Daniel Eran Dilger
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Newton Rising: Is the Next iPhone Device a G3 MessagePad?

Newton 3.0
Daniel Eran Dilger
Rumor sites have long been atwitter about Apple resurrecting the Newton MessagePad. While officially dead for nearly a decade, those rumors got a boost this year when Steve Jobs rolled out the iPhone as a combination “mobile phone, iPod, and breakthrough Internet device.” The iPhone first appeared to be Jobs’ version of the Newton, but after the iPod Touch revealed Apple’s long term plans for targeting a wider range of devices, the idea of a tablet assistant gained new credence as a realistic possibility. What does Apple’s past reveal about its future? Here’s a look.


Jobs: the Anti-Newton?
The popular story has always been that Jobs hated the Newton as a representation of late 80s Apple CEO John Sculley’s vision, not his own. That folk history was used to explain why Apple canceled the product shortly after Jobs return in 1997. Reality, of course, is far more complex and nuanced.

Back in the mid 80s, Jobs and Sculley did clash over the future of Apple. Jobs had always pushed for the next big thing. As the Apple II began facing competition from more established vendors, particularly IBM, Apple rushed to deliver the Apple III; that rush resulted in a sequel so infamously disastrous that the company went back to releasing new Apple II models. At the same time, Apple’s long term plan was to deliver a major jump in desktop computing that would bring into the mainstream ideas that had previously only been limited to tech demonstrations. Apple invested tens of millions into the Lisa project, and just two years after the Apple III, it delivered the first graphical desktop in a commercial product that businesses could use.

The next big thing was making that technology cheap enough to be viable for consumers. To drive the graphical consumer desktop as the next thing, Jobs jumped into the Macintosh project, which ran in parallel with the development of the Lisa. After its high profile debut, the Macintosh failed to generate sales in line with Apple’s expectations. Jobs pushed for an expansion into business as a way to ignite Mac sales, outlining the Macintosh Office strategy to establish the new system as a networked workstation with shared file and print services.

The more conservative Sculley didn’t see the potential of the Mac, and instead pushed the Apple II line, which continued to sell profitably. The year the Mac arrived, Sculley introduced the portable Apple IIc and proclaimed “Apple II Forever!” That message resonated with people who had bought the machines, but offered no real hope for progressive development in the future. Sculley pushed Jobs out of Apple by working to narrow his influence. In 1986, Jobs left Apple in disgust to start his own company, develop the next thing after the Mac, and deliver the premise behind the Macintosh Office.

Sculley replaced Jobs with Jean Louis Gassée,who shared Sculley’s conservative outlook and worked to position the Mac as a high end PC and low end workstation while Apple continued to sell Apple II machines well into the 90s. While Gassée derided Jobs’ plans as the “Mac Oraface,” Mac sales only began to take off after desktop publishing pushed Macs into a business role. The LaserWriter had been a key element of Jobs’ Macintosh Office strategy for developing practical applications for the new technology Apple had funded.

Steve Jobs and 20 Years of Apple Servers

Steve Jobs and 20 Years of Apple Servers

Enter the Newton.
Apple continued to develop advanced technologies in the spirit of the Lisa and Macintosh; many of these were applied towards the new Knowledge Navigator concept advanced by Sculley. While the company’s engineers worked to develop the technology required, the business case for the new platform was unfocused and limited in terms of offering practical applications for what Sculley proposed.

Sculley also drove the product with conservative fears, not progressive idealism. He worried that if the new platform did too much, it would eat into sales of the Macintosh, which by 1990 had grown dramatically and was creating its own weather. After Jobs departure, Apple migrated from the Apple II to the Mac not decisively, but reactively. Now Sculley was about to make the same mistake again in the 90s.

Dubbed the Newton, the conceptual product line originally aspired to do everything, serving as a tablet computer, a handheld mobile communicator, and a desktop multimedia system in various prototypes. By 1992, the concept had been whittled down to a multipurpose handheld device the size of a book. Sculley demonstrated an early prototype at the January 1992 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and referred to it as a Personal Digital Assistant.

Over the next two years, Apple’s engineers scrambled to ship the device Sculley had unveiled. Jeff Hawkins, who would later start Palm, also worked to develop a comparable product called the Casio Zoomer. It arrived first in 1993 with a $700 price tag. It didn’t work well, didn’t really try to do what the Newton promised, and ended up an insignificant failure.

The Newton MessagePad arrived in the fall for $700 to $900. Like the Apple III, it had been rushed to market to beat looming competitors. The entire industry was abuzz with pen computing and tablets, but nobody had delivered anything practical that really worked. The Newton had significant problems, but clearly led the pack from its debut through its four year existence.

Newton Lessons for Apple's New Platform

Newton Lessons for Apple’s New Platform

The MessagePads.
One major reason why the Newton MessagePads enjoyed an early lead was Apple’s partnership with Acorn to develop a custom processor specifically designed for new mobile applications. Called ARM, originally for Acorn RISC Machine, the efficient, fast processor allowed the Newton to do things that systems built from commodity parts couldn’t. Apple had earlier attempted to use AT&T’s Hobbit processors used in the EO organizer running PenPoint, but they were far outclassed by the results of Apple’s ARM partnership. Gassée later took the Hobbit chips to Be Inc. to create the BeBox before later transitioning it to PowerPC.

At the same time, Apple was also pioneering mobile laptop technology. The new PowerBook had debuted in 1991 using a design developed in partnership with Sony. The PowerBook introduced the modern laptop design with a keyboard placed near the screen and a palm rest tracking device below it, rather than the conventional design of the 80s that had placed the keyboard on the front edge of the unit. In the early 90s, Apple’s Mac sales made up roughly ten percent of the entire world’s PC sales, which enabled Apple to fund development of innovative hardware designs that pushed the state of the art.

In addition to its hardware and processor experience, Apple also had invested millions into developing intuitive interface technology on the Macintosh. That made the Newton MessagePad an incredible intersection of Apple’s latest and greatest technologies. Unfortunately, despite all the engineering and design that poured into the Newton, it didn’t really have any clear purpose. Mobile workers could envision applications for it in healthcare, transportation, and other industries that needed to manage large amounts of on-demand data in a small package, but none of those niche industries could float the development work needed to maintain that level of hardware and software expertise. Outside of gadget lovers, mainstream consumers didn’t see $700 of value in the device.

Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn't Symbian

Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn’t Symbian

Newton and the Fall of Apple.
The early 90s Newton wound up very much like the early 80s Mac: an excellent product demonstration with no obvious applications outside of highly specialized markets and bleeding edge enthusiasts. Once markets did begin to materialize, Apple found itself increasingly in trouble in other areas. Sculley’s insistence on targeting Apple’s Mac technologies at a small but profitable publishing and creative niche limited the company’s potential, and his signing away the rights to Macintosh technology to Microsoft back in 1985 resulted in Apple’s own sales being challenged by Microsoft’s copycat but more expensive Windows software running on shoddy PC hardware.

Sculley began ignoring Apple to pursue a political career and was finally asked to leave shortly before the Newton shipped. The company then drifted under the control of visionless managers appointed to be CEO. The tech press described Apple as enjoying a Golden Age, and historical revisionists still assert that Apple was flying high during the years when it was really coming undone, between 1985 and 1995.

By the time Apple acquired NeXT and brought back Steve Jobs in 1997, there was little room left for fanciful products with no clear market. However, the Newton was not among the first projects shelved in the merciless housecleaning Jobs began to get the company back into the black.

How CPR Saved Apple

Ameliorating the Newton Crisis.
In 1997, Jobs and existing CEO Gil Amelio saw Newton differently. While introducing the NeXT acquisition, Amelio announced plans to spin Newton off into a subsidiary that would license the technology to other makers. Motorola and other vendors were already on board, building devices like the wireless Marco based on Newton technology.

Jobs initially presented the Newton as a product with potential, but only within Apple. After the board promoted Jobs to Amelio’s position mid-year in 1997, Jobs immediately pulled Newton back inside Apple, creating the impression among many wags that Jobs was intentionally planning to scuttle the Newton out of a petty grudge against Sculley maintained from a decade prior. There are a number of reasons to think this Cringely-style soap opera dramatization was not an accurate portrayal of reality.

  • First, Apple was full of other Sculley-era decisions that Jobs didn’t attack, including the migration to PowerPC. Jobs not only supported PowerPC at Apple after his return, but had earlier planned to adopt the processor architecture at NeXT until other factors made that impossible. If Jobs were petty about avoiding good technologies just because they were associated with Sculley, surely he would have made different decisions regarding the Macintosh.
  • Another example is ARM, the mobile processor technology that Sculley oversaw in Apple’s partnership with Acorn in the late 80s and early 90s. If Jobs killed the Newton in 1998 out of petty hatred for a CEO he disagreed with, why did he embrace the use of ARM within the next two years to deliver the ARM-based iPod in 2001?
  • And what about QuickTime, a technology portfolio created at Apple after Jobs left in 1986? At NeXT, Jobs followed the lead of Sculley’s Apple in building a compatible framework called NeXTime, and after returning to Apple, Jobs promoted the technology as a key asset of the combined company.
  • Another example is Ink, the software version of the exceptional handwriting recognition technology developed for Newton 2.0. If Jobs wanted to snuff out Sculley’s vision for fragile emotional reasons, why did he resurrect the most obvious element of it for Mac OS X and promote it as a feature?

There are many other examples as well. Rather than trying to bury Sculley’s PDA, it appears Jobs worked to salvage every valuable vestige of Newton. His initial plan was clearly keep Newton afloat. Between 1993 and 1996, Apple hadn’t really offered anything new apart from some minor performance tweaks and a significant software update that fixed the early issues with its print recognizer. In early 1997, Amelio introduced a new series of Newton products including:

  • the MessagePad 2000, with a much faster StrongARM processor, networking support, more RAM, and higher resolution 480×320 greyscale screen.
  • the eMate 300, a lower cost mini laptop Newton designed for education.

After pulling Newton inside Apple a few months later, Jobs reportedly responded to a private email questioning the move, saying “the Emate has a bright future,” and “sales of the current MessagePad are brisk. […] Don’t worry, we are pulling this group back into Apple so that we can invest even more sales and marketing resources into these products, rather than dumping the products into a small spin-off which lacks such resources.”

A month later, Apple released the revised Newton MessagePad 2100 alongside a new, simplified lineup of G3 PowerBooks and PowerMacs and a new online web store. If Jobs had wanted to kill the Newton, releasing another new model would have been a poor way of accomplishing that. However, just six months later, the Newton was canceled. Was Jobs acting out a bizarrely misleading strategy to break the hearts of Newton fans, or were there business realities involved?

The Egregious Incompetence of Palm: Newton Supernova: 1997-1998

The Egregious Incompetence of Palm: Newton Supernova: 1997-1998

Why Jobs Killed the Newton.
There are a number of good reasons for Apple to kill the Newton. The most obvious was that Apple was rapidly losing money and in difficult financial shape. In 1996, Apple had lost $816 million under Amelio. In fiscal 1997, the company announced a net loss of $1 billion, although that included $667 million in expenses related to buying NeXT. The company had to make some difficult decisions to get back on track.

Apple’s corporate image was tainted by failure. The company not only losing money, but also quickly losing brains. Talented engineers were leaving to start solo projects or join other companies, and pundits held out little hope for the company’s future. Without hardware and software talent, all that remained of Apple was a sales organization in shambles, troublesome operations and logistics, an aging software platform, huge unsold inventories of obsolete hardware and parts, and a kick me sign affixed by every wag in the tech industry.

Apple also had both a Mac and Newton clone program in place. If the Newton licensing contracts were at all similar to the disastrously misguided Mac licensing agreements, its no wonder why Apple shut things down rather than trying to pump blood from the turnip deals.

More Reasons Why Jobs Killed the Newton.
There were also problems specific to the Newton itself. It had been designed with an ivory tower isolation from reality. It used esoteric software technologies that made it highly unique and difficult for many developers to approach. Many of its features were never completed. In particular, its desktop sync software was never really finished, a serious flaw in a device aimed at being a PC companion rather than a laptop replacement.

