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Thursday Night Dinner (TND), September 1994

For a while, TND was the place to be for San Francisco’s up-and-coming Web workers. Generation X author Douglas Coupland was a regular at the apartment. Rolling Stone chronicled the scene, as did a German documentary crew.
— Paul Boutin, “One More Thursday Night Dinner,” Wired News, May, 02, 2002

Photograph of people at Thursday Night Dinner Sept 29, 1994
Thursday Night Dinners began in 59 Ramona where I lived with Graham (now Francis) Potter and Bagus Haig and moved with me when I moved to 65 Ramona in March 1995.

They started small as you can see from this weathered Polaroid. I can identify everyone except the woman in the middle back, and the two gentlemen at far right. Kudos and a toy surprise to anyone who can supply names, especially for the poor fellow defaced by an errant thumb. The rest, from left to right, are: First Row: Ken Goldberg, Jenny Cool, Jonathan Steuer, ??. Middle Row: Safi Bahcall, Bagus Haig, Anne Francis. Back Row: Ovid Jacob, ??, Graham Potter, ??

Comments on original post (that got munged in Oz crash):

From: Nick Matelli <>
You should really bullet-point these posts. It’ll make them easier to skim while at work.

From: Francis Potter
It’s possible that the woman in the back row is Amber Luttrell, who was a friend of mine at the time. Although it’s really hard to tell. In fact, I could barely even identify myself! What’s the fuzzy thing in the top right corner?’

From: Justin Hall <>
I believe that sitting next to Jonathan Steuer might be one Jonathan Wells, who helped start RES magazine and the RESfest film festivals.

From: Jenny Cool <>
Thanks, Francis, I think you’re right, that is Amber, I remember now that I hear the name again. Thanks, Justin, but how sure are you? Somehow your note sounds tentative. Meanwhile, kudos to you both and, if you email me your postal addys, a toy surprise will be dispatched from my vast collection of dotcom era schwag.

2 Comments - Join in the conversation below »

  1. Again, quite representative of “geek culture.” Technological superiority matters but “style” counts too.

    I keep thinking about distinct but overlapping “mindframes” related to artists and engineers.
    “Geeks” are both. But these two “modes of thinking” are still distinct. There is, for hardcore engineers, an issue of “the best possible way to do something.” Among artists, there’s an idea of doing things out of mere creativity. Obviously, engineers are creative and artists care about achievements. But those are still two different ways to approach projects.

    Recently, I was talking with educators about technology and one of them talked about a quote, on the front page of a newspaper, which ran something like “to engineers, good enough is perfect; to artists, nothing is perfect.” I used the same quote with an engineer friend of mine that same day and he took me to task because, as he has it, nothing is ever good enough for an engineer.

    To go back to your own point about Linux vs. BSD: bitter disputes arise because of the social dimensions of working with others. My own example is much simpler. A PowerPC Linux mailing-list which was shut down in one weekend because of a flamewar having to do with the mailing-list management itself. Typical thing: one user sends an unsubscribe message to the list as a whole. Other users tell the first user that such messages should be sent to the list management address. Yet other users complain about the second group of users using the list to give advice to an individual. Others unsubscribe because of the unwanted traffic. Servers are returning error messages. Flame war about the alleged relative stupidity of all members. List moderator comes back from the weekend with hundreds of messages to deal with. List collapses on its own wait.

    Comment by Alexandre — August 26, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

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