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Kevin Patrick
MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 12:05:29 pm

Monday Apple announced a new MacBook Pro. At the same time, they killed off the old MacBook Pro 17" model. The 17" model is gone, you cannot buy a new one, only a refurbished one.

The Mac Pro (which received such a minor tweak) is still around.

If Apple was going to kill the Mac Pro (or any product) it would gone, instantly. That seems to be the way they have worked for quite some time.

So, I'm having a hard time believing that one of the reasons the Mac Pro is still around is due to an over stock of inventory. Based on the fact that they don't seem to have inventory issues with other products and this (the never ending death of the Mac Pro) has been going on for a long time. It appears to me that the Mac Pro is still around because Apple is working on some kind of a replacement for it, otherwise it would be gone. What the new Mac Pro is and when it gets here, I don't know. But I'm guessing that something is coming.


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tony west
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 1:26:07 pm

[Kevin Patrick] "I'm having a hard time believing that one of the reasons the Mac Pro is still around is due to an over stock of inventory. Based on the fact that they don't seem to have inventory issues with other products and this (the never ending death of the Mac Pro) has been going on for a long time. It appears to me that the Mac Pro is still around because Apple is working on some kind of a replacement for it, otherwise it would be gone."


I totally agree Kevin.

That move the other day only makes sense if they have something new coming and it's just not ready yet.


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Bret Williams
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:04:59 pm

I would think the official statement from Apple that Tim Cooks email was legit covers it. There will be MacPro update in 2013. They also said Pogues analysis was incorrect, and that there won't be iMac update in 2013. Either that means the iMac is dead or they're updating it earlier. Most are assuming the latter. Tim Cook's email said it would be later in 2013. Does that mean "late" 2013 or "later, in 2013." The second meaning could be construed as meaning as early as January 2013. But read it as 4th quarter 2013.


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Kevin Patrick
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:10:55 pm

[Bret Williams] "Either that means the iMac is dead"

I think the same logic applies here. If Apple wants to end the life of a product, they end it.

If it's still around, then something is coming. Either a newer model, as has been the case for the iMac since it's introduction. Or, a complete replacement, as was the case with the Macbook and the Macbook Air.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:59:26 pm

It's hard to analyze this.

It could mean MacPro and iMac are going to be consolidated into a new product line.

Some see this with MacBookAir and the new MacBookPro but they're continuing to make the old MacBookPro. That's probably due to pricing though. I wouldn't be surprised to see the old MBP go away next years (some rumors have predicted this).

What surprised me was the lack of speed bump to iMac and MacPro. iMac to Ivy Bridge and MacPro to Sandy Bridge. Neither would have been major design changes. Why avoid that interim implementation.

My guess is that Apple is accelerating the move away from old technology and they don't want users hanging on to another generation of iMacs and MacPros they have to support (parts, OS tie ins).

I suspect FCPX will continue to tie more closely with the OS and hardware and they want to drop backward compatibility as quickly as possible. It'll be interesting to see how quickly 10.6.8 support falls, which by this summer, will be two OSs back. You can already see some differences which range from the way App Store downloads are handled as will as FCPX SAN support.

In other words, the gap in hardware updates is deliberate. In this case Tim Cook, the channel master, wants to us to clear out our channels by ceasing interim updates on desktops.



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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:02:48 pm

[Craig Seeman] "In other words, the gap in hardware updates is deliberate. In this case Tim Cook, the channel master, wants to us to clear out our channels by ceasing interim updates on desktops."

So Apple doesn't believe in transition anymore? FCP7/FCPX is the new model?

The transition to Retina Displays will be more jarring than the PPC/Intel transition?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:22:28 pm

[Walter Soyka] "So Apple doesn't believe in transition anymore? FCP7/FCPX is the new model?"

Sorta. Note they didn't kill iMac or MacPro. There's no interim updates apparently until the "big whatever" coming next year.

I do think Apple is going through major tech changes with their computers and the OS and I suspect their strategy is to get rid of the old tech out of the "user chain". The one difference between 7/X is that they're not pulling the old hardware entirely. MacPro is consolidated as well as MBP (no 17") for example. It would seem rather than killing old models they're allowing them to stay (unlike what they did with 7).

I'm not saying it's good for us (at least in the near term) but I do think there's a major reboot happening in their computer line.

[Walter Soyka] "The transition to Retina Displays will be more jarring than the PPC/Intel transition?"

That's a part of the change. I have no idea how "jarring" things are. I'm just analyzing and trying the connect the dots. I'm trying not to apply value judgements.

It think radical change is afoot and they don't want to encourage people to buy interim models.



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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:41:39 pm

[Craig Seeman] "The one difference between 7/X is that they're not pulling the old hardware entirely. MacPro is consolidated as well as MBP (no 17") for example. It would seem rather than killing old models they're allowing them to stay (unlike what they did with 7)."

Let's change our perspective -- what if FCP7 was the transition between FCP6 and FCPX, just like the 2012 Mac Pro and MBP updates? Relatively minor updates prior to a one big one?


[Craig Seeman] "It think radical change is afoot and they don't want to encourage people to buy interim models."

I think you're right on.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 6:18:37 pm

[Craig Seeman] "It think radical change is afoot and they don't want to encourage people to buy interim models.
"


Then say so.

This isn't idle speculation in the schoolyard about the new iPod.

They created a universe in which countless businesses operate.

There are many ways to communicate in that universe without damaging your cloak of invisibility.

Besides, why should their vow of secrecy apply to a lowly market share that apparently doesn't pay for the window washing in Cupertino - just communicate with the non i users about your/their future together if you see one.

Or continue with the let-them-eat-cake attitude that's serving you so well now.


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Frank Gothmann
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 6:32:10 pm

[Jim Giberti] "[Craig Seeman] "It think radical change is afoot and they don't want to encourage people to buy interim models."

Craig, I've asked this in a post below already? Suddenly it's excused as "avoiding nterim", as if it's some compromise not worth dealing with.
There is nothing interim about it in the way you mean it. Sandy bridge brings more cores, PCIe3, more lanes, Sata6G, USB3, there are modern GPUs. None of that will change with Ivy Bridge. It'll be 22nm and use less power. And by the suitable Ivy Bridge Xeons ship they will be "interim" because a new Intel roadmap will be out there.
If something is interim then it's the current "update". And that's not even "interim", just a "rim-job".

