The Mac Pro - Post Mortem

So, the Mac Pro is back. I will admit that Apple kind of hit a home run on this one in theory. It’s a monster of a machine, and it can be customized to the Nth degree.

But let’s talk about that price tag. Base config as follows:

8 Core Xeon

32 GB of RAM

256 GB SSD

Radeon GTX 580

$6,0000

Huh. Can we rewind that for a second…. Did that just say 256 GB SSD? It sure did. Can I just say that for $5,000 the iMac Pro has 1 TB of SSD storage, and otherwise similar specs? And a 5k Display built in?

While Apple seemed to be intent on showing that they were taking professionals seriously, at the same time, they also showed they weren’t taking them seriously. This price is kind of a joke, and that SSD spec flat out is a joke. Let’s not forget that doesn’t even include anything in the other 6 PCIe slots.

I won’t even bother with the new Pro Display XDR. Sure, it’s an incredible display, but it might as well be a middle finger. If you paid $5,000 for a monitor, would you at least expect it to have a stand? I probably would. Well Apple assumes you don’t, and you’re willing to pay $1,000 dollars extra instead of leaning it against the wall. Idiots. The Pro Display is an insult.

There was so much good leading up to it though, iOS, iPadOS, some amazing additions there. It seemed like they really sucked the air out of the room when those prices dropped. And I’ve never heard a gasp so audible at one of these keynotes as when the announcement came that the stand for the Pro Display was an extra $999.

For my favorite reaction to this announcement, Joh Siracusa on ATP was pretty much dead on.

WWDC Day!

I know, I didn’t post yesterday. A recap: Went to lunch with Ed and Kimmi Putt. Went to dinner with Teri. Hung out with Emma and Kerry, normal weekend stuff.

Cool new things:

I recently came into a Raspberry Pi 3, and decided it would be fun to turn it into a classic gaming system. Amazing how easy it is now to fire up a system containing essentially every emulator, and be able to just drop thousands of games onto it in what amounts to like 15 minutes. We’ve been playing Super Mario World, and while it’s fun , it’s also amazing how much worse I am at these 2d scrollers than I was when I was a kid.

WWDC:

I have listened to the podcasts, read the rumors, and it seems more and more likely that there is still a 25% chance that we might see something pertaining to a Mac Pro announcement today. It also seems that the general consensus is that it will cost a laughably large amount of money. For the first time in a while I have heard long time Mac guys, you know the type - they buy every product immediately whether they need it or not - lamenting the price tag on this one. I know the $5000 iMac Pro had a few of them scratching their heads, but this time they really seem to be having some issues processing what they believe will be, most likely, at least a $5,000 tower minimum.

There was a time when Apple’s desktop computers were cutting edge machines. The Power Mac days were a prime example, those machines were ahead of their time. But fast forward 15 years, and things have changed. Everyone is on Intel hardware, everyone knows the prices. I can buy a server with redundant power supplies, 2 sockets with Xeons, 32 cores, 128 GB of RAM, and run 20 or more VMs on it. That would cost me in the $10,000 range most likely, depending on certain components.

Now that server has a lot of extra bells and whistles a high powered workstation does not. Factor in that the Mac Pro will almost certainly be a one socket board, will likely ship with more like 32 GB of RAM, won’t have the storage capacity of my server, all of this means that in reality, the new Mac Pro is going to be a $3500 machine with with an asking price twice as high. I’m guessing.

Look, I know it’s dumb to write complainy blog posts about the price of something I’ll never buy. Well, in truth, if the price was reasonable I definitely would, nevertheless… I just happen to be a lifer when it comes to Apple products. I want to see them succeed, and I want to see their desktop line continue to succeed. I guess I know what to expect after all these years, but after leaving their Pro desktop to collect dust for 6 years, I feel it’s a bit of slap in the face to come out with a catch up machine and over charge for it. A lot of Pro users have already moved on, Imagine how many more will follow suit when Apple says “Thanks for the loyalty, your new machine will cost $7000!”

I mean, the keynote is at one, so I’ll probably post a follow up anyways.

It’s June and it’s hot.

today is a Saturday. Emma went to the park, we played, I mowed the lawn. Oh, and it’s officially that time of year where it’s just hot all the time. And humid. This is spring in Pennsylvania. Summer for most others. 

Today was mostly uneventful otherwise. Oh, Emma pooped in the tub before bed tonight. So, happy Saturday.

 

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It’s Friday! And WWDC is Coming!

Today is the day I foretold of two days ago. I will begin writing and posting things daily from here on out. So let’s begin…

Today is a Friday, but it’s not just any Friday. We are having a potluck lunch at work. So it’s not a super amazing Friday, maybe just an elevated Friday. Something you might hear on a channel that would be the Food Network but for work. The Work Channel.

Today on the Work Channel, we find out 5 ways to write passive aggressive notes in the break room that get results!

Moving on. June 3rd. WWDC is coming, and with it, a keynote about Apple products. The Apple keynotes are no longer the magical presentation they once were in the Jobs era. They are far less impressive, and far more business focused. Which makes sense because that’s Tim Cook, but I digress.

Some things that seem to be happening for sure…

  • iTunes is dead. Yep, it seems all but official that a dedicated Music, TV, and Podcast App will replace iTunes. Not a stretch given the new Marzipan framework (iOS on OS X).

  • A new version of Mac OS and iOS will be revealed, complete with fancy new features.

Now for the one thing that I think everyone desperately wants to happen, but I’m not so sure…..

The Mac Pro. Not a single leak about this thing. The only kind of leak has been about a 6K display said to pair with the Mac Pro. Given that this product might as well not exist by now, it hasn’t seen a single update since 2013, people should be losing their minds about the updated version. I kind of am, and I’m already pretty certain it’s going to be well out my price range.

Now Apple may surprise me, but I still have a feeling this is going to be a classic “Software Only” WWDC keynote. I hope they surprise me.

I would speculate more, but all of the Mac Pundits of Note have already recorded a year’s worth of podcasts discussing every possibility for this product announcement, and the resulting brain melting that will occur if Apple does not make the announcement.

I’d probably most recommend checking out any recent episode of ATP, aka the Accidental Tech Podcast. https://atp.fm

A Post a Day. No, Seriously.

It may not end up good or interesting on any given day, but I’m going to challenge myself to post something on my blog every day.

I have decided that I could use something to keep my brain more active, and a good conversation starter, I believe is just archiving some thoughts on a daily basis.

I have decided that each day I will create a post consisting of any one of a number of things:

  • Documenting something technical I have been working on, or completed

  • Documenting something related to music that I find interesting

  • Posting a photo, or series of photos and some accompanying information

I believe this should cover most of what I could think of on a given day. The hope is that forcing myself to engage my brain like this on a regular basis will lead to better more entertaining thoughts as time goes by.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m targeting the official day one to be June 1st, 2019. That’s two days from now for those that are counting.

Here goes something!