“I counted all the clickable visual artifacts in this little bit of screen and got 46; I’d be amazed if anyone else got the same count.”
Debuting in 1993, the VCD was the answer to a film pirate’s prayers. VHS bootlegs degraded with each generation of copying, but digital video enabled every copy to be identical to the source disc. The pressing plants that manufactured music CDs could pump out VCDs en masse. By 1998 China had over 500 VCD companies and produced twenty million players per year. By 2000, players were in about a third of urban households. It became identified with low-end, Asia-centered piracy.Observations on film art : Pandora’s digital box: From the periphery to the center, or the one of many centers
Technology reveals us to ourselves as we always in fact were: networked, distributed, laced with code. I use the laptop for everything. I’m not even properly “awake” until it’s switched on. Word seems like the “natural” programme to write in now: the default, blank page 2.0. Before I got an iPhone, I used to do this daft thing of phoning myself up if I had a thought while out and about, and telling my home answering machine: “OK, write this down…” Now, you can just talk into the voice-memo app, with its retro oversize mic and quivering needle visual. The internet being just a click away is a blessing and a curse at once: you can find out instantly which year Egypt won independence or who Persephone’s mother was, but that essential solitude you need to write gets more and more elusive … While I was writing Remainder I listened to Rachmaninov a lot, just like the hero. And Gorecki and Paart. I like the voicelessness and quasi-repetition. I don’t own a Kindle. It’s strange: I like reading my own stuff on a screen, and other people’s on a page.Tom McCarthy: My desktop | Books | guardian.co.uk
I recently dug my Apple G4 Cube out from beneath the workbench in the basement. I was looking for otherwise forgotten bits of my published nonfiction for a forthcoming collection and had reason to believe there might be some on the Cube’s drive. I don’t usually keep my old computers, but I’ve kept the Cube because the “cube” itself is one of the best-looking pieces of hardware I’ve ever seen. The coolest thing about it, though, isn’t even visible, ordinarily. When you flip it upside-down, you see a flat bar of solid matte aluminum, recessed in a sheet of perforated matte aluminum. This bar has an odd, rather unfriendly-looking button at one end. When you press this, it rises an inch or so, smoothly, of its own accord, becoming a handle, while unlocking whatever holds the actual guts of the computer within its housing of transparent plastic and aluminum. This is such a magical touch, yet so modestly hidden, that I loved it immediately on first discovering it.William Gibson in ‘More Stories About Steve Jobs’ - BusinessWeek
Asus Eee Pad Slider Review, from the amazing @billyd
But e-books and nonlinearity don’t turn out to be very compatible. Trying to jump from place to place in a long document like a novel is painfully awkward on an e-reader, like trying to play the piano with numb fingers. You either creep through the book incrementally, page by page, or leap wildly from point to point and search term to search term. It’s no wonder that the rise of e-reading has revived two words for classical-era reading technologies: scroll and tablet. That’s the kind of reading you do in an e-book.
Gorgeously designed and thought out piece: Steve Jobs’ patents.
Of course, the draw of our devices is about more than relieving boredom (a goal the devices only occasionally achieve). It’s about getting a fix; reacting to a feeling of urgency that you’ve got to keep up with whatever it is that’s coming into your stream right now. Part of the power of the realtime web is that it can quickly make you feel like you can’t live without a flow of data that you easily lived without before you discovered it.Tweetage Wasteland : Does the Internet Make You More Connected?
Many people agree that revision 5.1a, specifically, was the best version of Word that Microsoft has ever shipped, combining utility and minimalist elegance with reliability. Sadly for me, although it wasn’t strictly necessary, after a few years and a colour Performa I “upgraded” to Word 98, and somehow the magic was gone. Yes, I turned off all the crappy lurid toolbars and tried to make the compositional space as simple as possible, but by this time Word was stuffed with all kinds of “features” that let you print a pie-chart on the back of a million envelopes or publish your cookery graphs to your “world wide web home-page”, and it already felt to me that Word was only grudgingly letting me write nothing but, you know, words. (via Steven Poole: Goodbye, cruel Word)