Curriculum vitae

60+ years as software designer, programmer, and computer scientist, first at the Institute for Mathematical Machines (Warsaw, Poland), then at IBM Laboratories: Lidingö (Sweden), Vienna (Austria), Toronto (Canada), then Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden), and finally on my own under the logo "Giraf's Research".

Design, implementation, and documentation of basic software (operating systems, programming languages, databases, database-based tools). Programming in Java, C++, SQL, PL/X, Assemblers, REXX, PL/I, APL, for IBM mainframe with MVS and VM, IBM RS/6000 with AIX, IBM 8100 with DPPX, PC with Windows, Hewlett-Packard workstations with HP-UX, Sun workstations with Solaris.

Research into programming languages and concurrent processes.

Open source projects "Mouse" and "Units".

The IMM Experience 1959-1965

IMM - the Institute for Mathematical Machines in Warsaw - has evolved from a group of enthusiasts that constructed the first digital computer in Poland. (See here for its early history.) The computer, named XYZ (see picture), was followed by ZAM-2, ZAM-3, and IMM-41.
The pioneering spirit at IMM was very like that found in the book about early computer enthusiasts at MIT. Many among the programmers at the Institute were excellent mathematicians, winners of Mathematical Olympiad. One of them, Antoni Mazurkiewicz, has since became known for his theory of traces.

The IBM Experience 1965-1996

IBM Nordic Laboratory was created in 1961 with a mission to develop hardware and software for process control. After success of IBM System/360, it expanded and moved in 1965 to its own building in Lidingö - a suburb of Stockholm (see picture). I worked there for 31 years, with breaks for Ph.D. studies in Denmark and guest performances at IBM Vienna Lab (Austria) and IBM Toronto Lab (Canada). During that time, the mission of the Lab changed many times, and the hardware part was lost, leaving it a purely software lab. Most of that period was at the times when IBM lived up to the principle that "our employees are the company's most valuable resource". This gave a sort of family feeling, good team spirit, and very little personnel turnaround. It persisted even after IBM radically changed its attitude in bad times.
The appearance of Personal Computers completely changed the world. The IBM marketing organization was not adapted to this kind of product, so PCs were sold by ordinary retailers. The high management decided that we are not going to develop software for PCs "because it costs too much" and "you cannot make money on it". The software was ordered from Microsoft that delivered operating systems DOS and OS/2. And then came out with its own: Windows.
In fact, IBM made a great service to the humankind by buying all PC components, rather than producing them. (There was a saying that only the IBM label was produced by IBM.) This resulted in an explosion of cheap PC clones.
In 1995 Mother IBM decided to close down Nordic Lab as a software development centre, and turned it into Software Technical Centre, with the job of serving OS/2 installations. The Centre was closed down a year later. The building was converted into school. A collected expertise of over 100 people dissipated into the environment.

The Ericsson Experience 1996-2002

During final disintegration of Nordic Lab, I followed some of my colleagues to a company called Ericsson Hewlett-Packard Telecom (EHPT), a joint venture of the two companies identified in the name. I was followed there by more of my colleagues, so at the end we were 14 ex-Nordic Lab people at the same place.
The purpose of EHPT was to produce network management software for telecom operators. As the telecom business went bad, EHPT was bought out by Ericsson in 2001 and its projects distributed over different departments. This was followed by a series of reorganizations and massive personnel cuts. When I reached the compulsory retirement age in 2002, I was glad to leave it all behind me.

University education

Latest change 2023-09-20