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This month marks the 25th anniversary of the day I joined the staff of Modern Machine Shop. It was my first writing and editing job and thus a dream come true, at least partially. At the time, I wasn't so sure about concentrating on metalworking and machining. I had no way to judge the lasting appeal of this subject matter or to predict how well I could understand it.
As it turns out, after all these years, the newness has scarcely faded. There's always something fresh to learn about, as the steady stream of advances in technology continues. I've never been without more topics than I could possibly pursue. The challenge of absorbing new ideas is as intense as ever, too.
Since 1980, the changes in metalworking technology have been dramatic, as have those in the publishing business. Just consider that 25 years ago, punched tape was still prevalent for shops with NC. Word processing and digital publishing were in their infancy back then.
Yet certain impressions have not changed for me, and those stand out more prominently than transient developments in the field.
The quality of the people in the metalworking industry is outstanding. It has been a privilege to visit many of them in their shops and plants. That this magazine should serve them well is always a powerful motivator.
This country we live in is great. Going to trade shows, attending press conferences and traveling to shops has given me a glimpse of America's size, strength, unity and diversity. For those who know us only from the outside, the imperfections of our nation are easy to judge too harshly.
The editorial team at Modern Machine Shop has always been superb to work with. To have coworkers who are also friends is a blessing indeed.
Finally, this "Mark: My Word" page has been a monthly fact of my life for 25 years now. Looking back at some of my favorite columns from the past, I find a recurring theme: an appreciation for the inherent creativity in manufacturing. (You can find links to all these oldies in the table below.) There is much to admire in how inventiveness, ingenuity and resourcefulness are applied at every level of manufacturing, from tweaking a setup on the shop floor to developing entirely new parts-making processes. Whatever imagination and creativity I've shown in these pages has been energized by this example.
Many changes lie ahead, I'm sure, but that will keep things new and interesting. I look forward with optimism and good cheer.
|This collection of columns below span the 25-year career of Mark Albert at Modern Machine Shop.|
|The Ugliest Olympian||This Mystery We Machine|
|Gotta Love A Lathe||Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Shops|
|It Takes A Child||The Man Who Left His Shop|
|Fears Good And Bad||Always Take A Window Seat|
|The Old Garage Is Gone||Teachers: Teach Love|
|The Maker's Image|