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Noah's Blog

Noah W.'s blog is full of technological exploration, findings, programming, and the life of a young developer.


Adventures in Old Tech: Part 3

I recent found my copy of MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. I've finally (with the help of this addition package) got it running stable on VirtualBox. While I plan on doing some more detailed posts about this I thought I'd share this wonderful installation screen for Borland C++ 4.5. This represents everything I both loved and now dislike about the early 1990s era of GUI computing. More to come.

Installation Screen

Borland C++ 4.5 Installation Screen

Published: 8/20/2017 11:12 AM

Article by: Noah Wood

Moto Z Play

In a previous blog post, I commented about swtiching from Windows Phone to Android vis-à-vis a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Since the phone's release, there have been a plague of issues surrounding the phone. It made national and international news several times, and the final nail in the coffin was when the FAA banned the phone from carry-on and checked luggage on all US domestic flights.

I absolutely loved the phone, I thought it was a marvel of technology and an overall beautiful device; unfortunately the love didn't last. As soon as Samsung announced a worldwide recall of the device, I quickly returned it for a refund and went back to Windows phone for the time being.

After deliberating for a while about my next new phone, I ended up deciding it would be best to get a mid-range device. At the time of the Note 7's release, there really wasn't any other flagship phone on the market that really grabbed my attention. I ended up deciding on an unlikely option.

Moto Z Play

From Lenovo comes the Moto Z Play, a mid-range smartphone with a few unique features that set it apart from other phones. As the name might imply, the Z Play is a model in Lenovo's family of Moto Z devices, of which some are flagship devices. I settled on the Play for a few specific reasons:

  1. Price
  2. Batter Life
  3. 3.5mm Headphone Jack

On the price standpoint, the MSRP of the Z Play (at time of this post) is $449 USD. When I bought the device it came with a free "Premium" moto mod, as either the true zoom camera or the projector; I chose the camera.

The Mods idea is quite interesting, and although I like the camera, I don't use it very often, however it is nice to have the option. I also have the JBL sound boost mod, which I use almost daily. It's great to play podcasts at a reasonable volume and timbre without the hassle of using bluetooth; when wandering about my house, it's great to take the sound with me without headphones.

The Future

Will I stick with Android (or Motorola for that matter)? That is a question I cannot answer. The world of smartphones changes day-to-day and there is a chance I jump back to Windows phone (unlikely) or move to an iPhone (more likely). For now, Google's Android offers me the best options and I do like the variety of services available for the platform over what Apple's iOS has to offer.

Published: 8/7/2017 8:33 PM

Article by: Noah Wood

The Mac OS X Public Beta

The Mac OS X public beta was an interesting release in Apple's modern history. Available for $29.95 on September 13th, 2000, users could buy and install this version of OS X, the first version of Mac OS to feature the new Aqua user interface.

Using my old PowerMac G3 workstation, I installed the public beta to another partition and am going to take you through a quick journey of the first version of what we now know as macOS.

The Desktop

Booting

About This Mac

After booting into the desktop, I launched About this Mac from the "Finder" menu. Unlike the shipping version of OS X, the public beta didn't have an "Apple" menu. The apple you see in the center of the menu bar is decorative only.

Clock

Clock Preferences

Once booted, two applications are automatically launched, the Finder and Clock. As you can see in the screenshots, there is not clock in the menu bar, the only timekeeping that can be done is from the clock application that lives in the dock. The above screenshot shows the preferences available for the Clock. You can see that after enabling the digital clock, it is very similar to the NeXTSTEP clock.

The Finder

Finder

Grab Bag

The Finder looks considerably different than it does today, but the main functions are more or less the same. One interesting fact is that before Apple called the folder "Utilities," it was called "Grab Bag."

Mail

Mail.app

Sending Mail

The mail app also looks similar to the finder, with the large buttons containing icons. Despite the age of the client, it still works to get/send POP3 and IMAP emails.

Music Player & Quicktime

Music Player

Quicktime

Before iTunes, there was a simple music player with a "mini player" widget similar to what would eventually exist in iTunes. Quicktime also exists and was the first application I could find in the beta that had the "brushed aluminum" interface that would remain until OS X 10.5.

System Preferences

System Prefs

The system preferences interface hasn't changed much since the OS X public beta. The only notable thing is that you can dock any preference you would like to the top bar by dragging and dropping.

Address Book

Address Book

The last application on my list is the Address Book application. It allows you to create new address books (the default is stored in the user's library folder) and add users. From the look of this application, Apple was still working on finalizing the iconography since these icons have a very OS 9 feel to them.

Published: 5/7/2017 12:39 PM

Article by: Noah Wood

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