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Re: The era's of Delta

> Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:58:11 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Ron Dozier <dozier@udel.edu>
> To: deltoids@mcws.net
> Subject: The era's of Delta
> Exact order is rather fuzzy, but nonetheless this is what I remember.

Everyone sort of has "what they heard about, where they were involved
and someting happened after they left"...

-3) Timesharing on IBM 1130 (Education Department???)  A *SLOW* basic
	intepreter that required pauses while reading in programs from
	paper tape - I only heard about this one.

-2) Hosted on the Universities Educational Services B5500 timesharing
	system which was orginally in 360 DuPont (the original computer
	center before Smith Hall, before the new one was built.  This
	is when I became a "user" though I had no idea that "Delta"
	was involved.  The system really couldn't deal with the extra
	load from N high-schools and Teresa had to move on.

-1) Hosted on a DEC Edusystem-20 (PDP-8L) loaner at DICE while waiting for
	RSTS to be hatched.  This was a dumb, memory only BASIC interpreter
	system, which sucked big-time after the B5500 which had files,
	Basic, Algol, and Fortran available.

This is the timeframe when HS students first got involved.  There were
some organizational meetings and some of the students who'd been using
the 8L lucked out, heard about it and got involved.  The 11/20 was
coming soon and DEC people handed out some scrawny PDP-11/20 manuals
that were full of strange and erotic information.

> 1) At Larch avenue in Newport DE under the guise of "George's RSTS-11
>      system" and 11/20 with 16 users.  George Robins, Ed Baker, Clark
>      Baker, Theresa Green, Debbie Persoleo (Gary and I visted here)

The PDP-11/20 had all of 28K-bytes of memory, most of which was occupied
by the basic incremental compiler interpreter and OS (it was supposed to
be 16 or 24K, but things bloated) - user programs were swapped in and out
of the ~8K available...  Two 256K-byte "hard disks" which were backed on
"DECtapes" per.  Later we added an RK05 removable disk drive that was
good for about 2.5M-bytes.  This orginal software RSTS 2A-20, was really
buggy and DEC had to send software guys down from Maynard to analyze
the crashes.   They brought source listings, which we looked though and
because we were able to help in debugging, Teresa was able to get DEC
to give us source *listings* in that timeframe.  We also did a little
patching to disable/privelige things like the "kill all" sys function
and re-wrote/feature-creeped-to-hell some of the utilities which were
in Basic-Plus.

George Berry was the project manager/educational systems guy - he later
went on to edit the Creative Computing magazine if I remember.  Nate
Teicholtz(sp?) was the software architecht that made RSTS-11 something
more than just a basic interpreter - it was a real OS, with devices
and a filesystem and later, additional run-time systems and hardware
protection allowed multi-language stuff.  Mark Bramhall was the reigning
RSTS software guy at DEC.

Wayne Gaskell was the DEC field engineer - I still remember him coming
in from a party or dragging a girl-friend to fix something that broke.
Sandy Zimmany was the DEC sales person, she didn't believe that students
could/should be involved, but I guess Theresa got around her pretty well.

> 2) Transistion between Larch avenue and 240 DuPont in the EE
>     department Harold Bellis, "Harold's RSTS-11 system", Ed Baker, Clark
>     Baker, Debbie Persoleo

I (George Robbins) was actually involved thru the summer of 1972 - which
included the move to 240 DuPont and I actually specificied the details
of the 11/50.  That year was one of those "a lifetime" seasons, where my
life centered around DuPont hall.  I wrecked one of the family cars going
home from an over-night hacking session late summer and then didn't get
admitted to the UofD becuase I'd skipped too many Gym classes playing with
computers or hanging in the "Chess Club/Library" at school.  Clark also
"defected" by going to MIT instead of to the UofD and I pretty much lost
touch, though I did a litle time work for Teresa after the 11/50 came in.

Clark apparently only worked summers after that, though his younger
brother Ed was muchly involved...

It should be mentioned that there were also a group of High School students
who were hanging around DuPont hall that we're directly Delta associated
during those early years.  Dave Robinson had been running a Thursday evening
computer/EE seminar for HS students and they had more or less free run of
DuPont hall at times.  This group was included early Delta users and folks
who'd had a brief fling with Delta, but didn't meet Teresa's standards.
Dan Grim was "God in Residence at the EE Lab" during during this period.
I guess this activity had pretty much died off by the time that Delta
moved from 240 up to 360 (which had originally been the UofD computer
center before Smith Hall, BTW), and it was getting harder for Joe HS to
get into DuPont and 360 on a regular basis.  We weren't saints after all...

> Upgrade to PDP 11/50

> 3) The transition to EE (360 duPont hall) Theresa Green, Dan Grim,
>       Eric Nystrum, Linda Olshewski (sp), Dave Olshewski, Rich Burchinal,
>       Ron Dozier, Sherry Roland, Doris Reilly, Dave Robinson,
>       Gary Luchenbaugh, Dave Haislett, Clark Baker, Ed Baker,
>       Linda Ruff
> I actually got in a car accident the night Theresa Green started
> destroying aff of Delta's Magtapes.  She went to Lincoln University.

She was the director of their "computer center", which was another
PDP-11/70.  Some ex-Delta folks provided help up there (it's 13 miles
up Rt. 896, not in Lincon NE).  Not sure how all that ended up - there
was a lot of politics involved.  I did some part time work for her there,
but drifted away pretty soon, being busy with other things and problems.

> 4) Transision to Education/ move to 358 dupont. Ed Boas, Ed Jones era.

Naming names is probably an important thing - nobody remembers everyone
who was involved, just their friends/mentors/enemies.  If everyone comes
up with more names, the list can probably be widened considerably.