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Tuesday, 06 November 2018

Comments

Mike,

I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. Take for example, Exhibit One of killing off Aperture - look at what Google did with Picasa and the Snapseed desktop apps. Google decided they got what technology they wanted out of those two applications and then dumped them because they didn't fit their model - desktop apps vs. the web or the cloud.

Same thing goes with Exhibit Three - ever seen a Google PIxel phone with a MicroSD card slot? How about the Pixelbook or the new Pixel Slate tablet? No card slots on either of them. You can find Android phones, Chromebooks, etc... with card slots made by other hardware manufacturers, but not Google.

I'd guess that both Apple and Google have the same mindset when it comes to their dreams of hegemony. They couldn't care less about those of us that cling to our archaic cameras with our memory cards.

Maybe that's why Thom Hogan continues to harp on the camera manufacturers about providing Internet (aka wireless) connectivity.

Just sayin'...

Judging by their recent share price 'correction' you are not the only one that noticed ;-)

Apple are pretty good at giving people what don’t know they want but oddly resistant to listening to people telling them what they want. Aperture in software is one and the more it less un-upgradable Mac Mini is the hardware example.

It looks like there will be no iPhone "selfies" of someone adding their own RAM to a recent Apple MacBook or Mini! In closing the trap doors and taking away the slots, Apple seems driven by a desire to 1) create slimness and elegance at the expense of usefulness and 2) make some more $$ - their RAM is more expensive than yours would be, etc. etc.

I think the disappearance of SD card slots from Macs, or their relegation to the back of iMacs has more to do with an extreme prioritization of aesthetics or maybe hubris than any mean-spirited elaborate plan. But I might be naive here.

However, I agree it appears Apple has lost interest in what I'd call the first generation of creative customers. To your exhibits, I'd add that there is no credible replacement for the glorious Mac G4 towers nor for the wonderful range of Cinema Display screens.

The latter is particularly problematic in my opinion. Even the screen of the iMac Pro is no match for a high-end Nec or Eizo display and the only way to use such a display with a desktop Mac without paying for 2 rather expensive screens is the Mac Mini. But the Mac Mini does not have an appropriate GPU for the current generation of photo editing software.

Oops, made a mistake in last post. Apple still lets you put in your own RAM in the Mini - wonder of wonders.

SD slot? Don't all cameras have wi-fi?

Mike wrote, " ... the original stated Jobsian mission of the Mac, which was to enable creative people to create. Ordinary everyday non-computer-geek creative people."

In the Apple Store, under Mac Accessories -- Software they are selling:

o Five versions of Microsoft Office
o Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan
o Adobe Acrobat Pro
o Two versions of FileMaker (creates custom apps)
o Three versions of Parallels (run Windows on Mac)

I believe that the Mac (or maybe large screen Macs) has become a niche product for Apple, aimed at creatives. Macs are designed primarily to run demanding Microsoft Office and Adobe apps on large screens in a (often large) networked environment. Emphasis on demanding, emphasis on large.

The real emphasis is on high prices and large margins.

If not for Adobe and Microsoft, Big Macs would be available only at McDonalds.

Yep,
The extremely wasteful, non environmental friendly Apple corp has been big brother for a while. But Google will take over soon.
It starts in the schools and then spreads from there. All schools are using Chrome books now. Soon those youths will continue in the Google trend and Apple will be no more.

Most people who take pictures are not serious photographers. This has always been the case. You might as well argue that Kodak was the enemy of serious photography when they introduced their box cameras with a fixed aperture and shutter speed, and you mailed the whole camera back to Kodak to get the film processed and the camera loaded with new film. Obviously not a tool for serious photographers who understood photometry and knew how to work in a darkroom. Today's iPhone cameras are vastly superior to those old box cameras, but they're still aimed at people who just want to take pictures. By the numbers, Apple probably is the biggest camera maker in the world in a sense, though since their cameras are all secondary features of products like laptops and phones, I'm not sure I would really call them a camera maker at all. But they certainly have an effect on the camera market. Lots of people who are perfectly happy with their iPhone pictures no longer buy cameras at all. But those aren't the people who were buying high-end gear in the first place. Without phone cameras, they would probably buy small-sensor point-and-shoot models -- basically the modern equivalent of the old Instamatics.

