156: A Mac on Fire


00:00:00   - I have not looked at the show notes, by the way,

00:00:02   so whatever we're talking about is gonna be surprised to me.

00:00:04   - New job, you trying to use an iPad full time.

00:00:07   - So it's basically all you today, so good luck with that.

00:00:09   All right, we're gonna go live.

00:00:10   (laughing)

00:00:11   (electronic beeping)

00:00:13   Boy, we sure got a lot of feedback

00:00:16   about last week's episode, like a lot.

00:00:18   And this, you know, so last week's episode,

00:00:21   we were especially unusually critical of Apple,

00:00:25   and in particular, their UI design recently,

00:00:29   especially things like the Apple TV and the Photos app.

00:00:32   We have so many responses from that,

00:00:35   and they are split right down the middle.

00:00:38   It was a very polarizing episode.

00:00:40   About half of the comments said,

00:00:43   "I can't believe you're so negative about Apple.

00:00:47   "I'm getting so tired of this.

00:00:48   "I just can't listen anymore.

00:00:51   "I just can't take it anymore.

00:00:52   "I can't take the negativity."

00:00:54   And then the other half was,

00:00:56   "I am so happy you guys are finally saying all this stuff

00:01:00   "or that you are drawing attention to this problem

00:01:01   "that I also agree with or have, or thank goodness,

00:01:05   "I'm so happy you covered this."

00:01:08   Including people in Apple who said

00:01:10   they were very happy that we covered it.

00:01:12   So I don't know what to think about that.

00:01:15   - Did you actually count them?

00:01:16   I meant to count them as well,

00:01:17   because I felt like it was definitely,

00:01:19   it was not lopsided one way or the other,

00:01:21   but I'm like, you know how your perception

00:01:24   of the feedback is different, like maybe,

00:01:26   I'm thinking, am I weighing the ones that agree with me too much?

00:01:28   Or am I weighing the ones that disagree because they feel bad too much?

00:01:32   Like, so I said, you know, I should just count them, but I, of

00:01:34   course I never got around to it.

00:01:35   Um, but I should go back and do that to see, was it my, my impression just

00:01:38   based on feel was that it was more, slightly more supporters than detractors.

00:01:46   But I, you know, I could be wrong on that, but anyway, it was definitely not

00:01:49   a landslide in one direction or the other.

00:01:51   And, and like, it wasn't so much the volume of the feedback as each

00:01:56   piece of feedback was very emphatic about whatever their point was. Either they really,

00:02:00   really loved it and are like, thank God, uh, or that was a great episode or the best episode

00:02:05   ever or whatever, or the exact opposite. That was the worst ever. I hate you all. Goodbye.

00:02:09   Yeah, it's funny. I didn't count either, but, um, but at my conclusion was nearly identical.

00:02:15   My conclusion was it was split really close to 50 50. I would actually say it was slightly more.

00:02:22   you guys need to stop whining and slightly less, "Oh, thank goodness somebody's saying

00:02:27   it." But it was near as makes no difference to 50/50. And I was, I don't know, it was

00:02:34   a little bit sad to see so many people upset about it. But by and large, I felt like the

00:02:40   feedback was certainly polarizing, like Markowitz said.

00:02:43   Yeah, I felt better about even the people who didn't like it. I mean, if you don't like

00:02:47   it, you don't like it. Like this, you know, everyone's entitled to their opinion, right?

00:02:50   But I really felt like, as we've been talking about these various issues related to Apple,

00:02:55   that that of all the episodes that we've had that have touched on these topics, I thought

00:02:58   it was fairly constructive.

00:03:00   Like that it wasn't just complaining for the sake of complaining, that we were trying to

00:03:03   figure out like, what is, you know, describe the problem in detail, just like, I don't

00:03:09   like Apple TV.

00:03:11   It's bad.

00:03:12   Like we had reasons, right?

00:03:13   And then trying to dig in why are those reasons there?

00:03:15   What can they do differently?

00:03:17   Like specific and constructive, right?

00:03:20   without any sort of "therefore Apple is doomed" stuff.

00:03:24   So I guess for some people, making it specific and constructive doesn't matter as much as

00:03:30   just taking too long or whatever.

00:03:33   Anyway, I'm not trying to change anyone's minds about what they do or don't want to

00:03:36   hear in a podcast, but for my part at least, that's what I'm always aiming for is if you're

00:03:41   going to be talking about problems that you're having, try to do it in a constructive way.

00:03:45   try not to be mean-spirited, not to get carried away, but to really get to the heart of the

00:03:52   matter and try to figure it out. Imagine that it was your problem to solve. How would you

00:03:55   solve it? What is the way to fix this? That's what I'm always thinking.

00:03:59   Yeah, I agree. So hopefully we'll have some happier shows over the next few, but knowing

00:04:05   us, we'll see how that works out. But speaking of happy things, do we have any follow-up?

00:04:12   a couple items here. This, in the last episode, as part of critiquing the photos UI and the

00:04:18   general trend on the Mac of simplifying Mac applications, one of the quotes I threw out

00:04:24   that I thought was—I still don't remember the designer's name—I thought was the

00:04:27   guy, not the banging Oleson guy, maybe. Dieter Ram? Maybe him?

00:04:32   That's who I think you thought it was. Yeah, I thought it was some designer, and

00:04:35   many people pointed out to me after the show that the quote I was quoting about "as simple

00:04:39   as possible but no simpler, was not a designer, apparently it's attributed to Albert Einstein

00:04:44   and I booked this up on Wikipedia, or not Wikipedia, WikiQuote, sorry, sorry. And the

00:04:49   actual quote, as is often in the case, the actual supposed quote that led to the thing

00:04:54   I was quoting is much more complicated and much more Albert Einsteinian, I guess? Here

00:05:00   it is. "It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the

00:05:05   irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender

00:05:09   the adequate representation of a single datum of experience." That does not roll off the tongue,

00:05:13   like as simple as possible and no simpler, right? This was from "On the Method of Theoretical

00:05:18   Physics, the Herbert Spencer Lecture Delivered at Oxford, June 10, 1933." All right, so that is

00:05:24   a real thing that he said that was recorded. It sounds a lot, you know, if you simplify the

00:05:28   sentence, it is much like what I said. And the quoteinvestigator.com story talks about how the

00:05:33   quote attributed to Einstein may have arisen from that, and the variant is "everything

00:05:39   should be made as simple as possible but no simpler," and so on and so forth. So we'll

00:05:41   put all these links in, like all these kind of quotes that you've heard attributed to

00:05:45   a particular person. It's hard to know where they actually came from, but the sentiment

00:05:49   rings true with enough people that this quote and this idea survives, despite its cloudy origins.

00:05:56   [

00:05:56   All right, so tell me about Photos, Crop, and Aspect behavior theories.

00:06:02   So a lot of my complaints were focusing on the Photos application, which I use a lot

00:06:05   and which I still do like, but the frustrations with the Apple product design with using Photos

00:06:12   as an example.

00:06:13   And one of my major complaints was about dealing with the cropping photos and constraining

00:06:19   their aspect ratio and stuff.

00:06:20   And a couple people had some suggestions to make that easier inside the application.

00:06:24   One of them is the keyboard shortcut, which if you hold down the shift key, you can constrain

00:06:28   the proportion to the original proportions.

00:06:31   The tricky bit with that is you have to hold down the shift key before you begin the drag,

00:06:36   unlike a lot of other operations in like graphics applications or, you know, that you may be

00:06:40   familiar with where you start, say, dragging a selection outline in Photoshop and then

00:06:43   if you hit the various modifiers to constrain it, you can switch those modifiers in the

00:06:47   middle of the drag.

00:06:48   With this, you have to be holding down shift before you begin the drag.

00:06:51   If you begin the drag, then nothing you do with shift makes any difference.

00:06:55   So that's convenient to know.

00:06:57   And there was a theory that nobody offered in the feedback, that I totally expected to

00:07:00   get and literally nobody sent.

00:07:02   A lot of people sent various keyboard shortcuts, but nobody sent this idea.

00:07:07   And it is a reason to try to explain why photos, every time you go to edit an image and hit

00:07:13   the crop thing, you have to hit the aspect menu and select original, even though that's

00:07:16   what I want every single time.

00:07:17   And you know, setting aside the keyboard shortcuts or whatever.

00:07:20   Why does it not remember that every time I go to crop, I want the aspect to be the original?

00:07:25   Why does it just not remember the last thing I used or have a preference or something?

00:07:29   You don't even need a preference setting.

00:07:30   Just basically when I change that pop-up menu, leave it that way until I change it again.

00:07:34   And my theory, if I had to have someone explain that default, aside from them possibly just

00:07:39   saying, "Oh, we never got around to making that sticky," would be that if you remember

00:07:43   the last setting used in an application that's trying to be as simple as Photos is, someone

00:07:49   go in there and have to make a square photo for something.

00:07:52   So they would find the little aspect things,

00:07:54   select square and resize their photo,

00:07:56   and crop it and be done.

00:07:58   And then three days later,

00:07:59   come back and go to crop a photo

00:08:01   and just try dragging the little outline

00:08:03   and have it all of a sudden snap to a square.

00:08:05   And they wouldn't understand,

00:08:06   why does it keep snapping to a square?

00:08:08   I don't want it to be a square or whatever thing.

00:08:11   I wanna do free form cropping here.

00:08:13   And they won't remember the settings there.

00:08:16   They'll think it's broken

00:08:16   or someone different will come to the program

00:08:18   and not realize that it is remembering the last thing.

00:08:20   So resetting from zero every single time

00:08:22   gives what they think is the sensible default for everybody,

00:08:24   which is unconstrained,

00:08:26   which I don't even know if that's a sensible default,

00:08:27   but in theory,

00:08:28   you could argue that by remembering the last thing you

00:08:31   picked, it's making the application appear broken

00:08:33   to future people who may not know about the aspect menu,

00:08:36   or even someone who picked it from the item last time

00:08:38   didn't do it.

00:08:39   I don't think that's a good reason to do it

00:08:40   in an application like Photos,

00:08:41   because I think that is not as common as like,

00:08:44   I think you would be gearing the application

00:08:48   to novices too much and that you should be realized

00:08:50   that everyone starts off as a novice,

00:08:52   but if you use photos year after year after year,

00:08:54   eventually you will learn a thing or two

00:08:56   and become, if not an expert,

00:08:57   then at least a proficient user.

00:08:58   And that constant annoyance of having to pick that

00:09:00   or having to hold on the shift here,

00:09:01   having to do whatever overwhelms it.

00:09:04   So my opinion is still the same,

00:09:05   but if I had to make the counter argument against my opinion

00:09:07   or try to explain the behavior of photos as it exists,

00:09:10   that's one explanation.

00:09:11   And the other explanation a lot of people gave,

00:09:13   which I think is not an explanation at all,

00:09:14   and I think is obvious,

00:09:16   but we should have pointed out in the past show,

00:09:17   is that part of the simplification

00:09:20   of these various Mac applications

00:09:24   is to make them look and work

00:09:26   more like their iOS counterparts.

00:09:27   iOS counterparts obviously have to be more simple,

00:09:30   necessarily, because they have to work

00:09:31   on a phone screen in many cases.

00:09:33   So obviously you can't have giant toolbars or buttons,

00:09:36   you just don't have room for anything.

00:09:36   You have to simplify, right?

00:09:38   But on the Mac, the whole point of that discussion

00:09:41   that on the Mac those same constraints don't hold.

00:09:43   So for the sake of uniformity, trying to say,

00:09:45   if we just make it look and work the same in both things,

00:09:47   then you're just not treating the Mac

00:09:48   the way it should be treated.

00:09:50   The advantages of the Mac platform should be realized

00:09:52   in the applications that run in them.

00:09:54   It shouldn't be constrained to the lowest common denominator

00:09:56   as defined by a phone or whatever.

00:09:57   - Well, and also, in the same way that it was the best thing

00:10:01   for the phone and for the iPad to not just have Mac OS

00:10:05   shoved onto them and just ported onto them straight.

00:10:09   In that same way, having iOS things just shoved straight onto the Mac is not appropriate for

00:10:14   the Mac.

00:10:15   And we can look at the last, you know, what, five years of OS X releases, basically since

00:10:20   Lion, as they have attempted to shove iOS things onto the Mac.

00:10:27   And most of the time it really flops or it's just bad or at best mediocre.

00:10:33   There's a whole bunch of like the iOSification of Mac that has been attempted and it just

00:10:37   lands flat.

00:10:38   It just doesn't feel right on the Mac,

00:10:40   just in the same way that the Mac UI

00:10:41   wouldn't feel right on the phone.

00:10:43   - I think the worst one is where they decide

00:10:45   they have to have down, like,

00:10:47   maybe not down to the Pixel,

00:10:48   but basically the same glyphs, the same icons,

00:10:50   the same sort of menus.

00:10:51   Like when I see a Mac application

00:10:53   with like basically an iOS 7 style button

00:10:55   that is really just plain text,

00:10:56   like that language doesn't fit in on the Mac

00:10:59   because the rest of the Mac isn't like that.

00:11:01   Most Mac apps are not like that.

00:11:02   On the Mac, buttons have little outlines and stuff.

00:11:05   They look like little capsules, blah, blah, blah.

00:11:07   There is a design language for the controls and experience on the Mac, and it is different

00:11:11   from the phone.

00:11:12   And so when an Apple application lands on the Mac, setting aside the functionality and

00:11:16   how many things are hidden away or if it's designed for a phone screen, they'll just

00:11:20   change the surface part of it to look and act weird, and it just doesn't fit in.

00:11:24   And so the photo suffers from all of that.

00:11:26   It's massively simplified, lots of stuff is hidden, many things are constrained, like

00:11:29   the little pop-up thing with the sharing thing that we talked about that's just way too small

00:11:33   for no reason.

00:11:34   The icons are sometimes identical to the ones on the phone and I think they're trying to

00:11:38   make a family resemblance but they haven't, there has never been an iOS 7 style revolution

00:11:44   in the Mac UI.

00:11:45   Yosemite was as close as they came which flattened stuff out and took away a lot of the gloss

00:11:49   and everything but it is by no means like iOS 7 was on the phone and the iPad where

00:11:56   it radically changed the look and feel and the way you design applications.

00:12:00   So anyway, before we get off photos, one last item is a lot of people suggested keyboard

00:12:03   shortcuts, I know a lot of these, I've looked them up in the help zone and so forth.

