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Micriµm's µC/Probe Is an Amazingly Cool Tool

2/10/2014 06:36 PM EST
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MeasurementBlues
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Getting used to it
MeasurementBlues   2/10/2014 9:35:05 PM
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"once you'd gotten used to creating your presentations in PowerPoint, you wouldn't want to go back to not using it."

I know plenty of people who, even after learning how to use a better tool go back to the first one because it;s how they think. For example, someone in my home still uses a computer like it were running DOS. That is, I want ot open a word document, I first open Word. Same for Excel, open the app first as opposed to using the file system where you go to file you want and let the app open.

As for me, I still do most of my graphics with Windows Paint. When I need better drawing, I use the draw program that comes with OpenOffice.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Getting used to it
Max The Magnificent   2/11/2014 9:53:15 AM
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@MeasurementBlues: As for me, I still do most of my graphics with Windows Paint.

Ah, but you are the exception that proves the rule LOL. Take a look at the diagrams I created for this article on 3D ICs -- would you really want to create these using MS Paint?

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Getting used to it
MeasurementBlues   2/11/2014 1:24:57 PM
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"would you really want to create these using MS Paint?"

@Max, what's the problem? Piece of cake.

zeeglen
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Re: Getting used to it
zeeglen   2/11/2014 10:13:26 AM
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A colleague of mine creates timing diagrams using Excel - he turns the cell borders on/off to resemble logic waveforms.  Each mini-cell column size is a clock cycle.

dougwithau
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Re: Getting used to it
dougwithau   2/11/2014 11:58:06 AM
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Timing diagrams in Excel. That seems a hard way to work. Have they seen this,

http://makezine.com/2007/11/29/timing-diagram-font/

A Font that makes timing diagrams. I used it in one document. It is actually pretty nice for a small diagram.

Is it Linear Tech that has a power supply design program. It is an Excel spread sheet and some macros to get the R and C values needed.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Getting used to it
Max The Magnificent   2/11/2014 12:04:07 PM
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@zeeglen: A colleague of mine creates timing diagrams using Excel...

He likes to suffer? Has he heard of Visio?

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Getting used to it
MeasurementBlues   2/11/2014 12:28:00 PM
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I'd probably still use the OpenOffice draw program. It tracks yourmouse position and thus you can get quite accurate and repeatable drawings. I used it to design shelving in my house and to make room diagrams for placing furniture. You just ahd the translet thedistances on the drawing sinto physical distances but once I kniw the relationship, the rest was easy. It beat making paper mkodels of rooms and furniture, although that worked too.

zeeglen
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Re: Getting used to it
zeeglen   2/11/2014 12:57:26 PM
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@ Doug, Max - Yeah, I know, I was surprised too, but that's the way he's always done it...

I still remember doing prelim PCB floorplans by cutting out post-it notes to the same size as ICs and circuit block estimates, them arranging them on a paper until I got all the interconnections as short as possible.  Don't laugh - it got the job done :>}

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Getting used to it
Max The Magnificent   2/11/2014 1:28:19 PM
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@MeasurementBlues: I used it to design shelving in my house and to make room diagrams for placing furniture.

Thise are the shelves where everything slides down towards the right -- right?

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Getting used to it
MeasurementBlues   2/11/2014 1:35:44 PM
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@Max, the shelves are level. It's the floor that's pitched. No kidding, a 2-in. pitch over 18 feet. Playing with marbles on the floor is a challenge.

DrQuine
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Re: Getting used to it
DrQuine   2/11/2014 1:12:09 PM
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Sometimes, moving into the future drives you backwards.  With many of the newer Microsoft Office applications, if you open a file directly, it is read-only and cannot be modified or saved.  It is necessary to open Word / Excel first and then open the file. "Progress."

David Ashton
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Re: Getting used to it
David Ashton   2/15/2014 5:23:10 PM
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@MeasurementBlues - "As for me, I still do most of my graphics with Windows Paint. "

I thought I was the only one still using it!  I'm glad I am in such illustrious company.  MS Paint is, for most things, so easy to use.  It's horses for courses, for example MS Paint cannot (as far as I know, correct me if I am wrong) do graduated fills, but for most diagrams it can do pretty well anything you need.  I have a file of schematic symbols and have it open so I can copy and paste when I am doing schematics - for a small schematic it is very quick.   MS Paint is also great for putting (eg) a quick red circle on a photo to indicate the bit you're describing, or to annotate photos with text.  Simple it may be, but it's a great little program and I wouldn't be without it.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Getting used to it
MeasurementBlues   2/16/2014 12:43:49 AM
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@David - I'm glad I am in such illustrious company.

