Anyone talking or writing about iPad/iTablet/iSlate/iWhatever between now and Apple’s big event next Wednesday shall be beaten about the hands and face with a 1983-era DOS manual.
And don’t tempt me to make this rule retroactive.
So, who here is saving their pennies for the new Apple Canvas?
I’m kind of curious, myself, about Apple now getting into the feminine hygiene product called the “iPad.”
I want the myTablet
DOS 2.0 manual? I think that any one of the supplemental books (usually 1200+ pages) would be more appropriate/painful. No, I will not loan you my DOS 3.0 manual.
Nope, the 2.0 (ok, mine’s 2.1) is one of the odd IBM-style half-size three ring binders. It has a stiff cover, but doesn’t mass much.
Maybe if you put it back in the hardback cover…
I would suggest an O’Reilly reference myself, especially something for PERL or MySQL.
Looks like none of ya lightweights have seen the set of manuals for DEC VAX/VMS…
Heck, even the manual for the CP/M version of WordStar would leave a more than generous mark…
I’m partial to the Borland programming manuals myself. Especially the Turbo Pascal docs. Nice heft, won’t slip out of my hands as I swing back, leaves a mark without breaking the skin.
Top quality beating materials.
Max, I used VAX/VMS a long time ago (ahh, the Televideo 925!), but never saw the manuals.
NukemHill wins, I think. Totally forgot about those massive TP books. Lends a whole new meanting to “mounting a volume.” Heh.
Casey: after the demise of Digital, writing proper manuals is a lost art. I swear they had actual writers do it, without the dreaded prefix “tech-”. And the quantities were measured in shelves, not volumes.
I will admit that, having used Borland compilers for nearly 10 years, I cannot recall ever opening — or seeing — a manual thereof
And, coming back to the original Vodka-premise: just happened to be re-reading Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. Here’s a quote that, IMNSHO, describes Apple products to a T:
…and figured out how to use its interface. This took longer than I’d expected because it wasn’t made for use by literate people.
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.
Dunno if that’s true of all of their products. I remember when the original Mac came out. My first reaction was “Cool!” The first thing I liked was that high-res, eggshell-white monitor. Monochrome, true, but so easy on the eyes. The point’n'click thing was nice, although as a veteran of VAX/VMS, VM/CMS, CP/M, and MS-DOS, I hardly found it necessary. Come to think of it, that underlines Stephenson’s point, doesn’t it?
MicroSoft’s biggest issue is security; I still say they cracked open the NT kernel to encourage the game boys to write for Windows instead of DOS. Their help systems are great for newbs having trouble with the simple stuff, but terrible for complex steps when online reference would be useful. In short, no help at all.
Apple, on the other hand, has won many awards for industrial design, and just recently our esteemed host was discussing the elegant simplicity of the iPod interface.
Still, I think Jerry Pournelle has a point when he says that -with an Apple- doing something is either incredibly easy, or impossible. No middle ground. Windows lacks that “Extreme Easy,” but allows one to muddle through one way or another. It’s all a trade-off.
Comparing the two companies can be quite fun, if one is interested in design; software, interface, hardware, etc. Note that while MS copied the Apple GUI, Apple ended up copying the Wintel hardware. Today it’s all PCI bus, parts-compatible peripherals, and even the keyboard is nearly an exact copy of the classic Model-M 102-key layout.
Still, if the OS X GUI is annoying, I suppose one could do everything through the console, no?
Sometimes I miss the old command-line days; it’s amazing what you can still accomplish with even (say) an old 386 system.
Well, I have to be honest and admit that Stephenson [character's] words referred to a fictional device; the re-application to Apple is mine alone. And I do like your (or JP’s) “all or nothing” sentiment about Mac vs. Windows; this is exactly what drove me away from Windows to Linux as the day-to-day platform of choice (as a developer, I’ve programmed for all three and numerous others, of course). So I guess everyone picks his comfortable spot on that axis.
And yet, hearing praises sung to Apple always puts me in mischievous mood…
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