39: Desperation Mode


00:00:00   All right, I'm going to use the most interesting two-thirds

00:00:01   of that for the after show.

00:00:03   Now let's start the real show.

00:00:05   Good idea, good idea.

00:00:08   Good to say.

00:00:08   So I hear it was Christmas at the Syracuse household already.

00:00:12   Yeah, the tiny little package arrived that weighed a lot.

00:00:16   Yeah, I was very proud of that.

00:00:18   It seemed very dense.

00:00:20   It really shows how little Marco cared about the old Kindles

00:00:23   that he sent me.

00:00:25   He packed them together by stacking them

00:00:28   one on top of each other.

00:00:29   They were their own packing material.

00:00:31   (laughing)

00:00:32   Like, nothing in between them,

00:00:34   no like bubble wrap tissue paper, you know, just--

00:00:37   - I put the crappiest one on top.

00:00:39   - It's just a bunch of Kindles and other e-readers

00:00:42   jammed together into a solid brick.

00:00:44   - Well, they stack very well.

00:00:46   (laughing)

00:00:47   - Yeah, it was very-- - Except for the damn

00:00:48   Kindle one, which is wedge-shaped.

00:00:50   Everything else stacks really well.

00:00:51   - I think they managed to, like, yeah,

00:00:53   the original Kindle, like the back cover,

00:00:55   had come off in transit,

00:00:56   but I don't think anything was broken on it.

00:00:59   And the Kindle Touch has a thing in the upper left corner

00:01:03   where it's damaged.

00:01:04   Was that already there?

00:01:07   What kind of thing?

00:01:08   I think there's a small, tiny scratch on the screen

00:01:10   up there maybe?

00:01:11   Yeah, it's like a little spot that's permanently black.

00:01:13   Like a little--

00:01:14   Oh, like a dead pixel?

00:01:15   Well, no, it's bigger than that.

00:01:16   It's like someone took a flathead screwdriver

00:01:18   and went pink and jammed into the screen.

00:01:21   So it's like a little crack slash area.

00:01:23   It's not big.

00:01:23   It's like--

00:01:24   Nope, that's new.

00:01:26   Sorry.

00:01:27   Yeah, whatever.

00:01:27   But anyway, the kindles came and we opened them up at the table with all the kids are

00:01:33   there and all these kindles coming out and surprising things happened because Marco,

00:01:37   you know, I mentioned, I put this in the show and Marco's like, well, there's nothing to

00:01:39   say about that.

00:01:40   It's not, it's not that exciting.

00:01:41   And you know, it's a bunch of old kindles.

00:01:42   I thought I would just take them, put them up into the attic.

00:01:44   These are just the two surprising things that happened.

00:01:47   One, the first thing my son said when he saw all these things is, "Can I have a Kindle

00:01:51   Fire?"

00:01:52   I didn't mention Kindle Fire.

00:01:53   I didn't show him that there was a Kindle Fire in this stack of things, but he quickly

00:01:58   surmised that in this giant stack of things that I said are Kindles, one of them might

00:02:02   be Kindle Fire and that's the one that he want.

00:02:04   Interesting.

00:02:05   And this is before any of them were turned on.

00:02:06   So that means that the Kindle Fire has good brand recognition among young kids whose parents

00:02:11   don't want them to have a really expensive iPad.

00:02:14   That's really interesting.

00:02:15   Although he apparently didn't know enough about them to recognize that if you're going

00:02:18   to have any Kindle Fire, the one I sent you, which is the very first one, is by far the

00:02:23   worst one you can possibly have.

00:02:24   It's just a big stack of stuff.

00:02:25   And the thing is, it doesn't really make any sense because our iPad 2 is basically

00:02:30   the kids' iPads 2, and my daughter doesn't really use the iPad 2, so it's basically

00:02:33   his iPad 2.

00:02:34   So he sort of has an iPad 2 that he can use more or less whenever he wants, and he still

00:02:39   wanted a Kindle Fire because I guess he thought it would be his his.

00:02:42   And the second reaction is, my daughter said, "Oh, can I have a Kindle?"

00:02:46   And I said, "Yes, you can."

00:02:47   And she said, "Yay!"

00:02:49   So there you go.

00:02:51   Kids love Kindles.

00:02:52   I was trying to decide which one to give her, like, you know, we're gonna put some books on it.

00:02:57   You know, she's learning to read and stuff like that.

00:02:59   My son already has an old Ian Kindle that we had that he reads on and everything like that.

00:03:03   She's just starting to read, and I decided to actually give her the Kindle Touch because as anyone with young kids knows, you put a

00:03:08   Kindle in front of them, they touch the screen immediately.

00:03:10   And why wouldn't they? Like, anything that you can't touch the screen on is obviously broken.

00:03:14   And so the Kindle Touch, you actually can touch the screen.

00:03:16   I kind of regretted it because

00:03:18   Sometimes she wants to use her finger to trace like when you're reading the words and that doesn't really work that well on a Kindle

00:03:22   Touch because as soon as you touch, you know, it changes the page or whatever

00:03:25   But trying to give her one that you had to use like the cursor controls or something to do books

00:03:30   I think that would be more difficult than and

00:03:32   The Kindle touch has fewer like buttons and things you could bump on the edges and excellently turn pages

00:03:36   So well, yeah, you made a bunch of people happy with although I saw my son

00:03:39   He couldn't have the Kindle fire because I don't want him using that thing

00:03:44   He's already got his reading Kindle. He's got his iPad. So he doesn't really need it so he got over it now

00:03:48   But yeah, I was excited by the arrival of Kindles in the house

00:03:51   I first heard like when when the Kindle fire came out, what was it two years ago now roughly I first heard

00:03:58   When I first came out there was this massive

00:04:01   Common refrain I heard from people which was that they were men of course because they're nerds on the internet and it's way too

00:04:10   predominantly male still

00:04:12   And they were men who were buying Kindle fires

00:04:14   to give their wife a tablet

00:04:18   Which if you think about the quality of the Kindle fire, not only is this a fairly derogatory thing to do

00:04:25   but I

00:04:27   wonder if any of those caused marital problems I

00:04:30   Mean it is such an incredibly terrible device. I

00:04:35   Can't imagine that ended up. Well, have you seen the new one the HDX whatever it's called?

00:04:41   I haven't no is it any better

00:04:43   I've seen it and it like they're getting way better like if you compare the Kindle fire you sent me compared to the new one

00:04:48   It's like night and day like the new one is not embarrassing anymore

00:04:50   The only thing that I think is embarrassing about the new one is that it's externally asymmetrical, which I find incredibly offensive

00:04:56   Wait what it is in what direction like?

00:05:00   If you're looking at it in a portrait orientation, and you're gripping it one side is thicker than the other

00:05:05   It's like weird trapezoid back shape. It's it's it's for the origami style kind of case that comes with

00:05:11   I mean it makes sense in the context of the case that the thing like slots into the case

00:05:15   Because it's kind of like a a tapered trapezoid on the back

00:05:19   Oh, it's it's weird

00:05:22   But it bothers me way more than it should because like who cares who cares what shape the back of the thing is right?

00:05:25   But I do I don't want it. I want it to be symmetrical

00:05:28   I want a thing that I hold it just seems wrong to me

00:05:31   But but the screen is really really nice the interface is no longer disgustingly laggy

00:05:36   If you wanted to give somebody something that all they're gonna do on it is watch Amazon

00:05:42   instant streaming video and read books filled with typos

00:05:46   It would be fine. I

00:05:49   Wouldn't buy it for anyone who wants to use applications obviously, but but they've got they've come a long way. That's good

00:05:55   I mean they had nowhere to go but up

00:05:57   Yeah, this thing is like a brick. It's sitting right next to me. It's unbelievable.

00:06:00   I couldn't, I mean I'd seen them when they were new, but it's like was this always this huge? It's just

00:06:03   terrible.

00:06:06   Imagine like there are so many people bought that

00:06:09   because it was it was sold as like a as like the premium Kindle like if you wanted an E-int Kindle you should consider

00:06:15   upgrading to this and if you're reading on it it is in almost every way

00:06:20   substantially worse than the E-int Kindles

00:06:24   And it's so many people bought that as an upgrade, but that was that probably did not turn out

00:06:30   Well, you could fend off muggers with it. I guess

00:06:32   And the back of it is that nice textured plastic rubberized stuff. I like it back felt all right

00:06:38   I like this, but like it's so heavy you can't like holding this in one hand forget it whereas the E and kindles like they're

00:06:43   So light now. They're like practically like a piece of paper so much nicer to hold in one hand yeah, all right

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00:09:27   We got a lot, or I don't know if we should, I should say we got, but we saw a lot of interesting

00:09:33   news that may or may not be news about PhotoStream.

00:09:37   And Jon, you seem to have taken point and prepared some notes for the show that we don't

00:09:42   prepare for.

00:09:43   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

00:09:46   Do you want to walk through kind of what we've learned over the last week?

00:09:49   Yeah, since we talked so much about Everpix on a couple past shows, a couple of people

00:09:53   on Twitter sent me a link to a recently updated Apple Knowledge Base article about PhotoStream,

00:10:00   and we'll have the link in the show notes, and here's some text from one of them. It says,

00:10:05   "There is no limit to the amount of photos you can upload to my PhotoStream over a longer period,

00:10:09   such as several months or years. Photos uploaded to my PhotoStream or shared PhotoStreams are not

00:10:14   counted against the iCloud storage." Well, we knew that about the iCloud storage. And so we used to

00:10:18   like, "Oh, there was an upload limit of 1,000, but now it says there's no limit," right?

00:10:22   And that began the conversation amongst all the people on Twitter finding other knowledge-based

00:10:27   articles and saying, "Yeah, but here's this knowledge-based article that has an even

00:10:30   later date that says it's still limited to 1,000." And then there were people experimenting by

00:10:34   saying, "Okay, I've got 1,000 photos in my stream. I will take one more picture." And I see the first

00:10:39   picture just went off the end, and it still says I have 1,000. Then people were saying, "Well,

00:10:41   that's just what's on your phone. Really, all of them are on your server. I went on vacation,

00:10:45   Took 3,000 pictures. Only 1,000 were on my phone, but when I came home and went to iPhoto,

00:10:49   all 3,000 were in my photo stream. And this went back and forth and back and forth. I think we

00:10:54   should just put all these links in the show notes so people can look at them. My takeaway from all

00:10:59   of this is that regardless of what the situation actually is, experimentally determined, determined

00:11:05   from Apple's documents, however you want to do it, it's obviously still way too confusing for us

00:11:09   to figure out. And the most important feature of Everpix was not how it behaved. It was the fact

00:11:15   that you could explain it very simply. We could put all your photos forever. They're

00:11:20   stored in the cloud. Period. The end. Anything that you have to look at all these documents

00:11:24   and have a big Twitter conversation about and try to read the tea leaves on is missing

00:11:28   the most important feature, which is simplicity and understandability. So I'm not even sure

00:11:33   what the current situation is. The upload limit stuff seems straightforward because

00:11:36   you just say, "Well, they're just saying how many you can upload." They don't say anything

00:11:39   about how many they keep or how many will be redownloaded or anything like that. And

00:11:43   I think pretty much people have determined it'll only keep a thousand on your device in the stream and

00:11:47   5,000 in each shared stream, but I'm still not entirely sure about okay

00:11:53   Well, so given all those constraints will it do like the guy who went on vacation said and yeah

00:11:57   You only have a thousand on your your main photo stream on your phone

00:12:01   But when you get home and I photo syncs with your photo stream will it pull down all your pictures?

