Thursday, August 10, 2006

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I am a retired electronics engineer. My one claim to fame is that I designed the I/O board that went into the world's first BBS (a precursor to the internet). I worked with Ward Christensen inventor of "Xmodem" and Randy Suess to get the hardware and software going. Could I see the future clearly? Nope. I thought the idea was crazy. Fooled me.

Well any way, due to family medical problems I now make my living by writing on my blog. So in a way that work on the BBS is still paying off.

If you are nostalgic about the early days of the microcomputer Amazon has some books.

This one seems good (I haven't read it) but I can tell you that the Altair was on the cover of Popular Electronics on January of 1975. I remember it well because when I got the magazine in the mail I knew my life had changed:

Digital Retro: The Evolution and Design of the Personal Computer

I was one of the hackers. This is supposed to be a good book on the subject:

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found the comments on genetic discrimination on your website to be interesting. This is an issue that is particularly close to my heart as I have personal experience of suffering serious genetic discrimination. As a result, I strongly feel that people need to be protected from genetic discrimination. It is just as serious as racial discrimination.

I faced serious bullying from some people who found out that my estranged father had a mental health difficulty. It was a sinister case of Nazi-like genetic determinism and discrimination. I was treated like a second class citizen even though I have no mental health difficulties myself.

In fact, I have survived a lot in my life including being a victim of crime and harassment and have coped better than most people would. I was considered to be a high achiever at school and went on to university and qualified as a secondary school teacher by the age of 22. I was given glowing reports and references all throughout school and have equally good references from employers . I have always been a very sociable and communicative person. ( I have taught communication skills successfully and worked successfully as an English teacher ). My sociable, communicative nature was frequently mentioned in my school and work references. I was often described as being sociable and popular but the bigots who bullied me tried to make me out to be an uncommunicative loner which is the total OPPOSITE of what I am.

I have since found out that the loner with poor communication skills is a typical stereotype of someone with mental health problems and this is what they were trying to forcibly label me as being! I suppose it gave them a sick, delusional sense of superiority or power to treat someone as a genetic defective ( reminiscent of Nazi attitudes)!

Many people have a parent or sibling with a special need ( whether mental or physical) but it does not necessarily mean that everyone in that family is going to have that special need! There are many cases which prove this but there is a danger that ignorant and bigoted people could try and use genetic theories to make ignorant generalisations and forcibly label people who do not have special needs in order to create a genetic underclass and thereby, boost their own fragile self-esteem.

Also, bullies can cover up their own bad behaviour by discrediting their victims by claiming that their victims have special needs even when they don't! Basically, it means that the victims can be abused and ill-treated and then, discredited by bullies who exploit and contort genetic theories to suit their own agenda! The victim's civil and human rights can be violated with impunity as they find themselves becoming a second class citizen.

I was so affected by the bullying I suffered that I put myself forward for psychological assessment. Three different professionals said the same thing; that I needed counselling to deal with some very difficult life experiences. The reports clearly said that I did not suffer from severe or enduring mental health difficulties and that there was no evidence of delusions or anything serious, just stress for which I needed cognitive therapy. Yet, in spite of the opinions of three professionals, the ignorant bigots in my workplace who bullied me insisted on trying to forcibly label me as something that I wasn't simply because they'd found out that I had a parent who had a special need! There were even people making out that I was interested in aliens in order to try and make me out to be crazy. I became the object of serious, vicious and out-of-control malicious gossip. The truth of the matter is that I couldn't give a stuff about aliens! I have never been interested in aliens, UFOs or anything of the sort! In fact, quite the opposite! Yet, these people were determined to make me out to be some sort of oddball who was interested in things that I would never think twice about!

Whatsmore, this malicious smear campaign began to affect my opportunities in terms of relationships, both friendships and romantic, as people were being frightened off by the crazy rumours that were being spread by the bullies. This was really distressing for me as prior to this, I had been used to being reasonably popular and having no shortage of people showing an interest in me romantically. Yet, suddenly, because of the vicious rumours that were being spread, I found that my quality of life was altered dramatically.

This experience was very upsetting and I know firsthand, as a result, just how far genetic discrimination can go and just how unfair and oppressive it can be. It is just as oppressive as the worst kind of racism, finding an excuse to falsely, treat someone as some sort of faulty, inferior being or second class citizen. It can degrade people and seriously limit their life opportunities in spite of their potential.

All my life, I had been used to being treated well, as an achiever, a sociable person, well able to get on with others and suddenly, when people found out about my estranged father's difficulties, I found myself in the strange situation of being forcibly portrayed as the very opposite of all that I am with genetic theory being used as an excuse by people who were less qualified than I am, had achieved less and had not had to survive and cope with the kind of obstacles that I have coped with in my life!

From my own experience, I have learnt that without legislation and proper protection, there is a very real danger that genetic discrimination can develop into something just as sinister, damaging, demeaning and limiting as fascism/racism ( as the Nazis proved)! and I hope very much that people will be protected from this very dangerous and demeaning form of bigotry so that they will not have to suffer as I have.

ehsmanager said...

I sent you two emails regarding your recent posts. Did you receive them?


Sincerely

Christopher Haase


Sent to: msimon6808 at yahoo account