Apple shows off Watch and 12" Retina laptop

Tell me about this artifact of 19A0’s technology. How did it work? Why has it disappeared from the marketplace?

That would be one plane ticket too many!

More like early 90s tech, so I suppose that technically I was a kid then in disposition only, around 20 Earth years.

I don’t remember exactly how they worked, having read the details long ago, but IIRC they worked like an X/Y vector display, but using low-power lasers instead of dots on phosphor, and using a miniature mirror which moved to trace the display field. They were monochrome, not great for graphics, but the text was as crisp as you please.

Like a lot of wearable tech so far back, most people weren’t ready for it. But a more specific reason is that the company, Reflection Technology, were acquired by Omron who desired some of their IP and weren’t interested in marketing wearable computer displays.

Here’s a pic of the hardware:

…and the output:


It’s almost like I said that when I typed the words “except for this allowing more battery space.”

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame


Someone will buy it. But, as someone pointed out on another forum, the main purpose of the absurdly expensive models is to make the entry- and mid-level models seem reasonably priced. This is done with all sorts of luxury goods.

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Force Click sounds like a very compelling addition to the MacBook Pro. In a nutshell, the trackpad detects varying levels of pressure (like Wacom tablets do, except with your fingertip) and will perform tasks based upon that input pressure.

I also think it’s smart on Apple’s part to keep progressing their trackpad as it’s one of the more compelling features of Apple laptop hardware versus most PC laptops. This addition keeps the competitors lagging behind even further. I know some PC-only people will tell me there’s PC laptops with wonderful trackpads, but until you’ve used them both over the course of many months (or years, as I have) you don’t know what you’re talking about. The MacBook Pro trackpads are remarkably better to use in most cases.


I’ve been using a somewhat similar approach to Force Click via software for many years now with the “click-n-hold” feature found within the FinderPop app. It’s (sometimes deviously) smart how Apple continues to slowly take leads and hints (or outright steals) from brilliant third party Mac app developers like Turly (FinderPop dev) over the years.

Back to the trackpad, I’ve found that the Apple trackpad is already excellent to use with Photoshop. Apple adding “pressure-sensitive drawing” to the trackpad takes it to the next logical level where I can ditch a Wacom tablet entirely for most of my workflow (I hope).

Can’t wait to test all this stuff at the Apple store.

Now, if Apple would just make a larger laptop with all these capabilities and retina-style resolution, I’ll be pretty compelled to get one.

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Sounds like a cool set of features. I’m a PC and linux guy, and while I’m very used to, and comfortable with adding more and more macro buttons to mice (I’m up to a mouse with 15 extra, and use all of them in non-gaming contexts), I still have trouble with multi-touch trackpads on laptops. It’s probably because I’m just clumsy and fat-fingered.

But yeah it’s very cool what they’re doing with pressure sensitive trackpads. I don’t think I’d have a use for it, but I’m sure a lot of people will love it.

Maybe with pressure sensitive trackpads, I could write a little daemon or something that would keep track of how hard I’m hitting it, and when it goes over a certain threshold a little message will pop up letting me know to take a break and not be so frustrated.


I suspect supply will be the constraining factor for the huge Chinese market.

Minimum US$349 for a watch that runs out after two freaking days? That’s worse than 18hrs worth of iThing usage.

[quote=“LDoBe, post:28, topic:53305”]
I still have trouble with multi-touch trackpads on laptops. It’s probably because I’m just clumsy and fat-fingered.
[/quote]I know a lot of people who hate trackpads. It’s often due to never using a modern Mac trackpad and having adjusted the settings while taking the time to get comfortable and tweaking said settings.

As far as “fat-fingered” goes, keep in mind modern Mac laptops have large trackpads that tend to dwarf those on most PC laptops. Unlike tiny PC trackpads (which irk the shit out of me), there’s plenty of real estate to move even the most cumbersome hot-dog fingers around. Also, the resolution of the Apple trackpad is very high and accurate compared to most PC trackpads, so you don’t have to deal with the cursor, etc. moving around randomly, jumping, etc. – Once you get used to a Mac trackpad and have it tweaked, it begins to feel like an extension of your fingers picking up and moving physical objects, etc.

