The first Mountain Man Rendezvous was at Henry's Fork on the Green River in 1825. The location of the rendezvous changed every year, and it quickly became the best-known social and business institution of the American mountain men. A rendezvous was the social, economical, and alcoholic highlight of many North American mountain men in the early 1800s. These men led lonely harsh lives the rest of the year, harvesting beaver for the beaver hats so popular in Europe at that time. Many of them became friendly with Indian tribes, and some took Indian wives. For most of them, however, the only contact they had with white society was at the annual rendezvous, where merchants from St. Louis would meet the trappers and exchange goods for pelts. The trappers needed traps, salt, sugar, tobacco, lead and liquor. The Indians were invited as well to trade for knives, guns and blankets. The resulting gathering was a wild party that included drinking, gambling, fighting, races and shooting contests, trading and general mayhem. The rendezvous could last for up to a month if the liquor held out. After the rendezvous was over, the mountain men headed back to the mountains to trap more beaver for the next year. By the 1840s due to beaver hats becoming unfashionable in Europe, the mountain men moved on to other livelihoods, such as guiding settlers and explorers, hunting buffalo, and serving as military scouts, so the great rendezvous became a thing of the past.

Modern day black powder or muzzle loading rifle enthusiasts hold many a rendezvous around North America. Here many of the participants compete in shooting and tomahawk throwing contests. Most competitors wear buckskin clothing, and many of the women are dressed in early American type dress. Indian attire is also common. Trading is a central part of these gatherings, and wonderful crafts, books, weapons, leather goods and other items can be found. Camping is usually available at the site and both expensive motor homes and teepees can be found. Nighttime is usually centered around a feast of some kind of meat such as elk, buffalo, or deer, and the communal chili pot is always going. Songs, dancing, storytelling and a great deal of liquor consumption is also featured. The modern rendezvous is a lot of fun, and very educational as well, as many of the participants are eager to share their knowledge.

In 1989, in an article for MacUser magazine, Douglas Adams predicted the future1.
     All I want to do is print from my portable. (Poor baby.) That isn’t all I want, in fact. I want to be able regularly to transfer my address book and diary stacks backward and forward between my portable and my IIx. And all my current half-finished chapters. And anything else I’m tinkering with, which is the reason why my half-finished chapters are half-finished. In other words, I want my portable to appear on the desktop of my IIx. I don’t want to have to do battle with cupboard monsters and then mess about with TOPS every time I want that to happen. I’ll tell you all I want to have to do in order to get my portable to appear on the Desktop of my IIx.
    I just want to carry it into the same room.
    Bang. There it is. It’s on the desktop.

    This is infra-red talk. Or maybe it’s microwave talk. I don’t really care any more than I want to care about PICTs and TIFFs and RTFs and SYLKs and all the other acronyms, which merely say, “We’ve got a complicated problem, so here’s a complicated answer to it.

The future is now.

With the introduction of Mac OS X 10.2 (“Jaguar”), Douglas Adams’ wish has been granted. A technology known as Rendezvous will allow two Apple computers (with Airport cards) to recognize each other and form an impromptu wireless network. Rendezvous also works with wired Ethernet, but that applies more for printing, and not for computer-to-computer networks.

A demonstration was given at the July Macworld New York Keynote speech: Phil Schiller walked across the stage with a closed PowerBook, while the overhead projector displayed the screen of the PowerMac that Steve Jobs with using. Schiller opens the PowerBook. Suddenly, iTunes (on the PowerMac) is updated with the playlists that the PowerBook contains. Schiller closes the PowerBook, and the playlist disappears. This all happens without anybody touching a button.

In the same way that Airport is an implementation of the 802.11b networking standard, (with a rather better name), Rendezvous is an implementation of the ZeroConf protocol (with a rather better name). The ZeroConf group, of which Apple is a member, is responsible for developing the ZeroConf protocol. The group was chartered in September of 1999, but did not hold their first official meeting in November of 2001.

Apple’s sign for Rendezvous is three gray swooshes, arranged into a bubble-T, with three orange dots, one per swoosh.

1The Salmon of Doubt, by Douglas Adams. Page 90.


She was still there.

I was over half an hour late, and she was still there.

I could barely remember her face, but I knew her voice the moment she picked up the phone at the other end. I listened to her say she was still in the restaurant she had chosen to have coffee. It was called Rendezvous and I had to grin. She said I would spot it, and I didn’t believe her until two minutes later when I walked into Leicester Square, and looked across at the big, bright, green neon sign flashing Rendezvous. I saw her and told her she wouldn’t believe what I’d had to do in order to get there. I was right. I went to order ice-cream and coffee. The guy was taking too long, so I cancelled the ice-cream and joined her with a jug of hot coffee.

I looked at her, and thought: She is beautiful, thank you God for letting me live. An hour or so later and we were sitting next to each other watching the Simpsons Movie.

Afterwards she told me she’d had a good time, and then wished me luck with all my heart stuff. I got all the way home before I let myself blink away some water in my eyes.

Then I went to sleep.

Ren"dez*vous n. [Rare in the plural.] [F. rendez-vous, properly, render yourselves, repair to a place. See Render.]


A place appointed for a meeting, or at which persons customarily meet.

An inn, the free rendezvous of all travelers. Sir W. Scott.


Especially, the appointed place for troops, or for the ships of a fleet, to assemble; also, a place for enlistment.

The king appointed his whole army to be drawn together to a rendezvous at Marlborough. Clarendon.


A meeting by appointment.



Retreat; refuge.




© Webster 1913.


To assemble or meet at a particular place.


© Webster 1913.

Ren"dez*vous, v. t.

To bring together at a certain place; to cause to be assembled.



© Webster 1913.

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