Great Move FAQ

In late September 1995 I moved to the USA to start a job with Apple's Developer Technical Support group. One of the biggest pains with moving is telling all of your friends and acquaintences where you're going and what you're doing. To help in this I'm posting number of notices to news. In order to keep these notices small I've decided to put the information up on the web and reference it in my postings.

Where are you going?

I'm moving to Cupertino, which is a town in the middle of Silicon Valley in California USA. Geographically it's situated about 45 minutes drive south of San Francisco in what's known as the South Bay area.

13 September 1995

What are you doing there?

I'm going to work for Apple (yay!), as a Developer Technical Support Engineer. I'll be working in the Networking, Communications and Hardware section under Cameron Birse.

13 September 1995

When are you leaving/arriving?

I'm flying out of Perth at 11:10 on 29 September 1995. Due to the miracles of the international dateline, I'll arrive in San Francisco on the evening of the same day at 19:10 on QF319 (which is actually a US Air flight). Anybody fancy picking me up at the airport? (-:

Postscript: Thanks to Pete Gontier for picking me up, and nearly giving himself a heartattack in the process.

13 September 1995

What exactly does the job entail?

Developer Technical Support provides an answer-line service for third party developers creating products that work in conjunction with Apple products. The section I'm working on deals with questions related to Macintosh networking, communications and hardware products. The basic idea is that third party developers pay for the privilege of being able to email in complicated questions, which our group is responsible for answering. Normally they relate to some tricky or undocumented part of the Macintosh system software or hardware. We are responsible for looking through the existing documentation or, if that's inadequate, chasing up the original developer or the source code.

A second aspect of the job is more pro-active in nature. If we find that a specific area is giving a lot of trouble we are responsible for creating further documentation (in the form of Tech Notes) or sample code that addresses that area.

13 September 1995

What's your new snailmail address?

I have no idea. At the moment I'm having my snailmail sent to my Mum's place and she'll forward the important stuff on to me. That address is:

4/15 Macleod Road
Applecross WA 6153

Apple is providing temporary accomodation for the first 30 days of my stay. Here's the details:

The Grove
243 Buena Vista Avenue, #9-1910
Sunnyvale CA 94086

Around the beginning of November I'll be moving into a new place. Please write to me for details.

25 September 1995

What's your new phone number?

Here is my current list of phone numbers:

Office: +1-408-974-3044
Mobile: +1-408-507-1856
Home: please write to me for details

And here's the somewhat complicated set of restrictions associated with each number:

Wow, that's easy to understand isn't it?

14 August 1998

What's your new email address?

I've set up a mechanism for abstracting my email address (and web site) using an ID domain. My new email address can be found on my web site:


Despite the ".au" domain names, these addresses all point to servers located in the US.

15 February 1998

What is an echidna?

It's an Australian monotreme (egg laying mammal), more commonly known as a "spiny ant eater". It's in my DNS name because of the way the ID domains work in Australia.

13 September 1995

How do you pronounce "echidna"?


20 November 1995

What about Internet Config?

Peter Lewis and I are working hard to get Internet Config 1.2 out before I leave. After that IC development will most probably go a bit slower because it's harder to work together at a distance. I will continue to work on IC in my spare time and on my own hardware so as to ensure that it remains in the Public Domain.

13 September 1995

Do you know anyone in California?

Yes! I've visited California three times in the last three years (each May for the Apple World Wide Developer Conference) and I've also made a lot of net.friends in the US. One of the attractions of this job is the opportunity to regularly meet up with all these people that I'd otherwise only meet once a year.

13 September 1995

What was your previous job?

My previous job was as a Programmer for the Department of Computer Science at The University of Western Australia. The work involved three tasks:

I worked for Computer Science for about five years, from August 1990 to 25 August 1995.

13 September 1995

So what have you been doing in the last month?

Slacking off!!! Alas no, I've had way too many things to do this month. They include:

13 September 1995

When's the going away party?

Quinn's House Burning Party
23 September 1995
3/253 Labouchere Road, Como
Ph: 450 3016

Please bring along yourself, your preference of recreational drugs, and somebody more interesting than me, none of which should be too taxing (-:

Postscript: The party was excellent and you're a total loser if you missed it! We have some great photos of the Windows 95 propaganda burning (held in the backyard, complete with an effigy of Big Bill) and I'll put them up on the web as soon as I get organised.

14 September 1995

Is there an arrival party?

Don't know yet. Will keep you posted.

Postscript: I never had one!

13 September 1995

Is there anything you can do to help?

Yes. I'm looking for information about the following things:

13 September 1995

How was the flight?

