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Copy From iPod - Mini App


I packaged the previous post into an app. All you have to do is select your iPod folder and iPod Copy will copy it all to a folder on your desktop.

Heres the link:

iPod Copy

It's a pretty trivial Automator script, but it got me thinking about interaction. In the previous post there was about 10 lines of navigation/folder creation and one payoff line. To my friend that had never used a terminal the 10 lines were mystic voodoo, but they are really basic stuff if you've used the command line at all. And then I thought, "Whatever happened to Midnight Commander?"

Midnight Commander To The iPad

Midnight Commander enabled you to navigate visually in side-by-side views and run commands of your own or from a dropdown menu. All that painful navigation cured, but the command line was still one keystroke away. The problem was, as soon as we had visual interaction there was no going back. The average user cannot shift modes between the padded walls and unlimited undo of GUI's to the underground streetfighting of CLI's.

The announcement of the iPad is one more step into the walled garden of safe and fun computing for the masses, but it worries me that the average user knows less and less about how the technology actually functions. Even developers are becoming much more insulated from the workings of the machine. Like the Galactic Empire in Asimov's Foundation series, if we don't have knowledgable people working at every level our systems will grow unmanageable and unmaintainable.