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intric8
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by intric8 Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:20 am

@kovacm thanks for the rational response. I have to be honest when I read your first post here I delayed in responding for awhile on purpose as I typically don't like to engage online when folks are shouting. But I can see you're much more rational and reasonable, and I appreciate you toning things down.

I'm also very encouraged by our reaching out to Reimer. I will also ping him in the very near future and ask him about the discrepancy in his spreadsheet. I'm not expecting any big revelations, to be honest, unless he kept all of his sources from over 10 years ago (I doubt it). As painful as it is, this kind of issue feels like it is becoming lost to time water seeping through our hands. But I'll reach out to him, and I will let you know what I find out. Thank you for your passion, and for trying to set things straight.
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by kovacm Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:36 am

Thank you for replaying to me.

Hope we will have some more concrete numbers in future. For now we can have our own opinions on indirect numbers that we have at our disposal.

If you reach Jeremy, please make him to consider rewriting paragraph where he state that Jack Tramiel did agreement with Amiga Corp. His writing is highly influential so he can be often quoted as source of something that is not true.
Amiga Corp - Atari Inc agreement is available online and can be easily checked.

---
bottom line is that I am trying to let other side of coin but it is extremely difficulty since there are to many new contents that simple reiterate false claim.
To bad that Jack Tramiel last interview is not available freely (8bit generation did it) - it would great to hear his side of story, but for now, let not skew thing that are documented (Amiga Corp - Atari Inc agreement).

Thanks again!
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by Shot97 Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:32 pm

Overall I feel that early 90's get together of the Amiga team is our best historical document in terms of the people that created that sucker. A lot of truly magical moments took place in that and it by far better than any 20 year old YouTuber doing a slide show of images they stole from the web and basically giving their own poorly written rehash of that or in many cases straight from Wikipedia... Cause that's a truly great source...

When you get a group of people who like each other together... They're going to bullshit a little bit.... They're obviously having a lot of fun... There is a hell of a lot of truth in there that I would fight anyone to the death over throwing away. However; you're not wrong with saying certain people have an agenda... I don't personally fault the character of any of that original team; it was not their fault they wanted to tell a good story... It's our fault for not picking and choosing the things that deserve to go down in history VS the funny stories meant to keep everyone in that very room having a good time as well as entertain non historically minded people watching.

I could listen to RJ talk for days... He's an utter character... Love that guy! I don't fault him for exaggerating things a little. Some of that video was not shot with them all together, it almost seemed like it was shot at a comedy hall... Or trade show... Computer expo... I don't know, but it was clearly an added thing that most certainly was designed for the audience in front of him; not the cameras.

And yes, I've heard enough about the damn dog... I don't want to hear how Mitchie is the true father of the Amiga... This is not the fault of the people joking around... No... All it takes is for the person watching to see the look on Jay Miner's face when that dog is mentioned as the father of the Amiga... A weird combination of awkwardness/forced laughter/eyes rolling... I don't think Jay, no matter how much he loved that dog, wants people going around and saying he made huge decisions based on the dogs reactions. Ya know, perhaps it's sort of true... Maybe one day in utter frustration someone did catch Jay sounding off to the dog... If they did; that would be pretty damn funny.... At the same time don't anyone sit there and think of that story as utter history... A legend at best.

Of course the team had personal grudges with some of the people/companies they were talking about... Atari... and don't anyone forget... Commodore! Please don't forget that Amiga fans could never be harder on any entity like they are against Commodore themselves. Not the Amiga... They love the Amiga.... But oh do they have a lot of bullshit to say about Commodore... Well.... Commodore International... In America... Those were the morons... In the U.K. David Pleasance could have saved everything... But they wouldn't sell him the company... And who tells you this bit of "history" that just keeps getting repeated? None other than David Pleasance himself going off to these computer/Amiga get togethers where he is a paid speaker... And people point to him as if that guy is so honest and truthful... Why? Because he dares to be of Commodore and he bad mouths Commodore! So this guy must be for real? Because he's got not gripe with Commodore... Because there's no way a part of his mind is thinking he could go down in history as the man that "could" have saved that company... Even though he most obviously did not... He thought of the Batman bundle though! Genius! - Perhaps for the U.K. - As a man that once worked for Commodore in America if he truly thinks that the Batman bundle was a smart strategy for America... To sell the Amiga at Toys R US like in Europe... Then America did a good thing with kicking his ass to the other side of the pond because he didn't have a CLUE what the American market was all about! - I suspect he does not truly believe such things; He's creating a legacy.

