OK, I forgot about my background. This is the short version:
But first – how did I get involved in electric systems at all? I was more interested in cooking and spent summer holidays as a cooks’ apprentice on ships as a teen. Explanation given below.
I blew my first fuse when I was around ten years old. I did it by connecting a wire with “no load” to a 220 V AC outlet. There was a sharp sound, some arcing and then – darkness. My father couldn’t understand how someone – especially his own offspring – could be so incredibly stupid.
I explained that there wasn’t any load. Just a short piece of wire connecting the two prongs in the plug. That convinced him that my mother probably had had an affair with the local genius. He, who was known to turn all wheels on the car 180 degrees when filling air. “To avoid vibrations”, as he said.
I have learned a lot the years after that and even if “I couldn’t spell ellecrisity then, I now are wun”.
That experience made a long lasting and deep impression on my young and inquiring mind. My father, who calmed down after a few minutes, told me about voltage and current. And, also that power was voltage and current multiplied. Not bad for a carpenter in the early nineteen-hundred-fifties.
I asked how there could be any power in a short-circuit? I had somehow figured out that there couldn’t be much voltage between the two prongs. And, therefore, no power. He explained to me that the power had developed in the wiring and the fuse. And that the fuse was there to avoid stupid people like me from setting houses on fire. A jump-start as good as any into what later became my field of work for more than sixty years. And still is.
Used to hang around the local radio shop and got quite good at old radio sets. Then made military service in the Signal Corps (yes, there was an army worthy of the name back then). ASEA/ABB was eagerly looking for nerds for their electronics developments, I couldn’t resist their offer. The position was as a “Trainee” which meant nothing to me. But a great experience with insights in the operation in large companies and traveling to many different countries. After a few years, Siemens phoned me an offered more than double pay. Which I couldn’t resist.
Design work and field support for ten years and then, the kids wanted me to stay home more. So started with “Jo blocks” Johansson HQ in Eskilstuna, Sweden for first microprocessor development - remember the i4004 with 10,8 us cycle time? Incredible crude. Hand-coding, but got a terribly slow development system eventually.
Started on my own summer 1977. Tough, but had lots of contacts from ASEA, Siemens and C E J. And new contacts were added as the years went by.
All that taken together, plus a certain amount of audacity (spelling?), made my life interesting. And it still is.
And same wife all these years - I appreciate that. A lot.