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Comment: Re:The guy is full of himself (Score 1) 143

by Voyager529 (#49779703) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

Wedding and event videos fall squarely in this category. No bride will be okay with spending $1,500 for a Vimeo link.

And a bride can't use a USB drive (which hold much more than a DVD and can be copies far easier)? If the requirement is that they must have a DVD, a Pro can get a USB/Firewire/TB one.

I comprehensively covered this earlier in the thread, but it's not just the drive - it's that video format support isn't exactly a guarantee, and that USB flash drives are signficantly more expensive than a single DVD (and most 32GB flash drives are, at best, at cost parity with a single Blu-Ray disc). Yes, external burners are basically the answer here, but the problem here is that the newer Mac Pro units seem to have quite the laundry list of requirements of external hardware as opposed to even the previous design.

Just because we don't burn mix CDs anymore or use them for backup devices doesn't mean that the optical drive is dead. It's a niche, but it's not dead.

I never said that there was absolutely ZERO need to use discs. I said most people don't use them these days including pros. So why include it? I saw MBs with printer ports more than a decade after you could buy a printer than needed that port. Also lots of them have PS/2 connectors still.

For Pros that do need a burner tend to use more professional ones than you can get in a computer. Dedicated duplicators are more common with pros than a computer burner.

In context, MB = MacBook? I'm not sure, but I'd argue this point regardless. I worked at Staples in 2002, and that is when printers tended to be hybrid, having both parallel and USB ports. So, let's assume that 2002 was the last year that retail printers used parallel ports, and 2003 was the year of USB exclusivity on the printer. Your 'decade after' mark means that Macbooks should have had parallel ports in 2012, but my research indicates that no Macbook (i.e Intel-based Mac) has ever had a parallel port; even my HP dv9000 series laptop from 2006 was all USB. As for dedicated duplicators, they're great, but they still need an initial burn somewhere. While I know that there are models out there will allow one or more drives to be used directly from the PC, many pros I know did the initial burn from the computer, and then a one-to-many duplication on a standalone unit. I'm not saying that that's the only way to do it, but I am saying that there's still a good reason to have just the bay available.

...and Apple was rather widely panned for doing so at the time. This was in large part due to the dearth of an alternative storage medium being included - you were either getting files around with a 56K modem, a USB ZIP drive, a USB Floppy drive, or VERY expensive 16MB flash drives that, in many cases, had slower write speeds than actual floppy disks. Floppies were passe, no doubt, but Apple should have been putting CD-RW drives in the iMac long before they actually did.

I don't know when you were around computers but Apple removed the floppy with the first iMac. And it had a CD-ROM as most other computers. It was years before CD-RWs much less blank discs were affordable. USB sticks were then becoming the standard for replacing floppies. Maybe on PC they lagged behind for years as it took PC manufacturers a while to embrace USB.

I was most certainly around during that time, and like I said - many people who bought the early iMacs were unhappy with that design decision. CD-RW drives were expensive around the very-first-gen models, but PCs started shipping with them as standard fare around that time, making the price of external drives go down pretty quickly. Blank CDs were $2-$4 each, but 4MB flash drives and CompactFlash cards were $40-$60 each; it was a long time before cost-per-megabyte of USB flash drives were favorable to optical media at the 650MB mark.

You also need storage space. HD video, art assets, high resolution multitrack audio projects, and CAD drawings aren't exactly compact forms of data, y'know.

And what stops you from using an expandable RAID network drive from a Mac Pro? Nothing. The problem with using the computer as the storage space is that you will constantly run out of physical space quickly.. And it does not lend itself for collaboration well.

