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Alan Kotok

From: Mike Wolfberg <wolfberg@alum.mit.edu>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 17:41:50 -0400
Message-Id: <5.1.1.6.2.20060606173928.02b48648@mail.comcast.net>
To: public-memoria@w3.org

As I contemplate the sad news, I realize Alan affected my life in several ways. I would not say we were close friends - merely acquaintances.

Alan was my mentor early in my computing career. He authored the DDT debugging program for the PDP-1 in the EE Department at MIT. I took his code as a base and extended it to work as an invisible (not present in the user program address space) debugger. This became my MIT undergraduate thesis and was also the topic of my first published paper at the DECUS Conference held at MIT in 1963.

During the summer of 1963, I worked at that PDP-1 in the first months of Project MAC support. I have vague but fond memories of dinners with Alan and other Model RR Club members. The most revered place might have been Yee Hong Guey (which no longer exists) in Boston's Chinatown. Their wonton soup was excellent and unique; we always began our meals with that.

It is my understanding that Alan was very involved in the design of many of the computers which Digital made, from the PDP-5/8 to the DEC-10. I used many of those machines for decades, and so in this respect he had another big impact on my life.

Alan was also the link by which my late wife Julia Wolfberg was hired into the Programming Department at Digital - she held badge 3009. She was employed there in various capacities for over 20 years until her death in 1998.

Alan and I crossed paths again while I was doing graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania in Philly. We had acquired a graphics controller which Digital had just designed, and Alan was involved in getting the kinks out of that.

Thank you Alan!
Received on Wednesday, 7 June 2006 14:22:04 GMT

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