Hello and welcome to the Brew and Byte Podcast Episode 24 Cheese and Keys sponsored by the
London Mac user group. My name is Craig and this week we have a bumper pack show coming
up for you. Apple spying on our photos, we look at a history of the mouse and what part
Apple played in the design history of the popular input device. We play cat and mouse
and what will kids have in the future? Stay tuned to find out.
Tonight let’s first say hello to Alistair. How are you this evening?
I’m good thanks Craig. Just catching up on this month’s news.
Brilliant. And Martin, how are you today?
Very well Craig, yeah we’re working away, so we’ve got very busy at work as well as all the other
bits and pieces we do here for both Elmug and the other shows that I’m involved with.
Brilliant, always keeping busy. We have had lots of Apple news this week, it’s hard to pick a subject
of which we were going to talk about but I think something that’s been hitting the headlines is
Apple is scanning our photos. Alistair can you tell us any more?
Well, this would be to do with the requirements in America
to check for child sexual abuse material, which I think
is called the CSAM, which Google currently already does.
And what’s going to be happening is
Apple are going to make a hash of the images
at which you’ve taken.
So they’re not actually looking at your actual images.
And then they’re going to have a hash of the images
they know to be exploited and then compare them
and playing a giant game of Snap.
And for those who don’t understand what hash is
and think it’s like corned beef hash,
it basically is a unique signature
or a way of identifying a file for a computer.
- And am I right in saying that even if the original image
has been edited, it can still be found?
- Yes, because what they were doing in the past
was people would change the color of the tint of the picture
or change the size or crop it or put it at a 45 degree angle
so it wouldn’t be recognized.
So what they’re now doing is they’re not doing
pixel by pixel counts.
They’re doing sort of the general understanding
of what’s in the picture.
So it’s more like AI.
So that’s where the hash algorithms come in.
It’s quite clever.
And apparently it’s going to be scanned inbound
coming into the iCloud servers.
That way they don’t have anything on files.
So if any of the American letter agencies
want to access it, they can’t see it because it doesn’t exist, that the images don’t exist,
it’s just going to be a token to say we have found something wrong, or we have found nothing.
And Apple also said they’re going to be putting up a load of false negatives to even out the
count. So there’s going to be a load of sort of pictures of Mickey Mouse or pictures of Cupertino
or various other random individuals, maybe lots of people sunburn, you know, lots of orange faces
and stuff I don’t know. It will be interesting. Should people be worried about all the photos
they have on their phone? Basically, you just have to be more clear about who would be prosecuted.
So you don’t need to be prosecuted in my understanding if you’re a US citizen, but you’d be informed
by US authorities, TDUK authorities, if you had images which were as described by this
particular act but if I understand correctly it’s only children who are
being exploited rather than children who are your own children so for example if
they’re in the bath or if they’re playing at the seaside that I think is
different but each of the companies have a different idea so Facebook have got a
very tough ruling on this one which is zero you’re not allowed to have any
naked individuals which cause a whole load of problems for breastfeeding
mothers groups on Facebook. So it’ll be interesting to see where we go from this. But as far as
I can see it, if you don’t store anything in iCloud photo, they can’t look at your photos
because it’s not on your phone, which they’re doing a technology.
I’m going to ask Martin this one because I know this has come up in the news as well.
Do you think Apple did a bad job at explaining it?
I think they did almost as bad a job as Microsoft trying to explain what the new operating system
was going to be and how it was going to be released.
Yeah, no, they didn’t cover themselves in glory on that one.
And I think good old Craig Federici had to come out with a further statement
to clarify the Apple position to try and make it clear,
because it did initially appear that Apple were going to come down the line,
search your phone for any kind of photographs and then dub you in straight away.
Fortunately, some bad reporting kind of gave that impression.
But if you actually look into the details like Alistair has done,
it’s only what you upload to the iCloud that’s affected.
So if you haven’t got auto sync on your phone, for example,
so that all of your images aren’t going straight up to the cloud
and you have got some images on the phone which are not allowable,
that won’t, you’re not going to incur the irk of Apple.
