The Pros and Cons of BeOS

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 […]

Jonathan Ploudre on Working Efficiently

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 […]

Jonathan Ploudre on Font Technologies

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 […]

Serving a Website on Mac OS X

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.

The Value of Voodoo Video

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.

The Digital Lifestyle: Pictures

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.

The Digital Lifestyle: Text

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.

Abandoning the Low End

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 […]

Linux: The Tragic Flaw?

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.

Low End 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.

The Paperless Office

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.

Point One Shootout

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.

Palm Power

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.

A Revolutionary Database

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.

Revolutions and Participation

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.

The Fastest Mac

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.

Silent Computing

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.

Celebrating 80 MB Hard Drives

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 […]

Software Subscriptions and Value

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.

The Underrated Power Mac 5400

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 […]

NeXT: Apple’s Right Choice

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 […]

Using BeOS on a Power Mac

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.

User Interface: Mac vs. BeOS

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.

BeOS and BFS, the BeOS Filing System

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, […]

BeOS or NeXT: Did Apple Make the Wrong Choice?

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 […]

Home Network Throughput

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.

PowerBook Value

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?