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This episode centers on tools that we enjoy using, whether engineering-related or not.
- Jeff is of the opinion that many engineering professors dislike teaching “tools” because software packages are constantly changing in scope and syntax, and associated teaching materials must be vigilantly updated.
- Reliability is an important characteristic for a good engineering tool, according to Carmen and Adam.
- Brian notes the economic foolishness of having an engineer “spin their wheels” due to a lack of quality tools.
- Chip-scale packages (CSPs) are mentioned by Carmen as a new technology requiring new tools.
- Brian asks about the need for traceability on tools (governed by NIST standards in the United States).
- Several communication protocols are mentioned in discussion of oscilloscope features: SPI, CAN, and I2C.
- We determine that Bridgeport Machines was acquired by a multinational corporation (Hardinge, Inc.) in 2004.
- Adam reveals that transportation departments establish contingency contracts to ensure access to big construction equipment in emergency situations.
- We learn about Ball Grid Arrays (BGA) from Carmen.
- Brian and Carmen converse about the best wire gage (AWG) for their soldering needs.
- The Pragmatic Podcast episode about coffee, produced by former TEC guest John Chidgey, is mentioned as a “must listen” for avid coffee drinkers.
- Emissivity is an important issue for those using infrared temperature detection.
- Mechanical pencil fans can find plenty of websites dedicated to the subject.
- Jeff’s tools:
- Adam’s tools:
- Carmen’s tools:
- Brian’s tools:
Thanks to J for use of the image titled “Tools.” Podcast theme music by Paul Stevenson.
Practical insights for the engineering crowd