Mycro-Tek President Stan Brannan became President of Python Tools and is now a Director of Neovest. Mycro-Tek, Inc. Press for Jim Green's resume PROFILE.Press for Jim Green's resume PROFILE.
Mycro-Tek, Inc., Wichita, Kansas (Photo: Founder Stan Brannan)|| Systems Architect
* Project Engineer, 08/1985-11/1986, 01/1978-04/1982. || Google | Profile |


1986: The 68020 Microprocessor.
The die. 12 MHz to 33 MHz clock speed.
32-bit address bus (4Gb), 32-bit data bus,
32-bit arithmetic logic unit. Cache Memory.
See Wikibooks/Microprocessor Design.
During my 2nd stint at Mycro-Tek I devised a Motorola 68020 microprocessor VME [Images, Wikipedia] CPU card prototype with a floppy disk drive, an SCSI port, 1 Mb serial I/O channels, and incorporating an IBM keyboard interface for the AIM interactive graphics workstation developed to replace the AdComp as a display ad terminal. Eventually this pilot prototype card was replaced with an economical mass-produced Motorola CPU card specified by another engineer, former Vice President of R&D Larry Runyan. I also designed the video system graphics card for the AIM system, which included a 1024x800 display with 8 shades of grey, a grey-scale pallette, and a double-buffered architecture for picture or cursor animation. My demonstration of the video animation capability included flying flamingos and a quilt of eagles that I hand-digitized from photographs in National Geographic. I wrote a 10K graphics software package written in 68020 assembler language to test the hardware. This software package was composed on a VAX/VMS and on a VERSADOS system. In addition, I wrote a program to compute video timing parameters in the C programming language for different choices of screen pixel density. The display was capable of higher resolution, to 1248x1024, using the same monitor used on SUN workstations. It was offered with software for display ad composition in a newspaper environment. The 1024x800 pixel density was appropriate for a pixel-per-point font presentation, giving a fair representation of of the distance between baselines of type on a digital monitor. A software team led by Greg Yarnell developed the application software for the system in C using structured design techniques and a character data-base cache method to support a large number of character sizes and fonts on the graphic display in a selection of popular fonts. I helped to demonstrate the AIM system at its first ANPA trade shows with VP of R&D David Gilbert and some units were sold. Higher-speed versions of the 68020 were considered for still higher performance.

Earlier, I developed the hardware and software for an 8086-based interactive graphic system, the ADCOMP display ad composition terminal. A patent was awarded to me for the high-speed character generation technique. It was my job to design the Mycro-Tek version of the Intel 8086 Multibus card that went into the product, and also the Multibus RAM and PROM memory cards, and the digital video card with two area cursors and a cross-hair cursor somewhat similar to Xentron's pioneering area and cross-hair cursors. The original graphical composition system was written and perfected by myself and Lisa Powell, who was responsible for software testing. The machine competed at trade shows like the newspaper industry ANPA show against the pioneering digital raster-scan oriented Xenotron XVC from Britain, a Harris digital raster-scan graphics system, and the vector graphics workstation Advantage. It was developed after studying Xenotron at a trade show and examining a more expensive display ad composition and newpaper layout system at The Toronto Star. (See the Xenotron XVC2 with Tim Coldwell.) In those days I read The Seybold Report every month to keep up with competitive newspaper front end systems and printing industry equipment development trends. Several of us were groomed to perform as proposal managers who could specify equipment after customer interviews in top-down product development documents, in addition to keeping up with EDN, Computer Design, Electronic Engineering Times, IEEE journals, and other magazines and journals on electronic components developments. I developed a personal library of books on project management, structured software design, computer algorithms, software development, microprocessor system design, and interactive graphics, and collected a huge bookcase full of manuals on electronics components from manufacturers and distributors. I wrote the top-down product specification for the AdComp product, which was reviewed and amended by other Mycro-Tek management before schematics, printed card layout, and code for product were developed in Intel 8086 assembly language. The AdComp sold at first for $25,000 per unit, and later for $20,000 per unit. I wrote the baseline sorting algorithm that interfaced the unit through a Mycro-Tek OLI microprocessor shoebox computer to phototypesetters and patched in the typesetter composition language commands from tables. To boot, I invented the name "AdComp", after Mycro-Tek company president Stan Brannan prompted me to invent the name for the machine. After I left the project to design other hardware for Mycro-Tek under the direction of our Vice President of R&D Larry Runyan, Lisa Powell went on with software engineer Mike Christianson to enhance the product. (In a few years Mike had his own software company on the top floor of a building looking over a river and a lake.) Software accretions slowed the machine down, and the next version, the AIM graphics system based on the Motorola 68020 microprocessor and VME bus described in the previous section, was more ergonomical, faster, and more attractively packaged.

