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Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

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  • Anthony L. Eros
    Much to my wife s chagrin, I ve been collecting vintage computers since 1986, when a PDP-8/e and an ASR-33 started me thinking that it would be neat to have
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 23, 2009
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      Much to my wife's chagrin, I've been collecting vintage computers since 1986, when a PDP-8/e and an ASR-33 started me thinking that it would be neat to have one of every computer for which I'd ever written code.  I did nearly reach that goal, lacking only a System/370, though I do have a Hercules emulator.

      When my oldest daughter Casey was in middle school, her interest in writing led her to ask me for a computer to use.  I tried interesting her in one of my vintage systems.  I figured OS/8 or RSTS/E would be overkill, so my PDP-8 and the -11s were out.  I thought I'd start small.  "How about this DECmate?", I asked.  "Eeeeeww!  I'd really like a laptop, Daddy!!".  Okay...

      My Hyperion was also a non-starter, as was the Mac SE, even though I'd taken it on several cross-country trips and had a nifty travel case for it.  A Bondwell (my first "laptop") didn't even make it out of its bag.  Finally, she reluctantly agreed to use a "really old system" - a DEC HiNote Ultra: 75 Mhz 486 running Windows 95.  I guess her definition of vintage computing is a lot different than mine...  In truth though, she really was grateful to have the use of any computer at all.

      In February, writing under the pseudonym "Marian Watson", Casey submitted her novel, The House of Autumn, to Amazon's annual Breakthrough Novel Award competition.  Her submission was one of 10,000 entries.  After reading each of the entries, Amazon cut the field by 95%.  Last week, Casey got the word that she made the cut and is one of the quarterfinalists!

       

      Amazon is providing free downloads of excerpts of the quarterfinalist entries and encouraging the public to read and post their own reviews.  Since it's my job as a parent to brag on my kids' accomplishments, I feel compelled to pass along a pointer to Casey's excerpt:

       

      http://www.amazon.com/House-Autumn-Amazon-Breakthrough-Novel/dp/B001UG3C80/ref=br_lf_m_1000352101_2_39_ttl?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=books&pf_rd_p=471968571&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_i=1000352101&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0794HER1CV89Z7GWB9KH

       

      In the upper right-hand corner of the screen is a "Download for free" button that you can click to get the excerpt.

       

      If you get a chance, give Casey's novel excerpt a read and post a review - it's pretty good.  I'd like it even if it wasn't written by my daughter!! 

       

      -- Tony Eros

    • B Degnan
      ... Congrats Tony, good to hear from you. Bill Degnan
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 23, 2009
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        Amazon is providing free downloads of excerpts of the quarterfinalist entries and encouraging the public to read and post their own reviews.  Since it's my job as a parent to brag on my kids' accomplishments, I feel compelled to pass along a pointer to Casey's excerpt:

         

        http://www.amazon.com/House-Autumn-Amazon-Breakthrough-Novel/dp/B001UG3C80/ref=br_lf_m_1000352101_2_39_ttl?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=books&pf_rd_p=471968571&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_i=1000352101&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0794HER1CV89Z7GWB9KH

         

        In the upper right-hand corner of the screen is a "Download for free" button that you can click to get the excerpt.

         

        If you get a chance, give Casey's novel excerpt a read and post a review - it's pretty good.  I'd like it even if it wasn't written by my daughter!! 

         

        -- Tony Eros


        Congrats Tony, good to hear from you.
        Bill Degnan
      • Evan Koblentz
        You posted the * exact * same message on cctalk .... is your motive to contribute to MARCH s discussion list or purely to get votes for your daughter? ...
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 23, 2009
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          Message
          You posted the * exact * same message on cctalk .... is your motive to contribute to MARCH's discussion list or purely to get votes for your daughter?
           
          -----Original Message-----
          From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anthony L. Eros
          Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 7:59 PM
          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

          Much to my wife's chagrin, I've been collecting vintage computers since 1986, when a PDP-8/e and an ASR-33 started me thinking that it would be neat to have one of every computer for which I'd ever written code.  I did nearly reach that goal, lacking only a System/370, though I do have a Hercules emulator.

          When my oldest daughter Casey was in middle school, her interest in writing led her to ask me for a computer to use.  I tried interesting her in one of my vintage systems.  I figured OS/8 or RSTS/E would be overkill, so my PDP-8 and the -11s were out.  I thought I'd start small.  "How about this DECmate?", I asked.  "Eeeeeww!  I'd really like a laptop, Daddy!!".  Okay...

          My Hyperion was also a non-starter, as was the Mac SE, even though I'd taken it on several cross-country trips and had a nifty travel case for it.  A Bondwell (my first "laptop") didn't even make it out of its bag.  Finally, she reluctantly agreed to use a "really old system" - a DEC HiNote Ultra: 75 Mhz 486 running Windows 95.  I guess her definition of vintage computing is a lot different than mine...  In truth though, she really was grateful to have the use of any computer at all.

          In February, writing under the pseudonym "Marian Watson", Casey submitted her novel, The House of Autumn, to Amazon's annual Breakthrough Novel Award competition.  Her submission was one of 10,000 entries.  After reading each of the entries, Amazon cut the field by 95%.  Last week, Casey got the word that she made the cut and is one of the quarterfinalists!

           

          Amazon is providing free downloads of excerpts of the quarterfinalist entries and encouraging the public to read and post their own reviews.  Since it's my job as a parent to brag on my kids' accomplishments, I feel compelled to pass along a pointer to Casey's excerpt:

           

          http://www.amazon.com/House-Autumn-Amazon-Breakthrough-Novel/dp/B001UG3C80/ref=br_lf_m_1000352101_2_39_ttl?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=books&pf_rd_p=471968571&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_i=1000352101&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0794HER1CV89Z7GWB9KH

           

          In the upper right-hand corner of the screen is a "Download for free" button that you can click to get the excerpt.

           

          If you get a chance, give Casey's novel excerpt a read and post a review - it's pretty good.  I'd like it even if it wasn't written by my daughter!! 

           

          -- Tony Eros

        • Anthony L. Eros
          Evan - You re right, I did. What s my motive? I guess it s to duplicate the silly smile that s been on my face ever since my daughter told me her good news.
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 24, 2009
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            Evan -

            You're right, I did.  What's my motive?  I guess it's to duplicate the silly smile that's been on my face ever since my daughter told me her good news. 

            I realize it's not a real big thing in the great scheme of things, but it's a big deal to her; thus, it's a big deal to me too.  The intersection of ink and technology, Amazon being an online bookseller and all, had me reminiscing about my own personal intersection of my daughter's desire to write and my love of old computers when she first asked me for a computer of her own.  So, I chose to share my good news in part by recounting my reminiscences to folks who share my hobby.  I suppose I could have just posted to cctalk, but I didn't view the midatlanticretro list as a subset of classiccmp.  It never occurred to me that if I had information to share or a question to ask, that I needed to choose between the classiccmp and midatlanticretro lists.  Thank you for correcting my mistaken impression.  In my own defense, I'd like to point out that I didn't cross-post to cctech as well specifically because I _didn't_ want to send out duplicate messages.

            I apologize if you found my message offensive and I'm sorry for wasting valuable bandwidth.  Guess I'll go back to lurking now.

            Best regards,

            -- Tony

             

            ________________________________________

            From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Evan Koblentz
            Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 10:07 PM
            To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

            You posted the * exact * same message on cctalk .... is your motive to contribute to MARCH's discussion list or purely to get votes for your daughter?


          • evan@snarc.net
            Tony, My objection isn t your double posting, because MARCH and classiccmp are different entities. My objection is that your message is basically off-topic,
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 24, 2009
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              Tony,

              My objection isn't your double posting, because MARCH and classiccmp are different entities. My objection is that your message is basically off-topic, bordering on spam. We in MARCH tolerate some off-topicness if it's from a veteran of our group. I just think it's disingenuous to pop up once in three year (you last posted on MARCH in 2006) * purely * to go off-topic.

              On the other hand, when visiting Bill Degnan a couple of weekends ago, I mentioned that I wish you * would * become a "regular" in our group, participate in our VCF East, etc. ... it saddens me a bit knowing you're in our backyard and not involved.

              Then we might give you some on-list posting leniency. :)


              From: "Anthony L. Eros"
              Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 08:58:49 -0400
              To: <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag


              Evan -

              You're right, I did.  What's my motive?  I guess it's to duplicate the silly smile that's been on my face ever since my daughter told me her good news. 

              I realize it's not a real big thing in the great scheme of things, but it's a big deal to her; thus, it's a big deal to me too.  The intersection of ink and technology, Amazon being an online bookseller and all, had me reminiscing about my own personal intersection of my daughter's desire to write and my love of old computers when she first asked me for a computer of her own.  So, I chose to share my good news in part by recounting my reminiscences to folks who share my hobby.  I suppose I could have just posted to cctalk, but I didn't view the midatlanticretro list as a subset of classiccmp.  It never occurred to me that if I had information to share or a question to ask, that I needed to choose between the classiccmp and midatlanticretro lists.  Thank you for correcting my mistaken impression.  In my own defense, I'd like to point out that I didn't cross-post to cctech as well specifically because I _didn't_ want to send out duplicate messages.

              I apologize if you found my message offensive and I'm sorry for wasting valuable bandwidth.  Guess I'll go back to lurking now.

              Best regards,

              -- Tony

               

              ________________________________________

              From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Evan Koblentz
              Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 10:07 PM
              To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

              You posted the * exact * same message on cctalk .... is your motive to contribute to MARCH's discussion list or purely to get votes for your daughter?


