About me

I was born on July, the 19th, 1970 in Ulm. After finishing school, I studied mathematics (and philosophy) at the University of Mainz and finished with a diploma thesis about bitstream encryption and pseudo randomnumber generators.

In 2006 I started writing my Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gudrun Wolfschmidt at the University Hamburg. I completed my Ph.D. thesis about analog computing early in 2009 and had my disputation on July, 9th, 2009, so I can now call me Dr. rer. nat. Bernd Ulmann. :-) (My Ph.D. has been published by Oldenbourg in April 2010 and can be ordered at Amazon.)

There is next to nothing which captivates me more than computing with machines. First of all I am fascinated by analog computers and the general idea of analog computing (as can be seen in my Ph.D. thesis). My collection of (mostly electronic) analog computers can be seen at http://www.analogmuseum.org. Apart from that I really love old digital computers, especially machines of the PDP11 and VAX series of which I have many models (mostly in working condition). I am collecting computing instruments and computers since about 25 years now which has led to a rather big collection of machines occupying about 500 square meters (cf. the museum pages).

I got the nickname VAXMAN many years ago from a friend who came for a visit from Brazil and had to realize that I even slept on a VAX (no, it was not that my flat was too small, there were just too many VAX and PDP11 systems for having a real bed). Currently the only system of my collection which is running 24x365 is FAFNER, a VAX-7000/820 on which I offer guest accounts and support porting activities and the like.

The picture on the left has been taken in September 2009 by my beloved wife Rikka during a visit of Peenemünde, the place of birth of the A4, which made its historic flight on October 3rd, 1942.

In my spare time I am doing my very best to rescue old computing machinery from scrap. (If you know about a computer being decommissioned (in Germany) please let me know.)

Apart from this I love developing electronic devices (you can see some of my projects at the projects page) of all kinds (seismometers, high voltage power supplies for lasers, signal generators etc.) and repairing old computers (analog as well as digital). The picture on the right shows my friend Ingo and me in a typical setting, developing an I2C interface for the now long forgotten Atari Portfolio pocket computer. (About this time a friend of mine, Jutta Schenda, wrote a wonderful poem, an adapted version of the well known poem Der Erlkönig for me.)

Developing hardware
The cellar

I earn my living being Professor for business computer science at the Fachhochschule für Ökonomie und Management in Frankfurt and working as a part time consultant.

In addition to that I work as a computer consultant which brought me into many interesting places and still gives me the opportunity to solve interesting technical problems for my customers. I have been working in oil refineries programming process automation systems in Fortran and assembler, for automotive suppliers, for banks, for machine building companies and many more during the last 15 years.

A more detailed description of what I have done and what I am interested in may be found in my CV (available only in German) which may be found here (about 5 MB!).

You can reach me

by mail at ulmann@vaxman.de
by snail mail at Bernd Ulmann
Schwalbacherstrasse 31
65307 Bad Schwalbach