But as soon as you make that link to send your photos to iCloud,
you’re opening up that whole can of worms about what they will look at and what they will mark down as CSAN.
Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing?
Well, obviously, anything that reduces child pornography has got to be a good thing.
But my concerns, and Alastair mentioned it, are what about the innocent photographs that you may very well be taking of your own children or whatever?
Are you immediately going to get tagged with a red flag?
You know, watch this person.
They’re putting up what could be considered child porn.
I think it’s a very tricky slope to go down and it needs to be managed extremely well.
And again, this comes about every time.
I’m sure class action lawyers are absolutely rubbing their hands about this, that they
can be filing huge, great cases against Apple for poor old Auntie Betty’s
grandchildren who were on the beach at Haling Island.
suddenly now she’s marked down as a child pornographer. It’s good and bad as with all
these things, isn’t it? Whatever you look at, the basics of what they’re trying to do,
I can understand fully to Paul, but how they’re going to go about it is extremely technically
I know Apple are extremely popular and famous for their privacy, which lots of their recent
adverts have promoted. But using Craig Federici’s words in that it enables a more private world
Is that right or wrong?
Someone said that if you’ve got nothing to hide and you’ve got nothing,
there’s no problem about people having access to your, your kit and your
equipment and stuff like that.
But as a person, I’ve got lots to hide.
There’s, there are personal photographs of my family and my children and my
wife that I don’t want anyone else looking at.
That’s not for me to say.
I contain an awful lot of information on my phone about other people’s accounts,
bank accounts, details like that, which I have to have for making payments
and stuff like that.
that surely I don’t have the right to give that to anyone else.
Craig, if you want to give your building society accounts to HMRC, that’s your right.
But do I have the right to do that?
It’s my breach by doing that.
So I think most people do have private stuff on their phone or on their iPad or on their computer.
So I don’t go along with the adage that, you know, if you’ve got nothing to hide
and you should be open about all this stuff, I don’t agree with that.
The main thing is, as you probably read, was it can only be compared to the database which is used by
both Facebook and Google and other American organizations, which brought up an interesting
question. This will only work if it complies with the American view of what was there or what the
American databases have there, to which one person said, “Well, that’s all very interesting,
but you might end up with a slight racial stacking because it’s only what is currently available
from the American phones and what was collected there.
And they said, OK, but if Apple are picking up images
worldwide, that will probably help shift this database
from being a largely American-based database
to a worldwide database.
So in some ways, it could help because you’ll
have a greater database, so it will reduce the chance
of false positives.
Second of all, you probably also read
that you won’t actually be told if your phone has identified
We also go back to the other factor which used to come out in the past which is don’t put anything on your phone
Which you wouldn’t be happy for someone else to show in the court
Which is the same thing that we say about don’t write anything in email. You wouldn’t want someone else to read out in the court
So there is this adage that if it’s your is it your phone or is it someone else’s phone?
So if it’s a business phone the business owns your photos and then everything on it
The laws differ when you come over to Europe because the laws are not so clear as they are in America
So we’ve ended up with a sort of strange difference of how each law would be applied in different
countries in Europe versus America.
So I think they’re just trialing it in America at the minute.
Isn’t one of the conditions when you agree to use the phone, you’re agreeing to the laws
The other thing is you’ve agreed that your iPhone complies with the iTunes agreement.
The iTunes agreement says your device is a US citizen.
So is a US citizen based currently in UK?
So for example, Section 12, the iTunes agreement says you will not use iTunes in Cuba, Syria
or North Korea because under federal requirements they are not allowed to.
The fact that you are not an American citizen is irrelevant.
You still have signed up to an agreement that says you will comply with the US law.
So we’ve ended up with this sort of thing that people will be signed up for it ahead
That could have interesting combinations with the current in America, they’re still trying
to push through for this back door, aren’t they, on the phone?
And as long as that’s held off under US law, of course, in Britain, it’s different.
Under the last legislation, they do have the right to insist that you open the phone and
give them the details.
And it’s an offence not to.
But if you’re saying, well, hang on, the phone is a US citizen, therefore I can’t give you
the details of a US citizen, would that create a gray area of legal dispute?