That problem isn't nearly as much of a consideration when a trio of 4TB hard disks can be used as a RAID5 internally. Yes, archiving will need to be done in some form on a somewhat regular basis, but not on a per-project schedule. You're right that it doesn't lend itself to collaboration well, but collaboration isn't always an endgame, either. Moreover, technologies that are involved in sharing files that quickly between multiple computers get extremely expensive, extremely quickly, and don't scale down well to single-computer situations - even a Synology box costs a few hundred dollars, and you'll need to use one of those Thunderbolt ports for an ethernet adapter to handle the iSCSI traffic. External hard drives are a bit better of a bargain in those cases, but I'll be honest that I have no idea as to how well Apple supports RAID5 on a set of USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt disks.

That's a rather broad brush to paint with, especially since disk I/O over the LAN starts hitting a ceiling pretty quick. This would be easier to swallow if there were a PCI Express slot to add a 10GigE/Fiber/Infiniband card, but they did away with that, too.

That's why you don't run the files from the network. You bring them to your machine and use the PCIe SSDs as your workspace which is many times faster. Then you check them back into the network. Just like code. As for PCIe slot, Thunderbolt encompasses PCIe and USB and video.

Earlier, you were suggesting exactly that. Moreover, code gets big, but video gets bigger, faster. I'm sure that many coding projects end up being tens of gigabytes' worth of code and assets, but most of the things I see on Github are not.

That number is so small that there's an insignificant market for storage devices that can connect to them, right?

I assume by this statement you missed the point completely. I never said that no Pro ever needs storage. I said that for Pros (like a Pixar animator), they don't archive their work files on their personal workstations. They check out a file, bring onto their machines, then check it back in when they are done.

Pixar, and companies that have more than a handful of Macs and Mac users, will have some sort of EMC/3Par/NetApp/Equalogic system in place, simply because the number of jointly shared assets, and the space they require, will easily hit the internal disk ceiling you're talking about. I'm not talking about that kind of scenario, I'm talking about the kind of scenario where 8-12TB of available storage is a practical amount to have. Across Apple's product line, external drives seem to be becoming an ever more necessary add-on purchase, while the number of ports into which to plug them is dwindling.

And it makes more sense for Apple to make them an online-only product rather than waste shelf space on them in the store, right?

I also never said that online was the only option. That is your lack of understanding. I said "network" meaning corporate or local network. Many companies invest in things like RAID servers. And individuals can buy smaller versions of these.

The original statement made was: "the need to have personal drives only comes from a small percentage of pros". My rebuttal was that if higher amounts of storage weren't that big of a deal to the Apple market, then Apple wouldn't have several square feet of shelf space dedicated to external storage devices, and Promise and friends wouldn't be selling Thunderbolt RAID arrays for a thousand bucks a pop. 256GB of storage is plenty for the Apple users who spend most of their time on Facebook and iTunes and iPhoto, but those are not the users to whom the Mac Pro is marketed. Those for whom the Mac Pro is marketed, should not, in my opinion, be relegated to having to spend several hundred dollars on external storage solutions when PCs at 1/5th the price pack a terabyte as standard equipment with room to grow.

Comment: Re:The guy is full of himself (Score 1) 143

by Voyager529 (#49779507) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

Wedding and event videos fall squarely in this category. No bride will be okay with spending $1,500 for a Vimeo link.

And cheap USB2 keys that hold a couple hundred times as much data as a DVD don't exist. Nope, they do, and are far more convenient and resilient to damage than optical media.

You're right, they do. And let's even assume that I found somewhere on the internet that had some sort of packaging that resembled a DVD case, enabling this particular flash drive to be artfully labeled as the wedding video. What format do you suggest I provide the video in? .mp4? It's a fairly common format, generally well supported, but am I certain that the drive itself will be able to handle the throughput of a high bitrate video? Will the TV (or device connected thereto)? Or will there just be a whole lot of stuttering throughout? If she plugs it into her computer, will that play it back? Windows 8 might support .mp4 natively, but Windows 7/Vista/XP do not. Should I include a VLC installer for her? I don't know what OSX supports out of the box, but I think Quicktime plays it? Should she update Quicktime? What if she wants to bring it to her parent's house to see it - are her parents likely to have a Smart TV, or some other device with a USB input that reads .mp4? .MP4 may be the closest thing for compatibility, but no menus and awkward chapter authoring become a problem. .MKV solves those problems, but now we're playing compatibility roulette all over again. With a 64GB flash drive, I certainly could provide multiple formats, one with menus, one high-bitrate .mp4, one for the iPod, a Quicktime version, and even an MPEG-1 to be absolutely certain it'll play on something. Well, now I've spent $20 on a single flash drive for this bride, and increased my render time by a factor of five.

Or, I can, y'know, give her a DVD. I've yet to know someone who doesn't have the means by which to play back a DVD. If I'm feeling adventurous, I can ask her if she has a Blu-Ray player, and give her one of those. Still cheaper, still simpler, and still more reliable than gambling on a particular video format.

You also need storage space. HD video, art assets, high resolution multitrack audio projects, and CAD drawings aren't exactly compact forms of data, y'know.

Use the local SSD as a buffer for high speed work. Copy from network to local, work, upload back. Clear space, move to next job. If you require high speed links to large disk, use thunderbolt to add dual 10GbE for iSCSI or dual 16Gb fiber channel.

And how is that a better workflow than having one's data locally available on an internal hard drive? It's sure as hell more expensive, and the copy in/copy out plan is what one would generally have to do in that case, but it shouldn't be necessary. It's easily a half-hour each way - a half hour spent working around a technological shortcoming that is only there for design reasons.

That's a rather broad brush to paint with, especially since disk I/O over the LAN starts hitting a ceiling pretty quick. This would be easier to swallow if there were a PCI Express slot to add a 10GigE/Fiber/Infiniband card, but they did away with that, too.

False. See links above. Thunderbolt IS PCI Express. It's on a cable instead of a slot. Whoop de do.

That's indeed a fair point. It's entirely possible to go down that road, but now we're talking a storage array that costs more than the Mac Pro itself. Even the Thunderbolt RAID bays I've seen have cost several hundred dollars, and that's without drives...but I will indeed concede that it's possible. That's a large part of my point though - the standard-tower-style Mac Pro, while not Johnny Ives' vision of beauty, was at least highly functional and expandable. Having a small internal RAID meant "spending ~$450 on three hard disks, connecting the SATA connectors, and spending 20 minutes in Disk Utility", not "spend $900 on a Fiber connector, and then another $7,000 on a PowerVault, to add a decent amount of storage to a $3,000 computer".

I'll agree that the GPU situation in the current Mac Pro is rather underwhelming, and a product of a design decision rather than making available options to the "Pro" customer. However, the GPUs are mounted with BGA connectors, and it would be feasible for someone to use a logic analyzer to figure out which pins on the connector are PCI express, which are DisplayPort, and which are power allowing for someone to make a 3rd party GPU upgrade card (if they could make it work with the thermals), but the market would be so small that nobody would ever turn a profit at it.

Well, if someone were to use a logic analyzer to determine which pins of a Thunderbolt cable were PCI Express, so that they can solder up an off-board, wall-powered GPU, that would only run at PCI x4 speeds (ironically, I'd argue that the thermal portion of the equation would be the easiest to solve)...well, someone smart enough to do that is smart enough to use Windows competently :-).

Comment: A tool - any tool - used well, furthers a goal (Score 1) 310

by Voyager529 (#49779345) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

Powerpoint isn't bad, people just don't know how to use it. Let's go back to 2007, when one of the most well-known Powerpoint* presentations was given: https://www.youtube.com/watch?.... Take a look at Steve as he's presenting. He's glancing back at the screen, from time to time, usually after his slides have advanced. The changing of the slides doesn't affect the flow of what he's saying; it underscores it at just the right time. It's mostly pictures; there are fewer than ten words on the screen at any given point, and not a bullet point in sight. The graphics are large, clear, and immediately relevant. There's no crowding on the screen, the text has a high contrast with the background, and there's nothing to distract the viewer from the presenter. Steve practiced what he was going to say, how it was going to be paced, the sequence in which points were going to be given, and designed his slides accordingly.

