47: Better Pixels10 Jan 2014
“Needing” the Mac Pro, 4K’s chances in the market, Steam Boxes as gaming PC replacements, and a LAN-gaming retrospective.
- Follow-up: IBM AS/400 (aka System i) and single-level store.
- Marco's Retina theory.
- PS4 and Xbone sales.
- Trying to care about CES.
- Who "needs" the Mac Pro? Justifying toys and improving quality of life with smart purchases.
- Panasonic’s new LCD TVs compared to great TVs of the past.
- 4K on Fox Sports, 4K's color space, and the chances of 4K catching on quickly.
- A Steam Box (its controller) as a replacement for a gaming PC.
- Three old men reminiscing about their teenage gaming years:
- Null-modem cables, modems, and special networking software.
- Modem initialization strings and SLIP.
- What killed LAN parties? Perhaps it was great 4-player N64 games.
- Three Moves Ahead Podcast.
- Voodoo 3D cards, their silly cables, and Sound Blasters.
- Fracture: Photos printed in vivid color directly on glass. Use code ATP14 for 25% off. (Marco's app-icon Fractures)
- Ting: Mobile that makes sense. No contracts, and pay only for what you use.
- Squarespace: Everything you need to create an exceptional website. Use promo code MARCO for 10% off.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not as exciting as it sounds because you made me stop before I explain, but now I’ll explain you’ll see that It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not exciting So I’ve been looking at getting a different video card for
⏹️ ▶️ John my Mac to sort of tide me over and Looking into getting an SSD and doing all sorts of other things
⏹️ ▶️ John Since it doesn’t look like I’m getting a Mac Pro anytime soon And a lot of people when emailing me with suggestions
⏹️ ▶️ John of things to get and one person emailed me with an offer of an old Video card they had out of their 2008
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac Pro. I don’t remember if it was through the feedback form I don’t know if this person wants me to give out his name,
⏹️ ▶️ John so I won’t but someone said hey I’ve got a Radeon 4870 sitting in my closet
⏹️ ▶️ John that I’m not using do you want it? And I said sure and so they sent it along and it just arrived today
⏹️ ▶️ John I haven’t installed it yet, but that was a very nice thing to do and it is instead of being a seven-year-old
⏹️ ▶️ John video card It’s like a six or five year old video card But it’s twice as fast as the
⏹️ ▶️ John one I have in there now and it and it’s it’s an Apple supplied card so it’s not like a weird
⏹️ ▶️ John flash PC card or anything like that. So I think it should work, and if it works, I just doubled
⏹️ ▶️ John my video card speed. Wow. Told you it’s not very exciting, but you know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I also have some, a boring update to mine, which nobody will care about. Basically, I changed my order.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I previously said on the show that I ordered the 8-core D700 because what the hell, it’s not, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, the D8 core is a big jump, but the D700, once you’re at that level, relatively speaking, really isn’t.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I stepped back to the 6-core and D500 because after evaluating what was going on and the actual price,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I realized, you know, I don’t really want to have spent $2,100 total extra just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for those two upgrades, and that my actual usage of the thing, I’m probably not going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see that much of the benefit going from the 6-core to the 8-core, to be worth so much more money.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If it was only a few hundred dollars, I would have gone for it, but for $1,500 just for that, for $600 for the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco D700, which I’ll probably never use to its full capacity. I realized I’d be happier
⏹️ ▶️ Marco having spent a lot less on the computer. And then if I want to upgrade it in two
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or three years instead of five, I’ll feel less bad about selling a two or three old one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was only just under $5,000 instead of one that was just over $7,000. So that’s a pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco big price difference. I didn’t think it was worth the other ones for me.
⏹️ ▶️ John when the when the retina displays come out and you ditch this trash can for a newer trash can
⏹️ ▶️ John it would have been better if you had the 700 in there so I would it would be more attractive to me to buy your old one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah but so I wrote a big blog post about an hour ago mostly so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we wouldn’t have to go into this in too much depth on the show
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to save Casey I know it is this is entirely a favor to Casey I wrote this up in a blog post instead basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The gist of it is, I think that the way they’re going to do Retina is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not, you know, two years off doing 5120x2880. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think what they’re actually going to do is using 4K and just using software scaling, as we actually talked
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about, like, two months ago. I think that’s what they’re going to do, and I think that’s probably coming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up soon. Like that could easily happen this year. I mean, they could release the display today if they wanted to.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, other manufacturers are releasing very similar displays at very good price points, So I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think that’s how they’re going to do Retina, and therefore I think it will be compatible with the current
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so follow-up time?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Let’s do it. We need a sound effect for that. The prompt has a sound effect, and I kind of wish… I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t know if we could pull it off. They could pull it off, because those guys are cool, but I don’t know if we can.
⏹️ ▶️ John Follow-up has no sound effect. That is the sound effect. All right, get it. Oh, yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John So the top item, a couple weeks ago maybe, I don’t remember when, maybe it was even last We
⏹️ ▶️ John talked about how I talked about one of my pet peeves about software development, and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John having a group of people make a product and then having all those people leave and just having
⏹️ ▶️ John like a skeleton crew there to deal with the product. And we’re talking about this in the context of Apple’s I live apps and their
⏹️ ▶️ John their I work apps and all the other apps that have seemed to sort of languish and as years have gone by and we’re speculating,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe it’s because most of the people who are on that product were taken off to go someplace else. And I said,
⏹️ ▶️ John you got to leave the development team on a product. Like once you make a product, you can’t take those
⏹️ ▶️ John people off. And one person wrote in to disagree with me
⏹️ ▶️ John that it wasn’t a good idea to make people get stuck on a product like that, because what if they want to go off and do something else?
⏹️ ▶️ John They shouldn’t have to stay with the product they created. So and so forth. And I tried to clarify this in the program, but apparently it wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John clear enough. So I just want to say it again. It’s not that the people who make the product have to stay with their product.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s that the company has to dedicate manpower to that product. as long as it exists.
⏹️ ▶️ John So you can’t, like a similar level of effort and manpower has to be applied to a product.
⏹️ ▶️ John You’re like, well, what are all those people doing? I don’t want to have a full-size team on a product that’s just going through minor
⏹️ ▶️ John revisions year after year. As any single developer knows, even just keeping up
⏹️ ▶️ John with the OS revisions is almost as big a job as writing the app in the first place. In some ways it’s worse, in some
⏹️ ▶️ John ways it’s easier, but presumably you’re also going to improve the product as time goes on. And if you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John put a team similar in size capability to the team that made the product on the product,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, permanently, more or less, it will slowly get worse in in relation to the competition
⏹️ ▶️ John in relation to other applications. And that seems to be what’s happening with a lot of apples applications. So just to clarify,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not saying that if you’re a developer, and you make an image editing app, you’re doomed forever in that company to to
⏹️ ▶️ John work on image editing out forever, you are not, but there you have to leave a team behind more or
⏹️ ▶️ John less, and not a tiny little maintenance team or a team of like B and C players or
⏹️ ▶️ John any other way where you think you’re going to save money or time, you’re doing your company and your customers a disservice.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s hard and it’s also interesting with consulting because in my experience,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what happens is a company will either not have the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey manpower or perhaps the expertise to do some sort of project.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so in my day job, they’ll call in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some of our people. We don’t do staff log, despite the way I just described it. What we really do is that we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey get a team of our own people together, and we’ll work on this project
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for usually a few months. And then at the end of that project, typically what happens is we’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have a very small crew that stays behind, figuratively speaking, in order to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do some final maintenance and warranty work. But then after that, we usually punt
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it back to the client and their internal team in order to maintain. And sometimes that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey goes really well when clients have really good internal teams and kind of know what’s up. But sometimes that does
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not go well at all. And we hear later on through the grapevine that the client doesn’t have the appropriate
⏹️ ▶️ Casey expertise even when they think they do. And that creates some real problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I mean, there’s not much we can do about that because it sounds extremely self-serving. And it is kind of self-serving
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for us to say, oh, well, why don’t you keep us on retainer forever?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And we’ll be around just in case. It’s just not the way it works. And especially when you work for a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fairly progressive firm like I do, well, granted, we do the Microsoft stack, which some of you probably don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey think is progressive. But within our Microsoft world, we’re very progressive. And in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of our code, a novice or even intermediate level programmer would probably have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a hard time digesting. doubly so if there if it’s a programmer that’s never
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seen the code until the time in which we throw it over the wall and walk away.
⏹️ ▶️ John That happens even inside a single company forget about outside consultants or anything very often. And maybe this
⏹️ ▶️ John even happens in Apple, I don’t know, but that you’ll have a team that will make a product. And it’s not like the team
⏹️ ▶️ John that made the practice necessarily more experienced or better programmers or anything than any other people, but they
⏹️ ▶️ John understand the product. They understand why it’s designed the way it was designed. They understand the design itself. And
⏹️ ▶️ John if those people go off without, without transitioning, like, it’s like, Oh, you work on the product and then like, it goes
⏹️ ▶️ John into whatever maintenance mode or like into general purpose release where anyone in the company
⏹️ ▶️ John is allowed to address bugs in it or whatever. If, if it’s sort of like, okay, and now anyone,
⏹️ ▶️ John now any developer in the company can fix a bug. Those developers don’t like likely don’t understand
⏹️ ▶️ John the design of the application. how it puts together what the invariants are supposed to be. And you know, you’re like, well, it should be documented.
⏹️ ▶️ John And there should be design documents. And there should be good comments. And it should be, yeah, should, should, should. But the reality
⏹️ ▶️ John is, you know, programmers are not interchangeable parts. And there’s a core team of people who understand the product. And
⏹️ ▶️ John unless you transition them away from the product, if they assuming they want to go away from it by socializing the new developers,
⏹️ ▶️ John about like, you know, bringing the new guy on board, teaching them how everything works, have that person improve the documentation.
⏹️ ▶️ John So you can’t just sort of like throw it out into the wild, because then you get people doing things in the code where it looks perfectly
⏹️ ▶️ John fine. And it’s simple enough. And they understand it and it works, but they’ve violated some unspoken invariant that everybody
⏹️ ▶️ John who was on the original team understands has to be true. But there were no assertions for it, or there was no design document
⏹️ ▶️ John specifying or maybe there was and they didn’t see it. And the accumulation of those just, you know, eats away
⏹️ ▶️ John at the quality of the code and makes it more difficult to change down the line. There’s no such thing as like
⏹️ ▶️ John except for like a government software or defense department software. It’s not just thing is maintenance mode. If you have a product and you’re selling
⏹️ ▶️ John it to customers, you need developers who understand it, actively working on it. Another follow-up
⏹️ ▶️ John item, we were talking about where computers are going in the future in the last show, I think.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I was talking about unification of the memory and storage hierarchies.
⏹️ ▶️ John So the hierarchy would still be there, but from a software perspective, everything is addressable as an address in memory,
⏹️ ▶️ John even if it’s backed by flash or regular RAM or
⏹️ ▶️ John caches on a chip or registers, you know, the whole hierarchy, but addressable in the same way, sort of, you know, homogenous
⏹️ ▶️ John view of heterogeneous hardware. And a lot of people were in with examples of systems that do
⏹️ ▶️ John that. This time, no one last time I brought this up, a lot of people were in talking about memory mapping files
⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff like that. And of course, there are many, many examples on the computers that we’re all sitting in front of right now, and
⏹️ ▶️ John even on our iPods, or whatever you’re listening to this on of miniature versions, those memory mapping files is
⏹️ ▶️ John the most common example where you instead of doing io on a file you just pretend, hey, now the entire
⏹️ ▶️ John contents of that file is mapped into memory. It’s not really, but that’s how you address it. And when you address those pieces of memory
⏹️ ▶️ John it just says, okay, well, I don’t actually have that information, it’s still on disk, so I’m going to go get it from disk, pull it in for you, and then make it
⏹️ ▶️ John look like it was in that memory all along. And virtual, you know, virtual memory works
⏹️ ▶️ John in a similar manner with memory mapping. And we talked about the PlayStation
⏹️ ▶️ John and the game consoles where they don’t have separate pools of RAM and VRAM, and of course there’s the good version of that where it’s one
⏹️ ▶️ John big giant pool of fast RAM. And there’s the crappy version of that which PCs used to do in the bad old days where they
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t want to give you dedicated VRAM, they would use your main memory as video RAM, and it was really bad performance because video
⏹️ ▶️ John memory could be tuned to video tasks better. And you know, this on the older computers,
⏹️ ▶️ John used to be regions of memory that corresponded to you know, IO interfaces regions of memory that correspond to
⏹️ ▶️ John the screen. So you wrote to that region of memory, you’re really writing to you know, video memory, they would show up on the screen directly and
⏹️ ▶️ John all sorts of other things. The The big one that most people were in about was the AS400,
⏹️ ▶️ John which I had completely forgotten about and I’m sure most
⏹️ ▶️ John that work on it have completely forgotten about. In fact, they renamed AS400 to i5
⏹️ ▶️ John or system i or something. I don’t know. IBM’s always changing their names and stuff. I haven’t kept up
⏹️ ▶️ John with this stuff. But anyway, this is a very old system based on an even older system from the 60s that does what they call a single
⏹️ ▶️ John level store, which is exactly what I was talking about. addressing everything as
⏹️ ▶️ John if it was a memory address, even when it’s not. We should put these links in the show if people
⏹️ ▶️ John want to read about it. But a lot of the technology that you’ve heard this before of like, in other realms where things
⏹️ ▶️ John appear in supercars and or Mercedes or whatever, like anti lock brakes and airbags and gradually
⏹️ ▶️ John trickle their way down until your Ford Festiva has all those features. A decade later, the
⏹️ ▶️ John trickle down happened similarly in computers were going from mainframes and super computers down
⏹️ ▶️ John to your phone, but it happens unevenly and it seems like sometimes a little bit slower and there’s still things
⏹️ ▶️ John that mainframes or whatever what you would call mainframes today or whatever still things those systems can do that
⏹️ ▶️ John our systems can’t do and we’re still waiting for them to trickle down things like you know being
⏹️ ▶️ John able to hot swap CPUs and you know hardware redundancy and sort of self-healing type
⏹️ ▶️ John features and it’s like well you don’t need that on my PC or it’s only for things that have to run 24-7 there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John lots of excuses for why things haven’t trickled down and they make sense but I would think that inevitably
⏹️ ▶️ John anything that’s a good idea up there is eventually going to find its way down so a single level store I think is a reasonably
⏹️ ▶️ John good idea and will eventually find its way down into your wristwatch pinky ring contact lens
⏹️ ▶️ John computer in the decades to come and the other features like
⏹️ ▶️ John uh you know hardware redundancy and the ability to heal and stuff I think that’s a whole other topic for another day that I may be
⏹️ ▶️ John all throw in there but I have some have some other interesting ideas about the future of computing But I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ John the follow-up is the place for them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If it ends up being pinky rings, I think I’m out
⏹️ ▶️ John We’ll be so old by then it probably won’t be safe for us to put on pinky rings Our finger fingers
⏹️ ▶️ John will swell and they’ll get stuck on I’ll have to go to the ER to get them cut off
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Goodness. All right. So do we want to talk about PlayStation 4s now?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s the little one little item I threw and I’m trying not to pay too much attention to CES For
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean see yes, it’s just so gross like I’ve never been interested in it And it’s disappointing to me even when I had
⏹️ ▶️ John an interest, like I would like to see what the new TVs coming out are, but that is such, that’s the worst possible venue.
⏹️ ▶️ John I would like to know about new TVs, you know, read a set of tales, but the spectacle of CES
⏹️ ▶️ John adds nothing to that. In fact, it subtracts from it. I wish all the companies making announcements that I’m interested at CES
⏹️ ▶️ John made those same announcements with like a YouTube video or a press release, anything other
⏹️ ▶️ John than a stage presentation at CES.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It seems like CES represents like the worst of the hardware industry. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s so much You know tone deafness sexism
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not the worst of the hardware industry is though. It’s the worst of humanity
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well then like and the products that are announced there like and people are not doing the best of CES and stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that the Products are announced there so rarely make it into production or when they do make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it into production They they have a lot of problems that the CES version glossed over
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or didn’t have have, or a lot of limitations, or something like that. It’s basically like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a way for the industry to celebrate itself under the guise of announcing things to the world
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and showing off what’s new. But in reality, most of the things shown off there either aren’t interesting or are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco interesting, but are also fantasies that will never hit the market.
⏹️ ▶️ John It seems like the press has a real hard time covering CS. And the problem with CS seems
⏹️ ▶️ John to be that no one, including the people presenting and the people covering it, can differentiate,
⏹️ ▶️ John seems to be able to differentiate between the stuff that is obviously ridiculous crap and that in the light of day when you
⏹️ ▶️ John wake up when it’s all over you go, why the hell were we ever paying attention to that? And things that are, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, interesting news and because it all starts to look the same in this big fun house atmosphere,
⏹️ ▶️ John whereas if you had just looked at those things individually, there’s no way you would cover that. If someone put out a press release on their site
⏹️ ▶️ John and put up this information about some crazy thing that no one’s ever going to use, you would skip it. But because it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John at CES, everything sort of gets equal treatment. So I don’t know, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John interested in what Valve is saying there, I’m interested in the new television technology, I’m interested in some of the new,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the Steam Box stuff and the camera tech and stuff, but all that stuff doesn’t need
⏹️ ▶️ John that surrounding dazzle and ridiculousness. If you just have interesting products to announce,
⏹️ ▶️ John announce them, I don’t know. Anyway, this isn’t really CES related, I don’t know why I went off on that tangent,
⏹️ ▶️ John but maybe they announced it in CES, I don’t know. There’s a story that
⏹️ ▶️ John Sony announced how many PlayStation 4s they’ve sold, and they said it’s 4.2 million.
⏹️ ▶️ John And Microsoft announced about a week ago that they had sold 3 million Xbox One consoles. So we talked
⏹️ ▶️ John when the PlayStation 4 launched, they sold a million in 24 hours, and the Xbox did similar numbers. We’re like, oh, that’s fine.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the early adopters. Let’s see if they can sustain that. It looks like both consoles are doing pretty well.
⏹️ ▶️ John More or less neck and neck. PlayStation 4 may be a little bit ahead, but I think the PlayStation 4
⏹️ ▶️ John is still selling supply constrained and it seems like from pictures I see of people on Twitter that if you wanted an Xbox One you
⏹️ ▶️ John could go into a store and see this big stack of green boxes and pick one. I’m not sure if that’s entirely
⏹️ ▶️ John true but I know from experience that you cannot just stroll into a store and pick up a PS4 at this point because
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve looked online I looked at it, not hard, but you know I’m just curious like if I’m in a store that sells but I’ll just look and see if they
⏹️ ▶️ John have any and they don’t and occasionally I’ll look online and say oh do any of these things have it available for order and they
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t so I think it’s still harder to get a PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 is selling more. So maybe they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John farther ahead than we think, but either way, both of them doing very, very well. I would say that this new console generation
⏹️ ▶️ John is off to a strong start. Are there any games that people actually want yet? That’s the thing. Like, I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s, there’s some good games coming out. Like, I mean, Sony was showing, not Sony, Microsoft showing off Titanfall
⏹️ ▶️ John and Sony has a couple of good titles in the works, but there’s no big system seller games. This is, you know, the, the
⏹️ ▶️ John typical franchise games that are all the platforms that you could also play on a PC, but who cares? It’s not like
⏹️ ▶️ John either one of these platforms is being propelled by some must-have exclusive game like Halo or something
⏹️ ▶️ John People just want new consoles
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now. I wonder so in previous launches There’s there’s usually been You know Maybe one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco system out of the out of the bunch that didn’t have any like must-have games on launch Has there ever been a generation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before this where none of them had any must-have games on launch?
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, yeah, sure I mean well like a lot of time a lot of times they would launch with a the with a couple of
⏹️ ▶️ John like I mean let’s think of the GameCube did not have must have games at launch like
⏹️ ▶️ John the Xbox one you said oh I had a must-have game I had Halo well people didn’t know if hell was gonna be any good it was the
⏹️ ▶️ John first Halo game like I don’t think that that was making people go out and buy an original
⏹️ ▶️ John Xbox because there was sign of an unknown quantity maybe maybe a few Mac users who had followed Bungie thought it was awesome
⏹️ ▶️ John but everyone else is like Halo what I don’t know about that I mean I don’t remember the ps2 had I guess I
⏹️ ▶️ John like Ridge Racer or something, but the console settle in. And like the reason I thought these two
⏹️ ▶️ John new consoles would do well is, as I said, I think on a previous show that for many people of the of
⏹️ ▶️ John the age to be having enough of disposable income to buy their own consoles or to get their parents to buy them. This
⏹️ ▶️ John is their first new console generation, their whole life. They’ve been using like their PlayStation 3
⏹️ ▶️ John and Xbox 360s and maybe the previous generation from their older siblings or whatever. This is the first console
⏹️ ▶️ John generation they’re living through after seven or eight long years of using all the past tech. So I think the
⏹️ ▶️ John market was ripe for tons and tons of people who want a shiny new thing, people who
⏹️ ▶️ John aren’t like grizzled veterans of many console generations. And it seems like that was the case.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have to imagine this must be building like a lifelong disappointment in game systems for some of these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people, though. You know, like if the very first awesome thing they’re looking forward to get in this game system, the very first new game
⏹️ ▶️ Marco system comes out for like, you know, some some eight year old and And they get it and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s only like four games for it and they’re all kind of mediocre. Like is that, is that a great
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s part of the experience. Having been through many console generations, part of the experience is getting super excited
⏹️ ▶️ John about the console and then even if you’re lucky, even if you get it and you’re like I’m getting a Nintendo 64 and it’s going
⏹️ ▶️ John to have Mario 64, it’s going to blow my brains out and it totally does. It’s an amazing game. Everybody loves
⏹️ ▶️ John it. And then you play it and you’re like okay what else can I get? It’s like and Pilotwings.
⏹️ ▶️ John know, it’s like nothing. You know, and then you’re like, well, I guess it was,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was like Wave Race. That wasn’t bad.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I know, but like great
⏹️ ▶️ John launch, the launch games are usually not the best games. Like, and even if there’s one that’s really great,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe if you’re lucky, you get one’s really great. You have to, consoles have a life cycle. And for kids who don’t know this, they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John going to learn the hard lesson. Oh, and also the hard lesson of like the software in the modern age of software that comes at
⏹️ ▶️ John launch day sucks and needs to be patched a million times and doesn’t have half the features you want. And it’s buggy as hell.
⏹️ ▶️ John Just wait, like there’s a life cycle. This is the beginning part. It has good parts, exciting to get it on launch day, exciting
⏹️ ▶️ John to be the first one to have it, and bad because the games are just like ports or multi-platform titles
⏹️ ▶️ John and the few exclusives you play through or aren’t interested in and then you just wait. It’s all part
⏹️ ▶️ John of the process. I think it’s making a new generation of gamers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And now we even have a lot of hardware problems too. Have you been following Matthew Panzarino’s saga
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of trying to get an Xbox
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes. he’s gotten like five of them broken so far
⏹️ ▶️ John you think uh… all the companies in in the entire world that should be wary of carefully designed hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John but it would be microsoft and maybe he’s just probably just a fluke as i haven’t heard any you know he’s getting unlucky
⏹️ ▶️ John but after the red ring of death and billions of dollars in write downs for hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John replacements and people being on their six and seven xbox three sixty surely microsoft got it right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apparently not well the funny thing is too apparently the biggest source of their problems is the disk drive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You would think, I mean, is it that new of a thing? You would think we would know how to make reliable
⏹️ ▶️ Marco optical disk drives in 2014.
⏹️ ▶️ John Every time I think about this, I just keep thinking back to the PlayStation 3, and like, that machine should have fallen apart in people’s
⏹️ ▶️ John hands. Like, the crazy cell processor, and the first thing with a Blu-ray drive, and waiting
⏹️ ▶️ John for the stupid blue lasers, and all this, like, I don’t understand. And then, like, the PlayStations have just,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, been fine. And it doesn’t make any sense that Microsoft screwed it up with the much
⏹️ ▶️ John more conservative approach. They’re going to get more conservative now and they’re having these hard drive problems. I don’t understand. Maybe, I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s something to be said for Sony’s decades and decades of experience building consumer electronics
⏹️ ▶️ John and Microsoft’s considerably smaller amount of experience.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I guess the real Xbox One was just a fluke because it was fine. Like, the very first Xbox,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was a PC crammed into a not that small box and it was fine. Like, Like, you know, you would think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would have overheated somewhat or had other problems. Nope, it was fine. I never heard of widespread problems, although I guess it didn’t sell
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that well either, so.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, there occurs with the 360, like, the reason it shaped the way it was is because Xbox
⏹️ ▶️ John is huge, lol, right? And so they made the successor. It’s pronounced lol. All right.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, anyway, they made the successor. It’s skinny. See, it’s practically like an hourglass. Look how skinny
⏹️ ▶️ John it is. And maybe you shouldn’t have quite made it so skinny because you could have more room for cooling and yeah. It wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I know but like you said what they were going for like we don’t want to make a gigantic buy and they should have and the Xbox one is
⏹️ ▶️ John pretty big and so is the PlayStation 4 for that matter, but we’ll see. I still think
⏹️ ▶️ John Panzers thing could just be, you know, bad luck. Well, it’s not it’s not like if we start seeing stories and if
⏹️ ▶️ John this gets a name like Red Ring of Death, then we’ll know it’s a it’s an issue.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. Do we want to answer the question who needs a Mac Pro?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I threw this in there because, you know, again, with me whining about
⏹️ ▶️ John what kind of computer I’m going to get and whether I’m going to buy a new Mac Pro lots of people this is one common strain
⏹️ ▶️ John of feedback which is what do you need a Mac Pro for and
⏹️ ▶️ John for Marco too what does Marco need a Mac Pro for you guys don’t need this computer and this kind of
⏹️ ▶️ John logic and argument and questioning like what is it that you’re doing that you need a Mac Pro I was getting even for my current
⏹️ ▶️ John computer what what games are you playing specifically that you need a fancy video card
⏹️ ▶️ John and there’s a snarky answer like I just gave on Twitter which as well for future games, for games I don’t have now. That’s why
⏹️ ▶️ John you buy, that’s why, one of the reasons I buy a big fancy computer is not for the games that are out now,
⏹️ ▶️ John but for the games that are going to be out two, three, four years from now, I want to be able to play those too without getting a new computer. But anyway, that’s besides
⏹️ ▶️ John the point. This line of reasoning of like, you need to have
⏹️ ▶️ John a practical reason for this thing that you’re getting, otherwise you shouldn’t get it,
⏹️ ▶️ John only seems to apply in certain situations. Certainly it applies in this situation where we’re talking about
⏹️ ▶️ John big expensive computers, but I was trying to think of other situations where people are comfortable with it, not applying,
⏹️ ▶️ John having trouble coming up with good examples. I guess I thought of like, uh, if you get a bigger TV,
⏹️ ▶️ John occasionally, I guess someone might ask, what do you need a TV that big for? But for the most part, people understand you’re not
⏹️ ▶️ John getting a big TV because like, well, I watch golf a lot and I was having trouble seeing the ball. So I need a bigger television.
