Premiere Video was one of the world’s largest VHS and Beta Videotape duplicators. When I started at Premiere we had about 200 VHS and 100 Beta Industrial Videotape Recorders. PVI grew that to over 7000 VHS Duplicators and a Laser-based High-Speed Duplication system with a Tape Loading room that made 1000’s of VHS tapes 24/7. I maintained equipment in every department and was on call 24/7 for over a dozen years.
Many of my repairs and designs went into the success of Premiere Video. While I started as the first “Tech”, my job responsibilities grew quickly and before I knew it my primary function was to reduce manufacturing costs, improve efficiencies, standardize processes and procedures, and evaluate, recommend and implement a program of continuous improvement… It didn’t matter what the device was, I could fix it or make it better. I was known as the answer guy. I did Whatever I Wanted, Whenever I Wanted, and everybody knew they could count on me!
I created, installed, maintained, and specified computer equipment, software, and network systems and was the network administrator for the 8 building network. The roughly 50 node network was built using “Invisible Lan” network cards installed inside of computers that I built by hand myself. I maintained the computers in every area which included interfacing various types of computers into a variety of departments to automate various tasks. Highlights include building and maintaining “High Resolution” desktops for the scheduling department, and creating a network of workstations that enabled a couple of hundred people at any given time to work more efficiently, produce more videotapes, and lower costs.
When Microsoft released “mail” I was the one responsible for creating and managing the accounts which were before internet eMail became commonplace. When the Internet was publicly born, I set up and hosted the company website and started supporting the companies Internet needs. This included everything from updating dial-up modem banks, to building a fiber network between multiple buildings. My first hosting was with iServer which was one of the first forms of virtualization and was replaced with my own server in a local datacenter.
Some of the video-related fun things I maintained are… Broadcast Video Equipment, racks upon racks of wires, black, Color bar, and Sync generators, Switchers, Sony BVH 2000’s 1″ and 3/4″ VTR’s, Industrial VHS, 8mm, Beta duplicators from names like Panasonic and Sony, Throughout my time at Premiere Video I designed, automated, modified, and built numerous systems, circuits, and machines that did a variety of tasks and increased revenues. This includes cable building, vectorscopes, waveform monitors, and audio equipment.
I volunteered to go up on the roof to check the AC and ended up maintaining around 150 tons of cooling, a couple of chillers, and security cameras. I can easily repair most units including charging but I did not get certified in the area. I have a very strong understanding of the systems and the installation and maintenance required to maintain 24/7 manufacturing. I also developed my top secret method of cooling a room with thousands of VCRs and a dozen people on a 100-degree day or better without exceeding or modifying the equipment directly.
I participated in the construction of various clean rooms and was responsible for the cleanroom environments in duplication, tape loading, quality control, the master’s library, and tech areas. I was also responsible for the daily comfort of a couple of hundred people working various shifts 24/7 in areas including customer service, executive, accounting, packaging, long-term storage warehouses, and their offices, bathrooms, and breakrooms. I not only filtered the air but also monitored the temperature of the conference room on an IBM PC. The PC weather station was designed and used to provide information during storms. A lot of people depended on me to make their work environments comfortable, keep the electrical lines spike-free, and keep the machine going. I originally installed and set up the IBM PC for the president of the company who became my first computer student and who always supported me through my years there.
With an average of 2,500 amps of three-phase power I directly monitored the power in the main two critical buildings and otherwise worked with electricians as needed. Backup power was provided by various sizes of Smart-UPS for computers and other various systems and dual APC Matrix 5000 units for tape loading. I measured and monitored AC harmonics and never adjusted anything to create less audio hum on the tapes.
I trained the packaging technicians in maintaining and shrink wrap machines, heat tunnels, conveyors, and unfolding, folding, hot gluing, and was the on-call person for an emergency that could affect production. This included a Lumonics gas laser that burned special numbers into the side of the tapes.