Cary Lu

Pete Mackie[hidden]

It is with great shock, disbelief, and sadness, that I learned of Cary's untimely death.

Cary and I go back to 1984 when the Mac as first introduced. At the time of the Mac's introduction, I published data communication software named "PC to Mac and Back." The software provided transfer of files between the Macintosh and IBM PC via a serial connection. Cary was intrigued by my application and called one evening from Boston to write about it.

This contact resulted in Cary and I becoming very good friends. I subsequently worked with Cary and Dick Brass on General Information PC based phone management software in Kirkland Washington. Truly Cary and Dick's phone number database and phone dialer software application was a great product.

The above is a bit of a lead up to a great Cary story you all love and appreciate.

For several years Cary lived and worked in Boston. Cary would call his West Coast friends from Boston late at night to save on long-distance phone charges. While it may be approaching midnight in Boston it was not too late out West for personal calls.

In the mid-eighties, Cary moved to Seattle. One time he turned around his East Coast to West Coast calling sequence in his mind. Without thinking, Cary called me late West Coast time thinking it was early on the East Coast.

I was at the Spring Comdex show in Atlanta. At nearly 4:00 AM my hotel phone rang. Thinking the worst of emergencies, I answered. Yes, it was Cary wanting to know my opinions about a new family laser printers as he was writing an article with a deadline. We talked for better part of a half-hour. I never suggested to Cary what time it might be in Atlanta.

About a week later, I saw Cary in Seattle. I most tactfully suggested to Cary that he had called me in Atlanta at somewhere around 4:00 AM. For an ongoing two or three weeks Cary refused to believe he had done "such a stupid thing." I merely said check your phone bill when you receive it.

For the better part of a year, Cary would apologize about this each and every time we met or talked. It was just not the kind of mistake Cary would normally make and he know it.

For those of you who never saw Cary's collection of computer software behind the cement wall in his office basement, you really missed something most unusual. Imagine a shelves and shelves of software packages all neatly categorized. Cary wrote a lot about software and at times computer hardware. He insisted on personal in-depth evaluation of any software or hardware he wrote about. Cary kept this software archived on the notion that he may need future reference if his writings were challenged or a reader needed further clarification.

I own a copy of Cary's and Ellen's The Apple Macintosh Book, Third Edition personally signed by both of them. During the writing of this book, I advised Cary on some of the Macintosh data communication technical issues. The signed book was Cary's way of saying thank your for your help. Needless to say, this book will forever serve as my one personal reminder of the professional contribution that Cary and his lovely wife Ellen Chu made to the personal computer industry.

Finally, my greatest remembrance of Cary will be his unending dedication to his family, particularly his children. Cary could easily and comfortably put being with his children above and beyond any business matter no matter how opportunistic. Not that Cary would shirk his business obligations, he never did. It was, "if I have to be away from my children for any length of time, I will not commit to being involved." Cary was the ideal father. When it came to family, Cary was what we all desire to be as husband and father.

I will miss Cary's well thought out opinions on most anything you want to challenge him with.