Cary Lu

Jeff Hecht[hidden]

My path may have crossed Cary's briefly when we were both students at Caltech in the late 60s, but I was an undergrad and he was a grad student, so we never really connected.

Where I remember him was from his days at High Technology. He arrived soon after Bob Haavind brought High Technology to Boston as part of Bernie Goldhirsch's group of magazines. I forget how I started writing for the magazine, but it was a wonderfully creative place. Bob had a vision of a magazine that explained high technology in a way accessible to the intelligent layman; Cary picked it up and ran with it. His title was "managing editor," which in the magazine world often means the person who makes sure all the details get done so the magazine comes out. Cary was really a creative sparkplug, the best kind of editor. We bounced ideas off each other and in the end came up with articles we were proud to see in print. Go back to the issues of High Technology from 1980-85, and you'll find some of the finest technology writing of the time. When the magazine later floundered, the problem was not editorial but business -- the business plan demanded advertising, and the advertising wasn't there. I tend to think the problem lay with the narrow vision of advertisers.

I remember having Cary to the house for one of our rare parties; the place was crowded, and he became the center of a little group of sci-tech types. I remember talking to him about computers circa 1985, when he strongly recommended the 512K Mac. I was already leaning that way, but he helped tip the scales. And he was right in one important way -- it worked so well and cleanly that I never had to call him with questions.

I also remember that Cary was the one who called me after a friend, whom I had steered to High Technology when they were looking for more staff, had a stroke in the office and was hospitalized in critical condition. (He later recovered.) We talked then, both stunned, as I am now at Cary's passing. I had lost track of him after he moved, and kept hoping our paths would cross again.