HLS Letters

My New Printer

  • May 2, 1989

HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

Plaza Azul Productions
2954 Plaza Azul
SANTA FE, NEW.MEXICO 87505
Office Of The
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
(505) 473—1954

“SEMPER POTHOEGDUS!”

May 2, 1989

Señor y Señora Harvey L. Slatin
78 Main Street
Stamford, New York 12167

Main Lieber Herr and Dame, freundlicben Grü§gen!

You inquired about my new printer. I am happy to respond with information that may assist you in making a reasonable decision.

It is a SEIKOSHA-80AI. I bought it from DAK Industries, Inc. in Canoga Park, CA. It cost me $399.00, plus shipping. Along with it came a free set of WORDSTAR PROFESSIONAL, RELEASE #5 for which I have no earthly use. I haven’t even opened the box, so it is in  reserve along with WordPerfect 5.0, which I haven’t even tried to install, and the GRAPHICS portion of T/Master, which I haven’t even tried to install. I use MS-DOS, BASICA, T/Master (Text only), and DeskMate II (Text and Worksheet only) to drive this system, and they do everything I want to do, except the symbol for Pi or draw boxes. I think I can figure out how to do that stuff, but it is too much trouble for now.

Enclosed you will find page 15 of the BAR catalog in which I found this wonderful device. Also, the order form from the same catalog. On the back of the order form is a promo for a Linear Tracking Turntable. I bought one, hooked it up to my stereo, and it is sensational! Pops and snaps on old, tired LPs are virtually eliminated. I think the reason is that the linear—tracking gadget allows the stylus to “read” portions of the record grooves that have never before been touched, and to ignore those that have been chewed up by conventional swing—arm turntables. Whatever.

If you would like to see the CONTENTS and the SPECIFICATIONS sections of the SEIKOSHA Owner’s Manual, drop a line and I will oblige.

When not fooling around with software, I have been busy with the hardware. My compmuter came with two 5 1/4″ floppy drives. I have a  friend in Long Valley, New Jersey, who recently bought another version (cheaper) of mine, but it has a single 3 1/2″ drive. Both of our machines came with DeskMate II, but they are different versions, and all my efforts to tutor him came to naught. His Main Menu is different, some keystrokes are different, commands have different names — shit like that.

So I did the gentlemanly thing. I bought a 3 1/2″ drive at Radio Shack, tore my computer apart, took out one of the 5 1/4″ drives, replaced it with the new one and, after several days of utter frustration and frequent phone calls to Gilbert (my Guru at The Shack), got it running. Now, the lower drive, Drive A, is the default drive, and it is the smaller one. Drive B is the old, big one. I have stored all my applications programs on 3 1/2″ except for the one I use to keep track of my checking account. Not only that, but I have sent two little disks to my New Jersey chum, and he can use them! A whole lot cheaper than a modem at each end. We are both working with the same version of DeskMate and, when he runs into trouble, he calls up, tells me he will call back in fifteen minutes (if that is convenient for me) and asks me to load up my machine. I usually do as he asks, and then we do a tutorial over the phone. He pays for the calls.

Yesterday, I sent him a 3 1/2″ disk containing a system that will help him manage two separate checking accounts, in two different banks, with room for 56% transactions in each account, amounts up to $99,999.99 per transaction, and designed to print 55 lines per  page. Included is the formula (updated each time a new Row is chosen) to calculate the additions and subtractions and display the new balance. I wrote a User’s Manual to go with this system, and then debugged it. It works.

Which is probably no big deal for somebody who is into spreadsheets and Annual Reports, but I am very pleased with myself.

THEATRICAL NEWS: I have resigned from the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Communflity Theatre, effective with the expiration of the first year of my two—year term. I hope to continue doing the NEWSLETTER, because (a) it is an ego trip, and (b) most of the feedback has been quite positive and encouraging. A few malcontents, naturally, but they have been drowned out by the cheers of the throngs of my supporters. The new Board will be elected June 11, and I will lay my proposal before them. Most of the candidates are friends of mine, and I am confident they will ask me to keep up the good work. But, ¿quien sabe, Señor?

My reasons for this forceful action are outlined in a letter I wrote to Fred C. Dobbs last Sunday morning. The relevant portions have been
extracted from that letter and inserted below. Relevant portions:

Yesterday afternoon, at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the SFCT Board of Directors, I announced my intention to resign, effective at the end of this fiscal year. I plan to make the same announcement this evening at a meeting of the full Board. I will be off the Board on June 11, 1989, after serving one year of a two-year term.