00:12:05   Like there's no good way as far as I know

00:12:09   To you know like the equivalent of Arabic's you go to the Arabic website, and there's all your pictures

00:12:14   You know the pic the cloud is the the source of truth your pictures are in the cloud

00:12:18   And they may be on local machines as a caching type thing

00:12:20   And and photo stream and everything we're still not sure so I think Apple may be making progress here

00:12:26   Or maybe they just changed the upload limit or a throttling thing

00:12:30   I don't know

00:12:30   But it's kind of one of those things where all the incremental steps don't really matter until they get to the point where they just

00:12:36   Don't worry about it. It's simple. We got you covered and here's how it works and here's you can feel secure knowing that it worked

00:12:41   Because right now I don't think anyone feels secure in their knowledge of exactly how photo stream works with all their devices

00:12:45   I know I certainly don't yeah, I don't either and this you know

00:12:49   I was thinking as you were narrating all this this feels so I don't know Microsoft like you know like oh well

00:12:55   It's this except one that and then there's this except one. That's other thing and it just it's so

00:13:01   blurry and weird and it's so not the way Apple usually is.

00:13:06   And just like you said, it needs to be simple.

00:13:08   And one thing, and I don't have the piece of feedback handy,

00:13:11   but somebody sent us some interesting feedback

00:13:15   with some back of the napkin calculations

00:13:17   as to how much data storing every iOS user's pictures

00:13:22   from the beginning of time would really take up.

00:13:26   And I don't remember the answer off the top of my head,

00:13:28   and I'm not even sure that they were right,

00:13:30   But suffice to say, it was a metric crap ton of data

00:13:33   that they would need-- or of hard drive space

00:13:36   they would need in order to store all of these pictures

00:13:39   from everyone under the sun.

00:13:40   So perhaps what made Everpix even mildly doable

00:13:44   was simply that they weren't trying to do it for everyone.

00:13:47   They were trying to do it for thousands or tens of thousands

00:13:49   of users.

00:13:50   I mean, the storage--

00:13:52   storage for individuals, especially--

00:13:54   I mean, maybe the sharing stuff has some angle on it.

00:13:56   But there's not the type of--

00:13:58   It's not the type of service like, I don't know, Twitter or Facebook where everybody's

00:14:02   seeing everybody else's stuff, where the complexity and difficulty really ramps up as you add

00:14:07   more things.

00:14:08   You can kind of silo this.

00:14:09   If you can support 10 people, you can just multiply that out to support thousands and

00:14:14   millions.

00:14:15   Yes, it costs tons and tons of money, but if it's profitable for whatever, you know,

00:14:18   Everpick said they'd be profitable at like 20,000 people, well, if it's profitable at

00:14:22   20,000, presumably it'd still be profitable at 40, at 60, at 90, and it's like, "Oh, that

00:14:26   costs so much money.

00:14:27   Look at all the storage."

00:14:28   It costs lots of money. Apple has billions of dollars.

00:14:30   Maybe you'd have to have an upfront investment, but if it's profitable at 20,000 for this little dinky company,

00:14:35   hopefully Apple at 400 million, it could still be profitable, or at least break even.

00:14:39   Or maybe it's even a little bit of a cost center, but like I said, it may be just the cost of doing business eventually.

00:14:44   And the photo stream stuff is kind of like bargaining. It's like, "How about this, guys?

00:14:48   How about we will store all your pictures?"

00:14:51   The shared photo streams are way better than it used to be for sharing photos.

00:14:54   I use them all the time with my family because it's easier than it used to be and they don't

00:14:58   have to do anything.

00:14:59   If they have an iOS device, if I put a picture in my shared photo stream, it appears and

00:15:03   they can look at it right there.

00:15:04   And that's better than emailing them pictures.

00:15:07   That's even better than, you know, in the old days making a .Mac website and giving

00:15:10   them the URL of the website and they would look at and all that stuff.

00:15:13   So I like photo streams, but I think Apple was hoping if we make this constrained service

00:15:19   and we put these numbers up, you know, a thousand pictures, blah, blah, blah, whatever, we won't

00:15:23   have these crazy storage demands and maybe this will solve the problem and I

00:15:26   think it helps but it doesn't you know solve the are all my pictures safe

00:15:30   problem and that is an even bigger investment with more stuff and yeah the

00:15:33   numbers are terrifying when you have 400 million but almost anything you do with

00:15:36   400 million people is terrifying. Just think about the email they get and

00:15:39   they're not even a big email provider like the amount of spam that they get at

00:15:43   iCloud.com and Mac.com email addresses alone is pretty terrifying and that is

00:15:47   one of those things that like gets worse as the volume goes up because you get

00:15:50   targeted by spammers and stuff.

00:15:52   So I'm not pretending it's a small problem,

00:15:56   but if anybody could do it, it's the company

00:15:58   with billions and billions of dollars of cash.

00:16:01   And this really is kind of a service--

00:16:05   it's not read mostly like iTunes.

00:16:06   You're not sharing the same files for everybody.

00:16:08   But it's not that complicated.

00:16:09   It's file storage.

00:16:10   It's not computational or a web application

00:16:15   that's all sophisticated.

00:16:16   It's basically like a big bucket of bits

00:16:18   that you can get back in an efficient manner

00:16:20   that good stuff. Well, but it's more than that. I mean, it's replication, it's backup,

00:16:26   and you're right that deduplication is really not an issue because there's nothing to be gained from

00:16:30   it. But certainly backup and replication and scalability and uptime and access speeds and

00:16:37   archival, all that stuff, that's... They've already got to do that for photo

00:16:40   stream. All it does is... I mean, a thousand pictures is still not small change. And if you

00:16:44   multiply that by 50 for 50,000 pictures for each person, it's 50 times harder in terms of... You

00:16:49   You need 50 times more storage and 50 times more money and like all the things that you need, right?

00:16:53   And you probably can't charge 50 times the price or whatever

00:16:57   But it's like it's not like the photo stream itself is already hopefully all those things you described

00:17:02   They already have a solution for and it's just a matter of okay

00:17:05   Well now we just need to pour more money in and hopefully find someplace to get more money out charge more money for users

00:17:10   For it don't don't give it to everyone for free

00:17:11   Maybe maybe make it a $100 a year service a $50 a year service

00:17:15   Like there are things you can do or you know again factored into the price of the other things spread that $50 over the cost

00:17:20   Of all your other products who knows like the money stuff. I feel like can be worked out the technology stuff

00:17:26   They should have all this stuff already in place, and they don't they should have this stuff anyway

00:17:30   Just because this is an important thing that companies in the technology sector are gonna have to have at some point in the future

00:17:36   So anyway, they're not there yet

00:17:39   They seem to be making motions in this direction because that document did have a recent modification date saying that the upload limits were

00:17:46   lowered I

00:17:49   Don't know like we'll know it's happened because they'll have a slide up that says

00:17:52   You know the slide we previously showed you about photo stream said a thousand photos blah blah blah

00:17:57   This slide just has a single word in the middle

00:17:59   It says unlimited or all your photos or some crap like that like we'll know it when it happens

00:18:04   I don't think it's going to arrive at a secret knowledge base article where suddenly there's no more limits

00:18:08   Yeah, I mean that's the kind of thing they would want to brag about that's a pretty big deal

00:18:12   And also like they would want people to know that they're doing it. I mean if they just start

00:18:15   Quietly backing up more than your last X photos

00:18:18   They're not really getting much of a benefit of that you know customer wise PR wise you know customers

00:18:24   Don't realize they can now put everything

00:18:26   Then we'll use it differently. We'll think about it differently

00:18:29   So I think it's important for them to to be very loud about it if they ever do that

00:18:34   Yeah, and also I don't recall if I mentioned this in the last time we talked about Everpix,

00:18:39   which thankfully that was so quick when we did because that gives us time to talk about

00:18:43   it now.

00:18:44   Oh, the chat room's going to kill you.

00:18:47   Yeah, I know.

00:18:48   But just to really quickly add, if Apple did take this on, imagine how much of a selling

00:18:52   point that would be for your normal human that they look at it and they know enough

00:18:57   about the landscape to know that, well, Windows Phone series, mobile 7 series, Metro, not

00:19:02   Metro doesn't do any of the fancy photo things we want.

00:19:07   The Android phone that everyone is telling them to get, well, that looks nice and all,

00:19:11   and I really like that big screen, but I tell you what, this iPhone will back up all of

00:19:16   my pictures for me automatically, and I don't have to worry about it.

00:19:20   Why would I not get that?

00:19:21   So when I take pictures of my kids, grandkids, dog, car, whatever, I know I will never ever

00:19:26   ever lose any of them.

00:19:29   And that would be a real selling point.

00:19:30   But again, it's really hard to do and to get right.

00:19:33   So I don't know.

00:19:35   A lot of people have been telling us about Google+

00:19:37   and how they back up all your stuff.

00:19:39   And some people even mentioned Dropbox.

00:19:40   And Google+ I think is worth addressing,

00:19:42   because I think Google is signed up for like, hey,

00:19:44   we'll save all your photos.

00:19:45   We'll do all this great stuff for you.

00:19:46   And the reason it never is on my radar for something

00:19:48   that I want to do is because Google+ and the whole stuff

00:19:52   associated with it, which is now almost everything that Google

00:19:55   does, is a social network.

00:19:58   It's a social sharing service.

00:20:00   And I would never take my family photos

00:20:02   and give them over to a service that's a social service.

00:20:06   Like I wouldn't, if Facebook said,

00:20:08   "Hey, we'll take all your photos

00:20:09   "and preserve them forever," I wouldn't do it.

00:20:11   And same thing with Google+.

00:20:12   Because the whole purpose of those services

00:20:14   is to share things with other people.

00:20:15   And my photo collection is by default

00:20:18   something I don't wanna share.

00:20:19   In fact, all I wanna do is selectively pick

00:20:21   maybe a handful of pictures and share them

00:20:23   with selected people like I do in PhotoStream.

00:20:25   I never wanna take, "Here's my entire photo library,

00:20:27   Jam it up to a social network service, even if it has control to say, "Oh yeah, no, it'll be private by default.

00:20:32   Everything you upload won't be shown to anybody unless you explicitly say it will. Don't forget to check the chat."

00:20:37   Even if all the defaults are right, even if all the heart isn't in the right place,

00:20:40   it just doesn't make me comfortable to take all my photos and put them on a social network.

00:20:44   Because that's not like I don't want to share them with the world.

00:20:47   I'm just looking for somebody to store my pictures, you know, like Everpix did.

00:20:51   Right. I know we saw I saw him briefly. I know I saw a lot of feedback

00:20:55   Oh just use Flickr and I actually engaged with somebody was like well, yeah, but they default to sharing all your pictures

00:21:01   No, no, you don't need to default sharing off all your pictures, but I completely agree with you John. That's inherently

00:21:07   Opposed their motivations are inherently opposed to my motivations and and that's just not good

00:21:14   So anyway, and we can move on from this photo stuff

00:21:17   And let me ask you John

00:21:20   If you were Steven Elop and you were trying to discuss without actually discussing what you do as the next Microsoft CEO

00:21:28   What would you do with Xbox? Yeah, I didn't actually read all these articles about

00:21:32   There was a bunch of leaks from

00:21:35   Presumably from Elop's camp about what he would do if he took over Microsoft and if you're gonna leak stuff like that like I

00:21:42   Assume the idea was to leak things

00:21:46   that people would say, "Yeah, that's awesome. Get this guy, because look what he said he's gonna do," like to make public pressure.

