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Welcome Eric Schlaepfer and Windell Oskay. They are Co-Authors of “Open Circuits: The Inner Beauty of Electronic Components“.
- Windell’s background is in physics, he worked on some very sensitive experiments at NIST. He has been running Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories (EMSL) with Lenore since 2006.
- Eric has worked at large software and semiconductor companies throughout the bay area.
- Eric and Windell started collaborating together on the “three fives kit”, which allows people to build their own 555 timer out of discrete components.
- The first prototype was breadboard that is still in the EMSL library.
- The 555 Footstool
- They went on to collaborate on the 741 discrete op amp kit, which comes in through hole and surface mount.
- Eric made a fake datasheet on an ideal op amp
- The MOnSter6502 was a discrete version of the MOS 6502. It had additional LEDs that showed the state.
- Chris was thinking about it when he saw the Hackaday Supercon 2022 badge.
- The meetup after Bay Area Maker Faire was where it was conceived when Bunnie (past guest) asked what the largest discrete version of a part could be. The meetup was also the basis for Hackaday Superconference (“what if we could make that meetup be the entire weekend?”)
- The creator of the 6502, Chuck Peddle, was on the show back in 2015
- Open Circuits is a book they have been working on for a few years together that was recently released.
- Focused on components, not devices
- Chris just finished Kathy Joseph’s book The Lightning Tamers and was amazed at the comparison of modern electronics with how things started in the field of electronics.
- Natural vs synthetic materials
- The Way Things Work (McCaulay) was another formative “coffee table” book, albeit with more Mastadons on the cover. The book Eric was trying to remember was … also called The Way Things Work
- Why not use CTs?
- Loses texture and color
- Flattens the image
- What are the slogs of writing a book?
- The time process
- Took 9 months to get inital material
- Took another 9 months for editing and getting things right (explaining to a wide audience)
- No Starch Press provided a great editor.
- Describing complex topics like “multiplexing” is tricky to a wide audience.
- “Up Goer Five” (XKCD) is an example of simple language trying to explain complex topics.
- Windell works on the AxiDraw on a daily basis, which is a pen plotter (and associated software)
- #PlotterTwitter is a hashtag on Twitter to follow digital artists
- TubeTime is Eric’s experiments on Vintage computing. He also does long tweet threads on many of his projects.
- He’s currently making a replica Apple I computer
- There is a large community; AppleFritter is a site that documents a lot of idiosyncrasies of the original computer
- Many early computers has async logic to cut down on required circuits. HDL solves clocking for you.
- Eric troubleshoots using a Saleae Logic Pro 16
- Stringy floppy
- How to preserve data in an era of “using other peoples’ computers” (Cloud). The Internet Archive maintains a lot of data.
- Twitter is hopefully not shutting down anytime soon, but :shrug:.
- Get your copy of the Open Circuits Book at any of the vendors listed on the book website.
- Evil Mad Scientist has signed copies! (be sure to click “yes”)
- Find Windell online at evilmadscientist.com
- Find Eric on Twitter at @tubetimeus, his website tubetime.us, and (if needed) email@example.com
Thanks, I’ve ordered the book