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Archive for the 'Underground Railroad' Category

May 24 2012

My 1978 paper “A Linguistic Comparision of MUMPS and Cobol”

Here is a paper summarizing some of my original thoughts about MUMPS as a general symbol-processing interpretive language that integrates data and program, and COBOL, as a rigid, predefined language that splits data and program into two different domains.  I presented this at the 1980 AFIPS Fall Joint Computer Conference in Anaheim, Ca.

Linguistic Comparison of MUMPS and COBOL

The concepts I present in this paper became key attributes of what is now called the VistA electronic health record system.

Unfortunately, despite the success of these concepts, they are threatened by the next generation health record systems, which pretty much reverts to the conceptual models that have descended from the COBOL model I describe.

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May 15 2012

Underground Railroad Banquet At George Mason U June 5

Published by under Underground Railroad

I’ve been holding banquets celebrating the folks and the activities of the “underground” efforts of a group of folks who helped build the VistA system.

My next one is June 5 at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia.

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May 06 2012

1984 Congratulatory Letter from Rep. Sonny Montgomery to the Underground Railroad

Published by under Underground Railroad,VistA

Here is a 1984 letter from Rep. Sonny Montgomery on the occasion of the 1994 Underground Railroad Banquet:  Sonny Montgomery letter to Underground Railroad

He mentions the work of Chuck Hagel, then VA Deputy Administrator, later to become US Senator, who was the first recipient of the “Unlimited Free Passage on the Underground Railroad” certificate.

And, he closes by saying:

The job is not over, and I know that all of you will continue in your efforts to make this the finest medical ADP system in the world.  I pledge to you that I will continue my unwaivering support of your important work and will maintain close oversight of all activities here in Washington and in the field to ensure that our mutual goal is me.”

Unfortunately, Sonny is no longer with us.  We could use another champion on the Hill, if anyone has any suggestions.

I’m planning the next Underground Railroad banquet on Tues, June 5, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary World VistA Community meeting.

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