UCC

Universities’ Computer Center (3)

Compilation of Memories of UCC (16) to (26).

Memories of UCC (16)

Dr. San Tint (External Examiner, GBNF)

  • Graduated in 1961
  • Joined the EE (Electrical Engineering) Department as Assistant Lecturer.
  • When EE Department formally split into EC and EP Departments, he became Professor of EC (Electrical Communications AKA Electronics Engineering).
  • Staunch supporter of the UCC Project.
  • Served as External Examiner at UCC.
  • Played on the RIT Saya Soccer team with Saya Paing, Saya Dr. Tin Win (M62), and Saya U Tin Maung Nyunt.
  • Continued to teach at RIT after retirement.
  • Suffered stroke and his right hand was paralyzed.
    Practiced writing with his left hand hoping that he will recover and continue teaching.
  • Spent four decades (or so) teaching and passing the torch to the younger generation.
  • Ko Hlaing Myint, Saya’s nephew, was with Saya in Saya’s final days.

Memories of UCC (17)

U Tin Swe (Power User, GBNF)

  • Was wrongly called as U Tint Swe, U Tin Shwe and U Tin Shwe Gyi.
  • Correct name is U Tin Swe.
  • Member of the Prome Hall Football (Soccer) team which won the Inter-Hall Soccer Tournament for two consecutive years.
  • Graduated in 1953.
  • Joined the Electrical Engineering Department as Assistant Lecturer.
  • Studied for MS at the University of Michigan.
  • Upon his return, Saya became a Lecturer.
  • Power User at UCC.
  • Supervised U Aung Kyaw Pe (EP69) for his Master’s thesis.
  • Worked with Power Distribution & Analysis programs.
  • Collaborated with his former students including Dr. San Oo (EP67).
  • In the early days, there were few Professorships.
  • Passed away before the creation of separate EC (Electrical Communications) and EP (Electrical Power) Departments.

Memories of UCC (18)

Dr. Kyaw Thein (GBNF)

  • Retired Rector, ICST
  • Mentioned at the 5th ICST/UCSY Acariya Pu ZawPwe in 2018 that I was Generation Zero of UCC, Bo Htay was Generation One, and he was Generation Two. 
  • Was a fledgling tutor in the Mathematics Department in 1963 when we entered I.Sc. (A) class at Leik Khone.
  • Top student in his Honors Class (1958 – 1962).
  • Held Tutorial for the topics taught by Saya U Khin Zaw, Saya Choudry and Sayama Daw Khin Ma Ma.
  • Encouraged me.
    I was top among Science Option students of I.Sc. (A).
  • We crossed our paths again when Saya U Tun Aung Gyaw, U Soe Win and I visited Southampton University to see Saya U Soe Paing and U Aung Zaw.
    He was doing his Ph.D in Mathematics specializing on Differentiable Manifold (and related topics).
    He and U Aung Zaw joined us to see Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, and Safari (with wild animals roaming).
  • As Saya Chit’s assistant and general hand, I worked on several projects with him and several other Mathematics sayas.
  • Became Principal of Sittwe College.
  • Succeeded Saya Dr. Tin Maung as Rector of ICST.

U Soe Win

  • Graduated with Electrical Communications in 1970.
  • Joined UCC as Engineer.
  • Sent to UK for ICL training and to US for PDP training.
  • He and his team implemented the Burmese font for the Calcomp graph plotter.
  • Father : U Thein Maung (“Htin Lin”, winner of National Literary Award)
  • Elder brother : U Soe Myint (Chief Editor of several publications, GBNF) is the father of Daw Khin Khin Latt (KMZ’s spouse).
  • Younger brothers : U Kyaw Zaw (EC71, GBNF) and U Khin Zaw (KZ).
  • Transferred to PTC.
  • After retirement, he and his spouse did business (e.g. private tuition school, lodging) in Mawlamyaing (Moulmein).

