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Comment Re:Completely overrated and someone else did it fi (Score 1) 164

According to the manufacturer, boots to Linux in 0.69 second. It's a 500MHz ARM-9 based system. I haven't used this board, but I've used others from the same manufacturer; the Linux they provide is Debian-based on the boards I've used.

Comment Re:a solid programming background only hurts you (Score 1) 185

Mod parent up +insightful.

I've been programming for over 25 years, most of that at the firmware/driver level in C. I went on a hardware quest (for my own edification) about a year ago, and I did an independent study course for credit at my local university. My focus was on Verilog (because that's what's used within my company), and it was truly a different beast than programming! I definitely had to train myself to think differently to accomplish that.

There are many good boards suggested by others in this thread. I used three boards myself. The first board I used was - containing a Lattice Semiconductor CPLD. The board was a good starter because it was designed for education, and included a lab manual of quite a few projects. Potential downside: the lab manual and tools it comes with are not based on either Verilog or VHDL, but rather ABEL. I did everything in Verilog instead, and still used the lab manual as a source of exercises. The Mach64 board is fairly inexpensive.

I also used a board from -- this product is a little pricey as an educational device. Their hardware contains Xilinx parts. What I liked most about it though is its USB interface -- first, you can use their tool to download your hardware description without being required to flash the board (where many other boards require you to flash the image to exercise it). Second, and more interesting to me -- Opal Kelly's boards include virtual device libraries, letting you attach hardware to USB-carried channels for data I/O and triggering to a remote application. They include a library to allow you to write a remote application to support the other end of this. I don't know if they support Linux though -- everything I did on the PC end was under Windows.

Finally, a reasonably priced board is This board is not centered around its FPGA, instead it's an ARM9 based CPU board. The board includes full embedded Linux support and all the typical devices you would expect to find, and it has a user-accessible Altera FPGA on board. Their linux distribution includes a tool to send a FPGA bitstream over to the device, letting you quickly test a new hardware description (like the Opal Kelly board, without programming flash). Potential downside here... the manufacturer includes a bitstream image that is used by default, which enables (among other things) its VGA port and a second Ethernet interface - and their open source Verilog for this device doesn't include those, so you sacrifice some of the board to define your own hardware. You don't sacrifice anything you can't use the board without though (there's another Ethernet port; there's a few serial ports, etc., which don't require the FPGA).

Good luck!

Comment Re:Not to criticize (Score 1) 65

About three years ago I was in Korea, contracting at a mobile phone manufacturer for a while. Their latest phone (Pantech... I can't recall the model number but it was destined for the Russian market) had an accelerometer and they had experimental software to allow you to dial by "Drawing" your numbers in the air. It definitely looked silly to see someone using this, as you had to draw fairly large numbers to make it work, but it worked.

Comment Re:go! (Score 1) 834

I've interviewed many a candidate with a strong academic background (masters, perhaps some PhD work), little to zero experience, and what showed up in the interview: little to zero comprehension of the issues that would be important on the job. I've also interviewed candidates with weak academic backgrounds (uncompleted undergrads) but a few years of experience, and what showed up in the interview: they had the ability to listen and learn, and were interested in the job because of their own passion (versus feeling that their degree made it the only option).

I'm not saying a degree makes one unqualified, of course... I'm just saying that an unqualified statement such as As someone without any education at all, I'd say go for the Masters, then get your experience after that. No? really doesn't look at any relevant issues.

Comment Re:File a police report _now_. (Score 2) 931

> If no response happens, leave it the hell alone and get the hell out as soon as possible.
That's the worst advice one could follow. If you don't care, to the point that you'll just walk away, don't even bother to "question the situation politely and in firm terms", just cave in from the start.

If you're not willing to stand up for yourself, either the situation isn't important to you or you don't deserve better than what you're receiving. If a mugger points a gun at you and demands your wallet, give it to them -- if you don't, you'll lose more than your wallet. If a person in authority oversteps their bounds, protest to the furthest legal extent that you can. If you don't, you won't bring attention to the problem and thus you only contribute towards making things worse.

Comment Re:Ouch (Score 1) 849

From a friend of mine, his story went something like this:

My friend had been pulled over for what he felt was something bogus...
Friend: Is it illegal for me to call you an asshole?
Cop: Yes.
Friend: Is it illegal for me to think you're an asshole?
Cop: No.
Friend: I think you're an asshole.


Different story, from my youth... a rent-a-cop was hassling me over some nonsense, when I was driving into the US Army-controlled area I worked in at the time.
Me: Were you born an asshole, or did you work at it your whole life?
Rent-a-cop: Wait right there //call's MPs//


Moral of the stories: Telling the truth can get you in trouble. So can asking questions.

Comment Re:Effect on Qt Solutions (e.g. SOAP) (Score 1) 828

It's a fair assumption that it might open QT Solutions up.

Related... I've got a Qt developer's license and I never purchased Qt Solutions. I recently discovered that Nokia has decided to retroactively give Qt Solutions to anyone with a developer license.
The Courts

Judge Tells RIAA To Stop 'Bankrupting' Litigants 332

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Boston judge who has consolidated all of the RIAA's Massachusetts cases into a single case over which she has been presiding for the past 5 years delivered something of a rebuke to the RIAA's lawyers, we have learned. At a conference this past June, the transcript of which (PDF) has just been released, Judge Nancy Gertner said to them that they 'have an ethical obligation to fully understand that they are fighting people without lawyers ... to understand that the formalities of this are basically bankrupting people, and it's terribly critical that you stop it ...' She also acknowledged that 'there is a huge imbalance in these cases. The record companies are represented by large law firms with substantial resources,' while it is futile for self-represented defendants to resist. The judge did not seem to acknowledge any responsibility on her part, however, for having created the 'imbalance,' and also stated that the law is 'overwhelmingly on the side of the record companies,' even though she seems to recognize that for the past 5 years she has been hearing only one side of the legal story."

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