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Re: Hey! A live one!
My mother was remembering thinks I never remembered! One of them is when
the mainframe at the new computer center across from IEC went down. It
was on a sunday and no one was around to fix it. For some reason they
called me, and I went to the center and brought the B6xxx back up from
being down. My mom got a call from UofD, she was the operations manager
for IEC and Chem Ed, asking how I know how to do that. She said she had
no idea what so ever, but that I was working at Delta and must have known
I also did work on Delta starting in my 9th year of high school. I
started using the teletype system at 300 baud and saving my programs on
the oil paper punch paper, using what seemed like hand towels for paper.
My first program was nothing but REM statements.... did not do too much!
I later starting actual programming stuff, and obtained permission to use
the room at Dupont Hall next to Delta. I remember going in there and
listening to the music they were playing on the PDP11 and playing with
the Turtle they had built. I also spent alot of time down in the lab
with the wave machine. At this time I was still in 9th grade. During
the summer between 9th and 10th, I was asked by Newark High School to
attend summer school to learn the Wang 2200 systems they were going to
purchase. During the summer, I spent all my spare time in the terminal
room at Dupont Hall as well as what time I could spend at Delta. I got
kicked off the system by Green when I hooked into the high speed paper
tape and send form feeds to it. The entire tray of tape emptied out all
over the floor around the console.
I think it was during this summer or 10th grade that I wrote a program
that randomally grabbed terminals (KBxx) and acted like a logon program.
It would then ask for the user name and password. It asked twice, gave
an error and disconnected leaving the terminal. The person entering the
user and password, just assumed they had miss keyed. It was at this time
I logged into a priv account and gained access to the system.
When the center moved into the smaller room in Dupont, which use to be
the terminal room, I was given a key to the room as well as priv access
to the system (it was common to give people priv access once security was
broke). I was able to retain keys and 24 hour access to this room as
well as both the room the second floor of Willard and the 011 in
Willard. I worked there with Ron and many others that are listed in the
history of Delta. As you walked into the room, you walked up a ramp, the
computer equipment was to the left, drives to the right, and
displays/terminals in the middle. Since I did not have a car, I would
ride my bike, walk, and hitch hike from White Clay Park near the MD
boarder to Dupont Hall. I spent a couple all nighters at Dupont Hall
working on programs that I do not even remember.
Radio Shack then delivered one of their first Trash 80's to Delta for
eval. I remember we were pretty impressed, but some us never really did
much on it. Once thing we liked to do was change all the error messages
so they would not say the normal 'File not Found', but instead things
like 'The Damn File is Missing", etc.etc.. We did get in trouble, when
someone forgot to replace the error messages and a demo was given on the
When we moved to the second floor of Hillard, I remember spending a
number of days at the church across the street. It was this time of year
that I also gained a key and access to the Lewis Marine Center where they
had a PDP11/05 RJE that I used to connect to Delta with. I remember
Brian, Ed and I spending alot of time at that building doing stuff during
the summer, when I was in Lewis with my parents.
I remember playing D&D at the church as well as writing programs on the
system to maintain our D&D characters.
A little while after we moved to to Hillard Hall, I was assigned either a
TI 700 or a LA36 to use offsite. Things like this were supplied to a few
of the people at Deltos, but was not allowed to be made public. This was
done in place of payment for work we were doing. After we moved into
011, I worked with Delta on the Jobs for Delaware Grads as one of the few
paid employees. It was at this time I had one of the HP CRT terminals
with the built in thermal printer in my bedroom at home. I used this to
connect to Delta and other systems. I was in on the initial meetings in
Dr Ufflemans office, going over the specs, database design and some of
the selection of tasks for the project. Dave was the creator of the
database structure, and Ed Jones and I worked from this, with Dave, on
the deveopment of the system. We used a number of the other non-paid
staff at Delta in the development of the system. By the way.... whatever
happened to this system????. My desk was located in 011 right when you
walked into the main room of 011. I will look in the attic, but I thing
I still have all my manuals, tapes, dec
tapes, etc from this timeframe. It also has my account numbers, copies
of programs, etc..
If was also at this time that Ed Boas would take us on the $50 lunches.
I always loved it when he asked me if I wanted to go to lunch. We would
end up in Atlantic City, Ocean City and other ports of call. I remember
going up about 4-5 times with him and greatly enjoyed it. The last time
I saw Ed and Penny was at their place on the water in MD. They had
already started to reproduce. SCARY!!
The other day I saw the box and almost dumped it, but Delta is where I
started my computer education and I owe alot to the people and the UofD
for giving me the ability to explore and enhance my knowledge. For this
I thank them greatly.
I wish to go on the record in thanking Ed Jones for all he put up with
and all he did in helping the "kids" of the Flying Circus grow in mind.
I know we burned the hell out of him, but it was a good time and he did
alot for us that many people will never know. He put he ass on the line
for me many times. I do miss the people and an GREATFUL that Bob has
taken the time to try and connect with everyone. Also, to Alan who has
worked on the history of Delta... although I am not sure any beer was
ever drunk at 011....... I think it was gulped! Go Ale!! The bear of
I remember many a night when Ed, Bob, Alan, Ernie, and Brian would go out
and get toasted, only to end up back at Delta working on stuff. Brian
reminded me of the night we had the car radio up so loud at an
intersection that we NEVER heard the fire engine getting ready to run us
over. At the last second we both looked back only to see an engine
getting ready to run up our butts! We both yelled, "OH SHIT" at the same
time and floored it into the intersetion. The engine missed up by not
more then 10-15 feet, but we did get through the light! There are a many
stores of things we did as a group and things we did one on one. It
would be great to hear of all the stories.
Hope we can get a reunion sometime and mabey we can get the UofD to put
on a Flying Circus Pack.. ;-)
Eitherway, please count me in.