Dear Macstopcongratulations on your fresh startup. I would very much like to be considered for a news scout position on your staff, having read your notice on the Evangelist this morning. First, a few things about me, my wife, and my dog:
We have been Macsurvivalists since 1987, when my wife and I purchased our first Macintosh SE a few months after she had talked her small lobbying firm into revolutionizing the typewriter set by jumping onto the Mac bandwagon. She is the network administrator as well as the financial manager of the small office of about thirty Macs. What I don't know about the user end of the Macintosh, either she does, or within a few hours we both know what we didn't know yesterday. The Macintosh has been a fun ride.
As a freelance writer and graphics specialist for the past five years, my clients have ranged from a construction company to a bi-weekly newspaper, a horse association to a lobbying firm. Toss in a book publisher and the tall orders of small fries off the street, well, let's just say I've pretty much covered the Mac beat in all its glorious detail. My small home office (SOHO), with gleaming emphasis on the home part of the acronym, now consists of an 8500/120, a Performa 6400/200, and an old maxed-out Mac IIx with 32 megs of RAM and a Daystar turbo card kicking that bad baby up to the 68040 level, all connected to an ethernet hub for the lightening fast transfers poor LocaTalk just can't match. This new hot connection was a fantastic boon to my senses. "Wow! How fast can that firewire get!"
I've promised to loan it to a computerless, ex-DOS man, an old E-mail friend presently living in that other Washington, in the backwaters of Seattle. His 286 died a horrible death two years ago, and you know how it is, nobody writes, telephoning is such a bore, but since his machine died, that thrice a week E-mail habit has vanished along with him. He is flying east to visit his mom and old pals sometime this spring. I will drive to Philly where his mother lives just to loan him the "little" Mac, which of course he should be able to carry onto the plane with him for the flight back to the Pacific.
We hubbed it all together just last weekend, in preparation for converting the Mac IIx to a full fledged web server over a dedicated 28.8 or ISDN line. Of course I prefer the latter solution. The low bandwidth 28.8 modem approach is working for a lot of people these days running small businesses and personal sites, but we like the best, and the best today is a 2B 128K home ISDN connection for someone who is just a few hairs shy of wanting to operate his own ISP. And to think I've only been surfing the web for just over fifteen months. Well, yes, I still have my original AOL account, signing on way back in 1992 when they boasted a mere 250,000 subscribers, but hey, let's not blow that horn today.
Last year's prices for ISDN access locally, are no doubt rolling over in their graves as they squint at current market numbers. Alas, my own household pockets are still a mite shallow, so I still have to hold my horses, as my wife the horselover is always telling me. Oh yeah there's that Mac Classic II sitting on the floor with the ethernet hub sitting on top, just waiting to be used as a POP3 server, or some other equally slick job description, but for now I've promised to loan it to a computerless, ex-DOS man, an old E-mail friend presently living in that other Washington, in the backwaters of Seattle. His 286 died a horrible death two years ago, and you know how it is, nobody writes, telephoning is such a bore, but since his machine died, that thrice a week E-mail habit has vanished along with him. He is flying east to visit his mom and old pals sometime this spring. I will drive to Philly where his mother lives just to loan him the "little" Mac, which of course he should be able to carry onto the plane with him for the flight back to the Pacific. But I'll demand my machine back once he is able to save up enough money to buy a modern screamer as I'm sure it won't die on him like his last machine did. Meanwhile he wants to join AOL. We've loaded and test-driven AOL 2.7 on the little charmer. Amazing! With a 28.8 modem, while the AOL's graphic-intensive interface, of course, doesn't show up in color, it looks terrific and serves up rather quickly. It'll be great to get Kenny back in the saddle!
P.S. Oh by the way, like my friend's old PC, my dog of thirteen years just died. Too bad he wasn't a Mac...
