Let’s see, what was that saying? “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Ah yes, that’s it. Now that almost everyone who ever said that is almost 60, and Apple, the mothership, is 30; what does it all mean?
Do we realize that turning thirty only means that Apple has succeeded against all odds? Or that hundreds of naysayers, media and analysts that said Apple is dying or will die soon were just plain short-sighted and wrong? Ya, that’s it. They were just wrong.
So, while some are celebrating Apple’s birthday with cakes and blogs, let’s take stock of where we users are, now that Apple is 30. What really matters is not only that the company made it, as much as what did we make of what the company produced. This first day of any month in any year, is a good time to reflect on just how using Apple Computers changed us. Remember, without us, there would be no company. In reality Apple made a difference because of the thousands of user groups that pushed its products, and the hundreds of artists, writers, and business people that did believe in its products. We are the brains, the mouths, and the peer to peer marketing that helped Apple survive, Against All Odds.
Think about it, Steven Levy, Senior Editor and chief technology writer for Newsweek, David Pogue, author and columnist for the New York Times, Andy Ihnatko, author and columnist for Chicago Sun Times, and Bob Levitus, author of hundreds of books were once just user group members. Hundreds of Apple employees were fished out of BMUG and BCS•Mac too.
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Back in 1998 or so, when my own web site was in its infancy (which it still is), I had too much time on my hands and started to do “The People Who Think Different” pages. I sent an email interview to many Mac users and the answers of those that chose to reply were posted on my budding site, that eventually went nowhere. My incentive to create the pages was my own story of how using Macintosh computers had changed my life, and I was curious to see how that use affected other people too. Take a peek at how using the Macintosh affected lives of people like authors Robin Williams and Maria Langer, Macworld’s Chris Breen, a few former Apple employees, and 60 other Mac writers and users from Dantz, AOL, and other companies. Although some of the minor links are broken and the answers are from 1998-1999, it is interesting to see how the Mac changed lives.
Today is a good day to reflect on how “The Power To Be Your Best,” “What’s on Your PowerBook,” a computer “For the Rest of Us,” and “Think Different” made a difference in our lives. Please reply below and tell us your story!
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And while we’re talking past history and fun, how about looking back at David Pogue’s music contribution with his computer song spoofs, which I have on my history DVD, by the way.
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Now, as folks delve into their nostalgia and remember all the Macs they’ve owned, I only have to walk downstairs to the basement to see … a veritable Macintosh museum. Presently I have every Mac I’ve ever owned from the trusty 128 turned Plus, to my beloved CI, the frustrating 8500, 840AV, Beige G3, a Pismo, AGP G4, and my PB G4. Five of those machines are still actually upstairs in my office, ready for service with only a wayward plug to find a socket. In addition, I’ve collected another 13 machines, which sit patiently waiting for a reason to exist. Most even work. I also have at the ready 4 printers, none of which are newer than 2002, but all work, 3 scanners, and 2 iPods.
It is not just the machines that grace this space either. Somewhere down here I have almost every issue of MacUser and Macworld magazine ever published, along with a few St. Mac and Macazines, Byte, and various user group publications. I wish I could stop there, but alas, I AM a packrat. I also have tubs of almost every stupid little thing I ever collected at Macworld Expo, and all the Apple-related t-shirts I’ve acquired. Alice Through the Looking Glass is here, as is Wingz, Lotus, and a few other notable programs that no longer run on anything that graces my upper floors. I’m almost sure I have the only copy of a number of programs that still exist, such as MicroSoft File, Woodstock the CD, Chuck Jone’s Peter and the Wolf, and Infocom’s Zork (boy, I loved Zork!). (By the way, it was Zork that got me into computers when it only ran on a mainframe.) I won’t give any of it up either. It’s just too much fun and gives me a live sense of history. Just don’t ask me to move again!
So what else have I gained from my 20 years of using the Mac? Well, Macworld Expo provided me the opportunity to meet everyone I’ve mentioned in this Blog and that was amazing. In addition, I’ve met and got to spend time with Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Gregory Hines, Sinbad, and hundreds of exceptionally creative people I never would have tripped over in my life otherwise. Apple provided the mechanism, but Macworld Expo provided the place and time to actually interact with some of the best and brightest people I’ve ever met.
Oh, remember that DVD I created? Well, I finally found my old movie backup CDs and even more MBs of QuickTime movies. This project is winding down, but I got to walk through history, including ZiffNet/Mac, AOL, eWorld, CompuServe MAUG, and other Internet communities created as far back as 1984 without even booting an old Mac. Amazingly enough, even some System 6 and 7 programs run in Classic on OS X today.
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