The origins of Rosetta(2) probably lie in a little-known technology from 1996 called FX!32

    Unless you’re a hermit or not in any way linked to the tech industry, you’ll be aware that Apple has released its in-house designed processors to replace the current Intel-supplied ones used in the low-end line of Apple’s computers; the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro 13” and the Mac Mini.

    Upon reception, people have been benchmarking these processors with nothing short of absolutely stunning results. They are that good it seems. Everything from switching resolutions —which is, by the way, instantaneous with no blanking or delay— to running Apple M1 optimised tasks at over three times the speed for some functions, as compared to even the fastest of the Intel family.

    But I’ve been most interested in this transition to RISC1 from CISC2, or to put it differently, from Intel to Apple arm-based processors, for one reason. Rosetta.3 A Apple officially calls it Rosetta, but we all know it as Rosetta 2 because its original outing was in 2006. Back then Apple was embarking on its first major transition from the PowerPC line of processors to Intel’s x86 line. Rosetta, at that time, provided the bridge between the older PowerPC applications and the newer operating system that was running entirely on the Intel instruction set.4 Rosetta was an emulation software that took PowerPC-based commands and turned them into equivalent Intel-based commands, allowing the application to run, albeit slowly. There is an overhead that is not negligible to run as an emulation. At the elementary level, the processor has to do at least twice the work than an application running natively.

    Rosetta 2 does things a little differently, and as a result, substantially reduces the time required to run the translated applications. The word ‘translate’ is the key to understanding Rosetta 2.

    Back in 1996 during the precipitous misfortune of digital, a major computer company from Maynard, Massachusetts, digital had designed, built and implemented a RISC-based architecture processor called Alpha. The move to RISC was seen as the way forward and was —rightly so, if what we’re seeing today from Apple— projected to be the future of processor design.

    At the time, there was a belief that RISC-based microprocessors were likely to replace x86-based microprocessors, due to a more efficient and simplified implementation that could reach higher clock frequencies.

    (FX!32 - Wikipedia. [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FX!3...](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FX!32))

    There was, however, one snag, and that was application compatibility with the growing x86 application base that had taken hold at the time, through PCs running various flavours of Windows. One interesting version had been commercialised for a few years, NT or New Technology, and was quickly outdoing the established Unix workstation operating systems, like digital’s own AXP.

    To remove this sticking point, Raymond J. Hookway and Mark A. Herdeg led a team of engineers in developing a much better solution to the CISC ➔ RISC problem than simple emulation. Released in 1996 and discussed in detail in this 1997 Digital Technical Journal article, DIGITAL FX!32 provided the means for the binaries to be “translated” from x86 to Alpha. FX!32 took native x86 binaries and created alpha DLLs, or Dynamic Linked Libraries, and ensured that these ran in the place of the original x86 binaries.

    FX!32 allowed two things to happen. One, FX!32 let non-native x86 code run on the Alpha processors with a much smaller speed penalty than emulation. Version 1.0 reportedly ran at 40-50% of the speed of native Alpha code. It was way faster than emulator software that typically ran at a tenth (or slower) of native speed. Subsequent versions and other optimisations allowed the code to run at over 70% of the native Alpha processors speed. Being that the alpha processor was the fastest processor on the market at the time, this allowed complex applications like Microsoft Office, to run at very useable speeds on Alpha workstations running NT 3.51.

    Secondly, the work done to translate the binary was not lost and re-expended every time the required application was run, as it was in emulation. FX!32 optimised the binaries in the background and stored the translated libraries on-disk which enabled the second-run experience to be virtually unnoticeable. The background translation ran without user interaction and allowed the processor to choose the best possible optimisations in terms of computational resources enabling the user to start the application and get to work after a short delay. Modules not yet used in the application were optimised in the background and on the first run, were fast and responsive.

    The primary goals of the project were to provide 1) transparent execution of x86 applications and 2) to achieve approximately the same performance as a high-end x86 platform. FX!32 achieved both these goals.

    That brings us to Apple’s Rosetta 2 technology. Wikipedia’s entry for Rosetta 2 is two sentences:

    Rosetta 2 is included starting with macOS Big Sur to aid in the Mac transition to Apple Silicon from Intel processors. In addition to the just-in-time (JIT) translation support available in Rosetta, Rosetta 2 includes support for translating an application at installation time.

