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Steve Silberman on his PLOS blog NeuroTribes back in 2011:

Inspired by the collaborative intelligence of her fellow software designers, [Susan] Kare stayed on at Apple to craft the navigational elements for Mac’s GUI. Because an application for designing icons on screen hadn’t been coded yet, she went to the University Art supply store in Palo Alto and picked up a $2.50 sketchbook so she could begin playing around with forms and ideas. In the pages of this sketchbook, which hardly anyone but Kare has seen before now, she created the casual prototypes of a new, radically user-friendly face of computing — each square of graph paper representing a pixel on the screen.

There are a bunch of pictures in the post and they’re all excellent.

Steve Silberman on his PLOS blog NeuroTribes back in 2011:

Inspired by the collaborative intelligence of her fellow software designers, [Susan] Kare stayed on at Apple to craft the navigational elements for Mac’s GUI. Because an application for designing icons on screen hadn’t been coded yet, she went to the University Art supply store in Palo Alto and picked up a $2.50 sketchbook so she could begin playing around with forms and ideas. In the pages of this sketchbook, which hardly anyone but Kare has seen before now, she created the casual prototypes of a new, radically user-friendly face of computing — each square of graph paper representing a pixel on the screen.

There are a bunch of pictures in the post and they’re all excellent.

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Apple store unearths hospital ruins

Bruno García Gallo for Spain’s El País:

Apple’s new flagship Spanish store — a 6,000-square-meter building in the center of Madrid — contains a genuine treasure trove in its basement. Along with stacks of mobile phones and other 21st-century gadgets designed in California and made in China, sit the remains of a hospital built six centuries ago.

The technology giant’s renovation of the building located at number 1, Puerta del Sol — formerly the Paris Hotel — led to the discovery of the outer walls of the Buen Suceso hospital, next to the church of the same name. Both buildings were demolished in 1854 to make room for the square.

Neat. Click through for some history and how they plan to work around the remains.

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Andy Hertzfeld:

Snippets from interviews with members of the original Macintosh design team, recorded in October 1983 for projected TV commercials that were never used. Featuring Burrell Smith, Andy Hertzfeld, George Crow, Bill Atkinson and Mike Murray.

I was considering making some kind of timely remark about the “the balance of power is going to shift from companies running people to people running companies” line, but this old stuff puts me in way too good of a mood to do that.

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Apple and the Time Machine

This is what Mike Daisey had to say for himself when confronted by Rob Schmitz of Marketplace about his aforelinked fabrications.

“Look. I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard. But I stand behind the work,” Daisey said. “My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism. And it’s not journalism. It’s theater.”

I don’t buy it. As Dan Frakes says, the fact that he lied to TAL about this makes no sense — why not just adjust the monologue for radio? Or only broadcast an accurate portion? Or at least make the producers aware that he hyped it up.

The problem though, is that he couldn’t do any of that. Jason Snell:

I agree with Daisey that his art is to make a point about truth, not report facts. But his show was structured around assumed reportage.

That’s it exactly. His stage show, which you can read a transcript of here, is structured around the idea that he went to China, saw all this stuff, and gosh what does that say about globalization and corporations and aren’t we basically just Eloi? If he had to adjust his work to report accurately about what he saw, or reframe portions in the second-hand, all the drama would be lost: he would not longer be entering the Morlock tunnels and exposing the future’s degeneracy.

All that aside, good on Ira Glass and TAL for coming forward right away and admitting their part in this. Like Patton Oswalt says:

Man, Ira Glass’ dream journal is about to get a fucking workout.

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Retraction

This American Life:

Regrettably, we have discovered that one of our most popular episodes was partially fabricated. This week, we devote the entire hour to detailing the errors in “Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory,” Mike Daisey’s story about visiting Foxconn, an Apple supplier factory in China.

The episode itself isn’t available yet, but it should be available this evening. However the summary alone is pretty upsetting. Update: Andy Baio has a cached copy of TAL's textual retraction, which contains some of the details on the fabrications at hand.

Recall that Daisey is also the author of a one-man play The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, also based on his “experiences” in China.

Something about Daisey’s work and attitude on this topic never really sat right with me — I could never quite put it into words, and honestly just dismissed it as fanboyism on my part. However, recall that the concurrent Foxconn suicides imbroglio was also quite a bit less shocking than it was at first brush.

I think Merlin said it best though:

Mmmm…investigative performance non-journalism. What could possibly go wrong?

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What they're "protecting" us from

I was reading this excellent piece by Anil Dash on how Apple shows that liberal values aren’t antithetical to business success. I don’t really have anything to add other than full-throated agreement, but this caught my eye. On Jobs’s early life:

So, who is this man? He’s the anchor baby of an activist Arab muslim who came to the U.S. on a student visa and had a child out of wedlock.

I had no idea! Wikipedia:

Jobs was born in San Francisco, California and was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs (née Hagopian) of Mountain View, California, who named him Steven Paul. Paul and Clara later adopted a daughter, who they named Patti. Jobs’ biological parents – Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian graduate student who later became a political science professor, and Joanne Simpson, an American graduate student who went on to become a speech language pathologist – later married, giving birth to and raising Jobs’ biological sister, the novelist Mona Simpson.

