Disney moves to Samsung for POS?

Anyone else catch this? I’m an Annual Pass Holder at Disneyland and recently noticed that the mobile POS systems for the mobile carts like ice cream, cotton candy, etc. (not that I’ve ever purchased anything from those carts) now have a small Samsung tablet attached to them. Looks like it’s the POS card process portion.

It gained extra attention today as I stopped at every mobile cart and asked them if it was functioning, “do you take cards?” I only found one cart that successfully took cards and multiple other carts that stated it just didn’t work. One employee sited regular issues with the signal strength on them and error messages that don’t mean what the message actually says.

I took some time to try and find any public notice about the switch to Samsung online but couldn’t pin it down? Anyone else catch this? @ reply me on twitter or DM me, @prelusionescape

The Bourne Supremacy impact on action films

Who remembers their first watching of the Bourne films? I had the dumb luck to be in Omaha with my Dad on a visit to see my Uncle when Bourne Identity came out. We went to “see a movie” and then got there and somehow landed on the first film. Humorously, I remember my Uncle saying that he heard from someone that it was sort of “like a Bond movie”. We were all pleasantly surprised. Loved every minute!

From THR article, “In a movie full of trailer-friendly moments as the hero finds inventive ways to assault a baddie with a rolled-up magazine, it’s impressive the filmmakers got away with such a violent and emotionally traumatizing beat in a summer blockbuster.”

The Bourne Supremacy is non-stop and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Interesting to see the long term impact of Paul Greengrass’s work.

THR Article

Best looking iPhone design ever?

What was your favorite iPhone design? I’m still not sold on the “why” of it all but the 5S is my favorite. it’s likely part of why I’m enjoying the 2018 iPad Pro so much. The way it feels in my hand, the balance on a table, and specifically how well I typed on the iPhone 5/5S are all part of it.

The design was durable but comfortable, balanced and light, felt great in a pocket. As a current victim of big screens I think I want to go back to a smaller size and use the iPad Pro as a larger brother to fill in when a bigger screen is needed.

Over the years I had hopes that my workflow would support doing more and more on my iPhone and lose the long term need/want for an iPad. However, that just didn’t play it. Too many trade-offs to have the larger screen in your pocket. Let’s hope that Apple gets this gap and provides a smaller screen solution for people like me.

iPhone 5 (Slate Black) was the best looking iPhone ever

VisiCalc - Lessons from their rise and fall

My first experience with a computer, my literal FIRST MEMORY of using a computer was an Apple IIe and the program was VisiCalc. My Dad’s business had purchased a computer because someone on their board thought it might be a good idea but after they got it they weren’t sure what to do with it. My Dad brought it home for a time and I vividly remember using VisiCalc first and then a few others. Eleven-year-old me was blown away by pretty much anything on that machine, let alone a spreadsheet.

I had no understand of the market for these things and certainly wasn’t aware of what was happening in the industry for much of the 1980s. My next spreadsheet was Lotus, but that plays into the “rest of the story” which WSJ details quite well.

Hmmmm, I do still have my 5 1/4” disks and a working Apple IIe, maybe I should take a stroll down memory lane?!

WSJ post on VisiCalc

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Early in my childhood I became a fan of the Christian band “Petra”. I made friends from church camp and youth retreats who shared their music with me. I especially connected with the song “Computer Brains” (link below if you’re so inclined). This thought is similar to what Brian posts, follow along and be prepared for some sobering thoughts to consider.

Thoughts lead to beliefs, beliefs lead to…

Brian Roemmele’s Twitter

Petra - Computer Brains

THR - Meatballs at 40

Heaven help me, I loved this movie. I fondly remember my sister and I watching it all the time. My Dad recorded it off of a replay of it on “TBS”. If you’re an 80s kid then you know what I’m talking about. We had a tradition where we would watch Meatballs as school ended for the summer. It still makes me happy to hear the opening song, “Are you ready for the summer?”

