William remembers - "Back in the mid 70's, many of us in the Berkeley Computer Club
would carpool and drive down to the regular meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club at the
Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) Auditorium. The lobby would sometimes have commercial
(e.g. Cromemco Dazzler), hobby (someone's KIM-1 or Altair 8800), or garage shop (Woz's cherrywood
box Apple 1) machine. "Random Access" period with Lee Felsenstien wielding a stick to direct
or to call to order, with Adam Osbourne in the back of the room with his perpetual box of books
(I bought one!). Sometimes a presentation as well.
Gordon Auguson, NASA Ames Research Center, SSA branch
"Back in the early 70's NASA had a student internship program, where in the early afternoon a bus would collect up students from Lynbrook, Monte Vista, Homestead, and Sunnyvale high schools. We'd arrive at Ames around 2pm, and leave around 6pm.
One of my assignments was working for Gordon Augason in the Space Science Astrophysics (SSA) branch. He was doing far infrared astronomy with airborne telescopes.
McGee Letter of Reference
"In 1975, I finished up in Lynbrook High School in the mornings, and attended DeAnza Junior college in the evenings. In the afternoons and following school,
I worked at NASA-Ames Flight Systems Navigation (FSN) branch for Leonard McGee, who loaned me out at times to various projects to 'fight fires'.
William Jolitz, Mary Lingell, Charles T. Jackson Jr., Donald B. Billings, 1974.
"While working for Leonard McGee in FSN, I got to know the wildly creative aeronautical engineer
Chuck Jackson. He was from that school of engineering where if you thought you could do something,
you threw together a prototype and got it into the game ASAP, no matter what it was built from.
Following high school and into college, did dozens of "mini contracts" (RFP/RFQ) for him and Dallas
HP 9825A Programmable Calculator
The "Blind Programmable Calculator" project, around 1976, sponsored by the Sensory Aids Foundation and NASA
was an attempt to radically reduce the cost of access to technology to the blind.
At the time (and true today), braille printers were very costly. They were the
primary means of access. The idea was to use realtime adaptive speech synthesis
to allow applications to "speak" visual interactions, and to do so without altering
the computing environment in any way. In other words, a gadget that could snap on
to a computer (in this case a HP 9825A programmable calculator) and intuitively talk the screen/keyboard interface.
William Frederick Jolitz attended the University of California, Berkeley during a period of great change and opportunity.
While still staying involved with NASA and "Silicon Valley" to the south (often by motorcycle, same day),
Cal's environment of science, engineering and technology was very different.
Before Cal, William Jolitz was used to technology like
the IBM 370/145 DOS/VS (BAL, PL/1) of the local college, either the IBM 360/67 TSS (Fortran, PL/1G) or the CDC 7600
(Run76, Compass) of NASA, or the UCLA IBM 360/95 and Stanford 360/65 (Algol W). Science was liquid helium dewars,
oscilloscopes, and actual measurement of physical observations.
Engineering was breadboarding of devices and equipment acquired from affliated groups in a shared budget relationship.