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Big Mac

Before the world knew him as Dr. John, Mr. Mac Rebennack was, as a very young man, already cooking up some utterly groovy, rollicking, jazzy and soulful R&B instrumentals that could've only come from New Orleans. One particularly delightful one was The Point, and another was Feedbag. Just let 'em hit ya, man, you're gonna love it.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 18, 2014 - 13 comments

Evolution of the PC, 2004-2014

A Decade of Computer Design [SL-Engadget]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 5, 2014 - 62 comments

WWDC 2014: Buttons so different you won't want to lick them anymore

WWDC is almost upon us, and with it comes the live-streaming keynote, delivered at 10am PST, in which Apple traditionally announces new software (and sometimes something else to boot). Rumors of an iWatch abound, but just as intriguing is the popularly-believed notion that Apple will be introducing a new design to OS X which matches last year's iOS 7, breaking clean of the Aqua interface which has defined the Mac since January 2000. Rumors abound. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 1, 2014 - 386 comments

Let The Healing Begin

Comic Sans, redesigned. Introducing Comic Neue
posted by The Whelk on Apr 7, 2014 - 56 comments

No one is safe from the big fruit.

The world's first Apple reseller is no more. Minneapolis-based FirstTech sold its first computer, an Apple II, in 1977 as a sideline to its growing technology business. By 1984, Apple computers were its primary focus. The world's first Apple reseller, FirstTech actually used its own boilerplate legal documents and swapped in Apple's name when drawing up its first sales contract. Its final day of business will be March 29. [more inside]
posted by CommonSense on Mar 20, 2014 - 37 comments

Happy 30th Birthday Macintosh!

Apple is kicking off the Mac's 30th in typical Apple style with a lovely landing page. Slate has a copy of the video of Steve Jobs unveiling the Macintosh in 1984. Watch as the audience looses their minds over scrolling graphics and a basic voice synthesizer. iFixit has posted an appropriately retro teardown of a Mac 128k in celebration. As always, Folklore.org is your best source for first hand accounts of what it was like to actually create something cheaper and less clunky than the Lisa. All whilst hiding in the closet from Steve Jobs.
posted by BartFargo on Jan 24, 2014 - 85 comments

Mountains of Post-Mortem-ness

"Last April, I began working on a game. In October, I released it. This is the story of Eldritch." David Pitman tells the story of developing and selling the roguelike/FPS Eldritch, described as equal parts Lovecraft and Minecraft. Includes lots of lovely sales figures.
posted by Artw on Jan 7, 2014 - 22 comments

Programming stories

For your Sunday reading, a couple of stories of ye olden computing days: Why MacPaint's Original Canvas was 416 Pixels Wide and A Great Old Timey Game Programming Hack.
posted by curious nu on Jan 5, 2014 - 29 comments

Siracusa pens longform review of OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Along with today's release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks (a free download from the Mac App Store) comes John Siracusa's remarkably detailed 24,008 word review of the new OS for Ars Technica.
[more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Oct 22, 2013 - 190 comments

Nostalgia, Brought To You By Web Technology

The original MacPaint brought back to life in HTML5. Plus: Mario Memories.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Oct 10, 2013 - 44 comments

Free HTML5 animations for all

Google Web Designer is a free and neat little HTML5 animation authoring tool (system requirements)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 30, 2013 - 35 comments

Do you remember?

A game that would be at home in an arcade cabinet beside Robotron, FORGET-ME-NOT is a classic-style, that is to say, neon-filled, randomness-laden, bone-hard 2D maze/shooting game, with cute characters and retro effects, inspired by the Commodore game Crossroads II, Nethack and Pac-Man CE. Collect all the FLOWERS in each random, single-screen level to make the EXIT appear. Then, get the KEY and take it there to move to the next level.

The only controls are the arrow keys (or screen swipes in the iOS version). Face down a large variety of randomly-generated enemy types, and get as far as you can! You automatically shoot in front of you, but beware: your shots can wrap-around, and if they hit you they hurt! They key to playing well is grinding: push into a wall as you sail past it to build up a charge. Charge up enough and you start glowing; while glowing, you instantly kill any enemies you touch, but if you charge to much you blow up.
Free: Windows - OSX - Pandora - Morphos. Not free: iOS [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 19, 2013 - 22 comments

The EDL almost felt ignored.

