Position Statement Dave McGuire

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Dave McGuire – Position Statement for Steering Committee

I’m an engineer in my 50s, and I’ve been passionate about
technology since I was a child. As a teenager in the mid-1980s, I lucked
into a DEC PDP-11/34A, a powerful computer system about the size of two
household refrigerators placed side-by-side, and it resided in my
bedroom. It wasn’t an “antique computer” at the time; it was just old
enough to be mostly unwanted in a typical commercial environment. But it
belonged to a class of systems known as “minicomputers”, which are
powerful, serious machines designed for scientific or business
applications. While all of my friends were playing games on their little
Atari, Apple, and Commodore systems, I taught myself a half dozen or so
programming languages on that big PDP-11. This naturally and directly
led to my career as an engineer.

Using large, powerful computers both at work and at home is just how my
life has always been. I loved my systems, and I ended up just keeping
the old ones as I upgraded, occasionally running them for fun an
nostalgia in my free time.

I’ve been peripherally involved with VCF for many years, starting early
in the MARCH era, helping out here and there behind the scenes with
hardware donations and swaps, donation transport, and general advice and
guidance.  If elected to a Steering Committee seat, my intention would
be to provide further, much closer guidance and technical assistance on
the “big iron” side, to round out the VCF presentations a bit.  And, as
the head of LSSM in Pittsburgh, another big focus of mine would be much
closer collaboration and involvement between VCF and LSSM.