First of all, can I apologise for the headline? I can't think of it being used before, but I assume that, because it is so obvious, it must have been. Many times.
I joined New Electronics as Deputy Editor relatively recently and have a privileged position in the electronics industry – talking to all corners of the industry on the subjects that motivate, infuriate, interest and inspire. In this era of electronic communication, it would therefore be little more than a dereliction of duties to do anything other than pass such topics on in a blog.
I have already covered some interesting stories in the printed magazine, but pride of place goes to a visit to Bletchley Park - a write up of this will appear in the next issue of New Electronics, which publishes on 11 June. Bletchley historian Joel Greenberg showed me round, explaining how the electronics industry as we know it was effectively born in those rather tatty huts during World War II.
A group of scientists and engineers formed what was essentially the first Skunk Works – no rules, just solutions. Ultimately, the Nazi code cracking problems were solved by Colossus, the world's first programmable computer.
I won't go into the story here. Fascinated, as I am sure you will be, Bletchley's secrets are not going to be revealed within three magazine pages. I have been there a number of times now and never fail to find it inspiring.
Moreover, I believe it is a place to inspire young people. To be able to pin such a great back story on careers in engineering and maths is an opportunity that should not be missed. I admit that my son looked at Colossus, not from the perspective of how ingenious it was given that nothing like it had come before, but more from the point of view of how useless it was compared to what came after. But it all builds perspective and highlights the fact that it takes people to innovate and design – electronics gadgets don't just appear. So if you and your families are short of a day out this summer, then there is no better place to go.
However, my role is not to promote Bletchley, it is to write about electronics and that is what I shall be doing in my future blogs. I am not sure if I want them to be useful, or entertaining, or thought-provoking, but if you get anything from them, then they will serve a purpose.