Remnant of Paradise Continued by ~@~

Computer History Continued

The End of the InterTubes

Most folks, who 'actually know me' (these are old non-working addresses):

(to list a few under that 'handle'), have heard I've been preparing, for years, to "drop out" of the Internet; however, very few know why, and that is what this story is about.

Down the road, there is going to be a battle over control of the Internet. Although I feel qualified to help, I'm not playing, and here is the reason why, on two levels.

Level One: History leans towards the rich, not the creative.

A lot of alleged facts about the birth and growth of microcomputer technology in the United States are based on omission.

For example, I have asked a large number of people who was responsible for electricity we use. The answer received was, "Thomas Edison," which is a corporate lie and the wrong answer. The real answer is Nikola Tesla.

Tesla is best known for his many revolutionary contributions to the discipline of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and early 20th century. Tesla's patents and theoretical work formed the basis of modern alternating current electric power (AC) systems, including the polyphase power distribution systems and the AC motor, with which he helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution. Contemporary biographers of Tesla have deemed him "the man who invented the twentieth century" and "the patron saint of modern electricity."

After his demonstration of wireless communication (radio) in 1893 and after being the victor in the "War of Currents", he was widely respected as America's greatest electrical engineer. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. During this period, in the United States, Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture, but due to his eccentric personality and unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist. Never having put much focus on his finances, Tesla died impoverished at the age of 86.

Thomas Edison was one of many corporate pigs who stole Tesla's work.

During his employment, Edison offered Tesla $50,000 (equivalent to about $1 million in 2006, adjusted for inflation) if he redesigned Edison's inefficient motor and generators, an improvement in both service and economy.] Tesla said he worked night and day to redesign them and gave the Edison company several profitable new patents in the process. During the year of 1885, when Tesla inquired about the payment on the work, Edison replied to him, "Tesla, you don't understand our American humor," and reneged on his promise. [Sound familiar, John?] Tesla resigned when he was refused a raise to $25 per week. At Tesla's salary of $18 per week, the bonus would have amounted to over 53 years pay, and the amount was equal to the initial capital of the company.

Tesla eventually found himself digging ditches for a short period of time – ironically for the Edison company. Edison had also never wanted to hear about Tesla's AC polyphase designs, believing that DC electricity was the future. Tesla focused intently on his AC polyphase system, even while digging ditches.

Level Two: Who is really running the show (in two parts)?

Part One

Near the middle of 1967 I had completed the first phase of a coding/communication/control system for the IBM 360/20.

I worked for, what was termed, a family business that was incredibly wonderful and... they tolerated my "eccentric personality," which made the situation even warmer/pleasant.

After two years of twelve to sixteen hour days, five to seven days a week, my boss and mentor, who is retired and still around, got "bumped upstairs" to executive offices; leaving his position open.

There were two of us up for his job, me, who actually did all the work, and the supervisor of the computer room, who goofed around a lot and contributed nothing to, nor understood the project I was assigned; however, he was hired two weeks before me and had seniority.

On a Friday morning my boss called me into his office and apologized because he was forced to select the other person over me because of seniority. He was also aware of who did what, told me I should be "running the show", and that he would 'do everything he could to "move me up" after he returned from a short vacation'. He then announced to the rest of the group who the new group leader would be and most of them panicked, because they also knew who had primarily designed and developed the system, and knew it was not my boss's replacement.

On the following Thursday afternoon, with my old boss safely away on vacation, his replacement called me into his office and told me I needed to get a haircut and shave off my beard. I did not respond and walked out of his office.

When I arrived at work Friday morning, with beard and long hair, I was fired and escorted out of the building.

Later, during a hearing, the real reason for my firing was divulged when he admitted he was afraid the executive level would discover who was doing the actual work and did not want to get fired.

In order not to leave one hanging, the company was very gracious and I was rehired.

I finished the coding/communication/control system and constructed a conversion/merger system that implemented the change from manual stock trading to the very first, ever, computer stock trading. (fwiw) I also had my hands into some of the first computer security systems, which can be documented, but that is another story, for another day.

Part Two

Here is how I began this piece years ago:

Soon, a lot of information will disappear from because I am tired of dealing with 'a potential dilemma' which is partially explained here:

Strange Behavior

One may have noticed blacked out pages and other odd things happening here and on other pages within this site recently and here is an explanation.

A new federal law was signed by Mr. Bush making it illegal to annoy somebody on the Internet and carries stiff penalties:

"Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

Declan McCullagh (Chief political correspondent, CNET has done an excellent job explaining what this means in the following articles:

Perspective: Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

FAQ: The new 'annoy' law explained

What is not clear is how far this law can reach or be stretched. For example, here is one concern.

