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Tim Cook on Mac Desktop commitment Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 1st February 2018
  #1801
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 6ccb844 View Post
I understand, this is of course an audio orientated forum.. But whether I'm right or wrong here, it does seem at times people look down on others without any basis to do so. Although it's easy to misread context in text formats and without being able to follow up quickly to resolve a matter.
Yeah, I didn't mean to look down on you or anything. All I meant to say was that for most users in this forum a slow boot on Win 10 probably won't happen with a reasonably modern computer build, and thus it isn't a reason to stay away from Win 10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 6ccb844 View Post
Anyway when it comes to Windows 10 it's as much political as it is technical, I don't like the fact they've stopped security updates if you have a Ryzen or new age Intel (on W8).. It's just an arbitrary software limitation no matter what excuses they have, plus there's many more..
I don't entirely disagree. But I do have some sympathy for MS in that I think we're at an interesting junction where our usage of technology is likely to change quite a bit the next 5 years or so. MS is simply trying to figure out where to go in the future, and getting people off older Windows and embracing v10 "as a service" is the way to go. I can absolutely see both sides of the coin here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 6ccb844 View Post
I think the Mac Pro could be the perfect compromise for me, if they build it as a modular system (like they keep planning) where you can add your own PCI-E devices.
Yep.
Old 1st February 2018
  #1802
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zephonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
The iMac Pro with 11+ TFLOPS is in the league of the WX9100 (over 12TFLOPS). The Vega 56 is not directly comparable as it claims to be a pro card, but in the Windows world, Vega 56 typically means gaming cards. There is no WX model with 9TFLOPS.

Regarding Windows, I could give my opinion on this (as I once more do not agree with several statements), but I will not derail this thread even further.
Okay, since the Xeon in the iMacPro is a downclocked 2145 rebranded as a 2140, maybe the GPU is a downclocked WX9100 rebranded as Pro Vega 56?

Not sure what you disagree with re: Windows, as I didn't even so much as mention it?
Old 1st February 2018
  #1803
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
Just a heads up...Micro Center and some other vendors are selling the base iMac Pro for $3999.
That's a great price and IMO worth it, seems to me some of the divided opinion stems from geographic location.. The base model is £4899.00 or $6991.00 here, If you're in Europe looks to me you'd be far better off shipping in from the US.
Old 1st February 2018
  #1804
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

So current rumors are extending the T2 processor into the non-pro line (iMac?), a GPU equipped 5K or greater TB Display (which will allow lesser GPU equipped Macs w/ TB to run at 5K), and the modular Pro still in the works. There is also rumor of an 8K TB display, as the new US FoxCon plant is going to be manufacturing 8K TVs.

It certainly makes sense for Apple to put the GPU in a 5K or 8K display, as many current machines do have TB, but do not have a GPU that will support high resolutions. It also goes in line with a modular Pro, providing the ability for multiple 5K/8K displays, without including (forcing) multiple pro GPUs on customers who don't need that kind of display power.
Old 2nd February 2018
  #1805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 6ccb844 View Post
Gotta admit I have been eyeing up the new MAC pro, simply because I'm not having much of a fun time with Windows 10.. I use visual studio a lot and I've had a lot of crashes, forced updates that have BSOD'ed the machine and I've had to roll back (which never happened once on windows 8), performance is pretty poor across the board.. This machine is a 10 core xeon / m.2 and it usually takes between 1-3 seconds to hit the start screen in W8, now we're talking minutes..
In short: that is not normal behavior, we have hundreds of W10 systems in the field and we wouldn't be able to cope with support if that was a normal case. I suspect one of the updates/upgrades didn't roll well with either a hardware driver, a copy protection or AV software, or simply with one of your applications. I always suggest a rigid backup scheme before patching manually, instead of keeping the automated update active.

Automatic upating/upgrading on a pro license is the only thing that annoys me on Windows 10 - but it can be disabled easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
Okay, since the Xeon in the iMacPro is a downclocked 2145 rebranded as a 2140, maybe the GPU is a downclocked WX9100 rebranded as Pro Vega 56?
More or less, the AMD GPU's in the current MacPro also are hybrids which have no comparable retail version.