By 1998, the half decade old Newton OS needed a significant overhaul. Maintaining it would have required supporting and fixing problems discovered by all the licensees and the various customer niches they sold devices to. At the same time, Apple wasn’t selling significant volumes of the devices, and licensing contracts couldn’t support the amount of new investment required to keep things in motion. Early 90s legacy issues would have dragged down future Newton development potential like a million tiny anchors. Apple was working to scrape legacy from the Mac with the New World USB iMac; doing the same overhaul for a device that had no significant prospects as a mass market seller would have been far less sensible.

Additionally, the Newton’s processor hardware was tied to Digital’s StrongARM, a business Intel acquired in late 1997. Intel viewed Apple as a competitor, and gave no reason for thinking that the StrongARM roadmap would be favorable or relevant to Apple and the Newton. Apple didn’t have the resources to redesign the Newton for a different processor family; given that the Newton OS was developed in the early 90s, it may have been impossibly difficult for Apple to try.

Even More Reasons Why Jobs Killed the Newton.
One of the most significant problems for the Newton’s future came from Palm, which by 1998 was flooding the market with $300 organizers. The eMate was $800 and MessagePad was around $1100. In order for Apple to compete, it would need to drop most of what made the Newton useful, and essentially redesign an alternative to the Palm Pilot.

Instead of trying to beat Palm, Apple partnered with the company in 1998, selling it Claris Organizer for use as the Mac Palm Desktop software and encouraging Jeff Hawkins’ new Handspring to support the new iMac directly using USB rather than an old serial port dongle that older Palms required. Unsurprisingly, Handspring also copied the translucent colors of the iMac in its own hardware.

That cooperation turned out to be an excellent decision for Apple, because the euphoria related to Palm in the late 90s fell like a lead balloon after the dotcom crunch dried up any market for frivolous PDA toy gadgets.

That pinch hit Microsoft especially hard, because it had done just the opposite in trying to unseat Palm’s success with WinCE/Palm-sized PC/Pocket PC. Microsoft’s billions invested in WinCE never amounted to anything. Had Apple followed suit, it would have drained off vast resources of its own, but Apple lacked the profit margins of Microsoft to sustain similar losses.

The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile

The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile

Newton’s Children.
Instead of trying to copy Palm’s existing success, Apple targeted the next thing. In 2001, that was digital music. Sony and Microsoft were fighting to establish proprietary DRM fiefdoms that would lock down music playback to only their own licensed players. Apple used its mobile engineering, software, and device design experience to deliver a music player that had large capacity, fast and easy synchronization with a desktop PC, long playback, and compatibility with existing interoperable music formats.

Wags who today crow about Apple’s “DRM lock-in” and monopolization of the music industry conveniently forget to mention that the credible alternatives not only supported DRM optionally like the iPod later did, but actually required music to be encoded into either Microsoft’s WMA or Sony’s ATRAC formats in an effort to trample standard MPEG MP3 out of existence. Perhaps they’re just bitter for being made fools of for their breathless cheerleading in support of Windows Media prior to its spectacular failure.

Rather than draining Apple’s core resources as the Newton would have, the iPod helped to polish Apple’s corporate image, widen its audience, and served a critical role in rolling out Apple’s parallel retail store strategy. Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth

The iPhone and Beyond.
With the release of the iPhone, Apple leveraged its ability to consistently deliver well built, battery-savvy, connected mobile devices to the mass market in a new way. The company also used its powerful merchandizing presence in retail to promote the iPhone in conjunction with the iPod and Mac products, spurring sales of each. What’s next on the horizon?

iPod Slate. While pundits keep repeating hope for Bill Gates’ vision for a laptop missing a keyboard that you write on with a stylus, a more likely alternative for consumer attention would be an entertainment tablet that acted as a larger version of the iPod Touch. It could share components and design elements with Apple’s rumored ultra portable laptop, adding economies of scale to bring prices down. Don’t expect a big Touch to cost less than the existing model. A 7“ touch screen might be possible for around $600, or perhaps less if it piggybacked onto an iPhone service plan to deliver ubiquitous mobile data service for a monthly fee that helped subsidize the upfront cost.

Buy iTunes tracks, watch videos on demand, and interact with discoverable data services patterned after Starbucks’ iTunes WiFi Store options. Stream content from Bonjour-discovered iTunes libraries and iPhoto albums just like Apple TV. Use it as a picture frame when not in active use. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and the iPod Slate would look a lot like an ultra thin, color Newton without a stylus.

iPod Slate

iPhone 08. Obvious hardware advances for the iPhone could include additional Flash RAM and support for UMTS. AT&T’s UMTS service in the US works on a different radio frequency than the UMTS service in Europe and Japan, and doesn’t yet offer the same level of coverage. Most people enraptured with the 3G buzzword are thinking of EVDO, which is common in the US but will never be supported by the iPhone because it is only offered by GSM rivals Sprint and Verizon Wireless, both of whom invested in Qualcomm’s CDMA2000; EVDO is Qualcomm’s proprietary 3G.

Among the GSM markets including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 3G means UMTS, the WCDMA standard that serves as the 3G upgrade to GSM. UMTS was intended as a joint future for both CDMA2000 networks and GSM providers, but Qualcomm pulled out to sponsor EVDO as its own system instead, dividing the US in half between UMTS and EVDO. In other CDMA2000 markets, particularly in Japan, operators are moving to UMTS instead of EVDO, prompting Verizon Wireless and Sprint to attempt to hide their dead end technology behind the 3G buzzword. Unfortunately for them, most 3G phones are so bad that they can’t even browse the web faster than the existing EDGE iPhone, despite having access to a faster network.

Both EVDO and UMTS require more processor power to decode transmissions, resulting in a major hit against battery life that was deemed unacceptable for the first generation iPhone. The iPhone 08 will likely support UMTS for Japan and Europe, and may be offered in a US/AT&T version for early adopters who want faster networking than EDGE in more places that WiFi can be found.

Pundits insisted back in January that the iPhone would have to be ”3G“ in order to sell in Europe. I predicted Apple might likely sell the existing EDGE version there this fall, and Europeans would buy it just as they bought the EDGE-only LG Prada phone, which even lacks WiFi. They laughed then, and more recently they tried to insist that Apple wouldn’t be able to sell any in the EU, but I was right and the original iPhone is selling better than expected right now, despite lacking the 3G seal of approval.

