AnandTech has a great review covering the design and performance of the new Mac Pro. GPU computing is the future of professional computing and it is especially interesting to see how Apple embraces it in the new Mac Pro.
The Mac Pro’s thermal core makes a lot of sense from an area efficiency standpoint as the chances that you have all three processors in the system (Xeon CPU + dual AMD FirePro GPUs) running at max speed at the same time is highly unlikely. By having all three players share one large heatsink Apple can optimize for the most likely usage scenarios where at most one processor is running at close to max TDP.
Some highlights from the updated Lucida Grande for retina displays included with Mavericks.
Attention to detail.
Upgrading to Mavericks unfortunately broke how I changed the Trash icon last year, so my small procrastination project for today was figuring out where the Trash icon was located now and making the appropriate changes.
Now M-O is back on my dock, and angry as ever whenever he finds foreign contaminants (aka: old files I delete).
Next goal: finding good high quality sound bites from the movie so I can replace the dragging to trash sound with “FOREIGN CONTAMINANT” and the empty trash sound with “Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa whoa whoa whoa!”.
The icon was made by Louie Mantia.
“When I am an old operating system I shall wear… leather?”
– John Siracusa in his Mavericks review. (My favorite line in another one of his wonderfully detailed OS X reviews.)
Didn’t think it would happen, but I too want a spatial Finder now after reading this.
The innate skills that humans exhibit when dealing with spatial interfaces have evolved over millions of years out of necessity. Huge (and seemingly disproportionate, given a “common sense” view of “intelligence”) portions of the human brain are devoted to processing and interpreting visual information, and coordinating physical actions based on that information.
M-O (Microbe Obliterator), from WALL•E, is my current trash icon. The icon is from The Iconfactory.
"Huh? Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa whoa whoa whoa!"
I have way too much fun deleting stuff now.
In order to make computers into more ideal machines, this is the route that we ultimately have to take.
No, what’s happening to PCs is very similar to what has happened to cars over the last 20 years. In order to be more powerful, more efficient and more streamlined, the products not only require less user interaction – they inhibit that interaction.
If you buy a car today, you can’t self-service it the same way you could in 1992, let alone 1972 or 1982. The machines are much more complex. As a consequence, you’re less likely to locate a guy who charges 1/10th the price of the dealer to fix your 2004 Volkswagen. It’s just the way it is.
“In terms of historical user interface traditions and conventions, Unix and the Mac could hardly be more different, but there is one similar philosophy shared by both cultures — a preference for using a collection of smaller, dedicated tools that work well together rather than using monolithic do-it-all apps.”
– John Gruber, Daring Fireball: Coda
Susan Kare designed the original Macintosh Control Panel “with no text whatsoever.”
We needed a way to control various system parameters like the sound volume, or the mouse scaling parameters. We decided that a desk accessory would be perfect for that, since it would be easy to access no matter what application you were in. So the last desk accessory that I worked on before shipping, in November 1983, was the Control Panel. Susan Kare came up with a beautiful, highly graphical design (with no text whatsoever) that I implemented using a separate purgable resource for each section, so they didn’t have to be in memory at once. It had a little rabbit and tortoise to represent a range of speeds, and lots of other graphical embellishments; after the Mac was released, one review described it as a crib toy, which I took more or less as a compliment.
— Andy Hertzfeld