Re: This guy mattered more than Jobs the Toymaker

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    On Oct 16, 4:48 am, Eric Stevens <> wrote:
    > On Sat, 15 Oct 2011 19:57:16 -0500, Rich <> wrote:
    > >The underpinning of our computer world rides on this fellow's and his
    > >colleague's efforts, not Apple adult toys.

    >
    > >http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/14/tech/innovation/dennis-ritchie-obit-bel...

    >
    > I've unwrapped the URL. Apart from that, I agree with you.
    >
    > There is also Farmwald and Horowitz who with their co-workers are
    > responsible for inventions without which no modern computers would
    > exist.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Eric Stevens


    And Theodore Maiman, who invented the first laser, without which none
    of our current non-memory data recording mediums would be possible.
     
    RichA, Oct 17, 2011
    #1
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  2. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    RichA <> wrote:
    >On Oct 16, 4:48 am, Eric Stevens <> wrote:
    >> On Sat, 15 Oct 2011 19:57:16 -0500, Rich <> wrote:
    >> >The underpinning of our computer world rides on this fellow's and his
    >> >colleague's efforts, not Apple adult toys.

    >>
    >> >http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/14/tech/innovation/dennis-ritchie-obit-bel...

    >>
    >> I've unwrapped the URL. Apart from that, I agree with you.
    >>
    >> There is also Farmwald and Horowitz who with their co-workers are
    >> responsible for inventions without which no modern computers would
    >> exist.
    >>
    >> Regards,
    >>
    >> Eric Stevens

    >
    >And Theodore Maiman, who invented the first laser, without which none
    >of our current non-memory data recording mediums would be possible.



    That supposes that no-one else was working towards the development of
    the laser (or something quite like it, with a different name). Was
    that really the case? Would no-one else have come up with the idea?
     
    Bruce, Oct 17, 2011
    #2
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  3. RichA

    John Turco Guest

    Savageduck wrote:
    >
    > > On 2011-10-17 12:35:39 -0700, RichA <> said:


    <edited for brevity>

    > > And Theodore Maiman, who invented the first laser, without which none
    > > of our current non-memory data recording mediums would be possible.

    >
    > ...and that brings on all the concept developer/inventor/claimed
    > discoverer arguments regarding Bell vs Gray vs Edison vs Reis for the
    > telephone; Marconi vs Edison vs Tesla vs Popov for radio;


    Edwin H. Armstrong invented the circuitry, which is the basis for all
    modern radio, television and radar. In the electronics field, he was
    a true giant among giants; alas, his savaging by RCA has long reduced
    him to a comparatively obscure figure.

    > Baird vs Farnsworth for television.


    No contest, as Philo T. Farnsworth was the clear winner! Once again,
    though, he became overshadowed by RCA's spectre.

    Incidentally, RichA's main contribution is powdered water. It's such
    a damned shame, his genius remains largely unnoticed and essentially
    unappreciated...sigh.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Oct 27, 2011
    #3
  4. RichA

    John Turco Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:

    <edited for brevity>

    > The Wright brothers vs. Chanute, Lilienthal and others for the airplane.
    >
    > The Wrights actually invented nothing except wing warping for lateral
    > control linked to the rudder for preventing adverse yaw. Every other part
    > oftheir airplane had been invented and in use long before them -- and their
    > rudder linking design was essentially worthless and ignored by aircraft
    > builders. Nevertheless they received patents which, they believed, entitled
    > them to licensing fees extracted from anyone who built an airplane,
    > anywhere.


    You're wrong about the Wrights (pun intended). They were superb engineers,
    whose humble origins as bicycle mechanics belied their genuine greatness.

    > Their special target was Glenn Curtiss, who built airplanes and simply
    > ignored their claims for licensing fees -- and after Curtiss, soon every
    > other aircraft builder did the same. The Wrights sued Curtiss in 1912, and
    > then over and over, and I think they actually won most of their lawsuits;
    > but by appeals and/or other devices Curtiss kept building airplanes and
    > refused to acknowledge the Wrights' claims. Curtiss flying boats were the
    > first to cross the Atlantic (or one of them did, in stages, and with
    > considerable difficulty) in 1913. During WWI he made a fortune building the
    > now-famous Curtiss "Jenny".trainer, both in the U.S.and in Canada, for the
    > military. After the war his company continued to make successful fighters
    > and other military aircraft for the U.S. and various other nations, and some
    > commercial aircraft as well.