This actually has gone through parliament already once.
under the 2000, I think it’s 2010 or 2005 anti-terrorism law,
they said that unlike America,
where you have a constitution where you’re not allowed
to incriminate yourself by giving up information,
which is something, the difference between something
you know and something you have,
something you have being a fingerprint,
which is why friends have fingerprint IDs,
not passwords in a lot of places.
Under UK law, you are duty-bound as a citizen of the UK
give up all information if required. Even if it incriminates yourself? Correct, because under the
anti-terrorist legislation in the UK it was discussed in parliament and it said yes, all you
have to be declared is that you are involved in an act of terrorism or we are looking for evidence
to prove that you are not. Guilty till proved innocent. 96 hours held in a police cell without
charge. Yet again, it’s all changing. Rulers versus society, who knows. On a more happier note,
are we going to see Apple Store people events? So, rumor has it that today at Apple is being
relaunched in some stores and potentially including the US and the UK in that one.
Yes, I think it would be the next step to our getting back to normality, to bring these items
back to the stores. At the moment, you’re not limited to the time you can spend in the store.
You can still wander around looking for quite some time. But I think the last time I was at
Regent Street, they haven’t put all the little cubes and benches out for you to sit around.
You can’t actually sit down and do something. It’s not as easy as it used to be. But as I said,
the last time I was in Regent Street, all the nice little boxes and cubes that they used to have for
you to sit around on weren’t around I didn’t see any of those at all. So yes
hopefully they will. Is that meant to be at the end of the end of this month
Craig? Is that the date I saw? Rumor has it, yep the 30th of August. That’d be
interesting. Have any of you used any of the today Apple sessions? I did one on
photography. It was all to do with when portrait mode first came out onto the
iPhone and so that was quite interesting. I went to the one at Covent Garden and
they had the big square in the middle of the Covent Garden store and they had the
big display and they were talking about it and sharing to us and that was quite interesting.
But that was the last one I went to. But the last time I went to an Apple store, you had
to say ahead of time which particular product you wanted to look at. Once you looked at
a product you were escorted out. This was before we went completely unlocking. This
was when Apple stores first opened after the big lockdown. And that was quite a change
because if you wanted to look at an iPad and an iPhone, you had to choose which one.
That’s actually a really good point. In having to go to an Apple store in the last week,
there are still lots of restrictions. They are probably the toughest of any of the other
retailers on the high street in that you still do need some form of reason or appointment
to go in and the Apple Express store queue is longer than ever. But I’m sure that varies
dependent on your location. I actually tried one of the Apple Today events online. This
wasn’t necessarily a tutorial, this was to watch and be part of an interview with one of the DJs
that’s on Apple Music. And I’ll be honest, yes, the discussion was great. It was nothing like
being in a store. It was also one of the most frustrating things to join. You had to download
extra software, they use Cisco’s Webex system. And by the time you’ve got it all set up and running,
you’ve probably missed the first 10 minutes of the discussion, which isn’t the best thing. So
So I think even Apple are probably more excited to get back to some form of normality at that point.
Alistair, have Apple finally fixed people’s problems with their scanners?
What was going wrong?
So people were getting a notification coming up when they moved to Big Sur,
which said you do not have permission to open this application when you’re using a scanner,
but the printer would work.
Had any of you seen this when you connect up a new printer?
No, I haven’t come across that one.
I haven’t had that either.
So it’s what they call a multi-function printer.
So it’s a printer scanner in one.
And what happened is if the software which,
say for example HP or Canon,
which I’ve come across, which had this,
I haven’t come across any Epson’s yet,
but if they were using a piece of software called Twain,
the Apple would install the latest open source
piece of software and install it to run the printer,
but they didn’t have a piece of software
to run Twain piece of software because that worked on Intel native machines or it was
using 32 bits architecture so it wasn’t going to work on Big Sur and I think that they were
having a long time trying to sort of work out what was causing it and even if you opened
up image capture, image capture would say we can see the printer, we can see the scanner
but we can’t talk to the scanner because that piece of software was not there.
