Family management made Motorola great in the late '80s but after Bob Galvin handed it over to son Chris in 1992 it was the same family style management that destroyed Motorola from within. The inside joke was that Bob Noyce ( the founder of Intel, who while on assignment as the CEO of SemaTech, died in Austin ) had fallen on his sword to sabotage Motorola ( at that time just the Semiconductor Product Sector of Motorola was 3x Intel ) so Bob Galvin would have to replace him at SemaTech leaving Motorola to the tender mercies of son Chris ! From then on it was downhill all the way. Those who saw it coming jumped ship well ahead of time even though Moto still had probably the most hospitable work environment for technical people.
I remember in the early days of 8-bit microprocessors when I was considering one to use to control a floppy disk drive (the early 5-inch style). I chose the Mot 6800 over the Intel 8080 because the programming made more sense to me. The Intel programming seemed backward compared with the Mot method. I attended a school at their Ariz facility, and used the 6800 to do the floppy control, replacing a huge circuit board filled with discrete logic components. Too bad the Mot Marketing couldn't compete with the Intel guys--in spite of having the product that made the most sense--engineering wise.
--Gene Price, Cal Poly Pomona BSEE 1961 & Long Beach St MSEE 1968
Folks, you are blowing me away with your good stories of building the chips, using the chips (including writing code in hex for them) and using the devcies they were built into--and I completely forgot the Razr that was my second cellphone after the Nokia candbar and a great upgrade at the time.
I worked with some of those great folks who are now with Huawei near Chicago, only a 4 year stint but I put in about 8 years worth of hours and learned more about IC design than I have anywhere else. I agree with others that the family management at Mot ending up destroying the company...anybody else remember the "Individual Dignity Entitlement"?
IDE was the subject of a Dilbert comic. I remember lots of Dilbert strips that made co-workers say "he must be talking about us." But I suspect that employees at many companies have had that same reaction to one or more of those comics.
What's all this past-tense talk about Motorola Flip Phones? I still use one. This is mostly because I refuse to spend a dime on a brain-stealing, NSA-magnet, so-called "smart phone". But you've got to hand it to Motorola - they had the best RF engineers money could buy, and it shows. It might take me nine minutes to craft a text message but where ever I am, I've got better signal than most any of the fancy-phoned-folk around me.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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