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  • TidBITS Turns 17
    contained image links in the email editions of TidBITS have actually displayed those images inline on the Web for an example see Add a DJ to iTunes with SpotDJ 2007 03 26 That s right after 16 years of TidBITS being text only graphics have finally crept in Cutting edge I know but with tools like Plasq s Skitch on the horizon for making screenshots even snazzier we re pretty sure that mixing graphics and text isn t just a short lived fad Bookmarks for sharing articles At the bottom of every article on our Web site and in the HTML edition of TidBITS in email you ll now see a line of links to major social bookmarking sites including del ico us digg reddit Slashdot and Yahoo s MyWeb let us know if you d like to see other sites included If you re unfamiliar with the idea of social bookmarking it s a way to recommend an article to other users of a particular service The more people who vote for an article the more it rises in the rankings and the more people are likely to go read it We implemented social bookmarking links because it became apparent from our recent reader survey that we have a long standing loyal readership The flip side of that however is that we need to work harder on introducing new readers to our content and we re hoping that social bookmarking links will help You can help by using them to recommend articles or to vote for already recommended articles thanks TidBITS Talk usability redesign Our TidBITS Talk discussion list has nearly 1 700 email subscribers but I m noticing an increasing number of people finding discussions via Web searches and asking questions sometimes even years later which feels odd from the email perspective but is perfectly understandable from a Web viewpoint In an effort to improve the usability of TidBITS Talk I ve fiddled with the CSS styles to clean up the design reworded a lot of the boilerplate text that Web Crossing supplies in order to improve clarity and made it possible for registered users to give usefulness ratings to individual messages Connecting articles and discussions We ve also started down the path of connecting articles and their discussions directly so if you look at articles from last week that have generated discussion the Discuss This Article link at the top takes you directly to the appropriate TidBITS Talk thread If no discussion has been started that link merely creates an email message to TidBITS Talk engineering a Web based solution that s invulnerable to spambots proved more difficult than we anticipated so we re still working on the final approach Mailing list subscription management I ve mentioned this feature before but it has been and will continue to be an important part of our infrastructure moving forward since it lets everyone manage their own email subscriptions easily As an added bonus when you log in to manage

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/8949 (2016-04-24)
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  • TidBITS 16th Anniversary Vacation
    Banktivity 5 6 7 Parallels Desktop 11 1 3 Fantastical 2 2 Other articles in the series TidBITS History TidBITS Turns 26 Thoughts on Apple s Evolution 18 Apr 16 TidBITS Hits a Quarter Century of Internet Publishing 20 Apr 15 24 Years of TidBITS and Stronger than Ever 17 Apr 14 23 Years of TidBITS Thoughts on Our Past Present and Future 19 Apr 13 TidBITS Turns 22 Are You a TidBITS Member 16 Apr 12 Twenty Years of Memories from Friends of TidBITS 19 Apr 10 TidBITS Staffers Recall How They Got Their Starts 19 Apr 10 TidBITS Celebrates 20 Years of Internet Publication 19 Apr 10 A Few Thoughts After 19 Years of TidBITS 27 Apr 09 Follow Along Through 18 Years of TidBITS 21 Apr 08 TidBITS Turns 17 16 Apr 07 TidBITS Anniversary Looking Back over 15 Macintosh Years 18 Apr 05 Take Control 50 Off Sale for TidBITS 14th Anniversary 26 Apr 04 TidBITS Turns 13 Setting Goals 14 Apr 03 An Even Dozen TidBITS 15 Apr 02 TidBITS Goes to Eleven 16 Apr 01 Lessons from Ten Years of TidBITS 17 Apr 00 TidBITS Nets Ninth Anniversary 19 Apr 99 Announcing TidBITS Talk 20 Apr 98 Bring Your Own Badge 13 Apr 98 TidBITS 7 0 14 Apr 97 TidBITS 6 0 15 Apr 96 TidBITS 5 0 17 Apr 95 TidBITS History 18 Apr 94 TidBITS 3 0 19 Apr 93 TidBITS 2 0 20 Apr 92 TidBITS Survey Introduction 08 Apr 91 Published in TidBITS 826 Subscribe to our weekly email edition Aperture 1 1 Gains Intel Support Improvements Apple Remote Desktop 3 Released Draw What s On Your Mind With NovaMind A Bad Week for Hardware Windows Tips and Tricks for Mac Users Hot Topics in TidBITS Talk 17 Apr

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/8497 (2016-04-24)
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  • TidBITS Anniversary: Looking Back over 15 Macintosh Years
    frames body php page gallery model se30 http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model IIfx http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model classic 1991 Ah the year of the PowerBook Apple s first non desktop Mac had appeared in 1989 the Mac Portable but at almost 16 pounds 7 3 kg it barely deserved the name So in 1991 when Apple released the PowerBook 170 the PowerBook 140 and my favorite the tiny PowerBook 100 the Macintosh world was agog We purchased a PowerBook 100 and it remained one of our favorite Macs In fact it s still in the attic with a minuscule monochrome screen and a 16 MHz 68000 processor there isn t much we can do with it but every now and then I ponder the possibilities http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model portable http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 100 1992 In 1992 Apple began to ship a collection of truly undistinguished desktop Macs and made many of them even more indistinguishable by coming up with the Performa name and giving each model a different number On the PowerBook front however the company redeemed itself by creating a machine even smaller than the PowerBook 100 the PowerBook Duo Tonya bought a Duo 230 and loved it its small size matched her small hands perfectly and she has griped about too large keyboards ever since What truly set the Duo apart were the docking stations Apple also sold the full fledged PowerBook Duo Dock which the Duo slipped into like a really big disk into a drive and the PowerBook Duo MiniDock which clamped onto the back of the Duo and provided all the necessary ports Our Duo 230 remained in service for years after it was too slow for real use it ran a data collection program hooked to an analog to digital converter that monitored weather conditions when we lived in Seattle The Duo still works I just brought it down from the attic the other day to see if I could set it up to monitor our Internet connection and power cycle the cable modem via Sophisticated Circuits PowerKey Pro 600 we have I ran out of time when trying figure out what was necessary to get the Dayna SCSI to Ethernet adapter and the old Linksys hub that supported 10Base 2 Ethernet cabling to connect to our network http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 230 http www sophisticated com products powerkey pkp 600 html 1993 The Performa line bred like bunnies in 1993 adding 13 models all of them slight variations on a theme so different retail outlets could advertise the lowest price on a particular model The Performa trend would continue through 1996 ensuring an inexhaustible supply of difficult trivia questions for the next century For me though 1993 was the year I finally moved away from the SE 30 and purchased a Centris 660AV with a second video card and a second monitor of course The Centris name was short lived soon to be replaced by Quadra and my particular Centris 660AV was even more unusual because it had a transitional floppy drive Until that point Macs had automatic inject floppy drives a fancy way of saying that the drive sucked the floppy disk out of your hand Some models of the Centris 660AV had automatic inject floppy drives but mine didn t Like the Quadra 660AV that would replace it three months later it had a manual inject floppy drive for which you had to push the floppy disk in yourself The AV stood for audio visual and was based on the fact that the 660AV had a DSP digital signal processor chip for voice recognition and video processing which honestly I never used at all http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 660 Despite switching to the 660AV for my main Mac I managed to hold onto the SE 30 by writing an article for MacUser on Apple s PowerTalk communications technology for that I needed two Macs and I earned more from the article than I would have from selling the SE 30 The SE 30 went on to be our Web server for some time and then to run mailing lists in LetterRip Pro until we moved from Seattle to Ithaca in 2001 now I can t get it to boot from the internal hard disk 1994 With 1994 came Apple s well handled transition from the 680x0 CPU to the RISC based PowerPC CPU in the Power Mac 6100 7100 and 8100 Tonya moved from her Duo 230 to a Power Mac 7100 for her main Mac and I finally admitted that the PowerBook 100 could no longer cut the mustard and replaced it with a PowerBook 520 I was never all that fond of the PowerBook 520 and the main memory I have of it is its hard drive making one of the loudest noises I ve ever heard emanate from a computer before it eventually died http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 520 Tonya s 7100 saw 10 years of service since it was still running ListSTAR and managing our main TidBITS distribution list until 2005 when we finally moved that list to Web Crossing running on an Xserve The Power Mac 7100 merited another footnote in history since it was initially codenamed Carl Sagan a move that drew a lawsuit from the Cornell astronomer It was a bit of a fuss with many people claiming that Sagan was overreacting given that it was just a codename but even as a codename it was an insult given that the 6100 and 8100 were codenamed Piltdown Man and Cold Fusion respectively in other words the theme was scientific hoaxes Apple changed the codename to BHA which reportedly stood for Butt Head Astronomer but which was sufficient to appease Sagan Personally I thought it was at best poor manners and at worst rather offensive to associate with a pair of scientific hoaxes a living scientist who had worked tirelessly to popularize science but I wasn t exactly unbiased having taken Sagan s Seminar in Critical Thinking while at Cornell and having come away with a high opinion of him http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 7100 We also later bought an Apple Workgroup Server 6150 which was essentially