The next time you visit the Washington Apple Pi office, this door will probably be closed, doing its job to keep the cold air inside where it can do the most good (and protect the telecommunications equipment from curious tourists). But rest assured that, barring power failures, remodeling projects, and other unplanned acts of cosmic caprice, a small band of dedicated, mostly "obsolete"* electronics equipment toils away, connecting the Pi to the world -- and the world to Washington Apple Pi.
John Ludwigson, a TCS and Explorer subscriber, viewed this entire project as akin to some Scandinavian epic, and posted this tribute on the bulletin board:
Laboring unseen, deep within secret grottoes, the Gnomes of Stonetown amass great hoards of wealth, treasures unknown to the mundane world of light and air. Trudging from mine to refinery, hammer to wire strippers, they slog along the road laid before them by a provident fate, mindful of their deepest needs and desires. Sleepless in their circumscribed, but limitless, world, they exist for only one purpose: to give the other world life and light, sound and pictures, magical abilities to touch things beyond the normal reach of their fingers, and to comprehend that which is beyond any single mind.
Oh, noble Gnomes. Oh, treasured Gnomes! May your own joys be many and satisfying; your creations never falter; your lives wonderfully fulfilled!
We, too, are afraid to ask what it means...
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* While Explorer service and the TCS manage to make do quite well with "obsolete" equipment, handling state-of-the-art services with what others consider "computer age roadkill," that doesn't mean that we'd turn down the donation of, say, a couple Apple Network Server 700 machines, a dozen Power Mac 8600 computers, a Cisco 7000 router, a pre-paid T-1 (or T-3) Internet link, and a couple fully-populated US Robotics rack-mount Courier V.34 modem assemblies. We'd even accept some working mouses, keyboards, modem cables, Macintosh monitors, money, chocolate chip cookies...