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    • "K&R C was terrible and quite unlike what we call C today. It was frankly dangerous as a programming tool." Not so! It just requires programmers who know what they are doing and treat powerful tools with respect.

    • Another source of loss - not mentioned above - is that lots of home and office devices plugged into wall outlets are intrinsically powered by DC, not AC. Flat screen televisions, printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines, flat panel displays, clocks, and, increasingly, power tools. And this list is by no means exhaustive. Just about any device where the AC goes to a switching power supply is in fact powered by DC. There is a de facto industrial 'standard' for 24 V dc power; if we take 15 A as an arbitrary maximum desirable current then we can supply about 350 W from a 24 V dc supply. Heavier cables would be required than for 120 Vac though since a 1 V drop is 4% rather than less than 1%.

    • This document obviously represents very many hours work. It's a great shame that just a few more hours were not spent proof reading it for basic grammar and spelling errors. The standard of language usage is dropping, and we need to make a conscious effort to raise it up. Clarity and lack of ambiguity do matter.

    • As a long time user of the (original) iPad, the most frustrating thing for me is the number of times the screen changes completely because I accidentally brushed against some touch area. Or my cat did. Many times it's not that easy to get back to where you were - where you wanted to be. I would like to see every Touch interface designer provide an 'Undo Last Touch' feature, preferably a few levels deep. And as a Smart phone user (Samsung Galaxy) I would point out that the on-screen keyboard 'keys' are much smaller than recommended at the beginning of your article. This is not a good thing, however as I find those keys too small to use except under ideal conditions (sitting still at a desk - as opposed to in a moving vehicle [I'm NOT driving...]). Nice article - thanks!

    • The above comments are very true, but I'd like to specifically address your question on advanced degrees. A problem I see when interviewing candidates with recently acquired bachelors degrees is that, by and large, they know nothing useful about the job they are applying for. Arguably this stems from the fact that 'everyone' now goes on from high school to get a bachelors degree, but not everyone is suited for EE work. The result is that to select from a number of such candidates an additional criterion is needed. In this respect it's useful to look for a post graduate degree. The down side is that a really good bachelors level candidate would get missed, but the reality is you can't interview everyone. In older engineers this is not an issue, because (I assert) in those days bachelors degrees were less common. When I graduated (about 40 years ago) I believe only 2.5% of the population completed a bachelors degree, and a truly minuscule portion went beyond that.