Mac Average Users? Some contentious thoughts on the show

I agree. I’d love it if MPU could center on voices who don’t always get the mic and/or use Macs, etc, in powerful ways, to do things outside of tech.

  • Would love to hear more Femme/Trans/Women voices
  • … more BIPOC voices
  • … academic voices (i.e., professional researchers)
  • … more from folks running non-profits
  • … more from artists
  • … more from folks doing things with other lifeworld (farmers, fishers, vets, chefs, builders, journeymen, etc.)
  • … more from folks outside the U.S.

I don’t mean to suggest that people from X group think different than people from Y for any essential reasons (e.g., men are from mars. . . ). But I do think we can learn a ton from folks trying to solve different problems in different context, with different goals.

Some episodes focused on non-podcast-centric problems I really appreciated: I find myself going back to episodes from Oogie McGuire (#470), Teddy Svoronos (#319, #383), Aleh Cherp (#221), Ian Elsner (#507).

Can’t wait to hear what David learns from revisiting paperless workflows. Grateful for the detailed historical context that Steven brings. I hope they continue to connect with whatever amped them up about podcasting when they started this.

11 Likes

This was my experience too, as I became more effective at using my Mac and created good workflows with the help of MPU, over time many episodes became a review of my processes and there were less “new” things to learn. But my overall enthusiasm for the show is the same, love seeing that notification come up on my devices :slight_smile:

4 Likes

To what extent is the “rut” or routine at MPU a reflection of state of the industry? Most of the innovation from and around Apple these days seems to be for developers (eg. SwiftUI, Apple silicon CPUs) and non-power end users (eg. Apple Watch, Pencil) instead of power users. Are power users just heavy users of a few apps or users who are highly dependent on a few apps? Or something qualitatively between developer and end-user?

Some increasing obstacles to classic power users:

  • Apple hardware is infamously closed off to mods, expansions, etc. when compared to windows (desktop machines, at least). Multi-core CPUs have greatly mooted benchmarks and MHz comparisons of feeds and speeds. So not much hobbyist market; hackintoshes are rare sitings these days. Gaming is a huge market for mods, expansion, and hacks but it’s effectively all Windows

  • App developers build advanced power user features like scripting for an app that few pure end users will explore. But with the internet, app developers with corporate funding (eg. startups with VC money) look to maximize focus on mass consumer appeal (scale like Uber) while indie developers accept 99 cents per month or 9.99 per year to justify their efforts at incremental app development and bug fixes because the iPhone App Store pricing models lowered the revenue expectations for indie developers and moonlighting developers. I write this reply from bed on my iPhone; why sit up at my desk on an expensive Mac?

  • Apple Catalyst is bringing even more of the iPhone/iPad developer incentive model to Mac (iOS Shortcuts to run Mac someday?). iPad / iPhone apps have fewer power user features than for Macs. The Shortcuts app is an exception but few iOS apps expose deep and rich URL schemes as Shortcuts APIs. And hobbyist jail breaking is getting harder with each major iOS version and security fix.

  • Linux may have grabbed some attention of the general power user personality and market. The desktop PC hardware is flexible and can be customized. The apps are almost all open source. Even Microsoft seems to be putting significant effort into Windows Subsystem for Linux. The scripting and tooling (eg. command line interfaces) appeal to Unix/Linux/BSD admin types and power users.

  • Bifurcation of software market into enterprise and consumer, away from power user, is inevitable. Enterprise gets attention for the huge corporate IT budget mindshare. Consumers are a mass market play best penetrated by low/free price point (eg Facebook) and viral marketing. To add power user features to a consumer app is to create development, support, and maintenance expense for small incremental revenue.

  • And as someone else pointed out, power users can google a question or technology name or problem and find even YouTube videos and channels that cover topics of interest to power users. So maybe there is diffusion of knowledge that makes MPU stand out less than before.

Bottom line: not much new in the classic power user segment to talk about at MPU?

2 Likes

With the latest in the Mac Pro offer you are able to build the computer of you dreams like this fully equipped baby for $53.7K

The computing industry has evolved out of the hobbyist relm and now the primary focus is what you can do with this tool instead of spending time on trying to build/upgrade the tool.

While I feel the hardware end has plateaued, the software area still has a ways to go as evident in the activity in the Note taking area.

Due to the miniaturization of electronics, you cannot get in and repair PCB’s as this requires very expensive equipment handling fine geometries. Because of the efficiencies in manufacturing it is cheaper to throw electronics out then repair them.

It is a maturing of technologies with only 5G rollout in this decade being the one area of hardware development. In my view the hardware is way ahead of the all the apps that can effective use it.

I can foresee where the old dirty combustible automobile engine being in the majority market share by 2030.

Looking back the ‘Good old Days’ weren’t that good i.e. installing that 9600 Baud modem upgrade LOL

2 Likes

Can understand the call for increasing the diversity regarding sex, or sexual identity. I think it does not matter much for the content, though.

More diversity regarding occupation I support. Great to hear and apply solutions from people from my field that have direct relevance for me.

I would love to hear from people with accessibility needs. They often create very inventive workflows that have relevance for me as well.

I might be one of the few people that were glad that Katie left. I felt her contribution for the podcast decreased noticeable. I did not feel as much enthusiasm for Apple products as I felt from David and Stephen.

Wow this might be a unpopular post. I hope that’s ok.

