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Morrow, GA






Winter 1989


John C. Dunn Editor


Gary Goettling Associate Editor

With fast a n d inexpensive transmission, fax has b e c o m e the best m e t h o d of sending data. Written by Gary Goettling

Gary Meek Margaret Barrett Photography


The Excitement of SciTrek Helped by Tech alumni, a n e w Atlanta m u s e u m offers "adventures in science and technology." Photo essay by Gary Meek

Everett Hullum Design Wayne Parker Advertising

Fax of Life


The Mad Housers H o m e , sweet homes, for the homeless. Written by Lisa Crowe

Page 23


Economics and the Black Underclass Reporting o n a n e w book by Tech's Danny Boston. Written by Charles Hyatt



George A. Stewart Jr. '69, chairman Hugh A. Carter Jr. '64 J o h n B. Hayes 7 0 Frank H. Maier Jr. '60 J e a n J. Millkey'83 L. Gordon Sawyer Sr. '46 H. McKinley Conway '40

Rx for a Computer Virus Curing infections and avoiding shutdowns means, basically, getting "it" before it gets you. Written by John Dunn

DEPARTMENT^ "7 Letters No booing, please; and promising cooperation.

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine is published quarterly for Foil Call contributors by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Send correspondence and changes of address to-. Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Alumni, Faculty House 225 North Avenue NW Atlanta. GA 30332-0175 Š 1989 by Georgia Tech Alumni Association


Technotes Air pollution comes indoors; restarting the Tech nuclear reactor; and good news about" them dogs.'


Profile Satya Atluri: Tech's unconventional teacher.

Page 46

On the Cover Homes for Atlanta's homeless have been the goal of the Mad Housers, a group of eccentric builders headed by Tech graduate Mike Conners. See story beginning on page 33- Photo by Louie Favorite

Why YelbwJadsets

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The Official Airline Of The Georgia Tech Alumni Association. 1988 Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Delta Connection flights operate with Delta flight numbers 2000-5999.

Georgia Tech Alumni Association Alumni Faculty House Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0175

Tell Us What You Think


Dear Reader: Our Georgia Tech educations have prepared us both to create new technology and apply existing technology. But while few of us create, most all of us must contend with the challenge of managing technology. A virtual explosion in technological innovation has made that task an ongoing concern of critical importance to our professional lives. Two articles in this issue of the GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI MAGAZINE — "Fax of Life" (page 14) and "Rx for a Computer Virus" (page 46) — deal with issues that may be grouped under the broad heading of technology management. These articles represent a possible new focus and direction for the magazine. The Alumni Publications Committee and the staff of alumni publications have a strong interest in emphasizing features that address management of technology issues. We plan to expand on this new direction in future issues, drawing upon the considerable resources of Georgia Tech's faculty, alumni and students to help identify the problems and opportunities that new technology offers today. Our goal is to help you, our readers, become better managers of technology. Your thoughts — about management of technology articles in this issue or about the content of future issues — would be most appreciated and helpful in reaching that goal. Please direct your comments to John Dunn, director of alumni publications, Alumni/Faculty House, Atlanta, GA 30332-0175; telephone: (404) 894-2389; fax: (404) 894-5113. We hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, George A. Stewart Jr., '69 Chairman Alumni Publications Committee

This is quickly becoming we use to build our It may not be as sophisticated as a CCD image scanner. But it'll make quantum leaps possible in copier, facsimile and laser products. Because last fall, it broke ground a little north of Lawrenceville, in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Where Ricoh is building another U.S. manufacturing site for office equipment. We've certainly had practice. In 1976, Ricoh was the first Japanese company to make copier products

the most important tool office quipment in America. Our three plants in Southern California make us the largest Japanese employer in Orange County. We hope to have the same positive effect on the economy of this county outside of Atlanta. By employing local people, buying supplies from nearby companies, and helping the community grow. A commitment you'll be able to see for yourself on the labels of the office products that come out of our new factory. The ones that say Made in America.

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Student Athletes Deserve Fans' Praise Editor. It was my privilege to watch the Georgia TechMaryland football game here in the Charleston, S.C., area. At one point, the punter from Maryland got off a bad kick and the Maryland fans booed him. It is my h o p e that I never become so sophisticated, so philosophical and so jaded that I am unaffected b y such. It seems to me that a student amateur wearing the colors of his school a n d doing his very best should not b e booed. In my opinion, opponents should not b o o the student athletes of the other team. I remember well an editorial in the Technique which appeared during my time as a Tech student in the early a n d mid '60s. It appeared just before a spirited Georgia TechAubum game. There h a d been trouble some years before between Georgia, Auburn and Tech. Unsportsmanlike conduct h a d taken place. The three schools got together and resolved to d o something about it. The Technique editorial brought all of the trouble to the fore. Its conclusion—and I have never forgotten this—read: "Of course, we want Georgia Tech to play over their

heads a n d win the game, but let us remember that the best part is the handshake afterward." It was a very, very high moment for me. Bear in rnind, w h e n I was going through Georgia Tech I was older than almost all the other students. However, this 21- or 22-yearold editorial writer h a d given m e a statement which I have used often in many contexts beyond that of a football game. My o w n impression is that n o student amateur athlete should b e booed, except possibly for poor sportsmanship, although I'm not sure it is in order even under those circumstances. It is my profound prayer that Georgia Tech students, alumni a n d fans will never b o o a Georgia Tech student athlete, even if w e never win another football game. J.J. Mahoney, MS IM '67 Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Emory/Tech Center Promises to Be Economic Asset Editor: It was with a dual interest that I read "Breaking the Barriers" [Fall '88 ALUMNI MAGAZINE]. As a Georgia

Tech graduate and as a n officer of Emory University, I have found great sat-

isfaction in working o n the development of the Emory/ Georgia Tech Biomedical Technology Research Center. This center has the potential of developing into a significant economic asset to Atlanta a n d Georgia as w e enter a period that is frequently referred to as the "second biological revolution." The biomedical technology industry is rapidly becoming aware of the strengths in the complementary relationship between engineering at Tech a n d medicine at Emory, a n d are increasingly looking to Atlanta as a good place to d o business. The relocation of the national headquarters of the American Cancer Society to the Emory campus also sends a message to that effect. Thanks for sharing the story of the Emory-Tech partnership with the alumni community, which will undoubtedly feel great pride in the future w h e n medical breakthroughs a n d economic development occur. William J. Todd, IM 7 1 Assistant vice president for medical administration Health Sciences Center Emory University Atlanta

ofthe GEORGIA TECH Alumni Magazine

Acme Business Products Apple Computer Ball Stalker Boomershine Autos BusinessLand C&SBank The Coca-Cola Company Delta Air Lines First Atlanta Lanier Plaza Hotel and Conference Center Perry Communications Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead Technology Park/Atlanta Wyndham Hotel



