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Subject: Re: Anyone else collect old engineering books?
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4920.2300
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 07:43:21 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 02:43:21 EST
Organization: Cox Communications
"Phil Hobbs" wrote in message
> Roy McCammon wrote:
> > > Do any other engineers here collect old electrical engineering books?
> > Only if still relevant an well written.
> > My take on things is that there was a generation of lucid
> > writers that published in the 50's and that some time in
> > the 60's that was replaced with a mathematically terse
> > style that left one with an unsettled feeling.
> I think the main value of some old books (and even some new ones) is
> that they were written by the guys who invented the idea. I treasure
> Hendrik Bode's *Network Analysis and Feedback Amplifier Design* (Van
> Nostrand, New York, 1945) because he had such a lucid grasp of network
> theory that he could explain everything in terms that made great sense.
> I also have Terman's *Radio Engineering* and *Radio Engineer's
> Handbook*, and Harold Black's *Modulation Theory*. There are a bunch of
> Bureau of Standards Circulars (especially C74) that contain
> carefully-derived empirical formulas for things like the inductance of
> multilayer coils. I'm also a big fan of Lord Rayleigh's optics papers.
Too bad Harold Black never wrote a book about negative feedback...
> There'a a progressive dumbing-down of scientific and engineering
> books--older concepts are less and less well grasped, and therefore less
> and less clearly explained, as time goes on. Old books help a lot.
I'm not sure I'd agree that modern texts are dumbed down as much as that the
emphasis has changed. My modern communications text has a great deal of
information about advanced modulation techniques, but my texts from the
1950s have much more complete coverage of amplitude, phase, and frequency
modulation, while being strangely lacking in their discussion of 256 QAM
-- Mike --
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