Post: Online dox service

I thought the following chat was interesting. Edited for space.

SN: I have begun using Google Apps and, more and more, find online is the place for me 'cuz I can work from anywhere now and in the future, I want to be able to back up online. (Tried Mozy; not there yet.) A recent article at LifeHacker has me messing with Zoho as well. When do you think we might see Online Apple Apps?
1. Not soon. The user experience is not up to Apple standards.
2. Never. It would deep six Apple's relationship with Microsoft.
3. Soon. It a natural step in .Mac evolution.
4. Very soon. It's built into Leopard. (I have no idea this is true.)
LAM: Is this in "Apple's interest"? Will Apple make a difference doing this?
I think that "Apple's interest" is in letting you work from any Apple product from anywhere... so, it let you sync with .Mac. But you would like to use your iPhone or iPod touch to do it, so some kind of app would be needed out of iWork. iWork WiFi? iWork Lite? iWork Touch Edition?
But I do not see Apple doing Google-Apps' like applications.

SN: Good questions. Good point. But is it in Apple's interest for me to use my iPhone to dial up Google or Zoho apps?
iWork WiFi: Are you suggesting that there is an app residing on the iPhone that could call up dox online? That would be cool. And it speaks to my need to track and sync revisions. If the primary doc is online, I can load and revise anywhere—the app can automate linking, loading, and synchronizing.
JS: How about making .Mac a subscription available to iPhone owners for an extra $7.99 on your phone bill? You'd have access to an extra 10 GB of storage :-)

Quote: "iWork WiFi: Are you suggesting that there is an app residing on the iPhone that could call up dox online?"
It would be whatever iWork gives you in the desktop but with the User Interface adapted to the touch screen.
It will do what you want to do.

JS:  Having access to iDisk and online apps for iPhone owners via .Mac as a monthly subscription paid on your phone bill. Mac and iPod touch would still have to pay annually since there's no phone bill to tack it onto. This might be one way to be able to save documents without them being stored on your iPhone's internal memory.

SN: Instead of iDisk, call the service onFile or ProFile. When you open the iPhone app—munchkin versions of pages, keynote, numbers, iweb, and the yet to be named database—you can prompt it to search online for your files, chosen by name, date, author. Same thing happens at home with the full apps. On closing the file, the app autosaves the online file, with versioning as a part of the online service. Sounds a very Apple like solution, similar in character to iTunes. It's an .Mac service that I could love.

Posted at RoughlyDrafted


Nice morning

Post: Thinking with the Right Hand Brain

I know book design involves both form and function and also how we define function. You might say a book cover is merely form, "making it pretty," look and feel. But it's also function cuz it's meant to do something important: catch and hold attention, deliver a message instantaneously. And you might say the guts of a book are purely function, except that feel of the font and page design can significantly improve readability.

Technology design traditionally has suffered from a diminished, half brained idea of function. We even call it engineering rather than designing. Design is for wusses, right? It's "making pretty objects." It's this half brained, left brained approach that's the real problem, however.

Left brain thinking is verbal and analytical. Right brain is non-verbal and intuitive, using pictures rather than words. In art, right brain work means the difference between a drawing a stick man and a Rembrandt. Why? The left brain tells us that a stick man is all that's needed for the purposes of counting and naming; the rest is form, design, prettifying. A Rembrandt requires right brain involvement because it offers perceptions that are dismissed by the left brain: spaces, relationships, gestalt. Think of it as design in three or even four dimensions.

We need "both sides now" design. We need, for example, a house design that we can afford and also want to live in. In book design, it can be the difference between the book that we merely pick up and the one we actually purchase. It's the difference between a Dell and a Mac.

Want to experience the difference between left and right brain work for yourself? Try Betty Edwards's drawing exercises. Just to say, the right and left brain definitions refer to sets of perceptions, not necessarily chunks of neurons, imo.

Posted at RoughlyDrafted

Post: MiniRant

I am a Mac user but not one persuaded that software technologies will pave the way for Apple. As much of the info above attests, apps are too subtle as distinctive features, certainly in the consumer arena. By contrast, the iPod succeeded as a hardware winner, not software, and as a platform to deliver content that wasn't being offered cheaply, unfettered, and legally by others. That lightning won't strike twice.

Having said that, I cannot imagine knowledgeable people recommending for HOME users anything but Macs. I know too many HOME users who have more than once lost mail, contacts, files, and disks to viruses, none of which occur on Macs. For a professional to not recommend Macs for HOME use strikes me as unethical.

Posted at iconnectdots


Betsy bit

Naren had trouble viewing this video online, so I thought I would try it out here. Let me know if it does not load. A cute, uncaught moment happened: After saying that the story was "too scary" Betsy admitted that it was, in fact, five scary.

Trip journal

I have set up this blog as a quick way to post while traveling. It's a free service available through your gmail account.

The shot above was taken yesterday morning. The leaves were peaking but the light was murky, so I used photomatix to beef up the color to old-postcard quality.