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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version All good things must come to an end. After 17 years as a pioneer in online radio and podcasting, this will be the final original episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE. For this show, we’ve gathered some of our favorite guests to reminisce and talk about the present and the near-future of or favorite fruit company, Apple Inc.

    Guests for this very special episode include tech commentator and publisher Adam Engst, Editor and Publisher of TidBITS, outspoken veteran tech commentator Peter Cohen, cutting-edge commentator and podcaster Kirk McElhearn.

    Click to hear our special wrap-up episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — July 6, 2019

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.

    Newsletter Issue #1044 — Apple, 1998, and a Beta Test

    May 14th, 2023

    Being a loyal Mac user in 1998 wasn’t such a great place to be for many of us. Although co-founder Steve Jobs was doing a lot to keep the company afloat with a slimmer product lineup, profits were slim or none. In the days before the iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, many still didn’t take the company seriously. Worse, many Mac users had made the switch to Windows.

    But in the spring of that year, I got a long look and a fair amount of experience with the product that some suggest saved Apple. In those years, I was a member of their Customer Quality Feedback (CQF) program, which meant that I’d get pre-release software and occasionally a pre-release Mac to put through its paces.

    Hardware, of course, had to be returned at the end of the beta cycle, although there was one instance where I came close to keeping a certain preproduction Mac.

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    Newsletter Issue #1043 — Apple and the 5% Factor

    March 7th, 2023

    The fundamentals aren’t new. Financial results in the tech industry so far in 2023 are mixed, and lots of people, many hired during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, have received their pink slips. Despite the complaints that Elon Musk’s decision to fire half the staff of Twitter was outrageous, perhaps irrational, Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft and others have taken the hint and also announced large layoffs. Not as large as Twitter, but it’s clear they were overstaffed. I mean it’s not that these services are running less efficiently with smaller staffs.

    The layoffs maxed out with Amazon at 18,000. In passing, this total is larger than some of the places I’ve lived in over the years, especially during the early days of my broadcast radio career back in the late 1960s. Two of the towns, Piedmont, Alabama and Windom, Minnesota, had populations below 5,000.

    Imagine the population of an entire town disappearing overnight; well, aside from sci-fi films and TV shows of course. Imagine the equivalent of three or four of those towns.

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    Newsletter Issue #1042 — My Checkered Keyboard History

    January 31st, 2023

    It all started when I was 13 or thereabouts; it was the late 1950s. My mother worked as a clerk typist, and I decided I needed to learn to type so I could write about my favorite subject at the time, flying saucers. So she agreed to rent one, and gave me quick guidance as to where to place my fingers. I tried to figure out the rest, but eventually bought a do-it-yourself typing manual to improve my speed.

    Within a few years, I owned a brand new Smith-Corona electric typewriter, but it was constantly irritating my obsessive sensibilities, with bad misalignment of the key bars, thus resulting in a slightly uneven appearance. I soon learned that you could bend them slightly to improve alignment, which presaged a later career I had as a typesetter at several prepress agencies in New York City.

    Some years later, I discovered machines that used little golf balls with the letters engraved on it, and I acquired a red IBM Selectric. This had to be around 1972 or thereabouts. No more bendable type bars, and near-perfect letter alignment.

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    Newsletter Issue #1041 — Back to the Future

    January 23rd, 2023

    This site began in 1999 as Mac Night Owl. But when Apple began to embrace other consumer products, such as the iPod, I felt it was time for a change. Thus the switch to Tech Night Owl.

    I founded my tech radio show in 2002, and changed it appropriately, to Tech Night Owl LIVE. That decision didn’t come easy, because the radio network for which I was a part, MacRadio, was stuck in the past and couldn’t understand the change, so I split and went my own way. MacRadio didn’t survive for too many years thereafter following my departure.

    After I discontinued my tech radio show in 2019, I sold the original technightowl.com and related domains to raise cash (you don’t want to see what they’ve become!). But I continued the blog under the Mac Radio name, since I still had macradio.net in my domain arsenal.

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