Our main topic of this evening which is… what is it Alistair? It’s called Keys and
Cheese. So this week we would thought we would look at not something necessarily
Apple but computer history. So we decided to have a look at the history of
the mouse and as history normally links to Apple in some way or another the
The Lisa McIntosh was one of the first Macs ever to have a mouse or make it a household
But at a price of US$10,000 for a home machine, it wasn’t exactly very popular.
It wasn’t up until the early 90s when we saw the introduction of a scroll wheel in a mouse.
Moving slightly further along, exactly three years later, we saw the introduction of an
optical mouse rather than a ball mouse.
remembers the ball mouse when everybody used to go to use the mouse and you turn it over
and someone’s took the ball out of the bottom for a joke.
Or the other one is it didn’t work properly so you had to open it up and you had to clean
the wheels because it wouldn’t go left or it wouldn’t go right and so you had to clean
the wheels to get all the grime off and then it would start working again.
That used to be a regular with the mighty mouse on a sheet of A4 if I remember rightly
trying to get the scroll wheel to work back on the top.
And for bonus quiz question, who can remember the only mouse Apple produced with two tone
ball inside it?
The one that came with the original iMac.
And I think from an Apple fanboy point of view, I think it was also voted the worst
mouse that Apple have ever made.
Yeah, that was a real style over function event, wasn’t it?
Yeah, it looked great in the advertisement shots, but yeah, we pretty quickly got rid
them in the office they were they were replaced. I had mine which I had with my first Mac but the
one I had it with my blue and white or blue and ice as they were called remember the G3 Tera and
then the other one which I thought was superb was the one that came with the G4. Do you remember
the one which was clear completely clear so you could see all the way through it? And of course
there’s always been the controversy over Apple’s insistence on insistent on only one button.
Everyone else was going down two button route and then three, four, five, 206 and a million
and seven at the moment.
But yeah, there was always that issue about how daft that you had to hold down a keyboard
to get a second mouse click.
That caused quite a bit of grief.
But then it became muscle memory.
I remember doing that with a few times when I had to work on a PC.
I was trying to hold the button down while I was pressing the right hand clip.
All manner of shenanigans happened on the screen then.
was a real eye opener. I think in terms of mice with lots of buttons that brings us nicely on to
the next random fact of history of mice is that the gaming industry had a lot of answer to the
development of really precise mice and that people wanted to click lots of different buttons for
their games and that was in the early 2000s when this type of mouse was anything between 70 to 100
pounds. But Alistair what part did Apple play in the development of the mouse? The really cool
thing about the original Apple mice. Do you remember when you used to pick them up with
the laser and the laser if you shone the laser on a piece of paper you got a little bunny
with the eight with little ears and Apple did that on purpose because they said little
children would pick it up and then look at it and then put it over hold the laser over
the table and go look look look bunny bunny and so so so you could call it evolution you
It was meant to look like a cat with spiky ears, so it’s meant to be evolution.
So Apple said it was the cat eating the mouse.
Ah, didn’t know that.
But what were the early history of a mouse?
What was the first development of a mouse?
So the very first development of a mouse I came across was in Canada during the Second
World War where they had a radar station and they were trying to move around the radar
station of the screen and they put a bowling ball in there like a crate and you’d move it with your
hands and it would move what was around on the screen and their little rollers which would identify
where you were so you could move left or move right move up but this was before curses so it
was just like a way of moving around the screen so that was quite clever and then there was the box
mouse if i remember correctly where the term mouse came from because the original mouse which was
done I think in the 1960s I think at Stanford. It had the cable coming out the back which is
where the mouse term came in and it could either go left or right or up or down but it couldn’t do
both and it was a very early pointer and then it moved on to Zurich’s part which I think Martin
knows about. Yes what you’re discussing there was invented by Douglas Engelbert and he came up with
for the first designs for a mouse in the early 60s.
And then he then joined the park team
and met a gentleman called Bill English.
It was Bill who helped turn the idea
into the first prototypes that they were using at park,
which had the first ball system in them
to give them a diagonal control as well or multi-control.
So the two of them are actually kind of the godfathers
of the mouse as we know it.
