Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

326: Blow Your Redo Stack

Doomsday prep, everyday carry, backpacks, star-rating scales, movie-frame guessing, and maybe a few technology topics.

Episode Description:

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MP3 Header

Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).


  1. Casey at work
  2. Bug-out bags
  3. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  4. John’s Frame Game
  5. Intel MDS vulnerability
  6. Sponsor: Marine Layer
  7. Replacing QuickTime 7
  8. macOS house-cleaning
  9. Sponsor: Linode (code atp2019)
  10. #askatp: Code comments bad?
  11. #askatp: Star-rating movies
  12. #askatp: Backpacks
  13. Ending theme
  14. Casey’s app is imminent

Casey at work

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I really did have fun. And if I sounded otherwise on the show, then edit me to make it sound like I had fun

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I did. Aaron Ross

⏹️ ▶️ John Powell No, I did. It was good. I had fun too. Mike McLennan I’m glad you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey two are

⏹️ ▶️ John having fun while

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m at work. Aaron Ross Powell Yeah. Mike McLennan Hey, well, I’m at work too. It’s only Marco that isn’t because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he’s doing my work for me. Aaron Ross Powell Tell me all about it. Mike McLennan That’s right. I was sitting. I was suffering. It was just a little bit chilly outside

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at the outdoor mall when the kids and Aaron were in at the Children’s Museum in the mall

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I was working on my adorable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on my adorable. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it sounds like a hard life. It was tough. It was very difficult. Yeah, it was a little chilly. Just a touch,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey touch too chilly. If I’d moved out of the shade, it would have been better, but then I wouldn’t be able to see my goddamn screen.

Bug-out bags

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know if it was because I stumbled onto the Wikipedia page

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for bug out bags. So this is the, oh shit, I’ve got to get out of the house now. What

⏹️ ▶️ John are you bugging out from?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have no idea. So I was doing the show notes for Ask ATP.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What’s our WWDC EDC, which is Everyday Carry. And then I was looking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at, I was trying to find a link for EDC and then I stumbled on Everyday Carry on Wikipedia and that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey led me to bug out bag. And I was just reading about, you know, blizzards and earthquakes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for all the natural disasters that hit Virginia.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, we have not hurricanes in like the Florida sense, but hurricanes in the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey surprising amount of rain and wind for as far inland as I am sense. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so that can cause some problems from time to time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but I think you’re far enough inland that it is merely surprising, not like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco life ruining or house destroying.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nine times out of 10, I would agree. There have been occasions that it’s been actually legitimately scary,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But yes, you are certainly far more right than you are wrong. But did you know, Marco, that a bug-out bag,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or BOB, may also be referred to as a good bag, which is an acronym for get out of dodge,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an inch bag, I’m never coming home, a personal emergency relocation kit, or PERC,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or a quick run bag, a QRB? Needless to say, someone has been looking at Wikipedia

⏹️ ▶️ Casey lately, and that someone is this guy.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See, I feel like there’s probably a lot of overlap between that community

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the like red staters, like people who fantasize

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about zombie apocalypses and watch the walking dead and really

⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s like, I wasn’t going to bring the walking dead into it, but I was just going to make the same point. This is like the slightly kinder and gentler

⏹️ ▶️ John version of the fantasy where you’re going to be like defending your family with your giant collection of firearms.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco The slightly kinder

⏹️ ▶️ John one is that I’m going to somehow escape disaster when others don’t because I have

⏹️ ▶️ John a well packed bag and that will make all the difference.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, like nobody prepares a bag like this without a little bit of a fantasy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in their head that they someday will have to use it. Like that’s it’s the same thing with buying guns and everything. It’s like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people want, they fantasize about having a reason to use these things and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they they kind of revel in the idea of that and so like that’s why I can’t I can’t even look at like everyday

⏹️ ▶️ Marco carry stuff because it very quickly turns to knives and guns.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco am very interested in lots of other things that people typically classify as everyday carry, but if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco look like on Instagram or anything for that, it’s quickly knives and guns, very, very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco quickly.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I couldn’t agree with you more. And it’s funny because, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lived in Virginia

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a while, I don’t know if it’s, I was never a Boy Scout, so it’s not that, but there’s something that appeals

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me about the thought of having a bag that I can grab moment’s notice and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know that anything I could reasonably need is within it. And I’ve talked many, many, many times about what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I call my GoPack, which is all of my nerd, it’s like my nerd bug out bag,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right? So it’s all of my nerd cables.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Steven Poser Right. I have one of those too. And I fantasize about someday needing that micro USB

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco USB-C cable. Michael

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey O’Brien I’m right there with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you. But all snark aside, like it really is convenient. And I think the difference between

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I call a GoPack and a bug out bag is that a go pack you use presumably at least a few times a year. No matter how much

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or little you travel, you’re going to travel at least occasionally. And so at least occasionally you’ll use a go pack.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Whereas I do agree with what you’re saying. A bug out bag is like, I’m like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hand wringing in a happy way like, oh, I can’t wait to have that natural disaster so I can use my first aid kit that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I spent $350 on that lasts forever. I don’t know. Like it appeals to me in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a sense because I like the preparedness aspect of it, but I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really see the point, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not really prepared to smell like even your adapter bag is, you know, it is probably not actually preparing you for anything, but

⏹️ ▶️ John like any

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of the

⏹️ ▶️ John other bags, like just in, in the balance of things that are going to help or hurt

⏹️ ▶️ John in the case of any kind of disaster, the few items you put in that bag are not going to make any difference.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s, it’s not, you know, unless you can fit a food shelter

⏹️ ▶️ John and a vulnerable bubble and three years worth of shelf stable food into that bag. It’s not,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the bag will not make the difference.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and like the reality

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like, if society ever falls apart that much, we’re all just gonna be killed immediately. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’re gonna last no time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John at all.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, well, I would have been killed, but I had a bag with some stuff in it.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Hey, hey. That did it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You say you’re gonna die immediately, but I have plenty of friends with these small arsenals in their homes, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey does not make me comfortable.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re all gonna kill each other. It doesn’t matter, and it’s not gonna help you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and like, what value will you provide them?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ll be delicious to eat? I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, exactly. A little gamey. You’ll have this bag they can take very easily from you. For

⏹️ ▶️ Marco real.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. This is all somewhat, follow me down this tangent, this is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all somewhat relevant because last night we had one of the, you know, it’s funny as parents

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how quickly you lose the ability to be woken up overnight. So Mikayla

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is 16 months old and, you know, she has been sleeping through the night for most of those 16 months.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And for the times that she wasn’t, generally speaking, it was Erin who was going in to nurse her. So, you know, I,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I got to sleep through the night a lot. But, um, last night we had Declan having a bad dream.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Then of course we had a smoke alarm that decided to go off. And, and even though the battery from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the, you know, nine volt tongue test seemed fine, the smoke detector was dissatisfied with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Um, so we had to do that, change that. And that was in Michaela’s room, which made it all the worse. And then of course that woke her up, which made

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it even worse. And then there was something else that happened. Like all of these are minor, oh, the power flickered. That’s where

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this tangent came from. The power flickered a few times, which is pretty unusual for us these days. And of course

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my UPS is going ballistic and things that are on smart switches, like the fans in the kids’

⏹️ ▶️ Casey room are now turning themselves off. And none of these are a big deal. Like in and of themselves,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey none of them are a big deal. It just so happened that they all decided to hit at once, like one hour apart from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey each other, which was not fun. So I’m a little tired and a little loopy. But I don’t know, it’s got

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me thinking, what would happen if legitimately, like our seemingly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very vulnerable power grid, like legitimately just got hacked and shut down? Like what happened,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what was it, around 2004-ish when the Northeast shut down for two days or something like that? That sounds terrifying.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was on my way to work at Staples. Ah, nice.

⏹️ ▶️ John Nothing happens. I think we didn’t have power for like a week maybe on Hurricane Gloria before you guys were born maybe.

⏹️ ▶️ John You’d just hang out in your house. I mean, especially if it doesn’t happen in the dead of winter. In the dead of winter, you’ve got more problems.

⏹️ ▶️ John But places with the dead of winter also have fireplaces and you can get by.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Even that time, like when when we had that giant Northeast blackout, when I was working at Staples, like it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was really inconvenient for the few hours that we were in Pennsylvania,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we were out of power. And then it was fine. Like I have. Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco geez. I mean, I have the amount of like battery capacity and flashlight capacity

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I have in my office right here within 10 feet of me is incredible. I could keep our phones

⏹️ ▶️ Marco charged and at least one room of our house somewhat lit with flashlights

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for like a week with what I have right here already. And when am I ever gonna need it? Like probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never. And if any of it ever comes up, I’ll be really excited to use it. Oh, I have just the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco battery for this purpose, right? And that’ll happen maybe once every 10 years for an hour.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then it will never happen after that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, my parents live about 45 minutes from me and they have this very fancy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey inverter generator that’s enough to power, not the entire house, but like a large portion thereof. It’s like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a 6,000 watt generator or something like that. And my mother-in-law, who is about 20 minutes from me, has a whole

⏹️ ▶️ Casey home like natural gas generator. And I’ve really, really, really kicked around the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey idea of spending something like, it was like two or $3,000, I think, for a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fancy inverter generator. And so, you know, I already have a hookup in the fuse box to plug

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it in and, you know, I could power whatever portions of the house I wanted. This is like the bug out bag,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but even more expensive, right? Because I really, really want to get this like $3,000 generator just so I know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I will never have the problem. But then it’s exactly what you were saying earlier, Marco. Then I’m just like fantasizing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about the power going out. Like, ooh, maybe tonight’s the night. Ooh, it’s getting windy. It’s getting windy. Should I go get the generator ready? It

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is so silly. Like, I haven’t bought it because I know deep down It’s a complete waste of money, especially since we have relatives

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so close, but I want it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s the thing, if you’re actually losing power so incredibly frequently that this thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would pay for itself, that’s one thing. But the reality is, in most places

⏹️ ▶️ Marco around here, where you live too, I’m sure, you lose power so infrequently in such short periods that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worst case scenario, if you lose power and you can’t stay in your house, maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s in the middle of winter and it’s really cold outside or something like that, so you kinda need heat to stay in your house and you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t have it, and it’s too cold to just put on sweaters and blankets and everything, and you can’t get space heaters, and all this other stuff, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s like, okay, well, then get in your car and drive somewhere. Drive as far away

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as you need to to get a hotel room. How much does that cost for the one time every 10 years that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’ll need to do that, versus what it costs to get a

⏹️ ▶️ John generator installed. They should sell people just empty metal shells. They would never know, right? Just like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you put something in this thing and it just makes noise and it’s very heavy,

⏹️ ▶️ John because it just sits in your house and rots, right? It’s just, it’s waiting out there. You’re hoping it’s not just like a rust thing

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, it does more than that. Like I know my in-laws have one and I think once a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco week, it does a self-test. You know, you have this massive gas engine

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing that once a week goes, arrrrr, for like, you know, 15 minutes while it self-tests

⏹️ ▶️ Marco itself. Like these things aren’t without their downsides. Like that’s the thing that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have to get installed, get periodically maintained or serviced,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s very intrusive, invasive. It takes space out of your yard or out of your house or whatever. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it isn’t like a small deal and it’s for a benefit that you probably will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never need or you would need once every 10 years but then you could just go to the hotel room somewhere and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like for way less money and not having that, you know, noise and space and giant things sitting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in your yard for the last decade.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s not unusual for us to go to Erin’s mom’s on a Sunday afternoon and that’s when her whole

⏹️ ▶️ Casey home generator decides to do its self-test. And it is exactly what you described. It’s extraordinarily

⏹️ ▶️ Casey loud. It runs for like 10 ish minutes and it’s very random. And so every time I’m like, what,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what, what, oh, right. Duh. And it just freaks me out every time. And, and it’s, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not a big deal. Like it in the grand scheme of things, it helps her because she is, she’s not remote

⏹️ ▶️ Casey by any reasonable definition of the word, but she’s remote enough that power does go out for her, you know, periodically,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and so it does make sense for her to have it. But yeah, for us, where most

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the electric lines, near-ish us, are in ground, and the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one tree that kept knocking out our neighborhood’s power in the above ground section

⏹️ ▶️ Casey has been trimmed back a couple of years ago. And ever since that tree got trimmed, it has been pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey reliable here. But it was just a few years ago, I don’t remember exactly when, I want to say actually it was probably six or seven years ago,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that one hurricane came through Richmond. The south side of Richmond, which is not where I am,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t be creepy, they were without power for as much as two weeks. And that was surprising. And we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey knew the hurricane was coming. Like it wasn’t that much of a surprise that it was coming, but it brought

⏹️ ▶️ Casey far more damage than anyone expected. And so we were fine. This is when we did have a generator

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that has since died. But we, I think, didn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey power for like two or three days or something like that. And like I said, the other

⏹️ ▶️ Casey side of Richmond didn’t have it for as much as two weeks. And it was it was something else. Like it was intense for a while.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But even then, like I feel like the solution, you know, we are fortunate that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have some disposable income. Yeah. Right. And so like, I think the solution is very clearly like, just apply

⏹️ ▶️ Marco money to this problem until it goes away. Like when when it happens, if it happens right. So like, like, you know, my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco car can go 300 miles from my house before I have to stop anywhere.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if anything ever happens to the area that I’m in, I can put my family in my car

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and drive somewhere up to 300 miles away where I can get a hotel room. I’m sure, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know the local hotels are probably gonna be very crowded, but I’m sure within 300 miles I can find a room.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But if you had that kind of a problem though, wouldn’t you take the BMW rather than the Tesla? Why on earth would you take the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tesla?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because I can plug it in anywhere and it will already be full. It will already

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all times have that 300 mile range, whereas the BMW might have a quarter tank of gas

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in it. I don’t know. You can’t guarantee at any given day that the BMW’s gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey full. Whereas

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know the Tesla’s gonna be full.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I agree with you, but don’t you think if there was a risk of a hurricane hitting the New York or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a blizzard hitting the New York area, don’t you think you would go and fill the BMW if it was really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that much of a problem? Because if it were me and I had a Dino Juice car and a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Zap Zap car sitting in the garage, I would absolutely choose the BMW just because of the convenience

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of being able to fill up just about anywhere without having to worry about power.

⏹️ ▶️ John Plus you can relive Mad Max movie that neither of you saw. I saw

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Fury Road.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, I meant the original.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If there is a severe natural disaster, it’s more likely to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really hard to get gas than electricity. Like around here,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with US infrastructure and everything, there’s frequently runs on gas stations before major hurricanes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where you can’t get gas, You have to wait in very long lines to get gas. If everyone, because everyone else has the same

⏹️ ▶️ Marco idea, oh, I better fill up my car, right? Like before any kind of major hurricane, it’s actually very hard to get gas around here.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Whereas like, you can almost always find power somewhere, either in your house,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or if you have lost power, like within 300 miles, it’s probably easier to find power

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than gas during a natural disaster, honestly.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I want to argue with you, but I don’t know enough about this to be able to make any sort of compelling argument.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s right.

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, first and foremost, I need to remind you. No, I’m just kidding. We’re all done with that. Don’t worry. Thank

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you everyone who bought shirts and hats and polos and sweatshirts

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and everything else really and truly from the bottom of our hearts. We really appreciate it. I would like to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just vindicate myself, is that the word I’m looking for? I don’t know, whatever. I’d just like to congratulate myself that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey within, I think an hour or two of the sales closing at Cotton Bureau, we got tweets

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from people saying, oh God, I forgot, is there anything I can do? You guys think I’m just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey saying that to be a jerk, you know, to be a big jerk. You think I’m saying that to be mean? Oh no.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It was within an hour or two that there were poor people. And I mean that genuinely, that, you know, these people were upset and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do feel bad for them. But that’s why we reminded you. So anyway, thank

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you everyone who bought shirts and hats and everything else. I really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I know my two co-hosts really do appreciate it. And I am super amped to hopefully see some

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of this walking around the San Jose area in just a couple of weeks actually. It’s coming up real

⏹️ ▶️ Casey soon.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, thanks everybody.

⏹️ ▶️ John I wondered if Casey would find a way to get mad at listeners again, even though the sale is over and he found a way.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey That’s what I’d say. Why don’t you

⏹️ ▶️ John stop yelling at them? They just wanna, you know, they’re just buying merchandise. You don’t have to yell at them every week

⏹️ ▶️ John to shame them for not buying in time. I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Anyway, yes. Which one of us

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is bad cop? Which one of us is good cop?

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re the bad cop. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey trying to be the good cop here. Thanks for

⏹️ ▶️ John buying our stuff. I hope you like it. I’m not gonna be mean to you

⏹️ ▶️ John and yell at you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, sometimes you need some tough love. I do want to congratulate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a certain co-host of mine, even though he is being bad cop and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John say that… You’re the bad cop. I was the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey good cop. No, whatever. It’s really just like rec diffs. Anyway, I would like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to congratulate John for his very amusing, what you have put in the show notes as frame

⏹️ ▶️ Casey game fun, which if you don’t follow John on Twitter, first of all, you’re making a mistake, but second of all,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John was giving away codes for free t-shirts and the way he was doing this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was by putting increasingly, or I guess decreasingly, whatever, and smaller photos

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or clips of frames of movies, uh, into tweets and saying the first person to correctly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey identify them, uh, will win a free t-shirt code. And I didn’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey most of these movies.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I don’t think. That’s not for you to.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And even the one like you had Jurassic park at one point, don’t, don’t ruin the surprise. I’m sorry.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You had something at one point that I had seen once I saw the full frame. I was like, Oh, Oh, okay. That makes sense.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But man, just looking at each of these pictures individually, I didn’t have the faintest idea. I presume Marco

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you are also clueless.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I recognized zero of them to nobody’s surprise.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep. Same

⏹️ ▶️ John story here. So we get these codes and like when you know you want to give them away to fans,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Because what else are you going to do with them? But you want to try to make it fun or

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. I’ve tried a whole bunch of different ways. I used to do like trivia questions where the answer was like take the first letter

⏹️ ▶️ John of the first word and the last letter of the last word and then those are two characters that you replace in the promo code. code.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I would put in the promo code with a bunch of X’s and you know, um, and then I would just,

⏹️ ▶️ John there would be like trivia questions or whatever, but it’s really, really hard to ask anything,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially trivia questions or tech questions that people can’t Google for in two seconds. And I always wanted the person who won it to

⏹️ ▶️ John be somebody who knew something, not somebody who was as good at Googling. And so of course I’d try to Google them myself

⏹️ ▶️ John before I did them, but it’s really, it’s just lots of really fun, interesting

⏹️ ▶️ John you realize, oh, they can Google that in two seconds. So everyone’s, you know, in fact, if you Google it,

⏹️ ▶️ John you might get it before someone who is like, oh, it’s on the tip of my tongue, what’s that thing? So I tried a couple different things this time.

⏹️ ▶️ John One of them was doing drawings, like I actually took out my Apple Pencil and drew something

⏹️ ▶️ John on my iPad. It said like, identify this thing that I drew. Because if you take a photo

⏹️ ▶️ John of a regular thing, people can just do like a reverse Google image search and find similar pictures

⏹️ ▶️ John and it tells them what it is. But if you do a line drawing, all Google finds is just a bunch of other line drawings

⏹️ ▶️ John that are totally unrelated except that they’re white backgrounds with black lines. So I did that and that worked, but I

⏹️ ▶️ John really didn’t have any more ideas about things I could draw. Um, so I came up with

⏹️ ▶️ John the frame game thing where I think it mostly worked

⏹️ ▶️ John for the intended purpose. I’m taking, you know, a frame of a movie and I’m taking a very, very small portion

⏹️ ▶️ John of it, like incredibly small, but it’s not randomly chosen. If it was like a computer that said,

⏹️ ▶️ John here’s, here’s movie pick a random frame and pick a random square that’s like you know a centimeter by centimeter

⏹️ ▶️ John nobody would get it because given a random section of a random frame it could

⏹️ ▶️ John be anything could be like a piece of blue sky or a green leaf how you can identify the movie right so the whole point of

⏹️ ▶️ John the game is I would try to pick the smallest piece that I could

⏹️ ▶️ John but strategically chosen from a frame that is significant from movie that I think

⏹️ ▶️ John people will know and from a portion of that frame that I think will evoke the movie.

⏹️ ▶️ John So one of them, I mean in case you already read it before, the Jurassic Park one, it’s an iconic

⏹️ ▶️ John scene from the movie and if you see a portion of it,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can mostly tell what it is because it’s like some kind of scaly skin, it was a dinosaur, surprise,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then some sort of like man-made lines, like a thin white line, then a black

⏹️ ▶️ John field, and then a thing with a red with a little lighter thing around it, but it’s a particular color scheme, that

⏹️ ▶️ John portion of colors next to something that looks like dinosaur skin should bring to mind that scene. And sure enough,

⏹️ ▶️ John from this picture, it looks like nothing. You know, instantly people get it. They’re just like, oh, Jurassic Park. You know,

⏹️ ▶️ John like I post the thing and then like I refresh my Twitter client and there’s the answer. Like I just scroll like a little

⏹️ ▶️ John bit and there’s the answer. So people were getting them really, really fast. I think

⏹️ ▶️ John the best one was the one I have in the show notes, if you guys can look at that on the left. It’s like a

⏹️ ▶️ John smudgy orange square with some black stuff on it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the best thing about that one, the best thing about that one is that it’s one of those things where out of context,

⏹️ ▶️ John like especially if surrounded with like a white background, it just looks like nothing, it’s like mud, right? But

⏹️ ▶️ John if you see the full frame, that part that I’m showing you is like the brightest part of the frame.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, you would think it’s basically like the sky and sunlight, but taken, it’s like when you do that optical

⏹️ ▶️ John illusion and you’re like, these two things are the same color. And you’re like, no way, they’re not the same color. And then you take like a little piece of paper that just has

⏹️ ▶️ John a hole punched out of it, and you just put the little piece of paper, so you can just see that region, and then you slide

⏹️ ▶️ John it over so you can see the other region, like, oh, I see. Without the surrounding stuff, they totally are the same color. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John that one was great, because if you don’t know the movie, and don’t know why it’s famous, you would

⏹️ ▶️ John never get it, but people got it instantly. I think there was only one that really stumped people,

⏹️ ▶️ John and that was where I misdirected by grabbing a portion of a frame that had a thing that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like, it was in the background. Right, that’s kind of mean, but I figured people might have noticed them in the background, but they didn’t.

⏹️ ▶️ John But people got all of them eventually. And the thing is, you can’t really Google them. If you try to

⏹️ ▶️ John Google image search on any of these little snippets, you come up with nothing. So I enjoyed that, and I think I’m going

⏹️ ▶️ John to do it more in the future, unless someone can come up with some other

⏹️ ▶️ John way to defeat Google while also rewarding people for obscure pop culture

⏹️ ▶️ John and or tech knowledge.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I thought it was a very clever way of doing it. and I was enjoying just watching along with the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey whole thing. Um, but yeah, most of these, I didn’t have a clue what they were.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, the earring one was good too. Like I did lots of eyeballs and stuff. Um, but then I did one that was showing like someone’s

⏹️ ▶️ John ear with an earring in it. And it was like the, you know, the show, I think after all, how often do you look at a woman’s earring? Like you,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco there are lots of famous

⏹️ ▶️ John scenes where you’re like, oh, I know that person. I know that actor, I know this famous scene, but do you know what earrings they

⏹️ ▶️ John were wearing? I just put the earring and the ear up there. Instant. got it.

⏹️ ▶️ John People are amazing. I was someone was tweeting like should be like the collective wisdom of people on the Internet

⏹️ ▶️ John versus the world’s most powerful AI and I think the Internet would give him a run for the money.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was having a conversation with somebody once there’s a subreddit or something like that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where you can put up a picture of something somewhere and it can be as obscure as like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a portion of a carpet of a hotel and the whole like schtick or game

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the subreddit is to try to determine where on the planet that picture was taken.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And according to whoever it was that was telling me this story, it was stupefying

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how accurate these people can get. Like based on just infinitesimally small pieces

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of information, they can find exactly like which room of a hotel somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was in or something like that. Maybe I’m exaggerating some, but you get the point I’m driving at is just, it is unreal what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the hive mind of the internet, when it puts its hive mind together, can do. It’s just tremendous.

Intel MDS vulnerability

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, just earlier today, I believe it was, we heard some news from Apple with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey regard to Intel CPU vulnerabilities. And I forget the marketing names

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for these things, but this was the thing. Zombieland or

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco something? Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but this was the thing with predictive execution. Is that right?

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s another one like that. It’s a new one, but it’s along the same

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco vein.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Similar to Meltdown

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Spectre.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Spectre, that’s it, yeah. Very similar to those where basically it’s exploiting some some of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the side effects of predictive execution and faults and stuff the way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Intel CPUs work. John, so I actually tried to read the paper right before we started

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here, and I honestly had a hard time figuring it out.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco John, did you actually have a better understanding of

⏹️ ▶️ John this? I didn’t put it in here for us to dive into the nitty gritty details. It’s just to like think about

⏹️ ▶️ John the, to revisit this topic, because we talked about it more last time. Situations where

⏹️ ▶️ John Intel CPUs where you if you can get them to run anything You can read information

⏹️ ▶️ John that you weren’t supposed to be able to read based on The effect of you running your thing like whether it’s timing

⏹️ ▶️ John or like, you know I said faults or other other things like the side effects of what you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John running lets you Determine something about the world and once you have a tiny little tool like this like well if I do this injustice

⏹️ ▶️ John right way and Either look for this side effect or check this timing. I can

⏹️ ▶️ John tell whether whether the first bit of this thing that I’m not supposed to be able to read is a one or a

⏹️ ▶️ John zero. And then if I do it a certain other way, I can tell the second bit and the third bit and the fourth bit and then the computers are great at

⏹️ ▶️ John doing stuff repeatedly, then you’re off to the races and now you’re reading bits of information that you weren’t

⏹️ ▶️ John supposed to be able to see, which are probably mostly garbage, but if but you just keep running it and just read everything that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John in there and eventually you can start to extract interesting information that might be in memory or in caches or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John And this has plagued Intel CPUs for a little while now. And the first time it went around, it was like, OK,

⏹️ ▶️ John well, Intel CPUs have this problem. But ARM CPUs that Apple uses in its phones

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t because the ARM CPUs Apple is using are generally simpler

⏹️ ▶️ John and didn’t have the same speculative execution logic or didn’t have hyperthreading. Or basically,

⏹️ ▶️ John the features that were being exploited didn’t exist in the ARM CPUs. Now, this one, I assume,

⏹️ ▶️ John is the same type of deal, like where people say, oh, well, you know, this is why Apple should switch to arm because they wouldn’t have to deal with all these Intel

⏹️ ▶️ John problems. And there’s two parts to that. One is that there’s always fixes for these things of like

⏹️ ▶️ John change something about either the operating system or the microcode and the CPU to

⏹️ ▶️ John avoid the situation. But those solutions are getting increasingly onerous. They were already

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of onerous with the meltdown inspector thing. But now for this one, Apple has a

⏹️ ▶️ John support article that explains what to do to avoid this. And it’s like, turn

⏹️ ▶️ John off hyper-threading

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco on your CPU.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’ll do it. If they’re exploiting some aspects of hyper-threading, you can just turn it off, it’ll be fine. But turning off hyper-threading

⏹️ ▶️ John is bad. In Apple’s document, they’re saying, this is straight from their thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John testing conducted by Apple in May of 2019 showed as much as a 40% reduction in performance. This is Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John saying this. This is not like a sensational site saying, oh my goodness, 40% reduction in performance.

⏹️ ▶️ John As much as, sure, as much as a 40%. Anyway, that’s bad. The whole point of using Intel

⏹️ ▶️ John CPU is because it has all these features to make them faster. If you have to disable those features for security to make them slower,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s bad. And now I don’t know if Apple’s latest and greatest ARM CPUs

⏹️ ▶️ John have similar features that could be similarly exploited. This paper isn’t focusing on ARM. For all

⏹️ ▶️ John we know, there could be a paper that comes out next week or next month or next year on how to exploit similar things in

⏹️ ▶️ John the most advanced ARM CPUs that either exist already or are going to exist. So it’s not like ARM is magically immune

⏹️ ▶️ John because it starts with a different letter or because it’s got the Apple magic. But both Intel

⏹️ ▶️ John and Apple are now well aware of this type of problem and presumably in all their

⏹️ ▶️ John new and upcoming CPUs, they’re trying to address it as best they can. But I think

⏹️ ▶️ John this is interesting in that it’s just another nudge in the direction of

⏹️ ▶️ John getting Apple off Intel. Again, not because ARM CPUs are magically great, but because if an Apple CPU

⏹️ ▶️ John has this problem, I bet Apple feels better about it than if Intel does, because

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple is highly motivated to fix its own CPUs for its own products, and Intel is slightly less motivated.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s more motivated about protecting its business and all this other stuff, and maybe it doesn’t view Apple as an important customer if it knows

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re already gonna bail. You know, this is why Apple wants to own and control the

⏹️ ▶️ John core technologies, blah, blah, blah. And the other thing that I wanted to talk about this is,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think I saw a couple of things like, well, this is, you know, if you’re executing code, it can do all this stuff and get at all your memory,

⏹️ ▶️ John but just don’t run any strange programs in your computer and you’ll be fine. Like it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not a thing that someone can use to break into your computer. But as far as I’m aware, and again, this would

⏹️ ▶️ John have, I don’t know if you saw it when you were looking at the paper, Marco, that you just need to execute

⏹️ ▶️ John anything on the CPU. So one thing that we execute on our CPU all day long

⏹️ ▶️ John is JavaScript in web pages. And I think a lot of these papers, perhaps also including this one, have a demonstration

⏹️ ▶️ John of the exploit using JavaScript on a web page. And so, yeah, it’s not like you have to download

⏹️ ▶️ John a piece of malware. I’m not sure if it’s this one or the other things, but if you can just run JavaScript and exploit

⏹️ ▶️ John this, that’s really bad. That’s really, really bad. Now, there are no, to be clear, as they point out, there are no exploits in the wild

⏹️ ▶️ John that do anything with this. And just because you can read this information, you’d have to do a lot of reading

⏹️ ▶️ John and transmitting that back to something that can process it and figure it out. And like, it’s a little bit of a road from

⏹️ ▶️ John this exploit to breaking into someone’s computer, but it’s not that long of a road, because as we browse the

⏹️ ▶️ John web on our computers with Intel CPUs, we’re executing JavaScript

⏹️ ▶️ John all day long and that JavaScript could be mining for Bitcoins or it could be searching our memory for encryption

⏹️ ▶️ John keys or who knows what it’s doing. So as these stories come out,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think a lot of, if you’re not a tech nerd and not following these things, you might not know

⏹️ ▶️ John about them, but if you know a little bit, you’ll be like, what can I do? What should I do to protect myself against

⏹️ ▶️ John this? And the answer is like, it’s not much you can do. Like you can do what’s in the Apple support article. They have you

⏹️ ▶️ John boot your computer with some NVRAM orgs that slow your CPU way down by disabling features.

