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Comment Re:Sounds like a step backwards (Score 1) 281

Same. Gave me my most valuable lesson in programming

There were two groups of people, some just typed in the equations and edited the program during the test. Others build full programs. By time I got to the test it was muscle memory because I had to do dozens of test cases by hand to make sure my program was right.

Even printed out every 'step' so that I could show my work on the test.

Comment Re:We need standardized/open source ECUs. (Score 1) 101

Last I checked the GCC didn't support the PPC VLE extensions, which makes it a non-starter for our use. Did that change?

And damn, It looks like NXP has finally done something:


Has someone paid for their ISO-26262 certification? That's what holding us up. I'm trying to convince my boss that $(FOSS+Pay for the cert) $(Windriver RTOS)

Comment Re:We need standardized/open source ECUs. (Score 2) 101

they usually run at a minimum of 200MHz with a few megabytes for software because they run full-blown operating systems.

No. No. Just No.

The top of the line MPC57xx is only ranges from 32 MHz to over 300 MHz. Most of the ones that are currently in production are more than likely the MPC56xx or MPC55xx line. All of which are much more reliable than the 68ks. The highest end/safest ones run lock step cores with a 3rd core that compares the output to make sure that they're both calculating the same values.

For OS' it's running a RTOS of some sort, not a 'full blown OS'. There are a few different vendors: GreenHills, WindRiver, ETAS, etc.

For compilers it's either WindRiver's Diab or Green Hills. To my knowledge GCC doesn't work on the MPC5xxx line. I've been trying to talk my boss into sponsoring a grad student to get LLVM ported so we can at least do some prototyping without paying for a license.

And not if you're going to be using the eTPU, which requires a separate compiler.

With most of the control algorithms written in Simulink and the HAL done in C or C++.

What we need is standardized and open source ECUs that handle all the basic systems needed for the car to function.

I'll be the first in line.

So to recap:

  • The dev boards start at ~$500+.
  • Theres' no opensource compiler for the chips.
  • There's no opensource RTOS for the chips.

A single small team *may* be able to make ECM for vehicles ~10+ years old but unless you have a lot of money to donate to a cause, a fully opensource everything for 2017 vehicles isn't going to happen.

Comment Re: Couldn't Happen Fast Enough (Score 1) 233

There is no reason we couldn't have 1000+ video lessons for any given topic; each slightly different. Periodic 3-5 question quizzes would be able to tell how well students are picking up the material, and machine learning could help identify which lessons work better for each student based on billions of other student interactions and learning results.

Exactly this. Start cutting down the ones that don't work. Eventually you'll probably have half a dozen lectures that target a particular learning style.

Comment It's there. (Score 4, Insightful) 293

My new laptop at work (ZBook 15 G3) has USB-C. It's everything USB should have been since the beginning.

Reversible, Just Works(Tm). It'll drive 2 4k external TVs.

Laptop itself has Ethernet, VGA, 3xUSB3.0 and 2xUSB-C ports. Holds 64GB of RAM, 2xM.2 NVMe drives and 1x 2.5" drive.

The dock could still use some work. You shouldn't have to issue a white paper on how to hook up monitors (Which is still wrong, the HDMI port drives 4k just fine.).

If I *need* to do some GPU work I can plug in an external GPU. Or gigabit ethernet or any other PCIe device.

Microsoft screwed up on this one. They're releasing old hardware. I bet they could have easily charged a surface on over USB Power Delivery. It's taken us a while but USB-C is pretty damn good as far as a physical connection. And Thunderbolt 3 is equally as good of a protocol.

For most people if the 'desktop is dead' it's because USB-C/TB killed it. I just want to plug my laptop into cluster of CPUs when I'm at my desk.

Comment Re:They're after the kids (Score 1) 95

I'm in my 30s and do the same thing.

I *know* they're always listening. If the NSA wants to hang out with me and my wife for the most part, come along. Back when I first started saying stuff like that it was tinfoil material.

The difference is that I go out of my way to not be heard or seen when I don't want to be heard or seen. Fitting in with the norm will raise less red flags than being completely off grid.

Comment Re:Do what you think is needed to be done (Score 1) 222

"Why does a build take 2 hours"?


A quick profile of the process later found a stupid design decision that ate 30% the time. (On a small scale you never noticed but on the entire build it just ate time.)

And now I'm sort of miracle worker for just looking into a problem no one wanted to look into or just assumed "that's the way it is".

Comment Re:Useless article, half baked.. (Score 2, Insightful) 267

Yeah, yeah, there will still be niches where people will be needed, but that's just it, niches. In the past one large manufacturing plant could employ thousands, or even tens of thousands of workers.

And people looking back at history seem to gloss over the number of niches that have always existed. How many niches existed at the height of steam power to keep a locomotive on the tracks and running?

With respect to the trades there wasn't just one type of woodworker unless you lived in a small town. A person that specialized in cabinet building would have a completely different set of tools and skillsets than someone that built homes. One person could probably do both but would do neither as well as the people well trained to do one.

100 years ago a small town doctor was the Ob, Surgeon, General practitioner and mortician. I'm amazed at the number of sub specialties my wife works with. You have people that specialize in pediatric nephrology. They spend their entire career ONLY working with kids kidneys. Other than med school they have none of the same training as a orthopedic sports surgeon. And for each of those doctors there are dozens more specialized supporting staff. Directly you have nurses and the such.

Indirectly you have the people that built the tools used in the specific industries. The medical hardware and tools that a surgeon uses are different than those that a nephrologist uses. There are hundreds if not thousands of engineers building, testing and working on each of the respective tools.

As the world becomes more diverse the number niche of jobs increases dramatically. It's not like you go to college, become one of 5 professions and do that. I'm one of 50 engineers at a single facility making a single product for a single industry and only 10% or so of my job may overlap with all of those other people. We have cleaning people that support the office building, mowers that mow the lawn, cafeteria workers, the guy that runs the on site gym, the marketing people to sell our product.

And this is for a boring every day product that you wouldn't think twice about. That single device in a single niche industry pays the salary of easily 1000+ people. Multiply that by every little thing out there and it adds up quick. So no, there aren't a TON of a single profession out there but the workforce is made up of a ton of little professions that add up.

That extends to the modern trades as well. I have friends that are plumbers and electricians. 90 years ago there may have been one type but you have people that specialize in residential vs industrial vs medical.

Comment Re:All of them. (Score 1) 267

I want to know how many jobs directly or indirectly were created from the Steam engine.

How many people did the foundry employ to just make the things? How many mechanics were required to keep one running (early ones took more days off for 'maintenance' than they did running). Before the automated luber was invented someone was employed to make sure every single metal on metal part was lubricated (with catastrophic failures). You had thousands if not tens of thousands of jobs just from one technology. And just as quickly as those jobs came they started to disappear.

Trains used to be switched manually at the switch, then they made switch houses, then automated that. A brakeman was replaced with pneumatics for brakes and electrical lights for the rear lamps. People shoveling coal on board was replaced by conveyor belts. These days a small fraction of the people required to keep a steam engine running can keep a diesel one running.

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