Philadelphia Ghosts

I was walking in High Park, enjoying a beautiful cool summer evening, when Curtis Jones called from California.

I'm of the post-punch card generation & Still I saved one... Why?

I'm of the post-punch card generation & Still I saved one... Why?

It was great to hear his voice.  We chatted a bit about the APL Bug meeting in May.  I’m now one of the editors of Vector, blah blah blah.

Later he sent me an email with minutes from an APL Bug meeting dated 13 Jul 1998 because there were notes on a talk given by Eugene McDonnell and Eugene mentions some work my dad did in the 1980’s (I will tell if you must know).

What Curtis didn’t know is that I would be more excited by seeing the meeting was also attended by  the late David Steinbrook.  David was the first person to actually teach me APL, in the I P Sharp Philadelphia branch office in 1981.

In fact, I was talking to one of David’s ex-wives earlier this month and I told her this little bit of APL trivia.

‘But I would have thought it would have been your dad who first taught you APL,’ she said.

Nope.  My dad kinda threw me at it.  David TAUGHT me.

‘David always was a teacher,’ she replied.

Yup.  I miss him.

PS This is noted at the bottom of the minutes:  ‘Look at http://www.kx.com   for K lite’  🙂 😉

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1 Response to “Philadelphia Ghosts”


  • Loved the first 10 minutes of the 1974 film – will we get more? This weekend I was reading a very abstract paper in which tensor algebra was applied to a problem in evolutionary theory. I was a little lost when I realized I could translate the concepts very cleanly into operations on APL or J arrays. This tied very nicely back to Ken’s comments about making it simpler and simpler as more applications were looked at, until it became a tool for thought. I didn’t implement a single line of code, but ended up understanding a complex problem much more simply by thinking of it as an APL expression!

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