539: The Strap Situation


00:00:00   I spent all day fighting with this stupid Monterey bug. I forget now that I'm running Ventura that how much SwiftUI stuff is broken in Monterey. It's so bad.

00:00:08   I write this code. I'm like, "Why is this in here?" And I just change it and make it more sane or whatever. And then I send it on a test flight and the Monterey people are like, "Oh, nothing works anymore." I'm like, "Oh, yeah."

00:00:17   No, I mean, because you have a SwiftUI app, you have absolutely no chance of supporting older operating systems. Because SwiftUI, especially on the Mac, I mean, there's no chance.

00:00:27   Monterey was my thing. I had to boost the minimum version to Monterey so I could get anything to work. But now Monterey, the one I boosted it to, is the version where nothing works. It's so bad.

00:00:38   I'm not going to cut off support for it, but next year, man, definitely.

00:00:42   SwiftUI means the most recent OS and maybe one back. And that's it.

00:00:47   Yeah, I agree. I personally would cut off Monterey soon, if not already. But that's just me.

00:00:54   I'll tell you one thing. I tried programming my app on the plane to and from California. Now, in past years, this has been a very productive time.

00:01:06   This year, I was writing SwiftUI and I couldn't get the Wi-Fi to work. Try to write SwiftUI without being able to Google things. I challenge you. It's impossible.

00:01:17   Today, I was writing SwiftUI. I have so many browser tabs. I'm probably competing with John for browser tabs. My computer is littered with browser tabs.

00:01:30   Thank God I'm not doing this in Vision OS because they would just be filling the sky. They're everywhere. Every single thing I have to do. How do you do this?

00:01:37   What are you looking up in SwiftUI? I don't find that to be the case at all. I find that I can quickly look at the autocomplete and realize I can't do what I want. I don't have to Google for it.

00:01:48   Usually, it's more like technique stuff. It's like, "All right, I'm using the list thing to make a table view and I want certain cells to not show their separators or whatever."

00:01:58   It's stuff like that. Or like, "How do I make the cell not… How do I change the highlight color?" It's stuff like that.

00:02:04   You're talking about SwiftUI on the phone where you actually have features. I don't have that problem over here. The things that I would be looking for in SwiftUI, I don't even have a chance Googling.

00:02:14   The AI agents can't help me because it's like what I want, the interactions that I want are spread over so many different modifiers. There's the modifier for drag. There's the modifier for drop. There's the modifier for hover.

00:02:25   They conflict with each other and sometimes one works and the other doesn't. All of them don't have any idea that the other ones exist, so you have to have all these state variables that you're setting.

00:02:35   "Okay, when we're hovering, set this thing." But if you're in the middle of the drag, the hover thing won't be called set this thing. But then there's a gesture recognizer for a zero-length drag, which is a tap thing.

00:02:43   When that gets set, set this thing. They have no idea about each other. It's like 8,000 state variables and there's this conditional logic with a custom binding to say, "Okay, when the hover thing says you're on it."

00:02:54   But the frame thing doesn't know you're in it because it stops tracking that as soon as you start to drag. But if you're in the middle of the drag and the drag thing says you're in the middle of the drag, but you haven't yet dropped, but you're holding down the button, it's like, "Oh my God."

00:03:03   It just coalesces into one thing that lets me know, "Is the mouse over it? Are there any buttons down? Is it holding something? Is it--oh."

00:03:12   So that giant mess of global variable, "What am I going to Google for? Oh, hey, is there a way I can use--" because you can Google for, "How do I tell when the cursor's over it? How do I tell when the mouse is down? How do I tell when I'm dragging? How do I tell when I'm dropping?"

00:03:23   But those are all separate things. What if I want to do them all at the same time? And it's like, "Ah, yeah, just have 75 modifiers and use 20 different state variables."

00:03:30   And by the way, from OS to OS, you'll never know which modifiers are active and which aren't. Sometimes one completely cancels out the other and it stops getting called or vice versa, so you have to manually call it, but don't try to modify a state variable inside the reader on SwiftUI because you get a scary warning.

00:03:44   [laughter]

00:03:46   So that's what I spent all day doing.

00:03:48   I will say I am so glad I'm not doing SwiftUI on the Mac because I tried. I very much tried, and as I've been rebuilding all of Overcast and all my frameworks below it, I've had all the ifdefs.

00:04:02   If can import UIKit, then use UIColor, UIMG, else if can import appkit, use NSColor, I'm doing all that crap, and it's been taking forever because the APIs are needlessly different in weird, subtle little ways that require all this glue code.

00:04:23   The reason I was doing this was first I thought, "Alright, well, if it's easy to do this, I'll do it." Because I'm using SwiftUI, so I figured I can actually eventually build a native Mac UI for my app if I wanted to.

00:04:35   And I figured it would be a little bit of work to tweak it, but I figured it wouldn't be that much work.

00:04:40   But I was also thinking, if the headset doesn't use UIKit primitives as its API layer, like UIImage, UIColor, UIFont, all that stuff, if it doesn't use that, I want this stuff to all be modular, so I can actually easily plug in whatever it is, VRImage, VRFont, whatever they would have named that API layer.

00:04:59   So when it was unveiled, and when we learned that it just uses UIKit primitives for everything, that means the only Apple platform that doesn't is the Mac. So I ripped out all of that code.

00:05:12   Now I am UIKit everywhere, baby, it feels fantastic. There is so much glue that I could, because it was getting increasingly difficult to maintain it, honestly, and I haven't even made the app yet.

00:05:22   And then I tried building the app in SwiftUI, while I still could, just natively on the Mac, to see what does the Mac version of these controls look like.

00:05:30   And I got it so nice on the iPad layout, so nice on the phone layout. I build the Mac layout, it looks like somebody vomited on my screen with random app kit controls doing random things in random places, none of which were right.

00:05:44   Neat.

00:05:45   Everything about it was wrong and broken. And I'm like, okay, clearly, if I'm going to make a Mac app with my SwiftUI code base here, it's going to need its own UI code from scratch almost.

00:05:58   That's not worth it. So I'm just going to keep using the UIKit stuff on the Mac, whether it's Catalyst or the iOS Mac environment for M1s, I'm just going to keep doing that.

00:06:07   And then I can make everything UIKit everywhere else, which I promptly did, and everything is so much cleaner and easier, and there's so many little luxuries I'm able to use now.

00:06:15   And like, oh, man, it's so nice. I'm so glad. So that's point number one.

00:06:19   Point number two, going back to the plane for one minute, because I wanted to remark on something that I, that, you know, every so often, something in tech blows your mind.

00:06:28   And last year we had, or last week, we had one of those things, which is great.

00:06:32   You know, certain, usually it's not that exciting. Usually, like, the very first time I sent a print job to a printer over Wi-Fi, like when I was like on a laptop, and I hit print on my laptop, like on the couch, and then over there across the room, a piece of paper came out of a machine.

00:06:47   Like that, that was, that felt so magical to me. It was like, oh my God.

00:06:51   It's like when you're pooping and you can use your laptop and still browse the internet. That was earth shattering for me, I tell you what. You know, when Wi-Fi was in the house and you could, you could bring your computer in and occupy your time. That was, that was my, that was my bag right there.

00:07:05   I would love to make fun of you for that, but now we all do it with our phones. So what's the difference?

00:07:09   And so, okay, so secondly, so I was on the plane with my broken Wi-Fi, but on one of the directions, the quote "messaging only" free Wi-Fi from the airline worked. I'd never used the messaging only before. I figure like, what do I have to do? I'm not going to message people. I want to look up stuff on Google while I'm programming, you know.

00:07:28   But what did work, I opened up Flighty on my phone to check, you know, halfway through the flight, I take in an app, I woke up, I'm like, how far am I in this flight right now? And I'm like, oh crap, I don't have data. I can't check. I opened up Flighty to give an estimate and it says it works on the free messaging only Wi-Fi on most airlines.

00:07:48   What? And I tried it and sure enough, it worked. Now, I don't know how, I don't know how they negotiated this. I assume you have to like work with, you know, GoGo InFlight and whatever the airline things are to like approve your domain name or something.

00:08:05   That is not my understanding of how it works.

00:08:08   Well, however it works. Do you know how it works?

00:08:10   I do, but I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to share, so maybe we can do a follow up. Ryan will presumably hear this and then tell me, no you idiot, you should have said something. But just in case.

00:08:22   Just in case.

00:08:23   I'd rather not.

00:08:24   But that feature, like, and it worked, it just like all of a sudden, I'm offline and every other way except, oh, my flight status just got updated and now I can see where I am and everything. Oh my God, it blew my mind. I was so happy. So anyway, first of all, congratulations to Ryan and the rest of the Flighty team because they won an ADA and it's so well deserved.

00:08:42   The Apple design award, so well deserved for that app. But it was just such a pleasure to use that app for my whole trip. So anyway, thanks to Flighty. That's a really cool feature.

00:08:50   And next I request from Flighty to please be able to deliver me Swift UI Google results so I can on my next flight, I can actually get some work done.

00:09:01   Oh, real time update. Ryan is listening live. So since I haven't quite left the topic, so my understanding from Ryan, having briefly spoken to him about this a few weeks ago, maybe a couple months ago.

00:09:12   So what Flighty is doing is you can't use the full, the full Flighty app. Like I don't believe you can just go looking up willy nilly like a random flight or whatever.

00:09:21   No, but yeah, you get updates on your flight.

00:09:23   Exactly. How do you think those updates are coming to the phone irrespective of where the phone is? Like let's say you're watching my flight for some reason. You're going to come pick me up at JFK LaGuardia. You're watching my flight. How does that flight update get to your phone while you're on the ground?

00:09:36   All right. So I was assuming that they were pulling a web service every so often, but people in the chat I think have a better idea. They're saying, is it just using push notifications?

00:09:45   Yep. And so for the purposes, for iMessage or for the airlines, iMessages and APNS, Apple Push Notification Service or whatever, they look basically the same.

00:09:55   So what Flighty is doing, and I'm not trying to dismiss isn't the word I'm looking for, but I'm not trying to minimize. There we go. I'm not trying to minimize what Flighty does, but what they're effectively doing is just periodically sending push notifications to your phone saying this is where you are, this is where you are, this is where you are, this is where you are.

00:10:11   And because that rides in a similar way to iMessage, if not, I mean, maybe iMessage literally uses APNS, I'm not sure, but that all rides in the same channels that iMessages do so you can continue to get updates on your flight as you're airborne.

00:10:29   Because again, that's just, it looks like iMessages for the purposes of the airline Wi-Fi. It's extremely clever. It's very, very clever.

00:10:35   That's awesome.

00:10:36   All right, let's do Jon's favorite episode. It is all follow up. I mean, should I just like go read a book or something? Do you need me for this, Jon?

00:10:45   There's plenty of follow up for you to get through.

00:10:47   I see how it is. Do I need you then?

00:10:49   It's a team effort. We're going to do it together.

00:10:53   All right, let's hold hands. Jackson Ames writes, "I noticed that every time a presenter during the WWDC23 keynote said the word S-I-R-I, it sounded off. It piqued my interest."

00:11:06   And by the way, Jackson spelled it correctly, so kudos to Jackson. "It piqued my interest, so I extracted the audio from the keynote and threw it into Adobe Audition. Lo and behold, every instance of the word S-I-R-I," which I'm now afraid to say because it might trigger things.

00:11:19   Come on, we'll say Siri. If they mess it up, that's their fault.

00:11:22   All right. "Every instance of the word Siri spoken during the keynote has certain frequencies practically muted. It looks like 400 hertz wide bands centered at the 3, 4, 5, and 6 kilohertz frequencies, all of which have the amplitude reduced by about 30 decibels.

00:11:38   An interesting note is that this audio modification does not occur in previous Apple events. Now that the Siri wake phrase has dropped the hay, I wonder if this is a measure to avoid viewer Siri activation, giving a potentially less robust wake phrase."

00:11:53   So maybe Marco can make the image the chapter art for this chapter, but to paint you a brief word picture, imagine a heat map-y sort of thing. Marco, jump in whenever you're ready.

00:12:03   So, like a heat map sort of thing where it seems like the vertical axis is the one that matters, and yet suddenly you've got these like blank rectangles, four blank rectangles going horizontally through these waves, and that obviously is where the deadening of these frequencies has occurred.

00:12:22   It's really quite striking to see, and a very interesting catch by Jackson. I did not notice this at all.

00:12:27   Yeah, and it's actually, so my guess, the reason they would do something like this is that whatever algorithms they're using to recognize the word Siri, I'm guessing if you have a couple of gaps in the frequency range, which is what this is creating, then it won't detect it.

00:12:45   Now, I don't know, I think we talked about it when this happened, but a few years ago, there was an Alexa event where they had the same thing where, maybe it was a TV commercial?

00:12:55   I know what you're thinking about.

00:12:56   Yeah. There was some kind of TV commercial or something, I believe, where somebody in the commercial had to say "Alexa," and to prevent that from being recognized by everyone's Amazon echos all over their houses when this TV commercial played, they did a similar trick where they basically lopped off part of the frequencies of that speech.

00:13:12   And so it sounded a little bit weird, but not too weird, but it defeated the algorithm enough. And I actually, the reason why I remember this is that I thought for a brief time when that happened, I thought, "Can I reproduce this myself in Overcast?"

00:13:28   And can I possibly either offer a filter that would prevent recognition of these wake words in case somebody's listening to a podcast that's talking all about voice assistance and is tired of them responding, or, even better, can I analyze the audio myself?

00:13:43   If these wake words are really that easy to identify in processing, can I do the processing ahead of time, and anytime somebody says "Alexa" or "Siri," just mute those frequencies so that my podcast player never sets off people's stuff.

00:13:55   And at the time, I was not able to reproduce this in a way that worked against my own Alexa devices, but I never tried it with Siri. So now that I have this kind of frequency map of, like, if I do this, it presumably won't be recognized, now I have something else to experiment with.

00:14:13   So this is a stupid feature, I probably won't do it, but it's a fun thing to play around with, and it's a fun thing to know, like, if you need to somehow make Siri not be recognized with an audio recording, this is a way that probably works to do it.

00:14:26   A couple things on this. First, what's the name of this thing? It's like, there's a name for this kind of diagram, Marco, do you know it? Like, frequency spectrograph or something?

00:14:44   Do you see, like, the up and down, the actual, like, samples forming waves? The amplitude, yeah. Yes. This is showing you the different frequency breakdowns of each chunk of time as it goes. So this is generally easier and more illustrative of how something actually sounds.

00:15:00   Right, and so this is a great example of a visualization, like, when you heard this in the keynote, I bet a lot of people didn't think that Siri sounded weird at all, it didn't sound weird to me, right? But when you see it in this kind of diagram, where, like you said, time along the x-axis and frequency spectrum along the y, it's clear as day.

00:15:18   Like, A, it's clear as day that something's happened, and B, it's clear that whatever happened was artificial, right? This is not a natural phenomenon, it is rectangles just chunked out of the frequency spectrum, and so it's a great example of how visualization can help you find something that another view on the same day wouldn't.

00:15:34   And second thing is, I think we forgot to mention last week the feature that Apple touted in the keynote of that you don't have to say, "Hey, dingus," anymore, you can just say "dingus," but I believe there's also a setting, I haven't actually installed the iOS 17 betas, but I believe there's a setting where you can say, "No, please make me say 'hey.'" Does either one of you have the iOS 17 betas installed and can confirm that?

00:15:52   I will double check that in a moment, hold on.

00:15:54   Oh, because I think if that option exists, I think I'm going to put the "hey" back on, because I have enough problems with accidental excavations with the word "hey" in front of it, I don't need any more.

00:16:02   Yes, so under Siri in search, there's now an option called "Listen for," and your choices are off, so it won't listen for any wake phrase, or you can say "hey, Siri," or you can say "Siri," or "hey, Siri." So hopefully that didn't set anybody's stuff off.

00:16:18   I don't have any problem saying "Siri," but the actual wake phrase of the pre-iOS 17 device, I don't know what we're going to do once iOS 17 comes out. Your devices better get ready.

00:16:28   I mean, maybe they have made the recognition more sophisticated, and that's what has enabled them to drop this, because I don't know if you remember when, I believe when they, either a year after or something, like sometime early on, when Phil Schiller was on the talk show live, he said "hey dingus" right during the show, and no one's phone in the audience went off.

00:16:50   Now first of all, you know he thought about that first. Second of all, you know that he was confident nothing bad would happen, because then later on, he mentioned that. He like referred to it, he's like "look, I just said that," and no one, somehow, I forget exactly what he said, but he somehow referred back to it, so we all knew that he was in on what he just did.

00:17:09   And that's a pretty, you know, that was a pretty confident move, I think. I would say maybe it took courage. So for Apple to be doing this, to have dropped the "hey" requirement, and therefore having made the wake phrase even simpler and less distinct from arbitrary sound, I would assume that comes with an improvement in sophistication.

00:17:33   And I think one thing that kind of might lend credence to this, is that not all devices have that, and I have to double check, I believe I saw something today that said that AirPods Max will not get the Siri only wake phrase, but AirPods Pro, the newest AirPods Pro will?

00:17:49   So it seems like, you know, my guess is there's more advanced computation happening, only on the most recent devices and software versions.

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00:19:43   There's plenty to talk about with regard to Vision Pro, and we start with Apple's 10 minute standalone promo video, which I watched earlier today. It's pretty good, I enjoyed it.

00:19:54   I mean, it's a lot of what we saw in the keynote, to be honest with you, almost entirely, I think, but it's pretty, pretty good.

