Goodbye Steve

Brian in Opinion | 0 Comments October 6, 2011

Like many, I was shocked to hear of Steve’s passing yesterday.  Twitter, Facebook, all the major news outlets and even the president himselfpoured out heartfelt thoughts and condolences to his family.  I work for the other team so I shouldn’t be as sentimental as those who live or die by their Apple products, right?  Wrong.  I’m surprised by just how moved I am.

I experienced my first Apple product just four years ago.  Sure, I’d seen (and even touched!) Macs, iPods and even the occasional Apple II in high school.  But nothing had ever really struck me as something I had to have.  Then the iPhone was released.  At first I didn’t believe the hype or the videos of it in action.  How could they make the UI so fluid?  How could it be so thin?  It had to be a mock up.

So I bought one.  I walked into an Apple store and walked out a mere ten minutes later, iPhone in hand.  When I got home it turned out to be everything the hype said it was:  it was revolutionary.  It wasn’t the hardware or the software.  It was the whole package.  This is the magic of Apple:  from my first Apple store experience to my first product unboxing to my first usage of my shiny new iPhone, my whole expectation of consumer electronics had permanently changed. 

The experience matters.  The whole experience.  Apple carefully planned my entire iPhone experience from the moment I set foot in the store all the way through to buying my next iPhone.  They are experts at sweating the small stuff.  Because Steve was an expert at sweating the small stuff.  Steve taught the world that it matters how things feel in your hand.  It matters what kinds of materials are used and how durable something is through day-to-day use.  It matters how you’re treated when you walk in a store.  It even matters what color the box is.  All of these thousands of small details add up and create something larger than the whole. 

I know Apple will go on sweating the small stuff.  I’m sure that’s one of the thousands of small details Steve attended to before he left.  But the computer industry and the entire world has lost a very rare and unique visionary.

Souring the Honeypot

Brian in Opinion | 2 Comments February 11, 2011

The web is all a twitter (pun intended) over claims by Google that Bing is stealing their search engine results.  I won’t re-hash it – this link has plenty of reading material.  Google’s honeypot trap got me thinking.  What if, after installing the Bing bar and accepting all the “would you like us to track your links to improve Bing” options like Google did, you clicked on incorrect links to make the wrong associations?  Would Bing learn those associations?

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Windows Phone 7 For All

Brian in Gadgets | 0 Comments July 22, 2010

As has already been reported many times, Microsoft is giving each of its 80,000 employees a Windows Phone 7 device at launch.  As a long time Windows Mobile user (and Pocket PC Phone, Pocket PC and Palm-Sized PC user – man has this technology had a lot of names) I’m excited to see Microsoft aggressively re-entering the phone space.  I hope it can compete with the iPhone and Android phones and from what I’ve seen of devices and read in early reviews, Windows Phone will be strong competition.

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Things That Make My Life Hell, Part 1: App Domains

Brian in Coding | 0 Comments March 26, 2010

I’m going to start a new series of posts titled, “Things That Make My Life Hell”.  The goal of these posts isn’t to explain to you why you should be glad you’re not me.  No, the goal is to pick some of the harder, messier problems I’ve had to deal with and explain how I solved them.  That way, should you ever have the misfortune of facing the same problems, hopefully you’ll be armed with a solution.

For today’s misfortune I’d like to focus on .NET app domains. More...

Hotfix Posted for VS 2010 RC Crashing Issue

Brian in Cider, News | 0 Comments February 15, 2010

The VS 2010 RC has a serious bug that causes crashes when editing text.  The VS team has released a patch for it here: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/KB980610.  Karl's also posted this on The Cider Blog.