Monday, November 5, 2012

A Style Appeal to Computer Designers

Computers have gone through a lot of styles over the years.  Back when they first came out, they were a wall of wires and vacuum tubes.  But over the past 25 years or so, there have been a lot.  And I do mean a lot.  There are styles that make the eyes pop:

(Asus CG8565), (2012 iMac 20"), (Some cool custom case)

Then, there are the ones that are so butt-ugly they make you want to weep that the engineers have no imagination whatsoever, like my Lenovo W510:
(Lenovo W510), (HP G56), (IBM PC)

So what is it that makes things so cool?  So stylish, that you don't just want to own them, you need to own them?  It's true that Apple is not the only company to make such things, but I do think they have tapped into a nerve.

I used to sell the original Mac, and someone brought one into the store one day for service.  The cover had been spray painted with a flecked paint that made it look like it was carved from stone, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever!


There is something just, so, what, simple about minimalism?  The simple elegance of a curved line going into a sculpted edge.  The Apple mobile devices have 5 buttons, including the silent switch.  Basically one main function button, the volume up/down, and power.  Simple rectangular design.

Look at the notebooks.

(MacBook Pro Late 2012 with Retina)

No bulgy lumps (ala Lenovo battery), no sharp corners, things elegantly swept and brushed.

(Lenovo W510 hinge and battery)

Solidly built aluminum unibody.  Hinge almost the width of the screen, not just 2cm wide.

It's form and function.  Elegance and beauty.  Simplicity and utility.

Now I know that people do buy cars like the Kia Soul, VW Thing, and Honda Pilot (no offense, it's a taste thing), but I would much rather have something like the older Town & Country, the 300m, or even the Testarossa (yeah, I went there).
(197-something VW Thing)

So here's an appeal - to computer designers everywhere.  Design with style - cool style, not ugly style.  Design with function - does it do something, or just look bulby?  Design with utility, elegance, simplicity, and yes, minimalism.  Now let's see that Asus again, that is sweet!

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