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Mark Camillo DiVecchio

This Page last updated on .

Note to Rudy Mrozoski - got your email
but lost the address, send me another email.

 
I was born at a very young age.
1948 Me and my godmother, Elizabeth "Betty Jane" (Ross) Devens. She was the maid of honor at my parent's wedding. She lived in the front house on 11th Street, Beaver Falls, PA (she is also pictured in my parent's wedding photo). This photo was taken on a sidewalk along side my grandmother's house on 11th Street. My uncle Paul Frazzini was my godfather.
1949 -  The curly hair is long gone.

Providence Hospital - this is were I started. The hospital was only a few blocks from where my mother lived in Beaver Falls and where my grandmother continued to live with my uncle Paul after my mother's marriage. The building is still there and is now a retirement home.
1949 with my parents. Taken at the front of my Grandmother Lucrezia Frazzini's house in Beaver Falls, PA.

1949 West Aliquippa, PA
Frank d'Antonio, his son Richard, my grandmother, Lucia diGiovine, and me
The d'Antonio's, Carmino and wife Cristina with sons Frank, Jim, Emilio and Joe lived in the same set of row houses where my father and grandparents lived (at 107 Main Ave).
Frank's brother, Joe, lives about 15 miles from me in San Diego County. (Mark's note: Joe passed away in 2011)
Jim d'Antonio home tutored me for a year of my schooling - see photo below. (Mark's note: Jim passed away in 2013)
I lived there (109½ Main Street, West Aliquippa, PA) for about the first year of my life as well.

1949 Lucrezia Frazzini with her grandson, me. Taken at street right outside her home at 121 11th Street, Beaver Falls, PA. The house has since been torn down.


1951 with my sister Patricia. My other sister, Diane, was born the next year.

1953-54 Either Kindergarten or just before. My teacher at New Sheffield Elementary School was Mrs Grace Carey.


1954-55 My 1st grade class. Mrs. Sara Henry, New Sheffield Elementary School, Aliquippa, PA. I could probably still name 75% of the kids in this photo - but don't ask me what I had for breakfast today. (click on image for full size scan)

1955-56 My 2nd grade class. Mrs. Florence Crissman, New Sheffield Elementary School, Aliquippa, PA.
(click on image for full size scan)

The one (only one) thing good about getting older that you are no longer embarrassed by photos such as this one. ca 1958 4th  Grade.

1956 The DiVecchio's first TV set. Notice the photo on top of the TV. Its the same one of my sister Patricia and me shown above on this web page. In this photo is me and my two sisters, Patricia and Diana.

1956 My First Communion. Also in the photo is my uncle, Paul Frazzini, and my grandmother, Lucrezia, my mother's mother.

1956 Halloween. Guess who these kids are.....

1958  My Confirmation, another rite in the Catholic Church. My sponsor was Emido (Maley) DiBenedetto. Maley died in 1985. This picture was taken in the kitchen of our house in Aliquippa.
1956-57 My 3rd grade teacher was Dorothy Herbert 1957-58 My 4th grade teacher was Mildred Gaw.

1959 My 5th grade class. Mrs. Leah V. Aynardi, New Sheffield Elementary School
(click on image for full size scan)

Probably 5th grade, 1959. This was before I started to wear glasses.

1960 My 6th grade class, Mrs Elenor Mellot, New Sheffield Elementary School.
(click on image for full size scan)

 In Sep of 2007, with the substantual help of Betty Stacho Mazur, here are the names:

First row (top): Kathy Schwartz, Mark DiVecchio, Louise Rozic, Ron Santik, Sandra Medich*

Second Row:  Larry Dobosh, Elaine Wallace, Bill Bryson, Sandra Kashiwsky, Judy Wilson, Sandra Sintay, Phil Cohen, Betty Stacho*, Paul Demshur*

Third Row: Linda Davidson, Nancy Oliker*, Kathy Trivanovich; Susan Blair, Irene Platko, Donna Gruber.

Fourth Row: Larry Agostinelli*, Joyce Mayconich; Perry Bernola (?), Susan Vaughn, Richard Katcher, Joanne Wilkox, Robert Taylor, Janice Oliver, John Zanath.

