Apple Mac

Hey Mac

Bringing in the HarvestJust some quick takes from around the web on Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup.

iMore: “So, is this new 13-inch really a lean and mean upgrade for MacBook Air owners, or is it just an artificially crippled MacBook Pro meant to lower the cost of entry?

A bit of both, depending on your point of view.”

Charged: “Touch Bar is a great example of this. First, it feels like an excuse to not just add touch to the Mac in the first place. While Microsoft is busy letting you touch the entire display, Apple’s making you look down at your keyboard to interact instead — bizarre.”

JavaScript Scene: “People are losing their minds. Like many MacBook fans, I’m feeling seriously let down. I’ve been waiting a long time for a great MacBook Pro with touch screen.”

512 Pixels: “Desktop Macs didn’t get a single mention, or a silent hardware update after the announcements were done. While last-minute rumors claimed that the iMac wouldn’t be ready in time, it — and the Mac mini — would have been well-served with CPU bumps and Thunderbolt 3. The 27-inch iMac has become a workhorse for professionals like me, and in a world where the Mac Pro is in the shape its in, annual updates should be a must on Apple’s part.”

Ars Technica: “Phil Schiller quickly breezed by the Apple T1 during the presentation yesterday, but the company later confirmed to us that it was its first custom-designed SoC built for the Mac. And developers who have dug into the software and documentation (particularly the tireless Steve Troughton-Smith, whose recent Twitter sabbatical made my feed much more boring) have confirmed that it has an ARMv7 CPU core and is actually running an offshoot of watchOS, all of which helps it interact with the rest of the Mac.”

I was a bit hard on the announcement yesterday, of course I’d like to have a new MacBook Pro 15in even if one of its main features is thinner and lighter. The Touch Bar is going to be fun for developers to play with and I have a feeling some apps will do some amazing and creative implementations. I mainly develop stuff all day and touch type so I don’t see how this helps me in any way, but that’s ok. It’s not for me to use, it’s there so I can create for it. That’s a good thing.

Also, what is James Thomson up to?


macOS Sierra and my MacBook Pro

I recall listening to a podcast I really love a few months back and one of the hosts described his late 2011 as unusable. That statement is completely hyperbolic. I’m writing this post on my late 2011 15in MacBook Pro and it runs just fine.

If you’re an Indie dev and looking for a MacBook Pro laptop to get started I’d recommend considering a late 2011 15in MacBook Pro. When you get it add some additional RAM to it and pickup a nice big SSD for it. It’ll server you well, just like mine continues to serve me.

macOS Sierra


iPad as MacBook Pro Replacement

On a Slack channel some friends were having a discussion about using the iPad as a daily driver replacement for a MacBook Pro. This is how I feel about the idea. Is it an impossible notion? No, not at all, but it would have to be a true replacement, it would have to change to fit me, not the other way around.

“If I could get an iPad Pro (9.7) that was as powerful as my 15in MacBook Pro, could run Xcode fine, and would detect proximity to a full size keyboard, monitor, and mouse and let me use them? Sign me up.

Until then. Can’t use it as a daily driver.”

That’s it in a nutshell.


MacBook Pro Wishlist

I’m not a crazy spec guy any longer. But Apple’s continued obsession with making everything thinner and lighter kind of bothers me. The thing that really pushed my BS-O-Meter was something posted by John Gruber.

“Any laptop thick enough for an Ethernet port is too thick.”

countSmallWhen I read that I thought “Too thick for who?” Don’t get me wrong, I love John’s work. I’m a fan of Darning Fireball and The Talk Show. He’s one of the top Apple technology writers in the world, if not the best. But that quote feels empty, like a cheap line on a marketing brochure. Apple’s obsession with thinness smacks of razor manufacturers that hail the creation of a razor with five, count ’em, five blades! Not one, not two, not three, not four, but five, five blades!

I’m composing this on MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014.) It’s a great computer, it’s very thin, I don’t need a thinner computer. I develop iOS Apps for a living and this machine is plenty fast enough for my use. It’s not like 20 plus years back when I was writing Windows Code on a 486 with 4MB or RAM. In those days it took so long to compile we’d get “build wander”, you know, you wander around long enough for your build to complete. Thinner doesn’t matter to me. I’d prefer something else.


What I do want is not something Apple typically gives us. A powerful computer I can easily upgrade. It would be nice to get a new MacBook Pro in the Fall with the best CPU, GPU, memory, and SSD money can buy. A year after getting that lovely new beast it will be old and crusty (at least for a lot of people.) Wouldn’t it be nice if you could crack the case open and add RAM and possibly a new CPU? For me, the answer is yes, that would be really nice.

Do I expect to get it? No, I don’t. My only hope is they don’t give it the horrible tapered look of the MacBook Air.

When you hear “Thinner and lighter” think “Five blades instead of four.”