Miner Thoughts – My Mac Magazine #56, Dec. ’99

A couple of you regular My Mac readers may have noticed that I’ve been absent from these pages over the past two months. For an excuse, I thought about telling you that I was on a secret assignment at the behest of our illustrious publisher, Tim Robertson, to discover once and for all who’s really behind this Y2K thing. But then I realized I would have to report my discoveries, which I don’t have. So I won’t tell you that.

A good excuse that I’m sure you would buy is that my real, feed the family, pay the bills job has kept me away from home more than usual and I’ve been unable to devote the amount of time it takes me to knock out one of these monthly meanderings. Entirely plausible, but not the truth.

I even thought about telling you that my iMac suffered a major discombobulation and has been in the shop for two months, but I’ve never heard of an iMac suffering any kind of discombobulation, let alone a major one, so I doubted anyone would believe that.

In the end, after realizing that I’m a very poor liar and that my readers deserve better, I’ve decided to come clean and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So here it is:

On October 1st, 1999, I was abducted by a pair of female aliens who transported me against my will to what I assume was their spacecraft parked on the far side of the moon. These two lady aliens probed my brain and poked my every body orifice with something that looked like a Roto-Rooter tool. The probe left me weak and kept me in a hallucinatory stupor for days or maybe even weeks. I’m not at all clear on the time frame.

During the whole time I was held captive the two aliens never spoke to me nor to each other. But somehow I knew their names. The tall one was Misty and the short one was Terrabelle. How strange is that?

When Misty and Terrabelle returned me to my home, I felt used and abused and very nauseous. My wife didn’t even miss me. She thought I had been away at work and only made the offhanded comment that I really should call home more often when I’m on the road. When I told her of my ordeal she listened very sympathetically, not saying a word till I finished. She then took my hands in hers and said, “You poor dear, that sounds terrible. Maybe you should go lay down for a couple of hours before you take me shopping.”

The nauseating feelings persisted for days afterwards until I finally hobbled into the doctor’s office and told him how I felt and what had happened to me at the hands of Misty and Terrabelle. I don’t think he believed my story, but he ran some test on me and said he would have the results the following day.

That next day the doctor called and informed me that I was eight weeks pregnant. Boy, was I surprised. So was the doctor. I mean how strange is that? Me, a guy, eight weeks pregnant! What the hell do I say to my wife?

Anyway, that’s not your problem. I just wanted you all to know the truth about why I’ve been missing from the pages of My Mac for two months in a row. I apologize for this but as you can see, it was beyond my control.

Now that I’m back I’ll try to recap some of what’s been going on in my little world of computing.

For one, Steve Jobs no longer calls me for advice or even just to say hello since I failed to return a dozen or so of his voice mails while I was away with Misty and Terrabelle. Now he won’t return my calls. Rather childish, don’t you think? Hey Steve! I was abducted, for crying out loud! I couldn’t get back to you. Don’t be such a crybaby and give me a call.

Bill and Melinda Gates tried to contact me before announcing their $1,000,000,000 donation to start the New Millennium Scholars Program for minorities. I wish I’d been around to take that call because I’d have advised them to hold off on the donation and first hear what Judge Jackson had to say in his Finding of Facts report. It looks now like Billy might be having to pay out large sums of money due to his monopoly. Unfortunately, it won’t be Monopoly money he pays out.

Two months of not checking my email resulted in a major mailbox overflow thanks mostly to those advertising spammers who keep sending their junk mail. Listen up, spammers: I will die before any of you gets one red cent from me for any of your stupid, unsolicited services and/or products. So get the hell out of my email!

I still haven’t found where to insert the floppy disks in my iMac. I’m beginning to think that the good people at Apple forgot to install a floppy drive in my box, but I’m still searching so don’t email me and tell me where it is, I want to find it on my own.

My wife has more or less forced me to quit using my iMac’s Speech Recognition capabilities, at least while she’s in the house. She complains that I talk to my “damn” computer more than I talk to her. So in order to regain the tranquility I desire at my keyboard I quit talking to both of them.

Shortly after returning from the moon I participated in my first online auction. Yep, I registered at eBay.com and put in my bid on a battery-operated fingernail clipper. The entire auction process was so exciting that it wasn’t until the high bid reached $982.50 that I noticed I was the only person bidding. Looking back, I think I may have overpaid for the item, but it was a fun experience.

While trucking on the east coast in September and playing catch-me-if-you-can with hurricane Dennis, I found my first truck stop that had a computer room available for public use. It was a Petro truck stop in New Jersey. It was nice to see the trucking industry finally coming around to meet the cyberspace requirements of the over-the-road trucker. Unfortunately, I did not see one Mac in this otherwise pleasant room. I would have gone in and given the tech on duty a hard time about his Macless computer room, but I wanted to beat the bus load of old people coming through the front door to the buffet line.

On my way back from the east coast I took a day off in Memphis and spent it visiting Elvis Presley’s humble abode, Graceland. While walking through his house I couldn’t help but notice that the man didn’t own a computer. Thirteen televisions–but not one computer. Elvis would have liked computers as he was a gadget kind of guy and I’m sure he would have chosen the Macintosh. I tried to interview Elvis about this when I noticed him scurrying about in his front yard disguised as a squirrel, but he declined my interview.

With the 500 Mhz processors out now, one must ask, how fast is too fast? I figured out the answer to this question so you wouldn’t have to. The answer is: 1,587,232 Mhz. Anything beyond this speed will reverse the polarity in the processor chip and cause disruptions in the continuity of the throughput path resulting in a significant slowdown, if not reversal, of the chips processability.

With newer and faster processors hitting the market every few months I decided to be the first on my block to upgrade my 266/G3 iMac to the as yet un-released 866/G5 chip. No one believed I could do this but I made it so by simply changing the information in the hardware overview in my system profiler. Piece of cake!


Miner Thoughts PictureThat’s all I know this month. Have a Merry Christmas, and if the world don’t end on Jan. 1st have a Happy New Year also.

Pete Miner

Leave a Reply