Friday, February 16, 2007

Passion for electronics

Since my teen days (early 70's) I was always fascinated and intrigued by electronics, I use to add lamps, wires and switches to at that time the equivalent of Lego's, and destroy all sort of electric appliances we had at home.

Things got more interesting when next to my home (in Buenos Aires) a small company established a representation of the Japanese audio equipment manufacturer AKAI.

This company imported different products completely disassembled, some parts were produced locally and the final product was assembled, calibrated, tested and packed in this place.

Somehow I managed to get in there and slowly I started to learn, first packing the final products and its manuals, mounting some mechanical parts, soldering the different electronic boards, and later calibrating and testing. It was a lot of fun and excitment when in those days an 8-track magazine player was Hi Tech !! (AKAI CR-80).

But there was a particular event that marked me for the rest of my life and gave shape to what later became my professional career. One day the company owner returned from a trip to Japan, and among the goodies he brought from there was a handheld electronic calculator with bright red glowing numbers. I've seen before other desktop chunky ones with nixie tubes but this one was different, it was really small for that time.

I had to resist my temptation to put the screwdriver on it, I had a vague idea of what was inside but I didn't have a clue how the thing worked, to satisfy my curiosity and anxiety to learn more about it I started asking about it to one of the young engineers working there. Jorge Perez (which whom later I had the pleasure to work with for a couple of years) had the patience to introduce me to logic gates and digital electronics, my brain was about to explode.

It was clear then that I was headed to get my education in a technical school with a career in electronics, which took place at the PIO IX school in Buenos Aires.

Gracias Jorge por mostrarme el camino ...

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