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CMU Photos from Chris Hausler

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Chris Hausler was one of the few students I knew at CMU who had a camera. He took a lot of photos - fortunately, because I think that I have two photos from my days at school.

Over the last few years (2009-2010), he has sent me a bunch and I present them here. He sent me much higher resolution versions, I've shrunk them a bit for the web page. If you would like the larger version, drop me an email.

Chris sent me an email summarizing the photos:

Date:            Sat, 1 Oct 2011 20:14:36 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
From:            "J. Chris Hausler" <>
Subject:         Re: Chris' CMU Photos

Hi Mark,

One thing that might be confusing is that all the photos I've provided are from three periods of time. 

All the recent ones have the date in the lower right corner. 

The other color ones, except for three, that one of the G-20, the aerial photo of the campus and Pat's photo of me in the scopes room are all from that visit in fall 1976 and taken in the "new" (1971) facilities on the third floor in Wean (all gone now :-).  (One of these days I need to re-scan that one of me in front of my modem rack.  Those black bars on the sides are because I was just learning to use the scanner and put the slide in the wrong way and didn't realize it until later :-) 

The B&W ones are all from the late 60's.  Note that the comment I made on the color photos of the machines in 76 in Wean Hall said that those were the only photos I recalled taking of the machines.  Obviously I later discovered the B&W photos of the machines taken in the late 60's in Scaife.

I've since been through all of my B&W negatives and I don't believe I have any further from that source that would be of interest.  I believe I do have one roll of Anscochrome slides which I need to review to see if there's anything of interest there, once I find them again.  There's still all those 8mm color films taken at spring carnival back then but I found it was going to cost me almost $2K to get them "professionally" digitized.  There are some "schlock houses" which will do it for a tenth of that but from others experiences the results are very poor and so, so far, I haven't done anything.  There's nothing "computer" about them anyway. 

I'm leaving Monday for the second year now for a "month living on a train", Amtrak to Phoenix, In private car "Federal" on Amtrak Tuscon to New Orleans.  A week in New Orleans (never been there, looking forward to it).  Train of all private cars winds it's way up to Kansas City, spending a night each (I think, a lot of last minute changes here) in Galveston, TX and Ft. Worth.  AAPRCO convention in Kansas City <>.  Then "Federal" goes on the back of yet another Amtrak train to LA where we spend a day.  Finally yet another Amtrak train back to Tuscon where "Federal" is taken off of the train and I just walk forward and board the Amtrak sleeper back to Rochester.  Should be fun.

73, Chris Hausler

Face of the Machine

Hi All,

As I've managed finally to get some time to spend at a free WiFi hot spot, here's some more photos.  This set I call "the face of the machine".  As a collector of old front panels (14 in collection so far, mostly 70's minis) I particularly enjoy these.  Earlier photos I sent out included a couple views of the 360 and those shots of the G-20's so here's some of the others.  Image3-3 is the 7040, image17 is the 1108 and image2-8 is the 1401.  Also I've included another 1401 shot I found on the same film strip as 2-8, showing Dave Rodgers and Jean (sp?) Stevens in front of the 1401 (image1-6).  This explains who took that photo I sent previously which showed me and Dave's hand in the 1401 room.  Finally, image32 shows an 1108 tape drive slewing tape with the covers off so you can see the tape path.  Now a question, if you look at the tape mounted on the drive to the left of this one, you see the tape name as DR04EX.  Isn't DR04 Dave Rodgers man number?  Dave?

73,  Chris Hausler
Date:            Tue, 25 May 2010 14:51:51 -0400
From:            Robert McFarland <>
Subject:         Re: G-20 Scopes Art

I remember Jean Stevens, but I don't remember what she did at the Comp Center.  As I recall, she was a Fine Arts major, possibly Architecture.

This photo was used in an article in the Carnegie Mellon Engineering magazine issue of Fall 2019.

Wean Hall

Hi All,

These are to my knowledge the only photos I ever took of the 1108 and 360.  When they were moved to Wean, summer 1971, they were placed with the consoles right next to each other.  The three photos in this email are kind of a pan, from left to right(although the photographer, me, did move a bit between photos).  The first one shows the 1108 tape drives, the second one the 1108 and its console and the third one the 360 (with the DAT unit open) although you can still see the 1108 console in the leftof this photo.  I have no idea who were the two young men operating the machines.  Both at the time I made the photographs were attending the 360 and although you can see tapes mounted on the 1108, it did not appear to be doing anything while I was there.

I hope you've all enjoyed this little trip down memory lane (is that core memory ;-)

While searching for these slides, I came across another surprise.  For some forgotten reason, I had acquired a single roll of Anscochrome film and exposed it likely in spring 1969, but I could be off a year either way.  I know its spring because the shots at the end of the roll are of the midway at spring carnival and some buggy race shots as well.  Why, as my father worked for Eastman Kodak (and I worked there summers at that time as well) and I was religious about using Kodak film, I don't know.  Further, I didn't get the roll processed until 1975.  This I do remember as I recall finding it and almost throwing it out but having completely forgotten what was on it finally deciding to get it processed.  Once again it was forgotten until I just went slide mining.  This is the first time I've ventured to look at these slides in over 20 years.  Nothing really interesting in this one roll except the early construction (actually more destruction, lots of holes being dug in the ground) of Wean Hall. That's why I'm assuming it was spring 1969 as I believe the project was underway by that time, but again I could be a year off either way.  Do any of you have better information about the timing of the construction of Wean?  Anyway, I have not yet scanned any of these slides.  Are any of you interested in seeing a few of them? 

