Scribble scribble.

Skeuomorphism throughout Apple’s history

July 25th, 2012

Thomas Brand at Egg Freckles gives us a history lesson in Apple skeuomorphism, all the way back to the beginning:

Before the Mac there was no skeuomorphism, because there was no graphical user interface. For almost thirty years the iconography of desktop objects have greeted users as they stare into their computer screens. The desktop metaphor has given new computer users a familiar foundation to ground their experiences upon, and expert users terminology such as “files” and “folders” we still use today.

Brushed metal, DVD players, and even the calculator – Brand shows that skeuomorphism is nothing new for Apple.

Even the Newton had its share of skeuomorphism, with the lined paper metaphor greeting us in the Notes app.

Nitro: Like Things.app for Chrome and Linux

July 10th, 2012

Nitro task manager

onethingwell:

Nitro, a simple task management/todo list app for Linux with Dropbox or Ubuntu One sync.

It also comes in the form of a Chrome extension (with a Firefox version due once the Mozilla Marketplace opens for business).

Seriously, after using Todoist for a few months, I switched full-bore today to Nitro

On the surface, it looks and behaves like Things for Mac: projects, drag-and-drop to-do items, automatically-generated Next Steps – lots of good GTD stuff that Todoist never gave me.

I’m using the Chrome version at work on Windows. It gives me just the right amount of flexibility and agility to get all my stuff in order. Visually, it’s just what I was looking for.

The Chrome extension is a free install, but I loved it right away and chipped in a few bucks. They give you the full functionality of the app right from the get-go – something Todoist never did. I think that’s worth rewarding.

And the Dropbox syncing is something I’m going to try, especially on the go for work stuff.

Riccardo Mori on vintage tech

July 9th, 2012

Riccardo Mori posts at the wonderful System Folder:

The main reason I’m surrounded by vintage tech in my studio is that these machines still serve a purpose. The fact that ‘progress’ has obsoleted them does not mean they have stopped being useful.

Amen, of course. Mori’s posts is a good part two to my On My Mac Hobby.

We all do this stuff for varying reasons. Isn’t it funny how sometimes we feel the need to defend our interests?

Newton reviewed 20 years later

June 7th, 2012

Don’t know how I missed Harry McCracken’s Newton MessagePad review over at Time.com.

All in all, it’s fun experiment: take a tech journalist who has no direct experience with the Newton, and have him use it. Even better, McCracken’s MessagePad was practically new out of the box.

This section on battery life caught my eye:

20/20 hindsight may make the MessagePad’s screen look worse than it seemed in 1993; its battery life, however, benefits from a couple of decades of diminished expectations. Back in the 1990s, people squawked that the MessagePad H1000 drained its four AAA batteries too quickly. I found, however, that I could go for a couple of weeks on a set. In an age of smartphones that conk out after less than one day, that was more than enough to keep me happy.

Isn’t it something how our expectations have changed?

[via MacBreak Weekly]

Iron Man, circa 1984

May 18th, 2012

Pretty fantastic.

[via Devour]

Random thoughts on Instagram

April 3rd, 2012
  • Love it
  • I now see the world in Instagram possibilities — like, “Oooh, that would make a good Instagram shot”
  • It’s worth it to me to pull over my car and grab a unique shot
  • You should follow me: davelawrence8 (natch)
  • You can usually tell who gets a new iPhone: they tend to join Instagram shortly after
  • Android users: welcome to the party
  • I have yet to get a Camera+-save-then-upload-to-Instagram workflow that I really like, but sometimes I will edit a photo in something like Snapseed and then post it to Instagram
  • Speaking of which: if you’re not using mobile photos for Instagram, you’re cheating
  • One or two photos a day is fine. Five in a row of your kid or your lunch is not fine
  • Scenery, architecture, and skyline shots are fun, but my favorite Instagrams are the ones that capture an idea, or a mood, or a single object in a unique way

‘Tomorrow’s Gone’

March 19th, 2012

As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut — until Challenger, and then my mom said I couldn’t be an astronaut. So instead of being a space explorer, I turned into a space scholar. Instead of lionizing John Glenn, or Sally Ride, I looked to Carl Sagan as a role model.

Thing is, we still have room for both kinds of heroes in this country. We just need the willpower, and the budget priorities, to make it happen.

[via Devour]

Mac Floppy: disk stories of yore

March 12th, 2012

Thomas Brand, he of the delightful Egg Freckles, has done it again: Mac Floppy is a tumblog of the old Macintosh disk days.

Brand covers everything from classic Mac games, to MacPaint, to Disk Swapper’s Elbow.

With Egg Freckles focused on longer-form pieces, Brand says Mac Floppy helps him get creative with shorter pieces on classic Mac software.

“A lot of people grew up staring at a Macintosh with a monochrome 9 inch screen,” he told me. “I am hoping to collect some of those memories from the Macintosh community by sharing screenshots from my early Mac software collection. If everything goes to plan we should see the comments start to fill up with recollections from other users.”

Brand is looking for guests posts, so let him know if you’re dying to write about an old-school application.

‘Something Old’ by John Carey

March 9th, 2012

Something Old by John Carey

This lovely image comes courtesy of John Carey over at fiftyfootshadows. Carey shares desktop images available for download — and boy, is this one gorgeous for all kinds of reasons. Says John:

I came across an opportunity to take this old Mac out back and shoot it recently. We were cleaning out old storage space and came across our Mac graveyard of sorts. Also In there was a Cube and moving head iMac. Good stuff.

Good stuff, indeed. Download the full version at the blog. You can see more of Carey’s work at his Flickr gallery.

And extra points if you can guess the Macintosh model.

Newton as a ‘broken promise’

March 7th, 2012

In honor of today’s iPad announcement, here’s another Newton appearance on a “worst of tech” appearance — this time on Bloomberg’s Tech’s Biggest Broken Promises slideshow:

Known as Newton, the name of its operating system, the line of Apple handhelds set out to revolutionize computing with its touch-screen and handwriting-recognition software. The technology was so bad in the $700 debut models that it became the butt of “Doonesbury” jokes: “I am writing a test sentence” became “Siam fighting atomic sentry.”

Right. Bloomberg throws the Newton a bone by lumping it in with other “heavily hyped products that were ideas ahead of their time” — the like Betamax.