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Have You Ever Been Blindsided by Your Own Design?

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Steve Manley
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Re: Bletchley Park
Steve Manley   1/7/2015 3:40:40 PM
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@Aubrey, If you want weird and seeing your life as social history (as well as lots of other weird) you should try the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford.

I don't know if you saw my blog "Touring as an Engineer" for some other suggestions.

Thanks, I'll take a look shortly.

antedeluvian
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Re: Bletchley Park
antedeluvian   1/7/2015 3:16:42 PM
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Steve

It was a real blast from the past

I also enjoyed seeing all the Airfix aircraft models that I used to make (on the Bletchley side).

If you want weird and seeing your life as social history (as well as lots of other weird) you should try the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford.

I don't know if you saw my blog "Touring as an Engineer" for some other suggestions.

 

Steve Manley
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Bletchley Park
Steve Manley   1/7/2015 3:01:19 PM
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I don't recall ever being blindsided by my own design as such, I haven't really designed that much. However I do live no more than 10 miles from GCHQ and I did visit Bletchley Park last year.

Bletchley Park is awesome and well worth a visit Right next to it is the National Computer Museum, which for me is even better, it also has a working Colossus amongst some other fantastic machines. I think I recall the Witch, which was my favourite. It was a real blast from the past because there are exhibits for many of the computers I have owned, from the Sinclair ZX81 (my first) to an Arduino Uno (most recent excluding the iPhone 6 I purchased just before Christmas).

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Happens all the time
Max The Magnificent   12/17/2014 1:10:25 PM
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@GSKrasle: Waxing the lipstick on a pig?

Pucker up! :-)

GSKrasle
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Re: Happens all the time
GSKrasle   12/17/2014 12:37:00 PM
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ante,

"it was my own document formatted and looking like a professional publication"

Waxing the lipstick on a pig?

dvhw
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"official data"
dvhw   12/17/2014 10:48:20 AM
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About 20 years ago, during a talk I gave in Japan, I needed to comment (in passing) on market share of embedded OS vendors (back then VxWorks, pSOS, Lynx, QNX etc).  There wasn't a lot of good market data but it was pretty clear who the leaders were approximately how big they were; I also had a pretty good idea from what our various customers were using.

So I drew up a pie chart on foils (remember those?  Called OHPs in Japan).  I remember saying something like "The data aren't great but the market looks approximately like this."

So imagine my astonishment when at the next Embedded Systems Conference I saw professionalized versions my hand drawn chart on several vendor booths! 

I was already skeptical of marketing claims but that pretty much put an end to any residual faith I might have had in them.

antedeluvian
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Re: I named an oscillator
antedeluvian   12/16/2014 4:25:24 PM
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traneus

A year or few later, I got a copy of a new Harris Application Note for the HSP50016. In the App Note, Harris called that oscillator the "Weaver oscillator".

And I'll bet no one at Intersil knows why- they probably think that everybody called it that through the years.

 

traneus
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I named an oscillator
traneus   12/16/2014 3:45:17 PM
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In 1994, I wrote an article about using the then-new Harris (now Intersil) HSP50016 digital downconverter (DDC) in a shortwave radio receiver, and QEX published the article. In my block diagram of the innards of the DDC, I named one oscillator the "Weaver oscillator", after the inventor of the analog form of the architecture.

A year or few later, I got a copy of a new Harris Application Note for the HSP50016. In the App Note, Harris called that oscillator the "Weaver oscillator".

 

GSKrasle
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Re: Happens all the time
GSKrasle   12/16/2014 3:33:16 PM
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Beware the boomerang of forms and procedures!

We have all dealt with ones annoying in demanding lots of information that's not to-hand, or just unreasonable.

I have seen how that happens. I made a simple tracking database of proto-systems, and included fields for 'location', 'user', 'return date', 'FW rev' ,etc., not expecting a thorough and complete record, but just opportunistic rough ideas of where what and when. When I turned this over to ops, suddenly a company-wide inventory had to be performed daily, and every developer had to create a detailed and accurate Project Schedule so he could enter the correct date for the system to be returned, and every time a new FW rev was tried, it had to be logged and updated..., All these reports came flooding-in although I just didn't care about that level of detail. There is no value added by onerous completeness.

Likewise with testing: if I want performance data logged at -10, 20, 40C +/-5, it's not necessary to hit -10.00°C, 20.00°C, 40.00°C, especially if it's going to take all day to achieve that precision. If I need extraordinary precision, I'll be explicit about it! Correct procedure is to get close-enough, and log how close, along with the results.

In both those cases, I try to make the instructions clear that there is no expectation of extraordinary effort, but it's hard; there is a definite tendency when playing 'telephone' for the instructions to become more elaborate and difficult at each step.

GSKrasle
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Re: Happens all the time
GSKrasle   12/16/2014 3:23:16 PM
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Then there's the opposite: On a project, we found that a supplier's sensor with integrated processor had some serious functional flaws. For other reasons, we were committed to actually incorporating an additional processor into our design (the sensor chip was intended to be 'standalone'), so we were able to 'fix' the behaviour. But we never told the sensor's manufacturer, lest THEIR fix aid our competitors who might use the same part....

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