5 Likes

This may already be covered I didn’t read every post in the thread. I’m not sure what is expected from a free resource. @ismh and @MacSparky provide me with a FREE podcast to listen to every week that is over an hour of content, a free newsletter, and open participation in this FREE forum. Without their time and effort I would have less opportunity to learn about technology and manage my personal Apple ecosystem. This is a substantial time commitment on their part and they take the risk of offering it all for free with advertisements.

Thanks for your time and effort Stephen and David.

6 Likes

Katie’s loss of enthusiasm could be attributed to her purchase of a lemon MacBook Pro. For me, hearing something other than a continuous Rah! Rah! provided a good balance. Not everything is rosey in Appleland.

7 Likes

Gang. Thanks for the kind thoughts. I can tell you I do this stuff, because I love it and I love helping listeners out (and learning a lot myself along the way). I’ve always felt that MPU scratches a particular itch and we damn well intend to keep scratching. :slight_smile:

32 Likes

Thank you very much David and Stephen for sharing and serving all of us! I greatly appreciate all that you do and through your work I keep on learning and am more productive.

1 Like

I started at the beginning with the email show over 10 years ago and listened to every show since. I still learn from every episode, some more than others, and I feel I want to be guided and informed just the same. I for one would NOT want the show to change to a more advanced level. Also, the relaxed friendliness for David and Stephen make it so enjoyable. The “More Power Users” can be higher level. I vote, keep doing what you are doing.

5 Likes

Not MAU related, still somewhat on topic regarding:

I did stumble across the recent episode (306) of Connected, because I was interested in a summary of the Phil Schiller change as I didn’t have the time to read about it.

I then jumped to the “Beta Update” chapter and was more than shocked to hear Myke’s smug (yes, using this word is justified) opinion on him not filing bug reports/feedbacks to Apple.
The issues he talked about are substantial. Betas are not provided to give niche podcasters weekly changing content to rant about. Get off your high horse and file feeback if you experience issues that are that critical like everyone else does. Thousands of developers take time out of their jam-packed days to file countless reports.
Why?—For the greater good of the eco system and for the entire user base.

Honestly, a stance like that reflects very badly onto the Relay network, which’s listener base predominantly consists of enthusiasts and developers.

4 Likes

Earlier this afternoon I finished listening to that episode of Connected and it was indeed very shocking when Myke revealed that he doesn’t bother filing bug reports for the betas. It came across as “I’m too busy and important to bother raising bug reports, and I’m famous enough that Apple employees listen to my podcasts, so they can just pay attention to my words of wisdom that way. Take it or leave it.”

Maybe it was an attempt at a joke that didn’t land? Let’s hope so. The alternative wouldn’t reflect well on the network.

Either way it was pretty tone-deaf, given the audience.

As for MPU, I much prefer the David/Stephen partnership. and listen every week. I also think that the most recent episode with Jim Metzendorf was really excellent. In fact I’d subscribe to a podcast hosted by Jim - his work is interesting and his personality and delivery is very enjoyable.

3 Likes

I’ve read Jason Snell since his MACUSER days in the early 90s, and have listened to him over the years on The Incomparable network and Clockwise and other podcasts. I like him and respect his opinions, but I can’t stomach Myke for very long. I think the cut-bait point for me was soon after they partnered on UPGRADE and Myke spent several minutes complaining about the length of a review he didn’t (wouldn’t?) read, culminating in the sparkling bon mot, “I’m not much of a reader,” which he delivered not with embarrassment but contented arrogance. I stopped listening to the podcast that day. I occasionally pulled down The Pen Addict podcast he co-hosts if it covers a specific new pen or ink I’d been considering, but I stopped listening entirely in 2018 when I heard him hyperventilate over a China-only plastic Pokemon fountain pen (“I NEED THIS SO BADLY”) and strategize how to get it.

3 Likes

Allison Sheridan seems to be trying diversify her guest list on Chit Chat Across the Pond lately. You might want to give it a look/listen.

1 Like

It would be nice to hear more guests, especially some non-tech/podcaster type professions to break the monotony of cycling through email/note taking/writing apps or rehashing who’s using what computer this week. I have found myself skipping more episodes lately, which is tough because I have learned quite a bit from the show. I think after 500 episodes a weekly show maybe just runs out of material.

2 Likes

I agree and I disagree. :relaxed:

I switched to the Mac back in 2006. Back then, everything I stumbled upon was valuable knowledge and interesting and fun. I am so grateful for www.Screencastsonline.com, for The Mac Reviewcast by the unforgotten Tim Verpoorten (not online any longer), for Katie’s former show (it predated the MPU), MPU, Nosillacast and many more. As I said, ALL of them were interesting and fun. That was 14 years ago.

Today, I still listen to a lot of them and they still are interesting but of course not everything is new and it repeats itself. Then again, even software for notation keeps changing and coming up with new features. And I have not skipped that particular recent episode. :slight_smile:

I do not think that a show runs out of material but it is normal that stuff repeats itself. I am fine with that. I like to be able to experience technology in 2020 and I am grateful to have those shows available to make this experience even better.

1 Like

A+. I’m really grateful for the rec. The back catalog looks rich.

I agree. How often do we see variations of the same question show up here? Not everyone is a ‘power user’ when they join this forum or find the podcast.

3 Likes

It’s also a time commitment to listen to those podcasts and it’s our numbers that drive revenue (ad sales).

2 Likes

Not sure why we’re talking about Myke, but since we are I’ll say I think he’s a good host of his shows and a good guest on this one.

(I do reserve the right to start complaining about him if he does not do a deep, deep dive review of Hey.com at some point. :wink: )

1 Like