the Bell Jar - Cumulative Index of Articles (1992 to Present)

The contents of each volume of the Bell Jar are listed below. Articles with no indicated author may be presumed to be either the handiwork of the editor or a gathering together of the submissions of several contributors. Not specifically listed, but part of each issue, are editorial and reader commentary, items & information wanted or available, supplier listings, and useful tidbits.

Some of the articles listed below are available in electronic format (HTML or PDF). Please refer to the Electronic Articles page. These may be in a slightly truncated format or merged with other articles if required in order to make sense as standalones. I've also tried to correct any boo-boos that might have been in the originals (while, probably, introducing others). More substantial collections are available on the Download page.

Contents of Volume 1 (1992)

During its first year, the content of tBJ was pretty much based on what the I had to offer. Brief contributions appeared in each issue’s Commentary column as well as in a few pages of more substantial reader input. Bill Connery’s article on a very small and simple system for making graded neutral density optical filters was the first "feature length" project contribution. The text and sketches were submitted on some note paper and something that looked like a piece of an envelope. High quality can have humble origins.

The first subscribers were “recruited” thanks to a mention by Don Lancaster in his Hardware Hacker column in what was “Radio-Electronics” Magazine.

The other notable contribution during year 1 was Michael McKeown’s highly entertaining article on the history of the units of pressure. Mike's ready wit (British, I might add) has continued to occasionally grace the pages of tBJ.

The first year’s issues were composed on a Canon bubble-jet typewriter. Most of the illustrations were drawn on the hardcopy originals with traditional drawing instruments. Those originals are still in decent shape and the better articles were transferred to the PC for more permanent storage. During the year I learned how to correctly spell “gauge.”

Contents of Volume 2 (1993)

By the start of 1993 I had invested in a real computer and started doing all the graphics and images with the PC. The average page count also increased. That made me feel less guilty about the necessary $5 increase in the subscription price.

A computer bulletin board (the VacTech BBS) was created and this got some level of use by at least a few of the readers.

More editorial mentions by Lancaster, T.J. Lindsay (Lindsay Publications) and others continued to swell the ranks of subscribers. Paid advertising, however, didn’t do much. Educators and professionals began to discover tBJ and I began to dream about getting several thousand subscribers, quitting my job and moving shop to a small Carribean island.

Contents of Volume 3 (1994)

During this year, the electronic version was introduced in the form of text articles that were distributed through the Usenet. I left my high paying job in the computer industry (actually, the job left me). Soon thereafter I got sucked into the vacuum industry where I now get compensated for working on not much.

Contents of Volume 4 (1995)

With the email version of tBJgetting a good reception, I began making plans for this Web page. The BBS’ computer (an old 286) died and, since it received little use, it was decided to discontinue the BBS.

Contents of Volume 5 (1996)

Still dreaming about getting those thousands of subscribers and moving to the Carribean. Perhaps when I retire. Articles for 1996 included:

Contents of Volume 6 (1997)

1997’s issues got off to a bit of a slow start. The first number didn't get mailed until the first part of April. Spring made it out in September and Summer/Autumn didn't get out until the start of 1998.

Contents of Volume 7 (1998)

1998 was, again, another year of slipped publishing schedules. The last issue of the year squeeked out just after Christmas.

Contents of Volume 8 (1999)

My publishing schedule remained consistent.

Contents of Volume 9 (2000)

Contents of Volume 10

Below are the contents of Nos. 1&2.

As of May 2002 Numbers 3 & 4 are in progress. Articles will include tips on how to get rid of bubbles in gel candles, the real theory of the Crookes Radiometer, running oxygen plasmas without burning your house down and the basics of plasma x-ray devices.

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