Wednesday 21 December, 2022

Through OS9, brightly

A 2007 post on Memex 1.1 rendered in the original Mac Operating System (pre-OSX).

Michael Dales is one of the most accomplished geeks I am fortunate to know. Years ago he was CTO of one of the tech companies Quentin and I were involved in. But he is also an accomplished photographer, an expert on motorbikes (ICE and Electric) and now he’s a luthier who makes wonderful bespoke guitars.

This image comes from a side-project of his — writing his blog posts on an old G3 Powermac. It shows what Memex 1.1 looked like on a Macintosh running OS9 back in the day.

Quote of the Day

”This going into Europe will not turn out to be the thrilling mutual exchange proposed. It is more like nine middle-aged couples with failing marriages meeting in a darkened bedroom in a Brussels for a group grope.”

  • E.P. Thompson

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Jimmy Yancey | The Mellow Blues


Long Read of the Day

Trump’s post-presidential existence

I really shouldn’t be recommending this Washington Post piece, but I’m ashamed to say I found it riveting. Here’s a sample:

On a typical day since leaving office, advisers said, Trump gets up early, makes phone calls, watches television and reads some newspapers. Then, six days a week, he plays 18 or sometimes 27 holes of golf at one of his courses. After lunch, he changes into a suit from his golf shirt and slacks and shows up in the office above the Mar-a-Lago ballroom or, when he is in New Jersey, a similar office in a cottage near the Bedminster club’s pool.

By evening, Trump emerges for dinner, surrounded most nights by adoring club members who stand and applaud at his appearance; they stand and applaud again after he finishes his meal and retires for the night. He often orders special meals from the kitchen and spends time curating the music wafting over the crowd, frequently pushing for the volume to be raised or lowered based on his mood. In the Oval Office, Trump had a button he could push to summon an aide to bring him a Diet Coke or snacks. Now, he just yells out commands to whichever employee is in earshot…

18 or 27 holes a day!. I was a very keen golfer in my youth, but this sounds excessive even to me. And, since I guess he doesn’t do much walking on the course (just riding in a gold-cart), it means he’s not getting much real exercise.

There’s lots more in this piece, much of it serious.

Books, etc.

A summary of the report from the US House of Representatives on the January 6 ‘insurrection’ was released on Monday. This NPR piece about the way various publishers are planning to publish the full report in book form is interesting. Whether publishers succeed in making it into a bestseller depends in part on whether the Congressional panel produces the usual stodgy government report which reads — in the words of one professor of English consulted by NPR — “like the instruction manual to a microwave oven”, i.e. “tedious, stilted, dry and stuffed with technical language”.

My hunch, from watching how the Panel went about its work, is that the document might be a page-turner the moment it appears on the Web. It was clear that some people working for the lawmakers understood the importance of building a compelling narrative. Which is what thriller-writers do.

My commonplace booklet

One way of thinking about the future

A sketch for a paper I’m working on.

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