1958: My family at 10 years of age
1962: Finishing the 8 years of the elementary school at 14
1963: My summer practice in a factory of the leather industry starting with transshipment of wet salted cow skins
A modern factory is only less “disgusting” (for a beginner) but the process is the same:
1966-71: Learning for a master’s degree at Saint-Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design. Roots of this are going back to Saint-Petersburg Practical Technological Institute which had began the training of masters of the “manufactory” industry (the textile business) in 1831.
I was studying electrical engineering, and had specialised in Automation of Technological Processes and Manufacturing. My professor on automation was Shurygin, Dmitry Alekseevich who is still at the university. Now it is known that before this he was designing guidance systems for missiles (robotic or cruise missiles) for 8 years. So our theoretical course went as deep and sophisticated as required for the sake of such things.
Industrial practice in the automation of Oil and Gas Industry
1973-84: Post-graduate type lecturing at the International Computer Education and Information Center (SzÁMOK)
Post-graduate self-study in contemporary computer science, hardware and software engineering
H2 1973 – H1 1974: IBM System 360, CII mitra 15 (VIDEOTON R10), their microprogramming and I/O architectures (channel I/O and I/O bus)
All this helped to form — very early — a proper view of the major computing abstractions which are still valid (even the latest microprocessors are microprogrammed, the RISC ones too):
More information (from Wikipedia): transistor • logic gate • microarchitecture • computer • instruction set architecture (ISA) • programming language • system: system software and application software
1970s: My #1 virtual professor in Computer Science — C.A.R. Hoare
1970s: My #2 virtual professor in Computer Science — E.W. Dijkstra
Edsger Dijkstra presented in 1967 his approach to structuring the multiprogramming system at the Technische Hoogeschool Eindhoven (THE) at the first symposium on operating systems principles (SOSP-1). That was the approach of a hierarchy of nested abstract machines. Then in 1968 this was described in an article of Communications of the ACM (The structure of the “THE”-multiprogramming system). The hierarchy was implemented as a series of layers of software: each extended the instruction set of the machines below it and hid the details of its resource management from the levels above it. This project initiated a long line of research in multilevel systems architecture — a line that continues to the present day because hierarchical modularity is a powerful approach to organizing large systems.
At the suggestion of the editor, Edsger Dijkstra also provided a short appendix about the P and V operations which belong to the so called semaphores, another of his concepts that was then in the formative stages back then. This was also the first design pattern for software (as would be called much later). Originally it was published in EDW35 research paper in 1963 (“Over de sequentialiteit van procesbeschrijvingen“, or in English translation “About the sequentiality of process descriptions“).
1979: Visitation of Beijing (to held a training course on minicomputer programming for Chinese Space Agency) when the first repression on democracy happened there.
Advanced self-study in computer science
1978-1984: Evaluating the new phenomena of computing technologies: mega- and supermini class microprocessors, internetworking solutions, servers and personal workstations with graphical user interfaces for distributed computing. My own concept: “shared information system integrated via the network“. This way I have been able to introduce a perspective covering a few decades: starting with proliferation of personal computers and then up to full maturity via the coming promise of ubiquitous computing.
“Memex” proposition of Vannevar Bush leading into NLS of Doug Engelbart (for augmenting collective knowledge work) and then into Xerox PARC PUP “Internetwork” system for “Alto” personal computers of Peter McCoulough, Bob Taylor and Alan Kay, and finally into “Client-Server computing” of 80s and 90s
Aug 13, 2017: Xerox Alto Demo (25 min)
Demo of a restored Xerox Alto. We go through the Neptune file browser, the Bravo text editor, the Draw and SIL programs, network booting, ftp, telnet, Smalltalk, some games and new programs we have made for the Alto. This demo was developed to be presented live at VCF West 2017. And I mispelled Ken’s last name, it’s Ken Shirriff.
1980s: One of the Information System Development Approaches I’ve learned and used in strategic enterprise projects up to 1993
Advanced computing systems marketing
1982-1998: Evangelising the fast evolving alternative value proposition aimed at ubiquitous computing with full respect for the values of the dominating but gradually retreating traditional approach (batch processing with centralised networking resources, COBOL …).
2010: My family when retired from active employment at age 62
2015: Today’s encounter with friends from teenage times: Varga László and Strbik Pál