There is similarly no evidence to suggest Apple will or can deliver a 3G iPhone prior to mid or late 2008. When it does so, the 3G version may only work overseas. If Apple does deliver a US/AT&T 3G/UMTS version at the same time, it will spark upgrades among American power users and globetrotters, but it will also create a vibrant resale market for original iPhones at values far higher than any second hand mobile phone has ever seen in history. The 3G hype is highly oversold and I don’t get to repeat that often enough.

Secret iPhone Details Lost in a Sea of Hype and Hate

Macworld: Ten Myths of the Apple iPhone
Secret iPhone Details Lost in a Sea of Hype and Hate
iPhone Grabs 27% of US Smartphone Market

I’ve got more ideas for Apple in 2008 coming up tomorrow in the next article. If you have some good ideas, send them in and I’ll post the best ones.

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

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  • benlewis

    Great point about the Sony and MS vision for downloadable music in 2001. At that time, Napster 1.0 was a popular way to get music for free (yes it was stealing and it was wrong, but the threat of stealing is what changed how business was done and opened the door for the iTMS). I remember going from a 512 MB Diamond Rio to a 5 GB iPod priced at about $100 more. Sony was offering garbage players that would (as you point out) only play its own format. The amazingly great iPod cemented MP3 as the default supported format from that point on.

  • Steve Nagel

    Apple does best when it sells solutions, not just products or services. Not sure how the iSlate fits. I did read this morning that Apple has a patent for ordering, say, coffee without getting in line. Now that’s a solution: Eliminating queues. That, with an isight/ichat capability, and I am there.

  • http://graysonagency.com/blog Ashley Grayson

    I love Daniel’s deeply reasoned and historically informed essays. This one offers great context for discussing a notepad-like product. However, I believe the driver lies not in technical motives but a huge product gap in the publishing industry. Apple tends to fill unnoticed gaps of usefulness, not just extensions of existing products, like a lighter, thinner laptop. I’ve published my own hope (not quite prediction) at my blog:
    http://graysonagency.com/blog
    Basically, a 6 x9 or 7 x 10 or even larger slate-like product could quickly become the iPod of e-book readers because the “flick/pinch” interface of the iPhone and iPod touch is already a better reading interface than the Sony or Kindle products.

  • mikeg

    Excellent article capturing the early years of Newton. Having used a number of devices from the 90s, there were only two units I felt were useful, the Psion, and the Newton. Yeah, they had their problems, but as far as utility goes, these units beat Windows CE, Palm, and Handspring units.

    With respect to a true 3G iPhone being difficult to deliver in 2008, I wholeheartedly agree. Believe me, I want this to happen, as I am one of those holdouts for the next generation of iPhone, even though I know it will be exceedingly difficult to deliver a global UTMS unit due to the diverse spectrum requirements over the various continents. That being said, I truly believe it will be Apple that will pull off this development feat.

    So, what new products are we expecting at the first part of 2008? A new ultra portable laptop? Updated Macbooks? A totally new device not unlike the Newtons of old?

  • Rich

    “because it is only offered by GSM rivals Sprint and Verizon Wireless, both of whom invested in Qualcomm’s CDMA2000; EVDO is Qualcomm’s proprietary 3G.”

    Luckily Verizon are going with LTE (a GSM-A standard) for their 4G network.

    For all the things that are said about Microsoft, Qualcomm are on a level all of their own. When they’re not launching patent ambushes, they’re subverting standards committees or extorting money from their customers. Qualcomm make Micsosoft look like a bunch of saints.

    If there is one thing I’ve learnt is business it’s that you should avoid vendor lock-in at all costs. Qualcomm demonstrate nicely why.

    “Both EVDO and UMTS require more processor power to decode transmissions, resulting in a major hit against battery life that was deemed unacceptable for the first generation iPhone.”

    I’m sorry, I still don’t buy this. The whole battery angle is an *excuse* not a reason for the lack of 3G in the iPhone.

    There’s already 3G phones on the market, such as the Nokia E61, which manage more talk-time with a smaller battery than the iPhone.

    Here’s an idea (that might already be patented) – how about automatically switching to 2G mode when the data connection isn’t active? That would give the best of both worlds. WiFi already uses a lot more power than 3G when active so it’s a win-win situation.

    No, the real reason why 3G wasn’t included is because supporting 3G is a complicated and time-consuming business. Developing a 3G telecoms stack takes many, many man years. With the expertise of Nokia, Ericsson et al, Symbian’s first European 3G phone was released in
    2003. It took Microsoft two whole years to catch up – a lifetime in the cell phone market. With such patchy coverage in the US, I’m sure Apple did not see it as a priority to implement either.

    I assume that’s also why the iPhone only supports one Bluetooth profile. Bluetooth is another (possibly over-complicated) communications protocol that takes a long time to get right.

    Time and resources, not battery life, are why the first generation iPhone lacks 3G.

    “… but it will also create a vibrant resale market for original iPhones at values far higher than any second hand mobile phone has ever seen in history.”

    Hmm… I’m not sure how that would work. Unless jail broken, the iPhone will only work with iPhone-specific SIM cards. I doubt many people will be willing to sell the SIM card too. Of course a lot of early adopters are tech-savvy and have probably SIM unlocked their iPhones so it’s probably a moot point.

    “The 3G hype is highly oversold and I don’t get to repeat that often enough.”

    Absolutely, but that’s not to say 3G isn’t useful. Just the ability to receive a call whilst downloading data is a major advantage.

  • harrywolf

    The iPhone has a combination of factors that make it great, but its not a ‘new’ device, just a much better one.
    Same goes for the iPod and the Mac computer.
    Perhaps Apple should be looking at what other devices could be improved so dramatically?

    The GPS might be one they could improve – an Apple GPS would be a big seller.
    Of course, simply adding GPS to the iPhone would be almost the same, and would sell just as well.

    I think its more likely that we have to wait about 4 or 5 years before habits change and new ways to use devices can evolve.

    Imagine the iPhone without google maps – it would not be so attractive.

    So I am in agreement with Steve Nagel about solutions – perhaps right now there isnt a solution to be found, so Apple must consolidate and improve what they have until a problem/bad implementation needs the ‘Apple touch’. (pun intended)

    Solutions that need improving/making more accessible (IMHO):

    Online payments.
    Online education.
    Video phone calls.
    Satellite phones.
    GPS.
    The whole eBook mess.