Quote:
Not sure what you disagree with re: Windows, as I didn't even so much as mention it?
That wasn't aimed at you, sorry for the inappropriate quote.
Old 2nd February 2018
  #1806
Deleted User
Guest
YouTube

This is an iMac Pro 18-core test video.

This is interesting. It looks (to me), like apps that do not fully utilize all 18 cores (Adobe, it appears), do not realize as significant a boost in power going from 8 to 18 cores as might be hoped. Okay, so I just stated the obvious. But, anyway, the point is that if your DAW of choice and plug-in usage value faster processors over multi-processors, an 8-core might be as much as needed. I would love to see such a comparison video using Logic, Pro Tools, and Cubase with Omnisphere and Kontakt, as well as predominantly audio sessions.
Old 3rd February 2018
  #1807
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stratology's Avatar
 

Earlier in the thread I mentioned macOS server, as a possible solution for running Time Machine backups over a network.

Apple has now released an article that states that many features will be removed from macOS server in the near future.

Time Machine server is not affected, but other, highly useful services, like VPN, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, the excellent Wiki service, Webserver, will be removed in the future. Looks like the future focus will be on MDM.


macOS server is a fringe product, but this is horrible news.
Old 5th February 2018
  #1808
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by stratology View Post
Earlier in the thread I mentioned macOS server, as a possible solution for running Time Machine backups over a network.

Apple has now released an article that states that many features will be removed from macOS server in the near future.

Time Machine server is not affected, but other, highly useful services, like VPN, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, the excellent Wiki service, Webserver, will be removed in the future. Looks like the future focus will be on MDM.


macOS server is a fringe product, but this is horrible news.
Disappointing though it is I can't say I'm surprised in the slightest. Many of these services would instead be provided by Linux servers or indeed just hosted offsite in the "cloud" now.

I'd imagine the percentage of users utilising these features was very, very low.
Old 5th February 2018
  #1809
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelTheSuperior View Post
Disappointing though it is I can't say I'm surprised in the slightest. Many of these services would instead be provided by Linux servers or indeed just hosted offsite in the "cloud" now.

I'd imagine the percentage of users utilising these features was very, very low.

Some of the services are still available via command line.


There was a small but significant user base for macOS server - small businesses and education. The focus on MDM means that the main use in education, MDM for iPad deployments, is still there. But missing out on things like Wikis for student collaboration is a major step back.



I always thought that some of Apple's 'fringe' products - Mainstage, Motion, macOS Server - were among their best in terms of quality and, especially, price.
Old 5th February 2018
  #1810
Gear Maniac
No NetBoot and the end of bare metal imaging

No NetBoot on the new iMac Pro and the end of bare metal imaging if you stick with AFPS. OK if you have one Mac. I have 130.

My home 2006 MacPro is still awesome running Logic 9!
Old 7th February 2018
  #1811
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Freeland View Post
No NetBoot on the new iMac Pro and the end of bare metal imaging if you stick with AFPS. OK if you have one Mac. I have 130.!
Wow, 130 machines in the studios?
Quote:
"However, nothing was displayed on the Startup Selector screen. I suspect that NetBoot in some form will be coming in a future update. Block-based imaging is pretty much dead as Apple has been encouraging administrators to use Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP) when setting up a large number of Macs, but NetBoot and NetInstall are good for running standard installers from the network and for troubleshooting."
From the twocanoes article SecureBoot & the 2017 iMac Pro.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #1812
Lives for gear
 
MusiKLover's Avatar
Re: Gearslutz Reviews Team

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusiKLover View Post
I hear what you are saying, but if Intel in fact must go back to the drawing board regarding the latest low-level discrepancies, what a market opportunity for Apple to begin (or continue to pursue) formal contemplation of serious Multicore chips with fast Clock Speeds. They might be able to implement such microprocessors faster than Intel at this rate! They certainly have the Cash on the Balance Sheet to do it. Heat will be the issue, but imagine Xeon-type chips in the iPad Pro if true cross-pollination could be engineered to work. It’s a long-shot, but who knows. I bet keeping an eye on Apple’s Job Board could give an indication, though such positions might be so high in the food chain that there are no reqs.
Looks like this post might be a reality:

Analysts: Apple shifting to custom Mac processors to have minimal impact on Intel | 9to5Mac

Barclays is out today with a new analyst note on Intel in light of the news that Apple could be shifting away from using the company’s processors in its Mac lineup by 2020. While Bloomberg noted that Apple provided around 5% of Intel’s yearly revenue, Barclays takes a closer look at the details.