My next scanning project is likely to be of some of those Tri-X negatives I took in 66 and 67.  I believe I know where they are. I haven't looked at those since I rescued (most of) them from a flood in the early 70's.  I don't know how much if any of them will be of interest to you all.  We shall see...

Chris Hausler

The 1108 tape drives.
This photo was used in an article in the Carnegie Mellon Engineering magazine issue of Fall 2019.

Clem Cole <>
Sent: Oct 2, 2017 8:02 PM
To: "J. Chris Hausler"
Subject: Your CMU Computer Center Photos

I just ran across these CMU Photos from Chris Hausler.html photo's and you ask who the people are.   The guy in the white shirt is 'Little Kid' who's name I now forget, but if I ask John Sontag he might remember.  That's me, Clem Cole in the Red shirt.  The time frame was probably fall '75 by the looks of what is in the room at the time.

From:    Clem Cole <>
Date sent:    Fri, 10 Jan 2020 11:26:30 -0500
Subject:    Re: Your CMU Computer Center Photos
To:    "J. Chris Hausler"

Well it took us a few years, but we finally remembered/identified, LK's name:  Dan Heilman is in the white shirt.  I'm in the red one.
Hi Clem,

I don't know if you get copies of "Carnegie Mellon Engineering" magazine but this fall's issue had an article about Scaife Hall being demolished and replaced. Two of my photos from Mark's page are shown and one is that color photo taken in Wean in fall 1976 showing you and Dan at the 360 console.  The article is two pages starting on page 46 and the photo is on page 47.  If you don't get the magazine here's a link from which you can download a .pdf of it: .

73, Chris Hausler

The 1108 and its console

The 360 (with the DAT unit open) although you can still see the 1108 console in the left of this photo

2010 Chris and CMU

Hi Mark,

Attached are the promised photos. 

The first is one I made as a Christmas photo last year and sent to a recently retired BNSF employee with whom I had worked on the computer (one of a redundant pair) in the upper right corner of the photo (thus the bow :-) when installed in the early 70's and also when it was replaced in the early 90's (GE-PAC 4010).  The one below it (DG Nova 1200) was from a different customer's system, Southern then NS (one of 5 this time) with similar time frames for installation and replacement.  The two on the left were computers internal to GRS.  The lower left PDP-11/70 was my main development system throughout the 1980's for my staff of programmers at GRS.  The DG Nova 2 in the upper left corner of the photo is one I worked with briefly in the mid 1970's.  These all hang on my "home office" wall.

The second shows a number of sounders in resonators on the shelf on the other side of my family room.  To me the sounder in a resonator is the iconic land line telegraph item, not the key as it is for many others.



Hi Pat and Mark,

Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by the old apartment on Rippey Street and took the attached photo.  As you can see the building is still there.  The house on the corner, where that nice old couple lived, is not and it was gone at least 15 years ago.  I'm not sure but I think Russ Moore had an apartment in the adjacent house shown.

BTW, if they would even let us in anymore, tuition is about $40K plus another $10K for books and housing.  I forget the exact numbers but for about 1400 freshman openings, they had well over 20K applicants.  They rejected 150 people who were validictorians(SP?) of their high school classes, and many who were straight A students and ones with perfect SAT scores. 

Since I can include three files I've also included a photo of Warner with the new performing arts building behind it (as well as that weird pole with people walking up it) and one showing what I still call machinery hall taken from between Scaife and Porter...

Hmmm...  Chris
Hi All,

Well I'm in PBurg and just spent the day on campus at spring carnival.  I'm going to send you all several emails with photos, sorry for the size...

For those of you who haven't been here in a while, there are places on campus where nothing or almost nothing looks as it did 40 years ago and then there are places which except for the size of the trees, look just as they did...

Photo one (100_0394) is from the northeast upper level of Gesling stadium bleachers.  The bleachers (and the parking garage under them) occupy the space the spring carnival midway did when we where there.  The building with the round appendage at the center of the photo is the new (completed 1995) University Center and more or less occupies the ground once occupied by Skibo.  Except for Pitt's tower and a corner of Warner Hall there's nothing in this photo you would have seen back when we were there.

Photo two (100_0397) however, taken from the west entrance of the fine arts building looks just about the same as it did when we were there.....

as does photo three (100-0400) showing the potato chip and Scaife.

73, Chris Hausler
Hi All (again),

I had planned to make videos of the buggy races but they have cameras on scaffolds placed around the course and provide a live feed at so if you want to see the finals tomorrow morning tune in about 8AM and they will also sell you a video of all the races for $20.  A lot different than 40 years ago (someday I've got to get those 8mm movies I took of the buggy races back then digitized).  On top of that they had "jumbotrons" both at the finish line and down at the lower curve (just down the sidewalk from Scaife) so most folks just gathered around those to watch the races instead of lining the course as when we were there.  Of course one could just sit in ones room watching on ones computer as well and based on the size of the crowd, some did...