As a Macintosh-inclined Netsharker (my term, has anyone trademarked it yet?), I love the feeding frenzy of the Internet as my daily ingestion of Mac-oriented newsgroups and listservs attest. With thirty-five megs of systems extensions loading into my world with every reboot, there is no doubt in my mind that I can be an asset to your staff and a beacon to the world. Hosted on a virtual server, my homepage is located at:
although currently being given a fresh makeover, so potholes are everywhere. In closing, while literature and philosophical treatises are my first delusions of grandeur in a world full of mud, I must now proclaim in loud bold italics, "Literary pretensions of my youth, move aside. Philosophy might be an oyster on the halfshell, but everybody's got a philosophy. Not everybody's got a Macintosh running the best OS the world has ever known."
Bottom line? I want to be a Macstop reporter! Somebody with my kind of enthusiasm just might make the difference. For further information please contact me,
P.S. Oh by the way, like my friend's old PC, my dog of thirteen years just died. Too bad he wasn't a Mac...
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 97 17:38:50 -0500
Gabriel, I enjoyed the letter you sent me. It sounds like you have quite a bit of Macintosh experience. We'd be very interested in having you as a news scout. Although we can't compensate right now, we are confident that if our best news writers stick with us, they will reap the benefits later. Is there any chance you could write news reports daily? Please reply with what type of capacity you'd like to work in. Thanks.
Best of Regards,
Ben Wilson, Editor In Chief/Publisher
Macintosh Roadstop (http://www.macstop.com)
With my roots thigh deep into the Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson gonzo approach to minding my own business, I think we might very well develop a beautiful relationship here. A report a day? Mmmmm...reminds me of Bill Burroughs, hey, reminds me of myself, but let's figure it this way: I wake up every day with an urge to do something Macintosh.
Okay Ben...I can read the signs on the goalpost. This ain't no MacWorld, or EvangeList, YET. But considering I'm working from one scent to the next, I'll accept your proposal for a tour of duty with Roadstop. You're looking for a daily report? Mmmm, on what pray tell? I've been told I'm an opinionmaker. Does that make me just another Mac Evangelist? Do I get a personal column or am I devoted a "news" inches status? What is news, if I scarf it up from online sources? Credentials? I have no inroads with the bigboys, except as a "rabid devourer" of many newsgroups. Frankly, I'm afraid since you are the editor-in-chief, you must offer me a twig or two to grasp.
At this point, I'm hip to YOUR needs, but I need to know what those needs are. Since this is an uncompensated position, as you point out, at this time, I want to make sure that I'm not running myself silly creating for someone else while I am neglecting my own domain. Like that last philosopher put it, "Hell I can pay myself nothing, and still do twice as much for myself as I can for somebody else who barely knows me from that stump over there."
Bottom line? I'll pitch your cause. Just dictate a few parameters. With my roots thigh deep into the Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson gonzo approach to minding my own business, I think we might very well develop a beautiful relationship here. A report a day? Mmmmm...reminds me of Bill Burroughs, hey, reminds me of myself, but let's figure it this way: I wake up every day with an urge to do something Macintosh. As far as I've been able to discern from our two encounters (let's not forget the Evangelist), all I need to do is write an undeveloped number of Macintosh-driven paragraphs in an E-mail to you. Well, sure, I can handle one more E-mail a day especially since I'll be getting a byline and helping a bunch of swell folks get ahead in the world of Macintosh web publishing. Say when...
Regards not retreads,
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 97 20:34:12
Gabriel, you are obviously an excellent writer and communicator. I'm glad you can write daily. To simply request press releases from companies is an excellent way to get news. Lurking around in newsgroups also helps.
Although we may not be a huge publication yet, we are trying to build a publication that will be viable (and hopefully profitable) in the near future. Thus we are looking for good writers who are willing to stick it out with us. Growing is tough, but we'll get there sooner or later. You can send news reports in a simple e-mail message. I'll try to drop you a lead whenever possible. Right now I'm writing most of the news for the site, so I'm a bit lagged.