As far as settings go…

A great example is the three-finger drag option that many people (including plenty of Mac users) don’t ever give a chance, but they should. A three-finger drag of files (it will grab files and move them wherever you drag them to) seems very cumbersome at first until you realize that Apple was smart enough to allow you to briefly lift your fingers off the trackpad to reposition your fingers whilst still keeping the item in tow.

In other words, you can grab a file and start moving it across your Desktop. During that move, if you run out of space on the trackpad before your file reaches its destination, you can briefly lift and reposition your fingers on your trackpad to drag the file further without errantly dropping the item in the meantime. And, if you want to drop the item in a folder, you can quickly tap with one of the three fingers and it will chuck it into the folder right away minus the pause.

When I first starting trying the three-finger dragging, I thought Apple was crazy for thinking anyone would want to move files like this. But, I also felt the same way about a lot of other Apple user interface ideas until I mastered them, so I gave it a shot. After keeping at it for about a week, I slowly began to realize how great it was and now I hate using any computer without it. On a PC there’s a tap and hold option that does something similar, but it’s slower and less intuitive than the Mac way.

Granted, I tend to move files with Alfred or Launchbar all via the keyboard and never touch the trackpad or mouse at all during that process. But, when I do want to visually move some files around, I love that three-finger action. It’s almost enjoyable in some nerdy way, I suppose.

There’s scores of other things like this and all useful for different purposes.

For instance, I’ve never suffered RSI whatsoever after all these years and working for many hours at a time. There’s lots of things I do to prevent RSI, but gestures is a very important factor.

For example, instead of doing things the same way, I’ll change it up depending upon where my hands and fingers are after typing or where my hands/fingers are after using the trackpad/mouse. It might be closer/faster for me to do a four-finger upswipe to show Mission Control or I’ll do my own custom gesture with xGestures (one finger upswipe with modifier key on trackpad or depress middle button on mouse and do an upward movement) or more often I simply move my cursor to the top-right corner of my screen to activate Mission Control.

I constantly mix all those methods up (it’s now become mostly subconscious) and just do what feels natural depending upon where my hands/fingers are on the keyboard. I think it’s good for me and my workflow for a host of reasons beyond preventing RSI including being more mentally stimulating in certain ways.

Some people hate, hate, hate corner gestures due to false positives and I used to despise hot corners for that frustration as well. But I stuck with it, adjusted trackpad speed settings and my trackpad control evolved over time to never get any false positives anymore and now it makes my workflow very fast when combined with all the other methodologies I mentioned within the previous paragraph above.

That said, I know plenty of women with longish fingernails that get in the way of gestures. And, there’s also just people with different dexterity and/or perhaps less patience than I have for increasing dexterity over time to use all this stuff, so to each their own.


That’s my case. I spent a long time learning tons of keyboard shortcuts, and becoming proficient with the mouse-free way of using Windows, so learning how to use the mouse for redundant actions that slow me down is counter intuitive to me. If I did more work that required spacial work on the PC, I’d be elated to have something like this new track pad. I get confused when I open up something like the Group Policy Editor in Windows and realize it has zero keyboard functionality, so I have to load up my keyboard macro app to use it without taking forever. The mouse macros are mostly for navigation through the file system, using it to split off new tabs when I want to copy stuff, and flipping left and right on the tilt wheel for backward and forward nav, with one of the macros going straight to the address bar, and another for going up the tree.

It’s rather an esoteric way of doing things, but I feel very inconvenienced now when I actually have to ugh move the mouse all the way over to the back button to click it.

I’ve never really hated Apple stuff, it just seemed aversive to me due to the cult-like nature it has. People get angry if you point out any valid criticism of their design, as if Apple were somehow perfect, unlike any other company.

