Mac System 1.0

Dan Vanderkam, writing in 1998, about the very first version of the Mac's operating system:

OK, the last first glimpse difference is probably the biggest shocker. In the disk, you can see the icon of a system folder. You can also see that there's only 196K in the disk! This means that the system folder on it must be positively tiny! Well, as you can see from the list view at the right, that's darned true. Yes, that's the COMPLETE system folder! For some comparison, look at it this way: In system 7, the scrapbook file alone is usually twice as large as this system folder! Ahh, if only apple still made things this small. Nowadays, a full system folder easily tops 100 megs, and can easily have over a thousand items in it. A thousand! That's a far cry from the six that made up the original system folder.

The Malware Museum

Relive some of the horror of the 1990s:

The Malware Museum is a collection of malware programs, usually viruses, that were distributed in the 1980s and 1990s on home computers. Once they infected a system, they would sometimes show animation or messages that you had been infected. Through the use of emulations, and additionally removing any destructive routines within the viruses, this collection allows you to experience virus infection of decades ago with safety.

Creative Cloud nuking hidden folder content

Backblaze support:

We've encountered an issue on the Mac where Adobe Creative Cloud appears to be removing the contents of the first hidden folder at the root of the drive, in alphabetic order. By happenstance, the first hidden folder on most Backblaze customer's internal drive is the .bzvol folder.

WTF, Adobe. This is why we can't have nice things; I guess this is a vote in favor of enforced sandboxing on the Mac.

My Notebook Dilemma

Currently, I'm using a Mid 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. It has an 2.5 Ghz i7, 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB of SSD storage. It's the fastest, most capable Mac I've ever owned.

I bought it right before going independent with Relay FM. I knew that I'd have a desk at home as well as space at an office I share with my brother's non-profit.

I went with the 15-inch because I thought I'd be using it as a notebook way more than I actually do. Both of my desks have external displays, keyboards and mice. I simply show up, plug my computer in and hit the ground running with whatever I need to get done. I'm carrying a 15-inch laptop that lives most of its life as a desktop replacement. At home, the MacBook Pro doesn't even get to be opened; I have it perched in a BookArc:

All of that's to say that I don't use the built-in display very much at all, and would love to carry a smaller notebook again.

Enter the dilemma.

In thinking about what to do for my next Mac, I have two options I can think of: stay with a powerful notebook and shuttle it back and forth or put an iMac on my home desk and carry a MacBook Air when I need to record podcasts at the office or work outside the home. As a two-computer setup would be more complex and a lot more money, my guess I'll simply downsize notebooks for now.

Apple makes a lot of laptops these days. I've spent time with each model over the years. I've used the 13-inch Air and Pro in past jobs. My wife has had both the 11-inch Air and the MacBook with Retina display.

I like the 13-inch screen size a lot more than the smaller notebooks. While it may be weird next to my iPad Pro, I think that's a pretty decent trade-off between size and portability.

The 13-inch models each come with their own compromises, however. The Air has amazing battery life but a screen that's far from ideal and it can be configured with fewer options. On the other hand, the 13-inch Pro is much more flexible from customization stand point and has a Retina display, but the battery life isn't great.

Of course, the entire notebook could get turned upside down whenever Apple ships Skylake-powered notebooks. The 13-inch Pro could end up much slimmer and lighter, thanks to Intel's recent power-saving technology. The MacBook Air could go away all together, being replaced with a more powerful MacBook.

I hope the 13-inch Pro continues to be a good machine with a lot of custom options when ordering, but would Apple sacrifice some of that to position lower in the line, closer to where the Air is now?

Whatever happens, I'll be shopping for a Mac this spring, putting the days of being a 15-inch notebook owner behind me. It should be interesting.

Physicists detect gravitational waves

Dennis Overbye:

A team of physicists who can now count themselves as astronomers announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prophecy of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago. And it is a ringing (pun intended) confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory.

Don't miss the video explaining how this all works.

NASA's 2017

Jason Snell, writing for Yahoo Tech:

While the give and take between NASA and Congress is sure to go on — with the election of a new president later this year as a complicating factor — the fact is that NASA has a $19 billion budget for 2016 and a $19 billion budget proposed for 2017. Here’s some of what the agency is planning on doing with that money.

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Apple opens REP for Mac Pro

Joe Rossignol at MacRumors:

Apple has determined that graphics cards in some late 2013 Mac Pros, manufactured between February 8, 2015 and April 11, 2015, may cause distorted video, no video, system instability, freezing, restarts, shut downs, or may prevent system start up.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair eligible Mac Pro models affected by the video issues free of charge. Customers can book an appointment with the Genius Bar at an Apple Store or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their Mac Pro is eligible for coverage.

Filed under: "it's about time."

Happiness is a podcasting family

Myke Hurley, writing at iMore:

The fact that we have computers in our pockets now — on our person at all times — means that we are all just a tap away from each other. And since we have hosts who live all over the world, there's someone online at practically any time of the day or night. That's powerful, and that's why I love my Apple devices. They not only help me do my work in a practical sense; they also help me stay connected to the people that are most important in my life.

Having my co-founder six time zones and 4,300 miles away isn't as hard as it may seem. With things like iMessage, FaceTime, Skype and Slack, Myke and I can communicate with each other and our hosts no matter where we are. Relay FM wouldn't be possible without the technology we use everyday. We do deeply enjoy the handful of times we see each other a year but it hasn't stopped us from running a growing business from different continent.

The best part is that you'd never know it looking at what we've been able to accomplish. Our company could only exist in the 21s century, and I think that's pretty cool.