Of course, you mentioned there about how Apple got involved.
Apple bought their way into Park for what was it $100,000 I think you said put a
little short video in the sharing notes yeah and then promptly Steve said stole
all the best stuff disappeared off and Lisa and Macintosh history was made when
they they turned it into the issue though was that oh yeah they had the
mouse as a control item it was only moving a cursor to a point and then you
had to type in a command was Apple’s use then of making the mouse as a pointer that could
also initiate different parts of the program that made the difference and that started
the mouse technology that we know today.
If anyone remembers the opening of Minority Report, do you remember that film? And where
he’s looking at the videos that appear on the wall and he uses the gloves with little
were dentifiers in them so it could work out where it was.
That was the system designed to see what would you do
if you didn’t have mice, so you would be using gestures.
And at the time when that came out,
that was quite revolutionary and quite clever.
And we sort of got the same principle on our phones
because I remember when the very first Microsoft phones
were coming out and they used to have a little cursor
and you used to have to use a stylus
to move it around as a pencil.
And it was rather fiddly because you couldn’t really use
a tiny stylus on the tiny screen to try and tap anything on the menu.
So this idea of not having a mouse on the phone has worked very successful,
but on the computer it’s incredibly successful.
But I think the cleverest thing they did was work out, put the cursor in,
because when you first put it on, they had a straight arrow.
And if you look at all arrows today, they’re at an angle
because it looked like it was traveling.
So when you’re moving it across, you could see where the point was.
Whereas when it was straight, our eyes couldn’t focus on the straightness.
and it was a clever designer who worked out that you had to put it at an angle originally.
And if anyone remembers the original G3 mice, the cursor was not a proper headed arrow,
it was just the head of the arrow without the stalk.
And it was quite revolutionary, you had this sort of like flying sort of object going around,
that was great fun.
On that subject, which mice do we use?
So I’m a Logitech fan, so I have the M-Wex Anywhere mouse,
which I find is brilliant because I’ve got clutchless scrolling on there.
So the scroll wheel goes, you can do it as a click, click, click,
or if you push it down, it can go whiz all the way up or whiz all the way down.
So if you’ve got a huge amount of photos you’re trying to scroll through
or something like that, that’s very useful.
Plus, it’s also got a nudge control.
So if you’re trying to move left or right,
especially if you’re doing design or you zoomed into a photograph,
you can, instead of moving your mouse left or right,
you just nudge the wheel left or right
and it moves you slightly left or moves you slightly right.
And you’ve got programmable buttons on the side.
But I find it better ergonomically for my hands.
- Marta, are you a fan of Apple mice?
- Yes, I seem to be the minority of one here in that, yeah,
I’ve been a magic mouse man for many years.
For me, it works really well.
I like the design of it.
It fits in my hand, which maybe it depends on the size of your hand.
It fits in really well.
And it tracks for me quite smoothly.
I love the design of it. No horrible ports sticking out of it if you had to charge something in it.
You just once a month you plug it in, turn it over, plug it in and it’s ready for another month’s use.
So I like that fact. I used to have the one which had the rechargeable batteries inside, the Mophie kit.
But for me it does work. The problem for me and to be fair I’ve only tried a couple of Logitech basic mice
was that there was there’s just too many buttons and too many different pieces to memorize for me.
It’s a simpler mouse for me to use.
But to be fair, I will invest in a Logitech mouse, try one out and have a look at it,
see whether it adapts.
I believe a lot of people who do a lot of Final Cut Pro work swear by them because,
as you said, you can program certain buttons to do certain things, which saves a lot of
So in the interest of fairness, I will get the MX3, I think is the latest Logitech mouse.
So we’ll get one of them and we’ll do a review on it and a comparison.
maybe I’ll have to hold my hand up and say I’ve been wrong all these years but we’ll see.
But one of the things which I think Apple are slightly not talked about was if you ever go
onto Windows you’ll notice that you have a white arrow on a white background which is virtually
impossible to see at times and then you have to turn on accessibility mode to make it go
like Apple does like a black cursor on a white background or you could do bright colors now
in Windows 10 but Apple traditionally have a black cursor on a white background but also the
cleverest thing Apple did was that if you shake your mouse it gets really large so you can go
where’s my cursor gone it’s such a small little tiny detail but it comes incredibly useful.
