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11 Jun 2019

John Potts's Multics Bio

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John Potts

In 1978 I was senior engineer for Honeywell's large 6680 system in Aberdeen University in Scotland. I was transferred to Toronto along with my family to look after Bell Canada's Multics system which had just arrived in crates. Ernie Reimer (support) and I assembled and tested the system and peripherals. Ron Brown was sales. Steve Putt would visit a few times a month. Jerry Kelly was originally Honeywell but joined Bell at one point. John Morrison was support manager, Jerry Webster area manager.

Once in production, processor B started giving problems, crashes and board failures. It got so bad that processor B (A and B were serial numbers 20 and 21) was sent back to Phoenix for testing. Long story short, the issue ended up as being unfiltered power as provided by Bell for processor B. For some reason a "dranitz" did not find the issue.

I was onsite FE for 3 years between 8 am and 5 pm, not allowed to leave the site during these hours. During my time there we had 20 CPU board failures, one power supply failure, one board failure on the L6 Datanet and two disk crashes. Four of the CPU board failures were found during Sunday morning PM.

I left Bell and was promoted to supervisor overseeing 22 field technicians, ended up field manager of all major systems in Toronto and surrounding area.

Left Honeywell and joined Bell Technical Services as Director of Marketing. Held various senior positions in Bermuda and Austin Texas before retiring in 2004.

As a sidebar, While at Wang (acquired Honeywell - Bull), I was executive of accountability for the Canadian Navy Multics system at Halifax which was eventually upgraded to a NEC system. I visited once a month. They were surprised on my first trip to Halifax when I announced I was a Multician (HW). Remember Dave Green and Allan H. Had many an entertaining evening with the IT team.

Great times and good people.

11 June 2019