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

The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
Egz – The Origin of the Universe (Games...
Egz – The Origin of the Universe 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ►►► Special offer until 2nd may : get the game at 2.99€ instead of 3.99€ ! ◄◄◄ Egz is a mesmerizing mix... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller (and... Read more
Apple Beats Microsoft at Own Game; Amazon Pri...
First quarter seasonality combined with an overall disinterested customer base led to an annual decline of 14.7% in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). Worldwide... Read more
Tablets Had Worst Quarter Since 2012, says St...
The global tablet market began 2016 just as 2015 left off, down. Tablet shipments fell 10% to 46.5 million units during the Q1 2016, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and... Read more
Clearance 13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbi...
Apple recently dropped prices on certified refurbished 2015 13″ MacBook Airs with 4GB of RAM with models now available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping... Read more
Aleratec Releases Mac Software Upgrade for 1...
California based Aleratec Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of Portable Device Management (PDM) charge/sync products for mobile devices and professional-grade duplicators for hard disk... Read more
Sale! Amazon offers 27-inch iMac, 13-inch 2.9...
Amazon has the 27″ 3.2GHz 5K iMac and the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $300 off MSRP, each including free shipping, for a limited time: - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD 5K iMac (model MK462LL/A): $... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
Take $200 off MSRP on the price of a new 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (model MF839LL/A) at Amazon. Shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1099.99 $200 off MSRP Act now if... Read more

Jobs Board

Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
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* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 48260200 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Posted: Apr. 22, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.