You may have heard a radio show on National Public Radio called Car Talk hosted by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack. It’s a call in show, where audience members call in with their car problems, and Click and Clack offer advice in a humorous way.

 

My freshman year roommate at MIT, John Grunsfeld, called the show. John in Hawaii has a problem with his “government vehicle”. Click and Clack were stumped for a few seconds when John said something like “When it starts, my vehicle has outrageous acceleration for a few seconds, but shakes terribly for two minutes, runs smoothly for six, then quits altogether.”. Of course, he was calling from 700 miles above Hawaii in the space shuttle. He’s been on 4 flights, and spent about 6 weeks in space!. If you have the original quote, please let me know. I believe it’s available in the Hatchback of Notre Dame  

 

A few years ago, when the internet was in its infancy, Microsoft had an online program called Mungo Park (remember that?) where the audience members could track people on world wide adventures. As a special event, a few NASA astronauts came to Microsoft building 25 to share their experiences. Of course, John was one of the astronauts, and we chatted about how he set up the first local area network in space. It’s a big thing, because apparently the space shuttle design was launched the same year as the IBM PC (1981) , in the days of CP/M.

 

(See also Why was the original IBM PC 4.77 Megahertz?)