Also, I’ve never been able to justify buying a PC for $3200.00 that I could build with off the shelf parts for $1800.00. I feel like a sucker paying for branding like that. But Apple really does kick ass when it comes to laptops and their build quality.


Well its running unix on a wrist watch. My pebble does a lot better with a custom RTOS.

Interestingly, there have been jokes about smartwatch batteries since before smartwatches even existed. I first heard this one back when people still thought digital watches were a pretty neat idea (about 1983, I think).

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I bet that it was even more excruciating for the engineering minions he leaned on in the attempt to get those extra 6 hours.

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[quote=“LDoBe, post:32, topic:53305”]
It’s rather an esoteric way of doing things, but I feel very inconvenienced now when I actually have to ugh move the mouse all the way over to the back button to click it.
[/quote]Sounds like a smart way to work to me. I think you have the wrong idea that I prefer to move a mouse around for everything in order to click on buttons and crap. I have an array of scripts, etc. I launch with keyboard shortcuts and/or gestures. For example, I usually open this website with a launcher (command-space, then type bb) and also sort through browser tabs with it as well without ever touching the trackpad or mouse. I also can gesture in a letter B-type shape depending on where my fingers are positioned after the last thing I was doing. I do whichever is faster/quicker at the moment.

In the case of buttons that don’t have shortcuts available by default, if I use them often enough, I’ll create a shortcut for them. If for some reason there’s no way to assign a shortcut to a tricky button, I’ll utilize specialized hacks that will allow me to script simulated mouse clicks anywhere on the screen and after positioning the window to make sure the button is in the correct position first. All that will happen with a simple keyboard shortcut that launches said type of scripts and execute in the blink of an eye.

[quote=“LDoBe, post:32, topic:53305”]
learning how to use the mouse for redundant actions that slow me down is counter intuitive to me.
[/quote]Ah, but they aren’t (technically) redundant actions (as I’ll explain below), nor remotely counterintuitive if used properly. Depending upon the task at hand, it’s superior in effort and speed against using keyboard shortcuts alone. I often perform keyboard shortcuts with one hand while performing trackpad (or mouse) gestures with the other.

It’s kind of like playing drums where one should keep limbs in certain areas of the drum kit in order to optimally perform without wasting energy and sacrificing timing, rhythm and speed.

For example, there’s nothing faster than a corner gesture (or four finger gesture depending upon where your fingers are on the keyboard after the last task) to choose through dozens of open windows with many open apps in Mission Control (and “Application Window” hot corner or other gesture) while keeping your other hand on the keyboard in proper position for the next upcoming tasks involving shortcuts, typing, etc. after a window selection is made.

Granted you can do something like this in Windows 8.1 with the taskbar thumbnails via the Windows key as a modifier and pressing the T key at the same time, but it soon falls apart when there’s dozens of open windows and Windows will even stop displaying thumbs and resort to a labeled list instead. The labeled list will then cycle through full size windows, but Apple’s method is superior to this especially when you factor in the ability to use Quick Look (via spacebar) on all the labeled thumbnails (that utilize your entire screen) if you need a closer look beyond seeing all thumbs and labels at once (unlike in Windows which, again, chokes on too many windows and resorts to a labeled list without thumbs).

Either way, a keyboard shortcut alone (without usage of mouse or trackpad for gestures or otherwise) in that case requires a modifier key press (with finger stretching and possibly extra hand movement) and another key press, then cycling through windows via more key presses, then finally seeing the window you’re looking for and then selecting it to bring it forward, or stopping at a window after cycling through a bunch of wrong windows until you finally stumble upon it. There’s no skipping straight to a window you’re looking for within a nest of other windows. Instead, you slowly cycle through them if you can’t remember the name by typing the first few letters, etc.

