iWoz and my microprocessor days

I’m fond of going to the bookstore and see if there’s anything new. I like to read on the lives of great people. I’d like to know how they think, how they got to where they are, what they stand for.

After reading iWoz, a book written by Steve Wozniak, I had a renewed appreciation for Engineers. Steve Wozniak is an Engineer by profession and he created the Apple II computer. He is an excellent designer, using as few chips as possible, continuously making improvements, finding delight in the thought of beating himself.

In some ways, reading the book made me remember the wonderful days I had working with chips as a student. I worked on some small projects at school. At one time, I had to attach a keypad and an LCD display on a microprocessor chip, added a few resistors, capacitors, transistors and make it do some neat things. If you type in a number on the keypad, the number appears on the LCD and then starts counting down. Once it reaches zero, it blinks three times as if to explode. It’s a bit scary walking around with it going to the malls. The security guys might mistake it for a bomb and have me arrested.

At one point, I was also involved in creating a fingerprint-identification system for use on office time-in/time-out. I can still remember my delight when I was able to make the thing work at the middle of the night. There I was, watching my own fingerprint on the computer screen, smiling up to my ears, as if seeing the face of a beautiful girl.

I guess, I just miss those days. It was a wonderful experience. I hope I get to experience the same feeling again in the future.