The Macintosh is 30. Like so many other people I am asking the same question: How the hell did that happen?
I remember the first time I used a Macintosh. I was a junior in high school in 1988 taking a basic drafting and architecture class. In the corner of the classroom was a small bank of Macs all loaded with illustration and CAD programs. Students who achieved a high enough grade got to use those computers for their projects. I was getting an “A” (one of my precious few at the time) and so I scored some much-ballyhooed computer time.
When I sat down in front of the Mac, I had no idea what it was. I don’t think I had even heard of it until I walked into that class. This will likely sound cliche but the whole experience was intuitive right from the start, from creating a new file, drawing the lines and shapes with the mouse to create the machine part plans, to saving the file, and the rest. I was always good at visualizing things, and the Mac was the first computer I had ever used that spoke my internal language. I could use my hand to draw and I was finally able to make a connection between the files I saw on-screen and the data on the disks. I loved using the Mac.
At home, I had a Commodore 64 and all I knew how to do with it was really basic BASIC programming and run games, both bought and pirated. When the 8-bit GEOS operating system was released, my use of the Commodore really took off because all of a sudden it could be used just as easily as the Mac. All of these disparate applications were finally unified in a single interface. I had a joystick as opposed to a mouse—if a mouse existed to use with GEOS I never knew about it—but that didn’t matter. Mucking about with files and navigating to the apps I needed to write papers and do homework was a lot easier. GEOS really brought value to the Commodore for me, more than anything I had ever done before, but it was never as streamlined an experience as using the Mac.
Around 1993, I finally got a Mac at home (thanks, Mom) and the Commodore went into a closet. Many years later, 2000 I think, I sold the still-unused Commodore and all of my software at the MIT Flea Market to some random college student for $50. I never looked back.
Part of the appeal of getting into graphic design for me was that the Mac was so prevalent. I knew that if I got a job doing graphic design that I could probably get my company to buy a Mac for me to use. Honestly, if it weren’t for the Mac, I’m not sure what I would have done for a living. As I proceed down the path to getting my computer science degree, using a Mac has yet to hold me back and I see a lot of Macs in the classroom, so I look forward to another 30 years of use.
Happy birthday, Macintosh.
“We overcooked it,” bassist/singer Geddy Lee tells Rolling Stone now. “The mixes were really loud and brash. The mastering job was harsh and distorted.”
Outside of electronic music, I’m not one who is terribly keen on artists remixing their work, but I’m really glad Rush remixed Vapor Trails now that I’ve had a chance to listen to it a few times. While it is still not a favorite of mine, there are some choice moments for me, much more so with the new mix. It is a much more reasoned album, and I am glad to have this on my iPhone in its entirety again. Well done, guys.
Imagine you hired a detective to eavesdrop on someone. He might plant a bug in their office. He might tap their phone. He might open their mail. The result would be the details of that person’s communications. That’s the “data.”
Now imagine you hired that same detective to surveil that person. The result would be details of what he did: where he went, who he talked to, what he looked at, what he purchased — how he spent his day. That’s all metadata.
This is not to say that what the NSA does is right or wrong, but this does set forth a clear definition of what actually is the content under contention. The above is the bulk of the article, the analogy is really spot on as what consists of metadata, but the rest is worth reading since the implications of this categorization are made inarguably clear. For those who wish to dive deeper, Mr. Schneier linked to a lengthy but fascinating article on how metadata can actually be used.
As states and districts continue to slash education budgets, as more kids play on traveling teams outside of school, and as the globalized economy demands that children learn higher-order skills so they can compete down the line, it’s worth reevaluating the American sporting tradition. If sports were not central to the mission of American high schools, then what would be?
The Atlantic: The Case Against High School Sports
That should be neither a rhetorical question nor one difficult to answer for anyone even with only half a brain.
After I finish school, I want to start a band. Particularly a jazz band that specializes in TV show themes, focusing on game shows, but other big band-sh theme. The Price Is Right theme is the first thing that made me think of this, but also the closing credits to Emergency is a catchy tune. But only until after I finish school. So, don’t. Tell. Anybody.
So, they remade Robocop. Hollywood does not have one original idea in their collective head do they? I mean, really, this is so 1987, and I didn’t think it was that good back then. Still, it’s good to see Michael Keaton back in the game.
The TI-83 Plus had helped me cultivate many of the overt and discrete habits of mind necessary for autonomous, self-directed learning. And even more, it did this without resorting to grades, rewards, or other extrinsic motivators that schools often use to coerce student engagement.
The Atlantic: Go Ahead, Mess With Texas Instruments
Articles like this make me wish I had glommed onto programming much earlier than I did.
The stack rank was a zero-sum game—one person could only excel by the amount that others were penalized. And it was applied at every level of the organization. Even if you were in a group of three high performers, it was very likely that one of you would be graded Above Average, one Average, and one Below Average. Unless your manager was a prick or an idiot or both, the ordering would reflect your relative skills, but that never came as too much comfort to the hard-working schlub who just wasn’t as good as the other two. . . This was my problem. I had three reports, A, B, and C, and they neatly fit into three categories: C was good, B was great, and A was fantastic.
Slate.com: Tales of an Ex–Microsoft Manager
I can see why, at least on paper, stack ranking has appeal if only because because the process creates an easy visual with which to gauge performance and relatively distribute rewards. In practice, however, stack ranking is invariably demoralizing by turning hard work into a pointless exercise, and should be abandoned immediately by everyone.