The flight was OK. I was pretty tired before getting on the plane in Perth (having stayed up all Thursday night) and sleep for a half an hour or so on the way to Sydney. The wait in Sydney airport was the usual tedious event; I was very sorry that I didn't pack my juggling balls. Instead I used the time, and a nearby power point, to do some serious work on SuperGrover, sorting through all the photos I'd taken in the previous days.

The long haul from Sydney to LA, about 14 hours, was OK. It all seemed like deja vu though, having done it only a few months before. I slept a few hours on this plane too, not enough to keep me from crashing when I got to my place in California.

The coolest thing about the 747-400 is that you get individual displays in business class. Lots of fun to play with, and you can select the moving map at any time. Also, with an empty seat next to you, you can have a movie and the moving map at the same time. Computer junky's paradise! It also meant that I managed to catch up with the movie "Johnny Mnemonic", which started just after I left the US in June and was going to start just after I left Australia in September.

Finally the flight up from LA was OK, although it was completely full and those USAir planes always scare me. [It's the way that none of the video displays have the same colour balance that worries me.] Of course I got sat next to an Aussie, which seems to be always the way when I get on internal US flights.

Pete Gontier met me at the airport; he was a very welcome site indeed.

2 October 1995

Was business class worth it?

Business class was hardly any advantage when coming over from Perth to Sydney (only 4 hours) but it was definitely cool on the long haul over the Pacific (about 14 hours). I was seated on the upper deck of the 747-400, which was different and somewhat fun.

The plane was empty, which is always nice. It meant that the people back in economy got to sleep sideways across multiple seats. Unfortunately I couldn't do the same because the arms between the seats in business class don't retract. Heavy sigh.

The individual teles were definitely cool, as described in the previous entry.

Finally, the most important aspect of this equation is that I didn't pay for it , and hence it was definitely worth it!

2 October 1995

How are you getting around?

The first thing I did on Saturday was to collate all of the information I'd received about bike stores via the net and compare it with my South Bay street map. I discovered that one of the places recommended was within walking distance, so I walked over there and bought a bike. I had to spend quite a bit of money to get what I wanted but it's definitely the bees knees as far as transport is concerned.

The bike I bought is a Trek 7600 hybrid. I'm glad I made the decision to go with a hybrid rather than bring my road bike over, I've hit some pretty rough roads here and my road bike just wouldn't have taken it. The hybrid is shaped like a mountain bike but with lighter construction (it is surprisingly like for such a big bike) and thinner less-knobbly tyres.

The bike is big. I bought a 22.5" frame because, after adjusting the seat on the 21" frame it was extended way past maximum. [Curiously enough the same thing happened on my road bike and I was forced to buy an extended seat pole. This may have contributed to my knee problems with that bike. They seem to be giving me a lot less trouble on this bike.] The bigger bike forced me to go up one model (they didn't have the lower model in stock at that size) but that's cool because I haven't bought a new bike in five years and I can afford it. The total cost was about US$900 (AU$1300) but they threw in a bit of customisation for me.

The bike has gripshifting gears, which are positively amazing and astonishingly useful in heavy traffic situations. I just hope that they stay in trim; that's always been the downfall of index gears for me in the past.

I'll post a picture of the bike just as soon as I extract it from the QuickTake.

As to riding around, my limited experience (I've only had a weekend to practise on but I've ridden a long way these past two days) has been good. Lots of roads here have bike lanes. They are normally full of crap but my monster bike is more than a match for it. The bike is also big, which gives me good visibility and makes the drivers worry about hitting me (-: And I've bought a rear view mirror, something which I wouldn't ride without since getting one on my previous bike.

Coping with riding on the wrong side of the road is surprisingly easy. I think it's easier to deal with when you're on a bike. You're stuck to one side of the lane anyway, it's just a different side, and the cars are there to continuously remind you where you're supposed to be. The "right hand turns are easy, left hand turns are hard" mantra is coming in handy. About the only incidents I've had so far were associated with four- and three-way stop signs, where the other drivers see that you're not a car and either don't give you your right of way or are excessively courteous. I'm not sure which is almost as annoying.

All in all I don't think that riding in this town is going to be hard.

2 October 1995

Where can I find out more?

I have my very own mailing list. Subscribe to it by sending mail to <> with the body text containing "subscribe cupertino Your Real Name".

13 September 1995

I'd like to thank the following people for their help with my move: Daphne Perere, Cherry Gattuccio, Donna Hopper, Darlena McManus, Pete Gontier and John Brown.

Share and Enjoy.


Quinn "The Eskimo!"
13 February 1998