47: Better Pixels


00:00:00   It's not as exciting as it sounds because you made me stop before I explained, but now

00:00:03   I'll explain and you'll see that it's not exciting.

00:00:07   So I've been looking at getting a different video card for my Mac to sort of tide me over

00:00:11   and looking into getting an SSD and doing all sorts of other things since it doesn't

00:00:15   look like I'm getting a Mac Pro anytime soon.

00:00:18   And a lot of people have been emailing me with suggestions of things to get and one

00:00:21   person emailed me with an offer of an old video card they had out of their 2008 Mac

00:00:26   Pro.

00:00:27   I don't remember if it was through the feedback form so I don't know if this person wants

00:00:29   me to give out his name, so I won't, but someone said, "Hey, I've got a Radeon 4870 sitting

00:00:35   in my closet that I'm not using.

00:00:37   Do you want it?"

00:00:38   And I said, "Sure."

00:00:40   And so they sent it along, and it just arrived today.

00:00:41   I haven't installed it yet, but that was a very nice thing to do, and it is, instead

00:00:46   of being a seven-year-old video card, it's like a six- or five-year-old video card, but

00:00:51   it's twice as fast as the one I have in there now, and it's an Apple-supplied card, so it's

00:00:56   not like a weird flash PC card or anything like that.

00:00:59   So I think it should work, and if it works, I just doubled my video card speed.

00:01:04   Wow.

00:01:05   Told you it's not very exciting, but, you know.

00:01:08   I also have a boring update to mine, which nobody will care about.

00:01:11   Basically, I changed my order.

00:01:13   I previously said on the show that I ordered the 8-core D700 because what the hell, it's

00:01:17   not, you know, the 8-core is a big jump, but the D700, once you're at that level, relatively

00:01:22   speaking, really isn't.

00:01:23   I stepped back to the 6-core and D500 because after evaluating what was going on and the

00:01:28   actual press I realized, you know, I don't really want to have spent $2,100 total extra

00:01:34   just for those two upgrades and that my actual usage of the thing, I'm probably not going

00:01:39   to see that much of the benefit going from the 6-core to the 8-core to be worth so much

00:01:44   more money. If it was only a few hundred dollars I would have gone for it, but for $1,500 just

00:01:48   for that and for $600 for the D700, which I'll probably never use to its full capacity,

00:01:54   I realized I'd be happier having spent a lot less on the computer, and then if I want to

00:02:00   upgrade it in two or three years instead of five, I'll feel less bad about selling a two

00:02:05   or three old one that was only just under $5,000 instead of one that was just over $7,000.

00:02:11   So that's a pretty big price difference.

00:02:12   I didn't think it was worth the other ones for me.

00:02:15   When the Retina displays come out and you ditch this trash can for a newer trash can,

00:02:19   It would have been better if you had the 700 in there, so it would be more attractive to

00:02:24   me to buy your old one off you.

00:02:26   Yeah, but, so I wrote a big blog post about an hour ago, mostly so we wouldn't have to

00:02:32   go into this in too much depth on the show.

00:02:34   I love you.

00:02:35   Mostly to save Casey, I know.

00:02:36   This is entirely a favor to Casey.

00:02:38   I wrote this up in a blog post instead.

00:02:40   Basically the gist of it is I think that the way they're going to do Retina is not, you

00:02:46   two years off doing 5120 by 2880,

00:02:50   I think what they're actually going to do is using 4K

00:02:53   and just using software scaling,

00:02:54   as we actually talked about like two months ago.

00:02:57   I think that's what they're gonna do

00:02:58   and I think that's probably coming up soon.

00:03:01   Like that could easily happen this year.

00:03:03   I mean, they could release the display today

00:03:04   if they wanted to.

00:03:06   Other manufacturers are releasing very similar displays

00:03:08   at very good price points.

00:03:09   So I think that's how they're gonna do Retina

00:03:12   and therefore I think it will be compatible

00:03:13   with the current Mac Pro.

00:03:15   >> All right, so follow-up time? >> Let's do it. We need a sound effect for

00:03:20   that. The prompt has a sound effect, and I kind of wish—I don't know if we could

00:03:24   pull it off. They could pull it off, because those guys are cool, but I don't know if

00:03:27   we can. >> Follow-up has no sound effect.

00:03:31   >> That is the sound effect. All right, get it.

00:03:33   >> Oh, yeah, so the top item, a couple weeks ago, maybe—I don't remember when, maybe

00:03:38   it was even last week—we talked about—I talked about one of my pet peeves about software

00:03:44   development and that's having a group of people make a product and then having all those people

00:03:49   leave and just having like a skeleton crew there to deal with the product.

00:03:53   And we were talking about this in the context of Apple's iLife apps and their iWork apps

00:03:57   and all the other apps that have seemed sort of languish and as years have gone by and

00:04:01   we're speculating maybe it's because most of the people who are on that product were

00:04:05   taken off to go someplace else.

00:04:06   And I said, "You got to leave the development team on a product.

00:04:10   Once you make a product, you can't take those people off."

00:04:13   And one person wrote in to disagree with me that it wasn't a good idea to make people

00:04:18   get stuck on a product like that because what if they want to go off and do something else,

00:04:22   they shouldn't have to stay with the product they created, and so on and so forth.

00:04:24   And I tried to clarify this in the program, but apparently it wasn't clear enough, so

00:04:27   I just want to say it again.

00:04:29   It's not that the people who make the product have to stay with the product, it's that the

00:04:32   company has to dedicate manpower to that product as long as it exists.

00:04:38   So you can't-- like, a similar level of effort and manpower

00:04:41   has to be applied to a product.

00:04:43   You're like, well, what are all those people doing?

00:04:45   I don't want to have a full-sized team on a product

00:04:47   that's just going through minor revisions year after year.

00:04:50   As any single developer knows, even just keeping up

00:04:53   with OS revisions is almost as big a job

00:04:55   as writing the app in the first place.

00:04:57   In some ways, it's worse.

00:04:58   In some ways, it's easier.

00:04:59   But presumably, you're also going to improve the product

00:05:02   as time goes on.

00:05:02   And if you don't put a team similar in size and capability

00:05:06   to the team that made the product on the product,

00:05:08   you know, permanently, more or less,

00:05:10   it will slowly get worse in relation to the competition

00:05:14   and in relation to other applications.

00:05:16   And that seems to be what's happening

00:05:17   with a lot of Apple's applications.

00:05:18   So just to clarify, it's not saying that

00:05:20   if you are a developer and you make an image editing app,

00:05:22   you are doomed forever in that company

00:05:24   to work on an image editing app forever.

00:05:26   You are not, but you have to leave a team behind,

00:05:29   more or less, and not a tiny little maintenance team

00:05:32   or a team of like B and C players

00:05:34   or any other way where you think you're going to save money or time, you're doing your company

00:05:38   and your customers a disservice.

00:05:40   That's hard.

00:05:41   And it's also interesting with consulting because in my experience, what happens is

00:05:47   a company will either not have the manpower or perhaps the expertise to do some sort of

00:05:55   project.

00:05:56   And so in my day job, they'll call in some of our people.

00:06:02   We don't do staff aug despite the way I just described it.

00:06:04   What we really do is that we get a team of our own people together and we'll work on

00:06:10   this project for usually a few months.

00:06:12   And then at the end of that project, typically what happens is we'll have a very small

00:06:16   crew that stays behind, figuratively speaking, in order to do some final maintenance and

00:06:23   warranty work.

00:06:24   But then after that, we usually punt it back to the client and their internal team in order

00:06:28   to maintain.

00:06:29   And sometimes it goes really well when clients have really good internal teams and kind of

00:06:33   know what's up.

00:06:34   But sometimes that does not go well at all.

00:06:37   And we hear later on through the grapevine that the client doesn't have the appropriate

00:06:41   expertise even when they think they do.

00:06:45   And that creates some real problems.

00:06:46   But there's not much we can do about that because it sounds extremely self-serving.

00:06:51   And it is kind of self-serving for us to say, "Oh, well, why don't you keep us on retainer

00:06:55   forever?"

00:06:57   And we'll be around just in case.

00:07:00   It's just not the way it works.

00:07:01   And especially when you work for a fairly progressive firm like I do.

00:07:04   Well, granted we do the Microsoft Stack, which some of you probably don't think is progressive,

00:07:08   but within our Microsoft world, we're very progressive.

00:07:12   And in a lot of our code, a novice or even intermediate level programmer would probably

00:07:17   have a hard time digesting.

00:07:20   And doubly so if it's a programmer that's never seen the code until the time in which

00:07:25   which we throw it over the wall and walk away.

00:07:28   That happens even inside a single company. Forget about outside consultants or anything.

00:07:32   Very often, and maybe this even happens at Apple, I don't know, but you'll have a team

00:07:36   that will make a product, and it's not like the team that made the product is necessarily

00:07:39   more experienced or better programmers or anything than any other people, but they understand

00:07:44   the product. They understand why it was designed the way it was designed. They understand the

00:07:47   design itself. And if those people go off without transitioning, it's like, "Oh, you

00:07:52   work on the product and then it goes into whatever maintenance mode or into general

00:07:57   purpose release where anyone in the company is allowed to address bugs in it or whatever.

00:08:02   If it's sort of like, "Okay, now any developer in the company can fix a bug," those developers

00:08:08   likely don't understand the design of the application, how it puts together, what the

00:08:11   invariants are supposed to be.

00:08:12   And you're like, "Well, it should be documented and there should be design documents and there

00:08:16   should be good comments and it should be..."

00:08:17   Yeah, all should, should, should.

00:08:18   But the reality is, programmers are not interchangeable parts.

00:08:22   And there's a core team of people who understand the product.

00:08:24   And unless you transition them away from the product,

00:08:27   assuming they want to go away from it, by socializing the new developers,

00:08:30   about bringing the new guy on board, teaching him how everything works,

00:08:33   have that person improve the documentation.

00:08:35   So you can't just throw it out into the wild.

00:08:37   Because then you get people doing things in the code

00:08:39   where it looks perfectly fine, and it's simple enough,

00:08:41   and they understand it, and it works.

00:08:43   But they've violated some unspoken invariant

00:08:45   that everybody who was on the original team understands has to be true.

00:08:48   but there were no assertions for it,

00:08:50   or there was no design documents specifying,

00:08:51   or maybe there was and they didn't see it.

00:08:53   And the accumulation of those just eats away

00:08:56   at the quality of the code,

00:08:57   makes it more difficult to change down the line.

00:09:00   There's no such thing as like,

00:09:02   except for for like a government software,

00:09:04   defense department software,

00:09:05   there's no such thing as maintenance mode.

00:09:06   If you have a product and you're selling it to customers,

00:09:08   you need developers who understand it

00:09:09   actively working on it.

00:09:10   Another follow-up item, we were talking about

00:09:13   where computers are going in the future

00:09:16   in the last show, I think,

00:09:17   And I was talking about unification of the memory

00:09:21   and storage hierarchies.

00:09:24   So the hierarchy would still be there,

00:09:25   but from a software perspective, everything

00:09:27   is addressable as an address in memory,

00:09:29   even if it's backed by flash or regular RAM or caches on a chip

00:09:35   or registers, the whole hierarchy,

00:09:37   but addressable in the same way, sort of homogeneous view

00:09:40   of heterogeneous hardware.

00:09:43   And a lot of people were in with examples

00:09:44   of systems that do that.

00:09:47   Last time I brought this up, a lot of people wrote in

00:09:48   talking about memory mapping files and stuff like that.

00:09:51   And of course, there are many, many examples

00:09:53   on the computers that we're all sitting in front of

00:09:54   right now and even on our iPods

00:09:56   or whatever you're listening to those on,

00:09:58   of miniature versions of those.

00:09:59   Memory mapping files is the most common example

00:10:02   where you, instead of doing IO on a file,

00:10:04   you just pretend, hey, now the entire contents of that file

00:10:06   is mapped into memory.

00:10:07   It's not really, but that's how you address it.

00:10:09   And when you address those pieces of memory,

00:10:11   it just says, okay, well,

00:10:11   I don't actually have that information.

00:10:13   It's still on disk, so I'm gonna go get it from disk,

00:10:14   pull it in for you, and then make it look like

00:10:16   it was in that memory all along.

00:10:18   And virtual memory works in a similar manner

00:10:21   with memory mapping.

00:10:23   And we talked about the PlayStation and the game

00:10:26   consoles, where they don't have separate pools of RAM and VRAM.

00:10:29   And of course, there's the good version

00:10:30   of that, where it's one big giant pool of fast RAM.

00:10:32   And there's the crappy version of that,

00:10:34   which PCs used to do in the bad old days,

00:10:36   where they didn't want to give you dedicated VRAM.

00:10:38   They would use your main memory as video RAM.

00:10:39   And it was really bad performance,

00:10:41   because video memory could be tuned to video tasks better.

00:10:44   And on the older computers, there used to be regions of memory that corresponded to

00:10:49   IO interfaces, regions of memory that corresponded to the screen.

00:10:52   So when you wrote to that region of memory, you were really writing to video memory.

00:10:55   They would show up on the screen directly and all sorts of other things.

00:10:58   The big one that most people wrote about was the AS400, which I had completely forgotten about.

00:11:04   And I'm sure most people don't work on it and have completely forgotten about it.

00:11:07   In fact, they renamed AS400 to I5 or System I or some-- I don't know.

00:11:12   I don't know, IBM's always changing their name stuff.

00:11:14   I haven't kept up with this stuff.

00:11:15   But anyway, this is a very old system based on an even older system from the

00:11:19   sixties that does what they call a single level store, which is exactly what I was

00:11:22   talking about.

00:11:23   Uh, just addressing everything as if it was a memory address, even when it's not,

00:11:29   uh, we should put these links in the show if people want to read about it.

00:11:32   But a lot of the technology that you've heard this before of like, uh, in other

00:11:36   realms where things appear on supercars and, or Mercedes or whatever, like

00:11:40   Candy Lock breaks in airbags and gradually trickle their way down until your Ford Festiva

00:11:43   has all those features a decade later.

00:11:46   The trickle down happens similarly in computers.

00:11:48   We're going from mainframes and supercomputers down to your phone.

00:11:53   But it happens unevenly and it seems like sometimes a little bit slower.

00:11:56   And there are still things that mainframes or whatever you would call mainframes today

00:11:59   or whatever, still things those systems can do that our systems can't do and we're

00:12:05   still waiting for them to trickle down.

00:12:06   like being able to hot-swap CPUs and hardware redundancy and sort of self-healing type features.

