Thanks for stopping by.
Where are you?
You're at the Web site of yours truly, Jim Heid. I write articles for
computer magazines and newspapers, I chair several Web design conferences,
and I consult on streaming media matters.
You'll find a few things here:
- Links to the newspaper columns,
feature articles, reviews, and how-to stories I write
- Descriptions of the conferences
I'm involved with and the training work that I do
- Occasional news and opinion pieces on Internet, Web design, and streaming
media issues and technologies
- Miscellaneous items with which to
waste irretrievable moments of your life.
Who am I? Why am I here?
I wear a lot of hats. One is that of a computer
and technology writer. I've been a Contributing Editor of Macworld
magazine since 1984, and I currently write primarily about Web design
and multimedia-related topics: digital audio and video, streaming media,
Flash, authoring programs, and the like. For a couple of years, I wrote
a weekly, nationally syndicated Macintosh column for the Los
Angeles Times, the largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States.
I'm also a frequent contributor to PC World, and have written for Internet
World and civic.com.
I'm also the Editorial Director at Avondale
Media, producers of how-to DVDs on all manner of topics. I help develop
the content of our DVDs and also do much of the editing and DVD authoring.
Another of my hats is that of Conference
Chair for several of Thunder Lizard Productions' events, including
the Web Design series and Macromedia Web World. As Conference Chair, I'm
largely responsible for developing the events' editorial content: determining
the topics we cover, and then finding and working with speakers to develop
those sessions and their handouts. I also speak at our events, delivering
sessions on my specialties: streaming media, RealNetworks RealSystem G2,
SMIL, and Apple's QuickTime.
And my third hat is that of a streaming-media consultant. I've implemented
streaming for radio stations (listen
to KOZT's classic rock now) and have consulted for International
Data Corporation and Intel
Architecture Labs' Internet Media Initiative.
More than You Probably Want to Know
I'm an old-timer in the personal computer world. I bought my first computer,
a Radio Shack TRS-80
Model I, in January 1980. Later that year after getting an
Expansion Interface, a full 48K of memory, an 80K floppy disk drive, and
the coveted lowercase upgrade I got a 300-baud modem that I used
to get onto bulletin board systems and The Source, an early online service.
In 1981, after four years a typographer for a high-end printing firm
in my home town of Pittsburgh, PA, I moved to the lovely Peterborough,
NH to take a job as technical editor for Wayne Green Books, a book
publisher founded by computer publishing pioneer (and
eccentric) Wayne Green. I was the Technical Editor for such seminal
works as the Encyclopedia for the TRS-80 and Programming the
In 1983, I became Senior Technical Editor of Kilobaud Microcomputing,
a then-revered computer magazine founded by Wayne Green in 1977. There,
I got to work with computers great and strange the Morrow Designs
Micro-Decision CP/M machine, the first IBM PCs and Compaqs, the GRiD
Compass, the Tandy
100 laptop, the Apple
Lisa. I'll leave it to you do decide which of those were great and
which were strange.
I also participated in the magazine's coverage of the Macintosh's debut,
working with a prototype in 1983 and writing feature articles on Microsoft
BASIC, MacForth, MacPascal, and other early Mac programming tools. When
Kilobaud folded in 1984, I began freelancing for Macworld magazine
and others. The rest, as they say, is repetitive-stress injury.
I've written roughly a dozen computer
books, several of were bestsellers and almost all of which are now
out of print. I'm most proud of the 1200-page Macworld
Complete Mac Handbook, which saw four editions and three CD-ROMs before
I left the book game in 1997. The Handbook was the first general computer
book to include a CD-ROM; I produced all three of its CDs, shooting and
editing video and creating an interactive front-end in Apple's HyperCard,
of all things.
In the early nineties, I taught several week-long courses in electronic
publishing and fine typography at the Kodak Center for Creative Imaging
in Camden, Maine a magic place that, alas, didn't survive long
enough to witness the Internet age. I've also spoken at many Macworld
Expos, computer user groups, and conferences.
Other interests? Music (jazz, funk, blues), photography (both digital
and silver-based), the beach, diners, and ham radio (they call me N1EDH
when they call me).
I live near the bustling metropolis of Albion,
CA (population 398) with the love of my life, Maryellen Kelly, and
the dog of my dreams, Trixie.