Charles Platt, a contributing editor to Make, presents an electronic gadget to silence loudmouths:
|"Back in the early days of Silicon Valley, when bad behavior may have been forgiven a little more readily than it is today, a legendary engineer named Bob Widlar was so intolerant of defective parts and malfunctioning prototypes, he was in the habit of destroying them with a sledge hammer. This came to be known as "widlarizing" them. He also had a strong dislike of ambient noise, and built a device known as "the hassler" which worked by fighting sound with sound. If someone shouted at Widlar, the hassler kicked in and emitted a piercing shriek of protest. I'm going to suggest a circuit that you can build for under $15 which will do what the hassler used to do, although I'll be referring to it here as a Noise Protest Device.|
Widlar wasn't interested in digital chips that use the 0s and 1s of binary code. Supposedly, he used to say that "every idiot can count to 1." He created analog designs, where the great challenge has always been to make an accurate, amplified copy of a rapidly fluctuating input signal. Many of the early operational-amplifier designs were pioneered by Widlar, and thus it seems appropriate that my Noise Protest Device uses an LM741, one of the oldest and most widely used op-amps."
Read the whole story here.