Catching up on your summer reading? Consider Dickie: Memoirs of a Mad Scientist, by Richard Nedbal.
Though not seen around the industry much anymore, Rich, many longtime readers will recall, revolutionized CAD and CAM software as founder of P-CAD, which at one point boasted the world’s largest ECAD installed base, and Advanced CAM Technologies (ACT), which developed the still popular CAM350.
Rich has spent the better part of his post-ACT days working on bettering engine injection systems. (He also was inducted into the Dieter W. Bergman PCB Design Hall of Fame last year at PCB West, which coincidentally takes place in September at the Santa Clara Convention Center.) In his spare time, he has written a startlingly funny and self-deprecating book about his childhood and early adult years.
Rich spins great yarns about growing up in Chicago, his occasionally inspiring parents, learning about electrons (which he mastered) and soldering (which he butchered), first jobs, monkey races (seriously), starting college, and joining the Air Force, where he escaped the hated “Dickie” moniker of his youth, only to be recast by an angry Air Force sergeant as “Airman Kneeball.”
A lifetime love of math and science took him to Carnegie Mellon, where an engineering manager tapped him to help with digital logic design, launching his Hall of Fame career in electronics.
Rich’s wit, intellect and most of all, never-say-die attitude are on display in spades throughout this charming tale, released this summer by Strategic Book Publishing and available via Amazon. I would have expected nothing less.