Mac360 is in our 8th year online. It’s a time to look forward and a time to reflect. This updated FAQ will help long time readers remember, and new readers to catch up.
Mac360 started as a whim, an idea, a fluke, a test, a silly thought that wouldn’t stop. Add that to an opportunity knocking and the next thing you know a bunch of us are up to our eyeballs in candy coated Mac app reviews, commentary, and fun. Mostly.
Tera Patricks was Mac360’s founding female, who, back in late 2003, decided she’d like to create her own web site—a blog. Blogs were not all the rage in those days but are hot to trot today.
Her friend and fellow Macophile, Barbara Marie Brannan, known as Bambi to everyone shorter than her (hint: she’s taller than some NBA players), agreed that a blog about women in computing would be a unique opportunity to share a different perspective.
Their technocolleague, Ron McElfresh, who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, had established a small content management business for web sites, and suggested that Tera look into the technology he was using.
Tera and Bambi, for lack of a better term, blogged for a few months using a beta version of Expression Engine running on a sunflower iMac and OS X Panther Server which was sitting on top of Ron’s desk.
Ron obtained the domain name Mac360 for Tera to use and the site was formally launched in 2004 as Tera Jean Patricks’ Mac360—a web site about Macs—app reviews and commentary.
Just after the formal launch of Mac360, my friend Bambi called and asked if I’d be interested in writing for a web site about Macs. Somehow the term “blog” disappeared. Suddenly, Mac360 was a full fledged web site about Macs.
Ron enlisted a few friends from near his family home in Missouri, Carol and Jack Miller. Carol is a teacher and long time Mac user. Jack works for a systems integrator. They live in Paris, France.
That gave Mac360 a literary team, of sorts. Our first objective was to review Mac apps that we would use (not bothering much with apps we didn’t like or wouldn’t use ourselves).
Our second objective was to provide critical commentary to all things Apple and Mac. Unfortunately, that’s a territory that also includes Windows, Microsoft, iPods, iPhone, iPads, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and the crazy things that happen each day in the Mac webosphere. That’s how we started, but the road to today was filled with a few bumps along the way.
It’s The Software, Silly
Mac users appear to enjoy reading Mac app reviews. I like to think that maybe our unique and perceptive perspectives had a hand in the growing audience of readers, but the rest of the team said, “dream on, girl.” The number of visitors to Mac360 grew over the years and we had to move the site from the sunflower iMac on Ron’s desk to an aging but more powerful PowerMac G4 sitting under his desk.
Bandwidth in those days was limited and expensive, so Mac360 was moved to a couple of Linux servers over the following year or so. Then, in late 2005, Tera, who suffered from two previous bouts with cancer, was stricken again. She died in the summer of 2006.
Bambi enlisted a friend from New York, Kate MacKenzie to join Mac360 as a writer in 2006. Jeffrey Mincey came on board to assist with another technical perspective. Ron donated a PowerMac G5 as the official Mac360 server and we kept Tera’s flame alive.
By the end of 2006, visitors to Mac360 had doubled from previous daily averages and the site needed more bandwidth and a more powerful server. Jeffrey suggested we look at Server Logistics in Los Angeles, a host that uses Macs, including the new Intel Xserve. To this day, Mac360 is one of the few sites about Macs that also uses a Mac as a web server.
Why do we do this? What is so special about Apple and Macs that we would devote time, energy, effort and a few tears to Mac360?
First, because Tera asked us to help out, knowing that we’re all Mac users and we bring a unique perspective to Mac apps and the world of Apple. Second, it’s become a pleasant adventure. We peer more closely into all things Mac than we would have otherwise, and we’ve met many great Mac users online.
Other changes took place behind the scenes. I had a baby in early 2006. Another in 2007. And, yet another in 2008. What can I say? I’m fertile. Natalia Nowak, one of our early Forums moderators, began to write for Mac360. Nat got married to Nathan. Everyone is married now, including our former Queen Bee, Bambi Brannan.
Our objective at Mac360 is to continue Tera’s original quest—to provide a web site that reviews quality Mac apps and provides commentary with a unique perspective on all things Apple. We appreciate the involvement you’ve offered through the years with article comments and review suggestions.
Our thanks to Ron McElfresh for acting as publisher and editor of Mac360 from the beginning. Without Ron’s behind-the-scenes help Mac360 wouldn’t be here.