It's hard to be the main writer of, edit, advertise, hold correspondence, etc. for a a site that I'm not even getting paid for. All of the profits go directly to expanding, improving, and saving for the site so it can pat off later. Fortunately, I have a very helpful assistant who lives in New Zealand that edits a lot of the articles that are submitted. It helps out a lot. I hope we can both be beneficial from this. Believe me, I'm not in this to be a money grubber. I'd give money to the volunteers before I myself pocketed a single penny.
"...Cos suddenly there was a flood of instant messages, and I discovered that I was almost the only woman left." Jennifer
Quite the norm, Jennifer. Men are such worms. Dirt is our life, say I. Eight hours a day, five days a week, years of clawing, spent in the dirt, clay, and mud rubs off on ya, and its cough gets sucked into the bloodstream where it pollutes the whole body, including the eyes, the nostrils, the mind. In the ever controversial Book of Genesis, it is written somewhere that God cursed the ground. Having spent more than a gentleman's share wallowing, hiking, muscling through the dirt and the mud, pounding nails, hubs, stakes, whacking brush, thorns, poisonous vines, yellow jacket hives, wading stiff rivers, armpit-high flood zones flooded, half-frozen creek beds, and the shitty bowels of sewage trunk systems, I came to believe it, too. Blue collar men who have remained holy are my heroes. The same for their women.
"So today I did some reading and went to a park, waded in a creek, and hiked to Taughnannock Falls. I felt restored enough to leap back online. Read your missives (by the way may I also say that i'm also amused by your notes and often sit here chuckling and grinning...LOLI'm learning the lingo)"
Cool with an asterisk. Re-read preceding paragraph of mine. But still wish I were there sharing the exhileration. Chicklet in wading boots, vroom. And perhaps I shall soon, if you really want me to be, there, with you, me, old ugly bulging me. Psychological exploitation is such a two-way street. Jen, you make such a big deal about bodily architecture sometimes it's like you are nailing a mouthful of piranha spikes into my brain.
About the comment I made in nyc about cybersex and communications....What did I say?....You know me, mind like a sieve...help me plug the holes and refresh my faulty memory."
That was it. It was a oneliner tossback. You bubbled forth with that typical edge in your voice indicating that, well, your exact words were: "Hey, you and I could go into the cybersex business together" after I was telling you what some folk were doing already with the newest Internet tools. Your software. My hardware. Thatsweetbones was a double entendre. Your body and sexual instincts serving as the software, i.e. the program matter. Tools and expertise to operate the technology of course would be mine (and Sue's, together with her bookkeeping talents no piss in the wind either). I didn't really respond beyond a hopeful facial expression because I hear so much throwaway promises out of the mouths of friends and would-be friends that I have grown cold to the hearing. Enter the Steve Taylor arguments. I am still a PowerMac away from exploring the teleconferencing protocols, but Sue promises one any month now, and then I will be eager to test that warm, metallic dream of George & Judy Jetson emerging. How justified am I in considering your words worth the air they rode in on...
These last few thoughts may help you, although I know you already do understand my insistence in finally shaking off that "go with the flow" attitude, and finally doing things MY way, THY way...and why Jack last February, and now Steve Taylor have been early inheritors of my refusal to suffer leisure idiots their pleasure as they invade what many have perceived as my good nature and fair household...
"Sorry that I can't make it down this summer...poss. in the fall (depending on school) or at least at winter break when I shall again be financially sound thanks to the great American pastime of accumulating debts which can't be repaid."