00:12:13   And it's like, "Well, you don't need that on my PC," or, "It's only for things that have to run

00:12:17   24/7." There's lots of excuses for why these things haven't trickled down, and they make sense.

00:12:20   But I would think that, inevitably, anything that's a good idea up there is eventually going

00:12:25   to find its way down. So a single-level store, I think, is a reasonably good idea and will

00:12:29   eventually find its way down into your wristwatch, pinky ring, contact lens computer in the decades

00:12:36   needs to come. And the other features like hardware redundancy and the ability to heal

00:12:42   and stuff, I think that's a whole other topic for another day that I'll maybe throw in there.

00:12:45   But I have some other interesting ideas about the future of computing, but I don't think

00:12:49   the follow-up is the place for them.

00:12:51   If it ends up being pinky rings, I think I'm out.

00:12:54   It'll be so old by then, it probably won't be safe for us to put on pinky rings. Our

00:13:00   fingers will swell and they'll get stuck on. We'll have to go to the ER to get them cut

00:13:04   off.

00:13:05   Oh goodness. Alright, so do we want to talk about PlayStation 4s now?

00:13:08   Yeah, that's one little item I threw in. I'm trying not to pay too much attention to CES.

00:13:12   I mean, CES is just so gross. Like, I've never been interested in it.

00:13:16   It's disappointing to me, even when I had an interest, like, I would like to see what the new TVs coming out are,

00:13:22   but that is such... that's the worst possible venue. I would like to know about new TVs.

00:13:25   I've, you know, redecided the sales, but the spectacle of CES adds nothing to that.

00:13:30   In fact, it subtracts from it. I wish all the companies making announcements that I'm interested in at CES

00:13:34   made those same announcements with a YouTube video or a press

00:13:37   release.

00:13:39   Anything other than a staged presentation at CES.

00:13:41   It seems like CES represents the worst of the hardware

00:13:45   industry.

00:13:46   It's so much tone deafness, sexism, weird products.

00:13:53   It's not the worst of the hardware industry.

00:13:55   It's the worst of humanity.

00:13:57   Well, and the products that are announced there--

00:14:02   and people are now doing the best of CES

00:14:04   and stuff like that, the products that are announced there

00:14:06   so rarely make it into production,

00:14:09   or when they do make it into production,

00:14:11   they have a lot of problems that the CES version

00:14:14   glossed over or didn't have, or a lot of limitations,

00:14:17   or something like that.

00:14:18   It's basically like, it's a way for the industry

00:14:22   to celebrate itself under the guise of announcing

00:14:25   things to the world and showing off what's new,

00:14:27   but in reality, most of the things shown off

00:14:28   there either aren't interesting, or are interesting,

00:14:31   but are also fantasies that will never hit the market.

00:14:34   It seems like the press has a real hard time covering CES.

00:14:37   And the problem with CES seems to be that no one, including the people presenting and

00:14:42   the people covering it, can differentiate, seems to be able to differentiate between

00:14:46   the stuff that is obviously ridiculous crap and that in the light of day when you wake

00:14:50   up when it's all over you go, "Why the hell were we ever paying attention to that?"

00:14:53   And things that are interesting news, because it all starts to look the same in this big

00:14:58   funhouse atmosphere.

00:15:00   Whereas if you had just looked at those things individually, there's no way you would cover

00:15:03   that.

00:15:04   If someone put out a press release on their site and put up this information about some

00:15:06   crazy thing that no one's ever going to use, you would skip it.

00:15:10   But because it's at CES, everything sort of gets equal treatment.

00:15:12   So I don't know.

00:15:15   Like I'm interested in what Valve is saying there.

00:15:17   I'm interested in the new television technology.

00:15:19   I'm interested in some of the new, you know, the Steam Box stuff and the camera tech and

00:15:24   stuff.

00:15:25   But all that stuff doesn't need that surrounding dazzle and ridiculousness.

00:15:30   If you just have interesting products to announce them, I don't know.

00:15:34   Anyway, this isn't really CES related.

00:15:36   I don't know why it went off on that tangent, but maybe they did announce it in CES.

00:15:40   I don't know.

00:15:41   There's a story that Sony announced how many PlayStation 4s they sold, and they said it's

00:15:46   4.2 million.

00:15:49   And Microsoft announced about a week ago that they had sold 3 million Xbox One consoles.

00:15:53   So we talked when the PlayStation 4 launched, they sold a million in 24 hours, and the Xbox

00:15:58   Similar numbers from like oh, that's fine as the early adopters. Let's see if they can sustain that it looks like they're both consoles

00:16:03   They're doing pretty well

00:16:05   More or less neck-and-neck PlayStation 4 may be a little bit ahead

00:16:08   But I think I think the PlayStation 4 is still supply constrained and it seems like from pictures

00:16:13   I see of people in Twitter that if you wanted an Xbox one you could go into a store and see a big stack of

00:16:17   Green boxes and pick one. I'm not sure if that's entirely true, but I know from experience

00:16:21   That you cannot just stroll into a store and pick up a ps4 at this point because I've looked online

00:16:27   I looked at it not hard, but you know I'm just curious like if I'm in a store that sells

00:16:30   but I'll just look and see if they have any and they don't and

00:16:32   Occasionally, I'll look online and see oh do any of these things have it available for order and they don't

00:16:36   So I think it's still harder to get a PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 is selling more

00:16:41   So maybe they're farther ahead than we think but either way both of them doing very very well

00:16:45   I would say that this new console generation is off to a strong start

00:16:47   Are there any games that people actually want yet?

00:16:50   That's the thing like I don't think there's there's some good games coming out like I mean Sony was showing us

00:16:55   Microsoft showing off Titanfall, and Sony has a couple of good titles in the works,

00:16:59   but there's no big system seller games.

00:17:02   The typical franchise games that are on all the platforms that you could also play on

00:17:05   a PC, but who cares?

00:17:06   It's not like either one of these platforms is being propelled by some must-have exclusive

00:17:10   game like Halo or something.

00:17:12   People just want new consoles.

00:17:14   Now I wonder, so in previous launches there's usually been maybe one system out of the bunch

00:17:20   that didn't have any must-have games on launch.

00:17:23   Has there ever been a generation before this where none of them had any must-have games

00:17:27   on launch?

00:17:28   Oh yeah, sure.

00:17:29   I mean, well, like, a lot of times they would launch with a couple of, like, I mean, let's

00:17:35   think of the GameCube did not have must-have games at launch.

00:17:38   Like, the Xbox One, you say, "Oh, it had a must-have game, it had Halo."

00:17:42   Well, people didn't know if Halo was going to be any good.

00:17:44   It was the first Halo game.

00:17:45   Like, I don't think that was making people go out and buy an original Xbox, because it

00:17:50   it was kind of an unknown quantity. Maybe a few Mac users who had followed Bungie thought

00:17:54   it was awesome, but everyone else was like, "Halo? What? I don't know about that." I mean,

00:17:58   I don't remember if the PS2 had, I guess, had a Ridge Racer or something. But consoles

00:18:02   settle in. And the reason I thought these two new consoles would do well is, as I said

00:18:07   I think on a previous show, that for many people of the age to be having enough of disposable

00:18:13   income to buy their own consoles or to get their parents to buy them, this is their first

00:18:16   new console generation. Their whole life they've been using, like their PlayStation 3s and

00:18:21   Xbox 360s and maybe the previous generation from their older siblings or whatever, this

00:18:25   is the first console generation they're living through after seven or eight long years of

00:18:29   using all the past tech. So I think the market was ripe for tons and tons of people who want

00:18:35   a shiny new thing, people who aren't grizzled veterans of many console generations. And

00:18:41   it seems like that was the case.

00:18:42   I have to imagine this must be building a lifelong disappointment in game systems for

00:18:47   some of these people, though. If the very first awesome thing they're looking forward

00:18:51   to getting this game system, the very first new game system comes out for some eight-year-old,

00:18:56   and they get it, and there's only four games for it, and they're all kind of mediocre,

00:19:02   is that a great experience?

00:19:04   That's part of the experience. Having been through many console generations, part of

00:19:08   the experience is getting super excited about the console and then even if you're lucky,

00:19:12   even if you get it and you're like, "I'm getting a Nintendo 64 and it's going to have

00:19:14   Mario 64, it's going to blow my brains out." And it totally does. It's an amazing game.

00:19:19   Everybody loves it. And then you play it and you're like, "Okay, what else can I get?"

00:19:23   It's like, "And pilot wings." It's like nothing. And then you're like, "Well, I guess..."

00:19:29   Well, there was Wave Race. That wasn't bad.

00:19:31   Oh, Wave Race is great.

00:19:33   But the launch games are usually not the best games. And even if there's one that's really

00:19:37   great. Maybe if you're lucky you get one that's really great. Consoles have a life cycle,

00:19:42   and for kids who don't know this, they're going to learn the hard lesson. Also, the

00:19:45   hard lesson of the software in the modern age, the software that comes at launch day

00:19:48   sucks and needs to be patched a million times and doesn't have half the features you want

00:19:51   and is buggy as hell. And just wait. There's a life cycle. This is the beginning part.

00:19:56   It has good parts. Exciting to get it on launch day. Exciting to be the first one to have

00:19:59   it. And bad because the games are just ports or multi-platform titles and the few exclusives

00:20:04   you play through or aren't interested in and then you just wait. It's all part of the process.

00:20:09   I think it's making a new generation of gamers.

00:20:13   And now we even have a lot of hardware problems, too. Have you been following Matthew Panzareno's

00:20:17   saga of trying to get an Xbox One?

00:20:20   Yes!

00:20:21   He's gotten five of them broken so far.

00:20:23   You would think of all the companies in the entire world that should be wary of carefully

00:20:28   designed hardware, but it would be Microsoft. And this is probably just a fluke, because

00:20:31   I haven't heard any.

00:20:32   You know, he's just getting unlucky, but after the Red Ring of Death and billions of

00:20:37   dollars in write-downs for hardware replacements and people being on their sixth and seventh

00:20:41   Xbox 360, surely Microsoft got it right this time.

00:20:45   Apparently not.

00:20:46   Well, the funny thing is, too, apparently the biggest source of their problems is the

00:20:49   disk drive.

00:20:51   You would think, I mean, is it that new of a thing?

00:20:54   Like, you would think we would know how to make reliable optical disk drives in 2014.

00:20:59   Every time I think about this, I just keep thinking back and back to PlayStation 3, and

00:21:02   that machine should have fallen apart in people's hands.

00:21:05   Like the crazy cell processor, and the first thing with the Blu-ray drive, and waiting

00:21:09   for the stupid blue lasers, and all this like, I don't understand.

00:21:12   And then, like, PlayStations have just, you know, been fine.

00:21:16   And it doesn't make any sense that Microsoft screwed it up with the much more conservative

00:21:20   approach.

00:21:21   They're going even more conservative now, and they're having these hard drive problems.

00:21:23   I don't understand.

00:21:24   I mean, there's something to be said for Sony's decades and decades of experience building

00:21:29   consumer electronics and Microsoft's considerably smaller amount of experience.

00:21:33   Yeah, I guess the real Xbox One was just a fluke because it was fine.

00:21:38   Like, the very first Xbox, it was a PC crammed into a not-that-small box, and it was fine.

00:21:43   Like, you know, you would think it would have overheated somewhat or had other problems.

00:21:46   Nope, it was fine.

00:21:47   I'd never heard of widespread problems, although I guess it didn't sell that well either, so.

00:21:50   Well, I mean, they're cursed by the 360.

00:21:53   The reason it's shaped the way it was is because Xbox is huge, LOL, right?

00:21:57   And so they made the successor...

00:21:59   It's pronounced "LOL."

00:22:00   All right.

00:22:01   Well, anyway, they made the successor.

00:22:03   It's skinny.

00:22:04   See, it's practically like an hourglass.

00:22:05   Look how skinny it is, and maybe you shouldn't have quite made it so skinny because you could

00:22:08   have more room for cooling, and yeah.

00:22:10   It wasn't even that skinny.

00:22:11   Well, I know, but you saw what they were going for.

00:22:14   We don't want to make a gigantic bot, and they should have.

00:22:16   The Xbox One is pretty big, and so is the PlayStation 4, for that matter.

00:22:20   We'll see.

00:22:21   I still think Panzer's thing could just be bad luck.

00:22:25   It's not like if we start seeing stories and if this gets a name like Red Ring of Death,

00:22:29   then we'll know it's an issue.

00:22:32   Do we want to answer the question, "Who needs a Mac Pro?"

00:22:35   Yeah, I threw this in there because, again, with me whining about what kind of computer

00:22:42   I'm going to get and whether I'm going to buy a new Mac Pro, lots of people—this

00:22:44   one common strain of feedback, which is, "What do you need a Mac Pro for?"

00:22:51   And for Marco, too, "What does Marco need a Mac for?

00:22:53   You guys don't need this computer."

00:22:55   And this kind of logic and argument and questioning, like, "What is it that you're doing that you

00:23:00   need a Mac Pro?"

00:23:01   "I was getting it even for my current computer."

00:23:03   "What games are you playing specifically that you need a fancy video card?"

00:23:07   And there's a snarky answer, like I just gave on Twitter, which is, well, for future games,

00:23:11   for games I don't have now.

00:23:12   That's why you buy, that's why one of the reasons I buy a big fancy computer is not

00:23:16   for the games that are out now, but for the games that are going to be out two, three,

00:23:19   four years from now, I want to be able to play those two without getting a new computer.

00:23:21   But anyway, that's besides the point.

00:23:23   This line of reasoning of like, you need to have a practical reason for this thing that

00:23:31   you're getting, otherwise you shouldn't get it, only seems to apply in certain situations.

00:23:36   Certainly it applies in the situation where we're talking about big expensive computers,

00:23:40   but I was trying to think of other situations where people are comfortable with it not applying.

00:23:45   Having trouble coming up with good examples, I guess I thought of like, if you get a bigger

00:23:48   TV, occasionally I guess someone might ask, "What do you need a TV that big for?"

00:23:54   For the most part, people understand you're not getting a big TV because like, "Well,

00:23:56   I watch golf a lot and I was having trouble seeing the ball, so I need a bigger television

00:24:00   so the ball is bigger."

00:24:02   People kind of intuitively understand that it's more sort of immersive and exciting to

00:24:08   look at a bigger screen than a smaller one.

00:24:09   So when you say you got a bigger TV, people don't say, "Why did you get a bigger one?

00:24:14   What is it that you want?"

00:24:15   Like, literally asking, like, "Is there some kind of program that you watched that was

00:24:18   not working correctly with your smaller television and now will work with a bigger one?"

00:24:23   Or, "Why do you need granite countertops?

