The Story of My Life so Far - Part 50 - 1975: Four More Months in Saint-Mandrier - Mostly at the Computer CentersteemCreated with Sketch.

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This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 49

Four Months More at the CIN Saint_Mandrier

During the summer of 1975, Geneviève started nursing school in Paris, and I stayed at the CIN Saint-Mandrier as the temporary director of the "Cours des Électroniciens de la Marine" (the Navy Electronics School).

CIN Saint-Mandrier

My next post would be as the first "officier calcul" (computer officer) for a new ship, first of its class, the Georges Leygues. For this, I would have to get training, with my future subordinates, at the "Centre de Programmation de la Marine" (Navy Programming Center), in Paris, starting in January 1976.

The "Cours des Électroniciens de la Marine" was for senior petty officers to be trained in electronics so they are able to maintain equipments on ships. There were several civilian instructors.
It was something that was already working fine.

Spending Time at the Computer Center

As I was only the temporary director, I was not going to change anything in the running of the course. So, I had a lot of free time, that I spent mostly at the computing center of the CIN.

You have to remember that it was in 1975. The microcomputer revolution was just starting with the Altair 8080 and the IMSAI 8080. The Apple I had not been created yet.

As I remember, the computer center had a minicomputer under the brand Philips. I don't remember the model. The computer was leased.
The central memory was only 24K bytes. The inputs were punched cards for loading the programs, and a teletype, the model of which I don't remember either.

A Teletype

The outputs were the teletype printer and a chain printer.


As I was spending a lot of time at the computer center, the lieutenant commander that was at its head asked me to modify a program written in the programming language FORTRAN. This program was some kind of freeware to simulate the behavior of electronic circuits using the Monte Carlo method.

The program could not work on the Philips computer, because it needed 32K byte central memory, but only 24K were available. I soon discover that there was in fact a 32K memory in the computer, but only 24K were available, because this was what was leased. Leasing 32K would have been more expensive. At this time, memory was expensive. We are lucky now that it is no longer the case.

I also wrote for my personal enjoyment a program in FORTRAN to play 3D tic-tac-toe against the computer. There was an "aspirant" working at the computer center who was good at playing 3D tic-tac-toe. So, I would ask him to play, he would soon beat my program, and I would then study how he did it and improve my program before asking him to play again.

At the end of December 1975, I moved to Paris and I looked for an apartment to rent for six months. However, I was scammed.

Continue to Part 51

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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48
Part 49

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I wish I could understand programming languages too, but unfortunately I cannot,i am eagerly waiting to read about how you were scammed.


You will have to wait for the next episode 😉


i am upvoting u bcz u deserve


i am upvoting u bcz u deserve

i dont know much but i am trying

I really like your posts with good pictures of satisfying essay.

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Wow, good post, but scammed; that could be a Nice blog !!


I am not sure you are saying that "that could be a nice blog". This IS my blog!


I mean writing about scammers, that could be a good topic


Oh, sorry. I misunderstood your comment.

Yes, the subject of scammers could be a nice blog, but currently the real subject is vote selling.