The Mac used to be exciting.
May 30, 2021
I stopped buying Macs in 2012. At that stage Apple's disinterest in the Mac was apparent to anyone paying attention. It was all crappy keyboards and the odd incremental update from then on. What with the western world opening in the later half of this year I was thinking of replacing my stalwart travelling companion, the 11" 2012 MacBook Air, with the latest model.
With the idea of a purchase in mind I was browsing the magazine racks at the local newsagents when I realised the Mac focused titles I would have expected to be there were gone. MacUser, MacWorld, et cetera, et cetera. It turns out they have been gone since 2015. I appear to have not been the only one who noticed Apple’s boredom with their computer business. Publishers and their subscribers did too.
The high watermark for the Macintosh was in the late 90s and the early 2000s. The company had its back against the wall and every step had to be a step up and away from disaster. MacWorld and the WWDC brought crazy new innovations in the operating system and hardware. I remember the mad scramble to get off the rusting System 7 family and on to something modern. The journey there was exciting. MacOS Copland was a collection of pieces, Gershwin existed only in some product manager's imagination so they had to buy in the tech from the outside. No need to rehash that piece of history again. At every conference for three years there was a roadmap with a ticking clock of six-month releases for System 8 (Tempo), 8.5 (Allegro), System 9 (Sonata) and Mac OS X. They shipped all of them when they said they would and each release brought killer new features. Then it all slowed down to a crawl until MacOS 11.
I did not notice if there was an iOSUser or iOSWorld magazine. I would be disappointed, but not surprised, if there was. But iOS isn't exciting either.
Photo by Daniel Korpai on Unsplash