The Revolution Falters

August 19th, 2004  |  Published in Uncategorized

Al called from Michigan just after they landed. She said the flight went well. Ben was happy and talkative (to the extent he talks, which isn’t talking but is talk-like) we’re entertained to note that he’s back to the WHOOOP-Screee! noise of a month ago that threw us into a blind panic because it made him sound like he was gasping for air. Evidently it’s just “vocal cord practice.”

Me? I bought a paper shredder and a lifesize poster of Fawn Hall: That little nook in the basement is a disaster, and I’m still trying to figure out how many different cords and cables are involved in a knot that’s about two feet around that I pulled out of the server closet. I can identify some speaker cable, a short cat 5 cable, and the dangling end of a barcode scanner for my Tandy Model 102. It seems appropriate to note the 102 at this point, because it’s part of an unholy trio of things:

  1. The Tandy 102

  2. My Lear-Siegler ADM3A+

  3. My Fisher Price PXL2000 (a.k.a. “The Pixelvision”)

By any reasonable accounting, these things are clutter. The Pixelvision needs new belts and parts to work. I’ve still got a copy of my two classic shorts, “Fishsticks for Dinner” and “Godzilla vs. Dog Sherrif” floating around, too. Just getting rid of it is impossible to contemplate, selling it would be tough since it’s not exactly working, but it’s just sitting there waiting for me to do something about it. Bad.

The Lear-Siegler ADM3A+ is another tough one. It serves no purpose, but it’s SO COOL! One of the very first cursor addressable dumb terminals. Reportedly the very same model used to code vi of all things. My first real taste of the Internet at home in 1991 came from this thing and a 1200 baud modem. Getting it to work with my shell account and Emacs is what hardened me into over a decade of rock-ribbed Unix bigotry. But it’s one of those things, too: No room to display it in its putty-and-brown glory, no real use for it.

And the Tandy Model 102… well… I tell myself that I could use it for something. It’s mainly a thing I’m attached to because my very first real job involved carrying one around and doing real live reporting with it.

What to do? Mass-market paperbacks and O’Reillys that have outlived their usefulness are one thing… these three things… I dunno.

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