This was an excellent presentation for a reason - it's abundantly clear that countless hours went into every second of its exposition. This was no night-before job, with copy/pastes from Wikipedia, and low-res pictures from Google Images, being given by a presenter who was on a red eye flight three hours before he gave it, who is giving the talk having only practiced the first half just once, without an audience, much less a critical one. No, Steve knew that he had a presentation to give, so he was preparing it for quite some time.

The fact of the matter is that Powerpoint* wasn't relevant in this speech - it was the fact that it was a highly polished presentation, from a talented orator and presenter, with lots of practice, and a set of slides that were clearly designed by someone with a graphic design background. Every once in a while, you'll come across someone who is giving a presentation with a similar focus on design and implementation, who has taken their task seriously and practiced accordingly. Most of the time, they get all the time, focus, and attention to detail as a final paper in Freshman Comp, due the day after Memorial Day and read aloud half hungover - because that's how much priority the presentation itself is given by the presenter.

*Yes, it was probably Keynote.

Comment: Mad Lib (Score 4, Insightful) 82

by Voyager529 (#49777701) Attached to: IRS: Personal Info of 100,000 Taxpayers Accessed Illegally

[NEWS_OUTLET] reports that an online service provided by [ORGANIZATION_WITH_PERSONAL_DATA] was used to gather the personal information of [CUSTOMERS_OR_USERS]. Criminals were able to scrape [INSECURE_SYSTEM] to acquire [SUPPOSEDLY_SECURED_INFORMATION]. The system has been shut down while [OVERPAID_AND_INCOMPETENT_ANALYSTS] investigate and [PROMISE], and they're notifying [CUSTOMERS_OR_USERS] whose information was accessed.

At this point, you can turn this story into a Mad Lib, and fill in the blanks with basically any set of nouns, and it'll mostly be true.

Comment: Re:The guy is full of himself (Score 4, Interesting) 143

by Voyager529 (#49774965) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

I'm going to take it that you don't actually use a workstation much less a recent computer.

I'm not the author of the GP post, but I *do* use a workstation.

Let's start with OOD which I assume you mean optical drive. When was the last time you used one?

Yesterday actually, when I burnt a DVD for a friend. See kids, I know that 'streaming' is all the rage and that all the cool kids are doing it, but there's still no substitute for handing someone a physical product. Wedding and event videos fall squarely in this category. No bride will be okay with spending $1,500 for a Vimeo link. Moreover, if you're using a copyrighted song in the video, and you've got the proper licensing to do it, an upload to Youtube will still be flagged, and you'll spend plenty of time sorting that out and providing paperwork. Even if we put that aside, Youtube quality varies based on any number of things, but they *do* compress video in order to stream it. Their HD streaming looks pretty good now, but it's still got much heavier compression than a Blu-Ray disc. Just because we don't burn mix CDs anymore or use them for backup devices doesn't mean that the optical drive is dead. It's a niche, but it's not dead.

So removing it is like when computer manufacturers removed the floppy drive. Apple was one the first; others took years to do so even when it was apparent no one used them anymore.

...and Apple was rather widely panned for doing so at the time. This was in large part due to the dearth of an alternative storage medium being included - you were either getting files around with a 56K modem, a USB ZIP drive, a USB Floppy drive, or VERY expensive 16MB flash drives that, in many cases, had slower write speeds than actual floppy disks. Floppies were passe, no doubt, but Apple should have been putting CD-RW drives in the iMac long before they actually did.

Now let's talk about the HDDs. Yes they removed them. If you are using a workstation, you need speed.

You also need storage space. HD video, art assets, high resolution multitrack audio projects, and CAD drawings aren't exactly compact forms of data, y'know.

With most professionals using networked drives for collaboration

That's a rather broad brush to paint with, especially since disk I/O over the LAN starts hitting a ceiling pretty quick. This would be easier to swallow if there were a PCI Express slot to add a 10GigE/Fiber/Infiniband card, but they did away with that, too.

the need to have personal drives only comes from a small percentage of pros.

