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A Decade of Apple Oddities 204

Posted by timothy
from the everything-doer dept.
harrymcc writes "It's been exactly ten years since Steve Jobs stood on a stage at Apple and explained to a surprisingly small group of journalists that his company was going to make a music player and call it iPod. Technologizer's Benj Edwards celebrated the iPod's first decade by rounding up a dozen iPod-related oddities, including the iPod-powered tooth cleaner, an iPod mount for a semi-automatic sniper system, and the classic 1958 Dieter Rams Braun FM radio that may have helped inspire it all."
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A Decade of Apple Oddities

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  • Now You Can iPod While You iPod!
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      For those on a chromium based browser (I'm using dragon but any chromium based will work) I'd suggest a little extension called readability redux [google.com] which turns this irritating as hell "Hey lets spread it over more than a dozen pages to get more adviews!" crapola into a single page, it even lets you set the size so everything is nice and easy to read like a newspaper.

      as for TFA whomever came up with a camera dock so you can work your iPod from across the room? A little too much time on their hands methinks.

      • by RDW (41497)

        as for TFA whomever came up with a camera dock so you can work your iPod from across the room? A little too much time on their hands methinks.

        I think the prize for 'gratuitous use of an iPod when there's more appropriate technology' must go the Ion Torrent DNA sequencer, a $50,000 piece of lab equipment that incorporates a dock for an iPod Touch (which supposedly runs a status monitoring app, though the machine itself has a perfectly good screen for this):

        http://www.slashgear.com/ion-torrent-personal-genome-machine-has-an-ipod-dock-23120950/ [slashgear.com]

        But from a 2011 perspective, maybe the most curious artefact in iPod history is the HP-branded version, whi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 23, 2011 @04:59PM (#37811964)

    Why has there been so much Apple crap here on Slashdot lately? I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a story when Apple does something of a technical nature that's notable, but most of these stories are totally irrelevant and very boring.

    There's nothing special about iPods. They're a digital music player, just like every other digital music player out there. People have modded them for many years now, and many of these same "hacks" were done using portable CD and tape players well before then. None of this is remotely interesting, even to those of us who enjoy such hacks.

    Can we please have some interesting content here for once? Something not having to do with Apple or American politics, perhaps? Maybe something involving science or math in some way, or maybe even engineering?

    • There's nothing special about iPods. They're a digital music player, just like every other digital music player out there

      That's like saying a Ferrari is nothing special. It's a car just like every other car out there.

      Fact is that there are differences and the differences matter greatly. The differences in Apple's products and competing products may not matter to you or me but they do matter. If you don't grasp this then you will never understand why Apple sells so many of them.

      • by t2t10 (1909766) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @06:40PM (#37812620)

        Oh, the Ferrari is special: it's an overpriced, unreliable, impractical car for guys who feel inadequate. Kind of like Apple products.

        • by Lost Race (681080) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @10:28PM (#37813710)

          As a basic transportation appliance for moving a standard family unit with accessories and groceries from point A to point B, the Ferrari sucks ass. The Corolla provides 1000x the value for that purpose.

          For recreational driving, having fun, going fast, showing off, the Ferrari wins. Some people will never appreciate any of those things and struggle to rationalize why anyone would ever waste money on a sports car. Finding nothing in their own psychological inventory, they project feelings and motivations familiar to them, such as issues of "inadequacy", particularly sexual inadequacy. ("He has that fancy car to compensate for his small penis, ha ha!") Such projections reveal at best a lack of experience, perspective, and imagination; at worst a small-minded pettiness brought on by envy that someone else would have the means to waste so much money on such a frivolity.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by syousef (465911)

            As a basic transportation appliance for moving a standard family unit with accessories and groceries from point A to point B, the Ferrari sucks ass. The Corolla provides 1000x the value for that purpose.

            For recreational driving, having fun, going fast, showing off, the Ferrari wins. Some people will never appreciate any of those things and struggle to rationalize why anyone would ever waste money on a sports car. Finding nothing in their own psychological inventory, they project feelings and motivations familiar to them, such as issues of "inadequacy", particularly sexual inadequacy. ("He has that fancy car to compensate for his small penis, ha ha!") Such projections reveal at best a lack of experience, perspective, and imagination; at worst a small-minded pettiness brought on by envy that someone else would have the means to waste so much money on such a frivolity.

            If I want to have "fun" driving, I go and play with dodgem cars or go-karts. I don't spend $100k on a toy car. In any case you can't have the sort of fun driving that you need a Ferrari for without either breaking the law or going to a race track.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by ZigMonty (524212)
              Dodgem cars? Really? I think you pretty much proved his point. If you don't get why some people like fast cars, fine. I'm not sure why the superior attitude is necessary. And hint: there's more to enjoying a sports car than the speed. It's the acceleration that counts.
    • There's nothing special about iPods. They're a digital music player, just like every other digital music player out there. People have modded them for many years now, and many of these same "hacks" were done using portable CD and tape players well before then. None of this is remotely interesting, even to those of us who enjoy such hacks.

      Unless you take off your anti-apple blinders for a minute and realize that the ipod changed the digital landscape. To say that they're a digital music player is backwards: the rest of the world would say digital music players are bad ipods.

      Like them or hate them, apple and the ipod revolutionized the tech world.

      • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @06:31PM (#37812562)

        To say that they're a digital music player is backwards: the rest of the world would say digital music players are bad ipods

        I owned a Diamond Rio & Creative Nomad, 2 years before the iPod was ever sold. I enjoyed them more than the first iPod, and I still would take the music management software that I had to use for them over any version of iTunes.

        I say this as a iPhone owner. I don't hate Apple, but I hate the incorrect praise they get for inventing things they did not invent.

        • He didn't say they were the first pocket DMP. He's saying that people judge DMPs by the iPod. Much in the same way that handheld tablet devices are judged by the iPad, and smartphones are judged by the iPhone.

          This is, for better or worse, very hard to argue. Again, none of these were at all first. But let's think about what came before:

          - The iPod. Previous devices were bulky, slow, complex - well, Nomads. Existing DMPs had slow transfer rates and were complicated. I don't know a single non-nerd who had one. How have DMPs looked since the iPod's release?

          - The iPhone. Previous devices were bulky, slow, complex - well, WinPhones. They worked, but they sucked. Existing smartphones were really set up for mice, and I don't know a single non-business user who had one. How have smartphones looked since the iPhone's release?

          - The iPad. Previous devices were bulky, slow, complex - well, Tablet PCs. They worked, but they sucked. Existing tablets were just Windows laptops with a stylus and perhaps a note-taking program and handwriting recognition. I don't know a single non-nerd non-business person who had one. How have tablets looked since the iPad's release?

          I could say the same thing about the Macintosh and the LaserWriter. Nobody who has anything interesting to say has ever said that Apple did any of this first, but they might as well have since nobody had one before Apple came along and made them viable products. And they've been imitated on each one, to the point where you can't find a "classic" Tablet PC anywhere, or a "classic" WinMo smartphone, or a "classic" Nomad-esque device.

          And this is why Apple kicks everyone's ass. I know I've been wrong on every front - the iPhone (2G only?? No apps?) and the iPad (I already have a laptop and a phone) were huge successes despite my conviction that it was impossible. Apparently, most of these other companies are filled with people like me - and not the people who buy millions of these things because they fill a need.

          • Well done, I think you've explained it perfectly. I owned several WinMo phones before the iPhone, and I also couldn't get what the big deal was: "Music on my phone? Been doing that for years! Besides, that stupid thing can't multi-task like my phone".

            As you say, though, no one else got it until Apple did it. That is precisely what Steve Jobs & others at Apple should get credit for. Not as inventors, but as translators of technology to the masses.

