Drewloid's Blog

Archive for October 2011

I’m thinkng the hardware on this little transformer is pretty decent, especially with the add on keyboard. but the typing experience has a bunch of key lag and it’s totally harshing my love.

it’s a nice try, but i have to suspect that while it could be an android problem, it is more likely an oem integration problem.

i’m not in love with the ipad either, and i doubt the bluetooth keybaord has this problem. maybe it s a browser problem. regardles, i don’t know why there needs to be a 1 second key lag everyy few keystrokes, or why the cursor keeps jumping to the title box. I must brushing the mousepad. once again, pc oem’s miss the little things

Seriously, people who do stuff that has a major impact in the world aren’t all that common.  And in a week, 3 of them have passed.  Wow.

First, Steve Jobs trundles off.  Not completely unexpected I suppose, but it’s a pretty big deal.  It’s also kind of a big deal that there are a bunch of boneheads out there who don’t grasp what he did.  He invented the personal computer.  Sure Ed Roberts at Mits built the Altair 8800, and that was darned important, but don’t kid yourself, the Altair looked a lot like a Data General Nova and wasn’t all that friendly.  Jobs and Woz built the Apple ][, and it was the full meal deal in a nice box.  It wasn’t scary looking.  Personal, get it?  Of course, Jobs was especially great because he wasn’t a one hit wonder.  His work will be influential for at least the next century.  Apple ][, Mac (ok, Jef Raskin gets a lot of credit for that one), iPod, iPhone, iPad.  The computing paradigm of the next 10 years is all right there with the release of iCloud, and in this business, 10 years is a really really really long time.

And I just read two more big important people left today.

Robert W. Galvin died this morning.  Ok, I’ll admit, Motorola is kind of a joke today, but when Bob Galvin was in charge this was possibly the most innovative company in America and the world.  Most of what we take for granted today in the form of radio and wireless came from Motorola.  Let’s get real.  This guy did not shy away from risk and his company’s greatest achievement is probably the invention of the cellular phone.  Innovation in the form of the Iridium satellite phone system is what ultimately took them down.  That kind of risk takes balls.  But that was just part of it.  He had crazy ideas like profit sharing plans for employees during the McCarthy era.  His company didn’t invent the microprocessor like Intel did, but they made some pretty great ones.  The Motorola 6800 processor begat the MOS Technology 6502 which landed in the Apple ][, and the original Macintosh had the Motorola 68000 in it.  And Motorola under Galvin was one of the very first American companies to adopt the Total Quality Movement principles that other Americans had come up with and Japan used in the 70’s to redefine out notion of quality.  The quote at the end of the New York Times obit is “The absolutely distinguishing quality of a leader is that a leader takes us elsewhere.”

And as if that is not enough, Dennis Ritchie died this past weekend.  I guess when you are an uber-programmer then that isn’t quite a big news.  He only invented the Unix operating system and the C programming language.  These are the technologies that are behind a very significant portion of all computer cycles executed today.  At heart, everything Apple ships is running Unix and uses a variant of the C programming language.  The original Apple ][ used the 6502 processor which traces lineage back to the PDP-11 (via the 6800) where Unix and C got a lot of their early development.  When DEC withered away the Moto 68000 family was the place for Unix.  One of the major models of writing computer software we use today came directly from this guy’s work, and tons of newer technologies descend from his thinking.  Open Source can trace it’s roots back to Dennis Ritchie, as can Linux.

These three people led the invention of a really vast and huge amount of the stuff we take for granted today, and their separate innovations are surprisingly related.  Galvin provided the hardware technologies behind Steve Job’s successes.  Ritchie provided the software (open up a terminal window on your Mac and that’s unix).  Jobs provided the creativity and vision to focus on the experience of the technology rather than the focus on technology for the sake of technology.

Innovation and leadership on the scale these three people provided doesn’t happen all the time; it is quite rare.  And I’ll note one more thing.  Bob Galvin was 89, Dennis Ritchie was 70.  Steve Jobs was only 56.  Steve was nowhere near done.

Perhaps I am simply weak, but I simply cannot stop enjoying and laughing at the iPhone competitors and the many pundits who keep second guessing Apple’s moves.  You know, the strategy that is leading them to make all the profits in the phone business, the “tablet” (actually iPad) business, and in the PC business.

So when I see Andy Lee’s comments in today’s Seattle Times, I laugh a bit more.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2016448788_windowsphoneqa10.html

I think his comments are generally reasonable and make sense for someone in his position.  It certainly would not make sense for him to lend any credibility to Apple’s strategy since that option is not available to him, and besides, it would not be possible for him to win trying to play Apple’s game.

But in the answer to the first question – “some people are making comparisons of pace.”  Well, that’s just bust a gut funny.

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

Soviet Russia made a lot of progress on a lot of fronts real fast in the 50’s – easy to do when you are way behind and there is someone showing the way to help you get caught up.  But don’t imagine that you can possibly continue the “pace” once you get caught up.

And of course, Lees is smart enough to say it is someone else saying this stuff – “I’m not saying it, so and so is saying it.”  That’s a standard language pattern to deflect challenges and criticism.  So I suppose it is the same pundits and critics who continue to entertain me saying it.

Microsoft product launches were never this entertaining.  Although watching the stock go up by leaps and bounds when I had a lot of it (and it was doing that) was pretty good.

I’m very sad that Steve Jobs has passed, and I send my love and condolences to his family.  And I think that at this time, rather than focus on being sad, I will focus on my gratitude for the things that Steve did and how we have benefitted from the things he did while he was here.

Thank you

On the heels of Apple’s new iPhone 4S announcement and the general disappointment amongst the bloggers, pundits, and especially Wall Street Analysts who add no value whatsoever to anything in the world, I must reference one of my very favorite quotes of all time, from Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

 

See also: http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

When and if any of these folks ever actually ship a product, maybe they will have something of value to say.  Until then, they are a continuing source of amusement to those of us who effect change in the world by actually doing things.  I will acknowledge that if you can get paid what the analysts get paid for doing nothing, that’s someone who is a bit smarter than me.



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  • Roberta Koral: Hey Drew..Andrew ar Andy, whichever you prefer. I just found your blog. Roberta here.
  • globularity: Sharp analysis. -Davoid
  • Stephanie: What a marvelous article, thanks for writing it "friend."

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