Washington State Association of Data Processing Managers Newsletter banner

Volume 5 No. 10 October 1978


November 2, 1978


Jack P. Curry Corporate Security Department
"Data Processing Security"

Golden Carriage Olympia

Speaker Introduction
Jack P. Curry manages the development, implementation and maintenance of appropriate security control techniques necessary for the protection of facilities, personnel and automated information systems corporation-wide. Directs efforts for compliance with State and Federal regulations, and maintains a continuing review of proposed privacy legislation affecting the banking community. Establishes and sponsors proper protection and security training programs for line operating and technical staff, manages and supervisions.

Previous experience includes activity in data processing for tile past 12 years. Functioning as a programmer, systems analyst, auditor and manager of data processing security.

He is a frequent speaker at seminars and writer of articles for national publications on the following subjects:

The Role of Data Security in The Corporation
Data Communications Security
Risk Analysis
Disaster Planning for Financial Organizations
EDP Auditing
Information Privacy

Jack's education includes a BS in math and statistics at the University of Oregon; a BS in electronics engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology; a BS in computer science also at the Oregon Institute of Technology; and an MS in computer science at the California State University.

Personality Profile

Our profile of the month is Don Dahl, Manager of Information Systems for the Department of Retirement Systems.

Don is a native of Washington, born in Tacoma. Before he started school, his family moved to Moxee (near Yakima). There his family had a cattle ranch and he became acquainted with rodeos. tie even tried bronco riding --- once. When Don started the eighth grade, his family moved to Nisqually where he attended a two room school --- one of the few remaining --- with the three other people in his graduating class. The next year represented quite a change with Don attending North Thurston High School.

When Don started looking for work, his future mother-in-law mentioned that the Department of Licenses needed tab operator trainees. Thus, Don entered State employment and data processing, by chance, in 1959. His first job was "---shoving cards." Soon, however, he took the data processing aptitude test and he moved into operations on the 650 and then to the 1401. From there he went into programming for the 1401 and 1410.

In December of 1963, Don decided to go to Alaska "---to seek fame and fortune." There he was employed by the Department of General Administration to work on a Department of Revenue pre-billing system and as a trouble shooter for the Departments of Transportation, Game, and Employment Security. They were converting from EAM to a 1401 environment, lie only stayed in Juneau for seven months before he got "cabin fever." He liked the job but not the location.

Don's next move was to Montana State University, where he was an analyst programmer. Again he was involved in conversion to 1401 equipment. He also taught a course in business programming. Don stayed a year --- this time he didn't like the job but loved the country.

From Montana, Don came back to Washington where he worked for Boeing as a software programmer. Then a year later, Don returned to the Department of Licenses. Again, he was involved in a conversion, this time it was from the 1410 to the Spectra equipment. Don was then active in the development of the drivers license video pre-billing system. In fact, Don feels that this was his most memorable experience. Washington was the first state to have this capability and it represented the leading edge of technology.

In February 1970, Don joined the Public Employees Retirement System as a lead analyst. In July of the next year he became it's data processing manager, he has remained in that position since, he survived the merger of the retirement systems into one agency and he currently manages 25 people. Thus, Don has spent nearly 20 years in data processing, all but three with the State. His long range goals include the development of a major new system to satisfy the requirements of the five retirement systems.

On the personal side, Don has several hobbies. Don formerly enjoyed motorcycling. In fact, one major experience was when he finished 47th out of 1,600 entries in the Mattawa 100 mile desert cross country motorcycle race. His hobbies currently include archery and horses. He enjoys hunting with a bow; and his whole family is into competitive archery. In a recent 5 state match, Don's wife won her division, his son placed second in his and Don drank beer. Don's son is actively showing quarter horses.

Don is also involved in remodeling one of the area's homesteads. It's in a beautiful location, the Evergreen Valley, with a view of the Cascades and Mt. Rainier. There are many wild animals: deer, chipmunks, coyotes, and even bear. He has recently opened a tack shop in his home and he hopes this will develop into a retail store in the future. He is also interested in raising quarter horses.

Don and his wife, Katherine have been married for 19 years and they have two children. The oldest is a daughter, Kellie (or Tiger) who is a senior at Yelm High School. Their son, Daniel (or Gus) is 14, a freshman and involved in sports. The entire family enjoys the farm life.


Report of Findings

In July, 1978, the Data Processing Personnel Development Program (DPPD) of the Department of Personnel's Division of Human Resource Development (DHRD) surveyed DP staff in the merit system agencies which it serves. The questionnaire was designed to determine constituent opinion about key issues in Data Processing training. The information was intended for use in maintaining a responsive program during FY 1979.

The survey population of 333 represented a cross sampling of DP staff plus the DP managers in 32 merit system agencies. The 232 returns represented a 70% response rate.

