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Great presentation.  Thanks!

Iron

Spec creep happens all the time with us, but I hear that happens in about every company

Iron

Our Engineers are always trying to forsee what Marketing features will be asked for in the next update and architect our code to make these future features easier.

Iron

From Utah, Embedded Software Engineer, catching up...

Iron

Anticipate effort to prevent issues or do after it some damage control

@Alex - sure, many times... both ways too...

Iron

@Gary - more rhetorical questions...

Iron

@Alex - h/w, s/w and currently standards focus

Iron

Great that we have access to the recorded sessions!

Iron

Missed a lecture again...

Iron

Systems Engineering Manager

Iron

I appreciate the desire to ensure a good set of presentations and 

the passion but?

 

Alex 

Stop interupting the presenters

For some reason I never seem to make it to the 

lecture on time

I will try to remember to remember

I worked myself of my last job.

I agree with Gary, debug features are insurance. just like car insurance , it's an overhead that may cost a lot, but sure is handy when needed.

Iron

galoping feature creep is a fresh experience. usually from a poor product spec.

Iron

yes, bit type and fuctions in the same register/byte has been a problem. is short-sighted to do this. musr always move bits through a mask.

Iron

anticipating how the end user operates our product has prevented some horrible and costly mistakes in adding or fixing features.

Iron

@Gary - Yes that is the typical demeanor of engineers and managers.  But here is the lesson I learned at my first job out of college many years ago...  I had to write project specifications, which were packaged for contractor fixed-price closed bidding.  After selecting the lowest-bid contractor, and after the work had started, somebody in our company would want a specification modified or something new added to the effort.  When I approached the contractor about it, it was always the same – "Here's how much time we'll need to extend the contract and here's your new bid for the contract modifications.  Send me the contract addendum when you're ready."

Well, now it's not a contractor doing the work – it's my engineering team and me.  So, it's like you said, I have to give management the same spiel as the contractors those many years ago.  When I put it in those terms, suddenly it's more than just a memo from a manager telling me to add this or modify that.

Iron

My posts are not showing.  I think I'll log out and back on.

Iron

@edeanda - I can't tell if you are asking about aids for following these methodologies or aids to maintain registers. So I'll answer both questions. For following these methodologies, my book has all these principles and best practices listed in them and the book includes an excel spreadsheet of the best practices so that you can track them. For maintaining registers, use a Register Design Tool that I talked about in Tuesday's lecture.

Iron

And marketing people are even more extroverted.

Iron

Because of the way the engineering culture is, it is often very difficult for engineers to say "no" to feature creep. Engineers tend to be introverts and managers tend to be more extroverts. Engineers need to tie the new feature requests to time and cost. What are they willing to give on? Push out the schedule or drop other features? 

Iron

hmm cant see my post

Iron

I'm a Systems Integration Test Enginner: I've tested both new and old  versions of hardware for compatibility with New Firmware and Software prior to final release for field testing. Having to please my manager and all other team members was a fine-line in the sand. The feature creep is one that is very problematic with older hardware which we would have keep the old rev in operation for specific customers until they were able to certify tand upgrade all of the systems to the latest and greatest one. I finally had to dig through all of the system firmware and software level changes in the past to find out where it got broken and then recommend to not use that version of hardware with any newer released software versions. The cutoff point was always a difficult point with the management and sales peaople who wanted to pleease the customers by keeping the older hardware in operaition.

Iron

Looks like I am late today. Thanks for the guides and talks

Iron

I'm reading through all the preventions and genius actions. Great stuff! Good ideas!

Iron

I "seeded" a few questions, but I'm told by my teenager that "We have to GO".

So I'll check back in the archival copy to see what if anything you had to say for the rest of this session.

Thanks, good info.

Platinum

Thank you so much!

 

Iron

Thanks for the great presentation Gary and Alex

Thanks Gary and Alex.  Looking forward to tomorrow.

Iron

thank you Gary and Alex,see you tomorrow

Iron

Thank you Gary for the Great presentation.  I don't have any questions.  I am already a believer of the points you made in this lecture for all my designs.  I always make sure my hardware works before giving it to the SW engineers.

Iron

I swear, it STILL sounds like "Lost Hope Radio" when the audio streaming thingie kicks in/out...

