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Tech Smorgasbord Archives - 1

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

 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37

Cingular Wireless and Virgin Mobile offer a "rescue call" service: Escape-A-Date. It sounds like an old SNL routine, but according to Cingular:

"This new service allows you to schedule a 'rescue' phone call at a pre-set time. That way, you'll be called at the time you specify. The service tells you exactly what to say to set the tone for a speedy escape. There are eight randomly generated humorous scripts.

With 'Escape-A-Date,' you'll never be at a loss if you need a timely rescue."


IC Manufacturer Top

Sales Per Employee

EE Times Research 2005

 TSMC $411,249
 Qualcomm $403,125
 UMC $371,428
 Hynix Semi $357,538
 Renesas Tech $346,154
 Intel $339,560
 Matsushita $321,111
 AMD $314,647
 Texas Instruments $305,710
 NEC $269,542


Where U.S. Students Who

Study Abroad Go (%)

W-S Journal Research 2005

  1993-94 2003-04
Africa 1.9 3.0
Asia 6.5 6.9
Europe 67.4 60.9
Latin Amer. 13.4 15.2
Middle East 2.8 6.9
Oceania 3.4 7.4
Other 4.5 6.1


Religion Profile of U.S. EEs

EETimes Research 2005

Christian/Protestant 52%
Catholic 26%
Jewish 3%
Buddhism 3%
Orthodox Christian 1%
Muslim 1%
Hinduism <1%
Interdenominational <1%
None 14%


Composite Cross-Section

of Average U.S. Engineer

Electronic Design Research

46 Years Old
College Graduate
Works 53 Hours Per Week
10 Years with Current Company
21 Years Engineering Experience
Earns $93,055 Total



Cost of Increasingly Heavier

Americans Flying on Airlines

Popular Science Research

Adult male weight increase from


8.5 lb
Weight FAA assumed for average male from


170 lb
Gallons of fuel consumed by domestic air travel in 2000 14.8B gal
Additional fuel need to carry heavier males 350M gal
Additional CO2 generated from additional fuel 3.8M lbs
Cost of additional fuel in 2000 $275M


High-Tech Jobs in the U.S.

3.4% in Last 18 Months

EE Times Research

# of Tech Jobs (x106)
  2001 2004 2005


1.870 1.334 1.356


1.850 1.442 1.432


1.630 1.358 1.434
Engineering &

Tech Services

1.460 1.398 1.499


Here is Why There is no Urgency

to Control the Cost of Oil

10 Wealthiest U.S. Senators ($M)
John Kerry, D-MA 1,000
Sen. Jon Corzine, D-NJ  300
Herb Kohl, D-WI 270
Jay Rockefeller, D-WV 200
Lincoln Chafee, R-RI 51.6
Dianne Feinstein, D-CA 31.9
Bill Frist, R-TN 15.1
Hillary Clinton, D-NY 12.8
John McCain, R-AZ 11.4
Elizabeth Dole, R-NC 10.4
President George Bush 13.5
V.P. Richard Cheney 67.6


Software Piracy Rates

2004 EDN Research

Vietnam 92%
Ukraine 91%
China 90%
Zimbabwe 90%
Indonesia 87%
Russia 87%
: :
Japan 28%
Denmark 27%
United Kingdom 27%
Sweden 26%
New Zealand 23%
United States 21%


EE Times' 2005

Base Salary Survey Results

$ % $ %
<35k 1 70k-80k- 11
35k-40k- 1 80k-90k- 12
40k-45k- 1 90k-100k- 14
45k-50k- 1 100k-120k- 24
50k-55k- 2 120k-140k- 13
55k-60k- 3 140k-160k 5
60k-65k- 4 >160k 4
65k-70k- 4  Mean=$99k
Moon.Google.com - be sure to zoom all the way in for the incredible level of detail on the Moon's surface!Moon.Google.Com

Zoom all the way in for maximum detail!

The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, one of 23 separate telescopes sitting 6,875 above sea level feet atop Arizona's Kitt Peak, is lined with 4.7 miles of water-cooling pipes to keep the optics from vaporizing due to the focused light from the sun.


Mystery Connector

If you can identify this connector, please click here to send me an e-mail. Hover your mouse over the image for a description and click on it for a larger view.

Click for larger image. The connector I am interested in is the half on the left. It is a high frequency push-on type. The end is split, and the tapered sleeve slides on the barrel. The right half is an SMA to help in determing the size.

It appears that the original vendor was Micro-Mode, who made the connectors as a special order item for a test cable vendor. Thanks for your participation!

Guesses So Far:

Although not intended to be for fun, you folks have sent in humorous suggestions along with the serious. Some are listed below - thank you.

* SMA to 1.85mm push fit adaptor. Not sure I'd

   want a push fit connection at 65 GHz - A.I.

* TNC to SMA reverse polarity - Tom C.

