TweetFollow Us on Twitter

First Issue
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:The Very First Issue

Related Info: First Cover

The Very First Issue

Ten years doesn’t seem like so long ago

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

About the Author

Scott T Boyd - Scott first wrote for MacTutor in the September 1986 issue on the topic of The Pop-up, Two Dimensional, Random Access, Scroll Bar Menu. Although he credits MacTutor with helping to launch his career, he would like to point out that this particular concept didn’t make him filthy rich (as kindly requested in one of his articles). Perhaps that has something to do with why he continues to work, currently as Editor of MacTech Magazine and Proprietor of The MacHax™ Group.

I don’t think I could forget the first time I saw MacTutor. Or was it MacTech? Ok, so Iforgot that much - but the rest I won’t forget. My friend Roger had somehow come across a copy of a magazine about how to program the Macintosh. He brought it to one of our programmer get-togethers. Joy! It was pretty hard to get any documentation, much less good documentation, about programming the Macintosh at Texas A&M back in early 1985.

Now, to understand Roger, it might help to know a little about him. I bought my first Mac brand new for $2500. That got me a 128K Mac and an ImageWriter. I gave Roger a demo. He spent an hour or so almost silently watching me give him a demo. I got the distinct impression that he wasn’t impressed at all. Boy, was Iwrong! The next day he went out and bought as complete a Macintosh system as you could buy. His excitement rubbed off on me, and I went back and bought a second floppy drive. I still remember shopping to buy floppies (800K). Those things were expensive, something like $10 each. It makes me laugh remembering this because now I consider floppies a nuisance. They just clutter up my shelves.

At any rate, Roger’s infectious excitement isn’t the kind to stay bottled up, and he came to our meeting with a couple of copies of this new magazine, one copy for me, and one for Greg Marriott. Now, these had to be the worst copies I had ever seen. Somehow the toner had gotten only partially fixed onto the paper. We had to handle the pages very carefully, but we didn’t mind a bit. With this one little magazine, we went from having next to nothing in the way of practical programmer’s advice, experience, and examples, to having a rich monthly resource! Given that Roger was the only one with money to spend on such things, he made copies of the first three issue for us before we managed to get our own subscriptions. I still have those bad xerox copies stored carefully as the treasures that they are.

On the next few pages we have reproduced the entire first issue. We scanned the only real copy that we had left. Since I work in the remote wilds of Montara, California, I didn’t see the original before Isaw the scans. I thought something must have gone wrong in the scanning process - everything was far muddier than Iexpected. I had remembered that the first few issues were done on an ImageWriter, and probably at 72 dpi, but I hadn’t remembered that the magazine itself looked like it had been reproduced on a cheap copier. On closer inspection, it’s clear now that much of the magazine was also put together using good old cut and paste techniques. This serves as a reminder of how far we’ve come in the production of the magazine. Rather than 72dpi, we image at 2540dpi. Rather than use only MacWrite, MacPaint, and MacDraw, we use QuarkXPress, PhotoShop, Illustrator, and a host of other publishing and imaging utilities. There’s no cheap copier involved in today’s production; we print on a Web press and do a lot of four-color printing.

We discovered something interesting while putting this article together. Ipassed around some different scans to a few folks to see which settings they thought produced the best results. Steve Kiene went and compared them to his copy of the first issue. He noticed something right away. His magazine was entitled “MacTutor™ (Formerly MacTech)” while our copy read “COMPUtutor’s MacTech”. Both were clearly labeled Vol. 1 No. 1. There’s a story in there somewhere about a company called Machine Technologies, but we’ll leave that for someone else to tell. One thing has definitely changed during the past decade. Our masthead now reads “MacTech Magazine (Formerly MacTutor)”, bringing us full circle.

The first issue was twenty pages, and carried only a couple of ads, all for the magazine itself. By the following December, it had grown to seventy two pages, and was carried in stores in twenty nine states as well as West Germany, Japan, and Sweden. In addition, thirty two advertisers came on board in that first year. Some of those names you’ll see are still with us as regular advertisers (e.g. MacNosy and Mainstay). Many are still writing and selling Macintosh software, including Alsoft, Capilano Computing, and FWB. Some have faded into fond memories.

The first issue rang in the beginning of the era of programming on the Macintosh for the Macintosh. Prior to this, just about all Mac programming had been done on the Lisa. We’ve watched such an event pass before us again this year. Last year, about the only way to program a Power Macintosh was on an IBM unix box. Power Mac programmers rang in the new year with Code Warrior, a programming environment for the Power Macintosh on the Macintosh (Power and 68K).

We’re not using 128K Macs with a single (singing) floppy and no hard drive any more, although there are undoubtedly those among us who still scrape and save to buy those necessary supplies. The complexity and sophistication of most of our tools have increased dramatically, but here we are, still programming and learning about a machine we call Macintosh.

