When I worked at Analog Devices, every new engineer received a package of materials on his first day of work. The package included several books edited by ADI's Dan Sheingold -- the Data Conversion Handbook, the Non-Linear Circuits Handbook, and later the Transducer Interfacing Handbook -- plus the most recent issues of Analog Dialogue.
Sheingold is retiring next month, and I recently attended his farewell party.
It is not an exaggeration to say his writing instructed and influenced multiple generations of analog engineers (both uppercase Analog and lowercase analog). He has spent more than 60 years at his craft -- the first 19 at George A. Philbrick Researches and then 44 years at Analog Devices. For his efforts, he was recognized as a Fellow of the IEEE "for contributions to the understanding and use of analog devices and data converters."
To quote Dave Kress, Sheingold "taught so many of us that writing about very technical information does not provide an excuse for bad writing; rather, good writing does a better job of engaging the reader and conveying the technical information you are presenting."
His writing style is exemplary. When he was at Philbrick, the titles of his works included The Lightning Empiricist and the Philbrick Applications Manual for Computing Amplifiers for Modeling, Measuring, Manipulating and Much Else. Who could resist reading this stuff?
And this one-page sheet of simple op-amp application circuits (created by Sheingold) was taped to the wall of every analog engineer's office I saw in my early years in the business.
The Philbrick wall chart showing every circuit you'd need to do a proper analog design.
(Source: George A. Philbrick Researches
His career spanned the entire life (so far) of the analog circuits industry. Philbrick produced the first integrated op amps, plug-in devices with two 12AX7 dual-triode vacuum tubes sprouting from the top. These are the prehistoric ancestors to modern op amps, complete with the standard eight-pin footprint.
A typical Philbrick op-amp with its cheery red glow.
The K2-W used power supplies of +300V for the tube anodes, -300V for the cathodes and grid bias, and 6.3VAC (or DC) for the filaments. It delivered 100kc (kHz) of bandwidth and an open-loop gain of 15,000 while driving +/-50V into a 50k load resistance.
The schematic for the K2-W, in case you want to build your own.
(Source: George A. Philbrick Researches Archive)
As time went on, Philbrick's product line evolved into packaged modules built from discrete transistors, including op amps, A/D and D/A converters, and V-F converters. One of the design engineers of that era was the analog legend Bob Pease, who later plied his trade at National Semiconductor and carried on the tradition of excellent writing about analog circuits.
At ADI, Sheingold used the pages of Analog Dialogue to chronicle his company's (and industry's) technological transitions from assembled discrete op-amp modules and converter modules to monolithic amplifiers, analog multipliers and function circuits, converters, and onward into power management, RF, and DSP. It is worth noting that Analog Dialogue has had only three editors since its first issue in 1970: ADI founder and chairman Ray Stata, Dan Sheingold, and now Scott Wayne.
At 84, Sheingold is doing well and doing good. He has been volunteering with Learning Ally, an organization that produces audio versions of everything from grade-school textbooks to graduate-level technical material for visually impaired or reading-impaired students. The group uses volunteers like Sheingold to read technical texts and verbally describe things like diagrams and schematics. It seems like a worthwhile cause. Learning Ally could use both volunteers and donations. Tell them Dan Sheingold sent you.
The only three editors of Analog Dialogue (left to right: Dan Sheingold, Ray Stata, and Scott Wayne).