The lack of an SD card slot on the new Mini is a non-issue. I don't recall the old Minis having one either. The Mini was always a low-end, no-frills model. Buy a USB card reader and the problem is solved. Even on my iMac, which has an SD slot, I use a card reader because the SD slot is on the back of the iMac where I can't easily get at it because my iMac sits under a hutch with its back to a wall. (There are times when I think Jony Ive's quest for simplicity in design goes too far.)

I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't hate us; we buy Macs to run Lightroom and Photoshop. But we're a small percentage of people who use their products.

[Kodak always used mass-market profits to support loss-leading "deep photography" stuff, from dye transfer to darkroom books to fine art photo paper to the maintenance of a poison hotline for darkroom workers. They even promised Kodachrome support for TEN YEARS after the discontinuation of the film and made good on it! Having gone to the trouble of inventing Aperture, couldn't Apple have taken a few grains of sand out of that trillion-dollar sandbox of theirs to keep it going? I didn't use it, but I felt for the people who invested many hours mastering it only to see it orphaned and abandoned, and their work and hard-won expertise go to waste. --Mike]

I think that rather than seeking to eliminate competition, Apple is continuing to drive technology beyond hardwired connections to totally wireless. Just as they were about the first to drop internal floppy drives and CD readers, they have eliminated internal card readers. The newest iPhones have dropped the home button, too.

Apple moved away from the creative/enthusiast market to the giant mainstream consumer electronics mass market because that's where the fat profits are. I moved away from Apple over the years, and now have nothing Apple. I'm happy to report that Microsoft and Google are now ahead of Apple in many important ways. There would have to be a radical change for me to go back.

Sorry about the Mac Mini. It started a while ago. For instance, the 15" (2016) MacBook Pro I use has no SD slot. Nor does it have an Ethernet jack. Four USB 3.1 ports and a headphone jack is all. I recall having the same feelings as you but I quickly managed an affordable (relative to the cost of the machine) and acceptable accommodation that actually increased my I/O possibilities. As long as Macs continue to run Lightroom and Photoshop, I think I will be able to continue to choose to live without undue paranoia.

And yet you're buying a Mac ...

You started the article saying "we have a clash of different cultures". Well... Apple is strongly allied with one of those cultures, a thought-rigid and intolerant one - their way or the highway. So reach your own conclusion.

Interesting theory — even if slightly paranoid. It had not crossed my mind even though I am still grousing about the loss of Aperture and considering purchase of said mini. Maybe it’s just that they see the XQD onslaught more clearly than we do but are not yet sure it merits incorporating a reader yet? Trying to stay positive here....;)

Apple started out as a computer company, but then became a telephone company -- that's where the real money is, at least for the time being. And telephone design became the dominant paradigm at Apple. Everything had to become thinner and sleeker (because a phone has to fit in a pocket or purse) and neater and more fashionable. The same design paradigm applied to computers does make them sleeker and thinner and possibly more fashionable, but to get there they have to lose all those awkward ports that require innards that suck up space and defeat sleekness. Of course, the computer is less useful, but then, Apple is a telephone company, so why should they worry about it?

This silliness is best seen in the newer iMacs. I personally look at the iMac from the front -- the screen -- and rarely contemplate the machine from the side. So it makes no difference to me whether it is one inch thick, or one and a half inches thick. But that extra half inch could get you lots and lots of extra ports and other computer-useful goodies. The extra weight wouldn't matter to me either, since the iMac sits on my desk and doesn't move. But all that doesn't much concern a telephone company.

Frankly, if I wasn't so invested in the operating system (or if Windows was as well done) I'd be delighted to move over to all the options in the PC universe.

Who exactly are people like us? Me, I'm a minimalist who believes in when in doubt, throw it out. I approve of what Apple is doing. Your screed is diametrically opposed to my views. 8-)

For many, it's their nature to be opposed to change—while others welcome change. For me less is more, and I appreciate Apple's moves to simplify my still busy life. That's why I plan to get an iPad Pro.

