When I was at university, we used analog computers and no one had conceived of anything like digital signal processing (DSP). Similarly, I pretty much predate electronic design automation (EDA) as we know and love it today. When I started my first career as a hardware design engineer, we captured our schematics at the gate-level using pencil and paper. Timing analysis involved identifying the critical paths and then adding the delays by hand (no one I knew could afford an electronic calculator). Functional verification involved the other engineers looking at your schematics and saying, "That looks like it will work." My first job out of college was as a member of a team designing CPUs for mainframe computers. Over the years, I've designed everything from silicon chips to circuit boards, and from brainwave amplifiers to steampunk "Display-O-Meters." Some of the things I built even worked. I also started writing magazine articles and books, all of which eventually led to my second career as a writer and editor (my mom still cannot believe I now make my living writing). So now, instead of actually doing engineering, I spend my days telling other people how to do it and how much harder things were when I was a lad.