It happened on a nice day in the summer of 1972, probably while enjoying
drinking beer with friends at Peteís Harbor. An idea: Wouldn't it be nice
to start a periodical about personal access to computers for learners,
teachers, anyone? As the beer dwindled, the idea grew.
Leroy Finkel was the business brain of our company called Dymax. He said
we could do it if we could do it cheaply. The cheapest way we knew was to
publish it in newspaper format. Inspired by Big Brother and the Holding
Company, we called it People's Computer Company.
The first issue (October 1972) was created by LeRoy Finkel, Mary
Jo Albrecht (now Mary Jo Bajada), Jerry Brown, Marc LeBrun, Jane Wood,
Tom Albrecht (my son), and me. I was PCC's editor until fall 1976, when
Phyllis Cole and Marc LeBrun took over. As Dragon Emeritus, I wrote San
Andreas Fault Caper, Don Quixote Starship, Tiny Basic for Beginners,
Make-Believe Computers, and Games for You to Program.
Leroy and Jerry and I wrote books, lots of books. Don Inman, Ramon
Zamora, and others joined our author team. I wrote or coauthored 30+
books, including many beginnerís books about Basic. My last book was
Teach Yourself Visual Basic by me and son Karl Albrecht, published in
1996. Enough! I quit writing computer books and plunged full-time into
my real love: writing math & science instructional stuff for learners
Before, during, and after PCC, I spent lots of time in classrooms,
teachersí conventions, and elsewhere -- playing games and doing hands-on
math and science. Leroy and Bob Kahn and I traveled California and
taught University of California Extension courses called Computers in
the Classroom and Games Computers Play. I accumulated stacks of journals
full of ideas and wrote columns for magazines and educational journals. I
especially liked writing:
- GameMaster's Apprentice in The Rainbow
- School Is in the Heart of a Child in The Rainbow
- Your Basic Backpack in Computer Shopper
- Power Tools for Math & Science in The Computing Teacher
I'm writing lots of instructional stuff and looking for publishers. Themes:
- Living in Santa Rosa, California.
- Doing lots of hiking.
- Dancing and teaching Greek Folk Dancing at Papasí Taverna,
Jessie Jeanís Coffee Beans, elsewhere.
- Running events for kids in coffee houses, schools, and other
places: Play Together, Learn Together, Rocket Science, et cetera,
- With coauthor Paul Davis, writing the column Starship Gaia in
Learning and Leading with Technology, the journal of the International
Society for Technology in Education.
- Taking courses at Santa Rosa Junior College.
- Mentoring in Richard Zimmer's Mars Society and Mars Habitat courses
at Sonoma State University. We're in our 8th semester of building
communities on Mars for the year 2030. Most of our students intend to
become elementary school teachers.
- Adventurer's Handbook
- Algebra Backpack
- Measurement & Modeling, including Metric Backpack
- Play Together, Learn Together
- Starship Gaia
Thanks to Stan Veit, founder of Computer Shopper Magazine, a smidgen of Play
Together, Learn Together is at
PCC Alumni reunions!!!
Reality expands to fill the available fantasies.