Here’s to the Crazy One

October 6th, 2011 No comments

Steve Jobs 1955-2011


The misfit. The rebel. The troublemaker. The round peg in the square hole.

The one who saw things differently. He wasn’t fond of rules. And he had no respect for the status quo. You can quote him, disagree with him, glorify or vilify him.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore him. Because he changed things. He invented. He imagined. He healed. He explored. He created. He inspired. He pushed the human race forward.

Maybe he had to be crazy.

How else can you stare at a circuit board and see a work of art? Or say no to a thousand great ideas so you can say yes to the one? Or gaze at a box full of parts and imagine a bicycle for the mind?

(apologies to Craig Tanimoto)

Categories: computer

Bicycles Breed Good Bread

August 2nd, 2011 No comments

Russell Shorter in the New York Times about the benefits of prioritizing bicycles:

But while many Americans see their cars as an extension of their individual freedom, to some of us owning a car is a burden, and in a city a double burden. I find the recrafting of the city in order to lessen — or eliminate — the need for cars to be not just grudgingly acceptable, but, yes, an expansion of my individual freedom.

Categories: bicycle

bubble graph stats

December 7th, 2010 No comments

Love them bubble graphs:

My first custom app project was an executive information management console for pharmaceutical wholesaler SUN-S in Sendai, Japan, circa 1987, plotting their market position over time vs competitors using revenue for size of bubble, market share for x axis and growth rate for y axis.

Categories: software

Two wheels better than four in Tokyo

December 3rd, 2010 No comments
Categories: bicycle, cycling, Japan, Tokyo

Apple’s appetite for flash memory

December 2nd, 2010 No comments

Thanks to the success of flash memory-based iPod, iPhone, iPad and now MacBook Air product lines, Apple has become the largest buyer of NAND flash semiconductors among computer manufacturers, and among the top three buyers across all industries. If the remaining MacBook models are redesigned as Steve Jobs hinted they would around flash storage and no optical drives, and further tuning improves already impressive performance, the next generation of MacBook Pros are going to sell very well.

Less expensive, much lighter, considerably faster and with a cool new App Store built in, the 2011 MacBook lineup should significantly accelerate OS X market share gains.

Categories: computer

Apple goes with USB instead of SD for MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive

October 21st, 2010 No comments

image of MacBook Air USB Software Reinstall Drive

Apple is including an 8GB “Software Reinstall Drive” USB flash memory device with the new MacBook Air laptops introduced today.  I wish they had gone with SD instead, but since they can’t seem to justify the cost of including SD card slots in the low-end MacBooks this is the best alternative, and you can’t put a keychain/lanyard hole in an SD card.

Categories: computer

MacPaint and QuickDraw source code released

July 21st, 2010 No comments

Yay! Bill Atkinson’s source code for the original MacPaint (and QuickDraw) has finally been released to the public in the form of a donation to the Computer Museum in Mountain View.

In writing MacPaint, Bill was as concerned with whether human readers would understand the code as he was with what the computer would do with it. He later said about software in general, “It’s an art form, like any other art form… I would spend time rewriting whole sections of code to make them more cleanly organized, more clear. I’m a firm believer that the best way to prevent bugs is to make it so that you can read through the code and understand exactly what it’s doing… And maybe that was a little bit counter to what I ran into when I first came to Apple… If you want to get it smooth, you’ve got to rewrite it from scratch at least five times.”

Now mere mortals like myself can study the magic.

Categories: computer, software

Steve Schaffran on pre-Adobe Photoshop

February 21st, 2010 1 comment

Friend and colleague Steve Schaffran reminisces about Barneyscan XP and the pre-Adobe days of Photoshop (scroll down for the original English text):

One of the transformations, however, made my hair stand on end: it could flip a color picture from the red, green, blue color space of the computer display to the cyan, magenta, yellow, black color space necessary for exposing printing plates for printing color. That meant that a $15,000 bundle of our scanner plus Photoshop 0.35 plus a Mac II was in principle a competitor for the $1,000,000 to $3,000,000  color scanning and retouching solutions then used in the printing industry.  If we could only strike a deal, we were sure to sell some scanners.

Categories: computer, Friends, software

Tokyo Ramen according to the NY Times

January 30th, 2010 No comments
Categories: food, Tokyo

15th Anniversary of Bad Design & Construction Catastrophe in Kobe

January 17th, 2010 1 comment

1995-01-17 05:46+09, fifteen years ago this morning, a major earthquake hit Kobe and a very large number of impressive structures designed and built by, serious, credentialed adults collapsed, killing over 6,000 people in a land obsessed with disaster preparedness. My friends who were there survived, the city has recovered well, but the impact it had on the local economy and Japan at large is still being felt today. As the old saying goes, earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.

We were living in Menlo Park, California at the time, and I had just welcomed my first official partner, a former Apple Japan employee, to my consultancy, something I should have done six years earlier when Third Culture Enterprises began. The earthquake severely damaged his father’s business and he had to return to Japan immediately, ending our partnership. A year later we moved away from Silicon Valley to a suburb of Sacramento and within a year of that my primary Japanese consulting contract was canceled. Just as the worldwide web began to boom, my career went into a tailspin.

For a spoiled first-world 白人 with all the advantages of a good education, family and health, any blame for career setbacks rests with me. Today, considering the negative impact an earthquake on the other side of the globe had on my life, the trauma of those whose lives are at the epicenter of these catastrophes is unimaginable.

Architecture matters.

Categories: Uncategorized