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People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history
of early electronics. Popular Electronics was published from October 1954 through April 1985. All copyrights
are hereby acknowledged. See all articles from
Here is a humorous "kwiz" that appeared in the June 1970 issue of
Popular Electronics magazine. Your answers to questions
will determine whether you are a truly cool technophile, or you
are just a maniacal misanthrope who happens to know something about
radios and regulations. This would probably have been more aptly
printed two issues earlier as an April Fools' joke.
See Carl Kohler's "The Great Electron-Pedantic Project," "Dig That Reel
Flat Response," "I Married a Superheterodyne,"
"Unpopular Electronics," "Operation Chaos," "Thin Air, My Foot," "High Tide in the Tweeter," "The R/C Cloud," "Hi-Fi Guest List," "Kool-Keeping Kwiz ," "Boner Box," and "McWatts."
How well do you cope with life's bruises and abrasions?
It's a philosophical fact that into every existence a little
pain must crawl. The question is, "How well do you withstand the
pain?" To find out, take the following pseudological test, consisting
of several theoretical Life Situations no electronics enthusiast
is likely to encounter. The test does not purport to increase your
self-knowledge, but it may add to your confusion. A dubious scoring
system, found at the conclusion of the test, is based on whichever
of the multiple-choice reactions you instinctively and neurotically
selected. No cheating now-and good luck!
* While attending a social gathering, You hear a loud-mouthed
type bragging that his CB antenna has broken the height regulations
for years, and you realize that he is unaware that another guest
is the FCC Field Engineer. What would you do?
A. Whisper a warning.
B. Feel embarrassed for him.
C. Belch nervously.
D. Listen carefully as he prattles on.
E. Ask the lout to repeat his brag to
the FCC employee.
Hurry-I'm Double Parked
*A neighbor with more gall than most borrows you constant-current
ohmmeter. Within an hour he brings it back, asking you to repair
it so he can get on with his testing. What would you do?
A. Graciously comply with his request.
B. Coldly refuse.
C. Feel stunned.
D. Talk real dirty.
E. Brandish a soldering iron at him.
It Is Nobler to Receive
*Quite accidentally you learn that your wife is planning to give
you a costly set of living room furniture and drapes for a wedding
anniversary present. What would you do?
A. Feel pleased.
B. Try to talk her out of it.
C. Give her a bound file of Popular Electronics
D. Surprise her with a collection of every
other Heathkit item on the market.
I've Gathered You Here
*Having generously agreed to share your vast knowledge of solid-state
theory with an electronics club, your lecture is off to an impressive
start when your mind goes blank on the whole subject. What would
A. Admit you can't remember a thing.
B. Ask for help in getting restarted.
C. Smoothly divert their interest to a faked-out
history of electronics.
D. Sing and dance.
E. Sprint for the nearest exit.
I Gave at the Office
*Having worked long and hard to build your own specially modified
Universal Frequency Counter, you find your wife has given it to
a shut-in to take apart for the therapeutic fun of having something
to do. What would you do?
A. Consult your attorney about institutionalizing
B. Report her to the Westinghouse people.
C. Stamp your foot.
D. Offer the shut-in some tools.
E. Proceed with the next project - from the
safety of another country.
Part 95 Violation
* You're a bachelor and you've finally succeeded in becoming
chummy enough with the curvy little blonde who moved into the next-door
apartment to be invited over for a friendly drink. Once there, you
discover that the delectable creature is blithely operating a CB
rig with a 250-waft linear. What would you do?
A. Reprimand her sternly.
B. Report her to the FCC.
C. Decide to meet another girl.
D. Drink your drink and say nothing.
E. Teach her how to work skip on channels 24A
But I Learned That in School
*By sheer accident your cable TV has gone berserk and channel
13 is showing "educational" stag films. What would you do?
A. Tune to another channel.
B. Have the cable TV send a repairman.
C. Keep the information to yourself.
D. Call the neighbors in for a party.
E. Write a protesting letter to FCC Commissioner
Wanted: One Anechoic Chamber
*After laboring diligently for weeks you've scratch-built a magnificent
hi-fi stereo system with speakers and a beautiful cabinet of your
own design. Just as you're ready to try it out, your mother-in-law,
who is visiting you and your wife, becomes ill, and the doctor prescribes
quietude - bordering on complete silence - for her recovery. What
would you do?
A. Wait with clenched teeth.
B. Have the doctor's credentials checked out.
C. Go on an aspirin diet.
D. Buy her a matched set of earplugs.
E. Write a complaining letter to "Dear
You'll Never Get It off the Ground
*A slight acquaintance lets you talk him into installing your
multi-proportional R/C system in his newly built, highly expensive
model airplane - and it crashes into splinters. What would you do?
A. Offer to replace the airplane.
B. Buy him a cup of consolation coffee.
C. Deride his flight dexterity.
E. Bill him for your ruined system.
Of Course They Could
* While casually tuning your short-wave receiver, you overhear
two stations discussing a plot to kidnap the Statue of Liberty and
hold it for ransom, What would you do?
A. Call President Nixon direct.
B. Mail an anonymous letter to the FBI.
C. Jam their radio frequency.
D. Fly United to Bedloe's Island to see
E. Offer to sell a statue of Sophia Loren to
the Government as a replacement.
Popular Electronics published many quizzes over the years - some
really simple and others not so simple. Robert Balin created many of the quizzes. This is
a listing of all I have posted thus far.
- Test Your
Knowledge of Semiconductors, August 1972
- Ganged Switching Quiz,
- Lamp Brightness Quiz,
Lissajous Pattern Quiz, September 1963
Quizoo, October 1962
Photo Album Quiz, March 1963
Alphabet Quiz, May 1963
- Quiz: Resistive?
Inductive? or Capacitive?, October 1960
Vector-Circuit Matching Quiz, June 1970
Quiz, September 1961
- RC Circuit Quiz,
- Diode Quiz, July
Curves Quiz, February 1963
Electronic Numbers Quiz, December 1962
Conversion Quiz, April 1963
- Coil Function
Quiz, June 1962
Analogy Quiz, August 1960
- Audio Quiz,
Unit Quiz, May 1962
Circuit Quiz, June 1968
on AC Circuit Theory, December 1970
Magnetic Phenomena Quiz, February 1962
Electronics Geography Quiz, April 1970
Menu Quiz, August 1963
Noise Quiz, August 1962
Current Quiz, October 1963
- Electronic Inventors Quiz, November 1963
Function Quiz, January 1962
Measurement Quiz, January 1963
- Vacuum Tube
Quiz, February 1961
- Kool-Keeping Kwiz, June
Check Your Score Here
All righty, now that you've checked the various reactions to
these dismal Life Situations, it's analysis time. If you have mostly
A reactions, it could indicate that you are Mr. Straight Arrow.
Mostly B reactions might mean that you're a flexible individual.
Mostly C reactions clearly indicate a warm, human will to survive.
Mostly D reactions show that you tend to have an enviable Kool indeed.
If you have mostly E reactions, it's a sad hint that you are an
accomplished loser. Of course, if you actually bothered to check
any choices at all, you're putting us on more than we did you with
this screwy thing.
Posted April 8, 2014