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Roger Arrick's Percom Story

9 June 2023

Roger This is me taking apart one of the first IBM PC's in 1982
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Here are some things I remember about being hired at Percom in 1981 and 2 years of work.

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In January of 1980 I was working at Noakes in Irving as a computer technician and realizing that I needed to move to a company that was staying up with technology. So I looked in the Dallas newspaper and saw the ad for a technician at Percom - I called and landed an interview. After work I drove from Euless to Garland and parked at the Kirby building. Everyone was gone, it was dark and strange. I was in my '68 Mustang. After waiting a while a pickup truck pulls in right next to me. It had a huge thing tied to the top, I didn't know what, very strange - turned out to be Harold's hang glider. Anyway we did the interview in an empty building and I got hired on the spot. I think the pay was $18k/year. Back then it was considered great success to make your age, and I was 19.

My very first day at work in the Kirby building I was taken to an office right next to manufacturing and shown a whole wall of bad Doublers. They had accumulated off the assembly line and probably represented tens of thousands of dollars. The timing now makes sense because January would have been right after inventory was taken and Harold probably saw all that money stacked up being wasted and could justify a new person just for that. It took me 3 months to fix all of those and that paid for my first year's salary.

A few months of making that long drive from Euless to Garland was bad on my classic Mustang so I sold it for $1200 and bought a '79 Camaro. In that summer Margo, Harold and Lucy's daughter, came to work there. When Percom moved to the Pagemill building, I stayed at Kirby and ran the repair center with 5 people under me, I was 19 and making more than my age by then :) Eventually we started dating and in 1982 the company told all the employees they had to schedule their vacations. So we decided to get married and take off during that time - June 1982. We've been together 40+ years and have 2 kids and 5 grands.

Margo never saw my '68 Mustang but in 2010 I found it and bought it back and have had it ever since, fun story.

Margo was working in accounting at the Pagemill building and I eventually transferred there to work on the new order processing software with a brand new Plexus P60 Unix computer stuffed into a small utility room that was 85 degrees - good times :). After a few months I realized that being the boss's son-in-law was not going to work for me, so I left to try and start my own thing. Harold got ill in the fall of '82 and passed. Margo and I had kids, ran our own tech businesses, struggled badly during the '80s, and ultimately did fine for a total of 40 years. We live in Tyler.

I have fond memories of the time but it was also a very difficult time with lots of action and turmoil.

Here I am in 1981 taking apart a Model III or something to figure out how to make drives for it. Roger Roger and Margo engagement picture. Roger


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