9 months ago 🏆 for day 137, 2019 with 397 words.

I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon

"And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon"

That's what a colleague wrote in my leaving card when I quit my job at The Knowledge Based Systems Centre (part of South Bank University at the time). The whole research center was as good as being disbanded due to political interference from the University (or Polytechnic as it was at the time). The merry band of researchers and engineers who had been studying Artificial Intelligence and building Expert Systems were going different ways - this was way before it was fashionable to do this stuff like it is now.

Most of the team left to go work for Touche Ross to work on a model for credit scoring and credit card abuse detection (this would have been around the mid 80's). The founder of the research center Annie Brooking had already left to go work at Sun Microsystems.

Around the time the research center was falling apart I was a beta tester for a Mac Comms product on the side. I wrote a comparison article for a Mac user group newsletter and I am sure I was pretty scathing about the product. I got a call from the lead architect who said unto me "well if you think the product is so bad, why don't you come and fix it". Challenge accepted - I needed a new job anyway.

I moved to the south coast to Bournemouth, which was still a sleepy retirement city under change as Chase Manhattan moved their back offices there along with American Express and a lot of the Insurance industry. They were later followed by the original SegaWorld (the first in Europe).

We worked on a major revision of the product and I fixed a lot of the bugs that I had found. It was a good learning experience, the sea air and living near the beach (even if it is a beach on the south coast of the UK) had its advantages too.

I'll never forget the years I worked with a Xerox Star though. I also wrote code for an Apple Lisa as well before progressing to writing code for the Macintosh.

Xerox Star

PS: "The is no dark side of the moon, as a matter of fact it's all dark" - Roger Waters.


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By Yorick Phoenix 🏆

Chief WriteTogether Bug Finder & character stringer. Generally to create computer code, but sometimes actual words and paragraphs. Listens to lots of music, takes lots of photos, & invests in stocks for the long haul.

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