Even the best hearted people can be guilty of shaping a legacy. It's not their fault... On one end of the cutthroat business tycoons you have your Bill Gates... Perhaps in a virtual tie with Steve Jobs... The people who had few actual achievements but get nearly all the credit. On the other end you've got Gary Kildall and Steve Wozniak... Truly talented and utterly soulful human-beings that were indeed talented but their fault was being too damn nice... Now Bill Gates and I believe the head of IBM at the time have painted the "history" that "when IBM came knocking, Killdall wanted to fly his plane..."

And that's a good story... Dramatic... Problem? There are two people who know the truth about that situation... The head of IBM and Gary... We know what the top man at a company that sold shit computers for 5-10 grand has to say about that... Bill Gates wouldn't know dick other than what the IBM people came to him with... And Gary... Well Gary has another story....

What to believe? Sorry to say but the best students of history sometimes have to make a few educated guesses and I dare say some character choices. Ya know what I think? Even if Gary went off to fly? So the hell what?! My God, someone who owns a business having a little of commitment to family/life/living... IBM can't wait until the weekend is over? I'll show IBM where they can stick my foot... Bill Gates goes and runs off to buy lock stock and barrel 86-DOS - Killdall says it has code from CPM... Not only does Bill Gates make sure the 86-DOS people don't get money... He's now going to IBM with Killdalls own code! Gary didn't care...Well he did... He wanted to sue, company attorney said it wouldn't go anywhere... Whatever... Sell CPM and DOS, I'm going to win because I can program! - Except Bill Gates and IMB made sure the "choice" of DOS was 40 bucks... CPM? $240 - Oh and Bill Gates would later go on to say DOS was the biggest mistake he ever made.... The thing that is utterly responsible for what Microsoft became, which he bought from someone else, at the very least a clone of another OS.... Fuck you Bill Gates... You wrote BASIC, the only thing you ever did... Yes, a big deal... But no, without DOS Microsoft would never have risen to the top.

Or.... Did Gary ever truly prove it had code from CPM? He said so... Maybe it's just a really good bastard of a clone job....

I kind of go for Killdall's version of events because I watched the owner of this slowly dying company sit on a PBS show and interview countless computer people and owners of companies with the most genuine excitement you've ever seen from someone... He's just this computer nerd who was having fun. Anytime you hear from Steve Wozniack... Same deal... Jobs? There's the story he wanted to tell you, the story Apple shoves in your face, the story Apple fans eat up... Then there's a lot of other stories from a whole hell of a lot of people... Some have something against Steve... Other's, like the Woz, the greatest people on Earth...

Is judging history based on character make something true? No... But it is indeed one of oh so many things one should at least be bouncing around in their heads when considering what is truth. Jack Tramiel? I would neither put him at the top of shady leaders nor would I put him at the bottom of honest to a fault. Computers for the Masses... Not the Classes! - and remember everyone; that was his created legacy and everyone loves to eat that one up! - Because it's good! But if you look at it all, he's such an important figure... You may have created that phrase but there's no denying he made it come true. But he certainly did destroy dealer relations, an extraordinarily important thing in America, which Commodore so desperately tried to make right in the Amiga years... Because believe it or not Amiga fans; Commodore may have gone under in the 80's if they tried to sell the 500 at Toys R Us and compete with the NES... They needed their dealers!

Personality test? Anytime I see Jack talk... If he is a bastard underneath it all, he's a great liar... Though I am sure he had quite a grudge against the company he created kicking him out... As many others would. I know he was not involved with the Amiga deal at Atari, although I've of course read that... But he's not perfect... Commodore made some bad decisions, but they were not morons... Every single last one of us Amiga fans would have loved the ST if we happened to have gotten that instead of the Amiga and vice-versa...

