Thomas Williams was a CS undergrad and I was an EE/CS undergrad at Villanova University. The EE department had just built a VLSI design lab and we were both immediately drawn to it. The campus had two existing computer labs, both depressing. They were crammed into dingy basements filled with rows of VT100 terminals and the acrid smell of burnt coffee. By contrast, the new VLSI lab was on the top floor of the engineering building in a room with high ceilings and plenty of light. Better still, it had a brand-new Pyramid minicomputer—right there in its own air conditioned room—that ran Unix. The lab had a dozen AED color displays and a huge HP plotter. Dr. Richard Perry ran the lab and was happy to let us hack away as much as we wanted. ...

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