Leica's FOTOS app works with Apples wireless approach. Maybe it's the Japanese juggernauts who wants the likes of us to wither up and go away. Thom Hogan says: No matter how its done, our cameras need to be able to talk to the outside modern world. I wholeheartedly agree.

I was thinking of getting an iPad pro but after reading this review by someone who seems to photography oriented, the software seems to be intent on sabotaging itself.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/5/18062612/apple-ipad-pro-review-2018-screen-usb-c-pencil-price-features

Too bad because the hardware looks wonderful. Maybe when Apple makes a Mac using their own chips...

Apple is the 800-pound Gorilla in the technology arena. They are exercising their muscles to own control over all aspects of Apple technology from day one of purchase to end-of-life.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recently aired the following investigative story: 'Complete control': Apple accused of overpricing, restricting device repairs.

"Exhibit three: there's no SD card slot on the new Mac Minis."

True, but I wonder how many people use SD card slots. Probably fewer than did five years ago: in reality, camera sales have halved while phone usage has soared.

I have an SD card -> USB-C card reader on the way for use with a MacBook Air, so I feel the pain. But I'm also an atypical computer user. Like, these days, just about anyone semi-interested in photography.

I'm not sure it's competition between Apple-the-camera-manufacturer and the rest of us, but more likely competition between ephemeral device-presented photographs and permanent physical expressions--prints.

Apple as a company seems to avoid serving any traditional approach, and share much responsibility for turning "disruptive" into a compliment rather than a disparagement. Thus, creativity not in the service of disruption simply isn't creative. Disruption is ephemeral, and so creativity must be, also. Photographs no longer have lasting value, and need no permanent expression. They have redefined what it means to be creative, and that's how they stay consistent with their stated vision of 35 years ago.

But those of us whose creativity expresses in permanent forms have a choice: Conform or depart. I remember the advertising song Lotus used for their Jazz software on that first MacIntosh--"You made me love you (I didn't want to do it)..." Now, it's "You will love me, whether you want to or not."

To some extent, I have conformed, at least for ephemeral photographs. But creativity for me means expression that has lasting value--that transcends the mere moment--and it seems that Apple and companies like Apple live only in the moment.

But I think Apple is responding to a general cultural force, and brilliantly, without necessarily leading it. Meaning: It's not all Apple's fault that Apple is the way it is.

Hi Mike, Not a comment but a greeting stimulated by your account of cutting and pasting in Baker Library. I'm a long time reader who particularly enjoys your digressions and who taught at Dartmouth (in the government department) in the '70s when, judging from your age, you must have been a student. I recall an earlier post when you mentioned your eye problems. I've had cataract surgery on both eyes with great results, not only in sharpness of vision but in the wonderful restoration of color. I wish you equally good luck on your surgery when it happens.

[Thank you Joe! That's very encouraging. --Mike]

Getting rid of the SD readers is about simplicity - sometimes at a cost - but I can't see it as an attack on photographers - by giving the Mini usb-a and usb-c ports, there's unlimited options. But with the mini more and more seen as a special use device - if only 5% of your user base would ever even see the slot, maybe don't add it. It's way more annoying to miss the reader on the laptops, I just don't mind so much on desktops.

Apple definitely made the choice to pull back from pro software, Aperture was great, but it was direct competition to adobe in a field that Apple really wanted to thrive on Mac. The weird thing about Apple is despite their size by dollars, their development teams are really small. They team that built the iOS keyboard was 3 people, only 1 primary developer. My company has teams 3 times that size for a single internal application. Aperture, to be great, would require Apple spending more focus than they wanted on apps that would complicated their relationships with key partners and confuse their own customers.Aperture did it's primary job of pushing the state of the art forward, I still miss the loupe,tho.

But when you have Adobe on stage, demoing real live Photoshop on an iPad running an Apple CPU/GPU, And apple promoting Affinity Photo and Luminar in their App Store heavily, as well as hosting photo walks in their stores, Apple is promoting photography heavily.

LAst bit - I do also think that the veeerrrrry slow shift to XQD may have made Apple consider dropping any card reader as being too easily left behind, leaving a dead hole on the the side of their machines.

