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Non-fiction - Papers and reports - IT & Telecom - A8640 Test System
Alcatel 8640 Broadband Test System: Connectionless Service Test in B-ISDN
by Ruedi Kälin, Ingrid Von der Marwitz, Giulio Zambon

Publisher: Report - Technische Zeitschrift der Alcatel STR AG, Nr 1-2/1995, 32-40

Click here to read the beginning of the English version of the article.


The Alcatel A8640 was a unique system, capable of testing ATM networks. It had two problems, though:

  1. Its user interface had been designed by engineers who had no idea what "user friendly" meant. As a result, the system was very difficult to use.
  2. The project manager had wanted to do everything at once, which added immensely to the complexity of the system.

As a result, the project was consistently behind schedule and the product was full of bugs.

Dare I say that after I took over the management of software development, for the first time in the life of the project, we delivered a release on time and to customer satisfaction?   :-)

In any case, at the time we wrote this report, I was responsible for the embedded (i.e., real-time) part of the software, Ingrid was responsible for the host software (i.e., the user interface), and Ruedi was in charge of hardware development. I took over the whole software-development team when Ingrid decided to migrate to the US.