We’ve Come A Long Way, Ctd. 3

For the final installment, a look back at those early pioneering laptops. Yes, they may have weighed 15 pounds and set you back something in the region of $6000 to purchase, but with 16 MHz of raw processing power and an optional 40MB hard disk, they created the market for viable portable computers.

 

I still wouldn’t want one of these behemoths resting on my lap for any length of time, though.

For those interested in the recent history of IT and computing, this YouTube channel is well worth following.

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We’ve Come A Long Way, Ctd.

Fast-forwarding to 1995, it no longer takes two hours to download an electronic copy of your favourite newspaper, and there are a few more things to do on the internet once you are dialed up.

 

Some fascinating reminders of how things used to be, including the world’s first band to livestream (with poor audio and a very low frame rate) a performance on the web. And a sweetly over-optimistic prediction that internet cafes would become fun, social places hang out.

Plus USENET Newsgroups, CompuServe, FTP and more…

Good luck trying to place your online order on this version of the site
Good luck trying to place your online order on this version of the site

 

Sweet Justice

The BBC reports that Apple has failed in its attempt to block sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet computers on the spurious grounds of copyright infringement:

A UK judge has ordered Apple to publish announcements that Samsung did not copy the design of its iPad, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

It said the judge said one notice should remain on Apple’s website for at least six months, while other adverts should be placed in various newspapers and magazines.

It follows the US company’s failed attempt to block sales of the South Korean firm’s Galaxy Tab tablets.

It said the notices must make reference to the court case and should be designed to “correct the damaging impression” that Samsung’s tablets had aped the look of Apple’s products.

Let me literally count the ways that this is funny:

1. Apple got smacked down for doing engaging in the typical, bullying behaviour that causes many people to hate large corporations, and was told that it could not, in actual fact, copyright or trademark vague and ethereal concepts such as “simple design” or “coolness” for their exclusive use.

2. Apple has to pay to place advertisements in the national media, admitting that it was wrong about something. I can’t wait to read the tortured wording.

3. 1 & 2 are funny because I own a rubbish, aging, malfunctioning BlackBerry, and my iPhone-toting friends make fun of me for it.

4. Though Samsung won the case, the judge said of their Galaxy Tablet device: “They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different” when explaining his decision. So even in victory comes a rather devastating critique of their own efforts to build an iPad rival, now officially noted in the public record.

5. Free thought remains just about permissible in Britain today, as the article states that presiding judge “Judge Birss said that the US firm was ‘entitled’ to hold the opinion that his judgement was wrong”. It is good to know that the day has not yet arrived when failure to agree with authority represents a thought crime, despite the best efforts of Gordon Brown and the incompetence/weakness of the Cameron administration.

6. Hopefully other companies can breathe a little easier now, and continue to innovate and bring new products to the market with less fear that they will be persecuted by a big bully with a shiny logo.

There. Without knowing any of the specifics of the case, I have already extracted six reasons to be cheerful. That is all.