Day 160, deck, tour, book sale

Saturday, 5/11/2019

Today was the originally-scheduled day for me to move into CH. Well, hopefully the new schedule of June 15th will hold. One item on my to-do list for Monday is to settle with a mover, one from the list in the CH orientation book.

But this was the day for the museum tour, the scheduling of which has been so fraught because I have not been getting any response from museum paid staff. Thanks to Steve, who took the initiative to email the 1401 docents on Thursday, it all went off very nicely. The students were to arrive at 11:30 and remarkably, most of them were there at that time. Kim and I chatted with the early arrivers about what they were actually studying: they had been lightly introduced to transistors and logic circuits, then machine design, and were currently studying the MIPS architecture. Whoa, that’s a 64-bit RISC machine, quite a step up from learning AND and NOR gates. Anyway, they knew the lingo.

I took the first group of 15 or so, while Kim waiting for the stragglers. When we finished, about 12:30, we led them into the 1401 lab where docents Jack and Bill gave them the 1401 demo, with special emphasis on what developing software was like in the 1960s. Bill remembers working for a bank when the 1401 was first installed, and writing their programs for checking and loans. (He didn’t mention having to work with the OCR check-reader, I forget its model number; must ask him about that.) Anyway the students got a good tour that meshed with their class pretty well, so that was good.

Back home to change clothes and chill for a while. I changed clothes twice, in fact. Out of my white chinos and red “Computer History Museum Docent” shirt, into work jeans. Then I put the oil on the two back stoops. It really only took half an hour to do this. They look much better, not so obviously dried out. But really, they should be sanded down and re-stained. Shameful neglect, but IOMISEP.

I changed to nicer jeans and out again to walk through the FOPAL book sale and see how it was going. Seemed well; people had as usual messed up the neat shelving of the Computer section and it looked as if some had been bought.

Home again and I got texts and then a call from Chuck. Tomorrow he will be showing the house twice, at 5:00 and 5:30. The second is the previous viewer, the Lawyer from Canada who is a single mom and this time will be bringing her daughter. The first is a realtor Chuck knows — he went out of his way to emphasize she is a long-time Palo Alto realtor who is really nice, “some realtors aren’t, but she is” — who is representing a woman who works at Apple and, he says, is the daughter of a well-to-do family. The other realtor told Chuck her client “has the means” to buy in Palo Alto. So. Good.


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