Saturday, November 10, 2007
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
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
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. http://privacy.cs.cmu.edu/
Carnegie Mellon University [firstname.lastname@example.org]