Tim Cook chasing more of that sweet services revenue. A 16% increase! Even though I don’t use Arcade & Fitness they still have me over a barrel.
I can hardly believe I’ve installed Obsidian again. It didn’t gel with me last time; let’s give it another go.
A fun, heartwarming movie that is a good reminder that sport should be fun.
Martin has set me a challenge as to what to write about this month. He told me I have to write something about old office technology; maybe an office app feature that I used to use, or something similar.
Because I’m so old, I have many topics to potentially write about; but also because I’m old I have forgotten so many of them.
Today, however, I wish to write about Object Linking and Embedding.
In our current era we take embedding items as a given, notably in web pages, where elements are easily embedded, be they Flickr images, Twitter tweets, or podcast episodes. Adding multiple content forms in a single page is not innovative in 2022.
There was a time, however, where embedding items from one place into another was indeed innovative. It was Microsoft leading the innovation as they pushed the concept of OLE - Object Linking and Embedding. How amazing would it be to embed a live spreadsheet chart into your Word document. Make a change in the spreadsheet, and suddenly the chart data in your report is updated! Incredible! Excel not cool enough for you? No problem, create a view in Access and include that in your Word file. This was a time when the combined power of the MS Office Suite with its stylised puzzle art design on the box, actually made sense. You weren’t using a single application one at a time; you were working within a connected ecosystem.
At least… that was the dream.
Now it’s time to hit you with a dose of the reality from those times I tried to use OLE in a meaningful way within a work context. There were a number of drawbacks that I can recall — and I’m sure there were others that I do not. Let’s work through the shortlist of those I do:
- PC Speed. The 166 MHz Pentium I was probably using, that would also have had limited RAM, didn’t love running multiple applications at one time. Having to run an instance of one program inside another one; well that made everything that much worse.
- Hard Drives. Have you forgotten how slow spinning hard drives are? Try to think how slow a 5400RPM drive, running in an old PC with limited throughput, might handle swap files, which once OLE was enabled, was an automatic outcome.
- File Servers & Sharing. This was an era of local files and a bit of network sharing via Novell Netware, or maybe the first instance of Microsoft’s network stack. I recall for a long time we had to use a terrible Document Management System called Hummingbird, which added version control and check-in/check-out features. Now imagine how well a system like that worked when one file was calling the contents of another file embedded within it. More often than not, if it was somebody else opening the file, they wouldn’t have access to the embedded data.
- Printing. We used to print a lot. It was surprisingly difficult to get the window into the data displayed on screen in such a way that it would also print that way. And heaven help you if somebody clicked inside the OLE to activate it. There went your careful print-aligned view.
To be fair to Microsoft, they weren’t the only company going down this path. Apple tried something similar with the OpenDoc standard. It too, didn’t deliver.
In hindsight, all these years on, it is evident that this technology didn’t work. The ideas, however, of embedded content and live data, made sense. With web applications backed by database systems we’ve now arrived at a similar destination, albeit via a different route. However, I’m still not sure we have hit upon a complete standard, that OLE tried to deliver.
Maybe one day. For now, though, I do not miss OLE.
I really wanted to watch Cannonball Run! but I got this instead. The 1970s were a simpler time.
I’ve been using NextDNS for a few years to block ads. Previous to it I used Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi. With the terrible AUD-USD exchange rate, I’m contemplating a return to Pi-Hole, but this time via Docker running on a Mac mini. Does anybody have any experience with this setup? I don’t want to have to do a lot of fiddling around and regular maintenance.
This is an emergency.
I know, the advice is meaningless because age is undefeated. The world turns, time moves ever forward, and we get old. If you can manage to avoid the process, though, I recommend you do.
My latest ageing problem is a pulled back muscle that has entirely incapacitated me for one day, and three days later continues to prevent me from walking properly, putting on pants, or picking up things I have dropped. The worst part about said back complaint is how I did it… by walking. Nothing crazy; nothing energetic. I was at work walking between locations. If that doesn’t say “ageing man”, then I don’t know what does.
When I was young this sort of thing didn’t happen to me. But I’m succumbing to ageing. Stupid progress of time. Not happy.
I’m going to give Stage Manager another honest try on iPadOS 17, with “More Space” set as the display resolution.
Some nice moments but this film felt like it ran for 4 hours.
Love this end frame quote from Young Sheldon. If this doesn’t describe Trump I’m not sure what does.
My Dad joke for today:
Q: What do you call an extra vegetable?
I’m here all week, folks!
I preordered an IPhone! This will be the first time I’ve had a Pro designation. My history as best I can remember it is: 3G, 5, 5S, 8, XR, SE, SE2, 13 mini. Soon to be 15 Pro.
Today at work I casually sketched out a swimlane diagram as I listened to a colleague describe a process. Can’t decide if I was a good management consultant for so many years, or I’m just a nerd now.
The Apple event was most underwhelming, even with low expectations. Evidence perhaps the iPhone in current form has reached its zenith. While I’m tired of having a too small for me 13 mini, it’s hard to justify the expense (and the environmental impact) of an upgrade.