And that said, if you’re using something like Alfred or Launchbar, you still have to remember the titles of the windows (to type out partially before they pop up) and that’s not always practical when working with dozens of windows. It’s sometimes ideal with only a few open windows, but not when you work with dozens. Now, I do use Alfred or Launchbar to pull up web browser tabs with custom scripts I use that work with browser tabs, but that’s another methodology for a specific, different task where I’ll tend to know the titles or at least the urls to narrow it down.

Now, here’s the fastest way to do it overall when it comes to dozens of open Finder windows. It’s a more visual approach which is better and faster as it takes advantage of our ability to recognize varying patterns all at once within a group. To accomplish this, a corner gesture is one speedy flick away. You then view all thumbnails at once, recognize the pattern of the desired window… and click it. Done.

Worst case you may also look at the labels underneath the thumbs to verify it’s the correct window and perhaps hit spacebar for Quick Look zoom of the window if you’re still not sure, but that’s a pretty rare extra step for the most part.

That’s much faster than cumbersome keyboard shortcuts when dealing with lots of windows and meanwhile your other hand is still resting right where you need it for upcoming typing and/or shortcuts even before the window is brought forward with your other hand. That’s window management as fast as you can see and think even when dealing with scores of windows.

With this method, there’s vastly less hand/finger movement, much faster performance and less RSI risk over time as well. Then again, I’m ambidextrious, so I’m probably an anomaly for some (but not all) of this shit. I also tend to memorize the look and structure of every window I open which is much faster than reading and memorizing each and every title of a window or tab that’s opened, but I tend to have a photographic memory for certain visual shit, so I’m probably an anomaly for some (but not all) of that shit as well.

just seemed aversive to me due to the cult-like nature it has

I don’t agree that average Mac users are more cult-like in nature than most other Americans are towards their choice of consumer products. Apple has no monopoly on obsessive consumers. Granted, there are too many Apple users who aren’t critical enough of Apple’s products and services. But, unfortunately, I see plenty of cult-like obsession within pathetic, rampant consumerism and blind brand (and corporate/nationalistic) loyalty for all kinds of things (and entities) within a depressed, hollow society that tries to find meaning in life within all the wrong places.

But, even if it was the case that Apple users tend to be more cult-like, I’m not sure how that would affect you as an individual. Are you implying you’d be self-conscious using an Apple product because of what others might think of you? For me personally, I don’t care. If people are going to judge me by the electronic device I use in order to get a task done instead of looking at my overall performance, they aren’t really the kind of people I tend to bother with in the first place if I can help it. Life is too short for such nonsense.

Also, considering about 90% or whatever of the computer-using population have all decided to conform together and choose Windows products in unison over the years en masse, I’d consider that to be a bit of a cult-like behavior as well (as in followers), wouldn’t you? But, again, I don’t care. I use whichever tool is the best tool for the task at hand and sometimes that’s a Windows, Linux, iOS or Android tool as well as Mac.

I’ve also noted a cult-like obsession by more than a few Microsoft users who obsessively attack the Mac platform (often in ignorance of the platform) while also obsessively attacking “Starbucks coffee drinking” Mac users in general by referring to them as cult-like while apparently ignoring all the obsessive, cult-like behavior they’re ironically exhibiting themselves in the process. :wink:

I use Windows and Linux machines almost as often as I use Macs in everyday work, so I don’t know what that makes me. I guess I’m some kind of sacrilegious platform infidel. :wink:

[quote=“LDoBe, post:32, topic:53305”]
People get angry if you point out any valid criticism of their design, as if Apple were somehow perfect, unlike any other company.
[/quote]I see that with every platform, including Windows users. Actually, I’ve witnessed on many forums like Ars where people will get downvoted into oblivion for politely pointing out valid flaws in MS products. Go into an Android thread and mention some drawbacks. Watch how that goes… ugh…

Or, the greatest sin… denouncing the gracious, God-like, “philanthropic” King Gates (God forbid) who, in reality, has taken vastly more from society than he’ll ever give back in charity. Like most of the ridiculously rich, there’s massive externalities that society paid for in order for Gates to amass his massive wealth. However, if you point that out, people get locked into hostile cognitive dissonance which is very cult-like, indeed. But, I guess that goes more into cult-like billionaire worship by those who are highly susceptible to public relations charity campaigns more than anything else, I suppose. I guess if I rob their grandmothers for 100 bucks and then give 20 bucks to charity, I can be a saint like Bill Gates and other wonderful billionaires as well.