          • Correct on all counts but the Tablet PC. Those were never meant for the consumer market, but rather education and business... and there's still no "app for that", what with suitable ARM hardware and software combos still completely absent from the market. The HTC Flyer and Thinkpad Tablet are a step in the right direction with their N-Trig pens, but have a ton of catching up to do. I don't think we'll see a worthwhile contendor until Windows 8 tablets with digitizer pens and a ported version of MS OneNote a

          • iPod - was not the first mp3 player - Poor battery life, fiddly, breaks easily - My Creative touch has an equally simple interface and has outlasted many friends iPods

            iPhone - was not the first smartphone, or touchscreen smartphone, or multitouch smartphone, Is fragile, and a "walled garden"

            iPad - Was not the first Tablet PC - Never wanted one, have no use for one - A gadget looking for a purpose, all the faults or a laptop, combined with all the faults of a smartphone ...

            Apple are good at marketing, the

          • by RogerWilco (99615)

            I think it's the difference between invention and innovation.

            What Apple under Steve Jobs excelled at, was to get brilliant engineers make an appliance instead of just a piece of technology, sometimes of their own invention, often by combining existing inventions in a new way.

            The other thing is a complete believe in your own ideas and willing to bet big on them in advertising and production.

        • I say this as a iPhone owner. I don't hate Apple, but I hate the incorrect praise they get for inventing things they did not invent.

          Nobody with a clue is saying Apple invented the digital music player. Even Apple never claimed to be first. Apple created their own because the ones that were on the market pretty much sucked and they saw an opportunity. And they were right, the competition did pretty much suck.

          What Apple did bring to the party in the case of the iPod was a complete system. There were devices that were good and there was software that was acceptable but NOBODY made a good version of both and made them work together. Fu

          • by vaporland (713337)

            I think the other thing they brought to tech was a non-tech perspective.

            Apple starts with the perceived optimal user experience and works backwards to apply technology.

            HP, Dell, et al start with a feature list which defines the user experience by default.

            This approach worked well when tech was (mostly) the realm of technologists.

            Apple was ahead of its time, which cost it dearly in marketshare.

            Now the world has caught up to Apple (so to speak) which is how they have achieved 30+% growth selling relatively ex

        • You seriously would take manual music management over more automation? The Rio held at most 12 songs at a time. Unless you like hearing the same 12 songs over and over you had to switch out music manually. For me that might be multiple times a day. A song list for work, then a separate one for workouts, and then another for relaxing and reading. Having to do that manually sucked.

        • I had a Rio and a Nomad as well. To be honest, I don't know why you'd remember either fondly. The Rio had a whopping 64 megabytes of storage and upgrades were sillingly expensive. You could put a whopping one whole CD on it. That device actually got me to see if I could learn to love 64kbit mp3's. The Nomad was much bigger in terms of storage... and it was the size of a CD player.

          Speaking as an owner of both products, the iPod (+iTunes) was a BFD. I know Apple fanboys are obnoxious, but let's not comba

        • by EricWright (16803)

          No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

          That never gets old.

      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        They revolutionized nothing. This isn't a apple hate speach but the ipod sent the digital music player market backwards and stagnated the market. It had less features, less storage and worse sound quality while being more expensive than the at the time market leaders in the digital music player industry. However they appealed to the trendy mass market crowd and basically sent all the competitors products to the wall, this wasn't all apples fault of course, much can be put at the feet of the craptastic job t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by msobkow (48369)

      I agree whole heartedly. Slashdot needs to stop shilling Apple.

    • by antdude (79039)

      So uncheck Apple filter. :P

    • Why has there been so much Apple crap here on Slashdot lately?

      Are you joking? Seriously? A news site for nerds with a typical focus on the tech industry and you're surprised Apple gets a lot of play? Really?

      Are you upset Android/Google gets a lot of play as well? Or is this just a one-sided, idiotic complaint about Apple?

      Seriously, complaining about the quantity of Apple stories on Slashdot is just daft.

    • by syousef (465911) on Monday October 24, 2011 @01:07AM (#37814312) Journal

      Why has there been so much Apple crap here on Slashdot lately? I

      Steve Jobs just died. In order to become a saint he must go through a process of beautification. Basically Apple zealots have to stand around and discuss how he invented EVERYTHING from air to slice bread and how it is only through the miracle of his genius that we all basically are allowed to live. Anything positive he had anything to do with must be exaggerated. Anything negative must be minimized or excused.