00:24:25   What was wrong with your other?

00:24:26   Do you do something?

00:24:27   Do you do certain kind of cooking that only works on granite?

00:24:29   Do you do pastry dough where you need to suck away the heat?"

00:24:31   And it's like, sometimes you just want to have countertops that look like nice shiny

00:24:34   granite.

00:24:35   Like, that's the answer.

00:24:36   And the same thing with the computer.

00:24:38   I feel like saying it—there are reasons why I might want to get it, but not everything

00:24:44   has to be in need.

00:24:45   There's such an idea of a luxury item, and everyone chooses what their luxury items are.

00:24:50   Maybe your luxury item is very fancy furniture or a nice house or jewelry or a really expensive

00:24:55   watch or lots of vacations or whatever.

00:24:58   But yeah.

00:24:59   But it's like, certainly, I think, you know, I think that's a good thing.

00:25:00   I think that's a good thing.

00:25:01   I think that's a good thing.

00:25:02   I think that's a good thing.

00:25:03   I think that's a good thing.

00:25:04   I think that's a good thing.

00:25:05   I think that's a good thing.

00:25:06   certain things people accept as indulgences or as a hobby interest or whatever, and other

00:25:11   things people don't accept as an indulgence and demand justification. You must have an

00:25:15   actual need. Are you running Maya? Maybe you just want to have a fast computer because

00:25:19   you're into technology and fast computers are fun to have. I think that's a perfectly

00:25:23   valid reason. It's a large part of my reason and I assume a large part of Marco's reason.

00:25:27   I don't think anyone should ever get caught in the idea where they have to justify through

00:25:32   work-related examples, or even leisure-related examples, like, "Well, show me the game that

00:25:36   needs this video card." That's a ridiculous example anyway, because you don't need to

00:25:40   play games, period. If I gave you one, you're like, "All right, well, now I see why you

00:25:42   need one." Why? Because I need to play this first-person shooter? Why do you need to play

00:25:45   the first-person shooter? That we accept as fun. You're allowed to play a game just because

00:25:48   it's fun, but you're not allowed to have a fast computer just because it's fun. So the

00:25:51   only way you can justify the computer is to point to the game you're going to play, which

00:25:55   I accept that you're allowed to use because it's fun.

00:25:57   Yeah, I think part of it is it's a combination of a few factors. Like part of that, like

00:26:01   why do you need this, is that these are very expensive items. And so it's alienating to

00:26:07   say, you know, like buying expensive cars, it's alienating to say like, "Oh, I got this

00:26:11   car that's really, really expensive that you can't afford." Like that's, people don't like

00:26:15   hearing that. It's not a great thing to spread around. And computers are not as expensive

00:26:20   as cars, but they're still very expensive. And they're like, computers like the Mac Pro

00:26:24   are unaffordable to many people. And so there's that aspect.

00:26:29   The other aspect is that computers do have this weird blend of some people need it for.

00:26:34   Like, you know, nobody needs a TV for work except J.D. Harmeyer. Nobody else needs a

00:26:39   TV for work. And, you know, we all use computers for work nowadays. I mean, not everybody,

00:26:44   but everyone talking on this show and probably a lot of the listeners. We all use computers

00:26:49   for work. And we also use computers for hobbies and for leisure and for entertainment. And

00:26:55   so it's... there are people who do need the Mac Pro for work. You know, if you're a professional

00:27:00   video editor that's working with 4K content, you are probably going to need it. You know,

00:27:07   if you're doing certain other things, you probably need it too, but it's... the number

00:27:10   of people who need the Mac Pro or who need, like, all the way decked out, laptop or iMac,

00:27:17   a pretty small number, really. But you're right, you know, I think it's just distorted because

00:27:21   some people do need them for work, but for most of us, it's just we want things to be nicer and

00:27:26   a little bit faster. I mean, the granite countertop is an example too. Some people need a granite

00:27:30   countertop if they're pastry chefs or, you know, because you, what is it, because it doesn't take

00:27:35   the heat out of the dough as fast or something? I don't remember. There's a reason why you need

00:27:38   granite countertops. Does it melt the butter? You could conceivably, yeah, you could conceivably

00:27:42   needs one. But then most people don't get them for that reason. In the chat room, one

00:27:47   person pointed out that like, well, the difference between not needing to play a game is that

00:27:52   games are less expensive than a Mac Pro. Well, super high end games, like you want to play

00:27:57   Crysis 3, the game may not be expensive, but the computer that you need to run it decently

00:28:00   certainly is. But anyway, you know, prices are relative. Like, this Mac Pro may seem

00:28:05   like a super expensive thing where I had to buy it, but compare it to the cost of living

00:28:09   living in a nicer neighborhood, going on more vacations, or like all the other things that

00:28:13   people can spend their money on. Like, you know, if we all wanted to live as cheaply

00:28:17   as possible, we would not have half of the things that we have. I mean, we would get

00:28:21   into a career that doesn't involve computers and we'd all be farmers or something.

00:28:25   Right. And, you know, it's all about, like, you know, how you spend your time. Like, you

00:28:29   know, for me, like, I spend so much time in front of a computer every day. Like, you know,

00:28:34   there's a thing I tweeted forever ago that has gotten the most retweets of anything I've

00:28:39   tweeted and it's something on the lines of if you sit on, look at, or touch something

00:28:45   for more than two hours a day, spend whatever it takes to get the best. And so that includes

00:28:49   keyboards, mice, your chair. If you sit at a desk all day, you better have a nice chair,

00:28:54   a nice keyboard, a nice mouse, and a nice monitor. You know, the things that you use

00:29:00   all the time, you should get nice things. It's always good to get a good mattress to

00:29:04   sleep on. You know, like that for lots of reasons including comfort, but also like,

00:29:07   like your back and stuff like that.

00:29:09   If you have the ability to spend,

00:29:16   to get a premium version of something,

00:29:18   the wisest things to spend that on

00:29:20   are the things that will have the most impact

00:29:22   to your everyday life, generally speaking.

00:29:24   And so the difference between a good monitor

00:29:28   and a horrible monitor,

00:29:29   you'll notice that every single day for hours.

00:29:31   The difference between a good bed and a crappy bed,

00:29:34   you're gonna be lying in it for eight hours a day, you hope.

00:29:37   that's going to catch up with you.

00:29:40   And so the computer, for people like us,

00:29:42   is one of those things.

00:29:43   If you actually will even notice the difference, ever,

00:29:49   it's probably worth it.

00:29:50   Like it's probably worth it to get a really nice computer.

00:29:52   If you do anything at all, for any reasonable amount of time

00:29:55   during the day, that might stretch your computer.

00:29:57   It's worth it to get the best one that you

00:29:58   can get that fits your needs.

00:30:00   By bringing in the time spent in front of device metric,

00:30:04   you're trying to drag this back to pragmatism.

00:30:06   I'm trying to take it away.

00:30:07   I'm trying to say, "No, there's no reason to justify it in a pragmatic, rational manner

00:30:12   for things like this."

00:30:14   Some people just want a really fancy table saw.

00:30:17   What do they do with that fancy table saw?

00:30:19   They make little wooden things that they never give to anyone, don't sell, and aren't useful

00:30:23   in any way.

00:30:24   That's their hobby.

00:30:25   That's what they want to do.

00:30:26   "Oh, you don't need a $10,000 table saw."

00:30:27   No, he does not need a $10,000 table saw because he's not making money from it.

00:30:31   In fact, it's a money sink.

00:30:33   He just makes little wooden things and puts them in his house and it makes him happy.

00:30:36   And that's what he wants to spend his money on.

00:30:38   Ten thousand dollar table saw.

00:30:39   I'm not saying that you should justify what you spend extra money on by how much it will

00:30:46   make you money-wise.

00:30:47   I'm saying just by how much you will enjoy it.

00:30:50   That example fits my rationale perfectly.

00:30:52   If you're going to actually use a table saw more than once a year, get a great one.

00:30:58   Why not?

00:30:59   If you can, if you have the ability to, and that will make you that happy, then that's

00:31:04   worth doing for you.

00:31:06   If you don't care, that's fine.

00:31:08   If you can't afford it, do your best.

00:31:11   If you want to spend the money elsewhere, fine.

00:31:14   I get zero enjoyment out of wearing fancy clothes.

00:31:17   So every day I wear a $7 t-shirt and a very worn out pair of jeans that I bought from

00:31:22   Amazon.

00:31:23   Everything I wear I can buy from Amazon when it wears out, which I love.

00:31:26   I've worked for years to get to this point.

00:31:27   It's amazing because I hate shopping.

00:31:30   All that stuff, like I drive a really nice car, I have a really nice computer, but I

00:31:33   wear crap clothes.

00:31:35   There's a lot of things I don't care about because this is where I spend my time, this

00:31:40   is where I get my enjoyment.

00:31:41   So it is a combination of luxury and treating yourself to the things you like and being

00:31:48   kind of analytical about where you spend that extra money to give you the maximum fun or

00:31:55   happiness benefit.

00:31:56   Okay, KJ Healey posted two four-line posts in the chat room, so that means he demands

00:32:03   to be heard, so I'll address his point here.

00:32:05   Is that all it seems?

00:32:07   The problem is that Mac Pro, for hobbyists who could afford it, is that it's still not

00:32:10   the premium thing they wanted.

00:32:11   It's like you wanted the best granite countertops to cook on, but Apple gave you decent countertops,

00:32:15   but also two huge fridges you don't have much use for.

00:32:19   That may be true of some people.

00:32:20   For me, specifically, it's like Apple gave me the granite countertops I wanted, but they

00:32:24   They cost 10 times more than I thought they would.

00:32:27   Because underneath them are two graphics cards, two GPUs that I'm not going to use most of.

00:32:31   Yeah.

00:32:32   Again, as I said before, there are parts of the Mac Pro that appeal to me way more than

00:32:38   if I had gotten exactly the computer that I wanted with internal storage and everything.

00:32:41   I like that it's super small.

00:32:43   I like that there's only one fan.

00:32:44   I never dreamed of those things when I was thinking, "Oh, boy, Apple revises the Mac

00:32:48   Pros."

00:32:49   And it has to have internal storage and it has to have card slots.

00:32:53   could be smaller and nicer, and of course they'll get rid of the optical. That's what I was

00:32:56   envisioning. And they'll be like, "Hey, that's exactly the machine to you." Instead, they gave

00:32:59   me this other machine that has things that I didn't even dream I could ask for. Only one fan,

00:33:03   as quiet as a Mac Mini? You better bet that appeals to me tremendously. But it costs so

00:33:08   darn much money. It's getting into like, "Oh, if you can afford it, do you want a really fancy

00:33:13   computer just because you like a fancy computer?" Yes, but I have a budget too, and it costs so much

00:33:18   money. So that, for me specifically, is the problem. And me railing against all the people

00:33:24   saying, "What do you need that computer for?" or "What do you need a high-end GPU for?"

00:33:28   or anything like that, I'm just saying, you don't need to need it. You just need to want

00:33:32   it. And I certainly do want a Mac Pro, but you always have to balance what you want with

00:33:36   what you can afford, and so on and so forth. So I think these are two separate issues.

00:33:39   I think also, and with all due apologies to Casey to talk more about the Mac Pro just for

00:33:44   a minute. I swear it'll be fast. He's already left. He's lopped it. I think the new Mac

00:33:52   Pro, it's kind of like when the first MacBook Air came out, in that we're looking at it

00:33:58   now and we're saying there's no drive bays, there's no card slots, the RAM ceiling is

00:34:03   actually lower than the previous one. And so you look at all that and you say, "Well,

00:34:07   this isn't really what we wanted and it's kind of limited." Everyone said the same things

00:34:12   about the first MacBook Air when it came out, although it had the additional problem that

00:34:15   it was incredibly slow. The Mac Pro won't have that problem. Now, with the MacBook Air,

00:34:22   we have eventually, like, when it first came out, we were like, you know, I still use DVD

00:34:25   drives every so often, and maybe I want that port that it doesn't have or whatever, but

00:34:31   over like the next year and a half, those things basically vanished. And then two years

00:34:35   after the first one came out, the next one came out, it was awesome and everybody bought

00:34:38   it and it became like the new Mac to have. And I think that the current Mac, or the new

00:34:43   Mac Pro, which is humorously called the 2013 one, even though nobody actually got it in

00:34:49   2013, the new Mac Pro is a similar kind of jump as the first MacBook Air, which is, although

00:34:55   with a lot fewer downsides I think, you know, my current Mac Pro, the big choose-grader

00:35:01   one, it has four internal drive bays that you can put hard drives in, you can put two

00:35:06   two optical drives in it, well, I even use both optical drives. I put a Blu-ray

00:35:10   burner in the bottom one. I use it approximately never. I have four internal

00:35:16   drive bays, one of them is full. And like I, over time I'm finding like, oh and the

00:35:24   card slots? I've never put an expansion card on a Mac Pro. I've owned two for

00:35:29   myself, one for my wife, never put an expansion card in it. And what a lot of

00:35:34   put in the expansion slots are more GPUs. And so the new one addresses that even.

00:35:38   So there's a lot of Mac Pro users who even

00:35:42   having the expandability of the previous generations didn't use it that much.

00:35:46   Oh, actually Sam the Geek just corrected me. Apparently my SSD is

00:35:50   a PCI express card that I forgot about. Oops. So once I have used

00:35:54   one card that, by the way, the new Mac Pro has that exact same thing, a 1 terabyte

00:35:58   SSD built in and it's faster and cheaper. So

00:36:02   The point is, I've had all this expandability, but over time, I've used less and less and less of it.

00:36:09   And I think Apple, looking at their customers, I believe they've found similar things among other Mac Pro buyers.

00:36:14   Saying things like, "Yeah, it's true that a lot of video editors don't use local storage. They'll use a SAN or something like that."

00:36:21   The need for the internal bays has shrunk over time.

00:36:26   And so the compromises the new machine makes, the compromises that are about hardware,

00:36:31   There's compromises about pricing and requiring two GPUs that increases the pricing. That's a separate issue

00:36:38   that's perfectly valid, but the compromise is about

00:36:40   internal expendability and space and ports and things. I think they're actually doing the right thing.

00:36:47   I don't think that's gonna really be a problem that anyone cares about in six months.

00:36:50   Yeah, perhaps not.

00:36:53   Firstly, I have to apologize. I was trying to interject and say it was fine for you to continue talking about Mac Pro stuff,

00:36:58   but I left myself muted like a moron.

00:37:01   Well, because you didn't object, I just kept going.

00:37:04   Well, I noticed. And that's fine. No, it's not a problem.

