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

6/13/2011 02:23 PM EDT
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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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 todayís technology. In addition to the clarity of thought and thorough explanations, Jimís 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.

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.

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