Saturday, November 10, 2007

Armistice, Rememberance, Vetrans Day

Armistice or Rememberance day, Veterans' Day in Oklahoma, was to honor the veterans of the Great War or World War I. Armistice Day (Rememberance Day in the rest of the world) was set on the date of armistice from that war, 11:00am, November 11th. After WWII, Korea and other conflicts where freedom was defended by the English Speaking Union, Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans' Day in 1954. Later, after Viet Nam, the date was changed the date from November 11th to the 4th monday in October, so the Government employees could have a 3-day weekend. However, since the states do not have to follow the Federal Government holidays, veterans' day is still generally recognized as November 11th.

A proper celebration includes a shot of good whiskey downed at 11:00 am on that hallowed day. With the downing is a salute to veterans and missing comrads who can't be with us today.

With this, I as an old artilleryman would like to salute the ultimate sacrifice of a neighborhood friend from my boyhood, Army Sergeant Duane Farl Wagner, who fell in Viet Nam. Duane gave his all that we may be free.

Happy birthday marines.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tietz's Law

Years ago I promulgated a law of manufacturing and quality assurance that I think would be approved of by C. Northcote Parkinson. The law states "Whoever finds the defect is responsible for it." As a young engineer, I detected a major material flaw and wrote it up. The first words out of managements mouth was "What are you going to do about it." During my wanderings through this life, I have encountered this management attitude innumerable times. This law has been taught to quality assurance students as a precautionary tale by friends of mine in academia.

There is a similar quality situation where the same words mean different things. The charter of Purchasing is to buy low dollar. If they don't entirely understand the specs, Purchasing has been known to buy items that don't meet the requirements. Quality will generally detect the sub standardness and reject it. Meanwhile, Manufacturing, trying to make or keep schedule will say they can make it right. This puts a big load on Quality to ensure they do just that. Note now that Purchasing looks good because they have saved the company money, Manufacturing looks good because they keep their schedule, and quality is over budget. The Customer, if there is in-shop inspection, notes that Quality is working their asses off to get them a good product, but the company has lousy quality. The MBAs and CPAs get hold of this and give pay raises to Purchasing, more time to do the job to Manufacturing (because they get their estimates from past performance), and fire the Quality manager, because the customer says the company has lousy quality (with a small q).

The same thing happens even if Purchasing is not involved. The lousier the job Manufacturing does, the more nonconformances occur and the more over-budget Quality goes.

With all the advance degrees Management has; with all the years experience; and often being born in the best of families, it has never occured to them that Quality Assurance has never made one product - that is the job of Manufacturing.

Friday, November 2, 2007

CMU has some great links for Cyber Security

In 1961, with the help of a friend, and spurred on by procrastinating my crystallography assignment, we programmed the first relatively primitive computer program for a multi-order quadratic equation to calculate the crystal lattice parameters of a tungsten-osmium compound. At that time, the Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) had a five story computer covered by a building operated by the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA). We used a little Bendix G-15 processor and punched tape. I'm not sure we got the right answer, but we got it faster than anyone else. Instead of turning in all my calculations, I just turned in the final iteration of the equation on punched tape. I got my paper back with an A+ and was called into the department head's office. He asked me how I did it and then immediately ran out of the room to the GSIA building to find out if there was such a thing as a remote terminal for the crystallography lab.

Since that time, CIT has progressed to become the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). While I have putzed around with TIs, IBMs, and HPs, they have become what many believe to be the world's foremost authorities on robotics, hardware, programming, and cyber security. I have provided a link to one of the labs. If you can get there, you can get to the rest of the outfit.

Carnegie Mellon University []

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I will try to provide engineering answers

Not all engineers drive trains. Some of us try ensure the bolts are tight so the train can pass safely into the night. In my case, the trains are airplanes and nuclear reactor systems. I welcome questions and problems in the following: Metallurgy
Nondestructive Engineering
Aircraft corrosion
However, as Larry Niven has said, I won't be responsible for advise not taken. I will append this with I won't be responsible, even if it is taken.

In addition to free engineering answers, I intend to bore anyone who dares read this blog with my personal musings and experiences.

First post of a new blog

Well, this is my first shot at blogging. I have spent several years reading blogs and have several that I rigorously follow. Lately, I have has some little input into those blogs' comments sections, but the either there wasn't enough space to make a good, cogent comment or as things developed, I would like to have expounded without the limitations of doing it on someone else's blog. So here goes: .....