It's amazing how many young engineers remain unaware of the dangers of peanut butter when you drop a big "glob" onto your keyboard, and -- with a tear rolling down one's cheek -- watch it slither its way between the keys -- shortly before the keyboard inexplicably ceases to function (not that this has ever happened to me, you understand :-)
Because the features of concentrated smoke are hidden and thus largely unknown to the user, AEROstich will be launching the "Insmell Inside" campaign to promote the benefits of reconcentrated smoke. Business has also myseriously spiked in Oregon and Washington recently.
For many years, engineers have made jokes about letting the smoke out of an IC, and how you'll never get it all back in there. I'm glad to see an enterprising company has finally addressed this problem, and at only $1,111.12, it sounds like a bargain!
I love the last sentence of their product description: "A must-have item for any shop, especially if you’re an idiot."
Here's what I'm wondering-
Would it be possible to perhaps take some smoke from a Cray supercomputer and inject it back into an 8-bit microcontroller? In addition to adding incredible speed, you might even be able to add some features!
It's a little known feature of the Cray supercomputers that the fluorinert coolant also served to capture any leaking smoke and cycle it through large filter units around the base of the machine. The smoke was then recompressed by motor-generators (usually located in an adjacent room) and fed back into the chips. This system required special, soluble smoke which greatly increased the price of the machines, but allowed them to operate at clock rates that would have diffused ordinary smoke in seconds. Truly a groundbreaking design.
I'm flabbergasted that technology has advanced to the point that a similar effect can be had with a simple $1,111.12 benchtop device. Amazing.
The old timers at my first company had one of the technicians trained to hold the eprom upside down after programming to be sure the bits did not leak out. That joke is so old that it no longer has to shave.
similar to there being smoke inside all chips (and a powerful spring too if you judge by the effect of plugging a 5v chip into a 12v rail has in terms of flinging small bits of plastic around) there is also a red LED inside every green LED if you forget to put a series resistor in (admittedly once you've seen the red one the likelihood is the green one will cease working forthwith)
At a summer job in college I was in my supervisor's office when another student came in and proudly proclaimed that he had found the faulty chip, holding it in the air. "Good job!" the supervisor told him. When the student walked out the supervisor started laughing and I heard the engineer in the next cubicle also laughing. The engineer stood up with a cigarette in hand (it was legal back then) and one end of a tube that had been snaked under the bottom of the circuit board under test. That was one of the many initiations we went through that summer. If we'd had a smoke re-concentrator back then, he would have been sent to find the user's manual no doubt.
My own initiation was nontechnical for some reason, and not suitable for print.
It seems that by purposely blowing up chips, you could use this clever device to create some really cool SOC devices, and also repackage things like putting (er I mean vapor depositing) an Ivy Bridge into a TO-92 package.
In my workplace, we like to joke about computers getting slow because the megahertz is leaking out. PCs come with a certain amount of megahertz inside, but over time, as you add software, it tends to leak, and the computer slows down. That's where all that dust inside your computer comes from: evaporated megahertz. Repair shops which promise to speed up your computer have a megahertz pump which can refill it to some extent, the same way you refill an empty ink cartridge. Large PC stores have a big tank of megahertz in the back. Once a week a tanker truck comes by to deliver more.... Maybe I can find some mobile megahertz on e-bay for my phone...
Ah the tricks some people will play on the new inexperienced guy.
I just heard about a new inducty to RF power who needed to place an attenuator between his Lab/benche tops driver amp and the input to a transceivers RF power amplifier stage.
He needed to sweep the transceivers PA stage and there was a possibilty that his benchtop/lab amps RF output could spike up due to slow AGC action during startup and drive the PA to 6 db overdive which could blow out his final RF amp stage.
Instead of listening to this advice another individual told him to lower the transceivers receive volume during transmit which would lower his drive to the transmitter.
The poor kid was just about to do this, and possibly blow out the drivers and final PA stage, when another seasoned RF guru caught wind of this and set him straight.
Ah the fun of messing with the young engineers.
One of favourites is to ask for the metric adjustable wrench ... after the initial look of confusion they hand me the adjustable wrench. Of course I always reply with, 'I said the METRIC adjustable NOT the SAE adjustable'
And then there's always the left handed screwdriver :)
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 16 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...