Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Those who cannot forget the past are condemned to remember it.
--Jane Ace
I have encountered many interesting people, machines, and software systems since I was first introduced to a computer in 1959, and have been involved in some interesting situations. I've been encouraged by friends to write some of these down.

At present I have neither the time nor the ambition to organize these memories into a book, as Severo Ornstein did in Computing in the Middle Ages: A View from the Trenches 1955-1983, or even to write structured memoirs, like Per Brinch Hansen's A Programmer's Story and Lynn Conway's Retrospective--although I admire them all and commend them to your attention. This collection is closer in spirit to Multicians, but I am using Blogger to handle the housekeeping.

I plan to post memories incrementally, in the form of a blog that contains anecdotes and historical context from my past, rather than the kind of day-to-day concerns contained in my contemporary blog, Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be.

There will not necessarily be any chronological order to my posts.

I will try to explain in modern terms any period jargon that I use. Several of my stories will involve the Bendix G-15D computer, and will probably make more technical sense if you understand the rudiments of its architecture.

My intent is to be as accurate as memory allows, but not to attempt to compete with scholarly journals such as IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, either in fact-checking or in documentation ("just the good stuff").

I welcome corrections or amplifications from readers whose knowledge or documentation is more complete than my own--or that supplements it. If you have comments, please email me and/or post comments on particular blog entries. I may go back and update previous entries in the light of new information or the remembrance of something else relevant.

Enjoy! (If you please.)