The Story of My Life so Far - Part 51: 1976, Six Months in Paris
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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
Scammed Trying to Rent an Apartment
As I was to spend 6 months in Paris from January to June 1976, I decided to rent a furnished apartment, instead of returning to my parents' house in Saint-Ouen.
I had found an ad in the newspaper for such an apartment in the XVIIIth arrondissement of Paris. The ad said: no need to visit the "concierge", go directly to the apartment.
During Christmas 1975 vacation, with my brother Benoît who just happened to be in Saint-Ouen at the time, we went to the apartment and we saw that it was currently been renovated. We were told that it would be ready in two weeks. I was asked for a deposit, I believe it was around 3,000 Francs. One of the presumed owners of the apartment, went down with us to show us the basement, and he gave me the keys to the apartment and to the basement.
Two weeks after, I went to the apartment, and I could not enter: the key was not working. So I went to see the concierge and I learned the bad news: I was amongst around twenty people that had been swindled. The presumed "owners" had rented the apartment for 3 weeks under a false name, before moving out after collecting around 60,000 Francs.
The concierge was astonished that none of the "renters", including me, had come to see him to inquire about this apartment.
I think I went to report this to the police, but I never heard about it and my 3,000 Francs were gone forever.
So, I moved back with my parents, in the bedroom that I had shared with my brother Bruno until I was 15 years old.
Learning the Future Computer System of Corvette Georges Leygues
As I already said, I was in Paris to learn with my future subordinates the computer system of the Corvette Georges Leygues that was then being built in Brest. This was done at the "Centre de Programmation de la Marine" (CPM, Navy Programming Center), rue Sextius-Michel in the XVth arrondissement, not far from the Eiffel Tower.
Inside the CPM Building, rue Sextius-Michel, in Paris
There were two computers: a central computer, the P2MS, derived from the Iris 50 from the Compagnie internationale pour l'informatique (CII), and a "visualization" computer, a "Mitra 15", also from the CII, that was the interface between the P2MS and the seven consoles.
We were instructed mostly on the hardware. It was rather boring. I stayed interested looking for mistakes in the documentation that we were studying, and I found many mistakes.
There was no training on software, as we were not supposed to modify it. We were only trained on the operation of the SENIT 4. However, we were given the documentation of the machine languages of both computers.
As there was no compiler or assembler available, if we wanted to program ourselves, we needed to write in the machine languages of the two computers. This is was I did later once we were on the ship and the system was running.
Continue to Part 52
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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 - Part 50
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