:33:59   I haven't actually tried it, but if I was stuck on a plane and trying to pull this off,

00:34:03   I'd open that control panel.

00:34:05   I'd open that preference pane and give it a go.

00:34:08   And there was a thing where you have to have one of them be the drift master.

00:34:13   You have to correct the drift somehow, and one of them gets to be the master.

00:34:18   So yeah, there are a lot of issues that don't come up when you're using an analog headphone

00:34:21   cable splitter.

00:34:23   It sounds like it might work, but it's so much more complicated than just a headphone

00:34:28   splitter that I worry that it might not.

00:34:31   Make the new audio device and then just select it as one of your output sources.

00:34:33   The main thing I thought about when I read it was this is yet another place where the

00:34:38   iOS devices have a long way to go to catch up with the Mac.

00:34:42   With the Mac, no, it doesn't do everything, but the chances of you being able to find

00:34:46   some kind of weird hacky solution are much greater.

00:34:48   If iOS doesn't support this, guess what?

00:34:50   It doesn't support it.

00:34:51   You either jailbreak and hack something in or you're out of luck.

00:34:53   And in the Mac, there is a chance that there's some weird actual GUI buried somewhere that

00:34:59   you haven't seen or a command line utility or something that will let you do this.

00:35:03   Kind of like the stuff with disk images and disk repair.

00:35:06   Another example of the flexibility of the Mac.

00:35:08   There's functionality you probably don't even know about, and you can add to it pretty easily.

00:35:12   And the command line stuff.

00:35:13   So lots of times the GUIs that Apple gives you, like their utility folders GUIs, will

00:35:17   do stuff that you've never thought of doing, but also if the GUI app doesn't do anything,

00:35:22   a lot of them are just built on frameworks that are also fronted by command line equivalents

00:35:26   that will do even more stuff.

00:35:27   I don't know how much I use TMutil or HDIutil for disk images and stuff.

00:35:33   Some of it is working around Apple's utility applications that they don't update very frequently,

00:35:37   but the actual capability of the systems are much greater and you have access to those

00:35:41   capabilities if you know where to look and can take the time.

00:35:44   Yeah, that's one thing, as the iPad gains in popularity and as we all try to use it

00:35:50   for more things because the hardware is so cool, that is one thing I run into a lot of.

00:35:55   There's this one behavior that I do on the Mac or that I depend on or this feature I

00:35:58   want or this functionality that I need that on the Mac it relies on the existence of one

00:36:04   of the Mac's many advanced features.

00:36:08   There's so much advanced functionality built into macOS of things you can tweak, things

00:36:12   you can do that on the iPad either are very cumbersome or very roundabout ways that you

00:36:20   need to do them or are just simply not possible.

00:36:23   I do find I hit those a lot on iOS.

00:36:28   A simple thing, for instance, on the Mac I remap a couple of keyboard shortcuts that

00:36:33   are pretty common to be more comfortable keyboard commands for me to use with my actual hands.

00:36:39   One of those is the screenshot, the Command+Shift+4.

00:36:42   I put it on Command+Shift+1 because that's what I use the most and it's just faster that

00:36:46   way.

00:36:47   The other one is I archive my mail messages using a different shortcut for archive than

00:36:51   what the system one is.

00:36:53   Again, just common action, I want it to be more easily done.

00:36:58   And on iOS you can't do that.

00:37:01   You have to just do whatever keyboard shortcuts there are and there aren't enough, you can't

00:37:06   remap them.

00:37:07   You have to just take whatever they are.

00:37:09   Everyone has a feature like this, there's no services menu, there's no scriptability,

00:37:14   there's no terminal to do a lot of terminal stuff.

00:37:18   This is why I don't think, if you're a real Mac power user, I don't see the iPad replacing

00:37:28   the Mac for you.

00:37:30   Whereas if you're just a regular Mac user, a more typical one, and you leave most things

00:37:35   at the defaults and you don't really get into those areas of deep customization of the OS

00:37:41   and its behavior, it's an easier transition for those people.

00:37:44   But I'm unfortunately not one of those people.

00:37:46   And so I think the iPad will remain for me a secondary platform that I do some stuff

00:37:53   on and I enjoy it.

00:37:54   But I don't see it taking over, even if it adds things like Xcode and everything else.

00:38:00   There's so much amazing flexibility in Mac OS that I would simply miss too much.

00:38:06   Real time follow up, I think I referred to the MIDI thing as a preference pane.

00:38:10   First I was going to refer to it as a control panel because I'm old and then I said preference

00:38:13   pane, neither one of those is correct.

00:38:15   It's in application/utility/audio MIDI setup.

00:38:18   So if you're looking for it, that's where it is.

00:38:20   And then as for the keyboard shortcut, that's not comfortable.

00:38:24   Command shift four, you change it to command shift one.

00:38:26   And you said that it made me remember the-- and I hope I'm right about this-- the origins

00:38:31   of those.

00:38:32   Why the hell is it command shift four?

00:38:33   Well, it used to be command shift three, which still does screen, the screenshot.

00:38:38   When they added the capabilities of being able to do the crosshairs and the space bar

00:38:41   to capture the whole window, they said, well, command shift three is already taken with

00:38:44   the just take a screenshot of the screen.

00:38:46   So let's do four, which is the next one up.

00:38:47   Why didn't they use one and two, you may ask?

00:38:50   One and two, command shift one ejects the first floppy disk.

00:38:53   Command shift two ejects your second floppy disk.

00:38:56   And they've never come back and taken those commands.

00:38:59   Because those are very important commands.

00:39:01   And I always thought it was cool that command shift one would eject the floppy, but if you

00:39:04   connected your $450 1980-something money, external 800K floppy disk that you paid for half of

00:39:11   as your combination Christmas and birthday present, it would eject the second floppy

00:39:15   disk.

00:39:16   That is fantastic.

00:39:17   While we're going down this nostalgia trip-- this episode is all over the place-- hearing

00:39:22   the talk of Driftmaster reminded me of when I was young.

00:39:28   We had a-- I think I've told you the story once before, but it was years ago.

00:39:31   We had a Thrustmaster joystick.

00:39:33   I couldn't tell you what model it was.

00:39:35   That was the best brand name of anything ever.

00:39:37   So good.

00:39:38   But my dad would buy video game stuff periodically just for fun and then never ever use it, which

00:39:46   was great for me.

00:39:47   But I don't know what possessed him to do this.

00:39:48   But anyway--

00:39:49   I buy a whole bunch of iOS games and never ever play them.

00:39:52   Well, there you go.

00:39:54   So in any case, he bought this Thrustmaster.

00:39:56   And I remember it was during the time of the PS/2 keyboard connection.

00:40:01   So I don't know what that makes us, like mid-90s or something like that.

00:40:05   But the Thrustmaster needed the old, like, humongous keyboard connection that were from

00:40:10   like the original IBM PCs and what I'm talking about.

00:40:12   Nice.

00:40:13   Yeah, like the big DIN something.

00:40:14   Yeah, yeah.

00:40:15   So what happened was the Thrustmaster, you would plug the keyboard into the Thrustmaster

00:40:19   joystick, then using a converter to go from PS/2 to whatever the hell this other thing

00:40:23   was called, then you would plug the Thrustmaster in not only the special joystick ports, which

00:40:29   might have been on your sound card actually if memory serves, but nevertheless--

00:40:32   Yes, it was.

00:40:34   You would also plug it in to the keyboard on your computer because the Thrustmaster had

00:40:39   a little app, or well, program, that you could do, like, have it do key combinations or mimic

00:40:47   keyboard presses with all of these different buttons on the joystick.

00:40:51   And the joystick had like 8,000 buttons on it.

00:40:53   And so this never really seemed like that useful to me until I started playing Descent,

00:40:59   which is one of the many games that Jon could never play because he had a Mac.

00:41:02   And--

00:41:03   I played Descent.

00:41:04   There was a Mac version.

00:41:05   What are you talking about?

00:41:06   Oh, I was hoping.

00:41:07   I had a 50/50 shot in a T-shirt.

00:41:08   I also played it on PC before there was a Mac version, but--

00:41:09   Oh, man, that's disappointing.

00:41:10   I was going out on a limb there, but that's right.

00:41:12   So anyways, so I was playing Descent.

00:41:14   I would play Descent, and when I gripped the joystick, like, your thumb was on a-- I don't

00:41:18   know what the technical term for it is, but like a little four-way thing, so you could

00:41:21   go up, down, left, right.

00:41:22   And so I remember that I had had the keyboard mapping so that when I pushed my little thumb

00:41:27   thing forward, it would go-- the ship would fly forward.

00:41:30   When I pushed back, the ship would fly back.

00:41:32   And I believe I used left and right for strafe.

00:41:34   And oh, my word, was that amazing with Descent.

00:41:37   I mean, Descent in general was amazing.

00:41:39   And if you're not familiar with it, you should look up the Wikipedia article or whatever,

00:41:42   because it was a truly phenomenal game.

00:41:43   But using the Thrustmaster joystick with this ridiculous, like, not really daisy chain,

00:41:48   but almost like daisy chain, like-- that was Dongle Town before Dongle Town to some degree,

00:41:53   because you needed to get all these little stupid converters.

00:41:55   It was the predecessor to Dongle Town.

00:41:57   But so I guess that makes it Dongle Town, England, and now we're in New Dongle Town,

00:42:02   America?

00:42:03   I don't know.

00:42:04   Whatever.

00:42:05   Anyway, the point is is that it was this most ridiculous setup in the world with clearly,

00:42:08   like, mid-'90s technology, and it was phenomenal.

00:42:11   I kind of miss it.

00:42:13   Descent was like an old-school QWOP.

00:42:17   You know that game?

00:42:18   What?

00:42:19   QWOP?

00:42:20   No.

00:42:21   Q-W-O-P?

00:42:22   Am I getting the name right?

00:42:23   Nope.

00:42:24   Well, you might be getting the name right, but it means zero to me.

00:42:25   The game where it's like the side view of a runner, and you use the keys on the keyboard

00:42:30   Q-W-O-P to control the runner's, like, leg joints?

00:42:34   Like all independently of each other?

00:42:36   And the goal is just to be able to run, right?

00:42:38   So you have to carefully orchestrate the limbs, and, you know, basically the person just falls

00:42:42   to the ground.

00:42:43   Descent was the true six degrees of freedom.

00:42:46   Like, that was the gimmick of the game.

00:42:47   There's no up, no down, no left, no right.

00:42:49   You're floating in free space.

00:42:50   And so without a Thrustmaster setup, you had lots of keys on the keyboard to control all

00:42:54   the different axes of rotation and thrust, and it was very difficult to get a handle

00:42:58   on.

00:42:59   You may be used to, like, first-person shooters.

00:43:00   "Oh, I can do this great.

00:43:01   I'm really good at Doom," but that, like, constrained you to a plane, and then you would

00:43:04   just, you know, left and right and strafe.

00:43:06   Well, imagine you had left, right, strafe, but in, like, two more axes.

00:43:10   It was really fun.