00:19:59   If you just want to watch one thing, you don't want to watch the whole keynote, it's a good thing to check out, we'll put a link in the notes.

00:20:05   Indeed, and also Steve Trout and Smith, amongst others, have noticed that there are plenty of references to XROS in the Apple Developer app, which is where you watch WWDC sessions and stuff like that.

00:20:20   Lots of occurrences of XROS. Also, it might have been one of you two, probably, John, but somebody pointed out that you can tell that they filmed this a while ago, filmed a lot of the sessions a while ago,

00:20:30   because there are many references to "Apple's spatial computing platform" rather than Vision Pro, which I noticed, and I think I thought about it at the time, and then promptly didn't think much of it after that, but that is pretty funny to me, that they didn't even have the marketing name locked down when they were recording these dub dub videos.

00:20:47   Oh no, I think it was locked down, it was not disclosed, I think that's the real answer.

00:20:52   Well, so the people who are making the apps, like Xcode, you know, they showed in the demos, you just select this as your target, or this as your OS, and the UI in Xcode had to have a name, but it didn't have VisionOS, it had XROS everywhere, so there was buttons with XROS, tabs with XROS, it was just everywhere.

00:21:06   This is setting aside, as we know, the symbols in the code, which are called RealityOS and XROS.

00:21:12   So anyway, yeah, this is the big symbol cleanup, which I assume they're going to do, I assume they're going to go through and clean up, obviously they'll clean them up in the UI, I do wonder if they're going to clean them up in the source, but I imagine they would, because you don't want to be stuck with like, some kind of enum being RealityOS for the next 20 years, just change it now to VisionOS.

00:21:30   Yeah, especially now that everything's still in beta, like it's super easy to change it now. But I think, first of all, the reason why is very clear, like, we heard, I believe they even said during Talk Show Live, like the marketing department did not tell the name of the product and the OS to almost anybody until almost the last minute.

00:21:51   Like, it was so secret, even from within the company, that many departments of the company didn't even know the final marketing name of the product or the OS.

00:22:00   Including the guy in charge of the headset, Mike Rockwell said he found that on Monday when we did, watching the video.

00:22:05   Yes.

00:22:06   When we talk about compartmentalization at Apple, why would the guy in charge of the headset not know what it's called? Because he doesn't have to. That's the answer.

00:22:14   That's what compartmentalization, does he need to know the marketing name to get his job done? No, he does not.

00:22:18   And, you know, this product by, I've been trying to figure out, like, how, when did they start this product? Like, when did they start this project? As far as I've been able to pick up bits and pieces here and there, other people probably have better information than I do on this. But my best guess right now is at least six to seven years ago.

00:22:36   Yeah, there was a Mastodon thread that flew by and somebody who formerly worked on it, I'll see if I can find a link for the show notes, no promises.

00:22:44   I think it's already in there.

00:22:45   Is it? Okay.

00:22:47   Yeah, I think I might have put it in the notes. But it was the guy who said he, like, worked on it five years ago and he just spilled a bunch of beans. We do have something in the notes from somebody who was involved in what would seem like, kind of like a, you know, in the home stretch development of it that was before COVID-19 or just when, you know, in 2019, just when that started happening. This project, we've been here about this project for years and years and years. So I'm sure six or seven years is conservative.

00:23:08   Yeah. And all that time, they were writing probably a ton of software for this. And so all that time they had to refer to it as something in the code. And so all over the code, I'm sure there's XROS all over the place internally.

00:23:22   And RealityOS, which is another name that's floating around in the code.

00:23:26   I didn't see RealityOS, but there was like a UI interface idiom dot reality as an enum value. So, yeah. But either way, you know, obviously they had to call it something. And I think it's an amazing feat of marketing that the name didn't leak.

00:23:43   That we had all these other leaks. There were not a ton of surprises about this device when it came out, but the name did not leak at all. And that obviously took a lot of secrecy with the name only being known to a very small number of people before we all learned it. But that is pretty impressive.

00:23:59   Yep. Yep. Very much so. All right, John, tell me about the fit of the Vision Pro, please.

00:24:04   Despite the fact that none of us actually got to try this, which is very disappointing. Only one of us got to go to WWC, which was Marco. And Marco didn't get to try it despite his best efforts. He really, really tried. But there's a limited number of slots. And, you know, what can you do? But anyway.

00:24:18   I even offered to move my flight back. I'm like, look, I'll change my flight. Like if I can get a later appointment, whatever it takes. But it was not enough.

00:24:26   Yeah, limited slots. So we do. But anyway, lots of other people have tried it and they've reported back. And so here are some of the sort of an amalgam of the report. So the first is that there is the people who did the demo. There was a fitting thing where you scanned your face with, you know, an IR type scanner or whatever, kind of like you do for FaceTime where it gets a depth map of your face. And I think they believe they use an iPhone to do it. You also scan your ear, which is the thing you can do now with your iPhone and iOS 16. I forget when they rolled that out.

00:24:50   But it wants you to scan your ear shape to get your head related transfer function. See previous episodes of this program where we talked about that. So you do those things. You scan your ear and you scan your face. In response to the face scan, they're picking from one of the light shield things that smooshes against your face that they have available to find the one that fits you.

00:25:10   They also took glasses from people who had glasses and measured them to see what people's prescription was and then came out with these little prescription things, which by the way, we all just assume that these prescription lenses are going to cost like $500 to put in your thing. So hey, this headset is $3,500. But if you wear glasses, it might be $4,000. We'll see.

00:25:28   Obviously they didn't say anything about pricing and they haven't decided yet. But FYI, this is a thing they did. So people could see the headset. So then they put the face thing on based on your face scan. The ear scan determines how they're going to do the spatial audio. So they put that in somewhere. And they snap in the prescription lenses based on them scanning your eyeglasses for you.

00:25:48   I imagine the experience will be similar for buying this thing. Either you go into an Apple store and they'll do all the same stuff to you in person. I'm not sure if they'll have the eyeglasses scanning machine. We'll see. If you do it online, you'd probably have to have an iPhone so you could scan your own face. And if you didn't have an iPhone, you'd probably have to go to an Apple store.

00:26:06   And maybe they'll let you enter your prescription somewhere because you don't have an eyeglasses scanning machine. But just to get an idea of what's involved in getting one of these, the purchase process is going to somehow involve all these things. Except for the ear thing. You can do that once you get it. But the things that affect the physical device, what lenses do you need to get to snap into them and what kind of face thing do you get.

00:26:26   In terms of the weight with this thing on people's faces, I was mentioning in the past show how the battery being external is a big deal because it keeps the weight off of the headset. But people have reported that this thing feels heavier than they thought it would. And most of them are blaming. Most people who have tried it are blaming it on the fact that they use metal instead of plastic. Because Apple loves to use metal because it's high quality and it's nice and it's durable. It's also heavier than plastic.

00:26:52   They did it on the AirPods Max. Those ear cups are made of metal. They look real nice. They're very durable. But they're heavier than if they were made of plastic.

00:26:58   Glass too. The whole front thing I believe is glass.

00:27:00   Yeah, although glass they kind of have to do for optical qualities. If they made that plastic it would be like the iPod mano all scuffed up and everything. I kind of don't blame them for that. But yeah, it's metal.

00:27:10   Mike Hurley on Cortex called it the AirPods Max of VR devices. Referencing the fact that the AirPods Max have the metal ear cups and it makes them heavy. And Mike said the Vision Pro felt heavier on the front of his face than a MetaQuest Pro which is plastic.

00:27:25   So I think it is in general lightweight especially considering all the stuff that's in it. But Apple can't stay away from that aluminum. They love it. And I understand why they'd want to go with the metal frame. There are so many advantages. But weight is an issue.

00:27:40   They didn't say it was super duper heavy. It's just that it was heavier than they thought it would be. And it was heavier than, you know, Mike said it was heavier than the MetaQuest Pro which is the headset that he has experience with.

00:27:48   That obviously is not as good. It doesn't have good specs but whatever. So there's that.

00:27:52   Well weight by the way, in terms of comfort with comparing it to headphones. The way that headphones distribute weight on your head is extremely different from where the weight and how the weight is distributed with a VR headset.

00:28:05   So it's not a good direct... I feel like it doesn't matter as much if the weight is spread correctly. So when you think about it with headphones, all the weight is being held either by the middle of the top of your head where the strap touches, where the big headband thing touches the top of your head.

00:28:25   And then the rest of the force is the ear cups pushing against your ears like sideways plus a bit of gravity pushing down that hits the ear pads. And that's a little bit different with those too because that's also how they stay on your head.

00:28:40   So headphones have to kind of clamp a little bit from the sides just so they don't fall off or move around.

00:28:47   So if you look at the way a VR headset mounts on your head, that entire strap that goes around and we'll get to this in a second, there's also apparently an optional top strap.

00:28:56   But when you look at where the weight is resting on your head, it's spread over a much larger area than a headphone spread.

00:29:04   So it might be okay. I have a pair of headphones here, my beloved HiFiMan HG6 headphones. These are my soul headphones. Those weigh significantly more, I think. I'll have to double check. I think they weigh much more than the AirPods Max because they have this giant magnet assembly inside each ear cup. It's a huge thing.

00:29:22   Anyway, they're fairly heavy as headphones go, but they're designed to spread that weight around in a much larger area and with much better padding than the AirPods Max. And so I can wear those for hours. In fact, I wore them most of today and it's fine.

00:29:36   Whereas the AirPods Max just kind of don't... I find them very uncomfortable after a pretty short time just because they're designed to apply pressure differently and spread the weight differently.

00:29:46   So weight itself, you can have a heavy headset and also have it be comfortable over a multi-hour use. It just depends on the other factors of its design. How the headbands are shaped, how the eye seal is shaped, all that stuff.

00:30:00   Where is the weight? How is the weight distributed? How does it move around? Does it have to clamp down very hard or is it more just kind of resting there?

00:30:07   And I fully expect that almost everybody will get that top head strap because that should improve all of that substantially.

00:30:15   Yeah, Mike mentioned that it was felt heavier on the front of his face and I think that's for two reasons. First, where the weight is depends on a lot. Headphone weight is on the side by your ears. There's no headphone weight that's hanging out past your nose. This thing is obviously hanging out past your nose, right?

00:30:28   And second is, you're moving your head around, I imagine, unless that depends on you're bopping with the music, but when you're using this thing, you're looking around.

00:30:34   And as you look around, the heaviest part of this is extending out from your head so it's swinging at the end of a lever as you move your head around so that whatever weight they put that is extended out past the front of your eyeballs, that weight is multiplied by its distance from the pivot point of your head moving around.

00:30:53   So that's why he said it felt heavier on the front of his face and plus, maybe resting your nose. And yeah, there is a top strap, you can see it in the WWDC keynote briefly in that scene where the dad's taking a 3D video of the birthday party.

00:31:06   He's got the top strap on. I mentioned, I didn't notice that when we talked about it on Monday after the keynote and I was saying how they had managed to do it without a top strap.

00:31:16   It was just a straight back strap with that big sort of like cup thing that's cupping the back of your head which I would imagine would also help carry the weight because it doesn't just like press in one spot, it kind of wraps around and it goes up and down.

00:31:26   But apparently, the top strap is there as a, it was used during the press demos, I think everybody who did a press demo had the top strap.

00:31:34   And people were told during the press demos that the strap situation is not yet finalized. That's a paraphrase of what the Apple people said.

00:31:41   So, Apple's not committing one way or the other about what the deal is going to be with straps.

00:31:46   Apple did say that they expect third party straps to exist because if you've seen the little exploded diagram of this, the Vision Pro is modular.

00:31:54   So, there's the actual thing with the computer stuff in it, then there's the light shield thing which shoves against your face.

00:32:00   Then out of the headset and the light shield are these two little sticks and then the straps attach to that.

00:32:08   And so, Apple's own straps, the one that goes in the back of your head, attaches to that. And Apple's own top strap attaches to that.

00:32:13   And third party straps will also attach to that. And Apple expects there to be third party straps.

00:32:18   So, that's important in terms of getting something that fits your head right.

00:32:22   Kind of like even just the tips on AirPods Pro. If you don't like the Apple tips, you can buy third party tips, see if you find something that works for you.

00:32:28   So, that's all I think mostly good news. But it is interesting that Apple hasn't quite yet figured out what the deal is going to be with straps.

00:32:35   And if you look at the top strap, it does not look as well integrated as the main strap. It looks kind of like an afterthought.

00:32:42   But anyway, again, the strap situation is not finalized. So, more to come on that.

00:32:48   And speaking of the physical reality of the headset, we talked about the power cable.

00:32:53   And what happens if the power cable comes out? Your thing just shuts down?

00:32:56   Well, the people who used it in real life have told us that the power cable does not easily detach.

00:33:01   It is not like MagSafe where it's just like, "Oh, it snicks on that with a magnet." It actually kind of mechanically locks into place.

00:33:07   So, you'd have to do something to get it out. So, that's good to hear.

00:33:11   Oh, yeah. I wasn't concerned about accidental removal of it. I was concerned about, well, if you were using the battery pack and for some reason, if you wanted a second battery pack so you could run it for four hours.

00:33:21   Oh, yeah, you can't swap it.

00:33:22   Yeah, you can't really hot swap it.

00:33:25   So, now that I know that it doesn't pop off like MagSafe, now I'm concerned about cord yanking situations, you know what I mean?

00:33:31   Like a kid runs by or you get overexcited or you're walking somewhere and don't notice that it snags on something.

00:33:36   I guess the battery would just come out of your pocket then. But we'll see how that gets worked out.

00:33:40   All right, so we know about the power cable, but how much electricity is the cable providing, Jon?

00:33:46   There's still some debate about this, but we had one listener, Hughes84, offer this.

00:33:51   It's pretty simple to estimate the power draw from the battery size. It looks to be about 10,000 to 15,000 milliamp hour battery, which are 3.7 volt cells.

00:33:58   So, it's 37 to 55 watt hours with a 2.5 hour run time that's 15 to 22 watt average power draw, quite low for the hardware and processing.

00:34:06   And we have heard some people discussing the Vision Pro may come with a 30 watt power brick.

00:34:11   So, the watt range is like, you know, under 50 watts for sure, maybe 15 to 20.

00:34:18   If it comes with a 30 watt brick, that should be enough. So, if you're wondering how much power the sucker draw, that's what it does.

00:34:23   And it kind of makes sense if you know what's in it. I mean, we know there's an M2 in it and we kind of have an idea what that draws.

00:34:28   We know the R1, if you just assume that draws the same power as the M2. Now you've got the double the M2 plus the screens.

00:34:34   30 watt, somewhere in that range. Sounds reasonable, but not like 90 or 100 watts.

00:34:39   Of course, it does have one or more fans inside it to cool it. It would be nice if there were some fans blowing cool air into the possibly sweaty area.

00:34:47   Where your eyeballs are. But as far as I know, the fan, the singular or plural fans, I imagine there's two, one for each side, are there to cool the electronics, not your face.

00:34:57   Yeah, it does seem like, I forget where I heard this or how authoritative it was, but I got a pretty solid response from somebody saying, "Yeah, it's 30 watts."

00:35:06   Like, that's it. It's a 30 watt cap, a 30 watt power supply, willpower continuously. So, that's the answer.

00:35:12   Alright, so there's more good news. There is apparently going to be a guest mode, and I'm not entirely sure how that's going to work, but I'm happy to hear it because, my word, it's not like I'm going to buy one of these per person in the house or anything like that.

00:35:25   So, tell me more about this, Jon.

00:35:27   This was official statements from Apple to iMore. This is from the article that we'll link. It says, "Apple plans to share more information about guest mode closer to the launch of the headset.

00:35:36   While details are scanned about what guest mode for Vision Pro will entail, it seems likely this will let users share the headset among friends, family, and other users."

00:35:43   And they did talk about the retina scanning thing where it determines who you are by scanning your eyeball or whatever. I don't think it's retina scanning. Whatever it does.

00:35:49   Here's the question, though. I just got done explaining all the stuff of how it scans your face and your ear and you pick the thing and you get the prescription lenses.

00:35:57   What are the odds that someone else is going to be able to fit into your face thing with your prescription lenses and, you know, are they going to have to scan their ear? Are they going to bring their own little lenses with them?

00:36:07   You know, for a two second thing, yeah, the face thing won't fit on quite right and it'll have light leakage and it'll be a little bit uncomfortable.

00:36:14   And incidentally, a lot of the people who did the press demo said of the choices of sort of face squishy thingies they have there, light shield things, they didn't have that many choices and the sort of best fit one wasn't that great of a fit on them.

00:36:28   Presumably there will be more choices as the product gets closer to launch.

00:36:31   There will be many more according to people I spoke with. What they had here was a very small subset of the total number that will be available at retail.

00:36:41   Yeah, so it'll be unlike the watch straps which come in what, two sizes?

00:36:44   Yes.

00:36:45   There'll be many more sizes than that because it's just much more variability in people's faces.

00:36:50   So there's that and guest mode flies in the face of that because guest mode presumes that anyone will actually be able to use your headset.

00:36:57   I do wonder if you get it with prescription lenses, does it come with the non-prescription ones or do you just get the prescription ones in which case no one will be able to use it unless they have the same prescription as you?

00:37:05   I thought the lenses were like snap-in magnetically attached additive things. I didn't think it was like you.

00:37:11   Yeah, I don't know if there's some like, you know, the non-prescription lenses are also lenses or is it just the lack of lenses?

00:37:17   Is it adding an element to the thing or is it like replacing an element that was there? I don't actually know.

