[TUHS] BTL summer employees

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Tue Aug 4 02:26:50 AEST 2020

Heinz Lycklama writes:
> Jon, this brings back memories of working with summer students and
> Explorer Scout high schools students (like yourself) during my years
> at Bell Labs in MH. I have to credit Carl Christensen for bringing me
> in to work with him in helping making computers and training resources
> available to Explorer Scouts on Monday evenings shortly after I started
> at Bell Labs in 1969. I enjoyed this time in helping and motivating the
> students as well as taking them on hiking and spelunking trips in NY.
> I had one summer student work for me on the LSX projects. He was so
> brilliant that I had a challenge to keep him busy with the tasks I gave
> him because he finished them so quickly. One of the motivations
> for doing LSX was actually providing a platform for the music synthesizer
> that Hal Alles was building.

Yes, aside from all of the amazing technical stuff, I'm really glad that
you and Carl introduced me to spelunking.

I'm fuzzy on the details on Hal's synthesizer.  I thought that he was building
the digital filter stuff for the SS1, and making music was a side-effect that
took on a life of its own.  I do remember the really clever keyboard that Dave
Hagelbarger built for it, and the day that Stevie Wonder came to check it out
and the halls were clogged with his admirers.

John P. Linderman writes:
> Students living near MH had a bit of a leg up, having access to the
> Explorers (did that include any young women?). Offspring of employees,
> particularly executive level employees, seemed to appear quite often. Adam
> Buchsbaum and Rich Cox and Terry Crowley come to mind. But, as the names I
> remembered demonstrate, they were exceptionally bright, and often became
> (valued) regular employees. I share Heinz's recollection about trying to
> keep them busy. Terry Crowley joined us as a summer student, and we gave
> him the "summer project" of making some improvements (like eliminating the
> 512-byte record size limit) to /bin/sort. He came back in under a week and
> asked "What's next?" -- jpl

There were three young women in scouts when I was there although two of them
(Andrea and Kristen) were daughters of Hans Lie who was an advisor along with
Heinz and Carl.

Living near MH was a mixed blessing.  I lived 8 miles away and bicycled there,
uphill both ways.  The final daily test was making it up Glenside Road on my
old heavy Raleigh bike.  I remember some issues around that; there were no
employee showers at the labs.  But, it turned out that dress code was up to
your supervisor and Joe was OK with me wearing shorts.  I occasionally had to
explain that to old-timers who would see me in a hall and who thought that
there was a fixed dress code.


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