MEMBER PROFILE: Jack Turner
Author: Gladys Burritt
Date: July , 1988
Keywords: SMUG profile interview
Text: Jack Turner never thought he'd be interested in computers. While in Bulgaria on a Fulbright Fellowship, he remembers reading in Time and Newsweek about the Mac when it first came out. But, when he returned home, he got a new electric typewriter. When he began to see that people were able to do much better things with a word processor, he began to look around for a computer. The Macintosh was his clear choice, mainly because of its design. He got the 128K instead of the 512K, thinking that he wasn't going to be "that serious" about computing. Within a month, however, he was convinced, and upgraded to the 512. Jack became the first SMUG newsletter editor when he, Rita Rodgers and Judy Bennett got the idea of forming a users group. Volume I, No. 1 was done on MacWrite, with physically cut and pasted columns readied for the Xerox. During nearly two years of doing the newsletter, he also used an early desktop publishing program, MacPublisher, and eventually PageMaker. On Memorial Day, 1987, Jack got a call from MacWorld telling him he'd won second place in the magazine's contest. For his picks of the best software for Macintosh, he won a Mac Plus and nearly 30 software programs for the Mac. He has since sold all of his winnings, in addition to the Mac he already had, and now has a Mac II and Imagewriter II printer. When engineer and artist friends who also own Mac IIs ask Jack what he uses his Mac II for, he tries to convince them that desktop publishing isn't "just word processing." Jack teaches English at Humboldt State University, and is able to use his home Macintosh for both personal and business work. He hopes to combine efforts with a computer artist this summer and produce some newsletters. An HSU student literary publication, Toyon, may be produced on the Mac next year if the English Department is able to acquire PageMaker. P Jack comments that the Mac has become one of his two major hobbies, although he does not consider himself a computer expert. His other major hobby is music, but so far Jack says he is more interested in playing real instruments than he is in the musical applications of computer technology. Jack feels a bit nostalgic for the "good old days" when he first got his Mac, when things were a bit more accessible, both in the local users group and in the computer publications. Then, real information was being exchanged about how computers and software work, the philosophy behind the new developments, and what computers are all about. Now, he says, the magazines are full of glossy ads, and even the articles seem to be just reviews of new products to buy. For Jack Turner, computers are now very interesting, and it all began with a Mac128K!
Copyright © july , 1988 by Gladys Burritt