Memories of UCC (19)

40th Anniversary Of UCC

  • The “40th Anniversary of UCC” was the Reunion of Staff, Teachers (Past and Present) and Students.
  • Daw Khin Lay Myint (former Secretary and Admin Officer, GBNF) and the Maintenance Crew : Daw Ngwe Tin, Aye Aye Myint, Hla Hla Myint and Maung Myint were among the attendees.
  • Saya Dr. Tin Maung (GBNF) was represented by Sayagadaw and Saya’s daughter.
  • There was fun and laughter, music and dances, and good old memories.

U Soe Myint (GBNF)

  • Graduated with Mechanical Engineering in 1972.
  • Joined UCC as Operator.
  • Served as Shift Lead
  • Expert in Mechanical Drawing and AutoCAD
  • Retired as Pro-Rector of ICST.
  • Known as Sunlun Kappiya and Soe Myint Gyi
  • Came to see me during my visit and shared his knowledge about U Lokanatha and Sayadaw’s financial support to buy the land for Kaba Aye Sun Lun Gu Kyaung.
  • Gave me a “Chone Hte” (blanket for monk).
  • On the fateful day, he made two trips to the Kaba Aye Sunlun Gu Kyaung monastery, because he forgot his donation on his first trip. He also visited his nephew and niece who need dialysis. May be because of his karma or because of the trips he tool that day, he passed away around 3 AM.
  • Elder sister : Tekkatho Shwe Yi Win (spouse of Saya Dr. Khin Maung Win (Mathematics), mother of Mg Mg Win (Maung Yit) and Mi Mi Win (Junior Win)).

Memories of UCC (20)

Names

  • Saya Chit (Dr. Chit Swe, GBNF)
  • Saya Paing (U Soe Paing)
  • Saya Myo (U Myo Min)
  • Saya Lay (U Ko Ko Lay, GBNF)
  • Saya DTM (Dr. Tin Maung, GBNF)
  • Saya Thein (Dr. Kyaw Thein, GBNF)
  • Saya Pyke (Dr. Pyke Tin)
  • Saya Zaw (U Aung Zaw)
  • Saya Tag (Dr. Tun Aung Gyaw)
  • Bo Shoke (U Mya Thein, GBNF)
  • Ah Thay Lay (U Thein Oo)
  • Pauk Si (Chief Operator U Hla Min)
  • Bo Htay (Dr. Mg Mg Htay)
  • KMZ (U Khin Mg Zaw)
  • Kyein (U Kyaw Nyein, GBNF)
  • MMG (U Maung Maung Gyi)
  • Mra (U Mra Tun)
  • Ah Leong (U Kyaw Zwar)
  • Ah Ba (U Mg Mg Lay)
  • Dobat Sayagyi (U Win Hlaing)
  • Soe Myint Gyi or Sunlun Kappiya (U Soe Myint, GBNF)
  • Charlie (U Myint Lwin)
  • Joe Thein (U Soe Thein, GBNF)
  • Joe Than (Dr. Soe Than)
  • Judy (Daw Nwe Nwe Win)
  • Ma Nge (Daw Nge Ma Ma Than, GBNF)
  • Japan Sayagyi (U Aung Hlaing)
  • Ju Ju (Daw Tin May Lwin)
  • Bei Gyi (U Sein Myint)
  • Sin Gyi (Daw Sao Mon Sint)
  • Sammy (U San Myint Thane)
  • Boe (U Boe Ba Shan)
  • Ma Phyu (Daw Phyu Phyu Win)
  • Jaws (U Kyaw Zwa Than)
  • K-cube (Daw Khin Khin Kyu)
  • KLM (Daw Khin Lay Myint. GBNF)
  • KSM (U Soe Myint (Systems))
  • Gary (U Sein Myint Maung)
  • Mu Mu (Daw Khin Aye Mu)
  • AM (U Aung Myint)
  • Silver (U Ngwe Soe)
  • Byte (U Myint Soe)
  • KZ (U Khin Zaw)
  • Bo Waing (U Win Myint (1))
  • Ah Shay Gyi (U Tin Ohn)
  • Toe Toe (Daw Khin Toe Nyein, GBNF)
  • Ohn Thee (U Ohn Thwin, GBNF)

