416: I Will Take Away Those Kudos04 Feb 2021
Tech nostalgia, Apple developer drama, a special bug report, pro cameras, Tesla, Siri, filesystems, backups, and e-bikes: a typical ATP episode.
- Pre-show: Strong corporate affinities
- Neutral #12: Vomit Ruins Everything — Marco & Casey’s BMW European Delivery experience
- Neutral Special: Please Lose Control of Your Car Now — Marco, Casey, and Underscore’s BMW Driving School experience
- Limiting Siri’s Messages Announcements
- Telling Siri to 🤫
- Developer Transition Kit returns
- iOS 14.5 Beta adds support for unlocking iPhone with Apple Watch while wearing a face mask
- Apple replies to one of John’s old Radars
- Sony ɑ1
- Do we use CleanMyMac X/OnyX/etc? (via Donald Rabideau)
- Does a small amount of RAM limit SSD lifespan? (via Dan Blondell)
- How do simultaneous writes to a SSD work? (via Jan Philipp)
- Would Apple ever offer iCloud Backup for macOS? (via Aidan Trager)
- Post-show: Marco is snowed in
- Flatfile: Spend less time formatting spreadsheet data, and more time using it.
- Linode: Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. New accounts get a $100 credit.
- Away: Start your 100-day trial and shop Away’s entire lineup of travel essentials, including their best-selling suitcases.
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- Old company affinities
- Neutral follow-up: Tesla stuff
- Follow-up: Siri stuff
- Sponsor: Away
- DTK program ending
- Masked unlock via Watch
- Sponsor: Linode
- John’s bug response
- Pro cameras and Sony A1
- Sponsor: Flatfile
- #askatp: Mac-cleaning utilities
- #askatp: SSD swap wear
- #askatp: Data arrangement on disk
- #askatp: iCloud Backup for Mac?
- Ending theme
- Post-show: Snowed in on Fire Island
Old company affinities
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, I have a question for you. When you were perhaps younger,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or just generally in the days before, did you have any strong
⏹️ ▶️ Casey corporate allegiances? So what got me thinking about this was obviously, you know, I have a strong affinity
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for Apple, even though sometimes it may not sound like it. But I was thinking, you know, there was a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey time when I felt probably as strongly in favor of BMW as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do about Apple, which now sounds bananas, but there was a time when I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey extremely enthusiastic about BMW. You know, Marco and I flew halfway across the planet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in order to visit more BMW. Um, and, and I was also thinking about like when I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a kid, I had very little actual possessions, but a strong affinity
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for Sony stuff. And, you know, we’ve all talked about, especially us old men about how Sony used to be great, blah, blah, blah. And actually coincidentally,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’re going to be talking about Sony again later, but I was curious for both of you, but particularly John,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were there any other corporations that you felt like you did or perhaps still do have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a really strong like affinity for?
⏹️ ▶️ John Sure. And it’s, I mean, like just like with you and BMW and all the things we’re talking about, it comes down to the
⏹️ ▶️ John products. Like unlike sports teams, which like you’re born into, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Or religion or whatever, like, um,
⏹️ ▶️ John or just geography, um, for, for like tech products or even
⏹️ ▶️ John any kind of products, it’s based, uh, or companies, it’s based on the products they put out. I also had an
⏹️ ▶️ John affinity for Sony stuff that was based on both the Walkman, which was a new piece of technology
⏹️ ▶️ John when I was a kid, and that really knocked my socks off, and a little bit later, the Trinitron
⏹️ ▶️ John display, because I always liked good display technology, and the Trinitron only curved in one direction instead
⏹️ ▶️ John of two, and that’s 50% to being entirely flat. And then, of course, Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John used Trinitron monitors, so there was a connection there. Nintendo, why? Oh, the NES. The NES was another
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that came out in my day, right? because of the NES I became devoted to
⏹️ ▶️ John Nintendo and the games they put out, you know, Legend of Zelda and Mario, that made me devoted to Nintendo. So
⏹️ ▶️ John every time Nintendo did a thing, I was into it. Those are probably the big ones. Maybe you
⏹️ ▶️ John could say like Ferrari and Porsche, but like I only saw pictures of those things. So, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John who really knows what they’re actually like. But yeah, I think it’s the same amount of,
⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t call it corporate allegiance. I would call it identifying
⏹️ ▶️ John and being interested in the output of companies that were doing things that I found cool.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What about OXO? Like isn’t a lot of your kitchen stuff OXO?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, like that’s, I don’t, it’s not quite the same thing as
⏹️ ▶️ John those other companies because a lot of OXO stuff is hit or miss, but they’re in my
⏹️ ▶️ John group of brands that I trust. Like Allclad is another one. Like you kind of know what you’re getting with them.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve bought enough of their products that I have some confidence in what they’re gonna give. But those things
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t go into the top tiers because I feel like their taste
⏹️ ▶️ John is not entirely aligned with mine, or not aligned with mine as much as say, a Nintendo or an
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple is. So I really have to just sort of pick and choose from those companies. So yeah, I like them,
⏹️ ▶️ John but sometimes the things they make don’t agree with my taste.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s fair. Marco, other than your incorrect opinions about Sega, anything for you? I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was just thinking about Sega when you were in college. But yeah, I don’t know. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I was young, we didn’t have a lot of money, and I didn’t have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the breadth of knowledge or product availability to me or internet
⏹️ ▶️ Marco searching. So I only knew what we had. And all we had,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’d get one of everything. So we’d have one TV, one VCR.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We had one game system, the Sega Genesis, for most of my childhood. So like, it wasn’t,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it wouldn’t be so much like an allegiance as like, this is the only one that we have. So it’s the only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one that I have any experience with. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah, I don’t know. I mean, like we had Toyota
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cars because we bought them and drove them forever.
⏹️ ▶️ John should have listed Honda, which
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco was a later life thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John The first Honda that my family had was, I think it was like a teenager by then, but obviously very
⏹️ ▶️ John quickly I developed an affinity for that brand, and this is the only car I’ve ever bought. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John just a series of Hondas, so. Put that in the loyalty column for sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s funny to me that early on, before I put something to the order of $10,000 or $15,000
⏹️ ▶️ Casey worth of repairs into my 3 Series, I would have said early on that, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey money notwithstanding, because it’s a big issue with a BMW, I would probably drive BMWs forevermore. Because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey when my 335 worked, holy crap, that was a great car. It really, really, really was.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But the problem is it never worked. And coincidentally, I ran out to do some takeout for dinner.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And when I was out, I noticed coming out onto the road I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey driving on, you know, so perpendicular to me, was one of the new either three or four series
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with the humongous, ridiculous kidneys that we had talked about,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, many shows ago now. And that might be the first time I’ve seen them in person and they
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are uglier in person than I think they are on paper. And that is saying something because they are truly awful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s so bad. So yeah, it just, you know, fast forward a couple of years and, and genuinely, I mean, I could not say enough good
⏹️ ▶️ Casey things about the trip that me, Aaron, Marco and Tiff went on and, and about, you know, going
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to BMW Welt and going to do European delivery and taking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this, you know, it’d be even just being a passenger in Marco’s ridiculous BMW and taking it around
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Nürburgring on like April 4th or something when there was snow on the sides of the road. Like everything about that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey trip really on paper was kind of dumb and wrong and bad, but I loved it. I loved every moment
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of it. And. And to go from that to me saying today, it is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey unlikely that I would ever really, even strongly consider a BMW again is surprising.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I feel similarly, although not exactly the same with Sony, you know, like I, I loved
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sony so much as a kid. And now I’m just like, eh, it’s a thing. Maybe I’d get a camera sometime, maybe. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, we’ll be talking about this later, but, um, I don’t know, it’s just wild to me how such
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a strong allegiance can just evaporate into thin air like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Just wait until Declan wants a PlayStation.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think a lot of it was like, you know, in that era of like, you know, 80s, 90s, like the time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we grew up, well, Casey and I grew up.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Things were a lot less based on software and ecosystems and services and everything. And they were a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot more just like, which of these consumer electronic companies can make really nice hardware?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the hardware could be really delightful and really well made. And it was because there was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not much software dependence at the time, for almost any category of device,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think more companies were able to become entrants in those fields. So you had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more companies being able to make really good TVs and really good VCRs and really good game systems and everything.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And now I feel like not only do we use fewer things, like human back then,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you might have had, you know, you might have had like an early computer from whoever made that. You definitely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would have had like, you know, TV, VCR, later on DVD player.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You would have had game systems, at least one usually growing up. And you also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would have had things like, you know, a Discman, as we said, or a Walkman, maybe later in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the late 90s, you might have had like a PDA or something. Like, you would’ve had more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things, whereas now, a lot of those hardware products are not necessary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anymore. Like now, to get hardware that we actually need or want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to use, it basically has to be like either a phone or a computer, and like that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about it. And not a lot of people are able to make competitive phones or computers these days
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because they’re so complex and so reliant on software and ecosystems.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so it’s harder for somebody like a Sony, for example. Sony has always been miserably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad at software, but really pretty good at the hardware side. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now Sony, the direction the world has moved, with the exception of things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the camera division, but the rest of Sony, the world has moved in places that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sony mostly can’t do very well. Sony does not have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a PC or mobile operating system. They don’t make most of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the hardware that would be in a PC, well, with the exception of, they do make a ton of the camera
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sensors, which is pretty good. That’s a pretty good business to be in, the camera modules on smartphones,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a pretty good business. But, I feel like there’s less room for somebody,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like 90s Sony, just make a really nice VCR. There’s less room for that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in what we use today, because what we use today requires massive investments
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and massive established ecosystems in areas Sony has not ever been really able to do.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I do kind of miss that. Like a couple years back, I got this little tiny
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sony audio recorder and it was about the size of an iPod shuffle. And it was this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco full-blown audio recorder. It was so delightful. And I used
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it like three or four times maybe and I just haven’t used it. And I looked for it the other day and I couldn’t find
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. but like it was so delightful to have this thing and hold it in my hands. It’s like this is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a modern Sony device that had, you know, it looked, and it looked just like an old Sony device. It, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, this black plastic casing, really well-made, big buttons, nice big record button,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice big display. It had like a black and white OLED for the displays, but it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco looked really nice. Like it was a beautiful little device, but I just don’t have a ton of use for this kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing anymore. Because so often, either our phones can do that and we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t need to do it anymore, or things that are about physical media we almost never need anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I don’t know, it seems like there’s been whole massive categories of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that we could become big fans of or really respect certain companies for,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that whole category doesn’t really exist anymore. Or it only exists in very specialized areas and only pros
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a certain area need it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Speaking of outdated stuff, TiVo, another brand that I had
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey tremendous loyalty for
⏹️ ▶️ John until the bad times.
Neutral follow-up: Tesla stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, we should start with some follow-up, and we have some neutral
⏹️ ▶️ Casey follow-up. I am sorry if this is not your cup of tea. This is why chapters exist. Thank you, Germany.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey To begin, somebody on Twitter found that there were official renders of the Model
⏹️ ▶️ Casey S and Model X interiors with a traditional, round,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey barbarically ancient, and yet so delightful steering wheel. And I was extremely pleased to see this, and I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hope it’s a thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if it’s renders. It might be a photo.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey presumably for
⏹️ ▶️ John the countries where it’s illegal to have the steering yoke,
⏹️ ▶️ John the non-wheel wheel. Apparently that’s against certain laws in certain places. So they’re probably gonna
⏹️ ▶️ John have to make a round wheel anyway and this was an official picture on their site. So there it is,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a wheel. And if, I would say because Tesla makes that part, it would be easier for people to buy
⏹️ ▶️ John the aftermarket. But then I remember that Tesla doesn’t exactly make it easy to buy parts, period.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my best guess is that if they don’t enable that wheel option for everybody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up front, I think they will probably enable it at some point, like maybe within the next year. I think enough people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will want it and they’ll lose enough sales to not having it that they’ll probably relent and start offering
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that as an option. But I could be wrong. I mean, they never offered functional door handles.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, exactly. They didn’t fix those for all those years, even this gen. Speaking of controls,
⏹️ ▶️ John at least one person on Twitter said that the touch controls on the wheel are supposedly force
⏹️ ▶️ John touch, like you actually have to press them hard. So I speculated about that last show. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John not sure where this information is coming from. That would make a little bit more sense than them being
⏹️ ▶️ John capacitive, but it doesn’t make any sense to me why they are apparently
⏹️ ▶️ John on a completely smooth, featureless service without any kind of outline or indent
⏹️ ▶️ John or bulge to indicate where the things are.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, like if I wanna like dust off my steering wheel, am I gonna accidentally honk the horn?
