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Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

| 3 Comments | 621.39092
steve.jpgWhen I first switched on an Apple Macintosh computer in 1987, the first thing I saw was a tiny icon of a computer smiling at me. The "Happy Mac" eventually disapeared fifteen years later, but I still see it as an (if you excuse the pun) iconic example of Steve Jobs' philosophy of what computing was supposed to be about.

You could instantly see that Jobs was always emotionally involved in what Apple was doing. His keynotes weren't your average business presentations, they were events that everybody looked forward to. When he introduced a new product that he was excited about, like the iPhone, his eyes sparkled, and his enthusiasm translated to everybody in the room. Even when miscommunication happened (as during the early stages of the iPhone 4 release), it seemed to be because he was so emotionally connected to his products.

Jobs didn't just market products emotionally, he had them designed so that they would appeal to users in an emotional way. From the Happy Mac to the first bondi-blue iMac, to the first version of OS X that looked "so delicious you want to lick it". It's probably why the products create such strong emotional responses and why discussions between Apple users and Apple haters tend to heat up to ridiculous proportions.

Under Jobs' guidance, the company placed priority on preventing anything that could disrupt the emotional interaction between user and computer; this is the main reason why Apple's interface guidelines and the restrictions the company places on developers are so strict it's legendary. Still, the result speaks for itself: if people talk about hitting a computer or throwing it out the window, they never talk about an Apple Mac.

Don't buy this USB hub

| No Comments | 004.64

Hama USB 2.0 Hub 1:4 No. 00011467.

It's perfectly useless. Loses connections and devices all the time. Is definitely underpowered, even though it comes with a power adaptor. Stay clear of it. Don't waste your money. Buy a different USB hub.

Dein Herausgeber

| 4 Comments | 418.020285
Summary for English readers: The German version of Facebook uses the German word for "editor of a book" when it should use the word for "text editor". The question arises whether the protracted use of incorrect terms in this way will simply confuse people, or whether it can over time change the meaning of the wrongly used term.

Die Frage, die sich immer mehr stellt: werden Begrifflichkeiten, die eigentlich völlig falsch verwendet sind, irgendwann in dieser falschen Bedeutung in die Alltagssprache übernommen, nur weil sie an Stellen verwendet werden, die von vielen Leuten frequentiert werden? Aktuelles Beispiel: wenn Facebook aufgrund einer schlechten maschinellen Übersetzung einen Texteditor als "Herausgeber" bezeichnet, werden dann einfach nur viele Leute den Kopf schütteln, oder wird das Wort "Herausgeber" irgendwann einmal einfach die entsprechende Bedeutung übernehmen?

Und schreibt man "Pinnwand" wirklich mit Doppel-N?

Is the Flash plugin now mandatory?

| 3 Comments | 006.68

I have an iBook which dates back to the year 2001 and which still happens to work fine and is sufficient for most of the tasks that I'm using it for, which is pretty amazing as it still runs on a 500 MHz G3 processor, which is anything other than state of the art these days.

The only thing it doesn't like: Flash animations. Figure this: an 8 year-old notebook that works great and at acceptable speed at pretty much everything, but when I open a web page with a Flash animation on it, it slows down to a grinding halt.

So it seems to me that my super fast computer in the office needs to be super fast only to be able to display pointless advertisements on web pages? (well, not quite, but you get the point.)

Anyway, nothing easier than that, I thought. I can simply remove the plugin, and the iBook will run at an acceptable speed all the time.

Acceptable yes, less annoying no.

Tough luck

| 4 Comments | 005.14
I had spent 30 minutes on typing a lengthy article on a particularly interesting record I was listening to, but the browser crashed and took the article with it. So there'll be no interesting blog entry today. Sorry.