533: The Beach Is the Beach


00:00:00   I have pre-show follow-up from my pre-show last week about e-readers. It'll be quick, I swear.

00:00:09   So a couple of little things. We got a bunch of feedback on our e-reader episode, or e-reader pre-show last episode.

00:00:19   It felt like an episode, didn't it? Hey-o!

00:00:21   Anyway, I had gotten the latest Kindle Oasis, but apparently the latest Kindle Oasis is from like 2017 or something.

00:00:28   And the newest Kindle that's any good is allegedly the new Paperwhite Signature Edition.

00:00:36   This is the first Kindle, as far as I'm aware, that has a USB-C port.

00:00:40   Although maybe the new Kindle Scribe, the handwriting one, that might have it. I didn't look at that one. It's a little too big for me.

00:00:45   But anyway, so everyone said try the new Paperwhite. It is much more modern and it's faster.

00:00:50   Because one of my key complaints about the Kindle Oasis is it just takes forever to do things like wake up from sleep or navigate to a different book or whatever. It takes forever. It's very, very slow.

00:01:01   So people said try the new Kindle Paperwhite. It's much, much faster. I got it. It's not. That's it.

00:01:09   Cool.

00:01:10   And it's also because it's Paperwhite, it has no page turn buttons, and the shape makes it generally less convenient and less comfortable to hold. And you gotta dodge a touch screen and everything.

00:01:20   Another small bit of follow-up. John Himmelberger wrote in to say the Kindle Oasis has an option to disable the touch screens.

00:01:27   I had said I would love to only use the page turn buttons and not worry that if I brush my hand against the little tiny edge of the screen that it would turn the page inadvertently, which it occasionally did.

00:01:38   This is an option. However, what it does is completely disable the touch screen, like all touch screen functionality until the next time you hit the power button and put it to sleep and wake it back up again.

00:01:48   Oh my gosh.

00:01:49   So that's not a great option. It makes it difficult to do lots of things. So not a great option.

00:01:55   I will say the Kindle Oasis, having spent more time with it, I do respect it as a device, but I wish the software was better, and I keep running into problems where it's just justifying my text and everything.

00:02:08   So everyone, the entire world, starting from Jason Snell, but the entire world after Jason, said, "Just try a Kobo. You will like it better."

00:02:19   I decided, fine, you know what, if this many people are saying it's better, I should probably look at it.

00:02:25   So just today, my Kobo Sage arrived. It's a little bit larger. It's an 8-inch screen instead of a 7-inch screen, so a little bit bigger size class than the Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite.

00:02:36   I bet I've had many sized, a little more square, but it has page turn buttons. It's one of two, I think, current models from them that do.

00:02:42   I had said last episode, one of the things I miss when I'm not using a Kindle is I like the PMN Cecilia font that Kindle uses.

00:02:49   Well, two things. Number one, everyone said, "If you want to upload your own font to a Kobo, you can. You can put your own. If you have, like if you buy a font and have like the OTF or TTF files, you can put them on a Kobo and use that."

00:03:04   So I thought, that's great. So I instantly bought Cecilia. My Kobo came today. It has that as an option already.

00:03:10   Whoops.

00:03:12   I mean, look, it's a good font. I'm happy to have it for like, you know, desktop publishing needs and stuff because I do occasionally do stuff like that.

00:03:19   But so it's nice. I'm glad I bought it. But anyway, it already has that as an option. So that's wonderful.

00:03:24   I've used the Dropbox integration on it as well. You can get a folder on your Dropbox for Kobo and just like drop EPUB and PDF files and stuff in there.

00:03:32   Oh, that's neat.

00:03:33   It works great. It's awesome. The one thing I had said I wanted something to have Instapaper potential and Instapaper's Kindle functionality is pretty rudimentary.

00:03:43   It's not in the greatest shape. Well, Kobo does have native in the device, the Pocket app.

00:03:52   Uh oh.

00:03:53   I haven't gotten desperate enough to use it yet because there was some bad blood between me and the Pocket guy back in the day. I didn't like him very much.

00:04:03   I'm sure he's a fine person, but we didn't compete well. It was not a healthy environment. And so it was kind of like, you know, the way John won't buy anything that Microsoft makes.

00:04:12   Like, I kind of feel like I really don't want to use Pocket.

00:04:15   I'm using a Microsoft mouse right now. And I bought Windows 10 and XP, I think. I don't know. Maybe NT. I don't know. A lot of my Windows I got from work.

00:04:26   Well, you still don't buy an Xbox at least.

00:04:28   That's true.

00:04:29   Yeah. But anyway, so, you know, so that's an option. We'll see if I get to it.

00:04:34   But overall, I read a lot this afternoon and the evening with the Kobo versus the Paperwhite versus the Kindle Oasis.

00:04:42   The Kobo is the nicest. Everyone was right. It is the nicest. It is the best reading experience.

00:04:48   Even the buttons are better than the Kindle Oasis buttons.

00:04:51   The Kindle Oasis buttons, you know how when Apple does something reluctantly and you can always tell?

00:04:58   The Kindle Oasis buttons are there because Kindle customers, having previously been accustomed to buttons in previous Kindle models, like the first few generations of Kindles, all had buttons.

00:05:08   You know, people having been accustomed to that kept complaining to Amazon, "Hey, all your new Kindles don't have buttons anymore and it makes it worse."

00:05:14   So Amazon said, "Fine. We'll put buttons on the most expensive model and you can buy them if you want to."

00:05:21   It was a very reluctant move, I think. And you can tell because the buttons are crappy buttons on the Kindle Oasis.

00:05:25   In particular, they like snap. You know how like when you click a button and it goes pckk, like it's like a loud...

00:05:32   Here, I'll play it here. This is the Kindle Oasis button.

00:05:35   Alright. This is the Kobo button.

00:05:39   It's a much softer, more squishy click on the Kobo button, which is nice because when you're reading like in bed or something, the Kindle is actually kind of loud.

00:05:48   Like the buttons is kind of loud. And so the Kobo is better.

00:05:52   But the Kobo just, it's way faster. It wakes up from sleep way faster.

00:05:56   The menus are faster. Everything about it is faster than both the Kindle Oasis and the new Paperwhite that allegedly is fast.

00:06:02   The Kobo is way faster. It is way better set up, way easier.

00:06:07   The one major downside of the Kobo, unfortunately, is that their native storefront for their e-books, for the few things I looked for so far, it both has less selection than Amazon.

00:06:19   Like one of the books I wanted is literally just not there at all.

00:06:23   I went to Amazon and I'm like, "Oh yeah, there it is. They have it."

00:06:25   And the Kobo books oftentimes were more expensive.

00:06:29   That's kind of a bummer. I kind of figured it would be more like buying music where everyone kind of has the same catalog for the most part and the prices are all basically the same.

00:06:38   No, it isn't that way. The Kobo storefront has less selection and is more expensive. And that's no fun.

00:06:44   But you don't have to buy from the Kobo storefront to read books in your Kobo, though.

00:06:48   Right. So as long as I can get a DRM-free EPUB, or you know, people use Caliber to strip the DRM and stuff.

00:06:55   That's the way.

00:06:56   I haven't installed Caliber in probably 15 years.

00:07:00   It's still terrible.

00:07:01   Yeah, it wasn't good then.

00:07:03   If you install it today, you will install at least 17 more versions by the end of the week.

00:07:07   Yeah, you just take your whole Kindle library, get Caliber working, spend a weekend on it, rip off all the DRM, and then throw them all to your Kobo world and don't look back, I guess.

00:07:18   Yeah, so my current plan, both of the Kindles are honestly within the return windows.

00:07:23   The Paperwhite, they sent me the wrong one. I ordered the without ads one, and they sent me the ad-filled one.

00:07:30   I think you mean special offers.

00:07:32   Yeah, which, by the way, that makes it wake up more slowly. So the Paperwhite...

00:07:36   That sounds special.

00:07:38   So I hadn't seen a Kindle with special offers since they... when they first came out, like probably eight or nine years ago, I had the very first one that had that.

00:07:47   And it would... it literally just like your... the sleep screen, like the lock screen on a Kindle, you know, E Ink screens, when they're asleep, they can display something.

00:07:55   They just... it just stays there with no power being taken to like keep it there.

00:07:58   So, you know, when Kindle first came out, they would have artwork of like, here's a bunch of pencils, you know, or something like that.

00:08:04   Or there later on there became an option to put the cover image of the book you are reading as the sleep screen on the Kindle.

00:08:11   So it looked like the book, which is kind of cute. And that's how I keep the Oasis.

00:08:14   But so the special offers now, it has this big recommended for you thing.

00:08:20   So on the front of my Kindle it says, "5 ingredient whole food plant based cookbook. Easy recipes with no salt, oil or refined sugar. 250 reviews, 5 stars."

00:08:28   You know, so I'm like, okay, well, first of all, I guess that is kind of up my alley. However, I really don't.

00:08:33   And then to wake it up, you have to hit the power button. Wait, wait, now it's awake. Oh, it's not awake. Swipe to unlock.

00:08:40   Then swipe. Wait, wait, now I'm back in my book. That's how long it took to get back in the book.

00:08:45   All right, now pick up the Kobo. It's been asleep for a little while. Hit the power button. I'm back.

00:08:51   It's so much faster. It's so much nicer.

00:08:56   Like, so anyway, thank you everybody and especially Jason for recommending Kobo for all these years on all the six colors articles that yes, I have read actually.

00:09:05   I've been following them for all this time.

00:09:07   Thank you to everybody who recommended this and I think I am going to stick with Kobo for the time being.

00:09:11   I do miss the Amazon ecosystem in terms of, you know, its selection and you know, the pricing is not going to bother me too much because like I don't read that many books.

00:09:21   If when I do buy a book, it's an extra five or seven dollars fine. But it is kind of a bummer that I can't find everything there.

00:09:28   So I will probably venture into the world of caliber and all that crap and I wish I didn't need to because honestly I would pay more for the better experience.

00:09:37   But you know, you can't you kind of can't fake availability so that you know, I'll have to dive into it for that.

00:09:43   But otherwise, it's a really good experience so far. I've had it for less than a day.

00:09:48   So I really, you know, maybe, maybe, you know, try it yourself or you know, give us the appropriate amounts of grains of salt that it deserves for having had it for less than a day.

00:09:57   But so far, it's really nice. It's more comfortable to hold. Like it's just everything about it is better designed and more considerate of the user and performs better.

00:10:07   Everything except for the store availability. Everything else about it is better. There's better text controls. There's better options.

00:10:12   And again, I've had it half a day. I haven't even discovered everything about it yet. But it's already so much better.

00:10:18   I've had kindles for a long time and I've had many different kindle models over the years, including the very first one and actually the very first three.

00:10:26   This is so much better than all of them. Hands down, so much better.

00:10:31   Out of curiosity, perhaps we talked about this last episode and I just completely blanked on it. But what are you expecting to read? Are you reading novels? Are you reading technical programming books?

00:10:39   Like what is the target content in media that you intend to consume?

00:10:44   Number one, the most common thing I read is web articles, which I don't love that about myself, but that is the most common.

00:10:51   Whenever I want to read a book, I prefer to do it this way. So I very rarely read fiction, but nonfiction.

00:10:58   So like, you know, when like when there's like a Steve Jobs biography, I read that on the Kindle.

00:11:02   I'm currently reading the What If series of books by the XKCD guy Randall Monroe, which is just delightful.

00:11:08   And they're actually really good on ink because his art style is black and white line drawing. And so it looks fantastic on e-readers.

00:11:18   And then I wanted to go back and reread like some old programming books that I read when I was young, like early in my career, like, you know, the pragmatic programmer, you know, that kind of stuff.

00:11:28   Like go back and read some of those again, now that I have, you know, a different mind, different perspective, you know, more experience.

00:11:34   I kind of wanted to go back, honestly, you asked, so I'll bring this up. I really enjoyed the Tao Te Ching back forever ago.

00:11:41   I read the Stephen Mitchell version, which I know people who are actually experts in this area have very mixed opinions on whether that's like the right version to read.

00:11:51   I don't know anything about it. So if anybody out there has like a good version of like, okay, if I if I don't read the Stephen Mitchell version, what other one should I read as a westerner trying to understand this?

00:12:03   I would love that. So stuff like that, you know, just kind of, you know, I maybe I was thinking about rereading 1984, which I know they had a funny thing with the Kindle a while ago, where they remote pulled it off devices, which is the best book to possibly take it to.

00:12:18   That's amazing.

00:12:19   But anyway, so you know, so like, I kind of I wanted to get back into reading more than I have been, which is almost none, and kind of rebuild that part of my attention span and this is a good way to do it. And when I do have something fun to read, this is how I prefer to do it anyway. So that's that's kind of where I go with that. It's so it's not a lot of novels, that's fairly rare. It's a lot of nonfiction stuff.

00:12:40   That's why my reading is effectively the exact opposite. I very rarely read for pleasure. I very, very rarely read any sort of nonfiction, which isn't to say I'm right and you're wrong. Not not at all. It's just that's not where I tend to, to look.

00:12:55   But I have had a Kindle, I think I mentioned last last time I've had a Kindle for a few years now since Stephen Hackett kind of bequeathed one to me, so to speak, or handed it down in the much the same way that you handed all of yours down, except when Stephen sent mine, he was nice enough not to use it as simply packing material and instead, you know, used actual packing material to brace the brace the Kindle.

00:13:19   But nonetheless, I I quite prefer reading reading on the Kindle, in part because there's a light on mine so I can read in bed, which I do quite often even after Aaron is asleep.

00:13:33   And also because, as I mentioned last episode, my eyes are garbage, particularly when I don't my contacts in so I can make the font hilariously big. So I'm right there with you with preferring some sort of e-reader.

00:13:42   And although I don't have any particular need to upgrade my Kindle at this time, it sounds like the Kobo is the way to go.

00:13:48   Oh yeah, and also on the screen front, I'm glad you brought that up.

00:13:52   All modern, like nice e-readers have some kind of screen lighting thing. And when these first came out, they were kind of rudimentary. They're a lot better now.

00:14:02   The Kindle Oasis one is way better than the Paperwhite one in terms of it's a little bit more even light, although they're both very even.

00:14:09   But the Kindle Oasis one seems better at the like automatic shift to warm toned lighting and automatic brightness control. It just it seems nicer.

00:14:18   I can get the Kindle Oasis to look nicer than the Paperwhite in that way.

00:14:22   The Kobo I have not yet read with it at night because again, I've had it for half of a day.

00:14:27   But so far that the little bit of testing I have done with it, it's also really nice. It is like Kindle Oasis level of nice as far as I can tell so far.

00:14:35   So again, just super impressed with the Kobo. But oh, and one other thing, the E Ink screens, they all now because they're all now touch screens and because they now have this this like lighting layer.

00:14:47   And I think the way it works, I think they have like perimeter LEDs all around the perimeter.

00:14:52   And then there's this like this thin film over the screen that helps diffuse the light in like an even way.

00:14:58   So you don't actually really see the points of light, although the edges of the screen look a little bit brighter than the middles.

00:15:04   But like the nicer ones will have a bunch of LEDs to kind of help spread it around, you know, nicely. So it looks fairly even.

00:15:10   Two major changes since the early days. Number one, the screens are now mostly flush with the front.

00:15:17   So you don't have like the little bevel in causing shadows or collecting dust or hairs and stuff along the edges, which is nice compared to the earlier ones.

00:15:25   Number two, that film over the over the top of it makes it slightly shiny. And I don't like that.

00:15:34   I wish they were a little bit closer to matte because E Ink looks so paper like in so many ways.

00:15:40   And that's one major way it doesn't. But I think that's I think that's a symptom of that film on top that has the touch and lighting layers.

00:15:47   I think if you actually look at a raw E Ink screen on a model that does not have touch or lighting, which is kind of rare in the e-book world these days, but still exists.

00:15:55   You know, you can still buy E Ink devices and screens for Raspberry Pis and stuff like that.

00:15:59   They look better in that in that one way. They don't have this kind of like glossy film over them.

00:16:04   So you kind of have to tilt the screen at certain angles to not have that little tiny bit of glare on them.

00:16:10   But, you know, it's it's fine. Like in reading, it's it's totally fine when you do that. But I wish you didn't need to.

00:16:16   But that seems like it's kind of an inherent thing with with this trade off right now. So. Oh, well.

00:16:21   All right. Anything else for your follow up? That's it. Your your brief follow up to your brief pre-show.

00:16:27   Less than 20 minutes this time.

00:16:30   All right. It is that time. It is the last time that I'm going to sit here and tell you it is ATP store time.

00:16:39   I almost said the bad word, almost said the M word, but I caught myself. It is the ATP store time not to buy adenosine triphosphate.

00:16:46   No, it is to buy merchandise. ATP merchandise. Yes, I said it, John.

00:16:51   I don't care. You can buy your stuff, your clothing at ATP.FM/store.

00:16:56   Hey, listen, as I sit here right now, it is Wednesday evening and this coming Saturday evening.

00:17:03   So probably within 24 to 48 hours of when you're hearing this, it will be closed.

00:17:09   The store will be closed. So I will remind you one final time.

00:17:13   If you're walking, stand off to the side where you're not in the way.

00:17:17   If you're driving signal because you're not a jerk that doesn't use your signal.

00:17:21   Right. Signal and pull over or think about what you're going to do when you get where you're going and go to ATP.FM/store and buy you some awesome stuff.

00:17:30   I'm so scared to say the M word now. You've ruined me. Buy some awesome stuff.

00:17:34   You can say merch. It's just not called the merch store because it has a name.

00:17:38   All right. So the merchandise/merch/stuff that you can buy. The Mac Pro Believe shirt, which we actually have a little bit of follow up about that, believe it or not, but we'll get there in a minute.

00:17:49   You can buy the Mac Pro Believe shirt in various color. The shirt themselves can be various colors.

00:17:56   And then we also have the classic ATP 6 colors logo, which is on top of various colored shirts or black.

00:18:03   And depending on what color shirt you buy, it's either white ink or rainbow ink.

00:18:07   Then we also brought back the Pro Max Triumph shirt, which is available in a rainbow of colors on either black or white tee.

00:18:14   And we also brought back the Polo. You are welcome. Those of you who have a real job and want to look a little snazzy for it, buy yourself an ATP Polo.

00:18:23   It's really, really nice. And we also brought back the ATP hoodie. As far as we know, we also still have a smattering of the original red inside mug.

00:18:30   I think the mugs are all gone now. Breaking news with the mugs are gone. You waited too long.

00:18:35   Yeah, there wasn't that many of them. The mugs are not available. So anything else, all of that other merch/merch/stuff you can buy at ATP.FM/store.

00:18:44   That's where you can go, Hey, John, if you're a member, do you get any special perks for the ATP store?

00:18:50   I can't answer. I want to double check on the mugs. Hang on a second.

00:18:54   Important things happening.

00:18:56   I was trying to read the admin dashboard where it showed how many there was and it was confusing. But if you go to the mug, you'll see that it just says, let's see, it says bring it back. Yeah, they're both gone.

00:19:07   Okay. Yes, members. If you're an ATP member, you can go to your member screen. Actually, just go to ATP.FM/store and you'll find all the links you need.

00:19:15   You can get a discount code for 15% off. And if you're not a member, you can become a member, get the discount and then forget to cancel your membership.

00:19:22   I highly endorse this approach. Also remember, as we discussed in the after show last time, that if you are a member, you can go to your member dashboard or whatever we want to call it and find a link to the call sheet test flight, which is just for members.

00:19:33   So you can check that out as well. But we're not talking about that right now. We're talking about the store. So again, it is currently Wednesday. What day of the month is it? Is it the third? Wednesday the third.

00:19:42   You probably won't hear this until Thursday the fourth or maybe even Friday the fifth. At the end of the day, Saturday the sixth, your time is up. I don't want to hear you say, is it too late? Yes.

00:19:52   If you have to ask, it's too late. So, ATP.FM/store, we love you. Please love us back and buy some merchandise. We would really appreciate it.

00:20:00   John, we have some follow up with regard to merch. This is a new thing for us. I don't think this has ever happened before. So please tell me about the MacPro Believe shirt.

00:20:09   So someone named Christopher Cruz wrote in with a devastating email.

00:20:15   Well, in Christopher's defense, it was not written to be devastating. It was written in a happy, helpful way. It just so happened to be devastating.

00:20:24   Yes. I'll read from the email here talking about the MacPro Believe shirt. And we have what we call a dark version of the shirt, which means that the shirt itself is dark.

00:20:34   Anyway, so Christopher says, "The dark version of the shirt suffers from one of my graphic tee pet peeves, the same artwork being used for light and dark shirts with only an ink color change.

00:20:44   This treatment results in the dark version of the shirt appearing inverted. If it's not too late, it may be worth considering adjusting the artwork for the dark shirt."

00:20:51   Now here's the deal. We've been doing these t-shirt things for a long time. I'm very often the one who does the artwork for them.

00:20:58   When it's something like the ATP logo, where it's got the letters ATP, right? You've got a white t-shirt, you want to put ATP on it, you write ATP in black on your white t-shirt. No big deal.

00:21:08   And you're like, "But what if I want a black t-shirt? I can't put black ink on a black t-shirt." Although we did do that once.

00:21:13   But you'd want to put white lettering. So I'm going to just take the ATP that was black on the white t-shirt and just change it so that now the ATP is white on the black shirt.

00:21:22   Problem solved. This has been our MO for all of our shirts. Depending on how dark or light the shirt is, usually we go with white ink. If it's a monochrome thing, we go with white ink on the dark shirts and black ink on the light shirts.

00:21:34   Easy peasy. I did exactly the same thing with the Mac Pro Believe shirt, which is again some artwork that I resurrected that I had done way back.

00:21:43   I did it on the white shirt first because that was what I originally intended and so we got to have one with some dark colored shirts too and for those I'll just change the ink color to white ink and it'll be fine.

00:21:53   And we rolled out the store and we said, "Everybody come and buy it and blah blah blah" and then this email came.

00:21:58   And I was like, "Wait a second. Christopher is right. Oh my god, he's so right."

00:22:03   So here's the deal. The Mac Pro Word Believe? Sure. Black ink on the white shirt, white ink on the black shirt. Word's great.

00:22:12   The picture of the Mac Pro itself, that's not text. That's a physical object.

00:22:18   And unlike text, physical objects have a physical reality. They're not just an abstract concept.

00:22:24   And the physical reality of the Mac Pro is that the little holes in the front of it, those are the dark parts.

00:22:32   So on the white shirt, everything works out. If you look at the white shirt, you can see, "Oh, here's the Mac Pro and look at all these holes in the front of it and inside the holes it's dark and spooky."

00:22:41   And so black ink is used in the holes. But when I made the one that goes in the dark colored shirt with white ink, I just inverted it.

00:22:48   And so what that meant was with the white ink on the dark colored shirt, the holes had white ink in them. The holes were bright and the case was dark.

00:22:57   I had one person say it actually kind of looked like the Mac Pro was black and it made him wish for a black Mac Pro.

00:23:02   But the thing is, the Mac Pro is not black. It's silver. It's light colored and the holes are dark.

00:23:06   I was like, "Oh my God, he's so right." And I was like, "What are we going to do? We already shipped the store or whatever."

00:23:12   So I just spent like an hour and a half making the corrected version.

00:23:15   And it's not that easy to make the corrected version, especially when you don't use the vector programs that often.

00:23:20   Like I know enough about vector programs to know what should be possible. I just don't know how to do it.

00:23:24   So there I am in the new version of Affinity Designer trying to figure out how to do the conversion of all my vector things.

00:23:30   I eventually figured it out. I knew it was possible, but it was just tricky. Although, an aside here, I did find a reproducible bug in Affinity Designer 2.

00:23:38   And it's like, "Well, who cares? You got a bug?" It was stopping me from doing the thing.

00:23:44   What I had to do was I had to select the stroke and select a command in Affinity Designer called Expand Stroke.

00:23:49   There's no way I could avoid doing this. There was no other way for me to do it.

00:23:52   Every time I selected Expand Stroke, they would crash instantly.

00:23:56   And I had to do this for like 50 strokes. And I was like, "What am I going to do? I literally don't have a workaround. I need to expand the stroke."

00:24:04   And every time I select the command, the app immediately crashes, just instantly.

00:24:08   So eventually I figured out just from futzing around that if I was looking at the crash log and it was like a segfault in some shared memory segment,

00:24:15   I'm like, "Oh, shared memory. I know this from my server-side days."

00:24:18   There's lots of crap you can do to perturb what's going on in that memory region.

00:24:22   So I was zooming in and out in the program, scrolling around, doing all sorts of stuff, and one out of every ten times it would work.

00:24:29   And so there I was. I would launch the program, select Expand Stroke, crash. Launch the program, select Expand Stroke, crash.

00:24:34   But one in every ten times it would work, and then I would hit save. And then I would just repeat that process.

00:24:38   So anyway, eventually I did it.

00:24:40   You should have tried this on Tina's computer. I bet it would have worked better.

00:24:42   I actually should have done that. If I hadn't been so heads down into doing this, I should have brought other.

00:24:47   Because it was one of those things where it's like some kind of memory correction or buffer overflow,

00:24:52   and it's just the luck of the dice whether whatever bad was happening, it was harmful or not.

00:24:57   And it was harmful almost all the time, but not all the time.

00:25:00   I should actually save the file and give them a reproduction or whatever, but I was just like, "I don't have time to reproduce this. I just need to get done with it."

00:25:06   So the upshot is, I contacted the people at Cotton Bureau and said, "Hey, we want to update the shirt. We think this one looks better."

00:25:12   It's basically the same design. It just looks better. It doesn't look like it's inverted anymore, and they were nice enough to swap it in for us.

00:25:18   So if you ordered the Mac Pro dark shirt, everybody who ordered it is getting the good version. Nobody is getting the bad version.

00:25:25   If you liked the bad version because you thought it looked like a black Mac Pro, sorry, but that's not what we were going for.

00:25:29   It's just supposed to look like the actual Mac Pro, and now it does.

00:25:32   One final thing I will add that I did notice, so people probably didn't tell me about it, but I think it's actually better this way.

00:25:40   If you too can look in the show notes where you have, it might be chapter art for this thing if you're looking at the podcast, but anyway.

00:25:47   Look in the show notes, please, and take a look at the "good versions," both the light and the dark one.

00:25:52   Do you see what else is wrong with the good versions?

00:25:55   Is the shimmer not right on the handle?

00:25:58   No. No, I did that intentionally as well. I could have reversed the handle. I think the handle looks better this way.

00:26:05   Other than the fact that it looks like aliens on the top row, which I've said to you and others have said as well.

00:26:12   Yes, many people have said that.

00:26:13   I mean, the real Mac Pro really does look like aliens, so I think that's accurately drawn.

00:26:17   No, it totally is. This image is drawn directly from Apple's, you know, version.

00:26:21   Are the holes not, like, is the polarity of the dark and light inside each hole, is that backwards?

00:26:28   That's right. If you had a real Mac Pro in front of you, you would know this.

00:26:32   On the real Mac Pro, the alien eyes, those are the parts that are dark.

00:26:37   And so I did one like that. The problem is, if you do it like that, like, this is an example of, like,

00:26:43   I think the shirt looks like what people think the Mac Pro looks like, but that's not what the Mac Pro really looks like.

00:26:49   What it really looks like is the eyes of the alien are dark and the other ones are silver, but then you don't have a good way to differentiate the silver thing.

00:26:55   So I'll show you what it looks like with it the other way. I'll just put this in Slack.

00:26:58   Yeah, I feel like you wouldn't be able to see, like, where the holes begin.

00:27:02   Yeah, I don't like this as much, for sure.

00:27:05   It looks more like the Mac Pro, like the way that you're showing us now.

00:27:09   But it doesn't look good on a t-shirt.

00:27:10   Correct, yeah.

00:27:11   Yeah. So this is the artistic license, where we are, you know, the problem is, it's line art,

00:27:17   and there's no real good way to show where the holes begin with a line, because there's not a line there.

00:27:23   There's just literally an edge, but we can't do subtle shading like that.

00:27:26   So it turns out that was a happy accident, where I did realize that the other way would be more accurate.

00:27:31   In fact, I had one, the other thing you don't know is there is a hexagonal grid behind the eyeballs,

00:27:36   and I had that hexagonal grid in my vector file, and that just makes it way too busy, but technically speaking, that's correct.

00:27:41   So, considering it an econified version of the Mac Pro is what is on the shirt,

00:27:46   it's not technically accurate, but it is spiritually accurate. So, there you have it.

00:27:52   We are sponsored this week by HulloPillow.

00:27:55   Have you ever tried a buckwheat pillow? This is totally different from like fluffy feather or fill or memory foam pillows.

00:28:03   I tried this a long time ago from a podcast, and my wife immediately stole it, and so I didn't get much time with it.

00:28:08   And then a couple years ago, I started having neck and shoulder problems, and I switched to the Hullo

00:28:13   because the way it supports your neck is totally different.

00:28:17   It's kind of like a giant bean bag full of these buckwheat hulls, so it feels almost like you're sleeping on a supportive bean bag,

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00:28:36   And so, it's so much more supportive, and it's great. It was wonderful for my neck problems.

