Glacial Erratics

Apple Amplifier

May 03, 2005

Meet Automator by Matt Neuburg at TidBITS opens with:    (PK4)

The history of the Mac is paved with Apple's attempts to enable ordinary users to tap the programmable power of their own computers.    (PK5)

They've done this by giving users more granular access to the operations of the tools and applications on the system. Applescript and Automator let people manipulate and assemble simple data and actions in ways that create complex systems.    (PK6)

It's like lego. If you have lots of little pieces of lego you can build all kinds of fancy things that are less limited than what you can build with the bigger blocks of Duplo.    (PK7)

This is the argument that's often been used to explain the superiority of Un*x over Windows; the lack of flexibility and real assistance provided by wizards and Clippy; the value of nanotechnology; and, near and dear, the importance of purple numbers and similar systems.    (PK8)

Apple's use of this model may explain why I've never felt particularly insulted by the company. Granting people usable handles to actions and information is a generous and trusting gesture that hopes and assumes the receiving end is a creative and intelligent person that wants to use their tools in a less dumb fashion. There's extra power here if you want it. Headroom.    (PK9)