00:12:07   One of the issues that I've complained about in the past that I should have emphasized

00:12:09   last time as well is that Photos likes to ignore my keystrokes.

00:12:13   Not all of them, most of the time the keystrokes land, but if I had a penny for every time

00:12:17   I hit the space bar and nothing happened in Photos, I would be able to buy a nice meal.

00:12:23   And so the same thing for rotating or hitting enter to edit, or you know, command keys usually

00:12:29   have a higher percentage like command R to rotate or C to crop and stuff like that, but

00:12:33   I don't know where those keystrokes go.

00:12:35   I don't know if there's a responder chain thing

00:12:37   falling down and it's not like it's just like

00:12:40   a mightily delayed and I get impatient and hit it again.

00:12:43   Sometimes I will just say, you know what?

00:12:44   I'm not gonna hit it again.

00:12:45   Maybe it did register and I'll just wait.

00:12:46   And after 10 seconds, you're like, nope,

00:12:49   that space bar just went into the ether.

00:12:51   So yeah, keyboard shortcuts are not,

00:12:55   first of all, they're not a solution

00:12:56   for most people using the application

00:12:57   'cause most people never are gonna memorize

00:12:58   those keyboard shortcuts.

00:12:59   But even for me who knows some of them,

00:13:00   the keyboard shortcuts become unreliable as well.

00:13:02   Every time I do, you know,

00:13:05   edit crop aspect original with the mouse cursor,

00:13:06   it works every time, it's just tedious.

00:13:08   So that's why I end up doing it repeatedly

00:13:10   rather than attempting to do the keystrokes.

00:13:12   'Cause if I do the keystrokes

00:13:12   and I wait for a three count and nothing happens,

00:13:14   then I end up going to the mouse anyway.

00:13:16   - All right, somebody sent to us,

00:13:17   and I apologize because I don't know who sent this in,

00:13:20   but somebody sent us a Bluetooth headphone dongle concept,

00:13:24   which was done by Sean Nelson.

00:13:26   This is on partlysean.com.

00:13:29   And I'm glad that one of you put this in the show notes

00:13:31   I meant to and I completely forgot. This is actually a really interesting idea. So the

00:13:35   general premise here is, hey, if the iPhone 7 really does give up the headphone jack,

00:13:43   then what would Apple do to kind of bridge the gap between the phone not having a headphone

00:13:50   jack and all of us having these headphones that are probably not Bluetooth? And so this

00:13:56   Shawn Nelson Person did a prototype, a concept of, "Hey, here's how Apple could fix this."

00:14:04   What it is is a circular puck that has a headphone port like you would find on the iPhone 6s,

00:14:12   on one side a lightning port on the other for charging, and it will convert any headphones

00:14:17   into Bluetooth headphones.

00:14:19   It doesn't appear to have any buttons as far as I can tell.

00:14:22   It does have a little clip on it so you can clip it to your clothes.

00:14:25   This is a really, really clever idea,

00:14:27   and I really think that this is a pretty good way

00:14:31   to bridge that gap, but what did you guys think about it?

00:14:34   - So it's interesting that it takes the approach

00:14:37   of putting it on the phone end of the cable,

00:14:41   and basically you plug your headphones into this,

00:14:43   and they still have their full cable.

00:14:45   As we discussed, as I brought up a couple weeks ago,

00:14:48   you can't really put it on the headphone end of the cable,

00:14:52   because there really is no standard size

00:14:55   shape cable that would fit a large number of headphones that would go on that end. Because

00:14:59   they all have just these different shaped plastic surrounds and everything. So anyway,

00:15:03   it is smart to put it on that end of the cable. I will also say that these devices already

00:15:06   exist. You can go on Amazon and you can get things like this. Not that it would be small

00:15:10   and attractive and would have Apple logos on it or would charge by lightning. Those

00:15:15   would all be new here, but you can get these things already. You can go on Amazon and get

00:15:20   for probably like 30 bucks.

00:15:22   You can get devices that adapt any end of any audio setup

00:15:26   to and from Bluetooth.

00:15:29   They're very common and some of them even work.

00:15:32   So it's not, you know, we can try this today.

00:15:36   We can see already what this is like today

00:15:39   as long as we don't need it charged by lightning.

00:15:41   It is a good idea for the most part.

00:15:43   However, first of all, having a cable that dangles

00:15:47   into your clothing but then doesn't plug into your phone,

00:15:49   It kind of seems like, I don't know,

00:15:51   is it really worth having that cable?

00:15:52   It seems kind of clunky, but I don't know.

00:15:55   I mean, I suppose it's better than having

00:15:57   to buy all new headphones, but I don't know.

00:16:00   It seems like a lot of complexity to solve this problem.

00:16:05   If you're going to have a wire that goes down

00:16:08   into your clothing and comes out of your headphones,

00:16:11   why not just have a wired adapter

00:16:14   that can then plug directly into the alleged lightning port

00:16:19   that is headphone compatible of the alleged

00:16:21   new headphone jackless iPhone 7.

00:16:23   - Yeah, you covered all the points I was gonna make,

00:16:24   which is that these things exist already,

00:16:26   and that it's weird to have a wire,

00:16:28   where do you put the wire,

00:16:30   like especially if you have your phone in your pocket,

00:16:31   and then this wire with a dongle is also in your pocket.

00:16:34   They're like-- - Right,

00:16:34   you have this wire to nothing.

00:16:36   - Right, you have to put it somewhere,

00:16:37   and you're not like you're gonna have it hanging

00:16:39   from your ear swinging back and forth as you walk,

00:16:40   so you'll probably stick it in a pocket.

00:16:42   But the reason I can think of why Apple

00:16:44   might find this solution attractive is that

00:16:47   The wired adapter, they keep thinking that one way,

00:16:49   one way is that if the passive lightning

00:16:53   to headphone adapter that we've been surmising

00:16:56   might be possible is not possible,

00:16:59   then this is probably better than trying to make an adapter

00:17:02   with a chip in it, like try to make an active adapter.

00:17:04   It's more Apple-like than trying to make

00:17:06   an active adapter, probably.

00:17:07   But even if the passive thing does work,

00:17:12   the passive thing, I don't know if you can sell

00:17:13   the passive thing for 30 bucks, maybe Apple can,

00:17:15   But the point is Apple can sell this for more money.

00:17:18   That this little battery Bluetooth container thing,

00:17:21   it's what Apple is good at,

00:17:23   making very small, simple things

00:17:25   that don't really have like an on/off switch

00:17:26   or any complicated, you know,

00:17:27   but inside are very, very precise.

00:17:30   And it uses all of their expertise

00:17:32   in terms of making very small chips and batteries

00:17:34   and all that good stuff.

00:17:36   And they can sell it to you for more money.

00:17:38   And it does seem like a little bit more elegant solution

00:17:40   'cause then your phone could be in one pocket

00:17:41   and this can be in the other

00:17:42   and they're not connected to each other.

00:17:45   I can see them selling it as a more advanced version

00:17:49   of a wired adapter.

00:17:51   So, and this design looks neat.

00:17:53   Like every time you see like a prototype of it,

00:17:54   it looks like the little watch adapter,

00:17:56   basically like a little circular thing

00:17:57   with an Apple logo on it.

00:17:58   Although I don't think they would put a giant Apple logo

00:17:59   like that on it, but who knows?

00:18:01   It looks like an Apple product.

00:18:03   Looks like an Apple product they could sell.

00:18:05   And as ridiculous as it may be,

00:18:06   especially if they like put a clip on the back of it,

00:18:08   like this guy's got a clip

00:18:09   to his pants waistband or something.

00:18:11   - That is not a good look.

00:18:13   I don't know, I think it, I mean,

00:18:15   is it any worse than clipping an iPod shot phone?

00:18:16   Anyway, it looks plausible to me as an Apple product

00:18:19   and I think they can sell it for more money.

00:18:21   So especially if they can't do a passive adapter,

00:18:24   I think this is a reasonable option

00:18:26   that Apple might wanna consider.

00:18:27   And as you pointed out, if Apple doesn't do it,

00:18:29   there's a million third party ones

00:18:31   that are already making it,

00:18:32   they're gonna be excited by an iPhone

00:18:33   with no headphone jack to say,

00:18:34   now we have a new audience to advertise to.

00:18:36   Hey, you just get one of those new phones,

00:18:38   buy our little square dongle

00:18:40   that we've been selling for five years.

00:18:41   - Yet another thing you gotta charge.

00:18:44   And spend 30 bucks on it.

00:18:45   - No, it charges through lightning.

00:18:48   - Yeah, I don't know.

00:18:49   It seems like this is too clunky of a solution.

00:18:53   I feel like Apple's solutions are going to be

00:18:56   either buy new headphones or use this passive wire adapter.

00:19:00   - And you're sure that the passive wire adapter

00:19:02   is gonna be possible?

00:19:03   - No, but if that rumor site was true

00:19:05   that they were gonna have this,

00:19:06   I mean, it's already possible today

00:19:08   if you put some smarts in the adapter.

00:19:10   You can do it on today's lightning ports

00:19:11   with some circuitry and some smarts there.

00:19:14   So we already know such a thing is possible.

00:19:16   It would just be better if it could be passive

00:19:18   and if the phone could sense it

00:19:19   through a new revision of the port.

00:19:21   - Yeah, I agree, but I'm just, I'm not sure,

00:19:23   I'm not sure how Apple would prioritize that.

00:19:25   Like, is it really important to make sure

00:19:27   we can have passive adapters or are you just gonna say,

00:19:29   you know, just deal with it and get new headphones?

00:19:31   Everybody get new headphones.

00:19:32   In three years, you won't care anymore.

00:19:34   - Yeah, so when we go in tailgate,

00:19:37   which we've spoken about on the show in the past,

00:19:39   I have a TDK boombox, which is actually the model for this speaker thing, and it doesn't

00:19:48   have any Bluetooth support on it.

00:19:50   And so years ago, I got this absolutely terrible, like, $13 AGP Tech Bluetooth adapter.

00:20:00   I'll put a link in the show notes, even though I don't think it's available anymore.

00:20:03   It is a total piece of crap, but it works perfectly.

00:20:07   And so, like the build quality is terrible, it's very chintzy looking.

00:20:11   So think of like a USB key that has a headphone jack on the outside of it and, you know, plugs

00:20:17   into a USB on the other side.

00:20:19   So what I do is I plug this into a USB port that is on this speaker, on this TDK boombox,

00:20:24   and this receives Bluetooth, and then I plug this little headphone cable from this Bluetooth

00:20:34   to RCA converter basically. And so the headphone cable goes from there to the boom box and

00:20:40   suddenly this boom box that has no Bluetooth support has Bluetooth support. This is the

00:20:45   other direction than what we're talking about. But to your point earlier, Marco, you know,

00:20:48   you can go either way with this. And it was $13. And I mean, it is a piece of crap, but

00:20:53   it's been working perfectly for three years. So I guess is it really that crappy after

00:20:56   all? But yeah, it works well. And so you'd be surprised what you can do for not a lot

00:21:02   of money.

00:21:03   Yeah, those invisible fences for your pets only this is invisible wire someone in the

00:21:06   Like like we were saying what like what's the point of having a little?

00:21:10   Wire with a dongle that you stick in your pocket or clip on your pants

00:21:14   That's like three inches away from where your phone is like there are still some advantages for that absurd scenario

00:21:18   Mostly is that like when you want to take out your phone and do something?

00:21:21   There's not a wire attached to it

00:21:23   I mean

00:21:23   I guess probably people are you know who are used to listening on wired headphones are good at

00:21:26   Taking out their phone to send a quick text or see something or whatever without

00:21:30   wrangling the wire, but it is, I think, I keep thinking of it as a luxurious feature, like,

00:21:35   the fact that the two aren't connected anymore, that they are now connected with an invisible

00:21:39   wire, even though there's a stupid real wire still in play, because again, you're using your old

00:21:43   headphones and they don't support this new phone, it is still a slightly more luxurious experience

00:21:49   to be able to take out your phone without a wire attached to it. Invisible wires are better than

00:21:55   wires in general, and if you can't get one of the wires entirely, which Apple will surely sell you

00:21:59   Bluetooth headphones to do that but if you can't because you want to use your old headphones for whatever reason a

00:22:03   Dongle like this as ridiculous as it seems I think it does actually have offer some material advantages to the point where I'm thinking like

00:22:11   Maybe I would do it because my big problem is like when I'm walking from the parking garage to work

00:22:15   Very often my headphone cord gets caught on like a door handle going through like the garage doors or up in the stairwells that work

00:22:21   Or whatever and ends up yanking the headphones either out of my ears or out of my phone or both

00:22:26   I would like it if I could, I mean obviously my solution

00:22:29   is just use Bluetooth headphones, right?

00:22:30   - Yeah, just use Bluetooth headphones.

00:22:32   - Yeah, I use earbuds, I don't want to look like Ohura

00:22:35   with the big thing coming out of my ear with the, anyway.

00:22:38   - They have smaller things, look, get the Sennheiser MM400X.

00:22:42   It is really basic, it's like something like 150 bucks.

00:22:46   - Is it earbuds, it's not earbuds.

00:22:47   - No, it's the new version I use for any kind of walking

00:22:52   and often even travel purposes.

00:22:55   I bring the predecessor to it,

00:22:56   which is the Sennheiser PX210BT,

00:22:59   which is long since discontinued,

00:23:00   but the MM400X is seemingly the exact same thing,

00:23:05   but with a microphone added

00:23:06   so you can make phone calls on it.

00:23:07   And these sound like complete garbage for music purposes,

00:23:11   but for podcasts they're great

00:23:12   'cause they have actual hardware buttons on the side.

00:23:16   So they're small, they fold up,

00:23:18   they can fit in any large jacket pocket

00:23:20   and any bag very, very easily.

00:23:21   Not a pants pocket, they're too big for that,

00:23:23   but otherwise they're great.

00:23:25   Battery life is great, they charge via micro USB,

00:23:27   you can get new batteries for them if you want to,

00:23:29   like separate batteries.

00:23:30   And they have these amazingly useful buttons,

00:23:34   actual buttons, like not just like a capacitive touch pad,

00:23:37   which is infuriating, not some little tiny switches.

00:23:39   You can operate them with gloves on in the winter

00:23:41   'cause the buttons are nice and big

00:23:42   and they make sense where they are.

