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Robert Pritchett

Hey the truth works every time. Keep it coming!

Fred Davis

Hey Syl, good one! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Here's a limerick I wrote about Steve that you might enjoy:


Even though I want to know when I am being bullshitted, Apple seems to be the only co. thinking critically about usability. Where is their real competition? Sony just went to SLEEP. Microsoft is a mess. I like and use a Samsung Palm phone, but it is not being updated. (Samsung disbanded their whole Palm team after Sprint didn't pick up the really cool i550.)

We have endured a whole generation of insanely bad UI in phones. Steve lying is better than alot of these bozos telling the truth.

So: lazy, bad design or meglomania?

The 3rd gen of Zune phones (or whatever they will call them) will rip off anything really good about the iPhone in some "just good enough" way, but even that will represent some kind of real advance in these gadgets. And it won't be Steve's nuttiness or trickery, it will be the fact that Apple actually thinks critically about design. Even when they make bad choices, they make choices.

I am not writing this as a loyal fanboy, but just to put the "software backdating" in perspective.


Besides the one example you give, are there others? Most Apple software announced at events like MacWorld is available for immediate purchase, such as iWork or iLife. New OS versions spoken about are clearly not yet finished, and are not represented as being finished.

Adele Aldridge

Hi Sylvia,

Hey, I haven't had a Sylvia-fix in a while. As usual, a blast of refreshment. I saw Fred's post - glad to see that as well and will now read both of you. I loved your list of jobs you wanted to go away. A few I didn't totally "get" but you made me think about it.


Mike Cane

>>> If they told they truth, they'd no longer have access...

Will Nokia ever grant me access again?





Don Hopkins

Solo writes: "Apple seems to be the only co. thinking critically about usability."

Oh, come on: that's total bullshit! Apple hasn't thought critically about user interface design in a decade since Steve Jobs sacked the user interface design team in 1997. Ever since then it's been shallow window dressing, and high calorie artificially colored and flavored frosting full of trans fats, with lots of fake chocolate sprinkles that leave a thick layer of carcenogenic lipid scum at the top of your mouth.

Please explain how a company that "thinks critically about user interface design" can continue to deliver a window system that ONLY LETS YOU RESIZE WINDOWS FROM THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER! That was an obvious mistake in 1984, and it's still a mistake 23 years later in 2007. There is no excuse for that, except that Apple is so ashamed to admit they made a mistake in the first place, since Microsoft Windows and every other window system lets you resize windows from any corner or edge. But Apple zealots continue to make excuses for such stupid mistakes, and try to carry Apple's water even they know they're wrong. One brainwashed loyal fanboy recently tried to explain to me that resize corners don't matter any more because of Expose. Wrong. It DOES matter that Apple should admit they made mistakes, and fix them.

Apple's horrible QuickTime user interface was rightfully featured in the Interface Hall of Shame many years ago, and they STILL haven't cleaned up their act.


QuickTime's gui was obviously designed by cocaine-addled graphics designers and window dressers, instead of usability experts or user interface designers who know anything about human factors. And now the only reason for QuickTime's existance is just to shill iTunes and show unsolicited animated advertisements, which you get whether you want it or not when you install QuickTime.

User interface design at Apple is dead, and it's been dead for a long time.

That's why I'm so happy that the OLPC project (the $100 laptop for kids) is actually redesigning the Sugar user interface from the ground up, instead of taking the tried-and-failed approach of trying to make a half-assed Mac knock-off.

Bill Buxton put it well: it is an unworthy design objective to aim for anything less than trying to do to the Macintosh what the Macintosh did to the previous state of the art.

Robert C.

Wait, you were running the Mac version of the software, but it looked like it was the Next version? And nobody wanted to hear about it?

1) Maybe that's because that's a non-story, and not a big deal.

2) If you were the Director of Marketing and you were telling them up front that the software was really running on a Mac, it's even less of a story!

Also: if someone was being deceptive, wasn't it your company, not Jobs?

Also: is there anything you could have done to be a worse Director of Marketing, other than telling the press that your product doesn't exist?

It's an amusing anecdote, but I think the nefarious motives you ascribe to the reports are actually pretty bland.

Michael Rutman

As the one programmer working on the demo I'd like to clear up a few things. As anyone would know the Macintosh could not have fakes NeXT software until Apple purchased NeXT.

The Mac under the table was because we couldn't get an outside phone line. The Macintosh was faking the outside world.

The bare wires sticking out were because we needed a cable to connect the two. We didn't know we couldn't get an outside line and we didn't bring a crossover cable, so we made one.

We did sell the product at the show and had to ship a new version within 24 hours because that version didn't actually work. The version the next day did work.

Still, the product was about 2 years away from being ready to ship when we started selling it.

I do fondly remember those days and Sylvia keeping me from puking as my first product was demoed.


Haha, who ever thought that the Apple/Mac was more than just fancy user interface? Nevermind...

The idea of the mac died over 15 years ago when windows 3.X was published, a completly ripoff off mac's UIF.

I've got mates who bought a apple I-book only for running ms-paint at school... They thought it looked cool!? Yeah it does, but you're still a !%$£head for bying a desktop that i've could have build you for half the price!

Bah, this is just another enraged user of the macs who went berserk... Btw, wow in mac enviroment? LOL - Just look at the sound-interface...

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