News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
Mail Starting 2/11/97
Hi Dave, Nice product and I like the site.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul Guinnessy);
Sent at 2/11/97; 7:39:30 PM;
Re:We Need A Plan
This is just a quickie, but when you talk about wiring the U.S. for high speed internet, you might want to point out as a example, Finland of all places.
They are wiring EVERY SINGLE HOUSE using fibre optic. Can you imagine the speed you'll get out of that?
So if there's anything which could be used in your campaign its data like that.
Now's here's the scary part, though Europe would usually legistate for something like this, its actually been done (if I remember correctly) by private enterprise.
What do they know that we don't :-)....
Keep up the good work.
Paul Guinnessy Consultant
From: email@example.com (Tom Clifton);
Sent at 2/11/97; 4:46:12 PM;
Re:Do we need a new logo?
The question is what are you trying to sell, and what is the image that you want to portray. I like the name and western motif. Because you are pushing the limits of the known world. You are on the frontier with this product. It is not exactly safe, but it is exilarating.
Given that, I like the Frontier application icon. I like the banner as it appears on the Frontier T-shirts. I am less entralled with the exported script icons. While it carries the western theme, it doesn't portray the expanse or opportunity evoked by the landscape.
If you want to make Frontier a nice corporate product, then you are going to have to shackle it. Make its icons nice retangluar boxes with a picture of what Frontier does inside.
Personnally, I don't think that you can do that. Frontier is not a nice clean product. It can't be represented by a document, a filing cabinet, a calendar, a piece of graph paper, an address book, etc. You might be able to produce a dull graphic like the BBedit icon or the 4D icon that pleases corporate users, but it will tell them nothing of the product.
Frontier is a concept that doesn't fit cleanly within product lines. It is not strictly a web tool, it is not strictly a utility, etc. It is an environment, it is a landscape, it is there to be explored and utilized.
So, I think that your first impressions are correct. Keep the landscape, keep the expanse, keep the Frontier. If you want to make any changes, focus on the frontier theme at the expense of the western theme.
From: SteelDream@axon.net (John Wampler);
Sent at 2/11/97; 1:55:43 PM;
That was an amazing time... I'd just been added to the DaveNet list when all of the CDA protest broke, and immediately got involved in feverish writing and coding. I'm grinning now remembering everyone waiting with bated breath for the site to go LIVE... all of the frantic messages "WHEN ARE THE LINKS BEING SENT OUT" and the subsequent atempts to unravel the skein of those who'd gotten impatient and submitted their site several times thus earning multiple links.
Just about a month later, Apple announced that they were pulling the plug on eWorld, and I blatantly ripped off the idea of creating a permanent web monument to those hardy pioneers and set it up at: http://www.axon.net/eworld/
While being involved with eWorld,and the 24 Hours Project, I found the high of tapping into all that community building net energy so compelling, that I quit my safe secure job in corporate america, moved to California, and started working for an Internet startup rising from the ashes of eWorld. Check out http://www.talkcity.com to see what we're up to.
In any case it's nice to see that the links are back in place. Now all I need to do is rewrite all the hotwired/userland links to point to the new site. Do you happen to know where the index that used to be at http://www.hotwired.com/userland/24/ and the random link generator from http://www.aol.com/cgi-bin/democracy-random went?
EZTalk: http://www.talkcity.com/chat ...for people who'd rather chat than configure software
John Wampler, firstname.lastname@example.org, Community Manager
Well, I would have commented on this piece last year, but I'd only lived in Hong Kong for a month at that time. I've got a more full perspective now.
From: LarsonEric@mail.dec.com (Eric Larson);
Sent at 2/10/97; 3:47:34 PM;
Re:Holding Hands in Cyberspace
I too have read Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club and have seen the movie too (well over a year ago). I enjoyed both very much; indeed, I found them powerful and moving. You say this is how you've come to understand most of what you know about Chinese culture. Amy Tan certainly provides a valid viewpoint into Chinese culture. But be careful (and I suspect you are) to understand that this is only one viewpoint. In particular, the viewpoint of an American with a Chinese background. Chinese culture as seen through the eyes of a Hong Chinese is likely to be different in many ways. And this will differ with Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore Chinese as well! After all, how could anyone expect a billion plus people to all think alike?
I don't pretend to speak as an expert on the Chinese; I certainly am not. In some ways, after a year here, I'm just as bewildered by some of their behaviors as ever (just as some Chinese are bewildered by some of our behaviors!). It's a fascinating culture to be a minority in (and a good exercise for one who's more often than not been in the minority in his own homeland). And it only gets more intriguing as the handover approaches this summer.
