Always a Nerd

Ok. I admit it. I have always had a little nerd in me. I had a slide rule on my hip in high school and have worn out a few pocket protectors.

Today on my journey through my tech sites, I came upon a speech given by Steve Wazniak talking about how he and Jobs met and some of the early days and pranks he and Jobs had done.

This is an hour and 49 minute video, but if you have had a technical orientation in the seventies, you will most likely enjoy watching this.

It did remind me of some pranks I have done when working at some of my early jobs. maybe someday I will share a few.

In the meantime I will share this video with you. I hope you like it.

1984 Steve Wozniak visit to NEOAC from NEOAC MUG on Vimeo.

12 thoughts on “Always a Nerd

  1. The absolute best documentary ever made about the computer revolution is “Triumph of the Nerds.” All six episodes of the documentary (with interviews with Wozniak, Jobs, Gates and others) can be downloaded from YouTube.

  2. Thanks for this reminder of that time. He certainly enjoyed himself. As for myself, I was trapped on the IBM Series/1 in ’84.

    Oh well.

  3. Back in the winter of 1974/75, when computers took up entire floors of buildings and sucked up megawatts of electricity for air conditioning to keep them cool and were attended by acolytes in white lab coats, I worked as a head hunter for a company that placed high-level computer people (systems analysts, IT department heads).

    One day I’d gotten the name of someone who worked at Hewlett-Packard I wanted to try and recruit. My conversation with him after getting his CV went something like this:

    “What are you working on now?”
    “It’s real exciting,” he said. “We’re working on a project to develop mini-computers.”
    “Mini-computers? What are they?”
    “Oh, they’re small computers that people will have on their desk tops.”
    “Yeah, right,” I thought. “Sure thing. Let me know how that works out for ya, loser” and cut the phone call short.
    Well, right now I’m writing this on my fourth Hewlett-Packard notebook computer.

  4. I remember this quote from my 360 assembler classes on the history of IBM:

    “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
    — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

    The size and maintenance costs for computers at that time almost convinced IBM marketing that after selling five computers there wouldn’t be any more profit.
    jim and nena
    fort worth

  5. OK. My entry in the “Antediluvian Retired Programmer” sweepstakes.

    I once wrote IBM 360/30 DOS/TOS EXCP level code to use a 2540 Reader Punch to emulate an IBM 088 Collator. The 2540 had the the “Punch Feed Read” feature required read two card decks and match/merge (with pocket selection) kinda like a collator.

    Why you ask? For money. By ’70 (+ or -) the rent on a then obsolete collator was high for our single remaining application and nobody knew how to wire it anymore.

  6. From my point of view, a lot of the video’s charm had to do with watching the Woz in ’84 having fun with his toys.

    BUT today’s morning bowl of cereal triggered memories of Captain Crunch doing time for his antics. Since everybody has a website, I thought I slide over to and get an update on the old boy.

    I really should have fought that impulse. It was a buzzkill. The first thing that popped up was:

    “Crunch is having severe nerve damage to his hands, and needs immediate surgery. Please help him out by going to his fund rising site located at”.

    Oh well, maybe Wozniak is still enjoying himself.

    Great job on the Punta Burica adventure!

  7. I didn’t make much of it at the time but I did notice that the comment identified as “mateo on July 1, 2012 at 9:00 am said:” above was posted without awaiting moderation.

  8. The first comment is always moderated. The rest aren’t if the first was approved. However, I read all comments and if the need arrises, comments will go back on moderation or classified as spam, in which case the system will put all future comments in the spam bucket.

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