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Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher

6/13/2011 02:23 PM EDT
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jimolson
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jimolson   6/13/2011 4:14:29 PM
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In 1972 I was fortunate to do a undergrad student research project under Jim Williams. It was in M.I.T.'s famed Bldg. 20, a World War II wooden shack known as the campus skunk works. Jim's lab in those days looked exactly as it did last week at LTC, cluttered with vector boards, hand-crafted instruments, and vintage Tektronix 'scopes. Whirring away in the corner was a functioning missile guidance computer he purchased from a surplus depot. Jim was addicted to surplus electronic hardware. Over the next two years I showed up at formal classes to appease my M.I.T. faculty adviser and registrar, but my soul lived in room 20B-140 working under Jim. At one point I even slept in the lab on a cot after I was evicted from my apartment, testimony to how comfortable I felt in Jim's learning environment. He believed that taking apart another engineer's handiwork and carefully drawing its schematic with a broad point blue pen was the highest form of flattery. He did it with gusto, often calling me to his bench to highlight the artistry of another analog engineer. As I matured I realized that Jim's greatest skill was communicating effectively with other technical people. He did this in spades. My bookshelves are full of his writings. I will miss my friend and mentor. My thoughts are with his family. I'm eager to contribute to a monument in his honor somewhere in the Valley. My recommendation is a block of granite carved to look like his favorite Tektronix 545 'scope.

vrheaume
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vrheaume   6/13/2011 4:36:35 PM
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Oh my god. Sad news. :(

zeeglen
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zeeglen   6/13/2011 5:20:08 PM
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Darn shame. He will be missed.

patrick.mannion
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patrick.mannion   6/13/2011 5:20:36 PM
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Hi Bill, a terrible loss indeed. As you mention, Jim has a long history with EDN, which over the years became a relied-upon conduit for much of his wisdom. Paul Rako, analog editor for EDN and who has the honor of being able to claim Jim as a trusted friend, provides a fitting reminescence here: http://www.edn.com/article/518496-Analog_guru_Jim_Williams_dies_after_stroke.php

LinearLawDog
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LinearLawDog   6/13/2011 5:21:04 PM
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Jim was a true junk man, like all brilliant analog engineers I have known in my IP law career of 30 years. Knew Jim for a decade, constant as his acoustic thermometer. Will miss burger cruising in his Jag. What a guy, will miss him desperately.

goafrit
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goafrit   6/13/2011 6:41:01 PM
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peace to his soul. peace

Tsantes
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Tsantes   6/13/2011 6:46:19 PM
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When I was managing editor of EDN in the early 1980s, Jim's articles always were must-read for our readership. He was a great guy, a great writer a talented analog guy and will be missed by all.

ROBERT.SWARTZ
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ROBERT.SWARTZ   6/13/2011 8:41:54 PM
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This is sad news indeed. I had the privilege of working for Jim in 1973 as an undergrad at MIT. Jim gave me my first exposure to practical electronic design and started me on a career that has continued since. Much later, I had the considerable good fortune to work with Jim at Linear Tech. Always an electronics super-wizard, Jim also had a charming personality with a wit that would sometimes catch you off guard. Fortunately for the rest of us, Jim leaves behind an archived legacy of contributions to the electronics art. He will be sorely missed.

DavidBeebe
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DavidBeebe   6/13/2011 9:32:38 PM
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I have been priviledged to be a labmate of Jim's for the past 17 years. We wrote app. notes together and repaired test equipment together. Just last Thursday we repaired a blanking pulse problem on a TEK 547 Oscilloscope. He had the required transistor in his desk drawer! He went home just a shade early that day and I never saw him again. I never once received a discouraging comment from him. He was in all ways encouraging to everyone who had some interaction with him. You always went away from Jim feeling somehow smarter and ready to conquer whatever problem you were facing. If somehow I couldn't noodle through the information I was getting from an unruly circuit, I could always talk to him and we would unwind it together. My work world will be different in all ways with him gone.

Joan Morrow Lynch
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Joan Morrow Lynch   6/13/2011 9:43:49 PM
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I was another EDN managing editor lucky enough to have worked with Jim for many years. I cherished our frequent phone calls where nothing was taboo. He made me laugh, and I always hung up the phone with a smile and some new piece of insight. Gone way too soon.

