Phyllis Cole

With a Harvard master's in teaching secondary school mathematics, I entered a 25-year career in the computer industry, starting at Stanford University in 1963 where I worked in the new field of computer-assisted instruction.

I was very honored when, in 1976, Bob Albrecht, PCC founder, asked me to take over his job editing People's Computers, published by the People's Computer Company. The job landed me at a wide window into the information revolution: People's Computers was the first magazine designed to introduce teachers to computers. With the job came unexpected power: a request to review computers for educators brought an early TRS-80 and a PET. It was a heady time, when even a small publication could have a surprisingly large effect.

PCC was a very exciting place to work: we knew we were riding the leading edge of a powerful wave into the future. The shared vision was wonderful but the physical setting not less than optimal. Did Jim Warren (West Coast Computer Faire founder, Dr. Dobbs Editor) or John Snell (The Computer Music Journal Editor) have desks? I don't recall--my senior moments are becoming a senior blur. I do know that I had no desk, but was quite happy with boards balanced on boxes in a closet-like area. Our eyes were fixed on the future, the possibilities of chips--our surroundings were largely irrelevant.

After leaving PCC in the early Fall of 1978, I built the documentation department for Apple Computer, during that company's first five years. Leaving Apple in 1983, I did graduate work in transpersonal psychology and received my Ph.D. in 1987.

Married since 1993, my husband, Lee Yamada, and I are now both officially retired and busier than ever. Our home is south of San Jose, CA, near the coast, on an acre with large oaks and redwoods. We are kept busy with our gardens, including many rhododendrons. Lee's passion is wild mushrooms, especially finding and eating them (he's a great cook) and teaching others about them. I have also become active in the field, and am now President of the North American Mycological Association.

Lee and I travel quite a bit: in spring 2001 we went to northern Spain and southern France, in October 2001 on a 3-week Elderhostel tour of China. As members of Servas, an international peace organization, we host members from many countries in our home. When traveling, we sometimes stay with Servas hosts--itıs a great way to get a view of a country from locals! When not traveling, we may also host foreign exchange students. Last, but not least, we are assistant leaders on an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team. And tomorrow? No doubt more adventures--

CONTACT Phyllis Cole
Last Modified: Thu Feb 7 16:54:55 2002