REAPER on Apple Silicon

November 24, 2020

Over the past week, I’ve been continually impressed by the sheer power of this new Mac mini. Today, I noticed the fine folks over at Cockos Incorporated posted a new release of REAPER, including a new beta build of REAPER supporting the processor architecture.

I wanted to see how much faster the export feature would be when running natively, but I quickly noticed that the usual MP3 output option was missing. I quickly realised that this probably had something to do with the new architecture and decided to see if I could get Homebrew to compile the required file.

I know that dylibs are a thing, and that they also need to match the architecture of the application for them to work, and since there were no public builds of libmp3lame.dylib available, I assume that the folks at Cockos figured it wasn’t necessary to include said library with this early release of the app.

When not to get an M1 Mac

November 24, 2020

You’ll probably know if you’re not the target audience, but as it stands — you shouldn’t get an M1-equipped Mac if:

  • If you need virtualisation support (VMWare Fusion, Parallels, Docker)
  • You rely on JIT x86/64 performance (for e.g. emulation or in a browser that hasn’t been updated for Apple Silicon yet)
  • You are constrained by the maximum 16 GB of RAM
  • You need more than 8 cores for CPU-bound tasks

That’s it. Learn more about my thoughts on the new Macs.


Leaving Intel Behind Was Inevitable

November 18, 2020

I remember getting my first Mac clearly: I was about to go to college, and I needed a relatively high-spec MacBook Pro for the programming & design courses I would be attending. To do so, I got a 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2011.

During my college years, I really pushed that machine to the brink: not just due to intensive pro app workloads, but also virtualisation and gaming via Boot Camp. All of this absolutely killed the machine in 2013, only two years into the lifespan of this particular machine.

I really like Swift. When the initial versions of Swift became available, I remember still using Objective-C due to the language being in flux and requiring frequent migrations from a previous version to the current version.

At this point, this migration process has slowed down: the language feels mature to me; it has been around for six years by now.

Previously, apps that were built with Swift had to ship their own version of the libraries, since there was no ABI stability. Swift 5 introduced ABI stability and that was a big improvement:

The ABI is now declared stable for Swift 5 on Apple platforms. As a result, the Swift libraries are now incorporated into every macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS release going forward. Your apps will be easier to build and smaller because they won’t have to include those libraries.