00:21:52   You know,

00:21:55   ELOP or his

00:21:56   surrogates or whatever, suddenly there'd be pressure from the press, from the public, from Microsoft shareholders.

00:22:02   "You've got to get his ELOP guy in there, because he has some amazing ideas,

00:22:05   and you guys are a bunch of bozos." But then the ideas he put out seemed terrible, and everyone seems to think they're terrible ideas.

00:22:09   And so, I don't know if this was an intentional leak by his camp. If it was,

00:22:15   Maybe they thought these were great ideas, but I don't think they're great ideas, and I don't see anybody else thinking they're great ideas.

00:22:21   I mean, maybe they're scary and radical, and that's the vibe he's going for, like he's ready to shake stuff up,

00:22:25   there's no sacred cows or whatever, but yeah, don't get rid of the one thing that is a cut.

00:22:31   The one product Microsoft has that's probably the most loved by customers.

00:22:34   You can't say it's the most successful product because they had, you know,

00:22:37   was it multiple billion dollar write down because of the red ring of death on the 360s, and it's lost money for years,

00:22:43   and it did start to break even and become profitable.

00:22:44   I think recently but over its entire lifetime it still hasn't dug itself out of the hole that took to get there

00:22:49   but people like it people like the Xbox and

00:22:52   That's in the world of Microsoft's. It's not easy to say that about much of anything these days

00:22:57   So getting rid getting rid of that only makes sense if you decide that Microsoft is not going to be consumer company anymore

00:23:03   They're just gonna become like Oracle with a different logo, and I don't think that's a win scenario for anybody

00:23:10   Now would you try to kind of pull the opposite or maybe a similar thing to what they do with Windows and brand?

00:23:17   Everything that everything new perhaps that Microsoft does with

00:23:21   Xbox this and Xbox that and what I mean is you know they they take the Windows

00:23:26   mobile whatever Windows Phone series whatever whatever and

00:23:30   Personally as soon as I see Windows applied to anything I get a little grumbly

00:23:35   What do you think if they rebranded things with Xbox that maybe that would be better?

00:23:40   I mean clearly that worked for Comcast and Xfinity, so why wouldn't it work here?

00:23:44   Because everyone wants to use the Xbox phone and their IT department is going to love that.

00:23:48   I mean I agree, but it seems like Microsoft could use some help in there in any sort of

00:23:53   branding situation.

00:23:54   I know, Mark, you're the king of brands, you tell me.

00:23:58   I mean part of it is, I don't know, their branding is pretty terrible and their marketing

00:24:05   is even worse, and especially their advertising is just the worst. But ultimately, they could

00:24:13   have this terrible advertising and those terrible names for the products, and they could get

00:24:19   away with it if the products were really amazingly good and compelling to buy. And the problem

00:24:24   is they're just not. You know, Office, people love Office, or at least they use it. I think

00:24:30   people really do love Office. It really is very good for what it does for the most part.

00:24:35   Windows, I feel like some people love it, most people just kind of use it.

00:24:39   Everything else, you just kind of use it because it's there, because it's what your business uses or whatever.

00:24:43   Except the consumer stuff like Xbox, that's a different story.

00:24:47   But the things like Windows Phone

00:24:51   and even Windows 8 and the new, you know, the Surface

00:24:55   and things like the Surface, the whole line of Windows 8 convertible

00:24:59   tablets or Pure tablets, Slate I guess they call them still.

00:25:03   All those things are just not that compelling.

00:25:05   And that's the biggest problem in the market.

00:25:06   It's not that they have stupid names.

00:25:09   It's not that they have dumbfounding commercials.

00:25:11   It's that these things just aren't getting any traction

00:25:15   with consumers.

00:25:16   And I don't think there's anything small

00:25:19   they can do to fix that.

00:25:20   I think this is a big problem.

00:25:22   It needs a big solution.

00:25:24   And I'm not sure they can deliver it

00:25:25   no matter what they call it.

00:25:26   - Xbox was actually kind of a triumph

00:25:28   of the anti-branding thing because I'm sure somebody,

00:25:31   a lot of somebodies wanted to call the Microsoft game console something with the word Microsoft

00:25:35   in it or something with the word Windows in it. And there must have been a fight and the Xbox

00:25:39   guys won that fight. It's not, you know, Microsoft Windows Xbox or Xbox for Windows or Windows game

00:25:45   machine or, you know, anything like that. It's just Xbox. Like, I mean, I guess I don't know.

00:25:50   I'm sure Microsoft is somewhere on the box. But the Xbox brand is not tied to Microsoft. It is

00:25:55   not tied to Windows in the same way that all the other things you just mentioned are. And I think

00:26:00   I think the Xbox brand has such value at this point that you made a joke about, "Oh, what

00:26:06   if they named everything Xbox?"

00:26:07   If they made something...

00:26:09   You know, the Xbox One does all sorts of non-gaming stuff.

00:26:12   And if they called one aspect of that non-gaming stuff Xbox TV, they didn't.

00:26:16   I don't think they have anything branded that way, but it basically is Xbox TV.

00:26:19   But if they called something Xbox TV and it worked kind of like, "Oh, we'll take..."

00:26:24   Like what the Xbox One does.

00:26:25   We'll take your TV in as an input and overlay stuff on it and let you switch back and forth

00:26:30   between games and blah blah blah. I think that branding would work because people like

00:26:33   Xbox and people would like the feature set presumably. So I don't think that's entirely

00:26:39   crazy to take Xbox and put it as a prefix instead of something else that's related to

00:26:43   what the Xbox does as in a box that connects to your TV that does interactive things.

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00:29:03   So John, since you're apparently cuing everything or kicking

00:29:06   everything off this episode, how is the enterprise software

00:29:10   experience treating you these days?

00:29:12   I have this big long sob story about enterprise software.

00:29:15   I was trying to debate whether it would fit in

00:29:18   on a complaining podcast if I had such a thing.

00:29:21   But--

00:29:22   This isn't it?

00:29:23   This is your enthusiastic appreciating everything

00:29:26   podcast.

00:29:27   You know, like, you ever think if there's

00:29:28   some kind of lesson to take about like what not to do

00:29:32   or something like that?

00:29:33   I don't know.

00:29:33   You can tell me.

00:29:34   I can try to go through it quickly

00:29:36   if that's at all possible.

00:29:38   I would love to hear you attempt that.

00:29:40   Yes, indeed.

00:29:41   My version of attempting that is I talk really fast.

00:29:43   That's probably not what you want.

00:29:45   All right, so this is a story about enterprise software.

00:29:48   And we've talked about enterprise software

00:29:50   and Pat shows, and my sort of thumbnail sketch

00:29:53   of enterprise software is that the people using the software

00:29:56   aren't the people who purchase the software

00:29:58   or selected the software if it happens to be free.

00:30:01   And so this is a story of just such a kind

00:30:04   of piece of software.

00:30:05   So before Mavericks was released,

00:30:08   my work changed its VPN software from a VPN that

00:30:11   worked with the VPN support that's built into OS X

00:30:15   to one that requires a third party client.

00:30:18   And so here is enterprise software assumption number one

00:30:21   of the story.

00:30:22   When a new version of OS X comes out,

00:30:24   assume your enterprise software will not work with it.

00:30:28   And that might seem like a weird assumption,

00:30:30   but when I was sort of sketching out the notes for this,

00:30:34   I'm like, you know what?

00:30:35   I do just assume that.

00:30:37   I just assume that when the new version of OS X comes out,

00:30:41   most of my favorite programs will work with it.

00:30:43   But of course, enterprise software won't.

00:30:45   And I've always-- I don't question it,

00:30:47   But I thought, why is that?

00:30:49   There are months and months to lead up to a new OS X release.

00:30:52   There's a developer conference.

00:30:53   There are developer builds.

00:30:56   And it seems like all these companies are just shocked

00:30:58   that Apple came out with a new app.

00:30:59   We've never seen anything like this before.

00:31:01   Where did this come from?

00:31:02   Mavericks?

00:31:02   Who heard of that?

00:31:04   And then that day, after it comes out,

00:31:07   they start work on--

00:31:09   they find out on that day whether their stuff works.

00:31:11   I mean, it's almost as if I'm not sure that enterprise

00:31:15   software companies have anybody actively working

00:31:17   on their software products, or at least on the Mac's software,

00:31:20   right?

00:31:21   And it's always just like in reactive mode.

00:31:22   I mean, Oracle went years--

00:31:24   no one cares about this except for people who do stuff

00:31:26   in my line of work.

00:31:28   But Oracle went years without a 64-bit client library

00:31:31   that worked in OS X, like years.

00:31:32   I think they span like two or three OS X releases

00:31:35   without anything that worked in 64-bit.

00:31:37   Because they just couldn't be bothered.

00:31:39   It's like, who cares?

00:31:39   Whatever.

00:31:41   So anyway, sure enough, Mavericks came out.

00:31:43   My enterprise software did not work with it.

00:31:47   And this is Cisco VPN.

00:31:49   I might as well just name names.

00:31:50   Why not?

00:31:50   I don't think they're going to sponsor the show.

00:31:52   Sorry, Cisco.

00:31:53   Cisco seemed genuinely shocked that Madrix was released.

00:31:59   And they seemed shocked that their software

00:32:00   didn't work with it.

00:32:01   They're like, huh, look at that.

00:32:03   Our stuff doesn't work with it.

00:32:04   And they said, the existing version kind of worked,

00:32:07   except it might frequently disconnect, which is like,

00:32:09   all right, well then it doesn't work, really, does it?

00:32:11   Because it frequently disconnects.

00:32:12   It's not really what I want out of VPN software.

00:32:14   And so I couldn't upgrade to Madrix

00:32:16   until the VPN software is updated.

00:32:18   So a short time later, I think it was only a couple weeks,

00:32:21   Cisco Update has a version that was compatible with Mavericks.

00:32:24   So this is thumbs up in Cisco,

00:32:25   see maybe they will sponsor,

00:32:26   because unlike Oracle they didn't wait three years.

00:32:28   Weeks, only weeks after Mavericks were released.

00:32:30   Now granted it still sort of drives me crazy,

00:32:32   'cause like you should not have found out

00:32:34   when the OS was released that your software

00:32:36   was incompatible and then scrambled

00:32:37   for a couple weeks to have a compatible version.

00:32:39   But anyway, the new version said it has a workaround

00:32:42   for a bug that's in Mavericks

00:32:43   and that they filed the bug with Apple,

00:32:45   This version should work until Apple fixes the bug and the rest which I completely believe again this bug should have been filed like you

00:32:51   Know seven developer releases of Mavericks ago, but whatever

00:32:53   But in the meantime here's one that has a workaround that shouldn't disconnect all right

00:32:57   So then we come to enterprise software assumption number two you will not be able to get the software you need

00:33:01   Can I can I download can I download this new version of this VPN client is compatible with Mavericks?

