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RF Circuit Design - Chris Bowick...

B

Brent Locher

Guest
On Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 10:09:38 PM UTC-5, Bill Sloman wrote:
On Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:07:47 PM UTC+11, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:52 +0000, Cursitor Doom <c...@noreply.com
wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:26:24 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com
wrote:
snip
Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and
eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.
Not true. You do have to learn how to get at the good books, and how to reject the bad ones fast.

It\'s much the same skill as I got taught when I getting mu Ph.D. where it was officially called \"reading the literature critically\", which in practice meant meant recognising the incompetent rubbish rapidly, and only reading enough of the pot-boilers to recognise that they didn\'t have anything new or interesting to say.

I\'m not sure if I\'m particularly good at it - I am enthusiastic about going after incompetent rubbish, and I\'ve published more critical comments in the peer-reviewed literature than original contributions - but I\'m not too bad.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney
Here is a philosophical question?
Which is worse?

1. Looking for flattery from others
2. Constantly bragging about your skills in public
 
B

Bill Sloman

Guest
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 12:14:21 AM UTC+11, Brent Locher wrote:
On Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 10:09:38 PM UTC-5, Bill Sloman wrote:
On Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:07:47 PM UTC+11, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:52 +0000, Cursitor Doom <c...@noreply.com
wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:26:24 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com
wrote:
snip
Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and
eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.
Not true. You do have to learn how to get at the good books, and how to reject the bad ones fast.

It\'s much the same skill as I got taught when I getting my Ph.D. where it was officially called \"reading the literature critically\", which in practice meant meant recognising the incompetent rubbish rapidly, and only reading enough of the pot-boilers to recognise that they didn\'t have anything new or interesting to say.

I\'m not sure if I\'m particularly good at it - I am enthusiastic about going after incompetent rubbish, and I\'ve published more critical comments in the peer-reviewed literature than original contributions - but I\'m not too bad.

Here is a philosophical question?

Which is worse?

1. Looking for flattery from others..

2. Constantly bragging about your skills in public.
Bragging about your skills is doing the flattery yourself.

\"excessively proud and boastful talk about one\'s achievements or possessions.\"

Pointing up defects in other people work as a device for showing off it pretty unpleasant, but leaving errors unremarked is a trifle irresponsible.

The scientific literature is published to help people tackle similar problems in the future, and if the advice is incomplete or misleading, it\'s not as helpful as it might be.

There\'s no flattering way of saying that somebody has got something wrong, and being diplomatic about it frequently means that the message doesn\'t get through.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney
 
J

Jeff Liebermann

Guest
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 19:09:31 -0800 (PST), Bill Sloman
<bill.sloman@ieee.org> wrote:

On Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:07:47 PM UTC+11, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:52 +0000, Cursitor Doom <c...@noreply.com
wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:26:24 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com
wrote:

snip

Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and
eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.

Not true. You do have to learn how to get at the good books, and
how to reject the bad ones fast.
I beg to differ. For technical books, I rarely read them completely.
I read chapters or pages that are relevant to whatever I\'m doing, skim
the stuff that\'s might be useful in the future, and ignore what is of
no interest. Because it requires reading the entire book, I don\'t
pass judgment on the value of a book. It\'s not unusual for me to find
a gem among the wasteland found in a book that is generally regarded
as inadequate.

It\'s much the same skill as I got taught when I getting mu Ph.D.
where it was officially called \"reading the literature critically\",
which in practice meant meant recognising the incompetent rubbish
rapidly, and only reading enough of the pot-boilers to recognise
that they didn\'t have anything new or interesting to say.
That\'s the art of \"skimming\" where the prospective reader rapidly
turns through the pages to get a general idea of the contents. We all
do that when first open an unfamiliar book. A quick tour of a book
give me an idea of the target audience, of the background required to
understand the book, and whether it is theoretical, practical,
instructional, critical, or some conglomeration of these. If the book
is what you call a pot-boiler, but what might also be inspired by a
\"publish or perish\" mentality, I don\'t have a problem using it if it
contains something that I find useful.

Incidentally, the old adage about not judging a book by it\'s cover is
quite true. I have several \"for Dummys\" and \"for Complete Idiot\" type
books, which are hardly aimed at a low IQ or beginning audience. One
that comes to mind is a book recommended by John Larkin, \"Signals and
Systems for Dummies\":
<https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/111847581X>
When I discovered that I was seriously deficient in the math necessary
to understand the book, I downloaded the math cheat sheet:
<https://www.dummies.com/education/science/signals-systems-for-dummies-cheat-sheet/>
I\'m still seriously deficient in math, but I can generally understand
that is happening by inspecting the waveforms and illustration.

Selecting a book these days has in some ways become more difficult,
yet in other ways, easier. 30 years ago, I would go to a (used) book
store or library and skim the available books. If I find something I
liked, I would sometimes buy it. Today, most of the book stores are
gone. What remains on the shelves in the technical is seriously
obsolete. 20 years ago, I started buying books online. It was risky
because there was no way to inspect or skim the contents. After a few
bad purchases, I just stopped buying unknown books. Today, things are
much easier, with downloadable chapters, partial scans (i.e. Google),
barely readable pirated scans, generally useful reader opinions. For
example, I decided to purchase AoI 3rd edition based on downloadable
chapters, previews, and opinion in S.E.D. For books (and downloadable
PDF\'s) thinks have changed greatly.

I\'m not sure if I\'m particularly good at it - I am enthusiastic about
going after incompetent rubbish, and I\'ve published more critical
comments in the peer-reviewed literature than original contributions
- but I\'m not too bad.
In many areas, the rush to publish first, collusion among authors, and
self-publishing has marginalized the value of peer-reviews. I once
got involved in a peer-review fiasco that ruined my illusions about
peer reviews. No, I don\'t want to talk about it.

Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals
<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420798/>
See the section titled \"slow and expensive\".

My comments were not in reference to any manner of quality problem.
Quality is a decision made by the reader. I was referring to finding
useful information in my huge and growing collection of PDF\'s. For
example:

600 Electrical Engineering Books
<http://legendaryvelle.blogspot.com/2011/08/600-electrical-engineering-books.html>
<https://www.scribd.com/document/364767436/600-Electrical-Engineering-Books-List>
About 4GB total. Trying to find something in that mess is difficult.
Incidentally, there are quite a few microwave books in the collection.
Many of the PDF\'s have not been converted to searchable format (which
is easily done using PDF-XChange Editor). While it\'s painful
searching my various eBooks and PDF directories for something, it\'s
almost impossible to do the same with printed books.

--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
 
J

John Doe

Guest
Here the Third World troll tells why it\'s the least electronics oriented
regular troll in this group. Because \"my mission in life is to be a
critic, not a contributor\" (paraphrased)...

--
Bill Sloman <bill.sloman@ieee.org> wrote:

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Subject: Re: RF Circuit Design - Chris Bowick
From: Bill Sloman <bill.sloman@ieee.org
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On Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:07:47 PM UTC+11, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:52 +0000, Cursitor Doom <c...@noreply.com
wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:26:24 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com

wrote:

snip

Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and
eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.

Not true. You do have to learn how to get at the good books, and how to reject the bad ones fast.

