Arthur S. Covert
112 Front Street
Schenectady NY 12305
November 6, 1986
Dear Frau and Herr Doktor,
Well here we are again. The news is good. After a year of cohabitation the Atari and Osborne have achieved a loving and meaningful relationship. This afternoon I called the Micro Clinic to see what they would need to make for me a null modem cable to connect the two machines. While look for the documents they needed I wondered if I had tried all possibilities. So I set it up again, cable from RS232 port on Atari, to Radio Shack gadget that crossed input and output, to RS232 port on Osborne. Then put into action software on both ends. Nothing happens. Is it the Atari software, the Osborne software, doe the Osborne know that the Osborne manual says the modem port and the RS232 ports are identical, what does it mean by identical, are all the connections conducting, is the Radio Shack gadget working. Who knows.
At this point Patrick enters and says what are you doing. I tell him. Naturally he begins to tell me things I already knew to reach this point, then he says maybe I don’t need the Radio Shack gadget that makes the whole shmear a null modem cable, because the manual doesn’t mention the need of a crossover, I listen and remember that Paul Klompas had written something about some machines not requiring it. It is easier to remove the gadget and see if it works. I do, it does. It is what we call an epiphany, a sudden revelation, he may be a shit but I have a son who reads the manual. Looking at him you would never guess it.
The first snow fell this afternoon. This then is squaw, you’ll pardon the expression, winter when the first snow whitens the ground. Squaw winter is a necessary forerunner for Indian, again, Summer.
I have just heard on television that the arts in Russia have been so unfrozen that they have a play about the Cuban Missile Crisis with Kennedy as a hero, they show a clip from it in which he calls out Jacky, Jacky and she comes and holds his head. Also they now have official rock musicians, these were also shown, if I were Patrick I would consider defecting.
As often happens with these communications they get started one week and finished another. It is now Friday the fourteenth, I have just finished speaking to Harvey on the phone. I have downloaded a Mandelbrot program that I wish I had written myself. It develops lovely color maps, and it allows you to mark off an area, a rectangle like in the drawing program, and then it will enlarge that are to full screen size. This is one you will enjoy hands on.
Suddenly that damned cat has gotten very affectionate. It is hard to type with a lapful of cat that wants to lick your hand.
With the CP/M emulator and the cable that links the ATARI and the Osborne it is now of course possible to communicate between the ATARI and the PC Jr the problem will be to find something for them to say to each other. All we need now is an IBM emulator for the ATARI.
November 16, 1986
I hope to finish this letter at this sitting. As I mentioned last night, I am really losing my stuff. When I took up exercise after all those years it was to avoid aches and pains not to enjoy them. At any rare when I went cycling yesterday I felt as if I had done three or four times the distance. And though what with rain cold and snow I hadn’t cycled for a week or two I had done a quarter mile in the pool three or four times a week. Suppose I quit this nonsense, will I go back to those mild endurable aches or have I been fending off absolute decay, dare I stop. One thing keeps me going, the YMCA has made all swim periods coeducational. For awhile this had no effect except we had to wear trunks, and one day had a female life guard. Suddenly about two o’clock the girls who instruct in aerobic dancing enter the pool. All of course very shapely, athletic, real swimmers, smooth limbed (this is a great contrast to the usual hairy apelike types who come at this hour, earlier we are more elderly hairless and grey).
Patrick tells me that he may get a job in New York, it is hard to tell from his conversation if this means he has sent in a resume or if he he has been given some hope. Proctors here is having a bad season. And what they do make money on offends Patrick aesthetically.
As I think you know I have a music program. I might even include a bit of it’s output although using it is a bit of a pain in the ass. The trouble is it might be great for people who know music but it is not much good for those who want to learn. The feed back is way too slow. I got this here book see it had a chapter on notation, each page had at least a bar of music illustrating what it discussed, if I could have played that bar I might have learned something but it would have taken fifteen or twenty minutes to do what one could do with a piano keyboard in fifteen seconds. In short it may be good for someone but not for me. I am thinking of getting one of the cheaper keyboards.
Well that’s about it. I have to empty my in basket into my out basket while I watch football.