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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.

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Tempus Fugit
Kirt's Cogitations™ #208

RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my rantings on various subjects relevant (usually) to the overall RF Cafe theme. All may be accessed on these pages:

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Tempus Fugit

Tempus fugit (time is fleeing), so the saying goes. It seems to always go by too quickly or pass too slowly. We never seem to have enough of it while others seem to always have too much of it. We look back to a past time or look forward to a future time. We differentiate it into infinitesimally small pieces to look at atomic events and integrate it into eons to look at cosmic events. The youngest want to be older and the oldest want to be younger. Alas, time is no respecter of our desires.

Here we are again back in the same point in orbit as we were a year ago in our annual journey around the sun. Not that long ago on the scale of human existence, our ancestors believed that every 365 days or so that we ended up at the same point in space each year, but now we know that while the Earth revolves about the sun, our entire solar system revolves about the center of mass of the Milky Way galaxy, which revolves about the central mass of a local cluster or galaxies, which in turn rotates about the center of the universe, which is constantly expanding from a point of origin and toward a point of termination that nobody can explain. Academe's ultimately and equally qualified advocates of the Big Bang Theory, String Theory, the Perpetual Universe Theory, and Fill-in-the-Blank Theory cannot agree on when time began, precisely what it is now, or when it will end; however they can agree that time and space suddenly appeared from nowhere and randomly formed into you and me and everything around us. But I digress.

So, as 2005 draws to a close, the entire staff here at RF Cafe (that would be Melanie and Me) hopes you have had a successful year, and wish you a bountiful and rewarding 2006. Throughout 2005, we have strived daily to bring you the latest and relevant news in the industry, seek out and promote useful resources, tweak website formulae to to maximize efficiency, and provide filtered access to component vendors. Maybe as importantly, our unfettered control of RF Cafe's content has permitted the freedom to include maybe-as-important inclusion of humor, personal commentary, and recreational diversions from the rigors of engineering life. The corporate-run websites are to be beholden to big dollar legislators to allow such risky behavior. You and our other visitors must approve because our page hits have increased by an average of about 1,000 per day (from 8k to 9k) this year. The support and appreciation shown by website visitors and advertisers has been overwhelming, and we hope to make RF Cafe an even bigger success for everyone in the coming year. Thank you!

In keeping with the time-honored traditional of looking back over the past year to highlight some of the most newsworthy events, the following items stand out. Overall, it has been a pretty good year.

  • Truck loaded with Maxim ICs in Malaysia was hijacked, feeding a huge component "gray market"

  • Free wireless hotspots cropped up all over the world in coffee shops, fast food restaurants, libraries, mall kiosks, and downtown mom-and-pop stores (even in my house in Kernersville, NC)
  • Moore's Law turned 40 years old
  • The ESA launched its first Galileo constellation satellite that will rival GPS

  • Satellite Radio finally saw a mass market
  • SIA predicted a boom year for semiconductor market
  • SIA predictde a bust year for semiconductor market
  • RFID entering the retail market via a big push by Wal-Mart
  • 3G networks boosted with EDGE technology
  • Japan announced a space exploitation plan
  • Tracking of wireless users' movement via hotspots
  • Study found no link between cellphone usage and cancer
  • Study found link between cellphone link and cancer
  • Synthesizer innovator Robert A. Moog Died
  • Nanotechnology research made huge strides forward
  • Fuel cell technology (hydrogen and other) advanced significantly in power densities

  • RIM lost major patent suit, possibly crippling its amazing BlackBerry success
  • A man died after 50 straight hours of playing computer games
  • NASA intercepted a comet
  • Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) launched commercially in Texas
  • U.S. trade surplus with China skyrocketed (again)
  • A woman had a cellphone shoved down her throat
  • Jack Kilby, co-inventor of the IC, died at age 81
  • E.U. tried to wrest control of Internet from U.S.
  • Technology poured into China (Again)
  • Many dire reports on the state of U.S. education
  • 802.11n spec still not ratified
  • Decided to shut down Hubbell Space Telescope
  • Decided not to shut down Hubbell Space Telescope
  • New record for super computer speed announced in Japan, then U.S.
  • New FCC chairman seated
  • E.U. announced an $86B research initiative
  • RF Cafe appeared in WSJ's CareerJournal.com (by Sarah E. Needleman)
  • VoIP gained major ground on POTS
  • ZigBee-based utility meters entered the market
  • Elanix merged with Eagleware
  • Eagleware was bought by Agilent
  • More cellphone batteries exploded
  • 2009 cut-off date set for analog TV
  • E=mc2 turned 100 years old
  • I turned 47 years old
  • NASDAQ ended about where it started
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