Mel's Picks February 2008

Flowmeter Tutorial 1. Flowmeter Tutorial
The Engineering Toolbox maintains an assortment of technical information to help engineers do their jobs, whether it's finding mathematical formulas, brushing up on various technologies, or refreshing your memory on piping sizes. One of those resources is an introduction to the various types of flowmeters. If you need to brush up on your flowmeter knowledge, this is a great place to start. Be sure to check out the rest of the tutorials and resources!

Science Podcast 2. Science Podcast
Did you know that Nature has a weekly science podcast? It's free, it's excellent, and it'll keep you up to date on the newest science stories. You can subscribe through iTunes (or your podcast listening software of choice), and if you don't want to download the podcast you can also listen to the mp3 recording of the show through your browser.

Library of Congress Photos 3. Library of Congress Photos
As part of a pilot project, the Library of Congress is uploading some of its most popular picture collections to Flickr, an online site that allows you to share and organize your photos. Now, one of the challenges of putting things online is how to ensure that they're findable. On Flickr (a photo sharing Web site) the photos are tagged by the original owner. These tags, in turn, allow you to visit the site and then search for images based on those tags. So you can search for all photos labeled with the tag "cat" or "red" or "voodoo." The Library of Congress wants to explore how social networking and commenting can help tag the images and (hopefully) allow more people to access them.

New to Bookshelves

SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, 3rd Ed.SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, 3rd Ed.

Author: Stuart A. Boyer
Publisher: ISA
ISBN: 1-55617-877-8
Page count: 220

This slim, softcover book is one of ISA's independent learning modules, intended primarily for independent self-study. The purpose is to give the reader an introduction to the basics of SCADA, the various technologies used, and how SCADA systems are implemented in different industries.

There are fourteen chapters, designated as Units. The first three introduce the topic, discuss what SCADA is, and provide a brief history. The next set of Units are: Real-Time Systems; Remote Control—What Not to SCADA; Communications; Radio; Remote Terminal Units (RTUs); Master Terminal Units (MTUs); Sensors, Actuators, and Wiring; Applications; Operator Interface; SCADA Economics; and What's Next? Appendix A lists suggested readings and study materials; Appendix B provides a glossary; and Appendix C lists the answers to the study questions at the end of the chapters.

Each chapter starts out by listing learning objectives—the information you should possess once you've completed the unit—and ends with exercises. The text is easy to read, clearly written, and informative without being wordy. Black and white diagrams, photographs, and tables provide supplementary information. This isn't (and isn't intended to be) an exhaustive reference but if you need to learn about SCADA systems, this is an excellent starting point, giving you the basics and pointing you to other references for further study.

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