00:43:11   Yeah.

00:43:12   Doom was actually an interesting case of it.

00:43:13   Doom was, like, Doom was actually a 2D game.

00:43:17   Like--

00:43:18   2.5D, they call it.

00:43:19   Yeah, like, it was-- everything was rendered in 3D.

00:43:22   Like, it looked 3D, but every-- like, the maps were 2D.

00:43:27   The projectiles all moved only in 2D.

00:43:30   Like, basically, like, the Z axis, the up and down axis, was only visual.

00:43:35   You could never be, like-- there was never a room above another room on the map.

00:43:39   There was, like-- there were enemies that were above you, but you wouldn't aim up or

00:43:43   down.

00:43:44   You would just shoot straight ahead, and your thing would hit the ones that are up above

00:43:46   you, and they were shooting down at you.

00:43:48   It was a very, very clever use of, you know, not quite being ready for 3D-- for full 3D

00:43:53   yet until Quake, I think.

00:43:54   The colony had shooting vertically.

00:43:56   The colony was also ray-casting, but you did shoot with the mouse.

00:43:59   This was when mice had mice and PCs didn't.

00:44:02   You did shoot with the mouse, and because you could shoot anywhere on the screen, you

00:44:04   could actually aim above and below the dead center axis.

00:44:08   But you've never heard of the colony, but it was a good game.

00:44:10   It was a Mac game.

00:44:11   It was.

00:44:12   It totally was.

00:44:13   It might have been on Mars.

00:44:15   There's an awesome video of, like, the person who made the colony-- like, one person, because

00:44:19   this is back when single people made games-- a YouTube video of him going through the colony,

00:44:25   explaining what he was thinking when he made the game.

00:44:27   It's, you know, it's amazing.

00:44:28   Normally, you can't even find, like, "Has anyone even heard of this game?

00:44:31   Can I even find a screenshot?"

00:44:32   You can go on YouTube and watch the creator of the game walk through the game with you.

00:44:36   It's really cool.

00:44:37   Let's see if I can find that video for the show notes for the five other people listening

00:44:39   to this who remember the colony.

00:44:41   Guess who made the colony, by the way?

00:44:43   The guy who you saw on YouTube or whatever?

00:44:45   What was it?

00:44:46   David Smith.

00:44:47   Nice.

00:44:48   That's funny.

00:44:49   I mean, it is kind of a common name.

00:44:53   Fair enough.

00:44:54   I don't see any punctuation in his, though, so it's clearly inferior.

00:44:57   Yeah, and he goes by David A. Smith.

00:44:59   I don't know.

00:45:00   It's a little pretentious.

00:45:01   He's an imitation David Smith.

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00:47:00   Thank you so much to Linode, my favorite web host by far, for sponsoring our show and for

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00:47:06   [music]

00:47:07   Do you want to talk about, Marco, what's going on with Overcast these days?

00:47:12   Because it sounds like you had a really, really, really crummy bug, and crummy in the sense

00:47:19   that it would be hard to reproduce and kind of figure out what's going on.

00:47:22   So maybe this is not that interesting, but I'd love to kind of hear you walk us through

00:47:28   what was the bug report, and how did you go about trying to figure this out?

00:47:33   So I've had reports for a little while now that they would be playing a podcast, and

00:47:38   a few minutes into playing it, it would just get killed in the background if we're using

00:47:42   too much CPU usage.

00:47:43   I couldn't figure it out for a while.

00:47:45   I thought it was Watch Transcodes, and so I adjusted the throttling of the Watch Transcode

00:47:49   engine to make sure it definitely wouldn't go past the limit of, if you're in the background,

00:47:55   the limit is something like 80% over 60 seconds, something like that.

00:48:00   I forget the exact number, but it's in that ballpark.

00:48:02   I kept having these crash logs, these reports, and when you get killed for energy usage,

00:48:07   or one of those resource limits, the crash logs you get are not very useful.

00:48:12   There's not a lot of info in them.

00:48:13   You kind of have to blindly figure out why might you have used that much CPU usage, because

00:48:18   the logs you get usually won't tell you.

00:48:21   So I was trying to figure this out, and again, I blamed the watch thing for a while.

00:48:25   I throttled that back, but I was still getting some reports of this.

00:48:28   I was at my wits, and I could not figure it out.

00:48:30   I poured through the reports, couldn't get any useful information out of the reports

00:48:33   I had.

00:48:34   So I finally went to Twitter with the Overcast account.

00:48:36   I'm like, "Hey, I'm getting these reports of crashing in the background during playback.

00:48:41   I cannot figure this out.

00:48:43   Can anybody tell me steps that reproduce the problem, that do it every time?"

00:48:48   A few people actually did, and by the way, I should clarify right up front, I don't know

00:48:56   if this is the only reason Overcast gets killed in the background for too much CPU usage, but

00:49:01   one of the reasons it could do this, I have now identified and fixed.

00:49:05   And it's in the TestFlight beta as of today.

00:49:08   I'm hoping to see if that does fix it after a few days of crash logs from TestFlight, but

00:49:13   I don't know yet.

00:49:14   Anyway, so the problem was, all right, let me, I'm trying to think how much explanation

00:49:19   should I give here, because it could get really long and boring.

00:49:21   So I'm going to try to pair it back and summarize it.

00:49:24   Basically, one of the conditions that could cause this was if you are in a streaming mode,

00:49:31   where you are downloading the podcast as it's playing, and it's not fully downloaded yet,

00:49:38   and the app is in the background.

00:49:39   So suppose you hit play, it starts playing.

00:49:41   You put the phone in your pocket, so the app's in the background.

00:49:43   If you pause playback, iOS will suspend the app in the background after a few seconds

00:49:49   of no audio playing from it.

00:49:51   So as the download was happening, if you paused it, and the download wasn't going to finish

00:49:56   in that time, iOS killed the app, which kills the download.

00:50:00   It stops the network transfer.

00:50:02   When you would go to press play after that, it would resume playback, but the part of

00:50:09   the file that wasn't downloaded, Overcast would basically get into an infinite loop

00:50:14   in a background thread, trying really, really hard as a busy wait, saying, "Are you done

00:50:19   yet?

00:50:20   Are you done yet?

00:50:21   Are you done yet?"

00:50:22   And it was looping over and over and over again, rather than doing a throttled, "Check

00:50:24   now," and "Check back later" kind of approach.

00:50:27   And so there was basically a way for it to, after a failed transfer in the background,

00:50:34   it was not properly interpreting that failure, and was instead doing this infinite loop thing,

00:50:39   which was making one thread max out.

00:50:41   So the symptom would be, if you resumed a podcast under these conditions, if you resumed

00:50:46   playback, about 48 seconds in, the app would get killed, and playback would stop.

00:50:51   And if you hit play again, it would relaunch in the background and start playing again.

00:50:54   So it seemed to you, the user, as if it just stops playing after a minute or two for some

00:51:01   reason, but that was the actual cause that I could finally reproduce.

00:51:05   Thank you very much to the people who reported that.

00:51:08   Again, I don't know if there's any other ones.

00:51:10   I don't know if this topic is even interesting enough to keep in the show, but that's what

00:51:14   happened.

00:51:15   Well, so hold on.

00:51:16   So how did you figure out the technical bits that were going on?

00:51:20   Because all you really had to go on was just that, "Oh, I backgrounded the app, I was

00:51:25   streaming and then bad things happened."

00:51:26   So how did you dive into finding the actual problem?

00:51:31   It never showed up for me in my own usage of the app.

00:51:35   And there's a number of reasons for that.

00:51:37   One is which I don't use streaming.

00:51:38   I download everything.

00:51:39   So the only time I ever stream a podcast in normal use, unless I'm testing some streaming

00:51:44   feature, the only time I ever stream a podcast is if I want to start playing something immediately

00:51:50   that I hadn't yet downloaded.

00:51:51   Like if I heard of a new episode of a new show, I just want to start playing it right

00:51:55   now.

00:51:56   I'll start playing it, I'll stream it.

00:51:57   The other thing is usually I have pretty good connectivity.

00:51:59   Usually at home I have really fast Wi-Fi.

00:52:01   When I'm out, I live in a nice suburban area, so there's usually strong cell signal

00:52:07   and everything.

00:52:08   So normally I wouldn't even hit the problem where the partial download hasn't completed

00:52:13   yet when you pause it for a little while.

00:52:15   And so I wasn't seeing this problem at all.

00:52:18   When I finally got these reproduction steps, it allowed me to...

00:52:22   So first of all, I tried it and I realized, oh, this is not happening when I do it on

00:52:27   my regular Wi-Fi.

00:52:29   But there's this wonderful utility that used to be just on the Mac and now is also in the

00:52:33   iOS developer menu called Network Link Conditioner.

00:52:37   Apple supplies this.

00:52:38   It's a pref pane on Mac OS, although honestly I couldn't get the Mac OS version to work

00:52:41   under Mojave.

00:52:42   Maybe I have to update it, I don't know.

00:52:44   But on iOS, if you go into the developer menu in settings, there's a Network Link Conditioner,

00:52:48   and you can basically artificially throttle your own network connection for all apps on

00:52:52   the device in order to test how your app behaves under slow networks or intermittent connectivity

00:52:59   or heavy packet loss or other kind of crappy network connectivity.

00:53:03   It's a wonderful tool, and without that I would have had a much harder time testing

00:53:07   this.

00:53:08   I would have had to do some kind of router hack maybe or throttle it in the app somehow.

00:53:11   It would have been much harder.

00:53:12   So anyway, thank you very much, random Apple employee who makes Network Link Conditioner.

00:53:16   Anyway, I was able to slow down my connection to like 3G speeds, which would give it enough

00:53:22   time to get the app suspended into the background without the file being fully downloaded.

00:53:29   Then I was able to relaunch it, and then I saw finally I could see this happening on

00:53:34   my own phone, where I saw the CPU spike to 100% and then eventually get killed.

00:53:40   Now once you can, this is why developers always love a reproducible list of steps that like

00:53:46   do this, this, and this, and it will make the problem happen every time.

00:53:50   Because then we can plug in our developer tools and we can profile the app.

00:53:55   And so I ran it in Instruments, which is a tool that comes with the Xcode bundle, and

00:54:00   Instruments can tell you if you run a session of your app under Instruments, it will tell

00:54:07   you what parts of the app are using the most CPU usage.

00:54:09   And this is for any developers who use it.

00:54:12   I know this is a gross oversimplification.

00:54:14   It can actually do a lot more than that, but the most common thing that I do with Instruments

00:54:18   is measure where in my app is using the most CPU time, what is using the most processor

00:54:24   resources.

00:54:25   And so when I was able to run this finally in a reproducible way, I could run it with

00:54:30   Instruments running.

00:54:32   And so I saw when the CPU spiked to 100%, I was able to profile what it was actually

00:54:37   doing in that, and that's when I saw, oh, it's calling this render method over and over

00:54:43   and over again.

00:54:44   It definitely should not be calling this this much what's going on.

