Thanks for the great article. I always enjoy knowing the history of things. I, too, missed Idea Keeper, but have found a wonderful replacement—DEVONthink. I’ve quickly become dependent on it as the organizing center for many of my computing activities.
Terrific article! I’ve been blazing through several nascent outliners and have—for now—settled on OmniOutliner. We’ll see how it goes. This is still an immature category, as far as I’m concerned, but one that’s been long overdue.
I look forward to reading further columns.
There’s another option—a new desktop and an old laptop. I use a Duo 280 (3 lbs., greyscale) for travel. It runs Eudora (a quick copy of the Eudora folder and all mail is transferred), Word 5 (conversion is easy), Excel 5 (ditto), PowerPoint, and even SPSS 4 for statistics, and it does them all quite nicely. The only thing an old, very cheap (under $300) laptop does not do well is Web surfing. Batteries are the most expensive part of an old laptop, but if you only use them in a hotel room or a car or on the train, you can hook them up to a power supply and do just fine.
Up front cost is only one component of total cost and I’ve found that having a laptop has saved me time and allowed me to secure a number of sales that were helped by being able to instantly demonstrate an idea. Also, I don’t want to have clients in my home. That’s private.
If I were buying today, I’d get the 12" PowerBook. It will drive a larger external monitor than my iBook, and it has AirPort Extreme. I sometimes use an external monitor and keyboard at home. A PowerBook won’t keep up with a G5, but I don’t game, do video production, or work with huge Photoshop files. I also don’t own a race car. Massive speed is nice if you need it, but most of us don’t. Almost any computer sold today is fast enough for general business use.
I’d go with Dave’s suggestion: Laptops are still too slow, confining and, to put it bluntly: unusable, for serious computing. Even word processing and (gag me with a spoon!) Web surfing are painful on a laptop’s tiny, low-res screen (though I’ll admit that even working on a single-monitor desktop gives me fits of claustrophobia).
Desktops aren’t just superior in terms of power, but display space, keyboard/mouse space, and ergonomics.
A great article! You had me laughing, nodding my head in solemn agreement (except about the Newton—I still use my 130), and tilting my head in rank nostalgia. Thanks for the memories.
Excellent! I love to remember all the amazing history crammed into the past 20 years. Thanks for reminding us.
Welcome home, Angus!
Red, green, and blue are the primary colors of light. Magenta, yellow, and cyan are the primary colors of transparencies and dyes. Red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors of opaque pigments.
The Red-orange-Yellow-green-Blue-violet-Red color wheels used in elementary school are based on pigments (such as fingerpaints), not dyes or light.
Inkjet printer inks are neither pure dyes nor pure pigments, which complicates matters. They are closer to dyes, which is why many printers use CYMK inks. But, because they aren’t pure dyes, many printers have added more ink colors to expand their gamut of colors.
When working at a full-time job, I think I’ve used everything from the last version of System 6.x to OS 9.22. Frankly, I’ll use whatever a paying employer gives me. But, at home, I have a sweet penchant for my G3 Wallstreet and 3400c PowerBooks, both on OS 8.1. Memory is maxed on both, both run identical software (Quark 4.1, Illustrator 8.0, Photoshop 4.0…you get the point).
The beautiful thing is, unless I get into production work (which I don’t), this stuff is more than sufficient. A few of my colleagues use System 7.5/7.6 and earlier apps…and are perfectly happy. I mean, what gives with these bloatware software manufacturers? Don’t they realize there comes a certain point when people are “just fine” with what they have? My gear is from 97-98, and I love it because I am very productive with it. It doesn’t surprise me the least that the hardware side of the market is hurting, as I know there are scads of others like me out there. Call me a “retro-grouch” if you wish, but I’m doing just fine, thank you very much!