Trivia (1340) : Symbols — C

Trivia (1340) : Symbols — C

(1) C is the 3rd letter of the English Alphabet.

(2) In the Roman Number System, C has the value 100.

(3) C may stand for Celsius (which was called Centigrade in the early days).

(4) C may stand for Capacitance.

(5) WC may stand for Word Count (a feature of some Word Processing Systems).

(6) WC may stand for Water Closet (Restroom, …)

(7) WCC may stand for World Council of Churches.

(8) RC may stand for Roman Catholic.

(9) RC may stand for Regional College. e.g. RC1, RC2, RC3

(10) CWS may stand for College World Series (Baseball)

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Uzin Bobby Myo Tun (A69) wrote :

The Recreation Center in the Rangoon University Main Campus was known to all as ‘RC’ in the 1960s.

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Trivia (1399) : Memories — UCC Departments in the early days

Trivia (1399) : Memories — UCC Departments in the early days

By Hla Min (Life Long Learner)

Departments At UCC In The Early Days

The early Departments and sub-departments at UCC include the following :

(a) Office Of The Director
The Office is used to hold meetings with Board of Directors & Advisers. It also provided service for the Experts including Dr. S. I. Saleeb (Project Director) and Professor Harry D. Huskey (GBNF)

(b) Administration
U Myint Aung (GBNF) was the Superintendent. He was healthy and passed away lately in his eighties. He was succeed by U San Win. He unfortunately suffered a stroke. There were several UDC (Upper Division Clerk) and LDC (Lower Division Clerk). Ko Ba Than Chein, Ko Than Aye, Ko Tun Myint, and Ko Khin Maung Lwin. There were several Peons. The four Sayagyis had a Peon each as their PA (Personal Assistant).

There were three Secretaries (for preparing reports and teaching materials). KLM (Daw Khin Lay Myint, GBNF), Bo Waing (U Win Myint), and KKS (Daw Khin Khin Su). All later made career changes. KLM later became an Admin Officer. Bo Waing became a Programmer and later worked (taught, translated …) at Winner Computer Group. KKS moved to Total (Oil Company owned by the French).

There were several Security Personnel (for the day, evening and night shifts). U Tun Kywe, an army Veteran, usually “guards” the entrance to the Computer Room (on the Ground Floor of the UCC Building). He also vets the visitors climbing up the stairs to meet the staff.

There were several Maintenance Personnel. They include Daw Ngwe Tin, Maung Myint, Aye Aye Myint, Hla .Hla Myint, and U Hla Pe.

There were a couple of Drivers. Sad to note that Saya Chit’s driver (who moonlighted as a Side Car Operator) was hit by a train at a railroad crossing. There were “volunteer” drivers including U Myint Aung, Ko Win Hlaing, and Ko Soe Myint Gyi.

(c) Systems Division
Saya Paing, as Systems Division Manager, managed Engineers headed by Saya TAG, Maintenance technicians headed by AM (U Aung Myint), System Programmers headed by Saya Zaw, and System Librarian.

I was a Hardware Engineer before becoming Senior Systems Programmer, Business Applications Manager (all at UCC), Lecturer at DCS (Department of Computer Science) and
Associate Professor of Software Technology at ICST (Institute of Computer Science and Technology).

Also included in Systems Division were Saya U Mg Mg Htay, U
Than Lwin, Rafi (Rafiul Ahad), U Tin Win, U Soe Win, KSM (Ko Soe Myint), KZ (Ko Khin Zaw), KMZ (Ko Khin Mg Zaw), Silver (Ko Ngwe Soe), Ko Mg Mg Tun, Ko Win Mg, Tin Tin Pyone.

Later Eng U Tin Win and Tin Tin Pyone moved to FRI (Forestry Reserve Inventory). Saya Zaw and U Than Lwin transferred to CSO (Central Statistical Organization). U Soe Win transferred to PTC. KMZ moved to Singapore and then to the US. Rafi moved to Thailand and then to the US. Silver moved to Singapore. Saya TAG, U Mg Mg Htay and Ko Mg Mg Tun moved to the US. Ko Win Mg moved to Australia. Not sure about Byte (U Myint Soe, Technician).