Dahbud has three pages with link information showing a connection between Pat Robertson, Charles Taylor, and Al Qaeda.

From one perspective, based on definition, these three pages could be considered annoying by individuals suffering from denial and it does not stop there.

There is something new on the horizon. The following 'snips' a lot of pertinent information in order to paint a 'quick' picture.

There's a new restriction on content waiting in the wings--a "webcaster's right" that allows websites to control the dissemination of content they put up. With this new privilege, they'll be able to prevent retransmission even if the copyright on that content is owned by somebody else--even, in fact, if that content was in the public domain.

What is webcasting, and what will be the effects of this restriction? Nobody knows--except, one supposes, the large web portals pursuing the webcaster's right. I will try to ferret out what they want to do in the course of this article.


What would a webcaster's right mean? It would mean you couldn't retransmit content put up by someone else on the Web without permission. The proposal tries to indicate that the restriction covers only images and sound, but it's not clear that a line can be drawn between such content and other things, including text. At any rate, the idea of extending the broadcaster's right to the Web is bizarre and fundamentally out of sync with how the Web works. The whole basis of the Web is making links; people don't normally copy and retransmit material.


The harm this could do to public discourse hit me just recently when I attended a forum on wiretapping, where several TV clips of George W. Bush's speeches were aired. The value of seeing these excerpts was incalculable. But if we had to adhere to the broadcasters' treaty, showing them would have been illegal. By copyright law, showing them in a non-profit educational setting was probably fair use--but it's not clear how any concept of fair use would apply to a broadcasters' treaty.

Submission to U.S. WIPO Delegation Concerning Webcast Rights

This paper calls for Congress to take up the question of broadcast ownership rights on the internet, before they are proposed to the World Intellectual Property Organization by a United States delegation.

The proposed extension of broadcast ownership to the internet represent a new feature in the dissemination of information, and a potentially disruptive change. Such a far-reaching grant of ownership should be subjected to particular scrutiny and diligently checked for ripple effects, because it consists of a sui generis right that can profoundly change the creation and distribution of content. Therefore, Congress should be the body in the U.S. to make the decision whether to request such an ownership change.

This article gives a 'bit more':

Can we still say that nobody owns the Internet? by Andy Oram

(imo) All of this is similar to what happened with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986:

For some of us, this is nothing new and I will 'stick my neck out' and say, "the FCC will probably end up with the Internet, which will allow federal law to be applied, and then turn it over to 'corporate media', who will become Corporatism dictates of speech."

Bottom Line

Due to timing and certain conditions it would be easier to delete all but skeleton pages (like this one) and start over, which will take about a year, a few pages at a time. This is 'the way I am leaning' at the moment, because complying would take a half year of full time work, which I can not spare.

I am too tired and busy to fight this one and am sorry to say, anything other than original material will be removed from this site; including anything potentially annoying (graphics, photos, art, Flash, etc.) until legal ramifications are clear.

As long as 'Might makes right' is in control, change will only occur when 'we the people' "STOP IT" and the best way to do this peacefully is from an old idea I first heard from Alan Watts during the '60s.

He suggested, 'with everybody's consent, shutting everything down (on the planet) for a month, with exception of "critical services", gathering the best minds, putting them on TV, and letting them and the world, via telephone, figure out how to fix it.'

Think how much pollution that, in itself, would eliminate, the resources that would be saved, and (imo) Peace is a good alternative. Too bad one seldom hears that word anymore.

If one has read to here and still does not understand what is going on, would it help to know when this new law passes, this page becomes illegal, as presented, until a new set of rules is applied?

The following link is background (midi) music intended to go with this opening page:

Here's the deal. I am sitting on a relatively large archive of missing computer history and have waited ten (10) years to see if any of this 20 to 30 year old information would show up on the Internet. Nothing I have in my archive has appeared on the 'net' as of this writing.

A number of years ago, I placed a tiny portion of that history, which I am in the process of converting to text, here:

The Internet, from my perspective, was originally constructed to share information for FREE. That is changing and I am about to, once again, 'drop out' ["Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out", a phrase used by Dr. Timothy Leary].

I feel it is important to share a broader image of how IT came together, am doing this now because I'm in my 60s, most of my friends are dead, and... they left without sharing their portion of the story.

One more thing before I begin. I have heard that sometimes a person can tell a lot about another person by the music they make.

Here is the location of my Podcasts, where five tunes I composed with GarageBand and a M-Audio Oxygen 8 MIDI keyboard controller are located:

By the end of 1975 my interest in computers was growing because of a 'hot burning desire' to have a computer like the one presented in the television series, Star Trek.