If you're a glutton for punishment I have more photos :-)

Tomorrow I'm hoping to meet up with Bob McFarland at the ECE dept (that's EE dept to you old farts :-) reception.

73,  Chris Hausler

Scaife may look about the same from the outside.  Photo one (100_0417) is me sitting outside of Scaife (that tree has grown bigger, however, I've just grown older :-)

Photo two (100_0418) is the fourth floor of Scaife.  The north stairwell door is just to my right (the 1108 would have been behind me) as I took this photo and the G-20 "printer room" is that windowed area at the other end of the hall.  The entire inside of Scaife has been rebuilt sometime in the last 15 or so years (as you can see) with the exception of the elevator and stairwells.  Speaking of the Scaife elevator, I did, as promised, measure it.  The basic box is 61 inches wide, the depth is 73 inches and the door 42 inches wide.  The "bump out" for the door is 4.5 inches but you would have to subtract 1.625 for the back railing (twice that distance from the width as the railing is also on both side walls) giving a maximum depth of about 76 inches.  Now all someone has to do is find the dimensions of the machines when disassembled.  I'll leave that as an exercise for you students...

Since this is spring carnival the third photo (100_0406) is of a buggy race start (heat 8 as I recall).  The buggy on the left won...
Reply to:        <>
Date:            Tue, 14 Sep 2010 20:22:50 -0700

I went past CMU last week, drove around the campus, and noted a couple of things:

1) The Gates CS Building is finished and looks very occupied.

2) The old stone buildings (inc Hammerschlag) look much cleaner than I remember them to be.  This may be both a function of them being cleaned and having less air pollution.  I also did not see the ham antennas on the smokestack, so I wonder if the ham station is still there.

3) The RAND and SEI Buildings on Forbes next to Mellon Institute are huge.

4) Scobol and nearby dorms look the same, but on closer inspection, look like they have been reconstructed.  I did not go inside to confirm this.

5) Scaife looks unchanged.

6) There is now a "front" to Hammerschlag replacing the former "bow" of the ship.  The stern of the ship (the outdoor theater) has been replaced by another building (I think part of the Tepper School).  So much for historical mythology of the campus designed as a ship.

Overall, the campus looks a lot more crowded and has grown toward Pitt with acquisition of land around Mellon Institute, Naval (Coast Guard?) Recruiting and the Bureau of Mines.  The Pitt and CMU campuses are almost directly on top of each other on Forbes.


Carol Shanahan

In some recent emails, we've mentioned Carol Shanahan, so this photo shows her in the CS Engineering Lab.
As some of you know, she had married John Godfrey back around 1970, a man several of us also know.  Sadly, this marriage ended several years after this trip.

Chris Hausler

Hi Mark,

I'm attaching the other photo of Carol [Shanahan] I took during that 1976 visit in case that helps. That was the last time I ever saw Carol. 

Chris Hausler

Chris' Modem Rack

Hi All,

Sorry, but I had to include this photo.  It's of me of course standing next to what was my primary project the year I worked for the CS Engineering Lab, my modem racks.  I'm rather proud of the effort.  This photo shows the rack with four of the units installed.  I recall that these were all connected to the 360.  There were six units total and the other two were over in the CS computer area connected to the PDP-10's as I recall.  I had constructed the first five of them and in the process written a "Heathkit Manual" describing how to do this.  The sixth and final unit was successfully built by one of the other lab workers using this manual as I was by that time moving out of Pittsburgh. 

As to the units themselves, the answer mode 103A modem cards were purchased (Astrocom ?) but I designed the line control logic as well as the unit layout and wiring and did the design and layout of the line control printed circuit cards.  There were two of these card designs, each did four channels and since each unit held 8 modems, there were two of each of these cards in each unit.  The auto answer cards are the two in the center of the unit.  You can see some red LEDs on them indicating those lines are off hook.  This was the one double sided printed circuit card I ever did and when taping up the layout for them it was a pain to keep both sides aligned.  Outside of each of those are the loss of carrier hangup timer cards.  These were just single sided.  Both of these cards were manufactured by an outside firm using my taped layouts.  I laid out and in this case etched myself a third small single sided card mounted underneath the main cards with the transistorized light drivers for the five white lamps on the lower right of the unit.  These lamps displayed the usual modem signals and the rotary switch to the right of
them selected which of the 8 channels to monitor, although it was normally left in a ninth "off" position.  There was a tenth position which was lamp test (and you can see from the photo that I've put the top unit into this condition ;-)  Somewhere here in the "pile" I have one each of these three cards, bare.  Anyway, it was quite pleasant to me to find that they were still in use 5 years after I had left.

Chris Hausler

1966/67/68 Comp Center

Hi All,

Here of some photos of folks taken at the Comp Center. These were all likely taken in late 66, 67 or early 68.

Chris Hausler

The first image4-3, shows operator Paul Gensler and, of course, Pat Stakem.  I believe this was taken on the third floor but I am not positive.

The second, image14, shows Fred Brosi, another student that a number of you must remember as he was an EE who graduated in 69 and was another Comp Center rat.  He is standing beside operator Mary Noe of whom I have previously written.  I believe this was taken on the fourth floor and the 1108 is in the distance.

The third, image15, is a better shot of Mary.
Date:            Tue, 04 May 2010 18:35:35 -0400
From:            Robert McFarland <>
Subject:         Re: Photos, photos, photos...Comp Center People


I was in the Army from January 1967 to January 1969, but I do remember Mary Noe.  She was a keypunch operator with Gerry (my late wife).  Gerry decided to switch to computer operator so that she could have days free to take enough classes to graduate.

CMU ECE 1970

The fourth, image 13, shows my girlfriend for a while, operator Nancy Barrett, in front of the 360.

The fifth, image 19, shows user consultant Meyer Billmers who graduated in 68 sitting at the user consultants desk where it was located when I first arrived in fall 66 in that room on the Panther Hollow side of the third floor adjacent to that string of small rooms with the teletypes and keypunches.
Date:            Thu, 6 May 2010 00:01:58 -0400 (EDT)
From:            "J. Chris Hausler" <>
Subject:         Re: Photos, photos, photos...Comp Center People

Hi Mark,

Yes Meyer was a nice guy.  My now 25 year old Alumni directory had him living in Hudson, MA and working as a consultant for DEC.  DEC being no more I wonder if he is still living in that area as Hudson, MA is where Russ has lived since the mid to late 70's and to my knowledge still does.  I visited with Russ on many trips up to that area to both Data General and DEC beginning in the early 70's although the last visit that I recall in the late 80's was a two week trip to learn about Sun Mircrosystem's version of UNIX and take an introductory course in C programming from them.

73, Chris Hausler
I made a stab at finding Meyer Billmers since he appeared in one of Chris' photos. I sent an email to an address that I found on the Internet:


If you are the Meyer Billmers who spent way too much time hanging around Scaife Hall at Carnegie Tech in the late 1960's, you might want to see some old photos at:

and I got the following:

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Subject:        Re: Carnegie Tech in the late 1960's
From:           Meyer Billmers <>
Date:           Sat, 11 Dec 2010 14:14:40 -0500

I am he! Since that time I still spend way too much time hanging around computers. I've been a professional software engineer since I got my masters degree from Harvard in 1972. I've been involved for much of that time in A.I. and then in software development for web-based collaboration. I'm married (for 41 years!), have three grown kids, and work at Novell.

You can see some of my more recent photos at for some much less attractive pictures of me, and of my much more attractive kids.

Thanks for the great link!!


As to the identity of the man in the sixth photo, image22, taken at the I/O desk, that is left as an exercise for you students ;-)
(Mark's note: For those who might not know, this is Roy Engehausen.)

The first two photos are especially for Dave Rodgers.  The first one, image29, shows George Kavanagh at the Comp Center giving me a sneer.
It is a favorite of mine and I recall making an 8x10 of it for George. 

The second, image26, I believe shows Walt Sullivan sitting in front of a 35ASR, I assume at the Comp Center although there were 35's elsewhere around campus and the location of this one does not match my memory of the units on the third floor of Scaife.  Dave Rodgers will have to confirm or not whether this is Walt.
From:    David Rodgers <>
Subject:    RE: Photos, photos, photos...more Comp Center people
Date:    Fri, 30 Sep 2011 17:24:03 -0700


Sorry I missed the request to comment.  Photo 2 is Walt Sullivan.
Sadly I remember the women's faces but not their names.


The next two photos show mystery women.  The first, image28 shows a long time I/O clerk.
Her husband was a physics grad student who was a fun guy (she always seemed somewhat reserved to me).
Anyway I do not recall her or her husband's names.

Date:    Tue, 25 Dec 2012 18:21:10 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

A while back, in communication with Pat, he sent me some comp center documentation. Looking through it I've come up with the names, I believe, of a couple of our comp center "mystery women". The first is for that pensive I/O clerk who was married to a physics grad student. Her name is Barbara Anderson. Unfortunately I don't remember his first name and searching through a recent Alumni directory there were a lot of Anderson's. Of the few who had responded to the school's requests for data, none which were time appropriate listed a wife with the name of Barb.
73, Chris Hausler

The second, image1-5, shows Paul Gensler again, this time in front of the 360 with another mystery women, this time an operator.  I do believe I recall her but again no memory of a name.  What with that earlier mystery woman, there are now three Comp Center women for whom we need to determine names.

Date:    Tue, 25 Dec 2012 18:21:10 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

A while back, in communication with Pat, he sent me some comp center documentation. Looking through it I've come up with the names, I believe, of a couple of our comp center "mystery women". I'm not so sure about this one but pretty sure, is the woman standing next to Paul Gensler in front of the 360. I believe her name is Madeline Codispoti.
73, Chris Hausler

The fifth photo, image33, shows Dave Rodgers sitting at the console of the 1108.

The sixth photo, image30, shows a number of people, I don't know any of their names, sitting at keypunches in one of those little rooms on the Panther Hollow side of Scaife on the third floor and that's why I've included it as I have no other photo of that area.

Hi All,

Here is a photo of of John Godfrey clowning around in the CS computer room.  You can see a couple PDP-10 consoles as well as a lot of DECTAPE drives in this photo as well :-)

I've seen John Godfrey twice since, the first time some time in the early to mid 80's and the second and last time in the late 90's.  By then he had moved away from that house he had just a couple blocks from the campus and had a nice place in a nice looking older neighborhood up on a wooded hill in Swissvale.  As I was a road warrior and US Air had a hub in Pittsburgh, sometimes when I was waiting for the outgoing plane I would call him and occasionally got him but its been over 10 years now since I did that.  Although I've been in Pittsburgh several times since, the limited time I had and other things on the agenda kept me from trying to contact him.

Chris Hausler

Hi All,

This photo, in addition to a second view of Carol at the left of the photo shows Paul Newbury, a man several of us know. I first met him as I believe all Athenians did at WRCT.  By the time I started working for the CS Engineering Lab in summer 1970, he was the "lab manager" or some title like that.  He was still that in 1976.  About 10 years or so ago at homecoming, "Scotch & Soda" was having a big reunion.  Paul had been quite involved in Scotch & Soda and thanks to him I became briefly involved as well as one of his helpers.  Anyway I attended this reunion and Paul was listed as planning to attend but I never did find him.  However, it was quite a zoo and even if he was there I might have missed him.

Chris Hausler

This photo is of the two RACE cards I have, one just recently found. 

The last time I saw Russ Moore was in the late 80's at his house.  I had visited with him a number of times from the early 70's to the late 80's when I was in the Boston area to see either DEC or DG about something.  I did trade emails with him half a dozen years ago but have not heard from him since.  I did send him that Christmas photo along with an email a few weeks ago but have not heard anything.  He does have a modest web page, <> offering his services as a consultant.  I also had another photo of Russ (and the back of Pat's head) on the balcony at the hotel during that visit which I'm attaching as well to see if that jogs your memory.

After that visit in 1976 I was never able to get either Pat or Russ to come to a homecoming even though at least one of Russ' sons attended CMU.  I tried to get an ASDG reunion idea going sometime in the 80's but that never came off either but I only contacted a few people.  Oh well...

Chris Hausler

I received this from the Moore family on 13 Feb 2013:  "We are saddened to report that Russ Moore passed away on February 12 after a long illness."

This photo shows Russ and Pat (somewhat better lit) in the CS Engineering Lab
From:            Mark DiVecchio <>
Subject:         Carnegie Tech Photos
Date:            Sun, 05 Dec 2010 12:42:39 -0800


You might be interested in some of the photo on our Carnegie Tech Computers web pages.

From:            "Russ Moore" <>
To:              "'Mark DiVecchio'" <>,
    "J. Chris Hausler" <>
Subject:         RE: Carnegie Tech Photos
Date:            Mon, 6 Dec 2010 03:09:19 -0500

Hello Mark and Chris!

Thanks for the pictures.  I guess Chris made it back to Pittsburgh for spring carnival this year.

Yes Jayne and I had an apartment in the building next where Chris and Pat had theirs on Rippy Street.  It was on the 2nd floor.  Jayne used to park her car in the driveway on the side of the building.  One time the tenants on the 3rd floor decided to drain their water bed and the hose the stuck out the window wound up filling her car with water.  Ahh the memories.

My son Steve was over and I showed him the pictures and he explained how the campus had changed even since he was there.  He also pointed out his apartment in the building next to the football field where the band would practice all too loudly.

Somewhere around here I also have a couple of the RACE cards.  One card looks pretty much like the ones shown in your pictures.  The other card is scrunched up like and accordion -- this was the product of a miss-read and the operator re-initiating the operation without actually looking at the machine.  Don't know if you saw these things in action but they looked like a mechanical disaster about to happen.  The magazines that held the cards were at one end of a very large machine and the drum that read them was at the other.  I seem to remember them as being quite large with long tracks for transport of the cards from the end with the magazines down one side and a similar track for putting back the cards one read.  The cards would wear out and they would get dropped in the channel.  As I recall the operator couldn't see the RACE units from his desk and on occasion (or may be this happened when an new operator was being trained on the system) he would respond to the error showing on his console with a command that resulted in initiating a new read request.  The machine was smart enough to report that the read had not completed but not that the card had been dropped in the channel.  The new request would result in the next card being fetched from the magazines at the rear of the unit, running down the channel (at what seemed like a much too fast to fast for the design to rationally handle) and smacking into the previously dropped card.  This would result in significant down time to tear down and repair the unit.  There were two RACE units and I kept my stuff duplicated on both drives.

Chris, I'm glad you had your camera and documented these things from 40 years ago to jog my memory.  Do you remember the time we went flying to photograph the solar eclipse?  John Godfrey was the pilot, Pat Stakem, you and I went along to take pictures with the home made Waterhouse stops on our lenses.  I believe it was March and we hit a freak snow storm.  The wings were icing up.  John had new glasses and was fighting vertigo and had to call the tower and get the owner of the airport to fly on our wing to get us back down (visibility zero).  To make matters worse, once we got back down we stopped at someone's apartment for coffee (maybe John's) and while we were inside someone broke into the car and stole all of camera gear.  I don't think any of us came away with any pictures that day.  Do you remember when that was?  Could this have been the same March that you show from 1967?

