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Comment: VisiCalc stories (Score 1) 73

by Tablizer (#49748725) Attached to: In 1984, Jobs and Wozniak Talk About Apple's Earliest Days

I've read 3 different explanations of why VisiCalc was done on Apple first.

1. The dev TRS and Pets were tied up on other projects.
2. Jobs promised free hardware if they targeted Apple first.
3. Apple had more potential RAM ability.

I don't know which is true or if it's a combo. Either way, Apple would probably be dead if not for VisiCalc. VisiCalc sales gave Apple just enough money for R&D into GUI's (Lisa/Mac), and those were relatively slow sellers until desktop publishing kicked in.

Without the VisiCalc boost, Apple would probably fall short, and die with the rest of the early microcomputer makers (who got clobbered by IBM clones).

Comment: Standards problem, not a tech problem (Score 1) 241

by Tablizer (#49729943) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

TV's and home computers/tablets/smartphones will probably eventually merge/blur; it's fairly obvious that's what's in the longer-term cards. A TV will just be a "really big computer screen".

What's really needed are decent standards to help blur the distinction that the industry as a whole actually follow, not some grand new invention. But intellectual property protectiveness habits of the "old school" content providers seem to get in the way.

Comment: Re:ADA headache (Score 1) 123

by Tablizer (#49723105) Attached to: Prenda's Old Copyright Trolls Are Suing People Again

I have to disagree. Text-only is really boring. It's like a bus with no windows. Even through the dumpy parts of town, windows are preferred by most humans to no windows. Similarly, cheap graphics are often better than no graphics, as long as they are not overly obnoxious.

Our tentative plan is to keep graphics small, sparse, and vague, but we have a lot of old junk to revamp and clip out images from.

Comment: Re:ADA headache (Score 1) 123

by Tablizer (#49723071) Attached to: Prenda's Old Copyright Trolls Are Suing People Again

detect when [ADA] software is in use?

There is no known standard. Each "reader" vendor may send hints via HTTP header variables, but there is no guarantee they will be the same on the next version.

Plus, mirroring all the "regular" content with an ADA version is a bear. Authors would have to be diligent to keep them in sync.

Maybe if we had a clean CMS it may be possible to simply generate the appropriate content format from a single set of content (data), similar to some mobile-friendly presentation techniques, but right now we have a hodge-podge and historical baggage. Plus, if authors don't use the editor it right, it can still be out of whack, such as "fake" indenting of outlines.

Is it possible to provide an accessibility specific phone number...

We considered that, but it would probably have to be staffed 24/7 to match the website's availability. In other words, if we offer 24/7 service to "regular" readers, we must do the same for the sight-impaired callers, otherwise they could claim discrimination. It's a big org such that no one help-desk person will know everything, meaning you'd have to pay specialists to sit at the phone desk at 3am every night.

All known solutions require lots of resources we don't readily have. Management keeps pressing for an easy way out and easy, cheap answers, but I cannot give any.

Excellent questions, though.

"Who alone has reason to *lie himself out* of actuality? He who *suffers* from it." -- Friedrich Nietzsche