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Jason Snell for Macworld
March 10, 2016 9:35 AM PT
“I’ve been writing about Apple since it was doomed.” It’s a thing I tell people sometimes, when I’m explaining that Apple was faltering and its future was in doubt when I began my career writing about technology.
It’s hard to imagine it now, but back in the 1990s almost nobody used the Mac, and that was Apple’s only product. Being a Mac user was risky. Not risky in the sense that roving gangs of PC users were going to beat you up and steal your Zip dive if they discovered you were using Mac OS 8, but risky in an emotional way: We were pouring our love into a product that had every chance of dying.
After Windows 95 appeared, appropriating most of the things that made Macs different from PCs, Apple continued to slide downhill. The fear was palpable. Power Computing, a maker of Mac clones (yes, those were briefly a thing), had several ad campaigns with “fighting back for the Mac” as the theme. One of the first cover stories I worked on at Macworld in 1998 was titled “Save Your Mac,” and was designed to give Mac users strategies to work with PCs so that their bosses didn’t have an excuse to take away their Macs.