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Old February 17th 18, 11:11 AM posted to
Indy Jess John
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Posts: 1,307
Default Global positioning

On 16/02/2018 19:20, Jeff Layman wrote:

I can understand a mechanical clock
turning its gear wheels around and measuring time that way, but what
about a digital clock. especially one connected via radio to an atomic
clock? Where do you start - vibrating Caesium atoms? Then radio theory,
then integrated circuits?

I had this conversation some years ago with the editor of an electronics
magazine. I complained that all the published circuits had little boxes
for ICs, and previously the magazine had published circuits using
discrete components like transistors and resistors etc, so that it was
possible to see exactly why the circuit worked as described.

He replied that the modern microprocessor had many thousand on-board
components and it was neither practical to find the space to print such
a circuit nor to expect the typical magazine reader to work out the
paths through it.

He missed the point that the vast majority of the circuits had simpler
chips like Op Amps and 555_Timers and the like, and a series of "How
things work" for the most popular chips would have given a useful
insight into the magic performed by these ICs. It would also have given
readers with a drawer full of discrete components the opportunity to
replicate the function of a chip without actually using the chip.

I eventually gave up buying the magazine. All the fun had gone out of it.