Topics

Stan Griffiths

 

I'm sorry to inform everyone that Stan Griffiths W7NI passed away Tuesday
night at 00:30.
Dennis Tillman W7PF

tek_547
 

Sad news to hear. Remembered him with all the detailed contributions here, a pleasure to read.
My condolances to his family and loveones.
R.I.P.

René

Tim Phillips
 

from Tim P (UK)

A light has gone out.
I'm sure you will receive many condolences from this side of the Pond.
R.I.P.

Tim

On Thu, 30 Jan 2020 at 07:38, tek_547 <R.Kelbling@...> wrote:

Sad news to hear. Remembered him with all the detailed contributions here,
a pleasure to read.
My condolances to his family and loveones.
R.I.P.

René



 

Requiscat in pacem.

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis
Tillman W7PF
Sent: 30 January 2020 06:04
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] Stan Griffiths

I'm sorry to inform everyone that Stan Griffiths W7NI passed away Tuesday
night at 00:30.
Dennis Tillman W7PF

Mlynch001
 

It is a sad day for all of us. I did not know Stan personally, but I have read some of his work and heard many stories of his knowledge and his generosity. We have all been touched by him in some way and are blessed to have known him. Prayers for those closest to him in this time of loss.

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR

Abc Xyz
 

Very Very Sad. Sincere Condolences to all Family and Friends.

On Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 10:03 PM Dennis Tillman W7PF <@Dennis_Tillman_W7pF>
wrote:

I'm sorry to inform everyone that Stan Griffiths W7NI passed away Tuesday
night at 00:30.
Dennis Tillman W7PF



 

Stan may have been a friend of Tektronix but he didn't trust the Tektronix Corporation. As the co-founder of the vintageTEK Museum he was adamant there be no connection to the corporation at all. Stan wanted to be free to show the things they got wrong, the things they were embarrassed about, and even some things they wanted to suppress.
It is my guess that he was concerned about things the corporation began to do in the late 1980s when they lost their way, began losing money, saw their market share shrinking, and decided they could no longer afford their reputation for excellence. If that was the reason for mistrust then Stan was not alone. During this period Tek decisions were based on the recommendations of outside management consultants rather than their own staff of brilliant engineers. Many of Tek's most talented employees saw this as a time of great upheaval and left when they saw the handwriting on the wall

Dennis Tillman W7PF.

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of John Williams
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2020 2:00 PM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Stan Griffiths

I normally don’t take much notice of silent keys, as long as it is not me. However, in the case of Stan Griffiths, I must say is am truly saddened. Stan, along with Deanne Kidd and a few others, was truly a friend of Tektronix. He saw the engineering beauty in every product. I think he tried to save them all and to provide assistance to those of us who were also trying. Bye Stan thank you for who you were and all you did. I regret not knowing you better.





--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

Mlynch001
 

Well Stated!
--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR

Morris Odell
 

I never met Stan personally but have his book and also had email and snail mail communications with him. He was a real gentleman, a fount of knowledge and very helpful.

RIP.

Morris Odell VK3DOC in Melbourne Australia

Chuck Harris
 

Tektronix didn't lose their way, they lost their market,
and the old guard couldn't figure out how to cope.

Reagan spent the Soviet Union into bankruptcy, and then
shifted gears into reducing the burden on the US taxpayers.

The cold war was over and there was no longer a need to
keep the military at full readiness to fight another world
war... so they downsized, and new R&D programs were severely
reduced.

The reduction of the military R&D programs meant that the
companies that supplied the equipment needs of the R&D
programs were seriously starved of new sales.

The Military Industrial Complex's golden teat dried up, and
with it went all of the luxurious ways of Tektronix, HP, and
many others... even me.

Tektronix tried to address the commercial market, all the way
down to the TV repairman, but the really sucked at making things
cheaply, and the commercial market was very cost conscious.

-Chuck Harris



Dennis Tillman W7PF wrote:

Stan may have been a friend of Tektronix but he didn't trust the Tektronix Corporation. As the co-founder of the vintageTEK Museum he was adamant there be no connection to the corporation at all. Stan wanted to be free to show the things they got wrong, the things they were embarrassed about, and even some things they wanted to suppress.
It is my guess that he was concerned about things the corporation began to do in the late 1980s when they lost their way, began losing money, saw their market share shrinking, and decided they could no longer afford their reputation for excellence. If that was the reason for mistrust then Stan was not alone. During this period Tek decisions were based on the recommendations of outside management consultants rather than their own staff of brilliant engineers. Many of Tek's most talented employees saw this as a time of great upheaval and left when they saw the handwriting on the wall

Dennis Tillman W7PF.

