The Magician’s Apprentice!

Highlight: Don Design Jr, Volunteer Spokesperson for>, has been called more than a genius by a Ph.D. scientist, the Vice President of Engineering of a Fortune 500 company, a genius himself. The VP nicknamed Don “The Magician.” Don has done the “Impossible” at least 20 times in his Design Engineering career (BS degree in Electronic Engineering). Don claims he receives his ideas by Whispers from Above.

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RevDate: 221006=yymmdd. Started 1994.

Short Summary for DonDesignJr>

This article is written to seek help to accomplish our Achievable Goals and to show Don Design Jr. is a World Class Design Engineer, and not a crackpot with delusions of grandeur.

AKA: The Creator is an Engineer and Much More.
AKA: Engineer Hears Whispers From Above.
AKA: Anti-Submarine Warfare Design. Don had a small but important part in winning the Cold War.
AKA: Miracles Are The “Ordinary” Things!
AKA: Yes, I am a genius, and so are you.
AKA: Dead Dragonfly Calms And Inspires Top Design Engineer.

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Written by Our Staff and Don Design Jr

DonDesignJr is a Founding Member and has been the most active member of “A Better Life 4 All“(TM) since August 2004. He has now in April 2022 assumed a lesser role due to health concerns. Don stays current on his favorite projects. Most of his tasks have been taken over by newer members who have inherited Don’s enthusiasm. Here is information on Don:

