Apple's new butterfly keyboard

jacobolus

11 Mar 2015, 00:39

bhtooefr wrote: Honestly, I'd prefer a mechanical HDD option [..] in my MBPR,
It doesn’t physically fit in there. Just get an external hard drive.

andrewjoy

11 Mar 2015, 00:44

that one thing i do agree with, apart from mass storage in a nas or san spinning disks are finished. Now i recommend you keep a computer around with a CD DVD and floppy ( hey you never know right) but for the most part they have had there day. I find it amazing they still ship any laptop with a HDD, but then i guess they could not sell muppets new laptops every year when it gets slow as its fragmented.

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Muirium
µ

11 Mar 2015, 00:51

I've always had a love hate relationship with hard drives. Having all your stuff "immediately" available (grind grind stutter) instead of scattered over every floppy disk in the house was a revelation. But computers got so loud back then! We took DECADES to regain that vintage silence.

andrewjoy

11 Mar 2015, 00:53

just have a 12TB nas that can max out 2 gagabit interfaces in a LAGG config, way faster than any internal HDD :P

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Muirium
µ

11 Mar 2015, 01:00

That's LAN talk for "just get a really nice camera and a fancy macro lens, that should improve your cat photos". Which is fine, but I'm sure there must be evil Ethernet cables in there somewhere!

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stratokaster

11 Mar 2015, 01:01

I used MacBook Pro 13" as my only computer for 5 years (first a mid-2009 model, then an early-2011 one). I didn't care for its weight or thickness, but built-in Gigabit Ethernet is a very nice feature. I live in a huge apartment complex and right now I have about 30 wireless networks visible. Even the 5 GHz space is getting a bit crowded lately. Likewise, our office is located near an old freight railroad and sometimes all the wireless communication in the vicinity (including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) just craps out for a while.

Honestly, I think Wi-Fi will never be able to replace wired networks both in terms of speed and reliability (BTW, so called "Gigabit Wi-Fi" is only slightly better than Fast Ethernet. Doesn't even come close to GbE, which has been shipping on high-end laptops and desktops since ~2001.) It's cool for casual web browsing, but if you need a consistent throughput (for example, working with huge networked databases), nothing beats the real thing. :roll:
Last edited by stratokaster on 11 Mar 2015, 01:06, edited 1 time in total.

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chzel

11 Mar 2015, 01:04

Muirium wrote: I've always had a love hate relationship with hard drives. Having all your stuff "immediately" available (grind grind stutter) instead of scattered over every floppy disk in the house was a revelation. But computers got so loud back then! We took DECADES to regain that vintage silence.
You seem to forget how loud the 5 1/4" floppy drives were! BzzzzzzBzBz gggg BzBz Bz g bz :roll:
And back then we were forced to label our stuff! Disk 1, disk 2, etc!

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Muirium
µ

11 Mar 2015, 01:11

I never numbered disks. I always named them. Wee Jimmy Incorrigible. Son of Wee Jimmy, But Don't Call Him That. Mojo Joe. The Wandering Ninja Formerly Known as 3M. Needless to say I confused everyone, including myself.

Anyway, I didn't mind the HORRENDOUS VIOLENT RACKET floppy drives made, when I was in charge. Once everything was loaded, and you weren't saving every second moment, you could enjoy the quiet. You were in charge of the noise. Well, unless the software was dumb. Like the Apache (the helicopter, not the server) demo which span the disk constantly and drove me insane.

Same with loud keyboards. You're driving the thing. Leave it be and quiet returns.

What was so annoying about hard drives is the bastards kept on whining. No matter how intensely you were staring at your words. Shush!

zts

11 Mar 2015, 01:15

jacobolus wrote:
zts wrote: You know I've been using Mac for maybe 16 or so years and had many of their notebooks and a few Mac minis. Maybe two years ago I realized that if the Mac notebook trend continues, as you accurately describe as mercilessly cutting *non-essentials* then most likely there won't be any Mac notebooks in my future. [...] What I'm trying to say, in my excessively inelegant way, is that Mac notebooks stopped being production machines. They are now excellent and efficient machines at consuming content, but not so much in creating it. Pro line losing the DVD drive, Ethernet port, etc. is just not something that I could use daily, maybe only for some occasional travel. I think it's an excellent business model for Apple -- losing thousands of creatives and gaining millions of typical consumers is not a bad trade. My current 15" early-2011 MacBook Pro is in great shape and will hopefully last a few more years.
Yeah, I think that’s bullshit.

