Electronic Musician, Drummer, Sound Designer and Technologist
Apple’s new computer looks like a Trash can
Categories: Technology, thoughts

new apple mac pro

At today’s Apple Developer conference, Apple released a new computer that looks like a trashcan, has a bunch of ports on it, and apparently is the “future” of pro computing.

Those that are Pros — meaning people who use their computer for more than just playing Angry Birds, are going to be offput by this, I think.  Why?  Because this new computer is not user serviceable in any way!  You can’t put a PCI card into this computer, and in fact, you can’t do much of anything in this computer. Want more than two monitors out? good luck!  Want to use your audio interface or video add in card? Nope, can’t do that, either.  Want to add another hard drive? Nope, can’t do that. That isn’t useful to a pro user in any way. See, for some of us, we need to get into our computers, to do things like add in audio interfaces, add on cards, and be able to service the computer.  This isn’t a pro computer.  It’s another hack job by Apple to act like they care about Pro users, when they obviously do not.

The heyday of Apple being for Pros is long dead, kids.  Apple makes toys.  Shiny, well made toys.  If you want to do real stuff with your computer, you’d better go somewhere else.

Again, I think that this machine looks good, but that’s just it — it LOOKS good. I absolutely hate the move to machines that Are not serviceable, not expandable, and dump on the old users.

The fact  here is that apple has shit on their old users, as they have been doing for years now, in their move to create “more beautiful” computing. Their focus is on shiny software and hardware, and tiny apps that download from the cloud. Their focus is, despite what people are saying, most certainly NOT what pros need. Do you really think that Danny Elfman’s studio is going to outfit with a bunch of these things? Or DTS? Or any major audio house? It’s not going to happen. Pointing to ports and two companies making thunderbolt audio devices proves nothing. If it can’t run Protools HD (which this thing can’t, not out of the box), then it won’t be used by 75% of the crowd Apple thinks they’re speaking to.

This computer isn’t for Pros — it’s for mid-level creatives. People who need to load Photoshop (from the cloud, yay!), do some light web design, and maybe edit a small video (and make that bangin’ track on Logic Pro…ahem… Garageband Pro). For those of us that need to edit a full-length film, or record 60+ tracks of audio and edit it, or do something that requires that we have some control over our computer, we’re not going to use this thing.

I don’t care how cool looking the case is, or how fancy it looks. I don’t think this thing will replace the average desktop.

As to Apple dragging us into the future; not really. Apple has helped, but was not the leader in nearly any of this. The leader has been the expansion of the internet and the need for more powerful computing in general. Apple has been the leader in making more money off it — not the leader in making it happen. They’re not starting a revolution, here, they’re changing the conventions of what they think computing is. That’s fine, except that, it’s still a niche. Sorry, but this thing won’t be found in major studios, production houses, and media houses for a long time. It will be bought by a bunch of people who want Apple’s newest, shiniest, toy. For that, Apple will make a lot of money. I don’t need a shiny trashcan to run Angry Birds. I need a computer to get work done.

For those of us that still need to get real work done, and need to use the PCIe cards, like to use our own video cards, want to be able to add our own hard drives, like to be able to service our computer, don’t want a black trashcan sitting on our desk, and aren’t obsessed with thinking we’re “not pro” if we don’t own a mac, I’ll stick with my PCaudiolabs computer that’s been treating me well for many years, and will for many more.


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