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Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
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I do not know if licensing/certification is
the answer, but I wish there was a way to weed
out the type of "professionals" that seem to
be appearing more and more often in the
newsgroups I frequent, with posts along the
lines of:

    Hi group!! I'm a surgeon and will
    be performing open chest surgery
    on one of my patients tomorrow.
    I have a few questions:
      What is an hemorrhage, when do
      you use it?
      What is a suture?
      What is coagulation,
      What is an antibiotic?
      What is anesthesia, do you implant
      it before or after the coagulation?
      Where exactly is the heart?
      Can you help me? Please email
      the answer directly to the
      operating room.

Yes, I am exaggerating.
No, I am not exaggerating a lot.

Roberto Waltman

[ Please reply to the group, ]
[ return address is invalid. ]

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 17:13:23 -0500, Roberto Waltman

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<amusing story of a would be doctor deleted>

Most of this types of messages in comp.arch.embedded at least are from
lazy students who post "do my homework, please" messages. Some of
these are smart enough to invent some "explanation" that this is not
homework.

If this kind of laziness and dishonesty would be common in growing
economies, the western world would not have anything to worry about.
Unfortunately, this kind of posts are from the lowest part of their
class only. Thus, most part is smart enough to find out the solution
to their homework themselves and thus no need to ask in the usenet.

Paul


Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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The prof's and TA's read news too ... what better way to help these
guys
OUT of engineering school that to really do it line for line for them
so it's
a clear case of plagurism? At least the dumbest of the dumb will be
replaced
by someone waiting :)


Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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I very much doubt that most professors in growing economies have ever
heard about usenet news.

While it appears that usenet news will sooner or later appear on other
forums than groups.google.com, it takes some time for these messages
to be visible with ordinary google search expressions. Some lazy
students might try to use this delay.

Paul


Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
Hello Paul,


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In no way do I endorse homework cheaters. OTOH the species of 'engineer'
generally excels not because of summa cum laude academic achievements
but by knowing where to find solutions or ideas.

A stark example was a patent search. Half a department was frantically
looking for prior art to fend off a (rather ridiculous) infringement
claim. Took me about 30 minutes on Google and I had a smoking gun dating
back 40+ years.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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Very doubtful. Most people I know do not have the foggiest idea of what
usenet is. That includes professors.

The topper was one who thought that a newsreader is some kind of stock
ticker but for headline news.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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So just what does "a degree from a university" really mean?

Yesterday I heard a news report that questioned whether or not average
US college graduates were even literate -- their test criterion was
related to reading product labels/instructions [I was driving at time so
I was paying attention to other things ;]

I remember a sophomore EE lab requiring us to design a 1 transistor amp.
MANY of my classmates were going to supply tech requesting better than
1% tolerance on bias resistors. Had reason to suspect they had similar
problems later.

I had an informative experience interviewing for a student position as
electronics tech for university's chemistry department. The intended
result of one of my (then future) boss's questions was  either a half
wave or full wave rectifier. I automatically went from fused connection
to wall outlet to filtered DC out. He was surprised.

I later was a tech for the "Power Supply Engineering" dept of a
mini-computer manufacturer. A fresh EE grad was assigned to "design" a
new AC power control panel (basically cord, fuses, relay, transformer,
and distribution of fused AC to convince outlets). Said BSEE had not the
foggiest of what to do.

Decades later, between jobs, I applied for a temp position with a
community college to pull computer cable for their *TEMPORARY* expansion
into new facilities. It was admitted that I was more qualified than many
of their permanent staff, but I didn't have letters after my name.

As to PE license, it's irrelevant to reality if not legality.
I don't know how it is now.
But when I was a BSEE student in 60's, an EE interested in medical
monitoring [which I was] was required to be competent to design bridges
to receive a PE license. Did they know an aorta from a neuron was
irrelevant.




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Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
[snip]
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I had a corresponding experience in my first job (some 35 years ago).
Newly qualified, I was asked to design a simple Colpitts oscillator: 1
transistor, around 2MHz. I fished out my slide-rule, & prepared for a
heavy afternoon's maths.
My mentor stepped in, & said (in effect) "I know that's how they teach
you in Uni, but it's not how we do it in the real world". His design
logic went:
1. Supply voltage = 9V (that's what we've got available)
2. Transistor = BC109 (the stores are knee-deep in them)
3. Ic = 5mA (known by experience to work well)
4. Bias chain current = Ic/10 (ditto)
5. Vb = Vcc/3 (ditto)
Now solve out the resistors, & give me a parts list.