00:33:08   First step of that is trying to find it on Cisco's website

00:33:11   Which is not easy you ever tried to find this type of thing you would think it would be right there next to the words

00:33:15   I read that told me they had a new version

00:33:17   But it's not because that was like in a forum somewhere with some Cisco person. Oh god

00:33:20   This is reminded me of when I had to

00:33:22   Install raid drivers for raid cards on Linux. It's exactly the same thing like you have to dive through these like crazy

00:33:30   enterprise II sites and good luck finding anything and then they want you to join their their

00:33:36   Program for their premium support and everything like no I bought the card

00:33:40   I just want to download the thing that makes it work a mess

00:33:43   Yeah, whenever you find yourself in a forum, almost especially if it's an official forum,

00:33:47   like this is not just some random forum with a bunch of people. Like there's an official person

00:33:51   from the company responding to the forum. I mean, this is what drove the creation of

00:33:55   StackOverflow for one and Discourse for another. Like if you find yourself in a traditional forum,

00:34:01   scrolling through pages and pages of replies, looking for the ones from the official Cisco guy,

00:34:04   trying to like... It's like replaying the journal on a file system. Everything comes back to file

00:34:08   systems guys. It's like replaying the journal on a file system to reconstruct the history to like

00:34:14   zoom up to the current day so that you know you have to read these giant threads to find

00:34:17   the information. But anyway, I eventually found the page that had this text on it. You know,

00:34:23   I copy and pasted a lot of stuff on the website because I just love the copy from these websites.

00:34:26   Anyway, the following directory contains versions of AnyConnect for all platforms. The current

00:34:30   download for OS X is version That's a real version number for enterprise software.

00:34:36   and all other platforms are Any Connect version, big long number, is required

00:34:44   for OS 10.9, and all other Mac platforms may either use one of the old versions. Anyway,

00:34:48   so underneath that tiny, tiny, tiny text is a huge scrolling iframe containing many, many downloads,

00:34:55   most of which are not from my platform, including items with text like this.

00:35:00   Package enables Fips, all caps, for Mac OS X, all one word squished together.

00:35:07   Intel in scare quotes for some reason, platform. So package enables FIPS for Mac OS X,

00:35:13   Intel platforms. File contains the VPN API for Mac OS X spaced out this time, Intel platforms.

00:35:21   Standalone DMG package for Mac OS X, Intel platforms. Web deployment package for Mac OS X,

00:35:26   Intel platforms. All of these are the old version number, despite the note on the

00:35:30   top saying that you want to have the new version number. And I don't know which do

00:35:32   I want. Do I want tips? Do I want VPN API? Do you want a standalone DMG package?

00:35:36   Do you want a web deployment package? You know, like, no instructions in that regard.

00:35:39   Easiest way to find what I want was to search for the version number string on

00:35:43   the page. Do like in page, in browser, you know, search for the thing. Because then I

00:35:47   found like way down, you know, instead of, you scroll past like hundreds of these

00:35:50   things for Linux, for Windows, different versions of Windows, different platforms,

00:35:53   different versions, eventually I found the one that I want.

00:35:57   And the thing, I guess the take home lesson to this is that the next time you're on some

00:36:02   web developers, some developer's website and it auto detects what platform you're on and

00:36:07   gives you a gigantic shiny red glossy button with a download link for the latest version

00:36:11   of their software for your platform, appreciate it.

00:36:14   Because that's not how, you know what I mean?

00:36:16   Like you know when you go to a website and like, that's what they want you to have.

00:36:19   You want to go to some indie Mac developers, this is such a gigantic button that says download

00:36:23   Now download right here, even if it's a link to the Mac App Store, they'll take you right

00:36:26   to the thing.

00:36:27   Not on enterprise software, you have to hunt for the download link.

00:36:30   And there'll be decoys, like all those ones I just read, and you have to know what FIPS

00:36:33   is and I don't, you know, no explanation of this stuff.

00:36:36   A bunch of these are tar GZs too, just throw an XD Monkey wrench for the non tech savvy.

00:36:42   I find the download link that I want, I click it, and no luck.

00:36:45   I get a message saying I have to log in.

00:36:46   Right.

00:36:47   So okay, well, I figured that would be the case because they're not gonna just let you

00:36:50   download their software.

00:36:51   crazy, like Marco said, you have to register an account, you can't just have

00:36:54   the thing. So I register, I create an account, I check my email for the

00:36:57   confirmation message, I click the confirmation link, I'm all set. I

00:37:01   attempt to log into my new confirmed Cisco account and I get this error

00:37:05   message, again word for word. Your login was unsuccessful for one of the

00:37:09   following reasons. You entered your user ID and/or password incorrectly, please

00:37:13   try again, that's a bulleted item, and here's a second bulleted item. You

00:37:17   recently registered or reset your password and our systems are updating

00:37:20   your information. Please try again in five minutes.

00:37:22   Oh, my God. It's slave lag. That's actually an error message.

00:37:27   So then we come to enterprise solver assumption number three. What works in the rest of the

00:37:31   world does not work in the enterprise world. In the rest of the world, if you create an

00:37:35   account and they email you a confirmation link and you click it, you go through the

00:37:39   whole... Of course you can log into that account. You just confirmed it. Hell, most of the time

00:37:42   you can even partially log into it even if you haven't confirmed it. You don't have to

00:37:45   say, "Oh, you haven't confirmed your email yet."

00:37:47   But in the enterprise world merely creating an account and clicking the confirmation doesn't mean you can log into it, right?

00:37:52   So yeah, so I wait five minutes right same error. I wait ten minutes same error fifteen minutes same error

00:37:58   And I'm thinking like well, maybe I mistyped my password

00:38:00   I mean, maybe I mistyped it twice during the the account creation process as possible

00:38:04   Or may have the cat blocks on or some crazy thing like that right so I reset my password

00:38:08   Right thankfully they haven't forgot your password link or would have to go off into another realm because sometimes

00:38:12   They don't even have I forgot your password like you know like call somebody or something I?

00:38:15   I reset my password, you know, sends you an email, click this link to reset, type a new

00:38:19   password.

00:38:20   I try logging in with my newly reset password.

00:38:23   And what I of course get is that same error message that says, "You entered a user ID

00:38:26   and/or password incorrectly.

00:38:27   Please start again as one bulleted item."

00:38:30   Or "You recently registered to reset your password."

00:38:32   And I did recently reset my password.

00:38:34   And I realized, like, that's not going to help me because if I get that error message,

00:38:37   again, this error message says, "Your login was unsuccessful for one of the following

00:38:42   reasons."

00:38:43   two possible reasons. One user ID a password incorrect to you just recently registered or

00:38:48   reset. Well, I did just recently reset. It's actually four reasons. Yeah. Well, yeah. Two

00:38:52   bullet points. Please try again in five minutes. Wait, five minutes, wait 10 minutes, wait 15

00:38:57   minutes, wait a whole day. You actually did it again. Waited a whole day. Like who knows?

00:39:01   It was the enterprise software. Like maybe, like you said, maybe it hasn't probably maybe like

00:39:05   some person has to write it down on form and like mimeograph it and like put it in a pneumatic tube

00:39:10   and like, I don't know how things get into the real database. And some person entered into an

00:39:14   Excel spreadsheet, and someone prints that Excel spreadsheet, and then sends the FedEx to the

00:39:18   Topeka office, and the Topeka offices enters it in their COBOL system. And then finally,

00:39:22   you can go, I don't know how it works. I gave it a whole day, same error message. And this just

00:39:28   makes, this is a repeat of enterprise software assumption number three, it works in the rest

00:39:31   of the world. It doesn't work in the enterprise world. To create an account, you can't log into

00:39:34   it. Reset your password, you can't log into it. So now I'm in desperation mode, and I email the

00:39:39   the support link, right?

00:39:41   Find on the website something like "technical support for the Cisco website", right?

00:39:45   Here's the entire text of my email.

00:39:47   I can't log into my account at Cisco.com.

00:39:49   I gave the username as well.

00:39:51   I've tried resetting my password.

00:39:52   Each time it says it succeeds, but each time my new password still does not work.

00:39:56   I think that's straightforward.

00:39:57   I don't know what else to tell them.

00:39:59   I gave them my username.

00:40:01   I said that I can't log in, and their first thing is going to be like, "Oh, maybe you

00:40:04   forgot your password.

00:40:05   You should probably reset it."

00:40:06   tell them I've reset my password several times actually because I did do it several times.

00:40:10   And each time it says, "Yes, we've reset your password," but each time I try to log in again,

00:40:13   my newly reset password doesn't work. That's all I said. I didn't have to go into this

00:40:17   big rigmarole about the weird messages and stuff like that. I figure maybe there's something

00:40:20   weird on my account or I'm locked out or they should be able to see on their end failed

00:40:23   login attempts or something. Who knows? So I got a response about like 12 hours later,

00:40:27   which is pretty darn good. And I'm not being sarcastic about this in terms of customer

00:40:30   support. For any company, 12 hours is a pretty good turnaround time on a support email, especially

00:40:35   or a big company like Cisco.

00:40:37   Here's the reply.

00:40:39   Dear John, thank you for contacting Cisco.

00:40:41   By adding star.cisco.com to the trusted sites,

00:40:45   you are able to log in successfully.

00:40:47   How to do it question mark comma,

00:40:48   follow these easy steps period.

00:40:50   Just this crazy, crazy punctuation.

00:40:54   A, the steps are labeled with letter, capital A period.

00:40:57   Click the tools button, then click internet options.

00:41:00   Anyone who has those windows down here.

00:41:02   B, click the security tab.

00:41:03   C. Now click Trusted Sites, then click on the Sites button.

00:41:06   D. And it goes through the whole instructions

00:41:08   for Internet Explorer, adding start at Cisco.com

00:41:11   as a trusted site.

00:41:11   Because I guess the assumption is my problem

00:41:13   is that I can't log in because it's not a trusted site.

00:41:14   I didn't say anything about trusted site.

00:41:16   I didn't send them any screenshots.

00:41:17   I didn't mention platform.

00:41:18   But this is the canned response I get.

00:41:20   All right, so OK, forget about that.

00:41:21   Time to get creative.

00:41:22   I don't know why I didn't do this earlier,

00:41:24   but I made an incognito window in Chrome,

00:41:27   or the equivalent of deleting cookies.

00:41:28   Like, just start with a fresh slate, right?

00:41:30   And I go to--

00:41:31   You can call it porn mode.

00:41:32   It's all right.

00:41:33   Is that what they call it?

00:41:34   The kids call it these days.

00:41:36   And I go to the login form, and I enter my password,

00:41:37   and it works.

00:41:38   I log in.

00:41:39   I see the top of the page, my username.

00:41:40   I can go to my account.

00:41:41   I'm like, hey, my account.

00:41:43   It works.

00:41:43   Everything works great.

00:41:45   And so I re-navigate to the download link.

00:41:47   I click on it, and it asks me to log in.

00:41:48   And now I read the message, the message

00:41:54   that it shows you when you try to click on the link.

00:41:56   The message that was there the first time,

00:41:58   but that it didn't finish reading because I'm impatient,

00:42:00   it said, to download the software, you must log in.

00:42:02   link to log in. And the first time I encountered this problem, I immediately

00:42:05   clicked the login link and it went through "you don't have an account, create

00:42:07   account, blah blah blah." But that message continues. You must log in and have a

00:42:11   valid service contract associated with your Cisco.com profile.

00:42:15   So this is Enterprise Software Assumption #4. Sometimes, despite all

00:42:20   the terrible things that are terrible about Enterprise Software, it's at least

00:42:22   partially your fault. If I had read that message the first time, I probably would

00:42:26   have stopped this process and said, "Well, I don't have a valid service contract

00:42:29   associated with my Cisco.com profile.

00:42:31   In fact, I don't even have a Cisco.com profile.

00:42:32   But instead I read, "If you download the software,

00:42:34   "you must log in."

