Saturday, 15 October 2011

"... with a little help from my friends", part III

25 years ago this week, I left the Natural Resources Canada to start a business with Teknika. I was encouraged (if not pushed) along by a fellow geologist, who had a comprehensive petroleum geocomputing system at Husky in Calgary - his colleague encouraged me at University of Calgary to take a class in computer sciences, the same department where Jim Gosling later on created Java. I teamed up then with a brilliant surveyor who delivered a video-tracing system. These were the DOS days when we used AutoCAD as the graphics prior to Windows. And as my banner note states, he spatialised AutoCAD with a 10Kb DOS kernel that might've given Intergraph and Esri a run for their money, had AutoDesk picked it up at the time.
Can you believe that I received a copy of Windows 1.0 as a bonus, when I upgraded my PC-AT clone from 640KB to a whopping 1MB RAM? This despite the fact that Trey, aka. William H. Gates III, famously quipped who will ever need more that 640K memory!

Those two years were seminal in many ways:
  • I called my untitled MBA learning as much in starting up as in winding down a business, though I would never recommend to my worst enemy that they lose their marriage in the process... 
  • introduced me to Metronet, when AGT the telphone company then optically wired Calgary to link up all oil companies, doing it for free as a guv agency thinking they'd get it back in leasing the lines which they did handsomely
    • on which I built then my first page then call hypertext as the web didn't exist yet as such...
  • introduced me to those who would 5 years later not only form StrataModel and Argus, later to become MapGuide at Autodesk (no connection I'm afraid)
    • but also be part of Gulf Canada (later Chevron), who with Finder (later Schlumberger) and Digitech (later QC Data and IHS Energy), founded PPDM whose first met at URISA 91 - GIS and Energy
    • where I met Charles Fried of Operation Database fame, and later PUG chairman when I was furthering PPDM at ESRI 
  • 10 years later joined Munro Garrett whose oil&gas sector of Argus would become OpenExplorer at Landmark, Esri's best-selling ArcView extension
    • which 5 years later would take me to Esri's industry solutions team as petroleum manager until about 5 years ago