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Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/11/2010 9:08 PM

I just got finished answering a recent post and started thinking about CR4.

This is such a great service because it give us "old farts" a chance to pass on our 35, 40, or more years of experience to the next generation in a way that goes WAY beyond what they learned in school. It also lets us keep our mind from getting fuzzy. I often jump to CR4 after several hours of number crunching to refresh my mind and clear up my thought process. I often still learn something new- engineers are supposed to continue learning and practicing forever.

Relative to us "old farts"- Virtually ALL of us could probably pick up a slide rule and get a correct answer (most of us still have our old slide rules sitting in a drawer not that far away) to most of the problems we deal with on computers (just not quite as fast). The greatest thing that the slide rule taught me is that "close enough" really is.

Watching today's young engineers, who grew up with programmable calculators and computers work out problems where they are REALLY concerned abut the material that a duct is fabricated from so they can apply the correct Reynolds number or seeing someone calculate a heat transfer load to the tenths of a BTU or determine flow to a hundredth of a GPM and not see anything wrong with that process is frustrating because they do not understand the SYSTEMS that they are working with- just the calculations.

We need to take all engineering Senior, before they graduate, to see the movie- Apollo 13. Watching a team of VERY smart engineers grab slide rules to figure out how to get that broken ship home- and watching the astronauts do rapid manual / in their head calculations to assist the ground should be a great learning experience.

Thanks to CR4, we are able to show these rising stars that knowledge of SYSTEMS is far more important than plugging some numbers into a program. We are also able to show them that the "correct" answer is reasonable close (and totally adequate) to the exact answer.

Any way, guys, keep up the good work.

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Guru

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#1

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/11/2010 11:07 PM

energygod - you getting emotional and sentimental now.

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Guru

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/11/2010 11:13 PM

A little sentimental.

I am an engineer- we are not emotional (says so in the book).

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#3

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/12/2010 12:54 AM

I like the combination of good technical advice and informal banter on CR4. For better or worse, I attempt to straddle that spectrum. Other forums such as Mike Holt's electrical forum or eng-tips may be more technically oriented, whereas Facebook or Amazon Discussions would be less so. There's something out there for everybody.

Eons ago I won two prizes of slide rules from the Mathematical Association of America/Society of Actuaries annual high-school contest. By now I have forgotten most of the dozen slide-rule scales, though I used to know all of them. Rah Excel!

There are anecdotes from the Los Alamos days of how Fermi used a slide rule, someone else used a calculator, and von Neumann just did the calcs in his head. For a great flavor of this time, I recommend Stanislaw Ulam's Adventures of a Mathematician. The book is warmly human rather than technical, but a bit of math knowledge doesn't hurt.

Your (or your calculator's) arithmetic can be perfect, but only if you do the right operations on the right numbers, which takes systemic understanding.

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#4

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/12/2010 11:35 PM

energygod

Finding CR4 and logging on was one of the best things I ever did. Not only has it increased my knowledge in many fields but it has connected me with like minded people and some of them have become real friends and we communicate through other channels by now. That way the moderators have less friction to deal with.

I wish we could all meet up one day and have a huge gathering somewhere. Wow, just the thought gives me dizzy spells. Not sure if some would get leave from their nursing home though.

Good luck to us, Ky.

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Guru

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/12/2010 11:52 PM

It is a good idea to have large gathering of likeminded people to convert the virtual platform into a real platform.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 12:00 AM

It would have to be an open air gathering because I still smoke. Note that little word still. Its the last addiction I would like to rid myself of. Me bad, I know. Any one tried and not succeed? Any tips welcome, Ky.

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#16
In reply to #6

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 12:05 PM

ky

A pretty cheap remedy to try is a homeopathic one. Calcarea Phos. 3X

... according to these instructions:

"Put eight or ten tablets in a glass of water and take a small spoonful every five minutes for two hours or so." Suppose to help create an aversion to smoking.

That said, there quite a few homeopathic, herbal, etc. remedies available. What works for one person may not work for another. Finding a natural remedy can be like a needle in a haystack. It can be discouraging and many give up because after a few failures it seems that no one really knows what they are talking about. And that is unfortunate. In my own experience, I read first, pick things that appeal to my mind but also "feel" right in my gut. I've discovered quite a few natural remedies for ailments, that work for me, this way. But one must persevere, as we are all slightly different, even though we are all basically the same. There are many variables because the body is constantly in a state of flux in order to try to maintain a homeostasis, if that makes any sense.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 12:21 PM

Homeopathy stated as a serious course of action on CR4? I'm shocked

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?cat=5

How about something that has a shed of scientific testing to back it up?

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#13
In reply to #5

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 9:39 AM

The knowledge one gets from CR4 cannot be obtained from any University or a workplace.It is a warehouse of knowledge

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Guru

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 12:51 AM

As you so ably stated- one of the values is being able to communicate (technically and philosophically) with like-minded people from all over the world.

I amazed a business associate a few weeks ago with a print-out from one of the discussions I was involved with- getting responses from virtually every continent (except that really big, cold one down south) and a very wide range of commentary and intellectual pursuits. I think we had 23 countries, and at least that many states involved in the discussion.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 1:18 AM

Good to hear. Not many can understand our pursuits and it's good that way. If this would become anything like other chat sites I would be out of here in a flash. I am on many of these and I would like to cancel but it's too late. I just joined because a few years ago the temptation to use a computer for such trivial pursuits was the first I could think of. Honing my skills in using this machine have enhanced since then and many others just use it as a time killer.

At our age it is quality before quantity and every day counts. I hardly find the time to just chat and if I wish to do so I like the non verbal part to be present. A body can't lie and even for some trying is a dead give away, for the observant viewer.