[quote=“LDoBe, post:32, topic:53305”]
Also, I’ve never been able to justify buying a PC for $3200.00 that I could build with off the shelf parts for $1800.00.
[/quote]Always sounds great in theory… Do you mean a desktop computer or something like a MacBook Pro laptop?

If you’re referring to the Mac Pro, good luck with that…


People have tried and failed…

As you can see in the link above, you’ll end up spending more and having to use Windows instead of Mac OS X (and losing its various advantages as well). And, on top of that, even if you prefer Windows 8.x running in your DIY “Mac Pro” you should probably put a value on your time building the thing as well.

I’ve seen people come close to matching a Mac Pro desktop computer that can run OS X with cheaper, shitty parts (if you consider “coming close” using cheaper, less reliable parts), but it has plenty of drawbacks. For one thing, you have to spend a lot of unpaid time with research, etc. to build a compatible Mac Pro hackintosh. (And, if you’re making something that only runs Windows, you’re comparing apples to oranges for lots of workflows) And, unless your time is worth very little, then that research, etc. should also be a factor. And, if your time is worth very little, then I’m not sure why you’d really need that kind of serious computing power for your work.

If you’re referring to a MacBook Pro laptop, you’re even more shit out of luck. I’ve seen people attempt it IRL and it ends up a miserable failure. Sounds great in theory, but the reality never ends up being the same (or even close). For example, in replace of a Mac trackpad, they’ll use a shitty trackpad (or end up spending more). In replace of a magsafe power adapter, they’ll use a shitty non-magsafe adapter or make their own and cause a fire… it goes on and on… And, again, there’s a massive time factor as well again.

The things is, you can certainly build a cheaper laptop than a MacBook Pro and it may very well meet your specific needs, but it won’t be a MacBook Pro with all its features or you’ll just be kidding yourself. I’m in a position where I use and value just about every feature a MacBook Pro offers so it’s the best value for me. For other specific work I do, I carry around much cheaper PC laptops, but I put those away when I have other work to do on a MacBook Pro.

And, as far as this Apple watch goes… I have zero interest in it because it requires an iOS phone and I prefer Android phones.


That’s quite a diatribe, and I should have seen it coming since that’s probably a trademak for you. I mostly agree.

The cult thing is still lopsided though. Most Windows users didn’t choose it for themselves. I’m not trying to compare adamants, but the average users. The only criticism of Apple I hear day in and day out is about flaws in the iPhone. But I’m always hearing people’s gripes with Windows, Xbox, Office, any Microsoft product I’ve heard griping. Probably because MS software just isn’t very good mostly.

WRT laptops, I’ll admit hands down, that Apple laptops are the best ever made. Or at least the best I’ve ever seen.

When it comes to desktops, I was thinking apples (pun intended) and oranges to probably too great an extent. I still think I can build a machine for less than $2000 that runs linux and windows that can beat a $3200 Mac Pro desktop as long as we’re talking about comparable tasks. And the desktop can even be easily upgraded with COTS parts that don’t cost twice to ten times the price of the non-mac compatible parts. Even if those parts are slightly worse, I have a hard time believing the mac stuff is twice to ten times better, unless we’re including enterprise grade hardware which would probably cost about the same as mac parts.


Also I can’t help but feel that if Apple tried to do something like the Windows 8 rollout, their consumers would go along with it, think it’s revolutionary and congratulate themselves. Rather than what happened with Microsoft who can’t even pay people to use Windows 8.