I mean, fine, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you, but losing the optical drive and the built-in ethernet port is totally worth it for basically all of the “creatives” I know, when the trade off is their laptops now last 8–10 hours on a charge, have high resolution screens, have very fast wireless connections, and only weigh 2–3 pounds. The only people I’ve heard complaining about this are programmers and IT guys; everyone else just buys an external optical drive (or stops using optical media) and gets on with life.

A couple photographer buddies of mine (as well as several techie friends) pulled the optical drives out of their 13" Macbook Pros a few years ago, so they could have both an SSD and a very large magnetic hard drive. I haven’t personally needed an optical drive since maybe 2008. The only time I need an ethernet connection is when my wifi is broken and I need to plug directly into the router to fix it. There’s absolutely no reason to waste a bunch of space and weight for something that gets used a few times a year.

If you still need a floppy drive, VGA, serial, and PS/2, I suspect HP or somebody still sells a machine with all of those included.
will see how it goes when it comes out. Most of the time Apple with its new products its either totally disappointing and underwhelming or totally brilliant. There's no middle ground with Apple -- that is reserved for most of PC laptops that subscribe to the *more of the same* and playing it safe thinking. The one great thing about Mac and the reason to stick with it is Mac OS X ... and not so much hardware. Sure, the piece is beautiful ... but that's about it. Mac OS X on the other hand is the real reason to get Mac.

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Daniel Beardsmore

11 Mar 2015, 01:49

chzel wrote: You seem to forget how loud the 5 1/4" floppy drives were!
I forget whether I used to love or hate TEAC 5.25" drives because they were so quiet. Almost as quiet as hard drives. I loved my Watford Electronics floppy drive as it was so loud. Glorious grinding. The BBC Micro had the huge down side that games loaded from diskette in a few seconds, so opportunity for grinding was limited, while the Amiga 500 floppy drive would emit melodious clicking and grinding for several minutes with some games.

Of course, now you have things like this:
You won't get that off a stupid TEAC drive.

abhibeckert

11 Mar 2015, 02:06

jacobolus wrote: The only people I’ve heard complaining about this are programmers and IT guys
I'm a programmer, and I'm not complaining about it.

I'll be buying one of these things, unless the keyboard is a total disaster.

I definitely can't use this as my primary computer, but that hasn't really ever been a good choice with any laptop.

abhibeckert

11 Mar 2015, 02:12

andrewjoy wrote: just have a 12TB nas that can max out 2 gagabit interfaces in a LAGG config, way faster than any internal HDD :P
I prefer to have a CentOS virtual machine in a DataCentre on the other side of the country.

It's a bit slower to get files obviously, but video is the worst offender and I can stream 1080p in real time - why would I ever need anything faster than that? It works fine for my purposes.

And I can get to it from anywhere in the world, instead of just from home/work. Plus somebody else gets to figure out what's going on when it doesn't work. Yay.

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bhtooefr

11 Mar 2015, 03:07

Let me rephrase.

I would like the storage capacity/$ ratio of a spinning platter HDD in my MacBook Pro Retina, in addition to the SSD, and would give up the thinness and light weight to get it.

That said, what I do now is offload to my server (which I can access, albeit slowly, remotely), and have an external USB 3.0 HDD for if I need to bring a lot of data with me.

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bhtooefr

11 Mar 2015, 03:52

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/9/817368 ... s-on-video
Dieter Bohn wrote:To make it that thin, Apple had to make some adjustments, starting with the keyboard. It takes a little getting used to, since it doesn't really feel like any standard MacBook keyboard I've used. Although Apple says that it has created an all new butterfly mechanism to make typing feel great, the keys felt fairly stiff to me, with such little travel that I wasn't sure if I was really typing. It's as close to typing on a glass tablet screen as you'll get with physical keys, and you have to rely on autocorrect just as much when you're going really fast. I imagine I could get used to it with just a little bit of time, though.
Image

abhibeckert

11 Mar 2015, 04:26

Dieter Bohn wrote:To make it that thin, Apple had to make some adjustments, starting with the keyboard. It takes a little getting used to, since it doesn't really feel like any standard MacBook keyboard I've used.
The same could be said for anything that's not a shitty scissor switch keyboard.

