Hello Card  -  Volume 30  -  John Card Number 0  -  Thu, Jan 6, 1994 6:14 PM

Now that it's over, I see that 1993 was one of the best years of my life. It was the year Betsy gave me something I've always secretly wanted: a surprise party with a house overflowing with friends. Our meager computer station grew to include two high-end Macs, two color monitors, four hard drives, a CD-ROM player, a Powerbook, and a Newton.

We had a summer vacation in Glacier and a winter vacation in Yellowstone. We saw Yosemite on Valentine's Day, circled Angel Island, saw Shakespeare in Golden Gate Park, bought season tickets to Berkeley Rep, and consumed one hundred extraordinary dinners.

Betsy and I were both published in a major magazine, Betsy won first prize for her quilted vest, and all of us celebrated the five year anniversary of Archipelago, complete with a commerative painting. Best of all were the many remarkable friendships that blossomed this year, including an unexpected reunion with a boyhood friend. All in all, an embarrassment of riches. I am a very lucky man.

At the moment I am also a bit overwhelmed. In an attempt to gear up for some new emerging technologies I am trying to learn FIVE new software developing environments at once. I find that my tired old brain doesn't slurp this stuff up the way it used to, so I've been putting it off, stacking teetering piles of manuals and diskettes in the corner.

I am an OracleCard 2.0 beta test site (something of an honor in certain circles) and from Oracle I have received two heavy boxes stuffed with manuals, another armload of related manuals from a friend, and no less than 25 high density disks to load onto my Mac. At the Newton Developer's Conference I received another armload of handouts, I photocopied a 900 page manual, and received a CD-ROM containing hundreds of megabytes of technical documents. I just ordered the long-awaited upgrade to HyperCard, a sixteen pound shipment including at least five manuals and eleven diskettes. I have purchased a half dozen computer books over the last few months and am trying to teach myself Applescript and Photoshop. And next week I am supposed to start training sessions at Sybase for a new client-server development system called Build Momentum.

It's all so overwhelming that I am repeatedly tempted to escape into the now bulging folder of dazzling color games on my Mac. And even there, I am overwhelmed. SimCIty 2000 comes with a fairly thick manual and is so sophisticated that I feel the need for further training - perhaps a graduate level seminar in urban planning. And then there's MYST. If any of you out there have a CD-ROM drive RUN RUN RUN to the nearest computer emporium and buy this thing at once. It is so dazzling, so beautiful, so deep and original that I am, well, in a word: overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed but lucky. And I wish you all a busy and brash new year, overflowing with voice cards. Happy New Year everyone!