00:37:06   But I would really, really love for you to tell me about something that's awesome.

00:37:09   I completely agree, because it's 40 minutes in.

00:37:12   That's alright. We'll just have a short show.

00:37:15   So, our first sponsor—I'm going to paste the link in the chat.

00:37:18   You guys can see. I'll put this in the show notes too.

00:37:20   Our first sponsor is Fracture.

00:37:22   Go to fractureme.com.

00:37:24   Fracture prints your photo in vivid color directly onto glass.

00:37:28   It's the thinnest, lightest, and most elegant way to display your favorite photo.

00:37:32   Now, Fracture sponsored my site forever ago,

00:37:36   and they gave me a free one, and I was very impressed with it.

00:37:40   I hung it on the wall, it's fantastic. And what I recently did,

00:37:44   I put the link here in the show notes and the chat room, I recently realized

00:37:48   that they have this little one. It's a 5x5 square,

00:37:52   And it's just 12 bucks.

00:37:54   And they have all sorts of sizes above that for good prices.

00:37:57   But this little one is 5 by 5, 12 bucks.

00:38:00   And I realized, you know, I've always wanted to have a little row of the icons of the apps

00:38:05   I've made on my wall somehow.

00:38:07   Because we work in this business of virtual everything.

00:38:11   There's no trophies or physical evidence of actual, like, here's something I accomplished

00:38:18   in the past or present.

00:38:19   But you didn't even make the icons.

00:38:21   You should have put the source code up there.

00:38:25   That's true.

00:38:25   Well, I chose the icons.

00:38:29   They were made slightly under my direction.

00:38:33   Thanks.

00:38:35   So I did this.

00:38:36   And it's a really great use for this thing.

00:38:38   You can use the small size if you want,

00:38:40   like for Instagram pictures, because it's square,

00:38:42   and it's small, and it's really inexpensive.

00:38:44   But I think this is really cool to just make

00:38:46   the icons of the apps that you've worked on,

00:38:48   hang those up.

00:38:48   They're 12 bucks each, that's nothing.

00:38:51   So what's cool about this, they mention in their copy

00:38:54   it's the thinnest, lightest, and most elegant.

00:38:56   What's nice about these fracture prints,

00:38:58   it's printed on glass, and it's a nice thin piece of glass

00:39:01   with the photo on it that wraps around the corners,

00:39:03   but then on the backing is a nice sturdy piece

00:39:06   of foam board kind of thing.

00:39:08   So it's not as heavy as you would expect

00:39:09   this giant print of glass to be.

00:39:11   So you don't have to worry about it

00:39:13   ripping out of your wall or falling off

00:39:14   and crashing down and exploding.

00:39:16   I'm always a little nervous to hang

00:39:18   giant heavy things. These don't have that problem. They're nice and lightweight, but

00:39:21   it's still this perfect flat piece of glass on top. It's packaged extremely well. I've

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00:40:17   Now, did you—this is not a loaded question—did you have anything more on the Mac Pro, because

00:40:21   I sort of kind of cut you off there?

00:40:23   Me?

00:40:24   I actually—I think for now I'm done.

00:40:26   I mean, I'm sure by next episode I'll come up with more, maybe even in ten minutes.

00:40:30   But I think for now I'm done.

00:40:32   All right, John, anything about the Mac Pro specifically?

00:40:35   No.

00:40:36   Okay.

00:40:37   Tell me about Panasonic LCD TVs, if you don't mind.

00:40:40   Oh, and we're back to CES.

00:40:41   This is worse than the Mac Pro.

00:40:44   I threw this in there because this is a story that I saw in the CES news, and I was interested

00:40:50   with TV tech and particularly what Panasonic was going to do.

00:40:53   We all knew that Panasonic was leaving the Plasma business, and of course they were going

00:40:57   to make LCD TVs, and they have.

00:41:00   And the most interesting thing about this, I think, is, well, I mean, of course they're

00:41:05   touting 4K.

00:41:06   Everyone's touting 4K.

00:41:07   Last year, they were doing, everyone was touting 4K as well.

00:41:10   But it was interesting to me to see how they're going to pitch these new televisions.

00:41:15   And the way they pitched it, they kind of did a little bit of marketing judo.

00:41:20   On the one hand, you could say, well, they went right up and they hit right to their

00:41:25   opponent's forehand.

00:41:27   They knew that everyone was going to say, these TVs aren't as good as your old TVs.

00:41:32   So they addressed that immediately.

00:41:33   Their marketing message was, we're making 4K LED televisions, LCD with an LED backlight.

00:41:39   That sucks crap.

00:41:40   that so much? I know. It's a convenient shorthand, but anyway. And what we're going to say about

00:41:45   them is they're as good as or better than our plasma TVs. But they said it in a kind

00:41:50   of marketing weasel-worthy way. They were showing a color chart saying the color reproduction

00:41:58   is better than even our best previous plasma, the ZT60. The thing about that is that color

00:42:05   Color reproduction for televisions, for plasmids and everything, plasmids that Panasonic has

00:42:10   been selling for years can already show colors outside the range that you're "supposed" to

00:42:16   show when reproducing Blu-rays and television signals.

00:42:20   The color range in the content is not as wide as can be displayed by TVs.

00:42:25   In fact, most TVs have a setting that lets you say, "Do you want me to show the colors

00:42:28   as intended by the author according to this narrow range of colors that they expected

00:42:32   to be able to reproduce on output? Or do you want me to use the entire color range of the

00:42:36   set and just kind of smear the source colors across that? And you could choose whichever

00:42:41   you want. You want accuracy or sort of like a wider color band. So the fact that there

00:42:44   are LCD television has an ever so slightly even wider range of colors than the plasmas

00:42:51   doesn't really make that much of a difference with current content. Maybe it'll make a difference

00:42:54   down the line with different content, but for now it doesn't really make that much.

00:42:58   And they didn't, as far as I know, say anything about black levels and motion interpolation

00:43:02   and all the other areas where we know LCDs have problems compared to plasmas.

00:43:05   So I'm kind of disappointed that they pulled that, but it seems to have worked on everyone

00:43:11   because everyone just keeps parroting the line and says, "Oh, Panasonic says they're

00:43:13   as good as or better than their previous plasmas."

00:43:16   In some respects, I'm sure they are as good.

00:43:18   In some respects, they're probably better.

00:43:19   They probably use way less power, they're thinner, so on and so forth.

00:43:22   But in some respects, I fully expect that they are worse.

00:43:25   I guess the jury's still out until independent third parties get their hands on these TVs

00:43:29   and start testing them, and we'll see.

00:43:31   But this is not the first time this has happened.

00:43:34   Way back in the day, Pioneer used to make plasmas, and they made a line of plasmas that

00:43:38   was widely acknowledged to be the best TV you could buy for any price.

00:43:41   There wasn't a projection TV, and it was the Pioneer Kuro Elite line of televisions, and

00:43:47   then Pioneer stopped making plasmas.

00:43:49   And for many, many years after that, every new television from any manufacturer that

00:43:53   was reviewed, they would say, "Oh, this is a great new TV.

00:43:56   It's the best one you can buy right now, but it's still not as good as the Kuro Elite."

00:43:59   And that would happen year after year, and that's kind of very strange in technology,

00:44:02   where it would be like if the new Mac Pro came out and they said, "Well, this Mac Pro

00:44:07   is great, but it's not as good as the Mac Pro that was out four years ago."

00:44:09   That never happens.

00:44:10   Like, it's...

00:44:11   That doesn't happen in computers, and happening in television is also very strange.

00:44:14   So for a long, long time, the Kuro Elite was the king, and it could be for a long time

00:44:18   that the Panasonic Plasmids would be the king.

00:44:21   But I suspect that the 4K difference will be a factor here.

00:44:25   And it's like, well, you know, all those plasmas weren't 4K, so who cares about them?

00:44:29   And all that matters is 4K.

00:44:31   So serious question.

00:44:32   Do you suspect that you will—I'm going to use the word "regret," but I think

00:44:37   that's too strong—that you'll regret the purchase of your TV from just a month

00:44:40   or so ago sooner because some newer, better TV will come out or because there will be

00:44:50   proliferation of 4K TV shows and movies, thus actually making a 4K display worth it.

00:44:57   Yeah, how do you, not to avoid that question because I think I'll get to it eventually,

00:45:02   but how do you guys feel about 4K?

00:45:04   Well, it's one of those things. It's a lot like Super Audio CD and DVD audio, which

00:45:10   is, you know, and I don't mean to predict its sales, although I think, well, screw it,

00:45:16   I do. I don't need to be diplomatic here.

00:45:21   When you look at various consumer electronics AV formats over time, the audio world is a

00:45:27   great way to look at this, although it applies to video as well. Every time there's been

00:45:32   a major quality increase that has been successful in the market, it has also come with other

00:45:37   benefits besides the quality that have made people want to buy it. So when going from

00:45:43   to CDs, there was a major increase in so many other factors besides the audio quality. It

00:45:48   was more convenient, it was more reliable, it was faster to seek around and no rewinding.

00:45:54   Similar thing going from VHS to DVD. Everything is faster, easier, better, more versatile,

00:46:00   you can put it in more places, computers can read it, you can play it in the car, all that

00:46:03   stuff. And so then you look at then going from DVD to Blu-ray. And DVD to Blu-ray was

00:46:11   much slower transition. I would still say it's not really complete.

00:46:15   Because the only difference between DVD and Blu-ray

00:46:20   is Blu-ray is better quality and is more annoying in all the ways the DVDs are

00:46:25   annoying, Blu-rays are worse.

00:46:27   That's the only major difference. There's no like,

00:46:30   they aren't all of a sudden more versatile or easier to use

00:46:33   or available in more places or cheaper or smaller or anything like that.

00:46:37   So looking at all that, look at TVs.

00:46:40   When we moved from SD to HD, we also were moving from CRTs, the giant, heavy, horrible

00:46:50   things to nice, thin LCDs and plasmas that were much bigger, much thinner, much lighter,

00:46:57   much cooler looking, and much better looking.

00:46:59   So there were a lot of other reasons for people to move from SD to HD.

00:47:04   Also the wide screen aspect ratio was another big factor.

00:47:07   Exactly.

00:47:08   all these other factors that went along with it that made it a success in the market and

00:47:13   that made people want to have it besides just picture quality. In fact, as most people know,

00:47:20   almost everyone who cares about TV picture quality has probably gone to a relative's

00:47:24   or parent's house and seen that they are running their cable box or something into the TV that

00:47:29   supports high def, but they have it hooked up with the wrong cables, using the wrong

00:47:31   input or the wrong settings, and they are not even watching HD content, and they don't

00:47:35   care and it drives you nuts. So obviously the picture quality alone is not enough to

00:47:41   drive major adoption very quickly of anything.

00:47:45   Same thing, so in the audio world when SACD and DVD audio came out they both flopped,

00:47:51   first of all because of the format war, but mostly because nobody cared that much. It

00:47:54   was the exact same as CDs, but less things were supported. You had to get new players,

00:47:59   you couldn't do it in your computer or your car or anything, so it flopped.

00:48:03   4K is, you know, at least you have backwards compatibility with newer types of TV sets,

00:48:08   that's less of a problem, but you look at 4K and it's like, well, we already have HD,

00:48:14   1080p. It's very mature by now. We have great, we have tons of great HD source material and

00:48:21   source devices, tons of HD broadcast cable, like everything is HD now basically, which

00:48:26   was not the case even like five years ago. You have very good HD support in the industry.

00:48:32   And the move to 4K, what is that really going to bring us?

00:48:37   It's going to bring a new type of disk format, probably.

00:48:41   I don't think Blu-ray can do it, right?

00:48:42   So probably a new kind of disk format, new kinds of TVs, new disk players if we're still

00:48:46   using disks.

00:48:47   God, I hope we're not, but we probably still will for a little while.

00:48:51   Much larger file sizes for internet streamed media.

00:48:56   A whole other round of everybody, cable companies, TV companies, everybody being able to screw

00:49:01   everything up again. So it's like this big disruption. It's going to make everything

00:49:05   that was mature, it's going to become immature again. You know, like, why go through all

00:49:10   that? And the reason is an increase in picture quality that you probably won't notice ever,

00:49:16   but the people who do notice it will only notice it on like an 80-inch TV. I mean, that's

00:49:21   how compelling is that really? And I think it's going to take off similarly to Blu-ray

00:49:26   in that it will be the high end, so people will buy it, but it's not going to be explosively

00:49:32   growing very quickly the way DVDs and CDs did, because to most people it doesn't bring

00:49:38   any noticeable benefit except saying you have the high end thing.

00:49:42   Now, the audio CDs and the Blu-ray and stuff had two things going against them that 4K

00:49:50   at least doesn't have, and both of those were physical media being introduced right

00:49:55   around the time when physical media was going away for their respective mediums, like DVD

00:49:59   audio and Super Audio CD.

00:50:00   Yes, the old things said the format war was stupid and nobody cared, but also MP3s came

00:50:06   along.

00:50:07   And so they were just wiped out.

00:50:08   And Blu-ray, it's amazing that it has been as successful as it has been, but it came

00:50:12   out around the time that streaming video became a thing.

00:50:15   And now only crazy people buy Blu-rays and everyone else just streams it if they can.

00:50:19   So those were all media distribution formats that were coming up against a "Hey, we don't

00:50:23   need physical media anymore.

00:50:25   Television is luckily have the advantage of there's no downloadable TV.

00:50:28   You need to have an actual TV set.

00:50:30   You can't make a TV set appear in your house over a wire.

00:50:33   So that still at least has a place in the ecosystem.

00:50:36   It's not being wiped out by like, I mean I guess the equivalent would be like head-mounted

00:50:40   displays or something or something else that's not wiping it out.

00:50:42   People still want to look at a screen.

00:50:44   So they have that going for them.

00:50:46   The 4K thing, sometimes I think it's kind of like retina where it's like, yeah, nobody

00:50:50   will care and only nerds will be able to tell, but it'll happen anyway just because it's

00:50:55   cheap enough to double the resolution of LCDs at that size. That could happen. I can totally

00:51:01   envision a world where every TV you buy is 4K and almost all content is still 1080p,

00:51:06   because the content and everything else didn't catch up with it. But mostly what I think about

00:51:11   4K is that kind of like SuperE audio CD and DVD audio, they enhance the wrong thing. They enhance

00:51:19   That's the thing that the fewest number of people are able to detect as even being different,

00:51:25   let alone better.

00:51:26   Because if you play an audio CD for someone and play a DVD audio or a Super Audio CD,

00:51:30   no, people can't tell.

00:51:31   Even audio files can probably be fooled.

