Member Since: December 16, 2010

Country: United States


Programming Languages

C, C++, Perl


application development (both desktop and the web), MVC, ORM, enterprise deployments, virtualization

  • Great video. My favorite part is the song. ♫ That Jeep ♫ Kinda scares me. ♫ Oh that Jeep ♫ Kinda scares me.

  • Or simply “a tenth of the cost”. Saying X orders of magnitude less expensive where X is > 1 doesn’t make any sense from a mathematical perspective. Words mean things. It was a pet peeve of my grandfather’s (NASA engineer) and it’s a pet peeve of mine as well.

  • In my experience as a software developer, it’s not just about expecting failures and failing gracefully but also making sure the appropriate details of the failure is provided to the consumer. When I say “consumer”, I don’t necessarily mean the end-user of a device, either. A consumer can be a developer who utilizes a third-party API that may in turn use another API internally. Handling all of the possible error messages and encapsulating them appropriately for the consumer of the interface is important.

    In this case, that error message is appropriate for a technician, not the end-user of the device. The appropriate message to present to the end-user would be “Failure during initializing; please try again. If problem persists, call XXX-XXX-XXXX for service.” The details of the error can be made available via a secondary screen/button or a serial console.

    Now, consider how confounded you might be if the error returned was not formatted for a technician, either. What if the message displayed was the raw error returned by the kernel’s write() system call? “Error 32” Imagine how maddening that would be, both for the end-user as well as the technician and/or engineer whom have to debug the issue. The unfortunate truth is that sort of thing happens far more often than you think.

  • Why call the number, wait three days for service, and pay $500 when a power cycle fixes the issue? The whole point is the unit failed clumsily. It could have rebuilt the file. Or, if it was an unrecoverable error, wait until the number of failures crosses a certain threshold before waving the white flag. Increment a counter stored in non-volatile memory and power itself off. Once counter surpasses five, show the error. Since a power cycle fixed the issue, the counter is cleared, and no message would have been shown. It’s called UX (user experience) design.

    We’re engineers here. We don’t take clumsy failures very well. If this had happened to me, I would have found it very difficult to not attribute it to a deliberate attempt by the manufacturer to drum up unnecessary service work.

  • Ideal makes great stuff. I don’t have a pair of Stripmasters, but I use a tool with similar “clamp, cut, & pull” behavior. It’s similar, but not identical to these. They can be found locally for cheap if you don’t want to shell out the money for a pair of Stripmasters. The tool I have has worked very well for me.

    For larger gauge wire, I often use a pair of coaxial cable strippers. The ones I have looks identical to these. The blade depth is adjustable so it works for a lot of different wire sizes. It works well for stripping 4 AWG stranded copper wire.

  • Star my post if you didn’t look at the orientation of the fuse clips. Le sigh…

  • This is awesome! I’ve been using a spare ATX power supply for my high current needs for a while, but I’ve been snipping the molex connectors off the end of the cables to gain access to the rails. This makes things MUCH easier.

  • Pete is not nearly as saddened by the loss of his plane’s propeller as he is about his graying hair.

  • The RPi is a SBC – Single Board Computer.

    The intel Edison is a SoC – System on a Chip.

    SoC devices are typically smaller, more powerful, and use less power than any SBC. The tradeoff is that it’s an barebones platform/framework that you choose how to integrate. It’s not a computer in the sense that the RPi is.

    The Edison is more rightly compared with Freescale’s SoC offerings.

  • I use Comcast and I already have traffic caps. Comcast, by the way, reported a $7B profit last year.

No public wish lists :(