Making Time And Shifting Priorities

April 15, 2005
After 24 years, I realize that I cant stop the clock. But I can try to slow it down.

Time is the enemy of us all. For those who live in joy, time is too short. But for those in pain, the time cannot be short enough. For engineers working in a world of modern demands, most days are spent trying to cut time to market or to complete a design, or to find time for another design iteration or additional set of measurements. As difficult as it may seem, it is sometimes necessary to stop time, or at least pause long enough to evaluate priorities.

As the writer of this column for the past 15 years, and a part of this magazine for almost 24 years, I have seen many of our struggles against the clock. Some of these have been amazing efforts to complete a test instrument, integrated circuit (IC), or software package in time for an introduction at a key trade show, or for a magazine article or cover. But such efforts can take a toll. It is no wonder that the electronics field is rich in stories of startups and entrepreneurial efforts to escape the rigid design/production cycles of previous companies (only to face them again when the startup company reaches a certain size).

Engineers often make changes in their lives in an effort to stop the clock. A switch in companies can bring a change in schedules and, if nothing else, temporary escape from the nerve-wracking schedules of the previous position. Being involved with a magazine brings its own set of deadlines. Magazine people learn to live in the future, since work today is always on an issue date two or three months from now.

After 24 years, I realize that I can't stop the clock. But I can try to slow it down. For that reason, I am relinquishing my twin roles of Publisher and Editor, and assuming the loftier-sounding title of Technical Director. The shift will allow me to focus on the editorial quality of Microwaves & RF and its satellite properties, in the process freeing time for side projects and to battle the Lyme disease that has plagued me for almost 10 years. I am fortunate to have a talented young editor, Nancy Friedrich, on board as Technical Editor. Nancy, who comes by way of Wireless Systems Design, will move to the position of Editor, to help manage the magazine on a day-to-day basis.

What does this mean to you, the reader? Absolutely nothing. You will still see me in this column, albeit with a different title. And microwave engineers will still see me at trade shows, and on their production lines, and in their cafeterias (if the food is good). Readers can still count on me to deliver what I feel is the best-written, most-informative magazine on the market, and advertisers can still count on reaching the best audience of any microwave magazine.

I simply won't be selling advertising anymore. I'll be focusing on technology, and on providing quality design information each month. And by shifting titles and priorities, maybe buying a little time.

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