00:37:22   I thought the prescription stuff was additive. I don't know that for certain of course but I thought it was additive.

00:37:26   Well, I wouldn't rely too much on this guest mode being like a practical thing. What I'm guessing this is, it's not going to be like someone else in your house can have their own apps installed.

00:37:37   It's probably going to be more like let me show you something and you can show someone else what you're looking at briefly, you know, oh here, check this out.

00:37:46   And you pass the headset to them, they stick it on for a minute and look at the thing you're seeing and then give it back to you.

00:37:52   I don't think it's going to be like anything approaching a multi-user environment.

00:37:57   It should be though. Like honestly at this point, them making a new platform that's not multi-user. I just got done saying this is like the hardest platform to make multi-user in terms of the hardware because it has to literally fit on people's faces.

00:38:06   But software-wise and like CPU power-wise and memory, the rumor is this has 16 gigs of RAM or something and it's got like, there's room for multiple accounts, man.

00:38:15   Like just make it happen. I know it's going to be weird because it's, you know, like shouldn't they come to the iPad first? Like I hear that but this is a brand new platform.

00:38:24   Is it because it's derived from, you know, iOS and iPadOS that adding multi-user is a pain in people's butt?

00:38:30   But yeah, guest mode is probably just like a little playpen where they can't screw with your stuff but they can try out your cool headset even though it won't exactly fit them that well.

00:38:37   Maybe to like stay locked in whatever app you're currently in? Or you know, to go to like a guest mode where it's just like, you know, they reboot the user space into a thing that is not signed into any Apple IDs and just has access to like Safari and some apps or something. Who knows, we'll see.

00:38:51   No, I'm guessing it's more like it's like a toggle and control center that you like, you flip to temporarily lock yourself, you know, kind of like guided access.

00:38:59   Like lock yourself into one app so you can show someone, hey look at this and then it won't scan their iris when you take it off and give it to them. You know, it's probably that kind of thing.

00:39:07   I don't think there's any chance of this becoming a multi-user device because of all the physical challenges of that.

00:39:12   You know, because it so relies on scanning your face, scanning your ears, getting the right eye light shield piece.

00:39:20   And presumably you only get one. It's not like you get the whole set of light shields. You get the one that fits you. You don't get 17 of them.

00:39:26   You can buy extras, I imagine, and buy extra straps and then you have to adjust the straps. Like it's a real barrier to sharing, for sure.

00:39:32   Oh yeah, like already today, like, you know, whenever my son wants to buy some new content in the Facebook Quest, whatever, he has to pass me the headset so I can like enter the pin inside the headset.

00:39:45   And this just destroys his setup. Like just taking it off and having it go onto my head. Like the straps get all messed up and I try to leave it as much as I can.

00:39:54   But like, you know, still the straps get stretched out and everything's all wrong and then, you know, it's like, it's terrible.

00:39:59   These devices, you know, one of the big challenges to their adoption and their spread in the world is you can't just pass it to someone else and have them experience things the way you are.

00:40:08   You know, there's like video pass-through modes where you can like, you know, show what you're seeing on a nearby computer screen or something. There's that kind of thing.

00:40:16   But to actually show someone else what it's like in 3D space is just a very difficult physical problem to solve. I don't expect any kind of multi-user support to really ever be a thing on these headsets.

00:40:27   And unlike Jon, I totally see why they didn't do it because there's basically no way to do it well.

00:40:33   No, well that's, see here's the thing. This is a legacy of Tech Debt from the original iPhone. This Tech Debt had to be in card on the original iPhone because it was on the ragged edge of what was possible with the hardware at the time.

00:40:43   So everything they did, things running as root, single user, no swap, like all that makes perfect sense in 2007.

00:40:51   But that time is March on that Tech Debt has just been accruing and accruing and now they're making a brand new platform which by all rights should have multiple users support at the OS level in case they ever want to do it.

00:41:03   That same Tech Debt is carried over from iOS to iPad OS all the way up to, you know, like UNIX is a multi-user operating system and I, granted, I know why they did it for the iPhone. They just never dug back out of that Tech Debt.

00:41:14   For the phone it probably is like, the phone I think makes the least amount of sense because it's not like you're going to share your phone with people, right?

00:41:19   For the iPad it makes way more sense because iPads are shared among families. For this we just described all the reasons it doesn't make sense but it's a brand new platform.

00:41:26   You know, you gotta get out of that Tech Debt someday. Even if you don't roll out that feature until version 7 of this product, like dig out of it eventually, please. I just feel bad about it.

00:41:35   I feel like these devices will not be true to form multi-user but I would not be at all surprised if when you put one of these on, if you don't pass the retina scan, and I know it's not literally a retina scan but for the purposes of discussion, if you don't pass the retina scan...

00:41:52   Well, they said an iris scan. I suppose that's slightly different but...

00:41:56   It's a different part of your eye.

00:41:57   Yeah, but still an eye scan.

00:41:59   The front instead of the back.

00:42:00   Yeah, right.

00:42:01   I mean, it ultimately doesn't matter. Once you fail an eye scan and it's clear that this is not the primary user of the device, I would assume that they would drop you into kind of a vanilla, like, oh, this device has never been used before kind of setup where you don't have any custom apps installed, you just get the out of the box apps.

00:42:20   I thought there was something like this in the context of school or education for iPad. I thought they had something similar to this.

00:42:27   Yeah, no, they have a terrible hack for it. That's where they reboot the user space and do all sorts of other things. It used to be worse where they would re-image the thing but now they just reboot the user space.

00:42:35   But again, the straightforward way to do multiple users is how Mac OS is, like literal, actual multiple users.

00:42:40   Like, they can be logged in at the same time, they'd be on separate Apple IDs, they're their own completely separate thing. It came with the operating system they bought from Next and they had to set it aside for the iPhone due to the constraints of 2007 phone hardware, right?

00:42:53   And they've just never dug back out from it. It's just rippling through their platforms. In one case, the Mac platform is the only one not burdened by this particular technical debt. Mac has tons of other technical debt, but this particular one the Mac does not have.

00:43:08   I mean, in all fairness, Mac multi-user stuff does occasionally cause some bugs, Jon.

00:43:12   Yeah, it does, right Jon?

00:43:14   It's not the fault of the multi-user thing, it's the fault of the Windows Server.

00:43:17   In any case, what I'm trying to say is if you fail your eye test when you put on the headset, I wouldn't be surprised if it says, "Hey, do you want to use this as a guest?"

00:43:27   And it might even go so far as to say, "Alright, you need to do the whole scan thing," which I understand takes a few minutes from everything I've heard from Mike and others, but I think it would be such a powerful marketing tool for me to go to Marco's house and say, "Alright, let me try this stupid Vision Pro thing."

00:43:46   And yes, I have to spend like four or five minutes, whatever it is, doing my scans and this and that, but then if you're to believe literally everyone who's tried it, within 30 seconds of putting it on, I'm going to be asking Marco if he can look the other way while I run away with his Vision Pro.

00:44:01   So I wouldn't be surprised if it's more robust than I think, Marco, you're giving them credit for. We'll see, I mean, who knows?

00:44:07   I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't make it to the release because when Apple says they have more information to share as we get closer to launch, this totally looks like a feature that gets booted to a later revision.

00:44:16   Coming later next year.

00:44:18   Later, exactly. I mean, it's, you know, we'll see.

00:44:21   John, when you try to do semi-complicated math off the top of your head extemporaneously, turns out you can occasionally make a whoops. So what's going on?

00:44:29   I didn't make a whoops. I knew I didn't know the math off the top of my head, so I just said this is not really how it is, but, and I tried to give the optimistic scenario of how things are, but the real scenario is much worse than the optimistic, which I knew. I just didn't know the exact math, so I tried to hand wave it.

00:44:44   But anyway, here's the exact math. Talking about pixels and eyeballs, right? So 4K television resolution is roughly 8.3 million pixels.

00:44:53   8K is not twice as many pixels as 4K. 8K is four times as many pixels as 4K. This is like four 4K models. I didn't know if it was exactly four times because these TV standards of resolutions, they're not like, if you're wondering what the 4K resolution is, you'd really think one of the numbers would be 4000 something, but it's not. It's 2160 by 3840.

00:45:15   That's 4K. So I didn't actually know if 8K was exactly 4X, but it's pretty much exactly 4X.

00:45:20   So here's Apple Vision Pro. It has 23 million pixels, which is 11.5 million per eyeball. So 11.5 million per eyeball is higher than the 8.3 million, which would be 4K.

00:45:32   So it has more than 4K per eyeball, but the total number of 23 million is less than 8K across the two eyeballs. So there you have it.

00:45:40   There's been a lot of people doing math on the more interesting thing than number of pixels, which is number of pixels per degree. If you think of like your degrees, how many degrees of vision have you had 180 degree field of view?

00:45:53   Like it's how many pixels fit into like one degree of your field of view. And that's what kind of determines whether you can see the pixels and whether it's retina and so on and so forth.

00:46:02   But the upshot from all the people who have seen this thing is that it's basically retina. Like nobody had any problems looking at text. Nobody said the text looked jaggy. Nobody said there was a screen door effect.

00:46:15   Like it passes muster as you can look at text on little rectangles floating in front of you and it looks crisp. So that's what's important.

00:46:25   The thing about can I use this to get a bigger screen than I have in real life? It depends on how close you pull it to yourself, which is another aspect of this. Like your real life screen, you can actually move it across the desk real close to your eyeballs.

00:46:38   But if you want to get more pixels of sort of resolution out of your virtual screens, you can literally move your head closer to them or pull the big floating rectangles closer to you.

00:46:48   And now you are spending more pixels on the little micro OLEDs that are inside there per unit of virtual screen area. So you could have a very, very large screen. You just wouldn't be able to see it all at the same time.

00:47:01   So that's the flexibility this offers you. But yeah, I don't want to get too bogged down into the details of this except to say that like, is this a way for you to get a bigger monitor than you have now?

00:47:12   Depends on how big your monitor is. For a 6K monitor, it's not quite there, but it doesn't really matter if you can't see the pixels. Like I know Mac OS and iOS and whatever don't do non integer scaling modes, although iOS does do 2x and 3x.

00:47:28   But because of the way this works and because of the interaction between the pixels and the virtual screens and the distance from you, you are effectively changing the multiplier as you pull the virtual screen closer and farther from you. That's not true of a phone or an iPad or a Mac.

00:47:44   You are not changing the multiplier that the OS draws at or the number of pixels used to draw like a window control. You're not changing that by moving the screen closer and farther from you. You're not changing that by moving your face closer. When you move your face closer to your phone, your iPad or your Mac screen, the pixels get bigger.

00:47:58   When you move the virtual rectangle closer to you in Apple Vision Pro, pixels do not get bigger because the pixels are always exactly the same distance from your eyeball because they're inside a headset. So it is very different.

00:48:09   And speaking of the screens, the refresh rate according to Apple's WWC sessions is 90 hertz but switching to 96 hertz for movies because 96 is evenly divisible by 24 frames per second which most movies are shot at.

00:48:24   I don't know, we don't know are those screens capable of 120? Are they capable of any arbitrary resolution? But Apple has at least confirmed it will do 90 hertz and 96 hertz.

00:48:33   By the way, to answer your earlier comment about how big your monitor is, when I came home to my glorious 6K Apple Pro Display XDR after this trip, it has never looked small until now.

00:48:48   And now that I'm imagining like, "Wow, I have this whole wall in front of me, that could all be screen space!" Now my giant monitor looks like, "Why am I looking in this tiny little window when I have this huge wall not doing anything?"

00:49:01   Well that's the other aspect of it. By making the screens inside the headset bigger, like having it be 20 feet, you don't get more pixels. It's always the same amount of pixels.

00:49:11   But in the end, all that matters is can you resolve those pixels? The number of pixels per degree I think was like 70 or something. Most popular headsets are like 20.

00:49:20   The really good gaming headsets are in the same range as Apple Vision Pro. They're 60 or 70 pixels per degree. But once you can't resolve them, it's fine. That's all you're looking for. I can't resolve them anymore. I don't actually care how many more pixels per degree it is.

00:49:36   So we're maybe within one doubling of it being a non-issue from everybody. This is a version 1 product. People did say when they're looking around the room that people describe it as looking kind of grainy. Like why does this not look like reality?

00:49:50   Pretty much everybody who did the press thing said it's amazing, transparency is amazing, it looks like you're just looking through the cooler lenses. But they all said it's like you're looking through a pair of goggles.

00:49:58   And that the world looks like not real real, but like you're looking through something like maybe a dirty pair of goggles or that it looked grainy or whatever.

00:50:08   And I think what they're seeing is not a lack of resolution, but mostly what we discussed before about HDR. Those screens can't match the dynamic range of the real world.

00:50:16   And it's always going to look slightly different. You're going to be able to tell am I looking at a screen or am I looking at the real world. In situations where the real world has not a lot of dynamic range because of the lighting, it'll be harder to tell.

00:50:27   But if you're in any situation with a reasonable amount of dynamic range because of light or sunlight or whatever, you're going to be able to tell the difference because the screens can't do that dynamic range.

00:50:36   Which is why we need to keep chasing that dynamic range stuff. Because if you want the Apple Vision Pro version 8 to be indistinguishable from looking at the world, you're going to need a more dynamic range from your little tiny HDR screens.

00:50:48   Neil O'Meara was one of many, many people to point out the following. Neil writes, "Isn't it odd that at the exact same time Apple launches an iPad or iOS warning that people are too near their screens to ward off myopia, that they launch a device that straps two HDR screens fractions of an inch away from your eyes?

00:51:05   It's a good illustration that they are successful and big enough such that one arm of the company doesn't have a clue what the other is doing. But it's surprising it got through their keynote quality check. Hey, who needs consistent messaging anyhow?"

00:51:15   I don't think it's actually inconsistent and here's why. The whole myopia thing and sitting too close to things, it has to do with when you hold something close to you, it doesn't hurt your eyes if you're not looking at it.

00:51:27   Which sounds silly, but that gets to the point of what is it about looking at screens too close to your eyes that it's bad? The screen close to your eyeballs doesn't shoot out rays that destroy your eyes. They're not shooting UV light out of these screens that are killing your eyes.

00:51:39   The sun does that.

00:51:40   Exactly. The reason of looking at a device close to your face is because you're looking at it and by looking at it, you must force your eyes to focus on something that is inches from your face. It is the focusing of your eyes on something that is close to your eyes that is presumably causing the whatever myopia that they said comes from this or whatever.

00:52:01   Again, if your eyes are closed and you hold a phone close to your face, it does not cause myopia because you're not looking at it. Now, when you have the headset, yes, the screens are really close to your eyes, but what are your eyes focusing on?

00:52:12   Your eyes are not trying to, hopefully, focus on something that is inches from their face. What they're focusing on is a screen that appears to be four feet in front of them.

00:52:21   Your eyes don't care that the screens are right there. They just care where we're focusing. Focusing on the eyes, I'm not an eye doctor, but my understanding of focus is first you've got the convergence point of where your eyes are pointing.

00:52:33   They have to be pointing at the thing, and if the thing is close to you, they're pointing. You can go cross-eyed if you take something and push it right up to your nose.

00:52:39   If it's really far in the distance, your eyes can be straight ahead and parallel if you're focusing on infinity.

00:52:44   The second thing is the muscles that squish your eye, squish the little parts of your eye, I think they squish the lens, anyway, there's muscles that are attached to your eye that squish squishy stuff, which is why when you get old they can't squish anymore because everything gets hard when you're old.

00:52:55   They're squishing parts of your eyes, and those muscles are working, and the closer you're focusing, the more they have to do squishy stuff.

00:53:03   That causes eye strain and so on and so forth. It's not the fact that the screens that are fractions of an inch from your eye inside the headset, that only matters if you're asking your eyes to focus on something inches from you in the virtual world.

00:53:17   You're not looking at the pixels on the screen, you're looking at images on the screen. I would imagine, I don't know this for sure, but I would imagine that because your eyes think they're focusing five feet away, it's the same as if they were focusing on something five feet away.

00:53:30   So if they're going to put a myopia warning in Apple Vision Pro, it should be when you drag one of the app rectangles to be two inches from your face.

00:53:38   Exactly the same way it would be if you take your phone and put it two inches from your face. But if those rectangles are out at the end of the coffee table like they are in the demos, no myopia warning, totally consistent messaging.

00:53:47   What about using it on a plane?

00:53:49   That's the situation we talked about where if you've traveled on a plane recently and you've been in coach, the seat back in front of you is inches from your face it feels like. Especially if the jerk leans back.

00:54:01   Not a lot of room. We were like how is it going to draw the screen, like a virtual screen in sort of transparency mode or whatever the core where you can see the rest of the plane around you but there's just a floating screen in midair where you're watching your TV show.

00:54:12   But wouldn't that screen clip through the seat? Wouldn't it be weird that the screen looks like it's three feet in front of you but the seat back is a foot and a half in front of you?

00:54:20   Well in the keynote they had a video of this of someone watching a movie on a plane and as Sage points out it looks suspiciously roomy so maybe it's business class.

00:54:32   We still don't know the answer of how this is going to look. How far away can you get the screen from you? What does it do when you want the screen to be farther away from you than the seat back?

00:54:42   Apple has put out a video of someone watching it on a plane so they seem to think it's possible. First person to get this please board a plane and try it out.

00:54:49   I think it's kind of interesting their focus on AR first, this is an AR first experience, will kind of require you to have more space to make use of all the virtual real estate even though that's not physically necessary.

00:55:07   If you want to have a large computing space it seems like you have to also be in a large physical space to get a large virtual space.

