e$: Seven Days

Rohit Khare (khare@pest.w3.org)
Tue, 26 Dec 95 19:20:00 -0500

This is apparently the one-and-same as the fellow I bookmarked under
"WWW/Vision Statements":

> I also talked Steven Roussey, of PartMerchant. He's
> developing a server which will sell OpenDoc parts on the
> net directly to Cyberdog users as they need them, and
> he's going to settle his transactions in ecash, among
> other things. It turns out, he *is* writing a payment
> API for Cyberdog, so that a part can hold the user up
> for money at periodic intervals and send it to the
> developer, through PartMerchant initially, but certainly
> in the long run, developers with permanent net presences
> can use this same API to collect their revenues directly.
> To me, that means a rather interesting scenario where
> copyrights and patents matter much less because developers
> get paid for the code which is being *used*, eventually
> maybe at runtime, and certainly at periodic intervals,
> or at a flat rate, or whatever the market will bear. I
> thanked him for all his efforts. Effusively.



Begin forwarded message:

X-Sender: rah@tiac.net
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 21:33:01 -0500
To: dcsb@ai.mit.edu
From: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)
Subject: e$: Seven Days
Sender: bounce-dcsb@ai.mit.edu
Reply-To: rah@shipwright.com (Robert Hettinga)


Boston, MA

Interesting things happened during seven days last week, which I spent
mostly on the road. The focus of the trip was almost entirely on e$ and
geodesic markets, so I thought I'd do a reprise of the "24 hours" post
here for fun.


Woke up at about 6 and thrashed the e-mail pile for about an hour. I'm
finding that I get up, do e-mail and then take a shower. Could trollhood
be far behind? Usually, I have at least 100 messages in the mailbox
first thing in the morning. Almost all of this is not for me, about 95%
is e$pam fodder, of which 10% makes the cut. About 80% of the total is
still cypherpunks -- so, what else is new? The NetGAK fight dominates
all, and I get flamed by one of my subscribers about pumping so much of
it onto e$pam. I ask him to send the flame to the list, but nothing ever
happens. I figure that the more cogent NetGAK arguments deserve
e$pamming because of my oft-debated contention that digital commerce is
finanicial cryptography, and financial cryptography is a subset of
strong cryptography, and attempts by nation-states to regulate commerce,
and thus strong cryptography, are usually entertaining when they're not
dangerous. These days, I suppose Duncan Frisell would call GAK-attempts
entertaining, and Tim May would call it dangerous, and I fall in between

Sometimes, all of this reminds me of Barr Rosenburg, the popular 70's
analyst-of- stock- analysts who made a whole lot of mutual fund managers
feel much better about themselves and the efficient market hypothesis.
His point was that if they didn't try to beat the market every day of
their lives, there wouldn't be a market to beat. The best fund managers
did beat the market on a regular basis, just barely, and that was the
incentive for all the rest to try their hand at it. We all benefit as a
result. We can buy a mutual fund, or just buy an index fund, and for the
most part, we can be sure that the market will go up a reasonable annual
amount on some long term average.

I see progress against government interference in the net.market the
same way. Just one of us can't really do it, but if all of us chip away
at it, some of us more than others, then those "profits at the margin"
begin to add up to a trend of government cluefulness about economic
reality as far as geodesic markets on the net are concerned. One of the
biggest clues of all is that strong cryptography is the lynchpin
technology for any real peer-to-peer cash-settlement economy. They just
don't get that yet. They will. The market is efficient.

I get cleaned up, pack (always at the last minute, and always in a
hurry) call a cab and go down to the Harvard Club on Federal Street to
moderate the Digital Commerce Society of Boston luncheon. We had about
30 people and 3 no-shows, which is about par after three months of doing

We also had about 10 new people, which is also par. Among them was a
sizable contingent from the financial community, which is good, because
I put the meeting in the middle of Boston's financial district on
purpose. We had people from State Street Bank's bond room, some people
from Fidelity Systems' advanced technology bunch, one guy from Mellon
Bank's advanced technology group, and someone from Lehman, who I believe
was another bond trader.

