Well, at least I was once. Truth be told, I rarely ever fire up my Mac these days. Once upon a time I was one of the biggest Mac advocates you could find. I hated PCs. You see, I started life in the printing business, even before Macs were being used there. It was a world of masking tape, acetate, and razor blades. But then one day a computer showed up. It was a Macintosh IIfx with far less RAM and hard drive space than the average smart phone. But I took one look and that beautiful beige box and I was hooked. It was so easy to use – just point and click. Photoshop was at version 2.01 and QuarkXPress was at 3.1. It was a magical time for me and my love affair for computers as a creative tool had just begun. PCs at the time (Windows 3.11, I believe) were hard to use, even harder to set up, and most of the software sucked. Even Photoshop didn’t work the same as it did on a Mac.
The choice for me was obvious. I subscribed to every magazine I could find (Macworld, MacUser, MacAddict). I couldn’t get enough and I would denounce the evils of Microsoft, and PCs in general, to anyone who would listen. Macs were built for artists and creative types and PCs were built for, well I couldn’t understand who they were built for, to be honest.
But then along came this weird thing called the World Wide Web and I got into programming. At first it was just HTML (not really programming) and AppleScript (not even a Web technology but it was fun to use) so I was still able to use my beloved Mac. I even did some pretty cool things with FileMaker, a database design program with it’s own scripting language, that I used to build a simple forum and CMS. But those languages were just the starter drugs. I started getting into heavier, darker things, like PERL and (gasp, a Microsoft product) Visual Basic.
I held out as long as I could. I even went so far as to install the Mac version of Virtual PC so I could run the development tools necessary to write and debug code, like Visual Studio. But sadly that was just a pathetic, futile attempt to hold onto my first love. It was clear that Mac and I needed to part ways, at least for serious programming work. For a few years I continued to use my PowerBook for “leisure” stuff – updating the music library on my iPhone, organizing family pictures, that type of stuff. But even that has migrated to my PC (at the moment, an HP Pavilion dv8 Notebook: 64 Bit, 8GB RAM, 18″ screen, sweet!). And now, I boot my Mac so infrequently that I’m always worried it just won’t start at some point due to lack of use.
Why have I brought all this up? Well, I was cleaning out my basement recently and I came across a pile of CDs that used to come with every issue of MacAddict (now Mac|Life). They would put all kinds of neat stuff on them, like all the shareware they had reviewed in that issue, demos of other applications, and a staff video. These videos were pretty well done considering this was the 90′s and video editing was a challenge, to say the least. And they were usually pretty funny. I don’t have all the discs, I lost a lot of them, but I have quite a few and I’ve begun uploading the staff videos onto my YouTube channel. I’ve only got a few up at the moment but more are on the way. I feel these videos are an important part of Macintosh history that should be preserved, as well as serving as a reminder for me of a simpler, more innocent time in my computing life. Take a look and watch a few if you have a few minutes to kill. If you are or were a Mac addict you’ll probably find yourself smiling in spite of the silliness of most of the subject matter.