Everything for Electronics

Edward B. Driscoll, Jr.

Edward's Articles

Happy Birthday Internet!
March 2003
Switching to the TCP/IP networking standard radically transformed the internet into the sprawling "information superhighway" that has radically transformed the lives of its users.

The TRS-80 Model 1
Column: Micro Memories
May 2002
The TRS-80s that came out of Fort Worth, TX provided an amazing amount of computing power to a neophyte.

21st Century Electric Guitar: The Future Is Now
March 2008
In his epic non-fiction Profiles of the Future, Arthur C. Clarke wrote that when a technology reaches the peak of its design, any changes are evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. And the electric guitar is no exception.

YouToo Can YouTube And Star In Your Very Own Tech Show
September 2008
Ever completed a killer electronics project and wanted to share your results with the world? We discussed text-oriented blogging in the August ‘05 issue of Nuts & Volts, and audio podcasting in the March ‘07 issue, but why not add movingpictures into the mix, and launch your own video blog?

The Altair 8800
Column: Micro Memories
January 2003
The Altair — as it was initially sold — was little more than an incredibly difficult-to-assemble computer kit.

Column: Micro Memories
March 2004
In 1978, the Internet existed, but it was still largely restricted to universities and the military (and still called Arpanet.) It was only a year before that Hayes had released the first modem for PCs. While CompuServe (see the October 2003 “Micro Memories”) and the Source were positioning themselves as national online services, Ward Christianson and Randy Suess of Chicago had another idea for connecting groups of users to computers: the bulletin board systems or BBS.

Column: Micro Memories
May 2004
Using the telephone is such a hassle these days; women have to make sure their makeup and hair is just so and all but the most Cro-Magnon of men want to appear clean-shaven and well-groomed when calling their wives or parents.

Column: Micro Memories
July 2004
Every industry has its own trade show. For consumer electronics, it’s CES in Las Vegas, NV, for computers, it’s Comdex, and for the music instrument industry, it’s NAMM — short for North American Music Merchants.

July 2004
It served him well with the US Navy; by 1948, he had already served for seven years. He was stationed in Guam, working his way up to the rank of petty officer first class, “getting rid of electronics equipment by throwing it over a cliff,” when he got his orders to report to Sandia Base in Albuquerque, NM.

Shakey — A 1960’s Predecessor to Today’s Advanced Robotics
September 2004
All technology has to begin somewhere and there’s a direct link between Shakey and the mobile robots of today.

September 2004
On April 3, 2000, when President Clinton’s Justice Department issued its ruling that Microsoft had violated US antitrust laws and the NASDAQ plummeted 349 points (or 7.64%) — its worst single-day performance ever — it signaled the end of the Internet bubble. The next year, the horrific terrorist attacks on the US occurred on September 11th. As a result, we’ve seen much less of what Tom Wolfe once dubbed the “digibabble and fairy dust” that ruled the 1990s...

25 Years Into the Future — 1980s The Third Wave
Column: Micro Memories
November 2004
Many science and science fiction writers have written books that predict the future. By the 1970s, a term was coined for these sorts of authors: futurists. Few books, however, got the future — the future that we’re living in right now — as right as Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2005.

Micro Memories: The Yamaha CX5M: The Music Computer - 80’s Style
Column: Micro Memories
January 2005
The Yamaha CX5M — even if it was difficult to program — put some great sounds in the hands of its users.

2001 - Hal’s Odyssey
Column: Micro Memories
March 2005
Perhaps the most influential computer was one that never actually existed: HAL 9000, the star of Stanley Kubrick’s magnum sci-fi opus, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The IBM PC and Its Continuing Repercussions
Column: Micro Memories
May 2005
In the 1999 made-for-cable movie, “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” the filmmakers chose to illustrate how significant a 1980 meeting between Bill Gates and IBM was by having John Di Maggio, the actor playing Steve Ballmer (Gates’ longtime lieutenant), walk out of the scene, up to the camera, and tell the viewers that this — this! — was the most important moment in computer history.

Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum Finds a New Home
Column: Micro Memories
July 2005
The article that inspired this series of Micro Memories columns first ran in the July 2001 issue of Nuts & Volts, and featured Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum, then located in rather Spartan quarters — a Quonset hut located on the Moffett Field airbase in Mountain View, CA.

July 2005
Your New Home on the Internet Awaits

The Computer That Took Man To The Moon
Column: Micro Memories
September 2005
Even though the last Saturn V flew decades ago, the Apollo moon landings remain one of mankind’s greatest engineering efforts.

The Atari 2600
Column: Micro Memories
November 2005
Remember the 1970s? Vietnam, Watergate, stagflation, polyester, bellbottoms, John Denver, gas rationing, Saturday Night Fever, and other events that made that decade, at least in retrospect, seem like 10 disheartening, frustrating years. But a few lasting bright spots emerged, as well. The personal computer was one of them.

Leaving The Cradle
March 2006
In 1911, Russian space pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky famously wrote, “The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.”

Spacecraft Films Reopens The New Frontier
June 2006
In early 2006, Spacecraft Films released a six DVD set titled Project Mercury: A New Frontier, containing 24 hours of footage from America’s pioneer space efforts. Coming at the height of the Cold War, this was America’s first attempt to put a man into space — culminating, of course, in President Kennedy’s famous challenge to land a man on the Moon within the same decade...

David Sarnoff And The Birth Of The AM Radio
November 2006
Sarnoff was one of the pioneers of the era of mass communications.

The Nuts & Volts of Podcasting
March 2007
Over the past couple of years, podcasting has emerged as one of the great new buzzwords of the Internet, bringing the same freedom to create personal audio and video productions as Weblogs did for text at the start of the decade...

Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks
May 2007
Fullam is the author of Hardware Hacking Projects For Geeks, an O'Reilly & Associates release...