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But let me reassure readers, and future thesis perpetrators: I have not given "..airy nothing/ A local habitation and a name." All the things in my stories actually happened.
The Old Man really did order the support columns removed from the SSEC room.
was converted to HTML for the Web by Frank da Cruz in May 2003 for the Columbia University Computing History Project with permission and collaboration of Dr. This is a manuscript of the 3rd edition, a work in progress sponsored by the US National Science Foundation.
As Schenectady became Ilion, so could Endicott become, say, Watsonville, and the shoe workers could parade past the IBM factory shouting "While you're thinking, we're drinking! But the themes would have to be spare, or the satire would be blunted.
What I have finally chosen to do is to slice it so as to feature wonderful people: some of them famous, like the great Vons - von Braun, von Karman, von Neumann; some of them tremendously significant but not so well known, like L. Comrie and Wallace Eckert; some of them just vivid and exciting, and important to me because they were wonderfully human if not historic.
I aspire to Magic Realism - a picture somewhat larger and much clearer than life.
When I returned to the United States I brought with me the remains of my huge original archive: my 1962 call reports to Control Data, my flight logs, my appointment (and hotel/restaurant) lists, some of my expense account carbons.
Cautiously I began to reconstruct what had happened to me and to the burgeoning world of computers from mid-1959 on. Then I was awarded a National Science Foundation grant.