It\'s much the same skill as I got taught when I getting mu Ph.D. where it was officially called \"reading the literature critically\", which in practice meant meant recognising the incompetent rubbish rapidly, and only reading enough of the pot-boilers to recognise that they didn\'t have anything new or interesting to say.

I\'m not sure if I\'m particularly good at it - I am enthusiastic about going after incompetent rubbish, and I\'ve published more critical comments in the peer-reviewed literature than original contributions - but I\'m not too bad.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney
 
D

Don Y

Guest
On 11/22/2020 7:07 PM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:52 +0000, Cursitor Doom <cd@noreply.com
wrote:

On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:26:24 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com
wrote:

Physics, RF Design, components, materials, structures, devices, tools
and computah modeling and simulation have changed a great deal in the
past 23 years. Certainly, the fundamentals of RF design haven\'t
changed much making the older books still quite useful. However, it
doesn\'t hurt to start with something up to date instead of something
that has a 23 year old black hole in current advances.

That\'s not so much of an issue for me as I\'ve always been more
interested in the theory side of the subject, and the theory was
pretty much nailed down 100 years ago. Consequently, all the books I
have in my collection here are (to my mind anyway) \"up to date\" in a
manner of speaking. :)

I think you\'ll find it difficult finding anything in a 23 year old
book that includes RF applications for MEMS devices, SAW filters,
phased arrays, digital broadcasting, 3rd and 4th generation cellular,
characteristics of modern plastic materials, Wi-Fi, SiC and GaN high
temp devices, GHz switching devices, software define radio,
computerized RF test equipment, 77 GHz automotive radar, all digital
AM/FM/SW/TV receivers, high density data transmission, etc. All these
has some connection to the distant past, but you\'ll have some
difficulty finding that connection.

Ok. So, skim or read the fundamentals book I listed and ignore the
rest for now:
https://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/bitstream/handle/1840.20/36776/Fund_RFDesign.pdf?sequence=28&isAllowed=y
If it\'s not what you want, kindly provide some clues as to what you
are looking for.

Not at all, Jeffrey. I\'ve downloaded *all* the links you kindly
provided and there is *much* on first inspection that is right up my
street in those books. Good steer!

Actually, some (actually most) of the math went over my head.

I like books with lots of examples. Generally, that means 3 examples
per major point. One simple example to illustrate the basic concepts.
One practical example to show it can be useful. One messy example to
show the power of what can be done. When shrinking a book, the
examples are usually the first to disappear. The fundamentals book
has only 59 examples, which is marginal for a 245 page book. However,
for college text books, 11 chapters, with 24 exercises per chapter,
substitutes for the missing examples. Learn by doing the examples.

Oops. That should be \"Learn by doing the exercises\".

+1 Yes, I fully agree. My only reservation is I do prefer physical
*books* rather than PDFs on a screen. But I have to be realistic and
the benefits of the virtual sources outweigh the drawbacks by orders
of magnitude. Thanks again for your help here.
Get a larger tablet (one that can display a page at \"100%\" and install
JUST the books/reader on the tablet.

I also use a smaller tablet for \"paperbacks\" (novels) as its screen is
more in line with that of a \"pocket book\". (I reduced 80 copying paper
cartons of paperbacks to just a microSD card, in this way!)

> Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and

That\'s only true of \"true PDFs\" -- and, to a lesser extent, \"searchable\"
PDFs. *Scanned* PDFs need to be post-processed (OCR) if you want access
to the text. Often that has dubious results (depends on the image
being of high enough quality and the OCR software being smart enough
to recognize text flows without assistance/intervention).

Sadly, may downloadable PDFs appear to just be scanned as the original
materials were left at the typesetter\'s bench many years earlier! :<

eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.
This is greatly compounded when you start adding research papers
to the \"collection\". It becomes a problem similar to sorting
photographs; it\'s rarely convenient to just put a document in
one \"place\" that you\'ll hopefully recollect at a later date!

[I have all of my files indexed in a large database. In addition
to telling me where a file/document resides (and verify it\'s
contents are intact), I can tag each with keywords that may be
more memorable to me. It\'s hard to remember what C66789f.pdf
addresses!]

Virtual desktops just changed the amount of clutter you can tolerate
by reducing the physical limitation of a REAL desktop!
 
D

Don Y

Guest
On 11/23/2020 10:59 AM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 19:09:31 -0800 (PST), Bill Sloman

Not true. You do have to learn how to get at the good books, and
how to reject the bad ones fast.

I beg to differ. For technical books, I rarely read them completely.
I read chapters or pages that are relevant to whatever I\'m doing, skim
the stuff that\'s might be useful in the future, and ignore what is of
no interest. Because it requires reading the entire book, I don\'t
pass judgment on the value of a book. It\'s not unusual for me to find
a gem among the wasteland found in a book that is generally regarded
as inadequate.
Also, many texts have typographical (and other) errors. Dismissing
them solely on that sort of criteria tosses out a lot of \"wheat\"!

One thing I originally missed in physical texts was the ability to stick
a Post-It on a page to add an annotation of some error I\'d uncovered.
You can, of course, do this in PDFs (though not as easily in other
eBook formats) -- but, the presence of the Post-It was usually easier
to recognize and \"flip to\" (if I\'ve marked an error, it\'s likely
that I was interested in the material at THAT point in the document
to have made the effort to record the error... so, I\'d likely want
to see that part of the document, again!)

[BTW, this has to be the best REAL use for Post-It notes! Other
uses can be approximated with \"a little slip of paper\"]
 
C

Cursitor Doom

Guest
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 18:07:33 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
wrote:

I think you\'ll find it difficult finding anything in a 23 year old
book that includes RF applications for MEMS devices, SAW filters,
phased arrays, digital broadcasting, 3rd and 4th generation cellular,
characteristics of modern plastic materials, Wi-Fi, SiC and GaN high
temp devices, GHz switching devices, software define radio,
computerized RF test equipment, 77 GHz automotive radar, all digital
AM/FM/SW/TV receivers, high density data transmission, etc. All these
has some connection to the distant past, but you\'ll have some
difficulty finding that connection.
True, but none of that stuff is of any interest to me. I\'d much sooner
experiment with some old toobs I have here; see what they\'re capable
of. As a hobbyist, I\'m not pressured by advances in technology. They
can cheerfully pass me by AFAIC.
 
B

Bill Sloman

Guest
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:48:11 AM UTC+11, John Doe wrote:
--
Bill Sloman <bill....@ieee.org> wrote:

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Subject: Re: RF Circuit Design - Chris Bowick
From: Bill Sloman <bill....@ieee.org
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On Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:07:47 PM UTC+11, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:52 +0000, Cursitor Doom <c...@noreply.com
wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:26:24 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com

wrote:

snip

Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and
eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.

Not true. You do have to learn how to get at the good books, and how to reject the bad ones fast.

It\'s much the same skill as I got taught when I getting my Ph.D. where it was officially called \"reading the literature critically\", which in practice meant meant recognising the incompetent rubbish rapidly, and only reading enough of the pot-boilers to recognise that they didn\'t have anything new or interesting to say.

