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The personal site of Jamie Knight, a slightly autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Apple Watch Series One.

Apple Watch Series 1 – Apple

On Friday i pre-ordered the Series 1 Apple Watch to replace my original watch. The cost to upgrade wasn’t too bad (£90) and the watch will last 18-24 months so it seems a good investment. I use the watch everyday so i may as well have the faster model considering the cost.

I think Apple are being super smart in how they are managing the Watch range. There are no duds in the range and both watches should comfortably last untill the next major release cycle.

It all comes down to usage, the Series 2 model offers something useful to runners / cyclists / swimmers, and the Series 1 work for everyone else.

I’m excited to see how the platform develops over the next two years and into the future.

Published: 11 September 2016 | Categories: Permalink

Apple Event Wishlist.

In a few hours time Apple will take to the stage in Calfornia to announce new things. Like in years gone by, here’s my wishlist for the event. Its not a prediction, just the things i’d like to see.

New Macs & Moniter.

Please can we get with the updated Macs now? The Mac Pro hasn’t been touched in three years and that is embarrassing. Even a single slide saying “oh and we’ve got updated Macs too” would be enough. New Mac Pros and an updated Mac mini would be great. It’s well overdue.

New MacBook Pros and a 5K external displays would also be nice to see. I’m probably skipping this generation (as i have the iMac) but who knows. I wont be buying on launch but i am going to follow them with interest.

Apple Watch 2

It’s time for Apple to update thier wearable and release watchOS 3. New hardware to make GPS etc better is a big win to new users, watchOS 3 is a big performance win to original watch owners. This is a product i might buy if its a compelling update. Otherwise i may just stick with my current watch and skip this cycle.

I am really keen to see which third party watchOS 3 apps are going to come out on launch day. Hopefully i will be installing some later today to find out!

iPhone 7

I want to see it, but i dont want one. An iPhone announcement is a sure fire thing it seems. My only wish here is that the adaptor for lighting to 3.5mm audio is in the box!

One more thing.

Please have something cool as a one more thing. It could be Macs, it could be ARM Macs (!) it could be updated Apple TV or even Apple VR. I just really want there to be something unexpected and interesting.

Final words.

The show starts in a few hours, so till then i will just have to wait and see!

Published: 7 September 2016 | Categories: Permalink

Computers are Fast: Computers are Slow

Computer are weird and performance is hard to understand.

Computers are fast.

Earlier this evening i was playing around with the first billion digits of pi, i was looking for patterns in it (eg upwards counting strings like 123456789 and how often the occur). It took my mid spec 3 year old laptop about 10 seconds to run the command each time using standard unix tools.

The speed as which my laptop can juggle a billion digit problem is amazing. At a human scale, in a few seconds my laptop is doing what would take me lifetimes.

Computers are slow.

I sometimes take on video projects, i did one a few weeks ago which involved encoding a bunch of high bitrate files down to lower bitrate files in order to move into iTunes for streaming to an Apple TV / loading onto iPads etc.

This shows how slow computers are compared to our needs. My top spec iMac — one of the fastest Macs ever sold — can barely convert the video much faster than real time. I was running the encoding job overnight in order to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.

I was not doing a task that was very high end, the video files being juggled where only 1080p and not 4K. They are only marginally larger than the video files an iPhone could record.

Performance is complex.

Here’s what i think is going on.

For the first task i have an idea of the complexity, i could if i wanted conduct the billion digits of pi task myself. I’d never complete it, but i can grok the complexity of the work being done at a human scale.

For the video encoding i can’t understand the complexity as i dont know what it’s doing. Because i don’t know what it’s doing being “lots of stuff” and the task seems trivial (make a video play on the Apple TV etc) it feels slow. I’m not left in awe at what it is doing, i am just annoyed its not faster.

Conclusion.

I don’t really have a conclusion to this, just documenting some of my throughts about performance. I think this covers more than computing too, i get the same effect between F1 and WRC. World rally looks faster, perhaps because i can relate to it better.

Published: 3 September 2016 | Categories: , Permalink

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