(d) Applications Division
Saya Myo, as Applications Division Manager, managed Application Programmers & Analysts for business applications, scientific & engineering applications. Later, the Applications Division was restructured in Business Applications Division (with Saya Myo as Manager) and Scientific Applications Division (with Saya Lay as Manager).

Note : Saya Paing subsequently managed both Systems Division and Operations Division.

Bo Shoke (U Mya Thein, GBNF) was the most vocal among the application programmers. Application Programmers include Ah Thay Lay (U Thein Oo), Mra (U Mra Tun), Kyein (U Kyaw Nyein, GBNF), Htaw Kyin (U Htin Kyaw), Saya Maung (U Tun Shwe), Japan Sayagyi (U Aung Hlaing), Joe Than (Dr. Soe Than), U Myint Oo, U Win Naing (GBNF), Ju Ju (Daw Tin May Lwin), Daw Thin Thin Aung, Judy (Daw Nwe Nwe Win), Ma Nge (Daw Nge Ma Ma Than, GBNF), Daw Than Than Tint, Daw Gilmour Hole, Boe (U Boe Ba Shan), Daw Hpyu Hpyu Aung, Gary (U Sein Myint Maung), and Ma Mu (Daw Khin Aye Mu).

(e) Operations Division
Saya Lay originally managed the Operations Division. After the restructuring, Saya Lay managed the Scientific Applications Division.The Operations Division was handed over to Saya Paing. Pauk Si (U Hla Min, GBNF) was CO (Chief Operator). There were several Operators. They include MMG (U Mg Mg Gyi), Ah Ba (U Maung Maung Lay), Ah Leong (U Kyaw Swar), Dobat Sayagyi (U Win Hlaing), Sunlun Kappiya (U Soe Myint, M72, GBNF), U Myint Swe, U Hla Aung, U Kyi Win, U Tun Kyi, U Tin Win, U Than Tun, and Charlie (U Myint Lwin, Burma Judo Champion).

Several later made career changes as Programmers and Teaching Staff. U Soe Myint retired as Pro-Rector.

In the early days, CO, MMG, Ah Leong, Dobat Sayagyi, Sunlun Kappiya … served as Shift Leaders. There were three Shifts. The Morning Shift was run for staff, students and general users. The Evening and Night Shifts were run for selected user departments. The Population Census Data Project had a high priority.

There were several operators for card punch, manual punches, punched card verifier, and sorter.

Some did double duty as Job Controllers. They include Daw Nyunt Nyunt Tin, Daw Thi Thi Aye, Daw Hla Hla Win (GBNF), Daw Win May Thaung (GBNF), Daw Kyu Kyu Lwin (GBNF), and Busibaung (Daw Khin Si Thaung). Several later changed their careers or went overseas.

There was also a Librarian in charge of the Magnetic Disks and Magnetic Tapes.

(f) Volunteers
Kudos to the many unsung heroes who volunteered for gratis or for a per Diem of Three Kyats and Fifteen Pyas. They worked for various divisions. Without them, the introduction of Computer Technology to Burma would not have been smooth and successful.

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U Aung Myint wrote :

Technician Ko Myint Soe( Bite) move to PTC.

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Trivia (1398) : Memories — UCC (Prolog)

Trivia (1398) : Memories — UCC (Prolog)

By Hla Min (Life Long Learner)

In the early days, there were no computers in Burma. IBM (International Business Machines) based in the USA and ICL (International Computers Limited) based in the UK had presence in Burma. Both companies were not ready to introduce computers to Burma. They were supposedly content with leasing
unit-record equipment (calculators, tabulators, …) using punched cards (which were “reused” as wrappers of “zee thee htokes”). The companies maintained the machines with their staff. U Aung Khin was the IBM representative in Burma. U Kyaw Tha was the ICL representative in Burma. They were highly paid compared to the Government employees. Due to the policies then in place, IBM might not have “incentives” to introduce computers and computing technology to Burma.

In the early sixties, Saw McCarthy Gyaw (Burma Railways) wanted to “upgrade” to an ICL computer, but the Coup d’etat in 1962 and subsequent restriction of foreign currency exchange (and budget planning rules) “effectively derailed” the idea of “computerization in Burma”.