I\'m not sure if I\'m particularly good at it - I am enthusiastic about going after incompetent rubbish, and I\'ve published more critical comments in the peer-reviewed literature than original contributions - but I\'m not too bad.

Here the Third World troll tells why it\'s the least electronics oriented regular troll in this group.
The top-posting troll likes to think I\'m a troll too. It\'s not the least bit interested in electronics, so it remains blissfully unaware that I am.

> Because \"my mission in life is to be a critic, not a contributor\" (paraphrased)...

That\'s not an accurate paraphrase. It concentrates on the idea that I do see criticism as a useful skill, but ignores the fact that I have produced innovative circuit designs, and have got got a couple of patents (though not for circuit designs). John Doe might like to tell us what he thinks of my current mirror variation on the class-D oscillator. I posted it here a while ago. It hasn\'t been patented, although it is probably not obvious to those skilled in the art, because there\'s no large market for it.

http://www.sophia-electronica.com/BillsBaxandall.html

My guess is that he won\'t have clue what it does or why it does it. The webpage does spell out what\'s going on, but it does assume a reasonably sophisticated reader.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney
 
B

boB

Guest
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 17:44:32 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com>
wrote:

On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:42:21 -0800, boB <boB@K7IQ.com> wrote:

Not bad ! My problem is space... space... space......

I do buy books online sometimes too in PDF form as well as printed
sometimes though.

Trying to downsize. I can\'t throw away or recycle good material that I
\"might\" need to look at some day :)

Try this exercise. Pick an \"important\" book at random from your shelf
and search the interknot for a free scanned or PDF version of the
book. If you can\'t find those, search for an eBook version in one of
the more common formats. My guess(tm) is that I can find about 75% of
what is on my bookshelf. The nice thing about the electronic versions
is that I can usually search the text for buzzwords. For printed
books, I have to use an index or table of contents. The problem with
scanned books is that the pictures and graphs all look like garbage.

Like everyone else who has spent a lifetime collecting reference
books, recycling them is painful. I\'ve tried to donate them to worthy
organizations, give them away on Freecycle.org, sell them for the cost
of shipping on eBay and Craigs List, and donate them to the local
charities. Nobody want old technical books. So far, I\'ve had the
best luck leaving them in a \"free\" box in front of my office door to
be grabbed by the homeless and possibly university students.

I\'m also trying to downsize. I look online for the book to buy or
downloads. After I determine that the downloaded book is adequate,
the original book disappears from my shelves.

Incidentally, I used to collect technical books from between the start
of WWI and the end of WWII. It\'s not a huge collection, but it does
make interesting reading. Many of the de facto standards used in
today\'s electronics were established during this time. These will be
the last books to be purged from my shelves.
One of my old books that still have and the PDF version is the
Radiotron Designers Book... That is one of the hardback books I just
have to keep.

Good idea to take one at random and look though. I just might try
that !
 
B

Bill Sloman

Guest
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 4:59:43 AM UTC+11, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 19:09:31 -0800 (PST), Bill Sloman
bill....@ieee.org> wrote:

On Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:07:47 PM UTC+11, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:52 +0000, Cursitor Doom <c...@noreply.com
wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 12:26:24 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com
wrote:

snip

Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and
eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.

Not true. You do have to learn how to get at the good books, and
how to reject the bad ones fast.

I beg to differ. For technical books, I rarely read them completely.
I read chapters or pages that are relevant to whatever I\'m doing, skim
the stuff that\'s might be useful in the future, and ignore what is of
no interest.
That\'s what everybody does. If the potentially useful bits aren\'t all that useful, it is reasonable to suspect that the rest isn\'t much good either.

Because it requires reading the entire book, I don\'t
pass judgment on the value of a book.
Of course you do. You don\'t make the kind of judgment that would lead you to burn the book as actively dangerous, but you leave it a place that doesn\'t make it easy to get at.

> It\'s not unusual for me to find a gem among the wasteland found in a book that is generally regarded as inadequate.

It happens. E.C.Snelling\'s book \"Soft Ferrites: Properties and Applications\" contains an enormous amount of information presented in way that makes it almost impossible to find. It\'s remarkably bad book, but a useful resource..

It\'s much the same skill as I got taught when I getting my Ph.D. where it was officially called \"reading the literature critically\", which in practice meant meant recognising the incompetent rubbish rapidly, and only reading enough of the pot-boilers to recognise that they didn\'t have anything new or interesting to say.

That\'s the art of \"skimming\" where the prospective reader rapidly turns through the pages to get a general idea of the contents. We all do that when first open an unfamiliar book. A quick tour of a book give me an idea of the target audience, of the background required to understand the book, and whether it is theoretical, practical, instructional, critical, or some conglomeration of these. If the book is what you call a pot-boiler, but what might also be inspired by a \"publish or perish\" mentality, I don\'t have a problem using it if it contains something that I find useful.
Not exactly. You have to read carefully enough to know that what has been published really is rubbish, or merely the pointless duplication of other peoples work in a slightly different context. Skimming doesn\'t let you do that.

> Incidentally, the old adage about not judging a book by it\'s cover is quite true. I have several \"for Dummys\" and \"for Complete Idiot\" type books, which are hardly aimed at a low IQ or beginning audience.

It was a publishing strategy. The implicit promise is that the author would go in for straight-forward explanations, rather than assuming a very sophisticated reader. I liked them

One that comes to mind is a book recommended by John Larkin, \"Signals and Systems for Dummies\":
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/111847581X

When I discovered that I was seriously deficient in the math necessary to understand the book, I downloaded the math cheat sheet:
https://www.dummies.com/education/science/signals-systems-for-dummies-cheat-sheet/
I\'m still seriously deficient in math, but I can generally understand that is happening by inspecting the waveforms and illustration.

Selecting a book these days has in some ways become more difficult, yet in other ways, easier. 30 years ago, I would go to a (used) book store or library and skim the available books.
If I found something I liked, I would sometimes buy it. Today, most of the book stores are gone. What remains on the shelves in the technical is seriously obsolete. 20 years ago, I started buying books online. It was risky because there was no way to inspect or skim the contents. After a few bad purchases, I just stopped buying unknown books.

Today, things are much easier, with downloadable chapters, partial scans (i.e. Google), barely readable pirated scans, generally useful reader opinions. For example, I decided to purchase AoI 3rd edition based on downloadable chapters, previews, and opinion in S.E.D. For books (and downloadable PDF\'s) things have changed greatly.
There are lots of on-line reviews, It\'s not usually difficult to get a good idea of what you might be buying.

I\'m not sure if I\'m particularly good at it - I am enthusiastic about going after incompetent rubbish, and I\'ve published more critical comments in the peer-reviewed literature than original contributions - but I\'m not too bad.

In many areas, the rush to publish first, collusion among authors, and
self-publishing has marginalized the value of peer-reviews.
Peer-reviewing is never perfect. I\'ve done quite enough of it to be well-aware of its defects - one paper I intensely disliked got published despite my review, and I was gratified to come a cross a much better paper a few years later that had dealt with the problems that I\'d seen.

> I once got involved in a peer-review fiasco that ruined my illusions about peer reviews. No, I don\'t want to talk about it.

