Disruptive technology

Robert Cringely writes an interesting article in Inc. Magazine covering the future of wireless networking and hot spot aggregation. Comparing this new way of networking to personal computers, airlines and HMOs, in their ability to change the way a technology is used. Aaron Swartz recently wrote about his view of the future. It’s a slightly different take on the concept, but no less disruptive.

One thing that both articles mention is Apple’s role in the WiFi revolution that is taking place. According to Cringely, it was Apple who originally lobbied the government to open up the 2.4 to 5.8 gigahertz range of radio frequencies for wireless data exchange. And Apple continues to innovate in both the wireless and networking arenas. And in both hardware and software.

Much as they did with USB, Apple appears poised to be the first computer manufacturer to make bluetooth available across their full line of computers. They have already done this with AirPort on the WiFi front, and are poised to make the jump to AirPort Extreme across the board as I am sure each new product announcement will demonstrate.

And on the software side of things there is Rendezvous. By open sourcing this software Apple has ensured its success and rapid adoption on a variety of platforms. I predict that there will be an initial surge of applications that use Rendezvous for more mundane things like automatic printer discovery and other networking solutions. But there is a lot of untapped potential for this technology for doing more useful things by bringing people together. Someone is going to think different about how to use this technology and create an app that comes out of nowhere and becomes as popular, addictive, and useful as NetNewsWire. And everyone will think, “That was an obvious application of this technology, why didn’t I think of it?”

Or maybe you will...

»plink« · February 27, 2003

Not such a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Mister Rogers died in his home today, at age 74 of stomach cancer. He was an amazing man of character and integrity. I remember watching a bloopers show several years ago that showed several takes of him struggling to put up a tent. Nothing was going right, and he was clearly frustrated, but the clip ended with him in a fit of laughter—quite a contrast to the censored spots of so many other outtakes...

»plink« · February 27, 2003

New toys on the way

And so the wait begins. I’ve placed an order for a fully tricked out 12" PowerBook, Final Cut Pro, and some DVD media. The wait time on the ‘Book is 2-4 weeks (but I just got an email saying that Final Cut Pro has shipped!) So, to tide me over I also ordered some new DV equipment that should be here tomorrow! If you think posts have been few and far between recently, it may get worse before it gets better as I’ll be taking time to play with the toys. Then again, I could decide to share more about the new obsession...

Speaking of waiting for stuff from Apple, my 100 free prints arrived yesterday. I don’t know how Kodak does it, but they look just like prints from a camera. There is a certain non-film quality to them, just like you can tell video from film on a television. But the quality is great, especially considering they came from a 2 MegaPixel camera. My kids sorted them into piles as they looked through them: Family Pictures, Boston Trip, and Daddy’s weird things...

»plink« · February 25, 2003

Add Locks of Love...

As I mentioned below, our 10 year old daughter Jordan donated a 14" ponytail of hair to Locks of Love on Valentine’s Day. Ever the dutiful father, I had camcorder in hand to record the event. For those who might be interested, I compressed some 24 minutes of footage into a much shorter (and more interesting) movie [pops up in a new window. The QuickTIme movie is about 16 MB. If you need something smaller there is a low bandwidth version (~4MB) available as well].

»plink« · February 19, 2003

While I was away

»plink« · February 17, 2003

Doing my share

I had an email exchange with Kelly Abbott over at Airshare.org that ended up with me writing an article on how I set up our home wireless network, and how you can do it, too! Enjoy...

»plink« · February 8, 2003

Princeton 17-inch LCD panel review

I was finally able to find some time to rearrange my computer desk and set up the LCD panel this weekend. Let me say at the outset that for the price, I am quite pleased. It looks great under OSX, and not too shabby in 9.1 (the text smoothing is much cleaner in Jaguar). There is one bad pixel, which is kind of annoying, but it isn’t too bad. It’s lean profile makes the 17" Apple Studio Display look positively obese by comparison, yet the LCD has a greater area, and displays more pixels. Actually, I can display more pixels on the CRT, but everything gets really tiny.

The backlight on the unit is quite bright, but the gamma on the display is a bit darker than I am used to. I’m still futzing with the controls to get things calibrated the way I want them, but I am not spending too much time, since I’ll be connecting it to a different video card in the near future.

While it isn’t a perfect display by any stretch, and it certainly doesn’t live up to the standards I would place on an Apple display, it does a fine job, and at half the price of Apple’s 17" LCD offering was a good buy for me...

»plink« · February 5, 2003

New iMacs

Apple is on a new product announcement rampage. I guess iPods are next...

The “Spring Model” iMacs start at $1299 for the 15" model and $1799 for the 17" model. I could make another chart comparing the new 17" iMac to the new 12" PowerBook, but that would do me no good, as I have decided to go with the portable solution and will wait for another year or so before I invest in a solid desktop machine.

»plink« · February 4, 2003

Digital Video

A week from today I’ll be in sunny (I hope!) Santa Monica, CA attending a 3 day digital video workshop. I am really looking forward to learning more about shooting good footage, editing in Final Cut Pro, and especially learning how to deliver the results on CD, DVD, and the web. And while there, I’ll be able to spend some time with a friend, and visit the Magic Castle in Hollywood...

»plink« · February 3, 2003

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