00:23:44   I listen to these exclusively when I'm walking

00:23:48   with my iPhone 'cause I'm always listening to podcasts,

00:23:49   so the sound quality doesn't matter.

00:23:51   and they are so much better than anything else

00:23:54   I've ever tried for portable podcast listening.

00:23:57   - I like my earbuds with my little clicker on the wire.

00:24:00   That's another thing, where would the clicker go

00:24:01   if I didn't have a wire?

00:24:03   - It goes to the ear cup.

00:24:04   - No, I like the clicker down where it is.

00:24:06   Anyway, whole point is I think I would actually

00:24:09   find this thing vaguely useful if it existed,

00:24:12   so much so that maybe I should just buy one of those ones

00:24:14   that's already on Amazon and give it a try,

00:24:15   but maybe I'll just hold out to see if Apple--

00:24:17   - Yeah, there's one for 20 bucks.

00:24:19   - Apple have Bluetooth earbuds

00:24:21   and maybe that will solve my problems.

00:24:22   - If you'd like to not spend $200

00:24:25   on a set of Bluetooth headphones,

00:24:26   my beloved Arctic P311s that I've had for like four years

00:24:30   are still going strong.

00:24:32   I use them for music, I use them for podcasts.

00:24:33   They will not make Marco happy.

00:24:35   I'm sure from an audio files perspective, they are terrible.

00:24:39   But if you don't have hyper intense requirements,

00:24:44   if you're not Marco Armond, they're like 30 bucks

00:24:48   and mine have been going strong for years.

00:24:49   - Now that I think about it,

00:24:50   Bluetooth earbuds wouldn't help you because again,

00:24:52   where would the clicker be?

00:24:53   I really got new, I think the iPod shuffle killed me in that

00:24:55   but the iPod shuffle-- - On your ear cup.

00:24:57   - No, the iPod shuffle didn't,

00:24:58   there's no ear cup in earbuds obviously.

00:25:00   - Yeah, use mine with, the buttons are right there.

00:25:02   It's even, it's easier and more reliable

00:25:04   than using the clicker.

00:25:05   - Headphones, it's too much.

00:25:06   I can't, I don't, I can't pull that off.

00:25:08   I did, it's too much to have big giant headphones on.

00:25:11   - It's not as big as you think.

00:25:12   - Try the P311. - Like the button.

00:25:14   - They also have the buttons.

00:25:15   - All right. - And they're only 30 bucks.

00:25:17   Just saying.

00:25:18   My point is, this concept I think is not entirely ridiculous.

00:25:23   And if Apple doesn't make one,

00:25:24   maybe I'll buy one and give it a try.

00:25:26   - We should talk about bagels.

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00:26:56   So I've had a big week so far. Yeah, so tell us about this. What exactly

00:27:01   happened in your own words, Casey? Describe for the audience what happened. So

00:27:08   yeah, so this past Monday I started a new job. I took the last week almost entirely

00:27:14   I had a week of self-directed fun employment.

00:27:18   I went into my old job on Monday for a few hours.

00:27:22   Spent the remainder of last week just kind of relaxing and taking a break.

00:27:27   And then on Monday I started a new job as an iOS developer, which is completely scary

00:27:32   and completely awesome.

00:27:34   To recap, in case you weren't familiar with my professional exploits, I had been working

00:27:40   at a consulting firm doing .NET stuff for between three and a half years and four years.

00:27:47   And I did like it, but my heart wasn't really in .NET anymore.

00:27:52   I really do love C#, a hand on heart.

00:27:55   I love C#.

00:27:56   I think C# is great.

00:27:58   I really do love Visual Studio.

00:28:00   I think Visual Studio is great.

00:28:02   But everything around that, I just couldn't care less.

00:28:07   Like, it just didn't do anything for me.

00:28:09   And when I was hired at this job, I was told, "Hey, you know, you're going to be our iOS

00:28:14   guy."

00:28:15   And I was the iOS guy, which was good, but the problem was we only ever landed one bit

00:28:21   of iOS work.

00:28:22   And when it's a consulting firm, you don't typically have the luxury of working on what

00:28:29   you want to work on, you work on what you're told to work on.

00:28:32   And that means a client will tell the company, "We will give you money to work on this thing,"

00:28:35   And then the company tells the consultants, you know, my company tells us, "Okay, it's

00:28:41   time to work on this thing."

00:28:42   And it just so happened that the only time I ever did an iOS app was several years ago

00:28:48   when I did an iPad app.

00:28:49   And it was for all the wrong reasons.

00:28:52   An executive decided, "Oh, we should be in the App Store," even though this, we don't

00:28:56   really have anything useful to offer.

00:28:57   And so we built an app to put in the App Store.

00:29:01   Anyway, so I hadn't been unhappy necessarily, but I hadn't been terribly happy, and I just

00:29:07   was trying to figure out, you know, what do I do?

00:29:10   And it's hard, especially when you're a consultant, but it's hard in general.

00:29:13   I mean, I kinda know how to write code for iOS.

00:29:17   I know Objective-C reasonably well for someone who doesn't do it professionally.

00:29:22   I sort of kind of ish no swift.

00:29:25   So it's a hard thing to sell any employer on teaching you how to do this stuff on the

00:29:32   job unless the employer is for some reason incentivized for you to learn this on the

00:29:37   job.

00:29:38   So for example, if my consulting firm had gotten a contract to do iOS work, then suddenly

00:29:42   my employer, the consultancy, will be hugely incentivized for me to learn on the job.

00:29:48   But it's pretty hard for them to sell me as a supposed expert when I'm not really an expert.

00:29:55   And typically when you're going to a consulting firm, you're looking for experts.

00:29:59   So it wasn't, it was clear to me that it wasn't really going to work out if I really, really,

00:30:04   really wanted to pivot to iOS.

00:30:07   It wasn't going to work at the consulting firm.

00:30:10   And so a friend of mine, a mutual friend between Marco and I, a friend named Jamie, he had just

00:30:17   gone to a local company here in town that their bread and butter is not iOS, but they

00:30:24   They have their own iOS app that is part of their product offering.

00:30:28   And he had been saying, "Hey, you should come join me.

00:30:30   You should come join me.

00:30:31   You should come join me."

00:30:32   And finally I was like, "You know what?

00:30:33   I should come join you."

00:30:35   And so I interviewed and I got the job.

00:30:38   I was very plain about what I do and do not know about iOS.

00:30:41   But what was great about my new gig is they recognized, "Hey, you seem like you're a pretty

00:30:47   darn good engineer."

00:30:48   One of our engineers is saying, "You're a pretty good engineer."

00:30:50   Sorry, Dr. Drang.

00:30:52   And so we have faith that whatever you don't know, you can pick up.

00:30:56   So let's do this.

00:30:58   And I started this past Monday, and I haven't really gotten into too much code yet, but

00:31:04   so far so good.

00:31:05   And it is blowing my mind that the things that we talk about here and the things that

00:31:10   I've been pumping into my ears by way of Marco's other show, and by way of, you know,

00:31:18   and by way of Mobile Couch and so many of these other shows,

00:31:21   suddenly this stuff that I've just longed to do,

00:31:24   I'm now doing.

00:31:26   And it's really, really exciting.

00:31:28   And I'm petrified because I'm used to--

00:31:31   I was a pretty darn good .NET developer.

00:31:33   Not the best, but pretty darn good.

00:31:35   And I wasn't often scared by the things I was asked to do

00:31:40   in my day-to-day job.

00:31:41   And now I am not a pretty darn good iOS developer.

00:31:46   I'm at worst a rookie and at best an intermediate level iOS developer.

00:31:54   And so I'm reaching on this and that's really, really scary.

00:31:58   But I found that that's the best way to force myself to learn is to go straight into the

00:32:04   deep end and just learn how to swim.

00:32:06   So I'm excited.

00:32:07   I'm excited just selfishly because this is what I've been wanting to do for a long time.

00:32:12   I'm excited for the show because I think even though we don't get that deep into developer

00:32:17   topics that often, it'll be nice to have someone else who does this sort of thing for a living,

00:32:21   other than Marco.

00:32:23   And I'm just excited to learn something new because I've been doing the same stuff for

00:32:27   a long time.

00:32:28   And the last really new thing I learned, if you don't count some React that I was dabbling

00:32:33   with maybe a year ago, was when I taught myself Node for my blog.

00:32:38   And that was in 2014.

00:32:40   So it's about time for me to get scared and learn something new.

00:32:44   So I don't know if you guys have any questions about that.

00:32:47   If not, we can just put it in the parking lot.

00:32:48   Ba-dum-psh.

00:32:49   Oh, that was my first question.

00:32:50   Do they have a parking lot?

00:32:52   I have not seen one yet.

00:32:53   I have not seen one yet, but I'm sure it's there.

00:32:55   But anyway, but if you have any questions, I'm happy to field them.

00:32:58   Otherwise we can just move it right along.

00:33:00   So you talked about the tech differences of like C# versus Objective-C and, you know,

00:33:05   the different IDE and all that other stuff or whatever.

00:33:07   But setting that aside, getting back to the doing consulting

00:33:12   work versus doing a product, I think

00:33:15   you covered this in your blog post,

00:33:16   but the idea with consulting work

00:33:19   is sometimes you get a crappy job, but the job ends.

00:33:22   And sometimes when you get a good job, that job ends too.

00:33:24   But with product work, I imagine,

00:33:27   without getting into details of what kind of product

00:33:29   you're making or what kind of company you're working for,

00:33:32   it's conceivable that you could get

00:33:34   to be an iOS developer dedicated to working

00:33:36   on a product that does nothing for you.

00:33:39   (laughing)

00:33:40   The product is like, I'm an iOS developer

00:33:42   and I'm working on a product,

00:33:43   but I don't care about this product at all.

00:33:44   Like I don't have any passion for this product.

00:33:47   I don't, you know, and the customers who use this product

00:33:50   are not really into the product

00:33:51   and no matter how good I do my job,

00:33:52   they're never gonna really appreciate it

00:33:54   because it's like, you know,

00:33:54   an industrial machine control thing or something

00:33:57   where it's just not, you know what I mean?

00:33:58   And in that case, you would be using the new technology,

00:34:00   you'd be learning things,

00:34:01   you'd technically be an iOS developer,

00:34:03   but I'm thinking it's like,

00:34:04   imagine if like your worst consulting gig

00:34:06   just never end, never end it.

00:34:08   So is part of your decision to go to this specific company

00:34:11   the idea that, like, what do you care

00:34:13   what the product is really like?

00:34:14   Is it just better that it is a product

00:34:17   that you can like work on and incrementally make better

00:34:18   year over year over year, even if it's a boring product?

00:34:21   Or do you also kind of need it to be a product

00:34:24   that interests you more than like

00:34:26   your least interesting consulting gig?

00:34:29   - Yeah, no, it's a very fair question.

00:34:31   I think I have to reach back just a half step

00:34:33   and explain that I've been doing some flavor of consulting

00:34:36   since roughly 2006.

00:34:38   So it's been about a decade now.

00:34:40   The first couple of years from '06 to '08, I was doing government contracting, which

00:34:44   is not exactly consulting.

00:34:48   I was working for a company that had a product, but literally the only people that bought

00:34:53   that product was the US government.

00:34:55   So really what ended up happening was the government said, "Hey, we want this new feature."

00:34:59   And we said, "Okay, we'll do that."

00:35:01   And so it was basically consulting.

00:35:05   After that, it was just regular, no asterisks, honest to goodness consulting from '08 on.

00:35:12   And I found that there have definitely been some projects where the client was awesome,

00:35:20   and the project was a lot of fun.

00:35:23   And eventually, what ends up happening is, as you described, Jon, the client either can

00:35:29   stand on their own two feet, so to speak, or they feel like that product is complete

00:35:34   enough for now." And then they say, "All right, thanks for your time. We'll see you later."

00:35:39   And that's a total bummer, because here's something that you really invested in. The

00:35:43   kind of consulting I was doing, I should also note, is typically project-based. So it was myself

00:35:48   and a bunch of my co-workers at the consulting firm would swoop in, do a project, and then swoop

00:35:54   out. And of course we would be working alongside the client, but the overwhelming majority of the

00:36:00   work was done by the people at my consulting firm. It's not like your individual consultant

00:36:06   who is just an individual contributor, and this is where the staff-og thing came in a

00:36:11   couple of months back. And so typically with project-based consulting, you know, you build

00:36:14   this project with your friends at work, and then it's like, "Okay, thanks!" And then you

00:36:18   leave. And that's a total bummer. And even though it's nice to know that you have--that

00:36:26   each project is to some degree a ticking time bomb because eventually it will go away, both

00:36:30   the good and the bad. It's nice to think about... I really wanted to try walking on the grass

00:36:40   on the other side of the fence, and I wanted to see, is a product company really what I

00:36:45   wanted, and really what I want? And let me give you a really weird but concrete example

00:36:50   of why I wanted this. So I believe it was my first day at the new job, and we actually

00:36:57   had this like all-hands meeting off-site, which was just purely coincidental. And so

00:37:03   we were in a different portion of Richmond at this all-hands, and then we needed to come

00:37:08   back to the office afterwards. And we were traveling from the all-hands, I was at a hotel,

00:37:15   to the office, and I got stopped at this light that typically will take two or three cycles

00:37:20   for me to get through at this particular time of day. It was around lunchtime, and this

00:37:23   This is right by a bunch of businesses and a bunch of eateries.

00:37:28   So everyone's going to or coming back from lunch.

00:37:31   And as I'm sitting at this light, I'm thinking to myself, "Oh my god, this is taking so long.

00:37:34   Oh my god, this is taking so long.

00:37:35   I'm going to have to make up this time because, oh god, I'm sitting here for like ten minutes."

00:37:39   And it's one thing if you sit at a light for like a minute, you could just kind of flub

00:37:43   that, and you know, whatever.

00:37:44   A client isn't going to care if you bill them for one minute where you weren't actually

00:37:47   doing work.

00:37:48   But this is like ten minutes and I'm really, I can't bill the client for this ten minutes,

00:37:52   And so now I'm gonna have to stay at work 10 minutes later than I plant a weight.

00:37:56   Wait, I don't have a timesheet anymore.

00:37:58   I'm not working for a client anymore.

00:38:00   Oh my God, I don't have to give a shit.

00:38:03   This takes an hour because I don't have to answer to anyone anymore.

