Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

What Happens When an 18 Year Old Buys a Mainframe

An evening pause: This is a bit long for an evening pause, and I myself did not understand a good portion of the terminology, but it is still fascinating and worth watching nonetheless, if only to give you hope for the future. As the last questioner at the end said, “I think you’ve raised the bar on what all of us should expect from our kids now.”

Hat tip Diane Wilson.

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  • Mordineus

    That was awesome, thank you.

  • Col Beausaber

    Apparently he gave this presentation at SHARE – the world’s first user group that brought users of IBM’s big iron together to share information about problems and solutions and to trade their home grown software. When I worked at IBM after the Army, there were a few old timers left who remembered SHARE’s early days in the Sixties and would tell stories of the pioneer days at lunch. I might add that I visited the IBM pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair as a 12 year old and saw the original IBM 360-100, the world’s first general purpose computer.

    “SHARE Inc. is a volunteer-run user group for IBM mainframe computers that was founded in 1955 by Los Angeles-area users of the IBM 701 computer system. It evolved into a forum for exchanging technical information about programming languages, operating systems, database systems, and user experiences for enterprise users of small, medium, and large-scale IBM computers such as IBM S/360, IBM S/370, zSeries, pSeries, and xSeries. Despite the capitalization of all letters in the name, the official website says “SHARE is not an acronym; it’s what we do.”[1]

    A major resource of SHARE from the beginning was the SHARE library. Originally, IBM distributed what software it provided in source form[2][3][4] and systems programmers commonly made small local additions or modifications and exchanged them with other users. The SHARE library and the process of distributed development it fostered was one of the major origins of open source software.[5]

    In 1959 SHARE released the SHARE Operating System (SOS), originally for the IBM 709 computer, later ported to the IBM 7090. SOS was one of the first instances of “commons-based peer production” now widely used in the development of free and open-source software such as Linux and the GNU project. In 1963 SHARE participated with IBM in the development of the PL/I programming language as part of the “3×3″ committee.

    SHARE later incorporated as a non-profit corporation based in Chicago, Illinois and as of 2013 is located at 330 N. Wabash Ave. The organization produces a newsletter and conducts two major educational meetings per year.

    In September 1999, GUIDE International, the other major IBM mainframe users group, ceased operation. Although SHARE did not formally take over GUIDE in the United States, many of the activities and projects that were undertaken under the aegis of GUIDE moved to SHARE, and GUIDE suggested to its members that they join SHARE. In August 2000, SHARE took over the domain name.

    In 2005 SHARE’s membership of 20,000 represented some 2,300 enterprise IBM customers.[6]”


  • Diane Wilson

    I learned a lot of my programming skills on IBM’s 360/30, 360/40, and later, 370/148, 3031, and 4341. I attended SHARE as a customer in the early 1980s, and later attended GUIDE representing IBM. I was one of those systems programmers who made changes to operating system source code, passed some of those as bug fixes to IBM system support, and swapped code with other systems programmers through the SHARE library. My first “social media” was a SHARE-related bulletin board for systems programmers.

    So, lots of memories in this video. Time has moved on, though. And so have I.

  • Woody Sprott

    That was great! Thx for posting ?

  • Jay

    I finally got a chance to watch this and it is great. I really liked how he mentioned about collecting older computers because he could see and understand the digital logic with the discrete components. Yes, today everything designed is on one or two chips.
    When I went to college taking my digital classes, the first Pentium processor was coming out, but we were learning assembly on the 8085 processor. I learned a lot from that 8-bit data bus/16-bit addressable bus chip. Never forget the old technology!
    This video does give me hope for the future of electrical engineers. This guy clearly has “the knack” and would make a great engineer.

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