For Fun!

Take a break from the serious stuff with these items that engineers and technicians may find humorous.

Comparison of USB Chargers (Apple, Samsung, Counterfeit)


Ken Shirriff

This blog post is a few years old, but remains very interesting to see the difference in performance among USB wall chargers. Ever wonder about the difference between the expensive name-brand charger and the cheap imitation? This article gives in depth examination of the noise emanating from these devices. An interesting side effect of unwanted electrical noise from the chargers is that the touch-screen on your device can become unresponsive or erratic in some cases.

Babbage Difference Engine

Babbage Difference Engine closeup

This remarkable machine was on display and featured in live demonstrations at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA until it was removed in January 2016 (the unit was a second copy on loan from a private benefactor of the project, Nathan Myhrvold, formerly chief technology officer and Group VP at Microsoft). The first reconstructed Babbage engine is on public display at the Science Museum in London.

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How Wireless Works (from Skyworks)

How wireless works screen image

Skyworks has a brief animated video describing "how wireless works" for people with no technical background. It does a pretty good job of describing the role of wireless hardware in today's products. It could be useful to help explain your career to those with no idea of what wireless connectivity involves. You might want to bookmark the page before your next family gathering!

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Jim Henson's Computer Bot

This short film by Muppet creator Jim Henson depicts a form of "artificial intelligence" as it was envisioned in 1963. The sequence showing the robot gathering vast amounts of data is perhaps prescient of our present-day web crawlers, marketing databases, and government intelligence agencies?

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