Skip to main content

Mac OS X Dashboard - Haven't I seen This Before?

I'll give Apple heavy kudos on this - they have managed to take something that other OS's have done and turn it into a very "cool" looking demo. The Dashboard is a "home to widgets", tools that let you perform common tasks and provide fast access to information.

Ummm....yes, Microsoft had something called the Digital Dashboard
but that was more about data.

Apple's demo of the Dashboard actually reminds me more of the "Active Desktop" (now, come on - be serious - how many of you still use the Active Desktop? - when I search for Active Desktop on the the MS web site, it takes me to a "The page you are looking for has been removed" but here's a link to a recent (well semi-recent) article. The description from Microsoft:

The Active Desktop interface lets you put "active content" from Web pages onto your desktop. For example, you could put a constantly updating stock ticker in a handy place on your desktop or make your favorite online newspaper your desktop wallpaper. You can make your desktop truly your own space by adding the active items you need to refer to on a regular basis: news, weather, sports, stock prices, or whatever you want to have at hand. Your desktop can now reflect you--your preferences and your style.

Kind of sounds the same? Wonder if the fate will be the same. I recall when it first came out, many end users turned it on only to have their IT people run around turning it off because it confused them so much. Hopefully Apple users will have a better experience (they typically do)

Yes, the Apple demo really does look very cool but as Ars Technico notes : You can probably guess that those special effects won't work on every Mac out there.

Apple - Mac OS X - Theater - Dashboard

Comments

Ted Roche said…
IIRC, there are some innovations here over what was possible with MS' Active Desktop, but Apple's widgets are disturbingly similar to a 3rd party product - see http://daringfireball.net/2004/06/dashboard_vs_konfabulator. There is a contingent within the Apple community that protests that anything they do - Sherlock vs. Watson, Spotlight vs. Google Desktop Seach, etc. are all rip-offs. Hard to tell. We don't, after all, want anyone to be able to patent an idea and lock it away from the rest of us.

A wise man (or was he a wise guy?) once said that there are only 23 problems in computing. And we keep solving them over and over...

Popular posts from this blog

Well, that explains CodePlex...

In a move that will be sure to anger open source (or rather anti-paid software, anti-Microsoft open source)  zealots, Microsoft is planning to buy GitHub.

A year ago, I mused about why Microsoft would shut down CodePlex and how the world needs competing source code repositories to be strong. I'm not the only one per this Slashdot article :
"...people have warned about GitHub becoming as large as it did as problematic because it concentrates too much of the power to make or break the open source world in a single entity, moreso because there were valid questions about GitHubs financial viability...." - Jacques Mattheij

I will be interested in seeing this play out - whether developers jump ship or not. Have all the efforts Microsoft has made in pushing towards open source be seen as genuine or will all the zealots jump ship or maybe even attack?

Microsoft's comment about why they shut down CodePlex referred to how spammers were using CodePlex. Well, GitHub has its own …

FoxInCloud Stats

FoxInCloud sent this link a while back about their statistics regarding visits to their site:

http://foxincloud.com/blog/2017/12/27/VFP-community-lessons-from-foxincloud-site.html



What's interesting here is the breakdown of people. Yes, I think it's understandable that the Fox community is getting older.

Another factor is the growth of the mobile and web environments taking over development. These environments really do push people towards the newer non-SQL or free SQL/hosted environments but more towards hosted storage options like Amazon and Google. A tool like FoxInCloud that helps MOVE existing applications to the cloud inherently competes with those environments.

But FoxInCloud also allows developers to extend their application further by giving them a starting point using Javascript and the basic CSS (such as Bootstrap). If you're not rebuilding your application from scratch, it's certainly a great step forward.

The World of Updates Today

I just received an update for Office 365. It certainly includes some cool features - including starting in one environment and picking it up in another environment. In recent years, I've certainly enjoined the use of Continuity on a Mac and in fact, I feel spoiled being able to start a message in one environment (even Google) and then finish it off on another.  This has become some pervasive when we were reviewing our most recent backlog at a client site, a similar feature was added to the current workload.

But with web applications, the trend is to reduce the amount of software on a client machine. I used to have automatic backup for all of my machines (thanks Carbonite!) but these days, many of my machines don't need anything beyond the core OS and some basic applications. Certainly that's the feeling with Chromebooks and even the lightweight aspect of many iOS apps. The functionality is mostly in the cloud.

When you upgrade your system, you expect it to a big update. So…