Terms

  • A : Architecture
  • ABAC : Assumption Business And Accounting College
  • AI : Artificial Intelligence
  • AKA : Also Known As
  • BRS : Boundary Road School
  • BS : Bachelor of Science
  • BSCE : BS in Civil Engineering
  • BSEE : BS in Electrical Engineering
  • CHM : Computer History Museum
  • CO : Chief Operator
  • COBOL : Common Business Oriented Language
  • CS : Computer Science
  • CSE : Computer Science Education
  • CSL : Control And Simulation Language
  • CSO : Central Statistical Organization
  • CT : Computer Technology
  • CTK : Children’s Treasury of Knowledge
  • DCS : Department Of Computer Science
  • DEC : Digital Equipment Corporation
  • EC : Electrical Communications
  • EE : Electrical Engineering
  • EP : Electrical Power
  • FILAN : File Analysis
  • FORTRAN : Formula Translator
  • GBNF : Gone But Not Forgotten
  • GEORGE : General Organizational Environment
  • GPCP : General Purpose Contouring Package
  • IBM : International Business Machines
  • ICT : International Calculators And Tabulators
  • ICL : International Computers Limited
  • ICL ETC : ICL Engineers’ Training Center
  • ICST : Institute Of Computer Science And Technology
  • ILA : Intelligence Level Aggregate
  • IP : Internet Protoocol (or) Intellectual Property
  • IT : Information Technology
  • M : Mechanical
  • MEHS : Methodist English High School
  • MIT : Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
  • MS : Master of Science
  • MSCE: MS in Civil Engineering
  • MSEE : MS in Electrical Engineering
  • NA : Not Applicable
  • OS : Operating System
  • PBRS : Private Boundary Road School
  • Ph.D : Doctorate In Philosophy
  • PLAN : Programming Language For Nineteen Hundred
  • PPBRS : Private Primary Boundary Road School
  • PZP : Pu Zaw Pwe
  • RASU : Rangoon Arts And Science University
  • RU : Rangoon University
  • RUBC : Rangoon University Boat Club
  • RUESU : Rangoon University Engineering Students’ Union
  • SPHS : St. Paul’s High School
  • SPZP : Saya Pu Zaw Pwe
  • TTC : Teachers Training College
  • UBARI : Union of Burma Applied Research Institute
  • UCC : Universities’ Computer Center
  • UCSY : University Of Computer Studies, Yangon
  • UN : United Nations
  • UNDP : United Nations Development Program
  • UNESCO : UN Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization
  • UNV : United Nations Volunteer

Memories of UCC (21)

Win Myint

There were three people at UCC named Win Myint.

Win Myint (1)

  • AKA Bo Waing and U Win Myint Gyi
  • High School Luyechun (Outstanding student) from Myeik (Mergui).
  • Was caught off guard when the then new Education System used the controversial ILA (Intelligence Level Aggregate) to determine the admission to the Universities and Institutes.
    Had to study Philosophy along with others who had “low” ILA scores.
  • Instead of using the marks directly, the ILA uses a “distribution” of the marks for each subject and gives a score. The ILA system helped students with “balanced” marks. By having marks in the “top tier” for each subject, a student can get reasonably good score. But a student with “low” marks in one or two subjects (e.g. Burmese and English) would be penalized by the ILA system.
  • Philosophy is derived from Phil (love of) and Sophy (Wisdom).
    The highest degree is called Ph.D (Doctorate of Philosophy).
    It is ironic that students with “low” ILA scores were “forced” to major in Philosophy.
  • Bo Waing is an exception.
    He was determined to pursue a challenging career.
    Since he wanted to learn and work with computers, he enhanced his typing skills for both English and Burmese.
    It was a requirement for the position of Secretary at the newly formed UCC.
  • Grapevine says that Bo Waing’s interview at PSC (Public Services Commission) was fast and smooth. When he said, “I am Bet Thar (or similar meaning ‘I am from Beik (Mergui)’, the PSC Chairman who was from Beik “validated” Bo Waing’s appointment as Secretary.
  • Bo Waing not only typed very fast, but he learned Computer Science quickly and proficiently.
    He became a programmer.
    Later Bo Waing joined Winner Computer Group.
    Kudos to Bo Waing for his tenacity and professionalism.