Platinum

Gary I wonder what kind of aids being part of your methodologies processes or standards do you often follow as creating exel files for registeres or anything else ?

Iron

I like JTAG/Boundary scan with some expensive (custom) ICE if the going gets tough.

Iron

@GARY: Your advice on how team members can influence decision makes to INVEST in best practices. More often than not, employers are harsh on their expectations and don't want your to "waste any time" on "untangibles". Their only principle is: Just do it, and quick.

Iron

THanks Gary - excellent presentation.

Awhile back encountered a commercial video interface device which had a completely-free-form ASIC which was essentially "booted up" and configured on-the-fly as the DSP/processor/etc -- ever encounter one of these which allows a secondary "diagnostic" bootup option?? Seems obvious, but...

Platinum

I FEEL IT IS BETTER TO HAVE TOO MANY RATHER THAN TOO FEW CHOICES IN  EQUIPMENT DESIGN..

Thank you Gary! Good information!

Iron

thanks Alex, see you tomorrow

Iron

@Alex - Thank you.

Iron

hey...thanks Gary...another great presentation

Iron
Another very good lecture. Thanks Gary!
Iron

Will this be too late for a board under test.

 

Iron

Thank you for Today's lecture Gary, Alex and Digikey

Iron

@garysxt - Got it.  Thsnks for the clarification.

Iron

Thanks for the session today Gary!

Iron

What do you consider to be "generally assumed in use", "current", "everybody is using" test methods? Boundary scan, JTAG/ICE, etc??

Platinum

God bless Telltale LEDs.

Iron

@Ran I meant In Circuit Programming. - Sorry

Iron

Always have enough I/O pins when planning the design.

Iron

@garysxt - Are you still using an ICE these days?

Iron

Automobile Insurance is required

Iron

Yes minimum expresion would be an LED flag Pin, RS232 or any other comm method, as Boundary Scan depending on the size of the embedded system.

Iron

I always add test points and JTAG/ICE connector in hardware from the start & don't populate in production.

Iron

Automobile Insurance is required,

Iron

Hooks are useful when phishing.

Iron

Debug hooks are invaluable to locate and diagnose issues

Iron

Debug code can upset timing. Been a victim of debug code !! I guess this is an exception but something to consider

Iron

Always add hooks, test points,  BIT etc.. in designs

ABSOLUTELY. debug hooks become second nature if you're lucky. Signal injection points using spare ASIC pins, event tracking trigger outputs off spare ASIC pins -- invaluable.

Platinum

@luizcosta - interesting phylosophy ... never thought of it like that

Iron

I always have hooks.  Helps greatly!!

Iron

Yes, the debug modules need to be desinged in first. else no visibility on some boards.

Iron
Often use debug hooks when using FPGAs. It is easy to add in FPGA projects.
Iron

Always code in debug hooks and design them into hardware

Iron

do diagnostic counter registers count? then yes.

Gold

I have full coverage.

Iron

Used test/debug hooks:  all the time.  They are priceless.

Iron

PRAISE: Most company decision makers are more concerned with the bottom line than promoting individual employee's success. They reason that the employee may ask for a raise.

Iron
Insurance is because it is required. Having extra debug hardware is always a good idea.
Iron

insurance = safety margin = spare capacity

Iron

actually, insurance is required for cars and for homes if you have a mortgage.

Blogger

Insurance... Another analogy: Triple-A for roadside assistance is LIKE insurance EXCEPT you can ALSO use it even if you don't NEED it.

Platinum

It's required in CA.

 

Iron

Having vehicle insurance is the law in TX

Iron

Auto Insurance is required by law here

 

Iron

Most design changes are negative. In one case a last minute feature was added. 75% of the sales result from that last minute change.

Iron

hmmm... don't know how you would use Agile methodology ... any ideas

Iron

Many of the "tools" equate directly to "how do you organize your efforts?" 

People tend to develop their own techniques, and/or be GIVEN tools in common usage in a particular work environment.

SEEING new, good "Best Practice" quality processes and techniques is worth capturing -- THAT often becomes part of the Intellectual Property of a company...

