Visitor to SAIL on Wednesday 21 April 1976.

A photographer, working for the Digital Equipment Corporation,
visits Stanford to photograph the recently delivered KL-10 computer.

Gerald Ford is president. Consumer GPS and cell phones do not exist. The internet node count is about one hundred. The personal home computer population may be a couple thousand.

The following 82 images are the Stanford subset from 190 images recently found, April 2019, at Hewlett Packard Company in the debris field left by the Digital Equipment Corporation. The analog black-and-white film negatives were donated by HP to the Computer History Museum, CHM. CHM assigned catalog number 10276500 to the lot, and ascession numbered the digitized TIFF files from 1 to 190, and converted the TIFF to smaller JPG files for convenient web display.

This CHM web page is titled PDP-10 testing, and it presents a pleasantly mixed up, uncaptioned, combination of the 82 Stanford University images with 108 images from UC Berkeley and from Costa Mesa High School. Arrival


Image#1 Front Steps

The Visitor drives down a road lined with eucalyptus trees, to arrive at the Donald Clinton Power Laboratory, 1600 Arastradero, Palo Alto, California. Home of SAIL, the first Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The Visitor walks up the wide steps to the front door of the unusally shaped semi circular wooden building.

The ramps are for the Robotic Mobile Vehicle named "The Stanford Cart". The visitor had passed the yellow diamond "Caution Robot Vehicle" sign on the driveway from the road, going up the hill, to the parking lot, and expects to see the robot as well as the laboratory workers and managers.

Image#2 Front Door

Closer to the building there are four steps that lead from the concrete walkway to the wooden deck. There to the right is a long larger ramp for "The Cart" to climb those steps. The front double door is left of center in the recess. Laminated roof beams stick out the front.

Image#3 Signage

Close up of signage mounted on the front railing of SAIL's deck. The visitor will go straight ahead to "Main Entrance" of "Stanford Artificial Intelligence Project". Nothing further is to be found concerning "Drug, Crime & Community Studies", it would have been a long walk to the right around the outer circumference of the upper deck. It is now 1976, and the further signage concerning community studies disappeared years before.

Image#4 Signage again

Near duplicate of Image#3. The camera has panned slightly left and up. The image has gained a corner of a roof beam at the top, but loses a fence post at the bottom. Counting fence posts is important for cybernetic vision, but insignificant for analog filmed publicity snapshots. The parked bicycle stands out as being slightly odd. It is parked alone; at university sites bicycles usually are parked in heaps. That bike doesn't seem to have a visible lock or chain. Expensive bicycles were simply taken inside to one's office.

Image#5 Window Reflection

Front window of the D.C.Power Lab is dominated by reflection of distant Eucalyptus Trees, with front deck railing posts middle right, and shadows of the roof beams on the deck, and the parked bike is reflected within the railing posts. In the middle of the window is gold lettering, move closer to see next...

Image#6  PROJECT  in gold letters

The gold lettering on the front window spells Project not Laboratory.


Image#7 Redwood steps

Upon leaving the building, the Visitor has gone down those wooden steps, out on the grass, towards the volley ball court and now looks back at the building for a wide angle shot with spring weeds blooming in the foreground, and the dark profile of the Eucalyptus trees showing behind the building, the distant gray skyline on the right is the Santa Cruz mountains, looking at the Russian Ridge and Windy Hill segments.

The whole front fascade - every post is without shadows, as it should be around 1 pm.

Image#8 Redwood railing posts

This is the front of the lab as seen from further out onto the grass. The left edge foreground weeds disappear, the darker weeds shift left to mid frame. Some of the Eucaluptus trees now peek out above the roof line on the right side of the building.

Image#9 A.I.Lab from out in the weeds

Out in the weeds of early Artificial Intelligence. The Volley Ball court is just to the left of this view. The parking lot is directly behind the camera, perhaps too is the Visitor's car. The visitor turns around 180 degrees, walks ten steps to a rental car, and drives away.

Visitor mets Lester Earnest

Image #10 Met Lester Earnest

In 1976, Queenette Bauer and Linda Hubly occupy the office nearest the front door. Bauer would have directed the Visitor to met the chief bureacrat, Lester Earnest, whoes office, room #206 is named Imladris. Most of the Tolkein names for each office have been forgotten; except the break room, with the coffee machine, is named The Prancing Pony; the computer room is named Mordor; the conference room is Mirkwood. Earnest recalls Imladris. Baumgart recalls Dale.

