Hello Card  -  Volume 28  -  John Card Number 0  -  Mon, Jul 5, 1993 10:15 PM

There's been a lot of hardware changes here at command central in the last month. Betsy and I have been nagging her father to get a Mac and on his recent visit here he suddenly offered to buy my trusty SE. Out the door it went: my third computer, the machine in which Archipelago was born and raised.

A few weeks later we emptied our checking account and bought a Centris 610 with a 14 inch COLOR(!) monitor, an 80 meg internal hard drive, and 12 megs of RAM. It's a spectacular machine that can solve the starmaze in 43 seconds flat (compared with TEN MINUTES for the SE). Now, when I create a voice card and the seagull/hourglass card claims it will just take a second, it really DOES just take a second. Wow!

A week later, however, tragedy struck. My external drive, after two years of loyal service, gave up the ghost - and took 120 megs with it. Because we were still in the midst of re-arranging our files, not everything was backed up. Archipelago is safe, but dozens of old letters and hypercard stacks are gone for good.

Since we were broke but desperate for storage I decided to save money by prowling through Silicon Valley for a "raw" hard disk: no formatting, no case, no instructions, no nothing. I found a 240 meg drive for $285 and, after a hair-raising evening yanking resistors off circuit boards and guessing at connections I managed to install a SECOND internal drive. A third party formatter crashed during the format, and I had to rig a cardboard shelf for one of the drives, but somehow the damn thing seems to work. Command Central has entered a new era.

On the whole it's been a glorious year so far. Betsy and I have been getting out and about, this weekend to the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park, for a hike around Angel Island with Roger and Rose Anne, a visit to the Monterey Aquarium with Betsy's parents, and many, many dinners with friends.

I am still working at the infernal lab (see VC 28 John 15), and Betsy has been quilting and freelance editing, including a week at Wired Magazine and her current three week stint at Visa in San Mateo. In a few weeks we will be leaving for a week-long family reunion in Montana.

Have a serene, solitaire-packed summer, everyone! See you in the Fall.