(Editor’s note: We hope you enjoy this second installment. John’s first series of Selected Short Subjects appeared in the March, 1998 “Nemo Memo.”)
On April 27, 1997, the final MacSense CD-ROM disk arrived in my snail box here in Tucson. At the time I was not aware that Chris McVeigh, the publisher of MacSense, had decided to terminate his outstanding Mac-ezine, but I found out a few days later.
Chris went through a low-profile year, and he has resurfaced at MacHome Journal http://www.machome.com as Editor at Large and Producer of the new monthly MacHome CD-ROM disk. Meanwhile, Ed Prasek, formerly an editor working under Chris at MacSense, is now the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief at the very same MacHome Journal.
You can draw your own conclusions about the chain of events leading to this apparent reversal of fortunes. The fact remains that both these talented, hard-working Mac media men have joined forces once again.
(More on the MacSense CD)
I have had a full year to become familiar with the contents of the last MacSense CD, V4.02. Here is a view of the top-level window:
The little light bulb icon represents the current CD version of MacSense, a DOCMaker Mac-ezine, which, with QuickTime interviews, tutorials, and Chris’ clever art and design, was always substantially larger than the download version. The other five generic folder icons contain files, as indicated by their names.
For example, the Shareware folder contains 31 items, including: Informinit 1.3, Ircle 3.0b8, GraphicConverter 2.8 (US), and Hornet STRIKE! Missions 2.0. The Apple Updates has 19 items, such as: Mac OS Runtime for Java 1.0.1, QuickTime MPEG Install, and Open Transport 1.1.2. You get the basic idea, so far.
This CD is, in fact, a powerful software library, containing over 500 MB of the “latest and greatest” applications, utilities, and demos current in April, 1997. I still make use of a surprising quantity of this software, and I reference the disk on a regular basis, especially for friends and neighbors who relish their older systems.
(Switching gears to MacHome Journal)
I have been a subscriber to MHJ for four years now, and I just renewed my subscription. But have you looked at it lately? There is not much heft to the print magazine, although the Web site is improving every month. As Apple develops more outstanding products, MHJ may expand with new ads and articles.
Unless your pockets are very deep, and your patience and optimism are boundless, this is a grim period to be in the Macintosh print magazine publishing business. For free, given the time and WWW access, intrepid aficionados can immerse themselves in Macintoshiana every waking moment, including: MacCentral http://www.maccentral.com, MacFixIt http://www.macfixit.com, Macintouch http://www.macintouch.com, and about a thousand other Web sites or newsgroups. Macworld http://www.macworld.com and MacToday http://www.mactoday.com exemplify the strategic presence of conventional magazine content on the Web, enhanced with endless site and software links.
During the past two years, Ed Prasek became the dynamic guiding force at MacHome Journal. Chris McVeigh now handles the Back to Basics columns that Ed pioneered so effectively, such as New Owners, and Tips & Tricks. With the MacHome CD, I expect their goal is to gain market share among the dwindling Macintosh magazine-buying public. Good luck, gentlemen.
Some more background
The timing of the arrival of MacAddict (the magazine, the CD, and the Web site) dealt a heavy blow to Chris McVeigh’s ambitions, during the months in 1996 and 1997 when he hoped MacSense would become a major publication (ezine, Web site, and CD). MacAddict is certainly holding its own, and has a loyal following. Personally, it’s a bit too “fresh” for my bald head, but the content is consistent, and often of high quality.
Where does MacHome Journal fit in? Ed appears to be continuing his predecessors’ focus on the home and home-office user of individual Macs. The articles are not comprehensive, but they are timely and easy to understand for newbies and intermediates. I’m glancing at the May, 1998 issue, with features on QuickTime 3.0, voice recognition, and “Apple’s New Marketing Appeal” in Bob LeVitus’ column, The Last Word. Go, Bob, go!
(What about the MacHome CD, Nemo?)
The CD entitled MacHome 98.05, is attractively designed, and has over 600 MB of software, in the categories:
Nemo’s parting thoughts
MacHome Journal is aiming high with its CD and the upgraded Web site. The future of the magazine is, well, in the future.
Now don’t start reminding me that all this software can be downloaded for free off the Internet. For most mortals, those long multi-MB file transfers are a royal pain. I have always preferred my software to arrive on removable media: floppy, CD, or Zip disks. End of discussion.
I wish the entire MHJ team all the best for 1998 and beyond. My advice: find your market, work the crowd, satisfy your audience, and continue to offer superior content and design. Suggestion: get Chris more involved with the art and graphics, because he is good!
As soon as I submitted the MacHome article to our My Mac editor, I received the following message:
We wish Ed the very best in his future endeavors.
