Two years ago, Steve Jobs broke his then-silence to slam the idea of a seven-inch tablet, predicting nothing but pain for their makers. Now Apple looks set to launch one of its own. So how will it explain the change of heart?
Starting in 1996, before 'blog' was even a word, Rupert Goodwins has been writing dyspeptic, dramatic, disbelieving or delighted descriptions of daily life in IT journalism. Rupert's Diary is that collection, and will be updated until there are no more silly or splendid things happening in the world of digital technology - or the Rapture, whichever happens first. The smart money's on the Rapture.
Rupert started off as a nerdy lad expecting to be an electronics engineer, but having tried it for a while discovered that journalism was more fun. He ended up on PC Magazine in the early '90s, before that evolved into ZDNet UK - and Rupert evolved with them into an online journalist.
Many of us will start losing our eyesight as we age. The digital world can help get round some of these physical impediments - but not if digital rights management and the like blocks our accessibility.
The number-one tool in the shed of accessibility is browser zoom, helping those with poor eyesight to see what they're doing. There's just one problem: it breaks in all manner of inventive ways.
How can someone carry on using the internet if they can't read? Assistive technology is there to help, but it's hit and miss — mostly miss.
There's no better time to go blind than the present, with all the benefits that digital technology can offer. But a lifetime in tech should have warned me — the promise of IT rarely holds up to the experience of having to use it.
It's hard to say what's happened to Steorn, Irish inventors of Orbo, once claimed to be an over-unity generator that broke the laws of physics but now barely worthy of couple of fuzzy paragraphs on the web site.You can, however, enjoy their latest device - a water heater called Heptaheat.
"So, Rupert," said the company. "Twenty years on the job.
Many countries consider internet access numbers to be a good measure of how up-to-date their citizens and industry are, with higher penetration rates signalling good things. Dig down into the figures, though, and you can find some peculiar numbers that may or may not say more about their geography than plain old economics .
It was a time before the GUI, when computers were micros, when memory was measured in kilobytes and storage strategy meant choosing whether to buy a second five and a quarter inch floppy drive. It was eleven days before the launch of the Apple Macintosh.
January. Not so much a month as 31 days of post-party comedown, where every pleasure is circumscribed by resolution and, let's be frank, those long, empty, fiscally-fraught acres of calendar between now and payday.