Killer App

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Thu, 20 Aug 1998 06:05:10 -0700

More news about Silicon Valley 90210, err, I mean
Killer App.

PRIMARY SOURCES: It's looking as though Killer App, the TV
show Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau are working on, is going to
be stupendously original. It'll probably look a lot like Apple Computer
Inc., too.

As part of their up-close-and-personal tour of Silicon Valley, the
screenwriting cartoonist, the director and their entourage ate
at Buck's of Woodside on Friday. Thursday evening, they dined at Il
Fornaio in Palo Alto.

At breakfast, the two celebrities who will be making celebrities of
netboy, sat by the restaurant's bar -- in one of those big booths near
the door -- and yucked it up with sometimes columnist and venture
capitalist Stewart Alsop.

It's all part of the research Trudeau and Altman are doing for their
television series about Silicon Valley. The series is based on an idea
thought up by Fortune writer Brent Schlender. Schlender served as tour
guide for the group, which included Altman's son, Steve, who will be
the show's production designer, and producer Tommy Thompson. The
tour also included a visit with Apple Computer's once-and-future
CEO Steve Jobs -- who agreed to lend the production computers and
software -- Macintosh computer designer Andy Hertzfeld, and a visit
to Xerox Parc.

One person clearly happy with the attention, Bucks owner, Jamis
MacNiven, seems to be looking forward to the chance stare into the
glare of yet another sun gun. The 19 hash marks above the front door at
Buck's are for the camera crews who have visited the restaurant this

Did MacNiven tell Altman he can use Bucks as a set? No, MacNiven
said. It didn't come up, he said. ``I hope they know they can.''