</p><p>I'm always amazed at what non-programmers are impressed by. Code up some major application, and... Why doesn't it have this feature? Why does it have that workflow? What kind of colorblind dyslexic idiot designed this UI? But whip up a simple script to automate some repetitive, routine task and you're a genius!</p></quote>
I'm always surprised at this as well. I had two things I was known for at my previous company. One that I was proud of, a software library that was used across the entire company, across multiple teams (20 project teams), built up a community around, supported and upgraded for 6 years. This was mainly on my own time, but I kept getting requests from other teams to help with integration (which I needed my time authorized for). I kept getting complaints about the library, people wanting to change the flows, wanting to add features in, wanting it to be more light weight, wanting it to be more heavy weight and do more, etc. The library was actually designed with maintenance and long term support in mind.
The other project, was something that automated a process I thought was stupid. Basically something that took multiple true type fonts, merged them together, and then based on all the localization strings it stripped out all the unused fonts to save on RAM. I threw that together when I was home sick from work with a 103 degree fever during flu season. It was only suppose to live till the end of the current project I was on (2 months). You can imagine how crappy the code was, it barely worked, it barely did what it had to do.
Guess which one I got more praise and recognition for? Not the properly designed project that affected our customers and revenue flow, but the code vomit (almost literally) project that made people's life in the company easier. Because of the second project I became known as one of the company's expert on true type fonts, and even had the company lawyers call me to talk about licensing of the fonts we used (as if I knew that). And I still had to support that tool 5 years after I wrote it, because it somehow leaked out of the original project which had been shipped and closed down. Just for the record I consider my knowledge on fonts to be slightly above average, but when you consider the average is 'a font is what you select in Word' its not much, no way is that considered an expert in any other area.
But it does bring out all the pins you'd want. SPI, UART, I2C, Digital I/O etc. And if you're going to be doing some pretty intensive stuff beyond what the starter kit gives you (3 buttons, and 3 LEDs) you'd probably want to pick one of those up as well. What I like about it is it has a 9 volt input jack so I don't have to power the starter kit off my PC.
The JTAG is left off the starter kit, since it is a starter kit, and they don't want to make it expensive. There isn't really any space on the board to put a JTAG port without expanding the area, and if you want one thing, others will want others, and yet others, and then its no longer a starter kit, but a full development kit. Which is why there's that I/O expansion board to handle the 132 pin connector that's on the bottom of the starter kit.
Of course if you're really wanting to play with the MCHP parts its best to go with the starter kits, which makes them much more expensive than the $3 in the article. But then you get a USB debug port, a USB port to play with, and on some of the kits you get Ethernet as well. Which is much more than what the breadboard in the article is talking about, and you don't need a flash programmer. If you're really serious to get into embedded controllers this is probably the way to go, since you save the price of your flash programmer/debugger.
You could always wait for the PIC32MZ as well, which is a 200 Mhz part, more RAM and more FLASH.
The CEO of Microchip Technologies (Steve Sanghi) has ethics, I don't know the majority of his ethical make up, but one of the big things is integrity. If you look at his and MCHP's history
- he's been CEO of MCHP for 23 years, which I never heard of in the high tech industry. In fact a good portion of the higher level executives have been around for a long time, some of them from the early 90s. This shows that he's willing to make a commitment and stick too it, and surrounds himself with people who do the same thing.
- MCHP has never had to restate financial results because of shady accounting practices.
- Have told their sales force that the values of doing business are the values of the head office (in the US), so no bribes to get business in 3rd world countries, etc. This has cost them business in the past but they don't seem to mind.
- Made it a corporate culture thing never to have more than 3% of the profits of the company reliant on one customer, which allows them to walk away from shady deals.
Of course this means that MCHP doesn't have a huge market cap, and may be overly conservative when it comes to new technologies, but you can't really argue with 94 quarters of profit that haven't needed to be restated.
Steve might not have a butt load of money, but probably more money than most of us will see in our life times. According to Reuters he makes 4.5 million a year and has 50 million in unexercised options.
The only thing I'm not sure of is where the company is registered, I'm pretty sure its in the US. But it may be outside since it is an international company and most companies are registered outside the US to reduce taxes. I'm not sure if Microchip does.
Bastille-linux is also something that was fairly easy to use in the past. I used that before shorewall, but I haven't used bastille for years, must be a least a decade so I don't know what the current state of it is.
The job turned out to be about 2 levels above what I was applying for in Seattle. Love the weather here and don't regret leaving Seattle at all. They actually appreciate 15+ years of software engineering experience here. In Seattle all they seemed to care about was big O notation, not what you can actually do.
The last time I flew internationally (10 hour flight from Seattle to Amsterdam) I got lucky and upgraded to 'comfort' class and the booking agent apologized that I was tuck in the bulkhead row. Stuck? Man that was comfortable I could stretch out. But she was able to do better on the way back, and got me a proper seat. That was painful, and cramped. I had to get the guy on the aisle to let me out 5 times, and each time I was moving like an old man (and I'm not that old).
So I don't think I'll notice the loose of 1 little inch. My knees already run into the back of the seat in front of me. My shoulders already overflow onto the seats besides me. I might notice that my butt will be snug in the seats though.