There are many reasons for this decision, and I won’t bore you with the details. The final straw was loaded on the camel yesterday morning, when I learned that the Special Edition of the NEWSLETTER, announcing the agenda for the Annual Meeting (June 11), the candidates for filling the six vacancies on the Board (with biographical sketches), the time and place of the meeting, and other such stuff, had been scrubbed. At the last Board meeting, a Special Edition to cover all this junk had been decided upon, and I had started working on it. It turns out that a rump group of the Board had met over lunch someplace, and decided that SFCT would do a couple
of direct mail pieces instead of a NEWSLETTER. One reason for this change in plans is because the NEWSLETTER is “too expensive” to print and mail. What they are going to do instead is send letters to people on gig different mailing lists. Somehow, these clowns figure that will be cheaper. Only if each letter is hand-delivered by volunteers.

Anyway, Fellow Theatre-Lovers, I regard this as the ultimate vote of “no confidence” in the NEWSLETTER as a medium for communicating news about goings on at SFCT. Add to that insult the interminable meetings of the Board, the Executive Committee, the Planning Committee, the Physical Plant Committee, and the dreadful internecine warfare among and between Board Members, Directors, performers, volunteers and technical folks, and you have a situation that rivals the worst corporate politics in which I have ever been involved. So, I am jumping ship.

I have volunteered to continue doing the NEWSLETTER, if anybody wants me to, but that will be up to the incoming Board. If they decline my offer, you have seen the last NEWSLETTER with me as Editor. I hope that doesn’t happen, because I enjoy doing it. But, if it is “too expensive,” then maybe it has been merely a flash in the pan and SFCT will be better off without it. We shall see.

There you have it, Tommy. The whole wall of bax. The whole enchilada. I am out of there as soon as I send off 80 individually-typed letters to people who participated, even in the most trivial way, in our last two productions. Part of the job of Corresponding Secretary, which I look forward to relinquishing.

Here’s a little joke to brighten your day: Two babies are in carriages, side—by—side, in a supermarket parking lot. One says to the other:

“My Mother is in there buying Pablum and Similac and Gerber‘s veal and peaches and applesauce and pears and other stuff like that. I hate it.”

Says the second baby:

“Try sharing a tit with a guy who smokes White Owl cigars.”

I’m glad you have finally come to your senses about table-top fusion. From your last letter, I got the impression that you were crowing about how elecfrochemists were going to put nuclear physicists on the breadlines, and‘that you were going to fill your two-car garage with Palladium ingots and wait for the price to go through the roof.

I had a long talk with my friend Tom Wimett, an experimental nuclear physicist with strong leanings toward mathematics. and one of the two best scientific minds I have ever encountered. He explained to me, in language I almost understood and with sketches that made sense to me, why he is skeptical about the findings of these well-intentioned but misguided chemists. His main complaint was about their experimental design which led them to measure things that are irrelevant. They claim, for instance, to have observed an increase in neutron flux, suggesting (proving) that fusion had occurred. He pointed out that their values hovered around the levels of background, and the background in their Salt Lake City lab is pretty high because of all the reactors and other junk in the neighborhood. At Los Alamos, in the lab where my friend works, background is kept as low as it can be kept, and, — sure enough — when they demonstrated their scheme in that environment, they were able to match background.

Tom went on to point out that if they put in 1 Watt and got back 4 Watts, they would get a burst of 10 neutrons per second, and everybody within a 1,000 yards of the device would be dead.

As for the 4 to 1 power ratio, their experimental design neglects the power input required to get this gadget to run. Tom thinks they might
have invented a new kind of storage battery. Or, possibly. a new way to make Tritium. Here, the problem is that the Tritium winds up as Palladium Tritide, (like a hydride), deposited on their electrode. How to scrape it off and put it in a bottle? One of several unsolved problems.

Despite all this, Tom does not reject their work out-of-hand. That is not his style. He is a World Citizen, as far as science goes, and would like to believe that cooperation among and between disciplines (to say nothing of nations and cultures), rather than competition, is the way to achieve progress. I wish you knew him, but he was after your time.

Here endeth the physics lesson.

And here endeth this letter, which is already overly-long. I have not commented on Schuyler simply because I have nothing to say. He is your dog and you just have to live with him or move out.

Fondly, As Always,

John K. Herzog

Executive Director

a/k/a

Howard

Encl: SEIKOSHA SL-80AI poop.

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