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How it was: The inability to transition from one technology to another

Clive Maxfield
10/25/2011 10:14 AM EDT

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Les_Slater
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re: How it was: The inability to transition from one technology to another
Les_Slater   8/23/2016 11:16:18 AM
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I've always relished the new, was playing with tunnel diodes in '61,integrated op amps in 66, programmable logic (programmable fuse arrays) in '67, computer aided design (all design entry was Boolean equations without regard to available logic function), also '67, designed digital clock/data recovery circuitry in early '72, designed one of first raster scan (core memory) graphic display terminal in '73.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Experience teaching new technology to older engineers
Max The Magnificent   8/23/2016 9:59:02 AM
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@Les: ...Then I told them to forget everything I taught them [...] not everyone was able to make that transition.

It's interesting how most of us have things we are comfortable wrapping our brains around, but how at some stage we seem to run into a wall. My 86-year old mom is now really happy using the iPad I bought her, but she gave up on PCs when she bought a new one that came with Windows 10 -- that proved to be a step too far.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Experience teaching new technology to older engineers
Max The Magnificent   8/23/2016 9:55:29 AM
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@Les: Been retired for 10 years now...

You lucky xxxxxxx person LOL

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Unwanted technology transition
Max The Magnificent   8/23/2016 9:54:16 AM
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@Traneus Rex: ...I find GUIs great for content consumption and for some production (including schematic entry and PCB layout), but I do most of my productive work in text mode.

I started out in interactive time-shgaring mode using teletypes -- then moved to command-line entry (text) mode -- including a simple line editor on a PDP 11/23 (thsi was in 1981 -- I think it was VI but I'ver played with so many editors that I'm no longer sure).

I still remember the first "screen" editor I used -- I loved it compared to line editor mode.

Now I'm a GUI man -- I don't want to ever return to the command line.

Les_Slater
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Experience teaching new technology to older engineers
Les_Slater   8/22/2016 10:30:11 PM
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Been retired for 10 years now, started with the inaugural issue of Popular Electronics, October 1954. It had no articles whatsoever about anything transistor, all tubes. Learned fundamentals, and built projects with tubes, still miss that filament glow. It was a year or so before I bought my first Raytheon CK722, PNP Germanium junction transistor. Was very happy with the low voltages and no filament. The only thing that bothered me was the negative voltage on the collector vs positive on the plate.

Never made it through high school but always welcomed the newest technology. Went from transistors to integrated circuits, analog the likes of the uA709 op amp and then digital.

In 1967 I was working as a junior engineer at Ryan Aeronautical in San Diego. Did not have any serious experience with digital ICs but had knowledge of them when I was asked to teach a course on modern digital logic. Since my department designed military products chose the TI 5400 series as what we would study.

The engineers, about eight of them, had transistor experience with amplifiers, relays, solenoid, bulb drivers and the like. Their logic experience was mostly through relays.

At first walked them through the circuits, discussing the role of multi emitters and threshold voltages, then the output drive and loading issues and even propagation times. It took a while but all the engineers got comfortable tracking signals through the circuits, they were pleased and confident. Then I told them to forget everything I taught them except propagation times. They were told that from now on the circuits would be considered abstract logical functional blocks and we would use logic symbols instead of transistor schematics. That was the hardest part and not everyone was able to make that transition.

traneus
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Unwanted technology transition
traneus   8/22/2016 7:45:52 PM
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Max The Magnificent asked, "Has an unwanted technology transition happened to you?"

My most unwanted technology transition, was gestural user interfaces (GUIs, usually called graphical user interfaces), in particular Microsoft Windows 3.1.

I learned Unix and X in university before encountering Windows at work, so I was used to full multitasking and effective text-mode editing and data entry. Windows 3.1 at work was a big disappointment: single-tasking, so the window behavior had to fake multitasking (this is why Windows was "click to change focus"). I liked Orcad schematic entry for MS-DOS, as I could enter part symbols with a text editor. Windows forced me to use an inferior-to-me gestural data-entry method, using which I was error-prone. I have always had problems with the pointer moving just before I press the button.

I find GUIs great for content consumption and for some production (including schematic entry and PCB layout), but I do most of my productive work in text mode.

Duane Benson
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re: How it was: The inability to transition from one technology to another
Duane Benson   10/25/2011 3:12:27 PM
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When I was in school learning to write software, the professors told us that the software world was transitioning from linear programming to structured programming. I recall programmers struggling with that shift. I worked at a contract software company for a while and saw a few people who could never quite wrap their arms around event driven software. Myself, I had the same struggles when going from structured programming to object oriented programming. I know "object oriented" is still in the vernacular, but I haven't heard the phrases "structured programming", "linear programming" or "event driven" programming in quite a while. Essentially, it's virtually all event driven these days. I'm just not sure if people still refer to it that way.

Max The Magnificent
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re: How it was: The inability to transition from one technology to another
Max The Magnificent   10/25/2011 10:24:23 AM
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I think most of us dislike change to some extent. Even if it’s as simple as not wanting to change operating systems from Windows 98 to Windows XP, or Windows XP to Windows Vista, or Windows Vista to Windows 7. Has an unwanted technology transition happened to you?

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