The Not-Ready Edition Monday, April 16, 2018

Are External GPUs For Macs Viable In macOS 10.13.4? We Tested To Find Out, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

When software support is complete and everything works as intended, the performance gains we've seen here paint a rosy picture for the future of this technology as a way to augment laptops for games and creative applications. We recorded more playable frame rates in games and significantly improved benchmark scores over what we got with the internal GPU—and that's with one of the fastest discrete GPUs in Apple's laptops.

But even though the potential is vividly clear, the implementation is not yet complete. The experience is hit-and-miss depending on which software you're using. Further, we experienced several crashes and unexpected behaviors, and while Metal performance is greatly improved, the performance gap isn't as big for apps built for OpenGL—and unfortunately, many consumer Mac applications still are.

eGPUs might be publicly supported now, but they're still not ready for primetime. The experience is too unstable, support isn't robust enough, there are too many caveats and limitations, and Boot Camp support will be necessary for eGPUs to be attractive to many consumers.

My Airplay Speakers Have Become Obsolete Because The Company Hasn’t Updated Its App In Four Years, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

So, it turns out that I can never change my Wi-Fi network’s name ever again, or my speakers will stop working. That may sound ridiculous, but let me walk you through the series of bad decisions and technological quirks that have brought me here, and I can (sort of) explain.


Visualizing An iOS Device In Blender Through Quantum Entanglement, by John Coates, Medium

Okay so now that we’ve got these values, what do we do with them? That’s the tougher part. If we print everything to console then we’re quickly overrun with data. I figured it would be better to have these values visible on screen.

But wait, what if the values were shown on a graph?

Forget the graph! Blender is open source, I bet it’s easy to extend. What if we visualized the values with that?


Alexa Is A Revelation For The Blind, by Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

But for Dad, the Echo doesn’t carry information so much as it facilitates independence of connection—to me, to Ron, to the fast-moving facts and responses that smartphone and Google users have had at their fingertips for years, or decades.

It doesn’t really matter whether Alexa provides Dad with useful knowledge or a seamless way to communicate. It does something more fundamental: It allows him to connect with people and ideas in a contemporary way. To live fully means more than sensing with the eyes and ears—it also means engaging with the technologies of the moment, and seeing the world through the triumphs and failures they uniquely offer.

Bottom of the Page

With GPUs going external and secure-enclaves (together with their sensors) going internal, the idea of a modular Macintosh is very different from what we think modularity is just a few years ago.

If you are expecting the next Mac Pro to be a basic tower computer, I predict you'd have to think again.


I am also predicting the Mac Pro will continue to be designed to be placed on, and not under, the desk.


Thanks for reading.