|On the occasion of Allegro’s 20th Anniversary in 2004, a number of our long time colleagues and customers came forward to offer some comments…
Allegro for me has always been a symbol of business honesty, mastery in their field and great humor. The Allegro footprint is in about every product that has been running Fortune 1,000 company operations for years and without the skills of these two fellows [Allegro founders Steve Cooper and Stan Sieler] HP would never have been what it is today.
Michel Kohon, Minnesota MicroNet Corp.
Stan and Steve are among the most knowledgeable and brilliant computer programmers I’ve ever come across. It’s been a very great pleasure to know them and work with them, for over 20 years now.
Eugene Volokh, founder of VESoft, author of MPEX, and Professor of Law at UCLA
I met Steve and Stan in the late ’70s or very early ’80s….As a Silicon Valley resident, I was employed as a consultant by Alfredo [Rego of Adager] in November 1981. I worked out of my home until Steve & Stan established Allegro Consultants and set up their first office in Redwood City in late 1983 at which time Alfredo arranged to have Allegro provide me with office space. I’m not sure how much they enjoyed my company but do know that I enjoyed theirs immensely. They’re both so sharp and a hell of a lot of fun.
Fred White, father of the IMAGE database
My direct association with Allegro and the Allegroids dates back to circa 1990, the year of the unbundling of IMAGE from MPE by HP and the famous Boston Tea Party. Nick Demos and I and others had started talking about resurrecting SIGIMAGE at the spring 1990 SIGRAPID Meeting in Reno. With MPE users in an uproar over the unbundling issue, Nick took the primary initiative to convince Steve Cooper to resume his Chairman’s mantle and lead SIGIMAGE on the come-back trail at Interex Boston. Steve subsequently presided in Boston over the most memorable SIG meeting in Interex history, where for 2+ hours a couple hundred worried, frustrated, and furious IMAGE users roasted HP at the stake over the unbundling decision. One of the HP product managers at the time (who shall remain nameless even though I surprised myself by remembering it now, 13+ years later) was overheard by a reliable source to remark as he left that SIGIMAGE meeting: “IMAGE will be rebundled over my dead body!”.
Well, shortly thereafter that’s exactly what happened (professionally speaking). That HP product manager went elsewhere and was never heard from in MPE-land ever again; IMAGE was rebundled; and under Steve’s active leadership for the next couple critical years SIGIMAGE began what ended up being a 12-year run that saw the delivery by HP between 1990 and 2002 of 65 enhancements to what later became Image/SQL.
Not only that, I’m convinced that as a direct outgrowth of the massive user agitation at the Boston SIGIMAGE meeting, we the members of SIGRAPID were able to resurrect the RAPID products, which were also “on the block” at the start of Interex Boston. For a couple years in the early 1990’s I was SIGRAPID Chair, and the spring after Boston Steve Cooper and Stan Sieler, Adager, and others for SIGIMAGE, and Scott Hirsch for SIGSYSMAN joined SIGRAPID at a small conference in Reno. At that conference the SIG Chairs had a break-out meeting with HP managers Tony Engberg and Marc Hoff, where, over a couple bottles of wine a lot of “stuff” got worked out. That set the stage for the IPROF conferences in the 1990’s at HP and subsequently at the (infamous) Red Baron, where the phones barely worked. Once during that time Steve let me use the Allegro office as a staging area for a world-wide mailing by Interex of several hundred pounds of SIGRAPID material, and didn’t complain when I cluttered up their place of business with several big boxes.
Steve’s gracious pro-bono assistance of SIGRAPID was just one of many instances where he and the other Allegroids went the extra mile for MPE users over the years; gaining a solid and well-deserved reputation around the world for consistently providing cost-effective, expert technical service and support to the HP 3000 community. I think it’s fair to say that if HP 3000 sites got themselves in a real bind, and were totally stuck on a complex technical issue, in the back of most of their minds was probably the thought that if all else failed, in extremis they could always call Allegro for in-depth technical help.
Now in 2004, I’m convinced that given a choice between trusting the future of MPE to what is in Allegro still a very small company, and leaving MPE to the tender mercies of the HP corporate behemoth, if they could, the overwhelming majority of 3000 sites around the world would pick Allegro over the giant, NO contest. The reputation for dependability and technical expertise that Allegro has built up as a trusted partner over the last 20 years is second to none….
Ken Sletten, SIGImage/SQL Chair since 1996
Early in Allegro’s history, my technical team in a multinational corporation had the opportunity to engage Allegro Consultants in our effort to transfer both the conceptual and detailed aspects of a radically new technology for which myriad system components were being designed and developed by more than 15 global lab teams.
The company’s deployment of these systems, built on the new architecture, was accelerated as a result of Allegro Consultants’ exceptional content, subject matter and knowledge transfer expertise contributions.
Rebecca L. Smith, President, RebL systems
Since fall 2001, Robelle has been phasing in Allegro Consultants as a technical support resource for our customers. We are very pleased with the results. …Allegro has the strongest team of technical expertise in the HP 3000 area, plus years of experience in HP-UX as well. …By sharing these great people, we can ensure economical and knowledgeable support for our customers for years ahead.
Allegro has excellent relationships with many third-party software companies and have certainly helped many to diagnose and fix some of their more complex problems. …[One] example of their commitment to customers was that after the November 2001 announcement from HP [of the cancellation of the HP 3000], many of Allegro’s customers voiced that they did not want to hear how to leave the 3000, but rather how they could stay on the 3000. With this information, Allegro committed to supporting their customers through to 2011. So if your intention is to stay on MPE, Allegro is a good firm to connect with.
Neil Armstrong, Robelle Solutions Technology, Inc.
(excerpted with permission from http://www.robelle.com/tips/allegro.html)
I’m old and slow now much like our HP 3000’s were when Steve first came to help us with performance issues. Steve soon had our HP 3000’s living up to their full potential. After he worked his magic, our 3000’s were so fast they could execute an infinite loop in five minutes.
My fondest memory of Stan is of the weekend when he saved my life. We were doing a hardware upgrade that required a restore of our data. When it came time for the restore all we had were two bad backups. Miraculously, Stan was able to patch together one good backup out of the two that were worthless to me.
Homer Godwin, formerly of Intuit Inc.
Allegro has always been comprised of …extremely technical people, very concerned about what computers can do. In the beginning, when HP was a bunch of technical freaks and not yet a collection of marketing people, Allegro got a lot of respect from the HP specialists. …During these 20 years the complete computer spectrum changed. The prices of the hardware and related software went down dramatically, and HP’s focus has changed, making it very difficult for small companies to survive. Congratulations to Allegro for managing to stay alive.
For me, Allegro is Stan, Steve, Cindy and Gavin. Stan was, and is still, I think, the wizard who can do anything with computers. Cindy was our administrative communication person when Allegro and Denkart were together during the Denkart Inc period. She was always very helpful and always in a good mood. That Denkart Inc period was when Gavin joined Allegro, may be the best result of our cooperation, and I still appreciate his positive attitude and his zest for work.
As for Steve, to me he is not an old colleage. He became a friend. I met him the first time in Anaheim, during an HP 3000 user group meeting, which I think was in 1984. From then, we met frequently, in the States and in Belgium. It was not only business, it was as well talking about politics, education, arts, living together, music, children, etc. I liked his open critical mind without compromises. I really miss these personal contacts with Steve, which may be the best statement I can make.
Guido Van Brempt, formerly of Denkart NV