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New Member Introductions

Open Discussion and Chatter [Non-Topic Discussion]
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zappman
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New Member Introductions

Postby zappman » Thu May 07, 2015 7:00 pm

Welcome to the ZappBots New Member Introductions Topic.

If you're a new member here and haven't introduced yourself already, please reply and tell us a little about yourself. This will help open dialogue with other members, let them know about your interests and your experience level.

I am Zappman, the founder of the ZappBots forums. I am a retired electrical engineer. I have been interested in electronics since I was a child. I started building computers in the 1970's. The first computer I built was a COSMAC ELF II, that used an RCA 1802 CPU.
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I enjoy working with Micro-Controllers, Single Board Computers, Classic Computers & Video Game Consoles. My favorite hobby is building Robots. I also collect movies on DVD & Blu-ray discs.

I look forwarded to talking to you here in the ZappBot forums.
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Admire the person with dirt under his fingernails.

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Savage///Circuits
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby Savage///Circuits » Tue May 12, 2015 3:55 pm

My name is Chris Savage, founder of Savage///Circuits and Engineering Technician at Parallax Inc.

I like to build custom electronics and microcontroller projects around the house and run my own project website called, Savage///Circuits. I create project and tutorial videos and may start doing review videos as well.

I mostly get into Parallax microcontrollers such as the BASIC Stamp and Propeller Microcontrollers but I am also fluent in many older CPUs such as the 6502 and Z80.

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I'm only responsible for what I say, not what you understand.

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Hal Albach
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby Hal Albach » Tue May 12, 2015 5:29 pm

My name is Hal Albach, currently live in Seminole, Florida (AKA The West Coast of the East Coast). Like everyone here, I've been interested in electronics all my life. Just like Zappman, my first computer was a Cosmac ELF (your picture brought back a flood of good memories!) which I kept adding to with parts from Netronics, somewhere near Boston. Then I got an Atari 800.....
When I'm not inhaling solder fumes or wracking my brain learning Propeller C and trying to make my latest creation (abortion?) do something besides run into the walls and furniture I enjoy working outside trimming palms and all the other plants that grow too well here. I also enjoy an occasional round of golf and only dream of breaking 90 without foot wedges and far too many mulligans.
I was born in Germany and came to the States at the ripe old age of 5 in the early 50's and became an American citizen. Served 20 years in the military after which I was hired by Fujitsu to keep all their computers and such running in the Northwest part of Ohio. Transferred to Florida and fully retired several years ago.
The microcontrollers I like to play with have been the Intel 8052 and many of its variants, BS2 and its bigger cousins, 6502 while I was deep into Atari, Micro Pics but never got too far, and now finally the Propeller. What I really find awesome about the propeller is the variety of program languages available for it and all for free! I am now able to finally learn C without having to break the bank for compiler that isn't crippled or size limited.
I hope I can help others with their electronics problems as I hope others will help me.

Hal
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

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jlocke
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby jlocke » Wed May 13, 2015 10:39 pm

My name is John Locke, and I live and play in Austin, TX. I've been interested in electronics since I was a kid, and joined the Navy to learn electronics. Spent 6 years as a sonar technician, working on the AN/SQS-26BX sonar system. Went back to Kansas (my home state) after the Navy, and enrolled in the EE program at Wichita State University. Never finished, as I moved to the Dallas area as a District Technical Manager with Showbiz Pizza Place. From there I got involved with the IBM PC while working for a company that wrote insurance software (Informatics). Worked for a short while at the downtown Dallas Businessland location after the Informatics job moved to Atlanta. A tech I knew from Showbiz Pizza contacted me about an open position, and next thing I know, I'm working field service for a company that made semiconductor furnaces (Tempress). I installed furnaces at AMD Austin Fab 14 and Fab 15, and their Fab 12 in San Antonio. After six years of that, I made a lateral move to the semiconductor prober company (Electroglas). I worked for Electroglas for 18 years, until the company went bankrupt in 2008. In 2010 I was hired at Samsung Austin Semiconductor, originally working on the memory test floor. The Austin fab was converted to all LSI production and the memory stuff is now done in Korea, so I was transferred into the etch department, where I currently work. My group works on TEL plasma etchers primarily.

In my spare time, I run around watching my grandson play hockey, do some PC programming for fun (mostly in Delphi), and tinker around with the Propeller microcontroller. I have a web site at idletime.com, and have a couple of my projects posted up there. I have lots of parts lying around, and am usually looking for a good project to use up some of them. Hoping to get some good ideas hanging out in this forum!

