Ed sits over an unrolled schematic diagram. He begins to nod off.
Just then, his phone rings.
“Ed Okin,” he answers.
Later, in a staff meeting, the group supervisor is pointing at a negative AND gate on an overhead projection.
“They’re claiming we’ve got a synchronization problem,” says the group supervisor. “Naturally, this has nothing to do with their godawful tracking loop.”
The group of engineers chuckle.
“Well,” he continues, “we want fault-tolerance checks on all our buggers, sensors, and all corresponding transducers.”
One of the engineers looks at his flowchart. “Scanners seem to check out, ” he says.
“Yeah,” says the group supervisor, “but that’s on the uplink. The problem is downlink. Ed, have you got the signal-to-noise ratio on the downlink?”
Everyone waits for Ed to respond, but he’s obviously asleep with his face resting against his hand and a pencil clutched in his other hand.
The group supervisor says, “ED?” in a louder voice. Ed wakes up.
“Yeah?” says Ed, completely out of the loop.
“Have you got it?” asks the group supervisor.
“What’s that?” asks Ed. The other engineers look away, embarrassed.
“Yep,” says the group supervisor, “we’re having synchronization problems.” A few engineers smile.
“I need the signal to noise ratio,” says the group supervisor.