The Pathfinder -- No, not James Fenimore Cooper!
I've posted several times on Benjamin Hale's novel, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, and I intend to post more as soon as I have time to get back into re-reading it once this busy semester's over, but I've not posted about the creative work of Ben's father, my old friend Pete Hale. He's a physicist with expertise in lasers and goes by his business name Charley Hale -- just in case any readers are interested in doing business with him -- and he's currently reworking his website now that he's started his own small business, Pathfinder Research LLC, as he recently explained:
I'm increasingly gearing up my little website to get reasonably serious about selling my existing little laser R and D product, the "CoolCard" (I'm realizing you may not know about that site, it's down in my "main" site, which I'm also not sure you know of -- it's an amateurish effort at best to date, but gets the nominal job done at present, I think . . .) (mainly I need to get back in there and tone down the font size I used, which a smart-ass friend or two have told me, appears to be sized for the "vision impaired photonics community" -- ha, yeah, I guess it is . . .) (this BTW plays into the tired old lasers/photonics joke that runs, "Warning -- Avoid Laser with Remaining Eye" -- heh); I'm thinking I should make it possible for the dozen or two people on earth who NEED a CoolCard, to "buy it now" with a credit card . . . we'll see. I hate to see a % go to some bank, but, if it actually results in more sales, I reckon it would be worth it. The CoolCard has a storied history; I made the thing up (I can't quite bring myself to say "invented") in 1991, I find recently in my old notes I've had to dig up, and I did in fact sell about 30 of the things back in the mid-90's and up to about 2000 when I just got tired of trying to deal with it and way getting too busy at "real work" anyhow. But now in my ever-dicey new world of self-unemployment, I'm revisiting it big-time. It really is a very useful thing to folks out there in the world who deal with infrared lasers of a wide variety, so, I'll see what another concerted push might yield. And I definitely need to increase the price, lordy everything's gone up since the 90's!As you can see by the red-fonting that I've added above, Pete is clearly a man who loves parenthetical remarks! Indeed, he apparently writes in parentheses, occasionally interrupting them to make a main point! I now see where Ben got his experimental literary style . . . and his interest in science.
Anyway, Pete -- or rather, Charley, since we're now discussing his business -- invented a cool device that he calls a "CoolCard" and describes here:
The ONLY hand-held infrared laser beam location and spatial evaluation technology for laser sources operating at wavelengths beyond 1.7 μm.Well, I think that we can ALL use one of these, except for when we're dealing with wavelengths this side of 1.7 μm, which I'm usually not. But even if you don't need one at all (not even for wavelengths beyond 1.7 μm), check out this photo of Charley's CoolCard:
You see where the late Steve Jobs got his idea for the iPod's design . . . unless Charley was also influenced by the Braun T3 Pocket Radio designed by Dieter Rams. But I think Jobs more likely to have been directly influenced by Charley's device since both have a screen, unlike the Braun T3.
And we see that it really is a "cool" CoolCard (though a bit thick for a "card") . . . if we consider the designs of Rams and Jobs cool . . .