Board of Directors
Optex Communications Corp.
2 Research Court
Rockville, Md. 20850
You could say Arthur Bushkin knows a happening thing when he sees it. He was president of Bell Atlantic's video services division when the company broke the champagne bottle on the hull of Stargazer, an interactive multimedia system. This was the time, a year or so ago, when Bell was testing whether people at home were more inclined to order a movie from the phone company over telephone lines than pack up and drive to Blockbuster.
In June, however, he bailed from Bell Atlantic. "I wanted an opportunity to become more entrepreneur-ial," said Bushkin, who earned computer science engineering degrees from MIT. In his role as president of Galway Partners L.L.C., a Washington-based investment
house and merchant bank, he hit
on a Rockville company in the research stage of developing a major milestone for the consumer and commercial optical disk market: a recordable disk and drive system.
The company, Optex, calls its system the "electron Disk" and claims it will forever change the VCR, CD-ROM and personal computer storage markets. It would be able to hold from five to 10 gigabits of information -- voice, video or data -- plus open up the ability to record to disk, in essence taking the ROM out of the CD-ROM format. Metaphorically, "It's the equivalent of going from a single family dwelling to building a multistory apartment building in the same geography," Bushkin said. Optex is now moving into prototypes.
Bushkin made the jump from Bell Atlantic to Optex's board because of electron Disk's potential, and because he sees long-term opportunity in storage come the dawn of digital convergence. "There are three fundamental areas that have been gating items in the development of computers and communications," he said. "First, the microprocessor and the microchip. Second, communications theory -- the evolution of fiber optics and the ability to transmit more information more quickly. Third is storage, where there has been no significant development in the last decade."
Hence the need, when speed begins to satisfy consumer desire, for storage to balance the communications equation. "There's an understanding there will be servers, with movies and a set-top box, but they won't have enough memory," he said.