Age and location of TidBITS Talkers?

(Steve Johgart) #61

I’m 66, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I got my Mac 512 for Christmas 1985, then took advantage of the 1/2 price upgrade to Mac Plus when that became available in January 1986. As those of you who go back that far recall, the System, MacWrite, and MacPaint all came on a single 400k floppy. I joined the MacTechnics user group immediately after receiving that really nice Christmas present, and have been an active member ever since. I’ve been on the Board of Directors of MacTechnics since the late 1980s, when I took over as software downloader (from GEnie) for our monthly set of freeware/shareware floppies we made available for copying at user group meetings. I’ve been the Membership Secretary for a whole bunch of years. The group has dwindled from its maximum membership of 400+ members to the current membership of around 50, but we still have our monthly meetings where we enjoy one another’s company and learn new tips and techniques.

Times have changed. My first hard drive, a vast 110 Mb, cost over $1000. I had a Jasmine MegaDrive, with its huge 10 Mb removable platters, which I believe cost nearly as much.

Subsequently I’ve owned a Mac SE (with an upgraded processor by…Total Computing? Something like that), a Mac Centris, a PowerComputing tower (don’t recall the name), a Mac Quicksilver, a PowerBook G3 (which I still own, though I have no idea if it would still boot up), a 2007 MacBook Pro, a 2011 27" iMac, and a 2015 MacBook Pro, which is my current desktop/portable hybrid computer. There might be another model or two in there somewhere I’m forgetting. Also, naturally, several Apple mobile devices. Gadgetry is fun.

(Anthony Craine) #62

56, Iowa City, marketing and communications writer at an academic medical center. I’ve been a writer and editor my entire career, which has included working for UPI, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. I’ve also done a fair amount of voice acting and had a brief but fascinating stint as an AppleCare Senior Advisor. I have no memory of how I discovered TidBITS, but I know it happened not long after buying my first Mac, a Performa 200, in 1993.

(Dave Scocca) #63

I assume you actually mean MB, right? Hard drives didn’t get to GB for a while.


(David) #64

I did some of my doctoral work at the University of Iowa Medical center. I used their spin-trapping facility. There is a fabulous research group there in free-radical biology and chemistry. Some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.

Here’s the kicker: Im a marine biologist. I did marine biology in Iowa! On one of my trips there, my hotel was in… Coralville!

(Steve Johgart) #65

Ah. Yes. Fixed. My old brain can’t quite comprehend numbers that small.

(Gordon Moynes) #66

Just because Canada needs some more representation I am 67 and live in Central Alberta, Canada.

Holiday cheers to all, especially the TidBITS staff who keep this fantastic List rolling along and all the excellent contributors that my lurking has learned so much from.


(Tommy Weir) #67

My first hard drive was in my Amiga 2000. A 40Mb addon which cost a 1000. The computer had 5Mb RAM which was just crazy. It still boots, still loads up Sculpt 4D. Last time I loaded it up I hunted in vain for a Shut Down option in the menu bar. A search online reminded me… listen for the hard drive to spin down then hit the power switch.

(Adam Engst) #68

My first hard drive was one I assembled around 1988 from a large external case with enough space and power for 5 half-height drives, a Seagate 238R 30 MB drive, a controller board, and a SCSI converter board. I originally built the drive for an Atari 1040 ST that I used for the first few years of college, but then, when Tonya and I got our first Mac, an SE, I converted it from the Atari’s ASCI to the Mac’s SCSI. That involved building a cable, which my father-in-law helped with. We needed something to test continuity on each of the 25 pins, and the only thing I had around that could easily be repurposed to complete a circuit was a machine-gun water pistol someone had given me. So for each pin, we’d touch the connections and wait for the noise of the water gun going off. Turning the case on sounded like an airplane warming up its engines, but it was super cheap compared to the hard drives of the time.

(Richard Rettke) #69

My first Hard Drive was a 10MB that set me back about $1200. It was SCSI and I simply don’t remember for sure which computer I had at the time, but I’m guessing either an SE or the SE 30.

(Ron Risley) #70

I’m 60 and live in Northern California. In the 1970’s and 80’s I did a lot of embedded systems designs focused on telecommunications and security. I bought an original Macintosh in early 1984 and developed some shareware and commercial products for it, though mostly I used it as a development platform for my other work. At the end of the 1980’s, I went back to school for 13 years of medical education and emerged as a family doctor and psychiatrist, and IT work became more of an overgrown hobby. I wrote and maintain an open-source electronic medical records system (it was self-defense; the market is saturated with garbage!) and I still run a distributed network of dozens of servers supporting my practice as well as a number of not-for-profit causes. The servers are mostly Linux-based, but the user-facing systems are almost all macOS machines.

I encountered TidBITS back when it was HyperCard stacks. I contributed the occasional article back before I decided to try to balance being a single dad and CEO of a medical practice. TidBITS Talk has been a critical source of information and entertainment for me since it started – in many ways, a defining part of my life even though I do far more lurking than contributing these days.

(Jeff Porten) #71

I’m 49 and in Philadelphia, have also been around since the Hypercard and setext 32K limit days. My first story was in 2003.

(cory) #72

Cory here in Ithaca, NY not too far from Tonya and Adam. 74 years old, surviving a 40+ year career in H/W an S/W product development tailing off into doing project management and data architecture for Teradata (big data) telco, energy, retail, publishing, customers. Started on original 8080-based O/S and self-service product development, eventually riding the PC wave for personal use for most of career. Been a MAC user for 10 years, often thanks to the wonderful support nearby.

Too much travel drove me to retirement where I happily do many of the things all that travel and work prevented. Still love learning new stuff, and Tidbits helps me keep up.

Loved reading these posts. Thanks for sharing.

I have many technology experiences to relate, but, frankly, they even bore me so I’ll sign off now. Cheers

(frederico) #73

I love that you can still discern the decades/experience in which a user learned the Tao of Woz & Jobs by whether they are a Mac user or became a MAC user. (;

(I promise, though we Mac users are cringing, we still love and welcome you MAC refugees.)

(David Ross) #74

Got some pics to share?

(Charles Butcher) #75

Charles here from Norwich, UK (and previously Coventry), and 58 on the last day of 2018. My first Mac was a Quadra 800 provided for me when I got a job working from home to run a small engineering magazine. The mag lasted three years, the Quadra a lot longer – that was a fantastic machine. Later macs in our household varied from ugh (a Performa of some kind and a candy iBook), through OK (iMac G5s, whose power supplies used to fail about twice a day), to the totally brilliant (candy iMacs migrated to OS X, and our current ageing Mac minis and 2015 MBP).

I have absolutely no claims to technical prowess beyond simple AppleScript, FileMaker scripting and enough Unix to get by. But I love it that that there are folks whose skill and dedication makes in possible to run Mojave on my 2011 mini.

(David Shepherdson) #76

Hmm, I seem to be the youngest here so far… 37, in Melbourne, Australia. I work as a software engineer, and I’ve been reading TidBITS since the mid-1990s. Mostly a lurker in the old days of e-mail TidBITS Talk, but I haven’t been keeping up with it as much since the move to Discourse – I mostly follow things through the weekly e-mail summaries it sends out now and only click through to the occasional topic. Our family’s first computer was a second-hand Apple IIe in 1988, and then our first Mac followed in 1995, an LC 475.

(Adam Engst) #77

Not in digital form certainly, and I’d have to go hunting through albums to find prints, if any exist. :slight_smile:

(Dennis Swaney) #78

I’m 69 and am in the long drawn out process of moving from Oroville, California to Prescott, Arizona.

I’m a Native Californian but have also lived in Colorado, Texas (twice, 3x if you count USAF basic training), South Korea, France and Germany. If you count the 6 months I spent in AF technical training, then you can add Mississippi. I was in the USAF from 1968 to 1990 during which I had 3 four-year tours in Germany and 1 thirteen-month tour in Korea. I’ve been a member of AOL for 30 years starting when it was AL-PE and only ran on Apple II machines so my AOL address is basically my permanent email address.

(William Rausch) #79

Age 63, Pacific Northwest in the “dry side” of Washington state.

Started programming on punch cards. Wrote my first Macintosh programs in 1985, and made a living at it for several years. Since then I’ve just written Mac programs for my own use. My fulltime occupation is still software development, but mostly UNIX with some Windows. Also web stuff for banks.

(mike sanders) #80

I’m 80 years old live in Hong Kong had my first Mac in 1985 and have never walked on the dark side (windows), first adopter for most Apple products since then and have converted hundreds of friends colleagues and of course family to Mac.
I think I have one or more of everything in the range at the moment, also a shareholder but feeling some pain right now after the stellar performance last year, love the products love the company hate the analysts who contribute nothing but wield far too much power over how shares are valued.