The Visitor sits in one of the two chairs across the paper strewn desk from LES Lester Earnest, the Executive Director of SAIL. The antique telephone in the foreground is not a collector's item. That telephone is a 1976 desk top model that is connected by copper wires to an analog circuit switching network.

Image #11 Les stares at screen.

Lester is checking his email or reading the AP news wire. He seems to be ignoring the visitor and the camera.

Image #12 portrait

Les turns to speak to the Visitor.
The photographer takes a portrait images, then switches to landscape for the next three images.

I can hear even now, Lester explaining, yet again, how that in the future every office will have a Time-Sharing TV-screen and keyboard like his.

I sit here in 2019, with my replica of Lester's keyboard that I have special ordered for writing about SAIL in the 1970s; and I have eight large screens today, not counting my phones and clocks.

Like the aged Dave at the end of Kubrick's 2001 movie. I turn around and look for you out there in 2076, looking at me in 2019, looking at Les in 1976; but you are not quite there yet, I can not see you clearly.

Image #13 Double Bucky Fingering

Here Lester's left hand is demonstrating the famous SAIL keyboard Double-Bucky piano chord, holding down both Control and Meta shift keys. In 1964, Niklaus Wirth, who was nicknamed "Bucky", implemented an extra shift key to toggle the eighth bit on ASCII input for the PDP-1 at Stanford. After inventing the Bucky Bit, Wirth designed Pascal.

However, Les has not yet hit a command key with his right index finger. That TV screen is NOT a touch screen, it is displaying a green raster with one bit per pixel !

There are no mice at SAIL in 1976, because typing key chords works better than mousing around when compute cycles are expensive and resources are shared. Bucky reviewed, in 2005, the entire potpourri of computer ideas since the 1960s, Good Ideas, Through the Looking Glass by Niklaus Wirth PDF.

Image #14 Black and Green raster, 480 by 512 pixels, 34 lines of 85 characters

Each pixel is a single bit and can display exactly two colors: BLACK or GREEN. The raster has 480 rows of 512 columns, the normal font is a dot matrix, with 12 rows by 6 columns per glyph. The normal font size can display 34 lines of 85 characters per line. The Data Disc storage capacity could refresh 32 video channels at 30 hertz.

Image #15 Who Line at top of screen

LES is pointing at the Who line which dynamically displays your status in the Time Sharing queues, your keystrokes actually echo in real time, and getting you results to each command is faster than key-punch batch turn around time.

Proud SAIL management poses with the awesome KL-10.

Image #16 KL-10 computer with JMC and LES

Landscape: John McCarthy (standing) and Lester Earnest (seated) near console of the new KL-10 (left) with the old KA-10 behind John and the KA-10 console keyboard which is a TTY-35 to the right of Lester's shoulder.

Image #17 fashion statement

Portrait: JMC standing and LES seated.

John McCarthy is over dressed, possibly he is going to some other event or possibly because he thinks he can save DEC from abandoning the large machine market. He would never be seen at the lab looking like this, except for a photo op. His left lapel square tag has an AI logo on, it which might from some conference he has recently attended.

Lester is wearing the same style African print shirt he always wears.

Image #18 lift the paper

Landscape: same foreground, notice how deep the background row of equipment frames goes.

Image #19 hold the paper

Photographer takes one step left. "Look at the camera" snaps Portrait: again JMC standing and LES seated. Only shot showing one of the two blank front panels that are hiding the real brain of the KL-10; the buttons, lights and DEC Tapes behind the DEC Writer are actually just a 16-bit PDP-11/40 which is the console interface to the KL super computer.

Image #20 Don't Blame Me I'am from Massachusetts

Turn of the photographers wrist to portrait.

SAIL management looks at the paper. A final sad publicity shot, the DEC Writer with wide paper was a simple, cheap, slow hard copy computer interface. SAIL management and the publicity photographers failed to see the 36-bit KL computer. In fact the work horse PDP-10 KA is better represented in the background, photo bombing these five images from the right rear.

John McCarthy poses at the Hand/Eye Table
with the Robotic Vic Scheinman Manipulators
and a 3 minute session at the Triple-III display console running the program DPYCLK.

