Personal note . . .

Getting to know Rob Hamerling

(a little...)

(latest page update: 22 December 2013)

A Personal Note . . .

My Profession

I am a graduate of Technical University Delft The Netherlands, faculty Aeronautical Engineering, and I worked a couple of years on Concorde and Ariane in the supersonic windtunnel of the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) in Amsterdam. During my study I became fascinated by computers and especially programming, in those days for a gigantic Telefunken TR4 with 4KB memory! At that time there was not even a faculty for Information Technology.... Algol was the programming language, also at the NLR with a CDC computer.
Not very long after my graduation I decided to switch my job at NLR for one with IBM. I have worked during 25 years as Systems Engineer, mainly designing large computer networks for the banking industry. Although programming wasn't my first responsibility I managed to maintain and develop my programming skills using various languages such as Assember (for 370 Mainframe, Series/1 and PC), APL, PL/1, Pascal, C/C++, Rexx, Java, JavaScript.
Today I'm retired and a full time hobbyist . . .

My hobbies

Data communications has always interested me, both professionally and for private purposes. Already in the early days of Personal Computers I ran a Bulletin Board Service (BBS) and have continued to do that for different purposes and target audiences. My last BBS called 'digiThalys' was dedicated to (model)railroading. In January 1998 I closed down digiThalys due to fading user interest and the upcoming Internet for the general public.

As far as modelrailroading is concerned: shortly before my retirement I became interested in model railroads, especially the possibility to control these 'digitally' by computer. Well, actually I was more interested to write my own control software than in the appearance of my modelrailroad! For years I have tried to find companions to develop a model railroad control program together, but I failed to find someone with similar interests, capabilities and willingness to work together. Maybe I discouraged people with my absolute preference for OS/2 and dislike of Windows. Since it is not always very enjoyable to work alone my interest in model railroads slightly faded away. I feel sorry, because I developed an good Application Programming Interface which supports several popular protocols (Marklin, Trix, Lenz, Intellibox and Loconet). You can find this API and software based on it in my list of multi-protocol modelrailroad control software.
My main control program HST/2 worked, but was never released. It is really a conglomerate of multitasking programs working together in the same or different coupled computers. One program does the actual control of the railroad, others may perform a realtime animation of train movements, etc.

On my computers I run eComStation (repackaged IBM OS/2). Unfortunately the 'stupid masses' chose(?!) Windows as the de facto standard in the PC world. However eComStation is in most aspects a better platform for PC's than any Windows version ever was, and I will keep using eComStation for a long time. Being an 'independent mind' I use sometimes Linux, and when I need an application of only a Windoze version exists I run Windows in a virtual machine (Virtual PC).
My PC-software developments are primarily based on eComStation, and my current programming languages are C/C++ and REXX.

Electricity and Electronics are other fields of interest to me. During my study I built several tube-ampifiers, today it is all with chips and seldomly an audio amplifier anymore! Some of the devices I built recently can be found on my the page about electronics.
These days I like to combine my two primary hobbies (electronics and programming) by using microcontrollers for all kind of tools and devices. You can find most of these devices on my page with PICmicro projects.

Where am I?

Living in Vianen, The Netherlands
Phone: 31-347-322822
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