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Publisher's Letter

Now for the next 20 years

By Leo Simpson

20 years have passed in the life of SILICON CHIP, its staff and those readers who read the first issue, back in November 1987. Actually, last month, October 2007 was the 240th issue of SILICON CHIP and I suppose we could have celebrated our 20th anniversary last month.

Our thanks to all those readers and advertisers who have supported us over the years. You have helped us grow and survive. Of all our advertisers, I must single out our three major supporters, Jaycar Electronics, Dick Smith Electronics and Altronics. Without your particular and consistent support, we certainly would not have survived. But thanks also to all our other advertisers – you all help contribute to the financial health of this publication which is vital for long-term survival and growth.

It has been a long haul for all concerned but very gratifying nonetheless. Who could possibly have imagined all the technological changes which would occur in those 20 years of publishing? There are so many that it is hard to nominate the most important changes but they have probably involved mobile phones, DVDs and the internet. All of these existed in some form or were being developed prior to 1987. Most other technology changes that we now use and take for granted are really just incremental.

What will happen in the next 20 years, as far as technology is concerned? If you could answer that question, you will be a real prophet. For our part, we will only nominate a few areas where technology changes are likely to be significant. The first of these will involve the production and use of electrical energy. We are bound to become much more efficient in our use of energy, right across all human activity. The same comment applies to the use of water. That will apply regardless of whether Australia becomes a lot drier in the years to come.

As far as video technology is concerned, it seems very likely that laser projectors will soon become available, as well as 3D TV (demo models are already in the research labs) and even fancier mobile phones with better screens, cameras and so on.

We also think that there will be drastic changes in medical technology in years to come and this will run the gamut of gene technology, DNA and stem cell technology, all sorts of electronic medical implants, robot medicine and so on. Sure, there will be lots of improvements in communications, speeds of computers and the internet, plus massive changes in software to do all sorts of stuff but really, all of that will be incremental. More than that, we just don’t know.

As far as SILICON CHIP is concerned, we are preparing for the next 20 years. Back in 1987, we had three other direct competitors in the form of "Electronics Australia", "Electronics Today International" and "Australian Electronics Monthly" and a host of foreign magazines from Europe and the USA. All the local competitors have gone and so have most of the international magazines. Those that are left are generally only a shadow of their former selves, leaving SILICON CHIP as one of the very few magazines of its type in the world. We expect that SILICON CHIP will become even more select in the future.

With the continuing support of our tens of thousands of readers and our advertisers, we plan to grow and develop our special capabilities as a significant electronics publisher. It is bound to be an interesting and challenging ride.

Leo Simpson

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