Word Processing

Word Processing scheme

This Pattern stands - for me - since the beginning of Word Processing.

January 1953 I started working for IBM (Germany) as a travelling salesman for electric typewriters (ET). This was one of the most difficult and demanding jobs I have ever done in my life but I succeeded in the end. I was one of the few salesmen who consistently remained in the "100 % Club" - that is I met my yearly targets or exceeded them, but for that success I needed to draw on every gram of my six years POW experience: resolution, self confidence, foresight, planning, human relations, wealth of ideas and, last not least, the courage "to open new doors!"

At first it was less for professional success than a hobby that I began to develop an idea that the widespread term "Data Processing" could be complimented with the idea of another system called "Word Processing". - Word Processing was, in Germany, later known as "TV" (Text-Verarbeitung). In my original draft I described it as "making a thought audible, visible and distributable". By 1966, I was the German guest speaker at Miami, at the American IBM 100 % Club. - There I brought forward my idea in English, in the formulation above.

The idea of rearranging "the office" was, at first, met with great resistance. In the office someone did the "thinking" - how could a machine be employed? - However my vision became more and more a reality; in exchange of ideas with IBM Chief of Development - Office Products, Bud Beatty, responsible for Lexington/Kentucky and Austin/Texas and the energetic support of Chief of OP-Manufacturing, Claire Vaugh, it was possible to develop new products which fitted into the concept of "Word Processing".

New equipment like magnetic tape and magnetic card machines were developed to store text and the ink-jet printer was developed. Not only machines were developed but, thanks to progressive customers and excellent IBM employees, we were able to develop new organisations in the office world and also new career structures.

In 1969 I was the guest of IBM in South America, and was able to further develop my thoughts on "Word Processing". Then I gave my speech in Spanish, which I had learnt in preparation for one of my escape attempts (in Canada). The ensuing enthousiasm was great. The Americans present were almost ashamed; there came a German who went to the trouble of speaking the language of the country, where the South American 100% Club took place.

At last IBM recognized my inception of the idea of "Word Processing" and offered my wife and I a journey around the world, in recognition of my achievements.

Soonafter - also in the year 1971 - in Germany followed a "Press Conference".

Press-Conference 1971. At the desk Ulrich Steinhilper explains to journalist present the pattern, the scheme, leading to Data-processing being increased by Word Processing. Next to the Chart, General Manager of IBM Germany, Prof. W. A Boesenberg. - At his back - the latest Magnetic Card Machine, which was presented at the same time.

Great success to the idea came at last: - In 1973 I was invited to attend the great international "Word Processing Convention" to be held in Boston/Mass. as "Keynote Speaker". There in front of 600 competent experts, I was able to talk about the development of my ideas on "Word Processing" and develop plans and themes, that were to be guide lines for the future.

Before I retired, I put my valuable experiences on paper, and published the book "ABC der Textverarbeitung" (ISBN 3-921439-05-1), which unfortunately never was translated into "ABC of Word Processing". - The German Version being sold out, there is no revision planned, - anyhow todays generations of PCs would ask for a complete re-thinking.

Personal commitment brought me my own success with IBM Germany. I was promoted to become a senior executive, also international recognition came at the end of my career.

Together with my wife, I visited IBM Corporations in Scandinavia, England, France, the Benelux countries, USA, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Italy, Austria, stopping at a "danger point" at that time, Teheran, the troubles just having started there. Before that, we had also been in Singapore, Australia and Japan.

Dear Reader: - Textverarbeitung - Word Processing started all of it - it has a long lasting future ahead.

Deutsch English
Mein Lebenslauf: Ein kurzer Überblick über mein Leben.
Textverarbeitung: Ein Überblick über meine Zeit bei IBM und meine Idee der Textverarbeitung.
Meine Bücher: Ein Überblick über meine Bücher und Inhaltsangaben.
Bücher bestellen: Ein Bestellformular für meine Bücher.
Curriculum Vitae: A short overview of my life.
Word Processing: An overview of my time at IBM and my ideas on the concept of Word Processing.
Books: An overview of my books and their summaries.
Order books: You can order my books within that page.