The Crumbling Pillars of Higher Education

One could say that I am an electronics hobbyist. I recently needed a new oscilloscope so I checked the local sources. I don’t need anything too fancy. I am just looking for a used CRT or Digital scope. Preferably 40MHz bandwidth or higher. I’m looking for the good reputable brands like Tektronix, Hameg, B&K , HP, Kikusui, etc.

For those who don't know what an oscilloscope looks like this is a public domain image of one from wikicommons

For those who don’t know what an oscilloscope looks like this is a public domain image of one from wikicommons

Typically these things are dirt cheap and can even be had for free if the local college is throwing them out. The problem is, between two community colleges and one major state university in my area, no one knew what an oscilloscope is. At the first two community colleges I spoke to professors in the Computer Science Department and with several “Lab Techs”. I spoke with “Engineering Professors” and the heads of the departments. I was floored. I asked: “I’m just looking to see if you have any electronic testing equipment that you might be getting rid of?” When asked to clarify I said I was looking for an old oscilloscope. The reply was “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” At the local major State University I spoke with the heads of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, the Engineering Department Head, and the Head of the Petroleum Engineering Department. They didn’t tell me that they didn’t have them or that I would have to check an auction, or even that they aren’t allowed to give them away anymore. They told me they didn’t know what an oscilloscope was and they seemed to be suspicious that they actually exist when I tried to explain what they do. These are people with Masters Degrees and Doctorates in various fields of Science and Engineering. Someone please help, I have found myself in the Twilight Zone.

Concerned yet? I am after this and my last news post about the busting of the peer review ring. I suggest reading books.

Understanding Basic Electronics (Softcover)

Understanding Physics: Volume 3: The Electron, Proton and Neutron






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