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Engineering & Science Notable Tech Quote Archive #28

Notable Tech Quotes - RF CafeThe number of statements uttered verbally and/or in print is uncountable. Some are more noteworthy than others either because of sheer brilliance, good humor, or utter inanity. We all hope our own remembered words, if any, fall into one of the first two categories rather than the third. I do a lot of reading and find many notable quotes to use that fit the theme of RF Cafe; they fall into all three categories. I always try to verify quotes from original sources or at least from printed books like The Experts Speak, of which I own a hard copy. Enjoy.

Notable Tech Quote Archive

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  • "Benjamin Peirce 1857" by Daniel Huntington - https://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/PictDisplay/Peirce_Benjamin.html. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - RF Cafe"Gentlemen, that is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth." - Benjamin Peirce, on Euler's identity, as quoted by R. C. Archibald in his book Benjamin Peirce, 1809-1880 : Biographical Sketch and Bibliography. Also on the topic: "What could be more mystical than an imaginary number interacting with real numbers to produce nothing? The equation contains nine basic concepts of mathematics - once and only once - in a single expression. These are: e (the base of natural logarithms); the exponent operation; π; plus (or minus, depending on how you write it); multiplication; imaginary numbers; equals; one; and zero." - Robert P. Crease, in "The greatest equations ever" at PhysicsWeb (October 2004)

    <Quote Archive>


  • Arthur Summerfield on Missile Mail - RF Cafe Notable Quote"Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to England, to India or to Australia by guided missiles." - Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General. On June 8, 1959, in a move that PG Summerfield heralded as "of historic significance to the peoples of the entire world," the Navy submarine USS Barbero fired a guided missile carrying 3,000 letters towards the naval auxiliary air station in Mayport, Florida. Racing along at about 600 miles per hour, the guided missile traveled the more than 100 miles from the deck of the submarine off the coast of Florida to the air station in about 22 minutes.


  • J. Scott Evans, Adobe (PLI photo) - RF Cafe"I told my people the best way not to get included is not to suck." he says. ­ New .Sucks Internet Domain: Extortion Or Free Speech? - J. Scott Evans, associate general counsel at Adobe Systems, in response to whether his company would succumb to what some consider extortion with the issuance of ".sucks" domain extensions. The extension, which some malicious SOP (son-of-a-pup) with too much money could use to buy "RFCafe.sucks," would cost as much as $2,500 per year.


  • The Psychology of Productivity, Leigh Buchanan - RF Cafe"Because we now have shared calendars, people can kidnap our time." - Leigh Buchanan, The Psychology of Productivity, Inc magazine.


  • Carl Sagan Quote (Wikipedia image) - RF Cafe"A googleplex is precisely as far from infinity as is the number 1 ... No matter what number you have in mind, infinity is larger." - Carl Sagan. Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage series on PBS in 1980 is largely responsible for my interest in astronomy as a hobby. Although I had a small el cheapo 2" Tasco refractor telescope, a desire to view the kinds of deep space objects featured on Cosmos prompted me to scrape up $120 (a lot of dough in 1980) for a 6" Newtonian type reflector telescope. A lot of people have had a magnified look at the surface of the moon if from nothing else a camera telephoto lens, but viewing Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons through a 'real' telescope will take your breath away. They seem unreal. For a real intellectual and even emotional rush, use an 8-inch or larger telescope to view a globular star cluster like Messier 13 in Hercules or the amazing cluster of galaxies in Coma Berenices. A picture doesn't come close to replicating the 3-dimensional perspective of the view through an eyepiece.


  • Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh - RF Cafe"The history of science teaches only too plainly the lesson that no single method is absolutely to be relied upon, that sources of error lurk where they are least expected, and that they may escape the notice of the most experienced and conscientious worker." - Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh


  • Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, former FCC Special Council for Enforcement - RF Cafe"Don't engage [these] people, and don't humor the idiots. Stupidity can't be regulated, no matter how good the rules are. Just turn the big knob. Every rig has one." - Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, former FCC Special Council for Enforcement, speaking about changes in FCC violation enforcement policy changes. Printed in February 2015 QST magazine. Watch entire speech at FARC meeting on video.


  • Notable Quote on Amplifiers & Oscillators - RF Cafe"Amplifiers are oscillators that don't and oscillators are amplifiers that do." - R.F. Anon. This adage is akin to another that says, "If you want an oscillator, design an amplifier. If you want an amplifier, design an oscillator." In case the concept is not familiar with the dilemma, both refer to frustration pre-computer simulation designers often had (and some still have) with unintentional constructive feedback causing an amplifier to oscillate and unintentional destructive feedback preventing an oscillator from oscillating.


