Archive for the ‘Macintosh’ Category

Kompetenceudvikling

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Umiddelbart er den tegning jo fin, men i min ungdom var det anderledes.

I begyndelsen af 70’erne var jeg meget optaget af den kommende dommedag, olien var ved at slippe op, The Limits to Growth dokumenterede at uanset hvad vi gjorde, så ville det gå galt, og at feks. de kommende supersoniske fly og raketter ville ødelægge ozonlaget.

Alt det var jeg meget bevidst om, og det var ikke noget jeg lærte i skolen, det var gennem Danmarks Radio, ikke mindst det hedengange P1 program: Leksikon.

I 1977 tog jeg så selv et kursus på Ungdomsskolen for at lære at programmere, i 1978 tog jeg kurset igen, på det alter ofrede jeg min spejderkarriere, som også var svært inkompatibel med sen 70’ernes fremherskende ideologi i Gymnasierne. Det var også svært inkompatibelt at arbejde med datamaskiner i sen 70’erne, så det droppede jeg også til fordel for politik og marginalkultur – nørden var ikke velset dengang…

Men dette, mit første program skrevet i BASIC, hang dog, trods alt, ved:

10 LET H=5
20 LET G=10
30 LET A=0.5*H*G
40 PRINT A

Og det mere generelle:

10 INPUT H,G
20 LET A=0.5*H*G
30 PRINT A

Senere, efter Gymnasiet hvor jeg startede på et teknisk universitet, rettede jeg ind, og har vel i min karriere været medvirkende til at kanalisere rigtig mange millioner, regnestykket er komplekst, til Seattle og Cupertino, men også til Indien, Kina og Ukraine.

Jeg magtede så ikke at gennemføre min uddannelse, men jeg har alligevel arbejdet professionelt det meste af tiden siden 1983, og jeg tør slet ikke regne min gennemsnitlige timeløn ud, og min månedsløn før skat har svinget fra 0 til 80.000, og min arbejdsuge fra 0 til over 100 timer.

Udokumenterede kompetencer

At du så næppe kan få et fast arbejde i det etablerede system, bla. pga. manglende dokumenterede kompetencer, er vore alles problem.

Pensum

Mit budskab er at du, når du har lært de basale færdigheder som at læse og skrive, så lær informationssøgning og kildekritik, herefter står du for din egen uddannelse, men find nogle gode lærere, det der populært kaldes venner.

Her kan du passende starte din egen uddannelse:

Og du kan fortsætte her:

Sjovt nok var det første programmeringssprog jeg lærte, i 1977, programmeringssproget BASIC, og det stadig er i udbredt brug, f.eks. til makroer i Microsoft Office, så det mest karrierefremmende du kan gøre, hvis du vil arbejde med udvikling af programmer, er måske stadig at lære BASIC.

Myten om den hurtige teknologiske udvikling

At den teknologiske udvikling går ekstremt hurtigt, er en vandrehistorie, dine udokumenterede, såvel som de dokumenterede, kompetencer indenfor teknologi er langtidsholdbare.

Her viser jeg bla. hvordan mit første program ville se ud i andre programmeringssprog, nå ja, det minder mig om hvor meget jeg elsker APL, det er måske det du skal lære først, dine kompetencer er så mindre brugbare, underdrivelse, hvis du skal have et arbejde som programmør i en virksomhed…

Samme program i APL som i BASIC :-O. Jep! Det skal læses fra højre mod venstre.

(∼R∈R°.×R)/R←1↓ιR?

2009 04 2 I Can Haz Code Mac Meetn Greet Kim Bach from Kim Bach

One more thing…

Resultatet af afstemningen som altid følger en Joy of Tech stribe? What would be highest on your list of things to teach in school?

46% svarede:

How to learn, and how to love to keep learning, … curiosity may have killed the cat, but it died as clever as a fox.

Vi lader lige den stå.

Tillykke med de 30 år Windows, du er ikke en pebersvend/mø

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Kære Windows,

Tillykke med de 30 år, du er ikke en pebersvend/mø, dertil har du for mange faste forhold.

Selv har jeg anvendt Windows siden 1986 og udviklet programmer til Windows siden 1987, så jeg har været med næsten fra starten.

My first copy of Windows 1.01

Historien om hvordan jeg blev Windows udvikler startede da jeg i 1986 lånte en Mac Plus, det var en fantastisk computer, og den viste mig fremtiden for brugergrænseflader, der indtil da var meget forskellig fra program til program, i VisiCalc skulle man anvende / for at tilgå en menu, i Lotus 1-2-3 var det F10, og moden skiftede hele tiden.

