The MicroMac →

Matt Evans’ most recent project gave me more “wow, computers have gotten fast!” vibes than I’ve felt in a long, long time. Here is Evans:

This all started from a conversation about the RP2040 MCU, and building a simple desktop/GUI for it. I’d made a comment along the lines of “or, just run some old OS”, and it got me thinking about the original Macintosh.

The original Macintosh was released 40.5 years before this post, and is a pretty cool machine especially considering that the hardware is very simple. Insanely Great and folklore.org are fun reads, and give a glimpse into the Macintosh’s development. Memory was a squeeze; the original 128KB version was underpowered and only sold for a few months before being replaced by the Macintosh 512K, arguably a more appropriate amount of memory.

But, the 128 still runs some real applications and, though it pre-dates MultiFinder/actual multitasking, I found it pretty charming. As a tourist. In 1984 the Mac cost roughly 1/3 as much as a VW Golf and, as someone who’s into old computers and old cars, it’s hard to decide which is more frustrating to use.

So back to this £3.80 RPi Pico microcontroller board: The RP2040’s 264KB of RAM gives a lot to play with after carving out the Mac’s 128KB – how cool would it be to do a quick hack, and play with a Mac on it?

I mean, just look at this thing:

MacWrite

The Copilot Plus PC Era is … Here?

Tom Warren, writing at The Verge:

Happy Windows on Arm day. Microsoft is launching its Copilot Plus PCs today, with Qualcomm-powered chips inside. If you’re wondering where our reviews are, Microsoft and most of its OEM partners haven’t seeded devices ahead of today’s launch because of Microsoft’s Recall… recall. I have started testing a Surface Laptop today, and we’ll have a full review of this new Windows on Arm hardware as soon as possible.

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Recalled →

Tom Warren at The Verge:

Microsoft is planning to launch its new Copilot Plus PCs next week without its controversial Recall feature that screenshots everything you do on these new laptops. The software maker is holding back Recall so it can test it with the Windows Insider program, after originally promising to ship Recall as an opt-in feature with additional security improvements.

“We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community to ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security,” says Microsoft in an updated blog post. “When Recall (preview) becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, we will publish a blog post with details on how to get the preview.”

Yikes.

WWDC24: Tim Cook, on AI and Apple’s Values →

Leading into WWDC, I shared some concerns I had when it came to thinking about how Apple would integrate AI into its products.

Tim Cook has spoken to Josh Tyrangiel at The Washington Post about how the company went into this endeavor. Here’s Cook:

We went into this saying, “These are our values, and we can’t veer from them.” And we took the time and the depth of thinking to come out with a product that we’re proud of. We knew that we had to do things outside of the device because of the size of the language models that we’re working with, so we needed to have a level of invention on the cloud. And fortunately, we were able to build it upon things that we had, like Apple silicon.

When asked about his confidence that Apple Intelligence will avoid hallucinations, he said:

It’s not 100 percent. But I think we have done everything that we know to do, including thinking very deeply about the readiness of the technology in the areas that we’re using it in. So I am confident it will be very high quality. But I’d say in all honesty that’s short of 100 percent. I would never claim that it’s 100 percent.

Apple didn’t talk about this in the keynote, even when showing off Siri’s integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. However, it seems that the user interface will include text alerting people to the fact that AI results may not always be accurate:

OpenAI Warning

image via Adam Wright

macOS Sequoia’s Default Wallpaper (Updated)

macOS Sequoia has been announced and it comes with a couple of colorful new default wallpapers. However, Apple has changed where these images are stored on disk, and all I have found so far is the Light version of the image:

macOS Sequoia

Download 6K version here.

In the mean time, I’ve got 16×9 versions of both the Light and Dark variants. They aren’t quite as high-res as the files that come with macOS itself, but they’ll work pretty well for now:

Download full-sized copies here:

UPDATE: I have heard from several Little Birdies that the default wallpapers in Sequoia aren’t in the traditional location in the file system because they aren’t traditional wallpapers.

According to these Birdies, the Light Mode image is a .heic file as it has been in the past, but the dark mode version is made programmatically by the system and doesn’t live on disk as a regular image file.

That’s a huge bummer; the dark mode image is fun and having it in the full 6016×6016 resolution would be great.