Re: Punch cards

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On Mon, 2008-04-07 at 12:53 -0400, Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Monday 07 April 2008, Tim wrote:
> >On Mon, 2008-04-07 at 02:04 -0400, Gene Heskett wrote:
> >> That test was pretty close to the SB in terms of rating a child's IQ.  We
> >> had several who took it the same year I did that went on to do some
> >> unusual things, and we topped the list, not in grades earned in school
> >> because most of us were bored silly by school but 4 of that class made
> >> scores in the middle 140's, with me at the top with 147.  Had I known then
> >> what an influence they would have, I would have quit doing electronics
> >> service and wiggled into that door somehow.  OTOH, electronics in general
> >> has been good to me.  I can't complain, and at 73, its too late to buy a
> >> new horse.
> >
> >When I formally studied electronics it was in a technical college as a
> >teenager.  Most of the other students were older than me, there were at
> >least a couple I think had retired.  They weren't the only ones doing it
> >for their own interest's sake.  Later on, I only continued doing the
> >course for interest's sake - I was interested in engineering but was
> >conned into a servicing course, instead.
> >
> >On the whole, I think things would have been better if I'd studied both
> >areas, they're not the same, but they do dovetail.  I see plenty of
> >equipment that's badly engineered, that someone who had to repair it
> >would have designed differently.  And plenty of repairs that were done
> >by someone who should have known a lot more about how to build things.
> >
> >You're probably better of working in electronics.  I'm damn sure that I
> >am.  At least you know how things work, are supposed to work, and can
> >make them obey.  There's something very satisfying at seeing something
> >you fixed twenty years ago, still going strong.  I doubt we'd be able to
> >say the same sort of thing about computing, at least these days...
> >Integrity and reliability went out the window decades ago, so did
> >knowing how it works.
> So it seems, Tim.  One of the basic tenets of how I work is that I will fix it 
> according to the factory drawings, once.  If I have to do it again, then it 
> gets my attention and I'm actively looking for whats not right.  When the 
> third failure occurs, that piece gets redesigned according to me.  I can 
> count the 4th failures on one hand in 60 years of this.  Not counting 
> customer PEBKAC of course.  The world keeps inventing ever more ingenious 
> idiots...
> My educational background is almost zilch, I've taught more tech classes than 
> I have attended.  An 8th grade education & a G.E.D.  My start?  I had an 
> alcoholic uncle who, during WW-II, worked as a postal delivery type in 
> downtown Des Moines, and he usually had a radio in the bottom of his mailbag, 
> either going back to a customer after repairs, or given to him to be repaired 
> while he walked his route.  I think I was about 8, maybe 9 when I asked him 
> as he was changing the filter capacitor in one of those 'all american 5 
> tubers', what was actually wrong with the part he was taking out, and he 
> couldn't tell me!  He was going by a recipe on the inside of the cupboard 
> door that said to change them if the radio had a hum.
> So I set out to find out what the part was, and how it could fail.  
> Fortunately, my mother knew where the library was, and one of the things they 
> taught me early on was how to read at 500 or so with good comprehension.  The 
> net result was that by the time I was in the 6th grade, I actually had a 
> better physics/electronic education than a high school graduate of the day.
> Having a health problem that turned out to be a food allergy when we found it 
> several years later, school was both difficult and painful, so when they quit
> taking my Dr's excuses for my absences, I said to hell with it, and started to 
> do some service work for cig money.  By the time I was 16, I was doing the 
> service bench at the zenith wholesaler in Des Moines for all of Iowa and the 
> northern half of Missouri, where I learned just how educational the 
> oscilloscope can be, and I've never been without one since.  Being able to 
> watch a circuit do its thing, in real time, is worth 100x what all the math 
> is when its time to see why its not working as planned, although there is a 
> place for the math too at times.  What algebra I know, a TI SR-51 calculator 
> taught me.  However, I'm not too sure all the dealers at the annual show for 
> the new models in the fall of '51, were convinced this 16 year old behind the 
> podium knew what he was talking about!  There were a couple of them that 
> called my bluff and went away chagrined.
> The rest as they say, is now history, although I quit the cig habit cold 
> turkey about 19 years ago this month, and I've spent the last 44 years as a 
> broadcast engineer, the last 24 as the Chief at WDTV and I'm still doing some 
> of that one or two nights a week as we get ready for digital.

Ok, if I may go OT a little- what's your opinion of digital? Is it hard
to maintain, because its certainly appears worth it?

Also what is the difference in equipment for digital?

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