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The TPC of Yore     A Short History: Part 1

Compiled and edited by David Bernat from material by Alan (The Rabbi) DuBoff, with input from David Parry, Sigi Rindler, Louise Bremner, and Jim Tittsler

The Apple II came out in '78, and it was the computer that would put meaning into "personal computer". Prior to the Apple, the CP/M computers (which were still around moving into the '80s) were never able to penetrate the "personal" space.

At the same time, Japan wasn't the mega-child of the world economy yet, but they had paved the road during the '70s, when IMO, "made in Japan" was actually accepted. Before the '70s, "made in Japan" was not something that most people wanted to buy in the US.

When the IBM PC came out in '81, many of the financial people knew that the world was going to change and adapt to this technology, specifically in the way of "business". IBM's ads were good too, IMO, the old Charlie Chaplin ads, the public loved it. The founders of the TPC were kinda comprised of finance whiz types and technical types. The club started shortly after the IBM PC came out.

It was not just the TPC founders, but the majority of the early members, who were responsible for the club being the success that it was and continuing on to this day. Most of the members were fairly well to do folks who were living in Japan and working for large corporations, living in luxurious conditions compared to me, and were really established. Many of them knew each other because they belonged to the American Club, Foreign Correspondents Club, or other prestigious clubs where foreigners would hang out in Japan.

Gordon Nebecker was the first president. Gordon always wore a three-piece suit, was a finance whiz for one of the large banks. I can't remember if he worked for Security Pacific or not; the Captain definitely did (and I did for 5 years in Los Angeles, really where I honed my computer skills). The first meeting was held in Gordon's living room, prior to me joining the TPC.

Stephen Campbell, a.k.a. the Captain. Can't ever say too many good things about the Captain. Got his nickname from me because when I would go to his house, his computer had all kinds of drives hanging out of it, printer cables, was like the Starship expected Apple II computers to be like that with ribbon cables hanging out, but the Captain used an IBM. He loved to tinker with hardware, and me too! He had one of the first hard disks that I saw, it was a 5 meg 5.25" full height drive that cost US $2000 back then. He loved PC Write, that was his favorite word processor which was shareware as I recall. Great program, and many people used it to program and do word processing (but Wordstar was the standard of course). This man was the real catalyst behind the TPC, and if the Captain wouldn't have stepped up to the plate and run the club, it could have not made it. I don't know anyone that didn't like this man, and he was like my own father to me when I lived in Japan. He bought me a book by Stephen Levy, The Hackers to show me that I was actually "one of them". He lived in the Homat President, across from the Hotel Okura, not a shabby place to live I might add...with a live-in cook/housekeeper from Thailand. Great family (since divorced though, new girlfriend a couple years ago and moving to Florida last we spoke).

I'm not sure who the other original founders were, but I think there was a guy named Bob Greene. Bob worked for Intel, and he was a good friend of the Captain. I talked to Bob on the phone a couple times, once when I moved back to the States, and another when I moved to Silicon Valley (Bob used to live in Milpitas).

I was the first sysop, and ran the BBS for about 2 years at least, in the closet of my apartment in Nishi- Shinjuku. I sold a lot of modems, some Taiwanese modems (1200 or 2400 baud), but I didn't bring in very many as the quality was never very good. I sold mostly Hayes and US Robotics. Most everyone used Epson CP/30 acoustic couplers, and upgraded to Hayes 1200s when the price point was good enough.

Wick Smith, I think was originally a freelance writer and then got a job with J. Walter Thompson in advertising and his career blossomed from there. J. Walter Thompson did the IBM advertising in Japan, and Wick got me my job with IBM APG, where I worked the Business Shows in Harumi, Osaka, etc, which would turn into a long relationship in various facets of my career. Wick was a definite part of the glue that held the club together. Wick was the first newsletter editor, but wasn't at the "living room meeting", and Wick and the Captain would heckle each other about that. Great guy who contributed a lot of his time to doing newsletters for quite a number of years. I heard that Wick later moved to NY after a transfer to Hong Kong. The Captain told me that I believe.