"I’m not saying the Left embraces or even excuses away these clerics, but this strange reticence across the Left not only allows them to fester, but has other consequences."
posted by marienbad on Jun 18, 2013 - 42 comments

Permadeath. Puzzles. Portals. Pong

2x0ng (and its predecessor, Xong) is a hybrid roguelikes that has the appearance, sound and mechanics of Atari age games. Levels are randomly generated, and the rules are up to you to discover. Here is a video review for your elucidation. Available for PC, Mac and Linux.
posted by boo_radley on Apr 9, 2013 - 6 comments

I need a name that's cutting-edge, like CutCo, EdgeCom, InterSlice...

"At the time, Groening was best known as the artist of the comic Life in Hell, as The Simpsons has not yet premiered. The brochure was titled, 'Who Needs a Computer Anyway' and interspersed Groening’s Life in Hell style illustrations with standard information on Apple’s Mac computers." Apple once hired Matt Groening to do some illustrations for them.
posted by gauche on Mar 4, 2013 - 36 comments

EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY! ...RHAOMI! ...VERSUS... RHYTHM! ...BEGIN!!!

Since it debuted on the blue in '11 // Epic Rap Battles of History preppin' // to score itself more than a billion views // and become TopDog of the pack YouTube
Made by NicePeter and EpicLloyd // (two improv comics by Maker employed) // The series pits icons of legend renowned // in a slick-wit freestyle rap throwdown
With snappier writing, and better FX // online celebs (and Google Ad checks) // The Epic Rap crew's halfway done with the brew // that is Epic Rap Battles of History Part Deux
The midseason's close? It comes out today. // In one corner: Santa Claus, fresh from his sleigh
And his prophet o' doom? "He ain't Mayan," ERBoH sez.
It's Snoop Dogg -- Snoop Lion -- as mothafuckin' Moses
[WHO WON?][WHO'S NEXT?][more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 10, 2012 - 27 comments

"I have downloaded the Moose! My computer and I are happy! My husband is miserable!"

Talking Moose lives! [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Dec 5, 2012 - 63 comments

Thanks for two hours of your time

"I am calling you from Windows": A tech support scammer dials Ars Technica [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 26, 2012 - 98 comments

The best free games from across the web

For about three years, the A.V. Club ran Sawbuck Gamer, a regular column reviewing the week's most notable free and cheap games across all platforms, from web games to handhelds to console downloadables. It's a treasure trove of content, especially since more literary sister site The Gameological Society took the helm, and it's publicized great desktop projects like the luscious platformer Frogatto (previously), feature-rich Super Mario Bros. X (previously), the evocative faux-web Digital: A Love Story (previously), interactive fiction gem Rover's Day Off, and the hyperkinetic RunMan: Race Around the World (previously). But if you're in the mood for something more immediate, why not start with a list of all the original column's free A-rated online titles? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 24, 2012 - 20 comments

DSC 180

Circa 2005, Steve Jobs was introducing a new feature to iTunes and he called them podcasts! Unfortunately, during the LIVE presentation Adam Curry was not happy with his Mac!! Priceless!
posted by TangerineGurl on Sep 23, 2012 - 28 comments

Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road. -- Stewart Brand

Steam to sell productivity software [main link]. Gabe's dislike of the Windows 8 app store [BBC] may be explained. It's particularly interesting given that Steam is about to launch on Linux [Valve] [previously on Mefi]; it's one app store across all three platforms. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Aug 8, 2012 - 29 comments

Power to the people

25 years of HyperCard—the missing link to the Web
posted by Artw on Jun 2, 2012 - 56 comments

How to dispel gossip

In five minutes, Dan Benjamin graciously and honestly recollects and signs off the 120-episode technology/Apple podcast The Talk Show. (can't listen? summary of remarks). Benjamin co-hosted TTS with writer John Gruber, who on Friday controversially announced he was taking the show to Mule Syndicate alone.
posted by michaelh on May 21, 2012 - 44 comments

Skinning: Computer Interface Customization

Many people are familiar with computer case modifications, thanks to the photogenic nature of mods. On the software side, most operating systems feature some potential for customization, though this is often limited to tweaking the colors and sounds. For some, this isn't enough. Enter "skinning," the casual term for interface customization. To a degree, the history of the media player Winamp (YT, 7:03; transcript with pictures) mirrors the history of skinning. From a version 0.2, a visually dull app in June 1997, to easy user customization in version 2 in September 1998, and the complexly customizable Winamp3 in August 2002. Wired captured something of the excitement at its peak in an article from 2000, before computing began shifting to more closed devices. Now approaching a post-WIMP (windows, icons, menus and a pointer) era, where skinning is done with alternative launchers. But for those still using traditional computers of one sort or another, it's not too late to modify your interface. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 17, 2012 - 70 comments

