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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

what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
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.
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
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
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
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
how can I make nanorobot?
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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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