Friday, October 4, 2013

Object Oriented Programming - Object #3: The Weight of a Microchip!

Preface: During Graduate School, Object Oriented Programming had a very specific meaning. Now I'm more "meta",  and stuck in a different time-warp for the next few weeks in Bangalore with time to ponder. I now see objects around me that had very specific meaning to me in an earlier life.

While in this time-warp,  I'll post some of these interesting objects.

Object #3 (Circa 1975): The Weight of a Microchip!


A glass paperweight with a suspended faux microchip

Even before we realized the importance and power of the chip, it made its weight known!  Let's just say it was worth much more than on paper!

I'll bet I must have asked "What's that thing in the glass?" when the cool-looking paperweight first surfaced in our house in the 70s.

Little did I know that I would later be studying how to work these chips, program them with assembly code, and, eventually, design and build my own. At Rice, I designed, and built a chip that was shipped off to  MOSIS to fabricate.  When the chip arrived, in "flesh and blood" and we ran our first tests, it was a thudding heart - did I miss a gate here, or a circuit line there?

For kicks, we put our names in the corners of the circuits - you can see our signatures in the photos of the chip design masks.

But most cool ... my chip worked!

I'll post a pic of my chip when I get home  - as you know, I am at my other home halfway across the globe right now!


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