Mlynch001
 

On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 08:25 AM, Chuck Harris wrote:


Tektronix didn't lose their way, they lost their market,
and the old guard couldn't figure out how to cope.

Reagan spent the Soviet Union into bankruptcy, and then
shifted gears into reducing the burden on the US taxpayers.

The cold war was over and there was no longer a need to
keep the military at full readiness to fight another world
war... so they downsized, and new R&D programs were severely
reduced.

The reduction of the military R&D programs meant that the
companies that supplied the equipment needs of the R&D
programs were seriously starved of new sales.

The Military Industrial Complex's golden teat dried up, and
with it went all of the luxurious ways of Tektronix, HP, and
many others... even me.

Tektronix tried to address the commercial market, all the way
down to the TV repairman, but the really sucked at making things
cheaply, and the commercial market was very cost conscious.

-Chuck Harris
Well Stated Chuck!

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR

 

Hi Chuck,
I agree with both of these insights, especially the 2nd one:
<SNIP> Tektronix didn't lose their way, they lost their market, and the old guard couldn't figure out how to cope.
<SNIP> Tektronix tried to address the commercial market, all the way down to the TV repairman, but the really sucked at making things cheaply, and the commercial market was very cost conscious.

As you said some of their marketing failures were the result of the old guards protecting their turf. For instance:
* Tek's flood gun storage technology was about to be over-run with raster technology when Tek invested heavily in a new facility to make more storage tubes.
* Tek ignored FFT based spectrum analyzers for more than 10 years after they appeared and kept making swept IF spectrum analyzers.

Taking a company public is like making a deal with the devil. The short term gain of the revenue this provides is like a sugar rush. But long term you end up with a headache every 3 months when you have to show a profit to your stockholders. You must spend the stock money wisely. Tek did this for a time but then they made a series of acquisitions that ended in massive losses.
* Tek bought several companies (presumably for their technology) and in a matter of a few years sold them at a huge loss.

* One day I had breakfast with the Tek manager who made the executive decision that there was no money to be made selling software. I'm pretty sure I know what Bill Gates would have said about that decision if I asked him but I didn't hear this until long after I left.

Chuck was right about making things cheaply for the commercial market. For example Jerry Shannon drove the costs out of the TM500 plugins like Madman Muntz did for TVs in the 1940s and 1950s. When Jerry was finished squeezing the last nickel from the TM500 there was nothing on the rear of it holding it together. Sometimes it was shaped like a parallelogram instead of a rectangle in the back. The TM500 plugins exuded cheapness. Fortunately the TM5000 plugins reclaimed some of the quality that disappeared from the TM500 plugins. In addition the quality and capability of the newly announced TM5000 plugins improved steadily over time. With GPIB capability across the entire TM5000 series it was finally possible to build unique hybrid instruments from combinations of various plugins and completely automate the entire hybrid instrument.

The old guard also thought Tektronix was a leading edge, high technology, high quality, oscilloscope manufacturer. They stuck up their nose at low technology products like the 5000 scope series which was specifically designed to address a cost sensitive market with high quality oscilloscopes.

The devil came back to collect his fee in the late 1980s when pressure to show a profit every quarter resulted in a series of very poor decisions. Tek was now being run by professional managers who didn't have a clue what an oscilloscope was. The management hired several Management Consulting firms to tell them ("advise them") what they should do next. I don't know what those recommendations were but it was around this time that management gave themselves golden parachutes, borrowed from the pension fund. Etc.

Too late I realized that Chuck got me started on the things I learned about Tek I never would have known (or appreciated) if I accepted their offer and became an employee in 1971 (the golden age of Tek). Instead my ex-Tek friends, many who left in the late 1980s (when things were going from bad to worse) have many stories of things like this which I hear instead.