00:28:42   I think it really helped me a lot, honestly. It's been wonderful, I love Hullo.

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00:28:50   it stays very cool and dry compared to pillows filled with feathers or foam, so it doesn't retain heat.

00:28:56   It's really nice in the summertime, honestly.

00:28:58   And you can also customize it to whatever level you want, too.

00:29:01   So if you want a lot of support, a lot of height, you can do that.

00:29:04   You can unzip the bag that's inside of it and just pour out or add more buckwheat hulls.

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00:29:13   It's wonderful. I'm so happy with my Hullo pillow.

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00:29:31   If Hullo is not right for you, just ship it back. They'll give you a full refund.

00:29:34   See for yourself at hullopillow.com/atp.

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00:29:44   So once again, check out Hullo today. hullopillow.com/atp.

00:29:48   Thanks to Hullo for sponsoring our show.

00:29:51   [Music]

00:29:54   Let's talk about call sheets.

00:29:57   We briefly mentioned earlier that if you are an ATP member, ATP.fm/join,

00:30:01   then you can get on the beta until the app is released.

00:30:06   I don't have a timeline for that quite yet, but hopefully soon.

00:30:08   Once the app is released, the test flight will be shut down.

00:30:11   A couple of quick notes.

00:30:13   First of all, a few people have asked, "Hey, I'm getting challenged for a subscription. What happens?"

00:30:20   Well, first of all, you shouldn't be because I'm trying to rip all that out and it will go back in later.

00:30:25   My whole paywall situation is a mess right now.

00:30:28   But if you are on the test flight, you can go ahead and tap the...

00:30:31   I don't even remember what it costs right now because I haven't looked at it in forever.

00:30:34   But you can tap whatever button that's there for subscribing and it will churn for a second.

00:30:40   Then there will be an Apple-provided dialogue that says, "Something, something, something. You won't be charged for this."

00:30:45   And it will say the word "sandbox" somewhere in the dialogue.

00:30:48   As long as you see the word "sandbox" and it should say you won't be charged for this, you can go ahead and send it through.

00:30:52   You still have to enter your real password, but you can send it through and it's not going to charge you.

00:30:55   That will not carry over to the real version.

00:30:58   You will have to subscribe if you so choose once the app is in the App Store proper.

00:31:03   Sometime in the next day or two I hope to rip out all the paywall stuff until I can properly sit down and re-implement the way I want to.

00:31:11   But just FYI, you are free to spend as much money as you want because I will see none of it and nor will Apple.

00:31:17   More importantly though, everyone has been really, really kind and I really, really appreciate it.

00:31:22   I think of all the feedback I've gotten, and there's been quite a bit, and it's almost all been extremely kind and I really, really appreciate that.

00:31:27   I think there's been maybe one or two people that are like, "This sucks," which I'm really happy with.

00:31:32   I am super happy with that level of happy to unhappy, and that is not a challenge.

00:31:36   If you don't like it, tell me you don't like it. You can keep that to yourself.

00:31:39   But I wanted to thank everyone who had sent in a little bit of feedback. I really appreciate it.

00:31:43   I am still working fast and furious. Breaking news earlier today, my friend John, who is one of the authors of the excellent app channels, former sponsor,

00:31:53   he pushed me to implement a URL scheme for CallSheet, which I have done. So if you fancy putting stuff into a shortcut, I'm not sure why you would,

00:32:03   but hypothetically you can open up CallSheet from a shortcut. And in his app channels, I don't know if it's available to everyone yet,

00:32:10   but coming soon you will be able to open stuff in CallSheet if you have CallSheet installed, which I thought was super rad.

00:32:16   So thank you to John for that. But I do have a call for help.

00:32:20   If you are familiar with SwiftUI and have used SwiftUI's searchable modifier, this is what I use on the main screen in order to allow you to search for stuff.

00:32:32   Everyone has told me, and it's justifiable because they're all correct,

00:32:37   "Hey, this is what a lot of people call floating action button." Basically, if you haven't used the app, as you drill into movies or shows and actors and actresses and so on and so forth,

00:32:47   as you do that, there'll be a little magnifying glass that kind of floats in the bottom right as a kind of escape hatch that will jump you back to the search screen.

00:32:55   And everyone justifiably expects that when you hit that, it will scroll to the top of the search results screen,

00:33:03   it will highlight the text that was already there, and it will show the keyboard saying, "All right, what do you want to search for now?"

00:33:08   Completely reasonable. Completely reasonable. I wish I could do it.

00:33:12   But as far as I know, I can't because SwiftUI doesn't give you any kind of control or ability to focus the search field.

00:33:19   So if I'm wrong, please tell me. If there's a way to do this with only mild hacks, please tell me.

00:33:26   I really don't want to have to pull in what's--I forget the name of that framework. Is it introspection? Something like that?

00:33:32   There's some framework that's very popular that lets you dig into the UI kit stuff.

00:33:37   Oh, you don't want to do that.

00:33:39   Exactly. Well, I think I'm going to have to if I want to make this work at all, but I don't want to pull in an entire library just to do it.

00:33:45   You know what I mean? Like, I'd rather just do this by hand if need be.

00:33:48   So if you have a way to make a SwiftUI search field as implemented by .searchable, if you have a way to focus that,

00:33:57   and even better, if you have a way to highlight stuff in the text field there, please let me know. Please reach out.

00:34:02   I would love to know a solution to this because it drives me nuts. It's driving everyone else nuts.

00:34:07   I totally understand why it's driving everyone nuts, but I don't think there's anything I can do about it.

00:34:10   So that is my plea, my call for help. If you know anything about .searchable and can give me a tip on that, please let me know.

00:34:17   Because I would like to know this before I have to complain about it in the lab at WWDC when they're probably telling me tough nuts you can't.

00:34:23   So, but all in all, things are moving forward. I'm getting to the point that I need to steal a copy of Underscore's "No New Features" time-to-ship banner.

00:34:35   But I keep coming up with things that are surprisingly easy to implement, and so I keep doing them like the URL scheme earlier today.

00:34:42   So somebody stop me, otherwise I'm going to keep doing this forever. But my hope is, you know, I've got to fix a couple of things that are kind of urgent,

00:34:51   and then maybe early next week I'm going to conquer the paywall stuff and make that look and work the way I really, really want it to.

00:34:59   That's what's going on in callsheets/plookup land. I don't know if you two have anything to add or any questions, but otherwise we can move right along.

00:35:06   The one thing I will add is your issue with the search box thing. You know, this is SwiftUI.

00:35:12   This is the brand new cutting edge way to have a buggy, frustrating search box.

00:35:18   But UI kit programmers have known for a long time the joys of things like UI Search Controller.

00:35:24   And before that I believe it was called UI Search Field. There have been a few different versions of this over the years,

00:35:29   and they have all been just absolutely miserable to deal with.

00:35:34   Like, all different layers of different kinds of bugs, different lacks of customization, different types of hacks required to make it good.

00:35:43   Like, it is the whole UI Search Controller family of features to put that search box into the navigation bar or near the navigation bar in an iOS app

00:35:53   over the entire lifetime of iOS as a platform have just been horrendous to use for developers.

00:36:00   And so if you're running into a little gotcha or small shortcoming of the newest version of, you know, the SwiftUI version of this,

00:36:08   I'm simultaneously disappointed once again, but also completely unsurprised that the stupid search box once again is causing problems for iOS developers.

00:36:18   Well, and the funny thing about it is, in the defense of SwiftUI for just a moment, it was literally, you know, putting at the end of my view,

00:36:25   I did this a couple of weeks ago, but you know, putting at the end of my view .searchable and connecting it to a binding to a string,

00:36:32   and that was basically all it took. And then magic happened, which was awesome. No joke, it was awesome.

00:36:36   The problem, and this is SwiftUI from top to bottom, doing that really hard thing in a basic way was cake.

00:36:45   It was so easy, it was astonishingly easy. But the second you want to make it do anything else, then you're up a creek,

00:36:53   and you have to go diving into UIKit. Because, I mean, maybe there is a way to do what I want without diving into UIKit.

00:36:58   I suspect I'm going to have to go spelunking into UIKit world, which, like you grumbled about earlier, and I completely echo it,

00:37:04   I don't want to do that, but this is one of those situations where I might have to, because I'm breaking the expectation of everyone that uses the app.

00:37:13   So that juice might be worth a squeeze. But it's just the worst thing. Marco and I were kind of fetching about SwiftUI before the show.

00:37:22   You know, in so many ways it is so amazing, and I love it so much, but you were fighting hilarious errors earlier today.

00:37:29   I didn't happen to toot about it, but I was also fighting differently hilarious error messages earlier today.

00:37:36   It's so amazing what one can accomplish with SwiftUI, and I like to think that CallSheet's looking pretty good.

00:37:43   It's not amazing, but it looks pretty good. And that's in part because I've had help from a bunch of different people.

00:37:48   "Hey, you should tweak this, do that." Most especially, I want to call out friends of the show, Ben McCarthy and Craig Hockenberry,

00:37:55   both who have given me a lot of really great, really actionable feedback about this.

00:37:59   But even still, even the stuff that I came up with, I can make look pretty good. I was never that way with UIKit.

00:38:05   So there's so much great stuff about SwiftUI, but golly, the second you want to go off the beaten path, you get punished.

00:38:12   And that's where I am right now.

00:38:14   Yeah, SwiftUI, my experience continues to be, "Wow, I really like this much of the time."

00:38:21   This is definitely a great way forward. Doing things any other way now, like if I have to go back and modify some UIKit code for smaller things that I'm working on,

00:38:31   it feels like I'm going to the dinosaur age. It feels so primitive and clunky compared to what I can do in SwiftUI.

00:38:39   And the speed at which I'm able to try different ideas out in SwiftUI is so absurdly fast and satisfying and productive.

00:38:50   It is by far my favorite way I've ever made UIs before. Not even close. It is by far my favorite.

00:38:57   And I'm investing fully in it for the future.

00:39:01   Couldn't agree more.

00:39:02   Comma. However, it is full of sharp edges. And it's like many Apple products.

00:39:10   Many Apple products are amazing and the best in their class, and yet have some sharp edges.

00:39:17   Not physically, of course, usually. Johnny Ivo is sure to sand out all those sharp corners.

00:39:22   The chamfered edges.

00:39:23   That's right, yes. So that's fortunately not in the physical sense, but there are so many little sharp edges on SwiftUI.

00:39:31   Some of which are just outright bugs, like Apple products.

00:39:34   Many of which are design decisions that are just very opinionated, like Apple products.

00:39:40   And many of which are just shortcomings they haven't gotten to yet, like Apple products.

00:39:45   And so it fits in perfectly to be the new way to build things for Apple, because it really fits the attitude.

00:39:55   And most of the time it's great, and again, I don't want to switch to anything else.

00:40:01   But when you hit one of those walls, oh boy, it's fun.

00:40:06   And so far, you know, again, UIKit had tons of those things too. They were just different.

00:40:10   In many cases, very different.

00:40:12   But I have found, for whatever it's worth, over the years, oftentimes I would slam into a UIKit wall and I would say, "No. It has to be the way I want.

00:40:23   I have to be able to achieve the behavior or appearance that I'm going for here."

00:40:28   And so I would build some kind of ridiculous hack that would make it happen.

00:40:32   Over time, I have come to realize I have regretted almost every time I've done that.

00:40:38   And the way I'm building it now is I'm trying as much as possible, which is hard with SwiftUI,

00:40:44   but I'm trying as much as possible to avoid needing to do hacks like that, to try to keep things simpler and more fluid, more dynamic, more stock.

00:40:53   And if SwiftUI is not letting me customize something, to just say, "Oh, well, I guess I won't customize that thing."

00:41:00   As opposed to, "Well, now I have to rebuild UI table view."

00:41:04   Instead of jumping immediately to, "Let me force my way into this behavior that I want, even if it's going to require ten times the code,"

00:41:13   saying instead, "You know what? I'll just accept that and move on to a bigger problem."

00:41:18   Part of that is maybe just me being old.

00:41:21   But I think part of that also is hard-learned wisdom.

00:41:25   I've done this a lot.

00:41:27   Currently, Overcast's current screen structure, which is all objective-C in UIKit,

00:41:32   it is really hard to change anything about it.

00:41:35   It's super hard because it's really convoluted, really complex code,

00:41:40   because I was really picky about exactly every detail of how I want this to look, how I want this to work.

00:41:45   I want to be able to put this up here and put this icon over here and put this bar up here.

00:41:49   And it is so complex that I stopped touching it for a year and then lost the ability to ever touch it again.

00:41:57   So I'm much more heavily now leaning into simplicity, flexibility, and SwiftUI is great for that.

00:42:07   It's not great in terms of, with UIKit, if something wasn't quite what you wanted,

00:42:13   you had more options to hack it than you do with SwiftUI.

00:42:17   SwiftUI puts up taller walls.

00:42:22   It's a lot harder.

00:42:23   Certain things you just can't hack.

00:42:25   It's like, "Oh, you want to customize the way this thing looks or behaves? Too bad."

00:42:28   You've got to drop down to UIKit at best if you even have that option.

00:42:31   But overall, though, I've learned over time,

00:42:36   minimize the amount of convoluted, complicated UI customization.

00:42:42   SwiftUI is really good if you want to stay on the default path.

00:42:46   Heck, even for customization, in many ways, many things that you can customize with SwiftUI

00:42:52   were extremely difficult to customize in UIKit or in POSSIBLE.

00:42:56   And so many things are actually way easier to customize.

00:42:59   But I'm not saying you shouldn't customize looks and feels and stuff here and there.

00:43:03   What I'm saying is, when it gets hard, just bail out and just don't do it.

00:43:08   So when something gets complicated, like, "Oh, well, I could change this animation

00:43:13   to be this other kind of animation that's nicer if I write this whole component from scratch

00:43:18   and move this thing over here and have all these weird modifier exceptions and everything."

00:43:21   Or you can take the regular animation with this one line of code that looks 80% as good

00:43:26   and move on with your life.

00:43:27   What my customers want from me is not that one perfect animation.

00:43:31   What they want from me is all the features they keep asking for

00:43:34   that I can't do because I'm buried under the weight of my hacky UI.

00:43:38   Yep, I couldn't agree more.

00:43:40   And you said earlier, "Am I just getting old?"

00:43:42   I don't know. I think, for me, age is barely distinguishable from pragmatism or pragmatic.

00:43:48   As you get older, you just realize that a lot of the things that we think are worth it--

00:43:53   I made the play on words earlier--

00:43:56   the juice just ain't worth the squeeze anymore.

00:43:58   It's just not worth it getting the last 20%, as you had said a moment ago.

