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Trillion Sensors Not Likely
Break Points  
9/2/2014   14 comments
The trillion-sensor world is not going to happen anytime soon. Just do the math.
A Checkup from the Neckup
Break Points  
8/20/2014   Post a comment
Who do you use as a sounding board? Jack Ganssle sees the value in having the right person to tell your troubles to -- if only just for a brain tune-up.
Brown-Out Reset – an Update
Break Points  
7/8/2014   2 comments
When using brown-out reset circuits, the bottom line is that on many MCUs you can’t use the A/D to monitor Vdd during flash writes unless there’s some way to simulate the expected load. As always, do a careful, worst-case engineering analysis.
Fifty Years of TTL
Break Points  
6/25/2014   26 comments
Depending on your source, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of TTL (transistor-transistor logic). Although some say 1961 is the birth year, TI released the 5400 family in 1964 and the 7400 series in plastic two years later. Since TTL is synonymous with 5400 and 7400, why not offer 50th birthday congratulations?
Typically Typical – Take Two
Break Points  
6/14/2014   4 comments
Jack Ganssle has some more thoughts on “typ” numbers.
SLOTH: the Programming Language
Break Points  
6/6/2014   17 comments
Why settle for SWIFT when you can have SLOTH, a new programming language that will suck the life out any project?
BASIC at 50: Bad Trip or Bad Rap?
Break Points  
5/7/2014   40 comments
Is it true that a person reared on BASIC, lingua franca of the eight-bit computer world, is forever damned by the experience? Jack Ganssle,the embedded systems guru, shares his experience with BASIC on its 50th anniversary.
Using a Capacitor to Sustain Battery Life
Break Points  
4/29/2014   1 comment
Is it possible to extend coin cell life using a capacitor?
How Much Energy Can You Really Get From a Coin Cell?
Break Points  
4/24/2014   6 comments
Motivated by what he considers outrageous claims made by a number of MCU vendors that their processors can run for several decades from a single CR2032 cell, Jack Ganssle compares coin cell batteries to see if the claims are legit.
Where's the CPU?
Break Points  
4/14/2014   8 comments
Jack Ganssle is having fun with Raspberry Pi and other popular boards by asking fellow engineers to find the CPU. Most can't.
Adding Up Toyota's Expensive Software
Break Points  
3/31/2014   5 comments
Take your pick: Do it the expensive way or get it right.
Extending Debugging Resources
Break Points  
3/30/2014   1 comment
Are we using the debugging resources available in so many MCUs in the most effective manner?
Screens Everywhere Make a GUI Dilemma
Break Points  
11/7/2013   2 comments
We live in the age of screens: Display screens are everywhere and each one has a graphical user interface. How are all these GUIs being designed?
Cloudy Benefits of the Cloud
Break Points  
10/14/2013   9 comments
The cloud offers some advantages, but at a steep price.
Decoding Time to Market
Break Points  
9/19/2013   3 comments
What's the fastest way to get a firmware project out the door? Ship junk. What's the second-fastest way to market? Here's how to predict your time to market by looking at code practices.


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Max Maxfield

Saddleback Sale – It's Happy Dance Time
Max Maxfield
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It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the products from Saddleback Leather. As I sit here at my desk, I'm wearing one of their 1¾" wide Tow Belts, upon which rests one of their Belt ...

Engineering Investigations

Air Conditioner Falls From Window, Still Works
Engineering Investigations
1 Comment
It's autumn in New England. The leaves are turning to red, orange, and gold, my roses are in their second bloom, and it's time to remove the air conditioner from the window. On September ...

David Blaza

The Other Tesla
David Blaza
5 comments
I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...

Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
Larry Desjardin
47 comments
I'm a big proponent of engineers learning financial basics. Why? Because engineers are making decisions all the time, in multiple ways. Having a good financial understanding guides these ...