Special: Twenty

by on December 16, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, I thought it would be worth looking back on a very important milestone that this site has hit this year—in September, SchwarzTech turned twenty. In true navel-gazing fashion, I took this opportunity to run a special header on the site all year, but otherwise treated it as a passing acknowledgement. I think it’s time to finally reflect a bit.

It’s kind of crazy to think that SchwarzTech started in a time when Apple barely had a pulse, my technology tinkering was taking place on a Macintosh SE, followed by an LC II, PowerBook 540c, and countless other ancient used Macs. Funny enough, despite feeling slow and underpowered, the time that had passed since they were new to 1999 was less than the cylindrical Mac Pro was to today (computers seemed to age quicker in the ’90s). Buying accessories meant a hopeful trip to Best Buy, Circuit City, or CompUSA, only to leave empty-handed. Of course, if one had an iMac, the USB future was starting to take shape, but didn’t materialize fully until the coming years.

This site originally was hosted on a GeoCities page, moving to a few free web hosts before joining the long-defunct MacWeekly. I had also been writing at Low End Mac, and SchwarzTech became my place to play with HTML, CSS, and web graphics.

Time came for me to upgrade to a brand new iBook in 2002, and with it, I started getting fully involved with my own writing—I emulated some general-purpose Apple news sites, reviewed a lot of accessories, and started to eventually ask myself where I wanted this little corner of the Internet to go.

From the better part of the mid-2000s, this site grew, moved to WordPress, iPods became a thing, and Apple became a healthy, important company in the technology world. Lots of other sites popped up (arguably many more popular), and the iPhone launch furthered that.

It took some time to find my voice, originally treating the site as a large operation (with some guest writers) and liberal use of the royal we, eventually moving to a more personal blog/column format. It’s my site, I do almost all of the writing, so I’m going to be me.

Since the iPhone and iPad came on the scene, my interest in the Mac has taken a back seat and I’ve also found myself looking at the bigger picture when it comes to technology and telecommunications. At this particular time, Apple is still the most important technology company to me, but I respect many of the other players (that doesn’t mean that I necessarily like them all). It’s really easy to get jaded when privacy doesn’t seem to matter, ad tracking reigns supreme, and companies pull slimy nonsense because they can. Still, what keeps me interested is that for every story of Facebook doing something creepy, there’s a story of hope, such as an Apple Watch saving someone’s life.

Let’s also take a moment to appreciate that I have a more powerful computer in my pocket with a better internet connection right now than what I used to develop and run this site for much of its existence.

I might hit 2000 posts by the end of the year, meaning that I’ve averaged about 100 posts per year. Some have been long-form opinion articles, news stories, or reviews, while others have also taken the John Gruber-inspired “linked list” format as what I’ve called Snippets. Everything is still in the archive, no matter how old or rough it may seem, so feel free to explore the past.

Truth be told, I’d love to do this as my full-time job, but I also recognize that it wouldn’t be sustainable right now. Nonetheless, it’s given me a platform, an outlet for my thoughts, even if in a small way. If you’ve been here since the early days (hooray RSS!), came across a linked post more recently, or this is your first time reading my work, I appreciate your time, your loyalty, your support, and joining me on your favorite device’s browser. Here’s to twenty more years!

— Eric

This post has been filed in Articles, Special Coverage