In March I learned that the OpenWest 2014 Conference on open-source hardware and software, was taking place in May. The Perl track had a call out for Perl presentations, so I sent in a synopsis, saying I would show how I used Perl and other open-source software tools to get 50 years of computer technology to talk together. They accepted me for a 1-hour presentation on Friday, May 9th at 2PM, so we presented . . .
First I invited my sister to fly in from Connecticut to help with the presentation, and to stay a few days with us. She made a nice weekend, a great weekend.
To make this work, I took Friday off from work. That morning, I loaded up the equipment into my Jeep, then dropped everything off at the OpenWest conference, which was at the Utah Valley University, about 15 miles away. Then it was off to pick up the kids.
We picked then up at 12:30, letting them skip half a school day, to be assistants at the presentation. They knew the Teletype equipment as good as anyone in Utah.
I started to get things set up, while the kids had a couple Krispy Kreme donuts. That kept them occupied for a while. They think that all dads give Teletype presentations at universities.
And with some great system administration help, we got everything connected to the Internet, with both Teletype machines working. Made me smile.
Okay, the kids are starting to think this is funny. I purposely did not previously show them the presentation, so it would all be new to them too.
We set up one machine with the cover off, so people could see how it worked, and the other was all buttoned up.
Now this was a good sign. 6 people filed in, and I had passed my worry level that not even 5 people would show up. We were beyond that, with 10 minutes to go. These were going to be tough customers, as they were all super geeks.
Houston we are a go. And off we went, with about 25 people showing up. Of course everyone would want to know all the intricate details on how you restore a teletype.
In the presentation I gave out four awards for best answers. Here, for an award of 25 Los Alamos Nat'l Labs IBM computer punch cards, I asked the audience what they thought this picture from Teletype was. They said, Recipes, Typing pool, etc. No . . .
No, it was the Teletype Annual Telepal Queen Contest. See in 1965, companies used to have beauty contests. Now I bet you didn't know that. I gave the award to the guy who guessed recipies.
Then after my outstanding presentation, we let everyone come up and try the machines. I figured that one of these attendees was an NSA spy, but I could not figure out which one. Maybe the gentleman in the red sweater?
All in all, a smashing success. Then after 15 minutes of hands on, we shut things down, as we had to be out of there with all of our equipment, before the next speaker.
Could not have done it without my great helpers. Afterward I was truly relieved, and we stopped at Barnes and Nobles to buy the kids a thank you gift. Joy and I sat down and had a relaxing coffee. Thank you to each of you.
Link to Video Presentation on YouTube.
Continue to . . . Credits
Copyright (c) 2014-2015 John Whitney - 801 815 9265 - john at johnwhitney dot com - Utah, USA