Barclays’ data (via Mercury Research) says 19 million Macs were sold last year across a wide range of price points. Lining up with yesterday’s Bloomberg article, Barclays estimates that Apple’s high-end machines account for 3-4% of Intel revenue, while the budget models are said to account for about another 2% of Intel’s sales.
Old 5th April 2018
  #1814
Gear Addict
 

So it’s doubtful there will be any sort of news about it at the WWDC keynote.

Maybe this is actually good news for 5,1 Mac Pro users as far as getting at least one more macOS upgrade.
Old 5th April 2018
  #1815
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zephonic's Avatar
Thanks for sharing. The original article is here:

Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro will be shaped by workflows – TechCrunch

That’s later than I would have liked, but my 6-core is still going strong and 2019 would be a good year for it to retire!
Old 5th April 2018
  #1816
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
Thanks for sharing. The original article is here:

Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro will be shaped by workflows – TechCrunch
That’s a great article that makes it clear that Logic is very much in the mix when it comes to considering the needs of professionals. That should help reassure everyone who isn’t just looking to stir up unrest. It is, however, a long way away for someone who is in the market for something new today if they don’t see the iMac Pro as a good fit for their needs.

I’m particularly curious what they have in mind on the laptop front. I have a 2017 MBP so I’m not in any rush, but I’d love to see a creative answer for someone who needs portability but would love more power when they return to a home base. The eGPU strategy is great for video professionals, something comparable on the audio front would be welcome.
Old 6th April 2018
  #1817
Sky
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Sky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Gaia View Post
That’s a great article that makes it clear that Logic is very much in the mix when it comes to considering the needs of professionals. That should help reassure everyone who isn’t just looking to stir up unrest. It is, however, a long way away for someone who is in the market for something new today if they don’t see the iMac Pro as a good fit for their needs.

I’m particularly curious what they have in mind on the laptop front. I have a 2017 MBP so I’m not in any rush, but I’d love to see a creative answer for someone who needs portability but would love more power when they return to a home base. The eGPU strategy is great for video professionals, something comparable on the audio front would be welcome.
Well stated. Xeon has been a differentiator for Mac Pro and the new iMac Pro. If Apple quietly retires the trashcan before 2019, then the iMac Pro will remain their only current professional computer.

When will the new 2019 modular is ready for primetime? This could be 2020 as it is an all-new design. In 2020, Apple is also rumored to be starting to implement in-house CPUs, which could disrupt their product roadmap.

So the good news is we can predict at least two more years with our cheesegraters, or a minimum two year run on a new iMac Pro. As Apple reportedly is rethinking all pro-designated products, it will indeed be interesting to see what they do for laptops.

Sky
Old 6th April 2018
  #1818
Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
Thanks for sharing. The original article is here:

Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro will be shaped by workflows – TechCrunch

That’s later than I would have liked, but my 6-core is still going strong and 2019 would be a good year for it to retire!
I am actually surprised. They bought Emagic but have no producers/composers in their staff to listen to? What happened to their betatesters? Apple has been dominating the professional media industry for decades, now they tell us they had no clue? Time to talk to Adobe?
Old 6th April 2018
  #1819
Gear Maniac
 
tsrono's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
Well stated. Xeon has been a differentiator for Mac Pro and the new iMac Pro. If Apple quietly retires the trashcan before 2019, then the iMac Pro will remain their only current professional computer.

When will the new 2019 modular is ready for primetime? This could be 2020 as it is an all-new design. In 2020, Apple is also rumored to be starting to implement in-house CPUs, which could disrupt their product roadmap.

