Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Encounter of the First Kind

Encounter  of  the  First  Kind

(  Contributor : Arvindakshan  V  )


My first encounter with PC

Mr A K Mandal was my boss and I was his Secretary, after PDJ moved to head SQR.  

Since I did not have much work, I went and told this to AKM.  He told me :

 “  Aravind, don’t ask for work in L&T, just look around and find work for yourself  ”.  

Looks this is L&T’s philosophy.

It was 1980-81 period, when department started getting their own PCs. 

Believe it or not, SCG got its first PC, which was an XT to be shared with Medical Division (which was in the project stage then) . 

Morning half was for SCG (STATIC CONTROL GROUP) and afternoon for Medical Division.

We had a GET named Mr. Satra.  He was given the task of preparing a programme for PWO (Powai Works Order) tracking.  I used to sit with him to learn what he was doing.  

Dbase used to be the software then which later changed to DbaseII, III, Foxbase and Foxpro.   I lost track after that.  

Satra did most of the work and then he resigned and went.  There was no one to take over from him and AKM asked me to continue.

I learned how to make small programmes, modify programmes, make reports, make structure, modify structure etc.  

Still remember the commands like, “Do while not end of file, enddo, endiff, go top, go bottom etc.”  

It was a thrill to run the programme and to see the report coming out of it.

One fine morning, when I started my PC,  I realized that my Dbase file got corrupted. There was no Antivirus then, I presume.  

I did not know how to retrieve it.  I went and talked to Mr. Shiroor and he promised that he will do something.  

On a Saturday morning, he called me to his office (DPS in PSW) and started working on my file.  I was sitting next to him not knowing what he is doing.  I controlled myself from dosing off.  And by 12 noon, he said,

 “Arvind, take your file” and my entire Dbase file was restored.

Here I want to emphasis the greatness of Mr Shiroor, who later became the Head of Infotech.

ps. Guruji may make some correction, if factually I am wrong somewhere, before it is put in the blog, if found suitable.


My Comments :

If I have not forgotten , we purchased 12 " IBM Compatible " PCs from Kirit Sheth of MINICOMP Computers , around 1981-82

Each cost us ( then ) , approx Rs 1 Lakh  ! ( 8182 Motherboard ? )

Online support consisted of Minicomp posting an engineer full time on our premises , for one whole year ! 

S K Prabhudesai and L D Parulekar , tried their best to train a few of us from PGM , on use of PC - without much success !

At about the same time , we also got the Mainframe ( Honeywell-Bull / DPS 7 ) from France and installed it in newly constructed Computer Centre 

It had separate hard-disk drive , capable of 200 MB ( removable , too ! )

One terminal was also installed in my cabin ( only to impress the visitors ! )

But I don't remember , it had any mouse  !

Since the hill on which the Computer Centre was built , was a heap of debris , ECC had to dig some 20 feet for the foundation ( to reach solid rock )

That pushed up the cost , far beyond the budget

When I went to Mr B G N Patel ( Director-Finance ) , for approval of revised budget , he remarked :

" Parekh ,

What are you putting into the foundation ? Gold ? "

BGNP also used to describe the key attributes of a Finance Manager , as :

" He is not there to win any popularity contest among the employees

  I will know that he is doing his job well , if I find that he is the most hated manager in L&T "



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