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Using a computer

Using a computer

I have a theory that there are three types of computer users…

What is the future of 'heavy duty' computers?

What is the future of 'heavy duty' computers?

 "The future of computers" is clearly focused on mobility and portability. But that isn't to say that big, desktop machines are going to go away. So where are the "heavy duty" computers heading?

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WWDC 2013: $8 million in less than 2 minutes

WWDC- Apple’s annual developer conference for anyone who wants to stay ahead of the game when it comes to all things related to iOS and OSX development.

$1,600 a ticket. About 5,000 attendees (the capacity of the conference centre where its held). Videos and slides are made available to all registered developers afterwards (for which you pay a fee of something like $80 a year, which you need to do if you want to get apps in the App Store.) And unlike Googles I/O conference, they don't have a history of giving away free gadgets. You get admission, and that is all.

Last year, it sold out in 2 hours, when dates were announced and tickets went on sale at the same time.

This year, dates for the conference and ticket release time were announced together earlier this week. And tickets just sold out in less than 2 minutes.

If you're wondering if developers are losing interest in Apple's platforms, then the fact that 5,000 of them just collectively handed over about $8 million just to hear what they have to say *in person* might be a relevant data point to bear in mind.

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Falling Giants

Over the last decade or so, the most unforeseeable developments probably weren't the growth of a company, or the rise or emergence of a new consumer product, category or technology. The thing that was unthinkable 10 years ago was that the clear leaders in technology – Microsoft in computers, Nokia in mobile phones, AOL in the consumer web/internet – would not be able to retain their obvious leadership positions.

Do we need a new Save icon?

Some Random Dude — Why Redesigning the Save Icon is Important

The age or establishment of something shouldn’t preclude it from scrutiny and/or replacement. If anything, that should make us all the more eager to pull it down from its pedestal. Our job is to make things better—or at least try to do so. The Save icon is not good enough. We should try to make it better.

It's a fair point. My last computer had a floppy disc drive that I never used. I'm guessing it would be about 10 years or so since I last used one. For me, the various jobs that they did got replaced by hard drives, USB sticks, Dropbox and email.

But what does the save icon really mean? "Put this file I'm working with on a disc."

The issue isn't that the icon has become obsolete. It's that the act of saving has become obsolete. Why do you want to save?

My main tools today; nvALT — automatically saves as you go. Drafts - automatically saves as you go. Elements — automatically saves when you close a document (ie. finish working with it.) VoodooPad — I honestly don't know if this saves as you go along or just when you close; I don't recall saving. What I do do in Voodoopad (and several other applications) is export — a Voodoopad document as a set of web pages, a layered photoshop .PSD as a .PNG.

What I never think to myself is "this would be a bad time to save", or "I wish my auto save was set to every 10 minutes instead of every 5."

In a world with version control, document history (think of Photoshop's History tool), cloud storage etc. there isn't any point in saving. It should be automatic. There should never be a difference between the version of the document I'm working on in RAM and the version on disk.

More to the point, the most annoying thing in my day to day workflow isn't losing unsaved work. It's having two versions of the same document with different changes because I was working in an application that doesn't save as I go along.

So, I agree that the Save icon is overdue a rethink. But the issue isn't that it needs a different picture. It needs to be got rid of altogether.

Twitter predicts SPOTY winner Wiggins | The Wall Blog

"I know", I thought. "Instead of doing a 'Twitter Predicts...' story, it would be interesting to look at the different kinds of ways you can slice up data from Twitter to tell different kinds of stories."

I didn't write the headline…

Agencies welcome UKOM and ComScore's cross-platform media planning metric | The Drum

I get quoted in this piece about the new comScore/UKOM product. (I sit on the UKOM Technical Group.)

I like to think that one day, I'll be able to give journalists the kinds of quotes they want that also match up with what I really think over the course of a brief 5 minute chat. I guess that wanting to talk about the positives of the new UKOM product without being critical of the old one doesn't make for a great soundbite…