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Gary's Recollections of Delta


Here are some of my recollections of Project Delta.  Let me know if my
does a bizzare job of formatting this and I'll try re-sending it.  I've
notice that when
people reply to my e-mail it sometimes looks very strange.  I'm using the
evil empire's
Outlook Express.

     o In late 1971 I met Ron Dozier at Alexis I. DuPont High School, and he
told me
        about the computer room with the two ASR-33 teletypes connected to
        Delta.  If not for Ron I may never have found Delta.  Ron and I
spent a lot of time
        doing Delta related things together, such as going to the University
on Friday nights
        and attending Dave Robinson's class.  I remember working on a
program with Ron
        called MATEDIT that was used to edit virtual arrays.

     o I got quite hooked on Delta, spending an enormous amount of time
reading and
        writing BASIC-PLUS programs.  I particularly enjoyed studying Clark
        programs.  I always learned a lot from his code.

     o In the Fall of 1972, Ron Dozier, Alex Wei, and myself signed up for
        Robinson's computer class for high school students.  During this
time I met
        Jodie Hobson and the famous George Robbins of "George's RSTS-11"
        I learned to program in PDP-8 assembly language.  I remember
listening to
       Jethro Tull and Emerson Lake and Palmer on the reel-to-reel tape deck
that was
       in the rack with the PDP-8.

     o I spent the summer of 1973 converting HP BASIC programs to BASIC-PLUS
        the Delta library.  I was allowed to go to Delta one day a week, and
spent the rest
        of the week at home coverting the code with pencil and paper.  I
converted about
        12 programs that summer, which was a record for all the students
        involved in that activity.  I wanted to prove my worth to Teresa so
that she would
        give me more access to Delta.

     o Around this time, when Delta was in Room 248 DuPont Hall, Ron D. and
I were
        allowed to borrow an ASR-33 teletype and connect it to Delta via the
pay phone and
        an acoustic coupler in the hallway.  If my memory is right, I
believe it was Linda Ruff
        that supervised our use of the teletype.  We weren't allowed to be
physically in the
        room with the computer, but we could use the teletype in the
hallway.  It was funny,
        on most nights, the payphone would return the dime we used to make
the call,
        even though the call lasted 3-4 hours in duration.

     o In the fall of 1973, I took over responsibility for Alexis I's
science programs from
        Clark Baker.  These were programs written for use in Gary
Dunkleberger's and
        Ruth Smith's science classes.  They basically administered a
pre-test before
        each Chemistry lab, and then a post-test after the lab.  As I recall
there were
        five programs, QUIZ, PEOPLE, ITEM, and two that I can't remember.
       was the program the student's ran, PEOPLE was used by the teachers to
       remove, and otherwise edit student records, and ITEM did statistical
       It was quite an honor to take over responsibility for code that Clark
had written.

    o Starting sometime in 1973, Ron Dozier and I were allowed to work at
Delta on
       Friday nights as long as either Clark or Ed were there.  I spent most
of my time
       making endless modifications to the AI programs at Dunkleberger's
       Sometime during this period (it may have been the 1974-1975 school
year) Clark
       went to MIT and came back several times on holidays.  He introduced
me to LISP
      concepts in the form of a BASIC-PLUS program that did symbolic
      This was one of the coolest programs I had ever seen at the time.

   o During the summer of 1974  I taught a BASIC-PLUS class for two middle
      school students (including Andy Cardinal).  I also taught an adult ed.
course at
      AI on programming BASIC.

   o In the 1974-1975 school year I was paid by Alexis I. to develop a set
of programs to
      process a survey they were doing of all the parents and teachers in
the AI school
      district.  I was responsible not only for the code, but running all
the forms through the
      OPSCAN machine at Delta.  Boy, what a chore that was.  I remember one
day I had
      boxes full of scan forms in the trunk of my car, and I parked in the
parking lot at
      DuPont hall.  When I opened the trunk, a big gust of wind hit, and
scan forms went
      flying all over the parking lot.  I spent all afternoon chasing after
scan forms in the
      parking lot.

   o My very conservative parents allowed me to stay at the University on
Friday nights
      until late at night (like around midnight) because they knew I was
into geeky stuff,
     and wouldn't get into trouble.  This all came to an end when the
streaking fad started.
     There was a big streaking event at the Deer Park and the Police
established a
     curfew.  This freaked my parents, and there were no more late nights at
the U of D
     for me (at least until I went to school there).

   o In 1975 I graduated from AI DuPont HS, and started studying EE at the
      of Delaware.  It was at this time that I was offered a paying job with
Delta and was
      given a [1,*] account.   Teresa cautioned me not to spend too much
time catering
      to Ruth Smith and Gary Dunkleberger because there were other more
      things to work on.

   o During the summer of 1975, I worked with Jon Taylor on a database
program for
      use with the College of Education.  It was an interesting program, not
      did it implement a small relational database, it also used some crude
AI techniques
      to guide the user on how to make queries.  The purpose of the program
was to teach
      the concepts of databases to non-computer people.

