Russians?
Computer Battery

Image by Ed Yourdon
It’s often hard to tell where people are from, just by looking at them — especially in a cosmopolitan city like New York, where they might be local residents, visitors from Hoboken, or tourists from another country … like Russia.

For some reason, though, the young woman in this picture does look Russian to me — perhaps because she’s tall and slender. On the other hand, the young women that I saw in Moscow were more likely to be wearing high-heeled shoes than boots. As for the guy … well, who knows: he could be from anywhere…

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This is the continuation of a photo-project that I began in the summer of 2008: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan — between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

As I indicated when I started this project in 2008, I don’t like to intrude on people’s privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they’re still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what’s right in front of me.

I’ve also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting — literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I’ve learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture … after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it’s pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

Thus far, I’ve generally avoided photographing bums, drunks, crazies, and homeless people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don’t want to be photographed, and I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. I’m still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We’ll see how it goes …

The only other thing I’ve noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, far more people who are not so interesting. They’re probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I’ve photographed … but there was just nothing memorable about them.

Apple Newton Tablet prototype modem, I/O, speaker & power
Computer Battery

Image by jimabeles
Note the slot for the modem is filled in – there’s no cut-out. It must have been a planned feature for the tablet that was not yet implemented.

This came from someone who managed the mobile computing development group at Coke (as in Coca Cola) who reported that they did a lot of work with Apple. He said it was not built specifically for Coke and there were never any firm plans with it.

"Apple was more or less searching for a reason to build the tablet and never did find a market. I have no idea how many exist. I only know of one other and it is in a computer museum in California."

Based on the partial sticker on this as well as the sticker on the prototype stylus, it appears to be serial number 36.

Unfortunately, it came without a power supply and I’ve never been able to power it up (it’s a weird port size and shape – unlike other Newtons).

The following comes from Studio Taktika (http://www.taktika.com/StudioTaktika/portfolio/newton_web/newton_3.htm ):

Newton handheld, based on a letter-size footprint, featuring 2 pcmcia cards, retractable I/O door, removable battery pack, push-push stylus, IR, microphone and speaker.

From www.a-in-a-circle.com/newton/bic.html :

Ok. The team started from scratch again and designed a new device still following the old ideas. It was codenamed "Bic". Meanwhile the market developed a new and better touchsensitive screen which weren’t that precise and bright but much, much cheaper. They also thought that a second PCMCIA slot would be a good idea, because one was supposed to be used by a modem…. and where should the RAM card go?


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