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RxNot

A few weeks back, I tweeted:


The stealth message here was that there’d been a mass layoff, and as such, I’m no longer at MathElf. (Aside: which means, for the moment at least, I’m available for contract work: cadamson@subfurther.com).

While I’m not about to slam my ex-employer, I do want to get in a word about a key technology we used that left me cold. As the tweet indicates, this is gonna be about RxSwift.

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Two Cents (and not a penny more) on iPad and the Future of Computing

Topic du jour is the continuing slow decline of the iPad, and Apple’s priorities with regard to it and the steady-if-boring Mac. Background: Marco Arment’s blog The future of computing, the last two episodes (207 and 208) of Accidental Tech Podcast, and some of the reactions quoted in Michael Tsai’s Apple’s Q1 2017 results roundup.

So here’s my two cents, and I’ll keep it short. The ATP discussion considers the fact that even in its diminished state, the iPad sells twice what the Mac does, so why shouldn’t it command more attention?

Here’s a counter-argument that is being overlooked: the iPad represents effectively all of the “productivity tablet” market, which is a completely fanciful market I have pulled out of my ass because in the era of alternative facts we are apparently now allowed to do that. But seriously, the iPad is the only device where there’s any story or any expectation that it can or will be used to do more than read mail/web/ebooks and watch streaming video. Nobody is talking about doing creative work or managing documents with an Amazon Fire, for example, or the $75 piece of crap Android tablet at Big Lots. As far as using this sort of device for computing goes, the iPad is the only game in town.

And it’s shrinking.

Now even if the Mac sells less than the iPad, the PC market as a whole is massive… much larger than tablets, and larger still than my contrived “productivity tablet” market. And Mac’s not even 10% of this giant PC market.

So, in terms of growth opportunities, which is more realistic: finding non-tablet-users to adopt the iPad for their productivity or work needs (and making the iPad more suitable for that), or flipping more of the 90% of people already using PCs to a better version of the same thing?

Sure, Apple’s spent its whole life trying to woo switchers, and I’m not saying we need to pull in Justin Long and John Hodgman for a new series of “I’m a Mac” ads. But if I’m looking for growth, the ostensibly-boring personal computer might still be a better bet than turning around the iPad’s decline. At the very least, it’s a lot easier to identify who my potential new customers are.

Brain Dump: Capturing from an iOS Device in Wirecast

So, with the book nearly done (currently undergoing copy-editing and indexing), I’m using some of my time to get my livestreaming plans together. What I’m likely to so is give the “build” section of the show over to working through examples from the book, so those will be archived as video lessons. Then, along with the interstitials of conference updates, fun videos from the anime fan community, and and a read-through of the Muv-Luv visual novels, I’ll be doing a bunch of Let’s Plays of mostly iOS games.

I did this with the first two test episodes: Tanto Cuore in Test Episode 1 and Love Live! School Idol Project in Test Episode 2. To do this, I need to be able to capture video from an iOS device and ingest it into Wirecast, so I can stream it.

Over the years, I’ve used different techniques for this, and decided to take some time today to figure out which works best on Wirecast for Mac. So, after the jump, behold the results of this project, plus instructions on how to configure each approach.

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Spring 2017 Conferences

Quick note, before Early Bird pricing ends. I’m speaking at two conferences this Spring.

I’ll be at Forward Swift in San Francisco on March 2. There, I’m doing a talk called “Audio Frameworks and Swift: This Is Fine”. The idea of the talk is to look at how well Swift does and doesn’t work as a language for calling the iOS and Mac audio frameworks. This covers things like how to call the C-based frameworks (Audio Toolbox and the other higher-level parts of Core Audio) from Swift, and where you get into some real mismatches between the languages, and what to do about it. I covered this phenomenon on the blog a while back in Radio on the TV.

My plan is to write an audio reverser app to demo this, as I don’t think there’s a good way to do that in AV Foundation, meaning you’d want to use either Audio Converter Services or Extended Audio Files from Audio Toolbox. Plus, playing music backwards should make for a fun demo.

I’ll also be covering v3 Audio Units, which specifically prohibits you from using Swift in the “kernel” of your AU, since that’s called on a realtime thread and there are all sorts of ways that Swift is not quite yet ready for that kind of use, even though it’s billed as being a systems programming language. I’ll try to make this talk more about the language — what it can and can’t/shouldn’t do, what it’s good and bad at — than the frameworks, to try to make it more approachable. I don’t want this to be a draw only for the people who’ve read the Core Audio book and happen to be in SF that week (if I wanted that, we could just get a table at Super Duper and chat over burgers and beer).

Forward Swift early bird registration ends tomorrow, so hop on it if you’re so inclined.

I’ll be doing this talk again at CocoaConf Chicago on April 21-22, along with the Firebase talk I did at CocoaConfs DC and San Jose last Fall.

CocoaConf’s early bird ends on February 25.

Hope to see you at one or both of these.

Capitulation

So, this happened:

Yes, I bought a new Mac Pro. For certain values of “new”. Hear me out, though, after the jump.

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Alternatives…

Meanwhile, in Apple’s Mac marketing department:

Screenshot from Muv-Luv Unlimited, providing five equally bad choices

Look, you hardly need me to pile on to what’s already been said about the state of the Mac — @mjtsai is doing a bang-up job of that — but when even long-time Mac fans like @flargh say that the message is “Apple to creative pros: go f*** yourselves”, you’ve got to hope that someone with a corner office is listening.

Because in the here and now, I am badly overdue for a new Mac, and I hate all my choices.

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iOS 10 SDK Development now available

OK, third year on this annual book-update plan, here we go: iOS 10 SDK Development now available in beta.

Cover of iOS 10 SDK Development

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CocoaConf Fall tour, 2016

CocoaConf San Jose early bird registration ends tomorrow, so that’s my last chance to plug the talks I’m doing there.

(yeah, I know I said I was taking a pause from conferences, and I shouldn’t be pushing myself during what’s been the worst 12 months of my life, but what can I say, I like doing CocoaConf)

I developed two new talks for CocoaConf DC, and those are the same ones I’ll be doing in San Jose.

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Aimless and Impractical WWDC 2016 Wish-List

Only another week for everyone to get in their wish lists and predictions for WWDC 2016. I’m not going out to SF this year, and will be following along at home. Safe travels to everyone who’s headed out there, of course!

Now, a couple things I’d love to see…

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So, This Just Happened:

Cheap-ass Windows tablet

Yes, that’s a Windows tablet. Yes, mine. Yes, I still don’t like Windows. But I now own a Windows tablet. For personal use, not work even. Explanation and excuses after the jump.

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