00:54:49   Basically the root issue was that at some point I'm returning zero audio samples when

00:54:56   the rest of the audio engine expects there to be some, whether it's a block of silence

00:55:00   or not.

00:55:01   But I was returning zero audio samples, so it would just call it again until it had enough

00:55:06   to fill its buffer, which it never did.

00:55:08   The reason why I was so surprised when I found this out, when I found out why it was doing

00:55:12   this, is it's been that way for a while.

00:55:18   And I wondered, why is this only a problem now?

00:55:21   Looking at this code, this should never have worked.

00:55:25   And while I was in there, I also decided to fix a couple of other things.

00:55:28   Basically the fix was the app needed better detection of whether it was in a buffering

00:55:35   kind of state or not.

00:55:37   Is it waiting for more data or is it not waiting for more data?

00:55:40   And fixing that required a whole bunch of actually surprisingly deep changes, which

00:55:43   is why I'm going to do a big beta of this before I release it.

00:55:47   But it's one of those things where it's like, how did this ever work?

00:55:51   And the UI for buffering was totally broken before.

00:55:55   It would show an activity spinner beneath the pause button, partially overlapped by

00:56:00   the pause button.

00:56:02   I'm embarrassed that I ever shipped that, honestly.

00:56:07   But anyway, so the app had pretty poor detection before of whether it was buffering or not.

00:56:14   So I fixed that as well, which was kind of required to fix the real issue.

00:56:19   So anyway, I think I have fixed it.

00:56:23   It was all because I finally had reproduction steps.

00:56:26   And so for anybody out there who's filing bug reports, if you can come up with reproducible

00:56:30   steps, and I know it's hard and I know it's impossible to do for bugs that just seem to

00:56:34   happen intermittently, but man, if you have reproduction steps that reproduce the problem

00:56:38   every single time, that is invaluable for a developer.

00:56:42   And that can help get a problem solved way faster.

00:56:45   I find this really fascinating.

00:56:48   Out of curiosity, and I've been messing around with something that I don't think I'm ever

00:56:53   going to release, but I wrote myself an iPad app since actually we last spoke, in order

00:56:58   to help with...

00:56:59   Wait, what?

00:57:00   Backup.

00:57:01   So I, when I do what I call the edit for analog, which is not actually an edit at all, and it's

00:57:08   what I used to do for ATP in the first couple of years of ATP, and then Marco kind of took

00:57:12   over in a good way, and so I don't have to do it for ATP anymore, but for analog...

00:57:16   I stole the edit from you.

00:57:19   I appreciate what you're saying, but I don't think that's the case at all.

00:57:22   I think it was better for everyone this way, and you were able to dedicate the extra time

00:57:26   to do it.

00:57:27   But be all that aside...

00:57:28   It's not you, it's me.

00:57:31   So the flow with analog is we record, and then I listen to the recorded version straight

00:57:37   off the mics, and I say, "Oh, at 15 seconds I coughed, at 5 minutes and 42 seconds, we

00:57:45   cross-talked real bad," and so on and so forth.

00:57:47   And I generate this list of edit points that Mike is the one who does the actual work.

00:57:52   I used to do this by just having a text edit window open on my Mac and listening to the

00:57:57   show, and when I heard something I would not have the window open because I'm usually multitasking,

00:58:04   and so then I would have to find the space that has the player window and then back up

00:58:08   a few seconds to get the correct timestamp and so on and so forth.

00:58:11   And I thought to myself, "There's got to be a better way to do this, and it would be kind

00:58:14   of neat to be able to do this on the iPad."

00:58:16   And so I built this little app that will let me ingest a file from, say, the Files app,

00:58:24   which really means Dropbox or iCloud Drive, load it up, and let me play it, and then I

00:58:31   have a humongous, literally a quarter of the screen is a button that reads "New Edit,"

00:58:36   and when I tap that button it'll pause playback, take note of the timestamp, and throw up a

00:58:41   little popover where I can say, "Oh, I want there to be a chapter start here," or "I want

00:58:45   there to be a sponsor read here," or "There is a sponsor read here," or "I coughed,"

00:58:50   or whatever the case may be.

00:58:51   I bring all this up to ask, I'm curious, Marco, what do you do—and I feel like I've asked

00:58:57   this before, but I don't remember your answer—what do you do for, like, bug tracking, issue management,

00:59:01   stuff like that?

00:59:02   Because I have this right now in a private—I'm trying to be gentle, John.

00:59:05   You're asking the person who doesn't run any tests what he uses for bug tracking.

00:59:09   Okay.

00:59:10   Well, I'm trying to be gentle here, and before you answer, Marco, the reason I ask

00:59:12   is because I've been using GitHub issues, which are not perfect, but it's just me,

00:59:17   and it's not something that's actually that serious.

00:59:19   But I find that I often have a thought of something I would like to do, but I'm not

00:59:25   in a position to actually code it, even if it's something very quick.

00:59:28   And so I'll make myself a little GitHub issue to just remind myself later on that I

00:59:32   want to do that thing.

00:59:34   And I haven't actually used this app for an analog edit, because this is an off week,

00:59:38   and I literally wrote the guts of it in about two mornings, two consecutive mornings, and

00:59:44   we won't record analog again until this upcoming week, and then we'll see if it works and

00:59:48   what'll happen.

00:59:49   But Marco, do you use any sort, I think you had said you use some text file or Todoist,

00:59:55   no, not Todoist, like task paper or something like that.

00:59:58   What do you do to manage bugs and planning and that sort of thing?

01:00:01   Yeah, for a while I used task paper as my master to-do list for Overcast.

01:00:06   When I had my to-do list renaissance about a year ago, and I switched to Things for all

01:00:12   my management on all devices, now I just have a Things project that is Overcast.

01:00:18   And under it I have all these headings for different versions, milestones I want to do.

01:00:22   I know I'm not using it right, but I don't care.

01:00:25   And I have a list in there of bugs to fix for the next version.

01:00:30   And whenever something comes up, I put it in there and then I try to fix it.

01:00:34   So you wrote an iPad app, and the app you wrote isn't a thin wrapper on YouTube DL?

01:00:41   With shortcut support or something?

01:00:42   No, no, no.

01:00:43   So you could just say, "Hey, Dingus, download this video."

01:00:46   No, and actually I should bring up, this actually probably should have been a follow-up, but

01:00:51   a lot of people wrote in and said in various degrees of politeness, "Why don't you use

01:00:55   shortcuts to do this?"

01:00:56   And it's a fair question.

01:00:58   And there are two answers, neither of which will be satisfying to the people who have

01:01:01   suggested this.

01:01:02   Number one, it is not only YouTube that I do this sort of thing for.

01:01:06   As an example, if you have a particular show on terrestrial television that you enjoy,

01:01:13   and you would like to persist a copy of them for the future, you can very easily use YouTube

01:01:18   Download to grab an NBC show or CBS or whatever the case may be.

01:01:23   As another example, we like to play a lot of holiday specials, holiday music specials,

01:01:29   on endless repeat throughout the List household for the month of December, which is why nobody

01:01:34   ever visits us in the month of December.

01:01:35   But anyway, as an example, just a night or two ago, Pentatonix, who is an a capella group,

01:01:42   did an extremely cheesy yet delightful Christmas special that was aired on NBC, and I wanted

01:01:46   to keep it so I could watch it in the future.

01:01:48   And so I YouTube-DL'd it, and it worked no problem.

01:01:52   And maybe shortcuts would work with these sorts of things too, I'm not sure.

01:01:55   And given what shortcuts it's capable of, I'm sure there is a way that it could be done.

01:02:00   But I use YouTube-DL for a lot more than just YouTube.

01:02:03   And additionally, the real honest answer to the question of why not use shortcuts or SSH

01:02:08   or something like that, or torrent them, why torrent them when I can go to the actual source.

01:02:14   But anyways, why not just do something, anything else other than this ridiculous ISH thing,

01:02:21   is because I'm used to doing this on the command line.

01:02:23   It's just momentum, man.

01:02:24   I'm used to doing this on the command line.

01:02:25   I know YouTube-DL and FFmpeg alarmingly well now, which is not something I probably should

01:02:30   be proud of.

01:02:32   But it's just what I'm used to, and it's what I'm quickest with.

01:02:35   And I like when I can use the tools I'm used to because I'm quick with them.

01:02:38   And so that's why.

01:02:41   - One of the reasons why, going back to my iPad advanced options from the Mac thing earlier,

01:02:47   one of the reasons why I find it difficult to become an iOS power user with shortcuts

01:02:53   and formerly workflow, is the things you can do with it.

01:02:58   Really it's this whole layer of power and advanced features and automation that you

01:03:03   can achieve.

01:03:04   Well, we've had that for a while on other platforms, and for many of us, a lot of people

01:03:11   going back decades, it's the terminal.

01:03:14   It's a shell like Bash, and it's shell scripting, and tools like this, command line tools.

01:03:21   And one of the great things about learning the terminal is that once you know one of

01:03:27   the common things like Bash and basic command line usage, first of all, you can use it on

01:03:33   a whole bunch of different platforms.

01:03:35   Mac OS, even Windows now with the WSL thing, you can use it on Linux servers, and it doesn't

01:03:42   really change that much over time.

01:03:45   You can learn a lot of these skills once, and then you can use those skills for literally

01:03:51   decades, like 20, 30 years easily, and a lot of the stuff doesn't change.

01:03:55   Or at least the foundation you built 30 years ago can still be used today.

01:03:59   Honestly, I think workflow and shortcuts, I think these actually are very much like

01:04:04   the command line in the sense that they enable advanced users to learn some more complex

01:04:11   things if they're willing to learn in order to get a lot of power, in order to get new

01:04:16   things done, get things done faster, have more customized behavior, more advanced behavior.

01:04:21   The difference though is that workflow and, or sorry, shortcuts, is not the command line.

01:04:25   It's totally different.

01:04:27   And that's fine.

01:04:28   I would say shortcuts is not that much easier to use than learning the command line is,

01:04:36   in the sense that you still need to learn how it works, what it expects, what it does

01:04:41   and doesn't do.

01:04:42   You still need to learn its limitations, how it expects you to talk to it and use it, and

01:04:49   you still need to learn the library of things it can do.

01:04:53   So there's a learning curve to both things.

01:04:56   And the reason why people like me and Casey want so badly a terminal on the iPad is because

01:05:01   we've already done that learning curve, like 20 years ago or whatever, and we just want

01:05:05   to be able to use it now because we can use it everywhere else.

01:05:09   That's why it's so awesome that the Mac is under the hood, like this Unix subsystem.

01:05:14   That's why Microsoft was so pressured to create the Windows Subsystem for Linux thing.

01:05:19   Because once you're in that system, it's great because you can have this long, long

01:05:26   running expertise in this different language of how you can make your computer do amazing

01:05:30   things.

01:05:31   And you know the syntax and you know the tools that you have at your disposal, and you can

01:05:34   use the same knowledge and expertise and tools even on all the different platforms you use.

01:05:40   And that's really awesome.