  • lmasanti

    The Newton was a PDA.

    Two or three years ago, in a All D conference, Steve said that “it is so important to what you say yes as to what you say no”. Asked “to what you said no”, he answered: “To a PDA, we could not made the difference” [my words]

    When presenting the iPhone, ‘Steve Jobs rolled out the iPhone as a combination “mobile phone, iPod, and breakthrough Internet device.”’ [quoted from the article]

    So, the only think that I’m almost sure is that they would not use that acronim!

  • jp

    I want this as much as any Apple user, just because it’s cool. But as an iPhone and MBP user, I’m still struggling to see how this might fit into my or anyone else’s life.

    The iPhone, especially in a 3G version, takes care of most of my browsing and media needs around town and traveling, and fits in my pocket.

    In heavier duty situations, say for a long trip or at home, I’m almost always going to have my MBP around.

    So when would I really need a device that I need a bag for that isn’t as flexible/functional as my laptop?

    (I’m asking this honestly…I’m going to need justify walking around with this to my friends!)

  • http://www.serfware.com/ serfware

    “Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.”

    Yea! And Scarecrow’s brain! Hey wait! You forgot about Fox News!

    Dude, these snarly interjections are really out of place in these otherwise excellent and well-reasoned articles. “Crushing” recession? Any recession is bad but it would be fascinating to hear how you figure it was crushing.

    Anyhow, I have heard the Bush administration blamed for a lot of things but, until now, the iPod’s success wasn’t one of them. Next article, perhaps?

  • Steve Nagel

    “Online payments.” Services like this would put Steve in the big webby foot league with Google, getting a cent or two whenever we click. I think he would like that.

    Actually, I might buy it. So I pay with a virtual credit card. Do that most days now. The payment is forwarded to a Numbers spreadsheet, with my categorization. Good. Or maybe there’s a new app called Money. And maybe it calculates in my daily stock changes, checks my bank accounts for any weirdness, and has my Americano ready when I get to the coffee shop.

    Anything to eliminate Quicken from my life.

  • gus2000

    You know, I liked Quicken. But is got increasingly complex. The worst part was when I tried to convert my data from the PC Quicken to the Mac version. There were so many caveats that it seemed simpler just to get a new Social Security Number and start over.

  • Splashman

    +1 to serfware’s comment.

    Daniel, you’re obviously free to write what you wish, but if you insist on littering your otherwise excellent analyses with Kos-style moonbat guano, you *will* lose readers, including me. When I want political commentary, I know where to get it. When I want Apple/Tech commentary, I refuse to wade through the sort of crap which serfware referenced above.

  • kent

    Again – interesting technical commentary and uninformed political comment. “Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.”

    Fossil fuels are what the economy runs on. Alternative fuels are kind of like Microsoft Vista. Maybe good on paper – completely insufficient in execution. Why the anger at fossil fuels? Daniel – do you drive a car? Do you know how Apple products get to customers? Lots of fossil fuels. An intelligent energy policy would be encouraging more exploration so we could develop our own sources, which are plentiful if we had the will and intelligence that we used to to extract them. Makes more sense than turning food source into fuel so poor countries pay more for corn. Regarding the declaration of war, the leading Democrat candidate for the Declaration for war against Iraq. So did the 2004 Democrat candidate. The war has been a good thing and is nearly won, with no help since those votes from the left. We will truly need the escape of our iPods should Hillary be elected and we are subjected to her patronizing sermons and her hideous laugh.

    There, I got it out of my system.

  • http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jose HG

    Apple, since Steve Jobs returned, is like a great book. You can’t wait to read the next chapter. Where is it all going? How do all these things fit together?

    The story of the meeting between NIH and Steve Jobs makes me wonder how the science market figures into the overall plan…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/jan/04/newmedia.media

    The groundbreaking has begun with iTunes university and other recent developments. A large mobile networked media device coupled with these services seems to me would meet the NIH’s needs pretty well.

    There can be no doubt in anyone’s minds, especially in Apple’s competitor’s minds, that there’s an organizational intelligence driving Apple today that’s never been seen before.

  • falcon27

    Ditto the comments of serfware, Splashman & Kent. If you want to engage in political punditry, particularly of the idiotic variety, try DailyKos or HuffingtonPost or the New York Times.

  • gus2000

    Daniel, the question you need to ask yourself is this: will convincing the Conservatards to buy Macs make them better people, or will it instead facilitate their Rightward journey? If the former, invite them into the warmth and the light. If the latter, keep poking them until they go away.

  • thgd

    To falcon27, serfware, Splashman, Kent, etc….
    Last I looked this is Dan’s blog not yours !
    If you want to comment on the substance of the articles please do so BUT if your only contribution is going to be feeding your own ego by posting opinions about your special view of the world, please feel free to leave your comments elsewhere.
    The rest of us and maybe the rest of the world will be better off for it !

  • PerGrenerfors

    “during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. ”

    This just looks oddly out of place here. Don’t reduce yourself to a third-rate political commentator. I actually agree with what you’re saying but it’s embarrassing to find talking points-style writing in your articles. I expect better, that’s all.

  • http://www.serfware.com/ serfware

    to thgd

    And last time I looked reader comments were solicited.

    How on earth you can suggest any of the comments you referenced were not germane to the discussion at hand is anyone’s guess. Ego indeed.

  • Brau

    I wasn’t surprised to see Steve Jobs kill the Newton. As good as it was, it was a device before its time that tried to find a reason to exist in a world ruled by paper transfer and fax machines. I can recall trying out one myself but comparing it to the indexed notepad I kept in my shirt pocket. In comparison the PDAs were heavy bricks, slower to input and retrieve content, and because the rest of the world was not yet digitally based offered no real advantage. Only the true techno-nerds used these devices for the status they implied.

    The world has changed today though and the iPhone is stepping into an infrastructure that is desperate for a good PDA. The current line of processors finally can offer enough power to operate almost as our desktop does, and indeed the iPhone’s ability to run OSX keeps the user environment consistent. Make no mistake – Steve Jobs is re-introducing the PDA as a subset of the iPhone, at the perfect time, and the world is responding as expected.