00:44:03   You can get 80%. You know what? That's sufficient.

00:44:06   And in this particular circumstance with the search thing and the floating action button,

00:44:11   the only reason I'm even considering dropping down to UIKit

00:44:14   and trying to do some of that just absolute nonsense

00:44:16   is because it is such a fundamental piece of the app, and I'm breaking expectations.

00:44:20   Well, I would argue SwiftUI is breaking expectations,

00:44:23   but to a customer, that doesn't matter.

00:44:26   The point is that my app is breaking their expectation.

00:44:29   And it stinks that I'm hearing the same feedback over and over again,

00:44:32   and nobody's being mean about it. They're not being turds or anything.

00:44:35   It's just, "Hey, why doesn't it, when I hit the little circle magnifying glass thing,

00:44:39   why doesn't it show the search box? Isn't that the whole point of the magnifying glass?"

00:44:43   Well, yeah. Well, then, isn't it just basically a home button?

00:44:47   Well, yeah. It's not what I want, but that's basically what it is.

00:44:52   And so, yeah, it's frustrating.

00:44:54   But, I mean, ultimately, almost all of Peek-a-view was UIKit.

00:45:01   Very little was SwiftUI, and this was written when SwiftUI was new.

00:45:05   Almost all of Masquerade is SwiftUI, and very little is UIKit.

00:45:10   And so far, literally all of CallSheet is SwiftUI.

00:45:15   And one of the things that's been nice to hear,

00:45:18   which is, I think, in no small part because of how freaking fast the movie database is,

00:45:23   but so many people have commented, "Wow, this is so fast."

00:45:26   I think that's also helped by the fact that IMDB is slower than dirt.

00:45:29   But, you know, all of these factors are coming together,

00:45:31   including that SwiftUI is pretty quick, in my experience.

00:45:34   All of these things are coming together to make my app look really, really fast,

00:45:37   which is awesome.

00:45:39   And certainly I've been able to write it much quicker than I would have UIKit.

00:45:42   I started CallSheet in late January,

00:45:47   and based on the accomplishments that I have,

00:45:50   I would be in probably January of next year if I was writing this all in UIKit.

00:45:55   You know what I mean? Like, it would have taken me so much longer.

00:45:58   And so, in so many ways, I am so happy with SwiftUI,

00:46:01   but golly, it's so difficult when you want to do something that just isn't officially supported.

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00:47:50   Thank you so much to Trade for keeping me caffeinated and for sponsoring our show.

00:47:55   Emil Jensen writes, "I use the following shortcut to add and add the tag of #2FA in the notes field

00:48:05   for the iCloud keychain entries that have two factor codes.

00:48:08   That way, I only see the sites that have 2FA."

00:48:11   This doesn't work on Mac OS, of course, because sad.

00:48:15   But nonetheless, you can do, and we'll put this in the show notes,

00:48:17   prefs colon root equals all uppercase passwords.

00:48:20   I don't know if that matters or not, but it is all uppercase here.

00:48:23   Ampersand search equals 2FA.

00:48:25   And so, if you are diligent about putting that tag in the notes field for your iCloud keychain entries,

00:48:30   then here's a quick way to get to two factor codes.

00:48:33   This is related to when I was talking about the Google Authenticator.

00:48:36   I still use it because when you launch the app, all your two factor things are just right there.

00:48:39   But if you go to passwords and settings and iOS and iCloud keychain,

00:48:43   you see all your passwords and then you have a search field and you have to search and blah.

00:48:46   You know, it's kind of annoying, right?

00:48:48   If you do this, if you are diligent about going through all of your passwords that have two factor,

00:48:52   which is not easy to find because, you know, it's a chicken egg problem.

00:48:55   You can't find them because you have nothing to search on, I think.

00:48:57   But if you do this and then you create a shortcut that opens that URL that we'll put in the show notes,

00:49:02   that prefs colon root equal blah, blah, blah,

00:49:05   then now that shortcut will take you to immediately into the settings app, into passwords,

00:49:11   into a search that just shows you the passwords that match 2FA.

00:49:14   You still have to dig into one to get the two factor code.

00:49:17   So Google Authenticator is still faster because they're just right there and you just tap on them and you're done.

00:49:21   This is one extra tap, but it is pretty good, especially if you have not,

00:49:25   if you're not already overwhelmed with the number of passwords and you kind of, or you kind of know which ones are two factor.

00:49:30   I was trying to point this. I was like, hmm, which one of these 700 passwords have two factor?

00:49:35   And I just picked a couple off the top of my head that I knew, but there's so many more that are in there that I'm,

00:49:39   I'm kind of buried, but it was a good idea and it works.

00:49:41   And there probably is a way to do it on Mac OS. I just don't know the, there is like a URL scheme, I think,

00:49:46   for getting into system settings or whatever. I just don't know what it is.

00:49:49   Milad Surchik writes, having CarPlay available in rental cars is essential for me.

00:49:55   In just a few minutes, I can connect my phone and have all my favorite apps and features ready to go.

00:49:59   This includes Waze music app from apps from my playlist with my playlist, excuse me,

00:50:03   and communication apps like WhatsApp and Zoom.

00:50:05   Without CarPlay, I'd need to spend time learning and setting up the in-car navigation entertainment system.

00:50:09   Additionally, privacy concerns arise when people forget to clear their profiles from the car.

00:50:12   This was an excellent point. The only thing that kind of chaps my bottom about this is, if I remember right,

00:50:18   and I understand why, but if I remember right, every single car has a different home screen in CarPlay.

00:50:23   And so if I were to plug into the Volvo as opposed to connecting to my Volkswagen,

00:50:29   all of my apps have been rearranged and resorted and so on and so forth, which is really frustrating.

00:50:33   I get why they do that because for some people that's a feature, not a bug, but for me it's a bug, not a feature.

00:50:38   Nevertheless...

00:50:39   Is that why that happens?

00:50:40   Yeah, it's per car, I'm almost sure.

00:50:42   Oh, because I've just noticed that it just randomly shuffles up my stuff sometimes,

00:50:45   and I never really figured out, I just assumed it was a bug, the same way it randomly shuffled my Safari tabs every time I reboot my computer.

00:50:51   Well, no, no, no, it should be consistent within one car, so if it's getting reshuffled, then yes, you did find a bug.

00:50:58   But as you go between cars, each individual car should remember its own CarPlay home screen. Does that make sense?

00:51:05   Yeah, I'll have to pay more attention next time.

00:51:08   Yeah, so, but leaving that aside, I think Milad's point is absolutely accurate and I feel the exact same way.

00:51:14   Now, granted, I am not in a position that I rent cars very often, but it is real nice.

00:51:19   Also, it's super nice if I'm driving Erin's car just by myself, which doesn't happen often, but does happen.

00:51:25   I don't need to have my phone as a secondary Bluetooth device on her car.

00:51:31   I don't need to do anything. I mean, yes, her car does support profiles and things,

00:51:35   and I might be able to associate my phone with only my profile and my physical key and so on and so forth,

00:51:40   but it's so much easier just plugging my damn phone, and then suddenly her infotainment system is my infotainment system.

00:51:46   And so, yeah, I couldn't agree with this more.

00:51:49   Dave Nichols writes, "In all the discussions around CarPlay and the manufacturers not providing it,

00:51:54   I've heard lots of comments relating to the manufacturers wanting to make money from subscriptions,

00:51:58   but I haven't heard anyone talking about the cost of CarPlay to the manufacturers.

00:52:01   Is this because Apple provides it for free? That seems unlikely.

00:52:04   Is there any indication of the cost in their push for services revenue?

00:52:08   Has Apple increased that cost lately, perhaps on the back of all the new features that they've announced?"

00:52:13   One of us, and I'm assuming it's Jon, put in a very helpful link from 2019 to The Verge

00:52:18   where they said Apple says it doesn't charge automakers a fee to use CarPlay.

00:52:26   I would imagine there's got to be some kind of certification process, though.

00:52:30   Right, that's exactly what I was going to say, and that can't be easy.

00:52:33   But it's different than having a per-car fee.

00:52:36   Yeah, maybe there isn't a fee per vehicle, but I'm sure you have to pay Apple to certify you and stuff like that, right?

00:52:43   Yeah, I would imagine so, but that's a one-time cost and that's nothing to car makers.

00:52:47   If Apple was Oracle, they would say, "We get a percentage of the total sale price of every car you sell."

00:52:56   Because that's how Oracle does business.

00:52:58   Yeah, indeed. So yeah, I thought that was interesting.

00:53:02   And as Marco was saying, I'm sure that the cost to implement it is not cheap.

00:53:09   The cost to certify it is probably not cheap, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't know.

00:53:13   But way cheaper than trying to do it all yourself.

00:53:15   Also true. Also true.

00:53:17   Ford also has announced, or I shouldn't say announced, has said, I think it was today that this happened,

00:53:23   there was an interview with Joanna Stern, and Ford CEO Jim Farley said,

00:53:27   "70% of our Ford customers in the US are Apple customers. Why would I go to an Apple customer and say, 'Good luck'?"

00:53:33   And this was obviously with regard to GM saying exactly that.

00:53:37   Farley continued, "In terms of content, we kind of lost that battle 10 years ago.

00:53:42   So get real with it, because you're not going to make a ton of money on content inside the vehicle.

00:53:47   It's going to be safety, security, partial autonomy, and productivity in our eyes.

00:53:51   So that relationship for content is between you, and he was talking to Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal,

00:53:55   between you, the Wall Street Journal, and the customer.

00:53:57   I don't want to get in the middle of that, but Tesla and other companies, Argh, Caribbean, believe differently.

00:54:02   They want to have complete control over the interior experience."

00:54:05   Now this is me talking. I get that.

00:54:07   But again, I just don't think that even a software company masquerading as a car company like Tesla, like Rivian,

00:54:15   and admittedly, I have not spent an absurd amount of time with either of those infotainment systems,

00:54:22   but I don't know. As a devout carplay person, I would be hard-pressed to imagine a way in which I would prefer Tesla or Rivian's setup.

00:54:31   But I don't know, Marco, tell me I'm wrong.

00:54:33   I tried the Tesla in-car stuff for years, and it's fine. It's totally fine.

00:54:41   It is not, however, great. It is better than anything else I had before that, but it's not great.

00:54:48   The reality is people want carplay. They want Android Auto. They love their phones. That's it.

00:54:55   So often, we've learned this lesson over and over again. Don't bet against a smartphone.

00:55:00   People love their phones, and it's not because we're sheep or being fooled or addicted.

00:55:06   It's because they're really good, and carplay, while it is not perfect, while I don't love everything about carplay,

00:55:14   it is way better than everything I've tried from anybody else. It's way better than the stuff in the car.

00:55:20   Here's the thing. Even if carplay wasn't very good, because look, it's not amazing,

00:55:25   it is still your phone, you're updating the hardware of that every few years, the software is updated every year,

00:55:32   it has all of your stuff on it. So the address book has all your places that you go.

00:55:37   The voice control has up-to-date location information. If you want to use different navigation apps for whatever reason,

00:55:43   you can do that. They're all built in. Compare that to a car UI. A car UI is at best okay when it's first developed.

00:55:52   In most cars, it is never updated, or in the case of Tesla, it's updated sometimes because it makes it worse.

00:55:59   But most cars, it's never updated at all. The hardware it's running on is never updated for the life of the car.

00:56:05   And so after five, six years, you're running an old computer in there.

00:56:09   If you have more modern expectations of what things should do, well, too bad.

00:56:15   It does what it did when you bought it, and that's it.

00:56:18   Or maybe, in the case of Tesla, where you are getting regular software updates, you're still running the same hardware,

00:56:23   so it's going to have limitations after a while. Your phone is constantly getting better.

00:56:28   And so again, going back to the car. You're in your car, you want to like, suppose you want to get some real-time traffic information.

00:56:34   Well, your car might have an internet connection that has that. It might not.

00:56:39   It might have an internet connection for a little while, and then maybe a few years into owning it,

00:56:43   maybe it doesn't have it anymore for whatever reason. Maybe your Tesla free trial expired for their data service,

00:56:49   and you don't want to pay X dollars a month for your car to have cellular.

00:56:52   Or maybe the cellular technology your car uses, like maybe your car uses a 3G cellular modem,

00:56:59   and then the 3G towers get shut down as we go to 4G and 5G, then that's broken.

00:57:03   Yep, that would be my Volkswagen. My Volkswagen went through exactly that.

00:57:07   All of these problems are avoided when it's your phone projecting a video stream to a screen in your car that can be as dumb as possible.

00:57:15   Car play, again, while it is not amazing, it is always going to be better than what the car makers make.

00:57:22   The car makers, they don't want that to be the case because, number one, they want control,

00:57:27   and then I think, you know, number two, they see revenue potential when they can do it themselves.

00:57:31   They don't want for their car to be just showing someone else's screen and having Apple make all the money from the App Store

00:57:38   and get all the cool data and have the car maker have no money and no data stream that they can monetize in other creepy ways.

00:57:44   Note, though, that the reason why the car maker wants to do this themselves and not have a car play,

00:57:50   those are reasons that benefit them more than their customers, and sometimes only them, and not even their customers at all.

00:57:59   It's very clear what customers want is car play.

00:58:02   Manufacturers, you know, the ones that don't offer that, it's going to hurt them because most people offer that.

00:58:08   Most manufacturers offer it. So now, people have been accustomed to it.

00:58:11   Many people in the car market have, you know, car play has been out long enough and has been common for long enough

00:58:18   that many people have owned or used a car with car play by now.

00:58:24   And as people, you know, like if GM goes through with their plan to pull it from future EVs,

00:58:29   there's going to be a lot of people who are shopping for those future EVs who see, "Oh, it doesn't have car play? What the heck?"

00:58:35   And they're going to bail out of that purchase and buy something else.

00:58:39   And so, I think the cat's out of the bag here. I don't even like cats, but the cat's out of the bag here.

00:58:44   We've been spoiled by car play now, and we want it.

00:58:49   Tesla is going to, you know, they're going to do what they're going to do. Who knows what they're doing over there?

00:58:52   Rivian, I think, will add it. It doesn't seem like it's a top priority for them, but I bet they will add it.

00:58:58   And GM, I bet they're going to change their mind on this once they see the impact it'll have on their sales.

00:59:07   We shall see. And then, finally, for follow-up, Michael Hanneman wrote in,

00:59:12   "Speaking of classic Mac OS and holding the mouse down on a menu to freeze all other activity,

00:59:17   John might remember the game Fool's Errand." Do you remember this, John?

00:59:21   I certainly do.

00:59:22   In it, there was one puzzle that you could only solve by exploiting this behavior,

00:59:27   because otherwise the target moved too fast for you to click it. This was intentional.