Platinum

New tools:  we plan to upgrade our source control system, but that's it.  We could use an improved methodology for h/w-s/w group interaction, but that's more a group organization thing, than a tools issue.

Iron

I haven't attended the series - only sessions of interest. Will have to listen to archive again later as I did before.

Iron

Since feature creep is so common, I think it's par for the course, especially in new product development. Manage it carefully, but we shouldn't say no just as a matter of course.

 

Iron

I just try to maintain my own "best practices" rather than remember specific good and bad impacts.

Iron

Our org has been "moving toward" Agile methodolgy for years, only software side has been able to make significant progress.

Iron

"Tools Chain" and degree of formal methodology is dependent on team size. Not as critical for 1-2 folks.

Iron

I am always looking for new tools but these can introduce issues.  I prefer proven tools and methodologies.

Iron

I have not found a way to eliminate spec creep (feature creep). Even after everyone agrees to lock it down.

Iron

Feature creep: Yep. Seems like there are often good things to add, that should be added. Some things - no way. Maybe more careful thought up front would capture those things. But there is always an urge to just get started and add as you go.

 

Iron

Feature creep: yes but not often. 

Iron

Tools development and improvement is major effort with TI

@JJPEngr - so, how is the audio streaming feature for this series

Iron

On the flip side we have had to drop latent features planned for future versions.

Iron

@Alex – Feature creep...  This is more the rule than the exception.  Managers, sales people, marketing people, etc. love to change things after the fact.  They think nothing of it.  They usually wait until something in the design is done, which acts as the design's steering mechanism.  To change this foundation causes a major re-design effort.  But to the marketing/sales people, it means nothing but a memo.  Isn't afterthought just wonderful?

Iron

@Alex -No feature creep

Iron

"scatter/gather" DMA on a flash device will totally screw up their "use least-recently-used-space next" algorithms (to prevent bit-rot from 'relatively' limited write-counts-before-failure issues).

Platinum

I am using IE8. IE is only choice allowed by IT. Looks like it is blocked by iPrism. No chance to get past the block.

Iron

Many times they have tried to add features and it is not uncommon for interaction among features added themselves where additional problems arise in addition to problems related to indivdual features.

Iron

I HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH TRYING TO MAKE MULTIPLE SYSTEMS WORK TOGETHER EFFECTIVELY.

Feature creep?  Regularly.  Things have improved here, but controlling feature lists is always a big effort.  It requires collaboaration to decide which features are both useful and implementable.

Iron

hey, it's just software! ( software means invitation to change it, right?)

Iron

Spec. / Feature creep a constant battle

Iron

Have dealt with feature creep whole career. We are going to Agile which at least identifies the cost in time/money of each new feature. We will see how well it works.

Iron

Yes on feature creep - usually Project Mgr pushing for more

 

Iron

No feature creep allowed.  We have a point in a project beyond which all features are locked.  Any new features after that point requires renegotiation of schedule and cost boundaries.

Iron

Unfortuantely more people have decision power than those who stay on solid grounds and focused on foundation work.

Iron
I have had spec creep issues. Wen people see one extra feature they. then say oh, we'll we should have this other feature as well. It just makes it all more difficult.
Iron

Oh Yes!  Feature creep is always an issue to be resisted.

Iron

Yes, I've had to deal with feature creep, and then got criticized for not meeting the (original) schedule.

Iron

Yes in a recent project

Iron

Spec creep and requirement changes mission creep are commpn

I'm repeatedly faced with scope creep - actually from engineers more than marketing guys.

Iron

BwaHahahahahah.... "Feature Creep!" Hahahah! (Oh, my ribs hurt!)

Platinum

Small company - not a significant issue as at larger companies.

Iron

always.  sometimes we were able to hold those things off and add it later.

Blogger

Always - every company. It is always an issue.

Iron

@JJPEngr - have been using IE8 for these 10 weeks

Iron

Yes.  Feature creep. Told my boss would take too much time.

Iron

Feature creep often a problem

Feature creap - EVERY FREEKIN' DAY

Iron

Creeping elegance driven by the customer is always an issue.

Iron

dma == direct memory access; i/o <==> memory without cpu intervention

Gold

JJPEngr, if you're trying to use Internet Explorer, try using Chrome instead.

