Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Future of Apple Hardware

Now that a week has passed I think we can evaluate the implications of what Apple showed last week. To me the neglected part discussed was the touch pads. Why are they so big? I don’t think Apple gave a good reason at the Event and no one else has really explained them well. If you look at them they’re the size of a large iPhone. I think there’s something to that.

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The Lost Market of Apple Hardware

The somewhat overheated fervor reacting to last week’s Apple Event is finally over. It’s now worth reconsidering the meaning of what Apple released.

First I think we’re starting to see that there is a gap in Apple’s product line. It probably is a gap Apple left unfulfilled for good reasons. That said it is also a market that Apple could easily dominate.

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Twitter for Apple?

I know there are lots of reasons why Apple wouldn’t buy Twitter. However let’s look at the reasons why they should. 

o Bring on talented cloud employees. While Apple’s definitely doing better in cloud services they still are talent starved according to many reports.

o Bring on an establish social network for Music. The original Ping failed due to Facebook pulling its service integration at the last minute. Right now let’s be honest, Connect is by far the weakest part of Music. Integrate who  you follow with Twitter and push sharing playlists and songs by Twitter will improve the social aspect of Music by magnitudes

o Provide a broader platform for iAds. iAds is the ugly stepbrother right now. By integrating it with Twitter Apple can push it’s privacy philosophy as well as making iAds much more formidable an offering.

o Twitter can offer better ways to do the App Store. There are all sorts of integrations with the App Store Apple could do.

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Todays Apple News

I’ll skip the discussion of the watch because as I said yesterday, I’m just not that interested in it. If you are go for it. Just be aware that traditionally 1.0 hardware releases from Apple age quickly. The original iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air became obsolete rather quickly and were initially quite limited. For a $1000 watch or $10,000 watch that’s a big deal. Most people I know buying expensive watches like the mechanics of the watch. Despite being in the same price range this is something quite different. It was also telling that Apple didn’t announce any way to upgrade the watch. So if you put down $1000 you may have a watch that’s semi-obsolete in two years. While they’re targeting the rich with these high end watches, I suspect most people paying that amount of money expect the device to work as well in 10 years. That’s quite unlikely with the Apple watch.

What’s more interesting to me is that the rumors of the thunderboltless retinal Air were true. I discussed the issue of USB-C then. The biggest problem is that while USB-C can do video it’s fairly limited. Go up in resolution terribly far and you lose most of the USB features of the connector. 

The big debate back in January was whether this would indicate Apple’s dropping Thunderbolt. While I wasn’t expecting the new Air to be released today – primarily due to some rumor sites saying it wasn’t ready – it unfolded about as I expected. By keeping the existing Air and MBP lines as is I think we’re seeing a strong indication from Apple that Thunderbolt is here to stay. It just appears that Apple is positioning the new Air as an ultraportable laptop with associated tradeoffs.

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On Dropping Thunderbolt

The story about a rumored MacBook Air with a single port has generated a lot of discussion the past few weeks. My favorite discussion was over at Ars and is still ongoing. I’ll skip the discussion of the Air itself. While it seems like an odd design to me, I wouldn’t put it past Apple to do it. What’s more interesting to me is the discussion about whether Apple will abandon Thunderbolt on its devices. To see if this works we have to look at what USB-C offers. Anandtech has a great writeup I’m largely following here. It’s worth reading to get into the nitty gritty.
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Date Scripts

Dr. Drang’s been posting a lot of scripts he uses the past while, including some date scripts. Since I’ve not figured a way to bring over all the posts from the old blog in an easy fashion, it might be worth revisiting my old date scripts. I use these a lot with Keyboard Maestro.

Nearly all my text expansions, whether with the default System expansions1 or ones in Keyboard Maestro start with a semi-colon. That way they don’t get confused with words I’d be typing normally.  

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  1. Under System Preferences → Keyboard → Text if you don’t know about them. The system ones are somewhat limited but work well and sync between iOS and OS X from what I can tell. I primarily use the system ones for pure text modification. I have a lot setup so I can type things like ;-> and get →.

Daylite and Google Fiber

Someone on Twitter asked me for help getting Daylite’s server to work with Google Fiber. Google’s router is a bit tricky and it was hard to explain in 140 characters so here’s a longer explanation. Hopefully others can use the information as well.

As I mentioned in my initial review1 you can use a dynamic ip address to access your server from anywhere on an other Mac or on your iPhone or iPad. I personally use No IP but there are lots of others out there. Needless to say this is rather nice when on the road and you have to call contacts. However for it to work you have to make your router direct incoming messages to the Daylite server’s ports to your proper computer. 

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  1. And yes I know I haven’t put up the second part focusing in on the iPad and iPhone yet. I’ve been tremendously busy.

Adding Python Slicing to Swift

I think everyone is still figuring out Swift. I stayed up way too late last night reading and playing around with it. My biggest complaint thus far about Swift was the lack of substring handling. But with its subscript features and extensions this is trivial to add. So trivial I’m kind of shocked Apple didn’t make it standard. For those interested here’s a quick and dirty NSString extension to give you Python-like slicing.

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