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baby pictures

Trygve's dusty photo album

a few baby pics

Yep, it's true, I used to be smaller than I am now. About five pounds at first, which set my mother up for quite the surprise when my brother who followed (Erik) was just shy of ten pounds at birth.

I'm the second oldest of five siblings; as far as I know the rest of my family either doesn't have a webpage or wouldn't want to admit publically to being related to me, so no links to give you peeks into their personal lives yet....

My father designed a number of early computer and missile guidance systems, so I grew up thinking that a Teletype Model 10 was a normal part of one's decor. I actually have no memory of learning to use computers, though presumably there must have been a time when I wasn't too clear about how to get the paper tape aligned in the reader properly.

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when core really was core

When I was five, my father let me work (play) as a demonstrator for computers he'd built, showing prospective purchasers just how easy computers were to program and operate now that they used new-fangled things like core memory instead of vacuum tubes.

I never got to play with the missile guidance systems, though. Now that I think about it, maybe that's just as well.

Like a lot of kids probably are, at that age, I thought that rockets and missiles were cool; I'd built a ball mill and mixed up various types of rocket fuel. My mother still hasn't forgiven me for the time I blew up the stove, but it didn't make that big a hole, really.

I got a hot plate at a garage sale after that and did the rest of my rocket engines that required melting the fuel outside. I never did have another accident involving rocket fuel, though there were some dramatic mishaps involving a small pulsejet engine and then later the attempt to resurrect a really big Tesla coil that somebody else had partially built and then abandoned. Turned out there was a really good reason to have abandoned that particular design, but at least the results were dramatic.

Somewhere I must still have some of my notes and diagrams from when I was around six or seven. Over the years, I always grouched a bit when some news program would make a big deal over a college student figuring out how to make an atomic bomb--come on, guys, even I was able to track that kind of information down when I was in single digits, it's not very hard. Later when I was working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, I made a point of attending seminars on the design and construction of nuclear weapons. Not that I plan to do anything of the sort for real, but if nothing else I could verify that my designs from back then would have worked, even as unsophisticated as they are by modern standards. Some of them, anyway; my ideas on how to build hydrogen bombs were pretty much off-the-mark and I'd overlooked some rather obvious things.

But that was a passing interest anyway, so maybe that excuses some poor thermonuclear weapon designs at least a little.

I hadn't planned to write an essay on ideas I'd had for blowing things up when I was a kid, but making rockets and the like was a big interest of mine back then. Growing up reading science fiction probably had an influence there; my father subscribed to Amazing (which turned into Analog ) and I'd read those magazines and books I could find by Robert A. Heinlein, Andre Norton, Lester Del Ray, and other writers in the SF genre. Averaged more than a book a day for a long time. Computers and rockets and bombs--the "cool stuff" of childhood, I suppose. Of course I did like Legos and even had some Tonka trucks too; I never tried to blow them up, at least, though I did build a whole lot of spaceship models out of Legos.

I still have a lot of those old issues of Analog and my old Legos (Lego building sets #4 and #5, even), but I'm afraid that the Tonkas went their separate ways long ago.

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