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Steve Jobs made Desktop Publishing open to all which led to the zine explosion.

Something that most don't think of with the review of Steve Jobs life is the part he played in desktop publishing. Once it was easy to do - everyone started making their own publications. The golden age of zines followed. He made it easy to do.

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I'm sure Mr. Jobs was a good person, and I'm sorry about his death, but I'm not sure if desktop publishing paid that much a role in "the zine explosion". Cheap xerox seems to me the main factor. But like or it or not, Mr. Jobs technology also lead to the decline of paper media, letters, postal communication, and a lot of what us old-schoolers loved. I'm on-line & use computer, but I have no experience with much of the newer Internet-related technology. Not saying it's bad or evil, just strikes me as boring, pointless, confusing, complicated and mindless.
Yes but the explosion happened in the late 80's and 90's.  Factsheet Five showed that. You may or may not been a zinester during that time. I was and it was unlike anything or any indie publishing that went before - or since.

It more than helped - there was not the explosion of zines before that time, and there has not been since the internet . That technological time of copiers and desktop publsihing was in between publishing the old way, and the proliferation of the net.  History of that golden age will show that it was a golden age of literature unmatched before or since.

This  site here is the remnants of that time.  It was not just writing, it was the first golden age of writing, illustrating, book making, with certain zinester ideas and practices that were new to publishing. That specific type of publishing was never done before, and hasn't been matched since with the same intensity and dedication. It's like Impressionist painters. They arose at a certain time, peaked and then were gone, and art changed.  Zines of this time were not books, they were something new. You can't compare them to publishing before - because that was nothing like it, or publishing now because that was nothing like it. It was a rare golden age of art. Zines were very much a reaction to the technology of that specific window of time.

There were computers other than the Mac which allowed for desktop publishing. I find it a bit odd to think that he personally is in someway responsible for other peoples creativite efforts. I personally have never ever owned any Apple products and have managed just fine. Your worldview seems rather limited, open your eyes
I've never used an Apple product to publish zines, only to play music. I've always published using PCs, I guess if I was going to thank any software manufacturers, it would be Adobe. I've used Photoshop, Pagemaker and InDesign the most in zinemaking.

I agree with Mr. Dawson, too. Cheap xerox copies and Factsheet Five were the main reasons for the zine revolution and not the personal computers. In my opinion, PCs had a negative effect in traditional cut n' paste zines. Ofcourse new technologies made publishing easier and more people got involved. But "more" is not the point.

I recall two subcultures that are mostly connected to zines as we know them, punk (late '70s) and riot grrrl (early '90s). I don't think there was even one good punk or riot grrrl zine made with a computer.

Macs were the first computers to offer desktop layout software like PageMaker. I'd say that the somewhat affordable availability of that kind of software timed exactly with the Zine Explosion.


The Mac seems likely involved with the fancier side of zining -- especially with the font-play it allowed -- which was a spur to the whole scene.


I doubt the scene would've exploded like it did if the layouts had stuck with the "punk" look and technology of typewriters, scissors, glue, crookedness.


My recollection is that even word processing software was much more powerful for the Mac at that point.


Right around 1989 I wanted to make a zine (and some books) and studied what was available and there was only ONE option at that point and that was the Mac. The PC was WAY FAR behind.


When I got rolling with that setup and kicked out my first zine issue, I immediately discovered Factsheet Five. Zining then was on a steep upwards ramp-up, with Tower throwing open the doors, which peaked maybe 5 years later.


Cheap xerox (and cheap webpress!) and simple/cheap bulk postage practices also were huge factors. Again, these factors didn't relate to the most common neighborhood class-mates-only zines printed by the dozen, but they allowed the *high end* to even be possible -- but more than that they let the gungho zinesters flourish.


So I agree with Tom.


I wonder if the disagreers were there at the time, zining, and base their views on actual before/after experience.


Does anyone know what the histories/overviews of zining -- a couple are out there -- say? Maybe they can help enlighten us.


Too bad I just returned my library copy of "Smoking Typewriters." Certainly the underground press was big in the 60's-70's. The mimeograph machine made the early phase possible. Cheap postage and cheap webpress were key back then. This book has a second-to-last chapter on Zining. I'd be curious as to what the Authorities on the History of the Scene would say kicked off the zine explosion. Cheap xerox certainly was a factor. But DTP seems bigger to me. And the Mac was the first truly potently viable DTP setup.



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