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31 December 1998
"Adding people to a software project increases the total effort necessary in three ways: the work and disruption of repartitioning itself, training the new people, and added intercommunication."
-- from Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.'s The Mythical Man-Month

Aw, man: Kitchen Sink Press is closing its doors [as reported in Comics Buyer's Guide #1312]. Founded in 1969 by Denis Kitchen, they had a reputation for publishing really high-quality comics - many by Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and Robert Crumb, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, and much much more. They also had a high-quality series of books reprinting classic newspaper strips such as Flash Gordon and Li'l Abner. Admittedly, there wasn't much of their output that I myself bought (though I did recently pick up the collected hardcover of Dave McKean's graphic novel Cages - recommended!). But they were still a good publisher of great material, and I'm sorry to see them go.
A really, really geeky User Friendly:
Platform Partisan here, reporting from the year-end summary desk. From the platform market-share leader, 1998 saw the introduction of Windows 4.3 (oops, I mean 98) and ... not much else. Conspicuously absent from store shelves is Windows NT 5.0 (oops, I mean Windows 2000), a product so late it won Wired's Vaporware of the Year award by a landslide:
  • Vaporware 1998: Windows NT wins [Wired]
    Microsoft Windows NT 5.0, also known as Windows 2000, is, by popular consensus, the year's biggest broken promise. In an age when software cycles are as short as four months, Windows 2000 has been in the works since 1996, when the product was code-named Cairo. It isn't expected to hit shelves until late 1999. ...more than 2000 people are working on the project. [maybe that's where the name came from? - seb]
In The Mythical Man-Month, Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. makes an extensive and persuasive argument that beyond a certain point, the more people you add to a programming project, the longer it will take...
From the other side of the aisle, 1998 saw a new line of PowerBooks, the iMac, two OS releases and four consecutive quarters of profitability:
  • The 1998 Year In Review, Winner #1 -- Apple [Motley Fool]
    What a difference a year makes. In 1998, Apple's stock price has tripled thanks to a dramatic turnaround that Jobs has produced through a series of material and spiritual transformations. appreciate the turnaround, you must look at how thoroughly Apple's FY98 results thrashed the analysts' estimates as well as the dismal FY97 numbers. [chart] Perhaps the most dramatic stat is Apple's shrinking inventories, which suggest it's finally got its operations cooking. The company finished Q4 with six days of inventory, less than the eight days worth reported by industry leader Dell.
Furthermore, at next week's MacWorld Expo, Apple's expected to make a number of dramatic announcements regarding new hardware, Rhapsody (oops, I mean Mac OS X), and more, including possibly (according to Mac OS Rumors) a strategic alliance with the makers of the PalmPilot...
And let's not forget Linux, the new major player in the OS market. Linux intrigues me but I have yet to really explore it. I expect to try it on my (by then) old PowerMac 7500 sometime in the summer or so.
That's it for today. I'm taking the next few days off from posting updates. Of course, a number of things came up in the past few days to keep me from continuing to work on the site design...oh well. Have a good New Year's, and see you next week/year!
Previous entry: 29 December 1998 Next entry: 5 January 1999
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