00:55:21   Well unless you do that whole "put me on mount hood" I forget what they called it but transport me somewhere else I've cranked the digital crown all the way in the one direction so I don't get to see anything of my actual space.

00:55:33   I'm living in virtual reality. In that case you have infinite space to play with but yeah if you're doing the "I want to be present in the room" thing I think you're exactly right.

00:55:43   I mean you could turn it halfway so it's just got the mount hood around the front of you but in the end it's not going to stop you from putting a screen where it couldn't physically be.

00:55:53   It just will take away from the reality of the situation a little bit because you'll know there could not be a plane floating in that place because it would be in the middle of that piece of furniture.

00:56:03   But tough luck, it's there, I can see it, I don't think it's going to say "oh sorry you can't put it there I'm going to show you the seat back" I think it's going to show the movie in a "impossible" sort of MC Escher type space just because it can and that's what you want.

00:56:16   Transparency is just so you don't feel like "oh someone's going to sneak up on me" or "I want to be able to see what's going on around me" the same way when you look at a movie on your seat back you can see in your peripheral vision what's going on.

00:56:26   That's what they want to reproduce so you don't feel isolated, you feel like you're still on the plane with the other people who were there but you're also watching a movie.

00:56:32   The movie is just a little bit bigger. That's one of the things they were very careful A) not to show and B) not to allow anyone in the press demos to do because it was a very controlled environment in the press demo.

00:56:42   People pointed out that at no time did any of the Apple employees go into a place where they weren't expected. They did the thing where they pop in and break through but it's not like there's people walking back and forth and a bunch of crap in the room.

00:56:54   It's a very controlled environment. If you put one of these things on and went outside and walked onto a New York City street the AR experience is not going to be able to keep up.

00:57:05   We know what's in the front of this thing. There's a LiDAR scanner, IR blasters but they can't handle an outdoor city environment with people everywhere and cars.

00:57:13   It won't know what the surroundings are like, it will just do its best. That's what the first people to get this are going to have to try. Some YouTuber is going to strap this thing on and go out for a walk and see what does it make of a walk in the woods.

00:57:25   How does it handle it? How does it feel? Does it take away from the experience when the floating rectangles are in possible places or is it just fine? As long as the rectangle looks clear I don't care.

00:57:37   If the guy in front of you leans the seat back on the plane do all the windows hit you in the nose? Does it push all the windows forward? There's so many questions.

00:57:47   Lars would like to know why did they call it Vision Pro? Apple Vision would have been so much more elegant. Do you think they already plan to release a low-cost non-Pro version of the headset? If so, how would you build that without ruining the entire experience?

00:58:02   Well yeah it is called Vision Pro for a reason. But that reason is the non-Pro version they can make now would be unacceptable to Apple's standards. What they're releasing I feel like is the minimum spec of one of these things they will ever release.

00:58:17   But it is expensive right now. They will come out with a non-Pro one but only when the non-Pro one can be way cheaper than this one and equal or better specs. Maybe it will be literally this one and they'll just repackage it kind of like iPhone style where they take old iPhones and they repackage it.

00:58:32   But putting Pro on the name is a signifier of the price. It shows that this is the high-end one but this is the minimum they would put out. I don't think you will ever see a headset that has appreciably lower specs than this ever from Apple.

00:58:47   Because I feel like this is the original iPhone on the ragged edge of what's possible and acceptable and it will only get better from here and there will have to be one or two more generations of this before we get a non-Pro I feel like.

00:58:58   I think also it's part of the marketing expectation setting that look this is an expensive device. Not only is this a high-priced device but we are acknowledging that it is high-priced and we are acknowledging this is high-end.

00:59:14   And it kind of gives them a kind of disclaim to the world. This is not our answer on pricing for this category. This is not like the final word here. This is going to be our first thing. It's a big thing. We know it's expensive and it's aimed at a high-end market.

00:59:30   And then that kind of gives them room later to come in with something lesser. And it sets expectations to the world. They don't think $3500 is a mass-market consumer level price for this device long term. This is just what they have now.

00:59:46   All right, tell me about Vision Pro in gaming.

01:00:01   I'm not very heavily into gaming on this but I think a lot of people who are into VR gaming, playing Windows games in VR, would see this product and they would want it because the screens are amazing. It looks cool, the screens are amazing, the transparency effect is something a lot of gaming headsets don't have either at all or not any close to this quality.

01:00:21   So people would want this hardware. But this product, and I imagine all future headset products that Apple makes, will never be high-end gaming VR headsets for one simple reason. And that is Apple seems to think this should be a standalone device. It does not connect to anything. It doesn't even tether to your phone.

01:00:41   High-end gaming headsets connect to a gigantic 500 watt multi-fan blowing water-cooled PC in the tower thing under your desk. And as technology marches on, the gigantic tower that draws 500 watts and is water-cooled will always have more computing power than the battery-powered thing that you put on your face.

01:01:00   So that means the high-end, those people who like high-end VR gaming, they're like "I can't wait, I'm going to get one of these Vision Pro things." Yeah, eventually the Vision Pro will have the power of today's tower computer, but then tower computers will have gotten faster too.

01:01:12   And so Apple is essentially taking itself out of the highest of the high-end VR gaming with their design of this product by saying it must be standalone.

01:01:21   And based on what they've shown and what they're using it for, that's the right choice. Because that's not what this device is about. It's not like you're going to be able to play the most advanced 3D games.

01:01:31   If they were doing that, they would have to have the hand controls and everything, right? They're not interested in that market. And standalone is way more important for them to do that, right?

01:01:40   So that is important to point out. And if you're wondering, well, this thing seems pretty powerful, you can run pretty good games on it. Remember that the R1 chip has its own job. It's basically doing all the sensor fusion and all that. It is busy.

01:01:54   So that leaves the M2 to do everything else. What kind of high-end games can you run on an M2? Not an M2 Pro, not an M2 Max, not an M2 Ultra, a plain M2. That is the sort of power class of CPU/GPU combo that is going to be in a standalone headset.

01:02:12   And yes, it will advance with time. But just think of your favorite game and think of how well it runs on an M2 MacBook Air. Yeah, you can play lots of cool games and they look really good. But the highest of the high-end games, these PC gamers who have overclocking their giant water-cooled things to get the most frame rates out of the most demanding games, they want this device because the screens are amazing, but they don't want this device because it does not have the GPU power.

01:02:36   And there is no, kind of like the HomePod, there is no input where you can say, "Alright, Apple Vision Pro, just forget about what you're doing, but can you just be an awesome screen for my gaming PC?" And the answer to that is no.

01:02:46   Well, just look at your PlayStation and it will project the screen into Vision OS. When Apple buys Sony, maybe that will happen. Oh, my word.

01:02:54   And then, allegedly, there are some options with regard to writing code for the Vision Pro. There is a Work with Apple page, I forget where it is, but link it in the show notes, and it has three options.

01:03:09   Apple Vision Pro compatibility evaluations. If you currently have an iPad or iPhone app in the App Store, we can help you test it on Apple Vision Pro. Request a compatibility evaluation from App Review to get a report on your app or game's appearance and how it behaves in Vision OS.

01:03:23   Apple Vision Pro developer labs. Apply for the opportunity to attend an Apple Vision Pro developer lab where you can experience your Vision OS, iPad OS, and iOS games running on Apple Vision Pro.

01:03:32   With direct support from Apple, you'll be able to test and optimize your apps and games so they'll be ready when Apple Vision Pro is available to customers.

01:03:39   Labs will be available in six locations worldwide. Cupertino, London, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.

01:03:44   And then finally, and this is what we were all wondering about, Apple Vision Pro developer kit. To support great ideas for apps and games for Vision OS, developer kits will be available to help bring your creations to life on Apple Vision Pro.

01:03:56   These kits will provide the ability to quickly build, iterate, and test on Apple Vision Pro so your app or game will be ready to deliver amazing experiences. Stay tuned for how to apply.

01:04:05   So this sounds really cool and theoretically great. We don't know a lot of the details yet. This is probably an order in which you have to do the operations.

01:04:16   Like I'm guessing it's like, use the SDK to build something in the simulator first. Then submit this ticket to Apple saying, "Hey, can you see if my app works okay on the real hardware?"

01:04:27   And then maybe they'll say, "Hey, you know what? This app looks pretty cool. Let's offer more stuff. Let's offer a lab or maybe a developer kit." That's how I'm guessing this is going to go.

01:04:37   Given the level of excitement and hopefully secrecy around this platform and given how incomplete the software still is, I'm guessing they're going to be very careful giving those out.

01:04:49   First of all, I'm guessing that it will not have any other software to run and might lack many of the capabilities of the final shipping device.

01:04:59   Maybe it won't have any of the eyes stuff like the way it shows the eyes on the outside. Maybe it won't be able to make FaceTime calls or whatever.

01:05:06   I'm guessing those dev kits are going to be very limited and of course they're going to be NDA'd like crazy.

01:05:12   I can't imagine Apple being very willing to risk some YouTuber getting a dev kit and doing a review of it in November or whatever, months before this thing is going to ship.

01:05:24   I'm guessing they are going to be hard to get and limited and certainly NDA'd like crazy.

01:05:31   I think the only place where you got that order of operations wrong is that if you are a company that Apple really wants to make Vision Pro apps and you haven't done the compatibility evaluation and you haven't gone to the developer labs, Apple is still going to come knock on your door and say, "Hey, you should take one of these. Do you want one? I know you haven't come to our labs and you haven't asked us to evaluate anything, but we really love to see what you can do with it."

01:05:52   The big important companies that Apple wants to be on the platform, they will proactively offer. But everybody else, yeah, it's going to be difficult to get one of these, I imagine.

01:06:00   And again, if you were hoping to get a dev kit to have the early experience of what this thing is like just in usage, it would not surprise me if you can't do much with the dev kit except run your own app.

01:06:11   So I wouldn't hold your breath on that.

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01:07:55   [Music]

01:07:59   Jon, this is your favorite part of your favorite episode.

01:08:03   Let's talk about follow-up for Macs.

01:08:06   So, we've got the MacBook Air 15-inch. A couple of more details have come out about that.

01:08:11   So, first is the base model 15-inch. I mean, we could have looked this up on Monday, but we didn't.

01:08:16   The base model 15-inch has all the GPU cores enabled, which is different than the base model 13-inch

01:08:22   because you can get a binned one that only has eight working GPU cores out of the ten.

01:08:26   And so, that means that all cores working 13-inch is within $100 of the 15-inch.

01:08:31   This is all just making the 15-inch look like an even better deal, right?

01:08:34   You know, the quote-unquote $200 price difference from, you know, $1099 to $1299,

01:08:39   it's actually really just a $100 price difference because all the 15-inches have all working parts in their SoCs.

01:08:44   That's great. The base model 15-inch comes with the 35-watt dual-port charger as a no-cost option.

01:08:52   I don't know, with a no-cost option to get the 70-watt charger,

01:08:55   whereas the base 13-inch comes with the cruddy 30-watt single-port charger,

01:08:59   and you have to, like, pay to upgrade to the better chargers.

01:09:02   So, that's another plus. The 15-inch for merely $100 more than an equivalent 13-inch

01:09:08   comes with your choice of two better chargers at no additional cost.

01:09:12   So, loving the 15-inch. And also, I just recently saw a teardown of the 15-inch,

01:09:16   and the insides of it look like Apple has done a little bit, put a little bit more effort into cooling.

01:09:22   I know it's weird because it's fanless, just like the 13-inch,

01:09:24   but, like, the 13-inch had the barest of amount of material slapped onto the top of the SoC,

01:09:29   and now it looks like a little bit thicker, kind of, you know, metal-y, tapey parts are on there.

01:09:33   We'll see when people start testing these for temperature or whatever, but I'm loving the 15-inch.

01:09:38   Yeah, I actually went to the local Apple store today just to very briefly hold the 13-inch air and the 15-inch air,

01:09:46   and when I first picked it up, I was like, "Wow, this is heavier than I expected,"

01:09:49   but actually, I think that was not the correct reaction, truth be told.

01:09:54   It actually is not very much heavier than the 13.

01:09:57   It does look ever so slightly wonky not having speaker grills on either side of the keyboard,

01:10:02   but I don't find it nearly as bothersome as most people seem to, but it looks really nice.

01:10:07   Like, I mean, I only played with it for literally two or three minutes,

01:10:10   but even though I am not in the market for a large laptop, and certainly I would get a MacBook Pro for several different reasons,

01:10:17   but yeah, if you're interested in a big-screened but otherwise not bananas laptop,

01:10:24   you know, something that's aimed more for a regular human and not somebody like the three of us,

01:10:29   then yeah, it's a really good deal, and it seems like a really nice computer.

01:10:34   Everyone who's had a press model or whatever, a test model, says that it's basically exactly like 13 but bigger,

01:10:41   and pretty much anyone who has a 13-inch MacBook Air says it's the best computer Apple's made in years.

01:10:46   So yeah, this is two thumbs up for me, I mean, based on my very limited usage.

01:10:50   As Marco would say, they didn't half-butt this, like in the teardown.

01:10:54   The motherboard, it's not the 13-inch motherboard just shoved into a 15-inch case.

01:10:58   It's a different motherboard, it's smaller than the 13-inch motherboard because they'd have room for the speakers or whatever,

01:11:04   and if you look at the differences between the 13 and the 15, there's more bracing and more metal and more screws in the 15

01:11:10   to keep it from flexing because it's bigger.

01:11:12   It's a typical Apple laptop where they thought it out, it's not just like,

01:11:15   "I will take the guts of the 13-inch, shove it into a 15-inch thing and put it in some bigger batteries."

01:11:19   It's a fully designed computer.

01:11:21   Yeah. Alright, let's talk about the Mac Studio, and apparently there's good news in the noise department.

01:11:27   Yes, the M1 Mac Studio had a bad reputation for making more fan noise than we all thought it should.

01:11:35   Not that it was super loud, but because it was using, in all cases except one, the exact same SoCs that Apple had in laptops,

01:11:43   and the laptops were silent, we felt like the Mac Studio should be silent as well, and it wasn't.

01:11:48   So here are some measurements straight from Apple, and we put links in the show notes to Apple's own specs for both idle and "wireless web usage."

01:11:56   The 2022 Mac Studio with an M1 in it, Apple measures it at 15 decibels for both of those things.

01:12:02   The 2023 Mac Studio, 6 decibels, which because of the way decibels work, a 9 dB difference equals 8 times quieter because it's a logarithmic scale.

01:12:11   So that is a big improvement, and Jason Snell says,

01:12:14   "I'm happy to report that Apple has rejiggered the cooling system in the Mac Studio.

01:12:17   I could only hear the fan blowing when I turned the Mac Studio around so that its events were pointing right at me, and even then it was pretty quiet.

01:12:23   When I properly oriented the computer on my desk, I couldn't hear the fan.

01:12:29   I placed my M1 Mac Studio on a nearby table and I could still hear it blowing.

01:12:33   I wouldn't call the M2 Mac Studio silent, but it's noticeably quieter than the M1 model, and if you were to keep it on top of your desk, you probably wouldn't hear it."

01:12:41   Good news! Apple should have touted this, but then again, if they touted this, it would have been like admitting the M1 had a cooling problem.

01:12:46   Love to hear it. Love to hear they fix this. This is not a small change. Good job, Apple.

01:12:51   Yeah, this is, because again, that was always such a baffling flaw in the first one because it seemed like the first Mac Studio was such a great computer in so many other ways, like every other way, and then it had this weird, unnecessary flaw.

01:13:05   So now, this is great, because now we can just, you know, there's no more like "gotcha" about the Mac Studio.

01:13:11   Now it's just like, yeah, if this product works for you, buy it. No questions asked.

01:13:14   Yeah, the only remaining, it's not a "gotcha", but the only remaining thing holding back the Mac Studio is the fact that the fans are low diameter.

01:13:21   So, while that doesn't affect the number of decibels, it affects the frequency, right?

01:13:26   And sometimes the higher frequency, smaller fans, higher frequency noise can be more annoying at exactly the same level than lower frequency, which is why if you want a silent PC, you get gigantic fans like they're in my Mac Pro.

01:13:38   You know, but, you know, huge improvement, like the size of the fans, it's a small case, right? The fans kind of have to be small.

01:13:45   They could do way better cooling, as I said, when we looked at the M1 one, way better cooling if they did front to back airflow.

01:13:52   They don't, they do bottom to back airflow, the air on the Mac Studio comes in the bottom and goes out the top of the back.

01:14:01   So we'll see if they ever redesign that case, but big improvement year over year.

01:14:05   And it's not just that Jason got like a blessed perfect press model, because like I said, these are links from Apple's own spec pages saying what they measure the sound to be.

01:14:13   And I feel like Apple's probably being honest with themselves.

01:14:16   One would hope.

01:14:18   Alrighty, there's good news in the fan department, but some very questionable news with regard to pricing. The pricing seems a little wonky. What's going on there?

01:14:27   Well, you know, we talk about this all the time with Apple's upgrade prices being disconnected from reality, but even within the weird anti-reality of Apple's pricing scheme, their own, you know, options prices in the Porsche style have bumped up against each other.

01:14:41   So Sloan Studio pointed this out. A Mac Mini with an M2 Pro and a 19-core GPU, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD is the same price as a Mac Studio with M2 Max, a 30-core GPU and the same RAM and SSD.

01:14:55   With the Studio, you get 10GB ethernet, 2 more USB-C ports, an SD card reader and 11 more GPU cores with exactly the same price.

