Talk:William Crowther (programmer)

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moved from Wikipedia:Village pump

Caver vs. Spelunker[edit]

In the interview from Peterson, Crowther himself refers to "caving," not "spelunking." There is no Wikipedia entry for "spelunking," but there is one for "caving" -- and that entry refers to the bumper-stickers and T-shirts that one often encounters in caving areas: "Cavers rescue spelunkers." The Wikipedia article on "speleology" lists "caving" before "spelunking" as an informal name for speleology. My recent article on Adventure addresses the spelunker/caver distinction here:

Woods's 1977 expansion of "Adventure" features "RECENT ISSUES OF 'SPELUNKER TODAY' MAGAZINE," and sources often describe Crowther as a "spelunker." Yet "[c]avers haven't called themselves spelunkers for almost 40 years now. They may belong to the National Speleological Society, but they don't spelunk. They cave." " (Cahill 2001)
Cahill 2001 Cahill, T. "A Rudiment for Cavers." In Taylor, R., Caves: Exploring Hidden Realms. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2001: 187.

Having said all that, Crowther told an interviewer, of his early days on the ARPANET project, "In those days, the thing I cared most about was rock climbing": There's also a note on this page that says Crowther is still active as a rock climbing instructor, so it's probably more accurate to introduce Crowther as a rock climber who has also explored, mapped, and created a game about caves. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 04:56, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Purpose of "References" Section[edit]

Shouldn't the "References" section be reserved for sources that are actually referenced by the article? Dibbell's article does a great job introducing the issues to the general reader, but the article doesn't actually cite it. Of course, I may have a too-strict opinion of what the "References" label means. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 02:08, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

This William Crowther page is all wonky. It seems like it might be a legit topic, if it lost the BBS tone, but I don't know enough about net history or spelunking to dare an edit. Not sure what do about it, so came here. -- Jengod 00:52, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, the page should go on cleanup. Crowther is encyclopedic (I think, anyway) as co-author of Adventure, the first computer adventure type game. We already have a decent page for his co-author, Don Woods -- Finlay McWalter 01:02, 7 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Yes, I know this is four years after this ^^ post. But I just want to make one thing clear. Don Woods was not coauthor of Adventure. Will Crowther wrote it originally, but never really polished it up due to problems in his personal life (a divorce, among other things). Don Woods came across it and realized its potential, despite its many bugs. He found Crowther and asked him if he could finish the game. After receiving his blessing, Woods completed the standard 350-point version we have today. Just wanted to set the record straight. Alinnisawest (talk) 19:49, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Crowther began his version of the game after his divorce, so it's difficult to imagine how his divorce kept him from finishing it. He lost interest in it, and Woods roughly doubled the size of the map and more than triple the size of the source code. While your'e right to point out that Crowther did write the original version alone, it's still fair to say that Woods is the co-author of the 350-point version that spread across the primitive internet in the spring of 1977. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 04:56, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Wik and myself have wikified and tidied it, so I took the liberty of removing it from cleanup. Comments and enhancements still welcome, however. -- Finlay McWalter 16:22, 9 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Added and clarified a few bits-- also created a separate page for Patricia Crowther. Eventually, I'd like to include more on his development of Adventure and more detailed info on his participation in some of the expeditions to connect the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems. Anyone know if he was up to anything interesting in the 80s or later? Naltrexone 07:06, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Crowther began using his spare time to develop a simple text-based adventure game in FORTRAN on BBN's PDP-10 minicomputer.
I don't think any PDP-10 ever was a "minicomputer". AFAIK all PDP-10 installations needed at least one wall for themselves. If anything I suspect "supercomputer" would be more appropriate here. OK, to keep it realistic: the term of those days would probably be something like "time-sharing mainframe".
Here's an example PDP-10 installation including some peripherals:
--BjKa 11:59, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Although they called the Control Data machines supercomputers in the 1970s, what we usually refer to as this term now started with Cray in the 1980s. Mini's took the entirety of a desktop, but not an entire room. So this is simply an error to be fixed. MobyMimic 07:21, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Willie Crowther Climber?[edit]

I read somewhere that Willie Crowther was John Stannard's mentor in the Gunks Does anyone have any info? Lhclayton 18:31, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Will (whom I've had the pleasure of having as a rock-climbing mentor) developed many of the best routes in the 'Gunks. I particularly remember being led by him personally up one of his most famous routes, Hawk. (That wasn't the only one that he led me on, but that was the most memorable experience, if only because he took me off the text-book route.) I recommend looking into any of the climbing guides to the 'Gunks--they all list who did them first, and a surprising number of them were by Will.

I'll come back and hopefully contribute later, but for now I'll only mention that Will is endearingly generous with his time for beginning rock climbers and I still feel much gratitude for the time he spent with me--an over-weight software engineer and untalented novice climber--long before I knew anything about his contributions to the internet, Adventure, caving and rock-climbing.

I should also mention that most of his effort in this regard is related to his very active participation in the Boston chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, which is another lead that should be followed in documenting his part in the development of rock climbing in the NE.

Plenty of info in "Yankee Rock and Ice." I'm skeptical of the claim in the article that Crowther placed bolts on rappel; the Watermans mention examining the route on rappel, maybe placing pitons, and climbing a route (The Arrow in particular) on toprope first, but no mention of bolts. I'd feel awkward asking him. Will's contribution to climbing continues as a very active instructor in the AMC Boston chapter's annual rock program; see [1]. --Jnik (talk) 22:57, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I was flipping through someone else's copy of Williams while waiting for a climb; he mentions three bolts on Arrow were placed on rap by the FA team. So there's a citation if someone has a copy and cares to add it properly. --Jnik (talk) 14:22, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

More information can be found in a book called Where Wizards stay up Late[edit]

This book details the birth of the internet. Also available as an online pdf. It details many of Crowthers' exploits and his work at BBN where he apparently warmed up by doing chin ups using door lintels.

Trying to expand the article on Will[edit]

I am Will Crowther's wife and would like to clean up his wikipedia article. In particular I'd like to add his picture to the article. When you google "Will Crowther" you get a brief citation, accompanied by a photograph of Don Woods, mistakenly identified as Will. I was trying to add a photo of Will to his wikipedia article so that goole will pick that up as the right photo of Will. I can't figure out how to add a photo. Can someone please fill me in? Also, what do I put for references -- I know what happened in his later life because I lived it with him.

Nancyscrowther (talk) 02:06, 1 May 2013 (UTC) 01 May 2013 2:04

First you have to upload the image -- make sure you have the rights to do so. I also appreciate your frank admission of your relationship to the subject though it is kind of obvious from your username. Because of your relationship, you should read WP:COI and especially WP:AUTO and follow them carefully. Your first hand knowledge of his later life will not suffice as a reliable source. In fact, it is original research. I appreciate your efforts and want to encourage and help you in any way I can. Feel free to ask on my talk page if I can be of assistance. Thanks, WTucker (talk) 05:58, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I have uploaded a picture I took of Will to Wikimedia Commons, and have put a link to that picture in the article. The point is to enable google tools to find the right picture of Will, not a picture of Don Woods, which is what you get now when you google Will Crowther. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:06, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Vital Info missing[edit]

Where was he born? Nationality? Why is this information missing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:45, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I'd like to see a mention of his work on TCP/IP, particularly the inner loop. We'd have no internet without that.Shtanto (talk) 11:30, 9 June 2015 (UTC)