M. Kent Parsons, Forth, and Failure
Paul A Stokes

First posted
Sunday January 5, 2003 19:44
Updated
Wednesday April 19, 2006 18:35


Friday January 17, 2003 07:34

Sandia Labs department manager M. Kent Parsons assigned Payne the job of porting 8085 Forth to the 8051 microcontroller.

Payne later wrote a book on the port of the operating systsem. You can read about Parsons in the preface of the book.

Parsons is a Ph.D. in material science from the University of Nebraska.

Parsons retired short after Payne was fired.

Parsons is one month younger than Payne so Parsons retired at about 55 years old.

After Parsons retired he joined the Albuquerque Police.

Payne photographed Parsons at about 15:45 this afternoon.

Here's what Payne wrote about Parsons in the preface

Much to department manager Kent Parsons and our sponsor's surprise, we completed our hardware/software project ahead of schedule. Kent served as course advisor for several FORTH courses. He appeared surprised that more staff members did not use this software technology.

Our sponser was the National Security Agency.

Parsons wanted to move up in Sandia management.

Parsons sent Payne's division supervior, Hal Pruett, several time to tell Payne that we needed to promote Forth technology at Sandia.

So Payne wrote an article for IEEE Software!

Parsons wanted to use what we did successfully as his ticket upward.

But, alas, not everyone thinks Forth technology is the best. Like Microsoft which finally got out of Forth technology with Visual Basic 6.0.

Payne FOIAed Sandia for all documents containing his name.

Sandia responded by giving Payne all of the documents from Sandia Labs including interviews with Parsons. Perhaps these should be posted?

A buddy advised Payne not to ever interact with Parsons again. But, hey, we wouldn't have gotten the above photo.

But this raises a larger question about Forth software technology.

Forth is the ideas of others. Not one of us should make lots of money while those who do the work go unpaid.

If you try to make lots of money selling Forth technology, then the Forthians will get you.

But if you add your two cents worth to Forth technology, publish or post the source code, then everyone can take what is out there and make money from their consulting businesses. This is why we did what we did.

Holding down software costs with a superior technology [both BASIC and Forth, of course] interactive real time operating system is very important in these troubled times in high tech.

Paul A Stokes

Here's a link to more on Stokes and data authenticators.

And Sandia's seismic system.

Sandia's seismic verification work is no more. Inclusion of the data authenticator may be one reason.

Building crypto devices was merely a job.

Payne much perfers connecting 80C32 micrcontrollers to sensors and PCs over USB, of course!

We really should get these matters settled before they get worse.

OFFICIAL USE ONLY

SANDIA REPORT

SAND91--2201 • UC--706
Official Use Only
Originator Controlled
Printed June 19 1992

Data Authenticator for the Deployable
Seismic Verification System

William H. Payne

Prepared by
Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185 and Livermore, Calitornia 94550
for the United States Department of Energy
under Contract DE-AC04-76DP00789

OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Contains information which may be exempt from public release
under the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552), exemption
number(s) 3 . Approval by the Department ot Energy prior to public
release is required.

Originator: Paul A. Stokes Date: 4/28/92

DESTRUCTION NOTICE

Destroy by any method that will prevent disclsoure of contents or
reconstruction ot the document. (See Sandia National Laboratories
Instructions (SLI) 1008-4,5).

SF 2900Q(8-81)

OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Inspections Work, Local Expert Says

Ex-Inspector: Saddam 'No Threat To Us'

Head of mid-1990s team and retired Sandia worker wants more Senate debate

By JOHN FLECK
Journal Staff Writer

Rushing to war in Iraq would ignore the success of inspections in containing Saddam Hussein's military machine, according to Paul Stokes, the retired Sandia National Laboratories weapons designer who headed up nuclear inspections in Iraq in 1994 and 1995.

In letters written Sunday to New Mexico's two senators, Stokes argues that a public debate, led by the Senate, is needed before we go to war.

"The Senate likes to style itself as the world's greatest deliberative body," he wrote in both letters. "Please deliberate."

Stokes, who spent much of 1994 and 1995 leading international arms control inspections in Iraq, has become a vocal critic of the Bush administration's push toward war.

"I've been as active as I know how to be in trying to slow down the movement toward this war," Stokes said in an interview Tuesday afternoon in his Corrales home.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D- N.M., said he agrees with Stokes that the Senate needs to debate the issue. Bingaman is co-sponsor of a resolution by his fellow Democrats calling for the United States to continue to work through and support international arms inspectors now at work in Iraq.

But Bingaman acknowledged there is little chance the Republican leadership will allow the resolution to come to a vote. And if it did come to a vote, it would likely be defeated, Bingaman said.

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said the Senate already has deliberated. Congress approved a resolution last October giving President Bush the authority to wage war if Iraq does not disarm, Domenici said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening.

"It was unambiguous," Domenici said of the October resolution.

Stokes contends that the international inspection regime in the 1990s was sufficient to dismantle Iraq's nascent nuclear weapons program before the country acquired such weapons.

Stokes said he is confident that, in the years since, the nuclear program has not been reconstituted. The large industrial operations needed to build a nuclear arsenal would be easily detectable, he said.

Stokes said the current debate misses an important distinction between the dangers of nuclear weapons vs. the risks of chemical and biological weapons.

Iraq may very well have developed and hidden away some chemical and biological weapons, Stokes argued. "He might have a few chemical weapons and a few biological weapons. I wouldn't doubt it," Stokes said. "But that doesn't make him a threat."

Other potential enemies - Libya for example - have such weapons, Stokes said.

Experience with chemical and biological weapons in warfare suggests they are not particularly effective, according to Stokes. "Why do you think we quit having them?"

Armed as he is, Saddam Hussein poses no threat, Stokes said. "He's no threat to us. The people in the region don't seem to think he's much of a threat to them."

Lumping chemical and biological weapons in with the far more destructive nuclear weapons under the rubric "weapons of mass destruction" is misleading, St6kes said.

Stokes said that an Iraq armed with nuclear weapons would be a far more serious issue. But he believes the work he and his colleagues did in the 1990s ensures that will not happen.

"We did shut down their nuclear program and confirm that, and I thought that was a pretty important step," he said.

Albuquerque Journal Wednesday March 12, 2003