THR does a solid job rekindling old memories but they missed my favorite line…”hey you on the water skis”.

The Hollywood Reporter

Bill Gates discusses Paul Allen

The more that time rolls on the more respect I have for Bill Gates. The work that he has done, post direct day to day involvement at Microsoft will impact the lives of billions for many years. Such grace and maturity in all that he does while still doing it all with child-like wonder and enthusiasm.

This retelling of the story of Paul Allen and their history together truly inspires and is a must read.

Bil Gates on Paul Allen

Fascinating - NeXT 1989 Catalog

A treasured gem of a catalog. By 1989 NeXT had settled on both it’s image and the powerful combination of hardware and software. Amazing to see the threads here that are still influencing Apple and it’s platforms today. The former NeXT team eventually and not initially successfully brought the successor to NeXT’s OS forward as OS X in 2001.

My favorite sections are the third party portions of the catalog.

For further reading if you’re asking yourself “who was NeXT and why should I care?”. Also, it’s prerequisite to know who Avie Tevanian is.

NeXT 1989 Catalog

Does the news reflect what we die from?

Fascinating post from Bill Gates’ Twitter. Oddly enough after a couple of decades of being on the Apple side of the Mac vs. PC war I find admiration for the Gates’ family growing and growing with each passing year. If only we had more families like theirs!

From the Our World in Data article, “The major standout here – I had to break the scale on the y-axis since it's several orders of magnitude higher than everything else – is terrorism: it is overrepresented in the news by almost a factor of 4000.” Fascinating to see these stats.

Bill Gates Twitter

Brad Voytek from UCSD shared his team’s original research

Charting Death - source writing

32 Stoic Thoughts from a 32-year old

Ryan is an influential writer and stoic. I’ve had the experience of reading several of his books. I still regret passing up the chance to meet him last September! The Stoics continue to influence my life.

Lots of great thoughts in Ryan’s article, one of my favs, “I used to not check my phone in the morning until I’d done one thing (shower, eat, whatever). Then I moved it to I don’t check my phone for the first thirty minutes after I wake up. Now I’m moving towards an hour. Mornings have dramatically improved. The days have too.”

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Ode to Sir Jony

The 90s were a dark time for relatively penniless Apple fans. I was young and the possibility of owning an Apple computer was an impossible dream. Each year that went by found me sliding deeper into a Microsoft Windows-induced technological depression. Oh hi there Windows 95 you look nice but why are you so mean to me? Oops, I made the mistake of buying version A. Curse you, oh failed SDLC dictated by delivering a product whether it’s ready to ship or not! Wait, where’s plug n’ play?

Steve comes back into the picture and randomly brings Microsoft’s money and a relatively unknown Jony Ive with him. My beloved delivery of the newest Mac Mall catalog would later tease me with this crazy computer called an iMac that I wouldn’t be able to afford for a decade. No PS/2 ports, all usb, no floppy drive, crazy cool colors…I wanted it all.

And now the news that Jony is moving on from Apple. Congrats to FT on an awesome, scoop-laden article.

While my head swirls with mixed feelings while I digest all of this I’ll simply leave with quotes from “A Day In the Life”:

“I read the news today, oh boy

About a lucky man who made the grade

And though the news was rather sad

Well, I just had to laugh”

FT Article

Doing something when you're not doing something a/k/a Sabbath

Intriguing to see a NYT on a topic that often swirls in my head. As a Sabbath-keeper many of the principles Ms. Tsui speaks to are well known to me. There is extensive research showing the positive impact on health, happiness, and even productivity when you take time to observe a rest of Sabbath.

In a recent post on LinkedIn that went viral, Ian Sohn, president of the digital advertising and marketing agency Wunderman Chicago, wrote in defense of his vision of a healthy and humanistic workplace: “I never need to know that you’re working from home today because you simply need the silence. I deeply resent how we’ve infantilized the workplace. How we feel we have to apologize for having lives. How constant connectivity/availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill.””

Perhaps it’s worthy to think of our expectations of others, especially in off hours when rest should be valued.

NYT Article

Catalyst to the Rescue?

Watching from the sidelines the WWDC keynote was mind-glowingly awesome. I don’t have much time for development work in my day to day life but I did get that the biggest announcements were developer-oriented…Catalyst, SwiftUI, Combine, and more.

Still re-reading this article from MacStories’ John Voorhees, one specific sugget says it all, “So, if Catalyst isn't fully automatic and SwiftUI is the future of UI development across all Apple's platforms, why introduce Catalyst now? The answer lies in a product realignment of the Mac and iPad relative to each other and the rest of Apple's product line that's designed to address weaknesses in both platforms' software ecosystems.

Lots to unpack here but the future looks bright for both iOS and MacOS.

MacStories read

Bill Gates laments the loss of Windows Phone to Android and so do I!

Engaging the time machine back to 2006 I quickly see a very different world. I thought that Apple barely made Macs and the newer “iPods”. There’s rumors swirling that Apple is working on a phone. But why? This makes no sense to many in 2006 but those people didn’t have the vision to see what these devices would become.

Most of my pre-iPhone work life was at organizations obsessed with Blackberry, which I avoided like a common plague. Microsoft was easily gaining speed and battling back against Blackberry and Palm devices. Google bought a company that developed software called “Android”.

I had high hopes for the Windows Phone platform as a second competitor to iOS. Microsoft was doing some amazing things and the partnership with Nokia on the early hardware back in 2012 was truly magic (no sarcasm). I’m a proud Nokia Lumia 920 owner! I seldomly spend my own money to buy non-iOS hardware to test but I truly enjoyed the Lumia.

Quote from Gates, “There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system and what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G to company M.” I’d much rather M have that money (and our data) than G.

Microsoft couldn’t shake the problems with the app ecosystem and as much as they tried to throw money at app developers it was too late. Apple was dominating and Android was taking over the remainder of the world. As users we have suffered due to Microsoft’s failures in mobile, sure wish they’d give it another try!

Verge Article

Google and OEM-based attack vectors

On paper, Android conceptually seems like a grand, world-bettering idea. Common OS shared by a world full of hardware manufacturers, self-monitoring through it all. In execution, however, it seems to have been a nightmare. From the horrible slowness of new OS adoption to malware to “XYZ” skins to maintaining security….a nightmare.

From the Ars article, “"One of these security tests scans for pre-installed PHAs [potentially harmful applications] included in the system image," Google officials wrote in their Android Security & Privacy 2018 Year In Review report. "If we find a PHA on the build, we work with the OEM partner to remediate and remove the PHA from the build before it can be offered to users."

This is indeed some complicated stuff but even a layman could see the challenge here.

Ars Technica Post

New Hampshire's Basic Historical Marker

Funny to see a local newspaper story perspective on this, great read! My favorite line, “Everybody who has ever typed a GOTO command can feel proud.” It’s certainly an interesting idea to have New Hampshire identified as a geeky state.

My second computer was a Commodore 64 (Apple IIe was first). I fondly remember spending a ton of time heads down with the ol’ 64 and my Basic friend. I still have a copy of some of the programs I wrote back in the 6th grade and even a school project where I wrote out the code on a yellow legal pad and turned it in as a school project. My instructor was kind but admitted that she had no idea what she was looking at.

The biggest project in Basic was to write my own banking software. My Father worked in banking and his bank had recently gotten their first computer system, unix based terminals. I thought I could make it better so I created my own version in Basic. I even had a mechanism for a user to log in. Eventually the program got too big and I started hitting limitations of the hardware, mainly the insane and often-horrid tape drive. And yes, I did NOT have a disk drive because I couldn’t afford it!

All Hail Basic - Concord Monitor Article