But if they're jamming more people onto the plane, are they increasing the overhead bin capacity? When I fly I always take a small roller bag for my clothes and a laptop bag. I usually get these stowed (roller bag up top and laptop bag under the seat in front of course) but its usually cramped, and people who come in late always seem to try to jam in on top of everything. Somehow I doubt it as that is passenger convenience, and some airlines (I'm looking at you American) are charging for every checked bag you have. They're currently offering the checked carry on for free, but that might change in the future.
When I job switched in the past I've never been offered a number higher than what I currently made when I was truthful about my salary, and I screwed myself over. There was a time when I worked for a start-up and my salary was frozen for four years. When that job died I told my new employer what I was making and got offered a bit less since it was a rough job market. The raises I got at that job were less than inflation. The last time I switched I took my salary at the start of the previous job, ran it through the inflation calculator, added 10% and told that number to the new company. That was the number that I was offered, and they gave me some song and dance about it was a privilege about working in the industry when I tried to see if I could get it higher. So I got a 17% raise over my previous company.
Now with this database that tactic is no longer viable. And if you don't tell them the current number you're making and then check it out, they can mark you as dishonest. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me.
Both the Xbox360 and the PS3 had additional hardware in the box to aid in debugging. The PS3 had another 128 megs of ram. And a second Ethernet port. Being an online engineer I almost worshipped that second Ethernet port. Being able to put the 'game' port onto a packet filter (for latency, and other testing) while having the debug port still available unhindered was very valuable.
The PS3 also had a hard drive for running BluRay emulation on.
The Xbox360 (the ones I played with), had the same RAM on both the dev kit and the retail kit, they did add another 512 megs in later versions, but I never got to play with it. The side car had equipment for hooking up USB for DVD emulation and debugging support. It also had an internal hard drive, which the retail kits didn't have.
Mainly the 'better' specs were for debugging, not for actually running the software on.
Suddenly all those dancing Storm Trooper Kinect mini games make sense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGVvTfr0xn4
Perhaps the makers of the video game weren't so far off the mark after all.
There's a good link I usually pass out when people start to talk about noticing the difference between 720p and 1080p.
Now I don't know where the line for 4320p would be since the article is old, but if you look at the line for 1080p at a viewing distance of 5 feet you need a TV around 38 inches. For 1440p at the same distance you need a TV around 51 inches, a difference of 13 inches.
1080p is 2,073,600 pixels
1440p is 3,571,200 pixels
4320p is 33,177,600 pixels
1440 is 1.33... times bigger than 1080
3,571,200 is 1.72... times bigger than 2,073,600
4320 is 3 times bigger than 1440
33,177,600 is 9.29 times bigger than 3,571,200
Using simple linear approximation:
If you take just a 3 times bigger standard 1440p -> 4320p you need 29 more inches, or a TV that is 67 inches, or 3,571,200 -> 33,177,600 you need 70 more inches, or a TV that is 109 inches wide at 5 feet to get the full benefit of 4320p.
I don't know about you but sitting 5 feet away from 109 inches wouldn't work for me. 67 inches is doable, but that's still a huge TV to be only 5 feet away. I don't think you can follow all the action across the entire screen from that distance.
Its a different process. I also work in the gaming industry, and on consoles.
The base game is usually a 10 week lead time from 'gold' (or final) till its on the shelves. Most of that time is certification with 1st party. There's one first party that wants 12 weeks of cert time. I've also worked on a game with an accelerated release schedule. Final, cert and ship in 3-4 weeks
Patches are usually 2 weeks, though maybe 4 weeks sometimes. Though I've had patch go through in two days before, of course that was the second submission of the patch, and the change was as stupid icon change (We put it on the left, where it fit better with the art, they demanded it on the right).
If the DLC doesn't have compiled code in it, then the DLC usually breezes through, maybe taking a week, though one 1st party likes to take 6 weeks with them.
Anyone in the industry that's had to deal with certification can tell you what a pain it is. There's no consistency to the process. One game might submit following one process and a game released three weeks later might follow a different process, it all depends on how much the 1st party wants your game on their console. Or how much they want to screw around with you.
10 years is probably too short, but you're right that copyright laws are broken. I do like 10 years as a good number to work from.
I think copyright should be broken into personal and corporate copyright. Personal copyright is owned by the author. Corporate by a corporation.
Personal copyright should have a maximum 10 year exclusive license limit, after ten years the license should be renegotiated, and perhaps transfered to another publisher. He time limit for personal copyright should be Death or twenty years whichever is longer.
Corporate copyright should be free for 10 years. And then renewed in each country that the corporation wants to enforce it in for $10,000 for then next 10 years, then $100,000 for ten more years and so on. So:
0-10 years free
11-20 years $10,000 per country
21-30 years $100,000 per country
31-40 years $1,000,000 per country
If a company wants to bankrupt itself to keep a copyright that's fine but it'll quickly become too expensive for companies not to let copyrit lapse.
Breaking digital locks should not be illegal. You blame the lock if it gts broken, safes and locks are rated by how long it takes to break into them. Also you could look at it as a National Security question, if you my cryptography illegal, only crimals will be cryptologists. And then how are you going to secure your communications? Digital locks are a good way to train the next generation of cryptologists, and keep them practiced.