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When I joined TI in 1974, I did so in its Calculator department. The department had three different product lines:

  • Consumer calculators. The best known was the Datamath (Figure 1). It was popular for many years before we began our drive for lower price rather than more features.
  • Professional calculators. It started with the SR-10 (Figure 2). I became part of this team as a Product Engineer on the SR-50A and SR-51A.
  • Desktop calculators. I began my career at TI working on the TI-500 which was TI’s first printing calculator (Figure 3).

The Datamath four function calculator.

The SR-10 scientific calculator.
The TI-500 printer calculator.

I was assigned to the desktop calculator product line as a sustaining engineer. My specific task was to keep the desktop calculators in production. This all took place in our Semiconductor Building in Dallas, Texas. My office was on the first floor and the products I supported were on the second floor; which was actually the third floor as there was the “space frame” between the floors for the facilities team to maintain the infrastructure without bothering the engineering teams and manufacturing lines.

My first lesson as a new employee was where the bathrooms were. When I asked people around me at my desk, they would say “it is upstairs”. I would go upstairs and not find the bathroom. When I asked someone in the halls up there about the bathrooms, they would say “it is downstairs”. I then went down back to my desk to ask again. It was finally explained to me that the Semiconductor Building (SC building) was in fact a three story building but only a few people actually worked in the middle story (space frame). But the bathrooms were in the space frame. That was an important lesson for me to learn.

I became fascinated with the space frame and a few years later, actually became one of those few who “worked” the space frame to their advantage, but not as part of facilities. I learned that a lot of semiconductor material was stored in the space frame to elude inventory, or was ready for disposition into the dumpster after failure analysis and field returns. Several of us, who were continually trying out new circuits, found this resource invaluable. One time, while wandering through the space frame we found a 55 gallon drum of power transistors. We were always in need of such devices to create power supplies, etc on the production line (and at home). So we grabbed a handful of the transistors knowing they were on the way to the dumpster. The lady assigned to that area caught us doing the deed. She asked what we were doing, at which time she informed us that they were bad transistors, confirming our conclusion. She also told us that she had good ones in her cage (the space frame was full of locked cages with the good stuff) and we could come in and get them rather than the bad ones. As we didn’t mind the bad ones (usually out of spec but still very useful for our purposes). We declined the good devices.

I also found out that the Calculator department had a cage. In it were thousands of defective TMS1000 class devices (our part numbers were TMC01xx). We were storing them waiting for the Semiconductor department of TI to finally allow us to return bad parts which had been soldered and removed from a PC board.

Questions & Answers

Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The speak n spell. OpenStax CNX. Jan 31, 2014 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11501/1.5
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