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:02:54 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "There is nothing interim about it in the way you mean it. Sandy bridge brings more cores, PCIe3, more lanes, Sata6G, USB3, there are modern GPUs. None of that will change with Ivy Bridge. It'll be 22nm and use less power. And by the suitable Ivy Bridge Xeons ship they will be "interim" because a new Intel roadmap will be out there."

Apple doesn't want you to have that right now. Like it or not. I'm simply analyzing their business model.
Whatever they have coming isn't ready yet whether it's development on Intel's side or development on Apple's side. That I don't know. It's very CLEAR they're not updating the MacPro until "later next year" and whatever it is, they want to create pent up demand for it. Apple is pushing people to move to new hardware and they don't want you buying something this year that's going to stay around. It may be "greater than the sum of the parts" as far as they're concerned.



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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 6:36:07 pm

[Jim Giberti] "Then say so."

They have. Tim Cook. New Mac Pro (replacements?) next later next year.
They showed you the non update of the MacPro.
It's not quite a clear regarding the iMac though except an easy update to Ivy Bridge did NOT happen (yet).

[Jim Giberti] "There are many ways to communicate in that universe without damaging your cloak of invisibility."

At least Tim Cook caught this quickly and responded between Pogue/NY Times and Forbes. He didn't let speculation linger. He responded.

[Jim Giberti] "Besides, why should their vow of secrecy apply to a lowly market share that apparently doesn't pay for the window washing in Cupertino - just communicate with the non i users about your/their future together if you see one."

They communicated. When a product has low market share you have a couple of choices, kill it entirely, change it entirely. They choosing the latter. That Cook said latter next year is far more advance notice and roadmap than we got with 7/X.

They have something in the works that they believe will sell better and apparently targets who they believe is the MacPro or desktop user. In this case he's been blunt head on about a change coming later next year.

Unlike FCP7, they're keeping the old MacPro available for sale. Count that as step up rather than just doing a kill switch like they did with 7. They'll keep the old Pro for sale (and iMac) until the change. Notice that they're doing that with the old MBP and the new MBPr but that may in part be due to the huge price difference. Old MBP may well be gone by next year as well.


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:28:54 pm

[Craig Seeman] "They have. Tim Cook. New Mac Pro (replacements?) next later next year.
They showed you the non update of the MacPro."


Wow, epic communication - no wonder the professional community is so at peace with their relationship.


[Craig Seeman] "At least Tim Cook caught this quickly and responded between Pogue/NY Times and Forbes. He didn't let speculation linger. He responded."

He responded to the third party misinformation with a vague sense of something some time within the next 18 months or so. We're talking businesses here, that have been crying for information regarding their platform for a very long time and you think this is the answer they need?


[Craig Seeman] "They have something in the works that they believe will sell better and apparently targets who they believe is the MacPro or desktop user. In this case he's been blunt head on about a change coming later next year.
"


Really, I didn't see this press release from Apple.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:34:44 pm

[Jim Giberti] "Wow, epic communication - no wonder the professional community is so at peace with their relationship."

They're communicating and being blunt about it. People want the news even if they feel it's bad. No MacPro replacement until "later next year." There's good news, news, silence, Tim Cook gave us the news.

[Jim Giberti] "He responded to the third party misinformation with a vague sense of something some time within the next 18 months or so. We're talking businesses here, that have been crying for information regarding their platform for a very long time and you think this is the answer they need?"

His not going to give out details he doesn't want competitors to know. Timelines are not locked in stone. Any developer will tell you that. Heck talk to RED. He was very clear, MacPro related later next year. He clarified that it's not related to iMacs.

Apple's business. Cook jumped in quickly and clarified and the next major MacPro transformation. Now us business people can make a decision on that one way or another. You don't have to like it but he gave it to us.

You can't seriously think Apple would do this as a press release. That would truly be business stupid.


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:41:09 pm

[Craig Seeman] "You can't seriously think Apple would do this as a press release. That would truly be business stupid.
"


Well you were so definitive about it I assumed you must have read it somewhere.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:47:53 pm

[Jim Giberti] "Well you were so definitive about it I assumed you must have read it somewhere."

Tim Cook contacted a customer via email and Apple confirmed the contact and information to the media.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2012/06/12/apple-says-new-model...

Apple CEO Tim Cook also confirmed the 2013 release of the Mac Pro in an email to a customer. Here’s a copy of the email, which Apple told me was indeed sent by Cook to a customer identified only as “Franz.”



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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:50:57 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Apple CEO Tim Cook also confirmed the 2013 release of the Mac Pro in an email to a customer. Here’s a copy of the email, which Apple told me was indeed sent by Cook to a customer identified only as “Franz.”
"


What is this, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy ?


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:56:31 pm

Cook wrote the email. Apple officially confirmed it to the media. No spy involved here. Apple's confirmation is what it is, a Confirmation from Apple.



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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:58:15 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Cook wrote the email. Apple officially confirmed it to the media. No spy involved here. Apple's confirmation is what it is, a Confirmation from Apple."

a blessing if you will.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:03:00 pm

[Jim Giberti] "a blessing if you will."

Blunt truth. That's very good given Apple's history of "keep 'em guessing."
This from the CEO who said he was going to "double down on secrecy"
They're also being blunt honest.



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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:17:13 pm

[Craig Seeman] "They're also being blunt honest.
"


Amazing that Apple lives in a universe where the words "blunt" and "vague" can be interchangeable.

I don't live there.
If my business were dependent on Mac Pros (which gladly it's not any longer) I would be furious at seeing my PC peers running screaming systems if all I had to counter was the email promise of something better than my already aging technology in an 18 month window.

That's just me.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:32:41 pm

[Jim Giberti] "I would be furious at seeing my PC peers running screaming systems if all I had to counter was the email promise of something better than my already aging technology in an 18 month window."

At least Apple and Cook communicated it.
People complain about the lack of communication so Cook communicates and Apple confirms in the major media and then people complain that the communication doesn't count because they don't like the message.

Cook has spoken. Now we get to make our purchase decision. We can wait until later next year or move on. At least we know.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:12:42 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Cook has spoken. Now we get to make our purchase decision. We can wait until later next year or move on. At least we know."

I wondered why the iPhone 5 wasn't pre-announced onstage at the WWDC?

MY BUSINESS DEPENDS ON MY CELL PHONE GIMME THE NEXT GEN XEON PHONE PLEASE NOW K THANKS IN AN EMAIL


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:56:06 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Apple's business. Cook jumped in quickly and clarified and the next major MacPro transformation. Now us business people can make a decision on that one way or another. You don't have to like it but he gave it to us."

