John Siracusa

Siracusa Says

A fun collection of things John Siracusa has said on podcasts

Who Doesn't Want to Scribble?

John can't scribble, and he wants to know why.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 513: Scribble on the Shared Placemat

John: I’m just so angry that I can’t scribble. I’m unreasonably angry.

Casey: I can tell.

John: Like I don’t understand it. Who doesn’t want to scribble on the shared placemat, right? That’s the whole fun of it. And you guys are all having fun and doing your little messages with your handwriting, with your fingers or your Apple Pencil. And here I am, I can draw like, look, it’s a box, it’s a square. It’s just so terrible. It’s just, I don’t understand. I don’t understand why I’m being left out of the scribble party.

Casey: Because you insist on using a Mac and putting your iPad up near your bed.


When the HomePod Grows Up

Apple comes out of the HomePod wilderness to do what they did before.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 518: Deconstructed iMac

It would be kind of cool if Apple eventually figured out where what the homepods are gonna be when it grows up. Right now what it is is the second generation of the exact product that they made before, it’s just they took a long vacation in between to like, I don’t know, think about stuff for a while.

Because if this had come out like a year after the home pod we’d be like, oh the next homepod is out and it’s better than the first one. And Marco probably wouldn’t even had time to have all of his fail but he just would have replaced them with the new one anyway.

But there was this weird time in the wilderness where they didn’t know what they were gonna do, and they came out of the wilderness and they said, “Let’s just do what we did before.”


I Wasn't a Mobster, But Some of My Relatives Probably Were

Mobster Nostalgia. It's a thing!

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 515: The Elder Programmer Look

I think it is a well executed version of what it is, but it is a nostalgia trip for people of a certain age. It is nostalgic for a time that is before my time, but it is my parents’ time. So I can relate to it in kind of the same way I can relate to Good Fellas. I wasn’t a mobster in the 70’s but some of my relatives probably were.


That's Plenty of Nines for You

You don't need 11 nines, you'd take 7 nines!

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 494: Ultra-Wideband Park Bench

If you want to save some money, you don’t need 11 nines of data durability for your things, I’m assuming you don’t. You’d take 7 nines probably! It’s plenty of nines for you. Some people don’t need any nines!


From Antarctica, with Linux

Using Linux on the desktop is like moving to Antarctica

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 511: Moving to Antarctica

Well who else uses this, and who else develops software for it, and so there is a network effect on platforms as well. And you mentioned like moving to another country, it’s like, well, if I don’t want to use Apple platforms and I don’t want to use Windows or Android, I’m going to use Linux on the desktop, but that’s like moving to Antarctica. I mean, it exists, and it’s a land mass, and you can go there and stand on it, but ewwww.


Revenge Namespacing

If you're going to call your thing view, John is going to call his app. Deal with it.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 510: It’s Occupied by Bears

One of the accidental booby-trap, bear trap, accidental pitfalls that lies lurking in the Perl programming language - yeah, I know everyone is saying “yeah, among the many” - if you’re writing like a little test thing where you’re like “I just want to try something out” and you just make up class names or whatever. If you call your classes foo and bar you’re fine, but if you have the misfortune to decide “I’m going to name a class A, B, C, and D”, you know what I mean? Uh, there already is a B class and it’s kind of important to the way Perl works.

“Why isn’t this working right, what is it doing?”, because of course Perl will let you do whatever you want to the B namespace but guess what, the B namespace is occupied and it’s occupied by bears. B does not stand for bear.

I don’t even know enough about how Swift namespacing works to know how they get away with it, I’m assuming like all the names are scoped to the module or something like that, but I just go with the Swift convention. If they’re going to call their things in SwiftUI “view” and stuff like that, well I’m calling my thing “app”. Deal with it.


90's BMW Eyeballs

Blue light is not the problem. Your squishy little eyeballs slowly hardening is the problem.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 500: All the Nerds in the Room

A more plausible reason why your eyes are getting tired is part of the aging process is your squishy little eyeballs get stiffer. Kind of like the interior of a ‘90’s BMW, slowly getting hard, you know, and then crumbling, right?

So your eyeballs get stiffer and that means it is harder to change the shape of your eyeball to change your focal distance. That means the muscles that do that have to work harder and so for a day of like your eyes going “Ah, I gotta squish this old 40 year old eyeball to focus on this screen, I’ve been doing it all day long, boy my eyes feel tired”…

I’m not an eye doctor, this is my vaguely plausible theory that makes more sense than blue light makes you tired.”


Apple Phone

Apple Phone? Apple Touch? Thanks, guys.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 84: The Load Bearing Finger

John: In Apple’s history, and we’ll get to this if we actually do get to the iPhone 6 Plus bending, Apple has always chosen, when they have a choice between keep it the same thickness and increase battery life or make it thinner, they always choose make it thinner. That’s where we’re mentioning I’m ready for the iPhone 4s form factor of this watch, we all assume that this is the first Apple Watch, and just like the first Apple Phone…

John: Yeah, I’m going to call it Apple Phone, I’m going to switch it around. Instead of mistakenly saying iWatch, I’m going to say Apple Phone from now on. Thanks a lot, guys.

Marco: Apple Touch.


The Mouse is Not a Finger

You need windows, you need persnickety controls, and you need to know that the mouse is not a finger.

Podcast: Hypercritical
Episode: 3: The Mouse is Not a Finger

John: At a certain point, you need multiple windows. You need to be looking at more than one thing at once. You need these persnickety little controls to do certain types of tasks. And the mouse is not a finger.


Not Using Computers To Their Fullest Potential

Two hands on the mouse? Typing S, S, H? John can't stand you.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 96: The Windows of Siracusa County

Marco: I thought this was going to be a short show, we’d like barely get to an hour 20, have no idea what to talk about because the news wasn’t that interesting, and I thought we’d be scraping around for desperation topics.

John: I can talk to people all day about how they’re not using computers to their fullest potential. Like, think of this way: when you see somebody else use a computer, do you feel like they could be doing it better or faster?

Casey: Of course!

Marco: Yeah, all the time.

John: I have that feeling so much. I cannot look at other people using computers.

Casey: I cannot imagine what it’s like for you!

Marco: This is the hell of your life.

John: It’s not as bad as having two hands on the mouse, slowly bringing the cursor up to the close box, but that’s what it feels like. And I feel better when I see, you ever see the people who do everything in one window but do everything on keyboard, those touch typist people? At least I feel better about those people because they may not be as efficient as they could be, but it’s clear that they have a system. And so, it’s like just a flurry of commands, and the screen is splitting and flashing and changing from one thing to the other, and they’re probably doing more work than they have to, but things are happening. Versus the person you see using the computer and you make a suggestion, and it’s like, alright so, I gotta go to that server, I guess I get a new window here, and I could type S, S, H…