Volume 6 No. 1 January 1979
February 1, 1979
William E. Bjork
"Responsibilities of the Washington Gambling Commission"
This month’s speaker is William Bjork, Director of the Washington State Gambling Commission.
Mr. Bjork was the Chief of Police in Moses Lake, Washington for 27½ years until he became the first director of the Washington State Gambling Commission when it was created in 1973.
He will be speaking on the Western Washington Gambling Commission and their responsibilities.
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Men create nothing. They discover. That is all.
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This month, the Personality Corner features Don Smith, Data Processing Manager for the Department of Labor and Industries.
Don was born and raised (before birth control methods became effective) in a small town in Central Oklahoma. Don lived through hardships that today’s children will never experience. Due to the war effort, materials to make things such as bubble gum and balloons just weren’t available. Doing without the finer things during that period makes him appreciate them all the more now.
Following a two year hitch in the service, he applied for three possible positions at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. Two of the three jobs, warehouseman and fireman, he understood. The third -- job tab operator -- was a complete mystery to him. He secretly wanted the fireman job because of the social status attached to such positions. As luck would have it, he was selected for tab operator.
During his two year employment he became more fascinated with board wiring exercises than operation and soon became the resident "expert". In 1959, he left Tinker for a computer operator/board wiring position with a large wholesale grocery distributor in California. The computer was a Burroughs 205 which was a huge vacuum tube machine with lots of blinking lights and warning devices. Don equates the speed of that machine as "just a little faster than a tent caterpillar Processes took literally hours to run. One evening, as the lights were blinking and the drum was humming, an incredible noise roared out from the CPU. As he quickly indexed through his operations manual looking for the meaning of "clang! bang! spiff! rip!", one of the customer engineers came out of a large door in the side of the computer where he had been working on an air conditioner. Terrifying experiences like these drove hoards of operators into the programming field in the early days of computing.
Don’s next move was to General Electric in Phoenix, Arizona. G.E. had various conversion teams to assist customers in making the transition to their equipment. Naturally, there was a lot of travel involved. Some projects lasted two weeks, others required several months. Don enjoyed the work and the challenges. In 1966, he had a choice of assignments in Minneapolis or Tacoma. Since it was winter and Minnesota was suffering a severe cold spell, his choice was easy. The summer of 1967 was especially nice. The State was actively looking for employees and Don and his family were tired of traveling. They decided to stay in the Northwest.
Don began his State service with the Service Center as an analyst. He later promoted to manager of systems development and production control. In 1979, Don went to the Department of Labor and Industries as their data processing manager. lie feels that the years he has spent with the Department have been very rewarding and much has been accomplished. Due to deception and trickery, he has transformed the Department from a comfortable EAM oriented agency to one of the largest computer users in the State.
On the personal side, Don and his wife have three children; Luke (20) is a student at Centralia Community College, Randy (17) attends school in Elma, and Natalie (12) goes to McCleary. They have a seven acre spread near McCleary which enables them to dabble a little bit in the farm life.
The family also enjoys participating in and observing various sports activities. Currently, both their son and daughter play basketball which means they attend games at least four nights a week. Don is also active in community affairs, He’s been on the McCleary School Board and is always involved, in one capacity or another, with the Bear Festival. In 1977, his participation on the float helped win many big awards around the State. Currently, Don is president of a homeowners association which is busy building a sub-station for fire protection in their area.
As for the future, Don is "---seeking financial backing for a casino in Atlantic City". He also wants to be known as someone whom you would be willing to buy a used car from, in case data processing turns out to be just a flash in the pan.
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DSHS Has New TP Network
** Written by Barrie Lunstroth **
DSHS has a new teleprocessing network it’s proud of. Dubbed "I-T-I-S", the Interactive Terminal Input System is the realization of a long awaited goal. Although the I-T-I-S systems development is far from over, the progress to date has resulted in a statewide network of intelligent terminals being used for inquiry and remote data entry.
Prior to the recent I-T-I-S network installation, the department was operating Telterm terminals in 17 Community Services Offices (formally Public Assistance offices). The equipment had provided inquiry capability for nearly a decade and performance was being affected by the inability to service the unsupported equipment. There was no question that replacement equipment was going to have to be acquired. Along with the obvious need for new equipment, came a backlog of requests to enlarge the TP network, add data collection, perform on and off-line functions, add new types of clients to the data base, and more. It soon became apparent that with the overwhelming support being offered from both staff and management, a new teleprocessing system was not only needed and wanted, but that any new network was going to require an in-depth study of immediate and future needs.