00:59:30   Do you want to explain this? I've read about it, but I've never experienced it. Do you remember this?

00:59:35   It's just what it said. So, if you use the Mac, even if you aren't technical, you did have to notice after a certain point,

00:59:41   you know, everything else stops when I hold down the mouse, especially if you have a game or something and you enter the menus.

00:59:46   And so, Fool's Errand is the type of game that I figured out what the other one was that was the sequel to whatever a million people were writing to tell me.

00:59:55   But there's a bunch of games that were like this. They were kind of like puzzle games.

00:59:58   And they did a lot of sort of fourth-wall breaking in that they understood they were being played on a computer.

01:00:03   So, like, the menus of the game were part of the game solving type thing. They were very clever.

01:00:08   Three and three was, I think, from the same people. Amazingly good puzzle game.

01:00:12   And so, yeah, this one was like, you get that itch. You're like, this is impossible. I can't do it. I can't click it too fast.

01:00:18   Especially because people weren't really good with the mouse back then. You probably could maybe get to it. I couldn't do it.

01:00:23   But anyway, you're like, well, you know, in my experience using this computer, if I want everything to stop on the screen, I just pull down a menu.

01:00:28   I wonder if that will work. And the answer was yes, it would. And that was the way that they intended you to solve the problem.

01:00:33   I'll put a link in the show notes and you can read about it. You can probably actually find this on one of those Mac software garden things and run it.

01:00:39   In fact, if you just go to, like, infinitemac.org, I believe, is like the launcher for System 7.app, System 6.app.

01:00:46   They probably have this game installed in their games folder somewhere if you dig for it.

01:00:50   That is pretty cool. Then Michael continues, "Almost as amazing as a PS1 game where you couldn't beat the boss unless you switched the controller cable to the other port so that you could no longer read your mind/memory card."

01:01:01   Alright, this really ticked me off because I had a PlayStation 1 and I freaking loved Metal Gear Solid and I have no recollection of this.

01:01:09   I don't know if this is a confused recollection. I also did not play this game on the PS1, but I remember reading about the feature.

01:01:16   I remember reading about it. I believe it was in Metal Gear Solid.

01:01:19   It's when you're battling a character called Psycho Mantis and he would freak you out by telling you, the player, things that he guessed about you.

01:01:27   What the game was doing was reading the memory card to see what other games you have played.

01:01:32   And Psycho Mantis would be like, "Oh, it looks like you like Castlevania."

01:01:35   And you're like, "How did they know that?" I don't know if Castlevania is a good example.

01:01:38   But anyway, kids eventually figured out, "Oh, the only way he could know these things about me is because he's reading the memory card."

01:01:44   I don't remember the fact that you had to switch the controller cable to another port so he couldn't read your memory card or whatever.

01:01:50   But again, I didn't experience these firsthand. But this is another example of fourth wall breaking in a game.

01:01:55   The other one that I did play through all of that was fun was Eternal Darkness on N64 or GameCube?

01:02:04   Oh, I'm getting old. I can't remember. This has got to be GameCube, right?

01:02:06   Either one of you ever heard of Eternal Darkness?

01:02:09   I've heard of it.

01:02:10   I've heard of Perfect Dark. That's a very different thing.

01:02:12   Oh, no, maybe that's what I'm thinking of. That's the Gold Knight that wasn't called Night Knight.

01:02:15   Eternal Darkness was a sort of, I don't know, like puzzle type, kind of like Resident Evil-y kind of thing.

01:02:22   But it also did some fourth wall breaking because you, the character in the game, would take psychic damage from these creatures,

01:02:30   kind of Lovecraftian horror type things, and they would make your game character start to lose their mind a little bit.

01:02:38   And they would do fourth wall breaking by making it look like your save file had become corrupted,

01:02:43   or stuff that would make you flip out as a game player.

01:02:47   The game would trick you into thinking it's malfunctioning or there's a bug or something was erased or whatever.

01:02:52   It was very effective, at least the first time, especially if you hadn't read a game magazine,

01:02:58   because it was plausible to think that really was happening and you have the incredible anguish of losing all your progress because your save file was corrupted.

01:03:05   I don't remember if that's an exact one, but if you go look up Eternal Darkness, if you want to be spoiled on the whole game,

01:03:11   and see all the things that it did to you during the game, it was a lot of fun.

01:03:14   Sounds like a blast.

01:03:16   Yeah, it sounds traumatic.

01:03:17   You also get, your character gets squished by a giant lobster claw at one point.

01:03:21   That's my most vivid memory of Eternal Darkness.

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01:05:23   We have received, most of us, our first rapid security response from Apple.

01:05:34   I don't know if anyone has declared what specifically they were trying to fix. Maybe they didn't. I missed it.

01:05:40   Too rapid. No time.

01:05:41   Exactly. Screw it. We'll do it live.

01:05:45   So Apple has decided there's some sort of bug that was bad enough to justify using this rapid security response framework that they've been working on for a while.

01:05:54   This has been used in betas off and on for a while, perhaps just for the purposes of testing.

01:05:59   I don't know if they were actually fixing anything or not.

01:06:01   But this is the first time that real honest to goodness iOS users got it.

01:06:05   I did it today and it was stunningly fast.

01:06:08   John, how could that be so quick?

01:06:11   So first of all, in the show notes, we'll have a tidbits article by Adam Angst where he goes into lots of detail about this.

01:06:17   If you have applied this, which Casey has and I have as well on one of my Macs, actually on both of my Macs,

01:06:23   you'll notice that the version number of your operating system, instead of just having three numbers with dots between them, now has a letter at the end.

01:06:31   So the releases were for iOS at sixteen point four point one a and for Mac OS it's thirteen point three point one a.

01:06:42   And, you know, as the name says, this is supposed to be a feature of iOS 16 and Mac OS Ventura and iPad OS 16 as well to give updates faster for crucial situations or for urgent situations.

01:06:58   And the update did run really fast for me on the Mac.

01:07:02   It and it's something on the phone like it ran so fast that made me wonder if it had actually applied it.

01:07:08   And, you know, so Adam talks about the article, the goal of rapid response and his estimation.

01:07:13   I don't know if this is straight from Apple, but either way, it's they're trying to make the the installation time shorter because no one likes their phone or their Mac to be sitting there for 20 minutes doing an update.

01:07:22   It's just too time consuming. They they want the download size to be smaller.

01:07:26   I don't know if you've noticed with all our gigabit fiber connections, we maybe don't notice how big downloads are all the time.

01:07:31   But a lot of these updates, even if it's just like, you know, a point update, you know, thirteen point three to thirteen point three point one, that update can be surprisingly big.

01:07:40   And if you don't have a fast connection or if you're stuck on cellular or something on your phone, it can take a long time to download or can burn through a lot of your data.

01:07:47   That's not great. And then, you know, people are a little bit hesitant to install updates because they're afraid it's going to break something.

01:07:52   And you may be thinking, well, how does this help with that? It updates an update. I would be just as hesitant.

01:07:56   Right. Well, I'll get to that in a second. So to deal with the download size and installation time, they're using a technology that was introduced, I think, in Ventura called Cryptexes.

01:08:07   This has been in our show for many months, probably since Ventura came out. It stands for Cryptographically Sealed Extension.

01:08:14   I know we've talked about this before, but like Ventura and I think a couple of operating systems for that, you something called a sealed system volume.

01:08:21   It used to be that the operating system was on the same disk that you would as your user data.

01:08:26   And it was just a disk and, you know, use Unix permissions to protect the files. Then eventually the operating system was put into like a read only partition.

01:08:34   So it was mounted read only and the operating system was there. And then your user data would be elsewhere in its current state.

01:08:42   What Macs boot from. And I'm actually I don't even know if this is the deals and I also not even dress it.

01:08:47   But on the on the Mac, what Macs boot from is something called a sealed system volume, which is a read only snapshot.

01:08:55   So it's not even like you're not booting from like a read only mounted disk. It is a read only snapshot of a disk.

01:09:01   You're booting from a snapshot and that it's cryptographically sealed and that every single bite of data on there has a cascading series of checksums that lead to like a master checksum.

01:09:11   And if any, in theory, if any one bit of data anywhere on the entire seal system volume changes, the checksum will be invalid and the Mac won't boot from it.

01:09:19   So it's kind of a way to ensure that the operating system is known good and it's the same for everybody.

01:09:25   There's no variance. You can't get in there and muck around with it.

01:09:28   If you go if you do go in there and like mess with stuff that invalidate the signature and you won't be able to boot from it anymore.

01:09:34   And that's why in this day and age, for the most part, with some caveats, the old sort of cure of weird problems is like, let's just reinstall the OS shouldn't do anything because the thing that you're booting from is supposedly cryptographically proven to be exactly intact and exactly what is expected.

01:09:53   There is other stuff elsewhere that's not part of the sealed system volume, however.

01:09:58   In particular, I think when they first shipped this, they they had a bunch of other parts where they'd put things like Safari and shared caches and stuff like that.

01:10:07   And that's because updating anything in the sealed system volume is a major pain in the butt.

01:10:11   Even if you're only updating a little bit of it.

01:10:13   I think the problem is that what it has to do, first of all, has to reboot and it has to boot from something else so it can get the the the volume that has the sealed system volume snapshot on it and mounted read write and then modify it.

01:10:27   And then recalculate and reapply all the checksums and seal it back up and then make a new snapshot and then reboot again, then reboot from the new snapshot.

01:10:34   And that is time consuming.

01:10:35   Like no matter how small change you make, just the overhead of doing that takes a surprising amount of time, even if you change like one file.

01:10:41   So that's not great.

01:10:42   So to try to help with that, they have a system called Cryptex, which are kind of like little tiny sealed volumes.

01:10:49   They're basically like little images that are cryptographically sealed.

01:10:51   Again, every single byte on them is checksums and every directory all the way up to the top level one.

01:10:56   So you're sure that it contains what you think it contains.

01:10:58   And in those cryptexes, they make them smaller.

01:11:01   You know, so one of them has like Safari inside it or whatever.

01:11:04   So you can update Safari more quickly.

01:11:06   What the system does during boot is it boots from the read only snapshot of the sealed system volume and then it takes those cryptexes and sort of loads them and overlays them in kind of NFS overlay parlance.

01:11:17   I don't know if that helps anybody, but like it overlays them, it graphs them onto the sealed system volume.

01:11:22   So it's a series of smaller cryptographically sealed things that are grafted onto it, making one complete system.

01:11:29   And it's faster to update the cryptexes because they're smaller.

01:11:32   They have less stuff in them and resealing them and making sure all the checks on the right takes less time than doing it on the big one.

01:11:38   So rapid security response things, they're cryptexes and they're smallish.

01:11:43   And since they're cryptexes, what that means is if you were to look at like where all the stuff is, you'd see the sealed system volume.

01:11:50   You'd see like, essentially, I don't know if it's like a disk image or whatever, you'd see the thing that holds Safari.

01:11:54   You'd see the thing that holds like shared caches and stuff like that.

01:11:57   And you'd see a one for the rapid security response, the one we just had.

01:12:02   And what that means is that it's really easy to remove these things and you can actually remove this.

01:12:09   I don't quite know why that is. You can remove a rapid security response thing.

01:12:13   So on your Mac, if you go to general about and then click on the magic little I in a circle, which everybody knows on the system settings on the Mac, you have to click on because everything is behind there.

01:12:23   You will see that the last rapid security response that's in there and there's a button that says remove and restart.

01:12:29   And that will basically just delete the cryptex because it's not, it doesn't, unlike an update to your operating system where it actually modifies your operating system, like it overwrites the old versions of the files.

01:12:38   The cryptexes are separate and they get grafted on top of your operating system.

01:12:42   So if you just delete the cryptex, when it's booting and doing that process where it graphs them on, it won't find that one and so won't graph it on.

01:12:48   And so that's how that update will be removed.

01:12:50   I guess they do this just in case they screw up real bad because the whole idea of rapid response is like, oh, there's there's a security problem.

01:12:57   We need to get this thing update out as fast as possible. Go, go, go. Right.

01:13:00   And they go, go, go real fast and they put it out in 24 hours. Oh, they screwed up somehow.

01:13:04   There's a bug or whatever. So they don't hose everyone's system.

01:13:07   These things are removable. I'm not sure how that would manifest.

01:13:10   If you've really hosed your thing, maybe you can't even boot to the point where you can remove it.

01:13:13   Maybe you're able to remove it from recovery. I'm not entirely sure.

01:13:16   But this is how it works on iOS as well.

01:13:18   If you go on iOS and go to settings general about and into the version, you can remove the rapid security response that you just installed.

01:13:28   In terms of the sizes, you can look in the tidbits article.

01:13:32   They vary depending on the OS, but like one of them was as small as like 53 megabytes for an iMac that was installed in a minute and a half.

01:13:39   That is unheard of in the modern era of doing Mac updates where every single update is like 800 megabytes and takes 20 minutes to install.

01:13:46   So hopefully everybody went through this and applied the update.

01:13:50   You do have to reboot for this one. In theory, they could distribute a Cryptex that didn't require reboot, I suppose.

01:13:58   If it's not like urgent that you reboot immediately and I don't know, maybe they could graft it onto the running system volume or something.

01:14:04   Not entirely sure. But the reboot, like on my phone, the reboot was so fast again I thought it might not have installed.

01:14:10   The Mac reboot, I could tell it was installing something, but it didn't sit there for an hour with like a little white progress bar and a black screen.

01:14:16   So I give the system a cautious thumbs up.

01:14:19   Still kind of confused about the removal thing, but it's a feature that is made possible by the technology that they use.

01:14:27   Kind of like all the APFS features that enable really easy user-facing features like snapshots.

01:14:34   That's because of the underlying technology.

01:14:36   So Cryptex, this weird thing where they have these cryptographically sealed little turds that graft onto the other thing, allows stuff like easy removal of OS updates.

01:14:44   And I think that's a good thing.

01:14:45   All right. Well, I feel better for having known that.

01:14:49   Do you want to do some Ask ATP?

01:14:51   Let's do it.

01:14:53   Ben would like to know, "Before the iPhone 14 Plus came out, this is the large size but not pro version of the iPhone 14.

01:15:01   There was a lot of optimism about consumers wanting larger screens without upgrading to a more expensive pro model.

01:15:06   So far that hasn't panned out.

01:15:08   Do you think that a 15-inch MacBook Air will be different or the same story?"

01:15:11   I think that a 15-inch MacBook Air, assuming it's not prohibitively expensive, assuming the expense is commensurate with the larger screen,

01:15:18   I think it will sell really, really, really well because I think a lot of people don't necessarily fancy themselves professionals by the Apple definition.