Rich Salz, from OSF, was the speaker, and he talked about financial
middleware for the internet. When I listen to someone like Rich, I'm
always reminded of just how much I *don't* know. Among other things,
Rich told the story about how someone had to fight tooth and nail to
keep people from putting URLs into Super Bowl ads, because the
net.infrastructure wouldn't pass the smoke test. Something about too
much demand if they advertised Madonna's langerie for sale...

DCSB is growing nicely, I think. We've got speakers booked out until
next June, running the gamut from FSTC to Perry Metzger, we're keeping
our Harvard Club bill paid, and everyone looks happy to meet someone
else whose eyes don't glaze over when they talk about digital commerce
technology and its consequences.

The plane flight is boring, and I keep forgetting to get some kind of
battery brick for shipwright.com, my PowerBook 180. To top it off, I've
had it more or less plugged into the wall for a year, so the battery's
gone. So, I read Forbes, and then the Atlantic, and then after a plane
change in Chicago, I sleep until I get to San Jose, where Vinnie, a
friend of mine from Apple, and my equivalent of Hunter Thompson's Samoan
attorney, picks me up. I go crash on a futon in his living room, and
wake up way too early.


After waking up at 4:30, downloading e-mail and thrashing it all into
food for Thumper, our ailing mail-server, I forestall trollhood one more
time and get cleaned up to go outside. This time, it's to go hang out
for three days at the Apple OpenDoc Cyberdog Coding Retreat, or
"Kitchen", as they say at Apple.

First, Vinnie takes me to his office at Apple Developer Technical
Support (DTS), by way of a triple esspresso dumped into a large coffee
(Vinnie's version of a weightlifter's ephidrine stack, I suppose) and a
rather large cholestorol-festival breakfast at the Apple cafeteria.

At Vinnie's office, I meet several of his workmates, including his
shooting buddy Jeff, who, along with Vinnie, takes failed hard drives
out to the shooting range periodically for durability testing. Jeff says
there's something satisfying about the sound of AK-47 fire ricocheting
off of the pride of Conner, Seagate or Quantum in the early evening
after a hard day's bug-hunting.

Vinnie, who got started messing around with computers when he was about
13, at MIT's AI lab in the early 70's, is also an ex-marine black-belt
who teaches handgun safety and marksmanship. He has one of those
humaniform target sheets pasted on his office window with tidy groupings
over the middle chest and forehead, the result of a field trip that
folks in DTS took one day to the range. After much arm-twisting, they
persuaded Vinnie to take a few shots himself, and he squeezed off the
above Glock magazine in about 8 seconds or so. That, the break-out
picture of the AK-47 on his wall, the business card that says "DTS
Sniper. One shot, One kill", and the Glock t-shirt with the rolled up
sleeves over a few too many muscles under hair that's buzz-cut a little
bit short, makes most liberals and other statists a little nevous. The
small oval Oakley reflective sunglasses, don't hurt, I suppose. I have
to say that someone actually pointed out all this out to me, a little
later in the week. I'd never noticed it, really. I've known Vinnie for
about 5 years now, and I think about Vinnie the same way that someone
talked about Dick Butkus once. "Kind of a teddy bear with muscles." A
very *smart* teddy bear with muscles.

After taking the tour of DTS and meeting mostly normal people with the
exception of Vinnie and Jeff, well, mostly normal people, anyway, we
jumped into Vinnie's Toyota 4X4 with the firearm, punk band and
right-wing bumper stickers all over the rear window and went over to
Apple's City Center campus and the Cyberdog Kitchen.

We were greeted by Jim Black, who was running the Kitchen for Apple,
which consists primarily of 60 (for this kitchen, anyway, because of
CyberDog; normally it's about 20) people with Macs in front of them
trying to develop code in new environments for the first time. They do
this over the course of 3 days, from 8 in the morning to midnight or
later, punctuated by the occasional meal or presentation. Jim was the
guy who flew me out here, so I figure I have to pay attention to him.
Vinnie and John say relax, so I start paying attention to the kitchen
itself, including fooling around with the various Cyberdog "parts", or

Cyberdog itself is a really cool idea. Effectively, it's an
implementation of IBM's SOM object model for the internet. With
Cyberdog, you can encapsulate any function in a part, kind of like a
very small application on steroids. You can make parts like
web-browsers, or mailers, or ftp-parts. In other words, parts for all
the stuff you do on the net. My, uh, part-icular interest in this was
the concept of OpenDoc and especially Cyberdog as "Geodesic" software,
which was the topic of another rant, which turned into an article, which
got me here at the Cyberdog kitchen.

