Baby in a Basket

The project looked like it would be way behind schedule!

IBM was buying a piece of new test equipment from Oregon, but the delivery of that first unit was months behind schedule. The problem was the vendor’s software needed to run the tool. I was working in a memory chip characterization department, and we needed that new tester to get our job done on the next generation of RAM chips.

I talked to my co-worker, Gary, and he and I went to our manager.

“How about if the two of us go out to Oregon and work on their engineering unit while they’re finishing up their part of the program?” we asked. We suggested that we could work off-hours, and catch up on our internal software development and the debugging of the test fixtures.

He said “Yes.”

So, Gary and his wife and two little kids; and I and my wife and 6 month old daughter all went to Oregon for 10 weeks. We rented two apartments side-by-side. Gary and I went to work from 4pm to midnight each day for several weeks. The wives and kids enjoyed the summer weather. On the weekends we all went exploring together.

Gary and I caught up with IBM’s work. The tester company completed their work. The system was delivered back to our lab on the East Coast. Everyone was happy. And we’d solved the problem while also having an adventure. We had taken our babies across the country, and together birthed a new baby test system. All of them grew in the years to come.

I’ve wondered in later years if it was that trip in 1983 which lead the way to our move from Vermont to California ten years later…