From Wired: Sept. 12, 1958: Kilby Chips In, Integrates Circuit
Integrated circuits have been around for fifty years. Look at the changes they’ve wrought.
Wait till nanotech hits.
First, here’s the eulogy I wrote for his memorial service.
It was an amazing service. The Kiskiminetas Mason Lodge 617 turned out as did the Shriner Clowns whom he had been a member of.
The Masonic service was incredibly moving and it was very obvious my father’s fellow lodge members loved him dearly and grieved his death. Being a mason was a big part of my father’s life and when he and my mother returned to the Pennsylvania area, he became active again – eventually joining the Shriner clowns and helping to raise the spirits of sick children. My dad loved children and it’s so obvious in photos and stories told about him – tying balloon animals for hours so that every single child at an event took something away to remind them of the happy time.
Something the Shriner Clowns did was just touching beyond words – they each left a small balloon animal on the altar as they passed. Seeing the Masonic symbols (lambskin apron, evergreen sprigs and scroll) together with these simple icons of childhood were crushingly poignant. Clearly you could see this was a complicated man who touched people on a lot of levels.
There’s so much story to tell that I’m just going to start dropping in photos and describe them. Try and keep up.
Here’s some family photos that came to me after the funeral (click images to enlarge)
My dad was born and grew up on a farm in Spring Church, PA.
This is his family. I think that’s him on the left in the first row of kids.
When my father left his family farm (another story!) he went to work in the local steelmill (US Steel) and met my mother (Shirley) and his to-be inlaws. This is such an iconic shot.
Emily and William Rowe, my mother’s parents. I knew only Emily, William died when I was very little. (here’s my eulogy for my grandmother)
My mother had two sisters, Bobby and Gwenevere and a brother William (my uncle Mickey). Here’s a great shot of all of them after a night on the town:
Back row: Mickey Rowe, Les Walsh, Bob Fleissner, George Wray.
Front row: Jean Rowe, Emily’s three daughters, Bobby Rowe (Walsh), Gwen Rowe (Fleissner) and Shirley Rowe (Wray). Note the horns being added by my uncle Bob and my father. I take it from the straws that drinking had been involved. Uncle Bob looks either very sleepy or completely fried. Needless to say, it was a very close-knit group. All of these people were very much a part of my life as I was growing up and I love them all dearly. (High-resolution image available.)
Well, it wasn’t long after (maybe even before) this photo was taken that my parents started building a family.
The children of George and Shirley Wray are, in order:
Bonita Jo (Bunny)
David William (see also this entry)
Here’s a couple of shots of my mom and I sitting on the front porch of our house in Apollo – we lived in two different places – one in the lower part of town, the other ‘up on the hill’ (Oak Hill) (map).
Love ya dad.
I start to remember my father’s career starting around the time he got a job at the US Steel Monroeville Research Center. (everybody’s welcome to help me fill in his earlier years in the steel mill, then San Diego in the Navy and then as a door-to-door insurance salesman – all I know is stories passed on) If I remember right, he started out doing welding for vacuum systems, which led him into a position on the new one-million-volt electron microscope US Steel was buying. That was a rough time for him – apparently he’d claimed a high-school diploma and didn’t actually have it! So he had to hurriedly cram for and take the GED, not something you just do in a week. He did. He also learned electronics via correspondence, amazing to me even now. He worked at US Steel for (I think) twelve years, took early retirement and moved to a job at the University of Colorado’s Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Here’s some photos from George’s time at US Steel’s Monroeville Research Center:
The RCA 1-million-volt transmission electron microscope. That’s George at the console – he spent thousands of hours running this sci-fi-lookin thing. I spent a fair bit of time here with him on various occasions. The room was kept darkened when the microscope was in use. That, combined with the huge, hulking supports, the humming of pumps, clicking relays and control switches only made it more exciting. This was the glowing heart of scientific research at the time – and my dad was square in the middle of it!
This is the ‘accelerator room’ – I think they called it that because it made your heart race to come up the stairs, turn a corner and see this. It’s a Cockcroft-Walton generator and was a part of early ‘atom smashers.’ This is where the one million volts of energy was generated to accelerate the electrons into the microscope’s ‘column’ downstairs.
Cutting-edge, state-of-the-art video recording technology! 2″ reel-to-reel VTR (before cassettes and helical scan!) I think they were recording steel samples being heated/stressed mechanically to watch the crystalline structure change in real time. Never-before-seen effects!
