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With a very heavy heart

With a very heavy heart I must inform you all that John "Buddha" Camille passed away yesterday, after a long, valiant battle against cancer.

Buddha was a mentor to us all, untiringly passing along a practical knowledge of electronics that was totally unique in its depth and breadth. In fact when he was first diagnosed with cancer, rather than slowing down, it only motivated him to work harder than ever to get down in writing as much of his knowledge as he could, so that the rest of us could carry his ideas forward. I was in fairly frequent contact with Buddha over the past year or two, and along with the material we have already published in VALVE, I have in my possession even more of Buddha's writings, sent to me for use in future issues. Buddha also recently gave Smoothplate a huge stack of his notes, and Smoothplate tells me that the names of the people who corresponded with Buddha over the years for design help reads like a tube audio Who's Who.

I needn't really write about the content Buddha's published work here, you have all plunged in, read, shook your head, reread, struggled to understand, and then seen the light, diving in with both hands to implement his revolutionary ideas in active loading, layout, and noise reduction. Suffice it to say that his contributions to this art and science of tube audio will be considered key elements in the new wave of engineering that will take SE to greater heights in the next few years.

To those of you who never met Buddha, I can only say, I pity you. John was absolutely brilliant and at the same time funny as hell, a true gentleman, a lover of clasical music, but one who could cuss like the tough looking old Texas fighter jock that he was. John flew F-4 Phantoms in the Viet Nam war, where his bald pate acquired him the call sign "Buddha", and his skills and ability acquired him several MIG kills. Buddha continued to serve his country after his flight days, working for years as an engineer for Texas Instruments on their "black projects", where he refined his knowledge of noise reduction as well as grounding schemes, one of the more baffling aspects of electronic design.

His experiences allowed him to speak with confidence about damn near anything electrical, and his ability to teach was unmatched. A highlight of my time in this business was when John came out from Texas to help teach a beginning class in amp building here at ET. It wasn't just the students who would flock around Buddha to learn the proper way to solder, we instructors were right in there taking notes too. Buddha would explain the significance of proper solder joints by explaining that he would have come home from Viet Nam a fighter ace, "if I hadn't had two missiles fail to fire because of goddamned cold solder joints!"

Everyone came to class extra early the next morning, and I never saw a bunch of guys put more effort into soldering perfection!

I could go on here for days about Buddha's brilliance, his wit, and his love of this stuff, but I am getting a bit misty.

We'll miss you, boss. Hope you're flying high.

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Topic - With a very heavy heart - Doc B. 11:02:19 04/22/00 (33)

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