Going For It
Monday, January 1, 1996 by Dave Winer.
Good morning and...
Happy New Year!
I'm on the eastern edge of the Pacific Rim, one of the last places on the planet to turn the calendar. As I write this late on 12/31/95 it's already 1996 in most of the world. So this may not be the first email you receive in the new year, but it definitely is the first one I sent.
It's been a very long exciting weekend. I never write this late in the day. It's a night-time DaveNet. Wierd! It's kind of an airy piece, not too angry or funny. Who can be humorous this late in the day? I'm a morning person, exploring new territory by trying to get something meaningful done in the waning hours of a day. Never mind the waning hours of a whole year! Wow.
It's a new year. Coooool. A new beginning. A chance to reset our expectations, to ask more from life, more from the world. We can also offer more to the world. And more to ourselves.
We can turn corners. We can create our own destiny. Do you want more love in your life? Start by accepting your own love. Do things you like to do. Take care. No more deals where you sell out your dreams. I want the best for me, and I insist that you do too.
We gave our thanks in November. We asked for peace in December. Now we can look forward to the New Year with a positive, optimistic view of the future. Let our imaginations dream the best for us. Look for win-wins. Let's live in love, not fear.
An example, Mac users, let's wish the best for Windows users, and hope that what goes around comes around.
A new year is a good time to reaffirm what we stand for. The things that count -- love, healing, fun, growth, each other, sharing, play, our friends, the people we're close with.
It's January 1, 1996. A new year.
On the new year, so much is right with the world.
Each of us is growing older.
But the world is so damned young!
I never make New Years Resolutions, and this new year is no exception.
Instead, I made a list of wishes and added one new motto.
The motto -- Go For It -- permeates all my wishes.
I wish to go for love. No more fear in 1996.
I wish to go for it in my writing work, to be a great writer, to help define a new medium. I dream of being one of the writers that defines my generation.
I want to take a couple of great skiing trips this year. At the top of the mountain, breathing clean air, invigorated by the sun, I want to go for it.
My family of software products, Frontier, Clay Basket, www.scripting.com and the newest one (details later) MacBird, need complete development teams. They want to move to other platforms, to support new Internet standards, and perhaps define some of their own. 1996 will be a year of partnerships for me. New business friends, making cool stuff happen on the net. My software family needs new helpers and caretakers. No more fear. I'm going for it!
1995 was a year of exploration and invention for me. I think 1996 will be a year of consolidation, delivery and realization. I'm going to make lots of new friends this year. I'm going to be inclusive, to invite new people into my life, and invite the people already in it to get closer.
A new year only comes once a year.
On to the story-telling...
Welcome to 1996!
Over the last few months I've made a bunch of new friends who are Unix users. I've found that we have a lot we agree on.
Hey man, a geek is a geek. On that level we can relate. Why not?
Windows NT is a great operating system. People I respect prefer it. I have an NT server on my network. I plan to learn more about it.
Macs are great computers too. A Macintosh web server is an amazing thing. Unix and NT sysops who look come away breathless. The content tools on the Mac are the best. And a lot of the most creative people prefer Macs.
Microsoft and Apple and Sun, etc are big companies with hairy politics. White boys and icons. Lots of fear.
Maybe they can't get along, but we can.
Let's leverage off the best that everyone has to offer.
I grew up on Unix, learned how to program from reading the source code for the system. I couldn't believe that such sparse stuff, when compiled, would turn into such a clean airy open operating system. It became the benchmark for my own code. Eventually I learned how to craft code as cleanly as the Unix OS source code. But it always was, and always will be, my standard.
I did some of my best software ever for the PC-compatibles in the early 80s. I have very fond memories of those days. It's true, I wish Apple had never let Windows happen, but that's done now. Microsoft is a great company. I really enjoy their energy. Great theater!
Everyone counted the Mac out last summer, some still do. Between then and now the Net really happened at a whole new level. Where would Netscape be if they didn't have a Macintosh browser? Where would Macintosh people be if Netscape didn't have a Macintosh version? We all got lucky. Microsoft doesn't rule anymore, they neglected the Macintosh, now they can't afford to. They're rushing to get Macintosh versions of all their net stuff out. You know what happens when Microsoft cuts corners! Mac users know. Yessss.
Oh the race is on. The Mac isn't quite the cul-de-sac it used to be. It's on the way to somewhere. Where? No one really knows. For now there's Netscape. Java coming soon. Microsoft coming soon. But a lot of other stuff is already there. The Mac and the Internet is shaping up as a very interesting battleground. It's one of the few places where Microsoft will have to fight its way in, and in some cases they will have to fight against entrenched competitors with excellent products.
Yet there's a ton of negative energy in the Macintosh platform. But underneath the negative energy, Mac users talk with each other, and wonder what it will take to get some respect from the rest of the world. It's time to give up on Apple getting it. They can't help us. Speaking as a member of the Macintosh community, Apple does not speak for me. We have to help ourselves. There's a lot of work to do.
As a Macintosh developer and user, I offer my respect. Geek-to-geek, aren't we brothers and sisters? Unix and Windows people, can we work with you?
Learn about what we're doing.
We all win if it all works.
As a New Years event I've released a new piece of software. It's a script-based graphic UI designer for the Macintosh, with special features for designing UIs for web applications. It's a beginning. For now it's only for the Macintosh. But I can imagine it running on other platforms, and I can easily see it as a design tool for people building Java applets.
It's called MacBird. A cute name, birds are cool, they fly. And it's not BlackBird, it's MacBird, get it? It's a fun product! With a cute name.
I've got a new website where you can check out screen shots or download the software. Right now it's still very much for Frontier geeks, but a runtime package is coming soon. Please watch the MacBird website.
This rounds out my products, which when put together are a script-driven multithreaded native network operating system with integrated content tools for the web. There are still lots of tweaks to do, but it works. I use all the tools every day. It's cool stuff for servers and content development, even client apps.
Glenn Davis, email@example.com, the cool site man, my net buddy, is in the office next to mine, working on New Year's Eve, getting his new website on the air.
An hour ago he called me in to show off his new website. I took a break from writing this DaveNet piece and chatted with Glenn and his partner, Teresa Martin. Yes, they're doing cooooooool stuff, and some of them are sites, and they'll be doing it every day. The new site is on the air, in "preview" mode. Basically they'll roll out one new feature every day from January 1 thru the official launch date, January 15.
Tune into http://www.projectcool.com/.
I gotta say it -- it's cooooool.
Finally, here's to a great 1996!
Many happy returns. Let old acquaintances be forgot. You can't hurry love. We make shitty software. Onward and upward! Still digging. Namaste y'all!
This year I want more than to be in love.
I want to *be* love this year.
I'm going for it!
You can too.
Let's have fun!
PS: According to Dave Jacobs, firstname.lastname@example.org, in Japanese you say gambati when you're ready to go for it. Next time I eat sushi I'll know. You too.