The survey participants felt that both the current curriculum and tile circulation of course information satisfactory. Respondents supported the program's continuing to offer some DP courses for college credits and encouraged the increased use of computer-assisted instruction (CAI). The participants also supported two new programs: a special training program for entry-level programmers and an EDP Technology Fair.

A detailed report of the survey findings will be mailed to each of the survey participants and the DP managers within the next two weeks.

Mary Jo Lavin

Resolution Passes

In an effort to make the Newsletter more accurately reflect the activity in Washington State's Data Processing Organizations, a resolution was passed requiring:

"Three 'selected' agencies to submit an article for the Newsletter. The selection will be done directly from the membership list."

Each month the selected members will be notified via telephone and in the previous month's newsletter.

Next month's contributors are:

Bob Vaughn -- LEAP
Mike VanNoy -- Secretary of State
Robin Trenbeath -- Administrator for the Courts

I was pleased at the overwhelming support in favor of this technique. Most members have exciting developments in their organizations and need only encouragement to share with the community. Thank you!

The Editor

Serial, Conclusion

Galen Schmidtke


Rudick methodically explained the plant setup south of Albuquerque. A control room--manned by one of four Chemical Plant Controllers around the clock, year round--was outfitted with metering devices connected to sensors in twelve stations throughout the factory building. Should any of these gauges display any unusual circumstance, like a heat rise, power drop, or unexpected toxicity, the Plant Controller was to shut the plan down and take corrective action. This included evacuating air from the completely sealed plant into compression tanks, the contents of which could then be safely disposed of. In no circumstance must any of the possible deadly fumes be permitted to escape into the atmosphere where they might kill everything for miles around. Reeves was getting apprehensive and Rudick detected his anxiety. "Oh, don't worry Millie. The Control Room is completely hermetically sealed. It has its own environmental controls. It wouldn't do for us to lose a Plant Controller, would it?" Reeves relaxed a little. "On the other hand, I shouldn't understate the hazards of the job and the remoteness of the location. It's for those reasons that we're offering such a high salary for what otherwise seems such an ordinary job. It's really a job that carries a lot of responsibility and takes a lot of guts. Are you up to it, Millie?"

What could Millard Reeves say? tie accepted the job, went home and packed, watched his car and other goods being loaded onto a truck which was specially provided by Astrochem, and boarded the plane for Albuquerque. As instructed, he flew under an assumed name and talked to no one. Astrochem didn't want anyone, especially any of its competitors, to know it was firing up the Schroeder Process. Reeves rented a car, again using a false identity, and drove south. When he arrived at the plant site, Terry Rudick was there to greet him. Millie's things had already been placed in one of five tasteful cottages which sat outside the factory wall. Reeves was pleased. "And there's also the recreation building over there," Rudick pointed out, "Where the three of you who aren't on duty can play cards, shoot pool-whatever.'' One of Rudick's assistants, a fifth plant employee who would monitor plant operations from outside the factory walls, congregated the other three Chemical Plant Controllers. The Chief of Plant Engineering took them all inside the factory for their orientation.

When they reached the Control Room, Rudick sat down in the plushly upholstered console operator's chair and strapped himself in. This procedure included strapping electrodes into position around his arms, legs, and chest. These actions, of course, raised questions. "It's purely a matter of additional plant safety," Rudick explained. "Chalmers here"--the fifth man who was not a Chemical Plant Controller--"has monitors in his cottage to continuously scan your vital signs. If he sees anything wrong, he can either immediately notify you to shut the plant down or, if, for example, you seem ill, have you replaced by another Controller.

Also, and I hate to mention this but I have to, if there is a plant accident we can make a determination whether to try to come in and get you or not." "You mean you can tell if we're dead or not," Millie advanced the macabre proposition in a surprisingly matter of fact way, "and whether it's worth risking anyone else." Terrence Rudick nodded sheepishly and proceeded with the orientation.

After three days of orientating the Plant Controllers, Terrence Rudick certified the chemical complex ready for operation. A procession of trucks had been stoking the input hoppers all that time. The trucks were now lined up on the other side of the factory to receive the finished goods, ingots w~ich would be further processed just like steel. Raymond Ashley arrived to cut a symbolic ribbon and push a button. The chemical foundry revved into action. Millard Fillmore Reeves took up his post at the Control Console. Machinery humbugged; meters clicked; the plant came on-line flawlessly. "Piece of cake," Millie thought, jogging back to his cottage after the shift change. "Nothing to it."