a speed bumped Power Mac 6100 to act as our Web and mailing list server Amusingly the 6150 has most recently seen action as Tristan s Mac because every small child needs his or her own Apple Workgroup Server That task is coming to an end though since something has gone wrong with its caddy loading CD ROM drive and if I remember right that drive was already cannibalized from our 660AV due to problems with the 6150 s original drive Tristan doesn t care for the computer much but he occasionally likes to mess around with CD based Living Books so a working optical drive is essential especially since I was never able to get disk images of those CDs to work http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 6150 1995 In 1995 I replaced the PowerBook 520 with a PowerBook 5300c one of the first PowerPC based laptop Macs It wasn t one of Apple s better portables suffering several recalls for burning batteries and cracked cases but mine worked fine I did like the fact that it could run an external monitor in extended Desktop mode since it was also my backup Mac in case anything happened to my Centris AV I never needed to use it as a backup Mac but toward the end of its life it had the distinction of serving as our first kitchen Mac and MP3 player when I wasn t travelling http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 5300c 1996 The time had come to upgrade my desktop Mac again and in 1996 I moved from the Centris 660AV to a Power Mac 8500 150 and a pair of Apple 20 inch monitors After years of using monitors of varying sizes to extend my desktop having a matched set was heaven and the Power Mac 8500 put the performance of the Centris 660AV to shame with PowerPC native software Tonya also felt the need to upgrade to a Power Mac 7600 which replaced her 7100 By now we needed an ever increasing number of servers so whenever we bought a new desktop Mac the Mac it replaced was often immediately pressed into service either as an internal file server or as an Internet server http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 8500 http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 7600 Speaking of Internet servers 1996 also brought the release of the only Performa we ve ever owned a Performa 6400 that has worked for years as a server It was our second most recent internal file print and backup server we replaced it with a Power Mac G4 450 and I m planning to use it in place of the 6150 as Tristan s Mac 1997 As far as I can remember we didn t buy any Macs in 1997 a fact that was largely related to Apple s heavily publicized woes which I commented on in TidBITS 392 in an article about MacUser and Macworld merging Ad sales were down across the industry and we simply didn t feel as though we had the money to buy new Macs Nevertheless Apple did release two interesting if short lived models in 1997 the elegant Twentieth Anniversary Mac and the diminutive PowerBook 2400 Neither spawned any direct successors though it s possible that some of their design decisions influenced later Macs http db tidbits com article 04091 http db tidbits com article 02216 http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model anniversary http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model 2400 1998 As Apple s death spiral continued we stayed on the sidelines when it came to buying Macs However in 1998 my PowerBook 5300c was stolen when our house was burglarized and our homeowner s insurance provided a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet as a replacement In fact the PowerBook 5300c was the only Mac to be stolen most likely because it was small and relatively recent Woe to the thief who tried to walk off with my 20 inch monitors The insurance agent was fine to work with on the purchase though I did have a bit of explaining about why I need a Road Rocket PC Card based video card as well since the PowerBook G3 couldn t run two monitors in extended desktop mode as the 5300c had been able to do and I ve always wanted my PowerBooks to be able to take over for a dead desktop Mac http db tidbits com article 05033 http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model pg3s The PowerBook G3 was a good machine and one I liked quite a lot It has stayed in constant use running Jaguar after being replaced by other laptops since it has a PC Card slot into which I put the Lucent WaveLAN Silver card cannibalized from our original AirPort Base Station That Lucent WaveLAN card hooks to a pigtail that then connects to the 24 dB parabolic antenna used for our long range wireless Internet connection The PowerBook then routes all the traffic internally it also ran LetterRip Pro and Swiki until we switched to Web Crossing http www letterrip com http minnow cc gatech edu swiki Of course 1998 also saw the release of the original iMac which almost single handedly reversed Apple s fortunes though we ve never owned one http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model imac 1999 By the time 1999 rolled around things had changed rather a lot for us Tristan was born and Tonya switched into mother mode which changed the way she used her computer significantly At first we brought her desk and Power Mac 7600 up into the dining room from our basement offices but providing it with an Internet connection required running 10Base T Ethernet cable along