Stop the Skeuomorphic Madness!

Apple has gone off the deep end with its skeuomorphic designs. Worse yet, the debate has become polarized. The polar opposite of excessive skeuomorphism is the so-called “flat design,” seen in Windows 8. A “flat” design is not only devoid of anything that mimics a physical object or material, but it also is devoid of texture, depth, and even color. If we go flat, we’re basically back to the 128K Mac of 1984.

According to the rumor mill, this year’s Apple OSs will dial down the excessive skeuomorphism, On last week’s Talk Show, I heard the delightful term “deforestallization” to refer to this effort. Since Scott Forstall has become Apple’s gardener, he’s been blamed for this particular excess. Let’s hope that this reform doesn’t result in jumping back to the other pole.

There is a middle ground. That’s true because Apple’s brand of skeuomorphism has gotten so extreme. Skeuomorphism in moderate doses is a good thing. And Apple has already used skeuomorphic designs well.

Instacast introduces a Desktop version of Instacast 3

Instacast has made the 3rd party podcatcher landscape more interesting because it is now the only entrant who also has a desktop client. This week they released the first beta of their desktop podcatcher. Of course, it syncs with their own cloud service.

It’s big news because it helps podcast fans bypass Apple’s seriously flawed competitors: iTunes and Podcasts.

What's up with the WSJ's Anti-Apple Bias?

It’s suddenly become blatant. And their “reporting” blithely disregards facts. Ordinarily, there’s nothing to be surprised about here, but this is The Wall Street Journal, after all, and they did have a proud history of unbiased, impartial reporting.

Actually, it is not very mysterious. I think I can shed a little more light on the WSJ thing by putting a few seemingly disparate threads together.

Android is Winning!!!...or is it?

It isn’t the biggest shock of the young century that the “internet search giant” is about to report a less than stellar quarter. Today Operation Linkbait asked Why Google Could be in Serious Trouble.

Maybe the headline is only stock linkbait, but over the long term, Google really is facing a rocky road.

If you’ve been following along, you can guess how the story goes...

How I Recovered a Dead iMac Hard Disk

Ugh! I finished work one night and it was time to do my nightly Time Machine backup. I started it up and walked away. When I returned a half hour later, I saw the bad news.

The Mac OS had detected “SMART” errors on my hard disk. It told me in no uncertain terms that I must save the contents of the failed drive to a backup and replace it! It gave me no other options. Moreover, it had helpfully disabled Time Machine, so I could’t use it to do the backup!

The story has a happy ending, but the road to recovery is what is interesting. It required three hard disk utility programs on two platforms. The winning combo was:

  • Super Duper (Macintosh)
  • DiskWarrior (Macintosh)
  • Spinrite (DOS; Wayback Machine required)

Here’s the story...

Bikini Drive-In

David F. Friedman as real estate tycoon

I got the new “uncut” version after first watching what was obviously a pirated release. Unlike my old DVD, the new issue has the Retromedia brand and Fred Olen Ray recorded a commentary track for this release. I liked it more than I expected; unfortunately I had bought one of the pirated and cut versions off a used-DVD store and was expecting only to see the same movie plus some nikked boobs. The movie is better than that.

The Office 2013 Train Wreck

Windows 8 Metro train wreck

I don’t see how The Great Metro Experiment will turn out any other way.

The initial word was that Microsoft, at long last, had gotten the memo and was going to deliver a true RISC tablet. The bonus would be that theirs will run a new version of Office for ARM!

This summer they released a preview of Office 2013 that runs on their shiny new OS. Well, sort of. It runs on the “Desktop” environment within Windows 8. It also runs on Windows 7 computers.

That means it isn’t really a Metro app. Instead, Microsoft uses the euphemism metro-style. Metro-style uses the new fashion statement of the Metro API, but runs in Desktop. It requires a context switch from the Metro environment to the Desktop environment in order to operate.

Do you think anyone will notice?


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