Hey honey...yeah go ahead and plan dinner, I'll be home by say, some time in 2013.

We have very different bars regarding communication and actual information worth considering.

I like Apple Computers but I think they're an absurd and irresponsible company in the way the treat the professional community.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:01:14 pm

[Jim Giberti] "I like Apple Computers but I think they're an absurd and irresponsible company in the way the treat the professional community."

An email from the CEO directly to a customer is irresponsible?
A confirmation from Apple is irresponsible?

Personally I like that Apple's CEO responds to customers.
Personally I like that Apple will now confirm such communications to the press.
To me that's responsible. No more "no comment" or "plausible deniability."

[Jim Giberti] " I'll be home by say, some time in 2013."

You may not like what he said but he's quite clear about what he said and Apple confirmed it to the media. This is not some rumor speculation without confirmation.



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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:13:21 pm

[Craig Seeman] "An email from the CEO directly to a customer is irresponsible?"

Craig, I'm just seeing this.
Why, because it was done obtusely through an email to Franz that had to be confirmed.
I'm busy like most professionals.
We tend to like our information delivered directly so that we see it.
It's a level of respect that professionals typically pay to one another.

If this is Mr Cooks statement then why in dog's name, after a couple of years of obvious frustration within the professional community and knowing that you're nor going to offer them anything for maybe a year more, wasn't it this directly published in, oh I don't know, any credible publication on line or otherwise...say the COW:

"Thanks for your support. Our Pro customers are really important to us. Although we didn’t have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year.."

See, I just changed two words and made it a direct message to all our valued customers.

Business 101.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:29:52 pm

[Jim Giberti] "Why, because it was done obtusely through an email to Franz that had to be confirmed."

Actually David Pogue/NY Times had spoken to an unnamed Apple executive and misstated the info. Forbes did as well. Apparently Cook's email and Apple's official confirmation clarified.

While not a "press release" NY Times and Forbes are major media for the most part . . . as opposed to the rumor mill route which was often our source (us here) source of information.

I'd consider this much more direct communication to major media. The debate initially was that Pogue didn't attribute the executive (and that may not have been Cook).

[Jim Giberti] "wasn't it this directly published in, oh I don't know, any credible publication on line or otherwise...say the COW:"

It was, through the NT Times as I noted. Cook and Apple cleared up an accuracy issue. So now we have a new attribution. Cook. And an Apple confirmation. Through the major media. NY Times and Forbes.

Of course it would have been better if Pogue used an attribution and a direct quote but at least Apple jumped in within the day to straighten this out. All in major media rather than rumor channels.

Still not ideal but this is a major step forward. Cook revealing a hardware roadmap for an existing product a year or more in advance through the major media is noteworthy.

I think Apple may be working out how they communicate with the media. It's not like they have a lot of experience doing this ;)



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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:52:00 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I think Apple may be working out how they communicate with the media. It's not like they have a lot of experience doing this ;)
"


Exactly my point Craig,

Looking at the Pogue/Franz/Forbes/Cooke statements, clarifications, long term promises, I'm just suggesting there's a bit of a better way to treat your venerable creative professional base.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:19:54 am

[Jim Giberti] "Looking at the Pogue/Franz/Forbes/Cooke statements, clarifications, long term promises, I'm just suggesting there's a bit of a better way to treat your venerable creative professional base."

The unnamed executive should have been willing to go on record and should have given Pogue a clear quote. At least Tim Cook jumped in within the day and straightened out. In the past it just would have spun wildly out of control.



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Bill Davis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:25:50 pm

[Jim Giberti] "Wow, epic communication - no wonder the professional community is so at peace with their relationship.
"



Jim,

I don't think it's actually Apple's communication or lack thereof that's driving the unease at all. It's just a convenient target.

The underlying issue is the wholesale tectonic shifts in the entire society as a whole that are taking place.

Globalization of information.

Big Data - the ascendence of Search - and the attendant rise of metadata as the central technique for imposing even a bit of order on the functional data chaos.

Fragmentation of every audience and the breakdown of the traditional forms of marketing and eyeball acquisition.

The shifts in economic skills required for success away from personal skills and toward reputation management and collaborative connection (in my opinion)

This stuff is the real change going on.

Apple is trying to FIT into that. Not trying to manage money flow by product manipulation. They've clearly got the cash flow thing nailed already.

Now it's all about positioning for a future they're in a unique position to intuit - or invent - or at least try to manage based on their deep "insider" knowledge of tech.

I still think the broader future is all about identify, search, manipulate, add value and re-deploy (and charge for the above!) as rapidly and as consistently as you can.

That can be done by a solo practitioner. Or it can be done by a brash young startup. Or it can be done by a "traditional" media firm who's not afraid to change.

But I really don't' think it's Apple driving this change. I truly think it's Apple reacting to the inevitable change they see coming - just like every other business on the planet.

For what it's worth.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:15:44 pm

[Bill Davis] "I don't think it's actually Apple's communication or lack thereof that's driving the unease at all. It's just a convenient target.
"


My last thoughts on this, and no surprise Bill, it's an analogy.

Specifically referring to the value of "secrecy" when dealing with people who really rely on you.

I'm planning a surprise anniversary party for my wife. Everything is contingent on the surprise, secrecy is a premium in my undertaking...if it leaks out, all of these months of time and effort are ruined.

Then I find out through friends that my wife actually thinks all of this secrecy means something else. She thinks I've lost interest in her. Worse, all of this secrecy has led her to imagine the worst. She actually thinks I'm having an affair. And worse still, I learn that she's online talking to other men, considering leaving me.

This is the point at which the secrecy has lost any real value vs saving the marriage that I'm actually trying to celebrate. I don't need a marriage counselor to tell me that I need to let her know that I love her, that all is well and I want to keep her from leaving me for another.

This thing called the internet, has been broadcasting daily to everyone at Apple for a very long time, the fear that they've abandoned the professional, creative community. To the point now where former, professional Mac proselytizers are writing articles all over the internets about switching to Windows and PCs.

That's a good time to have a sit down with your wife and not try back channel communication through her girl friends.


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Tim Wilson
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:35:51 pm

[Jim Giberti] "my wife actually thinks all of this secrecy means something else. "

That actually happened to me! The night I was going to propose, my (now) wife was going to have "the talk" with me before she broke up with me -- I'd suddenly become uncommunicative, etc. She was furious that THAT was the reason I'd stopped talking -- 'you're supposed to TALK about something as important as marriage, not make it all about YOU!'

