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Andy F. Mesa
Computers & History


Contact Information:

Andy F. Mesa <acetracer@softhome.net>

Contributions:

I run the History and Computers sections on MacKiDo.
I also ran The Museum of Apple Computer, which is being merged with MacKiDo.

Basics:

Student and Freelance Web Designer. Single. Born December 15, 1980.

Hobbies/Interests:

  • Reading, mostly science non-fiction, but I read some good fiction once in a while.
  • Movies, both on my VCR and on the big screen. I think I'm turning into a movie buff.
  • Watching TV, mostly the shows I wrote about below and others.
  • I'm not one to casually browse, but I do use the Internet often and chat on IRC (as AceTracer).
  • Working on my site, which are now sections on MacKiDo.
  • Other regular computer nerd, couch potato stuff ;-)

Favorite Books:

Yikes, this is gonna be tough. Well, it seems I have some of the same tastes other MacKiDo writers. This is off the top of my head.

Apple

  • The Mac Bathroom Reader,Owen Linzmayer (probably the best Apple book written to date)
  • Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, Steve Levy (great story on the making of the Mac and the GUI in general)
  • On the Firing Line: My 500 Days on Apple, Gil Amelio (incredibly interesting account of his time as CEO, highly readable)
  • Macworld Mac SECRETS, David Pogue and Joseph Schorr (The best when it comes to Mac reference books)

Physics

  • Hyperspace, Michio Kaku (his best book, talks about everything from time travel to superstrings to the future of civilization)
  • The 4th Dimension, Rudy Rucker (it will really open your eyes to the possibilities, very well written)
  • Instant Physics, Tony Rothman (I think the book that best explains almost every major subject in physics in just 200 or so pages)
  • Why Nothing Can Travel Faster Than Light, Zimmerman (great book with lots of interesting questions and answers)
  • Beyond Einstein, Michio Kaku (good companion read to Hyperspace)
  • Visions, Michio Kaku (includes talks with Alan Kay, a real computer visionary, and Larry Tesler, who has been with Apple forever. Fascinating computer revolution and quantum mechanics sections. Never thought we were this far ahead).

Fiction

  • The Stand, Stephen King (not your average King novel, but his best. The movie is good too, but still doesn't do the book justice)
  • The Shining, Stephen King (note: this is the only other King book I like, so don't get any ideas. And yes, I hated the movie)
  • Forrest Gump, Winston Groom (the movie was great, and surprisingly the book it was based on was better)
  • Einstein's Dreams, Alan Lightman (can you call this fiction? The way he used imagery with time is wonderful. My only complaint is that I ran out of pages to read too early)
  • Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (it still amazes me this book was written in 1932, the guy had great vision)

Favorite TV shows:

X-Files: okay so I admit it, I'm an X-phile. It's the only drama on television that doesn't spoon-feed you the plot. And how many shows do you know where the male and female lead don't become romantically involved? The show is just very well written and produced.

Seinfeld: I loved this show. We won't talk about the last season though.

NewsRadio: this show could easily be the next Cheers or Seinfeld if NBC just gave it a chance. What made those other two shows so great is that it didn't have goodie-goodie characters living in an almost perfect society. I was really shocked when I heard Phil Hartman died, show won't be the same without him.

Mad About You: Another great show. Helen Hunt, Paul Resier and everybody else is just so good in this. Also another example of real-life characters going through real life problems.

Star Trek: Voyager & DS9: Okay, so maybe I'm a trekkie too. Despite the fact that both shows make dozens of obvious physics mistakes per episode Voyager has some great characters and DS9 has great writing (now if only we can get the two to mix ideas).

A&E Biography: It's incredible how well done they do each biography every week. Probably the best non-fiction show on cable.

Discovery Channel: several programs on this network are wonderful.

Favorite Movies:

Recently I've been watching everything on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies list so I can guarantee you that this list will grow and change.

  • Forrest Gump: I really like this movie, and think it has to be the best of this decade.
  • The Apartment: My mother kept telling me I should see this movie, finally she rented it for me and I absolutely loved it. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine have the best chemistry of any couple on film I've seen (see also Irma La Douce with them).
  • Psycho: I saw this movie recently thinking it wouldn't live up to my expectations, boy was I wrong.
  • The Graduate: Dustin Hoffman was so good in this movie, as were Anne Bancroft and Katherine Ross.
  • The Godfather: I saw the first two parts of the trilogy for the first time back to back last summer. Before that I didn't really see the fascination with the movies. A little while after watching the first one I figured out the reason for the sensation.
  • Shawshank Redemption: this movie should've been in the list of the greatest movies, there were many that were left out.
  • Pulp Fiction: I actually shook hands and talked to Quentin Tarentino last Christmas, he's a really nice guy.
  • Back to the Future: I like all of them in the series, the first one is what got me fascinated with time and physics.
  • Terminator 2: This is still the best action movie of the decade, before Jim Cameron was playing with big boats that sink.