Thoughts on 2015’s most iconic product design, plus more on the Sept 2020 Apple Event

In These Unusual Times®, I’m flat out grateful to Apple for giving us a product launch event focused on their three most stable — I’m tempted to say basic—product lines: Apple Watch, iPad, and “Services.”

The world outside may be dark and full of terrors, but you can go to bed secure in knowing that Apple Watches look and feel the same as they did last year, that Apple consider them primarily health devices, that there is still a 9–10" iPad with a home button apparently aimed at children.

Photo by Simon Daoudi on Unsplash

Apple’s new “perfect thing”

Have you ever stopped to marvel at how, in a world…

Why and how to change your Git repo’s default branch.

In my book Git for Humans, published in 2016, I made a lot of references to master - naturally, as it's been the default branch name in Git for a long time. Like many people, I simply accepted that master meant "master copy" and didn't look at it too closely.

But now it’s 2020, things are changing, and there are other, better names for our primary Git branches that don’t indirectly invoke slavery.

Una made the practical argument for renaming (to main, which the community seems to have adopted as the new standard):

For me, having a master branch…

Years ago, during one of my first big presentations to execs, my director interrupted my presentation multiple times, and eventually just took over the presentation entirely, grabbing my laptop in front of a room of 20 people.

We’d spent multiple hours preparing for this presentation and I’d flown to SF from NYC to give it. Others who were there confirmed my presentation was going fine and was what we’d prepared. The boss just called an audible and decided the team should speak with one voice-his.

Prior to this, the same director had also made a bunch of edits to my…

There’s a reason we all moved to platforms like Twitter and Medium

From left: me, my blog (Photo: Eric Felton via Flickr)

A project of mine to start a “simple” WordPress blog is now on what feels like its ninth or tenth week of total bikeshedding.

I tweeted about this the other day:

I mean, seriously, think about all that goes into making a personal blog on one’s own domain. You have to sort out hosting, you have to set up a domain and get everything wired up properly, you have to keep your blogging software up to date.

If you’re like me, and you want your site’s design and typography to be unique and perfect, you have to design a…

22 February 2011 was my first day on the Typekit team. 23 February 2018 will be my last one. After seven years, I’m moving on from Adobe to do something new.

I’ve accepted a new job as a product manager at a small company you may have heard of who are doing very interesting thing in the search space, and the advertising space, and also the cloud-based office documents space, the mobile operating systems space, not to mention the hardware, fiber internet, self-driving cars, food delivery, and god-knows-what-other spaces.

That is to say: I have accepted a job at Google. And it may surprise some of you to hear that my (official) new role has nothing to do with fonts!

Google’s NYC office, photographed as I was on my way in for on-site interviews, 21 Sept 2017

I will be working for Google’s Corporate Engineering (or “Corp Eng”)…

Sometimes, someone is wrong on the Internet and, in my self-appointed role as Twitter Batman, I seek justice by countering one wrong link or tweet with several (I would say) right ones. This time, about halfway through my tweetstorm I was like, “dude — this is totally what Medium is for.”

It began, as so many of these things do, with a stupid post by someone involved in SF/SV startup culture:

This is the Medium post in question by Dave Morin, “On Mast Brothers” (via Justin Williams and Buzz Andersen):

It’s reductive to paint all of startup culture with…

Earlier today I played with iPad Pro at the mall (super briefly because I had a bored toddler waiting for me). These are my impressions:

It’s a very big iPad. In that regard, it’s exactly what you’d expect. Not surprisingly, the weight and balance are just right for the size. It feels solidly made and comfortable to hold. It’s the iPad to use for reading and web surfing if you feel really nostalgic for reading an actual broadsheet newspaper every day.

iPad Pro on display at the Apple Store, Short Hills, NJ. Toddler shown for scale.

Most of the display models had Smart Keyboards attached; I didn’t ask whether Smart Keyboards (which are backordered online)…

It’s such a rare pleasure these days to read about a new Apple product in the morning — one which was a total surprise, unspoiled by supply chain leaks or Apple’s rigid iOS product cycle — and carry one out of an Apple Store that afternoon.

The new iMacs announced today are cool and all, but I am all about keyboards and mice. Literally, if I were to die today, and someone came into my attic to learn what I was about, they would see the pile of input devices and conclude I was some kind of professional keyboard tester.

Windows 10 officially shipped two days ago, on 29 July. As I write these words, today is 31 July, and I just got the following email from Microsoft:

When will my free upgrade arrive?

You’ve already reserved, so your free upgrade is on the way. This is the largest software upgrade event ever and we’re managing it so everyone has a great experience.

Your notification to upgrade could come as soon as a few days or in a few weeks.

“When will my upgrade arrive” is the one question this email does not answer. As it says, having “reserved” it…

David Demaree

Web developer, Google PM, coffee drinker, kid wrangler.

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