  • George M. Rose, RCA - RF Cafe"The explanation for the occurrence of power amplification in the junction transistor is somewhat less complicated than is the case with the pint-contact transistor, but it is still too abstruse to attempt here except to say again that two junction areas interact. A more thorough explanation calls for the use of the concept of conduction by 'holes' in addition to conduction by electrons. Holes are places in the germanium crystal atomic structure where electrons could be but are not. Although this sounds ridiculous it has considerable foundation in fact. These holes do enter into the conduction process and behave as if they were positive electrons. There is no analogous effect in vacuum tubes." - George M. Rose (K2AH), Manager, Advanced Development at RCA's Tube Department, in his 1953 QST article titled "The Transistor - Or 25 Miles on a Hunk of Germanium." This was the first-ever mention of the transistor in QST.


  • Herbert Marshall McLuhan - RF Cafe"Xerography is bringing a reign of terror into the world of publishing, because it means that every reader can become both author and publisher." - Marshall McLuhana, 1966, from March 2005 Smithsonian magazine. An unregulated Internet provided the next step in that freedom. On February 26, 2015, the FCC adopted "Net Neutrality," giving the Federal government control over the Internet under the guise of protecting little 'ol you. Be sure to thank the people you know who voted for the people who passed this. If you think you're being spied on now, you ain't seen nothin' yet.


  • Dr. Lee DeForest Notable Quote for February 3, 2015 - RF Cafe"I seldom tune in ... The programs, all swing and croon, are not only poor, but the interruptions for commercial announcements are maddening ... Isn't it sickening? It isn't at all as I imagined it would be." - Dr. Lee DeForest, in Time magazine.


  • The Electrician's Trade Demystified - RF Cafe"We are living in an extraordinary wired environment. But all this technology cannot sustain itself unattended. The worldwide power grid and connected equipment are like an enormously friendly and useful workhorse that has to be fed and cared for if it is going to perform as expected" - David Herres, in The Electrician's Trade Demystified.


  • Andy Cohen, Radio Shack store owner (Notable Quote) - RF Cafe"But his shop is a lone outpost; in a single generation, the American who built, repaired, and tinkered with technology has evolved into an entirely new species: the American who prefers to slip that technology out of his pocket and show off its killer apps. Once, we were makers. Now most of us are users." - Andy Cohen, long-time Radio Shack store owner. Radio Shack is in its last days as it plans to shut down.


  • Steve Blank tech quote (Entrepreneur magazine) - RF Cafe"Engineers are artists. These are people with visions that no one else sees or hears, and the only other domain like that is art." Steve Blank, retired serial entrepreneur and Silicon Valley historian, in Entrepreneur magazine's "Inside the Mind of Silicon Valley's Tech Innovators."


  • David Sarnoff quote (davidsarnoff.org image) - RF Cafe"Television is likely to do more to revolutionize politics than sound broadcasting did. Political candidates may have to adopt new techniques to benefit from visual radio: their dress, their smiles and gestures, all will be important. How they look, as well as what they say, may determine to an appreciable extent their popularity. The eyes of the public will be upon them." - David Sarnoff, head of RCA, in his annual report on the state of television and radio. March 1948 Radio Craft magazine.


  • H. Ward Silver quote, January 2015 QST - RF Cafe"Earth is not a magic drain into which all of unwanted RF can be poured via a wire." -- H. Ward Silver, N0AX, ARRL author of "Hands-On Radio" column in QST (January 2015). Mr. Silver is also the lead editor of the ARRL Handbook.

    8/20/2020      1/20/2015

  • Kevin Nolan, VP of GE Home & Business Solutions, in January 2015 Popular Science - RF Cafe"We think the new IP is speed. People who can move fast are going to win." - Kevin Nolan, VP of GE Home & Business Solutions, in January 2015 Popular Science, "Make, Inc."


  • Christine Lagorio-Chafkin and Chad Folkening (Inc. images) - RF Cafe"I see 98 percent of your sales last quarter were URLs that end in the traditional dot-com." - Christine Lagorio-Chafkin, Inc. magazine writer, interviewing $35M/year Domain Holdings co-founder Chad Folkening. I've always recommended to people that they buy a '.com' domain name for a business because even with the hundreds of '.whatevers' available now, nearly everyone assumes you have a '.com.'


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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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