The Jolly Teapot

Freshly brewed links, served by Nicolas Magand

My name is Nicolas Magand and I live in Paris, France. I work as a social media and engagement editor at the Global Editors Network, a non-profit aimed at promoting innovation and sustainability in the news industry. Here I blog mostly about tech and media, but many other topics can face my enthusiasm.

Filtering by Tag: macbook

Redesigning the word “design”

On his website, Carl MH Barenbrug quotes Dieter Rams on how the word ‘design’ has slowly been stripped out of a precise meaning, especially in English. The famous – well huh – designer believes using the German word Gestaltung instead, with a meaning closer to what he considers design, would be an improvement. Barenbrug explains:

The word ‘design’ is frequently misused, much like the word ‘minimal’ is also. Quite often, I suspect this essentially comes down to a sheer misunderstanding of what design actually means. So what is Gestaltung exactly? According to Rams, it is observing, thinking, and understanding. It is also strongly related to three basic principles expressed by Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio: Firmitas (engineering), Utilitas (science), Venustas (aesthetics).

This reminded of a quote from Steve Jobs –who was a huge admirer of Rams – from an interview with the New York Times in 2003, which I think fits nicely here:

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!´ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

I truly wonder what Jobs would say about the Apple Watch and the AirPods: two truly iconic designs which enabled huge hits for Apple, and also what he would say about the terrible, unreliable keyboards of the current MacBook Pro line-up.

MacBook or Mac Pro? Which will be the first Mac to fully run on Apple processors?

Dan Moren, writing for Macworld, and asking when Apple will start the switch from Intel processors in its Macs, and more specifically, whether the MacBook or the next Mac Pro would be the first to fully run on Apple processors:

So where in this mix does the Mac Pro fit? Well, it could represent a whole new way of Apple doing things, and isn’t that what you want out of one of your flagship machines? Especially one aimed at a segment of the market that tends to be envelope-pushers.

I admit, it may be a less likely scenario than the MacBook, especially from a standpoint of performance. While the recent benchmarks of the new iPad Pro’s A12X chip have put it in the neighborhood of Apple’s high-end Macs for certain tasks, there’s a question of whether it can deliver the kind of performance people expect from a machine that is all about performance. Then again, maybe Apple has a surprise up its sleeve there, too.

If Apple processors are not hold back by power-efficiency and the heat/size constraints of a mobile phone or a tablet, I wonder what level of performance they may be able to reach.

Last April I tweeted that the rumoured new Mac Pro's delay may be explained by Apple really wanting to unveil it equiped with its own in-house processors, at least as an option. I still hope I was right, but I have to agree with Moren: the MacBook looks way more plausible as the first Mac running on a A12 or A-something chip.

In hindsight, it is truly remarkable what Apple has achieved with its in-house chips in just a few years. The benchmarks of the new iPad Pro must have caused a lot of tremors inside Intel's headquarters. Kudos to Anil Dash who called it years ago.

How good is the new iPad Pro for photographers?

His work with the iPad was already mentioned briefly, but Austin Mann's full explanations, tips and details are worth the read. This part, among all the gorgeous photos of Iceland, caught my attention:

I was working with Mavic Pro 2 1  in the black volcanic deserts of south Iceland. While sitting in the car (in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere), I decided to offload my images and review them. I pulled out the iPad Pro and a card reader, and within only a few moments I was reviewing them on screen. Next thing I knew I was editing them with the Pencil in Lightroom CC and then I shared one with my wife—all within just a few moments.

It’s really easy to sit just about anywhere (even with a steering wheel in your face) and not just use it, but use it to its full extent.

This is precisely what is the most tempting aspect of the iPad: not only its ease of use, but the fact that you actually want to use it. On my MacBook Air, whenever I want to edit photographs, I know I have to sit down at my desk, open up the laptop, type in my password, launch Lightroom 2 , load the pictures, and then – only then – can I start editing them. The editing process is not that smooth either 3 . The iPad doesn't seem to suffer from any of this.

The Hasselblad I’m shooting with (H6D-100c) captures 100-megapixel images. Each RAW file is 216MB (about 7x the size of a RAW file from a Canon 5D MK IV). Needless to say, these files are HUGE and if the iPad Pro can handle them, it can handle virtually any RAW image.

Long story short, it performed extremely well.


  1. This is a drone model: I had to look it up myself. ↩︎

  2. Adobe, if you're reading this, you know Lightroom is 2008-slow: fix it. ↩︎

  3. I can't really blame my MacBook: it is an entry model from early 2015. It is not only too old for this, but never really built to be a champion at this. ↩︎