March 20

Epistles from Behind the Firewall
Fragments from the lost letters of a Mac warrior in the classical sense

‘Endeavor To Persevere’
Apple Command abandons its soldiers, who are attempting to push through a Windows NT firewall. (Click image to enlarge.)

by David Nagel
Senior Producer

[Editor's note: The following passages were discovered locked away in a graphite box somewhere in Irvine, Calif. They seem to chronicle the futile efforts of Macintosh users attempting to integrate into a Windows NT environment. Little is known of the author or of the outcome of this tragic campaign.]

March 1—Beloved, as I write to you, the Macintosh G4s are being moved into position. All seems well for the battle ahead. Tell the children that father loves them and will return shortly.

March 2—My Darling, the G4s seem well equipped and ready to infiltrate the NT server. It is now only a matter of giving the order, and then we move in and take over.

March 3—Darling, we are now safely behind the NT firewall. Apple Client Services are in place. The local area network is ours! Tomorrow we advance on the Internet.

March 6Dearest, the Windows faction has installed Proxy Server 2.0. It has set us back some. For now, the G4s are unable to advance. We have lost the ability to FTP. I am confident, however, that Apple Command will send us the necessary support. I'm glad to hear that our neighbor, Bruce, the flat-footed night club singer, has been looking after you and the children. Send him my best.

March 14—My Love, Apple Command has failed to supply us with the necessary support to get through the proxy server. They say they do not support activities involving enemy equipment. Yet how can we fight the good fight without this support? Still, we shall endeavor to persevere. I hear that Bruce is spending more time with you these days. That is good. I hope he can keep you occupied until my return. I know how difficult it must be without me there to give you intellectual stimulation.

March 15—Honey, I'm certain it was an accident, but in your last letter to me, you addressed me as "My Beloved Bruce" and went on to praise certain of my physical characteristics, such as my curly blonde hair. However, as I have straight black hair, I thought this odd. No concern though, as I'm sure it is merely your loneliness for me that causes you to err in your writings. I know that you are ever faithful to me, which is of the essence, as we have still made no progress in advancing on the proxy server. We were able to advance some of our data through port 80, but port 21 remains elusive. I have suggested bypassing the proxy server altogether, but they say my methods have become unsound. Do remember me in your prayers, darling.

March 16—My Love, thank you for sending me the photo of you and Bruce. It looks like he is taking good care of you. I understand that you have sent the children away to boarding school. Perhaps it is for the best. We have bribed a customer service official in the Microsoft camp $245 to help us get through this firewall. I believe we shall make some progress now, even though we have seen no support from Apple Command since this battle began. The men and I are beginning to question the motives of those in charge. But perhaps I have said too much. In answer to your query, yes it is all right if Bruce moves into the guest room. I feel much more confident knowing there is a man around to protect you from the villains and lechers who remain stateside while we brave lads wage war against the minions of Gates.

March 17—The Microsoft double agent has failed us, though he did refund the bribe. I have almost given up hope, my darling. Our last chance lies with this new switch I bought. I can say no more until it is tested. You have not written me in some time. I have heard from our son, who refers to Bruce as "Papa." That's cute. I'm glad he's taken a liking to your benefactor. Please write soon, as I could use the moral support.

March 20—My dear, I do not believe I will make it out of this alive. Although I know your fidelity to me has been absolute, I give you permission to marry someone else when I am gone. Perhaps Bruce can help you find somebody. I believe it's too late for me. If only the generals back in Cupertino could see what I've seen....

March 21—Sell the house. Sell the car. Sell the kids. Find somebody else. Forget it. I'm never coming back. Forget it. The horror. The horror.... tyhjjjkjkm t

[Our scientists debated some time over the meaning of this last word, until one of them discovered that "tyhjjjkjkm t" is the exact pattern of letters that would be created by a human face falling down on a keyboard. We assume the author died of frustration.]

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Dave Nagel is the still somewhat new Senior Producer of Creative Mac. An eight-year veteran of the print publishing world, Nagel covered a broad range of topics in the areas of technology and marketing. As a Mac psychofanatic since 1987, he's finally landed his dream job: earning a living writing about his favorite topic. If you have something to say, please send a polite e-mail to [email protected]. (Let's not try to bring him down from his euphoria too soon.)

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