Platinum

Must be addressing non-rtos systems?

 

Iron

Using in-memory semaphores to communicate between different processors is SIMILAR to what you're describing re multiple processors/drivers accessing the same space. Opens up HUGE problems if you don't enforce a disciplined approach...

Platinum

What is DMA in Slide 10

Iron

@Gary – Concerning shared purpose registers...  Yes, I have encountered.  I'd rather avoid it.  However, speaking only for myself, it's no big deal.  For me, it's routine to use AND and OR masking anyway for accessing specific bits in registers.

Iron

@JJPEngr - I have been attending these sessions for ALL 10 weeks and have not encountered one audio issue. Could be something else in your specific environment

Iron

Don't move bits:  been bitten by this many times.  Software changes are less expensive than ASIC spins, but they still are non-trivial.  It's cheapest (for s/w) to make no changes to the software.

Iron

Communication is Key.

Iron

I've had a register accessed by different device drivers. Not desirable...

Iron

This audio player is a useless piece of crap. Still cannot connect even after latest Flash Player installed. At least I have a copy of the slides.

Iron

Thinking of access as separate threads is always an issue. issue is Monitor style protection vs. required sequence to access. Prefer Monitor style.

Don't remember a major problem where two drivers operate on the same register.

Iron

use setup pattern to differentiates the devices

Iron

That's not a big problem to us.

Iron

Never shared registers...a NO NO

Have seen R/W & W/O bits in same registers.

Iron

Are you taking about digital pins that are both input and outputs?

Iron

maybe. but UART chips with different registers are a very good model.

Gold

Distructive read, R/W bits and interrupt ack bits all in the same register - what a pain!

I have encountered R/W and INT bits in the same regester

Hard to predict future versions, future compatibility issues...

Platinum

That kind of stuff is why they pay me the big bucks.

Iron

Don't recall interrupt bits and R/W in same register

Iron

Anticipating problems isn,t the issue for me, it is convencing Management to let you spend a few bucks up front to prevent a potential disaster later.  It has happened to me too many times.

Iron

Even though some pins on PICs can be used for several different functions.  I choose a function for the pin and only use it for that purposes.

Iron

@Gary-I'm not a genius

Iron

In test you try to cover all continecies but many times you never know if you put out a fire but this is in itself success.

Iron

Evil Mad Scientist    :)

My HW counterpart once designed 5 different configurations for the same block used in a family of products, so 5 different versions of code I wrote (kinda).

 

Gold

@Gary - While I'm not a genius, I have known quite a few geniuses.  At least they thought and implied they were a genius.

Iron

That way if something changes, I can change/add signals.

Iron

Real geniuses assume they aren't and make sure their designs are fixable

 

I have prevented problems in designs, but think it more experience in the trenches than genius.

Iron

I'm always dealing with someone else's poor design - both h/w and /sw. In fact, I dealing with a situation like that right now.

Iron

Defensive coding - anticipate "garbage in" to prevent "garbage out"

Iron

I prevent problems and conserve resources, but, like Einstein, don't consider myself a genius. :o)

Iron

I have prevented issues by providing flexible low level interface that was hardware agnostic.

I always leave extra pins unconnected on connectors to allow for changes that are not foreseen.

Iron

part time genius...not very often

No golf , i play tennis

Iron

golf helps in the skill of worst case analysis

Iron

Volleyball is a better workout.

I mean anticipating impact at the moment of impact

Iron

@Gary - No golf for me.

Iron

I hit a small white ball across a course, but not sure you could say I can play it.

Iron

With the increasing availability (and therefore reduced cost) of DSP chips, and of GPUs, at some point seems like the "balance" kinda tips toward "Do as much as you can in software, but the hardware will 'deal' with whatever is left over"...

 

Golf?? No. Golf is for people who don't have a gut feel for statistics (or sales people).

Platinum

I look for a white ball in the woods for hours.

 

Iron

Yup golf!! you bet!!!

Iron

anticipating the impact is deadly in the game of golf...you don't won't to do it

Iron

golfer, but a bad one

Tennis is a real game. Ball's in your court.

 

Iron

I play hockey so I'm supposed to play golf.

Gold

I play golf, just finished 18 holes 1 hr ago.

