MacCreator - About the Mac and creative use of computers.


These days I concentrate most of my writings on my newer blog, find there:
Articles mentioning Apple
Articles mentioning the iPad
Articles mentioning the iPod
Articles mentioning Macs
Articles mentioning cameras
The articles/posts are under each other on the page you arrive at.

Notice also my new tablet/ereader blog: eReaderJoy.com

25 Feb 2011: Adam Engst on iPad and ereaders, interview by me.

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New: fake future Steve Jobs interview. This was originally written in 1999!

Nov 13, 2008: Adam Engst interviewed about e-books and e-book readers.

A good word processor for creative writers: interview with Nisus founder Jerzy Lewak

Interview: BitPass micropayments (Note: sadly out of date, BitPass did not survive, and micropayments are not looking promising.)

Golive 7 ate my web site

Apple: precision, beauty, and simplicity
What is the essential difference?

Apple Powerbook 12 inch review
This should be a hit computer for Apple.

Learning Web Design
Review of the excellent beginners book.

From Freak to Geek
or Something Funny Happened on the way to the Macintosh. By Martin "Memo" Dybdal

Will Apple survive?
By Roger Born

"iceBook" review
Wonderful machine. Thoughts on design and invention.

Here is a small opinion piece on the coming success of the new compact iBook. (4 May 2001)

Read my interview with Mac user and big time cartoonist Bill Amend, creator of Foxtrot.

Imagine this scenario from the near future:
A small boat, small enough to be dragged over land by a person, yet big enough to sleep in. The boat is connected with the Internet and the mobile phone network no matter where it is, via satellites. It wakes up the travellers in the morning by voice, giving the time and weather conditions, and tells about how many email messages are waiting. On the water, the boat is showing its position in real time on a graphic display, calculated by satellite positioning system. The boat is contains video-editing systems, and live video feed from on-board cameras. When the boat is unattended, it is in wireless contact with the travellers, and alerts them if there are trespassers, which can be video-filmed and warned by computer-voice.

The trick is: It is not future, it is the present!

The man who built it is called Steven K. Roberts, and he is the man who astonished America back in the eighties by travelling around on a computerized bicycle. And by 1991, he had live e-mail via satellite from his bicycle, which he could use while riding it. Ten years ago! (And he used a Mac for it too.)

Interview with this unusual "technomad"

David Pogue is now a big time New York Times columnist. I interviewed him.
The Importance Of The Mac: What's In A Pretty Face?

The Thousand-Dollar Question: Is It Design, Or Is It Content?

"We all think"

The Usefulness Of Net Speed & How To Get It For The Mac

The Differences Between Windows and Macs -- Interview with Tim Robertson.

Web Design: Keep It Simple (Stupid)

I have started writing for the The Mac Observer. I will still put articles about creativity etc here on MacCreator, but you can find much more there. - Eolake.

iWatch
Truly revolutionary miniture technology to come?

The G4 Cube:
"What the Old Man Does is Always Right."

She's a Rainbow
By Del Miller

The Cube
First Impressions by a Creative Pro.

Convergence. By Roger Born.

Apple, the feminine computer producer
A "nice" computer?

Image Of God
What is creation? By Roger Born

Insanely Great
Interview with Steven Levy.

iMovie: The Missing Manual
Interview with David Pogue (again).

Soulless Monsters
From where comes the soul of a company?

New info on copyright
(Off-site link) Really interesting. Read it.

Megaton Man takes over cyberspace
Interview with comics creator Don Simpson.

Charles Moore has written a fine article rounding up the copyright issue. (off-site link.)

The New Free Decentralized Marketing System
Are they fighting "piracy" really?

I just wrote this to Adam Engst:
Yo Adam,
Congratulations on your MacWorld column.
My own life is a good example. I have lived off one of my dotcoms for exactly two years now (domai.com), and life has never been less segregated, or better.
Sometimes the natives ask me "how you doing, are you busy?" And I never know what to answer, because I am exactly as busy from hour to hour as I feel like. Also it is nigh impossible to tell how many hours I am "working" each day. Even the research I do may or may not one day turn out to aid my income, who knows, who cares.
I write. I photograph. I work with pictures. I educate. I email. I design web sites, even if only for myself. I promote. I study. I read. And the powerbook is involved in all of it.
Yours, Eolake
Read This Wired Life (Off-site link).

In the latest issue of Alan Moore's blindingly brilliant comic book Top 10, two different beings are dying together, looking at the night sky. One is human, and one is an other-dimensional giant horse-headed fellow, who seems to have lived by playing a huge chess-like cosmic game. They are fused together with each other and wreckage in a teleportation accident. As they are dying, the human gets cosmic doubts of his eventual destiny. The giant says: "Existence is a great simplicity. There is black and there is white." When the human shows interest, he continues: "Just look above you. Do you see? That is called the immense board of Lights. And there is the great Black. And, strewn accross it, small and surrounded and vulnerable and brave... There is the great White." The human gets it, and feels joy, but worries that we are losing because there is so much more black. The giant answers: "No. Once there was only black. We are winning. All is right."