Of course, her problem was that I HAD BEEN communicative for the first stretch of our relationship, and then I STOPPED. I think it would have been different if I'd NEVER been communicative. It would still have been her prerogative to be angry, but after a certain number of years of having it work just fine for ME, I'd have felt less urgent about changing my style.

There's a metaphor in there, right?

Anyway, nearly 30 years later, communication is working for me. Highly recommended. :-)

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Steve Connor
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:43:23 pm

[Tim Wilson] "That actually happened to me! The night I was going to propose, my (now) wife was going to have "the talk" with me before she broke up with me -- I'd suddenly become uncommunicative, etc. She was furious that THAT was the reason I'd stopped talking -- 'you're supposed to TALK about something as important as marriage, not make it all about YOU!'

Of course, her problem was that I HAD BEEN communicative for the first stretch of our relationship, and then I STOPPED. I think it would have been different if I'd NEVER been communicative. It would still have been her prerogative to be angry, but after a certain number of years of having it work just fine for ME, I'd have felt less urgent about changing my style.

There's a metaphor in there, right?"


I miss all them around here, hopefully this excellent one will spur more people on to vent their rage in the language of the metaphor

Steve Connor
"The ripple command is just a workaround for not having a magnetic timelinel"
Adrenalin Television


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:46:11 pm

[Tim Wilson] "There's a metaphor in there, right?
"


I'm looking.

[Tim Wilson] "Anyway, nearly 30 years later, communication is working for me. Highly recommended. :-)
"


Apple?


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Bill Davis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:00:07 pm

[Jim Giberti] "Then I find out through friends that my wife actually thinks all of this secrecy means something else. She thinks I've lost interest in her. Worse, all of this secrecy has led her to imagine the worst. She actually thinks I'm having an affair. And worse still, I learn that she's online talking to other men, considering leaving me.
"


While I fully appreciate your analogy - I think it's based on a bit of a skewed premis.

In a one-to-one relationship - trust and secrecy are foundational things that must be maintained at all cost - as well as things that can be practically managed since there's only one "receiver" that has to positively resonate with each "message.'

As individuals we look toward Apple and we see a "one to one" relationship - me to the company. Apple looks at us, however, and sees "one to millions."

So imagine you were personally married to a few MILLION people - and they represented a large array of "classes" of spousal wants and needs - I suspect the best you could do would be to filter all your "whole group" communications very carefully, knowing that something you might say to make one class happy - could well anger another - even if you didn't actually have that as your goal.

She says "Honey's (note the plural!) I'm going back to school to get my Masters" where-upon husbands 0001 - 9999 respond "excellent, good choice - I'm proud of you) while husbands 10000-10050 shriek "but you don't spend enough time at home already - does that mean I'll have to do all the laundry from now on!?!" - and so forth.

I did a presentation about a week ago for a joint meeting of the two largest pro photography groups in Phoenix. It was about the fundamentals of using DSLRS for Video. One of my slides read "We are two groups of professionals separated by a common camera."

Here, we're many groups of editors that THINK we were united by a common software package in FCP-Legacy, but I actually suspect that if you could magically look back at how different editors used the same tool in wildly different ways - you'd discover an astonishing array of different editing approaches.

I'm convinced that X is precisely the same. It's a new array of tools that most editors don't yet understand. It's not like legacy - but it's toolset is robust, agile, and very modern. So in the long run, just as many editors will find it a useful tool.

The last to that understanding will be those for whom it lacks something they must do specific to how they're either trained (or just personally inclined) to edit.

And others (yourself firmly included) won't be put completely off by the current shortcomings, as long you continue to see development in the new things that make it a useful tool.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:15:15 am

[Bill Davis] "While I fully appreciate your analogy - I think it's based on a bit of a skewed premis.
"


Who'da thought?


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Chris Harlan
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:37:00 am

[Jim Giberti] "That's a good time to have a sit down with your wife and not try back channel communication through her girl friends.
"


THAT is funny!


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Richard Herd
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:43:48 pm

[Jim Giberti] "They created a universe in which countless businesses operate."

And that's the nuts and bolts of it, right? They created a universe. Like any of the other gods, they just mess with us. Only the Fundamentalists are seeking a personal relationship. The rest of us just want a big day once per year when we can shop.


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Jim Giberti
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:57:22 pm

[Richard Herd] "And that's the nuts and bolts of it, right? They created a universe. "

Well, we kid of created it together.

They've made the Macs.

We've made all the beautiful films and designs and music and stories using them

That's the universe.

Without us, Cupertino's just a campus with expensive perks.

At least that was the dynamic that worked before they got really, really rich.


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Kevin Patrick
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:34:12 pm

[Walter Soyka] "The transition to Retina Displays will be more jarring than the PPC/Intel transition?"

This might be one of the reason's I like using Apple products.

Apple has undergone some pretty significant changes.
OS9 to OSX.
68K to PPC to Intel.
(all of which I experienced)

The retina displays is probably another one. I'm not sure it's completed, even on iPhone and iPad. But it appears to be headed that way.

I like the fact that Apple chooses to move forward. They typically provide a relatively smooth, though sometimes short transition. (FCS to FCPX was none of the above) Microsoft seems to take a different approach. They seem to do a good job trying to support older technologies. You can emulate WinXP environments in Win7. I suppose there's good and bad to both approaches. But I lean towards the approach of moving forward, dragging some baggage with you, but only for a limited amount of time.

Why do you feel the retina transition will be jarring?


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 4:53:15 pm

[Kevin Patrick] "I like the fact that Apple chooses to move forward."

Sure, and I think that Apple's risk-taking is a net positive for computing -- but it's a double-edged sword for us, too. I talked about that in FCPX and the Domino Effect [link]. It's all cool and groovy while the surprises are good, but a misstep has magnified impact.

This is one of the things I like about working cross-platform. I can take advantage of Apple's good surprises, but I'm not stuck with their bad surprises.


[Kevin Patrick] "Why do you feel the retina transition will be jarring?"

Apple provided long support over the PPC/Intel transition. I'm saying that the retina transition could be jarring if Craig is right and Apple is encouraging Mac users to all upgrade to retina around the same time by withholding a meaningful interim update. Essentially, by neglecting the desktop now, they can get a huge population of Mac-using pros to hold their current machines longer and all upgrade to retina at around the same time -- and that means fewer older machines to support, or a shorter window of support for old machines than has been offered previously.

