The start of my fifty years of experience in the computer industry was
here, in King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania. I worked here the longest of any
my professional career, from February of 1967 until June of 1977.
I began as a Mathematics Technician, responsible for providing assistance to
Aerospace Engineers who were developing heat-protection mechanisms to assure
the safe delivery of thermonuclear weapons. But I can't talk about any of that,
it was all classified. What I did was spend countless hours examining stacks
of computer output. I would follow the course of numbers that were the result
of hours of calculations, and plot the results on graph paper, so the engineers
could tell if they were doing the right thing. After some time, I learned to
use the computers myself, and found out I could turn the stacks of printed output
directly into charts and graphs using different equipment, and as a result of
my labor-saving ideas,
I was awarded a "Zero-Defects"
At a later stage in my career there, the lab I worked for was known as the
"Oceanographic & Environmental Sciences Lab," and I worked on a project to
obtain long-term temperature fluctuations in the deep ocean. This involved
the deployment of an instrumented buoy over 80 ft. long in the Atlantic Ocean,
off the coast of
Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I was responsible for the data-acquisition,
which was done on a DEC PDP-8 minicomputer (with all of 8K RAM!)
The computer was housed in an old van parked at the Navy base on the island, and
I had to go down to install it, and later to replace a failed subsystem board.