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1986: Note to Roland Cuny
December 30, 1987
Roland H. G. Cuny
Auf der Letteilung 9
I owe you at least one thousand apologies for this long delay in writing to you. It is not that I am a very bad correspondent, it is just that I have been through the most difficult four months.
On the 22nd of August, Elizabeth was born. The next weeks were filled with the newness and excitement of this great change in Karen's and my life. Then. in mid-September. I went to work at Apple Computer as a special programming consultant, and because I now also have an office at Apple in Cupertino, California, every day I would drive 1.5 hours hin und 1.5 hours zuruck. No time left over after the commute. In October, little Elizabeth became very sick. The duct from her liver to her stomach became clogged up. For a week, the doctors said that she would probably die. Then they operated on her using microscopes and special procedures and discovered that they could fix it, and everything is now ok. But it was a horrible experience for her parents, an experience which even today I cannot properly describe in words - I would not wish this Erlebniss on any person. Elizabeth was in the hospital for a week, then recovering at home. It was so sudden that the night before the operation, we arranged Archdeacon of the church for a special christening ceremony at our house so that in case things went badly during the operation. she would at least have been named in the church. While I am not a true and deep believer in religion, the ceremony broke my heart because of what it meant. There was no time for Dagmar and Bob to fly out for the ceremony as we had planned. Dagmar and Bob are Elizabeth's Godparents (Paten).
Then during November I was asked to be the principal author of a very technical book about a new programming language that Apple has introduced for the Macintosh - "HyperCard". Of course I said yes (I am always a fool). and I pulled together a team of about 12 colleagues and experts to help me because the book will be about 700-800 pages when it is finished in February, 1988. The publishers are paying very well in advance, and we will have royalties. They believe we will sell about 100.()(X) copies ...
At the same time. I expanded Key Thinkers. Inc. to include about sixteen people who are expert programmers in the HyperCard language. As the KTI HyperMedia Group becomes known in the industry. we expect to find a lot of work in the Apple Macintosh programming world. I became an expert overnight. and it was a very steep "learning curve".
Apple gave me a new Macintosh computer for use at home, and I purchased a new Apple LaserWriter Plus laser printer and sold the Cordata laser printer because it would not work with the Macintosh, but the Apple LaserWriter will work with the PC and with XY-Write. Because of the book writing project, I have turned my old PC/XT clone into a dedicated modem bulletin board where the authors send their manuscripts; I bought a new XT Turbo clone with 20 MB hard disk for cad and word processing work. I now visit my office in Cupertino perhaps two or three times per week, not everyday, and I can do a great deal of work at home. In the meantime, Karen's car stopped running, and we bought a new Ford Taurus station wagon. We hired a 22-year-old girl from Mexico to help with the baby, and she sleeps in the Roland Bunk Bed which she says is very comfortable. Her room is where you helped me put down the new linoleum floor. She does not speak English, but we are sending her to a special school to learn. It is good that Karen and I speak a little Spanish. Perhaps Elizabeth will become bi-lingual ... In September, I finished all the new insides of the house and the stairs, and the city inspector came and approved the construction. Then all our parents and relatives came to visit with us and with Elizabeth. And suddenly it was Christmas, and I haven't even written you a letter to say thank you for your excellent work during the summer. Please forgive me!
In November I met with Mitch Weiss at the Microcontamination conference. He promised to prepare a summary and plan for construction of Autoscan units, and since then I have not heard from him. In fact, I will advise Flanders to explore an association with another company named Automaker, Inc. that makes industrial robots and is more dependable than ProgramMation. It will take some time to organize this, and as you can believe, I am very busy with projects that at least pay me money. The Autoscanner is now a "speculation" project because I don't see it bringing in any money in the very near future, but KTI, Flanders, and Roland Cuny have invested so much into it, that I don't want to let it die. I will propose that you remain involved as the Software Expert. With the dollar becoming so depressed, you can probably buy many computer things now cheaper than I can.
Please send me the name and address of your Advisor at the TH so that I can write a glowing and super recommendation about you. Also, I look forward to seeing your report (Tagebuch), and will prepare it on the laser printer here. Would you also like a letter from Flanders and from ProgramMation? I have prepared travelers checks to reimburse you and your father for your airfare expense. You should be able to change these easily at any bank. Because of the value difference since the summer, please tell me if it is enough! Also enclosed is some software which you might find useful. I am sure it will get through customs. Please let me know what else you might wish! And tell me more about your computer!
For the new year, I wish you (and your family) the very best. Perhaps Karen and I and Elizabeth will be able to visit Germany during 1988. I would like to meet your family, because they did a very good job as parents!
Please keep in touch. I am sorry it has been so long!