⏹️ ▶️ John You could do that, but does that kind of protect you? Or is that just going to protect against this particular bug and

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re just waiting for the next one? Like it’s one of those situations where it’s bad and

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s not really much we can do about it except not use our computers with Intel CPUs, I suppose,

⏹️ ▶️ John or hope there aren’t similar exploits to ARM ones. I feel like this is, I think we said this last

⏹️ ▶️ John time, it’s worse than Heartbleed, because at least Heartbleed, you could patch a buggy piece of software everywhere, and even that was

⏹️ ▶️ John a pain. This is like a hardware problem, and you can’t really change the hardware that’s in all of our computers,

⏹️ ▶️ John other than disabling features, and even that might be complete protection. So I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John any good advice for people. Like, I’m not gonna recommend everyone slow down their CPUs, but I’m also not gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John say that you’re safe, because you’re not, and we’re not. So I guess we’ll all just

⏹️ ▶️ John hang on here and wait for the new products with new CPUs that avoid this. Well, actually,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t have to worry because all these bugs only apply to CPUs made after 2011. So I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey actually

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco safe. Oh, god.

⏹️ ▶️ John But this is my 2008

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Mac Pro. Your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco computer is so primitive that it has

⏹️ ▶️ John none of these. There’s no hyper-threading. It does have speculative execution,

⏹️ ▶️ John but apparently, hackers can’t be bothered to find exploits in 2008 CPUs. So

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re using a 10-year-old computer like me, you’re actually safe. but everyone else should be real worried.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, except isn’t your software probably riddled with vulnerabilities that are no longer

⏹️ ▶️ John being

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco patched?

⏹️ ▶️ John Nah, nah, it’s fine. I mean, I have the latest Safari and everything. Everything’s fine. Yeah, sure.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think I do. Let

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey me

⏹️ ▶️ John see. What is the latest Safari? Everyone go to your About Safari window.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why don’t you tell us what you have before we tell you, and you’re like, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. I have a 11.1.2. I have 12.1.14607.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John the newest, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I I think they’re still doing security patches.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh yeah, funny how the story changed. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s not the newest.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I have the newest

⏹️ ▶️ John Safari. Well, it’s almost the newest. Well, you know what I mean? Like they might still be updating. I think they are still

⏹️ ▶️ John security patching the 11 version. I do have a software update pending. I should see what that is. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ John my word. I was about to go to system preferences, but that’s not where the software updates are in this operating system.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh my God.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh no, it’s just the Kindle app updating.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nevermind. John, you know, I really,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not sure my body is really ready for the 14 straight episodes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that we spend talking about whatever Mac Pro is released, either loving it, hating it, critiquing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, being hypercritical about it, whatever. But at this point, your computer is so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ancient that I am willing to take the fall for you, John, and deal with these 14

⏹️ ▶️ Casey straight episodes of nothing but Mac Pro, just so you have something built this millennium.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think it’ll be that many episodes, but the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey problem is that

⏹️ ▶️ John the real problem is after Marco buys it, you have to get like, so we’ll buy, we’ll talk about it, then we’ll buy it and

⏹️ ▶️ John we’ll talk about how he bought it. All right. And then Marco will talk about, uh,

⏹️ ▶️ John some weird problem that he has with it. And then Marco will talk about his disillusionment with it. And then Marco will talk about why he sold it

⏹️ ▶️ John or replaced it with something. Whereas I won’t say anything else after it, after I get through the initial like stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey hoping

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s possibly true. I will concede that

⏹️ ▶️ John much. So Marco, you’re going to have to deal with more Mac Pro talk from Marco in the long

⏹️ ▶️ John term. That’s probably true. Like the case he buys for it, like the backpack he puts it in,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey how it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John work with his weird Microsoft keyboard, how he can’t plug in his amps. BOSS!

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Replacing QuickTime 7

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steve Trout and Smith had an interesting tidbit, this is actually a few weeks ago now I think, about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mac OS 10.15, which is the forthcoming version, house cleaning. And so his tweet reads,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dashboard isn’t the only thing gone in 10.15, sorry John. So is 32-bit app and plugin support,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Carbon, Ink, QuickTime 7 and QuickTime plugins, sorry John, PPTP, which is a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey VPN protocol that I guess is really insecure but is very convenient, and Hardware Raid.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But you will get Python 3.7 and Ruby 2.6 at least, says Steve.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this other than I am surprised some of this stuff lasted as long as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it did.

⏹️ ▶️ John Did anyone else know that Ink was still in there?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I knew it was in there, but I’ve never actually seen or used it.

⏹️ ▶️ John The last time I saw or used it is when I wrote about it in a Mac OS X review.

⏹️ ▶️ John Honestly, if you ask me now, I don’t even remember how to find it, but it’s still in the operating system. Now, yeah, this

⏹️ ▶️ John this looks like the 64 bit transition was a good time to kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of clean house and get rid of old stuff, but they didn’t deprecate the 32 bit. So this is

⏹️ ▶️ John this is kind of like the other shoe dropping on the 64 bit transition for the Mac which was so long ago

⏹️ ▶️ John most of us barely remember it. So yep we went 64-bit and then eventually all

⏹️ ▶️ John the 32-bit stuff’s not gonna run and that’s not a problem if that stuff was also updated to 32-bit but

⏹️ ▶️ John everything updated to 64 rather but everything that wasn’t updated to 64-bit is stuff that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t want anymore. So QuickTime not updated because it’s not gonna continue. Hardware Raid I guess

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not into it anymore. You know Carbon already we know didn’t get 64-bit famously a while back.

⏹️ ▶️ John Dashboard, I mean, that should just go away, period. I say this as

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco someone who uses dashboard

⏹️ ▶️ John every day. I’d use it every day, but it’s obviously not maintained in any possible way.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s only been getting buggier over time. So it’s like, well, if you’re not gonna keep developing that software, don’t keep including

⏹️ ▶️ John it with the operating system. And I don’t know if there’s a 32 or 64-bit issue there, but this

⏹️ ▶️ John could be one of the big Mac operating systems to leave behind

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of stuff. And I’m hoping there’ll be some way to like

⏹️ ▶️ John run VMs or something to be able to access old software that you need to just use briefly

⏹️ ▶️ John for some reason or another. Even if it’s just, I don’t know what I’m gonna replace QuickTime 7 with. I

⏹️ ▶️ John mean, you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco know.

⏹️ ▶️ John FFmpeg? Maybe, maybe like I’ll end up just Googling and searching Stack

⏹️ ▶️ John Overflow for FFmpeg incantation strings. I don’t, that’s not.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Isn’t that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the UI to FFmpeg?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Pretty much.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, man, I have a whole folder in Notes that’s like my recipe book for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey FFmpeg. And it has saved me countless hours. Because a lot of this, over time,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve learned. But there is a lot that it’s literally like casting a spell.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so having this series of examples and whatnot in my Notes app

⏹️ ▶️ Casey has really saved me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but in the process of saving you countless hours, How many hours has it taken to figure out the correct commands the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey first time?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Exactly right. Yeah. It’s many, many, many hours.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t really use QuickTime player seven for too much. Like it does much more than I use

⏹️ ▶️ John it for. And for people who don’t know, or haven’t been long time Mac users, and they think all QuickTime seven does is like

⏹️ ▶️ John save in different formats or something or hadn’t have a plugin structure so you can play different formats. It does that, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it also lets you arbitrarily cut, copy and paste.

⏹️ ▶️ John sections of media. Not with a particularly nice interface, but it lets you do it. It doesn’t just let you, like

⏹️ ▶️ John the replacement that uses AV foundation, doesn’t just let you trim the ends. It lets you cut, copy, and paste

⏹️ ▶️ John anywhere in there. You can paste one track on top of another track and overlay them so you can add a

⏹️ ▶️ John new soundtrack to a portion of a thing. Like you don’t have to just append or like slice in the middle and insert.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can extract tracks and save them out into separate files and then copy and paste from them. Like it’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John a kind of like a blind video editor where you don’t get a iMovie or Final Cut

⏹️ ▶️ John Pro style timeline. You just get a single bar with regions on it, but you can do a surprising amount of things.

⏹️ ▶️ John But mostly what I use it for is to extract tracks and to change formats. So I could probably use FFmpeg

⏹️ ▶️ John for that. But really, it’s a nice player. The controls don’t float over the movie. So you can see

⏹️ ▶️ John the movie and go a frame at a time when you’re watching the Star Wars trailer for the 19th time. Sorry, the

⏹️ ▶️ John Star Wars teaser, because I don’t watch the trailers. And you know, it’s brush metal and it’s silly

⏹️ ▶️ John and all that stuff, but I’ll miss it. And I have a bunch of plugins that let you play stuff. From the playback front, I think

⏹️ ▶️ John this is a good time to talk about alternatives to QuickTime Player 10X, whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John just for playing stuff. Like forget about all the other features I talked about.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because QuickTime 7, with a whole bunch of plugins, could play almost any format.

⏹️ ▶️ John And since that’s going away, if you just left with the QuickTime Player 10 or X, It

⏹️ ▶️ John can only play like the handful of formats that AV Foundation deals with and not all these weird obscure formats

⏹️ ▶️ John and container formats that we might wanna play. You can use FFmpeg to

⏹️ ▶️ John transform them, but who wants to transcode things? Casey

⏹️ ▶️ Casey does. First of all, yes, I love transcoding. It’s my favorite

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John thing to do. But second of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all, you can use FFplay, which is a truly awful way to just play

⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff that FFmpeg can read. But that is not the spirit of what you’re after. And I think the spirit of what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’re after is, I don’t know how to pronounce this, but I-I-N-A,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is basically just a GUI front end to FFmpeg as far as I’m aware.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not sure what the guts are, but the app itself, I mean, it’s not particularly Mac-like,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it has enough of my minimum set of features. Yeah, I don’t know how to pronounce it either,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s nice because it’s quick to command space too, because not many other applications

⏹️ ▶️ John begin with a double I. But the UI is just like a little rectangle.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it might have rounded corners, which I don’t like, But anyway, and it plays the video, but it’s got lots of options.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it has so many options, it lets you export a config file with all your

⏹️ ▶️ John preferences, so you don’t have to reset them elsewhere, which is, like I said, not very Mac-like. That’s amazing. But the

⏹️ ▶️ John most important thing it has, like out of the box, like a lot of other video players, it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do what I want in terms of navigating the video. What I want is space bar to play pause, which it does,

⏹️ ▶️ John but then I want the left and right arrow keys to go a frame at a time. And very often the app will decide,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh, the right arrow key is skip forward five seconds, the left arrow key is skip back one second.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t want that. I want it single frame. Well, in this app, IIANA, whatever the hell it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John called, you can just change the configuration and say, I want the right arrow key to be move forward

⏹️ ▶️ John one frame, which is probably some FFmpeg command that it’s sending under the scenes or whatever. And it does it. And so you can

⏹️ ▶️ John just set it up the way you want it. And it plays movies and you can scale them at different sizes. And it plays

⏹️ ▶️ John every format you can throw at it in every container format I’ve thrown at it, and it does a fine job.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that is my current replacement for playback. And my current replacement for editing is

⏹️ ▶️ John nothing, is Casey, I guess.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I guess he’s at the MPEG file.

⏹️ ▶️ John And iMovie, I suppose. But honestly, iMovie has very limited options, and I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John a working copy. I might have Final Cut Pro 4, but I don’t think it still runs.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m probably gonna end up buying Final Cut in the 64-bit era if I can’t do basic video editing anymore, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m holding off on that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Can I put out a request to the audience? I have a quest that I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to undertake myself. I’m hoping the audience can do this for me. What I want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I haven’t been able to find in my admittedly zero research is like every

⏹️ ▶️ Marco video editing app out there, from the simple to the complex, like from Apple’s built-in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff all the way to things like Final Cut and beyond, every video editing app seems to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to put you into this project workflow, where to do anything to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a video you have to first make it into a project, and then it copies the file

⏹️ ▶️ Marco God knows where, and takes up God knows how much disk space, and you need to then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco create an event within the project. And it’s like, all that stuff, I hate dealing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with that kind of structure. What I want is to occasionally make small edits to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco videos, like what QuickTime Player 7 would do, but even beyond that a little bit if possible. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I want basically, I think preview for videos. The way preview allows you to make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey small image edits.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, just simple stuff like cropping, rotating. If I accidentally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shoot a video and it’s the wrong orientation, let me rotate it. Even Apple’s built-in photos

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app doesn’t let you do that.

⏹️ ▶️ John I couldn’t find how to rotate a video in iMovie either. It’s probably hiding in there somewhere, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John not obvious.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What I want is a simple video app that lets you just open a video file, Perform

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some basic operations, whether it’s, you know, cropping, trimming, rotation,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and not just 90 degree rotation, like what if the video is tipped a little bit and I wanna rotate it like three degrees

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and, you know, crop into whatever can fit there. Ideally, even basic color and exposure correction, basic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio correction maybe, like basic operations that you might wanna do a video, just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco open a video file, perform those operations and save the file, not adding it to any library

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or project in the process. I want that to exist. I don’t know if it already does, but I have yet

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to find it.

⏹️ ▶️ John I have that problem with the size, like when I do my Destiny videos, I have gigs and gigs and gigs of video,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then I make like a three minute video out of it. And I don’t want those gigs of video hanging around, but I do

⏹️ ▶️ John want the original clips in the original format. So I would like to losslessly clip out just the parts

⏹️ ▶️ John that I have, like sort of do a, I think Final Cut used to have this feature, maybe it still does where you tell it, okay,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m done with the edit, discard any media not used in the edit, but keep all the media losslessly

⏹️ ▶️ John that contributes to the final

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco thing so I can remake videos.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s interesting.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if iMovie does that. If it does, I don’t know how to make it do it. So I just have my disc

⏹️ ▶️ John slowly filling with gigs of Destiny videos, which is probably untenable long-term.

