Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Quick Trip to Joburg

After I wrote my Mainframe History blog , I received an invitation to present at a 50th Anniversary event in Johannesburg. The event was a lot of fun, and I got to meet a heap of great people and fellow mainframe enthusiasts. I created a presentation based on that blog and have subsequently created a video from it. 

A couple of notes:

  • The first 6 minutes is a collage of mainframe clips that I've found on YouTube. The attribution is shown at the end of the collage
  • The presentation proper contains images whose attributions I am still compiling and will add as soon as I have them all
I only got to spend a few days in Johannesburg but thanks to my host, Klaus Bergmann, I was able to play tourist for a day.

We did the "Big Red Bus" tour of the city. For someone who's never been to a given city, I like these types of tours (for example, San Diego's and Washington DC's trolley tours) as you get to see an assortment of things although not in any depth. However, they do you give you ideas of places you'd like to revisit in detail.

I wasn't able to visit the Apartheid Museum as it's recommended that you spend several hours there. I did visit the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto which was very powerful and moving. 

There was so much in Joburg that reminded me of Australia: rugby fields, netball courts, cricket on the TV, and use of the word "Tuckshop". So in that respect it felt familiar. However, given its history and native cultures, it was very different.

As a true sports' fan I did get to make a pilgrimage to The Wanderers cricket ground (at least its outside), the World Cup soccer stadium, and a quick glimpse of Ellis Park.

Another nice bonus of being in South Africa was trying some of the local wines. I had never had Pinotage before and quite enjoyed the ones my hosts had recommended. 

One last thing: I really liked the Hotel I was staying at: Radisson Blu Gautrain. They certainly understood the mindset of the sports' fan as you can see by the view from the shower! 

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