Brilliant strategy? Conspiracy theory? Totally off-base lunatic ramblings? You decide!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 5:24:24 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I suspect FCPX will continue to tie more closely with the OS and hardware and they want to drop backward compatibility as quickly as possible. It'll be interesting to see how quickly 10.6.8 support falls, which by this summer, will be two OSs back."

It's interesting to speculate about Apple dropping support for 10.6 in light of these numbers:

http://insights.chitika.com/2011/mac-os-x-lion-fails-to-roar/

That data is 6 months old (I'd like to see more recent data) but it shows that Lion isn't the upgrade success they might like it to be.

Franz.


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 5:40:34 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "That data is 6 months old (I'd like to see more recent data) but it shows that Lion isn't the upgrade success they might like it to be."

Note that they're now giving away 10.6.x free to those on 10.5.x to get them to move to 10.7.x
This is all part of what I think is their accelerated push to leave to the "old" behind.
Note how 10.8 will only be $20 rather than 10.7's $30.

Apple's new strategy is the great lurch forward.



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Jim Wiseman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2012 at 5:06:22 am

Phil Schiller at WWDC said that Lion has been adopted faster than any other OS upgrade by Apple or Microsoft. He quoted a figure of 40%. I personally am running boot drive with Snow Leopard 10.6.7, 10.6.8, and Lion 10.7.4 in my Mac Pro. Don't know how he would count someone like me who is slowly moving into it. Premiere CS6 requires Lion for external AJA monitor support. I have to say I miss Rosetta.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Ben Hendriks
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:04:26 pm

Or the Imac merging with the Mac Pro into..........The Imac Pro?


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:28:24 pm

[Ben Hendriks] "Or the Imac merging with the Mac Pro into..........The Imac Pro?"

When you look at the "locked down" nature of the MBP Retina (MBPr) they may be heading towards something like that. Greater connectivity (as they see it) but less internal upgradability.

I had posted about that a while back. One thing they may have learned from their consumer side is that they make more money when people are driven to buy new models rather than upgrade internals. I don't doubt they want to avoid what I did with my 2008 MacPro, buy an ATI 5770 (not officially supported in that model) to run FCPX. My guess is they will have a beast but they'll want that beast to have a shorter life cycle. 2013 with be the Xeon TB beast. 2015 will be move to TB Optical.

We'll get our "Pro" machine but the days of a 3-6 year life cycle (imagine the folks running 2006 MP with new GPUs for FCPX in 2012) are fading IMHO.



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Clint Wardlow
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:32:00 pm

Whatever form the new Mac Pro takes, my only prediction --if the new Mac Book Pro and FCPX are any indicators-- is that it will both amaze and infuriate pros all at the same time.


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Bernard Newnham
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:30:40 pm

"There will be MacPro update in 2013. "

Out in the big world of the pc, two more generations of graphics card will have passed by, the Z77 chipset, which is current, will be stone age, DDR4 will be either standard or being phased out, Thunderbolt will probably be passed by. Where will they decide to leap on the roundabout? 2013 is as easy as tomorrow or next week. By the time they get their act together the pro world of the Mac will be long forgotten.

One more thing I don't understand is the desperate preoccupation with Xeon chips. Core i7s - even i5s if you're are me - are good enough for everyone else except the server market, which is what they were designed for. And yet people here go on and on about the various varieties in their Mac Pros, all of which are long out of date along with their graphics cards.

I see that TonyMac and co now have drivers for the GTX6xx, for those who've given up and built their own.

Bernie


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:35:55 pm

[Bernard Newnham] "One more thing I don't understand is the desperate preoccupation with Xeon chips. Core i7s - even i5s if you're are me - are good enough for everyone else except the server market, which is what they were designed for."

For straight editorial, I think i7 and even i5 is fine.

However, for mograph and 3D animation (my main business), Xeons are great. With multiple processors in the same machine -- and multithreaded renderers able to use them -- there's a huge performance gain over the Core series.

Even in editorial, more total cores provided by multiple processors can mean more realtime effects, faster decode of compressed material, or faster renders.

If you don't need performance, Xeons are overkill. If you do need it, Core series CPUs aren't competitive.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bernard Newnham
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:49:53 pm

"However, for mograph and 3D animation (my main business), Xeons are great. With multiple processors in the same machine -- and multithreaded renderers able to use them -- there's a huge performance gain over the Core series."

Entirely understood, but I rather think that your niche area isn't typical of the majority here. I just get the feeling that the joke about the man who goes to heaven might be appropriate -

"Welcome to heaven"
"I'm very pleased to be here - but what's that big wall over there?"
" Ahh - that wall separates everyone else from the Catholics - they think they're the only ones here"

The world of everyone else is much bigger than the world of the Mac Pro, and it moves much faster. I think at this point it would be a mistake to sit inside the big wall and not look out .

Bernie


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:59:41 pm

[Bernard Newnham] "Entirely understood, but I rather think that your niche area isn't typical of the majority here... The world of everyone else is much bigger than the world of the Mac Pro, and it moves much faster. I think at this point it would be a mistake to sit inside the big wall and not look out ."

Oh, I certainly agree. I've been saying here for some time that many editors here do not need a Mac Pro and can very comfortably use an iMac. CPU power grows exponentially, and has outpaced video needs. However, even within editorial, I think that saying that saying there's such a thing as enough computational power is short-sighted.

Like you say about the sitting inside the big wall and not looking out -- I think that it's a mistake for editors to ignore ancillary fields like mograph, animation, compositing, color correction, and audio, all of which benefit from more CPU, GPU, and expansion options.

It does not benefit professional editorial on the Mac if the platform loses these related disciplines because there is no suitable hardware to support them.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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andy lewis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 6:27:01 pm

"I've been saying here for some time that many editors here do not need a Mac Pro and can very comfortably use an iMac. CPU power grows exponentially, and has outpaced video needs."

I'd better say first that I think there absolutely should be a performance beast option from apple, and there are areas that definitely benefit.

But...there seem to be a lot of people on these boards who talk about the importance of performance and then say that they buy a top-end workstation and only replace it every 5 or 6 years.
If you what you care about is computational power (and I accept that workstations might have other advantages) then you're always better of buying mid-range and replacing more often. Because "CPU power grows exponentially."

If you'd had a fixed budget to spend on macs over the last 10 years - let's say enough to be on your second, ageing mac pro screamer- you'd have got far more calculations per second from 4 generations of imacs. On average you'd have had a much faster computer for the same money.

