Retro MacOS in memory of Steve Jobs

my Power Mac 6100

Image by blakespot via Flickr

Along with many other blogs this one has a new look – the Retro MacOS look, in tribute to Steve Jobs. Its fitting that someone who did so much to change the face (literally, in a sense) of personal computing and the web (lets not forget the influence of the Safari browser) should be honoured by having a theme created in memory of his life and work.

Retro MacOS was originally created by Stuart Brown, and converted by the team at WP so folk like me could use on their blogs. Its available in the WP Theme Directory from within your dashboard. Personally, I think it looks rather cool and is a fitting tribute to the man. What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments.

As to how long it will remain up, I’m not sure; at least for a while anyway.

Steve Jobs – we cannot thank you enough!

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

For those of us with long memories, Steve Jobs is the one person more than any other who is responsible for the Mac and also for Apple’s rescue from corporate oblivion. As such, he is, in many ways, Apple.

Back in December 1979, Steve Jobs saw the future and that future was a world of computers with a GUI (Graphical User Interface). This particular vision arose following a visit to Xerox Parc to see the Xerox Alto, which first introduced the ‘desktop’ concept and GUI in computers. He went on to bring us the very first Mac in 1984, complete with a GUI and using a mouse. The original Mac was more successful than the Lisa, which came out in 1983, but was still expensive and had limited software. However, this was still the early days of personal computing remember so this was not surprising.

The Mac really took off however when Adobe Postscript and the laser printer came together n the form of the Apple Laserwriter in 1985. Together with Pagemaker (originally an Aldus Corporation product, later Adobe). This allowed the desktop printing revolution to take off in big way, and ensured the success of the Mac.

However, Steve Jobs has never been an easy guy to work with and in particular corporate management always failed to truly understand his genius. So it was that following a corporate power struggle within Apple’s board, Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985 and immediately set up his own company, NeXT Inc. At NeXT, Steve Jobs developed the object-oriented Nextstep operating system  and a programming environment standard called OpenStep. He also developed WebObjects, one of the first enterprise web application frameworks.

Although NeXT was targeting the higher education and business sectors and sold only 50,000 units or so, it was nevertheless influential. Whilst Apple was heading for the corporate graveyard under the management of corporate executives who lacked the visionary genius of Steve Jobs, NeXT was relatively successful. So much so, that when Apple needed to reboot and find a saviour, it turned to Steve Jobs. In 1996, Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs returned to helm (as a consultant but in reality he was the real power behind the throne, so to speak). The new Mac OS became a revamped version of OpenStep and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, having faced the very real prospect of being bought up by the likes of Sony for a few million dollars back in the 1990’s, Apple is now one of the richest and most successful companies in the world. It has some of the most successful products ever known (iMac, iPod, iPhone and now the iPad) and its market share has grown considerably compared to where it was in its years of decline. All of this is arguably down to one man, Steven Jobs. Only he had the vision, the determination and the genius to achieve this. Yes, others played their parts but not to the extent he has. Now that he is withdrawing from the heart of the company its not clear what the future holds for Apple but I am sure his legacy will live on and others are already taking up the torch. Apple will continue to thrive and Steve Jobs has taken the right steps to make sure that happens.

Thank you Steve and I wish you well. I hope and pray you will recover your health and enjoy many happy and healthy years with your family. You deserve it.

New build of Lion Developer released by Apple


Image by Gory ^ via Flickr

Apple’s latest build release of Mac OS X Lion doesn’t increment the 10.7.2 version number but does bump the build number from 11C26 to 11C37. In Apple’s build system, the first number relates to the reference release of Mac OS X (11 means Lion) and the letter refers to the minor release (C = x.2), with the final number referring to the build within that release.

For those who eagled eye amongst you, you may be asking why the jump from 26 to 37 in its developer releases? well. Apple creates some builds that it never releases publicly, (in this case builds 27 to 36).

This latest build includes developments of iCloud, as Apple moves closer to the full release of iCloud and also iOS 5.

iPad a hit with silver surfers!

iPad 2 FaceTime

iPad 2 FaceTimeOver the years I have helped several individuals that fall into the so-called ‘silver surfers’ generation get to grips with computers. Most simply want to keep in touch with distant relatives or pursue a hobby online. Generally speaking, most have found it difficult to get to grips with the keyboard and mouse. Usually this is due to physical reasons such as arthritis or just simply finding it difficult to grasp the principles behind using a mouse and keyboard together to navigate around their chosen operating system.

Although I am something a Mac aficionado, my own sense is that both Macs and PCs are equally difficult to get along with because of their reliance on the keyboard and mouse combination.

So, it was interesting the other day to have a conversation with someone about their mother, who falls into the ‘silver surfer’ demographic. For ages she had been trying to get to grips with a computer but had failed to conquer the keyboard and mouse hurdle. Well, one day, her family decided to treat her to an iPad, as a gift and as a direct replacement for her computer. Imagine their surprise and delight to find that after a few days she is in happily spending lots of time on the iPad, doing all the things she tried to do on her computer but had found so difficult. It has literally transformed her life. As she lives alone, the iPad has become her means of keeping in touch via email, being able to browse the internet at leisure and she is spending more and more time on it.

So, maybe Apple should come up with some discount scheme for folk over 60 years of age? I am sure there is an opportunity here for Apple to grab even more market share whilst at the same time transforming the lives of our senior citizens. Anyone listening….