Landman
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Landman   6/13/2011 9:45:58 PM
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This is really sad news. A crushing blow to our hearts. I met Jim in 1989 when I was a newly green engineer at Apple trying my best to absorb as much as I could in analog design. Jim was incredible with his breadth of real world science, physics, electronics, system design, hard core analog design. He was a scientist of the first order. What was amazing beyond even Jim's analog design capabilities was Jim's knowledge of the digital world. Which was an incredible complement to unique system architecture and design. Real world stuff!!!! When I was at Apple, all of the young engineers looked forward to Jim's articles in the trade magazines. We all had our binders to store away these treasures of analog circuits. Now after working at Linear Technology for several years, I have had the priviledge of learning first hand from Jim Williams. In so many ways and with so much value that it is priceless. I guess remembering Jim as the great Analog Guru, The Great Scientist, or the Wizard of Circuits is one thing. But with his patience to teach and share his knowledge, I would like to remember Jim in a simple three word phrae "He was Beautiful" Eddie Beville

bogatin
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bogatin   6/13/2011 9:54:55 PM
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I first met Jim Williams when I was a freshman at MIT in 1972. Jim was a regular visitor to the Molecular Beams Lab, where I worked, because our group shared a common culture with him- "if you really want to understand how something works," he would say, "build it yourself." When I told Jim I had taken my first analog electronics class from Steve Senturia he pulled me aside and told me, "Let me show you what you can really do with an op amp." He took me down to his lab in bld 20. It was filled wall to wall with shelves and tables and desks covered in wires, parts, circuit boards and finished projects. He walked me around the room to show me different projects he was playing around with. He had this foot diameter Styrofoam sphere with thermisters mounting in a 3D grid throughout the volume. Wires came out of the sphere like it was growing hair and each one went to an instrumentation amplifier and drove an LED. He would put a short pulse of current into one thermister to heat it and then point to the LEDs lighting up as the very slow thermal wave passed through the Styrofoam from that tiny heat pulse. He had just built a scale for the Nutrition Department that was so sensitive, it could measure the blood pumping up and down your body. After he filtered out the pulse information, he showed how sensitive it was by standing on the scale, showing his weight, then took a bite out of a donut and showed how much the piece of donut weighed. It is a testament of Jim's infectious enthusiasm and love of all things analog that here I am, more than 35 years later, and I can still remember many of the tricks I learned from Jim Williams, master of the analog world.

bvgirish
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bvgirish   6/15/2011 5:17:33 PM
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Eric, What an insight coming from one great person about another. You will be missed Jim. Girish

old account Frank Eory
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old account Frank Eory   6/13/2011 10:01:03 PM
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He will be greatly missed, but among his many legacies are the thousands of analog circuit engineers who benefited from Jim's knowledge and experience, which he so graciously shared in his writings.

bcarso
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bcarso   6/13/2011 10:19:51 PM
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What a complete shock. I never knew the man but have much appreciated his contributions over the years. Very sad news indeed.

Al Wu
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Al Wu   6/13/2011 11:21:26 PM
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I have known Jim since joining LTC almost 12 years ago. Always encouraging, always helpful, he will be sorely missed. When I would visit LTC headquarters (I work/live in another state), Jim would always take time out of his busy schedule to go out for a bite to eat with me. We'd talk electronics, we'd talk politics, and we'd complain about taxes. It was always fun and insightful. Jim's knowledge of circuits, what's been done in the past and present, I believe is second to none. When we'd talk about some circuit technique, he say so and so did that 30 years ago in such and such piece of test gear. It turns out most of the "new" things we do today are just recycled old ideas. When I used to work at headquarters, Saturday morning trips to the Foothills flea market are some of my fondest memories. I'd always run into Jim there, as he dug through some box of old electronics. Once we found some old, but very fast, pulse generators. The seller didn't know what he had, and Jim and I weren't sure we wanted to buy the two there (one for each of us). The seller tried to encourage a sale by saying the cases for the generators were beautiful, and would make a great flower pot. That sealed the deal and Jim and I "saved" those generator from certain gardening doom. I'm still in shock that Jim is gone. What a loss to the EE community, to LTC, and to all who love and know analog.