Min far arbejdede i LK, en producent af elektrisk udstyr, og han og jeg så en mulighed for at digitalisere forkalkulationen af elektriske fordelingsanlæg, også kendt som el-tavler, således at man udfra en forsidetegning kunne danne en stykliste og sende den direkte til LK.

Vi lavede et hurtigt mock-up.

LKad mock-up

Desværre lå landet sådan at ingen af mine kunder have Mac computere, så jeg gik i gang med en analyse af markedet for standard pc-programmel, hvor jeg havde kig på AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT og GEM Draw.

Problemet med disse programmer var at de ville kræve indkøb af licenser hvis man ville give programmerne gratis væk, og i øvrigt var det svært at lave integration med standardprogrammerne.

I de dage var det kotume at skrive alting selv, men allerede på det tidspunkt var der så mange forskellige eksterne enheder i form af mus, printere og grafikkort, at det var en uoverkommelig opgave, så nu koncentrerede jeg mig om standard grafiske brugerflader, specielt GEM og Windows.

Valget faldt på Windows, mest fordi det allerede var anbefalet som en genvej til det kommende OS/2.

Why I recommended developing for Windows

Jeg udarbejdede et tilbud og en analyse under navnet LKad:

Cover of LKad proposal

Jeg opstillede et budget.

LKad budget

Kunden accepterede og min virksomhed SmoothWare havde fået sin første ordre på kr. 80.000, en veritabel formue for en studerende i 1987.

Udvikling til Windows var svært det var en ganske anden arkitektur end man kendte fra MS/PC-DOS, og dengang var der ikke Google, udviklingsværktøjerne var rasende dyre og symbolsk debugging med det allerede dengang fremragende CodeView var egentlig kun mulig hvis man havde to computere, noget ingen havde dengang hvor den billigste computer kostede ca. 30.000.

Efter en hård kamp lykkedes det at levere et færdigt produkt med navnet LKTegn.

Actual LKTegn drawing

Actual LKTegn parts list

Det næste store problem var at Windows ikke var særlig udbredt, en licens kostede ca. 1.200 kr, og da der ikke fandtes ret mange programmer til Windows, var der intet marked.

Microsoft havde dog åbnet muligheden for at man kunne redistribuere Windows med sit program, under den forudsætning at der kun kunne køres et program af gangen.

I 1987 havde Microsoft ingen repræsentation i Danmark, så jeg måtte kontakte Microsoft Sverige, der undrende spurgte hvad jeg dog skulle bruge det til???

Nå jeg modtog ca. 50 siders jura, og fik min redistributions licens.

Herefter skulle programmet rulles ud til samtlige el-installatører i Danmark, det foregik på den måde at de fik et besøg af produktchefen, som var min far hvor han installerede LKTegn, sørgede for at det virkede og gav lidt undervisning.

LKTegn installation disks, including Windows 1.04 redistributables

Jeg arbejdede med videreudvikling af LKTegn frem til 2005, under navne som Swift og DACS, hvor jeg slap tøjlerne.

Jeg vil tro at mit arbejde som Windows udvikler har skaffet mig indtægter på mindst 10 millioner og Microsoft ca. det 10-dobbelte i licenser, økonomi er noget underligt noget.

Tak til Microsoft for med Windows at have skabt et kolossalt økosystem der ikke var bundet til bestemt hardware.

I dag er Windows under det største pres siden lanceringen af Windows 3.0, det bliver spændende om det overhovedet giver mening at tale om et traditionelt (desktop)operativsystem i fremtiden, det vil blive leveret over Internettet, mon Windows vil være her om 30 år? Næppe som vi kender det, men mon ikke LKTegn vil kunne afvikles alligevel i en eller anden virtuel maskine.

“Apple relateret psykose” – og hvad jeg hører mellem rillerne

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Macnyt T-Shirt - BOOM

Disclaimer: jeg er ikke fan-boi (længere), i 2005 var jeg dog nok blevet så begejstret for Apple at man måske kunne kalde den psykose jeg fik for “Apple relateret psykose”, en diagnose jeg har på fornemmelsen rent faktisk findes. Den gang slog jeg mine folder på en side der hedder Macnyt, og vi lavede sågar en T-Shirt konkurrence, et af mine forslag var det der vises her med, en med gode gamle Steve Jobs klichér.

Jeg kan i øvrigt anbefale denne kur mod “Apple relateret psykose”.

Ellers er det ret længe siden jeg har skrevet noget i forbindelse med en Apple præsentation, det var ellers noget jeg nød at gøre før det blev populært, men da f.eks. min mor havde hørt om iPhone før mig kunne jeg godt se hvor det bar hen.

Dette opslag, som i øvrigt nu til dags, faktisk er teknologijournalisternes gamle plade, har dog fået mig ud af fjererne.

KOMMENTAR Spil en ny plade, Apple | Viden | DR

I 2005, da jeg købte min første Apple computer var der ingen der anede hvem Steve Jobs var, jeg var blevet tillokket af en ny række lækre produkter som Mac Mini og iPod Shuffle.

På arbejdet, et mobilselskab, gik jeg rundt og forestillede mig at de borde der var fyldt med Nokia telefoner, pludselig var fyldt med Apple produkter, og folk grinede af mig, måske min ulykke at jeg aldrig har været i stand til at kapitalisere mine evner til at spå om fremtiden, men der kom da “Æbletræet.dk” ud af det. De andre fra Macnyt ville skrive en bog, men jeg synes da at vi skulle lave en åben og fri Wiki…

Mht. til gårsdagens præsentation, så synes jeg faktisk der var rigtig mange nye plader, man skal bare lytte mellem rillerne, og se den langsigtede strategi, som er en hidtil uset markedsdominans i distributionsledet af digitalt indhold.

Jeg føler at vi har vist ikke set den samme præsentation, og jeg synes måske at journalisterne skulle tie stille og rent faktisk se præsentationen, eller bedre, ignorere det.

Men de ved jo at Apple trækker klik, og jeg vil blot henvise til at alle danske teknologijournalister dømte iPad ude efter præsentationen i 2010.

Teknologijournalister har jo som regel iPhones, og er de første i køen til at købe en ny selv, men det giver måske street cred at se ud som man går i mod en strøm.

Lyt mellem rillerne

I går var der faktisk mere nyt end længe set, TV synes jeg faktisk er en ny plade, og det at give iPad en stylus er et direkte brud med et Steve Jobs dogme “if it has a stylus, it has failed”.

Nu er den tåbeligt navngivne Pencil jo noget ganske andet end en stylus, men alligevel er det overraskende og fornuftigt og iPad med en Lightning port? Og så ægte multitasking, det er altså første gang iOS får det, og det giver først rigtig mening nu, og efter min mening noget af det sidste der gjorde at jeg f.eks. ikke kunne skrotte pcen.

Og hov HVAD var det! Microsoft var på scenen som dem der vidste mest om produktivitetssoftware? Og jeg synes det lignede “Information at your fingertips” mere end Microsoft nogensinde har leveret før.

Hvis ikke det er relativt nyt (eller rettere gammelt – 1997), så ved jeg ikke hvad er.

Den gang udtalte Steve Jobs:

“The era of competition between Apple and Microsoft is over as far as I’m concerned,” Jobs announced. “This is about getting Apple healthy, this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry and to prosper again.”

Der kom så en krig igen, men efter Steve Jobs døde, og forbrugerelektronik, ikke computere, blev fokuspunktet for Apple, så er krigen slut, igen.

Det der er det nye er at Tim Cook gør det meget bedre end jeg havde fantasi til at forestille mig.

Det jeg hører mellem rillerne er partnerskaber og en uhørt grad af venlig, produktiv, kappestrid. Apple producerer ikke ret meget indhold selv, men leverer et sammenhængende økosystem der giver indholdsleverandører tryghed.

I den tid hvor krigen rasede sørgede Steve Jobs for at lave aftaler med indholdsleverandørerne, det gør Apple fortsat, og baseret på iTunes succes er de allesammen nu klar til at gå digitalt, og at de kan synliggøre deres varemærke gennem apps betyder mere end man forestiller sig.

Hvorfor skal man sælge sit indhold til nationale TV-kanaler, når man har direkte adgang til stuerne, og det uden reklamer.

“Tilbage til fremtiden”.

ps. Kære DR journalist, du må nok til at kigge dig om efter et nyt job, det kunne jo f.eks. være som tvOS app-udvikler, DR og TV2 mangler en.

New high-score

Monday, September 15th, 2014
New high score

As far as I can see, this was my 40K, and I average just a little more than 19 Tweets/day.

The Full Monty


ps. Just for the record, I have wasted FAR more than 333 hours on Twitter on my 10 accounts.

Passion for industrial design: The spotlight turns to…Jonathan “Jony” Ive

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Jony Ive - Apple Senior Vice President - Design

Yesterday, the 14th of October 2008, Apple had an event titled “The spotlight turns to notebooks”, where they unveiled a refresh of the MacBook Pro, a new version of the MacBook in aluminium and a new Cinema Display.

