There was a time, not too long ago, when the typewriter and notebook ruled, and the computer as an everyday tool was simply a vision. Revolution in the Valley traces this vision back to its earliest roots: the hallways and backrooms of Apple, where the groundbreaking Macintosh computer was born. The book traces the development of the Macintosh, from its inception as an underground skunkworks project in 1979 to its triumphant introduction in 1984 and beyond. The stories in Revolution in the Valley come on extremely good authority. That's because author Andy Hertzfeld was a core member of the team that built the Macintosh system software, and a key creator of the Mac's radically new user interface software. One of the chosen few who worked with the mercurial Steve Jobs, you might call him the ultimate insider.
For the pedants among us that apostrophe in the headline is a red-rag and clearly wrong. Lynne Truss, via her best-sellng book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, is venting her frustration at the decline in our written grammar. [SMH article]
Lynne Truss will be the guest at an SMH/Dymocks Literary Lunch in Sydney (Australia) Tuesday, August 31, at 12.30pm. Bookings: 02-9449-4366.
Margot Kingston's book - Not Happy John - is now out (haven't had a chance to get a copy yet). The introduction is reproduced on the Sydney Morning Herald website.
Here is a taste of what Margot, a former Howard voter, is dishing up. I hope the country can forgive me but I have voted for Howard in the past. He didn't get my vote in 2001. Nor will he get my vote this time.
I want to show you why I've come to regard John -Howard - 'relaxed and comfortable' Honest John, for whom I voted - as a threat to our democracy. I want to demonstrate where I think John Howard's Australia now stands in this crucial election year, after eight years of Howard ruthlessly changing Australia to suit his 'times', NOT him suiting our times as he often claims. I'll show you who's 'in' in Howard's democracy, who's left 'out', and how such exclusion corrodes civic life for everyone in the long run - whether we're 'in' or 'out' or totally disengaged.
I also want to show you why I no longer have any confidence that either of the two major parties is capable of addressing the problems Howard's government is increasingly normalising and how their behaviour has in fact jointly brought us to this looming crisis.
And I want to show you why I think we've now reached the stage where it's up to each of us, as Australians, to work together to save the day. You might not draw that conclusion from what I report, of course, but there are a lot of Australians out there who do.
Watching question time last night I can only admire Howard's prowess as a parliamentary performer. He does a great job on issues related to economics and 'the numbers' but there is so much more he could be doing to progress this nation as a whole.
The recently released disaster movie, 'Day After Tomorrow', portrays a world ravaged by massive climate change.
New York gets hit by a tidal wave, Scotland is snap frozen, Tokyo suffers hailstones the size of rockmelons, and Los Angeles is ripped apart by tornadoes. You wouldn't want to know what happens to Canada.
No less damage is done to science, but all in a worthy cause. The film is a pointed eco-disaster movie, warning us all, and especially the US Government, of the consequences of ignoring global climate change.
It's Hollywood does Kyoto, and one of the first scenes lays out the blame, when the US Vice-President asks Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), a US paleoclimatologist, about who will pay the cost of the Kyoto accord (which the US and Australian governments have both refused to sign). "Our economy is every bit as fragile as the environment," says VP Becker (Kenneth Welsh). "Perhaps you should keep that in mind when you're making sensational claims."
I haven't seen the movie but it appears to invoke the spirit of the Planet of the Apes (1968) which made similar connections to nuclear weapons proliferation.
A good sign is that US box office ratings (Yahoo) show that it's first week performance was only eclipsed by Shrek's opening week. Now let's see if that translates into best selling car models. The Prius is #2 on the Yahoo hot list for sedans. Sadly the Hummer still tops its section.