I don't trust a journalist to tell me whether or not a keyboard is any good.

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bhtooefr

11 Mar 2015, 04:29

Yeah, but if a journalist says it feels like it has nearly zero travel and is stiff, and feels like typing on a touchscreen, it's probably nearly zero travel, is stiff, and feels like typing on a touchscreen.

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stratokaster

11 Mar 2015, 06:04

abhibeckert wrote: I don't trust a journalist to tell me whether or not a keyboard is any good.
But why? Journalists actually type for a living and most of them can tell if a keyboard is good or bad.

jacobolus

11 Mar 2015, 06:45

Personally I wish they’d spend an equivalent amount of research and effort on improving their other laptop (and maybe desktop) keyboards, where they have a tiny bit more space to work with. It should be possible to develop a pretty damn amazing keyboard with only ~1.5–2mm of switch travel, and even reduce the overall keyboard thickness to only barely more than that if necessary, if the incremental production cost can be, say, $20 per keyboard instead of the $1 or whatever of a chiclet board.

andrewjoy

11 Mar 2015, 09:23

abhibeckert wrote:
andrewjoy wrote: just have a 12TB nas that can max out 2 gagabit interfaces in a LAGG config, way faster than any internal HDD :P
I prefer to have a CentOS virtual machine in a DataCentre on the other side of the country.

It's a bit slower to get files obviously, but video is the worst offender and I can stream 1080p in real time - why would I ever need anything faster than that? It works fine for my purposes.

And I can get to it from anywhere in the world, instead of just from home/work. Plus somebody else gets to figure out what's going on when it doesn't work. Yay.
because ZFS is awesome! I wont trust my data to anything else.

abhibeckert

11 Mar 2015, 12:15

stratokaster wrote:
abhibeckert wrote: I don't trust a journalist to tell me whether or not a keyboard is any good.
But why? Journalists actually type for a living and most of them can tell if a keyboard is good or bad.
I type more than any journalist and it takes me months to decide if I like a switch.

These guys/gals are writing their opinions after 5 minutes with the new MacBook.

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Muirium
µ

11 Mar 2015, 13:47

I suspect I'll like this keyboard better than the current chiclet ones they introduced in the original MacBook in 2006. That's because I really do LOATHE the keyboard in my MacBook Pro! I honestly prefer to type on glass.

Not a high bar then! But who knows.

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stratokaster

11 Mar 2015, 17:34

abhibeckert wrote:
stratokaster wrote:
abhibeckert wrote: I don't trust a journalist to tell me whether or not a keyboard is any good.
But why? Journalists actually type for a living and most of them can tell if a keyboard is good or bad.
I type more than any journalist and it takes me months to decide if I like a switch.

These guys/gals are writing their opinions after 5 minutes with the new MacBook.
Well, I guess if a keyboard is reasonably good it may indeed take months to decide whether you actually like it or not, but if it's unpleasant to type on, it must be immediately apparent, no?

abhibeckert

12 Mar 2015, 01:52

stratokaster wrote: Well, I guess if a keyboard is reasonably good it may indeed take months to decide whether you actually like it or not, but if it's unpleasant to type on, it must be immediately apparent, no?
No, because you have to give yourself time to adjust.

For example when I switched from full size to tenkeyless, I hated it instantly. But I persisted and now I'll never go back even though I still struggle to touch type numbers (having blank keycaps doesn't help). It took me months to decide having the mouse close by is more important than having a numberpad.

When something is different, and crazy low key travel is definitely that, you need to use it 8 hours a day for months to really know what it's like.

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pietergen

12 Mar 2015, 13:09

zts wrote: The one great thing about Mac and the reason to stick with it is Mac OS X ... and not so much hardware. Sure, the piece is beautiful ... but that's about it. Mac OS X on the other hand is the real reason to get Mac.
That is a personal preference! For me, OSX is what *stops* me from buying an Apple. I like their hardware (minus the keyboard) but I don't like OSX at all. If it were easier to install Linux on it, I'd buy a Mac now.