    Technical information is scarce, as Apple typically shields these types of technical documents. The page dedicated to Rosetta on developer.apple.com is scant in technical detail too. But I suspect the origins of the technology lie in FX!32, updated to run x86 64bit instructions. The difference between now and then, is that Apple’s M1 is so fast that even the 20-30% speed hit allows these computers to run Intel code faster than Intel itself can (on the line of processors Apple is replacing).

    Just. Stunning.

    20 November 2020 — French West Indies

    1. Reduced Instruction Set Computer
    2. Complex Instruction Set Computer
    3. Taken from the Rosetta Stone that enabled historians and scientists to understand 3 languages, as the stone contained translations of Green, Demotic and Hieroglyphic
    4. The instruction set determines how the processors calculates the code it is fed. Both RISC and CISC have their advantages and disadvantages

    Virtual or Physical Civil War?

    In my timeline of doom and gloom, I put forward my theory that the recent divisions in societies around the world would push them into civil war. In particular, I (still) feel that Brexit will be the spark required to turn Europe against itself and I'm feeling even more confident that the United States will slip into civil war in the next decade.

    A recent news article on BBC World has done nothing but solidify my feelings. Donald Trump’s appalling behaviour, too, is pulling the US deeper and deeper down that rabbit hole. It is not a good place to be. It is playing with fire. The question is whether the civil war being started now is going to stay virtual and played out online over Facebook and Twitter/Parler —as it is currently— or whether it will spill over into physical civil war?

    All major wars are precluded by many skirmishes and localised battles that do nothing but solidify the divisions of all. Keeping an eye on what happens over the next couple of years, and particularly as this current pathetic administration in the US gives way to the new one, will give us an idea of where America wants to go.

    Mark my words, this is not going in a peaceful direction.

    18 November 2020 — French West Indies

    Software is indeed, eating the world

    When Marc Andreessen famously wrote that software is eating the world, it was seen as both a love letter to the tech industry and an alarm of the consequences of a fundamental shift in the way the world will work. I’m not writing about the latter part here, I’ll leave that to those better placed and more inclined. But the first part I find fascinating.

    I’m looking to replace an ageing iMac from 2014 that neither has a fast processor or an integrated SSD, making my computing experience less than optimal compared to today’s offerings. The promise of a radically faster next iMac around the corner, and something that the release of Apple’s in-house designed M1 means that I’m unlikely to replace my computer until the iMac line is replaced by this new line. For the moment, only the low-end has been introduced by Apple. The fact that this low-end is promising to be faster than the current high-end is absolutely unprecedented.

    But this is hardware, and whilst hardware has the possibility to enhance your computing experience —and to be fair, enable new computing experiences—, it is software that affords the complete reinvention.

    My old iMac has been completely transformed by the installation of a new operating system. Big Sur, released last Thursday the 12th November 2020, has converted by computer into a completely new computing affair. I’m spending more time at the computer because I like it more. I’m spending more time at the computer because it is more conducive to work. And I'm spending more time at my computer because I can’t wait to see what the M1 will bring to this equation.

    Without diminishing the thousands and thousands of man-hours, innovation and inventiveness that goes into developing an operating system, we’re talking about a (long) string of 1s and 0s. A string that changes everything about the way one interacts and uses the technology in front of us.

    There is nothing like this in the world. It's akin to removing all the acquired knowledge, feelings, experiences and genetic information stored in your brain, re-writing it to be arguably better, and then re-injecting it to produce a completely new human.

    I’ll let that sink in for a few moments.

    15 November 2020 — French West Indies

    Time for all Internet comments to be switched off?

    This article from John Dario resonates with me when I read it this morning. It's not that comments are unwanted by or in itself. Internet assumptions in hand, we can understand that Internet comments are just too frequent, too prevalent and too divisive to be of any use to anyone wishing to cling on to what is left of their sanity.

    I’ve never got into that situation for several reasons. Perhaps if comments were active, you’d tell me why; useless articles, unknown, loser etc.

    The day to day cognitive workload for us in this interconnected world is big enough without having to deal with everyone else’s idiosyncrasies. I’ve not, and will not activate comments on this blog, and I will not make it easier for anyone to hurtfully spew garbage in the face of others.

