What Most Schools Don’t Teach (video link)

^— I love this video. It speaks to me…

I’m dating myself here for sure but my very first program was written on an HP-91 in 1976.



This was cool but I didn’t really get hooked until playing Adventure on a PDP-8 my parent’s next door neighbors had set up in their living room. Four roommates lived next door to us and they all worked for Dave Cutler at DEC (two of them I think were hardware guys working on the VAX, the other two software guys working on VMS). In exchange for walking their dog, they let me play occasionally.


Later Dad came home with a Z-80 powered Northstar Horizon II running CP/M. They just don’t make computers with wooden covers these days 🙂

Northstar Horizon Z-80 PC running CP/M (~1978)

Northstar Horizon Z-80 PC running CP/M (~1978)

Dad pulled a shrewd move: on the same day he brought home the Northstar, he took our TV to the dump and gave it away.

Later I had the privilege of attending Saint Mark’s School in Southborough, MA where my love of computers consumed me: Edson De Castro’s daughter was in my class and although he was the chairman of Data General, he donated a brand new DEC PDP-11/23+PLUS to the school and if I wasn’t in class, I was in the computer room. It was typical to see me walking through the center of Southborough in the early 1980’s proudly carrying my RL02 disk 🙂

DEC PDP11-23+

DEC PDP11-23+

I don’t think there have been too many days since then that I haven’t spent some portion of a day in front of computer typing. Not all addictions are bad 🙂


About Chris Russell

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