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Computer programmed to find FOD wins the "Golden Bolt" prize

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- There's a funny thing that I've noticed in life. People tend to gravitate to what interests them the most and actually take on some of the characteristics of their affinities. In this particular case, the connection is rocks and computers. 

On August 12, 1981, IBM introduced to the world, their first personal computer named the "PC". The first IBM PC ran on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor. The PC came equipped with 16 kilobytes of memory, expandable to 256k. The PC came with one or two 160k floppy disk drives and an optional color monitor. The price tag started at $1,565, which would be nearly $4,000 today. 

On Aug. 12, 2009, the 445th Airlift Wing introduced one of their personnel to the foreign object debris busting world. The name of this particular personnel is Shad Lavender. 

Shad Lavender comes equipped with a CPU weighing approximately 3 lbs and is comprised of 60 percent white matter and 40 percent grey matter. The Shad Lavender CPU has a cerebral cortex containing 100 billion neurons, each of which has anywhere between 1000 and 10,000 synapses per neuron, optimized for CPU intensive tasks such as FOD recognition. The Shad Lavender also comes standard with two full motion, three axis traveling arms containing 30 bones each plus associated muscles, blood vessels and nerves. The standard Shad Lavender configuration contains two optical sensors mounted forward of the CPU, each capable of discerning over 10 million distinct colors. The current software installed in Shad has an optimized interface between the CPU, arms and optical sensors with an emphasis on FOD recognition and retrieval. The price of a new Shad Lavender in today's dollars is incalculable due to the vast amount of resources and upgrades that have been installed on him over the past 35 years. 

Less than four months after IBM introduced the PC, Time Magazine named the computer "man of the year". Less than 45 minutes after Shad Lavender discovered the "Golden Bolt", he was named the "445th Maintenance Person of the Day" for his outstanding accomplishment during this morning's FOD walk. 

Congratulations to Shad Lavender and the entire 445th MOC for their FOD busting success this morning. Thanks to everyone else who took time out of their busy schedules to come out and help us with our war against FOD this morning. 

For his efforts, Shad will also receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant (common service center for recharging demanding CPU's such as Shad's), and a certificate of achievement from the friendly folks in the Quality Assurance office.