For a creative experience comparable to yours with the early Mac, try my current iPhone/iPad/Snapseed combination! No wires, no cards, instant automatic image transfer and powerful editing. I don’t even need the iCloud, but it’s very convenient. It really “enables [me] to create”.

I also think that anything that businesses or their owners say other than "we’re trying to make as much money as possible" is just earwash.

Another great read- thanks!

Mike, this is exactly how filmmakers felt about Apple after the Great Ruining of Final Cut Pro. I'm having flashbacks to 2011.

I don't buy into the card reader conspiracy. My first Macbook Pro didn't have an SD-card reader, but no one cried about it back then. Then I got a Macbook Air with a card reader, and it was amazing. My new Macbook Pro hasn't got a card reader, so I bought a USB-C one that is great and never think about it.

But by now there is a number of choices. Photos can be transmitted over USB, over wifi, I have the lightning camera connection kit that allows me to transfer raw files to my iPhone where I can develop them with Apple Photos and they get automatically imported to the mac. With the latest iPad pro you can just plug in a USB card reader.

The real problem here is that cards are still a thing, like we still live in the 90s. The iPod eliminated removable storage in music players almost two decades ago, smartphones did the same for photography, but traditional camera manufacturers still refuse to include memory in their multi-thousand dollar cameras.

One other unrelated point about Apple and photography. In their latest generation of phones they have somewhat redefined what photos look like. The always-on HDR produces images that are detailed through the whole spectrum, but remarkably flat and unexiting. This compared to the Google Pixel, which does similar computational stuff, yet produces much more punchy images.

Mike, you might as well go after Adobe also - they have made it incredibly hard, restrictive and expensive to use their image editing programs. They've driven many of us away from them by their tactics.
Apple is mostly replacing the P/S cameras which most of us have always owned for when we don't carry the "big guns." Focusing on their claim to be the largest camera maker is probably not fair since they also make the super hardware we use to interface with our photography.
Thom Hogan has it right - it's the camera makers we need to go after - they are extremely short-sighted for not making their hardware more compatible with the computational hardware and software we normally use. While it's easy to download, view and edit photos from my iPhone, it's a pain to do so from my Pen F - and I only tried to sue their wireless connection scheme once because of its lack of user friendliness.
But I will end in a quote I use in my book (inspired by you) from a guy who sat on the Board of Directors of our company" "A little monopoly goes a long way!"

That's a lot of umbrage over a missing SD card slot.

Mike, sorry to break it to you, but Apple has never been your company. Maybe it was more so in the 80s and 90s? But there aren't enough creatives in the world to sustain the world's largest company by market capitalization. Especially since creatives all have different needs because they each have different working styles. Even top end photographers are very different. You work differently from Thom Hogan works differently from Kirk Tuck works differently from Gordon Lewis. There are some similarities, but a good genius would choose a different computer for each of you, just as a camera salesperson would choose a different camera.

Even in the 90s, it was clear that the "Think different" marketing slogan was mostly directed at people who wanted to carry around a computer that associated them with the world changers featured in the ad. I mean, Gahndi? Famed Apple user avant la lettre, of course. Like how basketball shoes mostly aren't used to play basketball. They are to affiliate with an image.

Lately, Apple makes its money from, um, jewelry. Which lives in a ecosystem.

As for the computers, I don't think photo enthusiasts are the market for any of the Macbooks. I suspect most of those things are sold to corporations who hire large numbers of web developers. Even Microsoft issues Macbook Pros to its web developers.

Apple has, in my memory, always done this with their computers. They decide what is good for the user, and for the most part their users bend, regardless of what is good for them. I for my part buy my computers from a company that bothers to put relevant ports and slots in the hardware. It has a mix of Thunderbolt and the old style USB, a headphone out jack, and an SD card. What miracle brand is this? Basically anyone one but Apple!

I've been concerned about this for quite a while, and often start photography classes I'm teaching by pulling my iPhone out of my pockets and saying "THIS is not a camera, whatever else it does well". It offers essentially no creative control over the image, along with a fundamentally inferior imaging pipeline due to a tiny sensor and a squashed lens.

Computational photography adds another twist, in that, through trillions of calculations, it produces a pleasing image of something that does not actually exist. The image is heavily manipulated, perhaps to the point where it is no longer a photograph, but a different kind of art (this line can be argued, I once, years ago, asked John Paul Caponigro, an artist by anyone's standards, whether he was a photographer or some new sort of artist, and he replied "I'm not sure").

Rather than an artist like Caponigro choosing to manipulate an image in ways that stir his or her soul, producing a beautiful work that may or may not be a photograph, Apple is leaving that choice to an algorithm that has no soul, and the more computational a photograph becomes (in the Apple sense where the machine is in charge), the more it becomes a work created by a machine.

As Apple largely ignores their superb tools that have long put creativity in the hands of the artist (Aperture, but also un-updated iMacs, removal of important ports from MacBooks Pro, 6 years since we've seen a Mac Pro update) in favor of a tool that lets the machine do much of the creating, I worry about their commitment to those of us who love to create with the help of machines, but not turning the decisions over to them.

If Apple no longer wants to support photographers and other artists, why not license the MacOS to someone who will? HP and Lenovo are both building mobile and desktop workstation hardware that would appeal to many photographers. A Mac is really just a PC in a particular configuration, so it wouldn't be hard to support those machines (and Apple could include license restrictions to keep the newcomers in niches Apple isn't as interested in). The last time they licensed MacOS, they said "build everything you want", and the cloners largely copied Macs and sold them cheaper. If Apple did it right, they could get HP and/or Lenovo offering the MacOS on desktop workstations (if Apple wanted to build one of those, they wouldn't have let theirs languish for 6 years) and laptops that aren't as sleek as Apple's but offer more expandability (again, Apple used to make those but decided people wanted ultra-thin machines). They could be specifically prohibited from sub-3 lb laptops, Mini-style desktops and all-in-ones...

Dan

I'm not sure Apple hates us, so much as it just doesn't care that much. Leaving off SD card slots and USB ports might be seen as an echo of the decision to leave a floppy drive out the original iMac (which might seem prescient now, but there weren't really any other options in removable storage back then).

What really proves their ambivalence to me, though, is found on the bottom of my mouse. On my old work mac (2011 vintage) when the batteries died, I needed only swap them out for another set of (rechargeable) AAs. On its replacement, the batteries are non-removable and it must be charged via the propietary USB cable, which plugs into the bottom of the mouse, thus rendering it completely unusable when being charged. They could have put it on the front, but no, that would compromise the aesthetics by about 0.01%. It wouldn't be so bad if the OS gave more than about 5mins warning of the mouse's paucity of power...

Whoever made the decision on this design should be strung up in the nearest town square and beaten to death with their own shoes.

I think it's just another facepalm moment from Apple, to go along with a 27" £1,400 odd product that doesn't have a DVD drive, a neat but far less useful wireless keyboard, and not enough USB ports by a long way.

Every port, and the SD card slot, and the sound socket (whatever it's called) is round the back, out of sight. Not so bad for the USBs, but not too helpful for the rest.

It all looks lovely and minimal in the shop, but in the real world, once you have a printer, and a scanner, and a standalone HD with your pictures on and another HD for back up, and a DVD drive, and a full sized USB keyboard instead of the wireless one, you are off to the shop again to buy a USB hub.

It's all very well being a leader and I suppose Apple is, but you have to lead in the right direction at the right time.

(Rant, rave, moan, complain, etc)

Not to dash your paranoia about the lack of an SD slot, but apple has a looong annoying history of abandoning existing connectivity standards in favor of where they think the future should be, before the rest of us mere mortals are done with them. Think SCSI to Firewire 400 to Firewire 800 Thunderbolt and USB C (long before any devices of these standards are available from third parties). The 12 inch MacBook came out a year ago with a single USB-C socket to cover charging AND all connectivity forcing everyone to buy a hand full of expensive dongles. Better to have a super light sleek looking eye candy computer than one that fit most customers needs! Sorry…must take a deep breath and my BP meds now…. =)

Lets see if Apple can stop My Nikon F2. No way in hell.
(I admit to slumming around with a iPhone 7)

I use CF cards. No slots for those in any computer. CF Cards are the 'film' of the digital camera world.

