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Appleton Post Crescent Newspaper Archives Aug 22 1976, Page 5

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Appleton Post-Crescent (Newspaper) - August 22, 1976, Appleton, Wisconsin Watchdog Micro marvels by Rhonda Seegal porn Watt to. It s the brains of a taxi meter that keeps track of five different fares simultaneously. It makes a pocket calculator talk. It will regulate Speed on a 1977 Model car. It tells a sewing machine How to stitch. The device is a tiny computer called a microprocessor. And it is being used in a growing number of consumer and commercial products. It is in fact be ginning to have an Impact comparable to the Advent of the transistor 25 years ago. In the past year alone Micro processors the size of a Fingernail but with the capability of a room size computers also have been used in telephones postal Scales games microwave ovens traffic lights Surveyor s equipment a blood analyser and supermarket checkout counters. The transistor made possible Low Cost electronics everyone could buy a portable radio. Microprocessors will enable the widespread use of Low Cost says Peter Jessel of the microprocessor lab at the Massachusetts Institute of technology. Intel corp., National Semi conductors Texas instruments Moto Rola Signe tics and others Are manufacturing microprocessors by the thousands. Most of their factories Are in an area South of san Francisco that has become known in the Industry As Silicon microprocessors Are made by using a photographic process to reproduce on a Small Silicon wafer the numerous transistors resistors and diodes of conventional computers. The Silicon wafer is then encased in Ceramic. The finished unit includes the wafer and sometimes memory and in put output devices. Mass production of microprocessors is reducing their Cost. Some Are priced As Low As Down from More than a year ago. The dropping unit Cost is making microprocessors less expensive than mechanical or electronic de vices now used in some consumer and commercial products. At the same time the microprocessor is faster More reliable and above All smarter. Take the taxi meter. Bru Der instrument corp. Of Vancouver is marketing a meter equipped with microprocessor that keeps track of and displays the fares of each of five Pas sengers boarding at different locations. No mechanical taxi meter does that. More than too have been shipped says James Bruce Sanders company president who argues in support of Rax meter the taxi Industry is in a state of flux. With the Energy crisis and the sudden shift to mass transit the Industry must move to integrate itself. The shared ride meter allows one cab to pick up two fares. Because they Are sharing one cab their rate is a year ago Amana refrigeration inc., introduced a microwave oven regulated by microprocessors. It has a keyboard and digital display in place of the of a sword knobs. Using the keyboard the Cook programs in Type of meat weight and whether it s to be in Dluhi rare or Well done. The Micro processor then becomes the Cook. Singer has placed a microprocessor in a sewing machine. To tells the machine How to make complicated stitches. Speech a calculator built by tet Century systems of California uses a microprocessor Toi Peak instructions to the user. It s about the size of a paperback Book and it has a 24-word to explains Teleceno try s Steve Brugler of the calculator. Some schools Are using them for re medial students because the immedi ate audio feedback reinforces the punch a key representing a num Ber an instruction or a total and the calculator in deep tones repeats the key instruction aloud. Lately thousands of people Are buy ing microprocessor units that create video games when attached to Tele vision sets. This a the fastest growing use of microprocessors. For As Little As a computerized control Box trans forms a Home to screen into an Arena for electronic Tennis Ping Pong hockey handball chess tick tack toe. Researchers at Bell Telephone laboratories have developed several applications including a Check verification system and a microprocessor office phone unit the phone unit repeatedly dials Busy numbers automatically for wards Calls and pages executives flexibility never before available to a receptionist. Another microprocessor phone de vice stores As Many As 10 numbers and automatically dials one of them when the caller pushes a Send Burton. Checkers at some supermarkets Are using a microprocessor system to identify and Register the Price of every Gro Cery item passed before an electronic Eye built into the counter. There Are microprocessors now in store Scales that weigh and compute the prices of purchases. National controls inc. Has developed a smart postal scale that is program med with postage rates zip codes and the zip code location of the scale itself. It weighs a letter or package and com Putes the exact postage when the oper Ator keys in the zip code destination. Although the scale costs and up some companies with big daily mail Ings say