Ted’s essays

introducing new communication systems

The following is a convoluted way to explain my realization today that two-way radio communications networks must be developed in an organized, methodical way.

I became an “Office Automation Coordinator” when the term was first introduced within the Hewlett Packard Corporation. We sailed uncharted waters, figuring out how to integrate the new “microcomputers” into the office and manufacturing environment.

Tasked with putting computers on the desks of every manager in our 2,000-person division, I focused on training their secretaries so I wouldn’t have 50 high-powered managers jerking me around all day long every working day for the rest of my career. I developed my own classes to teach them installing computers, peripherals, word processing, spreadsheets, and graphing software. I taught half of them at a time while the other half covered their office duties.

Soon HP-Mail, then HP-DeskManager came along, and I was in the business of implementing, developing classes, supporting and maintaining an e-mail system that was a lot more.

The cornerstone of building e-mail faith and function in people who had always used only telephone or face-to-face for all communications was, for me, to make sure their electronic text messages were viewed promptly.

To accomplish that, I convinced management to support my rule that I would convert e-mails to printed, hand-delivered messages for those who would not check their electronic IN-TRAY daily, only allowing active users to be on the e-mail network.

It worked perfectly. Even the alpha-male Luddite managers ended up “earning” their access to our e-mail system, even if it was their secretary handling message traffic for them.

In that success of mine half-a-lifetime ago lies the answer to building an amateur radio communication network in our community.

First we must have the infrastructure up, running, robust and tested.

Secondly we need to recruit early adopters to use it, and importantly, gain some benefit from that use. We must have some regular traffic that has value to many.

On that foundation we can build a communication network that will withstand disruption of the phone system we all depend on.

Details to follow, as we develop them.