Probably projecting from my past ...

Post-iPod, Apple looks to huge content areas to run through its hardware. With the just announced iPad, there is a confluence of content that Apple has already secured: music, apps. But Steve Jobs knows that new hardware must be matched and mated to new gigantic, coherent content sectors. The last slide in his presentation (below) says it all: Steve is going after education as a market. The whole enchilada of educational publishing.

The hardware is spot on: Simple, safe, small, light, cheap (or soon will be) exactly right for students from grade school to grad school. The software provides the creativity/research tools students need. The iWork apps are astonishingly lovely, creative, and fun software.

It will not mean all printed books be damned but it will mean printed textbooks be damned. Maybe it will be textbooks be damned: I’m guessing it’s the creativity tools that Steve really cares about. Ten years out, every student will have an iPad or something just like it. Finally. Except Apple will be there first and foremost. That’s a done deal as of last Wednesday.

Everything about the iPad says that Steve Jobs wants to be remembered as the guy who revolutionized schooling if not learning. Take a look at the mission at the OLPC site. That’s Jobs’s kind of language and vision, except he not only thinks bigger than most of us, he thinks better.

iPadLE.lhMDpAtCRLtu.jpgSOURCE: Apple Inc.


Nagel kids circa 1980 ...

On the event of Gen and Chris’s birthdays this month. This photo hangs in our livingroom. It’s fading fast. I scanned it into photoshop to see what I can save.



Looking at the iPad applications ...

What it took to bring the word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation apps from the Mac OS to the iOS is an effort not to be sneezed at. What doing means is the shift to multitouch based apps on all the Apple products. Spectacular.

SOURCE: Apple Inc.

Looking at the Apple iPad again ...

If my previous note sounds critical, I’m not. I’m a huge Apple fan. I love how it thinks things through as a consumer electronics company. (Apple took the word “computer” off its name a couple years ago.)

Here’s an example: One of the shifts from computers as geek tools to computers as “the rest of us” tools/toys has to do with designing computers that are more sociable. Take the notebook. Sure, we can bring it with us. But as soon as we set it up, it puts a big screen between us and those sitting across from us. In coffee shops, notebookers sit alone and not always by choice. The notebook says “I’m here to work or at least look like I’m working while I websurf. Don’t sit down.” No longer: see how the cool case with the iPad folds so that it can sit on a table and allow for a flow of conversation? Nicely done.

Of course, there is the problem, insinuated here, that some notebookers will begin yakking about Star Trek when you do sit down. Apple hasn’t yet found a content provider for our downloading bits of chat relevant to the interests of the person across from us. Maybe some day. At least now you can see what interests them. If upside down.

SOURCE: Apple Inc.

Looking at the Apple iPad ...

I hear it’s a very fast, and obviously fun, user interface. UI is Apple’s bag and it’s putting down a big bet on shiny, speedy computing. Not a bad price, and in a year this device may be under $400 for an iPod with real Mac apps like Pages and Numbers; like the iPods it requires a Mac/PC as a mothership. (Hmm, so that’s why they call them ‘pods.) Looking at the photo below this morning, I’m wishing Apple chose a smaller, Kindle, book sized screen on the principle that the only good computer is the one I have with me. Throw in the docking keyboard and a camera and I’d be good. I guess that Apple doesn’t want us to take this mobile Mac any further than the couch. [Updated 4PM]

Deconstructing this model name, the ‘pad refers to the weight we can gain sitting around using it. Or perhaps it’s an Apple credal statement: I pad, as in, I can be found at my place using this gizmo anytime.

SOURCE: Gizmodo
SOURCE: Apple Inc.


Following up on photo location services ...

Yesterday I mentioned posting shots to Panoramio and its location recognition service, partly dependent on location information. Following up, I picked up a memory card for my camera that has GPS location software built in, which means my camera will be good to go for years yet. So it’s cheap at the price. Also, when I put the camera near my computer, the card wirelessly and automatically uploads the shots. Nice.



Following Google down scenic pathways ...

I hope you can see this well enough. Below a photo I have on Google’s Panoramio site I found a link called “Look around.“ It brings up shots of the same scene and indicates how your photo fits the scene relative to the others. Wow.


The end of editing as we know it ...

Thanks, Hannah! And Happy Birthday!

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Taking stock of Apple ...

I have tracked Apple as a company since the eighties, when I really did need to know what publishing technologies to adopt for use at work. Apple’s certainly had its ups and downs. What I see in the chart below is not how Apple is doing specifically but where the computer to going: The computer olympics are warming up. So it’s all about computers becoming faster, smaller, lighter, thinner, brighter, and cheaper. All computers are becoming “computers for the rest of us.” The first Apple computer I bought in 1987 was $2,800; the Apple computer I carry with me cost $200 last year and has more than 100 times the memory and speed.

SOURCE: Google Finance


Watching sun, shadow, and snow on the Mississippi River ...

I brought a new camera out to the boathouse, one I gave Barb. It’s a tiny marvel.
Here’s a link to a larger version.

Here’s a map of Winona, Minnesota, with the boathouse location marked in red.


How Twain ruined Melville for me ... and a good thing it is ...

I mentioned that I recently read Melville’s Moby-Dick. I didn’t mention how I was put off by the overwrought writing, characters, and speeches. Listening to a program on Mark Twain I heard the reason for this completely and abruptly stated: “Huckleberry is not Ahab.” For sure. The use of accessible common speech that we enjoy in literature today was apparently a gift from Twain, one that was not understood or accepted immediately. Below is an excerpt from a newspaper article regarding the publication of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

“The Concord (Mass.) Public Library committee has decided to exclude Mark Twain's latest book from the library. One member of the committee says that, while he does not wish to call it immoral, he thinks it contains but little humor, and that of a very coarse type. He regards it as the veriest trash. The library and the other members of the committee entertain similar views, characterizing it as rough, coarse, and inelegant, dealing with a series of experiences not elevating, the whole book being more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people.” Wikipedia


My top ten love story films ...

Listing these moved my thinking from the typical to edgier films, from traditional guy/gal stories to father/son relationships, and on to Brokeback Mountain. And there are twelve films listed in no particular order. The listed names are the “active ingredients” of the films—the actors, writers, directors, and places that made a particular film work for me. May be updated and reposted.

Bread and Tulips (Bruno Ganz, Licia Maglietta, and Venice)
Notting Hill (Hugh Grant, Roger Michell, and Richard Curtis)
Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni)
Ordinary People (Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore)
Educating Rita (Michael Caine and Julie Walters)
Moonstruck (Cher, Nick Cage, and Olympia Dukakis)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (more Hugh and more Richard Curtis)
Persuasion (CiarĂ¡n Hinds and more Roger Michell)
About a Boy (even more Hugh and Nick Hornby)
Stage Beauty (Billy Crudup and Claire Danes)
Casanova (Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, and more Venice)
Brokeback Mountain (more Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal)