This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
In September 1980, we moved from the apartment on Robie Street, to a house at 1964 Beech Street, still in Halifax.
It was a two level house: the landlords, a very nice elderly couple, lived on the upper floor, and we lived on the ground level floor.
At the same time, Geneviève's brother, Louis, came from Cameroon to study at Dalhousie University.
Preparing my Pascal compiler for selling
At the end of 1980, beginning of 1981, I started the preparations for selling my Pascal compiler through mail-order.
My idea was to advertise in Byte Magazine, as it had a worldwide distribution and it was the correct target: micro-computer enthusiasts and small companies.
But, first, I had to write the documentation.
It has always been very difficult for me to write anything that is not either a response to some other writing or a translation. Furthermore, as English is not my primary language, it added another difficulty.
I was making slow progress writing the manual alone, so Don, my boss at the CAI lab suggested that after hours, I should come to his place, write some part of the manual, and he would review it.
So, this is what we did and I was able to write a manual of some 60 pages. Eventually, over time the manual had more than 100 pages.
Creating my own company: Scotia Software
When I thought that my Pascal compiler was ready to be sold, at the beginning of 1981, I created a small company, Scotia Software.
I cost me around CAD$50 only, mostly to pay for check that the name "Scotia Software" was not already in use by another company.
Note that there is currently a company called "Scotia Software" in Nova Scotia, but it is unrelated to my own; it has been created after 2000, long after my company folded.
I named my compiler "S/S-Pascal", "S/S standing for Scotia Software.
Advertising in Byte Magazine
In April 1981, I had my first ad published in Byte Magazine.
It was what Byte called a "Byte bit", that is one of 9 ads on the same page.
Byte Magazine, April 1981
I had to learn how to advertise. I had to visit a local printer to create a "camera ready copy". I had the full text of the ad on a paper, and the printer created the copy. As I remember it cost me only CAD$35.
Then, I started to sell my compiler in various countries.
However, selling was slow.
As a French Navy officer, I was not allowed by the French authorities to do any commerce.
However, as I was very far from France, in a foreign country, I thought that I would never be caught.
I was badly mistaken!
Continue to Part 67
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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 - Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54 - Part 55 - Part 56
Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61 - Part 62 - Part 63 - Part 64