Of all my memories concerning computer/console past.... I just can't point to you any hate I ever felt... I was just as awe struck when I saw my Uncle's DOS computer as I was with the Amiga or the C64... I was just as awe struck with the Apple II's in school... Monochrome displays! NES? Genesis? Super Nintendo? GameBoy? GameGear? YES YES YES GIVE ME THEM ALLLLLLL!!!!!!

Many years later when I commented to my father on how this DOS version of an Amiga game we used to play "I swear this looked better on the Amiga..." - His response? A simple and calm "Usually did..." There was no judgment or hate directed anywhere there. I believe he ended up buying Gateways simply because they bought the rights to Commodore/Escom... He still cared... But I remember him going to my Uncle's and being excited about his DOS games... and my Uncle being excited about our Amiga games... Where they both used to have a C64... Another Uncle had some kind of Mac... I seem to remember playing asteroids on it... That was fun...

The hate... I don't know... I think it actually stems from... Well.. I'm sorry to say... What would eventually become what we know today as forums... lol! Usenet groups! That's where the hate and judgment started! But believe me, they hated everyone that was not as great as them... Including other Amiga users! If you had an Amiga500 and you somehow got online?! - "WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THAT THING?! EVERYONE HAS A 3000 NOW!!!!" - I shall go to my grave with that quote etched into my memory searching old usenet groups....

^ And by the way... That was the instant I let go of any hate that had been "created" inside of me over other companies like Atari... I started to hate Atari for not hanging themselves at the mere sight of the Amiga... Apple... DOS... When I saw a bunch of bastard usenet members create a mob and one after another attack an Amiga 500 user who should have been fucking PRAISED for getting online.... The hate for "companies" left me. I don't hate Microsoft... Don't hate Apple or Google... I certainly have opinions about many of them... But it's all so deep...

The truth is the best tellers of history have no desire to tell history. They're not going to make a YouTube video or anything else... Much like the people who would make the best politicians simply would NEVER attempt to run for office. I know my perspective is vastly different from many others... But ya know what? I absolutely believe a lot of the newer histories of the Amiga are utter garbage, I won't claim I could do better, but I will say I'd NEVER want to be associated with most of what I see... But it's pretty obvious right from the start what of these "histories" is going be another piece of junk click bait video... and ya know what? Sadly it's going to work on people... Fan boys... Kids...

But no matter how much Bill Gates and Steve Jobs attempted to sugar coat their existence... No matter how many die hard Apple fans eat it up... Yeah, you've got that Ashton Kutchar, arrogant actor playing arrogant owner and Apple sure loved that one... I know that wonderful human-being Woz, who to this day absolutely loves Steve Jobs... He said no, that movie was crap. Another movie comes out a few years later? Apple tries to scream that's it's junk... crap... Woz? They combined a few people together into one or another; but everything in that movie is something I was aware was going on. I could never give a speech and confront Steve like they show me doing... But I knew someone else did do such a thing.

In the end... We may all be surprised at what the few deep thinkers create... Perhaps long after we are gone the truth can be dug up from all the crap... To this very day people are doing it... The problem is the truth never sells... And the people creating such things are lazy, in it for the wrong reasons... But ya know... Sometimes it's the combination of fan boys and haters that when looked at from the outside let the unlookers understand that truth may not come from either side... But be in the middle... Or sometimes one side is right... Sometimes one person may be a lying bastard... Sometimes even the worst asshole might be telling the truth...

It's not easy caring about history... All I can tell you about myself is that I forever wonder... I'm forever scared I might have it wrong... But I'm oh so much happier being scared whenever I look at the people who are so sure. I never went around yelling at people saying Amiga emulators are defaulting into PAL, your videos SUCK! - I may have written a couple nice things when relevant, nobody cared... So I started to make my own videos... Sometimes others take notice.... It may be all for nothing in the end... It may take the world by storm... Or maybe in 200 years when we're all long gone someone happens to unearth my video in the sea of others and it simply plants an idea... They look into it... Suddenly America means a little bit more to the history... I care about history, I fear it will be lost, but in the end I wish to not have a heart attack over it... I have some weird faith in humanity... Who knows... You can both care about the future and still understand it's not going to matter for you, we'll all cease to exist sometime.

