Cary Lu

Mark E. Alsop[hidden]


He was, all at the same time, light hearted and serious. His thoughts ran deep but none were inaccessible. It was a unique characteristic. No pretenses, no formalities, just the man.

When he talked he was very animated, his voice, his tone, his face. Alas, his hands were usually full, he was always on his way somewhere with new things to read, to test, to put on the shelf and forget.

And shelves, he never had enough of them. His last apartment in Boston had shelves running all the way 'round most rooms at a height just above the door transom. Good idea. Practical. Yes, that says a lot about the man.

I remember that he never missed All Things Considered on PBS Radio, he recorded it in real-time and played it back while driving home after work. In a way that too says a lot about him: "All Things Considered." For he liked to know about anything and everything. But mostly he liked to know about computers, desktop computers, personal computers.

He loved the Macintosh but always kept a recent PC around, didn't want to miss anything. He wrote about both, and he did this with impartiality, with honesty. But his heart was betrothed to the Mac. Too bad, it caused him much pain to see such a wonderful piece of engineering coming to the end it was so clearly destined for.

And for him, the work-a-day-world was divided between the things one loved to do and grunge work. He made it a conscious activity to keep the ratio hugely in favor of fun stuff. It worked for him, he loved to know about things and to write about what he knew about and that was very good for many others.

He wrote about computers and software, the office tools of the modern society. He did the playing, the time-consuming trial of this and that, which only gets in most people's way then put on paper what worked and what didn't so the rest of us could get on with our jobs.

But most of all I will remember the way he said hello while on the move. Not jovial but with a friendly face, a hint of a smile and the tone that said he was glad to see you and if you would just walk along with him he would be glad to share some conversation.

To my friend Cary Lu who died of cancer at 51, while still full with years to live and things to do. I will miss him.