Thursday, July 24, 2014

My early times in Hungary, My Parents, and a hint of device physics....

Lately I have written a bit about Hungary, without hiding my obvious roots there. My parents seemed to talk about everything, but perhaps because of the scars, really neglected much about themselves, their history, or their countries history. Most of this is new to me,but tonite I went down an interesting path.  I of course knew about 1956 in Hungary from my father, he told me occasional funny stories about being in the military (every male was but he was never deployed), and joked about kayaking for speed inside the wake of a big boat to go faster on the Danube, but no social science for sure.

I can't remember a single one now, but I know that I once knew the name of all the bridges in Budapest across the Danube from my time there as a child. My mother was interesting, and prolific, starting as I did, as an artist making awesome stained glass windows (I could not do art, but music was my baby as well as my escape), moving to architecture, and later acupuncture, but never really being satisfied. She did not ever talk about Hungarian history, or much of her childhood either. I lived with her parents for a long time when young, but them being "middle class" and her an only child, they still had the same 1972 VW Bug they bought when they died, and their garage was actually an old bomb shelter under their house. 

I knew from a young age, especially when this my father would calmly eat even the apple core, he was raised in incredible poverty relative to what we conceive of as normality. I stayed with my grandparents for a large part of my childhood. When I was tiny tiny I bathed in an old school porcelain wash basin (yes in the early 80s, in Hungary, they did laundry by hand and hung it up to dry as well). The whole time you went to the store almost daily, because a "refrigerator" basically had room for milk and eggs. I don't know many people who had to share bath water, but there was never hot water for another bath (what's a shower?).

As usual I had to learn about my history from google again. But tonight, randomly, as I plan to finish filing my first patent tomorrow (you wouldn't believe the challenge getting the USPTO to accept a PDF), I looked up my father. Most of this will only make sense to my EE friends (circuit diagrams in all the electronics links below....), but other than my dad being able to do pullups with one arm when I was young, nothing even comes close to looking up his patents.

I distinctly remember talking with my dad about his failed attempts at "bubble memory" once upon a time. But the title of his first patent, actually cracks me up:

That makes me want to laugh. We can, because it was a complete failure. Back then as I remember it was IBM, Rockwell, or Burroughs for my father. That was one patent at Rockwell, but then the laughs stop. He joined Burroughs, where former treasury secretary Michael Blumenthal engineered a notorious hostile takeover of Sperry, creating Unisys, while my father created the future of electronics.

Interesting. I focused on circuits and communications, but when device physics came into play, that was where I could no longer go. But what I see there is an order of magnitude decrease in noise, and that's never a bad thing. So we've moved from bubbles to transistors, but that patent is raw device physics.

interesting. All BJTs. Old school! Starting to move up into more than one transistor.

So I'll list a few more

Three-state logic circuit for wire-ORing to a data bus (Once again, BJT logic circuits...... I thought they were only for amplifiers!)

I remember hearing BiCmos at a young age and here it comes.

Module for preventing instability in integrated circuit testers (I understand the title. I have no idea what's going on there)

Fast change standard cell digital logic chip (note here, in 1989 they are still talking about a standard chip having 15 THOUSAND gates)

Signal translator for interconnecting CMOS and BiCMOS logic gates. CMOS is great for logic, and BJTs are great for amplifiers. I think this last one might be a seminal work.

Device physics goes back a bit before my father, but not much. For my EE peeps, as well as myself, this might be an interesting trip through semiconductors in the 80s.

Not bad for a poor eastern european immigrant. I just need 10 more to catch up!

"Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish."

~Steve Jobs/The Whole Earth Catalog