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The Best of Analog Dialogue

Preface and Introduction

This special issue of Analog Dialogue is offered as a bonus to our faithful readers and an encouragement to new readers. We have reprinted here a small but representative portion of the material that has appeared during the first 25 years of this publication's existence. Our motives are celebratory, historical, and practical.

We are of course celebrating twenty-five years of unbroken publication, which resulted in some sixty issues of Analog Dialogue. They have informed, enlightened, and occasionally educated more than a generation of engineers and scientists about products, practice, and ideas for high-performance signal processing by analog, digital, and mixed means.

The totality of the pages of Analog Dialogue is really a history of technology at Analog Devices; it documents our outstanding successes — and less-successful efforts, including those (both worthy and unworthy) that have subsequently fallen, more or less quietly, into oblivion. For the benefit of future generations, we felt that a smaller number of selected pages exemplifying our more-successful efforts would be more likely to be read in the context of existing reality. The articles chosen for this issue are principally those that scored among the highest (or describe products that scored the highest) in returns from a survey of our North American readers.

Aside from history and nostalgia, of what value is this publication? This major virtue: it contains a large collection of articles relating to practice — noise, settling time, bypassing, shielding, grounding, etc.; when originally published, they provided a real contribution that was hard to find in books, and even today they contain information both timeless and useful. There is a continuing demand for reprints of these articles, because they are often referred to in the pages of Analog Dialogue and elsewhere. Having them published together in one place makes this a useful reference volume, which will make unnecessary the search for elusive back numbers of Analog Dialogue, especially as they go out of print.

The articles published here fall into several categories: There are the aforementioned practice articles; in addition, there are articles on techniques, ideas, and applications. Finally, there are several articles that introduced landmark products. Since this is a retrospective publication, we have sought to present all articles essentially as they appeared at the time from the original artwork, if available, with the barest minimum of editing. However, we have sought to correct known mistakes.

In order to avoid difficulties with other forms of organization, the articles in this publication appear in chronological order, starting with volume 1, number 1. But in order for the book to be useful as a reference source, we have provided an extensive Index at the back; this will permit the reader to find material relating to a particular interest wherever it appears.