Henrik Carlsson's Blog

USB-C everywhere is a good thing, an iPhone without a headphone jack is not

Followers of this blog, or people who have been having coffee and nerd talk with me for the past weeks, know that I don’t like the absence of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7. I don’t think Apple removed it to mess with us or to squeeze us for some extra bucks for adapters1. I think they2 did it because it makes the iPhone a simpler product for them, one less thing to think about in manufacturing, one less potential source of failure, and they made the bet that most iPhone owners won’t miss it, as long as the included headphones use a connecter that is present.

I think that they are mostly correct in their analysis but this kinds of simplification always leaves one or more people behind. I, and most of the pro audio world at large, am most certainly left behind by this. I often use my iPhone with ”studio” headphones, I often connect it to recording consoles and PA desks and so on, so I would need to make sure that I always carry the lightning to mini-jack dongle and that’s a hassle. As more and more of these simplifications are done more and more people are left behind because it’s not the same people that keeps being left out in the cold. On top of that, I as a consumer/user don’t get any benefit from this exclusion. Apple’s executives may call it ”courage” as much as they want, whatever the reason for the removal, consumers see zero benefit from it.

And in those last two sentences lies the reason for why I’m not upset by the new MacBook Pros lack of any ports besides USB-C/Thunderbolt 3. Sure this will be a painful transition in some ways. Yes, we will be forced to buy more dongles, adapters and docks and lugg them around, but there is a very real benefit to it in the long run. A truly Universal Serial Bus. One connector to rule them all. And it’s a good connector!

Also computers generally lasts longer than phones, so if you – yes you dear reader – don’t want the hassle of dongles, then wait an extra year or more to buy a new MacBook Pro and in that time the world will start to catch up to the idea of One Connector.

Sure, it would have been great to have a new MacBook Pro that had every port that the old ones did in addition to ten USB-C port, four times longer battery life, a CPU powerful enough to do anything imaginable in the blink of an eye, a screen that can’t be cracked and that would weight an once. Okay, I’m being silly here. I know that fantasy beast is not what you, the people who don’t like the new Macs, have been asking for. I’m merely saying that these new computers have a clear benefit that the old ones didn’t have, partly as a result of removing things from the old ones and when it comes to these kinds of ports I do think that Apple can heard the industry infront of it and force a more timely transition away from the old and toward the new. It has happened before, it will happen again. However I do not think that Apple is that strong in the pro audio world.


  1. In that case they wouldn’t have included one in the package and it would have been more expensive than $9 to buy an extra one. 
  2. Yes, I will refer to Apple as they, not it. I know it is the correct grammar but I think ascribing it to a faceless massive corporation i asinine. 

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”Resilience” – View Source Conference Closing Keynote by Jeremy Keith

Every working web developer should listen to Jeremy and consider his approach. No, he doesn’t say that you shouldn’t use JavaScript. No, he doesn’t say that you can’t use Ember to Backbone your React into your Sassy SPA.

What he does say is that you/we should build websites that last, websites that embrace the inherent unstableness of the web, rather that relying on perfect conditions.

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But Phil Schiller really needs to do something about his innovating ass. We need new Mac Pro’s NOW.

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That being said, the new MacBook Pro’s from Apple seems quite cool as well but I’m more impressed by Microsoft at the moment.

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The Microsoft Surface Studio looks really cool and I’m especially intrigued by the Surface Dial.

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A video of me playing Zooropa, using a Mooger Fooger Low Pass Filter, Line6 Echo Park delay and a Boss ME50

So I’ve made a YouTube video. I’ve been pondering the idea of making a video for a while now, mostly because I like to try out various ways of expressing myself online. (Which is the reason why I also occasionally do a microcast.) I’ve made a few videos for work that I’ve put up on YouTube but I wanted to make something that wasn’t for work, something where I speak into the camera vlog style for at least a part of the video.

So the thought of making a video has been spinning around in my head and little over a week ago I finally stumbled upon something to make it about. Here’s what I wrote in the description on YouTube:

An attempt to make a sound similar to what the Edge has on Zooropa, using a Fender Telecaster, Mooger Fooger MF-101 Low Pass Filter, Line6 Echo Park, Boss ME50 and a ZVex Nano Head amp.

A few weeks back I watched a video from Pro Guitar Shop where Andy played Zooropa using a ZVex Super Seek Wah and two delays and I got really fascinated by it. It made me realize how simple the actual playing in this song is and made me think about making my own version. Then the other day I recalled that we have a bunch of Mooger Fooger pedals at work and I started to wonder whether the Low Pass Filter with an envelope could be used as the auto-wah effect.

The answer, in my opinon, is yes and this is the video I made using the Mooger Fooger and two delay pedals from my ”collection”.

Maybe this is the only video I’ll make, maybe it’s the first of many. Right now I don’t know but I do know it felt good to hit publish on this, even though I have a lot of complaints to myself about the technical quality of the video, but I’ll save that for another day.

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First Look at Nintendo Switch (NX) https://youtu.be/f5uik5fgIaI Looks cool!

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Awesome, in the true sense of the world, matte paintings from The Empire Strikes Back. http://imgur.com/gallery/mLraW

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Zelda – Twilight Princess

Last week I started playing Zelda – Twilight Princess. I’ve had the game for quite a while, over two years I think, but haven’t really felt like I had the time to get deep into it until now. When I started playing last week I saw that the only save file I’ve used was last modified on New Year’s Eve 2014, so it’s been a while. 🙂

I really didn’t have much idea about what the game would be, other than that it was a Zelda game. The playing I had done two years ago had taught me how to move around using the Wii controller and given me a taste of the look of the game but nothing more. When I got further and further into it during the weekend I got really hooked. It was a much darker game then I expected, more like Majora’s Mask then any other Zelda game I’ve played.

There’s a lingering feeling of despair all over the world and the ”twilight realm” that’s spreading across the world is really scary.

That being said, if you haven’t played this game and think that you might do it one day, then do it! Stop reading right now. The less you know about the game the better.

Now that the ”spoiler horn” have been officially fired, let’s talk som specifics. As the game started I really thought that it would be similar to the beginnings of Ocarina of Time. I was told that I was going to go to Hyrule Castle and possible see the princess. The sun was shining and things seemed fine. Yes, a kid got missing and I had to rescue it but the monsters I had to fight to do that were not that bad and I felt like I had things under control. The I got pulled into the Twilight Realm and man is it creepy.

I had heard before that Link could morph into a wolf in this game, so I wasn’t that surprised when I first transformed but I had not expected the alternate world of twilight that I was supposed to navigate. Nor had I known that I didn’t control the metamorphose myself.

And the monsters… The monsters of the twilight actually freaked me out. Not just in a ”they are hard to beat” kind of way but in a, holy shit this is nightmare inducing kind of way. Some of them reminded me of the demogorgon from Stranger Things.

Thing is/was a bit rambly but I just wanted to jot down how much I love this game now, as I’m about eight hours into it. I feel an urge to keep playing, even more so than usual with Zelda games. Right now I’m more fueled by the need to save the children of my village then to save the world of something similar.

Last night, right before I stopped playing, I found the wooden sword that one of the kids had used. It was stuck in the ground in a twilight covered part of Hyrule and at that point I really didn’t want to stop. I wanted to keep playing all night long but that just isn’t feasible right now.

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Jag tyckte att Majora’s Mask var dystert och bitvis läskigt men Twilight Princess tar definitivt dystert och läskigt till en helt ny nivå.

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Regarding Apple’s suspension of Kapeli/Dash and the discussions of the matter on ATP and Core Intuition

On this weeks Accidental Tech Podcast (191: The Failure Mode of a Train), Casey, John and Marco talked about the controversy around Apple closing the App Store account of developer Kapeli. (I’ve mostly been out of the loop on this thing so most of my knowledge of it comes from said ATP episode.)

The discussion was informative but part of it left me feeling uneasy. My problem was that it seamed like all three hosts thought it was perfectly reasonable for Apple to be able to dictate what the developer expressed in public, if he wanted a chance to get his account back.

This seems so wrong to me. Either the developer broke the rules is such a way that it way right to close his account and that’s that, or he did not break the rules in such a way and therefore his account should be reinstated regardless of what he says or does in public.

Having an eight-hundred pound gorilla like Apple dictate what its developers should write on their blogs if they are ever in a controversy with them seems so wrong, regardless of whether what Apple wanted this particular developer was 100% true, 100% false or anything in-between. The App Store rules system is already iffy enough, should we also accept that Apple can dictate our complaints in public?

I was glad to hear the Manton Reece seems to agree with me as he argues similarly on this weeks Core Intuition (Episode 254: It Blew Up In This Case). (Overcast link with timestamp.

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The endless frustrations of using Siri

There’s a dearth in my podcast cue at the moment, so I’ve been relistening to some old podcasts. Currently I’m listening to Hypercritical #38: ”Virtually Spotless” and early on (Overcast link with timestamp) John and Dan talks about Siri which I assume had just been released when this episode was recorded.

Anyway, it’s interesting to listen to John’s concerns with a few years hindsight and realize that so many of his concerns are still valid. Siri can frustrate to no end. Even when ”she” correctly translates what I say into text the parsing fails me time and time again.

Here’s a recent example. My fiancé and me recently switched our grocery shopping list to a shared iCloud Reminders list. One of the supposed perks was that it would enable us to use Siri to add stuff to the list. The list in question is called ”Shopping list”.1

Me: ”Add bread to the shopping list.”
Siri: ”There doesn’t seem to be a list called the shopping list.”
Me: Frustratedly inputs the item manually instead.

After a few days or maybe a week or something, I had an idea:

Me: ”Add bread to shopping list.”
Siri: ”I’ve added it.”

Tried it a few more times and could confirm that shopping list is a known list and therefore work, however the shopping list does not work. How is such a basic thing not working?

And don’t get me started on how bad the iPhone is at picking up voice from any kind of distance other than right next to it.

My point is this, how can Siri still be this dumb and often so useless when it seems like Amazon’s Alexa is much more reliable to use? Apple has had years to fix this now but progress is so slow.


  1. Well, technically it’s called ”Handlingslista” which is the Swedish translation of Shopping list, and yes Siri ”works” in Swedish as well. 

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Jag har varit så förtjust i min telecaster på senare år så att jag lätt glömmer bort hur grym stratan är. Nu plockade jag ner den från väggen och plinkade lite och det kändes väldigt naturligt att spela på den. Vi passar bra ihop, jag och stratan.

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Linn är utsocknes hela helgen, Iris sover och det är ordning och reda i huset. Nu ska jag äntligen ge mig på Twilight Princess, efter att det legat på hyllan alldeles för länge.

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(Also on Instagram.)

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How to make an Old Fashioned Cocktail, by ”Cocktail Chemistry” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsE_igrPXZs&list=PLflDIgzn3VNlo9-84fhAUh2STivL3Yspp

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