00:38:08   Not literally, of course, but you know what I mean.

00:38:10   This is magnificent.

00:38:12   And it's just stupid stuff like that.

00:38:15   I'm just kind of...

00:38:17   I was ready to take a break from consulting.

00:38:19   And who knows?

00:38:20   in a year or two, maybe I'll 1099 and I'll just go and if you're not an American basically

00:38:25   I'll be an independent consultant and maybe I'll go back to a consulting firm. Who knows?

00:38:29   But for right now, oh my God, it was magical not to have to stress about sitting in a stupid

00:38:35   light for 10 minutes. And to come back around to John's question a little more concretely,

00:38:41   I'm really, really amped to work on a product period. But I agree with you, John, that if

00:38:47   If the product was something like Industrial Control System, it was not likely to keep

00:38:51   my attention very long.

00:38:52   Now, with that said, I don't intend to share what my employer is or who my employer is,

00:38:57   nor what I'm working on.

00:38:58   I don't know, it's just I'd prefer to keep that world separate.

00:39:01   But I will say that the particular thing that I'm working on, although it is not for me,

00:39:07   it is for a general audience.

00:39:09   And depending on what lens you use to look at it, I genuinely think it's helping people.

00:39:16   And I think that's pretty cool, being able to help people and make a difference in people's

00:39:20   lives.

00:39:21   A small difference, but a difference nonetheless.

00:39:23   And so, because of that, and granted I'm still in the honeymoon period, but I'm very hopeful

00:39:28   that I'm really, really going to enjoy working on this.

00:39:31   And additionally, the particular company I'm working for and the particular iOS app that

00:39:35   I'll be working on, it isn't great.

00:39:38   It's okay, but it isn't great.

00:39:41   But the important thing is, the company knows that it isn't great, and they're looking to

00:39:45   fix it.

00:39:46   And so I'm getting in kind of on the ground floor and being able to influence some of

00:39:52   those changes, insofar as I can help make architectural decisions, you know, not as

00:39:57   much like, oh, we should use CocoaPods versus, God, what's the other one?

00:40:02   I'm drawing a blank.

00:40:03   - It doesn't matter, who cares?

00:40:04   - It does, yeah, CocoaPods versus Carthage, I believe it is.

00:40:05   - I'm gonna be in charge of all the most boring decisions on the software project.

00:40:08   - Right, yeah, exactly, well, exactly.

00:40:09   - This is gonna be our file naming convention.

00:40:11   - Woo!

00:40:12   But you know what I mean.

00:40:13   architectural decisions I can work with my friend Jamie who is pretty much lead architect I could work with him and we have a

00:40:19   Good rapport because we work together in the past and say hey, I really like this

00:40:22   Let's we should go that direction or you know

00:40:24   This just doesn't feel right and and in some ways being a little bit ignorant as to how iOS

00:40:29   Development works is kind of an advantage for these sorts of discussions because I don't have that

00:40:34   background knowledge to

00:40:37   influence or perhaps taint what I think about these decisions.

00:40:41   And so I'm really, really amped to work on something and work on something for a long

00:40:45   time, which is not what I've been doing for the last nearly decade.

00:40:50   Does that answer your question or did I completely flub that?

00:40:53   Yeah, thank you, Edward.

00:40:54   I hadn't even thought about the whole time sheet thing because it shows how much consulting

00:40:57   I've done.

00:40:58   None.

00:40:59   But yeah, that's got to be a big upgrade in lifestyle.

00:41:04   I'm famil- I've done product work in some fashion or another for my entire career and

00:41:08   for the most part it is better. Even, I can say, even working on a product that you're not actually

00:41:13   interested in, the aforementioned and off-the-line industrial control software, that can be interesting

00:41:18   too. Like everything can be interesting. I think the dark side of product work is like,

00:41:24   like the both the best and the worst thing that could ever happen to a product you're working on

00:41:27   is that you become very popular and very important to the company and a huge money maker. You're like

00:41:31   Like isn't that all upside?

00:41:32   No, because that means the product will live for a long time

00:41:35   and will have a lot of customers

00:41:37   and any change to it is consequential.

00:41:39   And if you work there for five years, you will, you know,

00:41:43   if you come five years after that happened,

00:41:45   you will be inheriting a giant,

00:41:46   possibly disgusting looking code base

00:41:48   that nevertheless has to be treated as the golden,

00:41:51   you know, child and can't be messed with.

00:41:53   And if you were there from the beginning,

00:41:55   you will have created five years worth of painting yourself

00:41:57   into a corner and making dumb decisions

00:41:59   that you come to regret.

00:42:00   and now have this giant Jenga-style tower that's teetering,

00:42:04   but nevertheless, the entire company is built on it.

00:42:06   And you are both responsible for having made it this way.

00:42:09   Back when you were younger and less experienced,

00:42:11   past you was always the worst enemy of every programmer.

00:42:14   And you don't have the option to say,

00:42:16   well, unless you go change a different company,

00:42:18   I wanna do a different project now.

00:42:19   Let's go to different products.

00:42:20   It's like, no, this product is the company.

00:42:22   But that is both the joys and the sorrows of product work.

00:42:26   But you are far from that now,

00:42:27   especially if they have an app now

00:42:30   know it's bad so you're kind of getting to go in there and clean up. Just try to

00:42:33   keep five years from now, Casey, in mind when you're doing your work.

00:42:36   Yeah, that's the idea. And we're, like I said, we're re-architecting everything and

00:42:41   we're trying to make intelligent decisions as to how to do this so that it's sustainable,

00:42:48   so that it's testable, which I know is Marco's favorite thing, you know, unit testing.

00:42:52   I love unit testing. I test all over my, everything, yeah.

00:42:56   Totally. Covering all my builders.

00:42:58   Oh god, just stop.

00:43:00   But anyway.

00:43:01   Some day he's going to get testing religion.

00:43:02   It's going to be awesome.

00:43:03   He's going to be like, you know what?

00:43:05   Testing is actually a useful way to do so.

00:43:06   Like I don't know when it's going to happen, but it could happen conceivably.

00:43:09   Oh, I would love if I already had testing.

00:43:12   No, no, as a way to do development.

00:43:15   Rather than you write lines of code and you want to see those lines of code do the thing

00:43:18   you wanted them to do.

00:43:20   Not entirely test driven development, but just getting enough of it into you, it doesn't

00:43:24   matter if no one else.

00:43:25   Like it doesn't even matter.

00:43:26   That's just the way I write code from now on.

00:43:29   I think everyone can benefit from testing and I feel like you will turn that corner

00:43:33   eventually where they're just waiting for it to happen.

00:43:35   Given infinite time, everyone could benefit from testing.

00:43:37   Oh, here we go.

00:43:38   No, you'll just be dead.

00:43:39   That's what happens with that.

00:43:41   But it's conceivable, I could say, that it could happen.

00:43:44   I think testing is a great idea that I don't do.

00:43:47   Yeah, I think that's probably a fair summary.

00:43:50   Anything else on the new job?

00:43:52   Any other questions?

00:43:53   Oh yes, the other thing that you should point out, because there was confusion about it,

00:43:58   I wanted to bring it up, but another point is that a lot of people think like, "Hey,

00:44:01   I left my job where I had to work in this big corporation like a Dilbert or whatever,

00:44:07   and now I'm going indie."

00:44:09   But you're not.

00:44:10   You don't quite know what "indie" means, but Indy, Marco knows what "Indies" means, because

00:44:15   he's basically been that for a very long time now.

00:44:17   But...

00:44:18   "Indie" just means like you kind of stop working.

00:44:20   Well, it depends.

00:44:23   It's kind of like indie rock.

00:44:24   It's kind of like…

00:44:25   It's a synonym for retired.

00:44:26   Indie rock or independent movies, that term, especially independent movies, started to

00:44:31   warp as small independent movies would nevertheless be bankrolled by big studios.

00:44:36   I don't know.

00:44:37   But anyway, the definition of indie for software is basically that you write software for a

00:44:44   company that you own.

00:44:46   It's been muddied a little bit by the fact that if all your paychecks come with a signature

00:44:51   that says Apple Incorporated at the bottom of it, are you really indie? You're still

00:44:54   kinda indie. The definition we still say yeah, even if every one of your paychecks is signed

00:44:58   by Apple, you're still indie because you get to decide everything about the product, you

00:45:03   own the product, you just are sort of outsourcing your distribution and your entire relationship

00:45:08   with your customer and many other things to Apple, but you're still indie. But the bottom

00:45:12   line is that, and also what comes with it is like you run the show, you make the decisions,

00:45:18   And you're not running a 100 person company.

00:45:20   Like is, you know, are the heads of the Omni group indie?

00:45:24   No, not really.

00:45:25   They've got a company.

00:45:26   They've got a Mac software company, an iOS software company that a lot of people work

00:45:29   for.

00:45:31   Can you be indie with two people?

00:45:32   Probably two or three.

00:45:34   Maybe you're pushing it.

00:45:35   But the idea is that essentially you are your own boss or something very close to it.

00:45:40   And so in that case, if you worked on a product for a long time and you kind of got sick of

00:45:44   it, even if it was selling well, because you're indie, you could say, you know what, I'm going

00:45:47   to do something else now. As long as the next thing you do also sells well, and as long

00:45:50   as you have some sort of transition plan for supporting the other one, or maybe you sell

00:45:53   it to somebody like Marco loves to do, that's fine. You can do that. Whereas if you were

00:45:58   in a company, especially if you're in a public company with shareholders and everything is

00:46:01   scaled up and people care a lot, you can be like, "Well, I'm going to try a different

00:46:04   product now. This one is perfectly fine and it's profitable, but I'm kind of bored of

00:46:08   it. That doesn't happen in that world." So this is something that Gruber called the Nark

00:46:12   a long time ago, the Life capital T capital L. I think it was in reference to Brent Simmons

00:46:17   stopping net news wire development.

00:46:19   Probably sort of in the post-internet age,

00:46:25   sort of in the time when Apple was on an upswing,

00:46:27   there was a resurgence in the old idea,

00:46:30   the idea does exist for a long time,

00:46:32   but there was a resurgence and a popularization of the idea,

00:46:35   thanks to the internet and blogs,

00:46:36   that if you are a computer programmer

00:46:39   who liked Apple stuff,

00:46:40   you could make a pretty good living for yourself

00:46:43   by writing programs that other people who use Apple stuff

00:46:46   would buy from you.

00:46:47   and they would give you money

00:46:48   and you would give them software.

00:46:49   And if you can get enough of them to do that,

00:46:51   through the magic of software,

00:46:52   like it's not any harder work for you to sell an application

00:46:56   to a hundred people versus a thousand

00:46:57   versus potentially a million because bits are bits

00:47:00   and you copy them and you don't have to manufacture them

00:47:02   and there's no incremental costs.

00:47:03   And you know, all the wonderful things about software

00:47:05   that you can do a certain amount of work

00:47:08   and the amount of work that you have to do

00:47:10   does not scale with a number of customers.

00:47:12   You do the work and then if 10 people buy it,

00:47:15   You did the same amount of work as if 20 or 30 or 100.

00:47:19   So people can make really good livings selling software.

00:47:21   They were their own boss.

00:47:22   They got to do something that they wanted to do.

00:47:24   They got immense satisfaction out of it.

00:47:27   And it was, you know, that's the life he was referring to.

00:47:30   iOS gave a different view of that,

00:47:33   but at this point, I think everyone who's involved

00:47:36   in this ecosystem would agree that it is slightly harder

00:47:39   to live the life.

00:47:40   It is slightly harder to be an independent software

00:47:43   developer who makes their living doing that, if only because the market is so much more

00:47:48   crowded.

00:47:49   I think we talked about this on maybe this podcast, maybe other ones, way distant past

00:47:52   of like, if you're doing something that is really fun, and a lot of other people want

00:47:58   to do it because it's fun, that's going to drive down the value of the thing you're doing.

00:48:03   If a bunch of students want to make an iOS application for fun and give it away for free

00:48:08   or close to free, and you say, "Well, but I've got to feed my family.

00:48:12   I can't afford to give away, you know, like, like the value of what you're doing is being

00:48:16   driven down because there are more people in the market. And so it makes it harder for

00:48:20   a regular person who wants a family and healthcare and everything to be able to make a living

00:48:24   as an independent software developer. It's not getting to the point where it's like being

00:48:27   a professional athlete where a small amount can do it, but it's getting more to the point

00:48:30   where it's like a regular job where it's not like if you're a decent programmer and you

00:48:36   find a market need that's not being met and you sell an application, you're good to go

00:48:39   for 20 years. You can just keep selling and revising that application for 20 years and

00:48:42   you'll have a healthy lifestyle. Like those days are past because the market is just,

00:48:46   you know, too crowded. But my question for Casey about his new job is maybe you didn't

00:48:53   think about that now because you're like, I don't know enough about iOS development,

00:48:56   but my question is, does that still appeal to you as sort of the real polar opposite

00:49:01   grass is greener on the other side of the fence from the consulting world? Consulting

00:49:06   world where you have to go where they tell you, you have to track your hours, your different

00:49:10   clients or your masters at various times. And on the far opposite side is Marco's life

00:49:15   where you call the shots, you decide what you're going to make, and you build it your

00:49:20   way on your schedule and your time and find a way to make that a viable living. Does that

00:49:28   still appeal to you?

00:49:29   Well, I try to find a way to make it a viable living. It doesn't always work. So I make

00:49:32   things my way, I call the shots, but then the market decides whether to pay me or not.

00:49:37   Yeah, but like you have, you know, for the most part you've been successful doing that.

00:49:40   Like I said, it's not an easy thing to do. Like, it's not like you can, you know, how

00:49:43   many people do you know who are still living the indie life? My question for Casey is does

00:49:48   that...

00:49:49   I'm not even sure I am anymore, but that's fine.

00:49:52   You're doing okay.

00:49:53   I know what you mean, but I think App Store economics are such that it is very, very hard

00:49:58   to do that anymore. And I think the number of people doing that is probably shrinking

00:50:05   for sure, but I'm not like, you know, Overcast is not making as much as Instapaper did. And

00:50:12   the trend lines for these things are generally downward. I mean, Overcast is making, you

00:50:17   know, the overcast numbers are going up very slowly now with patronage, but it's making,

00:50:24   still making less than what it did before the patronage model, which that was less than

00:50:27   Instapaper made. So, you know, overall this whole market is getting harder.

00:50:31   Yeah, I think, Jon, I understand what you're driving at. There's a couple of things to

00:50:37   unpack here. First of all, it was easy for me to tell who did and did not read my entire

00:50:43   blog post because those who did read the blog post, it was abundantly obvious that I am

00:50:48   still working for the man. It's just a different man, figuratively speaking, of course. But

00:50:53   those who didn't read the blog post or perhaps only read above the fold were like, "Oh,

00:50:56   You went indie.

00:50:57   Congratulations."

00:50:58   So that was kind of funny.

00:51:01   But to directly answer your question, I certainly have thought quite a bit about going completely

00:51:08   independent.

00:51:09   And to me, that means one of two things.

00:51:11   It either means what you described, Jon, and what Marco is trying to and/or succeeding

00:51:16   at doing—I'll let you be the judge of that—or it means I am consulting, but not as part

00:51:23   of a consulting firm, but instead as an independent consultant.

00:51:28   And this is, if you're in the United States, often referred to as 1099-ing, there's many

00:51:32   other ways you can refer to it, but that means as a single person I am going and helping

00:51:36   with something.

00:51:38   And I am my own boss, I am my own salesperson, I am my own employee, I am everything soup

00:51:45   to nuts.

00:51:46   And so what may happen, if I were to make a guess, I think one of a couple things will

00:51:52   happen. Either I'll stay at my current job for quite a long time, or I will be here for

00:51:59   a while until I really get to know iOS, and then maybe I'll try to split my time between

00:52:07   a handful of clients. And those clients might be, say, Marco and Underscore, or maybe somebody

00:52:13   else entirely. Or maybe I'll come up with that brilliant idea to make that impossibly

00:52:20   great update to FastText or, you know, whatever. Whatever comes after FastText. But I don't

00:52:27   think today I'm in a position that I would be comfortable being completely independent.

00:52:33   As much as I think it would be fun and as much as I'd love to try it, I don't think

00:52:38   I'm comfortable doing it today. I'm the only breadwinner for the family. And granted, I'm

00:52:41   diversified a bit insofar as I have podcast income as well as regular income. I really

00:52:47   want to continue to have health insurance that my employer helps me pay for. And the

00:52:54   thing that I really want to do, like I said earlier, I kind of know how to do, but I don't

00:52:59   really know how to do. And the best way to learn how to really do it is to just freakin'

00:53:04   do it. And it's much easier, as I discussed earlier, to be a part of a product company

00:53:09   who knows what they're getting into when they hired you and knows what you are or are not

00:53:13   capable of. It's easier to learn on that job than it is to try to position yourself as

00:53:24   an expert consultant but not really be an expert in it. So for now I'm really happy

00:53:29   with the move. Again, I'm in the honeymoon period. There's certainly bad parts to this

00:53:34   company like there are any company, but so far all the bad parts seem super manageable

00:53:38   and all the good parts seem awesome.

00:53:42   So I'm really enthusiastic.

00:53:44   - Are you talking about considering the whole

00:53:48   1099 independent consulting only because it is a thing that,

00:53:52   I'm assuming you're talking about C# type consulting?

00:53:56   - No, no, no, no, I meant, well, I mean it could be C#,

00:53:59   but I was--

00:54:00   - I was saying, if you were to do it now,

00:54:01   it would be very difficult for you to be an iOS consultant

00:54:04   because you don't have a lot of relevant experience,

00:54:05   but you could consult on the same exact stuff

00:54:07   that you were doing at the previous company.

00:54:09   And to me, that's like the worst of both worlds,

00:54:12   where you have to be a consultant,

00:54:14   you have to work in a tech that maybe you don't like

00:54:16   or is not as interesting to you as iOS,

00:54:19   and you have to do everything yourself.

00:54:20   And it's like all the downsides of being independent

00:54:24   with none of the upsides of getting to decide

00:54:27   what you wanna make, you know what I mean?

00:54:28   - Yep, oh, I completely agree with you.

00:54:30   And plus, I don't think I'm a very good salesperson.

00:54:33   So I don't think I would be good at pounding the pavement

00:54:37   whatever term phrase you want to use, and trying to drum up work for myself. I mean,

00:54:42   I feel like, you know, I could shill for myself on the podcast and be like, "Hey guys, if you want a

00:54:47   C# person, just let me know." But I'd rather not do that. And it's just, it's not, those sorts of

00:54:54   things that you just described are not things that I'm interested in and not things that I think I'm

00:55:00   good at. And just like you said, I don't, the things that I'm good at, like C# and that sort

00:55:06   of thing, I don't necessarily want to keep doing. So you're exactly right. To go completely

00:55:12   independent today, I would probably be backed into the corner of doing all the things I

00:55:16   don't really want to do. And so I'd much rather have the steady and reliable paycheck and

00:55:24   the help on health insurance that comes from working for "the man." And then we'll reevaluate

00:55:30   in a couple years and see where things stand then.

00:55:32   But like you, I think I can speak for you, Jon, I am extremely risk adverse.

00:55:37   Is that the word I'm... averse?

00:55:38   Jon Sorrentino Averse.

00:55:39   Jon Moffitt Yeah, I always get it wrong, sorry.

00:55:40   I'm extremely risk averse, and I'd rather have some of that risk consumed by my employer

00:55:49   than have to shoulder it myself.

00:55:51   Now, yes, this is where all of the internet and perhaps Marco is saying, "Well, your employer

00:55:55   could fire you at any second.

00:55:57   They could fold tomorrow."

00:55:58   You never really, really know.

00:56:00   And yes, that's true.

00:56:01   But the way I perceive it, better, worse, or indifferent,

00:56:05   is that this is less risky

00:56:07   than going completely independent today.

00:56:09   - You're at least outsourcing many of the jobs.

00:56:12   You're outsourcing many of the risks and much of the work

00:56:15   by working for somebody else.

00:56:17   And I wouldn't say, you're totally right

00:56:19   in predicting what I would say,

00:56:20   that any job you could lose at any moment,

00:56:23   you just kind of lose control

00:56:24   when you're working for somebody else.

00:56:26   But the fact is, if you go to work

00:56:27   for an already established company

00:56:30   that it already has multiple employees

00:56:32   and your salary is not where 100% of their budget is going,

00:56:37   then certainly it makes it less likely

00:56:41   that they would fail on the market

00:56:43   in a way that would affect you or things like that,

00:56:45   compared to just you going on your own

00:56:47   and trying to make one app

00:56:49   and trying to see that one app succeed.

00:56:52   'Cause the company that you're going to work for

00:56:54   has already released that one app

00:56:55   and it's already doing well enough for them to hire people

00:56:58   to keep paying the bills, hopefully, you know. So, certainly you do reduce and outsource

00:57:04   some of those risks by working for somebody else.

00:57:06   Steven McLaughlin And additionally, I didn't leave my old job

00:57:09   with my middle fingers in the air, you know. I left my old job in such a way that if things

00:57:15   fell through with this one, I'm pretty sure I could go back without having to put my tail

00:57:20   too far between my legs. And I'm pretty sure every job I've left, I could say the same

00:57:26   And plus, as time goes on, you know, some of the people I worked with two or three jobs

00:57:31   ago are now at other jobs where I've never worked.

00:57:35   And so I could go work with old friends again at the new places they're now working at,

00:57:39   which actually, if you think about it, is exactly what happened here.

00:57:42   Jamie and I worked together a couple of jobs ago.

00:57:46   We still kept in touch for a long time.

00:57:50   And it ended up that this all came circling back around.

00:57:53   I kind of hate myself.

00:57:55   circled back to each other and now we're working together.

00:57:58   Yeah, pin me later all over the parking lot. Yeah, exactly. So, you know, for those who

00:58:03   are not independent, which I think is the overwhelming majority of us, if you leave

00:58:07   a job not like a jerk, you also have that option. So even if this all fizzled tomorrow,

00:58:14   I would still have the option of going back to the old job or working with some of my

00:58:17   old co-workers from years ago. Yeah, there's always new bridges to burn.

00:58:21   (laughing)

00:58:22   - Exactly.

00:58:23   - I'm still disappointed that you didn't take us up

00:58:26   on the offer to have me, Jon, and Underscore

00:58:28   go into your old job and quit for you.

00:58:30   - That would have been hysterical,

00:58:32   but I don't think that would have been a wise choice.

00:58:34   - Probably not, but it would have been really fun

00:58:36   for us at least.

00:58:36   Probably, I think you made the right choice

00:58:38   for yourself though.

00:58:40   - Yes, but it would have been enjoyable,

00:58:41   and man, that would have been a really great

00:58:45   YouTube video, if nothing else.

00:58:46   - We are happy to burn anyone's bridges

00:58:48   that they need burned.

00:58:49   We're happy to do that.

00:58:51   And that's the thing, I mean, I certainly had a list of grievances that I could have

00:58:57   shared with my employer on the way out the door.

00:59:00   And I think they knew some of the things that made me unhappy, like the fact that I wasn't

00:59:05   doing iOS.

00:59:06   And so when I told them I was leaving, they were a little surprised and a little bummed.

00:59:11   But when I said I was leaving to do iOS work, they were like, "Oh, okay, yeah, that makes

00:59:18   sense."

00:59:19   I feel like there's no good, or in my perspective anyway,

00:59:24   no good comes of, hey, I quit, and by the way,

00:59:28   let me tell you all the reasons

00:59:29   why you guys are a bunch of jerks.

00:59:30   No good comes of that, because everyone is a jerk

00:59:33   in their own way, and I'm a jerk in my own way,

00:59:37   and so we can all be jerks together, and that's okay.

00:59:40   - Well plus, suppose you do go back to your old company,

00:59:42   say in two years.

00:59:44   You are now a two-year experienced iOS developer

00:59:47   that they didn't have to pay you for training

00:59:49   in the meantime, and now they can charge way more

00:59:51   for your time.

00:59:52   - Yeah, that's actually extremely true, yeah.

00:59:54   So, we'll see how it goes.

00:59:55   I'm really excited, I'm really scared,

00:59:58   but I'm really excited, and I'm really anxious

01:00:01   to see what it's like.

01:00:02   It's gonna be interesting being client-side,

01:00:04   and it's gonna be interesting,

01:00:06   'cause most of the C# stuff I was writing,

01:00:08   it was all server-side.

01:00:09   I had written some client-side C# way, way, way, way,

01:00:12   way back when, when I first started writing in C#,

01:00:15   But I haven't done that in a long time.

01:00:17   The closest thing I've come to client-side programming is

01:00:19   JavaScript.

01:00:20   And I'm not going to get into that holy war.

01:00:22   But suffice it to say, I haven't done real, honest to

01:00:25   goodness, client-side development in a long time.

01:00:27   And additionally, I'm really looking forward to some of the

01:00:31   engineering challenges of working on a mobile device

01:00:33   that I haven't had to worry about in a long time.

01:00:35   Like the processors are getting faster and faster and

01:00:38   stronger and stronger.

01:00:39   But cycles are not free.

01:00:41   And more importantly, network traffic is not free.

01:00:44   And even after having been there only a couple days,

01:00:47   there's a couple of choices that have been made in the app

01:00:50   for understandable reasons that I'm thinking to myself,

01:00:54   ooh, that probably shouldn't be the way we do things.

01:00:57   And I'm not the first one to this conclusion there.

01:01:00   It's a known issue.

01:01:01   But it's some of those engineering challenges

01:01:04   that you don't have to think about that often anymore,

01:01:05   even though you probably should, but you don't have to,

01:01:08   that I'm really anxious to start worrying about again,

01:01:10   even though it's going to be a complete pain in the tuchus.

01:01:12   So we'll see.

01:01:13   Just let me know when you get far enough into your Swift stuff that we can talk about, memberwise,

01:01:19   initialize your proposals on the podcast, and bore Marko with it.

01:01:22   All right, that sounds great.

01:01:24   Is that the thing that Erika Sadens, forgive me, I don't know how to pronounce her last

01:01:28   name, but she just had a blog post about that like a week ago, maybe a few days ago?

01:01:31   Maybe, she's on the list, she blog posts about it.

01:01:34   Swift Evolution, learn about the future of the language you're just learning.

01:01:36   Yeah, exactly.

01:01:37   So you can tell what you're learning now will be obsolete in T-minus three months when this

01:01:42   proposal goes through.

01:01:43   This is great though, as long as Casey keeps learning Swift, I don't have to really.

01:01:47   We can just, you know, we'll just use you, right?

01:01:48   I don't think that's how that works.

01:01:50   Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.

01:01:53   Somebody I think it was Curtis had said it's about time that you guys got a Swift programmer

01:01:58   on the show, which I thought was pretty funny.

01:02:00   But anyway, so yeah, we'll see how it goes, but I'm really anxious.

01:02:05   A lot of the existing code is of course in Objective-C, but all the new stuff is in Swift.

01:02:10   I was looking at the Swift book over the Fun Employment Week, and I was trying to teach

01:02:17   myself some of it.

01:02:18   And a lot of Swift really does—and to be completely fair, this is all academic because

01:02:24   I was working in a playground and just reading the book—but a lot of it looks really, really

01:02:29   good.

01:02:30   And it may be that once I start really developing with it, I will hate everything.

01:02:35   But so far, I'm really enjoying it.

01:02:37   It's looking really good to me.

01:02:38   - So am I still in second place for amount of Swift written

01:02:42   if you count the lines of code in my OS X reviews?

01:02:45   - Yes.

01:02:46   - All right, just let me know Marco

01:02:48   when you do more than 10 lines

01:02:49   or whatever my line count is for the section

01:02:52   where I put code samples of Swift in.

01:02:54   - Well I will start learning Swift

01:02:55   when desktop Linux takes over.

01:02:57   It's always like a year and a half out.

01:02:59   - Anyway, so I appreciate you letting me go on about that

01:03:04   for a little while, but yeah,

01:03:05   And also, I would be remiss of me not to mention that I've gotten so many people tweeting at

01:03:12   me in response to the blog post and the announcement and Marco's blog post as well, or link post,

01:03:18   and I really appreciate all of it.

01:03:20   I didn't think that many people gave a crap about where I spent my time during the day,

01:03:24   and I don't mean that in a nasty way.

01:03:26   It's very flattering that people have been so enthusiastic, and so I really, really appreciate

01:03:33   it.

01:03:34   couldn't wait to pull you out of the parking lot.