    Glenn Curtiss was a thief, plain and simple. It was bad enough that Europeans
    didn't honor U.S. patents, yet...he ripped off his own countrymen, the Wright
    Brothers.

    > So Curtiss kept building airplanes, and the Wright brothers (or anyway the
    > surviving one) kept suing him. Curtiss finally made some undisclosed
    > settlement with Wright in 1940, by which time he was no longer building
    > airplanes anyway and had no further interest in aviation. Curtiss P-40
    > fighters flew for various Allied nations in WWII, and Curtiss P-36s flew
    > for the Vichy French.


    Although, the P-40 "Warhawk" was a rugged scrapper, it was obsolescent by
    the time the U.S. entered World War II. The same could be said of >all<
    Curtiss aircraft, for that matter.

    It's rather simple, really: Glenn Curtiss was a hack and a scoundrel.

    > Apart from those 28 years of suing Curtiss, the Wright brothers never did
    > anything of particular interest in aviation after 1912, as far as I know.
    > Remarkable that they are regarded today as the fathers of aviation, or some
    > such thing. They *were* probably the first to learn how to fly a powered
    > aircraft successfully, which is something in itself. But that's really
    > about all they did.


    No, the Wrights did much more than that. Their prime acomplishment
    was the realization that a propeller is actually a miniature wing --
    and they even built wind tunnels, in order to optimize its design.

    Thus, the Wright Brothers' propeller gave them a huge advantage over
    their rivals, and enabled them to achieve the first recorded powered
    flight.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Oct 27, 2011
    #4
  5. RichA

    John Turco Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:
    >
    > > John Turco wrote:
    > >> Neil Harrington wrote:

    > >
    > > <edited for brevity>
    > >
    > >> The Wright brothers vs. Chanute, Lilienthal and others for the
    > >> airplane.
    > >>
    > >> The Wrights actually invented nothing except wing warping for lateral
    > >> control linked to the rudder for preventing adverse yaw. Every other
    > >> part oftheir airplane had been invented and in use long before them
    > >> -- and their rudder linking design was essentially worthless and
    > >> ignored by aircraft builders. Nevertheless they received patents
    > >> which, they believed, entitled them to licensing fees extracted from
    > >> anyone who built an airplane, anywhere.

    > >
    > > You're wrong about the Wrights (pun intended). They were superb
    > > engineers, whose humble origins as bicycle mechanics belied their
    > > genuine greatness.

    >
    > Foo. What marvelous feats of engineering did the Wright brothers perform?
    > What did they do for aviation *at all* after 1912? Aviation advanced
    > rapidly while the Wrights did practically nothing but stew in their
    > envy and resentment of Curtiss.


    They boldly went, where no man had gone before (sorry, Trekkies).

    > >> Their special target was Glenn Curtiss, who built airplanes and
    > >> simply ignored their claims for licensing fees -- and after Curtiss,
    > >> soon every other aircraft builder did the same. The Wrights sued
    > >> Curtiss in 1912, and then over and over, and I think they actually
    > >> won most of their lawsuits; but by appeals and/or other devices
    > >> Curtiss kept building airplanes and refused to acknowledge the
    > >> Wrights' claims. Curtiss flying boats were the first to cross the
    > >> Atlantic (or one of them did, in stages, and with considerable
    > >> difficulty) in 1913. During WWI he made a fortune building the
    > >> now-famous Curtiss "Jenny".trainer, both in the U.S.and in Canada,
    > >> for the military. After the war his company continued to make
    > >> successful fighters and other military aircraft for the U.S. and
    > >> various other nations, and some commercial aircraft as well.

    > >
    > > Glenn Curtiss was a thief, plain and simple. It was bad enough that
    > > Europeans didn't honor U.S. patents, yet...he ripped off his own
    > > countrymen, the Wright Brothers.

    >
    > That was the Wright brothers' baseless complaint, yes. What exactly did
    > Curtiss steal from them? Their airframe design? The Wrights got that from
    > Chanute, for the most part. The internal combustion engine? No, that already
    > existed. The propeller? No, Maxim had used propellers on his steam-powered
    > attempt at an airplane (of sorts) I think back in the 1880s. Steamships of
    > course were already using them, similar in principle if not appearance. Did
    > they invent the airfoil? Of course not; they got that from Chanute and the
    > Lilienthal brothers et al., along with a great deal of other information
    > about designing flying machines.


    The Wright Brothers brought it all together, into a satisfactory package
    (i.e., their "Wright Flyer").

