My name is Hans Joerg Rothenberger. Joerg (actually Jörg in correct spelling) is not a middle name as in the American naming system. Hans Joerg is a double first name, something that's pretty rare in English, apart from Mary-Lou, Billy Joe and the like. So my parents and teachers called me Hans Joerg not only when I was a bad boy. It can also be written Hansjoerg or Hans-Joerg. Hans, as you may know, is the German version of John, and Joerg is George.
The monicker haro is a compressed version of Hansjoerg Rothenberger. It was created by my friends when I was a teenager and firmly believed my first name was written the same way as my father's. It was only when I got my draft papers for the Swiss Army at the age of 19 that I saw for the first time how my dad, back in 1948, had spelled my name on the birth registration form in order to make a clear distinction from his own.
I grew up in St. Gallen, north-eastern Switzerland, a city of about 100,000 inhabitants (incl. suburbs), built around a monastery founded in 612 AD by Saint Gallus. The monastery district of St. Gallen (in English sometimes called St. Gall) figures in UNESCO's World Heritage List.
After high school I messed around in various scientific fields apart from medicine, especially physics, electronics and information science, where I gained some ill reputation as a guy who can make the impossible possible. After graduating from the University of Zurich, Center for Dental and Oral Medicine and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, and post-graduate education especially in oral and maxillofacial surgery plus lots of activities in the wide field of applied electronics, particularly electro-acoustics, I moved to Walenstadt in 1976, a town of 4,500 inhabitants on a beautiful lake in the Heidiland area in the eastern Swiss Alps. There I'm running a practice for dentistry and oral surgery.
My native language is Swiss Alemannic. My education, as usual in the Alemannic speaking part of Switzerland, was mostly in High German, but I can express myself in about ten languages if necessary. English, besides its role as a lingua franca, has become even more important to me since I met Sandra Serra Bradshaw, a very special writer, journalist and poet of the Grand Traverse area in Michigan, USA. Sandra introduced me to the great fleet of schooners and other interesting sailing vessels in her area, run by the Maritime Heritage Alliance (MHA), a very active non-profit community of trad sail buffs on Lake Michigan, as well as Traverse Tall Ship Co. and Inland Seas Education Association.
By the way, some of my photographs and my modest contribution to the restoration of the historic lighthouse on South Fox Island in Lake Michigan can be seen in the form of the Web site I made for the Fox Island Lighthouse Association.
Oral surgery is my profession, but traditional sailing is my passion - well, one of them anyway. I sort of fell in love with Alónisos in 1986. A little island, small enough to stand on the top of a hill and see the sea all around, a place without fancy discos and hordes of tourists but with a lot of unspoilt nature, clean waters and nice people – that's what I had been looking for. And I found it. What's more, I found friends for a lifetime.
My first efforts in scientific computer programming date back to 1973. That was the time when prices of very basic computers dropped below half a million dollars. Since the advent of affordable computers in the early 'eighties I have always been active in the field of programming, including the development of simple and reliable operating systems. In those times a hard disk drive with 25 MB cost 15 grand, and we knew most system operators on the entire Internet by name. Computer viruses were confined to sci-fi, and Micro$oft was a swear word. However, William Henry Gates III got more money from his momma than our bunch of freaks did from ours, so, these days, whenever I have to write something that's compatible with the so-called industry standard, I have to cope with frequent system crashes, data losses and bloated software with bad performance like all other PC users. Yes, just like you.
Latest update Nov. 12, 2014
© Copyright 2003 - 20016 Hans Joerg Rothenberger, CH-8880 Walenstadt, Switzerland.