RIP, Jack Kilby

The guy who made my entire professional career possible died yesterday at the age of 81. Jack Kilby was a pioneer of semiconductor invention back in 1958 at Texas Instruments.

Microchip pioneer Jack Kilby, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize for co-inventing the integrated circuits that ushered in the digital age of personal computers, cell phones and the Internet, has died after a brief battle with cancer. He was 81.

In 1958, during his first year working with Texas Instruments Inc. in Dallas, Kilby used borrowed equipment to build the first integrated circuit. All the components were fabricated in a single piece of semiconductor material half the size of a paper clip.

“In my opinion, there are only a handful of people whose works have truly transformed the world and the way we live in it — Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Jack Kilby,” TI Chairman Tom Engibous said in a statement Tuesday.

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Kilby held more than 60 U.S. patents, including one filed in 1959 for a solid circuit made of germanium.

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From 1978 to 1984, he held the position of Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Thanks for the career opportunities, Jack. Full news article here.

RIP: An Obituary for the Blender

Well, the blender that we've had for so long (a Cuisinart SmartPower 7-Speed blender, for those of you curious) has finally passed on Thursday night, of natural causes.

It had done it's share of mixing drinks, making smoothies, and doing the occasional light food processing task. During its good days, it even ate the end of a wooden spoon without putting up too much of a fuss (I can't say the same for the spoon). The plastic gear that connected the blender motor to the blender carafe basically disintegrated.

The blender is survived by a Cuisinart Coffee Machine, Cuisinart Mini-Prep food processor and a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.

On a more serious note, we're looking to replace the blender with either a Kitchenaid or a Waring Pro. Does anyone have any opinions about these two?