That number is so small that there's an insignificant market for storage devices that can connect to them, right? And it makes more sense for Apple to make them an online-only product rather than waste shelf space on them in the store, right? This logic is better illustrated with your optical drive notions earlier - Apple actually doesn't sell them in the store (or, in some stores, only has one or two slimline ones on the shelf, frequently with a thin layer of dust).

Since the Mac Pro is for pros and not consumers, this was an understandable choice.

Yes...Pros let everything live on iSCSI volumes or in Teh Cloud (tm) and never have a reason to store things locally. (/sarcasm)

Now let's talk about eSATA. It isn't a standard that Apple has ever supported. Their standards has always been FireWire or Thunderbolt.

This is a fair point. I wish they would have better eSATA support, but I will certainly concede that eSATA has never been their thing.

As for "underpowerd PSU", you do understand that a workstation is not a gaming machine, right?

Quadro/Firepro cards aren't exactly miserly with their power usage, especially when tied with a high end Core i7. Now, what Apple did in the redesigned Mac Pro units was indeed to match the PSU with the guts that would be alright with that amount of power. Given that they're not terribly user serviceable or expandable, this was acceptable...but a lack of headroom (and explicitly removing the need for it) is solely a design feature, not a consumer-friendly one.

Comment: Re:16 VM's! (Score 1) 384

by Voyager529 (#49738327) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

http://apcmag.com/pirated_wind...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...
http://store.vmware.com/store/...

New laptop, an SSD, and VMWare Workstation, all for less than $1,000. The key here is TinyXP, the custom-built flavor of XP circulating the internet that uses 50MB of RAM after installation. Boot time for all of them would certainly be measurable if not staggered, but 16VMs on a laptop that's got 16GB of RAM, running stripped down XP installations that have one job...I think it's doable.

I still think the Layer 3 Switch option is a better one. Where that might be a bit more of a problem would be with regards to whether the update software is capable of handling the possibility of seeing more than one device available to update at the same time. Even though it's possible with networking tricks to get all the pumps addressable at the same time, there's no guarantee that the software is built for that use case. For that matter, it's entirely possible that the software will throw up if multiple instances are attempted to run concurrently. Thus, the 16-VM route may be necessary for that reason, regardless of whether or not a layer 3 switch could solve the networking problem.

Comment: Sales call confused with news (Score 1) 387

I think the Georgia Straight got a sales call confused with news. As handy as computers are a pen and paper works much better very often. Android, Surface and iPad just don't really work that well to replace a pencil and paper. Until there is a commercially viable 40"x60" Surface with proper drafting table UI we will still be using paper for a long time.

Comment: Was accuracy really the problem? (Score 1) 71

by Voyager529 (#49719031) Attached to: Apple Acquires GPS Start-Up

I was never an Apple Maps user, but I was always of the persuasion that the map data and the routing logic was the problem, not whether the GPS had a six-foot margin of error instead of a six inch margin of error. Without good routing logic and accurate street maps, all the accuracy in the world won't help with navigation.

Then again, I'm still waiting for Delorme to release Street Atlas for Android.

Comment: History doesn't apply the same way (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by Voyager529 (#49666129) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

My initial reaction is to say that computing is simply cyclical; what was once mainframes and dumb terminals turned into locally installed applications on desktops and laptops, and now we're doing that again with Teh Cloud (tm). However, here's the difference:

1.) In the 80's and early 90's, overall technical competence of computer users was higher. Yes, the there was always the secretary who tried to use WordPerfect to make a database because she knew exactly one program, but overall, especially if you had a home computer, you had some concept of what you were buying, and what the things on the spec sheet meant - computers being sold today will have helpfully descriptive bullet points like "great for multitasking" instead of "8GB RAM", something that wouldn't have passed muster in the last cycle.
1b.) Malware was much less a problem, back in the earlier days of computing. E-mail viruses were a thing, certainly, but for the most part, one ran a virus scanner and moved on with life. Also, with less hardware to throw at resident software, any kind of malware that ran resident would use enough system resources to alert the user to its presence, which is less the case now. Google Docs doesn't care about macro viruses, and users of that platform don't have to, either. There's value in that proposition for many less-technically-inclined users. Similarly, backups/hard disk crashes are "someone else's problem".
2.) In the 80's and 90's, systems were generally designed for interoperability a bit better than they are today. It's possible to send an e-mail from a server running Exchange 2016 Preview to an SMTP server from 1989 and it'll be able to meaningfully use the message. This is not the case with Facebook or WhatsApp.
3.) Inherently connected applications are the norm now. The utility of Facebook is "the rest of the stuff on Facebook". Google Docs and Pixlr don't apply to this point since they still deal with .doc and .jpg files that are more standards compliant, but many of the web apps that are popular aren't necessarily tied to the "open/change/save/close" paradigm that is commonplace in the desktop world.
4.) "Bleed little, bleed often" is a more culturally acceptable proposition for most people, as it gives them the instant gratification of getting the product at a price they can afford, while not requiring a gargantuan up-front cost that happens regularly as people feel the need to keep up with the Joneses. $5/month = $180 over the course of three years, which has basically been the shelf life of every version of MS Office released. Makes it a lot easier to swallow for many people, whether or not it's actually a value proposition in the long run.
4b.) The fact that virtually every software developer who has implemented IAPs instead of a one-time, up-front cost has made more money on that business model. At this point, it's solely a matter of principle that a developer of a paid application would sell a perpetual license, since general acceptance of subscription and IAP licensing makes it a better idea for everyone to go down that road instead. This was not nearly as true in the days of mainframe computing.

Now all of that being said, I do think that video editing is one of the few tasks that will never lend itself to a subscription model, beyond what Digital Juice does. Editing-as-a-service makes very little sense, since even a moderately sized project will still take tens of gigabytes of upload time, which means "hours before you can edit". Meanwhile, 100GB of assets is not unheard of for even a two hour wedding video shot in HD, and with upload speeds still measured the single-digit mbit/sec unit, it can easily be days before editing can even be entertained. At the same time, costs are a lot higher for a company looking to get into that business, because you're going to get much less ability to thin provision even 500GB of space, as the nature of what's being done is going to make much more use of that space than the OneDrive accounts with a 1TB progress bar. CPU/GPU processing is similarly much more likely to be leveraged, and we haven't even gotten to the headache that is "plug-ins" - Alien Skin, NewBlue, Red Giant, Pixelan, BorisFX, Panopticum...and that's just the list off the top of my head of companies that make plugins for video editing platforms. How, exactly, does that work in the cloud? Now you're talking about a sub-subscription, or deals whereby plugin developer FOO has to pay Adobe to be included, and the number of subscribers is higher than plugin developer BAR, so they pay less per seat, and it's Net Neutrality all over again. All in all, to create a viable video editing as a service platform, it'd be about the cost of a new, moderately-well-spec'd laptop per year in order to make a profit off that particular niche...and if that's the cost, business pragmatism makes it very difficult to justify subscribing in the first place.

Meh, what do I know.

Comment: Re:I have an idea (Score 1) 369

by Voyager529 (#49647565) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods

The real product that Starbucks sells is its dining room - a place where, for $3-$10, you can sit for an hour in a relatively comfortable chair and either meet with someone, get some work done, or simply not-sit-at-home. Now, that's certainly not to say that there aren't a large number of people who like the "coffee flavored chocolate milk", but there's any number of places that sell actual-coffee that see plenty of business. I'm a 7-Eleven guy myself, but Dunkin' Donuts is also very popular. Many of the gas stations around me sell either Green Mountain or Chock Full O' Nuts, so it's entirely possible to purchase drinkable coffee along with gasoline. The law of large numbers says that there's going to be a good number of people who will just prefer Starbucks' product to the competition.

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