I have a long and varied background. I won't go into it too much here, as it's mostly not pertinent. The thing is that, like many other engineers, I've picked up plenty of things over the years that have stuck with me and let me connect some of the dots. It's interesting to pick up things we consider common sense and later learn we're members of a small minority who actually know these things.
For example, before meeting me, the group of guys who work with me right now had never heard of a threek (a three-tined fork), a twok (a two-tined fork), or a fivek (a five-tined fork). As you may know from an image that's been bouncing around the Internet for a while, a one-tined fork -- or a onek -- is also known as a chopstick.
Getting (slightly) back on the path, I recall my first undergraduate digital electronics lab in which we were told to go breadboard a design. We were to start with a logic function, perform the Karnaugh mappings, and build the circuit using 74LS-series logic. (Does anyone still do this?) We worked up our circuits and then be-bopped over to the lab to implement them using real devices.
Now, I most certainly was not the brightest bulb in the room, but I found it more than just a bit amusing when a bunch of my classmates couldn't figure out the relationship between the two items shown below -- a datasheet and a "chip."
On that particular day, I rapidly turned into a lab assistant -- explaining to the younger kids (I had well more than 6-7 years of experience as a technician at this point) the relationship between a handful of integrated circuits and their related datasheets.
Over time, I've run into plenty of experienced engineers who don't know the things I think I know. This is not to knock on anyone (or tout myself, as you already know I'm a dope). We all have our interests and expertise, and we all have holes in our knowledge. Long gone are the days of the Renaissance Man. The sum of human knowledge has just gotten waay too big.
The end result of all of this is that I've been hankering to make a video (no, not about threeks). You see, in my life, I've been a gearhead, an electronics technician, an engineering student, and an engineer -- each of these for fairly lengthy times. Over these years, I've picked up little tidbits that I'd never really thought about before, but each one opened my eyes to the grand interconnectedness of the world.
I've been wanting to make this video for several years, and I just got around to it. The video covers an interconnected route through semiconductor physics, with slight offshoots to things I find interesting, but get this -- there's (almost) no math.
Yeah, this video covers the most fundamental of concepts without the math to prove it, but I start with the basic PN junction diode and then cover BJTs, FETs, EEPROMs, and CCDS (and their control). I don't know if it's worth anything to anybody, but the most gloriously Magnificent Max suggested that I write something out and present it to the EE Times universe for your amusement.
Primarily, this is for the beginner, and I try to speak in understandable words (even though most of what I spout is usually gibberish). If you have an hour and a half of your life to waste, and you are having problems sleeping, then maybe you'd like to take a look at a fat old man trying to explain some stuff. You might know someone who could actually benefit from watching this video. If you do get to watch the video, I'd be very interested in learning what you think about it.