Better Writer

12 or 13 years ago I used a Mac Word Processor called Nisus Writer. It was fast and cheap and it easily fit on a 400K floppy. I think I sort of assumed that Nisus had fallen beneath the wheels of the Word Juggernaut (like WordPerfect) but it’s just popped up again, in gorgeous OS X (proper Cocoa) beta form with a very clean UI, good integration with OS X, super fast performance and some geeky things like PERL scripting (like I know what that is). The native file format is Rich Text Format but it reads and writes Word files (a bit buggy in the beta). I’m not an anti-MS zealot but I did take some pleasure switching from Powerpoint to Keynote a few months ago and I reckon I’m going to enjoy dumping Word too.

Making of the Macintosh

I’ve used and owned Macs since 1985. Although they’re pretty hip again these days (after a miserable decade or so of grim, beige things), the core of the Mac userbase is like me: old gits with hair growing out of their ears. We’re stuck in our ways and we can’t change now so that’s that. The nice people at Stanford University Library are attempting a proper history of the machine’s early days (as part of a larger project documenting Silicon Valley itself). There’s some genuinely fascinating material here – memos, early sketches, engineering drawings, first person recollections. Thanks to LinkMachineGo for linking to The Making of Macintosh. Incidentally, I learn that, over the years, I’ve owned five of the Ten Worst Macs Ever. I’m selling two of them: an ugly all-in-one Performa 5320 and a lamentably underpowered IIvx, in case you’re interested.