pipes.org: the beginnings

As I struggled with my pipe, I was happily working for Cray Computer Corporation (CCC). It was a great experience — I was writing compilers for the world’s fastest computers… Seymour Cray (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Cray) was in residence in Colorado Springs. He was a genius of course; what surprised me was his wry sense of humor and his somewhat retiring demeanor. I had a Sun 3/50 on my desk — not a great machine at the time, but it was connected to a Cray 2 and a Cray 3 (shown here), so I wasn’t complaining. We were building supercomputers from gallium arsenide and the software team was directly under the fab so we would be the first to go if any leakage occurred 🙂 I still occasionally have dreams of working there and they are always happy dreams. Turns out Seymour and I drove the same vehicle — a Jeep Cherokee. His algorithm for buying cars was to go to the closest dealership and buy the first car he came across — he was interested in building computers, not buying cars.

Anyway, back to pipes. As I didn’t know exactly to keep the darn thing going, I started searching around for help. Steve Masticola had created alt.smokers.pipes on April 15th, 1994, and CCC had a Usenet newsgroup feed. From ASP, I learned of the existence of the email-based Pipes Digest that Steve M. ran. The web site www.craycos.com was one of the first 200 .com web sites on the planet and I asked Steve M. to send me all the back issues in return for posting them on the web. He sent them and I put them up, see: http://www.pipes.org/FORMATTED/158.html. This was in September of 1994 and HTML had yet to be codified. Little did either of us know just how big the web was to become.

Next up: the evolution of pipes.org…

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