[NTLK] Autoserver: Tweet from @bryanstearns
newtontalkmessages at gmail.com
Sat Jul 20 01:15:04 EDT 2019
Thanks for compiling this, Matej.
I don’t know why people insist on posting multiple-tweet threads, when a single blog post would suffice.
> On Jul 19, 2019, at 11:05 AM, Matej Horvat <matej.horvat at guest.arnes.si> wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:28:45 +0200, Clu <drclu at swbell.net> wrote:
>> So what was the Autoserver?
> This is the whole story (split into paragraphs so it's easier to read):
> Here's a story that I've been thinking a lot about this week: My last role at Apple, from 92-96, was doing builds-and-tools stuff in the Newton project - I built a thing called the "Autoserver" that was really 30-odd Quadra 950s in a closet, and every time anyone checked a file into our newfangled source-code control system, it'd build the Newton system for every language and supported hardware target, and had a few hardware prototypes wired up to make sure the builds booted; nowadays, you'd call it "continuous integration", but that's a different story.
> So there's this group called the Experimental Aircraft Association, and they put on a big fly-in and convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin every summer. Thousands of people fly in for it, there are static displays of lots of interesting aircraft, a different world-class airshow every day, etc. They also do judging of homebuilt aircraft; a bunch of old guys would get out there with clipboards and pencils and look at 80-100 planes each year, judging on workmanship, and the trophies are pretty prestigious. Someone from the EAA called Apple and told them all this, and said that those judges have to put up with wind and summer thunderstorms, and would you please give us a bunch of Newtons to replace those clipboards, and send some people to help us out.
> Somehow this request got to my friends Andy and Michael and I, and we ended up writing Newton and desktop software for data entry and aggregation, and went out there to help them use it. They set up a little run-down trailer next to the judging trailer for us, and let us ride around the airport on their little scooters when the judges weren't using them, and generally treated us like royalty. We did this for 8 or 9 years - we even kept doing it after we'd left Apple, and after Newton died (we switched to PalmPilots; somewhere in a barn outside Oshkosh there's still a few boxes of Newtons I someday need to retrieve, but that's another different story.
> Oh wait, here's the point: 25 years ago, in 1994, Michael's college roommate's dad came to the fly in, and stopped off at our little trailer - we showed him our software and the judging process, and he asked a few questions and generally made impressed-sounding noises for our little project, even though I think his son had maybe oversold it a little.
> And that's how I got to meet Neil Armstrong.
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