01:03:36   That was really it.

01:03:37   Like, all like, you know, we never talked that much

01:03:40   about your work just because, you know,

01:03:42   it wasn't something you wanted to talk about on the show

01:03:45   and we don't see each other privately that often.

01:03:48   But it certainly did seem to me that some of the overhead

01:03:53   of being in like a big corporate, not big corporate,

01:03:57   but being in like a big company and doing the consulting

01:03:59   work and having to track your time and everything,

01:04:01   I can't even imagine the kind of stress

01:04:05   that you have to internalize to have things

01:04:08   like your traffic light incident of thinking about

01:04:11   how am I gonna bill a client for the time

01:04:13   I accidentally spent a little bit too much

01:04:15   at this traffic light.

01:04:16   It seems like that is something that,

01:04:20   it's certainly working for any company has its stresses.

01:04:22   Working for no company has its stresses,

01:04:24   even though nobody else sees them except me.

01:04:26   (laughing)

01:04:29   But I feel like you're making a move here that,

01:04:32   at least by the way it sounds

01:04:33   and by what you are describing so far,

01:04:36   it sounds like you're moving towards less stress

01:04:40   and towards something that is significantly more aligned

01:04:43   with what you want to be doing

01:04:44   and where you want to take your skills

01:04:47   with things like iOS and moving towards client-side stuff,

01:04:50   moving towards Swift.

01:04:52   So it sounds like for what you want today,

01:04:55   this is a way better fit for you.

01:04:57   And so, I'm really happy for you.

01:04:59   I am so happy to hear this, and I think anyone

01:05:02   who's been following your work for the last couple years

01:05:06   or whatever, anyone who's been following your work recently

01:05:08   has probably noticed the same things,

01:05:10   that what you were doing was not very well aligned

01:05:13   with what you wanted to be doing anymore,

01:05:15   and now this new job sounds like it is.

01:05:18   - Yeah, yeah, I couldn't agree more, and I appreciate it.

01:05:20   I'm really looking forward to it,

01:05:22   and the funny thing about all of this is

01:05:25   is that I've been able, and lucky enough, to go to WWDC in 2011, '12, '13, '14, and '15.

01:05:31   And every single time I've been--I've felt almost, like, guilty that I've taken a ticket

01:05:37   from, like, a "real iOS developer," because, you know, there was certainly a potential

01:05:42   every single year that I could be doing an iOS project in the following year.

01:05:47   But nevertheless, I hadn't done very many of them.

01:05:50   And let's be honest, like we've talked about it more than a couple times on the show, fast

01:05:54   This text was never that popular.

01:05:56   Well, here it is, now that I'm an honest to goodness

01:05:58   iOS developer, guaranteed I will not get a ticket this year.

01:06:02   So I've ruined everything.

01:06:03   (laughing)

01:06:04   But that's okay.

01:06:05   Why don't you tell us about something that's awesome?

01:06:07   - Speaking of making corporate things better,

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01:06:51   I just know it's Microsoft and everyone hates it.

01:06:53   - Trigger warning, trigger warning, trigger warning.

01:06:54   Oh my God, please stop.

01:06:56   - Does the new job use SharePoint?

01:06:57   - No. - Thank God.

01:06:58   - Or if they do, I haven't seen it,

01:07:00   and I wanna keep it that way.

01:07:01   - Good, because nobody likes SharePoint.

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01:07:41   Thanks a lot.

01:07:42   - All right, so just to keep this

01:07:45   the all Casey, all the time show,

01:07:48   I wanted to tell you about my last day at my last job.

01:07:51   And this sounds like it's going to be boring, but bear with me here.

01:07:54   I decided, because I wanted to be a model employee, and I don't need to hear emails

01:07:59   about why this maybe was a bad idea, I'm sticking with it being a good idea.

01:08:03   I decided to be a model employee and try to remove all of my stuff off my work computer

01:08:09   for the last job.

01:08:10   All my stuff off of it, just reload OS X, leave it in a position where, you know, it

01:08:15   starts up and the first thing it's going to do is finish the installation.

01:08:21   So I did that over the weekend right before this past Monday.

01:08:26   So when I went in Monday, I effectively had no computer.

01:08:29   I mean, I physically had one, but it was ready to get set up anew.

01:08:33   I had taken a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and cleaned the exterior of it.

01:08:37   Everything was good.

01:08:38   I put it back in the box because for whatever reason when they gave me the computer, they

01:08:40   gave me the box.

01:08:41   Everything was great.

01:08:43   I really wanted to, however, scan a few tax-related documents at our scanner in the office.

01:08:50   And the way the scanner works is, you know, it's a scanner/printer/copying machine.

01:08:55   You can save something to a USB key, you can save something to, or you can send something

01:09:01   via email.

01:09:02   Well, I didn't know how long my email address was going to last, because, you know, it's,

01:09:08   maybe I could have keyed in my personal email address, but it was certainly intended to

01:09:12   be used only for your work email addresses.

01:09:14   And I'm literally there for like two or three hours to do an exit interview or two, and

01:09:19   then get on my way.

01:09:21   So I didn't even know if I would have an email address on this past Monday.

01:09:24   It turns out I did.

01:09:26   But I brought my iPad Mini with me, and what I wanted to do was I wanted to scan these

01:09:29   documents and confirm that they scanned properly, and save them to Dropbox if at all possible.

01:09:37   So how do you do that?

01:09:39   Well, I brought a USB key, but the problem with that is I have no way to confirm whether or not it works.

01:09:44   We don't have any, like, public terminals sitting around in the office.

01:09:47   I'm sure I could have asked somebody awkwardly,

01:09:49   "Hey, do you mind if I use your computer to see if my scanned W2 looks right?

01:09:53   PS, don't look over my shoulder, please, because it shows you exactly how much I made last year, and that's a little awkward."

01:09:58   So, I needed to do everything via my iPad.

01:10:03   And what I ended up doing was I had sent the scans to my work email, which was still working,

01:10:12   sat down on my iPad, looked at these scans, and then put them in Dropbox.

01:10:19   That sounds like it was a pretty easy thing to do, but man did it take forever compared

01:10:25   to using a Mac.

01:10:26   I had to go to mail, I had to wait for the message to download, get angry when occasionally

01:10:33   Finally Mail showed me that there was a new message but refused to download it.

01:10:37   Force quit Mail, go back into Mail.

01:10:39   Finally the message is there.

01:10:41   Now I need to open the PDF.

01:10:43   Then I need to open, do the little share sheet thing.

01:10:46   Go to open in and then go to Dropbox.

01:10:49   Then now I'm opening it in Dropbox.

01:10:50   Now I need to tap tap tap tap tap to figure out what folder to go in.

01:10:54   And I need to rename the file by the way.

01:10:57   And then I can finally save it.

01:10:59   Sometimes there was a share button.

01:11:01   Sometimes there wasn't and I needed to tap and hold.

01:11:04   What a frickin' nightmare.

01:11:07   It took forever to do something that on a Mac would have taken like four and a half

01:11:12   seconds.

01:11:13   So it was both a wonderful experience in that I was able to accomplish this at all on the

01:11:19   iPad, which I think even a little, even not long ago, I wouldn't have been able to, or

01:11:25   it would have been even more taps to make this work.

01:11:28   But all I wanted in the world was to have a Mac in front of me so I could make this

01:11:32   go so much faster.

01:11:35   Additionally, I needed to fill out another tax form which included a signature.

01:11:42   On OS X, you can sign using your finger on the trackpad in preview, or you can sign a

01:11:49   piece of paper, hold it up to the camera that's on your Mac, and it will "scan," really take

01:11:55   a picture of your signature, and filter out all the background noise, if you will, and

01:12:02   let you put your signature on PDFs.

01:12:03   Easy peasy.

01:12:06   Simple to do.

01:12:07   With the stuff that comes on iOS, I couldn't do that.

01:12:10   I am sure there are like 300 different apps, like for example, PDF Pen, that would have

01:12:14   let me do that.

01:12:16   But I didn't have anything out of the box to do it, and that's frustrating.

01:12:20   And I don't want to have to search the App Store, which as we discussed earlier, is a

01:12:24   dumpster fire full of options to figure out the one that I wanted.

01:12:28   Additionally, similarly, some of the PDFs that I scanned, I really wanted to rotate.

01:12:34   On preview, that's Command-R. Easy peasy.

01:12:38   How do you do that on an iPad without a third-party app?

01:12:42   What I'm coming around to and bringing all this up is I really enjoyed the fact that

01:12:48   I could sit on one of the couches at work, the old job where we had some couches, and

01:12:52   actually there's some at the new job as well. I really enjoyed being able to sit on the couches

01:12:55   at work and use a computing device that wasn't a laptop, but all I wanted in the world was to

01:13:02   have a damn laptop. And I understand why Mike and Federico and CGP Grey and Jason Snell and others

01:13:11   might enjoy that, because it was kind of cool being able to put puzzle pieces together to get

01:13:19   most of this stuff done. But maybe I'm just old. I don't know why, but it just felt awful

01:13:27   to have to jump through so many damn hoops to get what are comparatively super simple

01:13:34   operations done on the iPad. And I don't know if you guys have any thoughts about this,

01:13:38   if you –

01:13:39   Jared Ranerelle Many.

01:13:40   Steven McLaughlin Yeah, well, and I didn't know if this is,

01:13:43   if we're beating this horse to death, but I don't get why this would be fun for people.

01:13:48   I just don't see why it would be fun.

01:13:50   - I think I understand why it felt bad.

01:13:52   Like, one reason, I mean, you kind of touched on it.

01:13:54   Why might it feel bad to have this experience

01:13:56   and why was it so difficult?

01:13:59   Part of it has to be just simply a gap in knowledge.

01:14:03   That, for example, Vitici could tell you

01:14:05   exactly how you should be doing the thing that you're doing

01:14:08   because he has experience.

01:14:09   You know how to do it on the Mac

01:14:11   because you've done it before on the Mac.

01:14:12   Like, you know which programs,

01:14:14   how to get things between them.

01:14:16   And the comparison I always think is like,

01:14:17   So many things that seem effortless to me and my Mac

01:14:20   are not effortless to other people

01:14:22   with less experience with Macs.

01:14:23   We don't even think about these tools

01:14:25   we have at our disposal, and you always know,

01:14:27   you know, drag from this application to that one,

01:14:29   but that one you can't drag directly into there.

01:14:31   You can drag it onto the app icon for this application,

01:14:33   but this other one you gotta go to the desktop intermediary,

01:14:35   and who knows that you could drag anything out of there,

01:14:37   and how do you know that sometimes you gotta hold down

01:14:38   before the drag is active, and you can't just start dragging

01:14:40   as soon as you click the mouse button?

01:14:42   Like, these are things that we internalize,

01:14:43   details that are just Byzantine

01:14:45   and don't really make any sense and aren't consistent,

01:14:47   and we don't have to go to the App Store and look for the applications we want,

01:14:49   because we already have them installed, and we already know, you know, all that, like,

01:14:53   that we know what to do on the Mac.

01:14:54   And so you go to someplace where you don't know what to do, and you feel less competent.

01:14:57   It feels like, "I know I could do this in two seconds in Realm X, where I am an expert.

01:15:03   And now I'm in Realm Y, and it's frustrating to, you know, to get into, to feel like a novice."

01:15:09   And that, I think, explains a large part of the dissatisfaction.

01:15:13   And the fact that you could do it at all probably means that there is like

01:15:16   900 better ways to do it that you just don't know yet because you don't have the apps installed

01:15:20   But on the other side of this is what we talked about a lot is that in the end some things still just are easier

01:15:26   To do on the Mac no matter what

01:15:28   Arrangement things because sometimes some of the things that V

01:15:28   Arrangement things because sometimes some of the things that V

01:15:43   the true path forward. Like really this is just like, you're doing this to suffice for now.

01:15:47   But I have to believe that maybe some of the things that you were doing actually would be just as easy if not easier on

01:15:53   the iPad if you just knew how to do them.

01:15:55   Yeah, you very well could be right. I guess the thing that frustrated me was that

01:15:59   out of the box on OS X,

01:16:02   all the puzzle pieces I need are there and are

01:16:07   arranged pretty closely together

01:16:10   So you just kind of have to you know shove them a little bit nearer to each other and they all fit and I think

01:16:15   You've made a great point that a lot of that comes from experience whereas out of the box on iOS

01:16:20   Those puzzle pieces may exist and help they may even fit together more nicely than they do on OS 10

01:16:27   Although I'm skeptical but the problem is you have to seek them out and I personally

01:16:31   Don't have that patience that Mike and Federico and so many others do now Marco

01:16:37   What were you gonna say about all this?

01:16:39   - I was actually gonna say something very similar

01:16:40   to what Jon said, which is like, in the iPad's defense,

01:16:43   you were not familiar with it.

01:16:45   You know, you are an expert on the Mac.

01:16:47   You are not an expert in doing this kind of thing

01:16:48   on the iPad.

01:16:49   And so yeah, there are ways to do these kinds of things

01:16:52   that yeah, you just didn't know.

01:16:53   It'd be similar like if you tried to use Linux,

01:16:56   and Linux might have tons of tools to do these things

01:16:58   and you just don't know about them, you know,

01:16:59   things like that.

01:17:00   So something to think about with iOS stuff

01:17:03   and with people who are going to do like most

01:17:06   or they work on iOS or all their work on iOS.

01:17:08   I think there's a bit of a parallel to draw here

01:17:11   between this kind of dilemma

01:17:15   and the reason why so many people still buy laptops

01:17:20   with DVD drives in them.

01:17:21   And all of us geeks can look at this and say,

01:17:24   why would anybody want a laptop with a DVD drive?

01:17:27   What year is this?

01:17:28   It is very common people still buy laptops with DVD drives

01:17:31   because they say, well, what if I need it?

01:17:33   I need this every so often.

01:17:35   - It's very similar to how people justify

01:17:38   buying SUVs a lot of times.

01:17:40   - Or pickups.

01:17:41   - Yeah, a lot of times people who buy SUVs,

01:17:44   they choose them over a different kind of vehicle

01:17:47   that they might be happier and more comfortable

01:17:50   driving more of the time,

01:17:51   or that might work better for them in other ways,

01:17:53   might be easier to park or more efficient or whatever.

01:17:56   They choose SUVs over those vehicles sometimes

01:17:58   because they think they might occasionally need to use

01:18:02   some of the features on the SUV.

