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Re: [cosmacelf] Tom Swan Update

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  • bill rowe
    Great - thks for posting it. Sent from my iPhone
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 20, 2013
      Great - thks for posting it.

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 2013-04-19, at 11:23 PM, "William Donnelly" <william@...> wrote:


      Tom's busy traveling right now, but he hasn't forgotten us.

      He sent me the e-mail below at my Yahoo e-mail address and I just now saw it.

      I'm pretty sure this is different from the other e-mails he sent.

      There is some good info down in there.
      I did a search for the "PIPS for VIPS" books and they seem to be non-existent.

      Tom sold about 3,500 copies of P'sGtt1802. I wonder where they all are now...

      I just convinced someone to sell me a copy for $50, which I can't afford, but
      it's probably the only chance I would ever have at getting an original.

      ----- Forwarded Message -----
      From: tomswan1802 <privacy>
      To: whd_whd_whd <privacy>
      Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2013 6:36 AM
      Subject: Re: Programmer's Guide to the 1802

      Hello to everybody in the Cosmac Elf group! I'm alive and well, still crazy after all these years (thank you P Simon), and happy to have found this group, thanks to Matt and Ray who wrote to me recently via my web site www.tomswan.com.

      I haven't read through the thread of messages about my book, Programmer's Guide to the 1802, so the following details are off the cuff and incomplete, but perhaps these notes will answer some questions:

      1. I had originally assigned the rights to Hayden Book Company when they offered me a contract for the manuscript. That company was sold to Howard W Sams (later to become IDG Books, then Hungry Minds), which picked up my contract for another book I had written, Mastering Turbo Pascal. (That one became an international best seller.) Sams did not pick up the contract for the 1802 book, which by then had gone out of print. The copyright to the material at that point therefore reverted to me. There was no agent involved. End result: I own the copyright to the Programmers Guide to the 1802 and I am free to do anything I want with the material.

      2. I am interested in making the book available, in ebook form of some kind (pdf probably), for download via my web site. I'll look into this. Probably, I would not charge for the product, but that will depend on whether there is cost for the conversion. I'm thinking as I type here, but perhaps it could be distributed via a form of the GNU license? I'd want it to be done right, not just a quick scan, and will appreciate any advice on this.

      3. I was paid a $500 advance for the manuscript, and I recall the book sold around 3,500 copies, earning me some royalties. Nothing to sneeze at -- not even to blink really -- but satisfying enough for a struggling author!

      4. I wrote the Programmer's Guide in pencil on cheap newsprint, since I couldn't afford typing paper except for the finished ms. I was living in Taxco Mexico where I had moved in order to save money while I attempted to kickstart my writing career. I had been struggling for two years with only a single $75 sale to Popular Mechanics magazine.

      4.1. Being poor is a great life teacher. Rice and beans is still one of my favorite meals!

      5. My first more significant sales in those years were three COSMAC books titled PIPS for VIPS, published by Aresco in Columbia MD. These books contained programs I wrote in Chip-8 for the COSMAC. I have copies of all of these books, and even a cassette tape from one of them, and I'd be interested in making this material available as well. I have no way to play the tape, however.

      Well, that's all I can think of for now. Sorry for the long message, but again, thanks for "finding" me. I didn't even know I was lost ;) ! I am currently traveling so I don't have access to the 1802 book, but I still have a few copies at home and I will read through the text as soon as I can.

      I'll check back here daily more or less. Hello again and many thanks for all your interest in my book!

      Tom Swan

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