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Mac Mania Geek Cruise Meets the Love Boat?

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It’s looking as though this May’s upcoming Mac Mania Geek Cruise could be even more interesting than previously thought. Sure, Woz will be there, talking about the history of the Apple II and showing off the sheets of uncut $2 bills with which he loves to tweak cashiers. And if folks like yours truly, Bob LeVitus, David Pogue, Glenn Fleishman, Tom Negrino, Dori Smith, and Sal Soghoian aren’t enough, there’s always John de Lancie – Star Trek’s "Q." How do you top that?


I realize this will sound like the TV Guide synopsis of a late-night made-for-television movie, but just imagine what would happen if you mixed that combination of Macintosh luminaries, a Hollywood actor, and the hundreds of other Mac enthusiasts with numerous attendees and actors from the original series on the First International Love Boat Fan Cruise. I believe the technical term for such a situation is "hilarity ensues."

That’s right. I was bouncing around on Google, trying to learn more about cruises, given that most of my knowledge of them comes from watching a few episodes of The Love Boat back in the late 1970s (keep in mind that I was 11 and we only got four TV channels, so there wasn’t a lot of choice). Suddenly I came across a page for the First International Love Boat Fan Cruise, a 7-day cruise with activities that, as with Mac Mania, take place during the "at sea" days. That piqued my curiosity, as did the "Actual date to be locked shortly" tagline at the top, and a quick email to the organizer, Rick Portes, confirmed that he had indeed switched from the Sea Princess cruise in the Caribbean to an Alaska cruise aboard Holland America’s ms Volendam at the end of May.


"I realize it’s a bit of a change from the original Love Boat approach of fun in the sun," he said in email. "But as Captain Stubing would have said, it’s always good to try something new."

Reactions of the Mac Mania speakers to the news that they’d be sharing a cruise boat with hundreds of Love Boat fans were universally positive. Bob LeVitus, speaking about himself in the third person, said, "I think it’s absolutely fabulous. I mean, where else are you going to learn about Mac OS X from Bob ‘Dr. Mac’ LeVitus, and then frag one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, Bernie (The Love Boat’s ‘Doc’) Kopell, in a game of Quake III Arena? And where else could you do it on a luxurious cruise through the unspoiled Alaskan wilderness with thousands of gallons of free booze?"

Dori Smith, author of a number of books on Java and JavaScript, concurred. "Ever since Tom [Negrino] proposed to me on the very first Geek Cruise two years ago, I’ve thought of all Geek Cruises as Love Boats. Of course, I was teaching at the time, so I freaked out and told him to go away and stop bothering me. He then moped for the rest of the cruise, so I guess that didn’t work out so well. Now that we’re going on an official Love Boat cruise, our marriage is sure to be nothing but smooth sailing! (And no, I’m not making this up, as you can see at the end of this Wall Street Journal article.)"

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AppleScript guru Sal Soghoian focused on the technical qualifications of the Love Boat fans. "It’s not well known that frequent Love Boat guest star Florence Henderson taught Bernie Kopell how to write AppleScript," he said, "but I don’t think she’d mind me divulging that fact. I’m hoping she’ll swing by my AppleScript session and show off some of her ‘Brady Bunch’ scripts – they’re hilarious."

There may be other linkages between the two theme cruises given actor John de Lancie’s connections with the Love Boat series, and there have already been rumblings on the Mac Mania speaker’s list about what will happen if a cross-platform romantic complications crop up between a Titanium-toting Mac geek and a Love Boat fan with a Sony Vaio due to an inability to chat via computer-to-computer wireless network. The mind boggles.

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