Clever spin
All of these announcements were already confirmed and leaked days before the event, Apple can’t or won’t, contain the leaks, and the new strategy seems to be to use the leaks to drive the hype.

Remembering how secretive Apple events used to be, I sort of, expected Steve Jobs to pull something out of the sleeves of his turtleneck, “one more thing”, but he didn’t, or did he?

One more “thing”
One notable thing about the event was that Steve shared the stage to such a high degree. This is a trend that has been going for some time, especially when it comes to events that focus on the Mac, it’s a bit like Steve isn’t that passionate about computers.

Luckily others are, and at this event Jonathan “Jony” Ive shined – and I’m not referring to the reflections from his shaved head.

It was simply a thrill to see this low-key, soft-spoken, man talk about the manufacturing process involved in producing the new MacBooks, the attention to detail, the months spend refining the new trackpad etc. etc.

Over the years, speculation as to who might take over the position as CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs, has been growing, and my first reaction was that I’d love to see Ive in that position, he’d be a natural.

But really that would be such a shame, so I’m convinced that Ive will stay in his current position, and there’s many more iconic designs hidden in that shiny bald head of his.

So watch the video where Ive talks us through the manufacturing process of the new MacBooks, it’s simply breathtaking.

Risky strategy?
The MacBooks themselves? To me they ooze quality. Apple has obviously decided that they will not address the current trend towards cheap notebooks, aka. netbooks, when asked Steve called it a “developing market”.

The strategy is risky, it defies the market, but I welcome it, and it will only mean that Apple will grow it’s market share in terms of revenue, instead of units moved. With these new notebooks, there’s no doubt that Apple owns the high-end market, and that’s where it’s the most fun, and profitable, to be.

The old MacBook product line has been plagued by quality problems, hopefully the new MacBooks addresses this, I’ll bet that this is the case, these are, to me, the first true Intel based notebooks, designed from the ground up for the Intel chips.

I’m tempted by Ive’s new industrial sculpture

The picture of Jonathan “Jony” Ive, that accompanies this article, is a frame from the video issued by Apple for the launch of the MacBook Aluminium, it’s Copyright Apple Inc. I hope that my use here is considered “Fair Use”.

Currently the video is available on the Apple Website here, it’s likely to be moved, and it’s a good guess that it’s already on YouTube. The video is produced much like a documentary, really professional marketing on Apple’s part.

Æbletræet.dk fylder 2 år – stort til-held-og-lykke og Elvis har forladt bygningen

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Elvis Smoking - By Esben ThomsenI går, den 3die April, kunne Æbletræet.dk fejre sin 2 års fødselsdag. Æbletræet.dk er et Internetbaseret, indholdsdrevet, fællesskabs projekt der startede som en idé om at skabe en begynderguide til Mac, men er endt med at være en af de, ja måske det, største Danske online fællesskabsdrevne indholdsdrevne Internet projekter. Projektet er dog, for længst, gået skridtet videre, og indeholder nu artikler om meget andet end Apple.

Historien om Æbletræet, eller MacWiki som det oprindelig hed, er dokumenteret på Wikien, hvilket er ganske unikt, som du kan finde på http://www.theappletree.dk (jeg bruger – bevidst – den Engelske version – da projektet – naturligvis – som nogle af de første – benytter en IDN (International Domain Name) – nogle skulle jo starte, og det blev os.

Ideen til Æbletræet udsprang af det danske forum for Apple fans, Macnyt.dk, en gruppe af faste brugere var blevet trætte af at besvare de samme spørgsmål om og om igen, så det blev diskuteret om man kunne skrive en bog eller lignende.

Fra start af var det klart, for mig, at man absolut ikke skulle skrive en bog, men lave det online på Internettet, og jeg havde noget i baghånden, MediaWiki, det samme system som driver Wikipedia – der er åben og fri software.

Første møde blev afholdt den 3-April-2006, og da jeg kom hjem installerede jeg MediaWiki på min server og oprettede de første artikler.

Der gik noget tid inden de andre projekt deltagere forstod ideen, og indlæringskurven for MediaWiki er ikke just lav, derfor opsatte jeg også et traditionelt forum, som stadig kan findes på http://macwiki.kimbach.org/portal, og diskussionen flød.

Det er fantastisk at arbejde sammen om at producere indhold, og når man kan se at der er mange rettelser på MediaWikis recent changes, så virker det simpelthen ganske inspirerende, og man får lyst til at skrive mere.

