First came the development and marketing of some familiar home electronics, including the videocassette recorder. Then the first consumer video camera. So, it’s no surprise that Bruce Allan is a staunch proponent of the latest high-end consumer technology, digital TV (DTV).
As vice president and general manager of Harris Corp.’s Broadcast Systems Division, Allan is encouraging broadcasters’ development of DTV and its various applications, including high-definition TV (HDTV), and generating acceptance of the new technology in the home. He also helped set HDTV standards as a member of the executive committee of the Grand Alliance.
“I really didn’t get involved with business or electronics until I was at the University of Maryland trying to figure out a career path,” Allan says. “I had parents who were very supportive [and] provided me with a lot of opportunities to learn and travel. So my career in consumer electronics … was a thing that happened as a set of circumstances.”
He began his career at RCA Corp. in 1970, working his way up to a vice presidency by 1985. “RCA and color television, at the time I was coming out of school, seemed like it would be a pretty exciting life,” Allan says.
But it wasn’t just circumstances that brought Allan where he is today. “Bruce is blessed with great intellect. Balance that with great experience and that’s a hard combination to beat,” says longtime business associate and friend Joe Clayton, chief executive officer of telephone and telecommunications company Frontier Corp. Plus, he says, Allan is a “very competent golfer.”
Allan uses that winning combination today to position Harris as a leader in HDTV by addressing customers as partners in developing solutions.
“We’ll have a much better understanding of their needs so we can do a much better job of providing next-level solutions,” Allan says. “Our customers are the ones we are serving. We can make them successful and if they are successful, we will be successful.”
He realizes that as HDTV evolves, the relationship between broadcasters and the consumer market is a “chicken-and-egg” scenario.
“For the consumer to adopt digital television and to adopt high definition television, it’s essential for us all to cooperate,” he says. “We need programming, we need sets and we need them in quantity in the marketplace at the same time. That’s going to happen. It’s going to take some time, but that bridge is happening.”
Harris helped build that bridge at the 1998 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas when Harris and CEMA presented an exhibit called “DTV in the Desert.” There, “broadcasters were in a position to talk first-hand with consumer electronics manufacturers. They tried to create an environment…where they could exchange information. We’ve continued working at that.”
Allan believes digital can be a huge benefit to consumers. “The advent of digital television is opening up a whole new multitude of things among broadcasters and consumer electronics companies in providing the types of services we provide today, but doing a better job of providing them,” he says. Also being developed are new services such as delivering Internet portals, data and multicasting. “It’s just a huge change and the change keeps coming faster and faster’ Allan says.
He also sees a “bright future” for digital radio. As players in that new field duel over setting a standard, Allan says, “The only question is how rapidly the parties can come together.”
As he looks optimistically to the future of TV and radio and the possibilities of new digital media in the home, he also reflects with some sentiment to his childhood, with his father as his role model. (He also has an older brother who is vice president of sales for Lucent Technologies in Korea.).
His father “came to this country from Scotland when he was 19 years old, worked as a carpenter and ended up basically as the head of the union internationally. He spent his whole life supporting his industry, his career and the people he represented. It definitely teaches you a value system.”
He brings that value system to his own family today. He attributes much of his successes to his high-school sweetheart and wife of 30 years, Kathryn. “I have a good family and hopefully we are supportive to our children,” he says.
“I’m pretty easy if I have a good job, a nice home and a golf course. I’m very content,” he says.
Bruce Mckay Allan
Bruce Allan, the vice president and general manager of consumer electronics company Harris Corp.’s Broadcast Systems Division, is a staunch supporter of High Definition Television (HDTV) and serves on the executive committee of the Grand Alliance, which sets standards for HDTV.
We are living in the age of electronics. New cars won’t run without a couple dozen engine and drive train sensors, not to mention the hundreds of electronic connections that make up the audio and electrical circuit systems in any car. Each of these electrical or electronic systems relies on hundreds of electrical connections to perform properly.
Often, these connections will deteriorate over time and create problems that can lead to intermittent or complete electronic failures, which are often difficult to find and repair. We’ve run across a product called Stabilant 22A produced by D.W. Electrochemicals in Ontario, Canada, that may be a long-term fix for this unnerving problem. The product is a liquid surface contact treatment that doesn’t make a good contact better but rather improves older electrical contacts that have deteriorated over time. This is especially true of contacts that operate in high-humidity or corrosive environments. (Beyond that, we highly recommend all of you check out this websites for really-working solution to clean/maintain fuel system – more details, you will be given the list of best fuel injector cleaner here, to use them in your favor.
Perhaps the best part of this treatment is that it doesn’t require repeated applications as do some of the spray cleaners you may have tried. Stabilant 22A is especially useful in low-voltage circuits – automotive computer sensor connections such as throttle position sensors (TPS), manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensors, or even oxygen sensors that operate at less than 5 volts where a signal change of .1 volt is significant. This contact treatment can also be useful on stereo connections, especially between head units and amplifiers where signal voltage is low and there is a greater possibility for distortion. Actually, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential uses for this product in virtually any electrical connection. We’ve discovered that throttle response and driveability improve with cleaning and maintaining the small-blade-type connections on the tops of coils. Stabilant 22A would work well here.
According to the company, this treatment is available through all Standard Motor Products outlets, including Big A, CarQuest and GP/Sorensen stores, although you may have to specifically order the product under the Stabilant 22A Service Kit name. If you can’t find it locally, you can call the company direct at the number given in our source guide. Electrical problems can be some of the most frustrating to uncover, and often these problems are linked to poor connections. By treating these troublesome connectors with a long-lasting surface treatment, you could improve the performance of your electronic gadgets and make your life simpler at the same time.
