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!

Apple Wants to Patent a Keyboard You’re Allowed to Spill Coffee On

In the future, eating and drinking near your computer keyboard might not be such a dangerous game. On March 8, Apple filed a patent application for a keyboard designed to prevent liquids, crumbs, dust, and other “contaminants” from getting inside, Dezeen reports.

Apple has previously filed several patents—including one announced on March 15—surrounding the idea of a keyless keyboard that would work more like a trackpad or a touchscreen, using force-sensitive technology instead of mechanical keys. The new anti-crumb keyboard patent that Apple filed, however, doesn't get into the specifics of how the anti-contamination keyboard would work. It isn’t a patent for a specific product the company is going to debut anytime soon, necessarily, but a patent for a future product the company hopes to develop. So it’s hard to say how this extra-clean keyboard might work—possibly because Apple hasn’t fully figured that out yet. It’s just trying to lay down the legal groundwork for it.

Here’s how the patent describes the techniques the company might use in an anti-contaminant keyboard:

"These mechanisms may include membranes or gaskets that block contaminant ingress, structures such as brushes, wipers, or flaps that block gaps around key caps; funnels, skirts, bands, or other guard structures coupled to key caps that block contaminant ingress into and/or direct containments away from areas under the key caps; bellows that blast contaminants with forced gas out from around the key caps, into cavities in a substrate of the keyboard, and so on; and/or various active or passive mechanisms that drive containments away from the keyboard and/or prevent and/or alleviate containment ingress into and/or through the keyboard."

Thanks to a change in copyright law in 2011, the U.S. now gives ownership of an idea to the person who first files for a patent, not the person with the first working prototype. Apple is especially dogged about applying for patents, filing plenty of patents each year that never amount to much.

Still, they do reveal what the company is focusing on, like foldable phones (the subject of multiple patents in recent years) and even pizza boxes for its corporate cafeteria. Filing a lot of patents allows companies like Apple to claim the rights to intellectual property for technology the company is working on, even when there's no specific invention yet.

As The New York Times explained in 2012, “patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology,” rather than a specific approach. (This allows brands to sue competitors if they come out with something similar, as Apple has done with Samsung, HTC, and other companies over designs the company views as ripping off iPhone technology.)

That means it could be a while before we see a coffee-proof keyboard from Apple, if the company comes out with one at all. But we can dream.

[h/t Dezeen]

Live Smarter
Find Out If Your Passwords Have Been Stolen With This Free Service

In the modern world, data breaches happen with startling regularity. They can happen to giant credit monitoring firms, social networks, or the fast food restaurant down the street. In late 2017, a security research firm found 1.4 billion stolen usernames and passwords floating around unencrypted on the Dark Web, giving even the most unsophisticated hackers a shot at your online accounts. In many cases, you may not realize that your account has been compromised.

As CNET reports, a security tool called Pwned Passwords can help you figure out with a simple search which of your passwords has already been leaked. Created by a regional director at Microsoft named Troy Hunt in August 2017, the free site is designed to make it as easy as possible to check the security of your online accounts. It's as simple as entering your password into the search bar. In February 2018, Hunt updated his original site to include passwords from more major breaches. The database now features half a billion passwords that have been leaked as part of hacks on sites like MySpace, LinkedIn, DropBox, and Gawker. Some are sourced from breaches you may not have even heard of, but which still contained your information.

"Data breaches are rampant and many people don't appreciate the scale or frequency with which they occur," Hunt writes on the site. When he analyzes the user credentials leaked after big hacks like the one on Adobe in 2013, he finds that he will keep seeing "same accounts exposed over and over again, often with the same passwords." And once that password is leaked once, that puts all the other accounts that you use that password for at risk, too.

A screenshot of the site asks 'have i been pwned?' Below, the word 'password' is typed into the search bar.
Pwned Password

So if you're one of those people who uses the same password for multiple accounts—we know, it's hard to remember a different password for every website you ever visit—now would be a good time to see whether that password has ever been part of a data breach. Pwned Password will tell you if your password has been revealed as part of any major data breaches, and which ones. (CNET advises against searching your current passwords, since revealing that info to third parties is never a good idea, but checking old passwords you no longer use is OK.)

I, for one, searched a standard password I've been using for a steady rotation of online accounts since high school, and found out it has been spotted 135 different times as part of data breaches. Oh boy. (Presumably, those might not all be related to my accounts, instead coming from other people out there in the world who base their passwords off tidbits from The Fairly OddParents, but who knows.)

If, like mine, your passwords show up on Pwned Passwords, you should update them as soon as possible. (Here are some good tips on coming up with secure ones. Maybe don't use "password.") This would also be a good time to get yourself a password manager, like LastPass or 1Password.

The latter service actually has a Pwned Password integration so that you can check each of the passwords stored in your 1Password with Pwned Password. If you use LastPass, the service's security checkup can also search for potential data breaches in your roster, but it looks for leaked usernames, not passwords.

[h/t CNET]


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