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco mean,

⏹️ ▶️ John eventually I’m gonna have to get Final Cut and learn how to use it in some way, but I’m holding off on that as long as I possibly

⏹️ ▶️ John can. I mean, I might as well wait until the ARM Macs come out and get the ARM version of Final Cut, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something like that. I mean, this actually does sound, Marco, exactly like what I would like for,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not the YouTube videos that I’m occasionally doing, occasionally, but…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’re still telling ourselves that, huh?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, exactly. But no, I would love this sort of thing, but I don’t need a project right now,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so stop trying to put bad thoughts in my head.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, iMovie, speaking of projects, iMovie is worse than even you described, Marco, where you have to make a project for stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John Again, unless I haven’t figured it out, iMovie, you hit the little plus thing to make

⏹️ ▶️ John what you know is going to be a new project and you get a little empty area and you can drag in clips and do all this stuff and so

⏹️ ▶️ John on and so forth. But until you hit the left arrow navigation, like the back

⏹️ ▶️ John navigation in the upper left, I can’t figure out a way to name the project. When you hit the little left

⏹️ ▶️ John arrow to go back to the project screen, it says, oh, and by the way, you should name this thing because it’s called my project until

⏹️ ▶️ John you go back. So what I end up doing is I go into the project and then immediately go back so I get to name it and then go back in

⏹️ ▶️ John again. It’s a strange flow where it doesn’t ask you what you want to call the thing until, and iMovie’s

⏹️ ▶️ John all autosave, right? It’s iOS style, so there’s no saving or anything. So you’re just there working at it for a really

⏹️ ▶️ John long time, and it’s just called My Movie for like the entire time you’re doing it, until you’re basically done, and you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John like, oh yeah, I have to name this thing. It’s very strange, and again, not particularly Mac-like. I see what

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re going for. Most of the time, I kind of like the autosave nature, until I

⏹️ ▶️ John get too bold with my undo, redo. You ever do that? text editors sometimes where you, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re in a good text editor, I use kind of undo, redo as fast forward and rewind.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I will do a bunch of stuff and then I’ll be like, did I forget something?

⏹️ ▶️ John What was that like before? And then I would just hold down undo for a while and watch my changes go, rewind, rewind,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then rewinding through history. And then what I’ll do is I’ll get back to some state. I’m like, oh yeah, this used to be like this.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I wanted that line. So I’ll go grab that line and copy it, right? But if in the course of copying

⏹️ ▶️ John that thing, I like accidentally hit the space bar or hit the delete key or move the text or something.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, then you’ve lost your undo history.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, no. That’s right. Now I’ve hosed my undo history and now I can’t redo. I mean, I’m so paranoid I will have saved

⏹️ ▶️ John it and I have my editor configured to save a backup copy every time I save. So I’ve never actually lost stuff this

⏹️ ▶️ John way, but sometimes it’s frustrating. You blow your redo stack because you’re 700 items back

⏹️ ▶️ John in undo because you’ve been holding it down for three seconds. And now all that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John gone and you have to go find the save that you made just before you did the undo.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I feel like that when I’m using any of these sort of auto-save apps where I can undo and redo,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I can’t even revert to a previous version because there’s no saving. And if it did save, what would it save?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like your point marker, like the project file, does that have all the media inside of it? Did it leave the media where it was? Is it just referencing

⏹️ ▶️ John it? Who the hell knows? Like my awareness of what iMovie is doing under the scenes is

⏹️ ▶️ John very low. All I know is that it needs lots of disk space.

macOS house-cleaning

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so we porn one out for carbon for anything else.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Oh, yeah, I was thinking,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think, yeah, the reason I was thinking about this is like, what crap on all of our computers is going to break that we’re not even thinking

⏹️ ▶️ John about like, I suppose we could all run activity monitor and look at all the 32 bit apps. But

⏹️ ▶️ John what the one I was thinking about recently, I was actually kind of panicking about because I saw people

⏹️ ▶️ John fretting about Adobe, like doubling the prices on their the subscriptions to their various apps

⏹️ ▶️ John because they can. Uh, and I was like, well, I don’t have a description. I bought the last version of Photoshop

⏹️ ▶️ John that was a, that you could like download that it was just like it will run by itself. I think it runs without a network connection. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John so Adobe Photoshop CS six I bought because, uh, I was aware at

⏹️ ▶️ John the time that it was either it was probably or was known to be the last version that’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John creative cloud infected and stuff. This is before they went super duper subscription for everything I think. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m like, oh my God, is CS6 32-bit? As far as I can tell, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not. I think it is 64-bit, so I think I’m safe, but I’m paranoid about it breaking because A, I don’t wanna buy Photoshop

⏹️ ▶️ John again, and B, you can’t even buy Photoshop anymore. As far as I can tell, you cannot buy Photoshop. You can just rent it

⏹️ ▶️ John along with a bunch of other apps that you don’t want for like $10 a month. And I love Photoshop.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s how I prefer to do any image editing, just because I’ve been using it so long, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t use it $10 a month worth. I use it like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco once

⏹️ ▶️ John every two months or something. Or sometimes I’ll use Photoshop to crop something.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like I’m just used to Photoshop. You could do that in preview. There’s no reason to use Photoshop. I have Acorn, I have a whole bunch of other,

⏹️ ▶️ John why the hell am I using Photoshop to crop something? Because I’m used to Photoshop, that’s why I do it. And so I’ll be sad

⏹️ ▶️ John if I can’t run it, but I’m not gonna pay $10 a month for it. So I really hope CSX keeps running.

⏹️ ▶️ John But as far as I can tell, Other than all my old Mac games breaking, what else is new?

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think I’m gonna be missing any major piece of software. What about you guys? What do you think is gonna break?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nothing that I can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey of.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I’m looking through my system information list of all the 32-bit apps. By

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the way, if anybody forgot, if you go to System Information, under Software, Applications, there’s a column

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there called 64-bit, parentheses Intel. And so you can see all the things and anything that says no in that column

⏹️ ▶️ Marco won’t work in the next version of Mac OS. And for me, it’s mostly just a whole bunch of ancient Adobe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco binaries from like old installations of Adobe stuff, but like not even not any, not the apps just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like installers and utilities and stuff like that, that it happened to be, you know, dumped there. Uh, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think I’m going through, then I don’t think there’s gonna, there’s anything here besides QuickTime player seven that I ever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually launch.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have a ton of stuff, which I didn’t realize that is not 64 bit,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But as I’m looking through it, it’s like a graveyard for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all the abandoned iOS projects I’ve done since literally 2011.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All of this stuff is stuff that I haven’t looked at in three, four, five, six, seven years.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There’s a whole bunch of copies of FastText apparently floating around somewhere on my drive that are not 64-bit.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No way. There’s a Google Talk plugin that I don’t think exists anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The stuff that you were saying from Ecamm, that seems to be most of it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Unrar X, if you were to ever find something that falls off the back of a truck, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would never do, that is convenient. I’m sure there’s something more modern and better now. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s about it for me. Can’t copy and paste from the system report window? That is

⏹️ ▶️ John not a good Mac app. Not a good… Anyway, I have a lot. I think about half

⏹️ ▶️ John of the things listed in that little window.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey That’s not surprising.

⏹️ ▶️ John All right, but it’s tons of crap. Stuff from Windows XP,

⏹️ ▶️ John why the hell is it even showing that? It’s probably like VMware exposing that, I suppose. I would guess.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is your processor 64-bit, John, or is it too old to be 64-bit? It’s 64.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, Disco’s not going to work anymore. The iWork Tour.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, wow. WOC Bingo app. Halo. Halo’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not going to run. Yeah, all the games are going to break, obviously. That’s probably going to be the biggest loss. Not that I play Mac games a lot, but

⏹️ ▶️ John everyone’s on my launch one and play with it. Just those Mac games are either made by porting companies that

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t exist anymore. If they do exist, there’s no way they’re going to update them. There’s never going to be 64-bit ports of

⏹️ ▶️ John any of that stuff. That’s kind of sad. That’s why I hope there’s a VM solution or something like that, because these

⏹️ ▶️ John games don’t take a lot of power. They could run fine in emulation. Not emulation, but you know what I mean, in some

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of virtualized environment. I don’t even know if VMs would target

⏹️ ▶️ John that type of scenario. I don’t know why it doesn’t allow 30-bit executables to run a VM that can somehow run 32-bit. I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t even know if they can do that. I hope somebody does something. Oh, iWeb,

⏹️ ▶️ John iWeb’s 32-bit. The backup application, remember that? She had a little umbrella when Apple made

⏹️ ▶️ John a backup application.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was before my time, I think.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, same. Yeah, I mean, this type of thing where you can plan and you can think what’s gonna break,

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m sure the Apple installer will have a stage that tells you these are the apps that aren’t gonna run anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ John They tend to be pretty good about that, but at that point, what are you gonna do? Stop the install, I mean, save

⏹️ ▶️ John a list of them, take a screenshot, take a picture of your screen with your phone to remember which applications. I mean, you’ll find

⏹️ ▶️ John out when you, kind of like I used to find out when I’d upgrade to any of the versions. I’d upgrade to Snow

⏹️ ▶️ John Leopard and half my applications have the circle with a line through it over the icon because they don’t run on this version of the OS

⏹️ ▶️ John anymore. It’s not because of any sort of bit transition, it’s just like, nope, not compatible with this version of the OS at all.

⏹️ ▶️ John That happens all the time, but I feel like this is gonna be the big one. And to be clear, I accept

⏹️ ▶️ John this as a, you have to do this every once in a while. You can’t keep all the old software running forever. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John counterproductive. You just end up being Windows. So I think it’s good to clean this stuff out.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s an opportunity to find new, interesting, better alternatives. Like I’m happy finding that

⏹️ ▶️ John Eno or whatever application because I’m glad someone’s developing, someone who

⏹️ ▶️ John has some of the similar values to me in terms of configurability and UI and

⏹️ ▶️ John feature set is making a video player for the Mac. And it’s not even Marzipan. Like, what’s even going on? When’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the last time you saw a new Mac app?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Real-time follow-up from a friend of the show, Steve Trout and Smith. He posted to Twitter a couple of weeks

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ago, which I did not notice or didn’t remember, there’s a way to actually force your Mac

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to run only in 64-bit mode, which I haven’t looked into the instructions yet, but we’ll put a link in the show notes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So you could boot into this 64-bit only mode and see how many things fall apart to kind of get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a taste for how screwed you are.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not entirely representative because there’s parts of the OS that are 32-bit that will presumably

⏹️ ▶️ John be ported so you don’t have to worry about them, but it’ll be broken. But yeah, you can definitely find out which of your

⏹️ ▶️ John apps aren’t going to work. But part of it is which apps aren’t going to work, and part of it is just to find out

⏹️ ▶️ John which one of these developers is going to release 64-bit version, because I bet a lot of them are. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John still a developed application, and they just never saw the need to be 64-bit, and they’re going to release

⏹️ ▶️ John a 64-bit version, but they’re not going to release it until they have to. essentially until this OS is out for real.

⏹️ ▶️ John So even if you find them, it doesn’t mean for sure you’re not going to be able to run it. Just maybe go to their website, see the last

⏹️ ▶️ John time it was updated, send their support person an email and see if you get a response and say, are you going to make a 64-bit

⏹️ ▶️ John version of this? And if you don’t get a reply, that probably means no.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh man, we’ll see what happens. So hopefully it won’t be too bad, but I bet you there’s going to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be a lot of whining about random things that just stopped working that nobody expected to stop working.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m kind of, and speaking of the end of this thing is about they’re finally upgrading to a more modern version of Python and

⏹️ ▶️ John Ruby. Uh, command line stuff or other sort of, I mean, obviously the stuff with the ship is

⏹️ ▶️ John the operating system. That’s fine. But if you’re like me and compile a bunch of software out of the box, I think most of my compile stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John is 64 bit, but there’s another situation where if there is anything built with 32 bit,

⏹️ ▶️ John it probably means that no one has bothered messing with it for such a long time. That just happens

⏹️ ▶️ John to build using, you know, Apple’s GCC lookalike emulation in 32-bit mode,

⏹️ ▶️ John and when 64-bit comes, I mean, I guess you can still compile 32-bit executable,

⏹️ ▶️ John I suppose, with the GCC’s cross-compile thing, but you can’t run it. And to answer the chatroom’s

⏹️ ▶️ John question, no, I’m not gonna use Homebrew. I think it’ll work out. I wish,

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah. It’s one of the few times that I wish, I don’t wish I was still writing the reviews, but I wish I had already written

⏹️ ▶️ John the review because I would know the answer to a lot more of these questions. Nice. Because when you’re forced to write the review,

⏹️ ▶️ John But you’re forced to learn the answer to all these questions and now instead I’m just asking the questions to the air and I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John got to read someone else’s really big review.

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s move to ask ATP. And we start with Alex White, who writes I hear

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Syracuse to say that he writes lots of code comments, many coders today consider comments to be a quote

⏹️ ▶️ Casey unquote code smell. That is to say it’s not good. What does John, why does John think that they

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are valuable? And Alex wanted to chime in that they also think that they are valuable for the record.

⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, I mean, I, I suppose, uh, Margo probably doesn’t have too much experience with other

⏹️ ▶️ John programmers. So I’ll ask, have you ever met someone who considers comments

⏹️ ▶️ John to be a code smell?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Never. No, I don’t think so. Not that I can recall. I would presume at some point or another. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t think I’ve heard anyone explicitly state that they think it’s a smell, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey certainly by virtue of the lack of comments in their code, you can kind of deduce

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that they think it’s a bit of a smell. But no, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone like thumping their chest saying,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is gross, get it out of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here. I mean, I can guess the logic behind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you figure like, you know, I think there’s two arguments against comments that I can think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of. the code should be self-documenting, and the second would be that comments don’t update

⏹️ ▶️ Marco themselves when the code changes. And so if you refactor or rewrite or change something,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a chance the comments could be out of date. But besides those two things, which aren’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco massive problems, I mean, I don’t write a ton of comments, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not, maybe I’m the wrong person to talk about this, but I don’t think comments

⏹️ ▶️ Marco indicate technical debt or bad code smell or anything in and of themselves. I think they can reflect

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other problems maybe, but the presence or absence of comments doesn’t itself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco indicate much of anything.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the self-documenting thing is, well, I was thinking it was probably the strongest reason. The

⏹️ ▶️ John not updating stuff is like, doesn’t make any sense.

⏹️ ▶️ John You control both of them, so

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco yeah, they could get out of

⏹️ ▶️ John sync, but you could also have random lines of garbage code and dead code. Is code a code

⏹️ ▶️ John smell? Anyway. Um, for, for the self documenting, this

⏹️ ▶️ John gets into, I was, I was forced to try to explain this to my son cause he’s doing programming. I was trying to tell him how to write good

⏹️ ▶️ John comments. This is all just basic advice that you hear from when you’re learning programming, but it’s worth,

⏹️ ▶️ John worth talking about for non programmer audiences that may be listening to this and just about to fast forward. Hi Jason, because

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re talking about programming. Um, the, the self documenting thing is like,

⏹️ ▶️ John the code should be obvious in itself. You shouldn’t need a comment to explain it. Because if you have some code that’s super clever, and you need to write a

⏹️ ▶️ John thing about like, I know you can’t figure out what this is doing by looking at it, but let me explain. And that’s a sign that you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John being too clever for your own good. And there is definitely a too clever angle. But on the flip side

⏹️ ▶️ John of that, in terms of like documenting the code, self-documenting

⏹️ ▶️ John code, as in, I can tell what that line is doing, is not really what

⏹️ ▶️ John the purpose comments are supposed to serve. So the canonical example of a bad comment that we’ve all seen is,

⏹️ ▶️ John and I can’t even use this in Swift anymore. He was doing Swift, so I had to self-edit myself. Instead of saying I++, you

⏹️ ▶️ John can’t do that. Anyway, I’m gonna, I++ equals one, or I++ or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re taking a variable and you’re incrementing it by one. So that would be the code. Wait, why, they took

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out plus plus in Swift?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Don’t even get me started on this, Marco. Don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even get me started. This makes me so angry. Why?

