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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Cleaning out the office

In cleaning out my office after nearly 24 years, I found a variety of artifacts.


Nothing like this, though:


WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — In losing a president, Lycoming College found a piece of its history.

Retiring President James Douthat was cleaning out a closet in his office last week when he stumbled on a rather uncommon historical document that had been lost for years — a certificate signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that named the college's founder a Civil War chaplain.

Displayed inside a slightly worn black frame, the certificate itself appears to be in good condition. Lincoln's neat signature is clearly visible, just above an ornate, patriotic-themed imprint at the bottom of the commission certificate for Methodist clergyBenjamin Crever.




So what did I find?


                I found the first report that ever rolled off the printer for the Infoscan Census Service, a sales tracking service that tries to cover all stores within a retailer. Previous services had been built off of samples.  We were first in what is now the industry standard for reporting, and I was the technical architect on that project.  We printed off three copies of that report; two went to the client and Rita and I had to drive hurredly to the Fed Ex depot at O’Hare to beat the 9 p.m. deadline so the reports would get there on time.  The report was signed by a bunch of people who worked on that project and framed.


                On the other hand, I found notes from a meeting in December 2005 for the 2006 project goals for a large ongoing project.  The project itself is still going on, now 12 years after its start, although I eventually got paroled from the project (in part for persistent disagreement).  Of the four goals, only one of the two subgoals planned for 2006 has been achieved.  As I’ve said before, if you work in R&D contexts for a long career that indicates you’ve had some successes.  But if you only had successes you weren’t really doing R&D.


There’s more; we’ll revisit this in a later blog post.

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