I work with developing software. Macbooks are very popular among software developers and people they work with. Not only that, but being highly paid professionals, they tend to have the best and latest models. What does Apple do? Introduces a keyboard that's a pain to write with and prone to break. Make a new case design that has thermal issues. Go all USB-C, leaving no USB-A ports remaining so everyone has to have a dongle at all times. There are other issues too, but you get the idea. I realize companies cannot make everyone happy all the time, but the well paying customers' primary features should be kept at a high level.

Even as you have come to the point of view that Apple has become hostile to its photographer base, you keep following along touting the benefits of the Apple ecosystem. As a non-Apple user, I just see another person tied to following a Corporations definition of what its users should be using and how they should use it.

I have been using Personal Computers since the TRS-80 model 1. I rejected Apple at the beginning (I have a degree in Computer Science) because of the price then and I do now. I am one of those guys who builds their own computers to meet what I want not what some follower of - excuse the term - Dead Steve says I should be using.

I have used multiple (now mostly dead) image processing applications and I am sure that I will have to change them, but I will not change my photography software because of what a hardware manufacturer thinks I should use.

My current top end laptop has two USB-A ports, One USB-C, HDMI, full sized SD, backlit keyboard, touch screen, pen, 16GB RAM and a 512GB Hybrid HD. No, it is not made by Microsoft and it was purchased for $799. I opted to update the OS to Windows 10 Pro so the total price is still less than $1K.

Microsoft has also abandoned (many years ago) any pretense of supporting photography at the corporate level. Just look at the efforts you have to go through to be able to view RAW images in File Explorer. They do not support manufactures providing RAW codec's anymore, all codec's are up for sale now from third parties.

As for a iPad being a replacement for a local or desktop? Really? I have 18K RAW plus a few thousand JPEG images on my desktop. Do you really think I am going to be able to host all of those images on a iPad/tablet?

You are being abandoned and like the rest of us you need to make better/different decisions about how to cope. Apple does not make all that much money from computers in the traditional sense, they make media delivery products and they are slowly moving away from creating media.

I finally threw the towel in on Apple. With the switch to Capture One from Lightroom, I had a computer built for me. It has storage at half the price of the Mac Mini. Plus if I want to add more storage it's something I can do myself. I used Imac's for years but I will not buy another Apple computer and am shopping for an Iphone replacement. In many ways they remind me of Leica (not in good ways either). And I say this as a person who recently purchased an M5 for a film project I am doing. Yes there products are nice but you really are buying a lifestyle at some point. I'm not cheap either. I have a GFX 50R plus two lenses from B&H. Anyway, the monitor I purchased for the new computer is better than the one on my Imac too. The whole set up cost me a little under $1,500.

I meant to write twice the storage 4GB at half the price of the Mac Mini.

Apple claiming that they are the number one camera company in the world is like Lego claiming that they are the number one tyre manufacturer in the world.
It's a pub-quiz favourite; Lego routinely manufactures twice as many tyres per annum as its nearest competitor, Bridgestone.

I've always used Windows. I've never used a Mac. There was a time I was tempted, but no more. Let me tell you why.

I have a particular interest in B&W printing. While it's possible to do this through the major (esp Adobe) software products and the (Epson) printer driver, for a range of reasons I prefer to do it using certain niche products. QuadToneRIP in particular.

OS X has a nasty habit of breaking those products, in a way that so far Windows hasn't. This leaves niche software creators scrambling to fix their products. Larger software houses usually get advance notice of this, but often choose not to update older software and hardware drivers (I'm looking at you Xrite!). Which can make an OS X upgrade an expensive choice if you need to buy new software and a new spectrophotometer. My ancient gear still works in W10.

Moreover, back around OS X 10.6.8, Apple and Adobe conspired to dumb-down certain aspects of colour management in OS X. It's now hard to print with no colour management from Photoshop without the OS making silent and hidden colour profile conversions in some circumstances. There are now workarounds, but it means printing from other software as you can't print directly from Photoshop to QuadToneRIP without colour management, which used to be possible. This was one of the big attractions of OS X for me. Without it I'm as well off on Windows and all my old software and hardware still works.