the floor which only the cats and Tristan liked But then in July Apple announced the first iBook along with AirPort and when they became available we bought Tonya an AirPort equipped blueberry iBook and an AirPort Base Station which enabled her to read email and browse the Web while nursing And of course we promptly dragooned the 7600 into being a server for the last number of years it acted as our primary Web and email server finally giving way to our Xserve in 2004 http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model ibook That blueberry iBook has been another solid performer it s a little large and unwieldy on the lap but it has worked well for us as our kitchen Mac and MP3 player The 800 by 600 screen is a small liability and we ve had trouble with replacement batteries over the years but for some unknown reason it s charging the battery now and in conjunction with the AirPort Express Base Station which also hooks to our stereo can be used entirely wirelessly again In 1999 my family also purchased a pair of iMacs a tangerine one for my grandmother and a blueberry one for my other grandparents I spent quite a bit of time setting them up in grandparent mode and both have worked well overall The tangerine iMac gets little use these days given that my grandmother is 89 and suffering from the human equivalent of bad RAM coupled with directory corruption but I just upgraded the blueberry iMac my other grandparents use with more RAM and Mac OS X so they could use a modern Web browser necessary for online stock trades http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model imacrevd http db tidbits com article 07978 2000 In 2000 it was time to replace my desktop Mac again and move the Power Mac 8500 down to server duties it s currently hosting some of our article databases I opted for the mid range Power Mac G4 450 which had actually been introduced in 1999 though Apple had trouble getting enough chips of the right speeds and had to rejigger the performance and price points for a while I quite liked the Power Mac G4 450 and in fact the reason I replaced it in 2002 was not due to performance problems but because of the cost of supporting a pair of monitors http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model g4agp 2000 also saw the release of the Power Mac G4 Cube which had numerous adherents including my parents who still use it as their main desktop Mac The Cube was of course a design tour de force and wonderfully silent but it was too expensive for the fact that it couldn t be expanded Apple didn t sell many and quietly but never officially discontinued it in 2001 http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model g4cube 2001 We made our move from Seattle back to Ithaca NY in 2001 and the move figured directly in several Mac purchases I had a number of trips scheduled in the May through August time frame and our move itself was on June 30th so I decided it was a good time to replace the PowerBook G3 with the just released 500 MHz white iBook I didn t regret that decision at all the iBook was a great workhorse machine for a number of months when I was using it more than the Power Mac G4 and its combination of decent performance solid construction and wireless networking endeared it to me http db tidbits com article 06452 http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model ibook dual usb Tonya kept relying on her blueberry iBook for much of the year but after we were settled in Ithaca she wanted to switch back to a more powerful desktop Mac so we bought a Power Mac G4 733 Quicksilver and an Apple 17 inch LCD monitor That enabled the blueberry iBook to take up its kitchen Mac and MP3 player duties full time The Quicksilver has performed fairly well but it came with a CD RW optical drive which has proven quite irritating on a number of occasions when we need to install something from DVD http www apple history com frames body php page gallery model g4 quicksilver Interestingly although we tried to give away as many old Macs as we could before we left Seattle we ended up moving the SE 30 the PowerBook 100 the PowerBook Duo 230 the Centris 660AV the Apple Workgroup Server 6150 and the Performa 6400 Only the last two have seen much use and I cannibalized parts from the 660AV for the 6150 but it can be tricky to get rid of Macs that require so much obsolete knowledge to set up and use 2002 As you can see I generally go 3 to 4 years between new desktop Macs so buying a dual 1 GHz Power Mac G4 Mirrored Drive Door to replace my perfectly functional Power Mac G4 450 was a bit unusual It was driven by two factors First one of my two 20 inch Apple CRT monitors finally died and although I worked for a while with mismatched monitors I wasn t happy about it The problem was that I wanted a pair of Apple 17 inch LCDs which would have required expensive adapters for their ADC connectors and

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/8071 (2016-04-24)
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  • Take Control 50% Off Sale for TidBITS 14th Anniversary
