@Rick: $64 is a bit pricy for abook, but the next time you come to Huntsville can you bring your copy of Analog Circuit Design: A Tutorial Guide to Applications for me to look at and make a buying decision ... I must admit that I want one of the thermometers from the front cover myself.
Re the Firefox books -- do you have these also? If so, can you breing those up for me to take a look at also?
I once had a RadioShack salesperson tell me that the 12-gauge zip cord I was looking for, to use as a speaker cable, had "more resistance" than the typical 18-gauge stuff they normally sold for such purposes.
I remember going to a Radio Shack store several years ago when I was in a big hurry to get a failed circuit board back in service. I ran into the store and asked where the Operational Amplifiers were. The salesperson exclaimed "Sir- ALL of our amplifiers are operational!!" (true story).
Yep that happens because the store owner isn't an enthuiast himself, but instead just wants to "run a store of some sort to make money" and then employs people that are just place fillers, people without an engineering soul.
I have always considered Bob Dobkin and Jim Williams to be two legends in the world of analog design. They both have a way of making complex ideas understandable without trying to impress me that they are smarter than me. Obvoiusly, they ARE smarter than me (by a LONNGG shot). Bob Dobkin along with Jim Williams (posthumously) published the book Analog Circuit Design: A Tutorial Guide to Applications. This is a WONDERFUL book that is chock-full of helpful information. You can tell you're in for a great ride before you even open the book- just take a close look at the rather unique digital thermometer on the front cover. Look here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0123851858/ref=pe_309540_26725410_item_image
There's something about the construction of the thermometer that makes me realize that if it's OK for these geniuses to build something like this, then maybe some of my "breadboards" weren't so bad after all. I wish I had one of these thermometers hanging on my office wall.
There's a volume 2 of this book available and I intend to order one in the next day or two.
While we're on the subject of losing the secrets of the masters, the series of Foxfire books comes to mind. Sure, they're not technical, and many of the authors of the Foxfire books may not be "masters" in the traditional sense, but there is a treasure trove of backwoods information that, had these books not been published, would already have been lost forever. Even though much of the information contained in these books - like how to skin a squirrel or how to manage a hive of bees - will never be of practical use to most of us, just leafing through the articles seems to calm the soul and remind us how resourceful we can be when we really need to.
@Max....and Karen.....flattery will get you everywhere!
But I wonder if I would want to live in a post-apocalyptic society. If everyone pulled together it would be a great way to start afresh. But I fear it would quickly degenerate into a dog-eat-dog kind of society where those who had or could make guns and other weapons would have the upper hand. So, as you pointed out elsewhere, the main skill would be protecting yourself from the other survivors. The guy in your referenced story Silly Asses below had it right, I fear.
It's always bugged me that the social progress of the human race has nowhere near kept up with its technological progress. We need some serous pruning I fear....