Ray Remembers When

Brookhaven National Lab / Pong

I was at BNL for the first three or four months of 1958 before leaving for my stint in the USAF where I achieved a notable record in academics and in minimizing an enlistment. I broke all their records for scholastic grades in the computer school I attended, and in their Technical Instructor School I did it again. Then I taught one class group through the course I had just graduated from and managed to keep over 90% of them passing. This also was a record for a school that had a reputation for failing over 25% because it was too tough.

Then, on July 3, 1960 I was Honorably Discharged, which broke their little hearts, but there was no possibility of promotion and I had a wife and one kid and another on the way. Due to my training, prior experience at BNL, and my scholastic honor citations I was offered a civilian job that paid almost twice what the Air Force was paying me, so they gave me a Hardship Discharge. And guess who offered me the job? None other than my old boss at BNL, of course. This time I lasted a year before leaving for a job fixing computers in the Baltimore/Washington area for a couple years and then once more back to BNL until 1968, where the ADDS story begins.

As for the Pong game, I have a vague memory of something like that being shown at the annual Visitor's Day, when all sorts of fine and funny things were built and displayed for the local public. See what you can find out. If it was done it was probably done by our division, because we were responsible for almost all of the electronics and instrumentation for the whole lab.