I've always loved this desk plaque that was originally my father-in-laws, who started out in engineering in the 1950s. It is a treasured item that will be passed down through generations of "pack rats" in the family!
I have my first big digit digital clock of 1981 still clocking at main entrance. I have all my Elektors and those projects stored in various boxes. I love pneumatic PID controllers and analog sample and hold.
I don't know if I'v ever seen a pneumatic PID controller per se, but I guess that depends on what we're actually talking about -- do you mean an electronoc PIC controller that controls a pneumatic system -- or do you mean the entire controller implemented using pneumatic techniques?
@Max: No. It is all pneumatic PID controller. Air is supplied at 15 to 30 psi. You can set P, I, D value for tunning the loop. I worked for Taylor Instruments Inc, Rochester and they manufactured them. As I understand, some organization currently do make them. They are very good for class I hazardous environment. Some pics for them:
The Digital Equipment Corporation , the well known name in computers for decades is history now. So much so that today's generation will hardly have heard this name.
But my IT department's library has a complete rack assigned for the books , manuals of DEC PDP 11 series computer and the associated RSX-11 operating system. It competes for space among the latest additions on HTML, XNL, JAVA and such new additions.
The veterans in our department refuse to dump those obsolete manuals !
You clearly missed out on the PDP-11 era, and you have my condolences. The PDP-11 was IMO the finest of the mini-computers, and I was sad when memory got so cheap that the PDP-11's 16-bit addressing range (w/o segmentation) made it obsolete. PDP-11 was an elegant, very regular architecture that was so simple that PDP-11 ASM programming was often easier than with the high-level languages of the time (this was before Pascal and C). The machine language had such a simple octal coding that many ASM programmers could instantly decode instructions from an octal dump.
And I/O! PDP-11 had very simple memory-mapped I/O. How simple? If you have an extra 10 minutes, go to the IT library, take out the "PDP-11 Peripherals Handbook" and read the chapter called "Programming". It will show you how to do both busy-wait and interrupt-driven programming, in JUST 8 PAGES. Compare that to what it takes to write a device driver for your favorite OS.
Looking at PDP-11 books reminds people like me of the wonderful time between the aloofness of mainframes locked away in glass rooms and the insane overcomplexity of modern desktop computers. The PDP-11 was simple enough that an individual could quickly master it without being bogged down in arbitrary complexity. It was a great time of freedom -- a machine you could fully control before being handcuffed by DRMs and software patents.
You can still get a PDP-11 style joy of simplicity with bare-metal programming on some embedded processors.
Google found me a picture of the 1889 edition that looks the same, though yours is in better condition. So you have 20 years advantage over my 1908 "Electrical Engineer's Pocketbook" (International Corresponence Schools, Scranton, PA) which belonged to my grandfather. However, I bet my book is a lot more useful. For example, it has tables of copper wire resistance (B&S Gauge 0000 is 18,290 feet per Ohm at 50C and weighs 3381.4 pounds per mile), detailed diagrams of electrical wiring (knob and tube, of course), lots of diagrams of dynamo-electric machines (motors and generators) and alternators, and a chapter on "car wiring" -- for streetcars. Way too early for vacuum tubes, but plenty on batteries and electric lamps. (At the time, mercury-vapor tubes had to be tilted by pulling on a chain to establish initial conduction, and then released to form the arc.) There's even a section of first aid, showing how to do artificial respiration by moving the victim's arms.
Lots of testimonals in the back, including one from an iceman who had worked 12-15 hours a day until he took the ICS Interior Wiring Course and was able to earn US$2.50 a day working just 8 hours.
@betajet:Lots of testimonals in the back, including one from an iceman who had worked 12-15 hours a day until he took the ICS Interior Wiring Course and was able to earn US$2.50 a day working just 8 hours.
There is so much to be learned from these old books -- often they provide a unique window into the past.
I also have a load of full-sized hardback books from the 40s, 50s, and 60s describing how to build logic circuits out of vacuum tubes, relays, and even magnetic logic.
FYI, the magnetic logic used the same magnetic cores you find in the old magnetic core stores, but using them to implement logic functions like AND and OR ... and, of corse, since they were cores, each logic gate also acts as a non-volatile memory element...
## You clearly missed out on the PDP-11 era, and you have my condolences.
My first job out of university in 1980 was working on a team designing CPUs for mainframe computers.
Two managest left to form their own startup company and invited me to join them, so my next job circa 1981 was in a small six-person company using a PDP 11/21.
The hard disk drive cabinet was the size of a washing machine. The drive itself comprised a numbrer of platters that (in a glass case looking like a wedding cake wjen removed from the system) that offered only 1MB of storage. We all shared one folder -- files used the 8.3 naming standard (no spaces or special characters). We used the first character of the file name to indicate who owned which files ('M' for "Max"
We had to enter the first-level boot-up sequence using front panel switches.
You're bringing back memories of a tape punching experience. I can't even remember whom I knew with the KSR-33, but I needed to punch tapes to get some bipolar ROMs burned! Hard to believe that that was the only method they accepted!!
Anyway, IIRC, I threw together a current loop interface to my Poly 88, and away we went. Pretty sure I still have the tapes, as well as tapes for some early microcomputer programs, like Microchess ferinstance :-)
Working at Atmel is a bit like being a kid in a candy store in terms of the weird and wonderful stuff I can steal, er, borrow to decorate my desk with. I started small... with a handful of colorful touch sensor boards nabbed from the 4th floor. I then pilfered an AVR man action hero from the creative lab (it is AMAZINGLY awesome and very hunky). Soon after I added a rather exotic looking AVR Dragon board to my collection, a couple of Arduino starter kits, some printouts of the infographics I've designed (on canvas they look super cool), some hexbugs... a half eaten bar of chocolate.
Still doesn't beat the electronic PCB shoe I used to have on my desk at EE Times... but oh well!
I have to post a photo of my office for you to have a better understanding about how it looks, I tried to upload a picture but it is not working. Our manager came lately with a lot of interesting ideas like buying new postage meters and even re-decorating our office with a futuristic design, all of our clients are amazed by the design and told us we have the best looking office from town.
@zeeglen: Engineers do not punch clocks. Nor do we tolerate spamsnakes. What rock did you slither out from under?
What ever rock it was, he's back under it -- I just erased his messages and disabled his account. It amazes me that people think that posting that sort of rubbish in forums like thsi will actually result in sales ... grrrrr
January 2016 Cartoon Caption ContestBob's punishment for missing his deadline was to be tied to his chair tantalizingly close to a disconnected cable, with one hand superglued to his desk and another to his chin, while the pages from his wall calendar were slowly torn away.122 comments