It’s a good time to be a computer junkie, the little stuff

Since my last blog post, I’ve received both my iPhone XS Max (I will ALWAYS hate the name) and my Apple Watch Series 4.  The iPhone is a great upgrade from the 7, and the watch is very interesting.  But, that’s not what I am going to write about today, lol.

I mentioned in my last post that it was a great time to be a computer junkie, and I talked about all the big stuff, the phones, the tablets, the computers, the development.  One thing I didn’t mention was the ‘little things’.

What are the ‘little things’?  These are the things that make the everything ‘just work’.  Things aren’t perfect, but the improvements are astounding.

First thing is the hardware that is totally awesome… The current Apple Magic Mouse and the Apple wireless keyboard with the number pad.  I use both of these extensively, and they are great.  Both are rechargeable, so there’s no buying of batteries, and the charges seem to last forever.  I was worried about the keyboard, as there are times when you need to get to the computer without Bluetooth, but it turns out that the charging cable can be plugged into the computer, and it functions as a regular USB keyboard.  The Magic Mouse just works.  A friend of mine has a Bluetooth mouse, and it drops the connection like crazy, and it’s new!

For the software, setting up a new device with Apple is as easy as holding the two devices near each other.  New phone?  Hold them near each other, then choose the backup to restore from, you’re basically done!  It’s those types of details that the new software is getting much better at.

The little things really help!

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It’s a good time to be in computers (Apple and Microsoft are finally building what *I* want!)

I’ve been working with computers for more than 30 years (I started *very* young!) and the computer eco system has never, ever been better.  Up until recently, I truly thought the best, most fun years where when I was young, hacking away at a Commodore 64, and understanding every little bit of what it could do, and still always being blown away with what other people were doing (I’m still amazed at the computer game Elite on the Commodore 64)

But, with the recent releases by Apple and Microsoft, I can’t think of a better time to be a computer junkie.  Both companies are finally building the things that I’ve always wanted…

Let’s start with Apple

With the release of the latest iPhones and Apple Watch, the wireless hardware side of Apple is hard to imagine getting better.  The iPhone is amazing.  From what I’ve read, the camera is top notch.  A friend of mine recently let me use her DSLR, and the photos were amazing.  My iPhone 7’s camera all of a sudden felt like crap.  The iPhone XS seems to have fixed that situation.  From what I’ve read of the initial reviews of the XS, the camera improvements bring the photography to another level.  I’m hoping that my photos get better with the new phone, lol.  The Apple watch finally seems to be useful, with the LTE from the 3rd generation plus the bigger screen and 64-bit of the 4 finally making it something more than a novelty.  I’ve ordered both the iPhone and the Watch, and look forward to using them extensively.  Another aspect of the wireless side of Apple that has been impressive is the AirPods.  I cannot imagine living without them.  Finally, the iPad is my defacto computer.  I use my iPad for everything except programming and mixing, and it does actually help me with mixing 🙂  I’m really looking forward to the rumored new iPads, but even the current one is more than I really need.

The computer side of Apple is doing very well, too.  The latest MacBook Pro, with 6 cores, is exactly what I would want.  The biggest drawback to any notebook is expandability, and with Thunderbolt 3, Apple has really solved that problem.  Apple also invested big in getting external graphics cards to work the way one would want in macOS Mojave.  Having the eGPUs work is huge, as the iMac and the notebooks aren’t as ‘hardware limited’ as they used to be.  The current iMac has some of the best screens out there, and rumored iMac update will have the 6 core processors.  The iMac Pro is exactly what I would want from a computer.  I’m really looking forward to the Mac Mini and Mac Pro updates, but they no longer are what I would ‘have to have’, like I did with the original Mac Pro.

For Microsoft, things are good, too.

Microsoft’s software has grown in leaps and bounds in the last several years.  Steve Ballmer leaving Microsoft was one of the best things to ever happen to the company, at least from a developer’s point of view.  Microsoft embracing cross platform with Linux, Git, and .NET Core has been amazing.  Buying Xamarin, and incorporating it into Visual Studio has enabled easier cross platform development.  Windows 10 is a great operating system.

It’s a good time to be a computer junkie…