Bacon, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives

Archive for the ‘Some People’s Children’ Category

Slightly more on the Aldridge plinth

Sandy Aldridge has died. It was by her intervention that I got to attend South, which had computer classes that were more than “learn to type”, instead of North, which didn’t. She also handed me my high school diploma on stage and wished me luck, which appears to have been overall in my favor, so far.

I’m not sure what this means WRT the plinth.

Written by Ry Jones

10 May 2015 at 12:38

Sacred duty to maintain the Aldridge Plinth

Arden said she had replaced the mailbox at the Aldridge home when she was working in Indiana a couple years ago. I told her I’d replaced it when I was in high school in the 80s, and she now has to inform her first child “like my father before me, and his father before him, I have maintained the Aldridge Mailbox, a sacred duty, and in twenty five years or so you must return to our ancestral home and make sure it is in good form”

Looked at it on street view, it’s been moved across the driveway, and built to better specifications.


I think it’s more of a plinth now. Not sure what the next evolution might be.

Written by Ry Jones

4 May 2015 at 22:41

Setting the record straight: Mark Slackmeyer operated a PDP-112 in July, 1972

I was looking for a comic I remembered from my childhood – in fifth or sixth grade I bought a rubber stamp I was so inspired by it, so that bound the search a little. I searched the internet for possible publication dates, and it is widely reported that Mark Slackmeyer got a job programming (or operating, depending on which version you find) a DEC PDP 11/70 in May of 1971. I looked at every single Doonesbury comic from the start of publication until I found the actual set of strips – 28-JUNE-1972 (mention of the matchbook cover text), job starting 01-JULY-1972, continuing on 03-JULY (where he’s dealing with a PDP-112), 04-JULY, 05-JULY (mention of the matchbook and salary of $7300 a year as an operator, $41k inflation adjusted to 2015 dollars; he’s actually paid $1 an hour, or $2080 annually), 06-JULY, 07-JULY (in which Slackmeyer uses the still-common debugging technique of screaming), ending 08-JULY when Mark fights a threading problem with a tape drive. I’ll point out there was no PDP-112, but PDP 7 serial #112 is famous for being preserved. I don’t know the source of the widely (PDP 11, 1998) repeated (11/70, 1990 Usenet post) error, but I hope this post starts showing up higher in results than the wrong claim.

The strip for 02-JULY does mention a now-common technology. I’ll note Slackmeyer did have an undisclosed job at his dad’s brokerage in 1971 for a single day, and he does mention IBM in that story arc, but only as an equity, not a product he’s using.

I found a book review:

Throughout the book, the famous 
comic strip character Doonesbury 
and his friend, Mark, marvel at the 
many wonders of the computer. A 
newspaper ad for computer operators 
convinces them that they have found 
their true vocation in life. "Earn 
$7,000, impress your friends. MEET 

from September, 1976. repeated verbatim in the February, 1977 issue of BYTE.

I think:

"Earn $7,000, impress your friends. MEET GIRLS"

is my new motto.

Written by Ry Jones

3 April 2015 at 21:34

Domo arigato, Shikkoku sama

Shikkoku, named for the anime character, was put down this morning at about 10:30. I stayed with him until the very end – as he had been my nearly constant companion for twelve years, I could not leave him alone to die. He was truly more sinned against than sinning. His last day, I stopped the insulin injections and fed him full cans of cat food for every meal.

Shikkoku is annoyed
Picture 070


Written by Ry Jones

4 November 2014 at 22:56