One of the most important technology story of the last couple of weeks was the passing of Steve Jobs. Over that time media has been commenting on how this one man’s vision changed how our relationship with computers. Even if you never owned an Apple product you have benefited from his vision because Apple has been setting the standard for design since the second generation of iMacs came out about 10 or so years ago. Design is the legacy of Steve Jobs (though several news outlets make a point to say that this man invented stuff), moving it from an after thought to a core function of the product. He understood that useful, desired even needed technology was not being adopted because it was hard to use, and there was not a common vocabulary for interacting with it. Before Apple, technology had to come with HUGE manuals that had to be studied to learn and understand the features. Key strokes had to be memorized. Navigation was not obvious. Remember the keyboard template that came with Word Perfect software? Now a days most tech come with relatively thin manuals if any. Any marginally computer literate person can open most software packages, even ones he isn’t familiar with and “figure out” how to use the major features. Apple did that with its “user-friendly” interface. Microsoft’s ubiquity only aided in this effect when it copied this as part of Windows 3.1 and even more so as part of Windows95.
This is all to say, that if you LOVE your computer, you have this man to thank. As leader of Apple he made decisions that ONLY a man who dropped out of an Ivy League University so he could take calligraphy would make. On the face of it that seems insane but that is how the Universe works sometime. Serendipitous connections are made to produce wildly beautiful results.
Finding information on groceries at your favorite market like Whole Foods or Trader Joes can be a task. NewMe Accelerator startup, AisleFinder is making that task easier. They have launched a Supermarket API, an open source API for the grocery industry.
After a long illness, Dennis Ritchie, father of Unix and an esteemed computer scientist, died last weekend at the age of 70.
Ritchie, also known as “dmr”, is best know for creating the C programming language as well as being instrumental in the development of UNIX along with Ken Thompson. Ritchie spent most of his career at Bell Labs, which at the time of his joining in 1967, was one of the largest phone providers in the U.S. and had one of the most well-known research labs in operation.
Dennis Ritchie is not a house hold name, he did not build a company that made revolutionary products. But he was one of the few people that you can say who’s work was necessary for there to be a Steve Jobs, an Internet, a World Wide Web, a Linus Torvalds, a Linux, and basically all of the cool tech we enjoy in the 21st century.
As geeky as I am, I am NOT much of an admin. I don’t mind firing up a text editor and set configs by hand and stuff, but my knowledge of how stuff works at a very low level is limited. And how to fix it when stuff goes wrong is even more limited. So when my laptop would no longer boot, I got a little worried.
Trouble shooting the issue was difficult because a LOT of stuff was scrolling through the screen very fast and I could only see the characters that where on the screen when the boot process was finally halted. I was praying it wasn’t hardware related. I had not backed up my laptop in a VERY long time. I didn’t want to loose work I was doing on a personal project I had. Also I don’t have any money to shell out for any new hardware, assuming the problem was JUST a bad drive. If it was on the board, that would mean a few hundred dollars to get it fixed, which isn’t worth it for this “hoopty” of a computer I have, or a few hundred MORE for a new computer all together, which I don’t have.
Anyway googling around for about a day. I finally found Rescatux mentioned in a forum. I gave it a shot and this puppy save my bacon with a quickness.
What is Rescatux?
It is a bootable liveCD that that will restore GRUB to your MBR and run fsck. That’s it. It is free software, as in both freedom and beer. You just download it and burn it to CD, or a thumb drive, if you computer can boot from it. It is self contained and will boot without touching your drive. A wizard with popup guiding you through the procedure and viola, it boots again.
I think this puppy should be in EVERYONES emergency kit. Drive and file system errors are probably the MAIN reason why systems crash. And this provides a very simple and strait forward solution.
Have you heard of Color? Me neither before a couple of days ago. I think what’s got people’s keyboards clicking around the blogosphere and thumbs taping about the twitterverse is the fact that they raise $41,000,000. It is an incredibly simple idea. It’s a mobile photo app that lets you share those pictures with people in proximity to you. I think whats really interesting is that it does this without GPS. It reads all kinds of other data from the phone and sends that data to the cloud where it determines that this group of people be at the same place. If you ask me THAT’S what’s worth 41 mil. Not the app it self. But the tech that makes it possible.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “no.” Color may have offered a terrible first impression for folks out in the boonies with nobody nearby, but it says it’s fixing that. It may have shot itself in the foot in terms of rising to the top of the App Store and raking in the new users. It may have even confused and annoyed the early adopter set with its puzzle-esque and sometimes serpentine design, but if it can really do what it proposes – change the way our social graph works by way of accurate location and proximity data – then none of that may matter
Black Web 2.0 posts a Robert Scoble interview of Curtis Pope, a young entrepreneur who founded AisleFinder.com, an online shopping site that helps you find items in the grocery store. This is really a great idea. Every time I go shopping, invariably two things happen:
I grumble about how my wife can’t group things together on the grocery list that would be near each other in the store so I wouldn’t have to do a “full table scan” every time enter a new isle to see if there is something in this isle I need.
I have to make a second pass through the store picking up the things that where in isle 3 but at the bottom of the list.
I have thought about about this problem several time but concluded that collecting the data would be too labor intensive, to make it worth while. I’m glad somebody else has tacked the problem and I wish you guys had data on the store that I use.
TripAdvisor is the latest company to announce a security breach of its customer email addresses. The travel advice company has published limited details of the incident at http://www.tripadvisor.com/vpages/more_information.html, but is still investigating when the breach actually occurred.
Let’s get this straight people. If I by a a piece of hardware. It’s MY piece of hardware. And it is correct for my to run ANY piece of software that I legally obtain for it. I am not going to ask service providers about stuff that has nothing to do with them.