ecology, Indiana Dunes, nature, science, technology, and theology
Personal Touch, Inc. 1983
Robotics & Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This is an extremely rare ROBOT built by the founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell. Its name is BOB, which stands for Brains on Board. There was only 120 built. It was programmable by my Apple ][ (Apple II), which came out in June, 1977.
I did this gorilla marketing at home to show venture (vulture) capitalists. There is a 1958 Royal vacuum cleaner , 18 years before iRobot's Roomba in 2002.
Also it shows him answering th $150 AT&T Micky Mouse phone BUT it didn't have voice recognition. To the right, not completely visible on the floor, is a state of the art Panasonic answering machine, which really answered the phone.
Some of the equipment that helped mold me
My dad was always teaching me about electronics. He was an inventor of one of the greatest crystal set radios. He bought these Mine Test Kits from the Army/Navy Surplus Store in Hammond, IN and took out the meters from them. I just opened this one on 10/2022 and have another unopened one.
My dad's ad in Popular Science, the October 1946 issue (Page 279). He was an inventor of one of the greatest crystal set radios.
This is me doing an unboxing in 10/2022 of this Navy Mine Test Set from 1954 so it is now 69 years old in 2023.
MONROE 1665 Prommable Desktop Calculator from 1970 and I used it in 1978 at Whiting High School in Mr. Allen's programming class.
CASIO personal-mini from 1972 which was my first calculator
Texas Instruments TI-2550 from 1974
Texas Instruments TI-1200 from 1975
This is what I bought in 1975. It is the first electronic bicycle speedometer AND tachometer. Mine was not black but the color of the gauge. I used to do racing and used this to train just like the USA Olympic Bicycle Team. One wants to keep pedaling at an efficient RPM of say 100 RPM. The maximum I could get the bicycle on flat level ground with no wind and with two passes both ways in 37 MPH which is FAST. Aerodynamic testing of postion makes a difference.
One magnet is attached to the front wheel and a sensor on the front fork for MPH. Another sensor is attached to the backside of the sprocket with a sensor on the frame for RPM. These photos are from eBay where the person is selling for $795 on 3.9.23
TI 59 Programmable from 1977 - THIS was the one that I really did a lot of programming on and made all kinds of programs and stored them on magnetic strips. As an example I did some physics programming, Monopoly game management, bicycle gearing, ...
Texsas Instruments TI Programmer fom 1977
I bought this Bikron Binary Clock in 1979 for about $75 at South Lake Mall. It taught me to THINK BINARY! It truly helped me in computer science! That is about $328 in 2023 in adjusted dollars. It was considered art too.
CASIO CA-502 calculator watch in 1984
Texas Instruments TI 30 STAT from 1986 used after Personal Touch and World Class.
Computer equipment at Indiana University Northwest (accessing Indiana University in Bloomington, IN) for use when doing the National Science Foundatiuon Grant I received in 1978.
Control Data Corporation (CDC) 6600 supercomputer purchased in 1971. I used the BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language. In June, 1978 I took took the BASIC source code for the artificially intelligent (AI) ELIZA program and customized it. ( ELIZA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA)
Computer equipment at Purdue University Northwest (formerly Purdue Calumet)
IBM 029 Card Punch from 1964 (!)
IBM 2501 Card Reader for IBM 370 Mainframe from 1965 (!)
IBM 3270 CRT from 1971
IBM 370/138 mainframe from 1976
IBM 3400 Tape Drive from ~ 1976
IBM 3340 hard drives nicknamed "Winchester" from 1973
IMPACT 1550 line printer from 1976
Prime Computer 400 minicomputer from 1976 with PRIMOS operating system used for BASIC language
Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP 11 series minicomputer, in real-time control in the steel industry. PDP means Programmed Data Processor.
DEC System 10 also known as the DEC PD 10 was considered a mainframe from 1966 - 1983
TRS-80 desktop (Tandy Radio Shack) which I worked supporting a computer lab in 1981. These were also known as TRASH 80's. They used the Zilog Z80 processor. We used the BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language.
Apple Computer Inc.'s Apple  also known as the Apple II from June 1977
THIS is what got me seriously thinking about nsvigation in 1982. I would drive all over America and I wanted to know the mileage on physical printed maps. It was made in West Germany. It is called an ALVIN Opisometer.
IBM'S first Intel 8086 Personal Computer, with PC DOS also known as IBM DOS and also known as MS-DOS as Microsof developed it. DOS stands for Disk Operating System.
To the right of the PC is an Epson dot matrix printer, the predecessor to LASER or ink jel printers.
I was attending the very first PC EXPO at the Coliseum in New York City. I met a writer, Nat Sakowski, who overheard me talking to each vendor at the expo, asking them what they invented and built for the explove new personal computer (PC) industry. He said he wanted to meet and write some articles about my company, Personal Touch, Inc. I was very busy while there with many meetings so I agreed to travel back to New York City in two weeks for an interview, which is what I did.
Front cover of Article from Computer & Electronics Marketing in November, 1983, Vol. 3, No. 11.
I was actually 21-years-old not 24 as the article states.
Fetch the Paper, RB5X
"The ingredients are
there for a major
breakthrough in home
robots . . . if only a
mass market could be
created so that unit
costs made sense."
says Ron Seman
of a robotics company, who hopes to be the Steve
Wozniak of home robots.
Article from Computer & Electronics Marketing in November, 1983, Vol. 3, No. 11., Page 32
I was actually 21-years-old not 24 as the article states.
The company was based in Whiting, IN and not Evanston, Ill.
Robots for home, an Elusive, Explosive Market
Ron Seman wants a piece of the action. The 24-year-old president of Personal Touch, a robotics research and development company based in Evanston, IL, is highly optimistic about the future of robotics. He plans to make a splash at the next Consumer Electronics Show, hoping to attract additional venture capital there. His interest is the home market, where he sees big possibilities for robots that are entertaining, capable as acting as a babysitter (when the parent leaves the room for a moment.), and equipped as mobile smoke detectors and burglar alarms.
Says Seman, "All the ingredients are there for a major breakthrough in home robots . . . if only a mass market could be created so that unit costs made sense. There have been big advances in computing, big advances in sensory gear, control mechanisms, voice activation. What is needed is someone with enough carisma to get the ball rolling." Seman's goal is clear. He wants to be the Steve Wozniak of robotics.
"Steve Wozniak managed to scrape together enough money to get one working model of the original Apple, and he impressed people enough to order a thousand. Then he borrowed enough money on the basis of that purchase order to produce the initial thousand. The rest is history."
As Seman sees it, "The personal computer market was created in one fell swoop. Before that, the only personal computer users were the real hackers, ham-radio operators, people who were used to building things from kits. Then along came Apple. Some of it was luck, some of it timing. I was hoping Nolan Bushnell would create more of a stir with is robots, because of his reputation as the founder of Atari. I thought maybe he could pull it off. Now, I just might have to do it myself," Seman laughs.
'Steve Wozniak managed to scrape together enough money to get one working model of the original Apple, and he impressed people enough to order a thousand . . . The rest is history.'-- Ron Seman, Personal Touch
Article from Computer & Electronics Marketing in November, 1983, Vol. 3, No. 11., Page 33.
Personal Touch's Seman, for one, thinks that the technology for developing more sophisticated robots aimed at the general consumer market exists today.
'All the ingredients are there for a major breakthrough in home robots . . . if only a mass market could be created so that unit costs made sense.' --Ron Seman, Personal Touch
He also believes that the market demand would be there if consumers were offered a high value product at a reasonable price. "I think there would be a big market for a security feature in a robot. A robot could be programmed to travel a particular path-- say around the house and through a path and back. The robot could be equipped with a Polaroid ultrasonic ranging system-- they're available for $50. Any intruder that cut across the path of the system would set off an alarm. Similarly a mobile robot could be programmed for fire protection. for gas or microwave leaks, for turning appliances on or off. Robots could be programmed to diagnose whats wrong with your car. They could play chess or video games."
In the future we'll certainly see super user friendly robots programmed through new artificial intelligence techniques, able to plow fields with a precision no human could attain, help with common household chores, and act as permanent aids to the handicapped. The only uncertainty is where the breakthrough will come.
As Seman insists, "All the field needs is one strong push."
Here is is the front cover of an Apple focused magazine, A+, Volume 2, Issue 4, April, 1984.
In the bottom left you will see the title of the article, THE ROBOTS ARE COMING, about ROBOTS and I and my company Personal Touch, Inc.
THE ROBOTS ARE COMING
WHY NOT INTRODUCE ONE TO YOUR APPPLE?
Ron Seman is a man in his twenties who has formed a company called Personal Touch. He describes it as an assocaition of about 100 people-- scientists, technicians, engineers, computer specialists, and marketing people-- all dedicated to making a great breakthrough in personal home robots. Seman will talk robotics to you 24 hours a day. We asked him to elaborate on the field and its future.
Robotics is still in a primitive stage todat according to Seman. He says that many elements of the necessary technlogy are around, but no one has yet put the pieces together. "There are companies making Heavendway in robotic vision systems, dedicated arms are getting better, we're seeing superior software and faster processors coming out . . . but all the pieces just haven't fallen into place because nobody has created a demand, a markert for home robots."
Will robotics take off the way personal computers did? Ron Seman of Personal Touch, a personal robot company, thinks they might: "The technology is there to do a lot more than is being donw right now. For instance, there are people right now doing advanced work in optical-recognition systems. There's no national program to coordinate their efforts with other experimenters doing very similar things. So you have pockets of advanced research going on here and there without any coordination."
There is no great national urgency comparable to the Japanese to get more robots into the workplace, Seman points out. "Robots can take a lot of the drudgery out of manufacturing situations. They are perfect for single-function jobs that can clearly be defined. I am talking about messy, dirty, dangerous work, such as painting cars and welding."
'Think of a squad of robots parachuted into a raging forest fire or descending into a collapsed mine shaft.'
Seman conceives of robots as eventually replacing people in emergency situations. "A robot is perfect for a situation like defusing a bomb. You can equip him with armor plate that will withstand the blast. Think of a squad of robots parachuted into a raging forest fire or descending into a collapsed mine shaft to rescue trapped miners. These situations are not science fiction. They will come to pass in a few years," Seman assures us.
Says Seman, "I anticpate major jumps in computer power within the next five years. A lot of personal computers have 16-bit memories [processors] as their basic information chunk now. That will soon jump to 32 bits, and then 256 bits. Setup several of these coprocessor working in parralel, and you get a lot more computing power. Speech synthesizers, for instance, can now recognize 2000 words in a sophisticated system."
World Class, Inc. 1984
This is the Androbot right before I used it for more guerrilla marketing to help with the World Class FIRST Car. You can see a toy robot arm on the ground holding a paint brush. On the table is an Apple ][ (Apple II) which controlled wirelessly the Androbot. In the middle is THE Apple Macintosh 128k used in the car.
To the right is a VCR used to play videos of the artist Manuel Ruiz, whose gallery I am in. He was across the street on Michigan Ave across from the art gallery. He had a weekly TV show and each week he would do show how to paint like another famous artist.
I had my car parked near the front of his two floor gallery, the largest one in Chicago. I had my Apple II running off a power system I had installed in my car, to power all kind of technology. I had the Androbot on the sidewalk interacting with the public with a two-way radio, without anyone knowing I was the brains behind the voice. I did it for an hour or two.
Manuel came out. He politely asked what I was doing. I said I know you are a very famous artist that teaches how one can imitate the great masters. I said I have an artist and it is impossible for you or anyone in the world to copy this style at this moment (and it never has been done since). He proudly said, "I doubt that."
I said I have programmed this ROBOT to do something no human can authentically do. "What is that?" he asked. I said we could spread out a large canvas on the floor and some containers of various colors. The ROBOT can randomly generate a number and pick a brush size then randomly pick a color then randomly pick a direction whether it is straight left, right, curved or totally a random combination. Then it can pick a random time wait to start painting from a fraction of a second to any length of time you want such as hours or longer. Then it can do a random amount of pressure. Then it can do a "ballet" of sorts to musically it randomly selects and plays. EACH painting will be unique as time. It can randomly pause any amount of time for emphasis. It can be done in a private location and tickets sold or let people watch for free. It can be done inside, outside as street art, or in a theater. It can do it very fast as well and much faster than a mere human? "Are you interested?" I asked.
The Androbot stripped apart to start a transition into Yoda. You can see and an electric motor so the his head can go up down. Also there are green LED lights for eyes.
I had to purchase the $10,000 Apple Lisa in order to develop software for the new $2,500 Apple 128k Macintosh computer.
To give one an idea of how small 128k (131,072 bytes), an iPhone 14 now starts at 128,000,000,000 which has one million (1,000,000) times the memory and only costs $799. If the price of memory solely determined the cost of a computer than the cost of an Apple 128gb iMac would cost $2,500 X 1,000,000 = $2,500,000,000, which in words is two billion five hundred million dollars!!! The cost of computer technology has really changed. If the 1983 Mazda's GLC, 626, which got 40 mpg and improved as much it should get 40 mpg X 1,0000,000,=,40,000,000 so one can see how stagnate the auto industry is!
(The Apple Lisa named after Steve's first daughter, whose mother, Chrisann Brennan, is a painter, essayist and memoirist, and was Jobs' high-school sweetheart.)
1983 Apple Lisa computer ad. Note it was NOT called the Apple Macintosh Lisa as the title of the YouTube video states. This is the 29 year old actor Kevin Costner. Hollywood to this day prefers the cooler Apple iMac's over the dull clumsy Windows computers with the operating system initially stolen by Billy Gates and then time after time "upgraded" from DOS to Windows, which a primitive version came out two years later in 1985.
This ad has the famous saying and it was true in 1983 and today 2023+:
"And why soon there will just be two kinds of people, those who use computers and those who use Apples."
(If any of the 1983 Apple Lisa videos are taken down from YouTube just do another search for one, "1983 Apple Lisa.)
Another ad for the 1983 Apple Lisa proclaiming that Apple once again takes the lead.
Note there were two floppy disk drives and on tope that rectangular box is just a five (5) megabyte fized hard drive. A typical photo on an iPhone may be 3 - 4 megabytes so this drive COULD ONLY HOLD ONE(1) PHOTO!
World Class, Inc. 1984
First vehicle navigation system based on radio signal
First Cellular location of vehicle
First street view videos (all stored on a LASER platter for each city)
First video instructions not cartoon graphics like Google
First information (videos/audio,photos,text) provided from built-in proprietary database on destinations
First inside building tours on onboard video
First restaurant reviews from published professional critics
First automatic braking for use with factory anti-lock brakes
First automatic cruise control speed adjustment
First automobile in a computer show
First folding down rear car seat with a 21" Panasonic TV
First built-in general purpose computer (1984 Apple Macintosh 128k)
First window rattling home audio system components /JBL speakers installed
First window rattling home audio system components /JBL speakers installed
First entertainment system with Pioneer Laserdisc
First camera system front and back
First crash cam front and back
First crash detecting system for emergency services notification
First high amperage 120V outlets with series of batteries and inverters
First military and firetruck concept applications for vehicles
First backup camera
The premier issue of MACWORLD magazine in 1984. This is Steve Jobs standing in front of three identical Apple Macintosh 128k models.
The World Class First Car in front of UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Guerrilla marketing was the plan. This is to imply that UL had to inspect the car because there were so many 120 V circuits and batteries and inverters.
The home lab where all the development took place.
I just brought home the Apple computers. I wore out the t-shirt!
Behind is a one of a kind sound system, one of the most realistic in the world. At the time JBL factory built speakers were used in 8 out of 10 professional recording studios. That meant all the top orchestras and bands were mastered on JBL.
I didn't cut corporate corners and designed these speaker systems without any constraints, in high school using JBL components, but that is another story. (I reported to JBL that they had errors in their design specs and they sent me a very expensive woofer for free.)
On the left is THE Apple Macintosh with 128k of memory. To the right is the Apple Lisa needed to develop software for the Macintosh. On top of the Lisa is a hard disk which only 5 MB of space! Many simple photos taken today on an iPhone 14 Max Pro take over 5 MB of space! In P
Probably caught dozing off as all the implementation was done around the clock as much as humanly possible from after 1/24/1984, when the Macintosh was announced, until the Byte Computer Show in May of 1984. There about 70,000 original Macintosh's made. Over the life of the Apple Lisa some have said only 10,000 were sold. But that technology was used in the Macintosh. In comparison there are over 1,500,000,000 various model iPhones in use in 2023.
Here is my Apple Macintosh 128k, and Apple Lisa with 5MB external hard drive. The Lisa was pretty rare with about only 10,000 sold. They were required to develop the software f the Macintosh just like today an iMac is required to develop an app for the iPhone.
128k is 1/8 of a megabyte (MB). It costs $2,500. So say you have an iPhones with 256 gigabytes (GB). Based solely on the cost of memory and nothing else the new iPhone should cost $???? (128k X 8 THEN 1MB X 1,000 to get a GB THEN X 256 = $2,500 X 8 X 1,000 X 256) = $5,120,000,000 ($5.1 BILLION), and that doesn't take into account inflation so one can see the cost of memory has gone down!!!
The external 5MB hard disk was not included with the $10,000 Apple Lisa. Today an iPhone with 256GB of memory is the equivalent of 51,200 hard drives! (256,000,000,000 / 5,000,000 = 51,200 hard disk drives!) If each drive is 5" tall the height of would be 51,200 X 5" = 102,400 inches = 8,533 feet = 1.6 MILES TALL!
In addition the Macintosh's processor could do about 2,400,000 instructions p;er second. The A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Max Pro can do 17,000,000,000,000 (17 trillion) so it is 7,083,333 times faster!!!
An old 1960's Rolls Royce - I thought wealthy would afford the cost of the World Class First computer system. In my left pocket is NOT a smartphone which was not invented in 1984. It is just my wallet getting thinner each day I develop the system.
My favorite Porsche -- The Tubo Carrera with the whale tale
Here I am at Mt. Baldy of the Indiana Dunes National Park, my future base for IndianaDunesHiking.Com
Here I am with a GRiD Compass laptop. It was a hardened laptop with a magnesium alloy body weighing in at 11 pounds! It was usde by our Special Forces paratroopers and by astronauts on NASA's Space Shuttle. It could be dropped from waist height onto a concrete floor AND keep running. It had an Intel 8086 processor with a propretary I demonstrated it at the Byte Computer Show with my World Class First Car. I dropped it about 14 times a day, when I had a crowd at the booth, and then it ceased to power on. . It cost $10,500 which would cost $30,827.13 in 2023 considering inflation (see BLS.GFov/data/inflation_calculator).
Of course I chose the revolutionary Apple Macintosh 128k designed and built by what was then called Apple Computer, Inc. (changed to Apple, Inc. on 1/9/2007). It too had its roots from Xerox's Palo Alto research center where they had designed the geraphical interface that had WYSIWYG
I had dreamt buying this mansion on Lake Front Drive in Beverly Shores, which was extremely close to the Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana Dunes State Park.
This is a current photo of a BMW 733i that was for sale. This is exactly what one looked like in 1984 that I was pursuing. I wanted this to be the platform for the World Class First Car in 1984 but the Chicago area dealers couldn't grasp what I was telling them, when I said a computerized navigation system (all the way back in 1984). I accessed SilverstoneMotorcars.com for fair use educational purposes on 3/3/23.
So without any dealers of used or nrw cars who wanted to get involved I just used this car I owned for this project, my 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier, which started at a base price of $6,251 ($18,352 in 2023 dollars). I took all the branding off of the Chevrolet. They had built 45,200 of them and this was the one of kind one, after I used to computerize it.
The house originally built in 1890 for Standard Oil of Indiana workers, where World Class First Car was invented ending in May, 1984.
1509 Ohio Avenue, Whiting, Indiana 46394 USA
(Google Map location: https://goo.gl/maps/8kMJB27foG2DNe7F8) Just 2,000 feet from the now BP
These four photos from the Whiting Historical Society. WRHistoricalSociety.com/Standard-Oils-Whiting-Refinery-100-years-ago accessed 3/3/2023
The front of my World Class First (First Insanely Radical Savage Tech) Car with ultrasonic ranging for automatically putting on anti-lock brakes or adjusting the cruise control speed, to allow for "road trains" of cars all going at the same speed to improve fuel economy on busy highways and to prevent the insane amount of STOP and GO traffic and rubberneckers (looking at acciudents and other interesting stuff on the side of the road.) On the rear of the car was an identical set of items. Notice the LARGE lens for quality. No need for tiny wimpy lens. The purpose was to record the main thorough fares I had put into my Chicago street vuideo database.
One of the favorite photos of the World Class First Car. It shows a full size waater proof keyboard, a 9" Apple Macintosh monitor in the dash, and a Sony Watchman in the shifter console.
A Sony Watchman was installed into this console for use for different things, I Installed a Page Alert Sunsentry which will send a radio page to their pager you wear. There are different triggers for setting off the silent alarm. One day in the Grant Park Garage a contractor drop off a very large compressor for sandblasting. When it turned on the sound qand vibration set the alarm off and I ran to check on the car and peaked around a wall and saw the compressor running.
This is the Sony watchman TV that was installed in the shifter console.
Note that in 1984 the name of the company was Apple Computer, Inc. and they had a rainbow colored apple.
Here I am at thew McCormick Place in Chicago. This is truly the first Apple car I designed, also known as the World Class First Car. One can see an Apple Macintosh monitor, keyboard, and mother board. In edition there are paper based items which were no longer needed like atlases, maps, tour books, ... Note the Statue of Libery. This system now gives one FREEDOM to go where they want without their navigator or stopping strangers to get wrong or confusing directions.
Here is the World Class First Car of mine that I designed in Whiting, Indiana on display at the Byte Computer Show at the McCormick Place on the lakefront in Chicago, Illinois, USA in May, 1984. In the middle of the photo you will notice a "Yoda" ROBOT i built by modifying a very rare Androbot built by Nolan Bushnell, founder of Arti, the video game company and later founder of Chuck E. Cheese Pizza chain located in 16 countries. On the left side of the table is the GriD Compass hardened laptop.
The newspaper that broke the story -- the Chicago Tribune.
May 15, 1984
INTERESTING NOTE: Google Maps app went live on October 28, 2009, 25 years and 5 months AFTER I designed the World Class First Car's navigation system (!).
Google got the technology they were using by buying Where 2 Technologies, located in Sydney, Australia. They bought them in October of 2004, 20 years and 5 months (!) after I designed the World Class First Car's navigation system.
In that same month they also bought Keyhole, Inc., of Mountain View, CA. They were a geospatial data visualization company and that essentially became Google Earth and the technology was also weaved into Google Maps.
This is the Chicago Tribune newspaper on May 15, 1984. This is Section 2. The title of the article, Video arcades take back seat to this show by Glen Elsasser, appears below on that page.
This is the Chicago Tribune newspaper on May 15, 1984. The title of the article, Video arcades take back seat to this show by Glen Elsasser. It got its title because at the arcade there were some top of the line very expensive arcade only premier video games that used actual video and not just simple computer graphics. They were called full-motion video games or FMV games. They also stored video on LaserDiscs. I used a Pioneer LaserDisc. controlled by an RS 232 port connected to the Macintosh.
I modified the rear seat and attached velcro to the back of the seat and the metal backrest behind it. When I tapped the brakes a little hard while driving the seat would have momentum and the velcro would give way and the seat would fall forward exposing something. What was there? A color 21" Panasonic TV mounted facing forward. I could use it for entertainment OR I could display textual instructions and display them backwards. Then when one would look in the rearview mirror, one would see the text correctly, like the backwards word AMBULANCE on an actual ambulance so that you know what is behind you. Seems like the sirens and flashing lights would give you a good idea! Some states didn't allow a "TV" to be in the front to distract a driver.
Here is the wording from the article if you are not able to zoom in or save the photo on your device and the zoom in from photos:
THEY PASS A display of greeting cards with computer themes -- "Your data needs no translation" and then head for the computerized car that will tell you everything from the best route to your destination to whether you are tailgating.
"We've videotaped streets of Chicago and put it on laser discs, and we'll show you how to get from here to there," says Ronald Seman, president of World Class Inc. of Whiting, Ind., which has computerized the car.
Manny is impressed. "They have that on video games," he says.
Researching at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. I went to view microfiche to see the article.
I found the article on microfiche! It just wasn't a dream.
When you have a single point of failure, count on it to fail! Chevrolet had a computer that controlled engine management such as the advancement of spark timing. Unfortunately the computer or software messed up and advanced the timing too far and the engine burned a hole in the engine and the hole engine was ruined.
The whole engine had to be scrapped. The Chevrolet engine management computer advanced the timing and the engine began to ping and a holw wqs burned through the engine and caused a catastrophic engine failure.
After working with Chevrolet of General Motors they agreed to give me 1/2 the cost of the engine I wqs able to find. The engine heads are from the blown up engine and the car has the new to me used engine.
In 1985 the World Class FIRST Car was stolen in Chicago just north of State Street. It was never recovered. I got the value from the insurance company of about $4,000. The stuff (computers and electronics) in the car was worth ten times that in actual value. The car was priceless.
An Apple bumper sticker:
I'd rather be driving a Macintosh.
I don't know if this bumper sticker from Apple Computer was inspired at all by Apple Fellow, Guy Kawasaki, who offered to provide me a truckload of Apple Mancintosh's to install in rental cars in Chicago's O'hare Airport, the busiest in the world at that time. I would certainly like to think so but there were many kinds of bumper stickers like that. Guy Kawasaki had on his business card the title of Apple Evangelist, as he was the chief marketer of the ORIGINAL Apple Macintosh in 1984. I met him twice. Once was at a marketing event to software developers in Chicago and the second time was in Apple's office in downtown Chicago
Bumper sticker is from: https://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102667347
Apple 1984 Commercial during Super Bowl
If this no longer works when you try to watch it just go to YouTube and search "1984 apple commercial"
For reference three previous attempts at navigation systems for cars:
1909 Jones Live Map which used a disk for each route. It was connected to the speedometer/odometer and the disk would rotate so you knew about when to turn. On the bottom right was New York to Philadelphia. Gas stop planning was crucial at that time.
1920's The Plus Four Wristlet Route Indicator, a British product which could also be used perhaps on a golf course for information on distances.
1932 there was an interesting system. The box had a paper map. It was connected to the speedometer/odomoter cable. So based on the rotation of the cable it gve one a rought idea where it was on the route. Did I go 10 miles or 15 miles?
1981 Honda's Electro Gyrocator navigation system which was short lived.
1985 Steve Jobs left Apple after a dispute with the CEO he had hired tens years before, after he was asked to step aweay from the Macintosh group. Steve said he was fired from Apple. Some people believed it because Apple's Macintosh and Lisa sales were so low and he was a tyrant to others. Steve Wozniak said Jobs quit.
I say Macintosh sales would have increased rapidly if they expanded from the mere limited desktop arena into the huge automobile market we could have created.
1986 for a brief time I worked with Cell Analysis Systems in Chicago, a startup to develop a desktop soultion to replace this system. The new system would look at blood cells and alert pathologists to make sure they check this or that sample for cancerous images. It was a supplement to the doctors and not a replacement. It eventually was bought by Becton Dickinson, one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world manufacture (BD.Com <- one of the shortest website names!)
1987 I studied a lot about Indy Car and Formula One. I had some ideas about how techology could be jsed to make cars faster, beter handling, and safer. I thought I could experiment on my own platforms mentioned below in 1988.
1988 I designed this supercart for fun. I bought the chassis from a CART SHOP about 15 miles south of Crown Point, IN on US 41 on a farm. It used to haver rectangular polished aluminum fuel tanks on each side (one can see the rodws sticking out from the frame). It has a 1986 Suzuki RM 250 two-stroke water-cooled motocross engine with about 46 horsepower. The supercart I designed weighed about 210 pounds. Note the clutch lever in between the gas and the brake pedal. Note you can shift without using the clutch if you have the RPM's right. This is use to initially put it in gear. The gearing shown was very limiting to the top speed and that was intentional. With higher gearing it go the top speed of over 137 MPH.
Some calculations just for fun!
Honda Odyssey Minivan has 280 HP and weighs 4,526. 4,526 pounds / 280 = 16.2 pounds per HP. Cost is estimated $41,905. $41,905 / 280 = $150 per HP
Steve McQueen's 1968 Ford Mustang GT in the movie Bullet has only 230 HP and weighs 2,996 pounds. Power to weight ratio is 2,996 / 230 HP = 13 pounds per HP. Sold at auction for $3,700,000 / 230 = $16,087 per HP. Original price in 1968 was $2,814.WITH INFLATION it would now be $23,664. $23,664 / 230 = $103 per HP
Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce has 690 horsepower and weighs 4,085 pounds. Its power to weight ratio is 4,085 pounds / 690 horsepower = 5.9 pounds per HP. $533,500 / 690 = $733 per HP
Tesla Model S Plaid has 1,020 HP and weighs 4,766 pounds so its power to weight ratio is 4,766 / 1,020 = 4.7 pounds per HP $114,990.$114,990 / 1,020 = $113 per HP
My supercart the power to weight ratio was 210 pounds 46 horsepower = 4.6 pounds per HP. $5,000 / 46 = $109 per HP
Bugatti Cheron has 1,500 HP and weighs 4,400. 4,400 pounds / 1,500 = 2.9 pounds per HP. Cost is estimated $10,459,496. $10,459,496 / 1,500 = $6,973 per HP
For those that don't know what a supercart is, this is a good video of a more modern one than mine. Mine was just a proof of concept prototype.
1989 I designed this parallel tandem for riding on the ice of Wolf Lake in Hammond, IN. The two wood braces keeps the upper part of the bicycle from leaning into each ohter and between the reat axles there is a steel brace keeping the bicycles at equal distance. So two people could ride the bicycles OR one person can ride it and in either case it won't slip out from under you in snow or ice.
Photos from different events, showing veterans, active military, and first responders, except for the Air Force helicopter flying over the Pentagon.
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Last updated: © 3.29.23 Ron Seman