This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
Like Chris and Kim, Alex was an employee of Hughes Aircraft who had come from Fullerton to be part of the CAATS team in British Columbia. Like Chris, he was part of the architecture team.
In addition to being an excellent software engineer, Alex liked to tease other people and to joke.
For example, he had put a note in front of the office of Chris, that read:
Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated
One day, when I arrived at work, I discovered that on the tag near my door, under my name was the word "Adameister", presumably because I had a good knowledge of the Ada programming language. I immediately guessed that it was Alex who had changed the tag. So, I confronted him and naturally, he denied it. But I told him that if he knew the person that did it, he should tell them that the font was not the right one. And of course, the next day the tag was written with the right font.
I thought it was a fun idea to give subtitles to the engineers we liked, so Alex and myself we started a naming campaign.
I tried to always put in the subtitle a reference to the person or their name and a reference to their job.
Here are several examples of subtitles:
Billy Hui, a data modeller: The Modelling Kid
Vicky Fan, also a data modeller: The Data Ventilator
??? Nottingham, who worked in the subsystem TACO (Tactical Coordination): The Sheriff of Tacoma
Among the high level managers, it was considered cool to have a subtitle. For example, we asked the big boss of the "software factory" that was developing CAATS if he was OK with the subtitle we proposed for him, and he said yes.
As his first name was Arthur, his subtitle was "The King of the Factory".
I had given Alex the subtitle "The Namer".
And we modified what was displayed on Chris's door to: Resistance was futile, I have been assimilated.
In 1997, we were three CAATS engineer that presented papers at the Ada Europe 1997 conference in London. After the conference, Alex went for the first time to Latvia and met some of his cousins for the first time. He was even able to try to claim some of the properties that had belonged to his family with land titles that his parents has kept for more than fifty years.
After leaving CAATS, Alex moved to Seattle and worked for Boeing and at least one other company.
Like most CAATS engineers, I have lost contact with Alex.
Continue to Part 111
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