Arthur S. Covert
112 Front Street
Schenectady NY 12305
August 2, 1986
Dear Anne, Thomas and Harvey,
Since you left the sunlight has gone out of my life. Maybe it started a little earlier even. Today we had rain interspersed with cloudbursts. There was a brief period yesterday in which I could mow the grass, I may send the results to the dairy farmers in Georgia. I got to see the circus on an Annie Oakley from Patrick I think he had a dozen, and his friends went as well and took their girl friends. The nice thing was that it had more than adequate paved parking space. Strangely they were given lots of free television time and never mentioned the location only that you could get tickets at Proctors.
There have been no fresh birds and only one mouse. The latter was less of a problem as his head was separate, it was only a question of finding it.
I have spent to day working on your problem. It seems that a local BBS named COMNET has a facility called User/User transfer. To use it I upload a file say JOE from the Osborne, tell the board that it is for Arthur Covert, then I download it on the 520 ST. To test this procedure I did it with the six letter word game file and its dictionary. The dictionary broke off with the word pause, and LETTER6 failed to compile because of the different graphics and other more obscure reasons. In short it was a qualified success, and it took about seven hours. In part this was trouble with the two inch long cable on the Osborne modem and it’s connectors which must be jiggled.
I somehow do not think it will be cost effective for me to download IBM educational software for the IBM from GEnie on the 520st, Upload it to Comnet at 1200 baud, download it to the Osborne at 300 baud, convert it to IBM format and transmit the disks to you. As you know there are many a slips between cup and lip. And if it all worked, and it never does the first several times you would have IBM software of unknown value which could only be run under your supervision. I think you could do better to teach Thomas to play Tic Tac Toe and play it daily until he was ready to move on to Parchesi.
Well in spite of my opinion I will try to further your plan a bit.
I assume that since I have heard nothing you have not bought a mansion in Kerhonkson.[ Extract from a Letter dated July 9, 1986 and never completed: Do not, I repeat do not, rush out to secure LISP under the impression that it provides an easy way to write something like ELIZA. It may be that if you know LISP it is the method of choice, but learning to use LISP is a big job. Also LISP is something very like LOGO and very few people love that. Also the book I bought and the program I have disagreed on some very important details. ]
I have been getting somewhere but not very fast with LISP.
Arthur S. Covert