YouTube / Adobe Photoshop
YouTube / Adobe Photoshop

The Photoshop Version 1 Demo

YouTube / Adobe Photoshop
YouTube / Adobe Photoshop

The very first version of Photoshop shipped in late 1988, bundled with slide scanners. The image editing tool was designed to let home computer users retouch photographs—something that had previously required serious hardware to do (whether that was massive computer hardware or a darkroom, either way was rough). This super-early version only shipped a few hundred copies bundled with scanners, and Adobe waited until February 19, 1990 to release a standalone version of the app. It ran only on the Mac, but it was amazing.

Adobe is celebrating "25 years of Photoshop" now, though I think they should have started partying with us two years ago. Anyway, technicalities.

So in the video below we have a historical gem: John Knoll, one of the two brothers who created Photoshop, gives a demo of the software. This is not an old video—he's redoing the demo he did decades ago—but it's a fascinating look at what the state of the art was in Photoshop version 1.0.7.

Some things to watch for, if you're a geek:

1. Knoll appears to be using a Macintosh Quadra 800 series computer, which was released in 1993. For comparison, the Mac models released in 1990 included the Mac Classic, IIfx, and LC. I presume the IIfx would have been the fastest available machine to run Photoshop when it was released, but for the demo's sake, something slightly more modern is close enough.

2. Knoll is using an Apple Pro Keyboard (and mouse), which is a USB model introduced in the year 2000. Some minor wizardry has been employed to connect these modern input devices to a computer from the early 1990s (that, of course, lacked USB because it hadn't been invented yet).

3. When we first see the Mac's screen, earlier versions of PhotoShop are visible in the upper left. These are pre-release versions prior to version 1.0. You can also see plenty of versions of "ImagePro," which was the name of the application before release. I wonder what those even older versions are like.

4. Notice how grainy the photo looks on the computer. Knoll notes that it's a "24-bit image on an 8-bit display," meaning that the image file has full color fidelity, but the computer hardware could only show 256 colors at once. This makes the image look like a GIF (which also is limited to 256 colors, being an old file format).

5. Check out how slow it is, and how the "wristwatch" cursor is shown instead of the ultra-modern "spinning pizza of death" seen on Mac OS X while the system is working. It's also interesting to see the black-and-white menus and dialog boxes. Those were the days.

I use Photoshop every day. It's vastly faster, smarter, and more capable—but it's clearly still the same basic application. Here's to 25 more years!

Arthur Shi, iFixit // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
The New MacBook Has a Crumb-Resistant Keyboard
Arthur Shi, iFixit // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Arthur Shi, iFixit // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Soon, you won’t have to worry about ruining your Macbook’s keyboard with muffin crumbs. The 2018 MacBook Pro will feature keys specifically designed to withstand the dust and debris that are bound to get underneath them, according to Digital Trends. The keyboard will also be quieter than previous versions, the company promises.

The latter feature is actually the reasoning Apple gives for the new design, which features a thin piece of silicon stretching across where the keycaps attach to the laptop, but internal documents initially obtained by MacRumors show that the membrane is designed to keep debris from getting into the butterfly switch design that secures the keycaps.

Introduced in 2015, Apple’s butterfly keys—a change from the traditional scissor-style mechanism that the company’s previous keyboards used—allow the MacBook keyboards to be much thinner, but are notoriously delicate. They can easily become inoperable if they’re exposed to dirt and debris, as any laptop is bound to be, and are known for becoming permanently jammed. In fact, the company has been hit with multiple lawsuits alleging that it has known about the persistent problem for years but continued using the design. As a result, Apple now offers free keyboard replacements and repairs for those laptop models.

This new keyboard design (you can see how it works in iFixit's very thorough teardown), however, doesn’t appear to be the liquid-proof keyboard Apple patented in early 2018. So while your new laptop might be safe to eat around, you still have to worry about the inevitable coffee spills.

[h/t Digital Trends]

Finally! Windows Notepad Is Getting an Update for the First Time in Years

While some of Window's core programs have evolved dramatically over the years, or disappeared all together, Notepad has remained pretty basic. But as The Verge reports, the text-editing app is about to get a little fancier: Microsoft is updating it for the first time in years.

Since it debuted in 1985, Notepad has become a popular platform for writing out code. One common complaint from programmers working in non-Windows coding language is that Notepad doesn't format line breaks properly, resulting in jumbled, messy text. Now, both Unix/Linux line endings (LF) and Macintosh line endings (CR) are supported in Notepad, making it even more accessible to developers.

For the first time, users can zoom text by holding ctrl and scrolling the mouse wheel. They can also delete the last word in their document by pressing ctrl+backspace. On top of all that, the new update comes with a wrap-around find-and-replace feature, a default status bar with line and column numbers, and improved performance when handling large files.

The arrow keys will be easier to navigate as well. You can now use the arrow keys to deselect text before moving the cursor. And if you ever want to look up a word online, Microsoft will allow you to connect directly to Bing through the app.

The new Notepad update will be made available first to Windows Insiders through Windows 10 Insider Preview, then to everyone on the forthcoming update, codenamed Redstone 5, likely later this year.

[h/t The Verge]


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