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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 was 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 #1049 — The Apple Gadget Saturation Report

    February 4th, 2024

    How things have changed. Consider the state of Apple Inc. 30 years ago, when it was known as Apple Computer. In many descriptions of the company from the mainstream media, the word “beleaguered” inevitably appeared. It was hard to avoid it, and you had to be optimistic that the company would succeed in a world where Microsoft’s dominance only grew larger.

    By 1995, for example, the arrival of Windows 95 made Microsoft’s graphical OS good enough; well at least if you preferred a clunky, if serviceable user interface to something reasonably attractive and user friendly. But I’ll set aside the politics and the business issues Apple faced then, or about the acquisition of Steve Jobs’ NeXT company, which paved the way for an amazing revival and the arrival of Mac OS X (as opposed to macOS 10 and so on and so forth).

    In those days, I happily boasted about buying the latest and greatest Apple gear, even though it wasn’t cheap. Almost every year, Apple touted some great new feature that was destined to change your computing life. It meant, for example, that you could type along at a reasonably speedy rate and not wait for the letters to appear on your display. When you wanted to save a large document, you didn’t have to consider a restroom break while the process completed. Well mostly.

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    Newsletter Issue #1048 — Before the Mac

    February 3rd, 2024

    In the early days, I didn’t intend to become expert at using Apple gear. I didn’t even intend to learn word processing or even typesetting. But the situations at hand forced me to adapt.

    In the mid-1960s, I decided to create a magazine devoted to my favorite subject — flying saucers or UFOs. All right, I guess I was sort of an eccentric teenager, but I preferred reading and writing to athletics, although I was a weightlifter.

    In any case, as an avid newspaper and magazine reader, I preferred justified text, something not readily accomplished on a simple electric typewriter, such as my SCM. So I followed the scheme employed by my friend — and first employer — Jim Moseley — someone well known among followers of UFO lore. And that meant typing twice, taking the page and entering the number of characters needed to fill a line. You then type again, adding extra spaces as appropriate, and, poof, you have justified text.

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    Newsletter Issue #1047 — Cord Cutting Follies

    December 26th, 2023

    Watching TV in the 1960s was really very easy. You just plugged in your set, connected an antenna, turned it on and you were all set. Well maybe. If you didn’t live in an area where a roof antenna was allowed, you’d have to stick with a rabbit ears, and you might have to manipulate it to work differently with each channel.

    In my day, having most stations emitting from the same transmission tower (the Empire State Building) in New York City made it easy. One setting, and all was well. Well, not quite. My obsessive desire for a perfectly clear picture was never filled. It was always a little ghostly.

    Segue to my travels to small towns around America to begin my broadcast career. There were usually no nearby stations, or perhaps just one. A proper roof antenna would be hugely expensive even if it were allowed. But then there was cable TV, originally defined as “community antenna television.” It worked by setting a large receiving system to pick up distant channels, and wiring neighborhoods to pick up the signals on a portable receiver. Hence the cable or set top box.

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    Newsletter Issue #1046 — Mac Improvements: Do They Make Sense for Regular People?

    December 5th, 2023

    I’ve been following the goings on at Apple Inc. since the 1980s. In those days, I was the eccentric among owners of personal computers (and perhaps I still am). So when I went to a software store (remember them?) and asked about software for my Mac, I was presented with a dismissive look, though an occasional store clerk would absently point me to a barely visible shelf at the rear. It came as no surprise to find just a few titles, some obsolete, and most covered in dust.

    I’m serious. But in those days, I would order software at a discount via a mail order catalog, such as the one from MacWarehouse.  It was later acquired by another online retailer, CDW.

    It got worse by the mid-1990s, when Apple’s poor leadership almost killed the company. With the release of Windows ’95, announced with The Rolling Stones singing “Start Me Up,” the end of the Mac loomed large. But most people probably didn’t notice some of the telltale lyrics in the song, such as “You make a grown man cry.” And when it came to Windows, I totally agreed.

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