Thursday, January 10, 2013

The world is changing, let's go along for the ride.

Post Military Service Continued
During the next two years I had to learn the chemical composition of ferrite powder, the art of 'pressing' the cores, kiln firing them, cooling them and then look at all the data. Any minute change created havoc on the acceptance rate of the mass of cores. At the time I took charge of the Quality Control section of Fabri-Tek, the acceptance rate of good vs bad cores finished was less that 50% in the testing department. Once the cores were tested and the bad ones ejected, the vials full of 'good' cores came to my department. We would still reject approximately 10% of the vials if more than 7 out of 100 proved defective. In retrospect we produced millions of cores just to have enough good ones for a single computer. Memory in those days were measured in 4 kilo bytes increments not in megabytes or giga bytes as today.
My research into all facets of production led me to find changes that were tremendous boosts to the reliability of memory cores. When I finally stumbled upon the holy grail we upped the acceptance rate at the testing level to above 90% and the failure rate in QC to less than 1%. We applied for a patent and received one. Only it was in the name of Fabri-Tek since we all signed contracts with the company, just for matters such as these. Reliablitity was not the only facet I experimented with. Size and speed was just as critical. It is here that I must make some changes to my previous posting. Last night I typed the numbers as fast as I could remember them without going to my spec sheet. Tonight I want to correct that In 1958, Fabri-Tek created the first memory core that actually contained a lettering and numbering system.The A5080 was a core that was 50 mil. in diameter and had a speed of 1 micro second. This meant that the 80 was not really true. When I arrived at Fabri-Tek they had moved past the A through the B3050 to the C2530. As I studied the memory core they introduced their latest D1820. This core literally looked like a piece of fly speck (if you know what I mean). After my experimenting andhaving our first automatic press build for us in France we were able to press the E1418. 1 mil in size and an access speed of0.125 micro seconds. The A core cost $1.00 to produce. The E core just $0.01 per unit. The largest facture in this was the acceptance ratio of the core vs the rejection rate.
We had made giant steps but we were still playing with cores. In the mean time other companies tried other means for memory. The most promising one was 'THIN FILM'. Ultimately it did not last long because of the complexity of producing it. Then one day in 1970, while we were at a meeting of Department Manager, looking over the blue prints of our new manufacturing plant in Fort Washington, Pa, Fabri-Tek's president made the announcement that all plans for a new building were to be put on hold because a couple of scientist in New Jersey had come up with a new mousetrap, a 'Chip' that was designed to be better, smaller in size yet larger in capacity and spell the end for our technology.
Now I don;t give up easily and so I began to look into this new product. It was so radical that is was hard for us old timers to understand it completely. At that moment I became a 'Conspiracy" advocate and I have not stopped since then. Many of the things we used then and now have a history of development, enhancement and ultimately leading to new products. Chips, the microwave oven, memory metal and others throw these theories out of the window.
This brings me forward some 4 decades and things have not changed. Technology now changes almost every 6 months. Most of the new gadgets are based on previous ones just made better and with more mind bogglers.
And so I was left behind like many hundreds of us were. I made several attempts to catch up, but as I got older and younger and younger people outshone me. I knew it was time to stop the madness and just be happy with what I had.
We now have texting, video messaging , Facebook, tweeter, you tube, Skype,  Google, googling and now Google+, URL: This new endeavor was launched to be the next Facebook. It is not based on text but video connections to friends and face to face conversations. Google allowed outside programmers to play with Google Plus and along came "Hang Ten"
Hang ten is a means of having a corporate size video conferencing at no cost (not taking into consideration that a web camera, and audio devices are needed) The latest innovation is to have scheduled broadcasts by persons having special subject matters.
This is were I come in again. I'm in the process in starting my own channel on Hang Ten with the subject matter at this time being writing, publishing and marketing novels. I will keep everyone informed when we go on the air for the first time. I'm trying to encourage my Facebook Friends to come on board but as expected of the 146 friends I claim only 5 answered me and only one said yes. Makes you wonder who really is your friend. I grant you other than through photos I can't tell you what my friends look like nor have I heard their voices. Or most of all if they are who they say they are. Food for Thought. If you have any interest please get in touch with me. Would love to have you and most of all I can call you my friend and mean it.
'Til later. Stay strong and smile, we will prevail. God Bless you.

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