Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 9 / 14   >   >>
Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Welcome to progress
Max The Magnificent   8/6/2013 5:58:26 PM
NO RATINGS
@DMcCunney: Re-reading everything would be a challenge.  Isaac was a lean, mean writing machine.

Sorry -- I should have qualified myself -- I was only talking about the science fiction (Caves of Steel, Naked Sun, Pebble in the Sky...) ... and even that's a task ... but I do read a heck of a lot ... and I have been thinking about re-reading the Foundation Trilogy (I'm not really planning on re-reading the stuff generated by other writers).

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lost Secrets
Max The Magnificent   8/6/2013 5:55:19 PM
NO RATINGS
@betajet: You can download it for free from Gutenberg (no pictures).  Do not read the table of contents or you'll spoil the mystery.


      Wonderful!!!

This is why French books have the table of contents in the back.


      I never knew that!!!

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Silly Asses
Caleb Kraft   8/6/2013 5:34:32 PM
NO RATINGS
I haven't read that one yet! That's hillarious. I assumed this was going to be the story where they discuss how we do everything with "meat", but I was pleasantly surprised. 

 

Here it is, it is apparently not Asimov at all, but Terry Bisson

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
Re: Welcome to progress
DMcCunney   8/6/2013 5:21:05 PM
NO RATINGS
Re-reading everything would be a challenge.  Isaac was a lean, mean writing machine.  He had the ability to study a subject, then explain it in clear expository prose aimed at a layman, and his output includes guides to Shakespeare, Opera,  and the Bible as well as a varierty of technical and scientific topics.

His first wife was reportedly unhappy when he insisted on dragging a typewriter along on vacation, but to no avail,  Isaac needed to write every day.  He took a disciplined approach, starting at 8 in the morning, working till lunch, having lunch, then writing more till 5pm.  I understand what he submitted was largely first draft.  He knew what he wanted to say, and said it.  He didn't need to rewrite to get it right.

For most writers the question is "Do I feel like writing today?", but Isaac always felt like writing.  If he couldn't do it every day, he was unhappy.

I felt honored to know him.

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: Lost Secrets
betajet   8/6/2013 4:22:38 PM
NO RATINGS
You can download it for free from Gutenberg (no pictures).  Do not read the table of contents or you'll spoil the mystery.  This is why French books have the table of contents in the back.

There are other links at Wikipedia, but it pretty well spoils the mystery as well.  Wikipedia has excellent coverage of Jules Verne.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Must... build... another... Heathkit
Max The Magnificent   8/6/2013 4:11:51 PM
NO RATINGS
@betajet: I remember that the solder Heathkit supplied had particularly nice-smelling flux.

I don;t knwo what it is -- possibly spending so much time as a young lad hunched over a small circuit board with a soldering iron -- but I love the smell of flux along with seeing a perfect joint that I've just made.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Welcome to progress
Max The Magnificent   8/6/2013 4:09:32 PM
NO RATINGS
@DmcCunney:  His death was a tragedy: he went in for bypass surgery, and got a transfusion of HIV tainted blood.  [...] I mourn what we lost when he was taken from us, as he still had a lot of writing he planned to do.

I cannot tell you how many times I've re-re-re-read his stories -- it's hard to pick favorites because I loved them all so much. And the thought of the stories he might have written -- just thinking about this makes me want to re-read everything...

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Lost Secrets
Max The Magnificent   8/6/2013 4:03:13 PM
NO RATINGS
@betajet: My favorite survival book is Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island (1874) about [...] the hero is the Engineer, who first figures out [...]


Do you know, I haven't read that one, but it's now at the top of my Amazon Wish List.

This reminds me of a TV program I saw where they put a small group of scientists and engineers into a plane -- closed the windows -- and flew them to an island -- they went by a roundabout route so they couldn;t work out where they were from timing the journey or anything -- there were "things" on the island they could use -- like an AM radio receiver and bits of "stuff" -- their job was to work out their location.

From the radio they could hear a news program that gave the time on the hour in Italian. One of the things they did was to create an aperatus to determine the exact point tha tnoon took place in their location. They also greated a pendulum and used that to time how long it took from their "noon" to the news announcement of the local time on the radio ... and so on and so forth.

It was a really interesting program -- I wish they had done more of them...

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Must... build... another... Heathkit
betajet   8/6/2013 3:45:56 PM
NO RATINGS
I remember when I was addicted to building Heathkits, and felt I was going into withdrawal if I hadn't built one in a while.  My first computer was an H-8, a wonderful machine that was so much better designed and contructed than the S-100 machines.  I also splurged and built their top-of-the-line 15 MHz dual-trace 'scope, which included internal coaxial cables to delay the inputs so you could see the trigger signal.

I remember that the solder Heathkit supplied had particularly nice-smelling flux.  I always wondered if they deliberately put addictive chemicals in it so you would want to build more Heathkits :-)

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
Re: Welcome to progress
DMcCunney   8/6/2013 3:39:28 PM
NO RATINGS
PS What was Asimov like? From what I've heard he was fun to be around (if you were a guy), egotistical, and something of a ladies' man.

He was fun to be around, period.  He certainly had an ego, but he wasn't arrogant, and he had accomplishments to back up his ego.  He was one of those people who could hold a knowledgeable conversation on almost any topic (and he had likely written a book on it.),

The "ladies man" persona was a game he played, and all concerned knew not to take it seriously.  He loved to flirt, but that was as far as it went.  Decades ago, I ran into Isaac at a literary SF convention. (I help plan and run such things as a hobby.) At the time, Isaac was concentrating on non-fiction, and hadn't written actual SF in years.

He was coming on to the woman I was there with.  When he realized she was with me, he backed off hurriedly, and assured me he was not serious and was too old for that sort of thing.  I asked "What sort of thing?" and he said "Oh, anything!"  I said "Like writing science fiction?"  Not that long after, his SF novel "The Gods Themselves" was released. I'm not willing to take creduit for his return to SF, but I like to think my push helped.

His death was a tragedy: he went in for bypass surgery, and got a transfusion of HIV tainted blood.  It was the early days of the AIDS crisis, and blood screen for HIV was not yet standard.  I mourn what we lost when he was taken from us, as he still had a lot of writing he planned to do.



<<   <   Page 9 / 14   >   >>


Most Recent Comments
Ian Johns
 
David Ashton
 
elizabethsimon
 
Anand.Yaligar
 
MeasurementBlues
 
Anand.Yaligar
 
Anand.Yaligar
 
Anand.Yaligar
 
Anand.Yaligar
Flash Poll
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Max Maxfield

Vetinari Clock: Additional Possibilities
Max Maxfield
11 comments
In my previous blog on the topic of my Vetinari Clock project, we pondered a number of possibilities for the positioning of switches on the front panel, and we ended up with a number of ...

Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock

Jolt Awards: The Best Books
Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock
1 Comment
As we do every year, Dr. Dobb's recognizes the best books of the last 12 months via the Jolt Awards -- our cycle of product awards given out every two months in each of six categories. No ...

Engineering Investigations

Air Conditioner Falls From Window, Still Works
Engineering Investigations
2 comments
It's autumn in New England. The leaves are turning to red, orange, and gold, my roses are in their second bloom, and it's time to remove the air conditioner from the window. On September ...

David Blaza

The Other Tesla
David Blaza
5 comments
I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...