But that’s not the only input device that comes with a Mac or a PC what about the keyboard?
Now does anyone use a third party keyboard?
No, but I am considering a third party keyboard.
And are you considering a mechanical keyboard?
They seem to become popular again.
I’ve seen a lot of people extolling the virtues,
but I personally think the clackety-clack sound would drive me mad again.
We got away from that with the old golf ball typewriters.
I use the Apple wireless keyboard with the number bar on it.
it works perfectly well for me. I’m not a speed typist, I’m not even a touch typist. I sort of
bang away two thumbs and a couple of fingers and I don’t type that fast. I type very badly and I do
a lot of spelling mistakes but I’m not a speed user. But seeing some people who do type extremely
well, they prefer maybe a bit more feedback, a touchback feedback from the computer keyboard
than these flat ones that we’re getting used to. But then again, maybe we also consider that the
youth of today are getting so used to using a glass screen keyboard. They don’t need that
feedback. They don’t need that touch coming back. Yeah. Yeah. They’re used to now touching,
doing all their work on a glass screen, which has practically no feedback. And for them,
it’s so you watch kids, you know, doing all their emails and doing their messages and
everything else they use with the, with the two thumb.
Well, you know what, Dave? They joke, they said children of the future will have incredibly strong
thumbs. And there was a hilarious thing I saw where you could get these stick-on square pads
so you could type more quickly and more accurately and then you could also have pointers. So if you
didn’t, so if you had long fingernails you could get around the fingernail to type onto the type
quickly. So you do little stalks that you clip on which I thought was hilarious. But I’m a fan of
the OS Mac OS wired extended keyboards. So wired meaning that you don’t have to worry about battery.
More importantly, the one big difference about a wired keyboard compared to a Bluetooth keyboard
is certain Macs will not boot into external drives or will not boot from recovery mode unless it’s a
wired connection. It has to be an Apple wired keyboard. So I have a couple of wired keyboards
lying around here but the big difference I’ve noticed is I’ve got if you look at the current
extended keyboards they’re flat whereas the older ones that came with the original iMac and the
white iMacs and the previous ones the the G-Force they were curved keyboards and we’ve moved away
from a curved keyboard to a flat keyboard and the spacing between some of the keys on the latest
MacBooks is a lot closer to the keys have you noticed that so if you’re on like a MacBook it’s
quite difficult sometimes to type if you’re used to a slightly wider space between the keys.
Yeah, Apple announced this week that you can now buy the Touch ID keyboard separately to the iMac.
Would Martin consider one for his M1 Mac Mini or not?
I would yes because being used to my MacBook Pro being able to use the touch button for
payments and items like that, that’s really useful and that’s not available on the keyboards we have
So yeah, a keyboard with an iTouch with a touchpad button might be very useful.
The only thing I will say Alistair is, yes I understand your point about the wide keyboard,
but you can use the charging cable on your wireless keyboard if you’re in that situation.
Guess what the most expensive keyboard to get second hand is?
Surely not an APT link, an APT table.
So the most expensive keyboard currently from what I’ve discovered
was there were the short, so the small, wired keyboards.
But so it’s like your normal keyboard
that you get the small ones, but these were wired.
They were only sold for the education market
and for other ones, and they have a higher retail value
than the current wireless version of the same thing.
They used to be going on eBay five years ago,
six years ago for 60 quid each.
- That’s actually a really good point.
The same topic, would you be willing to pay
£125 for a Touch ID button keyboard. Is that not the most expensive keyboard Apple have ever bought out?
Yeah, it’s an added expense whether I’m going to do that again just to get one key button.
Though I must admit the only thing I found out tonight, which I didn’t realise, another did you know,
is that when you’re in your system, if you need to get into system admin or something like that,
you can now double tap your watch. It will open the password up and away you go.
So that may suffice for the instead of getting the touch keyboard.
