Readers respond to letters from the October and May 2004 issues.

January 2005

Regarding Mr. Ken Ramsay's comments in the January 2005 issue, the HP21 was not the first HP handheld calculator with trig functions. The HP35 was the leader of the pack in this respect. If I can remember that far back, I think it came out in early 1972. The HP45 soon followed in 1973 and was thought to be the ultimate in a handheld calculator that incorporated more than one storage register, rectangular/polar functions and degrees, minute and second conversion features-to mention just a few.

In 1974, the HP65 came out with more features, the most prominent being the use of program cards in a card reader. The HP21 came out in the mid-1970s soon followed by the HP25 and HP25C. The HP25C was the first continuous memory calculator. Every-thing thereafter was uphill all the way with the HP products.

Charles L. Dowdell, LS

May 2004
Letters to the Editor

I just finished reading "Letters to the Editor" in the May 2004 issue and feel I must add my experiences to those printed in that issue. I have [more than] 25 years of surveying experience and am a PLS in the state of Arizona. My wife and I moved to New Mexico three years ago due to my wife receiving her PhD and accepting a position at the University of New Mexico. I inquired about getting my license here and was told I could not become a PLS in New Mexico unless I received a four-year surveying degree from an accredited college. For me, this meant having to move to Las Cruces to attend New Mexico State University, which was impossible for my wife and me. The treatment I have endured from potential employers here has been degrading. I have been told that I would have to start at a salary that is less than I made 10 years ago in Arizona before I was a PLS. The reason given was that I "had to prove myself" before they would pay me what I was worth. Excuse me, but I took and passed the same test that they took. Verifying that I did indeed have my Arizona license should have been all that was necessary "to prove myself."

I did accept a position at a salary less than I expected but I left after only two weeks because I got shoved into a makeshift work area, had to sit in a broken chair (I was told it would be replaced on my first day), and the other New Mexico PLSs in the office "talked down" to me like I was a rookie. I am now out of the surveying profession with no plans to return unless I am able to become registered here in New Mexico. I don't know who first had the bright idea to require four-year surveying degrees to be eligible to take the PLS exam, but they sure didn't think it through and consider all of the consequences. As for the poor guy from Kansas leaving the profession due to the low pay, I can sympathize.

I know everyone wants to upgrade the survey profession and how it is perceived by clients and the general public-perhaps this was the thinking behind the four-year degree requirement to become a PLS. Why anyone would get in debt to obtain a four-year survey degree is beyond me. Upon graduation you more than likely would be offered employment at no higher than a junior party chief position. Clients and developers have had and still enjoy the upper hand. When clients accept bids for surveying on a project there will always be a surveyor who will "lowball" everyone else by a substantial margin. Even if the client gets "burned" by shoddy work, they will likely choose the low bidder again and again just to save a few bucks. Until all surveyors can stick together and force clients to pay what a good surveyor is worth, I don't see it getting any better in the future.

Kenneth Klauss
New Mexico (Arizona PLS)