To fulfill our promise to deliver the information you say you want and need, we are constantly innovating here at Design News. To that end, I am very pleased to describe two new editorial sections we're introducing in this issue.
You've told us that you want more practical information—the kind of real-world tips and tricks that help you do your jobs better. So this issue marks the debut of our new column, "Cool Software Tricks: Extremely Helpful Stuff You Won't Find in the User's Manual." Check it out on page 60.
The idea developed out of many conversations with you, our readers, about the kind of information you value most from a trade magazine. Insider tips and how-to information scored big on your list, and you said you were especially interested in how other engineers adapted or customized software tools to make their lives easier.
Our goal with "Cool Software Tricks" is to show you clever things that engineers either have figured out how to do themselves with their software or have pushed their software vendors to develop for them. Stuff that you wouldn't know about if you simply read the user's manual.
In this issue, we describe how to painlessly convert old Fortran programs to a Windows-based platform. Prompted by engineers who were looking to deal with their legacy Fortran code, Mathsoft's John Sheehan developed the step-by-step procedure. He even shows engineers how to capture the margin of error associated with Fortran—just in case they need it for backward compatibility.
If you have a cool software trick yourself, we'd love to hear about it. Send me the details, including any documentation and supporting code, to my e-mail address. If we publish your trick, we'll send you a super cool, limited-edition Design News t-shirt.
You also told us that you need more information on regulatory issues. So in this issue we're introducing Green Scene, a column entirely devoted to the latest news and developments in environmental regulations that impact design engineers. We'll be covering initiatives like the Regulation on Hazardous Substances (RoHS), scheduled to go into effect on July 1, and how they will affect you. We'll also be covering the uncertainty surrounding some of these regulations, including the brouhaha over part numbers, and what that means to you. Check it out on page 34. Let us know what you think and what issues you'd like to see us cover here in the future!
Also, I am pleased to announce that Paul Sharke joins us this month as our new motion control/automation editor. Paul brings to this position strong writing and reporting skills. And as a former engineer himself, he knows exactly what kind of information engineers like you find most compelling. Expect to see great things from him.
We'd love your feedback on what we're doing, and stay tuned for more innovations in the future!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.