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Articles tagged with: History

Written By: Gary on October 18, 2011 No Comment

It’s really more of a history of entertainment and communications technology and how it grew (or shrunk) into the iPhone. The iPhone part is pretty small overall (it’s not just an Apple video).

CNET UK Presents: History of the iPhone from Drew Stearne on Vimeo.

history-iphone.pngI thought it was a good introduction to technology video and pretty easy to follow. Lots of text and it moves pretty quick, you’ll want to make it full screen to read the details (pay attention to the prices!).

Written By: Gary on January 24, 2009 One Comment

So twenty-five years ago today, Apple released the Macintosh computer. And as far as I’m concerned, they changed the world.

oldmac.pngI was never an Apple II person, I was an Atari 800 guy. Then I used PCs for a while (DOS and Windows 3.1). For years I couldn’t understand why I should switch from my cheaper PC-Windows machine so it took me a few years (8) to get one (after using them in my graduate education program at MSU) but I’ve been a convert ever since. That’s not to say I don’t own a Windows machine (or two) but they’re usually doing mundane tasks, which my Macs are for creative tasks and what I want to use for my everyday stuff.

Here’s a YouTube vid of Steve Jobs demoing the Mac back in a 1984 keynote (wearing a bow-tie).

I think my first Mac was a used Macintosh Plus (with an add-on external hard drive), then a classic (same shape way more power), a PowerPC 6100 (pizza box shape), a tower PowerMac G4 (the first one with a DVD burner) and I owned a few used ones that I picked up here and there (a IIci and IIcx and a Quadra 605 that had been upgraded to a PPC). I paid way too much for the two PowerMac desktops, I did a few processor upgrades to get some more life out of them.

But I’ve also had a few Apple laptops: The PowerBook Duo 280c which in my opinion was the best laptop ever; more of a sub-notebook (1.5″ x 10.9″ x 8.5″) and you could get a dock you could stuck it into (like a big floppy) and it would use the monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and anything else plugged into the dock (hard drive, CD, etc.). I eventually upgraded the motherboard in that to turn it into a PowerPC 2300c and used that for a while. After that I had a PowerBook G3 luggable laptop, it was huge but had power, memory, storage and a beautiful 14 inch(?) display; fully loaded I think that was over $5,000 but it was a heavy beast to lug around. Since then I’ve stuck with smaller 12-inch models: an iBook (I got the iBook instead of the PowerBook because I wanted a smaller model), the first 12-inch PowerBook and the last 12-inch PowerBook (the 12-inch PowerBook is probably my second favorite after the Duo). My latest is a white 13.3-inch MacBook (the fastest plastic model from just before the uni-body models) and it seems like a monster compared to the 12-inch model but I love it, I don’t leave home without it.

Since the Macs were more expensive I generally did a few things to save money. I’d upgrade the memory myself from Other World Computing (they’ve always be notoriously expensive for memory upgrades). I usually used some other brand monitors (even though the Macs have traditionally been better). And I usually used non-Apple printers except for the Apple StyleWriter which was an excellent printer; my first was an old NEC 8023 dot matrix that I purchased an adaptor for, also some HP and Epson ink-jets, a used QMS laser, a used HP lasers and a new HP laser (my current).


To make sure you watched it, here’s a question:
What’s wrong with the above version of the ad?

I’ve also had an Apple Newton (it was way before it’s time) and two iPods. I’m craving an iPhone (or a Touch) and considering the plunge.

So that’s my personal Apple Macintosh computer history. I really didn’t realize I had so many different machines. Out of all of those I had two problem machines: the ultra expensive laptop (2 bad motherboards, but after the second replacement it was perfect) and the iBook (a lemon, multiple problems, eventually the agreed to give me a brand new one). The other laptops have been great and I’ve always beat the hell out of them (scratches, gauges and drops) but they’ve held up quite good.

Lately, I’ve been using the laptops more than the desktops, my last desktop was from 2001 (I’ve boosted memory, hard drives and processor since then) but the last few laptops have been faster than the older desktop so I’ve neglected the desktop. I’d like a new one, I just haven’t been able to justify the dollar$ for a new tower desktop and the MacMini just hasn’t had enough juice (it’s more like a fast laptop) and the Mini really needs a refresh/upgrade from Apple.

So (like the guy in the ad) I can say “I’m a Mac”.

