Some of the other projects I have done (1970-2014)
Clinical Chemistry and Hematology System
This system was based on a Linc-8 computer. It automated data gathering from a number of single channel autoanalyzers, used
for blood testing in a pharmaceutical clinical chemistry research laboratory. It also interfaced with a Coulter blood counter
in the hematology laboratory.
Behavioral Laboratory System
This system was based on a PDP-12 computer, and featured a 60 cage custom interface I designed. It automated experiments in a
pharmaceutical behavioral laboratory, which evaluated the behavioral aspects of various experimental drugs on animal behavior.
It featured a high level language I designed (unnamed, but soon became called "Rattran"), which allowed experimenters to
design and implement various experiments. Prior to the computer, these experiments were laboriously built by hand using relays
and timers. A typical experiment usually consisted of a stimilus (for example light or sound), a response mechanism (for example
a lever to push), and a reward/punishment mechanism (for example food or shock).
Drug Manufacturing Plant Automation
This system, based on a PDP-8E computer, controlled the critical portion of a plant making a drug used for worming sheep. The
process was based on a reactor that went exothermic at a certain point in the reaction, and then had to be hastily cooled (where
heat had previously been applied). The process was so complicated that experienced chemical engineers operating manually were only getting
about 45% yields. When the computer took over yields went up to over 98%. I also designed the manual backup panel used by the
Process Control Manual Control Hardware
I was responsible for the design of large backup panels used for manual backup control of pharmaceutical plants being automated.
These panels were used in several large plants in the USA, England and Ireland. No software was involved with this project.
Computer Interface Systems Hardware
Computer Interface Systems, Inc. built specialty interface hardware for the DEC PDP-8E and PDP-11 computers. I designed all
of the products, including a hardware breakpoint module for the PDP-8E, an 8 channel RS-232 interface for the PDP-8E, and boards
for high speed connections between either 2 PDP-8E computers, 2 PDP-11 computers, or between a PDP-8E and a PDP-11. Many of
these units were sold during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Animal Weighing System
Based on a PDP-11 computer, this system was remotely connected to weigh carts in the animal quarters of a pharmaceutical research
laboratory. It automatically recorded the weight of each animal placed on the remote scale, and then calculated the correct
dose to give the animal (if any) due to its weight. The original system was implemented in Pennsylvania, subsequent systems
were installed in France and Japan. Note: Although the computer hardware has been updated several times, as far as I can tell
the systems are still in operation.
This system, based on a PDP-8E and custom hardware which I designed, replaced the old manual watchman's clocks with digital
devices that were then read out at the end of each shift, and a report issued. The old system, which consisted of clocks with
circular charts that were marked at each station the watchman visited during his nightly rounds, was cumbersome and required
the supervisior to manually examine each chart to see if the person had indeed been at the right place at the right time. The
customer for this system - a large pharmaceutical plant in PA - was able to obtain a reduction in fire insurance premiums after
this system was installed.
This system, based on a PDP-11, was used to track the effects of drugs on animals through several generations. Based primarily
on the Animal Weighing System, but with terminal inputs by operators.
Bottle Labeling System
This system used specialized video scanning hardware to examine each bottle on a filling line in a pharmaceutical plant. It
tested to see if the label was damaged or skewed, also read the batch number and date code to insure they were proper and
PC Operating System
This system was designed to mimic the VAX VMS system on a PC, and was designed with the same look and feel, and same interface
commands. It was designed as a replacement for MS-DOS, and would also run MS-DOS programs. A beta version was produced, but it
was terminal based, and by the time it was done, Microsoft had released Windows, and the world went a different direction.
This is just some of the hardware and software systems I have done over my career. There were a number of smaller programs and
systems, such as an Automated Downtime Tracking System, a SUDOKU solving program, a PC program coupled to a TV/VCR controller
to record selected TV programs, etc., and others which I cannot recall at this time.