    > What else? Their weight-driven launching catapult? That wasn't a very
    > practical idea and was short-lived.


    Crank-started cars were less than ideal, as well. Big deal.

    > All they had to patent as far as I'm aware was their system of wing warping
    > for lateral control, coupled with the rudder to prevent adverse yaw. I don't
    > think Curtiss *ever* used wing warping -- he used ailerons for lateral
    > control. What do we use now, wing warping? No, we use ailerons and have been
    > doing so ever since Curtiss. Wing warping went out completely about two
    > years into WWI.
    >
    > So what did Curtiss "rip off" from the Wright brothers?


    Whatever they >said< he did.

    > >> So Curtiss kept building airplanes, and the Wright brothers (or
    > >> anyway the surviving one) kept suing him. Curtiss finally made some
    > >> undisclosed settlement with Wright in 1940, by which time he was no
    > >> longer building airplanes anyway and had no further interest in
    > >> aviation. Curtiss P-40 fighters flew for various Allied nations in
    > >> WWII, and Curtiss P-36s flew for the Vichy French.


    In other words, he produced junkers.

    > > Although, the P-40 "Warhawk" was a rugged scrapper, it was
    > > obsolescent by the time the U.S. entered World War II. The same could
    > > be said of >all< Curtiss aircraft, for that matter.

    >
    > The P-40 was essentially an inline-engined version of the earlier
    > radial-engined P-36 and was not the last word in fighters. Nevertheless
    > it was a worthy enough fighter that the British wanted North American
    > to build them under license for the RAF.


    At the time, the British were desperate for anything with wings; the
    P-40 happened to quailfy.

    > Dutch Kindelberger said NA could build a better fighter for them than
    > that with the same (Allison) engine, and the agreement led to the P-51,
    > often called the best fighter of that war.


    The Republic P-47 "Thunderbolt" is more deserving of that title. It
    caused Germany's "Wehrmacht" untold misery, both as a fighter and as
    a fighter-bomber.

    > However, what made the P-51 great was a different engine, the Rolls-Royce
    > Merlin. Most opinion is that it was not outstanding with the original
    > Allison -- and P-40s continued to use the Allison. Had P-40s been given
    > the same engine their reputation would probably be better than it is.
    > Nevertheless, the P-40 continued to be developed and fought successfully
    > in different theaters.


    The Allison engines lacked turbochargers, so it's unfair to compare them
    with Merlins. In any case, the P-40 wouldn't have benefited greatly from
    improved power plants; it was a dated design, and the Curtiss company's
    own experimental efforts couldn't transform the Warhawk into a moderm
    marvel.

    As I'd alluded to, the P-40 was a battler, not a brilliant performer.

    > > It's rather simple, really: Glenn Curtiss was a hack and a scoundrel.

    >
    > Unlike the greedy and somewhat paranoid Wright brothers, Curtiss and his
    > company continued to advance aviation. The Wrights apparently believed that
    > their flimsy and mostly worthless patent would make them rich beyond dreams
    > of avarice -- that every airplane maker in the world might be compelled to
    > pay them license fees. In other words, they hoped to do successfully with
    > airplanes what George Selden had tried to do with automobiles -- patent an
    > entire form of transportation. (The Selden patent was eventually broken by
    > Henry Ford, who became more or less a supporter of Glenn Curtiss.)


    Apples and oranges. The Wrights are rightly famed (I'm such a punster!),
    whereas Selden is a trivial character.

    > >> Apart from those 28 years of suing Curtiss, the Wright brothers
    > >> never did anything of particular interest in aviation after 1912, as
    > >> far as I know. Remarkable that they are regarded today as the
    > >> fathers of aviation, or some such thing. They *were* probably the
    > >> first to learn how to fly a powered aircraft successfully, which is
    > >> something in itself. But that's really about all they did.

    > >
    > > No, the Wrights did much more than that. Their prime acomplishment
    > > was the realization that a propeller is actually a miniature wing --
    > > and they even built wind tunnels, in order to optimize its design.

    >
    > They did build wind tunnels, yes. Much of their knowledge of aircraft
    > design and flying however was given to them freely by Chanute and others
    > who had developed it. Most of the other people involved in developing
    > heavier-than-air flying machines were generous with help offered to
    > other inventors and experimenters -- which the Wrights were glad to
    > take advantage of, while themselves being secretive and suspicious
    > of everyone.


    Yeah, and it took a pair of lowly bike tinkerers to finally get the
    job done. Dumb luck, I guess?