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Here’s part of page 151 of Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes, a collection of the first seven issues of DC’s Harley Quinn comic series. Check out that classic Mac OS action happening in the bottom panel. Some notes:
This comic was originally published in 2001 or 2002, by which time Mac OS 9 was out.
The folder icons are from the Platinum theme, but the hard drive icon is not. I’m not sure if this was actually possible through normal settings, but of course you could do it with custom icons.
Also, the hard drive appears to be labeled either Hot or In Progress.
Are those documents with the tan diamond icons BBEdit documents? The icon is the right shape, but I’m not sure about the colors, and the B would have to have been edited out. UPDATE: Apparently it’s an edited Word 5 icon. Thanks, Uli!
A few of the file names are garbled. I’m not sure if it was intentional or a printing defect in the book. Among the casualties is the name of the application in the folder in the top-right. I think it’s supposed to be Fetch.
The Control Strip and AOL (Instant Messenger) client are hand-drawn. Why? Why would you do this? What are those icons on the Control Strip even supposed to be?
Sadly, there’s no Chicago in this panel.

Here’s part of page 151 of Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes, a collection of the first seven issues of DC’s Harley Quinn comic series. Check out that classic Mac OS action happening in the bottom panel. Some notes:

  • This comic was originally published in 2001 or 2002, by which time Mac OS 9 was out.
  • The folder icons are from the Platinum theme, but the hard drive icon is not. I’m not sure if this was actually possible through normal settings, but of course you could do it with custom icons.
  • Also, the hard drive appears to be labeled either Hot or In Progress.
  • Are those documents with the tan diamond icons BBEdit documents? The icon is the right shape, but I’m not sure about the colors, and the B would have to have been edited out. UPDATE: Apparently it’s an edited Word 5 icon. Thanks, Uli!
  • A few of the file names are garbled. I’m not sure if it was intentional or a printing defect in the book. Among the casualties is the name of the application in the folder in the top-right. I think it’s supposed to be Fetch.
  • The Control Strip and AOL (Instant Messenger) client are hand-drawn. Why? Why would you do this? What are those icons on the Control Strip even supposed to be?

Sadly, there’s no Chicago in this panel.

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    APPLE: WHAT IS STEVE JOBS UP TO?

    On September 13, 1985, after financial troubles and boardroom maneuvering, Steve Jobs resigned from Apple Computer. Shortly thereafter, he founded NeXT with a few other former Apple employees. At the end of 1996, Apple acquired NeXT, and Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor.

    In March 1997, Peter Burrows of BusinessWeek magazine wrote a piece on Jobs’s return. It’s an interesting look at business decisions, politics, and personal relationships from fifteen years ago:

    As [then Apple CEO Gil] Amelio hunts for $400 million in expense cuts, he’s following Jobs’ advice by targeting Apple’s advanced research group. Jobs argued hard for cutbacks, saying Apple should use its best brains to build snazzy new Mac products rather than futuristic gee-whiz technologies. Apple managers say Amelio is now considering slashing the advanced R&D group, which spent $30 million last year, by more than 50%. “The whole focus is to get lean, mean teams doing great things again,” says one manager. “That’s the Steve Jobs influence, and that’s good.”

    In early February, for example, Jobs sat through a detailed review of an advertising campaign backed by Amelio. He listened intently, then launched into a speech about why advertising was a waste of money given the bad press that still plagues Apple. Amelio still approved the media campaign. “Gil doesn’t take all of Steve’s advice or all of anyone’s advice,” says Fred D. Anderson, Apple’s chief financial officer. “With all due respect, we have some seasoned executives here.” As for Jobs’s popularity at Apple, if Amelio is ruffled, he isn’t showing it. “If the price for getting Apple healthy is involving Steve…I’m O.K. with that. I’m a big boy,” he says.

    Besides, Amelio says he’s all for getting tougher himself. He concedes he underestimated the challenge of reining in Apple’s unruly culture. “I didn’t realize it, but people would listen to me, say ‘Gee, that was a nice speech,’ and go do what they wanted,” says Amelio, 54, who came to Apple from National Semiconductor Corp. “This time, I’m going to use the two-by-four approach. I’m going to put this place through the most gut-wrenching change it’s ever had.”

    I really liked the introduction:

    On the wall of a cubicle in Apple Computer Inc.’s Infinite Loop engineering campus hangs a picture of Steven P. Jobs, the 41-year-old high-tech superstar and legendary Apple co-founder. Above the photograph are the words: “I was here when Steve came back.” In the adjoining cubicle, the same picture is tacked up on the wall with the caption: “He’ll be here when Gil leaves.”

    Although the best part of the article is easily this quote:

    "People keep trying to suck me in," says Jobs. "They want me to be some kind of Superman. But I have no desire to run Apple Computer. I deny it at every turn, but nobody believes me."

    This article was published in March 1997. In July 1997, Jobs would stage a coup to oust Amelio as CEO of Apple, and in September Jobs became the interim CEO.