⏹️ ▶️ John They didn’t take it out. I don’t think it was ever there. No, it was there. It was briefly, I don’t know, Swift 2?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Went away at three? I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey literally, I can’t handle this conversation.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco He literally can’t even.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Swift is such a dick. Why does it have to be such a dick all the

⏹️ ▶️ John time? Because of pre, post, and increment, and pre-increment. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not really what we’re talking about here. I’m going to use I++ to pretend we’re Objective-C or

⏹️ ▶️ John C++. And the canonical example of a bad comment is, add one to I. Like, that’s the comment.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s for non-programmers, you know, plus plus means just take the variable and add one to it. It’s a short way of writing that,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? And if your comment says add one to I, that is a useless garbage comment

⏹️ ▶️ John because anybody who is a programmer knows what I plus plus does,

⏹️ ▶️ John and you writing add one to I does not add any information whatsoever.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s just noise. It’s forcing someone to read it before they get angry by

⏹️ ▶️ John the time they finish reading it, like, oh, great, that doesn’t help, right? So self-documenting code, I++, arguably,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re an experienced programmer, is self-documenting. You look at it, that’s the whole line. There is

⏹️ ▶️ John no other. It’s not in the middle of a big complicated expression. It’s just on a line by itself. Or I++, or I equals

⏹️ ▶️ John I plus one. It’s self-documenting. But what you write comments

⏹️ ▶️ John about is not what a Lydam code is doing. I mean, there’s lots of things you write comments about. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m starting at the micro level here. It’s why it’s doing it. So to give an example,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is, I I ran across this on the same day I was trying to explain commas to my son. It was some actual coded

⏹️ ▶️ John work that I was looking at that someone else wrote. And it was like, if interval

⏹️ ▶️ John greater than 1 and value greater than equal threshold, do whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John It was a conditional and an if. You look at that, and you’re like, I know what all those operators mean. I know what a greater than means.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know what greater than or equals means. The variables were named reasonably. Interval is like some interval the thing is taking place.

⏹️ ▶️ John threshold is like some value and whatever, right? You don’t need to comment that it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s there would be, you know, the stupid comment would be if interval is greater than one or if like you

⏹️ ▶️ John write the English version of it or if value is greater than equal to threshold or whatever. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John but the question was the question that a comment would need to explain here. And I think this is the the

⏹️ ▶️ John annotation I added to the code review was you should put a comment on this thing not explaining what the

⏹️ ▶️ John code does, but explaining why it’s doing this. And in this case, it was like, the question is,

⏹️ ▶️ John why is it greater than or equal to instead of greater than? And why are you checking if the interval is greater than

⏹️ ▶️ John one? Like, why do you care if the interval is greater than one before you check the threshold? Right? And

⏹️ ▶️ John I more or less knew why, but that’s the type of thing you put in a comment. It’s like, well, if we do this

⏹️ ▶️ John for fractional intervals less than one, and because the conditional is greater than or equal to,

⏹️ ▶️ John and the thresholds are integers, but the interval is a float,

⏹️ ▶️ John you may end up redoing this check multiple times per second because

⏹️ ▶️ John you’ll check again every 10th of a second, but you won’t pass the threshold until you get to a certain

⏹️ ▶️ John point, you know what I mean? Like, I’m explaining it poorly, but like it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John more obvious if you’re a programmer and have done stuff like this before, but the point is that’s what you write the comment about

⏹️ ▶️ John and explain this isn’t a mistake. I didn’t accidentally put greater than or equal to. this comparison to the interval

⏹️ ▶️ John is not redundant code that is pointless because interval is always going to be greater than one. What you have to do is

⏹️ ▶️ John explain the reason this is a double conditional is because in the situation because one’s an integer and one’s a float in the

⏹️ ▶️ John situation where this one is less than one you don’t want to check this multiple times because it would be inefficient. That’s what you write in the comment

⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s like the lowest level comment I’m talking about moving all the way up to a comment about what the hell this

⏹️ ▶️ John function is supposed to do broadly speaking what arguments does it take what return value does it have what exceptions

⏹️ ▶️ John could it throw in this structure’s way ways to do that, depending on your language classes, what the hell’s the point of this class?

⏹️ ▶️ John What is it supposed to do? Whatever its responsibility is, broadly speaking, right? In a large function,

⏹️ ▶️ John break it up into pieces. This is the part where we do the setup. This is the part where we do the work. This is the part

⏹️ ▶️ John where we do the cleanup. Like that’s what comments are for. They’re not for tell me what this line of code

⏹️ ▶️ John does, right? It’s about the why and about the the overall design. The best comments you see, like

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of this example is an apples code where they’ll do a little ASCII art diagrams of in-memory

⏹️ ▶️ John structures for nitty gritty code that’s doing like lots of bit slinging and stuff. Those are invaluable. Like the

⏹️ ▶️ John code is obvious. Look, I’m just taking this pointer and I’m iterating and like, but show me, show me the little rectangle, show me

⏹️ ▶️ John the region, show me how things are done. Like you can do surprisingly, uh, rich

⏹️ ▶️ John set of documentation just with little ASCII symbols. Uh, yeah. So comments I think

⏹️ ▶️ John are super important. Doing good comments, writing good comments is a skill and it’s difficult.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you know, The first step in that journey is knowing not to write ad one to I. But there are

⏹️ ▶️ John many, many steps after that. And I highly endorse getting good at writing comments.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that was the thing I was going to say, which you eventually meandered toward, which was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s less about what and more about why. And I don’t think I really ever

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think I had intuited that until somewhat recently. And sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would describe what’s happening when it was either a little bit clever or a little bit convoluted,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two. And it wasn’t as often

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I would be sure that I was describing the why. But that,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey whenever I read that or heard that the first time, may have been from you, for all I know, that really rocked my world

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the best possible way. And that, that is what I would recommend is certainly there are times where describing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what is important, but it’s, you should start from the perspective of, you know, if I’m going to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey write a comment here, I should describe why I wrote the code that follows or above it or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John The dark version of that is if you work for a jobby job for a big corporation,

⏹️ ▶️ John chances are good that a lot of the comments you write will explain like, this is like this because

⏹️ ▶️ John previously the previous version of this product did this. And when this person was here, he decided it wanted to be

⏹️ ▶️ John like this. So we did it like that. And if we ever change this thing, we can get rid of this. But for now, you have to leave it. Actually don’t delete this.

⏹️ ▶️ John Even though it looks super dumb, we have to keep doing it this way. here’s a URL to something in our bug tracker.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you check this part of the code in this file, and if it ever changes, you can go back and clean this up. Like historical documents.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because again, you’re never gonna figure that out by looking at the code. If you just look at the code, you’re like, this makes no

⏹️ ▶️ John sense. You’re like, actually, I know it seems nonsensical and it is bad, but let me explain to you why it’s bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John And let me stop you from deleting it because if you delete it, stuff will break and you might not realize that. I mean, you don’t feel good writing that comment,

⏹️ ▶️ John but that’s an important job of comments in a real code base where you don’t have luxury

⏹️ ▶️ John of just making everything beautiful all the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep. It is not often, but there were definitely occasions where

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was asked or, or compelled or what have you to do something that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seemed weird or I disagreed with or something like that, or just seemed counterintuitive at first

⏹️ ▶️ Casey glance, even if I did agree with it, uh, and I would definitely write, you know, this, the following was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey decided because of such and such conversation between me and such and such a person on such and such date, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, with my name attached to it. So exactly what you said, you know, future me or future

⏹️ ▶️ Casey coworker or what have you, when they stumble on this and go, what? Then they can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey see the comment and say, Oh, and, and sometimes to your point, John, it’ll be a link to like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, God, God help me. It was Jira at my most recent job, but you know, a link to an issue tracker

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that says, okay, let me explain, you know, the, the history here and what, what, what was going through all of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey our minds at the time.

⏹️ ▶️ John Be careful with links though, if your company changes the issue tracker every three or four years then all those links

⏹️ ▶️ John break. Like I said, the main thing I tend to end up commenting here is like, future person, which

⏹️ ▶️ John may be me, at what point is it safe to undo or get rid of this hack?

⏹️ ▶️ John What conditions must be met? This is gross, this shouldn’t be done this way, we have to for some stupid reason that

⏹️ ▶️ John I will not document to tell when it’s safe to fix this, check this, this, and this.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I found

⏹️ ▶️ John that very valuable as someone who has been at the same job for many years, to for my past self to leave things like that and

⏹️ ▶️ John go, oh, I can delete this now because past me says it’s okay and you still have to figure out how to test it. But it’s much more

⏹️ ▶️ John reassuring than like, can we change that? Like it explains this big long-winded reason, but does that still apply?

⏹️ ▶️ John Is that still true of that other module?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. You know, I was thinking recently, this is a tangent, but I was thinking recently back to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when I worked at Northrop Grumman and I was working on a code base that was very old, very, very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey old. C++ code base. I don’t know C++ very well anymore,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I don’t recall exactly what the timeline was for all these things, but I feel like it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey predated the C++ standard template library. So strings

⏹️ ▶️ Casey were not something that existed in C++ when this app had started life. Well, anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I bring all this up to say it’s a very old app. And I remember at the top of each and every

⏹️ ▶️ Casey file in the entire app, and this was a big app, like a couple hundred thousand lines or something like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey At the top of every file, there was the entire change history, like all of the basically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey commit messages that you would add by hand and go through

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Coderview. It was some other way to track that information. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey exactly. No, and I know, and now I scoff at it, but at the time it was actually pretty helpful because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I forget what, we were on the Rational suite, I think, which was a complete piece of garbage at the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This was in 06, 07, somewhere in that neck of the

⏹️ ▶️ John woods. That’s great when your version control system requires an installation of a kernel extension in which Rational Clearcase

⏹️ ▶️ John did at various points.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steve McLaughlin Yeah. So anyway, but I just, just a few days ago, I was reflecting on that and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about how we would have like one or 200 lines for some of these files, you know, like the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey string that was homebrewed, you know, for this project, that string file

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had like 100 or 200 lines of just version history in a huge ass comment all the way at the top.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And, and in a lot of ways, I think it was ridiculous, but I I also

⏹️ ▶️ Casey found it somewhat useful. And it was also kind of funny to go spelunking through this version history and see like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey upper management back when they were just grunts, you know, who had made commits to like the string library. And you think,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, you know, Sue Smith, when did she ever actually write code? John,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, whatever he wrote code. I just knew him as, you know, super director and, you know, Sue’s underling

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever the case may be. And, uh, it was always funny to see some of those people that had been there forever

⏹️ ▶️ Casey back when they were in my position, just slinging code.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s me now, because people come to me and say, I’m editing a bunch of code, and I did the whatever blame thing on it,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey and all the lines are from you. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John like, no. Yep. I said eight years ago. I’m like,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh. Speaking of version controls, another thing, I’m annoyed that my son’s programming class doesn’t teach him, because

⏹️ ▶️ John I mentioned that he should use version control, and he just rolled his eyes at me. But sure enough, I go over and look at his little Google Drive where he

⏹️ ▶️ John has to upload all of his source code. And what do you see in the folder with all his.swift files?

⏹️ ▶️ John Tank underscore v1, tank underscore v2, tank underscore v, you know, version control by file naming.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, God. Like, because they don’t teach them to use version control. And even if they did, they can’t use it in

⏹️ ▶️ John Google Drive the way they’re forced to submit things. And locally, locally on the local Mac is that’s what

⏹️ ▶️ John he’s doing the same thing. It’s like, I didn’t, I’m not going to go through like, I have to learn

⏹️ ▶️ John Git or something. And honestly, I don’t even know how Git integrates with Xcode. So I’d probably just host something. I’m like, all right, just keep

⏹️ ▶️ John doing that. But know that this is not what normal people do. Like, this is not the way to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do it. Yeah, it’s funny you bring that up, too, because when I graduated from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Virginia Tech with a computer engineering degree, I had never used source control. I feel like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and this was in 2004 when I graduated, I feel like the program I went through was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really good. I really honestly believe that. But it was very, very, very academic

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and not terribly pragmatic. And that I somewhat regret. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had to learn a lot of that stuff in my first job. Like, oh, this would have been so nice to have known

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about source control three years ago when I was working on school stuff. Although at that point I was such a slacker, I probably would have avoided

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it anyway. But nevertheless, it was all that stuff, like practical software

⏹️ ▶️ Casey development that I just didn’t really get in school. So I don’t find it particularly in high school, because it’s high school

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that he’s in, right? Not middle school?

⏹️ ▶️ John High school, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, so yeah, I’m not entirely surprised that a high school program doesn’t teach you about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey source control. But yeah, now, thinking of going back to that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey time, just like, it’s incredible to me that I was able to graduate from a four-year

⏹️ ▶️ Casey program and get an engineering degree in something that was related to software and still had

⏹️ ▶️ Casey never used version control at the time. I presume at this point, that is very much a part of the curriculum,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but back in the early aughts, it was not. Marco, did you ever do anything with it?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No. So you never had source control anything in school?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, not at all. Like we barely learned anything, any kind of like, you know, practical

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey tooling

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of things like that. Like it was, my computer science education was much more focused on like, you know, the theoretical,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the, you know, types of languages, you know, stuff like, you know, how to design a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco compiler, you know, that kind of stuff. It was nothing about version control or bug trackers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or, you know, anything that you get in modern software development practice. And at the time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it really annoyed me, but their argument, the school’s argument, was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those things are gonna go, they’re gonna go in and out of fashion in a few years, whereas

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we don’t want your education to be out of date in five years when the tools change. And that’s fair,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the reality is that just means that you have to pick up all that stuff on the job.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, like the colleges generally consider themselves not to be vocational schools, and they’re trying to teach you theory and math and

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff that doesn’t change, and it makes some sense. But for something like version control, in a four-year

⏹️ ▶️ John program, there’s room for one section of one course that teaches you something practical.

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t suddenly turn into Apex Tech for programmers. It doesn’t suddenly turn into just

⏹️ ▶️ John a boot camp. You’re still learning all the CS theory and all the algorithms and all the crazy

⏹️ ▶️ John math and whatever you’re learning, the timeless stuff that doesn’t change or that isn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John dated to certain technology or products, but just in one class, maybe in your first class, maybe as like

⏹️ ▶️ John a freshman class, just to get you up and running before you know anything anyway. Just teach them the basics of

⏹️ ▶️ John version control. I learned version control, not from any of my classes, I’m pretty sure,

⏹️ ▶️ John but because I’m so old, I learned it from the very first web pages

⏹️ ▶️ John showing you how to build like web pages and websites, showed you how you could use CVS to help you build websites.

