Posts categorized “apple”.

Where Apple and I Differ

November 2nd, 2016

Apple’s release of the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro has made a lot of news. There’s good reason: it’s a signal to us longer-term fans of Macintosh computers that things are different now.

I don’t have a whole lot to add to the commentary that’s circulating, but what I do have is personal thoughts about my working relationships with Mac, sprinkled with a bit of sentimentality.

The Chime

You don’t buy a Mac because it does spreadsheets and websurfing better than any computer. You buy a Mac because you appreciate the design, enjoy using the operating system, and love the little personality quirks.

Like the start up chime.

The Mac start up chime doesn’t add anything to its usability or purpose. It doesn’t make your work stand out, or help Safari render websites faster. What it does do, however, is help you appreciate the computer on your desk, or on your lap. It’s the spark of personality that inspires people to name their computer. It’s a signal to say, “I’m going to work on this computer that I enjoy using.” It’s the orchestra warming up before the big performance.

The lack of the chime, while not the end of the world, is another example of the Mac losing its personality over time. And that makes me sad.

(I mean, the sound is so iconic it’s in a Pixar film!)

While surely it added nothing concrete to the Mac user experience, taking it away eliminates a bit of the spirit that was in the Macintosh all these years.

Ports and Dongles

I get it: introducing and picking a winning port has historical precedent, and maybe it’ll all end up just fine.

But Stephen Hackett’s point that a G3 PowerMac held on to legacy ports is apt – in fact, it’s why I keep my blue and white Yosemite around.

For “pros,” a diversity of ports is important: photographers’ needs are different than audio engineers’ needs are different than illustrators’ needs. Over time, it may be that USB-C takes over the world, but we don’t live in that world yet, and pros have to get work done today.

Now it seems Apple is in the dongle business more than the personal computer business.

Limiting Options

Only so much hard drive room. Only so much RAM. Only one kind of port. No upgradable hard drive.

You thought Steve Job was insistent about limiting your options on a Mac, Apple of late is taking his philosophy to another level.

Recent Macs’ lack of upgradability has been a real downer. I’ve owned my 2009 iMac for seven years now, and it’s lasted this long because I’ve kept up with upgrades – especially RAM. Memory needs change, and the fact that you can’t touch a lot of the parts of the make is depressing.

Want an upgrade? Buy a new Mac.

Not Meeting Eye to Eye

I feel like Apple is making a computer that works less and less like I do.

I’m a photographer, so the lack of an SD card slot stinks. The personality is leaving. The upgrade path is non-existent. Maybe the only saving grace is that Macs still run macOS, still the best operating system out there.

And it could be that I would be just fine owning one of the new MacBook Pros. It’s just that right now I’m in the market for a new iMac, and those options aren’t all that appealing either. If/when an iMac update comes, do I see things getting better or worse?

Worse. That’s what makes me nervous.

Celebrating #Apple40Years

April 7th, 2016

My internet and classic Mac pal Riccardo Mori of System Folder is celebrating #Apple40Years over on his Twitter account, and it’s been a ton of fun to follow along.

What’s amazing to me is how even some of the recent (past 10 years or so) Apple products seem like classics now.

A true trip down memory lane. Thanks Riccardo!

Apple II Watch

April 9th, 2015

Amazing. Sign me up.

[via Kottke]

Apple still offering Aperture with new Macs

August 1st, 2014

Interesting find: I’m spec’ing out a new iMac and find that Apple is still offering Aperture as a pro software upgrade.

But wait, didn’t they officially say they’re discontinuing Aperture? And that support will be kaput by the end of the year? Why would they continue to offer a pro-level application if it’s not long for this world?

My only thought is that, since they don’t have the Photos app ready to replace Aperture, they have to have something in that video/audio/photo lineup.

Aperture is also still listed under their “Pro Apps” section of the Mac page on Apple’s website. And nothing on the Aperture page about being discontinued. App buyers can still plunk down their $79.99 and purchase it with no warning.

What true innovation is

January 23rd, 2013

Patrick Rhone at Minimal Mac:

You want to know what true innovation is? Doing what the heck you want and not giving two rats about other people’s expectations and priorities.

Here, here.

Big, blockbuster innovations take time, timing, and a need. Be patient everyone. Jeez.

Applenaut

December 28th, 2012

Well, why not?

[via Ffffound!]

System Folder: Vintage Italian Apple brochures

October 31st, 2012

Page 2 of a 1998 Italian Apple brochure introducing the iMac G3, the PowerBook G3, Mac OS 8 and related software.

Good “vintage” stuff from Riccardo Mori over at System Folder. Love the lady’s shirt.

Skeuomorphism throughout Apple’s history

July 25th, 2012

Thomas Brand at Egg Freckles gives us a history lesson in Apple skeuomorphism, all the way back to the beginning:

Before the Mac there was no skeuomorphism, because there was no graphical user interface. For almost thirty years the iconography of desktop objects have greeted users as they stare into their computer screens. The desktop metaphor has given new computer users a familiar foundation to ground their experiences upon, and expert users terminology such as “files” and “folders” we still use today.

Brushed metal, DVD players, and even the calculator – Brand shows that skeuomorphism is nothing new for Apple.

Even the Newton had its share of skeuomorphism, with the lined paper metaphor greeting us in the Notes app.

State Shirt: making music on an Apple IIc

February 24th, 2012

Get this.

Musician Ethan Tufts of State Shirt created a song on an Apple IIc — part chiptune, part drum-and-guitar pop song — and recorded the whole process in the video above.

Tufts offers State Shirt songs as “open source” — so feel free to download the tracks, but try to support his good work (and nerdery) if you can.

Return of the Mac

October 19th, 2011

Golly. I’ve really done it now.

This little project started last fall, after the “Back to the Mac” Apple event. I collected a few Apple product videos, scoured YouTube for the highest quality PowerPC-era Mac commercials I could find – even asked Twitter where to find good, high-res files.

But I made do. And so here it is: a goofy, super geeky take on “Return of the Mack” – dropping the “k” of course.

What I like is that Apple videos make their machines fly – lots of swooping and dramatic angles and shadows. Tons of product rotations. All (except for the PowerMac G5 vid) against a brilliant white background.

For variety, I threw in some random stuff like the chip manufacturing shots. And some Apple reps doing some bad lip syncing.

Anyway. Glad to be done with it. It’s nothing like a pro job: there are still little hints of YouTubeness and window frames in there. But it’s just a fun little music video for us Macintosh geeks.