Posts tagged with "Apple"

Link Why the iPhone's fingerprint sensor is better than the ones on older laptops

I was skeptical of the idea of a fingerprint sensor, even one done by Apple, due to my experiences with past technology and how horrible the previous generations were.

I am still skeptical of the sensor in this one, but less so knowing that its based on a new generation of technology, particularly given how this new technology purportedly works.

The false positives (and false negatives) should be a lot more manageable with these new sensors, but I worry that Apple is going to have trouble managing expectations with this one; nothing can be 100% when it comes to biometrics, but that’s exactly what users are going to expect, especially of Apple. Anything less than perfect success rates are going to piss more than a few people off, and those people are going to bitch incessantly, despite their misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the technology.

Sep 6

Link furbo.org · Fingerprints

Corporate security

Most corporate networks are protected by VPN. The profiles that enable this network configuration often specify that a user must use a passcode lock. And it’s rarely a simple passcode. And it kicks in immediately.

Imagine needing to type in a eight character password with letters and numerals just to check the current weather. That’s a reality for millions of people who use their device for both personal and business tasks.

A fingerprint scanner that avoids this complex password will sell a lot of devices.

Count me as one of these users. I would pay more than the going price for an iPhone to never have to type a passcode again.

Link Use Find My Friends To Help Your Mom Worry Less

My mom is the same way, but this serves another use for me: telling my wife when i leave work. Due to our disparate schedules, we like to let the other know when we’re leaving our respective offices. That iOS lets me automate this, and set a geofence surrounding the entire town, so she doesn’t get a notification whenever I leave work to go to lunch, saves me just a little time each day and keeps me from forgetting to do it. That’s a touch that’ll be hard to let go of if it ever changes or is removed.

Jul 9
While the too-thin font was far from the only design flaw in iOS 7, I’d say it was the biggest. Just as the new APIs in iOS 7 were clearly the result of Apple listening to all of us, we now have a sign that they’re listening on the design front as well.

Marco

I am digging beta 3. It could just be me finally acclimating to the new stuff, but I would rather believe it has more to do with all the minor changes that were made to start nailing in the details. As Marco points out, the font was the most obvious, but the stream of other improvements is very welcome, and I hope they keep up the regular beta release cycle until GM.

Mac Pro Announcement + One Week

I already shared my thoughts on last week’s Mac Pro peek. The intervening week has caused a lot of research into what my alternative is going to be.

On the low end, I might snag a Haswell Mac Mini, if/when that refresh is made, and pick up either one nice 27” display, or a pair of 24” displays, most likely Ultrasharps.

Or, depending on the outlook and the announced specs of the Haswell iMacs, I may end up with a 27” iMac mated with a 27” Thunderbolt display. This could serve double duties; in addition to giving me a solid home machine with plenty of screen real estate, it also gives me a pair of 27” monitors that I can drive from my work Macbook Pro (or future Macbook Air).

The likelihood of the latter is pretty slim; that’s a lot of cash to drop on a desktop, and its a stretch to justify having such a potent machine at home now that it is no longer my primary machine. But I’m not sure the Mini would have enough balls to really handle what I tend to throw at things, then again, I worry at how poorly the iMac will fair at virtualization and video encoding. Speccing the Mini all the way out, which I would do if I took that leap, gets me over $1500, which is deep in 21” iMac territory, and not far enough from 27” iMac ranges. And the added memory capabilities of the 27” are of particular interest, as is the 7200rpm main drive and high powered graphics options.

Then again, I still haven’t ruled out picking up a clearance or refurb last-gen true-Pro before they disappear. Right now I’m in a holding pattern until Haswell reaches everything else.

parislemon:

And now for something completely different.

The mottled colors behind Control Center already causes me eyestrain. I really hope they refine the translucency some. I love how within 10 minutes they killed Flashlight apps and password tools for almost every basic user (my mother will never use 1Password, but she will probably benefit from iCloud Keychains).

WWDC Keynote; digested thoughts on the Mac Pro

Price

There’s no way for there to be a sub-$2500 model as capable as the single-processor previous models in that price range were for their respective times.

