John R. Gyorki's Blog (27)

Job Opportunity Utopia

The story you are about to read is true. The names and places herein have not been changed to protect the innocent. You can check the facts yourself.


Imagine you are driving East on Eight-Mile Road in Warren, Michigan on a pleasant September afternoon to visit a friend. You had quit your job in May so you could enjoy a three-month vacation. But now you are thinking of…


Added by John R. Gyorki on May 6, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Put your head in the cloud

Does anyone know what the cloud or cloud computing really means? I have noticed that many alleged experts on the subject do not commit to a rigorous definition. I suspect they are waiting to see what finally precipitates out of the “ether,” which will probably be driven by engineers and CAE users who routinely collaborate around the world.

But, I think I have an idea of what it may comprise. I read Getting Organized in the Google Era, by Douglas C. Merrill and James A. Martin.… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on March 3, 2011 at 6:17am — 3 Comments

Management by Design drives Leadership Awards

Undoubtedly, most of you will recall the Insights article I wrote about the subject of Design in the March, 2007 issue. I focused on the concept as it relates to artists, design engineers, and new product designers. However, Design appears to be a popular idea in many other businesses as well, including universities that teach management principles. A case in point: Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management, has a program called “Manage by Design.” According to IDEO’s… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on December 12, 2010 at 8:30am — No Comments

Repair technicians need serious training

We all have things that we must do, but would rather put off indefinitely. At the top of my list is taking my car into the dealer for service, even for a simple oil change. Just the thought of it makes my heart race, my blood pressure rise, and my voice utter squeaky sounds. Why? Because I doubt the mechanic had ever earned an engineering degree. Without the degree, it is not likely he would know how to diagnose a problem that his hand-held vehicle computer scanner could not… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on November 4, 2010 at 6:00am — 7 Comments

I Deserve a Better Instruction Manual

When I spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for computers, software, and other complex electronic gear today, I expect to have a complete instruction manual packed along with it. For instance, the first desktop computer I bought in the ‘70s came with two hardcover, 3-ring bound manuals that were remarkably complete. One described the Operating System, and the other was a Basic software handbook. They were clearly written in modern, acceptable English grammar and made sense. The first… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on October 9, 2010 at 11:30am — 14 Comments

Safety First — or to Hell with it?

Car designers and manufacturing engineering people have gone all out to make modern-day automobiles safer than they have ever been. Our cars have superreliable seat belts, strategically located and integrated headrests, and airbags everywhere that are intended to make us as safe and as comfortable as being in a cocoon. Moreover, test engineers have proved over these many decades that being belted in our seats saves our lives more often than not. I am sorry, but I cannot buy into the argument… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on September 10, 2010 at 7:30pm — 14 Comments

Oops! The Editor’s Math is a Problem, too.

Many of you who responded to my article, “Middle School Math is a Big Problem,” in the June issue pointed out the error I made in labeling the triangle’s height or altitude. Of course, I was duly chagrined and humbled by the experience. I could have said that it was a trick or a test to see how many of you would actually work out the problem: However, I am not that smart! Most of you were kind and helpful and tried to discover what went wrong. Thank you.

What really happened? You may… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on August 9, 2010 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

Blogging Invites Legal Hassles

Many bloggers and editors (just like me) are subject to “illegal lawsuits” known as SLAPPs: Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. These lawsuits are brought against people or organizations that have exercised their right to criticize public issues or petition the government for failure to deliver on their citizens’ wants and needs. SLAPPS often use an excuse of libel, slander, defamation, malicious prosecution, or abuse of process.

For example, blogs…

Added by John R. Gyorki on July 26, 2010 at 6:30am — No Comments

Middle-School Math is a Big Problem

After having written about high college tuition costs recently, I encountered another mighty big problem with the US educational system. This time it concerns the quality — or rather, the lack of quality — of education in our local middle-school math class. What you read here may be the reason why so many kids turn up their noses at an engineering education. This is no joke; you can find the facts for yourself.

It seems that two of my grandchildren were having a bit of trouble in 7th… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on June 5, 2010 at 7:30am — 23 Comments

"We no longer have a job for you here, John!"