Professor John McCarthy, all dressed up, runs DPYCLK.

Image #21


  JMC John McCarthy that day at 12:15 was logged in for THIS picture#35 for 3 minutes !
in the picture he is at Triple-III display#1 which is session line tv#021 !
+-----+-----+--------+---------------------+---------------------+---------+--------+---------+---------+ | prj | prg | ln | login | logout | minutes | sn | runtime | kcticks | +-----+-----+--------+---------------------+---------------------+---------+--------+---------+---------+ | F75 | JMC | tv#015 | 1976-04-21 02:48:00 | 1976-04-21 03:03:00 | 15 | 211352 | 11257 | 392448 | | ESS | JMC | tv#015 | 1976-04-21 08:27:00 | 1976-04-21 08:28:00 | 1 | 211352 | 68 | 880 | | ESS | JMC | tv#037 | 1976-04-21 11:18:00 | 1976-04-21 11:55:00 | 37 | 211352 | 89 | 1188 | | ESS | JMC | tv#021 | 1976-04-21 12:16:00 | 1976-04-21 12:19:00 | 3 | 211352 | 170 | 5512 | | ESS | JMC | tv#037 | 1976-04-21 14:45:00 | 1976-04-21 16:36:00 | 111 | 211352 | 3190 | 51776 | | ESS | JMC | tv#777 | 1976-04-21 23:23:00 | 1976-04-21 23:24:00 | 1 | 211352 | 32 | 1166 | | ESS | JMC | tv#015 | 1976-04-21 23:05:00 | 1976-04-22 00:32:00 | 87 | 212425 | 2654 | 67504 | +-----+-----+--------+---------------------+---------------------+---------+--------+---------+---------+

Image #22 The Principal Investigator


Image #23 John at Hand-Eye work station


Image #24 John runs DPYCLK

JMC logs in for 3 minutes to look at a BIG CLOCK display.

Music – Leland Smith.

Image #25 Score Smith
displayed time illegible.

Walking to the computer room, the Visitor is escorted through the display room past Music Professor Leland Smith, who is working on displaying musical notation using a vector display.

The vector displays were custom made for Stanford by Information International Incorporate and so are call Triple-Eye displays, which is spelled "Triple-III" in this narrative as a reminder for the proper prounciation.

who:LCS what:Triple-III #2 Music Score
where:display room#229 CHM#106

Image #26 Score door
displayed time illegible.

This image is a wider view of the Triple-III #2. One can verify that on this date III#2 was the middle one of the three in the display room. The double wooden doors to Mordor are in the background behind the upper right corner of the display console.

who:LCS what:Triple-III #2 Music Score
where:display room#229 CHM#107

Image #27 displayed time 12:24

who:LCS what:Triple-III #2 Music Score
where:display room#229 CHM#108

Image #28 displayed time 12:26

who:LCS what:Triple-III #2 Music Score
where:display room#229 CHM#109

Image #29 displayed time 12:27

who:LCS what:Triple-III #2 Music Score
where:display room#229 CHM#110

Image #30 displayed time 12:27 again

who:LCS what:Triple-III #2 Music Score
where:display room#229 CHM#111

Music – Gareth Loy.

Image #31 Hand Eye Loy

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3 Hand/Eye
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#144

Image #32 Kintel Loy

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#168

Image #33 DGL typing

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#169

Image #34 DGL thinking

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#59

Image #35 DGL pointing
24 hour wall clock

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#141
Six feet to the right of the wall clock is a line printer digital image of a female face. This piece of paper was there on that wall in 1969 when I arrived at SAIL, and that same piece of paper was still there in 1982 in a noir CCRMA film showing the lab building in its decline. This ghost appears from 36:22 to 36:35 in this spooky VIDEO. Who is she ? Are there any better photographs of this computer room wall ?

