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Share Your Story • Mike Briggs • August 20, 2019

Just an ordinary Tech.

As a boy living between 3 Heavy Bomber Bases I found some early Radio parts & mags belonging to my dead in the war Uncle. They did work - just - so when the war was over I found low cost modern battery valves and made a radio in a cigar box. My friends thaught WOW and I ended up making 8 of them,(at a tiny profit - a 2 valve one for myself!). Then a rich - older - friend built a TV out of war surplus radar bits - wow I was hooked.

My Mom found an advert for trainee telecommunications techinicans & I got a place in the training school. First Station when trained was Barbados - WOW! Then I was transferred to Grand Turks & found two American bases on the Island - one Navy TOP SECRET NOGO etc. The other were a bunch from PanAm/Cape Caniveral - playing with allsorts of top secret things that went bang - some times when they were supposed to... ( Taking a weather report - whoosh rumble (small)bang. Followed by much aerial then navel activity )

Years later - it was a Bomarc. Found VHF. Did some Ham radio then posted to Cuba just as Mr Castro took over. Then to Chile for World Cup Sutbal. Met an iguana who disputed ownership of the Cable House when I was waiting for a CableShip to mend the cable. Antofagasta - then a small town - how it has grown! Lima Peru - new Kit Transistors - and error detection and correction of Teletype signals. Sheesh!, but Manager was OLD SCHOOL and took every chance to down the new tech. Cable & Wireless is now a small company. Married. Returned to UK & did a stint in over the horizojn radar tech - Computers wow. Tracker ball - (still use one - don't like rodents). First Microwave Oven - with 3phase supply and vaporised custard in 7 seconds. That company is gone.

Moved to UK's 1st Time-Share computer & PDP11's as data line concentrator. Used 6800 micro-computer to interface Telex Line to Ascii only Main-Frame. Computer aided training. Developed and commercialised an early system - sold 12 world wide before the Suits got cold feet. Car dynomometers - 3 one offs & then Suits again. A Small UK Industrial laser company found a struggling US company and I had to move it all over to PC comparability as Apple were deep into 'only flash Harrys' - no commercial open access - mode. 3 years after I retired the Suits moved in and it is no more :-(

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