Fran Hoffart
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Fran Hoffart   6/24/2011 6:40:07 PM
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For the last 16 years I have had the privilege of working next to Jim, since my lab bench at LTC was next to his, and he spent most of the day in the lab. I could ask him for help on anything and he would drop what he was doing to give me a hand. There would be times when I would buy busted test equipment at the flea market, bring it in the lab, set it on my bench, and by the next morning it would be repaired. Jim loved repairing and restoring test equipment of any kind. He would say that he would pay more for non-working test equipment at the DeAnza flea market than for equipment that was working, because then he could repair it. Jim’s corner of the lab seems empty now, even though every thing is still there as he left it at 4:30 on Thursday. On Wednesday he brought in a compact fluorescent lamp that had failed in his kitchen after 50 hours of use and he asked me to open it up for him. I opened it and handed him the circuit board. Jim spent the next 20 minutes removing every component on that board and testing it on the curve tracer and Ohm meter. Every component checked good. He wasn’t sure why the lamp failed. On Thursday, right before he left work, I jokingly asked him if he was going to going to put the circuit back together. He replied, “Maybe I’ll get to that next week”. Jim will be missed.....

ogpete
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ogpete   6/13/2011 11:28:08 PM
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Jim Williams is high up on a very short list of people who have ever genuinely inspired me. Jim's writings have been a constant companion as well as a source of education and motivation for me in my electronics work and in my spare time for the last 15 years. I never travel without having something Jim wrote in my luggage. I owe this exemplary man a debt greater than I could ever hope to express. Thank you Jim, may you rest in peace.

lurchl
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lurchl   6/14/2011 12:55:10 AM
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I knew Jim when I worked at LTC between April 1999 and January 2003. He was the most knowledgeable and helpful technical person I ever met. I was a little in awe of him at first, having heard about him for many years, but that soon went away. He was a very approachable, friendly person. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him, and an entire generation of engineers who'll never know him will be the poorer for it. Mark Bohrer

rcommins2
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rcommins2   6/14/2011 2:21:28 AM
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OMG, another Analog Wizard of Silicon Valley has moved onto the Great Analog Plane in the sky. He will be missed by many people and many Analog Engineers and Designers will mourn his passing. RIP Jim Rich Commins R&D Design Engineer (35 years)

Growl
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Growl   6/14/2011 2:37:22 AM
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I have only known Jim from his writings and technical articles but I greatly learned and inspired from them. Very sad news indeed!

David Ashton
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David Ashton   6/14/2011 4:01:53 AM
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Never knew Jim, though I do recall seeing his name on LTC app notes. But what I love is the way his workbench looks just like mine! What a Guy!

Neo10
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Neo10   6/14/2011 5:33:27 AM
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Not heard of him but really sad to see such a person who influenced so many engineers out there to be not amongst us. But the great thing is he has passed the torch burning bright to his fellow engineers to pass it on to the future and he lives through his work and memories.

Jayna Sheats
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Jayna Sheats   6/14/2011 5:45:27 AM
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I am far from an electronics designer but I do know his name; as a graduate student in chemistry trying to control the temperature of my experiment I read and studied very closely a paper he wrote in some trade journal in the 70s about temperature control. I remember it being well written and very helpful.

kvasconcelos
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kvasconcelos   6/14/2011 11:01:01 AM
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I am still stunned. When I started at LTC 22 years ago, one of my jobs was turning Jim's 3d air soldered ciruits into a pc boards he could show around. I learned how to appreciate analog design from Jim. He made working in LTC's lab one my fondest memories. I remember his telling the story of when he used to design missle guiudence systems and a customer called with a problem. Jim stopped the guy in mid sentence and asked the customer "First question-which way is the missile pointed?", or how he would be taking a shower get an idea and start drawing the design on the steamed up shower door. We will all miss you Jim.

Merch27
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Merch27   6/14/2011 12:31:48 PM
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Ah, this is a sad day. Jim had a passion for his work that was infectious and was the most upbeat and positive person I have had the pleasure to work with. A little mischief and madness made the day go faster (and some people a little nervous), but he accomplished so much all the while chattering on about interesting stuff. The world is a better place because of Jim, and it was a special honor to have known him.

Swamp
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Swamp   6/14/2011 1:25:40 PM
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Damn! -what a huge loss! He was the best! Jim was one of those very, very rare breed who was extremely intelligent in a wide range of subjects, but humble and patient AND could tirelessly communicate those thoughts and ideas to others in a logical, common-sense manner. His insights, technical articles and seminars and occasional visits to our company will be sorely missed. Jim was one of the guys out there we affectionately referred to as an FW, an F-in' Wizard. RIP Jim -you will be greatly missed! :(

KengLy
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KengLy   6/14/2011 2:10:31 PM
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Jim was the great at explaining complex analog circuits in the most easy to understand way. His app notes are more valuable than most EE text books. Although I never personally met Jim, I will always remember and appreciate him and his contributions to the EE community. His hand-drawn comics at the end of his app notes were the best. He will be sorely missed.

