While the above is true, it also has nothing to do with the CAD
argument. There is no equivalent in mechanical drafting to having some
"monkey" dropping billets of raw steel in a CNC milling machine and you get
a finished product by the end of the day. There's no such thing as having
someone take pictures of a new EMD or GE loco, loading them into a computer,
and getting a finished AutoCAD drawing. It doesn't work that way, at least
not yet. There is a lot of skill involved in using CAD.
Paul A. Cutler III
Weather Or No Go New Haven
The skill has been transferred to the CNC programmer and fixture
designer. They both (could be one person) need to be well versed in
machining principles to be effective. I'd be willing to bet they make
more than the manual machinist, unless he's exceptional, more of a tool
I'm not sure about that - I'm my own draughtsman/CAD operator, lathe and
milling machine operator and CNC programmer. I seem to get paid the same
amount whichever way I go - nothing!
Most of the guys who do the manual work, Do prototyping work or short
production run work only. In ways they actually do do simular work to a tool
and Die even though. Its funny because when I went to school for mechanical
engineering. We thought that Cad/Cam would eliminate the need for machinist
to do this sort of work. In actuality it has made it more valuable because
unlike twenty years ago when we had thirty skilled machinist who could who
could compently operate manual equipment without DRO's or CNC controlers we
have maybe two or three tool and Die makers, who While being over Qualified
are the only people who are trusted not to smuck up these small low
production jobs. When we get prototypes approved and orders big enough to
warrant, then we get the programmer and Fixture designers involved.
I also know of a shop that has three large vertical turning machines.
two date from the thirties and the forties. The newer one dates from the
fifties. These machines turn turbine castings that are about ten foot in
Diameter and larger. I don't know if its still true but at one point I was
told that these three where were the last three in the northeast. The guys
who run these machines are the senior machinists in thier shop when they
retire or pass away there are no operators who can replace their body of
knowlege or skill. This in effect will put this comany out of business
unless they can find a CNC machine and a programmer.
The problem is that a with new technology people forget the infra
structure that old technology provided to get skill laborers at the highest
levels. How many Companys still employ a Mill Wright. In the company I
used to work for the last old school maintance guy retired he now makes
twice as much as consultant for them. He sends hours explaining the basic of
transitor and tube control panels, these were on fortie plus year old
machines for making fibreglass laminates. Theses machines in some cases
were constructrd by trial and error when computers took up entire rooms.
And while they the the people who could operate and work on this technology
were plentiful the company flourished. Now that the skilled operators and
maintance no longer exist. The company laid off over 600 other employees in
the plant and shipped all the work to and new overseas plant that is
Sorry for My Ludditte Rant but I always remember a my college
machine shop teacher telling me that civilization won't colaplapse due to
poloticians It will be because no one can remember how to fix What once
anybody could fix. In his class room He had framed IBM punch Card and
challanged all students to try figure out the the DATA on it. Last I knew
no one had. It contained some of the orginal programming for the Appollo
program I believe
On Fri, 11 Jan 2008 21:51:51 -0500, Christopher A. Lee wrote:
I would have said 12-1 = A and 11-1 = J because that's the way I learned
it, but your way is also correct and helps remember at least two of the
special characters. Now what the heck was 0-1?.
I used to read mag tape too. Used a system called MagneFlux which
made the magnetic spots visible. And DON'T get me started on paper tape :-).
You don't want to remember when optical scan of paper tape was
considered high speed compared to pin read? Not that I remember when a
TTY terminal time share was a Good Thing™ or dropping off punch cards
one day and getting to debug the next day or any of that stuff there.
Somewhere in my stash I have a block of core memory.
Now, if you want to go back to the dark ages I remember using a
calculator the size of a desk with columns of buttons, oodles of large
relays and two aluminum memory drums, each about 6" in diameter and 3
feet long if memory serves.
I used to be into science fiction back then. There were stories of
pocket sized calculators which always seemed to be disc shaped.
OK, enough of this, I suddenly feel old. You think YOU have it rough?
I had to walk bare foot to school...uphill....both ways...
Dan, U.S. Air Force, retired
Or a 15 place Kurta the size of (it's namesake) a peppermill - set the
sliders, then rotate the top one step at a time, cranking the number of
times for that place. A true thing of beauty, wonderfully finished,
knurled where appropriate, satin gloss smooth or flat black elsewhere.
Really sorry I ever sold it when I stopped rallying.
On Sun, 13 Jan 2008 17:23:14 +0000 (GMT), Brian Bailey wrote:
I was really sorry some years ago when we were driving from friends' place
on the Bodensee to meet some other friends for a week in Sent (just east of
Scuol, it's a delightful Engadiner town perched amid wildflower filled
pastures on the steep north slope of the Inn river valley, with signs in
Romontsch and houses painted Engadiner style with pictures of saints and
poems or mottos and trompe l'oeil quoins and door and window frames painted
on the stuccoed walls) and passed through Liechtenstein without stopping to
see if the factory had a museum. Those peppermills are the sort of things
that belong in a museum of industrial design.
I've still got my one from high school, plus one I picked up in a
second-hand shop twenty years ago.
I find it most useful when converting plans from one scale to another -
set it at the ratio of scales and read the new dimension straight off. A
pocket calculator does the same thing to 6-8 decimal figures in four
times as long, but my ruler doesn't measure to 6-8 decimal figures.
True, but a lot of data resided on those punch cards, and on those huge
reels of magnetic tape. A lot of it has been lost, irretrievably. And
the spate of "privacy of information" laws has made the situation worse.
Future historians will have a hell of a time figuring who we were, what
we did, why, and how. No data = no insight.
Anecdote: back in the 70s our principal took an upgrade course and had
to write an historical essay based on original documents. It so happened
that Norman Bethune's father was pastor at the local church for a while,
and Norman went to school here. Our principal wrote a nice little
pamphlet about Bethune's high school years. Couldn't do that now - apart
from yearbooks, all the relevant data would have been destroyed, lest it
fall under the beady eyes of "unauthorised persons."
I suspect the next time anyone goes to the moon it will be more likely that
it will be soyez capsule if anything. unfortunately I suspect that propping
up puppet regimes in foreign nations is a higher priority to the US than
reaching the moon or anything else in space.
Similar thing is true of home entertainment media. A lot of 8mm and
super-8 is languishing in people's closets, never to be seen again.
They've long ago sold their projectors....
There's also the issue over designing new technology just because you
can. Think of all the unnecessary features on the latest versions of GPS
navigator units. MP3???? Dumb-oh.
Or cars: Just a few weeks ago, my niece and nephew bought an new car.
The niece tried to open the car with the keys to their older car (same
make, same key-series), and the new car promptly shut down. Completely.
Took a tow, and a couple hours work by a technician to persuade the
onboard computer to let the car run again. I guess the shut-down is a
"security feature." Stoopid IMO.
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