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pietergen

12 Mar 2015, 13:16

jacobolus wrote: It should be possible to develop a pretty damn amazing keyboard with only ~1.5–2mm of switch travel
True. Unfortunately, function is not always #1. What I'd like the tech companies to make is:

FOR LAPTOPS:
- better keyboards. No problem if the laptop gets a few millimeters fatter
- matte, non touch high resolution screens
- open drivers/firmware, so that a user can install the OS that he likes on that hardware.

FOR DESKTOPS:
- large e-ink screens, so I won't have to print out long documents that I need to review.

FOR SMARTPHONES:
- batteries that last longer. No problem if the phone gets a few millimeters fatter

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Muirium
µ

12 Mar 2015, 14:26

Here's a thought: what if Apple could put a haptic feedback mechanism ("taptic" as they call it in the trackpad and the watch) behind every individual key? Those could be addressed individually, as many manufacturers now do with backlights, and might be able to make up for the minuscule travel by overlaying an alternate, software controllable, sense of tactility.

They can't do it yet. From Apple's video, the "taptic engine" under the trackpad is clearly too big today. But miniaturisation is a wonderful thing. I wonder…

jacobolus

12 Mar 2015, 21:03

pietergen wrote: - better keyboards. No problem if the laptop gets a few millimeters fatter
- matte, non touch high resolution screens
- open drivers/firmware, so that a user can install the OS that he likes on that hardware.
https://www.crowdsupply.com/kosagi/novena-open-laptop
- large e-ink screens, so I won't have to print out long documents that I need to review.
http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2014/0 ... -displays/

abhibeckert

12 Mar 2015, 22:43

Muirium wrote: Here's a thought: what if Apple could put a haptic feedback mechanism ("taptic" as they call it in the trackpad and the watch) behind every individual key? Those could be addressed individually, as many manufacturers now do with backlights, and might be able to make up for the minuscule travel by overlaying an alternate, software controllable, sense of tactility.

They can't do it yet. From Apple's video, the "taptic engine" under the trackpad is clearly too big today. But miniaturisation is a wonderful thing. I wonder…
I thought the same thing, but I wonder how much power that taptic motor uses?

Having it go off 14 times per second (that's my typical typing speed) might be unacceptable.

I'm more excited about the software side, Apple talks about clicking a fast forward button on a video, and having the speed change depending how hard you press. And the Apple Watch is full of features where a tap has different actions depending how hard it is.

I'd love to see a keyboard where pressing a bit harder is equivalent to holding down the shift key, and control-b moves one character with a tap, one word with a "force" tap, and to the beginning of the line with an even more forceful tap.

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Muirium
µ

12 Mar 2015, 23:44

Like I said, they can't do it yet. I reckon there's a good chance they'll try it eventually. Perhaps something piezoelectric instead? I wouldn't be surprised if they have something like that in the works for the iPhone screen. For what it's worth — not much! — Apple patented a bunch of concepts including even putting cameras behind LCDs some years ago. Patents are an exercise in misinformation and comedy these days. But I do think they investigate a fair bit in the labs.

Tap mods are what you're talking about, by the way. I think you can try them yourself using Hasu's controller. Before I heard about the HHKB I had similar ideas about how I could embed navigation keys into a 60% layout. The devil is the details. When you attach vital functionality to that kind of analog input (instead of auxiliary stuff like Apple's doing with force clicks in OS X) your heuristics better be perfect!

zts

12 Mar 2015, 23:54

pietergen wrote:
zts wrote: The one great thing about Mac and the reason to stick with it is Mac OS X ... and not so much hardware. Sure, the piece is beautiful ... but that's about it. Mac OS X on the other hand is the real reason to get Mac.
That is a personal preference! For me, OSX is what *stops* me from buying an Apple. I like their hardware (minus the keyboard) but I don't like OSX at all. If it were easier to install Linux on it, I'd buy a Mac now.
both hardware and OS are to a large extent a personal preference. But ... yes, buy Mac now:
macbook.jpeg
macbook.jpeg (315.88 KiB) Viewed 1280 times
and on newer hardware (MBA 11")
mba11_lin.jpeg
mba11_lin.jpeg (420.53 KiB) Viewed 1273 times
Last edited by zts on 13 Mar 2015, 00:36, edited 1 time in total.

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