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Rarely Asked Questions – Issue 100, December 2013

RAQs: 100 Issues and Counting

far back machine 

Q: Your RAQ column has been around for a long time. When did it start? Where can I read more?

A: With this column, we celebrate the 100th issue of our Rarely Asked Questions series. Our first RAQ was published back on June 6, 2005, and was actually printed in EDN and Design News. This was a full two years before the release of the first iPhone, and the tech world continues to evolve. EDN is no longer in print, and it’s hard to think about life without a smart phone. Rather strange, isn’t it?

Strange and RAQs go hand in hand, however, from the title of our column to what RAQs are all about: Rarely Asked Questions—Strange but true stories from the call logs of Analog Devices. Not all RAQs actually come from our call logs; some come from email or web submissions, while we develop others (such as this one) to illustrate a specific point or concept.

The intent of RAQs is to simultaneously educate and entertain, taking some rather dry topics and breathing some color and life into them. RAQs are also backed up with links that allow readers to delve more deeply into the subject matter. In addition to questions and answers, you get links to supporting articles, application notes, design tools, and datasheets. And, most importantly, you get a link that allows you to ask your own questions.

Our RAQs span both the globe and the electronics spectrum. The topics range from specific technical inquiries to some rather whimsical questions. We’ve written about multipliers and modulators, op amps, ADCs and DACs, capacitive sensors, hysteresis, theory vs. practice, noise, design advice, sampling, febricity and capaciticectomy (two of my favorites), and dozens of other topics. We’ve also written about mermaids, time travel, WWII spies, vampires, crystal radio sets, active filters, and sharks; and occasionally give nods to literary greats such as Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. You might even find hidden (or not so hidden) initials of our colleagues in some of our illustrations. You can read every issue in our online RAQ library.

Three authors pen our RAQs. James Bryant was our first, and originally the only author. One of our most prolific FAEs, James is now retired, but is still quite active. James hails from the UK, and brings an element of classical British humor and sophistication to the column. Rob Reeder was replaced as an author by David Buchanan. Both Rob and David work in Greensboro, NC and have backgrounds in data converters. I come from the New England area and have an op amp applications background. We also have occasional guest authors. Together we cover most of the electronic landscape.

Two other behind the scenes folks help to make RAQs work. Our editor, Scott Wayne, make our columns coherent and easy to read (Thanks, Scott!), and our illustrator, Daniel Guidera, makes our columns fun to look at. He takes our rough ideas or sketches and turns them into works of art (Thanks, Daniel!). Most of all, we’d like to thank our loyal readers. We hope you enjoy reading these columns as much as we enjoy writing them. Submit a question, and who knows, you might just see it featured in the future. Here’s to the next 100 issues!

I invite you to comment on RAQs in the Analog Dialogue Community on EngineerZone.

Author
john_ardizzoni  John Ardizzoni [john.ardizzoni@analog.com], a former designer and applications engineer, is currently a product manager in the Linear Products Group. John joined Analog Devices in 2002, received his BSEE from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and has over 30 years’ experience in the electronics industry.

 Have a question involving a perplexing or unusual analog problem?

Submit your question to: http://www.analog.com/askjohn

 

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