A Farewell Column: Pastures New
In his 2007 introduction to the iPhone, Seve Jobs said it was great to have been involved in not one but three developments that have changed the world. With a little more humility, since I have been in Thailand I have managed to make a few ripples.
I had heard rumours in November about changes in the Post format and that sadly one of those was to be the end of the Database. This was not a surprise in some ways as the movement to digital delivery has been apparent for a number of years: it has clearly accelerated in recent months and I can read the Bangkok Post on my iPad before the delivery man's motorcycle wheezes to my gate and he brings me the paper copy.
When I first started writing for the Post Database in 1990, PCs ran DOS and there was something called UNIX that mortals wouldn't understand. There was no internet; and Macs were for a sort of artistic-creative elite. I wrote a lot of PC software reviews in those days as well as book reviews. When the Internet came along -- it wasn't even connected to the outside world initially and used to phone home several times a day -- that was a source of more information. We also had to learn UNIX commands to make it work. When one of the self-promoting individuals around at the time tried to introduce an internet law, I wrote articles on that and some of its dangerous clauses. After a public meeting, the fledgling law was withdrawn.
I persuaded Database to take the column in April 2002 and it appeared every two weeks then. A year later the frequency increased to 3 or 4 times a month. A bit later eXtensions appeared every week. I was also fortunate to be invited by Apple to San Francisco four times, starting with the announcement of the iPhone. Along the way, the Mac user base in Thailand has increased considerably, in line with Apple sales worldwide. That includes a huge expansion of retail outlets in Thailand, now under the iStudio and iBeat franchise names: but there is clearly a long way to go.
As to the ending of Database, my loyalty precludes me from saying anything other than that I am saddened. The readership will decide -- both short term and long term -- whether the decision is right.
There is a saying that tells us, When life deals you lemons, you make lemonade. I think I will pass on that and instead reach (literally and metaphorically) for the bottle of wine aging in that cool spot beneath my stairs. I had already been putting out occasional articles using the Bangkok Diary pages on my own site (extensions.in.th) as I have more to write about than the Post allowed me space. In addition, some of the immediacy meant that waiting for the ten days or so between submission and printing would have the ideas go stale. That is the nature of news, and especially news about Apple products.
I have enjoyed learning and writing about OS X, Macs, and the other hardware and software that Cupertino produces and I see no reason to stop now. I will be continuing the thrust of the eXtensions columns, as well as adding to the other information I wrote for online distribution and have created a new website, with the acronym AMITIAE: Apple, Mac, IT, iOS, Asia and Everywhere.
I wish all readers a happy new year.
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