Fifth Row: Louis Ramunno(?), Karen Carifo, Dale McDowell, Herb Anderson, Phyllis Sherman, Pete D'Amico

Missing from the photo:  Thomas Markham

I'm in touch with the people marked with an asterisk "*".

1960 I think. Christmas at the DiVecchio's. Me and my sisters. The Christmas cards still get taped to the mantle each year.

Sometime in Junior High School. 1960-63. I had that sweater up until just a few years ago. It was in 7th grade that I started to wear glasses.


My Lionel Train layout about 1962. It took over the dining room from Thanksgiving until Christmas every year for 8 years. I still have all this stuff.  Click here for my  model trains web page.
Sometime during 8th grade (probably about March 1962), 20 students (10 boys and 10 girls) were selected to test a new teaching method. From the newspaper article "Aliquippa Junior High Pupils to Take Part in Test". The article went on to say that the method was developed by the American Institude for Research located in Pittsburgh.

The students included my future cohorts in crime, Paul Demshur (future K3FWD) and Herb Anderson (future K3UHN). I'm going to list all of the students because maybe someday, they will "google" themselves and find this:

Herbert Anderson, Paul Demshur, Charles Dinsmore, Mark DiVecchio, Richard Katcher, Dennis Marcantonio, Ronald Santik, Mike Wallace, George Walser, Bill Weight, Karen Carifo, Jessie Hetrick, Joyce Larkovich, Carole Maravich, Jackie Painter, Irene Radut, Jean Restaino, Jo Ann Roberson, Kathy Trivanovich and Susan Vaughn.

"Self teaching materials on electronics theory and related laboratory exercies have been written by Dr. William A. Deterline and Dr. David J. Klaus, research psychologists, to teach pupils the fundamentals of electronics and the technical skills necessary to assemble electronic equipment."

After going through the study material and being tested on it, we got to actually build a tube radio. Soldering and everything. Mine worked the first time. Here are a couple of photos. (I still have this radio in a box in my garage).

As you might imagine, I was in hog heaven. By 8th grade, I knew a little about radios but this course really set the tone and direction for my entire life.

1962 Science Fair Winners (8th grade)

The guy on the right is Bill Dye. Bill was into rockets and space. In high school, Bill started the Aliquippa Rocket Club of which I was a member.

Bill wrote of his experiences in his book - "Climbing into My Dream". Here is a link to that book.
----
My introduction to electronics and radios was by my cousin Guido Politano, now WB9ZJR.
Guido helped me (a lot) with my 7th grade project - a Morse code oscillator.
In 8th grade, I built a transistorized photoelectric relay. I entered it in the Buhl Plaentarium Science Fair but didn't win anything.
See below for my 9th grade project.
I received this in 2006:

Date:            Fri, 14 Apr 2006 18:30:25 -0700
From:            Bill Dye <whd828bellsouth.net>
Subject:         Holy Cow!  Is this THE MARK I knew in Aliquippa?

So it's been almost 40 years since we were in the Aliquippa Rocket Club??!! Believe it or not I was thinking of you the other day.  I decided I wanted to learn Morse Code . . the memory of the Radio club (which I never 'got') and Mr. Palumbo ("The HEAD") came to mind.

I left Aliquippa in '69 and my parents moved to Munster Indiana and I went to Parks College of Aeronautical Technology (St. Louis U).  Went to work on the Space Shuttle after almost 2 years with no aerospace job from '71 to Jan '73.  Went to LA and eventually went to Lockheed in '81.  Been there ever since.  Thinking of retiring . .but where??!!  California too expensive and crowded.  Thinking of North Carolina.

Wife of 34 years, no kids (vacation life) and a cat!