OS X continues to evolve with new security feature

Apple has released a developer preview of the next version of OS X, named Mountain Lion. A key new feature is Gatekeeper, a security system that will allow users to decide what type of applications can be installed or launched on their personal computers. While some security experts think its a good idea, others worry about it being subtly used to discourage users from installing non-App Store applications. Macworld has coverage of the entire update, while Daring Fireball recounts a personal demonstration.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 17, 2012 - 273 comments

SEAndroid

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has begun releasing Security-Enhanced Android patches and tools, which port their Security-Enhanced Linux tools to Android devices. SEAndroid and SELinux provide mandatory access control designed to limit the amount of damage that rogue or exploited software can do. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 21, 2012 - 35 comments

Writing machines

Previously the Guardian has done a series on Writer's Rooms, now they have started on Writer's Desktops - "where writers show us around their working lives by revealing what's on their computer desktops" (Previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 19, 2012 - 10 comments

Space Quest II! Starring Sludge Vohaul (The Alien MORE Hideous than Your Aunt Hildegard)!

16-bit color schemes, in a classic retro VGA interface! New soundtracks and voiceovers! No typing required! Infamous Adventures resurrects and lovingly remakes Sierra Games from the 1980's: Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge and Kings Quest III. SQ2 was released yesterday after more than five years in production, and comes complete with a cheesy trailer. Available for download for PC and Mac, but be forewarned, the game is a total memory hog, and uses up a whole meg of RAM.
posted by zarq on Dec 31, 2011 - 12 comments

The feat list hurts my brain

Here is Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King, a computer game that adapts the 3rd Edition rules of the Dungeons & Dragons game to roguelikes.
posted by JHarris on Dec 22, 2011 - 25 comments

Pixel art

Graphic designer Susan Kare was responsible for much of the look of the original Mac operating system. Now, you can take a peek inside the notebook where she sketched out on graph paper the icons for cut and paste. (previously)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 22, 2011 - 38 comments

The Only JamPad Band?

As the encore for their 12th annual moe.down Festival in Mohawk, NY, the band members of the festival's namesake, moe., paid tribute to the recently-deceased Steve Jobs by performing their song Crab Eyes ... entirely on iPads. [more inside]
posted by Hey, Zeus! on Nov 21, 2011 - 17 comments

What clicks may come

Trauma is an escape-the-room -dream game with a hauntingly beautiful aesthetic that tells the story of a young woman recovering from an accident. It is a cross-platform download or can be played in its entirety for free in Flash. [more inside]
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy on Aug 31, 2011 - 9 comments

Every good cult needs a shrine

The Shrine of Apple--a (sill in progress) archive of photos and specs for Apple's complete product history.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 30, 2011 - 65 comments

You Can Make Video Games

The Super Friendship Club is an effort by Stephen “Increpare” Lavelle (previously), Terry Cavvvvvvanagh (previously, with Stephen Lavelle), Jonas Kyratzes (previously, with Terry Cavanagh), Jasper Byrne (previously), Ian Snyder (previously), and several others, to provide another place for game developers to make games. It aims to be a focussed alternative to TIGSource Forums, Indiegamer, and others by avoiding more general discussion boards and topics.

Every other month, thematic pageants are held where entrants are encouraged to make a game and share their progress. The first pageant, “Justice,” was held in July and yielded these (including [previously]).
posted by stance on Aug 14, 2011 - 11 comments

When We Were Young

An oldie but a goodie: David Bennabaum on learning how to program and be a sys admin at his high school in his youth.
posted by reenum on Aug 12, 2011 - 18 comments

Geek Panic!

John Siracusa's (27,000 word) review of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. [more inside]
posted by mazola on Jul 20, 2011 - 223 comments

iTerm2 - Mac OS Terminal Replacement

Although Apple's OS X operating system is making inroads with power users, providing Apple style and usability over a FreeBSD-derived UNIX-certified architecture, many find the built-in terminal emulator sadly lacking both UNIX feel and Apple polish. Fortunately, MeFi's own jewzilla has picked up the ball on the most popular third-party Terminal replacement, iTerm, and rolled out something altogether new and wonderful: iTerm2. [via mefi projects]
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism on Jul 20, 2011 - 86 comments

Over 70 Billion Gold Rings Served

Twenty years ago today, the gaming world saw the launch of a truly landmark title: Sonic the Hedgehog. Developed as a vehicle for a new Sega mascot, the fluid, vibrant, cheery-tuned wonderland swiftly became the company's flagship product, inspiring over the ensuing decades an increasingly convoluted universe of TV shows, comic books, and dozens of games on a variety of systems (all documented in this frighteningly comprehensive TVTropes portal). And while in recent years the series has turned out more and more mediocre 3D and RPG efforts, the original games remain crown jewels of the 16-bit era. So why not kick off this anniversary by replaying the titles that started it all for free in your browser: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), Sonic & Knuckles (1994). Or click inside for music, remakes, and other fun stuff! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 23, 2011 - 71 comments

The Misfits, The Rebels, The Troublemakers...