In the mid sixties, Saya Chit (Dr. Chit Swe) was Head of the Mathematics Department at IE (Institute of Economics). Saya Chit proposed the need of a computer for teaching and research to Saya Nyi Nyi (Dr. Nyi Nyi, then Secretary [Deputy Minister] of Education). Saya Nyi Nyi suggested the scope to be “extended” for a computer to serve the staff and selected students of the Universities and Institutes. Thus, the UCC Project was conceived”. Saya Chit later became Professor at Mathematics at RASU. Saya offered space at the Mathematics Department for the early volunteers of the UCC Project. Saya later obtained permission to use Mandalay Hall for use by the UCC Project before the UCC Building could be completed in Thamaing College Campus.

Saya Chit served as the Founder/Director of UCC. He initiated the academic and training programs. He stressed the importance of technology transfer, leapfrogging technology, knowledge sharing (internally and externally), and challenging the staff and students to try their best. Saya Chit requested Saya Paing (U Soe Paing) to help design and implement the UCC project. Saya Chit also inquired the mother of Saya Myo (U Myo Min), who was working at IBM UK after completing his CA (Chartered Accountant) if Saya Myo would be interested to come back to Burma and help with the UCC project. Saya Paing “recruited” his friend Saya Lay (U Ko Ko Lay, GBNF) to help with the UCC project in general and with the UCC Building Design and Implementation in particular.

It took a long time for UCC up and running. UNDP would be the Funding Agency. UNESCO would be the Executing Agency.
Saya Paing’s articles can be downloaded from SCRIB-D.

Note : For several years, Saya Paing tried to recruit his top students — including my cousin U Thaung Lwin (EC66) — to help with the project and become the pioneer computer engineers.
U Thaung Lwin, who was “Top of his class”, received an offer to join IBM BURMA. It was Good News and Bad News. The Good News was that he was offered a reasonably high salary (based on the then salary of engineers joining the Government Departments). The Bad News was that he would have to wait a long time until the first computer was purchased and installed at the CSO Computer Section, He had to maintain the “leased” Unit Record Machines for several years.

Saya TAG (Dr. Tun Aung Gyaw, EC69) was the first and longest volunteer for the UCC Project. Saya Paing transferred from the Department of Electrical Engineering (EE) at RIT to UCC as Manager of the Systems Division. Saya Lay transferred from PWD to UCC. Saya Myo joined UCC. The three served as Managers for Systems, Operations, Applications (Scientific, Business …) .

I was fortunate enough to be a member of GENERATION ZERO along with my mentors and Saya TAG. Saya Paing left UCC in the eighties to pursue a career as Technical Adviser and Consultant for the UN projects in several countries. Saya has documented his experiences from the early States Scholarship in the USA to the UN assignments.

Since there are blanks to be filled in the history of UCC, DCS ICST (Institute of Computer Science and Technology) and UCSY (University of Computer Studies Yangon), several people asked me to take the challenge or at the very least motivate others to share their experience and journey regarding IT in Burma.
Relying on
(a) my memory, which is reasonably good but imperfect,
(b) my story telling skills which I inherited from my father, “THIN SAYA”, “MYIN SAYA”, and “KYAR SAYA”,
(c) my training in “Communication and Leadership” from Toastmasters International to become a DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), (d) my experience as a freelance writer, editor, translator, editor, coach, mentor
I have tried my best to prepare material in the form of readable chunks.
I am confident that other interested sayas and alumni will help enhance the document with photos, anecdotes, …

Trivia (1397) : Memories — Encyclopedia of AAFF

Trivia (1397) : Memories — Encyclopedia of AAFF

(1) The Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife was published by ABC-CLIO in 2011.

(2) It consists of three volumes.

(3) Burmese Americans are covered in Pages 127 to 178 of Volume One.

(4) Nine of my articles appear in the encyclopedia.

(5) The Editors decided to merge two of my articles with other authors. It resulted in an error introduced by my co-author. On page 150, he mentioned July 22 (instead of July 19) as Martyrs’ Day. The merged article unfortunately was not sent to me for review. The Editors promise to correct the error in subsequent editions.

(6) Folk tales (as told by Saya Dr. Htin Aung and Ludu U Hla) are part of the Folklore.

 

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Trivia (1396) : Memories — NLC

Trivia (1396) : Memories — NLC

(1) There is a NLC (National Language Center) at the University of Maryland (College Park).

