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    Bittersweet indeed. I just upgrade from my beloved 2014 15” MBP Retina to a 2019 16” MBP.

    The trackpad is perfect. Leagues ahead of any other laptop I’ve ever used. I can happily use it in CAD and in photoshop. However this one is unnecessarily large.

    The speakers are wonderful. I have low expectations for onboard laptop speakers, but these are really really good. Unfortunately they put the headphone jack on the wrong side!

    Keyboard feels about the same as my 2014. I managed to skip the bad keyboards from 2015-1019 I guess. I quite like the touchbar, but it needs some tuning. My resting fingers occasionally hit something by accident.

    The webcam. I had not discovered this disappointment, but I just checked and can confirm that it is quite bad.

    The thermals are a bit disappointing. If you have an external monitor plugged in (via USB-C) then the fans work pretty hard. My old laptop was silent unless I was running Android Studio.

    The display is perfect. The old display was perfect too. I didn’t realize that the new 16” MBP is the same overall dimensions as the old 15” ones. It’s just that the display is larger and the bezel is smaller.

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      Having moved from a one-room loft to a 3-story house in the last year, I’ve been working on this too.

      I bought a cheap E8345-based pfSense box and it has been awesome. I can’t recommend this enough for your firewall/router.

      Then I chose to get a couple standalone wifi access points. And I’ve since come to the conclusiong that Ubiquiti is overrated. I invested in several access points and am committed to making it work for me now, but I’m not very happy with them.

      They do perform fairly well, but the centralized management paradigm is so weird. I can see the value if you’re running a dozen of them, but for one or two access points I just want to configure them and have them run standalone. Instead I need to also run a controller, which has its own dependencies like java and mangodb. I can run it on my mac laptop just when I need to change configuration. It starts a web browser on :8080 and then opens a web browser (already a pretty unrefined experience). If I change laptops or otherwise lose this delicate configuration, then I need to screw around to re-adopt them to a new controller.

      I spent yesterday evening trying to get it all running in a docker container on a raspberry pi, but I couldn’t get the access points to be adopted without doing a full reset, so I gave up. I will persevere and it will all be fine. I’m just not very happy with it.

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        I run my controller in a minimal Debian vm that spends most of its life offline. When I want to run things, I start the vm on some machine, make sure ports forward to it correctly, and log in.

        I found this balances the power of the configuration (3 sites, one controller) and sanity with running such an annoying stack.

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        The app is called MacPlayer and works thanks to the magic of Spotify Connect. The speaker itself streams and plays the music, and the Mac simply tells the speaker which song to play (as well as volume, current playlist, shuffle mode and other settings). Communication is over Wifi.

        So this is not an actual player which decodes the stream and plays it on Mac’s audio DMA, only the UI controller. It’s very annoying in such kind of projects these days, same for “Slack client on C64!!!!!” which is actually a VT100 telnet client communicating with actual Slack client on Raspberry Pi. And so on, in modern programming too (like, people call their borderlees website an “application”)…

        In other words, people want to be “cool” and shown like ultimate heroes, but they are scared about actual hard code and special challenges related to the platform they’re targeting, which is sad and most likely will turn out bad in the future.

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          In other words, people want to be “cool” and shown like ultimate heroes, but they are scared about actual hard code and special challenges related to the platform they’re targeting, which is sad and most likely will turn out bad in the future.

          I’m disappointed by this. By the same logic, since all the playlists and music is stored on remote computers in the first place, the official Spotify players themselves aren’t really apps, just attempts to be “cool.”

          Older computers had many task-specific peripherals to get the job done. That’s why Apple IIs, early PCs, and even cheaper computers like the Commodore 64 had so many expansion ports. This to me feels very much in the spirit of how people programmed those computers. The C64 doesn’t have enough power to do speech synthesis? Fine, here’s a cartridge. Your PC can’t make real sound with just the PC speaker? Fine, here’s a Yamaha DSP. Or in this case, the Mac doesn’t have enough CPU to decode MP3s and handle the DRM and reencrypt to HTTPS? Fine, we’ll use a couple separate specialty components for those things.

          You’re both discounting what was accomplished here and being unrealistic about how it would’ve been done with an actual Mac SE back in the day. I’m sad to see such negativity here. This forum is usually much more appreciative of this kind of fun hack.

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            I’m disappointed by this. By the same logic, since all the playlists and music is stored on remote computers in the first place, the official Spotify players themselves aren’t really apps, just attempts to be “cool.”

            It’s stored remotely, but it’s played locally. Just like you would use a regular player with, for example, an SMB share. Same thing on this particular Mac would be completely okay if you lack a harddisk.

            Older computers had many task-specific peripherals to get the job done. That’s why Apple IIs, early PCs, and even cheaper computers like the Commodore 64 had so many expansion ports. This to me feels very much in the spirit of how people programmed those computers. The C64 doesn’t have enough power to do speech synthesis? Fine, here’s a cartridge. Your PC can’t make real sound with just the PC speaker? Fine, here’s a Yamaha DSP. Or in this case, the Mac doesn’t have enough CPU to decode MP3s and handle the DRM and reencrypt to HTTPS? Fine, we’ll use a couple separate specialty components for those things.

            This isn’t correct at all. I mean, it is, but only in burger mentality where you don’t even try to work a bit harder on particular problem, but pay a slave worker to do this.

            The C64 doesn’t have enough power to do speech synthesis?

            Of course it does, and performs really well. The software is patched SAM & Reciter to work with Polish. The VIC-II is disabled during speech to free up DMA speed for cartridge access, but no one prevents you from precalculate speech sample and put it in RAM, like some games (remember Impossible Mission?) did at build time.

