> There are tools which serve their users so well that it could be reasonable to feel regret when they break.

— from _Lieutenant Leary, Commanding_ by David Drake (Chapter 33).

The novel is the [second in a series][rcn] he wrote, or perhaps is still writing, that are science fiction versions of Patrick O’Brien’s [Aubrey-Maturin novels][am]. I am now reading the third one and they are a nice mix of action and character-driven narration. I have enjoyed Drake’s work previously in the Honor Harrington books, which were, he notes, science fiction adaptations of the Horatio Hornblower novels.

[rcn]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCN_Series
[am]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey–Maturin_series

Better Tools Feel Better

Brett Victor has a lovely, long, and fully illustrated post that he is calling a rant against “Pictures Under Glass.” Those pictures under glass are, of course, the emergent “touch-based” paradigm of the iOS devices and the various copies of it. Victor argues that these devices are not as “touchy” as we imagine and their impoverished version of touch means we haven’t fully explored what it is tools do and how it is we humans interact with them. His illustrated exploration of a hammer is fantastic.