Mel's Picks

1. If you want to brush up on your asset tracking know-how, check out RFID Journal's Getting Started section.

 Melanie Martella
Melanie Martella

Here you'll find RFID basics, such as what's involved, what standards exist, and why people would want to use RFID anyway. It's worth checking out, I think.


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2. I'll admit to a love-hate relationship with automated telephone systems, otherwise known as interactive voice response (IVR). On the one hand, I don't have to talk to someone (which is nice, because I don't particularly like talking on the phone). On the other hand, when I want to speak to a real live person it can be remarkably hard to skip the nested options to achieve this. Enter the IVR Cheat Sheet by Paul English. Here you will find an alphabetical listing of companies and governmental agencies accompanied by the phone number and the steps you need to take to reach an actual human.


3. While I typically highlight Web sites in this column, I'm always on the lookout for good e-newsletters, and by good I mean ones that aren't all products and marketing speak all the time. One newsletter I enjoy is put out once a month by Scott Orlosky from BEI Technologies, Industrial Encoder Div. He includes product updates, stories of problem solving, and throws in good links, among other things. It's an enjoyable read.


New to bookshelves

A Minimal-Mathematics Introduction to the Fundamentals of Random Vibration & Shock Testing Measurement, Analysis & Calibration

Author: Wayne Tustin
Publisher: Equipment Reliability


ISBN: 0-9741466-0-9
As the preface states, this book is intended to assist newcomers to the field of vibration and shock testing. It consists of 33 chapters including chapters on basic definitions of vibration and shock, resonance effects, torsional vibration, control of dynamic motion, displacement and velocity measurements, calibration, analysis of complex motion, shakers of various types, random vibration and its measurement and analysis, environmental stress screening, accelerated testing and screening, mechanical shock testing, and modal testing.

The text is filled with diagrams and photographs to illustrate the topics under discussion. You'll also find many real-world examples and suggestions. Even better, the CD included with the book contains all sorts of video clips and animations to help you understand the material.

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