            • evan@snarc.net
              Oops - that was supposed to be a private message. Sorry everyone! ... From: evan@snarc.net Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 13:10:20 To: Yahoo MARCH
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 24, 2009
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                Oops - that was supposed to be a private message. Sorry everyone!


                From: evan@...
                Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 13:10:20 +0000
                To: Yahoo MARCH Yahoo<midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

                Tony,

                My objection isn't your double posting, because MARCH and classiccmp are different entities. My objection is that your message is basically off-topic, bordering on spam. We in MARCH tolerate some off-topicness if it's from a veteran of our group. I just think it's disingenuous to pop up once in three year (you last posted on MARCH in 2006) * purely * to go off-topic.

                On the other hand, when visiting Bill Degnan a couple of weekends ago, I mentioned that I wish you * would * become a "regular" in our group, participate in our VCF East, etc. ... it saddens me a bit knowing you're in our backyard and not involved.

                Then we might give you some on-list posting leniency. :)


                From: "Anthony L. Eros"
                Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 08:58:49 -0400
                To: <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag


                Evan -

                You're right, I did.  What's my motive?  I guess it's to duplicate the silly smile that's been on my face ever since my daughter told me her good news. 

                I realize it's not a real big thing in the great scheme of things, but it's a big deal to her; thus, it's a big deal to me too.  The intersection of ink and technology, Amazon being an online bookseller and all, had me reminiscing about my own personal intersection of my daughter's desire to write and my love of old computers when she first asked me for a computer of her own.  So, I chose to share my good news in part by recounting my reminiscences to folks who share my hobby.  I suppose I could have just posted to cctalk, but I didn't view the midatlanticretro list as a subset of classiccmp.  It never occurred to me that if I had information to share or a question to ask, that I needed to choose between the classiccmp and midatlanticretro lists.  Thank you for correcting my mistaken impression.  In my own defense, I'd like to point out that I didn't cross-post to cctech as well specifically because I _didn't_ want to send out duplicate messages.

                I apologize if you found my message offensive and I'm sorry for wasting valuable bandwidth.  Guess I'll go back to lurking now.

                Best regards,

                -- Tony

                 

                ________________________________________

                From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Evan Koblentz
                Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 10:07 PM
                To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

                You posted the * exact * same message on cctalk .... is your motive to contribute to MARCH's discussion list or purely to get votes for your daughter?


              • Anthony L. Eros
                Evan - I have to say, I bristle more than a little at the characterization of my note as spam, even with the bordering on qualifier. Was is off-topic? I
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 24, 2009
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                  Evan -

                  I have to say, I bristle more than a little at the characterization of my note as spam, even with the "bordering on" qualifier.  Was is off-topic?  I suppose I can see how you could view it that way, though my reminiscing was genuine, and my memories of trying to interest my daughter in an old computer is what prompted me to post to classiccmp and midatlanticretro.  I'm on astronomy and woodworking lists as well, but it didn't occur to me to post to them, because I didn't see a connection.

                  Truth is, even though I don't post, I read almost every post to the list, every day, so I feel like I know you folks.  Of course, there's a problem.  I tend to forget that, without contributing to the conversation, I may know you, but you don't know me.  By the same token, I have old friends I haven't spoken with in a long time.  If I hear from one of them, I don't presume they're being disingenuous, or that they want something from me.  I take what they have to say at face value.  But, I can see where you're coming from, and certainly don't want to make anyone feel obligated to do anything.  If you feel like reading Casey's novel excerpt, that's cool.  If you like it and decide to post a review, that's great.  If you're just not into that sort of thing and don't even feel like reading my post, that's cool too.  Doesn't cost you anything more than a mouse click on the 'Next' link, and it doesn't bother me at all.

                  I understand that this is your list, Evan - other conversational threads over the last few weeks have made that abundantly clear.  Ironically, I have been giving serious thought to getting actively involved.  Your fundraising request is on my todo list; it's even in the top 10.  I didn't see the note as spam, I recognize the value of the information I get and want to provide active support.  I will do my best to keep my posts on-topic. 

                  Fair warning though, if my son makes Eagle Scout in a couple of years, I'll probably be posting a note remembering how we sat together wiring projects into an old Minivac 601 while we worked on his Computers merit badge.  I may even post it to both classiccmp and midatlanticretro.  With any luck though, it won't be the first time folks have heard from me in years.

                  -- Tony
                  ________________________________________

                  From: evan@...
                  Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 13:10:20 +0000
                  To: Yahoo MARCH Yahoo<midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                  Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag
                  Tony,

                  My objection isn't your double posting, because MARCH and classiccmp are different entities. My objection is that your message is basically off-topic, bordering on spam. We in MARCH tolerate some off-topicness if it's from a veteran of our group. I just think it's disingenuous to pop up once in three year (you last posted on MARCH in 2006) * purely * to go off-topic.

