Monthly Archives: January 2018

A “Pro” Post to My “Pro” Blog for Professionals

It’s kind of interesting to analyze the effect of the label, “Pro”, when I’m on the consumer side versus the professional side. As a consumer the term, “Pro”, makes me feel a bit more comfortable with how much I’m about to spend, and as a professional user, it makes me raise my eyebrows in unapologetic suspicion. (If it’s really a professional product, aimed at professionals, why does it need to be said with an obviously manipulating title like “Pro”?)

I’m going to try the car analogy, again: In terms of basic performance, I can turn a VW bug into a Porsche 911, (that used to be possible), but if I do that, in the end, I still have a VW Bug, but a lot faster one. And, up to a point, being faster counts, but it’s still a Bug. If I really want the complete, carefully balanced, actual Porsche experience, I must buy a Porsche 911.

And this my friends is yet another attempt to explain my near contempt for the the whole of the iMac product line. Apple takes their iVW, a very cool machine in its own right, puts a screaming fast engine in it, slaps the “Pro” moniker on it and once again evades having to actually make another, real, professional desktop computer. To a consumer the speed of this thing, alone, makes the initial experience surreal – in a good way, to a professional, the speed is thrilling for somewhere between one hour and a week, or so. After that, I start asking real-world questions like: how come I have to tear the screen off of the front in order to do a basic thing like upgrade or change RAM? Or, swap CPUs to upgrade or downgrade the number of cores I’m using? [Yes, I might want to do that because the fewer the cores, the faster each core goes – see?) Or, why can’t I add high-end video cards to the existing system – Oh wait, I can! But, oh wait, I want to add six video cards to my system so that I can scale how my professional software applications use them – like Windows users can – And, yay! Look mom, six video cards, but, what a freaking mess on my physical desktop. Sure wish I could just put those things inside of my computer. And, my OS is still optimized for only one kind of video card language? (I’m speaking here of CL vs. GL.) Yes I can use both, but only one is actually native to the OS. WTF! I really do not want to get stuck with Windows, again, but, I will. Well, I think you get the point.

And, where is Linux in all of this marketing obfuscation [BS]? Linux foundations have the potential to build highly customized machines on a wonderful plethora of UIs on very powerful hardware architectures … Why is it that all I can hear from the Linux side is crickets chirping? (There actually are a few open source products, but a very few, and to-date, nothing that can well replace software products from Avid, Apple and Adobe, maybe with the exception of Black Magic and their Linux-ready Fusion product.) Please get on the ball and save those of us who: 1) Actually do care about what we use, but; 2) Are beyond weary of having to argue for anything and everything that isn’t 1000% Microsoft; 3) Are sick and tired of having to slog through the cesspool of hardware and software that recklessly slaps the, “Pro” label on everything – to the point that even consumers, by now, are completely desensitized to it. If any Linux developers want to take a serious stab at creating a truly professional environment for high-end media production workflows, please feel free to give me a call, because I guarantee you, there is a huge market place of deluded, tired and disenfranchised media producers who, still have a passion for the work, want to know and trust that the hardware and software they’re using IS professional, and, who are beyond weary of the two-choice reality they [we, I] work in. I’m serious.

One last stab at the genericized “Pro” moniker: If all software and hardware developers provided a class of products that had the fully spelled out word, “Professional” on it, would that somehow produce a greater sense of responsibility to think beyond basic marketing strategy. Hmmm …

In the meantime, I’m getting ready to install new Windows machines for our Adobe Premiere”Pro”/After Effects post production peeps [formally Mac-based], and iMac”Pro”s for our Final Cut “Pro” X/Motion users. And the jury is still out for our “Pro” Tools and Logic “Pro” X camps. They’re all unified in not wanting to go back to Windows, but they’re not convinced they want to get stuck with the iVW either, because, by now, they’re all fully aware of the BS factor in the “Pro” moniker and how difficult it has become escaping from it. I’ll let you know how it goes. (Nix folks, call me, really.)

Is This The Year of Linux?

In a recent Twitter post Christine Hall [@BrideOfLinux] made the comment that, Is this going to be the year of Linux?, is getting to be a tired old question. My response was: From an end-user POV, an even more tired question/argument is: Mac vs. Windows. The world really needs Linux to come out of geekdom and into the mainstream. Now, we’re just minions of MS or Apple. SAVE US!! https://twitter.com/BrideOfLinux/status/954081071733313542

ApplePay Progress In My Area – Updated

In Southern IL not so much. One of the first places in my area was Panera, but the system at that particular store works sometimes and not at other times. Interestingly, I spent a month working in London last year and was able to use Apple Pay almost everywhere, even in the outlying areas of the city. And, in that city, the best exchange rate I could get was to use my Simple Bank card, with or without my iPhone, at most any ATM – even when including the service fee it beat anything I could get walking into a bank or exchange shop. Where I live won’t be much empowered with AP until/unless Sams, Walmart and Target get on the ball, which I’m guessing won’t be anytime soon.

Update

All three Aldis that are within driving distance now take Apple Pay, sort of. Before I get into what that looks like – Target and Sam’s Club also allow you to check out using your iOS device, but, not Apple Pay specifically. Target really doesn’t work out well since all you get to do is scan your discount barcode from your phone, but you still are compelled to use cash or plastic to complete your transaction. Sam’s Club takes this one step farther and actually does allow you to checkout using your phone, but they’ve circumvented Apple Pay by having customers scan their own shopping cart items so that when you get to the register you, again, scan a barcode, but, this time the app is directly connected to a qualified card so you can, in fact, complete your check out with nothing but your phone, assuming you’ve got the app set up correctly BEFORE going into the store. It takes a little practice, but it really speeds up getting through checkout.

Now back to Aldis. I live in southern IL, so if you’re familiar with the area you’ll know the cities I’m going to refer to. Harrisburg: This is my least favorite Aldis because they just don’t have the selection that the other two stores in my area have, and significantly fewer organic choices across the board, but, Apply Pay in that store is the most reliable of the three. Marion: The hands-down best of the three stores for overall selection and certified organic meats and fresh produce, (still needs more improvement along these lines, but the best of the three to date). Apple Pay is spotty and the cashiers are not very friendly to helping the process along if Apple doesn’t connect properly the first time. Carbondale: Has an overall decent selection of food products, but has some catching up to do to match what the Marion store offers in the way of organics. Apple Pay is very spotty and the cashiers very unfriendly to assisting customers if the Apple Pay connection doesn’t succeed the first time. Unfriendly to the point where, if they see me whip out my phone to pay they will literally star off into the distance behind me, and if I ask for assistance they will not move a muscle to tear their eyes away from the distant object while mumbling that they don’t know anything about that. I’ve had that experience just about every time I’ve walked into that store – the Apple Pay fail followed by the attitude.

An additional store that now takes Apple Pay without prejudice is, Staples, where about 80% of my Apple Pay transactions succeed and if they don’t the cashier are generally about as attentive to the customer’s situation as if you are using plastic. There may be other stores in my area that are now taking Apple Pay, but I’m unaware of them if they are. Whenever I go to a store for the first time, or that I have not visited in awhile, I will almost always ask they take Apple Pay and I do it as an awareness campaign for those that don’t. Oh yeah, and all of the Subways in the region are also taking Apple Pay and it seems pretty reliable at the two stores I frequent.

I really appreciate not having to shell out cash, which tends to get onlookers more interested in my wallet than I’m comfortable with, and I really don’t miss having to use plastic where I put myself at risk twice with every transaction in a checkout line – Once when I pull the card out and expose the card number and the second time is when I often have to enter a four-digit security code. (I’ve actually been scammed this way before and was aware that the person behind was paying too close attention to the card I was holding in my hand even as I was doing my level best to keep it tucked in my palm and held up agains my stomach while I waited for the cashier to complete the scanning process of my purchase. I almost have instant recall for long strings of numbers so I know this is easily possible. If it doesn’t come naturally a person can train themselves to remember long strings of numbers almost instantly.)

For me, Apple Pay is not only cool, but mostly, it’s just more secure for paying when shopping in the corporeal world.

It’s Not A Bug, It’s An Oopsy

I appreciate 9to5 NOT calling this App Store preferences goof, a “bug”, it’s pure mistake, oversight, a big oopsy. And, it comes at a very unfortunate time for Apple, and, gets added to the sudden heap of Shiite the entire computing industry finds itself in as we try to get the new year started. I’m perfectly fine with corps being in the game to make money, it can be a pure, clean and straightforward motivation … but, let’s not forget that, to continue to succeed you will have to continue to put out the best that your capable of. Unfortunately I think Apple has gone where many of us feared it would go if/when it ever began to really compete with MS. Now, it makes lots of money [GOOD! YES! YAY!], but it’s getting too close to becoming what many nay-sayers used to accuse it of being – all glitz and no guts. I’ve been using Macs and other Apple product since 1985, (and a lot of it, personally and corporately), and I find myself having to back away from being at the level of Apple advocacy I once was perfectly justified being at. (And please give me a break with Steve vs. Tim … it really isn’t so if you’ve been following along, all along.) And the biggest specter of all? If not Apple then what …? Windows … … …? Sorry, but all I can think of here is bad words, so I’ll sign off for now.