When I started covering the Mac for a living, I was an assistant editor at MacUser magazine. Back in the day, there were two big Mac magazines in the U.S., Macworld and MacUser . For the last few years of MacUser ’s existence, our back-page columnist was Andy Ihnatko, a well-known and popular figure in the Mac community. He also ran a web site, Andy Ihnatko’s Colossal Waste of Bandwidth, on MacUser ’s web server. (It lives on.)
When the MacUser – Macworld merger happened in 1997, things changed a lot. Numerous people (from both sides) left the combined magazine. Macworld already had the estimable David Pogue holding down its back page, and so Andy disappeared from our pages for a while. When Pogue decided to ditch this crazy Mac gig for the hardscrabble life of newspapering, Andy’s column returned.
About three and a half years ago, the U.S. edition of Macworld dropped Andy’s column. However, the column continues to run in the UK edition of Macworld , meaning that our friends in Britain have been able to get a monthly Ihnatko fix while those of us in the States have not.
Andy remains a personal friend of mine, and every time I sat down with him we’d talk — okay, I’ll grant you that most of the time our talk is about incredibly geeky stuff like comic books and sci-fi movies and TV shows. But we’d also talk business, at least a little bit, most often about the possibility of getting the UK column into my readers’ hands, somehow. A regular monthly gig in the print magazine was problematic for several reasons, but what if we ran it online?
Thanks to Andy, and to the great and powerful Simon Jary at Macworld UK , we’ve managed to do just that. And we’re taking Andy back to his roots, where most of us met him. That’s because we’ll now be publishing Andy’s column, on a monthly basis, as part of our new MacUser weblog. (Andy will also write a few online exclusives for us each year, as events warrant.) Meanwhile, we’re still talking about ways to get Andy’s unique viewpoint to reappear in the magazine as well.
In any event, we’ve already posted two Ihnatko columns on the MacUser blog. “ Dual Boot ” is an account of Andy’s attempts to run Windows on an Intel-based Mac. And “ Kill, Marry and… ” uses the conceit of a party game (with, fair warning, a slightly adult premise) to discuss the Apple products he loves and hates.
Andy Ihnatko, back on MacUser.com after nine years elsewhere. It just feels right, at least to an old-timer like me.