301: I Cut Them Up in the Air


00:00:00   I was at Wegmans, which is one of our local grocers, this past weekend.

00:00:05   And we went to get some lunch and then do just like a spot of shopping to get some essentials before we go to my parents for the holiday.

00:00:15   But it was Sunday, it was lunchtime on a Sunday. And that was when I realized I am well and truly retired because I looked around and was truly and utterly disgusted by the amount of people I saw while I was trying to go f*cking grocery shopping.

00:00:29   What are all these people doing here? Yeah, I was like, what the hell? Oh, right, it's Sunday.

00:00:33   Ah, I see. Yep, my transformation is complete. I am now the worst.

00:00:39   Welcome to the life. Officially the worst.

00:00:44   As always, we have to start with some follow up and we have a headphone bump/dongle that one of us wants to talk about. And oh my, this is large and in charge. This is for, is this the phone that you can break into components or whatever? No, this is the Andy Rubin phone.

00:01:03   Yeah, it's hard to keep track of which doom to failure non-Android, non-Apple phone this is. But that's not the point of this thing. A couple shows back we were talking about the thickness of devices and the difficulty fixing the headphone port on the very, very thin new iPad Pros.

00:01:21   And I surmised that they should add a headphone bump. There might be Android phones that already do that. So a couple people sent a Samsung phone that didn't really have much of a bump, but the phone tapered at the edge. Except it tapered severely to come to a pointy little edge.

00:01:38   But the headphone jack was like a little bump on the pointy part, but that bump didn't actually extend out past the full thickness of the thickest part of the phone. So that doesn't really count. This thing, however, definitely counts as more of a headphone tumor, headphone lamprey.

00:01:54   It is the essential phone, which apparently doesn't have a headphone jack. I actually don't even know if it has one because the sales pitch of this is that it is "audio file quality headphone jack." So it's a thing that includes, I have many opinions about that.

00:02:08   Feel free.

00:02:09   Yeah, it includes an audiophile-grade amp that can drive audiophile-grade headphones. Bottom line is it puts a headphone jack on your phone, and it does so by attaching a thing that is about the same thickness as the phone magnetically to the back of the phone. And then even though the thing that attaches to the phone is the same thickness of the phone, there is above and beyond that a cylindrical lump coming out of it for the headphone jack.

00:02:33   So this is one heck of a headphone bump. And by the way, this device that magnetically attaches to your phone and adds a headphone jack costs $115, or starting at $14 a month according to the lovely financing link that's on the webpage.

00:02:49   $150, you mean?

00:02:50   Yeah, I was going to say, it is not $115, it's $150.

00:02:53   I said $50, I'm just a mumbler.

00:02:55   $115. $115.

00:03:00   Oh.

00:03:01   Sorry.

00:03:02   Yes, $150. So I thought this product was hilarious, and it is definitely probably the biggest headphone bump we're ever going to see on a phone, because it more than doubles the thickness of the phone.

00:03:14   Marco, are you jealous of the limited-edition digital audio converter on the Essential Phone?

00:03:19   Nope, not even a little bit.

00:03:21   But it's going to deliver one of the best mobile audio experiences available today.

00:03:25   Good for it. It will fulfill the role that most, not all, but that most "audio file gear" fulfills, which is it'll be a wonderful, expensive placebo to people who think they need it and can hear it.

00:03:42   Oh, I love you.

00:03:46   Will people still be able to fit it in their pocket with this thing on it?

00:03:49   Honestly, you really have to look at the pictures attached to the phone. You're imagining, you can't even imagine, it makes it huge, and it's not symmetrical, so it's just one corner of your phone is now more than twice as thick, so how do you even put that in your pocket without knocking the thing off, because it's just connected with these two little magnetic pin thingies?

00:04:09   Well, the only people who are even going to buy this phone at all are rich tech jerks who want to try everything, and even most of them won't, but you already have a high-end audience for this, because people who actually can only afford to buy one phone every two years are not going to take a risk on this dumb thing. They're going to get a mainstream phone.

00:04:28   So it's only going to be rich people who buy this, and they're going to be plugging in at best, if they use this headphone adapter, they're going to be plugging in giant headphones, so it's already not going to be used in their pocket when headphones are plugged into it. So it's not really a problem.

00:04:44   The styling on this phone, by the way, it is styled like the iPhone 5 and like the new iPad Pro, so if you want to see a brief glimpse of what next year's flat-edge iPhone is going to be, look at this essential phone and just close your eyes and don't look at the giant thing attached to the corner of it.

00:04:59   You know, it makes me deeply happy to hear Marco talk about how the entire audiophile industry is based on placebos, and...

00:05:07   No, I didn't say all of it, I said most of it.

00:05:09   Well, okay, fair. You know, I can't tell if it's one of those things where I am genuinely ignorant and really just haven't experienced the difference between...

00:05:20   And I'm making this up because I know nobody actually thinks that gold-plated cables... almost nobody thinks that gold-plated cables really make a difference, but like...

00:05:27   You'd be surprised.

00:05:28   Maybe it's the thing where I just haven't experienced a real gold-plated cable in the real environment when it would make a big difference, but so much of audiophile culture and the chase to like chase down all of these like little teeny incremental improvements that I feel like so many of them swear makes a world of difference where I am sure, if you did a scientific test, none of them would be able to tell the difference between one and the other.

00:05:57   Or maybe like, maybe there's like super hearers in the same way that they're super tasters like John, so maybe there are some that can really hear the difference, but man, I don't buy it.

00:06:07   My dad, and I think I mentioned this on the show, his stereo is fairly old now, it's probably 10-15 years old, but at the time in which he put it together, it was a world-class stereo system, and it sounds phenomenal.

00:06:19   But I am quite confident that the little tweaks that most audiophiles swear by would make almost no difference, and it just is hilarious to me the amount of money that audiophiles will willingly light a flame just to get a supposed, you know, incremental difference that is almost imperceptible, if not actually imperceptible.

00:06:39   - Yeah, that's basically it. I mean, there are certain things that matter. The biggest things that matter are the source material, like the recording that you are playing, and the format it is in, although only to an extent.

00:06:52   So the source material, and the transducer, which is either the speaker or the headphone. Those things matter a lot. Everything else matters either only a little or not at all.

00:07:06   But people are always seeking that high. You want to have these amazing experiences where you're just like, "Oh my god, this sounds incredible!" And you occasionally get those, like the very first time you hear an amazingly recorded album, or you're in your house all quiet, you're listening on awesome headphones, and you're drinking a beer and listening to amazing music.

00:07:28   These experiences do happen, but they don't happen every time. And so you're always thinking, "Oh, maybe if I just upgrade this thing, upgrade that thing, tweak this thing, tweak this thing."

00:07:37   This is very susceptible to placebo effect, and people are willing to pay lots of money to get lots of crazy things to tweak their setup to try to basically achieve those highs again.

00:07:51   And no amount of money will ever solve it, and nothing is ever complete. No one ever has their "grail" that they're done with forever. It's a market that people will go to obscene lanes.

00:08:03   And because the placebo effect is so strong, and because this is so hard to measure objectively, people think that their stuff works. They think they're hearing a difference.

00:08:12   And one could argue, "Therefore, it is working for them."

00:08:16   [Laughter]

00:08:18   But yeah, the reality is, almost all of the stuff that audiophiles buy or use or say you need or say they can hear the difference with is BS. Not all of it, but almost all of it.

00:08:31   Moving on. I forgot to mention that last episode, which by the way, the feedback on last episode was really, really lovely, and I know I speak for the other two guys in saying I really appreciate it.

00:08:41   Yeah, thank you very much everyone. We got a lot of kind words congratulating us on 300 episodes and reminiscing about some good old times and wishing us very well. So thank you very much. That was really cool.

00:08:52   Yeah, it was very, very nice of all of you. And I had asked, kind of jokingly but kind of seriously, "Hey, I wonder what the total length of ATP is?"

00:09:00   And I forgot to put this in the show notes, but I just looked up the first tweet that I had seen about it. And this is Jake_Bathman on Twitter. Do you think he mispronounces that Jake_Bathman on purpose? You know, just because that's what I would do. Anyway.

00:09:15   I would lead into it. I would say like, "Yeah, I'm the bath man."

00:09:17   [Laughter]

00:09:19   But that's awesome.

00:09:21   The total ATP length, according to our favorite superhero, is 23 days, 6 hours, and 40 minutes. And I believe that was inclusive of episode 300. That of course also includes ad reads and things of that nature, but nevertheless, that is a significant amount of time and I still remain kind of proud of us. And also kind of appalled as well.

00:09:40   Oh my god. That's so much talking. But anyway, now you know, and knowing's half the battle.

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00:11:46   [Music]

00:12:02   Wait, can you summarize quickly what is the Surface Go? Is that like their iPad convertible tablet, the newest one or what?

00:12:19   I'm probably wrong about this because I'm out of the Microsoft world now. Oh, actually I guess I am wrong because I'm looking at the Surface Go marketing page which is www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/surface-go/8v9dp4lnknsz?activetab=pivot%3a-overview-tab.

00:12:41   Anyway, it's so easy to enter.

00:12:45   It appears that this is being marketed at least to this picture as more of an iPad thing. I am wrong. That it does not have a keyboard.

00:12:52   Yeah, it looks a lot like an iPad Pro but with a huge bezel.

00:12:55   Yeah, actually fair. But certainly all snark and jest aside, one of the advantages of the Surface is that it can be a true-to-form Windows computer.

00:13:05   You can attach a mouse, the keyboards have trackpads, and it can do regular Windows-y things.

00:13:10   So Nick Donnelly wrote us an email, and again this is a little long but please bear with me, and he said the Surface Go is interesting for these reasons that everyone seems to have missed.

00:13:17   Microsoft perfected MagSafe with a thin cord coming from the back as well.

00:13:21   It has a 10-inch screen so it's about iPad size. It has a USB-C port. It has Face ID which is of course called Windows Hello.

00:13:29   That works well and is amazing on a laptop or tablet. It runs full Windows which is in contrast to the maybe limitations of iOS.

00:13:36   I'm not looking to get into a turf war. Let's just roll with it. And it also has a touchscreen. It has an excellent keyboard cover as stable as Apple's but with much more travel.

00:13:43   The keyboard costs $100. Man, that sounds cheap. And it's backlit. It does have a touchpad which is kind of cool.

00:13:49   The touchpad is very close in quantity to the MacBooks. It has a kickstand built into the back of the device so you can stand it up without needing a case at all which is great.

00:13:56   It has a microSD card slot. Hi Marco. Which you can throw extra memory in if you so desire.

00:14:02   So Nick said he put a 256GB card in for $60. Because it has Windows, it has file management, it has a pen that is very close in quality to the Apple Pencil as per Nick.

00:14:10   And it needs a new battery once a year. The build quality according to Nick is exceptional.

00:14:14   But here's the kicker. It starts at $350. And the higher end model with keyboard is about $550.

00:14:24   Given that I just torched $1300 for my iPad Pro, oh my god. I could have had almost three of these things for one iPad Pro.

00:14:33   I could have had a day Surface Go, a night Surface Go, and a weekend Surface Go. It's too bad it runs Windows, am I right?

00:14:40   That's it. It's also performance-wise, I'm sure it's spanked by the iPad.

00:14:45   That's true. Yeah, probably. What this looks like is a wonderful low-end iPad Pro-like tablet for office workers who want to run Windows and Windows apps and Office apps and stuff like that.

00:14:59   It doesn't look like a high-end device at all, but that's fine. A lot of people want that. A lot of people want a low-end device for their portable because they don't need higher than that.

00:15:09   And they don't want to pay for higher than that. That's a totally valid reason. But yeah, the big thing for us is if this thing can't run the OS that we want to run, whether it's iOS or...

00:15:20   Look, I'd take iOS over Windows any day. If I was traveling, I could only take one device and I could take either a Windows PC of my choice or an iPad.

00:15:29   I'm taking the iPad every time because I can't do anything on Windows. I can at least do a lot on the iPad. But it's all about what ecosystem you're in and what your needs are.