It\'s like democracy - horribly defective but better than anything else anybody has come up with

Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420798/
See the section titled \"slow and expensive\".
I see the paper includes the comparison with democracy. My wife is a lot more deeply embedded in peer reviewing than I ever was, and there nothing in the paper that she hasn\'t run into/

My comments were not in reference to any manner of quality problem.
Quality is a decision made by the reader. I was referring to finding
useful information in my huge and growing collection of PDF\'s. For
example:

600 Electrical Engineering Books
http://legendaryvelle.blogspot.com/2011/08/600-electrical-engineering-books.html
https://www.scribd.com/document/364767436/600-Electrical-Engineering-Books-List
About 4GB total. Trying to find something in that mess is difficult.
Incidentally, there are quite a few microwave books in the collection.
Many of the PDF\'s have not been converted to searchable format (which
is easily done using PDF-XChange Editor). While it\'s painful
searching my various eBooks and PDF directories for something, it\'s
almost impossible to do the same with printed books.
Most printed technical books have indexes. They aren\'t great - creating an index isn\'t easy. I did a bit of one for a book my wife wrote, and one of our friends was a professional indexer - but they do help.

--
Bill Sloman, Sydney
 
J

Jeff Liebermann

Guest
On Mon, 23 Nov 2020 22:41:49 +0000, Cursitor Doom <cd@noreply.com>
wrote:

On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 18:07:33 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <jeffl@cruzio.com
wrote:

I think you\'ll find it difficult finding anything in a 23 year old
book that includes RF applications for MEMS devices, SAW filters,
phased arrays, digital broadcasting, 3rd and 4th generation cellular,
characteristics of modern plastic materials, Wi-Fi, SiC and GaN high
temp devices, GHz switching devices, software define radio,
computerized RF test equipment, 77 GHz automotive radar, all digital
AM/FM/SW/TV receivers, high density data transmission, etc. All these
has some connection to the distant past, but you\'ll have some
difficulty finding that connection.

True, but none of that stuff is of any interest to me. I\'d much sooner
experiment with some old toobs I have here; see what they\'re capable
of. As a hobbyist, I\'m not pressured by advances in technology. They
can cheerfully pass me by AFAIC.
People stop growing at an age where they\'re comfortable. If you found
life among the tubes, discrete parts, hand wiring, non-computerized,
simplistic communication schemes, and such to be easier to deal with,
you probably just stopped there. No need to learn anything new or
follow the advances in the technology. Just work with what you know,
maybe learn a little more about such things, repair electronic
archeological artifacts, and generally live in the past. There\'s
nothing wrong with doing this. I\'ve seen people who work on the
latest technology during their daytime job, collect the old radios and
old technology of their youth. One former engineer, who spent his
days running a semiconductor company, spent his spare time maintaining
a very impressive collection of antique mechanical clocks. I\'m guilty
of a little of that by collecting and repairing older HP calculators
and old technical books.

The problem I see here, is all the aforementioned people were
comfortable in both the old and new technologies, and could function
equally well in both. You seem to be stuck in the past and not moving
forward. I see this as the wrong approach. Learning your basic RF
theory from a 23 year old book will teach you nothing of today\'s (and
possibly future) technology. Doing so from a more current book, will
give you both the old and the new technology.

It\'s difficult to see where you\'re going when you walk facing
backwards.


--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
 
B

Brent Locher

Guest
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 12:03:28 PM UTC-5, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Mon, 23 Nov 2020 22:41:49 +0000, Cursitor Doom <c...@noreply.com
wrote:
On Sun, 22 Nov 2020 18:07:33 -0800, Jeff Liebermann <je...@cruzio.com
wrote:

I think you\'ll find it difficult finding anything in a 23 year old
book that includes RF applications for MEMS devices, SAW filters,
phased arrays, digital broadcasting, 3rd and 4th generation cellular,
characteristics of modern plastic materials, Wi-Fi, SiC and GaN high
temp devices, GHz switching devices, software define radio,
computerized RF test equipment, 77 GHz automotive radar, all digital
AM/FM/SW/TV receivers, high density data transmission, etc. All these
has some connection to the distant past, but you\'ll have some
difficulty finding that connection.

True, but none of that stuff is of any interest to me. I\'d much sooner
experiment with some old toobs I have here; see what they\'re capable
of. As a hobbyist, I\'m not pressured by advances in technology. They
can cheerfully pass me by AFAIC.
People stop growing at an age where they\'re comfortable. If you found
life among the tubes, discrete parts, hand wiring, non-computerized,
simplistic communication schemes, and such to be easier to deal with,
you probably just stopped there. No need to learn anything new or
follow the advances in the technology. Just work with what you know,
maybe learn a little more about such things, repair electronic
archeological artifacts, and generally live in the past. There\'s
nothing wrong with doing this. I\'ve seen people who work on the
latest technology during their daytime job, collect the old radios and
old technology of their youth. One former engineer, who spent his
days running a semiconductor company, spent his spare time maintaining
a very impressive collection of antique mechanical clocks. I\'m guilty
of a little of that by collecting and repairing older HP calculators
and old technical books.

The problem I see here, is all the aforementioned people were
comfortable in both the old and new technologies, and could function
equally well in both. You seem to be stuck in the past and not moving
forward. I see this as the wrong approach. Learning your basic RF
theory from a 23 year old book will teach you nothing of today\'s (and
possibly future) technology. Doing so from a more current book, will
give you both the old and the new technology.
i could almost write a book in response to your comments above. I agree with most of what you wrote, however, the fundamentals of RF engineering today (excluding modulation---I/Q stuff) have not changed much over the last 30 years. Matching, understanding smith chart, filter theory, Gain and Noise analysis, antenna design......it is all remarkably the same. Then add in LO control with PLLs. One might argue that this fundamental theory is what makes an RF engineer. I do see your point in a sense. for instance ,it is probably a bad idea to read about FORTH and Perl if you are just starting out in computer science. But the RF stuff is still comprised of the same basic set of fundamentals today as it is 30 years ago.

We are kind of cursed in this field. We really cannot find a moment in time and lock ourselves into that and stay good and relevant without having to constantly updating our skills and abandoning the stuff we did and were successful at to move on.

As I approach retirement, I am more drawn to learning things that I did not fully understand earlier in my career but the things that do not change. Specifically I am trying to really understand E-M theory and Linear Algebra.. Oddly, engineers can accomplish an awful lot in a narrow field even if they do not properly comprehend some of the underlying theory. Or , in my case, It was more pressing to understand control loop theory before going back and understanding E/M. Then it was important to grasp noise, then matching, then measurement.....So you are constantly having to figure out lots of aspects of your trade but can leave the even more foundational stuff behind.

Also, as we expand our technology there are too many things. I sense that 70 years ago most EEs were good at EM theory. Heck they seemed to understand waveguide theory and all the various modes. I think they generally understood differential equations better. Today I think you will find few engineers who can really explain differential equations , transient, SS convolution , time vs frequency notions. Too many more things to chase....more shiny objects.


