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Comment Re:The technical problems with this are immense. (Score 1) 345

What immense technical problems did autonomous vehicles have prior to the 2004 DARPA project?

What immense technical problems did nuclear have before the Manhattan project?

What immense technical problems did flight have 150 years ago?

What immense technical problems did the internal combustion engine have 200 years ago?

For a site supposedly for nerds the nerds sure are short sighted when it comes to technology. However based on the comments in multiple other threads most people here would be happier if kids had to walk uphill both ways to use their punchcards.

Comment Re: Glue it, internet it, breach it (Score 1) 157

Posted up in the thread: http://dadatho.me/pages/what-i...

We do it all in Simulink. If you have experience with C you'd probably be best making device drivers for Simulink.

Not that we don't have people that don't know what they're doing in Simulink. I've seen some terrible 'coding', but Matlab helps to catch most of the errors, even if people get lazy with datatypes.

Comment Challenge Accepted. (Score 1) 504

Millions of teenage boys just said "Ha, I'll prove you wrong". Way back in the day when we were sophomores in highschool the teacher took away all 'dirty' word magnets. So we arranged the ones she left into something dirty, then she removed those. Rinse repeat.

And that's why we couldn't have nice things.

Comment Re:Missed the Boat? (Score 1) 267

Yes and no. The 'chain' is every transaction that ever occurred ever.

Think of it as the git repo for bitcoin. You can either let someone else host it (and just tell them to do transactions) or you can get it yourself. It all comes down to who you trust and with what.

But should the internet explode and you lose all trust in everyone else you'll have your own black book of what was spent where. I just use coinbase these days. I honestly trust it more than my bank because it has better security than my bank. I tell them to do transactions on by behalf and they have the computers to do all the dirty transaction bits.

Comment Re:Visual vs wall of code (Score 1) 157

Yep. It all comes down to trust of a toolchain.

I trust Simulink makes my blocks into the appropriate C (& C++) just like some people here trust that their assembler converts their C into the appropriate byte language.

If you can't trust your tools you'll never get work done. And it's not that I don't enjoy building hammers, or drills or table saws it's that at the end of the day my job isn't to build the hammers or drills or table saws, it's to build something using them.

Comment Re:Holy Cow (Score 1) 247

Am I that old to believe long tern stability is a good thing?

I just moved to FreeBSD for everything in my house. I'm too old for dicking around with 'bleeding edge'. When I was 17 'bleeding edge' was the latest Alpha or Beta release I could find of OS X. Anymore it seems like Windows is just the latest Alpha or Beta.

With FreeBSD it may be old or 'out of date' with the latest and greatest but it works.

Comment Re:If it was easy (Score 1) 157

Just like typing? My wife works with doctors that were told "Oh, you don't need to learn to keyboard, you'll have someone to do that for you. You're going to be a doctor".

Programming is becoming the same way. IBM's Watson is going to displace a lot of doctors. It just means the next generation of doctors is going to have to know how to make and use the tools given to them.

Comment Re:Glue it, internet it, breach it (Score 1) 157

In many fields, including electronics, hardware, pyro, etc there are two classifications of materials and technicians: standard and "life safety".

Which is why we use tools to check our models for safety certifications. Including difficult ones like DO-178B "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification"

Comment Re:Visual vs wall of code (Score 2) 157

You are correct. Not only that, the learning objective with drag and drop might be colloquially called "coding" but in reality it might be to teach the logic of problem solving and the logic of coding using graphics

I use Simulink for a living. This is exactly what it it is, the buzz word is "Model Based Control". It doesn't mean I spend any less time trying to figure out the logic of how things work. Our whiteboards at work are covered with sketched block diagrams on how we need to implement a strategy.

Almost every company I know of has moved on past C for their engineers and just has them design and implement algorithms in Simulink. It's why the are a lot of positions open for Simulink across the country.

It writes better C faster than I ever could. Including C that meets ISO® 26262, IEC 61508, EN 50128, and related functional safety standards such as IEC 62304 and it's cutting development time in half

I got an Arduino Robot the other day and I spent more time messing around with C than I ever have with Simulink. I can make a control system to run a 16 cylinder engine in a half an hour. Drag and drop an engine speed sensor, drag and drop injector block. Toss in some PID control and it's done. Right now I would kill for a Python equivalent of Simulink but nothing comes close, I'm about ready to just make an Arduino mako template so I can teach python to write my C for me.

Not that people that need to know C disappeared, they're just the ones writing our 'device drivers' for Simulink. When I drag and drop a "Digital I/O" block into the model I trust that they made it so it works. (And sometimes it doesn't, but that's all code). It validates the datatypes. Does fixed pointing in a straight forward manner. I know most people think autogenerated code is big and scary but I trust it better than I trust some guy that took a few C courses in college.

Additionally it's much easier to let engineers do stuff how engineers do them and programmers how programmers do things and not make the engineers learn programming or the programmers learn engineering. (Not that we don't exist, but we write the device drivers)

It's why a lot of dev boards also have Simulink libraries. It's not that I don't know C or assembly it's that I'm tired of dicking with it and just want to make a controller. I can take the same Simulink model and compile it for multiple vendors and even different devices for that vendor.

I can swap dev boards without changing any of my model logic in a few seconds. Even compile it for FPGAs and PLCs.

Further reading:

  1. http://papers.sae.org/2013-01-...
  2. https://www.mathworks.com/tagt...
  3. http://www.mathworks.com/compa...

[Meta: Speaking of taking a lot longer to write. This post took an extra 5 or so minutes because I had to format all of the HTML. Please switch to Markdown or Restructured text. There's a reason we use it in industry, it is faster.]

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