I don’t know why I never thought of telling everyone they were welcome to visit the Woodson during Homecoming before but I’m glad I did it this year. We saw a significant amount of action, all of it hugely enjoyable, and took in some great stuff as well. Interestingly, things took a decided R1 turn. First Gene Mutschler ’69 ’70 ’73, who worked on the R1 as a graduate student and wrote the program that powered it down for the last time, came in on Thursday bearing gifts. Here he is with one of the R1 panels we have in the Woodson:
He brought in some wonderful artifacts including the master oscillator card, a smaller circuit board, and this glorious and well used set of instructions that sat on the console:
Here’s what one of the pages looks like:
My favorite piece, though, was something I hadn’t realized existed–a “key” to the computer. This is identified on the back as key 59, by the way, which makes me wonder if this were a way to record who was using the machine:
The keys fit into a slot on the middle panel of the console, near the top left corner:
We’re extremely grateful to Gene for these important donations to our R1 collection.
Bonus: The next day up turned Adam Thornton ’94, the author of a fine piece on the history of the R1 which I have turned to many time for its clear, understandable explanation of the workings of that machine. If you’d like to know more his paper is where you should start.