Stuart Luppescu could have been the first librarian. Many people owe Stuart a great deal, because he was the one who was responsible for making floppies of public domain, freeware, shareware, whatever they called it...I like to think of it as freely available software (that name changes over time, it seems). I'm sure he would remember me. I was always promoting for people to download the software online and get modems, the future was apparent, and I can not give enough credit to Stuart, that's a lousy and unforgiving job. [Jim Tittsler: Stuart Luppescu is an occasional contributor on the Tokyo Linux Users Group mailing list.]

Woody Hodgson is still doing executive recruiting in Japan or at least was until a year or so ago. He's a great guy, he wasn't involved in the TPC as much in those days, but would always be around for some of the big meetings. Woody did hang out at the TWICS meetings that met on some Saturday of the month. Wonderful person, tried to place me in some jobs but it never panned out.

Patrick Hochner was very active in the early days, but quit by 1990. Me and my wife had dinner with Patrick and his wife at their house in Tachikawa once when I visited Japan, could have been around '92 or so. He was planning on trying to cash out of Japan and head back to France and buy a castle (so he said). I hope he got some cash out of there before the economy collapsed. Great guy, like most others in the TPC. [Louise Bremner: He's now working in California (did he say he was living in Los Angeles, or was I confused?), but comes back to Tokyo regularly. I saw him several weeks ago--even have pictures of him playing Go (another shock, for those who know he stopped playing years ago...).] [Patrick Hochner moved out of translation into software contracts. He was handling Apogee and 3D Realms games and some other products.]

Burt Bloom, freelance writer and good friend of Wick Smith. Both Wick and Burt had Apricot computers that they used Word Perfect on. Later they would switch to IBM computers, but they would run Word Perfect on them as well. The Apricot computers were very cool, one of the first black computers that I had seen (Kaypro computers were black also, I had a Kaypro laptop...still do somewhere).

Don Hooton, worked for IBM...the old IBM. Great guy that used Lotus 123 a lot, and previously programmed in assembler on the mainframe, but since dropped that and didn't want to program at all anymore, but loved to use his computer. Certainly belonged to the American Club, because he treated me to lunch there on several occasions. Was almost retired when I left.

Dick Talley, worked for Hughes Aircraft on some type of secret project that he could never talk about. Lived at the Homat over in Roppongi (I think the Imperial). Really nice wife, who had a grand piano in their living room. She used to cook me escargot and would have it if I went over to help Dick out with his computer. They also took me over to the Officer's Club to eat on some occasions, which was pretty fancy...

Stovey Brown and another guy named Doug at IBM APG. I used to love and go over to the glass/plastic pool that Bob Dylan did a music video at during the '80s, it was located at a hotel close to the APG building. These guys gave me the first copy of RBBS, the original software the TPC ran on, and could have been what it was running when I gave it to Maynard. I switched over to a commercial BBS package called PC Board, but I don't think that was until after I got back to the States.

Pablo Muller of the Spanish Tourist Office was an early member, didn't attend too much, but was good friends of the Captain (the Captain spoke Spanish fluently from growing up in South America, where his father was a fairly successful business man). Pablo bought a lot of software for his kids from me, and other American software. Great guy, had at least one beautiful villa in Spain, where I remember a picture in his office at the embassy.

Don Hill, a.k.a. Fuji. worked for Kellog (not corn flakes, but oil) and was from Texas. Kept in touch for a long time, has 3 wonderful kids and his family stayed with us in L.A. for several days. Showed me a program written in BASICA that got me to want to program. Was a tremendous help to me, and I used to drive down to Yokohama to hack on the computer with him, copy software, etc...I think between me and Don, we had just about every program written for the PC back then... Fuji attended the TPC the same night that I did, me and him were the new kids on the block. Fuji was a great help and tremendous inspiration to me. Got his nickname because of a goatee he grew which looked like Mt. Fuji, but inverted.

Brent, from the Tokyo Union Church. Great guy who was kind enough to work out a decent deal for the TPC to hold their meetings at a reasonable fee (space is very limited in Japan). I used to help Brent with his computer all the time, he had an original IBM PC. He used Microsoft Word. The one thing about the Church was that while my handle was the Rabbi, I'm not really religious...but musicians always know that you can always find a piano inside a church...sometimes I would go over and play the piano downstairs, and usually always before a TPC meeting, since I was going over there anyway...I always liked to help him out with his computer as he never minded me playing his piano.