So I had a different scenario to potentially upgrading the keyboard is,
yes, it would be great in that I don’t have to keep typing in my password every
time to install a piece of software or change a privacy setting to an access to
a folder, but I quite liked the idea of having a keyboard that I can easily switch
from machine to machine there next to me.
Apple keyboards can’t do that, but every other manufacturer seems to be able to do it.
There’s literally a switch at the bottom of the mouse from Logitech, so you can connect
it to three different devices at once.
And I think their latest keyboard does the same.
I can use the same mouse and I just click the button on the bottom and it will switch
from the Mac Mini to the iPad.
Or if I click it again, it will go to the MacBook Pro that’s sitting next to me, which
is actually really useful.
I don’t know why Apple have not done that.
I know Monterey is going to be the one where you can drag from device to device.
So will that answer my question?
I don’t know.
I’ve not tried that.
Yeah, no, I’d have to go into Bluetooth settings to change to a different machine if I want to do that.
But I’m still convinced I like the touch ID.
Last but not least, the mechanical keyboards.
Has anybody got or seen a Kikatron keyboard, which seemed to be the most popular thing at the moment?
I’ve seen them, the ones whereby you can, they build them for you out of the mechanical things.
They have different colors and different pressure things.
And someone was showing me one and he said,
“Just press this single key down and feel the response from this compared to this other key.”
And he said, “One feels rather soft than the other one you can feel the response from.”
And apparently a lot of people were getting,
finding out their productivity was slowing down because they couldn’t hear themselves tight
because they were in too quiet a room when they were working from home.
So they needed something to give them that sort of white noise background so they could feel like they were back in an office again.
It’s also very popular with a lot of younger individuals I’ve come across.
There’s a particular tech writer who I was having a look at and she had the latest M1 Mac and one of these mechanical keyboards, which was custom built for her.
So I think maybe the working at home craze over the last year, year and a half, had something to do with that.
Maybe they missed the office environment clicking of the keyboard.
But in doing more research into these types of keyboards, you can actually remove each
individual key and as Alistair said, swap out the colors.
But one interesting and random fact is that you can actually buy add-ons that change the
level of pressure of the key.
So you can actually buy three different levels of pressure as much as three different levels
of clicking noise of your keyboard if you’re really that fussy.
seems to have become a very popular thing and I know there’s some particular podcasters and
YouTubers out there that seem to be making videos on which is the best sounding keyboard.
I don’t know what your thoughts are on that one.
Obviously I’m missing out on a musical treat here. I could actually be
writing songs based on click ability of mechanical keyboards maybe.
Wasn’t it they were saying it was like an IBM keyboard from the mid 80s which had the best
tonality or something to it. That’s priceless. But last question of all is what’s next for
Apple’s input devices? Will it be a keyboard? Will it be Apple glasses? I think there has been
efforts already made to try and do eyeball tracking to see what you’re looking at. The
mouse pointer moves around where your eyes are looking which might be a system that might come
into into play. The other thing about again I think it was a few years back
there was a device which you could put on the desk which made the keyboard was
was projected onto your desk and you could again you where your fingers
rested the system would identify you were trying to press the P key. So that
might again be a way a way forward but I suppose the things is these keyboards
have been around so long now they’re an ambiguous part of computing is whether
or not we could lose all that muscle memory that we’ve got from from typing
and using a keyboard to something different. Alistair what do you predict
for the future of input devices? We’re forgetting two at the moment. First off
some people use pencils, Apple pencil for writing that comes in quite popular but
also the amount of times I myself use speech dictation because often I can’t
work out how to spell a particular word so I’ll turn on speech dictation and it
will write it for me or I might not be next to my phone or my iPad and I need to
I’m dictating to it as I’m thinking about what I’m about to say and it comes
in very useful this also is very useful if you if you have blindness because you
can’t see with the mouses so I think we’re still going to keep a lot of
diversity I think we’re just going to be able to just switch quicker from one
device to the next and I think the mouse is going to be around for ages and I
still think the keyboard is going to be around for ages and every time they try
