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boulder_engineer
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
boulder_engineer   5/11/2011 9:13:55 PM
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Rule number one: Its not my fault Rule number two: its not my fault until you prove its my fault.... then see rule number one.

Michael.Bergman
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Michael.Bergman   5/12/2011 8:15:23 PM
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Great rules! But unfortunately, the rule we were using was, The customer is always right (no matter how wrong).

anon6223816
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
anon6223816   5/13/2011 7:03:21 PM
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I heard that one as "the customer is NOT always right, but the customer is always the customer". Makes sense that way, sort of.

GordonScott
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Manager
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
GordonScott   9/9/2011 10:03:57 AM
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The version I always liked. "The customer can be wrong if they like, it's their prerogative"

David Ashton
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
David Ashton   5/11/2011 11:09:17 PM
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My mouse probelm in my PA was trivial by comparison..... Sounds like your sales guys needed a bit more skill in apportioning blame....

Michael.Bergman
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Michael.Bergman   5/12/2011 8:16:09 PM
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They were quite skilled! "This is our fault, and this is our fault, and that over there? It's our fault too!" Maybe 'skilled' isn't the word...'consistent'?

David Ashton
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
David Ashton   5/12/2011 11:29:53 PM
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With friends ("Team" members?) like that, who needs enemies....

zeeglen
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
zeeglen   5/12/2011 7:40:05 PM
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Good story! Sales will usually agree with the Customer. After all, it is the Customer that is the source of their commission bonus.

Michael.Bergman
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Rookie
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Michael.Bergman   5/12/2011 8:16:48 PM
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Sadly, yes. No commissions for the engineers, either. Where's the justice? When I'm king, engineers will get commissions and salespeople will take blame.

zeeglen
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Blogger
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
zeeglen   5/13/2011 1:02:38 AM
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Many years ago (at a company I am no longer with) the salesheads pressured engineering into a product modification which they them sold to customers prior to a repeat of RF emissions testing to FCC Part 15. My own project had been suddenly canceled and I got pulled into the mess when the subsequent RF emissions testing revealed that the modified product vastly exceeded allowable FCC radiated limits. After I did much physical and mechanical redesign and got the product to pass FCC testing, sales response was "How do we explain to the customers why they need to make this change? Can't you fix the problem without having to make all these changes?" To which I basically replied "That's YOUR problem. YOU decided to sell the modified product prior to emissions testing."

WKetel
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
WKetel   5/14/2011 10:59:23 AM
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The fact is that while the customer is NOT always right, THEY ARE the ones with the money. I have showed customers that the "build to print" they supplied would not work, and that customer was grateful, responding with a PO to make the design work. But not all sales weasels are as cooperative as they were at that employer.

Shallowford
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Shallowford   5/16/2011 12:26:52 PM
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A coworker came up with a complement of the 5 Why process. The "5 Who" process used to determine "Who will pay?" First it got a laugh and then we realized that, more often than not, it reflected reality.

Brickman
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Brickman   5/18/2011 1:06:32 PM
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I know you probably won't name the ASIC company, but the flippant response they gave you really irks me. If I hear that someone has had problems with say a certain appliance manufacturer, car etc, they will never get my business. The ASIC company was at fault and should have owned up to it right away. Anything less is reason to go somewhere else.

Michael.Bergman
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Rookie
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Michael.Bergman   5/18/2011 6:57:14 PM
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We're totally on the same page. My reaction was, "Never again." Their ASIC business closed, but they still make other kinds of chips. I don't flat-out refuse to consider their product, but on the other hand, if there is an alternative, I do sort of lean that way.

klyons954
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
klyons954   5/19/2011 5:48:15 PM
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Nice writing and story telling. I enjoyed reading.

Michael.Bergman
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Michael.Bergman   5/20/2011 6:46:52 PM
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Thanks! It was a lot more fun to tell than to live through, I can tell you that...

abbott
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
abbott   5/20/2011 2:38:52 AM
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Why the ASIC can still meet the MIL-STD-883 test with wrong ESD protection sequence ?

Michael.Bergman
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Rookie
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Michael.Bergman   5/20/2011 6:51:49 PM
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Good question. The old 883C spec required testing with a fairly slow rise time. Actual air discharge ESD events have very fast rise times. With the ESD protection structure on the wrong side of the input strucvture, a slow event could still safely discharge through the ESD structure. A really fast event (fast rise time) required a large current flow to discharge its energy in a short time. The poor input gate was stuck between the bonding pad and the ESD structure. So the gate saw high voltage on the trace (between the pad and the ESD structure). That was enough to rupture the gate dielectric. Not long after we learned all of this, MIL-STD-883C was replaced with -883D, which had a much faster rise time.

DonnyL
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Rookie
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
DonnyL   10/31/2011 11:45:57 AM
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Hi Mike, Could you show what's the difference of old 883C and 883D? I searched MIL-STD-883C and 883E and 883F, they all said the rise time of current waveform is less than 10 nanoseconds. I can't find the difference of them.

Wire Bond Guru
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re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Wire Bond Guru   5/27/2011 5:50:22 PM
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Hardware design guys are not without fault. I have a current design that I need to build that due to "a small error", when the substrate was layed out, has resulted in multiple capacitor insertions acting as leap frogging pads for bonding wires and in one part running a wire bond over top of the IC to the correct trace. At another employer, several years ago, Same type of situation resulted in power jumping over ground on one of the devices. Things like that just don't make for a robust design and when pointed out, sales, and the design guy both responded with we'll fix it on the next rev. work around it for now.

Michael.Bergman
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Rookie
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
Michael.Bergman   6/3/2011 4:47:26 PM
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Absolutely. On a similar note, at one company I found out that the previous year's biggest issue wasn't fixed in the new model year. Why? Because Sales was able to hit quota anyway! This was actually a massive effort by Sales to use personal relationships, incentives, discounts, freebies--anything they could pull out of their bag of tricks to get customers to accept the previous year model with the issue. So the overseas group, noting that "sales wasn't impacted", didn't fix it. Just goes to show, things can work quite smoothly until humans get involved.

ReneCardenas
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Rookie
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
ReneCardenas   8/5/2011 3:30:54 PM
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Great story telling, I enjoyed. However, I would have expected that contracts and attorneys should be in place to define liability when blame is elsewhere.

EEspider
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Rookie
re: Knee deep in exploding mice
EEspider   10/10/2011 10:56:13 PM
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Maybe the ASIC company shall change the spec. a bit and sell it to military for weapons use instead of calling this is a mice business!



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