    The rage-economics of the social networks are showing their limits and fragility. It is only a matter of time before they will change their business models. To what, I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be even worse. But the fact that, according to a recent study, Facebook now only commands 51% of surveyed users feeling it is a net positive, speaks volumes to the direction we are heading.

    Read, watch, slag off and whinge as much as you like. Just keep it to yourself and the yes-people around you. When you’ve gone through the process of distilling and formulating a cognitive and interesting point of view, then by all means, share it. On your blog.

    4 November 2020 — French West Indies

    Election Day USA

    Never have I had any misgivings about the authenticity and verity of an election.

    For more than forty years I have been nothing but a believer of the fact that the USA elections were nothing but fair and a true representation of the will of the people. That they were conducted with the utmost honesty. And whilst there were contentions and questions surrounding counts, it was done with dignity and a genuine will to serve the American people. Yes, even the famous hanging chads incident in Florida in 2000.

    It’s 2020, and that has all come crashing down. All because of one single sociopath that knows no limits, has no self-control or decency, to get what “he” wants. Be damned with anyone else.

    This will end badly for you, my friends in the USA. Either way this election will be seen as the starting point of America's second civil war. A war that will not take the form of the first, but a war nonetheless.

    3 November 2020 — French West Indies

    2020 Tropical Cyclone Season. Nearly over, but not quite.

    A truly breathtaking season that thankfully resulted in few storms directly hitting us here in the Caribbean. The US, particularly Louisiana, didn’t have such fortune, with Laura, Marco, Sally and Delta all affecting the state. An overly busy season appeared as predicted, with (so far) 29 depressions, 28 named storms, 12 hurricanes (Category 1 and 2) and 4 major hurricanes (Categories 3+).

    Each year the NOAA and other meteorological institutions around the world predict the season ahead using a scale called the ACE or Accumulated Cyclone Energy index. After studying reliable data from 1981 to 2010, a team in Colorado State University, and independently the NOAA, derived a scale to measure and help predict tropical cyclone intensities for each season. They arrived at an average of 12.1 storms with 6.4 hurricanes and 2.7 major hurricanes. This is enabled the development of the indicator, the ACE, and set a value of 106 for an average season.

    The 2020 season is currently at 143 and it is not over yet.

    Bear in mind that in 1954 Hurricane Alice formed on 30 December in the mid-Atlantic to the north-east of the Leeward Islands, traveling south-west directly impacting these islands with maximum winds reaching 90+ mph, around 150 kph.

    Stay vigilant.

    Image: [upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/1f4a7932cbee5dcb8c94b0df46fc7f48.png)

    2 November 2020 — French West Indies

    After the first real TW, comes the first real TS

    Genuinely a worrying image to see when you live in the Caribbean. For the best sources to follow and to learn about how these predictions are done, the NHC NOAA website is key, but my preference is for Tropical Tidbits. His nightly (during current storms) presentations on his YouTube channel are second to none. Easy to understand, easy to get the key messages and removed from drama to prevent panic, something the world’s TV channels would do well to emulate.

    22 July 2020 — French West Indies

    The first (real) Tropical Wave of the season

    As many of you will know, I live in the Caribbean. And apart from its idyllic setting sometimes, we do have 3 major potential natural disasters to cope with; Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Hurricanes.

    The 1st of June debuts the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which lasts until the end of November. The early part of the season is relatively quiet for us in the Caribbean as most storm-potential depressions tend to form in the Gulf of Mexico, way past our islands. Their movement tends to be NE, threatening Cuba, and Florida mostly. That’s not a perfect explanation, but you get the idea.

    Further on in the season the Cape Verde tropical waves begin to get more and more active. Caribbean Hurricanes are Cape Verde hurricanes, and take their name from the waves that come off the coast of Africa, head west and using the earth’s rotation spin up to become hurricanes.

    Today is the 7th July, and we’re currently under a tropical wave that is producing a little thunder and rain. It’s a wake up call to all us here in the Caribbean that the season is now underway. Now is the time to start planning and preparing. Every Island has advice on what to do, how to do it. Take that advice. It’s free.

    From a rainy and thundery Windward Islands.