Sorry for the off-topic. Yes, apple will come up with something and it will "infuriate and amaze" pros.


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 6:55:25 pm

[andy lewis] "But...there seem to be a lot of people on these boards who talk about the importance of performance and then say that they buy a top-end workstation and only replace it every 5 or 6 years.
If you what you care about is computational power (and I accept that workstations might have other advantages) then you're always better of buying mid-range and replacing more often. Because "CPU power grows exponentially." "


Agreed, Andy. Anyone who looking for raw performance from a workstation older than 2 or 3 years is behind the curve.

Buying a high-powered machine and holding it longer gives you an early relative performance advantage that fades. Buying a mid-grade machine and turning it over sooner flattens the relative performance curve, trimming both the high and the low.

It might be interesting to plot CineBench score per dollar per month for a set of machines and holding times...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bill Davis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:52:59 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Agreed, Andy. Anyone who looking for raw performance from a workstation older than 2 or 3 years is behind the curve.
"


Walter,

I absolutely understand your desire for "absolute performance" since you work in the part of the pipeline where real time compositing, rendering and the hard core calculation makes the difference between you being more or less productive.

But I have to wonder whether the FCP-X model of expressing EVERYTHING as metadata is seriously changing that.

With the new X construct, I know I've simply moved "final output calculation" well downstream in my workflows. As I work in X, I'm really just building text lists that avoid almost all the processor heavy lifting - leaving the big calculation load i to after the client has viewed and approved my inter-stage work - that's probably why I'm finding X so responsive in the laptop world.

I think more and more software is going to work this way. Less crunching code to do stuff in real time - and more simply building and manipulating metadata journals - not just in the database, but to express the actual editorial functions as well.

That "two stage" process - fast decisions now - optimal quality later when I need it - is driving HUGE efficiencies in my work.

It's clearly the central factor that's driven all the "change this small thing and wait for the section to re-render" mode that was so integral to working in Legacy.

And the fact that it's gonna take my laptop overnight to calculate finals isn't always a gig problem for me. What I need to do FAST is editorial - which in the world of X is kinda now all just metadata journaling.

As long as I can park on a frame and see the ultimate quality represented, I'm good. I can then get back to work making my decisions in a lower rez stream, and even email that stream out for editorial approval via email. I find this to be amazingly efficient in X compared to my years in Legacy.

I personally am rooting for whatever The 2013 "Pro User" refresh that Tim Cook has hinted at to be something that has some type of "scaleable" rendering engine under the hood - perhaps using TBolt and/or Grand Central to leverage additional horsepower. That might even provide for guys like you who currently require the big iron approach - and also let the same software work for someone like me with lower rendering requirements.

Seems like a pretty smart approach rather than requiring all of us to run on "big iron" whether we want to maintain a business infrastructure to support those kind of hardware arrays or not.

Fun to speculate.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Liam Hall
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:03:57 pm

[Bill Davis] "Walter,

I absolutely understand your desire for "absolute performance" since you work in the part of the pipeline where real time compositing, rendering and the hard core calculation makes the difference between you being more or less productive.

But I have to wonder whether the FCP-X model of expressing EVERYTHING as metadata is seriously changing that.

With the new X construct, I know I've simply moved "final output calculation" well downstream in my workflows. As I work in X, I'm really just building text lists that avoid almost all the processor heavy lifting - leaving the big calculation load i to after the client has viewed and approved my inter-stage work - that's probably why I'm finding X so responsive in the laptop world.

I think more and more software is going to work this way. Less crunching code to do stuff in real time - and more simply building and manipulating metadata journals - not just in the database, but to express the actual editorial functions as well.

That "two stage" process - fast decisions now - optimal quality later when I need it - is driving HUGE efficiencies in my work.

It's clearly the central factor that's driven all the "change this small thing and wait for the section to re-render" mode that was so integral to working in Legacy.

And the fact that it's gonna take my laptop overnight to calculate finals isn't always a gig problem for me. What I need to do FAST is editorial - which in the world of X is kinda now all just metadata journaling.

As long as I can park on a frame and see the ultimate quality represented, I'm good. I can then get back to work making my decisions in a lower rez stream, and even email that stream out for editorial approval via email. I find this to be amazingly efficient in X compared to my years in Legacy.

I personally am rooting for whatever The 2013 "Pro User" refresh that Tim Cook has hinted at to be something that has some type of "scaleable" rendering engine under the hood - perhaps using TBolt and/or Grand Central to leverage additional horsepower. That might even provide for guys like you who currently require the big iron approach - and also let the same software work for someone like me with lower rendering requirements.

Seems like a pretty smart approach rather than requiring all of us to run on "big iron" whether we want to maintain a business infrastructure to support those kind of hardware arrays or not.

Fun to speculate.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor
"


I'm intrigued Bill, what do you actually make with FCPX? Honest question, not bating, I promise.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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Bill Davis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:59:02 pm

[Liam Hall] "I'm intrigued Bill, what do you actually make with FCPX? Honest question, not bating, I promise.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net"


A representative sample of my recent projects out of FCP-X would be...

- Broadcast HD Commercials (with SD down convert for cable) to SoCal NBC, CBS and Cox affiliates.
- Corporate Powerpoint presentations combined with narrated video embeds produced in my studio using X then deployed to the web for access by nationwide sales teams numbering in the hundreds.
- Multiple "re-branding campaign" Internal corporate videos for a huge national health care payments processing company.
- A 16 minute training video on "safe chemical handling" for the country's largest national pool supplies retail chain.

- Plus, of course, my current personal obsession, the 14-camera "performance video" I self-funded working with a local Jazz education "not-for-profit" - to try to explore the limits of the multi-cam capabilities of FCP-X. (1st rough cut done as of late last night! - yippee!)

I think I'm up to about 50 paid FCP-X projects at this point. In a variety of complexities and different types.

Are you interested in some particular aspect of my work that I can answer questions about?

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Liam Hall
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 11:07:45 pm

[Bill Davis] "
A representative sample of my recent projects out of FCP-X would be...

- Broadcast HD Commercials (with SD down convert for cable) to SoCal NBC, CBS and Cox affiliates.
- Corporate Powerpoint presentations combined with narrated video embeds produced in my studio using X then deployed to the web for access by nationwide sales teams numbering in the hundreds.
- Multiple "re-branding campaign" Internal corporate videos for a huge national health care payments processing company.
- A 16 minute training video on "safe chemical handling" for the country's largest national pool supplies retail chain.

