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JB Enterprises - Johan Bezem

Interim Management & Consulting

Unexpected references

Over the years, I've found myself referenced somewhere unexpected on the Internet. Not my own website, or on LinkedIn or some other professional or social media site; no, someone assumed to be unknown to me has used my name. A blast from the past to me. For two of those references I have written down small background stories. Here.

A BASIC compiler for the ZX Spectrum

Dates have become a little hazy, but in 1983 I joined the computer club at the Technische Hogeschool Eindhoven, the "Micro Computer Gebruikers Vereniging Stack". I was not a founding member, but quite early. The reason for me to join was an exercise in "Software Engineering", to create a compiler for the ZX Spectrum microcomputer, together with 20 or so students.

I am not even sure what the result has become, only that it was not the success we had all hoped for. And since we even had created some links into the commercial market, specifically to the publisher Aackosoft, we were nudged, if not forced, to complete the compiler.

Thus a team of three students, Lucas Witkam, Kees Färber and myself got together with the remaining results of the software engineering experiment, and worked together in Lucas' student home to make a true product out of it.

I have forgotten many of the details, and probably that's a good thing, but IIRC Kees did mostly the graphics and other BASIC commands, Lucas was responsible for the operational parts, and I did the expression evaluation.

Early in 1984 it became clear that we were still not on track for the schedule Aackosoft was planning with, so we were invited for a hackathon (before the word existed) in their offices in Leiden over the long Easter weekend. Over those days, we finished the compiler.

We called the compiler the "Trisom Compiler", finished by a threesome of people, hence the name. In the end we even received a little bit of money. From a photo of the package (here) the compiler was sold for about Hfl 79,50 in 1984, around 85 Euros today.

An MSX network for schools

In January 2012 I receive an email from a totally unknown person with a french-sounding name: "Sorry to bother you , but I recently bought a old msx device called Webwork , while opening the rom I realized that you ve work on it." with a few questions.
So I did some research before answering, you never know, and found a fascinating thread on a french forum site "MSX Village ": Someone had received a strange MSX cartridge for Christmas, and that was exactly the cartridge I designed and programmed during my internship in 1985 in Vienna!
I sent him an enthousiastic reply back, included a brief overview of the modus operandi, and became a (temporary) member of the forum (MSXOldie), which resulted in a few messages back and forth. If you can understand a little french, click the link above.
Unfortunately for the OP "TheWhipMaster" the MSX catridge by itself is quite useless, as he quoted my email.
In December 2021 a brief description was added to the "msx.org wiki", probably using data disclosed in the french forum.

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