harrymcc writes: "Rumor has it that Apple is working on a smartwatch. The New York Times' Nick Bilton, who broke the news, and many other tech journalists, have brought up Dick Tracy's famous two- way wrist communicator in their coverage of it. That's not surprising--Tracy's watch always comes up in discussions of wearable communications gadgetry. And it has since 1947, shortly after the comic-strip cop first got his wrist radio. Over at TIME, I took a look at this seemingly indestrictible cultural touchstone."
harrymcc writes: "Over at TIME.com, I compiled a list of 2012's most notable tech-related bad decisions, misbehavior and just plan weirdness. There are 57 items, including a bunch which go beyond obvious contenders such as Apple Maps."
harrymcc writes: "In 1976, Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, placed an order for 50 Apple-1 computers, becoming Apple's first dealer. Over at TIME.com, I've published three Polaroid snapshots of the Apple-1 which Terrell shot at the time. They're fascinating history, and it's possible they're the oldest surviving photos of Apple products."
harrymcc writes: "In late August of 2011, I started using an iPad with a keyboard case as my primary computing device. At the time, a lot of people were mystified — even irritated — by my decision. Some still are, but increasingly, I also see other folks doing what I'm doing. Over at TIME.com, I shared some thoughts at the one-year mark."
harrymcc writes: "Over at TIME.com, I wrote about my trials and tribulations as a left-handed person who uses technology products. An awful lot of them have clearly designed with the right-handed majority in mind, even when they claimed they weren't. But the good news is that modern smartphones and tablets are very lefty-friendly compared to the devices that preceded them."
harrymcc writes: "The Santa Clara, California branch of electronics retailer Micro Center recently closed its doors. The thing I'll miss most about it is the signage on the outside. The place apparently put up logos of major tech companies in the mid-1990s — and then never changed them. So in 2012, it was still touting no less than three makers of dial-up modems, plus companies such as IBM and Lotus which long ago stopped making consumer products. (It also still sported the rainbow logo which Apple killed in 1998.) I paid a final visit and snapped photos of the signs for posterity."
harrymcc writes: "Marty Anderson, a member of Babson College's faculty, like Apple. But he hates Mountain Lion. In a new blog post, he says that the new version of OS X is an AOL-like, hubristic attempt to force social networking down the throats of billions of people and businesses around the world, as if they were American teenagers--and could prove a catastrophic mistake for Apple. I wrote about the post--large portions of which baffle me--for TIME.com."
harrymcc writes: "20 years ago this week, Apple announced its first Newton PDA. It didn't end up shipping it until more than a year later, and when it did, most of the initial excitement quickly fizzled. But since I never used the original MessagePad in the first place, I recently bought one — new and in the box — and used it. I talk about the experience in a story over at TIME.com"
harrymcc writes: "Back in the early 1980s, Andrew Fluegelman had a radical notion: Why not give away PC-Talk, the excellent communication program he'd written, and ask for donations? It was a hit, initiating the shareware phenomenon and foreshadowing the now-pervasive concept of "freemium" software and services. Fluegelman was also the first editor of PC World and Macworld, and did numerous other interesting things. Sadly, he disappeared in 1985 and his car was found next to the Golden Gate Bridge with a suicide note. But a recently-rediscovered video tribute produced in 1987 lets us see the man himself, as well as friends who speak of his importance. I've written about it, and the Andrew Fluegelman Foundation, for TIME."
harrymcc writes: "Taiwan's Digitimes publishes Apple rumors. Scads of them. And other news sites take them seriously and repeat them. But Digitimes' record for reliability is truly crummy. Over at TIME.com, I reviewed 25 of its stories from 2006 to the present and found far more ones that involved stuff that never ended up happening — such as Apple releasing touch-screen Macs and iPhones with built-in projectors — than ones which panned out. Why do other tech journalists continue to pay attention?"
harrymcc writes: "Rumor has it that Apple is working on an "iPhone Nano" — a low-cost new model. The thing is, the rumor of a budget model — often in a smaller size — is as old as the iPhone itself. Over at TIME, I rounded up a half-decade of reporting on this iPhone that has never come to be, but has never gone away."
harrymcc writes: "35 years ago this week, at San Francisco's first West Coast Computer Faire, a tiny startup named Apple II demonstrated its new personal computer, the Apple II. It was the company's first blockbuster product — the most important PC of its time, and, just maybe, the most important PC ever released, period. Over at TIME.com, I've paid tribute to this landmark machine on its birthday."
harrymcc writes: "For decades, large companies have produced short films depicting the wonders of life in the future — wonders which always involve imaginary products created by the companies in question. Apple's 1987 movie Knowledge Navigator, featuring a sort of proto-iPad, may be the best known example of the genre, but Microsoft, HP, GM, Monsanto and many other companies have produced similar films. Over at TIME, I rounded up a bunch of them, from 1940 to the present, and depicting life in years such as 1960, 1976 and 1999. Their predictions don't always fare well in retrospect, but they're always fun to revisit."
harrymcc writes: "When Apple unveiled the iTunes Music Store in 2003, it had only 200,000 tracks and (like the iPod at the time) worked only on Macs--and many people doubted that the Kazaa-loving world was ready to pay for its digital music, period. But the Music Store was a hit that made the iPod an even greater hit, and it paved the way for Apple's later stores for movies and apps. On launch day, TIME's Laura Locke interviewed Steve Jobs about the new offering; at Technologizer, we're publishing the interview in its entirety for the first time."