The Need-to-be-Calmed Edition Friday, December 30, 2022

The Real Reason That Familiar Apple Mac Chime Is Off Key, by Richard Mainwaring, Popular Science

Reekes told me that his idea for a start-up chime came from his need to be calmed whenever his Mac crashed. Before the famous chimes, Apple had installed cheap and nasty beeps that amplified his annoyance when his computer rebooted following a crash. These beeps were very much a product of the restrictions of the limited bit rate of computers and the inferior quality of their speakers. As the Macs improved, Apple employee Reekes saw an opportunity to compose a chime that utilized the full frequency range of their larger speakers. He wanted the sound to have a Zen-like “cleansing” effect, so he chose a C major chord, the simplest of harmonies, played on his Korg Wavestation synthesizer. But the chime was far more complex than it sounded. It consisted of notes that were organized (“voiced” is the musical term) in the same order as the harmonic series, ending with an E at the top.

The World’s Best Terrible Weather App, by Russell Jacobs, Slate

I kept the app on my phone over the years and continued to consult its forecasts. I did my best to lean on its strengths and work around its weaknesses. On humid summer days, when the sky was full of threatening clouds, it could feel like the software was basically guessing which ones would break. At some point, for forecasts a few days on, it felt so unreliable that I stopped checking it altogether. I diversified my weather news, consulting a nerdly assortment of online tools like Weather Underground and Windfinder for situations where safety considerations called for an accurate forecast. But Dark Sky was there when a storm showed up on the horizon: It was the easiest way I knew of to find out what its shape was and infer how long a coming downpour would last. The real-time radar feature let me know in seconds whether a front was spread out across multiple state lines or a thin band of rain that would pass over quickly.

Meteorologists, it’s worth noting, do not and have never shared my enthusiasm.

Free Space On An APFS Volume Is An Illusion, by Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

Most of us prefer a simple life. If we want to know how much money we have in a bank account, we expect a clear statement of the balance now. If we want to know how much free space is left in a volume, then we expect the file system to know and to give us that figure. With APFS, it just isn’t that simple.


Apple Releases Limited-Edition AirPods Pro In Celebration Of Chinese New Year, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year on January 22, Apple has released limited-edition second-generation AirPods Pro with a Year of the Rabbit engraving through its online store and retail stores in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

8 Great Apple Arcade Games From 2022 For Your iPhone Or iPad, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

Since its debut in 2019, the library of games has steadily expanded, and Apple has settled into a nice rhythm of releasing a game almost every week. Here are the eight best additions to the service from 2022.


Apple Didn't Release Any New Macs This Quarter For First Time Since 2000, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

The fourth quarter of 2022 this week becomes the first with no new Mac models in 22 years as previously anticipated devices like the next-generation MacBook Pro and Mac Pro models have apparently been pushed out to 2023.

Bottom of the Page

Well, Apple can still surprise us with the Mac Pro. It certainly has surprised a lot of people -- in a very good way -- with how great the M-series chips are.

So, it is unfortunate that the company has to end the self-imposed two-year deadline with nary a new Mac in sight.

We have no idea, of course, what Apple has in store for us with the Mac Pro. And a redesigned Mac mini, just like the iMac, can still happen in 2023.

It will likely be a great year ahead for the Mac platform.


Thanks for reading.