Steve Savitzky -- Hacker/Songwriter

As you might expect for someone whose mother is a librarian and whose father went to graduate school with Isaac Asimov, and both of whose parents loved folk music, Steve Savitzky was well-prepared to be a filker. And as someone whose parents had a teletype in their bedroom connected to one of the very first timesharing systems, it's not surprising that about half of his recorded songs are about computers; some, like Pegasus winner "The World Inside the Crystal", are even serious. As someone who learned to fingerpick melodies on a guitar because without something to follow he couldn't carry a tune in a bucket... (the rest is left as an exercise for the reader).

Steve went to grad school in computer science back in the days before the ARPANET, and spent many of his evenings hanging out in the campus coffeehouse. One one of those evenings he attracted the attention of a high school senior named Colleen. Their paths crossed from time to time; eventually she invited him to an SCA tourney. A couple of years after that, tired of waiting for him to get a clue, she asked him to marry her. He had sense enough to accept. That was thirty-odd years ago -- some of them very odd.

They started going to conventions in 1978, and quickly gravitated toward the filking. Since then Steve has been to all of the Bay Area filk cons and Baycons, as well as most of the Westercons and Worldcons within easy driving distance of their home, Grand Central Starport in San Jose. Steve gave his first concert at Westercon 40 (it helped that Colleen was co-chair). Lately he has been performing with Callie Hills and Naomi Rivkis under the name "Tempered Glass".

Steve and Colleen were inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2008.

In his professional life as a computer scientist (a glorified term for ``ageing hacker''), he is currently interested in such minor arcana as web publishing, lightweight content-management systems, web-based communities, macro-based HTML formatting engines, peer-to-peer filesharing, and RESTful web service APIs. He is a strong proponent of open-source software, a heavy Linux user, and a card-carrying member of the EFF.

Steve's meager list of publications include a book on Real-Time Microprocessor Systems published in 1985 and now mercifully out of print, and a CD, Coffee, Computers, and Song!, released in August, 2007; his lyrics and assorted scribblings are on the web at steve.savitzky.net. CC&S was produced mainly at the urging of his older daughter Chaos, who collected over 200 signatures on a petition. His next CD will come out One Of These Days, on the general theme of "songs people have said they'll kill me if I don't record."


(Written for Baycon 2010)

Stephen R. Savitzky <steve @ theStarport.org>
Last modified: Sun May 9 18:29:56 PDT 2010