Exploding Circuit Board catches on fire!

 

circuit-board-2
Typical Circuit Board with Public Domain Image

A circuit board that catches on fire in your product does not make anyone happy.  I used to work at a company that had this unpleasant problem in a large electrical control panel for an industrial device involved with explosive atmospheres that was shipped around the world.  This problem made everyone very excited when it started happening on the clients factory floor according to what I was told.

I had never worked on that product line and was barely aware of its existence until my engineering supervisor called me and told me to immediately personally retrieve all of these circuit boards currently in our factory.  I was an electrical design engineer behind a desk at that company and had not yet had the privilege of interacting with everyone in the factory.  There were three boards in the factory at that time and it was relatively easy to retrieve the first two on the factory floor quickly with only minor violations of  factory protocol.

The final board was installed in a large six foot high electrical control cabinet that was packaged tightly in a strong 2 x 4 skid on the shipping dock by a waiting truck.  I asked the workers there if I could open the cabinet to retrieve the circuit board.  They all had a good laugh when I said that and one of them handed me a large crow bar as a joke.  Obviously, they didn’t know me that well. I used the crow bar to rip open the packaging and break the 2 x 4’s sufficiently to get the circuit board out of the cabinet. This rendered the product incapable of being delivered.  The dock workers seemed to be surprised at what I had done.  I returned the crow bar to them, thanked them for its use and wished them a good day.

A short time later there was a conference in my supervisors office about my unexpected actions during the circuit board retrieval.  Fortunately for me the workers had loaned me the crow bar so filing a grievance against me wouldn’t have been a desirable outcome.

My new assignment in life was to correct the defect in that exploding circuit board that a previous employee had designed.  I tested one and sure enough it started on fire when subjected to full heavy loads.  Eventually I figured out that one resister needed a massive increase in the amount of wattage it could handle and made a working model for mass production copies.  Who says that engineering can’t be fun?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do Republicans want Preexisting Conditions to Exclude People from Health Insurance?

NVE00012
My Grandfather and friends

Preexisting conditions cost a lot of money to treat and insurance companies will be more profitable if people with these conditions can be excluded from getting health insurance.  After all why should healthy people pay for the treatment of people with preexisting conditions?  Wouldn’t it be less expensive if we just let them exhaust all their own personal resources and then die because that will finally solve the problem? Didn’t they really cause their own sickness with their unhealthy lifestyle choices so it’s their own fault anyways?

You can always count on some Republicans for their overwhelming compassion and to help their big donors like the insurance companies.  I know medical treatments cost money and that someone needs to pay that cost but anyone can get an illness that will devastate their personal finances.  Guess what, sometimes it is necessary for an insurance company to pay the big bills because that is why everyone pays them a premium.  No insurance system will be perfect but even people who have been blessed by God with good health are not immune to a sudden illness that can wipe out their personal finances unless they have insurance. What is a fair solution to this expensive  problem?

Most modern first world countries have national health insurance run by the government and that is one solution to the problem that seems to work well for smaller countries.  Unfortunately, the government of the United States is large, bloated, unwieldy and it stinks.  Obamacare is a prime example.  I think that private enterprise insurance companies are still the best choice for the United States but they need to have regulations that force them to be fair to everyone.  The national government needs to regulate insurance companies because this issue crosses state lines.

I think that the following insurance ideas should be made into law.

  1.  Anyone should be able to purchase critical health insurance at a price they can afford including people with preexisting conditions.  Poor people will require a net subsidy in some cases so rich people will need to subsidize them indirectly through taxes.  The alternative would be to let some poor people die and I find that concept unacceptable to me as a Christian.
  2.  Mental health, Vision and Dental care must be included in all basic health plans. People can’t work without these necessities.
  3.  Veterans should have their health care paid for life by the people of the United States.  Veterans have made a sufficient contribution to our society to deserve this service.
  4. Luxury health care items such as noncritical plastic surgery, fat reduction and acupuncture should not be part of the standard health care insurance program but they could still be purchased on a pay basis.
  5. All federal employees including the Congress of the United States and President shall have the same health plan as the people of the United States.
  6. Everyone should have the same limits on the total cost of the critical health care they receive but no one should be allowed to suffer and die if it can be prevented. That includes Republicans, Democrats and people like me that think all political parties are full of crap.
  7. You don’t have to purchase any health insurance you don’t want and you can choose the basic plan you want from any private company.
  8. Anyone who works full time shall be provided with an option for a basic health insurance plan by their employer.  People who can’t work due to disability or can only find part time employment shall be provided a subsidy for basic health insurance on a sliding scale.
  9. Insurance companies can’t charge extra for preexisting conditions.
  10. Health insurance regulations shall not force providers or consumers to do anything against their religion.

 

These ten conceptual regulations combined with free enterprise competition will work to keep prices in check and improve quality of care for everyone.  Let me know what you think and leave a comment for everyone to contemplate.

 

 

 

Tech Poetry !

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Joshua Sellnow: Terzanelle

A DSL Hell

A CPU devil dwells
on an evil desktop throne
in a DSL hell.

All hope of sleep and real world freedom gone,
a hacker demon sits here, its keystroke unlocking a cyber abyss,
on an evil desktop throne.

The incessant, infernal loading time persists
as the computer eats a paperback’s soul.
A hacker demon sits here, it’s keystrokes unlocking a cyber abyss.

The endless clicking and typing is taking it’s toll
on a damned former novelist staring, tormented,
as the computer eats a paperback’s soul.

The imps dance on the shores of the digital stygian water
surrounded by megabyte flames
as the damned former novelist stares, tormented.

Playing pernicious, diabolic software games
a CPU devil dwells
surrounded by megabyte flames
in a DSL Hell.