SOCcentral is the brainchild and labor of love of John Miklosz, Ph.D., a 35-year veteran of the semiconductor research and electronics publishing industry.
Dr. Miklosz received his Ph.D. in physics (band structure of II-VI compounds) from Yale University in 1966, and served two years in the U.S. Army, first at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico and then at the Nuclear Research Laboratory at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland.
After his stint with the Army, he joined GTE Laboratories and worked for several years doing research on electroluminescent silicon carbide devices. As part of that work, he established one of the earliest ion implantation facilities for the doping of silicon carbide, as well as silicon and GaAs MOS devices.
While at GTE Laboratories, Dr. Miklosz developed an interest in marine aquariums and started publication of The Marine Aquarist, a small monthly magazine devoted to what was, at that time, a very difficult hobby. It was the The Marine Aquarist that kindled Dr. Miklosz's interest in writing and publishing.
Unfortunately, hard times fell upon GTE Laboratories, and many of the researchers working there, when the company made a decision to shift its emphasis almost entirely from basic research to applied. The hard times brought an end not only to Dr. Miklosz's career at GTE Laboratories, but to the indulgence that was The Marine Aquarist.
The Next Phase
Hard times often have unintended favorable consequences; as Nietzsche is often over quoted, "That which does not kill me, only makes me stronger." The hard times made Dr. Miklosz re-evaluate his career options and he parlayed his scientific training with the experience gained publishing his own magazine into a position as technical editor with High Technology, a magazine that he helped launch in 1979. But in 1979, a magazine devoted exclusively to technology and related business issues was ahead of its time and it lasted less than a year.
But once again, the hard times had favorable consequences, and this time, the demise of High Technology brought Dr. Miklosz to Electronic Engineering Times as a senior technical editor. After four years, another golden opportunity came his way with an offer to join PennWell Publishing's Computer Design magazine as its executive editor.
As executive editor, and later as editor-in-chief and eventually, publisher, Dr. Miklosz transformed Computer Design from a narrowly focused systems-integration magazine to one focused on embedded computers, microprocessors, ASICs and programmable logic, design automation and embedded software and software development tools. It ultimately ranked with Electronic Engineering Times, EDN, and Electronic Design in recognition among design engineers and advertisers. Not content with the success of Computer Design he launched Portable Design magazine in 1993 as a vehicle to reach the ever-growing number of design engineers involved with portable and mobile products. (Dr. Miklosz didn't launch Portable Design alone, and could never have done it without the able and devoted work of its editor, Alex Mendelsohn.)
The Penultimate Phase
Ever-restless, Dr. Miklosz decided to leave PennWell Publishing in the fall of 1994 and, along with several free-lance assignments for Integrated System Design magazine, worked as editor of Hewlett-Packard's InSight publication. With his departure from PennWell, Computer Design fell upon hard times and he was called back in early 1996 as editor-in-chief. But, sadly, Computer Design had slipped so badly in little more than a year, that nothing could be done to revive it. Publication ceased after more than 25 years.
But fortune smiled once again, and in the late summer of 1999, Dr. Miklosz was asked to join TechOnLine as its director of content. While not a startup, TechOnLine was embarking on a major expansion to become a premier online information and education resource. Moving beyond its roots in DSP (the company was founded by Amnon Aliphas, a legend in the world of digital signal processing), TechOnLine moved into the world of embedded systems and software (under the direction of Rich Quinnell), microprocessor-based design (under Ray Weiss), analog design (under Chuck Small), and ASICs, programmable logic and EDA tools (under Jim Lipman).
The Ultimate Phase
Now, we all know what's happened to the Internet business in the last two years because the bubble's burst left no one unaffected. Like many other new and exciting online ventures, TechOnLine paid the price and is now only a shadow of its former self, with essentially all of its content development team (i.e., its content directors) having moved on to new phases of their lives.
For Dr. Miklosz, it looked like that new phase was retirement. But retirement is boring and fixing up the ol' homestead, tending the herb garden, listening to traditional jazz and opera, and reading can't equal the excitement of life in the electronics, publishing and internet world. So, here we are at the ultimate phase, and the labor of love that's SOCcentral.
You can e-mail Dr. Miklosz directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.