Weeknotes #174

in weeknotes

  • A warbling emergency alert from our phones woke us all up to a magnitude 5.2 earthquake striking near Chiba on Thursday morning (NHK). It wasn’t strong enough to cause any noticeable shaking in the apartment and there’ve been no alerts since.

  • I bought a new Mac! Here’s some first impressions:

    • I decided a while ago that my next computer would be a desktop but after being disappointed with the relative improvement in the M2 Mac Mini over the M1 Mac Mini, I thought I’d hold out until the M3 Mac Mini debuts. However, during one of my periodic perusals of the refurbished section of Apple’s online store, I noticed a entry-level M1 Mac Mini available for ¥65,800 (the entry-level M2 is ¥84,800) and decided to pull the trigger.

    • The performance so far has been fine but nothing that has blown me away. The Mac I was using previously was a MacBook Pro 13” from 2017 and I only really felt its limitations when doing things in Xcode. For the web browsing, e-mailing and messaging that is most of what I do on a Mac, it was still performing adequately. Hopefully I do find time in the next couple of months to work on some of the iOS app ideas I have and at that point this new Mac really comes into its own.

    • I did worry that I might have made a mistake getting the entry-level. There’s a school of thought that says that the smart way to buy a Mac is to buy the best one that you can afford and use it for years and years. Perhaps this says more about what I can afford than anything else but I’ve found myself most satisfied with my Apple purchases when I find a product where the entry-level model is good enough (my initial iPod Nano from 2006 and my beloved 11” MacBook Air from 2012 are great examples). Otherwise I’m left disappointed with the price to performance ratio, especially so these days where the only way to upgrade the RAM or the onboard storage is to pay Apple’s exorbitant mark-up.

    • This does mean I’ve gone down from 16GB to 8GB in memory and down from 1TB to 256GB in storage. The memory I hope I won’t notice but I am a bit concerned about the storage. To address that, I have moved some files to iCloud Drive (where they can be offloaded if need be) and moved my photo library to a mini SD card. I also decided to take the opportunity to ‘start fresh’ as it were and not bring across my settings from the MacBook Pro.

  • Emma and John had another ice skating lesson and John seemed to be getting a bit more accustomed to things. One of the difficulties has been that the rink that we go to only has classes on the weekends every two weeks. That said, Eri was talking to one of the parents after class and they mentioned that they are going to switch to a different rink that has weekly lessons and we’re very tempted to do that, too.

  • Did you ever wonder how Christopher Nolan shot that scene in Inception where Leonardo DiCaprio and Elliot Page are walking around Paris and Page closes a giant mirror that should at some point have reflected the camera crew? If not, don’t worry, I didn’t either but Paul E.T. did and he’s made a great 15-minute video essay about making cameras disappear that discusses that shot amongst a couple of others.

  • I mentioned last week that I’d watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. So far the thing that’s stayed with me the most has been the song from the end credits: ‘Blood’ by Australian band, the Middle East (Apple Music). I was sad to discover that they’d broken up back in 2011 (Wikipedia).

Michael Camilleri inqk.net