I am fortunate. I am thankful, and I take responsibility for being where I am at any given point in time. I sat down to write something very different an this is what is coming out.
I app.net (ADN) a new remote friend, @bojan, was inspired to write an article when we got on the subject of burnout. I was very curious as to his perspective. About a decade ago, I heard from a psychologist that many of her patients in Santa Clara that suffered from burnout where from one field: IT. I was surprised, truly surprised that this field of “smarter than the average bear” professionals would have such a high rate. But then I reflected on my own experience well over a decade ago with burning the candle at both ends and having my inner Scotty giving me more power to work 10,12 even 16 hour days at a great little start up, that still exists to this day.
The unofficial-turned-official club newsletter was directly responsible for me landing my first real job as a DTP monkey. I walked into the interview with my portfolio of club newsletter and stickers I made on my old Mac SE and the Mac IIci my best friend had that were printed on my trusty, 70+ pound LaserWriter II SC with the Canon engine that lasted well over a decade. The guy who interviewed me was a bit skeptical that I made those. I was honest and told him that I didn’t do all the work, and that I had a friend that started the newsletter. I showed him what *** did and what I did — explaining how you could tell our layout and writing styles apart.
When I was a sophomore in college, I got a chance to get a new computer. I wanted the Mac SE/30 for the Motorola 68030 32-bit clean CPU and the expansion slot. (secretly known as the “SEx”—the “x” was for eXpandable, along the lines of “IIx,” and “IIcx”, but Apple Marketing decided to sheepishly steer away from that moniker. At least that’s what I was told by a rep. and I had no reason to doubt him.)
Instead my father, who was financing this upgrade decided an SE and a Laserwriter II SC was a better choice. The bill was around $4.5K. I didn’t like that I was overruled since I knew that means I would eventually be unable to run the latest Mac OS, but it was his money. I appreciated it even though I didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Being an Assembly programmer that made some of the first image rasterizing firmware and software, he knew the value of raster laser accurate printing. He told me about Optical drive platters in the late 70s or early 80s before there were any consumer optical disks (y’all know them as “CDs”), so I didn’t doubt him. Around 1983 he also predicted that in the future we would have storage technology thousands of times larger and computers in our pockets within his lifetime. At the time, I hadn’t heard of Moore’s law, but it is a good guide to the speed and storage of future generations.
In the long run, the SE and LaserWriter were a much better choice because it added a new capability, pretty much no other people in my demographic had. It came in very handy, and I used it for reports that put other student’s reports to shame the same way my 128K Mac and ImageWriter printed reports in high school put other students’ typed and handwritten reports to shame. I started playing around with graphics and printing because 300dpi (even in black and white) was very cool. I learned how to manipulate angle and density of the line screens for getting different visual effects, etc. This “playing” with what I had access to led to printing up things for fun: stickers and other things, and eventually a newsletter or two.