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May 2011

Jameco Electronics Newsletter

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Jameco Puzzler: New Broadcasting Technology

By Forrest M. Mims III

In this month's puzzler, Forrest M. Mims III has taken his electronics challenge to new heights. Imagine radio disk jockey, D.J. Smith, as part of a fund-raising stunt, decides to broadcast from atop a 150-foot tall crane using only a cell phone. D.J., with a meager set of supplies, promised to remain atop the crane for a full week of broadcasting. Everything went well until D.J. dropped his cell phone and because the stunt rules required no interaction with any other humans, he was forced to create an alternative broadcast solution using his meager supplies. This is one of our most advanced puzzlers of all time.

Can you measure up to this challenge?
Cal Team

Supercharging Miles per Gallon

While most of us are grumbling about $4 gasoline, and some of us are bragging about 50 miles per gallon using a hybrid vehicle, this year's Shell Eco-marathon winners created an internal combustion engine that clocked 2,564 mpg! First place honors went to Université Laval in Quebec, Canada.

This year Jameco sponsored the super mileage team from the University of California, Berkeley.

Read more about the Cal team efforts to achieve crazy mileage levels.
Kill a watt

No Expensive Equipment Necessary

By Posey Bowers

Reader Posey Bowers bought a Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitoring device from Jameco and was pleasantly surprised that he was able to forgo purchasing expensive test equipment when this relatively inexpensive unit got the job done instead.

Find out more about his approach.

Jameco welcomes the contributions of its customers. Frankly, we think what you write is more interesting than anything we could write. Share your electronic component story, project, or challenge, and we'll share it with the world. Send your story to [email protected]

Is Forrest M. Mims III in Error?

Error Challenge Over the years many readers have challenged Forrest's puzzles convinced that they have caught him in a mistake. To date, however, no one has successfully proven an error in any of his puzzles. Knowing the odds were long, we still willingly set out to see if we could prove that the solution to this month's puzzle is possible.

No 150-foot cranes were involved, but Product Manager Robert Cong was on a mission to challenge the great Forrest M. Mims, III.

SPOILER ALERT: Only click the link below after you've tried to solve the puzzle above.

Is Forrest M. Mims III in Error?

The Most Important Thing I Ever Learned In School

By Greg Harris

Learned In School In college there were classes I deemed important to my life and others that were mere requirements forced upon me. At the time I resented having to study things that didn't fit into my master plan; today I recognize that the most important lesson I ever learned came from classes I would never have selected.

I'm sure I'm like many people in that the things we studied in college are rarely part of our daily professional lives. At the time I was convinced everything from an economics class was critical and yet I've had few opportunities to discuss the Laffer Curve or debate the inner workings of the gross domestic product calculation.

On the other hand, I was convinced that taking an art history class was a complete waste of time. And yet it was my knowledge of art history that helped me create the faux aura of culture and mask my otherwise awkward attempts to court my wife to be.

The list of misjudgments when it came to the importance of different classes and topics was long.

Enter Abraham Maslow and his 1943 paper on the hierarchy of needs which seemed to be discussed in every class I had deemed as worthless. Despite the many negative words I may have uttered at the time, I now believe that old Abraham had the most important lesson I would ever get.

I've spent many years thinking about Maslow and have done my best to adapt his simple little five-tiered pyramid to the business world. See how I've adapted Maslow to a business environment and how Maslow can help anyone sell more and manage better.

Read about why I think this is the most important lesson I ever learned.


Greg Harris
Vice President, Marketing
[email protected]

EXTRA EXTRA: RoboGames Wins Gold!

robogames By Robert Cong

Once again the best, strongest and brightest of the Robot generation gathered in California for the annual Robogames competition. As a sponsor Jameco enjoyed a front row seat to watch teams from Brazil, Korea, the United States and many places in between compete for gold. Congratulations to all the winners and to all of the contestants that shed a tire or two.

Check out Jameco's "View from the Booth."