So Long Manufacturing In New Mexico

This article Made in New Mexico by the Santa Fe Reporter tries to put a positive spin on the dying manufacturing industry in New Mexico, but I see very little good here.

According to the state Economic Development Department, manufacturing employment is down 9 percent in New Mexico during the past five years, which means a loss of nearly 3,000 jobs. Computer and electronic products, furniture and textile mill manufacturing decreased by more than 20 percent during the same time period.

Intel Rio Rancho Laid Off 700 People In 2016

From the Albuquerque Free Press: Intel Cuts Rio Rancho Staff By 700

Intel Corp. reduced its Rio Rancho workforce by 700 people in 2016, and the plant now employs around 1,200, Intel said Monday.

“Nearly half the employees that left the Rio Rancho site were retirements,” Intel said in its annual report to the Sandoval County Commission. “Most of the remainder were relocated or chose a voluntary separation package.”

That’s a lot of people and a lot more than the 400 that were supposedly let go when I was laid off in 2014.

The last rumor I heard was that they are keeping the place alive through 2019 or some such time until Fab 42 starts to come online. Then they will offer everyone a job in Arizona or lay them off. That will be the end of Intel in New Mexico.

New Mac Pros… in 2018

The Mac Pro is in a sorry state. Not updated for 3 years. I built two Hackintoshes last year because I wasn’t going to buy a new Mac Pro that may be updated an minutes or never.

John Gruber reports that Apple is in fact working on a update that seems to be taking a long time.

Let’s not beat around the bush. I have great news to share:
Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.
I also have not-so-great news:
These next-gen Mac Pros and pro displays will not ship until next year. In the meantime, Apple is today releasing meager speed-bump updates to the existing Mac Pros. The $2999 model goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6, and from dual AMD G300 GPUs to dual G500 GPUs. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs. Nothing else is changing, including the ports. No USB-C, no Thunderbolt 3 (and so no support for the LG UltraFine 5K display).

Quicken 2007 For Mac To Be Discontinued, Replaced By Quicken 2017

Quicken 2007ScreenSnapz001As a long time user of Quicken for Mac I have been stuck using Quicken 2007. Intuit came out with several version of Quicken after 2007 but they all lacked the most important features that I used Quicken for.

Intuit was apparently aware at their own incompetency at producing a quality Mac quicken app becaue they continued to make Quicken 2007 compatable with the latest OS.

Quicken was sold in 2015 which is resulting in a updated version of Quicken.

The Quicken team is committed to delivering a great Mac product to our customers.  We are in the midst of doubling the size of our Mac engineering team, and our engineers are hard at work on improving Quicken for Mac 2016 (including the recent release of 12 month budgets) and building a robust Quicken for Mac 2017 that will launch later this year.

In order to focus our Mac engineering efforts on products that are built to run on Apple’s latest computers and operating systems, we will be ending support of Quicken for Mac 2007 with the release of Quicken for Mac 2017, later this year.

One way or another Quicken Mac users will be forced to upgrade whether the 2017 version is feature complete with 2007 or not.

More Intel Layoffs In New Mexico

It was interesting to watch the local media reports expecting that this time, the Rio Rancho F11X site would close down. Later it was revealed that the site will not be “on the chopping block“. There has never been any comment from Intel on the situation but I can’t imagine the Intel site management is enjoying the speculation.

KOB reported that 215 or 11% of the Rio Rancho plant would be laid off bringing the total workforce to under 1700. With voluntary separation and forced retirements that number will probably be significantly less.

The the continued shrinking of the workforce and lack of upgrades at the site is not helping with the speculation, not to mention not a single word of communication from Intel on the future of the Rio Rancho site. I would not be surprised if the current IRB will run out at the same time the Rio Rancho workforce hits zero.

Anecdotally, people still working there have been telling me how more equipment is being moved out than in. That there is still work to be done and there aren’t enough people to cover it, in particular engineers. I still hear about the “suits” that tour the factory every once in a while as if they are showing it off to be sold.

What has been the response from Governor Martinez about the Intel news? On the day of the Intel announcement she was talking about DWIs. Probably, Intel had already briefed New Mexico leadership that the Rio Rancho site would not be shutting down which I’m pretty sure resulted collective sigh… not this time. It doesn’t seem like the Governor cares at all about the New Mexico economy, unless it can somehow help her move on to the next thing.

Edit: I forgot to mention the convenient timing of the $15,000 that Intel donated to the Food Recovery In Excellent New Directions program. $15k is like petty cash to Intel, who no doubt was looking for something to give them a positive spin.

New Mexico Subs For Arizona In Sicario

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Sicario has become one of my recent favorite movies. The story mostly takes place in Phoenix, Arizona but it was filmed in New Mexico.

The film starts in Chandler, Arizona where I grew up. Seeing the image of the west side of Albuquerque, with the Sandia mountains in the background, substitute for Chandler was funny. I thought Chandler was a odd choice, as it’s a much bigger town than what they are trying to portray. Maybe farther east like Florence would have been a better choice.

None of this bothered me. I wish I would have been able to work on Sicario in some capacity but I was just starting out in the film business when this was being made.