00:42:35   Log in was blue and underlined, and I clicked on it,

00:42:37   and I went off.

00:42:38   So I, like every other user, doesn't read all the messages,

00:42:40   just gets to the part that I want to get to.

00:42:43   So I can't get this all for myself.

00:42:44   I don't have a service contract.

00:42:45   - I'm sorry, can I pause you real quick?

00:42:47   - Go for it.

00:42:48   - How long between the first time you saw the login link

00:42:50   and clicked it, and the realization now

00:42:53   that you needed to read the rest of the message?

00:42:57   'Cause you mentioned at least a 12-hour wait, right?

00:42:59   Yeah, so I tried it one day and went through this whole big thing, and then it kept asking

00:43:03   me to wait, so I said, "Fine, I'll wait till tomorrow."

00:43:05   And then I tried the second day and then did the email thing and then got the email back

00:43:08   I guess the third day.

00:43:10   I'm not sitting there hammering this.

00:43:11   It's just each day I make another run at it, right?

00:43:14   Okay, I'm sorry.

00:43:16   So carry on.

00:43:17   And by the way, I think the problem with the incognito window thing is that it probably

00:43:20   coquied me seeing that, "Oh, he was trying to get to destination X, but before you can

00:43:24   get there, we have to send you off on this tangent to create an account and log into

00:43:27   it."

00:43:28   I think what happened was I went off on a tangent, created an account, and every time

00:43:32   I went to the login form, it was trying to send me to the destination that I didn't have

00:43:35   permission to get to.

00:43:36   So every time I logged in, it would probably accept my authentication, try to send me to

00:43:39   the destination, and then bounce me back and say, "Oh, you can't get this because you haven't

00:43:42   logged in," and send me back to the login form.

00:43:43   And of course, the error message doesn't say anything about that, and the error message

00:43:46   is terrible anyway.

00:43:47   That wasn't one of the 400 error possibilities?

00:43:50   Yeah.

00:43:51   It's like, why else would clearing cookies, why else would the equivalent of clearing

00:43:56   and cookies allow me to get logged in,

00:43:57   because it sent me-- just dumped me on the home page then,

00:43:59   right?

00:44:00   So I couldn't get the software myself, so I figured,

00:44:03   let me try to get it the way that my work says

00:44:05   I'm supposed to get it, right?

00:44:07   And their instructions, which I've done before, obviously,

00:44:09   because I have the existing version of this VPN software

00:44:11   that works in Mountain Lion, is make sure you're not

00:44:14   on the VPN step one, which is always striking me strange.

00:44:17   But anyway, and go to some special URL,

00:44:18   log in with my special work credentials,

00:44:21   load a Java applet that will try to detect my platform

00:44:23   and send me the file.

00:44:25   And most of this time, of course, this doesn't work.

00:44:27   Because my login credentials work,

00:44:29   but then sometimes it bounces me back to the login page,

00:44:31   and then that whole browser is fried,

00:44:32   and you need to clear cookies or quit the browser

00:44:34   and relaunch it and have a chance at it.

00:44:35   Or sometimes the Java applet won't load,

00:44:38   or the Java applet hangs and says

00:44:39   it can't detect my platform,

00:44:40   so I try Chrome, I try Safari, I try Firefox.

00:44:43   I can't try IE in my VM,

00:44:45   because it auto-detects your platform.

00:44:46   And if it works in IE in Windows,

00:44:49   but then it gives me the Windows version of the VPN,

00:44:50   which is useless to me.

00:44:51   I need the OS X version of it.

00:44:53   So I always fight with this.

00:44:54   I'm used to it eventually I get it download a look at of course. It's still the old version all right

00:44:57   So now I just have to work wait for work to update its old version of the software

00:45:01   And this is kind of the state of Matt now. It's just like I can't get the software myself

00:45:06   I have to wait for my office to update the version of the software

00:45:09   I told you you know I told them I the beginning of this process before any I started any but I had sent a support ticket

00:45:13   And said hey can I have the version of the VPN that works with Mavericks blah blah blah

00:45:17   But I know the turnaround times are really long and that so while this was going on

00:45:20   I was figuring well

00:45:20   me try to get the thing myself." And the question is, I guess, why does this have a downloader?

00:45:26   Like, why does it require a service contract? Why are all these things that just happen to me,

00:45:30   why are they there? Why isn't this VPN installer just a download link on Cisco's website? Why isn't

00:45:35   this just on a share in my work that I can get? And I guess it just comes down to control.

00:45:39   Like, IT departments at offices want to have control because they don't want to just

00:45:44   let anybody install any VPN software. They want, they have to qualify it to determine

00:45:50   that it works with all the other software that it's qualified to work in the company or whatever.

00:45:54   And it makes sense from their perspective because it's the best way to have predictable results

00:45:58   when you're supporting hundreds and hundreds of people. You've got to have a set of approved

00:46:02   software. Nothing new goes in that set until it's tested and you make sure it works with all the

00:46:06   other approved software. And you can't just let users download whatever the hell they want to

00:46:10   install on their computers. That's the opposite of IT support. And we can get into a whole nuanced

00:46:16   discussion about whether that's the right model for IT support or whatever, but it's the current

00:46:18   model. And computer nerds are the worst, because we just all want to do it there ourselves.

00:46:23   And yeah, I do want to do it myself. It's kind of like how they say doctors make the

00:46:27   worst patients. I think computer nerds make the worst people to support in IT,

00:46:31   and I'm sure the IT department hates the fact that I'm emailing them. "Can I have a big,

00:46:34   giant version number of this piece of software, because it works with this version of the OS?"

00:46:38   There's this whole culture of people who really, really don't like Apple. Period. They just don't

00:46:45   don't like Apple and they don't like Mac in all capital letters.

00:46:50   And I have to wonder, like, I bet the percentage of people who manage IT departments at large

00:46:59   companies, I bet among them the percentage of them who are the kind of people who hate

00:47:05   Mac in all capitals is way higher than average.

00:47:08   And you know, just culturally, I guarantee you that's the case.

00:47:13   And so they don't like it, they don't respect it, and I think that also applies to enterprise

00:47:18   software developers as well.

00:47:20   I think that's partly why the enterprise software people are always totally caught off guard

00:47:26   when a new version of OS X comes out.

00:47:27   Because they don't respect Mac people or Apple or the platform enough to actually pay any

00:47:34   attention whatsoever to the betas, or to prioritize the releases that fix horrible bugs that only

00:47:42   affect Mac people. I really think that it's just this whole culture of, "Well, you people

00:47:49   who want to use Mac All-Capitals, you're just like this annoyance for us, and that's

00:47:55   not real software, and anything that goes wrong, that's definitely a Mac and All-Capitals

00:48:00   bug, and that's not our bug. That's their bug, and they messed something up because

00:48:03   Apple's stupid." I bet that's a lot of this.

00:48:06   That was definitely the Oracle vibe. But the vibe from Cisco is weird, though, because

00:48:10   As soon as the forums lit up with, "Hey, Mavericks is out and my VPN doesn't work,"

00:48:14   because this is a widely used product, it seemed like the official Cisco people were

00:48:19   genuinely concerned about this failure and didn't know about it.

00:48:24   Like, "Oh my god, our stuff doesn't work with the new version.

00:48:28   This just came out.

00:48:29   How could we have known?"

00:48:30   They're either not aware that there are developer builds of it or...

00:48:34   And the thing is, they reacted quickly.

00:48:36   They got a new build up in weeks.

00:48:39   It was less than a month.

00:48:40   That's pretty fast for enterprise software for such a while.

00:48:43   This has got to go through all...

00:48:45   They reacted like, "This is important.

00:48:47   We need to have a version of this that works with..."

00:48:49   But it's baffling to me.

00:48:51   If they're so concerned about it, this didn't have to be this way.

00:48:55   You could have known this was coming by being part of the Apple...

00:48:58   Not everybody, but just one dude in the company.

00:49:01   And the other thing is, I always picture in these companies, there is one guy who's a

00:49:04   Mac user, the one guy they have working on the Mac software.

00:49:06   Surely, that guy is a big Mac nerd.

00:49:09   And maybe he's held back by his bosses or something like that.

00:49:11   But I don't understand why a little one-person indie Mac

00:49:16   software developer shop can make sure all of his software,

00:49:20   all of his 17 applications that he's written over the years,

00:49:22   they all work on Mavericks, and have his software ready

00:49:25   before the official public release.

00:49:29   And I guess Cisco can't.

00:49:30   I mean, it's because they're a big company,

00:49:32   because they're slow moving.

00:49:33   I don't know.

00:49:34   And it's not just a big company.

00:49:36   Adobe's software, I'm assuming, worked in Mavericks.

00:49:38   I don't know. I don't understand it. But the enterprise stuff I do understand even a little bit.

00:49:44   Like with the VPN stuff especially, you can't just download software. Like the software they

00:49:49   give you from the Java thing is pre-configured with all the values for your company. And again,

00:49:53   that's better because most people in the company aren't tech nerds. So you just want to give them

00:49:57   something and just look, just run this. It'll be all set up for you, which is convenient. But it

00:50:00   also means that even if I was able to download that software from Cisco, I would have to then

00:50:05   know all the different values I have to put in. What is the server name? What is the port? What

00:50:08   What is the protocol that I have to check here

00:50:10   in this checkbox and all that stuff to get it configured?

00:50:13   So I would have to download the official version

00:50:15   and try to dig into it and find like plist files

00:50:17   or other configuration things to figure out

00:50:19   what all the values are or try to ask IT,

00:50:21   which is, you know, hey, can you tell me

00:50:23   the values to self-configure?

00:50:24   They'd be like, what are you doing

00:50:25   self-configure VPN plan?

00:50:26   You can't do that.

00:50:27   You can only download our official one

00:50:28   and run up to that version yet.

00:50:30   You really don't, you know.

00:50:31   So I'm a pain in the butt.

00:50:34   This was mostly/partially my fault,

00:50:37   but enterprise software is also terrible.

00:50:39   - It is, and I think I might be able to explain

00:50:42   some of that, but before I do that,

00:50:46   Marco, is there anything else that's awesome

00:50:48   that you'd like to tell us about?

00:50:49   - There is.

00:50:50   It is our wonderful friends at Squarespace.

00:50:53   Squarespace is the all-in-one platform

00:50:55   that makes it fast and easy to create

00:50:57   your own professional website or online portfolio.

00:51:00   For a free trial and 10% off,

00:51:02   go to squarespace.com and use offer code ATP11

00:51:06   for the month of '11.

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00:51:10   with new features, new designs, and even better support.

00:51:13   They have beautiful designs for you to start with,

00:51:16   and all the style options you need

00:51:17   to create a unique website for you or your business.

00:51:20   It's incredibly easy to use.

00:51:22   And if you end up needing any help at all,

00:51:23   they have an amazing support team

00:51:25   that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week,

00:51:28   with over 70 full-time employees based in New York City alone.

00:51:32   So Squarespace starts at just $8 a month,

00:51:35   And that includes a free domain name if you sign up for a whole year.

00:51:39   Every design, they have these beautiful templates.

00:51:41   I mean really you can do as little or as much as you want to customize them.

00:51:45   I chose to do very little for the ATP site and it still looks amazing because they're

00:51:51   built in the theater just that good.

00:51:53   So these themes, they're built by professional designers, they've won awards, they even all

00:51:58   come with matching mobile templates.

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00:52:17   right now.

