Throwback Thursday: The Handspring Visor and My Long Lost Pen

A few weeks ago I found the box for my old Handspring Visor in one of my closets:

Visor Box

I was very excited, because it had been years since I had last seen my Handspring Visor (a PDA that ran the Palm OS). I opened the box, and instead of finding my Visor, I found the twenty-four 3½" disks for installing the 1995 version of Microsoft Office.

I used the setup disk as my Throwback Thursday on Facebook a few weeks ago, and everyone had a good laugh remembering the hours of switching disks that you had to do when installing software.

I still wanted to find my Visor, though. This past weekend I decided to clean out my closet, hoping to find it. Almost immediately, I found it:


Not only was it in one piece, the Cross stylus still with it, but it powered right up as soon as I put batteries in it. A fun Throwback Thursday to a simpler time, a time before iPhones and Droids.

Since I had found the Visor so quickly, I thought I should do a little more cleaning out of my closet (it really needs it). As I went through some old suitcases and bags, I noticed something on the floor by my foot. It was my Mont Blanc ballpoint pen:


I lost my Mont Blanc over five years ago. I searched all over for it, and thought it was gone for good. Either I had inadvertently thrown it out with some papers, or I had left it behind somewhere when I was out. All this time it must have been in an old bag. It fell out while I was cleaning. The pen had been a gift from someone and has a lot of sentimental value to me. So finding it again after all of this time is pretty amazing.

The lesson for me is this: Old tech is still valid, because if I didn’t go looking for the Visor I would not have found my pen. And yes, I really need to clean out my closet.

Throwback Thursday – The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 by Jake Saunders and Howard Waldrop

One of the first “real” books I read as a kid – meaning not one for school or just aimed at kids – was The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 by Jake Saunders and Howard Waldrop.

I believe I bought it (for $1.25!!) in 1974 or 1975 at Greenwich Village’s legendary Science Fiction Shop. The picture above is of that very copy.

As the description on the cover says, Texas has left the Union, kidnapped the President, and tank-driving Israelis are going to get him back. As a kid I thought this was awesome.

I even did a book report on it in school and actually got a decent grade.

Many years later in 2003 I found Jake “Buddy” Saunders via Google. Buddy founded Lone Star Comics in Texas in 1961 and in the 2000s started I emailed Buddy through the site, asking if he would sign my book.

Buddy was awesome. Not only did he sign it, but he then forwarded my book to Howard Waldrop who signed it as well. Howard continues to write and he has won Nebula and World Fantasy awards.