01:05:42   So as awesome as shortcuts is for the people who use it, that doesn't apply to shortcuts.

01:05:48   You can't use shortcuts anywhere except iOS.

01:05:52   And so while it is awesome, it's not the same kind of thing, and it doesn't have the

01:05:56   same long term value of investing your expertise in and investing your tools and your script

01:06:00   and your time into as learning shell scripting does on any other platform.

01:06:05   And so I kind of wish there was something like, some kind of power user layer like this,

01:06:11   whether it's something like shortcuts or something like a terminal, that you can use

01:06:15   on all of your devices.

01:06:17   And right now there isn't.

01:06:19   And if you could get a terminal on the iPad that was pretty good, you would have that

01:06:23   if you were a terminal person.

01:06:24   And so that's why we want this.

01:06:26   Additionally, you know it used to be, I don't know if this is still the case, but it used

01:06:29   to be years ago that you could jailbreak your phone and get like SSH access or even straight

01:06:33   up terminal access and all sorts of stuff.

01:06:35   So it feels as though this is just a completely synthetic like gate that Apple won't let us

01:06:41   walk through.

01:06:42   And I don't want to speak for you, but that really chaps my hindquarters that it's all

01:06:48   there waiting for us.

01:06:49   We just aren't allowed.

01:06:51   And that's so frustrating.

01:06:52   - Well, and like, and I'm not even saying that I want to be able to go in and edit system

01:06:57   config files.

01:06:58   Like I don't care about that.

01:07:00   Make me a sandbox.

01:07:01   Like the apps run in sandboxes literally like let me run, and this is actually what ISH

01:07:06   kind of does.

01:07:07   Like let me run a terminal where I can install packages from like a package manager, like

01:07:12   whatever it might be, brew, yum, swifts thing, whatever it is, I don't care.

01:07:15   Some package manager, let me install things like FFmpeg and any other tool I might want

01:07:20   that might be in a repository like that and compile stuff from source if I have to.

01:07:24   Like give me the tools to do that and give me a sandbox that I can put files in and then

01:07:29   I can open them in other apps.

01:07:32   So like I think the reason, well I think one of the reasons why we don't have terminal

01:07:37   for iPads yet is that nothing on the iPad really works that way with like a common file

01:07:44   area.

01:07:45   It's a files app, but as our iPad power user friends always talk about, it's very limited.

01:07:52   It's hard to get to those files from a lot of apps.

01:07:56   It's very limited in what you can and can't do there.

01:07:58   You don't really live in the files the way you do like on a Mac where like your files

01:08:03   are like all over your desktop and you're like living in your files all the time.

01:08:06   On the iPad it's this buried kind of like little back zone that they don't really want

01:08:11   you going near and not a lot of stuff supports.

01:08:14   So like that I think, I think they need to address that first and make like the local

01:08:19   file system more of a thing in iOS before they would go into something like considering

01:08:25   a terminal.

01:08:26   - There are some more fundamental issues they have to address in the core of iOS.

01:08:29   I'm not aware of all the details, but I'm pretty sure the way the processes are managed

01:08:33   is like it's one of the reasons you don't have multiple users for iOS devices already

01:08:37   is that it's not like it's not a multi-user system because it is, but it's not, it's not

01:08:42   as cleanly separated as a Mac is, which is, you know, based on the next operating system,

01:08:47   which was multi-user from day one where the entire file system is cordoned off into sections

01:08:52   for each user's stuff and processes run as the logged in user with the exception of system

01:08:58   processes.

01:08:59   I think iOS has always paid a little, played a little fast and loose with all that stuff.

01:09:04   But I think if iOS continues along its current trajectory, especially if iPads keep getting

01:09:09   bigger and more powerful and Apple eventually does like a Surface Studio type thing, it's

01:09:13   inevitable that it will have a terminal and you can get around the whole file sandboxing

01:09:18   thing.

01:09:19   It's like, yeah, of course it would be sandbox, but you can basically mount in, you know,

01:09:22   using not, not mounting, but you know, a similar technology where from within your sandbox,

01:09:27   you have visibility into the same sort of sections of the iCloud file system and the

01:09:33   local file system that you own only through like a, you know, there's lots of existing

01:09:39   Unix security features that act like this.

01:09:41   There's lots of existing iOS features that would help them implement this.

01:09:43   Like it's, it's technically possible, but I think, you know, that there are, the iOS

01:09:49   wasn't designed to do this from day one.

01:09:50   So there's a lot of rejiggering they would have to do, and they're not going to disturb

01:09:55   their flagship operating system for such an esoteric feature for until they really gotten

01:10:01   down to the bottom of the barrel in terms of features they need to get.

01:10:03   Cause if it was easy to add multi-user, I think they would have done it already for,

01:10:06   for iPads.

01:10:07   Like what they did with the, uh, the iPad for school thing with the multi-user support

01:10:12   that basically like reboots the entire user space.

01:10:14   It's they didn't do that for the hell of it.

01:10:15   It's like that was their best option at the time because it's just not set up for a log

01:10:19   in log out, uh, like our Macs are.

01:10:22   So you might be waiting a little while for that.

01:10:24   Um, I'm on the command line and shortcuts issue.

01:10:26   This is a good time for me to hoist up a topic that I had in the notes forever, which is

01:10:30   related to this.

01:10:31   I was thinking when I wrote this, I noticed I was thinking about shortcuts and how we

01:10:35   all know a bunch of people are super into them.

01:10:36   They're doing really cool things with them.

01:10:38   And I've been downloading shortcuts and messing with them.

01:10:40   Um, but uh, like you guys, I haven't really gotten that into them and I know why I haven't

01:10:46   gotten that into them because I feel like I've, you know, been down this road before

01:10:50   with these types of things.

01:10:51   Like it's, and it doesn't mean that they're bad.

01:10:54   I think they're great.

01:10:55   I think the people are using them or, you know, excited to use them.

01:10:57   But if you are a programmer, it's far, far less appealing.

01:11:01   And in fact, it's kind of a turnoff to be asked to essentially write a little program

01:11:08   with a bunch of gooey bubbles in a big, long linear list from top to bottom with a limited

01:11:14   level of indenting with no functions or libraries, like with no debugger.

01:11:19   I mean, it's like, yeah, I could do it, but why would I put myself through that?

01:11:24   So when you're describing like the things you can do with the terminal, one of the most

01:11:27   important things that you can, you can do with the terminal is write programs.

01:11:30   And most of the programs that you can write in the terminal are in some kind of language

01:11:34   that has a debugger and like just the basics of programming.

01:11:36   Right?

01:11:37   So if you're a programmer, none of that scares you.

01:11:39   You want to program.

01:11:40   And that's what I was thinking about.

01:11:41   Shortcuts is like the different levels of essentially programming on computers.

01:11:45   Right?

01:11:46   So you've got applications that just do what they do, that someone else wrote them, but

01:11:50   you don't, you're just the user.

01:11:51   Right?

01:11:52   So that's like the bottom level.

01:11:53   You're not doing any program.

01:11:54   You're just using an application, tapping around, blah, blah, blah.

01:11:56   Right.

01:11:57   You've got something like shortcuts where now you have a series of things that it can

01:11:59   do and you've got conditionals and you've got loops and it's like go crazy, but you're

01:12:03   not actually writing any code.

01:12:04   And I saw a lot of people asking for in shortcuts.

01:12:07   I don't know if this already exists.

01:12:09   Um, and maybe it does, but I've seen this in a lot of similar applications where there's

01:12:13   one particular thing that you can do in this gooey sort of programming environment is do

01:12:18   a thing here.

01:12:19   And one of the, one of the ways you parameterize this thing is, Oh, here's a text box in the

01:12:23   text box.

01:12:24   You then finally get to write some kind of code.

01:12:26   Right?

01:12:27   So you get operation conditional loop, whatever, and then operation.

01:12:33   Oh, and arbitrary codes.

01:12:35   Like finally within this application where you're dragging blocks of stuff around, you

01:12:38   get a text box and you get to finally write code just for this little tiny corner of your

01:12:43   application.

01:12:44   Right.

01:12:45   But for programmers, we want the whole thing to just be the code that we write.

01:12:49   And like, it amazes me.

01:12:51   I was messing with this today with the, some friends were talking on Slack about some Apple

01:12:54   script thing and they're using like JavaScript and Apple script.

01:12:57   I opened up script debugger and not script debugger.

01:12:59   They've sort of a jump to the end there.

01:13:01   I opened up script editor and I'm like, Oh yeah, people write Apple script and there's

01:13:05   no debugger.

01:13:06   That's why an application called script debugger exists.

01:13:08   How do you write any code without a debugger?

01:13:10   Like I don't like, it's just like you can be a PHP programmer.

01:13:13   It's like everyone's caught in the stone age, right?

01:13:16   The JavaScript way was you debug it in Safari, right?

01:13:18   So you can write the JavaScript that actually translates to the same stuff as Apple script

01:13:22   does and you debug it in Safari.

01:13:24   It's just, it's not attractive to, you know, all the things that you guys said about shortcuts

01:13:29   is true and you know, limited to single platform and not general, whatever, but also it is

01:13:34   a total turnoff to anyone who's actually a programmer, which granted that's not what

01:13:38   this is for.

01:13:39   If you're a programmer, fine, write programs.

01:13:40   But this is for people who aren't programmers to give them the ability to do things that

01:13:42   programmers can do.

01:13:44   But it is kind of like a ladder that you climb.

01:13:46   I look at these giant things that Viticius put in together.

01:13:48   I'm like, well, he's essentially graduated now.

01:13:50   I think he's graduated out of shortcuts.

01:13:53   He's ready now more or less to start writing actual programs because I mean, really like

01:13:57   some of these shortcuts are like, I think he saw one of those in the hundreds of commands.

01:14:02   Maybe one was up into the thousands.

01:14:03   And this is just one giant linear list from top to bottom with everything just inlined.

01:14:07   And it's like how you write programs before you know how to write programs.

01:14:11   And you didn't write any of it.

01:14:12   It's just a bunch of blocks.

01:14:13   And then how do you debug it?

01:14:14   And just, I don't, it's not attractive to me at all.

01:14:19   And there's an analog to this having to do with the eternal debate that we are all having

01:14:26   collectively in the Apple community about iOS versus the Mac.

01:14:32   Just the operating systems in terms of how they deal with doing more than one thing at

01:14:37   the same time.

01:14:40   Multitasking is a simple way to put it, but Windows is another way to put it, and the

01:14:42   menu bar and all that stuff is the discussion we have.

01:14:44   I think there is a direct analog to the way we've been discussing the way the Unix command

01:14:52   line works and the building blocks that it's based on and contrasting that with shortcuts,

01:14:58   which is this very regimented, simplified environment.

01:15:04   Very similar to the way the Mac GUI works versus the way the iOS GUI works.

01:15:09   But I haven't, I keep, it's one of those things, you know on this show where I make up stupid

01:15:12   analogies on the fly, I keep making up stupid analogies in my head on the fly about how

01:15:18   to correctly articulate the difference between these two things and they're all really bad.