01:15:27   You know, they don't need an SD card slot.

01:15:29   Maybe they need an HDMI port. I don't know.

01:15:32   But I think a lot of people would want just the same MacBook Air but bigger.

01:15:37   So I would assume it would sell.

01:15:39   But I mean, obviously all of us said that about the 14 Plus, so who knows.

01:15:42   Marco, what do you think about that?

01:15:43   So coincidentally, 100% coincidentally, I told you that I had to get more test devices for my test device fleet.

01:15:50   And I said I had purchased a really cheap iPhone SE, mostly for Adam's watch pairing.

01:15:57   I had also purchased an iPad Mini.

01:15:59   And the third and final device that was part of that purchase was an iPhone 14 Plus.

01:16:04   Of course. Of course.

01:16:06   So no one bought them, but I did.

01:16:09   I found a good, just like the other ones, I found a good deal on Amazon for a refurb.

01:16:14   And yeah, I am now the proud owner of a 14 Plus.

01:16:18   I gotta say, it's surprisingly not bad.

01:16:21   Like, first of all, it is surprisingly lightweight for its size.

01:16:26   It weighs roughly as much as my non-Plus 14 Pro, like, you know, regular size.

01:16:34   It gives me hope for the future Pro phones that are going to switch materials.

01:16:39   Maybe they'll be lighter. That would be nice.

01:16:41   Anyway, so yeah, it feels good in the hand.

01:16:44   It's a totally fine device, but you know, I haven't really used it as my phone because it's been my test device.

01:16:50   And it will continue to be my test device over the summer.

01:16:52   So anyway, moving on to the actual question about the 15 inch MacBook Air.

01:16:56   Will it land with, you know, kind of as a dud or actually be popular and successful?

01:17:04   And frankly, I think it's going to be a really big hit.

01:17:09   So when you look at the Mac lineup, there is this massive price gap between the MacBook Air, which almost everyone buys,

01:17:18   and anything with a bigger screen than 13 inches.

01:17:21   And meanwhile, if you look at the world of PC laptops, look at what people are actually using, especially for work.

01:17:29   But you know, just look around. What people buy for PC laptops.

01:17:31   Yes, 13 inch laptops are very common, but so are 15 inch, roughly, class laptops.

01:17:37   Like, those are also very common.

01:17:39   There's a lot of people who, when push comes to shove, if they want a Mac and they want, you know, a big screen,

01:17:47   some of them do jump all the way up to the very pretty premium price of the 16 inch MacBook Pro.

01:17:54   But many of them don't.

01:17:55   Many of them either settle for a 13 inch MacBook Air and just say,

01:17:59   "Well, I would like this to be bigger, but this is what I can afford or justify and therefore that's it."

01:18:04   Or they go and buy a cheap 15 inch PC because it's a lot cheaper.

01:18:10   The 13 inch MacBook Air, now that we have the Apple Silicon era,

01:18:14   it is in many ways like one of the best computers Apple has ever sold.

01:18:19   It might be the best all-rounder for most people that they've ever sold when you factor in price and value.

01:18:26   But even if you don't, the size and weight of it and battery life are just so good.

01:18:31   It's such a great computer.

01:18:32   If they can broaden the appeal of that form factor without increasing the specs of everything so high that they need to charge like $2500 for it,

01:18:40   that's going to get a lot of people in the door.

01:18:42   Now, also look at when businesses buy computers.

01:18:47   People are looking at this as like, "Why would consumers buy this with the M2 chip when the M3 is around the corner?"

01:18:55   It is not about that at all.

01:18:58   You know who's going to buy these?

01:18:59   Businesses. Tons and tons of them.

01:19:01   They are going to buy these by the carton, like whatever unit Apple sells them in.

01:19:07   Businesses are going to buy these like crazy.

01:19:09   Because businesses want to give all their employees a laptop.

01:19:14   Apple has been making pretty good strides in that area in a lot of industries.

01:19:17   And they usually have to just buy the MacBook Airs.

01:19:20   But, you know, it turns out people do like bigger screens sometimes.

01:19:24   And businesses usually, especially businesses, really have a hard time justifying MacBook Pro prices for a lot of employees.

01:19:31   You know, obviously if your work involves heavy computer usage and ways that the Pros actually are meaningfully better,

01:19:40   that's a different story.

01:19:42   Most corporate laptops bought for most employees don't need that kind of power.

01:19:47   Most of them just need to be able to browse the internet in a relatively safe and nice way with decent battery life and relatively low cost and as big a screen as you're willing to put on it.

01:19:57   That's what most people want.

01:19:58   All that set aside, by comparison, if you look at the iPhone 14 Plus market, the 14 Plus, I know from having just bought one and having waited a long time for like a decent deal to actually pop up, the 14 Plus is expensive.

01:20:12   It is barely cheaper than the Pro phones.

01:20:15   The theory I've heard from enthusiasts about the 14 Plus is that it's not so much about this year as in future years they've never brought a Plus or Max sized phone down to like the last year's phone price slot.

01:20:31   They always just discontinue them and replace them with the new one.

01:20:34   This is presumably going to be the first one in all likelihood that they will drop by, you know, one or two hundred dollars over the next year and, you know, make that the cheaper phone.

01:20:43   So the full story of the 14 Plus has yet to be told, but also if you compare it to what it's like the cheaper version of, it's not that big of a price difference.

01:20:55   Whereas if you look at the 15 inch MacBook Air, we don't know where this is going to land price wise, but I would guess somewhere around like $1600, you know, something in that ballpark probably.

01:21:06   And that's going to be substantially cheaper than a 16 inch MacBook Pro.

01:21:11   And also for most people's needs will be just as good unless you really need those like big heavy duty stuff.

01:21:16   So I think they're going to sell a ton of these things and good for them because the MacBook Air is awesome.

01:21:23   And to make a bigger one to enjoy that same, even if, you know, people are like, oh, you should put the M2 Pro in it.

01:21:29   No, they're not going to. They don't need to.

01:21:31   They can just make the exact same computer as the 13 inch MacBook Air, but bigger, exactly the same in every other way. And it will sell like crazy because it's a great computer already.

01:21:43   No one cares if it has the M2 or the M3 in it. They'll sell a ton of them no matter what. And it will be awesome.

01:21:48   Torstein writes, is HDR and Dolby Vision worth the trouble? HDR can have overly bright scenes, white subtitles ruin dark scenes and blinds you in a dark room.

01:21:58   ABL triggers several times during one movie. Colors can look oversaturated and the format war between HDR10, HDR10+ and DV fragments can content.

01:22:10   Not to mention the different DV profiles, which is a hot mess. I prefer SDR 10 bit as it's more pleasant to watch in a dark room and looks more accurate color wise.

01:22:19   What are your thoughts? I don't care. John, what do you think?

01:22:24   You will care eventually if you don't already. So here's the thing with the Dolby Vision, HDR and all that stuff.

01:22:33   If you believe in the march of progress that video is traveling down, the idea that the picture looks more and more realistic over time, it's inevitable that the next step in realism of your television set is related to brightness.

01:22:50   Because if you think of your television as a frame, like an actual hole in your wall, and then through that hole is whatever you're seeing on television, it doesn't look like that now.

01:23:00   If you looked out your window and you saw a boat on the ocean or a sunset or a space battle, harder to imagine because that's kind of very fictional.

01:23:11   But anything real world, a family sitting on a blanket on the beach, if it was not a television set but was just a hole in your wall and through that magical hole like a portal in the game portal, you could see a family on the beach and you're in a dark room, you would be totally blinded.

01:23:27   Because it's the bright sun on the beach and you're in a dark room. That's not a fun experience but that is "realistic".

01:23:34   So we are traveling down that road to realism and the things that contribute to that are obviously 3D parallax blah blah blah which we're not doing, it would be very difficult to do.

01:23:44   Resolution which we've been doing a little bit and we're kind of getting to the point now at normal viewing distances on a 4K TV, the pixels are probably too small for you to see.

01:23:52   And dynamic range, what's the darkest, what's the brightest, color reproduction right?

01:23:57   If it was actually just a hole in the magical portal that showed you a beach, you don't have to worry about those things. The beach is the beach. It's got the colors that it's got.

01:24:04   It's got the brightness that it's got. But there are lots of real world scenarios where looking at the thing that is being depicted, whether it be a sunset or a beach or even just an interior of a store with fluorescent lighting, from the perspective of sitting in a dark room would be too much for you to handle.

01:24:24   So part of the job of the creator of media with these new technologies like HDR is to figure out how to present what they're presenting.

01:24:34   They could choose to have a really dark scene and the next scene be on a beach with maximum HDR brightness.

01:24:40   They could do that for effect to make the audience squint and go "ahh" because maybe that's what needs to happen at that point in the show.

01:24:46   If you're cutting to someone who's in the desert getting baked, then you want the audience to squint. But if you don't want the audience to squint, don't take them from a long dark scene into full HDR brightness because they're going to squint.

01:24:57   And that's what I think creators of media are learning now is how do I use HDR to further the story I'm trying to tell?

01:25:08   How bright do I want things to be? Which things do I want to be right? What kind of effect do they have? Moderated by, of course, well I know what it looks like here on my $30,000 mastering monitor in this video suite, but what is it going to look like in real people's houses on their crappy TVs that aren't calibrated?

01:25:23   So it's a difficult problem, but lots of people who experience HDR and find it off-putting, some of that could be the people who made that didn't give enough thought to how this was going to feel to watch.

01:25:35   Some of it could be people are making media to try to make you feel like, "Oh, that's way too bright," or, "Oh, that's way too dark," and you just don't like it.

01:25:43   What you're saying there is, "I don't like the artistic choice you made." You could not like the artistic choice someone makes and say, "Do you think the story is dumb? The acting is bad?"

01:25:50   Or also, "The color grading is weird," or, "They did the HDR in a way that I didn't like." That's a thing.

01:25:57   I am a believer in giving creators these tools because when used well, it makes for a more impactful, more realistic-looking picture, and I think that is valuable.

01:26:08   That's why we all oohed and aahed over HDTV when it came out. That's why we like 4K.

01:26:14   And yes, that's why we like HDR because it gets closer to being realistic.

01:26:17   But in all media, you don't have to make it look like it would look if it was a magical portal.

01:26:23   You can choose to make it look how you want it to look to further your story.

01:26:27   Things being awe-inspiring and realistic-looking or more like reality is sometimes what you want to happen.

01:26:35   That's why I think these tools are essential. That's why I think we're only going to get more of this.

01:26:40   As we get more of it, as the tools become more powerful, creators will have to be careful.

01:26:45   Up to, I don't think we'll ever get to this point because I think they'll probably pull back, but up to the point where,

01:26:49   if you go outside on a sunny day and you look up at the sun, you'll burn your eyeballs out.

01:26:53   Hopefully we won't ever have a television that can put out the light output of the literal sun,

01:26:57   because then if a creator made a bad choice and put the full sun in the middle of the picture,

01:27:01   you'd look at it and it would burn your eyeballs out and little kids would go blind because they don't know to look away.

01:27:05   So let's not do that, okay? But somewhere between where we are now and that,

01:27:11   I think we have to continue traveling that road because there are still situations, for example,

01:27:15   when you have an HDR capable television in a very bright sunny room and the sun is shining directly on the screen

01:27:21   and you can't see the picture because it's washed out, because the real sun is more powerful than your television set.

01:27:27   We've got a ways to go, but I feel the pain of the person who wrote in about this,

01:27:32   but I think you kind of can't stand in the way of the march of progress, but that march is filled with people making bad mistakes.

01:27:40   As always. Nick from Toronto writes, "Do you guys have any thoughts or opinions on these motorized standing desks?

01:27:48   I'm moving and can't bring my current desk with me, so I'm exploring options.

01:27:52   Heck, I'd even like to hear what you guys think about your regular desks."

01:27:56   I had a somewhat infamous glass desk. It's actually in pieces behind me because I recently upgraded to a standing desk.

01:28:03   I had thought over spring break that we were going to be going past the closest IKEA to us.

01:28:09   One of the few problems with living in Richmond, yes, you heard me, you two, one of the few problems of living in Richmond

01:28:16   is that the nearest IKEA to me is 90 minutes away on a good day, which sucks.

01:28:21   But I thought we were going to be driving by it, so I'd ask for opinions on Mastodon a while back about,

01:28:25   "Hey, I forget which model it was, but is the such-and-such IKEA model of standing desk any good?"

01:28:30   And I really didn't want to hear anyone talk about other options because that's not what I was asking.

01:28:35   However, everyone said that the Fully standing desks are excellent.

01:28:41   And that didn't really matter to me because I was pretty much decided I was getting an IKEA one,

01:28:46   but then somebody said, "Oh, and by the way, Fully," at the time, I don't think this is true anymore,

01:28:52   "was having a steep discount because, as it turns out, Herman Miller has bought Fully."

01:28:57   And so now, Fully is just a line of Herman Miller stuff.

01:29:00   Were they a sponsor a long time ago?

01:29:02   Fully might have been, actually. Yeah, shoot, I'm glad you called that out.

01:29:05   I think they were.

01:29:06   I think you're right. But it was forever ago, if memory serves. But anyways.

01:29:10   Yeah, it was not recent.

01:29:11   Yeah, so all of this had nothing to do with the fact that they had previously sponsored, but thank you, Marco, for pointing that out.

01:29:16   But anyway, so everyone and their mother said, "Buy a Fully," and then somebody said,

01:29:20   "Oh, and by the way, it's cheap right now," and that's all I needed to hear, baby.

01:29:23   So I ordered myself a 60-inch by 27-inch, I don't care what that is in metric,

01:29:28   but a relatively large stone-colored sit-stand desk, and I freaking love it.

01:29:37   I don't think that you necessarily need to buy this exact desk, although I have put a link to it in the show notes.

01:29:44   But if you can find a sit-stand desk that doesn't wobble a whole ton, I am in full support.

01:29:50   Since I got this maybe a month ago, I have been sitting and standing on and off all day long, and I love it.

01:29:56   I cannot stress enough how much I enjoy having a sit-stand desk.

01:30:00   An alternative to this, by the way, ah, shoot, what is it?

01:30:04   VariDesk? Did you see these a lot when you were at work, Jon? Do you know what I'm talking about?

01:30:08   All sit-stand desks tend to look the same to me, so I don't--

01:30:11   No, no, no, no, no, this is something else. This is Vari.com, V-A-R-I dot com,

01:30:16   and they do these things, VariDesk desktop converters, and what it is is it's an impossibly heavy thing

01:30:22   that you stick your monitors and your keyboard on, and then that thing sits on your desktop and lifts up.

01:30:29   And if you can't get a sit-stand desk, it's actually a pretty good second choice option,

01:30:35   and I had that when I was working most recently at a real job.