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, not unless you press, but the reason I think it’s weird that it’s just a smooth surface is you’ll just have to memorize
⏹️ ▶️ John which parts of the smooth surface to press. It’s like the Apple TV remote all over again, right? And
⏹️ ▶️ John if you don’t know exactly where it is and you just put your finger onto this completely smooth surface and you press real hard and your blinker
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t turn on, then you just move your thumb like a millimeter and press and move your thumb a millimeter and press, then you look down to see the little
⏹️ ▶️ John glowing symbol, oh, that’s where it is. Like, this is just, there is no scenario which a
⏹️ ▶️ John smooth surface with places on it that you can press is better than a stock for
⏹️ ▶️ John turn signals. And I don’t understand why they’re doing this, but at least supposedly they’re not capacitive,
⏹️ ▶️ John which would be the real worst case.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco As a Model S driver for like the last six years or whatever it’s been, I’ve never once thought this car
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has too many physical controls.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Like I’ve always thought
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it had like either exactly the right amount or slightly too few, but very close to the right amount. Like I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very happy with the physical controls, with what is physical and what is on the touch screen. I’m very happy with that overall.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so for them to go mess with it, again, this might be really cool, but I’m wary,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco especially because of this next point.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, so Elon tweeted, “‘No more stalks, the car will guess drive direction
⏹️ ▶️ Casey based on what obstacles it sees, context in the navigation map. You can override on the touch screen.” So let me back up a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey half step. So in order to control, if you’re going in forward or reverse,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s a stalk on the Model S, right, Marco, the way it is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s the way it is on some column-shifted, traditional cars. But apparently,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Model S and the Model X will just figure it out by magic.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s how it’s going to work. Or if you don’t trust it, you can use the touchscreen. All right, so here’s the thing. I have a group
⏹️ ▶️ Casey chat with a couple of friends of mine that we talk nominally about cars pretty much all day, every day.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it’s not John and Marco, surprisingly. But anyways, one of the things we were talking about just earlier today
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, you know, whether or not it’s appropriate for cars to be putting so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey much stuff behind a touchscreen. And because we’re all old, we of course say, no,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not everything should be back there. And, you know, I can make arguments about what could and could not be in a touchscreen. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for example, on Aaron’s Volvo, to adjust the temperature, that’s on the touchscreen. Now they do it in the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey most convenient, most reasonable way possible, but I would still prefer to have a little dial
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you could spin or what have you. To put gear selection
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the touch screen, that is, well, either I’m extremely old, which I guess is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey true, or that is the most preposterous, ridiculous, like you wanna talk about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey courage, that’s fricking courage, like come on. No, just
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, it’s not that it’s putting it on the touch screen, because if that’s what we were talking about, that would be
⏹️ ▶️ John one thing, and we can have that conversation. but as you just read, the key part of this is, and it’s a lot like the
⏹️ ▶️ John driver assistance things that the car does for you to try to help you drive or the autopilot
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, is that it chooses for you. Like, so if it was on a touchscreen,
⏹️ ▶️ John it would be like, well, you must go into drive before you can drive. But in this car, according to Elon’s description, no,
⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t have to go to the touchscreen and press drive. You just need to get into the car and the car will
⏹️ ▶️ John pick based on context clues, whether you want to go forward or backwards. Now,
⏹️ ▶️ John if the car has made the wrong choice, of course you can use the touchscreen to change the gear, but
⏹️ ▶️ John the thing is you don’t have to use the touchscreen if the car guessed right. And this is exactly like the autopilot,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, anti-pattern where if the car guesses right enough,
⏹️ ▶️ John if autopilot is good enough to keep you in the lane 99.9% of the time, it will form a habit where
⏹️ ▶️ John you just get in your car and press the accelerator pedal. because hey, the car just picks for you.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t have to steer when I’m in the lane because the thing stays in the lane for me, except for that one time it doesn’t and then
⏹️ ▶️ John I die. Well, you’re supposed to be ready to take over at any second if you depart from the lane. Well, you’re always
⏹️ ▶️ John supposed to check the touchscreen to see if it’s in the right gear. It says right here in the manual, oh yeah, we’ll pick the right gear for you,
⏹️ ▶️ John but if we pick the wrong one, just use the touchscreen. But it’s training you not to do that. So,
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, this is much less dangerous because what’s gonna happen is people are gonna get in fender benders, right? Where they’re just going to assume
⏹️ ▶️ John the car has correctly picked forward or reverse or whichever gear they think it’s supposed to be in, they’re going to hit the accelerator and bump into
⏹️ ▶️ John a wall, bump into a cone, bump into a tree, whatever it is they’re going to bump into. If the car
⏹️ ▶️ John guesses incorrectly, the car will have long since trained you to never bother overriding it because it
⏹️ ▶️ John guesses right almost every single time. So this is another example of a non-human centered feature.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not, you know, the touchscreen, having the gear selector on the touchscreen, that’s one thing. And I think that’s an
⏹️ ▶️ John interesting evolution of gear selection because in the olden days, Casey
⏹️ ▶️ John mentioned column shifting, there was a physical connection between either the column or a big lever
⏹️ ▶️ John to trigger something in your automatic transmission to go into the right gear, setting aside manuals for
⏹️ ▶️ John a second, right? And over the years, as transmissions have gotten more and more complicated, they’ve kept
⏹️ ▶️ John in a skeuomorphic way, again, a truly skeuomorphic way, a big giant lever in
⏹️ ▶️ John a car that you can move from P, R, N, D, L, you know, like just a huge lever as if
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re still moving mechanically something inside the transmission when in reality over the past you know the recent
⏹️ ▶️ John several years what you’re actually doing is moving a giant electronic switch that’s telling the transmission to change gears.
⏹️ ▶️ John More recently in like the past couple car generations lots of car manufacturers have switched from
⏹️ ▶️ John having a gigantic handle that takes up the entire center console to having buttons in fact most Hondas
⏹️ ▶️ John do this now and I started this you know maybe five seven years ago but a lot of cars have buttons
⏹️ ▶️ John for park, reverse, neutral including Clever buttons like we’re reverse you pull up on
⏹️ ▶️ John the button like a window lifter and you know drive you press down To try to you know sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John make it have make it make it have more physical sense about whether you’re going forward or backwards Because there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ John need for a lever because all you’re doing is activating a button so they had physical buttons Touchscreen buttons are just
⏹️ ▶️ John an evolution of that and that’s where you get into the debate We’ve had all the time physical buttons versus touchscreen buttons, but it still is just
⏹️ ▶️ John a button It’s a recognition of the fact that you’re not actually shifting a transmission into
⏹️ ▶️ John gear by moving a lever that presses a thing that moves a physical male gear to mesh with a different
⏹️ ▶️ John gear you know you’re not doing that you’re doing an electronic switch right so
⏹️ ▶️ John I think touchscreen for gear selection of all the things that you have to do
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s probably not the worst sin I would challenge people to make what people call a K
⏹️ ▶️ John turn but I always call a three-point turn while trying to use a touchscreen to change gears but then again I’m a stick shift driver
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t have to look at anything when I make a K turn because everything is at hand that I never have to look anywhere. But I know
⏹️ ▶️ John lots of people have to grab their thing and look at their dashboard indicator to see that they’re going from
⏹️ ▶️ John D into R and they haven’t actually accidentally switched into N or low gear or whatever. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John people do that. And a touchscreen, I feel like is a slight downgrade there. But that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John an entirely separate matter that we can debate. I think what’s not debatable is if this works how Elon says it
⏹️ ▶️ John does, and if it is remotely good at guessing, it will train people not
⏹️ ▶️ John to bother looking at the touch screen and just assume the car is guessed correctly. And then they’re just going to hit their bumpers into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think that’s that’s the most likely outcome here. Because like when my car
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tries to guess what I want to do, it is sometimes right. I’d say it’s even often
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right when my car tries to drive itself. It is often
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing the correct things, but not always. It isn’t a hundred percent of the time. Also,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the more things that get put on the touchscreen, the more things I don’t have access to, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two or three times a year I have to reboot the car while I’m driving it. Oh God. Because Tesla
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t make a reliable car computer. They can’t. They haven’t,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as far as I can tell, they can’t. And while their computers don’t need to be rebooted as often as they used to,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they still do occasionally need to be rebooted occasionally while you’re driving them. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco today, in the outgoing Model S, you hold down the two
⏹️ ▶️ Marco steering wheel, little scroll wheel things for a little while and the computer reboots. Today, when you reboot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the computer, you can do so while driving. And the only things that you lose access to that really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco matter a lot are climate control and turn signals. Everything else continues
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to work just fine with those computers off and rebooting. And they take a good, probably 90 seconds.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It takes a while for them to reboot. It’s not like an instant thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John fact that the turn signals are connected to the computer is terrible because those are an important driver thing and there is
⏹️ ▶️ John no reason they need to be connected to the computer.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and to be clear, I’m actually not entirely sure that they don’t function, but you don’t have any
⏹️ ▶️ Marco indication that they’re functioning. They might still be on the outside, I’m not sure. And in fact, there was actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just today, or I think yesterday, there was a recall announced that basically like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco NIST, whatever it is, group, the organization from the government. Nitsa,
⏹️ ▶️ John National Highway Traffic and Safety Organization. So I learned from working at a car talk from my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There we go, yes. So anyway, so the Asthma Group forced Tesla to recall something, some massive number
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of cars because there’s some flaw in some number of cars they shipped where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the computers will frequently die and need to be upgraded or replaced or whatever. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s such a safety hazard when the computer dies because I think of control of term signals and stuff like that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and climate control which you can imagine like if you’re relying on like the defroster for instance that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of a big deal so right now already even even with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the latest model s with the latest software as of like two months ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that cut that car still need to reboot its computer while driving at least once twice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a year and so to have things move into the touchscreen like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reverse or drive selector? That to me is scary because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re designing the car as if well first of all there’s a hand the cars if it already drives itself 100% of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the time and that’s not true and probably won’t be true for at least another few years if probably not more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know so it’s already not driving itself full-time so you need to drive it yourself manually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quite often most of the time I’d argue and then also to put something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as critical as the drive mode on the touch screen, which makes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it so you can’t then operate that during these critical times and you have to reboot the car computer.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is scary to me. And I just think like the one time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it guesses wrong is gonna make it not worth it. Like that one time if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean you’re lucky if you just bump some bumper or you you know back into your garage door or something you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lucky if that’s all that gets done. You know you could you could hit somebody, You could hit a pet, you could hit a kid. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, it could be way worse than just bumping someone’s fender. And like, to have the car go,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have any part of that be unreliable is so dangerous and so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad that it doesn’t seem worth it to have the car try to guess
⏹️ ▶️ Marco based on conditions that are not going to be 100% of the time correct. I
⏹️ ▶️ John mean, I feel the argument is exactly the argument they keep making for self-driving,
⏹️ ▶️ John which has not held for their self-driving and probably won’t hold for this, which is People guess wrong sometimes too. And as
⏹️ ▶️ John long as the computer can guess right more often than the computer does, more often than people do, then
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a win for the computer, right? So we don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be better than people. And, you know, as we know, people
⏹️ ▶️ John do occasionally go in the wrong gear and bump into somebody and run over a pet or a kid, right? That happens, right? So they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John just trying to beat humans. Um, but I don’t particularly like that because
⏹️ ▶️ John I am not an amorphous smear of statistical human being. I’m one specific human being. So
⏹️ ▶️ John person who is constantly going into reverse and running over my dog, I love this feature because it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John going to improve my average. But if I’m someone who has never selected the wrong gear, this is going to
⏹️ ▶️ John decrease my average. So individuals buy cars, not just humans. And I know
⏹️ ▶️ John writ large, there’s the effect on society. As long as we’re better than the average, if we put the Tesla into
⏹️ ▶️ John everyone’s hands somehow because they all get $70,000, then we will be increasing
⏹️ ▶️ John safety. But I don’t think based on their, you know, they said the same thing about self driving. We
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to be perfect. We just do better than humans. And we think we are, but, and even if they are like, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the, it’s the agency problem of like, well, uh, you would have saved this bad driver,
⏹️ ▶️ John but you killed this good driver. Or even just the things we’ve talked about is like when, when you make a mistake,
⏹️ ▶️ John you feel like, well, it’s on me. Like I’m, I drove badly and I got into an accident, my fault.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. Uh, but when the car makes a mistake, people feel powerless because they’re like, well, I didn’t even have a choice.
⏹️ ▶️ John The car decided to do this and it made the wrong choice and got into an accident. Now I’m angry about it. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t want to get into the self-driving stuff again, but I feel like this is the same category of stuff. Like we could ask,
⏹️ ▶️ John as we do with a lot of Apple products, what problem were they trying to solve with this? And I think the answer would be, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John people pick the wrong gear sometimes too. So we’re just trying to be better than that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think one of the things that Model 3 owners hate the most
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is when one of us says, you can’t adjust the cruise control with the steering wheel.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey This is my fault. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey knew this too, because we’ve been yelled at many times before about this, and I knew this and I didn’t think to correct
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you at the time, and we got corrections. So yes, all three of us are aware that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John you can use… I had forgotten.
⏹️ ▶️ John I wasn’t aware because I’ve never driven a Model 3, and if I had, I would have corrected Marco in real time. I let everyone down,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What I think has happened, so what I think happened was the very first version of the Model 3 release, like with its first
⏹️ ▶️ Marco software version, I think didn’t support this. And then I think they fairly quickly added it in a software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco update because everyone wanted it. And I just forgot about that. So sorry, you actually can adjust the cruise control
⏹️ ▶️ Marco speed from the steering wheel, little jog dial thing on the Model 3.
Follow-up: Siri stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, moving on, we were lamenting and laughing about the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Siri announcements of messages and did you know you could reply? And Enrico
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sassatio writes, you can adjust announce messages with Siri to announce messages from favorites
⏹️ ▶️ Casey only so that messages from your bank, for example, won’t be announced. And this is somewhere in settings
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in messages, I believe, where you can switch this. And it gives you the options of announce messages
⏹️ ▶️ Casey from favorites, recents, contacts, or everyone, which I may have known at one point, but certainly forgot.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that was a good tip. Hey, how do you tell the Apple tube
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to stop talking to you, John?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, my story from last week about how I couldn’t get Siri to disengage with me and it kept interacting
⏹️ ▶️ John and I couldn’t get it to stop was mostly an example of
⏹️ ▶️ John the things I know how to do not working. Like I was trying all the things that I knew. Lots of people wrote in to
⏹️ ▶️ John tell me the things that they use that do work. These are all the things that I was trying that were failing. Some
⏹️ ▶️ John suggestions where you can say, go away, goodbye, shut up. I think stop
⏹️ ▶️ John also works. There’s all sorts of things that you can say after hailing your dingus to make it stop
⏹️ ▶️ John doing what it’s doing. What was novel about this situation was that none of those things were working. And in fact, they would
⏹️ ▶️ John be interpreted as either my failure to answer whatever query I was being engaged on, or
⏹️ ▶️ John an affirmative answer for a next step. And it was just like, I just want to unplug the thing. But for people, I’ve reasoned
⏹️ ▶️ John about this in the air, for people who don’t know, most voice assistant cylinder thingies
⏹️ ▶️ John have a bunch of things that you can say to it to make it stop whatever interaction you’re in
⏹️ ▶️ John the middle of. So if you don’t know that, pick one and go with it. I would suggest not
⏹️ ▶️ John picking an angry one. Don’t pick shut up. Don’t pick F off. There’s lots of things you can say
⏹️ ▶️ John to them that will work, but that’s not nice. And I know it’s an inanimate object and it doesn’t matter, but in general, being
⏹️ ▶️ John angry at inanimate objects doesn’t make you feel better. So I would suggest saying goodbye or,
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, stop is pretty good too. But anyway, sometimes, uh, these things just are like
⏹️ ▶️ John a dog with a bone and they just want you to answer a question and they won’t go away.
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DTK program ending
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so the two of you presumably got an email today from Apple about your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fancy not quite Mac mini Mac minis. Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John thinks it takes us several weeks to find the box that this thing came in. They’re
⏹️ ▶️ John hey, we’re just emailing you just so you know, you should probably go look for like the box that this thing came in,
⏹️ ▶️ John because in a few weeks, we’re going to email you to tell you how to return it. It’s like, how long do you think it takes me to find the box?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. I don’t know. Anyway, yeah, they sent an email. So I was wondering the other day actually, when
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple was gonna ask for the DTKs back for people who don’t know the acronym, that’s the Developer Transition Kit. It
⏹️ ▶️ John was the little Mac mini with like an iPad Pro inside it that you could use to
⏹️ ▶️ John develop and test ARM Mac software before the ARM Macs had been released.
⏹️ ▶️ John And you rented it from Apple for what was like 500 bucks or something. And with the acknowledge
⏹️ ▶️ John that you were always going to have to return it. The last time they did this, what did they give people? That you got
⏹️ ▶️ John like a Pentium 4 and an old cheese grater case. And then when you returned
⏹️ ▶️ John it, you got a sweetheart deal on,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco what was it? I think an
⏹️ ▶️ John iMac, right? Or was it? Yeah, like the white Intel iMacs. So we were wondering, hey, when
⏹️ ▶️ John they ask for these DTKs back, what are we gonna get in return? And the answer is, in
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s not exactly clear language, is you’ll receive a one-time use
⏹️ ▶️ John code for $200 to use towards the purchase of a Mac with M1. Now, all right,
⏹️ ▶️ John so $200, that’s clear. Can you only buy an M1
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac with it? Or is it just an Apple Store gift certificate? Right, good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco question. That matters a lot. And also, did you see there was an expiration
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, May 31st. You’ve got May 30th. So sometime between, like, in a few weeks, Apple’s going
⏹️ ▶️ John to email us and say, hey, here’s how you return it. Because we don’t know how to return it yet. We just know we’re supposed to find the box, right? but
⏹️ ▶️ John in a few weeks they’re gonna email us and say, here’s how you return it. And then upon confirmed
⏹️ ▶️ John return of the DDK, you will get the 200 bucks. Then the clock starts and you’ve got to use that or lose it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so you basically have, you’re gonna end up having like a month to use it like by the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John time you actually get it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, there’s plenty of time, like whatever, like we don’t expect to hold onto it forever. I don’t know if you have to buy
⏹️ ▶️ John an M1 with it, but just to calibrate what is $200 worth, that’s how much
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple charges for an additional eight gigs of RAM. So you’re wondering,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, should I get the eight to the 16? Well, don’t worry, Apple gave you 200 bucks off and that 200 bucks is exactly
⏹️ ▶️ John how much it costs you to upgrade from eight to 16. So it’s not like you’re getting a Mac for free or whatever. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s fine, it’s better than nothing. It’s better than just renting it for $500 and getting nothing in return. But now I
⏹️ ▶️ John have, now I suddenly I feel like Marco Rakeshi was like, oh no, why do I have these? I normally don’t have
⏹️ ▶️ John any questions about what Macs I wanna buy, but now suddenly I have this money burning a hole pocket which if I don’t use it
⏹️ ▶️ John presumably I just lose it and that’s bad but if I do use it that’s not particularly economical because
⏹️ ▶️ John great so I have $200 off but then I pay all the rest of the price of the computer so I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know what I’m gonna do I was pricing out Mac minis mostly just because my DTK is sitting like there’s a place
⏹️ ▶️ John in my little computer area for the Mac mini that is the DTK and I would love to just swap that
⏹️ ▶️ John out with an actual M1 Mac mini and then I can actually use it I could host my Plex stuff on it I could do all sorts
⏹️ ▶️ John of stuff with it you know I have a place for a mouse and a keyboard over there, it’s like nestled into my life, but
⏹️ ▶️ John who knows? So I have to start thinking about this. And sometime before May 31st, I will either
⏹️ ▶️ John buy something with this $200, buy something with, I would either buy something and use this $200 to help get more RAM on it,
⏹️ ▶️ John or I would just let that $200 evaporate and feel sad.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hope you get a non-Bluetooth mouse to use with your Mac mini, because the Bluetooth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco range on this Mac mini sucks.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve been using, I’ve actually been using my wife’s old, it’s a Logitech mouse and it’s got the little,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, USB plug-in dongle thingy.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh good, good, good. Yeah, I mean, so this DTK thing, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when we all got these, you know, that last summer, you know, it was only $500 and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I thought, well, that’s a lot less than like, you know, the old DTKs back in the Intel days. Those were
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like $1500, I believe, something like that, right? So I was like, oh, well, that’s not a bad deal. And I knew
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was a temporary, basically, leasing this thing for a few months. And that’s fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco At the time, I thought, modern Apple, they don’t need to work that hard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get developer favor. People are going to want these things. And I was assuming they were going to give
⏹️ ▶️ Marco us nothing for them. I was assuming there’d be some kind of recall for them at the end of the year or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was. And they would say, all right, thanks. Program’s over. And that’d be it. and they’d give us nothing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s not to say that that’s what they should’ve done, but that’s what I expected. Based on like, you know, modern Apple, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re not big on giving people free hardware, or, you know, discounted hardware. They really don’t do that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anymore. So I figured that was it, we’d get nothing. So the fact that we are getting more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than nothing is welcome, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the number of asterisks on this is so high, it’s like, okay, well, asterisk
⏹️ ▶️ Marco number one, it’s only $200, which as you said, doesn’t get you very far with Mac hardware.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Asterisk number two, it seems like you have to use it specifically on an M1 Mac, so that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only three computers right now. And asterisk number three, you’ll basically have to use it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco between like April and May, or April and June. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re gonna have this narrow window to use it. And the M1 Macs launched
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, they could have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco were gonna do this. Right, most people who need this for their development have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco already bought an M1 Mac, at least one. And so to do this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s kind of a crappy way to do it and all those answers. Like I think, you know, if Apple, if they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco needed to get their stuff together and they were super busy and they were behind schedule or whatever, okay,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine. Then like make the discount code a little more flexible. Maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco give us a year to use it and let it apply to anything in the store or something like that, you know, or at least any
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac for the next year, something. Just make it a little bit more,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit further from what it seems like now, which is like one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of those scammy mail-in rebates that have so many conditions that they want people to disqualify
⏹️ ▶️ Marco themselves for if they don’t have to pay the rebate. It feels kind of like that, where it’s like we have such an
⏹️ ▶️ Marco error window, and it allegedly only applies to M1 Macs, which have existed now for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like three months, And most of us already have one if we need it that badly to have a DTK.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s just, it’s kind of weak sauce. But at the end of the day,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is more than I was expecting to get from this.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and paying $500 to be able to develop on an ARM Mac, like I did actually, especially after I banished
⏹️ ▶️ John Big Sur betas from my main computer, I was doing all my ARM
⏹️ ▶️ John and Big Sur development on the DTK. So, and I got that computer for 500 bucks. So as
⏹️ ▶️ John far as I’m concerned, Even though I got $0 back, it was definitely worth it for me in terms of development
⏹️ ▶️ John and also having a machine that I could use Big Sur on without poisoning my computer or any of the
⏹️ ▶️ John other computers that I cared about.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, John, if you really are gonna let that $200 just go poof and turn into smoke, then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I call dibs and I’ll use it for a Mac Mini that I probably shouldn’t buy.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’m sure Apple’s real flexible about me transitioning that $200 over to you. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be fine. Don’t worry about it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you can use more than one code in an order, that could be interesting.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Lyle Troxell Oh, that would be interesting. I’m sure you cannot, but that would be interesting. All
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, that’s okay. Yeah, I’m sorry, guys, but this is what you get for living on the bleeding edge. Paul
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Matz No, and again, this is more than I expected. So I’m, you know, on one hand, I’m like, okay, that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice, but on the other hand, now I do feel the same pressure as John. I’m like, well, now that I’m gonna get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a $200 credit of sorts, it would be kind of, you know, wasteful to just let it go,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But at the same time, I don’t need any more M1 Macs. I’m very happy with the two that I already
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have. That’s, two is already probably one more than I actually needed. And they’re wonderful.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I love them so much, but I don’t need a third one for anything. Aye
Masked unlock via Watch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. So one of the things we always talk about come June-ish is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey typically we’ll do a public service announcement wherein we remind everyone, do not go
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on an iOS beta. It’s just not worth it for 99% of the world. Just no, don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do it. And I, generally speaking, do not jump on the iOS betas until late
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the cycle, until August-ish. And I haven’t jumped
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on any of the kind of point release betas. But oh boy, I’m thinking about it because iOS 14.5 had support for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey unlocking your phone with Apple Watch while you’re wearing a face mask. And that sounds
⏹️ ▶️ Casey delightful. Now, the good news is, since I never go anywhere, I don’t wear a mask that often because I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey never leaving my house. Now, when I leave my house, of course, I have a mask on. And yes, this would be deeply convenient. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ultimately, when you don’t go anywhere, when all your grocery shopping is done by, you know, plopping it in your trunk,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but in doing curbside and whatnot, this isn’t something that I need often,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but golly, it sounds great for when I do need it. And so I can’t help but ask, especially
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, who has found a new love for his Apple Watch. Have you tried this yet?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Uh, yes, I have. I mean, unfortunately, I’m currently under a lot of snow. And so I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco haven’t had the reason to go out much in the world. And when I do go out currently, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually pretty heavily bundled up. So taking my phone in and out of my pocket is not something I’m doing a lot of right now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I did unlock it a few times to try and see how it worked. And there was one time later in the day where I actually legitimately
⏹️ ▶️ Marco needed it, instead of just artificially doing it in my house. And it does work, as advertised,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of the time. It didn’t, I think I did four or five unlocks total, and it failed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at one of them. It just didn’t do it, didn’t offer it. But it does seem to work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of the way. It’s a little slow, because the workflow is, you pick up the phone and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you point it at your face. I think first it tries an actual Face ID unlock,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then it figures, oh, I think that’s a mask, then I think it asks your watch,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hey, unlock the phone, and then it communicates. So it’s a slower process than regular Face ID
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be, but it’s faster than typing in a passcode. Although, honestly, it’s not a ton faster
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’ve gotten really good at typing your passcode in this last year. But it’s a very nice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco feature, and I’m very glad they added it. And like Gruber posted a couple things basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco suggesting that it’s non-trivial. It was non-trivial to get this done
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because you have to be damn careful if you’re adding a way for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something else to unlock your phone. Because that’s a really massive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco potential for security problems if you do anything wrong. If there’s any holes in that process and there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a way for some external thing to unlock your phone, that’s a big deal.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I’m surprised that they did this at all, honestly. It kind of seems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like maybe it wouldn’t have been worth the risk.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, they had to do it because in the grand tradition, we talked about it on last week’s ATP. And then once we talk about it on
⏹️ ▶️ John the show, it comes into being magically. It was actually,
⏹️ ▶️ John an Ask ATP question last week? Oh yeah, right. Someone asked, hey, what about unlocking your
⏹️ ▶️ John phone with your watch? And then we were saying, well, exactly what Gruber said, we said, well, you can already unlock
⏹️ ▶️ John your watch with your phone, so there’s a little bit of a chicken egg thing and they have to be very careful about how that works, because you
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t have them both being able to unlock each other in all scenarios, because that’s a security, right? But
⏹️ ▶️ John they worked out the issues, right? So, you know, you can’t, if your watch is
⏹️ ▶️ John locked and you have your phone and you unlock your phone using traditional means without the watch,
⏹️ ▶️ John then that can be set up to unlock your watch. And once you’ve unlocked your watch, that can be, and it’s on your wrist,
⏹️ ▶️ John that can be used to unlock your phone if you were to relock your phone and all their methods of unlocking on the
⏹️ ▶️ John phone failed. And what Marco described is exactly what I read, that it will try
⏹️ ▶️ John Face ID first, and then maybe see if you have a mask and then unlock with the watch. But I
⏹️ ▶️ John do wonder about the logic of that. Like if it can, I don’t know, maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John it just doesn’t know this but if it was able to know that you are wearing a watch and that it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John nearby, I would say try that first. Like why bother with the Face ID stuff? Because the watch
⏹️ ▶️ John unlock doesn’t care what the camera sees, presumably. It’s like, well, whatever, I’m using the watch to unlock. But maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t actually know that the watch is nearby and it takes some time to figure that out. So it makes more sense
⏹️ ▶️ John to try face ID first. I don’t know, but either way, it’s one more option for people who wear masks. So
⏹️ ▶️ John gets a thumbs up, although this is, like you said, it’s a beta and what is it like 14.5 beta one? What beta number are they on? One.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, so not gonna be in regular people’s hands for
⏹️ ▶️ John a while. And as Casey said, I would not recommend running beta one of iOS.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Honestly, it’s been fine for me so far, but usually the point releases like this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually aren’t as risky as the big.0 beta one for in the summertime at WBC. So it’s not too bad, but yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s still certainly like a risk.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and to go back a step, John, to what you were saying about why not just go to the watch immediately, I would suspect
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that the idea is trust the most trustworthy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing first. So the camera that is trained to look at your face, that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, it is very, very difficult to fool. Whereas it is comparatively
⏹️ ▶️ Casey easier to fool the phone into thinking the watch is unlocked and nearby. Not to say it’s easy, but you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey compared to the thing that’s internal, I would imagine it is easier.
⏹️ ▶️ John But if the watch works, it doesn’t matter. You’re not adding any security by trying the
⏹️ ▶️ John more secure one first. If the less secure one is going to work, who cares what order it tries it in? because
⏹️ ▶️ John if someone was going to break in and they had the watch, you know, I mean, it’s like, I think it’s probably
⏹️ ▶️ John because it doesn’t actually know that the watch is nearby and has to do a thing to make that determination.
⏹️ ▶️ John Doing that thing takes time. So it’s probably still faster to do the face ID, but we’ll say this is still just a beta.
⏹️ ▶️ John When 14.5 final comes out, Marco can retest and, or you can as well,
⏹️ ▶️ John and see if you can really tell whether it’s actually reading your face first and then trying to watch.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, I am excited to try this when the time comes. I’m trying to resist going
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the beta because again, I never go anywhere, but it’s tempting.
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John’s bug response
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, I heard you got a late birthday present earlier today.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, someone at Apple is going through someone. A bunch of people at Apple are going through
⏹️ ▶️ John old radars slash feedbacks and closing them out because I saw a whole bunch of tweets from other people saying, hey,
⏹️ ▶️ John my super old bug was closed or whatever. And that happened to me, too. This was a nine
⏹️ ▶️ John and a half year old radar that I had filed. of the response, which I will read now
⏹️ ▶️ John was, thanks for your patience and your feedback. It has been noted. We do not plan to address
⏹️ ▶️ John this issue further because so much has changed since this was filed. And as I tweeted,
⏹️ ▶️ John indeed, so much has changed. Like, yeah, if you wait nine and a half years, probably the thing is irrelevant.
⏹️ ▶️ John This specific bug was, you know, not a very important one. It
⏹️ ▶️ John was, I filed it shortly after I had posted my review
⏹️ ▶️ John of Mac OS 10.7 Lion to Ars Technica. That’s how long
⏹️ ▶️ John ago this was. And in my review, I had to link to a tech note on Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John website that described the HFS Plus volume format. And the
⏹️ ▶️ John day I posted this, like the day I posted it, the day Lion came out. So the day I posted this review, which
⏹️ ▶️ John was the launch day for Lion, Apple removed that documentation, that tech note.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I had linked to it like in six different places. And of course, everyone’s trying to follow the links and saying, hey, your link is broken,
⏹️ ▶️ John blah, blah, blah. The link was live the day before the day of publication. Cause you know
⏹️ ▶️ John how they do like a documentation shuffle very often to coincide with the release of a Mac OS, or at least they used to
⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, they still kind of do, I guess. They broke that link. And so in between frantically
⏹️ ▶️ John trying to either remove the link or find, I think I ended up linking it maybe to a Google cache or an archive.org
⏹️ ▶️ John page, I forget what I did, but I also said, you know what, Apple, this was a little bit of stress that I didn’t need. And by
⏹️ ▶️ John the way, you should never remove that tech note because it was good historical information,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Or whatever, HOS plus volume format. It had lots of technical details about it. It was pretty good. It was
⏹️ ▶️ John TN-1150. So that’s what this bug was about. And of course, you know, it was
⏹️ ▶️ John only really relevant to my life during the first week that my review had been published or the first day or
⏹️ ▶️ John so when I had to deal with that link. And I had long since forgotten about it. Of course, Apple never did anything about it. So
⏹️ ▶️ John they came by here and, you know, closed it with this low, this is, you know, we
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t plan to address this, blah, blah, blah, right? Whatever, I mean, I think it’s good. It’s good that
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple is going through their old bug backlog and, you know, bring things to some kind of resolution, even if it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John unsatisfying resolution, some resolution is better than none. So kudos to Apple for that. But I will
⏹️ ▶️ John take away those kudos because in this particular case,
⏹️ ▶️ John the very first thing that I did was say, you know what? What is the deal with this bug now?
