Category Archives: Software

Keynote Thoughts/Reactions


There has been so much written about the Steve Jobs keynote on Monday that I’ve been too busy reading to make any of my own comments.

Overall, the biggest surprise of the keynote for me was the lack of surprises.

Leopard’s “top secret” features were very slick (new desktop, new Finder), but not as earth-shattering as I had hoped. (Note that I’m still looking forward to Leopard almost as much as the iPhone.)

If the keynote felt a bit disappointing, it is surely the fault of having one year since we first saw some of Leopard’s most impressive features.

Here are some quick notes on the keynote:

  • Stacks: Stacks The long-fabled feature finally debuts as a part of the Dock.

    These icon groupings function a lot like the tabbed Pop-Up Folders from Mac OS 8 (or, for the cynics, like more sophisticated versions of folders in the Dock).

    They store a lot of items together (files, folders, apps) and fan them out (or display them in a grid) when clicked. When you’ve chosen the item you were looking for, the stack snaps back to its compact icon on the Dock.

    This should be especially handy, given the introduction of a new Downloads stack in the Dock to store all downloaded files as they come in. (I love the little hop that the stack makes when a new download arrives!)

    Sadly, stacks seem to work only in the Dock.

    Continue reading

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  • Vulture – New York Magazine »

    New York Magazine’s new (pop) culture blog. If the quality and volume of their first full day is any indication, this will surely be a must-RSS for anyone into entertainment. Super design, too.

    Looking back on our first day:
    We cheered on A.O. Scott as he ripped Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter a new one.
    We watched a little HBO. And a little more.
    We heard hipsters call Jonathan Lethem a racist.
    We filmed Hot Chip rocking out at Webster Hall.
    We read Chuck Palahniuk’s latest craziness.
    We discovered that Pete Wentz loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
    We saw Mike Daisey get wet and then get angry.
    And we counted three up and two across, tapped a brick, and wound up on Diagon Alley.

    (via Magnetbox)

  • Coda »

    coda-leaf1.pngI’ll probably write up a review of this in the next day or two, having spent the last day living in it, but Panic‘s new web-coder app is slick and definitely the hottest thing on the Mac blog circuit today. Definitely worth a look.

    It’s also fun to look at the beaming from two of its proud parents on their blogs:

  • Disney Rumor du Jour »

    Okay — I couldn’t resist posting a link to this. The latest in a long string of rumors on Disney buying land for a new theme park (and resort). Some tantalizing clues, but, as the article points out, this is just one in a long line of ‘secret new theme park’ rumors.
    (via The Disney Blog)

    Update The News-Leader has a follow-up story on Disney’s denials. It’s always interesting to see how much of a tumult rumors about well-known companies like Disney (or Apple or Sony, etc.) can cause. (Updated 4/29, 10 am Pacific.)

…quick clicks…

  • Making your own Wanted poster »wanted

    During Topshop’s London Fashion Week Mania, two black Mac Books were reportedly stolen. For the uninitiated, Macs ship with a clever little app called Photo Booth that uses the Mac’s built-in iSight camera to take portraits and add fun-house photo booth special effects (for fun, or to use as login pictures, IM icons, etc.). Apparently, Topshop had equipped these laptops with a special plugin that caused Photo Booth pics to be automatically uploaded to a Flickr gallery in the background as part of an interactive store display demo.

    Apparently, these clever thieves have found Apple’s Photo Booth software so irresistible that they have taken many of their own pictures — which PhotoBooth has dutifully uploaded to Topshop’s gallery.

    They are continuing to take and unwittingly post photos, so if you’re in the London area, take a good look and maybe you can catch a thief! Interesting to think that an Interface could be so much fun to use that it could trap a thief. Link » (Thanks to MacUser)

  • Microsoft is Dead »

    From Paul Graham:

    I didn’t notice when the shadow disappeared. … But it’s gone now. I can sense that. No one is even afraid of Microsoft anymore. They still make a lot of money—so does IBM, for that matter. But they’re not dangerous.

    Of particular interest is Graham’s assertion that “everyone can see the desktop is over. It now seems inevitable that applications will live on the web—not just email, but everything, right up to Photoshop.” Is it really though? If you have thoughts on the desktop model vs. the new generation of web-based apps, leave a comment.

    For my part, I think it’s a little early to make such sweeping pronouncements. I still feel that the future is in apps that exist in both worlds, harnessing both the hooks, privacy, and storage of the desktop and the interoperability, updates, and community of the internet. Something so simple as Mac OS X’s Dashboard (bonus Leopard link), where net content is wrapped in a truly convenient desktop app is an easy example. Link » (Thanks to Daring Fireball)

  • Opening the box »

    You’ve just spent many pretty pennies on your brand new computer, and you eagerly open the box like a child on Christmas morning. You’re excited to play with a new toy, welcome a new friend, but…

    As Walt Mossberg explores, if it’s a Windows PC, your first excitement will be doused by dozens of “craplets” that get in the way of moving into a new computer, take up hard drive space, and — perhaps worst of all — make your beautiful new computer into a sluggish billboard-fest. When the interface is hijacked, it makes the computer a lot less friendly and a lot less pleasurable to use. Is the added revenue from the demo-makers really worth it? Link »

Required Reading

Wonderful discussion of software interface efficiency, starting with