Who am I
Since secondary school my interests are physics, electronics and computing. A brief (and easy to find out) CV:
- studied physics at University of Cologne,
- went on to Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg,
- earned a degree in experimental nuclear physics from Heidelberg University with an experiment conducted at CERN on the Synchrocyclotron,
- worked as post doctoral fellow at
- came back to GSI when the SIS-18 accelerator upgrade started operation,
- and finally engaged in the FAIR project.
Due to my interest vector
concentrated on the technical aspects of experiments, mainly on the
sectors front-end electronics, data acquisition and data analysis.
Over time I've worked with many
- computer architectures: IBM System/370, DEC PDP-8, DEC PDP-9, DEC PDP-11, CDC 7600, DEC PDP-10, DEC VAX, DEC ALPHA, Intel IA-64
- operating systems: DEC OS/8, DEC RT-11, DEC RSX-11, IBM MVS, DEC VMS, BSD Unix, SUN/OS, OS/9, Linux
- languages: FORTRAN, Simula, PDP-11 assembler, PL/I, C, C++, HTML, Perl, SQL, VHDL, Tcl
My initial contact with computers was a IBM/360 assembler course during secondary school, and later during under-graduate times via punched cards which were send via remote job entry (RJE) stations to a mainframe computer.
The first real hands-on experience was with DEC PDP-11 systems running under RT-11 and RSX-11. These systems were used for many years as central element in data acquisition systems, and my role was often to squeeze the last grain of performance out of them. So I naturally learned a lot about the hardware and software stack.
I've started building electronics gadgets during secondary school times, based on very basic SN7400 series TTL and CD4000 series CMOS circuits. Later my focus was mainly on using electronics and computers in the most efficient way, but in one occasion I had to manage the design and implementation of a quite complex electronics system, learned in depth to use FPGA's and DSP's, and ended up to write all the FPGA firmware in VHDL.
In 2006 I was looking for a nice but ambitious pastime project. By chance I stumbled over a box with a bunch of old DEC PDP-11 manuals. Combined with my old affection to PDP-11's that quickly became what now is the w11 project. Quickly 2.11BSD became the prime candidate for the operating system to run on my w11, which in turn triggered my 2.11BSD and the Old Unix XRef activities.