Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: They don't make 'em like they used to

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  • steven crawford,

    Good log, these are the sorts of posts I like they open me up to knowledge I didn't know that I didn't know about.

    The pdf opener might be an unstable glitch in safari 3 on 10.4 that Russell mentioned. I'v been getting problems there so I'v started down loading pdf's instead.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    We used to work, down the mine, week in week out for tuppence a fortnight and when we got home our dad would make us use Netscape.

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We used to work, down the mine, week in week out for tuppence a fortnight and when we got home our dad would make us use Netscape.

    You were lucky!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You can probably do this trick which involves the a single keystroke before you can begin dragging and dropping

    Good point. the iMac had Firewire ports really early, so there's a good chance I/O's Mac will have one, and thus be able to go into Fire Target Disk Mode.

    But he probably still wants to buy one o' them remarkably cheap USB sticks. Getting the 4GB one changed our whole downloaded-TV viewing experience: you load up some foreign telly on the stick, walk into the lounge, plug it in the PS3 and behave as a citizen of the world ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Southgate,

    One feature which looks cool but hasn't turned out to be much use to me is that you can select part of a page and have it display, live, in Dashboard.

    This sounds really good to me too, i've used it to take a clipping of the metservice forecast for Wellington as that's more accurate than the other weather widgets i've seen. Works good, but im not sure what else I will use it for.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You were lucky!

    Yeah, my boss made me use IE, because we were a Microsoft Development Partner (I think that was the title you got if you purchased their development environment and had actually sold some software). That was when I was working for no pay. Ah, the 90s, the best thing about them was that I was still young.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I do love the idea of the Safari live screen capture feature but aside from having made myself a gmail window for Dashboard I haven't found a use for it either.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • nic.wise,

    I sometimes like to amuse myself by totting up what my current monthly usage would have cost me back in the old days. 60GB a month, anyone?

    Um, something similar to what it would cost if you got 60GB thru Telecom or Vodafone?

    ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I well remember when I first discovered puters which was the same time as the World Wide Web really became populist in NZ (about 1995, I think).

    I once read that if you ask people what was the year that the web went from being a niche experience for geeks and scientists to being populist, they'll name the year they first got online!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I remember a friend who worked for Vodafone telling us about a person had signed up for global roaming for data then went overseas and proceeded to download over a gb of data (auto updates?), this back about three-four years ago when data roaming charges met the definition of horrible. Apparently the initial (before negotiation) bill was several hundred thousand dollars.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    While everyone is busy being geeks, does anyone know of a touch typing tutor suitable for our nine year old? For a Mac, of course.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • nic.wise,

    Hows this for joining two threads:

    the first mac I hever "had" outside of the ones we used at uni was a Powerbook 100 (even if it was just for a weekend), on OS8 or OS9:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBook_100

    ... owned by one Kim Schienberg (sp?).....

    As for joining the threads - well, I guess Russell would know the connection, as would David Slack and the a-fore-mentioned Mr Ram. Anyone else from that era here?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Wills,

    While everyone is busy being geeks, does anyone know of a touch typing tutor suitable for our nine year old? For a Mac, of course.

    http://www.smartkidssoftware.com/cdswt4.htm

    Mavis Beacon was what I learnt on when I was 12-13, didn't even have a computer at home to practice on until I was 16 by which time I was clocking 60-80 words a minute. Kids used to tease me because they thought I went home and typed all night. That was on a Mac at the time, assume that's still the case.

    and DON'T get them to learn on a stupid ergonomic keyboard... hopefully it goes without saying but just thought I'd warn you.

    Parnell, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    I can join those threads in a further way.

    Kim Scheinberg and I used that very laptop to give a presentation in the Michael Fowler Centre about this amazing new thing called the world wide web. It would have been 1995 or 1996. Some kind of computer world conference. We arrived with minutes to spare (we first took a detour to Lower Hutt to visit the electrical goods importer who was negotiating to buy ICONZ. That’s a whole other rollercoaster story). We found the organiser who showed us to the podium. "You got that ethernet connection for us?" we asked. "Actually, no," he said.

    With two minutes to go, we decided how we might demonstrate the internet to a few hundred people without using said internet. We told stories. We told people what you could do on the internet. We showed them things we had downloaded from the internet. We told them how you would one day be able to book your entire holiday online yourself - plane tickets, accommodation, car, the lot. People drifted out the door as the hour ground on.

