Part of the MacNN site at www.xicons.com is dedicated to a fine collection of Mac OS X icons. At least I think it’s a fine collection from the previews; since Mac OS X uses a new icon format, and since I am not a Mac OS X user (yet), I have not been able to try them all out on my Mac. But I’m pretty sure someone will find a way to turn them into classic Mac OS icons, or at least into graphic files that all of us can admire.
Unfortunately for all of us, Apple hasn’t been very interested in continuing development on one of the first innovative software tools they put on the market: Hypercard. There have been and still are several Hypercard lookalikes and competitors, and some courageous souls have even tried to create a free open source tool that might replace Hypercard. One of the latest entries into this domain is iBuild by Acrux Software. iBuild uses AppleScript as its scripting language, and that might well offer this tool an excellent starting point for a long career.
First there was FreeDrive; now there is FreeBack. Both sites (and I suppose there are many more like these two) offer you the possibility to stock your files on the Internet, so you can access them from anywhere on the world. FreeDrive uses a more or less pure browserinterface, while FreeBack has created a Java-based client solution. I am not sure whether these companies can already be considered sufficiently secure for your really private files, but it is clear that this model will become rather important in the future – not because you want all your stuff available everywhere you go, but because there are some things that you will want to take with you as you go from one computer to another. But it is quite probable that you will want to combine such functionality with your agenda and at least part of your address book, so sites like Yahoo! might well have a serious advantage.
Are books going the same way as software? At least one book on KDE 2.0 has recently been published under what is called the “Open Publication Licence”. This licence allows the book to be altered and republished, thus making it a lot easier to maintain the content of the book in sync with reality. Some of the licences being used are summed up here. Ben Crowell writes about the subject in the article Do Open-Source Books Work?. A most interesting read, which I recommend to all of you!