From: Timothy Rue 
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 97 07:43:00
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises

This is only the beginning. Take Heart not to make any judgements but put
Heart into any actions you may take based on this first part. For those
who have the ability to translate this into other languages, please do so,
for this IS for everyone.

 Copyright 1997 - Timothy Rue

--------------------------
The AAi Meeting with Petro
--------------------------

Petro had come back to the United States in an effort to find someone to
fill a needed position at Amiga International.

Petro did not say who he had in mind but did say he failed in his efforts.

Petro arrived in Atlanta just after midnight (early saturday morning),
and was greeted by Lamar Morgan (President of AAi), Skal Loret
(representing the Jay Miner Society and the ICOA), and Myself. Lamar and
Skal took Petro to the hotel. I took on the task of being Petros'
transportation the following day. From the Hotel to the AAi user group
meeting, from the meeting to the Food SIG - Malones Bar and Grill, and
then back to the hotel.

It really wasn't luck that I had the opportunity to spend time with Petro
but it sure seemed as though it could have been. A combination of
numerious communication efforts of mine to the Amiga community, emails to
numerious individuals, and a few to Petro.

Lamar had been trying to take advantage of Comdex being in town and had
delayed the AAi usergroup meeting so that it would be right before Comdex.
The idea was that Comdex could add some weight to being able to get
someone from Gateway or AI to address the User Group. But it didn't seem
to be working.

A week or so before:

There are several of us who are working on the AAi Bylaws. When I had
arrived the power had been down, traffic was nuts. It gave us some time to
talk and we even thought about moving the meeting to another location. But
something was up, Lamar had some news. Lamar had already told Bob and
Mike, but I had arrived late. I stopped them before Lamar was able to
say anything. I had something to say first. What I proceeded to
communicate was that I wasn't so sure that AAi would not have someone from
Gateway or AI to give a presentation at the coming general meeting. Bob
asked me why I thought that. I responded that things in the Amiga
community are coming to a focal point and Petro had said something about
things needing to happen quickly in one of his public statements.

Of course the response from Bob was that I didn't know how right I was and
handed the conversation over to Lamar. Petro was coming! Thinking back I
don't know if they expected me to get excited, but I took it as good news
and stayed focused. Then the power came on and our focus turned to the
Bylaws.

A few days before the general meeting I received a message from Lamar on
my answering machine that several of the AAi members where meeting to talk
about things that needed to be done to prepare for the meeting and the day
after, taking Petro to a studio for some Q & A taping. Also to ask me to
drive Petro from the hotel to the meeting. By the time I got the message,
it was to late to call Lamar back, so I headed out to the location given.
There it seemed like I both did and didn't need to be there.

I knew this meeting with Petro was important, not only was I being given
at least a little bit of time to talk with Petro (the short trip from the
hotel to the meeting) but that it was also a chance to meet and talk with
Skal (the ICOA).

So many things seemed to be falling into place, and this continued to
evolve way and far beyond any possible planning.

I figured I only had a short time to talk with Petro, and I had to make it
count. If there has ever been anything I have put my heart into it was
this opportunity to talk with Petro. The reasons are not likley to be what
you may think, but I will go over this in this post.

As it all worked out, on the way to the meeting with Petro, I mistakenly
missed the turnoff, an honest and verifiable mistake. This resulted in
having about an hour with Petro. At the meeting, there where four chairs
up front marked reserved. One for Petro, one for Skal, one for Lamar and
one that remained empty. I drifted to the back and stood, watching all
that was happening. I didn't speak with Petro until the meeting was
completely over and time to go to the Food SIG. I figured it was only fair
to everyone that they get their chance to meet and talk with Petro. It took
maybe ten minutes to get to the Food SIG, where the seating arrangement
fell into place beyond any planning, there where no place names nor did we
know how many where going to show, the table would end up growing. I had
sat down next to Petro, because I was saving it for Lamar and the activity
caused me to do so. When Lamar arrived I gave him the seat and ended up
taking the seat across from Petro, again it was just the way it worked
out. And again I kept quite during the Food SIG. The seating working out
in other ways to. But Skal, I was hoping he'd gotten closer to Petro than
he had. Perhaps I should have made a greater effort to give up the seat I
landed in, to Skal, but it seemed that I was supposed to be there, given
the conversations going on with Joe Torre on my right and Mark Adams on my
left, both with Petro.