Jim Swanner, still in Japan because I exchanged some mail with him not too long ago. Jim was working for the American Technology Group, where the President was Bill Gould. Bill was responsible for the IBM 5550 computer, a huge Japanese word processor that was actually very popular in Japan. Everyone called it the go-go machine. Once I was house sitting at Jim's place and used one of his computers to start a BBS. He didn't get back until a couple weeks later. So I posted a message that the BBS was being taken down...(I didn't always think things out well back then. Jim was pretty pi$$ed at me because he kept getting modems calling his phone for weeks after that, some at odd hours of the night. Jim was one of the first guys to help me understand writing code, and how to finally understand that, "if you copy commercial software, you are a f#@$in' thief". It took me a long time to understand that, but I finally did...after I wrote a lot of software myself...odd how open source is coming around now, ain't it? We always had free software, but never as much as there is now with open source...just the times changing. I worked with both Jim and Bill at ATG, where I learned how to setup and configure the first "network" I had worked with. It was a 3Com server using Ethernet...Jim was a great help to me.

Tac Sugiyama, worked at Sony. Didn't show up at many meetings, but did come from time to time. I didn't know it at the time, but Tac went to school with Morita's son in England. He was very educated and spoke great English. I've been told by close friends of my wife (both who worked at Sony, and husband still working for Sony) that Tac was always very close with the Morita family, had actually taught Morita how to ski, and was famous in Japan for doing some type of hiking navigation game they play. Great guy, first met him at the original Sabatini’s gathering after the TPC meetings, and drove him home to Atsugi. That would later bring a small payback as Tac showed me the Sony building in Shinagawa where I would first use video teleconferencing between Shinagawa and Atsugi, as well as seeing other interesting software that Sony was working on. Our friend's (Keiko and Keisuke Omori) worked in Shinagawa during that period, but not with Tac.

Rick Rettig, was involved with several companies of his own, promoted MCI Mail heavily. He came to TPC after me, but Rick did several presentations for the TPC, got me some work, and was an all around good guy, IMO.

Roger Boisvert, actually came to a meeting before he got his longtime job at McKinsey. He's a great guy, and we used to hang out in the evenings a lot. I can remember Roger thanking me endlessly as I dropped him off at Shinjuku eki to get the last train home...and he would always tell me, "You just don't even know how much this means to me". Roger is the perfect example of starting at the very bottom, applying yourself to your work, learning it well, and being successful. He is one of the few foreigners that I know who was able to endure and really pull something out of Japan. Was one of the few who was able to hold his marriage together after so much time in Japan.

One of my early C programs I wrote was for Roger Boisvert when he worked at McKinsey. It was a simple program that parsed out ASCII data that was downloaded from MCI Mail. It worked and Roger liked it. In payment for it, he shipped me out a Toshiba word processor that looked like a laptop typewriter, and it worked well. My wife did use it some before we got Win95J going several years later. Roger was still buying US Robotics 9600 baud modems from me after I moved back to the US as well it seems. I was working at Security Pacific when I wrote that program for him. I was already coding in C on OS/2 by then, and wrote a program in C that received stock quote data over a satellite, that was the program I considered to be my first C "real program" that was used in a production system. That also led into the first great system I worked on, and was featured on the cover of Business Week magazine running on a large 62" Barco monitor screen behind John Singleton, the CEO of Security Pacific Automation Co. I knew at that point I had turned myself into an actual programmer, rather than just a hacker.

When I met Roger, he was trying to learn computers to get a job with them. I don't even think he was working. Soon after he started to hone his skills a bit, he landed a job at McKinsey...truth be it that I never really knew what McKinsey did, just that they were a big company that helped people with finance to save money. That is until Security Pacific hired McKinsey to help them...and I watched my department go from 14 to 5 overnight...ah, so that is how McKinsey helps people save clicked...<g> My boss claimed it was my system that saved the jobs of us 5 that were left...(that didn't help the feelings of the other 9 that got their pink slips though). When I left the bank one Friday, the next Monday Bank of America merged/bought SecPac. Everyone thought I knew something as I wrote the system the executives used, but I didn't, it was just coincidence...and time for me to move on...

