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Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!

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Duane Benson
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
Duane Benson   1/27/2011 3:51:14 PM
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Jeri Ellsworth and Chris Gammell, over on Twitter, have put together a design contest (www.555contest.com) for the 30 year old 555 timer. Following the progress of the contest has been a bit of a "madeleine moment" for me. It takes me back to the days when I was just learning electronics. Incidentally, back then I had quite a supply of fahnestock clips myself. I think I still have a few in a parts drawer someplace. The iconic parts buried in the depths of my cobweb-infested brain would be the 555, 741, 7408, 2N2222, 1N914. I think the first digital thing I did anything with was an inverter built with a 2N2222, a couple of resistors and an LED.

Brian Fuller2
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
Brian Fuller2   1/27/2011 6:25:15 PM
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Not only has Mr. Schweber managed to use Proust and Madeleine in the same headline, he used the word "venerable" to describe the 555 last year. He's on a roll! Thanks for the heads-up, Dunae. Chris reached out to me on Twitter and I have neglected to follow up...until now.

Brian Fuller2
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
Brian Fuller2   1/27/2011 6:25:35 PM
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That would be "Duane." Apologies!

BicycleBill
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
BicycleBill   1/27/2011 7:37:15 PM
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Ah, the 2N2222...and then there is the 2N3904. Both are still very available, BTW. Brian: "venerable" is one of my favorite big words--but I must remember not to ever cross you,you have a very good memory!

rpcy
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
rpcy   1/27/2011 9:03:42 PM
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Here's mine: wire-wrapping. I was cleaning out a tiny corner of the workshop when I ran across a wire-wrapped board, and suddenly realized I have a large skill set that the world no longer needs. I can put three reliable wire wraps on a single post, for example. I can unwrap a connection and rewrap using that same wire (but only once; after that the darn wire is too susceptible to breaking.) I can use wrap and unwrap tools, as well as a wire-wrap "gun". If the world ever comes back to wirewrap technology, it will beat a path to my door. Meanwhile, I'm not holding my breath.

zeeglen
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
zeeglen   1/30/2011 4:31:37 PM
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Back when I was a young teen a neighbour gave me a breadboarding system consisting of 1 foot square plexiglass plates drilled with holes that would accept press-in rivets to hold Fahnestock clips. I think this was made by DeVry as part of their home learning courses. Cleaning out the garage I stumbled across some old 5.25 inch floppies and a length of 8 level punched paper tape. The floppy drive is long gone, but I have some fond memories of those "tickertape" celebrations on the last day of college terms.

Bob Lacovara
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
Bob Lacovara   1/30/2011 9:53:55 PM
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I have in my toolbox a curious plastic tool. It seems at first glance to be a plastic hex wrench. But it has a curious feature. Each end of the tool has two hex drive areas: one is smaller than the other, and is nearer the tip of the shaft. If you have ever aligned an "All-American Five" you know precisely what this is. It's a tuning tool for IF transformers. Some of these transformers had two ferrite cores, one below the other in the center of the winding. If you wanted to adjust the lower one without turning the equipment over, you used the this tool to put the adjustment tool through the upper ferrite, down into the lower ferrite, which could then be adjusted. My old adjustment tools haven't been used since I aligned a Korean-war vintage communications receiver made by Motorola sometime in the early 80's. They will be in my toolbox when the day comes that one of my kids looks inside while cleaning things out, I think...

David Ashton
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
David Ashton   1/30/2011 11:47:18 PM
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Punched paper tape...that brings back memories for me. I cut my teeth on teleprinters during my training...see http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/pop-blog/4212208/Practical-Jokes-Creed-7B-teleprinter And we used to have fun with that paper tape. I was cleaning out my toolbox years ago and found a roll of tape which I think had "Eskimo Nell" on it (ancient equivalent of the floppy disk!) Of course I had nothing to read it with.... If you were clever you could work out the characters to use the punched dots in dot matrix form and so the tape had readable characters on it, like the modern LED message boards. I remember making "Happy Birthday" tapes on more than one occasion. You could even send them across the world if you sent them as a message and the other end put their punch on. They'd print complete gobbledegook but the tape looked great. Our tapes were the 5-level ones, as our teleprinters used the baudot code rather than ASCII. The punched out dots were called "Chads". When I was training they warned us against selling the punched paper dots as confetti... they are so small they can get in people's eyes and cause problems. Someone invented "Chadless" tape, which had a "C" punched out instead of a full circle "O". The readers at the time consisted of small metal spring loaded rods which either pushed through the hole or couldn't. So chadless tape was fine with them, the little "C" part just lifted like a trapdoor. When optical readers came it couldn't be used. Ah, memories.... Sometimes I wish I could erase all this useless information and fill my brain up with more relevant stuff....

ReneCardenas
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
ReneCardenas   1/31/2011 7:22:35 PM
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A 10MHz Scope Heatkit brought me the joy of my first completed and funcitonal complex intrument. In addition, the awesome documentation of early Tektronix scopes gave the deep appreciation of silver soldering and high reliability solder connections. Great memories ... will never leave ... and I do rather keep them, than let them fade away.

zeeglen
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re: Move over, Monsieur Proust: I just had my own "madeleine" moment!
zeeglen   2/1/2011 5:30:49 AM
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Yes, I remember the 5 level Baudot machines from my ham radio and Arctic DEW Line days, and made "Jingle Bells" paper tapes for the bell on the Model 19 (I think?) teleprinter with the shiftable print carriage. Do you remember that printer joke that started with "Some girls like to hug and kiss..." ? No information is useless. Punched paper tape and punched cards were a very useful storage medium up until magnetic and sand processing technologies matured. Optical paper tape readers were a brilliant innovation that made use of a technology that had never been designed for optical. Every step leads to something better. Today we stand on the shoulders of giants.

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