This is ONE OF 2 responses to Vol 14 Drury 5 ("Another place mark")...
I don't know when I am ever going to have enough time to write you about the project I briefly mentioned at the last phone conversation. I am trying really hard not to mingle hard work (hard work = work assigned by boss vs soft work = vet related projects I want to do) with my after hours. Soft work is OK. Sigh, there probably is no real distinction .
I will start here and then call you later. (I have a pile of reasons why this is included in the Archipelago - my boss has been gone the last two weeks and between managing and vet work I haven't enough time to sneeze! He wants results yesterday but then gives me no time to do his projects. I have been laboring under TWO papers for major meetings coming up VERY SOON. I really want to do other things with my time ie. Archipelago. I need more time.)
Sorry - sometimes late at night when I am still agonizing over work, I get to feeling sorry for myself. Just a need to blow off some steam.
The Ingredients: One Avian Lab, nine networking Apple II (e or gs - I can't read my own notes) computers, 1000+ vet hospitals and confused staffs, and my four lab technicians.
The Boss's baby: The networking computers will speed up the lab sample labeling, processing, reporting, and billing for those 1000+ vet hospitals and confused staffs. The networking "language" is to be FileMaker. It is a program both the boss and I know fairly well so we can do spot manipulations. At this time, this baby is being handled by a programer of my boss's choosing. I can include a copy of the program, if you are interested, however, it is one of those not to be shared programs.
The Side Project Mistakingly Assigned to Me: We need to provide an information system for my four technicians to use when fielding questions from those 1000+ vet hospitals and confused staffs. The information system will include how to collect samples from the birds, hints on what are the appropriate samples to submit, normal lab values, some drug doses, short fact sheets about selected avian diseases (ex. Avian tuberculosis - it is strongly recommended that all humans in contact with the bird be tested for tuberculosis and all contact birds be destroyed), how to send samples to the lab, costs of the tests, other services we provide (we sell video tapes on bird signs of disease and vaccines for two viral killers), phone numbers and addresses of other labs providing other types of testing (blood lead levels for lead poisoned birds), etc.
Between the boss and myself, we can answer most if not all of these questions, however my lab technicians can't and it is not possible to train everyone to know everything. The plan is for each computer, which is by a phone with an outside line, to have a hypercard information stack. When a lab tech gets a question, he/she can call up this stack on the computer screen and follow some index to reach the appropriate answer for the question.
Your assignment, if you wish to take it: Set-up the Stack! This is a paying job so you will also need to give us your rate. It does need to be done in a timely manner (according to my boss), however he will probably not be purchasing the computer system until sometime in September. We do have a MacPlus at work now, so I know he would like to see a prototype on it before then.
I have enclosed a copy of our lab services, so you can see the amount of information that will be on this stack. All the information in the enclosed guide will be on the stack.
Be honest with your time: if you have other projects and no time, say so. I am sure I can find a "stack head (?)" here in Sacramento. Or maybe some other Archipelagans. . ..