devices of unecessary complexity

On Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:59:49 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"


I didn't stay in the field long enough to get that kind of experience.

Sad, isn't it?

My year at Coleman College's Computer Electronics Technology course taught me troubleshooting down to the component level, too. I stayed at it for only 3 years as a test tech before SKF bought out Palomar Technology (vibration datalogging/pre-failure maintenance) and I changed to a computer repair/software guy swapping boards in mainstream personal computers. I've lost, from disuse, most of what I learned at Coleman in 1986-7.
A friend just retired from the appliance repair field. He was a natural at troubleshooting beyond the board, but most of his work was board replacement until they learned that he could do more. He ended up getting all the "bad" jobs, where board-replacers couldn't fix the appliance.
Lots of these folks are either getting out of the business or dying from old age, so what comes next, when all of the true knowledge is gone? How far away are we from the coming global Idiocracy?
I probably have only 10% of the learning of some of you folks here, but most of what I have is practical knowledge. I have a feeling that I'll need all of that (and a whole lot more) in the coming years, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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wrote:

While I was analyzing the electrical problem in my 1991 truck someone told me about a shop that specializes in automotive engine electronics, so I stopped in to talk to them. The owner told me that I had become the local expert on the EEC-IV system by default, since every mechanic who had worked on it was gone. The Ford dealers told me nearly the same thing.
All I really knew was how the sensors work, from chemistry and having worked on GM's test stations for them in the 70's, the basics of spark ignition and how to use a scope. The Mass Air Flow sensor is a simplified version of the bridge detector in a chemist's Gas Chromatograph.
I saw the same hot-wire principle used on a Bosch injector pump tester we built to measure the uniformity of the nozzle spray pattern. I didn't actually work on that machine and can't give Iggy useful details such as the full capacity of the row of graduated glass tubes that measured each cylinder's flow volume. A 10 HP variable speed DC motor drove the pump being tested.
In Germany I followed the dystopian Sudden Death comic series, European equivalents to R. Crumb. One of their visions was that the "sacred electronics" would become the arcane knowledge of old guys.
-jsw
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On Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:01:10 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

Cool. Lots of bowing and scraping, eh?

10 horse? That must have been some pump!

Prophetic!
Good old R. Crumb. Keep on Truckin'!
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wrote:

The motor was sized for low-speed torque.
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I needed to change the thermostat on my Alfa Romeo. On every car I've owned previously, it cost a few dollars and replacement involved removing two or three bolts from a hose fitting on the block. On my Alfa, the thermo was i ntegrated into the entire housing. It cost over a hundred, and took 45 minu tes to change out!
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-0400 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    You know when your design is complete - not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is mottling left to take away.
    OTOH, rarely are products "completed" so much as the designers run out of time to make any improvements or changes. -- pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
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pyotr filipivich wrote:

AKA: Muntzed
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03:40:23 -0400 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Okay, I give - vvhat means "muntzed"? -- pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
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on Tue, 23 Sep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madman_Muntz
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-0400 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Ah. Applying the "KISS" principle to manufacturing. "What doesn't need to go in?"
-- pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
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On 9/24/2014 4:54 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

I used to have a cherry - beautiful - nice design... 4/8 track Muntz. It must have been sold with the station wagon in 80.
Martin
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

Muntz would run the rf section and the if section through the same tube saving a bunch of tubes.
John
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John wrote:

Reflex circuits. It was a common practice to pass RF and audio through the same tubes, when one cost a week's pay.
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In the software world, yes. People get really carried away with stupid, overly complex ideas that were just bad to start with.

Actual requirements are usually really hard to come by.

Well, in the case of the original F camera of early 1970s revision, every damn part it connected. There's no sign of any modules of grouped functionality or subassemblies that are not interconnected in 3 dimensions with 15 other parts. That's why I wonder if labor was free when thing thing came off the assembly line. Even assembling it would have taken ages.
I recall some VCRs that were never designed to be serviced. Replacing one tire involved actually cutting a hole the stamped metal made up the transport. Sanyo eventually woke up and redesigned it enlarged openings where people were previously cutting holes. Stupid design.
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Only stupid in retrospect. They did not anticipate the need when they designed it.
You're a mook, CL. Smashing an F-body camera just to complain about the complexity of it is ridiculous. Even lacking the prism, it was valuable to someone other than you.
They were complex because of how much they could do -- mechanically, only. Despite their complexity, they were marvelously reliable. Even many that got dropped and/or banged around in service continued to work just fine. I have a 1948 Meteor SP (1/2-frame 35) rotary focal plane shutter camera that's a lot simpler than a Nikon-F, if you really want 'simple'.
My old Asai Pentax is every bit as complex as a Nikon. Despite its 1980s origins, it's as reliable today as the day it was built. Film... that's another problem. Only one maker still out there...
LLoyd
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'had a whole -good- darkroom at one time. Simmon-Omega D2 enlarger with the condensor color head, polycontrast filter set, the whole thing.
Gunner, stuff comes, and stuff goes. To be honest, a high-end pro- digital can do anything and all things film could, except for manipulation in the darkroom. And that was "once or nothing", at least with the film, itself... like 'pushing' a roll, or cold-processing for higher contrast. At least with digital, if you goof, you can try it again. Screw up a roll of film, and you went out and shot it again.
Lloyd
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Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