it eliminates excessive Post age and thus More than earns Back its Cost. Microprocessors Are working for communities too. Try inc. And com Star corp., for example have cooperated on a project to regulate traffic lights in Baltimore. Honeywell has used the tiny Micro processor in a blood analyser for physicians offices. Surveyors have from Hewiet Packard a microprocessor tool that computes rights distances and angles. The Auto Industry is a major Poten tial Market for microprocessor makers. In recent years. General motors has built several test cars using computers of one Type or another to control fuel injection automatic trans Mission and dashboard info a Sotl primarily we re working on engine control the air fuel ratio exhaust and spark says John Amman sex Engineer at pm in Detroit. A major obstacle is integration of the computer into All function of the car. There a a reliability problem. Microprocessors Are very sensitive to electrical disturbances caused by High currents and voltage in the explains mits Jessel. And currently eth like Haiti Are very pm president Elliot m. Estes has pressed the Hope that a car controlled of potely by microprocessors will be continued on Page 3 Gao is a detective with eyes looking for government spending waste a Massachusetts Institute of technology professor tests a microprocessor Chip on an Oscilloscope. In the foreground a detached microprocessor Chip lies on an enlarged photo of its own circuitry. Many uses for tiny computers by John Harbour or Tow Washington a John Anderson is 27, the father of two. He got Here almost by Accident. He would t leave for the world. He likes his Job which is making government work better and saving americans Money. To put it simplistically one Day John Anderson in the course of his duties came across million in a naval construction budget traced it Back found it unnecessary told Congress. Congress Cut the funds from the naval budget. John Anderson who makes something Over a year thus saved the american taxpayer Mil lion. He is one of a rare Breed who work under the Aegis of Congress. Congress is a big thing. It decides How american Money will be spent and How americans will Benefit from the spending. Congress is also a sometimes thing. Its members change and it frequently changes its mind. When it passes a Law or sets up a program the Law or program is sometimes imperfect the 500 authors. But nevertheless the intent of con Gress is the will of the people and thy will be done. That s where John Anderson comes in. He works for one of the Low est of profile Federal agencies the general accounting office. Many people have never heard of it. Many who have Don t know what it does. Gao retains some professionals eyes and ears. It is the servant of Congress empowered to determine whether the intent of Congress . The people is being followed faithfully and efficiently. The matter of the j6 million came up when the Navy decided it needed a Trident submarine base in Washington state and asked Congress for funds. A Gao team including John Anderson took a care Ful look at the figures the plans and found some of the requests questionable or unnecessary. At some Point in time they prepare a budget estimate for what they feel they need say a Crane to lift missiles out of a Anderson explains. At a later Date they find an alternative Way of removing the missiles and Don t really need the Crane. They just did t go Back and revise their budget not All savings Are so clearly identified. Gao documents that it saved half a billion dollars in 1975, a figure that surpasses by far its million budget and the salaries of All the John Andersons who like a battalion of St. Georges go Forth each Day to do Battle with the Man headed dragon called government the real savings must be several billion dollars a year the Money government agencies might spend if there was no oversight. The Gao began in 1921 As an auditing Agency essentially checking income and outgo guarding against illegal expenditures. In 1950, the Gao expanded its function somewhat adding one More question is the Money being efficiently spent in 1970, Congress further increased Gao s responsibilities to include evaluation of program results. Today there Are increasing cries about the in efficiency and Over reach of big government. Con. Gress is concerned and when Congress is concerned Gao goes to work. A 50-year Supply of anti diarrhoea pills. Somewhere along the line the computers went increased concerns Are being voiced in the con Gress and writes comptroller general Elmer Staats who Heads Gao particularly in the government s capability to make programs work effectively and to serve Well those individuals and groups for which Public funds Are Gao Seldom finds malfeasance or outright crookedness. Just simple expensive mistakes narrow View management people doing what they have Al ways done because they always have. Sometimes just carelessness forgetfulness. Roughly a third of Gao reports Are in response to queries by Congress. Some Are initiated by Gao