  • FloydThreepwood

    I really liked reading your historycal analysis, but I didn’t catch the point where a bigger version of the iSlate. Where does it make things better for us?

    If you look into history you missed the point that the iPhone’s core features have nothing in common with the PDA and Newton systems. The Palm made its way through PIM Apps, the Newton tried dealing this with better Software and higher prices. Internet, iPod and Phone are what making the iPhone so valluable but how does that add to a 7″ UMPC? I don’t see a Market or hype for such a thing.

    Further if I look at the UI of a iPhone App I cant imagine using such a interface on a much wider screen. If Apple doesn’t plan to introduce a whole new architecture in Soft- & Hardware nothing will work.

    My personal Macworld hopes are more conservative, by making the UMPC a Leopard Sub and further hoping for a real update for the Apple TV wich has great potential but actually lacks a clear use in advance to Media Center. Well, and there is allways that thing nobody needs until Apple invents it!

  • kent

    TO THGD

    My response was to the substance of the article. In case you didn’t notice I complimented the technical insights and disputed the unsupported left wing political commentary which was superfluous to the topic. That is what you do when you post on blogs. I happen to think Daniel has an understanding of Apple Inc. from both a technical and business perspective that is unequaled in any business or technical journals. I also believe he has a compulsion to inject odd political commentary where it makes no sense and detracts significantly from the overall quality of the articles (when it appears). It is his blog, as you say, and he is free to degrade the quality and drive away otherwise happy readers with insulting and ridiculous political statements if he so chooses.

  • nat

    thgd’s got it right. Just because you see the world through Bush-goggles doesn’t make Daniel’s political asides “third-rate.” Enjoy the last Bush you’ll ever see in the White House. Go Obama! :D

    As for ’08 ideas/wishes…

    iPod/iPhone/iTunes

    – a slightly-modified set of iPhone ear buds. A two-way rocker would replace the single button, which would allow for going back a song, rather than only being able to skip forward. Perhaps on the side could be a volume slider.

    – same as above, minus the mic, sold with the iPod touch

    – same as above, minus the buds, to be used with third-party headphones

    – a compact, chrome, iPhone 3.5mm headphone-jack adapter

    – iPhone/iPod touch games that utilize both the touch-screen and accelerometer, made available in the iTunes app store

    – iTunes movie rental service as Daniel modeled

    – Better iTunes JUST FOR YOU service, which would include other purchases (movies, tv shows, podcasts, etc.) and cross-recommendation of media based on said purchases

    – Slightly higher quality movies, music videos, etc.

    – The first iTunes Plus movies, starting with indie films

    – All songs stripped of DRM by the end of ’08. (I know it’s wishful thinking and that Apple really has no control over it.)

    – 40-50GB flash iPod touch. (That’s probably two years away, but I can hope. Or perhaps I should use smart playlists.)

    – The slow killing off of the iPod classic and very very slow killing off of the iPod nano. I love those iPods, I still have my iPod 5.5G, but I’ve tired of the click-wheel to a certain extent and really want the touch-based iPod and iPhone to get the most development attention.

    – A Back-to-my-Mac kind of service for the iPhone/iPod touch that allows streaming of one’s entire music collection via WiFi. No need for large hard/flash drives! Yay!

    Mac

    – SIMPLYFY/STANDARDIZE KEYBOARDS! This has been irritating me lately. The MacBook Pro has an ENTER key to the right of the right command key. The MacBook has an alt/option key instead. The new iMacs come with media and expose/dashboard keys along the top and drop the Apple logo from the command key!
    It would be great to see the new iMac media keys on MacBooks/MBPs, with each physical modifier key (command, alt, shift, control) branded with its graphical OS X representation (⌘, ⌥, ⇧,⌃).

    – Bigger Apple Cinema displays with built-in iSight cameras at slightly reduced prices so Apple can promise first-party web-cam support on every Mac (including the Mac mini and Mac Pro). An HDMI port would be nice too. Add a slightly expanded Apple remote for a great AppleTV companion or a great display on its own.

    – The death of the Combo Drive. It still lives on with the lower-end Mac Mini. Just kill it already.

    – A little periscope jobby for the MacBook/MBP iSight so I can take pictures or video without turing the whole thing around.

    – The magnet-style latch of the MacBook for the MacBook Pro. I still have a PowerBook G4, so I’m not sure if the irritating latch has been remedied in the MBPs.

    – Wifi/Bluetooth standard on Mac Pros. Every other Mac has it by default.

    – NO HD-DVD OR BLU-RAY SUPPORT! I’m done with discs and draconian copy-protection that’s more expensive than the last crop.

    – A clickable laptop trackpad. I know current MacBook/MBP trackpads can be tapped on as a substitute for pressing the single mouse button; that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m imagining a trackpad that actually depresses like the single mouse button. It could even be on a small rocker so right and left-button clicking would be recognized. The current single mouse button, would be removed.

  • kent

    TO NAT

    The political comments are third rate because they are not supported by facts. They are on the level with Rob Enderle comments about Apple. Not the calibre Daniel brings to his Apple commentary. If the political stuff is going to be inserted, at least it should include thought, not just crude ignorant assertions.

  • nat

    Ah, just realized my clickable trackpad might not be necessary. I still have to deal with ctrl-clicking on my PowerBook, but I remember now, MacBooks and MBPs allow you to left-click by two-finger tapping. That feature isn’t really talked about by Apple, so most new Mac buyers probably aren’t aware. I think my “click-pad” would be a bit more intuitive/innovative. :)

  • nat

    kent, what comments of his do you disbelieve?

  • nat

    …and what do you think of my “click-pad?” :D

  • aggie77

    Good thing I keep politics and tech as different parts of my life or I would never buy an apple product as long as Al “tree” Gore is on the BOD.

  • kent

    Nat – you asked what I disagreed with.

    “the declaration of war on everything”

    “economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels,”

    and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism.”