and get rid of the keyboard people come back and say well you know what we still
need it. Remember what they said we’ll go all have voice activated televisions
never took off. I think that’s actually a really good point I think voice
dictation has got legs in the future I’d also suggest that if you look at
everybody that owns an iPad I’d say potentially most people have a keyboard
or a keyboard case to go with it so I don’t see us losing keyboards anytime soon. But I’m still a
fan of trackpads. I love the external Bluetooth trackpad. Maybe it’ll be a trackpad that has a
texture to it that you can type with, who knows. I find trackpads give me an RSI problem. I don’t
like the trackpad. I think it’s the sideways movement of my wrist on the trackpad which
makes it feel uncomfortable whereas the mouse when you’re moving sideways it tends to be a whole
arm movement you’re not you’re not flicking the mouse using your wrist so yes I tried track pads
but in my case that was different it didn’t particularly work because of that that wrist
movement that I didn’t enjoy so I went back to using a mouse of course there are others there’s
roller ball type out there you can use some people for a roller ball if they haven’t got finger
dexterity, you can use the palm of the hand to use that. So yeah, there’s
numerous different input devices out there and it’s whatever really
works best for you. But as I said, you have to try these things. So I will
try the MX Logitech mouse and report back. And on that topic I think we can
leave it to our listeners to get in touch with us and tell us what input
devices they use or even have they got something completely different that
we’ve not suggested.
Okay, did you know this is just a little side part of the podcast where we
explain, did you know a particular trick?
Did you know a particular fact, a particular story or a particular highlight?
And we try and just bring these out.
The one I was going to mention tonight, which I think a lot of people have forgotten about,
is the option button on your keyboard. If you look at the option button and you highlight any of the
menu items in the main menu bar and press the option one, it will give you some other options.
If you look on there, it gives you an idea. Sometimes you can, say in Safari, you can close
all the tabs at once. Say if you’ve got a dozen different tabs over the end of the day, instead
instead of having to click each one to close them down,
go into the menu button, press the option key,
look at file, and you can close all the tabs in one go.
And that works on nearly every application
has a couple of different changes.
One of the things if you’re in Finder
and you wanna get to the library file,
which is a hidden file,
again, if you hold down the option key and view,
you will see the library and then you can get in there
to clear out some old caches
or any changes you need to make.
go for it Alistair.
- So this is one which I picked up from Craig
who showed me this one earlier.
So this is one where if you take a picture
of a live photo turned on,
so those who don’t know what live photo is,
that’s the, when you’re taking a photograph,
that’s the circle within another circle
with the dotted circle around the edges of it.
And if you take a photograph,
then you go and tap the photograph you’ve just taken.
And then if you swipe up,
you’ll see that it says effects.
And then the effects you have are live, loop and bounce.
So you could have the live,
which is like a little tiny video or something.
Loop, it does keeps on looping or bounce
and it sort of bounces around a place.
So it’s like sort of funky things.
And they’ve also got long exposure,
which is the final one.
And I just thought some of you might just want to waste
a bit of time by doing it.
- That’s quite a useful thing,
especially for long exposure photos.
I use it mostly for that.
My suggestion this week,
as if anyone has seen the recent film that Apple has been promoting on Apple TV called
No, I haven’t, but I do want to see it.
Apparently it’s very good.
So the story is about a young girl called Ruby is the only member of her family that
isn’t deaf and she is currently at school and she helps her parents run her run their
family business and she’s very good at singing and it’s about her story and what she could
potentially become in her singing career and how the family deal with it and if nobody has yet to
see it it comes highly recommended. It won many awards at the recent Sundance Film Festival and
it is very very good so that’s something completely different. And I think we’ve come to the end of
yet another episode of The Bruin Bright Show and firstly we’ll say thank you to Alistair.
Yeah it’s been fun tonight, yeah it was good fun. Brilliant thank you and also thank you as always
to Martin. Thank you Jen, it’s always interesting talking away with you and learning things. I
learnt some new things tonight as my dearly departed father said to me you should learn
something new every day. That’s very true indeed and also thank you from me.
Time, I’m sure we’ll see you even sooner than the last episode.[MUSIC]