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Electronic Design

Bob's Mailbox

Dear Bob:

Congratulations on your Neal Award.

It's one thing to excel in circuit design, but now in your column too! That's a very rare combination.  Your column is a refreshing departure from the stuffy, lightweight fare normally encountered.  Keep up the good work.

Also, thanks again for plugging our multiplier in that earlier column.

Jerald Graeme, Manager, Instrumentation Components Design, Burr-Brown Corp., Tucson, Ariz.

Let's all promote analog stuff, even if it's not linear.-RAP

Dear Bob:

Congratulations on the Neal Award Certificate of Merit.  Your columns are great.  No matter who won, in my opinion you should have.

Don't belittle such certificates.  They come in handy for covering ugly places on walls.  And they can buy credibility with persons otherwise not sufficiently intelligent to listen to you.

No money, too bad; you could have used it to buy some superconducting speaker wires!

Ronald A. Rohrer, Director of the Center for Computer Aided Design, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Thanks, but I would have trouble splicing them.-RAP

Dear Bob:

I very much enjoyed your article in the March 5th issue describing Applications Engineers.  I think you have described our profession perfectly.  When "Field" is added to the title of Applications Engineer, it adds another dimension to the job.  You can no longer let the phone ring in the hopes that the customer will give up.  They have your number (pagers, voice mail, my home number).  There is nothing quite like getting pinned to the coffee bar in a customer's lobby to be nibbled upon by the ducks.

I envy the inside position of being able to go down the hall to get the right answer to a question.  And who can find time to write the Great American App.  Note when half the day is spent being chased by the ducks on the customer's factory floor.  But at the same time, there is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with being able to solve the customer's problem on the spot while looking for the next design-in opportunity.

Being in the field is a terrible job and a wonderful career all at the same time.  I wouldn't trade my position in the "duck pond" for anything!  Keep writing your column.  I always look forward to a good sanity break.

Greg Jurrens, Compaq Field Applications Engineering Specialist, NEC Electronics Inc., Houston, Texas

It's fun being an Apps.  Engineer, but it's good to be able to take a break occasionally!-RAP

Dear Bob:

Just read Pease Porridge in the February 6th issue.  Since the late '60s, I have had 25 W of power amplifier in seven cars with a speaker behind the front grille.

I use this to tell drivers of faulty lights, no right turn where necessary (left turn in your case), "move over dum dum," etc.  In case of retribution, I usually look around to see where the voice originates.  "'Allo darlin'" to an old lady makes her day!  "Oi mate!" makes pedestrians turn round, etc., etc.  Great fun!

Dave St. George, St. George Electronics, London, England

A great idea!  Even in California you can do this legally, but don't blast too loud.  Check your local ordinances!-RAP


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