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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

25-11-2017 Birmingham (GB) Tattoo 2017 | Flickr

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/12/01

This was a really cool event to participate in.


Posted in About, Adest Musica, Personal | Leave a Comment »

“You would make for a great computer programmer”

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/10/20

A while ago, Joe C. Hecht mentioned for the second time about his family joke along the lines that he had bad grades at school despite being good at the topics. He got tested which resulted in “You would make for a great computer programmer”.

I wonder how this happened with other people in the IT. Did you get yourself a degree in that direction, or teach yourself programming and such?

The reason is that I recognise what Joe wrote: I’m still a bad learner from books or theory as I learn by doing. I specifically didn’t try to get a Computer Science degree as in the late 1980s in The Netherlands it basically was a heavy math degree plus Computer Science topics. So it was basically doing two studies at once and I was only interested in the Computer Science parts.

So I chose studying Chemistry (one of the science topics I really liked at high school) at the closest university to my home so I kept living with my parents.

In 20-20 hindsight this was not the right choice. But at that time I didn’t know about the right choice.

In about 4 years, I finished like 2.5 years of studying, was a geek-prototype (good at computers, bad at people skills) and still did a lot of Computer Science topics (even though the exams would be worthless as back then individual exams didn’t count unless they were part of the main direction of your study). The last year was prepping for practice and advanced topics. I slowly attended less and less sessions and did more and more programming gigs as somehow that was way more fun before slowly bailing out. I also sold network equipment to the university department helping them to connect to the internet and helped a lot of co-students with their computing issues and assignments, learned my way in DOS/3com/Novell/EARN/BITNET/DECNet/SunOS and VAX/VMS based technologies.

I only found out why I bailed out more than a decade later: I was a pragmatic guy learning by doing, not suited for a university that tried educating theorists. Besides that the department I wanted to finish my studies has two four camps: a very theoretic camp (with nice guys: they were the ones wanting internet access very early on), two less theoretic camps fighting each other and a lazy camp filling their days basically with doing as little as possible. A very unproductive and depressing situation. I had worked at the research labs of the paint factory doing research close to my studies, but there was no way the university would allow me to do my research phase there. Even more depressing.

Now (as always, hindsight is 20/20 vision) I know I should have bailed out early on and go for a more pragmatic study maybe not even a university but a polytechnic. On the other hand it helped doing a truckload of Turbo Pascal work (which I started at High School with Turbo Pascal 1 on CP/M with Apple ][+ and //e machines), programming in assembler/prolog/FORTRAN/C, getting connected to the internet (BITNET RELAY chat, mailing lists, early newsgroups, uucp, TCP/IP basics, thick/thin ethernet converters, serial and modem communication with Kermit and FidoNET, gopher, FTP and truckloads more stuff).

It got me into the Delphi, .NET and open source worlds, doing a lot of travel and conference speaking and being an early adopter of many technologies and concepts (some even so early that they only got way popular decades later – like the 1980s “the network is the computer” mantra – or making sense – like the lock semantics topics really became useful when around the century turn  single processor machines got multi-processor siblings and a lustrum later multi-core and multi-threading processors became available and ubiquitous around 2010) and taught me that being able to search and find things is way more important than knowing things.

So I wonder about all my followers:

How did your education go and how did you end up in computing?


References via Joe C. Hecht:

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Posted in About, BBS, BITNET Relay, Chat, FidoNet, History, Opinions, Personal, SocialMedia | Leave a Comment »

One day I will find back my Casio 79QGS-39 Universal Calendar watch from the 1980s

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/09/08

I think it’s Jan Wildeboer that referred me to the vongestern Blog: Smartwatch 1986: Casio DBX-100 [WayBack] entry.

It’s about database watches (and also shows the DB-520 and DBC-610) which were of the first smart watch generations and reminded me I’ve misplaced my Casio 79QGS-39 Universal Calendar digital LCD watch from the same era (mine was chrome unlike some of the Casio 79QGS-39 images  around).

Back then smart watches were focusing on very few things, but did them well, unlike today where they try to be jack of all trades: Niemand braucht Computer in Uhren. Der Artikel fängt langsam an, aber macht gute Punkte zum Ende hin. – Kristian Köhntopp – Google+ [WayBack]

Hopefully one day I’ll find my smart watch back, get it working and can post some pictures. The battery should be easy to replace though:


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Posted in About, Geeky, LifeHacker, Personal, Power User | Leave a Comment »

Photographer captures Miami Beach air show with Nikon 800mm and custom rig

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/08/07

Cool pictures and ditto rig via:


Posted in About, LifeHacker, Personal, Photography, Power User | Leave a Comment »

One year ago: I’m writer and free software author Pieter Hintjens and I’m dying of cancer, ask me anything! : IAmA

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/05/10

The end of April and early May are busy times for my marching band Adest Musica. The period includes important days like King’s Day and Liberation Day filled with festivities.

Right before Liberation Day is a much more sober Remembrance of the Dead.

To prepare for that, I usually try to put some time aside to do some reflection on the people I’ve lost over the years.

This year, I took a deep breath and read back through the, now 1 year old, [WayBackI’m writer and free software author Pieter Hintjens and I’m dying of cancer, ask me anything! : IAmA.

It’s till impressive and well worth reading, both because of the person (Pieter Hintjens), his life and what he went through until his planned death.

Even though Pieter and I only know each other electronically for a short time, I’m still proud of what I learned from him.

The marching band calendar this spring:


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Posted in About, History, Personal | Leave a Comment »

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