01:18:05   And even though 99% of the time they never use them,

01:18:09   and during the entire time they own that SUV,

01:18:13   the need for its benefits over a regular vehicle

01:18:17   might only come up like three or four times.

01:18:19   You know, and if they didn't have the SUV

01:18:22   those three or four times,

01:18:22   they probably could have found some way around,

01:18:24   you know, we could rent a truck for this afternoon

01:18:26   or whatever, you know.

01:18:27   But people still choose those

01:18:29   because of these occasional needs.

01:18:31   And that's a very powerful force in decision making

01:18:35   of when people are choosing these kinds of things

01:18:37   that they're buying or using or owning.

01:18:39   Because they think, you know,

01:18:41   as much as I could get away with what I need

01:18:44   90% of the time with this simpler, smaller option,

01:18:48   whether that's iOS or a motorcycle,

01:18:50   you know, as much as I can get away with that

01:18:53   most of the time, that last like one or five or 10%

01:18:58   the time that what I'm doing can't be done on this thing at all or can't easily be done

01:19:03   on this thing, I'm going to be really upset if I don't just get the bigger, more capable

01:19:08   thing to begin with. And sometimes that actually isn't a rational decision. Sometimes, like,

01:19:13   you know, yeah, as if they could have been fine with the smaller thing and the bigger

01:19:16   thing, they're actually less happy with it overall. But it's very hard to persuade people

01:19:22   of that up front, and a lot of times, like, the times where the smaller tool isn't sufficient,

01:19:27   they stick out in the person's mind and that affects their decision making forever.

01:19:32   There have been so many times in my past travels during which I've owned a MacBook Air or

01:19:40   a 13 inch MacBook of some kind and I have regretted not having the 15 inch.

01:19:46   Now I have a 15 inch and I'm looking at it and I'm like, you know, I hardly ever

01:19:49   need this to be this big.

01:19:52   I really hardly ever, but it does occasionally happen.

01:19:57   And so I'm tempted to go smaller for my next one, but it's in the back of my mind

01:20:02   like, "Yeah, but man, I do really like it sometimes."

01:20:06   So I think looking at the iPad, we have a kind of similar problem here where if you're

01:20:11   super devoted to doing as much as you can on it, you can get quite a lot done on it.

01:20:16   But people look at that concept and they think,

01:20:19   "Yeah, but what if I want to do this one fairly

01:20:23   "trivial thing that just by the design of the iPad

01:20:26   "or by its hardware restriction or something,

01:20:28   "it just can't do."

01:20:30   Or by iOS's restrictions, it's very clumsy to do.

01:20:34   And you only need one of those things

01:20:36   for the idea of an iPad being your primary work machine

01:20:40   to be dismissed in your mind or to seem impossible.

01:20:44   And so many people will have one of those things at least.

01:20:47   And I have tons of those things, so that's one of the reasons I don't do it.

01:20:50   But I think in this case, it's a very hard problem to solve because that's the kind

01:20:55   of thing that just takes years and years of software maturity and a blossoming third party

01:21:03   ecosystem and advancement in the OS and the interface and everything.

01:21:07   And right now, if you are accustomed to the Mac, it's really easy to just get a bunch

01:21:12   of stuff done.

01:21:13   The Mac has taken a beating in enthusiast communities

01:21:17   recently 'cause everyone, it seems like everybody wants

01:21:19   to flee from the Mac.

01:21:22   And it seems like whenever the iPad or iPhones get better,

01:21:26   we hear from people who are just like seemingly

01:21:28   like can't wait to drop their Mac.

01:21:31   Like it's like on fire.

01:21:32   Like oh my God, I'm rushing these other things

01:21:35   'cause I just hated my Mac so much.

01:21:37   Thank God I can run to the iPad.

01:21:40   And I don't feel that at all.

01:21:43   I love the Mac, I think the Mac is great.

01:21:45   And my only concern is when Apple messes with the Mac

01:21:49   in ways that I don't agree with

01:21:50   or that I think make it worse.

01:21:51   But even those are few and far between, relatively speaking,

01:21:54   and the Mac is awesome.

01:21:56   And to me, the Mac is my work machine and my main machine.

01:22:01   And I am not looking to constantly flee

01:22:05   the things I'm using if they're working fine.

01:22:07   But you know, I totally get the driving force

01:22:10   that makes people think that way.

01:22:12   But I do think when somebody like you goes to try the iPad

01:22:16   as a work device, even for this one task

01:22:19   you tried to do on it, when you run into one of those walls

01:22:22   of things it can't do, it just seems like,

01:22:24   oh my god, this thing is worthless,

01:22:25   why would anybody ever do this?

01:22:26   And there's basically, to summarize this very long rant,

01:22:30   there's reasons on both sides, and it depends.

01:22:32   Just like everything else that can always be summarized

01:22:34   that way.

01:22:35   - This whole issue of Casey's iPad,

01:22:37   use in trying to trying it out on for size reminded me of an older discussion

01:22:42   I forget what podcast I have one of the ones with Mike he's in a million

01:22:45   podcasts that's Mike with a Y that does not narrow it down at all we were

01:22:48   discussing his use of the iPad and how he he remembered how it was just like an

01:22:53   accessory thing but now there are so many things that he prefers to do he was

01:22:56   talking about sitting in front of his Mac with his iPad using his iPad like

01:23:01   he's literally sitting in front of his Mac but instead of using the Mac that's

01:23:03   in front of him he's instead got his iPad propped up in front of him he's

01:23:06   using it to do things like sorting through email or whatever.

01:23:11   Certain classes of tasks that he, by his own admission, were less efficient on the iPad,

01:23:16   but the thing that made him want to use it was that he found them more enjoyable to do

01:23:21   on the iPad.

01:23:22   And this is not necessarily the factor that is making people try to drop their Macs like

01:23:28   they're hot, but...

01:23:30   Different expression.

01:23:33   It is like the idea that certain things and I've experienced this too. I think we all have with the iPad

01:23:38   Maybe even Marco once in a while certain things feel more comfortable to do on the iPad not even ergonomically speaking, but just like

01:23:46   Mentally like somehow that our brain goes into a different state or maybe we're sitting in a different chair

01:23:51   I mean with Mike's example

01:23:53   He was actually literally sitting in the same chair that he's in front of but he also talked about doing it in bed or whatever

01:23:57   or just I don't know like just

01:24:01   that it feels different to sort of like your body relaxes and you're just kind of like swiping things around on the screen to you

01:24:07   Know flick this message over there a scroll down over there. Look at that

01:24:10   I find that a lot of browsing stuff

01:24:12   Like if I want to read through Twitter, like if I'm behind I want to catch up on Twitter or something

01:24:16   I find it much more comfortable to catch up on Twitter on an iOS device than on my Mac

01:24:21   Even though I know that it's more efficient to do on my Mac because I can open a link in a web browser

01:24:26   Faster because my Mac is so much more powerful and bigger than when I click on the link

01:24:29   Browser window opens there it is. It's very fast. I don't have to switch apps

01:24:32   You know like I know intellectually that if you were to put a stopwatch on it or make any kind of objective measure of efficiency

01:24:40   You would find that doing that task on the Mac is better

01:24:43   But it feels better to do it on iOS device and someone the chairman said the lean back experience

01:24:49   Maybe that's part of it like that. It's more relaxing

01:24:52   Maybe it's just the context switch that we all spend so much time or at least I do sitting in front of a computer all

01:24:57   day that, you know, sitting down on a couch also in front of a computer but the computer

01:25:02   is really flat and you touch it somehow that like it's a mode switch and it feels more

01:25:06   relaxing. But I think that is that's part of this and it factors into Casey's discussion

01:25:13   of feeling like this is just you know, he what he was feeling was the other side the

01:25:16   inefficiency that like, I know how to do this in this other realm and I have to do it on

01:25:21   here and it's like a puzzle for me to solve and it's annoying and it's the worst kind

01:25:25   of inefficiency because you know you'd already be done by now if you just did it on the Mac,

01:25:29   right?

01:25:30   But the flip side of that is when you acknowledge the inefficiency and then it just feels better.

01:25:38   And I'm not entirely sure what all the different sources of that feeling are.

01:25:42   I know a few of them, but I think it's an interesting phenomenon and I think everyone

01:25:46   who's used an iOS device has felt that to some degree, even if you're just feeling it

01:25:49   on your phone.

01:25:50   I think that's a better example for Marco who doesn't really use iPads that much.

01:25:53   Some things just feel better to do on your phone.

01:25:56   I think Gruber has talked about how his preferred device for Twitter is his phone, because that

01:26:01   just feels like the natural place to do a particular activity.

01:26:03   And it's got to be less efficient.

01:26:04   Like you can put fewer things on a screen, if you want to tap a link, it's much more

01:26:09   of a pain and you got to go back and all this stuff, but it just feels better.

01:26:12   Yeah, you know, to provide a counterpoint to my earlier lamentations, when I was on

01:26:20   my way back from the armaments actually at the beginning of the year when we all congregated

01:26:26   at Marco's house, I was sitting in the back of Aaron's car with Declan trying to keep

01:26:30   him occupied and happy and whatnot. And when he wasn't actively in need of, you know, entertainment

01:26:35   or whatever, I was sitting back there with the same iPad mini and I was watching us,

01:26:43   I was using iPad multitasking and I had typically Waze in like a third of the screen on the

01:26:49   right-hand side in the little multitasking area. And then the main window was either Slack or

01:26:54   Twitter. Or occasionally, if we were in a stretch, like say the Jersey Turnpike, where we didn't

01:26:58   really need to worry about directions or anything, I would have Twitter as two-thirds of the screen

01:27:04   and Slack as a third of the screen, or maybe even half and half. And I have never taken a car trip

01:27:10   that felt easier, because I was entertained the entire way. And granted, I'm talking to Aaron

01:27:17   and stuff, and I'm helping Aaron and whatnot, or helping Declan and whatnot, but when I was just

01:27:22   sitting there kind of doing my thing, I could not have enjoyed using the iPad more in that moment,

01:27:27   because all the things that used to suck about using an iPad, just constantly double pressing

01:27:32   the home button or using the multitasking gestures to go back and forth, back and forth,

01:27:35   back and forth, back and forth, all of that went away when I could even use just two apps

01:27:41   simultaneously. So in that case, it was magnificent being able to use the iPad. And I think using

01:27:48   a laptop would have been considerably worse in the backseat of a car as you're hurtling down the road.

01:27:54   Because for, among many other reasons, a laptop doesn't have a cellular connection. Yes, I could

01:28:00   have tethered to my phone, but still, it was just, it would have been a lot more uncomfortable. And

01:28:08   So there are definitely times and places,

01:28:10   and I'm not trying to say that there's consumption

01:28:12   versus creation, I'm not trying to get into that argument.

01:28:15   It just so happened that it worked really well

01:28:19   in this case for the sorts of things

01:28:20   you would wanna do in the back of a car.

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01:30:30   - I reconfigured my email recently

01:30:32   and accidentally had God mail route misconfigured

01:30:35   for my hypercritical domain,

01:30:37   and I could not get it turned back on fast enough.

01:30:39   (laughing)

01:30:41   This is what it's like.

01:30:41   It goes, you don't even see all the crap that comes to it,

01:30:44   because I don't really use that email address,

01:30:46   but it is publicly visible,

01:30:48   and so the web scrapers have long since found it.

01:30:51   Boy, what a nightmare.

01:30:53   - So I have talked way too much this episode.

01:30:55   - People love you, man, this is great.

01:30:57   People are all mad at me and Jon

01:30:59   for being negative about Apple last week,

01:31:00   So we needed you to rescue us this week and get all the listeners back.

01:31:03   That's it.

01:31:04   Jon, you played any good games lately?

01:31:06   There's one game that I wanted to talk about, not review, because maybe we'll talk about

01:31:10   it on some other podcast where we spoil the game and everything, but I just wanted to

01:31:15   encourage people to take a look at the game, because I have played it and I enjoyed it,

01:31:20   and I don't want to spoil it for you, but I do want to explain to you why you might

01:31:24   want to play this game.

01:31:25   The game is Firewatch.

01:31:26   It's by Campo Santo.

01:31:27   I don't know how to pronounce the name of that.

01:31:30   I've never actually said it out loud until now.

01:31:31   That seems like a reasonable guess.

01:31:33   Yeah.

01:31:34   In cooperation with our friends at Panic, makers of Transmit and Coda and many other

01:31:39   fine products and other fun things.

01:31:43   And they started development in this game.

01:31:45   This is a weird thing for Panic to even be involved in at all because they are a Mac

01:31:47   and iOS software company, not a game maker, but there are a lot of gamers on the staff

01:31:52   there and this is something I wanted to try.

01:31:54   And so they helped to get this project underway and it's a bunch of game veterans actually

01:31:58   making the game so this is not a bunch of newbies making this thing.

01:32:03   It's my type of game if you heard me talk about games on other podcasts.

01:32:05   I like artsy fartsy games which is a way of saying like not games that are filled, not

01:32:13   the equivalent of blockbuster Hollywood blockbuster movies that are just like filled with space

01:32:17   marines and huge budgets and millions and millions of people buy them.

01:32:21   This is more like independent art house movies that have a limited appeal but the people

01:32:26   them really love them. I love games like that. This is one of those games and the reason I want to

01:32:32   encourage people to do this is back to something I talked about in Hypercritical and I always

01:32:36   dwell on the skill barrier to enjoyment of video games. I really enjoy video games. I like other

01:32:41   people to enjoy them but I know there's some inherent amount of experience with video games

01:32:46   that you need to have before you can enjoy one much more so than other media like movies where

01:32:52   maybe you need to have some knowledge of like the history of film but in general a really good movie

01:32:56   can be enjoyed by anybody who sort of lives in the same society as you at the very least.

01:33:01   But video games, really there rarely are a lot of skills that need to be acquired before

01:33:06   you don't have to think about those skills and can instead enjoy the game for what it

01:33:10   is.

01:33:11   So Firewatch is one of those games that requires very little of you in terms of knowledge of

01:33:17   how video games work, skill with a controller, whatever.

01:33:20   There's not a lot of complicated mechanics, there's not a lot of rules or systems, it

01:33:25   Doesn't demand lightning fast reflexes or anything like that.