Win Myint (2)

  • Majored in Mathematics and received Masters.
  • Worked at SLR (Surveyor of Lan Records) Department, before serving as an Applications Programmer at UCC. 
  • Worked overseas (initially as a UNV [United Nations Volunteer]) and later as a consultant.

Win Myint (3)

  • Operated the cyclostyle (Gestener).
  • The UCC lecture guides were printed mostly on Sittaung (Sittang) paper and some on the Ye Ni paper.

Notes

Some may remember “Introduction to Computers”, “Introduction to Computer Programming”, and the various User Guides prepared by Saya U Soe Paing, Saya U Aung Zaw and me.

Memories of UCC (22)

International Business Machines (IBM)

  • IBM designed and implemented System/360.
    360 supposedly refers to the number of degrees in a circle
  • It uses the same “architecture” with a common “instruction set”.
  • The “high end” models implement the instruction set using the “best available” hardware.
  • The “low end” models implement the instruction set using firmware.
  • George Blauuw and Frederick Brooks Jr. explain the then “new” concepts (architecture, implementation, realization …) in their reference guides.
  • Brooks led the development of both the computer systems S/360 and the operating system OS/360. He wrote a book, “The Mythical Man Month” (which became a classic).
  • I attended a lecture at CHM (Computer History Museum) and requested some members of the S/360 development team to autograph the S/360 reference card.

System/370

  • IBM introduced System/370 in the 1970’s.
  • Gene Amdahl, Architect for System/370, left IBM to form his company and produced Amdahl 470, which is “compatible” with System/370 and supposedly “better” than System/370.

Bidding For UCC Project

  • IBM was among the four computer companies that submitted tender for the UCC Project.
  • It submitted a model of S/360.
  • ICL (International Computers Limited) won the tender.

Memories of UCC (23)

International Computers Limited (ICL)

ICT (International Calculators and Tabulators) evolved into ICL (International Computers Limited).

ICL 1900 Series

  • ICL 1900 series cover a range of machines : ICL 1901 to ICL 1907.
  • The basic machines have “A” in the name, e.g. ICL 1901A.
  • The enhanced machines have “S” in the name, e.g. ICL 1902S (the one used at UCC).

Computer And Peripherals

  • The following configuration was used at UCC.
  • Some upgrades were made using the budget for “Population Census Data Processing” Project.
  • ICL 1902S computer with 2.5 D (dimensional) core memory and a console typewriter
  • Two ICL 2101 Card Readers
  • ICL 1933 Line Printer
  • Two ICL 2802 EDS (Exchangeable Disk Store)
  • Each controller controls two EDS 8 disks
  • Four ICL 2506 Magnetic Tape 9 track NRZI (Non Return to Zero Inverted)

The computer has piano-like keys for “bootstrapping” and for “testing”.

Some ICL computers use a 5-track Paper Tape Reader. There are pros and cons for using “punched cards” versus “punched paper tape”. Punched cards were used in the early looms and in the Hollerith Machines used for processing US Population Census Data. Hollerith founded a company, which evolved into IBM. Punched paper tape were used in the early transmission systems.

A flat bed CalComp Graph Plotter was added.

Training

Three UCC engineers underwent training at the ICL ETC (ICL Engineering Training Center) in Letchworth, United Kingdom.

ICL provided a “resident” engineer to maintain the computer system and a “resident” programmer/analyst to guide the system programmers and selected application programmers. CalComp provided an on-site training for the graph plotter. Details can be found in the computer articles published by Saya U SoePaing.

Memories of UCC (24)

Operating System For ICL 1900 Series

ICL 1900 series use GEORGE (General Organization Environment) O/S Operating System.

ICL1902S uses GEORGE-2.

Some other computers use GEORGE-3.

Software Packages

ICL1902S comes with several software packages.

Saya Zaw and team install the software and the patches (during the period reserved for them).

PLAN (Programming Language for Nineteen hundred series) is the Assembly Language.