(2) It used to provide free (or limited) access to Federal employees and eligible educators to study languages (e.g. French, Chinese, Arabic).

(3) For a number of years, it chose from among the languages used by minorities to add introductory level courses to its library.

(4) One year NLC chose to develop listening and reading comprehension for basic Burmese. NLC sent request to Burmese associations to help with the project.

(5) I was accepted to be the Language Advisor for the Burmese project.

(6) The listening comprehension consists of broadcasts (e.g. “Win Pe Lwai Eik”).

(7) The reading comprehension consists of short articles (e.g. Ayotha Pyinnya Wun U Po Kyar).

(8) Specific fonts and browsers were needed to read the script for the Listening and Reading Comprehension.

(9) An English translation is provided. My task was to ensure the quality (e.g. correctness of the translation).

(10) Exercises were provided.

(11) As a contributor to the project, I had access to LangNet.

(12) NLC no longer offers free access. Individuals and groups can subscribe to NLC’s courses for nominal fees.

Trivia (1395) : Language — Classification

Trivia (1395) : Language — Classification

(1) There are several ways to classify languages.

(2) In Computer Science and applications, a Programming Language is a language used to program (e.g. instruct) computers.

(3) In the early days, computer engineers and selected programmers have to program in Machine Language (with strings of Zeroes and Ones). They are due partly to the choice of Binary Number System as the basis of designing Arithmetic and Logic Unit inside the computer.

(4) On the ICL 1902S computer, we often have to use the 24 keys to enter short pieces of Machine Code. That is history.

(5) To bridge the human users and the computers, the next step was to use Assembly Languages such as (a) Simple/Symbolic Assembly Language (b) Macro Assembly Language.

A Macro Processor translates Macros (a well-defined group of Assembly Language instructions).

An Assembler translates a program in Assembly Language into Machine Language instructions.

(6) The development of the first 11 (or so) programming languages can be found in the first HOPL (History of Programming Languages).

(7) Currently, there are thousands of programming languages (some for academic purposes) and a limited number used for production.

(8) Over the years, the style of programming evolved. The list is not exclusive.

(a) Procedural programming (e.g. telling the computer system what to do, emphasis on the “verbs”)
(b) Non-procedural programming (e.g. telling the computer system what one wants)
(c) Object Oriented programming (e.g. emphasis on the “nouns”)
(d) Functional programming (e.g. based on “functions”)
(e) Logic programming (e.g. based on “Horn logic” and similar logic systems)
(f) Top down step wise development
(g) Bottom up & Middle out techniques
(h) AI programming

With each paradigm, there are several programming languages with known advantages and limitations.

(9) There is a theoretical model called “Turing Machine”, which is primitive but has the computational power of modern computers.

Alan Perlis, a pioneer Computer Scientist and Programming Language Designer, defined a “Turing Tar Pit, where everything is possible [to compute], but nothing is easy.”

Trivia (1394) : Language — Parts of Speech

Trivia (1394) : Language — Parts of Speech

(1) In our younger days, we were taught that there are eight parts of speech in the English language.

(2) A Noun is a name of a person, place, thing, or concept. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Proper noun (b) Common noun (c) Collective noun (d) Abstract noun.

(3) A verb usually describes an action or a process. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Transitive verb (b) Intransitive verb.

(4) Instead of repeating a noun several times, we may use Pronouns. A Pronoun stands for a Noun. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Person (b) Number of a Pronoun.

When we speak, the “first” person is the one who speaks. The “second” person is the one being spoken two. The “third” person is some other being referenced.

If there is only one person, we say it is singular. If there is more than one, we say it is plural.

In English, the term “You” may be both singular and plural.

(5) There are Modifiers. An Adjective usually modifies a Noun or Pronoun. An Adverb usually modifies a Verb.

(6) There are Connectors. A Conjunction (such as And or But) connects two parts of a Sentence (which is constructed using the parts of speech, and makes “complete sense”.) A Preposition adds information such as position (e.g. in, on, upon, under) and time (e.g. before, after).

(7) There are words to express Mood (e.g. surprise). They are also called Exclamation or an Interjection.

(8) There are two techniques : Synthesis (combining the parts of speech) and Analysis (breaking down into the parts of speech).

(9) I was surprised when I first learned that the Pali language has only four parts of speech.