3.745 a NeXT apology (94)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 14 Nov 89 20:38:58 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 745. Tuesday, 14 Nov 1989.

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 89 12:10:34 GMT-0800
From: "Oliver G. Berghof" <oberghof@next.acs.UCI.EDU>
Subject: NeXT peace

Riposte Of The Prevaricator.

Oh well, that really stirred the pot, and amazingly enough it didn't
even put out the fire.

I would like to apologize to Dr Coombs for my comments on his reaction
to the NeXT. They were uninformed and un-informative, a bad example of
nitpicking and, unfortunately not visible to everyone, a poor peace of
devil's advocacy.

In particular I would like to apologize for my change in the use of his
name; however funny others may have found his response to it he has
every right to be infuriated. It resulted from his having finished his
message with the footer

"-- Jim Dr. James H. Coombs"

While no malice was intended I can see that given the general tone of my
comments he had to mistake this for one more instance of my arrogant

So much for the breastbeating.

I have learned from this exchange that it may be unwise to elicit
contributions from HUMANISTs by sending in deliberately curtailed or
misrepresenting information. Addressing you as "venerable members" is
as far as you will go.

Of course I knew about Pandora before I opened her box, although to this
day I haven't seen a machine running this program, and only today I
heard from the first HUMANIST (many thanks for rising to my defense, O
MH KATA MHXANHN (what a splendid vocative !) - whatever happened to
your name ?) using the Ibycus on a private basis.

Which brings me to another of my little hypocrisies: The price of the
NeXT is well beyond 6500.- if one tries to buy it on a private basis.
Only your department will be able to buy you a machine at that price with
official funds. And even then they might send you to the campus
computer vendor who will be charging a mark-up of 700.- +, usually
without a service contract. That's why I was clamouring for funds.
Although in its configuration it might be the cheapest machine around it
is also the hardest to get.

And, of course, as you might have guessed by now, I agree with all of
Dr. Coombs' criticisms of the interface. In the beginning I myself had
a week during which I wanted to embody the caricature and "hit any key
to continue" with a hammer (although the NeXT doesn't give you THAT
really helpful error message). And the mouse is infuriating. And the
menus are hard to find. And, and, and. . .

I'm neither a NeXT - believer nor am I personally or professionally
connected with NeXT. I don't even own a cube myself (graduates are not
only ignorant, they're also poor - although you should see some of those
Orange County graduates ...).

In case you have any doubts about my spinal chord: I also stand by my
comments. How come ? I tried to play devil's advocate - it misfired
but I still think that the NeXT could be a wonderful machine in the hand

The only thing I would perhaps take exception to is being called an
'astute reader'. To be sure, I always like to be called an 'astute
reader' - except when my writing was meant to convey the impression that
mine was the thickest head on the network and my astute reader didn't
catch it.

Expect one of us to come out with the announcement to a NeXT
peace-conference really soon.

May the future rest in peace - hopefully (ah, yes, that's what Pandora


Oliver Berghof
Department of English and Comparative Literature
University of California, Irvine