Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Apple says new Mac Pro is on the on the horizon...

And by which they mean, next year at the earliest. Yay.

Phil Schiller - “As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a Pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.”

So apparently it's a ground-up redesign and there will be a new cinema display. My guess would be that they're probably aiming for a display that outclasses the current iMac's 5k display. Apparently it will not be a touch screen display, which is no shocker since Apple thinks the iPad Pro addresses everyone's touch and stylus needs (it does not even come close, but whatever).

Apparently one of the big issues with the current Mac Pro was that it was designed in such a way that it could not cool a single high-end graphics card, which limited upgrade options for new iterations of the Mac Pro. They also admitted that limiting the configurability of the machine pissed off a lot of customers (yours truly included) and limited it's appeal to Apple's pro customers. As they say, admitting you've may a mistake is the first step in fixing it, so I would say this is good news.

“We’re committed to the Mac, we‘ve got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we’ve got great products planned for the future and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our Pro customers."

Of course once you've been burned as badly as we pro film/video people have been by Apple in recent history, you view statements like these with a little cynicism. I'm taking a "wait and see" approach and we'll see what Apple actually delivers next year. On the software side, Apple's "pro" apps have been dumbed down beyond repair, so they would also need a ground-up redesign to be worthwhile to anyone again, with the exception of maybe Logic, which seems to still satisfy a lot of people after they've turned on the advanced mode, or whatever it's called.

In the meantime, Apple is offering new configuration options on the current Mac Pro, none of which seem particularly compelling and if you've waited this long to trade in your cheese grater Mac Pro, you'd might as well wait another year and see what that brings.

More details are available at TechCrunch

Friday, February 24, 2017

Why I'm beginning to hate Apple after being a fanboy for the better part of two decades. WARNING: Lots of cussing inside.

Look at the beautiful piece of craftsmanship there, what a stunner, am I right? Yeah no. I use this kind of stuff professionally and I'm telling you straight off the bat, that POS should not have the "Pro" moniker tacked anywhere on it's overly svelte body.

I know the computer's been out for months now, so I'm a little late to the hatting on Apple game, but I just can't help myself. It's just so fucking stupid. They literally have no new performance or functionality to add to the computer, so instead of putting a true touch screen on the laptop, they put a little OLED bar that becomes contextual buttons. Well that's not terrible I guess, oh wait, it's at the expense of the already compromised dual function FN keys. Fuck you. That's just so annoyingly stupid, I just want to punch whomever came up with that in each of his four eyes.

Alright, alright, it's not the end of the world, calm down... wait, there's no USB3 ports. At all. WTF. It was bad enough that my 2015 Mac Pro only had 2 ports which, let me tell you, is a daily source of irritation for me. Ok, so I'll just use my Thunderbolt 2 dock that I bought to get back all the ports they deleted on the 2015 Mac Pro... wait, there's no Thunderbolt 2 ports!?!? Who the fuck decides to convince/force everyone who uses a Mac to switch to TB drives and then a generation later gets rid of it??!?!? This is worse than the whole display port debacle, but hey, at least they hung on to that for a few generations. Wait, that's gone too?? Motherfucker. Are you serious???

So what DOES it have, other than that stupid gimmick keyboard screen thing? "Oh well sir, could I interest you in a few hybrid USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports?". I honestly can't understand why they would pick two standards that are not actually standards, knowing that everyone who's owned a Mac before is going to have to go out and buy several dongles and adaptors to make all their peripherals work. Actually, never mind, I just answered my own question.

My next computer will be some sort of Surface thing that has advanced features like, you know, a fucking USB port. Or maybe one of those Razer laptops which manage to have USB3, USB-C, Thunderbolt and HDMI all in one package. Amazing.

So to sum things up, Fuck You Apple, you're an asshole.

Media Composer 8.8 musings... A.K.A. "Script Sync: The Return"

Hey, so I actually managed to skip and entire calendar year! 2016 is a blur, I guess I must have been busy. Anywho...

So to be honest I haven't actually used MC 8.whatever that much since it's release. I have used it a couple of times for small shorts that I've edited for friends but I haven't used it in a real production environment much. Most post facilities are still renting out MC 7.4 systems on "Cheese Grater" Mac Pro machines, as they're fairly unbuggy (yep, just made that word up) and still support Phrase Find and Script Sync.

Now the very latest, greatest version 8.8 supports Phrase Find and Script Sync (It was as if millions of Assistant Editors suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced...) so I'm sure we'll finally start to see a slow adoption of MC 8 in post houses. Most facilities are reluctant to shell out for the premium priced but under specced and non-upgradable "Trash Can" Mac Pros though, so I'm not sure what's going to happen there. It's likely that we'll soon all be forced to work on HP Winblows machines soon, much to every creative person's chagrin.

Ah the steady technological march forward, well unless you're Apple, then it's the steady crippling of your own products and adding the "Pro" moniker to decidedly consumer oriented products, but I digress...