73,  Russ
Date:            Mon, 6 Dec 2010 13:37:32 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From:            "J. Chris Hausler" <>
Subject:         RE: Carnegie Tech Photos

Hi Russ,

Good to hear from you again!  I hope you are doing well.  I just heard from Pat and he's going in for some surgery this coming Wednesday, some kind of skin cancer around his ear.  My prayers go out to him.  I know the "C word" can be scary (although as I told him it loses some of its bite the second time around :-)

Yes Mark fixed the link for that one picture sort of while I was watching.  When I went to the page it was broken but then I continued reading emails and came to the one where he said he had fixed it and so I went back and it worked :-)

Yes, the RACE is an amusing memory.  I mostly dealt with it spring 68 when I first became an operator.  There's already a posting on the site about my experiences cleaning it.  I came across a reference somewhere saying that the big disks (one of which is seen in the first photo on the site in the section on Carl) were 48 MBytes and the RACE was 340 MBytes, but in either case I don't know if this refers to just one of the drives or both of them together.  The RACE drives of course were a separate system with the RCA 301 acting as controller and so might have been seen as one unit by the G-20's.  It is my understanding that both G-20's could access the RACE but I don't know about the disk drives.  Were each of those just on one machine or were both of them accessible from both machines?  I don't know if there was any level of redundancy provided in either system.  I know that periodically they were backed up to tape.  I have no idea how much data a full length tape would have held and of course the tapes were "blocked" just like a stringy disk (and like DECTAPE).  My G-20 tapes were only about half length as that was largest size of raw one inch tape my father had been able to get me.  All the tape I got came on NAB hubs so it was easy to put the G-20 tapes in use as all I had to do was to get an empty G-20 tape spool and unscrew the sides from it and screw them back in the hub I got from my father.  For the 1/2 inch stuff I had to wind them off the bare hubs (no sides) onto the "IBM" type spools and keep the tape on the bare source hubs from telescoping while doing this.  I recall using a turntable to do this, but it was touch and go.

Speaking of "touch and go", yes I very much recall that day we went up in the airplane to try and photograph the eclipse.  The date for this was spring but most likely 1970, not 67 when that earlier storm had occurred.  If it wasn't 70 it was 71 but I think you were gone by then.  The airplane as I recall was a Cessna Cardinal, sometimes called the "strutless wonder" because unlike other high wing small Cessnas, it did not have wing struts.  This, of course, was good for photography but the joke was the "wonder" came from wondering why the wings didn't fall off :-) 

Anyway, yes you, Pat, John as pilot and I were in the airplane.  Because of the Pittsburgh smog a lot of folks were planning on driving out from underneath it to see the eclipse.  We, being smart, were going to fly up above it :-)  Well, of course the weather was marginal but we were climbing for a hole in the overcast when it closed in on us.  Now of course, John was nervous as he only had a VFR rating (and in my brief "flying career" from the late 80's to the late 90's I got in a couple such situations where all I could see was more or less straight down and not all the time either and it is a time for "heightened senses". Snow squalls can almost appear out of nowhere :-). 

John was calling the Pittsburgh International tower as the field we had flown out of in Monroeville was just a unicom field but the airport owner ("Woody" as I recall) who by this time was coming up in another airplane to guide us in was keying his mic every time John called so that the Pittsburgh tower would not understand him, likely because he didn't want an investigation by the FAA.  Woody got up and found us and first tried to lead us in by getting off one wing.  He'd come out right but we didn't so he then got in front of us and flew the approach straight and guided us in fine.  (Yes you can do this if you can only see down if you are very familiar with what is around the airport and as it was his airport Woody likely was.  In those couple of situations above that I in that was what I was able to do.  Since in one case I had just taken off from a tower controlled airport, Rochester, I just called Approach Control and told them that visibility had become "marginal" and I wanted to return to the airport.  I didn't tell them I couldn't see where I was going.  Approach Control gave me vectors to the pattern and I just flew them as although I too only had a VFR rating I could keep the airplane at least straight and level by reference to instruments (as John could also) and by the time I got to the pattern and they handed me off to the tower I could tell where I was by looking down.)  I don't recall any issue of wing icing but I could be forgetting that what with all the rotting brain cells.

So we landed successfully and sat there on the ground at the airport as the sky darkened and then lightened again, completely overcast.  Oh well.  Then as you say we went to John's apartment and while we were there drinking a coke as I recall someone broke into the car and stole a lot of the photo equipment.  Yes, a day that will go down in infamy ;-)

73, Chris Hausler
From:            "David Chou" <>
Subject:         RE: Carnegie Tech Photos
Date:            Mon, 6 Dec 2010 09:54:47 -0800


Unfortunately, I was one of the midnight student operators who was "privileged" (aka tenacious enough) to do the monthly backups on the RACE units to tape.  Third shift was rather enjoyable in that it allowed me to catch naps at the end of the evening when things slowed down. Unfortunately, I could no longer nap when RACE backups were occurring.  As you mentioned, the distance between the console and the RACE units were some distance apart.  There were actually four physical units, but only two logical ones.  The other two were either down, used for testing, or acted as backup units.  Given the fact that (I think) there were two copies of everything in a single unit, plus the duplication of the units themselves, they were quite inefficient from a storage perspective.

