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  #141  
Old 15.03.2011, 13:46
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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You furthermore state that in 1991 some of your nationally-renowned university's computers didn't have a mouse?? You mean that ubiquitous pointing device invented back in 1963?

Now read your post again and tell me Switzerland isn't/wasn't backwards.
You mean the one produced by Logitech?

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Good luck competing with China, Switzerland!

You mean having a positive trade balance with China (CH) as opposed to being owned by China (US foreign Debt)?
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  #142  
Old 15.03.2011, 13:52
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I do know about the history of the mouse. 1991 was a different world though and you considered yourself lucky to have access to a powerful computer that could actually do something. Other folks were still working with DOS, and continued to think DOS was cool for many years after that.
Yeah. IN SWITZERLAND.

The point is that if you think that Switzerland is keeping pace with the rest of the world, especially in technology, you need to travel more. (shrug).
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Old 15.03.2011, 13:52
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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Yeah. IN SWITZERLAND.

The point is that if you think that Switzerland is keeping pace with the rest of the world, especially in technology, you need to travel more. (shrug).
You're telling amogles to travel more?

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  #144  
Old 15.03.2011, 14:06
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

I started using the Internet privately, including e-mail, in 1982, and I was not alone. That was in rural Switzerland. We had DSL six years earlier than comparable areas in the USA. We had TV cable in the entire country except the most remote valleys at a time when Germany was about to plan cable for the big cities. Europe, including Switzerland, had SMS a decade before the NYC area began introducing it as the first metro area in the USA.
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  #145  
Old 15.03.2011, 14:25
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I started using the Internet privately, including e-mail, in 1982, and I was not alone. That was in rural Switzerland. We had DSL six years earlier than comparable areas in the USA. We had TV cable in the entire country except the most remote valleys at a time when Germany was about to plan cable for the big cities. Europe, including Switzerland, had SMS a decade before the NYC area began introducing it as the first metro area in the USA.

Oh alright then. You guys win. Switzerland is the most technologically advanced country in the world. Englishforum people say so, so it must be true.
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  #146  
Old 15.03.2011, 14:34
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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Pascal was one
Pascal's your brother? Studying for a PhD at 12 months is pretty impressive.

Though there probably wasn't as much to learn in those days - Google apparently returned less than 18 hits on average in the mid-60's (and most of those were spam ads for moptops and the pill).
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  #147  
Old 15.03.2011, 14:51
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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Though there probably wasn't as much to learn in those days - Google apparently returned less than 18 hits on average in the mid-60's (and most of those were spam ads for moptops and the pill).
And after midnight Youtube just displayed the test card.

The Callaghan government actually tried to limit the numer of zeros and ones in circulation beacuse they were concerned the communication stock could overheat, and the number of Internet users fell to its lowest level since the 1871.




Wasn't the Internet boring back then.
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  #148  
Old 15.03.2011, 16:27
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but currently there is a very informative and interesting display of Swiss history through the ages at the Landesmuseum in Zurich. I visited the museum last week and spent 2.5 hours there which did not even cover all of the items displayed and historical issues discussed. The museum covers all of the Swiss history chronologically, going from the Ice Age, to the Reformation through to the modern industrial Swiss state. Also, all of the information is displayed in english. The cover for one adult is only CHF 10.-. I would recommend it for anyone who has the time to travel to Zurich. Last week they also had a medieval coin collection which also featured coins from the Roman period. Here is a link for museum in english: http://www.musee-suisse.ch/e/index.php

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  #149  
Old 15.03.2011, 16:31
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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Oh alright then. You guys win. Switzerland is the most technologically advanced country in the world. Englishforum people say so, so it must be true.
Well. I'm not saying so, but, although Switzerland doesn't pick up every kind of fad, that does not mean that this country generally is backwards.