Jeg føler det er nødvendigt at aflive nogle myter, da den slags opstår når folk ikke taler sammen.

  • Jeg har ingen ambitioner om at være leder eller bestemme noget som helst
  • Jeg er blevet beskyldt for at tage Æbletræet som gidsel – det kan jeg ikke se – grunden til at vi ikke er på PHP5 – som jeg helt ærligt – ikke forstår er så vigtigt – er at vores udbyder Site5 ikke understøtter det, og da projektet er baseret på gratis og frivillig arbejdskraft, så har det været svært at få ejeren af serveren til at bruge tid til at få flyttet server

Og så et par ord om hvordan jeg fungerer: jeg bliver stresset af at tænke på produktions-problemer, og i påsken forsøgte jeg at opgradere Æbletræet.dk, det gik ikke helt som ventet, jeg bad derfor om, først at få os på PHP5, derefter ville jeg installere MediaWiki 1.12, og så flytte til Gigahost (hvilket jeg ikke tror er så god en idé), hvis man spørger kan man jo få svar, og jeg venter på min frivillige hjælper.

Fundamentalt hader jeg simpelthen drift, og her mener jeg ikke den første installation, men de problemer der – næsten altid – opstår når man skal opgradere serveren – så vidt jeg husker – så har vi nu ikke haft de store produktions problemer – en enkelt gang var vi nede i 48 timer – fordi Site5 havde skiftet IP adresser.

En grundregel – som gælder al drift – er: “if it ain’t (totally) broke – don’t fix it” – på Dansk: “pil ikke ved noget der fungerer, også selv om det ikke fungere helt optimalt”. At dette så betyder at “change” ikke sker, er uheldigt, men det er simpelthen ikke noget man kan byde frivillig arbejdskraft – så ting tager tid!

Jeg har – længe – forsøgt at få vores server opgraderet til PHP5, men igen – frivillig arbejdskraft skal man ikke presse – man må væbne sig med tålmodighed. Tro mig, jeg ved det – for 3 år siden prøvede jeg at køre et del-projekt i min Frivilliggruppe hårdt, det faldt ikke i god jord – og folk hadede det jeg producerede, men jeg producerede! Siden dengang har jeg væbnet mig med tålmodighed.

Efter 2 år kan projektet dog, sagtens, stå på egne ben, og jeg føler at min fortsatte deltagelse i projektet ville betyde en fragmentering af fællesskabet, der – efter min mening – ganske enkelt ikke brug for endnu et Dansk Apple site, og nøj hvor er det imponerende med de nye Apple fora, som i kan se havde vi et Drupal baseret forum allerede for 2 år siden.

Jeg vil derfor, fremover, ikke deltage i projektet som andet end bidragyder, med mindre jeg bliver udelukket – hvilket jo ikke kan udelukkes (pun intended).

Faktisk er det eneste jeg er ked af, at jeg har mistet en fantastisk god ven – det bedste minde jeg har er dengang vi bagte en kage til brug for Dansk Flygtningehjælps 1000 flere arrangement, og jeg undskylder MANGE MANGE gange for Beyoncé, som blev Skypet til dine sarte ører mangen sen nat.

Det sjoveste er faktisk at vi, mest fordi vi havde en åben proces, blev udsat for en domænehaj. macwiki.dk blev registreret af en af den slags personer ,der ikke burde have lov at betræde Internettet, sjovt nok blev navnet jo æbletræet.dk, så fjolset brændte inde med domænet LOL.

God vind kære Æbletræ, det har været fantastisk sjovt! Specielt tak til David, Esben men også Thomas x 2, Wendelboe, Sebastian, Allan, Liv for at have holdt mig ud så længe, noget af en bedrift ;-).

Et par fakta – Æbletræet.dk kører videre, så længe det ønskes. Hvis der er interesse i at bevare navnet, hvilket jeg da tvivler på, så kan det redelegeres, jeg ejer det p.t. I øvrigt sletter jeg aldrig indhold, men da vi ved at dublikeret indhold er noget Google ikke bryder sig om, trækker jeg stikket så snart der er flertal for det.

Jeg er blevet beskyldt for gidseltagning – intet er mig fjernere – jeg er SUPER stolt af at have været med til dette – og det var det jeg kunne få jer med til. Fremtiden tilhører egen-produceret indhold, som man selv hoster og ejer, websitet er dødt! Elvis har forladt bygningen.

Billedet der ledsager denne artikel er en manipulation udført af Esben Thomsen, det er Copyright Esben Thomsen, men jeg håber at dette falder under fair use. Esben kender mig bedre end de fleste, og det “grønne skrig” opsumerer “mig” ganske godt (man kunne sige perfekt)

ICT Mythbusters Episode 2: Attack of the Clones! Or Is Microsoft just copying Apple? Or A Tale of Type

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Banner Mb-Cafepress

Welcome to ICT Mythbusters Episode Two – this time we’ll be investigating the myth that Microsoft is just copying Apple. The post is indeed subtitled “Attack of the Clones”, but bear with me, I have to take a detour to the world of digital typography, before returning to the real topic, so if you’re the impatient type (pun intended), just proceed to the end of the article.

ICT Mythbusters is inspired by the great Discovery show Mythbusters, and you’ll find Episode One here.

Is Microsoft just copying Apple?

Among Apple Macintosh faithfuls, it’s considered common knowledge that Microsoft, with Windows, just made a bad copy of the Apple Macintosh, but who’s copying who?

Erik Spiekermann from the Helvetica DocumentaryWhat triggered me to revisit this myth, that I’ve covered in detail before, was the screening of the great documentary, Helvetica, that I went to yesterday.

In the Helvetica movie Apple Computers was very much the supporting actor, and Apple was indeed mentioned in the credits. More prominently one of the Gurus of Type design, Erik Spiekermann, stated, as a fact, that Microsoft Windows was nothing more than a clone of the Apple Macintosh.

Spiekermann’s statement sounded just like the Apple marketing hype, and the fact that it was being stated by a very influential person in the industry, triggered me.

Firstly: I was somewhat surprised to hear this in a documentary about type. There’s no doubt that all the graphic designers interviewed for the documentary were already using Apple hardware, but I found it strange that Spiekermann’s statement didn’t end up on the cutting floor.

Show some love for the Mac

First there’s no doubt that Microsoft, and Bill Gates always has been great fans of the Apple Macintosh, as the clip below documents:

To create a new standard, it takes something that is just not a little bit different, it takes something that is really new, and really captures people’s imagination, and the Macintosh, of all the machines I’ve seen, is the only one that meets that standard

Case closed: Bill Gates just admitted that Windows is nothing more than a cloned stormtrooper.

Now wait a minute…As you might notice the clip is quite old, and at that time Microsoft was working on creating one of the key selling points, even to this date, for Apple hardware, the Excel spreadsheet.

Excel was originally developed for the Macintosh, and it wasn’t released for Windows until the the dying moments of the 1980ies. In fact, Microsoft has done more for the proliferation of the Apple Macintosh than any other software manufacturer, and you could argue that the commitment to the Macintosh platform that Microsoft guaranteed at the famous MacWorld keynote in 1997, was a pivotal turning point. Steve Jobs even declared:

We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to loose. […] The era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft, as far as I’m concerned that is over.

And then Jobs went on to establish the fact that Apple and Microsoft, together, is the standard with a combined market share of 100%. Whatever Apple and Microsoft does is the standard.

Well I’m sure the $150 million investment by Microsoft, and the televised image of Bill Gates in the background, had something to do with it, but Steve Jobs was just saying exactly what the stockholders and board-members wanted to hear.

What’s your type?

The market for Apple Macintosh was very much created by the fact, that the Macintosh Computer was the first desktop computer capable of doing print quality design, this revolutionised publishing.

Really it wasn’t so much Apple’s technology that helped create this market, as it was the PostScript technology developed by Adobe.

Until PostScript, all fonts used by desktop computers were so called bit-map fonts, it meant that the fonts were digitised to a specific resolution, and they looked horrible if you tried to scale them to a different point size than the one that was provided with the operating system.

Another problem with the bit-map fonts was that they required a lot of storage, laser-printers use a resolution of 300 DPI (dots per inch), a point in typography is 1/72 of an inch, meaning that 12 point X roughly requires 50 x 50 pixels = 2.500 pixels, and you needed that matrix for all 256 possible characters in the character sets used until the 90ies, a rough calculation yields 640.000 pixels, in bytes that is 80.000, meaing that you’d need approximately 80KB to represent a 300DPI bit-map font. Multiply that by several factors, because the italic and bold versions need their own representation as well, and that should once again be multiplied by the number of fonts installed.

Today this doesn’t sound like much, but remember that the first Macintosh came with only 128KB of RAM, and NO harddrive. In those days a Linotype typesetter had a resolution that was a factor 16 higher, so Houston we have a problem.

Mathematics to the rescue

The PostScript technology used mathematics to describe the fonts (quadric Bézíer curves), making them scalable to all sizes, and a special “hinting” algorithm that reduced the processing power needed when rendering the types.