Lisa Powell was obliquely memorialized by Apple, which came out subsequently with LISAs to remind us about sharing credit. Many system concepts for interactive graphics workstations applied to display ad applications came from Harris and Xenotron. Later, I saw the Xerox Palo Alto Star System demonstrated at the ANPA, featuring a mouse like the one Microsoft Windows made famous. Numerous Mycro-Tek staffers contributed useful concepts (including Kenny Castor in sales, who provided plenty of customer feedback) and the AdComp was an exciting product in those days. It was for a time the most profitable piece of equipment Mycro-Tek produced, per unit. The net volume in the more conservative distributed intelligence editing system for newspapers developed by leading lights Stan Brannan, Larry Runyan, and Steve Markel was more impressive. AdComp sales probably amounted to several million dollars.

However, we had to kick ourselves for missing the most general-purpose architectures for personal computers, the line pursued by Microsoft and Apple to capture a gigantic market for computer equipment that finally consumed most applications in the industry. I'd confess that Windows with mouse buttons made PCs fun to work with. I read somewhere that Bill Gates wanted a monopoly on the Windows mouse interface to PCs; his money had to buy him something exclusive. Also, the development of high-resolution ink jet printers made the phototypesetter (which required photosensitive silvered papers and darkrooms) old-fashioned for many applications by the 1990s. Windows software pioneered by Microsoft could be used to do things more inexpensively in a standard and satisfactory way. Berthold, the largest typesetting equipment manufacturer in Europe, was eventually reduced to selling fonts.

Earlier at Mycro-Tek, I developed Intel Multibus dynamic RAM memory cards with and without error detection and correction, and a Zilog Z80-based micro-winchester disk interface with direct memory access DMA. A Multibus EEPROM card was developed by me, together with the printed circuit artwork. The data bus was 16 bits wide and the 20-bit address bus let us reach an entire megabyte of memory in 1980. (Today in 2011, I have 4 gigabytes of flash memory on my keychain.) I used PAL Programmable Array Logic, and did digital state machine design. Also, I prepared research papers on disk drives and operating systems and developed a proposal complete with detailed schematics for a 68000-based system with a custom memory management unit to support UNIX.

In addition, I developed advanced printing composition software for commercial print shops, featuring a counting keyboard program, and an automatic hyphenation and justification program. Our first project was a small program to count keyboard keystrokes. It was used to compute all the keystrokes that compositors would make while doing difficult composition jobs for the printing industry at outfits like Printing Inc. Later, I developed a translator for reformatting the word processing input of the system into paginated text. Finally, I wrote a smart word processing editor with horizontal scrolling and other advanced features, and copy-fitting software. These were large programs that were installed at several sites. Mycro-Tek marketed this system for print shops nationally, although it was never as profitable or popular as our system for newspapers.

I wrote some PLM/86 test software before leaving, and studied the C programming language in connection with a company proposal for installing UNIX on a hypothetical new system. This new system included a design by me, under Vice-President of R&D Larry Runyan's supervision, for a complete Motorola 68000-based system card set, including a custom MMU memory management unit, memory, and peripheral interface cards. It never got into production because our salesmen decided that UNIX was not user-friendly enough for our newspaper market.

