Monday, February 28, 2005

Macintoshes and McIntoshes

The Nyok Times reports that Jef Raskin has crashed:


Naturally, Andrea Elliott could not resist reporting that his relationship with Steve Jobs at Apple "soured." The Times needs a Dawn Eden to scotch this stuff before it reaches the presses.

The clause that stumps me is, "who named the Macintosh after his favorite apple but altered the spelling for copyright reasons." What's the point of making such remark and then not explaining it? Me, I see no copyright potential in a product name. "McIntosh" would have been a perfectly good trademark: fanciful (the best kind, my sources tell me), and not in anyway conflicting with the apple of that ilk, since few of us, however un-tech, are apt to confuse the gizmo with the fruit. Apples don't threaten the market for apples, if you follow me.

It seems to me that the spelling change that wants explaining is "Jef." A bit truncated, it strikes me as. But Raskin's taken that mystery with him to the grave, I suppose.

In other news, I spent eight hours at the office today with Captain Queeg, who was remarkably well-behaved--so much so, that I was able to get eight hours of work done. I had taken the elementary precaution of bringing my daughter with me, knowing that he'd be less likely to exhibit maniacal symptoms in the presence of small fry. My daughter spent the time doing her homework and e-mailing me Garfield postcards from the next room.

It was only in the last hour that CQ's urge to interrupt my train of thought with computer-illiterate inquiries became too powerful to resist, and he proceeded to gratify it five times. By then, I was in such a relaxed mood, that I was able to respond to him with equanimity.

He did pull one of his clever stunts, though: that of providing yours truly with information only on a need-to-have-known basis. The project today was to determine the nature, extent and value of the assets of an estate of a woman who apparently never put a piece of paper in its proper place in her entire life (oh, yes; she owned plenty of AT&T the day before it broke up; tracing those holdings was great sport). Having completed this task after much effort--no brainwork, mind you, just foot-slogging--I showed the results to the good Captain, who asked (and from here, I paraphrase) where the savings bonds were. What savings bonds, I asked? Oh, the savings bonds the client gave me at the beginning of the case and that I stashed in the office safe without making a note to the file or even telling anyone, so that nobody but me would know that they existed until it was too late, he caroled. (The estate tax return deadline is looming, you see. Had I omitted to report the bonds in the return, only one person would have been blamed for it.) I said I'd add the bonds as soon as he had the safe opened, and returned to my office, leaving him to his strawberries.


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