Oh, what poor things we do to the Rivster for fun! Or, why do I insist on beating this dead horse further with all the changes I make to this document?


It all started when we found out how much fun he had with extolling the virtues of the infamous “Volker-Craig Model [4]404” brand of terminal. The reality was they were a decent terminal for their time, in that they could easily be used with the computers of the time. In those days, it was sufficient that the terminal was able to display straight American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) coded text and have fairly simple means to move the cursor to a different part of the screen, prior to putting text on it. Compare that to the advanced graphics and windowing systems in use today, including the portable laptop I am writing these changes on.

The terminal was equipped with the ability to function as the all-important Lear-Siegler ADM–3A terminal, which was also the de facto standard for its time, the late ’70s and early ’80s. Other popular terminals of the time included the Digital model VT–52, optimized for use with minicomputers made by Digital.

Thinking of vintage terminals, I even remember seeing a vintage Adds terminal in a city assessor’s office in the somewhat unlikely city of Salem, Massachusetts! Compare that to what the bordering city of Peabody had in the form of PCs running Windows NT!

Now-defunct companies like Hazeltine/Esprit had an early model, which Heathkit had in kit form for the avid do-it-yourselfer. I can still remember all the low capacity RAM chips, all in a row, to provide the memory to contain the information on the display. All of these options were certainly better than noisy Teletype models also made famous.

School Lunches

This, of course, doesn’t mean the Rivvie always lives in the past. He still has his fondness for those hot, steaming, school lunches that we serve “for the children.” Others like me will think back to their high school experience where pizza was served every Friday.

Varying levels of bureaucracy have eroded school lunch programs in many school districts to the point where they don’t exist anymore. Other schools make do with less, the end result being an unappetizing glop more suited to the uses documented within. For many children from poor families, the “unappetizing glop” is certainly better than having no food at all.

Additions To the Document

In 2003, I finished, or actually re-finished,1 the drawing of the jet engine blow-in door. The result may be found in figure A.6. Appendix E even documents the procedures used. It may be skipped if you are less interested in mathematical detail.

As I was given yet a few more interesting uses for dead Volkers, I created chapter 5 as well as its “Detailed Uses” appendix. One section required yet another picture which may be found in figure C.1.

In 2000, I finally finished the diagram of the Christmas tree I started in section A.1. Why I just didn’t use graph paper at the time is going to be one of those mysteries of life. Other graphics have been tuned and better centered, optimized for use in any modern LATEX environment without needing specialized support from graphics drivers. The document’s index should be nearly completed.

Advances in the Internet make it easier than before to locate information. One of the results is chapter 4, called “Volkers on the Internet.” Because of this, this document has been made available on the World Wide Web for the enjoyment of those who suffered through their use in their college days. You may indeed be reading this document at its home at It would appear that college students weren’t the only ones to suffer through the idiosyncracies of Volkers.

I will always seem to be tweaking or otherwise adjusting this document until I get everything just right or I otherwise get bored with the whole thing for a while.