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Alan Wilcox is a typical engineer. Well, not quite typical, because every engineer considers himself a unique one-of-a-kind authority concerning his particular specialty. That expertise can, in fact, range from computers, to electronics, to widely divergent fields depending on how interesting the topic might be. An interest and a passion to study makes it all come together.
Dr. Wilcox is a licensed Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, and as an electrical engineer specializes in computers, electronics, and software. That, however, doesn't hamper his expressing opinions on other topics. And, as you might suspect, those other topics are the subject of this book.
During his career in electrical engineering, he worked in a number of engineering positions and also taught at Marywood University (Business), Bucknell University (Electrical Engineering), and Lycoming College (Statistics). For 17 years he taught a variety of technical courses in computers and programming for Learning Tree International in the US and in Europe.
While at Bucknell, he wrote four engineering-design and computer-design textbooks. One of the books was on computer hardware design using the 68000 microprocessor, the CPU used in the Apple Mac during the mid-1980s. After years of using the PC, he now uses an Apple Mac Pro for most of his work; PC software runs on a Windows virtual machine using Parallels.
Now retired from full-time engineering, he repairs and tunes Elecraft amateur radio equipment; he is a ham radio operator, call sign W3DVX. In addition, he helps Adopt A Boxer Rescue by doing their web-based MySQL database programming to provide efficient processing of adoption applications. He recently started a new editing and publishing business at WilcoxPublishing.com.
Alan is an active member of Congregation Ohev Sholom of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where he serves on their Board and participates in weekly services. As Assistant Gabbi, he helps conduct the prayers and the Torah service. He was formerly Chairman of the Synagogue's Chevra Kadisha Society.
on Nov. 03, 2010 :
Why should I become an engineer? Why should I waste my time learning about chemistry and physics? So asks the young person at the brink of his career. Has my life as an engineer, a doctor, a scientist, or a professor enlightened me? So, asks the mature person.
Alan Wilcox has lived an engineer's life:creating,repairing, and teaching. By presenting his memoirs from childhood on, he interweaves coincidence and spiritualism and the enlightenment of Torah. In first-person plain talk he recalls incidents from his youth. For example, he recalls playing with a model airplane with his father. Later, he learns to fly and buys his own airplane. As a boy, he starts a fire by trying to find out if steel wool conducts electricity. First lessons in electronics, of course, are not easy. Curiosity leads him to find out how automobile engines and radios work. Most of all, he shows us how we develop and achieve our goals.
I would recommend Alan's book to anyone thinking of a career in science, and men and women striving for enlightenment and meaning in their lives.
(reviewed the day of purchase)