Daily Archives: January 27, 2009

Strolling down memory lane


Two items in the news got me reminiscing this week. First, Apple’s Macintosh computer turned 25 years old (http://www.macworld.com/article/138340/mac25anniversary.html?lsrc=mwweek). As you can tell by reading this blog, I’m a HUGE Apple fanboy. I have been since the fall of 1985 when I walked into a now long-defunct computer store and first laid eyes on what looked like a large, beige toaster (pictured above): the Mac 512K (aka the Fat Mac, because the original 1984 Mac, aka the Thin Mac, only had 128K of internal memory). It was love at first sight.

Back then there weren’t many applications for the Mac, so I was able to spend a lot of time learning how to use MacWrite, MacPaint, and Ready,Set,Go! (desktop publishing software; I’ve continued to use RSG!, albeit upgraded versions, to this very day). The Mac appealed to my creative nature; I finished all kinds of projects on it, outputting to a noisy, dot-matrix Apple printer. When I worked part-time at an ad agency that used Macs, I sold them the Fat Mac and bought a shiny, new MacPlus. It looked the same, but it had a “whopping” one meg of RAM . . . what a beast! Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, applications weren’t the memory hogs that they are now, so a meg of RAM made for a pretty speedy computer.

Back then, Macs only had one floppy disk drive and no internal hard drive. I remember buying my first external 20-meg hard drive for an eye-popping $600! Twenty megs! I couldn’t fit two of my highest-quality Nikon D300 photos on that drive now.


When I bought my MacBook at the Apple store, they asked me if it was my first Mac. I had to laugh . . . most of them were mere babies when I bought that first Mac 512K. In fact, that MacBook is my ninth Mac, and I’ve loved everyone that I’ve owned. After the MacPlus, I had the IIcx, the PowerPc 6500/250 (a tower), the iMac G3 (Apple went back to the all-in-one design of the original Mac; I handed it down to the boys after about three years of heavy use), the G5 tower (the spare Mac in my office; pictured above), the G4 Powerbook, the 24-inch iMac (the boys also have their own), and, finally, the 13-inch aluminum unibody MacBook. Both 24-inch iMacs, the G5 tower, the Powerbook, and the MacBook are used every day by one of us.

I continue to look forward to see what the next Mac will look like and what it will enable us to do. Here’s to an even more successful next 25 years!

From Mac to Mad: Moving Up One Letter


The second news item was about a former favorite magazine of mine, “Mad.” It was announced that “Mad” would move from monthly to quarterly publication in April. In typical “Mad” fashion, editor John Ficarra said, “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we’ve decided to just publish those.”

When I was in high school and knew I wanted to become a writer, one of my goals was to work for “Mad” magazine. I so enjoyed the writing style, the wit, the little comics in the margins. But then I found out I’d probably have to move from the Chicago area to New York City, and that ended that particular infatuation. I still got my journalism degree from the University of Illinois, but I was destined to write about sports, Beanie Babies, and the local middle school. No “Spy vs. Spy” intrigue with any of those subjects.

#1 son enjoys reading “Mad” every now and then, so occasionally I still read it and chuckle along with him.

The Wonderful World of Photo Goofs

The good news coming out of my D300 yesterday was that there was only one ballhead; however, instead I was plagued with the slow reflexes resulting in the “mystery defender.” Here’s the evidence from yesterday’s eighth-grade girls’ B basketball game (our player is wearing the white jersey):


Really not those award-winning photos that a parent can’t wait to buy! As you can see, it’s the same player in both photos; was it me or was it her?!? Fortunately, I did get some better photos of her and the other girls. The professors back in journalism school used to say that names are news; in action photography, faces are news . . . and sell photos!

Get ’er done!

Progress is being made in the master bedroom! The entertainment center has been unearthed and has been listed in the local Freecycle group; hopefully, someone will want to give it a new home after 12 years in ours. I’m still dealing with boxes, of course, and will put those on today’s get ’er done menu. Along with:

• Laundry

• Stop at our local bookstore to buy “The Great Gatsby” for the #1 son (his latest English III novel)

• Continue the photo archiving (it may never end!)

• Watch “The Biggest Loser” with the family

• End the evening (after the boys go to bed) using one of my beloved Macs