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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 10:40 pm   #61
1100 man
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post

Laziness has a place though: I think it was the great crime-writer Raymond Chandler who said something like "I'm paid by the word - I use short words to save time. Why write policeman or metropolis when cop and city are quicker to type?"

I like this attitude. Same goes for using acronyms. Why type "Regular Production Option" when you can type RPO?
I like words. I enjoy writing them and I enjoy reading them. I like reading well crafted fiction, so someone writing "it was dark", doesn't do it for me. If the author has done their job well, and taken a page to say the same thing, then it becomes much more rewarding to read.

In the above example, 'policeman' & 'metropolis' are much more interesting words that 'cop' & 'city', even though they convey the same meaning.

The use of acronyms drives me mad beyond almost anything else- the writer might know what they stand for, but I frequently don't! So whilst I've no idea what 'regular production option' means, RPO would be even more baffling!

It's been interesting reading the comments in this thread and it did make me wonder why exactly do I find some terms like 'trace, schematic, swapped out' etc, so annoying? The answer is that whilst language constantly evolves:- I do not! As I get older, I like things to be as as I expect them to be, which of course is totally unrealistic. So I need to try and accept these new terms rather than rebel against them. However, I don't see myself using the word 'schematic' any time soon!

All the best
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 10:53 pm   #62
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

I have used the words. "service manual/data", "schematics", "circuit diagram", and even "comics" and/or " dandy and beano" at different times in my life, they are all more or less the same thing and interchangeable, it just depends on which organisation you happen to be working for at a given point in time and which particular terms they happen to use at the time, go along to get along as they say, just so long as I know what they mean in a given context
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 11:13 pm   #63
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalee20 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywave View Post
On the other hand, many years ago I met the phrase 'Don't push the river'. That had me scratching my head for a long time, until I discovered that, in essence, it translates to 'go with the flow' - and as such, for me, 'Don't push the river' is a better way of expressing the same concept. The mental image that it creates is vivid and concise.
I get the idea - like 'Don't swim against the tide.'

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Laziness has a place though...write policeman or metropolis when cop and city are quicker to type?"

I like this attitude. Same goes for using acronyms. Why type "Regular Production Option" when you can type RPO?
And like the title of this thread, why write (you know what) when you can just write PCB?

TLA's are great!
PCB - Poly Chlorinated Biphenyl. The cancerous liquid they used as insulating filling for high voltage transformers on the grid.

There are all sorts of possibilities for communication confusion if you use TLA's, or acronyms of any sort.

Craig
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 11:21 pm   #64
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

Usually though if I am communicating in text or otherwise with someone from a slightly different field that may not be familiar with said acronym, and I am going to use acronyms to save having to keep writing it out in full each time, I usually annotate the first use of the particular meaning in brackets in full text, and thereafter just use said acronym from that point onwards.
Communication and understanding is key.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 8:41 am   #65
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

That's a good policy, R2B - it educates the reader early on, and then makes the rest of the text less verbose.

Sometimes we have to 'forget' what acronyms stand for. Consider the following text:

“As the reservoir capacitor is periodically charged by pulses of current from the rectifier, the voltage it is not entirely steady but pulsates to a lesser or greater degree. The voltage can be considered to have a DC component and a (small) AC component. The DC component, typically 250V, is what would be measured by a test meter set to a DC voltage range. The AC component, also known as ripple voltage, is typically 10V peak-peak and can be viewed by an oscilloscope with the input AC-coupled.”

Write the acronyms out in full each time and it makes nonsense, yet us lot know exactly what it means!
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 8:54 am   #66
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

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Railway station, a station upon the railway, perfect sense.
But apply the same logic to bus station? Or radio station?

And what about what happened in 1978 when all the BBC radio stations moved (and Radio 4, 200kHz to 198kHz in 1988), did they cease to become stations during the transition?

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Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
PCB - Poly Chlorinated Biphenyl. The cancerous liquid they used as insulating filling for high voltage transformers on the grid.
Good point. "Traces of PCB underneath a leaking distribution transformer must be contained and decontaminated."

Totally correct, totally relevant to the thread title - and totally NOT what the OP meant!

Last edited by kalee20; 4th Jul 2019 at 8:56 am. Reason: Final smiley
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 9:13 am   #67
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

I believe attempting to apply logic to defend or oppose a change in language use is a waste of effort and totally irrelevant!
A railway station has been just that since the dawn of railways around two centuries ago and there is no need to change. To compare it with any other form of station, be it bus, radio/TV, fire, police or whatever, is fatuous in my opinion. Their uses of the word have grown up independently at different times in history.

Back to acronyms, I spent my career in the aerospace industry, which is buried in acronyms! I remember when I started thinking 'what on earth are these people talking about?', but quickly fell into using the jargon. In reports, it was the practice to include a list of abbreviations, and to give the acronym in full when it was first used in the document.

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Old 4th Jul 2019, 11:08 am   #68
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

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and to give the acronym in full when it was first used in the document.
In a mixed audience, as we are, this is plain good manners. Dropping in an unfamiliar one for effect only serves to confuse, and will likely result in an unnecessary question later.
Incidentally, the main station in Bradford is both bus and iron horse. It's just called the Interchange. Problem averted.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 11:55 am   #69
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

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Incidentally, the main station in Bradford is both bus and iron horse. It's just called the Interchange.
..... and it used to be called Exchange until someone decided to change it!

