Chicago Tribune biz columnist retiring
After a storied 40-year career at the Chiocago Tribune, the last 14 years of which he spent demystifying and untangling the complexities of the computer age for readers, Jim Coates is retiring. WithÂ his SundayÂ column, the business section says farewell to his “Binary Beat” and “Ask Jim” columns.
Coates wrote, “Scrambling for a way to avoid the banking beat, I decided to sell the boss on letting me cover computers instead of cashiers.
“I told him that we stood on the brink of a revolution that would change the world forever. The personal computer, then in roughly 10 percent of homes, was about to transform the ways humans communicatedâ€”with innovations like the newfangled America Online e-mail service. Soon, I prophesied, we’d all be handling our household budgets with software like the Lotus123 spreadsheet program they were using down in the bookkeeping department.
“Why, there even will come a day, I told my big boss, when things like movies and music will be sold as software rather than on reels of celluloid and discs of vinyl. He needed to cover it all before it was too late and the editors at the paper across the street beat him to it.
“I did not really believe that movies were going to become software. I was scrambling to survive using the most powerful tool in an investigative reporter’s arsenal: Tell the boss that whatever story you are selling is possibly the biggest one that there ever was and that if you don’t move fast, the competition will be first with the story that changes the world.”
Read more here.