The Basics Of Integrated Circuitry

Ever wonder what goes into the making of your new gadget? Electronic circuits are composed of individual transistors formed with resistors and diodes on a piece of silicon. The individual components are commonly connected using aluminum “wires” on the chip’s surface. This process results in the formation of IC, or integrated circuits. These ICs contain millions or just several transistors. ICs are responsible for the creation of video games, computers, digital watches, and most of today’s high tech gadgets.

ICs are usually grouped in two: analog/linear and digital/logic. But most sophisticated ICs combine digital and analog functions in forming a chip. As examples, digital chips sometimes include an analog/linear voltage regulator, while some analog chips include built-in digital counter. Combining integrated circuits is usually done to improve performance or add new features to a product such as giving counters time delays which are usually possible only with timers. These chips come in numerous different packages. In the present, the most popular and usual kinds are varieties of the DIP (Dual In-line Package). Ceramics or plastics are the usual components of standard DIPs with pins ranging from four to 100. Metals are also used for making DIPs but most manufacturers opt to replace these with more cost-effective plastic DIPs.

Despite the popularity of combination ICs and DIPs, there are still demands for separate integrated circuits. Analog ICs’ output and input voltage levels vary greatly in a broad spectrum. But despite these variations, output voltages are still directly proportional to input voltages which form a line graph. This is why analog ICs are termed linear. There are different types of analog ICs but the most popular and common types include voltage regulators and operational amplifiers. Voltage regulators alter voltages applied to inputs into variable voltages. Standard voltage regulators have excess transistors for the chips to manage driving loads that need added power than a standard op-amp is capable of. Most of these voltage regulators have metal tabs or include metal packaging to aid in radiating excessive heat out of the chips. Special linear ICs that include op-amps, like phase-locked loops and audio amplifiers, are made for TV, radio, computers, and telephone communications. Operational amplifiers are often considered as the most useful and versatile. Although their designs are basically intended for doing mathematical operations, they also amplify differences in voltages and signals of the inputs.

Digital integrated circuits are composed of “gates” regardless of the complexity of designs. These gates function like switches that turn on and off. A digital IC contains several gates and an IC with two input gates is usually referred as a logic gate. Increase in inputs and gates increase the ability of an IC to perform logical operations. As a result, digital ICs are often used in information transfers and exchanges. ICs are just small components of average devices like computers. But these devices rely on the efficiency of these ICs to function.

Diction and You in Public Speaking

The ability to pronounce words carefully and correctly is the hallmark of a skilled public speaker. The truth of the matter is that it is not just enough for you to be able to identify correctly the sounds in words, you must also be able to place the stress on the syllable correctly. Stress is an integral component of oral communication. It is very important as an ingredient in communication to the extent that you need to be very proficient in using stress patterns effectively in oral communication.

Stressed syllables are longer in duration, louder in volume and higher in pitch. In other words, they are the most noticeable to your listeners. The importance of correctly stressing words when pronouncing them cannot be overrated as words change in meaning when the stress patterns change. In words which have both noun and verb forms with different stress patterns it even becomes more important for you to know how to correctly stress syllables. When you possess good diction you will be able to appeal to an international audience thus widening your reach in the process.

There are some general rules on stress patterns and some of them are outlined below. It must be noted that they are general rules otherwise called guidelines and as with general rules exceptions exist. This does not mean that they should be discountenanced as the exceptions are really minute as opposed to the number of examples that conform to the rules as stated.

Words ending in -ion– In words that end with -ion, the convention is to have the penultimate syllable carry the stress which is usually the one before the -ion. For example, the words situation, intention, pronunciation, organisation, satisfaction, precaution, propitiation etc. all have the stress on the syllable just before the last one i.e. the penultimate syllable.

Words ending in -ic(s)– For words ending in –ic or –ics the usual pattern is to have their primary stress on the first syllable before the last in the word in question.

Words ending in -ate– The rule here is to place the primary stress on the syllable that is two syllables before the last syllable. Examples of words that comply with this rule include implicate, negotiate, insinuate, reiterate, and decorate.

Words ending in -ive– In words of this nature, it is usual to place the main stress on the syllable that is two syllables before the last syllable. Examples include words like positive, transitive, demonstrative. Without a doubt exceptions to this rule exist but they are fewer than the number of options that conform to it.

In addition to the above you may need to acquire a pronouncing dictionary as it will help you to identify commonly mispronounced words and their correct pronunciations. The ability to transcribe words correctly is also an asset that will help to stand you out in your quest for world class diction. If your preference is to buy and listen to audio materials that will aid your pronunciation then you may as well give it your best shot. Like anything that is worth its weight in gold, improving your diction requires constant practice.

International Maritime Flags and Their Meanings

The sea is a property of no one…Commercial vessels, mega yachts, and adventures boaters cross the seas, oceans, and lakes around the world headed to somewhere…whether going to a specific port to deliver goods or just browsing the waters in the search of the ultimate joy, a number of vessels cross each other’s path every day, every hour, every minute. Most of the times ships can pass each other without any need of communication or just saying “hi there, have a great trip”. Well, life is not perfect and sometimes the situation requires that vessels interchange more detailed messages. If we all spoke one language and radio and satellite communications were as reliable as we wished that would not be a problem. The reality, however, is that even now – in the 21st century, communication between people from different countries can be a problem. That’s why the men of sea have never stopped using one old-fashioned but understandable to any mariner language – the language of nautical flags.

Nautical flags are used by ships to communicate between each other or to send messages to the shore. Developing a system of flags acceptable, easy to understand and apply by all countries around the world was not an easy task and took time and effort, but at the end it is a fact and it is all worth. Nowadays, almost all countries recognize and follow the International Code of Signals (ICS) as a primary way of communication using color flags. The main purpose of the flags has remained intact over the centuries. Flags main application is to help ensure safety – both for the vessel and crew displaying the flag(s) and for the observers of the communicated message(s) – either other vessels or people on the shore.

The ICS flag system is the most common and almost exclusively used by all vessels around the world. NATO ships also use the ICS flags with some exceptions. The details, however, are pertinent to the military and, thus, of no specific interests to the general public. Please note that racing and regatta events use a different flag system to communicate specific messages. As noted earlier, the ICS flag system’s main purpose is to provide a way of communication between ships and/or shore to help ensure the safety of crew and/or people on land.

Overall flags fall into four major groups – a single flag can denote a letter, a number, a specific message, or can indicate a repetition of a flag already displayed (these flags help eliminate the need of having multiple duplicates of the same flag on board). Flags can be used individually – for example, the letter flags can be used to spell out a word. However, letter flags also have a general message implied when used on its own. In addition, certain two or three flag combinations spell out more detailed messages as described by the International Code of Signals (last official edition was published in 1969 and the last revision is from 2003).