Electronic Design
The Numbers Show What Grabbed Your Attention In 2011

The Numbers Show What Grabbed Your Attention In 2011

Welcome to our annual Best Electronic Design issue, where our staff chooses the best OEM products, technologies, and standards of the past year in a variety of categories. Last year in this column, I wrote about what fascinated our readers in 2010 based on our most popular articles. This year, I’ll do the same with a slight twist and only consider articles that were written this year. This is not a wholly scientific list, as it is based on the traffic numbers we gather on electronicdesign.com.

•“Engineering Salary Survey 2011: Faces Of The Engineering Lifecycle” by Jay McSherry: We changed up our salary survey this year to include information about the “faces of the engineering lifecycle,” including undergrads, graduate students, and retirees, for additional oomph in an already popular annual article. Who doesn’t love reading about what other engineers are making and the profession from the eyes of the incoming and outgoing classes? Of course, our promotional efforts surrounding this article didn’t hurt either.

•“Top 50 Employers In Electronic Design” by Lou Sosa: Promotional efforts also helped this article, but when the unemployment rate of the U.S. is hovering at 9%, who can resist reading about the top employers? I’m guessing a good percentage of our readers found it to be a valuable resource.

•“Bob Pease Remembered For Pease Porridge And A Whole Lot More” by Joe Desposito: I wrote this blog around midnight on the Sunday after Bob’s tragic accident. I knew that once the word got around, readers would be looking for every piece of information they could find about the accident. What more can I say? Bob was a beloved columnist in this magazine, throughout the analog community, and around the world. We miss him greatly.

•“Bob’s Mailbox: Audio Power Amps, DAC Stuff, Spice Suggestions, And Lunar Engineering” by Bob Pease: This column appeared on our Web site in February and was typical of Bob’s Mailboxes. Readers wrote to Bob about a variety of topics and he answered in his inimitable style, providing much insight along the way.

•“Bob’s Mailbox: Readers Respond To Unintended Acceleration” by Bob Pease: How ironic was it that Bob perished in a car accident? Not only had he authored a book called How To Drive Into Accidents—And How Not To, he also had engaged readers on the topic of unintended acceleration back in 2010. Letters about his column were still coming in this year so we published this Mailbox. Bob’s point, of course, was to think about unintended acceleration beforehand and figure out what you should do, so that if it ever happened to you, you would be able to survive.

•“Top Five Reasons Not To Buy An Apple iPad2” by Lou Frenzel: Some readers didn’t see the humor of this tongue-in-cheek blog and chastised Lou for writing it. When speaking to Lou about it later, we concluded that readers come to electronicdesign.com to get a technical take on electronics topics, whether circuit design or popular consumer products.

•“Hot Components Everywhere—Which Ones Did You Choose?” by Mat Dirjish: Our annual Top 101 Components list continues to be a popular feature among our readers. Mat selects 101 components out of the hundreds he covers during the year, and readers vote on them to provide the actual rankings. Unlike 2010 when the list was topped by a pair of power components from the same company, the top two this year were an LED module from Cree and a digital humidity sensor from Sensirion.

•“Tubes Are Still Better Than Transistors For Audio Amplifiers” by Lou Frenzel: Blogs were big for our audience in 2011. This particular blog got a truckload of comments and even spawned a followup article by Contributing Technical Expert Paul Schimel (see “House Of Fire: Firebottles And Groove Tubes Versus Devices That Find Their Origins In Sand, Part 1” at electronicdesign.com).

•“Bad Transistor Causes Billion Dollar Mistake” by Bill Wong: Most of us worry about making a truly bad mistake on our job. But this one really caught everyone’s attention, and it probably made us feel a little bit better about some of the mistakes we have made. Bill reported on this faux pas and also reported a week later that the “Bad Transistor May Not Cost A Billion Dollars,” also available at electronicdesign.com. That article did not make it into our top 10.

•“What’s Better For Timing Chores: A 555 Or A Microcontroller?” by Bill Wong: The venerable 555 timer IC always finds an audience when an editor writes about it. An article by Lou Frenzel (see “And You Thought The 555 Timer Was Dead?” at electronicdesign.com) prompted Bill to write this piece, where he examines how timing solutions have changed over the years.

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