Category Archives: Commentary


Still reading the New Yorker article. However the following comment by Nick Heer was, regardless of the details of the article, pretty perceptive.

Ive certainly has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. After Steve Jobs resigned his CEO post, and again after he died, Apple’s stock price was — perhaps surprisingly — unaffected. But if and when Jony Ive leaves Apple, I can’t imagine their share price and their perceived future viability would be unaffected to the same or greater extent. Jobs left a willing and public successor, Tim Cook, in his wake; Ive doesn’t have anyone like that. He is both irreplaceable, and yet he must eventually be replaced.

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Seeing Snow Leopard Through Rose Colored Glasses

Surprisingly the griping about Yosemite is still going on. As I’ve frequently said I think people are remembering Snow Leopard through very rose colored glasses. Indeed the stories about Yosemite if anything remind me of all the griping about Snow Leopard at the time. Consider for example this Gigaom story “Snow Leopard: This Cat Has Fleas” (Great title)

After nearly a year in release, Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard still seems be a work in progress.

I keep trying to upgrade to Snow Leopard, but always end up back with Leopard. I have both operating systems installed, using separate partitions of my MacBook’s hard drive, and keep thanking myself that I didn’t cut the umbilical cord to Leopard when I installed Snow Leopard late at OS 10.6.3.

This was hardly alone. A quick Google from the era found lots of stories about people downgrading to Leopard from Snow Leopard.

Even major news outlets like the Christian Science Monitor compared Snow Leopard to Microsoft’s Vista disaster.

Continue reading Seeing Snow Leopard Through Rose Colored Glasses

Email Encryption

Six Colors mentions that the GPG encryption author is running out of money. Now, like Dan Moren, I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy. That tool is a royal pain to install. I also think that Apple’s limited encryption (to and fro iCloud servers) is insufficient. What we want built into OSX/iOS is per file and per message encryption. Apple could write something like that and write a plugin or app for other services like Android. I think that’d make Apple a lot more attractive for many people and also drastically improve the state of mail on the internet.

Let’s be honest, mail started out as a trusted naive service largely within academic environments and never was designed for what it became. Yet changing the overall protocols hasn’t been successful. (Microsoft’s come closest with Outlook and Outlook server) Building something more secure on top of them is the way to go. GPG was a great idea with a poor implementation — largely due to the difficulty of putting it on most services. Having it ubiquitous requires someone like Apple stepping in.

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MBP Heat Issues

Sterling Hirsh of iFixit has a widely shared post on putting holes in a MacBookPro. As Egg Freckles pointed out, most logic board issues are GPU issues and most GPU issues are due to heat. All the MBPs I’ve had have had to have logic boards replaced due to GPU issues. My current MPB is rebooting spontaneously several times a day but is no longer under warranty. The cost to replace the logic board (~$500+) just isn’t worth it given the age of the computer (5 years). I do think this is a constant problem with these devices though.

I’ve found much more happiness of late with an iMac combined with an iPad for travel. However that’s possible just because of my current workflows which are more conducive to using the iPad. I think iOS still is woefully ill suited for serious production. Some of that is Apple’s fault but a lot is the fault of developers who don’t optimize or frequently even test their apps with keyboards. It’s shocking how often one has to touch the screen to jump between fields, for instance.

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Android Auto vs. Apple Carplay

Interesting video comparing Google Android Auto vs. Apple Car Play. (HT: Gruber) Apple’s clearly going more for the “drive as undistracted as possible” mindset that makes most car controls so frustrating. The Android UI honestly seems a little more useful since it’s not so tied to Siri. I understand why they do that but I’d like the option to actually see messages, for instance. Kind of surprised Apple doesn’t at least let you see the album art for your music. 

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A Long Time Coming

Against my better nature, let me make some predictions for next week’s Apple event. I had low expectation for the iPhone event because most was pretty easy to figure out months earlier. The only surprised was Apple Pay but that didn’t really excite me much. This event, even though it’s not as “big” as the iPhone event seems much more intriguing.

First off and much to my surprise, it seems like retinal iMacs are coming. I had not expected them before ’15.1 There’s enough smoke around the 27” that I think it’s fairly sure there’s fire. That surprises me. I had thought the 27” would be the last one to get retinal. Rumors are the 24” won’t get it at all. I’m not so sure. A lot depends upon pricing. Somehow I can’t see a 27” retinal iMac price matching the current 27” iMac. A 24” retinal iMac might be more affordable for those who want retinal in a desktop. On the other hand a $5000.00 27” iMac is pretty doable – more so than perhaps a $3000.00 24”. 

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  1. That might still be the case. The 2012 27″ iMac, which I own, didn’t end up becoming available until January. I got mine in April. It’s still a fantastic machine. One of my favorite Macs of all time. But they might announce the retinal iMac and not have it appear until as late as February.

Problem of Yearly Releases

Gigaom has a good post on the problem of yearly releases. iCloud drive is a mess since there’s not a simultaneous Yosemite and iOS8 release. Honestly though the signs of change are there. With iOS8 there are major changes coming with 8.1 (Apple Pay) and then large 8.2 and 8.3 releases. (One of which will be the watch release) Ideally we’d stop syncing phone releases with the major OS release.

Ideally we’d have WWDC in March and then the iOS release in August and the phones released the end of September but with major releases – 3 or 4 – throughout the year with major features that don’t require a lot of developer work to integrate. Heck, remember the year OSX’ new release was announced in January with betas in February? We need more of that.

The other thing we need is something akin to Snow Leopard again. Those of you who’ve been using Macs a long time remember that was the release that didn’t add many, if any, noticeable features. But it did clean up all the internal code.

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