Electronic Design

Bob's Mailbox

Dear Mr. Pease: I have been reading your column for nearly 15 years. I'm a mechanical stress analyst with no knowledge of electrical engineering. But I still get Electronic Design to read your column. You make me think. That is one of the nicest things I say to anyone. (I am glad you noticed: My favorite goal is to get people to think! /rap)

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I know how you feel. Five years ago, one of my lifelong pals died in a freak accident. (And I bet he didn't leave a note. Most people don't. They don't think of that. /rap) We'd been best friends for nearly 30 years, having met in third grade. I was a pall bearer at his funeral, which was on his 35th birthday. Our friends are one of the greatest gifts we get from God. Since Jeff died, I have told most of my friends how important they are to me. (That is very good, maybe the best thing. /rap) I like your idea of leaving them a note, just in case. I think I will follow your suggestion.

Doug Hall (via e-mail)
Pease: That is the second-best thing—but much better than nothing. You may be able to add on other notes later.

Dear Bob: I was looking at some old photographs the other day, taken years ago on a variety of trips and holidays with friends, family, colleagues, and people I'd loved and/or liked well enough to have a day out with. These photos were nearly all of views like dramatic waterfalls or mountains and landscapes that had impressed us at the time for one reason or another. My companions only got photographed in order to add scale to the scene, or because they happened to be in front of the camera. Why take a photo of someone you see often, after all?

It so happens that a number of the people in the pictures have since died, and I now realize how foolish it is to take a picture of a mountain, say, which I can go back and see anytime, but neglect to take a picture of the fragile, short-lived human beings who I'll never see again. It was the photographs of the people that gave me the most pleasure and brought back the best memories. Bit of a sad letter this is—sorry. But from now on, I will take pictures of people. The impressive scenery will have to take second place.

Martin Williams (via e-mail)
Pease: You made a very good point. I agree. Thank you. I like to take one photo with the person most prominent, one equally shared, and one of the waterfall or mountain as the feature. But these days, I like to take mostly videotape. This way, I can focus on the person, get comments, then shift and split the scene with the "waterfall," and then focus on and zoom in on the "waterfall." Meanwhile, I encourage the person or persons to keep talking. Do you have a camcorder? If not, why not? Audio adds a lot! And good camcorders are cheaper than ever, at just $300 or so.

Comments invited! [email protected] —or:
Mail Stop D2597A
National Semiconductor
P.O. Box 58090
Santa Clara, CA 95052-8090

Linear Seminars: A couple of years ago, I went on tour with National's Linear Seminars to 30 cities in the U.S. When I got to Alabama, I met a very enthusiastic fan who was happy to see me in person. He said his buddy was thinking about coming to the seminar. But, "Naw, Bob Pease is not going to actually go to every one of the 30 cities. That would wear him out..."

Well, I actually went to every one of those 30 cities. I refused to let it wear me out. Those of you who saw me noticed that I lecture about good Analog Stuff with enthusiasm! Well, we're going on the road again this September and October (and Europe after that). Look it up, and register, at www.national.com. And, I really plan to attend and lecture at every one of the 31 cities.

Channel P? Bob Pease has his own TV channel. This web-cast is now accessible from our archives on the National Semiconductor Web site. Various analog topics will be discussed by a panel of analog experts and enthusiasts, every month. Sign up at www.national.com. /rap

See associated figure.

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