01:15:03   That's a problem. You know, when things are literally exactly the same price, one should not be that much better. Remember, this is a Mini compared to a Studio.

01:15:11   It's not two different classes of machine. It's not laptop versus desktop. It's literally a Mini and a taller Mini.

01:15:15   And the taller Mini with way more stuff in it is exactly the same price because of the ridiculous cost of add-ons.

01:15:22   All right, tell me about John Ternus on the talk show and discrete GPUs.

01:15:27   So I'll put a link in the show notes to a YouTube clip. This is a feature that YouTube's added recently where you can take any YouTube video that you're watching and save a clip, which just saves two offsets on it.

01:15:36   You know, start at this time, end at this time, kind of like the overcast clip thing.

01:15:39   And I love it because, you know, YouTube has always supported time offsets in the URL. You can just put T equals 3M4S for three minutes and four seconds, but it wouldn't tell it when to end and the clip thing adds that.

01:15:49   So anyway, we'll have a YouTube clip linked in the show notes, which will probably break in five years when YouTube sunsets the clip feature. But for now it will work.

01:15:56   Here is the quote from John Ternus when Gruber was asking him about discrete GPUs in Macs.

01:16:02   Ternus said, "Fundamentally, we've built our architecture around the shared memory model and that optimization.

01:16:08   And so it's not entirely clear to me how you'd bring in another GPU and do so in a way that is optimized for our systems.

01:16:13   It just hasn't been a direction we've wanted to pursue."

01:16:17   Now, John Ternus is not part of the marketing department, but like all the Apple executives, he is, you know, press trained, media trained, as they call it.

01:16:26   So it's hard to say whether this answer tells you anything, because if Phil Schiller said it, I would say, well, this is there's no information in this statement because he's so well trained that when he says something like this, he's not making any statement about future products.

01:16:39   But when I see someone closer to the engineering side say something like this, when he says it hasn't been a direction that we wanted to pursue.

01:16:46   Now that's past tense, right? But when he says it's not entirely clear to me how you bring in another GPU and do it in a way that was optimized.

01:16:54   If there was, you know, systems in Apple's labs that they had developed and decided not to ship or that they were planning on developing that brought that quote unquote brought in another GPU, I don't think he would have phrased it that particular way.

01:17:06   So, you know, take it. These are his words. Take it as you will. It technically doesn't say anything about future products.

01:17:13   But when I heard him say that, it made me think they're not really interested in discrete GPUs at all now in the past or in the near future. We'll see.

01:17:27   Yeah, I wouldn't hold your breath on that. The way I interpreted that was basically this does not fit into the direction we've chosen to go.

01:17:35   And they're not going to change their direction, especially just for this one, you know, edge case product. It seems like the Mac Pro was made for people in recording studios, basically.

01:17:46   This is like, you know, a recording studio or video editing studio kind of product where people have a lot of cards for like audio or video I/O.

01:17:56   And that's it. Like, it seems like that's the main...

01:18:00   We'll get to that in a little bit because even in that application there's problems.

01:18:03   Yes. But, you know, it seems like the Mac Pro, you know, as we discussed last week, this is a product that looks like it's designed to kill the Mac Pro.

01:18:11   But it at least is going to keep it a marginalized product. It's not going to expand its market. It's going to lose some of its market.

01:18:18   But we also don't know, you know, as outsiders, how many people have actually been buying the Mac Pro and using graphics card expansion.

01:18:29   Like, besides you, and I don't think anyone else is doing what you do with it, like to basically buy a Mac Pro to be a gaming PC.

01:18:37   Well, I mean, one thing to gauge it by is Apple has released a bunch of new video cards for this.

01:18:42   And they almost never, like, you know, the Mac Pro way of doing things is you release a product and you don't touch it for five years.

01:18:48   But over the course of those five years, they've been steadily releasing new graphics cards. Someone's got to be buying them. Otherwise, why would they keep making them?

01:18:55   Well, I guess that's fair. But I would guess that they looked at the market and they're like, "Alright, well, we sell this many Mac Pros.

01:19:01   You know, this percentage of them adds PCI cards for, you know, audio and video I/O. And then this other percentage of them adds GPUs.

01:19:10   And, you know, given our new architecture, is it really worth serving that, you know, sub-market of a sub-market that adds GPUs to their Mac Pro?"

01:19:19   And they clearly decided not to. It's not to say they never will, but I think that whatever factors led them to make that decision for this product, those factors are going to continue to be the case in the future or even become more extreme.

01:19:34   We'll see about that. That's why this statement is weird because, like, Apple makes all sorts of stuff internally that never sees the light of day.

01:19:40   I know for a semi-fact firsthand all sorts of things that Apple has done internally that they decided not to ship for, you know, mostly good reasons.

01:19:48   But, like, if you, you know, they experiment. Like, "What about this? What about that?" Right?

01:19:52   And, you know, not that they make a fully formed product, but they're like, "If we made a product with this, does this make sense? Do we have the parts? Can we put it together? Can we prototype it? What do you think of it?" Right?

01:20:01   The fact that he said, "It's not entirely clear to me how you'd bring in another GPU and do so in a way that is optimized," can be read multiple ways.

01:20:07   You can say, "Well, we did make a thing with another GPU and we couldn't figure out how to integrate it in the system in a way that made sense."

01:20:13   Like, "We got it to work." You know, there's not -- people are wondering, "It's not impossible to connect another GPU to these things. You could do it."

01:20:18   It's just like, "Well, then, but then what about the GPU that's on there and how do we integrate them and is it useful and does it work well?" Right?

01:20:24   He could be saying that. Or he could be saying, "We never tried that because that's not the path that we're pursuing. We didn't even prototype it. We just set it aside."

01:20:33   You know, I don't know any of these things. I don't have any inside info of what they tried with respect to this particular thing.

01:20:39   But a statement like this doesn't really close the door on, "Oh, yeah, we tried it, but it was crappy. It wasn't good. It wasn't worth it. Nobody would want it and we think we can do better without it."

01:20:49   And we'll see how it goes. But speaking of doing better without it, let's assess how they've done here.

01:20:56   If we look at -- now we've got metal scores, you know, Geekbench scores for all this stuff. So look at the metal scores. This is like a benchmark of Apple's graphics API.

01:21:03   You basically only see Apple stuff here because it's Apple's API. And we're talking about the M2 Ultra here.

01:21:10   And the M2 Ultra, remember, is in the Mac Studio, but it's also the exact same thing in the Mac Pro.

01:21:15   As far as you know, they're not clocked differently. It's the same SOC in both places.

01:21:19   So when I say M2 Ultra, you can think Mac Pro in your head, but you can also think Mac Studio.

01:21:24   With the metal scores, the M1 Max SOC was around 108K. The M1 Ultra was around 150K, so that's 1.3 times the M1 Max performance.

01:21:35   But the M1 Ultra had two times the GPU cores of the M1 Max. The M1 Ultra has two M1 Maxes stuck together.

01:21:41   So if it has twice the GPU cores, why is it only 1.3 times faster in a GPU benchmark?

01:21:46   GPUs usually scale linearly, and the answer to that is something I think we touched on ages ago when we were talking about the M1 Ultra.

01:21:51   I forget the details now, but there's some limitation in the M1 Ultra that doesn't let it scale its GPU cores linearly.

01:21:58   I don't know if it's some cache or translation buffer or something that wasn't big enough.

01:22:02   And that's kind of a shame, because you did get twice the GPU cores, but you didn't get twice the performance.

01:22:08   You only got 1.3 times the performance, and that was crappy.

01:22:10   So now we've got the M2 Max, which is 130K, which is 1.2 times as fast as the M1 Max for 1.2 times the GPU cores.

01:22:18   So that's linear as well. Now the M2 Ultra. The M2 Ultra is twice as fast as the M2 Max for twice as many GPU scores.

01:22:27   Yay for linear GPU scaling. And that means the M2 Ultra is 267K, which is a respectable metal score.

01:22:35   The M2 Ultra is now the fifth fastest metal score overall on the Geekbench charts.

01:22:41   The top three scores on the metal charts are the 2019 Mac Pro with graphics cards in it.

01:22:48   So good showing for the M2 Ultra. Linear scaling, awesome.

01:22:52   And by the way, if you're wondering, "Oh, should I bother getting the M2 Ultra?"

01:22:54   The M1 Ultra was not as good a deal if you care about GPU cores.

01:22:58   The M2 Ultra, it's linear. It's got twice as much as the M2 Max, and it does twice the performance on GPU.

01:23:04   So it is doing great. It's doing exactly what we wanted.

01:23:07   But here's the thing. The M2 Ultra is two M2 Maxes. The M2 Ultra is not four.

01:23:12   M2 Max is what we were hoping for, right?

01:23:14   So two M2 Maxes, the M2 Ultra, that's an amazing SoC for a tall Mac Mini.

01:23:21   Right? You know, it's the fifth fastest ever, right?

01:23:25   It is not an amazing SoC for a gigantic tower computer.

01:23:29   Okay, so here is the M2 Ultra versus NVIDIA.

01:23:32   And this is not like Metal performance scores or OpenCL or whatever. This is running a graphics benchmark.

01:23:37   This is the GFXbenchmarker.com. I'll put a link in the show notes.

01:23:40   This is running their Aztec Ruins high-tier benchmark, right?

01:23:44   We're looking at frame rates because, like, well, forget about what the Metal score is, forget about this, but, like, frame rates, right?

01:23:49   An NVIDIA 4080 has 16% higher frame rate than the M2 Ultra.

01:23:55   You know, the M2 Ultra is in spitting distance of the 4080, not bad.

01:23:58   The 4090 has 37% higher frames per second.

01:24:02   And the 4090, remember, is a card that launched eight months ago.

01:24:04   So the 4090 is still kind of pooping all over the M2 Ultra.

01:24:08   Which is, you would expect, but it's kind of a shame, right?

01:24:12   And this is, you know, putting it in perspective, Apple does not have a computer with a competitive, with any GPU that's competitive with a single one of the eight-month-old king of the PC GPUs.

01:24:23   I will, for whatever it's worth, the 4090 also currently costs about $1600.

01:24:30   Still less than, you know, how much does the Mac Pro cost, though?

01:24:33   Fair, but, like, you know, also how much power does this thing draw?

01:24:37   I mean, this is for the Mac Pro, right?

01:24:40   So, you know, the M2 Studio, the M2 Ultra Mac Studio, great, awesome, no complaints.

01:24:45   Really good performance, scales linearly, it's in a tiny little case, it's quiet, love it, thumbs up.

01:24:49   The gigantic Mac Pro has the same exact, and this is what I'm always talking about, is like, with this generation of Macs, Apple is seeding the high end, we're talking about GPU, seeding the high end of GPUs to the rest of the world.

01:25:02   Apple does not have anything that is in the conversation with the best PC GPUs.

01:25:06   And in the past, when they've had horrendously expensive Mac Pros, like the one I bought, you could buy them with a video card that would, A, cost you way more than $1600.

01:25:15   Like, I think the video card that I have in mind now is like $2800 from Apple originally, and it's way slower than a 4090. Way slower, right?

01:25:23   But anyway, they're not in the conversation anymore with high end GPU.

01:25:27   Setting aside that you can put multiples into like the 2019 Mac Pro if you need them for a computer or whatever, setting that aside, just for a single GPU basis, the 4090 crushes the M2 Ultra.

01:25:37   As you would expect, that's the reason when we discussed this on the back of the envelope years ago, we were like, the quad would be in the conversation.

01:25:43   If it was basically, you know, four M2 Maxes or, you know, two M2 Ultras, then you'd be in the conversation.

01:25:50   But they didn't ship that, so we've just got this. So just to be clear.

01:25:53   What about non-game GPU performance?

01:25:56   So this is an article of someone crapping on the Mac Pro from some PC company or whatever.

01:26:02   But anyway, he points out that Apple in the keynote called out the performance of Octane, Redshift, and Blender in the Q note.

01:26:09   So he's like, fine, let me look with what the Blender scores. Our Blender is a 3D rendering thing.

01:26:13   GPU rendering on the M2 Ultra. So the M2 Ultra score is 3400.

01:26:19   The 4090 is 3.8 times faster. The score is 13000.

01:26:24   The 3080 is 1.8 times faster.

01:26:27   The 3060, which is a $330 video card, is about the same speed as the M2 Ultra.

01:26:33   That's not a good look. Now here, here's the killer.

01:26:36   The 3070 has a score of 3396 compared to the M2 Ultra's 3412.

01:26:42   That's a laptop GPU.

01:26:44   Oh, that hurts. That's deep.

01:26:47   And if you think about it, that laptop is probably noisier than a Mac Studio.

01:26:51   And I'm not saying the M2 Ultra is a laptop SoC.

01:26:54   It's an amazing SoC, but it is not a powerhouse.

01:26:58   So, GPU, Apple is sitting out this generation.

01:27:03   They are not in the conversation on high-end GPU power, which Apple, I think, is fine with.

01:27:07   And most of their customers are going to be fine with because most of their customers buy laptops.

01:27:10   And these things are amazing laptop GPUs. Just fantastic, phenomenal, just amazing.

01:27:16   But are they amazing GPUs to put in a gigantic tower computer that costs $7000?

01:27:20   No, they are not.

01:27:22   Let's look at the CPU. The M2 Ultra as a CPU.

01:27:26   Single-core score of 2217. Multiscore score of 18735.

01:27:31   Pretty good. How does that stack up to Intel and AMD?

01:27:35   Again, setting aside the M2 Studio and all the laptops where these chips stomp all over everybody.

01:27:39   What about your $7000 gigantic tower with three humongous fans in it?

01:27:43   That, you know, they could have and have in the past put Intel Xeon's in there.

01:27:47   I've got an Intel Xeon in there.

01:27:49   If they were to build this tower today with a modern Intel Xeon, what kind of scores would it be getting?

01:27:53   Well, the Intel Xeon W9-3595X, which is a 56-core Xeon,

01:27:58   is 2.8 times faster in multi-core than the M2 Ultra.

01:28:02   Again, if they had made a quad, they would have beat that. But they didn't.

01:28:06   The Intel Core i9-13900KS is 39% faster in single-core and 15% faster in multi-core.

01:28:15   And those chips, you cannot put those in a Mac Studio to be clear.

01:28:19   Like, that chip is useless for Apple anywhere except for their gigantic tower computer with a huge power supply and tons of cooling.

01:28:25   So, with this generation of the Mac Pro, Apple is out of the conversation for high-end CPU and high-end GPU. Entirely.

01:28:34   What about PCI Express lanes?

01:28:36   In the Xeon generation of the Mac Pro, the 2019 Mac Pro, as far as I've been able to tell, they believe it had 64 Gen 3 PCI lanes.

01:28:46   Now, Gen 3 lanes are half the speed of Gen 4 lanes, which is what the new Mac Pro has.

01:28:50   But even taking that into account, the old Mac Pro has more PCI Express bandwidth than the new one because the new one only has 24 Gen 4 lanes.

01:29:03   And the old one had 40 lanes connected to the CPU and 24 lanes connected to the I/O controller.

01:29:08   Hector Martin on Mastodon pointed out that the M2 Ultra basically just has two internal PCIe switches with all these lanes hanging off of them.

01:29:17   So even though they have all these slots, their shared bandwidth is they go through these PCI Express switches.

01:29:23   So the M2 Ultra also doesn't have the PCIe lane capacity that the Xeon did. It was kind of a shame.

01:29:30   Now, finally, we go to Neil Parfit, who is a YouTuber, who talks about his use of the Mac Pro in his audio application.

01:29:35   And he stuffs it full of cards doing audio stuff, so he seems like the audio audience of the new Mac Pro.

01:29:40   And here's what he had to say in the video we'll link in the show notes.

01:29:42   His current rig is 28 core Xeon 2019 Mac Pro with 768 gigs of RAM.

01:29:48   That's all?

01:29:49   And his problem with the new Mac Pro is when he just launches all his apps and starts working on a project, he's around 300 gigs of RAM usage.

01:29:59   But the M2 Ultra Mac Pro, Mac's RAM is 192 gigs.

01:30:02   So him just starting up all his projects and launching into all his editors and editing his big composition with all the samples and everything, he's already pushing it to swap.

01:30:10   That's not great.

01:30:12   And his old Mac Pro had four 16x PCI express lanes, and the new one only has two, blah blah blah.

01:30:17   Probably doesn't matter for audio, but he did note it.

01:30:19   The other thing he pointed out was that he kind of thinks that for his particular usage, having a tower version of this is useless because his is always going to be in a rack mount.

01:30:27   Because it's just so noisy and it's got all the cards and the cards have their own fans in them and he's just stuffed to the gills and it's a rack mount type of thing.

01:30:35   Like it's out of sight, out of mind, shoved off into the side somewhere.

01:30:38   So this new Mac Pro, it's probably good for some peoples somewhere, but it is an extremely compromised, in every aspect it is extremely compromised.

01:30:49   It is not competitive with the high end of the PC world in any category.

01:30:53   PCI express lanes, GPU speed, CPU speed, and it's a gigantic tower computer.

01:30:59   That's, you know, like Marco said, if you wanted to kill the Mac Pro, this is the type of machine you might put out.

01:31:05   It's not the end of the story. They may make a quad in the future, maybe they couldn't pull it off now, maybe the M3 will change the equation because it will be on a different process size.

01:31:13   But for right now, the takeaway is, M2 Ultra is an amazing SoC that is not compromised like the M1 Ultra was.

01:31:19   The M2 Ultra Mac Studio is an amazing machine that's quieter than it used to be.

01:31:23   And the M2 Ultra Mac Pro is the machine for I don't know who.

