The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Coaxial Communications Newsletter, December 1982

May 4th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

My Coaxial ID I started at Coaxial Communications Inc. of Columbus, Ohio in September 1982. I had worked for the other cable TV companies ATC, Centel, and Warner/QUBE previously and had been in electronics since I was fifteen years old.

When I was hired at Coaxial as a Field Engineer, I originally worked for Doug Grace and with Walt Snyder, Charles Hanchett (SIC?) and Dave Folk. I ended up as a maintenance tech and left around 1988. I came back to Insight in Columbus (previously Coax) in 2004 after working in cable, telephone  and microwave broadcast technologies during the interim.

Someday I’m gonna write a book, seriously.

Here is the “Coax” newsletter from December 1982. I have had this since then and have kept it in pretty good shape considering its age. I find it hard to believe there was so much to talk about back then that it might’ve needed published monthly. That was even before The Beechwood Lounge, I think. (What did we do before that came along, The S.W. or The Eskimo Igloo?). There’s plenty of classic names in this, Lynn, Harry, Donna, etc. I am listed in it as a new employee and for my birthday that month.

click here to view the newsletter in PDF format

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Migrating Microsoft Access split databases to other computers

August 6th, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

I got a call one afternoon at work recently that the Access database application that I had built for invoice and production tracking would not work. Since I knew that they were going to replace our file server and several of the desktops, it was no surprise to me. The previous workstations had only Access 2002 Runtime installed on them. The new computers had a full version of Access 2003 installed. The IT tech told me that they kept making a shortcut to the application on a new workstation and nothing had worked.

It had been a few months since I had worked on the database, so I was a little rusty at troubleshooting the problem at first. After looking at it for a few minutes, I inquired about the name of the new server computer, The tech said that the name of the server had changed,

That was part of my problem. The Link Table Manager showed all tables that were in the application backend on a computer called columbus31a. The files were copied to the new file server called columbus-931. All I had to do was update all the network paths to reflect the name of the new server in the application frontend’s Link Table Manager. I had to update a few links, for some reason, all by themselves. When I would select all links at once and update,  the process would stop.

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How I didn’t get AT&T U-verse

June 15th, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

Let me start out by saying that I have been a cable television employee most of my adult life. I worked for  telephone companies for att-u-verse-logotwelve years, but I was involved in microwave video transport. I wasn’t punching down hundred pair cables, although I can.

Recently my employer, a cable company, asked for volunteers to test our new competitor, AT&T U-verse at no charge for one year. Of course, I volunteered immediately. They told me to order the best digital TV package with a DVR, the fastest Internet service and all the pay channels that they offered. (Jealous yet?) The bill would have been around $160 per month.

Here are some highlights (or low-lights) of my AT&T experience…

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Cell Phone and Wireless Safety

May 22nd, 2008 . by Alexander Fisher

Got a Flip Phone Tumor?EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation) is a dangerous by-product of our wireless age. I have been a Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer for over fifteen years and have been exposed to microwave (MW) EMR on a fairly regular basis during that time. The same precautions that RF professionals take are also advisable for people who are exposed to EMR from consumer products.

EMR safety is an often ignored issue because of the ease of use that wireless products allow. But EMR is a lethal component of products like cell phones, wireless phones, blue tooth accessories, WiFi network hotspots, and wireless television broadcasting. Long term usage studies are beginning to show a cause and effect relationship to serious illnesses related to EMR exposure. European Union countries currently advise parents to not allow cell phone use by children and young adults, based on the heat generated by MW radiation from the phone’s antenna.

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The Two-Dollar Story

April 10th, 2004 . by Alexander Fisher

Everyone always knew that my former supervisor, Michael Simpson was cheap. There never was a time when I was ever surprised by how cheap he could be. There are many stories I could tell you that would show how far Mike would go to drive me crazy. “The Two-Dollar Story” is just one of them.

The Trip

Late one year, Mike asked me to accompany him to Flint, Michigan. He wanted me to work on the computers there mainly, but there were some other field problems that needed straightened out that the technician there could not fix. I had traveled with Mike before and knew exactly what was going to happen, up to a point.

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Your Job Has Been Eliminated, What was your name?

January 15th, 2004 . by Alexander Fisher

Looking back on the last six and a half years, I cannot come to any quick conclusions. I am sure that it was not a waste of time working for Sprint, because I never dreamed that I would end up there. I had wanted to work for a phone company growing up. I had tried Ohio Bell (SBC) and wanted to work for United Telephone (Sprint), but couldn’t get an interview. I began in cable television in 1978 instead and worked as a hardline cable tech most of the time.

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