Instead I went to Kreonite after the sale of Mycro-Tek to Allied Chemical Corporation to work on a system for scanning and printing color photographs and later proposed a color retouching terminal capable of zooming and panning over very large high-resolution color images with offset registers for horizonal and vertical scrolling based on my work at Kreonite prior to Dwight Kreihbiel's untimely death on vacation in the tropics. When it the news broke, I felt my IQ go up 10 points as my feet hit the bricks, because I was soon fired and looking for work. We also considered flat-bed scanner designs proposed by Kreonite president Dwight Krehbeil, who held 51% of Mycro-Tek's stock at the time it was sold. He had acquired some Hell scanners from Rudolf Hell in Germany, including sophisticated and highly educational users manuals explaining their theory of operation. I wondered if perhaps Hell had decided to sink his ship after he died. Dwight and I had dinner together with a Hell representative a few weeks before his death. I note that Jim Dawson of Printing Inc., one of our best customers, used to promote us at Mycro-Tek as "the wizards of Washington Street", because at first our offices were located on Washington Street not far from downtown. While I was developing the AIM graphics system in 1986 with Cass, my electronics technician, a TV monitor in the lab announced the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster and replayed it before our eyes. Later, I could watch the Space Shuttle take off in the mornings from Tampa Bay on the other side of the Florida peninsula (while driving on my way to work), when it rose into the sky atop an orange contrail as wide as your finger held at arms length.

(INTEL Chips and systems: 8086, 8080, Zilog Z80 assembly languages, PLM/86. Digital hardware design, microprocessor applications, digital video systems design, programmable logic design.)

The Mycro-Tek Building on Greenwich Road near Colonel James Jabara Comotara Airport in 1986. Jim Green and The Association of Old Crows.
Crow of Power: The Teachings of Don Juan.
Crow Empire
The Mycro-Tek Building on Greenwich Road near James Jabara Comotara Airport in 1986. The company had come a long way from Washington Street downtown, where it was located when I joined it in 1977 with an MSEE from WSU. See also Silverspot, The Story of a Crow who collected a tea cup handle (the gem of his collection), shells, and pebbles as if they were web links. Also see The Association of Old Crows and Old Crows Empire Chapter. One of my popular WSU electronics professors, Dr. Norris, belonged to The Association of Old Crows and displayed its insignia in his office. As a graduate student, I delivered an advanced paper on electronic countermeasures at a WSU IEEE meeting dealing with adaptive array antennas with null-steering for anti-jamming. I was a student at WSU studying industrial laser technique under optics systems expert Dr. Fred Dickey when the first Viking Landers touched down on Mars in the late 1970s.

After my second tour of duty at Mycro-Tek, I moved on to Honeywell Defense Communications in Tampa, Florida. Press for Photo Gallery.Crow surfing a wave of history. Play 'Key Largo' {6}.
Surfing Waves of History. Next: a return to Tampa Bay in 1987, where I had worked at Alphatype/Berthold and ABA Electromechanical Systems near Largo, later rechristened General Defense and Radiation Systems. Mycro-Tek went Chapter 11 in 1993 as ink jet printers replaced typesetters and as Microsoft general-purpose software running in Windows on standard PCs replaced special-purpose workstations.


This Mycro-Tek MT80Z Card was designed by other company engineers.
I believe the above Z80 μP card was developed by Kenbe Goertzen (Ken-be Girt-son)
to replace an earlier Intel 8080 microprocessor design
devised by Vice President of R&D Larry Runyan, another WSU MSEE.

When we were making MT80 series PC cards, we had a weekly poker game going.
As of November 5, 2012 Ebay has one at MT80Z for 9 Euros = 11.5110 US dollars.
Music: The Gambler by Kenny Rogers.

