The “Computer” exhibition of Lausanne. Part 2: “Esprit Romand” and the “Röstigraben”

by Pierre-Yves Hurel


Context : This paper is part of a dossier about “Computer” exhibition.  

In the first one, I presented my methodological choices, the corpus studied, and the main periods of “Computer”.
– In this second one, I address how this show was integrated into a context of regional rivalry
a series of articles to be published over the coming week


The “Groupement Romand pour l’Informatique” (G.R.I.), which presents itself as a group of computer “users” (“utilisateurs” in French), stands behind the “Computer” trade show in Lausanne. Its website (gri.ch) states actually, that the group has been meeting since 1971. They understand themselves as true “users” of IT, but the term should be understood as it was before the era of home computing: G.R.I.’s aim was, and still is, to energize the market and enable the big local players to remain competitive. A short article published in the Journal de Genève (JDG) on June 15, 1971, reports on the initial meeting of around one hundred people “representing companies, administrations, associations and schools” from all over French-speaking Switzerland. The stated aims of this independent non-profit association were to “promote and develop information for specialized circles and the general public”, develop training, distribute documentation, “participate in the definition of information technology” and, finally, “protect the interests” of its members in the IT field. Continue reading The “Computer” exhibition of Lausanne. Part 2: “Esprit Romand” and the “Röstigraben”

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