While cleaning out a long-unopened desk drawer, my wife (Paulette Dickerson) discovered a ledger from the early 1980s which offers additional data on ^z's hobby computing writings. To supplement the bibliographic saga begun in ^zhurnal PetBibli1 (23 May 2000):
- People's Computers magazine was published by PCC, the "People's Computer Company" of Menlo Park CA --- a rather anarchistic outfit with great spirit. PCC tended to compensate contributors via free subscriptions or copies of books. See http://sumeru.stanford.edu/pcc/ for some notes on the PCC phenomenon, plus entertaining commentary by various PCC alumni.
- "Snooping with your PET" was accepted in May 1978 and appeared in Vol. 7, No. 2 (Sep-Oct 1978) pps. 16-19. It discussed some internal details of the Commodore PET's BASIC interpreter, the USR(X) function, and 6502 microprocessor opcodes. This was one of the first articles ^z wrote. It drew rejection slips from Byte and Kilobaud before PCC gave it a home.
- "Textrapolation!" was spurned by Personal Computing magazine before PCC accepted it in November 1978. The article described methods of predicting the words in a text stream based on extrapolating from past patterns. As far as ^z knows it was never published; perhaps it remained in the queue when People's Computers ceased publication. ^z did receive Volume 1 of the collected Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia in payment; the title reveals something about PCC's style.
- Calculators/Computers magazine accepted "Random Numbers for Pocket Calculators", a discussion of pseudorandom number generators and their flaws. In September 1978 C/C promised to pay $10, but apparently went out of business before using the article. ^z never received a cent.
- Creative Computing printed at least three pieces:
- "PET Bookshelf" included reviews and ratings of books & newsletters of interest to PET owners. CC accepted this short column after Kilobaud returned it. The magazine paid a big $12 in mid-1978, and published the article late that year --- but with no byline or credit to ^z.
- "Blackbox for the PET" was an adaptation of a Parker Brothers game of deduction. It appeared in the February 1980 issue of CC, pps. 112-117.
- "Big Numbers and Small Computers" was submitted to Byte and tentatively accepted by that journal in December 1979, but in October 1980 it came back with a rejection slip. ^z offered it to CC which accepted it for $150. The issue in which this article appeared has been lost somewhere in ^z's house; the precise date of publication thus remains unknown.
- Personal Computing typically offered $100 per article, a good rate for short pieces but less attractive than Bytes $50/page as typeset. PC published:
- "An Assembler for the PET" in June 1978; it appeared in Vol. 2, No. 12 (December 1978) pps. 42-45.
- "Line Renumbering on the PET", including BASIC and 6502 machine-language programs to do this now-almost-forgotten task. This article came out in Vol. 3, No. 3 (March 1979), pps. 24-29.
- "G is for Graphics" an alphabet picturebook program published in Vol. 3, No. 6 (June 1979), pps. 38-41.
- Byte was the 600-pound gorilla of the hobby computing world. In addition to the publications mentioned in ^zhurnal PetBibli1 (23 May 2000):
- "Continued Fractions, or Pieces of Pi" was used in the Byte book Numbers in Theory and Practice', edited by Blaise Liffick.
- "Simulating Physics Systems, Part III: Spiral Galaxies" was a Gerola & Seiden type simulation of patterns in star formation, with new stars born near where old ones go supernova in a galaxy rotating with shear. It was accepted by Byte in early 1979 --- but in July 1981 the manuscript was returned, marked up by an editor before a decision to kill the piece was made. ^z got to keep the $200 advance payment.
- "Alphametics & Cryptarithms" offered programs in both BASIC and 6502 machine-language to solve letter-number puzzles (e.g., "SEND + MORE = MONEY", with each letter representing a single decimal digit; another example is "ONES + ZEROES = BINARY"). Byte took this in early 1980, but the date of publication is unrecorded.
Clearly, during his final year or two of graduate school at Caltech ^z could have spent a bit more time working on his thesis and a bit less time standing in line at the Post Office submitting manuscripts....
Saturday, July 14, 2001 at 05:49:42 (EDT) = Datetag20010714
TopicProgramming - TopicPersonalHistory
(correlates: HumanGenomania, SpinCycle, FirmwareBugs, ...)