00:15:44   This does look like it has a lot of good advantages over the iPad, over any iPad at any price, let alone the Pro.

00:15:50   I wish the iPad was a little more willing to do some of these ugly but functional design tweaks, things like the kickstand, which is ugly and we all made fun of it.

00:16:04   But it's actually really practical in use and having a few more ports and having some memory expansion slots and everything. That would be really nice on the iPad.

00:16:13   Apple will probably never do those things for various mostly aesthetic or philosophical reasons. This thing does look really cool in a number of ways.

00:16:23   It does seem like it's probably a pretty good value, but it doesn't run the OS we want to run. That's not a small thing.

00:16:30   That isn't just a checkbox feature when you're making a comparison grid and you're like, "Oh, well, this one runs Windows. This one runs iOS or Mac OS."

00:16:37   That's just a feature on a bullet list. Nope, that makes or breaks the product. If you can't run the OS that you want and/or need to run on a device, that device doesn't exist to you. It's dead to you.

00:16:49   Forgive me if I mention this recently. There was an episode of Cortex, I think a long time ago now, where CGP Grey made the analogy that changing operating systems is even more disruptive to your life than moving to a completely different country that didn't speak your language.

00:17:06   He compared, in his example, he could move to China and it would be less disruptive to his life than switching his operating system. To me, that's not hyperbole. To me, I'm like, "Yeah, that would actually be correct. I would agree with that statement."

00:17:22   It really is that different. When you do a lot of work on your computer or your mobile device, you have a lot of apps, you have workflows, you have history, you have documents, you have software investments and everything. Changing operating systems is not a small thing.

00:17:37   That's why you see all the tech nerds who see this cool Microsoft hardware sometimes, they'll talk about it, they'll say, "Oh, I would love to try that sometime." Some of them even do try it sometime, but almost none of them actually stick with it and the reason why is because Windows.

00:17:52   It's not a small thing. I wish Apple would give us cool hardware and cool choices like this, choices that they don't usually give us. That'd be awesome. I applaud Microsoft for pushing hardware forward in ways that Apple can't or won't.

00:18:07   Ultimately, I find the entire Surface line of products mostly irrelevant to me and also kind of saddening at the things that Apple won't do that I would like them to try, but none of that makes me actually want to buy one.

00:18:22   I can't help but wonder if a form factor along these lines would be Apple's way of dipping its toe into ARM Mac OS, which I doubt. Full stop, I don't think this is the way they would go, but it is an interesting thought exercise.

00:18:41   What if they released basically an iPad, but instead of coming with iOS on it, it came with Mac OS and maybe the keyboard folio cover, whatever they're calling it these days, had a trackpad on it in addition to the keys and whatnot.

00:18:58   I feel like that would be really appealing because one of the things I've liked about the iPad Pro is it feels very computery when I have it in landscape with the keyboard out and blah, blah, blah, but whenever I'm done doing composition with the keyboard, I can flip the keyboard around back.

00:19:15   I think Mike said this recently, maybe on upgrade, that I now have the best fidget toy in the world because I can mash on the keyboard keys while they're behind the iPad and I can use the iPad as an iPad, as a classic iPad I guess I should say, as a consumption device.

00:19:32   I could see how that would be really, really cool to have Mac OS in a form factor like this. I think Nick is right. I agree with what you said Marco that as it is today, the Surface Go is not terribly interesting to me, but I can see how especially if you are already into the Windows ecosystem, this would be tremendous.

00:19:52   I know most Windows users that I still converse with, that sounds way worse than I mean it, but you know what I mean.

00:19:58   I have Windows friends. Yeah I do. I have Green Bubble people. No, but most of the Windows people that I still talk with. I really don't have Windows friends honestly.

00:20:07   Well we have a mixed family in the sense that Aaron's family is all PC and Android and it makes me sad. But anyway, anytime I speak to any of them that they seem to all love their Surfaces, Surfy, whatever, and I think I would too if there was an Apple or a Mac equivalent of this, I think I'd be really into it.

00:20:26   I don't know, John does this deeply offend you, this thought? I don't think you're thinking through your idea of what you basically described as a terrible Mac laptop.

00:20:35   You can't take a Mac laptop and then get rid of the keyboard and use it as a tablet because Mac OS is not a tablet OS. You can't use Mac OS with your finger. The controls are too small.

00:20:46   They require too much precision in doing stuff. It's just not a touch OS. So I think that doesn't work. I know a lot of people who have things like this at work and they like them and I see them use them and they use them kind of like a slightly worse laptop.

00:21:05   Because if you don't ever use this in tablet mode, you'd be better off with Macbook One or the equivalent PC notebook. If you only ever use it in notebook mode, who wants this folding kickstand, floppy, cruddy keyboard, just get yourself a laptop.

00:21:19   The whole idea of this, that's why we're talking about it in the context of an iPad, is that if you had an iPad with a keyboard with a trackpad on it or an adjustable kickstand or a thicker version like this that was cheaper, these are all ways to make the iPad better.

00:21:35   And then setting aside the OS issues of what this OS can do that iPadOS can't because this is essentially Windows and iPadOS's iOS which is still limited in many ways as compared to desktop.

00:21:45   That's the correct comparison for this. I don't think there's any reasonable comparison for Mac stuff because until and unless Mac has much more accommodation for touch, it's entirely useless in tablet mode.

00:22:00   In tablet mode, you need to run iOS. And then in laptop mode, there are tradeoffs either way.

00:22:07   Getting back to what Margot was saying about how this is not a substitute for people who want iOS or macOS, it's kind of like the same conversation that we mostly don't have anymore that comes up far less frequently than it did, which is, "Why are you buying insert non-laptop Mac here? I could build a PC for half the price of twice the performance."

00:22:28   Let me bring it up occasionally in the context of the Mac Pro. Still true, like every one of these "high-end Macs" from the Mac Mini to the iMac Pro to the Mac Pro with the exception of the crazy good screen on the iMac Pro and 5K iMac, mostly without exception, you could build a faster PC for half the price.

00:22:46   But of course, then it would run Windows. And unless you're going to do Hackintosh, which has its own problems, we don't even talk about it. We don't even say, "Oh, Margot, I heard you got an iMac Pro. Why didn't you build a PC for half the price?"

00:22:56   It's not the same thing, right? But when it comes to iPads, it's like, "Well, that's the same thing, isn't it? It's a flat screen that you touch and has a pen."

00:23:05   It's the same differences on the Mac side. You either want Windows or you want Mac OS or you need Windows or you need Mac OS.

00:23:12   The only time it becomes effective, which is a topic that's lowered down unless we may or may not get to, and we talked about in the past, the Surface Studio, if all you do all day at work is run Lightroom, and Lightroom runs on both platforms,

00:23:25   and it already runs some weird Adobe cross-platform GUI toolkit, and that's all you ever do is spend all day in that application?

00:23:32   Then maybe you can switch from one OS to the other because it's less of a factor in your life because all you do is you're basically using it as an appliance.

00:23:39   And then you can get a Surface Studio Pro, but you can't get anything that's close to that on the Mac.

00:23:44   And that's how you like to do whatever your work is, whether it's Photoshop or Lightroom or whatever, or some cross-platform application. That makes it viable.

00:23:51   But for the Surface Go, I don't think this is really in competition with the iPad among anybody who hasn't already chosen an OS ecosystem.

00:24:05   Yeah, I agree. But I just thought it was an interesting thing to think about. So thanks, Nick.

00:24:11   And then a final piece of follow-up. We talked last week about ISH, which is a kind of Linux on iPad, just engineering masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. It's still early on.

00:24:23   Well anyway, the author of ISH tweeted at us saying that he had just tuned in to the ATP FM podcast and heard about YouTube DL or YouTube Download not working.

00:24:33   The author says, "I'm working on Python support, and the next test flight build should have that working."

00:24:38   I also noticed that somebody, I think it was Caleb Hicks, was complaining, well not complaining, but had noted that FFmpeg was also not working and there is now an issue in GitHub for that too.

00:24:49   And if you recall, this all stems from me saying that one of the small list of things that I still would like to have my Mac for is running YouTube Download.

00:24:59   And I got a lot of helpful people reminding me that shortcuts will do this sort of thing in certain cases.

00:25:04   YouTube Download is actually a poorly named app because it downloads lots of things from lots of places, not just YouTube.

00:25:10   And I use it many times to get shows off of network television websites. And it would just be nice to have for occasions when I don't feel like SSHing.

00:25:18   And I don't really expect that either of these would ever really work on an iPad. But hey, sounds like there's a prayer and that's pretty cool.

00:25:26   So I just wanted to point that out. And if you haven't tried ISH, I mean it is very early on and not a lot works, but holy smokes, I can't say enough how cool it is.

00:25:35   So you should definitely check it out. We'll put a link in the show notes.

00:25:38   I was just trying to look up the Geekbench scores for the Surface Pro. I think it's less than half the score in both single and multi-core.

00:25:49   And Surface Go we're talking about, which is different.

00:25:52   Yeah, Microsoft Surface Go. I'm seeing single-core score in the mid-2000s and a multi-core score around the mid-4000s.

00:25:59   Oh my god, that's awful.

00:26:01   Yeah, what is the iPad? The new iPads are... Yeah, we're on 5000, so double that for single-core. And 16,000.

00:26:12   It's approximately half the speed of the iPad Pro. It is less than half the price, to be fair.

00:26:17   Yes. It costs about as much as if you buy a keyboard and a pencil for the iPad Pro.

00:26:23   Right, if you buy lots of accessories, or you can get an entire Surface Go.

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00:27:40   Betterment. Outsmart average.

00:27:42   So I've been on a similar journey as the folks from Connected where I've been going through photo management apps like it's my job.

00:27:53   And I started, I believe, with Everpix and then Picture Life. Maybe I got that backwards. Doesn't matter.

00:27:59   And eventually I settled on Google Photos, which I fell head over heels in love with.

00:28:05   And this is where all the real big Apple fans say, "How can you give all your information to Google? What is wrong with you?"

00:28:10   Blah, blah, blah. I understand the trade-offs, but at the time, and I mostly stand by it to this day,

00:28:16   I am willing to make those trade-offs to get the unbelievable search that Google offers and some of the neat things that it does like

00:28:23   going through pictures and taking out the color in the backgrounds and making a stylized photo as they call it.

00:28:28   It just does really cool stuff and I really like Google Photos.

00:28:31   However, I hate the new, what is it, Google Drive uploader? Backup and Sync from Google is what it's called on my Mac.

00:28:40   And it is a piece of monkey crap.

00:28:43   You see, a few months ago, up until a few months ago, there was a Google Photos uploader that you could run, or Google Photos backup, I'm sorry,

00:28:54   that you could run on your Mac and it would happily backup files from your file system and throw them onto Google Photos.

00:29:01   And if you're somebody like me who treats this file system as the one true and ultimate canonical source of all those photos, that was perfect.

00:29:09   Also, that file system, it should be noted, which will become important in a little while, is on my Synology.

00:29:14   The Synology gets backed up several different places. The photos specifically get backed up onto a physical hard drive that's moved off-site.

00:29:21   I have plenty of backups. I like having them on the Synology though because I can get to those files anywhere easily.

00:29:27   And it is the only place where I'm willing to sacrifice about 600 gigs or whatever my photo library is now. It's really big.

00:29:34   It's the only place I'm willing to sacrifice that much space.

00:29:37   So, a few months ago, Google Photos uploader, whatever I just told you it was, became backup and sync from Google.

00:29:44   And that thing is a piece of garbage. It hates the fact that I have a network share for where all of my photos are.

00:29:52   It's constantly losing connection to it. Even though the mount on the Mac is fine, on my iMac, it's fine.

00:29:59   The mount is there. I can access it no problem. But Google's piece of garbage app gets confused constantly.

00:30:04   I've also noticed that it was continually creating, and I'm pretty sure I've narrowed it down to Google, continually creating additional folders in my file structure.

00:30:12   So my file structure is a folder for each year, in each year, a folder for each month, and then in each of those folders is all my pictures.

00:30:19   And it was continually making duplicates for some reason. So I would have in my 2018 folder, I would have one, one space, open paren, one, close paren.