So the good news is we can predict at least two more years with our cheesegraters, or a minimum two year run on a new iMac Pro. As Apple reportedly is rethinking all pro-designated products, it will indeed be interesting to see what they do for laptops.

Sky
I'm more hoping that they drop the prices again on the trashcan so it keeps declining on the second hand market...I know this isn't very likely, but a boy can dream? I'd love to pick up one of them next year for ~1300 or something.
Old 6th April 2018
  #1820
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zephonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
I am actually surprised. They bought Emagic but have no producers/composers in their staff to listen to? What happened to their betatesters? Apple has been dominating the professional media industry for decades, now they tell us they had no clue? Time to talk to Adobe?
I think it is symptomatic of a company that grew too fast. Before the iPhone they were this plucky left-field computer company, that was -as Steve Jobs said- organized like a startup.
In the last ten years Apple has become a true multinational, a large company, with all the benefits and pitfalls that large companies deal with. Much more compartmentalization, little fiefdoms within the organization etc.

They went from being Tesla to being General Motors, so to speak.

The iPhone is their biggest product and they really don't put a foot wrong there, you can see they are laser-focused when it comes to that.

But that comes at the expense of many other things. I think the current Mac lineup is a total mess.
Old 7th April 2018
  #1821
Gear Head
 
johnscalia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Then again he thinks the iMac is the "best desktop in the world".
because right now, it is
Old 7th April 2018
  #1822
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnscalia View Post
because right now, it is
Nothing like a good joke first thing Saturday morning.... Thank you!
Old 9th April 2018
  #1823
Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
I think it is symptomatic of a company that grew too fast. Before the iPhone they were this plucky left-field computer company, that was -as Steve Jobs said- organized like a startup.
In the last ten years Apple has become a true multinational, a large company, with all the benefits and pitfalls that large companies deal with. Much more compartmentalization, little fiefdoms within the organization etc.

They went from being Tesla to being General Motors, so to speak.

The iPhone is their biggest product and they really don't put a foot wrong there, you can see they are laser-focused when it comes to that.

But that comes at the expense of many other things. I think the current Mac lineup is a total mess.
Come on, they were in every music studio on the planet 20 years ago - even I worked on a G3 in the studio.
While I can only confirm the point about their focus on phones and other consumer gear, what is mentioned in this article sounds like an insult to me. Time to talk to Adobe? Seriously? They had all the expertise inhouse with all the companies they bought, they have all the connections, betatesters, etc. for decades. Now 5 directors talk to a journalist, they don't really say something, just a lot of hot air, basically claiming they have no clue about the new Mac Pro aside from it being modular (which most PC's and old MacPro's are...), then come up with how they hire top producers & engineers from various media areas. Which no doubt may bring better workflow in the software and possibly hardware, but isn't that why you have product specialists in your staff in the first place, who gather this information? That was basically my day job 20 years ago, and now is again. You don't even need to hire them, just ask them how they want to work and they will not stop talking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnscalia View Post
because right now, it is
Go outside man, get some fresh air.
Old 9th April 2018
  #1824
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Come on, they were in every music studio on the planet 20 years ago - even I worked on a G3 in the studio.
While I can only confirm the point about their focus on phones and other consumer gear, what is mentioned in this article sounds like an insult to me. Time to talk to Adobe? Seriously? They had all the expertise inhouse with all the companies they bought, they have all the connections, betatesters, etc. for decades. Now 5 directors talk to a journalist, they don't really say something, just a lot of hot air, basically claiming they have no clue about the new Mac Pro aside from it being modular (which most PC's and old MacPro's are...), then come up with how they hire top producers & engineers from various media areas. Which no doubt may bring better workflow in the software and possibly hardware, but isn't that why you have product specialists in your staff in the first place, who gather this information? That was basically my day job 20 years ago, and now is again. You don't even need to hire them, just ask them how they want to work and they will not stop talking.
I feel the same, insulted, and I too remember the G3/G4 in studios.

And we are talking, a lot and from many years.

It's not hard, I add the suggestion: all pro forums and sites are full of complaints and needs... maybe Gearslutz too?

