From the Publisher

From the Publisher

The Big Change

This issue marks our first published entirely using Microsoft Windows NT as an operating system and Intel-based boxes for the underlying hardware. For the last eight years, we’ve been beating our collective head against the wall by using Apple’s Macintosh technology, a series of “advancements” that, while convenient, are destined for failure in a dwindling marketplace. Finally bowing to pressures from the nice young men in shortsleeves and ties who offer to maintain our proposed Windows NT network, we rounded up our motley collection of Macs and peripherals and replaced them with modern “Wintel” equivalents.

The difference was immediately apparent. Everything was so much easier! No longer did we feel compelled to figure out why fonts wouldn’t open, or why the server didn’t appear to share directories correctly. Instead of spending valuable time figuring out these arcane problems, we’d simply unchain one of our techs, slap them around a bit to make them stop crying, then set them to work while we whipped up a fresh batch of mugaritas. A couple hours and Mexican hat dances later, we’d hear the relieved sobbing coming from the production room, signalling that it was time to return the tech to the basement and get back to work.

Windows is a much different environment than Macintosh, I must say. For one, there’s two buttons on the mice. Each button means something different — crazy! And I can easily change the color and appearance of my windows without the use of arcane “shareware.” Soon, the entire office was engaged in a friendly competition to see who could come up with the most distressingly clashing theme. DeeAnn’s “Hot Fish Sundae,” a fetching mix of earth tones, oranges and pinks has been the reigning champion for some time.

But the real test came when it was time for production of this issue. After working under intense pressure for a week, we were surprised at how natural and intuitive everything became. Before we realized it, we had configured all the equipment in the center of the room into a pyramidal shape, and were “multitasking” the pouring of gasoline and industrial solvents into the pale gray boxes (don’t tell the leasing company). While Andrew and James set off to find some matches, the rest of us made enough mugaritas for the Big Wastecan and organized a trip to the office supply store for press-on letters (nine-point ITC Century Condensed, of course) and a case of spray mount. In no time, we were all working together seamlessly as a team in front of the flickering flames and choking black smoke, assembling this fine April issue in a manner not unlike Benjamin Franklin, or perhaps Darren in Bewitched .

We’re looking forward to assembling future issues by the light of artificial pine logs wedged into the smoldering heap that is our advanced $100,000 network. All these years, we’ve been making fun of Microsoft and Bill Gates, and not realizing how easy the competition had it!

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