Still good lookin' though  :-)
Some of my favorite stores as a High Schooler:

Allied Electronics, 2400 W. Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL  60612
Burstein-Applebee Co., 199 Mercier St, Kansas City, MO 64111
Lafayette Radio Electronics, 111 Jericho Tpke, Syosset, Long Island, NY  11791
Newark Electronics, 500 N. Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60624
Olson Electronics, 260 S. Forge St, Akron, OH  44327
Radio Shack, 2617 W. 7th St., Forth Worth, TX 76107
Poly Paks, PO Box 942, South Lynnfield, MA  01940

1963 More Science Fair

Here is Paul Demshur and me in 9th grade. We made a semi-working model of the Telstar satellite. I think this was our 15 minutes of fame.
The satellite was made from two Tupperware bowls glued together.
This project was physically too big to enter in the Buhl Plaentarium Science Fair but we did enter it in the Geneva College Science Fair. Paul and I won 1st Prize.
(Click on image for full article)

In Junior High, we had the same homeroom for all 3 years. This is 1961, I think. Mrs. Ferry was the homeroom teacher. This was Aliquippa Junior High School, Aliquippa, PA. (click on image for full size scan)

About 1963, either 9th or 10th grade.

1966 Ham Radio Operator K3FWT. We spent our time talking on the radio. This shot was taken in a tent where we had camped out on the top of a high hill to see how far we could communicate. The person on the right about to club me is my "buddy", Paul Demshur, K3FWD. We got our ham licenses at the same time.

I went through my old log books. The first book, dated 27 Dec 1963 to 24 Aug 1964, shows my first CQ on 21.12 Mc, running 75w CW. My first contact occurred on 31 Dec with KN3UHN on the same frequency. TVI reports started coming in from neighbors on 7 Jan 64. On 26 Jan 1964, I got my first ARRL Official Observers Cooperative Report for a 579 signal at 7.4405 Mc. It was from Kalamazoo, MI. Contacts were few and far between until about March when I must have gotten the hang of it. Notation that I passed my General Class on 12 Aug 64. I took the test at the FCC office in Pittsburgh. My second log book dated 26 Aug 64 to 7 Nov 65 shows that I received the license on 25 Sep 64 (no instant upgrades like available today). With only crystal control, my first A3 contact was not until 13 Nov 64 after I got a VFO.  Very few AM contacts with my little HT-40 running 75 watts so I mostly stuck with CW.

The exception was that I had a HeathKit Twoer from somewhere (borrowed?). I also used a 10 Meter mobile station (HE-50) for a time - I noted that operation was in my 1967 Mustang.

On 13 Jun 1966, my parents bought me an EICO 753 200 watt SSB transceiver. It was a kit which I completed on 17 Jun. I was successful right from the start making SSB contacts. It drifted pretty badly (even though it had the transistorized VFO). I suffered with that drift all through my college days. I operated Field Day that summer and I could work everyone that I could hear. My second ARRL OO report was received on 14 Jul 66 with a slightly chirpy 559 signal in Missoula, MT.

I took my EICO with me when I started at Carnegie Tech in Sep of 66 but the rig saw less and less use over the next four years. In Nov of 1967, I moved the rig into the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house on campus. In Feb of 1969, I moved into an apartment near campus with Ron Herold, also a Ham Operator (now WD4IAD).

By 30 Jun 1970, I was living in East Liberty in Pittsburgh with Pat Stakem and Chris Hausler (WB2TLL). In Aug of 71, I was in the Army and operating from Springfield, VA (I was stationed at Ft. Belvoir).

In Aug of 1972, I got a Drake ML-2, crystal controlled for 2 meter operation. Some years later, it was stolen out of my car at a shopping mall in DE. By Apr of 73, I was out of the Army and living in Phoenixville, PA. Still using my EICO 753.

By 1978, I was in CA but still K3FWT. Sometime over those years, the requirement to log every transmission was deleted. My last log entry is 23 Sep 1993.

I still operate 2 meters and I have a Kenwood TS-440 for the HF bands.

1966 At Aliquippa High School, we formed a ham radio club in the back room of the physics lab (we were nerds before that word existed). That's Mr Palumbo, Physics teacher and our sponsor. In the picture are Harry Dushac, K3FSE, Paul Demshur, K3FWD, Bernie Carifo, and me. Another ham in our class was Herb Anderson, K3UHN.

Bernie died in 2014. Bernie was a year behind me at Carnegie-Mellon. He worked as a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry.

ROCKETS A-GO-GO -- Mark DiVecchio, left, talks to a tracker while Bill Dye, president of Aliquippa Rocket Club gives the signal to fire a rocket at a recent rocket launch by the club at the old Aliquippa Airport near the Aero Commander Plant in Hopewell Township. With grounds no longer available to the them, club members are looking for a new launch site and hope to conduct another launch next Saturday.