⏹️ ▶️ John That did not age well, that knowledge and skill, in fact, just did not age well at all.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I think even in some of my early jobs, I was using Subversion.

⏹️ ▶️ John My first job, I used CVS. And RCS was what I read about in

⏹️ ▶️ John my really old Beardy Man Unix books, but I never actually used it because I could tell just from reading about it that it was terrible.

⏹️ ▶️ John CVS is so much better.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Until you want to delete a directory.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, just gotta fix stuff in the attic. Everything will be fine.

#askatp: Star-rating movies

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s move on. The next Ask ATP question is from Dan Provost, friend of the show.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And Dan writes, I’d love to hear your methodology, this is mostly for John, I’d love to hear your methodology for rating

⏹️ ▶️ Casey movies on Letterboxd, or Letterboxd. I give way too many movies, either 3.5 or four stars, my system is broken.

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey mean, my

⏹️ ▶️ John system I use is similar for what I use to music, which is like, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a little bit different. So, for movies, we’ve talked about this on, I’ve talked

⏹️ ▶️ John about this a lot on my podcasts, of best versus favorite. Is this your

⏹️ ▶️ John favorite song, or is this the best song in your collection? And for songs, I tend to lean more

⏹️ ▶️ John on the favorite side, like the songs that I like a lot. They may not be the world’s best song, but they

⏹️ ▶️ John may get very high ratings because I like them. We talked about this last time with songs with catchy music

⏹️ ▶️ John that I like, but with stupid lyrics. Movies, for whatever reason, I

⏹️ ▶️ John lean slightly more in the direction of best. So I will only give, as

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, they do star ratings up to five, I only give a five star rating to a movie that I think is

⏹️ ▶️ John just excellent. It’s not perfect, five doesn’t mean perfect, but it means

⏹️ ▶️ John there are very few movies that are better than this. Like, this is the cream of the

⏹️ ▶️ John crop. This is a great, great movie. Like, it does everything well, everything that it set out to

⏹️ ▶️ John do, it does well. Even if it’s the type of movie I don’t like, I might give something

⏹️ ▶️ John five stars because I think it was like an amazingly executed movie in a genre that

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not that interested in. So it’s not my favorite movie, but I would give it five stars. That’s rare, but I’m saying I just lean slightly more in

⏹️ ▶️ John that direction. So the fives are reserved for movies that I think are just

⏹️ ▶️ John unassailable. Like you can find things to poke at them that are wrong, but in general, they do everything

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re supposed to do. They have some exceptional elements and they have nothing super bad about them.

⏹️ ▶️ John Once you reserve the fives for those, you realize there aren’t that many fives out there in the world. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John the Best Picture winner at the Oscars every year, chances of that being a five are pretty low lately. So

⏹️ ▶️ John the fives are just, you know, every once in a while a movie will come along that you

⏹️ ▶️ John think is a five. So cut them out. You don’t have to worry about them. It’s gonna be like a handful

⏹️ ▶️ John of movies. Now you’re working with one through four. Four

⏹️ ▶️ John are movies that are really, really good, but there’s at least one thing that you’re like,

⏹️ ▶️ John meh, that could have been a little bit better. That’s what the fours are. Three and a half

⏹️ ▶️ John is, this was a good movie, but there is something obvious wrong with it

⏹️ ▶️ John that I don’t have to think too hard about. They blew it in one particular aspect, and it’s not like an eh, it’s like, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John that part wasn’t good, but, you know, or that aspect of it could have been a little bit

⏹️ ▶️ John better, but overall it was a pretty good movie. Three is my threshold for liked, didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John like it. If it’s a three star, it’s like the minimum that I’m gonna give a movie that

⏹️ ▶️ John I mostly liked, but it’s got a lot of issues, right? But I still like, yeah, I still had fun,

⏹️ ▶️ John it was fun, but it’s not really a particularly good movie. And then anything below

⏹️ ▶️ John that, I don’t think I have any two and a halfs, but twos, ones, like I don’t even use halves

⏹️ ▶️ John down in those ranges. Those are movies that you actively disliked and not only do you actively dislike them, They’re not good movies.

⏹️ ▶️ John They didn’t have any redeeming value. They weren’t put together well. Everything, various aspects of them were

⏹️ ▶️ John bad. That’s just a question of where the garbage is. So I think I spent a lot of time hanging out in the,

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe I do to two and a half, two and a half, three, three and a half range. To break into a four, you have

⏹️ ▶️ John to be pretty good. Four and a half is like, it’s a five, except there’s like one little niggle that

⏹️ ▶️ John is just bothering me and I can’t give it a five. So I think if you did a distribution of

⏹️ ▶️ John my movies, I’m hoping it would show that most of the stuff is hanging out around the threes. And, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John two and a half, three, three and a half range. Anyway, that’s, that’s my system. And I’m trying to use the whole range. I suppose

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t use one and two enough. Like what distinguishes a one and two probably by hatred for it. Cause like two

⏹️ ▶️ John is basically like thumbs down. One is like thumbs down. And also I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t really, I actively dislike you and half is when I can’t give it zero.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh man. Let’s just never have you rate your co-hosts.

#askatp: Backpacks

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. M. Roselius writes, Hey, Marco teases that he has a new backpack a couple months

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ago, but he didn’t provide any details. Can you share the bag and contents you’re bringing with you to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey WWDC? This is actually relevant for the pre-show that may or may not have even made it into the final recording.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco It

⏹️ ▶️ Casey will. But what would you say you’re going to treat as your WWDC

⏹️ ▶️ Casey specific everyday carry, Marco?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it isn’t everyday, is

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it?

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s gonna have a generator and a really big knife.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I went on this kind of backpack odyssey over the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco last couple of years, and I mentioned on this show before that I was a big fan

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, but that I had kind of a love-hate relationship with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That I liked a lot about it, I used it for a long time, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I had the smaller of the two, the 20 or 25, whatever it is, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco smaller of the two Peak Design backpacks. I loved so much about it, but it just never

⏹️ ▶️ Marco held enough stuff. It was just way too cramped. And the big one I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco saw actually last year at WWDC, two different people came

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up to me, because I had mentioned it recently before two different people came up to me and showed me,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they had like the larger one so I could see it in person. And I looked at it, I took one look at it, I’m like, oh, that’s way too big

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for me. I can’t pull off the larger one. So I was kind of stuck. Now, as I was complaining about the smaller one,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like one of the very first responses I got for it was somebody who said,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I had the smaller one too, I had all the same complaints as you, I got the bigger one and it’s so much better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it solved all my problems. So just get the bigger one, just try it. But again, I had seen them in person and I thought

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s way too big on me. It would look ridiculous, it looks comical, it’s just giant, forget it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I tried a bunch of other ones. I tried the Tom Bihn

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Synapse 25, which I believe I mentioned here on the show that it didn’t fit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all. The shape it formed against my back when there was stuff in it was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really, really badly resting on me. Like it was clearly meant for people who are taller than me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so all the love for the Synapse 25, I understand from certain perspectives, but it just didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fit me. So, and the Synapse 19, I didn’t want to try because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from what I understand, it doesn’t really fit a 15 inch laptop very well. And while I don’t currently

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a 15 inch, I want the ability to have one in the future because I do waffle between 13 and 15 inch laptops

⏹️ ▶️ Marco every couple of years. So I thought, well, I’ll try a few

⏹️ ▶️ Marco others. I tried the Nomadic Travel Pack. And by the way, this is a good time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to shout out again to our friend Chase Reeves. Chase Reeves does a wonderful YouTube

⏹️ ▶️ Marco channel and a website at, where he reviews high-end

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and mid-range to high-end like backpacks and travel bags and other travel gear like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And he’s super like backpack nerd. And so I love watching

⏹️ ▶️ Marco his videos for lots of reasons. I mean, he’s also just a really fun person, but for bag reviews, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t go wrong with Chase Reeves and Anyway, so I was going through all his recommendations, watching all his videos,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thinking, I gotta find my ideal backpack. Gotta find it, gotta find it. And I tried a few,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and eventually, I just, after going through a whole bunch of other bags and not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco liking them as much as I love-hated my Peak Design Everyday 20 liter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I decided, you know what, let me just fricking try the big one. It’s really big,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s fine. And I’m like happy with it, finally.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The bigness does actually solve many of its problems. Like one of my big problems with the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco small everyday bag is that the side pockets were so small as to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be fairly useless. Like I was almost like, why do they even put these side pockets in here?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the big one, the side pockets are just bigger enough that it’s better, it works.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The laptop compartment is still really tight if you wanna carry an iPad and a laptop,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s doable and it’s way more comfortable when getting a laptop in and out than the smaller one.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The actual main cargo space is bigger and I’m able to fit more stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not like massively more, but more and it’s enough. I actually still have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco both sizes and for one of the, I took a day trip recently and I decided let me load up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the small one bring that to see like if I miss it and I did immediately I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like I can’t fit anything in this thing and and so I fully converted now to the big

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one so I’m happy with that as my bag now it is a big

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bag and I occasionally actually I frequently need

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or want a smaller bag for less needs when I’m not like packing up for a big trip

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or bringing a bunch of gear with me I’d like to have a smaller bag available. So I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gone through a similar backpack odyssey with that. One could argue I should just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use the smaller one of the everyday bags as my small bag. And that’s a reasonable argument

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which I might end up doing. I’m currently, I’m testing, I’m using the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Archetype Dash Pack. It’s totally fine. Like it’s not like a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stellar bag, but it’s nice. I don’t know So if I’m going to stick with the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ArcType long term, if this is like my, like, I’m done small backpack,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably not. Because it’s, there are, there are aspects of its design that I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use. Like it has this weird sideways laptop compartment that goes right

⏹️ ▶️ Marco against your back that you access from like the backside of it. And I just don’t use that compartment at all because it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stupid. Like I just put my back, I just put the laptop in the main compartment where there is a pocket

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for it also. Like, I don’t know why there’s this weird thing on the back. But anyway, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, this bag is not perfect, but it’s fine. But my small

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bag needs are still unresolved. My big bag need, though, is pretty well solved by the Peak Everyday 30.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco As for what’s in these bags, I decided a long time ago that I wanted

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my travel bag, whatever my travel backpack was, in this case, the Peak Design,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted to always keep in it the things I would need, like electronics-wise

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I was traveling, which means buying extra things. And Casey, you discovered this religion recently too.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s so much nicer if you can buy an extra charger and buy an extra cable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and buy extra copies of any tech that you need when you’re traveling and just keep

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them in your backpack all the time. Never take them out unless you are using them during traveling,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is the only time you take them out. Otherwise, they stay there. And that way, you do have kind of this go bag, at least for tech

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff, where you know you can just like put your laptop in this bag if it isn’t already in the bag, and just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco take it with you, and you know you have everything you need. So laptop charger, phone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco charger, if those are different things, any cables you need, you know, if you wanna have like, you know, a phone charger

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the nightstand, for the hotel room, like bring that, you know, the long cable for that, which is nice, that’s another tip,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like get like the two meter lightning cable for your phone for traveling, it’s really nice in the hotel rooms.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that kind of stuff, like keep everything separate. And I also have, I have this like old person

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pill box that I got from Amazon for like two for $7. And it’s like this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco folding closed with like stick together with magnets pill organizer box that has just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different little flip compartments that you can put different pills in. And I put in there a small amount

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of all sorts of over the counter drugs that I occasionally need while traveling. Antacids, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, ibuprofen, allergy pills, Dramamine, stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I frequently will need while traveling that is a pain

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have to buy every time or is very expensive to buy like a tiny amount of in an airport or something, you know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s really nice to have that like always with me. Like oh, if I’m on the plane and I decide, crap, I need some Advil

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now, like I have it. It’s fine. It’s always there. So I have that in there. I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a couple of packets of fancy instant hipster coffee, Swift Cup coffee. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my current favorite one. high-end instant coffees that are surprisingly good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’re a little expensive. Usually they’re about between like $1.50 and $2 each. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re surprisingly expensive, but they’re very good. So I have my own coffee.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that way, when you are on a plane, say, or somewhere in a horrible

⏹️ ▶️ Marco place to get coffee, you can just ask for a cup of hot water and you can then take out your little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco packet when nobody’s looking and dump it into your cup and try to hide the fact that you’re being total jerk by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco making your own instant hipster coffee instead of taking the plain coffee but it’s totally worth

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being that jerk because it is so much better. What else do I keep in that bag?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Dongles, any kind of dongle I might need. I have found, I have recently entered

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the sub bag lifestyle for certain things. I certainly love packing cubes when traveling

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like when packing like a big bag like with clothes and everything. In the backpack I don’t I don’t use them quite as much, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I do like having a couple of small pouches for like tech miscellany.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like stuff I don’t usually need, but you know, I might. So that’s things like a micro SD

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to full size SD card adapter, the little USB-C and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lightning dongles to headphones, stuff like that. Like you know, like the little tech crap that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you occasionally need, you know, a spare SD card, stuff like that. I have little tiny Tom

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Bin like zipper pouches for those. Yep, that I shove it pretty much everywhere.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s most of the stuff that stays there all the time. Oh, like a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tiny notebook and pen. I think the notebook’s from Muji. Like some small thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco optimized for low weight and low size because I don’t usually need to hand write anything, but occasionally I do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I always carry earplugs with me when traveling because I will occasionally find myself in a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco loud place and I don’t want hearing damage. So I always carry earplugs. If I’m going on a plane,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I will bring my noise cancelling headphones, currently the Sony MDR whatever, whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mark II. I should mention my travel setup for powering

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and charging my devices is all USB-C. I have moved everything over to USB-C.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not all the peripherals that I have are USB-C yet, but all of the power sources, and then therefore all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the charging cables I have are USB-C. I only keep one USB-A cable with me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s one of those like multi-enders where it’s like you have USB A on one end and then like micro

⏹️ ▶️ Marco C and lightning things. You could stick like little duck heads that you could stick onto the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other end, but everything else I have is USB-C. So all of my lightning cables, with the exception of that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one, every other lightning cable is an Apple USB-C to lightning cable. My charging cables

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are all Apple USB-C to C charging cables because they’re super thin, the Apple ones.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then my laptop charges with C, my headphones charge with a C to micro adapter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And yeah, it’s wonderful. All the power bricks are C-bricks. This is an area that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has taken great strides recently. I guess I’ll put in a show notes, I have a couple of USB-C power bricks that are really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice. There’s the new gallium nitrate, gallium

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nitride, whatever the new like GAN standard or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco silicon alternative is for making power transformers has allowed much smaller power bricks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than before. So now you can get a little 30 watt power brick or a 45

⏹️ ▶️ Marco watt power brick that’s significantly smaller than they were before. So I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now use those on my laptop. So I don’t even carry the Apple 60 watt brick

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anymore. I use this like RavPower 45 watt thing that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is smaller than a deck of cards and it weighs almost nothing and it’s 45

⏹️ ▶️ Marco watts which is enough for my travel needs. And so I use that to power my laptop and I have a couple of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco smaller ones, like little 18 watt things, little 30 watt things for powering my phone. And those are powerful enough to fast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco charge a phone or an iPad, but they’re not that much bigger than like a phone or iPad power brick would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be. So I have a few USB-C power bricks, a few USB-C to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco C or lightning cables, and my one multi-cable, and that’s it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s wonderful.