It\'s difficult to see where you\'re going when you walk facing
backwards.
--
Jeff Liebermann je...@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
 
J

Jeff Liebermann

Guest
On Mon, 23 Nov 2020 15:35:07 -0700, Don Y
<blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:

Get a larger tablet (one that can display a page at \"100%\" and install
JUST the books/reader on the tablet.
I previously used an Amazon Kindle DX Graphite (2nd gen) tablet for
the purpose:
<http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/Amazon%20Kindle%20DX>
Each Kindle has a dedicated email address on kindle.com. I can email
a PDF to the Kindle as needed. Very handy, but with limitations. It\'s
slow, has limited storage, difficult to read in a darkened room (no
back lighting), and no way to display on a projector. So, I retired
my Kindle DX and switched to using an Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431.

I also use a smaller tablet for \"paperbacks\" (novels) as its screen is
more in line with that of a \"pocket book\". (I reduced 80 copying paper
cartons of paperbacks to just a microSD card, in this way!)
I previously used my Google Nexus 7 for the purpose. The problem is
that it doesn\'t take an SD card, but does work with a flash drive
plugged into a USB OTG adapter. Great for reading in bed. That was
replaced by an Acer C720 11\" screen laptop, and now with an Acer
Chromebook 14. (Hint: I have about 7 Chromebooks).

Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and

That\'s only true of \"true PDFs\" -- and, to a lesser extent, \"searchable\"
PDFs. *Scanned* PDFs need to be post-processed (OCR) if you want access
to the text. Often that has dubious results (depends on the image
being of high enough quality and the OCR software being smart enough
to recognize text flows without assistance/intervention).
Yep. I get plenty of PDF\'s that need to be fed to an OCR (optical
character recognition) reader to make the text searchable. For that
purpose, I use the free version of PDF-XChange Editor.
<https://www.tracker-software.com>
The OCR include with the free version works for most documents.
However, the optional add-on works better with italics, weird
formatting, misaligned scans, and NOT scanning photos:
<https://www.tracker-software.com/product/ocr-plugin>

Sadly, many downloadable PDFs appear to just be scanned as the original
materials were left at the typesetter\'s bench many years earlier! :
Worse. Many are sloppy rushed scans, such as the HP/Agilent
collection of old manuals. Almost all of them are scanned in 1 bit
b&w \"color\" resulting in unreadable graphs, photos and illustrations.
A great many were scanned at odd angles. I found one that looked much
like it had been pre-processed by a paper shredder. Others have
scanned fold out schematics that required an origami expert to
reassemble.

For a time, I was rather spoiled. The law offices of one of my
customers was blessed with a Canon ImageRunner 5000 copier, which
scanned double sided pages at about 3 seconds per double sided page:
<http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/CanonImageRunner5000.wmv>
I used it mostly to scan rare manuals, such as those for radios I
helped design in the distant past. However, after using a guillotine
paper cutter to remove the bindings from several TEK manuals, I
decided I didn\'t want to destroy any more manuals and limited my
scanning to easily disassembled manuals.

eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.

This is greatly compounded when you start adding research papers
to the \"collection\". It becomes a problem similar to sorting
photographs; it\'s rarely convenient to just put a document in
one \"place\" that you\'ll hopefully recollect at a later date!
My partial solution to that problem is to use search software. For
search by title, I use Everything:
<https://www.voidtools.com>
For search by content, I use Agent Ransack Search:
<https://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/>
For finding duplicates, I use Auslogics Duplicate File Finder:
<https://www.auslogics.com/en/software/duplicate-file-finder/>
Everything is blindingly fast, but assumes that the title makes some
sense. Agent Ransack Search takes forever to index a giant directory
tree of documents, but is quite fast searching the index. However, I
plan to slooooowly switch the archives to Linux, which means all these
tools will need to be replaced.

[I have all of my files indexed in a large database. In addition
to telling me where a file/document resides (and verify it\'s
contents are intact), I can tag each with keywords that may be
more memorable to me. It\'s hard to remember what C66789f.pdf
addresses!]
True, but if you search by content, you don\'t really care what the
document title might be.

Virtual desktops just changed the amount of clutter you can tolerate
by reducing the physical limitation of a REAL desktop!
For every improvement in workspace efficiency, there is always someone
who finds a way to abuse it:
<http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/desktop.jpg>
That\'s from 2013. The present version is more of the same, on 4
virtual desktops, and three functional machines:
<http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/Computers-Home.jpg>
Two are running Linux Mint. The rest are running Win 10. The various
laptops and Chromebooks are elsewhere.



--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
 
B

Brent Locher

Guest
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 1:09:33 PM UTC-5, jeff.li...@gmail.com wrote:
On Mon, 23 Nov 2020 15:35:07 -0700, Don Y
blocked...@foo.invalid> wrote:

Get a larger tablet (one that can display a page at \"100%\" and install
JUST the books/reader on the tablet.
I previously used an Amazon Kindle DX Graphite (2nd gen) tablet for
the purpose:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/Amazon%20Kindle%20DX
Each Kindle has a dedicated email address on kindle.com. I can email
a PDF to the Kindle as needed. Very handy, but with limitations. It\'s
slow, has limited storage, difficult to read in a darkened room (no
back lighting), and no way to display on a projector. So, I retired
my Kindle DX and switched to using an Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431.
I also use a smaller tablet for \"paperbacks\" (novels) as its screen is
more in line with that of a \"pocket book\". (I reduced 80 copying paper
cartons of paperbacks to just a microSD card, in this way!)
I previously used my Google Nexus 7 for the purpose. The problem is
that it doesn\'t take an SD card, but does work with a flash drive
plugged into a USB OTG adapter. Great for reading in bed. That was
replaced by an Acer C720 11\" screen laptop, and now with an Acer
Chromebook 14. (Hint: I have about 7 Chromebooks).
Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and

That\'s only true of \"true PDFs\" -- and, to a lesser extent, \"searchable\"
PDFs. *Scanned* PDFs need to be post-processed (OCR) if you want access
to the text. Often that has dubious results (depends on the image
being of high enough quality and the OCR software being smart enough
to recognize text flows without assistance/intervention).
Yep. I get plenty of PDF\'s that need to be fed to an OCR (optical
character recognition) reader to make the text searchable. For that
purpose, I use the free version of PDF-XChange Editor.
https://www.tracker-software.com
The OCR include with the free version works for most documents.
However, the optional add-on works better with italics, weird
formatting, misaligned scans, and NOT scanning photos:
https://www.tracker-software.com/product/ocr-plugin

Sadly, many downloadable PDFs appear to just be scanned as the original
materials were left at the typesetter\'s bench many years earlier! :
Worse. Many are sloppy rushed scans, such as the HP/Agilent
collection of old manuals. Almost all of them are scanned in 1 bit
b&w \"color\" resulting in unreadable graphs, photos and illustrations.
A great many were scanned at odd angles. I found one that looked much
like it had been pre-processed by a paper shredder. Others have
scanned fold out schematics that required an origami expert to
reassemble.

For a time, I was rather spoiled. The law offices of one of my
customers was blessed with a Canon ImageRunner 5000 copier, which
scanned double sided pages at about 3 seconds per double sided page:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/CanonImageRunner5000.wmv
I used it mostly to scan rare manuals, such as those for radios I
helped design in the distant past. However, after using a guillotine
paper cutter to remove the bindings from several TEK manuals, I
decided I didn\'t want to destroy any more manuals and limited my
scanning to easily disassembled manuals.
eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.