RELATED ARTICLE: Stabilant 22A comes in a cardboard tube containing a 15-milliliter container of the contact enhancer along with a few cotton swab applicators.
Stabilant 22A is a non-evaporative treatment that improves the signal between most types of electrical contacts. This treatment will not make a new contact better but will improve older contacts that may have deteriorated over time. In this case, we’ve applied it to a troublesome antenna lead. The distortion that had grown in strength over a period of years was immediately eliminated. Stabilant 22A is also great for low-voltage connections like the throttle position sensor (TPS) GM Weatherpak connection on this ACCEL electronic fuel injection system. While there were no difficulties with the connector, improving the signal will prevent problems from occurring that could sideline the car.
1911 OVERLAND OCTOAUTO * More wheels equal a smoother ride, right? That was designer Milton Reeves’ logic when he introduced the 20-foot-long Overland OctoAuto. He also thought using eight fires would allow each one to last longer. Customers didn’t buy it. Reeves displayed the OctoAuto at the very first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. He received exactly zero orders.
1970 CHEVY VEGA * PANICKED BY A FLOOD OF MIDSIZE JAPANESE CARS ENTERING THE AMERICAN MARKET, GENERAL MOTORS RUSHED ITS CHEVY VEGA INTO PRODUCTION. THE RESULT? PERHAPS THE WORST CAR GM EVER BUILT. THE VEGA WAS PRICED RIGHT AND SOLD WELL AT FIRST, BUT NUMEROUS ISSUES FORCED THE MODEL’S REPUTATION INTO A NOSEDIVE. THE CAR RAN SO HOT, IT CAUSED EVERYTHING UNDER THE HOOD TO WARP AND CRACK. ENGINES WOULD BURN OIL OR CATCH FIRE, AND THE HOOD WOULD EVEN COME THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD DURING COLLISIONS. ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE, THE VEGA’S BODY RUSTED SO BADLY THAT ENTIRE BUMPERS WOULD WITHER AWAY DURING CAR WASHES.
1958 ZUNNDAPP JANUS * Germany’s Zunndapp company specialized in motorcycles before jumping into the car business with its 1958 Janus. The results were less than impressive. The Janus traveled at top speeds of only 50 miles per hour, using only 14 horsepower. The rear-facing back seat was an interesting quirk, but it couldn’t save the slow-and-ugly Janus from automotive infamy.
1961 AMPHICAR * Another German gem, the Amphicar is the only amphibious passenger car ever made available to the public. President Lyndon Johnson kept one at his Texas ranch. He’d play tricks on unsuspecting guests by veering toward a lake and yelling: “The brakes don’t work! We’re going in!” He’d laugh when the car then floated onto the water. The Amphicar reached 70 miles per hour on land and 7 miles per hour on water. Unfortunately, the Amphicar battled the one major problem that can sink a floating automobile–leakage.
1966 PEEL TRIDENT * The Peel Engineering Company’s Trident produced little power and a lot of noise. Built on a tiny island between England and Ireland, the three-wheeled Trident stretched only 4 feet 2 inches in length. The interior included two seats covered in a large plastic dome, under which passengers would cook on sunny days. The pull-start Trident never caught on as a popular way to get around, and only 45 were assembled.
1975 AMC PACER * Billed as “the first wide small car,” the Pacer’s width couldn’t fix its gruesome ugliness. Designer Richard A. Teague based the Pacer’s shape on how a football looked as it sliced through the air, but it reminded the public of other things. Unkind nicknames included Hamster Mobile, Moonbuggy, Bubble Car and Egg on Wheels. After six years, the Pacer disappeared from AMC’s lineup.
1981 DE LOREAN DMC-12 * A stainless-steel body, gull-wing doors and rear-engine make the De Lorean easy to recognize. But high. prices, quality-control issues and a severe lack of power made this sports car a flop with drivers. If not for a Cameo as a time machine on wheels in the movie “Back to the Future,” the De Lorean would be long forgotten.
* 1982 CADILLAC CIMARRON In the early 1980s. GM took its Chew Cavalier, slapped on some glitzy accessories, doubled file price and called it a Cadillac Cimarron. Car buyers were not impressed. Sales were slow, despite the sliding glass t “Astroroof” and leather upholstery. GM finally put the Cimarron out of its misery m 1988.
The Fiero’s makers couldn’t decide whether they wanted a sports car or a fuel-efficient commuter: In the end, this lack of identity and severe cost-cutting killed Fiero’s chances at Success. General Motors bought the engines in bulk, which meant they Were of poor quality. The rest of the car was essentially built from GM’s spare parts bin. When the Fiero debuted in 1984, critics called it “overweight and underpowered.” When engine fires became a problem, potential customers found other cars to buy.
Yugoslavia’s Yugo GV entered the United States in 1985 and immediately become the cheapest car available. Prices started at $3,990, but you get what you pay for. Bad brakes, rough transmissions and failing engines made owning a Yugo an unwanted adventure. Insurance companies also frowned upon the Yugo, which hiked up coverage prices. Yugo went bankrupt and quit importing to the U.S. in 1991.
Ugly has a name, and it’s the Fiat Multipla. A second set of headlamps, oversized windows and squatty body made the Multipla look like a misshapen alien spacecraft. Fiat redesigned the Multipla in 2004.
In advertisements, GM called the Pontiac Aztek “quite possibly the most versatile vehicle on the planet.” A sliding cargo door, built-in cooler and air compressor, and the ability to double as a camper helped the Aztek live up to that bold claim. Unfortunately for Pontiac, its Aztek was too expensive and too ugly, The model went out of production in 2005.