I run several Websites, and my visitor statistics show me that 99 % of the visits from Switzerland are done over DSL or something equivalent or better, whereas 21 % of the visits from the USA still come in by dial-up, a.k.a. steam modem (stats of 2010!!!). Amazing, isn't it?

Maybe that's also the reason why American banks usually need about a week to credit a payment to your account. But, of course, they use the fastest computers to withdraw money from it.

Have you ever tried to go to an American bank (outside one of the major airports or financial centers) with, say, a CHF 200.00 bank bill with the incredible intention to get USD? You are lucky if they do not call the nice young men in their clean white coats to take you away to the funny farm.

Here in Switzerland you cannot only get even much bigger amounts of CHF for USD, and that even in little villages, but it works also the other way round, i.e. getting USD for CHF, which is even much more difficult for a bank to do, because it means the bank branch must store quite a few foreign currencies.

Backwards? No. Pragmatic in a conservative sense? Yes, if that means something new is not necessarily good, so let's see if it is worth the hype. That's one of the reasons why this country weathered the recent financial crisis better than most other so-called developed countries.
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  #150  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:09
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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Cautious, perhaps. Unimpressed with novelty, for sure.

But backwards? I don't think so.
Cautious and hesitant and realistic for sure, and may be slower than some others. But in the late 90ies, most of the world had just started to adopt the internet. You could NOT use the internet for contacts to wide parts of Africa and Asia, exactly areas where for instance ABB has its markets. We in our company started with the internet in 1999, and it at that time still was of meagre use to find out data about civil aviation in quite many parts of the world. In the company where I had worked between 1974 and 1990, we had fairly early turned from the oldfashioned but reliable telex to the fax, only to find out that quite many of our partners (Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Toronto (!), Cairo, Dubai, Bombay, Bangkok could not get faxes so that we for years had to have the good old noisy telex machine in operation I still remember that I in a Cairo hotel in the 80ies placed a demand for a telephone-connection to Zurich in late afternoon, and wonder oh wonder got my connection the following morning. I in late afternoon had advised the reception about my position at the swimming pool and later about my position in the restaurant.

What the ABB manager mentioned above meant that it simply does not make much sense to use hightech which your customers cannot share with you. To illustrate the powers of the markets here in Switzerland here the comparison :
First American Airlines in Zürich






and then SINGAPORE AIRLINES in Zürich







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  #151  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:21
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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What the ABB manager mentioned above meant that it simply does not make much sense to use hightech which your customers cannot share with you.
I get your point. However, our department was not really customer facing and most of our correspondance was with other people inside the company rather than externals and customers, and data transfer was often by means of sending a floppy disk by mail, exactly the sort of thing that wastes time, costs money and can be done much more efficiently by mail or at least an ftp server.

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To illustrate the powers of the markets here in Switzerland here the comparison :
First American Airlines in Zürich






and then SINGAPORE AIRLINES in Zürich








I don't quite get this comparison. American Airlines is using older equipment? Or lower capacty equipment? Or is there something else you're trying to tell us?
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  #152  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:30
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I started using the Internet privately, including e-mail, in 1982, and I was not alone. That was in rural Switzerland. We had DSL six years earlier than comparable areas in the USA. We had TV cable in the entire country except the most remote valleys at a time when Germany was about to plan cable for the big cities. Europe, including Switzerland, had SMS a decade before the NYC area began introducing it as the first metro area in the USA.
What year did Switzerland get SMS?
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  #153  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:31
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

Let's see. I moved here in 1986, and had a mouse and a color screen (OK, I brought them with me).

I've been using Windows since it was functional, and bought the first 486 available (I needed the number crunching, since pro-audio is my main thing).

Oh, and the first product based on the AD1890 (which was, oh dear, based on the purchased patents of several SWISS friends of mine), was designed by myself and produced by the SWISS company I have worked for since 1990. Oh dear me, we are so behind.

Sorry, YOU worked for backwards companies.

Not me.

Tom
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  #154  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:32
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

Mention of telex machines reminds me of my first office job in the 1970s. It was great to be in an office surrounded by women instead of the factory where I had served my apprenticeship.