This is greatly compounded when you start adding research papers
to the \"collection\". It becomes a problem similar to sorting
photographs; it\'s rarely convenient to just put a document in
one \"place\" that you\'ll hopefully recollect at a later date!
My partial solution to that problem is to use search software. For
search by title, I use Everything:
https://www.voidtools.com
For search by content, I use Agent Ransack Search:
https://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/
For finding duplicates, I use Auslogics Duplicate File Finder:
https://www.auslogics.com/en/software/duplicate-file-finder/
Everything is blindingly fast, but assumes that the title makes some
sense. Agent Ransack Search takes forever to index a giant directory
tree of documents, but is quite fast searching the index. However, I
plan to slooooowly switch the archives to Linux, which means all these
tools will need to be replaced.
[I have all of my files indexed in a large database. In addition
to telling me where a file/document resides (and verify it\'s
contents are intact), I can tag each with keywords that may be
more memorable to me. It\'s hard to remember what C66789f.pdf
addresses!]
True, but if you search by content, you don\'t really care what the
document title might be.
Virtual desktops just changed the amount of clutter you can tolerate
by reducing the physical limitation of a REAL desktop!
For every improvement in workspace efficiency, there is always someone
who finds a way to abuse it:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/desktop.jpg
You need smaller icons

That\'s from 2013. The present version is more of the same, on 4
virtual desktops, and three functional machines:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/Computers-Home.jpg
Two are running Linux Mint. The rest are running Win 10. The various
laptops and Chromebooks are elsewhere.
--
Jeff Liebermann je...@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
 
J

Jeff Liebermann

Guest
On Tue, 24 Nov 2020 10:32:19 -0800 (PST), Brent Locher
<blocher@columbus.rr.com> wrote:

http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/desktop.jpg

You need smaller icons
That would mean yet another pair of prescription glasses (from Zenni
Optical). A larger monitor would also block my view of the forest
outside. I now have 2ea 24\" (1920 x 1200) monitors in front of me,
and two 19\" (1600 x 900) monitors to the side. The 2nd 24\" monitor is
switchable between a 2nd monitor for the main computer (where I place
my lightly used icons), and my Linux box. Unfortunately, the main
monitor, where I store most of my icons, is running in 1680 x 1050
because of a firmware bug in the monitor. When this is eventually
fixed or replaced, I\'ll have room for 2 more rows of icons. At this
time, there are 190 icons on the main monitor, and about 100 more on
the 2nd monitor with room for about 200 more. When that fills up,
I\'ll need to decide if I should clean up the mess, or just add another
monitor. I did this for a customer, who rather likes the idea.
<http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/portrait-monitor.jpg>
I could probably fit 4 such \"portrait mode\" monitors on my desk. Maybe
add another monitor over the bed, hanging from the ceiling.

Incidentally, I\'m just about ready to build or possibly design my own
KVM (keyboard video monitor) switch. I have several and they all suck
in various ways.

--
Jeff Liebermann jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
 
D

Don Y

Guest
On 11/24/2020 11:09 AM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
On Mon, 23 Nov 2020 15:35:07 -0700, Don Y
blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:

Get a larger tablet (one that can display a page at \"100%\" and install
JUST the books/reader on the tablet.

I previously used an Amazon Kindle DX Graphite (2nd gen) tablet for
the purpose:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/Amazon%20Kindle%20DX
Each Kindle has a dedicated email address on kindle.com. I can email
a PDF to the Kindle as needed. Very handy, but with limitations. It\'s
slow, has limited storage, difficult to read in a darkened room (no
back lighting), and no way to display on a projector. So, I retired
my Kindle DX and switched to using an Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431.
I used to use a 12\" \"tablet PC\" as it also let me \"write\" on the screen,
etc. But, that was bulky (had spinning rust inside).

I also use a smaller tablet for \"paperbacks\" (novels) as its screen is
more in line with that of a \"pocket book\". (I reduced 80 copying paper
cartons of paperbacks to just a microSD card, in this way!)

I previously used my Google Nexus 7 for the purpose. The problem is
that it doesn\'t take an SD card, but does work with a flash drive
plugged into a USB OTG adapter. Great for reading in bed. That was
replaced by an Acer C720 11\" screen laptop, and now with an Acer
Chromebook 14. (Hint: I have about 7 Chromebooks).
I have 5 or 6 Nook Colors which are, IMO, the perfect size for reading
paperbacks (as they are just a bit larger than a paperback and have
about the right \"heft\").

Their downside is the fact that they expect you to have \"a few\" titles
that you could organize on their \"shelves\" -- not thousands of titles!

So, I move what I want to read onto a Nook and delete it when done.
I usually only have three novels \"open\" at a given time so can
afford to put each novel on a different Nook and leave the Nook in
whatever place I\'m most interested in reading that title (kitchen,
porcelain throne, bedroom, car, etc.)

I *really* like the fact that it\'s instant on and instant off and
remembers WHERE I was... so, I can touch the power button and
be reading in a matter of seconds; then, touch it again and set it
down until I return to it.

Yep. The ability to do keyword searches is a big plus for PDF\'s and

That\'s only true of \"true PDFs\" -- and, to a lesser extent, \"searchable\"
PDFs. *Scanned* PDFs need to be post-processed (OCR) if you want access
to the text. Often that has dubious results (depends on the image
being of high enough quality and the OCR software being smart enough
to recognize text flows without assistance/intervention).

Yep. I get plenty of PDF\'s that need to be fed to an OCR (optical
character recognition) reader to make the text searchable. For that
purpose, I use the free version of PDF-XChange Editor.
https://www.tracker-software.com
The OCR include with the free version works for most documents.
However, the optional add-on works better with italics, weird
formatting, misaligned scans, and NOT scanning photos:
https://www.tracker-software.com/product/ocr-plugin
The problem usually lies in the scanned image -- it\'s either scanned
at too low of a resolution or in two few colors/shades-of-grey.

And, most OCR software needs its hand held to deal with complex
text flows -- else you see the caption for an illustration appearing
as inline \"body\" text. It\'s usually not worth the trouble for me
to do the conversion AND proof the result -- just read the scanned
image when necessary (hence the use of a larger tablet for full
page display).

Sadly, many downloadable PDFs appear to just be scanned as the original
materials were left at the typesetter\'s bench many years earlier! :

Worse. Many are sloppy rushed scans, such as the HP/Agilent
collection of old manuals. Almost all of them are scanned in 1 bit
b&w \"color\" resulting in unreadable graphs, photos and illustrations.
A great many were scanned at odd angles. I found one that looked much
like it had been pre-processed by a paper shredder. Others have
scanned fold out schematics that required an origami expert to
reassemble.
Yup. You get exactly what you paid for! :>

OTOH, the savings in shelf space make me more tolerant of the hassles
of living with these \"consequences\".