More to the point, my interest in parts comes from the ease with which
one could do financial cryptography, and how developers of cyberdog
parts could sell them on the net, preferably on a direct-to-the-customer
basis, and for cash -- anonymous, of course;-). I had managed to get a
"seat", a Mac, in other words, so that someone who actually was
crypto-code-clueful could come in, and at least get up to speed on
Cyberdog, and go play with it elsewhere.

"Elsewhere", because of the ITARs of course. It seems that there were
foriegn nationals in the room, Apple legal was more than a little bit
concerned that something would be misconstrued somewhere in the bowels
of Blair House. Also, there's the interesting problem of crypto-hooks as
tanamount to crypto itself. I talked to more than one developer who
thought he had skirted the ITAR issue all together, just by leaving
crypto APIs there for other people to use. We had fun telling them all
about just how hard their tax dollars were working *against* them in
this regard.

Anyway, all this "elsewhere" stuff was just fine, because the person I
*could* get on such short notice, who was both crypto and OpenDoc
capable, was Dave Del Torto, who could only show up for one day.
However, in Dave I got cluefulness personified. Dave has done work for
Qualcomm on Eudora, Digicash on ecash, and was under NDA to Apple for
OpenDoc and Cyberdog already, and in addition, going to try to walk in
with what there was of the PGP 3.0 code. Also, there were at least two
well-respected Mac.Cypherpunks there working on code for their
respective employers, not to mention several crypto/e$ people from
Apple, all of whom were personally interested, and who will remain
nameless. I was pumped.

Playing around with the demo internet parts that Apple provided for
Cyberdog was fun. Rather than a monolithic application like Netscape
loading up when you start up a cyberdog part, you start up the part
itself, and nothing else. When your browser needs mail it calls your
mail part. When your newsreader needs to browse it calls your browser
part. Of course, they can all call crypto or e$ parts as they need to.
There's a history part that records where you were and what you did in
URLs, and there's a notebook part you can stick URLs into if you want to
keep them.

The coolest ah, part, about all of this is that every one of these parts
can be interchanged. It's also easy to see that if something gets
popular like web-browsing, and people keep adding features to browsers,
someone can come along and sell parts that do those features better than
the browser itself can do, like bookmark management, for instance, and
sell them separately. Feature creap dies in its tracks. This process is
exactly the kind of "surfactant" effect that I had observed with the
internet, which dissolves information into more and more dispersed
pieces, and which had gotten me into all this trouble in the first place
with the rant and the InfoWorld article.

Couple this with the potential for geodesic markets on the net with e$,
particularly with digital cash an micropayment schemes, and I thought I
had something to say to these folks, which is why I was brought here to
speak here in the first place. In an auditorium. With cameras and lights
and videotape. And an audience with 200 people in it. As I had never
actually done this before, I was feeling a little like Dustin Hoffman in
"Rain Man": "V-E-R-N, Vern..."

So, along about noon, we jump back into Vinnie's assault vehicle (by
granola-land standards, anyway) and we go to said auditorium, called
"Town Hall". There, I spoke about, according to my notes, <big intake of
breath> the books "Out of Control", and "Applied Cryptography", The rise
of the pyramid paradigm, Bucky (Fuller) and Pete (Huber), The net as a
geodesic and information surfactant, OpenDoc as geodesic software and
code surfactant, cypherpunks, strong cryptography, anonymity,the four
hoursemen, digital cash and digital bearer certificates, chaotic
capital, Financial Cryptography for Dogs (Teaching Cyberdog to send you
money in the mail), and of couse, Dissolving the entire status quo into
a cloud of self organized chaos. <exhale...>

All of which took 45 minutes of the hour and a half I was allotted.
Fortunately, about 15 minutes into the Q&A period, I was rescued by Eric
Hughes, who showed up with black cowboy hat (which is how you identify
those "black hat" cryptographers, I'm told), to answer all the hard
stuff. I was greatly pleased, not only to get bailed out, but also to
meet Eric, who I'd only talked to on the net until a week before, when
we had had an actual phone call to get his appearance here arranged.

