How to leave a YouTube comment

June 6th, 2016 10:27 AM
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Filed under Musings;
2 comments.

One of the first rules for interacting with online media and communities is don't read the comments. It's terrible advice, actually, with some notable exceptions — such as when you're the one responsible for managing a community and cultivating a safe, welcoming environment.

I consider that to be one of the responsibilities that comes with being a YouTube content creator. In the last 3.5 years, I've read roughly 34,152 comments that have been posted to my channel's 600 videos. (My most popular video currently has 10,767 comments.) Wanting anyone who comes to my channel to know that they can leave feedback without fear of threats or reprimands, I reply to as many comments as I can — and, just as important, I delete those comments I deem inappropriate.

Some commenters come specifically to troll — not in the "online abuse" sense, but by intending to be argumentative and disrupt conversation. The modern Apple II community is fairly free of such pests, fortunately: as a niche hobby, it's just not worth someone's time to get involved only to annoy so few.

But what if the two communities intersected, and trolls used Apple II computers to leave provocative YouTube comments? YouTube artist Techmoan crafted a video demonstrating that exact hypothetical scenario in "How to Write A YouTube Comment in 10 Steps":

Why this puppet is using an Apple IIc of all computers is a mystery, but Techmoan has demonstrated himself a fan of old technology in other videos, such as when he made an iPad dock out of a Mac Classic. I haven't seen the IIc show up elsewhere in his channel, but this one appearance has made its mark. A couple of great animated GIFs, perfect for embedding on social media, have been produced from this video:

This look inside a troll's mind reminds me of another classic, Bernard Smith's 2007 music video, "YouTube Is My Life":

I'm glad the Apple II community is above such behavior — I get enough of it from my "fans" on YouTube!

(Hat tip to Lisa Anne Allyn)

Hardware restoration done right

February 23rd, 2012 2:14 PM
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There is so much work being done to preserve Apple II software and documentation that we sometimes overlook the value of maintaining hardware, too. But that may be our most precious resource of all; after all, software can be duplicated, manuals can be reproduced, but hardware is unique and something they're not making any more of.

Just this month, two different Apple II users expressed their care and admiration for original hardware by rescuing vintage equipment, painstakingly restoring it — and exhaustively documenting the process in photos.

Kevin Rye of RescueMyClassicMac.com AppleToTheCore.me has saved two peripherals: first, a CH Products joystick; then, a week later, an Apple IIc external 5.25" floppy drive. Useful to the reader are Kevin's instructions for disassembling each piece of hardware, showing how he took everything apart then put it back together in working order. As for the actual cleaning, some of Kevin's techniques may seem crude but are effective: "I could just just wipe the whole thing down with some alcohol and have at it with some Q-tips, but there's too many little nooks and crannies that are caked with dirt and grime. It needs to be taken apart and washed in the sink. I might even give it a quick dip just to lighten it up a bit." But he does apply alcohol, peroxide, and Retr0bright where appropriate.

Meanwhile, Mike Maginnis had the opportunity to restore a full Apple IIc computer. His written documentation doesn't detail disassembly or cleaning techniques, but his photos of the IIc are brilliant, thorough, and artistic, as you would expect from Mike.

IIc keyboard

Before and after. Photo by Mike Maginnis.

For more details on how to restore your hardware to its original function and appearance, Tony Diaz has given multiple sessions on this topic at KansasFest. You can bring your goods to KFest for his expert evaluation, or view one of his previous presentations:

(Hat tip to the 68K MLA forum)

Computer Chronicles looks at the IIc Plus, GS/OS 4.0

November 28th, 2011 11:41 AM
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The Apple II was no stranger to the limelight of Computer Chronicles, a weekly television show that documented the rise of the personal computer industry, starting on PBS in 1981. The entire library of Computer Chronicles episodes is available online from The Internet Archive — no surprise, as when the show ended in 2002, its creator and host, Stewart Cheifet, took a position as director of the Archive.

One 1988 episode of Computer Chronicles coincided with the release of the Apple IIc Plus and GS/OS 4.0. Demonstrating these products on the show were Apple employees Anne Bachtold and Laura Kurihara, who struck me with two aspects of their presentation. First, they don't shy away from technical terminology and details. I suspect this show had a savvy audience that understood these terms, but given that personal computers were still in their infancy thirty years ago, I wonder how many non-techies tried tuning in but found this jargon impenetrable. Second, we all know the names of Apple II employees and alumni like Jef Raskin, Guy Kawasaki, and even Chris Espinosa. I marvel that there were so many more bigwigs like Bachtold and Kurihara whose contributions to the Apple II platform have been omitted from the annals of history. It demonstrates society's tendency to "celebritize" particular personalities to the point that their supporters get lost in their shadows.

Although he couldn't come to the studio for the interview, there's also a brief segment with John Sculley, who says that the Apple II provides users with "a real feel for the chips", likening it to a stick shift next to the Macintosh's automatic transmission. I think that's very true, as evidenced by how the Macintosh has grown increasingly graphics-oriented and closed. With the schematics and open nature of the Apple II, users can work much closer to the metal.

There's also a brief discussion of the possibility of an Apple II laptop, or even a computer that can run both Apple II and Macintosh software. What a world that would be!

Here's the full 28-minute episode. Feel free to skip time index 13:38 – 15:22, which focuses on the Mac IIx.

Hat tip to Steve Weyhrich!

The portable Apple IIc

February 3rd, 2011 10:50 AM
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Last month, we saw two reviews of the Apple IIGS, but it's this model's less powerful siblings that tend to garner more media attention. Two different Apple IIc computers selling on eBay for four digits in the last three years proved sufficient for Matt's Macintosh, who provided one of the previous IIGS reviews, to turn its attention back to the pre-Mac era with this review of the Apple IIc:

The Apple IIc was a powerful and revolutionary computer. As Steve Weyhrich of the Apple II History site told me for another story, "The Apple IIc was to the Apple II platform what the PowerBook was to the Power Mac: a more portable version of a desktop computer — not as elegant as the PowerBook, but pretty good for 1984." Yet its lack of expansion slots that so defined the rest of the Apple II line has often left it overlooked by peripheral developers. Could the recently announced CompactFlash interface give the model some much-needed love?

(Hat tip to Mike Maginnis)