ayana airakan-mance | design : speak

Thanking Steve Jobs for “thinking differently”

Posted in Branding, Business, Design, Design History, LinkedIn, Macworld, Musings, Process, Social Good, Technology by ayanaairakan on 2011/10/06

Okay, here’s my tribute to the genius of Steve Jobs and thanking him for being a pentacle of the “think different” principle.

By creating the Apple Macintosh computer, he and Steve Wozniak changed my life, turning me into a geeky girl, and moving me into the world of graphic design, which I easily added to my early work as a performing artist and educator.

In the summer of 1989, I decided to take a basic computer class at Laney Community College, in Oakland, CA. The computers used in this class were Macintosh 512Ks. The 512K was released on September 10, 1984, and retailed for $2,795.00. (Source: Wikipedia) In this class we learned Microsoft Word 4, and Hypercard. I was hooked from day one.

Upon completion of the class, I found someone selling a used Mac Plus for $1000.00 (less than 1/2 the retail price) which my dear mother gifted me. The seller threw in a, now get ready, 20MB hard drive/power console combination unit. The operation system was version 6, and came on 6 floppy disks. I had a friend help me install it onto the hard drive, and imagine my delight after booting the machine and drive to see that I not only had MS Word 4, but Aldus Pagemaker and Freehand, Adobe Photoshop 2 and Illustrator 88. Hypercard was, at that time, part of the system software, so I had that too! I was totally hooked then and have stayed a loyal Apple Macintosh user.

After the Mac Plus (which I still have), I moved on to the Macintosh II Si, Quadra 800 (the first Mac tower), the iBook G3 (the white square one), the Power Mac G3 tower, the iBook G4, the G5 (dual processor), Macbook Pro (Intel Core Duo), Macbook (Intel Core 2 Duo), and as of last summer, the iMac (i3 processor, 20.5″). I still use the G5, Macbook Pro, and Macbook as well as the iMac.

In spirit, thanking you again Steve Jobs for being one of my examples always inspiring me to “think different.” May I too, inspire others.

And please support cancer research and all those working toward the eradication of this disease.

Think Different Ad

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My iBook G4 arrives. Mr. Big Fluff was more impressed by the box it came in.

Macworld SF Expo 2011: Disappointing, but . . . #apple #macworld #in

Posted in Commentary, LinkedIn, Macworld by ayanaairakan on 2011/01/31

Yes, it was that time of the year again, and I made it to the Macworld 2011 Expo here in San Francisco, albeit the very last day. I have yet to attend any of the conferences. Here are my thoughts and highlights of the Expo. My compatriots were Cherie Carter and Jeanne Hendrickson. And I also ran into Adam Helweh, and photographer extraordinaire, Duane Conliffe.

I was very pleased to see the new inventors space (can’t remember the actual title) where I met two men who created a collapsible, pocket-size stand for the iPhone and iPad using Kickstarter to raise venture capital to develop the product and get it to market. I thought this was pretty cool. The interactive tables and whiteboards by SMART, Inc. were interesting.

Another highlight, was meeting these four entrepreneurs who have created “Off the Chain,” for iPods, IPads, iPhones, mobile phones, and mp3 players. They were incredibly enthusiastic and working the expo floor quite well. You can check them out at: http://digitaltrendsetters.com.

I also found a great productivity mobile app (for iPhone/iPod  and IPad) made by Appigo, and a great remote clone tool made by thinkoptics, inc. I liked the thinkoptics, inc. app so well, that I’m finally going to update to the latest iPod Touch, so I can use it. I’m also purchasing MacKeeper a tool that has a great security feature in the event a computer is stolen. The Mac Geek Gab featuring Dave Hamilton and John Braun from The Mac Observer, Inc. was enjoyable and informative. It was good to see BusyMac who makes BusyCal as well, and I’m sorry I missed the OmniGroup booth. I didn’t see them. They make that great tool Omngraffle.

Although I did find these great products, talks and services, I will say that this year was a disappointment in that there were no products I could find that addressed my core interests as a Macintosh computer user in the areas of graphic design and photography on the Macintosh platform. Most vendors offered tools for the mobile platform. The fact that Macworld is having a mobile app conference and expo in Barcelona this year leaves me asking why did they dedicate 95% of the expo to mobile app developers.  Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Seagate were the only prominent vendors here this year. It would be great if Adobe, Quark (yes Quark), and Apple saw we who use their hardware and software as a valuable consumer market. By the looks of this year’s Macworld, it is quite clear that this is not the case. See my addendum below.