Many things have changed in the realm of Macintosh programming over the past decade, but one thing has not. See page 20 of the first issue. “A no-nonsense, no fluff Journal devoted to software development FORMac, ONMac. Let MacTech’s editorial board teach you the Macintosh technology of windows, quickdraw, events and resources. We have assembled a team of professionals to uncover and explain Mac’s secrets.” The programming staff has changed somewhat, but still includes professionals, some of whom are busy building the next generation of Macintosh.

We hope you enjoy reading (or rereading!)this piece of ancient history as we celebrate MacTech Magazine’s Tenth Anniversary. In this business, a decade is nearly a lifetime. After all this time and almost one hundred and twenty issues of the magazine later, we’re pleased to continue to bring you the latest and greatest programming information for and about the Macintosh, on the Macintosh.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Check out the new Pirate Attack update i...
Love pirates and board games? Well, you'll love the new Pirate Attack themed update that just launched in Game of Dice. It adds a bunch of new content themed around pirates, like an all new event map based on a pirate ship which revamps the toll... | Read more »
Splash Cars guide - How to paint the tow...
Splash Cars is an arcade driving game that feels like a hybrid between Dawn of the Plow and Splatoon. In it, you'll need to drive a car around to repaint areas of a town that have lost all of their color. Check out these tips to help you perform... | Read more »
The best video player on mobile
We all know the stock video player on iOS is not particularly convenient, primarily because it asks us to hook a device up to iTunes to sync video in a world that has things like Netflix. [Read more] | Read more »
Four apps to help improve your Super Bow...
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, and whether you’re a Panthers or a Broncos fan you’re no doubt gearing up for it. [Read more] | Read more »
LooperSonic (Music)
LooperSonic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LooperSonic is a multi-track audio looper and recorder that will take your loops to the next level. Use it like a loop pedal to... | Read more »
Space Grunts guide - How to survive
Space Grunts is a fast-paced roguelike from popular iOS developer, Orange Pixel. While it taps into many of the typical roguelike sensibilities, you might still find yourself caught out by a few things. We delved further to find you some helpful... | Read more »
Dreii guide - How to play well with othe...
Dreii is a rather stylish and wonderful puzzle game that’s reminiscent of cooperative games like Journey. If that sounds immensely appealing, then you should immediately get cracking and give it a whirl. We can offer you some tips and tricks on... | Read more »
Kill the Plumber World guide - How to ou...
You already know how to hop around like Mario, but do you know how to defeat him? Those are your marching orders in Kill the Plumber, and it's not always as easy as it looks. Here are some tips to get you started. This is not a seasoned platform... | Read more »
Planar Conquest (Games)
Planar Conquest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $12.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: IMPORTANT: Planar Conquest is compatible only with iPad 3 & newer devices, iPhone 5 & newer. It’s NOT compatible with... | Read more »
We talk to Cheetah Mobile about its plan...
Piano Tiles 2 is a fast-paced rhythm action high score chaser out now on iOS and Android. You have to tap a series of black tiles that appear on the screen in time to the music, being careful not to accidentally hit anywhere else. Do that and it's... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

BookBook For iPad Pro Coming Soon
The iPad Pro is a device unlike any other, and with Apple Pencil, it’s the ideal portable sketchpad: all that’s missing is the modern easel and portfolio to go. TwelveSouth’s BookBook for iPad Pro... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Silver Retina MacBook on sale...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.2GHz Silver Retina MacBook on sale for $1399 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from... Read more
iPads on sale at Target: $100 off iPad Air 2,...
Target has WiFi iPad Air 2s and iPad mini 4s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch for $100 off MSRP
Target has Apple Watches on sale for $100 for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: - Apple... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Macs available for up to $300 off MSRP, $20 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Watch Super Bowl 50 Live On Your iPad For Fre...
Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for iPad and Apple TV. Get the app and then tune in Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET to catch every moment of the big game. The CBS Sports app is... Read more
Two-thirds Of All Smart Watches Shipped In 20...
Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments according to Canalys market research analysts’ estimates. Samsung returned to... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H Photo has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $180 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1499 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.2GHz Silver... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Subject Matter Expert - Experis (Uni...
This position is for an Apple Subject Matter Expert to assist in developing the architecture, support and services for integration of Apple devices into the domain. Read more
*Apple* Macintosh OSX - Net2Source Inc. (Uni...
…: * Work Authorization : * Contact Number(Best time to reach you) : Skills : Apple Macintosh OSX Location : New York, New York. Duartion : 6+ Months The associate would Read more
Computer Operations Technician ll - *Apple*...
# Web Announcement** Apple Technical Liaison**The George Mason University, Information Technology Services (ITS), Technology Support Services, Desktop Support Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.