The following is my finger file from, as created in 1987 and edited up through about 1991.
The older material appears at the bottom.

                     How I Picked My Login 
             (the B version of "what's your sign?")

     My original login on B was jhdiii (my initials.) I got this account after
my first quarter here just to store files from my class accounts, and didn't
know that it was customary to use offbeat logins.  But, bit by bit I was drawn
into the myriad wonders of B, and after almost a year finally got around to
changing my login to something "meaningful" to me, spcman (since I'm one of
those kooks who firmly believes that the destiny of the human race lies Out
     However... my friends who know me too well immediately started calling me
"space cadet" rather than "space man"...

>From niteowl Wed Nov 18 13:01:13 1987
>From: niteowl (The Owl of Nite)
>To: spcman
>Subject: john,
>you are sucha space cadet!

     They also bugged me to change it, and I decided that I'd just as soon have
a whimsical rather than meaningful login.  And thus it was.  Of course changing
my login twice in the span of a few months threw the whole of the B community,
which is dependent on my incredibly useful utilities for its very existence,
into spasms of chaos as they deperately changed their paths, but some things
just can't be helped.  Look in my bin to see these amazing program with your
very own eyes.
     I'm interested in science fiction (mostly "hard" stuff - Larry Niven,
Jerry Pournelle, etc, but I've found some fantasy I like) and space (I'm a
member of the L5 Society, or, ah, the National Space Society as it has been
known since it merged with the National Space Institute).  Update... I quit NSS
when they started lobbying for protectionist legislation.  Now the merger seems
     I'm a CIS major, and as you might expect have a particular interest in
programming, though unlike many of my CIS brethren I like hardware too.  In
fact I'd probably be a CE major were it not for the more numerous
prerequisites for CE.
     Update: I'm now taking classes at Cabrillo... well, actually "a" class,
intro to ham radio.  Looks like it will be fun, especially packet radio.
     I'm currently a Technical Support Engineer (oooh! :-) at 
The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.  I talk to people on the phone for six hours
a day and try to help them resolve their XENIX and UNIX problems.  I also run
XENIX on my machine at home, deeptht.  You can reach me fastest by mailing
me at (ucscc is my MX router).  If you feel
a need for Yet Another Account, log into deeptht at 423-4810, using 8 data
bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit.  Use account name "request"; there's no
password.  The line starts at 2400b; hit break to cycle it to 1200b.
     If you have any burning questions about C or UNIX, feel free to mail me
and I'll do my best to answer you, free of charge :-)
     My major not-technical interest is photography.  I usually take color
slides; some of my favorite subjects are sunrises and sunsets, nature scenes,
people, and fireworks.
     For an idea of what a wild and crazy guy I can be if PrOpeRLy sTImUlaTed,
read my toe file and the files in my public directory.

     my favorite...

movie:       Blade Runner.
desserts:    Cheesecake, Orange Spice Shortbread cookies.
authors:     Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Tom Clancy, Douglas Adams.
temperature: 22 degrees.
CPU:         Frederick Post Co. model 1447 slide rule... no wait...
             Red Lion brand Superior Abacus... no wait...
             Motorola MC14500b 1-bit processor... no wait...
             ^^^ NOT a bit-slice cpu!


"Hello, lift."   -Marvin, the Paranoid Android.


"What a depressingly stupid machine"  -same


     The challenge of the spaces between the worlds is a stupendous one; but,
if we fail to meet it, the story of our race will be drawing to a close. 
Humanity will have turned its back upon the still untrodden heights and will
be descending the long slope that stretches, across a thousand million years
of time, down to the shores of the primeval sea.

				Arthur C. Clarke, 1968


     This is the moment of the homogenization of the world, when the 
diversities of societies are eroding, when a global civilization is
emerging.  There are no exotic places left on Earth to dream about. 
And for that reason there remains an even greater and more poignant need 
today for a vehicle, a device, to get us somewhere else.

				Carl Sagan, 1973

     Each frontier did indeed furnish a new field of opportunity, a gate of
escape from the bondage of the past; and freshness, and confidence, and scorn
of older society, impatience of its restaints and its ideas, and indifference
to its lessons, have accompanied the frontier.

				Frederick J. Turner, 1893

     We're going to space if we have to walk.
				Jerry E. Pournelle, ca. 1983

     The meek will inherit the Earth.  The rest of us will go to the stars.


For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;

                                   -from Locksley Hall,  ca. 1850

                                    Alfred, Lord Tennyson


   My ranking of high level languages, best to worst:

C	/* I learned this in the spring of '87 and use it for everything now. */
Pascal	{ Usable... I thought it was great until I learned C. }
Fortran	  I learned Fortran and have never used it since the last day of class.
	  As you can see, I have completely forgotten how you do comments.
BASIC	REM yuk!  It was the first language I used, and I wasted a lot of time
	REM with it before I learned Pascal.  Commodore BASIC, to be specific.
	REM If you started out with a structured language, you will never know
	REM the true meaning of "spaghetti code".
	REM I just bought a pocket computer that is very nice, except that you
	REM can only program it in BASIC.  Oh well.

   My ranking of assembly languages, best to worst:

8086/	The assembly language I currently use, though not very much until I get
8088	a copy of MASM so I can use inline code in Turbo C.
	(update:  I have MASM now, but there seem to be some serious problems
	 with inline code in TC...).
    (update to the update: I don't run DOS anymore, so no Turbo C.
     The XENIX devsys includes MASM, but I don't know if I'll ever use it...
     it seems against the spirit of UNIX, portability, etc.)
8080/	The only CPU I have worked with on a hardware level.  All of the
8085	programming was done by writing the opcodes and labels on paper forms,
	hand assembling it using a hex chart with very small print, entering it
	in hex into an EPROM programmer (which had no buffer, so if you made a 
	single mistake you had to spend 10 minutes erasing the EPROM and then 
	start over), and then pluging the EPROM into a socket in an old Prolog 
	system mounted on a piece of plywood.  It was fun. 
6502/	The first assembly language I learned, on a VIC 20 with a machine
6510	language monitor cartridge.  After using BASIC, the power of assembly
	awed me.  I still miss zero page addressing mode.
360/	Yes, I actually learned this language.  Just a few years ago, too.  
370	The weird thing is, at the JC where I learned it they didn't even have
	any 360's.  They had an old Burroughs mainframe running a 360 assembler
	and emulator.  Don't ask me why.  Anyway, it was not pleasant.  The
	Burroughs could only run one program at a time, so you had to sit 
	around while the system ran the Pascal, COBOL, etc. compilers before it
	got around to assembly.  Then you tried assembling your program and got
	lots of errors and had to go through the whole thing again.  And, the
	emulator only implemented a small subset of 360.  I suppose 360
	assembly itself isn't so bad, but my experience with it was.  The 
	semester after I took the course, they switched to 8086 for teaching 
	the principles of assembly language.  Neat.

     Actually, my very favorite assembly language is LSD, mainly because I
designed the LSD CPU and wrote the emulator for it.  The name of the CPU
may or may not have something to do with my lab partners for CIS120b, Lalk
and Sandusky...