Annals from the dawn of digital business…
We were shivering in the “unseasonably” frigid wind over dinner at the Online Publishers Association Summit in Naples, FL, last night, when the media-mogul-raconteur at our table began to warm things up. First there was the story about how his first-ever photograph for the AP was modem-ed to HQ via a rotating drum connected to a telephone handset (8 minutes per photo!)–only to scoop UPI by 8 hours and become the centerfold for a 1969 “Woodstock” issue of Life.
Then came this gem: In the mid-80s, tired of getting Hunter S. Thompson’s column copy late, by snail-mail, the editors of the San Francisco Examiner took the plunge and sent Thompson a new gizmo called a “Mac.” The relationship between the fabled journalist and his electronic tool was reportedly troubled from the beginning. It ended shortly thereafter, when Thompson called his editor screaming in frustration, grabbed his shotgun, and blasted the youthful Steve Jobs’s creation to smithereens. Then he sent back the pieces.
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