LethalEnvironnients? The furnishings of a modern office can be a source of air pollution. Georgia Tech researchers have found that manmade furnishings common in offices emit as many as 60 different chemicals into the air, creating indoor air pollution problems which can cause headaches, nose and throat irritation and other symptoms. "Generally, indoor air is significantly dirtier than outside air," says Dr. Charlene Bayer, senior research scientist in Tech's Environment, Health and Safety Division. "You are in a box. Everything in it gives off pollutants, and they build up." Fiberboard used in desks, partitions and shelving often contains the chemical formaldehyde, a component of the glue used to bind wood particles together. In a confined area, formaldehyde vapors can be harmful, particularly to persons with allergies. The work of Georgia Tech reseachers could lead to healthier environments. "We're looking at the emission patterns and emission rates from these products so we can guide people in the construction of new buildings or the remodeling of old buildings," Bayer says. "They'll know when they put products into buildings what 8

GEORGIA TECH • Winter '89

kind of emissions to expect and what they can do to eliminate them." In one Atlanta area office, partitions containing the material had to be removed because their emissions made workers sick, Bayer adds. "Almost all construction materials contribute to indoor air pollution," she says. In addition to furnishings, other pollution

sources include paint, wallpaper glue, office copying machines, tile flooring, rest room deodorants and even clothes that have been dry cleaned. Cigarette smoking also contributes substantially to poor indoor air quality. Under ideal conditions, a building's ventilation system removes pollutants, but Bayer has found that many building ventilation

systems are not well-maintained, and even among systems that receive proper care, intake of outdoor air often is reduced to conserve energy. Building owners can improve the quality of indoor air without compromising energy conservation. "To dilute and move the pollutants out usually means you need to bring in larger amounts of outdoor air," Bayer says. "Properly balanced systems can be more energy efficient to operate, and cost less for the employer in the long run."

Tech Resumes Nuclear Reactor Tests Georgia Tech has restarted its 5-megawatt reactor at the Neely Nuclear Research Center and resumed irradiation experiments after receiving authorization from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which also proposed assessing Tech with a $5,000 penalty for past violations of NCR requirements. President John P. Crecine said at a press conference he is "very pleased" with the decision made by the NRC authorizing Tech to resume operations.

Malcolm L. Ernst, acting administrator of NRC's Region II office in Atlanta, said in a letter dated Nov. 15 that NRC inspectors concluded "the actions taken by Georgia Tech are sufficient to permit restart of the reactor and the resumption of the irradiation experiments." Tech was also notified that the NRC was proposing a $5,000 penalty against the Instiriite for violations of NRC requirements. According to the letter, the penalty was proposed

"because of a breakdown in management controls which resulted in the failure of facility pers< >nnel to follow approved procedures, failure to have adequate procedures for conduct and control of experiments and for radiological safety activities, and failure to conduct adequate surveys to evaluate the extent of radiological hazards which may have been present." Crecine said at the press conference, "We do not intend to appeal the Continued on page 11


GEORGIA TECH • Technotes


Mary Blue doesn't rest until every part is perfect

ary Blue expects a lot from herself. A software engineer at GE Aircraft Engines, she helps develop new manufacturing methods for the engine parts that power commercial and military aircraft. Quality is her absolute top priority. Mary also expects a lot from the company she works for. As a member of GE's Manufacturing Management Program, she's found the environment that lets her achieve, and excel. Her support system includes CAD/CAM, robotics, new materials, and all the leading-edge technologies. Plus interaction with the best minds in her field. Talented engineers like Mary Blue are handed real responsibility on high priority projects from the day they join GE. Which is why only the most demanding, self-motivated people can be selected. Behind the truly successful engineer, there's a standout company.

mark ofa An


T^JiNOTqS From Page 8

Tech's Nuclear Reactor Restarted Following NRC "Green light" proposed $5,000 civil penalty imposed by the NRC. We have admitted mistakes and have taken steps to correct them. It is

time for Tech to move on. "In the final analysis, we agree with the NRC that no single incident occurred which placed reactor per-

Alumni have an unparalleled opportunity to leave an indelible mark on Get >rgia Tech in the Name the New College Contest. President John P. Crecine's academic restructuring proposal includes establishment of a "new college" embracing five general areas of study: • decision sciences • international studies • management and public policy • psychology and organizational behavior • s< >cial sciences, philosophy and culture The New College Restructuring Committee, which is charged with develop-

sonnel or the public in" any unsafe position," Crecine added. Irradiation experiments were ordered stopped at the facility on

ing education and research programs in those five areas, is also looking for a "snappy, descriptive or otherwise notable suggestion" for the college-tobe's name, according to the group's interim report. "If your suggestion is chosen, you will receive a prize of very little monetary value," the report continues. "In the event that w e have more than o n e winning entry, the priz.e will go to the person whose entry arrives second." While there is n o deadline, send entries as soon as possible to Dr. George Nemhauser, Georgia Tech, 225 North Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30332-0205.

Jan. 20, 1988. Crecine suspended all reactor operations at the center on Feb. 15 pending a "green light" from the NRC. Dr. Betty Revsin has been named manager of the Office of Radiation and Safety. Crecine noted the appointment of Dr. Albert P. Sheppard as vice president for interdisciplinary programs, with direct responsibility over the Neely Nuclear Research Center.

Tech Fans Find Dog with a Satisfying Bite This past football season, Georgia Tech fans displayed an unusual affinity for dogs — hot dogs, that is. Each Saturday afternoon Continued on page 13

Georgia Tech Alumni Association Officers B.Joe Anderson '50 president Lawton M. Nease III '65 past president Oliver H. Sale Jr. '56 pn 's idettt-elect/treasu rer Shirley C. Mewborn '56 vice pn •sident-activilies John C. Siaton Jr. '60 vice president-communications H. HamondStithJr. '58 vice president-Roll Call [oho B. Carter Jr. '69 vice president/executive director

Trustees Thomas A. Barrow Jr. '48 Brian S. Brown '50 Hugh A. Carter Jr. '64 Stanley L. Daniels '60 Eugene Cox Dunwody Sr. '55 '56 H. Allen Ecker '57 '58 Edwin C. Eckles '52 Jack J. Eaussemagne '65 Hal W. Field '51 Frank B. Fortson 7 1 Samuel O. Franklin III '65 L. Thomas Gay Jr. '66 RobertG. Hill '58 Brian D. Hogg '61 James R. Jolly '64

G. William Knight '62 '68 James R. Lientz Jr. '65 Frank H. Maierjr. '60 Ronald L. Martin '68 Robert E. Mason '60 Jean J. Millkey '83 Wade T. Mitchell '57 Daniel E. Pittard 7 1 James Richard Roberts III '69 V. Hawley Smith '68 Francis M. Spears 7 3 '80 William (. Stanley III 72 George A. Stewart '69 H. Milton Stewart Jr. '61 D. Richard Worsham '68

GEORGIA TECH • Technotes


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The Dogs in Tech's Heart (and stomach) during home games, Glenn Robins sold Barkers Hotdogs from a van parked on Third Street, across from Bobby Dodd Stadium. "Tech fans are terrific," Robins says. The feeling must be mutual. A steady line of customers along Third Street leads to the trailer, and some hot dog fans have stayed in line, missing the kickoff, rather than miss having a Barkers Hotdog. "What surprises me

The good news from the Barkers trailer: There's a dog that doesn't bite back.

