Formulae and Equations
I want to tell you about two great websites I recently had the pleasure of bookmarking. (I have now added a third: 5-01-2014)
I studied electronics in 1976 with my eye on going on to bigger and better things in the telecommunications arena. That didn’t pan out, my fault, but I have always been intrigued by all things ruled by voltages, current, resistance and active devices. I’m currently on a quest to complete an application which can be used by students and engineers to make calculations based on RL, RC, resonance, wire gauges, current, ampacity, load lines, three phase, power factors, to name a few.
And suddenly I came to a grinding halt. I don’t work with this day to day so things have become a little bit rusty. Vectors and J-notation is the yield sign, calculus is an emergency stop but boy-oh-boy am I eager to learn, eager to recall. I laugh to myself when I read about programming which can be done by anybody – there’s not much maths involved. Crazy thinking! Try and write an app which not only tests your mathematical ability (now almost zilch) but puts all the outputs into an easy to read format. I look at the formulae, look at the over 500 calculations and my hand reaches for the bottle. I envy the youth of today. Really I do. It’s one thing to become besotted with calculations and formulae but another totally to understand them all and then still write exams using your knowledge (or lack of) on top of this. How did I do this 30 years ago?
Formulae and Equations – the Loop aerial for RDF
I remember the loop antenna used in RDF – but the formula to derive the output signals, the pressing need to know all this for our final examinations is all but forgotten. I remember the pressing need to go out to the CBD, to a disco come nightclub called “Monroes” every Thursday with an Italian DJ called”Sebastian and my mate Dennis though. I remember this because there were no formulae involved. Who needs a formula to pick up chicks and get blind drunk. I recall my late brother-in-law Pieter telling me this joke about how alcohol killed off the weak brain calls allowing the stronger ones to survive.
Formulae and Equations – are you smart enough to work for Google?
Maybe that’s it. I only have one brain cell left. So back to my quest to write the ultimate application – one in which the user can punch in the output and get the inputs. Very much like Google but on a grander scale. Of course I am not Larry Page or a Sergey but I aim high. I was wondering whether I shouldn’t have a press conference before the release, as Betaware. I was thinking that maybe I could send out a blank database and ask electronic students to fill in the blanks. I was thinking that maybe I should assign a scientist to the job. I live in South Africa and we have a few. But I don’t like Scientists – a friend of mine is one. He always phones me to ask advice, an opinion and I always know he has the answer. I think he does it to keep up his self-esteem. But like all self-opinionated, ego-centric individuals I add my penny’s worth. I can almost hear him guffawing over the phone – but hey, he wanted my opinion didn’t he?
On my road to discovery I came across some very useful and informative web sites. I name two below:
And a third:
I find it fascinating that the top two websites are written for the layman, student, engineer, what have you and we can get this information for free. (the third link is from Patrick at www.teachigo.com – have a look see, I like the idea, anything that is free is worth a try, especially if it can put another brain cell into orbit. Thanks Patrick!).
Formulae and Equations – From IQ Buster to PhD in thirty seconds….
What happened to the old days when one had to buy a book or go to the library to get the information. Nowadays we have so many armchair engineers we just need to have someone to print out the degrees – for free. In South Africa we have them. I work with at least thirty “engineers” most of them barely passing mathematics at junior level. Actually I recently interviewed 12 potential employees whom didn’t even know which company they were going to work for. And that’s no BS. But 10^6 kudos go to the authors of those two websites and for Patrick’s link which I am sure many of us are going to find interesting. Interesting and informative. They don’t give out degrees but I’m sure if you understand their explanations you should be thinking about studying further.
Me, right now – I’m going to Monroes to make my remaining brain cell all that much stronger.