We couldn’t let the untimely and tragically early death of Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs pass without comment as his vision back in the day had a direct impact on what you’re able to read in our long running paper product – as well as our online offer.
Most people will know of Apple in its more recent incarnation as creators of beautifully designed and supremely functional mobile devices to make phone calls and send email, listen to music, read books, write books, search web sites and engage with social networks electronically.
But The Link was part of an earlier revolution when Apple was the first to produce a graphically based computer with a mouse controlling actions on the screen.
Before 1987 The Link was a newsletter created using a typewriter, cut and pasted together with a blade and glue, and stick-on lettering, a very crude time consuming and difficult to amend procedure.
When we relaunched as a monthly we used a typesetter and graphic artist but by 1988 three inventions inspired by Apple made it possible to produce the publication in-house – literally our front room in West Swindon: a faster Macintosh computer with larger screen, the Apple laserwriter and Aldus Pagemaker desktop publishing software.
We were the first in Swndon by several years to adopt desktop publishing technology, following in the path of Eddie Shah, now a fellow Wiltshire resident, in the use of the Macintosh to produce the Today newspaper in 1986, and then Rupert Murdoch’s News International breaking in that same year the antiquated control of newspapers exerted by the trades union in the graphical and printing industries.
The availability of the ‘new technology’ from Apple and the changing industry landscape meant that we could take control of how we produced the magazine at a lower cost and in less time.
We’ve been doing much the same for over 23 years, except we now use much faster and much cheaper iMacs. The speed allows us to do a lot more at the same time – replying to email, adding articles to www.swindonlink.com, putting out story announcements on Facebook and Twitter, apart from designing the magazine using Adobe Indesign (the descendent of Pagemaker), and the ever present Adobe Photoshop to process digital images that we have been using for over 12 years, again a first in Swindon.
We printed 10,000 copies in 1988 when we first published as a monthly magazine. Now its 27,500, still given away free of charge and entirely reliant on advertising. We were giving away information and relying on advertising revenue a long time before Google applied the idea virtually.
Vast amounts has been written on paper and online, and said, about Steve Job’s pursuit of perfection and his genius ability to convince buyers that Apple offer must-have products whilst making shedloads of money.
Jobs once described Apple’s aim was to make insanely great products. Whilst we at Swindon Link can only aspire to that ideal, we’d like to thank him for giving us the means to produce an excellent read, for, perhaps, far longer than we could have thought of when we first started.
To read Swindon Link magazine in digital form go to www.swindonlink.com and click on the drop down list under the logo on the right of the screen.
Find out more about advertising and why Swindon Link is such a great read here.