more than anything is how people will — with earphones in their ears, listening to the game — feel compelled to wait in line for their hot dogs," says Robins, who shuts down his operation at halftime. PHOTO BY MARGARET BARRETT

After moving to Atlanta 12 years ago, Robins missed the flavorful hot dog that was the favorite of his native Buffalo, N.Y. In 1984, he did something about it — he brought his hometown specialty to Atlanta. Under the city's revised vending ordinance, he was the first licensed hot-food street vendor. Monday through Friday,. Robins may be found in Woodruff Park, dispensing his popular dogs to large and enthusiastic crowds of downtown lunch-goers. The success of the enterprise was featured in The New York Times. Ivobins and his partner, Vivian Swiatek, gross $250,000 a year, which promises to become even more prosperous. Robins has signed a contract to sell Barkers Hotdogs in Underground Atlanta, scheduled to open June 15. Three people work out of the four-by-eight-foot van, Robins says. "We're all specialists with no wasted motion." Nor is there any

wasted space. The van will hold as many as 600 hot dogs. "The bread is the bulky part. We use every square inch in that cart," Robins says. 1 he secret to his success, Robins says, is "the meat, the hot dog itself, and the way we prepare it." The hot dogs are made by Sahlen Packing Co., a fourth generation German family in Buffalo, N.Y. "What we offer on our hot dogs as far as condiments is very typical of what you would find back home in Buffalo," Robins says. "In hot sauce, everybody has their own recipe. Over the years, I was able to develop my own and fine-tune it before we started the business. It has become something that we are noted for, and that people come back for. "I'm really an entrepreneur at heart," Robins concludes. "I always thought that owning a hot dog business would be fun. And there is always a need for a good hot dog." • GEORGIA TECH • Technotes



GEORGIA TECH • Winter 89

For the price of a telephone call, fax machines make data transmission sure, dependable â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and amazingly quick.


he technology isn't exotic; many of the basic principles were discovered by Alexander Graham Bell more than a century ago. But although facsimile or fax machines have been a long time coining, they are quickly gaining a stature approaching that of Bell's invention as an important business communications device. "Fax is everywhere," says Lura Romei, editor of Modem Office Technology magazine. "It's becoming as much a 'given' as the copier." Virtually unheard-of a decade ago, the past two years in particular have marked the beginning of an extraordinary rate of growth for facsimile machines. Some estimates put that rate as high as 30 percent annually, with an installed fax base anticipated to reach 5 million units by 1992. "The information that we have is that in the year 1988, 800,000 to 1 million machines will be sold in the continental United States," says Dave Cullen, a field manager with Harris/ 3M in Atlanta. "That's up from probably 450,000 the year before." The attraction of fax comes down to two basics: money and time. Fax is cheaper than just about any other method of information transfer, including, sometimes, first-class mail. Today's generation of facsimile devices can transmit a document in less than 60 seconds, all for the price of a telephone call. And with many business decisions dependent on immediate access to information, even the cost of a longdistance call makes fax cost-effective. "We've gone from an eight-minute down to a 20-second transmission," Continued next page GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Fax Popularity 15

says Cullen, "so the cost-justification says that digital of sending a document over phone transmission inlines today is much more effective volves a trade-off than it was even four years ago." between the number of bits in a proThe ability to move information cessed image and almost instantaneously fills many the rate of transbusiness needs, and helps re-define mission—more those needs as well. bits mean higher "It's the instant gratification that quality, but slower we're used to from television and all transmission. that," says Romei. "We want our information and we want it right now. "If you are And that's what fax delivers. Overwilling to tie up night isn't fast enough." your telephone line for a long The proliferation of fax has been greatly aided by the establishment of time, you can transmit an image universal operating specifications. with whatever CCITT, an international board that governs world-wide telecommunica- quality you want," says Dr. Schafer. tions activity, has promulgated "On the other standards enabling any make of fax hand, if you want machine to communicate with any to have high other manufacturer's model. quality and transCCITT has also classified succesmit it quickly, you sive generations of fax machines by speed. The early devices of the 1970s have to be able to transmit a lot of took six minutes or more to transmit bits per second a page and are called Group 1 faxes. Group 2 units took from four to six over the communication channel, minutes per page. Almost all faxes on and that means your communication the market today fall into the Group channel is more expensive. 3 category, taking less than one "One way to improve the situation minute to transmit a page. is to be able to represent a printed page or whatever with a small numGroup 4 faxes, which can send ber of bits," he adds. "That requires, high-resolution images in less than generally, quite a bit of analysis of the 10 seconds per page using digital image computation, resulting in a phone lines, may represent the kind of fax terminal that would be distant future for fax. But the special rather expense at this point." telephone lines they require are expensive, as are the machines themThus Group 3 technology would selves. And since the telephone com- seem to be secure for now, although pany currently bills in increments of many current models are available one minute, there are no savings in with Group 4 upgrade capability. transmitting a single document in five seconds versus 30 seconds. Today even small Still, if present trends continue and fax becomes a mainstay of office businesses can afford fax technology. communication, perhaps also developing a home-users market, the next logical step would be for even faster, en years ago, a typical full-color, ultra-high-resolution fax no-frills unit would transmissions, and all the additional have cost about applications that could then be $10,000. Many stanaccommodated. dard models today are available for under Ronald Schafer, Regents' professor , $2,000; older, slower machines may of electrical engineering and an ' sell for as little as $500. expert on digital signal processing,


U.S. Facsimile Machine Shipments (Thousands of I nits)

Almost all fax machines are made in Japan, where fax has enjoyed widespread business and home use for several years. In the United States, with more than 20 vendors in the marketplace and no clear industry leader, competition is intense. The battle for sales is fought with lower prices, innovation and aggressive marketing. For example: A single-unit telephone and fax machine is becoming a part of every manufacturer's product line. Many of these units — which have also started to appear in department stores — contain a clock, telephone answering machine or other desktop accessory, and may even be used as a lowvolume "convenience copier." Improvements in circuitry are enabling manufacturers to build smaller and smaller units. Harris/3M, for example, is testing a portable fax machine the size of a loaf of bread. Fax machines are nearly all wellmade, reliable and pretty much equivalent in their basic ability to send and receive documents. All fax machines have three basic parts: a Continued on page 19


GEORGIA TECH • Winter 89

m IS



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Departing July 8,1989

This summer, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association J L and Royal Cruise Line invite you to experience this exhilarating 13-day cruise of the Norsemen. Aboard the superb new Crown Odyssey, set sail on a cruise of a lifetime to some of Europe's most glamorous capitals. You'll meet the gleaming white Crown Odyssey in the exciting city of London. From there you'll cruise to quaint Travemunde, beautiful Gdynia, fascinating Leningrad, bustling Helsinki, glittering Stockholm, enchanting Copenhagen, charming Oslo, and effervescent Amsterdam. Royal Cruise Line, famed for its warmth of service, excellent entertainment and superb cuisine, invites you to experience the finest in luxury cruising. Tor more information, please contact: The Georgia Tech Alumni Association Alumni Faculty House, Atlanta, GA 30332-0175 (404) 894-2391

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scanner, which reads a document and translates the image into audio signals; a modem, to send and receive documents; and a printer. While particular makes and models offer variations in speed and image quality, the primary difference — the cost difference — is in the "extras." "Models are changing every six months or so, but the basic premise of getting information from one place to another has been the same for years," says John Hough of Panafax in Atlanta. "It's just the added convenience features that have really changed — the bells and whistles." When buying a fax, the best approach is to first determine the extra features wanted, then shop for the lowest price, regardless of make. The convenience feature offered on virtually all faxes is unattended reception, which allows the unit to answer the phone, receive and print documents automatically. Other common appurtenances include automatic document feed, paper cutter (most faxes print on a continuous roll of paper), and transmission confirmation. Two types of internal memory are available on most fax machines. One provides speed- and auto-dialing capability. Another enables the fax to store a given number of pages, which means that the unit can receive documents even if it is out of paper.

