Cary Lu

Karen Anderson[hidden]

There are many people in the computer world who are better known, but few who knew more than Cary Lu. He possessed a broad and deep understanding of the technological world. But unlike many scientists, he was able to factor human and economic considerations into his analyses and to explain systems to people at any level--from a young child to a scientific thinker.

When Brady and I exhaust every explanation for a computer problem and find ourselves at a dead end, we say "Hmmm--that's a Cary question!" Now that he's gone, there will still be answers to those "Cary questions"--we just won't be able to put the same kind of confidence in them.

Here's a question that Cary Lu answered Aug. 23, 1997, just about the last week that he posted on the Internet.

The question:

"Has anyone seen or heard of 'The Renaissance Lute'? I've lost my recording and can't find it anywhere. The artists are: Konrad Ragossnig, Konrad Junghanel and Dieter Kirsch, released by: Archiv/Deutsch Grammophon. Please help me find another recording! Thank you!"

Here is Cary's answer:

"The solo recordings by Konrad Ragossnig from the Archiv series 'The Renaissance Lute' are out on a 4-CD set, Archiv 447 727-2. The compilation includes material from six different LPs. The lute duets and a trio from the original LPs are missing. The four CDs are well-filled, but there is a little space left over. As far as I know, this is not carried in the US catalog; the copy that I got (at HMV in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts) was labelled a special import. On the other hand, I only paid $16.99 for all four discs; the item was mispriced in the HMV computer inventory. A very nice set."

(signed)--Cary Lu

I feel honored to have been one of the many thousands of people around the world whose questions were answered by Cary Lu. Not only did I learn how to plug in a PowerBook in the UK, I learned about writing and communication. Cary's answers were precise and elegant, infused with a subtle wit and charm.

It's impossible for me not to feel bitterness and regret at the untimeliness of Cary's death. As John Updike observed in the poem "Perfection Wasted,"

"...another regrettable thing about death is the ceasing of your own brand of magic, which took a whole life to develop and market-- the quips, the witticisms, the slant adjusted to a few... The jokes over the phone. The memories packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act. Who will do it again? That's it: no one; imitators and descendants aren't the same."

Karen G. Anderson
UnCommon Sense Seattle, WA
(206) 523-8229