Logo: TUG TORONTO USERS GROUP for Midrange Systems
e -server magazine

January 1997: Volume 12, Number 3

 Kahlil Barsoum

October Special


By Léo Lefebvre

et a meeting and they will come," said the voice. We did, and more than 500 of you came. IBM and your TUG organization teamed up last fall (Oct. 17, 1996) to prepare for an extraordinary meeting featuring the President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM Canada Ltd., Khalil Barsoum, (photo at right); and the architect of the most important tool of your life – the AS/400 computer, Dr. Frank Soltis, (photo below). And both speakers wore TUG's colors!

In the first part of the meeting, Mr. Barsoum discussed the key roles IBM has played in the past, is currently playing and will continue to play in the future, in the sensational world of technologies. In enumerating some of IBM successes, he took time to remind us of the important role IBM had played in the last few Olympic games and especially the ones in Atlanta last summer; and why they had succeeded in convincing the Olympic committee that they should come back for the next games. To prove that he endorses the efforts your beloved TUG is making in order to bring you the best a user group can, Mr. Barsoum did not hesitate to wear TUG's colors. A TUG jacket was presented to him which he immediately put on in front of everybody (see pictures).

 Dr. Frank Soltis After a brief break, we were treated to a presentation by Dr. Frank Soltis. At his prior visit, Dr. Soltis admitted that his sons were getting bread makers when they were moving out of the family house to attend college. (This was after our Marketing Director, Neil Andrus had made fun of people who bought silly gadgets like bread makers - during his introduction at that meeting.) For a little nostalgia, Neil came back this time to conduct a door-prize draw for a bread maker. Rick.... was the winner (Hey Rick: how about baking us some loaves of bread for our next meeting?) When the stage was turned over to Dr. Frank Soltis, he delivered an outstanding speech, as usual. (I say "as usual" because it was not the first time I had had the pleasure of listening to him – we are both regulars at COMMON, and he spoke during a prior visit to TUG.)

One thing we can say about Frank is that he knows his material so well that his meeting preparations are fairly short (by his own admission). In fact, he rarely prepares for a meeting. He just thinks about a few subjects, gets in front of the audience and starts talking. Yet his presentations are always fantastic!

 Kahlil Barsoum wearing the TUG colours Some of the subjects he touched on at this meeting are: the new entry level RISC powered AS/400 and suggestions for its new name; Java on the AS/400; the upcoming relatively easy access to the Internet through your television set, and the new IBM network station (a.k.a. "thin client"), which was demonstrated in the hotel lobby, before the start of the meeting. Again, when you come to see Dr. Frank Soltis, you cannot be wrong. You will enjoy the time spent with him. When you add to that, a person like Khalil Barsoum, you can only be thankful for the marvelous evening you had! And by the way, now Dr. Soltis is also wearing a TUG jacket these days! T < G