            Your PC can’t make real sound with just the PC speaker?

            Oh dude. There are numerous more and less creative ways to play regular PCM-based tunes on PC speaker and I didn’t even looked deeper than first YouTube link. Methods to achieve that are so diverse you can even play a sound using only an Atari XL/XE video output chip (GTIA, not to confuse with actual GPU, ANTIC) and fancy interrupt handling.

            Or in this case, the Mac doesn’t have enough CPU to decode MP3s and handle the DRM and reencrypt to HTTPS?

            This particular Mac SE/30 has a Motorola 68030@16MHz and 1 to 128 megs of RAM (I assume some modest quality of life upgrade, 4MB at least). It’s absolutely enough to decode MP3s (with some assumptions about buffer of course) and on Amiga it was even more than needed, leaving you with some cycles to do your office work.

            You might be right about HTTPS though - due to its recently increasing complexity because why the fuck no, everything beyond x86 at Pentium II grade is out of the league. On the other hand, the OpenSSH w/ SSH2 and recent ciphers works acceptable on Amigas with 68060 without blocking other tasks too much.

            So, some sort of ssl-stripping proxy in the middle would be accepted. But it’s no tied to this particular software and can be used with anything else. The software running on the Mac wouldn’t be tied to the outside bits of code, just requiring the HTTPS endpoint which you can provide however you want.

            You’re both discounting what was accomplished here

            Yes, because it’s just a mockup and requires actual modern machine to do all the stuff. In 90s, everyone would call this software a “lame” way. Huge expectations, little code, pretends to be something that it’s not.

            and being unrealistic about how it would’ve been done with an actual Mac SE back in the day.

            Absolutely no. 80% of regular Spotify client feature set could be done on that Mac (and even more on later 68k MacOS workstations). But it requires actual understanding of the target platform and - what’s seriously missing here - some bits of true love.

            You see, all that retrocomputing stuff isn’t about showing off and acting cool. It’s about these platforms. People are doing excellent things to prove their loved machines can still be relevant and do modern work without offloading it onto Raspberry Pi hidden under the table to gather internet points on reddit and orange site. People are dedicated to particular line or brand or model they used in the past, can utilize and show its unique features and don’t strip everything into least common denominator.

            I think this particular project, while “looking cool” is actually disrespectful to the Macs. This guy could do the same thing on PC, Amiga, C64, Atari or even a ZX Spectrum - requires only the monochrome bitmap graphics, keyboard and serial to communicate with ESP8266 (which even does HTTPS on its own).

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            Pretty close to my reaction too. All the audio decoding and network streaming is handled by some very fancy speakers; http-based API auth delegated to a phone app. So, it’s mostly a visual gimmick… but still cool. I don’t blame them for not wanting to put the (much more difficult) technical effort into achieving (much lower quality) “authentic” sound.

            I used 68k Macs long ago, but it’s not really my scene. I didn’t even know there was a wifi card for the SE/30.

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              There wasn’t, it’s also a trickery. There’s a dongle with ESP8266 which plugs into serial port and provides extended AT commands set so it can act more or less like dialup modem.

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                Trickery feels like the wrong word there. That sounds like a damn good hack to me.

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                  The „fake” is more appropriate, because it strips down the running computer to the form of dumb terminal and deprecates all its unique features so it doesn’t matter which machine you have at the end of the day.

                  You can surely set up a TCP stack on C64 or Atari. Well, you can even get a working 802.11 stack on Amiga and it doesn’t require using such lame solutions.

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                  I’m not sure about that. In the picture, it sure looks like there’s a wifi antenna coming out the back, and nothing plugged in to the serial ports. Author linked to https://github.com/antscode/MacWifi which mentions some devices. I recall having a 68040 PowerBook with onboard ethernet (via a ridiculous dongle) and could use wifi PCMCIA cards, so it doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. I’m not going to dig any further, though. I waste enough time on even older machines!

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                    I need more information about this! Do you have a link?

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                      Just duck the “esp8266 serial WiFi”

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                    I wonder if any of the 68k Macs even have enough power to decode AAC…

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                      Spotify uses AAC only on macOS/iOS from what I remember, other platforms get Vorbis or MP3, depending on chosen quality.

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                        I imagine that even 128kbps MP3 is a big struggle for a 68030 on it’s own, but I wasn’t aware they still served some music as MP3.

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                  Using SaaS is like going to a restaurant to eat.

                  Self hosting on a VPS is like making a nutritious meal at home with groceries from the supermarket.

                  Self hosting on your physical hardware is like making that meal from veggies and animals you grew and raised on your hobby farm.

                  It’s almost as if… things aren’t black and white!

                  Self-hosting on a VPS is better than using SaaS, in terms of maintaining control and flexibility, understanding the stack and data-security implications, etc. Hosting it on your own bare metal takes those benefits even further, plus ensures a more diverse and distributed Internet. Kudos to anyone who is doing that.

                  You could take this even further…

                  It only counts as self-hosting if you host on hardware that you own and that you built

                  Or

                  It only counts as self-hosting if you host on hardware that you own and that you built from scratch using individual IC components, wrote all firmware for, …

                  etc.

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                    Great idea and great hack!

                    MoCA standards are for networking over “dark coax” and are often used in building that have an existing coax infrastructure.

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                      Fantastic article, and this one too: http://www.jerf.org/iri/post/2930.

                      There is lots to learn from the decades of Erlang experiences and it’s great to consider how that experience can be applied to Go.