26 January 2012

Apple and Power Sources

I have twice already quoted passages from the recent Steve Jobs biography in this blog.  Here is a third instance. Isaacson writes that when he was researching the book, he took a tour through Apple's product-design studio, guided by 'Jony' Ive, Jobs' right-hand man on design issues.

On the day of Isaacson's visit, "Ive was overseeing the creation of a new European power plug and connector for the Macintosh. Dozens of foam models, each with the tiniest variation, have been cast and painted for inspection. Some would find it odd that the head of design would fret over something like this, but Jobs got involved as well. Ever since he had a special power supply made for the Apple II, Jobs has cared about not only the engineering but also the design of such parts."

So this passage echoes back to the previous passage I quoted on that Apple II innovation. Still, it is quite different. The switching power supply innovation was functional. It was about controlling heat and the risk a build-up in heat poses to the inner workings of a machine. In the above passage, we are privy to aesthetic evaluations of foam models for electrical plugs.

Sounds odd to me, but then ... I'm not a genius and a multi-billionaire entrepreneur. I'm just a humble scribe.

This point in the book was where I decided it really ought to be reviewed by someone treating it as a novel. I'm still refining that idea.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.