I had a really busy day today. I know I say that all the time, but it’s true. Lots of running from here to there and so forth. It’s partly because more and more things just seem to fall out of the clear blue sky and land in my lap. (This isn’t a complaint, by the way. Far from it. I love the surprises.) Here’s one example: I got an email at the end of last week from my friend Bart Sinclair over in Engineering. He had found an thick file full of various items having to do with the R1 and R2 computers. Did I want them? Yes, I certainly did. A couple of these things we had, but many I’d never seen before. So I ran over there first thing this morning and got them. Since I completely lacked the discipline to just bring them to the Woodson and get back to what I should be doing, I sat and rifled through the stuff, thereby falling behind on my schedule. Naturally, I blame Bart.
For the curious, here’s the list he sent in his email:
* A set of documents that relate to some I/O devices used in the project (I recall seeing and using the Potter printer and the videojet printer) from 1971
* a manual on the operating system and assembly language programming for the Rice University Computer (1964)
* the basic machine operation manual for the Rice University Computer (1962)
* a technical report “Leaking Mode Computation on the Rice Computer” by Jean-Claude De Bremaecker, Jane Jodeit, John Iliffe, and Sigsby Rusk (1967)
* a technical report “A Direct Technique for Improving a Matrix Inverse” by Gary Sitton (1966)
* a technical report “Tags for Description and Control” by Jane Jodeit and Gary Sitton (1967)
* a technical report “A Machine-Oriented Logic Incorporating the Equality Relation” by Elbert Ernest Sibert, Jr. (1067 – this is actually a copy of his PhD thesis)
* a copy of Ed Feustel’s paper “On the Advantages of Tagged Architectures” (1972 – this is probably the most widely known publication to come out of the Rice Computer Project)
* a mimeographed copy of a description of the R2 instruction set (1972 – this was the computer that I and John Doerr worked on as undergraduates – failed miserably, but not our fault)
* a copy of “The Rice Research Computer – A Tagged Architecture,” also by Ed Feustel (1972 – this also had to do with the R2)
* a handful of design schematics for pieces of the original Rice Computer (1958-1960)
* a set of photos of people associated with the original computer, with names. One that you might particularly appreciate has Zevi Salsburg, John Kilpatrick, Marty Graham, and a visiting faculty member and his wife standing in front of the computer console. Another has Ted Schutz, An Hurd, Jo Mann, Jane Jodeit, John Iliffe, Phil Deck, Marty Graham, ?, Jim Peal, and Joe Bighorse posed in front of one of the computer bays.
* There’s also a letter, which appears to have come with the pictures, from Marty Graham to Kay Flowers in 1986. that identifies people on the photos with their titles, or in the case of Jodeit Mann, and Hurd, as math undergraduates. Phil Deck was a graduate student in EE.
* a line printer print-out dated 27 August 1986 titled “AN ICSA CHRONOLOGY” (all caps, of course) compiled by Joni Sue Lane, beginning 1965 and going through 1985. It would be interesting to know the occasion that prompted Joni Sue to put this together. For whatever reason, this print-out was in the same envelope as the photos and letter from Marty. Perhaps it was a copy that Marty had kept and was sending back to Rice along with the other stuff.
Here’s one of the pages. Frankly, I can’t make heads or tails of most of it but I strongly suspect that it’s quite meaningful to others. That’s why we keep things like this:
I haven’t had a chance yet to really dig down in the ICSA history but that is what’s most interesting to me in this batch.
Bonus: More signs going up on the buildings today–and these ones are both very visible and very pretty! This is one of the guys who put them in. He’s a really big Texans fan:
Here’s what the letters looks like. They have little dowel-like things on that back, which fit into holes the guys drilled in the buildings:
And this is the new sign up on Rayzor. I think it looks great. Very dignified: