b.k.

There has been a lot of speculation lately about Apple releasing new Mac hardware that switches from an Intel processor to a ARM processor (like the A10x in the iPad Pro).

The discussion usually revolves around how the transition would work, would there be an emulator, would they announce the change @ WWDC (they did not), what will it take for devs to update their apps, etc.

I was thinking about this today and I think there is an answer that would make everyone happy. The current line of Macs are all very old, almost like Apple has been waiting a long time to make any updates. Almost as though they want to update them all at the same time. Or at least have a viable plan to update them all in a very short (less than 1 year) timeframe.

At WWDC Apple announced that the Mac would soon be able to run iOS apps. It is expected that these apps would need to be recompiled to run on Intel CPUs as currently used in the Mac. It is also expected that if Apple switches the Mac to an ARM chip that there would need to be emulation of some sort (like Rosetta Stone during the transition to Intel) to allow older Mac apps to continue to run.

What if neither is true initially. Apple doesn’t have to switch completely to ARM processors, what if they added additional hardware/software to allow an ARM processor to run the computer, but have an Intel co-processor for running old apps? There was a similar after market setup WAY back in the PowerPC days, you could buy a expansion card for your Mac (called a Power Card if I remember right), and that card was essentially a 386/486 PC on an expansion card. This allowed you to run windows inside a window on your Mac, almost as fast as an actual PC.

With Apple being in full control of their hardware and OS stack, why couldn’t they do the same thing, but modernized? You could run the full blown Mac OS on either the Intel or ARM CPU (maybe you get to choose may be Apple chooses for you), and then essentially any apps that need access to the other CPU could just run in its own window. There would of course have to be a controller to manage data between the two processors, but it would work similar to handing off processing load to the GPU. The additional CPU would do its work & then hand the data back to the main CPU for rendering, or it could literally just draw its data right back to its own window.

With Apple relying so heavily on APIs for everything the OS does I could see this being a completely hands off process that the system just handles with little to zero input by the developer.

As apps are updated they could be compiled to run on the new CPU and eventually everything would use the new CPU & Apple could remove the Intel CPU from future hardware builds. Eventually Apple drops Intel, Intel probably goes under as a result & hopefully MS has Windows for ARM at the same level as their x86 version.

AppleTV Secret Remote Combos

I was playing with the AppleTV (4th gen) the other day and accidentally triggered one of the developer tools, so I poked around a bit more & came up with the following combos.

The below are all done from the home screen

Play/Pause – hold for a few seconds

  • This will allow you to change audio output, this is helpful for switching to a previously paired set of bluetooth headphones. Found this one via johsherrod.net

Play/Pause + Volume Down

  • Hold for 3 seconds & release – This will save a “stackshot”, this is ued by developers for troubleshooting apps.
  • Hold for 6 seconds & release – Will create analytics & allow them to be shared (via air drop)

Play/Pause + Volume Up

  • Hold for 10 seconds & release – This will presumably take a screenshot. You can hear the screenshot sound, but I have not figured out where the screenshots end up.
  • Start remote pairing mode
  • Autoscan for new output settings

Home + volume up

  • Hold for about 10 seconds & then release – send diagnostic logs to Apple

Play + Menu

  • Hold for about 10 seconds – force a reboot

Bike Rack Lights

I’ve had a few people at the trailhead comment on the trailer lights I put on my hitch mounted rack so I thought I’d do up a quick post about the parts/process.

While writing this post I had the idea that using an LED light strip (like the kind they put below the tailgate on a truck), might be a cheaper and easier solution. Which it turns out it is. I can’t vouch for this type of install, but I have used similar lights on my motorcycle with no issues. So maybe save some time and money & have a look @ these:

60 Inch Tailgate LED Light Bar

Parts

Wiring Diagram

The first step is to wire the lights up temporarily to make sure all the connections are correct.

There is a good wiring info table on eTrailer: eTrailer Wiring FAQ this is where I found the info for the below.

There are 5 wires coming off the wiring harness:

  • White - ground to rack
  • Brown/Green - Tail/marker
  • Brown - Tail/marker
  • Yellow - Left Turn
  • Green - Right Turn

Each light has 3 Wires:

  • White - ground to rack
  • Green - Turn
  • Black - Tail/marker

The wiring is easy just follow the below diagram, and connect the wires as:

  • All the whites together & bolt these directly to the bike rack for a ground.
  • Connect the Brown/Green to the black wire on one of the lights.
  • Connect the brown to the black wire on the other light.
  • Connect the green wire to the green wire on the RIGHT light.
  • Connect the yellow wire to the green wire on the LEFT light.
Trailer wiring diagram

Mountain Biking - Peoria, IL

Trail Maps

Wildlife Prairie Park on Trailforks.com

Tracks For The Day

Strava Flybys

This is a new Strava Labs thing. Shows you where you were in relation to your buddies from the same ride.

Mountain Biking - St. Louis, MO - Castlewood State Park

We were planning to go over to Griffin Park Bike Park in Terre Haute Indiana, but it got rained out the night before. Instead we ended up going to Castlewood State Park a little west of St. Louis.

There are four trail systems in the area:

  1. Castlewood State Park
  2. West Tyson County Park
  3. Rock Hollow
  4. Greensfelder County Park

Sadly we didn’t have the time to do more than one park, so we only saw Castlewood today.

We did luck out and there happened to be a demo day for Niner Bikes, due to this I got to take a Rip 9 RDO out for a spin through the trails. It’s the first time I’ve gotten to take a full suspension bike off road. The bike was very nice & handled well going up or down hill with ease. Unfortunately its $6600 price tag puts it a little outside my budget.

A good portion of the trails we rode where covered in rock which made traction difficult @ times. There were a lot of trails which just seemed too difficult to ride, so we ended up walking a couple like Cardiac Hill & the beginning of River Scene, although in River Scene we were going the wrong way so we had to walk up the first stretch. Also I felt like some of the trails aren’t rated properly. The first section of River Scene when going down seems like it should be a black diamond as it’s a very steep shale covered hill, with a lot of larger rocks.

Overall it was a great place to ride and I’m sure there will be other (better planned) trips out there in the future where we will ride more of the trails and get to the other parks in the area.

Trail Maps

Castlewood State Park on Trailforks.com

Tracks For The Day