However, Roger was able to see the market changing and formed GOL when the time was right, before the market was flooded with ISPs. Maybe it was luck, maybe not, but something in Roger told him to do it, so he should get credit for it. It wasn't like he learned how to use computers in a week, and formed GOL the following's been almost 20 years.

Next Month: David Parry, Sigi Rindler and others. More wild times, too.

Ionic Column - March 1996 by David Parry AJ circa 1986

To put things into the correct sequence; when I joined the TPC in 1986, copywriter Wick Smith almost single-handedly put the newsletter together in Word Perfect. I think Patrick Hochner then helped to actually print the newsletter, performing miracles with the original LaserJet Plus and DOS-based fonts.

Then Federico Sancho took over with editor John Scherb, using his considerable publishing and layout experience to produce a clean and effective template for the newsletter. That lasted in one form or another for some years. He printed the newsletter in PostScript on an Apple LaserWriter, and included a cover graphic of a well-known Japanese mountain that was used for about two years until there were calls from the readership for a change. Federico handed over the templates at the end of 1988, and then it was up to me.

                What's good for IBM is good for America


The TPC of Yore      A Short History: Part 2

Compiled and edited by David Bernat from material by Alan (The Rabbi) DuBoff, with input from David Parry, Sigi Rindler, Louise Bremner, and Jim Tittsler

Last month we covered the pre-Internet history of the TPC, and now we continue with members at the dawn of the Internet.

Jeff Canaday, can't remember where he works and how long he was in the TPC, but I ran into him recently on a Porsche mailing list. Jeff owns a '92/'93 Porsche RS America that he tracks in Japan. He bought an old wheel printer from me when I left Japan. He is still in Japan, living in Yokohama I think.

David Parry, maybe his memory isn't too good these days (heck, mine ain't getting any better I'll tell you that!;-), but he was there pretty darn early. Was peddlin' some type of software called Relay Gold before I left, a comm program that connected to British Telecom or something like that.

[David Parry: A sideline that failed expensively. I lived from translation and editing work after my three-year stint at a Japanese software company (1982-5). The computer support work I did in the 1990's for CRC and Procom provided some great technical experience and memorable moments, but financially it was the wrong way to go. I tried a number of ventures in the computer field and talked with people such as Rick Rettig. I remember the people you mention; Wick and Burt the copywriters, And Mitchell Reed. I probably met him at the FCCJ, which I visited a bit while I was at the software house still. Don Hooton from IBM, Pablo Muller from the Spanish Embassy, who was also friendly with Federico Sancho, the newsletter publisher before me who set up a great Ventura Publisher template. I knew various of the Computerland/Catena crowd, including Tim Reece and the Chang sisters. You could of course devote a whole chapter to Maynard Hogg, the world's most acerbic sysop. Or his Polish successor, Martin Bruczkowski (spelling only very approximate in the absence of his meishi!). I don't have many memories of riotous parties from that era, but then I was not involved so much at the time that the Rabbi was around. That came later, when I was working on the newsletter.]

Here is a book that takes the reader on a special journey through modern Japan. Our intrepid hero, Martin, a Canadian of Polish descent who lived in Tokyo for 10 years, takes us by the hand, and with his Irish sidekick, Sean, leads us through the wonders of this fascinating place – not the wonders that most people are familiar with, not the economic miracle and the bright lights – no, he takes us through a far quirkier, but at the same time far more human, land of wonky beer machines on hot sultry nights in downtown Tokyo. He takes us on the road, hitch-hiking around Japan, to Japan’s famous bathing culture, through the jungle of sexual politics, and explains to us, clearly and cleverly, what Gaijins (that’s non-Japanese folk to you and me) must do to survive in this enchanting land.
Singapore 4 A.M.  Lost in Tokyo Yokohama Radio

Sleepless in Tokyo

[Jim Tittsler: Martin Bruczkowski lived in Singapore the past 7(?) years, and recently moved back to Poland.]

[Sigi Rindler: David worked one time with Procom which was run by a guy called Ed Daszkiewicz. He ran the first *gaijin computer store* with real premium prices on everything. I never forget the 40,000 Yen I had to pay for having a German letter appear as such on the screen on my Sanyo CP/M system (in Wordstar)! An entire remodeled 106 key keyboard would have been over 4,000,000 Yen...Those were the good old times!]

