Virtual Apple ][ Online Disk Archive

These guys have an entire library of old Apple ][ programs online that run within the browser. They use an ActiveX control that’s an Apple ][gs virtual machine emulator running within the IE… Sweet!

[with Virtual Apple]…”you can now relive, play, and enjoy old Apple 2 games and other disks through the internet and web browser. This web site uses an ActiveX application and Apple IIgs emulator to automatically download and play most Apple 2 disk images online. To play a game, just select the disk from the menu and click on Yes to automatically download the ActiveX emulator and disk images. (Note: Requires Internet Explorer and Windows) Don’t worry, there isn’t any spyware to worry about, and it’s completely free!” (via Boing Boing)

Retire the Wretched Fax Machine

Please! Let’s make 2004 the year we retire the wretched fax machine!

This is despite some of the valid points Paul Rubens of the BBC NEWS makes in his article Fax – the technology that refuses to die (via Gizmodo)

“The fax machine is an ancient piece of office equipment – it was invented in its earliest form by one Alexander Bain in 1843. It transmits the contents of pieces of paper, but these days the chances are high that anything on paper started as an electronic document. So why print it out and fax it when you can e-mail the digital version?”

And this point which drives me truly insane!!

“It’s also likely that at least some faxed information will be typed back into a computer at the other end. So why convert it from digital to analogue and back again when you can keep it digital and save time and paper? Even if you fax directly from your computer, this still effectively turns a digital document into an analogue one.”

I know-I know! In comparison to signed faxed documents, digital signatures are not yet widely admissible as legal documents … Blah! Blah! Blah! Fix that!

My New Years Resolution is to make 2004 the year I stopped sending and receiving faxes … for good!

You should too :-) Please!

Heliodisplay- Interactive Free-Space Display

IO2 Technology has demonstrated a 42″ prototype of what they are calling “Heliodisplay- Interactive Free-Space Display“, which is essentially display without a “screen” …

“The Heliodisplay projects full color streaming video into free space (i.e. air). It is plug-and-play compatible with most video sources (TV, DVD, computer, etc.). These non-holographic images can be fully interactive, allowing a hand or finger to select, navigate and manipulate — as if it were a virtual touch screen.”

Note to self: Add to wish list :-)

Mud

Great quote by Don Park:

Using open source tools and libraries is like playing with mud.

But I’ll add; as a kid, I always enjoyed playing in the mud :-)

Economics of Distributed Computing

Jim Gray of Microsoft Research has an interesting paper on the economic viability of distributed computing.

Some quotes:

“Put the computation near the data. The recurrent theme of this analysis is that “On Demand” computing is only economical for very CPU-intensive (100,000 instructions per byte or a CPU-day per gigabyte of network traffic) applications.”

“If telecom prices drop faster than Moore’s law … [snip] … it could completely alter the arguments here. But there is no obvious sign of that occurring.”

Retro Computing Magazines

I’m certainly feeling nostalgic with all the retro talk lately about early experiences with computing technology.

Given the reflective talk, it’s not surprising to see a mention of some of my favorite computing magazines like
Softside,
Antic and of course Creative Computing

In fact, I still have a few issues of Creative Computing and Softside from the late 70’s early 80’s. Perhaps when I post my “Newly Digital” experiences, I’ll include pictures of these zines.

Gizmodo 1983

Feeling old? Check out some “cool” Gadgets from 1983.

It’s interesting to note how long it took many of these to catch on en mass and then to apply that logic to some products that we are just starting to see in the consumer markets. (e.g. PVRs, WiFi and even Blogging in the relm of social acceptance)

Change Today

Some good quotes from Kevin Werbach article on CNet titled, “Anticipating a post-Web, post-PC world

“If you want to know where you are, you don’t study a map to determine where you’re going. You trace back the steps from where you’ve been. Over the past several years, “where we’ve been” in the technology world has changed. While we were all focused on the dot-com bubble and the subsequent bust, “yesterday” shifted. It used to be the PC revolution and client-server computing in the enterprise; now it’s the Web.”

“Companies now worry less about how fast their computers run and more about how well they work together. People no longer wonder whether something is available online, but rather how to find and make use of it. Companies worry less about how to move large numbers of units, whether it is songs or laptops, and spend more time thinking about how to make money doing so. Those are today’s challenges.”