Here's to the crazy ones - a decade of Mac OS X reviews.
posted by veedubya on May 13, 2011 - 21 comments

SINCE THE YEAR 2000

Adam Buxton reviews YouTube comments
posted by mippy on Apr 25, 2011 - 50 comments

X day

OS X is X today! Meanwhile, Bertrand Serlet, father of OS X, is leaving apple.
posted by Artw on Mar 24, 2011 - 123 comments

Boxing Day

Boxer - the DOS game emulator that’s fit for your Mac, making it beautifully, trivially easy to run DOS games [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 21, 2011 - 39 comments

It was a very good year...

When I was 17... it was a very good year. Opera is now available in the Mac App store but you must be 17 years old to download it. Those under 17 can get it outside the app store.
posted by juiceCake on Mar 4, 2011 - 92 comments

I'll trade you three Creepers for a Herobrine card

Minecraft mastermind Markus "Notch" Persson has officially announced his company's next project: a hybrid online board game/trading card system called Scrolls. Spearheaded by Mojang co-founder Jakob Porser (interview) and with backstory penned by Penny Arcade wordsmith Jerry "Tycho" Holkins, the game will consist of turn-based battles between collectible "scrolls," illustrated character cards strategically deployed on an abstract gaming grid. In an interesting inversion of the Minecraft model, the game itself will be free, while updates in the form of additional scroll packs will cost a nominal fee -- a business model gaming analyst Sean Maelstrom decries as "snake oil." Mojang, for their part, is unafraid and even eager to target an untested slice of the gaming market, and is angling to get their playable prototype of Scrolls ready for a possible Alpha release this summer.
posted by Rhaomi on Mar 2, 2011 - 128 comments

Read the Fucking HIG

The new Mac App Store: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
posted by misha on Jan 6, 2011 - 157 comments

What happens when you steal a hackers computer?

"Pwned by the Owner: What Happens When You Steal A Hacker's Computer" is a DEFCON presentation by Zoz.
posted by Avenger50 on Dec 24, 2010 - 109 comments

The Post That Cannot Possibly Go Wrong

Halfway through the third book of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, there is a throwaway reference to a doomed starship, one whose incredible splendor was matched only by the cosmic absurdity of its maiden-day annihilation. But the story didn't end there. Unbeknownst to many fans, this small piece of Adamsian lore was the inspiration for an ambitious and richly-detailed side-story: a 1998 computer adventure game called Starship Titanic. Designed by Douglas Adams himself, the game set players loose in the infamous vessel, challenging them with a maddening mystery laced with the devilish wit of the novels. The game was laden with extra content, including an in-depth strategy guide, a (mediocre) tie-in novel by Terry Jones, a whimsical First Class In-Flight Magazine, and even a pair of 3D glasses for one of the more inventive puzzles. Key to solving these puzzles was the game's groundbreaking communications system -- players interacted with the ship's robotic crew through a natural language parsing engine called SpookiTalk, whose 10,000+ lines of conversational dialogue spawned 16 hours of audio recorded by professional voice actors, including John Cleese, Terry Jones, and even Douglas Adams himself in several cameos (spoiler cameo). Want to experience the voyage for yourself? Then watch this narrated video playthrough (intro (ads) - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9? 10 11 12 13) ...or click inside for a information on how to run the game for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux (along with a bunch of other goodies!). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2010 - 109 comments

The Tories' favourite Lib Dem

Good news for Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the Liberal Democrats: he's more popular than the Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron. Perhaps not so good news for the Liberal Democrats' image: that's with Tory party activists. Meanwhile, Cameron has professed his love of Macs and iPads in an interview, undoubtedly causing Apple to become instantly uncool in much the way The Smiths and Paul Weller did a few years ago.
posted by acb on Oct 4, 2010 - 54 comments

“Toro is junk food for low income earners.”

"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens (ラーメンズ) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD, but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi and Ocha (tea). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 25, 2010 - 54 comments

Resolution of a makeup controversy

MAC Cosmetics and Rodarte partnered to create a makeup collection. Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind Rodarte, "were struck by the ethereal landscape and the impoverished factory workers floating to work at dawn in a sleepy, dreamlike state." People started questioning the sensitivity and intelligence behind the naming, particularly a glittery pink nailpolish named Juarez. [more inside]
posted by nadawi on Aug 3, 2010 - 31 comments

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