Today was a good day - in that Ice Cube way. Things got done. Things that were hard to resolved got nudged out of inertia. And there was a beautiful sunset.
It was also a good day because I inhaled Tamara Shopsin’s LaserWriter II, a compact novel set in the Apple repair centre of Tekserve in New York in the late 90s, early 2000s. It captures a moment in time when computers were expensive and they were actually ‘repaired’. And people cared about then a lot more than they do now. Those 'misremembered halycon days' where a simple repair wouldn't necessarily be charged for, and helping customers choose the best option rather than the choice with the highest profit margin was a thing. Shopsin captures that long gone era of self taught repair, and the nostalgic glow of componentry that wasn’t so miniature that it became unserviceable. It’s a fun read if you have memories of old Mac computers before the era of the iPhone - and I don't quite know how to describe it other than 'ambient fiction'. The brevity has a strange stickiness to it and it has coloured my thoughts for the days following.
I only visited Tekserve a couple of times. One of my awesome Cooper Hewitt team used to work there, I think during college. When we would go downtown to have offsite mini team meetings in a tiny New Zealand-run cafe called Happy Bones and afterwards we would occasionally pop in and pick up orders. By that time it had already become a retail shopfront and was in its decline - marginalized by Apple’s 'standardization' of repairs.