On reflection…oh, and the Surface Studio is rather nice

I’m sure everyone has done it – made a tweet, gone to sleep and then realised, “oh lord I look like a complete prat”, and I’ve done just that. One thing to remember which I forget so often is not to engage with trolls because ultimately the troll will drag you down to their level and soon enough you realise that you’re wallowing in the mud pit with them. A better way to put it was what Bill Maher noted in a monologue, “when they go low, we go high” and instead of going high I decided to go low – something I’m not particularly proud of. I’m always a person who believes in second chances and giving people the benefit of the doubt when they backing out (delete tweet, forum post entry etc) that they’re reflected upon what was made public and withdrawn it. I decided to delete some tweets because rather than simply making the one tweet and walking away I decided to engage with a fruitless argument that ultimately benefited no one in the end.

I’ve been looking through the Surface Studio videos lately and the more I look at the Surface Studio when combined with the work that Microsoft is doing to improve Windows 10 such as in the area of high DPI scalability through to adding support to a greater number of open standards in Edge such as RTC, Push API and Brotli Compressed Data Format to name a few along with de facto standards such as VP9, Opus, Vorbis and the upcoming AV1 will be supported soon as well. Where as in the past Microsoft has shunned open standards when it came to the web, we see Microsoft go all in to ensure that the experience delivered on Edge is at the forefront of embracing open standards rather than lagging behind as in the days of Internet Explorer.

For me the issue with the Mac platform isn’t so much the lack of revolutionary change but rather the lack of any sort of commitment to the platform. What I mean by ‘lack of commitment’ I prefer to how it has been neglected when it comes to OpenGL and OpenCL updates, bug fixes and optimisations not to mention lagging behind in such areas as open standards support to the point that Safari seems to be positively ancient when compared to how far ahead Edge, Chrome and Firefox are. Putting that aside though it certain isn’t enough to make me move and when we do hear the doom and gloom stories the one thing to keep in mind is that apart from a few who seem to persistently demand ‘teh dazzle’, most Mac users are pretty happy. Keeping that in mind, Apple needs to realise, just as I have noted in my recent podcast, that although the Mac community is small the user base does act as evangelists for the larger Apple ecosystem meaning the failure to address the linger concerns about the Mac platforms future will ultimately spill over into other products that Apple hopes will be the engine of growth into the future.

Some have asked my what my favourite applications and services on the Mac platform (not all of them are exclusives but I find they run better on the Mac platform) that I can’t do without, so here is the list:

    1. MarsEdit – Eding and uploading new posts to my blog without having to deal with a nightmare web based interface.
    2. iFFmpeg + ffmpeg – Transcode your videos to what ever format you want.
    3. XLD – Transcode your music from what ever format to what ever format that you could imagine.
    4. Pixelmator – Photoshop features without the Photoshop price tag.
    5. iTunes – yes, I am being serious, I like using iTunes on the Mac especially given the ability to manage my music and synchronise it to my iPhone without having to go through the laboured process of ‘dragging and dropping’ music in the case of Windows. Keep in mind that I have over 200gb of music so I don’t feel compelled to wade through directories finding what music I want when an application can take care of that – enter iTunes.
    6. Kid3 – For all your music tagging needs.
    7. Pages, Keynote and Numbers – Integrated with the operating system resulting in languages properly set rather than the mess that is Microsoft Office where I am forced to use either American or Australian dictionary even though I’ve made it quite clear in the system settings that I want to use British English.
    8. QuickTime – such a basic application but when I want to capture video or audio it is my goto application if for no other reason that it allows me to capture in an uncompressed format and so then I can feed it into iFFmpeg where as the configuration options on Windows 10 ‘Camera’ is pretty much non-existent.
    9. iCloud – I know it gets a lot of crap for having shot comings in some areas but everything just seems to work nicely – password sync, bookmarks, a IMAP mail server that doesn’t turn to crap by creating random directories like Gmail does because Google refuses to conform to the documented standard.

So given that situation I doubt I’ll be leaving soon but hopefully some pressure from Microsoft will give Apple a boot up the backside.

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