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96 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2020 "I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge, you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." –Kurt Vonnegut Kurt Vonnegut was a favorite author of mine during the 1960s. He wrote several fanciful and entertaining novels over his career, and he always managed to slip in a thoughtful mes- sage here and there for his readers to ponder. The above quote is from his first novel, Player Piano, published in 1952. It is the story of engineer Paul Proteus, strug- gling to find a way to live in a world domi- nated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines. Side note: Proteus was the Greek god of water and of change, and it is also a name for a PCB design software tool, but that is coincidental. As an aspiring young science geek in the nascent technical mecca of elec- tronics technology, Santa Clara Valley (the name before Silicon Valley), its theme was very entertaining to me. But as we are learn- ing—and others have warned over the ensuing seven decades—it also turned out to be pretty close to current reality, but I digress. Given the theme of Design007 Magazine this month, where this column finds its home, Von- negut's quote is a good one for designers to hang on their walls near their design stations. As I have stated in previous columns, designers are the drum majors of the electronics indus- try—the leaders of the electronic interconnec- tion industry band and parade. The decisions made by designers have an impact all the way down the manufacturing line. Designers are gen- erally called upon to design products that con- form to norms and admonished not to challenge the status quo. In the past, I have written that the designer should design with manufacturing rather than for manufacturing. I hold fast to that notion. However, a hallmark quality of the best Designers at the Edge Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS

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