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More than you ever really wanted to know. ( about me )

Sophomore

More than you ever really wanted to know. ( about me )

  While I was still an industrial electrician I learned to program with BASIC ( which I later learned to hate ), 'C' ( which I love ), and PLC Ladder Logic. All mostly self taught. I think this was a big part of why I later got a much better job in process automation.

 

  Our processes were controlled by a hybrid system, a DCS ( distributive control system ) did all of the analog stuff ( flows, temperatures, etc ) and a PLC ( programmable logic controller ) handled the digital logic ( motors, bindicators, interlocks, etc ).

 

  In addition the DCS handled the operator consoles, originally using DEC PDP-11-73s running RSX, later with DEC Alphas running VMS. and finally ( much to my disgust ) a PC running Windoze.

 

  When I was assigned to do the automation programing in a plant,   I did the all the programming on both systems, and also drew the operator console graphics with ACAD

   At first, I found my job fascinating, but some years before I retired, I was sick of the whole thing. When you've written code that people use every day, you don't own the program - it owns you!

 

   All of those of 3:00 am phone calls, where 99.999 percent of the time it's either operator error or a hardware problem. Very rarely is it what we called in the department a "logic bomb". IOW where code that's run perfectly for years encounters a unique set of circumstances that makes it blow up.

 

  Hey, I just realized that my Hughes data usage problems may have turned ME into to one of those 3:00 am callers! Smiley Embarassed)>

 

  "Enough about me, let's talk about you for a a minute"

 

  Alanis Morissette

 

2 REPLIES
Senior Instructor

Re: More than you ever really wanted to know. ( about me )

Been there. There's no debugger for Operator Headspace problem.

 

I always build the user flow/interface first, engine(s) second, then everything else in-between. There's still no excaping Operator Headspace.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
Highlighted
Sophomore

Re: More than you ever really wanted to know. ( about me )


@MarkJFine wrote:

  I always build the user flow/interface first, engine(s) second, then everything else in-between. There's still no excaping Operator Headspace.

 

  Actually, most our operators were pretty good. I think a lot of the time everybody was just stumped as to what the real problem was, and they knew that I could connect to the plant from home, and many times tell them the solution.

 

  Usually took me less than a half hour, but I charged them two hours overtime. There were nights I could have charged them 24 hours overtime in a single night. The company would have gladly paid it, but I never charged more than eight.

 

  BTW I was one of those lucky people who were straight salary but still got evertime pay also.

 

  Haven't worked in over fourteen years. I still have dreams about it though.


ALONE, adj. In bad company.

The Devils Dictionary