    s Evolution 18 Apr 16 TidBITS Hits a Quarter Century of Internet Publishing 20 Apr 15 24 Years of TidBITS and Stronger than Ever 17 Apr 14 23 Years of TidBITS Thoughts on Our Past Present and Future 19 Apr 13 TidBITS Turns 22 Are You a TidBITS Member 16 Apr 12 Twenty Years of Memories from Friends of TidBITS 19 Apr 10 TidBITS Staffers Recall How They Got Their Starts 19 Apr 10 TidBITS Celebrates 20 Years of Internet Publication 19 Apr 10 A Few Thoughts After 19 Years of TidBITS 27 Apr 09 Follow Along Through 18 Years of TidBITS 21 Apr 08 TidBITS Turns 17 16 Apr 07 TidBITS 16th Anniversary Vacation 17 Apr 06 TidBITS Anniversary Looking Back over 15 Macintosh Years 18 Apr 05 TidBITS Turns 13 Setting Goals 14 Apr 03 An Even Dozen TidBITS 15 Apr 02 TidBITS Goes to Eleven 16 Apr 01 Lessons from Ten Years of TidBITS 17 Apr 00 TidBITS Nets Ninth Anniversary 19 Apr 99 Announcing TidBITS Talk 20 Apr 98 Bring Your Own Badge 13 Apr 98 TidBITS 7 0 14 Apr 97 TidBITS 6 0 15 Apr 96 TidBITS 5 0 17 Apr 95 TidBITS History 18 Apr 94 TidBITS 3 0 19 Apr 93 TidBITS 2 0 20 Apr 92 TidBITS Survey Introduction 08 Apr 91 Published in TidBITS 727 Subscribe to our weekly email edition Apple Releases Faster iBooks and PowerBooks eMacs Get Speed Bump Price Drop Apple Posts 46 million Q2 Profit New AirPort Base Station and Wireless Software Updates Apple NABs Pro Video Attention Serious TCP Weakness Identified Hot Topics in TidBITS Talk 26 Apr 04 Close To help us avoid automated posts and misuse of our site please enter the words below Close Gerberding Thanks for your interest in forwarding this

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/7642 (2016-04-24)
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  • TidBITS Turns 13: Setting Goals
    ideas we have for new projects but we hope both our improved focus and our forthcoming content management system will help Increase Understanding Long ago we decided to concentrate on providing in depth content whether in the form of a detailed review an informed and considered analysis or a comparison of multiple products Although we also cover news events and product releases in brief the point of doing so is not to be comprehensive but to continue to build on the foundations of previous articles Most product releases we cover are for products or genres we ve written about in the past and the news events either continue previous coverage or set the stage for future analysis There are many other publication models but this is the one we ve chosen and it will always distinguish us from other media outlets much as a weekly magazine like The New Yorker will never be mistaken for a daily newspaper like The New York Times http www newyorker com http www nytimes com But why do we publish articles that are longer than would appear even in some monthly magazines In trying to answer that question we realized that our goal is to increase our readers and our own understanding of technology That means not only covering an event or product or providing a piece of advice or an opinion but also explaining the reasoning that informs the entire article To torture an aphorism we don t want to hand you the fish of a fact we want to help you learn how to determine where the fish facts are biting and land your own This goal runs counter to the way many people merely want answers to questions or can t make time for anything longer than a sound bite To be fair sometimes a simple fact is all that s needed understanding what lies behind that fact is overkill But in most cases we feel that saving time by learning only the fact is a false economy since there are an infinite number of facts but a far smaller number of systems explaining those facts Read TidBITS and you ll learn along with us Independent Information Source We in the media aren t always a creative bunch we republish thinly recast press releases read each other s articles and frequently offer yet another article on the same topic Add to that the ever increasing corporatization of the media and you can perhaps see why our second goal for TidBITS is to act as an independent source of news and information This goal is more subtle than it might seem initially since the Macintosh and Internet worlds do not suffer from too few independent voices The problem is filtering the wheat from the chaff and being able to present it to a sufficiently large number of people This was one of the huge promises of the Internet in that it would provide an answer to A J Liebling s famous quote

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/7149 (2016-04-24)
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  • An Even Dozen TidBITS
    how complete the archive is but I was able to find two items of interest the first announcement of TidBITS to the comp sys mac newsgroup and the first actual issue of TidBITS as sent to the comp sys mac digest newsgroup as a binhexed HyperCard stack bonus points to those who can remember and perform all the steps necessary to read the stack in HyperCard in Mac OS X http groups google com groups selm 3938 2632f1c2 40vax5 cit cornell edu http groups google com groups selm CMM 0 88 641582494 werner 40rascal ics utexas edu This year I don t want to look back or dwell on past successes Instead I m going to pretend briefly that TidBITS is a public company that has to reveal the challenges facing our business going forward Some of these such as the possibility of Apple going bankrupt are sufficiently severe and unlikely that there s little point in planning for them So I ll focus on two very real things that would keep me up at night if I didn