Let me get to the meat of this right away: I have an aging MacBook Pro laptop, an iPod (only my second), an iPhone and an iPad.
And, most importantly, I use each and every one of them every single day.
Of course, spending your working life on the Internet, as I do, you'd expect me to be plugged in. But I have to say that despite a few burps, I couldn't be more satisfied with these tools/toys.
As I've pondered the news last week that Steve Jobs was stepping down as CEO of Apple, I wasn't concerned about how his departure would affect Apple stock (I don't have a single share).
I thought, rather, about how his work has affected my life.
As I said, there's the work side of all this. I write my column daily on my laptop, and while it's starting to show signs of its age, it's been a workhorse for this and other writing projects. It hasn't failed me, it doesn't have the bugs I've always found on PCs (I know, there are PC lovers out there who may argue with me about this, but all I know is what I've experience).
The iPod contains most of my music library, rendering my shelves full of CDs useless. If I buy music, it's a single, not an album, changing how I listen to music. And, of course, remaking the music industry.
I now use it mostly to listen to podcasts, and I plug the iPod into my car when I travel, rendering the car radio in my Camry superfluous.
The iPhone is my only phone for the past two years or so since I shut down my useless landline. It keeps me connected in ways I never thought possible.
And, yes, sometimes I do disconnect.
Most recently, it's been the iPad, which I use to download books as well as sort of an intermediate between the iPhone and the laptop.
These pieces of equipment are all enjoyable and easy to use. And they connect me to the social media outlets that have become a key part of my job and an important tool in keep in touch with real friends and family members (not just the Facebook "friends" who I've collected over the past several years).
As I've written before, I'm dealing with very serious health concerns and keeping in touch with distant friends and relatives as I deal with cancer couldn't be any more important to me.
As I think about my own health, I worry about Jobs' condition and wish him well.
And I thank him for opening windows that allow me to constantly learn, make my work life easy and offer me entertaining diversions from my own problems.
Now, I've just got to figure out how to replace my rickety laptop with a new one. I'm thinking of a MacBook Air this time around.
An Apple memory: I can't say it's what inspired me to buy my first Mac back in 1984, but this commercial remains one of the best TV spots ever made:
On screen: "Rebirth," a documentary on the Sept. 11 attacks, will be screened at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Marquette University's Weasler Auditorium. Admission is free to the film, which features the work of field producer Danielle Beverly, visiting professional in residence in digital media for the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication.
- If you're waiting for the schedule for next month's Milwaukee Film Festival, it'll be released Saturday during the festival's annual celebration from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Cathedral Square Park.
- This year's 14th Jewish Film Festival will focus on "14 Years of the Best of New Jewish Filmmaking" from Oct. 23-27 at the Marcus Northshore Cinema with seven films over that period starting with Avi Nesher's "The Matchmaker." Tickets are $10. For information and tickets, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (414) 967-8235.
- Tribeca Films has changed the Milwaukee release date for "Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure" at the Times Cinema to Sept 30. It had been scheduled to open the previous week.
What I'm waiting for: The show I'm most anticipating this fall is the second season of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," and the premium cable programmer has whetted my appetite with a second promo.
Here it is:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.