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Women In Classical Music: Some Good News, Some Bad News – Sharps & Flatirons

The growing numbers of women in professional orchestras at every level can be traced to a single innovation that began around 1970: “blind auditions,” where competing candidates for open orchestral jobs play behind a screen. The selection committee does not know if it is hearing a man or a woman. The rapid change in the makeup of orchestras since 1970—casually visible and backed up by the numbers—is compelling evidence of the opposition women orchestral players faced before that innovation.

Fascinating article about the number of women in classical music: in orchestras, as composers, as conductors, and as soloists. Since screened auditions were put in place, the number of female musicians in orchestras has grown immensely, but where blinders aren’t used, they are still a small minority.

Source: Women In Classical Music: Some Good News, Some Bad News – Sharps & Flatirons

It’s Not That Hard for Apple to Design a New Mac Pro

Mac pro 02Apple recently did a mea-culpa about its failed Mac Pro, and announced that the company was working on a new model, that would perhaps be released next year.

But the company doesn’t need to look far to design a new Mac Pro. They already know how to make it.

Here’s the big problem with Apple’s Mac Pro: the company thought it needed to be sexy. It certainly was, with those curved lines and small footprint. But it’s not practical.

The people who want a new Mac Pro want a computer that allows them the freedom to make changes over time. They want to be able to replace hard drives, video cards, and more; add RAM when they need to. And add PCI cards or other internals.

Apple could make a smaller version of the “cheese grater” Mac Pro pictured above. With the same easy access to the inside of the computer – one side comes off entirely – they would have the space for one or two video cards, several hard drives, and much more.

If there were a good 4K or 5K display, I would buy a Mac Pro like this. While I don’t need “pro” features, I do want a computer that is more flexible, more upgradeable. The only thing I would demand, however, is silence. When I had the cheese grater Mac Pro, it was quieter than previous Macs, but still a bit noisy. In most use, I never hear the fan on my iMac.

So make a new, smaller cheese grater or similar design. Pro users would love it. You don’t even need to bother Jony Ive; after all, his design is the one that failed.

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Writings about Macs, music, and more by Kirk McElhearn