The study concluded and identified that a new network supporting all Community Services Offices with inquiry and data collection would not only be cost effective, but would greatly improve the delivery of services to the clients. However, the study also determined that the magnitude of the work to be accomplished was enormous and requests were continuing to come in. The project headed in two directions. First, it was necessary to define the equipment requirements and develop an appropriate RFP to meet those needs. Secondly, the tasks had to be reduced to a manageable size so benefits could be achieved within a reasonable period of time. As a result, the project was phased with the greatest benefits and cost return to occur with Phase 1.
As a result of the RFP, Sperry Univac became the vendor to supply = terminal equipment. Selected for the new network were intelligent, programmable terminals. The Univac UTS400 terminals have programmable memory through a master or controller unit and can be clustered with up to six slave terminals and/or attached printers, cassette tape and floppy diskette drive units. All in all, it is a remote processor capable of processing data, storing information, and communicating to the host computer at Service Center Three.
During the past summer, 81 terminals were acquired and installed in 50 statewide Community Service Offices distributed over eight newly configured communications lines. An additional 14 terminals were installed in other state office units. All CSO sites were installed with peripheral printers and diskette drives. This entire installation satisfied the Phase 1 equipment objectives and has completely replaced the old Telterm network. Terminal programming for inquiry was completed and has been implemented with all terminal installations. DSHS pioneered the terminal programming with Univac’s assistance and is the first in the nation to design and implement UTS400 terminals in this manner. Currently, all terminal sites are using the MAC-80 assembler programming with a DOHRN software package. Although all terminal locations have inquiry capability, some selected sites have different levels of programming allowing remote data entry. The variances occur because I-T-I-S development is still under way, and part of the data entry tasks are either being installed or piloted at test offices.
Phase 1 of I-T-I-S is many things to many people. Phase 1 increased the data base to accommodate clients not previously computerized, such as state non-continuing assistance and non-assistance food stamp recipients. With the inclusion of these clients in the data base, and the expansion of inquiry to all CSO’s statewide, screening of clients can occur which will enable the remote Community Service Offices to determine whether a client is receiving financial, medical and/or food stamp benefits in another geographic area within the state. It is anticipated that instances of fraud and duplicate issuances of services will be greatly reduced. Also, with the computerization of these clients, the month to month benefits provided will be uniform and not subject to manual calculation errors. Improvements in the batch processing, editing criteria and many other areas have greatly improved the existing processes as well.
The basic objective of Phase 1 is to eliminate the paper transmittals from remote locations with the direct input of client data via the terminals. In support of this objective, three client related documents have been programmed for terminal entry. The "N-Form" is DSHS’s authorization document for a client to receive financial or medical assistance, as well as food stamps. The "Hold and Redirect" document provides a means of affecting where a client’s warrant will be delivered, and the "One-Time Grant Authorization" document which authorizes a one-time warrant for special client needs. Entry of these documents through the terminal will improve the delivery of service to the clients. Current mail delays to Olympia for processing can be up to four days one way. This would be compounded if after receipt of the document, it is found to be in error. Terminal entry will result in processing client information that evening and client service can be mailed out the next morning. If errors are detected, it would be known the next day and facilitate correction. Overnight processing will also improve the ability for CSO staff to screen client applications for previous services, and identify clients applying at multiple locations.
The combination of intelligent terminals and the Phase 1 tasks for data entry has led to a design that is unique. The terminal programming interacts with the terminal operator and also with the host computer and provides total control over transaction processing and peripheral I/O operations. As the terminal locations are activated each morning, the terminal programming will interact with the host computer without operator involvement or knowledge. A terminal program is down-line loaded to the site from Olympia and performs diagnostic testing, and then in turn loads the master terminal program from one of two remote site floppy diskettes. The master programming initiates a series of requests to the host to obtain current security password information for this site, to set up the current date, office numbers, and other information that the edit processing will need later in the day. Additionally, the terminal programming requests process reports to be sent from Olympia to that site which will show what occurred against the data entered by that site, and processed the prior evening. The reports are stored on the second floppy diskette and can later be printed at operator request. The morning start up procedures are known only to a few supervisory people at each site. The person performing this task must not only know terminal system passwords, but will in turn assign in-house worker-identification codes to eliminate any unauthorized data entry. It should be noted that locations where data entry will not occur, the strict security and interaction of terminal to host is unnecessary. In these cases, the start up procedure simply loads an "inquiry only" version of the programming and the site is operational.
