By Harry McCracken

A roundup of technology-related stuff I'm writing, reading, and remembering.

A roundup of technology-related stuff I'm writing, reading, and remembering.

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How I turned an iPad into the ultimate distraction-free reading machine

So help me, I don’t feel like digital devices have destroyed my ability to concentrate. For a long time, I’ve had a policy of granting only a few apps the ability to display notifications (Slack yes, Gmail no). I may fritter away time on Twitter, but I tell m…


My personal technological year in review

If you’d like to make the case that 2018 was a decent year for the technology industry at large, go for it. I’d love to hear your rationale.But no matter how embarrassing/offensive/generally dire the year was for certain major companies, my own year in tech—t…


Palm and me

One of the most memorable briefings about a new tech product I ever received involved a gadget called Taxi.It took place in 1995, and it’s not the actual demo I recall so clearly. What’s imprinted on my brain cells is the reaction which my PC World colleagues…


Pat McGovern stories

The technology media business has been around for decades. It played a meaningful role in the tech revolution that has shaped our lives. But its golden age has gone oddly unchronicled, aside from occasional articles here and there. There just isn’t all that m…


12 things I learned by digitizing all my ancient VHS tapes

In 1985 or thereabouts, when I was in college and $500 was not easy to come up with, I splurged on a gadget I’d lusted after for years: a VCR. (A VHS one--though Beta was still viable at the time and I had to decide.) For the next 15+ years, I taped from TV w…


The gorilla arm paradox, and other mysteries

WHY 'GORILLA ARM SYNDROME' RULES OUT MULTITOUCH NOTEBOOK DISPLAYSThat was the headline on a 2010 Wired article by Tim Carmody. It pretty much declared that the computer industry had decided that putting a touchscreen on a laptop would never make sense, and re…


Confessions of a beta daredevil

So help me, I try to be a responsible citizen. But there's one area of my life where I like to play fast and loose, and that is installing beta software.You know those warnings about not installing something like Apple's new developer betas of iOS and MacOS o…


WWDC wishes galore

As I write this, Apple’s WWDC keynote is less than four days away. Yesterday, I asked my Twitter pals to provide the single item they most wanted to see announced during the event. They responded in force, offered lots of smart ideas, and—since there was only…


Telling Apple's untold history

I'm not sure when I first wrote something entirely devoted to the history of Apple. But here's an early example: In 2009, I did a Technologizer series about Apple rumors and included a story which looked at scuttlebutt published in ancient issues of InfoWorld…


Lies, damned lies, and demos

Was Google’s I/O unveiling of Duplex, um, duplicitious? The company showed off the technology, designed to let AI-infused software place phone calls and make appointments, by playing two recorded conversations, to a hair stylist and a restaurant. CEO Sundar P…


The long-awaited return of Technologizer

I've been reading any enjoying Casey Newton's newsletter The Interface for awhile. But it wasn't until I edited a Fast Company story by JR Raphael that I learned about Revue, the Netherlands-based platform used by Casey and others to publish editorial-focused…