Accordioning of the cards was rather common; my impression is that virtually any physical problem in the cards themselves would result in jamming.  For the most part, I was able to pull the cards our of the unit and the system would resume operations.  I always wondered who would replace the cards and what would happen to the data.  Over the evening/morning, I would inevitably toss at least a half dozen cards or so.  If you have a picture of this, I would like it to show students and employees since noone believed that such a device existed.

Another problem was that the RCA301 and G20 would deadlock whenever errors occurred (usually a 5ERR on the G20 console) and this was frequent.  I would have to travel some 100 feet into the RACE room, rewind a 7-track boot tape, type in a 25-30 hex instruction sequence for the bootstrap, and execute. Upon return, I would clear the G20 error to resume backup.  It was not particularly difficult and we all memorized the instruction sequence rather rapidly.  On a good night, the backups ended before 8AM; on a bad night, it would extend into the next shift.  The only good thing about the RACE units were that they offered a lot of storage at a time when other options were limited, but there are good reasons why it did not make it into the marketplace.

Date:            Tue, 7 Dec 2010 12:44:12 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From:            "J. Chris Hausler" <>
Subject:         RE: Carnegie Tech Photos

Hi Russ (and Mark and Dave),

Dave, you might be able to clear up size and partitioning questions raised below on the RACE and G-20's disks.

After I wrote the below it suddenly dawned on me that solar eclipses are rather rare events and it should be easy to find the date we took that infamous airplane trip with John and Pat.  It was March 7, 1970.

Also if you look at two specific photos on that page with all my photos, the one of Fred and Mary on the 4th floor and the one of the fourth floor as it now is you will note a fire alarm bell.  It's just above and to the left of Fred's head in that photo and as the current photo is from the other end of the hall you can see it down the hall and on the right side.  From what I can tell it's in the same place in both photos, about the only object which appears identical in both photos, and I think a "fun fact" (although close examination shows the bump out for the water fountain in both as well but I don't recall the fountain back in the daze) :-)

OK Russ, lets see some photos of that crumpled RACE card.  There is a story about a somewhat famous physicist who would show up at physics conferences back "then" with a pristine magnetic strip out of an IBM Datacell.  When he had an "audience" he would pull it out and ask the crowd what it was.  Likely back then some other physicist would recognize it and say what it was.  This guy would then crumple it up in his hands, hold it up and say something like, "No, this is a Datacell strip". I guess he had lost some data due to this problem more than once :-)  (I should probably dig out that Datacell I have, which is a "real CMU" Datacell which I took out of a dumpster back during that homecoming visit in 1976 and photograph it.  I think Pat found some PC cards from that "Digisector" he had worked on in the same dumpster.)

73, Chris Hausler
From:            "David Chou" <>
Subject:         RE: Carnegie Tech Photos
Date:            Tue, 7 Dec 2010 13:32:02 -0800

Russ, Chris,

I did some simple math based on assumptions and information for the MT-10 tape controller from the  Bendix Peripherals Manual.  If I remember correctly, the G20 1-inch mag tape operated at 256 bpi, which works out to a whopping 7 MB/tape, assuming that there were 2400 feet on a tape.  Given blocking and directory overheads, this number is probably high.  I remember mounting 20-30 tapes for the monthly backups, which works to 140-210 MB total backed up.  Given the redundancy requirements for the RACE units and files which were not backed up, etc, the 340MB number certainly sounds reasonable.  Of course, this all fits only a single tape today.  You can imagine mounting/dismounting 30 tapes in a shift, compounded with the multiple error recoveries.  Those were the nights!

Date:            Tue, 07 Dec 2010 11:33:49 -0800
From:            Roy <>
To:              "J. Chris Hausler" <>
Subject:         Re: Carnegie Tech Photos

As I remember it, the IBM 2321 Datacell showed up at CMU in 1967 and didn't last very long.   I had a test job that I would run against it and I don't think it ever finished the job without malfunctioning.

Years later (1979) I transferred to the IBM facility in San Jose.   IBM San Jose was the home of storage device development.  At the time, the facility was adding a 3850 MSS.  I asked about the Datacell and found out that references to the 2321 were not appreciated and the device was best forgotten :-)


1401 Machine Room in Warner Hall

Hi All,

Well the mad scanner has been at it again.  I located a number of B&W Tri-X negatives I took the first couple of years I was at CMU (CIT :-)

These photos were taken in the basement of Warner Hall in the 1401 machine room.  As some of you may remember, my father designed machines mostly for manufacturing and processing film for Kodak but did briefly get into designing machines which coated magnetic material on film and thus he knew the folks who continued to do this.  From this connection he got me quite a lot of half inch "instrumentation" magnetic tape not to mention inch wide stuff to use on the G-20's.  The very first roll was wound onto one of those half sized 1200 foot spools and used by Dave Rodgers who wrote a program to store and update the WRCT record library on this tape.  Most of the following photos show Dave.  One shows the row of 7330 tape drives with their short horizontal vacuum columns and one even shows me sort of leaning over Dave as he examines the listing.  After I disconnected the scanner I found yet another strip with a 1401 photo so that may be coming later.  Enjoy!

