On the heels of Adam’s thanks in the latest issue of TidBITS, I just wanted to start a gratitude thread here towards readers, subscribers, forum contributors, and everyone else who has been a source of morale, financial, and technical support! I love writing for TidBITS, and I’ve been contributing for almost—not quite—its entire history.
TidBITS was a critical source of information for me as a technical Mac person in the 1990s; an excellent center of community both online and at events like the Macworld Expo in the late 90s through its end; and always, always, a great place to write for (thank you Adam and Tonya, Geoff, Jeff, and Josh, for various editing over the years), and a place in which I am grateful to have readers who want to know what I can share with them.
Y’all are great! I think “here’s to another 30 years” probably understates the degree to which Adam hopes one day to potentially retire and tend to his grapes, honeybees, orchids, or stamp collecting, but there are still many years to come, and I look forward to cherishing each one of them.
Hear! Hear! I consider my subscription to TidBITS money very well spent. The articles are timely, unbiased, accurate, and just plain useful. The “Talk” forum simply has the most amazing signal-to-noise ratio I’ve ever seen in a technically-focused user forum. Here’s to a strong 2022…and many more to follow!
Glenn, thanks for your contributions over the years, and also for linking to your first article. What a fun read, it transported me to a different time. Imagine having to make the case for 24-bit colour and not caring about having Ethernet. A truly different world (that somehow felt more exciting in many ways!).
I’m reminded of comments I posted (to various Usenet groups) in the 90’s along a similar line.
In my case, people were discussing the fact that early versions of OS/2 didn’t include TCP/IP networking - IBM sold it as an add-on product. Some people were saying that Windows 95 was better because it included networking. I was arguing that since most people weren’t on networks, they were paying for unnecessary features, and that IBM’s approach was better - let the network users pay for the networking R&D, so the rest of us can have a less expensive product.
Of course, the world changed very quickly right about that time and once Internet access became commonplace (initially via dial-up, and later via broadband), the entire discussion became moot. But it was a very polarizing topic at the time.
Our expectations as to what is part of the OS have also dramatically changed. The lawsuit against Microsoft for embedding Internet Explorer with Windows seemed reasonable at the time (and there were definitely anti-competitive issues, though focusing on IE bundling was probably not the best approach). But the idea of shipping a desktop or mobile OS today without a browser and an API to generate a web view and render HTML is laughable. Akin to shipping an OS without TCP/IP.
The Microsoft lawsuit occurred because Microsoft was under a consent decree with the FTC against bundling any Microsoft product into Windows after prior examples in DOS (I believe when MS began adding antivirus apps to DOS). Because IE was initially sold as a separate Plus pack when Win95 was introduced, adding IE to windows 95 later without allowing OEMs to remove it and bundle a different browser was argued by the DOJ as violating the consent decree. If IE had been bundled from the beginning, or never sold separately, the lawsuit may not have been able to proceed.
The bigger issue was that manufacturers were prohibited from including any other browser than Internet Explorer in their Windows package. They also made it very difficult for Windows users to install any other browsers to use as a default. The fact that Microsoft had monopoly power made it just about impossible for Netscape, etc. to maintain a toe in the door. Neither Apple or Linux had enough market share to be considered serious competitors. What I think is particularly interesting is that it is still speculated that because this case was active when Apple released iPhone, MS was not able to twist the arms of competing manufacturers to use the mobile version of Windows as a default. It gave Google a big head start with Android.
Bill Gates shot himself in both feet with this, and I still think it was why he exited Microsoft not long after this whole disaster.
I see this post is from Dec ’21, so I ‘m little late to the party, but I just would like to say I just joined this forum a few days ago to post a question about Monterey. I was debating between joining TidBITS or posting the question on the Apple discussion boards. I’m very happy to say I made the right decision joining TidBITS and posting here. The responses I received were all helpful, professional and friendly. My thanks to the entire TidBITS staff and all who reached out to help me — and with the newer OS I need all the help I can get!
Yes, I don’t know how I missed this one in the flow of things… but yes, I too am very grateful for TidBITS and all the great information, news and advice over the years. Subscriber since, eh, Mindspring was a thing, 92? 93? Can’t recall but valued since that time. Well done Adam Tonya, Josh et al.
As someone who has used IBM/RS, Apple and Mac computers since 1985, I appreciate hearing different points of view as well as finding information for tech issues. But for some reason, I didn’t utilize this forum until recently relying on other sources like MacInTouch, MacFixIt, magazines like MacWorld, MacLife etc. This is a great site and so much valuable information is available with so many knowledgable posters who share their time and talent. Thanks again!