The famous analog engineer and writer Bob Pease mentored me over at National Semiconductor. I was deeply saddened by his tragic death and I miss him every day. So you can imagine my delight when Lenore over at Evil Mad Scientist told me a pal had made a fun little tribute circuit board in honor of Pease.
One of Pease’s exasperations was engineers that would rely solely on computer simulations. Bad enough they didn’t rely on real hardware, but when the real hardware did not agree with the simulation, these engineers would blame the hardware, not the computer. I touched on this tendency of engineers to rely on pretty simulations in a recent article in Electronic Design.
So when engineers would as Bob Pease what his favorite Spice or his favorite programming language, Bob would loudly pronounce “My favorite programming language is solder!” I really get his point. When I was a consultant, clients wanted to see working hardware, not computer print-outs. So my doing minimal Spice, I got prototype hardware in their hands sooner, and then we could use Spice to optimize component values, or for what it is really good for—doing Monte-Carlo simulations with your discrete component tolerances so you could see the corner cases of performance of your design.
Saar Drimer was hoping that I could send one of his Pease PCBs to Bob’s widow Nancy. I will do that tonight, and I am sure she will be delighted as I was.
So thanks to Saar over at Boldport, for keeping the Pease flame alive, just the way Bob would want— in some hardware.