Feb 08 2 2008

Tinderbox 4.1

Tinderbox 4.1 is out.

Tinderbox 4.1

The big news is that Tinderbox actions can now move notes to new containers. Now, you can mark something as done and have an agent automatically carry it off to the archives.

A personal request: please use this new feature with care, and keep good backups. Yes, it's terrific! You can do all sorts of stuff you've always dreamed of! But it's also really easy to write actions that do things you don't expect: whoosh! everything is in the archives! There are lots of subtle little issues here; you won't anticipate all of them. Take small steps. Walk, do not run.

Pollster Tom Webster takes a break from super Tuesday runup to explore a new Tinderbox/Twitter connection with automatic archiving and filing of your messages.

The new Macintosh Air has arrived at Eastgate. It's currently loading applications. First impressions:

  • Gorgeous packaging -- including the box. Even including the shrink wrap, which is the best shrink wrap I've ever seen. In the box, the unit nestles in a black velvet-lined tray.
  • The geometry is very interesting; some real work has gone into calculating the curves of this case. Someone sweated these details very hard, indeed.
  • I expect the solid-state hard drive to be the really important, distinctive part of this device. It's not getting enough attention.
  • The relatively small size of the hard disk raises some interesting issues; this is the first time in a long time that a new machine arrives with less space than its predecessor. Instead of reveling in free space, I must carefully consider just what I need to carry.

The Air stakes out a new niche. It gives you connectivity, CPU, an operating system, and your key applications and documents. It's a home away from home. It's an accessory, not your only computer. It's the luxury model of the XO.

I've long thought that, in the future, we'll all carry around big iPods with all our applications and media, and plug them into generic computational docks that will supply bandwidth and standard operating environments in two or three flavors. This is something else: instead of a bundle of data, it's a portable operating environment with a small pile of data and access to the rest through the 'net.

The other day, I saw a quote from a 20-year old student at a British university who said that she and her roomate couldn't sleep unless they could see the little blinking lights on their laptops.

Of course, in three years the SSD hard drive will be 240G instead of 60G, and that might change the equation again.

Finally, the Air should be a terrific notemaking machine. Hello, Tinderbox.

Chris Vertonghen sees writing as the savior of reading; letting people compose and link freely makes the book an unequalled participatory medium.

So my next business idea: a platform that allows anyone to import, shuffle & mix their existing stuff — be it text, music, video, or any other type of multimedia — and give them the means to publish it on-demand. I don’t think we actually need paper to do this, Hypertext will do.

Maybe the world needs more Hypertext pioneers like Mark Bernstein. Maybe the world needs more online, on-demand, well-meaning (maybe I should say grassroots) publishing houses like Lulu.

Vertonghen emphasizes the need for a publishing or distribution mechanism that values (and pays) writers. To get there, we need to value (and pay for) writing.