Expansion

I can only see 4 memory slots. 16GB and 32GB sticks exist, but not that i’ve seen at the new bus speed, and they are expensive as hell for 1333Mhz. That means 8GB sticks are realistic. Which means 32GB of memory inside the realm of financial possibility for 90% of the already small Mac Pro audience. As somebody who regularly taps all 16GB of his laptop, and all 12GB in his current Mac Pro, I was looking for a machine that could get to 64GB relatively easily and affordably. I’m a power user, but money doesn’t grow on trees, even for people who are gainfully employed.

No graphics expansion. Need something the internal cards can’t do? TFB.

No PCI-E Capture cards (no, Thunderbolt isn’t a substitute).

No Fiber Channel cards (or HBAs of any stripe) (no, Thunderbolt isn’t a substitute).

No 10Gb Ethernet cards (no, Thunderbolt isn’t a substitute).

(See my footnote at the bottom regarding Thunderbolt)

In the same vein as this: no next-day replacement drive from Amazon if the SSD fails. No graphics card replacement. It would appear to be so thoroughly integrated that no single PCB will be replaceable, and even if it were, you could probably afford a nice iMac for the cost.

"Moar Power!"

I hate to say this, but only twelve cores? Perhaps the 16-core model will be an option at the high end? Perhaps I’ve just been pricing too many servers lately. But you can get 12 cores today.

I really want to redact points for the soldered graphics chips, but I seriously don’t think they could have done anything better than what they are doing. The specs are astounding and the dedicated memory alone is quite insane. As somebody still tooling along with twin ATI 2600XT’s in his Mac Pro, I can’t really force myself to care that you can’t upgrade the boards, especially when the boards are that stupid-awesome. And I guess its not necessarily a mortal lock that you can’t upgrade the cards; you’re just certainly at Apple’s mercy to do so.

Storage

In the age of HD video (which will shift towards 4K in the time period this machine will exist) and 12-30MP images, flash is not suitable as the single storage medium for a “Pro” desktop.

Yes, its fast. Nobody is going to argue with you, but in the quantities that would make it suitable, I cannot see this working out for the bottom line of this machine. Kneecapping users into network storage is messy and problematic. Anybody who has suffered with OS X’s shitty SMB/CIFS/AFP experience can attest to the lack of local storage being a bad idea. There’s always Thunderbolt and USB, but now in addition to a tower on my desk, now I have to have one or two or several USB/Thunderbolt drives and enclosures? That’s elegant?

The case…

Round?

No really, Round?

The Cube didn’t do it, but Apple thinks a Cylinder is the magic shape?

You’re not going to be able to put much around it, without impeding its airflow, and save for morning breakfast pastries, you’re not going to be putting anything atop its chimney.

And speaking of heat rising, lets talk cooling for a brief moment. Anybody who has ever opened their Mac Pro can tell you that they are dust whores. Have pets, specifically cats? Yeah, you’re screwed even more. Now instead of catching things that are floating by in the air, your Mac Pro can act like a desktop Roomba, inhaling any and all dust on or around your desk! And we all know how clean office spaces are kept!

Boat Anchor though it may be, the current Mac Pro’s sturdy case and heft ensured that while it would remain on the floor, it would be largely impervious to the damages that can result from being there (save for dust contamination). One other small advantage the previous case had was its “leg handles”, which elevated it just enough to keep at least some of the dust bunnies under, rather than in, the case. Even on a carpeted floor, the case was usually high enough to avoid direct floor inhalation.

The new case ensures that it will need to be on the desk, out of harms way, but in the way. I really do not give a shit what my power house desktop looks like or that people see it, and I damned sure do not want it on my desk if i can help it.

Ports

Back to the round thing: So there’s no “front”, so no “front” ports. Everything goes in the back.

Ok, not great, but I’m with you so far.

So you spin the case…does it have a lazy susan built into the base? And what if you have cables running both directions (network cables coming from the left, displays to the right, or vice versa. You have to have that much more slack in your network cables to turn it? What about the power cable? Highly flexible those are not known to be (admittedly if you’re using Cat6, the power cables will probably be the least of your worries).

