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Paper or Plastic?

From Judith Haemmerle - Sept. 2011
Hi, Ed
- don't know if I've sent you this before - it's a photo for the 1401 site.

The caption should be, of course - "Paper or Plastic?"

Allen Palmer with the tape "accident",
Ron Williams examining the paper IBM card

Hi - Ed Thelen here. I am the main scribe/recorder of this 1401 Restoration website, with lots of ideas, text, images and movies contributed by many others :-)) just like Tom Sawyer?

Poker faced Dilbert is my hero and role model.

Dilbert may have a limited view of life. Allen Palmer says our project has lots of Camaraderie. Looking it up on Google, Camaraderie sounds nice.

Here is Allen Palmer, who apparently understands such things. ;-))

E-mail from Allen Palmer April 14, 2006 - aj.palmer (at sign) mindspring dot com -

... My thought was that there are many facets to the project.

Hardware - For most folks it is / will be the mechanical progress. People are/will be interested in the 'how was it done'. Believe me this part interest me when I say to myself 'how did we get this far & how will we finish it'.

Software - Just like the hardware, it is the story of something real, physical, you can see / touch it. Same threads - what is it, where did it come from, what does it do, how did we handle it etc.

Then there is a facet that cannot be touched, or measured, doesn't has a history or 'story' behind it. Something that if not impossible, is at least very difficult to capture for the future but is key to the successful restoration project. That is the personal interactions among the group, the extraordinary level of camaraderie that exists. If you stop to think about it from a sociology view, here are 10 or so old IBM hardware guys, another group of 4 or 5 very hi-tech, well off, retired younger guys who have provided all the 'physical' resources for the project, and another whole group interested in the software, plus the museum staff, each person with a different personality. The working relationships are remarkable, the fun and joking that goes on among them, the willingness to help one another, the combination of the different skills, the learning of new things from others, the different skills that you would not expect (Grant machining jigs & parts). If you think about it, this group has worked together for 2 years & we have not lost one person because of personal conflicts. There are a lot of companies that wish their employees would get along as well as our team does.

I know that all of these can never be captured, but I thought if there was ever a way to show the 'personnel' side of the project it would be Ed's very creative writing, telling the story of the 'shovel bird' or Allen's work cart, 'T' handle prolay adjusting wrench, Ed' s capacitor reforming contraption etc. Every one of these items has a story behind it. I would like to see a picture with comments of our 'lunch breaks' with Robert's bagels, the sniffing of the old cream cheese for freshness.

Perhaps I see the people & the personal interactions as interesting as the restoration of the hardware. You can buy the hardware but you can't buy the skills needed to restore it. The people join & stay with the project because we all get a different 'satisfaction & internal reward' from it.

Personally, I am fascinated by the level of truly felt camaraderie that exists and seems to grow with each week.

... As to my writing a article now & then, my writing has the same humor as a RFP or dialog for Sgt Friday - 'just the facts mame, just the facts'

Allen j Palmer

Thelen here again - isn't that beautiful writing - has soul - sweet -

How can we encourage capturing "The Soul of Restoring an Old Machine"?

ala Tracy Kidder's "Soul of a New Machine".

I would love to have Allen and/or others spin us some more thoughts. :-)) I can post them below, above, anywhere ;-))