Written By: Gary on January 11, 2009 No Comment

Here is a geeky history of the Internet in about seven minutes (and when I say “geeky” I mean technical). Pretty easy to understand as long as you aren’t afraid of acronyms like TCP.



If you’ve got the bandwidth it’s
available in HD via the direct link or via YouTube.

Eventually all the icons in the video will be released under the creative commons license. It’s not clear when though. If you dig around the site you can find some here and there, it’s all part of the Melih Bilgil’s degree.

Written By: Gary on August 1, 2008 2 Comments

I’m not a big sports fan but I just drove by Tiger Stadium and they’ve started tearing it down already. It made me kinda sad…

Written By: Gary on March 25, 2007 One Comment

So a long time ago Dave Goodman recommended The Victorian Internet to me (that’s 3 links in this sentence). After a while I finally ordered it and then after a while I finally read it and then I finally remember to post about it.

A very interesting book on the how long distance communications took place centuries ago. Eventually the story focuses mostly on the 1800’s and how the telegraph was build, used, subsidized and grew all over the world. It’s a great book with all sorts of obvious parallels to the last 30 years and computer communications that just jump out at you. At least they jumped out at me, the last chapter kinda spoon fed the similarities to you in case you didn’t get them but I think if you made it through the book you don’t really need that wrap up.I’m not going to say any more about the book itself, if it sounds even mildly interesting I really think you’ll enjoy it.

I’m looking for some similar books for two reasons:
1) I like stuff like this.
2) I’m thinking they’re going to ask me to teach the Tech Leadership 900 level course again at a local university. And I think an understanding of “stuff like this” is helpful for people working in technology. Plus it’s a short book and less than $12 new so what college student isn’t going to like that?!? Last summer we used The World is Flat (revised), which was cheap and interesting but it’s long and gets repetitive and if it’s not interesting to you it just gets more uninteresting as you read. It’s a great book, don’t get me wrong but if it’s not your cup of tea it’s really long, while with this this book (if anything) it’s over too soon.

Written By: Gary on January 1, 2006 No Comment

So just after midnight last night I tried to make a few New Year’s phone calls. I could get a signal (I had lots of bars signal) but I couldn’t get the network to complete a call, it just timed out. The same thing happened with the analog network but eventually I got through (on analog). Just made me think of disaster and emergencies and times you might really need to make a call…


It was enough to remind me to add the local police department number to my Skype list (done!). I suppose I should check for a different number for the fire department. Just in case there’s a problem, I don’t want to be fumbling around for that.

These days they should really be listing emergency numbers for the police/fire departments that dump you into the 911 bank so that you can call via cell and not have to be routed through the state police.

Written By: Gary on August 27, 2005 3 Comments

Scientific American magazine always lists what was happening 50, 100 & 150 years ago. In the September 2005 issue they mentioned an award given to Samual Morse (by the Emperor of Austria in 1855) for his valuable services to the world with his contributions of Morse Code and the Electric Telegraph. It was twelve years after the first public experiment, between Baltimore and Washington, and there were now 50,000 miles of wire in operation.

Communications has changed quite a bit since then. Where would we be if it weren’t for our phones, Internet and cellular phones to keep us in constant communications with the world? How many miles have the electrical impulses that I just generated with this message traveled so far? How many search engines have picked it up so far, how many have just come along to read it, how many feed readers just set off a little flag to alert someone to a new post? Communications has definitely come a long way in the last 15 years, let alone 150…


FYI – 1855 is also the year the Michigan Agricultural College was established. Eventually this college would grow up to be Michigan State University. I remember this because the campus information phone number (like everything else) started with a 355 and they appended the year to make the phone number for information be 355-1855…

Written By: Gary on July 27, 2005 One Comment

I’ve been thinking about this lately so I thought I’d bring it up again. This short film of the history of the Internet is kind of how personalized information will be presented to you in the future and some of the problems with it. I heard about this while listening to an episode Future Tense.

This is actually a shortened repost of a post I did a while ago, but like I said I’ve been thinking about it lately so I thought you should too…

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Written By: Gary on May 22, 2004 No Comment

Twenty years ago (maybe even fifteen) this would have been heaven. Imagine… Seven MB of removable storage…

I remember somewhere around that time some had hook a ten MB drive up to an Atari computer (via the joystick ports), I’m sure that was a $2,000.00 box at the time. We’ve come a long way since then. I’ve ten times that on my keychain and it’s a heck of a lot faster and smaller!

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