As for the ports themselves, a single fraking HDMI port, 4 USB ports (one less than we currently get, which wasn’t enough to begin with), but sweet hell, we have 6 Thunderbolt ports.

For a large number of peripherals that we don’t know will exist, be affordable, and/or work the way they have been promised to.

I guess you’ll be able to adapt to whatever you need. For a price. Eventually..1

1Maybe

Bottom line for me

I was excited this afternoon. Then tonight I started combing the specs and looking at the snaps taken by the press pool. This will be a $3000-3500 machine, sans any display; it will have mediocre storage capacity, and be inconveniently designed for my purposes, or the purposes of just about every other current Pro user I know.

Speaking thereof, just how big of a desk would you need to have the touted 3x 4k Displays + the Mac Pro on your desk, far enough away so it doesn’t melt your face off with its chimney of death?

I’m also concerned about the sheer number of changes being made. With a new manufacturing process, in what will probably be a new factory, even one here in the States, my money is on the first generation being rife with build and QC problems.

I know there are those out there who will be excited by this box tube, but unfortunately I am not one of them. So now I’m torn. Do I replace my 2008 Pro with a decent iMac, or wait and pick up this gen’s Pro on clearance or refurb once the new one is available?

Thunderbolt footnote

Thunderbolt is great, but show me the list of devices that have been created for the Macbook [Air|Pro], iMac, and Mac Mini markets. The Mac Pro’s niche market is not going to be the spur that gets that horse running.

Its been what? 4 years since Thunderbolt debuted, and its still overpriced and under-utilized. Whether that’s due to licensing issues from Intel, lack of demand, or the simple unwillingness of manufacturers to ask “how high?” when Intel says jump is anybody’s guess. The handful of Thunderbolt “docks” we have seen have been laughable, half ass attempts that were delayed forever. And there still remains only one Thunderbolt-capable display that can handle the daisy-chaining the technology promised. So if you have a Macbook Air, but want to use both a wired network and a monitor? Well, wish in one and shit in the other, because we’re still not there.

Search for Thunderbolt on any retailer. You’ll find hideously over-priced external hard drives, a Lacie enclosure that requires its own zip code, Areca and Drobo drive hardware whose insanity is only matched by their price tags, the two shitty docks that exist, and a couple of HDMI capture devices.

Siracusa has compared the Mac Pro to the super car, the Corvette of Apple’s lineup. The problem is, its more akin to the 3500HD or even the GMC TopKicks. Yeah, they are never going to be the best selling pickups, the half tons will always win that war, and cars are still going to win the battle overall. But they are necessary for shit to get done.

With the Mac Pro, Apple is doubling down on Thunderbolt, and they may damned well be right.

But do you know what they call a leader with no followers? A guy taking a walk.2

2Or NeXT

Link John Gruber on the iOS 7 Design

charlesesmith:

The software is now of a piece with the hardware. Two sides of the same coin. Not hardware design and software design. Just design.

Exactly what I was hoping to see from Jony Ive.

Can’t argue with that. I do agree with my colleagues that some of the icons look a little Fisher Price, but the consistency is nice.

What I saw, overall, during the iOS 7 demos and presentation:

A lot of little touches to discover and delight.

Jun 7

Initial iPhone 5 thoughts…

peelman:

  • Bigger screen is nice, but superfluous
  • Vibrate motor is noticeably better
  • Home and Lock buttons are noticeably clicky-er
  • Speed bump is nice, but areas I were hoping to be faster aren’t (perceptively at least) ** Launching Drafts, Agenda, and 1Password still takes longer than I wish (really picking nits though)
  • battery life - I’m working on 15 hours for this charge. Damn.
Jun 5

Initial iPhone 5 thoughts…

  • Bigger screen is nice, but superfluous
  • Vibrate motor is noticeably better
  • Home and Lock buttons are noticeably clicky-er
  • Speed bump is nice, but areas I were hoping to be faster aren’t (perceptively at least) ** Launching Drafts, Agenda, and 1Password still takes longer than I wish (really picking nits though)