t have a small child in the house already helping with that task I expect that other small organizations may find themselves facing similar issues perhaps my thoughts or an ensuing TidBITS Talk discussion will help crystallize your thinking on the topic Staff When chatting about who will take responsibility for any new TidBITS project the discussion always centers at some point on the hit by a bus concern In any small organization each individual is extremely important and planning for what should happen if that person suddenly disappears for whatever reason is essential Our goal in the past has always been to set things up such that any member of the staff armed with appropriate passwords and internal information would be able to write and distribute an issue of TidBITS For many years in fact I published TidBITS almost entirely myself but as our services have increased in number and complexity it s become difficult to imagine any one person doing it all Nevertheless I still believe that the short term possibility of such a single handed effort remains a valid goal for TidBITS We do pretty well with the writing and editing portion of TidBITS and we bring in outside authors when possible for additional knowledge and fresh opinions And as I m sure is the case with many publishers I have a mental short list of people I d love to suck into the TidBITS staff vortex if funds were suddenly to become unlimited More concerning is how our staff interrelates with our technological presence When no off the shelf solutions have been available to solve a given problem we ve generally responded by rolling our own off the wall solutions if you will As with our article database and the TidBITS Talk archive we and by we I mostly mean Geoff would design and write the necessary code and back end database We re quite happy with

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/6788 (2016-04-24)
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  • TidBITS Goes to Eleven
    comment at a specific reader and once we passed on a note asking for information about three Macs stolen from a Maryland warehouse I hesitate to think how many Macs have been stolen in the last ten years Another factor was our publishing medium a HyperCard stack that merged itself with an archive of previous issues each week Reading in HyperCard was a bit clumsy so we switched to setext structure enhanced text format in TidBITS 100 at which point there s a definite uptick in issue sizes http db tidbits com article 03282 Personal Personnel Changes We ve always tried to run TidBITS on a personal basis since that s how we interact with the world and personal comments in TidBITS issues from 1991 and 1992 brought back many memories Those were pivotal years for us Tonya and I married in June of 1991 we moved from Ithaca New York to Seattle in August of 1991 I went to my first Macworld San Francisco in January of 1992 From the way I wrote about the move and Macworld I was much younger and geekier I was also scared although I don t think it showed in the issues and I was desperately trying to prove myself in many ways All those changes added up to a stressful time We were young and resilient but finances were tight My primary lifeline turned out to be the Internet via a 2400 bps modem connection to a UUCP system run by a guy who later helped start Northwest Nexus our current ISP TidBITS gave me something to concentrate on at a time when I needed focus in my life That was when I created our sponsorship program so TidBITS could start to earn its way When I announced our first sponsors in July of 1992 TidBITS was among the very first to carry advertising of any sort on the Internet If we d patented the concept then perhaps we too could be going bankrupt today The sponsorship program took years to reach today s level but sticking with TidBITS in 1991 and 1992 gave me enough of a reputation and writing confidence to write the first edition of Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh in 1993 It evolved into a series of best selling books changed the stresses in our lives significantly helped hundreds of thousands of people get on the Internet and not inconsequentially swelled the ranks of TidBITS readers Along with the navel gazing that comes when reading one s own past writing I was struck by how many people we still know were involved with TidBITS in those days Contributing Editor Mark Anbinder has helped out since the very beginning and he shepherded TidBITS through the time I spent without decent Internet access in Seattle we may complain about slow DNS changes now but back in 1991 it took a month for the UUCP maps to update Contributing Editor Matt Neuburg first wrote for us in TidBITS 095 providing a full issue review of Eastgate Systems hypertext editor Storyspace And Glenn Fleishman with whom we later started NetBITS first appeared back in 1991 and 1992 as well A number of other names from those years Marshall Clow Edward Reid Mark Nagata Paul Durrant Larry Rosenstein frequently appear today in TidBITS Talk TidBITS Services These days we provide numerous Internet services from our basic Web site to our searchable article database and we ve evolved a system that distributes these tasks among eight different Macs In 1991 though we weren t even distributing TidBITS via a mailing list just via Usenet