Have you ever been to Alaska? Do you live there? If so, you know the beauty and splendor of America’s largest and 49th state. We all learned in grade school that Alaska is the largest state of the union, larger than Texas, California, and Montana combined!
It’s not often that a technological innovation comes along that stands to potentially change the face of the optical industry: Nosepads; PALs; spring hinges. Each answered an extant demand, and, in the process, forever altered the way glasses are made, sold, and worn. In my years of selling, I wondered myself what it was like to have been around to witness such radical new developments. Now, I know.
In Part 1, I reviewed equipment used in lens computing from the 1911 Comptometer to the 1970s teletype. Here, I’ll tell you about the rapid changes in computing from the 1970s into the late 20th century. As an Engineer, I recall in the late 1970s being pleased to have a TI 99 desktop Calculator at my disposal. It was a powerful scientific calculator, but was memorable because it included a programmable magnetic strip. This permitted lens design/power calculation programs to be read into the calculator and subsequently executed. It was handy to have and helped as it was something engineers could bring to and use in offices and on the shop floor. The magnetic strip allowed programs to run calculations where prompting for variable input was possible.
Vision Expo is right around the corner. Hopefully you’ve already made your travel plans. Next on the agenda is your strategy. What do you want to accomplish while you’re there? From courses to the exhibit hall, events to parties, and let’s not forget the night life, a few days in Vegas may feel like a whirlwind. Take full advantage of the many opportunities by planning ahead: register for classes, note which companies you want to see, and schedule appointments when possible.
Last year, I took a job at a branch lab of a nationally known lens manufacturing company, working in a small, regional finishing lab built near my house. At the time, I felt I’d reached the highest level I could at the dispensary where I’d been working as an optician and optometric assistant since early 2012.
Another hot summer day! I feel exhausted and it is only 10 am. First thing this morning, I noticed that the front window lights are not working, including the OPEN sign. Next, the lab called to inform me that our shipment missed last night’s pick up and will be delayed by a day.
Our schedule looked quite busy. Office meeting in the morning, monthly frame inventory adjustments, reordering top sellers, picking the featured designer for the month, full patient load and then there was a sales representative in the afternoon.
I’d like to say that I’m incredibly cultured and that I knew the phrase “Know Your Heritage” because I’ve studied the philosophies of Rastafarianism and have a working knowledge of the works of Bob Marley. The fact of the matter is, I know it because of a t-shirt that several gamer friends of mine used to own around the time we graduated college.