Probably has less to say about the users and more to do with the products. But yeah, where Microsoft has a sort of coerced brand loyalty, Apple seems “too good to be true”.

And while I am a mostly Windows user, and think Bill Gates was a lucky guy, there’s certainly a lot of negative externalities inherent with just even being the one-time worlds richest person.

Regardless of how he got his money, I’ve actually been researching into how I might be able to work for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation myself, because I really like what it’s doing, and would like to contribute to such an efficient charity. They have plenty of money, I’m just looking for ways to contribute what little skill and expertise I have.

I mean… They’re going to wipe out polio and guinea worm and maybe even malaria. If that isn’t a great work in as biblical a sense as this salty atheist can admit, I don’t know what is.

[quote=“LDoBe, post:39, topic:53305”]
Also I can’t help but feel that if Apple tried to do something like the Windows 8 rollout, their consumers would go along with it, think it’s revolutionary and congratulate themselves.
[/quote]That hasn’t happened in practice. Mac users clinged to (the awesome) Snow Leopard Mac OS (10.6.x) with a death grip after not liking the new direction Apple went with some newer Mac OS’s for a while. Snow Leopard was somewhat comparable to Windows XP in that regard. It wasn’t until Mavericks (10.9.x) that the quality up-ticked a little that users loosened their grip on the older Snow Leopard. Last I heard, 1 in 5 Mac users still use Snow Leopard for various reasons, though.

Currently, a lot of Mac users are upset with the lack of quality control in Mavericks and especially Yosemite. Many, like me, are demanding that Apple stop with the new features and issue a new “Snow Leopard”-style Mac OS version where there’s very few new features and Apple just finally focuses on stability, security and speed again.

I’ve been seeing thread after thread for Mavericks and Yosemite that looks like old Windows threads where people are hacking their systems just to work properly. Apple has been going downhill in OS quality, in my opinion, and plenty of other longtime Mac users are getting very vocal about it.

Windows 8 sucked for many users, but due to poor adoption and growing complaints, Microsoft did issue 8.1 which took care of quite a few issues. And, it probably also helped that reliable third party apps came to the rescue with the Start Menu that Microsoft stubbornly brainfarted on. I’ve also found that despite its UI flaws, Windows 8.x has been more stable than Mavericks and Yosemite overall and that should shame every knowledgable Apple user… and those who are in the know are, indeed, furious with Apple.

If Apple continues to release unstable, half-baked operating systems like Yosemite, I’m going to begrudgingly switch to Windows 10 down the road (depending on how that goes) as my main, day-to-day laptop. While I prefer Mac hardware for various reasons, it’s not more compelling than a stable OS when you’ve got work to do. I’ve been slowly, painfully trying to replicate all the time-saving advantages Mac OS has (third parties apps as well) over the years, but it’s difficult since there simply isn’t an equal or better Windows replacement for many features (even with third party apps), but I’m hoping Windows 10 gives the Mac OS a much better run for the money or Apple gets its shit together soon.

When it comes to iPhones, I think Jony Ive could freeze-dry his own excrement into the form of a phone and some bozos would buy it as long as it costs too much money and is a glorious shit-stained status symbol. So that should pretty much tell you how much I love the iPhone overall. It does have some advantages over Android phones, but I don’t think the price is worth it considering all the advantages Android phones have as well.


This is at the level of ‘n=anecdote’; but I’m actually going to be spending much of today rolling back a lab full of OS10.10 systems at the (polite; but unequivocal) demand of the users.

On average, certainly, Apple users upgrade more frequently, in large part because of the lack of stasis-craving IT people and enterprise customers; but their beleaguered ‘pro’ users generally lament bitterly whenever Apple does a ‘win8’ style “upgrade”(final cut’s move to ‘iMovie pro’; killing Xserves and all dual-socket workstations, the mdnsresponder vs. discoveryd clusterfuck, etc.)