    The above – all ascribed to Bush, are ignorant statements. Daniel does not specify what all the Declarations of War were. Nor does he mention that 3000 citizens were killed in one morning, the financial nerve center of the US attacked by Islamic extremists and a plan foiled to destroy the Congress or White House on the same day. That may have had something to do with both the “war” declarations and the economic uncertainty, though all the blame is laid at Bush’s feet. The statement about widespread investment in mercenaries and fossil fuels is simply pointless and ridiculous. What mercenaries is Daniel referring to? Hopefully not the US military, which performs the function most basic to our constitution – national security and protecting our freedoms. Regarding fossil fuels – again no real thought is present. Is Daniel opposed to fossil fuels? How does this relate to iPods? Doesn’t our entire economy and all the individuals in it rely on fossil fuels? Why is he speaking of fossil fuels as bad, when he no doubt is a serious user of fossil fuels? By the way, fossil fuels are a gift to us that we should be very thankful for. As for the statement about the fascism and the police state, just more drivel. Was it not a police state when the FBI was killing the 90 residents of the compound in Waco? Or shooting the unarmed pregnant wife of Randy Weaver. It will take a longer than half a sentence to cover the illegal and unconstitutional activities that took place during the administration present during the 1990s. And the discussion would include real facts, not just lame assertions.

    Those are the main comments of Daniel’s otherwise fine article which I took issue with.

    By the way, I am not familiar with the click pad. I have a track pad.

  • sketch_bomb

    kent, nat, thgd, etc – The mere fact that a large portion of the comments section for this post is taken up by various posters’ political rantings and insults perfectly makes the case for why Daniel should avoid making such statements when they have nothing to do with the subject matter. Folks like gus2000 who feel compelled to refer to others as “Conservitards” are not really elevating the debate at all.

  • http://www.ecphorizer.com Tod

    Nat wrote: “- SIMPLIFY/STANDARDIZE KEYBOARDS! This has been irritating me lately. The MacBook Pro has an ENTER key to the right of the right command key. The MacBook has an alt/option key instead.”

    Nothing befuddles me more than the changes a design team makes to a keyboard. As a 35-year user of a variety of HP scientific calculators I can write a book about how basic function keys were never ever in the same location from model to model. Even the arithmetic keys (+ – X / ) moved from left to right, center, and even changed positions relative to each other. Apple’s designs are nothing compared to HP’s.

  • http://www.ecphorizer.com Tod

    As a lifelong democrat (voting first for JFK in ’60) I feel Dan’s anger about the born-again anti-science hawkish administration, but as an equally devoted reader of his columns, I, too, would like the politics placed elsewhere. Perhaps a separate column that is clearly labeled that it is a post of political opinions would be in order. then those who don’t care to read it can move on to the next thing.

  • nat

    kent,

    1) On the “declaration of war on everything,” Daniel is being slightly ironic, considering Bush never formally declared war on Iraq, and metaphorical as the Bush administration has illegally spied on its citizens, instilled FUD with contrived color-coded alerts, cut taxes on the top 2%, and recently questioned if water-boarding is really torture; that’s a psychological war.

    2) On “economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels,” Daniel is noting the investment in the mercenary industry, made up of independent agents payed by corporations, operating independently from the U.S. and its laws, and fossil fuels, Iraq being a major source.

    3) On “transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism,” while I don’t know about the surcharges, the fascism is there. Bush removed nearly all liberal-minded justices from the Supreme Court illegally (via Gonzales). #1 lists how we are being stripped of our rights.

    People always find some form of escapism during times of despair. Ripping, mixing, downloading, and burning music was new and in a way, empowering. The iPod and iTunes were (and still are) the best for that.

    p.s. The “click-pad” was an idea I posted, the post you originally responded to. Don’t steal my Click-Pad(tm)! :D

  • Splashman

    Nat, if you’re attempting to defend Daniel, keep your day job. If you’re attempting to prove your Kos bonafides, hey, you had me at “fascism,” so give it a rest.

    Daniel, if you really do want your comment section to look like a Kos diary, you’re well on your way. (Look what a single off-topic throwaway sentence got you.) If you’d like to retain readers who aren’t Kos aficionados, I encourage you to start a new blog (“Leftly Drafted”) in which to indulge your political ramblings. Link to it from RD. With your writing skill, I can see it becoming quite popular amongst a certain demographic.

  • http://www.serfware.com/ serfware

    nat – “thgd’s got it right. Just because you see the world through Bush-goggles doesn’t make Daniel’s political asides “third-rate.” Enjoy the last Bush you’ll ever see in the White House. Go Obama!”

    And what, specifically, does thgd have right? (a) That you aren’t supposed to comment on Daniel’s political asides unless (apparently) you agree with them; (b) the bizarre assertion we weren’t commenting on substantive points (I must admit I was wowed by that one); (c) that, somehow, if we question how these asides are presented we are trying to foist a ‘special view’ on the rest of the class?

    This reflexive, and thoughtless, defensiveness by some has not only become a cheerful endorsement of complete political conformity, but also underscore how they have completely missed the point: the comments referenced are grossly out-of-place and are presented with the same infantile foot-stomping Daniel rightly – and quite effectively — points out as unthinking idiocy in others. The whole thing is an unnecessary digression.

    Daniel is (gasp!) a big liberal. Good for him. He is also the best tech writer I have had the pleasure to find and am glad to be a reader. He methodically destroys arguments point-by-point and gets rightly frustrated when other journalists are lazily pumping out stories the slant of which was almost certainly determined before anyone was ever interviewed.

    So you must pardon us for taking issue with the occasional liberties Daniel takes with coherence when he goes off like this, but he is so darn good these, um, things stick out like a car crash. We do care! You might not believe that, but then again you might not believe “Go Obama!” counts as wearing any particular pair of goggles either.

  • blacktalonz

    Quote: “Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.”

    I see that other have already commented, but I am not upset at what he said – but that he said it.

    How many articles have we read from Daniel lambasting shallow writers for their use of volatile statements, said only to garner readership.

    It’s a shame to see Daniel imitate this practice. Does this mean that a new award will be created? A “Goon” perhaps. With Daniel Eran Dilger as the first recipient!

  • Splashman

    “I see that others have already commented, but I am not upset at what he said – but that he said it.”

    Bingo! Thanks for stating it so clearly. I don’t want my tech analyses mucked up with political commentary of any stripe.

