Lots of new people are moving to the Mac platform. That means there are more and more new readers of Macworld; at least I hope so. New readers - and, come to think of it, long-time readers - may not know the story of Macworld, our publisher IDG, and the people that work here.
IDG was founded by a guy called Patrick J McGovern. Pat (as we all know him) was still at MIT in Boston when he got a job at the first-ever computer magazine ‘Computers and Automation’ in 1959. Five years later he founded IDG, but it was another 19 years before Pat first used a Mac. For those keeping count that was 1983... and, no, that’s not a typo. Yes, the Mac was launched in 1984. However, a year earlier Pat was given a special preview by Steve Jobs, which lead to the creation of Macworld magazine. Macworld was launched on the very same day and even at the same place as the Mac.
At the launch of Macintosh at the Flint Centre in Cupertino, all attendees were given a copy of the first issue of Macworld. As for Pat McGovern, he still owns IDG - now the largest IT publisher in the world. He never misses an Apple keynote address, and he still uses a Mac - despite also publishing the likes of PC World, Computerworld, NetworkWorld and InfoWorld. (Yes, he’s a world sort of guy.)
The passion for the Mac platform runs deep at Macworld. Every member of the editorial staff has a Mac at home, and everybody has at least one iPod. If I include the contributing editors and columnists we have well over two centuries of Mac experience in our team.
I’d describe myself a functional geek, perhaps with a touch of the idiot savant. I’m geek by nature, but still retain most of the communication abilities of a regular person. Ask me what processor was in Apple’s Performa 430 (circa 1992), how many megahertz it ran at, and whether or not it had a maths co-processor, and I’ll have the answers (68030; 16MHz; and no, but it was an option).
I just have a knack of understanding how complicated things work. I know exactly how your inkjet prints. I can explain how your hard disk stores data, and I could setup a wireless network with my eyes shut… possibly.
I’m not the only person around here with special powers. Simon Jary, former Macworld editor and now elevated to IDG editorial director, published his first newspaper when he was just eight years old. It was called The News, a single crayon-based issue that broke the news that his sister’s bedroom was to be redecorated. Since those early days, having edited his school and university mags, and worked on a daily newspaper, Simon began work on Macworld in 1991. He still writes for us every month. The Mac is in his blood, and few people have such an encyclopedic knowledge of Apple’s history - he even has the same initials and birthday as Steve Jobs...
We’re not all old fogies here though. News editor Karen Haslam joined us just two years ago, coming from the PR company that represents Apple. Her gamekeeper-turned-poacher role came about because of her passion for the industry. She’s often found interviewing other Mac fans, whether at an Apple Store opening, a keynote event, or an Expo. She interviewed the queue outside London’s Regent Street store at 4am, and returned at 9am. I swear she would be there even if she didn’t work here.
Our online news is fuelled by Jonny Evans, whose prodigious output has made Macworld online the finest Mac news source in Europe. He has more moles than the KGB, and won’t even tell me who his sources are.
Our US columnist, Andy Ihnatko, out-geeks us all. His geekiness knows no bounds. For example, when he was a kid he used to write fan mail to software publishers. He’s not much better now. He once wrote an AppleScript to intimidate his cat to stop it sitting on his nice warm laser printer. As I remember, it involved a motion sensor and a Star Wars figurine waving a plastic light sabre. His goldfish are called Click and Drag.
With three million books in print, contributing editor David Pogue is one of the world’s bestselling how-to authors (including the seminal ‘Macs for Dummies’), and is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times. He’s also a damn good magician.
It’s not just the writers who are exceptional; our art department (James and Mandie) are real Mac experts. Mandie put together a 1999 supplement on Adobe InDesign, using a beta of the first version of the page-layout software. It was so basic that the print command hadn’t been added yet. So, without a doubt, she’s been using InDesign longer than just about everybody outside of Adobe itself. James is an ideas guy, and finds it hard to limit his creativity to images. When we’re stuck for a headline, we turn to James, and he can always help by throwing together ditties in GarageBand.
Our newest recruit, production editor Nicola Morrison, is unflappable, as her steely refusal to cry, scream or shout on her first disaster-plagued press day proved.
What I’m trying to get at here is that at Macworld, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. We are all experts in the subject, not simply journalists doing another job. We are the real deal.
So why do I choose now to bring this up? For the first time since I joined almost ten years ago, we’re looking for a new techie to join the crew. We don’t just want a budding journalist, we want somebody born to write for Macworld. To be clear, this is a junior position - as it was when I took up the mantle all those years ago, but with good prospects. Another thing, it will involve a ton of work - this is a fast-paced, tough business; slackers need not apply. But if you, or perhaps somebody you know, has a good command of written English, and a brain that’s a sponge for technical information, I’d like to hear from you. The position will be technical editor. My email address is [email protected] MW