Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

Washington Apple Pi 25th Anniversary Honors

Since its founding, the Pi has greatly benefited from hundreds of thousands of hours of expert volunteer labor, devotion, passion and determination. It is impossible to mention all those who have played major roles in the Pi’s birth, growth and development, but a few individuals representative of this long history were honored with commemorative clocks at the April 2003 General Meeting.

Gena Urban -- Gena was one of the world's first computer programmers, with only Ada Augusta Lovelace and Grace Murray Hopper holding much seniority for the title. She and her husband, Bernie, were among the founding members of the Pi and played major roles in the early years. They put out the first Pi newsletter, and held early Board meetings in their home. When the Pi moved out of their home into rented office space, they also served as the Pi staff for many years, editing the Journal, running the office and organizing monthly meetings and running the reference library, plus handling any other tasks that needed to be done.

David Morganstein – David became Member #1 through the random assignment of member numbers at an early meeting, and tried hard to live up to the honor, serving as an early Pi president. In his four years of office, he took the club from 500 members to 5000.

Paula and Bernie Benson – The Bensons hosted Apple "teas" for new members as a non-threatening introduction to the world of personal computers. Bernie Benson and Phil Shapiro created Apple ][ educational software and distributed it through the Pi. Bernie also came up with the idea of holding a beginners “pre meeting” before the General Meeting.

Carole Weikert – Carole supported the Pi for many years through simple acts of tolerance and wisdom: she tolerated the hours her late husband Dave spent in Pi activities, and she offered wise counsel to other computer spouses, male and female, who found themselves bewildered by the fascination with Apple computers. Her husband Dave served as the Disketeria Chairman and as club treasurer for many years. Dave was also a member of the TCS crew for many years, and served as the Pi’s E-mail server administrator from late 1997 until his death. Carole also served as a member of the Washington Apple Pi Board of Directors.

Tom Warrick – Tom was the first Pi “legal beagle” and one of the original Hotline helpers, and did the Question and Answer sessions at General Meetings. He set up the first Pi computer bulletin board in his home, the foundation of the current TCS system, using Apple II computers. He also served as Vice President and was President of the Pi in 1986-87.

Lorin Evans – When Pi members turned fickle and started to turn away from the Apple IIs in the late 1980s, adopting the upstart Macs, Lorin continued to embrace the Apple II. While serving as Vice President for Apple II programs in 1991, Lorin was reluctantly dragooned into serving as President by the Pi Board, and was unable to escape from the job for eleven years. During his tenure, large user groups around the world started to die off, but under his leadership the Pi stubbornly battled against the trend and survived. He formalized the Pi’s computer reclamation project, gathering together electronic castoffs and, with the help of volunteers, turning them into entire suites of computers, printers, software and peripherals that were then donated to schools. Lorin also served on the Apple User Group Advisory Board, and still serves as the Chief of the Tuesday night crew and the Reclamation Project.

Beth Medlin -- Beth was appointed assistant Office Manager in late 1991. About six months later she found herself suddenly appointed as the office manager – without an assistant -- and served in that position until January 2002. In her first two years her strong sense of organization and acute perception of member needs helped turned WAP from a user group that was losing money into one of the few that survived into the 21st century. Her work ethic is legendary: Tom Witte says, “I may have been master of ceremonies at several Garage sales but Beth did all the work for the first few years before we moved the sales to NOVA and it was lots of work.”

Jon Thomason – As a 14-year old Pi member, Jon became the 100,000th caller to the TCS, and won a tour of the TCS. He never left. He volunteered to re-write parts of the TCS software to make it more efficient. Then he rewrote other parts. Then still more parts. Eventually he rewrote the entire TCS to the point where it was the largest multi-line Apple II-based bulletin board in the world. Then he added USENET news feeds. Then Internet-based E-mail. Eventually the TCS morphed into what it is today: a powerful multi-user Internet-based forum that serves as the Pi’s 24-hour general meeting, a place to ask questions and tell jokes and trade recipes at all hours of the day or night. Jon has also served as a Pi Board member, and authored a number of Journal articles.

Dave Ottalini – Dave practically invented the post of Vice President for Publicity, using his media contacts to spread Pi press releases around the world. A member of the Tuesday night crew, Dave is also a world-renown expert on the Apple ///. He served as the Apple /// SIG chairman and spearheaded further development of the Apple /// operating system after it was abandoned by Apple. He is currently working on a massive DVD project that will collect an entire library of Apple /// software and reference material on one thin plastic disc.

David Harris – David is a long time Pi director who has his fingers in many areas of the Pi. As part of the TCS crew, he maintains the Web calendar, and created the internationally-renown directory of user group Web sites! He posts lots of info on the TCS, ranging from science news, to special user group discounts for hardware and software. He monitors other user groups, and headed our newsletter exchange. He is one of the principal office volunteers, and keeper of the Pi membership database.

Lou Dunham – Lou has been the Chief Sysop of the TCS Crew for several years, helping coordinate the long transition from an Apple II-based system to our current Internet and Web-based set of services. He is a former Board member, and a long-time member of the Tuesday Night Clinic crew.

Brian Mason – Brian succeeded Walt Francis as the Pi Librarian, and oversaw a massive cataloging effort in the mid-1990s. He was also the instigator and main volunteer in an effort that led to the donation of 23 shipping boxes – 60 linear feet -- of Pi archival material to Stanford University’s computer history collection. Brian is also a former Board member.

Kathryn Murray – Kathryn is, like all Journal editors, a long-suffering Journal editor. Each issue she attempts to create a polished Journal from graphics submitted in unknown formats, electronic text created by exotic word processors, and language that is definitely not English. When people submit things long past deadline and there is no opportunity to check for spelling and grammar errors, she accepts the blame. When people offer praise for exceptional work, she shares it with others.

Lawrence Charters – Lawrence joined the Pi the day after he moved to the East Coast, and has served as the Pi Vice President for Programs, Pi Secretary, and on the Pi Board. The author of over a hundred Journal articles, he is also the Macintosh Editor for the Journal, and contributed hundreds of photographs. Lawrence was the 500,000th caller to the TCS and is a member of the TCS Crew, where he serves as the Pi Webmaster.

Tom Witte – Tom is a former Board member, long-time chairman of the Garage Sale, and Vice President for Administration from 1993 to 1999. An audio-video and HyperCard guru, he hosted the Question and Answer session at monthly meetings for many years. He is a Hotline helper and has written many articles for the Journal. He taught Tutorial classes and organized and ran the Pi presence at FOSE and MacWorld for several years.

Paul Schlosser -- Paul is a member of the TCS Crew, and a former Chief Sysop, famed for repairing ancient computer equipment with unique and original parts, including on one occasion aluminum foil from a lunch sandwich. He supervised the TCS from its transition as a dial-up computer bulletin board to a suite of Internet-based services, and currently serves as the E-mail administrator. A former board member, Paul also teaches Photoshop classes for the Pi tutorials, and is a publishing and printing wizard.

Dale Smith -- Dale was a long-time member of the Pi Board, and one of the helpers with the Pi Fillings CD series. He has helped beta-test a number of commercial telecommunications packages, including Mozilla, and is currently the Tutorial computer update person.