A sign of how far things have come was the announcement in December that Tek was permanently closing the cafeteria. Virtually every Tek engineer met all his fellow engineers at lunch every day. So many ideas came spontaneously from those lunch encounters.
This announcement was preceded by another one that management was transferring all future IC design to a company in Silicon Valley and closing their IC Design Department. I immediately thought what would happen to Boeing if one day they announced that henceforth the design of their wings was being transferred to a foundry in Pittsburg that made long steel girders. Would you fly on that plane?

Dennis Tillman W7pF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Chuck Harris
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2020 6:26 AM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Stan Griffiths

Tektronix didn't lose their way, they lost their market, and the old guard couldn't figure out how to cope.

Reagan spent the Soviet Union into bankruptcy, and then shifted gears into reducing the burden on the US taxpayers.

The cold war was over and there was no longer a need to keep the military at full readiness to fight another world war... so they downsized, and new R&D programs were severely reduced.

The reduction of the military R&D programs meant that the companies that supplied the equipment needs of the R&D programs were seriously starved of new sales.

The Military Industrial Complex's golden teat dried up, and with it went all of the luxurious ways of Tektronix, HP, and many others... even me.

Tektronix tried to address the commercial market, all the way down to the TV repairman, but the really sucked at making things cheaply, and the commercial market was very cost conscious.

-Chuck Harris



Dennis Tillman W7PF wrote:
Stan may have been a friend of Tektronix but he didn't trust the Tektronix Corporation. As the co-founder of the vintageTEK Museum he was adamant there be no connection to the corporation at all. Stan wanted to be free to show the things they got wrong, the things they were embarrassed about, and even some things they wanted to suppress.
It is my guess that he was concerned about things the corporation
began to do in the late 1980s when they lost their way, began losing
money, saw their market share shrinking, and decided they could no
longer afford their reputation for excellence. If that was the reason
for mistrust then Stan was not alone. During this period Tek decisions
were based on the recommendations of outside management consultants
rather than their own staff of brilliant engineers. Many of Tek's most
talented employees saw this as a time of great upheaval and left when
they saw the handwriting on the wall

Dennis Tillman W7PF.




