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I wanted to be an engineer before I could spell the word.
Going through high school all I cared about was math and physics. When I got into college all I wanted to be was an engineer. At one point I actually considered changing my major to physics because I loved it so - but that required two more years of Chemistry and I struggled with chem. When I got on board at National Semiconductor I was a chip designer but spent a lot of time walking my designs through topography and the chemistry lab. Boy was I a happy camper.
My first job working on a computer was with Bunker-Ramo (Teleregister in 1962). It had an 18.5 foot long horizontally rotating drum for storage and was programmed with Marine Pacific wire ored plugboards. The computer took up 1/3 of the 2nd floor of a building and the power supply was located in the basement and was equal in size. It took 8 of us to keep it running.
I was working as a consulting engineer when I was recruited by Boeing Aerospace. At Boeing I was assigned to their circuits lab and helped design a pipeline controller chip (later became the Intel 3000) and because of my work on the chip I was recruited into National Semiconductor and designed several chips - The 8750 real time clock was my gateway into microprocessor design. My partner in the Microprocessor lab was Steve Jobs who went on to form Apple computer. And I wrote some of the early software drivers, which were re-written by “Woz”, Steven Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer.
I have designed special computers for the shuttle, for the 747 that ferries the shuttle; laser guided re-fueling systems, the Honeywell System 3, the proprietary computer at the NYSE that was recently replaced with a Linux engine and a few others. But my heart has always been with the microprocessor.
My last position before retiring was as the IT director for a national bank to make the Y2K upgrade. We changed from the big iron mainframe to a server driven system from Unisys.
It was during that upgrade that I was given a copy (3 CD’s) of Red Hat Linux. It was love at first install. I have been an advocate for open source and Linux since September of 1999. I find the community surrounding Open Source to be enthusiastic and extremely helpful.
“Well my record will indicate that I probably made a mistake or two during my career. It will indicate that I volunteered for military service, but passed up the chance to be the number 3 man at both Microsoft and Apple. Like I said a mistake or two....”
I am retired now and teach Linux and open source software such as Mozilla, Google and Open Office. It’s my passion in life besides the cute blond I married 50 years ago.
member of the Bentsen Grove Resort PC User Group, Mission, Texas
member of the Tip-Of-Texas Linux User Group,