Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Why I Love the iPad (and it has nothing to do with Apple)

May 6, 2010

I can’t add much to the hype about the iPad going on right now, but I can add a little of my own perspective on why I love the device and everything it represents.

In 1991 I began working at a company called GO on an operating system named PenPoint. You can read about the interesting history of GO, EO, PenPoint and pen computing here:

http://www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/go/index.html
http://hembrow.eu/personal/eo.html
http://www.mactech.com/articles/frameworks/6_2/PenPoint_Brugge.html

Also the outstanding history of GO as a start-up in the book “Startup” by founder Jerry Kaplan

Jerry’s book, in particular, provides context for the quest to create a computing device that you could hold in your hands like a pad of paper and use unobtrusively. He tells the story of tossing a yellow legal pad on a table in a pitch to VCs and saying that is what he plans on building.

As part of the UI/Usability team (this was before the term “UX” was in vogue) at GO I was able to experience hands-on the wonder of people holding a computing device in their hand and using a pen to tap and write. It was truly “magical” (as is the iPad). The tablet computer broke down the walls that a keyboard and a vertical screen presented to users and made the entire experience as natural as any interaction with paper.

I believed then, as I do now, that computing devices should integrate naturally and unobtrusively into our daily lives and work. They should not put up “screens” that separate us from other people, but should slip into the quiet spaces left when people interact directly with each other. The experience of using these devices should be natural and require minimal learning on the part of the user.

The iPad is the first device to really bring all of this to life in an affordable manner. It solved the handwriting recognition problem by not trying to solve the problem at all (duh). It provides great battery life, a beautiful color screen (PenPoint was an innovator in grayscale in 1990…), always-on connectivity, and easy to acquire and install applications.

Every single thing that iPad does so well was part of the vision the team at GO and EO and all the ISVs had in mind, even of the technology was not in place to make it real. We were busy envisioning a future and then doing the best we could to turn that future into something tangible. Others, such as Microsoft, believed in the power of the pen as well and took their own path to making it real.

I love the iPad because it works as Jerry Kaplan, Robert Carr, and hundreds of others imagined a device should work. Bill Campbell, who was the CEO of GO, has been on the board of Apple for many years and a close associate of Steve Jobs. I imagine Bill smiles very fondly when he sees the iPhone and iPad and how they deliver such an amazing experience to millions of users every day.

Apple may be the only company capable of producing the iPad, but the iPad was inevitable. I love it because of what it does for me. I love it for the fact that my 7 year old daughter can pick it up and be “productive” instantly. I love it because it breaks down the barriers that laptops of silently erected in our day to day interaction.

I have waited 20 years for the iPad to become reality. It was well worth the wait.

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Sample survey

February 28, 2010

Just playing with the survey tool to see how it works! Thanks

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Coding?

September 24, 2009

Today I have:
* Brought MySQL up on one of the many domains I own
* Downloaded Expression Engine
* Started searching for an IDE for Web development on the Mac
* Worried about CSS

Why?
Well, it has been a long while since I wrote a website using anything more than a bunch of pre-built templates or MS ExpressionWeb. I think it is time to start to get my hands dirty again (in my ample spare time) and build something.

My PC at home is all decked out with the latest and greatest, but now I am toting this handy MacBook Pro around everywhere and want to use it for my development. What? Run Win7 on it? Absolutely will do that in a few weeks. But, also want the experience of using the Mac as my development platform.

After a couple of months now of using Mac OS as my primary system, I have to say I am generally underwhelmed. So many years of using Windows and the amazing strength of Win7 have created a pretty strong bias in me. This is after having used a Mac as my primary home machine form about 1985 until 2005. Long time, lots of Mac OS versions.

My years at MSFT taught me, however, the power of the Windows platform. It also taught me to be patient and suffer through the quirks of Vista knowing that Win7 was on the horizon. Through the Win7 beta period it impressed me more and more, from the performance on my NetBook to the beauty on my desktop big screen monitor.

Now, a new job and a new focus have put the Mac at the center of my day to day activity. I am going to be a fully dual platform type of fellow.

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Lamb burgers and truffled potato chips for dinner. Yum!

July 1, 2009
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I am at Vessel. Seattle. W/ a lightly carbonated “Not A Manhattan”. Molecular mixology!

July 1, 2009
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I am in downtown Seattle in a white room with white desks and colorful people. Name that agency!

July 1, 2009
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Feels like situation is driving me towards getting a Mac. For those that think I am biased against; had my first Mac in 1984 & 5 more after.

July 1, 2009