⏹️ ▶️ John You might wanna reconsider the medicine thing, because the idea of having stuff always in the bag, writing, waiting for

⏹️ ▶️ John you is fine for things that don’t deteriorate with age, but I think some medicines

⏹️ ▶️ John do either lose their potency with age or other bad things happen to them, even if they’re sealed in bottles.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know exactly what you’re keeping in there, but it’s worth looking for all the things you keep in there. If this has been in there for five

⏹️ ▶️ John years, is it any good anymore? Should I still be swallowing it?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s a good question. Oh, and the one big important thing I have come to in the last six months

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or so is that I keep two bags. Like I keep the big bag

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the small bag. All of those exact same things are in both bags. I have duplicates of everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I can take either bag with me and I know it’s going to have a set of USB-C

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever cables, the multi-cable. I have two identical pill boxes, like of all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those pills. Like they both have instant coffee in them. Everything is duplicated except

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for like the laptop. I only have one laptop, but do you though? All of the accessories,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually, all of the accessories, all those cables, chargers, pills,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco notebook, pen, paper, all that stuff is all duplicated between the two bags.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So at any time, I can just grab either one of the bags and know that I have all those basics covered.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that has been really nice too. That has been almost as nice as having all the stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stay in your travel bag in the first place. I think if you are leading a multi-bag lifestyle, that’s the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way to do it. Pick two bags, make your big one and your small one, and load them both

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up with all the basics so that they’re always available to you.

⏹️ ▶️ John So you either have a lot of willpower or it’s a testament to your amazing conspicuous consumption that

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t find yourself digging into one of those bags when you just can’t find that one adapter that you need and you’re like,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh, I know where

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco one is. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. There’s one in my bag, which is a no-no.

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re not supposed to do. But the only reason you wouldn’t do it is if you never find yourself in that situation

⏹️ ▶️ John because you bought 150 of them to be all over your house. Like the luxury of buying duplicates and triplicates of

⏹️ ▶️ John all your things and having the bags is nice, but that can get expensive. Unless you travel a lot,

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe not entirely worth it. And the second thing is, as your kids get older, they will probably have fewer

⏹️ ▶️ John compunctions about, oh, I know where there’s, I mean, to give an example and not to turn this into directives,

⏹️ ▶️ John I know where there’s a nail clipper. In Dad’s backpack, because he always keeps one there. So guess who’s

⏹️ ▶️ John always digging into my backpack, because they can’t find any of the other nail clippers, because they left them who knows where, and then I go and look for my

⏹️ ▶️ John nail clipper, and it’s not there. Why is it not there? A kid took it.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco So just wait until your

⏹️ ▶️ John kids want your adapters.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Just wait. I mean, the good thing is when you go to an all-USBC travel lifestyle,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you actually don’t need very many different things. Like, there actually aren’t that many, like by quantity, there aren’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that many different things. Like, and it actually isn’t that expensive to outfit a backpack

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with these basics. Because you’re really talking about like two or three little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco power bricks, maybe three or four cables at most. Like, you’re not talking a whole

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, something that I’ve discovered recently is, I have my GoPack,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which we’ll put a link in the show notes to that, and that’s fairly large. And some of that, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually, I guess all of it is self-created, but some of that is self-created because I like to be a little over-prepared and I have a few things

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in there that I probably won’t need, but you never really know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do you have an entire generator in your backpack?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I wish I did. Man, that would be convenient.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco A little heavy.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Heavy, but convenient. But what I’ve done is I have a Tombin organizer pouch, which is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one of those zipper clear pouches, probably the same thing you were talking about earlier, Marco, and I have that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey clipped to the inside of my Tombin Co-Pilot, which is the bag I use more often than

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not these days, because I don’t have a 15-inch MacBook Pro anymore. Well, anyways, in this little

⏹️ ▶️ Casey organizer pouch, which is actually quite small, I keep one

⏹️ ▶️ Casey lightning to USB-C cable, one of those multi-ender cables you were talking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about it. I think Gruber had recommended it like a couple of months back and basically every nerd bought one including me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it’s the you know, the USB A to C mini and micro I think or something like that. It’s what you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco described

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before C mini and lightning.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Or C micro and lightning.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I think that’s right. I keep the Luna display in there. I keep as you had said

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the USB C to headphone adapter and a lightning to headphone adapter.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I keep a a mini SD and full size SD card reader. It’s the same thing. It’s the same

⏹️ ▶️ Casey unit. It can do both. I keep a little tiny, tiny, tiny dongle that’s a USB-A

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to C converter because you never really know. And then a little tiny, I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who makes this, but it’s a PowerPort Mini, which is a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco two-port. It sounds like anchor. Right on the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John side.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. It’s an anchor two-port USB-A charger. So think of something that’s about the size

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of an iPhone brick, but actually has two ports. And so this is convenient if If you’re in like an airport and me and Aaron want

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to both charge our phones, well, actually we’d probably be doing that off of my Away suitcase.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t even know if they’re sponsoring this week. But that really is the truth. That’s probably how we would be doing it. But if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not, we use this little Anker PowerPort Mini. And all of that lives – now admittedly, it gets crammed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey into – but all of that lives in this little pouch and that pouch can go back and forth between

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the two bags. Now in a perfect world, yes, I agree with you. I would have an identical pouch for the other bag

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I used to use from time to time when I had a big laptop and now I almost never use it, which is a Tom Bihn cadet.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But anyways, uh, this little pouch, this is my, my little mini go pack

⏹️ ▶️ Casey go pack and the sanctity of this is paramount. This is what John was alluding to earlier.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nothing leaves this unless it goes back in the moment I have finished using it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I am religious about that. So, um, in a perfect world, I would never go into this unless I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey traveling. But in, in the case that I do occasionally go into this, even when it’s at home,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am very strict, and I will be until Declan is of age and Michaela later,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am very strict about nothing leaving that unless it is absolutely necessary and then it gets dropped right

⏹️ ▶️ Casey back in as soon as it’s done.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco By the way, this whole bag thing, like my whole cables and power

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything, this is why I want the iPhone to go USB-C. Oh, agreed. Because right now,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have C to C and C to lightning cables, and I have to have these two different cables

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and there currently is nobody who makes cables that are C to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco multi-ender lightning or C. Like those don’t exist as far as I know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if they did, they would probably be severely limited with like how much power they could transfer or something like that. Like right now, like I can take a C to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco C cable and charge my laptop with Apple’s little skinny C to C,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or their little skinny, yeah, their charge cable, the one meter charge cable. It’s a C to C cable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s like as thick as an old lightning cable, which is like not very thick at all. And it’s very, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco small, light, thin, flexible, and it can plug into a tiny like 30 watt or 45

⏹️ ▶️ Marco watt, you know, GaN power brick. And I have what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco used to be like this big bulky setup to charge a laptop is now this tiny little,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, thin, light, small thing that’s way cheaper too. Like, you know, the combined cost of the cable and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the power brick is like 50 bucks, way cheaper than buying a separate laptop charger used to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can keep it in your bag. And if you don’t need it at that moment, you can use the exact same thing to charge

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an iPad. And if you switch out the cable and put the lightning version on, you can use the exact same thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to charge a phone. And if the phone also goes USB-C, that makes all of this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even better. I will very quickly throw away most of my lightning cables if that happens because I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have lightning cables all over the place, like just in case I need, you know, for a phone or whatever. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s like, man, that cannot happen soon enough. like the transition, hopefully, of a phone to USB-C

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will make this even better, even simpler, and it’ll make me carry even fewer cables.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I am definitely ready for the iPhone to go USB-C. I don’t expect it to happen

⏹️ ▶️ Casey quite yet, but I am ready for that life.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Linode, and Marine Layer, And we will see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you next time.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ Marco 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, Marco and

⏹️ ▶️ John Casey wouldn’t let him, cause it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental. You can find the show notes

⏹️ ▶️ John at And if you’re into Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can follow

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them At C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M A-N-T-Marco-Armen

⏹️ ▶️ Marco S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s accidental They didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean to accidentally

⏹️ ▶️ John Check my cast so long

Casey’s app is imminent

⏹️ ▶️ John Semi real-time follow-up. Apparently Letterboxd does have a view where

⏹️ ▶️ John you can see your average ratings per year. That’s a little wonky like back in time for like old

⏹️ ▶️ John movies where I’ll like rate one movie for the entire year and that becomes the average rating. But looking at the

⏹️ ▶️ John graph you can see my average rating has been going down slightly during like the years where I watch

⏹️ ▶️ John lots of movies. My highest rated non- my highest rated year with enough samples is 1980 with an average of 4.38.

⏹️ ▶️ John 2019’s current rating is 2.90. Woo! There’s

⏹️ ▶️ John lots of twos around the past five years or so. Like 2016 is 3.12, it just clears

⏹️ ▶️ John three. So yeah, I guess that makes me a tough grader, but I just feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m using the whole range. I mean, these years, these are years like the 2000s and stuff and where I’m watching lots

⏹️ ▶️ John of movies, so I feel like the average is representative. But as I go back in time, either the only movies I even remember

⏹️ ▶️ John from my childhood are the ones that were really good, so the average is high, or I only have like three movies

⏹️ ▶️ John rated in like 1961 or whatever. So the average is high because again, I’m rating

⏹️ ▶️ John movies that I’ve seen that are old because they’re probably classics or really good movies. But yeah, Letterboxd’s

⏹️ ▶️ John got everything. I’ll put that link in the show notes too.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What else is going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on? Do you want to talk about your app or do you want to save it for when you ship

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it? The, you know, at the moment I am angling and hurtling toward releasing.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s been extremely fun, extremely stressful,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and extremely weird and good in this last

⏹️ ▶️ Casey push, because, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been sending betas or alphas, I’ve been calling them,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey whatever. I’ve been sending builds to, you know, a bunch of friends. And I think my test flight has something like 30

⏹️ ▶️ Casey people on it. Most of whom are friends. A few of them are people that I at least casually know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But it’s been a lot of fun getting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a whole bunch of feedback from a whole bunch of people, most of which has been really tremendous and has made the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey app a hell of a lot better. Some of which I disagree with, some of which I begrudgingly agree with,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then, or Marco and I have been going back and forth on a few things, which sometimes we’ll be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like, I don’t know, I really don’t like this. But then it has led one of us typically Marco to,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to have an epiphany that, uh, that, that has made things really a whole lot better. So it’s been,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s been a lot of fun, you know, when, when you have a regular jobby job, uh, especially

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if it’s, um, I don’t want to say the word relaxed, but maybe not a fast paced jobby job.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sometimes you can lose sight of, or, you know, it’s, it’s just, it’s nice.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s nice at a regular jobby job to have that, that moment when you have to give the big heave. And I haven’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really had to do that in a while because even at my last jobby job, for the most part,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the deadlines were self-created. So, you know, Oh, well, we didn’t hit that deadline.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Whatever. Uh, it’s been a few years since I’ve had like a really strong deadline. And,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and as I’ve said in past shows, I really, really, really want to try to at least get this into app review before WWDC,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey preferably out before WWDC. But at the very least, I’d like to get an app review on, you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, extremely soon. And having that deadline and then working with all of my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey friends and whatnot, trying to get this squared away, it has been so stressful

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and so occasionally frustrating. But overall, it has been such incredible fun,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’m really appreciative to a bunch of my friends who have spent an unfair amount of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey time—and by that I mean unfair to them—amount of time helping me out this stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff. Marco is a great example of this. My friend, Jelly, who does,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what is it? Independence? Is that right? The really great podcast with Curtis Herbert

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and Alice Zhao. I hope I have all that right. That was right off the top of my head. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco and Jelly have been extremely helpful. Ben Rice McCarthy has been extremely helpful.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it’s just been a lot, a lot of fun. And I’m stressed out of my mind, but at the same time,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m really enjoying getting this kind of of across the finish line. And, and I think the thing that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey most exciting about it is it’s gone from. Utter crap,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey both functionality wise and looks wise to something that was at least somewhat,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, it was getting there both in terms of functionality and looks, but now I don’t think this is going to win any design awards

⏹️ ▶️ Casey by any means, I’m not trying to oversell it, but I’m pretty proud of how this looks. And as someone who

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a, is an okay design critic, but has no design, I am I’m pretty happy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that Ben and Jelly and Marco have really been able to steer me in the right direction to get this thing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey looking pretty good. I know that there’s things that Marco still disagrees with, and we don’t necessarily need to talk

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about that now, although we can if it’s relevant. But even with the things that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m ignoring that Marco’s suggesting, I still think this is way better

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thanks to Marco and Jelly and Ben’s influence than it would have been if I was left to my own devices.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I thank the three of you particularly, and everyone else has been helping out. It wasn’t just the three of you, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think the three of you particularly. But it’s been a lot of fun, and oh man, it is—oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m so stressed. I’m excited, like I’m really happy, but I’m so stressed.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, that’s part of the process. One thing that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think is going to be telling here—and I don’t want you to answer this yet because you don’t actually know the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco answer yet—but I will be asking you at some point in the future,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whether this is going to be like making videos or whether it’s gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be something that you want to actually keep up with. Because what I think you learned, what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I certainly have learned, is that while I kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco learned how to make videos, I hated every minute of it and I kind of decided, you know what,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I probably actually don’t enjoy this enough to really keep doing it. And you are going through a lot of stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now with this app that you either have never had to do or haven’t had to do for a long time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or maybe you only had to do it on a different scale before, or coming from a different place.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so, you are going through all the crap that is necessary to make your own app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All the stuff that you don’t have to deal with when you have a full-time job with other people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where you’re only like one cog in the machine. And so, you’re dealing with a bunch of crap

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now that you may or may not actually want to do again in the future.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I do not want the answer now, but I will be asking you at some point soon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to try to evaluate that, to try to say, is this something that you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually enjoy doing? Because if all this crap that you have to do to get a version 1.0 of an app out the door,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have to get an icon made, get the name squared away, get the app store submission crap,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get the in-app purchase, all this stuff that you have to do to get any 1.0

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app in the store when it’s only you working on it? Is that gonna be something that you actually wanna do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again in the future, or is it gonna be such a grind and it’s gonna get you so down that you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would rather work with other people still and not do stuff on your own?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I think that’s a fair question. It’s actually something I was thinking about earlier today.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco and I were going back and forth a couple of times during the day where he would suggest something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I would either say, wow, that’s a great idea. Well, give me a few minutes or, oh my God, no, I don’t wanna do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that at all. And then oftentimes I would do it and then sometimes we would end up that I would be convinced that Marco was right, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sometimes I ignored him. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco as we were doing this back and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco forth. Just a quick sidetrack, if you’ll forgive me. I get design feedback from very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco talented people making very good points about my app all the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t listen to all of it. Right. Because design

⏹️ ▶️ Marco suggestions are merely that, their suggestions. Any designer who’s giving something who says it isn’t a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco suggestion is lying to you. It’s always a suggestion, and sometimes it’s a really good suggestion, and sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they point out problems that maybe you disagree with the way they solved it, but are still legitimate problems that you need to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco solve. But regardless, people’s design suggestions are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just that. They are suggestions, and you don’t have to follow them all. Again, it is worth

