Ihnatko In Exile, Journal Entry 1

Dark times, ladies and gentlemen. My thin war-surplus blanket does little to protect me from the wailing brittle winds that lash against the windows and are even less effective against the pervasive doom that marinates our souls. I’m also out of Diet Dr Pepper and Plex failed to record “Bob’s Burgers” last night, citing some sort of transcoding error.

No, actually, it’s been a great week! I just thought I needed a cracker of a lede paragraph.


Tim Cook at Apple's Education Event


The trip to Chicago for Apple’s big education event went swell. It started off with a 5 AM flight from Logan. It was the only time I ever regretted the fact that no friend has never asked me to help him remove a dead body from a crime scene. As it was, nobody owed me such a big favor that I could get a lift straight to the airport at 3 AM, which meant leaving the house at 10 the previous night to catch the last commuter rail train to the city.

But the early departure did have me on the sidewalks of Chicago at what would otherwise be the time I’d be shutting off my alarm and snoozing for another hour. I didn’t get more than two hours’ sleep, but I did get to have breakfast with a good friend and former Sun-Times editor, lunch with another Chicago friend I hadn’t seen in a few years, drinks with Rene Ritchie (whom I almost never get to hang out with), and then dinner with another jorno pal who was in town for the event.

I can’t recall another business trip that was so devoid of any kind of downtime, actually. Tuesday started off at the Apple event, from which I went straight to a PBS studio to record MacBreak Weekly from a conference room, then I went into their studios to tape an interview about the event for the evening news show, then back to the hotel for some writing, tea with a cool Chicago cousin of mine and her squeeze, more writing, another quick two hours of sleep, a 6 AM flight home, three hours of more writing at the airport, then off to the WGBH radio studios to be a pundit for another half an hour, more writing in the public library, file my event coverage, commuter train home, record the Material podcast…

Well. It was quite a hectic few days for one of delicate constitution such as I. But also productive and fun.

My main writeup of the event is up at Fast Company. Here’s video of my chat on WTTW. And my Wednesday appearance on WGBH Boston Public Radio (it’s the last half hour of the show…we didn’t talk all that much about Apple). Oh, and: I was on This Week In Tech, which was a gas.

Suffice to say that I’ve been busy. :)


If Fast Company and all of these shows can no longer cite me as “Chicago Sun-Times tech columnist,” then how should they describe me? Whoops, I hadn’t given it much thought until they asked me.

I didn’t give it much more thought afterward, either: “Just call me a ‘veteran tech journalist’.” Less is more, I think. I also believe that I’ve earned it. :)

I haven’t found a new Forever Home for my regular tech column yet. But I’ve decided that I’ll definitely be starting some sort of reader-supported outlet for my writing alongside whatever else I do.

I’ve always admired the businesses that friends of mine like John Gruber and Jason Snell and Adam & Tonya Engst have created, along with their writing. And it’s much easier to do reader- or sponsor-supported writing today than it was when any of them got started. Thank Heavens…because I just don’t have the mental bandwidth. I mean, writing this paragraph reminded me that I still haven’t invoiced Fast Company for my work. So God help me if I were in charge of both writing this stuff and greasing the gears of commerce.

So definitely stay tuned! I plan to have everything set up so that I can start dancing on the street corner for thrown nickels before WWDC.

12 thoughts on “Ihnatko In Exile, Journal Entry 1

  1. Witold Witkowski

    As a long time reader of your CST column as well as your fantastic but underserved and under appreciated YouTube Channel, I think you should just setup a Patreon only channel. I’d love to hear your musings, random thoughts on things, etc. I’m not saying to forgo the dancing for nickels at Copley, but consider it as letting us plebs into your thought process on writing.

  2. Alain

    All the best for this new chapter, Andy. Looking forward to learn more about the reader supported writing.

  3. Craig


    Godspeed from a long-time fan in Nashville, Tenn. At least I’ll finally be able to find your writing. This was excruciatingly difficult with the CST.

    You’ll do fine.

  4. Warwick

    Hi Andy,
    I wish you well in your new professional endeavours.
    Enhanced readability through an editor’s careful eye will add to your value proposition.

  5. Harvey Dentures

    Greetings Andy,

    You are still my favourite journalist. Why? Here is just one example…

    I often think back on the article you wrote in [MacWeek?] in the early 90s about how you needed to roll-up into a foetal position under your desk in-response to the Voyager premier – only to realise that Babylon 5 was “reasonably good”, new SciFi alternative. I didn’t care that much for B5, but the perspective you gave me on moving-on was GREAT.

    It is more a bizarre thing to be a writer for a “Newspaper” these days than an ex one, so no foul there. However, please do remember dear Andy, B5 was really a pretty good and new alternative. I see you’re moving-on. Can’t wait for that better, new thing!

    Very best wishes.

  6. Dave Erwin

    Can’t wait for your reader-supported gig to open up. I have my credit card at the ready. Good luck with your future plans. I was disappointed to see that the Sun-Times decided to part company but since it was impossible to find your columns I’m hoping that you will get more exposure this way.

  7. Robert

    Hi Andy. What brand and model of microphone was in use at the PBS facility?


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