Minimal Mac: What We Believe In


Patrick Rhone:

Now, I wish to be very clear about what this is. Every single item in this book exists on the site as it stands — right now — for free. I have simply done the hard work for you; which is going through nearly 2000 updates and compiling the best posts, essays, and quotes into a couple of hundred pages. I then had these professionally edited and the cover, layout, and design done to make it an attractive and easy to read book.

Several years ago, Minimal Mac completely redefined my conception of what a technology-centric writing community could be. Holding close to its central conceit, Patrick Rhone had built something truly marvelous for the Mac community. Today, Minimal Mac exists as a lasting example of great writing, holding true to a cause, and sustaining a familiar voice.

Almost three years since its launch, Patrick has now collected some of the best excerpts from his site into an e-book. Available for only $5 in Kindle and ePub formats, Minimal Mac: What We Believe In is a must have for any fan of Patrick’s work. Moreover, it provides a fantastic opportunity to support phenomenal creator.

Minimal Mac: What We Believe In is available for $5 from GumRoad.

Concise, Memorable, and Enjoyable: A Brief Review of Bartending


Editor’s Note: This review was due for publish on Sunday, April 8. My apologies to Stephen for the delay.

Stephen Hackett’s debut novel, Bartending, is not a lengthy or voluminous affair. It is concise, minimal, and wholeheartedly enjoyable — an aesthetic strikingly akin to that of its source material, the Apple Store.

Easily finished in under an hour, Bartending is a happily consumable treatise into the psychological, physical, and emotional environment teeming beneath the famous wood and aluminium-laced experience. Although not revelatory in its nature, Stephen’s anecdotal writing complements his reader’s presumably mature comprehension of the Apple retail world. Accordingly, Bartending facilitates delightful insight into the nature of the Cupertino-based behemoth, all the while foregoing the endlessly dull pitfalls of typical business writing.

Following the untimely death of Steve Jobs, superficial literature spewed onto the marketplace — each author lifelessly discussing the personality, strategy, and nature of Apple as a company. Few dared, however, to contend with the face of the company, the so-called “front line” of Apple’s successes. Moreover, few chose to lend any semblance of personality to their writing — their lengthy books reading as little more than regurgitated facts and figures.

In this void, Stephen introduces Bartending.

Not for a lack of trying, companies around the world have attempted — unsuccessfully — to emulate the vast successes of Apple’s iconic retail chain. Whether it’s the personal service, the general aesthetic, or the overarching sense of personable welcoming, the Apple Store is a unique and (thus far) unparalleled experience for the average customer. And yet, beneath the cleanliness and aluminium lies a path less travelled by the average analyst and writer.

Therein lies the relevance and importance of Bartending.

Although brief, Stephen’s colloquial and conversational tone reminds the reader of the nature and core value system of Apple. In under an hour, you walk away with an endlessly re-readable piece of literature and invaluable insight into the heart of an experience so many have come to sorely embrace.

Digestible, easily revisited, and affable in tone, Bartending is a pleasure to behold.

Tales of infuriating customers, shattered screens, aging Macs, and genuinely odd people serve to underline and emboss the powerful undercurrent of people beneath Apple’s glossy veneer. Insofar as Stephen chips away at Apple’s gleaming exterior and provides a casual peak into the inner-workings of the company, Bartending is fantastically valuable, interesting, and fun. Unimpeded by desires to expand and deliver upon broader analyses into Apple’s supply-chain, manufacturing, or marketing doublespeak, Stephen’s novel provides something unexpectedly youthful, memorable, and open.

Bartending is available for $8.99 (Amazon and E-Junkie ePub) and it supports a valuable writer, a father, and an aspirational novelist. Perhaps this is only Stephen’s first foray into the multi-faceted world of literature but, if his diction, message, and knack for concise expression is any indication, I imagine we have a great deal more to look forward to.

As an aside, Bartending was made available to Stephen’s subscribing members late last week — several days ahead of the book’s formal release. Such is the nature of Stephen’s care for his supporters. You can become a member of 512 Pixels here.

Enough by Patrick Rhone

Enough by Patrick Rhone

Prolific writer, Patrick Rhone, has today released his second book, Enough. Regarding the book's intent, Patrick writes:

What is enough?

Enough is a very personal metric. Like our center of gravity, each of us must find what is enough by swaying from less to more until a comfortable medium is found.

The goal, then, is not to find what is, or will be, enough forever. That is impossible. The goal is to discover the tools and strategies you need to find what is enough for you right now and provide the flexibility to adjust as the conditions change.

The series of essays in this book explore many of the ideas and strategies needed to meet this goal.

In an early review of Enough, Shadoe Huard endorses the strength of Mr. Rhone's writing:

Loaded onto my smartphone (the book is available in both print and digital editions) I would ease my way through each brief essay while waiting for the metro or standing in line at the market. In those little pauses of life Enough provided a respite for the mind and the soul. With its pleasant meditations in your pocket, you can return to them now and again, when you find yourself reaching for the safety of more.

Supporting independent creators of any kind is an important endeavor, and I wholeheartedly urge you to invest in Mr. Rhone's book.

Enough is available here. You can check out Mr. Rhone's other literature here.