He signed the list, I took it to the stores & got the bits, & 20 minutes
later, the oscillator was running.

Theory vs Practice.

"Theory: when you understand all about it, but can't make it work."
"Practice: when it works, but no-one knows why."
- Seen in a German office, 1974 (translation mine)

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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Now you've got me going on reminisces ;}
A later class required design of horizontal sweep for an oscilloscope.
I was lazy and asked myself what portion of exponential met linearity
spec. Lab instructor came by to view my test data. He said "Oh you chose
a Miller run up." I said "NO. Just an RC". That semester was fun. My
father was a practicing EE even though is degree was ME. [Back in 20's
an EE meant 60 cps power but an ME got more background in what we now
consider to be EE. If he were still alive, he would enjoy this discussion.]


Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
Hello Richard,

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MEs did enjoy a more practical background. I have a 1929 ME handbook
from my late father in law. It contains chapters that describe how to
set up cigarette manufacturing lines and breweries ;-)

Another book that I saw at a friend's house described radio frequencies
as a "wondrous ether whose practical usage has yet to be determined".
That was from the pre-cell phone days.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
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   How about the book titles and printing dates?

--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
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Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
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I borrowed a book from the library titled something akin to
"Modern Steam Locomotive Construction" first published in
1894.  It was interesting to note that the designers of the
locomotives of that era were called master mechanics and
there was almost nothing about engineering as we think of
it today in the book.  Apparently strength of materials
was an unknown subject in those days.

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
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I have a wonderful book called "Modern Electric Practice" It is undated,
though the latest date mentioned in it is 1903,  but it is a stark
reminder NEVER to use the word "modern" in a title :-)

The pictures of "modern" factories producing some electrical fittings
probably break all the current working practices including child labour!

--
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills  Staffs  England     /\/\/\/\/
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Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
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   The local library system is designed for little kids and retirees.  I
could probably carry ALL of their technical books, from all the branches
by myself, and I have to use a cane in my left hand to keep from
falling.  I used to know a couple used book dealers at flea markets who
would hide any technical books till      had a chance to look at them.  I
found some great deals on books that way, like a copy of Skolnik's RADAR
Handbook for $5 (US) and it looked like it had just come from a shelf in
a bookstore.  I also found a copy of the Radiotron Designers Guide for
$5 or $10.

--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
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Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
Hello Michael,


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Libraries are a sad story these days when it comes to technical
education. I donate to them, including Skolnik's Radar Handbook. They
almost hugged me. Strange thing, I had to look up something in Skolnik
and since I had given it away went to the library. It wasn't even in the
list of books. I have to ask them where it went, probably sent down to
the university I guess.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
Hello Michael,


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  >
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No idea. But I have a hunch that it was in the basement of my late
father in law's house. In which case I should have it somewhere because
nobody else was keen on tech books. When I find it I'll post.

The other one is: Hanfland: "Der Neuzeitliche Maschinenbau", 1929.
("Modern Mechanical Engineering").

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
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   Thanks.  I dig around at flea markets when I can get there to look
for early engineering texts. I wish I still had all the ones I collected
when i was in my early teens. I was reading EE textbooks at 14, and had
a nice collection, but most of my collection was gone when I got home
from serving in the US Army.

   There is a "Friends of" the local branch of the county library
system, and most donated books end up being sold in their used book
store.  I always miss he old electronics books, for some reason.  This
is the land of the retirees, and a lot of old engineering books are in
the homes.  Some get thrown out, while others end up in thrift stores.
If they don't sell quickly they are thrown away. I'm not well enough to
check with all of them, and it would probably take 60 hours a week to
dig through the unsorted bookshelves to find anything.


--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot
Hello David,


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'tis how it's done.


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One engineer on another newsgroup has a tag line that sums it up better.
Something like "Engineering is the art of making things you want from
parts you can get".

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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Jerry Avins' tag line reads "Engineering is the art of making what you
want from things you can get. "

Re: OT:Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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A similar saying I have heard:

In theory, theory and reality are the same, but in reality, they're
different.

--Mac


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