NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Missionary Software
by Rod White - April 97

My computer club membership has paid off again. This time through member networking. Kermit Baker & Ed Maxey had some kind of joint ownership of an oscilloscope. When they got tired of scoping oscilluses they thought of the Northwest Technical Institute. When they thought of that, they thought of me -- being as how I'm a computer club member and instructor at NTI. So, my machine shop became the proud owner of an oscilloscope. Since we don't have any oscilluses to look at in the machine shop, the electronics department has it now -- thank you from NTI!

But that's not all. For the past few years I've been looking for some way to convert a Fax transmission to an AutoCAD screen. I figured that since he used to have an oscilloscope, Kermit Baker probably knew everything. So I explained my problem. Sure enough, he is the guru of files.

As it turns out, file conversion is not exactly like a religious conversion. But a guru is required. I explained that we needed to convert some files in the machine shop. Kermit explained that nitric acid will sometimes restore the cutting edge to dull, worn-out files. I thanked him graciously for the information on chain-saw files and asked about COMPUTER files. In particular, how do you get a fax machine to operate a computerized milling machine? As with all computer stuff, it's pretty simple after you know how:

  1. From the fax machine you get a .REC file.
  2. FConvert the .REC file to a .TIF file
  3. FConvert the .TIF file to a .DXF file
  4. FConvert the .DXF file to a .DWG file
  5. FConvert the .DWG file to a .PLT file
  6. FConvert the .PLT file to a .NC file
  7. FBolt a part to the milling machine and press R

In other words, it takes a lot of missionary (conversion) software. Computers are not human but they do have a static sensitive soul. For instance, a Baptist can convert to Catholicism without the intermediary step of Buddhist conversion. Not so with computers. They are in their infancy and only have artificial intelligence. Computers may be hard driving but the fields are ripe for harvest. There are many files to be converted and saved.

So, maintain your computer club membership and guru contacts. Thanks again to Kermit Baker & Ed Maxey!

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