⏹️ ▶️ John Just out of curiosity, not that I care anymore because dead links in my line review are not particularly important
⏹️ ▶️ John in my life right now, but hey, you know, what did they end up doing with that anyway? Like, is that tech note still
⏹️ ▶️ John gone? So out of curiosity, I went to the link that was reported as broken.
⏹️ ▶️ John And wouldn’t you know it, it redirects to an archive version of that tech note. So at some point
⏹️ ▶️ John during the last nine and a half years, Apple essentially fixed this problem. The old URL redirects
⏹️ ▶️ John to the new, they have like a new archive section for like old outdated documentation, the old
⏹️ ▶️ John URL redirects to the new place. When did that happen? During this 9.5 years?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know, but some point it did. When someone did that redirect, they could have
⏹️ ▶️ John closed this bug as closed, fixed. This bug was successfully fixed.
⏹️ ▶️ John I have no idea when, but then when the reviewer came to like get rid of this old crusty bug,
⏹️ ▶️ John they didn’t even do the simplest thing, which is, hey, let’s just click this link that they say is broken. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John if they had done that, they would have said, we do not plan to address them. We said, oh, we fixed this. I don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ John when we fixed it, but we totally fixed it. You’re welcome. But they didn’t even do that. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I continue to be disappointed with the level of interaction that the people who are updating bugs
⏹️ ▶️ John have with those very bugs. Whether it’s not telling me whether they ran a sample project, not telling me whether they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John able to reproduce a problem, or not doing something as simple as, hey, this thing says I have a broken
⏹️ ▶️ John link. Is that link actually broken? Click, nope, it’s totally not broken. closed, fixed. Instead,
⏹️ ▶️ John they just said, we’re not gonna do anything about this. Oh, and by the way, you can close it yourself. They didn’t even close it. They didn’t even
⏹️ ▶️ John the status. You can just close this yourself. So I closed it as resolved, because guess what? It’s resolved. When was
⏹️ ▶️ John it resolved? I don’t know. So, ah, the, you know, it’s fine in the grand
⏹️ ▶️ John scheme of things. It’s not a big deal, but it’s frustrating for me. It makes me think that a computer did it and not a human, or
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe the human who did it was overworked and harried and did not have time, It doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have time to actually read each of these radars and engage with it. But I feel like if you’re closing
⏹️ ▶️ John old bugs, don’t you have to read the bug a little bit to know like what to say? I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John think it’s entirely computer because the other people who are tweeting, like here’s what my old bug said, the wording is different.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like they said slightly different things for different bugs. It’s really
⏹️ ▶️ John just, I don’t understand what’s going on at the other end of this pipeline. I don’t know if it’s just like
⏹️ ▶️ John a bird pecking on a keyboard or like a random number generator or just,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s one of those little birdies that just pecks over and over again.
⏹️ ▶️ John Snowpiercer. You just go up to the front and pull up the floorboards and I don’t wanna ruin the movie. Sorry, I’ve been
⏹️ ▶️ John watching the TV series. That’s why it’s on my brain. No spoilers, no spoilers.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey For the record, I was trying poorly to make a Simpsons reference and it didn’t land, but that was my own fault. That’s okay.
Pro cameras and Sony A1
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Moving right along, we have some talk that we’ve been promising
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this episode about Sony cameras of all things. I know nothing about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what it is you would like to talk about, John. So what’s going on?
⏹️ ▶️ John This is just a quick item. Sony continues to roll out new cameras. I
⏹️ ▶️ John haven’t been following the rumors for their top of the line stuff, so I don’t know if this was rumors,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it was a surprise to me because what I had been expecting was
⏹️ ▶️ John new iterations of all the cameras Sony already makes. I think we talked about in the show a while ago when
⏹️ ▶️ John they came out with a new version of the a7R and how they hadn’t come out with a new version of the a7 yet and they
⏹️ ▶️ John came out with the surprise a7C which is like a full-frame camera in like a small body like mine
⏹️ ▶️ John my little tiny a6300. This new camera is the a1
⏹️ ▶️ John which is a bold naming statement for a camera that is extremely capable
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s their flagship camera it is fairly amazing. It costs a huge amount of money.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s the most expensive camera Sony has ever made, or at least the most expensive like consumer camera they’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John ever made. It’s $6,500 just for the body. Oh, it really
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. But you know, hey, it’s a one. It’s the top of the line, a number one.
⏹️ ▶️ John So here are the specs, a 50 megapixel sensor. It will shoot 8K video at 30 frames
⏹️ ▶️ John per second. And that 8K is down sampled from a larger than 8K region on the sensor, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John cool. It will do 4K 120 frames per second.
⏹️ ▶️ John But one of the most important and most relevant specs is it will do 30 frames per
⏹️ ▶️ John second from the photo part of the camera. Not 30 frames
⏹️ ▶️ John per second video. It will take photographs, 50 megapixel photographs
⏹️ ▶️ John at 30 frames per second. It will do 20 photos per second in
⏹️ ▶️ John And the mechanical shutter is a mere 10 frames per second. So it’s doing 20 and 30 with the electronic shutter.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now everyone doesn’t like electronic shutters if you’ve ever used them because, especially with large sensors, you get all sorts of rolling
⏹️ ▶️ John shutter artifacts and all sorts of weird stuff. But all of this,
⏹️ ▶️ John all the specs that I read you are relevant to a thing that has come up in a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of the reviews and has got me thinking about it. And we’ve talked about in this program as well, which is on our phone
⏹️ ▶️ John cameras, They have tiny crappy sensors, but they take amazing
⏹️ ▶️ John photographs because of the magic of the computers inside them. And we haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ John gotten into too many gory details, or if we have, we haven’t really connected the dots to
⏹️ ▶️ John why that’s possible. One reason is, of course, you know, they’re done by computer companies and those computer companies have
⏹️ ▶️ John very clever people who work for them, who know how to do all the clever algorithms to take a very noisy,
⏹️ ▶️ John crappy set of bits from a sensor in a phone and make a good picture
⏹️ ▶️ John out of it. That’s very difficult to do. It’s a very big software problem, as Marco talked about before, of like, it’s really hard to do software.
⏹️ ▶️ John Sony can make really good camera sensors, but do they have a team that can do what we call
⏹️ ▶️ John computational photography, as well as Apple or Google or any of these other companies
⏹️ ▶️ John that make good smartphone cameras? It’s actually a very hard problem. But there is a second thing, a
⏹️ ▶️ John second factor in why a big camera like this, like a quote unquote real camera,
⏹️ ▶️ John a full frame camera with a huge sensor, hasn’t been able to do what
⏹️ ▶️ John our phone cameras do. One of the things our phone cameras do, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John speaking of electronic shutter, for one, none of us hear a shutter sound. Well, maybe you do if you have the
⏹️ ▶️ John audio on, but honestly, you should turn that off. There’s no shutter as in a physical
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that goes in front of the sensor and then reveals the sensor and then goes in front of it again in our phone cameras.
⏹️ ▶️ John they all use what we call an electronic shutter. The sensor is just constantly exposed to light. Light comes
⏹️ ▶️ John in, it’s just hitting the sensor constantly. And then the phone just decides, okay, I’m gonna read the light that’s hitting the sensor now
⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s when I’m gonna take my picture. That’s called an electronic shutter. But on big cameras, it’s difficult to do
⏹️ ▶️ John that because big cameras have big sensors, as in like, I don’t know, how big is
⏹️ ▶️ John a full-frame sensor? Like the size of? 35 millimeters. I was gonna say a 50 cent piece,
⏹️ ▶️ John but people don’t know what that is. No one knows what 35 millimeters is either.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s about the size of an iPod screen, a little smaller I think. Maybe like an iPod nano screen.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s smaller than a business card, but it’s larger than a postage stamp, depending on the size of your sensor, right? Bigger than a bread
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s like if you’ve seen like those larger than usual postage stamps, it’s like that size.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right, but if you think about the sensor in your phone camera, it’s smaller than your pinky nail. Like it’s really,
⏹️ ▶️ John really tiny in your phone. The sensors are very, very small, but the sensors in quote unquote real cameras,
⏹️ ▶️ John especially expensive ones, are very large. And the problem has been readout. How
⏹️ ▶️ John long does it take to ask sensor, hey sensor, what is hitting you right now? You can
⏹️ ▶️ John get all of the information from a tiny little phone size, you know, pinky nail size
⏹️ ▶️ John sensor pretty quickly, right? It doesn’t have as many megapixels, it’s not as big,
⏹️ ▶️ John and the camera sensors, it isn’t exactly as simple as you think it is in terms of just having red, green, and blue sensors. There’s all sorts
⏹️ ▶️ John of details on how they’re read out and de-mosaic and all that other stuff, right? So
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s easier to do that in a small sensor. And the second thing, and by the way, if you have slow readout
⏹️ ▶️ John speeding, use electronic shutter, it could be that you read the top pixels
⏹️ ▶️ John at one moment, and then by the time you get down to reading the bottom pixels, you’ve moved the camera, and now you have a slanty
⏹️ ▶️ John picture, right? And you can see this with electronic shutter on older cameras, if you
⏹️ ▶️ John whip the camera around in a circle and take a picture of the electronic shutter, everything’s all wavy in it, because it read
⏹️ ▶️ John the sensor from top to bottom, or left to right, or whatever, and it read one pixel at a different time than it read the other
⏹️ ▶️ John pixel because it takes a long time to read out 50 megapixels, whatever, from a sensor,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? As evidenced in this Sony camera, that it can shoot 30 frames
⏹️ ▶️ John per second from this giant sensor, or 20 frames per second
⏹️ ▶️ John in lossless, this sensor is actually allowed to read, able to read
⏹️ ▶️ John out all of its pixels very, very quickly, in 1 1 3 of a second. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ John amazing and important. So let’s use an electronic shutter because you could have a shutter speed at 1 30th
⏹️ ▶️ John of a second. It’s a reasonable shutter speed. And many scenarios, you can get every single pixel in that one
⏹️ ▶️ John exposure, just like you would if it was a piece of film or another sensor where you lifted the mechanical shutter, expose
⏹️ ▶️ John everything and then close the mechanical shutter. The second thing that makes this
⏹️ ▶️ John sensors readout speed interesting is that one of the ways our phones take better
⏹️ ▶️ John pictures is not just by getting the pixels from the sensor and doing smart things with them.
⏹️ ▶️ John Our phones, when you’re, especially when you’re in the camera app or whatever, are constantly taking pictures.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re just not saving them. It’s a rolling buffer of pictures. I don’t know how many are in there, maybe Marco knows, but like. I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t. It’s, let’s just say it’s like 10, 20 or 30 pictures. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can tell you it’s exactly enough to kick Overcast out of RAM every time. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ John When you’re in the camera app and you’re just looking around, it is constantly taking picture after picture
⏹️ ▶️ John after picture after picture in this one big rolling buffer. And when that buffer fills up, the oldest
⏹️ ▶️ John picture gets kicked out and the new one comes in. It’s constantly doing that. And when you hit the shutter
⏹️ ▶️ John button, what it’s doing then is not taking the picture, it is saying, okay, of all the
⏹️ ▶️ John frames that are currently in the rolling buffer, take the one, two, three,
⏹️ ▶️ John four, 10, I don’t even know how many, frames around the time that button was pressed
⏹️ ▶️ John and combine them all to make one really good photo. So it’s not just taking
⏹️ ▶️ John one readout of the sensor very often. I don’t know if all the time, but I imagine very often it’s taking
⏹️ ▶️ John multiple readouts of the sensor over time and combining them with computer smarts to
⏹️ ▶️ John reduce noise, increase more detail, so on and so forth. Now, if you’re whipping your camera around in a circle
⏹️ ▶️ John and you do that, it’s much more difficult to line those things up because maybe you only have a partial picture on the frame
⏹️ ▶️ John or maybe the frame is shifted so much that you can’t realign them or maybe subject has moved in between,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? It’s a hard problem, but that’s what phone cameras do to make amazing pictures is they take more
⏹️ ▶️ John than one Photo and combine them into a single one HDR is another example, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John In the quote-unquote expensive real camera world They just weren’t able to do that because it took
⏹️ ▶️ John so long to get to read one Frame off the camera that you can’t constantly
⏹️ ▶️ John be taking hundreds of frames at a rolling buffer and combining them Because you just couldn’t get that many photos that
⏹️ ▶️ John close to each other in time But now with the Sony a1 and presumably future cameras
⏹️ ▶️ John with incredible readout speed where they’re able to read the entire sensor 30 times per second
⏹️ ▶️ John it becomes possible for a camera like this To do what phone cameras do
⏹️ ▶️ John I say possible because Sony a1 doesn’t do any of the stuff that I’m describing But previously
⏹️ ▶️ John but for two reasons one previously it just couldn’t because you couldn’t read the sensor that fast and two
⏹️ ▶️ John Sony doesn’t have as far as them aware software to do that So I’m excited for this
⏹️ ▶️ John camera. It’s a technical marvel like I’m not gonna buy one. It’s too expensive blah blah blah but
⏹️ ▶️ John it does mean that the next frontier of You know high-end
⏹️ ▶️ John Photography and video cameras is not so much as keep adding more megapixels because there I think there have been
⏹️ ▶️ John cameras with more megapixels And they’re just they’re not chasing that anymore. It seems like But instead it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John readout speed. It’s how fast can I read this sensor and And there’s a whole bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of buffers down the line in the cache hierarchy. How big is the rolling buffer of photos? How fast can I read out half-ass?
⏹️ ▶️ John Can I dump them to storage? Again, the a1 has lots of impressive specs here where you can just hold
⏹️ ▶️ John down the shutter and fill your giant What is it CF Express 2
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever? 160 gigabyte card with a huge number of photos how long
⏹️ ▶️ John how long before you have to stop holding down the shutter? What does the photography rate decrease to it’s pretty amazing.
⏹️ ▶️ John You can take hundreds of photos And also the IOS so fast that if you take your finger
⏹️ ▶️ John off the shutter for a second It will make sure it dumps them all to the card Which is a big change from cameras
⏹️ ▶️ John from only a few years ago where once you filled the buffer you’d have to wait like Five or ten seconds for it
⏹️ ▶️ John to flush the buffer to the card and then you can take photographs again. So
⏹️ ▶️ John This is an exciting camera, even though there’s no way now I’m gonna buy it Although I would definitely take
⏹️ ▶️ John one for free if someone wants to give me one Um, but I’m mostly excited that
⏹️ ▶️ John it will become plausible for camera companies like Sony
⏹️ ▶️ John and Canon or whatever to do what our phone cameras do in the coming years.