⏹️ ▶️ John So the ball is bigger. People kind of intuitively understand that it’s more sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John immersive and exciting to look at a bigger screen than a smaller one. So when you say you got a bigger TV, people
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t say, why did you get a bigger one? Why? What is it that you like? And literally asking, like,
⏹️ ▶️ John is there some kind of program that you watch that was not working correctly with your smaller television?
⏹️ ▶️ John And now we’ll work with a bigger one. Or why do you need granite countertops? What was wrong with you? Do you do something?
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you do certain kind of cooking that only works on granite? Do you do like pastry dough? You need to suck away the heat. And it’s like sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ John you just want to have countertops look like nice, shiny granite. Like that’s the answer. And the same thing
⏹️ ▶️ John with the computer. I feel like saying there are reasons why I might want to get it, but like
⏹️ ▶️ John why Not everything has to be a need. There’s such an idea of like a luxury
⏹️ ▶️ John item and everyone chooses what their luxury items are maybe your luxury item is Very fancy furniture or
⏹️ ▶️ John a nice house or jewelry or a really expensive watch or lots of vacations or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Or maybe a 335 instead of a 328 used yeah, but
⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah, but like it’s like certain
⏹️ ▶️ John things people accept as indulgences or as a hobby interest or whatever and other things
⏹️ ▶️ John people don’t accept as an indulgence and demand justification. You must have an actual need. Are you running Maya? Are
⏹️ ▶️ John you like maybe you just want to have a fast computer because you’re into technology and fast computers are fun to have.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think that’s a perfectly valid reason. It’s a large part of my reason and I assume a large part of Marco’s reason.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think anyone should ever get caught in the idea where they have to justify through through like work
⏹️ ▶️ John related examples or like even like leisure related examples like well show me the game that needs this video card like
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s a ridiculous example anyways you don’t need to play games period if I gave you one like all right well now I see why you need one why
⏹️ ▶️ John because I need to play this first person shooter why do you need to play the first person sure that we accept is fun you’re allowed to play a game
⏹️ ▶️ John just because it’s fun but you’re not allowed to have a fast computer just because it’s fun so the only way you can justify the computer is to
⏹️ ▶️ John point to the game you’re going to play which I accept that you’re allowed to use because it’s fun
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah I think I think part of it is It’s a combination of a few factors. Part of that, like, why do you need this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that these are very expensive items. And so it’s alienating to say, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buying expensive cars, it’s alienating to say, oh, I got this car that’s really, really expensive that you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t afford. People don’t like hearing that. It’s not a great thing to spread around.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And computers are not as expensive as cars, but they’re still very expensive. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco computers like the Mac Pro are unaffordable to many people. and and so there’s that aspect
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the other aspect is that computers do have this weird blend of some people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need a fourth like you know nobody needs a tv for work except jd harmeyer nobody else needs a tv
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for work you know we all use computers for work nowadays and not everybody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but everyone everyone talking on the show and probably a lot of listeners we all use computers for work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we also use computers for hobbies and for leisure and for entertainment and and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it’s there are people who do need the Mac Pro for work. You know, if you’re a professional video
⏹️ ▶️ Marco editor that’s working with 4K content, you are probably going to need it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, if you’re doing certain other things, you probably need it too, but it’s, the number of people who need
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Mac Pro or who need like an all the way decked out laptop or iMac
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a pretty small number, really. But you’re right, you know, I think it’s just distorted because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some people do need them for work, but for most of us, it’s just we want things to be nicer a little bit faster.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, the granite countertop is an example, too. Some people need a granite countertop if they’re pastry chefs or, you know, like,
⏹️ ▶️ John because you you what is it because it doesn’t take the heat out of the dough as fast or something. I don’t remember. There’s a reason
⏹️ ▶️ John why you need granite countertop. Does it melt the butter? You could conceivably. Yeah, you could conceivably need one.
⏹️ ▶️ John But then most people don’t get them for that reason. In the chat room, one person pointed out that, like, well, the
⏹️ ▶️ John difference between not needing to play a game is that games are less expensive than
⏹️ ▶️ John a Mac Pro. Super high-end games, like you want to play Crisis 3, the game may not be expensive,
⏹️ ▶️ John but the computer that you need to run it decently certainly is. But at any rate, prices are relative.
⏹️ ▶️ John This Mac Pro may seem like a super expensive thing, we’re alright to buy it, but compare it to the cost of living in
⏹️ ▶️ John a nicer neighborhood, going on more vacations, or all the other things that people can spend their money on.
⏹️ ▶️ John If we all wanted to live as cheaply as possible, we would not have half of the things that we have. I mean we would take it get
⏹️ ▶️ John into a career that doesn’t involve computer is and we all be farmers or something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, and and you know it’s all about like you know how you spend your time like you know for me like I I? Spend
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much time in front of a computer every day like you know I there’s a thing I tweeted forever ago that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Has gotten the most retweets of anything I’ve ever tweeted, and it’s something on the lines of if you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sit on look at or touch something for more than two hours a day, spend whatever it takes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get the best. And so that includes keyboards, mice, your chair. If you’re sitting at a desk all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day, you better have a nice chair, a nice keyboard, a nice mouse, and a nice monitor.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, like the things that you use all the time, you should get nice things. It’s always good to get a good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mattress to sleep on. You know, like that, like for lots of reasons, including comfort, but also like, you know, your back and stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that. There’s a, you know, like you should, you should, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have the ability to spend, to get a premium version of something, the wisest
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things to spend that on are the things that will have the most impact to your everyday life,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco generally speaking. And so like, the difference between a good monitor and a horrible monitor,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’ll notice that every single day for hours. The difference between a good bed and a crappy bed,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re gonna be lying in it for eight hours a day, you hope, that’s gonna catch up with you, you know? And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so the computer for people like us is one of those things. If you actually will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even notice the difference ever, it’s probably worth it. Like, it’s probably worth it to get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a really nice computer. If you do anything at all for any reasonable amount of time during the day, that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might stretch your computer. It’s worth it to get the best one that you can get that fits your needs.
⏹️ ▶️ John By bringing in the time spent in front of device metric, you’re trying to drag this
⏹️ ▶️ John back to pragmatism, and I’m trying to take it away. I’m trying to say,
⏹️ ▶️ John no reason to justify it in a pragmatic, rational manner for things like this. If, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John some people just want a really fancy table saw. And what do they do with that fancy table saw?
⏹️ ▶️ John They make little wooden things that they never give to anyone, don’t sell, and aren’t useful in any way.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s their hobby. That’s what they want to do. Oh, you don’t need a $10,000 table saw. No, he does not need a $10,000 table saw, because he is not making money from it.
⏹️ ▶️ John In fact, it’s a money sink. He just makes little wooden things and puts them in his house and it makes him happy. and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John what he wants to spend his money on, $10,000 table saw.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not saying that you should justify what you spend extra money on by
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much it will make you money-wise. I’m saying just like by how much you will enjoy it. Like that example fits my rationale
⏹️ ▶️ Marco perfectly. Like if you’re gonna actually use a table saw more than once a year,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get a great one. You know, why not? If you can, if you have the ability to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that will make you that happy, then that’s worth it. That’s worth doing for you. you know if you don’t care
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s fine if you if you can afford it you know do do your best uh… if you want to spend the money elsewhere
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine i think i get zero enjoyment out of wearing fancy clothes so every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day i wear seven dollar t-shirt and a very worn out pair of jeans that i bought from amazon i
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything i wear i can buy from amazon when it wears out which i love i’ve worked for years to get to this point it’s amazing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i hate shopping all that stuff like i drive a really nice car i have a really nice computer but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i wear crap clothes. There’s a lot of things I don’t care about because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is where I spend my time, this is where I get my enjoyment. So it is a combination of luxury and treating
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yourself to the things you like and being kind of analytical
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about where you spend that extra money to give you the maximum fun
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or happiness benefit.
⏹️ ▶️ John Okay, KJ Healy posted two four line posts in the chat room, so that
⏹️ ▶️ John means he demands to be heard, so I’ll address this point here. The problem is that
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac Pro for hobbyists who could afford it is that it’s still not the premium thing they wanted. It’s like you wanted the best granite
⏹️ ▶️ John countertops to cook on, but Apple gave you decent countertops, but also two huge fridges you don’t have much use for.
⏹️ ▶️ John That may be true of some people. For me specifically, it’s like Apple gave me the granite countertops
⏹️ ▶️ John I wanted, but they They cost 10 times more than I thought they would, because underneath them are two GPUs that I’m not going
⏹️ ▶️ John to use most of. Again, as I said before, there are
⏹️ ▶️ John parts of the Mac Pro that appeal to me way more than if I had gotten exactly the computer that I
⏹️ ▶️ John wanted with internal storage and everything. I like that it’s super small. I like that there’s only one fan. I never dreamed of those
⏹️ ▶️ John things when I was thinking, oh boy, Apple revises the Mac Pros, and it has to have internal storage,
⏹️ ▶️ John and it has to have card slots. maybe it could be smaller and nicer and of course they’ll get rid of the opticals.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what I was envisioning and they were like, hey, that’s exactly the machine to you. Instead they gave me this other machine that has things that I didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John even dream I could ask for. Only one fan, as quiet as a Mac Mini, you better bet that appeals to me
⏹️ ▶️ John tremendously, but it costs so darn much money. That’s, you know, it’s getting into
⏹️ ▶️ John like, oh, if you can afford it, do you want a really fancy computer just because you like a fancy computer? Yes, but
⏹️ ▶️ John I have a budget too and it costs so much money. So that for me specifically is the problem.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I’m that the me rallying against all the people are saying, What do you need that computer for? Or what do
⏹️ ▶️ John you need a high end GPU for anything like that? I’m just saying you don’t need to need it. You just need to
⏹️ ▶️ John you just need to want it. And I certainly do want a Mac Pro. But you always have to balance what you want with what you can afford and so on and so
⏹️ ▶️ John forth. So I think these are two separate issues.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think also and with all due apologies to Casey to talk more about the Mac Pro just for a minute.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I swear it’ll be fast. He’s already left, he’s lopped it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the new Mac Pro, it’s kind of like when the first MacBook Air came
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out, in that we’re looking at it now and we’re saying there’s no drive bays, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no card slots, the RAM ceiling is actually lower than the previous one,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so you look at all that and you say, well, this isn’t really what we wanted and it’s kind of limited.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Everyone said the same things about the first MacBook Air when it came out, although it had the additional problem that it was incredibly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco slow. But the Mac Pro won’t have that problem. Now, with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the MacBook Air, we have eventually, like when it first came out, we were like, you know, I still use DVD drives every so often,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and maybe I want that port that it doesn’t have or whatever. But over like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the next year and a half, those things basically vanished. And then two years after the first one came out, the next one came
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out, it was awesome, and everybody bought it, and it became like the new Mac to have. and uh… and i
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think that the current mac for the new mac pro which is humorously called the twenty thirteen
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one even though nobody actually got in twenty thirteen the new mac pro is is it is a similar
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of job as the first macbook air which is it although with with a lot fewer down so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i think you know my current mac pro the big cheese grater one it has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for internal drive days you can put our president to put two optical drives in it I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even use both optical drives. I put a Blu-ray burner in the bottom one. I use it approximately never.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have four internal drive bays. One of them is full. And like I,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over time I’m finding like, oh, and the card slots? I’ve never put an expansion
⏹️ ▶️ Marco card in a Mac Pro. I’ve owned two for myself, one for my wife, never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco put an expansion card in. And what a lot of people put in the expansion slots
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are more GPUs. And the new one dresses that even. So there’s a lot of Mac Pro
⏹️ ▶️ Marco users who even having the expandability of the previous generations didn’t use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it that much. Oh, actually, Sam the Geek just corrected me. My SSD is a PCI Express card
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I forgot about. Oops. So once I have used one card that, by the way,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the new Mac Pro has that exact same thing, a one terabyte SSD built in and it’s faster and cheaper.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the point is, I’ve had all this expandability, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over time I’ve used less and less and less of it. And I think Apple, looking at their customers, I believe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’ve found similar things among other Mac Pro buyers, saying things like, yeah, it’s true that a lot of video
⏹️ ▶️ Marco editors don’t use local storage. They will use a SAN or something like that. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need for the internal base has shrunk over time. And so the compromises the new machine
⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes, the compromises that are about hardware, there’s compromises about pricing and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco requiring two GPUs that increases the pricing, that’s a separate issue that’s perfectly valid.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the compromises about internal expendability and space and ports and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things, I think they’re actually doing the right thing. I don’t think that’s going to really be a problem that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anyone cares about in six months.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, perhaps not. Firstly, I have to apologize. I was trying to interject and say it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fine for you to continue talking about Mac Pro stuff, but I left myself muted like a moron.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, because you didn’t object, I just kept going.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I noticed. And that’s fine. No, it’s not a problem. But I would really, really love for you to tell me about something that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I completely agree because it’s 40 minutes in. That’s all right. We’ll just have, we’ll have a short show.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So our first sponsor, I’m going to paste the link in the chat. You guys can see, I’ll put this in the show notes too. Our first sponsor is Fracture.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve made on my wall somehow. Because, you know, we work in this business of virtual
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything. There’s no like, you know, trophies or physical evidence of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actual like, here’s something I accomplished in the past or present.