Illustrious?

From 2088 to 2011, I was the EDN Design Ideas editor (three of the longest years of my life). One prolific contributor in Eastern Europe would hand draw his schematics and scan them. It drove me crazy because they were hard to edit. I asked him about getting some kind of schematic drawing program, but no way. Finally I asked if you could use PowerPoint and the did. So, I make up a library of circuit symbols in PowerPoint and sent it to him. After that, his scematics were easier to read and consistent. He probably still uses it. Michael Dunn should thank me for that.

At that time, EDN was still in print and until 2010, we had someoen who did a beautiful job drawing schematics for the magazine. She you take anyting and turn it into EDN's style. We lost her when EDN was sold to Canon but she came back part time for a while under UBM.

MeasurementBlues
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Re: Getting used to it
MeasurementBlues   2/16/2014 12:44:56 AM
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The Windows 7 version of MS Paint was a nice upgrade because it can resize images. I use it a lot.

David Ashton
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Re: Getting used to it
David Ashton   2/16/2014 3:28:46 AM
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@MB - resizing - I still have XP (yeah, I know, I'm a luddite :-) and you can resize in that with the Image \ Stretch and Skew.  You just stretch by the same amount vertically and horizontally.   Otherwise you get some very weird effects.....  

For cropping I prefer MS Office picture manager - it's very easy, also for adjusting colour / brightness / contrast.

illustrious - adjective 1. well known, respected, and admired for past achievements.
 
You got a problem with that??


Sheetal.Pandey
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Re: Getting used to it
Sheetal.Pandey   2/26/2014 11:07:48 AM
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Yes the tool seems to be very useful for software engineers who spend hours altogether finding the bug. SOmething like this will save them lot of time. Imagine the times when you got to work on a code written and by someone else and there is no documentation explaining the code. 

DrQuine
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Powerful tool for memory management
DrQuine   2/11/2014 1:19:09 PM
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"Memory leakage" and variables being written into unintended locations are common causes of programming problems. A debugging technique that I developed years ago was to surround my variables with some "0" buffer space. Viewing the memory on a display, I could see when data started to intrude into the white "snow" and attack my programming bug. It sounds like the Micriµm µC/Probe would be a powerful tool to monitor memory and provide an alert when variables overwrite program space or other variables.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Powerful tool for memory management
Max The Magnificent   2/11/2014 1:27:26 PM
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@DrQuine: A debugging technique that I developed years ago was to surround my variables with some "0" buffer space.

Very clever!

betajet
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printf() and a fast compiler
betajet   2/11/2014 3:02:38 PM
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I like printf().  As long as you have a fast compiler+linker and a fast way to download a new image to your prototype hardware, printf() can be very effective.  For one thing, you can customize printfs to the specific problem at hand -- you are not limited to what the debug vendor has imagined that you might need.  The printfs tell you what the program is doing and the program "practically debugs itself" :-)

You can use conditional compilation to "comment them out", so that when [sic] the bug comes back three revisions later, just enable your printfs and "Bob's your uncle".

Here's the rule I've heard (and try to apply): All time spent writing debug and diagnostic code pays for itself -- it's never wasted.

DrFPGA
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Re: printf() and a fast compiler
DrFPGA   2/15/2014 1:34:40 PM
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What a great rule. I need to make a bronze plaque and put that above my workbench. So many times I dive into debugging without really thinking of the data I need to really figure things out. probably need to get a deerstalker hat to wear while debugging too come to think of it...

betajet
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Re: printf() and a fast compiler
betajet   2/15/2014 2:30:52 PM
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LOL, I actually have a deerstalker!  [For those who aren't familiar with the term, it's the type of hat worn by Sherlock Holmes.]  If I have a particularly nasty problem that requires detective work, putting on the deerstalker puts me in the right frame of mind.  OTOH, some problems require exploration.  For those, I have a pith helmet.

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