01:15:22   So I'm holding it in for now, we'll save it for another podcast, for another episode.

01:15:27   If I ever come up with a good analogy, I have a bunch of ones that sound good, but then

01:15:31   you think about them a little bit more and they're not really that great.

01:15:33   But I'm just going to leave it for now.

01:15:35   But I think it is very similar to the idea of like, if you learn the basics of the Unix

01:15:42   shell and the way processes work in Unix and the basics of input/output redirection and

01:15:49   the basics of one or two simple programming languages, you can use those building blocks

01:15:53   to do whatever you want, more or less, and be comfortable and efficient.

01:15:58   If you learn Apple shortcuts, best case scenario, you pull a Vitechy and you very quickly graduate

01:16:04   from the shortcuts program.

01:16:05   Which is great, like again, I'm not slamming shortcuts or saying everything should be programmed

01:16:09   right, it shouldn't.

01:16:10   But it's absolutely a place for shortcuts and it's great that it exists and most people

01:16:12   will never graduate from it.

01:16:14   Most people will find shortcuts itself too inscrutable to use.

01:16:16   We have a long way to go to make that kind of power accessible to people, but if you

01:16:20   do actually climb all the way up that ladder, we need there to be a next step on iOS, and

01:16:25   right now there isn't.

01:16:26   The next step is basically get out Xcode and you can write your own app, that's it.

01:16:29   A lot of times people will, a lot of times it's the developers who will say, "We need

01:16:34   something easy for everyone to use."

01:16:36   But there's an inherent level of complexity in shortcuts that, 'cause it is kind of like

01:16:42   a programming environment, no matter what the syntax is, no matter whether you're typing

01:16:46   code or dragging together blocks, the fact is it requires logic and staffing together

01:16:52   different pieces of functionality to do different things, and that itself is complexity that

01:16:57   is beyond a lot of people.

01:16:59   And so whenever programmers try to simplify things for other people who aren't them,

01:17:04   we've been trying to do that for like 40 years, and we largely haven't succeeded very

01:17:09   well.

01:17:10   Certain things break through, but for the most part they haven't.

01:17:13   I would also say that Apple has said on a number of occasions recently that developers

01:17:18   are their largest segment of pro users.

01:17:22   So when you're pushing the iPad into pro territory, marketing-wise and hardware-wise,

01:17:28   it does make sense to have it be a little bit more suitable for developers to use, and

01:17:32   to consider features that maybe only developers would ever use.

01:17:36   But that's not a bad thing.

01:17:38   Developers is not a bad word.

01:17:40   We are users too.

01:17:41   We buy a lot of Apple products that end in the word pro.

01:17:45   It is not unreasonable to say like, "You know what?

01:17:47   This environment that I'm asking for, like basically a terminal app for the iPad, like

01:17:51   that isn't that crazy of an idea for Apple to actually prioritize for their new pro platform

01:17:55   that they want to jack up the prices for and charge as much as a laptop."

01:17:59   And secondly, I know I said this already.

01:18:02   I just really want to reiterate how awesome it is to teach yourself the command line because

01:18:07   of the incredible breadth and longevity of that skill.

01:18:13   Like even today, you know, you hear about somebody like Federico saying how awesome

01:18:16   Homebridge is on a Raspberry Pi.

01:18:19   You can run Homebridge on a Raspberry Pi.

01:18:21   That's great.

01:18:22   Raspberry Pis cost like between $10 and $30.

01:18:24   They're amazing little computers.

01:18:26   They are Linux computers.

01:18:27   And if you know command line basics, you can very easily run a Raspberry Pi and have it

01:18:33   do all sorts of fun things.

01:18:34   You can run, and this episode we are sponsored by Linode.

01:18:36   You can get five bucks a month.

01:18:37   You can go buy a Linode server and have a server in the cloud that runs YouTube DL for

01:18:42   you.

01:18:43   And you can do all sorts of other stuff.

01:18:45   All it takes is a little bit of command line knowledge.

01:18:48   And the command line knowledge that I have, I learned in college in like 2001.

01:18:55   And I used it for my very first job in 2004 through the present day and probably well

01:19:00   into the future.

01:19:02   There are very few things that programmers can say that they learned in college that

01:19:05   they still use.

01:19:06   Usually, you know, languages change, technologies change, the whole market changes.

01:19:11   But that's something.

01:19:12   We know that.

01:19:13   Like shell scripting and basic command line usage and some of the, you know, Unix simple

01:19:18   command line tools that are available, when you learn that, it has such long-term value,

01:19:24   not only as a programmer, but even just as like a power user of a computer.

01:19:28   The value of having that on a platform you use is very, very high.

01:19:32   And the selling proposition of a platform that you use a lot but that doesn't support

01:19:37   that entire world of things, it's a really tough sell to make that a high-end or a high-work

01:19:45   getting done platform.

01:19:47   I think it's worth noting though that we are three old dudes who are lamenting the fact

01:19:54   that our old technologies aren't available to us on this unbelievably cool new platform.

01:19:59   And I stand by everything I've said, don't get me wrong.

01:20:01   But it is a bunch of old dudes whining about old stuff not being there.

01:20:06   No, it's not about old things because like everything old is new.

01:20:08   Again, like the shortcuts thing is not old.

01:20:10   Like I did HyperTalk and HyperCard and I've done FileMaker databases and I've done all

01:20:14   sorts of GUI type environments for sort of simplifying programming.

01:20:18   And like I said, there's definitely a place for them and in fact there should be more

01:20:22   and even easier solutions because even shortcuts I think as Marco pointed out is too complicated

01:20:26   for most people.

01:20:28   But none of those things, like at a certain point those things are harder than actually

01:20:32   writing a program.

01:20:33   Like I would much rather debug a page or two of actual code than a 2000 instruction shortcut

01:20:41   because a page or two of regular code I would get to use a code editor and an actual debugger

01:20:48   and it would make sense and I would be able to understand what the language can do and

01:20:54   also it would be documented.

01:20:57   Shortcuts is an application that you use and it's like a little game you can play inside

01:20:59   shortcuts and you're going to do amazing stuff.

01:21:01   But at a certain point I don't want to, it's harder to hold a 2000 quote unquote instruction

01:21:06   shortcut in your mind and reason about it and debug it and work on it and repeatedly

01:21:11   run it and test it and just, it's not, that's not the way, it's harder to do that than to

01:21:17   write an actual program.

01:21:19   And that's true whether it's new or old, that's true whether you're trying to write a game

01:21:26   in HyperTalk or whether you're trying to make an Excel spreadsheet, play Tetris.

01:21:30   Like lots of things are possible and you're like wow, the Excel spreadsheet can play Tetris,

01:21:34   that's amazing.

01:21:35   But if you want to write Tetris, don't use Excel, right?

01:21:38   So some of these things I see that the shortcuts are doing, it's not because we're old and

01:21:41   it's not because we like Unix or whatever, they're just, their utility is in their ease

01:21:48   of use and the ability to do simple things fairly easily but hard things are barely possible

01:21:57   and if you are super into it, you will quickly reach the limit of where you should not be

01:22:03   using shortcuts anymore and there is a huge chasm between shortcuts and Xcode and so that's

01:22:09   the place where the command line might come in where you're not ready to dive in to write

01:22:12   an app in Xcode but maybe you're ready to learn some basic command line stuff, download

01:22:16   some open source packages in a safe sandbox type environment and say run YouTube DL to

01:22:21   download something.

01:22:22   - And you can have a programming environment there, you can run things like PHP and Python

01:22:26   and Ruby, like you can have all that running locally.

01:22:28   - Yeah, that's a good place to learn, you know, I mean they have that now with the Xcode

01:22:32   Playgrounds and stuff like that but yeah, they could, Playgrounds is actually getting

01:22:36   close to that type of environment but it's not, it's still, you're still kind of in,

01:22:40   contained in the walls of the application.

01:22:41   In this topic, I just hoisted up to the top of the show notes, I had a bunch of other

01:22:45   stuff in there with like apps versus apps that have loadable bundles versus code as

01:22:49   data which is the part where like, well, you're not writing code but at some point, this application

01:22:54   will present you with a text box and you can paste code into that text box so it's like

01:22:58   a little escape hatch from the thing you're doing and then shortcuts and then writing

01:23:02   actual code.

01:23:03   So yeah, if you have, obviously if you have a Unix environment, you could run Node right

01:23:06   in there and just be off to the races and start, you know, running and debugging stuff

01:23:10   but there are quote unquote, IDEs, command line IDEs and command line debuggers, like

01:23:17   I'm very comfortable using those things and that's more of an old man thing but stuff

01:23:20   like shortcuts, that type of GUI programming environment, it has its limits regardless

01:23:26   of whether it's new technology, old technology, it's not because we're old men, it's because

01:23:32   A, it's because we're programmers and B, it's because there is a huge gap between a GUI

01:23:39   thing where you can make programs and programming in Xcode and I don't think it's up to Apple

01:23:44   to bridge that gap, that was the old 70s view of technology, eventually everyone who uses

01:23:47   a computer will be a programmer, that's not true, like everyone who drives a car won't

01:23:50   be a mechanic, everyone who uses a computer won't be a programmer, that will never happen,

01:23:54   that was a wrong headed way to think about things, the reason I think people thought

01:23:58   that in the 70s is because the people saying that were programmers and they realized the

01:24:03   incredible power of being a programmer, it's like if you're a programmer and you have easy

01:24:07   access to a computer essentially, a computer of your very own in your own house, you can

01:24:12   do amazing things and they're like, wouldn't it be great if everybody had this power?

01:24:16   Yeah, it would but they're not going to, like it's not a thing that everyone will do, like

01:24:19   it would be great if everyone had the ability to fashion their own furniture out of wood

01:24:23   but they don't and they won't and it will never ever happen, it's as cool as you might

01:24:27   think it would be, so that dream has definitely died but what we're talking about is I can

01:24:34   think of a thing that my device can do, I just need to, like it's capable of doing it,

01:24:41   it just, I want it to do it like all at once, like I want to give it a series of instructions

01:24:46   and maybe with some conditions and I want to do that so I don't have to manually do

01:24:50   it, like you know, sort of my first program, can you give me a way to do that, that's why

01:24:56   they call it automation, like I'm not actually programming, I'm just telling the computer

01:24:59   a series of things to do maybe with some conditionals in there, so it's automation that's not programmed

01:25:03   but it's the exact same thing, it's just a continuum from I don't do anything except

01:25:08   press buttons that a program someone else wrote to I write my program and in that continuum

01:25:12   there are huge gaps, there's the gap way at the beginning between nothing and shortcuts,

01:25:16   then there's this little island of shortcuts and then that peters off into the ocean and

01:25:20   there's a giant ocean and then there's Xcode way out on the right hand side and even in

01:25:24   Xcode you're like well but it's not jailbroken and the other side of Xcode is like jailbroken

01:25:29   iPhone and now you're writing the operating system and stuff like that, so I'm still working

01:25:35   on the analogy/metaphor for my gooey thoughts, I really hope someone doesn't write like a

01:25:39   blog post that says exactly what I've been wanting to say for like six months but I probably

01:25:44   inevitably will as I ruminate on the perfect analogy.