MORE THAN A GENIUS, DON AND THE SPEED OF GRAVITY:  A Top Engineer told Don Design Jr that he is more ingenious, more intuitive, more imaginative, more innovative, than Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking, Howard Hughes, Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein, and maybe, just maybe even The Greatest: Leonardo DaVinci! Don has done the “Impossible” at least 20 times in his Design Engineering career. Don has conceived 20 more projects that have so far been “Impossible”.
. . Don realizes that many people are equally ingenious; all successful Companies have several such people. Don also realizes he does not have the other amazing skills of those famous people he was compared to.
EinsteinDon did something all the great minds of Astronomy, Astrophysics, and other sciences, mathematics, engineering, and philosophy were unable to do. EVEN Dr. Albert Einstein failed in 50 years of thinking; gravity was one of Albert’s favorite subjects! Every science teacher and student, every science enthusiast, everyone who saw our moon move across our sky, and EVERYONE else had a crack at solving this “Mystery of the Universe.”
. . Don realized how to calculate the speed of Gravity! In 2015 Don realized the speed of Gravity is the distance to the Moon divided by the time lag of the Gravity induced high lunar tide. If the time lag was zero, the Speed of Gravity would be instantaneous, as some people predict. However, experiments show high lunar tide lags 1.3 seconds behind the high Moon (the same time light takes to travel from the earth to the moon), which proves the speed of Gravity is the speed of light, just as Albert predicted but was never able to prove. To further verify this speed, high solar tide lags 8 minutes 3 seconds behind high NOON (same time light takes to travel from the sun to the earth).
     A sad but validating note: Unknown to Don, less than 3 years before, a group of scientists realized this and made measurements to prove Don is correct. Don designed three experiments before he discovered those scientists had already performed an experiment that is more difficult and less accurate than all of Don’s. And two of Don’s experiments use technology that was available during Albert’s time. This speed of Gravity has not yet been accepted by the entire scientific community according to Wikipedia.
 (Note: this section “Speed of Gravity” was not in the Wikipedia article when Don received his revelation).
It was just another Whisper from “The Great Magician Above” to His Humble Apprentice below.
Hawking: Stephen did not realize how to calculate the speed of Gravity! Stephen did not conceive LifeAhead(TM)> or Disabled human-computer interfaces> that would allow him to communicate at texting speed, even though both would improve his life now and for decades to come.
Hughes: Howard lost $25,000 a day for weeks waiting for clouds to film his movie about combat pilots of World War I. In moments after hearing that, Don realized “clouds” could be made using smoke making technology of that day. Airplanes or fireworks could place the smoke in colors and shapes long enough to film several scenes. Howard wanted clouds to provide the visual effects of speed to the airplanes.
Jobs: LifeAhead(TM)> will be more beneficial and create more new business than Apple ever did. AND LifeAhead(TM) is JUST ONE of Don’s more than 20 beneficial and lucrative ideas.
Don did the “Impossible” at General Electric’s Intersil Memory Systems Division:
At GE, in the early 1980s, Don designed RAM main memory systems that added memory to IBM mainframe computers. Don did the “Impossible” at least 4 times at GE:
  1. Don designed ONE add-on (external) memory control card that worked without ANY modification with all three IBM mainframe computers of IBM’s 3000 series (IBM’s 3031, 3032, and 3033). Note: The control card connector in the refrigerator-size add-on memory box was wired to tell Don’s control card which of the three mainframe computers the box was attached to and the sizes of IBM and GE memory. Don was assigned to design the memory control card and replacement cards for the 3031; two other engineers were assigned the same tasks for the 3032 and 3033. On his own, Don studied all three computers and realized he could design ONE control card for all three. GE competitors required three unique control cards, and before Don arrived, GE required a unique control card for each member of IBM’s previous mainframe series the IBM  370/145, 370/155, and 370/165. One card instead of three was a great advantage in manufacturing, sales inventory, and on-site inventory for sites with more than one member of the 3000 series (many such sites in Europe). Don’s design is considered “Impossible” because the design was far better than the assigned task, other senior engineers were unable to do it, and competitors were unable to do it. EVEN IBM had THREE separate control cards!
  2. The same memory control card worked WITHOUT unique fine-tuning of the timing for each individual card for each IBM machine in the 3000 series. This aspect of Don’s design is considered “Impossible,” because all competitors’ and all previous GE-designed control cards had to be fine-tuned individually after manufacturing.
  3. Don designed replacement cards for the IBM 3031 that extended memory above 8 MB to 32 MB, even though IBM tried their best to prevent this. IBM wanted 3031 users to upgrade to 3032 or 3033, but because Don solved the problems that IBM engineers designed to be unsolvable, 3031 users could add up to 32 MB of main memory without upgrading to IBM 3032 or 3033 where maximum memory was 32 MB. In the early 1980s, IBM sold each MB for $110,000. GE sold memory for half that.
  4. Don designed an Add-IN (internal) memory for the IBM 4341 mainframe computer, after two other top senior GE engineers said it could not be done, after they studied the problem for two months. Don was working on a different project during those two months, but Don was thinking about how he would solve the problem. After hearing their outcome, Don asked to take a look. In just TWO DAYS Don knew how to design it, and his design worked!
Don’s Designs and Management At Burroughs:
Don worked for Burroughs (renamed Unisys) in the 1970s.
Links:  B1700 Info>   B1714 Photo>  B1726 Photo>
Don may be the ONLY engineer ever to design ALL the logic hardware for an ENTIRE mainframe computer all by himself. It was Burroughs’s B1714, among the smallest mainframes; it was the size and shape of a refrigerator. Don’s design saved Burroughs an additional, unexpected $40 MILLION over the life of that project.
Don was the Project  Manager and Project Engineer of a $2 MILLION DOLLARS OF SALES PER DAY Mainframe computer (the B1726) project for Burroughs. Don was Project Manager for engineering design, fabrication, manufacturing, and field support. His project was completed on time and on budget. Don was the Head Engineer of the six Engineers who designed the B1726 logic hardware.
Don was the youngest Group Leader in Burroughs’s history at that time. Don was the Leader of the Memory Systems Group.
Don was the first (about 1972) design engineer in all of Burroughs to replace magnetic-core memory with the first available semiconductor memory, the Intel 1103-1.  Don’s design was 128 KBytes (K=1024) of main memory (that was big in those days) and was the size of a microwave oven! Don, then in his early twenty’s, was nicknamed the 128K Kid! He is still proud of that nickname, despite walking around with 32 GBytes (G is more than a Billion) in his pocket.

A decade later, Don designed the main memory for IBM mainframe computers. The maximum was 32 MBytes (M is more than a Million), was the size of a refrigerator, and cost $110,000/MByte! It would take 1,000 refrigerators of that memory to hold as much information as today’s 32 GByte memory sticks that cost only $10!

Anti-Submarine Doomsday Warfare:

Don had a small but important part in winning the Cold War.

Don designed submarine warfare passive sonar equipment. Submarines were and still are the ultimate weapon: if everything on land and in the air were destroyed, submarines would still be there! American subs only, ALL Soviet subs would have been destroyed. We knew where EVERYONE of their subs was at ALL TIMES, they were always in our gun sights! We knew where they were because Soviet subs were very noisy, and American subs were very quiet. Don’s passive sonar design heard them and knew what they were doing by the sounds they made.