00:30:28   One space, open paren, two, close paren. And I'm almost positive that this is Google Photos.

00:30:33   Does it run DiscoveryD?

00:30:35   Yeah, it may as well at this point. It is such a piece of garbage.

00:30:39   And because of that, I am looking to get off of Google Photos, expressly because of this native app uploader thing.

00:30:48   So I am aware that if you are in an all iOS world, I don't even need this thing because it will suck them directly off my phone and upload them and that's fine.

00:30:59   However, I am not living in an all iOS world. I have a big camera and that's where I take most of my best pictures.

00:31:05   So, I thought to myself, you know what, at this point, it may just be time to bite the bullet and look at iCloud.

00:31:13   What is it? iCloud Photo Library?

00:31:15   Yep.

00:31:16   Okay. Because I've heard a lot of people that I respect and that I trust say, you know what, I swear it's good.

00:31:23   And so I started down the path of, okay, what do I need to do in order to get iCloud Photos working?

00:31:29   Which means I need to embrace the Photos app on my Mac, which I used to use years ago and I haven't used in a long time because I was always using Everpicture Picture Life for Google Photos or what have you.

00:31:39   Well, it turns out that the Photos app, to the best of my understanding, and I would be overjoyed if this ends up being user error,

00:31:47   but to the best of my understanding, the Photos app will only really operate the way I want if all of the photos are on a drive that is physically connected to your computer.

00:31:59   Because I looked at the preferences for photos on my Mac and there's importing checkbox, copy items to the Photos library, and this is in the context of iCloud Photo Library.

00:32:10   Under that it says only items copied to the library will upload to iCloud Photos.

00:32:15   And so what ends up happening is if I'm understanding everything properly, the only way for me to get things into iCloud from my Mac is if I now string an external hard drive to my Mac and stick all my photos there,

00:32:32   despite the fact that they're sitting two and a half feet to my left on my Synology.

00:32:37   But because that's a network share, it's not good enough.

00:32:40   What do I do, guys? What do I do?

00:32:44   Well, how big is your Photo library?

00:32:47   Like, six or seven hundred gigs.

00:32:49   How big is your hard drive, your internal hard drive?

00:32:52   One terabyte.

00:32:53   And you can't fit the six or seven hundred gigs?

00:32:55   I don't want to even... Somebody in the chat just said, "apple.com/macmini." Well done.

00:33:01   But no, I don't want to sacrifice three quarters of my onboard drive just for photos. That's the whole reason.

00:33:09   What are you saving all that space for?

00:33:11   I don't know, I don't think I even have that much free space at the moment.

00:33:13   Is it something more important than photos that you're going to fill in some hundred gigs?

00:33:17   I see how it is.

00:33:18   I was saying, I was like, if you've got other stuff, you've got other stuff.

00:33:21   But if it's free space and you're just trying to save it for the future...

00:33:24   I do not have enough space. I have half of that space available.

00:33:27   So what John is saying is you don't love your children enough.

00:33:29   That's what he's saying.

00:33:30   That is exactly what he's saying.

00:33:31   Anyway, so I explained this to you already in Slack, but for the people on the podcast,

00:33:35   I was in a similar situation in that I had my Photo library on the internal drive.

00:33:39   My internal drive was terabyte and my library was getting bigger and bigger,

00:33:44   and there were other things on the drive.

00:33:46   Eventually I ran out of room and I had to take my library and move it elsewhere.

00:33:51   Now, the fact that you keep your library on the Synology,

00:33:53   I know you like that because the Synology has got lots of space,

00:33:56   but that's not really the best place for your Photo library for a couple reasons.

00:34:00   One, unless you've replaced all the spinning disks in your Synology with SSDs,

00:34:03   your Synology is slow as compared to an SSD, internal or attached or whatever.

00:34:08   And two, the fact that your Synology is big enough to disk space

00:34:12   makes it an ideal place to have a second copy of your photos in your house.

00:34:18   So I think your photos should be either on your internal hard drive attached to your Mac

00:34:22   or on a drive attached to a Mac, and they should be backed up to your Synology,

00:34:27   which is also in your house as a second local backup.

00:34:30   So what I did when my internal drive filled up is I bought an external SSD.

00:34:35   It's bus powered. It's a little USB thingy.

00:34:38   And that's where I moved my Photo library to.

00:34:41   It's connected to the back of my iMac. It's very small.

00:34:43   I don't have to plug it into anything except for the iMac with a very short cable.

00:34:46   It's not a big deal. And that's where my Photo library is, and I use the Photos application.

00:34:51   Eventually, if I fill that drive, I could replace it with a bigger drive

00:34:54   or more likely replace it with an iMac with a 4TB internal drive, and I go back to internal.

00:34:58   Because having an internal is great because the internal drives are really fast.

00:35:02   I mean, maybe not on your hard drive, but certainly on the iMac Pro, they're really, really fast.

00:35:06   And there's nothing better than -- my Photos library has over 100,000 photos now.

00:35:11   It's nice to be able to have that on a direct attached or even better internal drive.

00:35:17   It reduces load times and helps scrolling through. So that's what I think you should do.

00:35:21   And that's actually exactly what my plan is. I just wish it didn't have to be the case.

00:35:26   And what I've put into my Amazon wish list since it's holiday time is, I don't know,

00:35:31   some sort of external SSD. I basically thought, well, I need about 3/4 of a terabyte now.

00:35:37   I have two children that I take too many pictures of, so I have a -- and maybe this isn't the best one in the world,

00:35:42   but I arbitrarily landed on a Samsung T5 portable SSD with 2TB for about $400 on Amazon.

00:35:48   And I figure if nobody is feeling extraordinarily generous during the holiday season -- hey, Santa --

00:35:53   then I will just buy that as soon as the holiday season is over, and I will do exactly what you said.

00:35:59   It bums me out that Google Photos, that the uploader changed, and OC is saying in the chat that anything Google Drive related

00:36:08   is apparently a piece of garbage, which is really unfortunate. But yeah, this backup and sync from Google is just a straight dumpster fire.

00:36:16   And it bums me out because otherwise I really love Google Photos, and it just bums me out that Apple is very particular about the way in which you store the photos.

00:36:24   Like we were talking in Slack about how I believe the drive that the photos are on need to be like HFS Plus or God knows what other file systems.

00:36:32   Ultimately --

00:36:33   >> APFS.

00:36:34   >> Okay. It doesn't really matter to me one way or the other, but the point is it's hyper specific, the scenario you need to be in.

00:36:41   So if you're not storing it on the internal drive on your computer, it gets very picky very quickly, and that really bums me out.

00:36:49   So I think the answer, like you said, is an external SSD and just grow up and deal with it.

00:36:55   But man, why can't I have my cake and eat it too? Is that so much to ask?

00:36:58   >> You're getting a new iMac with a bigger internal drive. You can have your cake and eat it too, and everyone will be happy again.

00:37:03   I understand the problem you're having with the Google uploader because I'm using that same Google uploader.

00:37:07   And granted, I don't have my photos in like a hand-arranged directory, so if it's making weird stuff in there, I don't know.

00:37:12   But I point the Google backup thing at my photo library, and I run it that way for -- in the old version I ran it that way, and in the new one I run it that way.

00:37:22   I don't -- it may be missing some photos and it may be doing weird stuff, but I'm pretty sure that it isn't messing up the photos application.

00:37:32   So first do no harm.

00:37:34   If it's doing weird stuff inside there, the photos application doesn't notice or care.

00:37:37   And every time I look in Google Photos and I'm looking for a particular photo, I find it.

00:37:43   Like, if it's missing photos or if it's doing something weird, you know, it's not crashing my computer, it's not causing huge amounts of CPU to be taken up.

00:37:50   Like, maybe it would be different if I was using it on a laptop or something, but this is plugged in all the time.

00:37:54   So I am using that backup utility, and I think it is about the same as the old one was.

00:37:59   Both of them love to tell me that they can't make heads or tails of my RAWs.

00:38:04   So they say, "These 2,000 items couldn't be uploaded into Google Photos."

00:38:10   Or no, it says something like, "They couldn't be imported into Google Photos, but they've been stored in Google Drive."

00:38:15   What it's trying to tell me is that it has transferred the bits related to those, but that if you go to the Google Photos web interface, you won't see them as photos because it doesn't understand the RAWs.

00:38:23   And they're just like the Sony RAWs. I don't have that many RAWs, but I have enough that it loves to tell me about them.

00:38:28   So I don't put too much stock in it. It's like my third or fourth level cloud backup.

00:38:34   And I'm just, you know, as I said before, I put so much metadata into the Apple Photos application that iCloud Photo Library is my real first line of defense because that preserves all that metadata.

00:38:45   So I hope Apple Photos works out for you.

00:38:50   I still suggest you back up all those photos from your local Mac two feet away to your... I can't believe you have your Synology two feet away. I wouldn't be able to stand that noise.

00:38:59   But anyway, two feet away to the Synology.

00:39:01   It's not quiet.

00:39:02   Yeah. Mine's in the basement. I never hear it. It's very far away from me.

00:39:06   Yeah, mine's in the garage.

00:39:08   That's where it should go.

00:39:09   There's a very thick layer of cinder blocks and insulation between me and mine.

00:39:14   See, you know, ladies and gentlemen, this is why it is sometimes good to be me because I respect the fact that the two of you can be so deeply bothered by fan noise and things of that nature, but I just don't care. And it is wonderful.

00:39:28   It's so... It's not just fan noise. Like the Synology, like at least mine anyway at this point, you can hear the fans and also because it has so many spinning drives in it.

00:39:38   Oh yeah, you can absolutely hear that.

00:39:39   It's got basically like buzz, like, you know, body cladding buzz from... Again, I was using the analogy of a car with a stereo that's too loud for it that is starting to shake the body panels.

00:39:48   But I don't care. It's in the basement. I don't hear it. It's completely silent from here.

00:39:52   You're absolutely right. But I don't know. I think part of the problem is I don't feel like wiring a cable all the way down because my garage is on the opposite side of the house and a floor below.

00:40:01   No, my basement, it is on the opposite side, the complete opposite side of my basement, but I ran that cable and I fished it up into this room and I strung it around the outside of the room underneath the baseboard and it comes right back up.

00:40:13   You're a better man than I. Anyway, in the grand scheme of things, like this is not a very big problem and things could be so much worse, but it just really bummed me out in no small part because I really love Google Photos.

00:40:24   What you were saying about metadata, I don't have very much metadata in no small part because I've been going through these services like water, but I did take the time to make a lot of albums in Google Photos and it's really going to make me sad when I inevitably give up on that.

00:40:41   I don't know what's wrong with my Google Photos uploader, whatever it's called, Backup and Sync from Google. I don't know what I'm doing wrong except perhaps that it's on a network share and that's what's making it so angry.

00:40:51   But one way or another, it's really making me sad that Google Photos doesn't seem to be doing what I need it to do anymore and I really, really, truly in my heart believe it comes down to this god-awful uploader.

00:41:03   And I tried running the old one a little bit longer even though they said it was Sunset or End of Life or whatever ridiculous Californianism they said and it didn't seem to be working anymore.

00:41:11   Again, maybe it was user error. I'm not trying to say it was not me, but it just didn't seem right. It didn't seem like it was uploading anything and I'm sad, you guys. I want my Google Photos to work again.

00:41:22   I have a couple of Google Drive related stories that are relevant to the Photos thing. So when I had to do that switch of like, "Oh, you filled up your internal drive. Now I got to move photos to my external drive."

00:41:31   So I bought an external SSD. I just brought a one terabyte. I'm continuing to live on the edge. I'm figuring we'll get a new iMac before I actually fill this one at the rate of expansion.

00:41:41   But if not, I'll just buy another one. Anyway, I copied the Photos library there and for a while I left it on the internal drive but repoint made the system.

00:41:51   This is the thing you have to do in Photos. You hold down the option key and you can select the library you want and you have to designate one, the "system library."

00:41:58   So I made the system photo library the one on the external drive and I used it that way for a while without getting rid of the one on the internal drive just to make sure everything was okay.

00:42:08   I also then had to tell the Google Backup and Sync thing, "Stop backing up the Photos library on the internal drive," which wasn't changing anymore. I was no longer touching that library.

00:42:18   It was my umpteenth local backup. You just stay there. I'm never going to touch you again. And Google Backup thing, "Start backing up the thing on the external drive."

00:42:28   As far as Google Backup is concerned, it had never seen those files before. It was like, "Oh, here is 100,000 photos that I've never seen that I need to upload."

00:42:36   And so it went along uploading those things. What that means also is that now on my Google Drive, I had two entire photo libraries. One that was the old one and one that was the new one.

00:42:49   Now Google Photos to its credit understands that the photos are duplicates and I didn't suddenly have two of every kind of photo because it understands photos.

00:42:55   So it's not like, "I'm not going to show you two of things." But Google Drive, like when you look at... This is difficult to do in the Google Web Interface, but you can find the drive view of things.

00:43:03   You can see the files that are associated with Google Photos in the drive. And it would show me like photos.ifotolibrary or whatever the hell the file name extension is for the ifoto library.

00:43:15   It would show me two of those. One of them was the old one that hadn't been modified in a while and one of them was the new one.

00:43:20   So I'm like, "Okay, well now I have double-double backups." I have to, by the way, expand my Google Drive to be like two terabytes to fit all this. But anyway.

00:43:27   So when I was satisfied after a month or two, like the new library and the external drive is working, everything's great, it looks good, I could finally ditch the internal one.

00:43:37   So on my Mac, drag that photos library thing on my internal drive to the trash. And if you are a sucker, hit empty trash because that will take a year and a day.

00:43:46   If you're not a sucker, go to the command line and, you know, rm -rf tilde /.trash/ifotolibrary, whatever. I just let rm delete that thing. Still took a while.

00:43:57   And suddenly I had 700 gigs free on my internal drive. Yay. Whatever. Like, it's great.

00:44:02   And then I said I should get rid of that space on my Google Drive as well.

00:44:08   So I went to Google Drive's weird file viewer interface of your photos and I checked off a checkbox next to the photo library that I'm sure was the one that I didn't want based on the modification dates.

00:44:18   And I hit the little trashcan icon and it disappeared. But of course, putting it in the trash doesn't actually delete it, it just puts it on the Mac in your trash.

00:44:26   So you can view your trash in Google Drive. So I went to the trash view and at the top of trash view it has, well you can select individual items and delete them individually, like permanently.

00:44:35   But you can also, at the top if you find somewhere on one of these menus, there's an item called empty trash. Like, good, empty trash. Boom.

00:44:41   And I go to empty trash and it spins a little bit and throws up an error.

00:44:45   And then like nothing disappears from the view. And I go empty trash and it spins and throws an error and nothing disappears.

00:44:50   And I'm like, oh, let me try this. Let me try checking a bunch of checkboxes. And then say permanently delete these ones I've checked.

00:44:56   And it says, okay, I'll do that. And they disappear for a second and then half of them reappear.

00:45:00   And there's like 100,000 files that I need to get rid of. I spent a while trying to figure out if I could get Google Drive to empty my trash of these items.

00:45:10   And every time I would tell it to either empty the entire trash or select several hundred checkboxes and tell it to, you know, delete, permanently delete those items, it would appear to do so.

00:45:20   They would disappear from the screen but then they would reappear.

00:45:22   So I emailed Google support about this and they're like, well, sometimes when you tell us to empty the trash, the files don't actually get deleted for 48 hours or yada, yada, yada.

00:45:33   Like some weird story about, you know, eventually consistent blah, blah. They didn't say these words but this is what I'm thinking in my head.

00:45:39   You know, our backend might not reflect the changes. So even though it keeps showing you the files are there, they're not. So come back in 48 hours.

00:45:46   And of course, then I forgot about it for two weeks.

00:45:48   And then I came back two weeks later and I said, oh, yeah, they wanted me to check back in. I checked back in and guess what? Like the files were still there.

00:45:55   So I emailed them back and said the files are still there. But then at this point, I had given up ever getting this to work because I'd Googled around and tons of people had similar problems.

00:46:03   And I just went through basically like a hundred items at a time and manually deleted them until I actually did drain the thing because you delete them and half of them reappear and then I'd select more and delete them, half of them reappear.

00:46:14   And luckily it's a hundred thousand items, but they're in a hierarchy of whatever the weird hierarchy the Google Photos thing does with this, you know, weird folder name.

00:46:21   So I didn't actually have to check off a hundred thousand checkboxes. I did eventually drain it to the point where the trash was empty, but at no point did the actual empty everything from the trash button work.

00:46:33   So I think Google Drive is not prepared to handle the volume of files that I was throwing at it. I would call that a bug.

00:46:40   I'm sure they closed my cases results because they said, do you still have a problem? I'm like, no, I manually selected checkboxes for an hour and got rid of them all myself.

00:46:47   I'm like, great, problem solved. How was your support experience? Like fix your damn thing. There's a button that says empty trash. Just make a note of a job and the job should be everything that's in the trash.

00:46:57   You go delete it eventually. I don't care how long it takes. I don't care how long it takes for it to be consistent across all of your replicas and blah, blah, blah.

00:47:03   Just do it. Don't make me be the job that anyway. So and then eventually I got my free space back. So I'm back into a steady state with my photos library and external drive, which honestly is the state I was in for a long time before.

00:47:17   And so I'm kind of used to that. Only now the drive is really, really tiny and silent and much, much faster.

00:47:24   I think your world is my future. It's just a matter of time.

00:47:28   Here's another advantage, by the way, that I think about with this. If the house is on fire and really you should get it getting everybody out.

00:47:34   But if you're going to grab one thing, grab the tiny little SSD, just yank it right off the cable and now you've got your family photos.

00:47:40   All your entire photo library on one easy to grab thing. I can't carry that iMac out. I'm not like Marco with his case or anything.

00:47:46   I can perhaps grab one tiny little SSD and yank it off the computer and leave the house.

00:47:51   You wouldn't stop to safely eject it?

00:47:53   Nope.

00:47:54   Oh, living dangerously.

00:47:58   You know, it's funny you say that. I have thought a lot about how if our house, God forbid, was aflame that I would definitely make sure that Aaron and the kids were fine.

00:48:09   And if I had even a second to do anything else, I would rip that Synology right out. Well, it's not in the wall.

00:48:15   It's too big. You can't take the Synology.

00:48:17   Oh, I absolutely would.

00:48:18   Also, you would like unplug operating hard drives and just like pick it up while they're still like spinning?

00:48:24   I absolutely would because given the alternative of guaranteed loss, I will take possible loss.

00:48:30   And my life is on that box. I mean, again, it's backed up many different places.

00:48:36   And so it wouldn't be catastrophic, I hope, knock on wood, that, you know, if it did break.

00:48:43   But if I had the choice between grabbing that thing and hopefully saving myself hours upon hours upon hours of angst and frustration, even if I lost a drive, you know, hypothetically, I would still be okay.

00:48:55   I would absolutely just yank the darn thing out of the wall and run downstairs with it.

00:48:59   I've thought about that a lot. And I agree with you, Jon, that in a perfect world, you know, there's a lot in that Synology I would be sad to lose.

00:49:06   Quite a lot, actually. And it's all backed up.

00:49:09   But you're absolutely right that the number one thing I would be devastated to lose would be the photos.

00:49:15   And that's why every month I make an exact duplicate of all of the photos on that drive onto an external little two and a half inch spinny disk drive.

00:49:24   And then I send that with my parents, you know, because I usually visit once a week.

00:49:29   I'll send that with my parents to their house to keep for the remaining three weeks of the month until it's the beginning of the month again when I make another duplicate of all those photos.

00:49:37   So hypothetically, in a worst case scenario, I would lose a couple of weeks of pictures and no more.

00:49:42   But that is the sort of thing that keeps my weird nerdy brain up at night is, you know, what would I lose if this house goes up in flame? What files am I losing?

00:49:52   And to be clear, I have like seven cloud backups of all this stuff. It's not like I'm worried about losing only copies.

00:49:57   It's just that that copy that's attached to the external drive has all the metadata, the canonical copy.

00:50:02   And because it's formatted as APFS, it has periodic snapshots that are being taken place on it.

00:50:07   So I can just yank it out, content that even if I have hosed some part of the file system, one of the snapshots from like an hour ago is internally consistent and I'm fine.

00:50:15   Magic of file systems. And honestly, yes. And before we get all this email saying never take anything, just leave the house.

00:50:21   We're assuming a scenario where like an upstairs bedroom is on fire and smoke hasn't even entered the downstairs and everybody is safely out of the house.

00:50:27   I would take the drive with me on my way out the door. Not when like I'm fighting my way through flames to get it.

00:50:33   Do not re-enter a burning house to get anything out of it ever unless it is like a child or a dog.

00:50:38   I don't know why you guys worry so much about your data in your house.

00:50:43   Because like honestly, like the very first, like I have so much online backup that like I would not worry about that at all.

00:50:50   Like yeah, if I had like a lot of time to go back into the house if it's burning and everyone, you know, everyone's out and safe, the whole family, the dog, everyone's out and safe.

00:51:00   And I have enough time to go back in and get stuff. I think the first thing I'd get would be like, you know, jewelry.

00:51:05   Second thing would be like my like important documents like my passport and everything that are just like a pain to replace.

00:51:11   No, come on. No, you don't get that stuff. First of all, never go back in. We're saying on the way out the door.

00:51:16   But we're saying like if we have time to go back in and you know, it's still.

00:51:20   You think you have time, but you don't know you have time. That ceiling could collapse.

00:51:25   You think you know, but you have no idea. This is true life.

00:51:27   I would not, I would not save passports or jewelry or anything like that. I don't have anything nice. So that solves that problem.

00:51:33   The only, yeah, like it's just because you're, you're on the way out the door and you only have one second to grab one thing completely thoughtlessly.

00:51:39   It can't be a heavy thing, KC. Like this analogy has to be something the size of a deck of cards that you can yank off in two seconds on your way out the door.

00:51:47   And the only reason I'd be doing it is because I know how much time it would save because I don't, I don't have my photos metadata.

00:51:55   Well, did I see do I have it? Yeah, I guess I have the photo library. All right, I do. Fine.

00:51:59   Multiple online backups in the photos metadata, but the drive would be really convenient because if I have to restore 700 gigabytes from the backup service of my choice, it's going to be really slow.

00:52:09   So that's it. That's, that's all I would do. I don't even need to take my wedding album or anything anymore because we digitize those negatives. So I'm all set.

00:52:16   Oh, you're old.

00:52:17   Negatives. That's right. We got the negatives.

00:52:19   I would say also like, you know, going back a little bit, you know, a little bit closer to the ground now to this topic. Generally I find like a good rule of computing happiness is to do as much as you can with the stuff built into the platform that you're on.

00:52:38   And so like in this case, like one of the reasons I don't use Google photos and I know it's, I know people like it and it's good, good for you. One of the reasons I don't use it is because it requires this weird app to be installed to upload all my photos on my Mac.

00:52:50   And I just don't want to do that. My experience with apps like that is that they don't care about the platform enough to make a good app. And I don't want that running on my main computer.

00:53:02   Now I do have an advantage that Casey, you should probably consider because you like buying new Apple stuff and rationalizing it. So I'll help you out here.

00:53:10   This would be a good case for a Mac mini to basically replace your Synology or at least replace this role of it.

00:53:16   And you have basically have the Mac mini have the entire photo library on it and run Google's awful uploader on it.

00:53:25   So it's working on a local disk. And then you on your iMac only have like the optimized version that doesn't have the full size versions of all the photos on it.

00:53:35   And that like, cause then like, like that's one of the things I use my Mac mini for is I put software on it that I need to be running all the time for something that includes things like my dumb iSCSI initiator, which I don't recommend to anybody ever, but I'm running it.

00:53:48   And that's how I use my Synology in a useful way. It also includes things like my Fujitsu scan snap software that like, it's just this ugly icon that has to always be running in your dock.