The technology is known as Adobe Type 1. Adobe had also secured licensing deals with Linotype, the dominant player in the type-foundry business, and owner of a huge share of the mainstream fonts.

The fact that that you could do close to print quality proofs on the desktop, and then simply send the PostScript files to the Linotype typesetter, for print quality, and be confident that the result would look the same as the proof, was nothing short of a revolution.

Fight the power – TrueType this

So heavenly bliss, we had scalable fonts of “infinite” quality, and thanks to the software Adobe Type Manager (ATM), type 1 fonts also worked on the screen, delivering the holy grail of desktop publishing, true WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).

So what was the problem with this? The problem was the exorbitant licensing fees that you had to pay Adobe to use the technology and Linotype for the use of their copyrighted fonts.

One of my favourite parts of the Helvetica documentary, is in the scene where we’re taken to the “holiest of holy”, deep below the HQ of Linotype, where they keep the original Hass designs for Helvetica, it’s their “precious”.

Another problem with Adobes technology was that it was very processor intensive, making the screen rendering of the fonts quite slow. Anyone that has ever used ATM on early 90ies hardware will know what I’m taking about.

So Apple was developing a competing technology, TrueType, and later Microsoft and Apple worked together to create an alternative to type 1. Microsofts work included the introduction of replacements for the predominant fonts of the day, Helvetica became Arial, Times Roman became Times New Roman and Courier became Courier New.

Microsoft has contributed a number of major enhancements to TrueType, mainly ClearType, which is an anti-aliasing technology to improve the readability of screen fonts. The technology, which is bundled with Microsoft Reader, has failed to make to much of an impact, but anti-aliasing of screen fonts is the standard today.

Back to the real topic – who’s stealing from who

Oh well, this was a long talk about type, fonts and technology, and proof that the competition between Microsoft and Apple mostly takes place in the minds of the faithfuls (devotees?) of the “Church of Steve Jobs”.

Why is it that neither Bill Gates nor Steve Jobs really want to talk about copying, well it’s because Windows AND Mac OS both are clones.

Xerox Star 8010The work that is the foundation of all graphical user interfaces was done at the Palo Alto Research Center of XEROX, but XEROX being a hardware company, also developed hardware, and the XEROX Documenter or XEROX 8010 Star that really was the first modern computer.
The Star was introduced on April 27th in 1981, several months earlier than the IBM PC. The Macintosh, Windows and GEM shipped 4 years later.

Despite the fact that it wasn’t until the introduction of the NeXT computer, that the mainstream computer industry delivered anything remotely akin to the Star, XEROX failed to make the Star a mass-market product

Attack of the clones! MYTH BUSTED!

Today most people are oblivious of the fact that the Imperial clones were ordered by the agents of the Empire, the ICT equivalents of Count Dooku and Palpatine: Apple and Microsoft. The praise for creating the fantastic tools we have in our hands today should go the XEROX, the Palo Alto Research Center and the amazing people that worked there, for instance Alan Kay, whom Steve Jobs often quotes.

Mythbusted

References

The picture of the real myth busters, Adam Savage and Jamie Heyneman, actually is a banner add, but I make ABSOLUTELY no money from it, if you click it and make a purchase, all proceeds go to the Jamie, Adam and of course Café Press. I hope this will settle any copyright issues with them.

The picture of Erik Spiekermann above, is a still from the Helvetica film, and it is copied from the official site of the Helvetica film. The picture is copyright Gary Hustwit, but I consider my use here to be fair use.

The picture of the XEROX 8010 Star is copied from the wonderful DigiBarn website. The picture is copyright DigiBarn, but since it is under a CC-NA-SA license, I can use it – the wave of the future!

The MYTH BUSTED picture was copied from the webiste of MARIJNBOSCH.COM, there’s no copyright notice on the site, and I consider my use here to be fair use.

“Linux! The last OS you’ll ever wear”: Kim Bach – Former Mac user

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Bad Apple

Overheard during Software Freedom Day 2007, September 15th in Copenhagen, Denmark:

I don’t know much about Linux! And you’re an open source activist?

(more…)

Moonlighting: Microsoft Delivers Silverlight 1.0, Extends Support to Linux

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Microsoft Silverlight LogoMicrosoft Delivers Silverlight 1.0, Extends Support to Linux: “Entertainment Tonight” HSN and World Wrestling Entertainment showcase new online experiences; more than 35 partners commit to Silverlight Partner Initiative.

