It was the spring of 1994, just before things really started to get interesting at Apple. I called my higher education team together for a spring meeting at Mountain Lake Resort not too far from Blacksburg, Virginia.
We were planning for back to school at universities and colleges from Maryland all the way through North Carolina. It was still in the days when college students could get a real deal by buying their computers on campus.
As an Apple manager, I never bought into the idea that Apple reps should focus on marketing by brochure. I believed that my people needed to know what they were selling so I always managed to set aside some dollars for demo equipment.
That spring, I ordered Quicktake 100 cameras for my team. They had revolted when I had suggested an overnight camping trip and a hike on part of the Appalachian Trail as a prelude to our meeting. We settled on a digital scanvenger hunt around the trail at Mountain Lake. It gave them a chance to get familiar with their Quicktake cameras.
The first Quicktake was actually manufactured by Kodak. It was a revolution in its day. I can remember using both the Quicktake and Kodak's earlier Photo CD product. My oldest daughter did a Hypercard project for a high school science project, and we had a Photo CD created.
In a little over three years, Steve Jobs would be back at Apple. Apple would focus on just computers. Cameras, scanners, printers, and even the Newton would disappear from the product lineup
For a time I thought Apple had made a mistake in abandoning cameras, but within a few years, it was clear that to win in the digital camera business took a focus that Apple didn't have if you will pardon the pun.
Apple's next great contribution to the world of photography would be iPhoto which was released in January 2002.
Like most folks I have a history with Kodak cameras and film. We even used Kodak disc film and some of their multi-format cameras. When I was in college in the sixties, I actually had a Kodak SLR camera that I carried with me on a trip to Alaska. It didn't have interchangeable lenses so in 1969/70 I switched to Nikon which is the camera line that I still use the most.
As someone who sometimes takes a thousand pictures a day and still sells a few prints, I am a dedicated camera user and not particularly interested in the cameras in devices like the iPhone. I am certain you can take great pictures with them, but they don't meet my needs.
Apple has been a company that has been able to re-invent its business a number of times. There are myriads of reasons why Apple and Kodak are different companies on completely different trajectories.
I am also not sure if the world of digital photography would be much better if Apple had gotten serious about the camera market. However, I do think Apple deserves some credit for helping create the bridge between the world of photography and computers.
I know that I have a very rich history of digital images which I probably wouldn't have except for the Quicktake, iPhoto, and actually the Apple OneScanner and its Ofoto scanning program. All of these gave me an early start in the digital world and likely a path away from Kodak.
While I can live with Apple not being my digital camera supplier or the source of my scanner and its VueScan software, I certainly do miss Apple in my world of printers. Actually I can live without Apple in the world of laser printers, but I certainly do miss Apple's genius in the world of color printers.
I keep floating between Epson, Cannon, and HP color printers, but none have the magic of Apple or even work much better with Apple's OSX than they do with Windows 7, but that is fodder for a post another day.
Aside from complaining about the death of common courtesy, that is it from the Crystal Coast where winter never stays very long, but we are enjoying some brief winter beach time. If you are using Safari for your browser, you can check out my belted Kingfisher movie.
Perhaps he had a comment on being photographed about three quarters of the way through the move. The movie was done with a Nikon Coolpix 500. I might have some comments soon on the pain of movies and browsers in 2012.