Alan
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 2:00 pm   #70
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

Mr. M.G. Scroggie has commented on the misleading (to the uninitiated, at least) of the term 'AC voltage', since its full expansion becomes 'Alternating current voltage'; similarly 'DC voltage'. He has advocated 'A.V' and 'D.V.' respectively as alternatives and has used those in many of his texts. Also he favours 'Z.F.' (zero frequency) to refer to d.c. Hence, he could have coined 'Z.F.V.' for 'd.c. voltage', but I have never read that one in many of his books. Although those alternative abbreviations never made main stream in technical texts and journals, etc., I can readily see the logic of his thinking.

Al.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 2:14 pm   #71
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Arrow Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

Craig Sawyers wrote:
There are all sorts of possibilities for communication confusion if you use TLA's, or acronyms of any sort.

I.P.A. being such an example. One is nice to drink; the other, if drunk, will destroy your eye-sight.

Many years ago in a book about Doing Clever Things With MS-DOS, I met 'ETLA' = extended three-letter acronym. Refers to any acronym whose letters are more than three. I've never met that term anywhere since reading that book.
My personal favourite of such is what I call the 'TANSTAAFL Principle': there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

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Old 4th Jul 2019, 6:07 pm   #72
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalee20 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
Railway station, a station upon the railway, perfect sense.
But apply the same logic to bus station? Or radio station?

And what about what happened in 1978 when all the BBC radio stations moved (and Radio 4, 200kHz to 198kHz in 1988), did they cease to become stations during the transition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
PCB - Poly Chlorinated Biphenyl. The cancerous liquid they used as insulating filling for high voltage transformers on the grid.
Good point. "Traces of PCB underneath a leaking distribution transformer must be contained and decontaminated."

Totally correct, totally relevant to the thread title - and totally NOT what the OP meant!
Another one is DRM, Digital Radio Mondiale
and
DRM, Digital Rights Management
Both used in the context of broadcasting.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 6:37 pm   #73
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

At one time I would have described myself (and been described) as a 'hacker. No I did not break into other people's computers. I did not attempt to empty bank accounts, steal personal data, plant viruses and other malware or anything like that (and nor will I). I was using the original computer-related meaning of the word, meaning somebody who enjoys learning about, programming, extending, etc computers.

But I certainly wouldn't use the term now.

As for acronyms with many meanings :

'PC' : Police Constable, Prontor-Compur (the little 3mm coaxial connector used for camera flash sync connections, after the 2 shutters it first appeared on), point contact, personal computer, program counter....

I rarely use the first of those, but the other meanings are common here.

Even 'TTL' can mean 'Transistor Transistor Logic' (as most of us would use it) or 'Through The Lens' (refering to camera exposure metering)
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 9:25 pm   #74
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

RPO is of course the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst other things.....

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPO

Even the TLA itself can be a Two Letter Acronym.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 11:11 pm   #75
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

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Originally Posted by M0FYA Andy View Post
On the subject of acronyms, I get really annoyed when folk use the acronym followed by the last word in full, for example 'SAM Missile', 'PIN number', 'HIV Virus', there are dozens more. And to stay on the radio topic, 'IF Frequency'.

Andy
Of course, that phenomenon has its own TLA.
RAS, Redundant Acronym Syndrome.

Back to the original topic, I suppose in modern SMT (or should I say SMD) parlance, what we used to call "plated through holes" are now called "vias"
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 7:55 am   #76
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

I'm happy with via, or plated through hole. In either case the meaning is clear and unambiguous.

Craig
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 8:05 am   #77
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

In my career I have ended up with two projects that were beset with acronyms.

The first was a project for Grenada Hospital Group in the US. This was for a small box that a nurse could programme with an IR remote so that you could use the bedside phone if you paid some money in advance (it is the US remember). As such it had to be powered by the hospital switch, and the interface was defined in the BELLCORE standards. I bought the relevant two or three, but soon realised I needed another entitled "The 2000 most common acronyms in the BELLCORE standards". The most common was POT, which meant Plain Old Telephone.

The second was space instrumentation. I was project manager for MIXS (Mercury Imaging X-Ray Spectrometer), currently en-route to Mercury. Oh boy was that a discipline beset with acronyms. I could wax lyrical, but it would fill a small book!

Here's a few though. FEE - front end electronics, MTM - Mercury Transfer Module, OBS - On Board Software, MPA - Macro-Pixel Array. Etc, etc.

Craig
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 9:31 am   #78
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

I have often found acronyms unhelpful as they can mean completely different things in different fields. I had a boss who loved to be up on all the latest jargon. I know for a fact that there were times when work suffered because people did not understand what he was talking about.

Maybe it is just me but there have been times when I have just stopped when trying to read an article that is full of them.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 9:47 am   #79
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

As I said above, my career was in Aerospace, at BAC/BAe/BAE Systems Warton, starting on Tornado (or MRCA as it was then), ending on Nimrod MRA4 and then Unmanned Aircraft, via FBW Jaguar, EAP, REVISE and Eurofighter/Typhoon.
In conversation every system onboard any of the aircraft was nearly always referred to by its acronym, often pronounced as a word rather than a string of letters, and similarly every unit within each system.

It wasn't a problem other than the initial (pun?) few days starting there back in 1974!

Andy
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 11:22 am   #80
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Default Re: When did PCB tracks become 'traces'?

Not just you, ionburn!

Nothing puts me off bothering to read an article more than mystifying acronyms.
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