It also seems that the focus of Macworld is only on the conferences and the expo is an afterthought. I think I’m finally at the point where I am seriously looking at not attending next year. I don’t do the conferences, as they are quite pricey.

Feeling a bit sad about the direction Macworld is taking. Maybe I’m too old-school. I miss the Geekdom of the Macworld of yore. Love to know your thoughts.

Just finished having a nice talk with my neighbor David Morgenstern, a blogger at The Apple Core on ZDnet and definitely one of my go to people for anything Apple, and he shared his thoughts about how many vendors who would like to show at Macworld could not do so due to the high cost of the exhibitors price. He also felt that companies like Adobe could not justify the cost in regard to their ROI (Return on Investment). Maybe Macworld needs to look at lowering its exhibitor’s fee or move the event to less costly venue. I think his point is well taken, and I thank him for sharing it.

Again, love to know your thoughts.

Macworld 2010 | Will I Attend 2011?

Posted in Commentary, LinkedIn, Macworld by ayanaairakan on 2010/02/14

I made it to the second and third (final) days of Macworld 2010’s Expo here in San Francisco, and found myself feeling a bit melancholy upon seeing the sparseness of the crowd. I arrived just after 11:30 am, which meant I missed Guy Kawasaki’s talk, to my chagrin.

The complete expo was in the North Hall of the Moscone Center using maybe only a third the size of past Macworld Expos. Conferences were held in Moscone West. On Friday, (my first day), I walked the whole expo floor. Microsoft had the largest booth, though it was maybe a quarter size of what it had been at past expos. I gleaned no new information from one of the representatives when I inquired about a 2010 version of MS Office. The highlight at the booth was the “live” MS Office application icons.

I then visited the BusyCal booth which is a calendar that syncs with ICal, and seems to fix all the interface changes Apple had made to iCal with the launch of Leopard. Made me happy that I was still running Tiger on my Macs. Nice application though. They also make BusySync. I continued next to the booth of the OmniGroup-the folks who make Omnigraffle, OmniPlan and more idea and workflow tools. Nice wireframe templates, but still nothing new. I then walked the whole expo floor and saw nothing else that peeked my interest, except the earbud pouch that was a frivolous $4.00 purchase. I think I’m going to pass it on to the daughter of friends.

I did check out Macworld’s Best of Show presentation which featured two companies who develop for the iPhone. Not really my interest.

It was nice to run into my friend Lorca from SF State University who let me pick his brilliant brain more about my using Google Voice. Thank you Lorca. I also bumped into Ray Holbert, a City College of San Francisco faculty alum and friend, who was there with other CCSF colleagues. Also was glad to run into and catch up with Simon Udell and dear friend. I took his Architectural Rendering classes at CCSF a “few” years ago. That was nice.

I left the expo around 3:30 pm feeling I hadn’t really connected.

Today, Saturday, the 13th, I returned around 12:20 pm and had a great conversation with Lola, who was attending the User Conferences. She was having an excellent time at the conferences and felt that the expo being so small did not impact on her experience. This was encouraging. She reinforced my feeling that the conferences are perhaps the way to go if I attend next year. The early purchase of the User Conference was $175.00. That’s doable.

I arrived in the expo at 12:50 just in time to line up for the iPad panel that Macworld, successfully, in my opinion pulled together in three days. Great insight was shared by Macworld’s Jason Snell as MC, Dan Moren, Ted Landau, Ryan Block and Andy Ihnatko. I still feel the iPad isn’t top on my list of next purchases, but the panel did help me see more clearly its draw as a viable tool for many. Several on the panel felt that the education sector good get on board with the advent of allowing students to access textbooks via the iBook application.

Although I missed “The Russell Brown Show” featured today and always wonderfully staged by Adobe’s Creative Director, Russell Brown, Jr., I was glad to see he was here.

Saw Ray again today, along with another CCSF colleague, Jerry Lum and his wife. (CCSF was out in force, hmm.) We all seemed to share the same sentiments about Macworld Expo 2010–small, somewhat disappointing, wondering about next year.

Not only did the hard hit economy, have an impact on this year’s expo, but I feel that there is no longer the driving need for the next, best, great thing every year. There’s more of a sense of finding products that can be used over a greater period of time hence having greater value to the consumer.

Well, all-in-all, Macworld 2010 was a mixed bag for me, but I do feel I will check it out again next year, but this time I’ll add in a conference.

Would love to hear the thoughts and experiences from others who attended. Please post a comment.
Thanks and cheers.