So what exactly are those strange-looking URLs that appear throughout Design News? Sometimes, they appear at the end of an article; sometimes they appear really big. And sometimes we embed them within the text of an article, like this:
"Commodity products are like salt and pepper. You need them, but you don't want to think too much about them," says Jan Papa, worldwide marketing director of TI's Standard Linear and Logic Products Group (
These URLs' purpose in life is to get you directly to additional information online that's related to the content that appears in the print magazine. It's not the most critical information—that's what you've told us you expect in the print article. But it's essential content for the engineer who wants more in-depth information—like product specifications, application notes, hands-on reviews, animations, and so on. Directing you to more info online helps us keep the length of our articles shorter and more to the point—two things you've told us you want and expect from Design News.
So back to the funny-looking part. You've told us that it's pretty much useless to send you to a home page. From there, it can be a frustrating hit-or-miss exercise to try and find the info you're looking for. But the deep links for many of these pages are fairly long-winded. So to avoid having you type in a nasty link that looks like this (which goes to the resource page on our own website): http://www.designnews.com/index.asp?layout=referralMain&referralCenter_id=17 we've set up a shorter URL that works behind the scenes to redirect you to the deep link.
As far as what we point you to, some of the information is already online, like product specs—we just get you right to it. But some of the information is unique content that we create specifically for an article, information that you won't find anywhere else. Take for example, the article in this issue on online power supply design tools (pg 66). We asked Marty Brown, power supply guru and author of the Power Supply Cookbook, to do an in-depth evaluation of these tools. So thorough is his step-by-step evaluation that it would take up several pages in the magazine! To keep the article size manageable, we published an essential comparison of the tools in the magazine, and you can find Marty's in-depth review at http://rbi.ims.ca/3853-556.
Similarly, in our cover story on James Davis' Smart House, you can find complete product specs and find out how he commercialized his idea at http://rbi. ims.ca/3853-547.
We're pretty excited about this program, and think you'll find these URLs a big timesaver in helping you to get to the info you've told us you want and need. Drop me a line and let me know how it's working for you.