During the following months Millie got to know his fellow Chemical Plant Controllers one by one. He liked them; the four as a group really seemed to have a lot in common. Ail of them were single and in their late twenties; they were two men and two women, all chemists. One woman was Caucasian like the other man; the other woman black like himself. None of them had been particularly successful chemists before the opportunity with Astrochem came along. No one knew too much about Chalmers, who pretty much stayed to himself. But the others soon formed a bond as four professional colleagues, and as two increasingly serious couples. The matchmakers in the corporate office were brilliant, Millie thought with a newly reborn hope.

The black girl's name was Cynthia, Cynthia Jackson. She was a tall, strikingly statuesque girl with the delicate features of Nefertiti clothed in olive skin. More remarkable, her even tempered disposition matched her outward beauty. It wasn't long before she and Millie were talking quite seriously about themselves to each other. It was then that Millard found that the similarities between the Plant Controllers were even deeper than they had initially appeared. Like Reeves, Cynthia was an orphan. Also like Millard, she had no personal attachments whatsoever. With a little inobtrusive questioning, he found that these circumstances applied to all four scientists. Astrochem's management was brilliant, alright, but why had they been so careful to pick four people with such convergent backgrounds?

Millard Fillmore Reeves dismissed the question at first, but like an unpenned pigeon, it kept returning to the loft. Why had Ashley, Rudick, and Schroeder taken such pains to select these four? They must have had to go through thousands of applicants to find them. He thought about discussing the question with Cynthia and the others but decided to conduct some additional exploration first. His investigation started at the time of the transition to his next shift. Walking down the long, doorless corridor to the control room, he paused at sensor station number twelve. There he struck a match and lit a cigarette which he had pilfered from Cynthia's purse. He held the match a few feet from the sensitive electronic detectors and blew a mouthful of cigarette smoke at them. He then snuffed out the cigarette and blew out the match. At the shift change, his colleague controller, whom he replaced, mentioned nothing unusual on his gauges. As soon as he was alone in the Control Room, Reeves opened up the environmental recorder control panel to look at the continuous monitoring graphs produced there. Indeed they had recorded the slight levels of heat and smoke, readings so low that he didn't wonder that the previous Plant Controller had missed their flickerings on the gauges. Millard Fillmore Reeves chalked his concern up to paranoia and settled back into his comfortable console chair.

But the next day, again at shift change, Millie decided to try one more thing. If it worked, his mind would be at ease; if it didn't, Raymond Ashley et al would have some tall explaining to do. Reeves had a small can of deodorant in his pocket, a preparation loaded with chemicals. He removed the can and sprayed it at the sensors of station twelve as he loped by. When he was again alone in the Control Room, he once more checked the graphs. Not a trace of chemicals had been recorded. That's why the automatic system hadn't been hooked up: not only didn't the sensors detect exotic gases, they apparently didn't sense much of anything. So just how were the Chemical Plant Controllers to know there was a problem and shut down the system? Boy, he'd have a piece of Raymond Ashley and Alfred Schroeder for this one. He started to unstrap himself but stopped before he really got started. So if he told Ashley off, then what? Ashley would just fire him, and he'd lose a good paying job. Ashley probably planned to get rid of them all soon enough anyway, when the automatic detector system was ready.

Why fool around? If Ashley wanted to take a chance that his plant wouldn't fail, who was he to worry? He was enclosed in his hermetically sealed box. No, when the day came for all of them to be replaced, he'd just bring what he knew to Ashley's attention--that the president of Astrochem had broken every health and safety law in the book--and the four would have jobs forever.

Millard Fillmore Reeves scrunched down in his chair. He was beginning to feel lightheaded. "Haven't been getting enough exercise since I met Cynthia," he surmised, taking a deep breath with his "exceptional pulmonary capacity." The extra air didn't seem to help. Now he was feeling nauseated. He looked at the measuring gauges in front of him; they were swimming before his eyes. He rubbed his eyelids with the heels of his hands; the fog didn't clear. Suddenly the realization was there: gas. His hand started toward the shutdown button, halting a few inches from it. "Those bastards--Schroeder, Rudick, Ashley--they said this room was sealed. Sealed hell. I'm like a canary in a coal mine. If I croak the miners know there's gas." Reeves withdrew his hand, now so overcome with weakness that he could scarcely move. "Damn them. To hell with them. Let the plant blow up. Let them suffer the consequences.

The signals of a slowing heart rate pulsed from the electrode on Millard Reeves' chest through a cable down to the computer below the control room, down to the electronic machine which controlled the Schroeder Process. The machine counted the diminishing heartbeats, falling blood pressure, and fluttering pulse. When they dropped to zero, the computer issued the commands. The Schroeder processing equipment ground to a halt; huge compressors began chugging, pumping the gasious air into giant steel cylinders which could safely be disposed of.

Association Minutes - October 5, 1978

Chairperson Paul Newman opened the meeting at 12:30 P.M. There were 24 members in attendance. Following the introduction of guests, Patti Palmer introduced the October speaker--Mr. Charles Hodde, Director of the Department of Revenue.

Mr. Hodde described the state's growth and the relationship between this growth and the current tax revenue situation. His comments can be summarized by the fact that in spite of tax cuts amounting to over 900 million dollars in the last ten years, tax revenues are up 77%. Mr. Hodde attributed this to the rapid pace of economic growth and population in-migration. He ventured the prediction that if the economy remains "hot" revenues will grow by as much as 935 million dollars in the next biennium; otherwise growth will be "only" 715 million.

Mr. Hodde indicated that the most likely use of the excess revenues will be to reduce property taxes through an accelerated phase-in of state support for basic education. He concluded his remarks by comparing Washington's tax structure with that of its neighbors. Overall, the membership seemed greatly interested in his presentation and there was much questioning and jocularity.

Following Mr. Hodde's talk, Paul Newman began the business meeting. The first item was the Treasurer's report. John Aikin indicated the balance following today's meeting would be $372.86.

Galen Schmidtke gave the DPA report and commented on the activities of the Centralization/Decentralization committee. He said no Attorney General's opinion had been received yet regarding either the situation revolving around the Administrator for the Courts or on the status of bringing Service Center 5 (DOT) into the revolving fund. The DPA approved the statewide contract with Harris in spite of objections from Univac. The DPA received a report on Service Center 2's experiences with the Amdahl V6-II which was favorable, tie indicated that the Authority had given WDPSC approval to proceed with planning for an emergency upgrade, with action to be taken at the November meeting. In a significant action, the Authority concurrently directed the center to "obtain full user participation in both this acquisition and longer range planning". Finally, he reported that the proposed security standard had been approved.

Cliff Cotey reported for the Personnel Liaison Committee; the job matrix for the manager series is still moving ahead. There were some problems with the results from the questionnaire--some of the answers indicated that the questions were ambiguous and that some items were out of date. The end result was that there was too small a point spread, so the survey is being redesigned and will be repeated.

Patti Palmer expressed continuing frustration with lack of member support (primary articles) for the Newsletter. Some members have even had the gall to complain about recent quality! Patti said that she had planned to resign, but that she was willing to continue to put the paper together if more people would contribute. After much discussion, the members approved a plan to "require" three agencies each month to contribute articles. The three agencies "selected" (working up the membership list) are:

* LEAP (Bob Vaughn)
* Secretary of State (Mike VanNoy)
* Administrator for the Courts (Robin Trenbeath)

For the following month, the lucky agencies are:

* State Board for Community College Education (Sheri Story)
* Labor and Industries (Don Smith)
* Statute Law Committee (Rick Shattuck)

Don Smith reported for the Training Committee, saying that the DPA had requested help from the Managers Association in responding to LBC recommendation 7C.

Paul Newman then reviewed the correspondence:

* A letter was received from Mary Jo Lavin requesting that Don Smith continue to represent the Association on the training advisory group. The Executive Committee approved this action.

* Copies were received of letters from Gary Hull to the managers of Service Centers 1 and requesting that these individuals complete the matrix for MIS staff.

* A letter was received from Bob Boysen of DOP that provided the salary weighted averages. Most items favored by the Personnel Liaison Committee were accomplished. The Computer Systems Analyst benchmark came out at a weighted average of $1866/mo. The Design Programmer came out at a weighted average of $1585/mo. The Computer Operator at $1010/mo. and the Data Entry Operator at ~793/mo.

The Plan for this year required that this survey result be contrasted with the weighted average of the state employees in that class. Based on these, the Personnel Board's tentative recommendations are:

- 19.1% increase for Computer Systems Analyst III and all those indexed to that class.
- 18.2% increase for Design Programmer and all those indexed thereto.
- 3.3% increase for Computer Operator and those indexed to this group.
- 6% increase for Data Entry and related classes.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1:45 P.M.

Association of Data Processing Managers
Meeting Agenda

Golden Carriage November 2, 1978
12:00 Noon

1. Introduction of Guests

2. Presentation of Guest Speaker
Jack P. Curry
Corporate Security Department

3. Treasurer's Report

4. DPA Announcements - Galen Schmidtke

5. Old Business

- Newsletter - Patti Palmer
- Job Matrix - Dick Applestone
- Personnel Liaison Committee - Cliff Cotey
- Training Program Committee - Don Smith
- Centralization/Decentralization Committee - Jim Michal
- Security Standards - Bob Payne

6. New Business

7. Correspondences

8. Comments from Members

9. Adjourn

Jack Curry is a frequent speaker at seminars and a writer for articles for national publications, so his speeeh on Data Processing Security should prove to be interesting.

REMINDER: Please send your notification of attendance to John Aikin, Mail Stop TA-00.