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Fire in the Valley, 3rd Edition by Paul Freiberger, Michael Swaine

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Nostalgia for the Future

Bob said he would pay me to design the video section of the Tom Swift Terminal. He knew how to manipulate me.

–Lee Felsenstein

In June 1975, Bob Marsh and Popular Electronics technical editor Les Solomon were contemplating an “intelligent terminal” kit. It would consist of a terminal with semiconductor circuitry that would perform certain display and keyboard decoding functions that another computer attached to it would have otherwise handled. Marsh had some ideas from his own experience and from discussions with Felsenstein about the Tom Swift Terminal. “If you can get me a working model in 30 days, I’ll give you a cover story,” Solomon said.

A Terminal with a Brain

Marsh put the proposition to Felsenstein this ...

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