• Meet the MacTalkers 2015 - iMic

    Meet the MacTalkers

    "Get excited MacTalkers, hot on the heels of the definitive "what we would like to see on MacTalk in 2015 thread" we are bringing back an old MacTalk favourite. Some of you who have been around long enough may remember a fun little thing that MacTalk used to do called 'Meet the MacTalkers. Essentially various MacTalk members are going to introduce themselves to you through various interesting questions, that will give an interesting insight into the forum members you chat with daily.

    One of the points highlighted in the "what we would like to see on MacTalk in 2015" was that the community wanted to know who the hard working MacTalk Moderators are, so the first couple of MacTalkers who you will get to know are our Moderators and Writers who are currently working to reinvigorate MacTalk, then after, we'll get the community to nominate who they want 'interviewed' each week.

    This weeks member will be iMic, one of our writers and member currently working on MacTalk renewal.


    What does your username and avatar mean?

    Iíve never been that creative with usernames. Itís a combination of ďiMacĒ and the first three letters of my name, Michael. There was some speculation that I was simply a fan of Griffin products, but itís merely a coincidence. As it turns out Iím not that creative with avatars either, because itís simply a tastefully edited picture of my own face.


    Iím currently studying. I returned to school last year to complete my Stage 2 studies after working in an Apple Authorised Service Provider for three years as a service technician. Iíd considered moving into the media arts, but having considered my options Iíll most likely continue on the information technology track for a while longer.


    Sensational Adelaide. East Side.

    What's your poison?

    Iím not much of a drinker, but even I canít turn down a scotch and coke on the odd occasion. Dark Chocolate and original salted Doritos for every other occasion.

    One strange fact about yourself?

    Iím apparently extremely conductive - there isnít one computer Iíve owned that hasnít shocked me at least once. Then again, I should probably stop screwing around inside the power supply. The warning stickers tell me not to, but I take those off first, so weíre good.

    How long have you kept your mobile number for?

    Ever since I bought my first iPhone, the 8GB 3G in 2008. Thatís around seven years with Vodafone, and I doubt itíll change any time soon.

    When, where, and how did you realise Apple is the way to go?

    Around 2001, when the current consumer desktop OS on the PC side was Windows Millennium Edition. Our family computer was an IBM desktop running Windows ME, and you could always count on the machine to lock up as you were about to hit save on whatever you were working on. I shuffled around schools a lot as a child, and a couple of years later I found myself in a school surrounded by Slot-Loader G3 iMacs running Mac OS 9 and eMacs running OS X Panther. That was the turning point. I was only 12 at the time, but I managed to scrape together $100 by selling off some of my stuff and with the funds bought a second hand Grape iMac G3 Tray-Loader running Mac OS 9. Soon after I upgraded it to Mac OS X Panther and the rest is history.

    What's in your Dock?

    Finder, Mission Control, Mail, Reminders, Messages, WebKit (Nightly), Address Book, Notes, Maps, Facebook (Fluid), iTunes, Pixelmator, Pages, Dropkick (To-Do List), Textual (IRC), Skype, Wallet, VLC, TextWrangler and of course - System Preferences.

    Worst OS X application you have used?

    The really awful applications tend to stay on my drive for only a few minutes before Iím off looking for something better, so thatís a tough one. At the moment itís a toss-up between Mail and iTunes. Mail because it lost the contents of one of my inboxes seemingly at random and I canít seem to ever empty the Junk boxes (the messages come back the next time Mail is launched), and iTunes because occasionally itíll hard lock the entire system and dump a few thousand errors into the console.

    If you ever met Steve Jobs/Tim Cook, what is one question you'd love to ask, but wouldn't be able to bring yourself to do so?

    If I met Steve Jobs now, Iíd be wondering what was in my coffee that morning. I havenít really thought about it actually. ďCheck out my mixtape?Ē Seriously I have no idea.

    What is your dream Apple Product?

    I was about to say some kind of Apple space heater, but then I remembered that the Power Mac G5 already exists.

    Worst Apple product you've used?

    Should I include the various second hand and spare machines Iíve had come through as a service technician? If weíre specifically talking something I have both owned and usedÖ any Apple device in the last several years that includes a cable. Both my MagSafe 2 adapter and 30-pin Dock Connector cable are mostly electrical tape now, and the Apple earbuds that came with the various iPods never seemed to last long without falling apart. I bought three brand new MagSafe 1 L-shape power adapters and handed them out, and nine months later all three came back to me fraying at exactly the same spot near the strain relief on the MagSafe end (not the brick). The older Apple cables I have around, like the 30-pin cable from my iPod mini or the MagSafe 1 that shipped with the 2008 MacBook Pro are still fine. What gives?

    Your first Mac/Apple device?

    A Macintosh Classic. Rescued from a Sunday market from the hefty sum of $2. The first Mac I actually used on a regular basis however was an iMac G3 Tray-Loader, Grape with a 266MHz G3 running Mac OS 9.

    What Apple devices are you using currently?

    I currently use a MacBook Air (Mid 2012), 13-inch CTO because I really wanted the 8GB memory and 512GB SSD options. My secondary machine is a MacBook Pro (Early 2008 Pre-Unibody) that serves as stand-in whenever the MacBook Air is down for whatever reason. For music I use an iMac G4 (17-inch) connected to Harman/Kardon speakers to stream internet radio stations and act as an AirPlay receiver. My primary mobile handset is an iPhone 4S.

    What Apple-related websites/forums/podcasts do you frequent?

    For discussions I still consider MacTalk home. Occasionally I venture across to MacRumors as well to read the speculation, but thatís mostly a leftover habit from the days when blurry pre-release product photos taken in a lift were all the rage. I donít listen to any current Apple related podcasts, but for some reason I have been listening to the old MacTalk podcasts as of late if those count.