This is theatre, and a bad one.
Old 9th April 2018
  #1825
Lives for gear
 
zephonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Come on, they were in every music studio on the planet 20 years ago - even I worked on a G3 in the studio.
While I can only confirm the point about their focus on phones and other consumer gear, what is mentioned in this article sounds like an insult to me. Time to talk to Adobe? Seriously? They had all the expertise inhouse with all the companies they bought, they have all the connections, betatesters, etc. for decades. Now 5 directors talk to a journalist, they don't really say something, just a lot of hot air, basically claiming they have no clue about the new Mac Pro aside from it being modular (which most PC's and old MacPro's are...), then come up with how they hire top producers & engineers from various media areas. Which no doubt may bring better workflow in the software and possibly hardware, but isn't that why you have product specialists in your staff in the first place, who gather this information? That was basically my day job 20 years ago, and now is again. You don't even need to hire them, just ask them how they want to work and they will not stop talking.
Not really sure what you disagree with here?

To me, that article is a clear attempt at preemptive damage control. April 2017 they had the round-table discussion about the Mac Pro, and they said it wasn't coming that year. A lot of people took that to mean it would come in 2018. If no Mac Pro would be announced at WWDC, the outcry would have been epic. That is what this article is for, to manage expectations.


As for the question why they didn't manage to leverage all the expertise they have to deliver a new professional product, that is what the comparison to General Motors is about.

Enormous companies with vast resources in terms of money, talent, expertise and institutional know-how, yet often unable to focus all those resources unless someone with sufficient authority gets all those different departments and their respective leaders on the same page. Only the CEO, or very senior management can do that.

Managing a company of that size is like being the captain of a supertanker or container ship. Changing course or direction doesn't happen instantly.

Apple's management has been focused on mobile, services and retail. Last year they finally figured out they're about to lose the pro market and understood that would have downstream implications. So they decided something had to be done. But at that level, turning things around takes time. Maybe it's too little too late, time will tell. But at least they recognize it's a problem, and don't dismiss it as something that has virtually no impact on the bottom line.
Old 9th April 2018
  #1826
Gear Maniac
 
tsrono's Avatar
 

^Regarding all that:

What I find perplexing is how they released the Mac Pro in 2013, sat around for 4 years to say, hey, maybe that wasn't great and we're going to do something different. And that'll take 2 years...I mean, what on earth was this team working on for 4 years? The iMac Pro? Maybe the people get shifted around between big projects of course, I have zero experience with being part of a tech team or a company of that size...but, to a layperson, this seems pretty silly.
Old 9th April 2018
  #1827
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Jones Sr View Post
When Apple a year ago admitted the trashcan mistake and announced the intention to build a new modular Mac Pro, I posted that they would overthink and overengineer the solution and that it will end up being awkward 'not a tower'. What we've seen so far confirms this, it's obvious that if a more traditional desktop were being built, they'd be some way along the project by now. This stuff about creating a team to look at what Pros want is ridiculous.

The stupidest thing I've seen written about it so far has to be the stockholm-syndrome Appleinsider editorial - The 2019 Mac Pro will be what Apple wants it to be, and it won't, and shouldn't, make every 'Pro' happy

What is so fundamentally wrong about this article is that there is some kind of 'ideal Pro machine' which Apple knows best, but may not suit many types of professional user and they shouldn't expect Apple to make something 'for them'. This is incredibly stupid and patronizing.

Turning the argument on its head, the professionals who traditionally used the 5.1 Mac Pro towers for various different industries and uses, can anyone think of a particular class of user or job where that model *was* really letting them down and was unsuitable? I'm struggling to come up with one. If someone needed some kind of expansive raid storage array/upgraded or multiple-card professional GPU setup/multichannel audio interfaces/professional video capture cards/64gb of ram/loads of internal storage... etc, it could accomodate these things. It was expandable and could use standard 3rd party peripherals and components. It's the reason people today have everything from USB3.0 to eSATA to 10gbe or Nvidia 1080's in their Mac Pro 5.1s.

The 'general purpose workstation' nature of the 5.1 was exactly why it is still useful now, and did not preclude any particular usage scenario. Apple should stop trying to figure out which subset of professionals to build an ornate and curious Mac Pro for, and instead make an open and general headless machine that would work for ALL professional users.