    7 July 2020 — French West Indies

    These companies constantly prostitute the notion of the First Amendment

    From Fast Company’s interview with Scott Galloway:

    Fast Company: What do you think about Mark Zuckerberg’s relationship with Donald Trump?

    Scott Galloway: Everyone kind of figured out that Mark Zuckerberg is the biggest oligarch in the history of mankind, and that he is leveraging his proximity to power in corrupt ways just to increase his wealth. And I think the Trump-Zuckerberg story is going to have a big impact on the way political speech happens on social networks.

    These companies constantly prostitute the notion of the First Amendment. And whenever they say First Amendment, what they really mean is they want to pretend that they shouldn’t be the arbiters of truth, such that they can let their supernova business models run unfettered. This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. They are private companies; they are not obligated to the First Amendment. There is nothing in any of their backgrounds that shows any reverence or respect for free speech.

    I’m still of the opinion that to work for Facebook is to put your morals “on hold”. Read the whole article to get a better picture.

    5 July 2020 — French West Indies

    My timeline of doom and gloom. Here’s hoping I’m wrong!

    I wrote in one of my recent newsletters that I had started to form a bigger picture of the events that are happening around the world currently. I thought I’d have a crack at trying to articulate this feeling. It’s not very positive as I don’t feel the future is that positive in the short-to-medium term. Long-term, I think things will right themselves after a wave of unrest and a reset as we all collectively wake up. Then the cycle will start over again.

    Here’s a timeline of the events that started me down this track. For the record, I know other events happened earlier than this timeline, which I why I say the events that started me down this.

    Brexit: The collective undoing of a stable —although not by any means perfect— relationship with Europe is, in my mind, a short-sighted and ultimately destructive path for the UK. Both sides will lose out, but I think my native UK will come out worse. But to be honest, that doesn’t really matter, as the UK will find a way to be OK. What really worries me is how this plays into the next step on this timeline?

    Political and social division: If anything, this is one of the core parts to creating the necessary climate to feed and grow Brexit. Europe is the big monster to blame for all ills, while in front of our faces political and social groups are profiting from the division in society. Take the US as an example of extremes. There seems to be no middle ground any more. It wasn’t like this before, and it doesn’t have to be this way, but society is walking blindly into the guet-apens.

    Social media: I'll not blame anyone social media firm in particular because, in reality, they are all willing participants in a destabilising social experiment. They just haven’t admitted it yet. The cognitive dissonance for me and others is that these platforms do lots of good and being digital hence agnostic, they simultaneously do lots of harm. Does the good outweigh the harm? I don’t think so currently.

    Covid-19: It couldn’t have come at a better time to anchor and entrench people in their bubbles. Not only did lockdown give many people a lot more time to go down their own rabbit holes even further, but the fact that the virus exists gave some the power to develop or extend existing conspiracies to an extent never seen before. We’ve seen burins of cell towers, potentially putting people’s lives at risk, large protests against mask-wearing and the whole situation was just manna for QAnon.

    Civil war: I think the next logical step in this increasingly divided state of affairs is nothing short of civil war. After Brexit, I was convinced that Europe would be first to spill into civil war, and I’m not fully convinced yet it won’t. Legitimising nationalism (which is what essentially Brexit is) I felt, was to legitimise nationalism in Europe, ergo civil war in Europe. However, the recent instability in the US has got me thinking that there is a real risk of the US tipping into civil war before Europe. The US is on a collision course with itself like it has not been since 1861.

    World war: If either Europe or the US bascule into civil war, it is only a matter of time for the other to do the same. We’re too intrinsically linked on a social level not to follow suit. We know that will only lead to world war, and we know this to be so, just look at the central purpose of the European Union:

    The precursor to the European Union was established after World War II in the late 1940s in an effort to unite the countries of Europe and end the period of wars between neighboring countries.

    This extract is from this article at ThoughtCo.

    There is a ray of hope, however. The #BlackLivesMatter movement offers us a glimpse into a better future. One where we are conscient and empathic to one and other. According to some figures, 62% of the US population agrees with the movement, with 76% of those surveyed in a Monmouth University poll stating that racism and discrimination is a “big problem”.

    I fear for the future, as I’m predisposed to do so, but I’m hopeful that I’m wrong. Thank you for reading. Please get in touch through Twitter @virek.