news and the Info Mac Archive Then on the issue that coincided with my 24th birthday I announced an email based file server run via ICE Engineering s UUCP program uAccess Basically you could send a specially formatted email message to a fileserver address and it would return the file to you via email http db tidbits com article 03328 I had only a 2400 bps modem then so I couldn t serve issues or run a mailing list via uAccess However a short while later Alvin Khoo at Simon Fraser University offered to host a mailing list for TidBITS The interest in subscriptions almost instantly overwhelmed Alvin s homegrown mailing list server and within a month Mark Williamson at Rice University offered to host our list on Rice s LISTSERV A few weeks later the system administrators at Simon Fraser decided they didn t want to baby sit Alvin s list so we moved everyone to the Rice LISTSERV where we stayed until we set up our own server running ListSTAR in mid 1996 Interestingly nineteen people who subscribed to TidBITS in the brief time it was at Simon Fraser still receive TidBITS via those subscriptions today Looking Forward from 1991 92 Although ten years is a long time many of TidBITS s old themes echo today Even back in 1991 we emphasized backups with reviews of Retrospect and DiskFit Pro Other recurring topics include the use of multiple monitors coverage of digital cameras HyperCard which the International HyperCard Users Group is trying to convince Apple to carbonize for Mac OS X Mac OS usage tips and advice for donating old computers http homepage mac com iHUG I was also pleased to see that TidBITS paid attention to international issues related to Apple and the Macintosh Our resources were limited and we didn t have volunteer teams of translators but a number of readers contributed news from other countries and helped with distribution around the world http db tidbits com article 03374 Some topics were grounded more in desire than reality Wireless networking appeared a number of times since Apple was agitating with the FCC for some wireless spectrum for Data PCS and a number of other bits of news came along shortly thereafter It s a little sad that it took until Apple s release of the AirPort products in July of 1999 for wireless networking to become

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/6397 (2016-04-24)
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  • Lessons from Ten Years of TidBITS
    although that s become less possible over the years as the volume of mail has increased it remains a major goal to reply in a prompt fashion Similarly though we attempt to avoid spending too much time on inefficient telephone conversations we always answer our own phones and return messages We feel that these approaches to remaining accessible are important for both staying in touch with the community and remaining part of the community Live by Your Word This lesson boils down to do what you say you ll do We ve stuck with our regular weekly publication schedule for ten years excepting announced breaks and it continues to amaze us that reliability in meeting deadlines is apparently considered an unusual trait When attempting to assess reliability we ve asked people how many papers they turned in late or failed to do in college since the answer often reveals basic information about how motivated the person is to complete projects on time That said as much as we believe a verbal agreement is binding we ve also become fans of brief written contracts that outline an agreement since they tend to eliminate confusion later on In a few cases we ve been paid by sponsors only because of our insertion order contracts and we ve been quite saddened by the few sponsors who have failed to pay even then Make Friends Not Enemies Though it s impossible to get along with absolutely everyone we feel strongly that it s worth giving an extra effort to make friends with people That s one reason we try to respond to all of our email and time and again that effort has paid off In the early days distribution of TidBITS was significantly aided by people who had nothing to gain by helping and today our translations exist purely from the goodwill of the volunteers who do the work each week Simply put if you help people they re much more likely to help you later on potentially in significant ways It turns out some of those fairy tales we read as kids were right The corollary to this lesson is that although we would quibble with the first part of the cliche It s not what you know it s who you know we can t argue with the second part Personal networking is what drives much of the computer industry and the more people you know the more valuable you are in almost any position Care about Your Community Personal relationships are incredibly important but you must also keep the community in mind People are social animals by nature and we both form and find ourselves included in communities all the time We ve found tremendous good in giving back to the Macintosh community After all the community is where we live physically or virtually and ignoring your community is always self defeating One of the best examples of this kind of work is FreePPP which was created by a group

    Original URL path: http://tidbits.com/article/5899 (2016-04-24)
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