003The Mac Chooser

The Mac Chooser was a monthly column I wrote for Computing Japan, Tokyo’s only English-language IT magazine (now called Japan Inc.) between 1995 and 1997. I only include the first paragraphs below because most of the information is now quite dated.

1. Cutting the Cord

If you can imagine taking a credit card-sized phone out of your wallet, speaking aloud your desired number into the pin head mike, and talking to someone anywhere in the world, you can imagine the future of telephone technology.

2. The Mac – A Cutting Edge Business Machine

“I’ve just bought myself a Powerbook,” said the 49-year old company president. “I’m finally going to learn how to use a computer.”

“First thing you’ve got to do,” I said, “is cut your finger and bleed into the disk drive. You may not know it but you’ve sold your soul to the God of Computers.”

3. Downtime is No Time for Pleasant Chatter

Here it comes again. Another day gone to computer maintenance. You swear office automation and optimum efficiency has got to be easier to achieve, then you curse, a little, then you tilt back your chair and start rebuilding your desktop.

4. Getting on the Internet, and Staying There

Whether we like it or not, the Internet is here to stay. Service suppliers in Tokyo are multiplying like rabbits; everyone and their dog is setting up a home page; and you are the eager beaver raring to get online. In our own effort to understand the system, we’ve put together what we hope is an easy-to-understand set of rules for setting up your home or office computer to communicate online.

5. Office Computing 101

I imagine there are a few office gurus out there, the ones who spend half their days walking over to co-workers’ desks to sort out a “problem.” In most cases, this problem amounts to showing someone how to choose the proper laser printer, or how to indent a series of paragraphs, or how to copy a file directly to a floppy.