Technophile: Hector de Jesus Ruiz

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What’s in your pocket? I always carry my RIM Blackberry. I’m on the road a lot and having instant access to my e-mail and my updated calendar no matter where I go is tremendously valuable.

First crush? I worked at TI [Texas Instruments] when the company introduced the TI-3000 calculator, the word’s first single-chip calculator in the early 1970s. I was a part of the team in the labs that developed a method to test for defective parts.

Because of the simplicity of the design, TI enjoyed a significant manufacturing and cost advantage over competitor’s multi-chip calculator design.

A simple calculator that can only do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division doesn’t seem too awe-inspiring these days, but at the time, the TI-3000 was a major achievement in electronics and it was a great honour to have been a part of it.

True love? The internet. Because it allows for real-time global communications and universal access to vast amounts of information, the internet is one of the most empowering technologies that ever created.

There is nothing I have ever seen with the ability to have such a positive impact on daily life around the world. Now, we just need to make sure as much of the world’s population has access to the Internet as possible.

Latest squeeze? I love my Acer 4000 Ferrari laptop. It looks great, and does everything I want to do with a computer, all in a lightweight package that I can easily tote around the world.

It is the world’s first notebook to harness the same carbon fibre technology pioneered and perfected in the world of Formula One racing and the aerospace industry and features a powerful AMD Turion 64 processor. The performance and looks are everything you would expect from a Ferrari.

What makes you mad? Technology that is bigger or faster but not better. A lot of companies in the technology industry have been guilty of pushing the limits of innovation because they can, with no connection to what users really want or need.

I don’t need to listen to MP3s on my mobile phone but I do need a super-slim global phone with a battery that lasts a month that doesn’t drop calls.

To me, innovation is only worthwhile if it is focused on solving real-world problems. Anything else is just innovation for innovation’s sake.

What was your biggest tech disaster? I like to watch movies. At home, I wanted to build a super-high-tech, state-of-the-art home theatre system.

With a PhD in electronics, I thought it would be fun and challenging to set it up myself. Was I ever wrong. I eventually had to pay someone to come out and set up my new system. It was so complex, I couldn’t get it to work properly for all of my efforts. Even now that the system is set up, the remote control is so complex that sometimes I struggle to do the simplest things, like play a movie.

The whole experience was very frustrating, and reinforced a belief I’ve had for a long time. Technology is only as powerful as it is accessible and useable.

If money were no object? Every Ferrari model ever produced.

PC or Mac? A PC with AMD64 processors. Of course.

Linux or Windows? On PCs, I use Windows.

Google or not? I lean toward MSN, but also use Google and Yahoo. I find each service has its own strengths, and the fact that they are all competing to give users a better search experience results in constant improvements. It is the free market on internet time, and every user wins.

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