Doctor Smoke Interview (Part One)
He agreed to an e-mail interview. Some edited contents are here, and some will be available two weeks hence. I will then put the entire (unedited) interview online.
GKR: Why Mac, why OSX?
I always admired Macs. My wife is also a fan . . . and had the opportunity to work with them in a job she had once. When it came time to buy computers for our household, I decided to give the Mac a fair trial. Though I worked for IBM at the time, the employee discount was minimal and I was frankly tired of Windows. Apple had not yet opened their retail stores, but they had a sales office nearby and let me spend a couple of hours there playing with a Power Mac G4 desktop. I fell in love with Macs right there!
First, it is an electronic book -- an e-book -- which is more flexible in many ways than a paper-based book. With an e-book, one can search the entire contents of the book, zoom in on text or images for a better look, have the computer read the book to you if you are visually impaired, and address similar usability issues with physical books. E-books are also environmentally friendly: no trees are felled nor paper required to publish them. One cannot get a paper cut from an e-book.
My e-books make heavy use of hyperlinks, both to content within the book and on the Internet. For example, if there's a well-crafted answer to a problem already on the Web, I can provide a link to it in the book. . . . Likewise I can provide related links to additional material on the Internet. For example, there are some good tutorials on the Web concerning how hard drives work. I include links to those in the chapter on Disk Utilities. . . . I'd estimate that if everything in my latest book, including all the linked content, were printed, it would be something in the range of 1,500 pages or more, though the e-book itself is 620 pages. [edited]
My approach to troubleshooting emphasizes preventing problems before they happen, and being prepared:
Arthur C. Clarke wrote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Computers aren't there yet, although there are probably people who would swear otherwise. I have yet to recommend exorcism as a troubleshooting technique.
Continued. . . .
The entire (unedited) interview is now available online.
For further information, e-mail to Graham K. Rogers.
To eXtensions: 2004-05
To eXtensions: Year Two
To eXtensions: Year One
To eXtensions: Book Reviews
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