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10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas

9) Be George Jetson
12/14/2012 02:35 PM EST
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betajet
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
betajet   12/14/2012 3:17:21 PM
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I've heard that the "all-purpose toolbox" is duct tape and WD-40. If something moves but shouldn't, use duct tape. If it should move but doesn't, use WD-40.

Thomas Chongruk
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Thomas Chongruk   12/14/2012 8:21:12 PM
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I think the true engineering type (at least from an American perspective) already has plenty of duct tape, so that wouldn't be a good present.

DickH
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
DickH   12/17/2012 4:43:04 PM
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where I used to work, we used a kind of tape we called 'jungle tape'. It was black rubberized linen with a thick layer of white and very sticky latex-based glue - it stck to anything and eventually dried to a state where you could not remove it. Much better than any duct tape I've seen. And what about self-amalgamating tape - the stuff that welds into a solid mass of rubber? Why doesn't that come in a 3 or 4 inch width?

anon7632755
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
anon7632755   12/18/2012 7:32:38 PM
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Duct tape is for amateurs. The professionals use gaffer tape.

Duane Benson
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Duane Benson   12/14/2012 9:38:48 PM
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The flying car concept has appeal, certainly, but materials technology has a long way to go before it's strong enough to take a road beating for 200,000 miles and light enough to fly for 5,000 hours. Until that happens it will be little more than a pipe-dream or very expensive novelty.

seaEE
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
seaEE   12/16/2012 3:44:08 AM
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Ferget materials technology, that's what the duct tape is for lol! Speaking of duct tape, time to listen to that annual Christmas favorite, the Redneck 12 Days of Christmas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBKGoj7nKAw Ahh...my eyes are getting misty

tb1
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
tb1   12/14/2012 10:23:16 PM
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If you are driving your flying car 200,000 miles, you are forgetting about an important feature of your car.

Thomas Chongruk
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Thomas Chongruk   12/15/2012 10:09:19 PM
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$279k is quite a bit for the flying car. Knock off the 1st digit and make it $79k and I think they'd be plenty of techie buyers for it.

Jack.L
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Jack.L   12/17/2012 6:35:21 AM
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I don't know, with the exception of the flying car, which would be wayyyyyy cool, I don't see many of these being "real engineer" gifts. They have already downloaded (legally) Big Bang Theory. They design Raspeberry PIs, they don't buy them, and they graduated to that oh so cool self healing silicon tape ages ago. Big data would equal Big boring coupled with frustration at how dumbed down it is. Now a tube amp, that would be cool, even if it was just to look at, sort of like my Model 200 HP Oscillator. One thing I have found though is that all "real" engineers, the ones that design hardware :-) love hard music played loud, so I am thinking any compilation that includes AC\DC, Stones, Rush, Metalica, Zeppelin, etc. Played loud its quite possibly enough to forget about that nagging quiescent current problem, your non techy senior manager who thinks fixing it is like fixing a number in a spreadsheet, and that you were smart enough to be a doctor, but not smart enough to actually be one and be making 3 times the money with 10 times the respect.

DickH
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
DickH   12/17/2012 5:46:46 PM
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any engineer I've met is much smarter than any medical practitioner I've met. They're a pretty thick bunch and most of them don't keep up to date. Any engineer who doesn't keep up gets shown the door or moved into 'management'.

jfleisher
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
jfleisher   12/17/2012 5:11:29 PM
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Sorry in advance for the plug, but if anyone in North America wants a Raspberry Pi, they can order one now at http://www.newark.com/pi for delivery before Jan 6. Happy holidays!

elPresidente
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
elPresidente   12/18/2012 4:36:54 AM
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Oh, it's not a plug at all - you just put your company down BIGTIME in front of a huge engineering audience. Newark, apparently, can't deliver by Xmas, which is what the article is about. Xmas 2012....

old account Frank Eory
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
old account Frank Eory   12/17/2012 11:58:32 PM
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I have to agree with Semiman_#1 -- this is a boring list of gifts for any engineer, "real" or otherwise :)

pmporter
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
pmporter   12/18/2012 2:45:13 AM
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Well...I don't know about that. I felt my pulse quicken when I saw that Lafayette catalog.

NevadaDave
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
NevadaDave   12/10/2013 10:23:20 AM
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I totally agree - it almost brought tears to my eyes when I saw that picture. I remember as a teen, waiting for the new Allied catalog to come out. So much cool stuff, especially the vacuum tubes (I particularly was enamored of the horizontal sweep power tubes).