As far as enlargers go, I like the Omega Pro Lab, 5 or 6 series, since they're all pretty much the same. They are machines of truly great design. They are sturdy, reliable, use simple parts and are easy to adjust and repair. There are no bullshit extra parts. All the parts that wear out can be replaced with stuff from any hardware store with a good selection of parts bin.
The opposite of Omega would be something like Durst. Every part is specialized or complex because they came out of a socialist country with machinists nobody could fire. THe minute a product has dozens of types of fasteners, you know the rest of the product is going to be just as stupid.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Motorola had some truly innovative engineers who made some fairly incredible products, like their handheld radio line. I recall some of the Radius series had no screws at all, were easy to assemble and just as easy to take apart. They were also completely weather sealed, which was made even easier as they didn't have any screws to start with. Yes, they were super tough too. Simple is good, and they really ran with this concept for a while.
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    [ ... ]

    I've got one of the later Omega D-series enlargers, along with a B-series (both accept the same lens boards and film holders). The D-series has slots in the beam for three autofocus linear cams, and the B-series has two. And the D series has the Chromega head for color printing -- acquired just about the time I gave up on home darkroom work. :-)

    There is where the Zeiss Contax -- or the early Nikon cameras, at least through the Nikon F -- win. Ever see a "Contax Cassette"? A double shell cassette, one shell rotating inside the other to close to form a light trap, or open to let the film pass out touching nothing, so none of the scratches which the old felt on used cassettes gave after a while.
    Anyway -- the cameras listed could use *two* of those cassettes, feed and takeup -- (both opened the slots as you locked the back closed, and closed the slots as you opened the back. Anyway -- you snapped off two blank exposures, opened the back and put the two cassettes, joined by a short strip of film -- into a safe place, and loaded the other film in with two more of the cassettes. Then when you swapped back, you wound off two more blanks and you could continue to shoot with no risk of mis-counting and double exposures. Yes, it cost four exposures, and from a 12-exposure roll, that was a lot, but with what I usually used (36+ exposures, hand loaded) it was not that much of a bite.
    I used the Contax cassettes first in a Contaflex Super (SLR with only partially interchangeable lenses -- just the front element), and missed that with all the shots I took over the years with a series of Miranda cameras, starting with the Miranda F -- the closest to a Nikon F in features that I could afford at the time. But that had a captive takeup spool, so non Contax Cassettes for that. Later I got used Nikon F bodies, and could start using them again.
    [ ... ]

    I tended to use Tri-X -- processed in Acufine or Diafine, and thus pushed to 800 ASA or 1200 ASA (The latter was really too low contrast for me to be happy, so even in Diafine I would only go to 800 ASA after a few rolls.) (And of course, now 800 to 1200 ISO instead. At least I never had to use DIN film ratings. :-)

    I've got a Nikon D300s which I am quite happy with -- except that I would like the ability to use the full frame instead of a 1.5 crop factor, so the Fisheye and extra wide angle lenses looked normal -- but I benefit in having my long lenses behave longer by a 1.5 factor too. :-)

    I've got a *lot* of lenses for the Nikon F -- only some of which I can use on the D300s. I need to make a fixture so I can modify the aperture ring on the older lenses to couple to the metering system in the camera body.

    The D300s has a real flash connector, as well as the hot shoe to talk to the newer flash units -- which themselves can talk to other flashes too.

    Exactly. A number of my older lenses do have the modified aperture rings, so I can use them in a somewhat less convenient metering mode in the D300s, including the 500mm f8 mirror lens, but not everything. At least a lot better than the D70, which would not talk to lenses without a built-in chip for auto metering, thus sending me back to a hand-held exposure meter. :-)

    None to trade, but one of my first Digital SLRs was a Nikon N90 which had been adapted by Kodak to digital for the AP people. Not a particularly impressive number of pixels by today's standards, but when I first started using that after working with one of the little Nikon CoolPix P&S cameras, I remembered what I liked so much about SLRs vs rangefinders and P&S cameras. One of the major things is just how slow using the lens and display as a viewfinder made things, so you had to play tricks to get short term (but predictable) events. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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I may hit you up on this for the lamphouses. Just got some d6 (not sure if they're first or second gen) columns with dichroic heads, but I want them for B&W only. The fact that there are some many head options and conversions is a testament to the "simple is best" design they used. No other enlargers can be converted into so many things with so many options and gadgets available from so many third parties.

I sort of wonder where one would even get B&W paper larger than 20x24" these days unless it's on a giant roll you ordered straight from the factory. I've got a set of vacuum easels that need to be restored. Years of tape and abuse have them in a rather non-flat state.

That reminds me I need to plug in and power up the Speedotron power pack to keep the capacitors happy.

it seems that if you get something like a 4/3 mount camera, you can get adapters for most old lenses. The only adapter I bothered to but was a Mamiya 645 to Nikon F mount device. There's really no point to it, but yeah, it works if you do stop down metering of sorts.

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Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

It's still stupid design if nobody though ahead at all.

A F is not rare or valuable, no matter what you tell yourself, they churned out trillions of the things. Check prices on keh.com

not true.
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