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Video Archive: Series #2

selectric selectric

Selectric

Bill uses slow motion video to show how the IBM Selectric's mechanical digital-to-analogue converter. (See also this video's appendix on the whiffletree.) Copier

whiffleetree whiffletree

The Whiffletree D-to-A converter

In this video appendix to his Selectric video, Bill illustrates the principles of mechanical digital-to-analogue conversion.

chair
pop-can

Pop Can Tab

Bill uses slow motion video to show the ingenious engineering design of the apparently simple tab of a pop can. He shows how it changes from a 2nd to a 1st class lever.

pop can stay-on tab
coffee-maker

Coffee Maker

To engineer an object means to make choices. Bill shows how a single choice required an interesting method for pumping water.

Garbage
black-box

Black Box

In designing an object an engineer must choose the proper material. Never is this more important than in the "black box" flight data recorder.

black-box
transistor-point-contact

Transistor

Bill shows how a transistor works by examing a replica of the first one ever build: The Bardeen-Brattain point contact transistor.

transistor-point-contact
quartz-watch

Quartz Watch

Bill takes apart a cheap watch to show how it works. He describes how a tiny quartz tuning fork keeps the time.

quartz-watch
lines

Queueing Theory

Bill introduces queueing theory and uses it to design the most efficient check out line.

lines