I\'ve found that scanning my own documents is considerably more
time-consuming as I am very conscious of the resulting quality -- instead
of just \"get \'er done\"

For a time, I was rather spoiled. The law offices of one of my
customers was blessed with a Canon ImageRunner 5000 copier, which
scanned double sided pages at about 3 seconds per double sided page:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/CanonImageRunner5000.wmv
I used it mostly to scan rare manuals, such as those for radios I
helped design in the distant past. However, after using a guillotine
paper cutter to remove the bindings from several TEK manuals, I
decided I didn\'t want to destroy any more manuals and limited my
scanning to easily disassembled manuals.
I did most of *my* scanning years ago with an ADF. While it helps
with the paper handling, you\'re still forced with \"proofing\" the
results.

Now, I rely on a pair (I always have two of everything :> ) of \"tabloid\"
scanners for things like \"fold-out schematics\". They take up a sh*tload of
desk space but are worth having \"on hand\" as I never know when I will
need to scan something oversized.

[I also have a 40\" -- wide -- scanner (just one! :< ) that hides under
my bed. I\'ve not needed it in 13 months so silly to leave it \"out\".]

I have a paper cutter that will handle a ~1\" paper stack -- bound
or unbound (cutting unbound paper is considerably harder than bound
as the blade action wants to \"pull\" the pages sideways so each page
is slightly larger than the next -- very noticeable over 100+ sheets).
I now use this for cutting reams of blank paper into little 3\" squares
(poor man\'s Post-It) which we use in great quantities :-/

eBooks. The downside is that since electronic media bypasses all of
the obstacles of producing a printed book, it\'s so much easier for
anyone to self publish an electronic book. Of course, everyone is
doing exactly that. As a result, I\'m now faced with a hard disk full
of documents, instead of a wall of books (or a giant pile of bankers
boxes full of books). Too many books is as bad as too few books.

This is greatly compounded when you start adding research papers
to the \"collection\". It becomes a problem similar to sorting
photographs; it\'s rarely convenient to just put a document in
one \"place\" that you\'ll hopefully recollect at a later date!

My partial solution to that problem is to use search software. For
search by title, I use Everything:
https://www.voidtools.com
For search by content, I use Agent Ransack Search:
https://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/
For finding duplicates, I use Auslogics Duplicate File Finder:
https://www.auslogics.com/en/software/duplicate-file-finder/
Everything is blindingly fast, but assumes that the title makes some
sense. Agent Ransack Search takes forever to index a giant directory
tree of documents, but is quite fast searching the index. However, I
plan to slooooowly switch the archives to Linux, which means all these
tools will need to be replaced.
That assumes your archive is \"online\" (i.e., the disks are mounted).
My archive is *huge* as it also includes tons of source code,
design documents, research papers, etc. So, it is spread over many
disks.

And, as I want to index EVERYTHING in the archive (including binaries
and other \"objects\"), I needed a solution that would tolerate hundreds
(actually, thousands!) of volumes (e.g., I also index my optical media
whether home-rolled or store-bought. Wanna know which of those hundreds
of clip art CDs has XMAS images?? Or, where you stashed the user manual
for that DOS Extender?).

Using a real RDBMS lets me delegate the search and maintenance
functions of dataset maintenance so all I have to deal with is
deciding what to store for each file in the index.

[E.g., I store the file\'s original hash which lets me check its
integrity, later, as well as locating other likely copies of
that same file that may reside on other volumes/media under
a different name. This is useful for finding \"backups\" if
a file gets corrupted. It also lets me verify files are
accessible and NOT corrupt any time that particular volume is
mounted -- \"patrol read\"]

[I have all of my files indexed in a large database. In addition
to telling me where a file/document resides (and verify it\'s
contents are intact), I can tag each with keywords that may be
more memorable to me. It\'s hard to remember what C66789f.pdf
addresses!]

True, but if you search by content, you don\'t really care what the
document title might be.
See above.

Virtual desktops just changed the amount of clutter you can tolerate
by reducing the physical limitation of a REAL desktop!

For every improvement in workspace efficiency, there is always someone
who finds a way to abuse it:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/desktop.jpg
That\'s from 2013. The present version is more of the same, on 4
virtual desktops, and three functional machines:
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/Computers-Home.jpg
Two are running Linux Mint. The rest are running Win 10. The various
laptops and Chromebooks are elsewhere.
I have 6 identical workstations in my office. My work area is
arranged as a set of benches in a \"U\" -- so, I can swivel my
chair and be facing any of three *sets* of screens/keyboards.
Each \"set\" handles a *pair* of workstations (located on the floor
beneath the benches as there\'s no room on top of the benches
given the number of displays, there). I use the \"monitor select\"
(A/B/C/D) switches built into the monitors to map a particular
display to one of the two workstations it serves. So, I
can have monitors 1, 2 and 3 displaying output from the EDA
workstation while monitor 4 displays something from the CAD
workstation (e.g., PCB being fitted to its mechanical enclosure).

Each of the workstations that deal with DTP, software development,
multimedia production, etc. have dual 30\" displays. This is a win
as I\'m usually looking at a full page and can see it at a slightly
enlarged size -- instead of having to scroll around an image or
resorting to a smaller presentation.

The CAD/EDA pair share four 24\'s. I tried going to 3 (wide) 30\"
displays but you feel like you\'re watching a tennis match as your
head is constantly turning to face another direction. And, going
to a vertical (e.g., 2x2) arrangement is even worse -- like watching
golf!

The 24s, OTOH, can tolerate being placed 3 wide and two tall.
I\'ve not seen the need to go to 2x3 (6 monitors) though I\'ve
a stock of identical monitors to choose from if I change my
mind. At a comfortable reading/focus distance, I can see
everything without having to move my head.

I also keep a \"bare monitor\" (on a swing arm) with a 30\' cable that
I can run to any of the 12 headless machines in the office (usually
acting as appliances or design testbeds)
 
D

Don Y

Guest
On 11/24/2020 11:53 AM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
On Tue, 24 Nov 2020 10:32:19 -0800 (PST), Brent Locher
blocher@columbus.rr.com> wrote:

http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/desktop.jpg

You need smaller icons

That would mean yet another pair of prescription glasses (from Zenni
Optical). A larger monitor would also block my view of the forest
outside. I now have 2ea 24\" (1920 x 1200) monitors in front of me,
and two 19\" (1600 x 900) monitors to the side. The 2nd 24\" monitor is
switchable between a 2nd monitor for the main computer (where I place
my lightly used icons), and my Linux box. Unfortunately, the main
monitor, where I store most of my icons, is running in 1680 x 1050
because of a firmware bug in the monitor. When this is eventually
fixed or replaced, I\'ll have room for 2 more rows of icons. At this
time, there are 190 icons on the main monitor, and about 100 more on
the 2nd monitor with room for about 200 more. When that fills up,
I\'ll need to decide if I should clean up the mess, or just add another
monitor. I did this for a customer, who rather likes the idea.
http://www.learnbydestroying.com/jeffl/crud/portrait-monitor.jpg
I could probably fit 4 such \"portrait mode\" monitors on my desk. Maybe
add another monitor over the bed, hanging from the ceiling.
I looked into using 24\" monitors in portait mode on either end of my
dual 30s. But, found that its too narrow (even if only psychologically)
and doesn\'t find use for anything beyond desktop widgets (clock,
network monitor, etc.). And, losing that much bench-top space means there
has to be a REAL benefit, for me (YMMV).

