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Frank Ludolph's Last Working Day

Thanks to Matthias Müller-Prove for this story

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Frank Ludolph on Apple Lisa

Hi Frank,

today is your last day at Oracle. I cannot belief that retirement is an alternative to designing software and improving products for decades. I might figure it out myself in a couple of years.

Our ways have crossed several times. And I am extremely thankful for that. I still remember my first session on an Apple Lisa. It must have been around 1985. I was still in school, and we were visiting the University of Hamburg to get some orientation on the departments. When I started I chose Informatics. And I suppose the Apple Lisa played a significant role in my decision. Is it fate that I later wrote about Apple Lisa?

I’ve attended your presentation and public demo of the Lisa System at CHI ’98 in Los Angeles. Maybe a video still exists. I should look it up and publish it somewhere.* You had also booth duty for Sun Microsystems – presenting HotJava Views, a user interface for a network computer. And you were handing out VHS tapes (!) of Starfire. I still have mine – but no player anymore.

Then I joined Sun in 2002, and I guess I popped up in your office each time when I came to Santa Clara. The SEED mentoring program finally made it possible that we exchanged and discussed many ideas on the past and future of HCI. Dueling Interaction Models of Personal-Computing and Web-Computing at MEDICI 2007 is one of the results. But do you remember for instance also our jam session with Phil Clevenger on Hello World? Marvelous!

I will miss you at Oracle. Enjoy your life and let’s stay in touch.
Matthias

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* Even better, transcript and video of CHI 98 are already online:

The Lisa User Interface as presented by Frank Ludolph and Rod Perkins at CHI '98, April 1998 – or click here to see a larger view in Google Video)

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