--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

Jim Ford
 

Nope, nobody would fly on the plane with steel in the wings!  It would never get off the ground!Sorry, but I couldn't resist. Jim Ford Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------From: Dennis Tillman W7PF <@Dennis_Tillman_W7pF> Date: 1/31/20 3:55 PM (GMT-08:00) To: TekScopes@groups.io Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Stan Griffiths Hi Chuck,I agree with both of these insights, especially the 2nd one:<SNIP> Tektronix didn't lose their way, they lost their market, and the old guard couldn't figure out how to cope.<SNIP> Tektronix tried to address the commercial market, all the way down to the TV repairman, but the really sucked at making things cheaply, and the commercial market was very cost conscious.As you said some of their marketing failures were the result of the old guards protecting their turf. For instance: * Tek's flood gun storage technology was about to be over-run with raster technology when Tek invested heavily in a new facility to make more storage tubes.* Tek ignored FFT based spectrum analyzers for more than 10 years after they appeared and kept making swept IF spectrum analyzers.Taking a company public is like making a deal with the devil. The short term gain of the revenue this provides is like a sugar rush. But long term you end up with a headache every 3 months when you have to show a profit to your stockholders. You must spend the stock money wisely. Tek did this for a time but then they made a series of acquisitions that ended in massive losses. * Tek bought several companies (presumably for their technology) and in a matter of a few years sold them at a huge loss.* One day I had breakfast with the Tek manager who made the executive decision that there was no money to be made selling software. I'm pretty sure I know what Bill Gates would have said about that decision if I asked him but I didn't hear this until long after I left.Chuck was right about making things cheaply for the commercial market. For example Jerry Shannon drove the costs out of the TM500 plugins like Madman Muntz did for TVs in the 1940s and 1950s. When Jerry was finished squeezing the last nickel from the TM500 there was nothing on the rear of it holding it together. Sometimes it was shaped like a parallelogram instead of a rectangle in the back. The TM500 plugins exuded cheapness. Fortunately the TM5000 plugins reclaimed some of the quality that disappeared from the TM500 plugins. In addition the quality and capability of the newly announced TM5000 plugins improved steadily over time. With GPIB capability across the entire TM5000 series it was finally possible to build unique hybrid instruments from combinations of various plugins and completely automate the entire hybrid instrument.The old guard also thought Tektronix was a leading edge, high technology, high quality, oscilloscope manufacturer. They stuck up their nose at low technology products like the 5000 scope series which was specifically designed to address a cost sensitive market with high quality oscilloscopes. The devil came back to collect his fee in the late 1980s when pressure to show a profit every quarter resulted in a series of very poor decisions. Tek was now being run by professional managers who didn't have a clue what an oscilloscope was.  The management hired several Management Consulting firms to tell them ("advise them") what they should do next. I don't know what those recommendations were but it was around this time that management gave themselves golden parachutes, borrowed from the pension fund. Etc. Too late I realized that Chuck got me started on the things I learned about Tek I never would have known (or appreciated) if I accepted their offer and became an employee in 1971 (the golden age of Tek). Instead my ex-Tek friends, many who left in the late 1980s (when things were going from bad to worse) have many stories of things like this which I hear instead. A sign of how far things have come was the announcement in December that Tek was permanently closing the cafeteria. Virtually every Tek engineer met all his fellow engineers at lunch every day. So many ideas came spontaneously from those lunch encounters. This announcement was preceded by another one that management was transferring all future IC design to a company in Silicon Valley and closing their IC Design Department. I immediately thought what would happen to Boeing if one day they announced that henceforth the design of their wings was being transferred to a foundry in Pittsburg that made long steel girders. Would you fly on that plane?Dennis Tillman W7pF  -----Original Message-----From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Chuck HarrisSent: Friday, January 31, 2020 6:26 AMTo: TekScopes@...: Re: [TekScopes] Stan GriffithsTektronix didn't lose their way, they lost their market, and the old guard couldn't figure out how to cope.Reagan spent the Soviet Union into bankruptcy, and then shifted gears into reducing the burden on the US taxpayers.The cold war was over and there was no longer a need to keep the military at full readiness to fight another world war... so they downsized, and new R&D programs were severely reduced.The reduction of the military R&D programs meant that the companies that supplied the equipment needs of the R&D programs were seriously starved of new sales.The Military Industrial Complex's golden teat dried up, and with it went all of the luxurious ways of Tektronix, HP, and many others... even me.Tektronix tried to address the commercial market, all the way down to the TV repairman, but the really sucked at making things cheaply, and the commercial market was very cost conscious.-Chuck HarrisDennis Tillman W7PF wrote:> Stan may have been a friend of Tektronix but he didn't trust the Tektronix Corporation. As the co-founder of the vintageTEK Museum he was adamant there be no connection to the corporation at all. Stan wanted to be free to show the things they got wrong, the things they were embarrassed about, and even some things they wanted to suppress. > It is my guess that he was concerned about things the corporation > began to do in the late 1980s when they lost their way, began losing > money, saw their market share shrinking, and decided they could no > longer afford their reputation for excellence. If that was the reason > for mistrust then Stan was not alone. During this period Tek decisions > were based on the recommendations of outside management consultants > rather than their own staff of brilliant engineers. Many of Tek's most > talented employees saw this as a time of great upheaval and left when > they saw the handwriting on the wall> > Dennis Tillman W7PF. -- Dennis Tillman W7PFTekScopes Moderator

Clark Foley
 

Dennis,
You are very wrong about Tektronix. The cafeteria has indeed re-opened!
Clark

 

I guess that means I have to have lunch with you in 2 weeks. Sigh!
Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Clark Foley
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2020 6:01 PM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Stan Griffiths

Dennis,
You are very wrong about Tektronix. The cafeteria has indeed re-opened!
Clark





--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

Dave Brown
 

Tektronix closed business with their current cafeteria supplier. They chose instead over the holidays to revamp the facility and bring in a new supplier. It has opened and is quite a bit better than the previous. In fact we ate there today. I tried explaining to others (not on this forum) that they didn't close the cafeteria but were changing vendors but people like to heap on bad news. I just gave up and knew they'd figure it out when the cafeteria re-opened. Bad rumors travel far and wide. Not everything you read on the internet is true.

Dave

magnustoelle
 

I am very sorry to hear about Stan's passing. My condolances to his family and friends.

I like to imagine that he has found a place in heaven, sitting close to Deane Kidd, Jim Williams and Bob Pease...

May he rest in peace.

Magnus