Big Sur.

So I went ahead and installed Mac OS Big Sur on my mid-2015, 15-inch MacBook Pro. I’ve been messing around with it a bit here and there and while the new UI elements taking some getting used to, it feels more stable than I thought it would. I’m also surprised at the responsiveness, this beta version is running faster than the latest production version on Mac OS Catalina.

I’ve run across a couple of bugs here and there; the label for my clock widget says “City” instead of “Chicago” and the weather widget keeps defaulting back to Cupertino. I was able to reproduce an issue another blogger is seeing, but otherwise it’s a new coat of paint on the status quo. While users will instantly notice the new look and feel, they should still feel comfortable and confident when Big Sur is realized in the Fall.

I sold the Mac Mini I was using as a “BYOD”, or “Bring Your Own Device”, machine at work. Work has completely gone down the Microsoft path and have done their best to lock non-Windows machines out of the network. While my work as a developer that uses Linux (or other Unix platforms) all day long is still entrenched in a decidedly non-Windows environment, the work desktop team feels everyone in the company should be using Windows laptops. So I make do. I can deal and it’ll be nice to use the money from the sale of the Mac mini toward my next computer. I’m trying to decide if I want to try the full-time Linux leap or just embrace this aging MacBook Pro and iPad Pro combo I currently have going on.

Oh well, there’s no need to rush while everything is working just fine.

In the meanwhile, I’ll see what other bugs in Big Sur I can find and provide feedback to Apple. If you’re not filling out bug reports, you’re doing the whole “beta software” thing wrong.


App developer, graphic artist, and The Icon Factory co-founder Ged Maheux recently wrote a blog entry about the Activity app on the Apple Watch and how it never accounts for rest days.

You can read the blog entry here.

Ged is absolutely correct; Apple Watch will prompt you to work out and close your rings every single day of the week. When I decide to work my own rest day into the mix I’m prompted several times by my watch, made to feel quite guilty about being fairly lazy for the day, and then I’ll either relent and work out or “mute for today”.

Our bodies need recovery days to maintain balance and prime functionality. Apple needs to build some rest days functionality.

Now, time for a burger.


Everyone can relax, I have my MacBook Pro back in my possession. While Earl and I were out for lunch I received a voicemail from the local Apple store and they said I could c’mon down and pick up my repaired MacBook Pro whenever I was ready to do so, but I had to do it within a week.

We were there within the hour.

For those just catching up with the story, my mid-2015 15-inch MacBook Pro was part of the recent battery recall due to fire and explosion concerns. Some airlines were not allowing this model on flights (though my MBP has flown thousands of miles over the years). I took advantage of the recall and Apple told me it would be two weeks to get it repaired.

My computer was repaired in one week, and that was including Labor Day occurring in the mix.

The computer is over four years old, so the battery was getting rather aged. When I was chatting with the Apple Genius during the intake process, they told me a new battery might make things run faster on my computer, and I can tell you, that is absolutely true. Since getting the computer back interactions are much more responsive. My computer feels new again.

All of the work was fully covered under the recall program.

While my MBP was in the shop I was using my iPad Pro as my full-time computer. I mentioned earlier this week that it was a 100% one-for-one experience and I still maintain that feeling to absolutely be the case. While my iPad Pro is great for most things, it’s not great for all things. There are times where I just want a full-sized keyboard and a full web-browser experience. While the upcoming iPadOS 13 (which I’m running on my iPad Pro) promises a full Safari experience, there was something still just ‘off’ for me. I don’t know if it’s the smaller screen or the reduced keyboard on the Smart Folio or just the way of interacting with the computer itself, but I don’t feel like I’m ready to move to an iPad Pro for 100% of my computing needs.

Suffice it to say I’m really happy to have my MacBook Pro back. Because I bought a fully-tricked out version of what was available back in 2015, I’m confident I can still squeeze a few more years out of this laptop. It still may be my last laptop, and I’m still going to see what I can do with my iPad Pro to move to it 100% someday, but …

I’m happy to have my Mac back.

View From an Apple Store.

I’m sitting in the gallery at the Apple Store on Michigan Ave here in Chicago. I’ve always loved this store. Apple has always wanted their locations to feel like community centers, and this flagship location has always met my expectations around that goal.

iPadOS Beta 3.

After hearing Apple had released Public Beta 3 of their latest version of iOS/iPadOS, and doing some reading on the stability of this beta, I’ve gone ahead and installed it on my iPad Pro.

