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  27. They Flew   28. Index, People   29. Anecdotes   31. A thru B   32. C thru F   33. G thru H   34. I thru L   35. M thru O   36. P thru S   37. T thru Z   38. Oral Interviews   39. Deceased    

1. Topical Article Contributors

Use the Index tab, page 28 to get to what/where the following 24* people have written 60* items - the format is Name, web page, section. Triple digit #s refer to 'Articles for the Month' - see Legacy, Documents page.

  • Dennis Abbott, 15.2, 114; Clyde Allen, 16, 48.9; John Alton, 29, 58.4; David Andersen, 11, 15.2, 64.1, 104; Jorgen Andersen, 56.2.3; Curt Anderson, 8.4.5; and Larry D. Anderson, 15.2, 130; and Sally Anderson, 200.
  • Tom Bayless, 27.4, 49.2.6; Jean Batik, 74.5.2; Keith Behnke, 9, 10.4.4; Ron Belanus, 58.3.7; Bill Bergen, 80.6.1; Robin Bjorklund, 30.3; Bob Blixt, 62.2, 146; Larry Bolton, 12.2.1, 15.2, 16, 40.4, 40.5, 44.3, 45.2.2, 45.4, 51.3.6, 56.2.3, 61.5, 62.4, 71.3.4, 75.4, 80.6.4, 107, 113, 118, 120, 126, 129, 150, 158, 197; John Booher, 64.6; Capt. David Boslaugh, 15.2; Bobby Brewer,; Dan Brophy, 62.2.4; Tom Brusehaver, 80.6.3; Mike Bukovich, 15.2, 103; Warren Burrell, 8.1, 140, 141; and John Byrne, 48.4.

*These counts do not include Lowell Benson's as he has edited every page and each Article for the Month.

Click scrolls down to:

  1. Topical Article Contributors [left]
  2. Career Summaries - A: 2.1 Dennis Abbott (1965-99), 2.2 John Alton (1954-92),  2.3 Don Arnold (x-y), and 2.4 Alden Allen (1955-86).
  3. Career Summaries - B: 3.1 Warren Becker (1955-86), 3.2 Keith Behnke (1957-9x), 3.3 Scott Benjamin (1984-2011), 3.4 Lowell Benson (1960-94), 3.5 John Blackmer (1973-2007), 3.6 Don Blattie (1955-1995), 3.7 Manny Block (1951-9x), 3.8 Larry Bolton (1965-06), 3.9 Jim Bougie (1966-88), 3.10 Bob Bro (1965-8x), 3.11 Mike Bukovich (1965-07), 3.12 Tom Burns (1973-07), 3.13 Warren Burrell (1948-73), and 3.14 Bill Butler (1948-58).

Page 31 updated January 7, 2016.


2.1 Dennis Abbott

I was hired by Univac as a Programmer in February 1965 after graduating from Moorhead State College with a degree in Math and Chemistry. I was planning on being a pharmacist until I took a computer course in my senior year. It was a very basic course, but the end objective for the quarter was to write a small program. This experience provided my first introduction to the computer world and the new interesting opportunities that it could provide.
My first assignment was as a programmer on the DLG-16 Project which included the development of the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS), Simulation and Control Formatting Unit (CFU) programs. I was assigned to the CFU Program which provided the interface between the NTDS and the Sensor and Weapon Systems. This included providing ship parameter data and sensor/weapon status information in a readily usable form to NTDS as well as providing control and designation data at a rate and format acceptable to the appropriate subsystem. The CFU also calculated launcher pointing orders as a casualty backup to the Terrier Missile System. The CFU hardware configuration consisted of the 18-bit Univac 1218 computer, Keyset Central Multiplexer (KCMX), 1243 Magnetic Tape and a Paper Tape Unit. The program was written in the Trim III Assembly language which meant that every low level instruction written [Enter, Store, Shift, Add, Jump, etc] was recorded on a punched card, and added to the master card deck, which grew to 4 card trays by the end of the program. Although it was easy to write and insert patches, when it came time to reassemble the program, you were required to go through the card deck removing bad cards and inserting new ones in the proper location, and then pass the total deck through the card reader. This manual process was very time consuming and open for the introduction of new errors. Initial program debugging was accomplished at METC in Plant 2 where the CFU equipment was staged on wooden pallets. Since there was no operator interface to the CFU, debugging consisted primarily of checking subroutines by entering test parameters and evaluating results at the computer’s maintenance panel. As the functionality of the NTDS Simulation and CFU Programs expanded, the debugging efforts switched to the test site at the Naval Schools Command at the Mare Island Shipyard in Vallejo, California. Following the certification of the DLG-16 CFU Program - it was installed and supported aboard the USS Leahy at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

My next assignment was as a programmer on the CFU Program for the CG-10 [USS Albany]. Although the ship was a cruiser and had some different sensor and weapon systems, the CFU Program was similar to the DLG-16 CFU with much of the same functionality and same basic hardware configuration. The major addition was the interface to the Univac developed digital TALOS Missile System which resided in the 18-bit Univac 1219 computer. The CFU interface was via the KCMX Digital Input/Output Channels (DIC/DOC) to the Weapon Direction Equipment (WDE) Buffer instead of directly to the UNIVAC 1219. This maintained the previous Talos Missile System ability to detect and engage targets locally as well as receiving designations from NTDS. The Talos Test Site was also located at Mare Island, so considerable time was spent integrating and testing the NTDS/CFU interface to the Talos Missile System. This, like all debugging and integration testing at the Mare Island Test Site, was complicated by lab facilities in 2 or 3 different buildings [blocks apart in case of Talos] that were linked through multiple patch panels that had to be manually reconfigured prior to each shift. Following the certification at Island, I supported the CFU Program during installation and testing at the Boston Naval Shipyard and had the opportunity to observe the extensive U.S. Navy testing and training exercises, including live weapon engagements, while supporting the ship on the Caribbean Missile Range and at Guantanamo Bay.

The CGN-9, which had similar functionality to the CG-10, was my last CFU Program. The primary differences included the replacement of the Univac 1218 with the Univac 1219 computer and the addition of the digital interface to the Univac 1230 computers in the Hughes SPS-33 Phased Array Radar System. Variants of the CFU Operational Programs were developed, installed, and maintained by UNIVAC on a number of ships including the DLG-16, DLG-6 and DLGN-36 Destroyer class ships as well as the CG-10 and CGN-9 Cruisers.

In 1971 I participated in the DLGN-38 proposal development and upon award, was assigned to the DLGN-38 Project as supervisor of the Command &Control (C&C) Program. The DLGN-38 represented a significant advancement in both the hardware technology and software functionality from previous NTDS Programs. The DLGN-38 utilized a four bay/three processor configuration of the first multi-processing capable AN/UYK-7 computer. Three bays and 2 processors were allocated to the C&C Program and the fourth bay with a single processor was allocated to the Sensor Interface Data System (SIDS). The C&C Program communicated directly to each of the new major weapon systems [Mark 74 Missile, Mark 86 Gun, and Mark 116 ASW] each of which utilized the AN/UYK-7 computer. The C&C software was written in the CMS-2 language and ran under a version of the AN/UYK-7 Common Program which was tailored to support the four bay multi- processing configuration. In addition to being the first multi-processing implementation on a surface ship, the DLGN-38 was the first to implement Automatic Error Detection/Recovery, On-Line Test, two-way Link-4A, Satellite Navigation and Auto Detection/Tracking. Error Detection/Recovery was a major advancement in the operational reliability of the system. A memory test was run upon system load and the C&C software was automatically loaded around any bad memory detected. Background tests and status monitoring during normal operations provided the capability to automatically detect and isolate hardware failures and to modify the software configuration to continue operation. On-Line Test enabled routine maintenance/repair of combat system equipments to occur while still running the Operational Program. Significant Aircraft Control improvements included the first two-way Link-4A implementation which provided for data transmissions to and from the aircraft. The most significant Navigation improvement was the addition of the Satellite Navigation System which provided the ship with the capability to compute an accurate navigational position fix using the data received from the satellites. The SIDS Program provided an Automatic Detection and Tracking capability through digital control of the AN/SPS-48 Radar beam. The SIDS Program utilized the fourth bay of the AN/UYK-7 and communicated with the C&C Program through shared memory.

Following the DLGN-38 C&C Program certification, I joined the International Program Group in late 1976, as the Manager of the Iranian DD-993 Software Development Group. The DD-993 Project was a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) for the total ship procurement of four destroyers from the U.S. Navy, our direct customer. The DD-993 Combat System design utilized the DLGN-38 baseline configuration including the C&C four bay AN/UYK-7 and the Mark 74 Missile, Mark 116 ASW, and the Mark-86 Gun Systems as well as most sensor systems. The changes required to the C&C software baseline were fairly minor in nature and included the implementation of some Iranian unique requirements and most importantly the removal of U.S. classified functionality/data [such as Threat Evaluation equations/data, Identification data, etc] not releasable to foreign nationals. The most significant new software development on the DD-993 Project was the Simulation/Training Program which was required to support crew training as well as test, integration and software maintenance. New functionality included Scenario Control and Scenario Generation as well as interfaces with the major Weapon System Simulation Programs to provide a realistic operational environment to support crew training. An impressive Test and Training Facility was constructed at Corporate Square in Eagan to support the software development and training activities. During the DD-993 development, Iranian personnel were on site receiving on the job training and monitoring the development process. This made for a very interesting working environment at Corporate Square since personnel from Israel, Germany, and Japan were also on site during the same period. Shortly after completing certification, the Shah of Iran was overthrown and DD-993 Contract redirection was received in June 1979. Since the ships were under construction and nearing completion, the U.S. Navy decided to complete the ships and add them to the fleet. Although all training activities were terminated and project staff greatly reduced, a software group was maintained to support shipboard installation and test at the shipyard and during sea trials. The Iranian version of the certified DD-993 C&C Program was used aboard the ships until the U.S. Navy version, which was being developed at the Fleet Computer Programming Center (FCPC), Atlantic in Virginia, was available. In addition to providing support to FCPC for the C&C development, maintenance support was provided for the Simulation Program which was used by the FCPC Training code to conduct DD-993 Crew Training.

In 1980 I continued as Manager of the International Systems Development Group responsible for the DD-993 Project and support for a number of International new business opportunities, one of which was the Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF). Initial CPF support led to the development of the proposal for the Contract Definition CD) phase as a member of the Saint John Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. Ltd. of Saint John, New Brunswick team, of which the Sperry Corporation was the principal subcontractor for the design, development and delivery of the combat system suite. Defense Systems was the team’s primary software, data processing and SHINPADS hardware provider. In July 1981 the Saint John team was awarded one of the two 15 month CD phase contracts to prepare and submit a detailed proposal for the design, development and delivery of the six new ships.

After the submission of the CPF proposal in October 1982, I continued as Manager of the Systems Development Group responsible for supporting the proposal review/negotiation process and directing the post CD Phase tasks which included the development of a Preliminary Subsystem Design Specification, Ada Study, AN/UYK-44 Study, and numerous impact studies resulting from negotiated baseline changes. Many meetings were supported during the Post CD Phase, but the most memorable one occurred during negotiations to address concerns the Canadian Forces had about our software cost. In preparation for the meeting, I collected and reviewed the detail backup data which formed the basis of our bid and prepared slides providing additional justification to support the discussion. I had spent time the previous evening preparing for the meeting so when we got to the topic of software I was primed and ready, but not for the first statement from the Canadian Forces lead consultant. “We think the software is significantly under bid.” After recovering from the initial shock and volunteering to raise the bid, I did find it much easier to defend than the expected alternative position. The concern was raised because the competing team’s software bid was significantly higher. In 36 plus years of working on software development proposals/programs that was the only time I was ever told that a software estimate was too low.

In August 1983, with the award of the CPF Program, I assumed the position of Project Manager responsible for the Eagan system engineering activities. The approximate $150M received by Defense Systems for the hardware production and software development was the largest system/software development contract ever received by Defense Systems. The contract required the development of over 1,000,000 source lines of code (SLOC) including Executive, Command and Control, Simulation, Training, Test, Data Extraction/Reduction and Program Generation software. The challenge represented by the shear size of this software development was compounded by splitting this effort equally between two locations in two different countries. The CPF was the first to implement an advanced distributed combat system architecture which provided maximum redundancy utilizing the UYC-501 SHINPADS Serial Data Bus (SDB). Four data lines were run the length of the hull with Bus Access Modules (BAMs) tying into all four lines, of which only two are used at one time. Command and Control (C&C) functionally was distributed among five UYK-505 and thirty UYK-502 computers. Duplicate peripherals and access to both UYH-3 Disks by two UYK-502 processors provided complete redundancy. Automated Error Detection and Recovery, Health Monitoring and Maintenance Test function advancements also provided improved system reliability. In addition to the manual and semi-automatic controlled AAW and ASW modes of operation, the CPF was the first ship to implement a fully automatic mode. This mode enabled an AAW or ASW engagement to advance from automatic target detection through weapon selection and firing without operator intervention.