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Electrons-R-Fun
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby Electrons-R-Fun » Fri May 15, 2015 1:51 am

Hi I'm Jason. I got into electronics to help my wife who has ALS and is completely paralyzed. I have not education in electronics and am self taught with guidance from some of the members here on this forum.

The only programming language I know, and I only know a little about it, is SPIN, which I use to program the Propeller multi-core microprocessor.

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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby JDISME » Thu May 21, 2015 8:23 pm

Hello to all here,

My name is Joshua Donelson and I am pretty new in the larger picture to programming but have been into web development for a while now. I am in my mid 30's now and am self taught for most of what I know regarding programming and development. I started programming when I first out of high school but have been playing with electronics a bit since I was a child with my first 301 in 1 kit from Radio Shack. I knew I enjoyed creating and took to doing web development because it was far cheaper than buying all the parts.

I had a website, JD Presents (non op at the moment); there I advertised to create professional websites and did so for quite a few companies and people, which I started back in early 2000's. It was always intended to be a side job (tax free of course) to support other things I enjoyed, such as getting outside to explore. I got an awesome opportunity to work for a company in 2007 (Parallax, maybe you've heard of it? haha) and helped in technical support and many other departments, like the web development, engineering, education and also went out to trade shows my time there. I am what you would call a jack of all traits master of none. It has made me very malleable in the positions. I learned about PBASIC, SPIN and very little ASM but more so found me totally enthralled to match my web development with hardware/microcontroller programming to create awesome ideas that I have had. I build all kinds of stuff, nothing life changing but ever fun and entertaining.

The languages I know:
web development - HTML(5), CSS(3), PHP, Flash Script (MX), Java (novice)
microcontroller - PBASIC, SPIN, Python (novice)

I have been away from any type of development while I traveled around in our converted van ( called her Agatha the Great ) to find the next great place to live, and it turns out it was Billings, Montana. It's a beautiful place and surrounded by amazing parks and views. I am away from the mainstream of development, but oddly no further away than Denver, Colorado, where its just to expensive to live anymore. I hope to make some new friends and learn some new trades while on the forums, feel free to let me know if I can help with any projects and I will be sure to do the same.
Joshua Donelson

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Granz
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby Granz » Sun May 31, 2015 5:12 pm

Guess I need to re-introduce myself, on this forum. Those of you who came from Savage///Circuits will recognize much of this, but...

My name is Art, and I am an engineer/businessman (heavy on the engineer and light on the businessman - I keep on working on the business side, but the engineering side comes more naturally.) Both of my mother's brothers were electrical engineers, and she was very interested in early-childhood education; she actually had me wiring up batteries, lamps and switches before I turned 2! Mom told me that she had been told to get kids real tools so that they would have them all their life (whoever that was didn't know much about the destructive power of kids), and so she bought me a real tool set for my second birthday - I immediately went and took the outlets out of the wall to see where the electricity came from. I also have ADD; my Guardian Angel applies for overtime each and every week. So, I have been working in electronics for, literally, pretty much my entire life.

My first experience with computers (at least real ones - I made a tic-tac-toe "computer" out of Christmas lights and switches, when a kid) was in 1975, when a buddy took me to the high school (I was days away from 8th grade graduation) and sat me down in front of a typewriter (ASR-33). He picked up a telephone near the typewriter, dialed a number and placed the handset into a little box next to the typewriter. Then he typed something on the typewriter and the typewriter typed back, ALL BY ITSELF! I was amazed, and, from that point on, my career switched from just electronics to computers.

I joined the U.S. Air Force after High School and went into Computer Repair (one of the few computer techs, I know, who has actually trouble-shot and repaired AND gates, OR gates and flip-flops.) While at my first duty assignment, one piece of gear was a HeathKit H-8 computer - I actually started wiring up an 8080 computer. One of the more experienced techs there suggested that I look into the Zilog Z-80 - Wow, single voltage power, single phase clock, LOTS more commands, including bit manipulation. I was hooked. After that, it was a series of Tandy, Sinclair (and TImex/Sinclair,) and finally PCs. About the late 1990's or early 2000's, I saw an article on the BASIC Stamp, and how to build Scott Edward's Counterfeit Stamp clone. From there, I played around with several (many) Atmel microcontrollers, some TI chips, the Propeller, and several other chips. I have several different dev kits (including some of my own design [http://zappbots.altervista.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=103 ] and am constantly thinking about and playing with err, designing new microcontroller-based stuff.

