Friday, May 25, 2007

Tech Support Stories

When I first started at ComputerWare in the summer of 1993 I was in the Technical Support department at headquarters, along with Earl Gerfen, Ron Reck, and Ross Gard. We did pre-sales and post-sales support for Corporate Sales, International Sales, Direct Sales, and all ten of the Macintosh-only Retail stores.

One of my favorite stories involved a customer who called to say that his computer would reboot every time he flushed the toilet. Doing over-the-phone support for this one was tricky, and you could actually here the computer chime and reboot as soon as he flushed the toilet. We sent out a hardware tech, who reported back to us the following: it was actually true. The issue turned out to be that there was an electric water pump that turned on and refilled a main water reservoir. Flushing the toilet caused enough water to run out of the reservoir that the pump kicked on and caused an initial voltage drop (brown-out) that was large enough to cut power to the computer. The computer would then get full power a second later, and reboot.

Another classic was the customer who called in to headquarters to complain about one of our retail technicians. She was very upset and wanted to make sure that we were aware that we had a thief working for us. The issue? When her Performa computer was returned to her after repair, all the virtual memory had been removed; stolen if you will...

There are also some funny Help Desk stories from other places besides ComputerWare.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My First Color Desktop: 640x480!

Here's the historic 640x480 256-color backdrop I used on my first color Macintosh (an 8/80 Macintosh SE/30 with RasterOps 8/24 color card--don't forget the Apple RGB 13" Monitor!). Remember when color was really amazing? This backdrop came with the Macintosh II way back in 1987.

Strategic Conquest in color on a "big" 640x480 screen! Life was good; ah yeah!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

2001 Farewell Wake

On April 5, 2001 a large group of ComputerWare Alumni met at Fibber McGee's in Sunnyvale to have an Irish Wake for ComputerWare.

One of the attendees was Johnny Mac, who posted a great tribute page to this event, included comments and photos.

Unknown to us at the time, Elite Computers and Software would later buy the assets of ComputerWare and many of the stores would rise from the grave to live again for a few years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where are you now?

Where are you now? If you've been invited to view this site, then you have the admin rights to post new stories! Please post a story and picture about where you are and what you are doing. Perhaps a scan or two of an old ComputerWare business card to remind us all of your connection to ComputerWare: The MacSource!

ComputerWare on Wikipedia

I have created the start of a Wikipedia article on ComputerWare and welcome everyone to add to it. I certainly don't have all the details about the rise and fall and recovery and fall of ComputerWare, and look forward to seeing more details about some of the aspects that I was not privy to at the time.

What is Wikipedia?
Wikipedia (IPA: /ˌwikiˈpiːdi.ə/ or /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdi.ə/) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world. With rare exceptions, its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet, simply by clicking the edit this page link. The name Wikipedia is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia. Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference Web sites on the Internet.

ComputerWare Alumni on LinkedIn

A large number of ex-ComputerWare employees are using LinkedIn to keep in touch and network.

Check out LinkedIn and search for all your old friends and co-workers. It is really great to see that Macintosh Genius status breeds success even today.

What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is an online network of more than 10 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.

When you join for free, you create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you.

Through your network of connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, you can:
  • Find potential clients, service providers, subject experts, and partners who come recommended
  • Be found for business opportunities
  • Search for great jobs
  • Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  • Post and distribute job listings
  • Find high-quality passive candidates
  • Get introduced to other professionals through the people you know

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ComputerWare Reunion

On May 7th a number of ex-ComputerWare employees got together to talk about old times. Many people were unable to attend, however we'd like to try again with a little more lead time!

It was great to see everyone who was able to make it, and we hope to see you at the next one!

Here are some of the Evite notes from people who were unable to make it:
Reid Rankin (05/07) Hi Dan, et. al., Sorry I couldn't make it today, had to go Fresno. Please keep posted, I'd like to get together with everyone again in the near future. -Reid 415.338.0220

Michael Graff (05/07) Sorry gang family issues have come up and I won't be able to make it after all. Hoist a pint for the VAX for me....

John MacWilliamson (05/07) While I'm just up the street, work has me tied down this week.

Steven Ross (05/07) I would love to be there! Unfortunately I am in Minnesota. Is someone getting photos? Would love to see who's who! My spirit is with you all. Say hello to all for me.

Ken Briot (05/07) I'm unable to attend (watching the kids) but would like to say hello to everybody! Thanks!

