On Tuesday evenings I meet up with a small group of friends to watch Doctor Who. Of course, these aren’t new to me. I watched the very first episode on Saturday 23 November 1963 with just my eyes and nose visible from my station behind the sofa (I was only 6 years old), and I’ve seen every installment since.
I was saddened when the original run ended in 1989 after 26-years (see List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)). I was heartened by the first attempt to revive the program in the form of Doctor Who: The Television Movie in 1996, then I was crushed when this supposed reboot came to naught. And I was beside myself with delight when the frabjous day of a true revival finally came to pass in 2005 (see List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)).
In the case of the current crop (2005 to the present), I’ve seen each episode multiple times. My American friends have not been so blessed. They had heard the Doctor Who moniker being bandied around but had no idea what they were missing.
Thus it was that we started our Doctor Who Tuesdays sometime last year. We meet at 6:30 and have a bite of supper, after which we watch the first episode, then we pause to grab some dessert, and we close the evening with a second episode. Last night we watched the last two episodes of Season 5: The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang. All I can say is that I don’t think that’s a night my friends will forget in a hurry.
Amazingly, I’m not the oldest one there because one of our fellowship has a good ten years on me. On the other hand, the rest of the guys are all about 20 years younger than your humble narrator, which only serves to remind me how fast the years are flying by.
One of the younger guys has six kids ranging from tots to teenagers, which I would have thought was enough to be going on with. This past Tuesday, however, during our dessert break, he informed the assembled throng that he and his wife have applied to become foster parents. I can only applaud their selfless nature.
Hearing all this prompted me to do something similar. Not with kids, of course, because I’m already halfway through my own third childhood. No, instead I’ve decided to offer a good home to an IBM System/360 front panel.
To be honest, I’m less than enthused by the 360 Model 30 front panel, which appears a tad too modern for my taste. I could be persuaded to adopt a 360 Model 50 front panel, and I could certainly be tempted by a 360 Model 65 front panel, but—in my heart of hearts—the one I really want is a 360 Model 91 front panel.
If I ever get to lay my hands on one, I would lovingly refurbish this little scamp, ensure all the switches and lights were working, control everything using a modern microcontroller, and mount this bodacious beauty on the wall of our study as an objet d’art. After that, I think I would spend an inordinate amount of time simply sitting in a comfy chair allowing myself to be memorized by the ever-changing patterns of lights.
So, if you happen to be in possession of such a panel but are no longer able to care for it and wish it to go to a good home, then I’m your man. Just give me a call or drop me an email and I will be happy to relieve you of your burden (that’s just the sort of chap I am).