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  • Microsoft's Stranger Things campaign creates a fake legacy for Windows 1.0

    True, I was there.  I was astonished as each phase of outrageous Microsoft behaviour proceeded.  I wasn't a Mac user at the time, they seemed only used by artists home users at that point. 

    I was working at one of the big workstation vendors in 1984. At one point I had a Xerox 1108 on my desk that I think was specced around $100k.  The Mac was very impressive but underpowered compared to our Unix workstations running X windows, but we were impressed that Apple could produce something that seemed to share the DNA of the Xerox machines for such a low price and in such a desirable designed package. 

    I remember the first time I saw Windows 1.0, it seemed a bit of a  joke, one of the other guys had the job of investigating it and building the first apps for it.  He had a merry time, he showed me six or seven pages of C code he'd written that opened a window!  At the time I was writing fully windowing X-windows code with all the bells and whistles, and opening a window took only about 10 lines of C :-)    It turned out not to be a joke by the time Windows 3.1 shipped in I think 1991,  that was the important one. With 3.1 it was a usable OS on PC hardware. I can't remember what was specifically lacking in 3.0, but suffice to say, it wasn't super usable. It was with 3.1 that our office PC's switched over from  DOS to Windows. 

    As the years went by there were several more egregious examples, the way Microsoft essentially ripped off Java from Sun when creating C#, I couldn't believe how all the support API's were almost identical given just a bit of respellings,  and then there was the whole Android rip off.  

    Anyhow, Gates is a very smart guy but read Gladwells "Outliers" and Cringely's "Accidental Empires" and you'll see he had a very privileged leg up, and then started a career of sharp elbowed deal making.  Realistically Microsoft did create the industry as we see it today, and its nice to see what Apple became despite Microsoft, Google and how they benefitted from their sharp practices.  One of the most important developments of my career was the absorption of Nextstep and Unix into the Mac platform, I have a lot to thank Jobs and Ive for. 

  • How to use Tags in macOS Mojave and Catalina

    I use tags a great deal and find the Yep Mac app invaluable. That permits far better ways of finding and managing tags such as adding sets of tags to multiple files in one go.

    It’s frustrating that tags are missing from Notes, another place I’d like to see them is integrated with bookmarks for web. So lots more to do there in future revisions of Mac OS

  • $1 billion Apple data center project in Athenry, Ireland cancelled

    I'm an Apple fanboy, but in this case I think I am on the side of the people opposing these data centers in Ireland. 

    Ireland and the UK where I am are very different from the US in terms of feasibility of renewable energy generation,  or indeed of Denmark. 

    US has far cheaper renewable resources based on lower cost land values and available power from sun in particular.   Denmark is a very bad comparison to Ireland because it has extremely cost efficient wind by virtue of it being able to use the Swedish hydro-electric system as a battery.  The excess wind energy is used to pump water 'uphill' into reservoirs and then uses the hydro system to re-generate,  the proximity of Denmark to the vast capacity of the Swedish hydro system is critical to this. Anyone who has watched the original 'The Bridge' knows just how close Denmark is to Sweden... 

    Often the details matter, and it does here. People in this part of the world often point at Denmark and say we should copy them, but our situation and that of Ireland is very different.  "I canna change the laws of physics captain!"
  • Apple Park office chairs cost nearly $1,200 apiece, handpicked by designer Jony Ive

    A big success for Barber Osgerby and for British design as a brand. 

    For those not in the world of design it may not be obvious how significant this kind of thing is.  And lets face it for most people a chair is a horizontal buttock support and not a lot more.  

    a) If you design for Vitra you are ALREADY in the company of Charles Eames. 

    b) A big buy like this and the seal of approval from Ive is the next step on the road to design canonisation. 

    c) For a designer,  to have a classic chair in their portfolio is a bit like getting an Oscar.  I've worked with a few really good designers in my day who are at this kind of level and one of them, for a hobby collected miniature models of these chairs and paid a significant portion of the price of an actual chair for the models. 

    Having said all that, my Aeron exec with shiny Chrome beats any other chair I've used and is specced for my just-sub NFL player sized bones, something I can't get with most office chairs. 
  • Apple now allows all developers to offer app pre-orders on App Store

    Some of my customers want another version of my app and its convenient for them to place an order and get it when its released.  

    With a pre-order and a window of 8 weeks it will allow me to beta test the app,  see what the demand is and possibly add features based on market demand and my beta test results.  I can also introduce the app for a pre-order price to attract existing users and reward their loyalty with that discount and then put the price up after the release day.