      Meanwhile a true gentleman and pioneer of modern computing like Ritchie dies and no one outside of nerddom even know who he is. Welcome to a world dominated by idiots and fame based on monkey sociology. Yes even nerds can be idiots.

      • by RogerWilco (99615)

        I think one of the things that make Steve Jobs special, is his rock star status. The only other nerd/geek type person who achieved that I can think of is Einstein.

        Even Bill Gates never really got out of the Nerd-corner.

        There are many great pioneers of modern science and technology, but very few of the general public could name them.

        I think a lot of the hatred is because a lot of people here are very socially awkward themselves, but secretly are jealous about someone with a tech backgroud escaping the nerd-c

    • Why did you post your crap reply to this thread? I'm not saying that you don't have the right to an opinion on anything posted on slashdot, but your replies are totally irrelevant and boring.

      There's nothing special about your reply. It's a dumb comment, just like every other comment out there on slashdot. People have modded you up, and many of these "hacks" like you have nothing remotely interesting to say, even to us on slashdot who enjoy such "hacks" from time to time.

      Can we please have some interestin

  • Fuck apple. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by migla (1099771) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @05:03PM (#37811992)

    I understand that being in the eyeball-grabbing game, a site must post an avalanche of apple related stories especially around new or upcoming marketing drives, so I'll just state that I wish it wasn't so, that the site wasn't in the eyeball-grabbing game, but in the game of building a quality community. And I'll just leave a friendly reminder:

    Take heed! Apple is evil. They are out to lock you in and to destroy your freedom.

    • Take heed! Apple is evil. They are out to lock you in and to destroy your freedom.

      Um, no. They want to sell you things. I'm not sure why the nerd rage. People buy Apple products willingly. And Slashdot isn't posting Apple stories simply because they have to play the game and go for page views. Apple stores are actually news for nerds.

      • by migla (1099771)

        Actually I agree that they are not evil. I don't believe in evil. I believe acts can be good or bad. Vendor lock-in and destruction of freedom are bad things. Apple is just a legal entity for maximizing profit. It's the whole god damn system that is out of order.

        People shouldn't give money to entities (albeit non-living and amoral) that do bad things like destroying freedom.

        • Are Apple ninjas forcing you to buy Apple hardware?

          If yes, you're a loony.

          If no, WTF are you complaining about?

          If you don't want an iPod, buy a Zune.

          Oh, wait...

          Right.

      • Re:Fuck apple. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MrHanky (141717) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @07:24PM (#37812830) Homepage Journal

        Sure they want to "sell" you things. That's why, when you already bought one of their products, they make sure you need to buy a new one now and then, through forced obsolescence. You think Siri is nifty? It's only a software update, and would work perfectly on your iPhone4 if Apple didn't want your money so bad. When you buy from Apple, you buy an expensive subscription to new hardware.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532)

      avalanche of apple related stories

      What avalanche? A whopping two out of the last 20 stories have been about Apple--and one of them was really about an Android app mimicking an iPhone feature. The company that Slashdot posts most about is Google.

      Since Android came out, Slashdot has become a ridiculously over-the-top haven for emotional Apple-haters. This place has really jumped the shark.

    • So's Stallman, whats your point? Anyone who tries to tell you that the only way you can be "free" is by doing or not doing X is trying to restrict your freedom. So fuck off tyrant.
  • by newcastlejon (1483695) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @05:05PM (#37812000)
    For myself, I could do without a constant stream of articles listing things he may or mat not have designed personally. If Apple release something new and interesting then by all means post it, but I think everyone here knows what an iPod is.
  • 10 years?! (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Mabbo (1337229)
    This is worse than realizing that the matrix came out in 1999.
  • I just cannot imagine the amount of garbage which that iPod docking connector has caused.

    And every time I walk into an electronics store, I'm thinking: what a waste.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 23, 2011 @05:26PM (#37812144)

    It's been exactly ten years since Steve Jobs stood on a stage at Apple and explained to a surprisingly small group of journalists that his company was going to make a music player and call it iPod.