00:53:58   And I had it running on my dock on my main computer for years and I always hated it. And so like, I can now put this on this computer and it's kind of isolated from software updates breaking it because that that computer is still running low Sierra.

00:54:11   So like, and there's no reason for you to upgrade it. That's kind of like the computer. It's kind of like how I use Chrome on my main computer as like my Google and Facebook sandbox that is isolated from my computer.

00:54:24   Like the Mac mini is just a bigger version of it. It is like my Mac OS isolated sandbox that things that need to run on a Mac, but don't need, don't necessarily need to run on my Mac and that I would, that I don't want to run on my Mac.

00:54:37   So that's a perfect place for this kind of thing. So if it will work well, if with a local disc and you don't want to run on your main Mac, which I totally would understand and would support a Mac mini server might be that option.

00:54:49   It could also be a way better Plex server than Synology could be. But, um, and I'll, and generally speaking, like I have just found like software from Google is awful.

00:54:58   Like, like Google's really good at server stuff and web stuff. They're terrible at local software. Same thing with Amazon. Like for a while I tried Amazon's like music store, like whatever the Amazon version of iTunes match was called, which I think is recently discontinued.

00:55:12   But like anything with that Sonos software is also awful. Like any company that I need to like run their like server software or their uploader on my Mac has a really bad track record and I would rather just not use those services than have to run this horrible software all the time.

00:55:30   And depend on that, on them making a really good Mac client because for the most part, these big companies just can't and won't do that.

00:55:37   I think you're exactly right that Google's bread and butter is absolutely server side stuff and web stuff and certainly Google Photos, the parts of it that are great.

00:55:46   That's because of the server side stuff and the web stuff. That makes perfect sense. But yeah, you're exactly right that these native apps, even the one that I loved that worked well was a piece of garbage as a native app.

00:55:59   And this new one that doesn't work is also a piece of garbage. Like you can tell that it's using some sort of god awful cross platform UI framework. It's just bad.

00:56:09   And I don't know, I don't necessarily agree that a Mac mini is, not to say that it's necessary, I shouldn't put words in your mouth, but I don't know that it's really the right answer because that's a solution that starts at $800 more than the $400 I was already going to spend because I need the $400 hard drive no matter what.

00:56:27   And then adding $800 worth of Mac mini on it just for funsies seems unnecessary. But I also agree with you that rather than leaving my iMac on 24/7, which is what I do, it would be way nicer to just have that little Mac mini over in the corner somewhere being my Plex server, being my Photos server, so to speak, or whatever the case may be.

00:56:49   If I somehow stumble onto $1,000 or whatever the case may be, if I hadn't already lit $1500 on fire on this iPad, maybe I would do that. But yeah, for now, I don't think it's necessary even though it would be nice and convenient.

00:57:04   And so like I said, I think I'll just get that 2 terabyte SSD whenever the time comes.

00:57:11   Why are you going to banish that Mac mini to the corner? You just put it on your head as a hat and the sound won't bother you.

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00:59:20   Alright, and it's time for Ask ATP. And we start with Cameron Kerr writing, "What would you like Apple to change this time around with the x86 to ARM transition?

00:59:30   Maybe timelines, translation layers, developer hardware, etc. Was there anything from the PowerPC to Intel transition that could have been done better?"

00:59:38   I wasn't around for that in the sense that I wasn't a Mac user at the time. So, shrug? I have no idea. And I think, Marco, you're in the same boat. Is that right?

00:59:47   No, I was indeed around for that. My first Mac was right before that. It was a PowerBook G4 aluminum in 2004. And this transition happened in 2006.

00:59:58   So, yeah, I was actually around for that. And my second Mac was the first generation of white plastic Intel MacBook, which had some minor issues with the case.

01:00:07   But overall, it was an amazing machine that was an amazing value and amazing performance for the time.

01:00:13   Anyway, so I actually think the PowerPC to Intel transition, from my point of view, just as a user, at the time I was not an Apple developer.

01:00:21   I'm still not really much of a Mac developer. But at the time I was even less of one. And so I didn't see the developer story side of it. I just know the customer side of it.

01:00:34   And for the customer side, it was pretty good. There was such a big performance gain in the transition that Rosetta actually was not too bad.

01:00:45   So Rosetta, for anybody who wasn't around or is too young to have remembered, Rosetta was the translation layer. It was basically a PowerPC emulator that ran your old PowerPC apps.

01:00:58   Technically, I don't think it was actually an emulator. It was some kind of translation thing. But basically, it let you run PowerPC apps on Intel. Not that slowly.

01:01:07   Not as slowly as a full-blown emulation. So it was actually a pretty reasonable compatibility layer. It worked pretty well.

01:01:13   I don't think there were any apps I had that didn't work in it, that needed it. But ultimately, there weren't that many that needed it.

01:01:19   Most apps updated fairly quickly or within a year. And it was fine. So the transition then was going to way faster hardware with really good value Mac options available.

01:01:36   And software that caught up pretty quickly. So it was actually, in my opinion, from my point of view as the customer, again, I thought it was a really easy and well-done transition.

01:01:46   I think it didn't seem to have any downsides. So there isn't much I would change if they were doing the same thing again.

01:01:52   The only thing is, we're in a different world now. That was 12 years ago. Things are very different now.

01:01:59   Any transition to ARM that happens in the foreseeable future probably would not have a massive performance gain over the equivalent Intel chips at the time.

01:02:08   Intel's having problems, but their chips are still really fast at the high end and fairly decent, but maybe getting less decent at the low end.

01:02:17   I don't think an ARM transition is going to bring such a massive leap in performance that a translation or emulation layer like Rosetta would make sense to be able to run x86 apps on ARM at any reasonable speed.

01:02:30   I think maybe they would enable it, but it probably would be pretty slow. Probably wouldn't want to really do it for much. So assuming that's not as present, it would rely heavily on apps being updated pretty soon after it was unveiled.

01:02:45   And that's a really tricky thing right now because 12 years later, Mac apps aren't getting everyone's full attention anymore.

01:02:53   Both Apple and the developers of the apps that we were using back then and that we're using now on the Mac have split attention between the Mac and iOS.

01:03:03   And the Mac usually loses that battle for most of the developers. Usually if you have to prioritize which one you spend time on and you code on, usually iOS wins because the market is bigger.

01:03:14   And so I do worry how long it would take Mac apps to update for a new architecture, even if it was relatively easy. I wouldn't expect it to be a big technical cost to most apps.

01:03:29   Most apps probably in the last transition probably removed any assumptions about byte order and any processor architecture specific things in their code.

01:03:40   Most people are coding at a higher level than that kind of stuff now anyway and have made any necessary changes in previous transitions or in having a cross iOS and Mac OS code base.

01:03:53   So the actual work for the developer who is updating an app is probably going to be pretty small, but that still relies on the developer updating the app and recompiling it and resubmitting it to the app store if it's an app store app or republishing it to their site if it's not.

01:04:08   And that I just think is going to take a while because Mac apps are such a low priority for so many developers now and so many of them have been abandoned or almost abandoned.

01:04:20   So I've been through all the transitions Apple has done and one of the reasons I put this question in here is because when thinking about it, I couldn't think of any terrible things that happened during the previous two transitions.

01:04:34   And so I think the situation Apple is in is that it should be shooting for the performance that it's already done twice.

01:04:44   Like that's its goal. Do as well as you did in 68K to PowerPC and PowerPC to Intel.

01:04:49   Now arguably in 68K to PowerPC there were some things that you could say that they might have done better.

01:04:55   In particular, they basically didn't port their operating system in its entirety for a really, really long time.

01:05:02   They were kind of a victim of their own success. They had such a good system for fat binaries that had both kinds of things in them and for the ability to mix and match code from the different architectures that they use that ability in the operating system to avoid having to rewrite crusty parts of their operating system.

01:05:16   I mean, there's probably 68K assembler still lurking around in there at the time of the transition.

01:05:20   For a really long time, tons of parts of the operating system were still 68K code and they got away with it because they made the transition so easy for everyone, even including themselves.

01:05:30   In the Intel transition they were better, right? They didn't have this thing where parts of the operating system were running in Rosetta for long periods of time.

01:05:37   People did port their apps. They did it even better the second time around.

01:05:42   The third time around, if they do another transition, I'm not quite as down in Marco on the ability to do emulation.

01:05:49   I think that, especially if Intel can't get onto its 10nm process, that they could have enough of an edge to make emulation or binary translation or whatever not have horrendous performance and that could get us along for a little while.

01:06:05   But as you saw with the, this wasn't an architecture transition, but the classic Mac OS to Mac OS 10 transition where they had a place where your old apps could run for a while, but they were pretty good about eventually getting rid of that.

01:06:17   And we lost a bunch of applications there, but it's like, well, this is the new world and you bring your apps along or you're going to be left behind.

01:06:24   And as Marco pointed out, that was a different world where there was a lot more effort being put into Mac applications.

01:06:30   But the point still stands that Apple has set the bar for itself.

01:06:36   They, to their credit, they are the only company I think that has ever done anything like this kind of transition in the same type of platform. Arguably game consoles do this type of transition all the time, but game consoles, especially historically, have not been like PC platforms.

01:06:51   Backward compatibility being so important and it's just a different market, right? So I would almost not count those transitions, even though in the modern era they're becoming much more like that and backward compatibility is more of a selling point for the back catalog and they do all this crazy emulation stuff or whatever.

01:07:03   But there's no, like Apple is the best in the world at these types of transitions and it's done, granted only two times, but that's a lot in the grand scheme of things considering Microsoft has never done it, despite ARM on Windows, right?

01:07:16   They've never like turned over the whole user base and now no one ever runs Windows on x86 anymore, like no one is running Mac OS on PowerPC or 68K because it doesn't run.

01:07:27   The current version of Mac OS only runs on Intel. Only Apple, as Tim Glick would say, has done this. So Apple's got work cut out for it. There is nothing about past transitions that they should be, you know, that they should think about and do better.

01:07:40   They should just think about can we do as well as we did last time? If they could match the Intel transition, it would be a smashing success. So that should be their goal.

01:07:49   Anonymous writes, "I'm in my late 30s and have been a geek since childhood. I've been discovering programming on my 286 and GW Basic and Pascal and the DOS days.

01:07:59   Nice.

01:08:00   And with a multitude of hobbies, I never ended up pursuing a career in programming. My experience is elsewhere, primarily with servicing technology, customer service and software quality assurance.

01:08:09   I absolutely love quality assurance for my ability, for the ability to break things down, but can't do much more in this field without a programming background. Hearing you guys speaking about how programming suits the character made me want to seek career advice from three developers.

01:08:22   Do you guys think it's too late to switch this career? Would you recommend schooling or self-paced lessons? And lastly, what language should I begin if I were to choose to be best suited for the new career?

01:08:31   I'm going to take this one by one and I'll let us roundtable each of them. Do you guys think it's too late to switch this career? I don't think so, but that's easy for me to say because I never made the switch and I've been in it since I was in college.

01:08:45   My first real job was a development job. I think it is generally a little bit harder to get a job in development, especially an entry level job when you're older because typically older developers are, well, first of all, not usually developing anymore.

01:09:03   Usually they're managing and B, it's just not something you see very often, but I wouldn't say it's a bad idea. I just think that the odds are stacked slightly against you. But I don't know, Marco, what do you think about that one piece of this question? Like I said, I'll go through the other pieces in a moment.

01:09:20   I mean, I'm also in my "late 30s" so I can see this as somebody who's my age. I too, like Casey, have not had the experience of migrating into this field after school and everything because I started when I was a teenager, basically.

01:09:36   I went to school for computer science and was working in the field since right after college. But I do think that of all the many different fields that you can possibly work in, being a programmer is possibly one of the easiest ones to get into at a "later age," even though I know we aren't that old in grand scheme things.

01:09:58   But yeah, it's actually a lot easier than a lot of fields because there's no required certifications, there's no required schooling. It's the kind of thing that you can self-teach, which it sounds like this person actually has self-taught to some degree, at least in the past.

01:10:14   So you can self-teach, there's lots of resources to learn how to do it. You can do it with the computer and tools and everything you already own without massive new investments of anything. There is no degree that you need to get, there's no certification you need to buy or get, no test you have to take.

