Dear Smartest Girl in San Francisco:

I really don't believe that you're the smartest girl in San Francisco. What is the criterion anyway? I mean, just because you say you're smart, doesn't mean that you are. I want you to prove it. Write something that proves you are the smartest girl in S.F.

Signed, The Dumbest Boy in SF

Dear Dumbest Boy in SF,

Well, even though you are the Dumbest Boy in San Francisco, I will answer your question. I get these questions from time to time, and I always rise to the challenge, no matter how dumb the question is. In response I will pluck a letter from the archives, and you may read for yourself how smart The Smartest Girl in San Francisco really is:


August 3, 1978

Dear Smartest Girl in San Francisco,

I have a business question to ask you. I have been following the Intel Corporation closely, and I know, as well as you do, that they are building the next generation chip, what they call their 8086 family, including the very low-cost part called the 8088. This means that 16-bit computing is on its way. My business partner (a.k.a. Paul) and I are deciding to focus a lot of our work on that Intel chip. This decision forces us to do the SoftCard, because we have a lot of products for the Intel chip. You can see that this is a risky, and critical, situation. My question is, Should we spread our products over to other 8-bit chips, like the 6502 as well? Or, should we immediately move up and do 16-bit software?

Dear Bill G:

Your answer is in your question, Bill. You should definitely do 16-bit software. With the SoftCard, you can actually take your existing Intel software and run it. At the same time you should be able to go ahead and devote your resources to being way ahead of everybody else in developing software for the 8086. That's a no-brainer. Your problem will come with the date modules you install into the computers. You must include the century digits into the date and time frames. If you really want to create a monopoly on the PC industry, this should be your biggest focus point at the moment. I know it is a very long way into the future to look, but you really should, above all else look into this. It shouldn't be difficult, for a genius like you. The only other piece of advice I could offer you at this time is to quit writing me these stupid questions! Can't you make any business decisions on your own?! I know I am the Smartest Girl in San Francisco, but if I wanted to be in the computer business I would be! Now leave me alone!


Dear smartest girl,

I am 23 and work at a diverse Berkeley based non-profit organization. Recently, a coworker, who happens to be quadriplegic, asked me out on a dinner date. I politely declined, but then he suggested we go back to his place for some "dessert" instead. Due to the fact that he is neither a gentleman nor my type, I'd rather not have anything to do with him in either a romantic or social situation. My problem is that I'm unsure how I should tell him to "take a walk" without hurting his feelings or, more importantly, drawing any attention to his crippling disability.

Stumped in SF

Dear Stumped,

Well, for God's sake don't tell him to take a walk! Where's your sense of shame! It seems that declining the invitation for dessert should be enough of a rejection that he would no longer pursue you and your affections. If he persists, you can tell him politely that you are not interested in a relationship of any sort other than co-workers. There is no reason to cite his disability in your reason for not being interested. I mean, I don't tell people that I'm not interested in them because they are blond, or too short, or have a mustache; I just tell them I am not interested. Don't you? Or are you one of those sick bastards who always tells the whole TRUTH? Answer that, or follow my advice, and then we'll have gotten somewhere.



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