Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Milleresque Comment:

This was posted in my forums here last night:

A little legwork with Google reveals that Jack Miller is alive, well, and moving onto other things. I'm not going to post a URL here, figuring that he'd be found if he wanted to be found, but here's a suitably Milleresque excerpt:

"Still ducking fans of my old web site, and this week things took a turn for the positively surreal: another web site actually posted an article on how I've been missing in action for five months and they put a call out for everyone to try to find out if I'm actually still alive or whatever. Which means that I've been deluged in email from people literally all over the world, and people have even called the house after pulling phone numbers from domain registration records. Thank heaven for caller ID; screen call, delete message, lather, rinse, repeat. I have a half-assed plan to write something explaining that I am, in fact, still alive (in some sense) and posting it over this weekend, but then again I've been planning to do that since last weekend and so far nothing, so who knows?"

My only problem ... if true ... this makes me really dislike Jack now. I made an honest effort to locate Jack. I contacted several websites with general knowledge of him. I also posted two comments that went unanswered on a flickr account that had his name and pictures of his family attached to it. (The comments can be deleted ... yet still remain)

It's quite okay for him to take an extended vacation or never update the "As The Apple Turns" website ever again. All I asked for is a:

"ATAT is on permanent hiatus, I may be back, but I may not, no updates until I decide so"

That was all he had to post. He didn't have to do an update. How difficult would that have been?

It's not really the fact that he took an extended (permanent leave) ... it's more of a fact that no one knew where he was ... he was missed and he chose to take this hiatus during a lot of "good writing times".

Since he has been gone:

* The first Intel Macs have come out
* iPods Nano & Shuffle have dropped in price significantly
* The iPod Hifi was introduced
* The Beatles and Bloggers suit have come to trial for Apple
* A fake (but pressworthy) virus scare hit the Mac platform
* Apple has announced it's two most profittable quarters in its history
* Apple marketshare has doubled
* And a dozen other really significant events in the Apple Community

I would have loved Jack's humorous perspective (which usually contained insight) on these matters ... which are pivotal in Apple's history. I formulated this website around his style of humor, Gruber's Daring Fireball intelligence, and Consumer Reports unbiased reporting.

Hard to believe he would put this site's intentions in such light and thumb his readers in the way he has.

To Jack MIller: You're welcome you ungrateful .......


Anonymous said...

Hopefully Jack is doing well and will post something on his site. He needs to realize that people were only concerned because they appreciated his writing. There's no confirmation that the quote is his, but hopefully he'll say something on his site because we all wish him the best.

Anonymous said...


How hard is it to reply to an e-mail and say, "Still alive. Been busy with other things. Thanks for your concern."?

Even if a person gets a million e-mails or phone calls, surely just one quick update on the website in question will end the flood of inquiries in a millisecond's time.

I still miss reading ATAT, but I hope this guy understands that people are just genuinely concerned (and not trying to be weird about it).

Either way...
I don't want a silly reaction from the author to erase the good feelings I usually associate with a very cool site. Neither should any of you.


Anonymous said...

You know, the more I read the comments, which may be a little out of context, the more I wonder if it's really Jack or if that's how he really feels. Hmm... Most of it sounds like his writing, but I have a hard time believing that he would be "ducking fans from his old site." I don't know. If he is just through with it, that's cool. That leaves the market wide open, and Fix Your Thinking is on my list of sites I hit everyday now.
- John

In Russet Shadows said...

The surreal thing is why anyone would feel a need to "duck their fans" from their "old" site. The BS meter here is creeping up into the red zone. It just doesn't ring true. I think that note is BOGUS.

FYT said...

I've googled every piece of the message seperately and nothing comes up ... I'm going to give it a few days to make it into google cache before I declare it bogus.

FYT said...

Really ... that's what I'm saying ... how hard is it?

He has taken 3 1/2 month long hiatuses before but in a few days it will be 7 ... with absolutely no updates on any site any where.

As a "long time" reader and "story idea contributor" to ATAT ... all I wanna know is he ok. No whys, no explanations.

I may not be quite as "bold" with this effort had he not complained about health problems in some his articles.

But lemme say this ... I didn't know him personally, and if his real attitude is anything like the ATAT forums moderator ... then frankly ... well ... complete this thought.

Anonymous said...

All right. The poster should just email Jackwhisper's with the URL, and it doesn't have to be published. That would be proof enough if the site owner got some good verification. But, apparently that hasn't happened, so I think this is a big load of nothing. If AtAt is updated this weekend, then we'll all know...but, it's funny that the poster left a loophole with the 'who knows?!' comment at the end. I really think this sounds like the work of someone from the AtAt forums. And, the more I think about it, the more I think Jack has passed on. It's disturbing to think someone would be so sinister as to make up comments that had such a negative tone. I get the impression that this was just a ploy to pacify everyone who is concerned. My final thought is this: I, like everyone else, loved this guy's site. And, I only want him to be alive and well - that's all. Jack, if you're out there, come back one more time and say you're OK! And, am I missing something, because the posters on the AtAt forums seem to have no more information than we do, and they don't seem even the slightest bit concerned.
- John

Anonymous said...