George Washington 'DCeased' reclines on his easel or filing cabinet, showing a mythology of 'Cents in a Dollar'.
George Washington in Galaxy M100.
Mycro-Tek was at first on Washington Street.
Thus Printing Inc Executive Jim Dawson called
us "The Wizards of Washington Street".
The MT80Z card was based on the 8-bit Z80 microprocessor, featured a proprietary Mycro-Tek system bus, and was used in early Mycro-Tek Video Data Terminals. Most boards I designed at Mycro-Tek were larger 16-bit data, 20 bit-address Intel Multibus Cards based on the 8086 (80X86 series microprocessors), or 32-bit data, 32-bit address VME bus cards for the 68020 (680X0 series microprocessors). The smaller card, however, was more massively produced for sale, along with disk interface and memory cards for Mycro-Tek bus. At one point I designed and debugged a Z80-based disk interface card. The interactive display ad terminals I produced sold for $20,000-$25,000 each in the 1980-81 time frame. Perhaps Mycro-Tek sold over a million dollars worth of the display ad terminals, which were some of our most profitable products. I got a patent on character generation technique before the company was sold to Allied Chemical, which had lost a multimillion dollar lawsuit on character generation methods though their subsidiary Linotype Paul, which built a typesetter competing with a Rockwell International character generation patent. I believe I was the only patent-holding engineer at Mycro-Tek when the company was sold for 10 million dollars, perhaps the center of the cyclone that won the deal, while others cynched it. Mycro-Tek needed a valuable display ad terminal to get a handle on the sale. Allied Chemical got lawyers to write the patent with me; since then I've learned more about how to write them myself.
Music: Greenback Dollar by the Kingston Trio and The Gambler by Kenny Rogers.
Mycro-Tek helped me watch Kenny Rogers sing The Gambler, Islands in the Stream, and Buried Treasure live on stage at an ANPA News Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, where President Stan Brannan seemed to have the magic touch at one-arm bandits in Caesar's Palace, bringing down showers of silver dollars. "Well, it's a long way down and you gotta get up, you gotta figure on a master plan..."

Newspaper Technology
History of Typesetting | History of Typography | History of Newspaper Production
The American Printing History Association || The Seybold Report | Today's Printing Links
The History of Personal Computers | History of Computers | History of Microprocessors | ICs
IEEE Standards | Science and Technology Timelines

Electronics Distributors, Electronic Components Manufacturers,
Electronic Engineering Magazines, Engineering Trade Magazines, IEEE

Home | Profile
1st Wichita Period (1978-1982)Mycro-Tek | Kreonite
1st Tampa Expedition (1983-1986)AlphaType/Berthold | ABA
2nd Tampa Expedition (1987-1989)Honeywell DCPD | Compro at Fotomat
2nd Wichita Period (1990)Watkins
3rd Tampa Expedition (1990-1991)Telos | Greenwood Research
Systems Architect Workstation

Yahoo | Google || Music[2].

Stan Brannan's Biography
Stan G. Brannan is a founding member of Wichita Technology Corporation (Spoke) and active angel investor who also serves on the Board of Directors of select technology startups now CEO of Purifan. At age 24, he was the Founder and CEO of Mycro-Tek, Inc., which grew to be a major supplier of customized computer systems for newspapers in over 50 countries around the world. He sold this company to Allied-Signal [Wiki] in 1980 and later became the President of the Allied Division that acquired his company. In 1984 Mr. Brannan started another company, Brite Voice Systems, Inc. As founder of Brite Voice Systems, Mr. Brannan served as Chairman, CEO/President from its inception until resigning as CEO/President in December 1996, and as Chairman of the Board in January 1998. Brite Voice Systems, Inc. merged with InterVoice to form InterVoice-Brite, Inc., for which Mr. Brannan served as Vice Chairman for three years. Mr. Brannan graduated from Wichita State University, where he earned his BS in Electrical Engineering.

Greg Yarnell

Kenbe Goertzen
Mycro-Tek on your head. Press for The Lone Ranger (2013).
Engineer Tonto and the Lone Ranger Parody.
Mycro-Tek on your head, 2 stints.

Most Mycro-Tek staff are hard to find as images on Internet.