* Part of Janet Jackson's wardrobe - Don H.

* Pneumatic to JIC - Eduardo R.

* F-15 high pressure valve for pilot relief

   mechanism Sandra W.

* SMP-SMA type- Steve D.

* N type to zero-force SMA - Gergory D.

* A fluid adapter - Ivo V.

* SMP - Per A.

* OSP/BMA - Nick P.

* Pneumatic to TNC pressure xducer - John S.

* Automobile PCV valve - Tom M.

* SMA -to- RF connector  - Justin R.

Printed RFID Antenna Units

EE Times Research 2005


















The earth's magnetic field slightly alters the trajectory of the electron beam in a CRT. The field is strongest at the poles, weakest at the equator, and varies in the direction of polarity everywhere. A CRT adjusted to display properly in Oregon will not look the same in Peru or Italy.


% of U.S. EE Degrees Awarded to Foreign Students

2003 Electronic Design Research

Bachelor's Degree
90% U.S. Citizens
10% Foreign Citizens
Master's Degree
46% U.S. Citizens
54% Foreign Citizens
PhD Degree
35% U.S. Citizens
65% Foreign Citizens


Top 10 Issues that

Keep Engineers up at Night

2005 Electronic Design Research

10 Component availability
9 Staffing reductions
8 Financial health of company
7 Price/performance
6 Outsourcing
5 Health of economy
4 Job security
3 Product reliability
2 Keeping current with new technologies
1 Looming project deadlines


Job Hunting Stats - Mid 2005

Electronic Design Research

Actively seeking new position 11%
Not actively seeking, but would follow up if opportunity arose 32%
Not actively seeking, but would follow up only if personally approached 31%
No plans to change jobs for any reason 26%


2004 Patent Applications

Electronic Business Research

United States 35%
All Others 21%
Japan 17%
Germany 12%
France 4%
U.K 4%
Netherlands 4%
Republic of Korea 4%


2005 Electrical Engineer's Salary

Electronic Design Research

Base Salary $85,014
Bonuses $3,320
Stock / Stock Options $2,236
Other Resources $2,485


Predicted Household Broadband Penetration by End of 2005

M&RF Research - Europe

Netherlands 56%
Switzerland 51%
Denmark 49%
Norway 48%
Sweden 44%
Belgium 43%
Finland 40%
France 39%
United Kingdom 36%
Spain 35%
Austria 33%
Portugal 30%
Italy 29%
Germany 24%


Engineers' Vacation Time in 2004

EETimes Research

United States



4 weeks or more 39% 20%
3 weeks 40% 33%
2 weeks 18% 28%
1 week 1% 14%
0 weeks 2% 5%
Europe Earned Taken
4 weeks or more 94% 79%
3 weeks 3% 16%
2 weeks 2% 2%
1 week 1% 1%
0 weeks 2% 1%


Gas Prices US$/US Gal as of March 2005

Top 5

Netherlands $6.48
Norway $6.27
Italy $5.96
Denmark $5.93
Belgium $5.91

Bottom 5

Saudi Arabia $0.91
Kuwait $0.78
Egypt $0.65
Nigeria $0.38
Venezuela $0.12

Entire List


Digging a hole to China is evidently an American kids' thing. From most of the U.S., a hole through the center of the earth leads to the Indian Ocean. An unscientific study by Scientific American magazine shows kids from most other countries never think about what's directly below then. British adults definitely were thinking about it, though, when they named the Antipodes Islands, near  New Zealand, because that point is directly across from Greenwich, England. (antipode = a direct or diametrical opposite). What did middle school boys say they would see if they looked straight down through the earth? "Up girls' skirts."

The curvature employed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel of the 986-foot high Eiffel Tower has long intrigued engineers. On a mission to derive an equation for the profile, Patrick Weidman of the University of Colorado discovered an equation in one of Eiffel's notebooks that is an exponential of the natural logarithm - one found frequently in nature. Eiffel figured out that the shape would experience zero wind load on the diagonal elements. Doing so permitted the "lightweight" iron structure to be built with relatively little metal. Its longevity is testimony to its superior design.

Say you are being held captive in a room that is secured by a cipher lock that requires the successful calculation the Xth root of some number Y (X is not an integer). A timer limits your opportunity. A wrong answer gets you a torture session where you are forced to listen to loud Christina Aguilera music. Fortunately, you are an engineer and as such always carry a table of logarithms in your pocket. Your captors, being political science majors, must carry calculators, and think your log table is a track betting sheet, so you can keep it. Could you escape? Click here to find out how.

A young woman, living alone in New York City, was continually having her apartment broken into. Each time there was a break-in she would add one more door lock, but to no avail. At seven locks, she got the bright idea of only locking some of the locks and leaving the others unlocked. It worked! No more break-ins: The burglar would unlock the locked locks, but would lock the unlocked locks.
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