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 4, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today released to the Web (RTW) Silverlight™ 1.0, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering richer user experiences on the Web. In addition, Microsoft will work with Novell Inc. to deliver Silverlight support for Linux, called Moonlight, and based on the project started on mono-project.com.

Silverlight significantly reduces development and deployment costs and provides enhanced Web audio and video streaming and playback using industry-leading Windows Media® Technologies. Microsoft unveiled new Silverlight customer experiences on “Entertainment Tonight,” HSN and World Wrestling Entertainment, and also launched the Silverlight Partner Initiative, a program designed to foster collaboration among solution providers, content delivery networks, tools vendors and design agencies.

“Our expectations for compelling, immersive experiences on the Web are increasing daily,” said Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect. “With today’s release of Silverlight 1.0, we’re making it possible for developers and designers to deliver to individuals the kind of high-def experiences they crave by integrating data and services in rich and unique ways. Silverlight will further accelerate the growth in rich interactive applications by giving developers and designers new options for delivering great experiences that span the Web, PC, phone and other devices.”

I think my jaw just hit the floor, this exceeds my wildest dreams – let’s hope that it’s not just that – and that it will materialise.

This is the validation that the Mono Project needed! Flash will now – finally – get serious competition – or rather a run for it’s money – from a company that understands, and listens to, developers (no “monkey dance” here – they just do!).

It’s WONDERFUL news. GO RAY OZZIE, Microsoft will be “insanely great” – unlike “another” company – that no longer has ANY interest in computers!!!

And guess what: I just started as a Microsoft developer again – seems that I got the timing right.

Get Silverlight 1.0 here (yes: it’s ALSO for the Mac)…

“Hello Kitty” – Leopards are KEWL but I want something CUTE (and FREE)

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Baby Clouded LeopardAfter being AWOL from Macnyt – lurking and being EXTREMELY bored with what was going on there, I’m, Bach! (For a short notice I think…)

Poor new user BTW. I have since repented and answered on-topic. Sometimes we’re not too friendly to new users @ Macnyt – thank you for pointing that out Cathrine – and read on! This is not as boring as usual – ah maybe it is – or rather: “it has no interest what-so-ever” to you ;-))”.

Well, a common Macnyt scenario (when I’m involved;-)), unfolded:

It started by me “thread-jacking” a serious discussion about “if you should wait for the next version of Mac OS X: Leopard to buy a Mac, in order to save a few – 129 actually – bucks” (:: macnyt :: danmark :: – Leopard eller Tiger) (a frequent – and ANNOYING – asked question BTW. Come on: if you need a computer get it ASAP – Leopard will not improve your creativity significantly compared to Tiger, but a MacBook Pro most likely will – to quote Ben Hammersley: “Da Vinci would have killed for a PowerBook”).

“Hello Kitty”

Well, the thread took a major turn, and we began discussing “cats” (and Nintendo DS – but I’ll save that for another time)!

I think that Leopards are KEWL, much more so than Tigers, and I also found out that they’re TOO CUTE (for proof look here: Clouded Leopard Project – Babies, from where the picture for this article was taken).

But “we’re” running out of names for “cats”: Puma, Cheeta, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger and Leopard already in use , so I began throwing ideas for new names for Mac OS X around, suggesting Felix, Norwegian Forrest Cat – and indeed it turned out that a lot of people already had ideas like that (and one I – and others – had in mind actually feel victim to self-censorship ;-)).

Mac OS X 10.6 – “Garfield” (LOL) would be great, and a computer that refused to start on Mondays would not be such a bad idea after all, even though edible drives made from Lasagna might not. But really: the current batch of Macs are “obese” as it is, they need to go on a diet, something Garfield will NEVER do.

Anyways…This made me think that Apple should create a CUTE version of Mac OS and call it:

Mac OS X 10.6: “Hello Kitty”

Here kitty, kitty, kitty…Ubuntu killed the cat

My good buddy Esben was quick to point out that Gibbons and Fawns are WAY KEWLer than Cats, and would have a brighter future, if some big players like Adobe agreed.

Shuttleworth could maybe “forget some boxes” at Adobes offices, if there’s still room next to “boxes” Steve already has “forgotten” there.

CS on Linux would be the ultimate “Cat killer”. Actually I think this is bound to happen, Adobe is looking for new markets, and ways to distance themselves from Microsoft and Apple, and with the increasing support for Linux that Adobe is rolling out (Flash and Apollo), I’m optimistic, and Shuttleworth can keep spending his money on Ubuntu.

Apple should fear that day, all they will be left with is Microsoft Office.