⏹️ ▶️ John Plus I say plausible because the hardware will be able to do it. It’s just a question of whether they will be able to make the
⏹️ ▶️ John it also makes me think one more time of, you know, uh, Gruber reminded me of when he, when he
⏹️ ▶️ John posted a recollection of Phil Schiller on stage at one of the the WWDC is saying,
⏹️ ▶️ John or Gruber asked, is Apple the best phone camera company in the world?
⏹️ ▶️ John And Phil said, no, we’re the best camera company in the world. That was years ago, by the way, and Apple hasn’t shipped a
⏹️ ▶️ John dedicated camera. But if Apple ever did want to ship a dedicated camera, they could buy the sensor
⏹️ ▶️ John from Sony, they could do their own computational photography, and, you know, maybe let someone else do the lenses.
⏹️ ▶️ John And boy, that would be an amazing product, but it would probably cost more than my Mac Pro.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, if we start saying that it’s okay to spend $6,000 on
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a camera body, the next thing you know, we’re all going to be spending $6,000 on mona-oh. Oh. The monitor
⏹️ ▶️ John is way bigger than that camera. So just in terms of square inches, you’re really getting your money. The camera does
⏹️ ▶️ John have a display on it, but the display is terrible compared to this monitor. It’s very tiny.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hmm. Does it have a thousand dollar stand?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think it’s a, I bet there is a stand you can get for these
⏹️ ▶️ John thousand dollars. That’s what camera equipment is like.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh yeah. Like a really good tripod is probably more than that. I mean like this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is, I haven’t been paying attention to the camera world for lots of reasons,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco including the fact that I think I’ve actually finally admitted to myself that I don’t care anymore about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cameras. But I really am very impressed to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see this, you know, being pushed forward. I mean, this category of camera, like, you know, you’re like, oh my God, $6,000. That’s nothing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new. Like back when I was more of a camera head, this would basically be the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco competitor to like the Canon 1D series, which is aimed at like sports photographers,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco photo journalists, like people who need like really, really high-end hardware for very like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast capture. That’s like, that’s where the sports comes in usually, stuff like that. So like there is definitely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a market for this that they are directly attacking with this. It’s not like totally unreasonable for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that market. I’m glad to see that they’re still in the game. I’m glad to see that this is still moving forward, even though I’m not in it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anymore. it still excites me on a technical level that this kind of stuff is
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the exciting thing about this camera is previously Sony had split its top end lined into two models,
⏹️ ▶️ John the one for sports, which is the one that had the crazy high frame rate and the fast readouts that was
⏹️ ▶️ John like the A9 series. And then the one that was super high resolution, which was the A7R
⏹️ ▶️ John series, which had lots of megapixels, but didn’t concentrate so much on being able to shoot at high frame rates
⏹️ ▶️ John and being able to dump to the card faster or whatever. And this A1 does both. It has more megapixels than
⏹️ ▶️ John the A7R series, and it has faster shooting than the A9 series, and it costs
⏹️ ▶️ John as much as both of them combined. So there you go. Like that’s why it’s impressive. Like you don’t have to choose anymore. If you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John wondering like, which Sony should I get? Just get the most expensive one because it does all the things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Which is good. Like it’s good to have that option if it can
⏹️ ▶️ John exist. Yeah. And also like this, there’s a bunch of more interesting things about this sensor. This is a brand new sensor.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s got the RAM stuck on the back of it. It’s stacked CMOS. It’s like, it’s the next advance in the
⏹️ ▶️ John sensor thing, but it does the effect of making all the rest of Sony’s cameras, kind of like the M1, say,
⏹️ ▶️ John okay, but when are the other cameras gonna get a good sensor like this? Not like, not this exact sensor, obviously, but like a
⏹️ ▶️ John scaled down version of the sensor. It’s just sort of the, it’s, or like the new LG OLED panel that they’re only putting in
⏹️ ▶️ John their highest end TV. And it kind of makes you wish, but when are they gonna put that panel on the affordable TVs?
⏹️ ▶️ John So this is truly a flagship, you know, top end bleeding edge product, and we’ll have to wait until
⏹️ ▶️ John next year for it to start to trickle down. I put this in here mostly because I’ve been
⏹️ ▶️ John deeply into, again, I tend not to fret too much about computer purchases,
⏹️ ▶️ John but camera purchases, I’m just like, just like the two of you. I’ve been fretting about what camera
⏹️ ▶️ John to buy for so long, going back and forth and back and forth, just learning about cameras and lenses
⏹️ ▶️ John and trade-offs and prices. I mean, this particular camera doesn’t throw
⏹️ ▶️ John a monkey wrench in anything because there’s no way I’m buying this, but now I know the technology that’s available, and I’m like, oh, when the new A7, the
⏹️ ▶️ John A7 IV comes out, not the A7R IV, their names are so bad, but the A7 without any stuff after it,
⏹️ ▶️ John when that one comes out, will it use one of these new sensors? Because the rumors are it doesn’t use the same
⏹️ ▶️ John sensor as the old one. Like the A7C came out, but it uses the same, it’s basically like an A7 III inside a compact,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, I know this is just nonsensical jargon to everybody, but the point is,
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of like TVs, cameras are now in this paralysis mode where I don’t want any of the current
⏹️ ▶️ John products, and I can envision a product with current technology that if I could take one from column A and one from column B and
⏹️ ▶️ John one from column C and shove it into a camera, that’s the one I want, but they haven’t made it yet, so I just sit here buying
⏹️ ▶️ John nothing and looking at reviews.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is, again, I think I’ve largely admitted to myself finally that I’m no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco longer into photography, and my iPhone satisfies my needs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco perfectly well enough, but one of the things that I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be very welcome is what you were saying, like if the big cameras start to develop the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ability to do some of the good tricks that phone cameras are doing related to software-based
⏹️ ▶️ Marco image enhancements and everything, like to do some more of that, I mean, to some degree,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cameras have always done that. Like if you compare like an unprocessed RAW to the JPEGs the camera makes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously they’re doing some processing, they’re doing some noise reduction, they’re doing color mapping and stuff like that. So there’s always been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some degree of processing that the cameras do, but phones have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so far surpassed what cameras are doing that phones can now make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco incredible images in tons of conditions and situations and of subject
⏹️ ▶️ Marco matter that big cameras can’t even approach, not even close.
⏹️ ▶️ John On that topic, by the way, though, one of the things I’m always looking at is the advancement of Sony’s sort of class-leading
⏹️ ▶️ John autofocus and the one feature that they’ve had for years
⏹️ ▶️ John that they keep improving is their object tracking and eye detection, because when you’re taking a
⏹️ ▶️ John picture of a person, you usually want the eye to be in focus. There’s no reason that our iPhones can’t be doing that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s not a computational challenge that the iPhone can’t tackle. Like the iPhone processor crushes anything
⏹️ ▶️ John in these cameras. Why don’t our iPhones do face and eye tracking? They
⏹️ ▶️ John do face detection. they’ll put a box around a person’s face, right? But they don’t, I mean, maybe they do it and they just don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John show the little box, but I would love for them to find people’s eyes. So it wouldn’t focus on like my big nose, but it
⏹️ ▶️ John would actually get the focus back a little.
⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t matter because the aperture is so small in these things that the difference between focusing on the tip of my nose and focusing
⏹️ ▶️ John on my eyes is never gonna be noticeable at the apertures of these things. But it just seems
⏹️ ▶️ John like a thing that they could do. And on that front, by the way, Sony did eye detection. Then they
⏹️ ▶️ John did animal eye detection because eye detection would never work on your dog of their eyes look different than ours.
⏹️ ▶️ John And this year they added a third item, like they have a menu for it. It’s like, I don’t know why. They did eye detection,
⏹️ ▶️ John animal eye detection, and bird eye detection. Which makes sense because
⏹️ ▶️ John people take pictures of birds, but birds are animals, people, come on.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Rename the menu
⏹️ ▶️ John items. Like what the, animal eye detection? It’s like throwing shade on the birds. We’ve got people,
⏹️ ▶️ John animals, and birds. Stupid dinosaurs.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What if you want to take a picture that includes your cat attacking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bird in midair? What will it focus on?
⏹️ ▶️ John According to the reviews, the bird eye detection works so badly that it will not get the bird.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, the bird detection, they gotta work on that because it’s the first year it’s out, but it’s totally for people who take pictures of birds,
⏹️ ▶️ John like literal, actual birds with those really long lenses. Oh
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John yeah, well, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, if you’re aiming, if you’re, no pun intended, if you’re aiming your camera market
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at people who still buy big cameras and whose needs are not solved by phone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cameras. Birdwatchers are actually a surprisingly large category because they need such incredible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco telephoto distance. Like a phone will never have that. So like it does make sense for them
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and these things are, you know, these are examples of computational photography because this is all machine learning. Like the
⏹️ ▶️ John cannons actually have much better bird detect, I think, where they will find a bird And when the
⏹️ ▶️ John bird turns its head towards the camera, then they will find the eye of the bird. And that’s all based on machine learning stuff of
⏹️ ▶️ John recognizing what the heck does a bird look like. Same thing for, you know, cause it’s the whole body of the bird that they’re finding, you know.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s basic object detection of the thing that’s moving, but the bird detect is like, not only do I recognize
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s an object, but that’s a bird. So they’re coming along. Well, like I said, the sensor readout, it sounds like such
⏹️ ▶️ John a minor thing, but until this happened, there was no way for a top end camera
⏹️ ▶️ John to be able to do what the iPhone does by combining three or four or five photos into one, because it couldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John get three or four or five different readouts from that sensor in a short enough period of time with a moving subject
⏹️ ▶️ John to do anything useful. And now suddenly that becomes plausible.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It seems weird to me that Canon or Sony or somebody hasn’t like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thrown all the money at people at Google or Apple that are on the camera team
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and just said, hey, you know, the computational photography stuff, we want that please, you know, come work
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for us and make that. And I know it’s not quite that simple, but it seems like it would be a real winner.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, Apple and Google are slightly more profitable companies than Sony, so hiring people away is gonna
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and I think there’s also, you know, I think there’ll be two major challenges off the top of my head for that. I mean, number one is like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know how much their market is actually asking for that. You know, as phones have gotten so good and have destroyed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the entire like low to mid and slowly eating the high end of the market, the people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who are still buying Sony’s high-end cameras and everyone else is high-end cameras, are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mostly people who don’t want a lot of that processing. I bet. It’s mostly people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who are using it more professionally, who want more raw type stuff. I mean, video took over the entire
⏹️ ▶️ Marco SLR style and mirrorless market as well. I mean, many of these cameras are used
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only as video cameras for their entire lives, because they happen to be really good video cameras. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that video taking over with this market kind of saved a lot of this market. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think a lot of these companies would have been done a while ago, if not for video.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, they can steal features from Apple there too. Like, you know, the thing that Apple does where, I forget what frame
⏹️ ▶️ John rate, but you take it in one frame rate and it takes two of every frame and then combines them or whatever. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John that, you know, I think it’s like, if you shoot it and you get 30 frames per second video, but the video is actually taking 60
⏹️ ▶️ John frames and then either it’s picking the best one or combining them, these cameras should totally do that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, that’s a great idea. And they’re able to do 4K at 120. So they have frames to spare, but
⏹️ ▶️ John as far as I’m aware, none of them do it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, but I think this gets to the second problem. You know, problem one is their market doesn’t really seem to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco demand a lot of this stuff. Problem two, I think, if you look at like the ridiculous
⏹️ ▶️ Marco advances in silicon and hardware required for the iPhone every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco year to do this kind of processing with a tiny little sensor, it might not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be technologically feasible at a reasonable price in a camera body without like a giant
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fan in it to do this level of processing for like a sensor that big from a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco big camera in real time. Like it just might not be reasonably technically within Sony’s ability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make an image signal processor that could do that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think they’re doing pretty good. Like Sony had overheating problems with a lot of their cameras. In fact, my line of cameras
⏹️ ▶️ John has that problem for this exact reason, that the thing that was overheating was the CPU, right? But they
⏹️ ▶️ John more or less seem to have solved that with the current generation of cameras, presumably by having TSMC
⏹️ ▶️ John make them chips in a smaller process size, but I think that they’ve mostly,
⏹️ ▶️ John the technology is there to do the silicon fabbing and to do the image processing.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because remember, Sony also has image processing expertise, like for example, in their televisions. Like that’s one
⏹️ ▶️ John of the main selling points of their television, take an LG panel and they slap onto it a Sony image processor.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I think they’re pretty good at doing that image processing. And more recently through, no thanks to Sony,
⏹️ ▶️ John but thanks to TSMC or other companies, they’re able to get that within a reasonable power envelope. And
⏹️ ▶️ John like you said, more importantly, a reasonable heat envelope in their cameras that I think they’re within shooting distance
⏹️ ▶️ John of doing this. I mean, we’ll see when they get this 50 megapixel thing out, but like they remove
⏹️ ▶️ John the recording limits on all their things. They can go for an hour at a time without overheating or anything. And now this
⏹️ ▶️ John one is shooting 50 megapixels at 30 frames per second in photos. So I
⏹️ ▶️ John feel like the grunt is there hardware wise. They just need to get the
⏹️ ▶️ John software part of it together. I mean, this is the top of the top end.
⏹️ ▶️ John We’ll circle back in three years and see how it’s trickled down, but they really could use some of
⏹️ ▶️ John that expertise from the phone market. I know what you’re saying, like, well, pros don’t want that. They
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want you messing with their pictures, but I think for a lot of applications, especially for
⏹️ ▶️ John the YouTuber market and that type of thing, they do want you to do stuff like Apple does with the video. It’s the reason
⏹️ ▶️ John so many YouTubers rave about the video quality from Apple’s phones, because Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John does all this clever processing with your video to make it look reasonable right out of the camera.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thank you so much to Flat File for sponsoring our show.