In time things began to thin out as the night set in, I knew those of
us remaining where working towards eventually leaving. I noticed Skal gone
from the table and went to find him, and I did. He'd been talking to those
seated around him and this had moved over to the bar, done out of his
consideration for others. Smoke break, and I needed one, two too.

When I returned to the table, things had thinned out even more and I was
waiting for some action of leaving. I had sat down in a chair or booth
seat near Petro and at one point said something to Petro, thanking him for
taking the time to come to the meeting on his way to Comdex. Petro
responded, that he didn't come to to see Comdex but "for you".

Well the crowd moved outside, where I again stepped back to let others
talk with Petro. Eventually, this all ended. It was just before 10 p.m.
when we left.

The trip back to the hotel didn't take that long, but Petro and I sat
outside in the car talking until near 11 p.m. I'd had a total of about two
hours to talk with Petro, with about a ten minute intermission in the
middle (seprated by the user group meeting and the Food SIG.) I did most
of the talking, Petro listened, asked me questions and made some
comments. But he knew exactly when to opened the car door.

I didn't get to bed until about 5:30 am. I had something I needed to
find the answer to, to solve and I did. And this despite my roommates
relapse with alcoholism and effort to get my attention. It was sunday and
I needed to rest.

------------------
COMDEX
__________________

Monday was the beginning of Comdex, I knew Petro would visit the Gateway
booth and I hoped I would see him there. My car had begun to give me
trouble and at one point in the trip to the AAi meeting I thought we
(Petro and I) wouldn't make it. But monday, I made it to the Bank, only to
have to call a tow truck. I didn't make it to the Keynote session, which I
had previously thought and mistakenly told Petro it was going to be Bill
Gates speaking.

I did get to see and say hello to Petro at the Gateway booth, where Joe
Torre and Lamar where showing him around, but I had something I needed to
do and went off into the show. On the show floor Joe caught me as they
where going to the lower halls to see a few exhibits and meet a few
people. I tagged along for awhile but eventually had to break away and
continue with my objectives. I never did get a chance to say bye to Petro
but rather just lost track of them as I was sizing up the show. Good thing
too, because I wasn't ready to say bye, this ain't over yet. But I did
make an effort to cross paths by going to the MARTA entrance and waiting
until a little after two (when Petro had to leave for the airport). On my
way out I grabbed one of the Microsoft Litature bags because it hit me
what was ment by what was printed on it "Where do you want to go today?"

Monday evening I called Lamar and at some point in our conversation I
asked him if he had checked to see if there was any way that I could have
known Petro was coming (refering back to when I had stopped him from
telling me the news, so that I might say something first). There was
silence on the phone. I didn't know what to think, had Lamar been
distracted and left the phone? Then I heard some breathing. Of course I
was trying to get him to respond. Eventually, being a bit irritated, I
said "Lamar, do you want this conversation to end?" A moment later he came
to and said he was sorry that he fell asleep. The conversation picked back
up as Lamar started talking about something he saw at the Keynote address
with Petro. The Bob Beman (sp?) story. A 1968 olympic story of a long
jumper who was a little know and little supported athlete. Now the long
jump record had only been broken by fractions of an inch or in a good year
an inch and a fraction. Bob Beman broke the record by over two feet. This
story was used to close out the Keynote Address by Lotus' CEO Jeff Papows
push for JAVA to become the standard.

As Lamar and I closed our conversation, Lamar wanted me to participate in
the Susan Rook Talkback Live show the following day at the CNN building.
Lamar was thinking that maybe Bill would be the guest. I told him that
Bill would not take such a risk as this, but agreed that I would seriously
consider doing so.

Funny, but Tuesday I had opened the GWCC front doors for the ones I ended
up being in line with. I had over heard the lady saying how she was a
frustrated engineer. I didn't tell any of these people listening about the
Amiga, but only enough to get them to think and do a little bit of
research, that I know will lead them to the Amiga. I didn't sit with these
people during the Keynote, but I know what I had told them must have really
sunk in deeply during Bills Keynote.