01:30:40   But yeah, I really like my fully, but before I move on and give you guys a chance to talk,

01:30:45   I love this desk, and I got the one that you can program, which I think Marco years and years ago had said,

01:30:51   you gotta get one that you can set your particular heights that you like, couldn't agree more.

01:30:55   Yeah, that matters a lot.

01:30:56   It makes a big difference. But with that, with the desk, I bought Fully's JAX, J-A-X, dual monitor arm.

01:31:04   Holy crap, this is the best monitor arm I've ever gotten, because my studio display is a VGA mount,

01:31:11   my 5K Ultra-Meh, I took off the stand, so it's now effectively a--did I say VGA mount?

01:31:17   I'm sorry, a VESA mount, or VESA or whatever, however you pronounce it.

01:31:21   Anyways, so both of these things are on the Fully JAX dual monitor arm.

01:31:25   This is the best monitor arm I have ever used.

01:31:29   I've never had any of the fancy schmancy like XDR ones, so I can't speak to those.

01:31:33   But just for regular old VESA/VESA mount stuff, this arm is so freaking good.

01:31:40   I love my sit-stand desk, and I love the freaking monitor arm even more.

01:31:45   It is so good, so definitely check that out.

01:31:48   It's not a bespoke thing that would only work with a Fully desk.

01:31:52   You might want to check this out even if you have a different style desk, because it is that damn good.

01:31:57   And I think they have a single monitor version as well, if I'm not mistaken.

01:32:00   But yeah, full support of a sit-stand desk, and again, prior sponsor, Fully, is my pick from my experience of--

01:32:07   let me check my notes--one standing desk.

01:32:10   But I do really like it nonetheless.

01:32:13   Marco, I think you probably have the most experience with this, even more so than me.

01:32:16   Mine is just recency bias. So, thoughts, corrections, where did I go wrong?

01:32:21   I think you pretty much got it.

01:32:23   So, number one, I love standing desks. The electrically raising and lowering kind is great if you can do it.

01:32:29   I have used them on and off for a long time now, over a decade.

01:32:33   The good thing about it is that I've used, I think, three in that time?

01:32:40   No, just two, I guess. But I've seen more here and there and heard other people's stories.

01:32:44   And it universally seems to be they're all pretty good.

01:32:47   If you just find a standing desk that you like the look and dimensions and price and features of, you're probably good.

01:32:55   It's not something that you have to really get too picky about.

01:32:58   The first one I had, back when I was at Tumblr, we had visited the Fog Creek offices.

01:33:06   Oh, I bet that was nice.

01:33:08   It was really nice. And they had just gotten these amazing desks.

01:33:12   And I asked Joel Spolsky, "Hey, can you send me the name of these?"

01:33:15   And back then it was the kind of thing, like, he did. He's awesome. I love Joel.

01:33:20   And we had to go through some kind of commercial furniture dealer to get them.

01:33:25   It wasn't something you could just order and have it shipped normally from a website.

01:33:29   It's like you have to find the dealer and all this stuff because it was commercial only use.

01:33:33   That was probably 2008 or something. That was a long time ago.

01:33:38   Things are very different now. Now everybody can get them. You can get them delivered.

01:33:41   IKEA sells them. As you said, there's so many options.

01:33:44   That one that we got back then, we did get them.

01:33:48   And then when I left Tumblr, I asked if I could take my desk with me.

01:33:54   And David said sure. So I remember I drove my Honda Accord into Manhattan one weekend.

01:34:02   And unloaded this desk from my office building from downtown Manhattan.

01:34:07   Or midtown Manhattan, rather.

01:34:09   Yeah, that must have been fun.

01:34:10   Yeah, fitting into a Honda Accord required some degree of disassembly. But it worked.

01:34:15   Anyway, and I still have that desk. I have that in one place.

01:34:20   In the other place I have, I got one for the beach from this company, Uplift.

01:34:27   They're a pretty popular standard desk maker. I am super happy with it as well.

01:34:31   It's super heavy duty. They have a bunch of different options.

01:34:35   I have the Uplift V2 regular standing desk. I don't have the one with the big crossbar.

01:34:41   I don't think. Hold on. Yeah.

01:34:42   Yeah, I don't have the one with the big crossbar. I had to look.

01:34:46   It's super sturdy. It doesn't wiggle much. It's rock solid.

01:34:51   And they have a lot of different wood options for the top, which was important to me.

01:34:56   I wanted to get nice, decent wood and have it match the room and everything.

01:35:00   So yeah, Uplift I can recommend. But really, as Kees mentioned earlier,

01:35:04   the one feature you want in a standing desk is position memory.

01:35:08   Chances are, if you stand a standard desk, you're not going to be standing all the time,

01:35:14   or sitting all the time. And you're probably going to have one set height that you like to sit at,

01:35:20   and a different set height that you like to stand at.

01:35:23   And if you don't have memory on the control panel, you have to just raise and lower it each time

01:35:29   and kind of guess where you want it to be. And that's infuriating, because it's always a little bit off.

01:35:34   And you're not quite, "Oh, maybe raise it up a little bit. Oh, is this right? Nah."

01:35:39   Let's put a piece of tape on the wall. Save some money.

01:35:43   Yeah, and this is one thing. If you get any decent standing desk, usually it comes with memory now,

01:35:50   except for the very cheapest models. Even the ones that have an option not to have memory,

01:35:54   the option to add the memory is usually like $100 or less. Add it. Trust me. Take that option.

01:36:00   You want that option. It radically changes how nice it is to use in practice.

01:36:05   But yeah, otherwise, it's a great thing to use. I used to have some back issues that I had to stand for a while.

01:36:13   That's why at Tumblr, I initially faked it with some IKEA bookshelves held up by Coke cans on my desk.

01:36:19   It was a whole thing. But it's a nice thing for the way you work to be as comfortable as possible.

01:36:25   And whatever your body needs, listen to it. And if you need to stand for a while, stand for a while.

01:36:30   And if you get something that's electrically raising and lowering and has memories,

01:36:34   it makes it very easy to switch back and forth depending on what you need at that moment,

01:36:39   or what's more comfortable for you, or what's more healthy or whatever.

01:36:41   So strongly recommended. Yeah, I'm a big fan.

01:36:44   You know, Jon, I'm a little surprised that you didn't advocate dangling a tennis ball off the ceiling like garage-style

01:36:50   to figure out what the standing height would be.

01:36:53   Tape on the wall. Less intrusive. You don't need the tennis balls because you can't put it against the wall.

01:36:58   You've got to have it hit the windshield, so it's got to be in the middle.

01:37:00   But yeah, just two pieces of tape on the wall will do it.

01:37:02   All right, so what is your desk situation? Did you ever have at any of your jobs a standing desk? I presume not.

01:37:07   I had the option, for one, but I was never really into it.

01:37:11   A lot of other people I worked with did have them, and eventually they were basically standard issue to everybody.

01:37:17   I think I actually might have had one at some point, but I never moved it.

01:37:20   So is it really a standing desk if I never actually raise it?

01:37:23   Although even just as a regular desk, it's nice to be able to pick the height that you want the sitting desk to be at,

01:37:30   even if you don't use it as a standing desk.

01:37:32   Because most desks you can pick from one or two possible heights and that's it.

01:37:35   And you can adjust with your chair height, but then if you have short legs, then your feet are dangling,

01:37:38   then you need a footrest, then it's just this whole thing where being able to adjust the height of the desk is nice.

01:37:42   But no, I never really used one in a standing position at work.

01:37:45   At home, I have a plain old boring non-standing desk that's very, very old.

01:37:50   But with my wife, we made her a little office down in the basement for her to do more working from home

01:37:55   during the beginning of the pandemic.

01:37:57   I believe what she got, I was trying to look this up while you guys were talking, pretty sure it is the uplift desk.

01:38:03   I mean, a lot of standing desks look similar, but I'm pretty sure it's uplift.

01:38:06   It's a very popular brand. I looked at the pictures and I'm like, yeah, that's her desk, I'm pretty darn sure.

01:38:10   So she uses that down there. I'm not sure if she sits stands with it or not, but again, I think she appreciates the fact that she's a shorter person,

01:38:18   that she can adjust the sitting position to be what she likes.

01:38:21   And it is standable and I think we did get it with memory, I don't remember.

01:38:25   One thing I will say about sit stand desks is they're heavier than you think they are.

01:38:30   Yes.

01:38:31   Yep.

01:38:32   Very heavy.

01:38:33   Good ones are anyway.

01:38:34   You know, this one came disassembled and I had to bring it down to the basement to assemble it and I'm bringing the boxes down.

01:38:39   I'm like, what is in these things? The leg parts of them are very heavy.

01:38:42   And this gets to what I think is one of the most important features of a sit stand desk unrelated to the standing.

01:38:49   Because of the way they're designed, especially like the uplift desk or whatever,

01:38:52   there's just two extremely heavy legs with little feet on them, but there's nothing else.

01:38:59   There's no sort of intrusion into the area where your legs would be.

01:39:04   There's no back thing, there's no legs poking in, there's no bar going across.

01:39:09   It is just complete open space because the metal is so heavyweight that they don't need anything.

01:39:14   So you can get a huge standing desk, very deep, very wide.

01:39:17   It's just going to have the two legs with no bars.

01:39:19   That always annoyed me when I was shopping for computer desks in the really old days when sit stand desks weren't really a thing.

01:39:25   You'd find a lot of them that did stuff to where your legs are, they have the supports or braces or struts or stuff like that.

01:39:32   These things usually do have some sort of overpriced cable management thing that they'll sell you to go under the desk.

01:39:37   Those are okay. You could do your own cable management for a lot less money, but sometimes it's convenient to have them, but they're a little bit janky.

01:39:44   But anyway, I do appreciate how incredibly solidly constructed these things are.

01:39:48   They seem like way overkill. It seems like you could have a dance party on the top of the desk and it would be fine.

01:39:53   It's just so heavy, right? And the motors are nice and smooth and quiet.

01:39:57   I also endorse the uplift desk, but personally I haven't used them.

01:40:02   I don't know. I think maybe I could get used to it if I had to, but it's just something about sitting feels right to me when I'm using a computer.

01:40:11   So that's what I'm doing. My desk is really old, but I just want a really big flat surface for my desk.

01:40:19   I can imagine replacing it. If I did replace it, I would get a sit stand desk. Because at this point, if you're buying an expensive desk anyway, and you're looking for a high quality expensive desk, even if you don't care about standing at all, the easiest way to find it is to buy a sit stand.

01:40:31   Because you know they'll be solidly constructed because they have to be for all the motors and everything.

01:40:35   And you can get them in all sorts of shapes and sizes, all sorts of finishes, and they're very solid.

01:40:40   Again, my experience is only with all of the whatever brand I had at work, which some of them might have been uplift, but I know a couple others were different brands.

01:40:47   And then the uplift one that I bought at home, and every single standing desk I've seen in the past decade has just been a plain good solid desk. So, thumbs up.

01:40:56   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Trade Coffee, Squarespace, and HulloPillow.

01:41:01   And thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join at atps.fm/join. We appreciate that very very much. Thank you so much, and we will talk to you next week.

01:41:12   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

01:41:23   John didn't do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn't let him, cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

01:41:34   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm, and if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C A S E Y L I S S, so that's Casey List M A R C O A R M,

01:41:53   N T M A R C O A R M, S I R A C, U S A C R A C U S A, it's accidental, it's accidental. They didn't mean to, accidental, accidental, tech broadcast so long.

01:42:13   I was using Casey's app to look up the year of this movie earlier, Margo when you were talking about the CarPlay thing, you were like people love their phones, do you remember saying that?

01:42:23   So this is from the 1992 movie Singles, which actually has a podcast connection, in that movie, which I assume neither one of you saw or has even heard of, nope, correct, okay.

01:42:35   Anyway, in Singles, it's like a kind of a Gen X movie, it's a dumb plot where some girl has to pick between two guys who are both jerks. Anyway, one of the people is this nerdy guy, and he's like in the Pacific Northwest somewhere, probably Seattle, that's kind of the basis of the movie.

01:42:50   Anyway, he's proposing that they should add a train for public transportation to some metropolitan area, and he calls it Super Train, which you may have heard from Roderick on the line. He's like, Super Train, we're going to put in Super Train, and here's how it's going to be so great, it's going to help make commuting much faster, reduce traffic, blah blah blah, Super Train, right?

01:43:09   And everyone who he showed it to, like the people who are in power would look at it and go, I don't know, people love their cars. And that was the refrain of the whole movie, that people love their cars, no matter what he said about Super Train, it was always people love their cars.

01:43:24   And now here you are saying people love their phones to the car makers, and the car makers are like, wait, in the 90s people love their cars, now you're saying they like their phones? They love their phones? They do, they do love their phones. They do love their cars, but not for computer app platform media things. For that they love their phone. For cars they like the whole wheels and rolling and moving from place to place. Stick to that.

01:43:46   Yeah.

01:43:47   Marco, you went on an adventure recently, it looks like?

01:43:51   I sure did.

01:43:52   Where'd you go, bud?

01:43:54   We decided for various kid birthday party reasons, the birthday party for my kid this spring happened at Dave and Buster's.

01:44:04   Oh, is this the one in Times Square or near Times Square or something?

01:44:08   No, God no, there's a couple on the island, it was one of those.

01:44:11   You've heard of the App Store and Casino Games for Children? Welcome to Casinos for Children.

01:44:19   That's kind of what I'm getting at. So, alright. So, it had been, the last time I was in a Dave and Buster's.

01:44:26   Oh, it's been forever for me.

01:44:28   Yeah, I mean, I think it was when I lived in Pittsburgh in like 2004.

01:44:32   Oh, wow, that's even more forever than what I'm talking about.

01:44:35   And I've been occasionally to like arcadey things in the intervening time, but not much, like once or twice total. And so, it's been a while. And I was surprised by a few aspects of it.

01:44:51   So, those of you who don't know, if you're not like, you know, Americans or whatever, Dave and Buster's is a chain of kind of arcade sports bars, I guess?

01:45:00   Like, is that how you, like, they're these like big arcades that also have like bars and food service for adults, but it's mainly like a giant arcade.

01:45:09   So, they have, you know, arcade games and then they also have games that give you like tickets that you can trade in for garbage toys at ridiculous rates.

01:45:16   You know, just like, you know, skating rinks and stuff like that in the past, you know. So, anyway, the kid part of it went totally great.

01:45:23   It was, you know, we rented a room for, it was a multi-child party and it was great and it went very well and they were good for that.

01:45:29   But what was interesting is we got to see like what modern arcade games are and certain things that have changed and certain things that haven't.

01:45:41   So, number one, what I wanted to do first, you know, once all the kid stuff was settled and the adults had a little bit of time to walk around and play the games while the children were doing the same thing.

01:45:50   First thing I wanted to do was I want to play freaking Guitar Hero. I love Guitar Hero. I don't have any modern version of it on any system that, you know, nobody makes plastic guitars anymore.

01:46:01   So, let me go play Guitar Hero. I queued up the best Guitar Hero song, which is Black Magic Woman by Santana.

01:46:08   It was such a frustrating experience because first of all, you know, you don't really use coins and stuff anymore in these kind of arcades. You get like cards or, you know, RFID thingies and you scan them and it deducts from your credit balance or whatever.

01:46:21   So, you know, first you got to like, you know, go buy a card, put, you know, $25 or whatever on it. And then, you know, you go to the games and, you know, they express the prices in arbitrary units.

01:46:32   So, it's like this game costs nine. Nine what? How many what's are on my card? God knows. Like, you know, so first of all, they're obfuscating the price so that you pay more. That's great. You know, we're off to a great start.

01:46:45   Also, the cards come in intervals of $25. But there is almost no way to spend exactly that because the prices are not divisible correctly. So, you end up with like, you know, $3 or $2 or whatever of unused credit that you just kind of can't use on anything.

01:47:03   So, you know, they get you there, of course. See also every iOS game that has in-game credits that you buy. Like, this is the, you know, Nintendo too. Like, this is a popular scam. So, okay. At least I know I'm getting scammed.

01:47:18   So, I go play Guitar Hero. I beat my little card against the thing and it like kind of gets me and then just doesn't work. And it's like beep it again. And I'm pretty sure I paid twice for my one game that I got. And then I play the game and, you know, Guitar Hero has like the five fret buttons that you play the game with by pushing those buttons.

01:47:38   And one of them just outright doesn't work. I'm like, okay, I'm pretty sure I don't suck this badly. Like, I'm not missing every green note. So, like, certainly like, the ones, those are really obvious. I can hit those and I'm hitting all the other ones and every, so the game was like, you know, partially broken.

01:47:54   It was hard to play. It double charged me. I'm like, okay, here we are off to a great start. But, you know, I'm putting on a good face because, you know, it's my kid's birthday. I'm not going to like, you know, I'm not going to like act upset or anything. But I'm like, I'm already like irritated slightly.

01:48:07   Now, there are some games that I think were pretty impressive. I was surprised how few new games there were since last time I'd been in an arcade. And I think it's different now because now, like, you know, when arcades were a thing when we were growing up, you didn't have great video games at home or in your pocket constantly.

01:48:31   Now, everyone has great video games everywhere. Like, they're so commonplace and on such like common hardware that everybody already has. You don't need to go to an arcade to play a good video game. You're already playing good video games in other forms.

01:48:46   So what the arcade serves is like weird novelties. You know, the multiplayer, you know, two or four player link up racing games. Those are always fun. I love those. Although again, even those it was like Mario Kart and the Cruise in USA or Cruise in World, whatever the Cruise in USA franchise is up to now.

01:49:05   Maybe and like a bike thing. And that was about it. So I thought that was kind of interesting. There were a couple of like, you know, gun shooting games. One thing I had a lot of fun with was they now there's this category of game where the screen is a whole bunch of really little bright LEDs.

01:49:22   And they use it to show like old games. Like I played Space Invaders this way. And so you have this giant, it looks like you're playing on a scoreboard for a sports stadium.

01:49:36   That's micro LED, but it's not so micro. Like when we talk about micro LED TV, that's what we're talking about. And they use that in sports stadiums. But you were playing the non-micro version.

01:49:42   It's a micro LED version of Space Invaders. It's interesting because like, first of all, it's Dave & Buster is because it's like, you know, a big arcade. It's very dark inside. There's like, you know, it's, it's like almost pitch black and it's lit only by the lights.

01:49:55   It looks almost like a, you know, an old style Vegas casino of like, you know, no windows anywhere. They don't want you to see the outside world. So it's very dark and it's lit up pretty much only by all the games and their big displays and everything.

01:50:09   So it's, it looks a lot like a casino. It sounds a lot like a casino. And so anyway, so I, you know, these games, they, they ranged in quality, you know, so I had a lot of fun playing Space Invaders with my kid.

01:50:22   They had like two different guns. Like you'd both sit down, you play together like co-op Space Invaders on this giant, like eye searing, you know, sports scoreboard display. It was kind of cool. Like that was very novel.

01:50:33   They had the, you know, the, the carnival games where like you get the tickets if you're able to like throw all the balls and knock over all the things or, you know, skee-ball and stuff like that. But it's like you get the tickets.

01:50:44   I was going to say, did they have skee-ball? Cause the day that skee-ball leaves those places, that's really the end of an era.

01:50:49   They did, they did have it, but all the kids were like, this is, this is not as good as the others cause you have to score too much to get the tickets. And so here's what happens. We paid whatever it was per kid so that the birthday kids had these wristbands with RFID thingies on them.

01:51:03   And so they were unlimited, like video games, but they had a limit on how many like ticket things they could get.

01:51:11   They quickly ran through the video game part cause it was unlimited. They, you know, they quickly like kind of exhausted themselves of their value there because they're all, you know, they're all these kind of shallow arcade games.

01:51:20   And you know, there was only, you know, they're all made to play for 90 seconds and then you move on. Right? So they, they, they burned through those fairly quickly. And then it became time for the ticket games.

01:51:31   Now in casino gambling, you pour money down the drain because you are motivated by the chance of maybe making some money. And it's really, I mean, I'm, I'm not a big fan of the destructive nature that has on a lot of people.

01:51:48   I recognize that's a pretty, you know, that can be a pretty dangerous thing, a pretty harmful thing to society when it goes wrong. So, you know, I'm, I'm kind of sensitive to like, should we really be teaching children this mechanic?

01:52:02   And this is what, this is part of the reason why I'm so down on a lot of app store stuff because when you look at, you know, the way, the way the app store gaming environment is, it is a lot of simulated gambling or oftentimes even sometimes real gambling.

01:52:16   And I don't, I don't love that we, we somehow consider that a separate thing. You know, I think if we're going to look at gambling as a society and say, this should be, you know, tightly regulated and it's kind of a problem and some places don't even want it at all.

01:52:29   I think we should apply a lot of that same scrutiny to what we, you know, have children play on their, on their phones and iPads. And I think Apple needs to be substantially more strict than they are in that way.

01:52:42   But it's hard for them to be that strict when they're making so much money from it. But anyway, it was interesting though, when the kids switched over to the ticket games, the ones like, okay, well, you, you can use, you could, you put in your money or use your credit.

01:52:55   And then you, you know, a ball falls from the top and if it hits this thing, you win and everything, it's like carnival games, everything is slanted against you. Like there's little tricks and gotchas and deception and like kind of cheats that they do.

01:53:13   So that like, Oh, you're definitely going to miss this clown thing that you're throwing the ball at because it has all this hair sticking out the side that makes it look wider than it is. Or like you got to hit it really hard, otherwise it won't fall over and the ball would just bounce off or you know, like stuff like that.

01:53:25   You know, he played this, this like kind of controllable Plinko. It looks like Plinko from the prices are right, but you drop the thing down and you're trying to get it in the center slot, but you can like turn some gears along the way to kind of steer it.

01:53:36   And amazingly, he got it in the first time, but he couldn't get it in ever again after that because you can look at like, see the designs like, Oh, they've actually angled everything away from this center hole.

01:53:46   So that like it's, it's every, every single thing was designed that way. It was like, Oh, this is deception. This is a trick. This is playing on people's perceptions. This is cheating people like every single thing like that.

01:53:56   And it was crazy watching some of the kids, you know, some of them had like a healthy balance of like, Oh, they they'd try it once and be like, Ah, this stinks and they move on. You know, some of them looked like gambling addicts.

01:54:09   Like, I've seen people like in Vegas casinos, the kind of people who were like sitting at a slot machine for a really long time, just kind of mindlessly pumping money in and that's how they spend their entire day just slowly losing money and it's it's it's not a good thing to see the look that those people get in their eyes are kind of like glazed over like given up like I got but you got to keep going because you might win.

01:54:34   That's what I saw in a lot of these kids eyes. It was scary. On one level, I'm like, you know, this, this has kind of always been this way. And maybe I just didn't see it when I was younger in these places more often. On another level, that doesn't make it right.

01:54:48   It's it was it was really just kind of like, I don't I don't think this is a good thing and the psychology that it's training us to have. It made me really uneasy. The fact that this is like a thing that is ostensibly for children.

01:55:04   Seeing actual children like be taken in by the by like the the scam and the addiction of that of those feelings. It was it was kind of messed up and but yeah, it definitely made me think like man I do wish Apple would be better on the App Store about that stuff because

01:55:20   I don't think it's right or in good taste or in keeping with the brand they want to have that Apple makes so much money off of casino games for children in the App Store that use real money and plan people psychology to basically set it on fire.

01:55:35   Like all the stuff with you know, like the loot boxes and all the weird gem conversions and all this stupid stuff like it's just ripping people off and Apple knows it, but they make so much money that they convince themselves not to care. And in my opinion, that's not good enough.

01:55:51   They should do better. They know better. I know the people there know better. I know that they care about their brand. They care about what it represents. They don't want to be a mindless casino for children, but they are and I really wish they would do better.

01:56:06   I wish they would have the courage to actually stand up for that and say you know what, even though we're making a killing by taking a third of this kind of dirty money that's going through us. Maybe we better off overall for our brand and for our customer experience and for what's right in the world.

01:56:26   To maybe put more strict controls on a lot of that stuff and make it a lot more honest and a lot more consumer friendly, but they won't do it. I wish they would.

01:56:37   Yeah, it's been a long time since I've been to Dave & Buster's. You know, I remember when I was really little, my grandparents actually, they still lived there. They lived in a little teeny town outside of Scranton, which you would know is the place that the office takes place, the American office anyway. They lived in this little tiny town outside Scranton and I remember that there was a arcade there that was called Family Fun Center and it was one of these sorts of things. It was like a lowbrow version of Dave & Buster's where you're like a regular

01:57:05   crummy Chuck E. Cheese where most of the games, they have regular arcade games and memory serves, most of the games are these ticket dispensing things and I would put, like I wasn't given infinite money, but you know, left my own devices, I would put infinite money into these different games like Skee-Ball and a bunch of others in order to try to win, as you had said a little while ago, the world's crummiest prizes.

01:57:30   They were so bad and so awful, but I would rack up those tickets and I remember Family Fun Center would give you like laminated cards, like about the size of a credit card if you had like a thousand tickets and I would like, I would gather up all my tickets and I would, you know, I would cash them in and so far as like I would get my little card that said, oh, I have like, I would have 2000 ticket cards and whatever, whatever.

01:57:50   And I would save them up and like the three or four times over the summer that I'd go to visit Grandma and Grandpa, like I would go to Family Fun Center and earn some more and then eventually, maybe one day I would have enough for like the prize I really, really, really wanted.

01:58:00   And you know, you could get like a Game Boy if you had 11 trillion tickets, but you would have had to have spent like $13,000 to have earned 11 trillion tickets. It was, it was, it was a mess.

01:58:12   But as a kid, I mean, I loved it. Gosh, I love that place more than almost anywhere in the world. And I loved when we went and visited Grandma and Grandpa because a lot of times we would go into Family Fun Center and get to play for a couple hours and I loved it so much.

01:58:25   You mentioned on the last show, I was happy that I was born when I was in terms of the various technological arcs and the internet and everything that I got to see them when they develop.

01:58:34   Well, this is one instance where I'm glad I was born when I was because I got to experience video arcades before they got crappy and I didn't get to see them transition into being crappy and I didn't get to experience the crappy.

01:58:46   So yeah, my video arcades were coin-op video game machines that you put quarters into, not tokens, but real life quarters and the video games were really good.

01:58:56   And at that time, the best video games you could find anywhere on the planet were arcade games, which made sense for the time because they were incredibly expensive.

01:59:05   Like those machines, like a Pac-Man machine did not cost the same as an Atari 2600, not even close. Like they're very expensive.

01:59:11   The big giant CRTs in them alone were expensive, plus circuit boards and the fact that they were custom.

01:59:16   And maintenance, like you have to have people come service them because they would break all the time.

01:59:20   But they made tons of money in quarters. Anyway, the point was like you'd go to the arcade because you couldn't see that stuff at home.

01:59:29   And they tried to make home versions of arcade games and they were worse. And so you were willing to plunk the quarters into the machines and play them.

01:59:36   Yeah, and they sounded like video arcades, they looked like them, and that experience is burned in my brain.

01:59:44   And when they got bad, I had stopped going to video arcades. Eventually the industry learned you could make more money by selling people games and home consoles.

01:59:52   And that's kind of why the games look like the way they do. The graphics on them are not as good as they are on your phone. They're just not.

01:59:59   These huge machines and the graphics are terrible. That never used to be the case. It used to be the case that the best graphics in the world were on these extremely expensive arcade machines.

02:00:08   Unless you had a Neo Geo.

02:00:10   That's true. I came from arcade stuff. Neo Geo and a couple other things.

02:00:14   It basically was an arcade machine that you'd hook up to your TV and you paid about as much for it as well.

02:00:19   When it flipped, I think it was around the Dreamcast era. Somewhere around the Dreamcast era there was one console that was essentially made.

02:00:27   They made an arcade version of a console board instead of the other way around. And that's when you knew it had entirely flipped and the arcade was no longer going to be the place where the best games were.

02:00:38   Their best games were going to be on console and PC. And the arcade was going to be whatever junk was left over.

02:00:43   There was that middle period where they tried to share the technology and they did. There was a whole bunch of consoles that were mostly from Sega that were like...

02:00:49   It was literally the same hardware in the arcade and in the home thing.

02:00:54   Honestly, I don't even know what's in those arcade things. Is it just like an iPhone SE 2 inside there playing the games?

02:01:02   I mean, these days, yeah, it's probably like a Raspberry Pi or something.

02:01:06   That's the other thing I'm surprised you didn't mention. The other variety of things I see in modern "arcades" is essentially MAME cabinets.

02:01:14   I don't know how they get away with it, but it's like, "Oh, here's a bunch of old video games. Probably not really licensed, but who cares in what looks essentially like a MAME cabinet?"

02:01:25   Kind of like your big star Space Invaders thing out of the wall but without the big screen.

02:01:29   I was like, "Oh, great. I came to an arcade so I could play emulated video games for my youth on a crappy screen."

02:01:37   I hate those places, but I was there for the brief shining moment when they were good, and then I left.

02:01:45   [MUSIC PLAYING]