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Toys Technology

German Inventor, Innovator and Businessman Artur Fischer Dies At Age of 96 38

Qbertino writes: As Spiegel.de reports (German link) inventor Artur Fischer has died at the age of 96. Artur Fischer is a classic example of the innovator and businessman of post-war Germany — he invented the synchronous flash for photography, the famed Fischer Fixing (aka Screwanchor/rawlplug or "Dübel" in German) and the Fischer Technik Construction Sets with which many a nerd grew up with, including the famous C64 Fischer Robotics Kit of the 80s. His heritage includes an impressive portfolio of over 1100 patents and he reportedly remained inventive and interested in solving technical problems til the very end. ... Rest in piece and thanks for the hours of fun tinkering with Fischertechnik. ... Now where did that old C64 robot go?
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German Inventor, Innovator and Businessman Artur Fischer Dies At Age of 96

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Rest in piece"... for real?

    Do you also want piece in the middle east?

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      Welcome to the 10th Generation Slashdot, where the new owner has no bloody idea about what they should be editing or allowing through - yet again.

      • Legit question: Aside from "Whatever each individual user personally decides is 'News for Nerds'", what criteria should they be applying here?

        I mean, this isn't going to generate a ton of buzz, so the "News" part isn't super strong. But this concerns the guy who invented, i.a., one of the quintessential nerdy kids' toys, Fischer Technik.

        I think is more /. than the day's fifth sorta-tangential-to-Uber post, or links to TMZ articles.
      • Maybe the editor is illiterate - I certainly wouldn't discount that possibility, but this could also be a pun attempt (failed, in my opinion) playing peace against the pieces found in Fischer construction kits.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday January 29, 2016 @09:32AM (#51395465)

      Do you also want piece in the middle east?

      Wasn't piecing up the Middle East how it got into the mess it's in now in the first place?

      • by Ihlosi ( 895663 )
        Wasn't piecing up the Middle East how it got into the mess it's in now in the first place?

        No. Piecing it up just made the general messedupness much more obvious.

    • One word: TIMMAY!!!

    • Play on words? Fisher Technik pieces is what I used to play with when I was a kid.

    • That was a pun on Fishertechnik pieces. ... But I guess it *is* a bit to far off. :-)

  • with which many a nerd grew up with

    Seems quality's going up under the new regime it seems.

    • And yet editing is still as shitty as ever.

      Rest in piece

      Splendid job, timmay. *golf clap*

      • Doesn't everybody want whirled peas?

      • by DarenN ( 411219 )

        Really, you're so humour-challenged that you didn't catch the really obvious pun?

        I mean, if you'd raged at it being a bad pun, or tasteless, I could see that. But missing it entirely? Sheesh. Or "Whoosh" in this instance.

  • by hackertourist ( 2202674 ) <hackertouristNO@SPAMxmsnet.nl> on Friday January 29, 2016 @10:03AM (#51395633)

    The stuff that made Lego look cheap. I still coveted it though; a friend of mine had a Fischer kit that included a light sensor, which was an astonishing bit of hardware around 1980.

    • That was pretty cool back then

    • by tibit ( 1762298 )

      I have the robotics kit, but the interface board was for a PC. These days all you need for an "interface" is an Arduino and a motor driver shield, and you can probably buy it locally in a store catering to hobbyists.

  • Cool stuff (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Friday January 29, 2016 @10:33AM (#51395797) Homepage

    Didn't RTA, but even the only thing this mr. Fischer ever did in his life was design the cool stuff known as Fischer Technik, then imho he would have earned a nice life & retirement.

    Owned a set of those construction boxes myself, and it was among the best stuff I had to play with. Not in the least because the same parts can be recombined in an endless number of ways. And more so than -for example- common Lego blocks, making stronger connections, moveable/rotating parts, shovels, cranes, you name it. Right up there with Meccano [wikipedia.org], which was more before my time. Just wish all those electronics / pneumatics parts would have been on offer back in the day... (and more pocket money to get it :-). I had to 'make do' with blocks, plates, strips, hinges, belts, wheels, chains, axles, gears and one or 2 motors.

    For parents reading this: don't shy away from giving construction sets like this to your daughter(s) ! Might be exactly what she needs to get interested in the tech side of things. And certainly not as boring as many of today's single-use-throw-away-toys.

    • No his Duebel are quite important as well. Seriously they made things mucho easier when fasting anything to concrete.

      • I never realised it was the same guy. That only makes him more awesome.
      • by Xolotl ( 675282 )
        The reason expanding wall plugs are called 'rawlplugs' is because they were invented by John Joseph Rawlings in ... 1911. Fischer's development was making them from plastic, in 1957.
        • I prefer the concrete anchors that look like http://img.weiku.com/waterpict... [weiku.com] (I would href that, but I don't feel like doing so on my phone)

          It goes like this:

          Drill appropriate hole
          Hammer anchor into hole
          Trim excess (if any)
          Drive appropriate fastener in

          The last step is both magic and hard work. Even with power tools. The interface is very tight. Driving the fastener generates a good bit of heat from the friction, and the fastener itself provides compression. Thus, the heat-softened anchor deforms

          • by Xolotl ( 675282 )

            It seems to have href-ed itself by magic.

            Anyway, thanks for those, I'd been wondering (off the back of hanging stuff off a concrete wall) if something deformable like that existed.

  • I've got ads disabled and yet - and this is the first time I've noticed it - there's a box under the story listing 6 "Slashdot Top Deals."

    Is this new? Good start, new corporate overlords...

    (and yes, I've got uBlock installed)

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      Been there since DICE takeover - I have the same, and the Disable Advertising donation apparently means nothing to them.

    • I have ad's disabled and no real blocker to speak about.
      I don't have ad's
      on Crome

  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Friday January 29, 2016 @11:42AM (#51396195)
    ... long enough to still know the "old" electronics kit (which had a relay instead of transistor-based amplifiers), but sadly not old enough to know the logic blocks.

    However, I managed to get my kids to like Fischertechnik. Unfortunately, the new kits are are somewhat casualized (pneumatics, for example, lacks mechanical valves, but at least they're shipping it with a small compressor now), but they're still far more technical than any of the tool-free alternatives. However, I'd really love to see a return of things like FT magnets, the notoriously fragile reed contact, the electromagnet (what better way to show kids the relationship betwen electricity and magnetism than a magnet that you can switch on and off), etc.

  • Thanks for the laugh, Timmy!
    Not because of the bad pun itself (it is mildly funny), but because of my somehow related comment from yesterday. [slashdot.org],
    especially this line:

    Thinking of a clever remark to add to the quotes and fail: 5 hours

    ;-)

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