Good Reads for May, 2018

Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of uniformly unedited, if slightly longer, reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Some of the time, they’ll be pieces you already read from other sources, interviews that should have appeared in the news but I felt deserved a little extra attention, or thought-provoking looks at the past or present state of technology and how Apple fits into the puzzle. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • We kick off this month’s Good Reads with Hodinkee’s interview with Jony Ive. For those that remember when this was first published in early May, this was more of a piece that focused on Ive as a watch designer. Benjamin Clymer compared and contrasted the differences between the technology-centric Apple and the sheer craftsmanship of traditional watch makers. Design is one aspect Apple prides themselves on, and that shows in spades with what they’ve done with the Apple Watch.

I think how much the Apple Watch has impacted watchmaking. And I realize, just like the iPod changed music and the iPhone changed personal communication, the Apple Watch will certainly change not only watchmaking but how we interact with the world around us. I am quite sure it will be for the better.

  • Somewhere in May 2018, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the iMac. Photographer Austin Mann remembers the original Bondi Blue iMac fondly, especially after spending all of one summer mowing lawns to earn the $1200 he needed buy his own. But it’s 2018 now, and the iMac Pro is a thing of beauty, power, and speed. Mann’s review of the iMac Pro tells us pretty much what we already know: it’s blazingly fast, which makes it invaluable to creative pros where time is money.

Today, after a few months with the iMac Pro, I can say in many ways it stays true to its original ancestor. It packs a powerful punch and continues to deliver on its promise to be a simple yet powerful tool that unlocks creative potential in people.

  • May must have been the month for retrospectives, because Ars Technica re-surfaced an old three-part series about one of their editors contemplating the switch from Windows to the Mac. It was a very different technology landscape back then, as evidenced by their comparison of Windows XP to Mac OS in part one, the worst parts of developing for Windows in part two, and all the things Apple was doing right with Mac software in part three — which is why it’s all the more interesting that Peter Bright never ended up switching.

All things considered, Apple is offering an attractive platform. The APIs are robust, the tools are good (and getting better), the design philosophy is coherent, and the platform as a whole has a direction. The company will continue to improve and refine the experience for users and developers alike.

  • Australian retro computing magazine Paleotronic had the chance to talk to Steve Wozniak about the creation of the Disk II. Everyone knows the story of how the iMac eschewed the floppy drive for more modern I/O such as USB, but before all that, floppy disks were an important part of Apple. Once upon a time, the floppy drive was Apple’s ticket to CES, but how it came to be is a story in and of itself.

Read track two, write track two… switching the floppies about like the first Macintosh, and when I got all done, I looked at my two floppies – they weren’t really labelled – and I realised that I’d copied the bad one on to the good!

  • Ending this month’s Good Reads is the piece from Federico Viticci about turning his life around after finding himself in somewhat of a slump. For a while after his cancer-free diagnosis, Viticci poured himself into his work, and everything was good. That kind of happiness can only last so long, and pretty soon you’re stuck in the same routines that you had before. Changing that with the help of technology and a few good apps helped, but it’s the why that’s more important and is ultimately what matters in the end.

Ultimately, I realized that embracing my past means being thankful every day, respecting the preciousness of my second chance, and finding my purpose by helping and inspiring other people through my work and past experiences. This took a lot of introspection and opening up to other people. And in the process, I developed a firm conviction that my time is limited; I have to cherish the new opportunity I was given and use it to leave something valuable behind me.

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