Dale Shpak
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Dale Shpak   12/18/2012 2:33:59 AM
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The vacuum-tube sound is more than just soft clipping. There have been several attempts to imitate its sound using DSP's to implement soft clipping etc., but only tubes sound like tubes. The warm (or sweet) sound is partly due to the even-order-only harmonic distortion (e.g., from a single-ended triode amp), which results in distortion products at musically-pleasing octave and perfect fifth intervals) and to the absence of evil transient distortion because tube amps can be built with little or no negative feedback. Even though I'm a DSP researcher, as an audiophile I appreciate the sound of my SET amp in spite of its higher THD. It sounds "sweeter" than my more more expensive solid-state amp. Much of how engineers quantify amplifiers is irrelevant for audio: music is dynamic, not simply continuous sinusoids.

anon7632755
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
anon7632755   12/18/2012 7:34:12 PM
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I much prefer that my audio system not have any distortion, neither tube nor solid-state.

pmporter
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
pmporter   12/18/2012 2:41:25 AM
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Very good point! What about FETs? They are supposed to have transfer curves very similar to tubes?

elPresidente
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
elPresidente   12/18/2012 4:46:11 AM
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What a horrible article. NONE of this is what an engineer would want - woe be to the wife or GF who reads this and buys any of it as a recommendation. Nowhere is a 3D printer listed, nor is there a surface mount reflow oven. Stuff we actually WANT. This is all STUPID techie stuff - stuff that's boring to ENGINEERS. Mind you, TBBT DVDs are the exception, but with Youtube, even that's lame. And, if you're going to write about things you don't know about, go find yourself someone OLD engineer to set you straight (they can be found at the unemployment office or greeting people at Walmart). This is laughable, particularly in having "gone to print" in EE Times: "it mediates the flow of electronics from cathode to anode via a piece of metal mesh in the middle called a grid. " The only thing that "mediates the flow of electronics" is a patent litigator. In the words of Leslie Winkle, of TBBT, "Dumbass..."

Thomas Chongruk
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Thomas Chongruk   12/18/2012 7:01:51 AM
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Have you ever run across any ex-engineers working at Walmart? I know too many that have been (or are) unemployed, and have heard the Walmart greeter jokes, but ...

old account Frank Eory
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
old account Frank Eory   12/18/2012 4:51:44 PM
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A 3D printer, now you're talking!

DR.PAUL
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
DR.PAUL   12/18/2012 1:40:10 PM
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very attractive gifts for an engineer in these celebration days

another nickname
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
another nickname   12/18/2012 10:24:50 PM
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Apparently it's joke although a lame one. All engineers read like little children waiting for a nice surprise only to get a disappointment. Really geeky presents: - hey hon, look at that cool domain name - "electric-melon.org" - easy with that laser pointer, darling, it was upgraded. - a van graaf generator (hey , a spare !) - a sterling engine (Shiny!) Of course these things are mostly useless just like Xmas present should be. If they would be really useful an engineer would already had them.

rick merritt
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
rick merritt   12/19/2012 1:22:09 AM
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I agree: Next year we need to include WD-40.

elPresidente
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
elPresidente   12/19/2012 9:17:05 PM
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The cooking recipes that use it....

draw
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
draw   12/20/2012 1:20:03 PM
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In a world full of conflict - and I'm thinking engineering business disputes, contractual bickering, Apple-Samsung patent disputes, etc. It's nice to see pure engineering enthusiasm to the fore. That's why we all came into this business. Can't wait to get my hands on the Raspberry Pi, that I hope someone has bought me as a Christmas gift. Great article. Thanks.

tiorbinist
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
tiorbinist   12/20/2012 2:41:35 PM
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Not to be too dismissive, but really, now! The only thing exciting here is the incredible engineering missteps. While others have focused on how none of these things (really, none of them) would make an engineer's pulse quicken (unless, perhaps, a savvy spouse had acquired a Pi a few months ago and had it _now_ to give, when you can't buy it _now_), I focus on the real, serious, painful error that no engineer should be caught making. Drivers' ed instructors _sit_ in the passenger seat. The Drivers' ed instructor who is thrilled about sitting in the seat that 1) endangers his life even more than sitting in a regular seat with all those driving learners and 2) leaves his charge without adequate supervision... doesn't belong teaching drivers' ed. Did you guys actually ask any engineers what they _want_ for Christmas? Here's a short list that would make some sense: 1) A steady job, doing interesting things that need an engineer to get done right. 2) Tools which can be reconfigured on-the-spot to do an uncomfortable or impossible job more easily without breaking _anything_. 3) A healthy economy which can afford to support engineering-done-right, rather than "just enough to sell, and the consumer take the hindmost". 4) Just enough time available to do the job (and do it right): No sitting around waiting on administration or getting ulcers trying to get five things done before the next six pile on.

Neo10
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Neo10   12/31/2012 12:54:59 PM
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I for one would like the personal rocket propulsion backpack system as depicted in the movie Minority Report. Just imagine all engineers buzzing to work with landing pods in the parking area ;)

Max The Magnificent
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re: 10 Tech Gifts to Buy Your Engineer for Christmas
Max The Magnificent   12/10/2013 10:36:57 AM
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@Neo10: I for one would like the personal rocket propulsion backpack system...

Have you seen the Martin Jetpack -- I soooo want one of these!!!

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