Greg's diary
June 1983
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Wednesday, 15 June 1983 Frankfurt → Bern
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Call from Fritz Graf in Tandem's Zürich round lunch time: the Swiss Bundesanwaltschaft in Bern had a disk problem. Jakob („Köbi”) Binder, the customer engineer, had replaced a failed disk, and he couldn't revive (rebuild) the mirror: the revive failed with error 12, FEINUSE: “File in use”.

That didn't make any sense at all, of course, but we had seen a couple of cases where it happened before, first in Taranto, the next in Helsinki. To investigate I really needed to go on site, and both of these locations weren't easily reachable from Frankfurt am Main. On the other hand, the customers weren't prepared to wait with a degraded disk while I found my way to their site. So I was quite happy when I discovered that it had happened only 420 km and 3 hours' drive from Frankfurt. Arranged to go there immediately.

But Yvonne's family is from Switzerland. Couldn't she come with me? Of course she could. Called her up on the phone Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau. The entire KfW phone system was down!

Off back home, packed, got the dog (Dimitri de la Polianka) and headed off back to Frankfurt, where I was able to load Yvonne into the car and continue South. As planned, we met Köbi at an Autobahn service area just the other side of Basel, and went on to Bern together.

There I played around a bit and found my problem. Tandem made its own disk controllers, and they weren't completely compatible. To avoid trashing disks formatted for a different controller, they stored some flag information on the first sector to identify the controller. And the disk that Köbi had put in the drive had been formatted by a different controller, so the disk process reported a mismatch error. And PUP, the peripheral utility program that did the revive, saw this as “file in use”.

How did we fix the problem? I can't recall the fix on that evening. Either formatting the pack or replacing it with a compatibly formatted one would have done the trick.

Finally back to the hotel that Fritz had booked for us, the Hotel Bellevue Palace. Not the cheapest hotel I have stayed at; in fact, it might have been the most expensive. But it was past 21:30, and the restaurant was closed. But a waiter was prepared to find a little something for us, so in we went, with Dimitri in a corner beside us, while the waiter told us what he could get. It all sounded wonderful, though we had our doubts about the dessert of strawberries with crème de Gruyère. But it seems this was deliberately misleading on his part: « crème » is French for cream, and La Gruyère is a district in the Canton of Fribourg better known for its cheese.

We accepted: after all, this was a top-class restaurant, and even if the strawberries were served with cheese, that would be an experience. The waiter was clearly disappointed that his joke had failed. And the food was, indeed, excellent.

Thursday, 16 June 1983 Bern → Zürich → Buchs SG Images for 16 June 1983
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The following day we got up late, of course, and had a breakfast which definitely went down as the most expensive I have ever had. From recollection, it cost about 80 CHF, and got me into trouble when I put it on my expenses. They paid for Yvonne's overnight stay, since it didn't increase the cost, but the breakfast broke the bank.

Back to the Bundesanwaltschaft to wrap up a couple of things. And then? It was past midday. By the time we got back to Frankfurt it would be evening, and the next day was 17 June, the Day of German Unity and the beginning of a long weekend. So we decided to stay in Switzerland and look for her family in Buchs. It seems that we went through Zürich and on down the lake to the east:
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When we got to Buchs, we went looking for Hans Ködderitzsch, a relative of Yvonne's, but we didn't find him, nor any other relative. I don't recall where we spent the night.

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