Friday, April 2, 2010

What's a Popkin?

Well, the question really is "Who is Laird Popkin?" Good question.

In the summer of 1988 I met Laird Popkin when he was working at The Bit Bucket in West Newton. The Bit Bucket was this cool store with cool people and with cool stuff in the windows, like Amiga computers showing ray traced animations with shiny chrome balls and also a PDP-8. Try to find one of those on ebay!

Now, Laird was this nice fellow a couple of years older than me. He gave me my first ever demonstration of Windows 2.1. He showed me how an Atari ST could run Mac software if you ripped the contents of a Mac ROM. He introduced me to bulletin boards and FidoNet, and emoticons! He even invited me to his place in Sudbury (or was it in Weston?) where he shared a house with a bunch of other techies and their Apple II's and a Jaguar motoring enthusiast. He loaned me his copy of The Eudamonic Pie, which is this fascinating book about how some west coast nerds invented a computer in a shoe for beating roulette. Eat your heart out Maxwell Smart! I still have the book. Sorry Laird.

Laird and I had lunch a few times and struck up some great conversations. We talked about computers, science, consciousness and God.

Wherever you are Laird, thank you!

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