Nancy (Freitas-Fischer) in her
office at our later location at 2175 Adams Avenue, near the Oakland,
California airport. (early 1980)
This is our great friend, former employee, and fellow ex-IMSAI'er
(early 1980- Adams Ave.)
Julie Banuelos at the West Coast Computer Faire in 1981. Her
sexy, Lauren Bacall-like voice greeted many IMSAI and
Fischer-Freitas Company clients over the years in her capacity of
receptionist, office manager, and service support coordinator. When I
first joined IMSAI in 1976, I knew her as Julie Yates, (her
married name, although divorced) where she was Customer Service Coordinator,
and worked with Dave Ushijima, John Coons, and myself in
resolving support issues.
She introduced Nancy to me at IMSAI in 1977 when the three of us were
employed there. She joined Fischer-Freitas Company in October of 1978,
just after the closing of IMSAI, and remained with us until 1980, when she
got a job working for Seymour Rubinstein at MicroPro International.
She remained a close friend until October of 2000 when she died of a stroke.
She died on Nancy's and my 20th wedding anniversary. She was Nancy's
bridesmaid at our wedding. We'll always miss her...
Emil Matignon, our longest tenured FFC employee, handling a customer
service call at our remodeled original Oakland location (late 1980)
Described as a former rock and roll buddy in "Fire
In The Valley", Fischer-Freitas Company Marketing Director Bob
Walker, his girl friend (also named Nancy), and I celebrate with a victory bottle of
champagne near a wharf on San Francisco's Embarcadero, after a successful
show at the West Coast Computer Faire in 1980
humble digs after Nancy and I moved the fledgling Fischer-Freitas Company out of
the back room of our house and into the building at 910-81st. Ave. in
Oakland, California. It was once described in decor as "early warehouse" by a
less than gracious visitor. Ouch!
(about November, 1978)
our first business location at 910-81st Avenue in Oakland, with the legendary Super Truck
ready for action! After trading an ancient Marshall guitar amp for it in 1976, I
finally gave the truck to an employee in 1982. But I've still got that sign!
By mid-1980 I found the time to finally paint the concrete block interior of
our 2800 square-foot Oakland shop. Those are IMSAI VDP-80's sitting
there in various stages of repair. They more than paid the rent!
Here I am discussing a project with
Glen Hoag at our original location. That's Nancy's brother
Ed Freitas to my right. The walls aren't painted yet, so I guess this is sometime in 1979
One of the Customer Service tech stations at the 14860 Wicks Blvd., Hayward,
CA location of IMSAI Manufacturing Corporation in mid-1978, just prior to
the final closing of the doors for business in September.
Anyone who has known me will deny this could be my desk, but this was how I
had cleaned my act up by 1986 in our Rancho Cordova, California offices. I haven't been that organized since!
Fielding one of many phone calls that would break up the day at
close friend (and my former boss at
IMSAI) Vince Pollack, with Nancy.
Vince was IMSAI Manufacturing Corporation's Production Manager and his wife, Joy, was Board Assembly Manager.
Nancy and I spent many pleasurable hours with this wonderful and gracious couple in our off-hours,
usually in boating or camping on the Sacramento River Delta. Without
question, Vince was one of the most talented and accomplished people I've
ever known. I believe he died in 1985 of heart failure at age 55.
Nancy and I will always remember him.
Fabled madman programmer Rob Barnaby; he wrote the code enabling
CP/M to become
the first commercial operating system available for personal computers,
eventually evolving into IMSAI IMDOS.
He also wrote WordStar (at one time the most
popular word processing program in the world) for Seymour Rubinstein when he
joined MicroPro International. Left photo at the West Coast Computer
Festival in 1980, right photo at one of our "movie night parties" at our home
I'm describing some of the items purchased from the
Corporation auction in November of 1978 to legendary Oakland, California
surplus dealer Mike Quinn at our first FFC building. Mike was our "angel", and bankrolled Nancy and
me in our acquisition
of IMSAI auction items. I had known Mike since 1968 as a customer of
Quinn Electronics, and we both profited very well over our years of
Left to right:
John Coons (who got me the job as a tech for IMS Associates
in April 1976), our "boss" Dave Ushijima, and me at one of our
many "movie night
parties" in 1979. IMSAI Customer Service? Add Julie
Banuelos (Yates), Marva Van Natta (Bruce Van Natta's wife
at the time), and us, and were it in 1976!
A very rare photo of former
IMSAI Chief Engineer (and designer of the IMSAI
8080) Joe Killian at our Adams Avenue location in 1980
I'm telling then-media columnist
Adam Osborne (later to found Osborne
Computers) about our products (or maybe describing a sturgeon!) at the
Coast Computer Faire in 1981
IMSAI Marketing Communications Manager Peter Bolton at the West Coast Computer
Faire in 1980. After IMSAI Manufacturing Corp. closed its doors
he went on to work for another S-100 bus system maker Micromation in
San Francisco, on to Microsoft's arch rival Digital Research
in 1983 until successor Novell closed the Monterey, California office
and moved the operation to Provo, Utah in 1994. He has since worked
for secure communications product maker Cylink, then embedded systems
support company Real-Time Innovations as Product Manager. One talented
Extreme Networks CEO
Gordon Stitt with
and future wife Valerie Soares at our home on November 13, 1981 (Thanks for the
correction, Gordo!) for one of our many
"movie night" parties. Nancy and I later attended their
sumptuous wedding, where Gordon acknowledged our being a "catalyst" for
their union. Both ex-IMSAI'ers, Valerie's mom Karen Soares was a close personal
friend of, and one of Bill Millard's trusted circle of
IMS Associates, later to become IMSAI Manufacturing Corporation. "Gordo and Val" were both talented
and accomplished even back then!