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The Spirit Cup and Other Recollections

posted Jan 7, 2015, 6:05 AM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Jan 15, 2015, 9:14 PM ]
On Jan 5, 2015, at 11:10 PM, Jeff Ogden, among other things, wrote:

See if anyone remembers much about the "spirit cup". I know that Andy and Ralph both were awarded the cup. I'm not sure what year the cup was first awarded, by whom, or who the other honorees were. And was there a physical cup or was this more of a virtual award?

On Jan 5, 2015, at 11:28 PM, Ralph Austin Sayle wrote:

The MTS Spirit Cup was a joke between Andy and I about who (ahem) had the most "spirit" at a Workshop.

My venture was at the UM 1976 Workshop when I forgot to have any cheese at the Wine & Cheese but I had a lot of wine.

Andy had a misadventure at the UNE Workshop [1978] where "the lamb exploded". Where you there Jeff at lunch the next day? when 4 of us were in an Italian restaurant? Three of us ordered Italian while Andy asked for ice cream...

On Jan 6, 2015, at 4:59 AM, Andrew Goodrich wrote:

The offending food for me was the night before that lunch was the mead at the medieval dinner. Charlie [Engle] should have won the cup at the Wayne State workshop [1979].


At 06:18 AM 1/07/15, Jeff Ogden wrote:

I wasn't at that lunch (UNE 1978), but I was at the medieval banquet the night before.  As I remember, the Mead gave a number of people some difficulties. 

I hadn't realized that the Spirit Cup was such an exclusive group.  I am honored to have known and worked with all of its distinguished members.  2016 will be the 40 anniversary of the establishment of the cup.  The Ann Arbor group would almost certainly be happy to host a celebration (no need for a reenactment, but it wouldn't be prohibited either).  Ralph, were you staying at the League, the Bell Tower, or somewhere else?


On Jan 15, 2015, at 4:52 PM, Ralph Sayle wrote:

There were 4 of us at that lunch in Newcastle and three were from UM. Wonder who the fourth was? I have no memory of the medieval banquet, just that we had them at Lumley Castle for the Durham workshops.

At the 1976 UM workshop, we were told that it was the 10th anniversary of MTS, that it started in 1966. So next year will be the 50th anniversary??

I have no memory of landing (at Detroit. I'm sure) or getting to Ann Arbor in 1976. We did stay at the Bell Tower Hotel and we were super impressed from the dorms at UBC and UQV. The meals and the meetings were held at the Michigan League... and that was even more impressive! My but that food was good and certainly not cafeteria food. In retrospect, no wonder some UM people were not impressed with the food at other workshops!

The Wine and Cheese party was held in the Bell Tower. I was quite awestruck at seeing all those people with famous UM names. You see, John Hogg enjoyed talking about his visits to Ann Arbor and he tended to enlarge the roles played by various UM staffers. In my excitement, I drank a lot of wine and forgot to eat the nibbles. So when I went to bed later, I found my sleep was quite disturbed so I went out for a late night (early morning) walk but forgot my glasses and got lost. I had to ask someone eventually for directions back to the Hotel. Thus my fame...

When I left the UBC Computing Centre, the one workshop proceedings I took (and still have) was the 1976 UM Workshop proceedings. That was an incredible workshop as there was so much on the table, so many good papers.

I attend the UM workshop on behalf of the UBC Communication Group so I was an outsider to all the UBC Systems Group was talking about. We had just released our UBC Front End, using the Newcastle Intertask. At the UM Workshop, Jeff convinced me to go home and start to rewrite my MTS side of the UBC FEP to use the tools written for the RM. So by the time of the 1978 UNE Workshop, the new MTS FEP side was up and using the Coding Conventions, Subtasking Monitor and the new UBC Intertask. Although the release of the RM was still a few years away, the tools were in use well before that dramatic day!

On Jan 15, 2015, at 7:09 PM, Jeff Ogden wrote:

The 1976 Ann Arbor workshop was my first workshop too. I suspect it was Steve's first as well. Perhaps Andy's too.

Work was started on MTS in 1966, but the S/360-67 didn't arrive or wasn't installed until early January 1967.  MTS was first made available to a few users that spring and virtual memory support was added by the fall.  So, in some sense it will be 50 years in 2016 and in another the 50th is probably 2017.  Turns out that the University of Michigan's 200th anniversary is in 2017.


[The Steve that I was referring to in the note above is Steve Burling and he informed me at dinner this eveing that he did not attend the 1976 workshop in Ann Arbor.  -Jeff]

On Jan 15, 2015, at 10:16 PM, Steve Burling wrote:

Definitely not my first; I didn't start at the Computing Center until January 1980, and my first workshop was UBC in (I think) 1981. That was the workshop where Ralph had just gotten his Alfa back, and took Gavin and me on a high-speed tour of the mansions in the UBC Endowment Lands, pointing out the (alleged) homes of John Hogg, Alan Ballard, etc. Naive youngster that I was, I believed him, and thought the UBC gang was exceedingly well paid.

-- Steve

On Jan 15, 2015, at 11:45 PM, Ralph Austin Sayle wrote:

I make lists... That workshop was 1980!

Yeah, those were the days, eh? ... Gavin told me you were gullible! 😉

I think I had just finished off the Environment Switch that year! Still working on the documentation...

On Jan 15, 2015, at 11:49 PM, Gavin Eadie wrote:

.. mine [first workshop], also!