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"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
The Apple AirPods re-announced through a press release are shipping in 4 weeks and are not available for pick up from stores. This looks like missing a deadline to me.
I was more interested in the BeatsX Earphones. They are using the same Apple W1 chip as the AirPods, but are less futuristic. The status of these headphones changed from “Coming this fall” to “Currently unavailable”.
Anyways, I take the long delay with which the AirPods are shipping as a sign of technical issues. I’m not willing to spend the $150 to discover what are the issues and limitations of these headphones.
I’m still in the middle of the Armagedongleon and today’s task was to figure out connectivity from Thunderbolt 3/USB-C MacBook Pro to my TV and monitor.
This one was as simple as I imagined. But not cheap.
In the past, there were 2 ways I would connect to the TV from my macOS devices:
Based on these, the 2 dongles I thought could help:
The “USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter” option is the one that worked. The first time I plugged in the dongle, I was prompted to perform a driver update. Then everything worked as expected.
Please note that the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 does not work. There is a note somewhere in the Apple pages about this dongle not working/supporting the Mini DisplayPort capabilities.
Side note: besides HDMI, the AV Multiport adapter also has a charging USB-C port and USB-A port. As I don’t need the USB-A port, and having the charging USB-C is nice, but definitely not critical, I’ll be looking to find a cheaper adapter that only support HDMI.
The Monoprice IPS monitor I’ve been using for the last couple of years requires a Dual-link DVI adapter1.
I confess that I didn’t have very high hopes. Even if my research hasn’t revealed any potential solutions, I wasn’t completely pessimistic when I walked into the Apple store. But things changed very fast after starting to describe how I use to connect to this monitor. I could tell by the grimace of the sale person that I’m touching a pain point2. We consulted with other technical people in the Apple store and in the end, we decided that the only adapter that seemed like having a slight chance to work is the “Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2”.
Judging by what we read online — none of the people we’ve talked to could tell with a good level of confidence what can be expected to work or not from this dongle — I didn’t expect much. And I was right, as this adapter didn’t work3.
At this time, there is no way to use my Monoprice IPS monitor with the Touch Bar MacBook Pro.
To make things more complicated and unpleasant for me:
I haven’t made up my mind yet what to do regarding the monitor. If you are in a similar situation, I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or decision.
Apple’s dongles have never been cheap. I had paid $99 for this Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter. Compare it with the about $400 I paid for the monitor. But at that time, it was still a good deal considering the Dells were around $700-800. ↩
we ended up chatting about the state of dongles and he confessed that 1) he postponed upgrading his own notebook; 2) he avoids recommending the Touch Bar MacBook Pros to non-geeks, and 3) it’s a nightmare. ↩
right now, I have no idea what the “Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2” adapter is good for. It definitely doesn’t support the DisplayPort features. But I’ve also tried chaining it with the Ethernet-to-Thunderbolt and it did nothing. ↩
8 laptops reviewed to correspond to the following requirements:
- must have good build quality comparable to Apple products.
- must have powerful and upgradeable hardware (at least up to 16 GB RAM, 6th or 7th gen processors and 512 GB SSD).
- must have a good form factor, be light and portable.
- must be Linux compatible out of the box.
- must be cheaper than/as costly as the MacBook Pro with similar configuration.
What she finds is not looking very encouraging. Slightly less disappointing than The best MacBook Pro alternatives, now that Apple ruined everything
This is how DayOne displays my movie journal in which each entry has the movie poster. That’s super cool!
Looking at this I’m scratching my head wondering why I haven’t saved the models I had owned. I’m sure there are plently that had them all; I started with 3GS and I’ll most probably skip the 7.
How many bugs can you count in the screenshot below?
This is not about some third party app, but the Console app itself on macOS 10.12.1.
- The ability to roll back package updates easily
- Pre-configured layers that can auto-install if you open a ruby (or whatever) file
- Really good defaults (whoever came up with Emacs’ default scrolling needs a stern talking to in my book)
- I really like the idea of the mnemonic keybindings. I ended up disliking how Spacemacs does it, more below
I learned about Spacemacs a while ago. Before that I’ve tried to get comfortable with Emacs a couple of times and ended up having a decent working configuration; I’ve built it from scratch following the advice of adding to it only the bits and pieces that I understood.
Today I still have Spacemacs on all my machines. I don’t use it very frequently though, but I keep it up to date and, now and then, I check how random things are done.
Then I go back to my Vim environment. There are a few things that I wish I had in Vim too:
which-keywhich provides a help buffer listing the available key bindings and their associated commands. It is amazing!
A question on Twitter made me quite curious about AsciiDoc. I’ve heard about it in the past and as someone writting almost everything in Markdown I was naturally curious to see what improvements could it bring to my environment.
What follows is the series of remarks, comments, head scratchers, and complains I accumulated over a couple of hours of learning AsciiDoc:
blockquote. I have found a corresponding ticket from 2013.
In the times of myNoSQL, I have developed my own toolkit and extensions around various Python libraries, starting with Markdown and all the way to custom scripts for resizing and uploading images, and an end-to-end publishing workflow. I don’t need such a complete toolkit these days, but if I’d actually see the significant benefits of AsciiDoc, I’d probably be tempted to address some of the above points myself.
Update: thanks to Dan Allen, I’ve learned that it’s possible to generate HTML fragments by using the
If you are reading this, I’ll assume you already know that the new MacBook Pros announced on Oct. 27th come with Thunderbolt 3 ports only.
Having only these ports will make the transition to the new machines less frictionless for those customers that are using external devices (e.g. hard drives, USB hubs, mice, keyboards). It’s hard to tell what percentage of MacBook Pro users have at least one external device connected to their laptop. I don’t know if such information can be or is actually tracked by Apple.
Why would Apple ship new machines that will inconvenience some of its customers?
People with better knowledge of Apple’s history will point out that this wouldn’t be the first time Apple dropped support for some popular, or at least still in use, technology in favor of something new. As far as I can tell, these past decisions were made for making room for some significant improvements or getting rid of decaying technologies.
I know that some of these decisions could also be explained by business reasons. Take for example the removal of optical drive. Besides the technical reasons, another explanation for this decision could’ve been that it had the potential of increasing revenues from the iTunes store.
The past can only tell us that Apple is willing to make such decisions, but not necessarily explain the current one.
My theory is that Apple believes, deeply, that the future1 belongs to Thunderbolt 3. The technical advantage of Thunderbolt 3 is obvious, but it cannot explain the all-in strategy. Instead of waiting for this future to happen at the speed of device vendors, Apple wants to speed it up by going all-in.
Apple is one of the top laptop vendors. It doesn’t have the largest share, but it’s among the top 5. Customers getting the new MacBook Pros will probably rely initially on a series of converters for external devices, but soon they’ll expect native Thunderbolt 3 ones. This will create market pressure on device vendors to go Thunderbolt 3 or at least USB-C.
The first counter-argument for this theory is that Apple has a small market share (somewhere between 5-7%) and the new MacBook Pros represent just a subset of Apple machines.
On the other hand, I’m sure that there are plenty of vendors out there willing to get access to Apple customers. I think these will be the ones that will see the immediate opportunity and jump in right away. As a result, this will create even more market pressure for the move to Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C.
Simply put, Apple’s all-in on Thunderbolt 3 will create a virtuous circle which will lead to faster adoption of this technology among the vendors and implicitly customers, who’ll benefit of faster, better, and simpler connectivity.
Side note: There are some other possible explanations for this move, but I’d really like these not to be true:
at least the next few years ↩
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
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