If you haven’t heard of David Wood before then you need to catch up a little. One of the creators of the Psion palmtops in the 1990s and then one of the architects of Symbian OS in the 2000s, he has tremendous insight… More here.
If you have been using PDAs and phone as long as David you will like this podcast episode. Well worth a listen.
Ian Zelbo wasn’t around when Apple launched the first-ever Macintosh in 1984, but he was well aware of how that product sent ripples that would be felt even decades later. Likewise, what started out as an almost tongue-in-cheek joke and homage to the landmark product ended up sparking interest and discussion over the Internet. After all, nothing fuels the imagination more than something Apple would never do yet still remained within the realm of what is possible if it ever decided to do so… More here.
This is one of the few concepts that marries retro and modern almost perfectly. If Apple released something like this today it would fly off the shelves.
Relying heavily on the Vespa (and even SMEG’s) soft, rounded, colorful, fun-loving image, the SMEG Futro is an e-scooter concept that embodies the feeling of driving down to the beach, the park, or the lake for a lazy Sunday. The scooter’s curved form language is a direct inspiration of SMEG’s own design styles and leans heavily into the golden age of Italian automotive design (when companies like Vespa and Lambretta came to be), while its side panels open up to reveal a whole host of picnic items and tiny kitchen appliances, all the way from tiffins and thermoses to even a toaster and wine cooler! More here.
That is adorable, completely adorable. Imagine riding to a peaceful field on a sunny day, sitting reading a book and eating your picnic for one. Shame it isn’t real (yet).
Companies have been trying to smarten up watches for more than 40 years now. It started with a move to digital numeric displays, then was followed by an avalanche of questionable features, unorthodox designs, and functionality that was passed off as smart, but in hindsight, was kind of dumb to try and strap to your wrist. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to remember all the terrible wearables that walked so the Apple Watch could fly… More here.
I like looking at some of these early smartwatches, but I disagree with the premise of the article. They were of their time and used the technology available. To call them dumb is dumb in itself.
The idea that once something hits the internet, it’s there forever, isn’t true. Things disappear from the internet all the time, from once-thriving online communities being killed when their hosting company goes under, to publications that have their archives wiped, to personal sites that vanish when their owners stop paying the server bills. But the sites below are 1990s soldiers that avoided all of those pitfalls, to give us a look at the early internet, and a way to see ourselves online… More here.
These websites are simultaneously awful and highly memory inducing.
A decade before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, a tiny team of renegades imagined and tried to build the modern smartphone. Nearly forgotten by history, a little startup called Handspring tried to make the future before it was ready. This is the story of the Treo.
What was your first smartphone? I think mine was the Tree 600.
I do miss the Wild West days of cell phones, before we’d all settled on glass rectangles. It’s always fun to watch competing manufacturers trying to figure out the ideal form for a new thing, and it’s not the home runs as much as the swing-and-a-miss designs that I find the most interesting. In particular, that five-year span just before the first iPhone came out is when designers seemed to have a lot of latitude to experiment… More here.
Isn’t it strange how the best and most quirky designs appear when a product is in its relative infancy (click the link above for some true quirkiness). It is almost like the manufacturers see the most popular form win and then they all fall in line. This happens in cars, watches, phones and so many other major product categories.
It covers the original BBC Micro cassette version, the enhanced BBC Micro disc version, the super-fast 6502 Second Processor version, the flicker-free BBC Master version and the cut-down Acorn Electron version, all of which were written by Ian Bell and David Braben and published by Acornsoft. It also includes Elite-A, Angus Duggan’s extended version of the original game… More here.
I am sure people who are cleverer than me will find this useful, but I just like it for the memories. Being at the start of that revolution was genuinely exciting at the time.