    Afterwards an angry looking middle aged man in a suit made his way towards us. He pulled out his business card, shoved it in my hand. It announced him as a travel agent. He told me it had been highly irresponsible of me to be saying such things. I wonder what he's doing now.

    I also remember stepping into a lift after another visit we made to demonstrate the internet to Roger Lampen and his headhunters. They were very impressed. As we got into the lift Kim said “did you hear what Netscape stock debuted at today?” From memory I think it was 60 dollars. We said to each other Holy Fuck, this is big. A few months later, it seemed entirely realistic for some Wellington wide boys to offer me millions of dollars for the automatic speech writer. Friends who know that whole sorry saga will know that its never as straightforward as it sounds when someone makes you an offer like that.

    I last had an email from Kim four or five years ago. She was living well in Northern California, raising a family and still buying the latest Mac gear.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    He told me it had been highly irresponsible of me to be saying such things. I wonder what he's doing now.

    Yes, I remember in 1995 my boss at the time asking whether this Internet thing was really going to amount to anything.

    Smart guy, just didn't quite get the shift from bulletin board nerds to something much more powerful.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    I got so misty eyed at this I went and fired up my Macintosh (note that it has no letters after the name), plugged in the widget I acquired in 1992 and loaded the IP stack, put in the floppy with the browser on it (having ejected the one with the O/S)... and had a look at PA - might be interesting what that shows up as :)

    And then I shut it down, and using the special long torx and cracker tool they gave me along with my Mac service passport in 1987 opened the back, gently touched the three signatures on the inside of the case, put it back together and placed it back in the wool lined storage box until next year.

    <sigh>

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Kim Scheinberg and I used that very laptop to give a presentation in the Michael Fowler Centre about this amazing new thing called the world wide web. It would have been 1995 or 1996.

    Ah, just a few short years after Nat Torkington and I gave a presentation around the corner at Capital Discovery Place about these amazing things called, uh, WAIS and gopher.

    Pass me my buggy whip, I need to go home.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Zane,

    Certainly, it is time we (doctors and responsible citizens) addressed the availability of anti-depressants and the alacrity with which we turn to them for relief as a 'quick-fix' when it may be a useless action at best, and a dangerous one at worst. However, as the body of research over many trials has shown, efficacy is significant with severe cases. And as Fraser points out - essential. It is also well-known that sufferers need talk-therapy along with the medication.

    I hate to think of what some poor young ones without enough support and wisdom might do on reading the headlines of that article. It is common among the sufferers to dislike having to 'medicate' - disliking being different, not 'normal'. They don't need this kind of ignorant alarmist journalism.
    Jan Zan

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Compie,

    I remember Netscape (or something) back at Vic in 1994. How boring was Playboy.com without the pics (couldn't load images frokm any site) and everything in black and white.

    Dunedin/Vancouver • Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    How boring was Playboy.com without the pics

    Even with the pics it's pretty boring. For sexy time try www.fistsoffury.com

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Ram,

    My ears were burning

    Ah those were heady days… your post Simon also reminded me of the state of technology of the time, esp at Flying Nun.

    The monster of a dot matrix printer, so loud it needed a special sound proof shield and ideally its own room. The lengthy hand written faxes Mr Shepherd generated day after day, the massive phone bills generated day after day, rolls and rolls of faxes awaiting you in the morning. And then of course the fading faxes you try and decipher after a couple of months.

    On the browser tip, Flock is worth a look and the guys at work are currently looking at IE8 and I’m hearing it might not be too bad.

    Since Mar 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    The monster of a dot matrix printer, so loud it needed a special sound proof shield and ideally its own room.

    Hiya Richard.....even more of a shock to me about 6 years ago was looking at buying a point of sale system and being told by the salesman that it required a dot matrix printer for reports, available from them at a snip for just $1000. Hard to find now he said.....

    Pass.....

    rolls and rolls of faxes awaiting you in the morning.

    Record companies the world over would send me their daily release sheets and it was unusual to come in in the morning and not have to put a new roll in.

    Does anyone still use faxes regularly (outside Indonesia that is, where the cassette and typewriter also still live)? I have an efax number (fax to a number and it gets emailed to me) but rarely get more than one a week.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

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