00:51:32   It depends on the mastering, it depends on everything else, and all those excuses you're

00:51:35   going to make for not being able to tell between a CD and Super Audio CD, all those same excuses

00:51:39   apply to television.

00:51:40   "Well, it depends on how the content is mastered.

00:51:42   Well, it depends on how it's distributed.

00:51:43   Well, it depends on the authorship."

00:51:44   Yes, that's true of video as well.

00:51:46   And that's why I think doubling the resolution

00:51:50   may not be better in enough ways that people can tell.

00:51:52   Now, 4K has a couple saving graces.

00:51:54   Everyone concentrates on the resolution,

00:51:56   but that also has support for different frame rates.

00:51:59   And that I think people probably could notice

00:52:01   if based on people's impression of seeing The Hobbit

00:52:03   in 48 frames per second and how they said it looked crazy.

00:52:05   At least people noticed, at least people could tell,

00:52:07   hey, this is 48 frames per second

00:52:08   and I could tell it's different.

00:52:10   Or as someone in the chat room points out,

00:52:12   sports at 120 frames per second.

00:52:15   Those are things that maybe people will be able to tell,

00:52:18   and that may be able to drag along the content producers

00:52:20   to say, who's motivated to make 4K content?

00:52:23   Well, maybe the NFL isn't motivated to make 4K content.

00:52:26   And if the NFL is motivated to make 4K content

00:52:28   and people will buy the TVs,

00:52:30   and that will kind of go along together,

00:52:31   and it may just be kind of an inevitable thing.

00:52:33   But the other people making noise at CES this year

00:52:36   were trying to say, hey, we're over here,

00:52:39   and we're trying to improve the other stuff

00:52:41   that needs to be improved about TV,

00:52:42   like I just mentioned, the color gamut.

00:52:43   Like what is the maximum dynamic range

00:52:46   between the brightest and the darkest spot

00:52:47   on a television set?

00:52:48   What are the range of colors that you can display?

00:52:51   All those things are areas that desperately need

00:52:54   to be improved in television,

00:52:56   but you know, the television color standards,

00:52:57   even the HD standards are way behind

00:52:59   what the current technology can display.

00:53:01   And those people will notice way more than 4K.

00:53:03   If you showed someone that Dolby demo

00:53:05   with like the huge dynamic range and everything,

00:53:09   and then showed somebody 4K TV,

00:53:11   everyone will be able to tell Dolby thing is different,

00:53:13   even if it was running at 1080p.

00:53:15   And if you just show 4K versus non-4K

00:53:17   from a certain distance, you can't tell anymore.

00:53:19   Because if resolution is the only thing,

00:53:22   that's not gonna save you.

00:53:23   So I think this is interesting, but I really wish,

00:53:26   kinda like the cameras with the megapixel wars,

00:53:30   I really wish that the side that was going for

00:53:33   not more pixels but better pixels basically

00:53:35   was a little bit stronger in this fight.

00:53:37   But it seems to me that 4K will probably happen

00:53:41   kind of inevitably, but not nearly in enough time

00:53:44   for me to regret my Plasma purchase

00:53:45   to finally answer Casey's question,

00:53:47   because I'm gonna be enjoying 1080p content

00:53:51   with fewer of the compromises that bother me about LCDs

00:53:55   for many years to come.

00:53:57   The only thing that could possibly annoy me, I think,

00:53:59   is that if game consoles start putting out 4K

00:54:02   and it's noticeable for like frame rate reasons,

00:54:05   if that happens, maybe I'll regret it in a couple years,

00:54:07   but I really, I would feel much, much worse

00:54:10   if I had my old TV, which was not nearly as good a quality

00:54:13   as any plasma in the past couple of years,

00:54:16   I would have really regretted keeping that

00:54:18   and knowing now I'm stuck.

00:54:20   Now if this TV breaks or if I just get sick

00:54:22   of looking at bad black levels,

00:54:24   I will never, there's nothing out there for me to buy.

00:54:26   I just have to sit here and wait.

00:54:27   Now at least I know I'm set as long as this thing

00:54:29   keeps working for many, many years

00:54:31   and I can sort of do what I like to do,

00:54:32   which is bide my time and look for that one perfect time

00:54:34   to buy the cool new thing.

00:54:36   - That's fair.

00:54:38   Yeah, and I think you have a long time before any 4K TV is so good and so compelling and

00:54:45   so supported by the surrounding ecosystem that it would be really compelling for you

00:54:50   to upgrade.

00:54:51   I mean, HDTV came out when?

00:54:54   Like 2001 or something?

00:54:56   It's pretty old.

00:54:58   But most people didn't get them that year.

00:55:01   They got them like five years later or more.

00:55:04   And it was a few years after that before they were actually very good.

00:55:09   And I think we're going to see a lot of the same things.

00:55:10   I mean, granted, that was also, again, that was changing over a lot of legacy old stuff,

00:55:15   making LCDs get better, making plasmas get better, modernizing lots of the signals, digitizing

00:55:19   lots of stuff.

00:55:20   So there was more to do during that transition.

00:55:23   The HD content is terrible, though.

00:55:25   Like the compression artifacts on your cable provider or Netflix streaming, they can't

00:55:29   even put a signal that doesn't look like crap on 1080 sometimes.

00:55:33   and 1080i they're sending it as,

00:55:35   they're not even sending full 1080p.

00:55:36   So it's gonna be a long time for the,

00:55:38   you know, sort of non, if you don't have a good reason,

00:55:40   if you're not like the Discovery Channel,

00:55:42   the NFL or something, you have some compelling reason

00:55:44   to go to 4K high frame rate as soon as you possibly can,

00:55:48   we're still in for a long, long road of supposedly 4K

00:55:52   content, supposedly HD content that technically

00:55:54   fulfills the requirements, but mostly is gross.

00:55:57   - Well, a couple things to consider.

00:55:59   Firstly, the NFL already films in 4K,

00:56:01   at least I think it was Fox does. Somebody, it may have been Engadget, I don't recall

00:56:06   who it was, but they had talked to, and I believe it was Fox, about how they were going

00:56:11   to film a Patriots game. And one of the things they said was, "We actually film in 4K so

00:56:19   that when you zoom," and Slade 401 in the chat is saying it was the Verge, whatever

00:56:24   So when you zoom on a instant replay

00:56:27   You'll get a full 1080 image out of the source, which was 4k and so

00:56:33   To some degree this is already happening even though it's not making it all the way to the consumer

00:56:39   And the other thing I wanted to point out was part of the reason that Aaron and I didn't upgrade to an HD

00:56:46   Setup initially was because not only did we need a new TV

00:56:51   But we also needed a different cable box and to get the different cable box

00:56:57   We needed to pay at the time Comcast more money, and I can't speak for everyone else, but I know

00:57:02   Similar to the the retina discussion we had last week. I didn't really at the time know what I was missing and

00:57:10   So I didn't really see an urgent need to upgrade and Aaron doesn't really care for

00:57:14   99% of all TV and so she didn't see a terribly strong reason to upgrade and so we didn't have we had

00:57:21   We had an HDTV in 2007, and I don't think we actually had HD pumping into the house

00:57:28   until we moved a year later and we're getting Fios anyway.

00:57:31   So I can't speak for everyone, but that makes it a little different.

00:57:36   Another thing it made me think of was, I wonder if adoption of LTE bands would have been a

00:57:43   lot slower if it cost more money from the carriers to get LTE service.

00:57:50   and I can only speak for AT&T, but on AT&T there's no difference in price. And I believe

00:57:55   that's the same for Verizon. I am not sure that's the same for T-Mobile. And nobody

00:57:59   uses Sprint. So I'm not saying there's an answer and it's a rhetorical question,

00:58:04   but I wonder if LTE adoption would have been slower if it was more expensive.

00:58:08   Right. I think, you know, the way most people go to new technologies is when they have to

00:58:13   buy a new one anyway, they get a decent one at the time. And so with phones, we move very

00:58:19   quickly because so many people are on subsidized phone plans where you're pretty much encouraged

00:58:24   to get a new phone every one to three years. So that's why the phone market moves so quickly.

00:58:30   TVs move very slowly. You said like the cable box thing. A lot of people don't have to pay

00:58:35   for their cable box, but you might have to go through a hassle for an upgrade, like bringing

00:58:40   it to some place in the middle of nowhere next to the UPS depot or whatever. I've cut

00:58:44   I've cut it down so many times.

00:58:47   But even if you do have to pay for it, yeah, you're right.

00:58:49   Usually there's a premium.

00:58:50   If you have, well, if TiVo is still alive and you have a TiVo, then you've got to pay

00:58:54   extra for the new HD or 4K one, and then Jon's going to complain about that for the next

00:58:58   ten years because it's going to suck.

00:59:00   You think that will have HD menus everywhere?

00:59:02   No one will be complaining, "These menus are only 1080p!"

00:59:05   Exactly.

00:59:06   I would be glad if we ever get to that point.

00:59:08   It seems like that may never even happen.

00:59:11   Yeah.

00:59:12   you know, the rate at which people normally upgrade TV equipment is pretty slow, because

00:59:17   TVs are large and they at least used to be pretty expensive, but they're getting pretty

00:59:21   cheap now, but there's still these large kind of fixtures, like furniture pieces, that you

00:59:26   tend...like, no one gets a new TV every year except Jon.

00:59:29   I've waited four years. Give me a break. Four years I've waited. The TiVo menus, by the

00:59:35   way, they're not even 1080p now, they're 720p. Not that that makes a big difference, but,

00:59:39   you know.

00:59:40   And by the way, lots of TVs are still sold at 720p.

00:59:43   I don't think that... do they still make 720p?

00:59:46   I think every TV is 1080p now.

00:59:48   No!

00:59:49   Last year when I bought that LCD, that small 37-inch LCD for the back room, I had to look

00:59:55   pretty hard to get a 1080p one.

00:59:57   So many of them were 720p.

00:59:58   I think you need to re-research that.

01:00:01   I think they're almost all.

01:00:03   I'm sure you can still find a 720p somewhere, especially if you start going to the no-name

01:00:07   brands, but I think any name brand probably has zero 720p television sets.

01:00:12   No, I don't think that's the case. I don't think that's the case.

01:00:14   You are wrong. Once you go to the smaller sizes, like in the 30s—

01:00:18   Exactly.

01:00:18   You go to the 30s and you go to those LCDs in the 30s and there's a lot of 720p.

01:00:23   Who's buying a 30-inch TV that's the size of your monitor?

01:00:26   Well, actually, I had to fit this into one area within an existing built-in bookshelf.

01:00:34   And so I had a size cap.

01:00:35   So this 37-inch Panasonic was like the biggest that would fit into this little spot.

01:00:39   Well, is this a Batcave?

01:00:41   You can say.

01:00:42   It's all right.

01:00:43   I'm not allowed to say.

01:00:44   Wow.

01:00:45   No, it's true, though.

01:00:46   Like, I think I said on a previous show, our biggest TV in the house is 40 inches.

01:00:51   And there is no part of me that wants a bigger one.

01:00:55   And that one is 1080.

01:00:56   But the one we have in our bedroom, and the only reason it's in our bedroom is because

01:01:01   as we got the 40-incher to replace it.

01:01:04   That one's 32 inches.

01:01:05   And granted, it's a bit older, but it's 720 only.

01:01:08   And I have no desire to upgrade it to a 1080 TV.

01:01:11   Now, granted, I'm either very weird or very normal,

01:01:15   depending on how you look at it.

01:01:17   But as soon as you go to lower sizes,

01:01:19   I think Marco's dead on.

01:01:21   It's a little bit challenging to find a 1080 TV.

01:01:24   I don't look at small television.

01:01:28   I was disappointed that I couldn't find a plasma that

01:01:31   was small because the plasma is-- speaking of the sizes of the televisions, these Panasonic

01:01:35   LCDs, the new 4K televisions, the smallest size that comes in is now 58. You were surprised

01:01:41   that the smallest size my TV came in was 55. Now the smallest size is 58. Soon the smallest

01:01:45   size is going to be 100 inches.

01:01:48   And the problem is all these really nice ones, like the VT60, they only come in larger sizes,

01:01:54   and those keep going up. So when my TV-- I have a really nice TV for when I bought it.

01:01:59   When it dies, I'm going to have to either get a giant wall of TV, which I don't want

01:02:04   and which TIFF would kill me if I got, or get a crappy one.

01:02:09   I think they have to—well, part of it is it's more expensive to make something.

01:02:13   With the plasmas in particular, the reason you couldn't make a 4K plasma is because

01:02:17   then the little tiny pits where the little particles are emitted and hit against the

01:02:23   phosphorescent material would have to be super-duper small, and that's like a technical limitation.

01:02:27   They probably could have done it if they wanted to invest tons and tons more money, but they didn't so they didn't but yeah

01:02:31   As you get as the resolution goes up

01:02:33   It's actually cheaper to make that's why like the 28 inch Dell 4k monitor that people want us to talk about

01:02:38   It's actually cheaper to make a high resolution monitor bigger because then you don't have to make the pixel so darn small

01:02:43   And it's you know this fewer errors, and it's easier to manufacture and all that stuff

01:02:47   So I think I'm hoping that will take care of itself, but yeah when I'm shopping for a television

01:02:51   I'm always shopping at the high end and they're all big and they're all 1080

01:02:54   I guess wait as you get smaller

01:02:56   I mean in a certain point you get a certain size you you know it becomes like

01:03:00   You can't see you can't tell the difference between 720 and 1080 and as I'm surprised

01:03:05   No one has said in the chat room yet, or maybe I missed it

01:03:07   I think if you do the math 720p has more pixels per second than 1080i but

01:03:11   With all the processing that goes on who knows and yeah most most broadcast television is still 1080i not 1080p

01:03:18   Yeah, but getting back to what Casey said about the source material like NFL games filmed in 4k

01:03:24   I mean they do the same thing with the movies with the digital cameras like and you know

01:03:27   They've always done even for TV. They would record TV on video at a much higher quality

01:03:31   Than you'll ever be able to broadcast. That's you know, that's par for the course

01:03:35   Those are the people out there

01:03:36   Testing out the new format and everything by the time 4k makes its way down and there's some story on the evening use assuming

01:03:43   The evening news still exists that says oh the 4k transition is coming

01:03:47   Cable companies are turning off their old HD signal and now you can only get for it

01:03:51   Remember the whole transition from analog and all that stuff?

01:03:55   When we see that story in 10, 20 years, by that point, everyone will be recording everything

01:03:59   in like 8K or whatever the hell the next standard is.