I will count on it. But then the years roll by, and still no Jennifer. You know Sue and I both love you with everything we have. Now baby don't take this the wrong way (is there a right way?), but we, okay, moi more than she, have long fantasized that you would eventually end up cohabiting with us, here, there, anywhere, the three of us, a sustainable family unit, the final solution to each of our unique problems, doing something, doing everything. Both general and specific prophecies encourage it, but nothing can or will happen until the situation, or any situation for that matter is ripe. This is the curse of my way of life. I am always seeking signs, knowing nothing myself except that which is given to my understanding through an intricate matrix of synchronicities and undismissable, unmistakeable directives. Meanwhile we all individually, and collectively go about our lives, sorting out ourselves from our enemies, our lusts from our loves, and our intelligences from our stupidities. I am probably overstepping the laws of fate by mentioning this to you even at this juncture, but you came through with such flying colors on that last note I can't help myself. Frankly I don't feel I have much more than a decade left. Whether this is a psychotic form of dementia or hypochondria on my part is uncertain. What is certain I am inner directed with an urgency I have never had before except in late childhood and teens. The mobius strip of life continues to echo with incidents I recall charging up those hills of time, and the dimming flush I feel in my ever-aching head inclines me to believe my assessments are correct. Now I am not relating all this to you out of some sort of feeble attempt for sympathy, for I know the opposite effect of sheer repugnancy would more likely be the case. I am simply saying things to you I have said to Sue, and I tremble as I presume God (whatever) has placed these thoughts into my being. These last few thoughts may help you, although I know you already do understand my insistence in finally shaking off that go with the flow attitude, and finally doing things MY way, THY way...and why Jack last February, and now Steve Taylor have been early victims of my refusal to suffer leisure idiots their pleasure as they invade what many have perceived as my good nature and fair household...
BECAUSE I SEE MYSELF IN UNIVERSAL TERMS. But I am here. Polaris is there. Neither slave nor executioner (Camus). American society forces most of us male and female into both roles in a wishy washy fashion without benefit of accreditation, and so most of us muddle through unaware of the implications as we dogpaddle through this soul-fracturing sea of emblematic garbage government, and frankly, its frisky twin sister, popular culture, have invested in us.
"As to a trip northward on your part and the needed promise on my part...let me come over all coy and noncommittal, voicing my uncertainties, my fears as to what such a promise would entail. Love. Jennifer."
The creation process is all I know, anymore. So much has been put behind me. I am incapable of well-rehearsed thrusts into the unknowable future. Could never memorize a poem or rock lyric or bible scripture as a matter of principle, but I do know I am fair and sensitive, good to the last drop even should the confusion of others brings pain and despair either to me or them, or both. I expect nothing from others, but I put much aspiration out there in the ether to be considered. By seeking to bring order out of chaos and sustain order on the social plane (and in this set I include home & hearth) does not necessarily infer that I endorse rigid thought processes when artistic inspiration is given to free us from the stasis of dry patterns and unbearable party lines. I seek to understand and harness cause and effect, purpose and freedom in all things for all concerned. All else is slavery of the mind, body, and spirit. Games have rules. I like games. I like rules. Rules are to be broken, only when those rules no longer enforce the better or best case scenario. I am not an asslicker of unbridled chaos or random rulebreaking for its own sake. I seek peace. Peace is different things to different people. Understanding the equivalence of eternity and its demands among the personality orders and disorders is the function of the artist who seeks to destroy the slavery in which both society and the individual mind conspire to shackle us. To become a willing slave in a fate-endorsed situation of inequality (name the game) is to loosen its bonds, elevating the slave to a level perhaps even superior to that of the taskmaster. Jesus the Hammer taught this. To be a belligerent slave runs the risk of failing on all counts that the slave has been inspired to corrupt in following his false hopes of freedom, and his condition is worsened by rebellion, not eased. Geez, where is all this going? I suppose I am attempting an analysis of why the S&M, B&D culture has adherents on both sides of the equation, and why I feel capable of playing both roles. BECAUSE I SEE MYSELF IN UNIVERSAL TERMS. But I am here. Polaris is there. Neither slave nor executioner (Camus). American society forces most of us male and female into both roles in a wishy washy fashion without benefit of accreditation, and so most of us muddle through unaware of the implications as we dogpaddle through this soul-fracturing sea of emblematic garbage government, and frankly, its frisky twin sister, popular culture, have invested in us.
