4 minutes estimated reading time
Springboard a documentary on Handspring
Handspring was a key part of my first agency job. It was the dot com era, Jeff Hawkins, Donna Dubinsky, and Ed Colligan had founded Palm Inc. and left after it was sold to 3Com. They then went on to make modular PDAs with the Handspring Visor – which tapped into the clear plastic designs pioneered by Apple’s iMac. And then they built the PDA with smartphone capability called Treo. 3Com had made a Palm device in 1999 that used the Mobitex mobile data network, which was more analogous to a two way pager with a limited walled garden of content a la vintage AOL. Palm’s version of the Palm PDA has a common connector that could be used to connect external peripherals, such as the OmniSky sled which converted your PDA into an internet connected smartphone.
But it was Handspring who had the ‘heat’ and the wherewithal to provide a neat connectivity slot for its peripherals to sit in, providing a neater experience. Springboard is a documentary about Handspring
Of course, the outcome of PDA based smartphones isn’t all sweetness and light as Scott Galloway shows with our modern mobile device usage.
Ars Technical are doing some great oral histories of games creation. This one on Myst is very close to my heart. What’s particularly interesting is how the game was developed at a moment in time with the transition to CD ROM media. This resulted in a huge leap forward in what the technology was capable of doing, comparable to the early web in terms of creative disruption. It also made me really, really miss HyperCard.
Jimmy Wang Yu
Taiwanese martial artist, actor and gangster Jimmy Wang Yu carved the way for Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee in Hong Kong cinema. This documentary on him is first rate.
Interesting CNBC documentary on the hegemonic position of Microsoft Windows in personal computers.
Audi S1 Hoonitron and vehicles of Cyberpunk 2077
Ken Block’s collaboration with Audi has produced some interesting material. Growing up in the 1980s, group B rallying held a fascination for me, so that’s what got me interested in the Block / Audi collaboration at first. But what’s interesting about Block’s prototype electric Audi Quattro S1 is the speed at which Audi is able to put together a prototype working car with modern technologies. All of which implies ever more opportunities for automotive customisation for customers and the potential for additive manufacturing at the luxury end of the market. Hoonitron does sound like a late 1970s Taiwanese or Korean copy of a Sony television set.
While we’re on about car design, there is also this great video on the vehicles in Cyberpunk 2077. 14 out of 10 for pure style.
Tudor Pelagos FXD
Tudor have been on point in their marketing. Their new version of the Pelagos has some lovely design cues, even if its modern day association with the French navy is marketing fluff. PELAGOS FXD – more from the Tudor press room.
A graduation project by an art student from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing did an experiment that has sparked a debate about class, inequality and the massive wealth gap in modern China. In the video you see her attempt to live 21 days for free in Beijing. She disguised herself as a socialite and slept in the halls of extravagant hotels and enjoyed free food and drinks. What surprised me is that the work hasn’t been suppressed and that she hadn’t been arrested. It also shows how Xi Jingping’s concept of common prosperity is designed to tap into a deep tension in society at the moment.
Paper and glue
MSNBC put together an amazing documentary on French street artist JR who does giant photo collages as street art. Here’s the trailer.
Hong Kong Christmas
Hong Kong’s relationship with Christmas is a complicated one. A substantial minority of Hong Kongers are practicing Christians. Until the opening up of China in the late 1970s, Hong Kong was a substantial supplier of toys, Christmas decorations and lights. And then there is the multinational community living alongside Hong Kongers, which brings the western commercialism of Christmas. For many Christmas is a ‘pre-lunar new year celebration, both are big on the colour red and the decorations for one used to bleed into the other in public spaces. So I thought the joy of this Christmas street market might appeal to readers here.