I got my iPhone at an AT&T store the day it launched and it was a great experience. One year later when Apple launched the IPhone 3G I had been standing in line for hours at the Apple Store at 5th Avenue. The Apple sales guy asked me which version I wanted. When he got back with the box he just gave it to me and told me to open it so he could activate it. He wanted me to experience the unpacking. Unlike at AT&T the unpacking was part of the story, part of the joy. With hundreds of people waiting in line behind me Apple allowed me the extra 2 minutes to enjoy the opening of the box. I’m almost sure that was a direct instruction from Steve Jobs to his employees. That ‘insanely great’ attention to detail has been visible in everything he touched.

The Human Species

Stats on Paper vs digital books

In 2009 there were 49 million ‘paper’ books sold in Holland vs 110.000 digital books. The amount of e-readers sold was 37.000. Have the feeling the Dutch don’t run as hard as the Americans.

Was curious so I looked at the American numbers. They are as follows. Total market is $24 billion. 99% of which is ‘Physical’ and 1% is digital. Although a lot more then the dutch market still only a measly 1%. Sometimes while running around on the edge of the best and the latest you forget that not everybody is running there.


The Human Species

FaceBook users are a different species

“Dear visitors from Google. This site is not Facebook. This is a website called ReadWriteWeb that reports on news about Facebook and other Internet services. You can however click here and become a Fan of ReadWriteWeb on Facebook, to receive our updates and learn more about the Internet. To access Facebook right now, click here. For future reference, type “” into your browser address bar or enter “facebook” into Google and click on the first result. We recommend that you then save Facebook as a bookmark in your browser.”

I liken a site redesign to waking up in the morning and finding that someone has moved my toaster and changed all the knobs and slots, so it takes me 10 minutes to figure out how to find and work it. Some people are going to deal with that once, and that will be it. They’ll opt out. But a sizable user base (particularly under-30s) believes that joining a “I hate the new Facebook” group is both useful and meaningful. These users will grouse for a while, feel as though they’ve contributed to some sort of public discourse, and then continue to use the site as usual.


iPad :: The touch question

When I look back at the presentation the biggest surprise is actually the lack of touch. Let me explain. When Jobs showed the first iPhone he demoed the new touch metaphor, zoom, pinch, swipe etc. etc.

Giving the new size of the screen a whole new set of possible interactions are open. You don’t have to put 2 fingers on a small screen. You now have your full hand with all kinds of possibilities. E.g. I can imagine putting the whole side of your hand on the screen to move to another application. Or have a thumb stay on the screen followed by a finger touching the screen. Irrespective of the stupidity of these ideas there was none of that in the presentation. Jobs still used it as an iPhone. Think that’s also the reason for some letdown. In a way it’s a big iPhone. If he would have shown different touchmodes I’m sure that people would have seen the immediate benefit of the bigger screen. I can see the problem of having two touch metaphors to support. Things which work on the iPad bit don’t work on the iPhone. But still. Would have been so cool.

Update: Here’s an overview of the new multi-touch interactions which were shown during the presentation:
a) they went by fast
b) they didn’t feel as compelling as when Steve introduced the iPhone and just swiped it to unlock. That was amazing.

Next: How will we keep state and switch.


iPad & the cloud

Find it fascinating to see how Apple has it’s own approach in dealing with The Cloud. We all now the cloud is big, bright and the future. But it will take several years before the cloud can attain such a great experience as what the iPad offers right now, right here.

With the App Store you actually download the app on your device. And that’s been happening more then 3 billion times so far. The actual software is really on your device. Not some piece of software living in a cloud accessed by a browser. Sure Web 2.0 is great & AJAX can do amazing things. But in the bowser I don’t have the user experience an iPad is offering. Where things just fluently work and slide. Yes it does no multitasking and there’s no Finder. It’s just you and your content.

The cloud is great and has the future but it’s just work. It doesn’t put a smile on your face like the iPad does: you just don’t cuddle with the cloud.

Update: “But if I want to write a truly great app, it has to be a desktop app.”


iPad :: It’s now all up to the developers

Excited or not it’s now all in the hand of the developers. This is all about touch, touch, touch. The iPad will never be the primary computer for the professionals. My MacBook Pro, Apple Keyboard & Magic Mouse win any time when productivity is concerned.

But look at what Apple has actually done. They have given us a platform where touch is the only way you can interact with a device and put it on a relatively big screen. To that they added the Apple Eco-system where developers which has been so successful for the iPhone with millions sold and the amount of apps still rising. So far 3 billion apps have been downloaded.

I’m not a developer and I almost can’t wait to start playing in this new world: touch, big screen and fast. It’s a whole new paradigm which has just been presented to the world. To me it feels as if Appel has been partially surprised at their own success with the iPhone and are saying: You like touch? Well, we think this is how it could work. Play with it and see how far it can go.