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01:26:50   Betterment, out smart average.

01:26:56   Drew Shannon writes, "Hey for most quote unquote normal Mac OS usage what are the pros and

01:27:01   cons of using something like Dropbox or Google Drive as a primary storage solution so nothing

01:27:05   is exclusively saved locally?

01:27:08   Seems like a no brainer for portability and backups but what am I missing?"

01:27:12   I don't know.

01:27:13   That just seems like it wouldn't be wise because it would be so chatty over the network.

01:27:18   Maybe?

01:27:19   I mean I guess on the surface there's nothing that strikes me as oh this is a terrible decision

01:27:24   but it is not something I've ever thought to myself, ooh I want this in my life.

01:27:28   So I don't know.

01:27:30   Let's leave John, Mr. File Systems for the end.

01:27:33   Marco any thoughts on this?

01:27:35   I mean I would say one of the obvious ones is privacy of that data.

01:27:38   I mean that's that's a big thing.

01:27:42   And as John will probably point out like certain jobs and professions you actually either shouldn't

01:27:48   or like legally can't store your primary documents or a lot of your documents in public storage

01:27:54   places like this.

01:27:55   You also are stressing that process that like the sync process, the system for doing it,

01:28:01   you are going to have probably poor performance of that process if you have a whole lot of

01:28:06   files there.

01:28:07   And then finally you are you're basically having a giant single point of failure.

01:28:12   Now I don't think it matters that much in if you have other systems in place.

01:28:19   So for instance Dropbox, I don't know how Google Drive works, Dropbox is just a folder

01:28:25   on your file system and there's a background process that syncs to and from it basically

01:28:31   into their cloud thing.

01:28:32   So you can do things like run time machine or run internet backup like back plays or

01:28:38   things like that that will that will include those files because they're just files sitting

01:28:43   there on your disk.

01:28:44   So you can have like different levels of backup and you definitely should if that's like your

01:28:49   primary storage because yes Dropbox is wonderful and yes it has like version support but what

01:28:54   if it breaks?

01:28:55   What if your account gets suspended?

01:28:57   What if they have a problem?

01:28:58   What if you go to restore a file and it just says oh sorry server error can't do it?

01:29:03   It's always nice to have your own backups in some other form in addition to whatever

01:29:07   they're doing.

01:29:08   So I would say like it can be a single point of failure that you want to avoid but it doesn't

01:29:13   need to be.

01:29:14   In addition to that having your primary thing be something that is synced introduces the

01:29:19   potential for sync bugs to wipe it out.

01:29:23   So you could log in one day and as soon as you connect to the Wi-Fi Dropbox starts deleting

01:29:28   all the files in your Dropbox because some sync problem has happened or maybe your account

01:29:33   was hacked but chances are you know I think a bug is more likely you know something has

01:29:37   happened and it's blowing away all your files and you might notice you might not notice

01:29:43   in time it might blow away some of your files and then you don't notice until it is too

01:29:49   late and it's and then the things that were blown away are no longer in any of your backups

01:29:53   or their version control system.

01:29:55   So like it's it's kind of shaky in a few areas but if it's like a secondary computer like

01:30:02   a laptop then the calculus changes.

01:30:05   Like if you have like a primary desktop or something at home and you're you have like

01:30:09   you know a MacBook one or something and you're trying to like just have a few things on this

01:30:13   and just have that thing be expendable that's a different story.

01:30:17   So it depends on how you're how you're using it but there are definitely some pitfalls

01:30:21   that you might want to consider and try to avoid.

01:30:23   John?

01:30:24   You guys covered most of it.

01:30:28   The philosophical problems with it is starting to think that because you use one of these

01:30:34   cloud drive services that that that you don't need a backup that this constitutes your backup.

01:30:38   Oh a Dropbox saves old versions.

01:30:41   Even if I suddenly delete the file I can get it back.

01:30:43   None of these things are backup solutions.

01:30:45   Don't don't trust them for that.

01:30:48   The main difference between a backup solution these things like Mark pointed out these things

01:30:50   are not you do stuff in a local file system and it puts them into the cloud.

01:30:56   It's bi-directional.

01:30:57   It's sync right which has bugs and problems but the main difference between it and a cloud

01:31:03   backup services that cloud backup service never deletes anything off your drive.

01:31:07   It just takes things off your drive and puts them into the cloud.

01:31:10   At no point does you know backblaze frequent sponsor of the show decide see that file on

01:31:15   your on your hard drive that shouldn't be there let me delete it.

01:31:18   That will never happen.

01:31:19   It's not the job of Dropbox to delete stuff.

01:31:21   It's the job of Dropbox to see what's there and stick it up in the cloud.

01:31:25   One direction only.

01:31:26   If you want to do a restore from Dropbox it's a whole other process that you have to manually

01:31:30   initiate it's not going to randomly happen.

01:31:33   And then practically speaking depending on what you're doing and Mark pointed out the

01:31:38   performance things like if you you know I wouldn't put a git repository on Dropbox or

01:31:43   Google Drive.

01:31:44   I know from experience that if you do npm install on Dropbox or Google Drive you're doing node

01:31:48   development.

01:31:49   It will just I mean it will catch up eventually with what you're doing but it becomes so far

01:31:55   from real time and just slaughters your computer that you end up having to say well let me

01:31:59   turn off Dropbox or Google Drive if you can you can't turn off iCloud drive.

01:32:04   Let me turn it off do my development and then turn it back on later and let it sync and

01:32:08   at that point you're now doing this manual system you're going to forget to turn it back

01:32:11   on or you're going to accidentally delete something you don't realize it was synced

01:32:14   and it's like you are eliminating the benefits.

01:32:16   You really given the technological limitations there is no sort of automatic transparent

01:32:21   oh I do stuff locally and it just magically goes up to the cloud.

01:32:24   The best we have is sort of an asynchronous way to make that happen eventually and the

01:32:28   safest way to do that is to just do your development locally.

01:32:32   You can put some things in Dropbox or Google Drive but have a backup system that takes

01:32:35   your entire drive and puts it one direction from your Mac up into the cloud and have that

01:32:40   be your safety net.

01:32:41   So we're stuck saying some files have to be local some files can be in Google Drive or

01:32:46   Dropbox and you have to run a backup utility and you have to be conscious of which things

01:32:50   are in which locations.

01:32:51   It's cruddy but that's life.

01:32:54   Justin Winchester writes I've just over 5,000 movies and TV show episodes all stored on

01:32:59   a Drobo.

01:33:00   I run Plex on a 5k iMac that sounds familiar but I'm looking at getting a dedicated computer

01:33:05   to just run my Plex server.

01:33:06   I thought an old Mac Mini would be good for this and I found several on Craigslist but

01:33:09   I've also found some 2010 era Mac Pros.

01:33:12   Would it be beneficial to get a Pro over a Mini for basically the same price?

01:33:17   Then there's some details that he provides about his Drobo and then he continues.

01:33:21   So should I even consider the older Macs?

01:33:23   All my videos are MKV or M4V so I don't believe the Mac has to do any transcoding as I believe

01:33:28   my devices can play those files natively.

01:33:31   So what should I do?

01:33:34   Well I actually exchanged a couple emails with Justin and I was not the one who put

01:33:39   this on the show notes so I presume one of you has some thoughts on this.

01:33:41   But what I had initially recommended was actually an NVIDIA Shield and to be fair I don't know

01:33:47   very much about this at all.

01:33:49   But a friend of the show Bradley Chambers has used these in the past and says that they're

01:33:54   really really good and you can actually to the best of my knowledge, check my math on

01:33:58   this, you can actually run a Plex server on the NVIDIA Shield.

01:34:02   And as far as I understand Justin actually did some research on this and according to

01:34:06   him it can only do like two or three simultaneous streams either because of the constraints

01:34:12   of the processor or because of some sort of artificial limitation.

01:34:16   Again check my math on this.

01:34:18   But I guess Justin, he said privately to me, often has many people all streaming from him

01:34:24   simultaneously.

01:34:26   So that probably wouldn't work for him and if that's the case I would say just get a

01:34:29   new Mac Mini, you'd be surprised what else you can do with it.

01:34:32   And I have not spoken to him much but I understand that other friend of the show, Mike Hurley,

01:34:37   has just gotten himself a Mac Mini.

01:34:39   So I'm basically one step away from flying to London and installing Plex on that Mini

01:34:43   for him.

01:34:44   So I would say if you have light uses take a look at NVIDIA Shield.

01:34:48   If you're more like Justin and running a Mini Netflix out of your house then something like

01:34:52   a Mac Mini.

01:34:54   Either of you guys, other thoughts?

01:34:55   Justin may be the only person cross shopping a Mac Pro tower and a Mac Mini.

01:35:03   They seem so similar I can't decide.

01:35:05   They're the same price.

01:35:06   One of them is the size of a house.

01:35:07   You could fit like 20 Mac Minis inside a Mac Pro case, stacked on top of each other.

01:35:13   They're not comparable in any way.

01:35:15   I guess he's got some place where he can tuck them away but the power that the Mac Pro would

01:35:18   use, please don't buy a 2010 Mac Pro to be your Plex server.

01:35:21   That is the rule.

01:35:22   I'm not even going to say it's overkill because it's slower than the Mac Mini.

01:35:26   It's just giant and it's ridiculous.

01:35:28   Don't do it.

01:35:29   The other question that we've lost over in the middle and one of the reasons I put this

01:35:31   in here was worried about like, "Oh, I have a Drobo and it has USB 3 but if I got a 2010

01:35:36   Mac Pro it wouldn't have USB 3."

01:35:37   Again, don't get a Mac Pro tower.

01:35:39   It's ridiculous.

01:35:40   But for the transfer speeds, I don't think any modern computer, it doesn't really matter

01:35:46   how many streams, sequential data reading especially from SSDs but even from spinning

01:35:50   disks especially for compressed media files, should be adequate to serve tons of streams

01:35:55   of almost anything.

01:35:57   It shouldn't worry too much about the IO.

01:35:59   I suppose if you have a 2010 machine maybe worry a little bit.

01:36:02   Don't get a 2010 machine.

01:36:03   Get a recent thing whether it's a Mac Mini or I don't know what the Nvidia Shield's IO

01:36:07   is like or whatever but unless you are serving like an entire town streaming from your thing

01:36:11   which you probably shouldn't be anyway, even if it's your entire media and extended family

01:36:15   streaming from your Plex, any modern small computer will do just fine so please don't

01:36:20   buy a Mac Pro.

01:36:22   The Shield thing, I don't know.

01:36:24   You can check it out.

01:36:25   It's cheap.

01:36:26   It might be fun to get into but a Mac Mini would totally crush this task and would be

01:36:28   awesome if I had $800 to spend on a Plex server and wanted to get a Mac.

01:36:33   That's what I would get.