Image #36 sheet music

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#142

Image #37 music sheet

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#143

Image #38 long view of III#3

who:DGL what:Triple-III #3
where:Mordor room#233 CHM#152



Image #39 Tape Drives

who:nobody what:DecTapes+MagTape where:Mordor room#233 CHM#150

Image #40 Kludge Bays

who:nobody what:kludge bays where:Mordor room#233 CHM#145

Image #41 PDP-6

Note: The telephone head set is placed on the desk top phone in its normal position. And a computer floor tile pulling suction tool (aka "The Floor Sucker") sits on the PDP-6 console next to the telephone,

who:REG+JBR what:PDP-6 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#155

Image #42 PDP-6 with REG switching

Now the Floor Sucker has replaced the telephone head set.

who:REG what:PDP-6 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#156

Image #43 PDP-6 with REG reaching for masking tape

Floor Sucker still on telephone. Perhaps the phone had summoned Ralph to the PDP-6 console.

who:REG what:PDP-6 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#157


Image #44 Tom Gafford appears, once only

who:JBR+REG+TAG what:between rows of racks where:Mordor room#233 CHM#159

Image #45 KL-10 all three bays

who:JBR+REG what:KL10 three bays where:Mordor room#233 CHM#153 All three equipment racks of the KL-10 can be seen on the left side of this image. The console face-plate switches-and-light and DECWriter of the KL-10 is actually a 16-bit minicomputer, a PDP-11/40 machine, which is used to control the two bays to its left housing the 36-bit PDP-10 ECL (Emitter Coupled Logic) model KL.

Image #46 Rubin and Gorin

who:JBR+REG what:PDP-6 row of racks where:Mordor room#233 CHM#154

Image #47 stare at bound listing

who:REG+JBR what:KL10 console where:Mordor room#233 CHM#161

Image #48 Ralph touchs DECwriter paper

who:REG+JBR what:KL10 console where:Mordor room#233 CHM#163

Image #49 Ralph lifts DECwriter paper

who:REG what:KL10 DecWriter where:Mordor room#233 CHM#162

Image #50 Fiche viewer blocks view

who:JBR+REG what:KA10 PEACE banner where:Mordor room#233 CHM#159

Image #51 XGP pops out of background

who:JBR+REG what:KL10 DecWriter where:Mordor room#233 CHM#160

While our wizards are waiting for something at the KL-10 DECwriter. The photographer has captured the photo shy XGP, the famous Xerox Graphics Printer, jumps out of the backgound in the center of this image.

Image #52 STOP sign above Jeff's head.

who:JBR+REG what:KL10 DecWriter where:Mordor room#233 CHM#151

Image #53 PEACE Banner, wall clock,
BBN pager, Tektronix Scope

who:REG+JBR what:PDP-10s KA10 KL10 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#158

Image #54 KA-10 Ted Ralph Jeff

who:REG+JBR+TED what:KA10 console where:Mordor room#233 CHM#164

Image #55 KA-10 Ted fingers on Log book

who:TED what:KA10+CTY where:Mordor room#233 CHM#165

Image #56 KL-10 Ted and Jeff

who:TED+JBR+REG what:KL10+KA10 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#166

Image #57 KL-10 Ralph Jef Ted

who:TED+JBR+REG what:KL10 row of racks where:Mordor room#233 CHM#167



Image #58 Hand-Eye Table

who:JBR+REG+TED what:hand-eye table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#55

Image #59 Hand-Eye Table landscape

who:JBR+REG+TED+DGL what:hand-eye table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#56

Image #60 TED positions vice

who:TED what:hand-eye table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#57

Image #61 TED positions wrist

who:TED what:hand-eye table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#58

Image #62 portrait TED at HE work station

who:TED what:Triple-III #1 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#147

Image #63 landscape TED at HE work station

who:TED what:Triple-III #1 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#148

Image #64 Blue Arm at vice

who:TED what:vice at Hand/Eye Table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#170

Image #65 Both arms at vice

who:TED what:vice at Hand/Eye Table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#171

Image #66 Robot arms, PDP-11/45, and Zonkers

who:nobody what:arms+11/45 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#174

Image #67 Both arns at vice

who:nobody what:Both arms with vice where:Mordor room#233 CHM#146

Image #68 landscape 11/45 behind table

who:nobody what:arms+11/45 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#173

Image #69 portrait 11/45 behind table

who:nobody what:GoldArm+11/45 where:Mordor room#233 CHM#172

Image #70 portrait TED with both arms

who:TED what:hand-eye table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#140

Image #71 IMP left TED middle

who:TED what:IMP+H/E_table where:Mordor room#233 CHM#175

Cart Walk

Image #72 bowling aisle looking north

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#20

Image #73 bowling aisle looking south

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#22

Image #74 approaching dots

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#23

Image #75 Polka-Dot wall

The grid of dots painted on the wall are spaced one foot apart and are used to calibrate the computer controlled cart camera.

