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Fifth International Olympiad in Informatics
Mendoza, Argentina, October 1993

Being part of the Fifth International Olympiad in Informatics was one of those one in a lifetime experiences that I'll never forget.

The International Olympiad in Informatics or IOI, is the most recognized annual competition in computer science or informatics. It congregates hundreds of secondary school students representing many countries.

The First Olympiad was held in Pravetz, Bulgaria, in 1989 sponsored by UNESCO.

In 1993, Argentina was the organizing and host country for the Fifth Edition of IOI. I was really honored and excited when Alicia Bañuelos (The V IOI'93 President) invited me to join the organizing team and lead the Technical Committee.

IOI'93 took place in October 1993 in the beautiful city of Mendoza, Argentina, about 650 miles Northwest from Buenos Aires and right next to the Andes mountains.

Over 270 students and team leaders took part in the competence representing 45 countries, including a special delegation sponsored by the United Nations from the former Yugoslav Republic.

The Technical Committee was responsible for the logistics planning, software development, installation and configuration, hardware and facilities setup and technical support during the competence.

We also had to provide technical support to all the competitors, their respective team leaders and trainers and the organizing committee.

My work started several months before the competence with the planning and development of the equipment configuration and software setup that was going to be replicated into all the machines used during the competence.

Part of the planning also included the configuration of a number of workstations in several Local Area Networks to support the other organizing committees and the delegation team leaders, and several servers for disk and printer sharing and a Unix server as a gateway for Internet electronic mail.

All the computers for the competence had to have exactly the same configuration, operating system and programming languages tools.

Alicia was able to obtain a great deal of cooperation from Compaq and Microsoft, all the computers in the competence were Compaq 386 machines, and the programming languages selected for this edition of IOI were Turbo Pascal 6.0, Turbo C++ 2.0, Quick Basic 4.5, and LCN Logo 3.0.

I prepared a master disk image for all the competence machines and install disks for the other configurations. I had also to work on some other planning details such as power requirements in the facilities where we will be installing all the computers and related equipment.

At some moment my home office was a mini implementation of the configuration and architecture we were going to deploy in Mendoza for the event.

Compaq delivered in advance about 400 computers at the Convention Center in Mendoza where the competence was going to take place.

We arrived with a small group at Mendoza few weeks before the event. We took all the machines out of their boxes, tested them and pre-installed the software and put the machines back in their boxes since there was another event taking place in the convention center and we had to keep all the machines for the competence sealed in a storage room.

We worked very hard during those days to get everything ready. We had also a lot of fun, and I had some extra time to do some rafting on the Rio Mendoza, enjoy the mountains, the fine wines of Mendoza, and visit some friends of the University of Cuyo.

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Enjoying few moments of peace after we finished to setup all the computers for the competence.

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I'm showing the Governor of Mendoza and other local and national authorities how the computers were configured

Click on the pictures above for a larger view or here for more pictures of IOI'93.

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