Subject:  Deep Thoughts about camo netting assembly
Date:  Thu, 11 Jan 1996 13:33:42 -0800
From:  (some guy)
To:  jwz@netscape.com

I worked at FMC on a robot project to paint camouflage on the Bradleys. The Army is rather strict about what color goes where. The manual way involved putting elaborate templates over the vehicle turning it into a sort of paint-by-numbers thing. The robots were supposed to make this simpler but you had to make sure you were accurate enough! I'll bet the person who makes camo netting has to put the wire ties in precisely the right places. *Really* lousy job.


Subject:  Camo Secrets
Date:  Tue, 23 Jul 1996 07:05:42 -0400
From:  Bill Costello <elvis@n-jcenter.com>
To:  jwz@netscape.com

I'm not sure I should disclose this info, but...ah, why not?

The company I work for might have made your camoflage net. We do that stuff.

Your Deep Thought on the attachment process is not entirely correct. Most of the process is automated. The machine (called an "Attach" machine -- go figure) is awesome, by anyone's standard. Huge, loud, rhythmic...chunk-chunk-boom pause chunk-chunk-boom etc. Inspiration for many an alternative band, I am sure.

Is it a really lousy job? Hmmm. *That* one I definitely leave off.

Nice mannequin page, but I sort of miss the neck-skin already. Surely I'll get over it.


Subject:  Camo Secrets
Date:  Wed, 24 Jul 1996 07:44:13 -0400
From:  Bill Costello <elvis@n-jcenter.com>
To:  jwz@netscape.com

jwz wrote:
>
> Wow. Neat. Tell me more!

The actual manufacturing process is unfortunately, quite classified. I'm lying, of course. It's just boring. Cutting, and sewing, and attaching. Oh my.

The military bought bazillions of these nets over the last couple decades. Did you know they come in color schemes for different environments? Yours looks like Woodland. I've always been partial to Arctic.

The little metal wires had a tendency to come off during net use. Apparently, unexpected pieces of metal falling into certain military items presented a problem. So, we've been making a newer style of net. "Wireless." >> (Attach machine stuff)
> Very cool, I think I want one. You wouldn't happen to have any
> pictures, would you?

Did I neglect to use the word "enormous" in its description? Sorry about that. It's huge. Well over 12 feet high. You could drive a large auto underneath it. Of course, you'd be crushed, since there's no room. Might be better to have someone else drive.

I will try to find a picture. And, (unlikely, but not impossible) I'll find out if anyone ever made an audio tape of it running. Since we've started making the new-style camo, the attach machine has been silenced. Definitely our loss.


Subject:  Camouflage Comments
Date:  Mon, 05 Aug 1996 10:17:24 -0700
From:  William Ross <br@morgan.com>
To:  jwz@netscape.com

Having spent four years in the Army, I enjoyed seeing your camouflage setup at your last office. Made me nostalgic in a weird sort of way.

Camouflage systems are most effectively deployed with what are called "spreaders". These enable one to cover stangely shaped objects without having to hang the netting or drape it over the object to be camouflaged.

One story for you: We had a crew once catch a camouflage net on fire. It burned very quickly and reached an ammunition truck. No casualties, thank goodness, but plenty of fireworks.


Subject:  camo
Date:  Fri, 13 Sep 1996 13:15:21 -0700
From:  Jon Konrath <jkonrath@eve.speakeasy.org>
To:  jwz@netscape.com

I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but I have a friend that spent 5 years applying camoflage netting to M1 tanks in Germany. His main complaint was that the tanks would stop for the evening, they'd spend hours applying the net, then in the morning, they'd have to undo it all and run through the mud for 10 hours or whatever. If you could imagine taking down and re-affixing your netting about 3000 times, that was pretty much his life for a half of a decade. Well, and German beer.