I functioned as the CPF Project manager through the successful completion of the formal verification/certification testing in. As part of the company realignment process following the merger, Unisys management made a decision to close the Defense Systems Montreal facility and merge the personnel into the Paramax [headquartered in Eagan] organization. To assist in providing a smooth transition of the Defense Systems Canadian employees into the Paramax organization, I accepted an 18 month temporary assignment in Montreal, Quebec as the Eagan CPF site manager and also functioned as the Paramax Software Engineering Director within the Paramax organization. I assisted Paramax in resolving major requirements and performance issues with both St. John and Canadian Forces through the development and negotiation of a detailed software workaround plan covering all activities through the delivery of the software to the first CPF ship. Assistance was also provided in a similar effort for Combat System Test and Support Facility (CSTSF) integration testing.

After returning from Montreal in April 1989 I was responsible for the Navy Systems Engineering Group until I joined the AN/ASQ-212 Program during the design/coding phase as the Project Engineer. The AN/ASQ-212 Program included the design, development, test and integration of the Core, Tactical Mission Software (TMS) and the System Test Program. This large scale fully compliant MIL-STD-2167A Ada software development employed the Object Oriented Design methodology which facilitates the implementation of future growth capabilities. The software executed on a Motorola 68030 multi-processor based computer, which replaced the CP-901, and was installed on over 160 U.S. Navy P-3-C Aircraft. The Sun workstation-based Ada software development environment with large scale use of CASE technology was delivered to the Navy Software Maintenance Facility to be used to maintain the over 900K source lines of delivered Ada code.

Following the AN/ASQ-212 Program I was assigned as the Project Engineer on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-3C Upgrade Program. Lockheed Martin (LM) was under subcontract to Raytheon E-Systems, Inc (RESY) in Greenville Texas, to provide the Data Management System (DMS) hardware and software for eighteen RAAF P-3C aircraft. The RAAF DMS was a phased software Ada development, in accordance with the intent of DOD-STD-2167A, with a compressed 24 month development schedule based on substantial software reuse. Given the Navy's close relationship with the RAAF, the Navy agreed to permit LM to re-use AN/ASQ-212 Program software, on a no-charge basis. Since the Navy and RAAF P-3C aircraft are similar, significant areas of software re-use were identified and incorporated into the Subcontract. Successful completion of the software development on such a compressed scheduled depended on a mature RESY overall aircraft system design so LM worked with RESY to define what data was required and date when needed and included this information in the negotiated Subcontract.

Despite the critical delivery requirements specified in the Subcontract, problems were experienced with the RESY supplied data very early in the program. Approaching our first major milestone of establishing a DMS Software Requirements Baseline, it became very apparent that RESY had not completed their aircraft system design, were totally understaffed and ill prepared to meet their requirements under the Subcontract. This was the beginning of which led to the generation of volumes of contract letters to document all missed/incomplete deliveries, meetings and phone communications through the duration of the project. After many attempts to work with RESY to resolve the issue with little or no results, LM submitted a Claim for Costs in June, 1996, seeking reimbursement for the extra personnel and costs it had incurred as a result of the delays and inadequate information. The resolution of this claim was a long and difficult process that consumed much of the management teams time for many months supporting the lawyers in preparing the case that finally ended with a binding arbitration decision awarding LM over $22M.

The majority of my 36+ years with Univac was spent working on large system/software development programs, most of which I started at the beginning and all of which I saw through to completion. Each presented a new and different challenge and learning experience from my introduction to the world of computers and programming on the CFU Programs to the different management challenges of the DLGN-38, CPF, and RAAF Projects. In all cases, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with so many outstanding people whose talent and dedication was routinely demonstrated through their amazing accomplishments that resulted in program success.  Top Δ 

2.2 John Alton, 1954 to 1992

1954 - Junior Engineer, Bomarc Guidance System – Supported logic design (converting 1103 from 36 bits to 30 bits (called the 1104), worked relay logic main controls.
System attributes:

  • Main memory - CRT Electrostatic 1024 words, 30 bits 
  • Mass storage – magnetic drum 16,384 words
  • Programming – minimum access (Sequential instructions are placed on the drum such that each is about to travel under the read heads as it is needed.)

1955-1956 - Military Leave – Two years communications officer, 2nd Lt. – Captain
1957 - 1959 - Engineer - Nike Guidance System (Athena Project – 2067) worked reliability issues. Primary task (which I considered impossible) was to devise incoming transistor receiving inspection tests that would provide the ability to sort the transistors into two groups: those that would eventually fail, and those that would not fail. Main emphasis was on shock testing.
Sea Surveillance System – developed a switching system that switched a Central Control Console between two 1103 systems, each with its own suite of peripheral equipment and motor generators. The switching system was housed in a large cabinet and based on mercury switches mounted on long trays that were tilted by mechanical means to cause switching. System Attributes:

  • Ten (?) CRT Display consoles (Developed by Stromberg-Carlson Co.) were located in special rooms, each adjacent to a major operational office at CINCLNTHQ(?) in Norfolk, Va.
  • Data for the displays was generated by the active 1103 and stored on a separate magnetic drum located in a special cabinet with logic to drive and refresh the display consoles. (designed by Joe Kimlinger)
  • The switching system connected the display consoles and the central control console to the active 1103 computer.

G40 Refurbishment – Designed transistorized unit to connect vacuum tube controlled Bull (French company) printer to the G40 computer. This computer was retired from its Bomarc missile guidance role, refurbished and upgraded for delivery to an ARPA lab. It was renamed “Research Data Evaluator” for political reasons. (The lab was not authorized to have another computer.)

1960 - 1967 - Project Engineer Special Purpose Computers (Applications were classified.)
These computers differed from general purpose computers in that they were intended to solve a specific problem. Most of the software functions were performed by hardware logic to obtain exceptionally high speed performance at the cost of significantly more hardware. Typically, these computers had on the order of ten times the hardware of a general purpose computer.
Blueplate II, Thornhill
Technically advanced features of this computer were printed circuit back panels and a very high current power supply. Possibly first use of emitter coupled logic in Defense Systems Division. The back panels consisted of up to 10 two sided boards, each with 7,200 plated through holes interconnected with roll pins. The power supplies delivered five hundred amps at 5 volts into bus bars made of two ½ inch by 4 inch cross section copper bars separated by a thin dielectric. The power supplies delivered +10 and -15 volts into smaller bus bars. The power distribution system was designed on the project by Don Keating. The power supply was subcontracted to Bogue Electric(?). Among many very challenging problems that Bogue had to deal with, was how to load the power supply at 500 amps. They did it by using their building fire protection sprinkler system.
Blondell – Used the same technology as Thornhill.
Belter – Used similar technology to Thornhill.
Seacrest - Used similar technology to Thornhill.

1966 - 1968 - Staff (General Manager’s Staff) Areas of responsibility were:

  • Prepare a 3 year IR&D Plan
  • Assist the Engineering staff in preparing the Annual Capital Budget
  • Prepare the IR&D annual Technical Brochure
  • Maintain the Engineering Policy & Management Guide
  • Conduct a Monthly Engineering Seminar
  • Serve as a member of the Product Planning Group

1969 – 1974 - Group Manager,  Managed a group of three departments

  • Memory - Developed Technology and hardware using magnetic core, plated wire, thin film storage media.
  •  Research
    • Investigated magnetic and photo-chromic materials structure and properties for use in mass data storage.
    • Developed deposition processes for magnetic media fabrication.
    • Constructed experimental models of mass storage devices and a magneto optic light deflector.
    • Worked on use of photo-chromic materials for optical data storage.
  • Special Applications – Performed classified studies

1975 – 1987 - Director, Functional areas directed through a number of reorganizations:

  • Signal Analysis: mathematic analysis of Radar, Sonar, Magnetic anomaly signals
  • Hardware Development: Signal Processors, Communication circuit switches, Voice response systems, Voice recognition system, Thin film and plated wire memory systems, CRT display systems, High resolution (16 bit) A/D converter.
  • Sensor Development: Radio Frequency & magnetic sensors using cryogenic superconducting technology
  • Speech Communications research: Speech recognition for computer input using a speaker independent dictionary approach as opposed to the then current signal pattern analysis;
  • Fiber Optic Systems: Developed equipment for launching signals into fiber optic cable and retrieving them for use in system interconnect.
  • Physical Sciences: Research in storage materials technology, energy (amorphous materials for solar cells)
  • Other: radiation hardening, Tempest, Electro-Magnetic compatibility and suppression, A/D conversion, advanced math (Galois logic)
  • Special applications: classified studies and hardware design

1988 – 1991 Staff Engineering Activities:

  • IR&D Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Engineering Policies and Procedures
  • Preparing regular Engineering management reports
  • Other assignments

1992 Retired   Top Δ 

2.3 Don Arnold

Ole: Here are a couple of things that I recall from the mid-50's.

  • Don Sampson worked on a "flying head disk" that was 3 to 4 feet in diameter and as I recall had a read/write head on the end of an arm that looked like a 2x4.  Don't know what the capacity was.
  • Malcom Macauley was working on displaying alpha-numeric's on a CRT in a laboratory in plant 3 (warehouse on SW corner of Prior and University.)  He left the company to form Data Display which was later bought by CDC.
  • Do not remember who it was but some engineer [at Univac or whatever the Company name was then] was trying to figure out how to send data over the phone lines and he was having a tough time trying to figure out how to get faster than 3Kbits per sec since the phone band width was 3000 cycles.
  • Bill Butler sent a few of us to New York to learn something about Univac. One of the things they had us doing was a payroll program with deductions for social security and income taxes. For a couple of days we had to write code in binary - then they let us write in octal which really made it a lot faster and more accurate. I recall that one of the instructors was a Unitarian pastor and he took the whole class to a gay bar one night. Never saw anything like that in the Twin Cities back in those days.

Don  Top Δ   

2.4 Alden Allen, 1955-1986

Alden's 'staff data sheet' and his wife's notes about his travels over the decades were in a packet of papers given to Lowell at a Club program. Those have been re-typed and condensed for this web site, read the attached paper.

Top Δ 


3.1 Warren Becker, 1955-1986

I started working at Remington-Rand UNIVAC on July 25,1955, the day the assembly workers came back after a prolonged strike. My Clock Number was 3028. I had interviewed with Max Butterfield and Wendell Wilson, they were looking for someone to organize and operate a Tool Crib for the Machine Shop at Plant 2, located next to the Steel Store. I started working with Dick Swifka in Tool Design. After a couple of weeks, I was asked to move to Plant 2 and take over the Tool Crib Operation. There was talk of building a new plant on Sheppard Road, where they planned to build the cabinetry for the new computers in the new machine shop. The shop was busy fabricating fiberglass and plastic printed circuit boards, they had to drill many small holes to hold the various components; standard drills were only good for one or two holes, so the Tool Crib ordered solid carbide drills which would last for many more holes, but were very expensive. It was decided that the expense was justified, so we ordered many drills from two suppliers, Cleveland Twist Drill and National Twist Drill. John Meland, who ran the model shop, was working on machines to automatically insert components, making accuracy of hole location and size very important.
In 1957 we moved the Tool Crib from Plant 2 to the new building, Plant 1, and purchased much of the expensive tooling needed through the Tool Crib. Because of the move and advances in technology, there was a lot of surplus and obsolete equipment and tools to be disposed of, so we opened an Employee Store one or two Saturdays a month and sold this material - obsolete oscilloscopes, voltage regulators, and lots of surplus or obsolete materials - at greatly reduced prices to employees.

In 1958 Leo Knight was looking for someone to take on Production Control for the Antenna Coupler Project at Plant 3. I worked there for Leo Knight, Stu Rankin, Fred Fielder and finally Paul Spillane; we ordered and expedited parts and dispatched jobs to the Production Line where the assemblies came together in one of the Antenna Coupler production lines until it was finally moved out of St Paul. This was a volatile product, seems we always had the last order in house, so we were not to spend a lot of time or money on tooling to fabricate the parts. It always seemed that as we finished an order another order would come in. There were several models, the last one was for the 707/KC135 aircraft.
I'll never forget the time President Eisenhower went to South America on his plane, the Columbine. On the way back, he had landed on some Caribbean Island, because the coupler had quit. John Vye, Director of Manufacturing, and Dick McLuen were in that Sat. morning, I was in doing some paperwork. They came down the stairs and had an engineer find a coupler on the line that was in working condition, they found one and after testing, sent someone to the Air Base, where a special plane flew him and the coupler to the Caribbean where it was installed and it worked, and the president got home OK.

Paul Spillane was promoted to lead the 490 Prototype Project, he called me and asked me to move to Sheppard Road to work for Don Schaak in Production Control. The 490 Prototype was completed in November, the power was applied and the shock was withstood. We built several serials for Eastern Airlines and some other customers. The 490 project was moved to Roseville because it was a commercial project. The 490 project was combined with the on-going 1107 Project, the work groups were combined and my job disappeared.
I moved to Plant 3 where I worked for Gary Linn and Walt Nelson on the Pro-ratable Store (1240). As the engineers designed the new equipment, they each used their own part numbers on identical screws, washers, and other standard hardware items. We tried to standardize the hardware so that each size of screw had a part number and was used on all the units. We stocked a wide variety of hardware items which were used throughout the assembly department. We added some of the more common electrical parts, transistors, resistors, capacitors, etc. And I began looking for a greater challenge.
I had a chance to move to Sheppard Road to work for Gerry Powers in Arnie Hendrickson's Aerospace Computer Division as the space planner for the division.  We moved many people as the division grew and branched into specialized groups.  I worked with Paul Lazar, developing charts and graphs for the presentations which Mr. Hendrickson was giving to Management and customers showing the progress of various Aerospace oriented computers.
     In 1968 Knight Pryor, Director General Services, asked me if I would like to take over as Manager of Office Services. This included the Mail Room, Office Supplies, Telephone Systems, Central Dictation, Records Management, Archival Storage and Library Services.  This was a challenging assignment, contending with the explosive growth of Defense Systems Division (DSD) into eight major facilities.
     We contracted to have the incoming US mail delivered to the Central Mail Room twice each day, using the UNIVAC inter-plant truck service to move mail and office supplies between plants several times each day; the mail room also had a Teletype Service to expedite communications between SPERRY locations and customers worldwide.  We replaced the teletype system with a faster facsimile system. The library provided periodicals and books on requests from Management, Engineering and clerical Staff. As DSD grew, the provision of telephone and Data communications became a higher priority part of the job. We had installed the first Electronic Switch in the mid-west, a 101 ESS telephone switch in the Shepard Road Facility.  We installed up-graded Systems in five major facilities serving eight Plant locations with over 6000 stations inter-connected with tie-lines between facilities.  We published DSD Telephone directories several times each year.

     In 1985 we installed a new Dimension 85 Electronic switch in Plant 8 with complete Customer Control which, along with an improved back panel wiring scheme, greatly simplified the clerical effort needed for moves and changes and keeping the telephone book up-to-date.  We had hired our own installers and and we purchased our telephones [rather than lease] resulting in a major saving to DSD.  We worked with the SPERRY Communications team from N.Y. to install a nationwide communications system called SPERRYNET, interconnecting all the domestic SPERRY locations and some overseas operations, resulting in major savings to the corporation.
     We also provided Data Communication between plants from 300 baud to 9600 baud [State of the art, at that time], with a hi-speed line [50 kilobits] to Salt Lake City, which switched the tie lines every evening to data.
     I enjoyed a very interesting and varied career at DSD, retiring on Nov 17, 1986, taking advantage of an incentive buy-out offered when UNISYS came into being with the Burroughs merger.  My career covered a period of rapid growth and unimaginable change in the electronics/computer/communications industry. I have continued to be involved with the retirees, serving as President of the VIP Club for 3 years (90-91-92) and involvement with the Sperry Incentive Retirees Advisory Committee [President of the committee since its inception in 1993], overseeing the court settlement of the HealthCare for those retirees who retired under one of the Incentive Plans. Hopefully, I will be able to continue my activities for many more years.
 Warren passed away March 29th, 2014Top 

3.2 Keith Behnke, 1957 -

RAM (Randomly Accessed Memories)
I would like to share my recollections with you to see if they invoke some nostalgic thoughts. I was attending the University of Minnesota early in 1957 and having interviewed at the then Remington Rand Univac, I received a call offering me a job. Without a second thought I accepted even though the salary was not too impressive. However, it was more than I had made at any of my previous part-time jobs. Then started a long series of experiences that I hope many of you can relate to.
     I spent two weeks at Plant 2 for orientation and then moved to Plant 1. Seemed like a promotion because of the improved environment. There were many separate company facility locations during the late 1950’s through the 1960’s and into the 1970’s.

  • Plant 1 was on Shepard Rd. and West Seventh St. across the river from Fort Snelling. Only the two-story front part was air-conditioned. It was the company’s premier facility at the time.
  • Plant 2 was a group of buildings owned by the Navy (home of the original company - ERA) located on Minnehaha Ave. between Prior and Fairview.  If your work area was by the windows on the north side, as mine was, you had to be careful because any rain with a north wind would get through the leaky windows and leave your desk soaked.  The cafeteria was similar to a military mess hall and if you didn’t want to eat there you could head down University Avenue to Porky’s Drive In, the Hall of Fame, or the Esquire [big fat sandwiches filled with ham, turkey or roast beef].  On special occasions a fancier meal could be had at the Blue Horse or Criterion.
  • Plant 3 was a truck terminal warehouse located behind Mr. Joe’s bar and restaurant on Prior and University.  In the winter snow would blow in around the garage style doors.
  • Plant 4 was where the commercial computer operations moved after the defense/commercial split in the early 1960’s.  It is located in Roseville on Highcrest Rd. across from Francis Gross Golf Course. 
  • Plant 5 was a warehouse building on Prior Ave. between University and Minnehaha.  It had an exposed metal roof with no internal ceiling so during hot sunny summer days, if you were on the second floor, it was like sitting under a broiler.  The only cooling was a large noisy water evaporation cooling system that didn’t have much effect.  So most of the men working there stripped down to their undershirts on hot afternoons.
  • Initially Plant 6 was a building on the East River Rd. and Ford Parkway and then later a building on University Ave. between Prior and Fairview.  That was near Eslinger’s bar and restaurant where you could line up at the cashier’s window on Friday to get your paycheck cashed.  It burned down and was later reopened across the street as Slinger’s. 
  • Plant 7 was on Larpenteur Ave. and Hwy 280.  There an emerging display technology was being developed.
  • Plant 8 appeared in the mid 1960’s, built in Eagan Township on a property that they named Univac Park. It was a rural area of farm fields and woods with no other development around at the time. It triggered me to buy a house in nearby Burnsville but it would be 9 years before the plant was expanded and I was able to work there.

     In later years, after many of these plants were closed, new locations in Eagan opened. The multi-story building on Pilot Knob and I-494, the lower level of the Yankee Square shopping center, small office buildings on Federal Dr., and the ones in the Corporate Square area where the streets are named after the U.S. space program and the astronauts. Then came the Semi-conductor Development building [to guarantee a ready supply of these key computer parts that ended when we decided we couldn’t afford to be in that business].  And finally the other building built on the initial Eagan property, the Unisys Commercial Marketing facility {Editor's note:  Now called the MACs building.}
     During the early years I remember the company Christmas parties at the Lemington Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.  We had a buffet meal and a different type of band in each of the ballrooms on three floors.  Directors of major projects would have hospitality suites in the hotel and if you were on that project or knew someone who was, you could get a free drink or two.  Company picnics were at the old Excelsior Amusement Park on Lake Minnetonka and later at Valley Fair when it opened.  The company provided free food and rides.  There were sports leagues including touch football, basketball, volleyball, broomball, softball, golf, and bowling.  Most had season ending banquets.  For example, the golf league’s was at the Jax Café in NE Minneapolis where we used the second floor banquet room and had a huge table of door prizes that included whole sets of clubs and everyone there won something.  And the bowling league had banquets at the Prom Ballroom in St. Paul with a sit-down dinner and a dance band for the evening entertainment.  All these activities where funded by the company’s share of the revenue from vending machines in our plants.
     In those early days it would not be surprising during the Holiday Season to notice a distinguished gray haired individual standing behind you as you were working, have him ask about your activity and then wish you a Merry Christmas.  You would find out later that it was Bob McDonald, who was the Company President at the time.  In later years a team of bowlers from Univac would meet a team from DCAS in an annual tournament.  Afterward the DCAS Commander and the then President of Univac, Dick Gehring, would hand out the prizes and join in the celebration [it really didn’t matter who won or lost].
     When I started, one of the first things I worked on was revising printed circuit card artwork for the File Computer, which used vacuum tubes for switching devices. The larger commercial computers at the time were constructed like small rooms with the walls made up of rows of chassis containing vacuum tube pc cards.  During checkout large floor fans were used to try to keep them cool.  A major effort at the time was designing printed circuit artwork used to etch the circuits on cards.  We were just transitioning from drawing the circuit paths and component mounting pads on vellum with ink to using a black masking tape on a plastic material to speed up the process, and get more accuracy and document durability.  We went from one sided to two sided to multi-layer boards as the circuits got more complex and to reduce “jumper wires” needed to cross over the circuit paths.  New original vellum drawings, that were similar to those already completed, were sometimes made using “sepias”.  Later, when drawings were made on a coated cloth material, the duplication process was called “wash off”.  Eventually all drawings were done on a Mylar material.  Lettering was done with a tool called a “Leroy Template and Pen”.  Prints were made with an “Ozalid” machine that used ammonia as a developing agent [you could always tell when they refilled the machine, it would clear your sinuses immediately if you were nearby].  Data was input to computers using either paper tape punched by a “Flex-o-writer” or punched cards [remember those noisy card sorters?]  A few of the project names from the early days – Univac II and III, NTDS, CP-642B, Antenna Coupler, Minuteman, Nike Zeus, Nike X, UYK-7, and UYK-20.
     Hand held calculators arrived and replaced the slide rule as the engineer’s basic tool.  Then along came design automation.  We bought interactive design terminals called “Applicon”, a high-speed drawing plotter called the “Xynetics”, developed a computer generated microfilm system called the “Autogram”, which was later replaced by purchasing a “Dicomed COM (Computer Output Microfilm)“.  During this period we developed a computer based “Automated Design System” with a database that was called the “master file” [on a CP-667 computer].  When we went to the 1108 computer, we had a program called “Column Oriented Logic Imputer (COLI)” that built an equation file for each PC card.  Eventually more sophisticated workstations and software were acquired and most engineering design became computerized.  Data files could then be used to control the manufacturing process, which was also becoming more automated.  You had to learn “MAPPER” for many of the computer hosted administrative functions.  Typewriters were replaced by Word Processors [precursors to the personal computer].  The evolution of computers over the forty-three year period that took us from the Univac I to the PC’s we were using when I retired was amazing when you look at both the size and performance differences between them.
     These are things that happened mostly from the late 50’s through the 70’s, but both technology and the personality of the company have continued to change during the ensuing years. We can speak of those earlier times as “the good old days”, but I’m sure that there will be different “good times” that someone will recall as they look back from future years.  Top 

3.3 Scott Benjamin, 1984 - 2011

Scott is unique in that he submitted his career summary as he and his department were being laid off in January 2011. This was the first lay off after Lockheed Martin announced in Nov. 2010 that they would be closing the Eagan facility by 2013. Click here to read his summary.  Top 

3.4 Lowell Benson, July 1960 to February 1994.

After 33.5 yrs at UNISYS, was there life? My full career summary is a pdf file, click here. A summary since leaving UNISYS:

On February 15, 1994 UNISYS gave me an opportunity to find other employment as perestroika and glasnost made older defense industry engineers available. I interviewed at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) – was hired to develop and manage a research laboratory for Intelligent Transportation Systems. We created a local area network of 16 PC research stations, developed a video wall with a dozen displays for freeway traffic monitoring, and then implemented a microwave link from the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (Mn/DOT) Traffic Management Center. This proved that video linking worked so Mn/DOT allowed local TV stations access to their freeway cameras for traffic news reporting. I retired from the University in December, 2001 – then had consulting contracts in 2002, ‘03, ’05 and ‘09. I still volunteer on the CTS Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow Council.

In 1995 I volunteered to be an area director on the Lake Miltona Association Board – started a web site for them in ‘08 which I still maintain.

In 2005, I volunteered to join the VIP Club Board to Co-chair the Legacy Committee with Dick ‘Ole’ Olson. I started a Legacy web site in Feb. 2006 - merged it with the VIP Club’s site in 2007; we are still adding stories and articles to it. Club accomplishments are: 1) convinced the IRS to change our Sperry Retirees Club name to the VIP Club, 2) converted the membership database from MAPPER to Excel, 3) developed electronic newsletter distribution, now at 57% of the membership, and 4) replaced the Club’s UNISYS mail station with a PO Box. In addition to being webmaster; I’ve been Treasurer, VP, President, and Past President. I’ve volunteered on the UNIHOGS/ UNITURKEYS planning committee since 2000 and have led the Annual UNIVAC Old Timers' Reunion planning since 2007.

