Bill von Hagen    

[FSF Associate Member]
Viewable With Any Browser


You can find WikiLeaks here today. The US government's pursuit of WikiLeaks is one of the most embarassing things that it has ever done, and that's saying a lot. Apparently freedom of speech has left the building!
      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little
      temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

      -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
    

I am a writer, computer collector, Linux/UNIX systems administrator, Linux product manager, and occasional developer. In a past life, I was the drummer for various punk, new wave, and rock bands, most notably The Cardboards and The Cynics. Good times - see Viceland's Weekend Watchin' Column for info about the Pittsburgh Punk movie that I was in - thanks Stephanie!

As a freelance writer, I have written a few books, a number of articles and reviews for Linux Planet and Linux Today, pieces for Linux Format and Mac Format, lots of articles and reviews for Linux Magazine, a short-lived column on PPC Linux for Maximum Linux, various things for MacTech Magazine, pieces on Linux and general computing for Corel's old Linux and small business Web sites, and hundreds of reviews of Macintosh and PC Shareware and Demo software for CMP Media's old FileMine web site.

Books that I've written or co-written are the following:

If you have comments or questions, please send me mail. I have also contributed to other books, such as Red Hat Linux 7 Unleashed, The Linux Bible, PC Magazine's Linux Solutions, and a variety of others.

I've been a Contributing Editor for various Linux and Mac magazines, and am also a Contributing Author for IBM developerWorks. The following are some articles of mine that are available on the web (last time I checked):

In my "spare" time, I am a rabid collector of old computer equipment, both hardware and software. My collection was mentioned in an article by John Dvorak in the May, 1998 issue of Computer Shopper, so I've been at it for a while! My specific interest is old workstations, though I am also interested in old micros and wouldn't mind someday acquiring a mainframe or two. In this area, I am much like the Statue of Liberty -- give me your tired, your outmoded, your ancient UN*X boxes... For a contrary perspective on this obsession, please talk to my wife. To see a list of most of the machines in my collection, click here. To see some photos of old machines in my collection, click here. If you would like to see some pictures of mice from various old workstations, click here.

If you have old hardware or software that you would like to see find a loving home in my collection, contact me via email at vonhagen@vonhagen.org. If you call 412-795-2057, please use some obscure code words (see the discussion of my wife's perspective on all this in the previous paragraph).

Visitors to this web site may be amused to know that, due to my computer collection, I was an expert witness for both Microsoft and Apple during their legendary early 1990s look-and-feel lawsuit over Windows. They both flew teams of lawyers and video people to our house to tape me demonstrating parts of my collection and to take statements - it was totally ridiculous! Microsoft also paid me to downgrade some of the systems in my collection to earlier operating system revisions that demonstrated things that they wanted to use to show prior art for their part of the lawsuit. I had to tell the Apple guys that they would lose, which I did and they did. You'd think I would find Microsoft odious for their destruction of often-superior competition through nefarious business practices, and I do. However, even a blind pig occasionally finds a truffle.


For you automated email spammers out there, here are some really handy email addresses:


Click on one of the following to use up more cycles!

  • Current List of Systems I Own
  • Current List of Systems I Really, Really Need!
  • PERQ FAQ from 1993 by R. D. Davis - More Info About PERQ Workstations
    The first commercial workstation, they died the mung fade because they had micro-coded hardware and a proprietary OS. Various companies (Three Rivers Computer Corporation, PERQ Systems, and ICL in the UK included) tried to fix this, but one or the other of these problems could not be surmounted. Check this out - find out where the machine on your desk got started! The next time you use a Windows box or a Mac, think of the real creators - spend a moment of silence thinking of the people at XEROX PARC who started it all, and Brian Rosen and others at Three Rivers Computer Corporation who first tried to bring this to your desktop.
  • HAKMEM - the one true memo.
    Check it out for a fascianting glimpse of hacker roots. This is very cool!
  • Home Pages for Other Computer Collectors and Preservation Groups:
    If you're missing from this list, send me mail. I apologize in advance, and hope to make your acquaintance.
    • Andrew Davies' Museum of Soviet Calculators
      Nice to meet someone with an obsession as thorough as mine (though with much better graphics skills)! Located in Australia, Andrew has helped me get some amazing Russian computers for my collection, and is a thoroughly nice guy. After all, with the Internet, it doesn't matter where any of us are located. You should definitely check his site out! This extensive site almost makes me want to collect Soviet calculators, too. (Don't worry, Andrew, I'm happy with my Soviet computer obsession...)
    • Tom Carlson's Obsolete Computer Museum
      A great cross-section of cool micros and generally neat machines. Cool!
    • DigiBarn Computer Museum
      An amazing collection of stuff, with lots of early workstations, a jaw-dropping selection of cool Apple stuff, and much, much more. Lots of great Jef Raskin info here, too. RIP, Jef, you were amazing.
    • Carl Friend's Amazing Collection of Stuff
      Check this out! More hardware than you can shake a stick at, and most of it works. Electric companies live to have customers like Carl...
    • Kevan Heydon's Computer Collection
      A cool collection of machines that I know little about, since I'm in the techno-nationalistic USA. Help me!
    • Doug Jones' PDP-8 Page
      Doug knows his stuff, and is a real presence on related net groups. He's incredibly helpful, and helped me getTest Msg from web siteTest Msg from web site some great stuff for my collection!
    • Paul Pierce's Collection of Big Iron
      *AMAZING* stuff you'll never see anywhere else. He had to buy a warehouse because a normal floor wasn't strong enough. Check this out!
    • Reale-Rydell Computer Museum
      Very cool collection, nicely organized, with lots of photos and cool links.
    • The Computer Center
      A very cool collection/museum with the goal of making some old computer systems available over the net. Cool Idea! Their initial goal is to make an SWTPC system avalable, followed by some CP/M stuff via emulators on Linux. They have a growing collection of hardware and links to lots of cool retro software (including emulators - if you can't get the hardware, you can at least get the flavor!). Check it out!
    • Tom Sanderson's Virtual Altair Museum
      Very cool page with info and photos of early (and the first!) S-100 machines. Definitely check this out for info on Altairs, IMSAI, and early Vector Graphics machines. How could you pass up a page that mentions the Tarbell tape interface board?
    • Will William's Online Computer Museum
      A cool and growing collection, with lots of links, information, and some cool scans. It also looks truly nice, which I wish I could say about these pages!
  • Web Sites for Computer History Information:
    • Computer Museum History Center
      The Boston Computer Museum is now closed and everything's been shipped to Moffet Field in CA where a true computer history museum and research site is actively under development. That's actually pretty sad, since all the Route 128 history is now in CA (or in my collection). I'm just a whiny east coast guy, I guess. They deserve your support! However, you should still send me your old workstations...
    • Charles Babbage Institute
      The kind of excellent resource you always hoped you'd find somewhere in academia.
    • Historical Computer Society
      Publishers of a fine magazine (though somewhat indeterminite in terms of delivery time) , this is a site dedicated to the history of cool machines.
  • My Favorite Links

  • The finest quote I've ever read on a career in rock and roll from a guy whose recordings and spirit I still love, with whom I hung out one memorable day in 1980 (Thanks, Karen!), and who I'll never forget:
    	Now I see my good true friends
    	All come to stupid ends.
    	With their arms all shot full of holes,
    	Vacant shadows that they call souls.
    	Looking at the world with rose-colored glasses,
    	Not even 30 and flat on their asses.
          
    Black Randy, "Hit It and Quit It," early 1980

    A great quote on Windows VS. Linux:

    "Remember: Professionals built the Titanic. Amateurs built the ark."
    (d_black_blade@hotmail.com)