This should become an interesting thread. Thanks again for starting it, Ky.

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#7

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 12:35 AM

Slide rules still rule! You just use computer simulators, like this one:

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Others/Miscellaneous/Slide-Rule.shtml

I haven't actually used this particular one, but I can't find the link to the last one I downloaded. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find one that works on Linux yet...

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 12:56 AM

Correction- I just found one that works in Linux:

http://solo.dc3.com/VirtRule.html

Complete with instruction set, for those who might be a bit rusty. Looks like there are also iPhone apps for slide rule simulators...

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Anonymous Poster
#11
In reply to #9

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 4:23 AM

CR4 forum is good site in sharing idea form our senior enginneer, me as a a newly start in my profession gives an idea...

I really appreciate the patient and goodness of sir Galala for being a mentor in this forum..

KEEP IT UP, Sir....

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#12

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 8:08 AM

"Watching today's young engineers, who grew up with programmable calculators and computers work out problems where they are REALLY concerned abut the material that a duct is fabricated from so they can apply the correct Reynolds number "

We're just trying to improve on the previous generation. If we can eliminate one or two of the inaccuracies or estimations from the previous generation then we will be a little more efficient. I'm sure the next generation of engineers will do the same to me as well.

And on your statement about the calculators vs slide rules, just remember that it was your generation that developed the calculator (thanks by the way). It's just another evolution of mankind. We can double, triple, or maybe even quadruple the number of calculations an engineer can do then they are that much more efficient.

All that being said, I really do appreciate the experience and practical knowledge that older engineers share with me. You're right! I can do the calculations but I'm still learning what "close enough" really is. Hopefully, I will gain enough knowledge that I can pass that on to the next generation as well.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 10:52 AM

Your comments are exactly what I was originally talking about.

I have watched engineers do building load calculations with about a day's worth of data assimilation, crunch the numbers with a high-priced program, get a precise result and then add 25% for safety.

I have also seen engineers calculate air flow to rooms to the CFM and specify those numbers (like 482 CFM), although the spec for the air balancing tech is +/- 10%.

When I referenced "close enough" it takes that gained (or trained) system knowledge to know how precise you need to be. People designing specific machinery may have to do very detailed calculations so they can be a close to "true" as possible, because the manufacturing specs or just what can be expected will allow some inherent deviation from the exact number- nearly everything has some form of tolerance. I have worked on machine tool gear heads where the bearings were located to 4 decimal places, with a +/- 0.00005 tolerance and yet the location for the seal next to the bearing was to 2 places, because the seal could flex enough to function.

As you so aptly stated- you are still learning how close is "close enough". A few more years, and a study of the systems you are involved with, and some sage counseling from more experienced players will get you where you need / want to be.

Good luck and keep learning. When you stop learning, it is time to quit and do something else.

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#15

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 11:15 AM

This site continues to be an island of sanity for me during my work day. While all the discussions around me are Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan I can block them out and read a few posts on CR4. See, I don't have the pleasure of working with engineers, scientists or anybody else to whom critical thinking is considered to be a required skill. Thank you all for throwing me this life line.

The OP's comment about understanding the system reminds me of a physics teacher I had way back when. The class was stunned to walk into his first exam of the year and find all the equations we had studied already written on the blackboard. Most of us had been up all night trying to memorize those equations and here they were provided for us. Professor Dyck (yes his real name) promptly explained that he didn't want us wasting our time memorizing the equations, we should has been spending our time learning how and why things worked. That way we would immediately know WHICH equation to apply to a given problem. He asked us "what do you see behind every physicist that is interviewed on television"? The answer of course was a bookcase. "That", he explained, "is where the equations are kept", the physicists brain is for storing the (systems) concepts that tell him which equations to use. I never forgot his lessons. All the equations in the world won't help you if you don't understand the system.

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#18

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 12:48 PM

Certainly would concur with most all replies. CR4 is surely a biggie warehouse of good minds.

So many OP's seem to be too brief and antsy in getting their inquiry, often nil specifics or application. A lot of wasted time for many where the OP MAY return and do the adders, sometimes incrementally. Meanwhile we are inclinded to guess at the little subject matter with skewed tangent guesses.

I think that it's time where being able to post a question should be tightened up. Bona fide registration (User Name, country, the basics). Some instruction such as "please provide as much information as you have so that it can best be answered". Other, and fair: "Is this applicable for your educational purpose?" "Allowed, but Check Here >>". Never should "Guest" be allowed for OP's.

We all know it is helpful to know where the OP is coming from. I would believe that many of us wouldn't mind responding to students to help them move forward. For me, I was fortunate to have one or three mentors (old farts, and with knowledge) to assist me in HS and college. I don't think that happens much at all anymore. Except for CR4 as a resource.

For the first responder weak info from the OP, adept with the subject, he/she should take the lead and do the request for more. Meanwhile, we should just wait and not anticipate.

Too, I'd like to see our responder group in better keeping their cool and patience with the OP and others. Quibbling is not appropriate. We should know better. Benefitial arguement is appropriate.

Maybe we should utilize energygod as a benchmark. I don't recall him ever coming unglued nor whacky.

Humor should be really optional and with much discretion. I figure that some outside the US may not get a connection and only be taken as insult. Let's be careful guys. I've seen some threads that really had gotten out of hand with this kind of thing, and the OP disappeared. Certainly don't blame them.

Let's make CR4 a much better place!

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Praises for CR4 and All the Members

07/13/2010 6:12 PM

My wife says that only happens at home- I show "the world" a sane disposition.

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