01:10:32   And most importantly, the people who hire programmers, some of them care whether you went to school for it and whether you have lots of experience behind you, but from what I've seen, most don't.

01:10:46   Most employers of programmers care about one thing, can you do it? And maybe secondarily, what have you done? Now the second one is going to be a problem for you if you don't have a lot that you can show that you've done in programming, but the first one will help you get there.

01:11:06   If you can just show that you can do it, and if you were able to self-teach on your 286 with GW Basic, you can do it, because that was not easy back then. There was no Stack Overflow back then, and so if you can do that, you can self-teach.

01:11:22   And so I think you can do it. You won't be able to necessarily land any job you want, you're going to have to take what you can get at first, take whoever will hire you as an entry-level position because you won't have a lot of experience doing this.

01:11:38   But if you can learn programming on your own, which you totally can and it seems like you have, then you can get a job in it. It's one of the best fields for that. In fact, of all the programmers that I've worked with or met or even know currently, I would say most of them don't have a degree in computer science.

01:11:59   Most of them went to school for something else and came to computer science later. And maybe not in their 30s, maybe it was in their 20s, some came in their 30s. It's a pretty open and welcoming field if you can actually do the work.

01:12:15   What your past is and what your experience is matters a lot less than can you do it or not. So I think you can do it. As for what language you can pick, it doesn't matter. Pick whatever you want. Languages change, really, every few years. If you can learn one, you can learn them all.

01:12:33   Yeah, Marco can't follow instructions. I know. He can't even follow instructions on his own podcast, let alone when I try to get him to follow instructions. All right, John, let's concentrate for a moment on is it too late?

01:12:45   No, it's definitely not too late. I think Marco covered most of the points. The one I would add is that even an entry-level programming job pays pretty well. Unlike other fields where the entry-level jobs pay crap and you have to work your way up, if you essentially have basically zero practical experience, but you have a skill and you've learned a language and can demonstrate some proficiency and you get the bottom-rung entry-level programming job, it's still pretty good pay compared to the bottom-rung entry-level.

01:13:14   Like, you know, copy editing job or whatever, like so many other industries, the entry-level job, this is the problem with going into a new career when you're older. If the entry-level job doesn't pay enough to support whatever life you've built for yourself at the age of 30, 40 or 50 or whatever, maybe you have a mortgage or obligations or kids in college and you can't afford to change careers because you'd be taking a downgrade in pay from, you know, 10 years or 20 years experience in field A and then you change to field B and you've got to start back over again.

01:13:42   The entry-level salary isn't enough to support you. That's not true in programming. Even the entry-level jobs pay usually an obscene amount of money given exactly how valuable entry-level programmers are to companies sometimes.

01:13:55   So yeah, you can totally learn it. You can totally switch to it in your advanced age of late 30s. It's not coal mining. It's not like, "Oh, my arthritis in my late 30s means I can't pick up these large bales of hay," or whatever manual labor.

01:14:12   That's a weird coal mine.

01:14:34   Would you recommend schooling or self-paced lessons? I don't think it really matters as long as you can—and this is what I think Marco especially was saying earlier—as long as you can prove that you know what you're doing.

01:14:47   I've heard mixed things about those code boot camps. I don't particularly have any pores in that race, but I can tell you that I went to a four-year school for computer engineering and I feel like I learned more about what it's like to be a professional engineer in the first three months of my first real job than I did in the four years prior.

01:15:12   So that's why I would say schooling isn't necessarily compulsory, but it is a pretty reliable and consistent way to say, "Here is a document that says I have learned X."

01:15:27   So in the case of me, I have a document that says I have learned a fair bit about computer science and electrical engineering because of my personal estimation. That's what computer engineering really is.

01:15:37   And Marco has a document that says I have learned a lot about computer science. That can be kind of an equalizer to some degree, but ultimately I don't think schooling is necessary.

01:15:48   You're going to want to be able to point to something that indicates and proves that you can do it.

01:15:54   So it could be an app in the App Store, it could be a website, it could be a GitHub profile. Actually, one of my favorite things to see from the role of an interviewer is somebody with a decent GitHub profile where I can look at their code and see what they actually do to write code.

01:16:12   So any of those things are fine. Marco, any other thoughts on schooling or self-paced lessons?

01:16:18   Oh yeah, I would add I think formal schooling, like getting a computer science degree, if you're already in your 30s, I would say that's not going to be a good return on your investment.

01:16:30   I think that's something that it's fine to do when you're 18 and you get qualified, you get your first job.

01:16:36   In this field, I don't think you need it. As I said earlier, I know very few working programmers who have a computer science degree, and I would say once you're already established in the job market, you're in your 30s and everything, I don't think it's a good use of your time or money.

01:16:52   Maybe something more trade-oriented, like what you said about boot camps. Again, I've never experienced these things. There's probably a lot of them out there that aren't very good, that are kind of just scamily taking your money.

01:17:04   I would maybe do some research on those to see if those help, or even if you need them. You might not need them.

01:17:10   I would also say if you are applying for a job, almost anywhere, and you show up as the 36-year-old who doesn't have a lot of programming experience at all, but just knows a lot about tech stuff and wants to get into it and maybe is self-taught, you won't be the only person applying for that job who is exactly like that.

01:17:30   It's easy to over-rate everyone else's skills when you just pay attention to the stories you hear online, or to what people say, and to what companies say, "We hire the best of the best."

01:17:42   You look at the requirements, and it's like, "We require 10 years of experience in this language that's only five years old." It's easy to talk yourself out of even applying or even trying, because you think, "I can't get that job."

01:17:54   The reality is most people applying for that job don't fit those criteria, don't have the qualifications, and even the person who ends up getting hired for it has a pretty low chance of actually satisfying all the requirements on the job posting.

01:18:06   So don't let that talk you down or discourage you. Also, don't think that every employer for a programming job is going to give you a Google-style interview full of coding on a whiteboard and solving algorithms and everything.

01:18:20   They're not. Most of them don't do that. Most of them are like, "We need somebody yesterday. Can you start right now, please? We're desperate. We are overwhelmed with work or something, or we're in some kind of mess.

01:18:33   We need to add some programming to this project. You seem competent. Can you show up on time and code? Yes. Okay, you have a job." That's most of the actual jobs in the industry.

01:18:43   You're not solving problems of going to Mars and needing a PhD and having a crazy Google brainteaser interview. But it's easy to think that's the whole industry.

01:18:52   So I would say just try to jump in and try applying for jobs that you're not quite qualified for and just see how far you get. You can learn on the job. You'll be fine. And you won't be the worst programmer there, I bet.

01:19:07   Yeah, and to build on what Marco was just saying, it was just a few months ago that I was interviewing people to join the team that I was the technical lead on.

01:19:15   And in my personal opinion, and I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this, I would much rather have someone who knows enough to sort of kind of get their job done, but is really enthusiastic about it and is really enthusiastic about learning, rather than the hotshot coming out of school that knows everything about everything.

01:19:32   Because that hotshot coming out of school is going to be opinionated, but also ignorant. And in all likelihood, well, obviously I'm stereotyping a bit, but you know, opinionated, ignorant, and also unaware of their own ignorance.

01:19:46   And that's the problem. And so I would much, much, much rather have someone who is enthusiastic and knows that they don't know a lot than someone who knows the whole time, but is just kind of like, "Yeah, well, this is my first job of 30, so whatever. I'll do my two years and get the hell out of here."

01:20:01   I'm a little distracted where we are on this question. Is it like schooling lessons? No, I don't think you need the schooling. The thing about the schooling or the lessons is, I think one of the most important questions you have to answer if you find yourself in this situation is, is programming a thing that I actually enjoy and am good at?

01:20:22   And if you're at the phase of thinking, "Well, I always wanted to get back into it, and to get advanced in my career, I'd need programming skills. Should I do it?" You have to find out whether you like programming as a career and whether you're good at it.

01:20:36   And you could find that out in school, which would be an expensive, time-consuming way to find out. Or you could find that out by trying to do some kind of programming project on your own.

01:20:46   You need to have some, in most cases, you need to have some kind of skills going in. You don't have any previous job experience, maybe you don't even have any projects that you've done, maybe you haven't contributed to open source, but you need to do something with yourself to say, "Oh, I can program. I can do this, and I find it fun."

01:21:03   Because once you've crossed that hurdle, then it's just a matter of finding someone who's going to give you a chance. But if you don't do that, and you find someone who's willing to hire you, and then you get in there and you realize, "Ugh, I actually don't like programming. It's kind of annoying."

01:21:14   Programming might not be what you think it is. Like, so many careers, until you're actually doing it, you're not entirely sure. You may get the idea of programming, but the reality might turn you off. So find that out ahead of time.

01:21:23   And I don't think you need to go to school to find that out. I think you're probably much more efficient to find that out on your own.

01:21:29   And the last place since this question is going along, what language should I begin with? It doesn't matter. Language doesn't matter.

01:21:35   If you want to become an expert in a language and learn a language, you can choose one based on where you think you want to apply based on the companies that are nearby or whatever, but in terms of learning to be a programmer, it absolutely doesn't matter.

01:21:46   When you're learning to be a programmer, you're just learning generic skills that are going to apply to any language.

01:21:52   When it comes to choosing languages, if you have a target company in mind and that company does entirely server-side software in Java, and that's where you've got your heart set on, or there's five companies like that, then yeah, learn Java.

01:22:03   But you're not doing that to learn programming. You're doing that to land a job. And some companies will hire you, even if you don't know the language, because you can learn the language on the job.

01:22:12   It's assumed that someone who is a programmer, especially an experienced programmer, can learn any language on the job. And sometimes they'll hire people.

01:22:21   Say somebody, some company is working in a very obscure language. They'll hire people and they don't have any expectation that anybody knows this language because it's like mumps or something.

01:22:29   Or Perl. Yeah, well, there's more people who know Perl than mumps, but anyway.

01:22:33   And they'll hire you and say, if you know a language that's similar, but I haven't seen jobs like that since like if you know like Ruby, Python, or whatever, and you're like, well, what do you use?

01:22:42   It doesn't matter. If you know any of those languages, you're fine, because that's kind of the kind of language we do here. So don't get hung up on the language thing. That is like the least important sub-question in this question.

01:22:52   Yeah, I agree. The only thing I would build on that to say is, if you're trying to learn programming, then you should definitely have a task that you're trying to complete in the language that you're using.

01:23:04   So for example, when I wanted to learn Node, I wanted to build a blog engine. And that gave me a specific thing to concentrate on to help me learn Node.

01:23:14   Rather than just being like, hey man, it would be cool to like, I don't know, learn Node and stuff. And that's really too open-ended for most people that I know.

01:23:24   So having a specific task, maybe it's you want to see something on your own iPhone, you want to see something on your Mac, you want to see something on the web somewhere.

01:23:32   Having a specific task is very, very helpful. And I agree that if you have a company in mind or what have you, then try to follow whatever stack they use.

01:23:43   But John's right, ultimately the language is irrelevant. It's just that you can do these sorts of things.

01:23:48   You just proved that point about learning Node because if you had learned Node with the idea that it's going to be important for a job that you're going to have, you don't know that anymore because Node changes every two weeks.

01:23:58   That's true. I don't know anything about Node anymore.

01:24:00   Node didn't even have async await when you were learning it.

01:24:02   Nope, sure didn't. Yeah, one of the things I'd like to do one of these days is actually rewrite my engine in a modern version of Node to teach me a modern version of Node because I'm so behind now.

01:24:12   And then it'll change two weeks later and you're knowledge will be worthless again.

01:24:15   Yep. Marco, any final thoughts on this one particular question?

01:24:18   Node sounds awful.

01:24:20   It was fun at the time. This was four years ago or something like that. It was fun. I think John's done a lot more of it, a lot more recently, which I think is in the topic list for, I don't know, 15 years from now.

01:24:30   But I like it. I also don't have the visceral hatred of JavaScript that most people do, probably because I just haven't been burned by it like most people have.

01:24:39   But I think it's fun. I don't know. John, any quick thoughts on Node?

