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What's All This Floobydust Stuff, Anyhow? (Part 10)

July 9, 2001
People have asked me about some good new books, such as those that I mentioned and recommended at the recent Linear Seminars. So here is a list.

This article is part of Bob Pease's Floobydust series found in the Electronic History section of our Series Library.

People have asked me about some good new books, such as those that I mentioned and recommended at the recent Linear Seminars. So here is a list. Most of these books are available at But even if you decide not to buy a book there, you might want to visit the site and read what other people say about the book...but I like to buy my books from

National Semiconductor 1980 Audio-Radio Handbook, reprinted in April 2001, ISBN 1-882589-35-4. This $19 book is not published or sold by NSC, but rather by Old Colony Sound Labs, 305 Union St., P.O. Box 876, Peterborough, NH 03458-0876. You can also order it from, or by phone at (888) 924-9465. Many people are nostalgic about this classic book, and now you can get a clean new copy. Note: this is the book that first brought you "Floobydust" (= "Miscellaneous").

Hot Air Rises and Heat Sinks: Everything You Know About Cooling Electronics is Wrong, by Tony Kordyban, ISBN 0791800741. It costs about $40. This little book cleverly debunks many old myths concerning thermal management for circuit boards and rack-mounted equipment. If you like my writing, you'll enjoy his because he's a great storyteller.

This book literally won't be much use for an engineer designing an IC. But it will be of great use to the IC applications engineers who have to help customers get the ICs built up on boards, and get the heat out. I recommend this book to anyone who builds circuits on pc boards, even if they only get a little warm. This book is especially good for educating young engineers who haven't learned this thermal stuff in school. Kordyban uses computers—yet doesn't just trust them. He checks the computer results with sanity checks, calibration tests, and sample problems. This is an excellent piece of technical writing and fun to read. Good man!

Building Electro-Optical Systems: Making it All Work, by Philip Hobbs, ISBN 0471246816, priced at approximately $125. Several people recommended this great new book to me after reading my column on "Transimpedance Stuff." I went to ask my librarian to buy it, but she had it already.

I like this guy's attitude. He points out how most scholars propose an experiment and mention their experimental apparatus. Then they write a whole technical paper about the data, the analysis, and the conclusions, but never write about the troubles they had getting the apparatus to work right, or the changes they had to make to get valid data. Mr. Hobbs talks about exactly that. Good man. As with some other books that aren't cheap, if you work in this field, you ought to buy this book. If you don't work in this field, then you should still read it. So ask your librarian to buy it. You should be on good terms with your librarian, as you want to have pull on new book purchases. Also, check out good reviews at

High-Speed Digital Design—A Handbook of Black Magic, by Howard Johnson, 1993, ISBN 013395724. About $85, it's a classic for anybody who has to learn modern digital design and layout. See good reviews at

Analog Circuit Design, by Dennis Feucht. I recommended this book on paper, a few years ago, but it ran out of print. Now on CD, it's updated and expanded slightly. It runs for around $64. Inquire at [email protected], or visit

Passive Components, by Ian Sinclair, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001. I recommended this $38 book too a few years ago, but it went out of print. Now it's back in an updated version, ISBN 075064933X.

Noise Reduction Techniques in Electronic Systems—Second Edition, by Henry Ott, ISBN 0471850683, running approximately $95. This is a good general book on how to avoid noise problems.

Some people have asked about the German, Dutch, and French translations of my Troubleshooting book. These are, respectively:

Troubleshooting in Analogschaltungen, Ursache-Wirkung-Felhlerbeseitigung, ISBN 3-89576-059-5,

Voorkomen is beter...Over foutzoeken in analoge schakelingen, ISBN 90-5381-088-9;

Un coup ça marche, un coup ça marche pas Heur(t)s et malheurs des circuits analogiques, ISBN 2-8661-090-3,

The Russian translation of this book is presently at the printers. More info will come shortly. Watch this space.

The original Troubleshooting Analog Circuits, Butterworth-Heinemann-Newnes (1991), now in its twelfth or thirteenth printing, ISBN 0-7506-9499-8. Send a check for $36.95 to Robert A. Pease, 682 Miramar Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112-1232

How To Drive Into ACCIDENTS—and How NOT To, Pease Publishing, 1998 (now available on Amazon). Send a $21.95 check to Robert A. Pease (address as above). For further info see (Both of Pease's books have a discount price of $54.)

Read What's All This Floobydust Stuff, Anyhow? (Part 11)

All for now. / Comments invited!
RAP / Robert A. Pease / Engineer
[email protected]—or:

Mail Stop D2597A
National Semiconductor
P.O. Box 58090
Santa Clara, CA 95052-8090

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