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Tag Archives: technology

Falsehoods Apple believes about professional mac users

In the spirit of great posts pointing out the difference between programmers’ assumptions and the real world (like namesaddresses and time), here’s a more satirical, but sadly true, take on Apple’s new Macbook Pro.

16GB of RAM should be enough for anybody. After all, nobody has more than a handful of browser tabs open. And hardly anybody uses virtual machines. All browsers for testing run on macOS. Application’s memory footprints are not growing.

When you ask professional mac users what their biggest problem with their mac is, they all tell you “I wish my machine was 2 millimetres thinner”.

Shaving off half a pound of weight really makes a huge difference once you have put the computer in a bag, together with its charger and a bunch of accessories.

Every computer user wants a thin-and-light laptop. We should never, for any reason, compromise on thin and light.

Battery life is more important than power, memory or ports. But not more important than a second screen and an extra ARM chip to drive it.

Customers do not care if the brand new computer they paid premium prices for contains outdated chips. I mean, come on, it’s like so uncool to know what a processor is.

Nobody ever forgets to bring along an adapter. And all conference rooms are equipped with mac-specific inputs to brand-new projectors anyway, so you never have to be afraid to be stuck without a way to connect your computer to an ancient VGA port.

Everybody uses Wifi everywhere, even conservative, security-conscious large organisations (i.e. the kind of organisation paying top dollar for custom software development)

Nobody needs Ethernet, since WiFi is always as fast and as reliable as a cable.

When you order a computer, you always know exactly what you will need in the next 2 years, so there’s no need to upgrade. And computers are so cheap you buy a new one every year or so anyway. Especially since setting up a new computer with your applications and configuration is so quick and fun we don’t even provide Firewire transfer any more. All your data lives in the cloud anyway.

A touch surface is just as good as a button. I mean, who touch-types in this day and age?

The cursor keys are hardly ever used, so we can make them any size or shape that makes the keyboard look nice and symmetrical. Symmetrical is, like, super important.

When we switch to all-new ports, within a year or so people will get all-new devices anyway, so that problem goes away really fast. I’ve never seen a peripheral older than a year or two in the wild.

Since everybody has a smartphone, nobody uses cameras any more.

What else would you need ports for besides charging and displays? All data is easily transferred via internet, and a laptop is super ergonomic to use all day without an external keyboard or mouse. Speaking of mice, it’s all about touchpads these days, everybody prefers those over a mouse.

Still complaints about ports? Fine, get a Thunderbolt 3 docking station. Lots of choices for those, and super cheap.

Magsafe was a nice idea, but it turns out it has no practical use, since people tripping over a laptop’s power cable is only a theoretical problem. In practice, you only plug in to charge overnight anyway. Batteries last a long time used that way, no need to ever replace them.

If you’re an apple user, you won’t care if we charge a couple hundred bucks more.

We DO give people choices. You can choose between “no power and no ports”, “3 year old hardware” or “more than 2000 bucks”.

All this is coming from from a position of love, not hate. I’ve been using Macs since before it was cool, and I’m still hoping to again see a “Pro” Mac where Pro means “for Professionals” rather than expensive and fashionable.

Slides from my talk at MobileTechCon 2015

Thanks to everybody attending my talk “Mobile, Microservices und Multichannel – warum Web-App-Architektur sich ändern muss” at the Mobile Tech Conference 2015 in Munich.

Feel free to download a PDF of the slides used in the talk:
MobileTech2015 – mobile, microservices, multichannel (images compressed)

Images are compressed to reduce the file size; if you’d like a high-res version, or just to talk about any of the topics mentioned, get in touch with me.

Technology radar, fall 2011 edition

Rising stars:

iOS Development
The iphone is still hot, the iPad is hot and established by now, plus now the mac app store gets Joe Sixpack buying applications on the mac. What’s news is that due to the success of the iphone, even large conservative companies are really starting to realize they need to “do something with mobile”.

Android development
The phones still suck, but it gets used on tablets, ebookreaders,and all kinds of other devices. Two years ago it was “cool, we have an iphone app”, last year it was “of course we have an iphone app”, now it’s increasingly “of course we also have an android app”.

Most people talking about HTML5 actually mean ajax web apps. Or “by now we can actually replace desktop apps with web apps”. The most important factor are probably not the new javascript and media APIs, but simply the fact that with IE9, MS finally mostly gets their shit together.

Amazon Web Services
Spot instances, cheaper S3, beanstalk, aws for government – it’s hard to even keep track of all the innovations coming out of amazon. Most enterprises are still extremely suspicious of cloud hosting, but for a start-up it seems almost more unusual not to run on EC2.

Seriously. There’s a lot more to it than window.open, and libraries like jquery or extjs make it non-painful to use. It’s not like you have a choice when it comes to client-side scripting (except, more or less, for coffeescript). And the browser is only the most widely deployed platform in the world. Also: quasi-native mobile web apps. Also: node.js for js on the server. Also: Rhino, and, in Java7, invokedynamic, to run js on the JVM. Also: couchdb for js within databases.


Even Microsoft says Html5 is the future.

Duh. Kind of kept alive with government funds, but Nokia finally realized it’s dead.

Google Wave
Already pretty much killed by google by now. Too bad, I kinda liked it.
In the short run, not going anywhere. But what does the fact that Adobe published an animation tool for Html5 tell you about the long-term future chances of Flash?
A very long way from dead, since it’s used everywhere in the enterprise. But very few people would willingly use it over REST, and new deployments or standardizations on SOAP are rare. Strange for me to say, since I do a lot of work with Soap, but good riddance.

Question marks:

It looked like the next Rails for a moment in 2008 or so, then was not really heard from again. Rule of thumb: languages with weird-looking syntax rarely go mainstream (see also: Lisp). Also: really sucky string handling. But the concurrency stuff is still super neat.

Finally a Lisp that will spread beyond Lisp fans? I wouldn’t bet on it. Still too many parenthesis for my taste. But seems to gain a lot of traction lately.

Finally a new systems language. Too bad there’s not a whole lot of new OSs being written right now. But seems to spread into non-system applications, like AppEngine web apps.

Is there any web startup that does not use it? But it’s not clear yet if a single one, and which one, and which kind, will dominate.

By far the most prominent DVCS, and the most pure implementation of the DVCS concepts. There’s a lot of submarine projects, like single developers using it locally as a subverson proxy. But will a tool designed by and for kernel hackers go mainstream? I like Git, but it’s using up too much complexity-handling brainpower that I’d rather spend on the code itself.