As an office junior, I had to take the messages to our receptionist to send out telexes to our agents, including one in Berne. Only a few of them had telex and they were always considered the best firms to deal with.

When the receptionist was on her break, I was occasionally allowed to prepare the tapes for the messages.

Oh, the thrill of being allowed to use modern technology (or so it seemed to me); and being there as a message arrived and seeing words appear as if by magic from some far off country.
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  #155  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:53
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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I get your point. However, our department was not really customer facing and most of our correspondance was with other people inside the company rather than externals and customers, and data transfer was often by means of sending a floppy disk by mail, exactly the sort of thing that wastes time, costs money and can be done much more efficiently by mail or at least an ftp server.




I don't quite get this comparison. American Airlines is using older equipment? Or lower capacty equipment? Or is there something else you're trying to tell us?
A) You have to realize that ABB Switzerland is the 50% of ABB which resulted out of the old Brown Boveri, which was becoming rather old-fashioned. Exactly this is why they had to merge with Asea Sweden. And in many even big companies in Switzerland, an old-age mentality has survived for ages. You see when other industries in Europe in WWII got bombed out and heavily damaged, Swiss industry suffered and was in agony but undamaged, and after the war the previous leadership took over control again. Sure, in the late 40ies and in the 50ies and 60ies, CH industry was profiting from being the one producing on DIN norms (instead of Imperial or ASA), which would have been nice, but the downside of this is that many Swiss companies had a mentality of the 1920ies. Compare company-lists of the 1970ies with company lists now. In the 80ies and 90ies a good part of the old companies simply faded away. Matters changed in the 90ies and 00..s, and I might say that the manager mentioned possibly had his future behind him when you met him.

B) the airplanes. In the 1950ies and 60ies, new and large airplanes came into Zurich airplanes from the USA (Trans World Airlines) and from Brasil (Panair do Brasil) but not from Asia. I mean, look at the schedules. Thai daily with Boeing 777, Singapore Airlines daily with A380, shortly Hainan daily with A340, and the Arabian Gulf with Qatar Airways 5x weekly A340 and Emirates 2x daily B777/A330 . These differences show the gradual shift of markets towards Asia. You can see similar developments elsewhere in Europe as well. And while Singapore of course is top-notch technology-wise, other places in Asia/Africa are not so much so.

For professional contacts in the 90ies and 00..s with folks in Asia and Africa, I in spite of having fax and after 2000 Email in our office, fairly often went to the post-office at the airport to do my business BY TELEX.

Until about 2005, to do faxes to Russia you had to use a fax combined with a phone as you had to ask the folks on the other side to switch their machine to the fax. And you had to send each page separately. So that the problem never was that Switzerland was "late" but the real application of the whole hightech scrap
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Old 15.03.2011, 23:54
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

In my second office job in the UK, in 71 - a big part of my day was using telex (an engineering firm in Staffs) - and yes, it felt very exciting and 'modern'. Getting a reply back a couple of minutes later from the other side of the world felt like magic.

Re Pascal and my brother - I haven't got a clue what you are on about. My bro was the clever one, not me! All i can say is that he was Swiss and involved in IT language development in the very early days.
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Old 16.03.2011, 00:03
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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In my second office job in the UK, in 71 - a big part of my day was using telex (an engineering firm in Staffs) - and yes, it felt very exciting and 'modern'. Getting a reply back a couple of minutes later from the other side of the world felt like magic.

