photos-69.jpg from smashingmagazine.com – StumbleUpon. Nice job. Looks realistic. It would be fun if this was transparent as well.
I am watching a documentary called Michael Palin: Sahara, Ep. 1 – A line in the Sand. He shares what traveling in Africa is like and it reminds me of my travels when I was in Mexico. He is talking to a family that built their house out of the sacks that explosives came in. It looks like a crude tent. The father of the house says “Thank you from the country that provided our beautiful home.” It shows the exterior of the home. I have seen homeless people living in better conditions.
Then I started to think what would life be like if we didn’t have what we needed. Looking over the screen of my Mac I had the curious thought that what if Apple computer never existed. What would life be like then? As much as I enjoy my experience with Apples can I imagine a life without it? I think I can. Here is what I think life would be like.
“What would life have been like if that small computer company that made that illegal computer the Apple One had taken the place of Amiga?”, Aaron my most intelligent student asked. I thought and responded.
“Well kids, instead of Apple II we would have had Altair 2600’s. They would have been lots of switches but less switches than their inspiration. Advertisements would have said `Play Pong and Zork in style!'”, I said.
“Instead of the Original Mac in 1984 Steve Jobs would have presented the Amiga. It would have been priced twice as much because of all the amazing things it could do. Advertisements would have said `Prepare for the computer of the future today. No one will catch up for 20 years.'”, I said.
I continued. “Mr. Jobs would have been kicked out because his Amiga didn’t sell like management expected and started a new computer company. He would have called it Before. He was inspired with that name after looking at the original Apple logo with the biblical scene and thought how good things were before he had to leave.”
“Before would have gotten some business but been too expensive for most companies.” I said. “It would go to help launch the creation of the Internet and end up in Museums with other cool but useless technologies. He would have been asked to help combine Before into Amiga 9500 because management couldn’t come up with a sellable idea.”
“After coming into Amiga Inc as a temporary aCEO (the a was just a marketing thing they thought would be cute and show how innovative they were) he would kill off the most technology challenging products like the Amistad 1000. It was a Amiga-like computer you could hold in your hand, but hadn’t been marketed properly. Mr. Jobs had great things to do.”, I said.
“Mr. Jobs soon launched the aAmi. It was the source of many jokes for dumb comedians. It was considered a silly name at the time, but since Ami sounded like Amigo the boys in research said it would sell. Besides they came up with the name Xerox which they said had no meaning, so obviously people like meaningless words. The aAmi was a big hit and helped propel Amiga Computer to the head of the market.” I was getting sad thinking of what was going to happen next.
“A few years later Amiga computer shocked everyone with the introduction of the aTune. It was a round device about the size of an orange that allowed you to listen to songs. It had the neat feature that it could stick to anything that created static electricity. You would just rub it against your clothing and then it would stick and you could listen in style. This made great inroads with the San Francisco alternative community and made the Amiga headquarters a religious icon.” I said.
I continued. “Mr. Jobs kept a low profile for the rest of his life. He turned Amiga Computer into a fortress. A high wall went up and all the employees were fired. It was rumored that Sony robots were doing all the work but no one ever could go in to confirm it. One day Amiga Computer changed to Amiga Inc and they started to make phones, electronics and even batteries. Batteries!”
“Things were going great and Amiga Inc was making lots of money. In fact they started to buy smaller companies such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Everyone wanted their aAmi’s and aTune’s. When AI entered a market other competitors just abounded it. How could they compete against Amiga? Yes things looked very good for everyone.”, I continued.
“Until that fateful day. Hackers had supported a strange operating system called Minix and it seemed to grow over time. It was something that offered little functionality and was a pain to use and install. It couldn’t do everything that Amiga could but it held on only because of the stubbornness of people who were raging against authority. As best we can tell it was Minix that started the attack against the worldwide AI operating system. You know from your parents how bad things got.”, I paused sad thinking of my own experience in those days.
“It was true that we were stuck in elevators, couldn’t start our cars, no phones would work and we were stuck in operating like we were in the 19th century. All the scientists and world leaders had an emergency summit with Mr. Jobs but he said it was too late. He tearfully explained that the computer had gotten too smart and he had been taking orders for the last decade. There was only one thing we could do. We had to pull the plug. We destroyed all our advanced technology and that’s why we are in this situation kids.”, I slowly ended.
Aaron raised his hand. “Isn’t it obvious that the monoculture of anything is against nature and ultimately a dangerous policy for life and not supported by history? Did you learn anything from the extinction of bananas in your own time and the abuse of monopolies?”
I responded “Well Aaron we were blinded by the love of money and the inability to live outside of the present moment. It didn’t help that we didn’t know how long we would live and it seemed like the end of days.”
Aaron responded, “That makes sense. I guess you did the best you could have done then.”
I responded, “I hope that is true. I hope that is true.”
Anyone who reads this blog should see that Macintosh computers and technology in general is a long-term interest of mine. I have thought about what I am passionate about in my life and come to some conclusions. I am sharing this with you because sometimes the process of examining priorities helps you to define the kind of person you are.
First, the best part of life to me is when you can grow and do something useful to yourself and others. So I have preferred situations where I am challenged and the opportunity or necessity of learning new things. Often learning new things is frustrating or tiring but once you have learned something, the reward is very sweet. Sometimes I think that the reason most people don’t like learning new things is because they don’t feel the joy of being able to use what they have learned. When I have been able to do something to help myself or others then to me, all of that difficulty was worth it.
Second, the more that I learn and grow the more respect and admiration I have for life and others. While education doesn’t automatically make you a better person just like intelligence doesn’t make you a better person, it helps. Education, intelligence, combined with life-enhancing actions make you someone who can do a great deal of good for yourself or others. It is no ones job to save or help others, but the more that you see the tragedy of ignorance, stupidity or bad intentions, the more you want to help.
Third, I have learned the hard way the danger of going to extremes in anything. Sometimes due to our habits, environment or culture we live in destructive ways. Experience teaches you that respecting yourself and others is the short track to short and long-term happiness for everyone. I think that we don’t always respect ourselves and others not because we aren’t intellectually aware of things, but our emotions haven’t developed at the same pace as our intellectual understanding.
So from these primary lessons I have determined that although technology will play a role in my life, I want to continue to do something that will help make things better for everyone. It is fine if you want to life for yourself, but for me, I have tried that and don’t find that as enjoyable as the times I have helped others.
A quote from the article:
We require all of our suppliers to certify in writing that they use conflict-few materials,” wrote Apple chief Steve Jobs in response to consumer questions last summer. “But honestly there is no way for them to be sure. Until someone invents a way to chemically trace minerals from the source mine, it’s a very difficult problem.”
dy/dan » Blog Archive » My Application Video For Apple’s Distinguished Educator Program. I have worked with a few ADE’s and I found them to be very refreshing and intelligent. They are usually willing to look at the pros/con’s of different decisions.