Incidentally, I\'m just about ready to build or possibly design my own
KVM (keyboard video monitor) switch. I have several and they all suck
in various ways.
Tell me about it! I finally settled on the internal \"source select\"
capabilities of the monitors (this is a blessing and a curse; annoying
if you want ALL of the monitors to switch to workstation #2 but a
blessing if you only want to move one or two of them over to a second
machine).

Of course, if you want to be able to split the monitors between machines,
you can\'t \"share\" the keyboard. This requires a fair bit of skill to
remember WHICH keyboard to type on when wanting to cause an action on a
particular monitor! :>

KVMs also only address part of the problem. You can find some that will
also handle audio (mic & out). But, will they let you share a digitizing
tablet, motion controller, scanner, etc.? What about different keyboard/mouse
protocols (e.g., I have Sun workstations alongside my PCs)
 
D

Don Y

Guest
On 11/24/2020 11:00 AM, Brent Locher wrote:

[attrs elided]

One might argue that this fundamental theory is what
makes an RF engineer. I do see your point in a sense. for instance ,it is
probably a bad idea to read about FORTH and Perl if you are just starting
out in computer science. But the RF stuff is still comprised of the same
basic set of fundamentals today as it is 30 years ago.
That really only makes sense if you are a theoretician. If you are
charged with actually BUILDING something -- reifying concept -- you
find that a \"dated\" education leaves you essentially ignorant.

We are kind of cursed in this field. We really cannot find a moment in time
and lock ourselves into that and stay good and relevant without having to
constantly updating our skills and abandoning the stuff we did and were
successful at to move on.
But, isn\'t that the whole appeal of engineering? That you KEEP learning
and don\'t \"settle\" for an (obsolescent) understanding/skillset?

I\'ve a colleague who made his first million before we were out of
college. But, he\'s not done anything other than rehash that same
\"win\", over and over again. Yeah, I\'m sure he\'s very \"comfortable\",
but he also feels sorely outdated when we gather to share RECENT
experiences.

[I find that engineers tend to lose their creativity/imagination as they
become wed to particular techologies/application domains. I wonder if
this is also the case with other sciences?]

As I approach retirement, I am more drawn to learning things that I did not
fully understand earlier in my career but the things that do not change.
Specifically I am trying to really understand E-M theory and Linear Algebra.
Oddly, engineers can accomplish an awful lot in a narrow field even if they
do not properly comprehend some of the underlying theory. Or , in my case,
It was more pressing to understand control loop theory before going back and
understanding E/M. Then it was important to grasp noise, then matching,
then measurement.....So you are constantly having to figure out lots of
aspects of your trade but can leave the even more foundational stuff
behind.
I\'m more interested in exploring different application domains -- how
technologies can be applied in ways that hadn\'t previously been possible
due to cost, available tools, etc. E.g., I\'m not digging into SDR
to get a feel for how much I could do with \"how little\".
 
P

Phil Hobbs

Guest
On 11/24/20 4:18 PM, Don Y wrote:
On 11/24/2020 11:00 AM, Brent Locher wrote:

[attrs elided]

One might argue that this fundamental theory is what
makes an RF engineer. I do see your point in a sense.  for instance
,it is
probably a bad idea to read about FORTH and Perl if you are just starting
out in computer science.  But the RF stuff is still comprised of the same
basic set of fundamentals today as it is 30 years ago.

That really only makes sense if you are a theoretician.  If you are
charged with actually BUILDING something -- reifying concept -- you
find that a \"dated\" education leaves you essentially ignorant.
As Kipling said, \"Not so, but far otherwise.\" It\'s the folks who were
trained on the fad of the month with no theoretical underpinnings who
get obsolete.

I get asked for advice by a fair number of students, and I always tell
them to concentrate on learning the stuff that\'s hard to pick up on your
own, and to pay really close attention to getting the fundamental
concepts down perfectly. Otherwise their education is built on sand.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal Consultant
ElectroOptical Innovations LLC / Hobbs ElectroOptics
Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics
Briarcliff Manor NY 10510

http://electrooptical.net
http://hobbs-eo.com
 
D

Don Y

Guest
On 11/24/2020 3:39 PM, Phil Hobbs wrote:
On 11/24/20 4:18 PM, Don Y wrote:
On 11/24/2020 11:00 AM, Brent Locher wrote:

[attrs elided]

One might argue that this fundamental theory is what
makes an RF engineer. I do see your point in a sense. for instance ,it is
probably a bad idea to read about FORTH and Perl if you are just starting
out in computer science. But the RF stuff is still comprised of the same
basic set of fundamentals today as it is 30 years ago.

That really only makes sense if you are a theoretician. If you are
charged with actually BUILDING something -- reifying concept -- you
find that a \"dated\" education leaves you essentially ignorant.

As Kipling said, \"Not so, but far otherwise.\" It\'s the folks who were trained
on the fad of the month with no theoretical underpinnings who get obsolete.
Those are the EASIEST to go obsolete -- but, not ALL headed for that fate.
The folks who respond to industries\' current need will likely find the
need has evaporated by the time they are \"expert\" in their field. So,
they\'re forever a grunt.

But, I know many engineers who have been sidelined because they\'ve stuck with
old skillsets and didn\'t adapt to what\'s new. Or, let their employers\'
timelines effectively box them into rehashing old designs while the
\"youngsters\" worked on the really interesting things!

[I recall a guy complaining when his analog controllers were replaced by
digital algorithms -- and enhanced in ways that he\'d NEVER be able to
mimic with discretes. Sure, he knew the control theory -- but, refused
to embrace newer implementations of same. Not having the heart to
fire/replace him, he found himself placed in a role as a glorified tech.
Another guy was given a very nice, LARGE, fully enclosed office -- and
essentially told to keep himself busy (but with no real responsibilities)]

I get asked for advice by a fair number of students, and I always tell them to
concentrate on learning the stuff that\'s hard to pick up on your own, and to
pay really close attention to getting the fundamental concepts down perfectly.
Otherwise their education is built on sand.
For me, school was heavy on theory. Many of the things I was taught
simply weren\'t practical, at the time (e.g., the notion of having a
\"personal VAX\"). Or, were not economically feasible. (sample
problems were almost deliberately nonsensical because they couldn\'t
be applied to real world applications)

The emphasis was always on \"how to learn\" and how to *apply* knowledge.

One of my earliest employers was very blunt about this: if I wanted
someone to go to work TODAY with today\'s tools/technologies, I\'d have
hired someone from Northeastern; I hired you cuz I want you to help
me solve TOMORROW\'s problems.

As far as advice to students, mine is considerably simpler (though
usually underestimated, at the time): find something that you really
ENJOY doing -- cuz you\'re going to be doing it (or something like it)
for a very long time! The folks that I know who truly enjoy their
livelihoods seem to be continually looking for new \"limits\" to explore.
And, having *fun* doing it (even as it gets increasingly hard to
push those limits when your experience deepens).
 
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