- Plus, of course, my current personal obsession, the 14-camera "performance video" I self-funded working with a local Jazz education "not-for-profit" - to try to explore the limits of the multi-cam capabilities of FCP-X. (1st rough cut done as of late last night! - yippee!)

I think I'm up to about 50 paid FCP-X projects at this point. In a variety of complexities and different types.

Are you interested in some particular aspect of my work that I can answer questions about?"


Thanks for your reply Bill. I've just been trying to gauge what those of you who are using on a FCPX daily basis are actually cutting with it. Nice to see you have a broad range of jobs there.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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Viktor Kamenický
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:10:25 pm

I'm thinking the Mac Pro update will maybe come with the update of FCP X.

"You never want to get to get a call from the editing room"
Art Adams


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:58:45 pm

[Bill Davis] "... the FCP-X model of expressing EVERYTHING as metadata ..."

They got rid of the data? No more picture and sound?

That would really change everything in post.

Franz.


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Chris Harlan
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:38:03 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "[Bill Davis] "... the FCP-X model of expressing EVERYTHING as metadata ..."

They got rid of the data? No more picture and sound?

That would really change everything in post.
"



Franz. C'mon, man. You KNOW there is absolutely no reason, any longer, to engage those narrow little bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. I mean, f@#k light. And sound? It's just noise. Who needs it when you can shoot pure, unadulterated metadata straight into you brain. Glory be binary! Pictures and sound are so 20th Century. There time is over.


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Bill Davis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:11:09 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Franz. C'mon, man. You KNOW there is absolutely no reason, any longer, to engage those narrow little bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. I mean, f@#k light. And sound? It's just noise. Who needs it when you can shoot pure, unadulterated metadata straight into you brain. Glory be binary! Pictures and sound are so 20th Century. There time is over."

I give up.

You're right of course.

Got a light bulb? Need it to be BLUE? Just shut up and buy another light bulb in blue and put it on the shelf.

Want a red light? Go out and buy a red bulb and store that one.

God forbid you ever learn about of start using GELS - because hell, we all know that the only way REAL men get red light is to buy and stock RED lightbulbs!

Praise the heavens, I've finally come around to the "fundamentalist" view of video editing!

I is SAVED!

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Chris Harlan
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:19:27 pm

[Bill Davis] "I is SAVED!"

Hey Bill, I'm not the one with the Traveling Salvation Show. As far as FCP X is concerned you are the original, one-and-only Brother Love. But hey, I LOVE the song:







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Bill Davis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:05:42 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "... the FCP-X model of expressing EVERYTHING as metadata ...""

Uh, the key word here is "expressing". The original "data" is sequestered and always untouched in X. It gets "transcoded" as ProRes or Proxy should you elect to do so, but the essential originals and any transcodes are always left as is. From that point, everything is just instructions (metadata) about how you want to manipulate that original data.

That's how I understand the foundational construct of FCP-X anyway.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Chris Harlan
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 10:29:15 pm

[Bill Davis] " but the essential originals and any transcodes are always left as is. From that point, everything is just instructions (metadata) about how you want to manipulate that original data."

But how is that different from what every other NLE does? You can make that same statement about pretty much every NLE that currently exists.


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Bill Davis
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:12:27 am

[Chris Harlan] "But how is that different from what every other NLE does? You can make that same statement about pretty much every NLE that currently exists.
"


I'm not a programmer so I can't answer that.

But I wonder if Legacy was "the same" then why did it force us to render after every minor change? Maybe it to was just "keeping track of metadata changes" but if so, it had a nasty habit of keeping the results of that manipulation away from us until it had complete all of it calculations and was willing to show us the results.

And of course, the biggest difference in my thinking is that in Legacy - each project was an island. Close the project and everything about it other than the name and the FCP icon was hidden.

With X, everything remains scannable and accessible - whether open or not - via the Project Library.

I think that's a fundamental change for the better among many.

All I know for sure is that I just can't go back.

Working in legacy is now actually painfully frustrating for me. It seems slow and old fashioned - but I fully appreciate it that this is NOT true for the legions of operators who productively edit with it every day.

I just feel like X has improved the entire editing experience for me.

Probably just because I'm weird, tho.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Chris Harlan
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2012 at 1:24:33 am

[Bill Davis] "But I wonder if Legacy was "the same" then why did it force us to render after every minor change? Maybe it to was just "keeping track of metadata changes" but if so, it had a nasty habit of keeping the results of that manipulation away from us until it had complete all of it calculations and was willing to show us the results.
"


Well, it didn't actually have to render after every minor change. Every time you made a cut, or added a dissolve, or brought down/pushed up the volume, or panned the tracks, or used certain specially enabled effects, you did not have to render. You original material remained unaltered, and metadata kept track of what was going on. Every cut, every slip and slide, every paste and delete is all metadata in action--just a bunch of stuff in memory--that in no way alters your source material. Renders, of course, don't alter it either, they just add to the source material to cut down on the overhead. So, when you apply, say, a complicated blur filter to a clip (which is also an artificial abstraction of the larger source material) you are applying a set of metadata rules that simply take too much time to apply for playback in real time, hence the need for a render. But, the treatment of the source material and the application of descriptive metadata to manipulate it is standard to all modern EDLs.


[Bill Davis] "And of course, the biggest difference in my thinking is that in Legacy - each project was an island. Close the project and everything about it other than the name and the FCP icon was hidden.

With X, everything remains scannable and accessible - whether open or not - via the Project Library. "



Certainly it could seem that way. However, if you organize your project folders and sub folders in OS X just the right way, the preview functions of the OS give you much of the functionality you are talking about. Something that a lot of people seem not to know is that you can drag and drop directly into FCP. That, of course, in no way detracts from the value of the Project Library. I'm just saying that there are other ways.


[Bill Davis] "All I know for sure is that I just can't go back.
"


No reason you should have to!


[Bill Davis] "Working in legacy is now actually painfully frustrating for me. It seems slow and old fashioned - but I fully appreciate it that this is NOT true for the legions of operators who productively edit with it every day.

I just feel like X has improved the entire editing experience for me.
"


And that is terrific. FCP X has some marvelous things going. And you are certainly not alone in the thrill you get from it. I get a lot from your posts when you are talking about your experiences, and frankly, you are one of the folks who have convinced me to see value in X. I do not begrudge you your joy with the system, at all.