01:31:27   And for me personally, Apple sitting out and seeding the entire top end of the computing world, fear is already disappointing to me and I want them to claw that back sometime in the future.

01:31:36   So did we get a Mac Pro? Like, I don't mean that to be snarky, I'm genuinely asking, like, it seems to me, John, that you're saying, maybe without saying, maybe you're literally saying it, that this isn't really a Mac Pro.

01:31:50   Yes, it is a name, but in little else. Like, do you consider this a successor to your...

01:31:55   In price it sure is.

01:31:56   Well, fair, fair.

01:31:57   It is, it's just not a great one because it does have expansion slots. No other computer does.

01:32:03   And it does have a really big case with tons of cooling, right? It is more capable, it has more, you know, Thunderbolt slots, like it has more of everything than any other Mac does.

01:32:13   So yes, it is a Mac Pro, but that's why I'm comparing against the PC world. Like, Apple's not in that conversation anymore.

01:32:20   Like, they're not even contending. Setting aside the horrendous price difference that they've always had, they're just not close to the high end of stuff that's been out for months, or even a year or more, right?

01:32:31   And that usually doesn't happen. Usually when Apple comes out with the new Mac Pro, on its day of release, it's in the conversation with high end PCs, you know, granted, potentially at twice the price.

01:32:41   And this one just isn't. But it is a Mac Pro. Like, those slots are there, the case is there, those ports are there, it's just a little bit of a not so great Mac Pro.

01:32:53   And we've had not so great Mac Pros before, and we'll have them again. We had not so great Power Macs, let me tell you.

01:32:58   Not every Power Mac was a winner. They were shipping Power Wax with a front side bus that was like, you know, seven times slower than the CPU speed, and that was not a great time to be around.

01:33:07   But then there were great ones, like the original Power Mac G5, my beloved 2008 Mac Pro, I think the 2019 Mac Pro is an amazing machine that just kind of got blindsided by the ARM transition.

01:33:19   But, you know, in many respects, my Mac will still be the top of the benchmark charts, because you can put graphics cards in there that are modern and good. And you can't do that with any other Mac.

01:33:29   The Apple Silicon transition has been wonderful for all other Macs. But what they've done with this strategy of these chips is basically, they just make two chips that are actually kind of similar to each other.

01:33:45   They make the MX, M1, M2, and then they make the Pro version of that and the Mac's version, which is kind of an extension of the Pro version, and they're just applying those chips and those design decisions and those trade-offs to the entire product line.

01:34:03   The Mac Pro is just, you know, two MacBook Pro chips glued together, and the MacBook Pro chip is not that different from the MacBook Air chip, and the MacBook Air chip is the same as the iPad chip.

01:34:15   And so they're using designs that are made for much smaller and lower power products, and just kind of, you know, copy and pasting them, scaling them up to go to higher end products.

01:34:28   And that works great for all the other Macs. Everything else in the lineup, that works fantastically. But that strategy, it just doesn't scale to the needs of the Mac Pro very well.

01:34:42   Well, what if they made the quad one, right? And that's not just like a fantasy that it's not a thing that happened. That was part of a plan inside Apple. It was a plan that they didn't follow through on, but I feel like it got farther than just them noodling on it.

01:34:54   Like, it didn't come to fruition, you know, again, for reasons that probably have to do with cost, because, you know, like when they were buying Xeons, yeah, Xeons cost a lot of money and they had to pay Intel's profit margins, but Xeons sells a ton more Xeons, or Intel sells a ton more Xeons, so they get economies of scale.

01:35:09   Apple has to pay for every single one of these quad SoCs, and they're the only person who will ever buy them, and the only person they will let buy them.

01:35:17   So that wasn't viable for them, but that's a problem. I feel like that's a problem for Apple. They have to figure out the high-end thing.

01:35:24   They're a solution of doing four of them glued together, I think would be great. If that could work and scale linearly, it would be amazing, right? That's what we all wanted. They just couldn't do it with the M1 or the M2.

01:35:37   We'll see if that changes, but like, you know, the strategy, like, oh, this is great for everything except for the high-end. The high-end was always going to be the hardest, but they had a plan, and the plan seems viable.

01:35:47   They just haven't executed yet. Like, it's not like they're like, oh, they're stuck, they're in another thermal corner, they have no solution. No, the solution is the quad.

01:35:54   Get the quad to work at some kind of reasonable price. Boom, you're back in the conversation. You got all the PCI Express lanes, you got the GPU power to be in the conversation with single GPU things.

01:36:05   And yes, you can put other GPUs connected to it. You could put extra RAM on it. Like, those are all technical possibilities. Apple has not precluded that or painted themselves into the car where they can never ever do it.

01:36:16   But, A, I don't think they need to do it, but B, they do need to do the quad at some point. I really hope they eventually pull it off. The other option is they just abandon this entirely, phase out the tower, and there'll never be a quad.

01:36:27   But I'm really rooting for that. And I hate calling it the quad, it should have a better name. I'm really rooting for that. But that's the solution, they just haven't done it yet.

01:36:35   But even with the quad, so first of all, that would solve some problems. That would get them in the right performance category for the GPU, it's certainly great for the CPU, but it still has the trade-offs that Apple Silicon has brought in terms of, first of all, your RAM ceiling will be lower, significantly compared to the Intel layout for this product.

01:36:58   But it would be double what it is now.

01:37:00   Yeah, but you'd be going from a tenth to a fifth of what it was before, basically. So that's not great, or an eighth to a fourth, whatever. But also, you're not expandable anymore, assuming the RAM would still be soldered on, just like this.

01:37:17   You have no RAM expansion in the future. You would still probably have some PCI bandwidth issues or hacks needed.

01:37:25   No, I think you'd have double the bandwidth and you'd be right back to where the 2019 was. Again, be in the conversation.

01:37:31   Yeah, five years later.

01:37:33   I know, but it would be competitive. As the new quads come out, they would have more PCI Express lanes, just like the M2 has more PCI Express lanes than the M1. I think it would solve their PCI Express lane problem if they committed to the quad.

01:37:45   It would, but part of the reason why you have this PCI Express lane problem is that the way they scale this chip up is by multiplying a bunch of stuff that you actually don't need copies of.

01:37:57   When you look at the M2 Ultra, you have a whole lot of that chip that you actually didn't need to be doubled. And if they have a quad, you're going to have a whole lot of silicon space wasted on even more stuff that they don't need to be quadrupled.

01:38:09   Certain parts of the hip just aren't used in this configuration. The Xeons worked well in this product because they were designed from the start to have massive amounts of PCI bandwidth going to the chip, massive RAM support, all the stuff that high-end workstations need.

01:38:27   The Xeons are designed for that. The M series chips are never going to really be designed for that.

01:38:33   They're always going to be, unless they would make custom chips for the Mac Pro, which I don't see happening.

01:38:39   If they made bigger, instead of doing quad of the size that goes in the Mac Studio, if they instead made double of a chip that is bigger than will fit in the Mac Studio, that would also work. But I feel like that's even more cost.

01:38:51   Here's the question. Where is the cost? Is the cost in designing the chip or is the cost in fabbing the chip? And I feel like for this generation, they bailed on it due to the cost of actually fabbing it because they had it designed.

01:39:01   So maybe they'll go back to the drawing board and say, "We thought it would be too expensive to build a custom chip for the Mac Pro that we only use on one computer."

01:39:08   But it turns out, even if we reuse the things, the problem is doing the interposer for four things, whatever the problem was, some part of the process of building it ended up being more expensive than they thought.

01:39:19   So maybe it actually is cheaper to do a single interposer of just having the things end to end, just like the Macs. Only instead of two Macs end to end, it's two extremes end to end. And the extremes are, like you said, let's not waste time duplicating things that we don't need more of.

01:39:34   And let's make two bigger chips that when combined, when either in a single or a double configuration, make sense for the Mac Pro. That is also a viable path forward, I feel like.

01:39:43   The other thing too is the cost of, if we actually got this thing to a quad, right now, if you have a Mac Studio to go from the Macs to the Ultra, so basically the single to the double, is a $1,400 to $2,000 option.

01:40:01   The Mac Pro with the "double", the Ultra, the Mac Pro with the double right now is an $8,000 machine. Would it be $12,000 to start with a quad? Maybe.

01:40:14   Someone did do that article saying the new 2023 Mac Pro in its maximum expensive configuration is $40,000 cheaper than the 2019 was. Why? Because when you brought the 2019 one up, like if you want that 56-core Xeon, Intel charges you a ton. Apple charges you even more on top of that.

01:40:34   The 2019 Mac Pro was a more expensive machine than this one. So yes, doubling it into the quad would make it more expensive, but it still wouldn't come close to matching the 2019 because everything in that was so expensive.

01:40:48   Going up to the high end, the high end was only 28-core, and going to 28-core was like add $5,000 or something like that.

01:40:54   So I don't think cost is an issue here. First of all, Apple gets to keep all these profit margins without giving any to Intel, and second of all, they're not shy about adding $5,000 to the price. No problem.

01:41:04   I hope this goes in that direction in the future. I hope that Apple knows that this is a compromise and maybe a temporary placeholder until the chip situation gets better for this product. Because again, I love the way Apple Silicon has worked out for all the other Macs. It's fantastic.

01:41:28   Just for this particular product, as the rumors of this product existing have been going around for years, we kept saying on this show, how are they going to get around issue XYZ with Apple Silicon? And the answer is they didn't. They didn't get around any of it, and they probably won't.

01:41:44   And if you looked at them on the talk show live when Turnus was up there talking, they did not seem like they were super duper enthusiastic boosters and defenders of this machine. Not that they were lukewarm on it or were down on it or anything like that, but the reaction they had wasn't like, "What are you talking about? This is the most amazing machine we've ever made."

01:42:04   Their response was measured. So they're not going to come out and say, "We wish we could have made the quad." And by the way, people are pointing out in the chat, or they threw out a name from my youth, which they can bring back, and I would highly encourage this.

01:42:17   Quadra. I lusted after a Quadra. It had a 68-40 in it. The 4 Quadra, get it? Oh, they made a quad and called it, "Bring back the Quadra name?" Hell, they're bringing back the Apple vision name. "Bring back the Quadra name." Anyway.

01:42:28   M3 Quadra. That sounds good. But didn't nobody like the Quadra? Wasn't that like the beige box era?

01:42:35   No, the Quadras were amazing. Nobody could afford them. I could only see them in the computer store. The only time I ever got to touch them, but they were amazing.

01:42:43   No Apple person is going to come out and say, "We're really disappointed in the new computer we just put out." They're going to tout its strengths, and it does have strengths, and they touted them. But it didn't seem like they were...

01:42:58   Just think of how Schiller was beaming about the trash can. They were so proud of that computer. They thought they had done an amazing job and knocked it out of the park. It turns out they kind of didn't, but they thought they did.

01:43:08   And I did not get that vibe from any Apple person talking about the 2023 Mac Pro. So I feel like they know what's up. Now, does that mean they know what's up in terms of this thing is going down the tubes and they're not going to make any more of these?

01:43:19   Or does that mean they know what's up and in the M3 they've got different plans?

01:43:23   Speaking of the talk show, I was expecting some sort of victory tour from a Mr. John Siracusa about something that was said on the talk show, and I heard nothing because that's really not your style. But it seems pretty damn clear to me, and I don't know if it's because a birdie told them or because a delivery actually was successful, but it was pretty clear to me that they understood that the Mac Pro Believe shirt exists, and they have seen a copy of it.

01:43:52   And I will put my own YouTube clip. This is the first time I've ever used a YouTube clips feature. I also thought it looked exactly like the Overcast clips feature. But anyways, I'll put a YouTube clip in the show notes. Yeah, they definitely knew about the shirt, and that makes me extremely, extremely happy.

01:44:07   Well, I do wonder what they think about the shirt. I think, I mean, Jaws was putting the Happy Face on it and saying, "You got the Believe shirts and we delivered the Mac Pro. Isn't that what you wanted?" It's like, kind of.

01:44:16   You delivered a Mac Pro.

01:44:18   Yeah, let's talk a little more. I mean, better than not introducing it. Like, thumbs up there, but we should have a conversation about this Mac Pro.

01:44:28   Yeah, the two Apple executives clearly know that this show exists, and yet only one of us can get an invite to WWDC. Not that I'm bitter!

01:44:35   Gruber didn't do us the kindness of saying where the shirts came from. He used a passive voice and said, "Shirts have been printed." Who printed those shirts, I wonder? We'll never know.

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01:46:43   [Music]

01:46:46   Let's talk gaming, particularly, I guess not specifically on the Mac Pro, just gaming in general. There's been a lot of news with regard to the game development toolkit.

01:46:58   And I think, Jon, you are certainly the most appropriate person of the three of us to talk that over. So what's going on there?

01:47:03   In the keynote, they talked about it. They're like, "Hey, port your games to the Mac. If you've got a Windows game, you can use this cool tool we have that will run your Windows game right on the Mac.

01:47:11   And you can see what kind of performance it will be like. And then based on that, you can use our amazing tools to help port your shaders to Metal and to rebuild your game on our APIs.

01:47:20   And it will run even better than it does in this little test environment. You can find the source code to this. We'll put a link in the show notes.

01:47:28   This is an open source patch to a bunch of open source stuff that was existing. Interestingly, Apple's patch, I saw Christina Warren say this, and I don't know if it's actually true.

01:47:39   But in the heat of the moment during Monday's keynote, I think she was saying, because of open source, like GPL licensing type stuff or whatever, they didn't submit patches to the actual open source projects.

01:47:52   Instead, they submitted a patch to Homebrew, the package manager for Macs. So when you install it, the Homebrew package that Apple added will modify the open source software.

01:48:03   But because it's part of Homebrew and not part of the open source package, the licensing is different. I don't know if that's true, but the bottom line is it is a Homebrew thing. It's like 20,000 lines of code in a Homebrew thing.

01:48:11   And what it messes with is something called Proton, which is, we'll put a link in the show notes to that. This is right from the people who make Proton.

01:48:19   Proton is a tool released by Valve Software that is integrated with Steam Play to make playing Windows games on Linux simple.

01:48:25   Proton comprises other popular tools like Wine and DXVX, among others that a gamer would otherwise have to install and maintain themselves. This greatly eases the burden for users to switch to Linux without having to learn the underlying systems or losing access to a large library of games.

01:48:38   Proton is still in its infancy, so support is inconsistent but regularly improving.

01:48:43   For those who don't know what that whole big thing means, you know the Steam Deck, which is a handheld thing where you play Windows games? That thing runs Linux.

01:48:52   How does a Linux thing run Windows games? This is how.

01:48:55   And so Apple's thing uses this, and also there's an existing Apple product called, Mac product called CrossOver, third party product called CrossOver.

01:49:04   CrossOver from their website is the easiest way to run many Microsoft applications on your Mac without a clunky Windows emulator.

01:49:09   It is not an emulator. It does the work of translating Windows commands into Mac commands so that you can run Windows software as if it were designed native to the Mac.

01:49:16   That's existed for many many years. Wine has existed for many many years. Apple has done some work to make this whole setup work on Apple Silicon Macs.

01:49:25   And from Gokhan Avkaragullari, who is the director of software engineering at Apple working on GPU stuff, he posted this I believe to Mastanon.

01:49:33   He said, "We built a DXIL to MetalLib converter." DXIL I imagine is DirectX intermediary language and MetalLib is the library that implements Metal.

01:49:42   "We built a DXIL to MetalLib converter and a DirectX 11 and 12 to Metal runtime translator. Non-graphics APIs are translated by Wine, which is that open source project that converts Windows calls to Mac calls.

01:49:53   But we don't use any tech from MoltenVK or DXVK or Sperv, Cross, etc. The shader converter can be shipped by games and can be used in the game development asset pipeline."

01:50:03   So what did Apple do? They wrote the required translators to talk to Metal from the modern DirectX APIs. Metal as it runs on ARM.

01:50:13   This is kind of the piece that Apple is best positioned to do because who knows how to write really good GPU drivers for Apple Silicon GPUs.

01:50:20   The people who work at Apple who write those drivers for Mac. And this was the missing piece for getting Wine, Crossover, Proton, all these open source projects to play Windows games on Apple Silicon Macs better.

01:50:32   And so everybody is saying I'm going to try out this "porting toolkit" and they're like, "Hey, I put Diablo 4 on my MacBook and it runs amazingly through this, you know, don't call it an emulator, not an emulator translation layer."

01:50:45   Now, Apple's pitch for this is, "Use this to see how your games are, Windows game developer, and if they seem like they're okay, you should port them to Mac."

01:50:54   And I imagine a Windows developer is going to be like, "Why would I port them? They already run okay."

01:50:58   Now, here's the difference. I read that description of Proton and talked about the Steam Deck for a reason, right?

01:51:04   The reason people buy the Steam Deck and play with it, and maybe they don't even know it runs Linux, right, because they're just playing like the same Windows games you know.

01:51:13   You know why they're able to do that? Because Valve, the company that runs Steam, has taken the burden upon themselves to take these "Steam games," which are just Windows games, and make sure they work on their Linux handheld.

01:51:27   They make sure the ports work, they make sure all the controls work, they make sure the performance is good, they qualify them to work on the hardware that they sell.

01:51:35   They are taking that responsibility. Valve is the company that's working on Proton, this translation layer.

01:51:40   Valve doesn't make all those games. They sell the games and take a cut of them, like App Store and Time Model, right?

01:51:44   But they don't make all those games. But Valve has put themselves in the position of being the responsible party.

