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not a G3, but i'll get by
style and grace wins over power and speed


    i heard this incredible blues guitar at work, and someone saying, “not bad for a thousand dollar boom box.”. i followed the crowd to that particular office and saw my first twentieth anniversary mac.
    this is a macintosh computer that would look at home in the ready room on the starship enterprise. it was obvious why the graceful lines won international design awards, and the built-in tv-fm-cd entertainment center with bose subwoofer / satellite sound system sounded superb even to my recovering-audiophile ears.
    apple hand-tuned the out of box demos to guarantee zero buyer’s remorse. i joined the others in stunned compliments and heard myself using the word “avarice,” which usually passes my lips only when i’m describing mortal sin or why dragons collect treasure.
    i felt forcefully reminded that some are haves and some are have-nots. the proud owner was a senior veteran of apple, javasoft, and sun, who i never doubted could afford the $7500 price tag of a limited edition designer macintosh.

    then i heard my mentor, matt, say he was getting one too, because the apple employee price tag was only two grand.
    i fell down, curled up in a fetal position. i had just gutted my savings for a new car. forcing myself to my hands and knees, i crawled to my phone counting the aquaintences i've made within apple computer. most had been purged recently by steve jobs, but one woman was still there.

    she had the ability to buy two, and she had just promised someone else her other option. thankyoubyedialanothernumber!
    then there was this other fellow who has given me price lists before and almost got me the $200 power pc upgrade to my powerbook duo (but that week i needed to get my car untowed, and that’s another story). three rounds of phone tag found this fellow ready, willing and able.
    it never rains but it pours. two other apple employees offered within an hour after i found the first. i almost had two ordered in my name. at one point i thought there were two of these babies ordered under my name.
    financing? one word: “daver.” ok, two words. “please, daver.” he never knew how hard it was to remain casual while he dispassionately viewed the magazine reviews. i hear you’re never supposed to show your loan officer how badly you need the loan.
    they sold out hours after my order went in. there will be only 12,000 of them made. ever.
    personally i think it looks better on my wooden desk than in these stark photos, used without permission, source forgotten. but apple's current deal on free quicktime cameras with a cpu purchase didn't include employee purchases. oh, darn. you’ll just have to take my word.
    daver told me today that he'd love to forgive the loan as my christmas present. ’tis the season. twist my arm.

best gift of all
guess i don't have everything yet


    i have this friend who once filled a blank book for me: fifty or so pages of verse, each composed or collected with care. that book is still on my shelf, within sight and almost in arm’s reach as i type.
    this friend also once sent me a simple watercolor depicting a moonlit winter riverbed. the note said the scene in a small way shows the beauty which keeps her in alaska. i keep the note with the artwork, which is always visible in my living room.
    today i unwrapped a calendar, my first christmas gift. it's a tao te ching calendar, with black and white photography of trees and other natural contours that westerners have come to associate with lao tsu's masterpiece. there was no note, but in the six hours since i received the calendar, i've stopped twice and become still, looking at the gift. wondering what i'll find in 1998, which i've never sought before.

excellence in customer service
the macintosh way


Dear Dan
    Today I received my subscription renewal for MacAddict Magazine. I looked at it with some reluctance because of the troubles I've had with my subscription, and decided to open other mail.
    Then I noticed I received a generous package of CDROMs from Imagine Publishing to compensate for my missing MacAddict issues, and more. I'm telling everyone around me that this is what customer service is supposed to be like. I'm writing right away because too often the complaints are made louder than the kudos.
    Thank you for the personal attention, as well as the solution to my troubles. Your handling of my problems was right on target to remove any hesitation keeping me from renewing my subscription. You personally have directly retained a customer who would otherwise have left you. I hope pleasure and satisfaction at your solution stays with you, as it will with me.
    Happy holidays and beyond.

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