Early Copy Protection

If you enjoyed Neal Stephenson’s geek-historical-fiction Quicksilver and haven’t discovered David Bodanis Passionate Minds, then run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookseller or library. This real-life account of the turbulent relationship between two premier minds of the Enlightenment is not to be missed. images c/o Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons The author gives an account of … Read more


We have been experimenting with 3-D imaging, after viewing the rather impressive wiggle stereoscopy at cursivebuildings. The wiggle viewing method uses an animated GIF to alternate between left and right images, easy to view in a web browser with no additional hardware. Here is an example from Wikipedia Commons: We use a single camera on … Read more


Happy tenth birthday to Windows 98 (codename Memphis), released June 25, 1998. Even now we still hear from Win98 users, running current or previous versions of our products. (We don’t officially support this OS anymore, but if it still works for you, then great!)

More Adventures in Product Development

The new-ness of a project is a few months past, and you are slogging through the minute details of a graphical user interface, while tracking down an obscure bug that causes random crashes every few hours, on top of struggling with a recalcitrant operating system API. Suddenly you are struck with an AHA! moment and … Read more

Adventures in Product Development

With eight current software titles, thirteen years in business, plus several additional programs OEMed by other companies at one time or other, we thought it might be fun to talk about failed products. At Sagebrush, every project kick-off starts with a new notebook. The bookcase behind me has a shelf of notebooks with zero net … Read more

Tech Support 3

The New York Times’ tech guru David Pogue [link no longer found] tells of actual tech support calls on a “Best Of” CD compilation. Caller: Hey, can you help me? My computer has locked up, and no matter how many times I type eleven, it won’t unfreeze. Agent: What do you mean, “type eleven?” Caller: … Read more

Anniversary of Betamax Decision

January 17, 1984 the US Supreme Court decided the case of Sony Corporation of America et al. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., et al., reaffirming that home use recording is considered fair use, and manufacturers were not liable for contributory infringement. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqxqYiptNe0]

Power to the Programmers

How much energy is Sagebrush consuming? We did an energy audit of one developer workstation, to get a general idea of how much electricity is used and look for ways to reduce energy use and carbon footprint. The P4400 Kill-A-Watt meter is inexpensive and easy to use for measuring power (and volts, current, total energy, … Read more