#askatp: Mac-cleaning utilities
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, let’s do some Ask ATP.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Donald Rabideau writes, do you use any utilities like CleanMyMac X or 10
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever, or Onyx to perform system maintenance? If not, is there any particular reason? I don’t.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I haven’t ever really felt the need to. And plus, for a while there,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was, you know, reinstalling Mac OS like it was going out of style. And so,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like I’ve said many, many, many times on the show, to some degree, I consider my computers, mostly ephemeral. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I never have a build that it seems like I never have a build that sticks around long enough to develop the sort
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of cruft that one of these I suspect would get rid of. But I don’t know, that’s just me. Marco, how about you?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I’m going to say two things that are potentially conflicting.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good. I never run anything like this. I don’t think such
⏹️ ▶️ Marco utilities are usually necessary. I think there’s a lot of there’s always been a lot a lot of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco superstition in computer solutions. You know, even back when we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco were in the Windows days, like, you know, people thought like, if you defrag every night,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’ll save your hard drive and it’ll make things run faster because everything will be in optimized loading locations and everything.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you hear about all these procedures you should run to maintain your computer,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and a lot of them I think are just superstition and don’t actually end up being necessary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or don’t provide meaningful improvements. And so I never use any of these kind of utilities.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I don’t think most people need to. The second half of what I’m about to say now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m currently on an installation of Mac OS that I need to badly do a reinstall
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it doesn’t work very well. Why is that? This is the one that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I imported from my iMac Pro onto my new Mac Mini. And there’s a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of stuff about it that’s messed up. One of the biggest things that’s driving me nuts that I think might motivate me to actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco finally do this is that I can’t search in mail anymore. And I’ve tried, I’ve gone, like, looked
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all the different, like, crappy website articles of how-tos of, like, how to rebuild your mail search,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I’ve done everything that all of them have suggested, and it doesn’t work. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so, every search has returned zero results. And it turns out I search my mail a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s actually a fairly common thing, that I need to find an email. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, I have to do a reinstall. Other interesting side note that has nothing to do with this question, but I looked
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it up a little while ago during our show, some real-time follow-up. My
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac mini return window is still active for the next two hours.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey would you want to?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, but it’s interesting to know that, I guess. Like, I could theoretically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco return this Mac mini and then in April, spend the Apple credit on a new one if I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one. Oh, I see your point, I see your point. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco missed your point. Yes. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not, I’m not entirely sure I, that would be worth doing, but it is worth knowing that I can do that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Also, you know, um, I, I really kind of miss
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my Mac book air like as my primary computer. So we’ll see maybe, I don’t know. And,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it turns out like all of my problems that I was having with the Thunderbolt docs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seemed to mostly be that my ethernet wire in the wall was bad. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually the rest of the Thunderbolt dock ecosystem seemed to work just fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, Marco. All right, John, do you do any of this sort of thing?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I’m going to, I know the question is asking us whether we use it, but I’m going to echo Marco’s
⏹️ ▶️ John advice that in general, if you have a Mac, you do not need to do any of these
⏹️ ▶️ John things for multiple reasons. The first reason is that lots of these sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of preventative maintenance maintenance procedures, or as Marco
⏹️ ▶️ John called them, superstitions, that is a fertile ground for scam apps.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right, because they always want to advertise, your computer may be in danger, you may have a virus, you need to
⏹️ ▶️ John run this program every day to make sure your Mac is healthy. A lot of those
⏹️ ▶️ John apps are scam apps, they’re apps that are installing malware, mining for Bitcoin, doing all sorts of terrible
⏹️ ▶️ John things, putting toolbars in your browsers back in the old days, like all sorts of unsavory things. So that’s one
⏹️ ▶️ John reason to why. And the second is, you don’t actually need to do any of the things that these
⏹️ ▶️ John things do, like even the good ones that are actually legitimate applications. Your Mac will run
⏹️ ▶️ John just fine on its own. Or if it doesn’t, it’s a bug in the OS that will be fixed in an upcoming version of
⏹️ ▶️ John the OS, and it’s not like, uh, it’s something you need to do to fix it. So I do not recommend people
⏹️ ▶️ John seek out these programs. I do not recommend people respond to ads that advertise these programs. I don’t recommend people
⏹️ ▶️ John get these programs. That said, I have several of these programs and I’ll tell you why.
⏹️ ▶️ John Sometimes if you are a technically oriented
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac enthusiast, you may find yourself in a situation where your Mac is doing a weird thing and you want to figure out how to make
⏹️ ▶️ John it stop and the solution is to do one of the many things that the legitimate
⏹️ ▶️ John programs of these type do. at your launch services database, delete
⏹️ ▶️ John some caches, rebuild your mail index, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Delete your spotlight index and rebuild it, like all sorts of, reset your PRAM,
⏹️ ▶️ John who knows? There’s a million things that you can do. You don’t need one of these tools to do those things
⏹️ ▶️ John at all. You can do them all from like the command line or whatever, right? But
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re technical enough to want to try to fix something yourself, but not technical enough to trust yourself messing
⏹️ ▶️ John with the command line. If you can find one of these programs that is legitimate
⏹️ ▶️ John and frequently updated, that’s the key, frequently updated. So like the way you
⏹️ ▶️ John can tell is like, oh, Big Sur has been released. Is there a new version of Insert Tool
⏹️ ▶️ John X for Big Sur out like the day of or a few days after? That shows that someone
⏹️ ▶️ John is updating that thing, hopefully in a legitimate way, right? If on the other hand, you have
⏹️ ▶️ John a version of one of these programs that you’ve got three years ago and you try running it today, hopefully it will refuse
⏹️ ▶️ John to run and say, whoa, I can’t run on this. I don’t even know what OS you’re running on. If it doesn’t refuse to run, that’s another warning
⏹️ ▶️ John sign, right? So in the best case, occasionally I will want to use
⏹️ ▶️ John one of these tools to do a thing with less work than me trying to go through my
⏹️ ▶️ John old notes documents and look up some command line incantation.
⏹️ ▶️ John remember the command line incantations change from OS to OS as well. And so if you do a web search for like how to
⏹️ ▶️ John reset your launch services database, you might find a command line that worked three years ago that doesn’t work now, or it does damage.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now a well-maintained version of one of these utilities will have
⏹️ ▶️ John the up to date way to try to do the things that it does. That said, even the best
⏹️ ▶️ John of these programs can absolutely be accidentally used to screw up your system,
⏹️ ▶️ John either because of bugs in the program or because the user error as in you probably didn’t want to do that. And now
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re in a bad situation, right? So once again, I will say, you should not have one of
⏹️ ▶️ John these programs. In general, you don’t need it. But occasionally, I resort to
⏹️ ▶️ John it. Even if it’s just, like the best of these tools will tell you what it’s going to do for
⏹️ ▶️ John the command line, just to say, hey, I’m not going to ask you to do it. But if you were to do it, show me the command line you would run.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then I can use that as an input into my larger problem solving, saying, well, this tool says it’s going to run
⏹️ ▶️ John this command line. And these Google search results say you should try this command line. And this Apple forum post says I tried
⏹️ ▶️ John this command line and then I can try to figure out what it, you know, what the truth is, read some man pages,
⏹️ ▶️ John try some experiments myself, like, but we’re way off in the weeds here. If you find yourself
⏹️ ▶️ John having to do this type of debugging, you should probably just, you know, I would say take it to the Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John store, but I don’t know what you do now in COVID times, but yeah. Don’t get one of these programs,
⏹️ ▶️ John but a really good one of these programs is actually a useful tool to have.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I will say one tool I do use, which is not really one of these programs, but it’s kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the outfield, in the ballpark maybe, I use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the disk space searching programs that will scan your disk and tell you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where your space is
⏹️ ▶️ John going. I wouldn’t put those in this category at all. Everyone should have a disk space
⏹️ ▶️ John scanning program, because those are read-only, non-destructive, and they’re really useful.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, well, you can destruct with them. Like, you can delete from them usually.
⏹️ ▶️ John really? Which ones do you have that you can delete from? Daisy disk.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Daisy disk and Space Gremlin are the two favorites in this household. Tiff prefers Daisy disk for the prettiness.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I prefer Space Gremlin because, I mean, it looks like it was designed by a Space Gremlin, but it was it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I prefer it just the way it works. So Daisy disk, I think, is the more common choice.
⏹️ ▶️ John My recommended one is Grand Perspective. It used to be called Disk Inventory 10, or actually, Disk Inventory 10
⏹️ ▶️ John was the original one that had this UI. And I think Grand Perspective is the more modern incarnation. I don’t know if they’re related
⏹️ ▶️ John in any way. but they look very similar. And all it will do is give you a big view
⏹️ ▶️ John of a bunch of, you know, a rectangular view of your hard disk, and based on area, what’s filling the space.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s it, that’s all it does. And you can mouse over the little rectangle, the big rectangle, and say, what the heck is this giant
⏹️ ▶️ John rectangle? And you find out it’s like, you know, well, here’s the danger. These programs don’t delete anything,
⏹️ ▶️ John but they’ll tell you what all the files are. And you’re like, what is this big rectangle? VM image, do I need that? I’m gonna
⏹️ ▶️ John go delete it, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, usually they’re smarter than that. Like usually they don’t usually show like system
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff by default or let you delete it by default.
⏹️ ▶️ John But I mean, Grand Perspective doesn’t show you things that aren’t owned by you because
⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t have permission to, especially in these modern OS, even if you get full disk access, like I don’t think it runs this route,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it does show you everything. And the danger of one of these programs is not that the program’s gonna do anything because as far as I’m aware, Grand
⏹️ ▶️ John Perspective can actually modify your disk at all, but it’s the user who says, I don’t know what this thing
⏹️ ▶️ John is, I’m gonna delete it. It’s like the story of when Mac OS X first came out and everyone found a library folder. And they’re like,
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever this library thing is, I don’t need it. And they would just delete it. And in the old days of Mac OS X, there was no system integrity
⏹️ ▶️ John protection or anything like that. And you own the library folder that was in your home directories and people would just delete it. Like, I guess
⏹️ ▶️ John the new version of Mac OS comes with books or something, but I don’t want any of that. Let me just delete library. And that would just destroy
⏹️ ▶️ John their entire account because now you can’t even log in anymore because there was essential files in the library folder. Or, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John system slash library or slash system. or you know, it’s a classic thing on the Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John of people finding the system folder and saying, I don’t need all this stuff and just putting it all in the trash. So
⏹️ ▶️ John even though these programs themselves are not harmful, they give you enough rope to hang yourself because
⏹️ ▶️ John now you know where all the big files are and you don’t think the computer should need that big file, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it may turn out the computer really does need that big file. System integrity protection helps a lot here
⏹️ ▶️ John because it will prevent you from deleting parts of the OS, But there are still things that are not technically
⏹️ ▶️ John part of the OS that you could delete with like, you know, authenticating it as an administrator or something
⏹️ ▶️ John that you probably shouldn’t delete. So be careful. But I think a program like that is really
⏹️ ▶️ John useful for you to find like the three, you know, movies
⏹️ ▶️ John you downloaded in iTunes five years ago that are each taking up five gigs of space in your hard drive and you totally forgot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco By the way, one more real time follow up. So another thing that’s wrong with my installation that I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco using in addition to the aforementioned issues is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco somehow when I migrated this installation to the new Mac mini, I got a previously relocated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco items folder, which contained nothing of use. So I put it in the trash, and I tried
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to empty the trash. And I now have this item that I cannot empty from the trash. It says that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because previously relocated items includes the subfolders security,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco user, like USR, the Unix kind user and then in that a sim link to x11
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I can’t delete it because it says x11 is required by the system and I can’t put it anywhere else
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I have this item that’s just stuck I just can’t do my trash forever just I have a non-empty trash forever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so there’s oh I also have the Windows Server high CPU usage bug on this one even though Chrome
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is totally gone from this computer like so yeah there’s there’s a lot that’s not right with this installation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I’m still not going to run some other weird utility I’m just going to reinstall
⏹️ ▶️ John Sometimes finder refuses to empty your trash, but if you just go to the command line and go into your.trashes folder,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can just do rm-rf and it’ll kill it.
⏹️ ▶️ John rm-rf will almost certainly kill it.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Be careful, I’m telling you to run terrible
⏹️ ▶️ John commands. Carefully, Marco specifically and nobody else, carefully go into your.trashes
⏹️ ▶️ John folder in your home directory.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is it? Is it under volumes, trashes?
⏹️ ▶️ John No, it’s just in your home directory. Oh, look at that,.trash. CD.trash, and then do you see all the files
⏹️ ▶️ John there? If you do, just try rm-rf on those files and sudo if it doesn’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, maybe not while we’re recording. Not while we’re recording, please.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I need x11 for? I am not allowed to ls.trash
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my home directory, even with sudo. Operation not permitted.
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you have an admin account? Yes, this is my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco account. I’m telling you, this installation is not right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I’ve got to get rid of it. That’s not right. You should be able to list your own trash.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I almost decided to record tonight from the MacBook Air. I almost plugged it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back into my whole docking at my desk just because that installation is so good and I miss it so much as I’m using
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this one. But I haven’t had time to blow this one away because I’ve been pretty busy. I gotta get rid of
⏹️ ▶️ John Does your.trash directory have any extended attributes set on it? Does it have weird owners or permissions?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, I don’t want to deal with this. I just want to blow
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John this away. This is not the only
⏹️ ▶️ John issue. Step one, reboot, and then step two, see what the heck’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco going on. But honestly, step three, the Mac Mini really does suck at Bluetooth reception. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had to keep moving it closer to my main stuff setup. Like I first had it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco beside my desk on top of a file cabinet because it could be tucked away neatly there. And there,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the mouse barely worked and watch unlock wouldn’t work at all. I would say it’s too far away. So I now have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it scooted over, tilted up behind a speaker, but it still has really flaky reception.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s just like this is so much worse than the MacBook Air. Oh, God. Oh, my God.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey To go back a half step, I really like Daisy Disk, and I recommend that one.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I really like Space Gremlin. If Daisy Disk is not your style, try Space Gremlin. It’s my favorite.
#askatp: SSD swap wear
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dan Blondel writes, I just got a Mac Mini with 8 gigs of RAM. Performance is great, but it typically
⏹️ ▶️ Casey uses between 500 megs and 2 gigs of swap memory. I don’t notice a hit in terms of performance, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I read in a couple of places that swap memory might impact the lifespan of the SSD. Other places say it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really a concern with modern SSDs. If I’m satisfied with performance, is protecting the SSD from swap memory
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a good enough reason to pay the premium for more RAM? I mean, honestly, I don’t know why if you can afford it, you wouldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just get more RAM, but it sounds like the ship has already sailed. So I honestly don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what the situation is with lots and lots of writes on SSDs these days. As our resident file system
⏹️ ▶️ Casey expert, John, what’s the situation here?
⏹️ ▶️ John So first thing to keep in mind is the amount of swap memory as shown by the
⏹️ ▶️ John various places in the OS is not really what you’re interested in. What you’re interested in is
⏹️ ▶️ John how many page ins and page outs to the swap file are are happening, like activity
⏹️ ▶️ John traffic, right? So swap files tend to be allocated in these very large chunks. Just because you
⏹️ ▶️ John have a big swap file in one of these large chunks, if nothing is being read or written
⏹️ ▶️ John to it very frequently, it’s no big deal, right? You only care about the traffic. And
⏹️ ▶️ John as Dan noted, lots of activity on SSD, slowly,
⏹️ ▶️ John very slowly, wears it out. So you should be concerned if there is a tremendous amount
⏹️ ▶️ John of activity going to and from your SSD anywhere, not just your swap file. So what
⏹️ ▶️ John you wanna know is, am I swapping, not do I have a two gig swap file hanging around somewhere,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Now, if you’ve determined that you are frequently swapping a lot,
⏹️ ▶️ John it would surprise me if you didn’t notice this because although SSDs are much faster than spinning disks, they’re much
⏹️ ▶️ John slower than RAM. So if you were paging in and out to that swap file a lot, I feel like you would notice
⏹️ ▶️ John that performance-wise. Now SSDs deal with the wear out factor
⏹️ ▶️ John by essentially being over provisioned by some amount. So as they wear out cells inside them,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s actually more than whatever, say you get a 512 gigabyte SSD, there’s more than 512 gigabytes worth of storage inside there
⏹️ ▶️ John they keep some in reserve. And when you wear out a portion of it, they will use some of the other, right? The
⏹️ ▶️ John more expensive an enterprise of the SSD, the more they are over provisioned
⏹️ ▶️ John and the longer they will last. But I would suspect that in a consumer laptop, being
⏹️ ▶️ John used by a consumer to do normal things, something else is gonna die before you wear out that
⏹️ ▶️ John SSD most likely, unless you are doing some really weird stuff with lots of paging or lots of
⏹️ ▶️ John constant IO or constantly recording video. I don’t know what could cause that amount of
⏹️ ▶️ John IO, but in general, I think modern SSDs are probably going to put up with the
⏹️ ▶️ John amount of reads and writes that a normal person does. I would not worry about
⏹️ ▶️ John having too little RAM causing lots of swapping, which in turn causes your SSD to
#askatp: Data arrangement on disk
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jan Filip writes, if I copy three files in three different simultaneous copy processes in the Finder,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey will the bits of the three files be written mixed on the hard drive as opposed to if I had run the copy process sequentially?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is there more order in the bits on my hard drive if I let one copy process finish before I start the next? I would like to know the answer to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this question just out of curiosity. Let me tell you about defragmenting your hard drive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and how with SSDs, it becomes a much more complicated thing with like what you want it to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be and what it needs to be.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. So John, here again, this is your kind of part of the world. What’s the situation?
