MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

Roger Allen, publisher. “Rockford is the Humor Capital of the World”

So long, Steve, and thanks 

The paper you’re reading was produced on a Macintosh computer. By “produced,” I mean typeset, proofed, designed and sent out of town to the printer directly from the Mac. Steve Jobs’ invention changed publishing in ways that are nearly indescribable. You had to have been there, and I was.

The Squire and Post have at least a dozen Macs, and we couldn’t do a paper without them. Personally, I’ve owned five or six Apple computers.

The early electronic computer was “Eniac,” built at the University of Pennsylvania and put into operation in 1945. It occupied a whole floor of the engineering building and weighed 30 tons. Steve Jobs had not yet been born.

In 1976, as you’ve probably been hearing this week, the Apple computer was invented in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage. Steve was 21 years old. From then on he took control of the company, imagining things he would like to have and then making them.

My own first computer was an Apple II, a desktop model. You had to hook it up to your TV because there was no monitor. There was also no hard drive. You got a manual that told you how to write your own programs. You could save your programs if you bought a “floppy drive” and “floppy discs” (which were actually floppy). My Apple II was great. It had a mouse!

Steve Jobs went on to imagine and produce the iPod, iPhone and iPad. All have been extremely popular.

Steve is gone now, too soon at age 56. Let’s hope that somewhere there’s another communications genius driven to think up products we might like to have—only to discover that we couldn’t do without them.

High stress 

The doctor remarked on a new patient’s extraordinarily ruddy complexion. “High blood pressure, Doc,” said the man. “It comes from my family.”

“Your mother’s side or your father’s?”

“Neither,” replied the patient. “It’s from my wife’s family.”

“Oh, come now,” said the doctor. “How could your wife’s family give you high blood pressure?”

The man sighed. “You oughta meet ‘em some-time, Doc!”

Best try 

“Dad,” said Marcus, “I’m late for football practice. Would you please do my homework for me?”

The father said, irately, “Son, it just wouldn’t be right.”

“That’s okay,” replied Marcus, “but you could at least give it a try, couldn’t you?”

Primary education 

A second-grader came home from school and said, “Mom, guess what? We learned how to make babies today.” More than a little surprised, the mother said, “That’s interesting. And how do you make babies?”

“It’s simple,” replied the girl. “You just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es.’”


These sentences were composed on a Macintosh computer. No animals were killed or injured in the preparation of this column.

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