Vehicles

The Old Orange Truck

Chevy C-10 Pickup My Dad bought this Chevy C-10 Pickup brand-new in 1970 for about $3300. This picture was taken on the day that I sold it, non-running, in October 1993, to some guy up in Turner's Falls for $75 who wanted to tinker with it over the winter. If anyone could get it running again, he could, but I have no illusions that he actually did. It was just too far gone. This vehicle is definitely a case of "If cars could talk, oh, the stories they would tell", as it encompassed and witnessed no small number of the major events in my life.

The Yellow Car

The Yellow Car This was the first car that we bought from a dealer. It is a 1982 Toyota Corolla that we got in 1986, and it lasted (more or less intact) until this day (November 7, 1992) when we sold it back as trade in on a newer model. The "salamander" paint job is because the bottom edges of both doors rusted away, and I repaired them by filling with fibreglass -- the paint wasn't quite a match. The repair job got us through one more year.....

Fish

18 Pound Steelhead

Bill and Fish This is out in front of the house in Oregon where I grew up, taken in January 1981 while I was on winter vacation from my first year as a Ph.D. student at UMass. Dad and I both got our limit of two fish that day, and this one took nearly an hour to land. We had boats stacked up river behind us all that time. The boat is a special type, called a "Rogue River drift boat", designed to be highly maneuverable on the narrow streams of western Oregon. People who look at this picture often comment: "That's quite a beast... ...with the fish".

Devices

The Solar Powered Hot Dog Cooker (well, Hot Dog Warmer)

Bill and Hot Dog Cooker This was my summer 1978 sanity project. Built out of aluminum bars, offset printer's press plates, ice-picks, and two-by-fours, this machine had its first trial run at a park on the south coast of Oregon, near Bandon. The hot dogs did get warm enough to eat, but western Oregon is not what you would call a great place for testing solar power equipment...

Much to her disgust, the cooker has been sitting in Mom's garden shed since that summer.

Incidentally, I am not wearing a gun at my hip. That is a Hewlett-Packard HP-45 calculator (nerd to the core). Ask me sometime about the time I pulled it on a Scranton, PA city cop (not intentionally, mind you)...

The Infamous Teletype

Picture of ASR-35 Teletype Most of you whippersnappers are too young to remember the days back before PC's when people used mechanical devices to encode and decode digital signals. (And I had to walk five miles to school, up hill, both ways!) The teletype was a keyboard and printer that communicated at 10 (ten) characters per second (in contrast to the thousands of characters per second today). I bought this ASR-35 from the uncle of my (then) fiancee for $150 back in 1982 and used it for a while, but eventually it became a large living room ornament (weighing in at about 200 pounds). When she finally stated (around 1990) that either it went out the door or she would plant geraniums in it, I found a guy up in Greenfield who would take it off my hands. A friend and I loaded it into the back of a truck and drove it up there -- when we walked in the door of the house to discover a terminal in the kitchen, and the guy's father (he still lived with his folks) said to put the teletype in the living room next to the bookcase, we knew that we had found a good home for it!

Institutional Incompetence

Phone Company Wiring

Telephone pole behind Indiana apartment This picture shows the telephone pole behind my apartment in Lafayette, Indiana, during my studies for a Master's degree in Computer Science at Purdue University (1977-1980). At that time, there were not enough copper wire pairs to accommodate everyone who wanted a private telephone in that part of town. The telephone company (GTE) had to install these little multiplexer boxes in the apartment and on the pole so that two people could share a single line, theoretically without interfering with each other. When the multiplexers worked (the technician had to install four before he found one that did), the lines were incredibly noisy. Running a computer terminal at 30 characters per second (300 baud) over one of these noisy telephone lines was an exercise in "two steps forward and one step back", as the line noise tended to erase most of the characters as they were being typed. I have always been amused at this picture of the rat's nest of telephone lines: it is amazing that I had phone service at all!

Back to Dr. Bill's Home Page