Apple Kills the Thunderbolt Display – Will the Mac Pro Be Next?

| Particle Debris

Page 2 – The Tech News Debris for the Week of June 20th

Has Apple Gone Too Far This Time?


Well founded rumors are that the next iPhone won’t have a 3.5 mm analog audio jack. See: “Apple Should just Confirm the iPhone 7 Headphone Jack is Gone.

There are two stark and contrasting camps about Apple’s (supposed) abandonment of this port. In one camp, we have those who claim that this is Apple. Prepare to move relentlessly forward. Changes are made to enable new technologies. And they’ll point to howls of outrage when Apple dropped the 3.5-inch floppy from the 1998 iMac. One reference I saw was a friendly reminder from May, 1998, of how we’ve been through this before.” Back To The Future At Apple.

But then that change didn’t require music lovers to carry around a dongle for their expensive, wired headphones.

The other camp says, “Taking the headphone jack off phones is user-hostile and stupid.” Nilay Patel opines that nothing good can come from taking away this universally accepted and utilized audio port. He lists six really good reasons why Apple is wrong to do this, and they’re really well thought out..

Tell me what you think.

Moving on….

There are two ways to think about popular programming languages. There is the professional arena of business and government/military with its need for server-based web and database driven solutions. That’s where we see Java, Javscript, C/C++, Python, PHP and so on. The second is Android and iOS apps where the code is more isolated and developed in house or by indie developers. That’s where Java on Android and Objective-C and now Swift for iOS tend to be isolated.

With that in mind, if you’ve been thinking about which computer languages to study, here are two good resources. “The 9 most popular computer languages…” and this Google search I was alerted to..

Programming Jobs Graph

Those who think that macOS will go away someday will feel better after reading the Above Avalon article on page 1. This will help too, as Macworld’s Dan Moren explains: “With Sierra, Apple lets the Mac be the Mac.

Here’s another feather in the cap of Microsoft. The company is being even more aggressive than Sony in supporting 4K Blu-ray. “Blu-ray: Microsoft Turns the Tables On Sony.” WooHoo….

If you’ve been wondering why it’s been taking so long for your favorite merchant to implement chipped credit cards and (perhaps) Apple Pay, help is on the way. “MasterCard unveils simpler EMV process,

Despite the above, (or perhaps because of it) the foot dragging by many merchants over Apple Pay seems to be providing an opportunity for Samsung and its Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology. This is not NFC, but rather a technique that uses an electromagnetic field to trick the card reader into thinking that a conventional magnetic strip has been swiped. As I understand it, it’s not as secure as the NFC method which is encrypted end-to-end. But such is the nature of business and technology. Read more at “Samsung takes fight to Apple with mobile wallet strategy.”

Finally, have you found the recent changes to iTunes confusing. Kirk McElhearn clears up a lot with a Q&A at Macworld.Ask the iTunes Guy: Changes in iTunes 12.4.” Frankly, I don’t know what the Mac community would do without Kirk’s insights and help with iTunes.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.

11 Comments Add a comment

  1. KitsuneStudios

    The display market is well served by a wide range of monitor options. The Apple Computer market is not.

    It makes sense for Apple to drop the monitor, but unless Apple wants to completely abandon the power computing market, they need to either keep pace or change their strategy.

  2. jltnol

    Will the Mac Pro Be Next?


    Apple is not interested in Content Creators anymore. Only content CONSUMERS. All of their “Pro” apps… (now down to FCPX and Logic I think…) can work just fine on iMacs and MacBookPro’s…. sooooo no need for the “Pro” computer. Having moved to a MacPro when they were released, and having to buy a big external PCIe card cage, I could just as easily connect the card cage to an iMac, or a laptop, and be just as productive as I am with the Pro. When they finally pull the plug, this will be a very sad day in Apple’s history, but one that has been on the horizon for quite sometime, but no one should be surprised.

  3. Adam Christianson

    Hey @Lee Dronick, we made the comment box bigger by default for you. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. jwdsail ….

    Yeah, I know, pretty sure all of mine go into a circular file somewhere.. Can’t hurt to try? Right?

  5. Paul Goodwin

    Getting rid of the audio jack is one very stupid idea. This will be panned forever if it really happens. The obvious bad is that 99% of the headphone owners’ headphones won’t plug into an iPhone. And since iPhones are now our iPods and streaming audio devices, you’ll need a D/A converter (EXPENSIVE for a decent one). Most of the cheap D/A converters sound like crap, so everyone will thing Apple’s iPhone audio is crap.

    This is very different than Apple’s moves in the past. This isn’t moving forward. There’s no need or technical advantage for everyone to move to digital headphones.

    Horrible idea

  6. Paul Goodwin

    Adam Christianson, the page works better on the iPad, text box size is now good on iPad.

    My gravitar disappeared.

  7. Adam Christianson

    Hey @Paul Goodwin, the issue might be that the new system actually does use Gravatar vs. the avatar you may have uploaded to the old system. Double check that the email on this account has a Gravatar attached to it and let me know. Also I think you can set a new avatar in your profile.

  8. wab95


    Time for just a quick comment, as I catch up on my TMO reading, and then get back to serious work.

    Your initial segment raises a number of important questions regarding the Mac Pro.

    I think Mr Frausto-Robledo’s analysis is both insightful and suggests two plausible alternative scenarios to Apple wholesale abandonment of the professional user class.

    The first is scenario is implicit in his statement “…the vast majority of CAD and BIM, and even 3D applications, are frequency bound”, and hence, “…Architects have been buying the i7 iMacs in droves instead [of the Mac Pro]”. In other words, as technology has advanced, many of the tasks once reserved for behemoth workhouses can now be done with smaller, indeed consumer-grade, machines at the higher end. This is to be anticipated, according to Moore’s Law. In that sense, Apple are already offering a pro-level solution adequate for at least a segment of the pro-user community. The question that bears on a dedicated Pro device is whether or not the remnant for whom that is insufficient, there is a sufficient market for Apple to pursue. Undoubtedly, this is something that Apple are monitoring; and one has to wonder if they have not already concluded that the remnant is in the dead zone of the cost/benefit ratio.

    The second option is a new architecture, to which both you and he allude, that can be scaled according to need. I know that for most of our epidemiological models, current machines are sufficient with even the largest datasets. This is not the case for molecular modelling, and other medical science fields, which I should think a sufficiently large group, not unlike architects, for Apple to pursue.

    As for the headphone jack…seriously? This debate, if we can call it that, calls to mind a paraphrase from Back to the Future; ‘Where we’re headed, you won’t need headphone jacks’. Two years post jack relegation, I suspect that most people will have happily moved on, not unlike the floppy drive ‘crisis’. It will happen sooner or later, and undoubtedly Apple have thought about the transition (e.g. does the lightening port nest a digital to analogue converter, and if not, can they make it so).


    Your Joy of Tech link character bears an uncanny resemblance to someone, can’t be certain, but if the iPhone jack is as indispensable as himself, then let’s see what the fall bringeth for both port and POTUS.

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