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Fifteenth Anniversary of si-list

Posted May 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments · History

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I’m honored to have this guest post by Ray Anderson, founder of the si-list.

The si-list went “on the air” fifteen years ago today, on May 16, 1994 — an eon in Internet-years. It predates that milestone moment of the Internet: the IPO of Netscape on August 9, 1995.

The genesis was a short course on "Electrical Modeling, Simulation and Design of Electronic Packages" that was taught by Raj Mittra, Paul Franzon and Jose Schutt-Aine in San Jose, CA on May 9-12, 1994. During the last day of class we passed around a blank piece of paper collecting e-mail addresses from anyone who wanted to be included in a proposed signal integrity email list. When I returned to my office at Sun Microsystems the following Monday I put together the initial si-list with about 30 subscribers from the previous week’s short course.

Sun Microsystems Sparc2 circa 1994

Sun Microsystems Sparc2 circa 1994

Now 15 years later we have about 3,500 subscribers. They range from students just getting their feet wet in engineering to world-renowned experts in the field. They hail from both industry and academia in just about every country in the world that is involved in signal integrity related endeavors.

The original idea was to provide a forum for the exchange of technical conversation related to signal integrity and related fields. Over the years we have endeavored to keep the majority of the list traffic on the technical level and to control the use of the forum for advertising and head-hunting. To that end I think we have been remarkably successful. Let me take this opportunity to remind folk that working engineers and hiring managers looking to add to their staff may post job opening and that postings by ‘headhunters’ and HR departments are generally discouraged. Postings by vendors (hardware and software) should be primarily technical in nature and should not be mere advertisements. Si-list is not a marketing forum. Vendor postings about commercial products should refer those interested in further information to an e-mail, web address, or phone number for more detailed follow-up.

A bit of behind the scenes history:
  • The original si-list incarnation was implemented as a simple Unix .forward file on an ancient Sparc2 workstation in my office. All list administration (additions, deletions etc.) was done manually.
  • As the list grew,  we transitioned to the Majordomo listserver software and ran the list from a slightly less ancient Sparc4 box located in our SI lab.
  • Over the years the subscriber database and the attendant bandwidth on the net increased. In order to head-off a cease and desist order from the keeper of the Sun LAN, si-list was moved to an external Linux server (freelists.org) running the Ecartis maillist manager software in June 2001. The list still resides on that server today. Thanks to the Freelists admins for years of fine service!

If you want to look back at the postings, archives are available at these locations:

Thanks to all contributors over the past fifteen years.

Happy fifteenth anniversary si-list!

Ed: Related post What Social Media Web Sites Do Signal Integrity Engineers Use?

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Subramanya C K

    SI List has been an integral part of my Hardware design career since 1999, when I joined IT sector, as afresh College graduate. Since then SI List have been a great source of learning and point of solution for SI problems for me. I have been benefited by many great SI gurus such as Ray Anderson, Eric Bogatin, Vinu Armugam and others. Thanks a lot to all you people for maintaining high spirits of this wonderful community.

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