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#01

Image #76 long view of cart near wall

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#02

Image #77 TED steering cart wheels

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#21

Image #78 Cart looking wrong way

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#24

Image #79 Cart looks at dots

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#19

Image #80 TED behind Cart

who:TED what:cart where:annex room#252 CHM#03

Lab Junk or Museum Exhibit

Image #81 TED left hand and ORM

who:TED what:orm where:annex room#252 CHM#05

Image #82 ORM and TED right hand

who:TED what:orm where:annex room#252 CHM#04

The ORM is now Object ID 102678171 at the CHM appearing in the Robot Research exhibit.

DGL is Garreth Loy. On that date his login sessions were
MariaDB [saildart]> select * from session where left(login,10)='1976-04-21' and prg='dgl';
| prj | prg | ln     | login               | logout              | minutes | sn     | runtime | kcticks |
|   1 | DGL | tv#023 | 1976-04-21 09:24:00 | 1976-04-21 11:45:00 |     141 | 211352 |    6315 |  298496 |
|  MS | DGL | tv#062 | 1976-04-21 22:48:00 | 1976-04-21 23:16:00 |      28 | 211352 |    2099 |   73962 |
|   1 | DGL | tv#044 | 1976-04-21 23:05:00 | 1976-04-21 23:16:00 |      11 | 211352 |     369 |    3632 |
3 rows in set (1.67 sec)

Garreth is pictured as sitting at III#3 which is indeed line tv#023

LES is Lester Earnest. Login sessions are:
| prj | prg | ln     | login               | logout              | minutes | sn     | runtime | kcticks |
|   S | LES | tv#030 | 1976-04-21 10:06:00 | 1976-04-21 10:45:00 |      39 | 211352 |     277 |    2928 |
|   S | LES | tv#030 | 1976-04-21 11:47:00 | 1976-04-21 12:35:00 |      48 | 211352 |     449 |    8272 |
|   S | LES | tv#030 | 1976-04-21 12:59:00 | 1976-04-21 15:03:00 |     124 | 211352 |    1504 |   20192 |
|   S | LES | tv#777 | 1976-04-21 15:59:00 | 1976-04-21 16:00:00 |       1 | 211352 |      40 |    1510 |
|   S | LES | tv#030 | 1976-04-21 15:31:00 | 1976-04-21 16:55:00 |      84 | 211352 |     291 |    2816 |
|   S | LES | tv#111 | 1976-04-21 19:09:00 | 1976-04-21 19:32:00 |      23 | 211352 |    1199 |  112272 |
|   S | LES | tv#030 | 1976-04-21 23:48:00 | 1976-04-22 00:02:00 |      14 | 212425 |     648 |    7248 |

JMC John McCarthy that day at 12:15 was logged in for that picture#35 for 3 minutes !

| prj | prg | ln     | login               | logout              | minutes | sn     | runtime | kcticks |
| F75 | JMC | tv#015 | 1976-04-21 02:48:00 | 1976-04-21 03:03:00 |      15 | 211352 |   11257 |  392448 |
| ESS | JMC | tv#015 | 1976-04-21 08:27:00 | 1976-04-21 08:28:00 |       1 | 211352 |      68 |     880 |
| ESS | JMC | tv#037 | 1976-04-21 11:18:00 | 1976-04-21 11:55:00 |      37 | 211352 |      89 |    1188 |
| ESS | JMC | tv#021 | 1976-04-21 12:16:00 | 1976-04-21 12:19:00 |       3 | 211352 |     170 |    5512 |
| ESS | JMC | tv#037 | 1976-04-21 14:45:00 | 1976-04-21 16:36:00 |     111 | 211352 |    3190 |   51776 |
| ESS | JMC | tv#777 | 1976-04-21 23:23:00 | 1976-04-21 23:24:00 |       1 | 211352 |      32 |    1166 |
| ESS | JMC | tv#015 | 1976-04-21 23:05:00 | 1976-04-22 00:32:00 |      87 | 212425 |    2654 |   67504 |

JBR Jeff Rubin
REG Ralph Gorin
TAG Tom Gafford

Bruce Baumgart 4/25/2019