2006 — Day 18 - nits and pieces

Oh dear, I still have to write to dear Mama. Where is Time going? (Hark. Is that the sound of a Wing-ed Chariot?)

Meanwhile Junior has just written to critique my HTML (more exactly, my lack of JavaScript).

And my little co-ax digital to optical digital SP/DIF converter is working, but its (note correct use of apostrophe, son) power brick is not. And, while the DVD recorder is busy writing the first two episodes of BBC4's "The Martians and us" from its hard drive to DVD-R, I now realise there's an irritating shortcoming (Good Heavens! Is that possible?) in my latest system configuration. <Sigh>

It's (note correct use of apostrophe, son) enough to drive one to drink/think.

And now I've just heard "penchant" pronounced as "pen-shant" on NPR. Yep; definitely grumpy. Time for bed!

They do things differently in the City

Acidly amused by the rapid boardroom changes at Standard Chartered bank. According to today's Guardian, the outgoing1 chairman is a) staying on until March to smooth the handover (even though he and his successor have worked together for years) and b) will then take a pay-off worth £750,000 (even though he is evidently standing down at his own request because at 66 he finds the rôle too taxing).

I have no religious faith, but I do like the line: If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people to whom He gives a lot.

George Cogar

I have now been contacted three times by people regarding this computing genius. One ex-employee who used to type his many patent papers; his daughter who only recently realised his impact on computing; and now today an ICL employee (or, maybe, ex-employee like me) who was involved like me when ICL took over Singer Business Machines in Utica, New York, back in 1976 (and SBM had, in turn, taken over the Cogar Corporation, of course). Apart from my once-intimate knowledge of his C4 desktop machine (and the healthy freelance Assembler programming career that afforded me in the late 1970s) all I know comes from what David Lundstrom wrote in the chapter "Whatever Became of George Cogar?" in his 1987 reminiscences A few good men from Univac which is actually dedicated to Cogar.

Rumours continue regarding his untimely death during a hunting trip, and there are legal wrangles over some land of his in upstate NY. Beyond that, nothing.

2011 update: I've added a picture and notes of my email exchange with George Cogar's daughter Cherylyn here.

21 November 2006  


1  With a golden goodbye in excess of my lifetime earnings, he can afford to be very outgoing.