Apple may release an updated MacBook Air this year

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Here’s a little story about the last time Apple ‘improved’ the mac mini:


the lat mac mini was a haswell based machine. A small, underpowered machine makes a lot more sense, if it can decode (or even encode!) the latest video formats. Right now. the mac mini-- and any machine of that vintage, has to decode vp9 and h.265 in software. And that’s a 4 core job.

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Fight and lose they will.

Wow. So, does H.265 just suck or what?

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the very next generation of chips (skylake) support hardware decoding. vp9 requires a more recent machine.
In chrome, I can usually enjoy 4k youtube, but cpu load is fairly high. (I have the first model of 5k imac, with a 4th generation i5. Twice the cores of a mac mini (and with a better graphics card, but that doesn’t do a damn thing for h.265)

actually the current macbook keyboard is trash


I wish they would release an updated MacBook Pro. Heyoo!


A new Nickelback album, you say? To each his own

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the new one needs bigger bezels


So a glorified Chrome book at huge markup.

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If they bring back the 11" I’ll be interested. I’m still using my mac air from 2013 and it’s going strong.

Apple must be moving to all their own chips, or Tim Cook is just busy buying nice shoes. I can’t think of any reason why the entire line of Apple computers have become so lackluster that nothing excites me.

Old ass tech, questionable design decisions (killing magsafe, dongle party, glue sandwiches, no upgradeability, dive in quality, the recent keyboard, and the “I don’t actually use computers” hardware design, coupled with the “I have a tech department to fix my software issues” software, has made Apple into some weird company I’d expect Kanye to be running.

I am really at a loss as to what my next mac will be. I have been looking more and more at hackintosh. Considering the longevity of the macbook pros since they glued everything together, I just don’t know.

Maybe it’s time for Linux.


Oh. A specialized application.

The overwhelming majority of vids on YT I watch are 144p. (And on the LAN, SD, which Microceratops [Mac mini, late 2009] is more than capable of delivering.)

144p? You might as well just forget the whole video thing and read a book.

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Hey, I can do both. And it’s not like I use 144p for an art animation short. But a lot of video content is legible enough at 144p that I don’t mind or require more than that. And to be frank, even for some of what I just listen to, were there an audio-only option, I’d default to that.

(A reminder: being on a metered connection in rural America really blows. Hence 144p. I’m not arguing it is ideal, just good enough and often necessary.)

Anyway, it seems to me that, for any 4K (or other specialized application stuff), you wouldn’t default to low-end general appliance hardware. (However, I also thought the whole point of H.26whatever was high efficiency, but if it requires four cores, it is not.)

How I feel about tech in general. But if I have to spend my money on tools, I am really not spending it anywhere else. I got shit to do.

H.265 does fairly well at its job of cramming better looking video into fewer bits. It’s just not computationally cheap and (more importantly) silicon that predates its adoption or expected ubiquity doesn’t have specialized decoding blocks for it.

H.264 is fairly demanding as well, if done in software; there are just a lot more devices that don’t do it in software.

Even MPEG-2, in the before times, benefited from special purpose hardware(and probably still depends on it in $20 DVD players powered by cut price mystery SoCs that struggle to display menus without dragging).

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I don’t know exactly how it happened(I assume a combination of some years of successfully assuming that they know what customers want better than customers do; along with an iPhone money pile so large as to make basically everything else a side project); but they seem to have veered into the curious terrain of attempting ever more elegant solutions for problems ever more divorced from reality.

Unlike some of their competitors, you don’t look upon their works and just shake your head at what trash they are(except the MacBook air screen; 1440x900 pixels on a 13 inch screen is just barbarism, especially when it starts at a thousand bucks); but they seem to be carefully engineered to solve a problem that exists in Mr. Ives’ head; and only rarely beyond.

Whatever crippling, self-imposed, limitations they labor under they generally do fairly well with; it’s just that laboring under crippling self imposed limitations is more pathology than virtue.

h.265 and vp9 decrease bandwidth requirements, but increase algorithmic complexity. These additional computational costs are typically solved by designing an ASIC which can be incorporated into newer devices.(Computer science is all about engineering the right kinds of tradeoffs to fit the available technology)

(additionally, the super high cpu requirements are typically associated with decoding a 4k stream. For lower resolutions it’s bearable, but it does sap battery life.)

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