Old-school Collaboration Tools That Rock

Not everyone that we need to work with wants to have to learn a new tool in order to collaborate with us online. Sometimes simple “old school” tools, like IRC and mailing lists, can work just as well as, if not better than, the new tools.

Milestone: 20th Anniversary of Portable Mac Era


Today marks the 20th anniversary of the original release of the Macintosh Portable — the first truly untethered Mac, thanks to its internal battery.

There’s a quote attributed to Steve Jobs: “Do not trust a computer that you cannot lift.” The original compact desktop Macs were offered with an optional carrying case, and some pioneer Mac-users did lug them around, but analogous to the tiny Mac mini today, they couldn’t be considered truly portable due to the necessity of a wall-current umbilical.
The Mac Portable development project was launched in 1986, not long before Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple (s aapl), and the product was first released for sale on September 20, 1989. It was featured on the cover of the November 1989 edition of MacUser magazine, which called it “by far the most complex piece of machinery devised by sale by Apple computer.”
While it incorporated a laptop-style foldable form factor with a front-mounted carry handle/lockdown lever, the Mac Portable weighed only about a pound less than contemporaneous Mac Compact desktops — a hefty 16 pounds, due partly to it having a robust lead-acid battery. It wasn’t cheap either, selling for a likewise heavyweight $6,500 — or $7,300 with an optional hard drive. Read More about Milestone: 20th Anniversary of Portable Mac Era

LaunchSplash: Don’t Let “Under Construction” Lose You Business

launchsplashThis isn’t so much a full web app review as it is an announcement to heighten people’s awareness of a big no-no in web work. It’s not as much of a problem as it used to be, since I think people are getting better at avoiding this particular pitfall, but nothing annoys me (and clients) more than visiting a site and finding nothing but an “Under Construction” or “The site is currently being redesigned” page. In all likelihood, unless the page being visited is for a hotly anticipated new product from a major company, your visitor will never come back.

There’s one sure way to stay out of trouble, and that’s to wait to launch your web site until you actually have some content in a presentable form to show people. If, for whatever reason, you can’t wait that long (maybe your client wants to build the sort of anticipation normally reserved for companies like Capcom and Apple (s aapl), for instance), then your placeholder should be functional rather than static. That’s where LaunchSplash comes in. Read More about LaunchSplash: Don’t Let “Under Construction” Lose You Business

Google Mobile for BlackBerry Gains Voice Search, My Location

fishnchipsMy fake British accent isn’t worth a darn, so folks in the UK will have to test Google’s (s GOOG) new features on a BlackBerry (s RIMM) for me. The latest Google Mobile client for BlackBerry includes support for British English (sorry, no Pig Latin but I hear it’s omingcay oonsay*) for voice searching.
You won’t have to specify where you’re looking for something any longer, either: My Location is also in the gooey center of this new release. Just point your ‘Berry at http://m.google.com to downoad and artstay peakingsay. I mean: start speaking. Sadly, there’s no Google Mobile love for the Storm yet. Other supported BlackBerrys need OS 4.1 or better for the app; you’ll need 4.2 for voice search.
* translation source

How NOT to bootstrap

We’ve published several posts here about why bootstrapping is often the best way to fund your startup, and how to do it well. Plenty of other sites are producing great content on the topic, too. I read another such post on Read/WriteWeb this morning. It’s billed as a Top 10 Bootstrapping Tips, but the real value is found in author Bernard Lunn’s few tips on what NOT to do when you’re bootstrapping. Here they are. Read More about How NOT to bootstrap