MajesTEK
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MajesTEK   6/14/2011 3:11:20 PM
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Very sad news indeed. Haven't met him but sounds like he was a fine gentleman and a mentor. The world has lost a great asset and a friend to many as it seems. Take care.

ovf
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ovf   6/14/2011 7:04:57 PM
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Many times Jim's circuits inspired and teached me.

Doug21201
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Doug21201   6/14/2011 7:35:04 PM
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I first met Jim when he was consulting in the Boston area and needed some help squeezing the last bit of performance out of one of my company's products. Over time, we got to know each other pretty well, even after he moved West. He knew I was a radio ham, and he understood enough of that hobby to respect it. We took turns playing planks on each other, and occasionally on the entire analog industry. When we were both writing a lot of articles in the 80s, we had a competition to see who could include the oldest reference in the bibliography. I got as far back as an 1868 paper by Lord Kelvin on resistance measurement; he topped that by citing an Isaac Newton paper from about 1700 on the effect of pulse on accurate human body weight measurement. Any time I was in the Silicon Valley area, we'd connect for a meal and a tour through the "junk stores" (surplus electronics dealers), looking for oddball parts or old arcane test equipment. We'd swap industry gossip and compare notes on families (our sons, both named Michael, are about the same age). The last of these visits was just two months ago - there was no hint it would be our last. He was a good engineer, good man, and good friend. I am better for having known him, and I will miss him sorely.

PierreBTOL
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PierreBTOL   6/14/2011 7:54:58 PM
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Very sad day for his familly... Jim's clever analog electronics inspired me for many years.. From a french analog engineer.

daniel.f.martin
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daniel.f.martin   6/14/2011 9:34:48 PM
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Among the 15 entries on Wikipedia, none on our Jim Williams. Gosh, are we a sad lot! Please, anybody knowledgeable enough to put the right words? Thanks P.S: Bob Widlar and Bob Pease are in.

AnalogAficionado
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AnalogAficionado   6/14/2011 10:37:32 PM
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Although I never met Jim, I consider him one of my personal heroes, and a guiding influence in my career as an electrical engineer. His many writings were a great source of inspiration and instruction, and remain a constant reference in my work. His legacy shall live on in those of us who continue to practice the art of analog design; drawing upon his wisdom, and studying his work with the same fascination and reverence he so often expressed in his own examination of predecessors' work. As we stand today on the shoulders of giants, Jim shines brightly among them. Rest in peace, good fellow!

aefrgqergqwergqerg
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aefrgqergqwergqerg   6/15/2011 2:18:22 AM
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So sad, rest in peace noble soul.

allananthony
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allananthony   6/15/2011 7:56:51 AM
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This is very sad news indeed. I just saw him four months ago mulling around his section of the lab on a Saturday working on something, no doubt interesting. The man had passion for analog and his workbench reflected it.

RobTheNob
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RobTheNob   6/15/2011 9:13:28 AM
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An inspiration. I learned an immense amount from Jim's app notes and articles. The methodologies I absorbed in the process have helped me through any number of difficult design challanges. I never knew Jim but there were times that he almost seemed to be looking over my shoulder. I did see him many years ago at an LTC seminar in the UK. His 30 minute presentation + Q & A were, if you will excuse me, electrifying. I hope you are still at the controls of a big DSO in the sky Jim. Farewell

tarikh
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tarikh   6/15/2011 10:39:47 AM
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I've been a fan for decades and Loved the things you've done over the years. We'll miss you, Jim. Tarik

audiopip
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audiopip   6/15/2011 12:13:40 PM
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Very sorry to hear this news. Although we never met I felt like I knew him through the often humourous, well written and interesting application notes he authored. RIP Jim.