I remember watching documentaries in school about the not so old computer industry at the time... Perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad idea for people to find some of those old VHS tapes... But things are not that different... You had some where they got interviews from Bill Gates himself... Painting his version of things... You had others that said he was an evil bastard... You had some that tried to show both sides... I mean... does anyone really blame people who may have made some questionable decisions for not crying and saying they're sorry? I think Bill Gates may be now trying to repay his sins in his own way...

Some of those old docs I mentioned watching in the mid 90's in school? Some of them mentioned the Amiga believe it or not... And Atari... Some did not... I don't really tend to like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, but it's not from a lack of them talking about themselves... But if I got a chance to sit down with Bill? With Steve before he died? Hell yes! And no, I would not for one second be a little bastard and bitch about the Amiga! I'd eat up whatever half truths they wish to tell me! Because I don't even truly hate them... I don't know them... They've done me no personal wrong... and in the end no matter how much I've seen, I could be wrong... Jack Trammiel gets up on state with a bunch of other legends and he's brilliant! Jay Miner? Didn't see much from him, died too soon... But what is there... Oh man he's another Woz without a doubt... Maybe a Killdall... I treasure that video with all of them together; we all need to eat that one up and study it... There is a LOT of truth in there... there are no malicious lies meant to hurt anyone, but indeed based on the sources, you can't just eat up everything... Bill Gates may have been a dick by saying he regretted DOS... Claiming Windows 95 was faster than 3.1, 98 faster than 95... blah blah... We can all still gain some truth watching that man speak. Jobs as well... But also Woz... Look into the departed like Killdall... Eat up real interviews with these people... Sadly... I don't believe the main designers of the ST line ever got a chance to make such a video... That's sad because I'd love it! I'd love to behind the scenes at Apple for the Apple II line, not the Mac! I'm not going to say Jobs was nothing more than a talking ass... The Mac may have been something of note... But before we point to the Amiga or Atari on that one... What about the Lisa? What about the upgraded Apple II's? Hell, I can remember being in front of a black and white mac and still being into it... cause it was a computer... and hey, it was black and white, but it did have nice resolution... Can't say I get it through...

That IMac thing? I never laughed so hard at a computer! When I first saw that thing I could not stop laughing! - Well, that sure got Apple out of their funk... And I was proudly using cassettes until 2008 outdoors via a walkman! - Because an IPod had an outrageous cost and I had more mix tapes than I knew what to do with! - Never did get an Ipod, but generic MP3 players I can't live without! It's possible to not like certain people and still give them credit...

- I don't know... Rambling... Because honestly... That's history for you! A bunch of back/forth.... Some documented facts combined with documented opinions combined with pure speculation and sometimes judgment... It should make everyone want to grab an Advil because if you're not juggling a thousand thoughts with both conviction as well as fear on your side... Then you're just not doing it right! :D
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by kovacm Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:32 pm

Shot97 wrote: I don't personally fault the character of any of that original team; it was not their fault they wanted to tell a good story... It's our fault for not picking and choosing the things that deserve to go down in history VS the funny stories meant to keep everyone in that very room having a good time as well as entertain non historically minded people watching.


very nicely put.

but as you like to listen R J Mical, so I like to listen Jack Tramiel and I find very offensive when somebody, for sake of good (made up) story, portrait him as corrupt and dishonest.
Simply: it is not right! (especial when you tell the story opposite to written official documents from that era; again and again...)

btw
Regarding Bill Gates, Douglas Adams describe his legacy in one sentence:
“The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armor to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate technology, led them into it in the first place.”

And CP/M - DOS... I am not sure right now, but Microsoft did bought Caldera (or other company that have rights to CP/M) some decades ago and DESTROY all documentation that could potentially "compromise" (aka.: show what really happened) deals DOS-M$-IBM-DRI. I even tend to believe that Gary did not die, but he was murder. I also believe to Gary version because PBS show and his personality. I also listen to Bill Gates at many occasion I he definitively is not genuine guy.