⏹️ ▶️ John Back in the day, uh, computers would address hard drives like spinning
⏹️ ▶️ John hard drives, uh, fairly directly. If you think of what a spinning hard drive was like, it’s a
⏹️ ▶️ John bunch of disks that spin and they’re stacked on top of each other and, and, uh, on in between them are a bunch of
⏹️ ▶️ John read and write heads, right? It’s like, think of like a, uh, you know, seven record players or five record
⏹️ ▶️ John players stacked on top of each other with little heads, reading them all. And each of the discs
⏹️ ▶️ John had, well, they had what you can imagine
⏹️ ▶️ John like a track. They’re not like a record where it’s a spiral that starts in
⏹️ ▶️ John the middle and goes out to the edge, but instead they had concentric circles, like a tree ring, right? And one of those rings
⏹️ ▶️ John is a track. And a sort of pie wedge shape of the
⏹️ ▶️ John disc is a sector. And you could also address what’s called a cylinder, which is a track through
⏹️ ▶️ John the entire stack, right? So you can imagine the outermost track, the outermost cylinder
⏹️ ▶️ John is that track on all the disks that are down there. And in the very, very early days, computers
⏹️ ▶️ John would address hard drives by track and cylinder and sector,
⏹️ ▶️ John like more or less directly. Like the operating system had the ability to say, I want to write
⏹️ ▶️ John in the fifth sector of the outermost cylinder of these disks or whatever, right? And
⏹️ ▶️ John in those cases, like the language that Marco was talking about in case you just mentioned the defragmenting
⏹️ ▶️ John thing where there was computer programs that would visualize, they would take all these cylinders
⏹️ ▶️ John and sort of stretch them out and connect them together so it becomes one big long line. And then they would wrap that line into a rectangle
⏹️ ▶️ John shape. And they would say, this is your hard drive, all these, this rectangle. And every one of these pixels represents like
⏹️ ▶️ John a particular sector on a particular track or whatever, like not even that, but they would break it up into some even
⏹️ ▶️ John sized chunks. And they would rearrange your files so that all the bits that belong
⏹️ ▶️ John to whatever, the operating system are all next to each other and all the bits that belong to this are next to each other. When I say next to each other, they
⏹️ ▶️ John meant like address-wise because they can address these hard drives more or
⏹️ ▶️ John less directly. And for example, bits that were all on the same track,
⏹️ ▶️ John one after the other, you could read those in a big line because the disc would spin and like a little record player, the little
⏹️ ▶️ John head would go over that track and it would read as the track, you know, went underneath, it would read all those
⏹️ ▶️ John bits. And it’s great if they’re all on that same track because then you don’t have to move the heads. If
⏹️ ▶️ John instead you had the first part of that file is on the outermost track, then the second part is on the innermost track, then the third part
⏹️ ▶️ John is on a middle track, just to get those three little bits, you’d have to go, okay, read from here,
⏹️ ▶️ John now move the head, wait for it to steady, now read from here, now move the head again and wait for it to steady. It was way faster if
⏹️ ▶️ John they were all on the same track because you just move the head and then spin the thing around 360 degrees and get all the bits off of that
⏹️ ▶️ John track, right? That in theory was what defragmenting was doing for
⏹️ ▶️ John you because the disks were more or less directly addressable and the addresses were more or less sequential
⏹️ ▶️ John within each cylinder or whatever and they would try to make the files contiguous
⏹️ ▶️ John so that the first bit of the file is right next to the second bit and third bit and fourth bit and fifth bit or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s why they’d have these very pleasing displays of taking your disk where, oh, these files are scrambled everywhere. I’m gonna
⏹️ ▶️ John make it all contiguous and I’m gonna color code it so the operating system is one color and your,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know, audio files are another color. I don’t even remember what defragging things did, but I did the same things with Norton
⏹️ ▶️ John Utilities back in the day on my Mac.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and there was a reason why defrag, why they would put all the files next to each other. It wasn’t just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make it look pretty, although that was, I think, a big reason why people liked watching it, but it was because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you put all the files near each other, like all the parts of a file near each other, the heads
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would have to spend less time going back and forth, seeking across to different cylinders on the disk. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because back then, and well still, hard drives, like spinning disk hard drives,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you need to move the head back and forth, it takes way longer than if you could read like sequentially
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off of one track or off of nearby tracks. The more you have to move the head back and forth, the slower it is by a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ John Because you’d have to move the head fairly quickly to get there, but then you have to wait for the head to settle because you wouldn’t stop
⏹️ ▶️ John on a dime, it would like vibrate a little bit and you had to wait for it to settle down and then you could read again and then you’d start moving
⏹️ ▶️ John again and it was terrible. That whole paradigm started
⏹️ ▶️ John to fall apart way before SSDs came out, because once you break the connection
⏹️ ▶️ John between the operating system and the physical device in terms of addressing, all bets
⏹️ ▶️ John are off. So in the early days, like I said, you could actually address physically the attributes of the hard drive,
⏹️ ▶️ John but eventually you would say, hey, hard drive, write this into, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, address, you know, cylinder one, sector five, And the hard drive
⏹️ ▶️ John would go, oh yeah, sure, totally, I’ll do that. And it would put those bits wherever the hell it wanted. Like the connection
⏹️ ▶️ John between virtual addressing and physical addressing was broken by modern hard drives
⏹️ ▶️ John because they would add things like cache and they would allow the hard drive mechanism to make its own intelligent decisions
⏹️ ▶️ John about where to allocate stuff. And it was no longer address one is next to address two is next to address three is next to address four
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever physical attributes where you could sort of control it and say, I’m gonna put this on the outer track of the hard drive
⏹️ ▶️ John because that spins faster, right? and it’ll be faster to read, and it’ll be like, oh, you can tell the hard drive
⏹️ ▶️ John that, but you can’t actually make the hard drive do anything because the hard drive is now this complicated system
⏹️ ▶️ John which is a little miniature computer with its own algorithms of a head movement and its own RAM cache
⏹️ ▶️ John and everything. And once that relationship was broken, trying to do any kind of defragmenting
⏹️ ▶️ John thing to get the bits next to each other wasn’t guaranteed to do what you wanted.
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. It was difficult to tell. SSDs, of course, don’t have
⏹️ ▶️ John a head that’s moving anywhere. And in SSDs, there’s usually not any
⏹️ ▶️ John particular extra cost for reading something from one location or another. Now, that’s not entirely true because they do read
⏹️ ▶️ John things in regions, and it, you know, the regions aren’t the size of one byte, so if you’re going to read a byte from here and a
⏹️ ▶️ John byte from there, there is additional overhead. But now more than ever, it is
⏹️ ▶️ John a sucker’s game to try to arrange things physically
⏹️ ▶️ John in the the storage through the operating system. Cause the operating system is so far from the physical reality of the storage
⏹️ ▶️ John that it has no hope of controlling where things are. It is. So
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s, that game is entirely over. So getting back to the question, which is, Hey, if
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m doing simultaneous copies, are the things spread out or are they together, there
⏹️ ▶️ John are so many different layers between your time sequencing of operations, like I’m doing
⏹️ ▶️ John all the files at once, or I’m doing them in sequence. There is the various IO buffers
⏹️ ▶️ John in the operating system. There is caching all the way through the entire storage hierarchy.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then there is the actual physical addressing of the individual chips in the SSD.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s trying to control where things land by time sequencing
⏹️ ▶️ John is not going to work the way you think it’s going to work. And even if it did work that way,
⏹️ ▶️ John the benefits on something like an SSD are minimal. That said,
⏹️ ▶️ John it takes some amount of computing to do IO. And if you do lots
⏹️ ▶️ John and lots of IO in parallel, you could, not in a finder copy, but you could in a very large, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John much bigger scenario, swamp the CPU by doing, say 100,000
⏹️ ▶️ John threads, each of which is trying to write a file at exactly the same time. And that could slow you down as opposed
⏹️ ▶️ John to doing those 100,000 files, either in sequence or more likely in batches that equal the number of CPU
⏹️ ▶️ John cores you have, right? So it’s not like time sequencing of I O can’t affect your
⏹️ ▶️ John performance, but when you’re talking about three files in the finder, A,
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t worry about it, and B, there really is no control even at the operating
⏹️ ▶️ John system level of exactly where those bits land in your storage. That’s the magic of a
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of a layered hierarchy, like the separation of concerns. Having the operating system know
⏹️ ▶️ John the physical attributes of your storage and control them directly is a worse system than what we have now. So
⏹️ ▶️ John just let go and let storage handle it.
#askatp: iCloud Backup for Mac?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. And then finally, Aiden Traeger writes, do you think Apple will ever
⏹️ ▶️ Casey offer iCloud backup for the Mac? It seems like another way for them to increase services revenue through iCloud storage upgrades.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I understand the logic here, but no. Given how stingy they are with, although it’s gotten
⏹️ ▶️ Casey better recently, how stingy they are with iCloud storage space as it is, I personally do not see
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this happening. This is why many time prior sponsor backblaze exists. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s just my two cents. Marco, what do you think?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iCloud backup seems like an obvious thing to offer on the Mac. That being said,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s more complicated to offer on the Mac. As people like Backblaze know, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac data locations, Mac data volumes, they’re just different from iOS devices.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The way, like, what would you back up? Like, iCloud backup on the phone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not just a 100% file system clone of your phone. It backs up things that are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco marked as documents and data for certain apps and things like that, and like has different arrangements for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how it backs up photos and whether it backs up things like music or how it backs them up.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco On the Mac, all of that is different. Like the where apps save data, how they save data,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how they mark their data, it’s all different. Whether they store it like in caches or in the library folder,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whether they store it in documents on your file system and your home directory, there’s so many different variations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of where and how they store everything that in order to reasonably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be sure that you have all the important stuff on a Mac, you kind of have to back up everything, or at least almost everything,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is way more data volume than what iCloud backup usually includes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on your iOS devices. So that’s problem number one. Problem number two
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is iCloud backup is actually a pretty bad backup.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know this because, so I’m sure every parent out there, or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even if you’re not a parent, you’ve probably had a situation where you or someone in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your family has accidentally caused some kind of data loss to happen
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on an iOS device, but like in one app. So we had an issue like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this recently where my kid was editing some levels in a game that has like a level editor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco built in, and he accidentally deleted the wrong one on like the level list screen, and he accidentally deleted one that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he didn’t wanna delete as he was deleting other ones. And it crushed him,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and he’d worked so hard making this level and it was just gone and there was no undo.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’m like, I’m like, we might if we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if we can, we can try to get this back. I’m like, if it was on here yesterday, which was before your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco last iCloud backup, we can try to to restore this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from yesterday’s iCloud backup and see if it’s in there. But what that will require
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to basically have time machine for one app from like five minutes ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or one day ago, what that would require would be to capture
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a full computer based backup of the iPad because a lot of stuff is not backed up to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iCloud backup like Minecraft data. So a lot, so you still have to do like the full
⏹️ ▶️ Marco computer backup to even have a backup at all. And the entire rest of the time that he’s like using his iPad out in the world or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever upstairs, there’s no backup of any of that stuff that’s not an iCloud backup,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unless like, you know, the two or three times a year, remember to like do it to iTunes or to find her now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then to actually do like a restore a like, oh, crap, I messed something up in this app,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have to blow away an entire iOS device to restore
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all of iClouds backup from the previous backup onto it. So you have like first wipe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, then install an entire backup over it. So it’s this massive, like destructive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an incredibly time-consuming process to even see if you could maybe get this information
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out and at the end of the day, like we didn’t even end up attempting it. We decided, I’m like, I told him like, here’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what, here’s what it will take. Here’s how long it will take. Do you want to do it? And he decided not to because it was going to, it was going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be a while of having his iPad not be usable. But uh, it just showed like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if this was something on a Mac, I could just go to back place and and like restore
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that one file, which it would have backed up because it can do that. Cause on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Mac, you can have third-party backup solutions that can read the entire disc or read special things,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco however you want them to. And they can do things that Apple doesn’t do, like offer point in time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco backup recovery of like only certain files or save version histories of things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I just, I don’t see Apple doing any of that stuff. That stuff kind of looks messy to Apple.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s not the style that they operate their services in. Their services tend to be like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what is the 75% solution that we can offer that will solve basic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco needs in a basic way pretty reliably? Like, that’s what they do. And so,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they did offer iCloud backup for the Mac, I think what we would want it to be in theory
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be like cloud-based time machine, basically. That, I think, is what we would want it to be.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I don’t think it would actually be that. I think that’s too much data and too much functionality
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the way Apple would actually design and ship such a service, if they ever would.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I think, really, not only would they probably not do that because of the aforementioned
⏹️ ▶️ Marco complexity of offering that on the Mac, but also iCloud backup sucks if you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other options. Like, if I could have Backblaze on my phone instead, I would, because it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be so much better. And for all of our devices, like for all of his Minecraft levels
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything, that would be so much better. Part of the reason that I play my games on a PC now is that I run
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Backblaze on the PC so I can back up my game data. So I can’t do that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on an iPad or something. So I think logically it makes sense,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hey, they should offer iCloud backup for the Mac. But once you start thinking about what that would entail and what that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would actually be, I’m not sure it’s a very compelling alternative.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think they should offer this backup. In fact, Apple did offer backups
⏹️ ▶️ John as part of iTunes. I think, do you remember the backup icon that was an orange umbrella?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I do not. No, that was before our time, I think.