As it turned out there was only theatrics in the line waiting to get in
(an intentional show biz delay) of which I made some jokes about as I
brought the reality of it to those around me. I recall a man on a nearby
phone somehow seeming to not want to be noticed as I looked over at him.
But once I got inside, I intentionally sat in the back row. Well, as big
business is, there were those placed around to also view and pick up what
the audience was thinking and saying. One such person, a fairly attractive
lady, keyed in on me and eventually (about 15 minutes into Bills Keynote)
worked her way to the empty chairs next to me. Now I'm sitting in the
middle of the last row and there where other chairs easier to get to.

The Presentation was billed as an interactive Q&A with Bill Gates, but the
reality was that questionaires were used the day before and Bill was going
to respond to 14 of the questions people supposedly asked.

I was very polite and picked up the info placed on the seat next to me as
the lady sat down in the next seat over (which didn't have the info) and I
handed it to her. At one point in the presentation I turned to the the
person on my other side and asked a question, after a short pause, I
leaned back over and gave him the answer. He acknowledged I was correct
but was focused on the presentation. This lady then moved to the chair
next to me. Acting as though she was paying attention to the presentation,
well I know better. I seriously listened to Bills presentation and my
responces where honest ones. One of which was "he doesn't know!" (You'll
not doubt this when you finish reading this post). When the presentation
was over, it was very clear to anyone with their eyes and ears open, that
Bill is falling and he knows it.

The crowd was well under their way out the door before Bill finished. This
woman had gotten up and moved to just behind the center of this back row.
I was taking my time, didn't get up until Bill finished. I noticed this
woman standing where she had been in the beginning and almost ignored her,
but I turned and approched her for a brief moment. And I said to her, with
honesty and heart, "Poor Bill, he's going down", with my head down in
sadness. And I left not only the auditorum but the GWCC Building. I just
needed to get away from all of it, to have a smoke and get over the
sadness I felt for Bill and not without thoughts about how this was going
to affect his new daughters future. I had things to still do and I didn't
need sadness.

When I went back inside, without realizing it, I took a bee line to
the Gateway booth. I suppose I just needed something to cheer me up. I had
been wanting to see if I could pull up my web page on any of the on-line
browsers throughout the show but just never found the opportunity. But at
the Gateway booth it somehow seemed to present me with the opportunity to
do so without other customers looking over my shoulder. So I tried several
times and even tried the AAi Web page but to no avail. I thought "cool -
smart move, Gateway is protecting themselves, good for them". I noticed
this salesman (Duane) kinda watching me but then an AAi member aproached
and said hey. In all that had been happening and my focused objectives, I
didn't recognize him (And I don't recall his name - hey I really am just
bad with names. Why do I remember Duane? I don't know, maybe because I saw
it written on his badge and was told days before that Ted Waite (?) could
go under cover (as the lady who sat next to me had). But when I was told
this, my responce was "I don't care what T.W. hears me say" and in the
truth of all this, I did want to talk with T.W.

Anyway, I started talking with this AAi member (Mike?) and as our
conversation evolved I clairified Gatways position regarding the Amiga
and encourged him to watch the presentation. That there was alot of good
information about Gateways Customer service and that although AI is a
separate entity, there is much about what Gateway can do to help the
Amiga. Like treating it as an individual with different needs the way
Gateways personalized customer customization service is, but on a platform
level rather than a customer. Refering to the fact that Petro had said he
is keeping the Amiga Distribution network in place.

Wednesdays Keynote Address was Ted Turner (for CNN) with Larry Ellision
(CEO & Chairman of Oracle). All I really wanted to do was see if Ted had
lost the edge, but the same sort of waiting in line thing happen again. I
began talking, but this time with no joking around. I was saddened and
even a touched scared with what I had seen in the keynote the day before.
An active system handeling billions of banking transactions around the
world and the individual in this video unplugs one of the hard drives
(nothing was turned off) to show fault tolerance was in place. What was
scary was that he didn't plug it, with some 20 thousand transaction, back
in (the question and answer I communicated to the man sitting beside me
during Bills' presentation).

Waiting in line, those around me started listening in, and the man I was
speaking with eventually told me he was involved in CADD. I told him how I
had worked at an exhibit house applying effort to integrate the different
departments in order to streamline CADD usage through the different
departments. This only caused him to think more about what all I had been
saying. As we walked up the steps to the auditorium I could hear him in
deep thought, you know the "Hmmm" here and there but without conversation.