Probably the most interesting thing for me was watching Eric handle the
guilty titters the audience got when he talked about the profit one gets
from money laundering. "It's immensely liberating when thinking about
this stuff to think like an illegal operative", he said. Meaning to me,
of course, that you're not trying to break the law, but that you're
trying to think about how markets work in their, er, extra-legal,
unregulated form. Since a very large part of financial cryptography is
about how to prevent being cheated in an on-line transaction without
recourse to the law and eventually physical force, Eric's spot-on about

Another thing he said that got me to thinking was that the "foregone
alternative", or opportunity cost of removing advertizing is equivalent
to the amount someone spends on sending you advertising. If, for
instance, an advertiser spends $1 to spam your mailbox, it's probably
going to have to be worth at least 1$ for you to block him.

After my talk, Eric, Sameer (also in a black hat) and I were asked into
a what turned to be a brainstorming session with several people from
Apple and other places, who pumped us (mostly Eric, of course) about how
best to implement digital signatures as quickly and securely as possible
in the Mac OS, given that Apple's RSA-signatures-in-Powertalk idea isn't
getting very far. Maybe something will come of it, maybe not. Hope so.

After that, I went back to the Cyberdog Kitchen with Vinnie, where we
met Dave Del Torto. Dave and Vinnie thrashed Cyberdog, and I schmoozed
people and thrashed e$pam until dinner. After dinner, I went home to
Vinnie's and crashed at the ungodly hour of 8:30.


I wake up at 6:30 this time, and, checking the bank, find out that a
wire from one of my sponsors for the e$ lists has arrived. Happy, Happy,
Joy, Joy. That makes two, and I'm looking for 2 more for the time being,
so send me e-mail, if you're interested, or check the web page at
<http://thumper.vmeng.com/pub/rah/ for more details.

Speaking of poor thumper, we upgraded the web software to WebStar, but
the problem now is the list server, running on some freeware called
MacJordomo, which works for normal applications, but was giving us fits,
and crashing the server with annoying regularity. Vinnie got it
rebooted, and we made an appointment to go see thumper for some surgery
on Sunday afternoon up in Walnut Creek.

Vinnie and I pile into his truck, almost accidentally monster-truck
ourselves over someone with a no-fur vanity plate whose Tercel stops too
suddenly, and went to his office so he could get caught up a little bit,
after the obligatory triple espresso caffiene stack and vegetarian's
worst nightmare for breakfast. Vinnie says something about this being an
anabolic diet that weightlifters use. Actually, I started this about a
month ago, and it works so far. I've lost about 25 lbs, and have only
165 to go...

Vinnie, in his role as "Bob-handler", has negotiated a slot on the
speaking schedule at the Cyberdog kitchen so I can rant at the people I
came here to pay attention to in the first place, the people coding
dog-parts... Yes, there's a joke, and I'll tell it later.

So, I give a more Cyberdog-specific version of yesterday's talk for
those who missed it. I got assisted from the aforementioned Cyberdog
cypherpunks (Cypherdogs?... Nah...) on the uh, hard parts... The most
important thing I tried to get across was the idea of parts paying their
authors by mail. A part asks for money to be sent to the author, who
sends the part a signed operating certificate, which enables the part to

After lunch, Vinnie and I get on the road for San Francisco, stopping
first for a pair of Lee Oskar harmonicas, in the key of A. I decide it's
time to teach Vinnie how to play cross-harp. So I teach him how to bend
a few notes while telling him about how I used to walk home from
Fidelity in Boston wearing my blue suit, red tie, white shirt, and
wingtips, walking into the sun, so I needed sunglasses, smoking a 45
minute Macanudo baseball bat, because I had enough time to smoke it, and
playing blues harp, because I could, and the walk was boring...

We're going to see a friend, who will also remain nameless for the time
being, and who has just set up shop on Market street. After swearing me
to secrecy, and swearing Vinnie to enforce my secrecy (good move that,
swear Vinnie to anything, and it happens), they tell all about what
they're up to, and it's big. Very big. The more I think about it, the
bigger it gets, until fiinally I force myself to look out of the eighth
floor conference-room window, and down Market Street. Sure enough,
lumbering up from the waterfront is the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man,
straight out of Ghost Busters. I shake my head, and it goes away...