Since the programming controls most all keys, and controls all screen usage, the ease of use, and simplicity of the terminal for users has led to overwhelming acceptance. With the touch of one of the several special function keys, the screen presents the operator with a menu of items that can be performed. There are seven different data base inquiries, four data entry functions, and report printing options.
The inquiries provide a selection of different types of client information and allows for several search techniques against the data base. With the menu selection typed in, the program will present the appropriate inquiry screen format to the operator. Each piece of information needing to be entered is identified with headings. Each entry has an associated edit criteria to reduce unnecessary transmission of invalid inquiry requests. When the last entry has been entered, the terminal program constructs the message and sends it to the host. Assistance to the operator is given whenever possible such as automatic generation of leading zeroes, insertion of commas between names, and other convenience factors.
Selection of a data entry function from the menu will cause the terminal to request the operator to enter the current days worker identification code. If unable to do so, the operator will not be given the data entry screen. Data entry is similar to inquiry. That is, all entry fields are identified through column headings and all input is edited at the time of entry. However, the editing is more stringent and tries to reduce data entry errors prior to host processing. Additionally, the entry screen requests the operator to answer "YES" to the question of "EaTRY OK?". This provides time for the terminal operator to compare the entered information with the original source document. An answer of "NO" to the above question will move the cursor back and allow changes to be made. An answer of "YES" will cause the transmission of the entered information to Olympia. Upon receipt in Olympia, an edit is performed to validate that the client case number is known (or not known) to the data base. If the condition is valid, the transaction is stored for evening processing, and a message is sent to the terminal programming identifying the acceptance. The programming will then refresh the entry screen so that the next entry document can be keyed. If the situation is invalid, an error message is sent to the lower terminal screen area and the cursor moved to the previously entered case number field to allow the operator to make corrections if desired.
The print capability is two-fold. The print key will cause the screen information to be printed on the printer. The programming will inform the operator to power on the printer if it is not already turned on. The menu selection to print reports will cause the stored reports on the diskette to be written to the printer. The reports may be printed as many times as desired. Internal programming will notify a master report file on the host that a hard copy has been printed for this site. This will allow the report information to be removed in future report file updating.
What's in store for I-.T-I-S in Phase II and III? Current projections call for approximately 150 additional terminals to support new inquiry and remote data entry functions. Current planning calls for the emphasis to be placed on the reception and intake areas of client handling. It is in this area of work that the clients first make application and are referred, denied, or accepted for processing. With capture of information during the initial client contact, statistics can be derived to better evaluate workloads involved in that area. Also, the basic information recorded at that time may be utilized to later reduce the redundant re-entering from the N-Form authorization document. Almost as important, clients refused or referred to other agencies will be captured and available to all other offices through new inquiry files. Terminals will also be placed in Regional Headquarters offices for use in Workload Planning and Control of staffing levels. Terminal entry and on-site reporting will be developed for monitoring, measuring, and projecting staffing needs based on work measurements data entered through the terminal. Other areas for future development include: improvement in the ability for remote sites to perform consistent eligibility calculations; improvement to the tracking of client case records from office to office and to central storage sites; development of statistical and management reports on client caseloads throughout the state; additional inquiry capability to ask logical questions such as "how many X’s are on Program Y in County Z", and many other equally important enhancements to the data base and batch systems.
I-T-I-S has a long way to go, but it has already been accepted as one of the department’s major accomplishments for 1978. The project has had the luxury of total DSHS management support from the beginning and this certainly has been a great asset to the project. Another plus has been that I-T-I-S project staff not only included both capable and talented people, but also provided staff who were familiar with the previous TP network and also the batch systems that were being affected. Their dedication has overcome many a roadblock along the way. With continued support such as this, the I-T-I-S project can look forward to a productive and successful new year.