Currently, my company produces kits and packs for budding engineers. Most of my target market is (supposed to be) high-school, college and young adult students who are interested in, or are working on EE (electronic engineering.) My secondary market (or at least it should be secondary - but mostly this is my primary market, at least until I get going enough to market to schools and school groups) is electronics/robotics hobbyists and non-electronics engineers who want to learn more about the electronics discipline. I have a few text books that are nearly done, and a few more that are on their way. Once these are done, they will be offered with appropriate kits which will cover the lab work for the course. My ideal here is to get to be like the old Heathkit courses (on a more modern point, Andy Lindsay, from Parallax, does a pretty darned good job of writing, and I try to emulate him, with my own slant/point of view, somewhat.) I have been teaching, professionally, on and off since 1989, and have written a lot of my own course/quiz/exam material, so that is what I am using for my textbooks.

In addition, I have just completed my first non-technical book. I spent ten years in the United States Air Force, and have also spent many years studying the Bible. My latest book is entitled: A Veteran Looks at the Full Armor of God. It's currently available in Kindle format on http://www.amazon.com/Veteran-Looks-Full-Armor-God-ebook/dp/B00XPQUY3O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431698786&sr=8-1&keywords=a+veteran+looks+at+the+full+armor+of+god, but I am working on getting a print version out.

While, someday (hopefully soon) I will begin making enough from the book and the electronics projects from Granzeier Consulting to live on, I really like to do things like eat, go to Propeller expos and pay my bills, which require money. Unfortunately, I was laid off from my previous job, where I was a Network Operations Analyst for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield carrier for this area. What that means, is that I monitored our long-distance lines (voice and data), and the local servers, etc. and when anything occurred with a circuit, switch, router or server on the network, I either tried to get it up and running, or called the right person/group to get the issue resolved (of course, if we lost an entire city, and the National Weather Service reported storms in that area... Well, there's just some repair work that God reserves for Himself. ) In addition, I have been working in the electronics/computer field for over 35 years. If any of you know of any positions available, please let me know.

I am married (to the most beautiful girl in the world - sorry guys ), with a bunch of kids - only three are left at home. For anyone who is still raising their kids, I offer this hope: the light at the end of the tunnel really is there. Hold on, and one day the kids will actually grow up and move out (preferably not coming back home, though that does happen here and there. ) I am also active in a new church plant http://thewellpgh.org/- running the A/V booth preparing the slides for Sunday service, serving in the community and other miscellaneous work. For an engineer's look at God and faith, check out my faith page at http://faith.granzeier.com (shameless plug!)

As I have mentioned before, I really like to help people learn (check out my tag line below.) So, hopefully we can learn together on this board.
Art G. Granzeier III, President
GranzTronix
http://projects.granzeier.com
Helping to Build a Better Engineer

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pilot0315
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby pilot0315 » Sun May 31, 2015 6:08 pm

Howdy, name is Martin. First started in high school with BASIC on a teletype machine modemed to a computer a couple of thousand miles away. Then in college Fortran on an IBM 1130, Basic on a HP 2000. Gravitated to an IBM 360/370. Didnt do much but got the bug. Some seven years ago after been away from coding for so long, I took an electronics class to compliment my work and got hooked on the Parallax Propeller chip. Lots of fun. Bachelor degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as well as a Masters. Masters is in a human factors area concentrated now in machine human interface. Looking to work the coding in that direction. Presently building a German Equatorial Mount for my telescope that will be run by the propeller chip with lots of toys: GPS, compass, gyros, 800x480 lcd touch screen, and a basic star/planet database to make it a GOTO device.

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Granz
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby Granz » Sun May 31, 2015 11:14 pm

pilot0315 wrote:Howdy, name is Martin. First started in high school with BASIC on a teletype machine modemed to a computer a couple of thousand miles away. Then in college Fortran on an IBM 1130, Basic on a HP 2000. ...

Hello, Martin.
That TTY that I mentioned in my post above was connected to an HP-2000, also. They upgraded it to an HP-2000F Access system over the summer of 1977 (IIRC.) My first programming class was the TUT01 series on the HP. Are you aware of the HP-2000 group on Yahoo, or the public access HP-2000 systems?
Art G. Granzeier III, President
GranzTronix
http://projects.granzeier.com
Helping to Build a Better Engineer

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pilot0315
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Re: New Member Introductions

Postby pilot0315 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:18 pm

I thought that the hp machines went by the way of the dinosaurs. Wow that there are some people who remember them. Kool. I remember the green screens.


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