THOMAS J. MEEHAN
Vice President

Company—
INNOVATION Data Processing

Years in IT—
44

My first mainframe job—
I was recruited out of the U.S. Marine Corps by Ross Perot's EDS to be an SED—a system engineer in development—and was put through an intensive education course that covered system internals, assembler programing and online system development.

My favorite mainframe memory—
My introduction to the awesome power of computing came while an officer in the Marine Corps responsible for overall combat readiness of a mechanized antitank battalion. Sitting at the officers club bar one day, trying to work out why so many of our vehicles were not operational (i.e. on deadline) and weren't being repaired in a timely manner, I was grousing aloud about having to depend on a supply officer and a maintenance officer who were constantly bickering and blaming each other or the central supply depot for critical parts not being available. Hearing my complaints a fellow officer, explaining he ran the base computer center, told me he could tap into the central supply depot's electronic supply order records and deliver a "deadline status report" that would tell me for every vehicle I reported to be on deadline, if any parts had really been ordered and when the parts had been delivered to us or would arrive. That simple "deadline status report" put an end to the supply officer and maintenance officer playing a game of pass the buck, solved our battalion's problem of having too many vehicles on deadline to be considered combat ready. And it convinced me I should become part of this "computer thing" as it certainly had a future.
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