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Working at Paravant
1987 - 1988

After leaving Harris Word Processing division I had several short term contacts the last of which was Paravant.  Paravant was a small start of company that was started my fishing buddy Craig and one of his friends. 

Paravant was developing a small blood glucose meter for Miles Laboratories that recorded the diabetic blood glucose level and then via a built in modem sent them to the doctor (remember this was before the internet).  They brought me on as a contractor to develop software testing procedures for the instrument.  This being a medical instrument (Class B as I remember) it required extensive documented testing to get FDA approval.  The final testing documentation was a pile of paper about 10 inches high. 

After working as a contractor for a few months Craig approached me and asked me to come on as an employee to manage the software development team.  The company only had about 15 employees of which about eight or so were software developers.  I accepted and then worked there until mid 1988 when I came back from lunch one day and found the computer on my desk gone.  A few moments later the VP shows up and tells me they were laying me off.  I went around to the people I worked with escorted by the VP saying good bye then boxed up my personal stuff and left. 

I later found out they also laid off the hardware development manager and about five others.  It turns out they overextended themselves in trying to develop a hardened hand held computer for the military.  It was actually a pretty neat computer, a bit ahead of its time (this was before laptops).   I also found out that the first 100 blood glucose meters they sent to Miles Laboratories were returned due to a defect.  It seems there was a software error that my testing didn't detect.  When the time went from 11:59 PM to 12:00 it reported 12:00 PM instead of 12:00 AM.  I don't know if Paravant survived but a Google search shows a Paravant that makes hardened military equipment. 

I was quite dissapointed with my "friend" Craig who started and owned Paravant because he wasn't the one  to tell me I was being laid off and why.  He never did call or contact me after that and I sure wasn't going to contact him.

Larry 9/1/2008

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