Ed sold us the computer that became the first real BBS. The first BBS, which went though many lives was handcrafted out of the finest Hong Kong and Taiwanese parts. I had a commercial business visa when I lived in Japan, and I had to leave Japan every 3 months. That's how a lot of the parts used to get back, I hand carried them, from the States also. But Ed wasn't the first gaijin computer store, Catena owned several Computerland stores in Japan, and they were one of the first big US computer stores...they really raped us!!!!! I'm not complaining; computers have done very well for me, and it was the TPC that really taught me how to use them and help others with them. Before that I was a musican, and while I was in Japan I sold vintage guitars to a music store named Ishibashi Gakki. These guys really treated me good too, they contributed to my "some" overweight problem in a big way also!<har!>

Ed was one of the few people that could program in those days, and while everyone was busy learning and coding in C, Ed used an odd language called Algol, which I was intrigued with but never used.

Catena also owned the department store across from Kawasaki Eki. A perfect example of raping people, however, everyone was free to bring hardware into Japan, just that the duty was so high on most of it, that is primarily why the prices were so high. Truth be told that I never personally bought much from Catena, but many of the clients and associates which I had in Japan were forced to in many cases for work that I did. Indirectly, I was responsible for a large chunk of sales for them...

I was an ace with Xtalk on the PC though, and Catena used Xtalk to access the Source, and later Compuserve (they bought the Source) and I knew exactly where to go and get the username and password for their KDD account, that was a nice savings for me for the last few years in Japan...;-) But I spent way too much with NTT and KDD, they liked me very much.

There was another guy, kinda young, his name was John Emmens (sp?), and it was John who gave me my first bootleg of the Lattice C Compiler for the PC. That was the defacto standard before MS and Borland battled it out. John was married to a Japanese woman as I recall, but the one story I always laugh about is when John got me going with C.

I told John I would love to work in C, since all the professional applications were written in C. John said, "Heck, it's easy...I just went into Toshiba for an interview and they asked me if I could program in C, so I told them yes. They hired me and I was in there the first week writing 'Hello, World!', they didn't know what was going on. After a while I knew how to program in C.".

This is true, in the old days you could get away with that because few people knew how to use or program PCs, people would pay to have you install dBase III, or Lotus 123, they were afraid of computers. And you could just get jobs easy like John's story above. Even though I started hacking at C in the early days (Fuji sama...Don Hill...helped me out quite a bit with that), I didn't use it on any projects until I moved back to the States.

Sigi Rindler, was there but didn't say much. It was before his famed "Mr. Akihabara" tours...damn, I had to learn Akihabara on my own. I always bought tons of stuff there, especially since I did import/export, I was always buying power converters under the train station. Sigi was pretty quiet, compared to me at least!<har!> (but wasn't most everyone!;-). He learned how to type quite well, from his posts here though...;-)

One of my friends, Tim Reece, worked at Computerland in Shinjuku on Yamate Dori, about a 5-10 minute walk from where I lived in Nishi-Shinjuku, and Tim actually copied me my first bootleg software...the price was outrageous in Japan at the time, and packages like Lotus 123 and dBase III were like US $2,000. Tim grew up in Japan, his father was a priest or something, or ran a mission...something like that. Tim's wife was really tough, used to yell and fight with him all the time, threw $#!T at him, like ashtrays and f#@$'d him up good!<G> She was a pretty mean gal from my memory.

Another friend that grew up with Tim in Japan was John Tetro, who became a very good friend of mine. John appeared kinda stupid in many ways, but was smart as a whistle in coasting into the last section of the memory chip phenomena of the early/mid '80s. John pulled a really nice chunk of Yen out of there, and didn't work most of the time I was there. He lives in Idaho now, where he bought his parents a home, and built one for himself. He's married to a Japanese lady, Yachiko, who my wife gets along with pretty good but we haven't seen since we lived in L.A., where they stayed with us for a week or so. John pulled out several million dollars on chips, and he used a Mac, but mostly to play games on.

