Friday, October 16, 2015

Building Things

I was always fascinated by engineering. Maybe it was an attempt maybe to get my father's respect or interest, or maybe it was just a genetic love of technology, but I was always trying to build things.
James Cameron

That's me, too. It isn't enough for me just to see something work, I want to know more: How does it work? How is it made? What else can it do? What happens if I try this?

When I get a new something, I try to operate it without the user's manual. I think user's manuals are great, but I want to see if I can solve the puzzle and get it to work.

The biggest test is this: Does this thing respond in logical ways when I do logical things to it? If it does, it is well designed and/or well engineered. My wife will tell you that this is my highest praise of something, "It is well designed."

Well designed to me means that it does what you'd expect. Even when you do odd things, the device responds in reasonable ways.

After all of this, I build things. Mostly software things, but some woodworking too. And when I do, I try to make sure that when you use my things in reasonable ways you get reasonable results. That is the purpose of engineering, doing complex things so that complex devices are easy to use.

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