So our friend and some of his friends go to a hotel lobby, where Vinnie
gets to smoke a Cohiba for the first time, and then on to "Stars" for
dinner, and then home to sleep in Vinnie's living room. Bizzarre dreams
about the Marshmallow Man, drinking triple-espresso-in-black-coffee...


The last day of the CyberDog Kitchen.

People are rushing around to finish their demo Cyberdog parts before
show and tell this afternoon.

I thrash e$pam some more, and meet with Stephen Humphrey, a contractor
to Apple from Salt Lake City, who's writing a book on OpenDoc, and who
seemed to be Apple's front-line code resource person at the kitchen. We
talked about possible payment APIs for Cyberdog, and his forthcoming
book, which I'm writing the preface for, for which he's going to pay me
a few bucks in Mark Twain Bank's ecash, just so we can say we did it.

I also talked Steven Roussey, of PartMerchant. He's developing a server
which will sell OpenDoc parts on the net directly to Cyberdog users as
they need them, and he's going to settle his transactions in ecash,
among other things. It turns out, he *is* writing a payment API for
Cyberdog, so that a part can hold the user up for money at periodic
intervals and send it to the developer, through PartMerchant initially,
but certainly in the long run, developers with permanent net presences
can use this same API to collect their revenues directly. To me, that
means a rather interesting scenario where copyrights and patents matter
much less because developers get paid for the code which is being
*used*, eventually maybe at runtime, and certainly at periodic
intervals, or at a flat rate, or whatever the market will bear. I
thanked him for all his efforts. Effusively.

After lunch, it was time to do a "show-and-tell" of the Cyberdog parts
that people had built in the past three days.

People had done all sorts of stuff, including various tweaks on the
reference Cyberdog parts to see if it could be done. The most important
thing for me was seeing Java run in an OpenDoc part. This meant several
things to me. The first is that I keep getting people telling me that
Java and OpenDoc are competitors. Quite obviously, that is not the case.
Java can run in any container, including OpenDoc containers. It also
means that if competition for Java comes along, OpenDoc can run that,
too. This also means that the need for monolithic applications to run
Java, like Netscape, or any wild fantasy of Microsoft, is nonexistant.

This becomes important because Macromind has a Java-equivalent, and it
proves that others will follow. Just download a part on the fly from the
PartMerchant, and you can run those scripting languages too.

To me, the whole idea of economies of scale gets turned on its head in
this kind of "geodesic" environment. If someone likes Java, they can
write something better, and someone else will write a Cyberdog part to
handle it. If someone likes that part, they can write a better one, and
so on. This Darwinian, er, dog-eat-dog world can only lower software
prices, and make better software. The people who benefit are the small
developers, because they move, and can get paid, faster.

I look at Apple like the US in the early 19th century, letting people
homestead on the land by giving it to the people who develop it. Lincoln
had to do nothing but give away rights of way to the railroads to make a
transcontinental line a reality. Apple licences OpenDoc to developers as
cheaply as possible, maybe giving it away as much as possible, and all
these developers make Macs the platform of choice on the net, selling
more Macs and Mac-clones in the process, just like the homesteaders made
the land they moved onto more valuable, and eventually taxable. Only
this time, there is no pristine wilderness or native americans to abuse.

Finally the dog-part joke. Someone, riffing on the BBEdit "It doesn't
suck" slogan said, "Cyberdog doesn't suck..." and someone in the crowd
finished the sentence with "...it licks!", and someone else said,
"Because it can!". And then there was a massive "EEEEWWWWWWW" from
everyone else...

Now *that* was disgusting... Oh, well, they'd been working from 8 AM to
midnight plus for 2 days...

After the show and tell was over, the kitchen was over, but Vinnie and I
hung around for a while as people were packing up all the Macs Apple
provided for the kitchen. While chatting with some of the OpenDoc
evangelists, we talked about how OpenDoc, just like the net, was just
like this vast unexplored territory. I said that Lincoln built the
transcontinental rail road with -- and the woman who was the division
head for all the OpenDoc evangelists finished my sentence and said "land
grants!" with the strangest smile on her face. I think I connected

After that, Vinnie and I packed up and went over to his office, hung out
there while Vinnie did some of his own work, and then went out for
dinner with a bunch of DTS people.