    One thing you could add to OS X?

    Bertrand Serlet. They should bring him back. OS X could always use a little extra Bertrand.

    I would add back the ability to Quick Look various different video types in the Finder. With something like Perian installed under an OS X release before Mavericks, almost any video could be previewed by tapping space.

    One thing you could change, or add to, iOS?

    Some kind of option in Settings that allows you to say ďI understand the risks and am aware that Apple will provide no support for this device in this configurationÖ but allow the installation of iOS 6 / 7 / 8 without verification with AppleĒ. Possibly also an option that allows me to reclaim free space from the iOS 8 update that it automatically downloaded but I donít dare install on a device of this age.

    Size of your iTunes library (number of tracks, apps, films, TV shows, etc.)?

    1,683 Tracks. Perhaps about a third of them I actually listen to. Iíll clean it out eventually.

    Do you own an iPhone? If so, which model/colour?

    I own an iPhone 4S, 16GB Black. Itís been a solid performer from day one and still continues to do whatever I need it to, which admittedly isnít much. Calls and messages mostly.

    Do you own an iPad? If so, which model/colour?

    No iPad. The MacBook Air already has it covered.

    What are your thoughts on the Apple Watch?

    Itís an interesting one. I remember watching the iPhone introduction and knowing immediately that it would be a hit. The iPad was a similar story. Iím not as convinced with the Apple Watch. That isnít to say I donít believe it will sell, but that I personally didnít have that same sense of ďwowĒ that I had with some of the earlier notable product launches. I think part of the reason is that Apple has been a little less upfront about some of the potential use cases for the Watch, unlike the iPhone launch for example where Apple demonstrated several scenarios where it would dramatically improve your daily life. Theyíve focused rather heavily on the fashion aspect of it. Apple products have been considered fashionable for some time now, but this is the first time itís been front and centre in the product advertising as a selling point.

    Out of the Sport, Regular, or Edition, which Apple Watch model is for you (including size and band)?

    Iím definitely not in their target demographic for this one, but if someone said to me ďyou can have any Apple Watch, your choice, free of chargeĒ, Iíd probably take the regular 38mm Apple Watch with the stainless steel link bracelet or black modern buckle.

    If applicable, what does your other half think of your interest in Apple?

    She definitely isnít an Apple fan, but Iím not exactly a die hard fanatic either, so it works out fine in that regard. I can imagine it would be a different story if I was as obsessed with the brand as I was six or seven years ago though. I was practically intolerable to be around because I wouldn't shut up about it.

    Apart from the world of Apple, what are your other hobbies and interests?

    Thereís a few actually. I have a tendency to want to learn more about how things work. I take apart, service and repair computers and electronic devices on occasion, including a few vintage Apple machines like an Apple II and Macintosh 512Ke that regularly need maintenance, and a Nintendo 64 that is now mostly restored. Iíve learned mechanics the same way and sometimes work on cars when there isnít much else to do. I have some experience with website design and maintenance, and currently maintain and operate one online community called ThinkClassic. I also write on occasion and have produced a couple of articles that were on published here on MacTalk. Perhaps most notable however is that Iíve been involved with radio and broadcasting. I hosted a few drive time and Saturday evening shows on a community station here in Adelaide for about five years between 2006 and 2011. Itís definitely something I would be interested in doing again.

    Do you use or have Protection for your Mac?

    Software or Physical? Either way, the answer is no. I tend to watch what software I install on my machine and I donít allow anything unknown to have the administrator credentials. That tends to cover it. As for physical protection, I did briefly use a hard cover for the MacBook Air, but found from experience that they can sometimes cause more damage than they prevent and weren't that effective. Now I store it in an STM Jacket 13Ē while in transit, which protects the machine nicely.

    When did you join MacTalk and why?

    Around 2007. Iíve been a MacTalk reader for much longer than that though, well before this site was even called MacTalk. Iíd been involved in the various IRC channels for a while and listened to the first few podcasts, and eventually decided to sign up because it seemed like a pretty fun place to be and the people were great. The Orange Sofa was a blast.

    When did you start writing for MacTalk?

    Some could argue that I still havenít started. Iíve only contributed a couple of articles, so Iím more of a guest writer. The first article I produced for MacTalk was called ďSheepShaver: The New ClassicĒ, essentially a rundown of my efforts to continue running Classic applications following the Intel transition. I believe it was published on MacTalk some time in 2007.

    Best memory from the forums?

    MacTalk never took itself too seriously. It was still one of the funniest reads Iíve ever come across on the internet, hands down. Iím sure someone out there will shudder at the mention of this, but I remember absolutely losing it (both my composure and my dinner) when Inappropriate Wednesday rolled around. I remember listening to the MacTalk Live Stream when the iPad was launched as well, and as soon as I heard the cans cracking open, I knew it would be good. (They didnít disappoint.)

    For the more sensible crowd though, MacTalk always had a sense of community that was unmatched anywhere else. You could recognise someone from around the forums by name half the time, and if you didnít know someone, you would have soon enough. You could always count on the community to throw you some advice and lift your spirits when you needed it. Not to mention we always rallied together behind a cause. Anyone remember the time MacTalk needed a new server, and within a matter of weeks enough donations had been raised to cover two of them? It's without a doubt the best forum community I've ever been a part of.

    If you could run MacTalk for a day, what would you do?

    What wouldnít I do? A day alone isnít that long though, so Iíd probably warm up the studio and record another MacTalk Podcast, for old times sake.

    Finally, which one member do you want to see interviewed next week?

    So many choices... but next week, lets throw this one to lawrencium and see what he has to say.
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