18 June 2012

Bob Pease

One of my favorite pictures of Bob Pease is the one of him throwing a computer off the top of the National Semiconductor parking garage (page 145 in his book).  It's a great image of Bob as curmudgeon.

Since today is the anniversary of his tragic death, I decided to throw a computer off my roof in his memory.  I invite you to join me.

Two stories wasn't high enough.  The outer case popped off, and the hard-disk mount broke loose, but it didn't shatter into a million pieces.  Your mileage may vary.

UPDATE: Dino Segovis (@MakerDino on Twitter) posted an excellent video to YouTube, "Computer Toss in Memory of Bob Pease". He achieved much better results than I did, although the sledgehammer helped.


Scott Johnston said...

This procedure was far more satisfying in the era of CRT monitors.

Doctor Analog said...

Agreed. However, since it was my driveway (where my kids play), I chose to avoid having to clean up shards of leaded glass. You'll note that Bob chose his employer's parking garage for the above photo.

(Plus, I recycled all of my spare CRTs a few years ago. I still have many obsolete computers.)

Dino said...

Nice Job Kent! You've inspired me.. and also made me aware of just how fast time flies... a year already!

I'll be tossing a computer off my roof in memory of Bob Pease live on Ustream 7:00pm EST today!

It's only one story so I may have to employ "percussive maintenance" after the fall to insure that the computer can no longer "lie". :)

zebonaut said...

Rather than throwing a computer off the roof, I went into my home lab just under the roof yesterday and finally fixed my Tek 556. Luckily, it was just a shorted 1N5402 diode right down the secondary side of the mains transformer. How is that for an anniversary ceremony?

Also, I played with a circuit from Jim Willims' AN-104 last week. The result can be seen here.

Richard Grundler said...

This business of throwing computers off roofs just because "Bob did it" seems a bit childish to me.

Everyone who knew him well (I did) knows that the computer lied to him because he never learned how to ask the right questions. Destroying equipment because you do not know how to use it is a behavior that need not be glamorized.

You want to remember Bob properly? How about reading his material?

a bit childish said...

I know you are, but what am i?

Mike Stone said...

Reminds me of a Bob Widlar story, though I don't remember the source:

Apparently Bob had been working on a circuit that just wouldn't behave. After much work, he traced the problem to a bad transistor. He pulled the transistor out of the circuit, calmly carried it to the shop's vise, placed it on the anvil, then beat the thing to powder with a hammer.

He admiitted it was probably overkill, but very cathartic.

zebonaut said...

Mike Stone: Yeah, this treatment of faulty components is known as "widlarizing".

Prime Electronics said...

amazing...but i cant deny the fact that i love CRT monitors