Jeff Holden (05/07) Sorry I didn't see this until today. I've got a conflict this evening, but REALLY would have enjoyed seeing you all. My best wishes to everyone and please keep me on the list for the next reunion!

Eric Ullman (05/07) Sorry I can't make it. I'm working on deadlines before leaving Wednesday for vacation. Best wishes to you all!

John Madden (05/07) Unfortunately I'm out. Got a schedule conflict. Would have loved to see everyone! We will have to do it again.

Craig Meyer (05/07) Dan Thanks for organizing this ...I wanted to come but I am not feeling well today and would rather not bring a "gift" to everyone. Keep setting these up... I hope to make the next one.

jonathan_gerfen (05/07) Can't make it to Palo Alto tonight. I did have dinner the other night with three other former employees of RSF. Where is Carlson Chow?

Felix Gofman (05/07) I'd love to, but I am in the city and not easy to get to mid-penin during the rush hour....

Kandra Vu (05/07) Sorry, I can't make it again :( I'll make it one of these days.Best regards to all! Kandra

Wyn Davies (05/07)

Dave Marshall (05/07) Dan- Thanks for the invite but my wife and I just moved into a new house in Livermore and are still getting settled (ie. still playing "what box did we pack the... in again?"

Sandra Harris (05/07) Hey guys!! Would love to see you and catch up, but have moved to ENGLAND! Just arrive a week and a half ago, actually, and we are still getting settled. Hope y'all are doing well and I'll toast you over a cocktail tonight.

Matt Morris (05/07) Getting on a plane out of town Monday afternoon. Not avoiding you Dan, I swear it! Best to all from!

mecleary2 (05/06) What a great idea! I'm sorry I won't be able to make it. What about a newsletter or something? ( I have a six year old daughter so I'm not volunteering!) It would be great to hear where everyone landed.

Annie Kavanagh (05/05) Dan - you're awesome! I'd love to be there, but working at home In Ukiah makes the drive down impractical.... Please keep me on your invitation list, though! All the best to all of you!

Ross Gard (05/05) I wish I could be there, but it'd be a bit of a drive from Austin. I'd love to see pictures, though!

Stephanie Vannucchi-Bombrun (05/05) Hi Dan, Sounds like fun! Wish I could be there. Little Vix just had a baby and is very busy!

Dale Dimas (05/05) Unfortunately, I'm in Jersey this week...dang. :-(

Carolyn Gibbs (05/05) Dan, you have a great list! wish I chould go!!!!!! working too much right now. My email is if anyone wants to say hi, plus I can get your email address. Wish I could see everyone. :) I am on Linkedin.

Mike Rosati (05/04) Dan - brilliant plan. Congrats on keeping track of everybody. plz keep me in loop for next one. I work at EA now, fairly close! Hello to the vets! Is everybody using Linked In or Plaxo?

Jack Winkle (05/04) I can not make it down. O'Reilly is implementing Oracle and I am working longer hours than ever. I miss Tolas! Please give my best to anyone I know that shows up and have fun. My ComputerWare days were golden. Best, Jack

Jeff Walker (05/04) Can't make it up at the other end of the bay until late. My thoughts will be with everyone though. Jeff

Rachel Tester (05/04) I can't make it, but thanks for the invite. Have Fun!

Heidi Berenbrok (05/02) Doug and I will both be out of town. Please send our best to everyone. We miss the old gang and hopefully we'll be available the next time.

Paul Tidball (05/02) I wish I could come... but that 600 mile commute is a killer....

Cathy Boucher (05/02) I wish that Mike and I could attend but alas, we are in Maine. Our hearts are with you, though. We miss the old Computerware days.

Mandi Leuchtner-Toutsch (05/01) Unfortunately, no. I'll be in 'sunny' Seattle that day. Have fun!

Cynthia Wu (05/01) Sorry! I can not make it. Thank you for the evite. Have fun!

Sam O'Daniel (05/01) Thanks, but I'll be about 2K miles east. I love that you keep inviting me, though! :)

Welcome to the ComputerWare Alumni Site

Welcome to the friends and family Alumni site for people who were involved with ComputerWare: The MacSource.

I have invited all of the ComputerWare contacts I have to be guests of this blog; being a guest means you can create new posts, upload graphics, and comment and share your thoughts on any of the posted messages on this blog.

Please pass this site along to any ComputerWare alumni that you have stayed in contact with, and please send their (or your) contact information to the e-mail address below: