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  • Listen to The Tech Night Owl LIVE

    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 #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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    Newsletter Issue #1040 — A Tale Somewhat About the Missing Apple Silicon Mac Pro

    December 27th, 2022

    In the old days, I had to own the fastest Mac, at least after I got my first writing gig about Macs and Mac software. It wasn’t that I was so flush with cash, but it was a business expense, hence deductible on my tax returns. So it was with great pleasure that I upgraded every year or two.

    Even before then, I had to have a Mac at home.

    It all began in 1989. I was working for a prepress outfit that provided typesetting and design services. They had been using Macs ever since one of the major desktop publishing apps, QuarkXPress, debuted. Without getting into the QuarkXPress/PageMaker/InDesign wars, where the latter eventually won, Quark was chosen because it was designed with the traditional typographer in mind because of its precision. With PageMaker, it was more intended for designers who placed elements in position on a design table.

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    Newsletter Issue #1039 — Microsoft Outlook for Mac: Why I Still Can’t Get Into It

    December 17th, 2022

    As is usual for me, this is a long story, and it’ll take a little while for me to get to the point.

    So, n the days of the Classic Mac OS, which seems a century ago (and more or less it was), I used Claris Emailer as my email client of choice. It was originally created by Fog City Software and acquired by Apple’s subsidiary Claris, which also (and still) publishes FileMaker.

    I settled upon Emailer because of its support not just for regular Internet email, but to such online services as AOL and CompuServe. Indeed, it was reportedly the only email client licensed to manage AOL. As a former member of AOL’s forum staff, at the time this was the best possible solution.

    To me, the features beyond the basics were not important. Being able to manage my growing collection of messages was upfront and center.

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