|Yours truly, at the 1979 ISEF, with my exhibit.|
Area Fair - Fairmont State College - March 30-31, 1979
While writing the interpreter, my parents thought my efforts would make a good science fair project. I entered the West Virginia Area Fair. My father, being a professor there, was a judge. To avoid any conflict of interest, he did not judge my category.
My interpreter was by no means "done". I was still working on it. I put together an exhibit discussing the various things I did to improve computer performance, including fixing the CPU clock source.
I did well at the Area Fair, winning the US Air Force Honors award for the most outstanding exhibit in my category. I also placed first or second overall. This was a matter of debate. The first place winner would travel to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). This trip was sponsored, in part, by a consortium of coal mining operations. The other exhibitor I tied with had built an impressive and detailed model of a modern coal mining operation. The coal miners wanted to send him. After all, his exhibit said "COAL!"
The professors of science weren't that impressed with the model, and they wanted to send me. (My father, of course, declined to vote) They worked out a compromise. They would see how we did at the Regional Fair, and break the tie that way.