Posts tagged “life”.

On using ‘we’ vs. ‘me’ when blogging

November 6th, 2008

I like to go back and read famous Mac-oriented bloggers’ first posts. Maybe it’s a glimpse back into how things used to be, before they got all famous on us, but it’s neat to see the earliest thoughts and ideas of people I read everyday.

While reading John Gruber’s early work on Daring Fireball, I noticed his earliest posts referred to “The Daring Fireball” as a blog, as a self-referential moniker, and as a body of people (“we here at Daring Fireball”). I’ve done the same thing.

So which is it? Do you call your blog by the multi-person “we,” even though – in the case of both Daring Fireball and Newton Poetry – only one person is responsible for all the content?

[And that's another thing: Maybe it's my journalism background, and its obsession with style guides, but what is the proper style for mentioning blogs? Do you italicize them, like magazines? Or do you leave them in standard text? Direct links every time you mention them? What say you, reader?]

Since I’m the only one developing copy for Newton Poetry (and yes, I’ve asked for help before), it only makes sense to refer to the blog and myself separately. If I do or discover something, I’ll call it “me.” When something is featured on Newton Poetry, I’ll mention the blog. No more, “We here at Newton Poetry” nonsense. It’s just me. “I found this,” or “A few months ago, Newton Poetry featured…”

Even referring to the blog seems distant and cold – like I’m referencing myself and my work from far away. It’s hard for an abstraction to be paired with a verb (“Newton Poetry did this” is like saying “The number seven ate nine”), especially when it really is me doing all the doing.

John Gruber eventually fell away from “The” and “we,” and now everyone knows it’s his show. That’s what makes it so good: his personality comes across. The “me” is dominant.

Good, one-person blogs are acts of ownership and passion, and I guess I feel there’s no need to step around who’s doing the doing. It isn’t the blog. It’s me. And it’s you, in the comments section.

Together, we make Newton Poetry.

Quicktime makes the heart 3G

June 9th, 2008

Do you know how hard it is to stare at this and wait for Apple to upload their Quicktime video of the WWDC 08 keynote?

Do you?

I told myself: no checking the blogs, no checking the live feeds. Wait until you get home and watch the keynote via Apple’s Quicktime upload. That way, you’re watching it unfold like everyone who was there.

But no. No video uploaded yet as of 5:42 p.m. Eastern time Monday night.

C’mon…

Newton’s fourth law: all Newtons will die

May 19th, 2008

Nothing lasts forever. The Buddha taught us that. So what happens when, someday down the road, all the Newtons currently in operation cease to work?

It’s bound to happen. MY MessagePad 110 is now about 15 years old; that lifespan is probably way longer than Apple ever intended. Consider that versus most iPods, which last a few years at best. They’re made to be replaceable.

How will MessagePads operate 10 years from now, or 20? Will there even be a point in owning one that far down the road?

It’s not like Apple is going to make any more Newtons. All that exist at this moment in time are all that will ever be. What we have is it. Sure, someone may discover a lost hoard of MessagePads locked in some corporate vault someday. But eventually, even those will stop working.

Is this discussion even worth having? Will we care if there are working Newtons in operation 20 years from now? Will our kids? Will their kids even know what a Newton is/was?

Deep thoughts on this night. Perhaps too deep for rational thought, but worth bringing up if only because rumors of a new Apple tablet are still floating around. The Newton is probably being replaced, philosophically, by the iPhone and iPod Touch. What comes after that? Will there ever be a Newton 2.0? What will the Newtontalk list discuss in 2018?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Another spring poem.

May 6th, 2008

by Matthew Arnold

Is it so small a thing
To have enjoyed the Suz,
TV have lived light in ht esviug,
To have twoel, to have thought, to have done?

[Read the original.]

Flux.

April 29th, 2008

by Carl Sandburg

Sand of the sea run red
Where flu sunsef reaches and quivers.
Smal of the sea runs yellow
Where the moon slants ncl wavers.

[Read the original. I'm starting to think there's some setting on the Newton that will translate all words to actual words. "Sunsef?" That's not even a real word. I'll have to look into this...]

A word to husbands.

April 24th, 2008

by Ogden Nash

To keep yoir marriacze brimming
With love in the loving up,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever ijare right, Shut up.