   o Sometime around 1976 I was asked to work on developing a set of
programs for
      Ed Boas in the College of Education.  I was given this task because it
was thought
      that the AI QUIZ program might fit the bill.  As it turned out there
were some
      similarities, but not much code could be re-used.  BASIC-PLUS with its
lack of
      procedures, local variables, etc.  made it impossible to re-use the

   o During this time (around 1976) Dan Grim and the other Grad students
were working
      on developing the concentrator for down state access.  Dan Grim was
      person that I looked up to.   Dan Grim was the ultimate expert on
everything related
      to RSTS, PDP-11s, PDP-8s, DecSystem 10s, and probably everything else
      to computers and computing.

   o Sometime around 1976 Teresa and I went to Philadelphia to visit a
company that
      had a bibliographic database.  This database was updated weekly (I
think) and
      contained publication information for a huge number of professional
journals and
      other sources.  Teresa asked me to write a BASIC-PLUS program that
      scan this database by title, author, and subject, etc.  The goal was
to allow students
      to search and locate articles on a wide range of subjects.   Dave
Robinson told me
      about height balanced AVL trees as a way to do this.  Dan Grim was
      responsible for overseeing my work.   There was only one problem.  One
      worth of updates amounted to about 40MB of data, and a single RP03
could only
      store 80MB.  I never got very far with this project, and it was
ultimately dropped.

   o Sometime around 1976/1977, Aron Insinga and I became the principal
       maintaining and running the RSTS system.  I believe Dan had received
his PhD
       and moved on to the computing center.  I remember being responsible
       upgrading to V06B, and all the turmoil it caused.   The nice terminal
       handling features Dan, et. al. had put in were no longer available.

    o Also, in the summer of 1976 the EE department purchased a PDP-11/70
       started running Unix.  This was my first exposure to Unix.  I
remember Dan wrote
       a BASIC-PLUS program that could read Unix filesystems.  I used this
program and
       another program to generate a complete listing of all the Unix V6
sources to print
       on the Xerox printer in the computing center.  The complete printout
was an entire
       box of paper.  I had that box for many years until I finally decided
it was worthless.
       I kept the listing of the Kernel, however.

    o According to my recollection, the split between Teresa Green and
Project Delta
       happened shortly before the summer of 1977.  Aron and I were the only
       people remaining from Teresa's era.  Teresa encouraged both Aron and
I to
       leave, and join Dan at the computing center.  Aron and I worked with
Dan, and
       were there when the computing center opened a new building on ???
       I believe the last time I was paid by Delta was spring 1977 just
before I went to the
       computing center.  I was still attached to Delta though, and ended up
       spending a lot of time there my Junior year (1977-1978) even though I
was not
       paid.  Ed Boas had told me that Aron and I really left them in the
lurch when we
      quit, but Walter Mahla and Dave Haislett had filled the void.  I don't
believe Aron
      ever went back.

    o I was one of the few people that experienced Project Delta both during
and after
       Teresa's tenure.  I was never a paid staff member after Teresa's
tenure, but I did
       maintain friendships with many of the people that were involved
afterwards.  This
       included Ed Jones, Stan Cobb, Alan Flippen, Dave Haislett, Walter
Mahla, Ron
       Dozier, Anne Dreisler, Tony Eros, Ernie Perez, and others.  Some of
these folks
      even visited me at the University of Maryland when I went to Graduate
school there.

    o In my Senior year at Delaware (1978-1979) I got a job working for the
       department under the direction of Ed Szurkowski (a Grad student)
doing Unix
       system programming.  At this time Delta had moved to the Education
building, and
       I stopped spending much time there.   I remember writing a tape
archive program
       for Unix that I called "tar" which actually predated the "tar" of
Unix V7.  (My brother
       found a bunch of old tapes at the UofD in the late 1980s that were in
the format
       that my "tar" program used.)

    o Also, during 1978-1979 I got a paying job from Teresa doing some
consulting for
       Lincoln University.  As I recall, I spent time teaching her people at
Lincoln on the
       ins and outs of RSTS.  I have fond memories of driving to Lincoln
University listening
       to WSTW which had just changed from Easy Listening to Top 40.   (For
those that
       don't know, my other passion, besides computers, is radio

    o In the summer of 1979, I went to the University of Maryland to study
       Science in Graduate School.  My last visit to Project Delta was the
winter break
       of 1980.  I wrote a tiny-C like compiler in BASIC-PLUS for RSTS.  My
goal was to
       write a tiny-C that could be used to write RSTS run-time systems.  I
never finished
       the run-time system part, but did get it to successfully generate
       programs that could be run under RT-11.

    o In 1984, I graduated from the University of Maryland, and started
working at
       IBM Federal Systems, and it's succesor companies, Loral and now
       Martin.  I've spent the last 14 years specializing in computer and
network security.  I
       was the architect of B2 Secure XENIX (a secure version of Unix
targetted to the
      DoD market.), and AIX B1/CMW (a secure version of IBM's AIX, again for
the DoD
      market.)   I also dabbled in OS/2 development for IBM, and was the
security architect
      for IBM's Warp for PowerPC operating system that was ultimately
cancelled.  I'm
      now involved in Lockheed Martin's IT consulting and services business,
and focus
      on Internet security.  Along the way I've received two patents, one
for a trusted path
      mechanism in AIX, and another for a single sign-on product that I
developed for
      Loral.  I also have two patents pending related to a Java security
product that I
      developed over the last several years.

Regards, Gary