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    The Weekly

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    All archives

    November 18, 2021

    Notifications in the OS of the future

    October 28, 2021

    Actions and automations in the OS of the future

    October 12, 2021

    Web browsing in the OS of the future

    October 3, 2021

    How can the OS of the future be a better companion in our day?

    September 26, 2021

    Dates in the OS of the future

    September 19, 2021

    Why does personal computing matter?

    September 12, 2021

    Bringing these concepts to life

    September 5, 2021

    How can the OS of the future tailor itself to you?

    August 28, 2021

    Constructing the OS of the future

    August 21, 2021

    Let’s explore The Graph OS

    August 14, 2021

    Charting a new course for my products

    August 7, 2021

    The need for art

    July 31, 2021

    As a kid, I found two things that were pure magic to me

    June 26, 2021

    Why is our thinking on computers so restrained?

    June 6, 2021

    Everything I’ve learned about my OS so far

    May 2, 2021

    How will we organize our things in the OS of the future?

    April 10, 2021

    General purpose personal computing software?

    April 6, 2021

    What if users could build their own OS? Part 2

    March 20, 2021

    What if users could build their own OS?

    February 27, 2021

    Email & Slack & SMS, Oh My!

    February 22, 2021

    Beyond the GUI

    February 17, 2021

    No more compromises

    February 6, 2021

    How the OS of the future might really help us out

    January 31, 2021

    Navigation in the OS of the future

    January 24, 2021

    The Inverted OS, Part 2

    January 16, 2021

    The Inverted OS

    January 10, 2021

    What if you could build apps in minutes?

    January 2, 2021

    Let’s start at the beginning

    December 26, 2020

    The future of the operating system

    July 31, 2021

    As a kid, I found two things that were pure magic to me

    As a kid, I found two things that were pure magic to me: computers and music.

    They held so much potential for expression and ideas, and so much potential for making life great.

    Music never disappoints.

    But computers do.

    Computers simultaneously mesmerize and disappoint me. I think this is why computer science is ultimately the field I went into. Lots of things fascinate me, and lots of things disappoint me. But it’s computers that do both. They harbor so much potential, yet so often they fulfill very little of it.

    My work in software has always been borne out of this gap: How can software improve people’s daily lives? What concepts might open up our thinking and elevate what we’re capable of producing? Who should be in charge of the future of personal computing, and how should they be charged with its direction?

    Keep reading in How I approach my core work, recently updated with a few new sections.


    Today our thinking on user interfaces is severely constrained: “This text box is here. I can only change what’s inside it.” In five years’ time, we should think of changing any data or view as “changing my stuff” — effectively the same class of action; making your software reflect your thinking, just the way you want. Today, we don’t feel like these are personal computers. “The text box is there. That is up to someone else. They might change it in an update. That isn’t up to me, the user.”

    So often, we want to redo our office, remodel our kitchen, reconfigure our workspace, or refurbish our RV. Our minds naturally consider how our environments could be improved to better our experience and effectiveness within them. Yet we don’t do this with our software — for the most part, we can’t. We spend an enormous amount of our lives on our personal computing devices, and yet today, we do not have the freedom to redesign, remix, remodel, or reconfigure our digital workspaces.

    All of us have vastly different kinds of work to do in our lives, yet we all have the same workshop from which to do it all.

    Excerpted from The Potential Merits of an Itemized OS, an article I published on my work in operating systems thus far.


    Two other updates:

    I’m starting a discussion forum soon for the community to discuss various ideas related to the future of personal computing, such as the ones that I often send in this newsletter.

    If this is something you’re interested in, let me know so I can put you on the list for access.

    Second, I’ve finally published an RSS feed for this weekly newsletter. If you use an RSS reader, you can subscribe with this URL: https://alexanderobenauer.com/assets/feed/rss.xml


    I hope all is well in your part of the globe this weekend.

    — Alexander


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