Friday, May 20, 2011

Fanbois Fanboy

Hi. I'm an Apple fanboi, no wait, a Windows Fanboy, maybe a Ubuntu, penguinista, ... or was it BSD?

 (...sigh...), I guess I'm just an Operating System slut. 


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hang on to your hat.

So I'm reading Chuck House's eBook - HP Phenomenom, on an iPad using the Kindle app, in bed, in Sydney. The story of HP, business, technology and humanity. I think, boy, there is some really good stuff in here about running a technology business. So I shoot off an email to Chuck in California. It's night here, early morning over there. I continue reading. Bing! Email arrives from chuck. He has included another attached essay. Great stuff about General Radio, HP and Tektronics when they were just 'hitting their straps'. Chuck was an engineer at HP Labs. His stuff allowed us to see Neil Armstrong's foot hit the moon.

Reading in bed, So what? Well, if you were born when I was born, or moreover when Chuck was born, and you were reading his book, on an iPad and sending email at the same time, in bed nice and warm with electric blankets you might stop and think, wow, when I was a kid I didn't dream of this.

When I was a kid, I'd read in bed, but the electronics magazines were paper. I'd dream of getting my hands on enough components to build stuff. Software or 'programs' was an abstract notion. What was the point of flowcharting and writing a Fortran routine when getting on a 'computer' was like getting to the moon. I read the press releases and articles on LED and LCD display inventions, TTL logic designs and microprocessors on a single chip. I was stuck with crappy old valves and stuff from dead TVs. Later I could salvage transistors from dead radios, but integrated circuits were a distant dream. Years went by and with the help of Tandy and Dick Smith stores, overtime, I built a frequency counter. It cost me a fortune, but I was engrossed. It was the same effect that drove Steve Wozniak to design and build his first computer. How he found the money I'll never know.

So here I am in bed, in the erie glow of the iPad, and I recall being in bed with the glow of the fluorescent display of an opened up sharp calculator. Wondering at the display, the chips, the logic. I think back on all my dreams and projects. The thrill of unboxing each new device or computer (micro-computer). Hunting down the serious documentation on the chips and architecture. The wonder of being 'immersed' in the complex inner world that was the operating system and ROM code. Burning the midnight oil writing programs in assembler for 6502, 6510, x86 etc.

Now I have customers using accounting Software and specialized systems I have developed.

The iPad I'm using now, reading Chuck's book, sending emails and writing this blog, makes a mockery of my dreams, and yet in many ways is the fulfillment of them.

What an astonishing and magnificent ride.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

What can you say?

Weird 'wooden' Kindle and iPad support. 
It wont be long before Fahrenheit 451 becomes a (more) cryptic title.

Buying and assembling a 'bookshelf' is akin to getting a mantelpiece in order to support a 'Mantel clock'. Luckily I have a collection of 'paper' books.

Some of you may recall paper books. They were generally made from the mashed bodies of dead trees and occasionally covered with a thin layer of the epidermal skin of butchered ungulates.

In fact I almost have 'paper books' enough to justify the space this quaint antique requires, however, you can re-purpose these odd boxes to store other collectibles known as 'knick-knacks'.

The more esoteric amongst you could store 'Exercise Books'. These were really marvelous paper books that you sort of printed yourself. The printing instrument was known as a 'Fountain Pen'. These were sharp pointed devices that left a trail of 'ink' on the paper. The dye was made using the melanin-mucus secretions of marine cephalopods, mainly Octopus or Squid and drawn up into the device using a small built-in lever operated pump. Even older 'pens' were made from bird feathers.

Some of these 'bookshelves' have glass doors, a must have if your collection contains any of the gems mentioned above. Unfortunately, these paper books can be infested with tiny Arthropods (book mites / lice), not surprising given their composition. So you might think twice before bringing these items into your house - especially if you have young children.


Privacy is dead.

Whoooo, naughty Apple and Google are stealing your location data.
What rot.
Look, with a warrant here or there, or not, we can know everything there is to know about you without Apple or Google. (although we will use them as well). We only need to dip the stream on you once or twice, and we keep the stuff.

Any phone company knows who you call, what cell towers you transit through, as well as the person you're calling and the people they're calling ... Smart Psychologists, Mathematicians and Computer science guys have worked out algorithms to map all the connections between all phone users as well as details from EFTPOS transactions, rewards points cards, banking, medical, travel, electricity used, fuel used, etc etc.

We can know who you are, how many kids, life expectancy, sexual preferences, if you're cheating on your spouse, political leanings, racial opinions, religion and philosophical belief system. We can know what you like to eat, drink, smell and see. eg:The rewards cards and debit / credit cards can tie you to all your products scanned at your supermarket.

Over the years you have filled in so many forms, offered so much information to banks, hospitals, schools, passport, visa and customs, phone companies, energy supply companies, gun registries, council / county government etc etc.

Ever wonder how all this computing, internet, medical, appliance and communication technology works?
Wonder about Google Earth, GPS, the Internet, MRI and other advanced medical equipment. Massively complex and almost magical machinery?
Who has dibs on the GPS, Internet, Satellite imaging, WiFi etc. The military, their research agencies and the 'state'.
How many things in your house are not FCC or agency compliant. You think these guys don't get detailed reports on all this stuff prior to putting their stamp and numbers on everything.

Do you really think that the level of commercial technology, science etc, for all these everyday wonders is at the same level as the state.
You're kidding if you do. If you think Google Earth is amazing, that's nothing on what the 'state' has (Keyhole). That goes for nearly all of it.

Now we can't force RFID chips under your skin, (Well maybe we can, how carefully were you watched as a baby when you were in hospital being born? and where do all those Guthrie cards go?), but we don't need RFID.
We have your 'smart' phone - complete with detectors (towers). You carry it everywhere, with it you tell us where you are / were, who you you plot with and their relationship, and soon banks will send you an sms to confirm on line sales and card use. Two Factor Authentication.

We can bring it all together sooo sweetly it's a shame it's secret.

Now you be a good boy or girl, put on your tin foil hats, and you have nothing to worry about.

Skynet Operations and Management.
We know you better than you know you.