Re: Opinions on SI

Jeff Francis™ <jeff@...>

As a Sales Engineer (ie, someone who communicates technical data and solutions for a living), I've adopted the very pragmatic approach of "speak in terms your audience will recognize, appreciate, relate to, and understand", regardless of personal feelings, standards, conventions, or anything else.  Be flexible, be conversant with all the various standards, and know your data well enough to convert it on-the-fly to fit the needs of your audience.  As a rule of thumb, the best you can do is to please 80% of your audience.  Just make sure it's the right 80%.  Sometimes it all comes down to just one guy, and to hell with all the rest.  It's all a grand psychological game that you have to learn to play to be a solid communicator.  In the end, it's about moving data from my head to your head.  I work in the area of network and computer security.  I have an entirely different vocabulary and style that I use when communicating the exact same information to the networking/security group of a Fortune 100 company, a public school district, a regional healthcare provider, a talk at a convention or show, a university, people I meet at random who ask what I do for a living, and my peers within my company.  Sometimes all of these in a single day.  You'll never make everybody happy.  Learn to read your audience, and tailor your presentation to their needs.  What's "right" for one group is completely "wrong" for another.  There's no objective right and wrong in cases like this.  Every group has their own standards, and you either tailor your talk to their standards, or you don't fit in (ie, you're "wrong").  Europe is different than the US.  I just spend a week in England adjusting to their vocabulary and ways of doing things.  It's not right or wrong, nor is it entirely better or worse.  But it's different, and the better and quicker you adapt to the differences, the more effectively you communicate.  The Brits are entirely conversant in American English, and you'll get what you're asking for if you ask for the parking garage, the elevator, or the intersection.  But you'll get your answer with a much different attitude if you ask for the car park, the lift, or the crossroads.  And sometimes that matters.


On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 9:37 AM, k7udr <bhhoyer@...> wrote:

After a recent presentation I was approached by a fellow Ham who noted that my presentation did not conform to SI (International system of units). He offered a training exercise in the proper usage which I accepted. I must admit, I was ignorant of SI prior to that time.

Apparently, SI is taught in grade school throughout the world, whereas my US education seems to be lacking.

So I went through my material fixing obvious offenders, like proper capitalization and the use of a space between value and units.

the K in kilo should be lowercase
70cm should be 70 cm
12VDC should be DC 12 V (looks pretty awkward to me)

I then learned that bps should be b/s and dBm don't exist. Further ppm is incorrect.

Now I've never seen b/s used by anyone, anywhere and I certainly wouldn't want a table of values expressed as:

dB referenced to 1 mW

instead of dBm

When I purchase an oscillator, tolerance is expressed in ppm, so apparently the manufacturers are unaware of their non-conforming usage.

Am I out of touch with reality? Are you offended by 56 kbps?

I'd like to hear others thoughts on this, particularly those of you educated somewhere other than the US



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