The Soviets knew where our subs were ONLY when they were in port or within 100 yards of one of their warships! Even then they did not know WHAT we were. All they knew was an American sub COULD be nearby. All they had was a feeling; they were never really sure! But we knew precisely where ALL their subs were in all three dimensions, all the time! The Soviets knew this and knew they could never win a war to the death with America. The Soviets tried over the decades to overtake our sub-advantage, but never could. The Soviets destroyed their economy in an attempt to outdo our military advantage.

Nuclear Missile Submarines have been the Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction, meaning the Final Destruction for decades. And therefore the Ultimate Weapon of Deterrence. USA submarines would have been the last existing human remains, if Thermonuclear War had exploded; the Soviets knew this. Nuclear bombs and then later Nuclear missiles carried by our “Silent and Invisible” USA Doomsday machines have prevented conventional and nuclear war between the Super Powers. BILLIONS of lives would have been lost during such a war, nuclear or conventional. WWII was a conventional war between two small countries against the rest of the world; more than 50 MILLION died (some say 80 MILLION).
. . Don Design Jr is proud to have been part of this Ultimate Deterrent and the saving of BILLIONS of lives, perhaps ALL human life on Earth.



My most noteworthy title was Senior Member of the Technical Staff, an impressive title for a senior digital systems design engineer in both hardware and software. I worked in an elite group at a Fortune 500 company’s defense research center.

Throughout my career, I did the “Impossible” at least twenty times: Things other engineers said couldn’t be done; I did. Things competitors were never able to do; I did. Designs that were far better than the design requirements; I did. One design was better than IBM’s design; I did.  Even something IBM engineers tried their best to prevent; I did even that. I SOLVED problems that some Senior Engineers couldn’t even UNDERSTAND.

THE MAGICIAN: The Vice President of Engineering of a Fortune 500 company, a Ph.D. scientist, a genius himself, nicknamed me “The Magician.” The VP gave me that nickname after I solved several complex, “Impossible” problems. A few problems were so complex that some of the other senior engineers didn’t even understand the problem, let alone could solve the problem. I did what a magician does; I did the “Impossible”.

The Smartest: The founder of a high-tech company once introduced me as the smartest person in the company. It took me by surprise; I knew it wasn’t true. Half of the 300 employees had advanced degrees; twenty had a Ph.D.; I had a BS in Electronic Engineering, summa cum laude (highest academic honors, all As). I did not know as much as they knew about their specialties, but I would go to them for information when I needed help. These experts were always happy to talk to me because I always gave them full credit. I may have been the most intuitive, the most creative.


One project was antisubmarine warfare. This project analyzed sounds in the ocean to determine the type of submarine and its actions. It’s like an auto mechanic analyzing engine problems by sound. I was hired to double the analysis process speed, while keeping the cost increase below $1,000 per unit. I devised a new concept and made analysis not just twice as fast but 500 times faster. What took about 40 MINUTES to analyze, took only about 5 SECONDS to analyze using my design. That’s like comparing a person walking to a SR71 Blackbird, the ultra-fast spy jet plane… 500 times faster! My design also stored eight times as many sound signatures in the same memory space as the previous design. This unexpected improvement allowed the classification of not just Soviet submarines but also all allied submarines and all surface warships! That was a big unexpected bonus. The 500 times speed increase allowed processing of all of the additional submarines and surface warships faster and in much greater detail than before. And it cost $1,000 per unit LESS than the previous design.

When I first announced my design, the design review board was very skeptical. They did not believe my design could be that much better than the original design. Two PhDs, among the best in anti-submarine warfare, one a Submarine Scientist, the other an Electronic Design Engineer, designed and developed the original system. The review board, which included the two original designers, could not believe I could improve the design that much using the same technology available to the original designers. Once I explained my concept to them, they knew it was true: five hundred times faster, eight times as many function signatures, and $1,000 per unit less.

My design was so much better in speed and data compression that not only could we determine the type of sub or surface warship, but which individual warship it was. We also could tell a lot about what was going on INSIDE the warship. We even knew when the captain’s toilet was flushed. His toilet has its own pump that makes a unique sound that carries a long way in the ocean. Of course, we knew many, even more, important activities happening inside the Soviet warships.

After my design first worked, I was too excited, too proud, to stay in the lab or my office. I went skipping in a park. I felt like the smartest design engineer in the world. I was singing, “I’m smart, I’m smart. Man, I’m smart. I’m SMART. Smart, smart, smart.” I tired from all the skipping and sat on a rock in awe of my accomplishment. I knew I was better than the best; I was the best.

The Gnat: Then a gnat stopped right in front of me. I realized right away that insects hear and analyze sounds much better than my design. The tiny fly flew up to my face and hovered inches from my nose. I realized that it also can see. Vision is about 1,000 times more complex than hearing. It can smell, taste, and feel. It has a tiny, very tiny, digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, and it can make baby gnats. It is alive. It also flies and hovers. Hovering is very complex, especially in a breeze. It weighs far less than the 50 pounds of my design, hundreds of pounds if all the microphones are added. It weighs less than the smallest component in my design. And it doesn’t have to be plugged into the wall. We can’t even make a battery as small as a gnat!

A gnat is far beyond my ability to comprehend, let alone design. Before, gnats were insignificant, sometimes even a nuisance. Gnats are now magnificent miracles.

The Great Magician: It was as though Someone was saying, “You think you’re a good designer, look at one of My simple designs.” Simple design! I realized I don’t even come up to the ankles of the Great Magician. I realized I am a simpleton compared to the Great Magician.

Whispers From Above. For a long time, I had felt that the ideas, the tricks, I used in my designs were whispers from above. There was more to it than just my four-pound brain. Ever since that gnat, I have been humbled and happy to be an apprentice to the Great Magician. Now whenever I get excited about a design and I think I am smart, I catch myself and look around and say, “Alright where’s the gnat. Alright, alright, You’re smart; together We’re smart.” I am becoming closer and closer to the Great Magician all the time. I am becoming closer and closer to humanity, brilliance, security, kindness, peace, enthusiasm, and joy, I am becoming closer and closer to what the Great Magician wants us all to be.

Dead Dragonfly Calms And Inspires Me. And now years later, in my position at, I feel smarter than when I was a full-time design engineer. I sometimes get too excited to think and work straight and go for a walk. On a sidewalk, placed before me, was the dried body of a beautiful, multicolored dragonfly with all four fragile, gossamer wings still attached. It is a rare site, because birds, ants, and many others will usually consume a dead insect before it can dry.

I received the Message instantly: The dragonfly is larger and more beautiful than the gnat. As is And I am still only the apprentice. I picked up that beautiful, complex creature and mounted it in my office, and sit in awe of the Great Magician. That dragonfly both calms and inspires me.

Miracles Are The “Ordinary” Things! Some people say, “Show me a miracle.” I say, “Show me something that is NOT a miracle!” Miracles are not just the gnat and dragonfly but include the giant trees, the largest living things, and everything in between and below (the microbes). They are all works of great design, far beyond human capability, far beyond. We can modify life forms, but we can not create life out of the elements. We can’t bake the “cake” from scratch. And not just biology, look at all the other sciences. They are all vital laws of Creation. They and all of Creation are truly miraculous. Even the simplest law of Creation is a miracle that goes unnoticed, taken for granted. But not by me anymore.  Let’s not forget the ENORMITY and MYSTERY of THE UNIVERSE! I have opened my eyes and seen that a miracle is not just something out of the ordinary, but something that can not be designed by humans. Miracles are the “ordinary” things required for life, taken for granted by our simple minds. Future Article: Miracles Defined with Examples.

Yes, I am a genius, and so are you. Some have called me a genius. The Creator is the Genius; He made all of us in His image. I am a genius in some areas and a failure in others. Even Albert Einstein was a failure in some areas. Almost everybody is or can be a genius in something. (Vote for The Making of a “Genius” in Future Articles)

We ALL are smart, Smart, SMART.

I am a Humble Servant, because I answer His Calling in Tranquility without thoughts of wealth or fame: I receive the compensation of a Top Senior Design Engineer (Prosperity yes, wealth no). Additional compensation from sales or leasing of Patent Rights and Royalties are being used to fund our Achievable Goals>.  I do these “Impossible” tasks in anonymity to keep my personal and public lives separate.


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Copyright 2015, 2006, 2004,, all rights reserved. This article can be reprinted as per Reprint Permission. Released: 051008. Started 1994. gramW.

1 Comment | Uncategorized | Permalink Posted by dondesignjr

One Response to The Magician’s Apprentice!

  1. Don Nyca says:

    It was not your fault. Firemen, risk is their business.


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