---
Regarding: "I don't believe the main designers of the ST line ever got a chance to make such a video..." you are right :( but here you have https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke-vu1x16UI short video of Shiraz Shivji at 1:20 (note that there is also untrue in this video when they say (at 1:12): "Jack purchase Atari and promptly fire pretty much everyone" - documented true is that Jack purchase Atari assets without employees! Warner/Atari Inc. fired employees and Jack and his team conducted interviews and employed everyone who could contribute in developing of ST computer).
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by Shot97 Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:27 pm

"I'm really amazed you're still using this machine. This shows you have really good taste!"

HAHHAH! I love that!

Regarding the beginning of the video, yeah, I'd seen that before. That's an old video from LGR; who I blame for greatly helping to popularize that nobody had Amiga's in America and no good American games were ever made. When he started making videos it was refreshing just to see someone talk about these old companies/games... but when he became bigger...well... yeah... If you search for Amiga 500 on YouTube, his look at it will come first... "Let me first say I live in America... Normally that's not so bad... But with the Amiga it SUCKS!" - If only you actually knew anything about computers LGR... If only... hahha

I used to like chiming in on his stuff until his Sims videos made him huge with the kids and he has long gone down the "tube".

Oh, and I could listen to Jack talk all day as well. I've searched out a lot of stuff about him and really enjoy any interviews there are. The whole Atari thing is a very complicated deal at the time. Splitting off areas of it and so on. They most certainly deserve a much better look into them... Problem is I guarantee anything that becomes popular is going to be crap... True and good documentaries should be associated with school and boredom... Because they should be bored... Because they should be full of facts that bore 95% of those watching and never include controversial here-say or opinions said as fact; which is what most of them do these days. - These are the dangers of anyone being able to pick up a camera and have the world view them... Luckily for the 5% of people the true documentaries did not bore, there are indeed many small time people making good videos that they can search out.

The sad thing is that previously the 95% of people bored to death watching those documentaries in school would have forgotten about it all... Leaving it to the 5% who cared to pass on the truth... Now those 95%, who still don't really care, are amused just enough by these newer YouTube videos to retain just enough information to ruin history.
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by intric8 Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:14 pm

I wouldn't be too hard on the guys making documentaries. It's not for a lack of passion.

I would agree they often don't reflect perspectives from folks in the US on the consumer side, but some (e.g. Viva) did a nice job talking to some of the US execs that are still alive, which was cool. The background on the importance and development of the CD-ROM, for example, I found really interesting. Plus, Zach Weddington is from Philly, so he brings a US angle.

Getting the story "right" would require both sides (and Australia, Asia and South America - scenes I'm totally ignorant about - I'll be honest). It would require vast resources, and at some level someone will always feel it to be incomplete or inadequate, don't you think?

C= is so complicated because it was an American company, but then got batted around like a volleyball in the later years.

The fact that it became so huge in Europe is a testament to Commodore's legacy.

It's my hope that we help shed a light on the large user base that existed and still exists in the US. - a fact often forgotten. But it's only one small piece that fits into a massive story that spanned many years through many twists and turns.

At this stage, whatever we bring to the table is valuable. It's certainly a wake up call in how history for any topic is told and repeated today.

Makes you wonder how much of what we learned in history class in school people from back then would disagree with if they heard us try and explain what we remember.
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by Shot97 Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:13 pm

From what I remember of them I believe the people around back then would have been just fine with those being what people saw on YouTube today. Well, perhaps not always... Example; My distrust for Steve Jobs was planted in school watching a documentary on him... I'm pretty damn sure Apple would love for that one to be burned... But ya know what? Then you hear stuff from Woz and you realize what you watched in school back then had it all right... And in fact, I had been going around wondering, especially in the last decade on if I had unfairly judged this man that EVERYONE seemed to want to give bj to. So I dived deeper... And you can't get much better of a source than the man who actually created the machines themselves, Woz.... Who has said he has always adored Steve... But that history is painting him as a Jesus like figure.... And that man had HUGE faults... He love him... But the man had faults...

And that's the impression I had always known of Steve... That he really screwed over a lot of people.... That he was stubborn, that in fact most of his few ideas failed... That him being "fired"... brought it on himself, that it was probably a good thing.... and he was quite a vengeful person. But indeed, that he had vision.