The flickr account jackm has a child named Anya. I knew nothing previously about Jack but a little searching seems to imply he has a daughter with this name. His flickr nickname is infoXczar. redirects to If you have a Yahoo! email account, you can use it to log into flickr and leave comments.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster: That's all been established, comments have been made on Flickr by more than one person, plus no new pics have been added to Flickr since then. Note, also, that there are no pics of Jack on there since around October or so of last year. Incidentally, all posts by him on Tivo and other forums seem to have dryed up around then, also. And none of his supposed new 'Still ducking my fans' comments show up in Google.

Hope he's well, though.

FYT said...

If you noticed ... I've already left a comment on two flikr pictures ... it definitely is pictures of family members ... a curious thing is though ... there's no pictures of him after November 2005 ... again ... since he's been missing.

There are pictures OF HIM on and before the date of his last post on ATAT.

Anonymous said...

Whom are you calling "ungrateful"? I mean, seriously, what the hell is wrong with your head?

One would think somebody had taken one of your toys, rather than stopped providing free entertainment.

Yeah, I miss AtAT too, but jeez, it was pretty obvious when Anya was born that the guy simply got a life.

I suggest the same for you.


FYT said...

If Jack is alive and did write the message here ... and is truly "ducking his fans" who honestly are concerned about him ... then he has lost a lot of respect with me and most likely his fan base.

I say ungrateful because I have done nothing but praise him and respect his privacy. I could have published all the methods i have used and all the information I have found out about his whereabouts ... but like him or dislike someone I do a news piece about (IE Bill Palmer) ... I respect people's right to privacy. (Another debate is insuing in another thread about revealing Bill Palmer's eBay ID)

"Yeah, I miss AtAT too, but jeez, it was pretty obvious when Anya was born that the guy simply got a life"

Then all he had to do is write (would take less than 3 minutes)... "Busy with Anya, may never be back, hope you understand. Thank you."

As I stated, I miss his insight and actually used his insight and humor as structure here.

Anonymous said...

The plot thickens...

The reader comments for each are semi-interesting as well.

Anonymous said...

Sure seems like a lot of cyberstalking is going on here. Just leave Miller alone. His site was free to read, and he doesn't owe you anything.

FYT said...

You're right ... he doesn't owe me or anybody else anything. We're just concerned ... your insensitivity to the matter explains your point of view ... I ask that you understand mine.

Issue would be resolved ... no more chatter if he just posted a one sentence update ... that's it!

Why is that so hard? Why can't anyone that knows him get in contact with him? Why can't they post?

Anonymous said...

How many people read his page in the past?

How many people do you think bury him in mail asking what's up?

He's basically TOLD everybody what's up - any regular reader KNOWS about Anya, and anyone with even half a bit of sense can put two and two together and figure what happened.

Yeah, replying to YOU would take less than three minutes.

So would replying to every other email out of the probably thousands he's gotten. Times three minutes. Okay.

It might even have taken ten minutes to post an update placeholder, but guess what:

Maybe he doesn't HAVE those ten minutes, or maybe he figured that the average reader capable of discerning the sarcasm and enjoying in his posts is capable of intelligently reasoning that man+wife+baby=life.

I know I'll probably kill every activity that isn't either a) necessary for my personal well-being, or b) lucrative, for the foreseeable future once my own child arrives.

And I certainly hope not to get 5,000 disappointed but well-meaning e-mails about it, each from a petulant kid who'll go on a cyberstalk and stomp his little feet on some blog about how "ungrateful" I am to stop diverting time and effort from my life to his personal entertainment.

Lay off it, man.


FYT said...

You're wrong ... if he replied to ME and I posted it here (a website that generates 1.5 million + hits a month) and is read by MANY of the top Mac websites ... it would serve to update everyone and stop all "5000" of those emails.

You're just obtuse and idiotic to think that he doesn't even have 5 measley minutes ... I know of no one (NO ONE) that has been on the internet and that had a passion for writing that has ever quit cold turkey ... I would compare it to quitting smoking.

No one would care if YOU fell off the face of the earth ... however I care that the pioneer of possibly even blogging in the mac community is MIA. I care a lot that a contributing factor to my forming this website is MIA. I care that people are being obtuse about his whereabouts and legitimate attempts just to hear a "Hi, stop bothering me!"

This is in no way entertaining me ... nor am i stomping my feet to get action. That said, if he is alive and is misconstruing the meaning (as you) of my effort to just get a "Hi" on his website, to my email, to any of the other 4-6 major websites that have now done this story ... then he is ungrateful and I am officially "redacting".

Anonymous said...


And thanks for the flowers.

Anonymous said...

Buy a t-shirt from AtAt and receive your response. Question resolved.

FYT said...

I don't get it ... what happens when I buy a TShirt? I looked at the page for the store ... what was I suppose to see?