Beaver County Times, 19 Aug 1966

For much, much, much more, click here for the Aliquippa Rocket Club web page.

Being the pack-rat that I am, here is one of the rockets that I shot up as a member of the Aliquippa Rocket Club. I never graduated to the multi-stage rockets as I was more interested in the electronics and radio aspects of the launches.

1966 April 1 - Newspaper article from the Beaver County Times: "Second and Third - Mark DiVecchio, left, second place winner in Aliquippa High School's annual advanced mathematics course, operates his computer translator. Nancy Oliker, third place winner with a dissertation on populistic democracy, using Algebraic formulae, and James D'Antonio, instructor of the course, look on."

My entry was a binary to decimal convertor - which never worked right.

My buddy, Paul Demshur, got first place in this competition. "Mr. D" was my math instructor for several years. In additional to that, during my 9th grade year, when I could not attend school, Mr. D tutored me that whole year coming to my house three afternoons a week.

I ran into Mr. D at the barber shop in Aliquippa in early Jan 2009. I did not recognize him but he recognized me! It was fun to talk with him and he filled me in on a few of the people whose pictures you see above in the class photos. He remembered more about my classmates than I did. I'm sorry that I didn't have my camera but I'm going to visit him at his home one of these days.

Mr. D passed away, unexpectedly, on 6 Nov 2013 at his home in West Aliquippa. In 1987, he retired after 35 years with the Aliquippa School District. Mr. D was deeply involved with St. Joseph's Church in West Aliquippa and later with St. Titus Church in Aliquippa. Link.

1966 Graduation - Aliquippa High School


1966 This is the gang I hung around with in High School. L to R:
  Harry Dushac K3FSE
  Karen Sarafin
  Patricia DiVecchio (my younger sister, would you believe I hung around with her!)
  Paul Demshur K3FWD
  Joanne Ross
  Elaine Urda
The three guys were seniors (and all ham radio operators) and the girls were sophomores. Photo taken in Karen's basement.


During the summer of 1965, I attended a summer study session at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. After I graduated from High School, I went to school full time there. During my tenure, the name changed to Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU). At the summer session, I met Roy Engehausen. Roy was also a ham radio operator (now AA4RE) and he and I became friends. I roomed with him again during my freshman year at Tech. In the summer of 1968,  I worked at a programming job in New York City and had many opportunities to visit with Roy and his parents at their Staten Island home. Here are his parents, Florie and Henry taken at their home in 1968. I was best man at his marriage to his wife of some number of decades, Bernadette. His mother died in 1997 and his father in 1999. Here is a Google search on his name (he has quite a list of hits!).


Here is another picture of Roy. This was taken at my parents house in Aliquippa. Probably taken while we were attending CMU so it would be the late sixties. Roy remembered this was at Thanksgiving, probably 1966, our freshman year at Carnegie Tech..

1968 One of the very, very few photos I have of me while I attended CMU. This was a family visit to my fraternity (Delta Tau Delta) during some kind of open house. Thats me, my sisters, Patricia and Diane, and my  mom. Do I look bored or what! Photo probably taken by my father.


1969 Athena Computer. This was an old USAF missile guidance computer that the Air Force gave to CMU. A group of us spent our free time getting it running. It was the source of many senior projects. It had 256 words of  core memory storage. It now has its own web page, click on link above.

1969 The other computer that I played with a bit at CMU. This was some sort of monstrous analog computer. It was great at differential equations but could not balance a check book. Photo taken by either Pat Stakem or Chris Hausler. The arm is either Ray Carson or Ron Herold.

More on our Athena Systems Development Group web page.

In a letter that I received from Dean Williams in 1966, he described "a special computer laboratory with a G-15D digital computer, TR-10 analog computers and a DDA-20 digital differential analyzer".

Subject:         RE: Your Arm
Date:            Sat, 27 Dec 2008 20:29:54 -0500
From:            "Ron Herold" <ronsolverrr.org>

Mark,

Looking at the physique of the arm in the picture you refer to - I don't think its mine.  It is in much too fine a physical shape.  I am in physical shape... Just remember Round is a shape.

Ron



From the Jan-Feb 1967 issue of the Mesta News.
Mesta Machine Company paid for a significant chunk of tuition for four years for me at Carnegie Institute of Technology.
I was never appreciative enough at the time.
I don't remember the other recipients, Richard Beissenger, Warren Nystrom, and Roy Carlson.

After I graduated, I worked for a year in Pittsburgh before I went into the Army. Here is 5822 Rippey Street in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh where I lived. My roommates were Pat Stakem and Chris Hausler. Both of them were computer nerds like me. Photo of the house taken by Chris Hausler in 2010. We had a two bedroom apartment on the ground floor. It was orginally a house that was remodeled into a three apartments, one on each floor. The building was ancient when we lived there in 1970 but it has survived to today!

1970 Newly commissioned Second Lieutenant Mark DiVecchio. "US Army Photograph". I graduated in June of 1970 but I didn't have to report for duty until May of 1971.

1970-71 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA and Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, PA. I worked on the PDP-8i computer that controlled the scoreboards. This is one of my programs running, it showed the lineups. Three Rivers opening day was July 16, 1970. The stadium was demolished Feb, 11, 2001 (now replaced by Heinz Field). "The Vet" opened on April 4, 1971 and was demolished on 21 Mar 2004

(When I was still in college, we used to attend the Pirates games at Forbes Field which was within walking distance of Carnegie Tech. We could get into the bleachers for free after the 7th inning. Forbes Field was replaced by Three Rivers Stadium in 1970.)

The company I worked for was Management Science Associates (MSA). It was a small company that had the programming subcontract. The primary contractor for the scoreboards was Stewart-Warner out of Chicago. They did all the scoreboard electronics.

Also for the same pair of companies, I worked on the programming for the passenger sign system for the, then under construction, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)  in San Francisco. I never got to go to California as we did all the programming work in Chicago (during the months of Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr of 1971).

In April of 1971, I left MSA for the US Army.

More about my time at MSA - click here.

1973 1LT. I entered active duty on April 13, 1971. After training at Fort Gordon GA, I spent the rest of my tour of duty at Fort Belvoir, VA as a programmer (mostly COBOL) on an IBM 360 Model 20. I was assigned to the US Army Combat Develoments Command, Headquarters, Data Processessing Field Office. This picture was taken right before I got out in 1973.

My last assignment in the Army was TDY at Fort Leavenworth, KS. The computer center that I worked for at Ft. Belvoir was being moved there. All of the programs were being converted to run on a CDC mainframe computer (I don't remember model the number).
I got out of the Army in May of 1973. Before I got out, I interviewed with three companies: Goodyear Aerospace in Akron, OH; Burroughs Corporation in Paoli, PA and Ross Perot's company, Electronic Data Systems (EDS). EDS was too much like the Army. Goodyear would have been OK, but I chose Burroughs and moved to eastern PA More about my time at Burroughs - click here.

1973 - Pat Stakem. When I was in the Army, Pat and I volunteered at the Smithsonian Institution trying to get an old Burroughs Mod I computer to work. We were not successful. Pat did arrange, though, to get the Athena Computer donated by CMU to the Smithsonian. Pat's motto is "Sometimes, it does take a Rocket Scientist..." (he is one). BTW, thats only a picture on a wall in the background. Its not the Mod I but the photo was taken at the Smithsonian. Other links about Pat:
NewsForge | FlightLinux: Tux in Space and Eight Miles High.

1976 I worked for Burroughs Corp in Paoli, PA from 1973 until 1978. Here I am standing in front the PEPE computer that I worked on. We installed it in Huntsville, AL at the computer center of System Development Corporation. Here is a web page I did about PEPE and my involvement. I need a haircut. PEPE Wikipedia Entry.
 

1978 ca. At Trenton Computer Festival. I was living in Phoenixville, PA at the time (working for Burroughs). That's me, Carol Ziemba and Chris Hausler (WB2TLL). Both graduated with me from CMU. I had an apartment with Chris and Pat Stakem before I went into the Army in 1971. Carol took my place when I left. Carol worked for IBM in Boca Raton in 1989 and at other locations. She is retired now - see email below.
. Found!

