“then I will feel that my genes are still in there…”

“To me, Apple exists in the spirit of the people that work there, and the sort of philosophies and…”: “To me, Apple exists in the spirit of the people that work there, and the sort of philosophies and purpose by which they go about their business. So if Apple just becomes a place where computers are a commodity item and where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, then I’ll feel I have lost Apple. But if I’m a million miles away and all those people still feel those things and they’re still working to make the next great personal computer, then I will feel that my genes are still in there.”

Steve Jobs, 1985 [Pithy quotes everywhere. It’s all in the timing…]
Source: One Thing Well

Steve

It’s nearly impossible to deliver “revolutionary”. Huge leaps in technology are rare. Huge leaps in anything are rare. To create great things you must take steps. Sometimes the largest steps you can. Steps that have some pain associated with them. But by taking steps, your audience, users, clients, etc. can follow along. They might be a bit uncomfortable, they might feel some pain. But they can deal with that. But if no one reaches, no progress is made.

Steve has pushed the boundaries for a long time. He wanted quiet machines that were easy to use. He wanted to eliminate the clutter computers required both mental and physical. He wanted them to be elegant and simple and purposeful. He wants them to disappear into the “doing” of it, without the device being the focus.

He didn’t do this as an artist, working by himself in a studio advancing his personal craft. He edited and filtered the ideas of others, demanded precision and detail, and unforgiving excellence from generations of corporate citizens. He needed folks to follow along, trust his instincts, fix everything down the tiniest details. And then do it again, and again, and again.

To me it very much a tortoise and hare story. He kept going when others said enough. That’s a hell of thing. Because it’s easy to say “enough”.

CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday

Icon Ambulance: Google’s Vic Gundotra recalls Steve Jobs The Perfectionist:

Joining other reactions on the web to Steve Jobs’ sudden resignation as the CEO of Apple yesterday, Google’s vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra recalled on Google+ a particular Sunday in January 2008 when Apple’s boss asked him to call his home. The reason? The Google logo on the iPhone:

So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow. I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?

The following day, the world’s greatest product developer followed-up with an email message with the subject “Icon Ambulance”, directing Vic to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.

Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced. But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.

[Incredible.]
Source: 9 to 5 Mac – Apple Intelligence

Irene

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook: SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED ABOUT 350 MILES
WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN CAPE VERDE ISLANDS IS BECOMING
BETTER ORGANIZED…AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD BE FORMING. IF
CURRENT TRENDS CONTINUE… ADVISORIES WILL LIKELY BE INITIATED
LATER THIS MORNING. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE…90
PERCENT…OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS
AS IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH. [oy]
Source: National Hurricane Center (Atlantic)

★ Resigned

★ Resigned: Zoom out enough and you can see that the same things that define Apple’s products apply to Apple as a whole. The company itself is Apple-like. The same thought, care, and painstaking attention to detail that Steve Jobs brought to questions like “How should a computer work?”, “How should a phone work?”, “How should we buy music and apps in the digital age?” he also brought to the most important question: “How should a company that creates such things function?” [It’s a sad day for anyone who loves the craft of technology and a vision of technology “that just works”.]
Source: Daring Fireball

A Gentle Introduction to CarrierWave

Let’s see this modularity first hand by building up a CarrierWave uploader from scratch.

To begin with, we’ll install CarrierWave:

  gem install carrierwave

Then, we can make the world’s shortest uploader:

  require 'carrierwave'

  class MyUploader < CarrierWave::Uploader::Base
    storage :file
  end

Even at this point, we can start saving files:

  file = File.open('example.jpg')
  uploader = MyUploader.new
  uploader.store!(file)

[snip -ed]

If you’re ready for more, check out:

I’m sure you’ll enjoy using CarrierWave as much as I have!

[Nice.]
Source: Union Station

Traveling With the MacBook Air (James nails it)

Traveling With the MacBook Air:

On my way home from the UK last month, I posted about my dream to travel light. As it turns out, I didn’t wait too long to start implementing it. I haven’t picked up an X100—though I have been frequently checking the various camera stores. I have, however, acquired a 13″ MacBook Air and have been using it as my only computer for the last week while on a trip to New York.

My 13″ MacBook Air in flight on CO 1585 from Newark NJ to Portland OR.

As a general-purpose laptop, the new MacBook Air is as awesome as everyone says it is. Lightweight, surprisingly speedy, and gifted with impressive battery life, Apple’s marketing is dead on. It is the perfect everyday laptop for most users. But what about for using it for something more demanding? More to the point, the question you probably have for me is: How well does it work as a laptop for a photographer?

The answer is that as long as you can live with its limitations, it’s a surprisingly decent travel photography laptop. I’ve totally enjoyed it while working on planes and trains and in cafés. It’s done everything I’ve asked it to since I bought it, including working through my photos and posting a few along the way. I even used it for light client work while in New York where I needed to quickly shoot a few dozen images and then deliver a finished photo on the spot.

So what are the limitations of the Air? One is the lack of a discrete GPU. This affects applications that can take advantage of it, like Aperture. In my experience so far, it’s most noticeable when importing a big set of photographs and waiting for the initial churn of preview generation to finish. Also, judicious use of Preview mode is called for when browsing photos. If you’re using Lightroom or other applications which only hit the CPU, however, you won’t miss out on the acceleration you didn’t have to begin with.

Another limitation is the speed at which you can get data on and off the MacBook Air. Without using a Thunderbolt display or a huge Promise Pegasus disk array, the current choices are USB 2.0 or WiFi. This means a bit of patience is required whenever you’re making big data transfers, such as to push a big set of photos from the laptop to desktop once you get home after a trip. This limitation should ease as more Thunderbolt options arrive—I really would like a Thunderbolt port expander with Gigabit Ethernet and FireWire on it—but that will take time. For now, it’s a bottleneck that has to be dealt with.

The bottom line is that if you need a single computer for your photography and it has to be a laptop, you really should be looking at the 15″ MacBook Pro. The quad-core CPU, the discrete and fast GPU, the ability to use 8GB of RAM, and the external port options are all extremely useful on a primary photography workstation. On the other hand, if you have an iMac or Mac Pro where you do the bulk of your photo processing, the MacBook Air serves as a great lightweight companion to take on the road. And for all those non-photographic things you do while traveling—email, web browsing, writing—the Air is a shining star that’s a joy to use.

Posted by
James Duncan Davidson.

[I have nothing to add. He’s right on the money. Photography is not a main use, but if you insert almost any other processor intensive task, it applies. The Air is a great general purpose machine that is good enough to squeak by on “Pro” tasks, but you’ll need a MBP for day in day out work… at least until companies start churning out Thunderbolt based extenders.]
Source: James Duncan Davidson