Tag Archives: VisiCalc


I had my job interview the other day. Now that it’s completed and I wait for them to conduct a couple more interviews, I’m thankful for several things:

1. I still remember how to tie a four-in-hand knot, though I haven’t worn a tie in years;

2. Despite wearing zoris and sneakers for some time, my feet still fit comfortably in my dress shoes;

3. My brain remains agile and capable of fielding questions with ease;

4. I retain the knowledge, if not all of the skills, of every one of the dozens of jobs I had during the more than two decades in which I worked before joining Rocketdyne at 39;

5. I’ve kept my ability to use Excel all these years. I actually started with VisiCalc in the early 80s;

6. If I don’t get this job it won’t in any way diminish my self esteem.

I am, if nothing else, persistent.

Preserving My Past

The time has come for me to simplify . . . to apply some feng shui to my collection of old (ancient?) paperwork, some of which is more than several decades old. Paper is the one thing I seem to be a bit of a hoarder with; that and old clothing, I guess.

I am coming across papers, letters, and notes I’ve written over the years, many of them from my over two decades of service at Rocketdyne, where I was privileged to work on the Space Shuttle Main Engine program. In that time I worked for (without changing desks) Rockwell International, The Boeing Company, and the Pratt & Whitney Division of United Technologies. After I accepted an early retirement package in 2010, I returned as a contractor to work for Aerojet Rocketdyne in 2015, where I worked for a bit over two years.

Recently, I purchased a small, portable Brother scanner and I am slowly scanning old papers I’m finding. Inasmuch as I’m now publishing far more frequently to this blog, I’ve decided to save some of these things so I can throw the paper away and still have a record. It’s been over nine years since I retired and I find I’m forgetting what working in a large organization was like. Reading some of the documents I created helps me to remember what I did, as well as to feel reasonably confident I wasn’t just spinning my wheels.

What follows should be somewhat self-evident. It’s a letter I wrote to my manager in 1994, now over 25 years ago. I think I sound pretty reasonable, and I’m gratified to know I was pushing—pretty hard, I think—for positive change back then. I’m not an IT person; never went to undergrad and, besides, the earliest PCs didn’t come into existence until I was nearing my thirties. However, I did recognize the value such tools brought to managing and operating a business and I have always been a big promoter of technology in the office. At any rate, this is more for me than my readers, but some may find it “amusing.”

PS – I scanned the original “memo” in .jpg format and the accompanying Lotus presentation materials in .pdf, which you’ll have to click on if you’re interested in what Lotus was doing 25 years ago, before its acquisition by IBM.

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