FORTRAN (Formula Translator) and COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) are the programming languages used for scientific computing and business applications.

The language compilers detect for syntax and semantic errors and output a form that can be read by a “consolidator” or “linking loader”.

There are application software packages.

  • FILAN (File Analysis) is used for the processing of Population Census data.
  • CSL (Control and Simulation Language) is available for Discrete Event Simulation.
  • GPCP (General Purpose Contouring Package)

Details can be provided by Saya U Soe Paing, Saya U Aung Zaw, U Maung Maung Htay, and U Soe Myint (KSM).

Memories of UCC (25)

Analogy : Teach Fishing Rather Than Give Fish

To help “speed up” the computerization in Burma, Saya Chit mandated the “training and knowledge transfer” component in the UCC project. The component was awarded to Professor Harry D. Huskey (Past ACM President), who taught at University of California Berkeley (UCB) and University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). Dr, Huskey is a computer pioneer, ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) Fellow, and CHM (Computer History Museum) Fellow. Details can be found in Wikipedia, ACM and CHM.

Dr. Huskey persuaded several top Computer Scientists and Educators to transfer their knowledge and expertise to UCC staff and students.

Learning From The Pioneers And Gurus

The following is a partial list of the experts provided by Dr. Huskey.

Professor Anthony Ralston (SUNY Buffalo & Past President of ACM) lectured on “Structured Programming” , “Structured FORTRAN) …

Professor Peter Wegner (Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island) lectured on “Formal Languages and Automata Theory” …

Dr. Malcolm P. Atkinson (Cambridge University Mathematics & Computer Lab) taught “Programming Languages”, “Data Structures”, …

Professor Forman Acton (Princeton University) lectured using his book, “Programs that almost work” with emphasis on Error Analysis

Professor Michael Stonebraker (UC Berkeley) lectured on RDBMS (Relational DataBase Management System) in general and INGRES (an early language for RDBMS) in particular. Michael Stonebraker, Eugene Wong and Gerald Held designed and implemented INGRES at UCB. They went on to found INGRES and several other DB companies. Stonebraker is currently affiliated with MIT. Stonebraker won the prestigious ACM Turing Award (“Nobel Prize” for Computer Professionals) a few years ago.

Impact Of The Lectures And Courses

Dr. Htay Lwin Nyo, Sai Aung Thurein, JAWS (Ko Kyaw Zwar Than), BEI GYI (Ko Sein Myint), … implemented projects (based on INGRES and other Databases) on ICL 1902S under the supervision of Saya Paing and several other sayas.

Memories of UCC (26)

Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)

Ken Olson and several other MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) alumni founded DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation). Grape vine says that there was a “protocol” in government departments to “purchase computer”. In order to circumvent that, DEC named their mini-computers as PDP (Programmable Digital Processors). CHM (Computer History Museum) has a PDP-1 on display. Retired DEC engineers “restored” a PDP-1. The exhibit has demos : one for play a “primitive” Space War game, another for “playing” music.


PDP-8 is a 12-bit mini-computer used in many universities of that period.

PDP-11 is a 16-bit mini-computer (that was acquired by UCC).

VT-101 (or similar) terminals became the “new” mode of entering and running programs.

DEC later introduced VAX (Virtual Address eXtended) series.

Gordon Bell was the VAX architect and co-author of the book using CMS (Computer Memory System) and “formal” methods to describe and evaluate computer systems. The artifacts that he collected for the book project were displayed in DEC as BCM (Boston Computer Museum) with Gwen Bell as the Curator. It later became CHM (Computer History Museum) in Mountain View, California.

Docent for CHM

I volunteered as a Docent for CHM for a couple of years. i had to explain to visitors about the early computers (including DEC and VAX machines). A few wanted to know “What is Silicon Valley?” and “What makes SV special?”

Route 66

Some early Computer and Technology companies were founded on or near Route 66 in Boston, Massachusetts. Some factors and people (William Shockley, Frederick Terman) contributed to the birth of “Silicon Valley” in California instead of Massachusetts (which has MIT and Harvard).

Categories: UCC

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