This was long before I would have developed any kind of super love for the Amiga history and wanted to piss over everyone else. That was always Steve Jobs to me... But then from real world experience I'm looking all around me and everyone loves the guy.... No faults! Never an asshole! Responsible for the "greatest" company ever, they forced him out, but he saved their ass again! Ummm... I've always been confused regarding my impression of Apple based on learning about them in school VS what everyone else seems to have learned about them....From???? -

And that's the thing.... From? Apple... From You-tube... From a movie Apple was very much involved in.... They managed to convince me that the newer movie was a POS so I never bothered to watch it until it came on HBO... then I watched it... The 2nd movie, the one panned, is by far not only more accurate but a better movie.

Then you have Woz talking about it... "That memory thing... Selective memory thing... Rewriting the truth inside of your mind and truly believing it... Never thought of that, but that was him..." That's a very loose quote by the way.

Those old school docs... Always seemed like PBS type stuff... National Geographic magazine type stuff. Perhaps crap video or camcorder footage, but people that were genuinely interested... Reporters of a PBS variety. I know a heavily used feature of true documentaries from school was the use of news footage. Stuff from the era that had been broadcast. You NEVER see that kind of thing on YouTube. Both because these people never could get the rights to use such stuff, but they'd never even know how to get a hold of it other than through YouTube...The old stuff was good from all I can remember. Hell, some of them were of enormous quality... They had probably been filmed, not taped. They'd probably look incredible if restored today.
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by Zippy Zapp Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:39 am

LOL @shot97 and LGR! Totally agree. Love reading the comments on that video!

Anyone telling you that you must have a PAL Amiga to experience everything that the Amiga has to offer is a complete fool and does not know what they are talking about. It is a fact that back in the day there were more Hardware and Software companies in the USA then any other company. It is a fact it cannot be disputed. More then the UK more then Germany. Germany may have come in second. Now as the USA market more or less abandoned the Amiga then it was true that more was coming out of Europe and UK but not when the Amiga was in its heyday.

The common arguments that people give are that most of the Euro games and demos don't run on NTSC. Wrong. Many of the Euro games were released in the states in an NTSC form. Much more then people give credit.

Demos - This part is mostly true. Although I remember a few USA based demo makers, most were in PAL territory. But even so many of those demos do run on an NTSC Amiga just that the music is faster, the speed is not perfect and you may miss some of the bottom of the screen. That was all mute when the PAL boot disks and A1200/4000 came out as you could boot into PAL mode easy enough.

Did the ST have this PAL vs NTSC problem too?
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by kovacm Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:16 pm

Zippy Zapp wrote:Did the ST have this PAL vs NTSC problem too?

as far as I know: no.
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Re: Atari ST Computer Sales and Marketshare: A Comparison

by intric8 Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:21 pm

Did the ST have this PAL vs NTSC problem too?
I thought I read that the STs were sort of like the 1200s, where they could do PAL/NTSC right out of the box. But I really don't know. Good question!

Also - I guess I'll be "that guy", and I'm sure I'll be flamed for this. But I'm OK with that.

I loved Steve Jobs (and I love Woz, too, and still follow his exploits). Steve Jobs was one of the greatest technology show men the world has ever seen. Period. I couldn't wait to watch him present some piece of tech - no one else could do it like he could. I've been a hard-core Mac fan for decades. I'm writing this on my Mac right now, actually.

I grew up on C=, and in the 90s I was dealing with PC clones galore. In the late 80s I was on my highschool newspaper, and when I was a junior all of our old typesetting machines were replaced with black and white Macs - and one, which we called "Mother", had a harddrive (20mb?). It was amazing to all of us.

I built so many PC machines in the 90s, scraped off so many knuckles in hideous metal cases just to get this or that working. There was always something seemingly messed up. God I hated dealing with drivers! And as soon as a game came out that I wanted, of course the machine couldn't run it. It was always a continuous race for parts. In the early days, I was so broke I received a lot of donor parts from friends just to help me have something I could use. And I totally depended on my PC in the late 90s while in Art School. I was so proud of that Frankenstein machine (which was out-dated within a year of my putting it together). And, ultimately, it died. The motherboard actually smoked! I got zapped during a storm through the modem. Fried just about everything. Not the PCs fault, but I was so exasperated by then. I built my next one by going to Fryes and buying yet another giant pile of parts.

