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OCS... I went to Germany and into an interesting loop (explanation
soon). Heilbronn, Germany: 26th Signal Battalion, platoon leader, CO of two
companies, then acting S2-3 since all captains & majors had been
sent to Nam, so there were lots of command positions open.
I took a European discharge on the day I could have made Captain, sold my
old bathtub Porsche, bought a VW camper from our Comm. Center WO, and with
wife-1 (the woman next to me in
#150 in the Class 09-67 Photo Album, showing our "off
base social") roamed through 20-some countries until our $ ran out 5 months
later. I moved from NJ to CO in '81 sans wife-1, and remarried in '89. We
have a son at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
In terms of life, I've been following some kind of continuum since
I got a ham radio license when I was 12. That made Signal Corp a natural.
Just before volunteering for the draft (didn't like the lottery suspense) I
was working as an Electronic Technician, enabled by electrical theory
learned as a ham and practical experience building transmitters, at a
company that made test equipment for computer "core" memory (1 ferrite core
= 1 bit of memory!). OCS introduced modems and muxes which will reappear
Post Army I figured using computers was more interesting than enabling their
hardware and I got into programming before "computer science" was a
curriculum. Boolean algebra, logic diagrams, flowcharting and writing tech
manuals as an ET, and constructing & bugging the afore mentioned computer
testing equipment, all easily translated into writing code (on
Applications programming was boring but systems programming - enabling an
IBM mainframe - finally with no punch cards, but now using
terminals, was more interesting... and when IBM came out with mainframe
networking that became a specialty subset of systems programming, it all
came together, with old Army friends, modems, muxes, and even
microwave relays (VSAT) now back in my life. It all reappeared.
From there, network software systems programming morphed into
my becoming a "Systems Engineer." From the early days,
engineering was what I had been pursuing... nights at LaSalle College, when
I was building computer test equipment (never did finish).
Years ago when when Steve Jobs was still in his garage, PC's were being constructed
around a backplane called an "S100 Bus" that used cards,
each containing one piece of a computer block diagram, plugged into it.
I only followed that (theory) on paper, but when motherboards evolved I was
back into building stuff just like I had on every desktop
I had owned in the last 10 years or so... for son & self... mainly "wintel"
but one AMD-RedHat. What I found was that building a transmitter
from scratch or kit when I was a kid was more complicated than building
By this time, my "continuum" was looking more like a
loop... a loop completed. I think there are chat rooms now where
radio hams can talk to each other about talking to each other on the radio,
but I'm not a ham any more and won't go there. Meanwhile IBM mainframes
started running Linux partitions in addition to IBM's op system... and I
tried to learn how to spell h-t-m-l and put together a 1-page "site"... on
said Linux partition, for my dept at work, explaining what we did (linked to
from a multi departmental home page). Then for grins, circa '04, I put up (yahoo'd) a
bogus, tongue in cheek
www.schelpat.com - maybe I'm still a "ham".
Now all of the tangents in this email have looped back to the top:
"website". Loops are OK except in application program code, spam
popup captivity, or Groundhog Day (Bill Murray film). I hope you were able
to stay awake 'til now; this is kind of a wordy email.
I wish you continued success, plentiful potassium iodide (tabs in Tokyo) &
happy trails. This OCS website affair sure makes it look like a smaller
world and our trails may indeed cross some day.
This page originally posted 09 April,