Two of our customers, Richard Proksa and Dr Kevin Gibson, who had purchased a Porsche 944 each from us, worked for a USA Computer Aided Design and Digital Mapping Computer Company called Intergraph e.c. a subsidiary of Intergraph Corporation of Huntsville, Alabama, USA, who were regionally based offshore in Bahrain, like a lot of international companies.
Sometime earlier I had said I would go along and visit their offices to see these hugely powerful interactive computer graphics systems, but something always allowed me to put this visit off. However when they were both in having first services undertaken on their Porsche 944 cars, I chatted with them both and finally I agreed to visit them.
Intergraph’s offices were half of the first floor of the Sheraton hotel and I duly went along to visit them. Richard was sitting in his office when I arrived and I looked at his VT220 dumb terminal and asked him to show me what it did? My exposure to personal computers at that time, like most people, was basic word processing and spreadsheets on an IBM PC cloan. Richard told me this was just a dumb terminal and that the real systems were along the hallway. I followed him along and went into see this magnificent, ergonomically designed dual colour screen workstations that electrically adjusted to suit the operator needs. I had seen workstations like these at Porsche Weissach and Richard confirmed Porsche used their equipment in design.
Eight hours later, I left their offices thinking I wanted to work with Intergraph, “This was a real big boys train set”.
What I did not realised at that time, things were already in motion behind my back and this turned out to be the start of my move away from Porsche!