⏹️ ▶️ John But you didn’t make the icons, you should have put the source code up there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s true well I I chose the icons they were made slightly
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco the icons of the apps that you’ve worked on hang those up there you know they’re 12 bucks each that’s nothing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So what’s cool about this, you know, they mention in their copy it’s the thinnest, lightest, and most elegant. What’s nice about these fracture
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s not as heavy as you would expect like this giant print of glass to be. So you don’t have to worry about it like ripping
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of your wall or falling off and crashing down and exploding. Like I’m always a little nervous to hang really giant
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, thank you Fracture. Now did you, this is not a loaded question, did you have anything
⏹️ ▶️ Casey more on the Mac Pro because I sort of kind of cut you off there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Me? I actually, I think for now I’m done. I mean I’m sure by next episode I’ll come up with more, maybe even in 10
⏹️ ▶️ Marco minutes, but I think for now I’m done.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, John anything about the Mac Pro specifically?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, tell me about Panasonic LCD TVs if you don’t mind.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, we’re back to CES! This is worse than the Mac Pro! Yeah, I
⏹️ ▶️ John threw this in there because it’s a story that I saw in the CES news, and you know, I was interested with TV
⏹️ ▶️ John tech and particularly what Panasonic was going to do. We all knew Panasonic was leaving the plasma business,
⏹️ ▶️ John and of course they were going to make LCD TVs, and they have. And
⏹️ ▶️ John the most interesting thing about this, I think, is, well, I mean, of course they’re touting
⏹️ ▶️ John 4K. Everyone’s touting 4K. Last year, they were doing, everyone was having 4K as well. But
⏹️ ▶️ John it was interesting to me to see how they’re going to pitch these new televisions and the way they pitched it. They
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of did a little bit of marketing judo. On the one hand, you could say, well, they
⏹️ ▶️ John went right up and like they, you know, they hit right to their opponents forehand, right? They
⏹️ ▶️ John knew that everyone was going to say, these TVs aren’t as good as your old TVs. So they
⏹️ ▶️ John addressed that immediately by their marketing marketing message was we’re making 4K LED televisions,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, LCD with an LED backlight. That sucks crap. I hate that so much. I know. It can be in shorthand,
⏹️ ▶️ John but anyway. And what we’re going to say about them is they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John as good as or better than our Plasma TVs. But they said it in a kind of marketing weasel-wordy way.
⏹️ ▶️ John They said basically they were showing a color chart saying the color reproduction is better
⏹️ ▶️ John than even our best previous Plasma, the ZT60. The
⏹️ ▶️ John thing about that is that color reproduction for for televisions for like plasmas and everything
⏹️ ▶️ John like plasmas that Panasonic has been selling for years can already show colors outside the range
⏹️ ▶️ John that you’re quote unquote supposed to show in when reproducing like blue rays and television signals like
⏹️ ▶️ John the the color range and in the content is not as wide as the can be displayed
⏹️ ▶️ John by TVs. In fact, most TVs have a setting that lets you say, do you want me to show the colors as intended by the author
⏹️ ▶️ John according to this narrow range of colors that they expected to be able to reproduce on output? Or do you want me to use
⏹️ ▶️ John the entire color range of the set and just kind of smear the source colors across that?
⏹️ ▶️ John And you could choose whichever you want. You want accuracy or sort of like a wider color band. So the fact that their
⏹️ ▶️ John LCD television has an ever so slightly even wider range of
⏹️ ▶️ John colors than the plasma doesn’t really make that much of a difference with current content. Maybe it’ll make a difference down the line with different
⏹️ ▶️ John content, but for now it doesn’t really make that much. And they didn’t, as far as I know, say anything about black
⏹️ ▶️ John levels and motion interpolation and all the other areas where we know LCDs have problems compared to plasmas.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I’m kind of disappointed that they pulled that, but it seems to have worked on everyone
⏹️ ▶️ John because everyone just keeps parroting the line and says, oh, Panasonic says they’re as good as or better than their previous plasmas.
⏹️ ▶️ John In some respects, I’m sure they are as good. In some respects, they’re probably better. They probably use way less power, they’re thinner, so on and
⏹️ ▶️ John so forth. But in some respects, I fully expect that they are worse. I guess the jury’s still out until, you know, independent
⏹️ ▶️ John third parties get their hands on these TVs and start testing them and we’ll see. But this is not the first time this has
⏹️ ▶️ John happened. Way back in the day, Pioneer used to make plasmas and they made a line of plasmas that was widely
⏹️ ▶️ John acknowledged to be the best TV you could buy for any price. That wasn’t a projection TV and it was
⏹️ ▶️ John the Pioneer Kuro Elite line of televisions. And then Pioneer stopped making plasmas
⏹️ ▶️ John and for many, many years after that, every new television from every manufacturer that was reviewed they would
⏹️ ▶️ John say oh this is a great new TV it’s the best one you can buy right now but it’s still not as good as the Kuro Elite and
⏹️ ▶️ John that would happen year after year and that’s kind of very strange in technology where it would be like if
⏹️ ▶️ John the new Mac Pro came out and they said well this Mac Pro is great but it’s not as good as the Mac Pro that was out four years ago that never
⏹️ ▶️ John happens like it’s that doesn’t happen in computers and happening in television is also very strange so
⏹️ ▶️ John for a long long time the Kuro Elite was the king and it could be for a long time that the Panasonic plasmas
⏹️ ▶️ John will be the king, but I suspect that the 4k difference will be a factor here. And it’s like, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, all those plasmas weren’t 4k, so who cares about them? And all that matters is 4k.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So serious question. Do you suspect that you will, I’m going to use the word regret,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I think that’s too strong, that you’ll regret the purchase of your TV from just a a month or so ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sooner because some newer, better TV will come out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or because there will be a proliferation of 4K
⏹️ ▶️ Casey TV shows and movies, thus actually making a 4K display worth it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Mad Fientist How do you – not to avoid that question because I think I’ll get to it eventually, but how do you guys feel about 4K?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, it’s one of those things. It’s a lot like Super Audio CD and DVD audio,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, and I don’t mean to predict its sales, although I think, well, screw it, I do.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t need to be diplomatic here. You know, when you look at various consumer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco electronics AV formats over time, the audio world is a great way to look at this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco although it applies to video as well. Every time there’s been a major quality increase that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has been successful in the market, it has also come with other benefits besides the quality that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have made people want to buy it. So when going from cassettes to CDs,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there was a major increase in so many other factors besides the audio quality. It was more convenient, it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was more reliable, it was faster to seek around and rewinding. Similar thing going from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco VHS to DVD. You know, everything is faster, easier, better, more versatile,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can put it more places, computers can read it, you can play it in the car, all that stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so then you look at then going from DVD to Blu-ray. And DVD to Blu-ray was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a much slower transition. I would still say it’s not really complete.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because the only difference between DVD and Blu-ray is Blu-ray is better quality
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and is more annoying in all of the ways that DVDs are annoying, Blu-rays are worse.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the only major difference. There’s no like, they aren’t all of a sudden more versatile or easier to use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or available in more places or cheaper or smaller or anything like that. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco looking at all that, look at TVs. When we moved from SD
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to HD, we also were moving to, you know, from CRTs, the giant
⏹️ ▶️ Marco heavy horrible things, to nice thin LCDs and plasmas that were much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bigger, much thinner, much slider much cooler looking and much better looking. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there were a lot of other reasons for people to move from SD to HD.
⏹️ ▶️ John Also the widescreen aspect ratio was another big factor.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly so there’s all these other factors that went along with it that made it a success in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco market and that made people want to have it besides just picture quality. In fact as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most people know almost everyone who cares about TV picture quality has probably gone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to a relatives or parents house and seeing that they are running their cable box or something into the TV
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that supports high def but they have it hooked up with the wrong cables using the wrong input or the wrong settings and they’re not they are not even watching
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HD content and they don’t care and it drives you nuts. So obviously like the picture
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quality alone is not enough to drive major adoption very quickly of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything. Same thing so in the audio world when SACD and DVD audio came out they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco both flopped first of all because of the format war but mostly because nobody cared that much. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was the exact same as CDs, but less things were supported. You had to get new players, you couldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do it in your computer or your car or anything, so it flopped. 4K is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, at least you have backwards compatibility with newer types of TV sets, that’s less of a problem, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you look at 4K and it’s like, well, we already have HD, 1080p. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very mature by now. We have tons of great HD source material
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and source devices, tons of HD broadcast cable, like everything is HD now basically,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which was not the case even like five years ago. You have very good HD support in the industry.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the move to 4K, what is that really gonna bring us? You know, it’s gonna bring
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a new type of disc format, probably, I don’t think Blu-ray can do it, right? So probably a new kind of disc format,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new kinds of TVs, new disc players, if we’re still using discs, God, I hope we’re not, but we probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco still will for a little while. Much larger file sizes for internet streamed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco media. A whole other round of everybody, cable companies, TV companies,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everybody being able to screw everything up again. So it’s like this big disruption, it’s gonna make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything that was mature, it’s gonna become immature again. Why go through all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that? And the reason is an increase in picture quality that you probably won’t notice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever, but the people who do notice it only notice it on like an 80 inch TV I mean that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how how compelling is that really and I think it’s gonna take off similarly to blu-ray
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in that it will it will be the high-end so people will buy it but it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna be explosively growing very quickly the way DVDs and CDs did because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to most people it doesn’t bring any noticeable benefit except saying you have the high-end
⏹️ ▶️ John Now, the audio CDs and the Blu-ray and stuff had
⏹️ ▶️ John two things going against them that 4K at least doesn’t have. And both of those were physical
⏹️ ▶️ John media being introduced right around the time when physical media was going away for their respective mediums, like
⏹️ ▶️ John DVD audio and super audio CD. Yes, all the things that the format war was stupid, nobody cared,
⏹️ ▶️ John but also MP3s came along. And so they were just wiped out. Blu Ray. It’s amazing
⏹️ ▶️ John that it has been as successful as it has been, but it came out around the time that streaming video
⏹️ ▶️ John became a thing. And now only crazy people blabber, raise and everyone else just, you know, streams it if they can. Right. So
⏹️ ▶️ John those were all like media distribution formats that were coming up against a Hey, we don’t need physical media anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ John Television is luckily have the advantage of there’s no downloadable TV. You need to, you need to have an actual
⏹️ ▶️ John TV set. You can’t make a TV set appear in your house over a wire so that still at least
⏹️ ▶️ John has a place in the ecosystem. It’s not being wiped out by like, I mean, I guess the equivalent would be like head mounted displays
⏹️ ▶️ John or something or something else that’s not wiping it out. People want still want to look at the screen, so they have that going for them.
⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, the four K thing. Sometimes I think it’s kind of like retina where it’s like, yeah, nobody will care
⏹️ ▶️ John and only nerds will be able to tell, but it’ll happen anyway just because it’s cheap enough to double the resolution of LCDs
⏹️ ▶️ John at that size. Uh, that could happen. Uh, I, I can totally envision a world
⏹️ ▶️ John where every TV you buy is four K and almost all content is still 1080 P. Uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, because the content and everything else didn’t catch up with it. But mostly what I think about four K is
⏹️ ▶️ John that kind of like super audio CD and DVD audio, they enhance the wrong
⏹️ ▶️ John thing. They enhance the thing that the fewest number of people are able to detect
⏹️ ▶️ John as even being different, let alone better. Because if you play an audio CD for someone and play a DVD
⏹️ ▶️ John audio or super a CD. Normal people can’t tell even audiophiles can probably be fooled. It depends on the mastering. It depends on everything
⏹️ ▶️ John else and all those excuses you’re going to make for not being able to tell between a CD and Super Audio CD. All those same
⏹️ ▶️ John excuses apply to television. Well, it depends on how the content is mastered. Well, it depends on how it’s distributed. Well, it depends on the authorship.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yes, that’s true of video as well. And that’s why I think like doubling the resolution
⏹️ ▶️ John may not be better in enough ways that people can tell now. 4k has a couple saving graces. Everyone concentrates on the resolution,
⏹️ ▶️ John but that also has support for different frame rates. And that I think people probably could notice it
⏹️ ▶️ John based on, you know, people’s impression of seeing the Hobbit and 48 frames per second and how they said it look crazy. At least people
⏹️ ▶️ John noticed at least people could tell a this is 48 frames per second, I could tell it’s different. You know, or as someone in the
⏹️ ▶️ John chat room points out, sports at 120 frames per second. Those are
⏹️ ▶️ John things that maybe people will be able to tell. And that may be able to drag along the content producers to say,
⏹️ ▶️ John who’s motivated to make 4k content? Well, maybe the NFL isn’t motivated to make 4k content. And if the NFL
⏹️ ▶️ John is motivated to make 4K content, and people will buy the TVs, and that will go along together, and it may just be
⏹️ ▶️ John an inevitable thing. But the other people making noise at CES this year were trying
⏹️ ▶️ John to say, hey, we’re over here, and we’re trying to improve the other stuff that needs to be improved about TV, like I
⏹️ ▶️ John just mentioned, the color gamut. What is the maximum dynamic range between the brightest and the darkest spot
⏹️ ▶️ John on a television set? What are the range of colors that you can display? All those things
⏹️ ▶️ John are areas that desperately to be improved in television, but you know, the television color standards, even HD standards
⏹️ ▶️ John are way behind what what the current technology can display. And those people will notice way more than
⏹️ ▶️ John 4k if you showed someone that Dolby demo with like the, you know, the huge dynamic range and everything,
⏹️ ▶️ John and then showed somebody 4k TV, everyone will be able to tell Dolby thing is different, even though even if it was running
⏹️ ▶️ John at 1080 p. And if you just show 4k versus non 4k, from a certain distance, you can’t tell anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because if resolution is the only thing, that’s that’s not going to save you. So I think this is interesting, but I really
⏹️ ▶️ John wish, kind of like the cameras with the megapixel wars, I really
⏹️ ▶️ John wish that the side that was going forward, not more pixels, but better pixels, basically, was
⏹️ ▶️ John a little bit stronger in this fight. But it seems to me that 4K will probably happen kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of inevitably, but not nearly in enough time for me to regret my Plasma purchase to finally answer Casey’s
⏹️ ▶️ John question, because I’m going to be enjoying 1080p content with fewer
⏹️ ▶️ John of the compromises that bother me about LCDs for many years to come.
⏹️ ▶️ John The only thing that could possibly annoy me, I think, is that if game consoles start putting out 4K
⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s noticeable for frame rate reasons, if that happens, maybe I’ll regret it in a couple years,
⏹️ ▶️ John but I really, I would feel much, much worse if I had my old TV, which was not
⏹️ ▶️ John nearly as good a quality as any plasma in the past couple of years. I would have really regretted
⏹️ ▶️ John keeping that and knowing now I’m stuck. Now, if this TV breaks, or if I just get sick of looking
⏹️ ▶️ John at bad black levels, I will never, there’s nothing out there for me to buy, I just have to sit here and wait. Now at
⏹️ ▶️ John least I know I’m set as long as this thing keeps working for many, many years and I can sort of do what I like to do, which is bide
⏹️ ▶️ John my time and look for that one perfect time to buy the cool new thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s fair. Yeah, and I think you have a long time before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco any 4K TV is so good and so compelling and so supported by the surrounding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ecosystem that it would be really compelling for you to upgrade. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HDTV came out when, like 2001 or something? It’s pretty old.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But most people didn’t get them that year. They got them like five years later or more.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it was a few years after that before they were actually very good.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think we’re gonna see a lot of the same things. I mean, granted, that was also, again, that was changing over a lot of legacy old
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff, making LCDs get better, making plasmas get better, modernizing lots of the signals,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco digitizing lots of stuff. So there was more to do during that transition.
⏹️ ▶️ John The HD content is terrible, though. Like the compression artifacts on your cable provider or Netflix streaming,
⏹️ ▶️ John they can’t even put a signal that doesn’t look like crap on 1080 sometimes. And
⏹️ ▶️ John 1080i, they’re sending it as they’re not even sending full 1080p. So it’s going to be a long time for the
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of non- if you don’t have a good reason, if you’re not the Discovery Channel, the NFL or something, you have some compelling
⏹️ ▶️ John reason to go to 4K high frame rate as soon as you possibly can, we’re still in for a long,
⏹️ ▶️ John long road of supposedly 4K content, supposedly HD content that technically
⏹️ ▶️ John fulfills the requirements, but mostly is gross.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, a couple of things to consider. Firstly, the NFL already films in 4K, or at least I think it was Fox does.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Somebody may have been in Gadget. I don’t recall who it was, but they had talked
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to, and I believe it was Fox, about how they were going to film a Patriots game.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And one of the things they said was, we actually film in 4K
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so that when you zoom, and Slade for one in the chat is saying it was the verge, whatever it was. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey when you zoom on a instant replay, you’ll get a full 1080
⏹️ ▶️ Casey image out of the source, which was 4K. And so to some
⏹️ ▶️ Casey degree, this is already happening, even though it’s not making it all the way to the consumer. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the other thing I wanted to point out was part of the reason that Aaron and I didn’t upgrade
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to an HD setup initially was because not only did we need a new
⏹️ ▶️ Casey TV, but we also needed a different cable box.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And to get the different cable box, we needed to pay at the time Comcast more money. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t speak for everyone else, but I know similar to the retina discussion we had
⏹️ ▶️ Casey last week, I didn’t really at the time know what I was missing. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t really see an urgent need to upgrade and Aaron doesn’t really care for 99% of all TV.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so she didn’t see a terribly strong reason to upgrade. And so we didn’t have we had an HDTV
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in 2007. And I don’t think we actually had HD pumping into the house
⏹️ ▶️ Casey until we moved a year later and we’re getting files anyway. So it I can’t speak for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey everyone. But but that makes it it a little different. And what made me another thing it made me think of was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wonder if adoption of LTE bands would have been
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot slower, if it costs more money from the carriers to do
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get LTE service. And I can only speak for AT&T. But on AT&T there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey no difference in price. And I believe that’s the same for Verizon. I am not sure that’s the same for T-Mobile,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and nobody uses Sprint. So I’m not saying there’s an answer. and it’s a rhetorical question, but I wonder
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if LTE adoption would have been slower if it was more expensive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. I think the way most people go to new technologies is when they have to buy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a new one anyway, they get a decent one at the time. And so with phones, we move very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quickly because so many people are on subsidized phone plans where you’re pretty much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco encouraged to get a new phone every one to three years. So that’s why the phone market moves so quickly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco TVs Move very slowly you know you said like the cable box thing a lot of people don’t have to pay for their cable
⏹️ ▶️ Marco box But you know you might have to go through a hassle for an upgrade like bring it to some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco place in the middle of nowhere Next to the UPS Depot or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But you know even if you do to pay for yeah, you’re right like usually there’s a premium if you have Well
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if Tivo is still alive And you have a Tivo and you know then you got to pay extra for like the new HD or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco 4k one and then John’s gonna complain about that for the next 10 years because it’s gonna suck you think that you think that will have
⏹️ ▶️ John HD menus everywhere. Yeah. Nobody complaining. These menus are only 1080p. Exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ John I would be glad if we ever get to that point. It seems like that may never even happen.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. But the rate at which people normally upgrade TV equipment is pretty slow,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because TVs are large, and they at least used to be pretty expensive. They’re getting pretty cheap now, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s still these large kind of fixtures, like furniture pieces, that you tend, like no one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gets a new TV every year except John.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve waited four years, give me a break. It’s four years I wait. The TiVo menus, by the way,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not even 1080p, now they’re 720p. Not that that makes a big difference, but you know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and by the way, lots of TVs are still sold at 720p. I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t think that, do they still make 720, I think every TV is 1080 now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, the last year when I bought that LCD, that small 37 inch LCD
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the back room, I had to look pretty hard to get a 1080p one. So many of them were 720p. I
⏹️ ▶️ John you need to re-research that. I think they’re almost all. And I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John sure you can still find a 720 somewhere, especially if you start going to the no-name brands. But I think any name brand
⏹️ ▶️ John probably has zero 720p television sets.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You are wrong. Once you go to the smaller sizes, like in the 30s. Exactly. You go to the 30s, and you go
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to those LCDs in the 30s, and there’s a lot of 720p. Who’s
⏹️ ▶️ John buying a 30-inch TV that’s the size of your monitor?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, actually, I had to fit this in. I had to fit it into one area within an existing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco built-in bookshelf. And so I had a size cap. So this 37-inch Panasonic was like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the biggest that would fit into this little spot. Was this a bat cave? You can say. It’s all right. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not allowed to say.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wow. No, it’s true though. Like I think I said on a previous show, our biggest TV
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the house is 40 inches. And there is no part of me that wants a bigger one.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that one is 1080, but the one we have in our bedroom, and the only reason
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s in our bedroom is because we got the 40-inch here to replace it. That one’s 32
⏹️ ▶️ Casey inches, and granted, it’s a bit older, but it’s 720 only. And I have no desire
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to upgrade it to a 1080 TV. Now granted, I’m either very weird or very normal,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey depending on how you look at it, but as soon as you go to lower sizes, I think Marco’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey dead on. It’s a little bit challenging to find a 1080 TV.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t look at small televisions. I was disappointed that I couldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John find a plasma that was small because, you know, the plasmas… Speaking of sizes for the televisions, these
⏹️ ▶️ John Panasonic LCDs, you know, the new 4K televisions, the smallest size that comes in is now 58. I
⏹️ ▶️ John mean, you were surprised at the smallest size my TV came in when it was 55. Now the smallest size is 58. But
⏹️ ▶️ John soon the smallest size is going to be 100 inches.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the problem is, like, all these, like, really nice ones, like the VT60, they only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco come in larger sizes and those keep going up. So like, like what am I TV like, I have a really nice TV for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I bought it. When it dies, I’m gonna have to either get a giant wall of TV,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which I don’t want to which TIFF would kill me if I got but it would look awesome or get a crappy one.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think they have to well part of it is it’s more expensive to mix. I mean, with with the plasmas in particular,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, the reason you can make a 4k plasma is because then the little tiny pits where
⏹️ ▶️ John the little, you know, particles are emitted and hit against the phosphorescent material would
⏹️ ▶️ John have to be super duper small. And that’s a technical limitation. They probably could have done it if they wanted to invest tons and tons
⏹️ ▶️ John more money, but they didn’t, so they didn’t. But yeah, as your resolution goes up, it’s actually cheaper to make it. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ John why the 28-inch Dell 4K monitor that people want us to talk about, it’s actually cheaper to
⏹️ ▶️ John make a high-resolution monitor bigger, because then you don’t have to make the pixel so darn small. And there’s fewer errors,
⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s easier to manufacture and all that stuff. So I’m hoping that will take care of itself. But yeah, when I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John shopping for a television, at the high end and they’re all big and they’re all 1080 I
⏹️ ▶️ John guess wait as you get smaller I mean at a certain point you get a certain size you you know it becomes like
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t see you can’t tell the difference between 720 and 1080 and as I’m surprised no one has
⏹️ ▶️ John said in the chat room yet or maybe I missed it I think if you do the math 720p has more pixels per second than 1080i but
⏹️ ▶️ John with all the processing that goes on who knows and yeah and most most broadcast television is still 1080 I not
⏹️ ▶️ John 1080p. Yeah, but getting back to what Casey said about the source material like NFL games
⏹️ ▶️ John filmed in 4k. I mean, they do the same thing with the movies with digital cameras like and you know, they’ve always even for TV,
⏹️ ▶️ John they would record TV on video at a much higher quality than you’ll ever be able to broadcast
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s you know, that’s par for the course. Those are the people out there testing out the new format and everything. By the time
⏹️ ▶️ John 4k makes its way down and there’s some story on the evening news assuming the even news still exists
⏹️ ▶️ John that says, oh, the 4K transition is coming. Cable companies are turning off their
⏹️ ▶️ John old HD signal, and now you can only get 4K. Remember the whole transition from analog and all that stuff with the,
⏹️ ▶️ John when we see that story in 10, 20 years, by that point, everyone will be recording everything in like 8K or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John the hell the next standard is. So the content producers are always, someone did the math
⏹️ ▶️ John and said 1080i has slightly more pixels per second than 720p.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just, I hope that, somebody please tell me, and I hope this is the case, in the entire 4K
⏹️ ▶️ Marco standard, is there any allowance anywhere for interlaced anything? Because I hate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco interlacing so much in so many ways. It, like, the artifacts it makes are horrible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you deinterlace, when you watch on something progressive. I hate getting interlaced DVDs and then when I rip them,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they look bad. And interlaced TV, it’s like, oh, God, interlacing is the devil.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sam the Geek in the chat says, nope, it is not in the spec. I really hope that is true. Um,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco God, interlacing needs to die. I hate analyzing so much. But what I don’t hate so much is our second
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⏹️ ▶️ John So the helpful chat room has put in a link to an article showing the color spaces, showing that the Rec.709,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is the current HD color space, and most TVs already go bigger than that. And
⏹️ ▶️ John Panasonic was showing how this TV goes even ever so slightly bigger. But there’s also a Rec.2020, which is part of the
⏹️ ▶️ John 4K UHD standard, which is way bigger, has a much larger range. It’s not as big as
⏹️ ▶️ John the dynamic range of brightness that Dolby was showing off with their crazy experimental water-cooled thing or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it does show that this is what I was getting at before, that 4K brings more than just resolution. It brings for Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, progressive scan mode only, and for me and a lot of other people, much higher frame
⏹️ ▶️ John rates. Well, someone was mentioning rectangular pixels. I have no idea if 4K still has rectangular pixels,
⏹️ ▶️ John or has rectangular pixels at all. Maybe they’re dead too.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because my old HDTV that was a four by three CRT that you didn’t think existed,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which did exist, that was possible because of all these weirdnesses the HD spec
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to allow for all this old stuff but yeah 4k is is I at least I hope
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is taking its opportunity of dropping tons of legacy crap like that and just going for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now and future looking good technology that’s you know relatively
⏹️ ▶️ John simple and as for the 720p versus 1080i again it depends on the frame rate if you do 720p
⏹️ ▶️ John at 60 frames versus 1080i at 30 you can all do the math yourself but as someone pointed out in the chat room and now
⏹️ ▶️ John I can’t scroll back to find where it is, but 720p, I want to get it right so I don’t want to,
⏹️ ▶️ John it was saying that 720p has more temporal resolution, as in motion over time, because it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not interlaced obviously, and 1080i has more spatial resolution. So it depends
⏹️ ▶️ John on what you want. That whole distinction with the i and p and stuff will hopefully be a
⏹️ ▶️ John relic of history. I mean this is kind of one of the reasons in favor of 4k, you know, in 4k’s corner
⏹️ ▶️ John is a lot of the legacy crap left over from the bad old non-HD
⏹️ ▶️ John days still infects the HD standards. Yes, Dudex, I know it was you in the chat room. I just couldn’t find your line.
⏹️ ▶️ John I couldn’t find it. I was going to read it. Anyway, making
⏹️ ▶️ John 4K, like what makes 4K inevitable is that it actually does
⏹️ ▶️ John get rid of a lot of the annoying crap and a lot of the details that people didn’t need to care about. They didn’t care about interlaced
⏹️ ▶️ John versus progressive. They don’t care about all these these details of color spaces and stuff, and if they can make it so
⏹️ ▶️ John that it looks better to people and so that they have a reason to view it. Like if you go over your friend’s house and you watch
⏹️ ▶️ John NFL and 4K at higher frame rate, and you notice that’s different, you’re going to want that because now this
⏹️ ▶️ John content that you’re interested in and if panel makers, you know, 4K just becomes well, like it’s actually cheaper
⏹️ ▶️ John now to make a 4K panel since all the factories are ramped up on it or whatever. It may be
⏹️ ▶️ John inevitable, but I still think it’ll take a long time before cable companies start
⏹️ ▶️ John broadcasting 4K for anything except for a few special, you know, like the content is still going to be 1080
⏹️ ▶️ John on all the cheap shows for a long, long, long time. And even on the 4K channels, if
⏹️ ▶️ John the first person says everyone, every piece of our broadcast is 4K, some of those channels are going to look awful
⏹️ ▶️ John because they’re like some of the channels look awful today at 1080i because they’re just super over compressed and gross.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So do you have anything else to talk about?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I saw a lot of feedback fly-through regarding Steam boxes and when
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John was lamenting having to buy a PC just for games
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I saw a few people say well why not get a Steam box so John why not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well first so let’s just assume that somebody not me but that that a friend
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of mine has no clue what a Steam box is and hasn’t been following this could you maybe explain what it is first
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could but I’ll do a terrible job job of it because I don’t really believe in games, John.
⏹️ ▶️ John They exist whether you believe in them or not. By explaining Steambox,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s hard to explain it without revealing my views on it. But anyway, Valve is a company
⏹️ ▶️ John that started off making games. And like many other good companies, they realized that there’s more
⏹️ ▶️ John to the market that they were in than just making games. They also made a digital distribution platform,
⏹️ ▶️ John which sounds like outside of their core competency, hey, you just make great games. What are you making a digital distribution platform
⏹️ ▶️ John for? Well, they were making it because that’s the future of gaming and they saw it before everyone else and they spent a long time working on their
⏹️ ▶️ John Their digital distribution thing called Steam which if you’re not familiar with this type of thing It’s it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like the App Store for games You don’t have to go to a store and buy a disc you just Log on to something and download it and the
⏹️ ▶️ John game goes right onto your computer Steam is available for the Mac But even though it started out on the PC And it’s a
⏹️ ▶️ John great way to buy games for all the same reasons that the App Stores are a great way for consumers to buy Apps because who
⏹️ ▶️ John wants to go to the store and get a stupid disc So the Steam Box is Valve’s next step in this
⏹️ ▶️ John process, which is, alright, why don’t we make hardware as well? Because not
⏹️ ▶️ John everyone has or wants to make a PC that can play games. We will, I guess
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re setting some kind of standard or whatever and saying you want to make a Steam Box, it’s basically like a little PC
⏹️ ▶️ John that comes pre-configured to connect to Steam, and it comes with a little controller if you want, or you can use like an Xbox 360
⏹️ ▶️ John controller or whatever. It’s sort of a turnkey way for you to get a gaming PC
⏹️ ▶️ John to play games from Steam. People were suggesting Steambox to me. I’m not quite
⏹️ ▶️ John sure why they were suggesting it, or they were just asking me what I thought of it, but I think a lot of the coverage
⏹️ ▶️ John pinpoints the reasons to be skeptical about it, although those reasons may not end up mattering
⏹️ ▶️ John in the end. The reasons I’m not all that interested in a Steambox is because,
⏹️ ▶️ John as many of the stories said it does less than a PC for a similar price.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, it’s just a PC. Like it’s got it’s PC hardware, PC video cards and a PC box.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like that’s all it is. It’s just sort of, you know, pre configured and certified to work in this sort of thing. And they vary
⏹️ ▶️ John wildly. You can get super cheap ones that are like a super cheap PC. You can get super expensive ones that are like a super expensive
⏹️ ▶️ John PC. And I imagine, as many people pointed out, the most useful thing you can do with this is just
⏹️ ▶️ John reboot it into windows because the steam box runs Linux, by the way, which helps keeps cost to reboot it into Windows
⏹️ ▶️ John and then you have a gaming PC. Why don’t you just buy a gaming PC? If you want a gaming PC, buy a gaming PC. Well, non-nerds
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want to buy a gaming PC and don’t know anything about them. So this feature that people
⏹️ ▶️ John think is silly, so what? It comes pre-configured to connect to Steam and runs this free OS so you don’t have to play Windows
⏹️ ▶️ John Lite. Who cares? Like, I don’t care about that. I know how to install software. I know how to do this. Like, just the
⏹️ ▶️ John mere fact that you can buy something called a Steam Box and have some sort of guarantees about the experience,
⏹️ ▶️ John not guarantees, like, because they do vary wildly, But if Valve can manage the expectations
⏹️ ▶️ John when you know, I don’t want to get into PC gaming, but my friend got a Steam Box that seems to be fewer
⏹️ ▶️ John problems. I’ll get one of those. It’s kind of like, I don’t know anything about digital music,
⏹️ ▶️ John but my friend got one of those iPod things and he’s able to listen to music digitally. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m going to try that. There is, I’m not going to say Steam has, Steam Box has no chance.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re trying to thread a pretty narrow, thread the needle here between
⏹️ ▶️ John the world of game consoles, which is fixed hardware, doesn’t change over time, easy to develop against
⏹️ ▶️ John because developers know what everybody has, plus or minus a couple of accessories, and on the other side of the spectrum,
⏹️ ▶️ John full-fledged gaming PCs. They’re thinking there’s something in the middle there where we can
⏹️ ▶️ John get you something that’s better than a console because you can spend more money and get a faster experience and
⏹️ ▶️ John upgrade it over time in parter and whole, and have access to all these
⏹️ ▶️ John games we have available on Steam. But it’s not as complicated as a gaming PC. I’m not sure if
⏹️ ▶️ John that little narrow valley between those two things is going to work for them, but it could very, very
⏹️ ▶️ John well be that the people who make gaming PCs will slowly become smaller and smaller and smaller
⏹️ ▶️ John and sort of dwindle and die out, and it will turn out that most of the people playing PC games actually weren’t interested in
⏹️ ▶️ John building gaming PCs, actually weren’t interested in maintaining gaming PCs. And this could really be a sort of a backdoor
⏹️ ▶️ John way to remake the PC industry, for people who play games anyway, to be
⏹️ ▶️ John more like, you know, the iOS device industry, where people aren’t interested in tinkering with
⏹️ ▶️ John them, they just want to get them, sit down in front of them, and use them. So I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John not quite sure how this is going to turn out, but for me, as someone who, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John not that I’d be interested in tinkering with things, but I would be able to if I wanted to, if I wanted to get a gaming PC, I would
⏹️ ▶️ John build a gaming PC. I don’t want one, but if I did, the things stopping me wouldn’t be like, oh, I wish
⏹️ ▶️ John someone did all this work for me. Because people do it all. You can just go to Alienware and click a bunch of buttons and get a super
⏹️ ▶️ John expensive gaming PC and you could build a better one for half the money if you wanted to, but if you don’t want to, you know, it’s the same,
⏹️ ▶️ John same as anything else. So we’ll see. I enjoy playing games from Steam on my Mac. I enjoy playing them,
⏹️ ▶️ John games from Steam on my Mac when it’s booted into Windows, when it’s when it pretends that it’s a gaming PC. I like having
⏹️ ▶️ John one computer that does both of those things. I also really like game consoles, so I’m probably not the target
⏹️ ▶️ John market for the Steam Box. There’s a lot of noise about them, and we’ll wait a
⏹️ ▶️ John year and see how well all those different vendors who are fueling Steam Boxes feel about their contribution
⏹️ ▶️ John to Valve’s platform.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m kind of surprised that anybody thinks there’s going to be a market for more than one of these things. Why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is it a category and not just one box?
⏹️ ▶️ John If it was one box, it would be a game console.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It kind of is. of a game console for Steam PC games. I mean…
⏹️ ▶️ John But they wanted to have some of the advantages of gaming PCs. One of those advantages is it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not the same hardware for everybody. It changed every year. You can get a new, faster, better one that makes the games prettier.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s not true of consoles.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like I said, the threading a needle. I don’t know how much room there is between a gaming PC
⏹️ ▶️ John and a game console. It could be they get squished from above or below, depending on how you drill this diagram, by the
⏹️ ▶️ John consoles and just the entire world of PC gaming gets squished away. Or it could be that they get squished by real PC
⏹️ ▶️ John gaming and it turns out the only people left who aren’t just exclusively playing consoles really want a full-fledged gaming PC and they
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want the Steam box. I don’t think it’s entirely crazy and I think it is smart for Valve
⏹️ ▶️ John to get into hardware because they’ve shown that they understand that there’s more to the world than what they’re currently doing and Steam
⏹️ ▶️ John was a great idea and a smashing success and they continue to also make great games on top of that.
⏹️ ▶️ John they can also make great hardware that’s popular more power to them but having
⏹️ ▶️ John third parties do it for you it kind of looks like the Windows phone strategy we’re gonna encourage this ecosystem of
⏹️ ▶️ John compatible hardware and I don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’ll see do you think it’s a problem am I correct that that the Steam boxes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all have gamepad controller types and not like keyboard mouse kind of schemes
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s another problem like the controller that they have is interesting and it’s trying to make up for the fact that
⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t have a keyboard and a mouse and a lot again a lot of the people who play PC games maybe you know
⏹️ ▶️ John they like mouse and keyboard and if you take that away maybe they’re not interested anymore but
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe they weren’t really wed to mouse and keyboard maybe they just wanted something that lets them play first person shooters and if we can give them
⏹️ ▶️ John a better first-person shooter control I don’t know this is all this is all a big experiment with you know and that’s kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of what valve must like the fact that they’re not the ones sort of doing the experiment you guys make the hardware you might
⏹️ ▶️ John sell some I mean yeah
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well the software is not easy either I mean like I think I think that I think the input and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and like monitor class like how far you sit and the input devices you use I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think that will sink this thing because I think if you want to play a first person shooter using a gamepad
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on a TV you’ll buy a game console they’re probably gonna be better at it and they’re cheaper and they’re better managed and they’re more popular
⏹️ ▶️ John else they’re mapping their control scheme to keyboard and mouse like that little have you seen the controller it looks
⏹️ ▶️ John like two big flat sort of touchpad areas one of them is the mouse and one of them is WASD,
⏹️ ▶️ John basically. Like, for legacy games, because you have to be able to play, you know, Half-Life 2,
⏹️ ▶️ John Portal, and all that stuff. Like, you have to be able to make the legacy games work, otherwise how can you get a Steam box and have access to zero games?
⏹️ ▶️ John In theory, in the future, games could come out with that controller in mind if it becomes popular, but they have to be able to support the
⏹️ ▶️ John old games. And that’s what they’re trying to do. And supposedly, it works better than using,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, an Xbox 360 controller if you’re playing first-person shooters. It’s more like a keyboard and a But
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if like I don’t know if it’s gonna be worthwhile I don’t like who is the customer
⏹️ ▶️ John for these steam boxes. There sure are a lot of them They sure come in a lot of different sizes and shapes and price points and PPC
⏹️ ▶️ John gamers really do love steam But I’m not sure what their prospects are.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean look at this controller I just looked it up and first of all, it looks ridiculous but I mean like and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I I’m really out of touch with this stuff because I haven’t I haven’t been heavily into games in a while But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I was heavily into games, I loved PC games And I really didn’t get that much enjoyment of console games
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I loved not only that I love the kind of games that just work a lot better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with keyboard mouse and big monitor big high-res monitor in front of your face like RTS’s And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco builders like SimCity and stuff like that like not only that I love that kind of game more But even for the kind of games that work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on both I just liked having a mouse better than a gamepad
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I was always and maybe because I was just used to it. I was better at it with the mouse I was more precise with the mouse and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco playing even playing shooters on gamepads like it always felt like yeah I’m glad I didn’t have to like set up a land to play
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this with my friends or anything, but I’m not enjoying it as much you know like and like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I feel like and by the way and I did love building my own PCs and if I was gonna go back to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being a PC gamer I Mean being a PC gamer takes a lot of time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco investment just to manage all the software crap you have to deal with and the The Steambox will of course solve a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of that in theory, but if you’re already going to devote a bunch of time into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this hobby because you love it so much, you probably are very likely to also want to build your own computer.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the market for people who are going to want to buy a pre-made
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gaming PC that they had no part in building and that they might not be able to upgrade very easily, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all, to play games on a TV that aren’t console games on a kind of console
⏹️ ▶️ Marco controller that is not a keyboard and mouse. There’s so many big leaps here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I think are just leaping right out of the market.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, there’s another strategic reason that Valve kind of has to do this to sort of protect itself. And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John that Microsoft has been less and less interested in making Windows a hospitable environment for gaming.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you look at Valve’s business, I’m sure they sell a lot of Mac games too, but
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re mostly selling quote unquote PC games. And so the part of Steambox that’s maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John the least interesting to consumers, may be the most interesting from Valve’s perspective, which is we need to sell
⏹️ ▶️ John our games on Linux or an OS that we have some control over to get away from Windows. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John Valve has whined about Windows 8 not being particularly hospitable for games in the early going. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco general. To be fair, Windows 8 is particularly inhospitable for everybody.
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah. So if all that comes out of this is that Steambox is a total flop,
⏹️ ▶️ John but a huge portion of games available on Steam run on, Maybe they don’t call it a Steam box
⏹️ ▶️ John anymore. But like if you mostly use your PC for gaming, if Valve can say,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, when you play our games, you should play them like in the Steam OS or whatever they call the Linux
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that they’re going to use there, it’s kind of a hedge against like our future shouldn’t depend on
⏹️ ▶️ John Microsoft. Because Microsoft cares about Xbox One. You know, with gaming, they care
⏹️ ▶️ John slightly less about Windows. And who knows with Microsoft’s new CEO search, what kind of direction the company will be taking in.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is probably a smart hedge just to say, we should really look into, if we’re going
⏹️ ▶️ John to be a platform, we should really look into having more control and not being beholden to Microsoft
⏹️ ▶️ John for so much of our business. Because certainly, Sony is not beholden to Microsoft for its gaming business, right? And
⏹️ ▶️ John Microsoft doesn’t beholden to anyone else, and so on. So I think it’s a wise strategic move for Valve to
⏹️ ▶️ John be doing this. And I think it matters less whether the Steam boxes competes with game consoles
⏹️ ▶️ John or anything. It’s kind of like Steam itself. The payoff will be many, many years now, and it may not
⏹️ ▶️ John be the same payoff that they expected, but it’s worth doing, I think.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, I’d like to ask you guys about some of your past game experiences, but before
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we do that, would you- It’s all Moonbase, Commander. I know. Would you tell me about anything else that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would love to. It is our good friends at Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I wanted to ask you, you had said something a minute ago about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how you didn’t have to set up your own network and it just made me remember. So when I was a kid, I used to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey play quite a lot of games and both all of the Nintendo consoles
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and many, many, many PC games. And I was just curious if you guys had the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hilarious experiences of having your friends over where they would bring their mini
⏹️ ▶️ Casey towers and their CRT monitors that weighed a thousand pounds and you’re in like sixth or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seventh grade at the time so you can barely lift them on your own. And you would get like these 40-foot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey null modem cables and string them together and play Wolf 3D or Doom against each
⏹️ ▶️ Casey other or whatever the case may be. I just, God, I have such fond memories of that and I was curious if I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the only one. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was a nightmare. I mean, part of the fun of being a high school kid and trying to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hang out with my geek friends and set up some kind of LAN at somebody’s house to play Total Annihilation,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is all I did in high school,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually turned out to be a pretty good experience. It was funny because,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I think this is kind of a motto for a lot of PC gaming, or not a motto, it’s a common
⏹️ ▶️ Marco result of all PC gaming, is like, you have to deal with so much crap to set it up, and you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ours, this was like a lot of physical moving stuff around, physical plugging stuff in, figuring out, oh god, why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does this network cable that we just made yesterday, and we’ve never made a network cable before, why does this all of a sudden not work,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or, you know, why can your computer see the other three, but then one of them can’t see you,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and oh god, you didn’t install the map, or like, you start, You get all into the game and you realize one guy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t have the newest patch and so half the units are disabled. You know, there’s… It was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole bunch of crap. It was a whole bunch of time-wasting crap, system administration stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rebooting, installing patches, installing new versions of the game, installing new maps, getting everything. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was such a nightmare that we would start bringing… And all of these computers were
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like our computers or our family’s computers, so we couldn’t really leave them there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the next week or anything. So we would like, every weekend, me and a couple of friends would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bring all of our computers over to one of the two houses that had network switches. Like two
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the houses had two computers, because the parents had two computers. So we’d congregate on those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco houses, plug in, try to figure everything out. We wouldn’t even start playing until 12
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or 1 in the morning.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. Because by the time the game actually launches and you’re actually in it, it would be 1 AM, we would have started
⏹️ ▶️ Marco setting up at eight and, you know, been installing patches and crap until then. And that’s,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is like the view of PC gaming that I still have because I didn’t play a lot of games
⏹️ ▶️ Marco after mid-college or so because I just kind of ran out of time. And then after college I got a job and didn’t have time then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and all my friends were in different places so I kind of fell out of gaming. But is PC
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gaming, I mean, obviously nowadays you could bring over LCDs or, you know, a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Laptop which would be amazing. I mean we all had home-built desktops with like 19 inch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco CRT monitors So it was it was quite an ordeal These days
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I imagine it’s a lot better But I bet you still have a lot of that software crap to deal with is that still
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not as bad as as certainly not as bad as it used to be and for the most part if you’re lucky
⏹️ ▶️ John And you have some minimum amount of knowledge you can get a similar experience to that as what people are getting I
⏹️ ▶️ John think these days on their PCs, you get a headset mic, you get the internet for your networking problems,
⏹️ ▶️ John everyone has their own screen, you’re not all physically in the same place, but it’s close-ish. People still have
⏹️ ▶️ John LAN parties, like at the PAX conference, they have a giant LAN room where you can bring your own
⏹️ ▶️ John PC or use the ones that you have there, and they still do that. But when I see people in the giant LAN rooms
⏹️ ▶️ John at conventions and stuff, it’s just row after row of people sitting at PCs looking at their screens, wearing headset
⏹️ ▶️ John mics, I think, how important is it that these people are all in the same room? And it’s not as important as it was when you and your
⏹️ ▶️ John friends were all in the same room. Because the technology, like, it’s now just you, the screen, the mouse, the keyboard, and the headset
⏹️ ▶️ John mic. And the fact that the guy you’re yelling at is four seats away means nothing, because you never even look at him. Maybe in
⏹️ ▶️ John smaller atmospheres, it would be more important. But I think, for the most part, that the internet and technology
⏹️ ▶️ John has come to make most of that unimportant. One thing that the younger people might remember is that the original
⏹️ ▶️ John Xbox, you could bring that over to someone’s house, hook it up, and play Halo,
⏹️ ▶️ John of a multi-room multiplayer Halo experience. And that, I think, was maybe the
⏹️ ▶️ John last thing to be lugged from house to house for original Xboxes. But nowadays, no one lugs their consoles. I think they
⏹️ ▶️ John basically keep them in their house and use the magic of the internet to do that stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s just, it’s funny to me because channeling my inner bitter old man, like we were
⏹️ ▶️ Casey talking about last episode, you know, I just remember so vividly the pain of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey finding a null modem cable, which looked in many ways like a serial cable,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey different. And then you had to string them together and then you had to set up everyone in the same, like really, really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hot room. Because no matter what, how big the room was and how good the air conditioning was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey when you put all of these, you know, humongous machines with these CRTs that weren’t exactly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cool either, and you put them all in this little room with all these teenage dudes that probably don’t have the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey best hygiene anyway, and then you sit there and eat Doritos and Mountain Dew for hours and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just playing these games like Doom and whatnot when you can scream and yell at each other and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’re right next to each other. And then I remember somebody mentioned in the chat and one of my all-time favorites
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was playing Descent, the first Descent, and playing that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not only against your friends like locally but also playing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it via modem directly between two friends. And then eventually when Kali
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever it was called came out and it would let the internet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey masquerade as an IPX network, which was all that most of these games supported at the time. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh my God, it was so much fun. And it was such a defining part of my childhood,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like between that and all of the Nintendo consoles. I know I jokingly begrudged
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it as recently as earlier this episode, the whole game thing, God, it was such a big part of my,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my upbringing and my childhood. And I, and I spent so much time playing these games and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s just so weird to me, like not to get all, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John have, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t mean this to be a dismissive, but I guess I just grew out of it. Like it just wasn’t a priority to me anymore. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t even remember the last game that I played that I was really, really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey into, I guess, maybe Metal Gear Solid on the original PlayStation. And it was probably not the first
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Metal Gear Solid either.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well when PlayStation threes are $99 in a couple of years, I’ll send you one and you can play journey
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You’re not gonna leave me alone until I play journey, are you
⏹️ ▶️ John leave anybody alone Marco you’re still on your schedule, too. Yep
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wait, what was Marco schedule?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s the whenever the hell Marco gets around to its schedule.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah, like most
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s very different these days that networking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is ubiquitous, or if not ubiquitous, darn near ubiquitous. And it’s such
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a far cry from what we had to deal with. And I’m not saying that to make it sound like I walked uphill both
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ways. That’s not at all the point. It’s just – it’s surprising to me how much technology has
⏹️ ▶️ Casey changed in so little time where our children will not have any of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey these woes that we had. Like I remember to connect to the internet originally. My dad and I spent literally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a couple of weeks trying to figure out, I believe, not only the modem initialization string
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever you called it, the AT whatever, whatever, whatever string, but then also the correct…
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What was it? Was it SLIP? S-L-I-P? Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco and TPP and all that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Script. Yeah, yeah, to figure out the correct slip script to write. And I’ve probably told this story before, and I’m sorry, but oh
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my goodness, it was such pain. And when we finally got it, it was such a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sense of accomplishment. And it’s just, it’s not the same anymore. And kids
⏹️ ▶️ Casey these days have different issues that they have to overcome, like Windows. But nevertheless,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s just so funny to me how different things are today.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, ultimately, it’s better today. I mean, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey oh, yeah. But you know, I,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, hold on. Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Fracture, Ting, and Squarespace.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And we’ll see you next week.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental, oh it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental, oh it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you can find the show notes
⏹️ ▶️ John at atp.fm And if you’re into Twitter,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tmarco Armin S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse It’s accidental, they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I disagree with with something that John said a few minutes back which is about how network
⏹️ ▶️ Marco play it kind of replaced in-person play I I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s anywhere near the same thing and the headset and the constant voice chat does improve things a lot but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know like there’s there’s something about you just being in the same
⏹️ ▶️ Marco room or being in the next room over from the people who you’re playing against. And when you start marching
⏹️ ▶️ Marco into their base, and you can hear them swear and get all upset about it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or, like we had a rule during our LAN games for Total Annihilation, we had a rule that you were not allowed to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mute the sound or to wear headphones. You had to use audible sound. You can turn it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco down, but it had to be audible. And so you could, there was even strategy in that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Be careful what you click, because the other person might hear you click on a big unit that makes a certain sound and they’ll know you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one. Or something like, there’s all these little factors you could add in or that just kind of happened
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that made it a more interesting, more rich experience to be in the same room as people and be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco playing with people as opposed to just everyone meet on the same server together. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think looking at that, what probably really killed the LAN party being
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a thing besides how incredibly expensive and complicated time-consuming it was,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was the N64 getting four players. That, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because the N64 came out at roughly the same time that we were doing all this stuff, and, or a little before,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it really came into its own by that time, so like, we were faced with, all right, well, what do you want to do tonight?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do you want to all bring your computers over and dick around with Windows for two hours? Or,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do you want to just come over and play GoldenEye? Like, it’s already here.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Mario Kart, right, you know, hey,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know you two guys bring controllers because I only have two otherwise
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey we’re fine Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know like it was like I feel like in-person playing of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Four player good n64 and forward games. I think that really did more to kill the LAN
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I didn’t say that it was the same but it did replace it in the same way that when you went from
⏹️ ▶️ John what? Replaced your LAN parties what replaced it was four player scripting four player script split screen
⏹️ ▶️ John is not the same because everybody can see everybody else’s screen, but it did replace it. So like I said, if you look at
⏹️ ▶️ John how are people doing most of their multiplayer gaming, it used to be that the super hardcore gamers were having
⏹️ ▶️ John land parties. Nowadays, the super hardcore land gamers are sitting in front of a screen with a headset on.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it replaced it. And like, and I was thinking of the in-person thing, like the places where land parties still exist, like a conventions,
⏹️ ▶️ John often when I see people playing at giant land parties and conventions, they’re playing at the land party the same
⏹️ ▶️ John way they play at home, which is headphones on, headset on, staring at the screen in front of them, which is not,
⏹️ ▶️ John you You know, it’s not the same, you’re right. But that’s that is what has replaced like it. Those other aspects
⏹️ ▶️ John that were different were deemed not as important as the aspects that they like, just like when you went to four players,
⏹️ ▶️ John but split screen GoldenEye, the aspects that you were missing having private screens were
⏹️ ▶️ John significant, but were not the most important thing. The most important thing is you were having fun with your friends. And for most
⏹️ ▶️ John people, like the inconvenience of traveling to the to be the same place like a lot of that has
⏹️ ▶️ John to do with like scheduling, you know, getting everybody when they’re all free at the same time and can travel
⏹️ ▶️ John to someone’s house to sit on their couch together to play a game. Even when you’ve eliminated a LAN
⏹️ ▶️ John party stuff, it’s harder to do that than it is to, hey, when dinner is done and
⏹️ ▶️ John the kids are in bed, let me just wander into my computer room and everyone get online the same way we do our podcast.
⏹️ ▶️ John Everyone just get online at nine o’clock and that works out, you know, so it is definitely different and
⏹️ ▶️ John there are aspects that are not as good and you’re missing things, but convenience wins out eventually.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s true, but to me, some of my favorite memories of doing these
⏹️ ▶️ Casey quote unquote land parties or null modem parties or whatever you want to call them was if not the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whooping and hollering that happened during the games like Marco was describing, but man, the trash talk
⏹️ ▶️ Casey afterwards, like after a session or a game or a round or whatever was over when you would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just, you know, happily fun getting each other’s faces and start screaming and yelling about, Oh, I can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey believe you did that you was saying, Oh, I totally slaughtered you on that level. and blah, blah, blah. Maybe it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just because I’m obnoxious, but oh, that was the most fun in the world. And that just,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t see, and it’s hard for me to say because I don’t really play games that much anymore, but I don’t see that happening at
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a LAN party or especially if you’re not co-located.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m pretty sure Trash Talk still works over headset mics. Someone who plays PC games can confirm to me
⏹️ ▶️ John that perhaps Trash Talk still is a thing on the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know what I mean. I’m pretty sure Trash Talk is the only thing that goes over headset mics. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ John true. You know what I’m saying? I was trying to do like verbal sarcasm tags because sometimes people don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John catch it. Like when I said the Mac Mini has a core 2 duo and people corrected me as if I was
⏹️ ▶️ John serious. That was sarcasm, folks. We invented it in New York, I think.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, everything comes from New York. We’re the best.
⏹️ ▶️ John We? Mr. Ohio? I’m sorry. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco accepting this. Well, you left. So I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John at least here now.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s more important to be from there than to be there.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, hey, John, where were you born? What does your birth certificate say? What state?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And would you ask me?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know, Virginia, right? Connecticut? I don’t know. Some crazy state.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey New York, John. New York.
⏹️ ▶️ John How long were you in New York?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco At least a few minutes, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John You have to have your formative years there. The thing that molds you into the man that you are, your formative years
⏹️ ▶️ John are called formative for a reason. Where did you spend those years, Gazi?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So well, not in New York.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey zero through like two in Fort Montgomery, New York. Then we bounced
⏹️ ▶️ Casey around for a little bit when I was a really young kid and from like kindergarten through second
⏹️ ▶️ Casey grade, I believe it was I was in Carmel, New York. And
⏹️ ▶️ John New York’s not New York. Come on, it’s upstate
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up. It’s not that upstate. My God,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically Canada. Mark. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey practically know how to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh my god caramel isn’t like an hour and a half from New York City it is not that upstate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can get pretty pretty out there in an hour and a half from New York
⏹️ ▶️ John the only way you can get an hour and a half from New York City and not be upstate is by going east
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so into the ocean Oh Long Island I guess
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John yeah yeah so it’s bridges and tunnels you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get there it’s traffic and wine yeah one thing actually that I wanted to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to mention here because it’d be just only because we were talking about us land party and PC gaming crap is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that so one of the like four core guys that that I had these LAN parties with is getting married
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this spring and as part of the bachelor party we’re like renting a beach house somewhere
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for like a weekend and we and we want to play LAN games again so I think what I’m gonna do to have this done is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah cuz and we don’t want to play new games we want to play Total Annihilation and you know maybe Supreme Commander at the newest
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is came out in late 2004 or something so they’re not not new games by
⏹️ ▶️ Marco any stretch. So what I’m thinking is, I’m thinking of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco configuring, because I don’t want to have to spend this whole weekend downloading stuff over God knows what connection and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco configuring stuff there. That’s not a good use of a weekend in a beach house. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was thinking, TechServe will rent you MacBook Pros, like by the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day or by the week, and for a pretty reasonable price. So I was thinking I could just like rent like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco six MacBook Pros and Have like a pre-configured Parallels VM
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That I could just that I would set up beforehand and just copy to all of them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and play that way Is that is that plausible you
⏹️ ▶️ John think you could try it you could try a boxer like it’s a DOS game, right? You try boxer.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco these are no. It’s not unfortunately. These are Windows games These are like like total annihilation is like a Windows 98
⏹️ ▶️ Marco era game, but it works on it still works on modern Windows It doesn’t run on DOS no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and and super commander is like a direct x9 game. It’s pretty Relatively recent it’s 10
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years old, but relatively recent
⏹️ ▶️ John Why don’t you just boot the the MacBook Pros into Windows to play the game?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because I don’t know how I don’t I think that that might take too long to like to get To
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get a real boot camp partition. I guess I could like image it somehow. I don’t know how to do that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I don’t know.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s imaging products for the PC. Anyway, either of those things should probably work. I mean, for a total annihilation,
⏹️ ▶️ John any one of those things should work. It should run reasonably in a VM. Just try it once on your Mac Pro to see
⏹️ ▶️ John if it does fine in VMware.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Oh, and to answer the chat people, the reason I don’t just get Windows
⏹️ ▶️ Marco machines is because I want to have all this set up before I rent the computers and before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I get there. a VM set up so I could just copy it over and be and be done with it and not spend
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hours and hours and hours you know making this work
⏹️ ▶️ John I predict that no matter what you do to prepare for this part of the LAN party experience will be preserved
⏹️ ▶️ John and that will be the part of you dicking around with the computers definitely so be glad
⏹️ ▶️ John that that shouldn’t be a failure that should be considered part of the success
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know I’ve tried to get so back into games like so many times there’s there’s this great other podcast called three moves
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ahead and it’s like a strategy gaming podcast and it’s also like a lot of good stuff just about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people and they have good chemistry there so it’s an interesting show but like I try to get into that and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’d like I listen to the episodes that were about ancient games that I’m aware of but all the ones about new games
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know what the heck they’re talking about it’s like this whole world that’s had has moved on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for like 10 years since I stopped paying attention to it and I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel like I can’t get back into it now like I’m I’m excited to play ancient games with my ancient friends
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on this one occasion. I’m excited about that. But I don’t want to play Total Annihilation against strangers on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the internet today.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you can look at it the good way and the bad way. The bad way is that you’re missing
⏹️ ▶️ John out on all these great games, and you are missing out on them. But the good way is that by being ignorant for
⏹️ ▶️ John so long, in your future somewhere lies a time when you’re going to somehow stumble
⏹️ ▶️ John upon or find yourself playing a modern game. And you’re going to be like, oh my god, I didn’t know.
⏹️ ▶️ John When did this happen to games? And it will be interesting. It happened to me with console games, because I never owned
⏹️ ▶️ John game consoles, because my parents didn’t let me have one. And I stopped kind of playing them over my friend’s house once
⏹️ ▶️ John I really got into computers, because that sort of dominated my life. And around the SNES era, I kind of faded
⏹️ ▶️ John away from consoles. And the next time I paid any attention at all to consoles was when I saw my cousin’s
⏹️ ▶️ John Nintendo 64, Mario 64. I’m like, oh my god, when did this happen? It’s not like I hadn’t seen 3D graphics before.
⏹️ ▶️ John We were all playing Quake with voodoo cards or whatever, or a friend’s house. But seeing a game console with an
⏹️ ▶️ John analog stick and seeing Mario 64 was just like a shock to my system and totally brought me back to console gaming. And
⏹️ ▶️ John it also helped at that point I was old enough to buy my own. So in your future somewhere, you will have your Mario 64 a moment
⏹️ ▶️ John and you will probably get back into it. But in the meantime, you should have used my strategy with cars, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll never drive or, you know, with the exception of seeing your M5, see any of these cars in real life
⏹️ ▶️ John or have anything to do with them. But I’ve been reading car magazines I was like 10 years old like continuously
⏹️ ▶️ John so despite the fact that I Didn’t own any cars until many many years and then now I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John only had a couple of cars in my entire life I still feel like I’m in the car scene just by reading
⏹️ ▶️ John car magazines every month for my entire Adult and half of child
⏹️ ▶️ John life, so you could have been doing that if you really cared I mean I kind of do it too. I read all the game. I
⏹️ ▶️ John read the gaming news I read the game console magazines and granted I have like five consoles like those on my TV
⏹️ ▶️ John but I don’t have all of them and I don’t play all the PC games, but I’m aware of them. So it’s kind of like a, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John what point is there reading car magazines about cars you’re never going to own? What point is there reading game magazines about games you’re never going to play?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s both kind of the same thing. I do both of them.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, it’s hearing you say voodoo card. It made me remember as I’m getting on this nostalgic
⏹️ ▶️ Casey kick, that one 3D card that we had, I think it was the first one we got where it you would take
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this short little stubby cable and plug it into the VGA out of your actual video card
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then plug it into a VGA in on the 3D daughter card and then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the VGA out that goes to your monitor was on that 3D daughter card. Oh my goodness, it was so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that was the crappy old days. Like Voodoo 2, I think did that. My first good 3D card was the Voodoo 3
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I think the first one I think that was all integrated and didn’t have that stupid hack.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I remember back in the day when I was excited to get a Sound Blaster so I could listen to like the sound
⏹️ ▶️ Casey effects on Carmen Sandiego as like a 10 year old or whatever I was. Those
⏹️ ▶️ John the good old days of baiting PC users when their computers couldn’t do basic things
⏹️ ▶️ John like have an auto-switching 10100 ethernet cable like you mentioned the Xbox or
⏹️ ▶️ John a sound card. What do you need a sound card for? My
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco computer can make sounds.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Except our computers could play games and my very first mouse came with two buttons.