01:04:01   So the content producers are always, you know, "I hope someone did the math and said 1080

01:04:05   AI has slightly more pixels per second than 720p."

01:04:09   I hope that in—somebody please tell me, and I hope this is the case—in the entire

01:04:13   4K standard, is there any allowance anywhere for interlaced anything?

01:04:18   Because I hate interlacing so much in so many ways.

01:04:23   The artifacts it makes are horrible.

01:04:24   When you deinterlace, when you watch on something progressive, I hate getting interlaced DVDs

01:04:28   and then when I rip them they look bad and interlaced TV.

01:04:32   It's like, oh god, interlacing is the devil.

01:04:34   Sam the Geek in the chat says, "Nope, it is not in the spec."

01:04:37   I really hope that is true.

01:04:39   God, interlacing needs to die.

01:04:42   I hate interlacing so much.

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01:07:04   So the helpful chat room has put in a link

01:07:06   to an article showing the color spaces,

01:07:07   showing the Rec. 709, which is the current HD color space.

01:07:11   and most TVs already go bigger than that.

01:07:14   And Panasonic was showing how this TV goes ever so slightly bigger.

01:07:17   But there's also Rec. 2020, which is part of the 4K UHD standard, which is way bigger,

01:07:23   has a much larger range.

01:07:24   It's not as big as the dynamic range of brightness that Dolby was showing off with their crazy

01:07:28   experimental water-cooled thing or whatever.

01:07:31   But it does show that-- this is what I was getting at before-- that 4K brings more than

01:07:34   just resolution.

01:07:35   It brings for Marco, progressive scan mode only.

01:07:39   And for me and a lot of other people, much higher frame rates.

01:07:42   Well, someone was mentioning rectangular pixels.

01:07:43   I have no idea if 4K still has rectangular pixels, or has rectangular pixels at all.

01:07:49   Maybe they're dead too.

01:07:50   Yeah, because my old HDTV that was a 4x3 CRT that you didn't think existed, which did exist,

01:07:57   that was possible because of all these weirdnesses in the HD spec to allow for all this old stuff.

01:08:02   But yeah, 4K is, at least I hope, it is taking its opportunity of dropping tons of legacy

01:08:08   crap like that and just going for now and future looking good technology that's relatively

01:08:14   simple.

01:08:15   And as for the 720p versus 1080i, again, it depends on the frame rate if you do 720p.

01:08:19   At 60 frames versus 1080i over 30, you can all do the math yourself, but as someone pointed

01:08:23   out in the chat room and now I can't scroll back to find where it is, but 720p—I want

01:08:28   to get it right so I don't want to—it was saying that 720p has more temporal resolution,

01:08:34   as in motion over time, because it's not interlaced, obviously, and 1080i has more

01:08:37   spatial resolution. So it depends on what you want. But that whole distinction with

01:08:42   the I and P and stuff will hopefully be a relic of history. I mean, this is kind of

01:08:47   one of the reasons in favor of 4K. You know, in 4K's corner is a lot of the legacy crap

01:08:53   left over from the bad old non-HD days still infects the HD standards. Yes, DudeX, I know

01:08:59   it was you in the chat room. I just couldn't find your line. I couldn't find it. I was

01:09:02   I was going to read it.

01:09:03   Anyway, making 4K, like what makes 4K inevitable is that it actually does get rid of a lot

01:09:12   of the annoying crap and a lot of the details that people then need to care about.

01:09:15   They didn't care about interlace versus progressive.

01:09:18   They don't care about all these details of color spaces and stuff, but if they can make

01:09:21   it so that it looks better to people and so that they have a reason to view it.

01:09:25   Like if you go over to your friend's house and you watch NFL and 4K at higher frame rate

01:09:29   you notice that's different, you're going to want that.

01:09:31   Because now there's content that you're interested in.

01:09:33   And if panel makers--

01:09:35   4K just becomes, well, it's actually cheaper now

01:09:37   to make a 4K panel since all the factories are ramped up

01:09:41   on it or whatever.

01:09:42   It may be inevitable, but I still

01:09:43   think it'll take a long time before cable companies start

01:09:47   broadcasting 4K for anything except for a few special--

01:09:50   you know, content is still going to be

01:09:52   1080 on all the cheap shows for a long, long, long time.

01:09:56   And even on the 4K channels, if the first person says,

01:09:59   every piece of our broadcast is 4K, some of those channels are going to look awful. Because

01:10:04   they're, like, some of the channels look awful today at 1080i because they're just super

01:10:07   over-compressed and gross.

01:10:08   So, do you have anything else to talk about?

01:10:11   I saw a lot of feedback fly through regarding Steam Boxes, and when Jon was lamenting having

01:10:20   to buy a PC just for games, I saw a few people say, "Well, why not get a Steam Box?" So,

01:10:27   Jon, why not?

01:10:28   Well first, so let's just assume that somebody, not me, but that a friend of mine has no clue

01:10:34   what a Steam Box is and hasn't been following this.

01:10:36   Could you maybe explain what it is first?

01:10:39   I could, but I'll do a terrible job of it because I don't really believe in games,

01:10:42   Jon.

01:10:43   They exist whether you believe in them or not.

01:10:47   By explaining Steam Box, it's hard to explain it without revealing my views on it, but anyway.

01:10:53   Valve is a company that started off making games and like many other good companies they

01:10:58   realized that there's more to the market they were in than just making games.

01:11:02   They also made a digital distribution platform which sounds like outside of their core competency,

01:11:07   "Hey, you just make great games.

01:11:08   What are you making a digital distribution platform for?"

01:11:10   Well, they were making it because that's the future of gaming and they saw it before everyone

01:11:13   else and they spent a long time working on their digital distribution thing called Steam,

01:11:18   which if you're not familiar with this type of thing, it's like the app store for games.

01:11:22   You don't have to go to a store and buy a disc.

01:11:23   You just log on to something and download it

01:11:25   and the game goes right onto your computer.

01:11:27   Steam is available for the Mac,

01:11:28   but even though it started out on the PC,

01:11:30   and it's a great way to buy games for all the same reasons

01:11:32   that the app stores are a great way for consumers

01:11:34   to buy apps because who wants to go to the store

01:11:36   and get a stupid disc?

01:11:38   So the Steam box is Valve's next step in this process,

01:11:42   which is, all right, why don't we make hardware as well?

01:11:45   Because not everyone has or wants to make a PC

01:11:48   that can play games.

01:11:50   we will, I guess they're setting some kind of standard or whatever and saying you want

01:11:53   to make a Steam Box.

01:11:54   It's basically like a little PC that comes preconfigured to connect to Steam and it comes

01:11:59   with a little controller if you want or you can use like an Xbox 360 controller or whatever.

01:12:03   And it's sort of a turnkey way for you to get a gaming PC to play games from Steam.

01:12:09   And people were suggesting a Steam Box to me.

01:12:11   I'm not quite sure whether they were suggesting it or they were just asking me what I thought

01:12:15   of it, but I think a lot of the coverage pinpoints the reasons to be skeptical about it, although

01:12:21   those reasons may not end up mattering in the end. The reasons I'm not all that interested in a Steam

01:12:27   Box is because, as many of the stories have said, it does less than a PC for a similar price. I mean,

01:12:33   it's just a PC. It's PC hardware, PC video cards, and a PC box. That's all it is, is just sort of

01:12:41   pre-configured and certified to work in this sort of thing. And they vary wildly. You can get super

01:12:45   cheap ones that are like a super cheap PC. You can get super expensive ones that are like a

01:12:48   super expensive PC. And I imagine, as many people pointed out, the most useful thing you can do with

01:12:53   this is just reboot it into Windows, because the Steam Box runs Linux, by the way, which helps keep

01:12:58   us close to that. Reboot it into Windows, and then you have a gaming PC. Why don't you just buy a

01:13:01   gaming PC? If you want a gaming PC, buy a gaming PC. Well, non-nerds don't want to buy a gaming PC

01:13:06   and don't know anything about them.

01:13:07   So this feature that people think is silly,

01:13:11   so what, it comes pre-configured to connect to Steam

01:13:13   and runs this free OS so you don't have to play

01:13:15   Windows license, who cares?

01:13:16   Like, I don't care about that,

01:13:17   I know how to install software, I know how to do this.

01:13:19   Like, just the mere fact that you can buy something,

01:13:22   call the Steam Box and have some sort of guarantees

01:13:24   about the experience, not guarantees,

01:13:26   like 'cause they do very wildly,

01:13:27   but if Valve can manage the expectations when you know,

01:13:32   I don't wanna get into PC gaming,

01:13:33   but my friend got a Steam Box

01:13:35   seems to be fewer problems, I'll get one of those. It's kind of like, I don't know anything

01:13:40   about digital music, but my friend got one of those iPod things and he's able to listen to music

01:13:44   digitally. So I'm going to try that. I'm not going to say Steambox has no chance.

01:13:51   They're trying to thread a pretty narrow, thread the needle here between the world of game consoles,

01:13:59   which is fixed hardware, doesn't change over time, easy to develop against because developers know

01:14:03   know what everybody has, plus or minus a couple of accessories, and on the other side of the

01:14:07   spectrum, full-fledged gaming PCs.

01:14:09   They're thinking there's something in the middle there where we can get you something

01:14:13   that's better than a console because you can spend more money and get a faster experience

01:14:18   and upgrade it over time in part or in whole and have access to all these games we have

01:14:23   available on Steam, but it's not as complicated as a gaming PC.

01:14:27   I'm not sure if that little narrow valley between those two things is going to work

01:14:31   for them, but it could very well be that the people who make gaming PCs will slowly become

01:14:37   smaller and smaller and smaller and sort of dwindle and die out, and it will turn out

01:14:41   that most of the people playing PC games actually weren't interested in building gaming PCs,

01:14:45   actually weren't interested in maintaining gaming PCs.

01:14:47   And this could really be a sort of a backdoor way to remake the PC industry, for people

01:14:52   who play games anyway, to be more like the iOS device industry, where people aren't interested

01:14:59   and tinkering them. They just want to get them, sit down in front of them, and use them.

01:15:03   So I'm not quite sure how this is going to turn out, but for me, as someone who, you

01:15:09   know, not that I'd be interested in tinkering to things, but I would be able to if I wanted

01:15:13   to. If I wanted to get a gaming PC, I would build a gaming PC. I don't want one, but if

01:15:17   I did, the things stopping me wouldn't be like, "Oh, I wish someone did all this work

01:15:21   for me." Because people do it, you can just go to Alienware and click a bunch of buttons

01:15:24   and get a super expensive gaming PC, and you could build a better one for half the money

01:15:28   if you wanted to, but if you don't want to,

01:15:30   you know, it's the same as anything else.

01:15:31   So we'll see.

01:15:32   I enjoy playing games from Steam on my Mac.

01:15:35   I enjoy playing them, games from Steam on my Mac

01:15:37   when it's booted into Windows,

01:15:38   when it pretends that it's a gaming PC.

01:15:41   I like having one computer that does both of those things.

01:15:44   I also really like game consoles,

01:15:45   so I'm probably not the target market for the Steam Box.

01:15:48   But there's a lot of noise about them,

01:15:51   and we'll wait a year and see how well

01:15:53   all those different vendors who are feeling Steam Boxes

01:15:55   feel about their contribution to Valve's platform.

01:15:58   I'm kind of surprised that anybody thinks there's going to be a market for more than

01:16:02   one of these things.

01:16:03   Like, why is it a category and not just one box?

01:16:06   If it was one box, it would be a game console.

01:16:09   Right.

01:16:10   Well, isn't-- I mean, but it kind of is.

01:16:11   It's kind of a game console for Steam PC games.

01:16:14   I mean--

01:16:15   But for-- but they wanted to have some of the advantages of gaming PCs.

01:16:19   And one of those advantages is it's not the same hardware for everybody.

01:16:22   It changed every year.

01:16:23   You can get a new, faster, better one that makes the games prettier.

01:16:26   And that's not true of consoles.

01:16:27   That's true.

01:16:29   Like I said, the threading a needle.

01:16:31   I don't know how much room there is between

01:16:33   a gaming PC and a game console. It could be

01:16:35   they get squished from above or below,

01:16:37   depending on how you draw this diagram, by

01:16:39   the consoles and just the entire world

01:16:41   of PC gaming gets squished away. Or it could be

01:16:43   that they get squished by real PC gaming

01:16:45   and it turns out the only people left who aren't just

01:16:47   exclusively playing consoles really want a full-fledged

01:16:49   gaming PC and they don't want the

01:16:51   Steam Box. I don't think it's entirely

01:16:53   crazy and I think it is smart for Valve

01:16:55   to get into hardware because they've shown that they understand that there's more to

01:16:59   the world than what they're currently doing, and Steam was a great idea and a smashing

01:17:02   success and they continue to also make great games on top of that.

01:17:06   If they can also make great hardware that's popular, more power to them.

01:17:10   But having third parties do it for you kind of looks like the Windows Phone strategy,

01:17:14   where we're going to encourage this ecosystem of compatible hardware and I don't know.

01:17:18   We'll see.

01:17:19   Do you think it's a problem, am I correct, that the Steam boxes all have gamepad controller

01:17:26   types and not like keyboard mouse kind of schemes?

01:17:29   That's another problem, like the controller that they have is interesting and it's trying

01:17:33   to make up for the fact that you don't have a keyboard and a mouse, and again, a lot of

01:17:37   the people who play PC games, maybe, you know, they like mouse and keyboard, and if you take

01:17:42   that away, maybe they're not interested anymore, but maybe they weren't really wed to mouse

01:17:46   and keyboard, maybe they just wanted something that lets them play first person shooters

01:17:49   and if we can give them a better first person shooter control, I don't know. This is all

01:17:52   a big experiment with, you know, and that's kind of why Valve must like the fact that

01:17:57   they're not the ones sort of doing the experiment. You guys make the hardware up, you might sell

01:18:01   some. I mean, yeah.

01:18:02   Well, the software is not easy either. I mean, I think that, I think the input and like monitor

01:18:08   class, like how far you sit and the input devices you use, I think that will sink this

01:18:13   thing because I think if you want to play a first person shooter using a gamepad on

01:18:17   on a TV, you'll buy a game console. They're probably going to be better at it, and they're

01:18:20   cheaper and they're better managed and they're more popular and everything else.

01:18:24   They're mapping their control scheme to keyboard and mouse. Have you seen the controller? It

01:18:28   looks like two big flat touchpad areas. One of them is the mouse and one of them is WASD,

01:18:34   basically, for legacy games. Because you have to be able to play Half-Life 2, Portal, and

01:18:40   all that stuff. You have to be able to make the legacy games work, otherwise how can you

01:18:43   get a Steam box to have access to zero games? In theory, in the future, games can come out

01:18:47   that controller in mind if it becomes popular, but they have to be able to support the old

01:18:50   games.

01:18:51   And that's what they're trying to do.

01:18:52   And supposedly it works better than using like an Xbox 360 controller if you're playing

01:18:57   first person shooters.

01:18:58   It's more like a keyboard and a mouse.

01:19:00   But I don't know if like, I don't know if it's going to be worthwhile.

01:19:05   Who is the customer for these Steam boxes?

01:19:07   There sure are a lot of them.

01:19:08   They sure come in a lot of different sizes and shapes and price points.

01:19:10   And PC gamers really do love Steam, but I'm not sure what their prospects are.

01:19:15   Yeah, I mean looking at this controller. I just looked it up first of all it looks ridiculous

01:19:18   but I mean like and and I

01:19:21   I'm really out of touch with this stuff because I haven't I haven't been heavily into games in a while

01:19:25   But when I was heavily into games

01:19:27   I loved PC games

01:19:29   And I really didn't get that much enjoyment out of console games because I loved not only did

01:19:34   I love the kind of games that just work a lot better with keyboard mouse and big monitor big high-res monitor in front of your

01:19:39   face like RTS's

01:19:41   And builders like Sim City and stuff like that like not only did I love that kind of game more

01:19:45   But even for the kind of games that work on both, I just liked having a mouse better than

01:19:51   a gamepad.

01:19:52   And I was always, and maybe because I was just used to it, I was better at it with the

01:19:54   mouse.

01:19:55   I was more precise with the mouse.

01:19:56   And playing, even playing shooters on gamepads, like it always felt like, yeah, I'm glad

01:20:00   I didn't have to like set up a LAN to play this with my friends or anything, but I'm

01:20:04   not enjoying it as much.

01:20:06   You know, like, and, like I feel like, and by the way, and I did love building my own

01:20:10   PCs.

01:20:11   If I was going to go back to being a PC gamer,

01:20:15   I mean, being a PC gamer takes a lot of time investment

01:20:19   just to manage all the software crap you have to deal with. And the Steam Box will, of course,

01:20:23   solve a lot of that in theory, but

01:20:27   if you're already going to devote a bunch of time into this hobby because you love it so much, you probably

01:20:31   are very likely to also want to build your own computer. Or, like, you know,

01:20:35   I think the market for people who are going to want to buy a

01:20:39   pre-made gaming PC that they had no part in building and that they might not be able to

01:20:43   upgrade very easily, if at all, to play games on a TV that aren't console games on a kind

01:20:49   of console controller that is not a keyboard and mouse.

01:20:52   There's so many big leaps here that I think are just leaping right out of the market.

01:20:57   Well, there's another strategic reason that Valve kind of has to do this to sort of protect

01:21:01   itself, and it's that Microsoft has been less and less interested in making Windows

01:21:05   a hospitable environment for gaming.

01:21:08   And if you look at Valve's business, I'm sure they sell a lot of Mac games too, but they're

01:21:13   mostly selling quote-unquote "PC" games.

01:21:15   And so the part of Steam Box that's maybe the least interesting to consumers, maybe

01:21:20   the most interesting from Valve's perspective, which is we need to sell our games on Linux

01:21:24   or an OS that we have some control over to get away from Windows.

01:21:28   Because Valve has whined about Windows 8 not being particularly hospitable for games in

01:21:33   the early going.

01:21:34   And just in general—

01:21:35   To be fair, Windows 8 is particularly inhospitable for everybody.

01:21:38   For humans, yeah.

01:21:39   So, like, if all that comes out of this is that Steam Box is a total flop, but a huge

01:21:45   portion of games available on Steam run on, like, maybe they don't call it a Steam Box

01:21:50   anymore, but like, if you mostly use your PC for gaming, Valve can say, "Oh, when you

01:21:56   play our games, you should play them, like, in the Steam OS," or whatever they call the

01:22:00   Linux thing that they're going to use there.

01:22:02   it's kind of a hedge against like our future shouldn't depend on Microsoft because Microsoft

01:22:07   cares about Xbox One, you know, with gaming, they care slightly less about Windows and who knows

01:22:13   with Microsoft's new CEO search what kind of direction the company will be taken in.

01:22:16   So this is probably a smart hedge just to say we should really look into if we're going to be a

01:22:22   platform, we should really look into having more control and not being beholden to Microsoft for

01:22:27   so much of our business because certainly Sony is not beholden to Microsoft for its gaming business,

01:22:31   right and you know

01:22:32   Microsoft doesn't beholden to anyone else and so on so I think it's a wise strategic move for valve to be doing this and I

01:22:39   Think it matters less whether the steam boxes

01:22:41   Competes with game consoles or anything it just like it's kind of like steam itself

01:22:45   The payoff will be many many years now, and it may not be the same payoff that they expected

01:22:49   But it's worth doing I think

01:22:51   Marco I'd like to ask you guys about some of your past game experiences, but before we do that would you it's all moon-based commander

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01:24:51   So I wanted to ask you, you had said something a minute ago about how you didn't have to

01:24:57   set up your own network and it just made me remember.

01:24:59   So when I was a kid I used to play quite a lot of games in both all of the Nintendo consoles

01:25:06   and many, many, many PC games.

01:25:09   And I was just curious if you guys had the hilarious experiences of having your friends

01:25:14   over where they would bring their mini towers and their CRT monitors that weighed a thousand

01:25:20   and you're in like sixth or seventh grade at the time, so you can barely lift them on

01:25:24   your own. And you would get like these 40-foot null-modem cables and string them together

01:25:29   and play Wolf 3D or Doom against each other or whatever the case may be. Like, I just,

01:25:34   God, I have such fond memories of that and I was curious if I was the only one.

01:25:38   Yeah, it was a nightmare. I mean, part of the fun of being a high school kid and trying

01:25:44   to hang out with my geek friends and set up some kind of land at somebody's house to

01:25:48   to play Total Annihilation, which is all I did in high school, which actually turned

01:25:52   out to be a pretty good experience.

01:25:56   It was funny because, and I think this is kind of a motto for a lot of PC gaming, or

01:26:00   not a motto, it's a common result of all PC gaming, is like, you have to deal with so

01:26:06   much crap to set it up.

01:26:08   And ours was like a lot of physical moving stuff around, physical plugging stuff in,

01:26:12   figuring out, oh god, why does this network cable that we just made yesterday, and we've

01:26:17   we've never made a network cable before,

01:26:18   why does this all of a sudden not work?

01:26:20   Or why can your computer see the other three

01:26:23   but then one of them can't see you?

01:26:26   And oh God, you didn't install the map.

01:26:28   Or like you start, you get all into the game

01:26:30   and you realize one guy doesn't have the newest patch

01:26:32   and so half the units are disabled.

01:26:34   You know, there's, it was a whole bunch of crap.

01:26:37   It was a whole bunch of time wasting crap,

01:26:40   system administration stuff, rebooting, installing patches,

01:26:42   installing new versions of the game, installing new maps,

01:26:45   getting everything, it was such a nightmare that we would

01:26:48   we would start bringing, and all of these computers were like

01:26:52   our computers or our family's computers so that we couldn't really leave them there

01:26:56   for the next week or anything like, so we would like every weekend

01:27:00   me and a couple friends would bring all our computers over to

01:27:04   one of the two houses that had network switches because

01:27:07   like two of the houses had two computers because the parents like had two computers

01:27:10   so

01:27:10   you know we'd go to, we'd congregate on those houses, plug in, try to figure everything out

01:27:14   we wouldn't even start playing until 12 or 1 in the morning.

01:27:18   Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

01:27:20   Because by the time the game actually launches and you're actually in it, it would be 1 AM

01:27:23   because we would have started setting up at 8 and, you know, been installing patches and

01:27:29   crap until then. And that's... this is like the view of PC gaming that I still have because

01:27:34   I didn't play a lot of games after mid-college or so because I just kind of ran out of time

01:27:40   and then after college I got a job and didn't have time then and all my friends were in

01:27:42   different places, so it kind of fell out of gaming. But is PC gaming, I mean, obviously

01:27:48   nowadays you could bring over LCDs or a laptop, which would be amazing. I mean, we all had

01:27:55   home-built desktops with 19-inch CRT monitors, so it was quite an ordeal. These days I imagine

01:28:03   it's a lot better, but I bet you still have a lot of that software crap to deal with.

01:28:07   Is that still the case?

01:28:08   It's not as bad as it used to be, and for the most part, if you're lucky and you have

01:28:15   some minimum amount of knowledge, you can get a similar experience to that as what people

01:28:19   are getting these days on their PCs.

01:28:21   You get a headset mic, you get the internet for your networking problems, everyone has

01:28:25   their own screen, you're not all physically in the same place, but it's close-ish.

01:28:29   People still have LAN parties, like at the PAX conference they have a giant LAN room

01:28:34   where you can bring your own PC or use the ones that you have there, and they still do

01:28:37   that.

01:28:38   I see people in the giant LAN rooms at conventions and stuff, it's just row after row of people

01:28:43   sitting at PCs looking at their screens wearing headset mics, I think, how important is it

01:28:47   that these people are all in the same room?

01:28:48   And it's not as important as it was when you and your friends were all in the same room,

01:28:51   because the technology, like it's now just you, the screen, the mouse, the keyboard,

01:28:55   and the headset mic, and the fact that the guy you're yelling at is four seats away means

01:28:57   nothing because you never even look at him.

01:29:00   Maybe in smaller atmospheres it would be more important, but I think for the most part that

01:29:04   internet and technology has come to make most of that unimportant.

01:29:09   One thing that the younger people might remember is that the original Xbox, you could bring

01:29:12   that over to someone's house, hook it up, and play Halo, sort of a multi-room, multi-player

01:29:17   Halo experience.

01:29:19   And that, I think, was maybe the last thing to be lugged from house to house for original

01:29:23   Xboxes.

01:29:24   But nowadays, no one lugs their consoles.

01:29:26   I think they basically keep them in their house and use the magic of the internet to

01:29:29   do that stuff.

01:29:30   It's funny to me because channeling my inner bitter old man, like we were talking about

01:29:36   last episode, I just remember so vividly the pain of finding a null-modem cable, which

01:29:42   looked in many ways like a serial cable, but it was different.

01:29:46   And then you had to string them together, and then you had to set up everyone in the

01:29:49   same really, really hot room because no matter how big the room was and how good the air

01:29:54   air conditioning was, when you put all of these humongous machines with these CRTs that

01:30:00   weren't exactly cool either, and you put them all in this little room with all these teenage

01:30:04   dudes that probably don't have the best hygiene anyway, and then you sit there and eat Doritos

01:30:09   and Mountain Dew for hours, and just playing these games like Doom and whatnot, when you

01:30:15   can scream and yell at each other and you're right next to each other.

01:30:19   And then I remember, somebody mentioned in the chat, and one of my all-time favorites

01:30:22   was playing Descent, the first Descent, and playing that not only against your friends,

01:30:30   but locally, but also playing it via modem directly between two friends.

01:30:36   And then eventually when Kali or Cali or whatever it was called came out and it would let the

01:30:44   internet masquerade as an IPX network, which was all that most of these games supported

01:30:48   at the time.

01:30:49   And oh my god, it was so much fun.

01:30:51   And it was such a defining part of my childhood,

01:30:55   like between that and all of the Nintendo consoles.

01:30:58   I know I jokingly begrudged it as recently as earlier

01:31:02   this episode, the whole game thing.

01:31:04   But god, it was such a big part of my upbringing

01:31:07   in my childhood.

01:31:08   And I spent so much time playing these games.

01:31:10   And it's just so weird to me not to get all--

01:31:13   What happened to you, Gaze?

01:31:15   I don't know.

01:31:15   I just grew out-- I don't mean this to be dismissive,

01:31:18   But I guess I just grew out of it.

01:31:20   Like it just wasn't a priority to me anymore.

01:31:22   And I can't even remember the last game that I played that I was really, really into.

01:31:28   I guess maybe Metal Gear Solid on the original PlayStation?

01:31:31   And it was probably not the first Metal Gear Solid either.

01:31:34   Well, when PlayStation 3s are $99 in a couple of years, I'll send you one and you can

01:31:38   play Journey.

01:31:42   You're not going to leave me alone until I play Journey, are you?

01:31:44   You're not going to leave anybody alone.

01:31:45   Marco, you're still on your schedule too.

01:31:48   Wait, what was Marco's schedule?

01:31:51   It's the whenever the hell Marco gets around to it schedule.

01:31:54   Like most things in his life.

01:31:56   It's very different these days that networking is ubiquitous, or if not ubiquitous, darn

01:32:03   near ubiquitous.

01:32:05   And it's such a far cry from what we had to deal with.

01:32:09   And I'm not saying that to make it sound like I walked uphill both ways.

01:32:12   That's not at all the point.

01:32:13   It's surprising to me how much technology has changed in so little time, where our children

01:32:19   will not have any of these woes that we had.

01:32:23   I remember, to connect to the internet originally, my dad and I spent literally a couple of weeks

01:32:29   trying to figure out, I believe, not only the modem initialization string, or whatever

01:32:33   you called it, the AT whatever, whatever, whatever string, but then also the correct

01:32:37   What was it? Was it SLIP? S-L-I-P? To figure out the correct SLIP script to write. I've

01:32:46   probably told the story before and I'm sorry. But oh my goodness, it was such pain. When

01:32:52   we finally got it, it was such a sense of accomplishment. It's not the same anymore.

01:32:59   Not that any of the kids these days have different issues that they have to overcome like Windows.

01:33:02   But, nevertheless, it's just so funny to me how different things are today.

01:33:08   I mean, ultimately it's better today.

01:33:10   Oh yeah.

01:33:11   But, you know, I, well, hold on.

01:33:13   Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Fracture, Ting, and Squarespace.

01:33:17   And we'll see you next week.

01:33:18   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin.

01:33:19   Cause it was accidental.

01:33:20   Oh it was accidental.

01:33:21   John didn't even mean to be.

01:33:22   over they didn't even mean to begin cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental. John

01:33:29   didn't do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn't let him cause it was accidental, it was accidental.

01:33:39   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm and if you're into Twitter you can follow

01:33:51   Follow them @CASEYLISS

01:33:56   So that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:34:00   Auntie Marco Arment, S-I-R-A-C

01:34:06   USA, Syracuse

01:34:08   It's accidental

01:34:11   They didn't mean to

01:34:14   Accidental

01:34:16   Tech broadcast so long

01:34:21   I disagree with something that John said a few minutes back, which is about how network

01:34:26   play kind of replaced in-person play.

