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LindsayF
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re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
LindsayF   5/31/2013 9:44:35 PM
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But it's not a birthday cake without the involuntary expectorate! Too funny...I imagine patent lawyers have seen it all!

JeffL_2
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CEO
re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
JeffL_2   6/3/2013 3:44:39 PM
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I recall seeing all kinds of hideously overdesigned hardware back in the 80's. Usually this was found in military projects where the contractor was billing outright for development time, but even in commercial work you used to see all manner of bizarre "exploits" used to avoid the dreaded "select in test" designation on a part simply because some particular parameter wasn't typically specified on the data sheet, and the mandate was "commercial spec only". It's almost comical going through these older designs trying to puzzle through which parameter they were trying to avoid having to specify!

bcarso
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re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
bcarso   6/3/2013 5:28:46 PM
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For a wonderful example of overdesign to no good end, see the John Addis contribution about oscilloscope vertical amplifiers in the Jim Williams compendium Analog Circuit Design, Art, Science, and Personalities (ISBN 0750691662). He describes a design review at Tektronix where some younger engineers presented a circuit of astonishing complexity, at that point only simulated. The IC was going to require 1200 transistors. One section of the circuit is reproduced. After a bit of consideration, some of the seasoned staff reduced that section to three transistors and a current source (pp. 120-122). And there was virtually no degradation in performance --- except for a 33% loss in current gain, in fact noise would be reduced, and linearity and bandwidth increased! John told me that he wasn't sure if the suggestions were actually followed.

Victim
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re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
Victim   6/3/2013 7:50:01 PM
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An improvement would be to use compressed CO2 or even better an inert gas such as N2 to improve the extinguishing capabilities. Added party fun to use He for the effect upon the party attendees' vocal chords.

George Gonzalez
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re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
George Gonzalez   6/4/2013 1:41:15 AM
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Sometimes it's hard to stop, our friends at the old HP sometimes had trouble putting on the brakes. I recall one horrendously expensive 3D graphics terminal from them, where they even designed a special screwdriver, that snapped into a special holder clip, just for tweaking the convergence adjustments.

Battar
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re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
Battar   6/4/2013 6:09:12 AM
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"Claim 1 of this patent is further obfuscated by the patent lawyers into an almost unintelligible bunch of babble" That sentence is true of about 90% of all the patent applications I've read, and ususally it's a lot worse than this example. I've seen "ground engaging rotary propelling device" written instead of "wheel". I suspect that if a patent lawyer were asked to write a sentence in plain English, would would discover that this is a task he is incapable of achieving.

BrianBailey
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re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
BrianBailey   6/4/2013 4:49:23 PM
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I think I agree with you on that, and besides it gives them the opportunity to charge more when they have to defend it because nobody else understands it.

VectorForce
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re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
VectorForce   6/4/2013 5:04:31 PM
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And Claim 1 is also unduely restrictive; you could dodge the patent by making the device look like Wile E. Coyote or the Big Bad Wolf instead of with human features.

BrianBailey
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Blogger
re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
BrianBailey   6/4/2013 9:10:46 PM
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Yes, I thought that was a strange restriction but did not dig into whether there was a similar patent with a dog, or cat or...

krwada
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Rookie
re: What were they thinking: Overly complex design
krwada   6/6/2013 6:08:42 PM
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To tell you the truth ... I would have used a pressurized canister of ethyl ether as the 'blower'. In this case, one would get a very impressive, albeit dangerous flame discharge effect!

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