10 July 2011


Jim Williams passed away four weeks ago on June 12, 2011.

He was a hero, role model, mentor, and friend. I deeply miss our flea-market sprees, our junk-store pilgrimages, and our oscilloscope-repair adventures. Most of all, I miss our effortless random conversations, discussing history, business, pranks, and, of course, circuits.

Thankfully, he will never be gone completely: he left behind over 350 publications relating to analog circuit design, so generations of engineers can continue to learn from his wisdom.

To fill some of the void left by his untimely departure, I’ve decided to (re)read his seven book chapters and his 62 Linear Technology application notes (over 1600 pages!) and to write some commentary as I do. Reading a long book is often compared to having an intimate conversation with the author. In effect, this is my final conversation with Jim.


lightning bulb (aka ngvrnd) said...

Wow. This is really fantastic; I was an admirer of Mr. William's writing, and I was saddened to hear of his passing earlier this year. I look forward to reading this blog, in my copious spare time ( I am a software engineer by vocation, but I dabble in electronics as a hobby). Thanks!

Doctor Analog said...

Glad to have you aboard!

Todd Bailey said...

Reading Jim's work was one of the reasons I became an engineer. One day, I had hoped to meet him. You're really doing something cool here. Thanks you!

Todd Bailey said...

Err... Thank you.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I've been a fan of this site since I first discovered it almost a year ago, while looking around for information on a certain circuit in National app 272.

Kent, is there any chance that you will also be going through Jim's National Semiconductor application notes as well? or might I request that you "read" one of them?


Doctor Analog said...


Yes, I plan to get "back" to the National App Notes after I finish the Linear Tech ones. (I should have done the National ones first, but I thought of it too late.)

Be sure to check out the bibliography and the post about his National App Notes.

Unknown said...

I noticed some oscilloscope screenshots that look like they may have been done by jim williams.


on the front page and page 11 there are what looks like some Tek 556 screenshots, based on the large viewing area on the graticule and the fact that there's 7 traces on the screen. The only non-Jim thing about is that the trademark burn spots on his 556 screen are absent, unlike most of his 556 screenshots.

could this be Jim? I don't know if you were aware of this datasheet since i didn't see it in your bibliography of Jim.

I do hear that he owned at least two tek 556 scopes.

J. Hu said...

It's a great pity that Mr. Williams has passed when I begin to know this name of legend! Hero in analog history!

Kixz said...

I had thought that perhaps one day I could see Jim.
Although I can only read Jim notes through google translate and pictures. But still get a lot.
I did not expect to no longer see Jim Unique notes, skill ... and Tek556 ...