Year end is often a time of making lists, lists which include accomplishments as well as unfinished business. The staff of Microwaves & RF is no different than most in this pursuit, with the magazine's annual Top Products list having become something of a tradition after several decades. It is a list that is rarely without controversy, not so much for the products that are on the list (see Microwaves & RF, December 2010, p. 92), but for the ones that didn't make it. Like any list, such as favorite American movies, top rock-and-roll songs, or best restaurants in San Francisco, the list is open to some interpretation. But like most good lists, if assembled with adequate time for careful consideration, it should also receive the approval of the majority.
Next year, this magazine enters its 50th year (but who's counting?). Such an occasion invites looking back over the years along with the inevitable making of lists, such as top microwave components, most influential companies, most significant technologies, and the list of lists could go on and on. To collect some of these lists, along with explanations of the lists themselves, Microwaves & RF will publish an extra (13th) issue next year, with all readers receiving a regular and a bonus 50th Anniversary issue in November. That extra issue will be a nostalgic look back, but also a look ahead, at what to expect from the next 50 years. For now, please enjoy your holidays safely and wisely.