00:52:19   When you do decide to sign up for Squarespace, make sure you use our offer code ATP11 to

00:52:23   get 10% off your first purchase and to show your support for ATP.

00:52:28   Thank you very much to Squarespace for their very frequent and awesome support of ATP.

00:52:32   everything you need to create an exceptional website. Thanks Squarespace.

00:52:35   You should change our template. All these cool templates that Squarespace has.

00:52:39   You say template?

00:52:40   Template? Is that right? You want to say it? I say template. Anyway, there are cool ones.

00:52:46   It also says Mario.

00:52:47   There are cool ones. I see the mother of people's website and ours looks kind of boring.

00:52:51   Can't you just change it by clicking something and changing the template?

00:52:54   That can be your homework for the week, John.

00:52:56   No!

00:52:57   I don't have the login credentials for the Squarespace site.

00:52:59   Good! Don't get me wrong.

00:53:00   I'd be adding or rotating CSS3 cubes all over that site.

00:53:04   Oh, somebody please send me the code to do that.

00:53:08   That's easy to find.

00:53:09   Just type CSS3 rotating cube, you'll find it.

00:53:12   Oh, that's amazing.

00:53:13   Do not give him the login credentials, Marco.

00:53:15   I love all this good rolling.

00:53:16   Well, now I'm tempted to.

00:53:17   No, no.

00:53:18   After the show…

00:53:19   He can finally fix all the typos I make in the show notes.

00:53:22   Oh, give me the login credentials then.

00:53:24   Don't give him to John.

00:53:25   He already is doing way too much planning, as evidenced by the last segment.

00:53:27   So…

00:53:28   lot like preparation and notes to me. Well, I because like once this process started,

00:53:33   I'm like, I need to write this stuff down because the details are important. The exact error message.

00:53:37   If you just said I tried to do something, it was a bunch of errors and stuff. It doesn't like you

00:53:41   really need to get the details. So I wrote them down. John, let me tell you, you know,

00:53:45   if we're all honest with each other, the people come to the show for me and sort of kind of for

00:53:52   Marco, you're just a tag along. I will kick you off my show. If you continue to do this kind of

00:53:57   preparation. This is unacceptable. I'm just letting you know. You're on notice.

00:54:03   So earlier, KJ Healey in the chat said, think of it this way, people who develop Minecraft

00:54:07   mods as children grow up to be enterprise software authors as adults. And I think that

00:54:11   might pretty much sum it up. The Minecraft mod authors are way more enthusiastic

00:54:16   and dedicated than these enterprise people. They totally want to be. They are like, as

00:54:21   soon as the new Minecraft version, they have like, I have his version of my mod that works

00:54:25   with the beta of 1.7 and they track the betas, this works with the second beta of 1.7, and

00:54:30   when 1.7 official comes out, you can be damn sure their mod works with it if you can ever

00:54:33   find a download link and if you can figure out how to install it and if you have all

00:54:37   the prerequisites that they don't mention because they assume everybody knows.

00:54:41   Oh, man. I mean, enterprise software is a hard problem. I mean, I have a small amount

00:54:47   of experience in it because my first job after college for a couple of years was writing

00:54:50   enterprise software. And it was a little different because it was a very small company, but our

00:54:55   customers were very big companies. And it's just a tough business because any effort I

00:55:02   would want to put in for making things better, improving the UI, improving the design, improving

00:55:09   the flow of anything, the customers didn't really care. Nobody ever asked for that. When

00:55:15   I would actually get to spend some time doing it and I would work on it for like a month,

00:55:19   No one cared, no one said anything,

00:55:20   it didn't get us any more sales.

00:55:23   It probably didn't result in any benefit

00:55:25   to the company at all, actually.

00:55:27   And 'cause as you said, John, at the beginning,

00:55:28   like with enterprise software,

00:55:30   the people who make the buying decisions

00:55:32   usually are not the people

00:55:33   who are gonna be using it every day.

00:55:34   And so it's just this bizarre market

00:55:37   where it is a big market

00:55:39   and there's a lot of money to be made there,

00:55:40   but it just does not work the way you'd expect

00:55:43   based on consumer software.

00:55:44   It's just very, very different.

00:55:46   All the incentives are different.

00:55:47   The whole process of making and selling and maintaining it is extremely different.

00:55:53   And it's just this weird, bizarre alternative universe that people like us, who are mostly

00:55:58   in the consumer side, just can't possibly understand.

00:56:02   And I think we're better off for it.

00:56:03   Well, that's mostly true.

00:56:05   So as someone who has kind of a leg in both universes, I can tell you a few things.

00:56:12   Firstly, I've noticed at my company—so I work at a consultancy that's somewhere

00:56:16   around 60 to 80 people. I forget exactly what the number is now. And we typically work on

00:56:21   the Microsoft stack, but not exclusively. And I will tell you that I've noticed since I

00:56:27   started at this particular company about a year ago, a little over a year ago, almost

00:56:32   a year and a half ago now, I was one of the few people to have a Mac because I pretty

00:56:38   much negotiated on the way in that I'm not going to have a PC or this conversation's

00:56:43   And so I was one of the one of a handful people that had a Mac and now I'm noticing that there are

00:56:50   there are way more Mac users not only developers even the

00:56:56   executives are

00:56:58   using various flavors of Macs

00:57:00   More and more with each passing day and in fact our singular IT guy

00:57:06   He just decided you know

00:57:08   I've got a 15 inch

00:57:11   high-res anti glare MacBook Pro just sitting in the closet. Maybe I should use that myself and

00:57:16   Similarly his Android phone. I don't remember specifically what it was about there all the same right?

00:57:23   Right well, and there's a million, but they're all the same, but anyway the point is like cats

00:57:28   Exactly so about a month ago or whatever what I guess is yeah, it was right around the time the 5s came out

00:57:34   He said to me hey my Android phone's headphone jack is busted

00:57:39   And I use that for all my music everywhere.

00:57:42   So I need something to fix this."

00:57:45   And I was thinking, "If you just got a 5s, Casey, do you have an old iPhone that you

00:57:48   want to unload?"

00:57:49   And I said to him, "Well, yeah, I have a 4s, but I can't in good conscience give that

00:57:54   to you, let alone sell it to you.

00:57:56   But let me see what I can do."

00:57:57   And it ended up another friend of mine had a 5, and he paid my friend for the 5.

00:58:02   And so in the course of two or three months, this guy, this friend of mine/RIT guy went

00:58:08   from being an Android and Dell user to an iPhone and Mac user.

00:58:15   And so the reason I bring all this up is because in a smaller corporate environment, it's actually

00:58:22   starting to be more and more prevalent for even non-technical people like the executives

00:58:28   at the company to use Macs.

00:58:29   And I thought that was kind of interesting.

00:58:31   Now with regard to the enterprise software specifically, we work with all different size

00:58:38   clients.

00:58:39   We work with extremely small clients and we work with pretty big clients.

00:58:41   And I'm measuring pretty big at, generally speaking, tens of thousands of employees.

00:58:47   And if there's anything I've noticed, is that firstly, the group that we're specifically

00:58:54   working with can in large degree make or break a project.

00:58:58   So if the team at the client that we're working with is really enthusiastic and really

00:59:03   excited and really wants to build what's right, then we can play off of that and we

00:59:09   can build what's right.

00:59:11   There are other times that we'll be working with a group at the client that is not enthusiastic

00:59:20   and has been beaten down.

00:59:21   And just like you said, Marco, when you were at the search engine company, even if we pose

00:59:28   the most amazing solution to a problem, it's usually met with, "Meh, nobody's going to care."

00:59:35   Exactly.

00:59:36   And I think what that comes from is, I've noticed in big companies across a couple of jobs now,

00:59:42   because I've been a consultant for a while, that in really big companies, it seems like what I

00:59:47   would define as middle management. So people that are not peons, but are not really that important

00:59:54   either. Firstly, there's a million of them, and they all deep down inside realize that

01:00:02   they're kind of expendable. And the problem is that they know this deep down inside. And

01:00:08   so now it's their mission to prevent anyone else from knowing that they're expendable.

01:00:15   So what does that mean? What that means is, anytime you're in a meeting, Susie and Timmy

01:00:19   and Johnny and Sally and everyone there, all these middle managers need to have—

01:00:25   That's actually their names?

01:00:26   No, of course not.

01:00:27   But all of these middle managers need to speak up and let it be known, "I said something

01:00:34   interesting and I said something important.

01:00:37   This was my idea."

01:00:40   And because of that, nothing gets done, because everyone has to have an opinion about everything,

01:00:45   and nobody can agree on everything.

01:00:47   And everyone wants to make sure they know that I said that thing, I'm important, I shouldn't

01:00:52   be the one to get the pink slip, and it's just soul-sucking and it's terrible.

01:00:57   And the unfortunate thing is, a lot of times that is the entire company.

01:01:01   But what's almost worse is, is when you have a group that's really excited and really interested

01:01:08   and really cares, and then they're met with so much inertia that's really, or so much,

01:01:15   I guess non-inertia, in other words the company around them is so stagnant that there's

01:01:20   nothing they can do to move it.

01:01:22   And again, I bring all this up because what if the Cisco VPN people, hypothetically, knew

01:01:27   that Mavericks was coming out and wanted to go to WWDC and really cared that all this

01:01:33   was happening, but everyone around them just didn't care and didn't let them take action.

01:01:40   And that's what you see in corporate America.

01:01:41   And it's mind-boggling to me.

01:01:44   someone who lives in work or works in corporate America yet in a very small version of corporate

01:01:49   America, it's mind boggling to me that this works, that these humongous companies ever make any

01:01:55   money. I don't know how they do it. It's truly, truly amazing. Success hides problems. It does.

01:02:01   There's a bunch of money coming in and these middle managers can play that. It's like your

01:02:06   funding. It's kind of like the dotcom bubble when it was a bunch of dotcom companies selling

01:02:11   each other's services with their own VC money. Marco probably missed out on that the first bubble.

01:02:17   Yeah, I was in college during that.

01:02:18   Yeah, but that was basically very quickly, especially in the big metro areas, is you'd

01:02:24   have VC funded startups selling their services to another VC funded startup. And it was like

01:02:28   the strange exchange and swap with VC money until all the money ran out. And then you realize all of

01:02:33   our customers were other people who didn't have any customers except for us. And we were all just

01:02:37   in this giant big bubble. Right? And the only winners were the people who made the foosball

01:02:40   tables?

01:02:41   Not even that.

01:02:44   The real winners were the people who resell used office equipment.

01:02:48   The repo men come in with the big trucks and they come and sell.

01:02:52   You get an error on real cheap.

01:02:53   And the building owner is probably made out pretty well too.

01:02:55   Yeah, high rents for a short period of time, but then lots of vacancies was the problem.

01:03:00   So the difference in a company is that presumably they have some money maker, some product or

01:03:05   service that got itself entrenched that really does make money over the long term, and that

01:03:09   that funnel of money fuels internal dysfunction. It doesn't cause internal dysfunction. It

01:03:15   literally fuels it. There's an engine there of dysfunction running, and the only way it

01:03:20   keeps running is if you keep pouring money in. Because if you didn't pour money in, all

01:03:22   these people doing nothing would get fired, or you'd have layoffs, or something else would

01:03:26   happen. But if everything's going well, you guys get to play this game of basically internal

01:03:30   office politics foosball without worrying. Because hey, the money's coming in, and you

01:03:35   guys just jock you over who gets the credit for which amount of money that came in and

01:03:38   do a source of inefficient internal things.

