As Mac OS X was starting out in 2001, Jonathan Ploudre looked back at BeOS, which Apple had considered as a potential replacement for the Classic Mac OS when it gave up on its Copland project. BeOS had much to commend itself, including a whole different kind of system architecture that made even older Macs […]
Author Archives: Jonathan Ploudre
In this series of articles from 2001, Jonathan Ploudre looks at the unfulfilled promises of PowerBooks – and where they really come through.
In early 2001, just as the first version of iTunes was coming to market, Jonathan Ploudre wrote a short series of articles on home networking and setting up an old Mac as a network appliance.
In 2000, Jonathan Ploudre did a lengthy series of articles explaining where work bottlenecks are and provided tips on how to best work around them. Speed Reconsidered points out the real world performance isn’t always related to hardware speed. Bottlenecks: What Is Your Mac’s Slowest Component? explains that the thing that most holds back your […]
Back in 2000, Jonathan Ploudre wrote a 4-part series on Macs and font technologies. Over a dozen years later, they still have some helpful insights. A History of Font Technologies looks at the way the Macintosh changed everything by displaying regular, bold, italic, outline, and different sized fonts on your screen. Macintosh System Fonts looks at the […]
2002 – A few weeks ago, I jumped five years of computer history. I switched from a 200 MHz 603e-based Motorola StarMax 3000 Mac clone to a recently discontinued 933 MHz Quicksilver 2002 Power Mac G4.
2001 – For a while in the late 1990s, Voodoo was the hottest name in video cards. It popularized OpenGL and GLIDE as programming interfaces for 3D graphics used in games.
2001 – One of the recurrent themes in computer advertising today is the “digital lifestyle.” Intel says that their Pentium 4 is the center of our digital world. Apple says that it wants to be our digital hub. People talk about going digital and wanting bits instead of atoms.
2001 – One of the recurrent themes in computer advertising today is the “digital lifestyle.” Intel says that their Pentium 4 is the center of our digital world. Apple says wants the Mac to be our digital hub. People talk about going digital and wanting bits instead of atoms.
On Low End Mac, we are interested in value computing – getting the most for your money. Usually we look at ways to do cool things with inexpensive Macs, like using a Quadra as an MP3 server. But when is the right time to forsake the low end? Is there a point where the time […]
Last week I talked a bit about Linux and the low end. Linux offers some of the same modern foundations of Mac OS X, but it can run well on older computers. Last week I hinted that I would talk about the fatal flaw of Linux.
Last week I was reading an article [no longer online] about how one county was saving several million dollars a year by implementing Linux on all it’s desktops. It wasn’t only the Information Technology department – it was secretaries, receptionists, firefighters, police officers, and other county employees.
2001 – I remember first reading a review of the original PaperPort scanner from Visioneer* in the mid 1990s. It was brilliant – a tiny sheet-fed scanner that could slurp up a typewritten page and automagically turn it into a word processing document.
August 2001 – With Mac OS X 10.1 Puma on the horizon, I want to step back and look at Apple’s other point one releases: 7.1, 8.1, and 9.1.
Last week I talked about Quicken. At one level, Quicken is a boring product – a database – but at another level it is a revolutionary tool for self-knowledge that can improve your relationship with money. Mac users who consistently apply Quicken’s tools are better off than those who don’t.
Last week I wrote about revolutions and participation. Revolutions in technology are rarely what we think they are. When something is termed revolutionary, it is usually a marketing ploy. For something to truly be revolutionary, I think that it requires participation from the users. Revolutions can’t be done for you by someone else.
July 2001 – Last week’s Macworld Expo was a disappointment for many people attending the show. People wanted to be amazed or surprised – flat screen iMacs were hoped for by many. The surprise was that the products were evolutionary.
July 2001 – A recent news article said that IBM had made a breakthrough in semiconductors. Typically computers have been getting faster because the transistors in the CPUs have been getting smaller. Which each decrease in size, the chips get faster or use less energy.
I detest the background noise of computers; I’m not alone. On several other websites (especially Slashdot), the topic of quiet computers comes up on a regular basis.
2001 – In 1991, I got my first Mac. It was a Mac IIsi with an 80 megabyte hard drive, which was considered a big drive then. Fast forward ten years, and we have 80 gigabyte drives that occupy the same niche in the storage environment. Compared to my first drive, a current 80 gig […]
I’m a bipolar extensions user: I go from one extreme to another. First I’ll go download a bunch of cool extensions that improve my user experience. Extensions are part of what make the Mac so fun. Over time, the extensions build up to the point where I feel like I have too many. Maybe I […]
In the past few weeks, Microsoft has been getting some bad press. Okay, I don’t suppose that is particularly a news item. The current issue is the change in Microsoft’s software license. In layman’s terms, Microsoft is switching from selling its software to leasing it.
A few weeks ago I got a letter from my friend David in Western Samoa. I lived next to David in Vaitoomuli village for two years while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer. We taught at the local high school together. I trained him on Macs, because I wanted to have someone to troubleshoot the […]
When I first wrote about BeOS, several readers were careful to point out the good sides of Apple picking NeXT instead of Be. Without the purchase of NeXT, we never would have gotten Steve Jobs back as iCEO, and there would be no iMac or iBook. But Apple got much more than Steve and a […]
In my past couple articles (BeOS or NeXT: Did Apple make the wrong choice? and User Interface: Mac vs. BeOS), I’ve described parts of BeOS. It’s a technically impressive OS that lacks some of the finesse that the Mac OS has.
Last week I talked about some of the advantages that BeOS has over Mac OS X. When Steve Jobs first demonstrated Mac OS X, Mac users got a taste of their own medicine – we’re used to having a superiority complex.
I’m glad that my previous article has generated some interest and that David Puett took the time to clarify some points that I skimmed over in his BeOS or NeXT: Did Apple Make the Wrong Choice. I agree that I oversimplified some things in my article. Still, I think some of my ideas were generally correct, […]
It’s hard to believe it has been four years. In early 1997, Power Computing announced that they would ship BeOS with its clones. An upstart clone maker shipping an upstart OS, if you will. This was big news, since BeOS fixed many of the problems that System 7 faced. The discussions from then sounds all […]
In a previous article, I talked about creating an MP3 server out of a Quadra 630. At that time, I asserted that it could handle the job, but I hadn’t really tested it out. Now I’d like to put a few numbers on my Quadra’s performance and talk about optimizing it.
2001 – Two weeks ago, in What’s Wrong with PowerBooks, I wrote about some negatives of PowerBooks, and last week I looked at the other side in What’s Right with PowerBooks. So what does it all mean?