A broadcasting function allows" transmission of several pages to a group of pre-programmed fax num- ' bers. Polling works the other way around by enabling the fax to call a list of other fax numbers and retrieve documents they have waiting. A variation of the broadcast and polling features is called relaying, in which a fax transmits a page to a second fax, along with instructions for sending that document to a third fax or group of faxes.

Fax options are extensive, offering "bells and whistles" from PC linkups to delayed transmission. ^k nother important option J^^ is unattended transmism ^ ^ k sion, which provides for LJ^^L automatically sending M ^ ^ k documents at a speci^ ^ t e ^ ^ B ^ ficied time, such as after 5 p.m. when telephone rates are lower. Almost all faxes priced below $3,000 print out on slick, flimsy thermal paper. While adequate for most business needs, the paper tends to fade in strong light, is difficult to write on, and "feels" unpleasant. High-end fax models — usually starting around $5,000 — use heavier stock or a laser printer.

Some fax machines also offer security options. For example: A user might have to enter a four-digit code to be able to print an incoming document, or to send a document. A fast-growing market today involves the integration of fax and personal computers. Several companies offer add-on boards and software that essentially allow PCs to serve as fax machines. "With modems, computers can talk to computers, and faxes can talk to faxes, but up until a couple of years ago, the two did not meet," says Kent Conwell of SpectraFax Corp., a designer and developer of PC-based facsimile products in Naples, Fla. With a fax modem and supporting software, PCs can send and receive documents not only to similarlyequipped computers, but also to fax machines. Advantages include the ability to use the computer printer and to view a fax before it's printed. In addition, fax documents on computer may be stored on disks, edited and transmitted without the need to be re-scanned. Companies with existing data networks may also realize considerable savings by being able to use the network for fax transmissions instead of telephone lines. Conwell believes that the trend toward fax-PC integration will accelerate as desktop publishing grows Continued next page

Alumni Association Sold on Fax riginally, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association bought a facsimile machine to communicate with alumni clubs, 90 percent of which have at least one officer with access to a fax machine. "Previously, we would get information in the mail about an upcoming club meeting, for example, so that we could produce a direct-mail flyer," says Tom Hernngton, IMGT '82, director of clubs. That information would be typeset and a proof sent back for corrections. The corrected copy would then be returned to the Alumni Association, and from there sent back to the typesetter. "It was a time-consuming process," Herrington says. "And if there were any lastminute changes, things could get a little frantic."


By using fax, a process that once spanned several days is now measured in hours. "The fax machine has paid for itself many times over from the savings on overnight delivery charges," says Wayne Parker, associate executive director. Parker adds that the fax machine has outgrown its original purpose. "We use it for everything," he says. Virtually all operations of the Alumni Association have discovered a special or ongoing use for fax. The ability to transmit an exact copy of a document is just one of the advantages fax has over alternative information media. "We've teen experimenting with electronic mail for a couple of years now," Parker says, "but fax is cheaper and easier." •

GEORGIA TECH • Fax Popularity 19

SpectraFax makes a computer card that puts an incoming fax document into a format "that is almost directly transferrable into desktop publishing software," Conwell says. Basic fax technology is also finding new applications in video. Harris/3M offers a "desktop video" system that transmits three-dimensional images or text. Ricoh markets a Voice Image Communicator that transmits voice and graphic images to several different sites simultaneously. As fax machines become more accessible, new and innovative uses for the technology will continue to be discovered. A television commercial highlighting the 42nd Avenue Deli in New York describes how its customers use fax to place lunch orders. Some pharmacies are accepting prescriptions by fax from doctors. Of course, no new technology can be considered fully tested until its advertising potential has been fully exploited, and fax is no exception. "Junk fax" is becoming a growth industry in its own right. Suppliers of fax paper have been the first to solicit

"Attractive 40-yearold professional seeks ham and siviss on rye.... Hey! What is this?" With fax machines being used to order deli food and dates, mix-ups may (r^\ /nXZ^dc be inevitable.

business by broadcasting advertisements to as many fax numbers as they can find.

"Junk fax" could become a real nuisance form of advertising. nlike junk mail, which is free to the recipient, fax users end up paying for the paper that the unsolicited advertisement is printed on. "I think you're

going to see more and more people targeting this group for things other than fax paper," says Elliott Segal of Mr. Fax, a paper supplier in Irvine, Calif. "For us, it's just a natural way to reach a fax user." Perhaps one of the most unusual uses for fax was discovered by a Detroit man, who sent out a blind date solicitation for himself — complete with picture — to local fax machines. While the results of his experiment were not reported, it is hoped that he's not spending Saturday nights alone anymore — sitting by the fax machine. •

Fax to the Rescue A Tale of Apple in Africa


andy Whitfield, a 1932 mechanical engineering graduate, uses fax to communicate with his . son, Randolph Jr., an ophthalmologist who works in Kenya. Two years ago, the eye clinic his son operates in Nairobi planned to install a Telex machine. "I told him that he was going the wrong way—that he ought to get a fax," Whitfield recalls. "They now have the fax machine and it has proven invaluable. "I correspond with him quite often via fax," Whitfield adds. Whitfield does not have a facsimile machine at his home in Atlanta, but pays to send messages from one located at a nearby copy shop. Despite the inconvenience, Whitfield says that his current arrangement offers great advantages over other forms of communication, including telephone. "For one thing, you can transmit so much more infonnation in the same length of time," he says. The utility of the Whitfields' fax link was reaffinned recently. Whitfield had sent his son a new Macintosh computer to use at the clinic. But within a few days, the power panel shorted out, resulting in about $600 worth


GEORGIA TECH • Winter 89

of damage. The warranty, covering such damage, excludes computers used outside the United Slates. Whitfield hoped to convince Apple Computer to waive the exclusion because the fastest, cheapest and practical solution would be for Apple at least to supply the replacement panels. The Nairobi clinic could ill afford the repair bill. And in an area of the world desperate for medical services, the Macintosh was a valuable clinical tool. Whitfield explained the situation to Apple. He supplied the company with copies of the warranty and other documentation that had been sent to him via fax from Africa. Time was important. For several months, Whitfield and his wife, Shirley, had planned a trip to visit their son in Kenya. They now had an opportunity to deliver the replacement parts to him if Apple niled in their favor. When the Whitfields left for Kenya last month, packed inside their luggage were new replacement panels for their son's Macintosh, courtesy of Apple Computer. •