01:03:42   In that type of scenario, if we're imagining a Cisco scenario, I guess the company is still

01:03:47   reactive enough that all of a sudden when the customer complaints stop flooding in,

01:03:51   that's an input to the company.

01:03:52   That's a metric that someone's tracking that has an effect.

01:03:55   "Oh, customer complaints.

01:03:57   We have important customers, big important customers who want this now."

01:04:01   Even if it's just the CEO of some company that spends a bazillion dollars at Cisco and

01:04:05   he has Mavericks and he wants his VPN to work.

01:04:08   it's a fire drill and everyone all hands on deck. And maybe that little unit that Casey was

01:04:12   hypothesizing, you know, it's like, yeah, we've been telling you that for a week. But like, oh,

01:04:16   no. Okay. Now you get to do it because it's a fire drill and now there's some external pressure to do

01:04:20   it. But who knows? Like many scenarios like this could be possible. I just don't know what's going

01:04:25   on inside there. And like, the thing about enterprise software is like, it exists for

01:04:29   a reason that is mostly understandable. Like the people in my company who do IT, like Marco was

01:04:34   was talking about the IT people who hate the Mac.

01:04:37   I've had those IT people.

01:04:39   I don't have them now.

01:04:40   My company has a good IT department

01:04:41   that wants to do the right thing,

01:04:42   and in fact are usually enthusiastic about Macs

01:04:44   and are trying to support it.

01:04:45   Their deficit is maybe they don't have the experience,

01:04:48   and so they don't really know,

01:04:49   but they gotta figure it out.

01:04:50   But their requirements are,

01:04:52   like enterprise software is made for them.

01:04:54   Again, the customers,

01:04:55   Marco was saying he'd make improvements

01:04:56   to the enterprise software, and no one would care.

01:04:58   The customers wouldn't care.

01:04:59   The customers are not the people using the software.

01:05:01   Again, it's enterprise software.

01:05:02   The customers are the people buying it.

01:05:04   Now things they care about are very different.

01:05:06   In our company, we're now supporting Macs

01:05:08   more or less officially.

01:05:09   I was the first Mac into the company

01:05:11   four or five years ago, and now their Macs are everywhere.

01:05:13   They're officially supported.

01:05:15   But to give an example, the Macs that are officially supported

01:05:18   have to run PGP, whole disk encryption.

01:05:20   And if you're a Mac user, why would they do that?

01:05:21   Why wouldn't they just run FileVault 2?

01:05:22   It's awesome.

01:05:23   Everybody loves it.

01:05:24   Well, because FileVault 2 is not enterprise software,

01:05:26   meaning it doesn't cater to the needs of the enterprise.

01:05:29   I'm more to the needs of the enterprise for,

01:05:31   my company for compliance with various industry regulations, you have to have the ability to

01:05:36   report that—not just install Holdis Encryption on all the machines, but prove in whatever way

01:05:43   they decide to prove for whatever auditing purposes—that everyone has it installed.

01:05:46   Then PGP Holdis Encryption as enterprise software sells to the enterprise and says,

01:05:50   "feature checkbox" on the back of the box that doesn't actually exist anymore

01:05:54   can report that it's enabled on all such and such systems. FileVault 2 is not enterprise software,

01:06:00   doesn't have that feature. Maybe Apple Remote Desktop does or some other piece of software

01:06:03   that's more geared toward the enterprise, but if you just get a new Mac and it comes with Mavericks

01:06:06   and you check off the FileVault2 checkbox and enable it all or whatever,

01:06:10   there's no central reporting structure to know and they need to do that for compliance.

01:06:15   So of course they're going to buy the software package that says, "Hey, IT Manager,

01:06:19   we know that you have to do these stupid reporting things because your legal department tells you to.

01:06:23   Our software does that for you." And yeah, so of course they're going to go for that.

01:06:26   And as a user, you're like, "I just want to run the built-in stuff because PGP

01:06:29   be a whole disk encryption bricks on a machine every time it runs a minor point update, as

01:06:33   it has many times in the past. And like it would be so much easier and cheaper, you wouldn't

01:06:37   have to buy this third party product, we just enable FileVault 2, it's awesome, everybody

01:06:40   loves it. And IT department to its credit wants to do that. But short term, it's like

01:06:45   we have PGP, PGP works, PGP fills our fills our reporting compliance. And this is the

01:06:50   dysfunction in the enterprise is that those customers have needs that may seem dumb, but

01:06:54   they're real needs. And if you're not going to serve them, some enterprise software company

01:06:57   And that enterprise software company

01:06:58   is allowed to be terrible along all the other axes,

01:07:01   as long as they're good along the axes that matter

01:07:03   to the IT department.

01:07:04   And they usually are.

01:07:06   God, I'm just so glad I don't work on anything important.

01:07:09   You should have a bring your indie developer to work day.

01:07:15   We bring in people who work from home on their own projects,

01:07:17   and we make them sit through HR seminars

01:07:19   and take compliance training courses in Flash.

01:07:22   I would love to watch Marco just sit there

01:07:26   and squirm and be uncomfortable 40 seconds into the HR annual "this is how not to sexually

01:07:33   harass your co-workers" meeting.

01:07:35   No, that wouldn't be a problem.

01:07:36   The problem would be when you'd have me sit down at some Windows PC with some like crap

01:07:42   Dell keyboard and say, "Alright, here's your Fortran terminal and you're going to be writing

01:07:48   financial management software.

01:07:51   You have to follow all these rules and do a lot of math and there's going to be another

01:07:54   sitting 18 inches from your elbow. Oh wait, that was Bloomberg, and that's why

01:07:59   I didn't take that job. I think we're done. All right, we good? Yeah, I think we're good.

01:08:06   Thanks a lot to our sponsors this week, Hover, File Transporter, and

01:08:12   Squarespace, and we will see you next week.

01:08:17   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, because it was accidental

01:08:24   Oh it was accidental John didn't do any research

01:08:30   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him Cause it was accidental

01:08:35   It was accidental And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM

01:08:44   And if you're into Twitter You can follow them at

01:08:49   C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S, so that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,

01:08:57   E-N-T, Marco Arment, S-I-R-A-C, U-S-A, Syracuse.

01:09:05   It's accidental.

01:09:06   It's accidental.

01:09:08   They didn't mean to.

01:09:10   Accidental.

01:09:11   Accidental.

01:09:12   Tech podcast so long.

01:09:18   Hey, so let's not do ATP and let's just do neutral and talk about John's car.

01:09:22   Yeah, I mean, this is a major event. You know, Casey and I get cars all the time.

01:09:27   Yeah, once every ten years. But like the last time you got a car, John,

01:09:32   like was the iPod even out yet? It was. I'm serious.

01:09:36   Well, my car was older than, more than ten years old.

01:09:39   But we had a newer car because we had a 2007 car, that's the car my wife drives.

01:09:44   So we had a newish car.

01:09:46   You know, it was like a 2004 before that,

01:09:49   and that got told, and we replaced it with a 2007.

01:09:51   I always get the years of our cars wrong,

01:09:52   which you would think would be something I know,

01:09:54   but I'm thrown off by the whole model year

01:09:56   having very little to do with the actual year distinction.

01:09:59   But anyway, we had a 2007 car, which is a pretty new car,

01:10:02   but the car I was driving was a 2002 Civic.

01:10:05   So yeah.

01:10:06   And this one I assume I will also have for 10 years.

01:10:10   - So now you have two Accords.

01:10:11   - Yep.

01:10:13   How does that feel?

01:10:14   It feels just fine.

01:10:17   That's the most glowing ad for an Accord.

01:10:19   How does it feel to have two of them?

01:10:21   It feels fine.

01:10:22   From John?

01:10:24   That is glowing.

01:10:25   This is my third Accord.

01:10:27   That is the Honda Accord encapsulated into a few words.

01:10:34   I don't share your opinion of the Honda Accord.

01:10:36   I find it a...

01:10:37   No, you do.

01:10:38   I think it's fine.

01:10:39   I find it a much more interesting car than other similarly priced

01:10:42   quote-unquote boring cars

01:10:45   Should have gotten a Mazda 6, but you know nobody's perfect

01:10:48   Well, I would have if I if I had test drove the main thing I was test driving it for was

01:10:53   clutch shifter driving position and visibility

01:10:56   Like that's what I was test driving for because if I didn't like the clutch and shifter or the driving position or the visibility or like

01:11:02   The ride I guess I would have gone in test drove the six

01:11:05   But I did like it and so I didn't even feel the need to go and get it because I really don't like how the six

01:11:09   looks. I've seen a lot of them on the road. I would have gone to it if it was like, well,

01:11:13   if the Accord was terrible, because I do need a new car. It's like I'm getting this car

01:11:16   for my health, because the old car was just going downhill. But if the Accord was good,

01:11:20   I didn't see a reason to continue to. And plus, I didn't want to drag it out. So I didn't

01:11:24   even bother test driving the 6.

01:11:26   I'm kind of surprised that you're able to get a car at all and be satisfied with it

01:11:30   at all, because cars, like even great cars, have such ridiculous glaring flaws, especially

01:11:36   like the interface and stuff.

01:11:37   Yeah, no, it's filled with terrible things.

01:11:40   So the good thing about having a new car every more 10, 12

01:11:44   years or so is that it's like if you kept your Mac for years

01:11:48   and years and you didn't have a Mac Pro and you replaced it.

01:11:51   Say you had a MacBook from five or six years ago.

01:11:56   Any new portable Mac you get, you'll be like, oh my god,

01:11:59   this is such a--

01:12:00   because so many things change in that period of time.

01:12:02   Now, cars don't move as fast as computers,

01:12:04   but there are big changes between 2002 and now.

01:12:07   So I get to see, like, let's see how far standard equipment has come, because I really don't

01:12:11   get any options.

01:12:12   I don't even think there were any interesting options to speak of in the car that I got.

01:12:15   And so all sorts of stuff are standard now.

01:12:17   Like my car did not have a little key thing that you pressed to unlock the doors.

01:12:23   And that's standard now on pretty much every car.

01:12:25   Like, I don't even know if you can get a car without that.

01:12:27   In 2007, that wasn't standard?

01:12:29   No, 2002.

01:12:30   Oh, right.

01:12:31   Sorry.

01:12:32   Like my car.

01:12:33   Of course, the Accord had it, right?

01:12:34   And I get to see the 2007 car kind of in the middle.

01:12:35   But yeah.

01:12:37   What else did my car not have?

01:12:39   The key fob thing was a big deal because the kids had to wait until I got into the car

01:12:42   and hit the little lock thingy because it did have a little button to unlock all the

01:12:44   doors.

01:12:45   It just wasn't on the key fob.

01:12:46   So I had to unlock my door with the key, get in, and then press the little thingy and then

01:12:49   they could open their door.

01:12:51   Wait, wait, wait.

01:12:53   My '94 Saturn, which of course was white before you even asked, you jerks.

01:12:59   Of course it was.

01:13:00   The '94 Saturn I had, if I recall correctly, if you put the key in the driver's door and

01:13:05   and double-turned a quarter turn to the right,

01:13:08   it would actually unlock all the doors from the exterior.

01:13:11   You're saying your Civic from eight years later didn't do that?

01:13:14   There were Civics in 2002 that had this feature, but not

01:13:16   my Civic.

01:13:18   I'm always buying from the bottom of the line, right?

01:13:20   Especially back in the old days, the stick shift

01:13:22   was always the bottom of the line.

01:13:24   All the other ones came with automatics.