01:33:28   It does require you to know how to orient yourself in 3D space and it's sort of a first

01:33:33   person type thing, but it is very slow and you won't be, for the most part, rushed.

01:33:37   There is some limited amount of being able to use either a controller or a mouse and

01:33:41   a keyboard required of you.

01:33:43   Like it's not, you know, it's a game, you do have to play it, but it is very gentle.

01:33:48   And I think it's an interesting game that gives me an opportunity to recommend it to

01:33:54   to people who I wouldn't recommend, say, Destiny or some other game that I like that I just

01:33:58   know is not going to be appealing to people who aren't into video games because it's just

01:34:01   so complicated and so in-depth.

01:34:04   So in my ongoing effort to get more people to like video games, I would encourage everybody

01:34:08   who either has a PlayStation 4 or a Mac or a PC to check out this game.

01:34:14   It does require a somewhat substantial Mac or PC.

01:34:18   I forget what the actual requirements are, but some people have said on Twitter that

01:34:24   It helps if you have a discrete GPU on the Mac.

01:34:26   I don't know if that's a hard and fast requirement.

01:34:27   I played it on the Playstation 4.

01:34:30   It's nice to have a Playstation 4 but you're like, "Look, it runs on the Playstation 4."

01:34:33   I have one of those.

01:34:34   I'm fine.

01:34:36   I think it runs better on a beefy gaming PC or a Mac with a big video card, but from all

01:34:42   the people responding on Twitter, like you learn, nobody has a Mac with a good video

01:34:46   card anymore.

01:34:47   They all have the integrated graphics.

01:34:48   People don't even have the discrete graphics in their laptops.

01:34:51   Who gets discrete graphics?

01:34:52   But anyway, check your requirements before you buy.

01:34:56   It's available on Steam.

01:34:57   They do have a better refund policy than the app store, so you might be in luck there.

01:35:03   It's fairly inexpensive.

01:35:04   It's like 20 bucks or something.

01:35:06   It's not a long game, which you might think, "Oh, I'm not getting value for my money."

01:35:09   But I think that is a good aspect of a game like this.

01:35:12   The reason I'm recommending it is you don't have to sink like 100 hours into this thing.

01:35:17   You can be finished with the game in between three and four hours.

01:35:21   first run through the game was like three and a half hours. You could take much longer

01:35:24   if you go slower or whatever, but the point is you're not investing your whole life in

01:35:27   this game. It's more like watching a really long movie or maybe two really long movies.

01:35:31   So think of the length as a benefit to people, I think of it like, as a benefit to people

01:35:37   who don't play games that much because you don't want to send them to the game that,

01:35:40   you know, really after the first 25 hours it really starts to get interesting. That's

01:35:43   not, that's a nonstarter for people. I haven't said anything about what the game is about.

01:35:49   It's called Firewatch.

01:35:51   The idea is that it's like a big house in the middle of the woods that you look around

01:35:54   in to spot fires in the woods and report them if you're like a forest ranger.

01:36:00   That doesn't really tell you anything about the game, so what do I do?

01:36:01   Do I just go to this place and look out the window?

01:36:03   It is a narrative-type game where mostly you're in it for the characters and the stories.

01:36:10   Again, it is not based on mechanics.

01:36:11   You're not going to be traversing a tech tree or finding resources or leveling up your

01:36:19   character or doing any of the other things you typically do in a more traditional game.

01:36:22   This is much more of a narrative-driven game.

01:36:26   All these things that I've said about the game may make people who are into games, the

01:36:31   so-called hardcore gamers, who love games like Starcraft and Destiny and, you know,

01:36:36   Battlefront and all these other things, like people who love those types of games, you

01:36:39   know, gamey games, you know, the quote-unquote self-described gamers, may think this is not

01:36:43   the game for them.

01:36:44   And maybe it isn't, because I like this kind of games, I like artsy-fartsy games, but if

01:36:47   demand the challenge of a Bloodborne or something, you are not going to find it here.

01:36:50   So I, but I feel like gamers already know about this game.

01:36:53   They know all the review sites, they've read reviews of it, they know if this is the type

01:36:56   of game that they're going to like.

01:36:57   I'm mostly talking to the people who would think "video games, that's not for me, they're

01:37:00   too complicated, consider giving this a try."

01:37:03   It could be, like I said, people on Twitter have been asking, I always ask them "have

01:37:07   you played a first person game before?

01:37:08   Do you have any sort of like medium level competence of like, oh I know which direction

01:37:13   I'm pointed in in a 3D world and I can walk around and look at things?"

01:37:17   That's really all that's required of you and some minor button pressing.

01:37:21   If you pass that hurdle, give it a try.

01:37:24   And Marco and Casey should definitely play it because it's short and they never play

01:37:27   any games and they can both play it just fine.

01:37:30   Whether they'll enjoy it or not, who knows, because I don't think either one of them likes

01:37:32   artsy fartsy movies as far as that goes.

01:37:35   But for everyone else, check it out.

01:37:37   It's really cool.

01:37:38   At minimum, the game looks beautiful.

01:37:40   Even if you just launch it and look at the title screen and go, "Damn, those guys are

01:37:43   good at what they do."

01:37:44   Now, serious question, can we pull Merlin on this and do it in half and half, or do

01:37:48   you really need to dedicate like three or four hours to it?

01:37:51   I don't think you need to do it in one sitting.

01:37:52   I did it in one sitting accidentally.

01:37:54   Like I was saving this for the weekend, because I had the game for a little while, it's been

01:37:58   out for a little while, and I was like, "Oh, I don't want to rush it on a work night or

01:38:02   be up late or whatever.

01:38:03   I'll just save it for the weekend."

01:38:04   But last night, my wife wanted to do something else instead of watch a TV show with me.

01:38:08   She wanted to watch one of the other shows that she watches, and I'm like, "Oh, I'll

01:38:10   find something to do myself."

01:38:11   I said, you know, I've got firewatch and people people are talking about in the internet

01:38:15   Maybe I should just I don't know I just started maybe I'll just launch it

01:38:18   See what it's like or whatever and then I started playing in of course

01:38:21   I couldn't stop and you know, I just ran through the whole game one sitting you do not need to play this entire game

01:38:26   one sitting but I would encourage you to play the game in a small number of sittings don't play for five minutes and then

01:38:31   Leave the next day in five minutes leave for the next day

01:38:33   Like because it is a narrative and because it is all about mood and character

01:38:36   You need to have some amount of through line like you wouldn't watch

01:38:40   You know

01:38:41   Say you're watching like a four-hour movie. You wouldn't watch it in five-minute increments

01:38:45   But if you want to do it in two sittings, that's probably okay

01:38:47   Actually, that's really not okay because I have different rules for movies

01:38:49   But this game I'm gonna say if you want to do it in multiple settings that fine if you do it all in one

01:38:54   It's great

01:38:55   and I think it's even more powerful that way but asking someone to sit in front of their TV for three to four hours is

01:39:00   Asking probably a bit too much of someone who's not into games. No fair enough. I'd like to try it

01:39:06   I wanted to try it even before you were talking about it,

01:39:09   but we'll see when I have the time.

01:39:10   Knowing me, it'll be, I don't know,

01:39:12   a year and a half from now, something like that.

01:39:14   - Yeah, as long as you don't read any spoilers for it,

01:39:16   just, you'll be fine.

01:39:18   That's also part of the reason I was afraid

01:39:19   I was gonna get spoiled on like,

01:39:21   I better get going on this sooner rather than later.

01:39:24   - Yeah, yeah, hopefully I'll find the time to try it soon.

01:39:28   All right.

01:39:29   - All right, thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week,

01:39:31   Squarespace, Igloo, and MailRoute,

01:39:33   and we will see you next week.

01:39:35   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:39:42   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:39:47   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:39:52   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:39:58   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:40:03   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:40:12   So that's Kasey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, Auntie Marco Arment, S-I-R-A-C, U-S-A-C-Racusa

01:40:24   It's accidental (it's accidental)

01:40:27   They didn't mean to, accidental (it's accidental)

01:40:32   ♪ I've got no tech podcast so long ♪

01:40:36   - So here's a question.

01:40:38   So I am interested in playing Firewatch.

01:40:41   I have this iMac, I also have a PS4.

01:40:45   I generally prefer using a computer for first person games,

01:40:50   but I don't want to install Steam.

01:40:52   - Why not?

01:40:53   Steam is fine, Steam is least of your concern.

01:40:55   Steam is nice actually.

01:40:56   I mean, this is a lot of Mac users' first experience

01:40:59   with Steam and it looks atrocious and it's filled with like,

01:41:01   I always wonder how companies don't get sued for this.

01:41:03   Like you remember the old Gumball window widgets,

01:41:05   the red, yellow, and green,

01:41:07   you know, when they used to look like,

01:41:08   they used to look like glowy spheres.

01:41:09   Well, so Steam is entirely,

01:41:11   Steam is not a native Mac application.

01:41:12   I don't know what it's made out of,

01:41:13   but they basically took Steam and dressed it up

01:41:16   in the skin of a Mac application

01:41:18   and, you know, with their own graphics.

01:41:20   So they basically copied and pasted the old glowy balls

01:41:23   from like 10.6 or whatever

01:41:25   and put them in the corner of their windows

01:41:27   and then just left them there.

01:41:28   And as the OS has evolved, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10,

01:41:31   the little glowy balls are still up there

01:41:33   and you realize that really isn't,

01:41:35   like nothing on the screen is in native control, is it?

01:41:37   And it's like, nope, there it is,

01:41:39   a wolf in sheep's clothing.

01:41:42   So it doesn't, it looks weird,

01:41:43   it doesn't look anything like a Mac app or whatever,

01:41:45   but here's what I like about Steam.

01:41:46   - It also doesn't work

01:41:47   and it installs all the startup items everywhere.

01:41:49   It's like-- - No, no, no, no,

01:41:50   startup, well yeah, it does want to run on launch,

01:41:53   but you can turn that off.

01:41:54   - Yeah, it constantly runs, it puts itself everywhere

01:41:57   and it's a terrible app and it's like, ugh.

01:42:00   Well here's what's good about Steam.

01:42:02   It lets you download games and play them.

01:42:03   Which sounds like, so what?

01:42:05   So what?

01:42:06   But in the days before Steam,

01:42:07   when you had to download some kind of installer

01:42:09   to your Windows PC and get the installer to run

01:42:12   on the same PC that other games are also installed on

01:42:15   and they would fight each other

01:42:16   and you'd have to fight over graphics card settings,

01:42:19   there's a reason Steam is so popular.

01:42:20   Because it took the terrible world of gaming on the PC,

01:42:23   not necessarily the Mac,

01:42:24   because there was very little gaming there at all,

01:42:26   gaming on the PC and made it way less terrible.

01:42:29   Is it still not as good as it should be?

01:42:32   Maybe, but I love Steam and I even love Steam on the Mac,

01:42:34   even though it has a weird update

01:42:36   or even though it wants to launch on login items,

01:42:38   like it does silly things, you can stop it from doing them,

01:42:41   it doesn't come with malware, it has better,

01:42:43   for the most part, it has better, you know,

01:42:46   and refund policy and sales and trials

01:42:49   and all the other things that you can do

01:42:51   and early access and stuff, better than the App Store.

01:42:54   Not that that's a high bar,

01:42:54   but better than the App Store for buying games,

01:42:57   probably better than the App Store for selling games as well.

01:43:00   And Cable was tweeting today how exciting it was

01:43:02   that on the day they launched Firewatch and Steam,

01:43:05   they had already issued two bug fix updates.

01:43:07   Because on Steam once your game is accepted

01:43:10   to the Steam store, you do updates

01:43:13   without any interference at all.

01:43:14   You just post them and they go up immediately.

01:43:17   - Yeah, I wouldn't mind Apple taking some of their

01:43:19   inspiration for the App Store from Steam.

01:43:22   If they wanna know where things should be improved,

01:43:24   don't look at the App Store apps are garbage,

01:43:26   but don't look at the Steam app

01:43:27   because the Steam app kind of, to me,

01:43:29   the Steam app feels like, hmm, how do I put this gently?

01:43:32   It feels like not only a Windows app

01:43:35   that is running on your Mac,

01:43:36   not only that, because bad enough,

01:43:38   but it also feels like it is a Windows web app

01:43:42   designed to run in Internet Explorer 3.0,

01:43:46   which they have embedded in the app,

01:43:49   and is running in virtual PC emulation

01:43:53   through Rosetta emulation on your Mac.

01:43:55   That's how it feels.

01:43:56   - I think it's better than the Mac App Store app.

01:43:58   Don't you think it's better than the Mac App Store app?

01:44:00   Just in terms of the sheer number of features,

01:44:02   the ways you can view your data.

01:44:03   - It is not as good as the iOS App Store app,

01:44:06   which again is not saying much,

01:44:07   but it is way better than the Mac App Store app

01:44:09   because the Mac App Store app actually works worse

01:44:13   than Steam, and that is saying a lot.

01:44:15   'Cause the Steam app just does not work

01:44:16   doing so many stupid little things.

01:44:18   But wow, the Mac App Store app is even worse.

01:44:21   - But anyway, I would heartily endorse Steam

01:44:23   as a way for Mac users to get and play games,

01:44:26   even though the place that you buy stuff through

01:44:29   is a little bit weird and looks strange.

01:44:32   Just because you will be successful.

01:44:35   You will be able to purchase a game.

01:44:37   It will download it for you.

01:44:38   When you want to launch it, you go to Steam

01:44:40   and you can double click it

01:44:41   and you'll be able to play the game.

01:44:43   - And you will never be able to get rid of Steam again.

01:44:45   - You can uninstall it, fine.

01:44:46   And that's the best thing about Steam.

01:44:48   It's like, you know, all the great things

01:44:50   about the App Store before the App Store.

01:44:52   Say you're done playing a game

01:44:53   and you want to free up some hard drive space, uninstall it.

01:44:55   Wait, is the game gone?

01:44:56   Did I lose everything?

01:44:57   Well behaved modern Steam games,

01:44:59   save all your save stuff and stayed in the cloud

01:45:02   and everything so you can uninstall the game

01:45:04   to free up disk space.

01:45:05   Know that you can reinstall the game later

01:45:07   and get all your stuff back.

01:45:08   Again, well behaved Steam games.

01:45:10   I have some older Steam games that don't do that

01:45:11   and it really annoys me,

01:45:13   but the good ones do everything right.

01:45:15   (beep)