I eventually picked up an IMSAI 8080 kit and was dismayed at the number of errors in the schematics; for example, putting a 16 volt line into ground.

Although I still have my S-100 systems (Yes, they work and pictures will be posted later.), I did not take many pictures during those days and the only one I could find has Andy Ross, previous owner of Cody's Bookstore in Berkeley, sitting in front of it, in our San Francisco front living room.

Andy Ross, previous owner of Cody's Bookstore , sitting in front of my IMSAI 8080 S-100 computer

During the computer fair, I went to the IMSAI booth and started to let them have an ear full of what I thought about their schematics and caught the ear of Seymour Rubinstein, who offered me a job.

I never, if at all possible, make "snap decisions" and told him I would think about it and get back to him. Here is a copy of the telegram I sent him:

Copy of telegram to Seymore Rubinstein

Here's what just happened. I have three current packed file folders and a box I haven't looked into for about twenty-five years related to my experience with IMSAI.

No matter how hard I tried to arrange the IMSAI pages they always came out looking like 'dirty laundry' and rather than go that route, maybe a short story will do.

The telegram stated I did not expect any payment from IMSAI and the reason for that was, I intended to earn my money from advertisement and kept that information to myself.

My documents show I would take care of IMSAI's user problems and they would turn their user publication over to me.

The first thing I did was correspond with over 360 people and help them get their IMSAI computers running. I have copies of all the letters I sent and if one thinks customer service is horrible today, here is what I was dealing with then (snipped to eliminate names):

IMSAI Customer letter

Three basic things happened that changed everything around for me at IMSAI.

1). They ran IMSAI the same way computer based houses ran during the '60s, where they kept everyone separate and confined to their own area.

When the folks at IMSAI realized, as editor of the user publication, I was free to go in every area; with exception to a section in engineering, a bit of jealousy reared its ugly head, and everyone seemed to want my job.

(otoh) Since I already had an electronics background, being editor allowed me to learn almost every aspect of computer in-house development and (fwiw) I was also considered an excellent asm programmer/coder at that time. I was also big on (very much into) CP/M.

2). When a rumor got out that I had managed to get over $125,000 of advertising for the first year of publication, my creative work was stolen and then published under another name.

[Just to be clear, none of this had anything to do with Seymour Rubinstein. Seymour appreciated me taking heat off his department by helping get all those angry users with broken machines running. The rip-off occurred at a higher level. Seymour was an advocate, friend; (imo) a 'good guy', and gentleman.]

3). I sued IMSAI, won, and for the first time in my life felt there was justice for art; until the following letter arrived in the mail:

Chapter 11 letter from IMSAI

To make a long story short (tmalss), after everything was settled, I ended up owing my lawyer fifty dollars.

It is at this point I am 'going out on a limb' to explain some other things that were going on at that time.

I feel it is important to know I have spent time with everyone mentioned in the below interview between Dr. Timothy Leary and Todd Brendan Fahey:

Fahey: We could talk about the Sixties all day long, but it wouldn't serve much of a purpose. To what extent, within this "reality smashing"...

Leary: Well, the word "reality smashing" is very tricky. What is real is what your neurons are processing. And hallucinations are just as real as anything on the outside. There's an external reality and internal reality. Inner reality is certainly more important than the outer reality. It is the outer reality that we have to talk about, agree upon, fight over and organize in order to survive. But this notion that the outer, for example that the foreign policy of the Reagan and Bush is somehow reality, more real than, uhh [fades off]. It's very complicated, and I object to anyone grabbing the term "reality"...

Fahey: What I was getting at was, to what extent are the psychedelics today even a part of any movement to get beyond what we know as our day-to-day sense? Are psychedelics minor, compared to the computer applications that are going on today? Were psychedelics a launching point? Are they a thing of the past?

Leary: We're talking about the brain. And unless you have some way of really activating the brain, people are going to use electrons as simply as external devices for power, control and money. So, yes, unless someone has had psychedelic experiences, they simply don't understand how to operate or use electronic devices except for materialistic reasons. It's no accident that the people who popularized the personal computer were Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, both barefoot, longhaired acid-freaks. It's no accident that most of the people in the software computer industry have had very thoughtful, very profitable and creative psychedelic experiences. Bill Gates, rumor has it, was a very active psychedelic proponent when he was at Harvard, before he, uhh...

Fahey: Founded Microsoft.

Leary: Yeah. So, you could go right down the line of the people who are's well-known that the software, not the hardware, but the software so-called industry is saturated with people who have been turned on profitably, respectably and creatively by LSD.

Grateful Dead concert Telluride
Photograph by Chris W. Nelson

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