Chris Hausler

  Also I've included another 1401 shot I found on the same film strip as 2-8, showing Dave Rodgers and Jean (sp?) Stevens in front of the 1401 (image1-6).
This explains who took that photo I sent previously which showed me and Dave's hand in the 1401 room.

1967 Snow Storm

Hi All,

And now for something completely different and having nothing to do with computers.  Any of you who were at CIT in spring 1967 (March as I recall) might remember a serious snow storm that spring (at least serious for Pittsburgh, in Rochester here these would be merely flurries :-).  Anyway in the entire five years I was there, this is the only weather event I remember which caused the school to cancel classes for a day.  As it was, Pittsburgh did not seem to have any real snow removal equipment and the city was tied up for several days. 

The first photo was taken the evening the snow was still falling and has always been a favorite photo of mine (image12).  It shows a bike rack out in front of Baker Hall.  Someone had put their bicycle there and it appears that someone else built a "snow couple" riding the bike. 

The second two (image25 and image18) show two snow sculptures built on the cut after the storm was over. 

The one of Warner Hall seems to be making some kind of editorial comment but I'll let you all be the judge of just what that comment is.

  The final photo unfortunately has some damage to it but I wanted to include it as it is the only one I have which really shows the extent of the storm.  In the early to mid 70's there was a flood at my parents home in the basement and a lot of my photo stuff including prints and negatives was stored in cardboard boxes on the basement floor and got wet.  This negative shows water damage as a big spot on the right side of the photo.  The photo, image3-4 shows what I believe to be Dave Rodgers car (with Dave inside trying to start it although you can hardly see him).  I've completely forgotten why or where but Dave and I drove somewhere a day or two after the storm in his car, an early Ford Thunderbird.

73,  Chris Hausler

Date:    Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:01:31 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
From:    "J. Chris Hausler" <>
Subject:    CMU photo

Hi Mark,

I was just looking through some old photos that I had previously scanned and don't recall whether I ever sent this one to you.  It is significant in that it shows CIT when we were there and ignoring Wean, shows the areas of most of the major changes since we left.  It was part of the slide show and so was likely taken 66 (no signs of Warner construction, still finishing up when I visited fall 65) to 9-68 the date on the slides.  I've wondered why they cut off the western part of the campus and it is possible that at the time of the photograph Wean was being built and that area of the campus as you must recall was a mess.  They might not have wanted to show this to prospective students, the target audience for the slide show.  If I have already sent it, sorry for the duplication.  Anyway, brings back memories of paths one can no longer traverse.

73, Chris Hausler

Hi Mark,
I blew the dust off of my photo scanner today for the first time in quite a while.  I have quite a few CMU photos most of which are pretty meaningless or show people I don't remember.  None of these have anything to do with Computers.  Some are WRCT photos.  I'm still deciding whether to do "Reunion" (or whatever they're calling it) this year.  I wouldn't even be considering it if it weren't for a scheduled WRCT reunion of some sort.  Anyway here we go...

This email contains four "mood" pieces.  No description is really necessary.

73, Chris Hausler

Got your two emails with the CMU photos.

I remember the name Roland Findlay III but I can't remember the context. I never hung around WRCT very much.

Was the Woodlawn Pharmacy on the corner of Forbes and the road that led to the CMU boy's dorms? Margaret Morrison St?

I like the two photos of the athletic field - summer and winter. All that area is so different now with all the new buildings.

Hi Mark,

Roland was another WRCT "rat" like me, he was DJ on the Sunday night rock & roll request show on which I would work pulling records and such until the wee hours of Monday morning (instead of going back to the dorms and getting a good night sleep like I should have) I think he graduated in 68.  The show advertised for Oakland's Original and we would normally get food delivered.  One of the regular delivery guys was a friendly black guy and in addition I (and Pat and others) would get food delivered at other places around campus including the dorms, the Athena room and at least a couple times when I was 1108 operator.  This guy would walk in on us and always say something like, "not you guys again!".  Roland's roommate in Donner Hall was Dave Kohler (sp?) who had been president of WRCT the year before I got there.  I ran into Dave at the 1997 homecoming and he told me that Roland was back in California, apparently his home state, but that he had not seen him in a long time.

Yes, Woodlawn was on the corner of Forbes and Margaret Morrison street which ran past the men's dorms.  The first year I was at CIT, 66/67 I had the 5 days a week food plan but had to "fend for myself" on weekends and frequently I would have Sunday morning breakfast at Woodlawn's Pharmacy's "lunch counter" a real greasy spoon.  I'd get the Sunday Pittsburgh Press to get the comics and sit there eating breakfast and reading the paper.  I think it went out of business the next year or certainly by 68, sad.  The first floor of the building then became an art museum at least for the rest of the time we were there.  I'm not sure what it is now.  On the Margaret Morrison side in the basement of the Woodlawn building was a barber shop at which I got my hair cut for at least a couple of years as well.

Yes, I like those two athletic field photos for the differing moods.  I had a first floor dorm room in McGill my freshman year at the front of the building and I think they were taken out of the front room window of the room.  One of my two roommates was Arthur Hamerschlag (sp?), the grandson of the first president of the school, a real nice guy.

73, Chris Hausler

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