    > > Thus, the Wright Brothers' propeller gave them a huge advantage over
    > > their rivals, and enabled them to achieve the first recorded powered
    > > flight.

    >
    > It wasn't that great a propeller design as far as I'm aware. Much
    > better props came along in fairly short order that had nothing to
    > do with anything the Wrights designed.


    The Wright Brothers beat them all to the punch, when it truly counted.

    > They claimed that their original Flyer was the first heavier-than-air
    > machine capable of powered, controlled flight. The fact is that Prof.
    > Langley's airplane, which had preceded it, was capable of powered,
    > controlled flight -- as Glenn Curtiss was happy to demonstrate, making
    > the Wrights even more furious than before.
    >
    > Langley's machine, the "Aerodrome," based on his extensive work with
    > powered flying models, crashed in the Potomac when its pilot attempted
    > to fly it. The "pilot" as I recall was the guy who had designed
    > its engine; he knew nothing about flying an airplane, which was why
    > he crashed. At that time, of course, *nobody* knew how to fly an
    > airplane.


    Tough noogies!

    > Again: that was the Wrights' real and only contribution to aviation --
    > learning how to fly an airplane. Of course that wasn't patentable.


    You've just proved my point. The Wright's airplane and their piloting
    skills, combined to give them an edge. They avoided Langley's mistake,
    because they knew how to control their "flying machine"...it wasn't
    a wounded duck, as the professor's was.

    For all that, they deserve more credit than you're willing to give
    them.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Nov 12, 2011
    #5
  6. RichA

    John Turco Guest

    Eric Stevens wrote:
    >
    > > On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:33:16 -0600, John Turco <>
    > > wrote:

    >
    > --- snip ---
    >
    > > P-40 happened to quailfy.
    > >
    > >> Dutch Kindelberger said NA could build a better fighter for them than
    > >> that with the same (Allison) engine, and the agreement led to the P-51,
    > >> often called the best fighter of that war.

    > >
    > > The Republic P-47 "Thunderbolt" is more deserving of that title. It
    > > caused Germany's "Wehrmacht" untold misery, both as a fighter and as
    > > a fighter-bomber.

    >
    > But at a cost; a considerable cost.


    At >far more< cost to the Germans, however. I never claimed that the T-Bolt
    was invincible, and yet, it always delivered lots more punishment than it
    received.

    First, it battered the "Luftwaffe" into submission, which paved the way for
    the Allies' Normandy Invasion. Then, in its fighter-bomber role, the P-47
    wreaked havoc upon the "Heer" and also demolished large numbers of German
    locomotives, tanks and trucks...along with many other ground targets. (All
    very disruptive to Germany's war effort, to say the least.)

    For various reasons, the North American P-51 "Mustang" wasn't nearly as
    well suited to be a fighter-bomber or tank destroyer.

    > >> However, what made the P-51 great was a different engine, the Rolls-Royce
    > >> Merlin. Most opinion is that it was not outstanding with the original
    > >> Allison -- and P-40s continued to use the Allison. Had P-40s been given
    > >> the same engine their reputation would probably be better than it is.
    > >> Nevertheless, the P-40 continued to be developed and fought successfully
    > >> in different theaters.

    > >
    > > The Allison engines lacked turbochargers, so it's unfair to compare them
    > > with Merlins.

    >
    > Why? The Merlin lacked turbochargers also. But they did have highly
    > efficient superchargers.
    >
    > --- snip ---
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Eric Stevens


    General Electric's turbochargers were cheap, simple, dependable and
    effective; GE-equiped U.S. fighters were devastating machines. Sadly,
    the Allisons were plagued by clunky, complex mechanical superchargers,
    and their high-altitude performance suffered greatly for it.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Nov 21, 2011
    #6
  7. RichA

    John Turco Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:
    >
    > > John Turco wrote:
    > >>>> Neil Harrington wrote:


    <heavily edited for brevity>

    > >> So what did Curtiss "rip off" from the Wright brothers?

    > >
    > > Whatever they >said< he did.

    >
    > <guffaw!>
    >
    > That's all it takes, huh?


    No, but, it's a good start.

    > >>>> So Curtiss kept building airplanes, and the Wright brothers (or
    > >>>> anyway the surviving one) kept suing him. Curtiss finally made some
    > >>>> undisclosed settlement with Wright in 1940, by which time he was no
    > >>>> longer building airplanes anyway and had no further interest in
    > >>>> aviation. Curtiss P-40 fighters flew for various Allied nations in
    > >>>> WWII, and Curtiss P-36s flew for the Vichy French.

