EASY TO USE CAD TOOLS
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Mixed Mode SPICE Circuit Simulation
• Berkeley SPICE3F5 simulator with custom extensions for true
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Proteus VSM - Co-simulation & debugging for popular Micro-Controllers
• Supports PIC16 & PIC12, AVR, 8051, HC11 and ARM micro-controllers.
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MicroChip PIC 18
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Basic Stamp BS1 and BS2
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PROTEUS handles everything very well.” Electronic & Wireless World CAD Review Roundup
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www.labcenter-electronics. com Tel: 905•898•0665 email@example.com
Circle #50 on the Reader Service Card.
What could hasten the speed of the CD’s demise are
its successor formats — DVD-A and SACD (short for Super
Audio Compact Disc). It appears that Dhir could have
done a more thorough job of explaining how the growth of
these formats has been retarded by interference by the
RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), which
fears consumers copying their discs. (Which is why these
CD replacement formats need their own proprietary
receivers with individual digital inputs for each of the six
audio channels, rather than the single Toslink or coax
input that the original video DVDs and audio CDs use.
Also, this is why the RIAA has made the Dolby Digital
receiver you bought five years ago obsolete.)
In Chapter 7 of The Digital Consumer Technology
Handbook, Dhir has a through explanation of the benefits
of DVD and how the format was created. Then he
mentions Divx — the Circuit City-backed early attempt at
creating a rental DVD format that was loathed by the early
adopters who first put DVD on the map. Dhir writes that
the format “played a useful role,” but fails to note the backlash it caused and the confusion it created by introducing
a Beta/VHS format war so early in the DVD’s lifespan.
Later in the DVD chapter, he writes, “The number of
[DVD] titles will be limited in the early years.” Early years?
The format is seven years old! Limited? According to the
official DVD Faqs (available online at www.thedigital
bits.com/officialfaq.html among other locations), by
the end of 2002, there were about 23,000 DVD titles available in the US — and that number has only grown since.
That doesn’t sound too limited to me.
A Few Missing Technologies
Aficionados are bound to see one or two technologies
they would have liked to have seen mentioned. While PCs
and spin-off technologies are well represented, I personally would have liked to have seen some information on
weblogs. Their inherent ease of use and flexibility are
causing them exponential growth in popularity, since they
allow for instant self-publishing on any topic imaginable.
Seemingly a Must-Have
All of this may sound like nitpicking and, in a way, it is;
as I said, Dhir has written a terrific book that seems to be
a must-have title for anyone with an interest in consumer
electronics, where most of us have expertise in one area,
but have blind spots when it comes to knowledge of other
technological niches. Hopefully, The Digital Consumer
Technology Handbook will inform its readers — and allow
them to make informed decisions when it comes to
spending their hard-earned money on electronics. It reads
like it could have used another round of editing before it
was released, though. A book like this will need fairly
frequent revisions if its sales are successful, so let’s hope
things get tightened up the next time around. NV