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mericans' lives are daily shaped by science and technology. Yet most have little understanding of the laws and principles that make possible our age of invention. A new m Atlanta museum — largest of its kind in the Southeast— demonstratesfor children and adults the truths behind today's advances. Begun with the help of Tech's late PresidentJoseph M. Pettit and a group of prominent Tech alumni, SciTrek— "an adventure in science and technology"— offers an experientialjourney into the world of discovery, explaining its mysteries, revealing its wonders. Continued next page GEORGIA TECH • SciTrek




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screw, inclinedplane— /hate moved humansfrom caves to skyscrapers. In a giant hall, hands-on exhibits teach the importance and complexity ofharnessing and usingforce. (,|:<)K(.1A I'FCH • Winter




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**n the light andperception area, Georgia Tech student Mike Fick, a volunteer, explains "white" as the absence of color (above). In the special environment ofKidspace, youngsters have a unique opportunity to climb inside a water crystal. Continued next fMf>e

igures, frozen against a light sensitive-material by a bright flash, explain theprocess of phosphorescenceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; and providefun forMds. As electrons in the atoms begin to give up light they've absorbed, they glow as the dim "shadows (rigfat). 28

GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 89

CoHtiltUtd next page GEORGIA TECH • SciTrek


he magic ofcentrifugal force is made clear as a water-filled glass is spun in a wide arc. And the mystery ofscientific exploration enthralls in "Screwballs," an exhibit that uses a screw to raise balls, as Archimedesfirst raised water 2,000 years ago. â&#x20AC;˘ GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Winter H9


Putting People First Makes First Atlanta Second IbNone. •- i


©1986 The First National Bank of Atlanta. Member FD.I.C.


The Mad Housers



n a balmy spring night almost two years ago the Mad Housers had their first run-in with the law. The small group of Georgia Tech students were finishing their third hut for the homeless by the uncertain light of a faltering flashlight when they saw four police flashlights bobbing up the black hill toward their building site. Continued next page






BARRETT GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Mad Housers 3 3

The policemen looked at the new hut and obeyed a higher law.


the .he makeshift carpenters didn't really feel that they were doing anything wrong â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they were only trying to help out this homeless guy they had met. The problem was that the tiny hut they were building made no pretense of meeting municipal building codes, and the scruffy tag of land they were working on was stateowned property they had absolutely no right to build upon. After an hour of earnest discussion, the policemen's initial belligerence softened to disbelief, then to a kind of practical support. Why hadn't they posted a sentry, and had they considered other sites that might be more secluded? But now that they were caught, this particular hut would have to be removed by the next day. "The next morning one of the policemen left a message on one of our guy's answering machines," says Mike Connor, founder of the Mad Housers and a Georgia Tech student at the time. "It said that they had talked about it and figured that the only law we had broken was making too much noise at night. We could leave it up." Continued next page

Preassembly is done at a warehouse (above), then panels and parts are taken to the site for assembly. GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Mad Housers


Everyone admits the Housers are doing the tight thing even if they are doing it illegally

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L^ince their initial brush with the police, the Mad Housers have repeatedly run into this paradoxical response from the authorities. Although there is nothing in the least bit legal about the rudimentary huts they have been planting all over Atlanta, official response has ranged from benign neglect to covert support. A few huts have been removed by the police, yet Connor recalls cases where anonymous city officials have called to<•warn them that complaints were forcing the police to tear i down a hut, allowing the Housers to move the hut to a safer site. "Anyone who hears or sees what we are doing knows somewhere deep inside we're doing the right thing," says Bailey Pope, a Georgia

Tech architecture student and a longtime Mad Houser. "It's illegal, but it's so morally correct that very few authorities feel the need to take action against what we are doing." Although the city of Atlanta obviously can't endorse an organization hell-bent on violating virtually all of its building codes, Atlanta's public officials, including Mayor Andrew Young, have openly expressed admiration for the Mad Housers. "They are wonderful," says Constance Curry, director of Community and Citizens Affairs for the city of Atlanta. "It's been sort of strange because we can't officially bless them. What has ended up happening is that law enforcement has looked the Other way." Continued on page 38

On site, assembly goes quickly on the Housers' "Home Sweet Honw. 36

GEORGIA TECH • Winter 89

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The Housers have learned to build first and ask questions

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ven the Internal Revenue Service, not generally known for its humanitarian instincts, has gotten involved. IRS workers investigating the group's attempts to gain taxexempt status started putting together baskets of food and necessities for the Mad Housers to distribute to the men and women living in the huts. Among homeless advocates, the Mad Housers have established a kind of folk hero status. In a world in which services to the homeless are often bogged down by bureaucracy and lengthy discussion, the Mad Housers have turned housing the homeless into a kind of guerrilla warfare — surreptitiously putting up their tiny huts and asking questions later. The housers have built around 50 shelters on inconspicuous scraps of land all over Atlanta, and every other week, another hut is hurriedly planted in a carefully selected site. Connor's work in housing the homeless began as part of a master's thesis in Georgia Tech's College of Architecture. A casual interest devel-


GEORGIA TECH • Winter 89

oped into a passion when Connor and fellow students began searching for possible sites — those bits and pieces of abandoned, secluded land that are scattered around the city. "It was scary," Connor recalls. "Once we started looking, there was someone camping out or evidence of someone camping out almost everywhere we looked." The Georgia Tech students came up with a name for themselves and a loose structure that continues to work remarkably well. Every other Monday night, a meeting is held at an Atlanta bar, and a tenant and location are designated for the hut that will be built the following Saturday. It might be someone that one of the volunteers has met on the street or a homeless man or woman referred by a nurse at an Atlanta soup kitchen. Often, referrals come from James, an ex-social worker from Baltimore with a last name he is reluctant to divulge and a story that "I don't have time to tell." James lives in a Mad Houser hut and has taken on the job

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of seeking out prospective tenants in the streets, soup kitchens and shelters. He and other hut dwellers often help build the new huts.


story about a group of wellheeled students boldly jumping into an arena where the problems are seemingly insoluble is an obvious candidate for media coverage, and everyone from People magazine to The New York Times has reported on the Mad Housers' casual, beerdrinking building sessions. Thanks in part to the media attention, the core handful of Georgia Tech students has grown to around 20 regular volunteers from all over the Atlanta area. Connor estimates that up to 70 have been involved. The group now receives around $200 a month in donations, but Connor says that the Mad Housers still need much more of everything — more money, more volunteers, more materials and more access to legitimate property.

A tour of one of the Mad Housers' hut communities shows why the group is anxious to keep building. The cluster of three small huts is surrounded by some of the basic necessities of the homeless — rusted shopping carts for picking up cans, and stacks of faded newspapers for lining baggy- jackets on cold winter nights — but there is still a feeling of hardwon homeyness. The window in each small shed offers a glimpse of neat shelves lined with plastic glasses and cans of food, and in front of each hut is a small brick grill topped by a blackened pan for cooking. These unheated, unplumbed shelters are well-kept and valued retreats, but they are still icy cold in winter, and finding food and water and keeping clean remains a backbreaking struggle for their tenants.

