Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
iCal Alerts You Can't Miss

Did you miss that tiny little iCal alert dialog? Use a more prominent Open File alarm.

First save an image, text file, sound, or movie that will really fill your screen and grab your attention.

Select an iCal event and choose Open File as the alert type. Choose your unmissable file as the one to open.

Set more alerts with more files to open for the same event if you like. You won't miss an appointment with one of these alerts!

Visit MacTips.com

Submitted by
Miraz Jordan

 
 

Pen-Based PowerBook Crossed Out

Send Article to a Friend

Along with all the layoffs, Apple has cut back projects deemed non-essential. Among them was the pen-based PowerBook, probably a modified Duo.

In some ways it's a shame that such projects are dying, because even if they never lead to real products, the research often benefits Apple in other ways. However, I'm not surprised that Apple shelved the pen research for the time being, at least until they see how popular the MessagePad proves, given its pen interface.

Several years ago handwriting research and pen interfaces were all the rage, and one developer I spoke with said that to receive venture capital you essentially had to include pen computing in your business plan. However, with GO's PenPoint remaining a niche operating system and with the demise of the much-touted Momenta pen notebook, pen computing fell out of favor with even the venture capitalists, and last I heard pen computing in your business plan meant almost certain rejection.

In many ways, I think it all comes down to the manner in which you wish to record and manipulate information. The concept of a writing stick has been around for hundreds of years - first because it was necessary to make an impression and later because it could leave a trail of lead or ink behind it. But does that make sense as an interface to a computer, where you can't make an impression and where there is no permanence to a marked trail? I don't wish to imply that the current interfaces to computers are anything special, or that there aren't applications that lend themselves to a pen interface. The pen's primary advantage is that people know what to do with it, not that it's usable as a universal interface for a computer.

Nonetheless, it's shame that Apple dropped the project, if only because only through experimentation will Apple (or anyone) determine the interface methods that work and those that don't. It's becoming painfully clear that the Macintosh interface is due for an overhaul despite its still-obvious lead over Windows. But that's another editorial.

-- Information from:
PEN.IDEAS@applelink.apple.com

 

Bushel is a simple tool that allows you to manage Apple devices.
Use device inventory, app distribution, security settings, and
more on many devices at once, using an intuitive Web portal.
Manage 3 devices for free, forever. Try it! <http://www.bushel.com/>