[Bill Davis] "Probably just because I'm weird, tho.
"


Weird? Hardly. Zealous? Gawd, yeah.


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:12:37 pm

[Bill Davis] "But I have to wonder whether the FCP-X model of expressing EVERYTHING as metadata is seriously changing that. With the new X construct, I know I've simply moved "final output calculation" well downstream in my workflows. As I work in X, I'm really just building text lists that avoid almost all the processor heavy lifting - leaving the big calculation load i to after the client has viewed and approved my inter-stage work - that's probably why I'm finding X so responsive in the laptop world."

Hi Bill,

I think you're overstating the role of metadata.

Metadata is just data about data. In a sense, you could argue that all NLEs are mainly creating lists of text data -- EDLs.

Every pixel that hits your display -- that's data itself, and it must be rendered to be seen. At a minimum (cuts only), the image data must be decoded from the movie that contains it. It's possible that this bypasses the FCPX effects pipeline; I don't know all the details of FCPX's renderer.

However, once you add a transition, add an effect, tweak the color board, or overlay a title, the image data from the original assets must pass through the rendering pipeline -- and real data is calculated.

At some level, performance is critical for all of our work. You want to see your color adjustments in real time? Thanks to the FCPX/Motion renderer, continually calculating all those pixels, you get the real-time feedback you need for productive creativity.

I think FCPX is well-suited for laptops and iMacs not because it's doing less calculation than FCP7, but because it's doing it differently -- efficiently spreading out the work across multiple threads and multiple CPU cores via Grand Central Dispatch, and exploiting general purpose computing on GPUs with OpenCL. FCPX is built from the ground up with modern computer architecture in mind.

We've also been working with HD video for a while now, while computers have grown substantially in computational power. Your laptop today may cut through HD like a hot knife through butter, but 4K (which will come sooner or later) may be a bit harder to handle on that hardware, and RED's mythical 28K would make it feel like a Power Mac 8600 trying to cut AVCHD.

As for saving the big render until the end, there are different cheats of different types for doing draft work in different applications; for example, it's not uncommon for me to work at reduced resolution or reduce frame rate on a mograph piece, or reduced detail on a 3D animation, spot-rendering test frames as I go at full quality, then finally rendering the entire thing at full quality.



[Bill Davis] "I personally am rooting for whatever The 2013 "Pro User" refresh that Tim Cook has hinted at to be something that has some type of "scaleable" rendering engine under the hood - perhaps using TBolt and/or Grand Central to leverage additional horsepower. That might even provide for guys like you who currently require the big iron approach - and also let the same software work for someone like me with lower rendering requirements."

I'm happy to be proven wrong, but this is an area where I think Thunderbolt will be of limited use for the next few years. Even next-generation Thunderbolt is slow in comparison with QPI (Intel's technology for connecting multiple processors on the same motherboard), and I'd wager that CPU interconnects will not remain static while Thunderbolt evolves.

For CPU renderers, that leaves clustering or render farms -- distributing renders over multiple computers. There are a few technical challenges: there is no clustering support built into GCD, Apple's Advanced Computing Group hasn't shown any clustering research since 2009, and applications would have to be specially written to take advantage of clustering.

Most apps today with render farm support have separate external renderers and render managers, meaning that submitting a render to a farm is not the same as an in-app preview from the artist's perspective -- you have to leave the app to see your results, and there's no interactivity for quick tweaks.

Of course, that's not to say clusters or farms are useless -- I've started building an in-house render garden myself this year to accelerate final renders. It just doesn't obviate the need for power on the desktop to enable decent artist interactivity, especially with the sort of computationally expensive work we're discussing.

I think the interesting part is going to be general purpose computing on the graphics card (GPGPU). That's an area where Thunderbolt (or internal PCIe) can help, but it's important to remember that not everything in the render pipeline currently happens on the GPU. Renderers need to be rewritten to take advantage of these new technologies, and other tasks that are currently CPU-bound like media decode need to be moved to the GPU if possible. Rethinking render pipelines in a pro-friendly way that retains compatibility is a decidedly non-trivial problem, especially when there are third-party partners in the ecosystem to consider, but could pay dividends in the future.

Bringing this back to the original point, I'm not rooting against Apple, and I sincerely hope that everyone who waits for their new professional system, whatever it may be, gets what they need. I just think Apple could be a bit more considerate of their professional customers and partners in the present as well as the future, and I will not make the assumption that Apple's view of professional users' need and my view will overlap.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Richard Herd
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:15:28 pm

Why not unix or linux, for you?


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:27:35 pm

[Richard Herd] "Why not unix or linux, for you?"

Application support.

I'd have to give up Creative Suite and (probably) C4D, and switch to some combination of Nuke, Blender, Gimp, Inkscape, and Smoke Advanced. That doesn't seem as practical as staying with Windows and OS X.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Richard Herd
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 9:29:26 pm

What do you mean practical? Cash expense v. training and re-learning expense? Is it more cash to buy that stuff?

Thanks!


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Walter Soyka
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 14, 2012 at 2:01:18 pm

[Richard Herd] "What do you mean practical? Cash expense v. training and re-learning expense? Is it more cash to buy that stuff?"

Yes to both -- and I'll add compatibility and talent pool as other practical concerns.

On cost: a single license of Nuke costs $4900. I believe Smoke on Linux is only available in turnkey packages starting around $40,000. (I haven't been paying enough attention to know if Lightworks is out for Linux yet, or if any of the other open source NLEs are viable now.)

On re-training: my general knowledge would be transferable, but I'd lose a lot of time getting up to speed on an entire set of new apps, and my output wouldn't be at the same level until I had a solid understanding of all the apps I was using. Replacing a single component of my pipeline (like learning a new NLE) is doable; replacing my entire pipeline at once is daunting.

On compatibility: I must occasionally deliver project files (especially when doing agency work), so I don't always have a choice of which tool I use for a specific job.

On talent pool: I can easily assemble (or take part in) a team with a workflow built around these common desktop tools; the talent pool for Linux tools is smaller and generally not familiar with my niche in the industry or the clients we serve.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Richard Herd
Re: MacBook Pro 17" vs. Mac Pro
on Jun 13, 2012 at 8:39:22 pm

I've never been any good at connecting the dots. But here's my connection nonetheless:

These are the dots:
Monday: "new but not really" Mac Pro.
Tuesday: Smoke download available.

What does it all mean? It means I'm not buying anything.


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