In honor of Father’s Day this month, the Nemo Memo presents a message from Nemo #1, or Big Nemo, otherwise known as John’s father, in his own words:
From: Dad, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Mac Geniuses / Nemo Memo / June 1998
To: John Nemerovski
Hello, Nemo Memo readers. I am Leonard Nemerovski of Wilmette, Illinois, USA. John is the eldest of our three children. He has graciously offered me a few words in his regular My Mac column so that I can say my hello to each of you personally. My address is email@example.com.
Today is May 12, 1998 and it is my 73rd birthday. But with time as we know it, being counted in nanoseconds, in millenia, in dog years, and now, with Viagra, in perpetual youth, I can relate my computer-years to about the fourth grade level.
I am not a Mac person. I have never touched a Mac or, I think, been in the same room with one.
My computing goes back a bit about 20 years. I began with the infamous Bill Cosby Texas Instruments TI 99-4A, $50, desktop machine, to which I attached a cassette recorder plus a massive television set to act as my monitor. I had more than one hundred cassettes, each with a different program. I think that I had 16K of memory, and the machine took an hour to sort any data that I had input. But it was fun.
During the intervening years I upgraded my hardware twice. All in “PC.” I started with a 386 and an early version of Windows. I had AOL, with a slow modem. I was a DOS man. I used Quattro Pro as my spreadsheet, and Professional Write as my word processor. I was just not smart enough to use an integrated Microsoft program for all of my operations.
During these formative years I was guided by five major computer gurus. My first instructor, Reeva, was a school teacher who moonlighted as a visiting help person, while her husband baby-sat with their two young children. Next, my tennis playing buddy, Seymour, gave me almost one hundred DOS programs, and helped me to load and learn to operate them. I became adept at making and using BAT files to call up each program at a touch of a few keystrokes.
Then I found young Sam through the local high school, where he juggled his work load of five accelerated freshman courses, studied for his forthcoming Bar Mitzvah, and played Little League baseball. Because he was only twelve and could not drive, I would pick him up after school and take him home, and he would patiently teach me all that he knew about computing. Which was much more than I knew.
Bob, my fourth instructor, at Senior Net in the local community center, was the best teacher that I had since law school. He gave me an insight and perspective into AOL that I did not believe possible I could understand and put into practice. And finally there is my friend JR, who can walk on water, the way he unscrambles the messes that I get into as I wander about the maze that is computing.
It is JR who junked my 386 and custom built for me a new 486. We rejected the Pentium, because this was the time of the first edition by Intel, and we were afraid that this early Pentium would crash on me. That was a mistake, but not my first or last. JR has upgraded my original 486 more than a few times.
He increased my hard drive from 700 MB to 2,500 MB. I have a new 56K modem, a double-speed CD-ROM, and I still use Windows 3.1. I will not go to Windows 95, nor to 98, because I am comfortable with what I have.
I resist change and I treat my computer as my enemy who can turn on me at any time. So I tread lightly.
Until recently, I was using a separate local Internet provider, Interaccess, with Netscape as my browser. But it was my son, and your columnist, John, who taught me last April 10 (which incidentally was our 52-year wedding anniversary) all the glories of AOL 3.0 and the Microsoft Explorer Browser, with the easy integration among email, the Web, Favorite Places replacing Bookmarks, and the wonders of the vastly improved AOL 3.0.
You who are Macgeniuses may be way ahead of me in these areas, but John was able to transfer his knowledge of the Mac to teach his old father how to make the transition to my new computer skills, and I have gotten more proficient.
I get a lot of email. From AOL I get a lot of junk email. I do not mind it.
I have learned how to highlight a Web site address on incoming email, use the control-C to copy the URL, open up my Explorer window, use the control-V to paste that new site address, and “enter” to have the Web find the site for me; then to bookmark it with Favorite Places, and to make this whole sequence a piece of cake.
I write a weekly “family letter” to my three children and their spouses, and to my seven grandchildren. Our family is spread from coast to coast: Princeton, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor, Michigan; Tucson, Arizona; Tacoma and Olympia, Washington.
We have grandchildren working as a telecommunications facilitator, a hair stylist, three in college, and two in high school. I feel closer to my family with email than I could possibly get any other way. It is as if we all live in the same house, which we virtually do with our email.
My most recent discovery came from my email friend, Jim Coates, who writes a regular column for the Chicago Tribune, and who helped me solve the problem of my AOL constantly asking if I wanted to stay on line. Jim referred me to an Web address where I ordered my AOL AntiTimer. I now can stay on line all day, watching both for “You have mail” and the business news on my Personal Yahoo Page. I contacted Order44@juno.com and was very satisfied with that AOL AntiTimer. John says there is something called AlwaysOnLine for the Macintosh, but I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot mouse pad.
I will say goodbye for now. Thank you for letting me intrude my grey hair and my kindergarten level PC style upon all of you sophisticated Macgeniuses. I know that each of us would have it no other way.
Well, Dad, Happy birthday, plus Father’s Day, and PC/AOL day to you. Will you start reading My Mac Magazine now that you are a guest Nemo? I certainly hope so!