                  On the other hand, when visiting Bill Degnan a couple of weekends ago, I mentioned that I wish you * would * become a "regular" in our group, participate in our VCF East, etc. ... it saddens me a bit knowing you're in our backyard and not involved.

                  Then we might give you some on-list posting leniency. :)


                • Anthony L. Eros
                  Yikes! Didn t see this until I d already sent my reply to the list. Blast that autoforwarding from one email system to another...
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 24, 2009
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                    Yikes!  Didn't see this until I'd already sent my reply to the list.  Blast that autoforwarding from one email system to another...

                    ________________________________________

                    From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of evan@...
                    Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 9:19 AM
                    To: Yahoo MARCH Yahoo
                    Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

                    Oops - that was supposed to be a private message. Sorry everyone!


                  • Evan Koblentz
                    ... you folks. Of course, there s a problem. I tend to forget that, without contributing to the conversation, I may know you, but you don t know me. Right.
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 24, 2009
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                      Message
                      >>> I read almost every post to the list, every day, so I feel like I know you folks.  Of course, there's a problem.  I tend to forget that, without contributing to the conversation, I may know you, but you don't know me.
                       
                      Right.
                       
                      >>> I understand that this is your list, Evan
                       
                      No, it's not.  I happen to be the guy who was gullible enough to organize things when we got started in autumn 2004.  It evolved into something that I enjoy, but I don't "own" MARCH.  Like any other non-profit, it belongs to the members.
                       
                      >>> Ironically, I have been giving serious thought to getting actively involved.  Your fundraising request is on my todo list; it's even in the top 10.  I didn't see the note as spam, I recognize the value of the information I get and want to provide active support.  I will do my best to keep my posts on-topic. ... With any luck though, it won't be the first time folks have heard from me in years.
                       
                      I hope you follow through with all of that.   :)
                       
                       
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anthony L. Eros
                      Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 10:33 AM
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

                      Evan -

                      I have to say, I bristle more than a little at the characterization of my note as spam, even with the "bordering on" qualifier.  Was is off-topic?  I suppose I can see how you could view it that way, though my reminiscing was genuine, and my memories of trying to interest my daughter in an old computer is what prompted me to post to classiccmp and midatlanticretro.  I'm on astronomy and woodworking lists as well, but it didn't occur to me to post to them, because I didn't see a connection.

                      Truth is, even though I don't post, I read almost every post to the list, every day, so I feel like I know you folks.  Of course, there's a problem.  I tend to forget that, without contributing to the conversation, I may know you, but you don't know me.  By the same token, I have old friends I haven't spoken with in a long time.  If I hear from one of them, I don't presume they're being disingenuous, or that they want something from me.  I take what they have to say at face value.  But, I can see where you're coming from, and certainly don't want to make anyone feel obligated to do anything.  If you feel like reading Casey's novel excerpt, that's cool.  If you like it and decide to post a review, that's great.  If you're just not into that sort of thing and don't even feel like reading my post, that's cool too.  Doesn't cost you anything more than a mouse click on the 'Next' link, and it doesn't bother me at all.

                      I understand that this is your list, Evan - other conversational threads over the last few weeks have made that abundantly clear.  Ironically, I have been giving serious thought to getting actively involved.  Your fundraising request is on my todo list; it's even in the top 10.  I didn't see the note as spam, I recognize the value of the information I get and want to provide active support.  I will do my best to keep my posts on-topic. 

                      Fair warning though, if my son makes Eagle Scout in a couple of years, I'll probably be posting a note remembering how we sat together wiring projects into an old Minivac 601 while we worked on his Computers merit badge.  I may even post it to both classiccmp and midatlanticretro.  With any luck though, it won't be the first time folks have heard from me in years.

                      -- Tony

                    • Jim Scheef
                      Tony, You obviously are very proud of your daughter s accomplishment - and justifiably so! Actually writing anything that can be called a novel is nothing to
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 25, 2009
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                        Tony,

                        You obviously are very proud of your daughter's accomplishment - and
                        justifiably so! Actually writing anything that can be called a novel is
                        nothing to sniff at and having it recognized as "good" is more than
                        fabulous.

                        Jim

                        Anthony L. Eros wrote:
                        >
                        > Yikes! Didn't see this until I'd already sent my reply to the list.
                        > Blast that autoforwarding from one email system to another...
                        >
                        > ________________________________________
                        >
                        > From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        > <mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                        > [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of evan@...
                        > <mailto:evan@...>
                        > Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 9:19 AM
                        > To: Yahoo MARCH Yahoo
                        > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Vintage computing, relativity, and an
                        > obligatory parent brag
                        >
                        > Oops - that was supposed to be a private message. Sorry everyone!
                        >
                        >
                        >
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