I wake up at a normal time. Vinnie and I go out to Gold's gym and thrash
weights with his buddy Ray from DTS, who's been working for Apple for 14
years and is, pound for pound, about the strongest guy I've ever seen.

After breakfast, the purchase of two boxes of Macanudo "Prince Phillip"
cigars, a visit to Rochester Big & Tall, and renting a tux for Vinnie
for the Apple Christmas party, we pick up Cynthia, who's Vinnie's
friend, and who, in addition to building the Apple OpenDoc website,
helped Vinnie clang trashcan lids together to get people into the
audience for my talk on Wednesday, not to mention asking pertainent
NetGAK questions of Eric during the talk itself.

Vinnie, Cynthia and I pile into her car and head out to a cypherpunks
party somewhere in the hills near Los Gatos. After missing the turnoff
twice in both directions, we finally arrive at a geodesic dome. Not
missing the irony of this, having just given a talk at Apple on
"Geodesic Software and Financial Cryptography for Dogs" I have to laugh
a bit.

This is an honest-to-goodness, straight out of the Whole-Earth Domebook,
back to the land, llamas-and-all geodesic dome, complete with naked
hippies in the hot tub. I come to the conclusion that this is going to
be a great party, even if I only know people from what they've written
on cypherpunks. I saw Sameer and Sandy Sandfort, who I had met earlier
in the week, and Eric, of course, who was holding court with Roger
Schlafly about patent esoterica when I came in. I saw Raph Levien, and
the guy (sorry, can't remember all names) who was working on PGP3, who
had a single paper copy of the PGP3 API to pass around, and Eric
peppered him uncomfortably with interface call questions, ending most of
Mr. PGP3's answers with "Oh, well, we'll wait until it's released, and
then we'll deal with it", that is until someone let it be known that
the hot tub was in fact open for business. At that, Eric fairly
scampered out of there for the back porch, where the tub was.

A little later on, after I was introduced to "the guy who wrote the game
Gorp", who did something much more important later but I can't remember
what, I had fun just sitting there in a denim bean-bag chair, looking up
at the dome's ceiling, listening to people rant crypto for a while, with
Cynthia noticed that, besides broad-brimmed black hats, cryptographers
all have these Tolkein-wizard pointy goatees. Made me glad my attempts
at facial fur had been constantly interrupted by the need to "clean up
for company", me not being a real cryptographer and all...

One of the people I met was Mr. Weinstein from Netscape. We chatted for
a while, and I told him that he had probably won this year's Black Rhino
Ammunition Inc. "Mr. Kevlar" award for his service in the cause of
cypherpunkdom. He laughed. I didn't tell him that Black Rhino Ammunition
was a fictional company dreamed up by the gun lobby to get a rise out of
the Clinton administration, and that the Clinton administration had
risen so much that they had banned the fictional company's fictional
Kevlar-penetrating bullets... That, of course, was off-topic. ;-).

Vinnie broke out one of the boxes of baseball-bat-sized Macanudos, and
we proceeded to hang out on the back porch ourselves, killing insects
and gagging llamas with tobacco fumes. I offered some to the naked
hippies in the hot-tub, but they had better things to do than to stand
wet and naked on a cold back porch smoking cigars. Eventually Vinnie and
I were joined by three or four others, and their various frowning
spousal and virtual-spousal units. A good time was had by all, albeit a
little on the cold side, until Vinnie looks at my watch (Vinnie doesn't
wear a watch) and says "Oops. Time for the next party", and I went in to
get my Mac from behind the chair Eric was sitting in before he cornered
Mr. PGP3 and then galloped off to the hot tub.

This chair now had another guy sitting in it, and, as I had been doing
all evening, I introduced myself, by way of retrieving my Powerbook. It
was Tim May.