I’m really liking what Apple is offering in iOS 13 and iPadOS.

Cosmetically, Dark Mode is gorgeous. This is dark mode done right, and it is a welcome relief to my eyes. One of the reasons I prefer to use a Mac at work is because of Dark Mode offered in Mac OS. It’s a lot easier on my eyes while staring at the screen for too many hours in the day. Windows 10 offers a Dark Mode but it is uneven at best and many of the apps just turn gray; Mac OS and now iOS/iPadOS turn much darker.

Performance of Beta 3 seems to be great, though I’ve been messing with it for only an hour or so. I briefly had Beta 2 on an older iPad and that was an unmitigated mess, this is much better and it feels like Apple Developers are making great progress on getting iOS 13 ready and stable for the assumed release in September.

I’m still trying to get into using my iPad Pro as my primary computer; I believe computing needs to be taken to the next level and tablets are going to be the way of the future. I’m eager to see where development from all players in the game take this next step. Maybe Apple will be the leader, maybe they won’t. Only time will tell.

Right now, I’d say they’re headed in the right direction.


So I started this blog entry, writing about today’s Apple keynote event at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Headquarters (“the Spaceship”). I was going to list each of the services Apple announced today and my associated thoughts. It was all to be positive, because I really enjoyed the keynote today.

But I couldn’t bring myself to sound like a tech pundit, because that’s not what I am. I’m one of the Crazy Ones. My LinkedIn Profile starts with two words: “What box?”. I don’t think outside of the box, I can’t even find a box. I don’t see the big picture because I’m not looking in the same direction and I’m probably not even in the same room. It’s amazing that I have worked for several Fortune 500 companies during my career because I really subscribe to the whole “Think Different” philosophy. And this is something I’m proud of.

What struck me about the Apple keynote today was the genuine feeling of passion. The artists, the creative ones, even the ones presenting today, all seemed so very passionate about what Apple was showing the world today. A new way for a credit card to work. A new way to read your favorite magazine. New ways to find your favorite online games and new ways to find your TV shows, all on your own terms. Apple’s huge push of privacy is a welcomed change of pace in this ever growing economy where the user is the product, not the consumer. Apple doesn’t want your information, Apple doesn’t need your information, and Apple has no way of sharing your information. That is awesome. We need more of that in this digital age.

Am I going to sign up for an AppleCard? As a guy that uses ApplePay everywhere he can, you bet your sweet bippy I am. I’ve already asked the CTA when I’ll be able to add my Ventra (transit) card to my Apple Wallet. I’m already reading my favorite magazines in Apple News+ and I’m really looking forward to the original content Apple will bring to the world in Apple TV+. I was moved when I saw Tim Cook tear up when he hugged Oprah after her speech during the keynote today.

Such passion. In the speech, in the reaction, in the creativity.

We need more passion for creativity in the world. Be a Crazy One.

I’ve started editing videos on my iPad Pro today. Ten years ago I never thought I’d be using an iPad Pro to shoot, edit, and share video, but here we are. Technology isn’t only about spreadsheets and word documents and slides. It’s about what we want it to be about.

Let your creativity flow.

1 Comment


Apple announced some changes to their iPad lineup today and I’m just thrilled! I’m still reading up on the announcement, but the iPad Air and the iPad Mini have both been refreshed with the latest Apple processor and Apple Pencil support. What wonderful news!

I truly believe the tablet will be the computing device of choice in the future, so seeing the “lower end” iPads get refreshed by Apple helps build that momentum to the future I’m envisioning.

I’m especially excited about the new iPad Mini with Apple Pencil support. Before my iPad Pro 10 (with Pencil support), the iPad Mini was always my tablet of choice for when I was flying. It ran my preferred Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) ForeFlight beautifully, even though the iPad Mini 4 was starting to fall behind in horsepower for that particular use. Using the iPad Pro 10 and an Apple Pencil in the cockpit has been wonderful, as ForeFlight has grown in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years and features beautiful functionality with the Apple Pencil, but the iPad Pro 10 is slightly too big for the airplanes I fly (primarily the Piper Cherokee series, Cessna 172s, and now the Diamond Sky DA-40). It works and works well, it just feels like it takes up a little too much space. Having an option to go back to the smaller iPad Mini is wonderful news.

I’m happy to see that Apple made this iPad announcement today, so they can focus on their new services offerings and their big announcement next Monday on 3/25.

You know I’ll be watching the keynote.