Industry Scuttlebutt

The Machinist's APPrentice 2010

Jim Rowe, one of Today’s Machining World’s past “Shop Doc” columnists, recently invented two iPhone Apps to deal with everyday math problems confronting machinists, programmers and engineers. Presently at the iPhone APP store the “Machinist APPrentice 2010” is available for $2.99. It gives you 4 sections to choose from: Milling, Turning, References and Math / Conversions. “The Journeymen,” soon to be released sells for $9.99, and has a much more expanded platform with a variety of Chip Thinning Factors being calculated for Radial Width of Cut, Ballnose Depth of Cut, Torodial Depth of Cut and 45 Degree Lead Angles. Rowe has no formal computer programming training, just the knowledge from decades of CNC programming. Get more info on his products at his Web site: Also as a side project Rowe is designing an iPhone app for We’ll keep you posted when it’s out.


The PMPA management update conference is February 26 to March 1 in Scottsdale. For health and economic reasons I’ve missed the last several, but with Alan Beaulieu of the Institute for Trend Research on the docket, I’ve got to go. Three years ago his brother and associate at Trend predicted the economy’s turns with uncanny accuracy. I wish I had planned accordingly, I’d be a lot richer. This guy is really good at predicting and he does not waffle.


Got a call from Wendy Rogers of AMSCO last week. Wendy is crusty as ever even in his mid eighties. He was interested in buying Acme cams if we would sell them cheap enough. Yesterday, I picked up the phone and Bill Currier was on the line. Bill had an eight hole turret for a Brown & Sharpe to offer. Incidentally, he’s still playing golf at 91. Old screw machine guys never die, they just _________. You fill it in on the  comments.


Okuma recently ran a contest offering a prize of the free use of one of their machine tools for year to the company that created the most compelling video or essay expressing why they need the machine.

The entries poured in and the Okuma team gathered a lot of leads. But I think the long-term benefits may be that people in the company got a better sense of the job shop customer base, and Okuma took on the image of a company that listens to the members of its community. For probably less than half of what it would cost them to exhibit at a trade show they changed the perception of the company to a significant segment of their clientele.

Question of the day: Do you hope the new health care bill passes?

Share this post

7 thoughts on “Industry Scuttlebutt

  1. Don Rozino

    I am against any socialist agenda that our government officials scheme up! Anyone for this health care bill is a Communist!

    Not a single one of our so called leaders would accept the HC plan for themselves, so why should we want it!

  2. Dale Newberry

    It would be nice if when you referred to something, you told where to find it. You said to look in the site for an excerpt of Alan Beaulieu, but where is it? I would think it would be in the videos but it isn’t. This has happened before when I tried to follow your lead.

  3. Chuck Somers

    When ever has a government run anything really benefitted without a high cost to the tax payers. What should be done is reduce the access of worthless law suits which is driving up the cost of medical care. All employees fo the government should be on the same health care and retirement plan which they spell out for everyone else. I am sure it would be better for the average person if this was the case.

  4. Michael Miranda

    When I first saw this question I thought sure you must be joking! Anyone for this so called healthcare bill is out of their mind. True we need some kind of improvement in healthcare “costs” but we have the best healthcare in the world. This bill in nothing but a ploy to gain control and steal freedom.

  5. Dick Crosby

    To those of you out there who don’t know what Chicago machine politics are, you’re getting a good dose of it. The state of Illinois is run by the Chicago machine. Chicago, in Cook Co., and it’s immediate surrounding (6) counties, pretty much make up the machine. The rest of us are referred to as ‘Downstate’. We Downstaters get a lot of our laws crammed down our throats whether we like it or not. Most of us wish that those (7) counties would secede from Illinois, and start their own state. This would leave the rest of us to hopefully enjoy a respectable government style, sans the machine corruption.
    At least we could start our own machine.
    Both of our U.S. senators are from the machine counties. The last ‘joke’ we sent to the congress, self admitedly, will not run again; but will certainly enjoy all the benefits accruing to a U.S. senator when he retires. He got Obamas’ senate seat by appointment from a now deposed governor who is facing trial for trying to sell Obamas’ seat to the highest bidder.
    And now our ex-governor has become a TV star. Will wonders never cease?
    The 2,000 page Health Care Refom Bill is an example of Chicago machine politics relocated to Washington. I would like to hear the exact number of Chicago politicians who relocated to Washington. I’ll bet it’s a ton. Just a guess.
    Today is a special Senatorial election day in Massachusetts. God willing, Brown will cream Coakley, and give we Tea Party Conservatives a smidgen of a chance to block this ‘abortion’ of a ‘Reform’ bill that the fairly large majority of Americans don’t want. Unless, of course, our Congress crams it through before Brown gets seated, and those of us on Medicare go further into ‘Rendering unto Caesar’. I’m told there may be a way they can do that, but that’s hearsay for me at the moment. If they can, I’m sure they’ll do it. Oh well! They can always print more money. Debased dollar – Here we come!
    I wonder what it’ll be like feeding at the government trough? I suspect I’ll find out, along with all the rest of you. It seems that’s what it’s coming to. Damn!

  6. Randall A. Bahr

    As I sit here this morning and write this, it is with a smaile on my face knowing that Scott Brown (R) just won the Mass. senate seat in the election last night. I feel that there may be a glimmer of hope to stop this downward spiral to socialism. How ironic that it is a republican that could stop this healthcare bill in its tracks from the former seat of Ted Kennedy. Proof positive,…..there is a God. Divine Justice I think.


Comments are closed.