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A few weeks ago, my sister and I took a trip to the Wapiti Music Festival in Fernie, BC (which, by the way was lots of fun). On the drive back to Edmonton, we found an antique shop in a quaint little town about 50 km South of Calgary called Nanton.

Knowing that inside most antique stores is an elderly lady in a rocking chair preciously guarding vintage silverware with a double axe by her side, we had some Werthers Originals on hand to give as an offering in exchange for exploring through her piles of LIFE Magazines from the 1940s and Simon and Garfunkel Records. HOWEVER, little did I know that I would soon be finding a treasure.

I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s what I found…


As many would probably know, Hans Camenzind, best known for his invention of the 555 Timer has passed away recently. I must admit that I didn’t know much about his accomplishments (such as inventing the first Class D amplifier), nor did I know that he wrote a number of books.

That’s when I stumbled across his book, “Designing Analog Chips.” The book is downloadable for free. I haven’t had a chance to sit down to read it fully yet, but after skimming a few sections, it looks very interesting. In addition to the technical bits on analog IC design, Hans adds in a bit of history as well which greatly intrigues me. I am definitely looking forward to reading this book. I’m also hoping that the book will sharpen up my knowledge in some of the circuits that I learned during my college years such as current mirrors.

I won’t talk much about 555 Timers because so many people out there in the internet give fantastic walk throughs on them already. Also, if you’re reading this, chances are, you probably have a good idea of what they are anyway. IF you don’t however, check out the According to Pete Tutorial. There’s also a contest on who can make awesome things out of them too!

555 Timer Picture Credit to jjbeard found on Wikipedia. The picture shows the 555 Timer in Astable configuration which is used for oscillating outputs