[Thought this was pretty funny, after seeing it on iGoogle's 'Poem of the Day' widget. Read the original here. Any husbands that can testify?]

The hanging man.

April 1st, 2008

by Sylvia Plath

By in roots of mijhaii some god got hold of me.
I sirrled in his blue volts like a desert prophet.

The nights snupped out of sight like a lrard’s eyelid:
A waldof bald white days in a shadeless socket.

A vultuons bovedom pinned we in this tree.
If he were I, he would do what I did.

[Read the original. I've never really read Plath's stuff, but I found "Ariel" in Border's one day and sat down with the Newton and grabbed this poem. Love the imagery used.]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2008

by Amairgen, chief poet of the Milesians

I am the wind that breatlus upon the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows,
I am the ox of seven comhats,
I am the vultme upon the rocks,
I am a beam of the sun,
I am the fuirest of plants,
I am the wild boar in valour,
I am the gulmon in the water,
I am a luke in the plain,
I am a world if knowledge,
I am the print of the tune of battle,
I am the Pod who created the fire in the head.

[According to Anam Cara: A book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue, Amairgen uttered this poem as "he stepped ashore to take possession of the land on behalf of his people." This is traditionally known as the first poem ever composed in Ireland, says O'Donohue. Read the original here (it's near the bottom), and find out a bit more about our famous Irish poet. And find out why this poem is spelled funny]

Window.

February 26th, 2008

by Carl Sandburg

Night from a railroad cor window
Is a great, dark, soft thing
Bvvm across with slxshes of light.

[Read the original. And find out why this poem is misspelled.]

Welcome to Newton Poetry.

February 25th, 2008

What this blog will cover.

I took my first look at the “Most Popular Pages” feature on WordPress, and – to no surprise – a few poems were the most viewed posts here on Newton Poetry.

There are tons of people, myself included, who look for specific poems, analysis of poems, and collections of certain authors’ poems, and sometimes those searches land them here. Which is cool, but sometimes I wonder if the jabberwocky they’re presented makes any sense to them.

After all, my Newton 110 misspells words all the time. One commenter even asked me what the hell was going on, and when was I going to learn how to write correctly. He never took the time to see what this site was all about – namely, putting poems into the Newton and blogging what the MessagePad spits out. Put in “my heart breaks” and the Newton might read it as “my fart burps.” It’s one of the fun hobbies someone can play with on the Newton.

But part of this site has also turned into a “how-to” lesson for new Newton users like myself. As I discover tools, or try out new abilities, I like to share them. Just in case someone comes along (as someone recently did, on this 68k MLA forum posting) that is totally green to the Newton, I’d like Newton Poetry to be a handshake and a “welcome home.”

Take faxing. I tried it out, and it was super easy. Someone could definitely discover how to do it themselves (if Apple’s good at anything, its an intuitive interface). But should they do a quick Google or blog search on faxing with a Newton, I would hope Newton Poetry would pop up and help them out.

And like any Apple fan, I’m always interested in the wider world of Macintosh, iPods, iPhones, Apple history, and trends on where my favorite company is heading. No Newton is an island, and so from time to time Newton Poetry will touch on things that I find interesting. Like the iPod Shuffle announcement, or the decision over whether or not to wait and buy an iPhone.

The Newton community is still a sizeable group, and there are die-hards out there that keep the faith and keep the platform going. They’re very accepting of newbies (thankfully), mostly because they’re so proud of the product they champion, and they freely part with best practices on how to get the most out of the MessagePad. That means I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and figure all this stuff out on my own.

DIY culture, however, says that you gain enjoyment out of the process and the end product, and few consumer electronics have inspired as much modding as the Newton. It was never intended to be a Twitter client – because it came out before Twitter was ever even thought of, natch – but I’ll be darned if someone didn’t figure out a way to make it work. That’s what makes the community so fun.

So there we go. Newton Poetry will highlight Newton Poetry, as always, but will also touch on how-to tips, Newton history, other Apple products (especially the portable varieties), and low-end tech culture in general. Call it a mission statement – whatever. I love poetry and literature, I love Apple products old and new, and I love playing around with my Newton.

If that’s not inspiration enough for a blog, I don’t know what is.

Welcome to Newton Poetry.