Category Archives: engineering

T-Square Knight Of The Drafting Table

In Form One, 1968, we were introduced to Technical Drawing, whereby we learned concepts such as 2D projections of 3D objects, cross-sections, dimensioning protocols, line types, etc. 

Looking back, it seemed that I took to Technical Drawing like a duck to water.  Everything was like second nature to me, as I drew lines and curves with pencils of various hardness grades.

One basic tool used in drawing practice was the indispensable T-Square, which served as the movable horizontal datum, upon which set-squares were placed, to produce lines which were to be at 90/30/60/45-degree angles to it.  And of course, that wooden “drawing table” which supported the drawing paper.

Later on, in the Technical Institute, Penang and even in the University of Malaya, many hours would be spent hunching over the Drafting Table, with T-Square sliding up and down.

Wont To, Or Won’t, Cry For Thee Motorola

[..It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange…When I try to explain how I feel..]

35 years (a/o 2019) have passed since I quit Motorola, Penang, and went south, in search of greener pastures on a Little Red Dot.  Memories – both heart-warming and heart-breaking – came flooding in, as I looked at this old photograph.

Motorola was then the world’s leading portable communications equipment maker, which made it a hotly sought-after employer. We employees used to stride in pride in our distinctive batik-style uniforms even after work, in town! 

This was my first place of work and also the place where I met my GF who is now my wife.  We had some pretty awesome workplace interactions during the 5 years’ vocational sojurn.

Alas, Motorola today is a faint shadow of its former giant self – as a result of an over-confident leadership that rested too long on its laurels.  So sad indeed.

Of ‘Apiahs’ And Nerdy Memories…

A photo here from the graduating Class of 1979 — vintage year 2 score and no more (as of 2019).

Remembering the days, where we – the ‘Engin’ were the nerdy ones, and fondly (or perhaps disdainfully) nicknamed the ‘Apiahs’. (Am not sure what this last term meant)

While students from other faculties (most notoriously, the Arts) were having a whale of a time in their prime, we just did “eat, sleep, shxx, and study study study”.

Our favourite pastime was to “mug” in the campus library; our food hotspots were in Section 17, PJ; and our favourite PMDs (personal mobility device) were the Kapcai’s (Honda’s, Suzuki”s, Yamaha’s)

Most, if not all these classmates have had very successful careers and businesses after their graduation.  Thanks to our lecturers for their teaching and guidance.

Batteries Not Needed, Just Slide Along

Despite the gigantic strides made in electronics and software, the Slide Rule remains a masterpiece of engineering, a timeless showcase of the power of the human mind.

The photo shows the Staedtler-Mars model which I bought in 1976, when I enrolled into the Engineering Faculty, University of Malaya. Wow, it was a new tool that I never knew before, with awesome mathematical computation capabilities like  logarithms, geometric functions, squares, square roots, etc (I have forgotten most of them).

My biggest headache seemed to be finding the right set of figures for square roots (which was essential in tackling AC electricity questions), and under the tense atmosphere of a time-constrained examinations hall, it was a real odyssey of epic intensity.

So much so that at one point, my slide rule fell to the floor and cracked. (see the top left corner).