We messed up and you responded. Last fall, we posted a gallery of the messiest engineering desks, courtesy of our sister site, EETimes. EELife editorial director Brian Fuller, who came up with the slideshow, opined that the results showed that the messier the desk, the more of a genius its owner must be.
We wanted to see whether Design News readers were as organizationally challenged. Several of you responded, so here's Messy Desks Part II, which mashes up mechanical engineers' workspaces with additional EETimes pictures.
Click the image below to view more of the messiest engineers' desks around:
Nicholas Lee of Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, shows off "my vast hoard of electronic components, reference books, datasheets, and a miscellany of electronic projects under construction," which reside next to his desk.
I noted that slide 4 of 13 shows a Jacobs Ladder with a safety screen around it and if grounded acts as a Faraday Cage for sub-GigHz frequencies, yet the caption states: "The last in the Nicolas Lee messy desk tetralogy is his three-foot-high Jacob's ladder, otherwise known as a Faraday Cage."
Sorry, no cigar here. A Faraday Cage prevents RF from entering, or exiting, a given space and is not another name for a Jocobs Ladder. A Jacobs Ladder radiates a pretty wide swath of the spectrum and should perhaps have a Faraday cage surrounding it to prevent interferrence with other equipment. The voltages present can make a person assume room temperature in short order, so another good idea is to keep fingers out of it. Think bug-zapper here.
It does seem that many of the more productive and creative engineers are not so very fixated on keeping things perfectly neat. But many of them are quite organized. Neatness and organization belong on separate axis at right angles, since I have seen some very neat but completely disorganized areas, places where nothing worthwhile could happen without a huge effort.
Mostly, what I have seen is that great engineers and many good engineers do engineering, while the poor and the mediocre straighten things up. It is like this: Those wo can, do, while those who can't, straighten things up. It rlates to priorities, it seems.
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