Do keep on with the non-technology based (analog?) parts or DaveNet. That is a large part of what keeps me coming back for more.
Lastly, thanks for all the work you've done with the web blackout and 24 hours in cyberspace projects. Living in close proximity to China, Singapore and other information restricting (and worse) societies makes me appreciate the U.S. and what it stands for, with all it troubles, so very, very, very much. We do need to fight and stand up for the rights we sometimes take for granted. Thanks for your contributions in this area. Here is some food for thought: if you lived in China, almost undoubtedly you'd probably be in prison right now, if you were writing DaveNet from there!
PS I certainly recognize that old friend from Some Delicious Ideas! Actually, via e-mail, we'd been discussing just that topic. I'm glad he/she had the foresight to talk to you. I'd subconsciously noticed that no one in the press had pointed out that Jon Rubenstein originally was at NeXT (as well as Avie). As a former NeXT employee who now works at Apple put it (on the exNeXT mailing list): it's a case of the mouse eating the elephant!
Beware the Kool-Ade Reality Distortion Field(tm)! :-) I wonder if Apple execs have gotten sucked into that.
I've been reading your essays since you posted in HotWired. I've never been an Apple user or partisan, but I'm not exactly thrilled to be a Windows NT user (software engineer) either. So I think that I have a somewhat unbiased view. I also know that life is really strange and that those who try to foretell the future are frequently proven wrong.
From: email@example.com (Ian Kaplan);
Sent at 2/11/97; 12:34:38 PM;
The Apple death spiral continues
I read the material on Heidi Roizen's departure from Apple with great interest. Despite having written the above, I predict that Apple is now doomed. Perhaps it was doomed before, but Heidi's departure puts the truth in stark illumination.
A while ago there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about dissolving companies. The theme of the article was that, in theory, companies belong to the stock holders. Companies are not supposed to exist solely for the enrichment of senior management. So there can come a time when the stock holders are better off if the company is sold off. I think that Apple has now reached this stage. Amelio's employment contract makes sure that he will do well financially, regardless of what he does to the assets of Apple's owners, the shareholders.
Apple has one of the great product identities. The company name has value as do some of its assets, from buildings to engineering products (e.g., software and hardware designs). The only way the stockholders will ever get anything at this point is for the company to be sold off. Amelio and his execs are just out for themselves. There is nothing but upside for them. If the company goes down the tubes, Amelio still gets paid very well. If, somehow, he proves me wrong and rescues the company, he will become extremely wealthy. The behavior of American senior management is disgusting. Their greed has become legendary and Amelio is just following along in this path.
Apple has seen corporate mismanagement on a scale that few companies have seen and survived. The Scully days are nothing but a joke. Scully always was a soda pop salesman and nothing more. What we are seeing now is just the final swan song of what was once a leading company. I consulted at next (doing compiler optimization) and I've worked on the Next system. I don't see this as saving them either.
Thanks for reading through my rant.
I'm sad that Heidi is leaving .... but there is hope for Apple if this impiles the elimination of the "Not Invented Here" situation.
From: BVolk@lightspan.com (Bill Volk);
Sent at 2/11/97; 11:03:14 AM;
I'm still curious why Apple can't the the old AU/X "toolbox" stuff under Mach to get the 7.5 OS supported under NextStep. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to figure the reasons out.
I always wondered if the phone companies were up to this. Their R&D efforts seemed to peak in the '70s with the roll-out of touchtone phones. As it turns out, there's a great essay in this month's "ASAP" supplement to Forbes Magazine. On page 29 of "ASAP", George Gilder makes sense out of how the digital cell phone industry (lead by Qualcomm) is going to save the Internet. Check it out.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chuck Shotton);
Sent at 2/11/97; 9:02:33 AM;
Re:We Need A Plan
It is sad indeed. It is impossible to "replace" Heidi, her enthusiasm and personality. As I said in the quote in the announcement, she has taught Apple management about the essence of being a Mac developer. We will not forget that. I will not. I have also been one...
From: Guerrino_De_Luca@qm.claris.com (Guerrino De Luca);
Sent at 2/11/97; 12:14:52 AM;
Heidi's personal life had become unsustainable for her in the past months and weeks. Too many pressures on her schedule, too many commitments to meet, too many people to get back to. While I am very unhappy to see her go, I understand that this is good for her. And I look forward to bugging her for advice in the future.
We will replace Heidi organizationally very soon. She has build a strong team in the past 12 months and this gives me confidence. No single person is indispensable, although key players like Heidi can make a big difference. The key things for developers and all of Apple's key constituency will be straightforward communication, clarity, mutual respect, and listening. Heidi could do all that. We will keep it squarely in mind.
Best Regards Guerrino