Again I did not sit with those in line around me. But watching the
presentation, I could only Imagine the shock this man must have been
experiencing. You see, the presentation was about the teaming up of CNN
and Oracle to produce a personably customizeable Web news service. The
pictures on the screen where mostly of major tragedy and war. *** You'll
understand the impact this must have had on him, a bit later in this post.

I really didn't have anything left to do after the presentation, and yes
Ted has lost the edge, if for at least the reason of Oracle slowing him
down. And this was apparent as Ted demanded performance that simply was
not there, though in good sportmanship Ted did follow the team spirit.

Having time to kill while waiting till noon to pick up the audio tape of
the days Keynote address, I sat down and watched the loop video
presentation of the overall theme of the Comdex show. I found it
interesting and informative, what the directional push in the industry is
now, which followed the shows overall exhibitors contents, but much more
focused in on key areas. I'll refer to this later in this post.

I had done other things during the show but such as these other things
are, it's more prep work than something worth telling at this time. But I
will say that the last exhibitor I let swipe my badge was a company
dealing with data duplication equipment for multiple hard drives and could
handle various drive types all at the same time. This was the only party I
let do this on the third day.

---------------------
My Talk with Petro
---------------------

I had once accused Petro of not listening. I don't know, maybe it's due a
change in who is above Petro in the scheme of things, but I do know this:
Petro, single-handedly, saved the Amiga from being liquidated with the
rest of ESCOM. I am as sure of this, as I am now that Petro does listen.

I was to pick Petro up at 2 p.m from the hotel. He called me around noon to
let me know the room number and to ask if the hotel was downtown. He was
near Lenox Square so it really wasn't downtown. He'd asked me if there
where any malls around and decide to walk over to Lenox. Now I'm about
twenty minutes aways and I didn't think to have him wait for me. But
after the call I decided to go over to Lenox, that I might cross paths
with him. At best I'd be near the hotel at 2 p.m. and my car had been
acting up so if it broke down I knew there would be plenty of time to find
other transportation.

I never did cross paths with Petro at the mall but it was a good and
needed distraction for me. You see, I figured I only had, at best, twenty
minutes to talk with Petro on the way to the meeting. I knew what I needed
to talk with him about and was trying to relax. I found a copy of Computer
Currents, read an article on how general office software was beginning to
become automated, then I ended up in the GPTV (Georgia Public TV) Knowledge
Store. I found this puzzle "Binary Art" and started to try and solve the
hardest of the three solutions. For a short time it seemed like there were
five or six kids around me, checking out other puzzles. All but one little
girl went on their way. Soon this girls father showed up. I'd handed her
the puzzle and her father and I watched as she tried to solve the simplest
solution. In this effort, she solve the second solution, but didn't seem
to care. She wanted to solve the easiest. She finally gave up and went to
another puzzle. I picked up the puzzle and went for the hardest solution
but I gave up on this and just tried to figure out the equasion of the
puzzle. In the process the simplest solution became just a simple step
away. I asked her if she wanted to "go for it" but she responded "no."
So I sat the puzzle down figuring some other kid would find some fun in
making the last move. I left the store and just walked around, keeping my
eyes open in the chance I might cross paths with Petro.

I decided to go on over to the hotel and wait in the lobby. It was about
twenty after one, so I let the desk clerk know what I was doing there. I
went to the gift shop to look around, going thru a smaller area where
there where some older people showing grey, reading or watching the news
on TV. After the gift shop I went back to the main lobby and watched as
a few people passed by, some going to or coming from the dinning area. At
one time there were some young adults gathered waiting for help with
luggage, there were also three young adult jewish men and down
the hall, talking on the phone, a woman whom was pregnant enough to
be showing it. I seemed to recognize a black man working at the hotel, but I
wasn't sure from where. In time the main lobby became empty again.

* It is Late Thursday the 5th of June, And I need sleep. This first part
may be revised as I integrate more. This work is copyrighted 1997 by
myself - Timothy Rue. But only so that no alteration be done. You may copy
it but only in it's complete context or with notice that it is only a part
of larger work. ***






Email: timrue@mindspring.com

Copyright © 1975, 1988, 1994, 1996, 1997 Timothy V. Rue