Apple are spinning a whole load of bollocks right now about talking to pros to find out what they want in a Mac Pro. Without even being specific to audio, have a look at the 'existing Mac Pro' users posting on places like Macrumors or Appleinsider's forums, and they are all saying the same thing as audio professionals on Gearslutz. They don't want something exotic and awkward that is a 'one off' technological island, with weird and expensive brand new customized expansion. They're just asking for some kind of traditional expandable workstation, perhaps lighter and smaller than the cheesegrater, with up to date technology like USB3.0/3.1, Thunderbolt, 10gbe, PCIE slots, quiet fans, internal storage space and god forbid APPLE TO FULLY SUPPORT 3RD PARTY GPUS LIKE NVIDIA without ridiculous eGPU boxes. It's not rocket science, in fact it's not even beyond the simple world of DIY-PC building, just put it in a nice silvery box with an Apple logo and they'd sell bucketloads without having to spend 3 years reinventing the wheel and talking complete sh*t about some brainstorming dream team.

As I pointed out before, if you step back and squint your eyes a little while looking at Apple's computer lineup, there is a massive gaping hole where a middle-to-ultimate range of headless computers should be. Not everyone wants an all-in-one, and a great many Mac Mini buyers only did so because there WAS NO OTHER suitable desktop from Apple, not because they specifically wanted a NUC-sized computer.

This is social engineering and nothing else, and is probably way too late to save Apple from the mass exodus of creative users who need more than emojis and touchbars.
What he said.
Old 9th April 2018
  #1828
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsrono View Post
^Regarding all that:

What I find perplexing is how they released the Mac Pro in 2013, sat around for 4 years to say, hey, maybe that wasn't great and we're going to do something different. And that'll take 2 years...I mean, what on earth was this team working on for 4 years? The iMac Pro? Maybe the people get shifted around between big projects of course, I have zero experience with being part of a tech team or a company of that size...but, to a layperson, this seems pretty silly.
I seem to remember reading that one of the things Cook did was make the same people work on all new products, i.e., anything from iPhones to Mac Pros.

Yeah, I know.
Old 9th April 2018
  #1829
Lives for gear
 
stratology's Avatar
 

Threads involving Apple are always an irresistible magnet for drama queens.


When Apple does not say anything about an unreleased product, they're unprofessional.
When Apple says something about an unreleased product, it's all theatre.

Regardless of what Apple does and says, there's always some drama and conspiracy theories going on.




Quote:
Originally Posted by johannes2510 View Post
all pro forums and sites are full of complaints and needs... maybe Gearslutz too?

Are you suggesting that Gearslutz is a 'pro forum'? I'd estimate that maybe 1% of the posts here are by real professionals, or cover actual professionally relevant content. How many real professionals have time to waste on Internet forums?


I can only imagine what an unbelievably horrible job it would be for an Apple engineer to sift through content on GS, or any other forum, for that matter, in search of actual constructive criticism from a real world pro perspective.


Don't get me wrong, I very much like GS, but the signal to noise ratio is off the charts.

The drama in some of the Apple threads is so absurd it's almost amusing.
Old 9th April 2018
  #1830
Lives for gear
 
Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Jones Sr View Post
There's no conspiracy theory needed when a company with more money than a country pretends it doesn't know what end users want in a desktop computer.
Either you have to assume that the conspiracy runs so deep that Apple actually put an entire line into manufacturing as a decoy (the cylinder design), or you come to the natural conclusion that Apple honestly thought they were making something compelling and have been somewhat humbled by the feedback they got and are trying to do better.

The one thing I think it’s safe to assume they will not do is simply put together a bog standard machine that could come from any manufacturer. For better or worse, creative innovation is a part of Apple DNA and they don’t want to follow the easy and obvious path. Bringing in some working professionals who aren’t just weekend warriors but are actually scoring major motion pictures and similar will let them get feedback on ideas that should suggest they’re pretty serious about the effort.

That’s no guarantee of timely output that fits your ideal or budget, of course, but it should be interesting at the very least.
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