Roland Dürre
Wednesday December 23rd, 2009

Hommage to Gudrun!

gudrun_falknerEvery year around Christmas, memories of old times come. And often you are lucky enough to meet old friends.

Some meetings are especially nice. What happened long ago is re-awakened, shared memories are exchanged and almost forgotten companions reappear.

My meeting with Frau Dr. Gudrun Falkner is always special. Gudrun and I met 38 years ago during our first computer science studies at TUM. To this day, neither of us has managed to understand the two-valued logics we were supposed to learn at the time.

Those were good years. There came a day when Gudrun went transatlantic and moved to America. Back in Germany, she wrote her dissertational thesis at TUM, was made Dr. Gudrun B. Falkner and finally worked at InterFace for many years. Her main field of interest was innovative: the development of technical documentation for IT systems.

Then came the call of science. Today, she teaches at Stralsund University, where she also is equal opportunity commissioner. I took the picture from her website.

And once a year, around Christmas, we meet for a Thai dinner at Neubiberg. Over dinner, we talk about everything and nothing at all, about the past and the future.

It was a nice evening

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Saturday May 30th, 2009

Twitter and the Punchcard

For several years, I worked a lot with punch cards. In those days, punch cards were totally innovative. They meant an end to those stupid strip cards and more flexibility. In punch cards, it was possible to insert some text of your own (which was absolutely impossible with the strip cards).

lochkarteThe punch card in this picture (which, by the way, is taken from wikipedia) contains 40 symbols. Our punch cards were more modern than that and contained 80 symbols (columns in our “sheets”, also known as programming forms which we filled in with pencil and were given back as a package of stamped punchcards. What a programming method!).

You had to mark column 72 if the program continued on the next card. The text fields from column 73 on were reserved for numbering. Column 71 was reserved for something special (it might have been a commentary symbol or something of the sort – I no longer remember). The first 70 columns were the “useful symbols”, dependent on the language, sometimes further structured.

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Robert Kulzer
Friday May 15th, 2009

VCFE impressions (Vintage Computer Festival Europe)

Between May, 1st and May, 3rd, Munich hosted the VCFE (Vintage Computer Festival Europe). I am sure you remember my Post announcing it.

At the end of this article, you can find a few snapshots taken by Roland Dürre. All these beautiful machines were displayed, most of them in perfect running condition.

The gentleman on the last picture is Wolfgang Stief. We all know him from the GUUG.

Rok
(Translated by EG)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

In this series, I write about orators who made a huge impression on me. Here is how I met Augustinus Heinrich Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck.
Augustinus Henckel von Donnersmarck remains unforgettable. The first time I met him was at a meeting for ICL (International Computer Limited) customers. As opposed to Augustinus Heinrich Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, ICL features rather poorly in the German Wikipedia version. Meant as a “thank you” gesture for customers and partners, we were invited to the “Hessischer Hof” in Wiesbaden. I owed my invitation to our very enjoyable and successful co-operation. In those days, ICL was a huge success in England, while it was more of a backbencher in Germany. That must have been at least ten years ago.

Among other items, ICL also sold two Unix lines, one Intel line and one Risc line. Incidentally, the ICL manager in Germany (I think his name was Herr Olschewski ?) was proud of having a very reliable customer basis and of never having written “red tape”. Regardless, ICL was taken over by Fujitsu shortly afterwards and then merged with FSC – which also will soon cease to exist. Interestingly, at one time (much earlier), there had also been an attempt at founding a CII (Compagnie Internationale Informatique), as far as I know also with BULL and ICL, but that was soon liquidated. Instead, Siemens and Nixdorf merged into SNI, which later led to FSC.
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Roland Dürre
Thursday January 29th, 2009

(Deutsch) Computer Vintage #9 Meine erste Visitenkarte (1978)

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