itself in response to Public criticism. Some Are Trig gered by newspaper articles or tips from interested parties. Gao s authority ranges All through government although unevenly and with some exceptions. Con Gress liveth and Congress Tabeth away. Thus since 1921, Congress has excluded some data from Gao Purview for instance the Federal Reserve system and the internal Revenue service. But largely Gao operates wherever american tax monies Are spent. It operated for instance in Vietnam. August 22, 1976 by business features markets editorials it also maintains offices in the various Federal agencies and staff members work closely within the fabric of the agencies. Jim Black 29, works in the Gao off at the . Postal service. He is currently checking into the Cost and use of some postal vehicles the largest Fleet of government vehicles outside the military. The question he and his fellow researchers want to answer is could the postal service save a few Bucks if it leased vehicles instead of they Don t have the answer yet. In the enormity of government in the dispersed operations of any single Agency variation becomes the theme. One manager thinks he s doing the right thing in his area of operation but in the larger perspective his Way is costly and ineffective. For instance the postal service operates a centralized warehouse for vehicle spare parts which it buys wholesale at roughly half Price. Individual postal offices can order parts from the warehouse and pay for local installation. But when Gao looked into it the warehouse was t being used properly. Local postmasters were sending their vehicles to local garages for re pair because it was easier. Since the Gao report the warehouse business has improved. Wars Are notably wasteful so when the United states went to War in Vietnam the Gao went with it. One of Jim Black s jobs was to Check up on procurement by the United states for the vietnamese. One thing he found was a 50-year Supply of anti diarrhoea pills. Just somewhere along the line the computers went he says. Wars Are not neat and auditors and management specialists sometimes find them hopeless. As signed to look into the effectiveness of Battlefield sensors designed to ferret out enemy movements Black met frustration after frustration. With peo ple moving in and out it was difficult to find some one who knew what had been done a few months ago. And the farther from command centers the less available were written records. They d simply Tell you when we moved we had too much weight so we left them behind Black does t know if a final report was Ever made. Another of his assignments was in systems acquisitions. The Navy wanted to lease nine tankers at a Cost of million. But in fact the Navy leased the ships before they were built. There were charges of backdoor leasing. Insurance companies and retirement funds had put Money into the shipbuilding project because it was backed by the full Faith and credit of Uncle Sam and it was a Good Black says. When the Navy wants to build a battleship or an aircraft Carrier it has to go to Congress and ask for specific funds. But leasing funds says Black come out of a big pot of Money called operation and maintenance and those things Don t get looked at. That s supposed to keep going what you be already got so what happened is they got into ill these agreements and nobody on the Hill really knew about it. They were a Little perturbed about that. Understandably not everyone likes the Gao peo ple nosing around. Mostly though even in sensitive areas Federal agencies cooperate. John Anderson is currently working on a project at the army Security Agency the outfit that develops super secret ways to Morv tor an enemy s electronics radio and radar to get an intelligence Edge. Anderson carries a special clearance above top secret. The army Security Agency s work by some perv Wagon measures is As important As guns and tanks. The five Man Gao team is checking How close to estimated costs the programs Are running How close they Are to timetable development and finally How Are they _ Are we paying a lot More now for something that will do lot Anderson asks. In this sense Gao provides a Cori tinting analysis on the outcome of what Congress has already voted. The team also is looking into other defense department entities like the air Force and Navy to see if they have Merit that might also be used by the army. Granted most of the team is not technologically trained to make such evaluations. When this happens Gao pulls in out Side consultants. The Gao process is time consuming. On any one project there May be More than a Hundred inter views. Every interview is documented by a written memorandum to Back up the final report. The team begins with a plan and a Survey especially where we Don t know anything to speak of about the Agency or the operation we re when they find things they think need improve ments or require congressional attention the tears a goes into a review stage and probes for More detail. There have been Many complaints that Gao does t work fast enough but there have been few challenges to the facts turned up by Gao researchers. Often Gao recommendations to the Agency itself solve problems that the Agency did t know existed. Sometimes Congress is asked to pass new legislation to Clear up ambiguities in old legislation. Relatively few members of Congress use the Gao s says sen. William prox mire who frequently rails on Gao this is changing slowly. Congressional committees often ask for Gao help now and frequently Gao staffers join the committee staff in investigations. Somebody s liable to be spending million on something that you never heard Gao s reports Are known for their Flat Undra Matic language but they Are nonetheless concise in summary. For instance there Are eight Federal agencies responsible for managing and operating Federal warning dissemination systems to Alert the Public of natural disasters and enemy attacks. Actions have been taken by the inter Agency warning steering group to coordinate efforts but much re Mains to be done. If unchecked Over million May be spent in fiscal years 1976 through 1980 to develop and oper ate five Federal warning systems. Some of these have overlapping requirements and its studies Are exhaustive. In checking into the feasibility of an amphibious army cargo truck called the Gamma it interviewed army and Marine personnel to come up with no fewer continued on Page 3 editor s notebook egg pelting christened egg Harbor our summer place in door county is named the Melet. And when i remark to someone that i am going to the Melet for the weekend i often get a quizzical glance. Until i add that it s located in egg Harbor. Then they get the connection. The name was conjured up by v. I. Minahan sr., a predecessor As editor of this newspaper and builder of the summer Home on the Shore of Green Bay. Etter the but that does t explain How the summer resort Village of egg Harbor got its name. And that is a Story in itself. The following account is reprinted from a publication called the Wisconsin Ledger o publication of the Wisconsin american revolution Bicentennial commission. Named for the Early records of fur traders in Wisconsin it is a bimonthly publication with Lynne Hamel As editor. Here is the Story never did anyone enter Wyhs greater zest info any sport than did the gentlemen on Sis Therese Fisher Baird when Therese Baird recounted How she spent part of her summer vacation in 1825, she chronicled the events which led to the christening of egg Harbor a formerly nameless Bay on the door county Peninsula. A Fleet of three or four american fur company boats had arrived at Green Bay from the Mississippi on their annual Voy age to mod Kino since there was no other boat available in Green Bay at that time the Commodore offered passage to Henry and Therese Baird a Young couple from Green Bay who were planning to visit mock Inoc on business. On june 23rd, the thirty foot Bateaux left the Fox River and glided North through Green Bay Waters Laden and supplied with provisions of every kind including an abundance of eggs. Each boat was crewed by seven canadians All Hardy voyageurs and full of Joie de Livre. On their second Day out the oarsmen struck up an Exchange of Good natured banter. Mess baskets were soon thrown open triggering a brisk broadside of hard tack one vessel s Crew pelting biscuits upon another s. Due to the Short age of bakery the sky began to fill with flying eggs in As animated a contest As any of these men had Ever witnessed or expected stationed beneath a heavy Tarpaulin mrs. Baird reported that her inconvenience was increased by the fact that some of the missiles were of a most disagreeable odor. The Fleet finally came abreast of a Little Harbor tucked into the Western Shore of the door county Peninsula. Here the Commodore ordered the belligerents ashore where the Battle continued in full Force. We All noticed the strange appearance which Edward Ploudre presented. He had on White Duck pantaloons and a frock coat and had both pockets filled with eggs which he provided for o second Battle and fancied his coat would con ceal. But the keen eyes of both or. Kinzie and or. Baird were too much for him As was their flee Ness. They immediately set in Pursuit of him and when they caught him skipped his pocket until the eggs were broken and the contents ran in a Stream Down his pantaloons and White stockings and into his Low shoes. Then there was another Call for More eggs and another fight ensued which Only ceased for want of ammunition. However at last quiet was restored and we found ourselves with Good appetites for sup per and soon after retired to refreshing sleep. The next mom ing the Field of Battle presented a strange appearance strewn As it was with egg shells and Many were the regrets expressed mat the ammunition was exhausted. Before leaving the Shore speeches befitting the occasion were Mode by most of the gentlemen and the place was for Mally christened egg the name it has Ever since

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