December 17, 2007

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O’Reilly has made the entire corpus of Esther Dyson’s Release 1.0 available. You can download every issue in .pdf form at that link. (It would be cool if the download page included titles. Perhaps the lazyweb can fill in some blanks there.)

If you want to see the one issue I wrote, select the year 2004 and hit the Download Issue link for May. Or just click here.

The whole series has enormous historical value. Esther was (and still is) unusually good at both seeing future directions and bringing a critical sensibility to covering those who would take us there.

Release 1.0 wasn’t cheap. (Nor is its successor.) For many of the years Release 1.0 ran, I not only subscribed but also went to Esther’s equally exceptional PC Forum conference, which I still miss.

Props to O’Reilly for putting this important periodical on a public bookshelf.

Take note(s)

Susan Kish took some outstanding notes from my talk at last week. Bonus link: Tips for Conference Bloggers, by Bruno Guissani and Ethan Zuckerman.

Am I alone in beginning to think that a blog post is just a Twitter post that’s longer than 140 characters?

Anyway, I’m typing this at the eye doctor’s office, following up on my visit here in November, when my right eye went through posterior vitreous detachment. (Not as bad as it sounds; just annoying.) My eyes have now been dilated, and I’m writing this with the outliner set to supersize type, so I can read what I’m writing through the blur.

But I’m not posting about the subjects of either of those first two paragraphs. I’m posting about the continuing refresher course in Northeastern Living I’m getting by dwelling in Boston.

This morning’s lessons: Walking on frozen slush, and Waiting for the Bus. If the slush is broken up by footprints and tire tracks before it freezes, it’s not hard to traverse, provided your shoes or boots (the latter are preferable) have tread on them. And if your bus is already full of people when it pulls in to pick up the fifteen or twenty at your stop, don’t worry. They’ll fit.

I’ll unpack the latter lesson.

As the 79 bus to Alewife pulled up to my stop on Mass Ave, the guy standing next to me saw how crowded the bus was, then said “No way in hell we’re all going to fit in there!” Then he turned and stomped off like a child, toward the next bus stop. Our whole crowd crammed into the bus. We could have made room for the guy. I know that for sure because, not long after we passed him, the bus stopped at the next corner and picked up another ten people.

Okay, they just called my name. Time to look into bright lights and get told my eyes are crappy but okay.

Quote du jour

When it comes to controversy, after abortion, nothing beats guns and kids. — Rick Segal

I only met Floyd Westerman once, at Max Gail‘s house in Malibu. I didn’t know at the time that Floyd was a celebrity. Actually, I’m not sure if Floyd was a celebrity or not. I figure a celebrity is somebody whose name I know or whose face is instantly recognizable to me. Floyd’s wasn’t, even though I’d seen him in perhaps dozens of movies, usually playing either an Indian or the Indian. He was in The Doors, Dances With Wolves, Northern Exposure and L.A. Law, to name two examples each from the big and small screen. In fact, I didn’t know, until I read his obituary in the Boston Globe today, that he was also a singer, songwriter and musician who had also performed with Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and Don Henley, among many others.

Mostly I remember him as a thoroughly good man who helped guide me through a tough patch in my life

He and some friends, including Max, were holding a sweat in a small dome lodge at Max’s house. I had never participated in a sweat before, and wasn’t eager to this time, since it combined my only two phobias: claustro and extreme heat. Sticking it out was very hard — so hard that I had to leave for awhile. But Floyd invited me back for a final round of hot rocks and steam, and to talk about what was in my heart.

I did, and Floyd’s guidance in response was warm, humane and deeply helpful. It truly turned me around and I’ll always appreciate it.