My father didn’t just -work- on this machine, he helped assemble it. This transformer is below the floor of the accelerator room shown above. There’s my dad, as usual, up to his elbows in the dirtiest job. I think he loved doing the ‘messy’ jobs that no one else wanted to do.
Here’s George at the top of the electron-beam column. He’s actually -inside- the part that the guy is polishing in the photo above of the accelerator. This was the ‘electron gun’ assembly where the ‘filament’ was housed that actually created the beam of electrons.
Here’s a color advertisement US Steel ran -great shot of the accelerator. That’s my dad applying a grounding rod to it. For what it’s worth, my dad didn’t really wear a lab coat all the time.
I think this group is the team that assembled the microscope. My dad’s in the back row, second to last on the right.
Another group shot. I think this was the primary building-installation team. My dad’s in the back row, last one on the right. Note that everone’s wearing dosimeters – this thing generated high-energy x-rays when it was on, so radiation exposure had to be monitored.
Group shot of the entire research staff. I think this is everyone that worked at the Monroeville Research Center.
Here’s my dad, closeup from the photo above. He’s in the fourth row back, third in from the left. Look at his face – I know that look. He was so tickled he was probably trembling. This had to be one of the Big Moments in his life to be counted among these people.
When George left US Steel Research after 12 (?) years his co-workers presented him with a notebook filled with significant photos (several shown above) as well as some fun ‘geek humor’:
I love that it’s all elements from the lab: the Dymo labeller (very new at the time and the labels were ubiquitous throughout the lab. The USS logo patch that was on coats, the part-tag (with my dad’s employee number I suspect, but don’t know for sure). Basically it’s supposed to be an ‘operating log’ similar to the one kept for The Scope.
This page is just filled with all kinds of silly ‘in’ jokes. The ‘Description of Specimen’ is, however, perfectly accurate. One of the signatures at the bottom right is J.Scott Lally. If I understand the ‘Plate exposure’ line, 39,683 photos were taken by the MVEM during my father’s time there. Not a bad record!
Map to ‘Party for George Wray’ – I think the location name is also a gag: ‘Elec. Heights Hous. Assoc.’ very likely means ‘Electron Heights Housing Association’ and was perhaps housing for visiting scientists. It had a ‘hut’ which is Cold War slang for a guard shack. This was probably a meeting hall for the research campus. I love that “Informal” has no less than seven underlines. I think they meant VERY informal.
We moved to Boulder, CO in the 1970s and baby, it was a whole different world. From a high-security corporate research lab to a wide-open biology research lab on a college campus. A whole new microscope to install and operate. Nobel-prize-winning scientist Dr. Keith Porter was in charge at the time, so it was pretty heady stuff.
Dick McIntosh and George Wray pose on the upper deck of the JEOL 1000C TEM.
Taking apart the Hanford, WA scope. They worked round-the-clock for days salvaging every single unique component they could. Many parts of the Hanford scope went into keeping the Boulder, CO scope going.
After my father retired from the University of Colorado, he and my mother moved to Winston-Salem, NC. Wake Forest University friends had him teaching students in no time flat. He kept working for several more years and no doubt contributed immensely to the sciences by teaching yet another generation of microscope users how to get the most out of a TEM.
When he finally decided to stop working, he wanted to return to Pennsylvania to his roots. He and my mother moved back to PA near the town of Indiana where my sister Georgia (Missy) lived at the time. My mother began having TIAs and finally succumbed to a massive stroke shortly after they’d renovated a home and were settling in nicely. It was such a blow. My father went on. He became active in the Masons again and then the Shrine and became a clown. Here’s some photos from that time:
|My father’s Mason ring. For years it mystified me. I assumed the ‘G’ meant ‘George’ – when I found out it meant ‘God’ I think I said ‘Well… more or less SAME THING TO ME!’|
|The Master Mason’s jewel. Quite an arcane thing.|
|Top of the jewel|
|Bottom of the jewel|
|The lambskin Masons apron that was on the altar during the Masonic funeral ceremony. Lovely symbolism.|
|My dad drove a van to shuttle kids back and forth for medical exams. I know he loved doing this, he told me so several times.|
|After my mother’s death, my father met her friend Frannie and they spent the last years of his life together. They spent a lot of happy times together at Shrine events. Fran’s a lovely sweet woman and I know she loved George dearly. God bless her for standing at his side.|
|My dad loved bolo ties. Here’s one with all the various organization symbol on it.|
|Closeup of the tie fastener|
|The high school my dad dropped out of to work the farm finally gave him (and many other vets) honorary diplomas. My sister Missy was at the ceremony and reports ‘he was SO happy’. George was all about ‘closing the loop’ so I know this must have delighted his heart.|
|Program from the graduation ceremony. Nicely done!|
And now, the clown pix:
|George Wray as ‘BOO’ the clown.|
|Closeup of George Wray as ‘BOO’ the clown.|
|All dressed up and going on!|
|Making balloons for the kids.|
|Another happy kid – a clown’s best reward.|
There’s SO, SO much more to say, but I’ll leave it up to you readers to find the comment field below and add your own memories of George or correct me where I’ve mis-stepped. All submissions welcome. Send your images to email@example.com and don’t worry about whether it’s appropriate or not. George would have loved it – anytime one of his friends laughs, I’m sure his spirit hears them.
