Not strictly Macintosh but a mixture of very old and very new technologies. My 4 favourite gadgets this year have been…
1. Cold-Press Coffee in the Aeropress.
I’ve rigged up two Aeropress to give a consistently smooth rich cold drip coffee.
2. Nissan Leaf Electric Car
We bought a 5 year old second hand Nissan Leaf this year to try out. It’s been amazing. Very soon we will all look back and wonder why we drove petrol cars for so long. Last week I filled up our other car with fuel at the petrol station and pumping flammable liquid into a car felt so stupid. It felt like I was going back to the steam age and putting coal into a steam engine – it really did!.
3. Rode wireless Go mic
A very simple portable mic solution when recording on an iPhone or Google phone. Not perfect audio quality – a little too much compression for my liking, but unless your after a very professional result, this is fantastic. (The Leaf video above was recorded with these mics – thanks to Matthew Dickerson for introducing me to them!) They will be my go-to mics for recording interviews on the phone.
4. Hand Forged Mezzaluna
My boys bought me this fantastic hand forged Mezzaluna for my Birthday. Perfect for cutting home cooked Pizzas which has been our weekly tradition this year.
I just received this email yesterday. I want to encourage people that Apple don’t send out emails like this – it is a scam.
One way that you can tell this is to look at the link in the email and see that it does not actually go to apple.com. It looks like it goes to apple.com but if you have a look in the top of the browser window after you click on it, it will be a different address.
If you are unsure about anything like this your best bet is to ring Apple on their advertised number – that way you are sure to actually be talking to Apple.
(In Australia their number is 133 622 or in the USA 800 275 2273. You can verify this from Apple’s website.)
I know this is not strictly a Macintosh thing, but I’m sharing it with the world! My pizza just got featured on the Australian Domino’s Pizza site! You can see it on the main dominos site http://dominos.com.au and select ‘our menu’ then scroll down to ‘Mogul’s’ and mine is called #ALLNATURAL.
In 1977 when the Apple Computer company was created they put their principles down in a one-page paper called “The Apple Marketing Philosophy”. It had 3 points. Empathy, Focus, Impute.
Empathy was about empathy with the customer: Truly understanding the needs of the end user better than any other company.
Focus was about eliminating the lots of unimportant things so as to do a good job of the important.
Impute is about having the packaging impute a sense of quality into the product when the person opens the box, because people do judge a book by the cover. Steve Jobs later said ” When you open the box of an iPhone or iPad, we want that tactile experience to set the tone for how you perceive the product” (Steve Jobs p78)
Empathy is about understanding people. Focus is about doing a few things well. Impute is about good marketing. I think Apple still do all these things exceptionally well. The iPhone 34 years later embodies this philosophy.
Steve Jobs observes from his trip to India that intuition is as powerful as rational thought, but that in the Western world we value rational thought more than we value intuition. This is exactly what Einsten said…
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Albert Einstein.
This is also the point Malcolm Gladwell makes in his book ‘Blink’. I read it a year ago and I think it’s the first time I really began to value the power of intuition. Our brain can subconsciously make a snap decision that is better than a conclusion we reach after hours and hours of analysis. The snap decision is actually the result of a complex process of subconscious thought that instantly weighs up things we are not even aware of. That’s intuition.
Steve Jobs observes:
The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and the intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world… Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.
Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic, it is learned and it is the great achievement of Western civilisation. In the villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, p48.
As I read the early chapters of Jobs biography it’s clear that he’s not the smart guy, Wozniac is. Jobs maybe has more of this ‘intuition’ though: the ability to come to a clear vision of what is needed and of how to get there. The ability to instantly perceive the value of an idea.
I started reading Steve Jobs biography last week, it’s a challenge. Steve jobs is selfish to the extreme, bordering on evil. It’s a bit like when I read my Johnny Cash biography: I found myself being repulsed by the destructiveness of a man I thought I admired. It’s so interesting I thought I might take a few posts to write my thoughts.
In his early days no one can work with Jobs. He’s rude, arrogant, and he stinks (literally – he doesn’t’ shower and refuses to admit he smells). He hangs around cult leaders taking a fair few drugs and has no problems using their tricks to manipulate the people around him, He mistreats his closest friends, his parents even his own daughter. As a student he works at Atari where they put Jobs on his own nightshift because everyone refuses to work with him. This is my point – he can get away with acting completely egotistically because people think they need him.
A classic case of his egotism is after the Apple II is launched. Scotty, whose job was to manage Steve jobs personal issues, assigns Wozniac employee badge # 1 and Jobs # 2. Here’s what happens…
Not surprisingly, jobs demanded to be #1. “I wouldn’t let him have it, because that would stretch his ego even more” said Scotty. Jobs threw a tantrum, even cried. Finally, he proposed a solution. He would have badge #0.
Maybe it’s not that Jobs is actually more selfish than the rest of us, rather Steve lets out what we are on the inside. Like House, he says what he thinks, without regard to any social conventions or thoughts for others. And he’s just such a genius that he can just throw a tantrum and get his own way and apparently get away with it. It almost makes me feel dirty using an Apple computer. He really is not the kind of guy you want as a friend. I’ll keep reading though…
“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”