via Newsweek:
Last Wednesday Jobs himself received a more thunderous thumbs-up at the announcement of Apple Computer’s successor to its own hall-of-fame classic, the original Macintosh: a machine designed for consumers dubbed the iMac (only Apple would dare to lowercase the “I” in Internet). 

Do you remember the original iMac? I do. I never owned one personally, but it was an important computer for those of us of a certain age. Yesterday was the 25-year anniversary of its availability.

I grew up as an Apple fanboy. Unashamedly bleeding in six colors. Leading up to 1996, the Apple I loved was dying — quickly. But after a reverse acquisition, co-founder Steve Jobs was back at the helm of Apple and all seemed right with the world. Indeed, today Apple is the most valuable company in the world and unlikely to disappear any time soon, all of it rooted in that 1996 deal. Digression: it’s absolutely bonkers to think about it, but every Apple product today (2023) runs software that can trace its roots back to NeXT. Who in 1985 could have imagined a future where their code was at the heart of computers, cell phones, TVs, speakers, and watches 30 years in the future?

None of that future would come to pass though if Apple couldn’t get their shit together and make some money. The first step in that journey to profitability was the iMac. This was Steve Jobs at his best. The iMac project was a Hail Mary; milk the existing platform for as much short-term profit as possible while we try to figure out the next thing. It was basically existing hardware, boiled down to a cheaper and more forward-looking version (no legacy ports, no floppy drive), and existing software. Easy to build, highly profitable, the iMac was a lifeline for a company that desperately needed one.

The iMac had just become available when I entered college in the fall of 1998, and by October they were everywhere on campus. An immediate hit. Today, Apple is the most valuable company in the world (and a company that I still adore) and it all started with that little Bondi Blue plastic shell.

Computers Are Fun and Useful

I was just listening to an episode of All Consuming podcast, where John Gruber was the guest. They asked him about the genesis for his love of computers, which got me thinking about my own love of computers, which goes back 30 years. I was a child of the ’80s, which was when television, film, music, and print media (indeed, the peak of print media) collided with the rise of personal computing.

I had exposure to computers in elementary school (1985-1991), but only ever for entertainment. If you were done with your classwork, you could go play a computer game. I played a lot of Oregon Trail on the school’s Apple IIs, but those experiences never really unlocked a true passion for computing within me. I never went home and asked my parents for a computer to satiate my Oregon Trail needs. If I wanted to game at home, I had a Sega Master System!

It was my computer exposure in later years of school which really made the mark. In 1993, or 7th grade, our computer lab was fully equipped with Macintosh computers. We had already learned to type, but now it was time to make the computers work for us: enter HyperCard.

My mind was officially blown. Something clicked, and I understood why computers were fun, and useful, and important. I created HyperCard stacks (truly, the precursor to the web) which were educational. I created stacks which were useful. I created joke stacks which were only funny to me. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life using computers.

I can’t recall who needs attribution for this, but I once read someone describe their love of computers as “pushing bits around inside of a computer in ways that are only interesting to other computer enthusiasts.” That probably sums up own love of computers. I love to tinker, inside and out. I moved from HyperCard to web design. I dabble in JavaScript, PHP, and Python. I buy digital advertising in my day job, and fret over the implications of privacy policies. I’ll spend hours building a script to automate a task which will only save me a few minutes a year. I build my own gaming computers after carefully shopping for each component, and I’d rather spend hours in front of my machines that around most other people.

Computers, be it a desktop computer or mobile device, are never boring. You can finish a game, like Oregon Trail, but you can never finish tinkering. I love computers.


Sometimes the kid plays volleyball.


There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”.
– Isaac Asimov


It was a little over six years ago that my family moved out of the Washington, DC area. After living and working there for almost a decade, it was our home. We had purchased our first home, and one of my daughters was born there. I never much cared for the area though, and I was glad when we were able to leave.

Today is the first time that I have missed being there. After four years of whatever in the hell this was, I’m watching the coverage of street celebrations and my hope is being restored.

Now we move forward. Now we solve some problems. Now we begin to heal.

I hope.

Sometimes I watch stuff

I think more than anything else this year, I’ve needed escapist entertainment. I avoid cable news at all costs, and I give a thumbs-down review to any shows which let the real world creep too much into storylines. This isn’t everything I have watched this year, but these are the (first run, not rewatches) shows that stood out. In no particular order:

  • The Boys: This Amazon show has been a revelation to me. Imagine if Fargo and Justice League had a baby, and then that baby’s first word was the c-word. Incredibly violent and gruesome, and with pitch-black humor. And, admittedly, it’s a little bit of a meta-commentary on current affairs (in violation of the rule I outlined in the introduction.) But still! It’s a damn near perfect antidote to the news. A
  • Fargo: As of this writing, we’re four episodes into the new season, but it’s great. Fargo is one of my favorite shows of all time, and I have every confidence that they will stick the landing. B+/Incomplete
  • Archer: Archer has emerged from his coma (which generated the storylines for the prior three seasons) and is back in the spy game. It’s a return to where the show started, and it’s been great. B+/Incomplete
  • Ted Lasso: An Apple TV+ comedy, and maybe my favorite show on the list. The initial trailer for this show did not do it any favors, so it’s best to jump right in without any preconceived notions about what this show is. It’s funny, and cheesy, and uplifting in ways that you didn’t know you needed. It’s a sports comedy with almost no sports in it. Ted Lasso is everything that I needed this year. A+
  • Away: Science fiction/family drama, this has been a pretty good show. B
  • Brockmire: This was the final season for one of my favorite comedies, and it did not disappoint. It was a weird departure from prior seasons (with a big time jump), but it was still very funny. B
  • Better Call Saul: BCS has been a nearly flawless show since the pilot episode, but this fifth season was incredible. Amazing storytelling. A+
  • Westworld: Since the first season, I’ve found it best to enjoy Westworld as a binge after all of the episodes are available. Even then, it can be a hard show to follow, with so many characters, plot-lines, and craziness to follow. I loved season 2, but my reaction at the end was “what the hell did I just watch?” Season 3 dialed back some of the crazy, and was a fun ride. B-
  • Hanna: I didn’t love the first season, but the sophomore effort was an improvement. B
  • Star Trek Picard: The episodes were up and down, but this was a welcome return to Star Trek, and to one of Trek’s best characters. B+
  • Altered Carbon: The first season of this show was violent spectacle, with a great cast and weird storytelling. Season 2 dialed down the spectacle (probably to save on production costs) but the story was better. Sadly Netflix decided there would be no third season, but the final episode doesn’t leave you hanging. B-
  • Mythic Quest: A new comedy from the creatives behind one of my other favorite comedies (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.) Similar to Ted Lasso, you should ignore the trailers and just watch this show. It’s very funny. B+
  • The Magicians: The final season of this series which has been described as “Harry Potter for grownups.” I rarely watch much fantasy, but this series has always been a favorite. Very funny, and a great cast. This final season was a little bit of a mess, but still enjoyable. B-
  • The Last Dance: This show debuted in the second month of the pandemic, and it was the first cultural event we’d had since February. Everyone was watching this. I’d been eagerly awaiting this since they announced it two years ago, and it did not disappoint. Without any actual live sports to watch, was the sports escapism that America desperately needed, and it helped us get through some dark days. A+

Etc: A few rewatches:

  • It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
  • Justified (FX is heavily represented in my viewing, as usual…)
  • The Expanse (I rewatched the series twice this year, because it’s incredible. I will almost certainly watch it a third time before the 5th season debuts in December.)
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force