Thin and light "screws us all"


I can’t believe these machines cost so much. “Because the new MacBook is so thin, there’s simply nowhere for that heat to go” - all of this seems so… obvious…

Here’s the video that sparked this post:


I can’t see the air vents. Are they in the back? It looks like it has 2 fans but I suspect the fundamental problem is that it’s impossible to construct a radiator that thin of sufficient capacity, even if the fans can pump the air through it. And the air inlets must be in the base, so they’re not going to work very well if it’s sitting on the desk - or you lap, if your can stand the heat!


I’ve always been an admirer of Apple’s design, but it does seem to have become almost a parody of itself at this point if it’s affecting performance in this way. Great design in this industry is surely about elegant solutions technical challenges not elegance at the expense of everything else?

And @philip, if they’re similar to the models from the last few years, the air vents will probably be in front of the hinge (and the air intakes are where the base tapers up to the sides):


I was going to say a case of design in the ascendant over engineering.

But that gets me onto another hobby horse of mine: what is engineering if it’s not design? I rather deplore the way “Design” these days is taken to mean cosmetic design, and engineering seems to be dumbed down to the status of an implementation detail. Is there an official title for what I would call cosmetic design (for want of a better term)?

It reminds me of a Twitter thread I saw recently, deploring the way “music” these days is taken to mean the popular variety, and if you want to refer to the rich tradition of Western music going back to the Renaissance, you have to say “classical music” (though to a musicologist, there were only 4 “classical” composers: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert). In my youth it was the other way round: “music” was classical music and pop was pop music.

The world is obviously going to the dogs. When can I get off?