The Newton™ Scapegoat

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"We have no government."

Overheard during a major war:

"You can't overthrow our government. We have no government!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


From a cow-orker:

> just out of curiosity, what does $mike evaluate to?

$ php -r 'echo "\$mike=$mike\n";'

$ perl -e 'print "\$mike=$mike\n";'

$ ruby -e 'print "\$mike=",$mike,"\n";'

Apparently, nothing.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Daddy, when all the people are up in heaven what will God do with the earth?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A simile is like a metaphor...

Well, a simile is like a metaphor. [...] OK, so think of a metaphor as an analogy. [...] Right, so an analogy is to a comparison as a parallel is to a correspondence...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

phonebook edition

Fall of 1985. The phonebook edition of Inside Macintosh arrived. It was sent in a huge yellow manilla envelope, which the USPS had completely trashed. Amazingly, the book itself was still in good condition. I had acquired the Macintosh Development System disks from Tom, and spent many a happy hour browsing through the manual trying to figure out how to create programs for my Macintosh 512K. I recall thinking, “Gee, these people are really smart. I bet it would be cool to work with them.”

Summer of 1988. I am unpacking a box of books in Bandley 3. Among the many volumes I find my tattered old phonebook edition of Inside Macintosh. I recall the day it first arrived, and how much fun I had reading it. Then, suddenly I realize that I am now working at the company where the Macintosh was created. Not only that, I was in the very building where most of the code documented in that battered old book was written.

Spring of 1991. I just joined the Newton group (which was not called that, but I can't remember what is was called then; perhaps the Advanced Products Group?). I was unpacking a box of books in Bubb 5, and came across that beloved phonebook edition of Inside Macintosh. I remembered the rush when I unpacked it in Bandley 3, and in double-flashback style the awe when I first started reading it back in college. And then I realized, not only was I working at the same company, but I was now working with some of the original Macintosh developers (Larry, Steve).

Summer of 2008. We finally emptied out the storage unit (Door-To-Door are highway bandits, by the way). Of course, that meant sifting through 20 boxes of books looking for keepers. And there it is, my old friend the phonebook edition of Inside Macintosh. It's been more than ten years since I worked at Apple. The company today bears little resemblance to the “no adult supervision” one I worked at. But I still remember sitting in Bubb 5 and realizing that I was living the dream.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Speaking of "Knock Knock" jokes...

Sam: Knock, knock!

Me: Who's there?

Sam: Banana

Me: Banana who?

Sam: Knock, knock!

Me: Who's there?

Sam: Banana

Me: Banana who?

Sam: Knock, knock!

Me: Who's there?

Sam: Banana


Sam: Knock, knock!

Me: Who's there?

Sam: Orange

Me: Orange who?

Sam: Orange aren't you glad I didn't say "banana?"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Whither Ars?

Ars Technica is one of the few tech news sites I read regularly. I can usually count on them to provide interesting articles on relevant topics about current and future technology. They aren’t as hardcore geeky as Tom’s Hardware or Anand Tech, and the articles are more thoughtful and informative than c|net or ZDNet.

At least, they used to be.

Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed the tone of the site has changed. There are new contributors, and pieces from the Old Guard (Stokes, Siracusa, Jade, Fisher) are harder to find. Not that new blood is bad, far from it. But with the new faces came a new style. The headlines are “clever” and have “bite,” while the articles are more “edgy” and “slick.” They are also “shorter” with less “information.”

I suppose this kind of change is inevitable, as Condé Nast works to get some return on its investment.

I could toss out a lot of sardonic hyperbole about the decline of news media, designed mostly to show you how clever I am. But I'll leave that to the professionals.

Instead I’ll just ask where I can find the Internet equivalent of The News Hour?

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