Still haven't processed my photo op with the Mac Guy Kawasaki...
Have you heard from Landry since the middle of last week? I haven't. And did I tell you what happened when I tried to research the current status of the home ISDN bill still before the Public Utilities Commission (every last one of those 1400 plus dollars) on what is supposed to be a $250 per month flat rate with zero message units? I'm thankful Peter's friend Bret Mingo configured the line and files the papers properly, and alerted me to this nasty little message unit scam that phone companies like to run on us small fry IT startups.
And now that I think of it, it's been a week since I requested a copy of the commercial specs and pricelist by phone. But anyhows, I got quite a bit of runaround at both the telephone company AND the PUC, finally getting a call back from someone in the Department of Energy a few days later(which dazed me for a few seconds until I finally figured out the relational matrix of ifs, ands & buts since he didn't know why he was calling either). Still nothing. He told me I should call the PUC. I told him that's who I thought I had been referred with digits by the telephone company to call. Alas, I rang his office instead. He admitted to being somewhat part of the process, but....
I think I need a telephone job. To know nothing is to fulfill the obligations of the job.
Greetings Bret! Well, by now I'm sure you've heard I was surprised this morning with $1500 worth for a month of data charges and a service snip I rectified with a $420 check after a daylong phonefest. Wish you'd have let me know this was coming. Bell said they'd called your voicemail and left a message(s), even if you didn't personally eyeball the bills.
Anyhow, Glenn says we're configured properly at both ends of this connection for 112k DOV and that BA is just up to dirty tricks, suggesting that we should be able to beat them on this mess. Stage two of this battle will be waged tomorrow morning.
I was also faxed a form we both have to sign in order for Bell to release these phonelines from your responsibility to mine.
Glenn Dagliesh & Dave Troy both said you had done research on the DC code which covers this DOV issue (uh, something 214 subsection 3 in the Maryland code). Any hints in helping us scale this Bell Atlantic stonewall will be much appreciated, Bret. I will meet you somewhere at your earliest convenience in order to get your Hancock on this release form, and since I am planning on being at the ToadNET offices for the Thursday morning xDSL breakfast I am wondering if that would that work for you?
Originally published Tue Nov 3, 1998
From: Gabriel Thy
Hey Baby! When you get a chance, would you please join the ROCC Foundation mailing list by following the template which successfully logged me into the list. I think it only takes the triggering line in the BODY of the Email, and I think the reason I was failing last night was because I had failed to include my Email address in the command line, so if you just want to help test, send a note to ROCC, put NOTHING, or ANYTHING in the subject line, but write the command line: subscribe digest [insert email address] in the BODY of your note. You should receive two notes if successful, a successful subscription note and a list welcoming note.
We'll later try to sign Danielle MacBeth to the listserv. Hey, this is exciting stuff! Webserver fees associated with http://www.earthforum.com are paid in full through December 31, 1998. At that time they will be billed $55.00/month, or if Kevin prefers, a year's pre-paid service will save him 15% off current rates. There are some indications that we are clean with Bret, including SMTP, but I'm not sure. Haven't heard from the TOAD folks yet. Okay, just got off the phone with Glenn. We should have the full operational protocols back in place. Lemme know if you get this test note. Bob's coming over for a taco lunch. Gotta go! Love & lizards...
It's four fifteen and Bob just left. Talk about a three martini lunch! No actually, we drank ice water, ate beacoup tacos, and now we both feel like a nap. I took out a large top sirloin for dinner. Great to have E-mail back. Jennifer Troy took our AMEX number down for billing which I presume starts today. She quoted a flat $250. I didn't query her about the Bell Atlantic charges, not wishing to upset the loveliness of her words: A FLAT $250. Besides, as far as I know, no one at ToadNET really knows where we live except Bret Mingo (and he's not really WITH Toad). He may switch things once he continues to be billed by BA. I say let sleeping dogs lie for the time being.
Just remembered I did put our address on an Email, but as long as Bret and his CORETEL is still the contact for Bell Atlantic I'm not going to worry about it.
Wow! Excited after checking in for the first time in five days to see the C's 5 up with magic number of four, eight games left on a zippered 144 day path atop the Cheney Ten! The backyard looks as good or better in my absence. Thanks to all my plant watering pals!
