At the fear of boring you, I thought that I would tell you about my jaunt to Antigua as part of the CANAC scheme -
One late Thursday afternoon in April, 1976, I was in the little boy’s room minding my own business when my manager, Ken Taylor, arrived for a similar purpose.
He asked me 'How's your RPG?' (I hasten to add that RPG is a programming language!) - I told him that it was 'OK, a little rusty' (Not one to admit to my shortcomings). He asked me to see him in his office before days end. At the meeting, I was told about the temporary job, in Antigua, to look after some programming chores until they could find a permanent replacement. If I was interested, he asked me to have my answer for the next day.
After talking it over with my family, I agreed to give it a try, with certain conditions - namely a refresher course on RPG language. I then found out that the date of my departure was to be on the Monday, a week later. Panic set in. I knew I could not learn RPG in one week. I contacted IBM to have them send me a set of tutorials via courier. These arrived on the Thursday and I spent the remaining 3 days learning tne RPG language up, and also on the flight down to Antigua.
Upon arrival at Antigua, I was met by the person I was replacing, and he told me that he was leaving in 2 days time to a new job in the USA. We went straight to the office and, after being introduced to David Attale, VP Finance under whom I would be working, and the keypunch staff in the office, I was shown the System 3 computer system which, I then found out, I was expected to operate - more panic as I had never seen such a machine before, let alone operate one.
I got a crash course in the operation and the present incumbent gave me a list of do's and don'ts and left me to make what ever I could of it, he told me not to worry about any mistakes, as everything was backed up, and he would set me right later in the week end - what a way to operate.
Naturally I made my share of goofs, but gradually it sank in, and by the time he left I was doing OK. I made several mistakes after he left, but recovered OK, and David Attale was very accommodating. My major mistake was paying the pilots double salary and got a real !%&*%# from the Chief Pilot. After several days I had to use the back-up system to get out of a problem and was mortified when I found out that the back-up records were on the same disk as the original, so I had to do some fancy footwork to get out of that problem and got the back-ups onto another disk and did daily back-ups instead of weekly ones.
(to be continued in NetLetter nr 1319 - eds)