Both Tim and John spoke great Japanese as they grew up there, and another guy had worked with John in the chip deal but never went on his own, so he didn't score big like John did. His name was Steve Denny, and he was the most educated of all of us, and spoke really good Japanese from studying while he attended one of the Japanese universities. The four of us would go out on Friday as a regular event and get whacked...we'd start off at a club that had happy hour in Roppongi, drinks were only 150 yen from 6:30-8:00 on Friday, then we would usually end up eating dinner at Victoria Station for a nice slab of prime rib and more drinks, and then we'd end up at Trader Vic's for the watermelon drink with straws hanging out of it, and the bartender would just dump alcohol in that watermelon shell...We would always tell Victoria Station it was one of our birthdays, and we would always tell them it was "Doctor Alan's birthday", or "Doctor John's birthday", "Doctor Tim's birthday", "Doctor Steve's birthday", etc...(there were even some Doctor Roger birthdays as I recall;-). Of course they knew it wasn't our birthday every week, but we spent so much money there, they would get all the waiters and waitresses over to sing it to us anyway.

Somehow Roger Boisvert got tied up with us and I would often end up driving him to Shinjuku station to get a ride home (he later bought my Honda Acty from me and still had it a couple years ago which he still used for camping...but that was before Exodus bought GOL). Annie Chang was at Computerland in Shinjuku and worked with Tim. It seems she got kinda active in the group when I left. Tim was there way before Annie though, and I used to hang out in that store and play Loderunner, a game for the PC, and I played it on an IBM JX computer if you remember them (like the IBM Jr., but ran Japanese DOS). John Tetro used to play Millionaire, a game on the Mac. Tim used to work...<har!>, and then we'd all go out drinking and eat dinner...

Mitchell Reed, vice president of Dai-Ichi-Kikaku (sp?). Very rare gaijin to hold a prestigious position in a Japanese firm. Mitch took me out for so many great meals and drinks, even bought my computer from me when I moved back to the States, and introduced me to my wife (who was renting a room from Mitch and his wife in Aoyama-Itchome). Mitch could eat and drink more than any human I have known. And he would eat Rolaids like they were candy. Mitch met me by a fluke kinda, as even though he was one of the original members of the TPC, he never went to any of the meetings...but he used Lotus 123, and he wanted to get Lotus 123 working with a Japanese color printer really bad. He somehow got in contact with Tim Reece over at Computerland in Shinjuku, who put him in touch with me. The odd thing was that Lotus supported this color printer on Symphony, but Mitch used 123. This would be the first time I would start hacking on software, and I started searching the printer drivers with a hex editor to find out that they looked very similar. As a WAG (wild @$$ guess), I suggested Mitch rename the Symphony printer driver to the name of the 123 printer driver, and see if it would print. And the funny thing was that it worked!<G>

Mitch tracked me down at a TPC meeting, and as soon as I walked in the door, he knew it was me and introduced himself. I first thought Mitch was trying to get me to give him some free time and help him with his computer, but Mitch insisted there was something he could do. And he asked me, "How about food, you obviously like to eat, what type of food can I buy you to help me with my computer?". Jokingly I said, "How about Kobe beef?". And Mitch replied with something like..."yeah, but how boring...we can get that all over Japan really easy...". What type of food do you really miss from the states he asked I thought...well, I told him...there are 2 things that I really miss, Mexican food (Tex-Mex style), and pizza.

That night after the meeting, Mitch invited whoever wanted to come out for pizza and we went to the Sabatini's pizza shop downstairs. This became quite a long tradition, even until I left Japan in '87, we always went to Sabatinis after the TPC meetings for pizza and "shoot the $#!T" sessions. Mitch would explain to me at this original gathering how he was able to land the Lotus advertising in Japan by using charts that were printed out from his 123 using the Symphony print driver. I couldn't believe it, I was kinda blown away that something so simple could mean so much to the guy, but he felt indebted to me and always treated me terrific, took me out on the town, etc...Mitch had an enormous expense budget and was most generous with it to me.

This is what made the TPC, it was camaraderie and being able to get together with other "gaijin", where living in such a strange place as Japan could bring Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Australians, French, German, etc...together and somehow we all seemed to be similar. Some things Just clicked, like drinking beer out of a bottle (Japanese always use those tiny glasses), stuff like that.

