Sunday, July 06, 2014

At the 6 month point

So I have been using my Mac for about 6 or 7 months now and I am still happy with the purchase, so that is a good sign.

But what are somethings that Linux does better?

So far the main thing I have found is that Spaces on the Mac is similar but not near as useful as virtual desktops on Linux. When I am using my Linux machine I use virtual desktops constantly, but when I am using the Mac I don't. Not sure why, but so far it has yet to stick, maybe it is because there is not a panel widget to dock widget to make it easy to switch between them.

Another thing I miss is the package management, sure Apple has the store, but there are several apps that I use that are not in the store and so I have to end up manually updating them. It is very annoying when I want to open a program and the first thing it does is to tell me there is an update to it. Reminds me of using Windows and booting up to 5 apps that need updating. This problem needs to be solved. Maybe Apple or Someone else needs to come up with an "open" store that is searched by the System Update process. Kinda like how there are alternate package repos to Debian and Fedora. Apple needs to provide hooks into system update to make that happen, so I don't see it, but it sure would be nice.

Finally, I still think that the Finder could use some work. Nautilus has always been a good file manager and I think Finder could learn a few more things from it. There are still some things I don't do "the Mac way" and so that is probably what I am running into. Renaming a file is still not intuitive, pressing Enter should open the file, not rename it and there is no option menu item for rename.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dreaming of a new Thunderbolt Display

Dear Apple,

Since I have purchased my Macbook Pro 13" (late 2013), I have been hoping to get an Apple Thunderbolt display. Unfortunately, the one that is available is pretty much out of date. So while I am still hoping that Apple will come out with a new one, I thought I would put on my "dream display" hat and write down those thoughts.

Because Thunderbolt 2 is kinda like a cabled version of PCIe 2.0 in 4x mode. Not quite the bandwidth that most people associate with video cards, but enough to run a decent card, my thought was why can't someone put a video card inside of a Thunderbolt display. After all we have the MXM standard which allows the video cards in some laptops to be upgraded. This way when I am docked at the home or office, I have a secondary card that may have some additional OpenGL muscle over the card in the laptop, while still allowing me to have a power saving video card in the laptop itself. I typically use my laptop in clamshell mode when it is docked so I don't use the laptop display in that case. If MXM is not an option how about the option to use the video card from the new Mac Pro in here.

The resolution of the display should be 4Kish and at least a 16:10 aspect ratio. I think 16:9 is a little "short" for me.

As for ports on the back of the display

1x Thunderbolt 2 in that allows a single connection to the computer

1x Thunderbolt 2 (again for connecting additional devices)
1x DisplayPort 1.2 (so I can daisy chain a second display if needed)
1x Mic, built in mic in the display would be nice as well
1x Speakers, the monitor should have speakers as well
1x 1Gb Ethernet
1x WebCam with light when it is active
4x USB 3.0 ports on the back
1x USB 3.0 on front or side

And make it less than $1000, if possible...