Steven Nichols Curcuru: television pioneer; technology columnist; Resident Wizard [UPDATE 1]

Steven Nichols Curcuru, television pioneer, technology columnist, and Resident Wizard, age 68, passed away peacefully at a friend’s home in Groton, MA on January 6th, 2013, as a result of pancreatic cancer.

Born in October 1944 at the West Point Military Hospital while his father was serving in the European Theater in WW2, Steven grew up with his parents Edmond and Patricia and two younger brothers. Although the family moved frequently during Steven’s childhood, they regularly spent summers in Southhold, NY where he raced his Lightning sailboat and worked as a lifeguard at Founders Landing Beach. After graduating early from Phillips Academy, he attended the College of William & Mary where he worked at the school’s radio station WCWM and as a folk music producer, and graduated in 1967.

Steven then moved to Concord, MA, and worked at WNAC-TV Channel 7 in Boston. In his long tenure at Channel 7, he brought many innovations to the television newsroom in the 1970s and 1980s, including designing and installing the first-ever computer network story editing systems, computer-controlled studio cameras, and computer animated weather graphics. Steven produced a number of major news events at Channel 7, including Emmy award-winning coverage from onboard the USCGC Eagle of the American Bicentennial OpSail ’76, as well as winning other Emmy awards and a New York Film Festival award. He was also a part-time journalism professor at Boston University, where he particularly enjoyed mentoring newcomers to television news production and helped to launch a number of careers in broadcast journalism. In 1993, Steven moved on to become the Resident Wizard at Mugar Enterprises, advising the company on technology investments and working to produce and expand Boston’s Fourth of July events. He wrote a regular column for PC Week, and served as a judge at Comdex computer conferences.

Steven is survived by his mother Patricia N Curcuru, his brothers Kevin H. Curcuru and Kim M. Curcuru, his son Shane Curcuru, granddaughter Roxanne Curcuru, significant other Linda Miller-Foster, and best friend Karen Coe.

A memorial gathering is planned at the end of January in Sudbury, MA for local friends and family. A private family memorial will be held at Southhold, NY in the summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memoriam of Steven N. Curcuru to the Northeast Animal Shelter, to the MSPCA-Angell shelter, or to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.

Comments or questions about arrangements posted here will be passed on to the family.

Dr. Edmond Harvey Curcuru, CPT (R) USA: beloved grandfather; decorated officer; distinguished lecturer

Dr. Edmond Harvey Curcuru, CPT (R) USA, age 89, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Longboat Key, FL home on March 20th, 2011, as a result of long-term heart complications.

Born in April, 1921, Edmond grew up in Ferndale, MI with his parents Louis and Florence, two brothers and sister. After high school, he and his brother Louis both received Congressional nominations, and were accepted into the same class at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY. While at West Point, his brother Louis lost his life while flying a training mission. Edmond graduated in an abbreviated three years with the class of June 1943 and received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Before departing for the war in Europe, he married his Highland Falls, NY sweetheart, Patricia Nichols.

Arriving in Europe in the fall of 1944, Edmond was assigned to the 502nd PIR of the 101st “Screaming Eagles” Airborne division a few short days before the Battle of the Bulge. He made his only combat jump off the back of a truck into the battle near Bastogne, where the 101st was encircled by the enemy. As the only surviving officer of his company, he led his men until forces of the 3rd Army broke the encirclement, winning the Bronze Star for his actions. Shortly thereafter, he was wounded by a bomb, losing the use of his wrist and acquiring some lifelong shrapnel along with a Purple Heart.

After his medical discharge from the U.S. Army after the war, he taught at Miami University in Ohio until being recalled by the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He spent his remaining Army service as a Captain teaching at West Point, and was one of the original faculty members of the Department of Military Psychology and Leadership.

After retiring on disability from the U.S. Army, Edmond moved to Connecticut, where he consulted and presented training for Life Office Management Association and across the insurance industry while receiving his PhD from Columbia University. He was one of the founding professors at the Stamford branch of the University of Connecticut Business School, where he taught business and management classes. He traveled extensively for his teaching, lecture, and consulting work on leadership and management theory with many insurance companies, and served as a director for the Sentry Life Insurance Company of New York.

Edmond continued his consulting and teaching work with his own company, Management Services, Inc. for many years, well past his retirement age. He called several places home in his life, including Palm Springs, FL; Weston, CT; Longboat Key, FL, and especially Southold, NY, where he dearly loved predicting the weather, and watching the sunset over the waves on the beach.

Edmond is survived by his wife, Patricia N. Curcuru; his sons Steven N. Curcuru, Kevin H. Curcuru, and Kim M. Curcuru; grandchildren Shane Curcuru, Julie Curcuru, Emily Curcuru, and Todd Curcuru, and great grandchildren Roxanne Curcuru and Arin Mcgilvray. Services will be held later this summer at the Southold United Methodist Church in Southold, NY, at the family plot.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your preferred U.S. Army Veterans organization, or to the Southold United Methodist Church, in memoriam of E.H. Curcuru, USMA June ’43.

Condolences and memories may be added on the web Comments on below and will be presented to Patricia and the family.

Ripping vinyl

Now there’s a phrase I presume most of my readers will understand, that was almost unimagined just a few years ago.

I’m getting tired of late night DJ’ing and wanting to listen (right now!) to all those hits I remember from, er, younger days. Although I’ve ripped my CD’s, I’m still not used to hitting the spacebar instead of pressing the eject button on my trusty Pioneer PD-M700. Surfing iTunes, I realize that many of the songs I want to hear again, I already have on vinyl. Being a sentimental type, I still have every record and 45 I’ve bought; it’s not a huge collection, just three boxes. But priceless nonetheless.

So – how should I rip my vinyl? Not only do I want to be cheap, and avoid spending all those 99 cents to re-purchase my own dreams, but many of them are songs that I’d rather have old skool sound with scratches and all. They just sound better that way to my brain.

I’ve got a Technics SL-L3 turntable in good shape, and both a Mac and a ThinkPad. What next for a reasonably simple and reliable way to rip my vinyl into my iTunes? Links to sites with instructions you’ve followed are appreciated too.

Ahhh, my beloved PD-M700 6 disc changer from college. Man, we had some good times together. Along with various late nights, parties, and studying, there was one all-nighter during which I wrote a term paper and listened to every single song on all 6 discs nonstop. Actually; I’m being misleading: that particular night was being played on my roommate’s PD-M700, since I was wearing headphones and typing at his PC/AT while everyone else was alseep.

Another notable PD-M700 memory includes the nuclear-powered remote. Along with being gigantic and having the programming power of some contemporary TI calculators, it also had a hugely powerful infrared transmitter. We enjoyed many a breakfast in our apartment’s kitchen, DJ’ing our own mixes by shooting the remote over our shoulder, down the hall, and bouncing it off a mirror on the shelves in front of the CD player. You had to aim carefully, but it worked. Oh, and I was a mighty quick draw on switching the 6 discs out. You line up the new discs to swap in on the right staggered, and simultaneously open each CD case with your right hand while using your left to flip the drawers out, and toss the old CD’s on the desk in front of you. Practice makes perfect; I could do it easily in the time of a single commercial.

Tonight’s Music: I’d say I was listening to I Burn For You, but that was earlier; right now I’ve stepped back a couple of years to an earlier best friend and am listening to Purple Rain