Heathkit TC-3: Elegant Design

The Heathkit TC-3 Tube Tester

I was very lucky to stumble on a perfect condition TC-3. I was not in the market for one, but the price was so low that I just had to purchase it. I found out later that these are very much sought after and sell for more than twice I paid for it.

For the last two years I have been designing User Interfaces for Data Discovery and Cataloging tools used to help Data Scientists better understand their data, including Data Quality and Data Security. As it turns out, this same app is now all the rage with Data Protection and Data Compliance efforts in data Driven companies.

A year ago I designed my first Data Dictionary app, and I totally missed the fact that this app should have an interface more like Amazon’s shopping search app, and not be designed for the data geek or DBA that I used to be.

This year I got it right, and I demoed my new app and it hit a home run.

What does this have to do with the Heathkit TC-3? The user interface on the TC-3 is perfect. It offers an easy to use, very pleasing experience for anyone who can read from a list and flip a few switches. It never tried to be too clever or dumb things down. It is a practical pragmatic design that has just what you need and not one control extra.

This year I am celebrating becoming quite good at both designing REST APIs as well as React Single Page App user interfaces. It’s amazing how this past year has catapulted me into a new “burgeoning” market, and all while my skill set is rising at the zenith to meet this new market.

I value user interface design, and the TC-3 in my books is as close to perfect as you can get.

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