01:51:49   Valve says, "We have a platform called Steam Deck. It runs Linux, but you don't need to know that.

01:51:54   In Game Developer, we are going to make sure that your games run okay on it, and so you can sell them to people on the Steam Deck, and those users won't have to worry about any of this crap.

01:52:02   They don't have to worry about emulation, they don't have to worry about downloading a weird thing, they don't have to worry about it's not going to work, or the performance is not going to be good. We're going to take care of that."

01:52:09   Apple, very pointedly, is not doing any of that. They're saying, "Game Developers, here's some tools. Do what we want you to do, which is to port your games natively to the Mac."

01:52:18   And no game developers can do that, because there are so few Mac users who want to buy games.

01:52:22   Apple Arcade is like, "Oh, these are native games, you can run them on all our platforms, that's great."

01:52:28   But the entire world of Windows games, Valve recognized that if they wanted to have a platform that was not running Windows and therefore not beholden to Microsoft, they would make that platform on Linux, which is what they did, but it needs to run Windows games, because that's where all the games are.

01:52:41   So I think this environment is really cool, but what's missing is a business commitment from Apple to do what Valve is doing. Because remember, Valve, that's a real platform.

01:52:52   I don't think Valve is demanding that people make Linux games, although there are native Linux games, right?

01:52:57   Valve is committed to making Windows games run well on its Linux handheld.

01:53:02   Apple is not committed to making Windows games run well on Macs. They're committed to trying to figure out if they can get more Windows developers to port their games.

01:53:11   And honestly, a bad port of a Windows game to a Mac will probably run slower than that game running through Wine, DVX, these Metal Dibs or whatever, which is sad but true.

01:53:22   So this is really cool technical stuff, but continues to kind of highlight Apple's non-commitment to gaming on the Mac.

01:53:30   And then we have more bad news in that department. An anonymous ex-Apple employee that worked on, I guess didn't necessarily work on gaming, but worked on gaming inside Apple.

01:53:43   They wrote, "Man, you have no idea. It's so much more screwed up in so many weird ways than you would ever believe."

01:53:51   Ducked!

01:53:52   It's so much more ducked! "The only reason any core tech for games is getting built is because Nat Brown is still there, for now holding it down on the engineering side.

01:54:01   The business side is the big issue, and it's really an executive issue. Mike Rockwell hates games, which makes me sad about the future of games on Vision Pro. Once Phil is gone, it's gonna get worse."

01:54:10   And then, John, I think you pulled out a little snippet from the talk show, is that right?

01:54:15   Yeah, this is another sort of tea-leave reading from the talk show live, which is why this show is so valuable. You get to hear Apple execs talk without prepared remarks, and you get to hear their actual voice.

01:54:23   Mike Rockwell was out there talking about the Vision Pro. He had one snippet that's vaguely related to this, and he said, "We wanted the Vision Pro to be useful, and we wanted to build an incredibly powerful tool, not a toy.

01:54:34   And that drove a whole set of decisions around making these displays that have incredible resolution so you can read text."

01:54:39   And we'll put a YouTube clip to this in there. I even put a little audio link in case Marco wants to.

01:54:45   The part of this that's relevant is they wanted to build an incredibly powerful tool, not a toy.

01:54:51   Now, if you have an uncharitable interpretation, you could say, "Boy, when Mike Rockwell said 'not a toy,' I can tell he hates games."

01:54:58   Or what he's really saying is just, "We wanted to make sure the screens look good so you could read text."

01:55:03   Or what he's saying is that gaming headsets don't care that much about resolution because frame rate and graphics power is more important.

01:55:10   You can read it tons of different ways, but here is one random anonymous person from inside Apple saying Mike Rockwell "hates games," which is obviously some kind of exaggeration.

01:55:20   But it seems like Mike Rockwell, who was in charge of the headset, did not have, again, high-end gaming or any kind of gaming in mind when designing this thing, because it's supposed to be a powerful tool.

01:55:32   Not a toy.

01:55:34   Well, for whatever it's worth, first of all, I came away from this whole thing thinking pretty highly of Mike Rockwell.

01:55:42   He seems like not only a very, very smart person, but also a very broadly smart person.

01:55:50   He's smart about a lot of different areas. I would first of all not underestimate or simplify him too much.

01:55:57   But also if you look at the headset market that has existed so far, it has been mostly a gaming market.

01:56:06   And what we've seen is in that context, games on a whole, games are a big category of thing, but VR gaming really is not a big category.

01:56:17   And really has not set the world on fire and has not proven to have tons of broad appeal or necessarily lasting value for other people.

01:56:25   So in the context that Mike Rockwell has worked the headset, I can see why taking gaming seriously has not been a super high priority for them.

01:56:35   We don't even know that it hasn't been a priority. This is one anonymous source versus one statement that's only vaguely created.

01:56:40   It's just more of an example. You can read this both ways depending on what mood you're in.

01:56:44   Because we don't know how much, you know, he hates games. Like, what does that even mean? He hates to play games? That's, you know, whatever.

01:56:51   But what we can tell is what Apple produces is not a gaming focused headset, which is perfectly fine and perfectly fair.

01:56:57   And I think, to your point, a smart move because it's not like VR gaming has set the world on fire.

01:57:01   VR gaming has existed for years and years and it is not, I'm not even going to say it, it hasn't caught on.

01:57:06   But when you can get one for your PlayStation for a fairly low price and the attach rate to the PS5 is as low as it is, it hasn't caught on.

01:57:16   You know, it's, I mean, and so I don't blame it for not doing it, but in terms of gaming at Apple, we know the entire organization is setting aside the headset.

01:57:23   The entire organization doesn't seem to be super into games and this person is saying like, once Phil is gone, it's going to get worse.

01:57:28   Is Phil our gaming champion? He's got his, what, doesn't he have like the VR driving rig at home or whatever the rumor is, right?

01:57:34   But I wouldn't call him like a super duper, like the champion of games at Apple. He's just a powerful person at Apple who knows the game exists and likes to play them.

01:57:42   And I think we need more of those people, not less. And you know, Mike Rockwell, like, I don't think, if you're going to put someone, pin Apple's approach to gaming on someone, it's not the guy who did the vision pro.

01:57:53   He seems like he did a great job with that and gaming is not his responsibility, but he also doesn't seem like he's a champion of gaming either.

01:58:01   So our anonymous friend continues, the overall issue with Mac games could easily be solved or at least helped in a meaningful way through clever diplomacy with Valve or Steam.

01:58:09   Epic is obviously dead to Apple now. Which is a shame because Epic is kind of important in the world of gaming because of their Unreal Engine.

01:58:15   Yep. But if you ask Valve, the biggest issue they've had is Apple's reluctance to commit to ongoing support of the technology, which is accurate and true.

01:58:23   That's why Apple has trouble in the gaming space because anybody they talk to, if it's somebody with a long memory, they're going to be like, we've done this before and you always bail on us and it sucks.

01:58:32   And if it's a new person, they're going to be like, Apple, you don't have anything to do with games. And so they've kind of made their bed here and this would be a difficult thing to turn around even if they wanted to, but it seems like they don't want to.

01:58:42   Well, I think overall, you know, I think there, I believe it was either Jaws or Craig made this comment during the talk show, but, you know, if you look at the Mac gaming market, I think it was Craig.

01:58:53   If you look at the Mac gaming market, one of the challenges they faced over time is that they were using these crappy Intel integrated GPUs for most of their products.

01:59:02   You know, like the average Mac sold, you know, most Mac sold were like MacBook Airs and stuff that had just, you know, no GPU power from these, from these little dumb Intel chips.

01:59:11   Now the hardware is much better at the base levels for gaming.

01:59:16   So maybe, I mean, obviously Apple has lots of problems getting game developers to care about them. Like there's a lot of challenges there on multiple levels, but at least that one big one of, you know, most of your hardware can't play games very well.

01:59:30   That is dramatically improved now. Now, like the Apple Silicon GPUs are so much better, even the lowest end one in like, you know, the regular old M1 is so far ahead of Intel's crappy old GPUs in similar products.

01:59:48   Like, so at least that problem is alleviated now. So there, so it isn't like nothing has changed. Things have, like the environment has changed significantly. So I think the odds of getting a healthy Mac gaming ecosystem going are, I wouldn't say they're great, but they're better than ever now.

02:00:07   And they are significantly different than where they were, you know, three or five years ago.

02:00:11   Yeah. I remember when that point came up, that's good to bring that up because it is like, and what we're not saying is like, oh, Mac GPUs are good now. Here's the important point.

02:00:19   The addressable market for your game, if you're a game developer, is going to get bigger because previously you could sell to 1% of Mac users and everyone else couldn't run your game.

02:00:28   Now you're basically going to be able to sell to 100% of them because there are no Mac, you know, Apple Silicon things that are useless for games. Every single one of them is gaming capable.

02:00:38   Is it going to be amazing? Amazing frame rates at amazing? No, but there is not a single one that does not have a GPU that can play a modern game reasonably.

02:00:46   And that has never been true before. We still have to wait for a lot of turnover. Maybe we'll got to get rid of their Intel Macs. People got to get new ones or whatever.

02:00:52   But the addressable market was essentially going to be 100%. Now is 100% of the Mac market attractive enough? It's more attractive than 5%, right?

02:01:01   But you still have an uphill battle. So it's kind of an if you build it, they will come. If you build it, you'll be able to have more reasonable conversations.

02:01:09   But you still have to talk to them, Apple. So I think the situation is looking up. And I hope that comment coming out, I hope that means that maybe they're seeing that in their conversation with gamers.

02:01:18   Like that's part of their game developers, that's part of their pitch. It's like, I know you don't want to talk to us because none of our users can run your games.

02:01:24   But pretty soon they'll all be able to run your games. And so now are you interested? And they might go, eh, still not interested. But you know, it's a positive move for sure.

02:01:33   All right, let's talk Sonoma. And I am not running any betas anywhere, including Sonoma. But John, based on Switch Glass stuff alone, I think you're running it. Is that right?

02:01:43   I am running it. I have two important things to report. First, number one, the notifications UI, where you try to mouse over the things to make the buttons appear and they squirm away and they disappear. I think they fixed it.

02:01:56   Oh, thank God.

02:01:58   I'm not willing to say 100 percent because I've only been in it a little bit. But I, I think they fixed it every single time a notification came up. And I just went to click on the button in the normal way that a person would. I was able to click on it.

02:02:10   Hallelujah.

02:02:11   And this is Sonoma Beta 1. So already I'm liking Sonoma.

02:02:14   That's good. So it's still a crappy looking design, but at least it will work better.

02:02:17   Yes. Well, then you can, at least you can click the button. At least you don't go to get it and it disappears. Big thing. Two years we had to deal. All right. Thing number two. My weird window dragging bug does not happen in Sonoma.

02:02:31   Oh, that's exciting.

02:02:34   Now, does it not happen because it's a clean install?

02:02:37   Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

02:02:39   Or does it not happen because it's fixed? I think it's fixed. And the reason I think it's fixed is because I've been tearing every single third party thing out of my computer for months now.

02:02:48   I made two brand new fresh accounts with nothing in them called Test 1 and Test 2. And I used those accounts and didn't log into my other accounts. There's nothing in them. They're not signed into any Apple IDs. They're clean as clean can be on a clean system with no third party anything. And it still happens in venture 13.4. Does not happen in Sonoma.

02:03:08   So right away, I'm going to say that I am liking Sonoma so far. Good. How's system settings? Still not great.

02:03:20   Thanks to our sponsors this week. Backblaze, Notion, and Eagle 9 Locked. And thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join us at atp.fm/join. And we will talk to you next week.

02:03:34   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin. Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental. John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him. Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

02:03:57   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 Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

02:04:16   N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N-S-I-R-A-C. U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A. It's accidental. They didn't mean to. Accidental. Tech podcast so long.

02:04:36   All right. So earlier today, you know, Wednesday morning is my time to look at all the links that just copious amounts of links that Marco and only Marco has put into the show notes document and make sure I'm caught up. So I know what I'm talking about in the evening.

02:04:51   And at the top of our internal show notes document, our Google doc, we have a few sections and one of them is After Show. And sometimes we'll have things here. A lot of times we won't. But this week we have the following and my interest is very, very piqued.

02:05:07   It says After Show. John's special treat. What's going on, John?

02:05:13   Well, you've heard my my take on the new Mac Pro and how it's it's a good thing, but also a bad thing. And I'm slightly disappointed and I'm not going to buy one.

02:05:24   Even in the Mac studio, I'm going to wait for the M3, even though the M2 one is pretty darn good. And so I kind of have this and I didn't get to go to W.E.C. and so in typical Casey fashion, I'm thinking, well, I think I'll go to W.E.C.

02:05:37   I would have paid a lot for that plane flight. But now I have that. Is that is that counted as extra money? Oh, my God. Yes, it does.

02:05:42   And you know what? I thought to myself, as the Internet would say, John's can have a little SSD storage as a treat.

02:05:50   OK. I was hoping you bought a Mac studio. Yeah. Right. Same. Because what you should do. Yes. This is more important than that.

02:05:58   I have finally said goodbye to spinning rust in my Mac. Oh, that's exciting.

02:06:05   I have had a hard drive in my Mac since my Mac plus. So it used to be under the computer. My Mac plus in 1986 or whatever that was.

02:06:12   My Mac 128 K upgraded motherboard internal upgrade to a plus, which is a thing you could do back then, believe it or not.

02:06:18   You could upgrade your computer. Well, a fish apple would sell you an upgrade to upgrade your original Macintosh to a Mac.

02:06:25   Plus, you'd swap the motherboard, the the the back case, the analog board.

02:06:30   You would leave the CRT in there, I believe you swap the floppy drive. Anyway, I've had a spinning hard drive for all that time.

02:06:36   Part of the reason I love the big tower computers is because you can have internal storage.

02:06:41   And over the years, that internal storage has usually taken the form of spinning hard drives.

02:06:46   The the the big the original cheese grater had sleds like four different sleds with three point five and hard drives on it where you could slide things.

02:06:53   It was awesome. Loved it. 2019 Mac Pro had to buy this to invent piece of metal, but it's got a place for spinning hard drives.

02:06:59   And I put them in there. And why did I put them in there? Because spinning hard drives are really cheap per megabyte.

02:07:06   They're still really cheap per megabyte. But over the years, having spinning hard drives has become more and more annoying.

02:07:12   Obviously, they're slow. Also, I've had to do all sorts of Unix shenanigans to get them to spin up and spin down.

02:07:18   I had that whole thing that would like wake my Mac up in the middle of the night and spin up my time machine drive and mounted into a time machine,

02:07:24   back up and unmounted, which also meant that I couldn't run time machine during the day because I didn't want that drive spinning up when it did time machine backups.

02:07:31   Right. And everything is slow. When I was doing Sonoma, I was without all of my little Unix scripty things that deal with my drives.

02:07:37   And so they were constantly spinning up and they're driving me crazy. And then during my various reboots in and out of Sonoma,

02:07:42   I accidentally booted off my clone drive because I have a super duper clone drive in there as well.

02:07:46   Oh, no. Which, of course, I didn't realize because it looks exactly the same because it's a freaking clone.

02:07:50   But I noticed when logging in was taking 30 minutes. Oh, my word.

02:07:55   Because spinning hard drives are slow. APFS is not designed for spinning hard drives. And yeah, they're cheap per megabyte.

02:08:00   But you know what? I decided it was time. So I replaced my spinning disks with the cheapest SSDs.

02:08:08   I got the cheapest, slowest SSDs I could possibly find that are exactly the same size as the spinning drives that they replaced.

02:08:15   Those spinning drives were bought three years ago. One of them, by the way, came with a better piece of metal.

02:08:18   So it's not really a $400 piece of metal. It was a $400 8GB, 8TB hard drive plus a better piece of metal.

02:08:23   So I replaced my internal 4TB and my internal 8TB spinning disks with internal 4 and 8TB SSDs.

02:08:31   Now there is nothing spinning inside my computer and it is glorious. I finally made it.

02:08:37   It took me such a long time because I'm such a cheapskate. But now I can leave my time machine drive mounted all day and it doesn't make any noise.

02:08:46   I still leave my clone drive unmounted for safety and it still wakes up in the night and goes back. But no noise.

02:08:53   I did have one last challenge with the bent piece of metal. Because what I was buying was basically SATA SSDs.

02:08:59   They're going to be connected to SATA ports and they're cheap. Rather than buying a PCI express card that's fast and NVME storage.

02:09:06   No, that's too expensive. I need it to be cheap. So I bought cheap SATA SSDs and I took out the 3.5 inch drives.

02:09:13   You can mount a 2.5 inch SATA SSD thing in there. You can just buy these little adapters that make it fit into the screw holes of a 3.5 inch type of thing.

02:09:23   So I did. I bought one of those for like $7 and put it in there. And it was like, "Oh, a single sled can hold two of these tiny little..."

02:09:29   Because you've seen a 2.5 inch SSD. They're really skinny. They're not even the size of 2.5 inch spinning disks.

02:09:35   So I bought one sled, put the two SSDs in there, took the bent piece of metal out, took the hard drives out. They're so big and heavy.

02:09:42   That bent piece of metal is actually, granted it's $400 with an 8 terabyte drive, but it's got rubber isolation mounts and it's really solid.

02:09:50   And what am I putting in this rubber isolated frame thing? Two tiny little solid straight drives that have no moving parts.

02:09:56   They weigh like as much as a feather. So it's so ridiculous. But I put them in there and they're stacked on top of each other.

02:10:01   And then I was putting the thing back inside my computer and I realized I can't fit the connectors on it.