01:34:30   I don't think it's anywhere near the same thing.

01:34:32   And the headset and the constant voice chat does improve things a lot, but I don't know.

01:34:38   There's something about just being in the same room or being in the next room over from

01:34:44   the people who you're playing against, and when you start marching into their base and

01:34:48   you can hear them swear and get all upset about it.

01:34:52   Or we had a rule during our LAN games for total annihilation.

01:34:56   We had a rule that you were not allowed to mute the sound

01:35:00   or to wear headphones.

01:35:00   You had to use audible sound.

01:35:03   You can turn it down, but it had to be audible.

01:35:06   And so you could, there was even strategy in that.

01:35:09   Be careful what you click,

01:35:10   because the other person might hear you click on a big unit

01:35:12   that makes a certain sound and they'll know you have one.

01:35:14   Or something like that.

01:35:15   There's all these little factors you could add in

01:35:17   or that just kind of happened, that made it a more interesting, more rich experience to

01:35:23   like be in the same room as people and be playing with people as opposed to just everyone

01:35:27   meeting on the same server together, you know?

01:35:30   And I think looking at that, what probably really killed the LAN party as being a thing,

01:35:36   besides how incredibly expensive and complicated and time consuming it was, was the N64 getting

01:35:43   four players.

01:35:46   like because the N64 came out at roughly the same time that we were doing all this stuff and

01:35:50   Or a little before but it really came into its own by that time. So like we were faced with all right

01:35:56   Well, what do you want to do tonight?

01:35:57   Do you want to all bring your computers over and stick around with Windows for two hours?

01:36:01   Or do you want to just come over and play Goldeneye like yeah, it's already here and Mario Kart, right?

01:36:08   You know, hey, you know you two guys bring controllers. We only have two otherwise, we're finally yeah

01:36:13   You know, like it was like I feel like in person playing of

01:36:16   Four player good n64 and forward games. I think that really did more to kill the LAN party

01:36:24   Well, I didn't say that it was the same but it did replace it in the same way that when you went from what?

01:36:29   Replaced your LAN parties what replaced it was four player script screen for player script split screen is not the same because everybody can see

01:36:36   Everybody else's screen, but it did replace it

01:36:38   So, like I said, if you look at how are people doing most of their multiplayer gaming it used to be

01:36:42   be that the super hardcore gamers were having LAN parties.

01:36:46   Nowadays, the super hardcore gamers

01:36:48   are sitting in front of a screen with a headset on.

01:36:50   So it replaced it.

01:36:51   And I was thinking of the in-person thing,

01:36:53   like the places where LAN parties still exist.

01:36:55   At conventions, often when I see people playing at giant LAN

01:36:58   parties at conventions, they're playing at the LAN party

01:37:00   the same way they play at home, which

01:37:01   is headphones on, headset on, staring

01:37:04   at the screen in front of them.

01:37:05   Which is not the same, you're right.

01:37:07   But that is what has replaced-- those other aspects that

01:37:11   different were deemed not as important as the aspects that they like.

01:37:15   Just like when you went to four-player split-screen GoldenEye, the aspects that you were missing

01:37:19   having private screens were significant but were not the most important thing.

01:37:23   The most important thing is you were having fun with your friends.

01:37:26   For most people, the inconvenience of traveling to be the same place, a lot of that has to

01:37:32   do with scheduling.

01:37:34   Getting everybody when they're all free at the same time and can travel to someone's

01:37:37   house to sit on their couch together to play a game, even when you've eliminated all

01:37:42   LAN party stuff, it's harder to do that than it is to, "Hey, when dinner is done

01:37:47   and the kids are in bed, let me just wander into my computer room and everyone get online

01:37:51   the same way we do our podcast.

01:37:52   Everyone just get online at nine o'clock and that works out."

01:37:55   So it is definitely different and there are aspects that are not as good and you're

01:37:59   missing things, but convenience wins out eventually.

01:38:02   And that's true, but to me, some of my favorite memories of doing these "land parties" or

01:38:08   "null modem parties" or whatever you want to call them, was if not the hooping and hollering

01:38:13   that happened during the games like Marco was describing, but man, the trash talk afterwards,

01:38:18   like after a session or a game or a round or whatever was over, when you would just

01:38:24   happily fun getting each other's faces and start screaming and yelling about "Oh, I can't

01:38:28   believe you did that, you wuss!" and "Oh, I totally slaughtered you on that level" and

01:38:32   blah, blah, blah. Maybe it's just because I'm obnoxious, but oh, that was the most fun

01:38:36   in the world. And that just, I don't see, and it's hard for me to say because I don't

01:38:40   really play games that much anymore, but I don't see that happening at a LAN party, or

01:38:44   especially if you're not co-located.

01:38:47   Well, I'm pretty sure trash talk still works over headset mics. Someone who plays PC games

01:38:52   can confirm to me that perhaps trash talk still is a thing on the internet.

01:38:56   You know what I mean.

01:38:57   I'm pretty sure trash talk is the only thing that goes over headset mics.

01:39:00   true. You know what I'm saying? I was trying to do like verbal sarcasm tags because sometimes

01:39:05   people don't catch it like when when I said the Mac Mini has a core tube duo and people correct

01:39:10   corrected me as if I was serious. That was sarcasm folks. We invented it in New York I think.

01:39:15   Well everything comes from New York because we're the best. Oh god. We? We? Mr. Ohio? I'm sorry.

01:39:23   Accepting this. Well I- you left so I'm at least here now. It's more important to be from there

01:39:29   than to be there.

01:39:30   Hey, hey, John, where were you born?

01:39:33   What does your birth certificate say?

01:39:35   What state?

01:39:36   New York.

01:39:37   And would you ask me?

01:39:38   Oh, I don't know, Virginia, right?

01:39:40   Connecticut?

01:39:41   I don't know, some crazy state.

01:39:43   New York, John, New York.

01:39:45   How long were you in New York?

01:39:46   At least a few minutes, right?

01:39:47   You have to have your formative years there.

01:39:49   The thing that molds you into the man that you are, your formative years are called formative

01:39:53   for a reason.

01:39:54   Where did you spend those years, Casey?

01:39:56   So, well, not New York.

01:39:58   So I was zero through two in Fort Montgomery, New York.

01:40:03   Then we bounced around for a little bit.

01:40:05   When I was a really young kid from kindergarten through second grade, I believe it was, I

01:40:11   was in Carmel, New York.

01:40:13   Carmel, New York is not New York.

01:40:15   Come on, it's upstate.

01:40:17   It's not that upstate.

01:40:18   My God, it's…

01:40:19   Yeah, that's basically Canada.

01:40:20   Marco is practically upstate.

01:40:21   Carmel is like an hour and a half from New York City.

01:40:26   It is not that upstate.

01:40:28   You can get pretty out there in an hour and a half from New York City.

01:40:31   The only way you can get an hour and a half from New York City and not be upstate is by

01:40:34   going east.

01:40:35   So into the ocean?

01:40:37   Oh, Long Island, I guess.

01:40:39   Yeah.

01:40:40   There's bridges and tunnels.

01:40:41   You can get there.

01:40:42   It's traffic and wine.

01:40:43   Oh, goodness.

01:40:44   One thing, actually, that I wanted to mention here, only because we were talking about this

01:40:48   LAN party and PC gaming crap, is that one of the four core guys that I had these LAN

01:40:55   with is getting married this spring and as part of the bachelor party we're like renting

01:41:00   a beach house somewhere for like a weekend and we want to play land games again. So I

01:41:04   think what I'm going to do to have this done is, and we don't want to play new games, we

01:41:10   want to play Total Annihilation and maybe Supreme Commander at the newest which came

01:41:14   out in like 2004 or something. So not new games by any stretch. So what I'm thinking

01:41:22   is I'm thinking of configuring, because I don't want to have to spend this whole weekend

01:41:27   downloading stuff over God knows what connection and configuring stuff there. That's not a

01:41:31   good use of a weekend in a beach house. So I was thinking TechServe will rent you MacBook

01:41:37   Pros like by the day or by the week and for a pretty reasonable price. So I was thinking

01:41:42   I could just like rent like six MacBook Pros and have like a pre-configured Parallels VM

01:41:50   that I could just, that I would set up beforehand and just copy to all of them and play that

01:41:56   way. Is that plausible, you think? You could try Boxer. Like, it's a DOS game,

01:42:00   right? You could try Boxer. No, no, no. Unfortunately, these are Windows

01:42:04   games. These are like, like, Total Annihilation is like a Windows 98 era game, but it works

01:42:08   on, it still works on modern Windows. It doesn't run on DOS?

01:42:11   No. And Supreme Commander is like a DirectX 9 game. It's pretty, relatively recent. It's

01:42:17   it's ten years old, but relatively recent.

01:42:20   Why don't you just boot the MacBook Pros into Windows to play the game?

01:42:24   Because I don't know how—I think that that might take too long to get a real boot camp

01:42:30   partition.

01:42:31   I guess I could image it somehow.

01:42:33   I don't know how to do that, though.

01:42:35   I don't know.

01:42:37   Those imaging products for the PC.

01:42:39   Anyway, either of those things should probably work.

01:42:41   For a total annihilation, any one of those things should work.

01:42:43   It should run reasonably in a VM.

01:42:45   Just try it once on your Mac Pro to see if it does fine in VMware.

01:42:51   And to answer the chat people, the reason I don't just get Windows machines is because

01:42:56   I want to have all this set up before I rent the computers and before I get there.

01:43:01   Have a VM set up so I can just copy it over and be done with it and not spend hours and

01:43:05   hours and hours making this work.

01:43:08   I predict that no matter what you do to prepare for this, part of the LAN party experience

01:43:13   will be preserved and that will be the part of you dicking around with the computers.

01:43:16   Almost definitely.

01:43:17   No matter what.

01:43:18   So be glad.

01:43:19   That shouldn't be a failure.

01:43:20   That should be considered part of the success.

01:43:24   You know, I've tried to get so back into games so many times.

01:43:27   There's this great other podcast called Three Moves Ahead, and it's like a strategy gaming

01:43:31   podcast, and it's also a lot of good stuff just about people.

01:43:34   They have good chemistry there, so it's an interesting show.

01:43:37   But I try to get into that, and I listen to the episodes that were about ancient games

01:43:41   that I'm aware of, but all the ones about new games, I don't know what the heck they're

01:43:45   talking about.

01:43:46   And it's like this whole world that's happened that's had us moved on for like ten years

01:43:51   since I stopped paying attention to it, and I feel like I can't get back into it now.

01:43:57   Like I'm excited to play ancient games with my ancient friends on this one occasion.

01:44:03   I'm excited about that, but like I don't want to play Total Annihilation against strangers

01:44:06   on the internet today.

01:44:07   Well, you can look at it the good way and the bad way.

01:44:12   The bad way is that you're missing out on all these great games and you are missing

01:44:14   out on them.

01:44:15   But the good way is that by being ignorant for so long, in your future somewhere lies

01:44:20   a time when you're going to somehow stumble upon or find yourself playing a modern game,

01:44:26   and you're going to be like, "Oh my god, I didn't know.

01:44:28   When did this happen to games?"

01:44:30   And it will be interesting.

01:44:31   Like, it happened to me with console games, because I never owned game consoles because

01:44:34   because my parents didn't let me have one,

01:44:36   and I stopped kind of playing them over my friend's house

01:44:38   once I really got into computers,

01:44:40   because that sort of dominated my life.

01:44:41   And around the SNES era, I kind of faded away from consoles.

01:44:45   And the next time I paid any attention at all to consoles

01:44:48   was when I saw on my cousin's Nintendo 64, Mario 64,

01:44:51   I'm like, "Oh my God, when did this happen?"

01:44:53   It's not like I hadn't seen 3D graphics before,

01:44:54   like we were all playing Quake with Voodoo cards

01:44:56   or whatever, or a friend's house.

01:44:58   But seeing a game console with an analog stick

01:45:00   and seeing Mario 64 was just like a shock to my system

01:45:03   totally brought me back to console gaming and it also helped at that point I was old enough to buy my own so in your

01:45:07   Future somewhere you will have your mario 64 a moment and you will probably get back into it

01:45:12   But in the meantime, you should have used my strategy with cars

01:45:14   Which is I'll never drive or you know with the exception of seeing here

01:45:18   I'm 5 see any of these cars in real life or have anything to do with them

01:45:21   But I've been reading car magazines since I was like 10 years old like continuously. So despite the fact that I

01:45:27   Didn't own any cars until many many years and then now I've only had a couple of cars in my entire life

01:45:32   I still feel like I'm in the car scene just by reading car magazines every month for my entire

01:45:39   Adult and half of child life, so you could have been doing that if you really cared

01:45:43   I mean I kind of do it too. I read all the game. I read the gaming news

01:45:47   I read the game console magazines and granted I have like five consoles like those with my TV

01:45:51   But I don't have all of them, and I don't play all the PC games, but I'm aware of them

01:45:54   So it's kind of like a you know

01:45:57   What point is there reading car magazines about cars you never gonna own what point is there reading game magazines about games?

01:46:02   never going to play. It's both kind of the same thing. I do both of them. You know, hearing you

01:46:06   say Voodoo Card, it made me remember, as I'm getting on this nostalgic kick, that one 3D

01:46:12   card that we had, I think it was the first one we got, where you would take this short little stubby

01:46:17   cable and plug it into the VGA out of your actual video card, and then plug it into a VGA in on the

01:46:24   3D daughter card, and then the VGA out that goes to your monitor was on that 3D daughter card. Oh

01:46:30   Oh my goodness, it was so terrible.

01:46:33   - Yeah, that was the crappy old days.

01:46:35   Like the Voodoo 2, I think, did that.

01:46:37   My first good 3D card was the Voodoo 3

01:46:39   because like the first one, I think,

01:46:40   that was all integrated and didn't have that stupid hack.

01:46:43   - I remember back in the day when I was excited

01:46:45   to get a Sound Blaster so I could listen

01:46:47   to like the sound effects on Carmen Sandiego

01:46:50   as like a 10-year-old or whatever I was.

01:46:52   - Those were the good old days of baiting PC users

01:46:54   when their computers couldn't do basic things

01:46:58   like have an auto switching 10/100 ethernet cable,

01:47:01   you mentioned the Xbox, or a sound card.

01:47:04   What do you need a sound card for?

01:47:06   My computer can make sounds.

01:47:07   - Except our computers could play games

01:47:09   and my very first mouse came with two buttons.

01:47:11   (laughing)

01:47:13   - That's not a feature.

01:47:14   [BLANK_AUDIO]