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Apple's Kawasaki starts up

Well-known Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki has no definite plans to return from his leave of absence; he is busy writing a book and launching a start-up.

Guy Kawasaki, the self-described evangelist who made his name promoting the Macintosh computer, has no definite plans to return from his leave of absence from Apple Computer (AAPL).

He is busy these days launching a start-up and writing a book, he said.

For the past few months, the Mac advocate has been involved with the formation of a company called Garage.com, which will help technology start-ups gain their footing. The Bay Area company is in the embryonic stages as Kawasaki and undisclosed partners write up a business plan and raise money.

The Garage.com domain name was registered under Kawasaki's name in September, with Kawasaki's Fog City Software colleague Will Mayall listed as Garage.com's administrative contact. The site currently directs visitors to the Web Site Garage, with which Garage.com is not affiliated.

Meanwhile, Kawasaki is also penning his book Rules for Revolutionaries, which will be published by Little Brown. The book is, in Kawasaki's words, "a guide for people who want to revolutionize the world with innovative products and services."

"It's a business book," said Kawasaki. "It's not about how to take over the U.S. government."

Kawasaki expects his book to be completed by mid-1998, but said he had no definite plans after that--either to return to Apple or to do anything else.

"I don't predict life six months in advance," he said. "In Internet time, six months is ten years. I'm taking things one thing at a time. First I'm going to finish the book."

Apple spokeswoman Rhona Hamilton said that the company expected Kawasaki to return, though she did not know when.

"When he left, he said he was leaving to do his book. We had been assured he was just going to do a book...and our understanding is that he's going to be back," she said.

Hamilton was unaware of Kawasaki's activities with Garage.com.

Kawasaki still speaks on behalf of Apple, according to Hamilton, who noted that he had left Apple between 1987 and 1995 to work on other corporate projects, most notably as president of Fog City Software in 1994. Kawasaki was named an Apple Fellow in 1995 and remained active with Apple until October of this year, shortly after Steve Jobs returned as acting CEO.

Kawasaki refuted what he called a "conspiracy theory" that linked his departure from the company to Jobs's return.

"If we didn't get along, why wouldn't I just quit?" asked Kawasaki.

Hamilton praised Kawasaki's work for Apple.

"Guy has had a tremendous impact not only on the employees here but on the whole industry," she said. "He's a very inspirational person. His impact on Apple has been tremendous. He goes out, pumps up huge crowds of people, and he loves his work."

Kawasaki may love his work, but when asked if he had taken any of his leave for leisure, he had this to say: "Compared to being in the crossfire of the press, it's leisure time now."