John L.
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John L.   6/15/2011 12:34:01 PM
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I first met Jim in the late 60's at MIT's building 20. I was wondering the halls and banged into Jim and we have been friends every since. I spend many hours in the lab in building 20 and learned from one of the best. He was a great friend and mentor and he will be truly missed.

sreaves22645
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sreaves22645   6/15/2011 1:05:07 PM
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I met and conversed with Jim on many occasions. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met and certainly top shelf as a designer and fan of "Beaverton Hardware". I think he knew more about the Tek 547A and how to use it better than any other engineer I have ever met. I will remember him always. Sam Reaves W3OHM

Mongo647
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Mongo647   6/15/2011 2:43:48 PM
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I had been rereading LTC app notes lately where Jim was at least one author, and evidence of his wit is obvious - examples from LTC AN 86 Note 5: "One wonders what Lord Kelvin's response would be to the digitization of (Kelvin Varly dividers) his progeny. Such uncertainties are the residue of progress." Note 8: "Establishing and maintaining confidence in a 1ppm linearity measurement is uncomfortably close to the state of the art..." The man was not shy about using a footnote or appendix if it was needed. I was educated and entertained by this man and his gracious contributions to not merely his employer's documentation, but the state of the art. Thank you Jim.

AEdesign
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AEdesign   6/15/2011 3:29:10 PM
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I couldn't stand it. I had to set the picture of his workbench as my wallpaper background. I didn't know him but he has vindicated my less than pristine workbench. After reading all the comments I sure wish I could have talked with him just once. LC/AE

BicycleBill
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BicycleBill   6/15/2011 3:57:12 PM
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Re the photo: that is NOT a staged, art-director's concept of what an engineer's workbench SHOULD look like--that is what it DID look like--I saw it many times.

Glen Brisebois
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Glen Brisebois   6/15/2011 9:27:57 PM
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One of the things that made Jim's articles such a pleasure to read was his vocabulary. A long time wasn't just a "long time", it was "protracted". When he reviewed an article for me back in 2005, he called my attitude towards skin oils "cavalier". (I changed that section.) Such examples of vocabularic wonder abound (see, I can't fake his style). Goodbye Jim, and Godspeed.

NevadaDave
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NevadaDave   6/16/2011 11:30:42 AM
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Wow... When I read the headline, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Jim's articles have been a continuing source of information and just plain things that make you go, "Hmmmm..." I suppose I identified with him in particular because despite his lack of a formal EE degree, he showed that experience, intelligence, and excitement about electronics can take you to the heights of recognition by your peers. We will certainly miss the brains & talent of this great engineer!

I_O
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I_O   6/16/2011 1:12:04 PM
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For the past 25 years, well since I started out in electronics, seeing the name Jim Williams on a data sheet or application note meant quality and credibility. He was one of the reasons why so many designs that I worked on contained LT parts. A terribly sad loss.

_hm
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_hm   6/16/2011 1:45:37 PM
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I will miss Jim very much an my heartfelt condolence to his family. I designed many products for Industrila Instrumentation from Jim's black box solution and I communicated him when he was with Burr-Brown. I remembered his XTR103 and XTR101 products from Burr-Borwn.

waghorncp
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waghorncp   6/16/2011 1:53:52 PM
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the very epitome of all thats good in analogue. the man is a world star -so sad hes gone

tekwatcher
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tekwatcher   6/16/2011 2:02:37 PM
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Jim left us this message: Don't go into engineering! You will only toil as a slave for others, accumulate untold unpaid overtime hours, deal with nasty supervisors, suffer extreme schedule and budget pressures, then DIE of a stroke at an early age! Had Jim been a wine grower, he would have made it to 80+ and enjoyed all the great tastes of the wine of life. Well, he had his passions. Amen.

Doug21201
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Doug21201   6/16/2011 2:10:02 PM
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Last time Jim and I hung out (2 months ago), he commented "I'm 63, in good health, love what I do for a living, work with great people, and have a great family. Life is very very good." Sorry, tekwatcher - take your trolling elsewhere and don't disrespect our friend.

gerson008
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gerson008   6/30/2011 2:09:15 PM
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No Jim never leave us this message, only you did. Maybe you should considering merchant banking!

Philip Mandel
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Philip Mandel   6/16/2011 2:19:54 PM
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Crying freely remembering my friend through this wonderful article and the heartfelt comments. Particularly sad that I didn't spend more time with him in the last 5-10-20 years. Uncountable numbers of electrical engineers, especially analog nerds like I was (now retired), have been influenced and will continue to be influenced by Jim. Indescribable, his influence on the world of precise, robust electronic design - on top of being a model human being of the highest quality, exquisite communicator, humble almost to a fault. I, too, had the privilege of labbing with him in Building 20 at MIT back in the '70s, as well as working briefly with him at LTC. Further, I enjoyed numerous telephone conversations when I was working elsewhere and needed help making circuits behave better. Always generous with his time, patient with my sometimes delayed uptake, and that hint of a southern Virginia drawl. As Jim would say to conclude any conversation, "Bye-bye."

peralta_mike
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peralta_mike   6/16/2011 2:31:13 PM
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One of the best Analog Designers the world has ever known. Tremendous insight in things analog. I have some of his very detailed app notes and articles that have been a primo guide to analog designing. Jim took great care to pay attention to details and this made him a first rate analog designer. A true lover and expert of the analog design craft.

JMJM
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JMJM   6/16/2011 3:34:54 PM
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The engineer's engineer and mentor. I continue to find new insights every time I read or reread one of his publications. Still have one of his little hand made avalanche pulsers he gave out at an LTC seminar in North Jersey several years ago for answering what the 'PDP' in DEC's minicomputer line stood for. Thank you Jim for helping to keep the satisfaction and fun in designing alive.

Nate Ocean
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Nate Ocean   6/16/2011 7:41:15 PM
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Jim Williams's passing came far too soon. He was a man of enormous talent, insight, and generosity. I'd occasionally run into Williams at Haltek Surplus in Mountain View, where he typically was scavenging for Tek parts or obscure electronic components. The state of analog electronics was significantly enhanced because of his contributions. He will be sorely missed.

BRS2
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
BRS2   6/16/2011 8:37:26 PM
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I also worked in Jim's lab for a few semesters. There was something I wanted to do and his lab was a place to do it. He was friendly enough and he would listen if you had a problem, although sometimes his directness could be intimidating. (And maybe I was just stubborn myself.) The selftaught man in him was quite strong then. From the other posts it's clear he mellowed later. He had gotten a surplus Minuteman missle flight computer and couldn't quite figure out what to do with it. It had a really small memory (even by early '70's standards) on a rotating drum that would hum smoothly and sound inspiring. Not sure what ever happened there but I think he also got a 2nd one later. When he needed money he used to build a clock of some sort with nicely exposed circuitry and eventually some rich guy would buy it. I think his girlfriend/wife (don't remember the status exactly) was in art so that got him access to a gallery. I'm glad to find out he had a good life; Yeah I'll miss him too.

R_H
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
R_H   6/17/2011 5:54:24 AM
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Jim was an icon. He wrote superb articles with humor and insight. His app notes taught techniques and how to think as well as what to think about. I was just reading his 30 ppm weight scale article from when he was at MIT and it still has relevance with today’s technology. In addition to the clarity of thought and thorough explanations, Jim’s articles stood out due to his scope pictures. Those were proof that he really built and debugged the circuits; that the circuits were real and not simulated abstractions. I will miss him and the opportunity to communicate with him. His way of thinking was inspiring to me.

csquared0
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
csquared0   6/18/2011 8:33:26 AM
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Although older than Jim, he was one of my heroes in Analog Design and engineering. I hate to see the phrase "self-taught", if you know only what you are taught, you are not a good engineer, and there are no books on becoming a great engineer, like Jim.

Sanjib.A
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Sanjib.A   6/18/2011 4:27:43 PM
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This is a big loss to the electronics engineering community. It is very unfortunate to lose him unexpectedly...apart from the loss of a great person, a near & dear one to his family & friends, so much of knowledge and experience is also gone with him. Folks, who got opportunities to see him, interact with him and work with him, certainly have the privilege to preserve & propagate at least some part of that knowledge pool.

Sheetal.Pandey
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Sheetal.Pandey   6/18/2011 6:33:44 PM
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Yes its a huge loss. Analog design is comparatively tough and I guess those who have worked with Jim can greatly relate to the loss this industry has got.

andres.bojorquez@att.net
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
andres.bojorquez@att.net   6/20/2011 7:43:09 PM
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Hello, I met Jim in the early 80's at National Semi. Jim was a high spirited man, but was also modest and humble man, for one so brilliant. Jim played on the Linear softball team, I think he played buck short or center field, or wherever we could hide him. I remember one time playing a game a ball was hit into the out field and all you could hear was "I got it, I got it" it was Jim chasing down the fly ball. Well Jim sure got is "SMACK" right between the eyes. The ball hit Jim so hard that it knocked Jim down, but also managed to engrave Jim's glasses into his nose,"ouch" Jim got up, shook it off and was ready for the next play. What spirit, what spunk, what a man, so humble yet so gifted. That is the Jim Williams that I remember. My heart goes out to Jim's family along with my deepest most sincere prayers.

analogworm
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
analogworm   6/20/2011 8:51:05 PM
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Shortly after leaving the academic world and getting my first job, I had the privilege of working with an analog guru from Tektronix. I quickly learned of his favorite analog gurus and Jim was definitely number 1. We often talked about how Jim made things fascinating and simple and how he really embodied the genuine love of electronics. After I moved on to other jobs, I worked at Tektronix/Maxtek for a short bit and was able to see Jim when he visited Tek's building 50 and gave a talk. It was remarkable. He was so humble and even better, some of the equally brilliant people from Tek were especially delighted to see Jim and showed him great respect during the usual deep knowledge dueling that happens with gurus. I then went up to him to comment on a few items of his talk, and he was very open and didn't care that a moment ago he was talking to some high level engineer and now he was talking to an interested "kid". I will miss him for his great app notes and most especially for how he made everyone in the room feel smarter together. I especially liked his one early app note indicates difficulty or duration with the number of baby bottles. His app notes really make me smile. When I view how I want to achieve more and be better at this analog thing, I hold him as one of my idols. Though a few decades older than me, he seemed like a kid at heart. I think I'll finally have to buy a Tek 545 in his honor.

jmough
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
jmough   6/21/2011 4:19:09 PM
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What an incredibly sad day...I got word of Bob Pease's accident leaving Jim's memorial. Both these men were an unbelievable influence on me...personally and intellectually. While the rest of the world might scarcely notice their passing, as a group we all now share an enormous void in the community. Happy trails, Jim & Bob

prajapat
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
prajapat   6/23/2011 6:31:35 AM
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In the world where analog electronic experts are becoming rare species, this is a great loss.

FePiNaMi
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
FePiNaMi   6/23/2011 8:36:18 AM
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Graduating out of college studying electronics in India, I felt I was still lacking a grip on analog circuit design. Encountering Jim Williams book titled "The Art and Science of Analog Circuit Design" in a public library really got me thinking seriously about adopting electronic design as a career. Jim's approach towards design and his ability to convey and share it with others has in turn enabled me develop an intuition and bring insight in to circuit design that I have taken up and I believe that is the case for many other designers as well. That is truly I believe Jim's legacy. I have not known Jim in person but I have followed up by reading his articles in EDN. In the end I can only say thank you very much Jim for getting me started. You will be greatly missed. I owe you a lot. Ram

Silicon_Smith
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Silicon_Smith   6/24/2011 1:56:53 PM
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Rest in Peace, Jim.

Mxv
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Mxv   6/24/2011 6:19:14 PM
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Damn. If only we could have mapped Jim's and RAP's brain into a supercomputer. We need the singularity now. Obama should make this the goal for our generation instead of moon/mars missions. What a great loss.

BadBear
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
BadBear   6/29/2011 1:53:55 PM
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Though we worked in different Departments, Mr. Williams was always aware of my Department and was always kind. Your words will not be left to pass Mr. Williams, it was a pleasure to meet you and work with you for nearly ten years.

gerson008
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
gerson008   6/30/2011 2:10:18 PM
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Oh dear, i only find out his pass today, along with another guru Robert Pease.....very very sad!

Adrian.Gropper
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Adrian.Gropper   7/13/2011 2:55:53 AM
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I too have the privilege of calling Jim a mentor. His lab in MIT's building 20 was open and welcoming to all. The comments above paint a wonderful picture of the the joy of engineering that Jim instilled in so many many people. My memories of this joy include trips to the massive Taunton federal surplus lot and the obvious pride in Jim's voice as he explained to me how he'd finally managed to do something useful with the Minuteman missile computer already mentioned above: Jim motioned me to a Teletype he'd hooked up to the computer to print ON TO MOSCOW line after line. Thank you, Jim!

PCarney
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
PCarney   7/13/2011 2:47:59 PM
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Though I never met him, I learned from him. It is a great loss.

Ravindra.R
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Ravindra.R   7/22/2011 10:58:28 AM
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Let his soul rest in peace.

Marietto
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re: Passing of Jim Williams, analog circuit guru, mentor, teacher
Marietto   8/31/2011 8:56:10 AM
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I am an old analog engineer italian. I am very saddened by the loss of a Teacher. I am close to you that you have personally known Mario Besi

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