Salg i Østeuropa

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(Chr. Gram's version af historien, nov. 2012. Se dog også H-J Hjorts erindringer RC og jeg)

I det kommunistisk styrede Østeuropa fik man i 1960-erne adgang til de sovjetisk udviklede URAL-datamaskiner. Set med vestlige øjne var de ret langsomme, primitive og ret upålidelige. Derfor havde mange i Østeuropa blikket rettet mod Vesteuropa i håb om at få adgang til vestlig data-teknologi. Regnecentralens aktiviteter i Østeuropa begyndte på en teknologi-messe i Poznan, Polen, i 1962, som beskrevet nedenfor af professor Wladyslaw Turski, søn af den daværende rektor Turski ved Warszawa Universitet (WU):


"Responding to your enquiry, the beginning of GIER saga in Eastern Europe, to wit in Poland, according to my recollection was as follows.

In the Spring of 1962 a group of scientists from the Computation Centre of Polish Academy of Science (where at that time I was an Assistant Professor) visited the International Fair in Poznan. We were looking for good input devices for the URAL-2 computer that we were starting to use. We chose Facit tape readers and in due course the CC PAS bought several pieces of this equipment; some other Polish computing establishments followed suit, which made Poland an "important market" for Facit. Mr Eric Goliath (? - I am not sure I remember his name correctly) visited Poland several times and - having learned about our interest in Algol-60, suggested we look into Danish developments in this direction. In 1963, on Regnecentralen invitation I went to Copenhagen and Arhus, met Peter Naur and his colleagues, and fell in love with GIER. On return to Poland I convinced my Father, Prof. Stanislaw Turski (a mathematician), then the Rector of Warsaw University, that GIER was THE computer for the University. Regnecentralen's boss Niels Ivar Bech invited my Father to Copenhagen to have a personal view of the machine. My Father liked the computer, the two men liked each other and started thinking about how to arrange the transaction. This was not easy because of shortage of hard currency in Poland. Finally they found a brilliant solution: GIER came to Warsaw University for a half-year long exhibition, during this time it was extensively used by the University staff and students and also performed some jobs for external users. By the end of the exhibition period which also included intensive lectures by Regnecentralen people (including Peter Naur) and some Polish experts, the ground had been established for the decision of "highest level" to purchase the computer. GIER played a very important role in establishing computer programming culture in Poland. Cooperation with the Regnecentralen continues for many years, for example the RC-4000 was used as the control computer in huge chemical works Azoty in Plock. Jan Madey, then my Father's assistant, was very active at the GIER exhibition and later served as the link to Regnecentralen. "

I efteråret 1963 kom Andrzej Kiebasinski og Jan Madey fra WU til RC i København og lærte Gier programmering og Gier Algol. Fra medio november 1963 til medio januar 1964 stillede RC en Gier til fri benyttelse for WU på Kulturpaladset i Warszawa centrum - hvor Universitetet holdt til. I januar 1964 købte WU Gier-maskinen og brugte den derefter flittigt i 14-15 år.

Salg af avanceret udstyr til kommunistiske lande var fra USA belagt med 'embargo', men for Polen var embargoen mildere end for Sovjet og andre Østlande. Vedrørende Gier-maskinen behøvede RC kun at søge embargo-tilladelse for baggrundslageret, det magnetiske tromlelager. Takket være bl.a. hjælp fra den danske ambassade i Washington lykkedes det at få eksporttilladelsen.

Folk fra WU - og især Jan Madey - hjalp gennem årene RC med salgsfremstød både i Polen og i andre Østlande. RC optrådte f.eks. på en række messer, udstillinger og kurser i Polen, Czekoslovakiet, Ungarn, Jugoslavien og Bulgarien fra 1965 og fremefter. Det resulterede bl.a. i syv Gier-salg de næste par år:

  • 1965: Fysisk Institut, Swierk, Polen; Fysisk Institut, Rez, Czekoslovakiet; Statistisk Institut, Budapest, Ungarn.
  • 1966: Chemocomplex, Pét, Ungarn; Kemiindustri, Pulawy, Polen; Kybernetisk Institut, Bratislava, Czekoslovakiet.
  • 1967: Transportministeriet, Sofia, Bulgarien.

Gier's pålidelighed og Gier-Algols effektivitet og brugervenlighed banede vejen for RC's næste datamaskine, RC4000. Allerede i 1967 blev en prototype på RC4000 installeret på en kemisk fabrik i Pulawy (se artiklen The RC4000 Real-time System at Pulawy af P. Brinch), og i 1968 kom en fuldt udbygget RC4000 til processtyring til Wloclawek. Derefter begyndte RC nogle salgs/reklame-turneer i Østeuropa, som senere resulterede i adskillige salg af RC4000 og andet RC-udstyr.