    > >
    > > In other words, he produced junkers.

    >
    > I don't know that *he* was producing anything in that line by 1940 -- his
    > company went on developing Curtiss Hawk fighters, as they had through the
    > '20s and '30s. I believe most of our Army Air Corps and Naval Aviation
    > fighters through those decades were Curtisses, and popular fighters they
    > were. They sold well in various parts of the world. Glenn Curtiss himself
    > had drifted out of aviation by the end of the '30s, I think.


    If he was so great, why did he quit the aereonatical racket? My notion is
    that it was too tough for him, if he couldn't keep stealing ideas from more
    talented engineers (such as the Wrights).

    > Again, what did the Wright brothers (or the remaining one) do over all
    > those years from WWI onward that was of any importance to aviation?
    >
    > Nothing, right? Nothing. Was there ever a Wright wartime trainer, or
    > fighter, or dive bomber, or flying boat, or transport? Curtiss produced
    > all of those.


    Their company built aircraft engines and propellers, which were crltical
    to the Allied victory in WWII. By then, Curtiss (the man) had already
    slunk into obscurity!

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Nov 21, 2011
    #7
  8. RichA

    John Turco Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:
    >
    > > John Turco wrote:
    > >> Neil Harrington wrote:
    > >>> John Turco wrote:
    > >>>>>> Neil Harrington wrote:


    <edited for brevity>

    > >>>>>> So Curtiss kept building airplanes, and the Wright brothers (or
    > >>>>>> anyway the surviving one) kept suing him. Curtiss finally made
    > >>>>>> some undisclosed settlement with Wright in 1940, by which time
    > >>>>>> he was no longer building airplanes anyway and had no further
    > >>>>>> interest in aviation. Curtiss P-40 fighters flew for various
    > >>>>>> Allied nations in WWII, and Curtiss P-36s flew for the Vichy
    > >>>>>> French.
    > >>>
    > >>> In other words, he produced junkers.
    > >>
    > >> I don't know that *he* was producing anything in that line by 1940
    > >> -- his company went on developing Curtiss Hawk fighters, as they had
    > >> through the '20s and '30s. I believe most of our Army Air Corps and
    > >> Naval Aviation fighters through those decades were Curtisses, and
    > >> popular fighters they were. They sold well in various parts of the
    > >> world. Glenn Curtiss himself had drifted out of aviation by the end
    > >> of the '30s, I think.

    > >
    > > If he was so great, why did he quit the aereonatical racket?

    >
    > Made his fortune in it and decided to move on, I presume. He had gone
    > from motorcycles to airplanes in the first place, you know. He had set
    > the unofficial word speed record for motorcycles in 1903 on a machine
    > of his own design, and again in 1907 (when his speed of 136 mph stood
    > as a record for over 20 years). The Wrights never designed an airplane
    > that went anywhere near that fast.


    How interesting! The Wrights repaired bicycles, and Curtiss became a
    motorcycle monkey.

    > > My notion is that it was too tough for him, if he couldn't keep
    > > stealing ideas from more talented engineers (such as the Wrights).
    > >
    > >> Again, what did the Wright brothers (or the remaining one) do over
    > >> all those years from WWI onward that was of any importance to
    > >> aviation?
    > >>
    > >> Nothing, right? Nothing. Was there ever a Wright wartime trainer,
    > >> or fighter, or dive bomber, or flying boat, or transport? Curtiss
    > >> produced all of those.

    > >
    > > Their company built aircraft engines and propellers, which were

    >
    > I'm sorry, "their company"? "THEIR company"?! I presume you mean the
    > Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Notice whose name got top billing.


    My memory faded.

    > > crltical to the Allied victory in WWII. By then, Curtiss (the man)
    > > had already slunk into obscurity!

    >
    > Curtiss-Wright made engines and propellers in WW II all right but
    > they were clearly secondary to Pratt & Whitney engines and Hamilton
    > Standard props (related companies). The "Wright" engines of that
    > time had nothing to do with the surviving Wright brother anyway,
    > who probably couldn't even have explained how a twin-row radial
    > engine worked.


    Your disparaging remarks aside, the Wright Brothers' legacy is
    greater than that of Glenn Curtiss. They're true American folk
    heroes...whereas, he's just a crass industrialist.

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Dec 22, 2011
    #8
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