A butterfly sneezes in China and my back hurts

The Mac turned 25 this week. I’m one of the privileged few to have one all this time. I was twelve when my father came home from Ray’s Connecting Point with the first Mac. I didn’t buy my own Mac until my freshman year at UF – a sweet Mac Plus with a full MB of RAM, an external hard drive, and an ImageWriter II – a set up that only set me back a few grand of graduation money.

Ah, but I digress. This post isn’t about computers. I only bring it because the media coverage set my mind in motion.

Somewhere this week I heard the story about the first issue of MacWorld magazine, released at the same time the original Mac went on sale – without a date on it. Apple wasn’t clear on when the first machines would hit the shelves, so the the magazine was printed and stored for that eventual, magic day.

My father has a thing about magazines. He keeps most of them – for years. It drove my mother crazy (no pun intended). To this day you can find boxed old copies of Byte, Scientific American, MacWorld, and various others stored at the house.

It occurred to me that my father still has that first issue of MacWorld, in a box, in one of our old rooms.

Beth has been begging me to get the telescope out, but clouds and homework got in the way. Friday night we finally got it out to look at Venus and a crescent moon. They were both stunning. I’d been thinking about dad’s old magazines, and I remembered some of them had breathtaking images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Then I thought of another thing I inherited from my father – a tendency to keep old magazines.

Before we moved to Florida, we used to visit my grandmother in Danvers (MA) at least once a week. Every fourth trip (give or take a trip or two) I’d thumb through the pages of my grandmother’s National Geographic. A little more than a year after we moved to Florida I got my first card from the National Geographic Society, announcing a gift subscription from my grandmother. My first issue was January 1981: the Mount St Helens explosion issue. It’s still at my parent’s house, along with every other issue I got before graduating from college. Cheryl and I moved to Orlando after graduating from UF in January of 1994. Every issue I received from then until my subscription expired in early 1999*, has been here at my house. They’ve been in a box in the garage, waiting for someone to take an interest.

Criminal, I know.

So the Mac turned 25, which led to a bit of Mac trivia being told in the media: the story about MacWorld Magazine. That reminded me of my father’s magazine collection, which reminded me of my own collection in the garage, which I thought Beth might find interesting (lots of space articles, including some cool 3-D images from the first Mars rover mission, not to mention the Hubble). That led to me hurting my back Friday night, which led to me spending a lot of time with my current favorite Mac, which led to the new theme of this blog. It may look completely uninspired, but I’ve been fiddling with it for two days.

I asked Cheryl what she thought and she said, “I told you I didn’t like the last one and you used it anyway, so why do you bother asking?”


Hey… this one loads a random header image from a half dozen or so I set up from my library. Woo Hoo! The next project will be to use a little more compression. I didn’t realize until just now each one weighs in around 200k. (I suppose it’s not that big, with most folks using broadband, but it still seems wasteful.)

*My subscription lapsed when my grandmother’s health started to fail and my interest started to wane – with a young child in the house and lots of things competing for my waking hours.

Give the gift of words.