journals

Happy Holidays from .mac!

Got .mac? If so, Apple just gave you some more goodies. From MacNN:

This morning, subscribers to Apple’s .Mac internet service will be greeted by a number of new ‘holiday’ membership perks, including a free game and downloadable chapters from a new Mac book.

Link to Article | .mac



On the use of computers

It has occurred to me that a lot of what I use my computer for is something related to the computer itself, like programming or reading about programming.  This led me to think, how many people use their computers more for the sake of using the computer than to actually do something?  Sure, I spend plenty of time writing music, using Photoshop or just playing games.  But my major is in computer science, which uses programming as its primary tool of applying its concepts.

So how many people use their computers to make the computer better?  After all, that’s all that programming is, right, a way to make a computer better?  There are no applications that I know of that animate a monkey eating a banana; writing one would suddenly make the computer that much better, right?  Think of all the time that has been spent on programming major applications and OS’s like Linux, PHP, Apache, and so on.  What are all these for?  To allow someone, somewhere, to do a task better.  Why were they programmed?  To improve the computer.

See, there’s a fundamental difference between using a computer to paint a picture and using it to program Painter 7.  In the first case, the computer merely serves as the brush for the artist to transfer her thoughts.  In the second, the computer is also a tool, but it is a tool to allow the programmer to express himself through code and to create a program to improve the computing…
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iPhone?

Well, the old iPhone rumors are swirling again, but this time there may be some truth to it:

“We’ve said we have something coming on this in the first half of 2005 and we’re definitely on schedule for that. Hopefully you’ll be able to see more about it soon,” says Eddy Cue, vice president in charge of applications at Apple.

The Forbes article speculates that this mythical phone may debut at MWSF in January 2005. So, Apple, given your track record on not commenting on future products until they are unveiled, are you now looking for a new Applications VP?

Link to Article



Finals. Ugh.

One more to go Monday.

Excuse me as I collapse onto the floor.



Apple copying MS? Or is it BS?

Looks like Paul Thurrott will hear the wrath of Mac users again.

Spotlight’s biggest claims to fame, presumably, are its near-instant search results and support for document meta data, both of which are, again, planned features of Longhorn. But no matter. While Apple has been busy copping Windows features since Jobs returned to Apple in late 1996, the company’s tiny market share ensures that very few people will benefit from Spotlight, despite Apple claims that it will deliver on desktop search a year before Microsoft ships Longhorn.

Link to MacNN article. | Link to WinSuperSite Article

Let me first say that both companies copy each other. For example, Apple borrowed Fast User Switching, Microsoft borrowed iMovie. Apple added integrated faxing into the OS after Windows did, Microsoft borrowed the idea of the iTunes Music Store. That said, should Thurrott even bother to say that “Apple has been busy copying Windows since Jobs returned to Apple”? And has Apple really been copying Windows all that time? I don’t see Apple copying the Windows XP look and feel, the Windows XP task-based UI, or even the Taskbar (The Dock is evolved from the NeXT Dock, which came long before Windows 95 and I’ve heard some argue that the Dock inspired the Taskbar).  Mr. Thurrott, let’s remember that the BeOS had a database file system, (or at least database-like; I don’t know the technical details; if you do, let me know) long before Tiger and Longhorn. Let’s keep in mind that Copland was supposed…
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