Be a Geek Again

Touch Me

While not entirely unexpected, my social feeds lit up this week like a Christmas tree with anger around Apple’s new Macbook Pro and how non-pro a “pro” laptop felt, and how folks felt betrayed by Apple. People have interesting expectations: what exactly did you expect Apple to launch?

I’ll say it (and im sure there’ll be the often “apple-lover” comments”) — but I’m not sure if I entirely agree here. Marcus Fehn summed it up:

The 13″ with TB looks like a perfect blend of Air & MBP retina. For a laptop connected to a monitor most of the time — pro enough for me.

The move to having four identical Thunderbolt 3 ports, 2 on each side, is a perfectly good evolution of the cable madness that we have been dealing with for years. While I wish the headphone jack was removed completely, or just a lightening connector, I get why on some level why Apple decided to keep it.

Sure — people are complaining about dongles, dongles, dongles. But as someone who has been on a single-port MacBook 12″ since 2015, this has never been a real problem for me. I have a single plug that goes into my laptop at the desk, and im connected to everything else I need: power, monitor, webcam, extra USB ports for whatever, etc. Simple.

On the road — 2 cables: power, and a USB-C to lightening/micro-usb that allows me to plug into everything mobile. Occasionally I used an HDMI adapter, but I have been moving over to wireless for presenting content.

The only thing that Apple really missed — was not introducing a new “Magic Keyboard” with the Touch Bar integrated into it. My main usage of the MacBook is with the lid-closed and a giant monitor, magic keyboard and magic mouse.

The lack of a keyboard at with Touch Bar omission now has me wondering if my new configuration at the desk will morph into just the MBP 13″ on some laptop stand (such as the ParcSlope) instead of a giant 27″ screen. Unknown at this time.

To the Future

In the end, Ben Brooks nails it:

But the truth of the matter is that it’s a laptop, and as much as you disagree, a laptop is not the future of computing, it’s the ancient hold over.

Over the last 6 months, computing has changed drastically for me.

My laptop, never leaves the desk. Sure, I use it now and again to create a presentation or if I need to code something up, but at the office, when I travel, when I read at night, when I’m sitting on the couch reading, it’s all iPad Pro and iPhone.

But this isn’t the only transformation I’ve been experiencing — I’ve been using Siri and Alexa more and more around the house. I talk to machines.

The way we interact with computers is fundamentally changing.

We are only at the beginning of the next evolution of computer interaction — voice, vision, AI, mobility. There’s something insanely awesome of just saying “Alexa, add spinach to the shopping list” when I’m in the kitchen, or “Alexa, turn off the front door lights” from the bedroom, or “Siri, what’s the score of the Seahawks game?”. Just think about that for a moment (goal-post jokes aside).

I’m excited for this future. We are only in the first inning here. And this has always been at the core of what is fun about being a geek.

It’s about pushing the impossible and moving forward, not bitching about a dongle.