What’s On Your PowerBook?

What’s on your PowerBook?

Jim Tucker
Tuesday, April 30, 1996

Last Saturday I went across the Sangre de Christo mountains to consult with the publisher of a mountain community newspaper.

On my way to the meeting I passed two large cattle trailers in the last stages of unloading. The high mountain pastures are already rich and green.

Later, when I greeted the publisher he appeared to be agitated. Upon inquiry I learned that he had come by the same cattle operation on his way to the office and had stopped to take a photograph of the cowboys and cattle.

After he snapped his picture, my friend asked the taciturn rancher, who was obviously in charge of the operation, how many head of cattle he was pasturing. The picture needed a cut line.

My friend was shocked to discover that it was “none of your damn business”.
He had just as soon have asked the man “How much money do you have in the bank”?

I learned something from the rancher’s attitude about keeping things private that are going on right out in the open. After all, anyone could have counted the cows as they came off the trailer and all of the cowboys were expected to know the “count”.

I feel pretty much the same way about my PowerBook. I very seldom feel the need to fasten it down with the security cable. I believe that without fear I could hand over my PowerBook to almost any of my business associates, colleagues, friends or students. Of course anyone that I would refer to with one of those labels is someone I trust anyway.


The “stuff” on my PowerBook is the things dreams are made of. I think of them as tangible objects. Word processing documents are first containers for poetry, then stories, then other wonderful strings of characters, anything my business requires. Spreadsheets are my favorite vehicles for arrays, tabular information I like to manipulate in rows and columns. My database creations make tables of facts into useful tools. Ah, I wax sentimental and we haven’t even gotten to DTP and WWW publishing.

I know it sounds strange, but I love what’s on my PowerBook. Much of what I find precious in the material world is expressed there. Sharing the enjoyment of precious things doubles the enjoyment. That’s why I teach. That’s why I would hand my student my PowerBook.

And that’s why most strangers discover that “it’s none of their damn business”.

April 30, 1996


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