For someone who says she does not like change, Shirley Huber, office specialist for the Information Management Department, has seen more than her share of it in her 47 years with Los Alamos County.
“I started November 15, 1965,” Huber says without hesitation.
Huber’s first position was as a clerk typist in the finance department. That changed when the county decided to start its own IBM section, the forerunner of today’s IM Department.
When some of the staff went to Zia Company to see the new equipment, Huber began playing with the keypunch machines. That caught the attention of Merle Pawley, who contacted Huber’s supervisor. Huber was trained on keypunch and verifier machines and became one member of the three-person staff in the new IBM section.
Keypunch machines were a critical component in those days. The machines precisely punched holes into punch cards based on what the operator entered. Those cards contained the data the computers processed. Verifiers were used to verify that the correct information was entered on the punched cards.
Needless to say, a lot could go wrong with that system.