As far as the Mad Housers are concerned, the huts are only a temporary move toward a real and lasting solution. "We have been talking for about a year about taking a step from building the huts, which are a temporary stop-gap, to a permanent solution," Connor says. "The ultimate pie-inthe-sky project is to create a nonprofit company that creates [low-cost] bungalows." In preparation for this transition, the group has incorporated as a nonprofit entity and designed a 24-by-l4 foot heated, plumbed and up-to-code home that can be built and furnished, using volunteer labor, for only $15,000. The city of Atlanta has recently offered to pay for two of these experimental houses to be put up on donated land, and Connor

hopes they will be the first of many.


n the meantime, the Mad Housers will keep building their huts. Considering that only around 3,500 of Atlanta's 10,000 homeless stay in official shelters, the need for the Mad Housers' primitive structures remains overwhelming. According to James, Mad Houser volunteer and hut resident, living in a hut is infinitely better than his old routine of circulating from abandoned buildings to homeless shelters. "You can set it up like you want, and it is something of your own," he says. "It reminds you of how you used to live." • Lisa Crowe is a free-lance writer based in Atlanta.

Over the years, the Mad Housers have developed many contacts among Atlanta's homeless. Visits to the 458 Cafe (left), a restaurant for homeless people, are as much apart of the Housers' work as is the final product (above). In a move toward legitimacy — perhaps — the Mad Housers recently were given money, by the city of Atlanta, with which they plan to construct two-room up-to-code houses. GEORGIA TECH • Mad Housers


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The original? No. A highly detailed work of art, cast in pewter? Yes. To commemorate the 100th birthday of the Georgia Tech Administration Budding, we have commissioned Michael Ricker, noted American sculptor, to create the official Alumni Association Tech Tower. Our work is approximately four inches tall, and is cast in heavy, glistening pewter.. .an attractive piece in any setting. Michael Ricker is recognized around the world as the leading artist in his field. Collectors of his works include Presidents and monarchs, and he has been approached by the Smithsonian to exhibit. Pewter Please accept my order for Georgia Tech Alumni Association Tech Towers „ $36.50 each = Shipping & Insurance @ $ 3.50 each = Total enclosed S Please make check payable to: Alumni Association Tech Tower Georgia Tech Alumni Association Alumni/Faculty House Adanta, Georgia 30332

casts of pieces of art from his studio in Colorado have been known to double in value only one year after purchase. Mr. Ricker studied the Administration Building's tower from every perspective to render this highly detailed work. He has produced a terrific, classy way for all Tech fans to display their allegiance. The Alumni Association Tech Tower has been designed to look great either in your office or home, and is a great gift idea for Christmas or birthdays. And it can be purchased only through the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Order immediately.. .delivery will begin on a first come, first serve basis. You may charge your purchase to • Master Charge or LTJ Visa Card No Expiration Date Signature Ship my Alumni Association Tech Tower to: Name Street .Zip. City. .State. If you want Tech Towers shipped to other addresses, please enclose a card with name, address, and quantity to be shipped to each address.

Danny Boston on Atlanta's Auburn Avenue. The street's mixture of bustling and dying businesses reflects the economic problems of many predominantly black communities.


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homas Daniel Boston knows what it's like to rise from working-class beginnings through adversity to become successful. The experiences of being black, growing up in the segregated South, and achieving success all influence his recent book. Race. Class and Conservatism. The work is Boston's analysis of failures of the Reagan administration and its conservative economic architects, such as Walter Williams, George Gilder and Thomas Sowell. "The book's most important aspect is to show how managers and policy makers must remain sensitive to the economic needs and status of minorities," says Boston. "The progress that we see in what I call 'the new black middle class' can be illusory. The growth of

minorities in positions such as technicians, managers and engineers really' only touches about 10 percent of the minority populations." Boston, a member of the faculty of the College of . .anagement and president-elect of the National Economics Association (XEA), argues that increasing suburbanization of lower-wage jobs make them inaccessible to the large pool of blacks in the city. This exacerbates unemployment and urban distress among blacks. "The mistake that conservatives have made Is to believe that the race problem has been solved," Boston continues, "and that the government no longer has a responsibility to the underprivileged." Boston points out that the courts under the Reagan administration have turned a


Econoniics And the Black Underclass In his neiv book, Georgia Tech's Danny Boston argues for U.S. policies that tear down bartiers and open opportunities to all Americans ritten by Charles Hyatt â&#x20AC;˘ Photographed by Gary Meek GEi UK UATECH â&#x20AC;˘ Black Economics


intervention and affirmative action to dismantle these programs and defend unfair practices under the guise of preventing reverse discrimination. His conclusions suggest that the private sector must therefore take the initiative to keep opportunities open, recognizing the advantages of breaking down discrimination barriers, and influence public policy makers to do the same. "I'm very pleased by the attention the book is receiving," says Boston, "though unfortunately it did not have enough of an impact on last year's presidential elections. There are a great many incorrect assumptions the Reagan/Bush people make. • For example, do prejudice and racism still play a part in the economic status of black &^" j ' -• * f Americans? The conservatives claim that they do not. • Furthermore, they believe that inequalities in earnings and job status are simply class related and not race dependent. But, in fact, discrimination is still widely influential, not just in hiring practices, but in occupational mobility and job status. Sure, some blacks can now afford country club memberships, but most are still confined to low-status, lowpaying, secondary sector jobs." Boston marshalled statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau's population survey to support his findings. "While the earnings of the black upper classes have grown, the middle and lower classes have been significantly damaged," he says. "Combined with decades of racial inequality, this distorted stratification of black social classes is creating a new 'underclass.'" This underclass will be the topic of Boston's next book, tentatively titled, Hope and Despair: The Economic Drama of Black America. In it, the economist plans to use the newly available National Survey of Black Americans as well as special studies of Atlanta communities to substantiate theoretical positions. The book is scheduled for release in late 1989, and Boston plans to present many of his findings as part of his presidential address to the National Economics Association. The road to president of the NEA was long and filled with hurdles. He grew up in segregated Jacksonville, Fla. After high school, Boston enrolled in West Virginia State College, majoring in industrial design. "I had only one economics course, jbut it helped me to understand how things change, and I've been interested in change since I first became involved in the civil rights movement." Boston joined the Army after graduating, earned the rank of captain, and received a Purple Heart. "My experiences in Vietnam, including being critically wounded, made me realize that a career in the military was not the life for me. Besides, I had conflicting feelings about the American presence there. So, I decided to'go on to



