@MAX: On the ANALOG COMPUTER. Some of the participants may call me crazy, but I ventuyre to say, that there is still a reason to use analog computers. Picture this scenario, where the engineer in charge of power generation research, is studying some fancy self-adaptive control system for a group of scatteredsychronous machines. The straight control solution today, no doubt will be digital. However, between sampling times of the A/D & D/A conversions, the synbc. generators are in "open loop" and therefore lprone to instability and/or deviation from the reference signals. In my master thesis, I used the digital computer to do all the fancy controls, but before I plugged it to the actual generation system, I plugged it to the analog computer where the actual process was simulated almost exactly how it is in real life. How would I have done it in this hybrid fashion, if not for the old nanalog Telefunken?
Re: How Computers Work... Don't suppose this would include info regarding home computers? I come from a marketing background, and trying to set up wi-fi at home with my satellite internet service is incomprehensible to me. Can't someone invent easier technology for home set up?!
Max, Rich, Design News, and Digi-Key: Thank you for a very informative week!
Max - history is fun, but I'd prefer lessons to expand my knowledge. Yesterday's FPGA was a super intro, and all the web sites help to get going with it. Would love to do more with it - build something step-by-step through the week.
But then again, I'd listen to you (and your stories) even if you were just reading the dictionary... :)
@Kenti -- we would end up talking about all sapects, like handhelds, exchanges, VoIP, ... everything to do with phones -- from where they started to waht it was like having shared (party) lines to the stuff we have today...
@bmatts - ah... at least I had a sensible idea... :) I remember hearing about some board having a problem that turned out to be two traces crossing each other on opposite sides of the board. (probably 2 layer boards - this was back in mid-70s) They had to lay it out so they didn't cross. If I remember right, it had something to do with radar (?) - high RF frequencies. RF is all black magic to me...
This was a great refresher week! Seems that you could digress and expound for a follow on course week. CPLD and loading OS and networking, would be great! Thank you and let us know what you have coming up next. Bobs your Uncle and Fannie your Aunt! Take care!
Thanks to everyone for attending -- also for posting these kind comments (these are what those who don th eundergarments of authority and stride the corridors of power at Digi-Key will be looking at to see whether or not to invite me back :-)
Enjoyed most your sense of wonder at what is truly one of the greatest wonders of human achievement. I am similarly amazed every day at what has been accomplished in electronics and where it is all going - also horrified at how easily it could all come to a sudden stop. Thanks much for your insights and captivating style.
@RICH: A question about next module: Debbuging with Linux. I feel a little of a "jump" here on the subject of Linux. I am now studying on a O'Relly textbook, "Building Embedded Linux Systems" and there is so mu to learn about it before we get into the specifics of debugging ... I wonder what I am missing here.
Thanks - I'll save this as a good introduction for all who ask. I'm an advisor for the tech center at the local high school. I'm sure some students in the Engineering, Information Technology, and Digital Audio-Video programs will benefit.
@bmatts: Re "Max, I've had some problems with impedances within the boards causing me problems with some of my digital circuits. I would get misshaping of my digital pulses due to impedance within the board. How do I solve this and is their a place where I can get the formulas."
I'm sorry -- I'm up to my ears -- that's beyond an introductory course -- also I don;t make my own boards these days (I'm too busy writing) maybe someone else can sugges t something
Max, I've had some problems with impedances within the boards causing me problems with some of my digital circuits. I would get misshaping of my digital pulses due to impedance within the board. How do I solve this and is their a place where I can get the formulas.
Max, God Bless You -- I spent 3.5 years in Huntsville, AL. You must be made of iron! How is the BBQ? I couldn't last down there -- needed a big city for me. I'm back in NJ now since 2004; not great here but I'm open to other cities.
@richnass - joined late, so missed today's question. from context, I'm guessing... everything this week has been interesting, FPGAs especially so. Really sorry I joined late today (based on looking at comments... But will listen to archive later...) Would love more sessions on FPGAs. (I love being right down near the hardware; system software, drivers, etc) Would love more Max sessions - about anything!
Unless I missed something, interestingly you didn't bring up BGA (ball grid arrays). It is perhaps the predominate way that processor chips are attached to boards (particularily laptops). It of course has it's own advantages and disadvantages and complications.
@RICH: Today's subject is adding a lot of new knowledge for me. I stopped seeking new learning opportunities on printed circuit board technology for quite some time. Because the quality of Max's slides are so good, plus his clear British accent and clear sentences, makes the whole presentation, top notch opportunity to realy learn this stuff.
RE: Today's question: All good - chips and packages - loved the history and have fond memories of what we used to call DIPs (what has been referred to as dual in-line ICs in this series) when we were modifying Apple computers to run 80 columes and Z-80 processors (CPM).
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.