And in all this, my mother appears only a small satellite due to her reluctance to having her picture taken. Know that she was everywhere my father was. For over forty years they walked together as husband and wife and I am certain they are rejoined now. As much as our world is dimmed by his passage, I am sure somewhere there are angels singing and laughing.
Goodbye My Father. You are in my heart always.
I have updated my opinion on the hosting company BlueHost.com.
Even though they persist in NOT making it clear that signing up obligates the user to pay for a full year of hosting -all at once- I have come to respect their service and offerings.
I also think they oversell their servers a bit too much, but their help desk staff is simply incredible.
If you need a large disk storage quota, multiple databases and a good, solid control-panel implementation, they’re not bad at all.
For small sites, however, I would recommend either LaughingSquid.net or Indra.net
Our friends Marty and Kate Beier are delightfully twisted people.
After several years of sharing adjoining campground properties, we finally installed a (slightly used) outbuilding that was immediately christened ‘Wizzengard’ due to it’s tall stature.
During a recent visit I discovered that the Beiers had finally added the crowning touch – a sign complete with a miniature Saruman holding a palantir.
Akismet has caught 5,806 spam for you since you first installed it.
Not one got by.
Spammers = slime.
Weak, foolish and clownlike.
Akismet crushes them like tiny dung beetles.
Your idiot ads will never despoil my site. Never.
Die spammers. Die.
“It’s been widely reported by now that Comcast is throttling BitTorrent traffic. What has escaped attention is the fact that Comcast, like the Great Firewall of China uses forged TCP Reset (RST) packets to do the job. While the Chinese government can do what they want, it turns out that Comcast may actually be violating criminal impersonation statutes in states around the country. Simply put, while it’s legal to block traffic on your network, forging data to and from customers is a big no-no.”
My pal Tony sent me this shot of his old Olympia manual typewriter keyboard. Amazing how few keys we got by with.
Olympia Portable Keyboard
Nowadays we have a lot more keys to worry about – not to mention that weird little pre-trackpad ‘wart’ for cursor control.
HP Portable Keyboard
Then there’s your typical home PC keyboard. I think I paid a whole $7 for this one. Very light, very cheap but works fine on Mac or PC.
KeyTronic Cheapie Keyboard
MS Ergo Keyboard
Then there’s the truncated Apple iMac keyboard that was on my jukebox – I decided to try the KeyTronic cheapie and it works fine. Better set of control keys.
Apple early-generation iMac keyboard
My current keyboard – the Matias Tactile Pro. It’s noisy but it types very nicely. Five-year warranty.
Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard
Here’s all of em together for comparison.
* There’s an outstanding article on Repetitive Strain Injury by Tina Richardson at dopasolution.com. It’s fully WC3 compliant and should work properly with most if not all assistive technologies. Thank you Tina!
FreeHand is officially dead:
Golly. Anyone surprised? *nod* Didn’t think so.
Bet there’s going to be a lot of pissed-off designers out there. Lots of folks (not me) loved FreeHand and swore by it.
I saw this coming the day I heard of the MacroMedia buyout.
Wonder how long till we hear the news about Flash – won’t that be fun.
