Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking positive thoughts

This heartwarming link was brought to my attention by Daring Fireball. The era of Apple and the wild concept was an exciting one. The infamous Knowledge Navigator. Leather-wrapped Nautilus PowerBook and Newton concepts. Impossible dreams but "startlingly" prescient in the mode of a science fiction author happening upon the idea of a communications satellite. The literal currency exchanger, from greenback to pound or yen, I forget, is a seminal moment in demo history.

This was also the era of the Advanced Technology Group, smalltalk Squeak, which persisted until just now, being murdered, I mean cut, from the OLPC 2. Squeak is a totem of Apple (and Disney, only-now oddly linked entities) creativity and vitality.

Steve Jobs is vital for infinite reasons. We should send him only the best wishes. However, it was Jobs who taught the industry to dare not once, with the consumer oriented Apple II, but twice with the Mac, putting the "dent in the world", and left Apple, mismanaged but at its root brilliant. Pink, Taligent, PowerTalk, Copland, all the failed work was not for nothing, and the people numbering thousands at Apple still kept the original fervor alive.

Jobs returned to shake the dormant Apple from its laconic slumber, has pushed it to heroic heights, and has possibly now taught it to always push, and execute. He won't be replaced (I think he'll be back), but the lessons of his return are as valuable as any known succession plan.

I should note Squeak is still available at for those inclined to see the future of tomorrow from yesterday, today.

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