John Foust wrote:
The parody mentions his kids - week before last, I
Alex Pournelle walking around in one of the computer history
exhibits (where one of my Teraks was on display) at the
ACM SIGGRAPH computer graphics convention in Orlando.
For many years while I was working as a freelance writer, I'd see
Jerry in person at press events at computer shows, and I knew many
of his assistants / toadies. Ugh. It was frightening what he was
given, and how little time he spent with it, and how little he
Remember that Jerry's column used to be called "The User's Column".
not "The Engineer's Column". His perspective is on "using" the
damned stuff, and the stuff that doesn't die in infancy due to
hardware failure or simple unusability he will try for several
months. So will his staff (who are _not_ toadies). I've known
Jerry for over twenty years (a side effect of being a fellow member
of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society). He's damned honest.
I've had _serious_ arguments with him over the years, about politics
(he's in favor of limiting government, I'm in favor of eliminating
it completely), computers (I hate the Wintel standard, he recognized
that the world would spend time in that Purgatory whether he or I
liked it or not -- I showed him the TRS-80 Model 100 when it was less
than a week on the market, due to his bad experience with the Mod One
Radio Shack sold him, he bought a NEC 8201), space development (he
[despite evidence] still thought the government has a role to play,
although in recent years his writing has been less pro-NASA -- I
haven't had a good cathartic argument with him since I moved to and
got trapped on the east coast 6.5 years ago). Be aware that we are
not friends -- our politics and willingness to express them sort of
prevent that. But Jerry won't say something good about a product
unless it works and he won't say something bad unless it _really_
I recently saw a summary of the mindset of the Pournellian branch
of science fiction as "Space is like Texas, only bigger."
What other writers are in that branch? Reply privately unless it
means old computers. Or at least send me a pointer to that summary,
as I suspect that it includes a number of writers I get along with
far better than Jerry.
Ward Griffiths <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.cnct.com/home/gram/>
They say that politics makes strange bedfellows.
Of course, the main reason they cuddle up is to screw somebody else.
Michael Flynn, _Rogue Star_