Softalk Apple Project 2014 - Volunteer of the Year Awards

As we wrap up the first full year of The Softalk Apple Project (STAP), Timlynn and I are pleased to report our progress. While nearly everything done during the first year of activity has contributed in its own small way to moving our projects toward sustainability, two areas are especially noteworthy; our Volunteer activity and our Research "Honeypot" initiative. Here we are happy to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of our volunteers. In companion posts, we'll review our first year's progress on our museum informatics and historical research activities, and announce our STAP 2014 Researcher of the Year awards.

Our Volunteers ROCK!

Our Winners for The Softalk Apple Project 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award are:

  • First Prize: Peter "Lo-res" Caylor for The Caylor Foundation Scans, his multi-terabyte donation of a complete scan of the 48-issue run of Softalk magazine
  • Second Prize: Chris Torrence for editing and publishing 'Assembly Lines: The Complete Book by Roger Wagner'
  • Honorable Mentions: John Gruver, Bob Murphy, Steven Brosch, and Alfred Cellier for contributing missing physical issues to The Softalk Apple Project's physical document collection of Softalk magazine

Each of our esteemed winners will soon be receiving the rare and much-sought-after Softalk Apple Project - 2014 Volunteer of the Year coffee mug, and a Softalk-themed black-and-white jump drive with the 48-issue PDFs of the Caylor Foundation Scans! :-) in recognition of their support and contribution to our grassroots Citizen Science/History project.

We started this project with the high hopes of contributing an archive-quality on-line digital collection of the full run of Softalk magazine. What was most helpful and inspiring to us this first year, once we announced our projects, were the folks who volunteered to help with the effort.

Peter and The Caylor Foundation Scans Donation


By far the most AMAZING and valuable contribution by a volunteer this first year goes to the incredibly energetic and generous "Lo-res" Peter Caylor who has won the Volunteer of the Year award for his contribution of the Caylor Foundation Scans of the full 48-issue run of Softalk.

Some of the issues that Peter scanned were not top quality to begin with due to age and wear issues. Even when scanned "two-up" for what was to be his personal reading pleasure, Peter did a monumental task in scanning the entire 9,304 pages of the Apple edition of Softalk magazine. While we will eventually complement Peter's contribution with an archival-quality scan of the best quality issues we can obtain for scanning, the important thing is that the Caylor Foundation Scans have given us a jump-start for doing and supporting digital humanities and social network research projects. And in 2015, the Caylor Foundation scans will allow us to open our first full-issue public access to the archive.

We were especially pleased to take delivery of Peter's donation at a dinner celebration at Bertha's in Fells Point, Baltimore following our demo of FactMiners and The Softalk Apple Project at #MW2014, the annual Museums and the Web conference.

Chris Torrence, Roger Wagner, 'Assembly Lines'... Oh, my!


Nipping at Peter Caylor's tail for Volunteer of the Year and garnering an impressive second place award is the amazing and always positive and helpful Chris Torrence, our first Volunteer Archivist. Chris took on a monumental and detail-laden task when he set out to edit and publish "the missing second volume" content in what is now "Assembly Lines: The Complete Book", the definitive source of the 33 serially-published Softalk columns on 6502 assembly language programming by the legendary Roger Wagner.

We were happy to help Chris pull together this important resource from the Caylor Foundation scans. We were buoyed by Chris' reciprocal enthusiasm for the STAP project as he agreed to take on the Ninja-like role of Volunteer Linked Open Data Archivist for Roger Wagner content within the STAP archive and its FactMiners' Fact Cloud companion resource. Neither Chris nor we know exactly what that means fully yet, but we are working with experts in graduate training in LIS (Libraries and Information Sciences) to define and prepare self-study materials to help folks identify and take on this role in grassroots Citizen Science/History projects.

Issue Donations Complete our Physical Issue Archive


The year started small and personal with four wonderful folks – John Gruver, Bob Murphy, Steven Brosch, and Alfred Cellier – stepping up to contribute the five missing issues to the official STAP Archive physical document collection. We were truly inspired by the generosity and support from these great folks.

John Gruver – shown here coyly showcasing the missing issues he was about to send us – has been especially helpful – including serving as a rigorous proofreader for Chris' Assembly Lines book – and joined the STAP Advisory Board based on his multi-million page personal collection of vintage computer magazines. Sadly although insured and tracked for shipping, the full 48-issue collection donated to the project by Alfred Collier was unfortunately lost in transit. The loss was not his fault, certainly, and we recognize his support and generosity nonetheless.

A Hearty and Heartfelt 'Thank You!'

To each of these special people, Timlynn and I say a big, "Thank you!" to our volunteers that helped move The Softalk Apple Project forward during its first year of activity. With these great folks as our community core, we look forward to launching into our second year of activity which will begin to show the real progress that was started through the interest and involvement of our wonderful volunteers.

While their reward pales by comparison to the importance of what they have done for us, we are happy to announce that each of our Volunteer of the Year award winners will receive the auspicious and most-rare of cultural artifacts; The Softalk Apple Project Volunteer Corps coffee mug and a Softalk-themed black-and-white jump drive with the 48-issue PDFs of the Caylor Foundation Scans. :D :D

Thank you, Peter, Chris, John, Bob, Steven, and Alfred for your generous support of The Softalk Apple Project during its formative year of development. Each of your contributions has inspired us to enter the New Year with great enthusiasm and comfort knowing that good folks like you are working with us.

If you can see yourself as a STAP volunteer like our intrepid group of first year award winners, please do not hesitate to contact us. Describe your interests and we'll be sure to find a spot for you to help with our Citizen Science/History projects.