02:10:07   Because the connectors are right angle connectors and these two SSDs are right on top of each other and you can't put two right angle connectors right on top of each other.

02:10:14   I could have flipped them so they went the opposite directions, right? But the wire, the SATA power and data cable that came with the bent piece of metal is so precisely fit that if you do not have the ports exactly where they would be on a 3.5 inch drive, the wires don't reach.

02:10:35   So no, I couldn't flip one over and have them work like that. Forget it.

02:10:39   What I also realized is that the sled that I bought didn't put the port in the same place as it would on a 3.5 inch drive. It put it dead in the middle.

02:10:49   And that's not where it is. If you look at the 3.5 inch hard drive, like a SATA hard drive, the port is to one side of the edge. It's not in the middle.

02:10:56   These wires are so precisely made that if you have the ports in the middle, you can't connect both of them without basically tearing the wires apart.

02:11:08   Because one of them reaches on the left and one of them reaches slightly higher and to the right and that's it.

02:11:13   Oh, you want them both in the middle? Just move each one over a centimeter? Oh, nope, can't do it anymore.

02:11:18   The wires are straining and pulling. Oh my god, yes, I could have just bought more SATA cables. But the precision of these cables is kind of like when I talked about my Logitech 4K camera.

02:11:27   It comes with a tiny little cable that's exactly the right length to fit from the thing to the back of the XDR. I love that.

02:11:34   That's why people make PCs, they get exactly the right length wire with no extra wire anywhere. That's what I want inside my computer.

02:11:41   So I had to buy a second caddy that was offset and now they fit in the bent piece of metal. So one last go around with the bent piece of metal for the realities of the inside of this computer.

02:11:53   Which by the way, the inside of this computer, this is part of the joys of my 2019 Mac Pro. People wonder why I buy this stupid thing.

02:11:59   Every time I open this thing up, it's like a joy. It's a work of art in there. There are no wires anywhere.

02:12:05   It's not like they neatly routed the cables like they did on the Power Mac G5 or the G4 or the G3. There's no wires to be routed.

02:12:11   It is a thing of beauty. Except for the SATA cables for the stupid bent piece of metal. So I damned if those things weren't going to be perfect.

02:12:20   I didn't want to go buy other cables. I didn't want them to be bent or kinked or torn apart or untaped and re-taped. So I got them to fit.

02:12:27   And now my computer is silent and I have these SSDs, which yes, they're horrendously slow.

02:12:36   They're quarter, a fifth the speed of my main SSD, but it doesn't matter because they're so much faster than spinning disks and they don't make any noise and I'm loving it.

02:12:46   Congratulations, Jon. This is like when Apple stopped selling the non-retina iMac. This is an important part of my life because everyone's like, "Oh, SSDs, SSDs."

02:12:58   And I've had them for years and years, but I've always had spinning disks because I couldn't stay away from the bargain. They were so cheap.

02:13:05   And now all I do is turn my eye towards the Synology and say, "You know if I could fill that with 22 terabyte drives."

02:13:12   Well, it's funny you say that because just earlier today, Paul Haddad, who is working on Ivory, the Mastodon client, did Tweetbot before it.

02:13:22   He too did "Getting so close to an all-flash network-attached storage," and it's a screenshot of Amazon showing the prototypical Samsung SSD, 8 terabytes for $400.

02:13:34   Now $400 is a lot of money, but for 8 terabytes, that's really not bad at all.

02:13:38   No, that's what I got. I should find the links to the show notes. I bought Samsung name-brand SSDs, like "good SSDs," but they're SATA SSDs.

02:13:47   They're stepping through a straw. Someone put it in the chat room and said, "600 megabytes per second," which is maybe a tenth of the speed of my boot drive.

02:13:53   The SATA interface itself is the limit here, obviously not the SSD. But it's fine. I'm using it for it. It's a time machine drive and a clone drive.

02:14:01   I haven't actually booted from the clone drive yet, but boy, it's got to be faster than that spinning disk.

02:14:05   But most importantly, no noise.

02:14:06   No.

02:14:07   (imitates loud whirring)

02:14:08   of the spinning up.

02:14:10   No.

02:14:10   (imitates spinning up)

02:14:12   Just, that's what it would sound like.

02:14:13   It would sound not just like an old hard drive,

02:14:14   like tiktoktiktok, like, just,

02:14:17   you have no idea how much disc there is in modern Mac OS,

02:14:20   because it's designed for SSDs and who cares,

02:14:23   there's no, there's penalty for seeking,

02:14:24   there's no penalty for random access,

02:14:26   any location is the same as any other.

02:14:27   - Whee! - Not on a spinning disc.

02:14:29   So this is, this is a turning point.

02:14:31   And this is a turning point in my life.

02:14:33   The whole rest of my family has been living

02:14:35   in this reality for ages.

02:14:36   They don't have spinning discs.

02:14:37   Everything's been SSD as soon as Apple started shipping,

02:14:39   but I've always had the spinning discs.

02:14:41   I do still love having the internal storage though,

02:14:43   because, I mean, let me tell you,

02:14:44   there's room for way more inside there.

02:14:46   Like if I got, like I said,

02:14:47   if I got PCI cards with NVMe storage on them,

02:14:50   I can put even more, even faster storage,

02:14:51   it's all inside one box and I love it.

02:14:54   But I love the silence.

02:14:56   - I am excited for you, Jon.

02:14:57   I'm glad that you got yourself a treat.

02:14:59   I have not yet gotten myself a treat,

02:15:01   but earlier tonight I was thinking to myself,

02:15:04   I really, I really need to make moves

02:15:06   on replacing my Synology, 'cause I really feel,

02:15:09   even though everything sitting here now is fine.

02:15:12   - Shh, you're gonna jinx it.

02:15:14   - Everything sitting here now is fine

02:15:15   as I knock on the relay challenge block thing, whatever.

02:15:19   I feel like I'm going to have

02:15:21   some sort of catastrophic issue sooner rather than later.

02:15:24   - There's actually a story related to that.

02:15:26   So we have, you have the same drives as I have in yours,

02:15:28   right, the Western Digital Red?

02:15:30   - Yes, although many of mine have been replaced.

02:15:32   I don't think I'm full on Shippethisius yet, but I'm close.

02:15:35   - My Synology, which we were given these by Synology

02:15:38   back in the good old days

02:15:39   when people would give us free things.

02:15:40   - That was the best.

02:15:41   And this was what, nine years ago or something?

02:15:43   - Yeah, 2013, 10 years ago.

02:15:46   - Yeah, it was 10 years ago.

02:15:48   - 10 years ago, right, so they sent us these Synologies

02:15:50   for free, which is very nice of them, with hard drives.

02:15:53   And mine came with Western Digital Reds.

02:15:55   Every single one of those hard drives is still there.

02:15:57   10 years they've been spinning continuously

02:15:59   in the basement except for during power rages for 10 years.

02:16:02   - Oh my God.

02:16:03   - Every single hard drive is there.

02:16:04   - Where do you figure that out?

02:16:05   I forget now, storage manager?

02:16:07   - I mean, we know when we got them.

02:16:09   We got them in 2013.

02:16:10   - No, no, no, but you can go in the software

02:16:12   and see how old these drives are.

02:16:13   - The power on time, now here's the story related to that.

02:16:16   Western Digital recently got into some hot water

02:16:18   because their new Western Digital Reds

02:16:21   come with this new feature that's like,

02:16:23   oh, it's better than smart.

02:16:24   It will tell you more about the health of our drive.

02:16:25   I forget what it's called, like WDDA or something,

02:16:27   some Western Digital diagnostic thing.

02:16:29   And Synology supported this Western Digital diagnostic thing

02:16:33   but the Western Digital diagnostic thing,

02:16:35   one part of it was it had just a flat out timer.

02:16:38   It said, when three years have elapsed, fire off this thing.

02:16:41   And when it fired it off, the Synology would say,

02:16:44   whoa, this drive is damaged and it wouldn't let you

02:16:46   rebuild the RAID array on damaged drives.

02:16:49   And there was nothing wrong with this

02:16:51   except for three years had passed

02:16:52   and that pissed off everybody.

02:16:54   So Synology stopped supporting this thing and said,

02:16:56   we have learned we can't pay attention

02:16:57   to your stupid diagnostics.

02:16:58   So you're gonna pull schnauging and say,

02:16:59   oh, this drive is three years old.

02:17:02   You should really think about replacing it,

02:17:04   which is such a scummy thing to do.

02:17:05   'Cause again, it wasn't looking at the drive health at all.

02:17:07   It was just literally a timer.

02:17:09   And I have Western Digital Reds that are all 10 years old

02:17:12   and they're all doing fine,

02:17:14   knocking on all the wood in the entire world.

02:17:16   (laughing)

02:17:17   But yeah, I was looking at them like,

02:17:19   I would probably buy Western Digital Reds again.

02:17:21   These are great.

02:17:22   They also had a thing where they were trying

02:17:23   to sell shingled magnetic drives

02:17:24   but not telling people it was shingled.

02:17:25   Shingled is a way of jamming more data on

02:17:27   but it's not as reliable.

02:17:28   Western Digital has done some shady things lately

02:17:30   but the reliability numbers from back plays

02:17:33   for Western Digital drives still look pretty good.

02:17:35   But yeah, they've been in some hot water lately.

02:17:37   I'm kind of surprised to hear you've replaced

02:17:38   so many of those drives.

02:17:39   But then again, your Synology is maybe not in,

02:17:43   mine is in the, it's like people have wine cellars

02:17:45   or places for cheese and stuff.

02:17:47   My Synology is in my basement,

02:17:49   which is the most temperature mediated part of my house.

02:17:52   - You have a Synology cellar?

02:17:54   - Yeah, because it's underground.

02:17:56   But it's cool in the summer and stays warm in the winter

02:17:59   and we have a dehumidifier down there.

02:18:02   So it's a pretty controlled environment.

02:18:03   But they've literally been down there spinning for 10 years.

02:18:07   - So looking at my array, five of the eight disks

02:18:10   are three terabytes, which is what originally

02:18:12   got loaded with.

02:18:13   But I think a couple of those still have been replaced.

02:18:16   Like this one's 22,000 hours.

02:18:19   So yeah, I think only like one, maybe two of mine

02:18:22   are the originals.

02:18:23   - I mean the funny thing is now, just capacity-wise,

02:18:25   you could probably get away with two.

02:18:27   - Yeah, they make 22 terabyte drives now.

02:18:30   - Yeah, you could just get two drives and raid one

02:18:33   and be done.

02:18:33   - But what if you had eight 22 terabyte drives, Margot?

02:18:36   - Right, that's what I'm talking about.

02:18:38   No, so my initial thought, I don't have a model name

02:18:40   in front of me, but my initial thought is,

02:18:42   this is an 1813 plus, and so I was basically going

02:18:46   to get the 1823 plus, or whatever the closest equivalent is.

02:18:50   'Cause the way I remember it is eight indicates

02:18:52   the amount of drives, 23, or in my case 13,

02:18:55   indicates the year it was built.

02:18:57   And I was just gonna get whatever the newest version

02:18:59   of this is, but I wonder, like, I probably will do that

02:19:03   because I'm a dummy, but I wonder if I should go

02:19:06   like four or six bay instead, because as you pointed out,

02:19:10   Margot, you can get much, much, much bigger drives

02:19:12   than three terabytes now.

02:19:13   And most of mine in this, like, it's like 2/3

02:19:16   three terabytes than a handful of 10 terabytes.

02:19:19   But do I really need an eight bay NAS?

02:19:21   I probably don't. - No, you really don't.

02:19:23   - But, well, I mean, I know I can't talk to you about this

02:19:26   'cause you're not as into this as I am, but I don't know.

02:19:29   If you are a Synology person and have a thought,

02:19:32   I'm happy to hear it, but I don't know.

02:19:34   I just feel like it's about time that I get something new

02:19:38   and start the migration while it's happy.

02:19:42   - You gotta ride this out.

02:19:43   It's like the people who drive until they run out of gas

02:19:45   or they go as far as they possibly can,

02:19:46   you gotta ride it out.

02:19:47   When it dies, yeah, by all means get a new one.

02:19:49   But don't preemptively get a new one.

02:19:51   Yours is not as gold in its mind.

02:19:53   And by the way, I just looked at some of my drive hours.

02:19:55   I'm in the same ballpark, 85,760 hours,

02:19:58   which is like 9.7 years.

02:20:00   But yeah, I'm just riding this thing out until it goes.

02:20:01   But in terms of the bays,

02:20:03   I'm constantly shopping for Synologies

02:20:04   'cause I love doing that.

02:20:05   Sometimes to get the good stuff,

02:20:09   like the good networking 10 gig ethernet,

02:20:11   the good CPU, GPU, whatever for video encoding, right?

02:20:16   You end up having to get,

02:20:17   like the only choices are eight bay or six bay

02:20:19   or no, one of them I think are the only choices

02:20:21   are eight bay or 12 bay.

02:20:22   So sometimes you're forced to get more bays.

02:20:24   But just get 'em empty.

02:20:26   You can always fill 'em.

02:20:27   I would just fill them with this motley collection

02:20:29   of drives that I have.

02:20:31   I just freed up a four terabyte, an eight terabyte,

02:20:33   which are, and you don't wanna probably buy the 22s.

02:20:36   So you look at the backblaze.

02:20:37   Backblaze is our frequent sponsor

02:20:39   and backup provider that we all use.

02:20:41   - Actually sponsoring today.

02:20:42   - Yep, yeah.

02:20:43   They have tons of hard drives

02:20:45   and they have spinning hard drives 'cause they're cheap.

02:20:47   And they do a report on reliability of these

02:20:49   incredibly abused drive that they have literally

02:20:51   hundreds of, sometimes thousands.

02:20:53   So they have really good numbers on reliability.

02:20:56   And sometimes when you look at them,

02:20:57   you find out like, oh, this is the exact same drive

02:20:59   from the same manufacturer,

02:21:01   but the 22 terabyte drive has a reliability

02:21:04   that's twice as bad as the 16 terabyte drive or vice versa.

02:21:08   Like it's not even just that the bigger ones

02:21:10   have lower reliability.

02:21:11   It's just sometimes certain sizes have lower reliability

02:21:13   than certain other sizes.

02:21:14   And there's no formula for you to figure it out.

02:21:16   You just have to look at the numbers.

02:21:17   So when I was looking, it turned out that I think the 22s,

02:21:21   well, 22s, first of all, there aren't as much,

02:21:23   isn't that much data 'cause they're new,

02:21:24   but also they had less reliability than the 12s,

02:21:27   but the 16s were the best.

02:21:29   And so you try and wanna buy in that sweet spot.

02:21:32   I also did the math on like cost per gigabyte.

02:21:35   Let me pull that up.

02:21:36   - While you're looking at that drive stats

02:21:38   for quarter one, 2023 from backblaze,

02:21:41   236,893 hard drives of which there have been 889 failures.

02:21:47   - Yeah, they have lots of numbers.

02:21:48   Yeah, so the cheapest one per gigabyte or per megabyte

02:21:52   or whatever was the 18 terabyte, believe it or not.

02:21:55   It was $16 and 67 cents per gigabyte.

02:21:58   And the most expensive one was the two terabyte at $40.

02:22:02   So $40 per gigabyte versus 16.

02:22:04   That is the range in the Western Digital line.

02:22:06   And they vary, there's 18, 18, 16, 17, 18, 21, 25.

02:22:10   Like as the sizes get smaller,

02:22:11   they get less and less of a bargain.

02:22:12   So the sweet spot for cost is 18 terabyte.

02:22:15   And the sweet spot reliability, I think was the 16.

02:22:18   But anyway, look at those backblaze numbers.

02:22:20   And you too can have a magical Synology

02:22:22   that lasts for 10 years, longer than 10 years.

02:22:24   You hear me?

02:22:25   Stay good.

02:22:26   - Well, that's the thing is having lived through

02:22:29   and it happened to be early on in the pandemic

02:22:31   when it was difficult to do anything about it.

02:22:33   But having lived through

02:22:36   what I thought was a catastrophic failure,

02:22:38   I now have just an asinine amount of backups of my Synology.

02:22:44   I don't think it's quite Syracuse level,

02:22:45   but I am knocking on the door.

02:22:47   But anyways, I don't wanna go through,

02:22:50   I don't wanna have a desperation upgrade.

02:22:52   I'd rather have a casual upgrade.

02:22:54   And so because of that, I'm planning on,

02:22:57   I told the family chief financial officer,

02:23:00   chief family financial officer,

02:23:02   I told her that my plan is sometime this year

02:23:05   to go ahead and get a new one.

02:23:06   However, that was before I was mentally--

02:23:09   - Saving money for a headset.

02:23:11   - Right, and we're talking about similar money

02:23:13   to get a eight base Synology and loaded up full of drives.

02:23:15   - One of those is more fun than the other.

02:23:17   - And one of them is, well, I don't know,

02:23:19   you and I both get unreasonable.

02:23:21   - Synology is a lot of fun, but.

02:23:23   - Yeah, exactly.

02:23:25   So anyway, so I don't know what I'm gonna do.

02:23:27   I think I will upgrade at some point.

02:23:29   And I just a question of which one I get

02:23:33   and how many bays and so on and so forth.

02:23:35   But it's a good problem to have.

02:23:36   I'm very lucky that this is something

02:23:38   I can contemplate doing.

02:23:39   So it's not so bad.

02:23:41   And if you wanna make it easier on me, atp.fm/joy.

02:23:44   (laughing)

02:23:46   (beeping)