SC letter this month

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Interesting Mailbag letter from an Ian Farquar in the latest Feb SC
mag, talking about the "simple, pedestrian and straightforward"
projects being published these days, compared with the innovative
projects of the early EA (e.g. EDUC-8 and MiniScamp). I'm surprised SC
published it, as it does pull a few punches.

He's got some good points when you compare todays component
availability with that of yesteryear, and some of the leading edge
projects being published in the other mags. Admittedly the other mags
like Circuit Cellar have most of the projects submitted by readers,
often as part of very competitive design contests, thus it's easy for
them to draw in very high tech and innovative projects. Perhaps SC
could try a similar scheme?

I'll certainly agree with the valve amp and vintage radio stuff. I
know there is a huge vintage radio following, but I've always believed
that the column does not belong in a magazine called Silicon Chip.


Dave :)

Re: SC letter this month

"David L. Jones"  wrote

Interesting Mailbag letter from an Ian Farquar in the latest Feb SC

 I'm surprised SC
published it, as it does pull a few punches.

***Pulling your punches means that you do not attempt to hurt your
opponent,you have got the meaning totally wrong!!
What you should have written is," It does NOT pull any punches"!

Brian g

Re: SC letter this month

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Glad we got that sorted out then :-)
Cheers .......... Rheilly P
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Re: SC letter this month

Wasn't it EA that wanted project submissions that cost no more
than $100 or so?. Here it is:

"How much is 'too expensive', and how complex is 'too complex'?
Well, the price of the parts for a project is generally a good
guide. Currently the most popular projects are those where the
parts cost less than $100-150." quoted from EA's guide:
writers.doc dated 18/4/97

  There seems to be a perception that people only want
simple project taking no more than an hour to build and that the
big projects aren't supported by kit suppliers as they don't
sell many.

Re: SC letter this month

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Yes, very true.
I can remember when EA would furiously avoid publishing almost any
project which used a programmable device.
The kit suppliers will generally not touch a kit that costs too much
or includes any exotic devices or construction techniques, but that
has at least changed with regards to micros and the odd surface mount
project. Indeed, if a project is not available as a kit it is almost
certainly doomed to "failure", or may not even make publication.
But that doesn't stop say Circuit Cellar from publishing leading edge
designs, and almost none of their projects are available as kits, the
magazine is purely for "technical interest" for most readers. But a
magazine like circuit cellar is aimed at the professional engineering
market, and so has the support of all the big chip makers and
advertisers. SC is aimed squarely at the dwindling hobby electronics
and vintage radio markets, and so has the ads and article content to
Should SC stay in that market, or should they branch out I wonder?

Dave :)

Re: SC letter this month says...
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Certainly many years ago I sent a letter bemoaning the usage of security
devices in a series of trivial projects.
From memory, the projects were frivilous voltage monitors that logged to
a PC, yet the author had decided he was going to make a killing by
writing some software linked to said serial numbers of security device.
The projects were virtually what you would find from an app note.

Another point I raised is todays youth never get to build such exciting
projects as the ETI 660, Dream, and various other micro designs as I
did. Shit I learnt a lot about computing systems playing with them and
building add on cards.

I made mention then that he should rename the magazine "Thermonic
Valve" as the usage of the word Silicon Chip truly misrepresented the
average monthly content presented.

Perhaps there's an opening, bring out a magazine called "Thermonic
Valve" and load it up with Circuit Cellar style designs :D

Never got an acknowledment from Leo "Homer" Simpson about the letter and
he lost a customer straight up for that attitude alone for several


Re: SC letter this month

Hi Dave,

Well, I spent quite a while writing a reply, and a damn good one at
that I think.
Unfortunately something happened in between the 'submit' and 'appear'
phases, so it was lost in the ether (net).

I have to agree somewhat with Lord Farquar's comments, although I
think that many  things in SC, although not relevant, still are

I'll leave it at that, not wanting to write stuff I've already written
(and lost)...

Cheers, Phil.

Re: SC letter this month

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Don't you hate that!
I now make a habit of doing a CTRL-C on every web based form I fill in
just before I hit Send, just in case the ether swallows it.
Has now saved my sanity on quite a few occasions.

Dave :)

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