01:36:34   Same.

01:36:35   Marco, any other thoughts?

01:36:36   Yeah, pretty much.

01:36:37   I was going to point out the power usage difference if John didn't.

01:36:39   They're the same buy-in price now but for a computer that you run 24/7, power consumption

01:36:45   will actually probably add up to real money and so the Mac Pro will definitely use more

01:36:51   power.

01:36:52   I would also remind everybody as you touched on that you'd be getting USB 2.0 only, people

01:36:59   don't realize how old the Tower Mac Pros are until you point out the fastest IO they have

01:37:05   is FireWire 800.

01:37:08   My word.

01:37:09   They are pre-USB 3 and pre-Thunderbolt.

01:37:11   Thunderbolt 1.

01:37:13   They don't have Thunderbolt 1 or USB 3.

01:37:16   I would also say that regarding the NVIDIA Shield, I know Federico Vatici, if we didn't

01:37:21   make his head explode enough with all the iPad and shortcuts talk, I'm pretty sure he

01:37:27   had an NVIDIA Shield, I think.

01:37:29   I know he had something like that.

01:37:30   I think that was it to do exactly this, to be a Plex server and he has since moved on

01:37:34   to a different setup because it didn't work out and I forget the details of why it didn't

01:37:38   work out but I'm pretty sure it was not a favorable review of that setup.

01:37:42   So I wouldn't recommend that.

01:37:49   If you're considering two Macs, just get a Mac and the Mac to get for this purpose is

01:37:54   definitely the Mac Mini.

01:37:56   You don't even need to spec it up.

01:37:58   If you're using external storage for all your stuff, you can get the base model.

01:38:02   You don't need more than the i3 is likely to deliver processor wise.

01:38:08   The GPU is going to be the same awful GPU in all of them so there's no upgrade to have

01:38:13   there.

01:38:14   I don't think this is a very RAM heavy workload so you don't need to upgrade the RAM either.

01:38:18   I think get the base model Mac Mini and enjoy the energy savings and much smaller size and

01:38:24   the ability to use IO that was invented in this decade.

01:38:28   And actually real time follow up from XMN in the chat, there's apparently a Plex equivalent

01:38:33   of a KBase article specifically enumerating some of the limitations of running a Plex

01:38:37   server on the shield.

01:38:39   So again, it's probably the cheapest and easiest way to fix this problem if you don't have

01:38:45   the needs that Justin appears to have.

01:38:47   But it's worth checking out.

01:38:48   We'll put a link in the show notes.

01:38:50   All right, and then finally Eric Wagner writes, "I was wondering if you guys ever had an issue

01:38:55   balancing work and play.

01:38:56   If so, what do you do to solve this issue?

01:38:58   For example, I'm a computer science major and a lot of my work is on the computer but

01:39:02   I also enjoy playing video games on said computer."

01:39:06   And then there's video game talk, whatever.

01:39:07   "I've been playing this type of war with should I do homework or should I do my daily missions?

01:39:12   Unfortunately the latter has been winning out more often than it probably should be.

01:39:15   How do you suggest I resist this relentless urge?"

01:39:19   Daily missions and what Casey?

01:39:21   I don't care.

01:39:22   What does that mean daily missions?

01:39:23   I don't care.

01:39:24   It's in some stupid case.

01:39:25   I was going to ask about this.

01:39:26   Like this is definitely like, you know, when I was a kid in college learning computer science

01:39:31   with a computer full of games and trying to balance it.

01:39:35   Games were so much less exploitive and addictive and constantly online.

01:39:40   Total annihilation?

01:39:41   I don't know.

01:39:42   Network play.

01:39:43   Network play is the ultimate time sink.

01:39:44   Yep.

01:39:45   That was Counter Strike for me.

01:39:46   I didn't have any daily missions.

01:39:49   It was TA, it was Counter Strike, it was later Return to Castle Wolfenstein, stuff like that.

01:39:54   But like I never had that big of a problem in part because my college had awful internet

01:39:59   connectivity and so the ping times were too high to play most of those games reasonably.

01:40:04   But I think the games now, they're so much more addictive and immersive and they like

01:40:11   take over your life to a greater degree for more people than they did back then.

01:40:16   So it's a little hard to answer.

01:40:17   But my actual answer to this really is get a Mac.

01:40:20   Because you want to be able to play any games.

01:40:22   Gaming on a Mac is so painful and punitive you won't want to do it.

01:40:25   And you can still do all your computer science work on it.

01:40:27   That's interesting.

01:40:28   Interesting answer I did not expect to be honest with you.

01:40:31   I don't have good advice on this and it's definitely do as I say not as I do because

01:40:34   I was a terrible student in college.

01:40:37   It wasn't specifically because of video games although it was part of it.

01:40:40   We were also, Marco and I were in school when EverQuest was a thing and I remember there

01:40:46   were literally many kids who dropped out of college because they spent so much time on

01:40:50   EverQuest which was one of the earlier massively multiplayer online games.

01:40:54   I'm sure it wasn't the first but it was one of the first ones that was popular enough

01:40:58   that I had heard about it.

01:40:59   And this is to my knowledge before World of Warcraft was a thing and so yeah there were

01:41:03   a lot of kids that lost their college career at EverQuest.

01:41:06   But the best advice I can give is that look, hopefully this is four years of your life.

01:41:12   Which seems like a heck of a long time especially if you're 18.

01:41:16   But in actuality it's not that long.

01:41:19   And if you can just build the skill by force, by reward, by punishment, any way you can

01:41:26   of doing what you need to do and getting that over with as quickly as possible so you can

01:41:30   go and play games until you keel over.

01:41:33   That is a skill that will be useful forever.

01:41:35   And if you can do it at least for these four years then hopefully you will find a decent

01:41:39   enough paying job that you can basically slack off anytime you're not at work for pretty

01:41:45   much the rest of your life.

01:41:46   And that's a pretty good trade.

01:41:48   Four years for the rest of your life I would make that trade.

01:41:50   And so I know that's not really the most concrete advice or actionable advice but just suck

01:41:57   it up for four years man.

01:41:58   You can do it.

01:41:59   I have faith in you.

01:42:00   I do love your philosophy of just work now so you can be a slacker forever.

01:42:04   Yeah seriously.

01:42:05   That's the idea.

01:42:06   That's fantastic.

01:42:07   If we could only all be so lucky.

01:42:10   John what's some actually useful advice?

01:42:11   Well this is just to get a Mac isn't really going to help because there are network games

01:42:15   in the Mac too.

01:42:16   And even though there aren't that many of them and they're not as good in general there

01:42:20   you just takes one.

01:42:21   That's the problem.

01:42:22   It only takes one.

01:42:23   All right.

01:42:24   Modified statement.

01:42:25   Get a MacBook Air.

01:42:26   The GPU is so bad that it's fast enough.

01:42:32   Actually no even better idea.

01:42:34   Get one of the new Mac Minis because it's the worst GPU in the lineup.

01:42:38   But it's totally a great system for development.

01:42:41   So you can do your homework.

01:42:44   You know whatever you need you can do it on the Mac Mini but the GPU is so awful that

01:42:47   probably every game would be nearly unplayable.

01:42:51   So yeah get a Mac Mini and get the biggest monitor you can so that GPU is really working

01:42:55   hard.

01:42:56   You're forgetting about streaming games.

01:42:58   Is that a thing?

01:42:59   Or it doesn't run locally.

01:43:00   It runs in the cloud and you can play your MMO because you don't care about lag because

01:43:04   it's not like a real time combat game.

01:43:05   Like there's no escape.

01:43:06   That's the thing about it.

01:43:07   Wait no there is.

01:43:08   I got it.

01:43:09   Mac Mini plus the aforementioned network link conditioner.

01:43:12   The new Mac Mini plus the unconditioned network link conditioner.

01:43:15   Simulate my college connection.

01:43:17   You'll have no problem at all.

01:43:18   I mean there's no escape from this.

01:43:20   This is the thing you're going to have to deal with for your whole life of things that

01:43:23   you have to do versus things you want to do.

01:43:25   Often in college it's when people are first faced with that because before college like

01:43:30   if you're living at home with some authority figure who tells you what you have to do versus

01:43:34   what you want to do and then when you're off in college it's just you telling yourself

01:43:38   that.

01:43:39   This is a life skill you're just going to have to figure out.

01:43:42   So if you have to go cold turkey off something.

01:43:47   I know some people who got into MMOs or muds or mushes or other things that predate that

01:43:54   like basically anything with network effects, the network based game.

01:43:58   If you have to go cold turkey off it to get yourself to do what you have to do then that's

01:44:01   what you have to do.

01:44:02   If you can learn to moderate it fine but it's not going to go away.

01:44:06   Your parents aren't going to come back and start running your life again.

01:44:09   You're going to go off on your own.

01:44:10   You're going to be faced with the same problem.

01:44:12   Do what I have to do.

01:44:13   Do I go shopping and do my laundry or do I play video games?

01:44:17   It doesn't work out well if you can't get this balance.

01:44:19   So take this time in college to figure out how to get that balance for yourself.

01:44:24   Hopefully you don't have to go cold turkey and everything but if that's what it takes

01:44:27   don't be one of those people Casey described that actually fails out of college before

01:44:31   it because it doesn't get easier after that.

01:44:32   It's not like well my college experiment failed but it's smooth sailing from here.

01:44:36   Nope, you'll still have to get a job and support yourself and do your laundry and make yourself

01:44:43   food and bathe and find some way to support yourself.

01:44:47   It doesn't go away.

01:44:48   So I guess I don't have any great advice on how to do it.

01:44:51   Just that it's not a problem that's unique to college and you better learn how to deal

01:44:56   with it.

01:44:57   And also just to conclude philosophically as one slacker to another I can tell you that

01:45:05   if you're having these issues like this you know you're probably a slacker like me.

01:45:09   You're probably never going to have an amazing work ethic but what you do need to learn and

01:45:15   college is pretty good for this is learning how to tell what you do and don't have to

01:45:20   really do because in most college curricula curriculums I don't know in most plural college

01:45:27   curriculum it's pretty much impossible for one person in a single day to do all of the

01:45:35   work that was assigned or recommended to them in all their classes.

01:45:39   So you kind of have to develop these skills for knowing how to tell what you don't have

01:45:44   to do and prioritizing things and as John was saying like you know figuring out how

01:45:48   to balance things you want to do versus things you have to do.

01:45:52   But learning how to tell what you don't have to do is possibly the most valuable skill

01:45:58   you can possibly learn in your entire academic career.

01:46:02   It's a skill that not everybody does learn but it's you know for everybody not just slackers

01:46:07   like us but for everybody that's a very very important skill to learn because again there

01:46:12   isn't enough time in the day to do everything but you also can't do nothing and just play

01:46:18   games all day like you have to get somewhere in the middle there and that is a skill that

01:46:22   as John has said much better than this college is a pretty opportune time to learn that skill.