Date:    Fri, 7 May 2010 16:13:43 -0700 (PDT)
From:    Carol Ziemba <cziembayahoo.com>
Subject:    I'm still around

Dear Mark,
 
While doing some searches on my latest computer, I found your website.
 
I'm still alive and kicking in Austin, TX.  I retired from IBM in 2001 (almost nine years now) and am enjoying retirement. 
 
I worked for IBM in Austin, TX for several years when they decided to move about 700 employees out of Boca Raton.  I was involved in the Y2K conversions for several companies; the only major ones that had problems were using UNIX and thought they were OK.  I also did some website design. The last group I worked for at IBM was Global Services Division;  this is the closest I ever felt to being a prostitute in my life.
 
As soon as I was eligible for retirement, I was out of there.  They had me sign an agreement not to publish anything about them which I did gladly; anything I was going to publish would be under the cat's name.
 
Glad to see you are enjoying your current career.  Take care.
 
Carol 

1980, me and my parents

1985  Pilot, Santa Catalina Island - notice I'm wearing the same shirt as the last picture.....

1983 - In 1978, I moved to San Diego. Went to work for National Semiconductor building some of the first IBM computer clones - but these were clones of large mainframes (the kind you could walk inside of). We did well for a while but it 1983, the division closed and we were all laid off. Here is part of the design engineering group.
 
Back row (left to right):
Jerry Falkman
Gary Griffin
Dave Bilak
Chuck Stead
Julie Lilly
Mark DiVecchio
Kirby Spalding

Front row (left to right):
Buck Titherington
Sarkis Artinian
Tom Sarnowski
John Petry
Chun Lee

(back then not a gray hair in the bunch but you should see us now)
I've lost touch with Buck and Sarkis but still talk to the rest.
Click here for more about the computers I worked on at National.
Date:            Thu, 18 Sep 2008 19:16:56 -0400
From:    "William \"Buck\" Titherington" <buck_tbeeline-online.net>
Subject:         How ya doin'

Hi Mark,

Just happened to run across your web page.  Thought I could fix the fact that we lost touch.

I've been here and there since NAS & Megatech, and finally back to the east coast, Rhode Island (EMC & LTX), Conn. (to care for my in laws), and now moving to Maine. Divorced again, married again (to my high school sweetheart) for about 20 years now.

Like you I'm "between jobs", would like to have a bit more fun before I hang it up forever. Things are disgustingly quiet so I joined a Volunteer Fire Dept. to stay a little busy.

That's about it, stay in touch,
--
Buck Titherington

(Mark's note: I learned that Buck died on 4 Jul 2011.)
After being laid-off at National in 1983, I went to work for Megatek Corporation, a producer of computer-aided design and manufacturing equipment.
I left Megatek in 1984 (it was not a good fit) and worked for a short while for Encore Corporation. The VP there was none other than Gorden Bell who I knew from CMU. Encore was headquartered in Boston but my boss from Megatek, Mark Landguth, setup a design shop in San Diego. It never really worked out for me and I left within a few months. Later in 1984, I gave up working as employee and started working on my own. After a few years, I formed a company, Silogic Systems, which did mostly ASIC chip design.

This turned out to be my longest lived enterprise (lasting 15 years). At Silogic Systems, we did a wide range of software and hardware design.
In 1999, one of my clients, Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I closed down Silogic and I went to work for them. There I continued to do chip design, mostly on SiGe high speed (GHz rate) serializers and deserializers for optical fiber inter-computer communications.

I still have a web site for Silogic Systems but the company is inactive.

I've kept the domain name, as you can see, and use it for my personal web page now.

2002 My wife, Sally Clarno DiVecchio, who I met in 1994 and finally married in 2004, and me taken just before our hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Right after we got married, we went to Italy for three weeks
In 2003, after the Internet bubble burst, I chucked it all and left AMCC for retirement (but I tell people that I'm between jobs - just in case the money runs out.). Now, my main job is genealogy research. You can see the results of that labor on this web site.



This site prepared and maintained by Mark DiVecchio

email :  markd@silogic.com

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This site will be under construction for a while.

If you can help with the expenses to develop this web site: