The Mad Ned Memo

Mad Ned
Nerdy tales and discussion from the past three or four decades of computer hardware, software, games, engineering, hacking, and other sundries. Scary and fun ones too.
Created 13 Apr 2021
  • The Further Text Adventures of Scott Adams
    24 Nov 2021 • 11 min read • 4 12
    Scott and Roxanne Adams (Photo courtesy Team Clopas LLC) A while back I published an interview with gaming pioneer Walter Bright, which happened due to an accidental meeting in the Hacker News discuss...
  • Coming Wednesday: A Chance to Talk with Text Adventure Game Pioneer Scott Adams!
    22 Nov 2021 • < 1 min read • 2 0
    Sorry for the off-schedule Mad Ned Memo, but I wanted to let everyone know about a very special post coming up this week: an interview with computer gaming pioneer and father of Interactive Fiction, S...
  • Two Things I Learned When I Crash Landed at a Startup
    17 Nov 2021 • 11 min read • 3 4
    Credit: Getty Images Digital Equipment Corporation was my first company, and I always thought of it as this great mothership, a giant technology behemoth sailing through the vast business universe, cr...
  • When The "R" Goes Missing From R&D
    10 Nov 2021 • 10 min read • 2 1
    Credit: Bob Cuthill via Getty Images I had my suspicions that something was terribly wrong with how our development team was organized, but I didn’t really put it all together until the day the Patent...
  • What Heathkit Taught Me About Good UX Design
    03 Nov 2021 • 9 min read • 5 5
    1980 Heathkit Catalog ( I try to do research for my articles. Or at least, some approximation thereof. While researching this one, I was surprised to learn that the subject compan...
  • Why I Miss Working in the Crappiest Places
    27 Oct 2021 • 10 min read • 6 7
    Credit: Getty Images When the Pandemic hit, I was working in a brand new office complex we had just moved into four months earlier. The new place was far and above our previous digs, which were steepe...
  • A Talk With Computer Gaming Pioneer Walter Bright About Empire
    20 Oct 2021 • 10 min read • 3 10
    Walter Bright (Photo courtesy Walter Bright) I recently posted an article about resurrecting old code, and went into some detail about how I brought a program for the TRS-80 I wrote in 1982 back to li...
  • Wardialing and Other Phoney Stuff
    13 Oct 2021 • 12 min read • 6 3
    Credit iStock/Getty Images Victorian Engineers built a vast network of copper cables and switching stations to relay text messages, and eventually two-way audio, between distant points. Sounds like St...
  • Old Memories 2: Magnetic Boogaloo!
    06 Oct 2021 • 10 min read • 3 5
    This article is coming to you because of moving magnets. In spite of impressive advances with solid-state memory, the large storage arrays of “The Cloud” (including Substack’s cloud I would reasonably...
  • Being Not-So-Bad at Bad Reviews
    29 Sep 2021 • 12 min read • 1 0
    I’ve posted a lot about all the weird and nerdy things I have been up to in the past, but something I really have not spent much time on is talking about is anything to do with time I’ve spent at work...
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