Apple II screensaver for Mac OS X

April 19th, 2012 1:19 PM
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Most Apple II geeks aren't shy about their passion; they wear their hearts on their sleeves, proudly displaying logos, license plates, and hardware where friends, co-workers, and strangers can see and inquire about them.

One of my favorite ways to demonstrate my heritage has been to use an Apple II-inspired screensaver on my MacBook Pro laptop computers. Alas, when I updated to Snow Leopard a few years ago, that particular saver stopped working, and I couldn't remember where it came from to see if there was an update. But when the Apple II turned 35 earlier this week, Paul Horowitz included that same screensaver in his celebratory roundup. No wonder I couldn't find it before: it's one of 200 screensavers in a single archive!

Apple II screensaver for Mac OS X

The screensaver features many customization options.

Even cooler, the package comes with a VT100 terminal that emulates the display of the Apple II, "complete with screen noise, random color flickers, a permanent caps lock, and other peculiarities unique to technologies of a bygone era." I have tested the screensaver and the utility on both Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and Lion (10.7), and they work great.

Apple II LynxApple II Bits has never been more beautiful.

So what are you waiting for? Put your Apple II on your desktop for all to see!

UPDATE: You can also get this screensaver from the Mac App Store. Hat tip (again) to Paul Horowitz.

Steve Jobs' greatest hits

January 24th, 2011 1:04 PM
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Steve Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer who in 2009 underwent a successful liver transplant, is currently on medical leave from Apple Inc.

Many would argue that Apple's health is directly tied to that of its co-founder and CEO, as evidenced by the company's floundering without his leadership from 1985 to 1997. To commemorate that perspective, Computerworld recently published a gallery that highlights 12 noteworthy innovations rolled out under Jobs' leadership at Apple. Though Jobs' role in the design of many Apple products is questionable, we circumvented the issue by simply saying that these were products launched while he was CEO — a rather inarguable fact.

I was assigned this story by the publication's chief news editor, Ken Mingis, who selected the contents of the gallery. It was originally proposed to cover only those products launched since Jobs' return to the company in 1997 and not any of the releases from his first tour of duty, from the company's founding in 1977 to when he was ousted in 1985. I had no issue with that — an article has to be focused, lest it try to cover all of existence — but we were challenged to explain to the readers how or why we could omit such milestones as the Apple II and the Macintosh. We compromised by adding those two products to the original ten, resulting in this final, chronological lineup:

  1. Apple II (1977)
  2. Macintosh (1984)
  3. iMac (1997)
  4. Power Mac G4 Cube (2000)
  5. Mac OS X (2001)
  6. iPod (2001)
  1. iMac G4 (2002)
  2. Mac mini (2005)
  3. iPhone (2007)
  4. MacBook Air (2008)
  5. iPad (2010)
  6. iPhone 4 (2010)

Had it been up to me, I would've omitted different models of the same product, such as the iMac G4 and the iPhone 4, and maybe included more failures, like the Apple III and Apple Lisa (the latter especially being notable for its pre-Mac GUI). But even without those changes, it's a pretty thorough gallery. Still, I still expected Apple fans to be more contentious in the selection, yet the article has thus far produced little discussion and feedback. What about you — what products would you have added or removed?

I was encouraged to be "witty" with each product's headline, so I relied heavily on this list of Apple advertising slogans. Although it might've been clearer to use the product name and release date instead, editor Mike Barton, who also selected the photos, instead bolded the product name in its brief description, allowing us to be both witty and clear.

I hope everyone enjoys this brief review of Apple's history. Whether or not you like Jobs, he and his company deserve to be in good health.

(Hat tip to Arnold Kim)