If you're like most ordinary folks, you probably don't wake up each day thinking about the impact your profession has on society in general. But as one of the 145,000 design engineers and engineering managers receiving this magazine, you're a part of the most forward-thinking, forward-moving professional group on the planet.
Take a moment to reflect upon the importance of your work and that of your colleagues, both past and present, across the globe. Indeed, the work of electronics engineers has impacted every life in some measure. Today, it's virtually impossible to be out of the reach of electronics—truly a pervasive technology that touches every aspect of both our professional and our personal lives.
Thanks to your efforts and those of your predecessors, the world has witnessed:
- The debut in the 1950s of that revolutionary and now ubiquitous device called the transistor;
- During the 1960s, the advent of ICs, which began almost immediately to turn up everywhere, from the first handheld calculators and color TVs to telephone switching systems and unmanned space probes;
- A wealth of consumer products, like VCRs and microwave ovens, made possible by the microelectronics revolution of the 1970s;
- The phenomenal success of new applications in the 1980s that put technology to work in innovative ways for desktop PCs, laptop computers, and CD-ROMs;
- The rise of computer networks and the Internet in the 1990s, along with the introduction of affordable mass storage, and the emergence of microprocessors that could operate at speeds of hundreds of megahertz.
What other profession could claim half as many achievements, much less achievements of this caliber? Unquestionably, you should feel proud and honored to be a member of such an elite peer group that's highly respected and admired around the world.
Moreover, the pace of your innovation has been nothing short of amazing, with the electronics industry spawning spectacular miracles as if they were everyday ordinary events. For 50 years, Electronic Design has been documenting and detailing virtually every one of those everyday miracles, through our coverage of major developments, technology breakthroughs, and strategic product rollouts.
That's right, Electronic Design is turning 50. To commemorate this anniversary, we want to celebrate the industry that's made it all possible—all year long. Think of it as a year-long party in the pages of our magazine, with the partying beginning in this issue. We hope that you will enjoy our party as much as we will enjoy bringing it to you.
Most important of all, this year-long anniversary celebration gives us the opportunity to say "thanks" to the generations of design engineers who've come to rely on Electronic Design to provide the most current, accurate, and in-depth technical coverage of the key emerging technologies needed to design tomorrow's products today. It also is a year in which we have the rare opportunity to publicly commend the thousands of EOEM companies that, through their trust and confidence in our ability to deliver the right information to the right readers, have made the business of Electronic Design possible.
Fifty years is an incredible milestone, the kind you don't hear about much any more, especially in publishing. We're grateful to be able to serve this noble industry that has truly changed the world.
Thomas J. Morgan