And I think we should.


iPad :: the ultimate scifi device?

I have the feeling that I’m looking at a Star Trek episode. A thin tablet. A user interface where everything happens through touch. Just a screen. Super thin. It’s almost unreal. Is this still a computer?

Who will use this, when will we use this? I just have to jot down my thoughts. Is this something I would give my mother? Would I use it while sitting in a lazy chair? How long can you work with this before you want your old laptop back. Just something for enjoying while on the road? With 3G could it replace the iPhone with a wireless Bluetooth receiver in your ear? Your iPad in the bag and you receiving a call when in the train, cab on the bike or walking through the street?

I have the feeling it’s a game-changer. This is the computer we always wanted to have. Simple interface. It just works. It’s always on. You have access to all the content you want to be able to get. From videos to books, to music, to newspapers, to the web. It’s the ultimate content device. Mac for work, iPhone for connectivity and iPad for fun. And yes we need all three. Just like Steve showed them.

Ok so no calling yet. But Google Voice already has a great mobile app for that. So, no multitasking. Think that’s just a matter of time.

NB: Is this a mouse killer? during the whole presentation I didn’t see a mouse. And that from the company who popularized the mouse. That was logical for the iPhone but what about the iPad when we connect the keyboard and the dock. Will we move our fingers to the device when we want to move something on screen?

More iPad later…

P.S. Looking forward to find out which movie will be the first to use the iPad.
P.P.S. Chat of the day: “its hit . it will sell very well, I just put all my 401k in Apple Stock”
P.P.S. And best name so far: ‘Sofa Surfer’. (thanks to Farshad).

Apparently Avatar was the first movie they used the iPad 🙂

“I went back for a second helping of Avatar this Sunday. There’s a scene early on in the movie where one of the scientists walks across the lab carrying the “mobile computer slab of the future.” We’ve seen one of these in almost every sci-fi movie of the last 50 years. It comes free with a jetpack, I suppose. Except this time, one month later, my 12 year old son turns to me and whispers “Look Dad, it’s an iPad.”


Designer tip :: Fixing damaged/corrupted Illustrator files

Sometimes Illustrator files get damaged. You try to open them and you get the following warning:

“The file is damaged and could not be repaired.”

Damaged file

It could be that the file is just corrupted. So first try opening the file in Acrobat Pro. Acrobat will try to repair the file and if it works you can save the file. See for more details: (

Adobe also gives you a list of options to fix the problem:

But there’s one solution they don’t give you:

1. Create a new file in Illustrator with just a simple square and save this file.
2. Open the file in Text Edit.
3. Copy the last couple of lines from that file, as an example:

30 0 obj
0 31
0000000000 65535 f
0000000016 00000 n
0000000144 00000 n
0000060545 00000 n
0000000000 00000 f
0000061918 00000 n
0001014586 00000 n
0000060596 00000 n
0000060956 00000 n
0000452085 00000 n
0000062217 00000 n
0000062104 00000 n
0000061124 00000 n
0000061357 00000 n
0000061405 00000 n
0000061988 00000 n
0000062019 00000 n
0000062252 00000 n
0000452158 00000 n
0000452510 00000 n
0000453481 00000 n
0000456985 00000 n
0000489882 00000 n
0000555470 00000 n
0000621058 00000 n
0000686646 00000 n
0000752234 00000 n
0000817822 00000 n
0000883410 00000 n
0000948998 00000 n
0001014609 00000 n

4. Open your corrupted file in TextEdit or TextWrangler.
5. Add the code to the end of your corrupted file and save it.
6. Change the extension to .ai and you should be able to open up your file in Adobe Illustrator.

P.S. If my memory serves me right PostScript as a stacking protocol needs an EOF (EndOfFile) to be able to start opening the file.
P.P.S. Also guessing the reason Adobe doesn’t want you to use this tip is that they don’t want you to mess around in the file, cause results can be unpredictable.
P.P.P.S. And if it doesn’t work maybe try:
but then you have to be prepared to spend some money.

Update Dec 1, 2016: Apparently this tip still works for Adobe CC 2014…

Google Wave: The bet

The first 20 Google Wave invites

So within a week all my invites have been sent out to my coworkers and friends. Within our agency we know have almost everybody on Google Wave. Which means I can already use it for a project.

People ‘wow’ when they see the live type and exclaim ‘Scary!’ when they see you typing in their Wavelet or blip. And everybody loves the fact that you easily can add someone to a wave. They are getting it and seeing the potential. And then they went back to their email because all their friends are on email. They were asking where the interface with ‘normal’ email was. Which indeed raises the question how Google Wave will content with the old email in the future. Something has to give in the interaction. And I don’t think that it can remain a closed garden.

Google Wave: The bet

The genius brothers

The night before Wave’s big debut at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Lars Rasmussen laid in bed from 2:30 to 5 a.m.

It wasn’t restful sleep.