Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Steve Jobs and Heathkit

In my book Classic Heathkit Electronic Test Equipment I mentioned under Heathkit trivia that Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs built some Heathkits as a teenager. I found this link to a full video of a 1995 Steve Jobs interview as well as this transcript. Here is the portion of the discussion where he mentions Heathkit:

I got to know this man, whose name was Larry Lang, and he taught me a lot of electronics. He was great. He used to build Heathkits. Heathkits were really great. Heathkits were these products that you would buy in kit form. You actually paid more money for them than if you just went and bought the finished product if it was available. These Heathkits would come with these detailed manuals about how to put this thing together and all the parts would be laid out in a certain way and color coded. You'd actually build this thing yourself.

I would say that this gave one several things. It gave one an understanding of what was inside a finished product and how it worked because it would include a theory of operation. But maybe even more importantly it gave one the sense that one could build the things that one saw around oneself in the universe. These things were not mysteries any more. I mean you looked at a television set you would think that "I haven't built one of those but I could. There's one of those in the Heathkit catalog and I've built two other Heathkits so I could build that."

In related news, my book is now available from Amazon.com and most country-specific Amazon sites like amazon.de and amazon.co.uk (but unfortunately, not amazon.ca). This will give the book much wider exposure although I'd prefer people order from lulu.com as Amazon takes as much larger commission from the authors.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Updates

My new book Classic Heathkit Electronic Test Equipment has been well received and is well on it's way to meeting my goal of selling over 100 copies before the end of the year. I've received many positive comments from the first purchasers of the book.

I've created a spotlight page on lulu.com with information about the book as well as some relevant links. I've also created a web page for errata and updates on my home page. I expect lulu.com will be offering some kind of sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday with possible discounts, so watch their site for updates.

I also spent some time on my YouTube channel, adding some categories, a welcome video, and graphics. I'm continuing to make YouTube videos of Heathkit equipment there, most recently on the IT-17 Tube Checker, GR-81 Economy SWL Receiver, IP-17 Low-Voltage Regulated Power Supply, and IM-2215 Portable Digital Multimeter.

Finally, I got some some nice coverage on Bill Meara's SolderSmoke blog. I have followed his podcast and blog for several years and encourage you to check it out. You may also find his book SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics of interest. I purchased a copy and really enjoyed it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

My New Heathkit Book Has Been Published!

My blog postings here have dropped off in the last six months or so because I have been busy on a project which has now been completed. I am proud to announce the release of my new book Classic Heathkit Electronic Test Equipment. It is now available for purchase here. You can get all the details on the book at that site as well as place an order for it. I hope some of the readers of this blog find the book of interest.