Re Pascal and my brother - I haven't got a clue what you are on about. My bro was the clever one, not me! All i can say is that he was Swiss and involved in IT language development in the very early days.
Just a hint. I suppose that your brother's name is Pascal, which is quite a widespread name mostly in French speaking areas but in evidence elsewhere as well, BUT "Pascal" also is something in the computer-business.
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Old 16.03.2011, 00:34
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

No he is defo NOT called Pascal, but I remember him mentioning Algol, Pascal, Cobol (?) and other IT languages names in those long gone days when he was studying in Grenoble for his PhD in the mid 60s and later on in Neuch and other Unis in CH.
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Old 16.03.2011, 01:14
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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When in Switzerland you could only get decent internet at Einstein's alma mater and topmost university, the rest of the world, including 3rd world countries like Mexico, had people with internet at home, let alone at corporations, let alone in no-name universities, let alone in their top universities. That was my point: Switzerland, relatively to the rest of the world, IS (not WAS, IS!!) more backwards by at least 20 years.
Bzzzt. Wrong. Mexico? Internet at home? You gotta be kidding. In the 80s, one of the major hubs of the internet was based at CERN and the Swiss university consortium, SWITCH, provided internet connectivity for the Swiss universities. It is true that big companies were still backwards and relied on other mainframe-related networking technologies and small companies stayed paper-oriented, but all of the companies in the world were like that. Internet leadership came mostly from US universities but Switzerland's academic institutions definitely participated.

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While in Switzerland you were using your university's computers to organize student events with no password-protected access, in the rest of the world, Pizza Hut was offering web-based ordering and delivery service back in 1994 (see for instance here: http://www.thocp.net/reference/internet/internet3.htm).
Bzzzt. Wrong again. I worked on the web at that time (1993-94) and exchanged a lot of emails with Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen. There were only a hundred web servers at the time and one of the early websites include Uni GE.

You are exaggerating about a "web-based ordering and delivery service back in 1994". The Pizza Hut was only one shop. One clever IT guy in the shop had ported either the CERN or NCSA server software and ran a server that simply put up a web form without authorisation from the company. They received no orders as hardly anyone was on the web (except maybe some UC Santa Clara computer science students). It was just a proof-of-concept.
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Old 16.03.2011, 02:05
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Re: Switzerland in the olden days

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Bzzzt. Wrong. Mexico? Internet at home?

blahblah blah stuff...

Bzzzt. Wrong again. I worked on the web at that time (1993-94) and exchanged a lot of emails with Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen. There were only a hundred web servers at the time and one of the early websites include Uni GE.

You are exaggerating about a "web-based ordering and delivery service back in 1994". The Pizza Hut was only one shop. One clever IT guy in the shop had ported either the CERN or NCSA server software and ran a server that simply put up a web form without authorisation from the company. They received no orders as hardly anyone was on the web (except maybe some UC Santa Clara computer science students). It was just a proof-of-concept.
No, it is you who is wrong. Exchanging a few emails with Berners-Lee or Marc Andreessen does not make you an internet expert. The internet is more than just the web, and yes, in the late 90's, when in Switzerland you could only get internet access at ETH (because corporations didn't have any and there were no internet cafes), you could get home internet in Mexico. I know because I lived there, and had it. And because I worked here, and did not have it at a big power plant company in a major city and had to travel 1 hour by train to the country's top university to get it.

Also, how did CERN estimate the growth of the web or how do you base your figures for the number of websites in 1994? One of the first people to write a spider/web-crawler and compile statistics on the growth of the web was Matthew Gray from MIT. Many have not heard of him, he worked at google for a while (maybe he's still there) but has never been known in the corporate treadmill and the limelight. Look at HIS statistics. There were thousands of web-servers by 1994, and I can assure you, the majority of them were not in Switzerland. Have a look, for instance, here:
http://www.mit.edu/people/mkgray/growth/

Of course, feel free to ignore. After all, Switzerland is the most technologically advanced nation in the world, the source of all innovation, and where it doesn't innovate and it stagnates (and boy it does!), it is just because Switzerland is being cleverly cautious and knows better than everyone else (at least according to EnglishForum). It is a good attitude that will serve them well and keep their local economy buoyant by wishful-thinking locals when the rest of the world whizzes by in front of them so fast the Swiss can only see the blurring.
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