Posts tagged “PC”.

Revisiting the desktop metaphor

November 1st, 2010

Macintosh User Manual - Desktop

Peter Merholz reminds us the the dominant computer metaphor for the last 40 years has been the desktop, and it was Apple that brought that idea – files, documents, a trash can – to the masses.

Since 1984, we’ve seen other metaphors come along. The Newton operated on a kind of notepad metaphor – or an electronic personal organizer and day planner. Now, OS X 10.7 Lion, by way of iOS, gives us another way to interact with our files and windows: Launchpad.

From there to here, the desktop has been a good transition metaphor. Take what people know (working in an office, dealing with folders) and put it on a screen. Now we’re getting more abstract as the PC industry matures, and as we add more functionality to our machines.

[Via Daring Fireball.]

On the pace of innovation

July 16th, 2010

Marco Arment sees that the progress of computing hardware is slowing down. So, too, is software innovation:

I use desktop computers for many hours every day. They are my profession, my hobby, and my leisure. But the pace of their software innovation that’s relevant to my everyday use has dramatically slowed. It’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s great that I don’t need to constantly update and upgrade everything to maintain a stable, full-featured computing environment. This is what mature, stable products and industries are like. They work, and they’re built on decades of progress, but modern advances are infrequent and incremental.

In other words, there’s not much whiz bang happening in the personal computer world these days. It seemed, back in the PowerPC era, that we zipped from 233 Mhz to 3 Ghz in a matter of years. Since then, the only way to get more speed (as Arment mentions) is by adding an SSD drive, or maybe more RAM.

The personal computer has plateaued, argues Arment, so the focus – and, maybe most importantly, the excitement – switches to mobile computers. Not what are these devices, but what can these devices do.

This is where Apple shines. “Forget the details,” they tell us, “here’s how it makes your life better.”

Newton quote of the week – status bars

May 20th, 2009

“I am discovering my job is less about helping people with their computer problems, and more about watching an endless parade of status bars.”

- Thomas Brand, from his amazingly-cool My Newton Blog (and Twitter).

Update: Brand has changed his blog name to, ahem, Egg Freckles. How Newton-riffic is that?

NewtVid: ‘I’m poor, but I’m not retarded’

April 17th, 2009

A bit of fun today. It was only a matter of time before someone would parody the “Congrats, It’s a PC” ads by Microsoft.

Apple has already responded in their smug way, but this kind of thing is much better. I mean, not even the homeless guy will buy an HP.

I wonder how Blue Ray compatibility would help Homeless Frank’s cough?

Apple Mac fans more liberal, open than others?

January 19th, 2008

Turns out it might be true:

According to Mindset Media, people who purchase Macs fall into what the branding company calls the “Openness 5″ personality category– which means they are more liberal, less modest and more assured of their own superiority than the population at large. Mindset Media helps companies with strong brands develop ads targeted to people based on personality traits or people’s “mindsets,” and does research to that effect.

The story goes on to say that the Apple’s brand is very appealing to folks like us.

Read the rest of the story on Yahoo!

Apple (and Newton) lust.

November 29th, 2007

So there’s such a thing as Newton pornography.

Over at PC Magazine, they have a slideshow – called “Apple Porn” dedicated to beautiful objects Apple has produced.

It’s almost an iPhone prophet, the site says, but:

…this little “gem,” the Newton, was just ahead of its time in the mid-90s! Or something.

Or something? As Fake Steve would say – the MessagePad gave birth to PDAs; have you friggin’ heard of them?