01:46:28   And for Destiny that's the game by the way obviously he was talking about Destiny specifically

01:46:32   as someone who can't play Destiny all the time because there's stuff I have to do it

01:46:37   is possible to play and enjoy Destiny at a slower pace.

01:46:43   You can play one night a week and still make reasonable progress in the game.

01:46:47   Bungie has done a pretty good job of making a game that you can play obsessively all day

01:46:51   every day if you're a professional Twitch streamer and you can also play once a week

01:46:56   and the once a week people will progress more slowly but you can still play and enjoy the

01:47:00   game at a reasonable pace.

01:47:01   Usually by the time a season is over in Destiny I have just hit the light level cap and I've

01:47:08   more or less done all the major things that were in that content.

01:47:11   What everybody did who was a Twitch streamer the first week it came out the first week

01:47:15   the expansion came out it takes me an entire season to do it but I do get to all the content

01:47:19   so don't feel like you're going to miss it so if you have to make a schedule say look

01:47:22   I get four and a half hours to play Destiny on Saturday and that's all the only time I

01:47:27   ever play Destiny and you will not miss out any content you'll just progress more slowly.

01:47:31   Alright thanks to our sponsors this week Casper, Betterment and Linode and we will talk to

01:47:36   you next week.

01:47:37   Now the show is over they didn't even mean to begin cause it was accidental, oh it was

01:47:47   accidental.

01:47:50   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him cause it was accidental,

01:47:56   oh it was accidental.

01:48:01   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM and if you're into Twitter you can follow

01:48:09   them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S so that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-N-T Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C

01:48:24   U-S-A Syracuse it's accidental, they didn't mean to accidental, tech podcast so long.

01:48:39   I have this e-tron GT concept which shows that Audi is really committed to this e-tron

01:48:47   brand but it also shows that potentially they're going to make something other than a squashed

01:48:50   SUV so maybe Marco's lease is up.

01:48:52   This looks good.

01:48:53   I mean this is a coupe obviously but what it means is that this is probably the same

01:48:56   platform and so obviously the squished SUV is the first one cause that's the car that

01:49:00   everybody's going to buy because people only buy SUVs but it seems like they might actually

01:49:04   make a sedan and this coupe thing eventually.

01:49:07   This is pretty.

01:49:08   I feel like they're definitely taking a lot of cues from the BMW i-series like they're

01:49:13   using the sustainable interior, everything's vegan, they're using a vowel as their branding

01:49:20   thing.

01:49:21   I do think the BMW i-series is way better branding than e-tron.

01:49:24   Yeah, no e-tron's not a good name.

01:49:27   E-tron sounds like one of the Lego sets I would have played with in the 90s and 80s,

01:49:32   not like a car in 2018 that's supposed to be like a forward looking thing, like it sounds

01:49:37   so old.

01:49:39   I think Volvo has one too.

01:49:40   I keep wanting to say Polaris but I'm thinking of Polaris Lance from Destiny because I just

01:49:44   talked about it.

01:49:45   I thought they had, they have like a premium brand and I thought they're premium Polestar

01:49:50   maybe.

01:49:51   That's their performance stuff.

01:49:52   That's hybrid, oh never mind.

01:49:54   Anyway Volvo's styling has always really been on a tear with the styling lately so if they

01:49:59   ever make a full electric car I bet it'll look nice.

01:50:03   I think this Audi GT looks really nice but it's just a concept car so like who the hell

01:50:07   knows what they're actually going to make.

01:50:08   It actually does look nice, I mean I don't have a lot of use for a two-seater.

01:50:13   It's the same platform, I'm sure this is all in the look of whatever their mid-sized electric

01:50:17   car platform is, like it's exactly what's underneath the e-tron.

01:50:19   Just imagine a four-door version of that with reasonable proportions because Audis all tend

01:50:23   to look the same anyway so you can very quickly visualize, oh I can see what a four-door version

01:50:27   of that would look like with reasonable wheels on it.

01:50:30   Why is there e-tron on the front gaping mouth?

01:50:34   Because as Margot pointed out they're very bad at printing.

01:50:37   The worst thing about e-tron is that it highlights the fact that it's their electric car which

01:50:41   is going to look more and more ridiculous as every car is electric.

01:50:45   It's like naming your gasoline car like the cylinder masher or the fuel injector.

01:50:54   The piston pumper, what is his name supposed to highlight to me that it has an internal

01:51:02   combustion engine?

01:51:03   Okay great, good.

01:51:07   I feel like these car companies like Audi and to some degree BMW and definitely Honda

01:51:12   and Toyota, that kind of company, I feel like relegating the electric efforts to a sub-brand

01:51:20   is probably a bad idea.

01:51:22   They already have these amazing successful long-running car platforms and models and

01:51:28   brands.

01:51:31   What everybody wants is just make those electric.

01:51:37   Make an electric Accord option, make an electric Camry.

01:51:39   Well that's what everyone's going to do eventually but this is like the dipping the toe in the

01:51:43   water.

01:51:44   Volkswagen just came out and said they're not going to make internal combustion engines

01:51:46   anymore after the upcoming generation of platforms that they build on.

01:51:53   So it's still a slightly longer timeline but yeah they're going to convert everything.

01:51:55   Even Honda I think has mostly learned the lesson of don't make dedicated models.

01:52:00   Honda doesn't do any EV because like I said they're really slow.

01:52:03   Just take hybrids.

01:52:04   Don't have dedicated models for hybrids and also don't make your hybrids look weird.

01:52:09   Like that was the thing in the beginning, oh your hybrid has to look like a Prius, it

01:52:12   has to look like a little snail turd or whatever.

01:52:14   If you look at what they did with the new Insight, the Insight just looks like a Honda.

01:52:18   They stopped for the most part, they're still hanging on a little bit but they stopped making

01:52:21   them all look weird and Nissan leafy or whatever.

01:52:24   Just make a normal Honda car and then have a discrete little hybrid badge.

01:52:27   And of course there is a hybrid Accord, there is a Civic Accord and those look exactly like

01:52:30   a hybrid Civic rather.

01:52:33   Those look exactly like Civics and Accords, they just have a little badge and uglier wheels

01:52:37   usually and a slightly uglier grill but otherwise they're exactly the same cars.

01:52:44   Someone pointed out that Honda's hydrogen efforts, Honda is off in the weeds on this

01:52:49   whole topic.

01:52:50   But yeah, everyone will eventually just have all their cars just be normal but in the beginning

01:52:54   there is some advantage to making a bit of a splash by naming your thing e-tron or making

01:52:59   your i3 look like this weird refrigerator on wheels and making everything out of wood sustainably

01:53:05   and having a little flower growing out of the dashboard.

01:53:08   That's how you get into the market.

01:53:10   Well, but that's how you get into the market like five years ago.

01:53:14   I feel like now, doing this kind of stuff now, it's a little late for that.

01:53:18   It would be like if somebody came out now with a brand new hybrid line and they really

01:53:22   touted it and subbranded it and it's like, no, that's old now.

01:53:27   When the very first hybrids came out, the very first Prius and Honda, was it the very

01:53:31   first consumer hybrids, when those came out, that was the time to do crazy styling and

01:53:37   really call attention to the fact that it's a hybrid.

01:53:39   But I feel like with electric cars, we are already at the phasing out part of the adoption

01:53:46   curve here where we're already at the point where you should reduce the amount that you

01:53:52   call attention to the fact that it's electric and just make a really good electric car.

01:53:55   You are crazy.

01:53:56   We're not at that point, first of all, but look at the styling on this.

01:54:00   This just looks like an Audi.

01:54:01   The styling of this Audi says nothing about it.

01:54:02   The only thing that says electric is the stupid name and the fact that they put the name on

01:54:06   the front end.

01:54:07   But otherwise, it looks like a straight up Audi.

01:54:09   Same thing with the Jaguar, it looks like a squished SUV like all their other squished

01:54:13   SUVs.

01:54:14   The styling error is already over before these people even made their first electric car,

01:54:17   but we are still in early days of electric cars, period.

01:54:21   I will agree that the e-tron GT concept thing is actually a very nice looking car.

01:54:26   And yes, you're right, with the exception of the stupid thing on the intake non-grill,

01:54:31   it doesn't ... Is that even ... It's a fake intake grill, isn't it?

01:54:35   Yeah, it's blocked off.

01:54:36   Why would you need air to go in there?

01:54:38   Right.

01:54:39   The giant e-tron branding on the fake intake grill, I think, is a mistake.

01:54:43   But other than that, if they just deleted that and the grill, and if you take that out,

01:54:50   it actually does look very, very nice.

01:54:53   But it looks like a very nice version of a car I don't need.

01:54:56   I think the problem that you're running into, Marco, with regard to where we are in the

01:55:00   timeline of electric cars is that you've lived with one for three years now.

01:55:05   But to any regular ... I don't mean this to sound dismissive, and I apologize, but to

01:55:10   any regular person with regular cars, they still seem like a foreign concept.

01:55:14   I've probably spent more time driving an electric car than many, given that I don't own one.

01:55:23   I've driven Underscorers cars plenty of times.

01:55:24   I don't recall if I've actually driven yours, but it ultimately doesn't matter.

01:55:27   The point is I've spent a fair bit of time behind the wheel of a Tesla.

01:55:30   And I am pretty familiar with what they are and how they work, but most people I know

01:55:36   have never really even been in an electric car, much less owned one, or driven one or

01:55:42   owned one.

01:55:43   So I think we're far earlier in the adoption than I think you're giving them credit for.

01:55:49   Well, I'm not saying they're like every day, but the time that it was really crazy unique

01:55:56   for an electric car to be an electric car is fading already.

01:56:02   And so if you are debuting a new model in the next two to four years, and you're planning

01:56:07   on starting this big sub-brand of your company for electric, I think the time for that has

01:56:11   passed.

01:56:12   It is still novel, and you're right, most people don't have them yet, but I mean, geez,

01:56:16   look at the number of Model 3s Tesla has shipped.

01:56:21   It's getting pretty mass market at a pretty accelerating pace.

01:56:26   And if Tesla wasn't such a crazy, poorly run company for operations, I think they'd be

01:56:32   even more of them.

01:56:33   And so it's only a matter of time before other companies come in and have products that are

01:56:38   as compelling as the Model 3 and Model S and sell in similar volumes.

01:56:45   We only need like one or two more of those before this becomes very common for a lot

01:56:50   of people.

01:56:51   Whether they own one or not is a different story.

01:56:52   Well, they have to get cheaper still.

01:56:53   Yeah, they do.

01:56:55   But it's going to become as boring as owning a BMW.

01:57:01   Most people don't own BMWs, but most people also don't care that much about them.

01:57:05   They aren't that novel anymore.

01:57:07   They might have been novel 40 years ago, but they're not very novel now.

01:57:11   That's why I think we're getting there with electrics faster than a lot of these car companies

01:57:15   seem to think, where it's no longer going to be like, "Hey, look at us.

01:57:20   Give us a big hand for going all electric."

01:57:23   If you go all electric in 10 years, no one's going to give you a big hand.

01:57:27   That's just table stakes at that point.