  • Sharp

    I would LOVE an iSlate to take to the coffee shop. I’ve been using an iBook 12″, but when all I want to do is listen to my Podcasts and read, then unpacking the kit (laptop, cord, mouse) and waiting for the bootup… none of which is TOO cumbersome… but I find myself lusting for an iPod touch. I stay my hand on my wallet to buy one, cause I simply want more screen to read from.

  • FloydThreepwood

    You americans surely have a problem with political criticism. I can’t remind myself when such a thing happend in germany or about Merkel…

  • Splashman

    Floyd, I’ll resist a similarly ridiculous generalization about Germans and simply state that you have a problem with reading comprehension. I (and, I’ll assume, the others who share my objection) enjoy discussing politics, and I have no problem handling criticism, especially from . . . whoops, I’ll resist that impulse, too.

    The subject at hand is whether politics should be casually injected into unrelated topics. I’ve been around enough to know that even in enlightened Germany, political discussions tend to inflame emotions even more quickly than in Mac vs. Windows religious wars. The opinion that has been espoused by myself and others is that in any discussion, it is counterproductive to throw in casual references to unrelated hot-button issues. Do you disagree?

  • FloydThreepwood

    It’s not against politics but against off-topic discussion. The iSlade is much more important to discuss.

  • blueherring

    i think it’s great to ‘throw in’ casual off-hand off-topic quips. look, if the whole article was what it was minus the co-ho-ts thrown in then what would the comments be? ph-d level discussions on the acorn’s frontside buss… no. someone would say “but how will apple do in the midst of a consumer recession?” then someone else would say “it’s all because of greenspan” then inevitably there would be a post about how it all leads back to bush.

    when there is an elephant in the room, at least don’t pretend like it’s totally off topic to comment on the smell.

    one of those comments mentioned something about iChat on the new patent for line jumping… there SURE ARE A LOT OF PROGRAMMING RESOURCES GOING INTO VIDEOCHAT IN THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, and seemingly no product that utilizes it much outside of ichatAV.

    jobs knows the power of low cost international communications (see bluebox)
    -][

  • sidgestion

    I like your articles. I really do.

    I HATE your graphs. Most of them, like the “Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn’t Symbian” graph and “Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth” make absolutely no sense when looking at them.

    Isn’t the purpose of a graph to reduce an idea to a visual representation that is easy to understand at a glance?

    Yes, they make more sense in context of the original articles. But that just means you shouldn’t include them here.

    Or, add a few more labels to make them easier to decipher.

    That being said, your writing is something I always look forward to.

  • zaxzan

    Well done Dan, yet another ripper article ! A big thank you to you sir.
    I would like to see more and say keep em’ coming … but are you working too hard? … Slow down and have a breather, get in a bit of R&R, go for a ride bro, because –

    “…crushing 2001 recession … new police state fascism.”

    I must say I felt very uneasy about those lines, not because I agree or disagree with them, rather it’s a case of the “3 P’s” – perfunctory political polemics – spoiling the flow, and detracting from the veracity of your and RDM’s raison d’être, as distinctly observed in the comments above.

    The 3P’s obfuscate your regularly brilliant and elucidatory articles and the explicative commentary that you bring to old and new Mac users alike (and non Mac users as well, I suspect).

    Dan, please, please, please !!! avoid the political imputations.

    @Splashman, I think that you missed the sardonic tone of FloydThreepwood and the irony of the parallels he drew-up.

  • nat

    Splashman,

    I’m not sure why you need to make personal attacks on people of differing political views to make a point. Also, I’m not familiar with this Kos, but I can guess its some “liberal” blog that I’m supposed to agree with due to some of my beliefs. I’m not in love with either side these days.

    serfware,

    Any relation to Splashman? Serf, splash… I stated how I agreed with thgd. If you see the world through Bush-goggles, how does that make Daniel’s comments “third-rate.” As for “Obama-goggles,” they don’t exist because Obama sees the world for what it is. That’s why he’ll beat Huckleberry and Hillary. :D

  • nextcube

    There’s another tradeoff made with phones like the Nokia E61/E62 or N95 – MUCH slower processors. The E61/E62 twins run at 220 MHz, and the N95 sprints along at a whopping 330MHz. Even my tired old Palm Treo 650 ran at 400MHz! The iPhone runs at 620MHz, with a larger, higher-resolution screen than the Nokia phones mentioned here.
    No question, the N95 is an excellent phone, but it’s not free with a 2 year contract. List price from Nokia’s US site is $699; it’s not even available through AT&T. And while it supports UMTS, the faster internet access gets you nowhere, because the web browsing experience is (frankly) awful.
    I think that Apple made the right tradeoff; allocating power to the processor rather than to UMTS pays off in many ways.

  • brett_x

    Great technical article. However, when I was reading it, the political comments really stood out as misplaced (weather accurate or not). At first, I was thinking: “Yeah, that’s Daniel, I wish he wouldn’t do that, but whatever… it’s his blog”.

    But when I saw the majority of comments weren’t technical or constructive, I’ve changed my opinion. Politics should be discussed under a different heading… if for no other reason, I hate seeing the comments digress.

    I also agree with blacktalonz on the issue of being a bit hypocritical.

  • http://www.serfware.com/ serfware

    nat

    “Any relation to Splashman? Serf, splash… I stated how I agreed with thgd. If you see the world through Bush-goggles, how does that make Daniel’s comments “third-rate.” As for “Obama-goggles,” they don’t exist because Obama sees the world for what it is. That’s why he’ll beat Huckleberry and Hillary.”

    Um… ok… they don’t exist. Very good.

    So, once again: what, specifically, does thgd have right?

  • brett_x

    I should add… that I sometimes forward these articles to people who should be more aware of the world I support (Macs in an enterprise environment). With the political commentary, it makes it much harder/less relevant to do.
    Just my $.02.

  • nat

    serfware,

    If your political views differ from Daniel’s, why are his “third-rate,” or invalid? Just because you see things differently doesn’t make you inherently “right” and others “wrong.” I agreed with thgd’s statement that those who simply wish to boost their egos by making personal attacks on people who don’t share their views, rather than stating their own qualms, shouldn’t waste space here. However, after re-reading his comment, I don’t entirely agree. I think it’s lame to make personal attacks in order to make one’s point, but everyone has a right to voice their opinions.