Drove home to a crazy mess. My ISDN provider CoreTel has gone loco. Friends of friends. Oh boy! Bret switched pipe providers himself requiring a re-establishment of OUR linkage with a fresh cadence of IP numbers on our end as well as his. No problems setting ourselves up here. We've bagged all the necessary signs and with the exception of changing our IP addresses with InterNic (very important, absolutely necessary to the smooth operations of the 'XusNET servers, but not until we have line connectivity again), we appear to be waiting for Bret to get his end simpified. He's acknowledged partially that the problem is on his routers' end, but instead of working to fix this problem he got on a jet plane this morning I believe on his way to a previously scheduled two weeks of cruising the boulevard in California, leaving us nearly, and Peter without even a modem, critically offline. There are a few other server folks also zilched by Bret. Fortunately I have this dial-in modem account still active with RadixNET, and can at least check E-mail, surf, and maintain my client's remote sites. But even the Bookskellar is offline now, and unless I swear out another account with SimpleNET, my commercial doors remain closed to the public. This sucks Bret. This really sucks.
Where I'd really like find a niche in the rather near future is to host a reliable fractional T-1 here from the Dollhouse. Under certain slightly different circumstances meant to reduce financial stress and productivity concerns, I'd like to think it's not too awfully unrealistic to comprehend this current pipeline anguish as simply good timing, and worth a solid shot in realizing other options.
The first part of the week on Fripp, Sue & I even boasted connectivity to our Mac network in DC via modem and software with our new laptop, and we used that ample connectivity for several emergency and a few other occasional tasks. But by Thursday morning, all systems were down, zero operations, router poop, another Black Thursday in our midst. The web server, dead. The mail server, vaporized. Absolute deadzone. And now because of these shoddy maneuvers, Bret is losing the confidence of not a few of us in what CoreTel is capable of delivering, and bottomline is more than an issue of money. Problematic is the question of reliability. Leave the dungeon for just a few days, massive outages, team screeches to victory, and you've only heard the half of it. Can you say inevitability? Ihowever am riding this current storm with almost slurfish indifference to what Bret is doing about this, notwithstanding apologies to "Xus visitors, but we're taking the moment to consider aiming higher on the foodchain, and if Bret can't supply our simple demands of dependability, perhaps we need to rethink our position with him. But until we are capable of bringing any preferred changes into existence with the genuine vigor of solid growth, I have little choice but to wait on Bret to make good on his supposedly clever decisionmaking skills. While his present management style suffers the consequences of his failure to establish redundancy before pulling the plug on so many, in context, Bret has been delivering ISDN at a very superfriendly price (30% of market rates), and it behooves us to investigate more deeply before any rash proclamations on abandoning the Mingo enterprise zone in favor of another. This sudden interruption to service is not good business, but right now, it is survivable. Where I'd really like find a niche in the rather near future is to host a reliable fractional T-1 here from the Dollhouse. Under certain slightly different circumstances meant to reduce financial stress and productivity concerns, I'd like to think it's not too awfully unrealistic to comprehend this current pipeline anguish as simply good timing, and worth a solid shot in realizing other options.
Rusty over in Adams-Morgan has been without his 'XUS mail account since Thursday the 17th. But an IM session today showed him in good spirits and without gripe.
The trip along the southern mirage was a welcomed success. Did some scanning in spare moments, but had less energy as a whole than I'd hoped. Once back online, pictures of this scan and a few others will be posted to a working web server near you! We snapped five more rolls of film, witnessing an unbelievably pastoral way of life on Fripp Island. Deer in herds of three, five, nine, twelve graze the island yards without fear of man or machine, except when they spring blindly across the road when locked by headlights. I had to brake quickly to avoid collision on three separate occasions one night trip out, even at 25 MPH and less. Earlier, on the way to Fripp, we indeed saw a car wrecked by a deer then quivering along the side of I-95 just south of Wilson NC. But one can nearly rub elbows with these Fripp deer in evening's light. An unequivocally peaceful experience, but one I am glad is over so that the rest of my life may resume.
The din of silence from the Stevester is just one more reason why computers are not what they used to be in a world gone mad over speed and sad over performance...
We signed up for ISDN access yesterday. Tuesday, May 13 is installation date. Videoconferencing should be more reliable then, but will I ever have an equitable use for it? How's the apartment hunt going? Tim breezed by this past Sunday with the news that he'd been paging you all morning to no avail, snagging his 45s, and part of some movie with Sue in the same breath. Sue reported the afternoon when you called and I was sleeping, that you repeatedly coaxed her to inform me I should page you, any time, any time, any time. Well, I finally did. I sent you two pages, well links, on a new introductory iMote page, mostly a cheap trick dazzler, but I was inspired to ante up by a recent visit to Ben Voos' site:
I haven't been flooding you with messages lately because I know how beaver you've been, so why waste bandwidth, as they say in the lower snot caverns where the toys of summer bring fall rains...
Peter and I swapped notes yesterday at a pace reminiscent of some of our own E-mail as instant messages tours des force (is that proper, or should the "ess" follow the word force?). I finally felt like I broke a little ground if not a lotta wind with Pete. Nothing more specific than recaptured focus, but it felt good.
Lemme know what's been keeping you when you get that infernal chance, right? Has there been a Sullivan in your life lately?
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.
(Originally published on October 31, 1996, in a letter addressed to Ben Voos in Germany)
Just received your latest terrific turns of phrase. Forwarded the whole thing off to a few friends. You've done it again with that web site. Minimal. Elegant. Thought-provoking. I voted. The lined box to the far right, which was in essence, voting with the herd. I studied long and judiciously at the boxes before making my choice. What was I choosing? The one which reminded me of feelings I associated with something pleasurable? Or did I pick the ugly one out of the crowd because I am prone to exhibit low self-esteem at regular intervals? Or, perhaps I simply not know why but went with the leader, thinking others' good taste was what I had in mind when I explore a path of raw nerve?
That's a tough one. I immediately thought of lines drawn in with chalk generally in athletic arenas, basketball & tennis courts, uh, the far left box with the rose colored demarcations, right angles, parallel lines and yellow diamond, but too late...no it's not, I just went back and voted a second time, this time for the first box. The absent of controlling rules worked to my advantage. I see your liquor bottles made the cut again, as did the kingdom of the grid blip.
I'm really embarrassed by my slow entrance onto the WWW. Just bought that new Mac 8500. It's allowing me, finally, after days of organization to bring some order out of the mess of HTML files and graphics I've been creating, storing some here, some there, inadvertantly losing some to the trashcan monster it seems more than once...
Your queries about domain costs: Paid $75 to have a third party register the iMote.com name and paid $100 for the first two years of registration, after which I will be billed $50 annually to maintain ownership of the iMote domain name. That's the sum of it. The German full Internet charges you mentioned are rich...home ISDN line service is the BIG deal here in my neck of the woods. The tiny nearby state of Delaware recently passed a law mandating a $29/month ceiling for residential ISDN service anywhere in the state of Delaware. In the District of Columbia however, I cannot even GET residential ISDN line service, and they want over $500/month for a business hook-up.
Actually I applied for a rates and service spec from the Telephone Company a month ago and it never came. Seems in this polarized city a widening gulf between the haves and the have-nots, as usual, is the culprit. Big business and big government versus 50% of the population at poverty level being left in the dust by a crisis-building tax revenue shrinking middle class fleeing the gang-infested city for promises of cleaner suburban living. Problem is the crime and the gangs are moving right along to the suburbs in the same moving vans with these noveau bourgeois parents who always think it is somebody else doing the troublemaking...
Meanwhile, kudos again on creating an interesting site. And don't worry about what your EXPERTS say. They are saying the same thing here. Ripsnorting business and smiley faces are what makes this country get a hard-on for anything. Lord knows it ain't flashy nude television gameshows (like you Germans). America is a full-color gloss Pollyanna, but after a rough gamble with freedom and artificial habits up the nose, she's beginning to show some cellulite and wrinkle. I smell tragedy in that rag...
Gave up momentarily on the ISDN chase. Nobody in DC knows a damned thing, but as I predicted somewhere long ago while tucked between the page 3 girl's left and right tit, all would never never be well in the Power Mac ghetto. Sue gabbed half an hour with Apple last night, leaving her miffed and sexist. She absolutely HATES talking to female tech support. Says they are snotty, know nothing, airheads on ice. Well, okay, Sue wasn't as colorful, but you get the drift. I tell her that I have experienced male support just as pitiful, but seem to get along splendidly with the online gash (uh, Bukowski's word). Although I recall a ClarkNET Sally who was a pile of ketchup beans. Is there, uh, something here the professional anti-sexism radicals are missing in this delighful picture? All I know is we know what works for us...
Meanwhile she is taking the CPU into her office this morning to check it against other monitors. The CPU light came on last night but the monitor did nothing, yet all suspicion rests with the CPU she and Apple are saying. SHIT, more delays, lemons and apples, go figure...
Will keep you updated. That huge monitor is awesome looking on the new table we bought. But of course RAM is nowhere in sight until we get this Mac up and running. Guess that's what I get for trying to save eleven hundred bucks...
Were you expecting more dope on Bukowski? Sorry, Charlie. No more tuna on this channel. Catch me on the flip flip.
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""