The Coulter Hoax: How Ann Coulter Exposed the Intelligent Design Movement
( reposted from LiveScience.com )
By Peter Olofsson
posted: 07 April 2007
09:11 pm ET
In the summer of 2006, I heard that a new book called Godless presented an insightful and devastating criticism of the theory of evolution. Although I learned that its author, Ann Coulter, is not a scientist but a lawyer turned author and TV pundit, she nevertheless appeared to be an intelligent and well-educated person, so I started reading.
ablution/ablutions–to wash the body of; to wash one’s hands of the matter. Fields used this in correspondence.
abscond/absconded–to steal; stolen. Fields used these terms in some tall tales.
ad lib/ad libitum–to improvise. Fields ad libbed on stage, in film, and on radio. He used the words often in correspondence.
alacrity–eagerness, quickness. Fields used this in radio scripts and letters.
(hat tip to Jon Bell, mechanical wizard par excellence)
What to call all those exquisitely-useful (and painful!) things in the workshop.
US university dumps Windows to go all Mac
Pennyslvania university is replacing 1,700 PCs with 1,450 Macs
Gregg Keizer, Computerworld (US online)
Wilkes University announced on Wednesday that it has pulled the plug on PCs in favour of Macs, saying the move – which actually began last year – will save the Pennsylvania liberal arts college more than $150,000 while letting students and faculty continue to run Windows applications.
Touted by Apple as one of the first colleges to mandate a campus-wide shift from Windows PCs to Macs, the school wasn’t a bastion of all things Apple before the decision, said Scott Byers, vice president for finance and the head of campus IT. Macs, in fact, were a minority.
Rather than take bids from the usual PC suspects â€“ Dell and HP â€“ as well as Apple, Wilkes decided to go all-Apple because the new Intel-based models and the Boot Camp dual-boot software â€“ would let the school reduce the number of machines campus-wide. “This is an aggressive technology refresh,” Byers said.
“We’ll be able to reduce the number by about 250 across the campus”, said Byers, because labs and classrooms were typically outfitted with an inefficient PC-Mac mix. A class suitable for 30, for instance, might be equipped with 20 PCs and 20 Macs “because each class and each department had its own preference for what computers and what software they liked to use,” Byers said.
Now that class boasts 30 Macs, able to swing both ways at will, courtesy of Boot Camp.
“We think it will save $150,000 directly, in buying fewer units â€“ even though the Macs cost more per unit than PCs,” he said. The school, which enrolls about 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, will reduce its inventory from nearly 1,700 computers to around 1,450 after the change over. Other costs savings, however, will be harder to measure. “By standardising, the IT department should be more productive,” Byers said.
He also cited the additional security of Mac OS X, school-wide access to Apple’s iLife suite, and Apple’s operating system itself as side benefits. “It is, well, the superior OS, isn’t it?” said Byers, who before the switch was a dyed-in-the-wool Windows user.
The key to the change was Apple’s move to the Intel processor in early 2006 and the dual-boot Boot Camp software. The university’s management application â€“ which tracks students from application through graduation â€“ is a Windows app, for instance, and couldn’t be abandoned. With Boot Camp, such a move isn’t necessary.
Although the $1.4 million three-year switch â€“ which started last year with the purchase of approximately 500 Macs â€“ means Wilkes is all-Apple, students are free to choose any operating system, said Byers. “There’s no Mac mandate.”
Most of them pick one anyway: “This generation seems to prefer Macs,” he added.
Top Ten Reasons Working From Home RULES
|A = Lust
B = Gluttony
C = Greed
D = Sloth
E = Wrath
F = Envy
|AB = Edible Undies
AC = Prostitution
AD = Quickie
AE = Domestic Abuse
AF = Adultery
AG = Trophy Wife
BC = Last Donut
BD = Saturday
BE = Bulemia
BF = High Metabolism
BG = Fat Men in Speedos
|CD = Get Rich Quick Schemes
CE = Muggings
CD = Advertising
CG = Status Symbols
DE = Passive Aggression
DF = Welfare
DG = Slackers
EF = Cattiness
EG = Boxing
GF = Second Place
From the Consumerist ( http://tinyurl.com/23ljrx )
Dan writes is to let us know that a Dell Laptop was the most probable cause of a fire that destroyed his home. We must say he seems in good spirits about it, all things considered:
I’ve been invited to give a talk about CSS at Boulder Digital Arts!
I’ll be doing some CSS-evangelism to the table-weary masses.
Put on your geeky best and come’on out!
Can you read these right the first time?
This article lists notable military accidents involving nuclear material. Civilian accidents are listed at List of civilian nuclear accidents. For a general discussion of both civilian and military accidents, see nuclear and radiation accidents.
