Mac Musings

Low End Living: Expanding the Low End Philosophy

Daniel Knight - 2005.11.01

Cobweb Publishing, the publisher of Low End Mac, is expanding. We're preparing to launch a new website the extends the "low end" philosophy, and we're also looking for new writers for Low End Mac.

Low End Living

The underlying philosophy of Low End Mac has been that you don't need the latest, greatest, state-of-the-art, bleeding-edge technology to be productive. Good enough is good enough, and we recommend against upgrading or replacing your hardware until it's no longer good enough.

There are a lot of reasons for that, including a fondness most Mac users develop for their hardware, but at the heart of the low end philosophy are frugality and priorities. Frugality - not spending unnecessarily. Priorities - investing your time and money in what's most important.

Computers are great tools and can be a wonderful diversion, but there's a lot more to life than hardware, software, and the Internet. Like groceries, housing, relationships, and your health.

Low End Living will advocate a different lifestyle than Madison Avenue or Hollywood. The focus will be on priorities and frugality, not consumption. We want to help people sort out their busy lives, determine what is most important, and stop running in the rat race.

Instead of complaining about the price of gas, we'll help you understand the true cost of owning a car and how to waste less fuel. Instead of complaining about credit card debt, we'll offer tips on how to dig your self out. Instead of complaining about being overweight or out of shape, we'll help you put your body in order.

Our goals are to help you make sound financial decisions, eliminate your debt, improve your health, and plan for the retirement you want. They're all pieces of the whole. The healthier you are, the more you're going to need to plan ahead.

But it's not just retirement. We want to help you prioritize your life. Should you family take a back seat to your job or your Internet addiction? Should your partner have to wonder how many things have higher priorities in your life? Should your friends wonder if you'll ever make time to hang out again - or will you kill yourself with overtime?

We hope to use Low End Living to call people back to saner living, and we're looking for writers to help us do it. If you have the understanding and skill to write about things like debt reduction, cheap dates, health and nutrition, setting priorities, and making a healthy break from consumerism, please email Daniel Knight. I'd like to get Low End Living off the ground this month.

Low End Mac

Eight years ago, when Low End Mac was young, the G3 was the hot now thing. Today the G3 is the bottom end of the used Mac market.

Over the years, our writers have moved from yesterday's low-end Macs to today's, and that leaves a gaping hole in our coverage. All of our writers have G3 or later hardware and normally use OS X, although many of use still use classic (and some even boot into it now and then). That's not a bad thing, since we bring the low end philosophy with us, but except for archived articles, we have pretty much ignored the classic Mac OS and pre-G3 hardware in recent years.

I'm looking for someone to cover the 680x0 Macs and System 6 through Mac OS 8.1. I'm looking for someone to cover pre-G3 Power Macs and clones, which normally run System 7.5 through 9.x. I'm looking for someone to cover the 'Book beat as a field user (Charles W. Moore does a great job covering 'Books, but he works primarily from his desk).

I'm looking for people willing to compare browsers, messaging software, image editors, and other types of software so our readers can make an informed choice.

I'm looking for an iPod columnist, someone who can look at the software and accessories.

I'm looking for a Palm writer, someone who uses the leading non-Windows PDA with their Mac. Someone to recommend software, discuss synching Palm and Mac, and help us get the most out of these tiny handhelds. (I've had a Zire 31 for about two weeks, and I may never use my Newton again.)

We're trying to broaden our scope with a deeper emphasis on the Internet, older Macs, and popular Mac accessories. If you feel qualified to write on one of these topics on a regular basis, please email Daniel Knight. Thanks!