It was the founders and many of the early members that helped give the club enough momentum to carry it through. And of course the PC boom didn't hurt either!<G>

I was always against any type of membership fee, and always felt that computer user groups should be free after I understood what user groups were. The TPC was the first computer club I had been I didn't know any better.:-/ But the TPC is more than just a computer user group, and because of the unique situation in Japan, it's quite a good group to know, with so many diverse people. I certainly give a lot of thanks to a lot of TPC people who helped me out, and paved roads for me. I can not thank everyone enough, I was certainly a black sheep compared to most other folks in Japan. I was just a hippie musician searching for myself...I did make good money selling vintage guitars in Japan, but I moved myself out of music to be involved with computers for a cleaner, healthier life.

I certainly have a love hate relationship with Japan, and can only tolerate it for a short time nowadays. I still like the countryside the best. Japan is just not my home. Even after 5 years, it seemed that it was always foreign to me, waking up on Sunday and walking out to see old ladies walking in kimonos all hunched over, it wasn't my home.

Coming back to the States gave me so much more to pursue, and it has provided much more than I probably could have done in Japan. I have worked my @$$ off (I always have though) to get what I have and it's certainly not been easy. I'm not schooled in computers, and have learned most of what I know from hacking at them. Thankfully, that hasn't prevented me from getting where I'm at, and in many ways has probably helped me. Thanks to all who have helped me from the TPC, may you continue to help others living in Japan!

Searching, matching & replacing

Now we're informed that the Tokyo PC Club changes its domain name from to, because the Transaction Processing Performance Council so badly wants to get the domain and has offered the Club a lot of money for it.

Algorithmica Japonica
August, 2001
The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN

Tokyo PC's superb, first generation BBS 03-374-2774 was operated 1986-88 on RBBS-PC by "The Rabbi" (Alan Duboff). When he left in January 1987, a multi-node on-line farewell party, the first of this kind, was held for The Rabbi and his newly-wed wife Satoko, who watched with their lap-top at their hotel in Tokyo the farewell speeches from Stephen Campbell, then TPC President, in Tokyo PC, Ed Bracha on INN, and others on the other BBS's in the Greater Tokyo area. In March 1990, Ray Penas started open test on his "first made-in- Japan" bilingual BBS host program, VBBS.




TPC Corporate Members and Supporting Companies

The Tokyo PC Users Group thanks our growing number of Corporate Members and Supporting Companies.


Corporate Members:



Internet Service Provider providing support in English & Japanese

Contact: or (03) 3569-3522


Fusion GOL;

An Internet Service Provider who provides support in English & Japanese




Japan's premiere bilingual recruitment site




Which outsources Payroll and Human Resources related IT (ASP) services


Primus Telecommunications;

Bringing you top quality services for your international and domestic calls. Primus Telecommunications offer also colocation services for your 19" rackmounted servers and for Mac Minis


Top Tech Infomatics;

Provides companies with integrated Information Technology such as on-site software and infrastructure support consultation,contract IT staffing and outsourcing, network and data centre solutions, off-shore software development, and static or dynamic websites and web applications. Services are backed up by Top Tech's Management Consultancy and the Document Management Solutions of archiving, indexing and retrieving.



Ontrack Japan; which provides data recovery systems to customers who can no longer read their data.

Supporting Companies:


J@pan, Inc.; with a mission to cover technology innovation in Japan objectively, without preference, exaggeration, or boosterism.

Lifecycle of a Software Company in Japan -- Terrie Lloyd

Past events of Tokyo PC Users Group

Former corporate members.

We thank our Corporate Members and Supporting Companies for thier generous contributions. Corporate Members and Supporting Companies demonstrate thier committment to the Tokyo Personal Computing Community in many ways.

In return, the company logos can be seen in rotation on our site. CM's can also post company announcements on the TPC web site; receive a mention in the monthly meeting announcements; are metioned at the meeting; and may also send up to three employees and a guest to our meetings for free.

If you are interested in becoming a Corporate Member or a Supporting Company of the TPC, more details are available or contact our Corporate Liaison officer.


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3-12-6-505 Miyazaki Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki 216-0033