In listing military nuclear accidents, the following criteria have been followed:
Comes v. Microsoft is an Iowa state court class action brought by consumers, small businesses, and other indirect purchasers of Microsoft software products. Plaintiffs allege that from May 18, 1994 through June 30, 2006, Microsoft engaged in illegal monopolization and other anticompetitive conduct in the markets for operating systems, word processing, spreadsheets, and office suite software.
The suit claims Intel was bribing Dell to shut out AMD. Dell spokemen say the suit is a rehash of their dustup with AMD and that other claims in the lawsuit are made up.
This whole mess could spell less money donated to GOP fundraisers as well as operational woes for Intel; which could impact Apple eventually.
I think what we’re seeing is the first wave of change eroding the PC market’s sand castle. Dell has been producing an inferior product for years – their penchant for shipping DOA machines is legendary.
First Gateway started tanking in 2000 and hasn’t gotten better, now Dell is showing signs of slipping. HP looks to be doing good, but I think it’s just the effect of laying off all the Mercury employees – that bubble will burst shortly I suspect. Not to mention, when judgement against now-ex-chairman Dunn come down I predict that stock will take a savage hit.
Golly, could it be…? Is the ballyhooed Age of the PC drawing to an end? The skeletons are starting to rattle and fall out of the closets. Meanwhile Apple is doing great.
This is dedicated to John “Slidemeister” Wilwerding. Remember the Marines’ rifleman creed (This is my rifle…)? This was created by a Marine at WESTPAC. (I don’t know who this guy is but it was on the e-mail that was received….)
Beloved of Rebecca and David, departed this 20th day of January. Adopted as an orphan and cared for as family. I knew this sweet girl and mourn her passing. Bon voyage mon petite.
I offer the following for her owners:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there;
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there;
I did not die.
Apple’s first-quarter 2007 results are the best ever.
Thanks to selling an unbelievable 21.1 million iPods over the holidays, Apple reported record-breaking revenues for the December quarter of more than $7 billion. $1 billion of that is pure profit.
Not bad for a company that’s (supposedly) been going out of business since 1984.
I think it’s time for Apple’s detractors to wake up and smell the burning silicon.
Well, you already know my opinion about this, but here’s John C. Welch at Information Week with an in-depth comparison of Windows Vista and Apple OS X.
Most definitely NSFW.
by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
Da whole house was mellow,
Not a creature was stirrin’,
I had a gun unda my pillow.
When up on da roof’
I heard somethin’ pound,
I sprung to da window,
To scream, “Ay! Keep it down!”
When what to my
Wanderin’ eyes should appear,
But dat hairy elf Vinny,
And eight friggin’ reindeer.
Wit’ a bad hackin’ cough,
And da stencha burped beer,
I knew in a moment
Yo, da Kringle wuz here!
Wit’ a slap to dere snouts,
And a yank on dere manes,
He cursed and he shouted,
And he called dem by name.
“Yo Tony, Yo Frankie,
Yo Sally, Yo Vito,
Ay Joey, Ay Paulie,
Ay Pepe, Ay Guido!”
As I drew out my gun
And hid by da bed,
Down came his friggin’ boot
On da top a my head.
His eyes were all bloodshot,
His b.o. wuz scary,
His breath wuz like sewage,
He had a mole dat wuz hairy.
He spit in my eye,
And he twisted my head,
He soon let me know
I should consider myself dead.
Den pointin’ a fat finga
Right unda my nose,
He let out some gas,
And up da chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh,
And away dey all flew,
Before he troo dem a beatin’.
But I heard him exclaim,
Or better yet grump,
“Merry Christmas to all, and
Bite me, ya hump!”
The legend lives on
There are many poems that speak to my heart – this is one that speaks often. The opening phrase is so hopeful, I can only think the author was divinely inspired.
Always wanted to dress your iPod collection up as The Village People? Well, wait no more! Those zanies over at iAttire have just what you need.
Here we see a full-size iPod sporting the ‘Cowboy’ character. All you need is some scissors and a (very) steady hand to make those into crotchless chaps.
There’s a whole range of outfits, including the quintessential Beret as well as Pirate and Princess.
Have I mentioned John Gruber at Daring Fireball is a God? Well he is. Bow down chillins, he da man.
His post today smokes the Blue Meanies like an earthworm on a barbeque grill.
Classic monologue on the absurdities of modern jargon.