01:24:42   It does change really fast, but the good thing is that most of the changes are for the better. The bad thing is you're starting out from JavaScript, so there's only so far you can go.

01:24:50   JavaScript is really kind of a mess.

01:24:52   There we go.

01:24:53   It makes me sad, but the performance is really good. And the fact that it changes like it's double-edged sword, it is frustrating.

01:25:00   But going from like, I've only been doing Node for a couple years now, and going from month to month and saying, "They added async await in this version? What?"

01:25:11   Like, "This changes everything. Throw out all that crappy code. Change it all."

01:25:16   Things like that happen frequently, and it's kind of exciting and fun, which is why everybody keeps writing these, people who can't program keep writing these crappy packages and uploading them to npm repos and poisoning the world with their bad software.

01:25:27   But that's a separate topic.

01:25:29   Indeed.

01:25:30   All right, and our final Ask ATP, Dave Alteizer writes, "Do any of you use bagel slicers? If so, do you recommend the guillotine kind or one of those slicer holders? Any particular brands you recommend?"

01:25:43   I have used the bagel guillotine thing. I don't know if that's the official name or not, but whatever.

01:25:48   I hated it. It always just smushed the bagels. I thought it was a piece of trash.

01:25:53   I would say just get a very long, very sharp bread knife. We have one from Cutco, I believe, that I think we were sold when Aaron's little brother was briefly doing that in college, as most college kids do.

01:26:05   As most Cutco knives are sold.

01:26:07   Yeah, exactly. And it works great. And just make sure you don't cut into your hand. Flip the bagel when you're about halfway through it, and other than that, that's all you need.

01:26:17   Oh my god, you cut it that way?

01:26:19   Oh yeah.

01:26:20   Oh my.

01:26:21   I haven't cut myself yet.

01:26:23   Anyway, what do you do, Marco?

01:26:25   Okay, so if you don't want to deal with the knife question, bagel guillotines are fine, provided your bagel is not too stale or underbaked.

01:26:35   If it's either stale or underbaked, it will squish when you push down with the guillotine instead of being cut.

01:26:41   Also, it probably helps that the guillotine is relatively modern and sharp. It's supposed to sound like a 30-year-old one that you find.

01:26:47   The guillotines have different shapes in them. Some of them have the single slanted blade like an old guillotine would have.

01:26:53   The better ones come to a point, like a little triangle. Those are better if you get those.

01:26:58   To avoid crushing the bagel down into the guillotine, the best technique for those is to push down really hard and really fast so that it doesn't have a chance to compress. It just punctures it really fast.

01:27:10   Those kind of slices, the guillotine kind of slices, are totally fine. There's no shame in using them. There's some advantage to using them instead of cutting, which I'll get to in a second.

01:27:20   I am a cutter, though, and the reason why is, as I've mentioned somewhere before, I had a job at a bagel shop in high school.

01:27:28   I cut a lot of bagels working the line in the bagel shop and cutting bagels for everybody who would order a dozen or order a sandwich or whatever else.

01:27:36   So I've cut many more bagels than I'd say the average person. Bagel shops don't use bagel guillotines because you can do it with a knife really well and really easily.

01:27:46   So Casey's right. The best kind of bagel cutting knife is a long, straight, serrated bread knife. It should look ridiculous. It should be pretty long.

01:27:56   I'm not talking about a serrated steak knife. A bread knife. A real bread knife. Whether it has the pokey thing on the end doesn't really matter because you're only using the side.

01:28:05   The correct technique to slice a bagel safely is to lay it flat on the cutting surface, put your hand on top of it flat, and cut right to left or whatever. Cut straight across as you are holding the bagel flat.

01:28:21   So your holding hand never has to move. If the knife keeps going straight through, you just cut the bagel faster. You don't get cut. That's how to cut a bagel.

01:28:30   The only downside to that is if you have a bagel that's covered in seeds, some of those will be transferred to your hand.

01:28:37   There are some mitigating things you can do. You can flip it over and hold the bottom, which tends to have fewer to no seeds.

01:28:43   You can put an insulating paper towel between you and the bagel if you want to do it that way.

01:28:49   And that is the one area where the guillotine is better. The guillotine will lose fewer seeds off of a seeded bagel typically than any kind of handheld cutting option.

01:28:58   I agree that bagel on counter, hand on bagel is the best way to do it. But I don't know man. As long as you're not an idiot, you can do it in your hands.

01:29:07   Jon, what do you think?

01:29:09   Gee-a-teens are ridiculous. I don't think I've ever seen one in real life use a long bread knife. For the squishing on the counter thing, I think that makes more sense in a situation where speed is more and where you're being asked to cut many many bagels under time pressure.

01:29:30   Like if you work in a bagel shop. But at home, I do it the artisanal way that Casey described. I don't lose any seeds. I don't squish my bagel against the counter. I cut them up in the air and I'm able to carefully make sure that each half is exactly the right size.

01:29:44   And one isn't bigger than the other and I don't actually go slightly on an angle. Because I take my time and I do it carefully and slowly with a long bread knife.

01:29:51   Do not buy bagel geatons. I wouldn't buy it under any circumstance. Get a bread knife, learn how to use it, you'll be fine. You're not under time pressure. It's not a race.

01:30:00   Alright, thanks to our sponsors this week. Squarespace, RXBAR, and Betterment. And we'll see you next week.

01:30:06   [Music]

01:30:31   [Music]

01:30:59   [Music]

01:31:09   We could talk about Thanksgiving.

01:31:11   Yeah, so we did a top four Thanksgiving side dishes, I think, a couple years ago. Do you guys have any different opinions on Thanksgiving?

01:31:21   I don't remember what your terrible opinions were on that episode.

01:31:23   I could not agree with that description more. I cannot remember what your terrible opinions were on that episode.

01:31:29   No, actually, Aaron and I were talking about this because we are doing my family Thanksgiving this year. We alternate back and forth.

01:31:37   And my mom and dad are lovely people, but chefs they are not. And so I think, actually, Wegmans is doing our Thanksgiving dinner, if I'm not mistaken.

01:31:48   So Aaron and I were talking about the sorts of things that we would want to see and would miss that probably won't be there.

01:31:55   I actually prefer ham, even in Thanksgiving, over turkey. I know most people find that to be blasphemous.

01:32:02   Stop it. Talk about Marko's terrible opinions. What are you doing?

01:32:06   We're talking about Thanksgiving food and you start with, "I prefer ham to turkey?" This podcast is over.

01:32:13   I don't really like turkey. We made it in 301 episodes.

01:32:15   You don't really like turkey? Keep it to yourself on Thanksgiving.

01:32:18   Well, but a lot of times there's ham. Anyway, but...

01:32:21   Ham? I've eaten a lot of bad turkey in my life, but I would never substitute it out for ham.

01:32:26   It's Thanksgiving. Even if the turkey is bad and dry is the one day a year you're eating turkey.

01:32:31   To not be the person who's like, "You know what? I prefer ham. Let's make ham for Thanksgiving." No, don't make ham for Thanksgiving.

01:32:36   Don't you like so many other holidays you make ham?

01:32:39   Yeah, that's what's great about ham. It works anywhere. Ultimately, that doesn't matter.

01:32:45   The point I was trying to get to is that we were trying to figure out what would my mom probably not bother with.

01:32:52   What would she not bother with?

01:32:54   Ham?

01:32:55   One thing... Oh, no, she'll have ham.

01:32:57   What will Wegmans not make you for Thanksgiving? Ham.

01:33:00   Maybe you're right. I think she said she's going to have ham, but you might be right.

01:33:03   But the thing that Aaron and I are most sad that we're pretty sure we're going to miss out on is green bean casserole.

01:33:11   So, you know, green beans with like, I don't know, what is it like?

01:33:15   I'm going to get off that big map of the most disproportionately represented Thanksgiving side dishes.

01:33:21   Oh, yep, yep, yep.

01:33:22   Green bean casserole was on the list, but guess what region it was?

01:33:24   Up near you?

01:33:25   I'm going to guess south. The south.

01:33:27   Oh, that's fine.

01:33:28   Green bean casserole is good.

01:33:30   Yeah, it's great. And especially when you put the little French's fried onions on top.

01:33:34   So one of the best reasons to make green bean casserole is because you need to then buy a little can of those French's fried onions, but you don't need the whole can.

01:33:43   Preach.

01:33:44   So then for the next like two weeks you can like open the cabinet and just like grab a little handful. Super good.

01:33:48   Oh, you get me. You get me so hard.

01:33:51   Why can't you have such good taste on that and yet on so many other things?

01:33:56   This is the southerner and the Ohio boy bonding over green bean casserole.

01:34:01   Forgive me. Actually, no, it's the Midwest, the green bean casserole. The south was mac and cheese.

01:34:05   Oh, yeah, mac and cheese is required. Are you kidding?

01:34:07   I don't think I've ever seen mac and cheese at Thanksgiving.

01:34:11   Oh, you are missing out.

01:34:12   You got to go blow the Mason Dixon line.

01:34:14   No, this, it's kind of like this map. We'll put a link in the show. It says 538.

01:34:18   It's which side dish is most disproportionately represented.

01:34:22   These side dishes are had everywhere, but it's like who has green bean casserole at a higher percentage than everyone else in the country?

01:34:29   And it's the Midwest. Guess what the entire western half of the country, their disproportionate Thanksgiving side dishes. Can you guess?

01:34:36   A burrito with avocados in it.

01:34:37   Wasn't it salad? I would never have guessed it.

01:34:39   Salad, yes.

01:34:40   Salad.

01:34:41   That's just.

01:34:42   That's like everything from the Midwest on.

01:34:45   I like salad, but I would never waste stomach space on Thanksgiving on salad.

01:34:50   Right? I mean, I will concur. I will. I will admit, maybe not concur, but I will admit that my preference for him is a little bit barbaric for Thanksgiving.

01:34:57   But can we all agree that salad is just wrong? I mean, this is not right.

01:35:00   You can have a salad with Thanksgiving dinner as one of the dishes, but the fact that it's disproportionately represented and it's like it's on more people's table than in the rest of the country, which shows they just love salad.

01:35:10   You can have a salad for breakfast on Thanksgiving and then you're fine for the day.

01:35:13   No, I'm going to tell you your solution to your Thanksgiving problems, Casey.

01:35:16   OK, here we go.

01:35:17   You are well, you are now a someone unemployed, but still an adult with two children and you're married and you have a house and multiple cars and sometimes a drone.

01:35:28   I think it may be time. I think it may be time for you to start hosting Thanksgiving and letting your poor parents come to your house and then you can make whatever you want.

01:35:38   That is a good point. That is a good point. But the thing is, every other year.

01:35:41   All Velveeta, all the time.

01:35:42   Nothing but Velveeta.

01:35:44   Velveeta and ham.

01:35:45   If you host Thanksgiving, you have the leeway to do that.

01:35:49   And then you're not in the position where you're complaining about how your parents aren't cooking the things that you want because you're a grown man now and you should cook them Thanksgiving.

01:35:56   That is true. However, my parents much prefer being in their own domicile than anyone else's.

01:36:01   Newsflash, everyone's parents prefer to stay in their house for Thanksgiving. That's how parents work.

01:36:07   But eventually you got to convince them to cook.

01:36:09   Eventually parents don't want to cook for a crowd of people. That's what they don't want to do.

01:36:13   Oh, you're lucky.

01:36:14   See, I don't think Marco and I are at that point. Or I should say our parents aren't at that point quite yet.

01:36:17   No. Not at all.

01:36:19   But in any case, the nice thing with Erin and I is that her mom is the very traditional green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, which are about half butter and half potato.

01:36:34   What is it? Sweet potato casserole, whatever it is. That's not what it's called.

01:36:39   But the sweet potato thing that has mushroom.

01:36:42   Yeah, it's like canned yams and marshmallows on top.

01:36:45   Yeah, that's what I'm thinking of. Yeah, yeah, we're saying the same thing.

01:36:47   Anyway, so, yeah, and turkey. And I think she usually does ham because half of her family also wants to have ham as well because I'm not that crazy. Thank you very much.

