Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag

Vernon Wright vern4wright at
Mon Mar 23 22:07:12 CDT 2009

Congratulations to you and to Casey. You can tell yourself that she would have done it without your computer...and always wonder.

I'll look and maybe give a review.

But we always love to see new talent among the young.

Vern Wright

--- On Mon, 3/23/09, Anthony L. Eros <tony.eros at> wrote:

> From: Anthony L. Eros <tony.eros at>
> Subject: Vintage computing, relativity, and an obligatory parent brag
> To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at>
> Date: Monday, March 23, 2009, 4:34 PM
> 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:
> 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


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