    In 'B' school (yeah yeah, heard it all before) we had a Harvard test case about the PC industry which included Apple Computer, Inc. To make a long and boring story short, the test case basically left Apple for dead saying it had no chance competing in the PC industry because of the slim margins (they all do), small market share, etc ....I mentioned that Apple has other things going on and they'll keep kicking. The prof kicked in "as a computer maker, No.They should liquidate" But before I could finish my point - pointing out the iPod and the change in direction of the company - some fangirl kicked in about the wonders of Macs and blah blah blah blah ....

    I was trying to make a point that Apple was no longer a PC Computer maker and they were a personal device maker. And Apple Computer eventually changed their name to Apple, Inc.to reflect that change in direction.;

    I learned two things in my MBA cap class: I just wasted 2+ years on a shit degree. Apple fans can be such conformists.

    • I was trying to make a point that Apple was no longer a PC Computer maker and they were a personal device maker. And Apple Computer eventually changed their name to Apple, Inc.to reflect that change in direction.;

      While I think you're right, the iPod's success made it central to Apple financially and as a brand, you have to keep in mind that Apple always was, as you put it, a "personal device maker". Apple has always been about selling consumer gadgets, and viewed computing from that perspective. Jobs very, very consciously tried to emulate Sony [cultofmac.com]. Take another look at the iMacs, the NeXT cube, or the Newton with this in mind...Jobs was applying the Walkman/Discman/VCR mindset to the personal computer.

      Now, when you

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @06:11PM (#37812446) Homepage
    Seriously 13 slides and zero good content even on the first page. I'm not clicking through that shit.
    • by Nyder (754090)

      Seriously 13 slides and zero good content even on the first page. I'm not clicking through that shit.

      This is why most of us don't bother reading the articles...

      Just saying.

  • TL/DS (too long, didn't slideshow).

  • I wonder when all these Apple stories "remembering the good ol' days" will finally stop getting flooded into every major news site.

    • The news outlets will continue to the Apple news cycle until the election next year. After all, there isn't anything interesting going on in the world... It's not like we aren't at war or anything.... Hey wait....

  • What frosts me is that every flippin' clock radio out there that has external input ("Aux") for connecting an MP3 player or phone also has a nice big iPod dock either on the front or on the top. I don't want a useless-to-me chunk of exposed connectors on the most obvious part of my equipment, particularly when it means that they've made the display smaller and less visible so it's not blocked by the piece of Apple equipment that I would never purchase. I want a radio with decent speakers, a display that I c
    • If you don't mind buying from the other of Slashdot's Great Satans, Sony ICFC707 Clock Radio has an aux input, large time display and no Apple dock. I don't know about great speakers though.

    • Why is everything iPod compatible? Because basically everyone owns an iPod. And because there are so many iPod owners out there, people build devices compatible with the iPod because that's a really good way to make money. It doesn't take much to realise that it's profitable to produce products for a large market that's already proven that it has disposable income to spare.

      The iPod still owns something like 3/4 of the portable MP3 player market and has sold millions and millions of units. Surely you can see

  • SoundJam MP. [skitch.com]

    SoundJam MP was, perhaps, the first genuinely useful MP3 application for the Macintosh. One could easily rip CDs to MP3, mix songs as one wished in playlists, and then burn them to CD.

    Rip. Mix. Burn. Where have we heard that before?

    It even had support built in for the few MP3 players of the time.

    Review of an early incarnation of SoundJam. [macworld.com]

    Review of the final revision. [atpm.com]

    And, the ObWiki entry [wikipedia.org].

    MacLife history of iTunes [maclife.com].

    Without SoundJam MP. there would likely have been no iTunes, as Apple bou

  • "Page" 10 of this article is slightly NSFW, just in case you work for rather conservative overlords.
  • I can think of at least three Apple products that were Lemons (or Edsels) as far as sales went.
    1: The Apple III computer.
    2: The Lisa computer (though this was the prototype for the Mac that WAS well received ... eventually)
    3:: The Newton PDA (perhaps it was just ahead of it's time)

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