01:36:54   But anyways, all the stereotypical stuff is always, always, always, always at Erin's family's.

01:37:01   And so every other year we get the completely fulfilling Thanksgiving.

01:37:05   And on the off years we get the lovely but maybe not every single thing we wish we had Thanksgiving.

01:37:11   Another reason you should start practicing is that someday all of your parents will be dead and you will have to make yourself Thanksgiving.

01:37:17   Well, then I'll just call Wegmans. Isn't that what we like?

01:37:20   It'll be like, it'll be exactly how you remember it.

01:37:23   One strategy that we developed when we were going through Thanksgiving drama with parents and everything is you don't have, like, so if you have to have Thanksgiving at a certain house, that is maybe not the better of the two.

01:37:38   You know, yes, we all love our parents equally, but yeah, we love some of them more on Thanksgiving.

01:37:43   And so on the off years, you don't necessarily have to have only one Thanksgiving meal.

01:37:50   You can have a good Thanksgiving meal like the previous weekend or the next weekend at the other house and have all the things you would have made for that, but you just have, you know, you have your good Thanksgiving meal on a different day.

01:38:05   You know, I was remiss earlier. I forgot to mention that one of the requirements for Thanksgiving is an Aaron apple pie and she is cooking that or baking that I should say this year.

01:38:13   That was my mom's request. In fact, when Aaron asked, "What can we bring?" and mom immediately said, "Apple pie."

01:38:18   So yeah, Aaron's extremely tasty apple pie is also going to be on the menu and I'm very excited about that.

01:38:24   Jon, what do you consider to be, let's channel robot or not, what is your canonical Thanksgiving day feast?

01:38:30   Overall, my stuff is weirded up by the fact that my whole family is Italian, right? So we still have all the traditional Thanksgiving stuff.

01:38:38   We don't have ham for crying out loud, but like we have anti-pasta in front of every family Thanksgiving, family meal period.

01:38:46   Like we just do. So we have anti-pasta and then we have like, you know, minestrone soup and then we have a full turkey dinner.

01:38:52   Why do we have that? Because we just do. Like when we used to have at my grandparents' house, even when my parents did it, we would do the fruit and nut course before.

01:38:59   Like it doesn't matter what the meal was. It would be bracketed by all this Italian American food. And we still do that.

01:39:06   So it seems weird. If it seems weird to you to have anti-pasta before your Thanksgiving dinner, it's because you're not in my family.

01:39:11   But that's the only oddity. Our Thanksgiving dinner is just straight up the middle. Thanksgiving stuffing, you know.

01:39:16   Oh, stuffing. Oh, how could I forget stuffing?

01:39:19   It's just plain old Thanksgiving.

01:39:22   Marco, are you a stuffing fan?

01:39:24   I love stuffing.

01:39:25   See, here again, you get me.

01:39:27   The great thing about stuffing...

01:39:29   Oh no. Oh no, we're in dangerous territory.

01:39:32   Let me translate. I'm talking to, for the Midwesterners, I'm talking about dressing.

01:39:37   Oh God.

01:39:38   No, that's not the dangerous territory I'm talking about. Keep going. I have the fear now. Keep going.

01:39:42   The great thing about stuffing is that you can basically use it as a vehicle for a ton of really awesome and usually otherwise maybe unhealthy flavors to come together in a wonderful medley.

01:39:58   The stuffings that I like are very butter heavy. They usually involve, they always involve some kind of meat flavoring. Usually a fatty meat like a sausage maybe being ground up in there.

01:40:11   Sometimes it involves savory vegetables, slow cooked things. There's a lot you can do with stuffing and I've had lots of different stuffings.

01:40:22   I've had the ones that have fancy bread as the bread chunks or the ones that just use the bag mix. Tell you what, it's the same.

01:40:29   No, you've entered the territory. This is what my fear was when we started talking about stuffing.

01:40:34   Casey would say, "Man, I love stove top and I would die."

01:40:37   No, I'm not saying "stove top."

01:40:38   And now you did it.

01:40:39   No, no.

01:40:41   The bag mix of like the bread cubes that form your base, you don't need, if the freshness of the bread matters in your stuffing, you aren't putting enough other stuff in your stuffing.

01:40:55   No, no, no.

01:40:56   Thanksgiving is the one time that you just make yourself stuffing at Thanksgiving. Do not use any mix. It's not that hard.

01:41:03   I'm not saying a whole mix. I'm saying the bread cubes. That you can buy in the bag.

01:41:09   You know how you get bread cubes? You take bread, you cut it into cubes with the same long bread knife you got from your bagels.

01:41:14   You've already got the long bread knife. It's there already. It's really easy to cut it into...oh my god.

01:41:20   I just recently had the thought technology introduced to me of sausage and stuffing in the last couple of years and oh man, that changed my world. So good.

01:41:29   My favorite is breakfast sausage in general in life. But like most good brands of breakfast sausage, you can buy the loose sausage either without a casing or in one giant casing.

01:41:40   Do you have a good brand for that, by the way? I'm also a big breakfast sausage person. I heard you mention that you had like frozen breakfast sausage patties.

01:41:45   You just sent me whatever brand you're getting for that because I've been looking for that. Frozen. They're frozen, right?

01:41:49   Yeah, and it's Jones. Jones sausage.

01:41:51   Yeah, I gotta look for that.

01:41:52   And yeah, I use the...here, I'll send you the link here. So it's Jones sausage. They come in the freezer. I assume they're available everywhere or close to everywhere.

01:42:00   Yeah, look for it.

01:42:01   I get the one in the red box, which is the mild all pork sausage ones. They come in either links or discs. I prefer the links, but if you're making sausage, I would probably just get the discs and chop them up.

01:42:13   Yeah, yeah.

01:42:14   But yeah, this is my preferred breakfast sausage of choice. It's really wonderful. And yeah, breakfast sausage actually works really well as the sausage to put into Thanksgiving stuffing just because of like the seasoning mix is a little bit different than like a dinner sausage would be. And it just works really well with it for some reason.

01:42:32   I just don't understand people who don't like stuffing.

01:42:35   Do you have a...I mean, this is another southern, not entirely southern thing, but part southern cornbread stuffing. Are you into that, Casey?

01:42:42   I've only had it a couple times and I do like it. I love cornbread and especially as paired with barbecue, which actually...let's go on a quick tangent here. Little chunks of corn with like little corn kernels in the cornbread, yes or no? Marco?

01:43:00   No, that would be weird texturally.

01:43:03   Thank you. I agree. John, what do you think?

01:43:06   I find it acceptable that I do not prefer it.

01:43:08   Okay, because there's...actually, I think, coincidentally, I think it was Wegmans that we got. Wow, Wegmans is really powering my life. We got some cornbread made for like several batches of cornbread made for Declan's birthday party because we went to a local barbecue restaurant that I really love.

01:43:25   And the particular catering setup wouldn't give us corn...or they couldn't do cornbread for it. And so we got some Wegmans cornbread made and the taste of the cornbread was great, but Marco hit the nail on the head. Having those little particles, those little kernels of corn in there, very texturally peculiar and I do not care for it. I'm glad we also agree on that in that regard.

01:43:45   I also agree that cornbread is delicious and I have never had cornbread stuffing and now I really want to try that because I love cornbread and I love stuffing.

01:43:55   It's a little bit different because it's not...I mean, I love cornbread too, but it's not the kind of stuffing that I prefer, but it definitely takes something getting used to. It's kind of like if you haven't had sausage and stuffing before. It's like, "Ooh, I didn't expect this."

01:44:07   If I had to pick my Thanksgiving dinner, I wouldn't pick cornbread stuffing. I like it fine. It's good. It's tasty, but I wouldn't pick it. Same thing with the sausage stuffing, which I like, but I would never pick it. My Thanksgiving dinner, aside from the Italian bracketing, is straight up the middle, like just the most sort of...

01:44:26   Like '70s cookbook?

01:44:27   Exactly. Traditional Thanksgiving. That's what I want. It's a little bit...I mean, we put pine nuts in the stuffing. That's a little bit of an Italian twist.

01:44:35   Oh, yeah. That's something.

01:44:36   But, you know, other than that, it's very straightforward. Like, you know, cranberry from the can, but the one with the chunks. Like, it's not, you know...

01:44:45   We've done the fresh cranberry, and I like the one in the can with the chunks better.

01:44:49   Yeah, I'm with you on that, actually. I've had fresh-made cranberry sauce, and it's fine, but the canned stuff I think is just better.

01:44:58   I mean, it's more junk food-y, and it's filled with more sugar, which is why it's better.

01:45:02   Well, but I even like the non-chunky one. Like, I like the one that comes out the shape of the can.

01:45:08   The gelatinous.

01:45:09   And you have to, like, slice a can-shaped disc for yourself. I kind of like that, because, like, if you're using it either as a flavor-accent layer in a leftover sandwich, which you should be doing,

01:45:22   or even if you're using it in the dinner itself, and you are using it to dip the, you know, probably too dry turkey into for flavor,

01:45:32   you want, like, a nice consistent consistency throughout it, so it can be used easily as a dip or as a spread or whatever else.

01:45:41   Like, so I actually don't want a lot of big chunks in there if I can help it. But chunky or not, I do prefer the canned stuff.

01:45:47   I don't like the cranberry. Not a fan.

01:45:50   You're missing out. That's a big important tangy flavor component to the overall thing.

01:45:56   Yeah, because, like, what you want, so one of the reasons why the IKEA meatballs thing is so good is because it has very similar flavor components.

01:46:05   You have a meat, you have a gravy, and you have a, like, tart berry jelly.

01:46:10   Oh, no, I do know what you're talking about, and I actually do like that. That's interesting.

01:46:14   It's Swedish meatballs with, like, you know, a light brownish gravy of God knows what and lingonberry jelly.

01:46:21   That's the IKEA version. Well, you can really approximate a very similar flavor profile with Thanksgiving turkey.

01:46:27   With gravy, because you should have gravy from something, and with a little bit of cranberry sauce.

01:46:33   You get that same combination of, like, types of flavors, and it's really good.

01:46:36   Yeah, that is pretty good. Maybe I should try the cranberry again.

01:46:38   God, I wish I had IKEA close to us. The nearest one is, like, an hour, hour and a half, and, man, that bums me out.

01:46:45   I don't even know where the nearest one is. There's got to be one around here, but, you know, it's a good time to bring up that I have never purchased a couch in my life.

01:46:53   Wait, what?

01:46:54   Nope. I am 40-something years old, and I still have not ever purchased a couch.

01:46:59   Still rolling the hand-me-downs.

01:47:01   Mm-hmm.

01:47:02   Good for you.

01:47:03   They're too heavy to leave the house. I'm too old to carry them anymore.

01:47:05   How old is your current couch?

01:47:07   Both of my current captures came from my grandparents, who are both deceased.

01:47:14   And when did they buy them? I don't know. Sometime substantially before they passed away.

01:47:20   How long has it been?

01:47:22   A couple decades since we got them.

01:47:25   Oh, wow.

01:47:26   These are both convertible sofas that change into beds, and they weigh as much as a car each.

01:47:30   Oh, wow.

01:47:31   And I'm sure, knowing my grandparents, that they were purchased from some expensive department store, right?

01:47:37   So obviously they're high quality in that my kids haven't completely destroyed them yet, and have already established their incredible weight.

01:47:44   We went couch shopping last year sometime. We went to the local giant furniture super... basically the IKEA of New England furniture, which is a similar quality, you know, but much more expensive.

01:47:59   Anyway, and we looked at, I think, literally every single couch there, and it was dozens and dozens of couches, and couldn't find one that we liked.

01:48:07   When you were touting your couch online, you said, "Here, it's linked to it. We found it, and it was still for sale, blah, blah."

01:48:14   I looked at that one again, but it's no good for us because it's not flat or whatever.

01:48:17   We have particular demands of how our couches need to fit into our room and how they have to work, and we couldn't find one that we liked better.

01:48:24   It's not like we're not against a couch. We would like to buy at least one new couch and potentially replace the other couch with a smaller couch or loveseats or something, or who knows, but so far we haven't done it.

01:48:35   [beeping]

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