In 1992 Evergreen Systems was losing market share for its communications server products
just as laptops were beginning to see widespread use.
People who were traveling expected to be able to dial in to their offices and use the office
computer networks just as if they were in the office.
The market was demanding elimination of differences between dial in sessions and in-office
use of normal desktop computers.
To stay in the remote access market Evergreen needed to offer a new server product which
was literally made from the same core components as typical desktop computers.
As President I took direct responsibility for successful development of the
critically needed new product.
Selected Intel's new ATX hardware specification as the most compatible and
long lasting to be the center of the new product.
Conceived a design to enable fitting many dial in computer modules into the limited equipment space in typical business offices.
Applied automation techniques so that each computer module would reset itself to be ready for the next session.
Provided a built in, dedicated communication method so the computer modules
automatically informed the management process of current status and activity.
Developed special power switching techniques to allow dial in computer modules to
be removed and replaced while the overall system power was still on so that a
dial in user would not be cut off if there were difficulties with another user.
Coordinated software development staff and automation firmware to provide a
web-based, low-level management capability.
The new system enjoyed high customer satisfaction and was completely compatible with
regular desktop computers.
For five years Evergreen Systems successfully marketed the product line realizing
multi-million dollar annual sales until the design itself was sold for more than
$1,000,000 to Data General in 1998.
The world's leading provider of civil aviation flight simulators
faced a product development snag in 2002.
Modern flight simulators employ extensive computer graphics. This company had implemented a new
strategy to replace expensive custom made graphic circuitry with more cost effective
commercial graphic circuitry.
The first such product line was doing so well that a second product line was being developed.
A key feature of the second product line was higher performance graphic circuitry requiring
correspondingly greater amounts of electric power.
Manufacturers of power supplies could not deliver anything with enough power to satisfy the need.
I was brought in by a manufacturer developing a new chassis for the second simulator product line.
I agreed to design and develop a way to use two supplies together for the single motherboard
in the chassis to provide the needed power.
Devised a power subsystem to be placed between two power supplies, the graphic
circuitry and the computer motherboard.
Created a three dimensional computer model providing the chassis manufacturer with
key geometric details to successfully position the power subsystem
and removable power supplies with respect to one another.
Enhanced the power subsystem to provide a number of additional
features including monitoring the graphic circuitry
and giving visual and audible alarms as needed.
Managed outsourcing services used to manufacture the power subsystem.
The company successfully shipped the second line of simulators and noted in their 2003 annual
report that this second line of simulators ("Tropos") has enabled them to increase
market share by simultaneously improving performance and lowering costs.
Following successful deployment of the second line of flight simulators, the company
developed a third line ("Medallion") using still higher performance graphic circuitry.
I was brought in again in spring 2003 and produced an enhanced version of the power subsystem.
This work has enabled the company to ship systems taking advantage of the highest performance
graphic circuitry available and maintain their market lead and billion dollar revenues.
Case Study: Special Features for an Outdoor Kiosk Enclosure>
In early 2000 a Texas computer integrator was competing for a contract to supply an outdoor kiosk
system to startup advertising company.
Market testing with a rough prototype of the system had indicated a very attractive
increase in convenience store sales as a result of placing the kiosks on top of gas pumps.
Hunt Oil was close to committing to deployment of the new system at its Travel America
service stations nationwide.
The system had to handle harsh temperature ranges and the allowable hardware cost was limited.
Having made it to the final round of vendor selection, the integrator discovered it was on the
verge of losing the contract to another vendor's industrial PC product because of the
temperature range issue.
The chassis manufacturer working with the integrator on the bid asked me to enhance the product
design to win the contract.
Applied automation techniques to control electric heaters and cooling fans as needed
to regulate the kiosk enclosure operating temperature.
Created an innovative link between the kiosk outdoor keypad and the main computer to eliminate
the need for the integrator's programming staff to rewrite software they'd already developed and tested.
Developed a method to make temperature data available to the main computer for sale to cable weather services.
Implemented a switching function allowing the main computer to control display backlighting and
lengthen the life of expensive backlights.
Added an audio amplification circuit to improve the kiosk sound.
Implemented a proximity detector allowing the main computer to enhance the product's impact
and effectiveness by synchronizing the start of the promotional program with the arrival of a customer in front
of the kiosk.
The integrator won the contract with BillBoard Video.
Hunt Oil contracted for systems at 600 Travel America locations pending a successful test installation
to demonstrate successful operation in harsh weather conditions.
A complete system was installed at a station in Houston where it passed Hunt Oil staff's evaluation and signoff process.