⏹️ ▶️ John It was an Apple app that was creatively named Backup, I believe, and it would backup your computer
⏹️ ▶️ John or files on your computer to the cloud, I think even before cloud had a name. But anyway, it was
⏹️ ▶️ John terrible, and it went away, and it was just as well. But ever since they
⏹️ ▶️ John rolled out iCloud backups for iOS devices, I’ve thought, okay, well, you should bring that to the Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John because it shows that that’s a thing that you have an appetite for doing. It is a thing that all users
⏹️ ▶️ John need, that all users do need cloud backup. And especially in the new era of
⏹️ ▶️ John services going up like a rocket at every earnings report, hey, this is another service you can
⏹️ ▶️ John sell. Now I know it’s like, well, who cares about the Mac? We do sell it. It’s called iCloud storage
⏹️ ▶️ John and we charge through the nose for it and nobody buys it than their iOS devices because they’re cheap. So it’s not really
⏹️ ▶️ John a successful, a big services success story. And the Mac is a much
⏹️ ▶️ John smaller market, so maybe no one cares, but Apple totally should offer iCloud backup for the Mac.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now, as to why Apple is going to be bad at it when they do, setting aside history and all
⏹️ ▶️ John the things that Marco noted about how the way the iCloud stuff works for iOS devices,
⏹️ ▶️ John is that to do cloud-based backup well, not
⏹️ ▶️ John just well from a technical perspective, but well from a financial perspective, like to make that sweet
⏹️ ▶️ John services revenue with those sweet services margins, you really need to do
⏹️ ▶️ John what Backblaze does and actually do the storage yourself. Because if Apple is just reselling
⏹️ ▶️ John S3 storage from AWS to us, AWS gets a cut. Like that
⏹️ ▶️ John profit margin that you’re paying for AWS for S3, that’s money that could be part of your margins,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple, if you did what Backblaze does, which is run your own storage. then you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have to pay another company a slice of the profit for the storage. But it also means that you
⏹️ ▶️ John have to figure out, hey, how do you run storage at Apple scale? I mean, Backblaze
⏹️ ▶️ John does amazing things with storage, but they don’t have as many customers as Apple has. To do storage
⏹️ ▶️ John at Apple scale, you need something like Azure, Google Cloud, or AWS.
⏹️ ▶️ John But all of those companies will want to take a share of the profit. So if Apple ever does
⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud backup for the Mac, if they don’t roll their own storage, it’s going
⏹️ ▶️ John to be more expensive than Backblaze, not just because they’re Apple, but because some cloud provider will
⏹️ ▶️ John be taking a portion of money for every single byte that’s stored.
⏹️ ▶️ John I always do wonder how Apple can afford to do whatever they’re doing for
⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud Photo Library, because I don’t think they’re running their own storage from that. So iCloud Photo Library is basically
⏹️ ▶️ John a wad of Apple software in front of S3 or something similar.
⏹️ ▶️ John think Apple has trouble affording anything? I mean, but the whole point of the services
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff is you want it to be profitable because it’s, you know, like the more people you sign
⏹️ ▶️ John up, every new person you get that’s more profit. It’s a good business to be in. That’s why services revenue is going
⏹️ ▶️ John up. It’s not quite as profitable as making TV shows, but you know, because like when you make the show once and lots of people watch
⏹️ ▶️ John it, every person who stores a byte, you have to pay for that byte. but if you could economically run your own
⏹️ ▶️ John storage, you could come within the ballpark of Backblaze’s
⏹️ ▶️ John pricing, which is fairly amazing in the grand scheme of things. So I think
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple should do this. I think when they do it, it’s gonna be too expensive, and I think it’s gonna be too expensive because Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t wanna do its own storage. And again, you could say that’s wise. It’s like, well, what do you want Apple to do?
⏹️ ▶️ John Become like AWS and Azure and Google Cloud? And my answer is a much longer answer, which is yes, they totally
⏹️ ▶️ John should do that because if they don’t, they’re constantly paying money to those people, but thus far, it doesn’t seem like Apple wants to
⏹️ ▶️ John do that. So I am ready for the mediocre MacBlaze
⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud backup solution from Apple because a mediocre one is better than none, but a good one
⏹️ ▶️ John would be great. Had to back Blaze not sponsor this episode.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They didn’t need to. Apparently not. Well, thanks to the ones who did, Linode,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Away, and Flatfile and thank you to our members who support us directly. You can join
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as well at atp.fm.com and we will talk to you next week.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey
⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t let him Cause it was accidental,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental And you can find the show
⏹️ ▶️ John notes at atp.fm And if you’re into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, Auntie
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse It’s accidental, they
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t mean to Accidental, tech podcasts so long.
Post-show: Snowed in on Fire Island
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m snowed in. Did I tell you that?
⏹️ ▶️ John The bay, the bay is frozen, right? You can’t take your ferry out?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s right. We have, we are officially stuck here for probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco another couple days. It will be in total, end up being probably about a week because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s no more, there’s no ferry service. So we are snowed in, we are eating our way through the freezer.
⏹️ ▶️ John At worst case scenario, you could always walk through the A-hole fence, over the causeway, over the bridges,
⏹️ ▶️ John like you’re not actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuck. Right, you know, I mean you so if we were to get a driving permit ever,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know But in order to drive across the sand to go over to that one bridge We could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do that But there’s also a lot of people who have those permits who we know and so like, you know If we were if we really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need stuff we could just ask people we know hey Can you give us a ride to Costco or whatever and they would do it?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I don’t like I don’t like to Ask for favors. I don’t need so
⏹️ ▶️ John People want to know what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the A-hole fence is. You actually don’t need to cross the A-hole fence to go off the island. The A-hole fence is the other direction.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Oh, all right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it’s the point of woods fence. You have to be a bit of an A-hole in order to build
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an entire fence across an island to block people from accessing an entire section of the island.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco For an island based so much on like, walking and biking and everything, to block off your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco entire town from anybody walking and biking into it is kind of a jerk move.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So one of my jobs when it comes to ATP is I take a first crack at the show
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on a good week, Marco won’t find very much to change. And sometimes he finds a lot that needs changing. But nevertheless,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was googling the.00 woods
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in order to put it in the show notes. And I found fireisland.com slash town slash point hyphen
⏹️ ▶️ Casey o hyphen woods hyphen fire hyphen island. That’ll be in the show notes. And I will read to you a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey small excerpt from this. Well pedigreed families came from all corners of the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey country to summer at point O woods. While many neighboring fire island communities are predominantly populated
⏹️ ▶️ Casey by New York city and greater Long Island, some residents point of wood residents cherish their land and water sports
⏹️ ▶️ Casey almost as much as they value family continuity in their way of life. And of course their privacy. Wow.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What a bunch of jerks.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, it is, it is what it says on the tin.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. It’s, it’s certainly not known for its diversity.
⏹️ ▶️ John They don’t just let in rich people. You have to be the right kind of rich
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people. Yeah. Oh yeah, you do. That’s that. That’s a real thing. Like it’s it’s as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bad as you think it is.
⏹️ ▶️ John Don’t worry, their houses will wash away just as easily as yours. When the big storm comes. I don’t know if that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John comforting to you. No,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Interestingly, Pointe aux Woods is not called Lonelyville, which apparently is another community on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes. Lonelyville is a real place. It’s probably the best named place on Fire Island.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I will say there was, you know, Fire Island has a lot of communities, some of which are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco extremely liberal, old hippie liberal, also some very gay communities.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this past summer I got a pair of electric sand bikes and I took a few rides
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just to travel to see different communities that were further away that I’d never seen before. I took
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a couple rides with my neighbor. And I don’t have any issues seeing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco naked people. the human body, it’s fine. And if people want to celebrate their body, that’s fine. Oh
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was, I did find it pretty awkward to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco watch two naked men playing badminton.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Interesting. There’s a lot of jumping in badminton. Yeah, that
⏹️ ▶️ John was my, Fire Island, well not Fire Island specifically, Robert Moses, off of Robert Moses, not
⏹️ ▶️ John far down from Robert Moses, which is a public beach, you can very quickly find
⏹️ ▶️ John many nude beaches. And I remember that from my childhood too. And it’s,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because I decided, our very first trip, I’m like, you know what, let’s see if we can ride to the lighthouse, which is the end of the, it’s right next to Robert
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Moses. You’ll have to go through there. Yep, you pass a whole lot of that. And at first, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, you see one out of the corner of your eye, you’re like, oh, I think that person’s naked. And then you start seeing, oh, everyone’s naked. And then you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel weird being the person on the bike who’s like riding through like I shouldn’t be here. I feel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like I’m like, I don’t wanna be like a tourist in the naked place. You know, I don’t wanna like make anyone else feel uncomfortable.
⏹️ ▶️ John Just keep your eyes down and keep walking.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Or biking. Yeah, but the bad men, that’s something I think everybody either should
⏹️ ▶️ Marco never see or should see once. It doesn’t even sound comfortable, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know what I mean? No, it’s the thing like, I mean, good for them. You know, I’m happy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for them that they’re willing to
⏹️ ▶️ John But I feel like sometimes you need a little support.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I just, I would never choose a sport that involved so much jumping
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do as a naked man.
⏹️ ▶️ John For men and women, men and women both sometimes need a little support when you’re jumping.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, good thing we’re talking about this for some reason.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re not out there in the winter though.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, this is not a very populous place in the winter.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s too bad it hasn’t been that cold. You get to the point where the bay freezes can just walk across it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, it’s yeah, it’s it’s not and it’s not at that point now and we had to have the talk with Adam like hey
⏹️ ▶️ Marco never try to walk on the frozen bay because you could fall through and die like that’s that was a fun talk to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but we I don’t did I ever mention that I have that I bring Adam to school
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on an e-bike that looks kind of like a yellow school bus version of any bike.
⏹️ ▶️ John No, I thought he was taking the sand bus.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, so here’s the thing There is bus service to bring him to the school from here. However,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they were saying earlier, like at the end of the summer, when they were registering all the students, they were saying like, because so many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more students are here this year because of the virus, and because on the bus, they had to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco distancing available on the bus, so they couldn’t run the bus at the full capacity. They can only have like, you know, one kid per seat or every two seats
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something like that, so that the kids are spaced out enough. They said that if like any more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kids register for the school bus, they would have to go to like a two cohort system
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of schooling of like, you know, you only go on like A days or B days and the rest of the time you’re remote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because the buses were gonna be too full. And so we said, all right, well, we don’t need the bus. We live within,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we live about, I think about maybe three quarters of a mile to a mile away, something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So we said, look, we can just take bikes and walk sometimes and it’s fine. And that worked out great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco until, you know, winter happened And then you know we have situations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where like it would be somewhat unsafe for us to ride our like two regular bikes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco across this like slushy icy mile so Anticipating
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this and you know bad weather days. I got there. We go. Yes the rise RIZ
⏹️ ▶️ Marco blade this bike is It’s an electric sand bike so it has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the fat tires fat tires also work on snow and to some degree ice And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I wanted a way that I could drive Adam to school basically In bad weather or in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know cold or snowy conditions that he could ride on the back because they don’t they don’t make Electric
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sand bikes small enough for Adam to drive himself. Believe me. I’ve looked but They do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make this kind of like scrambler style Electric sand bike that has a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco long banana style seat so that you can have a passenger sitting behind you And it has foot pegs and put their feet
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on and everything. So it’s designed to have a passenger that’s somebody relatively small like a child.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I got this thing and I got it in yellow because it is basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco our school bus and yellow was the only color that was in stock at the end of the summer. But that’s different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco reasons. But so so on bad weather days I drive Adam to school on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this and we call it the bus even though it is an electric sand bike and it works great and today
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was perfect for it because today the aforementioned snowstorm, we had to ride
⏹️ ▶️ Marco through like six inches of flooded slush water and part of the ride. And then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the rest of the ride was pretty icy and snowy in the morning. Rode this thing through it just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine. It’s not the first time we’ve done it. It works fantastically. And so yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we kind of have our own fun school adventure this year, like, you know, we’re going to school
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the beach full time. And because we can’t have a car, we don’t have the right kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of permit and probably won’t be able to get one for many years. I have this weird electric sand bike that I drive my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kid to school on sometimes.
⏹️ ▶️ John Car wouldn’t help you anyway, because you don’t have roads that go up to your house. Where would you put your car?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, the walks, like the big sidewalks that act as roads are wide enough for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one car to just barely fit down them. So some of the year-round residents
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do have, most of them actually have cars, but you like you aren’t allowed to keep the cars here in the summer because there’s too many people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco around. But in the winter, if you have one of the special permits, you can keep a car as long
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as you have somewhere on your property that you can park it. Anyway, so someday we might get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a permit, but that hasn’t happened yet and we don’t know when or if it will ever happen. So in the meantime,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got this. Now what people usually will do instead, rather than electric sandbikes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Most of the people solve this problem by buying a golf cart, which we could do. You don’t need any special permits for that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We could do that as long as we use it in the winter and not the summer. But golf carts are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very big and not that cheap and not that easy to get. And I don’t really like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them that much. Like an e-bike is so much more fun. Like there were a few times
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when in the fall there were some really rainy days and we had some contractors doing some stuff in the house. And one time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they offered, like if I just wanted to borrow their golf cart to drive out of the school in the heavy rain. And I said, sure, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it had like the roof and little side zip things. And I took that to school and I had to keep like pulling over
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the side to like let other golf carts pass. And it was a big pain to have such a large
⏹️ ▶️ Marco vehicle. Whereas this thing, this wonderful little e-bike, you just kind of zip around
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everybody and it’s great. Like you can fit anywhere. You can pull over really easily. You can ride up on the side
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the little berm if you need to. It takes no space to park it. It stores under the house easily.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s wonderful. I’m very happy with this thing. I love the world of electric
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bikes. I think it’s wonderful. And I think it’s temporary before they get classified as motor vehicles
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by most states and become much more hard to legally use. But in the current time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of them being this kind of weird in between thing that regulators are mostly ignoring or it’s going under their radar,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re just wonderful. They’re delightful to ride. It is not at all like riding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bike. And if what you want to do is exercise with a bike,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is not for you at all. And this particular one is a terrible bike to try to pedal manually.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, because the seat is so wide, you kind of have to have your knees like pointed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco outwards as opposed to straight down. You know, it’s a terrible bike to pedal manually and they’re really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco heavy. If you just kind of treat the pedals as a like technicality and just use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the thumb throttle, it’s wonderful. And yeah, so most people don’t need something like this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but if you do, this is quite a fun thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That sounds like pretty much everything you ever buy.
⏹️ ▶️ John I like that, it’s got all these gears, but it’s like, do you really need all this mechanical advantage
⏹️ ▶️ John if the electric motor is doing it for you?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, again, I’ve tried pedaling this, and I have a different kind of e-bike, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mentioned I have two. I have a different kind for the sand, a nice little Saunders
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one. That is like a more traditional style seat and everything. So like you can pedal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that one manually. It’s heavy, and when I ride that on the beach,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I usually set the assist level down a little bit and I pedal along with it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that way I’m getting some exercise, but I’m able to use the assist resistance level to control
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much exercise I’m needing to put into it. So like if I’m going through a really tough section, I can amp it up a little bit.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or if I want more of a workout, I can turn it down a little bit. This thing though, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Rise Blade with the big banana seat, you basically can’t pedal it manually. Like it’s so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard to do, it’s so awkward, it’s not at all made for that. But if you need just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something that is small, inexpensive, and street legal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco almost everywhere, including here, then it’s pretty great for that.