Iron

depends on how you define it

Blogger

hmmm....second guessing the future is tricky business. wish I knew how to do that

Iron

I'm embedded systems designer. Both HW and SW.

Iron

HW/SW/Systems Design/Integration

Iron

software and hardware

Iron

Hello...I'm in.

Systems Engineer

Alex-see earlier post

Iron
Good morning, mostly HW and some FW.
Iron

Job function: Firmware, software some hardware

Alex - see first post

nuclear utility regulator, involve in reviewing D&IC platform applications.  Embedded systems and how they may impact safety system is an ongoing topic at this time.

hardware/system eng.  some software

I do hardware and software / firmware.

Iron

Well see if the Boston Red Sox want to buy the Yankees, that would be funny if they pulled that off

R&D Engineer HW/SW.

Iron

Hardware & Software Design

Iron

System integration and programming

Welcome back Gary.

Iron

I guess with George passing his kids didn't want to own them anymore

software and system design

 

Blogger

Job:  firmware, plus h/w design influence

Iron

Manager, mostly HW, some SW

Iron

Hi from Western NY.  HW Engineer with interest in interfacing between systems.

Iron

HW/FW Systems Design

Iron

Hardware & software.

 

Iron

@Alex - HW/SW/FW

Iron

Hardware, software, firmware, management

Iron

Good afternoon Gary.

Iron

Good afternoon Alex.

 

Iron

good afternoon everyone

Iron

Gary,  I hear HP is downsizing 27K workers.


On a lighter note the Yankees are supposedly for sale.  Want to go in and buy'em?

Iron

Good afternoon folks.

Iron

@GStringham - I'm sure I'll know a few from Vancouver & Corvalis plants. having gotten the boot from Agilent in '03, I feel for the challenge and stress they are/will be under.

@aykc88 - This class this week is about the interface between hw and fw, not between hw/fw and man.

Iron

Hello from sunny, windy, smoky Albuquerque.

Iron

@LevitonDave - Yes, a very mean tornado last year in Joplin.  Branson was hit on Leap Day this year, not fun at all.

Hello from very sunny California

Iron

Good afternoon from sunny NH

Good afternoon all from sunny and warm Toronto

Iron

@JoeFromOzarks - my folks retired to Bentonville, AR from WI) so I know the area. Sorta sad aniversary this week (Joplin)

@LevitonDave - are you from these parts?

1st time this week that I have been able to attend, but it looks like it will be a good presentation

Will this lesson talk about new design in man-machine interface?

 

Iron

hello from sunny MIAMI..

Yep, I'm still here!   :)   Branson, MO - the heart of the hillbilly Ozarks!

@LevitonDave - The newspaper said HP was going to do the layoffs over the next couple of years. They have not released anybody yet. But I'm sure I will know a few.

Iron

Both Hardware (more uC than ASIC/FPGA) and Software

Iron

@JoeFromOzarks - you still in the Ozarks, if so where?

Good afternoon from Pittsburgh, PA

Iron

Hi from rainy Portlandia. To follow on flared0ne:

Firmware with sufficient hardware knowledge to do the job with architectural overtones.

Interested to see how many people Gary knows that got "released" by HP yesterday.

Cloudy and still a cool 55°F in Boise.

Iron

Good morning from overcast San Diego.

Iron

Good Afternoon from Silicon Valley, CA Sunny and 62°F.

Iron

9:25 A.M. Good Morning from Central Alaska

Iron

Good afternoon to all. Let's see -- predominantly hardware: project, proto, product; with more than enough software to make the hardware walk, talk, sing, see, hear, communicate, be testable with embedded diagnostics -- AND to (generally) be profitable. Currently seeking gainful employment AND contemplating/researching a wide range of possibly lucrative projects. Last time I checked, it's in the mid 80s outside, on its way to the mid 90s. Anyone here into "designer materials", like aerogels, graphene, etc? Anyone check out that LEAP product re input device with 0.01mm precision in 3D space? Any more recent signs of the Singularity? Pure synchronicity says the Mayan calendar just might have THAT pegged. Could be. Time for lunch, my blood sugar is obviously a bit low. See you guys shortly.

Platinum

good afternoon, it's too early, righty?

Iron


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