In 2007, I volunteered to maintain our church’s website – still doing fortnightly updates.

In 2012 we had over 100 grandchildren’s calendar events: a confirmation, baseball games, band concerts, birthdays, choir concerts, dance recitals, a graduation, hockey games, lacrosse games, swim meets, Boy Scout events, and academic award ceremonies.

In 2012, We moved from our Shoreview home of 45 years into a Roseville townhome. Then in November, I began a two-year term on the Owasso Pointe Homeowners Association (OPHA) Board as the maintenance coordinator. After a 2015 break I'm again the maintenance coordinator for 2016/17.  

In 2015, I completed my third term as President of the VIP Club – 2011, 2014/15. I resigned from the CTS Safety and Traffic Flow Council, reverting to a council friend status.

In 2016, I've taken over as webmaster for my church website and have developed the 60th reunion booklet for my HS class. 

     In pursuit of my photography hobby; Gloria [married 55 years] and I have toured parts of 16 states and 43 countries on 6 continents - plus summer weekends at our Lake Miltona cabin.  Life is good, by Lowell Benson.

Top Δ 

3.5 John (Jack) Blackmer, U.S. Navy, 1962 – 1966; LMCO, etc. 1973-2007.

   Lead Non-Commissioned Officer of the Fire Control Technicians on board the destroyer USS Robert K. Huntington, DD 781, stationed out of Mayport, Fla. Vitro Corporation, Silver Spring Md. (1966-1973):
     Was supervisor of group responsible for the design, installation and modification of Command and Control Switch boards.  Units were for CV, CVN, DDG, CG, and CGN classes of ships.  Effort included generation of all design documentation required for delivery to switchboard manufacturers for bid and construction of the units.  Effort also included review and generation of associated cabling, functional documentation and wiring data for the Navy. Developed change packages (hardware and documentation) for required switchboard modifications after manufacture. Provided shipboard and site support for switchboard and related system installation, checkout, switchboard change installation, and test.  I participated as a team member in the development and implementation of a new modular standard switchboard design.
     Was Navy customer’s (NAVSEA 6178) representative to ship design related meetings including all meetings related to the combat system configuration for new construction of the CGN 38 and CVN 68 classes.  Was a member of Design Review Task Group (DRTG) for design and installation of the Tartar D missile system.

Lockheed Martin (Sperry, Loral, Paramax, UNISYS etc., etc.) (1973 – 2007)
(1973-2001) Test Program Generation and Support: Developed and maintained CP-789, CP-642B, AN/UYK-44 computer test programs for CV, CVN, DDG, CG, CGN, FF, and LHA ships.  Test programs included equipment (magnetic tapes, KCMX, displays) and combat system level interface, alignment and operability tests for verifying interface operational and alignment status.  Systems worked with included several versions of the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS, ACDS), Missile (Tartar, NSSMS, Tomahawk and CIWS), Gun (Mk 56 and 86), SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare, various underwater battery systems, navigation and all installed search radars.  I was assigned as lead engineer on two large multiple test program development projects.
     Analyzed new systems and equipment to define test requirements and provide manning and cost estimates.  In addition to generation of the various test programs provided on-site shipboard and test site support for program and equipment/system installation, checkout, test execution and personnel training.
(1993-1998) NAVSEA New Design Support:

Coordinated war fighting improvement program studies for ships including DD 963, LHA, CVN, LPD, and LSD.  Developed new hardware configuration designs incorporating latest system (ACDS, SSDS, CEC, etc.) and concepts (open system networking, advanced display system, GOTS/COTS components, etc.).  This was accomplished through the generation of configuration drawings, white papers, trade off studies, and other associated items.  Developed and maintained Battle Management Organization’s (BMO’s), Man-Machine Interface (MMI) definitions, system interface definitions, and combat system functional requirements for each of the ships/classes involved.  Supported related NAVSEA working group and developmental meetings through presentation generation, and attendance.  Reviewed all related data (documents, presentations, papers, etc.) from other organizations and provided feedback to NAVSEA as needed.

(1997-2000) New Business Development: Provided system engineering support for various proposal generation efforts. Major proposals won by the company included LPD 17, CVN 77 and TTWC.
(1998) Received NOVA Award: Awarded the companies highest award, the NOVA award, for my activities directing one of the Red Cross operations during the aftermath of the Comfrey St Peter Tornado in March 1998.

(2001-2003) CVN 77 ECS: Supported CVN 77 External Communications System (ECS) design effort. Assignment included:
- Development and generation of the Bill of Material (BOM) for the total ECS system,
- Component Specification development
- Coordinate procurement pricing efforts.

(2003-2006) Virginia & Seawolf CSRR: Supported External Communications System (ECS) design effort based on the Common Submarine Radio Room (CSRR) design effort.  Assignment included:
- Development of interface design including generation of interconnect diagrams
- Generation of cable running sheets
- Maintenance of cable design data base
- Coordinate mechanical cable design drawing generation
- Respond and solve build insures when reported by cable assembly area
- Provide on site support on rotating bases at cable build facility (Johnstown PA).

(2004-2007) Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Proposal: Lead Eagan System Engineer and also assigned as project PIK Sub IPT lead.  This effort included coordinating all related activities of LM and other companies’ personnel related activities.  This effort included, but was not limited to:
- Defining all support hardware requirements such as racks, power, mounting, cooling, environmental and other related items
- Providing scheduling, staffing and effort estimates
- Generation of related design specification documents
- Gathering pricing quotes
- Production of program review presentations
- Everything else that goes with a very large project.
I also provided engineering support to the Management and Control IPT.
(2006-2007) Presidential Helicopter: Provided System Engineering in the Information Assurance area for the design of the communications system for the new Presidential Helicopter including providing on-site (Owego NY) support.
(2007) Po Sheng:  Provided System Engineering support to the mechanical engineering area.  Main responsibilities included:
- Review, comment and approval of all documents going through the ERB and TRB
- Generation/revision of Hardware Configuration Item (HWCI) specifications
- Processing and resolution of hardware trouble reports
- Provide on-site San Diego support on a 4-week rotation
Non Career Highlights/Activities:
(1974-1986): Worked part time as a licensed police officer for the city of Morristown, MN.  Last 4 years was Officer-in-Charge of the 4-man department with rank of Captain.  In addition to patrol, duties included department work schedules, working with the city council on budget matters and interfacing with other law enforcement and other agencies.
(1987-1989): Emergency Management Director for the City of Morristown, MN.  Developed Morristown’s first-ever disaster response manual.  That document with minor revisions is still in use today.
(1986-2006): Involved with local Red Cross chapter, mainly supporting disaster response efforts. Highlights include:
- 1994-2006 served as Chapter’s Disaster Team Chairman.
- 1996-2002 was representative on the Red Cross State Service Council, the last year as Chairman.
- 1998 directed chapter’s response efforts to the Comfrey-St. Peter Tornado disaster including sheltering, feeding and providing other aid to victims.  Chapter operation covered aiding all victims in Le Sueur and Rice counties. Our operation was one of four separate, yet unified, response operations for this disaster.
(1998-2007): Member of Morristown, MN Zoning Board, serving 8 years as Chairman.  Top Δ 


I joined the ERA Division of Remington Rand in April 1955 after four years in the United States Air Force. I had not finished college before joining the USAF during the Korean conflict. I wanted a job in the Twin Cities such that I could support my family and get a degree at the University of Minnesota. I really had no expectations of spending 40 years working for the same company, but after 6 years [I finally graduated from the U of MN in June 1961.] I understood what opportunities were available to me at what was then Sperry Univac. There were so many company names during those years. Darrell Lynn of the Law Department prepared a unique card when I retired that listed many of the company names during the previous 40 years: e.g., Engineering Research Associates Division of Remington Rand, Remington Rand Univac Division of Sperry Rand Corporation, Univac Defense Systems Division, Sperry Rand Univac Division, Sperry Univac, Paramax A Unisys Company, Unisys, Loral etc. I doubt if this list is exhaustive.

My first job was in antenna coupler field engineering [working for Al Mueller and Marc Shoquist] preparing Provisioning Parts Breakdowns for the Automatic Antenna Coupler, requesting federal stock numbers for antenna coupler parts and tracking antenna couplers returned for repair. I moved to Plant 2 after a couple of years and went to work for Fred Hargesheimer in what was then R&D Sales and Contracts.

This group included Sales, Legal, Pricing, Proposal Management, Classified Document Control, and Contracts. Fred really taught me the importance of written correspondence and the impression it made on our customers. I spent the early years doing contract administration on the Automatic Antenna Coupler Program and on various R&D Programs. In 1964 I became Manager, Contract Administration Services which included the activities of the correspondence center, the central filing system, classified document control and other department administrative functions.
I was transferred to Blue Bell in 1965 to do Contract Administration on R&D Programs managed by Defense Systems, but staffed by people assigned to commercial divisions in Blue Bell. About that time the Vietnam War was beginning to escalate and funding that had been intended for R&D was diverted to Vietnam. Consequently I was transferred back to St. Paul in 1966 and worked on a variety of programs including my first Foreign Military Sales [German 20B] contract and my first major direct international contract [German Fast Patrol Boat with Hollandse Signaal Apparaten (HSA) in the Netherlands].
The next few years the division got involved in more direct sales to foreign customers and fewer [other than standard hardware] FMS Cases. I realized that I really enjoyed the freedom of being able to negotiate contracts not governed by ASPR, rarely audited by DCAS and not having to travel to Washington, D. C., in the summer months. There was also something to be said for being able to conduct your negotiations far from St. Paul. It was a great opportunity to visit a lot of nice places, meet people of other cultures, get hi-jacked on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Bonn, and to succeed with direct foreign contracts.

I did spend a lot of time in Department of Commerce libraries, with our Law Department and other sources learning how to handle issues that we did not have to deal with on FMS Cases or other U.S. Government contracts. The application of ITAR (International Traffic In Arms Regulations) became a compelling issue and one that kept us out of many parts of the world because export licenses would not be forthcoming.
The last 5-6 years, along with Bob Pagac, Program Management, and Art Francis, Systems Engineering, I concentrated on Japanese Programs, especially the CP-2044 License Production Agreement with Toshiba. I'm told that 12 years later royalty checks are still being received.
I worked on a lot of good programs and a few bad ones. I worked with a lot of great people, especially those associated with the various international organizations that seemed to come and go during that period. I hesitate to name individuals because there were so many in 40 years and I am virtually certain that I will forget persons who were a significant part of my experience. Nevertheless I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge my long-time Contracts friends and associates, Dick Tracy, Bob Burtness and Tom Johnson, who also spent many years working International Programs; the Law Department who tried with some success to keep us out of trouble; and International Program Management and International Marketing who seemed determined to find new ways to challenge us.
Regardless of the name—ERA, Remington Rand, Sperry Rand, UNIVAC, Sperry, UNISYS, Loral, etc. — it was a good place to be.  Top 

3.7 Manny Block,

     In 1960, after the NTDS AN/USQ-17 program ended, I was asked by Arnie Hendrickson to participate in the Ascension Island program.  We had just been awarded a contract to supply a computer system to aid the FPS-16 radar on the island in picking up and tracking missiles and satellites as they came over the horizon after being launched from Cape Canaveral, 5000 miles up range.  Ascension is an island midway between Brazil and Africa.  It was used as a refueling base for airplanes during WWII.
     I worked with one of our subcontractors, Milgo, in Miami, to develop peripheral equipment that allowed the computer to interface with the radar, teletype communications, a plotting board, Atlantic Missile Range timing signals, and other systems.  I enjoyed the trips to the Cape and to Miami.  The culture around the Cape was informal and engineers were encouraged to be creative.  By the fall of 1961 everything was built and was shipped by the Air Force to Recife, Brazil for next-day delivery to the island.  Unfortunately, the rack of equipment holding the interface equipment was dropped from the airplane to the ramp causing much damage.  Nevertheless, our crew was able to repair the damage on the island.  I did not go with the first or second teams.  They encountered many system bugs that had to be fixed.  The technicians, engineers, and programmers worked very long hours on the island but there remained much to do.  I was given charge of the third team of seven and flew to Recife on an Air Force C121, a militarized Lockheed Constellation.  When we got to the island the next day, the island people were surprised to see us since the radar was apart for maintenance.  We were not supposed to be there.  Things eventually got straightened out and we were lucky enough to finish the job and get everything working the way it was supposed to.  After three weeks all was ready for a missile shot designed to impact near the island.  Our system worked flawlessly.  As the plotting board showed the missile nearing the island we ran outside to see the reentry.  The nose cone became incandescent as it reentered the atmosphere.  It broke into pieces, each leaving a fiery trail as it fell.  The spectacular fireworks were accompanied by a freight train like roar.  I was lucky enough to capture the event on slides but the sound remains only in memory.
     The next highlight of my career at Univac was a similar installation in South Africa in the spring of 1962.  This was a portable system housed in a 40 foot trailer that was airlifted by an Air Force C124 to an airbase near Johannesburg where the tracking station was located.  This time, only Ralph Thompson and myself were able to complete the installation in six weeks.  The test was to track the Mercury flight of Scott Carpenter.  We did so successfully.  That capsule is now on display in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  Top 

3.8 Larry Bolton, June 1965 thru August 2006; Component Engineer

I was part of the last graduating class of 1965 from the U of Minnesota to require a full 5 years of study to get a BEE degree. After 41+ years at Univac/Sperry/Unisys/Lockheed Martin, I retired in August 2006. The entire time was spent in the engineering support organization called Components and Material Engineering. Our primary job was the specification, qualification, and application support of components used in all programs at Univac/Unisys/Lockheed Martin. In normal industry jargon, I was a career component engineer.
     After my orientation, I spent my first months supporting the 1824/MBRV/BGRV program at Plant 1. These programs were based around one of the first applications of integrated microcircuits in a rocket/missile application. I spent several weeks on site at Westinghouse trying to get rid of loose particles in the first integrated circuits used in these programs. Then I spent fours years working discrete component (resistor, capacitor, relay, switch) issues in the central Component Engineering group under Ken Asplund.  During that time I supported the 1812, Antenna Coupler, UYK-7, P-3C, and S-3A programs.
     In 1969, we got a contract for the Minuteman III program, which required unprecedented levels of quality and reliability for all components.  I was loaned to this program for 5 years where I handled coil wound components, the plated wire memory, the tunnel structure, and a precision oscillator.  It was here that I expanded my knowledge into the semiconductor area by working transistor and diode issues.
     Near the end of the Minuteman program in 1975, I was brought back into the central Components Engineering group under Bob Iverson and later Kane Hoversten where I handled diodes, transistors, small scale logic, PROMs and memory devices.  During the 60s, 70s, and 80s, the testing and failure analysis of semiconductors by Univac/Sperry was very useful in getting the state of the art of semiconductor manufacturing to the point where it is today.  We component engineers, along with the design engineers, were constantly learning about new products due to the progress of technology we used in our products.  I was involved when we began using programmable logic, ASIC gate arrays, and also supported the use of bubble memories for a program I can't recall.  Some of the programs for which I provided significant component support include LAMPS, ADD/DDR/CADS, TCCF, DTS/DTG, ABCCC, UYK-20, ARTS, NEXRAD, MATCALS, Trident, Optical Disk, H-Navy, S-3-B, B-2, ATF, CP-2044, UYK-43, and UYK-44.  I was also the department coordinator during the development phase of UYK-43.  During this time, I was Eagan's representative to the Sperry Corporate Semiconductor Coordinating Committee.  I eventually also became the Unisys/Lockheed Martin representative to the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) G-12 committee which is a body of users of semiconductor devices in defense/space oriented equipment.  It met three times a year in coordination with the JEDEC JC-13 committees which is comprised of representatives from most of the major semiconductor manufacturers.
     Component Engineering continued to support use of all the latest semiconductor technologies until the mid 1990's when the company decided we could not compete with custom designs and would rely on COTS board level products from other suppliers.  At this time management was convinced that commercial off-the-shelf products from component suppliers were so reliable that we no longer needed to test parts or do failure analysis to get corrective action from suppliers.  So the component engineering test lab and our support failure analysis lab were disbanded.  Thus began my transition into products like disk and tape drives, VME backplanes, FDDI interface VME cards, Ethernet I/O PMC cards, and Ethernet switches in VME and pizza box rack mount formats for use by the BMUP, Q-70, LCS, and Po Sheng programs.  For my last 10 years I was also the Q-70 Product Assurance Team (PAT team) representative from the Material Engineering organization [as we are lately known].  Then also, near the end of my tenure, we saw the return of some detail designs using semiconductors on the F-16 and JSF programs.  I guess I should also mention support I provided to build-to-print programs [designed by companies other than Eagan but built in Clearwater or Pueblo] such as the postal AFCS/ISS and FSM1000 programs, FHMUX, and JDAM programs.  I guess I probably supported any program that required application support or formal documentation to define the electrical components used in those systems. That is a long list.
     Over my 41 years of service, it was interesting to follow the migration of component and processing technologies that we used.  I started when the industry learned how to put more than one transistor on a single silicon die.  Our first integrated circuits were small single gate structures in flat pack packages.  The logic was called RTL (resistor-transistor-logic) and DTL (diode-transistor-logic).  Although most companies were using thru-hole printed circuit boards, even back then we were forming the leads of the flat packs and surface mounting them.  This is still being done today although the level of integration has increased from a single gate to millions on a single die and the number of leads has increased from 10 to today's hundreds.  New package styles such as leadless chip carrier, quad flat pack, pin grid array, and now ball grid array are commonly used today.  After the RTL and DTL logic families, came the TTL (transistor-transistor-logic) families, and lower power/faster versions of this bi-polar process which are still in use today.  However, most microcircuits today are made using a lower power CMOS (complementary-metal-oxide-silicon) process.  For many years, the operating voltage of these devices was 5 volts. Today, 3.3V, 3.0V, 2.4V, and even 1.8V devices are being used.  The processing power of our first computers can now easily be put on a single piece of silicon.
     Although discrete ceramic capacitors and resistors are still used, many today are lower voltage and lower power than were required in the 1960's.  Today, some of these are not much bigger than pepper specks and it's a wonder that we can still handle them to get them soldered onto printed circuit boards.
     Relative to memory migration, our first machines used nonvolatile core memory and I'm not sure what the bit/byte capacity of those might have been.  The first semiconductor memory devices in the 1970's were16 bit but they were volatile (lost memory if voltage is removed).  Then came the invention of the programmable fuse and PROM (programmable read only memory) followed.  Memory size continued to grow.  An early program used a 1K or 4K bit NMOS dynamic memory meaning it had to be rewritten to every few milliseconds or so since the charge on the single transistor gate would leak away.  But dynamic memory gave you higher bit densities than were achievable with 4 or 6 transistor static RAM cells.  UYK-43 and UYK-44 used 64K bit DRAMs.  Then, someone figured out how to isolate that gate so that the charge would not leak away.  They found that if you put a high enough voltage across oxide around the gate, you could actually drag electrons thru the oxide insulation.  If you were careful, you could do this many times without damaging the oxide insulation properties.  Thus, charges could be added to or taken away from a floating gate of a NMOS transistor.  From this came EPROM (ultraviolet erasable programmable read only memory), EEPROM (electrically re-programmable read only memory), transition to CMOS processes, and today's 512 Megabit Flash memory devices.

Some of the major issues I dealt with over time included:

  • Stopping the wire wrap machines from twisting the front panel switch/indicators in 1218 type boxes.
  • Development of 23 ASIC devices for UYK-43 and the eventual conversion into 3 base CMOS die when Sperry and Raytheon stopped the bipolar process. 
  • Improving programming yields on Raytheon PROMs for UYK-43 and UYK-44. 
  • Eliminating loose eutectic particles from Raytheon PROM packages. 
  • Improving the failure rates on UYK-44 DRAMs during TP-18 testing. 
  • Testing for ground bounce issues on logic devices for UYK-43 and UYK-44. 
  • Developing a test for a resistor network that had four un-isolated parallel series dividers. 
  • Developing a test for a 12-digit D-A converter. 
  • Testing a low temperature coefficient, 0.01% tolerance resistor. 
  • Coping with the rapid rate of obsolescence of COTS assemblies over my last 10 years. 
  • Not moving the piles on my desk and hoping they would not fall over because I knew where everything was.

As to what the future will bring, I am concerned about the mandates to eliminate lead from the soldering process.  As an alternative, everyone is rushing to use pure tin in products without understanding the reliability impacts that the formation of tin whiskers will have in our everyday products.  As long as we continue to throw things out after three years, maybe it won't matter.  Another issue is the shrinking geometries of new semiconductor devices to cram more performance into a small space.  Due to the use of these small geometries, the latest semiconductor devices are sometimes sensitive to ground level background radiation levels.  We are also sacrificing device longevity (Intel some years ago stated that there was no reason to make semiconductors which will last 10, 20, or more years when products using them go obsolete or are replaced in as little as 2 years).  Performance takes precedence over reliability or lifetime.  So, by our own choices, we are making products that will no longer last a human generation and we still have not learned how to recycle this stuff. O ur homes become filled with non-repairable electronics and we contribute to landfills.
     I retired from Lockheed Martin knowing that those I leave behind are well qualified to deal with these new challenges.  Top 

3.9 Jim Bougie, 1966-88 ; My Univac Experience

     I had completed over 3 years in the Army as a member of a Nike Hercules surface to air missile team within the “Missile Master Program” specializing in nuclear weapon electronics (April 1962), graduated with a Mathematics degree from St. Thomas College (Jan. 1966), and got married.
     I started at Univac on Feb 10, 1966 in plant 2 on Minnehaha and Prior in St. Paul, MN.  My first assignment was a programmer on the Control Format Unit (CFU) program.  The program mission was to provide stabilized data to the weapons’ systems on board 30 Destroyer Leader Guided (DLG) class ships {destabilized platforms} in a theater of war worldwide.  This was a natural fit for me because the Army’s Missile Master Program was providing data and assignments to missile batteries on a stable platform {the Earth} in a domestic theater of war.
     The CFU was a 1218 computer with 16K memory and the TRIM III assembly language.  It interfaced with the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) within the 642B computers.  All of the ships sensors and weapon systems were connected to a Keyset Central Multiplexer (KCMX) controlled and interrogated by the CFU.  The hardware suite of 642B, 1218, and KCMX was designed and manufactured by Univac.
     The CFU was tested and certified at METC - St. Paul, MN and Mare Island, California.  It was installed on board the DLG class ships as they were scheduled for retrofitting at the Philadelphia Naval shipyard, Bath Iron Works, Maine and the Destroyer and Submarine (D& S) piers Norfolk, VA.  All ships had to go through rigorous testing with the various weapon systems, capped with the missile shoot out of Roosevelt Rhoades, Puerto Rico.  Between about 1968 and 1972 I think I was on board these ships on 22 cruises [and perhaps 15 more after that on various other vessels] shooting guns, missiles and Anti-submarine Warfare.  I knew we had accomplished something good when I got chewed out by the Missile Range Director for knocking out all of his drones in “skin to skin” hits.  In fact it was quite a rush.  I got him off my back by cranking in a temporary offset so we wouldn’t destroy his drones.
     I participated on the DLGN-38,CGN-9,CG-10, and the CVAN-68 class ships writing some software and riding the ships into the Caribbean missile range. A lot of the ship captains became Vice Admirals making money decisions in later years.  I left engineering in July 1978, started my MBA program at St. Thomas {graduated in 1981} and worked in Under-seas Program Management for the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) team on the SSN-688 class boats [100].  We expanded the Under-seas business area to the Business Unit level and it was good business because by 1984 the computer industry was decentralizing and diversification was needed in Navy Systems.
     In 1984 I moved to Strategic planning.  1986 marked the Gramm- Rudman-Hollings act balancing the federal budget and our best marketer, Mikael Gorbachov, got a Nobel peace prize.  We had won the cold war.  It was time for me to switch from guns to butter.  In 1988 I resigned, worked in the pizza business [hostile takeover], cable TV business [new start-up], dog food business [new start-up] and a few others.  I now plant trees and flowers, cut grass, baby sit my grandkids, go to Elder hostels, take the garbage out on Thursdays, and have a picnic with my wife every day.
     I felt I was blessed to have worked with so many talented people while watching the computer industry blossom from it’s humble beginnings during WW2 to what we see now.  On balance, I think it’s been a very good run and I am very pleased to have been a part of it.  Top 

3.10 Bob Bro, 1965 – 1987; Career Summary

     In December 1964 I interviewed with Lou Vogel, Univac Defense Systems, for a Programmer position. I had just finished a BA Degree at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. My total programming experience was a one semester programming course on a very simple computer at St. Olaf.  Lou Vogel told me that experience was not necessary: they would teach me everything I needed to know.
     On February 8, 1965 I went to work at Plant 5 in Navy Systems for Lou Vogel.  Soon thereafter, I was assigned to Dave Kolling’s organization working directly for Ken Bourdeau.  I was 22 and Dave was about 28 at the time.  I developed life long friendships and associations during those initial years.  I learned the disciplines that would serve me through a career with both large and small companies.  I saw talented young men grow from programmers, engineers and supervisors to directors, vice presidents and general managers.  Several of those young men eventually moved into senior management positions throughout the Sperry Corporation.  The late 60’s were a time not unlike today where young talented people felt they could accomplish just about anything they put their minds to.
     My initial assignments were programming support for NTDS on the 642B and 1219 computers.  I traveled to Mare Island during the late 60’s in support of the projects I was working on.  It was an exciting time of learning and growing.  It was during this period that I moved in with Norris Nielsen, Max Tiede and Don Grim.  We lived in the Essex Square Apartments where Northwest housed their stewardess trainees.  I lasted all of about one year before I was fortunate enough to meet Sandi Parker.  On February 4, 1967, we married and moved out of Essex Square. We remain happily married after nearly 40 years.
     The first project on which I had a major role was an NTDS project called Automatic Target Updating (ATU)/ Automatic Target Detection (ATD).  This was a leading edge project involving detection radar.  I worked directly for Bob Jacobson (Jake) during this timeframe (1967 – 1969).  Jake was a wonderful boss and became a good friend.  He taught me a great deal and really gave me a lot of room to make my own decisions.  After Jake I worked for Jim Schaenzer who was also a wonderful boss.  Jim and I took many trips to Mare Island.  We worked on the CG-10 and CGN – 9 versions of ATU/ATD.  We also participated in sea trials in order the get this program ready for deployment in Vietnam.  We were later told that this program was involved in several MIG kills while deployed there.

     I moved with Navy Systems to the newly finished Plant 8 in 1970.  What an upgrade from Plant 5!!!  The 70’s were very exciting years of growth for Sperry Univac and me.  I became a supervisor for the first time.  During the 70’s I had a series of positions working for Dave Kolling, Jack Rolfs, and Tony Beck all of whom became friends.  In 1975 I worked with Dave Kolling, Bob Siegfried and many others on a proposal with Martin Marietta Denver for a system call Advance Tactical Data System (ATDS).  In 1977 I worked for over a year on a proposal called Unit Level Message Switch (ULMS) with the Proposal Director, Jim Olijnek, who became a very good friend.
     During the 70’s Univac DSD was fortunate to have Dick Seaberg as General Manager.  He was without a doubt the most effective leader during my 22 years with the company.  He was a visionary who carried us through many new and exciting challenges.  We won program after program under his leadership.  He left a legacy that was never matched.  He was both very demanding and fair.
     In 1981, Dave Kolling took a chance and made me a Director reporting to him.  Shortly thereafter, I was assigned to Joe Stoutenburgh’s division.  I was warned about Joe’s infamous temper.  It was never an issue.  Joe and I got along extremely well.  I enjoyed every second working for Joe.  He was truly a wonderful boss and a dedicated leader.  I worked with his first class team including Jim Olijnek, Dale Klette, Jim Stage, Jack Sater, and Hank Zelenka.
In the mid-80’s, I was assigned as the Proposal Manager for MATCALS reporting to Jim Rapinac.  We put together a proposal team including Lockheed.  When Unisys was formed, the new corporation decided that a different division would take the lead.
     In 1986 I was given the responsibility for the IR&D program reporting to Bill Geiger.  In 1987 I left Unisys to take a position with Planning Systems Incorporated in McLean Virginia.  In 1993 I started what today is named Jobview, LLC. We develop and support networks of job kiosks for newspaper customers across the US.
     My 22 year career at Univac was a wonderful and lasting experience.  My many friendships remain after being away for nearly 20 years.  I am very proud to have been part of the former Univac Defense Systems Division.  It was a first class organization filled with talented and caring people.  Top 

3.11 Mike Bukovich, 1965-2004

A Career at Lockheed Martin and Legacy Companies
     My career at Lockheed Martin and the Legacy Companies has spanned nearly 41 years, and included diverse work: production engineering, programming, computer systems engineering, project engineering, research engineering, and marketing. The variation in the work that I did while at Lockheed Martin and Legacy Companies made my career interesting, provided challenge, and gave me opportunities for success. I worked with many individuals during my career who participated in my successes. I will mention some of them throughout this summary because they were top notch people based on their outstanding leadership, management, technical, or business qualities.
     I started my career at UNIVAC on Monday, December 20, 1965, just two days out of the University of Minnesota with a BEE degree from the Institute of Technology. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I had accepted a job from Lee Best, Department Manager in the Nike-X Mated Film Memory Organization, as a production engineer. My first task under Larry Zierhut, Supervisor, and Will Winther, Project Lead, was to refine the production line to solder rows of flat conductor cables to printed circuit boards.  This process involved the use of infrared energy focused in a line onto pre-tinned flat conductor cables situated on rows of flat printed circuit lines on epoxy based pc boards.  The task required much experimentation to properly pre-tin the flat cables and to utilize the proper recipe of tin-lead solder. Cleanliness was a prerequisite to a successful operation, and the entire process had to be conducted in an airflow controlled, clean room.
     While still in the Nike-X production area, I also worked with the Model Shop in the design of special tooling for the production line, and was introduced to the process of building multi-layer printed circuit boards.  This proved to be very uninteresting to me, so in 1967 I pursued employment in other areas within the company.  I became interested in programming, and I soon found a job on the P-3C Project as a system and equipment test programmer. First, however, I had to learn how to program the CP-901 Computer.  I took 30-bit AS-1 classes and CS-1 classes for 2 weeks before I was proclaimed competent to begin designing and coding test programs for the magnetic tape device in the P-3C Aircraft working with the team leader, Bob Luck.  This provided my first opportunity to travel for the Company.  The travel was to Los Angeles to the Lockheed engineering facility in Burbank, CA.  It was nice to see the bright sunshine and warm weather in the months of January and February.  By 1969, that project came to an end, so again, I began the pursuit of other work, this time working for Bob Siegfried, supervisor, and Dave Kolling, Department Manager, as a Systems Engineer conducting AN/UYK-7 experiments to investigate systems implications in the use of the 32-bit AN/UYK-7 in a Navy combat shipboard environment.
     These experiments involved the investigation of AN/UYK-7 systems’ issues for its use on Navy ships.  Dave Grimm, Design Engineer, led the conduct of these experiments which focused on maximum I/O cable lengths, maximum inter-module bus lengths, EMI considerations with multi-cabinet configurations, and usage of double density memory units. After the experiments, I wrote up the results, formulated conclusions, and recommended system usage of the AN/UYK-7 in multiple configurations on Navy ships.  About that time UNIVAC was beginning to design a new generation of minicomputers using SSI and MSI logic with micro-coded processing engines.  In 1972 I moved to that area, becoming proficient in 16-bit minicomputer operation, programming and shipboard usage.  In December 1973, I came to a turning point in my career when I was assigned to assist Bob Jablonski in writing the Technical Volume for the AN/UYK-20 Computer Proposal reporting to Mel DeBlauw.  I didn’t know at that time that the experience would affect my career as positively as it did. 

     Early in 1974 UNIVAC was awarded the contract for the AN/UYK-20 Computer.  This was the first competitive award for a “standard” Navy Shipboard Computer that the US Navy conducted.  Having written much of the technical proposal, I understood the AN/UYK-20 operation and possible usage on Navy ships.  I began a new endeavor in a role of “marketing support”, and the pitchman for the AN/UYK-20 to assist our marketing force, including Lee Best (at this time the Standard Products marketing director), Carl Boecher, and Bill Rock, in selling that computer into command and control, communications, navigation, and other “stove pipe” Navy systems.  Even though we had the AN/UYK-20 award, we still had to compete against other companies offering non-standard computer solutions.  My travels increased.  I covered both East and West Coasts talking to many companies, some of which are no longer in existence. UNIVAC was successful in selling many AN/UYK-20s.  I must have impressed the engineering management, and the customer community, because I was promoted to AN/UYK-20 Project Engineer.  Needless to say, the AN/UYK-20 had its share of growing problems, including design deficiencies.  My role as Project Engineer turned into one of managing the correction of the design deficiencies and re-selling the computer to the Navy community.  During this time I helped Captain Chuck Hager and Al Smeyne, Navelex 570, to shape up the AN/UYK-20 making it a reliable standard computer for shipboard use, and most importantly, getting Navy funding to accomplish most of the work.  We achieved much success as I worked with Bob Moravec, Manny Block, Don Meyer, Jeff Parker, John Westergren, Rudy Melzer, Mike Regan, Rick Pliml, and Ralph Werner; and to this day the AN/UYK-20 is renowned for its reliability.  After this success, my appetite for new work was again whetted.  I left it up to others, including John Westergren, to continue AN/UYK-20 Project Engineering duties because in 1978,  I began working in research in our newly formed “Computer Chip Manufacturing Facility” within UNIVAC.
     I now managed a group of engineers in a task to design microcircuit processing systems, moving that design from the board level to the chip level.  The work was IR&D and the project was called Integrated Micro Systems. Generally, our board designs at the logic level were converted to forms such that the logical functions could be applied to the chip itself within the chip foundry process.  Our work proved successful, as we utilized standard functions for all designs, with each function having: a standard interface, a memory section, and a processing section. Current computer chips employ the same structure.  Technically, the work was very satisfying, but an opportunity arose for me to enter the Marketing arena initially selling our company’s IR&D work.

     In 1980 I accepted a job from Bruce Lindell within Sperry UNIVAC to sell IR&D capabilities to Navy, Air Force, and Army laboratories. Our IR&D work at the time included: cross bar memory, bubble memory, garnet laser deflection, Galois algorithms, and speech recognition.  Selling IR&D technology to the government proved to be very difficult and tedious, and in 1981, I accepted an offer to enter the standard products area again to become Marketing lead responsible for winning the AN/UYK-43 Production contract in competition against IBM Owego.  At this time I worked for a person I consider to be the best “marketing mentor” a young marketer could hope to have, Clint Haggerty, Marketing Manager, Standard Products.
     Vying for the production contract in competition with IBM proved to be quite a challenge, so I enlisted the assistance of Mike Meyer as Marketing Support Engineer to help me.  It was important for Sperry UNIVAC to fully understand the customer’s requirements, design to those requirements and most importantly, convince the entire customer community that we had the best solution for them.  During one sales meeting with Navy Rear Admiral Wayne Meyer, I was questioned quite vigorously as to why we should win the AN/UYK-43 Production Contract rather than IBM.  I must have given the right answers because immediately after that meeting, Admiral Meyer sent a message to our Division President, Dick Seaberg, stating how well the meeting was handled and how impressed he was with my presentation.  Mr. Seaberg pinned that message on the bulletin board for all to see.  I never expected that recognition from either a Navy Admiral or from our division’s President.  Then, after 3 years of work under the supreme strategist and Director of Navy Marketing, John Spearing, we won the AN/UYK-43 production, and I won a Top Sales award.  It was the apex of my career.  After the AN/UYK-43, I marketed, both product and systems programs, including Marine Corps TACC, Air Force TACC, ABCCC, GACC, AN/UYK-43 Production and AN/UYK-44 Production.  In 1988 and 1989 we achieved success in record production orders for both the AN/UYK-43 and 44.  I had Marketing Support from two individuals, Dale Wandersee and Ken Nelson, to achieve this success.  In 1990 my success in marketing included the major share of the AN/UYK-44 MRP production contract after having lost the major part of that contract to Coors Corporation (yes Coors was in the ceramic business as well as the beer sideline) 3 years previously. 

From 1990 to 1992, Denny Haack, Program Manager, and I marketed Hughes and were able to sell AN/UYK-44 Enhanced Processors to them for use on their P600 Army Contract.  In 1993, UNISYS won the first AN/UYQ-70 contract while I was the Marketing lead and Harvey Taipale was the Display Engineer lead.  Roy Valentini, Marketing Manager of Standard Products, Tom Erickson, Program Manager, and I were able to develop the “Price to Win” number to beat Hughes, Loral, and Raytheon in this competition.  Between 1992 and 1998 working with Don Dunn, Program Manager, Wayne House, Marketing Support Engineer, and Dale Suckstorff, Marketing Support Engineer, my marketing successes included sales of both the AN/UYK-44 Enhanced Processor and the AN/UYK-43 Open Systems Module to fully recoup investments in both of these products and to begin a clean slate for Loral, the new owner of our company.  My focus in marketing from 1999 until 2002 occurred after Lockheed Martin bought out the company, and this focus was the maximization of AN/UYQ-70 production sales.  In 2003 I returned to the Systems Engineering organization for Lockheed Martin Tactical Systems.
     From 2003 until now in the Autumn of 2006, I have been working on Universal Packaging IR&D with Jim Stephenson, Project Lead, on the JTRS pre-proposal with Dick Olson, and on the Peripheral Emulation Project with Stan Moren, Project Engineer, and Jan Raycraft, Program Manager, which I helped initiate when I was still doing marketing work.
     My career has covered 41 years of varied and interesting work, but I must point to three major successes which were the high points of my career: Project Engineer of the AN/UYK-20 Computer, Marketing lead in winning the first AN/UYK-43 Production Contract, and Marketing lead in winning the first AN/UYQ-70 Production Contract.  UNIVAC, Sperry UNIVAC, Sperry, UNISYS, PARAMAX, UNISYS (again), Loral, and Lockheed Martin has been a great place for me to work for these past 41 years, especially while I was in Marketing.  Finally, I offer special blessings and prayers to two good friends of mine, no longer with us, who worked closely with me on the AN/UYK-43/44 Programs. They are Denny Haack and Wayne House. Not only were they good friends, but their professional help contributed to my successes. I believe heaven is their reward.  Top 

3.12 Tom Burns, 1973-2007

     I was hired as an assembler on July 9, 1973 at the old plant 2 guard shack which is where the union Human Resources department was at the time. I came to look for a job until I could be hired by NSP as a power plant apprentice. As it turned out, NSP laid off a number of meter readers who got first chance at the position for which I had applied. I went to work at Building 4, Plant 4, Roseville Commercial to build and wire CPU units for 1108, 1106, and 494 computers. The 494’s were made for Northwest Orient Airlines as it was then known. At that time final assembly was across the hall from the Drum Lab where they still made the various commercial drum memories. Just before I left there, I saw some of the first disk drive units that were brought in to be tested with the systems. I also worked on assembling CPU units for what was then called the 1110 processor. I believe this is what was later referred to as the 1100-xx series. In my last months at Plant 4, I was working the midnight shift for Jerry Hensler, and work got so short that he would tell us to make the work last through the shift and save something so we looked busy when the dayshift started to come in.
     In April of 1975, I was given the choice of a layoff or to transfer to the Defense Division. I took the transfer and went to Plant 1 on Shepard Road. I wasn’t very enthused about that plant, so when given the opportunity I took a temporary transfer to Plant 2 (Midway or Minnehaha) to work in the refurbishment area for Robert “Ace” Decker. I was primarily involved with refurbishing 642As and 642Bs and adding the expanded memory units. General George S. Patton was Ace’s hero, and you could tell it by the way he ran his shop; however, he was a very good foreman and easy to work for. All good things must end thus in September of 1975 I went back to Plant 1.
     At Plant 1 I spent most of my time building up (attaching side panels and installing card guides) AN/UYK 7 chassis and Minute Man computer chassis. One Friday, my unorthodox sense of humor almost got me in trouble. Early in the shift, I was given a Minute Man computer chassis, which had just come out of wire wrap, to build up, so that some one could come in on Saturday for the next stage of the build up. One of my tasks was to attach stabilizers to the end of the bus bars that ran beneath the wire wrap. I was laughing when I called my foreman over to ask him how I was supposed to fasten stabilizers to bus bars that were not there.; My foreman and the general foreman saw no humor in that situation. The chassis had gone through several inspections and no one had noticed that the bus bars were missing.
     In December of 1975 I took a temporary transfer to the prototype department at Plant 8, Eagan. This turned out to be a permanent for about two and a half years. The department mangers were “Swede” Berg and Gloria Johnson. The two forepersons were Marge Hoaglund and Bill Nelson. One piece of equipment that I worked on was the 1553 Dual Display for the Air Force. The cabinet was colored “periwinkle blue” at the request of the wife of high ranking Air Force member. I worked on much of the FAA equipment used in both the TRACONs (terminal facilities) and the Enroute Centers: SRAP, Super SRAP, IBAG, CMC, RFDU, DCU, and MSAW alarm. Another program on which I worked was the computer signal processing equipment for the Voyager Satellite program. The two computers were built after the satellites were launched. A quality inspector came to Eagan to oversee and inspect every aspect of our work, like inspecting every wire stripped for wire wrapping under a 10 power micro scope. Later he oversaw building four more processors at Plant 1. I spent several months working on a computer system developed for the Frankfurt, Germany airport based on IOPBs. Then almost all of the system was scrapped, and our 1100 commercial computer was used.
     In June of 1978, in response to a posted requisition, I transferred out of the union to the Training Department in Eagan. There my main subjects were teaching maintenance for the AN/UYK-20 computer, RD-358 Tape Drive, OJ-142-DEAC system console/auxiliary console, and later the AN/UYK-44 Computer, which was a replacement for the AN/UYK-20. The first system I worked with was Maine Corps TERPES, which was used for radar threat evaluation with the EA-6B Prowler aircraft. I also worked with WILD WEASEL for the Air Force. This system was designed to perform real time radar threat analysis on the F4 Phantom aircraft. I also worked on the MATE system for the Air Force. I was the team lead to develop the maintenance training for the Marine Corps/Army EPLRS system. This system was a position locating system which used a base station. It was a predecessor to the Global Positioning System (GPS).
     I worked several foreign projects, which included the German F-122 fast Frigate program. I wrote a portion of a depot level training course which was translated into German. When the course was taught I was required to be present while my material was presented. This earned me two trips to Wilhelmshaven, Germany, one for three months and one for four months. I performed some second instructor duties for the Japanese JP-3C program, which was maintenance training for the Japanese Navy for the P-3C Orion aircraft systems, primarily the system support systems. Another instructor, Larry Steinmiller, and I developed the maintenance training for the Turkish Navy TNCRC program. Then we went to Turkey, and with the aid of a field engineer, Bill Skinner, presented the approximately ten-week training course. The course was presented after the start of Operation Desert Shield, but prior to the start of Operation Desert Storm (the first Iraq war). This system is still in use by the Turkish Navy. The supervisors and managers that I worked for included Floyd Peterson, Al Stoye, Jim Murphy, Tom French, Ken Boehm, Dan Newton, and Dean Sandefer.
     In July of 1991, I transferred to the Air Traffic Management (ATM) group, as it was then known.  This group, under Loral, was joined to the IBM Air Traffic Systems in Rockville, MD, which had been our main competitor.  This group is now part of the Transportation and Security Solutions (TSS) division of Lockheed Martin.  My first assignment was to provide training to FAA technicians on maintenance and head alignments on the 100MB commercial disk drives (wash tubs).  On the good side, I went to Hawaii for two weeks.  On the bad side I spent many hours in the Memphis airport terminal waiting for connections.  I worked on the training operator and maintenance for the Taiwan ATC system, on which we were teamed with IBM, just before we were merged with them.  I worked on the operator maintenance training for the third phase of the New York TRACON update (ARTS IIIE) and then worked on both the training and tech manuals for the follow on which is Common ARTS.
     Since training needs were diminishing, I became a test engineer.  On the ASTEC program, which provided ATC systems for the two Shanghai airports and two other Chinese cites, I worked both the test and training programs.  This included two trips the city of Nanchung.  After that I spent some time in test for the URET program, which was an update for the Air Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC).  Then I worked test for various updates to the Common Arts system, which included a lot of travel to Atlantic City, NJ, and also to some of the TRACONs.  My last project was to work testing on ERAM, which is a program that will replace the main frame computers and upgrade the capabilities of the ARTCCs. The managers I worked for include Dave Mosher, Becky Ruzick, Jim Luxa, Craig Andersh, Steve Fenlon, and Cameron Schaffer.  Top 

3.13 Warren Burrell, 1948 to 1973; at ERA and others.

     One day early in 1948 after grocery shopping with my wife, we crossed Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis to encounter John Hogan, whom we had known from Duluth Jr. College before WW II.  Although he would not elaborate, he suggested that I look into ERA in St. Paul.  A few years later John Hogan made the cover of Electronics magazine with his boundary recording - even later he was a co-founder of Nortronics, a premier magnetic head company.
     I scheduled an interview with an ERA personnel representative, Gowan Miller.  He seemed favorably impressed with my background.  He said that I would have to undergo processing for a secret clearance.  I said that that should not be a problem because of my former Air force weather service CRYPTOGRAPHIC clearance.  After turning a few shades of color, he emphatically stated that I could never use that word around ERA.
     My first job was on Demon I under project engineer, Jack Hill.  As the last person on board, I had an interesting assignment to provide interconnections between rather independently designed subsections, mostly routed in project Goldberg efforts over a longer time frame as compared to the “crash schedule” of Demon I.  Whenever possible I was to make use of the cabling material in ERA stores which was salvage from the WW II NCR Dayton operations.  This worked pretty well, except I had to determine source information for manufacturing drawings in case the Navy ordered a second copy.
Plexiglas Can Hurt
     I noticed that the second mechanical engineer on the project, Elmer Dineson, was less than thorough in checking his dimensions before final drawings of what would be a somewhat creatively designed piece of hardware.  The front of seven relay racks with 5,700 vacuum tubes facing forward for replacement access as needed and our upward flow of cooling air behind the readily removable Plexiglas.  Elmer had acquired a reputation in the shop for remarking red corrections on drawings and then filling scrap barrels.  Anyway, some $500 of Plexiglas panels were all cut 2” too short.  After John Coombs and John Hill said the word, it only took Hyme Meirowitz eight minutes to get Elmer with all his library of books and drafting apparatus out on the curb.  Thereafter whenever Frank Mullaney or I found we were in a room that was becoming too boring, we would each raise a piece of the Plexiglas and say “Remember Elmer.”  {Editor’s note: Hyme was an access control guard in the ERA Minnehaha plant. He often carried a .22 pistol loaded with birdshot. Since this plant was an old glider factory with ceilings almost 40’ high and lots of empty space, birds/pigeons would often get in then be unable to get out. Hyme brought them down and had them carried out.}
     Among the early problems encountered in the use of vacuum tubes, the most baffling was in the cases where in dual triode applications, there were major problems when one side of a flip-flop switch was cut off for extended times.  Investigations showed that electron emission developed a barrier for resuming turn on of that element. Jack Hill suggested that I with the help of technician, Gordon Johnson, use our 4-bit test bed [Task 13] arithmetic unit by reducing filament voltage, possibly determine problem detection before disaster. Refined procedures [largely due to Bob Pope] were very successful. In fact the later 1102s in three AEDC sites were able to operate for up to 12 years – competitively with respect to much heralded solid state equipments. David Taylor, one of the MIT engineers on WHIRLWIND, explained to me their answer was to introduce additional clock pulses to turn on over and back every dual vacuum switch between the normal clock pulses.
Early Computer Consoles
     In the early layout of the Task 13 (later 1101), a central cabinet would become the location of the set of indicators and controls for the entire machine (with the exception of primary power.)  Then, as ever, Jack Hill told the project mechanical engineer to check out the applicability of the standard telephone horizontal indicator strips but in a vertical mounting, thus it became a new standard.
     Later we learned that Sam Alexander of the Bureau of Standards would have oversight of all U. S. Computer Developments.  Joe Eachus, the principle representative of the Navy customer, told Hill to duck anything that looked like a computer console.  Jack then told the mechanical engineers of the project to fabricate lockable folding doors on the standup console.  This enabled system inspections as another special purpose analytical system.  Larry Reid proceeded to make mockups of free standing consoles over a desk.  I ordered three full sized assemblies for three 1102s later.  I had Earl Joseph serve as a model in many pictures of him pushing buttons. Later Seymour Cray did it with three fingers (octal)!
Computer Study for IBM
     IBM, I understood, was very favorably impressed with the ERA Drum Storage Technology and therefore entered into a no revenue overall patent exchange.  Bob Kalb was responsible for the vault with what seemed to be an acre of paper.  This was at the original plant 6, across from the Ford Plant in St. Paul.  A former coal bin in the basement became a clean room where Sid Rubens, et al. made magnetic film memory on glass.  An effort to design the IBM 604 with an ERA Drum was not satisfactory.  We three (George Hardenberg, Arnold Cohen, and Warren Burrell) were to prepare a paper design employing punched cards and drum.  I had fun learning ‘excess three binary arithmetic’ from George.  John Coombs was persuaded to join IBM.  His early ERA patents included selective alteration on drum memory.  Our paper designs were circulated among the six or seven IBM laboratories.  Some questions came back but no details as to application until IBM announced the 650 and it became the first large scale production computer.
Now a Few “Words” from our Consultants
     I was midway through the design of the Task 29 (1103) arithmetic section when I was told to be project engineer for three computers for data reduction at AEDC.  The ‘Winning’ proposal submitted by Jim Miles and John Coombs made no sense at all since it was based upon technology of Howard Aiken and the Mark III of Harvard Computer Lab. More than 40 years later at the 40th reunion of the AEDC facility it was made very clear to me that it was the impact of the 1101 that really sold the development that became the 1102s.
     Initially, I felt like I was in solitarily confinement because I hardly had anyone to talk to about this project. Occasionally, I was comforted by Gordon Welshman, roving consultant to ERA who helped me discard the most obvious alternatives to the ERA proposal.  I suggested that we take some of the 1101 upgraded by 1103 hardware; but needed to have someone like Al Roberts to determine how well we could meet acceptance tests.  Gordon agreed and was helpful in arrangements with Al Roberts.  He was a mathematician and analyst for Howard Engstrom, Yale, and USNCML via our Arlington, VA office. [Dr. Howard Engstrom was one of the ERA founders!]  Mr. Roberts came to St. Paul where we gave him as much information as we could of our emerging plans.  Two weeks later he returned to announce the questions as to meeting the acceptance requirements.  He merely nodded his head as affirmative.  How many other consultants are there, that without using oral and written words of have launched a major development? Gordon Welshman was a man of many words.  He consulted on many subjects.  He was in charge of Hut 6 at Bletchley Park in England where his efforts, and more particularly Alan Turing cracked the German Enigma code during WW II.
We sent Wally Ito as the first 1102 analyst to visit with Al Roberts to learn about applicable mathematics and minimum access DRUM programming.  Roberts was a key member of Wally Anderson’s general Kinetics, one of the first spin offs from ERA in 1955.  Previously Wally said to me that he was able to get his Master’s Degree from Henry Hartig at the U of M by a dissertation of a vacuum tube flip flop (Eckols-Jordan.)  Bob Simon finished the acceptance program very successfully.
     Dick Oman bread-boarded what may have been at the time, the fastest Analog to Digital converter for the front ends of the AEDC 1102s - switching such a device even after refinements did not seem feasible.  Therefore the agreement with the AF was to convert at analog sources with digital converters.  Art Engstrom used re-allocated funding to help procure such devices.  The prototype A/D converter in wooden 2x4s flew by private air to Tullahoma, Tennessee.  Dick became responsible for the Teletype units and the Libra scope plotters.  Earlier I had to spend an entire day at the Chicago Teletype Corporation – begging them to reverse their decision to make NO MORE hi-Speed Teletype Punch Units beyond the 100 they had made (model shop tooling) for the Navy at what later became NSA.
Did You Ever Dare Say No?!
    Following the success of Task 13 (11012) at the customer operations, USNCML invited ERA to participate in discussions for Atlas II.  This again was lead by Joe Eachus, but there were inputs from Sam Snyder.  Sam represented the Army ABNER, which was a serial SEAC–like machine plus special features.  When Sam requested COINCIDENT DETECTORS to parallel the program counters, I said No!  I immediately got the attention of about 25 Agency people even though I was probably the youngest and least knowledgeable about their needs.  I explained that even without a detailed analysis of this statement of future need, there most likely new equipment (less than reliable vacuum tubes, supporting gear, etc.) that could extend delivery time and lessen reliability.  I recommended that they define some of the most needed functional program requirements with reduced classification so we could seek alternatives.
     In the on-going discussions with Howard Campaine and Sam Snyder, the Repeat Instruction was proposed.  This provided far more functionality than the original request.  Erwin Tomash and I had invented and discarded many other approaches, I believe these efforts helped prepare him for subsequent efforts on NOMAD.  I had been an Assistant Electrical Engineer acting as Task 29 project engineer and was promoted to full Electrical Engineer and replaced by two project engineers (both senior), namely Frank Mullaney and Joe Kelar.  That pat on the back has kept me alive so far.
     The Repeat Instruction feature was, in the case of matrix operations, many times superior to machines which touted using index registers.  I believe that when Eachus and company reviewed the British B-Tube capabilities that were not as useful as the basic 2-address Task 29.  B-Tube designation evolved into index registers.
     During the time that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was deciding whether Remington Rand could buy ERA, Bill Norris, John Coombs, Arnold Cohen, and I were invited to Norwalk Laboratory for solution of a Tape to Card problem faced by marketing of the UNIVAC I which had no I/O other than magnetic tape.  After touring the Darien Rem/Rand imported Kastle, acknowledgements to General Groves, James Rand and previous ERA staff to Remington, Lew Shaloux (later head of Philadelphia Sperry Rand Univac) presided.  He turned on J. Presper Eckert who presented 20 or so possible solutions.  Lew suggested we look at the Bull reproducer (an elegant punched card machine.)  I thought No to all of Eckert’s suggestions, expect using the back of an envelope to outline a magnetic drum revolver to store punched card images such as we had done in the IBM study.  Our resulting proposal was selected and Ward Lund was elected to implement the program.  Except for the wrong information we were given for the Bull timing between some of the card stations, the efforts were very successful.
ROME - Tactical Air Control
     Somehow ERA had the Rome, GA analog computer development and deployment for future tactical air control headed by Dick Gehring.  Under Frank Mullaney, Arne Hendrickson was responsible for hardware/electronics developments and I with the help of Bob Price for system development of the digital transportable Tactical Air Control (TAC) System for RADC of Rome, N.Y.; This would be a miniature SAGE. One of my U of MN classmates went to RCA and then to Univac to get digital computer experience. He complained that his analog computer experience was needed for the analog computer w/o getting into digital, then he left. While Frank Mullaney and I were at RADC, we were advised of two things. They had piles of reports from Sperry. The news that day reported the Univac and Sperry were about to merge. The Air Force people said they were pleased to expect their Sperry people to get better management from such a merger. We had difficulty exhibiting no disagreement.

     Ed Casey from Ken Bergan’s Communications Group explored future data communications trends.  I noted he was collecting lots of derogatory data regarding people (from Gen. Groves, Pres Eckert on down) and products (Collins, Kinoplex, Rome NY, AF, etc.) and then said he had mailed the collection on to RADC.  The reaction of many was to immediately FIRE Casey.  I said: “NO, NOT YET!”  Bill Wingert saved the day by calling the postmaster at Rome, NY and had the ‘dirt’ sent back.
In addition to the Final Report (Secret), there was the Top Secret estimate of potential system development costs and typical configuration costs. I recall an armed guard putting a paper for my entries then whisking them away for no further viewing or discussion. I had observed most such programs low balled any such costs to ensure follow on business. For an impossible job, a NO was appropriate with highest possible estimated costs. No such AF efforts were noted to me!
Process Control
The subject of process control had been around ERA-type efforts for a long time. Leroy Stutzman, Chuck Homan, Jim Nickitis, Don Nemanic, etc. group reviewed 1102 architecture rescaled with very limited success. When Westinghouse looked at the 490 for their programs, they liked it but not size and costs. Mr. Doutheit from G.E. Process Control at Phoenix was promoting a smaller computer used in Germany for business applications. In my requested review at Norwalk of their proposal, I found it inadequate, particularly the Input/Output. I was requested to stay and meet with the Westinghouse people the next day. I refused and returned home. This got the attention of Burk Horton (then GM), Noel Stone, and others. The following week Noel asked me to gather our alternative proposal. Dick Oman provided some Computer Unit Tester (CUT) material, I added general I/O and Drum capabilities for what would become the 418. Horton was at the end of his 2-year contract. The Westinghouse Prodoc (418) responsibility was moved to Val Hertzfeld. Noel Stone followed George Hanson to CDC.
Super Computing
Super Computing was the subject of an LA conference chaired by Tommy Thompson who previously at ERA edited one of the first books on computers. The IBM Stretch with its instruction look ahead was not problem free, the UNIVAC LARC came in less then touted. The person that had to come up with an operating system for the Honeywell/Raytheon Systems switched (4) separate program trails, said it was impossible, but he did it anyway.
Our Irv Voltin made a comparison for cost and speed for using three 1107s interconnected directly versus the IBM Stretch. The Stretch was much faster but had to reload the pipe of instructions at boundary conditions for the triangularization matrix test problem. The IBM configuration was much more expensive and slower. Even IBM at lowered price was unsuccessful.
Livermore Labs requested an alternative UNIVAC proposal. I was chair and assembled the best from St. Paul and Philly. The people (Abe Franck and Marius Cohen) could fill blackboards of possible computing engines but could not provide text materials for the proposal. Greg Meillen wrapped up available materials under the HYPER-COMPUTER cover, and we struck out to pave the way for Seymour Cray’s first Supercomputer to Livermore Labs. All the NO’s were in the wrong place.
Few people knew the potential of Seymour as his desk was next to mine during Task 29, when I pointed out to him the balcony library had the Harvard Summary of the First Computing Conference that included the principles of Boolean Algebra for Computer Design. Shortly thereafter, he with Bob Kisch had set up the whole design methodology. Also, he reduced the number of chassis to half of what the previous designers had outlined. Then I wondered why I with my spouse as poor players could easily beat Seymore and his wife at Bridge games. I later realized that he could design computers, etc. while playing games.
I was told that when Univac GM Lew Rader was so impressed by the good things he was told about the 1107, he said why not make a compatible successor with enhanced hardware? Earlier when T.C. Fry was GM, he interviewed many people as to when future efforts should be emphasized. When my chance came by, I stated the Jim Borgstrom Multi-Programming for 1107 and general R&D for successor system. I know that when GM Burk Horton was leaving, he may have helped my survival as the last man able to consider 1108 efforts in St. Paul and Bob Simon part time in the New York office. I was later advised that the 1108 was the first commercial computer system for UNIVAC to become profitable.
     I had the opportunity to attend a Bool and Babbage seminar regarding performance measuring, particularly the IBM 360 Computers.  At IBM devices were developed to measure clock, memory reference cycles, etc. to determine whether configurations matched needs.  When these measurements caused slower growth (even reductions) of system configurations to be used more efficiently, IBM management objected.
     With the help of a systems programmer returned from Italy, we arranged for one 1108 to measure another 1108 with the early operating system.  We produced evidence that every time any interrupt occurred, a lengthy system status was stored on the drum.  Many other wasted time intervals were identified.  Exec 8 became one of the most efficient.  Don Nemanic continued these efforts to squeeze inefficiency out of the 1108.  I was told that 1108 floating point arithmetic was faster than the current fastest CDC Machine.  Maybe Sonja Tollefson had something to do with that.
     Some 1100 Marketing people stated some potential 1108 customers could acquire a lower cost offering and then likely grow back up to a full 1108.  I proposed cutting the wires between a production 1108 memory interlace to slow down operations and offer a reduced complement of other features such as peripherals, etc..  The then GM, Mr. Probst, did not like the idea, but a year later embraced the concept.  By that time, the window of this market was gone.
1108 Multi-processor
     Leo Bock, Leo Higgins, Dick Karpen, and I believed we needed support for such a program from Univac New York office.  When we arrived for a scheduled meeting, none were present so we moved on to Washington D.C. to get support from Federal Government Marketing.  We were endorsed by most all of the staff.  A meeting with Lee Johnson was scheduled that afternoon, on and on until 2 a.m.  Then Lee told us (keeping his staff quiet) all his problems with the people, company, and us for bothering him with something he did not need.  A short time after we retreated homeward, Tom Tollefson, my technical expert on 1108, was contacted by the Washington office for 1108 Multiprocessor details for one of their proposals.  Lee Johnson was still in good form for selling equipment, not yet ready for delivery.
     This time is was NASA, multiple sites of 1108 multiprocessors. I found myself chairperson of the 1108 MP design review task force.  Everything looked pretty good except for an exuberant engineer on the Input/Output control Unit. Jim Ashbaugh reduced the complement by 42 flip/flops by rearranging the format of memory access to be different from that used by computer access.  I asked the software member of the team what his impacted.  He did not know, maybe less than a dozen instruction executions; EACH TIME, he would not object.  Therefore, I had to write the letter from System Programming to the Design Review objecting to this unauthorized change.  It was put back as originally specified.
     It was not until I read in 2006, the more specific accounts of NCR during WW II to help break the German communications codes [Enigma and Bombe.]  Reference: "The Secret in Building 26", the untold story of how America broke the final U-boat Enigma Code by Jim De Biose & Calvin Burke – 2005 Random House Trade Paperbacks.  There was more than Cash registers by NCR in the background of ERA St. Paul and their information technology.  Not until I read several books recently on the subjects of communications encoding and David Boslaugh’s "When Computers Went to Sea" did I fully realize the real forces at work on limiting the scope of my efforts [and others] at UNIVAC.  NTDS really acquired what may have been most of the vital UNIVAC resources.   Top 

3.14 Bill Butler,

I graduated from Iowa State College [now University] in 1940.  I knew Dr. Atanasof by name and Cliff Berry personally. A fraternity brother came to Honeywell in Minneapolis and got into the legal division. When Honeywell wanted to get into the digital computer business, IBM and others were paying Remington Rand large license fees to use the Eckert Mauchly jumbo ENIAC patent. Honeywell asked my friend if the patent could be broken. By chance, he learned that Atanasof and Berry had invented and built a special purpose digital computer in 1939. After a lengthy court battle the ENIAC patent was broken.

{Editor's note: National Geographic, August 1998 has an article 'As Simple as ABC: A Pioneer computer is Duplicated" - copied here.}


{Editor's note: Bill was also a classmate of Fred Hargesheimer.}


The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer
By Jane Smiley Illustrated. 246 pp. Doubleday.    Top 

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