The highlight of my trip was the day i spent with Fred Brooks. Fred is living near Cambridge, on sabbatical from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in order to work on his next book, tentatively titled The Design of Design. I visited Fred on behalf of the Computer History Museum as part of their oral history series. Together with Gardner Hendire as videographer, I've conducted three such histories for the Museum and am planning on doing several more for the software side of things.
Fred is an incredibly engaging human. His technical story has been told many times, but I was delighted to draw from him his personal side: how he got his first Macintosh (directly from Steve Jobs), his witness of the final meeting between Eisenhower and Churchill, his stories of many other computer pioneers (Fred reports that he still has his nanosecond from Grace Murray Hopper), how he became a Christian. Fred's wife, Nancy, was a most gracious host. One of Fred's daughters and her husband were there as well, together with a few of their children who know Fred simply as "grandfather." Fred, by the way, is teaching them Latin.
Quote of the day: