[fpc-devel] Offer to repair and maintain the FPC community website (repeat msg, no HTML)

Cephas Atheos cephasatheos at gmail.com
Wed Sep 26 17:12:35 CEST 2012

G'day Mark!

On 27/09/12 12:40 AM, "Mark Morgan Lloyd"
<markMLl.fpc-devel at telemetry.co.uk> wrote:

>Out of curiosity, was this before or after "real HP" got spun off as
>Agilent, and what part of the company were you in? (I'm just interested
>to know if your background is computers, chromatography, or electron
>tubes, if you get my drift :-)

Actually, a bit of all three. Except the chromatography bit. :)

I got let in (I was self-taught) with instrument repairs, spent 5 years
there (CROs, power supplies, HPIB sig gens and multimeters), then moved
across to computers when the HP ES (286 PC) was released and sort of stuck
there. I did some back-and-forth when two of the older instrument guys
died (no-one wanted to fix the caesium clocks or laser DMIs, so I
"volunteered" until they hired people who knew what they were doing), but
that was as close as I got to a vacuum tube while being paid.

Then I moved into commercial enterprise (network server) troubleshooting
and escalations, and picked up mobile device support as well (HP95 &
200LX, Omnibook 300s, Jornadas, etc). I didn't last long there though - I
got fully reamed by the division manager when I reverse-engineered a
docking station because I thought the division was taking too long. Sigh.
I've never forgotten THAT call!

I wasn't lucky enough to be part of the real fun "Bill and Dave" years,
although I had a great mentor who instilled in me a deep appreciation for
beautifully crafted analogue instruments.

But I was all post-valve days, unfortunately. And while I subscribed for a
long time to IEEE Spectrum, I didn't understand all of it, and it
eventually got way too expensive to be a hobby!

Eventually (2006) I was redundified, just post-Agilent, which suited me
fine. My only consolation is that I know what a chromatograph is and does,
and I can fix some of the older ones, but I'm not a "real" engineer by any
stretch of the imagination!

It was fun rubbing shoulders with real engineers, though. I always had to
play above my usual game!

Whoops, there I go again. Short messages, Peter, short messages! :)

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