Every Friday I share the five coolest things I’ve found on the web in the last week.
1 – No Tech Magazine
I don’t know how I ended up here, but there’s some fun stuff to read and some interesting perspectives that come from looking at non-high-tech ways to solve problems. Obviously, this is very different from how I usually try to solve things.
2 – Thoughts on Annie
Jef Raskin created the original Macintosh team at Apple, but the Macintosh that Apple eventually sold (and the one they still sell today) turned out to be almost nothing like what Jef had in mind.
This essay is from a collection of documents the team collected in the early days of the project. This particular one, while from 1979 describes a computing device (a “work processor”, as they like to say) which, save for a few technical details, sounds like a really awesome machine to work with.
Jef passed away before the genius of his work was put to use (it’s rarely understood even today). This is entirely a shame, because we could be having a much better relationship with our technology today if he could have seen these ideas to fruition.
3 – NextCloud 12
The easiest way to describe NextCloud might be to say that it’s an open-source alternative to Google Apps that you can run on your own servers. Why would you would want to do this is a much larger discussion (one that is covered in detail on the NextCloud site ).
What I do want to talk about is that major performance improvements have been made and NextCloud 12 is quite snappy compared to previous versions. I’ve been running a NextCloud server in Germany for about a year, and while it’s been usable, it’s now much more enjoyable to work with. It has played a big role in my exodus from Google and now that it performs well (on the servers I can afford) I’m looking forward to leaning on it for more of my critical tasks.
4 – tilde.club
Remember when the web wasn’t owned by three companies? Tilde is something of a throwback to the “wild west” days of the web, but it’s not just nostalgia. As I understand it, it started as a lark (alcohol may have been involved) but it turned into a community of people helping each-other learn the skills to create their own place on the web.
I’m a fan of this approach. With as much focus as there is on teaching kids to “code”, something like Tilde seems like a much more real way to get kids (and everyone) learning skills to express themselves on the web while creating a supportive community that they can own a piece of as well. This is a refreshing break from the complex platforms and proprietary systems which have become commonplace and in various ways dissolve creativity and innovation.
I might even setup a server like this if I can find a few other people who would find it interesting and would like to learn how to hand-craft artisinal HTML pages themselves.
5 – ELLO 2M
ELLO 2M looks like a really cool little computer for learning about computers. I’m not exactly sure how you get your hands on one, but it seems to combine the essential hardware in a fun, handy package as well as a software orientation that is reminiscent of the 8-bit personal computers I cut my programming teeth on.
There is also a Hackaday.io project page for ELLO 2M.