These words were among the first I heard that beautiful, sunny Monday morning in July 1977, when I arrived at work. Harsh? Cruel? Disheartening? Yes! Surprising? No, let me explain. The Michigan-based company where I worked had been designing and developing a new product in partnership with a customer and much larger manufacturer for months, and we were poised to launch production “Job One.” I had been an employee and the Senior Project Engineer on the development team for the previous 5…

Added by John R. Gyorki on May 19, 2010 at 9:00am — 12 Comments

A new kind of car accident: Unintended acceleration

Contrary to popular belief, the car companies did not invent onboard computers; Bendix Corp., Troy, Michigan, held the original patents. The system was originally designed for aircraft during WWII, and it was known as Electronic Fuel Injection or EFI. During the fuel shortage in the early ‘70s, the car companies became interested in improving gas mileage and reducing the pollutants with computer controls — without sacrificing drivability, and the emerging microprocessors designed into Bendix… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on April 23, 2010 at 12:00pm — 21 Comments

Microsoft launches cyber attack

Microsoft Corporation convinced me this week that I should buy a new Apple computer. At least when something goes wrong with an Apple computer, I can take it to the nearest Apple store and get it repaired, whether the problem is with the software or the hardware. But when I install an on-line security software update from Microsoft and it totally disables my Dell or Hewlett Packard computer, I have no quick and easy solution to getting it fixed. The hassle is endless.

For example,… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on March 11, 2010 at 10:12am — 10 Comments


There is no such thing as common sense. When I attended college, several decades ago, I was required to take a course in law, somehow connected to business. I was delighted at the prospect because I had only one experience with a lawyer before, which concerned research for a patent that I applied for when I was a teenager. The course was built around cases that had already been tried and conclusions reached. We students were given the “facts” and based on testimony and evidence given at the… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on February 1, 2010 at 8:00am — 7 Comments

College costs too much

All too soon, my grandchildren will be ready for college, but the cost for tuition far exceeds their parent’s ability to pay. A conservative estimate for a state-supported school today would be $600,000 to $1,000,000 for the troupe! I think that is ridiculous! These young parents are already struggling to pay everyday expenses — plus their own college loans!

Why does college cost so much? I don’t know. When I attended during the ‘60s, I had no such problem. I worked part time and… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on January 11, 2010 at 9:30am — 16 Comments

Innovative Designers, where are you?

A truly innovative product design comes from a truly innovative designer. It comes from the passion, insight, and creativity of one or two people, who together understand the indisputable, psychological process that the user undergoes when seeing and using a new product. It comes from a designer who “eats, breathes, and nourishes” his idea every waking and sleeping moment.

An innovative product does not come from consensus, a committee, a focus group, or a customer review board.… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on December 16, 2009 at 10:53am — 4 Comments

Is NASA in retrograde?

In this 40th anniversary year of putting a man on the moon, I profusely congratulate and thank NASA’s scientists, engineers, technicians, machinists, and specialists for all their hard work. A single greatest achievement during 40 decades is difficult to pin down: Neil Armstrong on the moon, the Hubble telescope, space probes, and the Mars Rover, to name a few. The list is virtually endless.

I also thank them for their many innovations, discoveries, and developments in space… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on November 17, 2009 at 8:42am — 6 Comments

Social Media—New Interactive, Marketing Websites

YouTube. Flickr. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Blogs. Chat sites. Instant messages. RSS. Text messages and POTs (No, not grass—Plain Old Telephones!). All these venues and many more, are Social Media Networks that satisfy a basic need for all of us to be connected. And why do we need to be so connected? Since men and women painted pictures in caves, the most important reason is that we need to share personal and intimate information and observations with friends and acquaintances — and… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on October 8, 2009 at 8:11am — No Comments

The Internet is not an option

I recently purchased a Dell computer and a Microsoft software package that I planned to install myself via the DVD drive. I intended to use it solely for executing mathematics, making engineering drawings, developing software, and writing articles. In addition, because of the pervasive and virtually uncontrollable computer viruses and spyware sitting in every corner of the planet, I wanted this laptop to remain virgin, never to be connected to the Internet. But, alas, this dream was not to be… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on September 14, 2009 at 7:56pm — 15 Comments

Who designs microwave ovens?

Are you a microwave oven designer? If you are, do you own one yourself? If yes, what brand? If no, why not? How many minutes, hours, weeks, or months do your microwave ovens typically last?

I suspect that most people would like to know the answers to these questions. Then we would purchase the brand you use, since we would expect that brand to last more than a few months. We certainly cannot obtain truthful reliability information from the Internet among all the Web sites that… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on August 5, 2009 at 1:31pm — 23 Comments

The truth about statistics

What do the issues of so-called Climate Change, Intelligent Design, Cold Fusion, and Gun Control have in common? Answer: Ignorance. A saying often attributed to Mark Twain is, “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Since I recently discussed lies, I would like to address statistics. I think Twain meant that certain people can force both correlated and uncorrelated data to support any conclusion that they wish to draw. But the scientific method for analysis and… Continue

Added by John R. Gyorki on July 17, 2009 at 8:30am — 14 Comments


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