[vcf-midatlantic] NYC tonight: Peter Samson speaks on 1967 subway race (MIT/PDP-6)

william degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Fri Apr 21 15:30:26 EDT 2017

hopefully someone will film this.  The story is in the Hackers by Steven
Levy in one of the first 5 chapters IIRC

On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 2:05 PM, Ken via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> [Peter Samson to be interviewed by Manhattan borough historian Michael
> Miscione, NYC Fri. 4/21 7pm.  Details below.  -Ken]
> --------
> *THE GREAT SUBWAY RACE OF 1967 *Fifty years ago an M.I.T. computer whiz
> kid named *Peter Samson* and a group of his schoolmates attempted one of
> the most audacious stunts in the history of the New York City subway
> system. Samson programmed M.I.T.'s PDP-6 mainframe computer -- about the
> size of a passenger elevator -- to calculate the most efficient route to
> ride the entire subway system in the least amount of time. In their
> outrageous attempt to break the existing riding record the team employed
> payphones, runners, and a teletype hook-up between a makeshift "data
> center" in midtown Manhattan and the mainframe in Cambridge, Mass. *Michael
> Miscione,* the Manhattan Borough Historian, will interview Samson and one
> of his schoolmates, *George Mitchell,* as they recount the *Great Subway
> Race of 1967.* Come and find out how it all played out.
> Watch a 5-minute video preview: https://vimeo.com/212423979
> Read an article about it in the New York Times: https://nyti.ms/2pDoukH
> Samson’s subway racing experience, by the way, was a mere colorful blip in
> a much more substantive career. At M.I.T. he and his friends were the high
> priests of the school’s still-new computer lab – the original “hackers,” a
> term that originated in the lab. Their vision of computers as more than
> just business calculators laid the foundation for today's personal computer
> and video game era. They were the pioneers who would later move out west to
> inspire and teach the Bill Gateses, Steve Wozniaks, and Steve Jobses!
> Do people today still try to break the subway riding record? Sure -- it
> makes the news every year or two. But now they carry their route-planning
> computers in their pocket.
> Friday, April 21 at 7:00p
> Hunter College West Building
> Lecture Hall HW615 (6th floor)
> SW corner of 68 St. & Lexington Ave., Manhattan
> Advance registration required
> Free (or suggested donation: $15 + small fee)
> RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-great-subway-race-of-1967-
> tickets-33530635032
> Questions? Email mmiscione at manhattanbp.nyc.gov
> Thanks to the following institutions for their generous support:
> CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities (CISC) at Hunter College
> Hunter College Computer Science Department
> Sam Schwartz Engineering
> The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York
> The New York Transit Museum
> Freedean Tech
> The Bowery Boys
> Nerd Nite
> Society for the Advancement of Social Studies (S.A.S.S.!)
> ATX Nation

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