GEORGIA TECH • Winter 89

graduate school in the social sciences," Boston recalls. At Cornell University he earned his Ph.D. in 1976, studying economic theory and development and writing his dissertation on African commercial and cultural growth. He taught part-time at Ithaca College before receiving a joint appointment to teach economics at Clark College and Atlanta University. Shortly after the move, Catherine, Boston's wife, joined the faculty of Tech's College of Architecture. The couple has worked on numerous research projects including urban planning consultation to the Metre >politan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, the mass transit system. both hope and Boston has received redespair. The progsearch grants from the U.S. departments of Labor, has not been Energy, and Housing and experienced across Urban Development, as a very broad well as from IBM, the Ford spectrum in the and Rockefeller founblack community." dations and the United Negro College Fund. In 1983, he lectured at the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Economics in the People's Republic of China while studying the liberalization and privatization of the Chinese economy. "It was an incredible experience," Boston says. "China's growth from an agricultural base with such a huge population has implications for all economicsystems—from countries in Africa to our own in the U.S." Returning home, Boston was a visiting scholar at Stanford University before joining the Tech faculty in 1985.




oston's one-year term as NEA president-elect began in January. He will become president in January 1990. His duties will include organizing the 1989 conference in Atlanta and serving on the board of advisors for the association's journal, The Review of Black Political Economy. The NEA , a division of the 15,000-member Allied Social Sciences Association, specializes in the study of issues related to the economic status of blacks and other minorities. Boston would like to see the NEA "become more involved in public policy making and to focus on the real issues of inequality and economic opportunity. My overall agenda is to marshall the great talents of the members to help shape public and private policies. "There have been significant improvements made in the civil rights attitudes of this country, but as the title of my book indicates, there is cause for both hope and despair," he says. "The progress I've been so fortunate to participate in has not been experienced across a very broad spectrum in the black community. We're very hopeful for our children's futures, but we also see there are still many challenges and barriers to overcome." • Charles Hyatt is a doctoral student in psychology at Georgia Tech.

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In their early stages, system "diseases" have been curable. But a plague of frightening proportions is possible. Written by John Dunn


a virus-like infection struck the Georgia Tech computer system and began propagating. By late morning, the symptoms of a virus were apparent, and by early afternoon, officials learned that the "virus" was not restricted to Techâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;university campuses across the country were infected, as well as a couple of unclassified computer networks operated by the Department of Defense. Tech braced for a nightmare. A notice sent across campus via electronic mail warned: "There is a computer vims that has already spread across most of the Internet nationwide....The vims initially enters systems using a bug in the UNIX sendmail program, but once there, it figures out ways to spread across other communications channels. It examines hosts files...and other methods to pick vectors to


GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 89

spread. Hopefully, the virus will do little more than propagate itself, but considering the lack of information we have, it is probably best to assume the worst." It was not the worst; the virus made no attempt to trash files. And because the vims was located in the volatile memory of the computer, Georgia Tech was able to eliminate it by temporarily disconnecting from the network and shutting down its computers. But the vims' success in replicating itself, clogging files and spreading throughout the network caused Time magazine to call it "one of the most sophisticated and infectious computer viruses the world has yet seen." Experts fear it may be an unhappy harbinger to business corporations and academia. John McAfee, chairman of the Computer Virus Industry Association,

Most infections so far have been incapable of replicating themselves. But the small percent that are viruses. . .

a consortium of 19 corporations that research anti-viral products and either manufacture or market antiviral products, reports that by the end of November 1988, major viruses were verified at more than 400 corporations, universities and organizations. McAfee, of Santa Clara, Calif., classifies a virus infection as "major" when 10 or more computers are infected at a given site. Of the 2,630 calls the association received by the end of November, only four percent turned out to be true virus infections. Another 17 percent turned out to be "time bombs," "trojans," "worms" or other non-replicating intrusive programs. By some definitions, the infection that struck Internet and Georgia Tech was a worm, because it did not have to "attach" itself to another program to propagate or operate. McAfee disagrees. "We differ with the popular notion that the Internet virus was a worm," McAfee says. "It is, in fact, a true virus by our definition—a virus being a program that can replicate itself from one machine to another, which a traditional worm cannot do. A worm cannot replicate itself from one machine to another; it replicates itself throughout memory within one machine." Y WHATEVER NAME, IT MEANS TROUBLE.

"The kind of virus that has been the most troublesome and which particularly shows up in the personal computer world is a program that acts very much like a virus," says Richard J. LeBlanc, associate professor in the School of Information and Computer Science. "It attaches itself to other programs. When you run them, it does unexpected things, frequently attempting to destroy data. Some people do it as a malicious thing, or simply because they think it is fun, or because they want to get at an employer." According to McAfee, viruses are going to get worse for two reasons.

"One, the viruses that are in the public domain are continuing to spread and will infect ever-larger systems. Two, the viruses that we are seeing today were written mostly a few years ago. They are set to activate sometimes many years in the future. The newer viruses corning on board are more sophisticated. They are more subtle and they are more deadly in their impact." Are there effective security There are vaccines "that will essentially make a PC more secure than it would be otherwise, " says Georgia Tech's Richard LeBlanc. But no program protects against the most sophisticated viruses.

measures that a company can take to protect its computer system? A number of programs on the market are designed to protect against viruses—programs bearing names that sound like the inventory of a drug store: Vaccinate, Flu Shot Plus, Antidote and Virus RX.. "There are programs available for a PC that will essentially make it more secure than it would be otherwise, but there is no universal cure for all these sorts of specialized function networks," says LeBlanc. "Computer security is no better than physical security," he adds. "Anytime you have a computing system where people have access to it, it is no more secure than the people who have access to it. You can't get beyond that—until we build computers that aren't dependent on people, and I don't think we really

GEORGIA TECH • Computer Viruses


"Management techniques can help make a computer system more secure."

want to get there yet. No matter how secure you've made the computer system, your weak point is still the person who has the knowledge and the authorization to use the system, and then abuses it." There are common-sense management techniques that can help make a computer system more secure and create a better-managed computer environment. "Ninety-five percent of all infections are transferred by running someone else's disk in your system or by using someone's system that is already infected," says McAfee. LeBlanc suggests three steps to help defend against a computer virus: â&#x20AC;˘ Make backup disks. Have backup procedures that everyone follows faithfully, or have an employee who is responsible for keeping backup data current. "I think this is most "important," LeBlanc says. "All this data reflects work; it obviously reflects dollars, and to leave it

"Personal computers are particularly vulnerable to viruses." says Tech s LeBlanc.

lying around on a single floppy disk, not duplicated anywhere, is extremely imprudent. "Anybody who loses six months worth of data due to a virus, a chair rolling over a disk, or a spilled cup of coffee is simply being irresponsible," he adds. "If you are going to use computers effectively, you have to Continued on page 51.


substantially reduce the risk of infecting a computer system with a virus, according to John McAfee, chairman of the Computer Virus Industry Association. The association has compiled "Ten AntiViral Commandments" that make the computer environment much safer. They are: 1. Limit the exchange of disks containing executable ccxJes between systems. 2. Reduce the use of public domain and share-ware programs. 3. Do not insert system disks into another's computer. 4. Write-protect all system and program disks. 5. If running on a floppy-only system, lxx>t from only one clearly labeled, writeprotected floppy. 6. Never boot hard-disk systems from a floppy unless it is the original write-protected system master.


GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 89

7. Never execute programs of unknown origin. If someone gives you a disk with data on it and you happen to find a program with data on it, don't be tempted to run it i< > see what it is. 8. Limit the transmission erf executable codes over networks and other communication links. 9. Do not use network file servers as work stations. 10. Never add data or programs to system master disks. The association has a 45-page public information packet that gives detailed information about vimses, how to identify them, the symptoms of the most common viruses, how to clean an infected system, and how to prevent infection. The cost of the packet is $3 plus a self-addressed 8/2 by 11 inch envelope stamped for $1.70 postage. Mail requests for the packet to CVIA, 4423 Cheeney Street, Santa Clara, CA 95054.

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In computers, security is worth worry.

Continued from page 48.

manage your use of them better than that." • Know the origin of any program run on your computer system. Avoid pirated programs. • Create files using two-word passwords. Single word passwords are amenable to dictionary attack by a virus and not very secure. HE HAVOC CAUSED ON INTERNET IS AN EXAMPLE OF

the vulnerability of a system to abuse. The UNIX system infection exploited security loopholes which were tolerated, LeBlanc explains, "in an environment where there was a great deal of cooperation and a sense of honor among those who work on it. Essentially, this has been a practice of leaving your door unlocked because it was useful." Infecting the system did not require a "great technical feat," LeBlanc adds. "A relatively small number of people knew about it, mosdy system administrators, and it was assumed that everybody who knew about it had enough sense not to do anything inappropriate. We ran across somebody who didn't." The incident illustrates the importance of

ethical behavior and responsibility. An important contrast between network multiuser systems and personal computers is that a program mnning on a multiuser system doesn't own the machine. It only has access to certain memory and files that the operating systems allows. A virus couldn't destroy user files. Personal computers are particularly vulnerable to viruses because, when a program is mrining, it is in a relatively unprotected environment. "Whatever program is running at any given time really owns the machine. If the person who wrote the program knows all the details of working with the disk and the screen, the program can do absolutely anything. "We have to be concerned about security," LeBlanc adds. "The fact that much of the operation of things in this country is strongly interconnected by data networks indicates that we darn well better be concerned about security, because a disruption can happen that can be very widespread once an individual gets past whatever levels of security are there." •

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GEORGIA TECH • Computer Viruses


PROFILE Unconventional Teacher A s an undergraduate student, / \ Satya Atluri studied under JL J L professors who possessed a depth of understanding that comes only from lifetime dedication to a discipline. From them he received a special learning — the kind that doesn't come from homework assignments and can't be measured by final exams. Today, as Regents professor of mechanics in Georgia Tech's School of Civil Engineering and director of the Computational Mechanics Center, Atluri seeks to share that kind of learning with his students. "I like to think through a subject," he explains, "then I can convey a certain excitement and personal involvement. If I can convey a gut feeling from my own understanding, I can be a successful teacher." Atluri believes students should develop a joy for learning — not simply master course content. "I've always encouraged students to learn on their own," he says. "I want to be an instrument in teaching students how to learn — not what to learn,

The Atluri File

but how to learn." As a result, he shuns traditional routines of college teaching. In his classes there are no required textbooks; grades — and tests — have been de-emphasized. "I don't think that is the way to inspire students," he says. "A Chinese proverb says that any fool can ask more than the wisest man can answer. The purpose of an exam should not be to tell students they are stupid." These unconventional notions about teaching brought Atluri a Distinguished Professor Award in 1986. Yet inspired teaching is just one part of his career. Atluri has won similar applause for his distinguished research — as well as his long list of books, papers and presentations. While some colleagues argue over the relative importance of teaching, research and scholarly writing, Atluri insists all three are necessary to truly understand and teach a subject. "Good research is essential to good teaching," he explains. "You have to keep up with what is going on in a particular discipline in order

1966: Receives master's degree in aerospace engineering from Indian Institute of Science. 1969: ScD in aeronautics and astronautics, Massachusetts Iastitute of Technology. 1969-71: Research associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1971-74: Assistant professor, University of Washington. 1974: Joins Georgia Tech as associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. 1979: Named Regents' professor of mechanics. 1986: Receives Georgia Tech Distinguished Professor Award and Outstanding Faculty Research-Author Award. 1988: Receives Monie Ferst Memorial Award for Sustained Research from Sigma Zi.


GEORGIA TECH • Winter 89

VMttenbyJohnTooa to convey that in the classroom." By that measure, Atluri is unquestionably qualified to convey the concepts of computational mechanics. With more than $10 million in research support awards in the past five years alone, Atluri ranks as one of Georgia Tech's most prodigious researchers. He leads projects looking into subjects as diverse as space station structures, new types of tank armor, fracture of metals and composites — and even how the brain suffers injury in auto accidents.


omputational mechanics is a relatively new science in which Atluri has become a nationallyprominent leader responsible for pushing forward its cutting edge. Computational mechanics uses large-scale computers to simulate physical processes such as the flight of aircraft, the vibration of a complex structure — or even the movement of delicate brain tissues. Through mathematical formulas manipulated by the computers, researchers can study complex physical processes without actually creating them. "Computational mechanics allows you to test full-scale systems in a scientific sense without building a prototype and spending an enormous amount of manpower and resources," he explains. "If you are building a fighter aircraft, there is no substitute for testing it, but you can assess all its performance characteristics through a computer model." In many cases, computational mechanics provides data more accurate than could be obtained by traditional means. In other cases, this simulated world of mathematical formulas and high-speed computers


Tech's AdurL From "gutfeelings" and meticulous research, he's learned techniques for teaching

allows experimentation that could never be done in the real world. The proposed space station, for example, will be built in the weightlessness of space from components so delicate that they would be unable to support; their own weight on earth. Yet the structure must provide a stable and controllable platform for scientific experiments or military operations. "The design of these structures is radically different," Atluri points out. "There is no way we could generate data on these structures by testing them on the ground." As the cost of computing power declines, more and more experiments are moving to computer work stations. But Atluri acknowledges there are some areas where computers may never intrude."Ultimately,

man is the biggest loop in the system, and there is no way to model the man-machine interaction," he notes. Computers may also never replace the "gut feeling" that comes from watching air flow over a vehicle in a wind tunnel — even though the computer may provide more accurate data at a lower cost. But Atluri's research includes an educational component. Computer programs developed to design space station stmctures helped students win first place awards in bridge design competition two years in a row. And computer simulations possible through computational mechanics may one day help sophomore engineering students better understand difficult courses in dynamics, statics and mechanics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has


been developing such educational aids, and Atluri hopes to build on that work for Georgia Tech students. Teaching, research and scholarly writing might seem like more than enough for any one person. But Atluri — though born in India — is also concerned about Georgia Tech's impact on his adopted home state. He would like to see more bright, young engineers stay in Georgia. "Education cannot be simply a refinement of the soul," he argues. "It's not enough to make better citizens out of our students, but we should also teach them how to take their experiences into society." With Dr. Atluri as role model, the future seems to be in good hands . • John Toon is assistant director of research communications at Georgia Tech. GEORGIA TECH • Profile: Atluri


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Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol. 64, No. 03 1989  

A publication of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.