> I had an opportunity to work with the legendary Hans Camenzind (designer
of the 555 timer, among other things)

I still use 555 chips as the single most critical chip in our student
CUBESAT designs.
It is a fail-safe watch dog timer to CYCLE power to the CPU if it doesnt
get tickled!

I thank him frequently. THanks for the story.  Bob, WB4APR


On Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Lee Hart via EV <ev@lists.evdl.org> wrote:

> Robert Bruninga via EV wrote:
>
>> here is a brilliant idea in Norway.
>> Have the lights dim to 20% when no cars or people are driving by.
>> Neat!  Saves 80% of light power while still providing full illumination
>> when someone needs it.
>>
>
> It *is* a good idea. Street lights are a good first application, because
> they are expensive enough to afford the extra hardware, and the "bean
> counters" that buy them are fanatically interested in minimizing operating
> cost.
>
> I had an opportunity to work with the legendary Hans Camenzind (designer
> of the 555 timer, among other things). He felt we were going in the wrong
> direction with integrated circuits. We were making them ever more
> complicated, to do BIG things. What they *should* be doing is making them
> simpler, to do SMALL things very well. For example, a pocket calculator,
> which has exactly one chip. Thus they are produced by the billions, easy to
> use, run on solar power, sell for $1, and work for decades.
>
> But today's designers aren't looking for such applications. They spend all
> their time designing smartphones and computers, massively complex devices
> that cost a lot, eat lots of power, are hard to learn, full of bugs, and
> only last a few years.
>
> One of his "missing products" was the smart bulb. It basically detects
> people, and is on when they are near, and dims progressively as they move
> away. As you move about your house, the lights are only on where *you* are.
> Not like cheap motion-detecting lamps, these would smoothly dim and
> brighten so the illumination where you are says about the same.
>
> Another was the smart doorknob. Grab it, and it recognizes you and lets
> you in (or locks if you're the wrong person).
>
> Designers occasionally work on such devices, but wind up with massively
> complex expensive solutions. The key KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. You
> don't want a light bulb that has an IP address, requires a network
> connection, needs a linux computer somewhere to run it, and an IT person to
> program it. You have to be able to just screw it in, and you're done.
>
> Designing complex things is easy. Designing simple things is HARD!
> --
> Whether we or our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all
> our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory,
> and a sterner sense of justice than we do. -- Wendell Berry
> --
> Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell
> <https://maps.google.com/?q=e+Hart,+814+8th+Ave+N,+Sartell&entry=gmail&source=g>MN
> 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
> _______________________________________________
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>
>
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