December is naturally a time to reflect upon what has happened during the past year and to look forward to the New Year that awaits.
And for all of us, it’s also a good time to take stock of what we accomplished over the last 12 months, and to perhaps refresh our to-do list for the next. I always find it enjoyable to mark off the tasks that were accomplished because it practically guarantees some level of satisfaction. If you’re like everyone else, not all the projects got done, and some have become obsolete. While working on next year’s list, I usually drop the old list into an archive folder — it can be interesting to go back and read three or four years hence.
Of course, as you get older, the years seem to peel away faster and faster. I’m not sure why it feels that way, except that if you look at it like a math problem, it makes logical sense: When you’re 10 years old, one year comprises 10 percent of your entire life. By the time you’re 50, it’s only 2 percent.
DIGGING DEEP IN DECEMBER
Don’t let it be said that there are no schools teaching the broadcast engineering art. Jason Ornellas brings us an article about the University of Indianapolis’s WICR(FM), where students can learn about radio engineering hands-on. Jason is an alumus of the program and is currently the director of engineering for CBS Radio in Sacramento; WICR is clearly doing something right.
Dennis Sloatman introduces to the concept of the human-machine interface. He describes what an HMI is and how to use it, before getting back to the details of a PLC-based controller that we’ve been learning about in his series of articles.
The various DDoS attacks carried out on the public internet have faded from the news recently, but the reality is that one could be pointed right at your station right now. Chris Cottingham is back this month, sharing some simple steps you can take to mitigate the threat.
This month’s Trends in Technology column gives tips for maximizing your productivity during the winter and beyond. While you may not get a lot of project work done during this time of the year, it is a good time for housekeeping around your office and shop. This month’s Tech Tips follows a similar theme — how to plan ahead to make your job a little easier. What spares devices and types of gear should you have on-hand? None are complex or expensive, but any of them could save you time and even money later.
What are the potential differences for the FCC under the incoming Donald Trump administration? Lee Petro speculates about potential policies and priorities.
Contributor Chris Wygal spent some time getting to know the Marantz 561 hand-help solid state recorder, and tells you all about it. Smaller is no longer considered better — the 561 is a good example of the reversal of that trend.
As you would expect, the Wandering Engineer, with the revered final page, is back — this time to address the topic of weaponized internet. “Radio has taken a back seat to social media — which has been weaponized in a way that radio never was,” according to this month’s Sign Off. Is the fake news phenomenon simply an unintended consequence, or something far more sinister? You’ll need to decide that for yourself, of course.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year!
Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD DRB | Technical Editor