I was a graduate student at Rice. Back in the winter of 1994, in an effort to enhance world peace and understanding (and also to get rid of some surplus serial lights that the previous occupants of their apartment had left behind), Gerald Kanapathy and Dylan Cooper decided to decorate the Lisp Machine in my office (``Charlie'', a TI Explorer). The result was
The Christmas Lisp Machine, '94.
Gerald and Dylan moved on to greener pa$ture$, but my good officemate Phil Schielke and I decided to continue this noble tradition. Consequently, we commemorated Easter in 1995 by decorating the Lisp Machine appropriately. A key component of the decoration was a number of marshmallow chickens. Unfortunately, these comestibles were devoured 'ere the photographer, yours truly, got around to exposing the silver. Hence, there are no photographs recording that effort.
Next, we outfitted the Lisp Machine for Halloween:
The Halloween Lisp Machine, '95.
There's also a closer view:
Our decorations were admired near and far, though there were some impolite suggestions to the effect that the cobwebs were not make-believe. (With the folding of Symbolics, however, there is little that can be done to help the envious.)
That December we did the machine up for Hanukkah.
The Hanukkah Lisp Machine, '95.
(Note the suspended Santas.) It's also worth looking at in the dark:
Our good friend Jeremy Buhler kindly pointed out that the dreidels on the Hanukkah Lisp Machine were clearly not Israeli. We leave it to you to figure out why.
The Lisp Machine was then adorned with paraphernalia related to President's Day. First, a view of the festivities:
A view of the side. How many ``presidential'' things can you spot?
A frontal view: how many more presidental things?
Now the top. Bonus question: Why is there an NSF application?
Finally, one more look at the complete machine:
The fall of 1996 was a busy time for the Lisp Machine. Inspired by its decorations, it ran a proud and motivated campaign (Lisp Machine in '96!) for the presidential elections. Unfortunately, the campaign finance reform it most needed was, well, anything that would provide campaign finance. Lacking this, its voice was silenced. (The truth be told, we haven't really tested its audio ports.) However, it did get listed on one of the comprehensive on-line listings of presidential candidates, where its potential earned some notice.
In late 1996, the Lisp Machine was labeled to be moved with us to Duncan Hall. I put a sticker on it, the movers came in, engulfed it tightly in some transparent plastic wrap, and moved it over. Debbie Campbell suggested that it reminded her of some weight-loss methods, leading to the Weight-Loss Lisp Machine. It's scary to think anyone would want to subject themselves to such treatment, but then again anything that can make that machine lighter will help. (You want a photograph? Just wait for the next decoration and you'll have the obligatory before-and-after shots.)
In 1997, our first project was the Uncle Liberty (aka, Statue of Sam) Lisp Machine, to coincide with America's Independence Day, July 4. Here is some evidence of our engineering task.
That green thing sticking out on the left is an arm holding aloft a torch. On the right it holds a Chez Scheme Reference Manual. More pictures will soon be available.
Our newest effort commemorated India's fiftieth anniversary as a free state (August 15, 1997). We draped the machine in many fine fabrics, papered it with currency bills, historic speeches and suchlike, and adorned it with various Indian trinkets. The obligatory photographs:
We are constantly on the look-out for festivals, events, people, places, programming languages, apple pies and small, furry animals to commemorate. Your suggestions are welcome. We will happily follow your recommenations upon receipt from you of suitable documentation material, a large sum of money in small, unmarked bills, a port of Linux to the PowerPC, a combinator worthy of sacrifice to Lambda the Ultimate, and your firstborn.
On second thoughts, we don't want your firstborn.
The Committee to Refurbish the Lisp Machine has had many alumni, including Jeremy Buhler, Chris Hyams, Phil Schielke, Kathi Fisler, and Ann Lugg. Their names are now here because they've grown up and become important people, so this will embarass them when they run for public office.