⏹️ ▶️ Marco considering why they’re making that suggestion, and seeing if maybe you can solve it in a different way if you don’t like their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco solution, but it’s merely that, it’s merely like how other people would do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this. And you can take that with a grain of salt if you want to, and you can, for some of these things, you can say, you know what,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I appreciate the feedback, but I wanna do it my way on this because I think my way is better, or this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the way I wanna do it. And sometimes you’ll be wrong, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s part of the learning process that you’re going through too. It’s like you’re gonna have to figure out for yourself when to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco take that feedback and when to know not to.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah, I completely agree. And it’s so an example of this, and I’ll be specific because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think it’s a really good like kind of case study about something that I really enjoyed that happened, I think it was earlier

⏹️ ▶️ Casey today. It’s been such a blur. I’ve been working kind of nonstop. But, um,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco you sound like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey six builds today. Yeah, it wasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco six, but it was it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a bunch. I mean, I’ve been I’ve been really trying to get this thing out the door. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the kind of landing screen and a general run of the app is, the way

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it existed 24 hours or less ago, was that you have a navigation bar at the top,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you have a button at the bottom, and a whole bunch of white space with nothing in the middle. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t love it, but it was not something I was really looking at fixing at the time. And Marco

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very justifiably said, sometime in the last 24 hours, in a nicer way, basically,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey got to fix this thing, man, because this looks like crap.” And Marco had come up with several

⏹️ ▶️ Casey different ideas, which I ignored. I did this knowing that it was going to drive you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey freaking mad, and it did. So not in a screw-you-Marco way, just in a,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know this is going to really piss him off, and that will cause both he and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I to find a solution to this problem. So what I did was I put a 50% opacity

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bit of text directly in the center of this humongous swath

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of white

⏹️ ▶️ Marco space. Yeah, you had this button on the bottom that’s basically like start. Yeah. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there was nothing above it before, so it was a giant white screen with a button by the home indicator

⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying start. Yeah, yeah, yep, yep. And so your solution was to, my suggestion was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get rid of the screen entirely, just start. And your solution was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to put like a label, a text label, like in the middle of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco white space saying like, click down there to start or something and an arrow pointing down.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I knew that I was never going to ship that for real, but I knew it would get both of us

⏹️ ▶️ Casey riled up enough that it won’t force us to find a solution. So I was basically, I was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey compensating Marco for helping me by pissing him off. That’s how friends work, right? That’s how friends

⏹️ ▶️ Casey work, right? But anyway, I bring this up in part to laugh about it, but also in all seriousness, because then what ended up happening

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was, this morning, you and I were going back and forth about what can we do to fix this?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And there were, there’s some other nuance that I’m gonna kind of gloss over here that was important

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the context of our conversation. But what we ended up deciding was, hey, what if we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey move the button to the middle? And also, when you tapped this go button,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which is the button that would go and search for all these different services, for images, for all of your contacts,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that can use a whole lot of data. The way it worked before today was when you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tap that button, it would look and see if you were on cell or if you were on Wi-Fi, and if you’re on LTE,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it would say, well, are you sure? Because this could use a whole lot of data and there would be a prompt,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then you could say basically, yeah, yeah, fine, whatever, or you’re right, I’ll do it later. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I never really liked that prompt to begin with, but it was important to me that the user was at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey least aware that, hey, this is potentially gonna use a bunch of data. Are you sure? Well, not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey only did I not like the prompt, but the, not the podcast, I love the podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m talking about the prompt in my app, but anyway, not only did I not like the alert,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but on top of that, the code that was holding all that together, I really didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like. And it was one of those things where I’m not gonna fix it right now but I’m going to have to re-architect this at some point. So I already

⏹️ ▶️ Casey didn’t like that whole block of code. I didn’t like this white space, I didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like the alert. Then what Marco and I ended up concluding was, hey, let’s move the button

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the middle and put a nice little piece of text below it that basically says, hey, it’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey recommended you do this over Wi-Fi. That solved everything at once.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It got rid of, or maybe not solved, but at least dramatically improved everything at once. So it got rid

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of that huge swath of white space, or broke it up, I guess, if nothing else. It got

⏹️ ▶️ Casey rid of that ugly alert that I really didn’t like. It got rid of all the code

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for that ugly alert that I didn’t really like. And in the heat of the moment, like, I was never annoyed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at Marco, but I was annoyed at the situation, because I feel like neither of us were coming up with good answers. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was just getting frustrated by it. But then when it was mostly Marco, I think, but one way or another, when the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey two of us reached this conclusion, it was like, ah, this is exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I wanted. This is so much better. And I don’t want to put words in your mouth, Marco, but for me,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that whole exchange was one of the things I miss most about work,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because even though I do quite like being my own independent person, it is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just fun to me anyway, to be able to bounce stuff off of someone and work together

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to find a solution that you’re really excited about, if not proud of. And,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and something that, that I got thinking about after that, that whole happy kerfuffle was over

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was I wonder how much you feel that way as well. And it’s okay if you’re like, well, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just helping out a friend and I really hated every moment of it. Like whatever, I got what I needed out of it. So, okay.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I can’t help but wonder because you strike me as a little bit more fiercely independent than I am.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wondered, was this fun for Marco or does Marco miss this for Overcast? Or perhaps you are

⏹️ ▶️ Casey getting it from Overcast, just not from me, which is perfectly fine. But it was a lot of fun

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for me to have that back and forth with you. I don’t know, and I was curious,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do you enjoy that sort of thing or would you rather just go into your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cave? I don’t mean that dismissively, but you know what I mean? Like go into your cave and then come out with this perfectly a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey huge piece of whatever, of app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I mean, you are on the Overcast beta. You know that that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not how it works usually. As you’re alluding to, one of the hardest things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as an independent developer is getting good feedback and finding

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a way to have that feedback loop of iteration with somebody else or with other people’s contributions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and ideas. Like one of the most frustrating feelings

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is when someone points out a problem with your design and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know they’re right, but neither of you have come up with something better yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that is part of the fun. Like that’s why you were like, you were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so mad, because I get the same kind of feedback too, where like somebody will tell me something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s wrong and something I’m proposing, I’d be like, ah! because they’re right, that is wrong,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or this does suck in this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John way,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I just can’t figure out anything better yet. But eventually, eventually I do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so where I get this feedback from is a combination of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco friends, TIFF, and Twitter. The best suggestions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco come from, like when I kind of like iterate a design on Twitter, which I do sometimes with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Overcast, where I’ll like post a screenshot, I’m like, oh, I’m kind of thinking about this, What do you think? And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then I’ll get a whole bunch of responses from people, and then I’ll be like, all right, well, how about this? I’ll kind of tweak it live, like on Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and get feedback that way. That’s really cool when that happens. I don’t do it that often, but when I have something where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that makes sense to do, that feedback is always really valuable, really excellent.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I just, I don’t know how much I drove you nuts today, but I will speak for myself

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in saying I was having a hell of a lot of fun. Like, even when I was frustrated with what was going on, it was still a hell

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of a lot of fun just working with somebody, especially someone who I quite like, and working with someone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in trying to figure out a solution to a problem. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think that’s what engineering is all about, is just looking at the trade-offs and trying to find the best solution you can,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey given time constraints, given everything that you have in front of you. And that, to me,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the core of engineering. And I know Dr. Drang, if he is listening to this, is just dying right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But that’s what I find most fun about this discipline, which I claim to be engineering. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so I was really enjoying it. And I appreciate all the help and appreciate you taking the time to go back and forth with me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I think the app, not just because of this white space issue, it was just a very easy case study that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could describe verbally. But I think the app is much better for all of the feedback I’ve gotten from all the beta

⏹️ ▶️ Casey testers, but particularly you, Marco, amongst others. So I appreciate it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Thanks. It was fun for me, too. Marco, did you talk to him about the emoji titles for the sections and settings.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, come on. No, I actually decided not to fight that fight, because I thought it was kind of fun.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See,

⏹️ ▶️ John thank you. I mean, it’s definitely a Casey personality thing, but it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like they’re too small

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be happy. I will concede they’re a little bit small. That I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John would

⏹️ ▶️ John agree with. And then you made them bigger, then it’s like, what are these stray emoji doing in my UI? I mean, I know

⏹️ ▶️ John why they’re there, but people who don’t know you might be confused. Anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I thought they were like, when I first saw that, I’m like, oh, that’s weird. But then it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco went from weird to good for me. Like, I liked it. Because I use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some emoji in the Overcast interface.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, like the tips for great results, like the little light bulb. That makes sense. But as section headings,

⏹️ ▶️ John that throws off the spacing. It’s just not visually balanced.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I don’t know. I mean, I think the use of emoji in UI is still very young.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And a lot of people will react negatively to it just because it’s not the common case. But that doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean it’s wrong, or that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. Like, you wouldn’t believe, like, most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people didn’t care, but I did get a few, like, really nasty comments when I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco switched to using emoji for things like indicating whether an episode is starred or whether it will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stream. I used the star emoji or the cloud emoji in its little description label

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in those circumstances. And there were, you know, most people didn’t care, I thought it was cool, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there were a few people who were like, were like viscerally offended by that, that I was using emoji

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the interface. Like that was really offensive to a small number of people. But most people don’t care because most people are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not jerks.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m surprised people got that angry. What do the people

⏹️ ▶️ John care about? What is their complaint exactly? Like that you didn’t draw it yourself?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s always a subset of people who are really mad at me because I don’t hire a designer for most things.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Are these designers looking for work? I think sometimes. I mean, there is the whole phenomenon of like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the unsolicited redesign, which I get all the time. And one thing, and by the way, Casey, you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to get this too, and some of it is from us. The unsolicited redesign,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the people doing it, usually are not considering some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco design challenge or some factor that you have to include or some condition that they didn’t think about.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Usually you can’t do their design or you shouldn’t do their design because of some reason that they didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco consider. I get a lot of overcast,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco unsolicited redesigns. I have never gotten one that was even remotely

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tempting. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John was like, oh, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco should do that. Like, not even once. Because they’re usually, first of all, a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of times they’re just bad design. Like, you know, anybody can call themselves a designer. Heck, I do. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s no qualifications required to call yourself a designer. There’s no like professional certification or anything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, you can call yourself whatever you want. And a lot of the design is just bad. but also like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many of them are, are designs that like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I look at it and I’m like, is this actually better? Like who would think this is better? Like, or like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this doesn’t really account for this entire feature set over here that I know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t cut. Uh, or like, wow, this looks great on this size phone,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it will totally break on this other size phone or, you know, or something like that. Like there’s people,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically, you know more about your app than anybody else. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know what is necessary. You know all the design considerations and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco constraints that went into the current design to begin with. You know why it is the way it is if you did

⏹️ ▶️ Marco put thought into it. So like ultimately, you know, do stuff your own way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s why my solution has been to just slowly develop

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these skills myself. because I was tired of working with other people who would try

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make me do things that I would immediately be like, well, I can’t do that because then I can’t do this, or then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John this will break,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or that won’t work if I change the font size, or whatever. There were so many conditions constantly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where somebody would suggest something, or I would hire a designer, and they would do something, and I’d be like, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice, but I can’t do that, or I’d rather not do that because then that would create this other problem over here.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So in conclusion, don’t always listen to everybody, to what everybody tells you, because ultimately,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco take it all as suggestions, because ultimately you should know best,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and maybe you don’t yet, I don’t know, but you should know best what your app should be.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and with you and with everyone else, I have taken them as suggestions, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at this point I feel, and maybe this is my own self-deprecating nature that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey has been on display for many years now, but I feel like I know enough to know what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know and I know I’m not a terribly great designer. And so generally

⏹️ ▶️ Casey speaking, if someone comes to me and passionately says, oh, this is really jacked up, generally

⏹️ ▶️ Casey speaking, I’m going to listen to them. Now there’s some cases where I’m not like, so as an example, that whole cascading

⏹️ ▶️ Casey selection thing that I love so much, I’m going to ship that at least in part, and you and I were going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey back and forth about this earlier, Marco. I’m going to ship it at least in part, but I’ve toned it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey down and I’ve eliminated one of the places where it’s used,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I think even though I find this clever and interesting and funny,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m unconvinced that anyone else will. And so I’m going to ship it as is to see

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what happens. And then if it ends up that I need to pull it, I need to pull it. It’s no big deal. And that’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very, very silly example, but it’s an example. And like the emoji

⏹️ ▶️ Casey section headers, they’re totally getting shipped that way. I may regret it, but But I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey definitely gonna ship it that way because I like it and I think it’s cool. And I’m sure it’s been done in other apps before, but I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can’t think of any where it’s been done. Maybe because everyone else is too serious about their jobs, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco one way or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco another. You have an advantage here in that you are independent. You have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco answer to nobody else for this, except for us. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you decide you wanna ship Emoji, damn it, you can ship Emoji. Like that’s it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can communicate everything in the app by emoji if you really want to. No one’s going to stop you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you’re using emoji for headers in a settings table view is going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to affect nobody. It’s going to lose you probably no sales. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s fine. So if it makes you happy, ship the damn thing. You’re making this app to make yourself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco happy. If that’s what makes you happy, do it. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it might even reward you. Like when I shipped 1.0 for Overcast,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there was a whole bunch of personality in the app and various microcopy here and there. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the time, that was not common to see. Honestly, I think it still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco isn’t. But I was worried that that would make my app appear unprofessional

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or that I wasn’t taking it seriously enough or anything. I had no idea how people would take that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was a risk, but it paid off. People took it really well. And maybe I’ve lost some people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the years who didn’t want their app to have any personality, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco certainly those people are probably the minority, dramatically so. And so,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, you might have one person, like John, who is really weirded out by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco emoji settings headers, but chances are it’s not gonna be a majority, even close,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it might even make your app seem even more friendly and even better, and it might even cause people to buy your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app even more.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and you know, another example of this is I tend to be pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey verbose when it comes to the copy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco in the app. Oh dear God,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yes. And at first, when you were beating me up about the copy, I was like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, I don’t want this to sound like Marco’s app. And that wasn’t at all what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you were trying to do, but that’s how it felt at first. And some of those first iterations

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you had suggested, I was like, I like the spirit of where he’s going with this,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I think I should take it a slightly different direction. And then toward the end, I think,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, I like to think, maybe it’s just me lying to myself, but I think because of, you know, I would try

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this version, which was a lot shorter, but wasn’t exactly what you said. And then you would say, okay, well, what about that?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then I tried that. Okay, well, what about this? And by the end of this back and forth, we ended up with something that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think screams Marco. I don’t know that necessarily screams Casey, but I do think that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is better for the user than where I started by a lot. That

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is another example of some back and forth where I could have taken what you had initially sent exactly as it was,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it would have been an improvement. It would not have been bad, but it just didn’t feel exactly the way I wanted it to feel.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m glad that you were willing and patient enough to go back and forth with me about a lot of this copy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I do quite like where we ended up because it was way too much. I didn’t really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey see it until you pointed it out, but once you pointed it out, immediately I was like, oh yeah, this is way too much.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I have you down to, I think, only one semicolon left.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, semicolons don’t hurt you. I swear.