Back in 1974 I needed a synthesizer keyboard interfaced to a Data General Nova computer, so I went to a professor in the Brigham Young University EE department (Richard Ohran) and asked hiim if maybe he could have one of his students do a project to interface a UART chip (that's Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter) to my keyboard, so the synthesizer would look like a typewriter device to the computer. Unbeknownst to me, Professor Ohran assigned the job to Morris Jones, which I didn't find out until…
…about 1981, when I moved to San Jose, CA from the Boston area. I met Morris, who then was a hardware wizard for Amdahl. A short hey-wouldn't-this-be-cool conversation quickly converged on the synthesizer story. Turns out I still had the synthesizer and it had worked flawlessly lo all those years. Morris and I have been friends ever since. After Amdahl, Morris went to SEEQ, a memory company founded and run by Gordie Campbell. He then followed Gordie to Chips and Technologies, where Morris became their senior scientist.
About that time, circa 1986, I was having lunch with Morris and Gordie Campbell and mentioned I'd dearly love to have a computer/telephone interface to run my business. Since I'm a hired gun who doesn't want to have any employees, better computers and smarter phones are the only way for me to project more power into the Universe. During that lunch, Morris said, "Hey, that would be really easy to build!" And Gordie Campbell said, "Hey, I'll fund the company." What emerged was a company called The Complete PC. Not only did I get a swell phone system that could answer a call and then track me down for the caller, but I even got to do some really cool ads like this one:
Intel eventually bought Chips and Technologies, and Morris retired from Intel. He is now puttering around, teaching Electrical Engineering at San Jose State University.
I could regale you with stories about my exploits with Morris Jones (like our partnership in Mother Jones' Son's Software Company), but that is far beyond the scope of this blog. Needless to say, my Cyber Privateer Fantasy League team needs a hardware wizard to both ferret nefarious schemes out of (and craft designs for insertion into) the hardware supply chain.