I think that this dumbing down of colour management to make it safe and fool-proof for the great masses, and the frequent breaking of niche products, shows how little Apple now cares about the creatives that kept them alive in the lean years. Apple is fortunate that so many of them still seem so bolted-on. End of rant.

So desperately do I cling to Aperture that I shoot jpegs with cameras that came out post-Aperture, just so I can keep using it.

I suspect the true reason Apple excised the SD card was because third parties like TarDisk and Transcend created expandable storage that fit in the SD slot. One permanently forfeits the use of the SD slot as a card reader when doing so, but this subverted Apple’s ability to sell better components at time of purchase, which they handsomely mark up. This defiance of user upgradability has metastasized to the iMac Pro; their crème de la crème with a base price of 4999.00 USD has no upgradeable parts - not even the RAM.

American Nations puts an incisive spin on American history. What you learned in grade and H.S.? Fogettaboutit! The settlement of this country starting in the 1600s and continuing through the 1800s is still deeply reverberating in our politics today. It makes one realize how amazing this country's ability is to hang together under a common creed. While it comes under extreme strain at times, we fail to understand how unlike any other country we are in our ability to fly a single flag over such a diverse population. This book will make you recognize just how unique the American experiment is.

Mike Ferron: +1

I have a brother who is a Mac Head (zealot). He doesn't like it when I say "The Apple way or the highway".

Does anyone see a similarity between Apple and Leica.

(Duck, and Cover)

There will be time, and it won’t be too far in the future when iPhones and IPads have no ports at all. Once they get the wireless charging working well enough it will come to laptops as well. The watch is already like that. Only connection is wireless with wifi or Bluetooth or 4G/5G. And one by one the laptops will follow.

"Maybe you should consider it from the other side. Let's say the traditional camera manufacturers are failing us. Why are they not doing more to build connected devices in this age of constant connectivity?"

Yes

"...THIS is not a camera, whatever else it does well..."

Nah

"If Apple no longer wants to support photographers and other artists, why not license the MacOS to someone who will?"

This is a much more complicated issue than just giving away the code to the OS. Current Mac hardware is not just an off the shelf PC running a different operating system. For better or worse is a lot of Apple-specific hardware in the box, like the custom security chips in the new laptops and iMacs (for touchid and other things).

Anyway, my general feeling about this is that it's usually unrealistic to think that a company that is selling as much hardware to as many people as Apple hates you specifically. It's always more that some particular cost-benefit analysis based on average use just didn't go your way. It's a bummer but that's how it works.

I'd love to not have to carry a card reader around with the new laptops too ... but really ... why should I have to use a wire AT ALL to get the pictures from my camera to the computer? The DSLR people have had 20 years of the Internet and wireless networking staring them in the face and they continue to get this wrong. That's where I would put my personal hatred.

Disappointed to learn that upgrading the RAM on the new Mac Mini won't be quite as easy as imagined. Yes, it is SO-DIMMs, but it's in a bay with a guard over it (which will have to be removed), above the fan (which will have to be removed), which is above the plastic base which will have to be levered off, which you'd better not do too energetically because it seems to be connected with a fiddly but crucially important wire (for Bluetooth?). In fact, the real thing doesn't look much like those beautiful images shown during the 30 October presentation.... Apple are now saying that this is a job for an Apple Service Provider, and not the end user! (https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT205041#one)

Apple doesn’t hate us but we’re irrelevant to them. Everything we know and care about is based on the constraints of optico-mechanical devices from the last century. For instance, I paid $1000 for Fujifilm’s superb 56mm portrait lens. They create (or will soon) the same effect on an iPhone with software to the satisfaction, at least, of millions.

Furthermore, we’re concerned with creating lasting artifacts (prints) in a world of ever-faster on screen ephemera. That’s simply not their market. If our equipment manufacturers, retailers, markets and customers get wiped out along the way, that’s no concern of theirs.

Sorry Mike, about adding to your work load but ...

As you get older you loose muscle mass. Now-a-days I don't have Popeye forearms and a 27 pound 27 inch iMac was too heavy to move-about when cleaning. Now I have an easier to move 12.5 pound 21.5 inch 4K iMac—the smaller size also gives me more room on the desk's top for important things, like coffee-cups. Size really does matter, From my POV smaller is always better when it comes to tech-gear.

I'm into less-complicated as well. I use Sennhieser wireless headphones https://amzn.to/2RGPRYa I try to keep things up-to-date—the only dongle I've ever used is a Compact Flash reader. I haven't played a vinyl phonograph record in years, therefore not having a turntable on my iMac is no-big-deal 8-)

BTW This missive was written on iA Writer, a less complicated writing tool https://ia.net/writer (available for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows).


T. Edwards in a Featured Comment wrote: "As for Aperture, my uneducated guess is that keeping that going and doing raw converters for new generations of cameras and dealing with the kvetching of photographers was just not worth the time." It's worth remembering that an unusual feature of Apples OS/X system was and is that raw file handling is part of OS/X and not individual applications. So they didn't even have that gain to make. The abandonment of Aperture strikes me as an appalling piece of arrogant ignorance that SJ would never have tolerated. But then, I love Aperture. Photos app, no, I just don't get how it works!

A good read. Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success https://www.amazon.com/Insanely-Simple-Obsession-Drives-Success-ebook/dp/B0064W5V5C/ extols Apple's use of small driven teams.

Written on iA Writer.

Having been usin macs from the eighties I cant be bothered to change.

Stopping Aperture I felt as a personal insult ( stupid I know) .

I have weaned my kids off Apple. They both started with Macbook Airs ...but are now on PCs. With PCs you can choose what connections you would like .....

By and large the mac computers are overpriced and over simplified.

Come on ... Aperture was losing to Adobe and other apps. It was a business decision.

While I wanted to buy Aperture, when it came time it was discontinued, so I moved on. (I use Exposure X from Alien Skin.). My MacBook Air had an SD port, as does my iMac, but my iPad Pro doesn’t. In fact I use a card reader on my iMac because the SD slot is inconveniently located.

If I were to buy a MacBook, I’d just buy a dongle. They’re cheap and small - they take up virtually no room.

Yes, I get that some of Apple’s decisions are based on aesthetic design rather than outright utility. But it’s still the best platform for creatives. You won’t catch me going back to a Windows platform, ever.

Raging against the wind takes away precious time and energy from being creative.

FYI - Aperture is not dead... Aperture 3.6 can be installed and still works on all Macs... they kept it operational, just not updating it. You have to hunt to find it, but it works well even on huge catalogs.

For better or worse I've always been a Windows user, so I'm looking at this from the outside and could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that when Apple had a 3% share of the desktop market, and that market was all there was, it dealt with this situation effectively by catering to what the MBAs call vertical markets: educators, artists, photographers, filmmakers, the advertising industry, etc. In many of these markets Apple had the majority share by far. But shortly after it found a way into the mass market, first with the iPod and then the iPhone, Apple couldn't abandon these vertical markets fast enough.

I never understood the business logic of this. It seems counterintuitive, and just plain dumb, to abandon markets you already own, when you could continue serving them while also making bank among consumers. But Apple is a trillion dollar enterprise and I'm not, so what do I know?

Mike,
Thanks very much for introducing "American Nations" by Colin Woodard to your audience.
I read it a few years ago and it explains a lot about our country.

I need a new computer to replace this dying 2011 Macbook Pro. I've used Apple since 1998 when I had a major falling out with Windows....but I just can't see a product in there lineup that suits me....and I certainly can't afford what will work.

So, after 20 years of sucking up the KoolAid, I'm going to be looking for a PC as soon as I can find the funds. I don't want to learn a new operating system and I can't see me switching from iOS because I really don't want to have to learn how to make Android secure.

There has been no innovation by Apple recently, it feels like it's a company moving backwards. A Wacom type pen I can use on my screen for making masks....of course I want that shit! Been wanting it since 1998.....a touch bar with easy access to frequently used emoji? I'll pass.

And the price difference? Seems it's about £1000 difference between a usable Mac and a PC. So I'm going to have to suck up this new OS thing but damn right I'm pissed about it.

I absolutely love Adrian Malloch's comment about the largest tire manufacturer in the world!

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