Cencomco (1936 – 2000)


Mrs. Albano has been kind enough to forward me this picture of Cencomco, John Albano, to share. I have added this pic to the blog banner in front of the M-Systems building, which seems appropriate.

For those not familiar with Cencomco, he was a legend on the old FLSH Yahoo board. Remarkably articulate guy with a knack for dead-on predictions. Back in the 1990s when PCs, NOR and HDDs were king, he foresaw the seismic shift to NAND and the rise of mobile. From what I could tell, he never pulled his punches. Called them like he saw them. Always polite, but didn’t suffer fools or those with agendas. Had a great sense of humor too. Fondly remembered by this blogger.

Nice write-up on Cencomco from Wired.com:

Cencomco didn’t live to see his predictions realized. John Albano from New Orleans, president and owner of Century Computer Company, died on Sept. 3 of emphysema at the age of 64.

His wife, referring to herself as “Mrs. Cencomco,” posted the day after his burial (message No. 6932): “He truly enjoyed writing for the board, knowing that he helped so many by recommending and educating them about FLSH. To date we have not sold a single share of FLSH, nor do we intend to sell any in the near future. In his memory, please keep the board clean and informative. He is now watching us from ‘the other side.'”

It was Cencomco’s combination of culture references from Shakespeare to Gone with the Wind, Biblical allusions, and financial savvy that his friends — some of whom had been there since the beginning in early 1998 — had come to enjoy and even rely on. Regulars with such screen names as Suejenseth, PioneerAnalyst, mordecaim, and poofypuppy turned to Cencomco for daily explanations of technological developments, analysis of the market and company announcements, and witty, insightful writing which always answered politely even the most naïve of queries…

“Some of his messages were brilliant,” says Dov Moran, the CEO of M-Systems, who was moved by Cencomco’s death to break a cardinal rule and post his own message to the board on Monday (message No. 7041): “I never met John in my life. He never called me and we never talked (except by exchanging e-mails from time to time)…. By contributing his penetrating analyses to the BB, he became a part of our lives. He was a symbol of morality and dignity and took us all (the company, managers, and investors) to a higher place than we were at before. Good-bye, dear legend.”

Moran’s was only one of a flood of messages this week that put aside financial considerations and instead expressed deep sadness at Cencomco’s passing.”Our board has been a model for all cyberspace as a result of the example set by our guide,” wrote entrepenurse (message No. 7017). “Our lives, spirits, and pocketbooks are richer as a result of the wealth of caring and informative posts by our caring teacher, Cencomco. How very fortunate we have been to know such a fine man.”

“Although I have never met, spoken with, or seen Cencomco in person, I feel like I know him as family,” wrote robfromraleigh (message No. 6981). “I know that for just me alone, his persuasive words of financial wisdom led me on the path from being a poor college student to being able to afford to buy my wonderful fiancée a ring, take her on a tour of Europe, and buy our first house together. All of these things would not have been possible without his words of wisdom that kept me from giving up during the hard times.”

Jammintimmyz even suggested (message No. 7005) that Yahoo Finance rename the FLSH message board in memory of Cencomco. Yahoo declined to comment. Overwhelmed by the feelings expressed for her husband on the board, “Mrs. Cencomco” wrote: “I read all of the wonderful tributes to my husband. I cried. May God bless all of us around the world. You gave him a magnificent final curtain.”


4 Responses to Cencomco (1936 – 2000)

  1. Poofypuppy says:

    Great tribute to Cencomco. I bought my first FLSH(F) shares in 1998, so this year marks the 10-year anniversary. Since that time, my M-Systems/SanDisk holdings have sometimes been up and sometimes down, often swinging wildly in between. I attended a continuing education class in UNIX tonight at the local community college, and the professor provided a brief and interesting history of the UNIX O/S. Reading John’s posts was almost like listening to a professor of computer technology.

    Best regards to Mrs. Albano and the rest of her and (the late) John’s family.


  2. Mrs. Cencomco says:

    Savo, you made me cry again. What a shock! It is taking me awhile to catch my breath. How wonderful that you would refresh his memory for all in such a beautiful way.

    Obviously, I often think of him in times such as this. What would he say? It has been quite a roller coaster ride, but frankly, I am glad I am still in. I wouldn’t miss this for anything. What he predicted many years ago for the NAND industry is coming to fruition. Bumps in the road, for sure, but there are mountains on the horizon. Hang in there.

    And, of course, with Dov’s new venture, he would consume this. I know he would say, “Go for it, Dov! You will be successful and revolutionary.” Although, I am sure he would have a lot more to say:-)

    From the bottom of my heart, Savo, thank you.
    Mrs. Cencomco

  3. mordecaim says:

    Savo, deepest thanks.

  4. afkkl8_99 says:

    FLSHF MB became a part of my life since Johan posted his first massage, browsing daily to find “cencomco” on the list before reading others.

    Thank you Savo and John

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