Lastly, I do not apologize for going on too long. I dig writing to you, and still can't get over the fact how prolific and witty you have proven to be. Thanks for coming to my rescue now that Steve has lost his account through negligence. He could have saved his old AOL accounts if he would have tried. A source of great pleasure to him, and archival purpose, he simply junked it by not showing up to his post-resignation interview with his boss. That interview is an AOL concoction lending them the sense that they really care why people quit the company. However, if AOL boots you, it is certain you should leave them to their own devices, and seek instead a regular Internet account, although yes, AOL is quite nice for beginners such as yourself. Internet chat is slow & tedious. The AOL versions are still amazing with speed and easy accessibility. AOL have contracted to upgrade to better third-party Web browsers. But first you need a 28.8 modem. Maybe I can help accelerate that day for you...
You mentioned mum & aunt this weekend. I thought the NYC fiasco and subsequent family feud had splintered that auntie thing, or is this a different aunt? Anywaze, have you learned to flashsession yet? This way you can check mail without being led astray by manually signing on. Nevertheless, I won't get worried if I don't hear from you in a few days, but if I am coming up during Sue's hiatus, it's next week, OR NOT...
Date: Sat Feb 24, 1996 8:36:16 AM America/New_York
Space, yeah, it's great to have some music around once in a while although I have pulled stretches where I've done without for a year or so, back around 1979-1980 when I was 24-25 and in my I-am-not-of-the world self-deprivation stage, even refusing to host ID or keys, dumping all my photographs off to those I mistakenly thought cared. Even now although we bought our first CD player, a little box similar to the one you described although we only paid a close-out sale price of $125, it was a $225 level configuration by Sanyo, this past September when I was doing all my fencemending and outdoors painting (forever etched in my associative memory), I don't really listen to it that often during the day or night hours I am working. But I seem to demand musical accompaniment as soon as the first swig of beer slurps down the guzzle though. "Uhm, is there some innate connection AFTER ALL to the sex, drugs, rock thing?" he opines to himself trying to remain quasi-rhetorical.
I suppose you've been preoccupied as of late. I usually get a response from you a day or two after I've written, but two notes and several days later, no Space. Uh, but it could be your machine is playing you for the fool again. I see where 28,800 bps modems have dropped to less than a hundred bucks. Now THAT sounds like a good investment for you. You could then dazzle yourself with your newfound speed, and might not get kicked off Prodigy so often, but that's only speculation. I was always have trouble getting or keeping a clean and functioning connection with my former service provider (Clarknet), so I switched and after only the first week I can, without reservation, admit that I am satisfied with an improvement with the Radix feed. You might try some alternate 2400 baud phone numbers in your area. I know in my early modem months I found that the DC number was always busy or corrupted, so I changed my dial-in preferences to northern Virginia and southern Maryland, and never had any trouble after that on Prodigy or America On-line.
This morning is the first sunny DC day in a week, and coincidentally I feel fully recovered from a weeklong depression of uncertain cause. All I know is I felt glued to the earth's crust with lead instead of iron coursing through my veins, and an urge to stuff myself with food. By the way I weighed recently, and have broken back over the 270 mark, having gained all 29 pounds I lost last year, and am now threatening to go back on the smokey rope diet I've been off for six months now, as Sue resists my logic. Also claiming psychological corridors of my mind this week was the death three days ago of my mother's sister Kitty of that cancer she was diagnosed with six months ago at the age of 52. A great loss of a much loved aunt, but because of my embittered feud with my mother, the morning she called to supplement my sister's info on last rites, I only said two words to her: NO (as in I'm not going to the memorial service), and BYE, as in goodbye. I felt like a shit, not even attempted to stammer through a condolence speech, but my anger at her is so intense right now, I could only think of my feud. She did not push her efforts beyond a couple of pieces of information, and I am content although obviously somewhat guilt-riddled to allow the our last few episodes to exist just as they occurred. I'm thinking now that I actually never got around to clueing you to what has caused what I am considering an irreparable rift between us, but will procrastinate even longer because it seems that all I do is whine about some great tragedy in my life or another. Geez, where is the exit ramp?
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""