The Story of My Life so Far - Part 66 - Scotia Software and S/S-Pascal

in story •  last year  (edited)

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 65

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 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 - 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
Part 65

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enjoy your life story, I also like write some stories/fiction ,hope to see your more... :)

I can see why you are who you are. You take chances early. Good stuff I learned today.
Keep on steemin'

Beech St. Is such a nice area. I’ve always loved the south end. The houses have the old town appeal. Were you close to Quinpool or Jubilee? I did a lot of exterior painting in that area when I was going through university. This has been so much fun following your story. I’m so glad I found your blog.


Were you close to Quinpool or Jubilee?

The house was 100 m from Quinpool.


I lived in Herring Cove but I spent A lot of time around the Quinpool area and driving through the south end in my way to Dalhousie and St. Mary’s. there used to be a little candy store on Quinpool that was very close to Beech St. I remember it so well because it was covered in pebble stone and you could see rows of candy through the window. My mom only took me in a few times but I remember it being glorious each and every time and I begged her every time we drove down Quinpool to stop there.

Ouch! Getting caught had to hurt. Too bad.

This is my first time visiting your blog and I must say impressed. It's cool you're writing about your life. I think I've got a blog to be visiting daily.

Looking forward to your next piece (by the way, great suspense)


Ouch! Getting caught had to hurt.

Not necessarily, as you will see in the next episode.


If you say so 😉

I'm sure steemit is one part of you story you would never forget @vcelier am I correct?

Interesing story. Is much parts,excelent for this story.

Good story !

intersting story
thanks for your sharing

I have to admit it going through your life stories you have achieved a lot and a lot of it will put us to shame :)


stay alert and always pray

(╹◡╹)Very interesting story. I can relate to that because English is not my first language. I’m happy I found your posting:-)

Hi, although it is difficult to create a company it is much more difficult to position it in the market. I guess you had to learn a lot about effective advertising. On the other hand, I hope it was not very bad that you were caught by the French authorities, I imagine I will know in the next part...

wow i call this struggle for existence

I guess you won't be caught by the French authorities