I laughed, and shook his hand goodbye, which must have puzzled him a
bit, got my Mac from behind him, and split. Tim May looks much
different in person than he does on the net. On the net, he's this
short, skinny-but-muscular, pushy guy with no beard who looks too young
for his age. In person, he's exactly the opposite on all counts. Gooo

We headed into San Jose and the house of one of three people at Apple
with the title of "Scientist". The guy who answered the door looked like
a biker. Actually, he was a biker, colors and all. He was also the
"Scientist", who had just achieved that apellation by working up through
the ranks from Vinnie's department, Developer Technical Support. A very
smart guy with an amazing collection of CDs (including the entire
DiMeola canon), early 60's Dodges and Ramblers, guitars (including a
1959 Stratocaster), and, of course, Harleys. He also had a very hairy
persian cat, named Freddy, and whose full name wouldn't surprise me if
it was "Fat Freddy" of Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers fame...

So, after the birthday party's birthday person opened all her gifts,
Vinnie and Cynthia and I took off, leaving the remaining Macanudos
behind for our esteemed host. We expect his outside smoke breaks on the
Apple campus to take on the order of 45 minutes, while the cigars last,


Today's mission was to go to Walnut Creek, where both my in-laws and the
beleagered e$ server thumper lives.

After we had breakfast with Jeff, of hard-drive durability test fame,
who gave me all his old PowerBook 100-series batteries and chargers,
Vinnie and I went up to Walnut Creek. We had lunch with my
brother-in-law and nephew, who gave me warm regards from most of my
other in-laws, who all came down with the flu that week, ;-), exchanged
Christmas gifts right there in the Buttercup Diner, and then went on to
the AG Group, where thumper lives.

The AG group makes network monitoring software like Etherpeek and
Skyline, and one of Vinnie's friends, a founder there, had let us hang
thumper off of their internet feed. After thanking him for letting us
in, and for putting thumper up for the duration, and hearing *him* thank
his lucky stars he wasn't parasailing on Mt. Diablo this afternoon --
where the winds had just piped up to 70 mph -- we went into AG Group's
machine room and began to perform brain surgery on thumper. Thumper, who
started life as a Quadra 950 running httpd and Macjordomo, is now a
PowerMac 8100 running WebStar and, soon, ListStar. We munge around on it
remotely with Timbuktu, and, since we were having so much trouble
between AIMS and MacJordomo, we're going to drop in AutoBoot so we won't
have to have someone manually restart it for us.

We brought up ListStar, and, deciding that it was way too much work to
do that afternoon, brought it back down to prototype the e$ lists
remotely and then upload them later. So now, we're waiting for a break
in schedule so that we can do just that, sometime this week. I hope.

So, we went back to Vinnie's house, by way of Fry's to pick up a battery
brick, and Warehouse, to get the videos "The Decline of Western
Civilization", and "Dazed and Confused". It seems that Vinnie wanted to
relive his lost youth on both counts. Cynthia came over, and she, Jim
(who's Vinnie's roomate), Vinnie and I ate pizza and watch Vinnie
fast-forward through most of "Decline", except for watching the "Fear"
segment twice, and then we actually watched all of "Dazed", which put a
lump in my throat, seeing as I was Lafayette HS, '77, and in Vinnie's
too, as he was Boston Latin '78. It seems this movie has cult status.
Has nostalgia arrived for 70's dopers and acid casualties? It seems to
have happened...

After that, I thrashed e$pam and went to bed.


Vinnie had to help with the Open Transport kitchen. I hung with Cynthia
for a while, and then we went down to the cafeteria, and met Guy
Kawasaki getting his breakfast. Cynthia introduced me to him, and he
gave me a "why should I know you?" look, but I did get to shake the
man's hand, which means now I never have to wash it. Ewwwwwww.

Finally, we went back to the Open Transport kitchen where Vinnie was
working, said bye to Vinnie, and Cynthia took me to the airport, put me
on the plane, and, as soon as we leveled off, I started writing this on
shipwright.com. The battery brick works great.

When I got home, I asked my wife how church was that morning. She said,
"Bob, it's Monday." Oh. Right. It's Monday...

Bob Hettinga

Version: 2.6.2


Robert Hettinga (rah@shipwright.com)
e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA (617) 958-3971
"Reality is not optional." --Thomas Sowell
The NEW(!) e$ Home Page: <http://thumper.vmeng.com/pub/rah/
>>>>Phree Phil: Email: zldf@clark.net <http://www.netresponse.com/zldf <<<<<