This gets my vote for the truest words of the year.
And you wouldn't know it from this, but Top 10 also has tons of humor, action, and super-heroes in a fresh perspective. Highly recommended.

...I have just bought a new monitor. It is a Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 91. It is a 19 inch monitor, which means that viewable diagonal is 18 inches. (Though I always find that I can expand the picture significantly in the settings. I don't know why they don't use the whole screen, I can't see any difference in quality.)
I bought it because it is bigger than Apple's Studio Display 17 inch, and goes for the same price, and because it (or the previous model) got a lot of praise from MacWorld. It is totally flat (not just cylindrical like Apple's).
It is wonderful. This is totally subjective, because I have not compared closely to other screens, except the one on my Powerbook Lombard 400. Obviously it is much bigger, and I can use the resolution 1280 X 1024, which is great for image editing and design work. (I can also use the LCD on the powerbook as a second monitor, further expanding screen estate.)
Now, it is bloody huge thing, no mistake, and I have sympathy for those saying that LCD flat displays is the way to go. And I would have gotten one if I could get a monitor of similar size and quality for... oh, less than double the price of the Cathode Ray Tube model. But they cost over 5 times as much, which makes them a luxury still. And this screen is way better for image work than the powerbook monitor. (The Apple Cinema display is probably a different story, but that is $4000.) The image and the colors are much, much brighter. And I am rid of the flaw of the pb screen: it changes brightness considerable according to the vertical viewing angle, so much that it is always darker near the bottom of the screen than near the top.
If I used my computer only for writing and surfing, I could easily use the powerbook as it is, after all it is a brilliant machine. But for image editing and design work, I am really happy I took the plunge and got this big lump. (400 pounds. How prices have dropped! I paid almost that for a used Apple 17 inch two years ago.)

Off-site: New by Del Miller. Just read it. Now.

Remember my article about Apple and the pro market? Well, ye of little faith, Apple has just announced major expansions into the full-resolution video market. And this will not be all.

On Digital Photography
And Review of Nikon Coolpix 950
Data about digital cameras, are they good for anything, and what do you need? Also there is some excellent art photographed with the author's Nikon Coolpix 950.

(Outside link: a wonderful piece by Beth Lock.)

Letting your thieves work for you
How to get rich by relaxing. "A very good read." -MacObserver.

A prayer for OS X
(And my powerbook)

The Evilest File
Demon-possessed PCs? (No, not about Microsoft)

Power Printing For The People
Permanent prints for a reasonable price!? Finally! Updated.

We have just had an excellent mention on Applelinks. Thank you, Mr. Moore.

The New Flame
About the joy of digital photography.

I am just finishing Soul Music by Terry Pratchett, a writer of hugely popular humorous fantasy novels. I normally don't read fantasy, only SF, but TP is really good, and really funny. Soul Music is about "music with rocks in", a strange noisy but addictive sort of music that enters a world where is does not belong at all. Imp, who changes his name to "Buddy", joins Glod (a dwarf) and Liam, a troll who drums on rocks (and who changes his name to "Cliff") to form a group named "The Band With Rocks In". Also known as simply The Band. And in the middle of it all, Death goes on a sabbatical, trying to forget his woes, causing trouble for Susan, his human 'granddaughter', who is the closest thing to a replacement. It is wise, relevant, original, and dang funny. Go buy it.

An article tells about a study on people's use of the Net. Of course some of the conclusions are that the Internet tend to isolate people. In case the ridiculousness of that assertion is not clear, equally qualified commentators refute it: "The assertion that the Internet is socially isolating has not held up to serious scrutiny," said Donna Hoffman, co-director of the eLab at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. "All of the research evidence I've seen points the other way..."
My own comment on all this is: No matter what new change is happening in society, there are always lots of naysayers who are claiming it means the end of civilization. I give you this for an experiment: Try to imagine a sweeping change to society so positive that you cannot also imagine something negative that someone will say about it. I'll bet you can't. "Food becomes available to Africa" will become "Worry about future population growth in Africa". "A certain cure for AIDS" will become "no barriers to immorality of our young". "Faster-than-light travel made possible" will become "will the Earth decline as the cream of humanity leave for the stars?".

Mona Lysa Overdrive
Free information in Europe? Nah.

Read all about the horrible dangers of letting you Mac make you too successful. Stobblehouse re-visits MyMac with this harrowing tale.

Everybody loves an underdog, but puppies grow
Guest writer Carmel Glover on Apple and the Woodford Festival.

Dang it all, if Del Miller continues to top himself, there will be no one else left to top soon.

Hoookay, continuing a small streak of linking to articles on other sites, I recommend this one by John Martellaro. (The beginning didn't seem that interesting to me, but as I read on, I found it very inspiring.)

Go read this article by Beth Lock. I love it.

I don't link to many articles on other sites. So pay attention when I do. This one by Del Miller is insightful and optimistic, a lovely combination.

Oh Ye Of Little Faith
New super-professional products coming from Apple?

    "Eolake Stobblehouse offers a great editorial on Apple's future, Steve Jobs, and those that complain about Apple's direction. A very good read." - MacObserver

David K. Every has written an article, brilliant as usual, on the upcoming Mac OS X. Read it here.

Girl geek in leather skirts
Beth Lock graces MacCreator with the story of what a girl must do to get to play with machines.

Update: I am thick as a brick. I must be, for while I thought when I posted Beth's article less than a day ago that is was really nice, I had no idea that it would turn into a big hit. But it has gotten more readers than anything else, and Beth is snowed under with positive email.

Even other columnists are joining in the praise:

    "We're proud to call Beth Lock our friend, and the "famous Internet columnist" has just taken a giant step upward with her latest article" - John Farr

    "Damn good column [...] Keep it up." - Rodney O. Lain

So you go read it too.

After forty-nine and a half years of drawing Peanuts six days a week, Charles Schulz has retired. He will never be replaced.

[Charlie Brown lying in bed.] Sometimes I lie awake at night in bed and I ask, is it all worth it? And then a voice says, "Who are you talking to?" And another voice says, "You mean: 'to whom are you talking?'" No wonder I lie awake at night.

In A World Full Of Monsters, Everyone Sticks To The Middle Of The Road
Slavery and Operating Systems? Nah...
Attraction and Substance
"...a wonderfully important comment on how we live and think." - Del Miller

An interview with David Pogue
about the new book "Crossing Platforms".

"Where do you get your ideas?"
(And where does Compaq get hers?)

New article on MacOpinion co-authored by me and Del Miller!

Here is a great comic strip Windows joke.

Imagine Nation
Lysa does it again, by elite demand. What's a toy?

The Imac and subtlety
What's hard to get?

Fear and loathing in the gallery
Are offline artists an endangered species?

Here we go again! There have been injunctions against companies who have ripped off the iMac design, but apparently some companies don't follow the news! Look here.

I am currently reading William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties. A great pleasure. One funny little detail is that one of the heroes visits a shop selling old computer hardware from the twentieth century (the story is taking place a decade or two ahead). He wonders about the universal beige color of all the computers. The owner of the shop speculates that the creators of the computers were frightened of the growing power of the machines they built, so they made them appear as non-threatening as possible. I think Gibson may be a Mac user. (Update... I have just gotten confirmation; he is:)
Read more here.

New: Interview with the founder
The famous MyMac interview reposted here.
We have a guest writer, fine artist Lysa. She describes the horror or delight different computers can bring to a life in "Freedom, the artist, and iMac".
I have put up to essential articles of my own: Clash of the Titans and Not in Kansas anymore. These are central to my beliefs on Art and computers. Tell me what you think.
And now for something completely different: about readability on computer screens: If you have installed Internet Explorer, you will also have the best font I know for screen reading: Verdana. Try it, it is wonderful for when you read as well as when your write. I use it in browsers, in my email program, and in my word processor. (One of the good things to come from Microsnuff, this font is specially designed for screen reading, and really well too.)
Also I recommend Smoothtype by Greg Landweber (Mac only). You can find it via kaleidoscope.net/greg. It is better than the build-in font-smoothing of system 8.5, but it takes at least a G3, otherwise it will slow down the machine noticeably.

Did you know that "slow Internet" may not be caused by your modem/connection, but your computer? I had a very good connection, and a four-year old 90 mhz computer. Then I got a G3 (iMac in fact, and later also a PowerBook 400 Mhz). I am not kidding, I suddenly got four times the speed when surfing! A web browser really takes it out of the processor.

There are more articles listed on the articles page.

For those out of you who read comics, or used to, I recommend the new comics from Alan "Watchmen" Moore. Good old-fashion fun comics, but with a modern sensibility and tons of intelligence and humor. (Publisher: America's Best Comics.) The two best, in my taste, is Tom Strong and Top Ten.

Yours, Eolake Stobblehouse

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MacCreator was a blog since about 1998, long before "blogging" reached broad public consciousness, and before existence of software to automate the process.
"My sincerest congratulations on the way MacCreator is coming out of the chutes. You're doing a fabulous job.
"MacCreator looks like it is going to be a wonderful site that fills a empty spot on the web. I'm really proud of what you're doing and the inventive (or should I say creative?) way you're doing it. Good work!"
- Del Miller
"MacCreator -- an interesting site getting more and more interesting all the time. Eolake Stobblehouse shows what one smart person who thinks and creates can do with a Mac."
- John Farr, Applelinks.