Mandozine History

John Baxter

During the last year I have had a number of people ask how I got started doing Mandozine.The origins of MZ actually go back to the Fall of 1995. It was during that time that I was working for Apple Computer as Documentation Manager for eWorld, Apple's online service. In addition to managing the development of documentation for eWorld publishers, I was also involved in a migration project to transition Apple employee's and customers from AppleLink, Apple's primary communications system, to eWorld. This was the time frame that Apple really began to get serious about the Internet.

A decision was made to cancel the "AppleLink to eWorld" project, and migrate directly to the Internet. Less than a month later, a decision was made to cancel eWorld entirely. I was reassigned to design the interface for Apple's Intranet, which became known as AppleWeb. There was one problem. I had never designed a web page, and in fact did not know anything about HTML, the tag language used to construct web pages. So, I bought a book on HTML, and began to learn how to construct a Web page. But, I quickly grew bored with the exercises in the book, and so I decided I would construct pages based on something that interested me. The subject matter was, as they say, a no-brainer.

I started by using the text and graphics from Tone Poems. (Eventually, when I actually launched Mandozine, David Grisman (thanks to Craig Miller) was kind enough to let me republish the text and photo's from Tone Poems.) As I began to become more proficient in constructing web pages, I began to consider doing my own home page. After reviewing a number of home pages, I decided to do something that would assist people in a given subject. So, I decided to focus on the mandolin as the subject matter, and began to think about putting together a Web newsletter. As I developed the site, it became clear that a newsletter was not the right format for the structure I had developed. Hence, Mandozine was born. Mandozine was launched in March of 1996. I have met many friends through email from visiters to Mandozine, and the CoMando mail list. I greatly appreciate the encouragement and support I have received, especially from Scott Tichenor, the publisher of my favorite site, Mandolin Cafe.

Mandozine is intended as a resource for those who are just starting out, the more advanced players that are always ready to help the beginners, and those who don't play, but love the music. I'm always interested in content for Mandozine, so feel free to submit anything you think would be of benefit to mando players.