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 system.

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.

Watchman System

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.

Teratology System

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 readable.

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.