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Hey, Where'd Everybody Go??!?

If you've been a long time reader/viewer of The Digital Lifestyle, you have no doubt noticed that blog posts have slowed as of late, and seem to have outright stopped. An explanation is in order.

When we started TDL, the idea was to create a 24-hour online technology channel, focusing primarily on Apple products/news. That was back in 2007. Believe it or not, a lot of things were different then. In some ways we were ahead of our time, and in others, we were behind. We launched after the iPhone first debuted, but in a lot of ways, we approached the project from the old way of thinking about Apple's customers: a small, but fervent group, fiercely loyal to the company, who couldn't get enough news and info about Apple. That was all about to change.

The iPod brought people into Apple stores who had never considered buying an Apple product before, but it was the tip of the iceberg compared to the rushing throngs who would eventually buy millions upon millions of iPhones.

We also launched at a time when YouTube was still fresh for many people. The hope was, that we could band together a bunch of YouTube content creators, to fill our programming day, perhaps supplying one show of our own each week. Well, the short story is, that plan didn't quite pan out, and soon we were scurrying to fill every minute with some sort of content.

This was also just at the dawn of livestreaming. The tools were still crude and frustrating. Heck, this was a time before . I remember the time Leo Laporte mentioned us on his audio podcast, and wished us well. Shortly after that, armed with far more experience, money, and recognition, twit's video channel launched to great success that continues to this day. I say this only to give some perspective on where the world of online video was when we launched, and how far it has come now. In short, we brought a Newton to an iPhone fight.

Over time, as it became clear that we couldn't sustain the required flow of programming, the site shifted, and became more blog oriented, but heavily featured video content, like our collection of video iPhone app reviews (the world's largest) and we would still go live during key Apple events. While I'm quite proud of the work we did during this phase of the site, I'm a video guy, not a blogger, at heart. 

Which brings us to the point of this rambling missive. I will be suspending updates to the site for the foreseeable future, primarily to focus on After The Fair, a documentary I am working on along with my wife Stacy. I don't want to say TDL is dead, and I know that the internet is littered with the suspended remains of many sites who vowed to return one day. Still, this feels like the right way to leave this site.

I still firmly believe that there's a place for a 24-hour tech network online, and I think the allure of live webcasting will grab me once again, I just don't know if it will be here, or on another project down the road.

Which brings me to the thank you's... First and foremost of course, I want to thank YOU. YOU are reading this, and it's because of your involvement in the site that any of this was possible. Thanks to you, we were one of the top ten most popular live video channels for almost seven months according to livestream. Because of you, we were able to do amazing things like play Segway Polo with Steve Wozniak, visit the Luna City Arcade, bring you comprehensive video coverage of Macworld, tour the Computer History Museum, and get to play with a lot of fun gadgets.

It was amazing to see thousands of people would be watching during our livestream events for Apple Keynotes. There were a lot of options, and many of you chose to watch three guys sitting at a table, in front of laptops, talking about what Steve Jobs was talking about, according to the other sites that were on our screens. You didn't have to do that, but you did. Thank you.

Even though I've been handling most of the content here over the past year, the site wouldn't have been possible without the help of some great friends who gave up a lot of their free time to give this crazy idea a "go." Thanks to Adam for agreeing to appear on camera hundreds of times. Also to Jamie, who not only had to appear on camera, but then do it again for two other shows, essentially saying the same thing three different ways. Thank you to Callie for her promos and occasional cameo appearances. A nod to "Slate" for his behind the scenes assistance. Thanks to Gary for hosting Gary's Garage in the early year(s) and doing it despite a ton of technical difficulties. And of course my wife Stacy, the often referred to, but seldom seen "Macgirl" behind the camera of nearly every live production. And our superfans! Many of you knew us from our days of working at Apple. It was so much fun to see a question from a familiar name, or a snarky comment in the chat room from an old friend.

There are slicker, faster, hipper, cooler sites out there now. But then again, the Newton is still kinda cool in its own way...

Thank you, once again.


(If you want to see what's next, please follow the documentary project on twitter @afterthefair or you can follow me personally @ryanrit )




Retro Tech Tuesday: 70's Tech from the History Channel

Hey folks, let's face it: this probably won't be the most productive week at the workplace. Between swapping holiday stories, finishing off what's left of the holiday cookies, and generally taking it easy while the boss enjoys another few days off, productivity this week is in the toilet.

So what a perfect time to dive in to 42 minutes of 1970's technology. Rather than our usual bite-sized portions of retro tech, today we bring you a whole decade, courtesy of the History Channel. enjoy:


Happy Holidays, Everyone

I know, I know... the un-written rule of the online world is that there's never a day off for an online publication. Well, we're going a bit old-school, and closing down our little content factory until 2012. So Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, and most of all, thank you for making it another great year here at TDL. Also, look for a post early next year to talk about some changes and plans for the future of the site.

Thanks again, and please take some time as we are to actually have a few days off, and maybe, just maybe, not even check email/IM/text, etc.

Oh, and per our usual holiday tradition, here's a digital yule log until we return:



Retro Tech Tuesday: Mario Bros. for... Atari?

The 1980's brought some strange bedfellows to the world of videogames. Take, for instance the game cartoonishly highlighted in this ad. Mario Bros... for Atari. Yes, Atari. Remember, Mario made his debut in Donkey Kong (as mentioned in the ad) which ironically was a huge breakthrough home arcade hit for Atari rival Coleco. Long before he was making his way through side-scrolling, mushroom-taking adventures, Mario had to jump and bump platforms with his brother, who is quizzically the star of this ad. Enjoy:


Retro Tech Tuesday: Famicom 

Before you and I knew it as the NES in the United States, the Japanese had the Famicom, or family computer. It was the same basic system, but as you'll see in this compilation of ads, there were some interesting tweaks before the system made it to American shores. You'll notice in lieu of the futuristic light gun, the Famicom sported a more realistic (and anachronistic) six-shooter style gun, with holster! And look closely at those controller buttons, and you'll see they're not the circular mashers we're all familiar with. And hey, what's with putting the game in the top!? How are kids in Japan supposed to experience the thrill of needing to blow dust out of the cartridge to make it work!?