Dept. of General Administration
On December 19, 1978, an all day training session, "Introduction to Distributed Processing", was held in the WDPSC Training Room. The following is a summary of the presentation.
"What is an intelligent terminal and what can it do?" was presented by Harry Baird of Sperry-Univac. He defined a ‘smarts terminal as one with a micro-processor and storage, made possible by the miniaturization of chips for memory. Some of the benefits described were greater people productivity, fewer keystrokes, immediate feedback, reduced overhead on the host computer, user satisfaction, and faster throughput.
Jerry Gow of DSHS said that utilization of ‘smarts terminals (up to 400 in the future at DSHS) had been very rewarding. The terminals are down-loaded with the program at sign-on time. Passwords and worker-id codes have been used so that anyone can make an inquiry, but only those authorized can change data. Information from the Public Assistance case records can be accessed by either name or case-number.
Jerry McNulty explained some new applications using intelligent terminals at DOL, such as data look up on the vehicle file, extraction of names/addresses for correspondence, printing of professional licenses on demand for walk-in applicants, and creation of correspondence from canned paragraphs. Labor and Industries can do its own inquiring into DOL files, and the county auditors will have the same capabilities soon. They have installed 102 such terminals and have 65 more ordered.
Joe Marvin, of Distributed Data Products, spoke on the topic, "What is a minicomputer and what can it do?" He emphasized that the machines on the market are ‘mini’ only in size, economy, and weight, and are fully capable of functioning as stand-alone machines. He divided those available today into three groups, the smallest intended for a single function or application. The second class he described as larger multi-purpose machines able to concurrently handle several functions such as batch, RJE, data entry, and data base management. The third class he defined as general-purpose, small business configurations which come with operating packages tailored to the user. There are some 40,000 of these now installed.
Twila Perry, of General Administration, demonstrated the procedural flow of the Purchase Order Writing system, from the time a requisition is received until the Purchase Order is completed. Mike Brackett, of Fisheries, told us that, in conjunction with their mini, they process 40% of their computer work at the UW, the other 60% being done at WDPSC. The current configuration lacks adequate storage, and plans are to upgrade both storage and peripherals.
"What application characteristics favor the selection of DDP?" was presented by Jay Roach of Harris. Points made were:
minicomputer price performance is attractive
batch and communications software is mature
language compilers are effective
users are ready for a transition
hardware vendors are readily available
He added that there are currently over 9,000 distributed systems installed, anticipated to expand to over 36,000 by 1932.
Bill Fischer talked about the newest application at Revenue, which utilizes a minicomputer with communications to the Washington Data Processing Service Center. Before deciding on a mini to handle inquiry on the tax name/address files, Revenue had benchmarked the process using ADABAS at WSPSC. The vendors participating in the RFP had to demonstrate their product with the entire file loaded, with 3 terminals operating simultaneously, and with concurrent RJE and interactive data entry functions operating. A demonstration was then given on a terminal in the training room showing how an account could be reached by using the tax number, or by entering a name. The inquirer receives back that name and tax number plus five names alphabetically on either side of the requested name, If the inquirer wishes, he can page forward or back through the file from that point.
Dick Nelson, from WUTC, talked about the various uses of their mini. They have both local and remote CRT’s, emulate Video 370 and TSO, and process on the mini and at Centers. They have been continually and systematically upgrading the equipment and are now planning to go to multiple CPU s.
John Aikin, of TESC, spoke on the uses of "Minicomputers for instruction." At TESC, the move to a mini was made because of the need to support many light-demand users in a highly inter-active mode. Rapid feedback assists in the learning process using the BASIC language supported by the mini. Other languages are learned using RJE to WDPSC. Use of the mini for administrative purposes is heavy at registration time. Monthly reports are run in batch mode at the WDPSC, as are daily updates to the files. About 42% of the student body uses the computer, some students having become interested through the use of games to the point of registering for computer classes.
"What is POS?" was the question answered by John Bertram, of NCR. "POS (point-of-sale) captures, processes, and communicates data from the point of service." The largest such installation in the world is in Japan, where 200 processors and 9,000 terminals are connected to two main processing centers; 500,000 transactions per hour are handled. (If one of the main centers goes down, transactions handled per hour drop to 350,000.) Montgomery Ward operates 13 regional centers servicing 25,000 on-line terminals, of which 18,000 are POS.
