Today I found out that Macworld will cease to be a print magazine and that many of my friends and colleagues have been laid off. Macworld.com will continue to exist, albeit with a relative skeleton crew.
It's very sad to see a day like this come (especially when I still look forward to a new issue of Macworld coming in the mail every month — one of the last print publications I read), but all things must come to an end. It is amazing, in retrospect, that Macworld magazine remained a constant, intelligent voice amid the chaos of a rapidly churning computer industry for thirty years.
Thirty years. Think of all the change that has happened in that time — the tech uphevals, the revolutions, the fall and rise of Apple, the Jobs-as-Phoenix, and rapid spread of the Internet — and through it all, Macworld has been there.
So thank you, Macworld, for serving the Mac community so well. And thanks to its staff in particular. I'd especially like to express my gratitude to Roman Loyola, Jason Snell, Dan Moren, Dan Frakes, Dan Miller, and Philip Michaels (among many others) for their wonderful work on the publication, and their genuine humanity, decency, patience, and fairness (sometimes rare qualities in an editor) through the years.
Roman Loyola, in particular, has been my go-to guy to get my — nay, our — particular brand of Apple history work pushed out to the world, and I am immensely grateful to have worked with him.
The talent pool of editorial labor laid off from Macworld today is immense, and other publications would be fools not to snatch them up as quickly as they can.
As for me, I've been contributing to the publication since 2008. As long as Macworld.com is still around, I might still write things for it. (Completely gutting a publication of its beloved veteran staff doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the future, however.) Time will tell. Until then, it's been a great ride.
Back in the mid-late 1990s, an Internet-based BBS platform called Hotline sprung up and quickly spread throughout the Macintosh community. It was basically a client/server BBS software suite that allowed for multi-user chat, file transfers, and message boards.
By the early 2000s, though, Hotline had mostly died out. Today, only a handful of servers remain. But guess what? You can still connect to them — on Windows or a Mac. A new article I wrote for Macworld, "Hotline Revisted," tells you how.
Have fun. Remember to be kind to the Hotline veterans when you visit.
I last updated you on my Macworld work back in January. Since then, I've been busy writing more historically-minded pieces for the site as well as its sister site, TechHive. Below you'll find a list of the ones I haven't mentioned yet on this blog in convenient digest form.
- 01-30-2013- The Little-Known Apple Lisa: Five Quirks and Oddities
- 02-08-2013 - The History of Electronic Board Games
- 02-11-2013 - The Mac Color Classic, 20 Years Later
- 02-16-2013 - Abandoned Apples
- 02-18-2013 - Evolution of the Smartwatch
- 03-01-2013 - The Evolution of Apple Pointing Devices
- 03-15-2013 - Teach Your Old iPod New Tricks
- 03-22-2013 - Apple's Five Most Important Displays
Phew. I've been busy! Of those eight pieces, the Apple Lisa one can't be missed. Plenty of interesting little-known history there. The Mac Color Classic and Abandoned Apples pieces are some of my favorites as well.
I'm not sure, but I get the feeling from the lack of comments on my Apple-related posts that not many Apple or Mac fans visit VC&G. Not quite sure why that is, but if you're out there, let me know.
Since my last update on the articles I've written for Macworld in November, I've written at least a handful more vintage-related stories for the publication that I haven't mentioned on this blog. To remedy that, I thought I'd share them below in convenient digest form.
- 12-21-2012 - The Forgotten eMate 300 — 15 Years Later
- 12-28-2012 - How to Make a Mac Plus Clock
- 01-11-2013 - Apple Knockoffs Through the Years
- 01-18-2013 - 30 Years of the Apple Lisa and the Apple IIe
The Mac Plus Clock piece is particularly fun, and I think VC&G fans will really enjoy it.
Thirty years ago last Saturday (January 19th, 1983), Apple announced two new computers: the Apple Lisa and the Apple IIe.
Ultimately, the Apple Lisa met an early end, leaving behind technology that shaped the entire industry. The Apple IIe remained a reliable breadwinner during uncertain times in the early life of the Macintosh and remained the flagship member of Apple's popular 8-bit computer line until it ended in 1993.
Here's the cover of the March 1983 issue of Popular Computing which featured Apple's two new machines. It has always been one of my favorite vintage computer magazine covers.
By the way, I recently wrote an article about this anniversary for Macworld in case you're interested.
Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever used an Apple Lisa? What did you think about it?
Just in time for Christmas: Macworld has posted a slideshow of vintage Christmas-related Macintosh art and ephemera that I created for that site. I hope you enjoy it.
As long time readers of VC&G know, I usually post short entries about my non-blog writing activities on this blog so you can enjoy them.
Recently, I've been so engrossed in writing Macworld articles that I have neglected to mention them. Consider that remedied with this handy digest of pieces I've written over the past two months for said Mac-related publication. Conveniently, they all have history angles to them (or else I wouldn't list them here):
- 09-18-2012 - Steve Jobs' Seven Key Decisions
- 10-12-2012 - The Five Weirdest Macs of All Time
- 10-19-2012 - Six of the Rarest Macs
- 10-26-2012 - The Land Before Macs: A Field Guide
- 11-02-2012 - The Apple Family Tree: Apple Platforms …
- 11-16-2012 - The Unexplored History of Translucent Apple Design
- 11-23-2012 - The Unusual World of Mac Prototypes
There's more on the way, so stay tuned to see whether I neglect to mention those here as well. The excitement is palpable!
Yep, the iMac G4 turned 10 this year, and I wanted to write about it. I bought the high-end 800 MHz/SuperDrive model new back in January 2002 (just at launch), and I used it for about five years to do all sorts of casual, media-related things (email/iChat/iMovie/iTunes mostly). It was, and is, a great machine — it's a little slow, but it has always been a joy to use.
You can read my article celebrating the iMac G4 over at Macworld now. I hope you enjoy it.
25 years ago this March (1987), Apple released the Macintosh II, the first open architecture Macintosh. Naturally, I've written a short feature about this pioneering machine over at Macworld.
While speaking with Michael Dhuey, the Apple engineer that conceived the Mac II, I learned that Apple patterned the Mac II after the 1977 Apple II, which sported the same sort of flexibility and expandability as the Mac II. That self-referential influence amazed me — especially coming from a company that recently institutionalized the practice of ignoring its own history.
But only two years after Steve Jobs resigned from Apple, the company had no problem making the un-Jobs move of both looking backward and opening up the Macintosh. The result changed the course of Macintosh history.