1/2 of the machines in art school were Macs (from the beige era). If you were going to do desktop publishing, or multimedia work you mostly worked on the Macs. If you were going to do 3D, you were on PCs. I had to use the Macs at school for 1/2 of my classes, and I ran my PC at home - I was on the 3D track. Right around 1998 or 1999 I was working professionally as a designer. Still very green out of school by only a couple of years.

Anyway, when the iMac came out is right about when I became re-fixated on Apple. I could never afford one before I got my "real job". But this thing, this weird (IMO) beautiful thing, I could afford. I went to a Fryes and went home with one.

Mine was (is) a Ruby. I opened the top of the box, and the iMac had a handle there at the top of its screen, staring back at me. I lifted it out of the box. There was no manual. . . Just a power cord. I plugged it in, and pressed the power button. I nearly cried. It just worked. It was like I had found Commodore again. So easy. I've not bought a new PC since. Now, I have a metal toughbook laptop, which I got off Ebay, but I only have it so I can use it with my pile of Amigas. I've owned so many Macs since then. And I shed a tear when Steve Jobs died.

Was he a good person, a nice guy, a good father? I really don't know and I really don't care, frankly. I loved his eye for detail and design, and am seriously very concerned with where Apple is headed these days. I could go on and on, but I'll try to end this here as best I can. I've not watched a single one of the Hollywood movies about him. I don't care about any of that. What I care about was his passion for design and typography and art - something I'd never seen before or since from a tech CEO. From a designer's perspective, I felt his and his company's angle was always trying to speak directly to me. It was awesome.

When the new MBP was shown last year, I immediately went to the online Apple Refurb shop and bought the best Mac I could justify from the 2015 models that were still available. My previous MacBook is the best machine I'd ever owned before, which I bought in 2009. It still works flawlessly, and I gave it to my daughter to be her first machine this past Christmas. It should last another decade I'm sure. I DIY'd the thing putting in my own SSD about a year ago, and the thing boots to the desktop in about 15 seconds. Not bad.

My "new" machine hooks into my 2009 Cinema Display, which I simply LOVE.

But here's where I get very nervous. Apple hasn't released a new desktop machine in 3 years (yet they still sell the old model, and they've never reduced the price). The new MBP uses very fancy new USB ports, but you have to use a dongle with literally everything you plug into the thing - no one has caught up to it, yet. And even the new iPhone 7 can't plug into the MBP without a dongle. It's as if the different departments at Apple have fractured and aren't communicating properly anymore. It feels more like what I'm used to hearing about with places like Google or Microsoft. Silos. That is seriously disturbing to me. The whole point of the Apple experience my whole adult life is to have a system that all works together, and it just works. All of it, from the smallest product all the way up to the most bad ass.

That vision seems to have splintered since the passing of SJ, and I am not alone in feeling a real fear that the phone/iOS division is sucking all of the oxygen away from the "system" philosophy. They don't even make the Cinema Displays anymore. It's not retina (like the macbook) but it is an awesome display. The new MBPs don't have magsafe anymore (one of the most innovative little things they ever did), and it doesn't have the battery charge button/lights, either. In their quest for thin and light, they seem to be forgetting the UX pieces that made so many people so happy.

So, yeah. I miss Steve Jobs. I still have screen grabs of sites (news and product) from the day he died.

And I still have my Ruby, running OS 9.2, which I'll never upgrade. Is OS X a better operating system? Jesus, it's not even close. But I love that older OS. It's just so cute. All of my old emails (via Earthlink!) were written to my girlfriend at the time, now my wife. I'll keep that machine until the day I die. I even put a wifi card in that thing and it can get online (although the internet is pretty much broken for it due to a lack of decent browser support. Better than the Amiga but still shitty. No thanks.). It had a built-in modem, which I used until about 2003 or so, but I don't even own a land line anymore. Heck - I should hit some BBSes with it! Even though it was an internet-capable machine BITD, the browsers have left it behind. But it could easily hop onto some boards. That could be fun.

OK, I think I'm done now.
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