    4 July 2020 — French West Indies

    A few thoughts

    I don’t know about you, but it has been a particularly difficult couple of months to think clearly about things.

    First, the pandemic was “over there” and not a risk for us. We quickly found out that that was complete rubbish and were thrust into a strict lockdown with little to no preparation. The governments were clearly caught off guard despite repeated warnings for years, despite the early warning signs in January and despite a hot of countries that had earned experience offering their help that was, in what I can only describe as a biased denial. No, I’ll call it for what it is. Racism.

    The West was collectively laughing at those folks over in China and Asia at the time. They soon had a rude awakening. Despite 400K deaths worldwide later —of which eastern countries have only limited casualties— there still seems to be a collective denial of reality.

    Then on top of it all, in a violent land, with a violent police force, built from violent white supremacist origins, went and did exactly what the system was designed to do. Kill another black man in cold blood for no justifiable reason. It sparked ongoing worldwide protests and is having global consequences. Consequences that, this time, seem to be different.

    Because of ubiquitous technology, the veil of lies, denial and gaslighting has been pulled down, revealing to the masses what was previously local and isolated, and therefore easily controlled.

    The tide has turned, and you should learn (quickly) to ride with the wave, or you might suddenly find yourself stranded or drowned. Get onboard, be anti-racist, it’s not enough only to be all “equal rights ’n shit”. You have to actively participate in bringing this system down and help to build a new one, intelligently.

    Start by learning about the history of others. If you’re into tech, read the plenty of books on technology and racism. If you’re into politics, countless works cater to that subject. Do it! Pretty please, with sugar on top - clean your fucking house.

    8 June 2020 — French West Indies

    Wish list for a new Magic Keyboard

    Just to be precise, I’m talking about the separately sold Bluetooth Magic Keyboard that comes bundled with an iMac. It’s slight, light and very reliable as a keyboard, with the keys being almost perfect for long-form writing.

    I use one regularly in my iPad Pro/Canopy setup. With added mouse/trackpad support, the experience is even better now. But the keyboard lacks two things that I think would be relatively trivial for Apple to add.

    One change that just about everybody in the Mac-verse is requesting is the inverted-T configuration for the arrow keys. Even after several years of use, I frequently fumble around trying to hit the right key only finding myself having to look at the keyboard to accomplish the task. It’s not a big deal, and frankly, I’ve lived with it for many years now — especially since my MBP 13-inch has the same arrangement — but it is such a flow-breaker, that it feels like a punishment and not an encouragement to type.

    The keyboard exists, as evidenced on the new 13” MBP released yesterday and on the previously released 16” MBP a short time back. It should be a simple re-tooling of the production line to incorporate the changes and ramp up production. To be fair, there may be a fair bit of inventory that needs to go before a full ramp-up is ordered, but that shouldn’t take long as this old design is included in all iMacs, and they’re selling quite well at the moment according to the latest financial results and subsequent investors call. Tim Cook made comments on the health of Mac sales due to increased WFH and that Apple is bullish on Mac sales going forward.

    The second change, a backlight keyboard, is a modification that would be the icing on the cake. I don’t know if it’s feasible or if it would be too much of a battery drain or not. Having it would materially improve life with one of these keyboards in low light working conditions.

    Current keyboards are charged via the lightning port and have really long battery life. I’m writing on my iPad with one at the moment, and I can’t even remember when I last charged it. I’d probably better check. The question then is, would a bigger battery be necessary to have acceptable battery life and backlighting.

    I think I’d be prepared to accept that kind of trade-off towards slightly heavier to have backlighting. In doing so, it might require charging the keyboard more frequently as a result too. Again, I’m willing to accept that on the face of it. To be fair, I’m charging pretty much all the devices like the iPad nightly as it is. The other side of the argument is manifest in the way AirPods are just so much more enjoyable to use because you don’t have to think about charging nearly as much. But I’d argue that this is incomparable.

    When you think about Apple’s products in their entirety, you tend to see that AirPods (and to some extent the Apple Pencil) have accessory devices that keep their charge topped up when stowed away. The AirPods have their case that can be charged separately and independently, and the Apple Pencil charges directly on the iPad. The beauty of that design being that those devices are always ready for use.