01:13:27   And I'm always buying stick shift cars,

01:13:28   so I'm not buying sports sedans, and even those

01:13:32   don't come with manuals anymore.

01:13:34   So I'm always getting the cheap trim levels.

01:13:37   Some more things that are first on this car for me--

01:13:39   this is my first car with power seats.

01:13:41   It only has one of them.

01:13:43   This is the driver's seat.

01:13:46   What else is first on this car?

01:13:48   First car with fog lights.

01:13:50   Now, are you a complete tool and use them

01:13:52   anytime the headlights are on like me,

01:13:53   or are you actually an adult about it?

01:13:55   I don't even know how to turn them on yet.

01:13:58   I'm assuming it's somewhere on the same stock

01:14:00   as the headlights, but--

01:14:01   Sometimes there's a separate button,

01:14:03   left somewhere. Yeah, I don't see myself being a big fog-like user, but who knows? First

01:14:08   car with dual exhaust. It's exciting. Oh, fancy. I'm pretty sure they're real dual exhausts.

01:14:13   I have to look under the cars. One of them could be cosmetic, but I'm pretty sure it's

01:14:16   real. And you were talking about, was it Bluetooth or USB connection? First car with a USB connection,

01:14:22   first car with Bluetooth. So Bluetooth is standard on all cords. That's good to know,

01:14:26   actually. I don't know, because I didn't actually get the bottom of the bottom of the line.

01:14:32   I actually got the this the sport level trim is not the bottom of line you can get an LX with a stick shift

01:14:37   And I didn't so this is the first car that I bought it was slightly more expensive than it had to be

01:14:42   Because I could have gotten an Accord manual LX trim level which would have been less expensive

01:14:47   And not had all this fancy stuff, and would you get EX?

01:14:50   No sport is the name of the trim level oh that's all it's a separate trim level has 18 inch wheels first car with 18 inch wheels

01:14:59   Has the another dual exhaust has the fake carbon fiber inside it has a leather wrap steering wheel also a first not heated of course

01:15:05   That's not you know. It's it's it's very nice. It's very it's a very fancy car for me first car

01:15:09   I ever bought that it was more than 20 grand

01:15:11   Even though it just barely crossed over that line

01:15:14   That's still that's a pretty good deal to get like a really nice car of that size class

01:15:19   You know even even with with moderate options

01:15:23   To get that for just over 20 grand is pretty good

01:15:26   No, no options the sport trim level comes with all this stuff like this the optional dealer installed add-on crap that you can get

01:15:32   I think but I don't think there are any other options that you can get for it to speak of and maybe I wasn't looking hard

01:15:36   Enough, but yeah, I'm just taking what it came with and yeah, is it was a pretty good deal car shopping always sucks

01:15:41   So, you know whatever but I got done in a three-day weekend

01:15:44   Yeah

01:15:45   I always I love car shopping in theory and

01:15:48   Then when it comes time to actually go to the dealerships and try to test drive anything and try to find anything

01:15:53   It's such a pain in the butt that I just want to end it as quickly as possible

01:15:57   yeah, it's funny you say that I went with so Aaron and I went with a

01:16:02   Friend of ours and she's looking into perhaps either an s4 or an equivalent

01:16:08   And so of course I made her drive an m3 at the local BMW dealer and this particular m3 was pretty busted

01:16:14   It was no wait and it had the prior version of iDrive which I'd never actually seen before and oh my goodness

01:16:20   All the stories are right. It is that bad

01:16:22   But anyway, we went to test drive this car and I was thinking, "Ooh, maybe I'll take it for a little spin."

01:16:28   And, you know, it was a six-speed because she actually wants a six-speed and I was all excited about it.

01:16:33   And the process to get in the car took forever. Once we got out of the car, it took forever.

01:16:37   The car was kind of all busted up and, like, the second gear crunched. I think a couple wheels were out of balance.

01:16:44   Jeez.

01:16:46   We felt the rear tires and they had no tread, yet the fronts suspiciously had a lot of tread.

01:16:51   and it was just not good times.

01:16:53   But yeah, you're absolutely right.

01:16:55   The actual act of buying a car is terrible,

01:16:57   or even test driving a car is terrible.

01:16:59   And this was a used one.

01:17:00   It wasn't even like it was new.

01:17:02   Ugh, gross.

01:17:04   - I think I've gotten the swing of buying cars,

01:17:07   but it's just, I mean, especially the cars I buy,

01:17:09   there's not a lot of drama involved.

01:17:11   There's no rarity.

01:17:14   There's no real hunting down of the cars.

01:17:16   You know, it's a Honda Accord.

01:17:18   That's more or less a commodity.

01:17:20   It is a little bit difficult to find the stick shifts,

01:17:22   because it's trying to search for them.

01:17:25   Minor dealers might not have them in stock,

01:17:27   but they can get them if you want.

01:17:29   But if I'm going to find one that's in stock, I'll find it.

01:17:31   I am surprised that you were able to find one so easily

01:17:33   to test drive.

01:17:34   Usually you can get them to order you one, maybe.

01:17:36   But to actually find a stick shift

01:17:38   to test drive at a dealer is pretty rare these days.

01:17:41   The internet.

01:17:41   I did internet searches for dealers in your area

01:17:44   who have this thing.

01:17:44   It's not called around as well, but just a combination

01:17:48   of the internet and calling around.

01:17:49   That was my first order of business, was first find one of these things that I can test drive

01:17:53   to see if I like it.

01:17:55   And once I found it, then started the new phase of the search, which is I know exactly

01:17:58   the car I want down to the trim level and color, and then just go price shopping.

01:18:01   And that's always annoying, because nobody wants you to talk to them or come into a dealer

01:18:07   or do anything without completing in a sale.

01:18:09   So every single one of them is like, this is not going to end in a sale.

01:18:12   I'm price shopping.

01:18:14   And nobody likes that.

01:18:16   I tried to do, there's a thing a friend of mine did that it was like, "You pay us $200,

01:18:22   we do all the crap for you, and we hopefully save you more than $200 on the price of the

01:18:26   car."

01:18:27   And he was very satisfied with the service, and it's a local website that does it, but

01:18:30   the website says they're not taking any more orders.

01:18:33   My wife says it was a 2006 Accord, not 2007.

01:18:35   I told you, I can never remember the model year versus the...

01:18:38   Anyway.

01:18:39   I think you just got served.

01:18:41   Yeah.

01:18:42   So that service that does that car buying thing, we said, "We're not doing that anymore."

01:18:45   Maybe they were overbooked or maybe they're going into business or I don't know.

01:18:49   So I couldn't do that and then I had heard that Costco has a car pricing thing that was

01:18:54   similar and we're a Costco member so I tried doing that.

01:18:58   And that's like fill out this thing and tell it what car you want and it will direct you

01:19:02   to a dealer and turns out there's only one dealer in our area that does the Costco thing.

01:19:06   And so I did the thing on the internet and filled out this thing and it sent me some

01:19:09   email and it said, "Hey, come down to the dealer."

01:19:11   I'm like, "Well, I don't want to do that."

01:19:12   So I called the dealer and said, "Hey, I did this Costco thing.

01:19:14   you tell me, you know, I want to know what is the Costco price for this car?

01:19:18   The whole idea was they'll just give you a price that they can't tell you on the website

01:19:22   and it's a no haggle price and here it is.

01:19:24   And I said, oh, we can't tell you the price here.

01:19:26   You have to come into the dealer, which of course they want you to come into the dealer.

01:19:29   Everyone wants you to come in.

01:19:30   And again, you know, that kind of ruined the point of this Costco.

01:19:33   I mean, if it's a no haggle thing and it was a good deal, I just wanted to know what the

01:19:35   price was.

01:19:36   So, you know, I had to drive all up there.

01:19:39   Basically it was just like I'm here because you told me I had to drive here.

01:19:42   So you would tell me the price.

01:19:43   Now please tell me the price.

01:19:44   And then of course they don't want you to go once they tell you the price.

01:19:48   They would be like, "Okay, thank you for the price. I'm now going to leave." They want to say,

01:19:51   "Well, you know, hey, why don't you want to buy what it's going to take to get you into a car

01:19:54   today and go through all that business or whatever?" So eventually I got a reasonable

01:19:58   deal. I'm searching through all these websites for what is the invoice price for this car and

01:20:07   what are local deals like or whatever. And there's like a million different websites that do this.

01:20:11   I was also looking up the blue book value of my car,

01:20:14   thinking of trading it in, like the old Civic and everything.

01:20:17   And at one of the dealers, the bad cop guy--

01:20:22   like, there's always the good cop, bad cop.

01:20:23   The sales manager.

01:20:24   Yeah.

01:20:25   The bad cop guy pulled up on his computer

01:20:28   one of the websites I had been looking at to show,

01:20:30   like, here's the range of prices that people are paying locally.

01:20:33   And it's like, immediately you go, OK,

01:20:35   do not look at that website ever again.

01:20:37   Because if the dealer is showing it to you,

01:20:38   the information on that website is not

01:20:40   going to help you at all.

01:20:43   Yeah.

01:20:44   And I think I got a reasonable deal.

01:20:46   I didn't get an amazing deal like I got on my wife's

01:20:49   accord, because that was just an unbelievable deal.

01:20:51   But that was because it was like a car that someone else had

01:20:53   ordered and put a bunch of crap on and then bailed out

01:20:55   on the deal.

01:20:56   And now they had a car tarted up with all these aftermarket

01:20:58   extras that nobody wanted.

01:20:59   There was a stick shift, and we scooped it up and took it off

01:21:01   their hands.

01:21:02   So you can't expect to get that deal over you.

01:21:04   So I got an OK deal.

01:21:06   I was going to say, I got a pretty good deal on the trade-in,

01:21:09   considering the car was covered with acorn dents.

01:21:11   Do they give you more than $10?

01:21:13   Yeah, that's like the perfect use of the dealer trade-in.

01:21:16   Because dealer trade-ins, they will underball the crap out

01:21:19   of the price.

01:21:19   And so it's worth it to just-- if you have a car like that,

01:21:22   that's just going to be really hard to get much value

01:21:25   privately.

01:21:26   The perfect use of the dealer trade-in.

01:21:28   Yeah, because no individual wants a car--

01:21:30   and it didn't have an air conditioning compressor.

01:21:32   The reason I was getting new cars

01:21:33   is the air conditioning compressor

01:21:34   would cost over $1,000 to fix according

01:21:36   to the way-too-expensive dealer or whatever.

01:21:38   It's like all right. It's the end of the time for this car, so I had a car

01:21:41   It was ugly there was a stick shift covered in dents and no air conditioning

01:21:45   and like

01:21:47   The dealer ended up buying from originally said we'll give you about a thousand fifteen hundred for it

01:21:51   I'm like well

01:21:52   That's terrible because the blue book value

01:21:53   Sans acorn dent the blue book value of the car if it was not dented or I guess you put that condition is like fair or

01:21:59   whatever

01:21:59   And and the air conditioning compressor worked it was like twenty five hundred thirty five hundred dependent

01:22:04   But that was not deducting for the compressor

01:22:06   But I ended up getting twenty five hundred for the trade in for so I feel like I got a lot of deal

01:22:10   2500 for a 2000 - I mean who knows like there they could you just assume that's off the price

01:22:15   You know like they really give you 2500 for your thing or is it just some negotiating tactic to?

01:22:19   Bottom line is I gave them about 20 grand and I got a new car so and I gave them my old car so the

01:22:24   end