Thursday, October 6, 2011
So long Steve
In the mid-to-late 1990s the Amherst Athletic Club was going full throttle with just over 750 members. The tagline I always used on WRNX and WHMP radio ads for the club was, "Big enough to own the best equipment, but small enough to know your name."
But when you have that many members, it's hard to actually remember everyone's name.
So I decided to institute a membership card system using photos, figuring a Polaroid camera was simple enough to operate with instant results. But the cost of instamatic film came to almost a dollar per photo, so just to enter all the current members would cost $750.
Enter the Apple QuickTake digital camera. I found a used one on that newfangled thing called the Internet for about half the upfront instamatic film cost and from then on all the digital photos were free.
We started out with a Mac Plus computer, moved to an SE-30 then a couple Quadras, and a few Powermacs, always a generation or two behind because of cost--but each machine got progressively better.
Now I use a MacBook Air and it harnesses the power of a desktop, with the ease of intuitive software Apple made famous, all in a package only slightly thinner than Mr. Jobs was on the day he introduced it.
Apple also pioneered Desktop Publishing with the invention of the LaserWriter printer, allowing anyone a voice via pamphlets--the journalistic equivalent of a personal printing press. Now of course we have the Internet with the unlimited power to publish in real time made stunningly simple by the technology Apple introduced or improved upon.
God knows how many barrels of ink will be consumed over the next few days for ubiquitous print media stories deservedly honoring Steve Jobs; ironically enough, President Obama said it best: "And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."
None of which require ink.
Time magazine stops the presses