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e-Briefing | Celebrity Setup

Michael Crichton Is No Dinosaur

November 23, 2000

Michael Crichton, 58, creates fantasy worlds that consume readers, TV viewers, moviegoers and video game players. The creative force behind "Jurassic Park," "Timeline" and "ER" is a longtime computer buff. Trained as a doctor, Crichton once quipped that his decision to switch to writing "struck most people like quitting the Supreme Court to become a bail bondsman."

DESKTOP: I've got a dual-processor Macintosh G4. I started out with Macs back in the 1980s and since then I've never met anyone who could persuade me to switch or any particular piece of software that would obligate me to purchase a PC. Macs are dependable systems, but the main reason I stick with the machine is force of habit.

LAPTOP: A G3 Powerbook, 500 MHz. I keep all sorts of important information here, such as my schedule, appointment book and calendar. And my home network's entirely composed of Macs.

HAND-HELD: No, but I do keep a Blackberry pager with me.

BOOKMARKED WEB SITES:

* http://www.cudenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/luddite.html--Best Luddite site I've ever found.

* http://www.disgruntledhousewife.com--Great, if indescribable.

* http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal--References for Alan Sokal's academic hoax, a particular interest of mine.

* http://www.adcritic.com--Tracking one of our most important and influential forms of contemporary narrative.

* http://www.allhealth.com/onlinepsych--Take a test: find out how crazy you are.

* http://accuweather.com--My personal weather favorite.

* http://info.uibk.ac.at/c/c7/c704/qo/photon/_teleport/tplinks.html--I recommend this teleportation page as a starting place for anyone interested in the subject. It has links to less technical discussions.

* http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/stuck_franz_von.html--This German symbolist painter is primarily remembered for his painting "Sin," which remains compelling almost a century after his death.

LAST WEB SITE VISITED: Probably Mac OS Rumors at http://www.macosrumors.com. I don't really go there to learn a great deal about the platform, though. It's always interesting to go online and see what random people think they know about the system.

SCREEN SAVER: None.

CELL PHONE: I carry a Nokia around with me in the United States. Generally speaking, I keep it with me when I need to be available during certain periods when I'm on the move. Truthfully, though, I prefer to be unplugged.

MONTHLY MINUTES: Your guess is as good as mine.

FAVORITE TECH TOY: My PC. I use it for playing games. Doesn't everybody? My two current favorite titles are Microsoft's "Pandora's Box" and "Unreal Tournament." There are some games I just can't respond to, but it's fun to put brainpower to work solving puzzles. "Unreal Tournament" I find fascinating because of the user-created modifications. An entire culture is built around them, with reviewers, players and all. There's really nothing like it to be found in any other medium.

EVERYDAY TECH USES: Surely you're joking. I live in front of my computer. Because I'm a writer, my world revolves around it. I've also found the Internet to be pretty valuable. It's very helpful when searching for quick statistics, such as when I had to put together a speech on the media and violence. But the information to be found there's not really useful when I'm writing a book, if only because it's so widely available.

*

--As told to SCOTT STEINBERG

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