My best custom engineering contract back in the late ’70s was with Corhart Refractories (part of Corning Glass), and involved designing and building rugged industrial terminals for the factory floor. I wrote in detail about the design in my engineering textbook, and it was even profitable. One huge regret, though… after I shipped the first…

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Way back in 1974, as a 22-year-old in Louisville, I started a small electronics business called Cybertronic Systems to help fund my growing microprocessor addiction and begin my escape from the employment treadmill that was already looming as a dangerous life habit. Within about a year, I was doing enough sales out of my apartment…

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When I was 23, I began the second year of my mail-order electronics parts business, operating out of a 2-bedroom apartment in Louisville. This was profoundly liberating, especially as I had just taken the huge leap of quitting my job as a field engineer for Singer Business Machines. My own work was much more exciting; I…

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