This is part five of a five-part series. Parts 1 | 2 |
PUBLISHED: June 23, 2011
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4513 words)
"In 1965, at the beginning of the year, there was a bunch of stuff going on with the time-sharing system that Noel and I were users of. We were working for the political science department. And the system programmers wrote a programming staff note memo that proposed the creation of a mail command. But people proposed things in programming staff notes that never got implemented. And well, we thought the idea of electronic mail was a great idea. We said, 'Where’s electronic mail? That would be so cool.' And they said, 'Oh, there’s no time to write that. It’s not important.' And we said, 'Well, can we write it?' And we did. And then it became part of the system."
The lone memento of Luke Hill's unhappy existence hangs like a specter in his former bedroom, piercing blue eyes haunting from a 12-year-old portrait. It's Luke at age 4, in a blue silk kimono, a glossy studio snapshot from when the family lived in Japan, during Dad's service in the U.S. Marine Corps. This is Katie's room now, and the picture of Luke hanging on her wall is the only one she'll allow her mother to display in the house.