User Interface Time Travel

I just wasted spent a good portion of my afternoon doing a little user interface time travel, back to the glory days of pre-OS X Mac operating systems, courtesy of the Internet Archive classic Mac OS emulators.

I came to find out about these classic Mac OS emulators via the Tedium email newsletter (always interesting), which cited an article from Fast Company In it, author Mark Wilson reminisces about the classic Mac interface, and explores the virtues of elegance and simplicity over complexity and flash.

Despite its 1-bit color scheme and seemingly unsophisticated graphics, the classic Macintosh (not Mac) OS possesses a warmth and personality that modern operating systems struggle to convey. Susan Kare’s design, especially her icons, have become, well, iconic – leaping from that little 8-inch black and white screen into popular culture and design immortality. And maybe I’m remembering this more fondly due to the passage of time, but that cute little bomb icon made those system errors a little easier to take.

It may seem impossible to some people now, but to use that original Macintosh in 1984 was a truly revelatory experience. There was no color (OK, there were two colors – black and white), and the animations were rudimentary and limited And yet, it almost seemed alive, like a trusty companion rather than a tool. And that user interface was the reason why.

If you remember what I’m talking about, do yourself a favor and try these emulators out (my personal all-time favorite Macintosh system is System 6, but there are several from which to choose). And if you have never had the pleasure of using a pre-OSX system, take one of these classic mac OS emulators for a spin. I think you will be surprised and delighted.

Create An Etiquette Guide to Help Staff Work From Home

With the new normal of videoconferencing and remote work, even some of us who consider ourselves to be tech-savvy can get a little bewildered. Beyond the technological considerations, there is a whole new world of behavior and etiquette to maneuver through. To help employees navigate this landscape, it can be helpful to create a guide that spells out expectations and eliminates confusion.

Moleskine, maker of the popular notebook that bears its name, is headquartered in the Italian city of Milan, and although they had begun putting together a remote working strategy before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had not yet fully implemented it. As it became apparent that their mostly office-based workforce would not be able to continue to work on-site safely, they had to accelerate their plan and begin their work-from-home program practically overnight.

To help their employees transition to a kind of work that most of them were completely unfamiliar with, Moleskine created a 12-page “Smart Working Etiquette” guide. This guide covers basics, like what you should wear (no pajamas) to where your workstation should be set up (the brightest, most comfortable part of your home), as well as how to run efficient virtual meetings and carry on effective communication with teammates.

More details and some excellent ideas in this ZDNet piece.

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