What a horrible article. NONE of this is what an engineer would want - woe be to the wife or GF who reads this and buys any of it as a recommendation.
Nowhere is a 3D printer listed, nor is there a surface mount reflow oven. Stuff we actually WANT.
This is all STUPID techie stuff - stuff that's boring to ENGINEERS. Mind you, TBBT DVDs are the exception, but with Youtube, even that's lame.
And, if you're going to write about things you don't know about, go find yourself someone OLD engineer to set you straight (they can be found at the unemployment office or greeting people at Walmart). This is laughable, particularly in having "gone to print" in EE Times:
"it mediates the flow of electronics from cathode to anode via a piece of metal mesh in the middle called a grid. "
The only thing that "mediates the flow of electronics" is a patent litigator.
In the words of Leslie Winkle, of TBBT, "Dumbass..."
Oh, it's not a plug at all - you just put your company down BIGTIME in front of a huge engineering audience.
Newark, apparently, can't deliver by Xmas, which is what the article is about.
The vacuum-tube sound is more than just soft clipping. There have been several attempts to imitate its sound using DSP's to implement soft clipping etc., but only tubes sound like tubes.
The warm (or sweet) sound is partly due to the even-order-only harmonic distortion (e.g., from a single-ended triode amp), which results in distortion products at musically-pleasing octave and perfect fifth intervals) and to the absence of evil transient distortion because tube amps can be built with little or no negative feedback.
Even though I'm a DSP researcher, as an audiophile I appreciate the sound of my SET amp in spite of its higher THD. It sounds "sweeter" than my more more expensive solid-state amp. Much of how engineers quantify amplifiers is irrelevant for audio: music is dynamic, not simply continuous sinusoids.
any engineer I've met is much smarter than any medical practitioner I've met. They're a pretty thick bunch and most of them don't keep up to date. Any engineer who doesn't keep up gets shown the door or moved into 'management'.