Jim Hoing, from the LCB, gave us a preview of coming attractions from his agency, which is now responsible for a $24 million dollar inventory of 4,000 different items sold through 169 State stores and 184 agencies. Of the $260 million in annual sales, $95 million is returned to State coffers from profit and tax collections. They are planning implementation of POS cash register terminals at all sales locations by January of 1980. A central minicomputer will poll all stores after closing hours, collecting sales and inventory data. Reports can be printed either locally or centrally. Their expected benefits are:
99.9% availability on all popular items
98% availability on specialties
20% reduction in inventory level by 1981
10% cost avoidance in manpower requirements
Avoidance of loss by theft by reduction in handling of cash
Implementation of Electronic Fund Transfer "when the banks are ready."
Recommended replenishment reports
Early identification of trends
We were assured that in the event of machine malfunction, back-up procedures would be in place so that service to the public would not be curtailed.
"Service Centers and DDP" was addressed in terms of what WDPSC specifically has developed. Tom DeCoy began by asserting that the State is lagging far behind private business in utilizing the most cost-effective equipment. WDPSC is willing to provide assistance to agencies in every aspect of conversion, from the development of the requirements statement and cost-benefit analysis, through interface with vendors and the DPA. If the need arises, they will staff to support programming in the mini languages. Galen Schmidtke, of the DPA, explained the steps an agency must go through in acquiring DDP equipment.
Jack Vanderweerd of Brennan Associates forecast, "What does the future hold?" He stated there were three technical considerations:
He looked for increased miniaturization and automation, and increasing simplicity of the use of the machines.
The session concluded with a panel discussion on "What should an agency consider in making a decision about DDP?" covering,
There will be a repeat of this session with some modification on June 5, 1979. It is my opinion that chief data processing decision makers and their non-DP peer users who are considering DDP as one of the solutions to a problem would benefit by attending.
Olympia Technical Community College
What is Olympia Technical Community College all about? What types of students attend OTCC? What kind of information can a student receive at OTCC in Data Processing? What can OTCC do for the data processing manager? How can the data processing manager help OTCC? Hopefully, these are some of the many questions you might have wondered about after January’s guest speaker and recent articles in the Daily Olympian about OTCC.
Olympia Technical Community College entered the community college system in 1967. In 1976 the name was changed from Olympia Vocational Technical Institute to Olympia Technical Community College. Prior to this, many people in the community were unaware that OTCC had become a community college. At present, OTCC offers a variety of vocational programs ranging from one quarter to six quarters in length. A variety of classes are offered that provide support to the vocational programs such as management, mathematics, social sciences, communication skills, economics, etc.
The student that attends OTCC has an average age of 31 and is rising (slightly higher than the statewide average). The student body is made up of basically two types. People from the community come to OTCC to take classes like small engine repair, wine testing, cabinet making, etc. Even more students come to acquire the skills necessary to enter the job market. In Data Processing, we have three programs: Data Entry, Computer Operator, and Programming. The students attend full time, part-time, day and/or evening. It is now becoming possible to receive a six-quarter ATA degree in Data Processing attending classes after 5:00 p.m. Also many students, who work during the day, find it possible to take one class a quarter coming on campus one hour a day. The facilities are open to students from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. plus some evenings until 10:00 p.m. The curriculum provides the flexibility required to meet the needs of a varied student population. Our students include high school graduates seeking a career in data processing, individuals retraining into the field of data processing (some with BA Degrees and higher), data processing users, and individuals already employed in data processing looking toward upward mobility, additional skills, or refresher courses. Classes include a variety of languages, structured programming, OS JCL, teleprocessing, database, system analysis, etc.
OTCC can provide the data processing manager with highly qualified employees for data entry, operations, and programming. OTCC can also provide the convenient and effective training necessary to upgrade and promote your existing staff. If you need part-time, temporary employees, we have qualified students seeking actual on-the-job experience.
We also have work experience classes in the operator and programming programs. Extensive time is spent in the field by those students seeking a course in computer operation. The programming work experience class occurs each spring and the student works in the employer’s shop for half a day. Along with this, we have the students participate in mock interviews set up in the employer’s office. We are always seeking interested participants.
There’s always room for one more interested person on our advisory committee. We meet two to four times a year to discuss the programs offered at OTCC. One of the primary functions of the committee is to help the programs reflect changes in data processing technology. Last, but not least, we are always seeking highly qualified part-time instructors whose expertise can add to the quality of instruction at OTCC.
Chairperson of the Business Division
Data Processing Instructor
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Update ADP Standard ST.07.050
The DPA has initiated a project to review and update State ADP Standard ST.07.050 concerning Cost/Benefit Analysis. The updated standard will also address other aspects of financial analysis, including return on investment and lease/purchase decisions. An ad hoc CBA/ROI Policy Review Committee has been formed with participation from the Association of Data Processing Managers, and from Higher Education. A draft standard for agency review is planned for late January. The committee members are as follows:
Bob Althauser (SC3), Gary Guinotte (DSIIS), Phil Hughes (DOL), Paul Klinkosz (DOT), Gary Longmire (ESD), Frank Marek (U of W), Louie Orlando (WDPSC), George Pickett (DPA), Barry Rau (OFM), and Sherrie Storey (SBCCE). If you have any input on the subject, please contact one of the above committee members.
CUT ‘EM OFF AT THE PASS
"Disgruntled employees are poor producers," says MODERN OFFICE PROCEDURES magazine. Malcontents tend to complain to fellow workers, and the infection spreads. Since employees are highly aware of the law and of individual rights these days, it seems advisable to keep the channels of communication wide open. MOP suggests the following technique improvers, which we reproduce verbatim:
Availability. Keep your door open. Let your employees know you want to hear their complaints if they have any.
Listen. Be attentive. Don’t interrupt. Encourage him to tell the whole story. Then ask questions. Don’t ridicule.
Evaluate. Don’t make snap judgements. Study the complaint. Take notes.
Investigate. Don’t jump to conclusions. Get the facts.
Consult. Refer to your company~ s written policy manual if available. Or go to your superior if you have any doubts about the way the matter should be handled.
Decision. When you’ve made a decision, call the complainant in and tell him what you’ ye decided to do. Don’t beat about the bush. Be direct and fair.
WESTERN TEMPORY SERVICES REPORT
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A man who is always declaring he is no fool usually has his suspicions.
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Inspector Rafael Mendoza and his companion, Detective Howard Schwartz, had conducted only the most perfunctory investigation before herding Arthur Romano into an office adjoining the computer room for some intense questioning. "What were you going to do with the money." Mendoza’s first question demanded an answer. "I didn’t take the money, I didn’t need the money," Romano defended. "The money’s not ~one, the computer fouled up." Mendoza controlled his irritation. ‘Look, buddy, you ain’t coppin’ no plea of insanity off this investigation. We checked your accounts in the Central Data Bank. We know you’re in debt up to your eyeballs. Now let’s hear the story. Maybe it’ll go easier on you." "Who isn’t heavily in debt these days?" Art Romano defended. "That’s no proof of anything. I tell you the computer is haywire." The best efforts of Mendoza and Schwartz couldn’t budge the obstinate Romano.
The presentation of Dr. Ralph Waldo Williamson droned on from one of the television screens opposite the Jury. "Not only are individual circuits virtually failure-proof, they are self-checking. Beyond that, redundant circuits take over whenever the slightest internal check fails. The computer operator is immediately informed of this by a light on his operator panel. I understand there was no such light displayed on the 1CM Model 720 which processes the records of the Department of Public Benefit." The good Doctor might have gone all day had the Prosecutor not, at last, interrupted. "In short, Dr. Williamson, is it safe to conclude that a modern computer cannot and will not make an error-that it cannot fail without overtly notifying someone of the malfunction?" "That is correct," the Doctor asserted. "Your witness," the Prosecutor indicated with a verbal flourish.
The tape of Burns’ examination of the computer designer began to roll. He finally had a witness he could sink his teeth into. "Dr. Williamson, are you familiar with the crash of the Lockheed 1111 Supersonic Transport in Holland last spring?" "I am." "Was that plan equipped with a totally automatic, computerized, flight trajectory system?" "It was, but there’s no pr..." "And are you familiar with the nuclear reactor runaway in Eastmont, Illinois two years ago? Wasn’t that reactor also computer controlled?" "Yes, but you’re talking about an obsolete computer.’’ ‘‘An obsolete computer? You mean we've gone from fallibility to perfection in only two short years?" "That computer was designed fif...". "Can a light burn out on a computer control panel?" "Yes." "Could that light be a malfunction indicator light?" "Yes, but...". "No further questions. Burns had annihilated the expert witness, much to the grumbling discontent of the Jury, but he had done little to assuage the charges against his client.
Mendoza and Schwartz had persisted in their grilling of Romano, without break, until well after seven o’clock on Monday evening. The site of the interrogation, the small office just off the computer room, remained the same. Although Mendoza was sure of Romano’s guilt, he wasn’t confident yet that he had enough hard evidence to arrest the slightly-built accountant. But the surprisingly tough civil servant hadn’t broken by seven-thirty, so, while Schwartz stayed with Romano, Mendoza went out for some sandwiches. The questioning ceased for the moment. Arthur Romano slouched down in a chair; Detective Schwartz leaned back in his chair, across a small work table from the suspected criminal. Romano slid down further in his chair, slid his foot over under the table, and kicked uj~. Schwartz’s chair flipped backward; the back of the Detective s head collided with the wall; Schwartz rolled over senseless; Romano was on him, pulling out the detective’s service revolver.
The testimony of Inspector Mendoza had passed without incident. He was a witness to nothing. Not even Detective Schwartz could provide any eyewitness information; he wasn’ t even sure whether he’d been pushed or had simply fallen against the wall; he had been unconscious when the alleged assault, committed with his gun, had been enacted. The ballistics expert clearly demonstrated that the bullets removed from the public servant were fired from the Detective’s pistol and the photographic evidence provided by the security cameras was impossible to refute. The film showed Arthur Romano committing the crime, the dread act of violence,
Attorney Michael Burns was down to his last card. He had a very nervous, visibly shaken Arthur Romano called to the stand--a witness box reserved for in-person examinations. An oath was taken, a name given. Art Romano was to be the one and only defense witness. Burns beamed cordially, confidently, at the Judge, Jury, and witness. "Would you repeat again for use the nature of your occupation, Mr. Romano." "I am the Chief Accountant for the Department of Public Benefit." "Is it true that in this role you are not only professionally responsible but also personally liable, for the keeping of the accounting records of that agency?" "It is." "To be perfectly clear for the Jury, does that mean that if even the slightest discrepancy were to occur in the books, you could legally be charged with a crime and tried for it, even though you personally had not made an error?" "Yes, it is. I signed an affidavit to that effect when I accepted the position." "With that responsibility in mind, Mr. Romano, so you see it as your duty to personally ferret out anyone who would subvert your stewardship?’ "Yes, I do. I personally did just that in reporting an embezzlement by a field worker only seven years ago." The Jury expelled an approving whisper. Burns conveyed the file on the incident to the Judge who, after a short review, signalled affirmatively to the Jury. "And did you attempt to do so again in the current instance--to report the guilty party to the authorities?" "I did." "No further questions Your honor." The Prosecutor started to cross-examine, but thought better of it. Arthur Romano stepped down from the witness stand, a look of just-discovered confidence on his face.
And indeed it did look like the Jury had swung over to Romano’ s side when the clock swept up on four and the Judge invited the Attorneys to present their closing arguments. But they all underestimated the mastery, the cold, cunning skill of the Prosecutor. In lieu of a normal, closing, verbal appeal, the prosecutor reran the security camera film of the incident of the evening of Monday last. There was Romano, gun in hand, "storming’ for sure this time, into the computer room. He strode in bullying, arrogant strides, toward the master control console of the blinking machine. A muted gasp fluttered from the jury. Romano kicked the operator’s chair out of the way, the chair banging sharply against the machine on its outward trajectory. "Oh God!" the Judge whispered emotionally. Romano raised the revolver, the gun firmly gripped with both hands, the pistol held in the manner of a trained assassin. The gun discharged with a recoil. Spattered bits of display lights, colored plastic, and circuit boards flew from the front of the console and, an instant later, out the back. "Sweet Jesus," the Jury sobbed. Another shot blew open the front of the cabinet housing the memory unit. Electronic circuits were exposed; plug in micro-circuits dangled from connecting wires. Romano continued carnage until the gun was empty. The Judge and Jury moaned for the film to be stopped. But it didn’t conclude until, with one last, savage act, Romano dumped over a rack full of magnetic disks, strewing them across the floor, and almost swaggered out of the room. "Justice, Justice, Justice," the Jury chanted.
Michael Burns gave his closing argument a herculean effort, but the ears of the Jury was now sealed. "Prosecutor", the Positive Rationalizer for Ordering of Selective Evidence to Cull Untoward Traits and Offensive Reagents--that masterpiece of computer technology--has done its job all too well, and its gaily flashing lights showed that it knew it. It had subjected the electronic "Jury"--the Justice Ubiquitous Ratiocination Yeoman--to the most emotionally terrifying of all visions, a vision of man destroying his most magnificent of creations. Even the great, impartial, micro- circuited information system "Judge"--the Justice, Unbiased Discriminator of Germaine Evidence--had been terribly shaken: Burns pled for impartiality, and the electronic wonders might even have tried, but how could they ignore so heinous an outrage.
The case went to the Jury. Ten seconds of heated, unheard, internal discussion followed, signaled by the dancing lights on Jury’s control console. "Jury finds the defendant guilty on all counts," the verdict was clearly rendered. "Does the Jury find any extenuating circumstances?" the Judge inquired. "It does not." After but a few seconds a deliberation, the Judge concluded the proceedings. "It is the judgment of the Court that the defendant, pending appeal have been adjudged violent by this tribunal, be taken to a place of confinement and there deencephalomized." The Judge had ordered the supreme sentence, that Arthur Romano’s brain be erased. Romano fell deathly pale, trembling. "We appeal, Your honor," Michael Burns invoked his client’s rights. "Appeal is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., tomorrow, District Seven, Superior Computer presiding."
Michael Burns, the skillful young attorney, put his arm around the shoulders of Arthur Romano, the once dedicated accountant, as the two stood. "Don’t worry, Art, the Superior Computer will not be moved by emotion like this new Judge. And even if he is, there’s always the Supreme Computer. He’s much older and knows all about the imperfections of both man and machine."
Association Minutes - January 4, 1979
Chairperson Paul Newman called the meeting to order at 12:30. There - ere 26 members in attendance. Paul introduced Gary Hull’s replacement at DOP, Julie Larson. He then called on Patti to introduce the guest speaker, Hilmar Kuebel.
Mr. Kuebel’s talk focused on the facts about the state’s community college system and the system’s role in education. He described the ways in which the system is serving residents of many communities and how the systems have grown since it was founded in 1967. He reviewed the five basic missions of the system (vocational/occupational education; college parallel; general education; adult basic education; and community service) and provided a wealth of statistics about who uses the services and why.
Paul then opened the business meeting. John Aikin reported that the treasury now contains ~362.l8. There was no DPA report since the Authority meeting follows rather than precedes this month’s association meeting. Patti Palmer reviewed the newsletter "assignments" for the month of March: Bill Lundberg, Bud Ledesma’ s replacement at Game, and John ~
Sam Mayo (Welcome back!) then reported on the systems and programming series for the Job Matrix committee. He indicated that the committee had met December 18 and developed guidelines and a specification. Some problems exist with minimum requirements in the area of trading off college versus experience. In some cases the current requirements make apparently bad assignments; a meeting has been scheduled for January 10 to consider changes.
Cliff Cotey reported on the Manager series. The matrix is in final form and the review will be circulated for comment. Cliff has received several other requests for changes to specifications.
Patti reported that the spring seminar will be postponed until June to enable cooperation with DURD’s proposed computer faire. Don Smith confirmed the plan to co-sponsor the faire with a theme of Distributed Processing. The association will be responsible for planning the program and speakers; DURD will be responsible for site selection and coordinating with vendors.
Galen Schmidtke reported that the final draft of the Centralization/Decentralization policy is out for review.
Under new business, Galen raised the question that the Governor’s salary proposal is in direct conflict with the survey. A motion was passed that Paul write a letter regarding this fact to the appropriate bodies in the House and Senate and to the Governor.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Association of Data Processing
February 1, 1979
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William Bjork will be speaking on the Western Washington Gambling Commission and their responsibilities.
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REMINDER: Please send your notification of attendance to John Aikin, Mail Stop TA-QO.