The Mac Cult in the National Office

Steve Dennie, Communications Director

Today, everyone’s focused on the death of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. He’s a religious figure in that he started the Apple Cult. It started with Mac users, who (like me) could be extremely obnoxious in their evangelistic zeal. It has since spread to include iPod, iPhone, and iPad users. I am all of the above (though the iPad is actually my wife’s).

The Healthy Ministry Resources office has been entirely Macintosh since 1988. Prior to that, I produced the monthly United Brethren magazine on an AT&T PC with two 5.25″ floppy drives (no hard drive). I composed the articles in Wordstar, then sent the disc to a printshop, which printed out the typeset articles in long strips of heavy paper. I then spent up to two weeks doing layout, bent over a light table laboriously pasting everything down, with regular trips to the chiropractor.

When Denny Miller came to the office in 1987 as Associate Director of Church Services, he was already an Apple user. In mid-1988, he dragged me along to a computer store. I believe we went to look at Apple II computers. But instead, we were blown away by the insanely great Mac. I soon had a Mac II on my desk (2MB RAM, 40MB hard drive, monochrome monitor) and a LaserWriter Plus nearby. Within a month, with no training whatsoever, I learned this new computer, along with Pagemaker, and cranked out the October 1988 United Brethren magazine entirely on-screen.

The Mac, truly, changed my life. Or Denny did.

Today, every employee in the office uses a Mac. Gary Gates works here one day a week, and I believe he brings a PC laptop, for which he’s been given a special dispensation. We have a PC in shipping, because UPS requires PC software, and Finance Director Marci Hammel, in addition to her iMac, keeps a PC laptop open for banking purposes. But everyone else uses Macs entirely.

We basically do no training. And since problems are few, I provide support out of my back pocket. So, as a small office, the Mac serves us well. Bishop Whipple came to the office in 2009 as a veteran Mac user. Jeff Bleijerveld came from a PC office, but is now a devoted (but not yet obnoxious) convert. And now we’re working on newcomer Frank Y. It’s just a matter of time.

One more thing: we’ve not had a computer virus since 1991.

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