Kirt's Cogitations™ #1
- 2000 was the first year that there were more cellular subscribers than landline subscribers in Japan.
- FR-4 is a Fire Retardant version of G10 fiberglass substrate laminate.
- When asked if he ever got any exercise, Thomas Edison replied, "I only use my body to carry my brain around."
- The DIN connector designation comes from Deutsche Industrie Normen. The
smallest anything can possibly be is the Planck length, or about 10-35 meters.
- $93,100 - that's the median base salary for EE's in the U.S. according to IEEE's new study. Total compensation median is $99,000.
- A blank 300-mm silicon wafer costs about $40,000 to manufacture.
- More than 100 million miles of optical fiber has been laid in the last two years, but today only 5% of it is "lit."
- The cell phone industry made about 400,000,000 phones last year - about 60,000,000 more than needed. How's that for excess inventory?
- Some SMT capacitor vendors are moving away from the use of palladium. The cost has tripled over the past two years - to about $1,000
per ounce. Gold sells for about $270 per ounce.
- The calibrated sweep time for a spectrum analyzer is proportional to the square of the RBW ratios, due to the settling time of the
- The recognized rule-of-thumb for test accuracy/uncertainty ratio (TA/UR) is 4:1 per Mil-Std 45662A, ANSI/NCSL-Z540; and 3:1 per ISO10012.
This relates the accuracy of successive instruments when one is used to calibrate the other.
- "Journal of the American Medical Association" (JAMA) targets guns as a top priority safety issue, when the medical profession has the
highest number of accidental deaths in the nation.
literally stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt. No
kidding! That's the name straight out of the lab book used by the chemist who developed WD-40 back in 1953.
- The "Dog
Days of Summer" are so named not due to the oppressive heat, rather, it describes the 20 days before and after the conjunction of
Sirius with the sun, around July 23rd.
- VersaModule Eurocard (VME) bus and its subset, the VME eXtensions forInstrumentation
- August 12, 2001, marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the IBM PC - it listed for a $3,005 base price. Windows™ first appeared
- The direct flight that American Airline operates between Austin, TX, and San Jose, CA, (four each weekday) is nicknamed the "Nerd Bird,"
because nearly everyone that flies on it works in high-tech.
- The Pony Express was only in service from April 1860 to November 1861. Mr. Morse's telegraph put it out of business (-2G superseded
- Aluminum used to manufacture airplane wings is capable of withstanding loads of more than 90,000 pounds per square inch. Aluminum can
be spun into a filament so fine that 1.5 pounds of it could encircle the world.
- The human race as we know it has existed for approximately 50,000 years. This makes it approximately 800 lifetimes old. Of these 800
lifetimes, about 650 were passed by cave dwellers. Nearly all the manufactured products, luxury items, and technological conveniences we
enjoy today were invented or perfected within only the past 5 to 7 lifetimes.
- Alexander Graham Bell thought that controllable, powered flight might be possible with a kite composed of thousands of tetrahedral
- As of August, 2001, the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative White (ASCI White) is the world's most powerful computer, containing
8,192 microprocessors, 160 TBytes of disk drive and using 1.3 MW of power. Built by IBM and located at the Lawrence Livermore National
Lab, it is being used to run 3-D nuclear weapon fusion simulations. For just 900 atoms, it will take 3-4 months. In 1994, the simulations
would have taken 60,000 years!
- The number of U.S. Internet users skyrocketed to an all-time high, rising 15 percent from 100.3 million surfers in October 2000 to
more than 115.2 million in October 2001, according to a report released by Nielsen/NetRatings. The Internet measurement service said people
accessing the Web from home contributed significantly to the increase, rising 14 percent from the previous year to more than 103.7 million
- Each month in the UK, approximately 15,000 mobile phones are stolen. The monthly average for London is 1,600. In London's Westminster
borough, about half of all street robberies concern theft of mobile phones.
- Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (SPICE) was developed in the early 1970's at the University of California at Berkeley.
SPICE software was originally written in FORTRAN. PSPICE, developed by MicroSim, was the first commercial PC-based SPICE program to gain
wide acceptance in both industry and academia.
- Code-named "MetaPad", IBM unveiled a micro PC that features 128 MB of DRAM, a 10 GB hard drive and a 800 MHz CPU. The module is 5"
long, 3" wide and about 3/4" thick. The module fits into a larger accessory piece that includes a small, flat screen on front and is about
6 " long, 4" wide and 1".
- The IEEE publishes nearly 30% of the world's literature in electrical, electronics and computer engineering and science.
- When a candle burns on the space shuttle, the heat radiates evenly in all directions, so the flame forms a small blue sphere around
the wick. The candle burns more slowly and coolly than it would on Earth, but it melts faster because an updraft isn't carrying away the
- In 1955, then Soviet Premier, Nikita Krushchev, ordered that April 22nd be designated a day to celebrate Communism. In 1970, it was
chosen to be designated Earth Day by Gaylord Nelson, one of the founders of the event. Those founders had 365 days from which to choose.
They chose Lenin's birthday.
- A company called Power Paper has developed a power source technology that, at just 0.5 mm thick, allows ultra-thin flexible batteries
to be embedded into labels, paper, fabric, and many other materials. Composed of zinc and magnesium oxide pastes, it can be screened on,
pasted or laminated, and is environmentally friendly.