A critique of Apple’s Magic Mouse


I will not be using Apple’s new Magic Mouse because it drops the middle-click functionality of its predecessor, the Mighty Mouse.

Why didn’t Apple make the Magic Mouse more configurable? It could have all three possible buttons with just a little ingenuity. Make left-click on the left, right-click on the right, and middle-click achieved with a two-finger tap. Apple’s trackpads already support the two-finger tap, the Magic Mouse supports two-finger swiping, and hackers have even found a solution, so it is feasible. Maybe this will come in a software update, but in the meantime, this is not the mouse for me. That and the fact it requires batteries. I use a desktop and don’t need my mouse to be portable.

I get that Apple is sort of reinventing the mouse, but it still sucks that users have to lose some functionality while the next big thing catches up to the same old stuff.

iPhone stop interrupting me when I’m on you


Dear iPhone & iPhone developers,

When I am talking on the iPhone — with the device pressed against my ear — I do not want to be disturbed, jolted, vibrated or alerted due the following:

  • newly arrived email
  • a timer finishing
  • calendar alerts

The biggest irritant is the timer — it will keep BLARING IN YOUR EAR until you tell the other person, “hold on, it’s my goddamn iPhone making that horrible racket” and click Cancel on the timer. But all the apps are guilty of this. Regardless of whether I’m across the room or with the iPhone held against my ear, Mail, Clock, and Calendar will alert me AT THE SAME VOLUME. If only there were some sort of sensor that was positioned directly on the iPhone itself that could detect that the device was pressed against an ear, and to — oh, I don’t know — HOLD OFF ITS SUPER-IMPORTANT ALERTS until such time as I’m not on the phone?

What, there already is? Has anyone told the developers at Apple yet?

iPod Shuffle Guided Tour


The new iPod Shuffle is now even easier to use. Control your music with just a few clicks.

I could have worked for Apple


They flew me up from LA to interview for a job doing QA on Final Cut. I landed at SJC and my mom drove me the rest of the way to the Apple campus for my morning interview. While I was waiting in the lobby, in the suit my sister helped me pick out a few days before, I witnessed a sandaled Steve Jobs pass by as he walked through to talk to the receptionist. Like he’s just going about his day. I could be working for this man, for this company!

I met the department manager and he took me on a tour through the offices where they were working on Final Cut. I was so excited to be there, but when I saw that the people were playing foosball and riding around on Razor scooters… it started to just feel like any other dot-com. And I began to hesitate.

Maybe it was because I saw myself living in the guest room of my parent’s house, getting up at 6am to take the train to Cupertino, doing a day’s work, then coming back to little ol’ Hollister to sit at home for a few hours before going to bed in time for work the next day. It felt like a prison sentence.

Because the idea of getting my own place in/near San Jose, meeting new friends, and making the most of moving to a new city (that I just happened to grow up in) just didn’t seem like something I could do. That’s why I didn’t work at Apple. This was in 1999.

Then Tim got really quiet and just kind of stared at his keyboard.

The 1981 Computer Will Seduce You


This is a surprisingly less-than-dated look at the future of computers from a 1981 news piece and, unsurprisingly, it gives me a big nerd-boner thinking about the home computer as “the world’s biggest backyard fence to talk over.” Of special note is millionaire Steven P. Jobs discussing how computers will “seduce you.” Done and done!

The Microsoft iPod?


Just the idea is enough of an ipecac for me, but some clever jokers posted on YouTube a parody of Microsoft’s answer to the iPod’s subtle package design…

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