    Keyboards and Mice are not in that category. They are standalone devices with no accessories to suck power from. And yes, while writing this, a thought popped into my mind about the now-infamous AirPower. A mouse may have been in development to be able to charge wirelessly overnight on the pad. I’m guessing a keyboard too. It’s not a power question, it’s more of a design and usefulness trade-off.

    For now, I would just like to see those two ameliorations and dream of a future with fewer wires. Tomorrow I guess.

    5 May 2020 — French West Indies

    More on Studio Neat’s Canopy

    I wrote about my love for the Studio Neat Canopy here. Literally, the only thing it lacks compared to the new iPad magic Keyboard is the different viewing angles. It’s virtually perfect for me.

    One thing I omitted to mention is that when you have your iPad in portrait mode, there’s enough space on the side to sit an iPhone, giving you the ability to have an extremely portable two-screen setup. It’s not an extended desktop or screen-sharing, of course. However, if you use Continuity, as I do, copying and pasting between devices is simple and fast.

    This ultra-portable and ultra-productive setup is my goto configuration for the time being.

    27 April 2020 — French West Indies

    GatesNotes : The first modern pandemic

    A thoughtful and interesting must-read, worth all of the twenty or so minutes it’ll take you to read it in detail. Take your time and ingest. It’s packed with sensible and researched information.

    Opening up

    Most developed countries will be moving into the second phase of the epidemic in the next two months. In one sense, it is easy to describe this next phase. It is semi-normal. People can go out, but not as often, and not to crowded places. Picture restaurants that only seat people at every other table, and airplanes where every middle seat is empty. Schools are open, but you can’t fill a stadium with 70,000 people. People are working some and spending some of their earnings, but not as much as they were before the pandemic. In short, times are abnormal but not as abnormal as during the first phase.

    24 April 2020 — French West Indies

    The versatility of the iPad

    I’ve been thinking about the new iPad Magic Keyboard (iPad MK) and have a couple of thoughts I’d like to share. I get it, I really do. I’m someone who instinctively wants the newest and best, as ADD tends to do. But this time, I just can’t quite see the use for me based on the setup I’m currently using. Oh, of course, I can clearly see why others would want it and find it the dog bollocks to use—more power to you.

    There seems to be a couple of required compromises to get the best out of it. Compromises I don’t need to make with my favoured solution; a Magic Keyboard (MKB) and Canopy from Studio Neat. On the face of it, it does all the things that the iPad MK can, minus the different viewing angles. But I feel it goes much further, let me explain.

    I can use the iPad in or out of a case, detach it easily. It features a full-sized keyboard, with Function keys, Multimedia keys and a real Esc key. It folds away neatly and is lighter than the iPad MK with the KB in it. If the KB dies, buy a new one and plop it in, 100$ tops.

    As I said, it lacks different viewing angles, but it also requires what might be the real issue for some, the trackpad—solved by having a Magic Trackpad along for the ride for an, admittedly, extra 130$. That’s a total of 270$ (the Canopy is 40$), with each part easily replaceable, without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. If you’re a mouse user, like me, it’s even cheaper than that. Oh, BTW, it’s lighter too, at only 393g as opposed to around 1/2 a kilo for the 11” version, if I’ve understood John Gruber’s article. What is also of note, is that transitioning from iPad to iMac requires zero readjustment. It’s the same KB, size of keys, feel, angle, etc.

    One thing that is less than optimal is that it requires sliding three items in a bag instead of one, I guess increasing the risk of loss. But the MKB in the Canopy is so slim, just like the Mouse/Trackpad, that I don’t notice it. Often, I’m in a meeting and only need to take handwritten notes with the pencil, so the KB and Mouse stay in the bag until I need them. Getting them out when needed is little bother.

    One last point that, for me, is important. And it is perhaps, the elephant in the room for the iPad MK. It doesn’t allow use in portrait mode. With the Canopy there’s no such restriction, even putting the iPad in “upside-down-portrait” to gain access to the USB-C connector.

    Lastly, and not unimportantly for some, if you want to move to or from a different sized iPad, no problem with the Canopy + MKB. It still works.

    And that’s the point. We all have differing needs and wants. The iPad is there for them all.

    I do hope you don’t see this as crapping on the new kid on the block, as I think it is just about perfect for most people. To be fair, I probably wrote this to stop me from buying one 😜.