Apple Matters Five Years Later

by Hadley Stern Dec 10, 2007

When I started Apple Matters, there wasn’t this thing known as the blogosphere, or blogging. At least not that I was consciously aware of. My how things have changed!

I have been an Apple user since the age of 13 when I received an Apple II compatible Peach computer (yes, that was the name!) for my Bar Mitzvah.

My next Apple product was the beloved Mac Plus when I went to college in 1990. It was, and forever will be, my most amazing computing experience ever. Next came design school where I made very good use of the excellent computing facilities at RISD (if I remember correctly, while I was there the machines in the design lab were kickin’ 8500s with zip drives).

In the last year of school I bought my second Mac, a 7500. Then, entering the professional working world I went through a larger variety of Macs (many of which, much to my wife’s chagrin, are in the basement with 30+ other Apples).

It was with this spirit and passion that I started Apple Matters. I have been a Macworld reader for forever (plus MacWeek, remember that?) and was enjoying many of the early sites on the Mac web, all brought to me by the ever-amazing Macsurfer. I whipped up a quickish design in Photoshop, coded it using pMachine (which is a distant relative of the ever-amazing Expression Engine which powers this site), and posted my first post, I Can’t Find Sherlock with My Sherlock.

In many ways that first post has set the tone for the site. I am not a fanboy, that oft-thrown phrase on the Mac web. I love the products that Apple makes. I think they are far superior to anything out there in the marketplace and I have a deep admiration, as a designer, for what the company produces. But my love isn’t blind. Apple does stupid things. Apple makes mistakes. And to me, it is my job, and the job of the site, to point out the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I sometimes wondered why, like the fantastic writer Jon Gruber, I didn’t let other people write for the site. It started with my very good friend Greg asking if he could write something. If it was interesting, I said, sure! And it was. And more writers came along. Some have come, some have gone. There are ones that have been around for awhile and I have come to greatly enjoy their words, as have our readers. I suppose having others contribute to Apple Matters is a reflection of my personality, my true interest in hearing other opinions, whether they are from other writers or the readers who have contributed thousands of words to the site. Other bloggers (full respect!!) like to keep their sites to themselves. I just happen to enjoy publishing various viewpoints.

So now—five years later—many things have changed on the so-called Mac web. There are a plethora of sites, some good, some not so good, some fantastic. The ability for anyone and everyone to install Expression Engine, Wordpress, or just sign up with a blogger account and get going has led to countless blogs and websites. I think this is fantastic for the Apple community. It brings even more voices and more points of view to the table.

As any of our writers will tell you, writing about Apple week after week is tough. It is also tough if you have an iota of a critical mind. Because, after writing hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of words about Apple, you suddenly start to realize that the company and its products sure as hell ain’t perfect. I think most of the writers share a similar point of view. It has been amusing for me to see the site sometimes called out for being anti-Apple. But for me this is a sign that we are on track.

There will be some changes in the design and content area for Apple Matters for 2008, but the original impetus that led me to start the site five years ago is still there: to revel in the delight that Apple brings us, whether via an iPhone, iPod, Mac, or operating system, and to provide a critical platform for discussing all things Apple.

Before I sign off on this little anniversary note I wanted to thank the readers. I know there are a lot of places for you to get content, and I’m happy you like getting some here. I can probably safely speak for all the writers in saying there is no greater thrill than writing a piece that gets an interesting dialogue going.

Hadley Stern



  • Happy Birthday Apple Matters.

    Hadley, Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

    BigMac had this to say on Dec 10, 2007 Posts: 5
  • Hadley

    I enjoy your site greatly - I don’t always agree with you (or some of the other writers) but I do generally consider it a sensible and worthwhile site (sure you have made mistakes… don’t we all) - and a fanboi you most surely are not, and I value that. I love Apple and the Mac (mostly) and like you I sure as hell thinks it beats the opposition - but they are not perfect and like everything in life it has flaws and foibles and it is good to stand up and say so.

    Well done on 5 years and I look forward to another 5… and I will continue to read and occasionally comment (and to criticise where I think it necessary, as I hope you will too).

    Here is to many many more Apple Matters posts.

    Serenak had this to say on Dec 10, 2007 Posts: 26
  • Hi Hadley,

    As a relatively new Mac user, finding reliable information that isn’t skewed badly one way or the other is difficult but with Applematters I am assured of finding balance, maybe not in the same article but very quickly thereafter. This must be a difficult balancing act at times and I thank you for your perseverance.

    A regular visitor.

    Eskimo had this to say on Dec 11, 2007 Posts: 1
  • I personally would rather see the removal of region encoding on DVD in Apple computers. How ridiculous it is that I can transport my MacBook to Hong Kong, but not play a Region 3 DVD bought there legally on my region-locked DVD drive. A region free drive with a bunch of external hard disks is the solution. Especially now that Front Row will see ripped VIDEO_TS folders.

    I guessing the author of this piece is a little too dim to work this out, and really wants to see his DVDs in a sub-par quality, otherwise he would just get MacTheRipper, rip the main feature from each DVD and play it in Apple’s own DVD

    Seeing he ripped then sold his CDs, I bet they were at a quality below 320kbps too!

    evilcat had this to say on Dec 11, 2007 Posts: 66
  • Apologies—that comment was aimed at the Ripping DVD column. When I logged in, I was redirected here! Sorry!

    evilcat had this to say on Dec 11, 2007 Posts: 66
  • I liked reading it with RSS feeds, but the links haven’t worked for a month on any browser at home or at work.

    My feedback messages have not received replies.  So I’m figuring applematters no longer matters to you.

    Howard Brazee had this to say on Dec 17, 2009 Posts: 54
  • Thanks sir Hadley. Im proud of being an Apple Mac user. Apple Matters is great. Jonathan Berkowitz

    berkowitzjonathan05 had this to say on Aug 17, 2011 Posts: 8
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